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he resigned I never knew. But twenty-five years is for America an extraordinarily long pastorate, and sometimes the minister, like the statesman, wishes to test his constituency, and the only way he has of asking for a vote of confidence is to offer his resignation. If Dr. Jewett resigned because he desired a vote of confidence, he had given to him such a vote in the most significant manner possible. The church met his resignation by giving him a year's vacation and agreeing to provide for the pulpit during his absence. It was to furnish this supply that I had come to Terre Haute. The month after my arrival his resignation was repeated. A council of churches was called, as is customary in such cases, to give its counsel. It advised the church to accept the resignation, and the church acted on this advice, but not without serious opposition. The church accepted the resignation by a vote of thirty-six to twelve; the congregation by fifty-seven to fifty. Despite repeated invitations, Dr. Jewett never preached in the pulpit of that church again, though once he united with me in administering the communion and once joined with me and other ministers in speaking at a union meeting.
The inevitable result followed: a division of the church and congregation for the time into two factions-Jewettites and Abbottites. Under these circumstances, had we left at the close of the summer, our leaving would have converted a comparatively quiet difference of sentiment into an open church quarrel.
It would have been said with truth that I had been driven from my post; would have seemed to be, and in fact would have been, a soldier's desertion of his post because it was a post of difficulty. Neither my wife nor I had any desire to be "quitters." I had no reason to doubt the loyalty of the church and the congregation as a whole. "The strong men of the church," I wrote to my father-in-law, are all united, and only one of any strength financially in the congregation is at all disaffected, and I do not think he is." Our confidence in the church was expressed in the best possible way, by hiring a house for the rest of the season for which I was originally engaged-that is, until the spring of 1861.
The threatened division in the church was not our only problem. In the summer of 1860 God had given us our second child, a daughter. This was one reason why we had gone to housekeeping. How to support a
wife and two children on one thousand dollars a year, and live and dress as the pastor of the most aristocratic and influential church in the city was expected to live and dress, was an economic problem of no little difficulty.
There are two ways of carrying out my father's wise advice, “Always spend less than you earn." One is to decrease expenditures; the other is to increase income. If you pursue the first course, you take what is coming to you and expend no more. If you pursue the second course, you make a budget of your needs and proceed to earn it. We pursued both courses. I had read in John Stuart Mill that it is a fair division of labor between husband and wife if the husband earns the money and the wife expends it. Always has it seemed to me a shameful humiliation for a husband to require his wife to come to him for every item of money she wants as she wants it. My wife had an allowance paid to her as regularly as my money was paid to me. The allowance was determined in conference between us, and its amount depended on our annual income. My wife set her wits to work to keep household and personal expenses within this allowance. The only fault that I could ever find with her administration was that too large a share of the allowance went to the household, too small a share to herself.
In choosing our one-storied cottage for our residence we had cut our garment according to our cloth. It was a very small garment; but then we had very little cloth. My memory of this cottage home is of the vaguest. As I recall it, on one side of a little hallway was our bedroom; on the other side the parlor. Off the parlor was a little cubbyhole of a room, just big enough for a table and one chair. This was my study. The few books I possessed found book-room in the parlor. But as it was much more important that I should know my people than that I should know my books, this was not a serious disadvantage. How often have I come out of that study into the parlor for a book entirely oblivious of the caller sitting there, until my wife waked me out of my dreamland with the words, "Lyman, Mrs. is calling on us!" How often did I in my absent-mindedness cut the people of my parish in the street! I wonder they never resented it. Perhaps sometimes they did, and my absent-mindedness prevented me from recognizing their resentment.
While my wife saved money I set to work
to earn some. I began sending occasional contributions to the Eastern press, chiefly to the Boston "Recorder," one of the ancestors of the Boston" Congregationalist," and to the New York" Independent;" also occasionally one to the "Wabash Magazine," a publication of Wabash College at Crawfordsville, Indiana. I think I never wrote unless I had something which I wished to say to another audience than my Terre Haute congregation. The pay was very little; often there was none. But at a time when an unexpected bill of ten dollars kept me awake half the night wondering how I could meet it, a very little payment was gladly welcomed. Two years later my Uncle John was engaged in writing for a subscription publisher a history of the Civil War-writing as the war progressed. He employed me to write for him an account of the Western campaign, though this was not until the year 1863.
