By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: An Astronomer's Wife - The Biography of Angeline Hall
Author: Hall, Angelo
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Astronomer's Wife - The Biography of Angeline Hall" ***

                          AN ASTRONOMER’S WIFE




                          AN ASTRONOMER’S WIFE


                               BY HER SON

                              ANGELO HALL

                             NUNN & COMPANY


                          COPYRIGHT, 1908, BY
                              ANGELO HALL

                        The Lord Baltimore Press
                         BALTIMORE, MD., U.S.A.


                            _TO MY DAUGHTER




            PROLOGUE                                        11
                 II. THE FATHERLESS CHILD                   20
                III. LADY ANGELINE                          24
                 IV. TEACHING SCHOOL                        30
                  V. THE NEXT STEP                          33
                 VI. COLLEGE DAYS                           38
                VII. COLLEGE PRODUCTIONS                    47
               VIII. ASAPH HALL, CARPENTER                  54
                 IX. COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE                 59
                  X. ANN ARBOR AND SHALERSVILLE             66
                 XI. STRENUOUS TIMES                        70
                XII. LOVE IN A COTTAGE                      80
               XIII. WASHINGTON AND THE CIVIL WAR           86
                XIV. THE GAY STREET HOME                    96
                 XV. AN AMERICAN WOMAN                     104
                XVI. A BUNDLE OF LETTERS                   116
               XVII. AUGUSTA LARNED’S TRIBUTE              127
            EPILOGUE                                       130










_Dear Peggy_: As I tell you this story of the noble grandmother who,
dying long before you were born, would otherwise be to you a picture of
the imagination, I am going to let the public listen, for several

_First._ The public will want to listen, for everybody is interested in
true stories of real folks.

_Secondly._ While your grandmother was not the most wonderful woman that
ever lived, she was a typical American. Her story possesses the charm
and fascination of a romance, for she was a daughter of the
pioneers—those ill-fed and ill-clothed people who, in spite of their
shortcomings, intellectual, moral, and physical, have been the most
forceful race in history.

_Thirdly._ This story vindicates the higher education of women. Your
grandmother, dear Peggy, was a Bachelor of Arts. Now it is maintained in
some quarters that women become bachelors so as to avoid having
children. But your grandmother had four sons, every one of whom she sent
through Harvard College.

_Finally._ This story will demonstrate conclusively that college-bred
women should not marry young men who earn less than three hundred
dollars a year. When you marry, dear Peggy, insist that your husband
shall earn at least a dollar a day. This precept will bar out the
European nobility, but will put a premium on American nobility.

Signed and sealed this 1st day of November, in the year of our Lord
1908, at Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

                                                            ANGELO HALL.

1755 SONS OF MARS 1775

The Halls of Goshen

Qui transtulit sustinet.



                               CHAPTER I.

One fine winter morning a little more than a hundred years ago the sun
peeped into the snow-clad valley of the Connecticut, and smiled
cordially upon the snug homes of the sons and daughters of the American
Revolution. The Yankee farmers had long been stirring. Smoke curled up
from every chimney in Ellington. The cattle had been fed and watered.
Pans of new milk stood on the pantry shelves, breakfast was over, and
the family was gathered about the fireside to worship God and to render
Him thanks for peace and plenty.

At Elisha Cook’s, on this particular winter morning, the simple Puritan
rites were especially earnest. The mother had gathered the children into
her arms, and the light of high resolve lit up her face; for this day
the family was to begin a long, hard journey westward—away from the town
of Ellington, away from Tolland County, away from Connecticut and New
England, beyond the Dutch settlements of New York State to Lake Ontario
and the Black River Country!

I will not attempt to describe that journey in January, 1806. Suffice it
to say that Elisha Cook and his wife Huldah, setting their faces bravely
westward, sought and found a home in the wilderness. They went to stay.
No turning back for those hardy pioneers. Children and household goods
went with them. With axe and plough, hammer and saw, spinning-wheel and
loom, they went forth to enlarge the Kingdom of God. There was no Erie
Canal in those early days. The red men had hardly quitted the unbroken
forests. Not many years had passed since Fort Stanwix resounded with the
warwhoops of St. Leger’s Indians. Indeed, Huldah Cook herself—she was
Huldah Pratt then, a little girl of ten years—had been in Albany when
Burgoyne surrendered.

No doubt as the emigrants entered the Mohawk Valley, little Electa Cook
heard from her mother’s lips something about Arnold and Morgan and their
victorious soldiers. Perhaps she saw in imagination what her mother had
actually seen—soldiers in three-cornered hats, some in uniform and some
in plain homespun, every man armed with powder horn and musket, hurrying
through the streets of the quaint old town to the American camp beyond.
Perhaps she saw the fiery Arnold himself, mounted on his fiery warhorse.
Perhaps she saw Daniel Morgan and his men—of all the heroes of the
Revolution none was braver and truer than he, and of all the soldiers in
Washington’s army none could shoot straighter than the men that
magnanimous general sent to Gates—Morgan’s riflemen.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Moses Stickney was a crack shot, too. I have seen a long-barreled musket
of fine workmanship which he carried in the Revolution, and have
listened to tales of his marksmanship still preserved in the Vermont
valley whither his sons treked westward from their New Hampshire home.
Between that snug little valley and the Connecticut River is a high
ridge, from the top of which Mt. Monadnock is clearly seen. And it was
by the side of that grand old mountain, in the town of Jaffrey, that
Moses Stickney, late of Washington’s army, provided a home for his
bride, Mary Hastings, whom he loved and cherished for sixty-nine years,
lacking four days. Tradition says this lady was descended from an
English earl. Certain it is she bore her husband four noble sons and
four fair daughters.

But who was Moses Stickney? Why, he bears the same relation to the
heroine of this story as does Elisha Cook. He was Angeline Stickney’s
grandfather—her paternal grandfather, of course. No child could have
wished better forebears than these—Moses Stickney and Mary Hastings,
Elisha Cook and Huldah Pratt. It is recorded of Moses Stickney that he
yoked up his oxen on the day he became one hundred years old. A
nonagenarian of Gill, Mass., by the name of Perry, who resided in
Jaffrey, N.H., from 1837 to 1847, used to tell me of this Revolutionary
ancestor, with whom he became well acquainted during those ten years.
The old soldier was fond of telling war stories, and tradition has it
that he carried his long-barreled musket at Bunker Hill. Though his eyes
were bloodshot, like the Moses of Scripture his natural force was
unabated. He was about five feet, ten inches tall, rather slender, and a
good walker even in extreme old age.

Now Moses Stickney had a daughter Mary, who was courted and won by a gay
young man of the name of Daniel Gilman. Just what the virtues and vices
of this gallant may have been I am unable to say; but he vexed his
father-in-law to such an extent that the old gentleman declared no more
young men should come to woo his daughters. “If they come,” said he,
“damn ’em, I’ll shoot ’em.” Being a crack shot, he simply needed thus to
define his position. His daughters Lois and Charlotte lived out their
days at home, maiden ladies. The oldest sister, Susan, had escaped the
parental decree, presumably, by marrying before its promulgation.

Young Gilman shortly left for parts unknown—though shrewdly guessed at.
The War of 1812 was going on, and the Black River Country, home of
Elisha Cook, was the scene of great activity. Thither, then, went young
Theophilus Stickney, brother to Mary, in search of her runaway husband.
Tradition says he unearthed him. However that may be, young Stickney,
himself a gay and handsome youth of four and twenty, found the country
pleasant, and its maidens fresh and blooming. Moreover, his skill in
carpentry, for he was an excellent workman, was much in demand. So
instead of returning home to New Hampshire, he wooed and wedded Electa,
daughter of Elisha Cook.

It would be agreeable to me to record that they lived happily ever
after. But they did not. No couple could have started life under more
favorable auspices: the bride, a dark-haired, rosy-cheeked maiden of
eighteen years, daughter of a prosperous farmer; the groom a handsome,
curly-haired man of twenty-six, of proved ability in his calling, and a
prize for any country girl. They were married on Washington’s birthday,
1816—at a time when this country had finally declared her emancipation
from the tyranny of foreign kings, when the star-spangled banner had
been vindicated by Old Hickory at New Orleans, and hallowed by Francis
Scott Key at Baltimore. So these young patriots needed only to conquer
themselves; but herein they failed—at least, Theophilus Stickney did.

It is delightful to contemplate how Americans of those days, clinging to
the songs of Merrie England, to the English Bible, and to English
learning, defied the political authority of the Old World, and realized
the dream of eighteen Christian centuries by establishing on a new soil
the Brotherhood of Man. But it is sad to see how many Americans of those
days and of these days, too, have failed to overcome the weaknesses
inherent in human nature. The only free man is he who is master of
himself, whether the person at the head of the government be called King
or President.

But do not form the impression that Theophilus Stickney was guilty of
unpardonable sins. He was an altogether lovable man. In fact, I half
suspect he won his father-in-law as readily as his bride. Both men were
fond of music, and sang well. They were generous, large-hearted, as
befits the pioneer. Resolved to win a home on the shores of the Great
Lakes, they yet loved New England and Old England, too. Little
pertaining to my unfortunate grandfather, Theophilus Stickney, has come
down to me, except the songs he sang. One of them begins:

                   ’Twas on the fourteenth day of May
                   Our troops set sail for America.

Perhaps the best stanza of this homely ballad is the following:

               We saw those bold American sons
               Deal death and slaughter with their guns.
               Bold British blood runs thro’ their veins,
               While proud old England sinks in chains.

The best of his ballads, to my mind, was this—the music of which I have
tried to preserve, for a little old lady of seventy years, his daughter,
sang it to me long ago:


         On yonder high mountain there the castle doth stand,
         All decked in green ivy from the top to the strand;
         Fine arches, fine porches, and the limestone so white—
         ’Tis a guide for the sailor in the dark stormy night.

         ’Tis a landscape of pleasure, ’tis a garden of green,
         And the fairest of flowers that ever was seen.
         For hunting, for fishing, and for fowling also—
         The fairest of flowers on this mountain doth grow.

         At the foot of this mountain there the ocean doth flow,
         And ships from the East Indies to the westward do go,
         With the red flags aflying and the beating of drums—
         Sweet instruments of music and the firing of guns.

         Had Polly proved loyal I’d have made her my bride,
         But her mind being inconstant it ran like the tide;
         The king can but love her, and I do the same—
         I’ll crown her my jewel and be her true swain.


Trouble was in store for the young carpenter and his bride. He
contracted to build a house for a neighbor, finding all the lumber
himself, and going into the woods with his men to hew out the timbers.
The work done, the pay for it was not forthcoming, and his own little
home, with a farm of eighty-five acres, nearly paid for, was swallowed
up. So the family moved to the Genesee Country to seek a better fortune.
Here the children—for there were children now—suffered from fever and
ague; and humbling his pride, Theophilus Stickney accepted his
father-in-law’s invitation to return to the Black River Country and live
on a piece of the Cook farm. Here it was, in the town of Rodman,
Jefferson County, that Chloe Angeline Stickney, the carpenter’s sixth
child, was born. There were three older sisters, and two little brothers
had died in infancy.

The soil of Rodman is to this day very productive. In those early days
grain grew abundantly, there were no railroads to ship it away, and
distilleries were set up everywhere. The best of good whisky was as free
as water; and Theophilus Stickney became a drunkard. It is the sin of
many a fine nature, but like other sins it is visited upon the third and
fourth generations. Especially was it visited upon little Angeline, a
child of a very fine and sensitive organization. For sixty-two years, in
a weakened nervous system, did she pay the penalty of her father’s
intemperance. To her that father was but a name. Before she was three
years old he had left home to become a wanderer. And in February, 1842,
he died among strangers in a hospital at Rochester.


                              CHAPTER II.
                         THE FATHERLESS CHILD.

All the saints had not appeared on earth till the birth of Chloe
Angeline Stickney on All Saints’ Day, 1830. At least, if she is not one
of the All Saints she is one of the Hall Saints. No doubt the
associations connected with her birthday helped the growing girl toward
a realization of her ideals; for in after life, in the sweet confidence
of motherhood, she used to tell her sons that her birthday fell on All
Saints’ Day.

But it appears that all the saints were not present at the baby’s birth.
Else the child’s father might have been rescued from the demon of strong
drink—the child herself might have been blessed with a strong body as a
fit abode for her spirit—and she might have been protected from the
silly women who named her!

Chloe Angeline! Think of it! The name Angeline alone might do. Chloe
might do; for, altho’ unheard of in the Cook and Stickney families, it
belonged to the good woman who nursed the child’s mother. But Chloe
Angeline!—the second name borrowed from a cheap novel current in those
days! What’s in a name? In this case this much: Proof that the father’s
standing in his own family was lost. His eldest daughter was named
Charlotte, the third one Mary—the same sensible names as were borne by
two of his sisters in New Hampshire. Apparently the defenceless babe was
a fatherless child from the day of birth.

Rough and crude was the civilization into which she was born. Bears
still haunted the woods and gathered blackberries in the more remote
fields. In a deep ravine Angeline’s sister Elmina encountered a
wild-cat. Matches were not yet in use. Spinning-wheel and household loom
supplied the farmer’s homespun clothing. For salt Grandfather Cook drove
sixty miles to Syracuse. Bigoted religion was rampant, with forenoon and
afternoon services, and a five-mile drive in Grandfather’s wagon. Aunt
Clary Downs, one of Elisha Cook’s daughters, kept a dream-book; and his
mother in her old age used to protect parties of young people from
witches. Singing schools flourished. Elmina Stickney, herself a good
singer, was won by David, not the sweet singer of Israel, but David
Cooley, sweet singer of Rodman. Education was dispensed in the brutal,
old-fashioned way. For example, a teacher in those parts invented the
fiendish punishment of piercing the lip of an offending pupil with a
needle. Elisha, a weak-minded boy who lived at Angeline’s, was flogged
within an inch of his life for cutting up and hiding the
school-mistress’s cowhide. Two school supervisors were present at this
flogging. The schoolmistress would ply her punishment until exhausted;
then rest, and go at it again. Small wonder that Elisha survived the
beating only a year or two.

Angeline’s oldest sister, Charlotte, married young. There were no
brothers or father, so that the mother and four young daughters were
thrown upon their own resources. Grandfather Cook, who lived half a mile
up the road, was their kindly protector. But from the beginning the
sisters learned to look out for themselves and one another. It must have
been a quiet household, saddened by the thought of the absent father,
and much too feminine. For one thing I am very grateful: the mother did
not whip the obedient, sensitive little Angeline.

Angeline was a very solemn little girl, happy at times, with a sort of
saintly happiness, but never merry. Perhaps too many of the saints had
watched over her nativity. Had some little red devil been present he
might have saved the situation. Had her cousin Orville Gilman, son of
the renegade Daniel, only appeared upon the scene to inform the company
that Elisha Cook’s hens, of New England ancestry, were stalking about
crying, “Cut-cut-cut-Connecticut”!

At three years of age Angeline began to attend district school. At five
she was spinning flax. As a little girl, watching her mother at work,
she wondered at the chemistry of cooking. At nine she had read a church
history through. At twelve she was an excellent housekeeper, big enough
to be sent for to help her sister Charlotte keep tavern. So from her
earliest years she was a student and worker. She had some playmates, her
life-long friends, and she enjoyed some sober pleasures. But the healthy
enjoyment of healthy, vigorous childhood she missed—was frightened
nearly out of her wits listening to the fearful stories told about the
fireside—and broke her leg sliding down hill when she was eight years
old. The victim of a weak stomach, coarse fare did not agree with her;
and again and again she vomited up the salt pork some well-meaning
friend had coaxed her to eat. But she accepted her lot patiently and
reverently; and after the cold dreary winters one blade of green grass
would make her happy all day long.

She really did enjoy life intensely, in her quiet way, and no doubt felt
very rich sometimes. There were the wild strawberries down in the meadow
and by the roadside, raspberries and blackberries in abundance, and in
the woods bunch-berries, pigeon-berries, and wintergreen. The flowers of
wood and field were a pure delight, spontaneous and genuine; and to the
end of her days wild rose and liverwort sent a thrill of joy to her
heart. She and her sister Ruth, three years younger, were inseparable
companions. Near the house was the mouth of a deep ravine—or gulf, as it
is called in Rodman—and here the little sisters played beside the brook
and hunted the first spring flowers. Still nearer was a field filled
with round bowlders, a delightful place to play house. Across the road
was a piece of woods where the cows were pastured, and whither the
sisters would go to gather hemlock knots for their mother.

The house stood upon a knoll commanding a pleasant landscape; and from
high ground near by the blue waters of Lake Ontario could be seen. The
skies of Jefferson County are as clear as those of Italy, and in the
summer Angeline lived out of doors in God’s temple, the blue vault
above, and all around the incense of trees and grasses. Little she cared
if her mother’s house was small; for from the doorstep, or from the roof
of the woodhouse, where she used to sit, she beheld beauty and grandeur
hidden from eyes less clear. Nor was she content simply to dream her
childhood’s dream. The glory of her little world was an inspiration.
Ambition was born in her, and she used to say, quaintly enough, “You may
hear of me through the papers yet.”


                              CHAPTER III.
                             LADY ANGELINE.

In the summer of 1841 Elisha Cook closed his brave blue eyes in death;
and the following winter a letter came to the Rodman postmaster saying
that a man by the name of Theophilus Stickney had died on the 14th of
February in the hospital at Rochester. So the Stickney girls were doubly
orphans. Elmina married, and Angeline went to live with her sister
Charlotte in the town of Wilna. How dark the forests on the road to
Wilna that December day! Forty years afterward Angeline used to tell of
that ride with Edwin Ingalls, Charlotte’s husband. With his cheery voice
he tried to dispel her fears, praising his horses in homely rhyme:

                        They’re true blue,
                        They’ll carry us through.

Edwin Ingalls was a wiry little man, a person of character and thrift,
like his good wife Charlotte; for such they proved themselves when in
after years they settled in Wisconsin, pioneers of their own day and
generation. In December, 1842, they kept tavern, and a prime hostess was
Charlotte Ingalls, broiling her meats on a spit before a great open fire
in the good old-fashioned way. Angeline attended school, taught by Edwin
Ingalls, and found time out of school hours to study natural philosophy
besides. Indeed, the little girl very early formed the habit of reading,
showing an especial fondness for history. And when news came the next
Spring of her mother’s marriage to a Mr. Milton Woodward, she was ready
with a quotation from “The Lady of the Lake”:

                 ... Woe the while
                 That brought such wanderer to our isle.

The quotation proved altogether appropriate. Mr. Woodward was a
strong-willed widower with five strong-willed sons and five
strong-willed daughters. The next four years Angeline was a sort of
white slave in this family of wrangling brothers and sisters. When her
sister Charlotte inquired how she liked her new home, her answer was
simply, “Ma’s there.”

The story of this second marriage of Electa Cook’s is worthy of record.
Any impatience toward her first husband of which she may have been
guilty was avenged upon her a hundred-fold. And yet the second marriage
was a church affair. Mr. Woodward saw her at church and took a fancy to
her. Had the minister intercede for him. “It will make a home for you,
Mrs. Stickney,” said the minister—as if she were not the mistress of
seventy-two acres in her own right! Why she gave up her independence it
is difficult to see; but the ways of women are past finding out. Perhaps
she sympathized with the ten motherless Woodward children. Perhaps she
loved Mr. Milton Woodward, for he was a man of violent temper, and
sometimes abused her in glorious fashion. At the very outset, he opposed
her bringing her unmarried daughters to his house. She insisted; but
might more wisely have yielded the point. For two of the daughters
married their step-brothers, and shared the Woodward fate.

Twelve-year old Angeline went to work very industriously at the Woodward
farm on Dry Hill. What the big, strapping Woodward girls could have been
doing it is hard to say—wholly occupied with finding husbands, perhaps.
For until 1847 Angeline was her mother’s chief assistant, at times doing
most of the housework herself. She baked for the large family, mopped
floors, endured all sorts of drudgery, and even waded through the snow
to milk cows. But with it all she attended school, and made great
progress. She liked grammar and arithmetic, and on one occasion showed
her ability as a speller by spelling down the whole school. She even
went to singing school, and sang in the church choir. Some of the
envious Woodward children ridiculed the hard-working, ambitious girl by
calling her “Lady Angeline,” a title which she lived up to from that
time forth.

