The real Daisy Buchanan of the Great Gatsby was educated in Middlebury

Ginevra King was an American socialite, and debutante and was the inspirational muse for several characters in the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

She was born in Chicago in 1898, the daughter of Ginevra and Charles Garfield King. (She, as with her mother and grandmother, was named after Leonardo da Vinci's painting Ginevra de' Benci) 

Charles G. King was a wealthy Chicago businessman and financier. She was the eldest of three sisters and grew up amidst the Chicago social scene, even being a member of the elite "Big Four" Chicago debutantes during World War I. She attended the Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut.




Ginevra first met Fitzgerald on January 4, 1915, while visiting her roommate from Westover, Marie Hersey, in St. Paul, Minnesota. They met at a sledding party and, according to letters and diary entries, they both became infatuated.

 They sent letters back and forth for months, and their passionate romance continued until January 1917. In August 1916, Fitzgerald first wrote down the words, thought to have been said to him by Charles King, that would later recur in the movie adaption of The Great Gatsby: "Poor boys shouldn't think of marrying rich girls."

On July 15, 1918, King wrote to Fitzgerald, telling of her engagement to William Mitchell, the son of her father's business associate. They married later that year and had three children. Then in 1937, she left Mitchell for businessman John T. Pirie (of the Chicago department store Carson Pirie Scott & Company). That year she also met Fitzgerald for the last time in Hollywood; when she asked which character was based on her in The Beautiful and Damned, Fitzgerald replied, "Which bitch do you think you are?"

King later founded the Ladies Guild of the American Cancer Society. She died in 1980 at the age of 82.

Old Connecticut



Thimble Islands


Prisons in Connecticut.



This is a list of current (2014) and former state prisons in Connecticut. These are overseen by the Connecticut Department of Correction. This list does not include federal prisons located in the state of Connecticut. There are no county jails in Connecticut, all inmates are in custody of the Department of Correction.



Bergin Correctional Institution
Bridgeport Correctional Center
Brooklyn Correctional Institution (inmate population 505)
Cheshire Correctional Institution
Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center
Enfield Correctional Institution (inmate population 717)
Garner Correctional Institution (inmate population 526)
Gates Correctional Institution (closed 2011)]
Hartford Correctional Center (inmate population 953)
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
Manson Youth Institution (inmate population 591)
New Haven Correctional Center (inmate population 789)
Northern Correctional Institution
Osborn Correctional Institution
Robinson Correctional Institution
Webster Correctional Institution (closed 2010)
Wethersfield State Prison (closed 1963)
Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution
York Correctional Institution with Niantic Annex


