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108Bulletin of Friends Historical Association forms a substantial background to American history. Diaries and letters are an important means of understanding our past. Some, like these of William Hobson, require microfilming and annotation . All require safe storage. Libraries designed for research and scholarship are seeking records made yesterday and today, by the famous as well as the most ordinary. A VISIT TO WHITTIER IN 1881 Edited by Henry J. Cadbury There are many accounts of visits to the Quaker poet, some of them by other Friends, written from later memory, and some written up for literary magazines.1 The private contemporary record which is printed here for the first time is more informal than most, as indeed was the interview itself. It confirms rather than adds to the other impressions, but it may be worth publishing in this anniversary year. Caroline Cadbury (1842-1928), from whose journal this excerpt is taken, was the sixth child of a Quaker family of eight, born to Benjamin Head Cadbury and his wife Candia Wadkin of Birmingham. The one brother, Joel, married and had children. Caroline was one of six spinster sisters, whose later home was at Pendlehyrst, Bristol Road. One of them was a nurse and friend of Florence Nightingale.2 Like other branches of the family, they kept contact by interchange of visits with their Cadbury cousins in America. Caroline, accompanied by her sister Hannah, was on such a visit, combined with travel and sightseeing, in 1881, when she made the visit to John Greenleaf Whittier described in her diary under date Friday, November 4, 1881. From 1891 to 1898 she was on the staff of Friends Mission at Brummana, Syria. We are indebted to the diarist's niece Christabel Cadbury for extracting this account and making it available. At Danvers our good landlord woke us up with a bell and the maid had scorching hot rolls ready for us—our yesterday's man at 1 See T. Franklin Currier, A Bibliography of John Greenleaf Whittier (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1937), pp. 485-546. 2 See M. Christabel Cadbury, The Story of a Nightingale Nurse (London, 1939). Notes and Documents109 the door to drive us to the R.R. Station, and via Newbury Port we get to Amesbury. "Pouring rain, you cannot walk," said the Station Master, and agreed with a hack man to come back for us, and we were soon at the unpretending frame house, walking up the little path that led through the wicket. "Mr. Whittier at home?" "Yes." So we send in HJ.Sturge's letter and our cards and are waiting in a little low ceilinged parlour. In two or three minutes a tall silvery haired gentleman enters, perfectly erect, with a serene beautiful face which looks as if it had left the shoals and tempests of life behind a long way; his head is high and rather narrow, with a fine forehead, and if I remember rightly, slopes to great firmness at the back. He received us courteously and asked us into his study at the back where he had been sitting before an open fire of wood burning on the earth. Two or three well stocked open book cases were on the walls. He talked about the recent cold spell, said that this autumn the foliage was not nearly so beautiful as usual, a very sharp frost had come all at once and made the leaves drop. He remembered one autumn a heavy snow fell while the leaves were of gorgeous colour still on the trees and the effect was beautiful. He spoke of the deep snows: "Last winter we were almost snowed [sic] at Danvers for several days and when we got out had to walk along a narrow track with the snow heaped up high on each side. Oh! yes, tenting was quite common here, there is a long reach of sand which runs along the coast and which perhaps you passed as you came here . . . Oh! yes, we read Stanley3 a great deal here—indeed I have much sympathy with the Bunsens4 and Arnold5 and Hughes6 and Stanley's views; 3Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-1881), Dean of Westminster, a preacher and writer of broad...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 108-110
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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