Let me reproduce here two of her compositions, written when she was
fourteen years of age. They are addressed as letters to her teacher, Mr.
George Waldo:

                                               RODMAN, January 21st 1845

    SIR, As you have requested me to write and have given me the
    subjects upon which to write, I thought I would try to write what I
    could about the Sugar Maple. The Sugar Maple is a very beautiful as
    well as useful tree. In the summer the beasts retire to its kind
    shade from the heat of the sun. And though the lofty Oak and pine
    tower above it, perhaps they are no more useful. Sugar is made from
    the sap of this tree, which is a very useful article. It is also
    used for making furniture such as tables bureaus &c. and boards for
    various uses. It is also used to cook Our victuals and to keep us
    warm. But its usefulness does not stop here even the ashes are
    useful; they are used for making potash which with the help of flint
    or sand and a good fire to melt it is made into glass which people
    could not very well do without. Glass is good to help the old to see
    and to give light to our houses. Besides all this teliscopes are
    made of glass by the help of which about all the knowledge of the
    mighty host of planetary worlds has been discovered. This tree is
    certainly very useful. In the first place sugar is made from it.
    Then it gives us all sorts of beautiful furniture. Then it warms our
    houses and cooks our victuals and then even then we get something
    from the ashes yes something very useful. No more at present.

                                                      ANGELINE STICKNEY.

Teacher’s comment:

    I wish there was a good deal more. This is well written. Write more
    next time.

The next composition is as follows:


                                               RODMAN February 17th 1845

    Slavery or holding men in bondage is one of the most unjust
    practices. But unjust as it is even in this boasted land of liberty
    many of our greatest men are dealers in buying and selling slaves.
    Were you to go to the southern states you would see about every
    dwelling surrounded by plantations on which you would see the half
    clothed and half starved slave and his master with whip in hand
    ready to inflict the blow should the innocent child forgetful of the
    smart produced by the whip pause one moment to hear the musick of
    the birds inhale the odor of the flowers or through fatigue should
    let go his hold from the hoe. And various other scenes that none but
    the hardest hearted could behold without dropping a tear of pity for
    the fate of the slave would present themselves probably you would
    see the slave bound in chains and the driver urging him onward while
    every step he takes is leading him farther and farther from his home
    and all that he holds dear. But I hope these cruelties will soon
    cease as many are now advocating the cause of the slave. But still
    there are many that forget that freedom is as dear to the slave as
    to the master, whose fathers when oppressed armed in defence of
    liberty and with Washington at their head gained it. But to their
    shame they still hold slaves. But some countries have renounced
    slavery and I hope their example will be followed by our own.

                                                      ANGELINE STICKNEY.

Teacher’s comment:

    I hope so too. And expect it also. When men shall learn to do unto
    others as they themselves wish to be done unto. And not only say but
    _do_ and that _more than_ HALF as they say. Then we may hope to see
    the slave Liberated, and _not_ till _then_. _Write again._

The composition on slavery (like the mention of the telescope) is in the
nature of a prophecy, for our astronomer’s wife during her residence of
thirty years in Washington was an unfailing friend of the negro. Many a
Northerner, coming into actual contact with the black man, has learned
to despise him more than Southerners do. Not so Angeline. The conviction
of childhood, born of reading church literature on slavery and of
hearing her step-father’s indignant words on the subject—for he was an
ardent abolitionist—lasted through life.

In the fall of 1847 the ambitious school-girl had a stroke of good
fortune. Her cousin Harriette Downs, graduate of a young ladies’ school
in Pittsfield, Mass., took an interest in her, and paid her tuition for
three terms at the Rodman Union Seminary. So Angeline worked for her
board at her Aunt Clary Downs’, a mile and a half from the seminary, and
walked to school every morning. A delightful walk in autumn; but when
the deep snows came, it was a dreadful task to wade through the drifts.
Her skirts would get wet, and she took a severe cold. She never forgot
the hardships of that winter. The next winter she lived in Rodman
village, close to the seminary, working for her board at a Mr. Wood’s,
where on Monday mornings she did the family washing before school began.
How thoroughly she enjoyed the modest curriculum of studies at the
seminary none can tell save those who have worked for an education as
hard as she did. That she was appreciated and beloved by her schoolmates
may be inferred from the following extracts from a letter dated
Henderson, Jefferson Co., N.Y., January 9, 1848:

    Our folks say they believe you are perfect or I would not say so
    much about you. They would like to have you come out here & stay a
    wek, they say but not half as much as I would I dont believe, come
    come come.... Your letter I have read over & over again, ther seems
    to be such a smile. It seems just like you. I almost immagin I can
    see you & hear you talk while I am reading your letter.... Those
    verses were beautiful, they sounded just lik you.... Good Night for
    I am shure you will say you never saw such a boched up mess

    I ever remain your sincere friend

            E. A. BULFINCH.

No doubt as to the genuineness of this document! Angeline had indeed
begun to write verses—and as a matter of interest rather than as an
example of art, I venture to quote the following lines, written in
October, 1847:

             Farewell, a long farewell, to thee sweet grove,
             To thy cool shade and grassy seat I love;
             Farewell, for the autumnal breeze is sighing
             Among thy boughs, and low thy leaves are lying.
             Farewell, farewell, until another spring
             Rolls round again, and thy sweet bowers ring
             With song of birds, and wild flowers spring,
             And on the gentle breeze their odors fling.
             Farewell, perhaps I ne’er again may view
             Thy much-loved haunt, so then a sweet adieu.


                              CHAPTER IV.
                            TEACHING SCHOOL.

In the North teaching follows schooling almost as a matter of course. In
1848 Angeline Stickney began to teach the district school in Heath
Hollow, near Rodman, for a dollar and a quarter a week and board. The
same year she taught also at Pleasant Valley, near Cape Vincent, whither
Edwin Ingalls had moved. Angeline boarded with her sister and spun her
wool. Would that some artist had painted this nineteenth century
Priscilla at the spinning-wheel! For the next nine years, that is, until
a year after her marriage, she was alternately teacher and pupil. In the
winter of 1849-50 she tutored in the family of Elder Bright, who six
years later, in Wisconsin, performed her marriage ceremony. In the
winter of 1850-51 she attended the seminary at Rodman, together with her
sister Ruth.

An excellent teacher always, she won the respect and affection of her
pupils. After her death a sturdy farmer of Rodman told me, with great
feeling, how much he liked the patient teacher. He was a dull boy, and
found many perplexities in arithmetic, which Miss Stickney carefully
explained. And so she became the boy’s ideal woman. Very seldom did she
have to resort to punishment, but when punishment was necessary she did
not flinch. The same might be said of her in the rearing of her four
sons. Her gentleness, united to a resolute will and thorough goodness of
heart, made obedience to her word an acknowledged and sacred duty.

The following fragment of a letter, written after she had begun her
college course at McGrawville, gives a glimpse of her at this period:

                                                 WATERTOWN Nov. 27th ’52

    ... it is half past eight A.M. there is one small scholar here. I
    have had but fourteen scholars yet, but expect more next week.
    Sister Ruth teaches in the district adjoining this. I see her often,
    have been teaching two weeks. I do not have a very good opportunity
    for studying, or reciting. There is a gentleman living about a mile
    and a half from me to whom I suppose I might recite, but the road is
    bad and so I have to content myself without a teacher, and I fear I
    shall not make much progress in my studies this winter. Saturday Dec
    4th.... I do not teach to-day, so I started off in the rain this
    morning to come and see Sister Ruth. It is about a mile and a half
    across through swamp and woods, but I had a very fine walk after
    all. I had to climb a hill on the way, that may well vie in height
    with the hills of McGrawville, and the prospect from its summit is
    the finest I ever saw. Sister saw me coming and came running to meet
    me and now we are sitting side by side in her school room with none
    to molest us.... I board around the district.... Oh! how I long for
    a quiet little room, where I might write and study....

Let me add here an extract from a brief diary kept in 1851, which
illustrates a phase of her character hardly noticed thus far. She was,
like the best young women of her day and generation, intensely
religious—even morbidly so, perhaps. But as sincerity is the saving
grace of all religions, we may forgive her maidenly effusion:

    Monday June 2 David came and brought me down to school to-day. When
    I came to dinner found uncle Cook at Mr. Moffatts. Think I shall
    attend prayer meeting this evening. I love these prayer meetings.
    Mr. Spear always there with something beautiful and instructive to
    say. And the Savior always there to bless us, and to strengthen us.
    And I feel I am blessed and profited every time that I attend.
    Tuesday June 3rd Feel sad this evening, have evening, have a hard
    headache, pain in the chest, and cough some. Think Consumption’s
    meagre hand is feeling for my heart strings. Oh that I may be spared
    a little longer, though unworthy of life on earth and how much more
    unfit to live in Heaven. Oh Heavenly Father wash me clean in the
    blood of thy precious son, and fit me for life, or death. I have
    desired to get for me a name that would not be forgotten, when my
    body was moldered into dust. Vain desire! better to have a name in
    the Lamb’s Book of Life. Earth may forget me, but Oh my Savior! do
    not Thou forget me and I shall be satisfied. Wednesday June 4th I am
    sitting now by my chamber window, have been gazing on the beautiful
    clouds of crimson and purple, that are floating in the bright west.
    How beautiful is our world now in this sweet month, beautiful
    flowers beautiful forests, beautiful fields, beautiful birds, and
    murmuring brooks and rainbows and clouds and then again the clear
    blue sky without clouds or rainbows, or stars, smiling in its own
    calm loveliness Oh yes! this Earth is beautiful, and so exquisitely
    beautiful that I sometimes feel that there is in it enough of beauty
    to feast my eyes forever. Do not feel quite so badly this evening as
    I did last, yet I by no means feel well.




                               CHAPTER V.
                             THE NEXT STEP.

“Do the next thing”—such is the sage advice of some practical
philosopher. Had Angeline Stickney failed to keep advancing she would
have sunk into obscurity, as her sisters did, and this story could not
have been written. But ambition urged her forward, in spite of the
morbid religious scruples that made ambition a sin; and she determined
to continue her education. For some time she was undecided whether to go
to Albany, or to Oberlin, or to McGrawville. If she went to Albany,
board would cost her two dollars a week—more than she could well afford.
Besides, Ruth could not accompany her. So she finally chose
McGrawville—where both sisters together lived on the incredibly small
sum of one dollar a week—fifty cents for a room and twenty-five cents
each for provisions. As we shall see, she met her future husband at
McGrawville; and so it was not an altogether miserly or unkind fate that
led her thither.

She was determined to go to college, and to have Ruth go with her. We
may laugh at the means she employed to raise funds, but we must respect
the determination. The idea of a young woman’s going about the country
teaching monochromatic painting, and the making of tissue-paper flowers!
Better to take in washing. And yet there could have been no demand for a
professional washerwoman in that part of the country. Indeed, Ruth and
Angeline had many a discussion of the money problem. One scheme that
suggested itself—whether in merriment or in earnest I cannot say—was to
dress like men and go to work in some factory. In those days women’s
wages were absurdly small; and the burden of proof and of prejudice
rested on the young woman who maintained her right to go to college.
They saved what they could from their paltry women’s wages, and upon
these meagre savings, after all, they finally depended; for the
monochromatic painting and the tissue-paper flowers supplied nothing
more substantial than a little experience.

The following extracts from the second and last journal kept by Angeline
Stickney need no explanation. The little book itself is mutely eloquent.
It is hand-made, and consists of some sheets of writing paper cut to a
convenient size and stitched together, with a double thickness of thin
brown wrapping paper for a cover.

    _Thursday_ [Jan. 8, 1852].... I intended to go to Lockport to teach
    painting to-day, but the stage left before I was ready to go, so I
    came back home. Ruth and I had our daguerreotypes taken to-day.
    David here when we arrived at home to carry Ruth to her school.
    _Friday, Jan. 9th_ To-day Mr. Vandervort came up after the horses
    and sleigh to go to Mr. Losea’s. He said he would carry me to
    Watertown and I could take the stage for Lockport, but the stage had
    left about half an hour before we arrived there, so Mr. Vandervort
    said he would bring me up in the evening. We started after tea and
    arrived here in safety, but too late to do anything towards getting
    a class. _Sat., Jan. 10th_ Mr. Granger the landlord told me I had
    better go and get Miss Cobe to assist me in getting a class. She
    called with me at several places. Did not get much encouragement, so
    I thought best to go to Felts Mills in the afternoon. Tavern bill 3
    shillings, fare from Lockport to the Mills 2 s. Arrived at the Mills
    about 1 o’clock. Proceeded directly to the village school to see if
    any of the scholars wished to take lessons. Found two of them that
    would like to take lessons. Called at several places. Met with some
    encouragement. _Sunday, 11th._ Went to church in the afternoon. Very
    noisy here. Not much appearance of being the Sabbath. _Monday,
    12th._ Concluded not to stay at the Mills. Found but three scholars
    there. So in the afternoon I came up to the Great Bend. Several
    called this evening to see my paintings. _Tuesday._ Very stormy.
    Went to the school to see if any of the scholars wished to take
    lessons in painting. Found none. Thought I would not stay there any
    longer. So when the stage came along in the afternoon I got on
    board, and thought I would stop at Antwerp, but on arriving there
    found that the stage was going to Ogdensburgh this evening. Thought
    I would come as far as Gouverneur. Arrived at Gouverneur about 9
    o’clock. Put up at the Van Buren Hotel. _Wednesday 14._ Quite
    stormy, so that I could not get out much, but went to Elder Sawyer’s
    and to Mr. Fox’s. Mr. Clark, the principal of the Academy, carried
    the paintings to the hall this afternoon so that the pupils might
    see them. Brought them to me after school and said he would let me
    know next day whether any of the scholars wished to take lessons. I
    am almost discouraged, yet will wait with patience the decisions of
    to-morrow. _Thursday._ Pleasant day. Mr. Clark came down this
    morning. Said Miss Wright, the preceptress, would like to take
    lessons; and I found several others that thought they would take
    lessons. Found a boarding place at Mr. Horr’s. The family consists
    of Mr. and Mrs. Horr and their two daughters, hired girl and a
    little girl that they have adopted, and seven boarders, besides
    myself. _Sunday, February 8th._ Have been to church to-day. Eld.
    Sawyer preached in the forenoon. Communion this afternoon. Went to
    prayer meeting this evening. _Monday, 9th._ Went to Mr. Fox’s to-day
    to give Miss Goddard a lesson in painting. Miss Wright also takes
    lessons. _Tues., 10th._ This has been a beautiful day. Spring is
    coming again. I hear her sweet voice, floating on the south wind,
    and the sound of her approaching footsteps comes from the hills.
    Have given Miss Goddard two lessons in painting to-day. _Wednesday,
    Feb. 18th._ Have packed my trunk and expect to leave Gouverneur
    to-morrow morning. Have received two letters to-day, one from Mrs.
    Shea, and one from Elmina and Ruth. Have settled with all my
    scholars and with Mrs. Horr. Have eighteen dollars and a half left.
    _Thursday, 19th._ Left Mr. Horr’s this morning for Antwerp. Fare
    from Gouverneur to Antwerp five shillings. Have endeavored to get a
    class here to-day. Think I shall not succeed. Fare and bill 7 and 6.
    _Friday, 20th._ Came to North Wilna to-day. Left my trunk at Mr.
    Brewer’s and came down to Mr. Gibbs’. Found Mr. Gibbs, Electa and
    Miranda at home. It was seven years last October since I left North
    Wilna, yet it looks quite natural here.... _Thursday, March 4th._
    Frederick came and brought me to Philadelphia to-day. Am stopping at
    Mr. Kirkbride’s. Think I shall get something of a class here.
    _Friday._ Have been trying to get a class. Think I shall get a class
    in flowers. Have $15 with me now. _Sat., 6th_. Think I shall not
    succeed in forming a class here. The young ladies seem to have no
    time or money to spend except for leap year rides. _Sunday, 7th_
    Went to the Methodist church this forenoon. Mr. Blanchard preached.
    The day is very beautiful, such a day as generally brings joy and
    gladness to my heart, but yet I am rather sad. I would like to sit
    down a little while with Miss Annette and Eleanor Wright to read
    Mrs. Hemans. Those were golden moments that I spent with them, and
    with Miss Ann in Gouverneur. _Sunday, Apr. 4th._ It is now four
    weeks since I have written a word in my journal. Did not get a class
    in Philadelphia, so I went down to Evans Mills. Stayed there two
    days but did not succeed in forming a class there, so I thought best
    to go to Watertown. Fare at Mr. Kirkbride’s 6 s at Mr. Brown’s $1.
    From Evans Mills to Watertown $0.50. Came up to Rutland Village
    Wednesday evening, fare 3 s. Went to Mrs. Staplin’s Tuesday. There
    was some prospect of getting a class there. Taught Charlotte to
    paint and Albina to make flowers. Came to Champion Friday March 26th
    to see if I could get a class here. Went back to Mrs. Staplin’s
    Friday evening. The next Monday evening Mr. K. Jones came and
    brought me up here again. Commenced teaching Wednesday the last day
    of March. Have four scholars, Miss C. Johnson, Miss C. Hubbard, Miss
    Mix, and Miss A. Babcock. Have attended church to-day. Mr. Bosworth
    preached. Am boarding at Mr. Babcock’s. There is some snow on the
    ground yet, and it is very cold for the season.

    _McGrawville, May 5th, Wed. evening._ Yes, I am in McGrawville at
    last and Ruth is with me. We left home for this place Apr. 22nd.
    Came on the cars as far as Syracuse. Took the stage there for
    Cortland. Arrived at Cortland about ten in the evening. Stayed there
    over night. Next morning about 8 o’clock started for McG. Arrived
    here about nine.

    _Saturday, Sept. 17 ’53._ What a long time has elapsed since I have
    written one word in my journal. Resolve now to note down here
    whatever transpires of importance to me. Am again at McGrawville
    after about one year’s absence. Arrived here Tuesday morning. To-day
    have entered the junior year in New York Central College. This day
    may be one of the most important in my life.

    _Monday, Sept. 11th, 1854._ To-day have commenced my Senior year, at
    New York Central College. My studies are: Calculus; Philosophy,
    Natural and Mental; Greek, Homer. What rainbow hopes cluster around
    this year.


                              CHAPTER VI.
                             COLLEGE DAYS.

New York Central College, at McGrawville, Cortland County, seems to have
been the forerunner of Cornell University. Anybody, white or black, man
or woman, could study there. It was a stronghold of reform in general
and of abolition in particular, numbering among its patrons such men as
John Pierpont, Gerrit Smith, and Horace Greeley. The college was poor,
and the number of students small—about ninety in the summer of 1852,
soon after Angeline Stickney’s arrival. Of this number some were
fanatics, many were idealists of exceptionally high character, and some
were merely befriended by idealists, their chief virtue being a black
skin. A motley group, who cared little for classical education, and
everything for political and social reforms. Declamation and debate and
the preparation of essays and orations were the order of the day—as was
only natural among a group of students who felt that the world awaited
the proper expression of their doctrines. And in justice be it said, the
number of patriotic men and women sent out by this little college might
put to shame the well-endowed and highly respectable colleges of the

Angeline Stickney entered fully into the spirit of the place. In a
letter written in December, 1852, she said:

    I feel very much attached to that institution, notwithstanding all
    its faults; and I long to see it again, for its foundation rests on
    the basis of Eternal Truth—and my heart strings are twined around
    its every pillar.

To suit her actions to her words, she became a woman suffragist and
adopted the “bloomer” costume. It was worth something in those early
days to receive, as she did, letters from Susan B. Anthony and Horace
Greeley. Of that hard-hitting Unitarian minister and noble poet, John
Pierpont, she wrote, at the time of her graduation:

    The Rev. John Pierpont is here. He preached in the chapel Sunday
    forenoon. He is a fine looking man. I wish you could see him. He is
    over seventy years old, but is as straight as can be, and his face
    is as fresh as a young man’s.

Little did she dream that this ardent patriot would one day march into
Washington at the head of a New Hampshire regiment, and break bread at
her table. Nor could she foresee that her college friends Oscar Fox and
A. J. Warner would win laurels on the battlefields of Bull Run and
Antietam, vindicating their faith with their blood. Both giants in
stature, Captain Fox carried a minie-ball in his breast for forty years,
and Colonel Warner, shot through the hip, was saved by a miracle of
surgery. Of her classmates—there were only four, all men, who graduated
with her—she wrote:

    I think I have three as noble classmates as you will find in any
    College, they are Living Men.

It is amusing to turn from college friends to college studies—such a
contrast between the living men and their academic labors. For example,
Angeline Stickney took the degree of A.B. in July, 1855, having entered
college, with a modest preparation, in April, 1852, and having been
absent about a year, from November, 1852 to September, 1853, when she
entered the Junior Class. It is recorded that she studied Virgil the
summer of 1852; the fall of 1853, German, Greek, and mathematical
astronomy; the next term, Greek and German; and the next term, ending
July 12, 1854, Greek, natural philosophy, German and surveying. She
began her senior year with calculus, philosophy, natural and mental, and
Anthon’s Homer, and during that year studied also Wayland’s Political
Economy and Butler’s Analogy. She is also credited with work done in
declamation and composition, and “two orations performed.” Her marks, as
far as my incomplete records show, were all perfect, save that for one
term she was marked 98 per cent in Greek. Upon the credit slip for the
last term her “standing” is marked “1”; and her “conduct” whenever
marked is always 100.

