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What influence of all the world's professors and teachers tells so strongly on the habit of a man's mind, as those gentle droppings from a mother's ips, which, day by day and hour by hour, grow into the enlarging stature of his soul, and live with it for ever?
They can hardly be mothers who aim at a broader and noisier field; they have forgotten to be daughters; they must needs have lost the hope of being wives.
Woman's true sphere is in the cheerful and happy homes, wherever they may be; whether in country or in town; in the crowded city, or in the log-cabin of those forerunners of civilization, the restless borderers, who, although shunning the haunts of man, yet gradually prepare the way for refinement and Christianity.
One of the greatest monarchs that ever sat upon a throne, (Napoleon, whose instinct discovered genius in whatever garb,) in a conversation with one of the many distinguished women with which his court was adorned, asked her in what way he could best promote the happiness, of his subjects. The reply was: “Educate the mothers of France."
Did not the answer indicate a true knowledge of human nature; for who ean doubt that it is upon the early influences of home, that every community must rely for those principles of virtue and truth; of industry and humanity; of a love for the Infinite Father and his finite children, which are the only foundations of a good government, and of a happy people ?
Yes, it is woman's province, within the holy circle of home, to instill into the minds of the children of the republic, its future rulers and law-givers, its artisans and merchants, its fathers and mothers of coming generations, the gentle truths of religion, of duty to God and man; to fit for the battle of life, to weave the light but invulnerable armor that shields from sin and temptation; to render home happy.
Home! that sweetest of words, that dearest of realities, the ever-sought refuge, both for the body and the mind, from the cares and perplexities of life. Home! this is woman's highest, noblest field of duty.
I will, therefore, offer as a sentiment: "The memory of the mothers of that inflexible band of patriots, to whom we are
indebted for whatever of influence and happiness we enjoy, as citizens of this great confederacy of States."
The following letters were now read:
CONCORD, Oct. 10, 1854. “ GENTLEMEN : I had hoped until now to be present at the family gathering around the monument of our ancestor, Colonel Benjamin Bellows.
“But 1 regret to say, that my duties require my attendance at the court now in session at this place.
“Allow me to assure you, however, that I sympathize very heartily in this expression of affectionate veneration for the unblemished name and high character which he has bequeathed to his descendants.
"I will thank you to convey to such of our family as may be present tomorrow, assurances of my brotherly affection, and of regret for absence on this occasion. “I am, gentlemen, very cordially your kinsman,
« H. A. BELLOWS. “BENJAMIN B. GRANT, and others, Committee.
I propose the following sentiment : “The descendants of Colonel Benjamin Bellows: May the virtues which adorned
his life continue to reside among his descendants, and may they, although widely-scattered, be ever drawn together by the cords of affection, springing from a respect for the family character."
Letter from John S. Wells, Esq., of Exeter, N. H.:
“EXETER, N. H., Sept. 28, 1854. "MY DEAR Sir: I deeply regret my inability to accept your kind invitation, to attend with my wife the family gathering of her kinsmen at the home of her ancestors, on the 11th of October next. But my engagements in the court, which will then be in session, are such, that they will deprive me of the pleasure of joining you.
“Aside from the object of the gathering, to lay the foundation of a monument, to commemorate the virtues of him who founded your beautiful town, and by his fearless bravery infused energy into every arm, and confidence into all hearts, in times of trial and personal danger, the meeting must be one of great social interest.
“The wild and terrific scenes of the French and findian wars will, I presume, come up before you, both in song and story. The exciting occurrences of frontier life, as they will be recounted, will appear to the youth like tales of a vivid imagination ; but when they realize the accuracy of the description of the murderous savage yells, and of the dying shrieks of the white men, who fell in defense of friends and home, it will thrill the lifeblood of them all.
“The mind will be carried back to the early and rude condition of the territory, which the sagacious Founder selected to become the spot around which the hearts of his numerous descendants would cluster with deep and abiding affection, and with which the passing stranger is now so often delighted.