Old Connecticut



19th-Century Irish Catholic Immigrants Faced Unabashed Hostility


State's First Major Wave Of Foreigners Widely Seen As A Threat

By CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN, Special to the CourantThe Hartford Courant
7:24 a.m. EDT, June 22, 2014
Tensions between Irish immigrants and anti-immigrant nativists nearly exploded into violence during newly elected Connecticut Gov. William T. Minor's May 1855 inaugural parade.
A month earlier, Minor and his fellow Know-Nothing Party candidates had won a resounding electoral victory on an openly anti-Irish, anti-Catholic platform. Among Minor's campaign promises: Disband Irish militia units.
As marchers formed up for the parade, one of those units, the Emmett Guards of Hartford, found itself facing a New Haven-based Know-Nothing group called the Order of United Americans. The militia asked the group to break ranks to let it through. The nativists refused.
Roman Catholicism Executive Branch Government New Haven (New Haven, Connecticut) Wars and Interventions Discrimination Republic of Ireland Slavery Griswold New London (New London, Connecticut) New York City Norwich Stamford Ku Klux Klan Derby "The marshals of the O.U.A. immediately replied that they would never divide their ranks to let an Irish military company through," the group responded, according to a letter to the editor of The Hartford Courant.
The Irish nonetheless pushed their way past, and the two groups nearly came to blows.
In its letter, the group damned the Irish militia members as "ignorant and degraded foreigners, who desire to rule or ruin the land of their adoption." The letter went on to petition Minor to disband the company "before they have another opportunity to caricature and insult American citizens."
The ugly incident typified the prejudice, demonization and outright hatred the Irish faced during the 1840s and 1850s when they began arriving in Connecticut in large numbers. The backlash peaked with the election of Minor and the Know-Nothings, who not only carried out their promise to disband Irish militias, but also restricted voting rights, wrested control of Catholic Church property from its hierarchy and called for waits of up to 21 years for citizenship.
"The people of Connecticut felt very threatened," much as many Americans today feel threatened by immigrants, said Neil Hogan, historian for the Connecticut Irish American Historical Society. "They felt [the Irish] were dirty. They were Catholics, which was a bad mark against them. They were criminals. It's pretty much exactly [the kind of attitudes] you have today."
Small numbers of Irish had been in Connecticut since its founding, attracting little attention or controversy. Records show a smattering of Cotters, Kellys and Rileys in New London, Milford and other towns as early as the 1630s.
In the early 19th century, Irish immigrants began arriving in larger numbers to work on the Enfield and Farmington canals and the state's first railroads. Irish communities sprang up in New Haven, Hartford and other cities.
Religion was an especially tricky matter for the new arrivals. Early 19th-century Connecticut was an intolerant place. In spite of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom, Congregationalism remained the state's official faith until 1818. Connecticut's old-line Yankees were deeply suspicious of Episcopalians and Baptists and outright hostile to Catholics.
An Irish priest got a taste of Connecticut's religious bigotry in 1827 when he asked the city fathers if he could say mass in a New Haven church.
"We have no popery now in New Haven, and we don't want any," he was told, according to a curriculum guide produced by the University of Connecticut School of Education.
The state's growing Irish Catholic population finally got its first church in 1829, Holy Trinity in Hartford.
Potato Famine
In the late 1840s, the slow trickle of Irish immigration turned into a flood after a fungus destroyed Ireland's potato crop. The resulting famine killed a million people and sent another million fleeing overseas, many of them to America. An estimated 50,000 Irish immigrants settled in Connecticut between the late 1840s and 1860, transforming what had once been one of the union's most homogenous states.
Their arrival coincided with Connecticut's rise as an industrial giant. The new arrivals quickly found jobs in the state's booming factories. They also built railroads and labored in Portland's famous brownstone quarries, while Irish women worked as domestic servants and washerwomen.
Although work was easy to find, it was often dirty, dangerous and poorly paid. In 1849, journalist Rufus W. Griswold, writing in his New England Weekly Gazette, recounted the horrendous living conditions, exploitation and poor pay endured by Irish immigrant laborers toiling on the Willimantic and Harford railroad.
"Such misery, such squalor, such wretchedness ... we never before beheld," Griswold wrote of the workers' shanties.
Sympathetic to the immigrants' plight, Griswold mocked the callous attitude of many Connecticut natives at the time.
"A 'paddy' — who cares for a 'paddy' — He might as well be killed; there are enough more of them left," he wrote.
As the 1850s wore on, the Irish began to acquire citizenship and vote. They usually backed the Democratic Party, which incensed old-line Yankees because of the party's tolerance of slavery and opposition to restrictions on alcohol. Many came to view Irish Catholic voters as an existential threat to the state's democratic traditions, dominant culture and Protestantism. Catholics, so the bigoted belief went, were required to vote as their priests told them and would use the ballot box to subvert democracy and impose their religion.
Local newspapers, including The Courant and the New Haven Palladium, endorsed and stoked such fears and misinformation.
"The individual votes as the priest dictates," The Courant wrote in an 1855 editorial entitled "Can a Romish Priest be a True American Citizen?" "The final extinction of the heresy of Protestantism in free America by management of the ballot box is the object of all ranks from pope on down."
In complaints similar to those heard today, the state's nativists also accused Irish immigrants of using too many social services, while also saying they took jobs from Americans.
'I Know Nothing'
As the decade progressed, hysteria over Irish immigration exploded, spawning a new secretive political organization that called itself the American Party. Members were told to say "I know nothing" when asked about the party's activities, prompting the famous New York City newspaper editor Horace Greeley to christen them "Know-Nothings."
The party's bigotry was open and unabashed. Its goals, according to its constitution, were to "resist the Church of Rome and all foreign influences" and to assure that "none but native-born Protestant citizens" occupied elected and appointed offices.
The Know-Nothings arrived in Connecticut in 1853. Within a year, they had 169 lodges and 22,000 members in the state. In the election of 1855, the Know-Nothings fielded a full slate pledging harsh measures against the Irish and won a decisive victory.
In his inaugural address, Minor, the Know-Nothing governor and a Stamford resident, said that the "pernicious influence" of immigration "has excited just alarm of our citizens." He warned that many of the newcomers were "blind followers of an ecclesiastical despotism'' — a clear reference to the Catholic Church — rendering them unfit for republican government.
In response, Minor proposed, and the legislature enacted, a series of discriminatory laws. Voters were now required to be able to read at least part of the state constitution, and control of Catholic Church property was handed over to lay councils.
But Minor's most controversial action was to seek the disbandment of six Irish militia units, enraging the Irish community. Such units "are believed to be detrimental to the military interest of the state," he said.
The units had been formed out of pride and a wish to serve their new country, but nativists saw them as a possible source of sedition, historian Hogan said.
"It was taken as a very dangerous thing to have these Irish walking around with weapons and drilling," Hogan said.
Minor succeeded in abolishing the units, two from New Haven and one each from Hartford, Derby, Norwich and Bridgeport, but not before he had to fire the adjutant general, who refused to carry out the order. Even as he railed against immigrant military units, the governor allowed a German militia to remain intact.
When Minor ran for re-election the next year — governors faced the voters every year at the time — The Courant, which had endorsed another slate in 1855, backed him and his party.
The election, the paper editorialized, pitted "the genuine American, hard-working, self-governing, law-abiding," against "green clod-hoppers" from "every rumhole, every nest of the Irish." Native-born Protestants should set aside their differences and band together against the state's Irish Catholic immigrants, "the hucksters of Rum, Romanism and Slavery," the paper urged.
Minor won re-election, but the anti-immigrant legislation of the previous year proved the high water mark of Know-Nothingism in Connecticut. By 1857, Minor was out of his office and the Know-Nothing party in steep decline. The growing crisis over slavery soon overtook immigration concerns, and many Know-Nothings, including Minor, joined the new Republican Party.
With the Civil War approaching, Gov. William Buckingham, needing military manpower and know-how, revived the state's Irish militias in 1861, including the Ninth or "Irish" Regiment, which fought with distinction throughout the conflict.
"Things like the war helped," Hogan said. "Thousands [of Irish] enlisted. Gradually over time, the old Yankee elements kind of got to realize that the Irish were not very much of a threat and were good."
In 1881, just 26 years after the Know-Nothing takeover of the Capitol, Connecticut elected its first governor of Irish descent, Thomas M. Waller of New London, Hogan said.
While prejudice against the Irish diminished, it did not disappear. A November 1900 Courant ad seeking "a competent girl or middle-aged woman" for domestic work stipulated that "no Irish need apply." In the 1920s, religious bigotry flared anew when Ku Klux Klan membership exploded in the state, as it did nationwide.
Today, few states are as green as Connecticut. People of Irish descent make up nearly one-fifth of the state's population, one of the highest percentages in the nation. Four of the state's last eight governors have been of Irish ancestry, including the current governor, Dannel P. Malloy, and John Dempsey, who was born in the Emerald Isle.
The Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization, founded in 1882 by a priest whose parents emigrated from Ireland, is based in New Haven. Connecticut's many St Patrick's Day parades are among the state's most popular annual events.
Once reviled as aliens who threatened democracy, Connecticut's citizens of Irish descent are today deeply woven into the fabric of the state's life and culture.