However, be it observed that Angeline Stickney not only completed the
college curriculum at McGrawville, but also taught classes in
mathematics. In fact, her future husband was one of her pupils, and has
borne witness that she was a “good, careful teacher.”

If McGrawville was not distinguished for high thinking, it could at
least lay claim to plain living. Let us inquire into the ways and means
of the Stickney sisters. I have already stated that board and lodging
cost the two together only one dollar a week. They wrote home to their
mother, soon after their arrival:

    We are situated in the best place possible for studying domestic
    economy. We bought a quart of milk, a pound of crackers, and a sack
    of flour this morning.

Tuition for a term of three months was only five dollars; and poor
students were encouraged to come and earn their way through college.
Ruth returned home after one term, and Angeline worked for her board at
a Professor Kingley’s, getting victuals, washing dishes, and sweeping.
Even so, after two terms her slender means were exhausted, and she went
home to teach for a year. Returning to college in September, 1853, she
completed the course in two years, breaking down at last for lack of
recreation and nourishment. Ruth returned to McGrawville in 1854, and
wrote home: “found Angie well and in good spirits. We are going to board
ourselves at Mr. Smith’s.” And Angeline herself wrote: “My health has
been quite good ever since I came here. It agrees with me to study....
We have a very pleasant boarding place, just far enough from the college
for a pleasant walk.”

Angeline was not selfishly ambitious, but desired her sister’s education
as well as her own. Before the bar of her Puritanical conscience she may
have justified her own ambition by being ambitious for her sister. In
the fall of 1853 she wrote to Ruth:

    I hope you will make up your mind to come out here to school next
    spring. You can go through college as well as I. As soon as I get
    through I will help you. You can go through the scientific course, I
    should think, in two years after next spring term if you should come
    that term. Then we would be here a year together, and you would get
    a pretty good start. There seems to be a way opening for me to get
    into good business as soon as I get through college.

And again, in January, 1854:

    Ruth, I believe I am more anxious to have you come to school than I
    ever was before. I see how much it will increase your influence, and
    suffering humanity calls for noble spirits to come to its aid. And I
    would like to have you fitted for an efficient laborer. I know you
    have intellect, and I would have it disciplined and polished. Come
    and join the little band of reformers here, will you not? I want
    your society. Sometimes I get very lonely here, and I never should,
    if you were only here. Tell me in your next letter that you will
    come. I will help you all I can in every thing.

But Ruth lacked her sister’s indomitable will. She loved her, and wished
to be with her, whether at home or at college. Indeed, in a letter to
Angeline she said she would tease very hard to have her come home, did
she not realize how her heart was set upon getting an education. Ruth
did return to McGrawville in 1854, but remained only two months, on
account of poor health. The student fare did not agree with the vigorous
Ruth, apparently; and she now gave up further thought of college, and
generously sought to help her sister what she could financially.

Though a dime at McGrawville was equivalent to a dollar elsewhere,
Angeline was much cramped for money, and to complete her course was
obliged finally to borrow fifty dollars from her cousin Joseph Downs,
giving her note payable in one year. When her breakdown came, six weeks
before graduation, Ruth, like a good angel, came and took her home. It
was a case of sheer exhaustion, aggravated by a tremendous dose of
medicine administered by a well-meaning friend. Though she returned to
McGrawville and graduated with her class, even producing a sorry sort of
poem for the commencement exercises, it was two or three years before
she regained her health. Such was a common experience among ambitious
American students fifty years ago, before the advent of athletics and

In closing this chapter, I will quote a character sketch written by one
of Angeline’s classmates:

    _Slate Pencil Sketches—No. 2. L. A. C—and C. A. Stickney._ Miss C—
    is Professor of Rhetoric, and Miss Stickney is a member of the
    Senior Class, in N.Y. Central College. A description of their
    personal appearance may not be allowable; besides it could not be
    attracting, since the element of Beauty would not enter largely into
    the sketch. Both are fortunately removed to a safe distance from
    Beauty of the Venus type; though the truth may not be quite
    apparent, because the adornments of mind by the force of association
    have thrown around them the Quakerish veil of _good looks_ (to use
    moderate terms), which answers every desirable end of the most
    charming attractions, besides effectually saving both from the folly
    of Pride. Nevertheless, the writer of this sketch can have no
    earthly object in concealing his appreciation of the high brow, and
    Nymphean make of the one, and the lustrous eye of the other.

    And these personal characteristics are happily suggestive of the
    marked mental traits of each. The intellect of the one is subtle,
    apprehensive, flexible, docile; with an imagination gay and
    discursive, loving the sentimental for the beauty of it. The
    intellect of the other is strong and comprehensive, with an
    imagination ardent and glowing, inclined perhaps to the sentimental,
    but ashamed to own it.

    However, let these features pass for the moment until we have
    brought under review some other more obvious traits of character.

    Miss C—, or if you will allow me to throw aside the _Miss_ and the
    Surname, and say Lydia and Angeline, who will complain? Lydia, then,
    is possessed of a good share of self-reliance—self-reliance arising
    from a rational self-esteem. Whether Angeline possesses the power of
    a proper self-appreciation or not, she is certainly wanting in
    self-reliance. She may manifest much confidence on occasions, but it
    is all acquired confidence; while with Lydia, it is all natural.

    From this difference spring other differences. Lydia goes forward in
    public exercises as though the public were her normal sphere. On the
    other hand Angeline frequently appears embarrassed, though her
    unusual powers of _will_ never suffer her to make a failure. Lydia
    is ambitious; though she pursues the object of her ambition in a
    quiet, complacent way, and appropriates it when secured _all as a
    matter of course_. It is possible with Angeline to be ambitious, but
    _not at once_—and _never_ so naturally. Her ambition is born of
    many-yeared wishes—wishes grounded mainly in the moral nature,
    cherished by friendly encouragements, ripening at last into a
    settled purpose. Thus springs up her ambition, unconfessed—its
    triumph doubted even in the hour of fruition.

    When I speak of the ambition of these two, I hope to be understood
    as meaning ambition with its true feminine modifications. And this
    is the contrast:—The ambition of the one is a necessity of her
    nature, the ripening of every hour’s aspiration; while the ambition
    of the other is but the fortunate afterthought of an unsophisticated

    Both the subjects of this sketch excel in prose and poetic
    composition. Each may rightfully lay claim to the name of poetess.
    But Lydia is much the better known in this respect. Perhaps the
    constitution of her mind inclines her more strongly to employ the
    ornaments of verse, in expressing her thoughts; and perhaps the mind
    of Angeline has been too much engrossed in scientific studies to
    allow of extensive English reading, or of patient efforts at
    elaboration. Hence her productions reveal the _poet_ only; while
    those of her friend show both the _poet_ and the _artist_. In truth,
    Lydia is by nature far more artificial than Angeline—perhaps I
    should have said _artistic_. Every line of her composition reveals
    an effort at ornament. The productions of Angeline impress you with
    the idea that the author must have had no foreknowledge of what kind
    of style would come of her efforts. Not so with Lydia. Her style is
    manifestly Calvinistic; in all its features it bears the most
    palpable marks of election and predestination. Its every trait has
    been subjected to the ordeal of choice, either direct or indirect.
    You know it to be a something _developed_ by constant retouches and
    successive admixtures. Not that it is an _imitation_ of admired
    authors; yet it is plainly the result of an imitative nature—a
    something, not borrowed, but _caught_ from a world of beauties, just
    as sometimes a well-defined thought is the sequence of a thousand
    flitting conceptions. Her style is the offspring, the issue of the
    love she has cherished for the beautiful in other minds yet bearing
    the image of her own.

    Not so with Angeline, for there is no imitativeness in her nature.
    Her style can arise from no such commerce of mind, but the Spirit of
    the Beautiful overshadowing her, it springs up in its singleness,
    and its genealogy cannot be traced.

    But this contrast of style is not the only contrast resulting from
    this difference in imitation and in love of ornament. It runs
    through all the phases of their character. Especially is it seen in
    manner, dress and speech; but in speech more particularly. When
    Lydia is in a passage of unimpassioned eloquence, her speech reminds
    you that the tongue is Woman’s plaything; while Angeline plies the
    same organ with as utilitarian an air as a housewife’s churn-dasher.
    But pardon this exaggeration: something may be pardoned to the
    spirit of liberty; and the writer is aware that he is using great

    To return: Lydia has a fine sense of the ludicrous. Her name is
    charmingly appropriate, signifying in the original playful or
    sportive. Her laughter wells up from within, and gurgles out from
    the corners of her mouth. Angeline is but moderately mirthful, and
    her laughter seems to come from somewhere else, and shines on the
    outside of her face like pale moonlight. In Lydia’s mirthfulness
    there is a strong tincture of the sarcastic and the droll. Angeline
    at the most is only humorous. When a funny thing happens, Lydia
    laughs _at_ it—Angeline laughs _about_ it. Lydia might be giggling
    all day alone, just at her own thoughts. Angeline I do not believe
    ever laughs except some one is by to talk the fun. And in sleep,
    while Lydia was dreaming of jokes and quips, Angeline might be
    fighting the old Nightmare.

    After all, do not understand me as saying that the Professor C—– is
    always giggling like a school-girl; or that the Senior Stickney is
    apt to be melancholy and down in the mouth. I have tried to describe
    their feelings relatively.

    Lydia has a strong, active imagination, marked by a vivid
    playfulness of fancy. Her thoughts flow on, earnest, yet sparkling
    and flashing like a raven-black eye. Angeline has an imagination
    that glows rather than sparkles. It never scintillates, but
    gradually its brightness comes on with increasing radiance. If the
    thoughts of Lydia flit like fire flies, the thoughts of Angeline
    unfold like the blowing rose. If the fancy of one glides like a
    sylph or tiptoes like a school-girl, the imagination of the other
    bears on with more stateliness, though with less grace. Lydia’s
    imagination takes its flight up among the stars, it turns, dives,
    wheels, peers, scrutinizes, wonders and grows serious and then
    fearful. But the imagination of the other takes its stand like a
    maiden by the side of a clear pool, and gazes down into the depths
    of Beauty.

    Their different gifts befit their different natures. While one
    revels in delight, the other is lost in rapture; while one is
    trembling with awe, the other is quietly gazing into the mysterious.
    While one is worshipping the beautiful, the other lays hold on the
    sublime. Beauty is the ideal of the one; sublimity is the normal
    sphere of the other. Both seek unto the spiritual, but through
    different paths. When the qualities of each are displayed, the one
    is a chaste star shining aloft in the bright skies; the other is a
    sunset glow, rich as gold, but garish all around with gray clouds.



                              CHAPTER VII.
                          COLLEGE PRODUCTIONS.

            It is next in order to examine some of the literary
productions of Angeline Stickney while at college. Like the literary
remains of Oliver Cromwell, they are of a strange and uncertain
character. It would be easy to make fun of them; and yet sincerity is
perhaps their chief characteristic. They are Puritanism brought down to
the nineteenth century—solemn, absurd, almost maudlin in their religious
sentimentality, and yet deeply earnest and at times noble. The
manuscripts upon which these literary productions are recorded are worn,
creased, stained, torn and covered with writing—bearing witness to the
rigid economy practiced by the writer. The penmanship is careful, every
letter clearly formed, for Angeline Stickney was not one of those vain
persons who imagine that slovenly handwriting is a mark of genius.

First, I will quote a passage illustrating the intense loyalty of our
young Puritan to her Alma Mater:

    About a year since, I bade adieu to my fellow students here, and
    took the farewell look of the loved Alma Mater, Central College. It
    was a “longing, lingering look” for I thought it had never seemed so
    beautiful as on that morning. The rising sun cast a flood of golden
    light upon it making it glow as if it were itself a sun; and so I
    thought indeed it was, a sun of truth just risen, a sun that would
    send forth such floods of light that Error would flee before it and
    never dare to come again with its dark wing to brood over our
    land.—And every time I have thought of Central College during my
    absence, it has come up before me with that halo of golden light
    upon it, and then I have had such longings to come and enjoy that
    light; and now I have come, and I am glad that I am here. Yes, I am
    glad, though I have left my home with all its clear scenes and
    loving hearts; I am glad though I know the world will frown upon me,
    because I am a student of this unpopular institution, and I expect
    to get the name that I have heard applied to all who come here,
    “fanatic.” I am glad that I am here because I love this institution.
    I love the spirit that welcomes all to its halls, those of every
    tongue, and of every hue, which admits of “no rights exclusive,”
    which holds out the cup of knowledge in it’s crystal brightness for
    all to quaff; and if this is fanaticism, I will glory in the name
    “fanatic.” Let me live, let me die a fanatic. I will not seal up in
    my heart the fountain of love that gushes forth for all the human
    race. And I am glad I am here because there are none here to say,
    “thus far thou mayst ascend the hill of Science and no farther,”
    when I have just learned how sweet are the fruits of knowledge, and
    when I can see them hanging in such rich clusters, far up the
    heights, looking so bright and golden, as if they were inviting me
    to partake. And all the while I can see my brother gathering those
    golden fruits, and I mark how his eye brightens, as he speeds up the
    shining track, laden with thousands of sparkling gems and crowned
    with bright garlands of laurel, gathered from beside his path. No,
    there are none here to whisper, “_that_ is beyond _thy_ sphere, thou
    couldst never scale those dizzy heights”; but, on the contrary, here
    are kind voices cheering me onward. I have long yearned for such
    words of cheer, and now to hear them makes my way bright and my
    heart strong.

            C. A. STICKNEY.

Next, behold what a fire-eater this modest young woman could be:

    Yes, let the union be dissolved rather than bow in submission to
    such a detestable, abominable, infamous law, a law in derogation of
    the genius of our free institutions, an exhibition of tyranny and
    injustice which might well put to the blush a nation of barbarians.
    Ours is called a glorious union. Then is a union of robbers, of
    pirates, a glorious union; for to rob a man of liberty is the worst
    of robberies, the foulest of piracies. Let us just glance at one of
    the terrible features of this law, at the provision which allows to
    the commissioner who is appointed to decide upon the future freedom
    or slavery of the fugitive the sum of ten dollars if he decides in
    favor of his slavery and but five if in favor of freedom.
    Legislative bribery striking of hands with the basest iniquity!...
    What are the evils that can accrue to the nation from a dissolution
    of the union? Would such a dissolution harm the North? No. It would
    be but a separation from a parasite that is sapping from us our very
    life. Would it harm the South? No. Let them stand alone and be
    abhorred of all nations, that they may the sooner learn the lesson
    of repentance! Would it harm the slave? No. Such a dissolution would
    strike the death blow to slavery. Let us look: Deut. 23, 15 & 16:
    “Thou shalt not deliver over unto his master the servant which is
    escaped from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee, even
    among you, in that place which he shall choose.”—The law of God
    against the fugitive slave law. Which shall we obey?

The passages quoted are more fraught with feeling than any of the rest
of the prose selections before me; and I will pass over most of them,
barely mentioning the subjects. There is a silly and sentimental piece
entitled “Mrs. Emily Judson,” in which the demise of the third wife of
the famous missionary is noticed. There is a short piece of
argumentation in behalf of a regulation requiring attendance on public
worship. There is a sophomoric bit of prose entitled “The Spirit Of
Song,” wherein we have a glimpse of the Garden of Eden and its happy
lovers. There is a piece, without title, in honor of earth’s angels, the
noble souls who give their lives to perishing and oppressed humanity.
The following, in regard to modern poetry, is both true and well

    The superficial unchristian doctrine of our day is that poetry
    flourishes most in an uncultivated soil, that the imagination shapes
    her choicest images from the mists of a superstitious age. The
    materials of poetry must ever remain the same and inexhaustible.
    Poetry has its origin in the nature of man, in the deep and
    mysterious recesses of the human soul. It is not the external only,
    but the inner life, the mysterious workmanship of man’s heart and
    the slumbering elements of passion which furnish the materials of

Finally, because of the subject, I quote the following:

    The study of Astronomy gives us the most exalted views of the
    Creator, and it exalts ourselves also, and binds our souls more
    closely to the soul of the Infinite. What wonders does it reveal! It
    teaches that the earth, though it seem so immovable, not only turns
    on its axis, but goes sweeping round a great circle whose miles are
    counted by millions; and though it seem so huge, with its wide
    continents and vast oceans, it is but a speck when compared with the
    manifold works of God. It teaches the form, weight, and motion of
    the earth, and then it bids us go up and weigh and measure the sun
    and planets and solve the mighty problems of their motion. But it
    stops not here. It bids us press upward beyond the boundary of our
    little system of worlds up to where the star-gems lie glowing in the
    great deep of heaven. And then we find that these glittering specks
    are vast suns, pressing on in their shining courses, sun around sun,
    and system around system, in harmony, in beauty, in grandeur; and as
    we view them spread out in their splendour and infinity, we pause to
    think of Him who has formed them, and we feel his greatness and
    excellence and majesty, and in contemplating Him, the most sublime
    object in the universe, our own souls are expanded, and filled with
    awe and reverence and love. And they long to break through their
    earthly prison-house that they may go forth on their great mission
    of knowledge, and rising higher and higher into the heavens they may
    at last bow in adoration and worship before the throne of the

To complete this study of Angeline Stickney’s college writings, it is
necessary, though somewhat painful, to quote specimens of her poetry.
For example:

           There was worship in Heaven. An angel choir,
           On many and many a golden lyre
           Was hymning its praise. To the strain sublime
           With the beat of their wings that choir kept time.
               etc., etc., etc.

One is tempted to ask maliciously, “Moulting time?”

Here is another specimen, of which no manuscript copy is in existence,
its preservation being due to the loving admiration of Ruth Stickney,
who memorized it:

            Clouds, ye are beautiful! I love to gaze
            Upon your gorgeous hues and varying forms,
            When lighted with the sun of noon-day’s blaze,
            Or when ye are darkened with the blackest storms.
                etc., etc., etc.

Next, consider this rather morbidly religious effusion in blank verse:

       I see thee reaching forth thy hand to take
       The laurel wreath that Fame has twined and now
       Offers to thee, if thou wilt but bow down
       And worship at her feet and bring to her
       The goodly offerings of thy soul. I see
       Thee grasp the iron pen to write thy name
       In everlasting characters upon
       The gate of Fame’s fair dome. But stay thy hand!
       Ah, take not yet the wreath of Fame, lest thou
       Be satisfied with its false glittering
       And fail to win a brighter, fairer crown,—
       Such crown as Fame’s skilled fingers ne’er have learned
       To fashion, e’en a crown of Life. And bring
       Thy offerings, the first, the best, and place
       Them on God’s altar, and for incense sweet
       Give Him the freshness of thy youth. And thus
       Thou mayest gain a never fading crown.
       And wait not now to trace thy name upon
       The catalogue of Fame’s immortal ones, but haste thee first
       To have it writ in Heaven in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Pardon this seeming betrayal of a rustic poetess. For it seems like
betrayal to quote such lines, when she produced much better ones. For
example, the following verses are, to my mind, true and rather good

                   I have not known thee long friend,
                   Yet I remember thee;
                   Aye deep within my heart of hearts
                   Shall live thy memory.
                   And I would ask of thee friend
                   That thou wouldst think of me.


          I love to live. There are ten thousand cords
          Which bind my soul to life, ten thousand sweets
          Mixed with the bitter of existence’ cup
          Which make me love to quaff its mingled wine.
          There are sweet looks and tones through all the earth
          That win my heart. Love-looks are in the lily’s bell
          And violet’s eye, and love-tones on the winds
          And waters. There are forms of grace which all
          The while are gliding by, enrapturing
          My vision. O, I can not guess how one
          Can weary of the earth, when ev’ry year
          To me it seems more and more beautiful;
          When each succeeding spring the flowers wear
          A fairer hue, and ev’ry autumn on
          The forest top are richer tints. When each
          Succeeding day the sunlight brighter seems,
          And ev’ry night a fairer beauty shines
          From all the stars....

Likewise, this rather melancholy effusion, entitled “Waiting”:

                Love, sweet Love, I’m waiting for thee,
                And my heart is wildly beating
                At the joyous thought of meeting
                With its kindred heart so dear.
                Love, I’m waiting for thee here.

                Love, _now_ I am waiting for thee.
                _Soon_ I shall not wait thee more,
                Neither by the open casement,
                Nor beside the open door
                Shall I sit and wait thee more.