“Your hearts will all be pained when the misty figures of the departed kinsmen shall be brought up before you. Strong minds, and kind and noble hearts, lived in those airy forms. They were a happy and joyous people, they sat at generously-loaded boards, and the doors of their homes were always open. They regarded New-England as strong men cherish their fatherland, but loved their native Walpole with the intensity of woman's devotion.
“The splendid natural scenery around you will be referred to, as the great unchanged objects which link the present with the past; and it will, I fancy, delight you all to realize that so numerous a company of the descend. ants are placing their concentrated gaze upon those objects, which so often charmed and delighted their ancestors. Let them trace the winding Connecticut, threading its way through the rich and smooth-rolled meadows, to the far-off rolling sea. Then scan the wild and rugged hills and mountains, near and far away, tinged with the varied colors which the autumnal frosts of New-England peculiarly produce; and then say is, in all their Wanderings, their eyes have rested upon scenery more beautiful than that which the Founder of Walpole was charmed to look upon.
“You will consider, in connection with the virtues of the man whose memory you design to perpetuate, the means adopted for that purpose; and I dare say will all agree that nothing more appropriate could be devised. I would that more columns were set up in our land, that the virtues of the good and great might be constantly kept in mind by the pillars erected to perpetuate the memory of their valued deeds. And may the monument which the descendants of Colonel Bellows design to erect, stimulate them and their descendants to that exertion which will insure them, if not the honor of bronze or marble columns, the love, gratitude, and respect, not only of kith and kin, but of all who love our country, and its cherished institutions. May they realize the value of a free government, and the cost and trials requisite to create and preserve it. May they regard our national Constitution as of priceless value, and resolve never to dim the lustre of the good name of their worthy ancestor, by sympathy with those who would prostrate that unmatched structure, which our revolutionary fathers set up, the American Union. “ Most respectfully yours,
"JOHN S. WELLS."
Letter from Abel IIerbert Bellows, Esq., of Concord, N. H.:
“CONCORD, N. H., Tuesday evening, 10 P.M., Oct. 10, 1854. * B. B. GRANT, Esq., Chairman of the Monument Committee:
“DEAR SIR: I regret extremely that professional engagements will prevent my being present at the consecration of the monument to the memory of our common ancestor; and that I can not join the family circle assembled to pay a tribute of respect to the name and virtues of one who was truly " without fear and without reproach.”
“It has occurred to me that while the material results of our ancestor's labors are palpable in the prosperous and thriving community which has sprung up around his first settlement, we may not perhaps have properly estimated the silent influence of his noble traits of character upon generation after generation of his descendants; for who can tell how often the light of that example, shining down upon us through a hundred years, may have prompted to the generous and disinterested act; or how often it may have revealed in their true colors, temptations to abandon the path of honor and rectitude ? This is the great legacy he has bequeathed to us, more valuable than farms or meadow-lands, and for this does he deserve our gratitude, and the erection of a lofty monument; and I will therefore give you as a sentiment:
Honesty and uprightness of character, illustrated in the life of Colonel Benjamin
Bellows, pearls without price: May each of his descendants inherit them as heirlooms, and prize them as their choicest possession.
“I am, in great haste, very truly your friend and cousin,
" A. HERBERT BELLOWS."
Letter from Rev. Thomas Hill, of Waltham, Mass.:
“CONCORD, N. H., Oct. 9, 1854. “B. B. GRANT, Esq. :
“My DEAR SIR: I am sorry that professional duties will prevent my being with you on the 11th instant, and joining with you in the exercises of the day. Be assured that I am with you in the feeling of veneration for your honored ancestor, and that I am proud that my children also may claim a descent from him, whose noblest monument may be found in the records of the history of his State, and in the present and increasing prosperity of the town which he founded.