Around old Connecticut








The Wappinger





Photograph:This wood engraving shows Dutch colonists meeting with the Wappinger at the end of a war between the two groups.

The Wappinger were a confederacy of Native Americans whose territory in the 17th century spread along the eastern bank of the Hudson River. Primarily based in what is now Dutchess County, New York, their territory bordered Manhattan Island to the south, the Mahican territory bounded by the Roeliff-Jansen Kill to the north, and extended east into parts of Connecticut.

The named bands, or sachemships of the Wappinger included:

Hammonasset, an eastern group at the mouth of the Connecticut River, in present-day Middlesex County, Connecticut

The Wappinger in Red
(The tribe is shown in Red)


Mattabesset, present-day New Haven County, Connecticut

Massaco, along the Farmington River in Connecticut

Siwanoy, coastal Westchester County, New York, into southwestern Fairfield County, Connecticut

Tankiteke, central coastal Fairfield County, Connecticut north into Putnam County and Dutchess County, New York

Tunxis, southwestern Hartford County, Connecticut

Menunkatuck, along the coast in present-day New Haven County, Connecticut

Paugusset, along the Housatonic River, present-day eastern Fairfield County and western New Haven County, Connecticut

Podunk, east of the Connecticut River in eastern Hartford County, Connecticut

Poquonock, western present-day Hartford County, Connecticut

Quinnipiac, in central New Haven County, Connecticut

Sicaog, in present-day Hartford County, Connecticut

Nochpeem, in southern portions of present-day Dutchess County, New York
Recgawawanc

Sintsink, east of the Hudson River in present-day Westchester County, New York

Wecquaesgeek, southwestern Westchester County, New York

Wappinger proper, members lived on the east side of the Hudson River, in present-day Dutchess County, New York

Kitchawank, northern Westchester County, New York



The Harvard Five

"During the late 1940s and 50s, a group of students and teachers from the Harvard Graduate School of Design migrated to New Canaan ... and rocked the world of architectural design"


"Philip Johnson, Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, John M. Johansen and Eliot Noyes – known as the Harvard Five – began creating homes in a style that emerged as the complete antithesis of the traditional build. Using new materials and open floor plans, best captured by Johnson's Glass House, these treasures are being squandered as buyers are knocking down these architectural icons and replacing them with cookie-cutter new builds."

"Other architects, well known (Frank Lloyd Wright, for example) and not so well known, also contributed significant modern houses that elicited strong reactions from nearly everyone who saw them and are still astonishing today ... New Canaan came to be the locus of the modern movement's experimentation in materials, construction methods, space, and form"

The Harvard Five in New Canaan: Mid-Century Modern Houses, by William D. Earls and PureContemporary.com, an online architecture design magazine.

The Rayward-Shepherd House


The Rayward-Shepherd House, also known as Tirranna and as the John L. Rayward House, was designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built in New Canaan, Connecticut in 1955 for Joyce and John Rayward. 

“Tirranna” is an Australian aboriginal word meaning “running waters” – an apt name for this spectacular residence.

 Located right on a pond just off the Noroton River, it features elaborate land and water-scaping. Built of standard concrete block (not Wright's more typical textile block), glass, and Colorundum flooring, and trimmed with Philippine mahogany, most of the house conforms to a hemicycle plan. 