                Love, I shall not wait long for thee,
                Not upon Time’s barren shore,
                For I see my cheek is paling,
                And I feel my strength is failing.
                Love, I shall not wait here for thee.

                Yet in Heaven I will await thee.
                When I ope the golden door
                I will ask to wait there for thee,
                Close beside Heaven’s open door.

                There I’ll stand and watch and listen
                Till I see thy white plumes glisten,
                Hear thy angel-pinions sweeping
                Upward through the ether clear;
                Then, beloved, at Heaven’s gate meeting,
                This shall be my joyous greeting,
                “Love, I’m waiting for thee here.”


                             CHAPTER VIII.
                         ASAPH HALL, CARPENTER.

Like many other impecunious Americans (Angeline Stickney included),
Asaph Hall, carpenter, and afterwards astronomer, came of excellent
family. He was descended from John Hall, of Wallingford, Conn., who
served in the Pequot War. The same John Hall was the progenitor of Lyman
Hall, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Governor of Georgia.
The carpenter’s great-grandfather, David Hall, an original proprietor of
Goshen, Conn., was killed in battle near Lake George on that fatal 8th
of September, 1755.[1] His grandfather, Asaph Hall 1st, saw service in
the Revolution as captain of Connecticut militia. This Asaph and his
sister Alice went from Wallingford about 1755, to become Hall pioneers
in Goshen, Conn., where they lived in a log house. Alice married; Asaph
prospered, and in 1767 built himself a large house. He was a friend of
Ethan Allen, was with him at the capture of Ticonderoga, and was one of
the chief patriots of Goshen. He saw active service as a soldier, served
twenty-four times in the State legislature, and was a member of the
State convention called to ratify the Federal Constitution. Hall Meadow,
a fertile valley in the town of Goshen, still commemorates his name. He
accumulated considerable property, so that his only child, the second
Asaph Hall, born in 1800 a few months after his death, was brought up a
young gentleman, and fitted to enter Yale College. But the mother
refused to be separated from her son, and before he became of age she
set him up in business. His inheritance rapidly slipped away; and in
1842 he died in Georgia, where he was selling clocks, manufactured in
his Goshen factory.

Footnote 1:

  _See Wallingford Land Records, vol. 13, p. 541._

Asaph Hall 3rd, born October 15, 1829, was the eldest of six children.
His early boyhood was spent in easy circumstances, and he early acquired
a taste for good literature. But at thirteen he was called upon to help
his mother rescue the wreckage of his father’s property. Fortunately,
the Widow, Hannah (Palmer) Hall, was a woman of sterling character, a
daughter of Robert Palmer, first of Stonington, then of Goshen, Conn. To
her Asaph Hall 3rd owed in large measure his splendid physique; and who
can say whether his mental powers were inherited from father or mother?

For three years the widow and her children struggled to redeem a
mortgaged farm. During one of these years they made and sold ten
thousand pounds of cheese, at six cents a pound. It was a losing fight,
so the widow retired to a farm free from mortgage, and young Asaph, now
sixteen, was apprenticed to Herrick and Dunbar, carpenters. He served an
apprenticeship of three years, receiving his board and five dollars a
month. During his first year as a journeyman he earned twenty-two
dollars a month and board; and as he was still under age he gave one
hundred dollars of his savings to his mother. Her house was always home
to him; and when cold weather put a stop to carpentry, he returned
thither to help tend cattle or to hunt gray squirrels. For the young
carpenter was fond of hunting.

One winter he studied geometry and algebra with a Mr. Rice, principal of
the Norfolk Academy. But he found he was a better mathematician than his
teacher. Indeed, he had hardly begun his studies at McGrawville when he
distinguished himself by solving a problem which up to that time had
baffled students and teachers alike. But this is anticipating.

Massachusetts educators would have us believe that a young man of
twenty-five should have spent nine years in primary and grammar schools,
four years more in a high school, four years more at college, and three
years more in some professional school. Supposing the victim to have
begun his career in a kindergarten at the age of three, and to have
pursued a two-years’ course there, at twenty-five his education would be
completed. He would have finished his education, provided his education
had not finished him.

Now at the age of twenty-four or twenty-five Asaph Hall 3rd only began
serious study. He brought to his tasks the vigor of an unspoiled youth,
spent in the open air. He worked as only a man of mature strength can
work, and he comprehended as only a man of keen, undulled intellect can
comprehend. His ability as a scholar called forth the admiration of
fellow-students and the encouragement of teachers. The astronomer
Brünnow, buried in the wilds of Michigan, far from his beloved Germany,
recognized in this American youth a worthy disciple, and Dr. Benjamin
Apthorp Gould, father of American astronomy, promptly adopted Asaph Hall
into his scientific family.

If our young American’s experience puts conventional theories of
education to the blush, much more does his manhood reflect upon the
theory that unites intellectuality with personal impurity. The historian
Lecky throws a glamor over the loathesomeness of what is politely known
as the social evil, and calls the prostitute a modern priestess. And it
is well known that German university students of these degenerate days
consider continence an absurdity. Asaph Hall was as pure as Sir
Gallahad, who sang:

                My good blade carves the casques of men,
                My tough lance thrusteth sure,
                My strength is as the strength of ten,
                Because my heart is pure.

Let it be conceded that this untutored American youth had had an
excellent course in manual training—anticipating the modern fad in
education by half a century. However, he had never belonged to an Arts
and Crafts Movement, and had never made dinky little what-nots or other
useless and fancy articles. He had spent eight years at carpenter work;
three years as an apprentice and five years as a journeyman, and he was
a skilful and conscientious workman. He handled his tools as only
carpenters of his day and generation were used to handle them, making
doors, blinds, and window-sashes, as well as hewing timbers for the
frames of houses. Monuments of his handiwork, in the shape of well-built
houses, are to be seen in Connecticut and Massachusetts to this day.
Like other young men of ability, he was becomingly modest, and his boss,
old Peter Bogart, used to say with a twinkle in his eye, that of all the
men in his employ, Asaph Hall was the only one who didn’t know more than
Peter Bogart.

And yet it was Asaph Hall who showed his fellow carpenters how to
construct the roof of a house scientifically. “Cut and try” was their
rule; and if the end of a joist was spoilt by too frequent application
of the rule, they took another joist. But the young carpenter knew the
thing could be done right the first time; and so, without the aid of
text-book or instructor, he worked the problem out, by the principles of
projection. The timbers sawed according to his directions fitted
perfectly, and his companions marveled.

To himself the incident meant much, for he had proved himself more than
a carpenter. His ambition was aroused, and he resolved to become an
architect. But a kindly Providence led him on to a still nobler calling.
In 1854 he set out for McGrawville thinking that by the system of manual
labor there advertised he could earn his way as he studied. When the
stage rolled into town, whom should he see but Angeline Stickney,
dressed in her “bloomer” costume!


                              CHAPTER IX.
                        COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE.

President Eliot of Harvard University is quoted as saying that marriage
ought to unite two persons of the same religious faith: otherwise it is
likely to prove unhappy. President Eliot has said many wise things, but
this is not one of them—unless he is shrewdly seeking to produce
bachelors and spinsters to upbuild his university. One of Angeline
Stickney’s girl friends had a suitor of the Universalist denomination,
and a very fine man he was; but the girl and her mother belonged to the
Baptist denomination, which was the denomination of another suitor, whom
she married for denominational reasons. Abbreviating the word, her
experience proves the following principle: If a young woman belonging to
the Baptist demnition rejects an eligible suitor because he belongs to
the Universalist demnition, she is likely to go to the demnition

For religious tolerance even in matrimony there is the best of reasons:
We are Protestants before we are Baptists or Universalists, Christians
before we are Catholics or Protestants, moralists before we are Jews or
Christians, theists before we are Mohammedans or Jews, and human before
every thing else.

Angeline Stickney, like her girl friend, was a sincere Baptist. Had
joined the church at the age of sixteen. One of her classmates, a person
of deeply religious feeling like herself, was a suitor for her hand. But
she married Asaph Hall, who was outside the pale of any religious sect,
disbelieved in woman-suffrage, wasted little sympathy on negroes, and
played cards! And her marriage was infinitely more fortunate than her
friend’s. To be sure she labored to convert her splendid Pagan, and
partially succeeded; but in the end he converted her, till the Unitarian
church itself was too narrow for her.

Cupid’s ways are strange, and sometimes whimsical. There was once a
young man who made fun of a red-haired woman and used to say to his
companions, “Get ready, get ready,” till Reddy got him! No doubt the
little god scored a point when Asaph Hall saw Angeline Stickney solemnly
parading in the “bloomer” costume. Good humor was one of the young man’s
characteristics, and no doubt he had a hearty laugh at the young lady’s
expense. But Dan Cupid contrived to have him pursue a course in geometry
taught by Miss Stickney; and, to make it all the merrier, entangled him
in a plot to down the teacher by asking hard questions. The teacher did
not down, admiration took the place of mischief, and Cupid smiled upon a
pair of happy lovers.

The love-scenes, the tender greetings and affectionate farewells, the
ardent avowals and gracious answers—all these things, so essential to
the modern novel, are known only in heaven. The lovers have lived their
lives and passed away. Some words of endearment are preserved in their
old letters—but these, gentle reader, are none of your business.

However, I may state with propriety a few facts in regard to Angeline
Stickney’s courtship and marriage. It was characteristic of her that
before she became engaged to marry she told Asaph Hall all about her
father. He, wise lover, could distinguish between sins of the stomach
and sins of the heart, and risked the hereditary taint pertaining to the
former—and this although she emphasized the danger by breaking down and
becoming a pitiable invalid. Just before her graduation she wrote:

    I believe God sent you to love me just at this time, that I might
    not get discouraged.

    How very good and beautiful you seemed to me that Saturday night
    that I was sick at Mr. Porter’s, and you still seem just the same. I
    hope I may sometime repay you for all your kindness and love to me.
    If I have already brightened your hopes and added to your joy I am
    thankful. I hope we may always be a blessing to each other and to
    all around us; and that the great object of our lives may be the
    good that we can do. There are a great many things I wish to say to
    you, but I will not try to write them now. I hope I shall see you
    again soon, and then I can tell you all with my own lips. Do not
    study too hard, Love, and give yourself rest and sleep as much as
    you need.

            Yours truly,

                A. HALL. C. A. S.

After her graduation, Mr. Hall accompanied her to Rodman, where he
visited her people a week or ten days—a procedure always attended with
danger to Dan Cupid’s plans. In this case, it is said the young
carpenter was charmed with the buxom sister Ruth, who was, in fact, a
much more marriageable woman than Angeline. But he went about to get the
engagement ring, which, in spite of a Puritanical protest against such
adornment, was faithfully worn for twenty years. At last the busy
housewife burned her fingers badly washing lamp-chimneys with carbolic
acid, and her astronomer husband filed asunder the slender band of gold.

That the Puritan maiden disdained the feminine display by which less
manly lovers are ensnared is illustrated by the following extract from a
letter to Mr. Hall:

    Last week Wednesday I went to Saratoga. Staid there till the
    afternoon of the next day. The Convention was very interesting. The
    speakers were Rev. Antoinette L. Brown, Lucy Stone Blackwell,
    Ernestine Rose, Samuel J. May, and T. W. Higginson.

    The streets of Saratoga were thronged with fashionables. I never saw
    before such a display of dress. Poor gilded butterflies, no object
    in life but to make a display of their fine colors. I could not help
    contrasting those ladies of fashion with the earnest, noble, working
    women who stood up there in that Convention, and with words of
    eloquence urged upon their sisters the importance of awaking to

This letter was written in August, 1855, when Angeline Stickney was
visiting friends and relatives in quest of health. In the same letter
she sent directions for Mr. Hall to meet her in Albany on his way to
McGrawville; but for some reason he failed her, although he passed
through the city while she was there. This was a grievous
disappointment, of which she used to speak in after years.

But in a few days they were together at McGrawville, where she remained
ten weeks—visiting friends, of course. November 13 she set out for
Wisconsin, hoping to find employment as a teacher near her sister
Charlotte Ingalls. Mr. Hall purposed to follow later. At depots and
hotels, during the journey westward, she thought of the absent lover,
and sent him long messages. In one letter she said:

    One night I dreamed you had gone away somewhere, without letting any
    one know where, and I tried to find where you had gone but could
    not. Then I felt as miserable as could be. When I awoke it still
    seemed a reality.... You must be a good boy and not go away where I
    shall not know where you are.... It makes my heart ache to think
    what a long weary way it is from Wisconsin to McGrawville.

In the same letter she speaks about lengthening a poem, so that the time
occupied in reading it was about twenty minutes. In married life Mr.
Hall rather discouraged his wife’s inclination to write verses. Is it
possible that he flattered her before marriage? If so, it was no more
than her other admirers did.

Again, in the same letter, she pleads for the cultivation of religion:

    Did you go to the prayer-meeting last evening? It seemed to me that
    you were there. If you do not wish to go alone I am sure Mr. Fox
    will go with you. You must take some time, Love, to think of the
    life beyond the grave. You must not be so much engaged in your
    studies that you cannot have time to think about it and prepare for

About the middle of December she had reached Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where
she remained a fortnight with Elder Bright, her old pastor. Then she
went to her sister Charlotte’s, at Milford. In one of her letters from
this place she speaks of going surveying. It seems the surveyor of the
neighborhood was surprised to find a woman who understood his business.

In the latter part of December, Asaph Hall returned to Goshen, Conn.
Hence the following letter:

                                                GOSHEN, Jan. 17th, 1856.

    DEAREST ANGIE: ... I think of you a great deal, Angie, and sometimes
    when I feel how much better and holier you are than I am, I think
    that I ought to go through with much trial and affliction before I
    shall be fitted for your companion. In this way I presume that my
    letters have been shaded by my occasional sad thoughts. But Angie
    you _must not_ let them affect you any more, or cherish gloomy
    thoughts about me. I would not drive the color from your cheek or
    give you one bad thought concerning me for the world. I want, very
    much, to see you look healthy and strong when I meet you.... Every
    time I go away from home, among strangers, I feel my need of you. My
    friends here, even my sisters, seem cold and distant when compared
    with you. O there is no one like the dear one who nestles in our
    hearts, and loves us always. My mother loves me, and is very dear to
    me, and my sisters too, but then they have so many other things to
    think about that their sympathies are drawn towards other objects. I
    must have you, Angie, to love me, and we will find a good happy home
    somewhere, never fear. And now you must be cheerful and hopeful, try
    to get rid of your headaches, and healthy as fast as you can.... You
    must remember that I love you very much, and that with you life
    looks bright and hopeful, while if I should lose you I fear that I
    should become sour and disheartened, a hater of my kind. May God
    bless you, Angie.

            Yours Truly,

                A. HALL.

The next month Mr. Hall was in Milford, Wisconsin, whence he wrote to
Angeline’s mother as follows:

                                          MILFORD, WISCONSIN, Feb. 28th.

    DEAR MRS. WOODWARD: ... I find Angeline with her health much
    improved.... We expect to be married some time this spring. I fear
    that I shall fail to fulfil the old rule, which says that a man
    should build his house before he gets his wife, and shall commence a
    new life rather poor in worldly goods. But then we know how, and are
    not ashamed to work, and feel trustful of the future. At least, I am
    sure that we shall feel stronger, and better fitted to act an
    honorable part in life, when we are living together, and encouraging
    each other, than we could otherwise. I know that this will be the
    case with myself, and shall try to make it so with Angeline.

            Yours Sincerely,

                ASAPH HALL.

This hardly sounds like the epistle of a reluctant lover; and yet
tradition says the young carpenter hesitated to marry; and for a brief
season Angeline Stickney remembered tearfully that other McGrawville
suitor who loved her well, but whose bashful love was too tardy to
forestall the straightforward Mr. Hall. “The course of true love never
did run smooth.” In this case, the trouble seems to have been the lady’s
feeble health. When they were married she was very weak, and it looked
as if she could not live more than two or three years. But her mental
powers were exceptionally strong, and she remembered tenaciously for
many a year the seeming wrong.

However, under date of April 2, 1856, Angeline wrote to her sister Mary,
from Ann Arbor, Michigan:

    Mr. Hall and I went to Elder Bright’s and staid over Sunday. We were
    married Monday morning, and started for this place in the afternoon.
    Mr. Hall came here for the purpose of pursuing his studies. We have
    just got nicely settled. Shall remain here during the summer term,
    and perhaps three or four years.

And so Asaph Hall studied astronomy under the famous Brünnow, and French
under Fasquelle. And he used to carry his frail wife on his back across
the fields to hunt wild flowers.


                               CHAPTER X.
                      ANN ARBOR AND SHALERSVILLE.

Do you know the beautiful legend of St. Christopher, the strong man who
served his masters well, but was dissatisfied in their service until he
heard of the Lord and Master Jesus Christ?—how he then served gladly at
a ford, carrying pilgrims across on his back—how one day a little child
asked to be carried across, and perching on his broad shoulders grew
heavier and heavier till the strong man nearly sank beneath the weight?
But he struggled manfully over the treacherous stones, and with a
supreme effort bore his charge safely through the waters. And behold,
the little child was Christ himself!

I think of that legend when I think of the poor ambitious scholar,
literally saddled by his invalid wife. For three years he hardly kept
his head above water. At one time he thought he could go no further, and
proposed that she stay with his mother while he gained a better footing.
But she pleaded hard, and he struggled through, to receive the reward of
duty nobly done.

They remained at Ann Arbor about three months. But in that time Asaph
Hall had made so favorable an impression that Professor Brünnow urged
him to continue his studies, and arranged matters so that he might
attend college at Ann Arbor as long as he chose without paying tuition
fees. Angeline made plans for her sister Ruth and husband to move to
Michigan, where Asaph could build them a house.

But a living for two must be provided. They went southward into Ohio,
where they spent a month with Angeline’s Aunt Achsah Taylor, her
mother’s sister. You may be sure they earned their board, Angeline in
the house and Asaph in the hayfield. Uncle Taylor was a queer old
fellow, shedding tears when his hay got wet, and going off to the hotel
for dinner when his wife happened to give him the wrong end of a fish.

August 6, 1856, they arrived at Shalersville, Ohio, where they had
engaged to teach at the Shalersville Institute. Here they remained till
about May 1 of the next year, when Angeline returned to Rodman with
funds enough to pay with interest the money borrowed from her cousin
Joseph Downs; and Asaph proceeded to Cambridge, Mass., where the
director of the Harvard Observatory was in need of an assistant.

Let it not be inferred that teaching at Shalersville was financially
profitable. Asaph Hall concluded that he preferred carpentry. And yet,
in the best sense they were most successful—things went smoothly—their
pupils, some of them school teachers, were apt—and they were well liked
by the people of Shalersville. Indeed, to induce them to keep school the
last term the townspeople presented them with a purse of sixty dollars
to eke out their income. Asaph Hall turned his mechanical skill to use
by making a prism, a three-sided receptacle of glass filled with water.
Saturdays he held a sort of smoke-talk for the boys—the smoke feature
absent—and at least one country boy was inspired to step up higher. The
lad became a civil engineer.

The little wife was proud of her manly husband, as the following passage
from a letter to her sister Ruth shows:

    He is real good, and we are very happy. He is a real noble, true man
    besides being an extra scholar, so you must never be concerned about
    my not being happy with him. He will take just the best care of me
    that he possibly can.

It appears also that she was converting her husband to the profession of
religion. Before he left Ohio he actually united with the Campbellites,
and was baptized. In the letter just quoted Angeline says:

    We have been reading some of the strongest arguments against the
    Christian religion, also several authors who support religion, and
    he has come to the conclusion that all the argument is on the side
    of Christianity.

She looked after his physical welfare, also. When he was threatened with
a severe fever, she wrapped him up in hot, wet blankets, and succeeded
in throwing the poison off through the pores of the skin. So they
cherished each other in sickness and in health.

Angeline’s cousin Mary Gilman, once a student at McGrawville, came to
Shalersville seeking to enlarge the curriculum of the institute with a
course in fine arts. She hindered more than she helped, and in January
went away—but not till she had taught Angeline to paint in oil.

The old home ties were weakening. News came of the death of Joseph
Downs, and Angeline wrote to her aunt, his mother:

    He always seemed like a brother to me. I remember all our long walks
    and rides to school. How kind it was in him to carry me all that
    cold winter. Then our rides to church, and all the times we have
    been together.... I can send you the money I owed him any time.... I
    never can be enough obliged to him for his kindness in lending me
    that money, and I wished to see him very much, that I might tell him
    how thankful I felt when he sent it to me.

Her sister Ruth wrote:

    Sweet sister, I am so _very lonely_. It would do me so much good to
    tell you all I wish. I have never found ... one so _willing to share
    all my grief and joy_.

