Syracuse University Library
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Oneida Community Collection

Old Mansion House Memories By One Brought Up In It

Worden, Harriet M.

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Call number: Oneida HX656.O54 W92 1950o

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Old Mansion House




"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
Ps. 133:1



[South view of the Old Mansion House from a drawing by Mrs. C.A. Miller in 1851 and
The Old Mansion House, the Children's House and the New Brick Mansion about 1863]
[The "court" of the Old Mansion House seen from the South, about 1865. 
A pleasant place in summer from small family "bees"]
[Harriet Worden, about 1865 (age 25)]
[Croquet on the lawn south of the Old Mansion House, about 1869]

AUGUST 18, 1950


THESE reminiscences of the early years of the Oneida Community were written by Pierrepont B. Noyes' mother, Harriet M. Worden, and the chapters were printed intermittently during 1871 and early 1872 in the CIRCULAR, the Community's weekly journal. They provide a vivid account of the daily lives of the Oneida Community men and women during the years when most of the founders were in their prime. Of the families that joined in 1848-1819, almost half were between 20 and 30 years old and about the same number were between 30 and 40, so that as a group they were young and enthusiastic as well as deeply religious. The years between 1848 and 1870 were the Community's time of financial struggle, of hardship and austerity in living. but also the time of greatest religious aspiration and withal perhaps their happiest period.

John Humphrey Noyes had engaged the loyalty of many of his followers during the religious revivals and social experiments of the 1830's. Long-time readers of his publications had found in them what they felt to be a superior logic and spirituality and welcomed the opportunity to join forces at Oneida in 1848 in the effort to attain Bible Communism. Since the Community's religion was founded on Bible study, the traditional basis of their New England faith, it was not unnatural that by the end of the Putney period the Perfectionists looked for and seemed to find "miracles." During the first hard years at Oneida, "miracles" continued to strengthen their faith, and a series taken to be notable were the reduction of the debts due to the State by special legislative action, the escape from cholera which was raging when J. H. Noyes' party reached Brooklyn in 1849, and the escape from yellow fever after their return. Later the miraculous element was allowed to fade into the faith in 'special providences" of which we hear in "Mv Father's House" as the very stuff of Community life.

Nowhere does the continuity of the past with the present seem clearer than on the "south terrace" where children have continued to play winter and summer through the very different circumstances of the "Children's House" and "Joint Stock." But once the south slope was largely hidden by a tall, sprawling, wooden building which was a center of adult activity. The Old Mansion House was built against the hill and faced south towards the "Indian saw mill." The wooden Children's House, which stood just to the north, was moved across the road to become a school building in 1869 (it is now The Elms), and in 1870, upon the completion of the south wing and South Tower of the new brick Mansion, it was reluctantly decided to tear down the Old Mansion House. It stood only 10 or 15 feet from the new South Tower, and with its wooden extensions to the west the fire hazard was considerable.

As evidenced by the construction of the new Community dwelling, prosperity had arrived by the time these memories were being written. This was tile result of a marked success in business, particularly in the manufacture and sale of traps. Around 1870 money became easier, outside labor was hired and business management and selling increased in importance. In the fall of 1869 the Midland Railway (now the New York, Ontario & Western) was finished and soon began running excursions of hundreds of summer visitors, putting the Community on display, as it were.

The advent of the railroad was hailed by the editors of the CIRCULAR, who wrote "The Midland has hit the mark, giving us a depot within a stone's throw of our printing office; which will be handy for a daily paper when the time comes. . . Since the lightning has taken charge of the news, it makes little difference where a press is stationed if it has a telegraph office at hand." The CIRCULAR, of which Harriet Worden became editor in 1873, called itself "A weekly journal of home, science and general intelligence." "Writing for the paper" was a cherished ambition and joy participated in by a surprising proportion of the members. Harriet Worden's articles give evidence of the wide cultural interests of the Community. They had an eager desire for self-improvement, and classes in languages, literature, mathematics and history were attended by members of all ages. Natural history was a prime pursuit and a subject for delightful articles. In 1874 it was remarked that two perennial topics in the CIRCULAR had been

the tulip tree and the "nursery kitchen." Both are still with us -- the tree, magnificent still, the sole relic of the original Children's Yard of 1851, and the kitchen the most recognizable relic of the Children's House of 1870.