Its living/dining wing overlooks a pool which steps down to a pond and extensive landscaped gardens, designed by Frank Okamura, landscape architect for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Charles Middeleer, a notable local landscape architect, also contributed to the landscape design.

The Rayward House includes a later (1958) extension by Taliesin Associated Architects, featuring an observatory above the master bedroom dressing room, as well as a playhouse for the Raywards’ daughters, Victoria and Jennifer (1957), also designed by TAA, which echoes the hemicycle form of the main house.


The Noroton River

The Noroton River is a 9.4-mile-long (15.1 km) stream flowing into Holly Pond and forming most of the border between Stamford and Darien, Connecticut, USA. The river's headwaters are in New Canaan, Connecticut.

The Siwanoy sachendom of the Wappinger tribe had settled the area before the English came. At the mouth of the river, Indians had a village named "Noroaton".


The area surrounding the river became part of Stamford in the 17th century. In the 1680s, one of the earliest settlements of the English in Darien was founded near the east side of the river, on "Noroton Cove" (the former name of Holly Pond). The settlement included a sawmill built by a dam on the river, just north of where Interstate 95 now crosses it.

Noroton Falls, Noroton River Stamford Connecticut


The Native American Siwanoy or Sinanoy were a band of Algonquian-speaking people, the Wappinger, in what is now the New York City area. By the mid-17th century, when their territory became hotly contested between Dutch and English colonial interests, the Siwanoy were settled along the East River and Long Island Sound between Hell Gate and Norwalk, Connecticut, a territory that included eastern parts of what became the Bronx and Westchester County in New York and southwestern Fairfield County in Connecticut.
<p>20th-century representation of Native Americans from coastal New York (collection of the New Rochelle Public Library).</p>

On June 27, 1654, Thomas Pell, a Connecticut physician, obtained title to a large amount of Siwanoy territory in New York through a treaty with a number of sachems, including Wampage. This included the Pelham Islands and parts of the mainland Bronx and coastal Westchester. New Netherland authorities did not recognize his title. They accused the New Englanders of continued encroachment upon Dutch territory. Pell's coup turned out to be decisive in New York history. A militia of his colonists from Minneford Island (present-day City Island) supported the English naval invasion force that conquered New Amsterdam in 1664.

Thomas Pell died in 1669. Having no children, he left his estate to a nephew, John Pell, son of his brother of the same name. The nephew traveled from England to New York and took up residence at Pelham Manor. The Pell family lived in this area until the Revolutionary War and has remained prominent to the present, with family members including U.S. Ambassador Herbert Pell and U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell. Thomas Pell's grandson Philip Pell II built Pelhamdale at Pelham Manor, New York about 1750.

 (Hence the Pellhams in New York)

The area surrounding the river became part of Stamford in the 17th century. In the 1680s, one of the earliest settlements of the English in Darien was founded near the east side of the river, on "Noroton Cove" (the former name of Holly Pond). The settlement included a sawmill built by a dam on the river, just north of where Interstate 95 now crosses it.
During the Revolutionary War, Stephen Weed was released from the infamous Sugar House Prison in New York City in a prisoner exchange. The New Canaan resident then built a stone fort near his home on the east side of the stream, just south of where Frogtown Road crosses the Noroton.

He steadily insisted that the British would raid the parish and that this line of march would be up the Noroton River valley," according to Charles P. Morton's Landmarks of New Canaan, published by the New Canaan Historical Society in 1951. To the south, Middlesex Parish (which later became the town of Darien) had been raided several times during the Revolution. Weed manned the fort as a precaution against a possible attack for nine years, long after the war was over.

On August 10, 1889, a resident clamming near the mouth of the river reported an encounter with a sea serpent, which he said lifted its head right alongside his boat. He described the beast (in the words of a Boston Daily Globe report) as having "a large black head and its back was a copper color. It ran a big red tongue out of its mouth and emitted a hissing sound."
Various other people along the shore said they, too, saw the creature at the same time and described it as "very long". According to the Globe, "It was seen by over a dozen reputable people and is confirmed by three or four women who got a glance of it and then ran screaming into the woods."

For the next week, people hunted the purported creature up and down the river, but it was never found. "All sorts of things come up the Noroton from time to time," according to the Globe article. "Last year a shark was killed at almost the identical spot where the sea serpent was seen this time."

The Phillips family, heirs of Charles Henry Phillips, who created Phillips Milk of Magnesia, long had a Tudor-style mansion on a four-acre lot along the Noroton River in Glenbrook (where the first Milk of Magnesia factory was located). In the mid-1980s, the property was converted into a condominium development called "River Walk".
Frank Lloyd Wright, working with a landscape architect, Frank Okamura, reshaped a portion of the river running through a 13-acre New Canaan estate for which Wright designed the Rayward-Shepherd House (built between 1956 and 1968). 

Phillips' Milk of Magnesia.