But when Angeline did at length return to Rodman, Ruth’s comfort must
have been mixed with pain. A letter to Asaph tells the story:

    It is almost dark, but I wish to write a few words to you before I
    go to bed. I have had one of those bad spells of paralysis this
    afternoon, so that I could not speak for a minute or two.... I do
    not know what is to become of me. If I had some quiet little room
    with you perhaps I might get strength slowly and be good for
    something after awhile.... I do not mourn much for the blasting of
    my own hopes of usefulness; but I can not bear to be the canker worm
    destroying all your beautiful buds of promise.

She remained in poor health a long time—so thin and pale that old
acquaintances hardly knew her. She wrote:

    I feel something as a stranger feels in a strange land I guess. This
    makes me turn to you with all the more love. My home is where you


                              CHAPTER XI.
                            STRENUOUS TIMES.

They had left Shalersville resolved that Asaph should continue his
studies, but undecided where to go. Professor Brünnow invited him to Ann
Arbor; and Mr. Bond, director of the Harvard College Observatory,
encouraged him to go there. Besides, the famous mathematician Benjamin
Peirce taught at Harvard. Not till they reached Cleveland was the
decision made. The way West was barred by a storm on Lake Erie, and
Angeline said, “Let’s go East.”

So she returned to Rodman for a visit, while her husband set out for
Harvard University. Fifty years and more have passed since then. Their
four sons have long since graduated at Harvard, and growing
grandchildren are turning their eyes thither. Mr. Hall talked with
Professors Peirce and Bond, and with the dean of the faculty, Professor
Hosford. All gave him encouragement, and he proceeded to Plymouth
Hollow, Conn., now called Thomaston, to earn money enough at carpentry
to give him a start. He earned the highest wages given to carpenters at
that time, a dollar and a half a day; but his wife’s poor health almost
discouraged him. On May 19, 1857, he wrote her as follows:

    I get along very well with my work, and try to study a little in the
    evenings, but find it rather hard business after a day’s labor.... I
    don’t fairly know what we had better do, whether I had better keep
    on with my studies or not. It would be much pleasanter for you, I
    suppose, were I to give up the pursuit of my studies, and try to get
    us a home. But then, as I have no tact for money-making by
    speculation, and it would take so long to earn enough with my hands
    to buy a home, we should be old before it would be accomplished, and
    in this case, my studies would have to be given up forever. I do not
    like to do this, for it seems to me that with two years’ more study
    I can attain a position in which I can command a decent salary.
    Perhaps in less time, I can pay my way at Cambridge, either by
    teaching or by assisting in the Observatory. But how and where we
    shall live during the two years is the difficulty. I shall try to
    make about sixty dollars before the first of August. With this money
    I think that I could stay at Cambridge one year and might possibly
    find a situation so that we might make our home there.

    But I think that it is not best that we should both go to Cambridge
    with so little money, and run the risk of my finding employment. You
    must come here and stay with our folks until I get something
    arranged at Cambridge, and then, I hope that we can have a permanent
    home.... Make up your mind to be a stout-hearted little woman for a
    couple of years. Come to Conn. as soon as you are ready.


                ASAPH HALL.

But Angeline begged to go to Cambridge with him, although she wrote:

    These attacks are so sudden, I might be struck down instantly, or
    become helpless or senseless.

About the first of July she went to Goshen, Conn., to stay with his
mother, in whom she found a friend. Though very delicate, she was
industrious. Her husband’s strong twin sisters wondered how he would
succeed with such a poor, weak little wife. But Asaph’s mother assured
her son that their doubts were absurd, as Angeline accomplished as much
as both the twins together.

So it came to pass that in the latter part of August, 1857, Asaph Hall
arrived in Cambridge with fifty dollars in his pocket and an invalid
wife on his arm. Mr. George Bond, son of the director of the
observatory, told him bluntly that if he followed astronomy he would
starve. He had no money, no social position, no friends. What right had
he and his delicate wife to dream of a scientific career? The best the
Harvard Observatory could do for him the first six months of his stay
was to pay three dollars a week for his services. Then his pay was
advanced to four dollars. Early in 1858 he got some extra work—observing
moon-culminations in connection with Col. Joseph E. Johnston’s army
engineers. For each observation he received a dollar; and fortune so far
favored the young astronomer that in the month of March he made
twenty-three such observations. His faithful wife, as regular as an
alarm clock, would waken him out of a sound sleep and send him off to
the observatory. In 1858, also, he began to eke out his income by
computing almanacs, earning the first year about one hundred and thirty
dollars; but competition soon made such work unprofitable. In less than
a year he had won the respect of Mr. George Bond by solving problems
which that astronomer was unable to solve; and at length, in the early
part of 1859, upon the death of the elder Bond, his pay was raised to
four hundred dollars a year. He had won the fight.

After his experience such a salary seemed quite munificent. The twin
sisters visited Cambridge and were much dissatisfied with Asaph’s
poverty. They tried to persuade Angeline to make him go into some more
profitable business. Mr. Sibley, college librarian, observing his shabby
overcoat and thin face, exclaimed, “Young man, don’t live on bread and
milk!” The young man was living on astronomy, and his delicate wife was
aiding and abetting him. In less than a year after his arrival at
Cambridge, he had become a good observer. He had learned to compute. He
was pursuing his studies with great ardor. He read _Brünnow’s Astronomy_
in German, which language his wife taught him mornings as he kindled the
fire. In 1858 he was reading _Gauss’s Theoria Motus_.

Angeline was determined her husband should make good use of the talents
God had given him. She was courageous as only a Puritan can be. In
domestic economy she was unsurpassed. Husband and wife lived on much
less than the average college student requires. She mended their old
clothes again and again, turning the cloth; and economized with
desperate energy.

At first they rented rooms and had the use of the kitchen in a house on
Concord Avenue, near the observatory. But their landlady proving to be a
woman of bad character, after eight or nine months they moved to a
tenement house near North Avenue, where they lived a year. Here they
sub-let one of their rooms to a German pack-peddler, a thrifty man,
free-thinker and socialist, who was attracted to Mrs. Hall because she
knew his language. He used to argue with her, and to read to her from
his books, until finally she refused to listen to his doctrines,
whereupon he got very angry, paid his rent, and left.

One American feels himself as good as another—if not better—especially
when brought up in a new community. But Cambridge was settled long ago,
and social distinctions are observed there. It was rather exasperating
to Asaph Hall and his wife to be snubbed and ignored and meanly treated
because they were poor and without friends. Even their grocer seemed to
snub them, sending them bad eggs. You may be sure they quit him
promptly, finding an honest grocer in Cambridgeport, a Deacon Holmes.

There is a great advantage in obscurity. Relieved of petty social cares
and distractions a man can work. Mrs. Hall, writing to her sister Mary,
February 4, 1859, declared her husband was “getting to be a _grand_

    .... A little more study and Mr. Hall will be excelled by few in
    this country in his department of science. Indeed that is the case
    now, though he is not very widely known yet.

In another letter, dated December 15, 1858, she wrote:

    People are beginning to know something of Mr. Hall’s worth and

May 4, 1858 she wrote:

    Mr. Hall has just finished computing the elements of the orbit of
    one [a comet] which have been published neatly in the _Astronomical

And thus Dr. B. A. Gould, editor of the Journal, became acquainted with
the young astronomer who was afterward his firm friend and his associate
in the National Academy of Sciences.

Merit wins recognition—recognition of the kind which is worth while. It
was not many months before the Halls found friends among quiet,
unassuming people, and formed friendships that lasted for life. It was
worth much to become acquainted with Dr. Morrill Wyman, their physician.
In a letter of February 4, 1859, already cited, Mrs. Hall wrote: “Mr.
Hall and I have both had some nice presents this winter,” and she
mentions a Mrs. Wright and a Mr. Pritchett as donors. This Mr.
Pritchett, an astronomer clergyman from Missouri, was the father of Dr.
Henry S. Pritchett, a recent president of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. Mr. Hall had given him some assistance in his studies; and
twenty years afterward Henry S. Pritchett, the son, became a member of
the Hall family.

“We are having a holiday,” wrote Mrs. Hall, on the first May-day spent
in Cambridge; “the children are keeping May-day something like the old
English fashion. It is a beautiful day, the warmest we have had this
spring. Mr. Hall and I have been Maying. Got some dandelions, and
blossoms of the soft maple. Have made quite a pretty bouquet.” The tone
of morbidness was beginning to disappear from her letters, for her
health was improving. Her religious views were growing broader and more
reasonable, also. Too poor to rent a pew in any of the churches, she and
her husband attended the college chapel, where they heard the Rev. F. D.
Huntington. In the following poem, suggested by one of his sermons, she
seems to embody the heroic experience of those early days in Cambridge:


         O grand, majestic mountain! far extending
             In height, and breadth, and length,—
         Fast fixed to earth yet ever heavenward tending,
             Calm, steadfast in thy strength!

         Type of the Christian, thou; his aspirations
             Rise like thy peaks sublime.
         The rocks immutable are thy foundations,
             His, truths defying time.

         Like thy broad base his love is far outspreading;
             He scatters blessings wide,
         Like the pure springs which are forever shedding
             Sweet waters down thy side.

         “The mountains shall bring peace,”—a peace transcending
             The peace of sheltered vale;
         Though there the elements ne’er mix contending,
             And its repose assail,

         Yet ’tis the peace of weakness, hiding, cow’ring;—
             While thy majestic form
         In peerless strength thou liftest, bravely tow’ring
             Above the howling storm.

         And there thou dwellest, robed in sunset splendor,
             Up ’mid the ether clear,
         Midst the soft moonlight and the starlight tender
             Of a pure atmosphere.

         So, Christian soul, to thy low states declining,
             There is no peace for thee;
         Mount up! mount up! where the calm heavens are shining,
             Win peace by victory!

         What giant forces wrought, O mount supernal!
             Back in the early time,
         In building, balancing thy form eternal
             With potency sublime!

         O soul of mightier force, thy powers awaken!
             Work, sovereign energy!
         Build thou foundations which shall stand unshaken
             When heaven and earth shall flee.

         O Mount! thy heart with earthquake shocks was rifted,
             With red fires melted through,
         And many were the mighty throes which lifted
             Thy head into the blue.

         Let Calv’ry tell, dear Christ! the sacrificing
             By which thy peace was won;
         And the sad garden by what agonizing
             The world was overcome.

         Then Christian soul! throughout thy grand endeavor
             Pray not that trials cease!
         ’Tis these that lift thee into Heaven forever,
             The Heaven of perfect peace.

It was the eve of the Civil War. The young astronomer and his Wife used
to attend the Music Hall meetings in Boston, where Sumner, Garrison,
Theodore Parker, and Wendell Phillips thundered away. On one occasion,
after Lincoln’s election, Phillips spoke advocating disunion. The crowd
was much excited, and threatened to mob him. “Hurrah for old Virginny!”
they yelled. Phillips was as calm as a Roman; but it was necessary to
form a body-guard to escort him home. Asaph Hall was a six-footer, and
believed in fair play; so he joined the little knot of men who bore
Phillips safely through the surging crowd. In after years he used to
tell of Phillips’ apparent unconcern, and of his courteous bow of thanks
when arrived at his doorstep.

Angeline Hall had an adventure no less interesting. She became
acquainted with a shrewd old negress, called Moses, who had helped many
slaves escape North, stirring up mobs, when necessary, to free the
fugitives from the custody of officers. One day she went with Moses to
call upon the poet Lowell. He treated them very kindly. Was glad to have
a chat with the old woman, and smilingly asked her if it did not trouble
her conscience to resist the law. Moses was ready to resist the law
again, and Lowell gave her some money.

Superstitious people hailed the advent of Donati’s comet as a sign of
war—and Angeline Hall was yet to mourn the loss of friends upon the
battlefield. But hoping for peace and loving astronomy, she published
the following verses in a local newspaper:

                            DONATI’S COMET.

                O, not in wrath but lovingly,
                  In beauty pure and high,
                Bright shines the stranger visitant,
                  A glory in our sky.

                No harbinger of pestilence
                  Nor battle’s fearful din;
                Then open wide, ye gates of heaven,
                  And let the stranger in.

                It seems a spirit visible
                  Through some diviner air,
                With burning stars upon her brow
                  And in her shining hair.

                Through veil translucent, luminous
                  Shines out her starry face,
                And wrapped in robes of light she glides
                  Still through the silent space.

                Ye everlasting stars shine on!
                  And fill till it o’errun
                Thy silver horn thou ancient moon,
                  From fountains of the sun!

                But open wide the golden gates
                  Into your realm of Even,
                And let the angel presence pass
                  In glory through the heaven.


                              CHAPTER XII.
                           LOVE IN A COTTAGE.

Miss Sarah Waitt, a Cambridge school-teacher of beautiful character, and
firm friend of Angeline Hall, once said, after an acquaintance of thirty
years or more, that she had never known of a happier married life than
that of Mr. and Mrs. Hall. And yet these lovers quarreled!

The husband was opposed to woman suffrage. He opposed his wife’s writing
poetry—not from an aversion to poetry, but because poetry inferior to
the best is of little value. The wife, accustomed as an invalid to his
thoughtful attentions, missed his companionship as health returned. What
were her feelings the first night she found herself obliged to walk home
alone! But thereafter, like a more consistent apostle of woman’s rights,
she braved the night alone wherever duty led. She undertook to help her
husband in his computations, but, failing to persuade him that her time
was worth as much as his, she quit work. He could, indeed, compute much
faster than she, but she feelingly demanded a man’s wages.

However, this labor trouble subsided without resort to boycott. The most
serious quarrel—and for a time it was very dreadful—arose in this way:

It is well known that Boston is the intellectual and moral centre of the
country, in fact of the world; the hub of the universe, as it were.
There in ancient times witchcraft and the Quaker superstition were
gently but firmly discouraged (compare _Giles Corey_, Longfellow’s fine
drama, long since suppressed by Boston publishers). There in modern
times descendants of the Puritans practice race-suicide and Irishmen
practice politics. There a white man is looked upon as the equal of a
negro, though somewhat inferior, in many ways, to the Boston woman. Now
it so happened that some Boston and Cambridge ladies of Angeline Hall’s
acquaintance had resolved beyond equivocation that woman should
thenceforth be emancipated from skirts. They were delighted to find that
Mrs. Hall, in college days, had worn the “bloomer” costume. So they very
generously suggested that she have the honor of inaugurating bloomers in
Boston and vicinity. Truly it showed a self-sacrificing spirit on the
part of these ladies to allow this comparatively unknown sister to reap
the honor due her who should abolish skirts. They would not for one
moment think of robbing her of this honor by donning bloomers
themselves. They could only suggest that the reform be instituted
without delay, and they were eager to see how much the Boston public
would appreciate it.

Mrs. Hall was enthusiastic. Mr. Hall was not. Sordid considerations
biased his judgment. He reminded his wife that they were just struggling
to their feet, and the bloomers might ruin their prospects. Mrs. Hall
was furious! A pure-minded woman to be interfered with in this manner!
And worse than that, to think that she had married a coward! “A
coward”—yes, that is what she called him. It so happened, shortly
afterward, that the astronomer, returning home one night, found his wife
by the doorstep watching a blazing lamp, on the point of explosion. He
stepped up and dropped his observing cap over the lamp. Whereupon she
said, “You _are_ brave!” Strange she had not noticed it before!

Asaph Hall used to aver that a family quarrel is not always a bad thing.
It may serve to clear the atmosphere. Could he have been thinking of his
own experience? It is possible that the little quarrels indicated above
led to a clearer understanding of the separate duties of husband and
wife, and thence to a division of labor in the household. The secret of
social progress lies in the division of labor. And the secret of success
and great achievement in the Hall household lay in the division of
labor. At an early date Mr. Hall confined his attention to astronomy,
and Mrs. Hall confined hers to domestic cares. The world gained a worthy
astronomer. Did it lose a reformer-poetess? Possibly. But it was richer
by one more devoted wife and mother.

From the spring of 1859 to the end of their stay in Cambridge, that is,
for three years, the Halls occupied the cozy little Bond cottage, at the
top of Observatory Hill. Back of the cottage they had a vegetable
garden, which helped out a small salary considerably. There in its
season they raised most delicious sweet corn. In the dooryard, turning
an old crank, was a rosy-cheeked little boy, who sang as he turned:

                         Julee, julee, mem, mem,
                         Julee, julee, mem, mem;

then paused to call out:

“Mama, don’t you like my sweet voice?”

Asaph Hall, Jr., was born at the Bond cottage, October 6, 1859. If we
may trust the accounts of his fond mother, he was a precocious little
fellow—played bo-peep at four months—weighed twenty-one pounds at six
months, when he used to ride out every day in his little carriage and
get very rosy—took his first step at fourteen months, when he had ten
teeth—was quite a talker at seventeen months, when he tumbled down the
cellar stairs with a pail of coal scattered over him—darned his stocking
at twenty-six months, and demanded that his aunt’s letter be read to him
three or four times a day—at two and a half years trudged about in the
snow in his rubber boots, and began to help his mother with the
housework, declaring, “I’m big enough, mama.” “Little A.” was a general
favorite. He fully enjoyed a clam bake, and was very fond of oranges.
One day he got lost, and his terrified mother thought he might have
fallen into a well. But he was found at last on his way to Boston to buy

Love in a cottage is sweeter and more prosperous when the cottage stands
a hundred miles or more from the homes of relatives. How can wife cleave
unto husband when mother lives next door? And how can husband prosper
when father pays the bills? It was a fortunate piece of hard luck that
Angeline Hall saw little of her people. As it was, her sympathy and
interest constantly went out to mother and sisters. This is seen from
her letters. In one she threatened to rescue her mother from the irate
Mr. Woodward by carrying her off bodily to Cambridge. By others it
appears that she was always in touch with her sisters Ruth and Mary.
Indeed, during little A.’s early infancy Mary visited Cambridge and
acted as nurse. In the summer of 1860, little A. and his mother visited
Rodman. Charlotte Ingalls was on from the West, also, and there was a
sort of family reunion. Charlotte, Angeline and Ruth, and their cousins
Huldah and Harriette were all mothers now, and they merrily placed their
five babies in a row.

In the fall of the same year Angeline visited her aunts, Lois and
Charlotte Stickney, who still lived on their father’s farm in Jaffrey,
New Hampshire. The old ladies were very poor, and labored in the field
like men, maintaining a pathetic independence. Angeline was much
concerned, but found some comfort, no doubt, in this example of Stickney
grit. She had found her father’s old home, heard his story from his
sisters’ lips, learned of the stalwart old grandfather, Moses Stickney;
and from that time forth she took a great interest in the family
genealogy. In 1863 she visited Jaffrey again, and that summer ascended
Mt. Monadnock with her little boy. Just twenty-five years afterward,
accompanied by her other three sons, she camped two or three weeks on
her grandfather’s farm; and it was my own good fortune to ascend the
grand old mountain with her. What a glorious day it was! Great white
clouds lay against the blue sky in windrows. At a distance the rows
appeared to merge into one great mass; but on the hills and fields and
ponds below the shadows alternated with the sunshine as far as eye could
reach. There beneath us lay the rugged land whose children had carried
Anglo-Saxon civilization westward to the Pacific. Moses Stickney’s farm
was a barren waste now, hardly noticeable from the mountain-top. Lois
and Charlotte had died in the fall of 1869, within a few days of each
other. House and barn had disappeared, and the site was marked by
raspberry bushes. We drew water from the old well; and gathered the dead
brush of the apple orchard, where our tent was pitched, to cook our


                             CHAPTER XIII.
                     WASHINGTON AND THE CIVIL WAR.

Many an obscure man of ability was raised to prominence by the Civil
War. So it was with the astronomer, Asaph Hall. A year after the war
broke out, the staff of workers at the U.S. Naval Observatory was much
depleted. Some resigned to go South; others were ordered elsewhere by
the Federal Government. In the summer of 1862, while his wife was
visiting her people in Rodman, Mr. Hall went to Washington, passed an
examination, and was appointed an “Aid” in the Naval Observatory.

The city was in a turmoil. On August 27, three weeks after he entered
the observatory, Mr. Hall wrote to his wife:

    When I see the slack, shilly-shally, expensive way the Government
    has of doing everything, it appears impossible that it should ever
    succeed in beating the Rebels.

He soon became disgusted at the wire-pulling in Washington, and wrote
contemptuously of the “_American_ astronomy” then cultivated at the
Naval Observatory. But he decided to make the best of a bad bargain; and
his own work at Washington has shed a lustre on American astronomy.

