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Sketches from Concord and Appledore   By: (1846-1917)

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First Page:

[Illustration: Concord Elms, on Main Street.]

SKETCHES FROM CONCORD AND APPLEDORE

CONCORD THIRTY YEARS AGO; NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE; LOUISA M. ALCOTT; RALPH WALDO EMERSON; MATTHEW ARNOLD; DAVID A. WASSON; WENDELL PHILLIPS; APPLEDORE AND ITS VISITORS; JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER

BY FRANK PRESTON STEARNS

TO A JACQUEMINOT ROSE.

CONTENTS.

PREFACE

CONCORD THIRTY ODD YEARS AGO

HAWTHORNE

LOUISA M. ALCOTT

EMERSON HIMSELF

MATTHEW ARNOLD'S LECTURE

DAVID A. WASSON

WENDELL PHILLIPS

APPLEDORE AND THE LAIGHTONS

WHITTIER

ILLUSTRATIONS.

CONCORD ELMS, ON MAIN STREET

THE CONCORD RIVER, NEAR BATTLE GROUND

HAWTHORNE, AFTER AN ENGRAVING FROM THE PAINTING BY C. G. THOMPSON

THE OLD MANSE, RESIDENCE OF DR. RIPLEY

LOUISA ALCOTT, FROM A PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN IN 1868

THE ALCOTT HOUSE

KING'S BUST OF EMERSON, MODELLED IN 1854

AUTOGRAPH LETTER FROM MATTHEW ARNOLD

DAVID A. WASSON IN 1878, FROM A PORTRAIT BY HIS SON GEORGE

WENDELL PHILLIPS AS HE APPEARED BEFORE THE PHI BETA KAPPA

TWILIGHT AT THE ISLES OF SHOALS

CELIA THAXTER, PHOTOGRAPHED BY MISS ANNIE RICHARDS IN 1890

WHITTIER'S HOUSE AT AMESBURY

JOHN G. WHITTIER IN HIS SEVENTY SECOND YEAR, FROM A PHOTOGRAPH BY THOMPSON

THE MERRIMAC RIVER, NEAR AMESBURY, BY MOONLIGHT

PREFACE.

A volume of reminiscences is commonly the last book that an author publishes, if indeed he does not leave the task to his literary administrator. There are not wanting, however, instances to the contrary; and in the present case my object is more especially to attract public attention to the lives and works of two distinguished men, one of whom has hitherto been little appreciated, and the other, as it seems to me, greatly misunderstood. My position in regard to David A. Wasson has already been challenged, but I have faith that it will endure the test of time. If these pages shall also succeed in restoring to Wendell Phillips a portion of the fame which he lost by the wayward course of his declining years, they will not have been written in vain. The other characters that I have brought upon this stage are such as both the writer and the public have long taken an interest in. To the few living personages who have been introduced, I would apologize, and excuse myself on the ground that the picture would be imperfect without them.

SKETCHES FROM CONCORD AND APPLEDORE

CONCORD THIRTY YEARS AGO.

To one looking westward from Boston State House there appears a line of rugged, precipitous hills extending across the country from southwest to northeast. Having ascended these heights, we perceive beyond them an irregular line of pale blue mountains, of which Wachusett is the most southerly peak, and which is in fact a portion of the White Mountain range extending through New Hampshire and into the northern part of Maine. The watershed between these two forms the valley of the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, which is the first military line of defence in New England west of the sea coast. It is for this reason that the first struggle for American independence took place on the banks of the Concord River, and not elsewhere; a fact that might have been predicted, though not of course with certainty, when Boston was first settled.

One would like to know how this rural community with martial destiny before it happened to obtain the name of Concord. Did the Rev. Peter Bulkley, descendant of the Plantagenets, who first organized society in that valley, did he come there for peace and repose after a religious controversy in Boston? No doubt the sloping hillsides and broad sunny plain with the sluggish river winding through it looked very restful to him, after the rugged country through which he had passed; but we fear that he found discord and contention already before him, as many have who came there since for a like purpose. Was there a strange fatality in the name, so that Patrick Henry might say with added force, "Gentlemen may cry peace, peace, but there is no peace"? Is it true that peace and war are reciprocal like night and day, one a rest and preparation for the other, and at the same time its natural consequence? Certain it is that no individual life is interesting or valuable in which there has not been a severe struggle; and periods of warfare have often proved to be powerful stimulants for human energy and intellect... Continue reading book >>




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