Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Arcount of Mrs. Brecher towe

aud her family.

BY A N A L A B A MA MAN.

The family to which Mrs. Stowe belongs, is more widely and favourably known than almost any

other in the United States. It consists of the following persons :

1. Rev. Lyman Beecher, the father, Doctor of Divinity, ex-President of Lane Theological Seminary, and late pastor of a Presbyterian Church at Cincinnati, Ohio.

2. Rev. William Beecher, pastor at Chilicothe, Ohio.

3. Rev. Edward Beecher, pastor at Boston, Massachusetts.

4. Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, pastor at Brooklyn, Long Island.

5. Rev. Charles Beecher, pastor at Newark, New Jersey

(5)

6. Rev. Thomas Beecher, pastor at Williams burg, New Jersey.

7. Rev. George Beecher, deceased several years since. His death was caused by the accidental discharge of a gun.

At the time he was one of the most eminent men in the Western Church.

8. Mr. James Beecher, engaged in commercial business at Boston.

9. Miss Catharine Beecher. 10. Mrs. Harriet B. Stowe. 11. Mrs. Perkins. 12. Mrs. Hooker.

Twelve! the apostolic number. And of the twelve, seven apostles of the pulpit, and two of the pen,

after the manner of the nineteenth century. Of the other three, one has been swept into commerce by the strong current setting that way in America; and the other two, wives of lawyers of respectable standing, and mothers of families, have been absorbed by the care and affections of domestic life. They are said to be no way inferior, in point of natural endowments, to the nine who have chosen to play their parts in life before a larger public. Indeed, persons who know intimately all the twelve, are puzzled to assign superiority to any one of them. With the shades of difference which always obtain between individual characters, they bear a striking resemblance to each other, not only physically, but intellectually and morally. All of them are about the common size—the doctor being a trifle below it, and some of the sons a trifle above itneither stout nor slight, but compactly and ruggedly built. Their movements and gestures have much of the abruptness and want of grace common in Yankee land, where the opera and dancing school are considered as institutions of Satan. Their features are large and irregular, and though not free from a certain manly beauty in the men, are scarcely redeemed from homeliness in the women by the expression of intelligence and wit which lights them up, and fairly sparkles in their bluish gray eyes.

All of them have the energy of character, restless activity, strong convictions, tenacity of purpose, deep sympathies, and spirit of 'self-sacrifice, which are such invaluable qualities in the character of propagandists. It would be impossible for the theologians among them to be mem

bers of any other church than the church militant. Father and sons, they have been in the thickest of the battles fought in the church and by it; and always have moved together in solid column. To them questions of scholastic theology are mummeries, dry and attractionless ; they are practical, living in the real present, dealing with questions which palpitate with vitality. Temperance, foreign and home-missions, the influence of commerce on public morality, the conversion of

young men, the establishment of theological seminaries, education, colonization, abolition, the political obligations of Christians; on matters such as these do the Beechers expend their energies. Nor do they disdain taking an active part in public affairs; one of them was appointed at New York City to address Kossuth on his arrival. What is remarkable is that, though they have come in violent collision with many of the abuses of American society, their motives have never been seriously attacked. This exemption from the ordinary lot of reformers is owing not only to their consistent disinterestedness,' but to a certain Yankee prudence, which prevents their advancing without being sure of battalions behind

« ZurückWeiter »