When he left Cambridge, thanks to his frugal wife, he had three hundred
dollars in the bank, although his salary at the Harvard Observatory was
only six hundred a year. The Bonds hated to lose him, and offered him
eight hundred in gold if he would stay. This was as good as the
Washington salary of one thousand a year in paper money which he
accepted, to say nothing of the bad climate and high prices of that
city, or of the uncertainties of the war.

The next three years were teeming with great events. In less than a
month after his arrival in Washington, the second battle of Bull Run was
fought. At the observatory he heard the roar of cannon and the rattle of
musketry; and it was his heart-rending task to hunt for wounded friends.
His wife, still at the North, wrote under date of September 4, 1862:

    DEAREST ASAPH: ... I wish I could go right on to you, I feel so
    troubled about you. You will write to me, won’t you, as soon as you
    get this, and tell me whether to come on now or not. If there is
    danger I had rather share it with you.

    What are you doing now? Does the excitement stop your business?

    Little A says he does not want papa to get shot. Cried about it last
    night, and put his arms round my neck. He says he is going to take
    care of mamma. There is a terrible excitement in Boston.

To this her husband replied, September 6:

    DEAREST ANGIE: I have just got your letter.... You must not give
    yourself any uneasiness about me. I shall keep along about my
    business. We are now observing the planet Mars in the morning, and I
    work every other night.

    Don’t tell little A that I am going to be shot. Don’t expect
    anything of that kind. You had better take your time and visit at
    your leisure now. Things will be more settled in a couple of weeks.

    Capt. Fox [his room-mate at McGrawville] seems to be doing well. The
    ball is in his chest and probably lodged near his lungs. It may kill
    him, but I think not....

Observing Mars every other night, and serving Mars the rest of the time!
His wife’s step-brothers Constant and Jasper Woodward were both wounded.
Jasper, the best of the Woodward brothers, was a lieutenant, and led his
company at Bull Run, the captain having scalded himself slightly with
hot coffee in order to keep out of the fight. Jasper was an exceedingly
bashful fellow, but a magnificent soldier, and he fairly gloried in the
battle. When he fell, and his company broke in retreat, Constant paused
to take a last shot in revenge, and was himself wounded. Mr. Hall found
them both, Constant fretful and complaining, though not seriously
wounded, and Jasper still glorying in the fight. The gallant fellow’s
wound did not seem fatal; but having been left in a damp stone church,
he had taken cold in it, so that he died.

Next followed the battle of Antietam, and the astronomer’s wife, unable
to find out who had won, and fearful lest communication with Washington
might be cut off if she delayed, hastened thither. Now Col. A. J.
Warner, a McGrawville schoolmate, whose family lived with the Halls in
Georgetown, was brought home shot through the hip. To add to the trials
of the household, little A. and the colonel’s boy Elmer came down with
diphtheria. Through the unflagging care and nursing of his mother,
little A. lived. But Elmer died. Mr. Hall, exhausted by the hot,
unwholesome climate no less than by his constant exertions in behalf of
wounded friends, broke down, and was confined within doors six weeks
with jaundice. Indeed, it was two years before he fully recovered.
Strange that historians of the Civil War have not dwelt upon the
enormous advantage to the Confederates afforded by their hot, enervating
climate, so deadly to the Northern volunteer.

In January, 1863, the Halls and Warners moved to a house in Washington,
on I Street, between 20th and 21st Streets, N.W. Here a third surgical
operation on the wounded colonel proved successful. Though he nearly
bled to death, the distorted bullet was at last pulled out through the
hole it had made in the flat part of the hip bone. Deceived by the
doctors before, the poor man cried: “Mr. Hall, is the ball out? Is the
ball out?”

Soon after this, in March, small-pox, which was prevalent in the city,
broke out in the house, and Mr. Hall sent his wife and little boy to
Cambridge, Mass. There she stayed with her friend Miss Sarah Waitt; and
there she wrote the following letter to Captain Gillis, Superintendent
of the Naval Observatory:

                                               CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 17, 1863.

    _Capt. Gillis._

    DEAR SIR: I received a letter from Mr. Hall this morning saying that
    Prof. Hesse has resigned his place at the Observatory. I wish Mr.
    Hall might have the vacant place.

    If the question is one of ability, I should be more than willing
    that he with all other competitors should have a thorough and
    impartial examination. I know I should be proud of the result. If on
    the other hand the question is who has the greatest number of
    influential friends to push him forward whether qualified or
    unqualified, I fear, alas! that he will fail. He stands alone on his
    merits, but his success is only a question of time. I, more than any
    one, know of all his long, patient and faithful study. A few years,
    and he, like Johnson, will be beyond the help of some Lord

    Mr. Hall writes me that he shall do nothing but wait. I could not
    bear not to have his name at least proposed.


                ANGELINE S. HALL.

On the 3rd of May Mr. Hall wrote to his wife from Washington:

    DEAREST ANGIE: Yesterday afternoon Capt. Gillis told me to tell you
    that the best answer he could make to your letter is that hereafter
    you might address me as Prof. A. Hall....

    You wrote to Capt. Gillis, did you? What did you write?


                A. HALL.

And so it was that Asaph Hall entered permanently into the service of
the United States Government. His position in life was at last secure,
and the rest of his days were devoted completely to science. His wife,
grown stronger and more self-reliant, took charge of the family affairs
and left him free to work. That summer he wrote to her, “It took me a
long time to find out what a good wife I have got.”

Some fifteen years afterward Mrs. Hall rendered a similar service to the
famous theoretical astronomer, Mr. George W. Hill, who for several years
was an inmate of her house. Knowing Mr. Hill’s rare abilities, and his
extreme modesty, Mrs. Hall took it upon herself to urge his appointment
to the corps of Professors of Mathematics, U.S. Navy, to which her
husband belonged. There were two vacancies at the time, and Mr. Hill,
having brilliantly passed a competitive examination, was designated for
appointment. But certain influences deprived the corps of the lustre
which the name of Hill would have shed upon it.

In the fall of 1863 the Halls settled down again in the house on I
Street. Here the busy little wife made home as cheerful as the times
permitted, celebrating her husband’s birthday with a feast. But the I
Street home was again invaded by small-pox. Captain Fox, having been
appointed to a government clerkship, was boarding with them, when he
came down with varioloid. And Mr. Hall’s sister, on a visit to
Washington, caught the small-pox from him. However, she recovered
without spreading the disease.

In May, 1864, they rented rooms in a house on the heights north of the
city. Their landlord, a Mr. Crandle, was a Southern sympathizer; but
when General Jubal A. Early threatened the city he was greatly alarmed.
On the morning of July 12 firing was heard north of the city. Crandle,
with a clergyman friend, had been out very early reconnoitering, and
they appeared with two young turkeys, stolen somewhere in anticipation
of the sacking of the city. For the Confederates were coming, and the
house, owned as it was by a United States officer, would surely be
burned. A hiding place for the family had been found in the Rock Creek

Mr. Hall went to his work that morning as usual; but he did not return.
Mrs. Hall, who was soon to give birth to another son, took little Asaph
and went in search of her husband. He was not at the observatory, but
the following note explained his absence:

                                                          July 12, 1864.

    DEAR ANGIE: I am going out to Fort Lincoln. Don’t know how long I
    shall stay. Am to be under Admiral Goldsborough. We all go. Keep
    cool and take good care of little A.

            Yours truly,

                A. HALL.

Together with other Observatory officials, Mr. Hall was put in command
of workmen from the Navy Yard, who manned an intrenchment near Fort
Lincoln. Many of the men were foreigners, and some of them did not know
how to load a gun. Had the Confederates charged upon them they might
have been slaughtered like sheep. But in a day or two Union troops
arrived in sufficient force to drive Early away.

Before the summer was over, the Halls moved to a house in Georgetown, on
the corner of West and Montgomery Streets. It was an old-fashioned brick
house, with a pleasant yard fenced by iron pickets. These were made of
old gun barrels, and gave the place the name of “Gunbarrel Corner.”
Here, on the 28th of September, 1864, their second child, Samuel, was
born. And here the family lived for three years, renting rooms to
various friends and relatives. One of these was Mr. Hall’s sister, Mrs.
Charles Kennon, whose soldier husband lost his life in the Red River
expedition, leaving her with three noble little sons. Mr. Kennon and the
Halls had been neighbors in Cambridge, where he studied at the Harvard
Divinity School.

From the beginning Mr. Hall had objected to having a home in Washington,
and had looked to New England as a fitter place for his family to live;
but his wife would not be separated from him. The curse of war was upon
the city. Crowded with sick and wounded soldiers, idle officers and
immoral women, it was scourged by disease. Forty cases of small-pox were
at one time reported within half a mile of the place where Mr. Hall
lived. But people had become so reckless as to attend a ball at a
small-pox hospital. Most of the native population were Southern
sympathizers, and some of the women were very bitter. They hated all
Yankees—people who had lived upon saw-dust, and who came to Washington
to take the Government offices away from Southern gentlemen. As Union
soldiers were carried, sick and wounded, to the hospital, these women
would laugh and jeer at them.

But there were people in Washington who were making history. One day Mr.
Hall saw Grant—short, thin, and stoop-shouldered, dressed in his
uniform, a slouch hat pulled over his brow—on his way to take command of
the Army of the Potomac. That venerable patriot John Pierpont, whom she
had seen and admired at McGrawville, became attached to Mrs. Hall, and
used to dine at her house. She took her little boy to one of Lincoln’s
receptions, and one night Lincoln and Secretary Stanton made a visit to
the Naval Observatory, where Mr. Hall showed them some objects through
his telescope. At the Cambridge Observatory the Prince of Wales had once
appeared, but on that occasion the young astronomer was made to feel
less than nobody. Now the great War President, who signed his commission
in the United States Navy, talked with him face to face. One night soon
afterward, when alone in the observing tower, he heard a knock at the
trap door. He leisurely completed his observation, then went to lift the
door, when up through the floor the tall President raised his head.
Lincoln had come unattended through the dark streets to inquire why the
moon had appeared inverted in the telescope. Surveyors’ instruments,
which he had once used, show objects in their true position.

At length the war was over, and the Army of the Potomac and Sherman’s
Army passed in review through the city. Mrs. Hall was one of those who
witnessed these glorious spectacles—rank after rank, regiment after
regiment of seasoned veterans, their battle-flags torn and begrimed,
their uniforms shabby enough but their arms burnished and glistening,
the finest soldiers in the world! Among the officers was General
Osborne, an old Jefferson County acquaintance.

Among all the noble men of those heroic times, I, for my part, like to
think of old John Pierpont, the minister poet, who broke bread at my
mother’s table. Whether this predilection is due to prenatal causes,
some Oliver Wendell Holmes may decide. Certain it is that I was born in
September, 1868, and in the preceding April my mother wrote:

          O dear anemone, and violet fair,
            Beloved hepatica, arbutus sweet!
          Two years ago I twined your graces rare,
            And laid the garland at the poet’s feet.

          The grand old poet on whose brow the snow
            Of eighty winters lay in purest white,
          But in whose heart was held the added glow
            Of eighty summers full of warmth and light.

          Like some fair tree within the tropic clime
            In whose green boughs the spring and autumn meet,
          Where wreaths of bloom around the ripe fruits twine,
            And promise with fulfilment stands complete,

          So twined around the ripeness of his thought
            An ever-springing verdure and perfume,
          All his rich fullness from October caught
            And all her freshness from the heart of June.

          But last year when the sweet wild flowers awoke
            And opened their dear petals to the sun,
          He was not here, but every flow’ret spoke
            An odorous breath of him the missing one.

Of this effusion John Greenleaf Whittier—to whom the verses were
addressed—graciously wrote:

    The first four verses of thy poem are not only very beautiful from
    an artistic point of view, but are wonderfully true of the man they


                              CHAPTER XIV.
                          THE GAY STREET HOME.

In November, 1867, the Halls bought the Captain Peters’ place, No. 18
Gay Street, Georgetown, and for twenty-five years, that is, for the rest
of Angeline Hall’s life, this was her home. The two-story brick house,
covered with white stucco, and having a shingled roof, stood in the
centre of a generous yard, looking southward. Wooden steps led up to a
square front porch, the roof of which was supported by large wooden
pillars. The front door opened into a hall, with parlor on the right
hand and sitting room on the left. Back of the sitting room was the
dining room, and back of that the kitchen. In the year of the
Centennial, 1876, the house was enlarged to three stories, with a flat
tin roof, and three bay-windows were added, one in the dining room and
two in front of the house, and the front porch was lengthened so as to
extend from one bay window to the other. The new house was heated
chiefly by a furnace and a large kitchen range, but in the dining room
and sitting room grates were put in for open coal fires. The two rooms
were thrown together by sliding doors, and became the centre of home
comfort; though the room over the sitting room, where, in a low
cane-seated rocking chair of oak, Mrs. Hall sat and did the family
sewing, was of almost equal importance. In the sitting room hung the
old-fashioned German looking-glass with its carved and gilded frame, the
gift of Dr. Powalky. Over the fire-place was an engraving of Lincoln,
and in one corner of the room was the round mahogany table where
Professor Hall played whist with his boys. Over the dining room mantle
hung a winter scene painted by some relative of the family, and in the
bay window stood Mrs. Hall’s fern table.

[Illustration: THE GAY STREET HOME]

In the front yard was a large black-heart cherry tree, where house-wrens
built their nests, a crab-apple tree that blossomed prodigiously, a
damson plum, peach trees, box-trees and evergreens. The walks were
bordered with flower beds, where roses and petunias, verbenas and
geraniums, portulacas and mignonnette blossomed in profusion. In the
back yard was a large English walnut tree, from the branches of which
the little Halls used to shoot the ripe nuts with their bows and arrows.
In another part of the back yard was Mrs. Hall’s hot-bed, with its seven
long sashes, under which tender garden plants were protected during the
winter, and sweet English violets bloomed. Along the sidewalk in front
of the premises was a row of rather stunted rock-maples; for the
Southern soil seemed but grudgingly to nourish the Northern trees.

Such, in bare outline, was the Gay Street home. Here on September 16,
1868, the third child, Angelo, was born. Among the boys of the
neighborhood 18 Gay Street became known as the residence of “Asaph, Sam,
and Angelico.” This euphonious and rhythmical combination of names held
good for four years exactly, when, on September 16, 1872, the fourth and
last child, Percival, was born. One of my earliest recollections is the
sight of a red, new-born infant held in my father’s hands. It has been
humorously maintained that it was my parents’ design to spell out the
name “Asaph” with the initials of his children. I am inclined to
discredit the idea, though the pleasantry was current in my boyhood, and
the fifth letter,—which might, of course, be said to stand for Hall,—was
supplied by Henry S. Pritchett, who as a young man became a member of
the family, as much attached to Mrs. Hall as an own son. In fact, when
Asaph was away at college, little Percival used to say there were five
boys in the family _counting Asaph_. As a curious commentary upon this
letter game, I will add that my own little boy Llewellyn used to
pronounce his grandfather’s name “Apas.” Blood is thicker than water,
and though the letters here are slightly mixed, the proper four, and
four only, are employed.

So it came to pass that Angeline Hall reared her four sons in the
unheard-of and insignificant little city of Georgetown, whose sole claim
to distinction is that it was once the home of Francis Scott Key. What a
pity the Hall boys were not brought up in Massachusetts! And yet how
glad I am that we were not! In Georgetown Angeline Hall trained her sons
with entire freedom from New England educational fads; and for her sake
Georgetown is to them profoundly sacred. Here it was that this woman of
gentle voice, iron will, and utmost purity of character instilled in her
growing boys moral principles that should outlast a lifetime. One day
when about six years old I set out to annihilate my brother Sam. I had a
chunk of wood as big as my head with which I purposed to kill him. He
happened to be too nimble for me, so that the fury of my rage was
ungratified. My mother witnessed the affair. Indeed, she wept over it.
She told me in heartfelt words the inevitable consequences of such
actions—and from that day dated my absolute submission to her authority.

In this connection it will not be amiss to quote the words of Mrs. John
R. Eastman, for thirteen years our next-door neighbor:

    During the long days of our long summers, when windows and doors
    were open, and the little ones at play out of doors often claimed a
    word from her, I lived literally within sound of her voice from day
    to day. Never once did I hear it raised in anger, and its sweetness,
    and steady, even tones, were one of her chief and abiding charms.

The fact is, Angeline Hall rather over-did the inculcation of Christian
principles. Like Tolstoi she taught the absolute wickedness of fighting,
instead of the manly duty of self-defense. And yet, I think my brothers
suffered no evil consequences. I myself did. Perhaps the secret of her
great influence over us was that she demanded the absolute truth.
Dishonesty in word or act was out of the question. In two instances, I
remember, I lied to her; for in moral strength I was not the equal of
George Washington. But those lies weighed heavily on my conscience, till
at last, after many years, I confessed to her.

If she demanded truth and obedience from her sons, she gave to them her
absolute devotion. Miracles of healing were performed in her household.
By sheer force of character, by continual watchings and utmost care in
dieting, she rescued me from a hopeless case of dysentery in the fifth
year of my age. The old Navy doctor called it a miracle, and so it was.
And I have lived to write her story. Serious sickness was uncommon in
our family, as is illustrated by the fact that, for periods of three
years each, not one of her four boys was ever late to school, though the
distance thither was a mile or two. When Percival, coasting down one of
the steep hills of Georgetown, ran into a street car and was brought
home half stunned, with one front tooth knocked out and gone and another
badly loosened, Angeline Hall repaired to the scene of the accident
early the next morning, found the missing tooth, and had the family
dentist restore it to its place. There it has done good service for
twenty years. Is it any wonder that such a woman should have insisted
upon her husband’s discovering the satellites of Mars?

Perhaps the secret of success in the moral training of her sons lay in
her generalship. She was an ideal general. In house and yard there was
work to do, and she marshaled her boys to do it. Like a good general she
was far more efficient than any of her soldiers, but under her
leadership they did wonders. Sweeping, dusting, making beds, washing
dishes, sifting ashes, going to market, running errands, weeding the
garden, chopping wood, beating carpets, mending fences, cleaning
house—there was hardly a piece of work indoors or out with which they
were unfamiliar. Nor did they lack for play hours. There was abundance
of leisure for all sorts of diversions, including swimming and skating,
two forms of exercise which struck terror to the mother heart, but in
which, through her self-sacrifice, they indulged quite freely.

Their leisure was purchased by her labor; for until they were of
academic age she was their school teacher. In an hour or two a day they
mastered the three R’s and many things besides. Nor did they suffer from
too little teaching, for at the preparatory school each of them in turn
led his class, and at Harvard College all four sons graduated with
distinction. Four sons graduates of Harvard! How few mothers have so
proud a record, and how impossible would such an achievement have seemed
to any observer who had seen the collapse of this frail woman at
McGrawville! But as each successive son completed his college course it
was as if she herself had done it—her moral training had supplied the
incentive, her teaching and encouragement had started the lad in his
studies, when he went to school her motherly care had provided
nourishing food and warm clothing, when he went to college her frugality
had saved up the necessary money. She used to say, “Somebody has got to
make a sacrifice,” and she sacrificed herself. It is good to know that
on Christmas Day, 1891, half a year before she died, she broke bread
with husband and all four sons at the old Georgetown home.

Let it not be supposed that Angeline Hall reached the perfection of
motherhood. I make no such claim. The Gay Street home was the embodiment
of her spirit; and as she was a Puritan, her sons suffered sometimes
from her excess of Puritanism. They neither drank nor used tobacco; but
fortunately their father taught them to play cards. Their mother brought
them up to believe in woman suffrage; but fortunately Cupid provided
them wives regardless of such creed. She taught them to eschew pride,
sending them to gather leaves in the streets, covering their garments
with patches, discouraging the use of razors on incipient beards; but
fortunately a boy’s companions take such nonsense out of him. She even
left a case of chills and fever to the misdirected mercies of a woman
doctor, a homœopathist. I myself was the victim, and for twenty-five
years I have abhorred women homœopathic physicians.

But such trivial faults are not to be compared with the depths of a
mother’s love. To all that is intrinsically noble and beautiful she was
keenly sensitive. How good it was to see her exult in the glories of a
Maryland sunset—viewed from the housetop with her boys about her. And
how strange that this timid woman could allow them to risk their
precious necks on the roof of a three-story house!