Harriet Worden was brought to the Community from Manlius, N.Y., by her father in June, 1819, as a motherless girl of almost nine, with two younger sisters. She received the whole of her education within the Community. Although people were rotated in their jobs frequently, Harriet Worden probably spent more time in the CIRCULAR printing office than most of the women because of her competence first, no doubt, as a typesetter and proofreader, but later as a reporter and writer and finally as editor.

In her chapters on the musical affairs of the Community, the author is modest respecting her part in promoting and participating in them. Here are her own words in a general family discussion of the subject in 1874: 'I sang simply because I loved to sing. It was the greatest pleasure I knew. I was full of enthusiasm to study music and sought every opportunity to improve myself." She was an enthusiastic supporter of all sorts of entertainments in the Hall for young and old, musical, instrumental and vocal, as well as dancing and games. in the '80's there were frequent dances in the Hall, from 8 to 10 in the evening, and the lively and adequate orchestra usually consisted of Harriet Worden at the piano and Henry Filley from Turkey Street on the violin. There were squares, waltzes, schottisches and always the "Spanish Dance" and a Virginia Reel.

She was a warm-hearted, vital person, a friend to all, and especially fond of young people. Her "Memories" of the early years in the Old Mansion House show the same perceptiveness and the same deep affection for the Community 'family" that we find in Pierrepont B. Noyes' recollections of his own Oneida childhood in "My Father's House."

The newly made terrace south of the present brick mansion marks the spot where, only a few weeks ago, stood our old house; and that pile of timber yonder, those rough boards, covered with paint, that heap of lath with the plastering still adhering, were component parts of it. For twenty-two years it had stood there; rough and brown, and homely to be sure, but dear to every member of the Oneida Community. Long and well it served us for a dwelling, and we shall not soon forget it. The dear old house! How we loved it! What a multitude of tender associations are linked with its name! Not a room. not a door nor window, nor a nook nor corner, but were endeared by a thousand ties. But much as we prized the old mansion, a time finally came for its destruction. Built entirely of wood, and standing in the closest proximity to our more costly building, were good reasons for its total demolition. Some members possessing, perhaps, a stronger attachment for it, at first demurred, suggesting the plan of removing it to a greater distance. But wiser heads said it would not pay for the expense and trouble; and so by unanimous consent, it was decided that the best and safest way would be to take it to pieces and it was done.

And now it may be interesting to revert to the time when the site upon which the Oneida Community dwellings now stand, was so rough and uncultivated as to be passed by unnoticed. One lonely cottage stood on the hillside; a barn across the road; a butternut-tree, which has since been famous in the annals of the Community, the only suggestion of romance or beauty in the vicinity. Neighboring buildings were few and scattering. Nearly a quarter of a mile from the cottage alluded to, long known as the "White House," were three farm houses, together with a saw-mill. These buildings were owned by Mr. Jonathan Burt. He and his family, joined by Mr. Daniel P. Nash and Joseph C. Ackley, formed the nucleus which at length grew into the Oneida Community. We may form some idea of the course of events at this early period by a perusal of the following extract from the First Annual Report of the Oneida Community, published early in the year 1849:

"J. H. Noyes left Putney on the 26th of November, and was soon followed by George Cragin and most of those members of the Com-


munity who had come in from abroad. They had no thought at that time of re-gathering at Oneida; but they afterwards perceived that the very day of the dissolution at Putney (Nov.26), was the day of the first union at Oneida between Burt and Ackley. The subsequent course of events proved that the apparent overthrow of the Community in Vermont was only a kindly transplantation of it to a more sheltered spot in New York.