Charles Henry Phillips (1820 – 1882) was an English pharmacist who is universally known for his invention Phillips' Milk of Magnesia. He moved to an estate at 666 Hope St. in Glenbrook, a section of Stamford, Connecticut and established the Phillips Camphor and Wax Company.  It was in Stamford that he concocted and received a patent in 1873 for hydrate of magnesia mixed with water which he called Milk of Magnesia.
Phillips produced milk of magnesia as well as other pharmaceuticals at his Glenbrook firm which incorporated in 1885 as the Charles H. Phillips Company. After Phillips' death in 1882, his four sons ran the corporation until 1923, at which time it was acquired by Sterling Drug, Inc. Phillip's Milk of Magnesia is of course still manufactured today, but the last familiar blue bottle to be filled in Stamford was in 1976 when production at the Glenbrook plant was phased out. It is currently owned by Bayer.

1878 Connecticut Prohibition Party Ticket


William A. Buckingham



William A. Buckingham, "Connecticut's Lincoln," like his more famous counterpart was an obscure politician who rose to the challenge when facing the crucible of the Civil War. Buckingham was elected in Connecticut by the newly formed Republican Party which wanted a non-controversial candidate. The Connecticut heritage web site hyperlinked in the first sentence notes that,
 the leaders of the Republican party on the national level were much impressed by the success of the Connecticut Republicans in running an obscure person for governor. Many of them remembered the lesson in the 1860 convention that nominated Lincoln.

Buckingham's unusual dedication to the Union was evident as soon as the Civil War began:  Buckingham was governor when Fort Sumter was fired on. Because the General Assembly was not in session at the time, Buckingham immediately responded on his own authority to Lincoln's call for volunteers. Within two days, he had begun the process that quickly supplied the Union Army with twice as many men from Connecticut as the president had asked for. In order to equip the recruits, Buckingham borrowed money on his own credit.

Joseph R. Hawley


Joseph R. Hawley was one of the founders of the Republican Party in Connecticut and the editor of the Hartford Evening News in 1857. When the Civil War opened in 1861and President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers, Hawley was reportedly the first to volunteer. He started the war as a captain, saw action, and at the war's end was brevetted a Major General. After leaving the army in 1866 he was elected Governor of Connecticut. While he was Governor he bought the Hartford Courant, which was consolidated with his Evening News, and he was publisher, and sometime editorial writer, of the Courant until his death in 1905. In 1868 he was a delegate and Chairman of the Republican National Convention which nominated Ulysses S. Grant as President. He was a Congressman from Connecticut off and on between 1872 and 1881. During that period, from 1873-76 he was on the United States Centennial Commission and served as its Chairman in the event which culminated in the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876.  From 1881 through 1905 he represented Connecticut in the United States Senate.

1875 Senator Joseph E. Hawley Signed Telegram To Secretary of State Hamilton Fish Concerning William Buckingham Funeral

Ribbon Commemorating the Unveiling of The Statue of Connecticut's Civil War Governor William A. Buckingham

Future Secretary of Treasury and Governor of Connecticut Oliver Wolcott, Jr. Authorizes Payment for 1781 Continental Army War Service of Reuben Cadwell Whose Light Infantry Regiment Served With the Marquis De Lafayette's Division and George Washington in Battle of Yorktown

Jedidiah Huntington1789 Signed Tax Writ to Town of Cheshire


"Received ...per hand of Hon. Roger Sherman Esq., Cash Thirty pounds"


Lawsuit against Gov. John Trumbell

Avon

New Haven

1861 of Putnam Phalanx In Front of Old State House in Hartford

Hartford

Oyster Huts on Milford Point, a sketch by John Warner Barber

The Oyster River is a 4.1-mile-long  flows south through Orange and forms the boundary of West Haven and Orange and further downstream the boundary of West Haven and Milford. It empties into Long Island Sound, just south of Route 162 at Oyster River Point. Swans, box turtles and many other animals call this area home.

In colonial times the area was also known as Clarke’s Point. About 1840, Peter Aims purchased the land from the Clark Family and the area become Aimes Point. The Aimes’ family home, Martinstow, an impressive Gothic structure designed by James Renwick, overlooked the Oyster River and Sound. After the family sold the property in 1949, the name “Aimes Point” slowly went out of common usage and the area became more commonly known as “Oyster River Point”.

Oyster Huts on Milford Point, a sketch by John Warner Barber

The Reverend Henry Ward Beecher

  

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?”

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“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.”

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“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”


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“Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.”

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“All words are pegs to hang ideas on.”

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“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”

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“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.”

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“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

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Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else.

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“Love cannot endure indifference. It needs to be wanted. Like a lamp, it needs to be fed out of the oil of another's heart, or its flame burns low.”

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“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”

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“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is, that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't.”

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“Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself.”

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“Adversity, if for no other reason, is of benefit, since it is sure to bring a season of sober reflection. People see clearer at such times. Storms purify the atmosphere.”

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“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs, jolted by every pebble in the road.”

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“A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.”

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“There are more quarrels smothered by just shutting your mouth, and holding it shut, than by all the wisdom in the world.”
  
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“Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep burning, unquenchable.”

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“No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on the proper occasions."

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“Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.”

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“No man is more cheated than the selfish man.”

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“Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength. ”

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“Now comes the mystery! (last words)”

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“If a man harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all his thinking, damages his personality, makes him landlord to a ghost.”