Perhaps her passion for the beautiful was most strikingly displayed in
the cultivation of her garden. To each son she dedicated a rose-bush.
There was one for her husband and another for his mother. In a shady
part of the yard grew lilies of the valley; and gladiolas, Easter lilies
and other varieties of lilies were scattered here and there. In the
early spring there were crocuses and hyacinths and daffodils. Vines
trailed along the fences and climbed the sides of the house. She was
especially fond of her English ivy. Honeysuckles flourished, hollyhocks
ran riot even in the front yard, morning-glories blossomed west of the
house, by the front porch grew a sweet-briar rose with its fragrant
leaves, and by the bay windows bloomed blue and white wisterias. A
magnolia bush stood near the parlor window, a forsythia by the front
fence, and by the side alley a beautiful flowering bush with a dome of
white blossoms. The flower beds were literally crowded, so that humming
birds, in their gorgeous plumage, were frequent visitors. In childhood
Mrs. Hall had loved the wild flowers of her native woods and fields; and
in the woods back of Georgetown she sought out her old friends and
brought them home to take root in her yard, coaxing their growth with
rich wood’s earth, found in the decayed stump of some old tree.

Thus the following poem, like all her poems, was but the expression of


          The violet dreams forever of the sky,
            Until at last she wakens wondrous fair,
          With heaven’s own azure in her dewy eye,
            And heaven’s own fragrance in her earthly air.

          The lily folds close in her heart the beams
            That the pure stars reach to her deeps below,
          Till o’er the waves her answering brightness gleams—
            A star hath flowered within her breast of snow.

          The rose that watches at the gates of morn,
            While pours through heaven the splendor of the sun,
          Needs none to tell us whence her strength is born,
            Nor where her crown of glory she hath won.

          And every flower that blooms on hill or plain
            In the dull soil hath most divinely wrought
          To haunting perfume or to heavenly stain
            The sweetness born of her aspiring thought.

          O yearnful soul of infinite desire!
            With what expectancy we wait the hour
          When all the hopes to which thou dost aspire
            Shall in the holiness of beauty flower.


                              CHAPTER XV.
                           AN AMERICAN WOMAN.

    The desire of knowledge is a powerful instinct of the soul, as
    inherent in woman as in man.... It was designed to be gratified, all
    the avenues of her soul are open for its gratification. Her every
    sense is as perfect as man’s: her hand is as delicate in its touch,
    her ear as acute in hearing, her eye the same in its wonderful
    mechanism, her brain sends out the same two-fold telegraphic
    network. She is endowed with the same consciousness, the same power
    of perception. Every attribute of his soul is hers also. From her
    very organization she is manifestly formed for the pursuit of the
    same knowledge, for the attainment of the same virtue, for the
    unfolding of the same truth. Whatever aids man in the pursuit of any
    one of these objects must aid her also. Let woman then reject the
    philosophy of a narrow prejudice or of false custom, and trust
    implicitly to God’s glorious handwriting on every folded tissue of
    her body, on every tablet of her soul. Let her seek for the highest
    culture of brain and heart. Let her apply her talent to the highest
    use. In so doing will the harmony of her being be perfect. Brain and
    heart according well will make one music. All the bright
    intellections of the mind, all the beautiful affections of the heart
    will together form one perfect crystal around the pole of Truth.

From these words of hers it appears that Angeline Hall believed in a
well-rounded life for women as well as for men; and to the best of her
ability she lived up to her creed. Physically deficient herself, she
heralded the advent of the American woman—the peer of Spartan mother,
Roman matron or modern European dame. Her ideal could hardly be called
“the new woman,” for she fulfilled the duties of wife and mother with
the utmost devotion. Among college women she was a pioneer; and perhaps
the best type of college woman corresponds to her ideal.

[Illustration: PHOTOGRAPH OF 1878]

In person she was not remarkable—height about five feet three inches,
weight with clothing about one hundred and twenty-three pounds. In
middle life she was considerably bent over, more from years of toil than
from physical weakness. Nervous strength was lacking; and early in life
she lost her teeth. But her frame was well developed, her waist being as
large as a Greek goddess’s, for she scorned the use of corsets. Her
smooth skin was of fine stout texture. Her well-shaped head was adorned
by thin curls of wonderfully fine, dark hair, which even at the time of
death showed hardly a trace of white. Straight mouth, high forehead,
strong brow, large straight nose, and beautiful brown eyes indicated a
woman of great spiritual force.

She cared little for adornment, believing that the person is attractive
if the soul is good. Timid in the face of physical danger, she was
endowed with great moral courage and invincible resolution. She used to
speak of “going along and doing something,” and of “doing a little every
day.” Friends and relatives found in her a wise counsellor and fearless
leader. She was gifted with intellect of a high order—an unquenchable
thirst for knowledge, a good memory, excellent mathematical ability, and
the capacity for mental labor. But her sense of duty controlled, and she
devoted her talents to the service of others.

Unlike Lady Macbeth in other respects, she was suited to bear
men-children. And, thanks to her true womanhood, she nursed them at the
breast. There were no bottle babies in the Hall family. Tradition has it
that she endured the pains of childbirth with unusual fortitude, hardly
needing a physician. But this seeming strength was due in part to an
unwise modesty.

With hardly enough strength for the duties of each day, she did work
enough for two women through sheer force of will. It is not surprising
then that she died, in the sixty-second year of her age, from a stroke
of apoplexy. She was by no means apoplectic in appearance, being rather
a pale person; but the blood-vessels of the brain were worn out and
could no longer withstand the pressure. In the fall of 1881, after the
death of her sister Mary and of Nellie Woodward, daughter of her sister
Ruth, she was the victim of a serious sickness, which continued for six
months or more. Friends thought she would die; but her sister Ruth came
and took care of her, and saved her for ten more years of usefulness.
She lived to see her youngest son through college, attended his Class
Day, and died a few days after his graduation.

The motive power of her life was religious faith—a faith that outgrew
all forms of superstition. Brought up to accept the narrow theology of
her mother’s church, she became a Unitarian. The eldest son was sent
regularly to the Unitarian Sunday School in Washington; but a quarrel
arising in the church, she quietly withdrew, and thereafter assumed the
whole responsibility of training her sons in Christian morals.
Subsequently she took a keen interest in the Concord School of
Philosophy; and, adopting her husband’s view, she looked to science for
the regeneration of mankind. In this she was not altogether wise, for
her own experience had proven that the advancement of knowledge depends
upon a divine enthusiasm, which must be fed by a religion of some sort.
Fortunately, she was possessed of a poetic soul, and she never lost
religious feeling.

The following poem illustrates very well the faith of her later life:

                              TO SCIENCE.


         Friend of our race, O Science, strong and wise!
         Though thou wast scorned and wronged and sorely tried,
         Bound and imprisoned, racked and crucified,
         Thou dost in life invulnerable rise
         The glorious leader ’gainst our enemies.
         Thou art Truth’s champion for the domain wide
         Ye twain shall conquer fighting side by side.
         Knowledge and Freedom are thy great allies.
         Thus thou art strong, and able thou to cope
         With all thy enemies that yet remain.
         They fly already from the open plain,
         And climb, hard-pressed, far up the rugged slope.
         We hear thy bugle sound o’er land and sea
         And know that victory abides with thee.


           Because thou’st conquered all _one_ little world
           Thou never like the ancient king dost weep,
           But like the brave Ulysses, on the deep
           Dost launch thy bark, and, all its sails unfurled,
           Dost search for new worlds which may lie impearled
           By happy islands where the billows sleep;
           Or into sunless seas dost fearless sweep,
           Braving the tempest which is round thee hurled;
           Or, bolder still, mounting where far stars shine,
           From conquest unto conquest thou dost rise
           And hold’st dominion over realms divine,
           Where, clear defined unto thy piercing eyes,
           And fairer than Faith’s yearnful heart did ween
           Stretches the vastness of the great Unseen.


          E’en where thy sight doth fail thou givest not o’er,
          But still “beyond the red” thy spectraphone
          The ray invisible transforms to tone,
          Thus winning from the silence more and more;
          Wherein thou buildest new worlds from shore to shore
          With hills perpetual and with mountains lone;
          To music moving pond’rous stone on stone
          As unto Orpheus’ lyre they moved of yore.
          Still, Science, lightning-winged! thy way pursue!
          Beyond the farthest sweep of farthest sun,
          Beyond the music of the sounding spheres
          Which chant the measures of the months and years,
          Toward realms that e’en to daring Thought are new
          Still let thy flying feet unwearied run.


           O, friend of Faith! let her not deem thee foe,
           Though thou dost drive her from the Paradise
           To which she clings with backward turning eyes,
           Thou art her angel still, and biddest her go
           To wider lands where the great rivers flow,
           And broad and green many a valley lies,
           Where high and grand th’ eternal mountains rise,
           And oceans fathomless surge to and fro.
           Thus thou dost teach her that God’s true and real,
           Fairer and grander than her dreams _must_ be;
           Till she shall leave the realm of the Ideal
           To follow Truth throughout the world with thee,
           Through earth and sea and up beyond the sun
           Until the mystery of God is won.

Whatever the literary defects, these are noble sonnets. But I had rather
take my chances in a good Unitarian church than try to nourish the soul
with such Platonic love of God. She disliked the Unitarian habit of
clinging to church traditions and ancient forms of worship; but better
these than the materialism of a scientific age.

Perhaps I do her an injustice. She was absolutely loyal to truth, not
guilty of that shuffling attitude of modern theologians who have
outgrown the superstition of Old Testament only to cling more
tenaciously to the superstition of the New. In the Concord School of
Philosophy, and later in her studies as a member of the Ladies’
Historical Society of Washington, she was searching for the new faith
that should fulfil the old. It might be of interest here to introduce
selections from some of her Historical Society essays, into the
composition of which she entered with great earnestness. Written toward
the close of life, they still retain the freshness and unspoiled
enthusiasm of youth. One specimen must suffice:

    In thinking of Galileo, and the office of the telescope, which is to
    give us increase of light, and of the increasing power of the larger
    and larger lenses, which widens our horizon to infinity, this
    constantly recurring thought comes to me: how shall we grow into the
    immensity that is opening before us? The principle of light pervades
    all space—it travels from star to star and makes known to us all
    objects on earth and in heaven. The great ether throbs and thrills
    with its burden to the remotest star as with a joy. But there is
    also an all-pervading force, so subtle that we know not yet how it
    passes through the illimitable space. But before it all worlds fall
    into divine order and harmony. It is gravitation. It imparts the
    power of one to all, and gathers from all for the one. What in the
    soul answers to these two principles is, first, also light or
    knowledge, by which all things are unveiled; the other which answers
    to gravitation, and before which all shall come into proper
    relations, and into the heavenly harmony, and by which we shall fill
    the heavens with ourselves, and ourselves with heaven, is love.

This is better than most philosophy. But after all, Angeline Hall gave
herself to duty and not to philosophy—to the plain, monotonous work of
home and neighborhood. Like the virtuous woman of Scripture, she
supplied with her own hands the various family wants—cooked with great
skill, canned abundance of fruit for winter, and supplied the table from
day to day with plain, wholesome food. Would that she might have taught
Bostonians to bake beans! If they would try her method, they would
discover that a mutton bone is an excellent substitute for pork. Pork
and lard she banished from her kitchen. Beef suet is, indeed, much
cleaner. The chief article of diet was meat, for Mrs. Hall was no
vegetarian, and the Georgetown markets supplied the best of Virginia
beef and mutton. Like the virtuous woman of Scripture, she provided the
family with warm clothing, and kept it in repair. A large part of her
life was literally spent in mending clothes. She never relaxed the rigid
economy of Cambridge days. She commonly needed but one servant, for she
worked with her own hands and taught her sons to help her. The house was
always substantially clean from roof to cellar. No corner was neglected.
Nowhere on the whole premises was a bad smell tolerated.

While family wants were scrupulously attended to, she stretched forth a
hand to the poor. The Civil War filled Washington with negroes, and for
several winters Mrs. Hall helped to distribute supplies among them. In
1872 she was “Directress” of the tenth, eleventh and twelfth wards; and
for a long time she was a member of a benevolent society in Georgetown,
having charge of a section of the city near her residence. For the last
fourteen years of her life, she visited the Home for Destitute Colored
Women and Children in north Washington. Her poor colored neighbors
regarded her with much esteem. She listened to their stories of
distress, comforted them, advised them. The aged she admitted to her
warm kitchen; and they went away, victuals in their baskets or coins in
their hands, with the sense of having a friend in Mrs. Hall. Uncle
Louis, said to be one hundred and fourteen years old, rewarded her with
a grape-vine, which was planted by the dining room window. And “the
Uncle Louis grape” was the best in the garden.

At the close of the Civil War she even undertook to redeem two fallen
Irish women by taking them into her house to work. But their appetite
for whiskey was too strong, and they would steal butter, barter it for
liquor, and come home drunk. On one occasion one of these women took
little Asaph along to visit the saloon; and there his mother found him,
with the servant standing by joking with rough men, her dress in shreds.

Mrs. Hall had no time or strength for such charitable enterprises, and
soon abandoned them. She was saved from most of the follies of
philanthropy by the good sense of her husband, whom she rewarded with
the devotion of a faithful wife. His studies and researches, almost from
the first, were much too deep for her entire comprehension, but she was
always enthusiastic about his work. In the introduction to his
“_Observations and Orbits of the Satellites of Mars_,” Professor Hall
chivalrously says:

    In the spring of 1877, the approaching favorable opposition of the
    planet Mars attracted my attention, and the idea occurred to me of
    making a careful search with our large Clark refractor for a
    satellite of this planet. An examination of the literature of the
    planet showed, however, such a mass of observations of various
    kinds, made by the most experienced and skillful astronomers that
    the chance of finding a satellite appeared to be very slight, so
    that I might have abandoned the search had it not been for the
    encouragement of my wife.

In fact, Mrs. Hall was full of enthusiasm. Each night she sent her
husband to the observatory supplied with a nourishing lunch, and each
night she awaited developments with eager interest. I can well remember
the excitement at home. There was a great secret in the house, and all
the members of the family were drawn more closely together by mutual

The moral and intellectual training of her sons has already been
referred to. Summer vacations were often spent with her sisters in
Rodman, N.Y. Her mother, who reached the age of eighty years, died in
the summer of 1878, when Mrs. Hall became the head of the Stickney
family. Her sisters Mary and Elmina were childless. Ruth had six
children, in whose welfare their Aunt Angeline took a lively interest.
The three girls each spent a winter with her in Washington, and when, in
the summer of 1881, Nellie was seized with a fatal illness, Aunt
Angeline was present to care for her. Now and then Charlotte Ingalls,
who had prospered in Wisconsin, would come on from the West, and the
Stickney sisters would all be together. The last reunion occurred in the
summer of 1891, a year previous to Angeline’s death. It was a goodly
sight to see the sisters in one wagon, near the old home place; and
when, at Elmina’s house, Angeline was bustling about attending to the
needs of the united family, it was good to hear Charlotte exclaim, “Take
care, old lady!” She was thirteen years older than Angeline, and seemed
almost to belong to an earlier generation. She remembered her father
well, and had no doubt acquired from him some of the ancient New
Hampshire customs lost to her younger sisters. Certainly her
exclamations of “Fiddlesticks,” and “Witch-cats,” were quaint and

But it was Angeline who was really best versed in the family history.
She had made a study of it, in all its branches, and could trace her
descent from at least eleven worthy Englishmen, most of whom arrived in
New England before 1650. She made excursions to various points in New
England in search of relatives. At Belchertown, Mass., in 1884, she
found her grandfather Cook’s first cousin, Mr. Thomas Sabin. He was then
one hundred years old, and remembered how in boyhood he used to go
skating with Elisha Cook.

How brief the history of America in the presence of such a man! I
remember seeing an old New Englander, as late as 1900, who as a boy of
eleven years had seen General Lafayette. It was a treat to hear him
describe the courteous Frenchman, slight of stature, bent with age, but
active and polite enough to alight from the stage-coach to shake hands
with the people assembled to welcome him in the little village of
Charlton, Mass.

Mrs. Hall had no time for travel. At the close of life she longed to
visit Europe, but death intervened, and her days were spent in her
native country. She passed two summers in the mountains of Virginia. In
1878, with her little son Percival, she accompanied her husband to
Colorado, to observe the total eclipse of the sun. Three years before
they had taken the whole family to visit her sister Charlotte’s people
in Wisconsin.

It was through her family loyalty that she acquired the Adirondack
habit. In the summer of 1882, after the severe sickness of the preceding
winter, she was staying with a cousin’s son, a country doctor, in
Washington County, N.Y. He proposed an outing in the invigorating air of
the Adirondacks. And so, with her three youngest sons and the doctor’s
family, she drove to Indian Lake, and camped there about a week. Her
improvement was so marked that the next summer, accompanied by three
sons and her sister Ruth, she drove into the wilderness from the West,
camping a few days in a log cabin by the side of Piseco Lake. In 1885,
setting out from Rodman again, she drove four hundred miles, passing
north of the mountains to Paul Smith’s, and thence to Saranac Lake
village, John Brown’s farm, Keene Valley, and Lake George, and returning
by way of the Mohawk Valley. In 1888 she camped with the three youngest
sons on Lower Saranac, and in 1890 she spent July and August at the
summer school of Thomas Davidson, on the side of Mt. Hurricane. One day
I escorted her and her friend Miss Sarah Waitt to the top of the
mountain, four or five miles distant, and we spent the night on the
summit before a blazing camp-fire. Two years later she was planning
another Adirondack trip when death overtook her—at the house of her
friend Mrs. Berrien, at North Andover, Mass., July 3, 1892.

Her poem “Heracles,” written towards the close of her career, fittingly
describes her own herculean labors:



           Genius of labor, mighty Heracles!
           Though bound by fate to do another’s will,
           Not basely, as a slave, dost thou fulfil
           The appointed task. The eye of God to please
           Thou seekest, and man to bless, and not thy ease.
           So to thy wearying toil thou addest still
           New labors, to redeem some soul from ill,
           Performing all thy generous mind conceives.
           From the sea-monster’s jaws thy arm did free,
           And from her chains, the fair Hesione.
           And when Alcestis, who her lord to save,
           Her life instead a sacrifice she gave,
           Then wast thou near with heart that never quailed,
           And o’er Death’s fearful form thy might prevailed.


            Because thou chosest virtue, when for thee
            Vice her alluring charms around thee spread,
            The gods, approving, smiled from overhead,
            And gave to thee thy shining panoply.
            Then wentest thou forth to certain victory.
            Nature obedient to thy will was led,
            Out rushed the rivers from their ancient bed
            And washed the filth of earth into the sea.
            When ’gainst thy foes thy arrows all were spent,
            Zeus stones instead, in whirling snow-cloud sent.
            When with sore heat oppressed, O wearied one!
            Thou thought’st to aim thy arrows at the sun,
            Then Helios sent his golden boat to thee
            To bear thee safely through the trackless sea.


                              CHAPTER XVI.
                          A BUNDLE OF LETTERS.

The letters of Angeline Hall are genuine letters—not meant for
publication, but for the eyes of the persons addressed. The style, even
the spelling and punctuation, are faulty; and the subject-matter in most
cases can have no general interest. However, I have selected a few of
her letters, which I trust will be readable, and which may help to give
a truer conception of the astronomer’s wife:

                                                   RODMAN, July 26, ’66.

    DEAREST ASAPH: I am at Mother’s this morning. Staid over to help see
    to Ruth, and now cannot get back over to Elminas, all so busy at
    their work, have no time to carry me, then Franklin is sick half the
    time. I shall probably get over there in a day or two. I have had no
    letters from you since a week ago last night, have had no
    opportunity to send to the Office.

    Ruth and baby are doing well. Franklin has finished his haying but
    has a little hoing to do yet—Constant is trying to get his work
    along so that he will be ready to take you around when you come. He
    wishes you to write when you will come so that he can arrange his
    work accordingly. I hope you will come by the middle of August.

    The children are pretty well. Samie has some cold. He thinks you
    have forsaken him. When I ask him now where is papa, he says “no
    papa.” I have weaned him. He stayed with Aunt Mary three nights
    while I was taking care of Ruth. He eats his bread and milk very
    well now. Little “A” has been a very good boy indeed, a real little
    man. I bought him and Homer some nice bows and arrows of an Indian
    who brought them into the cars to sell just this side of Rome, so
    that he shoots at a mark with Grandfather Woodward.

    I suppose Adelaide starts for Goshen next week. I have received two
    letters from her.

    Now do come up here as soon as you can. I do not enjoy my visit half
    so well without you. I am going out with Mary after raspberries this
    morning—Little Samie is very fond of them.


                ANGELINE HALL.

                                              GEORGETOWN Sept. 28 (1868)

    DEAR SISTER MARY, Little Angelo is only twelve days old, but he is
    as bright and smart as can be. I have washed and dressed him for
    four days myself. I have been down to the gate to-day. And have
    sewed most all day, so you see I am pretty well.

    To day is Samie’s birthday, four years old—he is quite well and
    happy—The baby he says is his.

    How do you all do. I should like very much to take a peep at you in
    your new home. Do you like it? We like our old place better and
    better all the time. You must write to me as soon as you can. Do you
    get your mail at Adams Centre? Have you any apples in that vicinity
    this year?