"On leaving Putney, J. H. Noyes with Cragin and his wife took lodgings in New York city, and waited for the opening of a new course. In the latter part of January following, Burt and his associates invited J. H. Noyes by letter to visit Oneida. The invitation was accepted, and the result of the negotiations which ensued was, that on the 1st of February, the present Community was commenced by a full union between J. H. Noyes and J. Burt, and a transfer of $500 of U.S. stock by J. H. Noyes to the stock of the new union.

"Purchase of lands was immediately commenced and the whole of the present domain was soon secured, having on it two comfortable houses besides Burt's. On the 1st of March, Cragin and his wife from New York, and the wife of J. H. Noyes, with the children of both families from Putney, met at Oneida, and found a quiet home. In the course of the spring and summer all the refugees from Putney, and a part of those who had remained in the village in all seventeen of the members of the original Community, with their children, were reunited at Oneida."

Thus (BIBLE) Communism found a home.

Like the Pilgrim Fathers, they left the world behind them, in the hope of gaining freedom to worship God. They knew full well that many sacrifices were yet to be made, many trials to be borne; but they trusted in God. And, certainly, a great Providence seemed to overrule every event. Mr. Noyes was unexpectedly directed to a desirable location, where he, with the Putney family. found hearts and hands ready to assist the cause in every way possible. Things seemed to match perfectly. Sure of God's approbation, there was no faltering. It is needless to say that no doubters formed the company, for Mr. N.'s followers entertained perfect confidence in his leadership, believing him to be a man of God. This handful of men and women were the pioneers of a great movement how great, they themselves had as yet formed but little conception. Forsaken by their nearest relatives,


and despised by the world at large, their case was a desperate one; hut they pressed onward, regardless of the attacks of unbelievers. Having enlisted in the fight for life, they neither flinched nor wavered. They felt strong, and their strength lay in their entire unity.

It would be interesting to trace the history of each member belonging to the O.C., at that time: in coming chapters the career of different persons may be touched upon; however, it is not my intention to give the history of individuals, but rather of the most conspicuous events connected with the twenty-two years' residence in our old house.


As related in the previous chapter, the immigration of the first family to Oneida was not sudden. Mr. J. H. Noyes did not come here until January, 1848, though he left Vermont the November previous. G. W. Noyes, J. ft. Miller, J. L. Skinner, Wm. H. Woolworth, S. R. Leonard, and J. L. Baker, with their families, still remained at Putney; as also did Mrs. H. A. Noyes, Mrs. P. Noyes, and several other members of the original organization. Mr. and Mrs. Cragin were in New York.
On the 28th of February, 1848, Mrs. H. A. Noyes and her son, Theodore, and the Cragin children, left Putney en route for Oneida. At Springfield, according to previous arrangement, she met Mr. and Mrs. Cragin the remainder of the journey they joined company, and all arrived safely at Oneida Depot on the following day at 3 o'clock. This was the first delegation from Putney. In June, Mr. and Mrs. Skinner and child, joined the new home, and before winter most of the above-named families were regathered at Oneida.

It is easy to believe that the original accommodations of the Community (which we remember consisted of two ordinary dwelling-houses, and two smaller ones), were put to full occupation in the course of the first year. Besides the consolidation of the Putney Community at Oneida, new members were added occasionally from Northern Vermont, Massachusetts, and from the central counties of New York. Very soon was felt the need for a larger and more commodious abode. The houses were crowded. Believers were already applying for membership. Something must be done. So a full consultation was held, and it was decided to build a mansion suitable to the requirements of a large Community. Ready funds they had not; but they felt an assurance, that if God was pleased with the enterprise he would furnish the means to carry it on.