A more immediate source of income in that first year, 1860-1, was teaching. As I was the latest comer to the Terre Haute pulpit, it was natural to invite me to give the Commencement address in the summer of 1860 for the Terre Haute Female College. The literary reputation of the Abbott family was sufficient to justify the appointment. I had never heard of the composite authorship of the Pentateuch, or of the priestly and the prophetic documents; but I recognized, as the most casual reader of Genesis cannot fail to recognize, that it contains two stories of the creation and that they are not altogether harmonious. The first chapter declares that God made man in his own image "male and female created he them "the woman as truly in the divine image as the man. The third chapter declares that God made man first and woman as an afterthought to be his "helpmeet.' This contrast furnished the basis of my Commencement address. The world, I said, has accepted the second narrative; has treated woman as made for man; and has shaped and fashioned her education accordingly. She has sometimes been his servant, sometimes his parlor ornament, sometimes his companion; but always measured by her adaptation to his service. The first narrative furnishes us with a very different ideal of woman and her place in creation. She is no more made for man than man for her. They are made for each other. It is true that to be a wife and a mother is the highest function a woman can fulfill. But it is no less true
that to be a husband and a father is the highest function a man can fulfill. She is no more to be educated for him than he is to be educated for her; no more to be educated to be a wife and a mother than he is to be a husband and a father. She is to be educated to be a woman, as he is to be a man.
This was more radical doctrine then than now; though as far removed from John Stuart Mill's doctrine that there is no inherent difference between man and woman as it is from the barbarian's doctrine that the difference is that between a superior and an inferior.
The address attracted some attention and was welcomed by the college as a true interpretation of its ideals; and in the autumn I was engaged for a time to act as chaplain to the college and to teach the senior.class philosophy. At the same time I had an opportunity to do some tutoring in my home for a private pupil. My wife, in a letter to her father, gave the following account of my pastoral and other activities:
'Lyman has gone to the death-bed of a lady, a prominent member of the church and a valuable member of society. On Monday a gentleman, a member of our church, accidentally shot himself while on his way home from a hunting expedition which he had undertaken for the benefit of his health, and lived but a moment. Last night a young man died—a son of another church member. If Lyman keeps well under all this pressure, I shall be very thankful. His duties at the college and the student who recites to him daily occupy a good share of the forenoon, and then his sermon, Bible class, and church meetings must be prepared for, and all the duties which sickness and death bring to a pastor are a heavy load for him to carry. Then at night he is a good deal disturbed by the children; and of course much of the household care comes upon him."
To this letter I added a protesting postscript. "Abby is mistaken. She positively refuses to let me hold the baby for five consecutive minutes. She is working a great Ideal harder than I am." An amusing incident confirms this postscript. One night, after my wife had been up with the baby for several hours, and finally succeeded in getting her to sleep, I insisted that she go into an adjoining room for at least an hour's nap and leave baby in my charge, and this she very reluctantly consented to do. She had hardly fallen asleep when she was awakened by hearing the baby crying, and the cradle-for
in those days we believed in cradles-thumping against the side of the bed. In vain she tried to sleep. At last, overcoming her reluctance to disappoint me by taking back her charge from my ineffective hands, she got up and came into the room. The baby was kneeling in the crib, rocking it vigorously to and fro, and pouring her woes into my ear while I slept on undisturbed. My wife quieted the baby, got into bed, and went to sleep; and I never knew what had happened until she told me in the morning when I complained to her that she had not slept the night out in the adjoining room. I have never been a good night nurse, but perhaps the fact that I am so sound a sleeper may have something to do with my general good health and my quick recovery from occasional disease.
It is easier to report a man's labors than his wife's economies. They are so minute that he rarely knows them, and so habitual that she is hardly conscious of them. I have come across some letters of my wife's written to her father about this time, which will give a better idea of some of our household perplexities and how they were met than I could possibly give. From them I select
Have just come from market—it is not yet five o'clock. The market house is but a short distance from here, and as soon as it is light we can see people hastening there. This is the first year market has been opened every morning. we cannot get meat elsewhere, and in the hot weather people do not like to get meat to keep over a day. I should guess there were some fifteen or twenty meat stalls inside the market. The countrymen with butter, eggs, fruit, and vegetables stand outside.