“Give my cordial good wishes to the members of the family that may assemble with you on Wednesday, and allow me to offer a Scriptural wish for the occasion : Walpole: 'It shall be said, This and that man was born in her; and the Highest himself shall establish her.'
The reading of the letters was followed by remarks from Rev. H. W. Bellows.
Rev. Mr. Bellows, in proposing the health of his absent cousins, H. A. Bellows, Esq., A. Herbert Bellows, Esq., Hon. Mr. Wells, Rev. Thomas Hill, G. G. Bellows, Esq., Mr. F. W. G. Bellows, and Mr. George Grant, all of whom had been confidently expected, and on whose presence the interest of the occasion so much depended, had a debt of obligation to acknowledge to Mr. Herbert Bellows in especial, for his patient and sagacious investigations at the State House at Concord, which had supplied him with the most valuable materials for his address. He owed much also to Rev. Mr. Knapp, much to Mr. Lyman Watkins, much to Mr. Charles Lincoln, and much to his venerable aunts and uncles, Mrs. Robeson and Mr. Abel Bellows, for their contributions of facts, dates, and recollections. Mr. Lincoln, in particular, had kindly thrown open to him all the various sources, in which he had found any information touching the history of the town, which it was to be hoped he would finally carry out his purpose of writing in full; and Mr. Watkins, by his wonderful memory and curious taste for local anti
quity, had revived or imparted valuable recollections. Dr. Morse, too, by his published sketches in the Cheshire Gazette, on which he had so freely drawn to-day, deserved his marked and grateful acknowledgments, which he was interested in making acceptable to him, as a propitiation for having stolen considerable of whatever animation belonged to the account of the Kilburn fight, from his writings. But far beyond any thanks due to these kindly helpers, went his gratitude to “Cousin Herbert,” who had fairly exhausted the materials in the Capitol, and for weeks kept the mail freighted with his contributions of new facts and incidents bearing on the family history. Without his aid, the author of the address would not have been able to move a step. But besides general historical information, Mr. Herbert Bellows had contributed some of the best characterization, many of the most amusing anecdotes, and some of the happiest narrative in the address. True, it had all been worked over, but the author found it difficult to improve many of the thoughts and expressions in his cousin's off-hand sketches. He should be most ungrateful, not to make his kinsmen aware, that though deprived of Cousin Herbert's presence to-day, no one had contributed more substantially to the interest of the occasion, or had at heart a livelier sympathy with the ceremonies of the day.
In regard to the much-regretted absence of so many distinguished cousins, there was a ground of proud consolation. They were too important, and actively useful in their several posts of duty at home, to be assembled at any one place, on any given occasion, however interesting. The business of the country could not be stopped ; the courts locked in their sessions; the ecclesiastical conventions robbed of their eloquence; judges, juries, and witnesses brought to a stand; pulpits, parishes, and patients vacated and abandoned, that their family meeting might go on more successfully, and with the decoration of all its jewels! No! the pillars of society must stand in their places, and not gather about the monument of our Founder; and considering that their absent cousins were performing Atlantean duty, and keeping the cope of the social system from falling in, he thought a proud satis. faction might be wrung from the bitter disappointment their absence had caused, in a generous construction of the social necessity for it. He proposed the health of “The professional members of the family absent on this occasion," with this sentiment, excusing their absence from our ranks on this monumental occasion :
"The pillars of society can not move in family columns."
Rev. Dr. Bellows desired, as a final word, to convey to the President of the occasion, B. F. Grant, Esq., his own, and he was sure the universal, thanks of the company, for his invaluable services in every part of the long and laborious enterprise, so happily crowned to-day. When it was recollected that some 1200 descendants of Colonel Bellows had to be hunted up; their names, history, and present abode discovered and considered; that guesses and estimates of their willingness and ability to aid the monumental effort, had to be shrewdly made, that every body's feelings might be duly regarded ; that circulars must be skillfully written, printed, and distributed, twice or