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“No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is in the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has”

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“There is no friendship, no love, like that of the mother for the child.”

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“I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note - torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one. ”

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“Books are the windows through
which the soul looks out.”

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“A little library, growing every year, is an honorable part of a man’s history. It is a man’s duty to have books.”

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“I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.”

“The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.”

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“Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.”

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“Of all the music that reached farthest into heaven, it is the beating of a loving heart”

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“There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousands truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.”

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“Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.”

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“Pride slays thanksgiving ... A prideful man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.”




By DEBBY APPLEGATE

The Reverend Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) was the most popular and controversial Christian minister in the United States for more than three decades, from the 1850s through the 1880s.  A notoriously paradoxical figure, Beecher was famous both for both his warmhearted liberal theology, which he dubbed “The Doctrine of Love,” and his fiery public crusades.  As he liked to joke, “I am a peace-man, except when I wish to fight.”  

Beecher earned international notoriety as a “political preacher” in the tempestuous decade prior to the American Civil War.  He was a flamboyant antislavery activist, an early champion of the fledgling Republican Party, and an outspoken supporter of the war against the Confederacy, at a time when all of these stands were extremely contentious.  In an era when many Christians believed the Old Testament sanctioned race-based slavery, he showed how the New Testament could be interpreted as repudiating human bondage.  Along with his sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the bestselling novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, Beecher convinced thousands of Americans that the antislavery movement was both godly and socially respectable.

Beecher’s influence extended far beyond religious and political matters.  His irreverent and often iconoclastic opinions on science, psychology, art, entertainment, and popular culture helped liberate Americans from stifling prejudices and outworn conventions, and usher in modern patterns of thought.   As one admirer wrote after his death in 1887, "Abraham Lincoln emancipated men's bodies; Henry Ward Beecher emancipated their minds.  The one delivered them from injustice; the other, from superstition.” 

But Beecher’s reputation as both a preacher and a pundit was nearly eclipsed in 1872 when he was accused of seducing one of his church parishioners.  For two years, the scandal dominated the press and public conversation.  For both his fans and foes, the question of his guilt became a national referendum on all that Beecher had ever said or symbolized.  “We can recall no one event since the murder of Lincoln that has so moved the people as this question whether Henry Ward Beecher is the basest of men," declared the New York Herald in summer of 1874.

Early Life

Henry Ward Beecher was born June 24, 1813, in Litchfield, Connecticut.  His father Lyman Beecher (1775-1863) was Connecticut's most prominent Congregational preacher, at a time when the Nutmeg State was one of the country’s last remaining theocracies, in which every household was taxed to support of the state-sanctioned Congregationalist Church.  Nationally, Lyman was famous as the last of the great Puritan preachers, a fierce promoter of religious revivals, a staunch defender of Calvinist theology, and a pioneering moral reformer and activist.  But Lyman Beecher’s greatest claim to notoriety was as “the father of more brains than anyone in America.”

Lyman instilled all eleven of his children with his sense of divine mission.  All seven of Lyman’s sons became ministers and three of his daughters became renowned public reformers. As the eighth born child, Henry was often intimidated by his brilliant, ambitious siblings and his demanding father.  Although Henry adored Lyman, he felt deeply scarred by what he saw as his father’s harsh theology and his high expectations.  As Henry later lamented, “I supposed myself to be a sinner in the very fact that I did not feel sinful.” 
In 1826, Lyman moved the family to Boston, Massachusetts to fight the rise of religious liberalism in the City of Pilgrims. After a rebellious year attending the Boston Latin School, Henry was sent to finish high school at the Mount Pleasant Classical Institute in rural Amherst, Massachusetts.

Henry entered nearby Amherst College in 1830.  It was the peak of the Christian revival movement later known as the Second Great Awakening, as well as a time of tremendous intellectual ferment on college campuses.  Although a careless student in the classroom, Henry was captivated by the Romantic literature flooding in from Europe and the new popular craze for science.  He learned from both the unorthodox principle that no idea is too sacred to test against practical experience.  Like most of the Beechers, he was also a passionate supporter of the many idealistic reform movements that promised to bring a new moral order to America.

After graduating in 1834, Henry followed his family to Cincinnati, Ohio, the booming capital of the West, where Lyman was appointed president of the newly established Lane Theological Seminary. (Following ecclesiastical tradition, the Beechers preached in Presbyterian rather than Congregational churches when they lived in the West.) 

While studying for the ministry, Henry became embroiled in the increasingly contentious battles over slavery.  In 1834, Lane Seminary split bitterly over the question of whether slavery should be immediately abolished.  Then in the summer of 1836, anti-abolitionist rioters swept through Cincinnati attacking blacks and white abolitionists.  Despite – or perhaps because of -- these traumatic events, in these early years Henry, like the rest of his family, took a cautious stance on the slavery question.  He condemned human bondage as a sin but was reluctant to embrace the radical social and political changes – and the violence -- that abolition would bring. 

Early Career

Henry’s first pastorate was in the rough river town of Lawrenceburgh, Indiana, where he married Eunice Bullard, his college sweetheart from Sutton, Massachusetts.  Eunice went on to give birth to ten children, only four of whom survived to adulthood.  In 1839 he moved to a new church in the fledgling state capital of Indianapolis.