    Mr. Hall has just been reading in the newspaper a sketch of Henry
    Keep’s life which says he was once in the Jefferson Co. Poor house,
    is it true?

            Much love to you all

                ANGELINE HALL.

                                               GEORGETOWN March 3rd 1871

    DEAR SISTER MARY: We received your letter, also the tub of apples
    and cider. I have made some apple sauce, it is splendid. I have not
    had one bit of boiled cider apple sauce before since we came to
    Washington. I shall try to pay you for all your expense and trouble
    sometime. I would send you some fresh shad if I was sure it would
    keep to get to you. We had some shad salted last spring but it is
    not very nice. I think was not put up quite right, so it is hardly
    fit to send.

    We are all very well. Samie has had a little ear-ache this week but
    is better. Angelo is the nicest little boy you ever saw.

    It is raining this morning. A man came to spade the ground to sow
    our peas but it began to rain just as he got here, so we shall have
    to wait a few days. My crocuses and daffodils are budded to blossom,
    and the sweet-scented English violets are in bloom, filling the
    parlors here with fragrance. I do like the spring here so much. We
    do not have to wait for it, but before we are aware it is here.

    You must write often. I think we shall make you a little visit this
    summer. How are Father and Mother and Constant and yourself? Much
    love to you all from all of us.


                ANGELINE HALL.

                                                GEORGETOWN Jan. 18th ’74

    DEAR SISTER MARY: I am getting very anxious to hear from you. Little
    “A” commenced a letter to you during his vacation, and copied those
    verses you sent so as to send the original back to you. But he did
    not finish his letter and I fear he will not have time to write
    again for some time as his studies take almost every minute he can
    spare from eating and sleeping. We are all well. Baby grows smart
    and handsome all the time.

    Angelo keeps fat and rosy though we have to be careful of him. Samie
    is getting taller and taller, and can not find time to play enough.
    Mother Hall is with us this winter, is helping me about the sewing.

    How is Mother and yourself and all? I hope you are all well. You
    must dress warm so as not to take cold. Have you got any body to
    help you this winter? Write all the news. Has Salina gone to the
    music school?

    I will try to write again soon. Must write to Elmina in a day or

    The baby thinks Granpa’s saw-man is the nicest thing he can find.
    Angelo is so choice of it he will not let him touch it often.



                                   GEORGETOWN March 22nd [1877 probably]

    DEAR SISTER MARY: We are working on our grounds some as the weather
    permits. It will be very pretty here when we get it done. And our
    house is as convenient as can be now. Tell Mother I have set out a
    rose bush for her, and am going to plant one for Grandma Hall too.

    Samie has improved a great deal the last year, he is getting stout
    and tall. Angelo is as fat as a pig and as keen as a knife. Percy is
    a real nice little boy, he has learned most of his letters. Asaph
    Jr. will go ahead of his Father yet if he keeps his health. I never
    saw a boy of his age study as he does, every thing must be right,
    and be understood before he will go an inch.

    I am pretty well, but have to be careful, if I get sick a little am
    sure to have a little malarial fever.

    Much love to you all and write soon telling me how Mother is.


                ANGELINE HALL.

                                                   RODMAN Aug. 13th 1881

    DEAR ASAPH, Yesterday we buried Nellie over in the cemetery on
    Grandfather’s old farm in Rodman. You can not think how beautiful
    and grand she looked. She had improved very much since she was at
    our house, and I see she had many friends. I think she was a
    superior girl, but too sensitive and ambitious to live in this world
    so cramped and hedged about. She went down to help Mary, and Mr.
    Wright’s people came for her to go up and help them as Mrs. Wright
    was sick, so Nellie went up there and washed and worked very hard
    and came back to Mary’s completely exhausted, and I think she had a
    congestive chill to begin with and another when she died.

    The little boys and I are at Elminas. I came over to rest a little,
    am about used up. One of the neighbors has just come over saying
    that Mary died last night at nine o’clock, and will be buried
    to-morrow. So to-morrow morning I suppose I shall go back over to
    Constant’s, do not know how long I shall stay there.

    I wish to know how you are getting on at home. Keep well if you can.

    Tell Asaph and Samie to write.

            With Much Love

                C. A. S. HALL.

    [P.S.] I do not know whether I had better go home, or try to stay
    here and rest, I am so miserably tired.

                                                   THE OLD BRICK, GOSHEN
                                     9 A.M. Monday Morning July 14, 1884

    DEAR ASAPH: I have just got through the morning’s work. Got up at
    half past five, built the fire, got the breakfast which consisted of
    cold roast beef, baked potatoes, Graham gems, and raspberries and

    Percie got up with me and went for the berries, Angelo went over to
    his Uncle Lyman’s for the milk and cream, and Samie went out into
    the garden to work. Breakfast at half past seven. After breakfast
    all the boys went to the garden, Samie and Percie to kill potato
    bugs and Angelo to pick the peas for dinner. Samie has just come in
    to his lessons. Angelo is not quite through, Percie is done. I have
    washed the dishes and done the chamber work. Now I have some mending
    and a little ironing to do. I have done our washing so far a little
    at a time. I washed some Saturday so I have the start of the common
    washer-women and iron Monday. I suppose at home you have got
    somebody to wait on you all round, and then find it hard work to
    live. I have mastered the situation here, though it has been very
    hard for two weeks, and have got things clean and comfortable.

    The old brick and mortar though, fall down freely whenever one
    raises or shuts a window, or when the wind slams a door, as it often
    does here in this country of wind.

    Lyman has begun haying. It was showery Friday and Saturday afternoon
    and some of his hay got wet.

    Next month Lyman is to take the superintendency of the Torrington
    creamery much to the discomfiture of Mary. [Professor Hall’s brother
    Lyman married Mary Gilman, daughter of Mrs. Hall’s cousin.] He made
    no arrangements as to stated salary. Mary is trying to have that
    fixed and I hope she will.

    Now how is A. Jr.? I think he had better come up here and stay with
    us awhile if his health does not improve very soon.

    How is George?

    Adelaide is staying with Dine during her vacation, they both came up
    here last Tuesday, stayed to dinner, brought little Mary. I have not
    seen Mary Humphrey yet. [Adelaide and Adeline, twins, and Mary
    Humphrey were Professor Hall’s sisters.] But the boys saw her the


                C. A. S. HALL.

    [P.S.] I do not think best for A. to go to Pulkowa.

                                               WASHINGTON Nov. 17th 1887

    MY DEAR BOYS [Samuel and Angelo at college] We received Angelo’s
    letter the first of the week and were very glad to get such a nice
    long letter and learn how strong you were both growing.

    I left for New Haven two weeks ago this morning; had a pleasant
    journey. A. met me at the depot. I had a room on Wall street not far
    from the College buildings, so it was a long way to the Observatory
    and I did not get up to the Observatory till Sunday afternoon, as A.
    wanted to sleep in the mornings. Friday A. drove me up to East Rock,
    which overlooks the city, the sea and the surrounding country.
    Saturday evening we went to tea to Mrs. Elkins and after tea, a
    pleasant little party gathered there. Sunday, Prof. Newton came and
    took me to hear President Dwight preach, in the afternoon A. and I
    went to Mrs. Winchesters to see the beautiful flowers in the green
    houses, then we went to Prof. Marshes, after which we went to Miss
    Twinings to tea then to Prof. Wrights. Monday I went up to the
    Observatory and mended a little for A. then went to Dr. Leighton’s
    to tea and afterwards to a party at Mrs. Winchesters. I forgot to
    say that Monday morning Mrs. Wright came for me and we went through
    Prof. Wright’s physical Laboratory, then to the top of the Insurance
    building with Prof. Newton to get a view of the city. Tuesday
    morning I went up to the Observatory again and mended a little more
    for A., then went down to dinner and at about half past two left for
    New York where I arrived just before dark, went to the Murray Hill
    Hotel, got up into the hall on the way to my room and there met Dr.
    Peters, who said that father was around somewhere, after awhile he
    came. Then we got ready and went to Prof. Chandler’s party.
    Wednesday I went to the meeting of the Academy. In the afternoon
    Pres. Barnard gave a reception. In the evening Mrs. Draper gave a
    supper, and before supper Prof. Pickering read a paper on his
    spectroscopic work with the Draper fund, and showed pictures of the
    Harvard Observatory, and of the spectra of stars etc.

    Thursday it rained all day, but I went to the Academy meeting.
    Friday a number of the members of the Academy together with Mrs.
    Prof. Barker Mrs. Draper and myself went over to Llewellyn Park to
    see Edison’s new phonograph. They gave us an elaborate lunch.
    Saturday morning your father and I went to the museum and saw the
    statuary and paintings there, and left Jersey City about 2 P.M. for
    home, where we arrived at about half past eight: We had a pleasant
    time, but were rather tired. Percie and all are well as usual. Aunt
    Charlotte is a great deal better. Aunt Ruth has not gone to
    Wisconsin. I sent her thirty dollars to go with. I guess she will
    send some of it to Homer to come home with. Jasper has left home
    again said he was going to Syracuse. Aunt Ruth has trouble enough,
    says she has been over to Elmina’s, and David does not get up till
    breakfast time leaving E. to do all the chores I suppose. She writes
    that Leffert Eastman’s wife is dead, and their neighbor Mr. Adnah

    Now I must close my diary or I shall not get it into the office

    I am putting down carpets and am very busy

            With love

                C. A. S. HALL.

                                              [WASHINGTON] Nov. 12th ’88

    MY DEAR ANGELO AND PERCIVAL [at college], ... Sam. is reading
    Goethe’s Faust aloud to me when I can sit down to sew, and perhaps I
    told you that he is helping me to get things together for my
    Prometheus Unbound. He is translating now Aeschylos’ fragments for I
    wish to know as far as possible how Aeschylos treated the subject. I
    have a plan all my own which I think a good one, and have made a
    beginning. I know I shall have to work hard if I write any thing
    good, but am willing to work. You must write often. Father and Sam.
    and I went to Mr. Kings to tea last evening. On the next day after
    Thanksgiving our Historical Society begins its work.

            With love

                C. A. S. HALL.

                                           CLINTON, N.Y. Sept. 8th, 1890

    MY DEAR BOYS [Angelo and Percival], I arrived here safely early this
    afternoon. Miss Waitt and I had a very pleasant drive on Thursday.
    We passed the Cascade Lakes. Stopped at the John Brown place for
    lunch, then drove over to Lake Placid, we went up to the top of the
    tower at Grand View House and had a good look at the mountains and
    the lake as far as we could see it there. Then we passed on to
    Wilmington Notch which I think much finer than any mountain pass
    which I have before seen. We went on to Wilmington and stayed over
    night. There was a hard shower before breakfast, but the rain
    stopped in time for the renewal of our journey. We arrived at Au
    Sable Chasm a little after noon on Saturday. The Chasm is very
    picturesque but not so grand as the Wilmington Pass. We saw the
    falls in the Au Sable near the Pass; there are several other falls
    before the river reaches the Chasm. From the Chasm we went on to
    Port Kent where Miss Waitt took the steamer for Burlington, and
    where I stayed over night. In the morning I took the steamer for
    Ticonderoga. We plunged into a fog which shut out all view till we
    neared Burlington, when it lifted a little. After a while it nearly
    all went away, and I had a farewell look of the mountains as we
    passed. It began to rain before we reached Ticonderoga but we got a
    very good view of the old Fort. I thought of Asaph Hall the first,
    and old Ethan Allen, and of your great great grandfather David Hall
    whose bones lie in an unknown grave somewhere in the vicinity.

    The steamer goes south only to Ticonderoga; and there I took the
    cars for Whitehall where I found my cousin Elizabeth Benjamin
    seemingly most happy to see me. She is an intelligent woman though
    she has had very little opportunity for book learning. She has a
    fine looking son at Whitehall.

    It will soon be time for you to leave Keene. I think it would be
    well for you to pack your tent the day before you go if you can
    sleep one night in the large tent. Of course the tent should be dry
    when it is packed if possible, otherwise you will have to dry it
    after you get to Cambridge. Remember to take all the things out of
    my room there. The essence of peppermint set near the west window.

    They are all well here at the Borsts.

    I shall go up to Aunt Elmina’s this week. Write to me there.

            Love to all,

                C. A. S. HALL.

                                       2715 N Street [same as 18 Gay St]
                                         WASHINGTON D.C. March 28th 1891

    MY DEAR BOYS [Angelo and Percival at college], ... I am sorry the
    Boston girl is getting to be so helpless. I think all who have to
    keep some one to take care of them had better leave for Europe on
    the first steamer.

    I think co-education would be a great help to both boys and girls. I
    have never liked schools for girls alone since Harriette Lewis and
    Antoinette McLain went to Pittsfield to the Young Ladies Institute.

    I have just been reading Mrs. Stanton’s advice to her sons, “When
    you marry do choose a woman with a spine and sound teeth.” Now I
    think a woman needs two kinds of good back-bone.

    As for Astronomical work, and all kinds of scientific work, there
    may not be the pressing need there was for it a few centuries ago;
    but I think our modern theory of progress is nearly right as
    described by Taine, “as that which founds all our aspirations on the
    boundless advance of the sciences, on the increase of comforts which
    their applied discoveries constantly bring to the human condition,
    and on the increase of good sense which their discoveries,
    popularized, slowly deposit in the human brain.” Of course Ethical
    teaching must keep pace. It is well to keep the teaching of the
    Prometheus Bound in mind, that merely material civilization is not
    enough; and must not stand alone. But the knowledge that we get from
    all science, that effects follow causes always, will teach perhaps
    just as effectively as other preaching.

    This makes me think of the pleasant time Sam and I had when he was
    home last, reading George Eliot’s Romola. This work is really a
    great drama, and I am much impressed with the power of it.

    I would say _Philosophy_ AND Science now and forever one and

            With much love

                C. A. S. HALL.

                                           WASHINGTON D.C. June 10th ’92

    MY DEAR PERCIVAL [at college], Your father has just got home from
    Madison. He says you can go to see the boat-race if you wish to. A.
    Jr. says perhaps he will go, when are the tickets to be sold, he
    says, on the train that follows the race? He thinks perhaps he would
    like two tickets.

    Now about your furniture. When Sam was home we talked it over. He
    thought you had better sell to the Fays the bureau, bedstead,
    chairs, etc. and that you send home the revolving bookcase, the desk
    and hair mattress; and such of the bedclothes as you wish to carry
    to the mountains of course you will keep, but I expect to go up
    there and will look over the bedclothes with you, there may be some
    to send home.

    Now I suppose you are to keep your room so that our friends can see
    the exercises around the tree on Class-day, I wish Mr. and Mrs. King
    to come and Mr. and Mrs. Berrien. Will you write to them or shall I

    I expect to go up on Wednesday the 22nd so as to get a little rested
    before Class-day. I intend to go over to stay with Mrs. Berrien at
    North Andover between Class-day and Commencement.

    We have just received an invitation to Carrie Clark’s wedding.

    An invitation came from Theodore Smith to Father and me, but father
    says he will not go.

            With love

                  C. A. S. HALL.


                             CHAPTER XVII.
                       AUGUSTA LARNED’S TRIBUTE.

The following tribute was written by Miss Augusta Larned, and published
in the _Christian Register_ of July 28, 1892:

    There is one master link in the family bond, as there is one
    keystone in the arch. Often we know not its binding power until it
    is taken away. Then the home begins to crumble and fall into
    confusion, and the distinct atoms, like beads from a broken string,
    roll off into distant corners. We turn our thoughts to one who made
    the ideal home, pervaded it, filled its every part like air and
    sunshine coming in at open windows, as unobtrusive as gentle. A
    spiritual attraction drew all to this centre. It was not what she
    said or did; it was what she was that inclined footsteps to her
    door. Those who once felt that subtle, penetrating sweetness felt
    they must return to bask in it again and again. So she never lost
    friends by a loss more pathetic than death. There were no
    dislocations in her life. All was even development and growth.

    The good she did seemed to enter the pores of the spirit, and to
    uplift in unknown ways the poor degraded ideal of our lives. The
    secret of her help was not exuberance, but stillness and rest. Ever
    more and more the beautiful secret eluded analysis. It shone out of
    her eyes. It lingered in the lovely smile that irradiated her face,
    and made every touch and tone a benediction. Even the dullest
    perception must have seen that her life was spiritual, based on
    unselfishness and charity. Beside her thoughtfulness and tender care
    all other kinds of self-abnegation seemed poor. She lived in the
    higher range of being. The purity of her face and the clearness of
    her eyes was a rebuke to all low motives. But no word of criticism
    fell from her lips. She was ready to take into her all-embracing
    tenderness those whom others disliked and shunned. Her gentle nature
    found a thousand excuses for their faults. Life had been hard with
    them; and, for this reason, she must be lenient. The good in each
    soul was always present to her perceptions. She reverenced it even
    in its evil admixture as a manifestation of the divine.

    She shunned the smallest witticism at another’s expense, lest she
    should pain or soil that pure inner mirror of conscience by an
    exaggeration. Perfect justice was the rule of her life. To the poor
    and despised she never condescended, but poured out her love and
    charity as the woman of Scripture broke the box of precious ointment
    to anoint the Master’s feet. All human beings received their due
    meed of appreciation at her hands. She disregarded the conventional
    limits a false social order has set up, shunning this one and
    honoring that one, because of externals. She was not afraid of
    losing her place in society by knowing the wrong people. She went
    her way with a strange unworldliness through all the prickly hedges,
    daring to be true to her own nature. She drew no arbitrary lines
    between human beings. It was the soul that interested her. The rich
    were not welcome for their riches, nor the poor for their poverty;
    but all were welcome for their humanity.

    Her door was as the door of a shrine because the fair amenities were
    always found within. Hospitality to her was as sacred as the hearth
    altar to the ancients. If she had not money to give the mendicant,
    she gave that something infinitely better,—the touch of human
    kinship. Many came for the dole she had to bestow, the secret
    charity that was not taken from her superfluity, but from her need.
    Her lowliness of heart was like that of a little child. How could a
    stranger suspect that she was a deep and profound student? Her
    researches had led her to the largest, most liberal faith in God and
    the soul and the spirit of Christ incarnate in humanity. The study
    of nature, to which she was devoted, showed her no irreconcilable
    break between science and religion. She could follow the boldest
    flights of the speculative spirit or face the last analysis of the
    physicist, while she clung to God and the witness of her own being.
    She aimed at an all-round culture, that one part of her nature might
    not be dwarfed by over-balance and disproportion.

    But it was the high thinking that went on with the daily doing of
    common duties that made her life so exceptional. A scholar in the
    higher realms of knowledge, a thinker, a seeker after truth, but,
    above all, the mother, the wife, the bread-giver to the household.
    It was a great privilege to know this woman who aped not others’
    fashions, who had better and higher laws to govern her life, who
    admitted no low motive in her daily walk, who made about her, as by
    a magician’s wand, a sacred circle, free from all gossip, envy,
    strife, and pettiness, who kept all bonds intact by constancy and
    undimmed affection, and has left a memory so sacred few can find
    words to express what she was to her friends.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    But love and self-forgetfulness and tender service wear out the
    silver cord. It was fretted away silently, without complaint, the
    face growing ever more seraphic, at moments almost transparent with
    the shining of an inner light. One trembled to look on that
    spiritual beauty. Surely, the light of a near heaven was there.
    Silently, without complaint or murmur, she was preparing for the
    great change. Far-away thoughts lay mirrored in her clear, shining
    eyes. She had seen upon the mount the pattern of another life. Still
    no outward change in duty-doing, in tender care for others. Then one
    day she lay down and fell asleep like a little child on its mother’s
    breast, with the inscrutable smile on her lips. She who had been
    “mothering” everybody all her life long was at last gathered gently
    and painlessly into the Everlasting Arms.



               An amber Adirondack river flows
               Down through the hills to blue Ontario;
               Along its banks the staunch rock-maple grows,
               And fields of wheat beneath the drifted snow.
               The summer sun, as if to quench his flame,
               Dips in the lake, and sinking disappears.
               Such was the land from which my mother came
               To college, questioning the future years;
               And through the Northern winter’s bitter gloom,
               Gilding the pane, her lamp of knowledge burned.
               The bride of Science she; and he the groom
               She wed; and they together loved and learned.
               And like Orion, hunting down the stars,
               He found and gave to her the moons of Mars.


    ● Transcriber’s Notes:
       ○ Missing or obscured punctuation was silently corrected.
       ○ Typographical errors were silently corrected.
       ○ Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation were made consistent only
         when a predominant form was found in this book.
       ○ Text that was in italics is enclosed by underscores

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Astronomer's Wife - The Biography of Angeline Hall" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.