"To-day, the 26th of June, there were new potatoes, young beets, turnips, onions, radishes, lettuce, cabbages, green peas, 'string' beans, carrots, spring chickens, red and black raspberries, currants, cherries, green gooseberries; I saw no strawberries, though there were some in town last evening. Shall I tell you what I got? First, a little piece of beefsteak for dinner. I shall not be at home, Lyman is away, so I got a very small piece for a dime; three bunches of beets (five in each), a dime; two quarts of 'string' beans, a dime; two pounds of butter, two dimes; two spring chickens, alive, two dimes; three
Illinois, and another gentleman, a member of
quarts raspberries, three dimes. The chickens Illinoegation but not of the church, the
are for supper for Lyman, who will, we expect, come home this afternoon."
The servant problem appears to have been in all ages of the world and in all communities unsolved if not unsolvable. I sometimes wish that a part of the feminine energies which are now being directed to the determination of political issues could be directed to deciding aright the more important question how so to adjust and administer the home as to make domestic service a recognized and honored vocation. There were in Terre Haute in 1860-5 some peculiar difficulties in this problem. There was in the city no intelligence office to which servants could go to find a place or housekeepers to find a servant. If a lady wished a maid, she told her friends, the report of her need was circulated, and if any friend of hers knew of a maid, or any friend of a maid seeking a place happened to hear of this lady, the information was given. This process produced sometimes singular servants and, I presume, also singular mistresses. One maid I happen to remember whose perpetual surprise furnished us with perpetual amusement. She had come from southern Illinois, popularly dubbed
Egypt." She looked on with wonder when my wife rolled the dining-table to one side to sweep, for never before had she seen a table "on wheels;" when, in dusting the piano, the keys struck the wires and some notes were sounded, she expressed her bewilderment by the phrase, Why, the critter speaks, doesn't he?" When my wife lighted the gas, she fled in terror half-way across the room from the magic which brought a flame of fire from the wall. But the climax came when she asked my wife to lend her a " ridding comb." My wife caught her desire for a fine-tooth comb, and the reason for the name she gave it more quickly than I did.
Despite my additional earnings, which were small, and my wife's economies, which were great, we should have found it difficult indeed to live within our income had it not been for the chronic hospitality of our people. Their gifts were of almost daily occurrence. Fruits and vegetables from the gardens and bakings from the kitchens were continually left by considerate parishioners at our cottage door. I recall one young man, who was more familiar with the game of poker than with either church or prayer-meeting, who used to bring to us prairie chickens on his return from his hunting expeditions in the neighboring State of
the credibitabil scan of
horses, who, when he was in town, came every few weeks to take my wife and, when my engagements permitted, myself for a drive. One summer my wife went East with the children. In her absence I was not allowed to live at home, but was made the guest of different households in the congregation. I accepted these invitations not to save money, but to save myself from homesickness; but they did save money.
So the summer wore away and the fall came on. Meanwhile came another cause of anxiety, far more serious than either the division in the church or the meager salary. The slavery question had driven all other questions out of politics. The issue as we look upon it now seems simple, but it did not seem simple then. It had destroyed the old parties and created new ones. The Whig party was dead; by its rejection of the great leader Daniel Webster and by its fatuous nomination of General Scott for the Presidency it had denied itself even an honorable burial. Some of the old Whigs joined the young Republican party, others the short-lived Native American party, others the National Democratic party. For the same issue which had destroyed the Whigs had divided the Democratic party into two irreconcilable wings. One, led by John Cabell Breckinridge, stood for the extreme Southern doctrine that Negro slavery was wholly just and that it was the right of the Southern slaveholder to take his property with him, not only into the National Territories, but into the Northern States. The logical advocates of this doctrine frankly declared that the sympathies of the world were against their contention. The Northern wing, led by Stephen A. Douglas, sought to compromise the irreconcilable conflict between the slave and free civilizations by leaving the first settlers in each Territory to determine the rights of both sections in that Territory. The Republican party pledged itself to no further extension of slavery; but the Republican party, as the election of Abraham Lincoln showed, had only a plurality, not a majority, of the voters, and was itself far from united. Its constituents included men who were as hostile to slavery as the abolitionists, but who thought the programme of the abolitionists impractical, and men as indifferent to slavery as the Douglas Democrats, but who thought the device of "squatter sovereignty "no solution