Henry thrived on the western frontier, with its easy manners, wide-open opportunities and unashamed pursuit of happiness.  Preaching constantly in log-cabins and raucous open-air camp revival meetings, he shook off his stiff Yankee training, developing an emotional, melodramatic style all his own.  Soon, he found that the less he preached of his father’s fire-and-brimstone theology and the more he spoke of Christ’s unconditional love and forgiveness, the more people flocked to him.  As his popularity grew and his religion beliefs grew less orthodox, his antislavery views gradually became bolder.

As his reputation rose in the west, Beecher began to attract attention back east.  In 1847, when Beecher was 34, several wealthy New York businessmen recruited the promising young preacher to head a new Congregational church in the up-and-coming suburb of Brooklyn Heights, New York.   Brooklyn was then known as “The City of Churches,” but no one had ever seen a minister like Henry Ward Beecher, with his odd combination of western informality, eastern education and unabashed showmanship.

Beecher behaved more like a jovial farmer than a somber clergymen, without a trace of holier-than-thou.   He shocked the city’s Christians by making jokes from the pulpit, bringing flowers into the church, and inviting his congregation sing the hymns rather than hiring a profession choir, all common practices today.  He blasted pretension and hypocrisy of all kinds, especially religious bigotry. “What is Orthodoxy?” thundered Beecher. “I will tell you. Orthodoxy is my doxy, and Heterodoxy is your doxy, that is if your doxy is not like my doxy.” 

Even more shocking to many Americans was what he called his all-forgiving “Doctrine of Love,” which upended the dogmas of his childhood.  (Opponents gleefully renamed it the “Gospel of Gush.”)  God, he insisted, was not an exacting judge, but a loving parent who wants his children to be happy here on earth as well as after death.  “It is Love the world wants," Beecher proclaimed to startled audiences in the 1850s.  "Higher than morality, higher than philanthropy, higher than worship, comes the love of God.  That is the chiefest thing.”  

While carefully maintaining the mantle of the Protestant establishment, Beecher’s thinking was increasingly influenced by the iconoclastic ideas of the Transcendentalists, with their emphasis on imagination over reason, spontaneity over formality, self-expression over social convention, and individual conscience over the rule of law.   Ralph Waldo Emerson declared Beecher a paragon of  “self-reliance,” and a true Transcendentalist in his own way.  (By contrast, when Bronson Alcott and Henry David Thoreau visited Plymouth Church, Thoreau was deeply offended by Beecher’s vast confidence and flamboyant style, declaring the preacher a “pagan.”) 

  His fellow Brooklynite, the poet Walt Whitman, felt a great kinship with him, making sure that Beecher received a first edition of Leaves of Grass. Whitman was convinced that the preacher, in his words, “stole terrifically from it,” in his sermons.

Within months of his arrival in New York, Beecher was drawing huge audiences with emotional, soul-baring sermons.  Soon his Plymouth Church became one of the first “mega-churches,” boasting some 2,000 official members and regularly filling its 3,000 seat sanctuary.  He became an instant celebrity in the New York press and the building boom in telegraph and railroad lines soon extended his fame across the nation.

Before long Beecher had developed a lucrative side career as a newspaper columnist and a public speaker on the national lecture circuit.  By the eve of the Civil War, Plymouth Church was New York’s number one tourist attraction, so popular that the ferries from Manhattan to Brooklyn were dubbed “Beecher Boats.” 

Antislavery Activism

Emboldened by his success, Beecher took up the anti-slavery cause in earnest in 1850, just as the United States Congress began debating what would become known as the Compromise of 1850.  The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five legislative bills that allowed California to enter the Union as a free state, in exchange for a series of concessions to the South.  The most inflammatory provisions were the Fugitive Slave Laws which required Northern citizens to hunt and return runaway slaves or face jail time and a stiff fine.
It was anger over the Compromise that inspired his older sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, to begin writing her epic antislavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Smashing the social taboo against speaking candidly about slavery, Harriet’s story became an international sensation and the best-selling book of nineteenth-century, second only to the Bible in America, sweeping a generation of readers into the antislavery camp.

Neither Henry nor Harriet were ever radical abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison, who denounced the United States Constitution as a “covenant with death and an agreement with hell” and repudiated any form of Christianity that did not call slavery a sin.   Instead, Henry attracted thousands of converts to the cause by insisting that the Constitution and the Church need not be rejected wholesale, but merely needed to be reformed.  But these moderate views were often overshadowed by his flamboyant stunts and electrifying rhetoric.
Beecher became infamous for sensational stunts, like bringing beautiful light-skinned slave girls up onto the pulpit and then holding “mock slave auctions”, in which he imitated an auctioneer, whipping up the audience until they filled the collection baskets with enough money to buy the freedom of girls.  In the spring of 1856, he outraged even many of his supporters by raising funds to send high powered Sharps rifles – “Beecher’s Bibles” they were nicknamed -- to the antislavery settlers fighting the pro-slavery Ruffians in Kansas.  He turned his massive church in Brooklyn into one of the leading antislavery institutions in the country.

Scorning the taboo against politics in the pulpit, Beecher threw himself into first the Free Soil movement then into the newly formed Republican Party, stumping for its first presidential candidate John C. Fremont in 1856.   During the presidential campaign of 1860, Abraham Lincoln was thrilled when Plymouth Church invited him to speak.   Perhaps fortuitously, at the last moment, snowy weather forced them to switch the venue to Manhattan’s Cooper Union, where Lincoln’s bravura performance was believed to have tipped the election in his favor.  While in New York, Lincoln twice took the ferry to Brooklyn to see Beecher preach. According to one eyewitness, a church usher, Lincoln was spellbound.

When the South seceded, Beecher was a staunch supporter of the war, insisting that good Christians could and should take up arms – not simply to defend the Union but to end the scourge of slavery.  In the fall of 1863, when it was feared the English might ally with the Confederates, Beecher delivered a course of internationally publicized speeches in Great Britain, making the case for the Northern cause.

By the time Henry returned to America in late November of 1863, it was clear that England would remain neutral, cutting off all arms shipments to the Confederacy.  Beecher was hailed as the hero who had turned the tide of international sympathy against the South.  “It is no exaggeration,” said New York Times, to say that these five speeches “have done more for our cause in England and Scotland than all that has been before said or written.”

Others, like the United States’s ambassador to the Court of St. James, Charles Francis Adams, scoffed at this claim.  The preacher modestly agreed, attributing England’s reversal to the military victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. “It was my happy fortune to be there to jar the tree,” he noted. “The fruit that fell was not of my own ripening.”

True enough, Beecher’s speeches revealed how divided were British attitudes toward the United States since the Emancipation Proclamation, making it harder for the southern sympathizing aristocracy to enact pro-Confederate policies.  No less an authority than Robert E. Lee, according to his aide Roger Pryor, believed that were it not for Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Beecher’s speeches, the Confederacy would have secured diplomatic recognition by England and France, whose material and moral aid would have tipped the war to the Rebels.

President Lincoln agreed.  The president considered Beecher’s support for the war so valuable that in April 1865, he personally chose Beecher to speak at the flag raising over the newly-recaptured Fort Sumter, saying, "We had better send Beecher down to deliver the address on the occasion of the raising of the flag because if it had not been for Beecher there would have been no flag to raise."

After the war, Beecher grew bolder with his unconventional ideas and behavior, promoting ideas like women’s suffrage and Darwinian evolution, and announcing that he no longer believed in many core Christian concepts, like hell.  He parlayed his notoriety into a small fortune, syndicating his sermons, appearing in advertisements for products like throat lozenges and insurance companies, writing a best-selling novel and editing The Christian Union, a popular family newspaper.

Sexual Scandal

Then in 1870, at the height of his career, Beecher was accused by his former friend and protégé, the journalist Theodore Tilton, of seducing Tilton’s wife Elizabeth, one of Beecher’s most pious parishioners.  Elizabeth Tilton, herself, added to the turmoil by first seeming to confess to the adultery, then emphatically denying it.  Beecher and his allies were able to suppress Tilton’s accusations until October, 1872, when Victoria Woodhull, the radical feminist, free-lover, entrepreneur and clairvoyant, published the story, sparking a firestorm in the national press.  Suddenly Beecher’s “Gospel of Love” seemed to rationalize a life of lust. 

The ensuing scandal climaxed in 1875 when Tilton sued the preacher in civil court on the charge of “criminal conversation.”  After six months of heated testimony and feverish newspaper coverage, the jury deadlocked 9 to 3 in favor of Beecher’s innocence.  Tilton’s charges were dismissed, leaving public opinion bitterly divided.

After the trial, Beecher continued to preach in Plymouth Church and comment on public affairs.  He also continued to confound his critics with his seemingly contradictory impulses.  He was decried as reactionary for criticizing the striking laborers during the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, and condemned as dangerously liberal for opposing the anti-immigrant Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.  After decades of campaigning for Republic presidential candidates, in 1884 he backed Grover Cleveland, a Democrat who was accused of fathering a child out of wedlock.  But such controversies only fueled the demand for him as a public speaker.

Beecher remained beloved in many quarters, despite his battered reputation.  When the preacher died on March 8, 1887, the city of Brooklyn declared a day of mourning.  Representatives from New York’s Jewish, Catholic, Chinese and African-American communities marched in the procession to his burial plot in Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery.

In the 20th century Beecher’s stature declined, as the cultural changes he had championed became so commonplace that many Americans took them for granted.  Instead, Beecher was often depicted as a mere sentimental buffoon and libertine.  Ironically, the man who spent his life fighting bigotry and stifling social conventions became, in death, a symbol of Victorian social hypocrisy.


While carefully maintaining the mantle of the Protestant establishment, Beecher’s thinking was increasingly influenced by the iconoclastic ideas of the Transcendentalists, with their emphasis on imagination over reason, spontaneity over formality, self-expression over social convention, and individual conscience over the rule of law.