Accordingly the work of preparation commenced at once; Mr. Noyes and Mr. E. H. Hamilton selected the site, and on one beautiful moonlight night, with the aid of the North Star, staked out the ground for the foundation walls. The business of collecting materials was promptly attended to, while the work of excavating the cellar was going forward. Under the superintendence of Mr. Hamilton, an experienced architect, the Community under took to build the new Man-


sion House. With a saw mill at command and all the timber necessary on the domain, and a goodly number of carpenters and joiners in the Community, this undertaking was carried through pleasantly and successfully. The whole of the work excepting the plastering was done within the Community. Every one entered vigorously upon the undertaking. J. H. Noyes assisted at the saw-mill in getting out siding for the house; and when everything was ready, became one of the principal masons in the job of laying the walls.

The building of a home was the first enterprise that enlisted the whole Community; and it was one in which all were equally interested. All labored; the women no less than the men. Mrs. Cragin and Mrs. Noyes lead off in zeal and enthusiasm; and it is related, that when the house was far enough advanced to allow of it, and even before the sideboards were on, planks were placed across the joists, and the women commenced lathing; and the greater portion of the job was done by them.

The building, though not wholly finished, was ready for occupation before the advent of winter. The following paragraph from the First Annual Report will give a correct idea of many do tails in regard to it:

"A brief description of the house will not be out of place in this Report. It stands on an elevated part of the domain, commanding a very extensive view of the surrounding country. It is sixty feet long, thirty-five feet wide, three stories high, and is surmounted by a cupola. The lower story or basement, is divided by partitions across the whole width into three apartments of equal size, viz., thirty-five foot by twenty. The first of those apartments runs back into a rise of ground on which the house abuts, and is a collar. The second or middle apartment is the kitchen. The third or front apartment is the dining-room. The second story comprises a parlor over the dining-room, and is of the same size (i.e., thirty-five by twenty), a reception-room, a school room and a printing office. The third story is devoted to sleeping apartments for married pairs and for females. The garret, extending over the whole house, and without partitions, is the dormitory of the unmarried men and boys. This edifice now gives comfortable quarters to about sixty persons, and might easily accommodate one hundred."

A glimpse at the state of finances during this era may not be uninteresting. Mr. Cragin, who had been appointed financier, had pledged himself to see the building expenses defrayed, and for this end worked


perseveringly. Under his management, the domain was paid for, so far as the claims of previous occupants were concerned, subsistence provided, building expenses met, and in fact debts to the amount of about two thousand dollars were cancelled. Among a bundle of old manuscripts, I came across a letter from Mr. Cragin written to J. ft. Miller in Putney, which is interesting as showing the state of money matters at the time it was written. It will speak for itself:
"Oneida Castle, Aug.16, 1848
'Dear Bro. M.: I am very happy to comply with your request to send you a statement of our financial affairs. Probably I was reflecting with some interest on the subject just at the time that you were penning your letter; quite an interesting coincidence to me. Our liabilities are about $4,820. Our assets may be thus stated:

Burt's Mill $2,500.00
Wood Lot 950.00
Crane Farm 1,000.00
Francis Farm 3,600.00
Personal Property 1.350.00

Total $9,400.00

The new house (the material for which is all on the ground, and the frame ready to put up), will, when finished, be worth $3,000.00.

"We are at present nearly out of funds. I expect to collect, for lumber sold and a note held by Mr. B., about seventy-five dollars, to be applied toward taking up a note that falls due the 20th inst. We shall require for the purchase of sash, glass, paint, brick, etc., five hundred dollars, besides five hundred more for current expenses this fall, and the payment of interest due the State. We are expecting about $1,600 from Northern Vermont, with which the notes on the Francis place can be met. Yours in the good cause, C. Cragin."

What a showing! Nine thousand dollars the entire property of the Community! No money on hand a house to build, a printing office to support, and one hundred persons to feed and clothe! When we consider all this, and remember that the Community was without any lucrative business, it seems almost incredible that they should have undertaken so much; and we must ever ascribe their success to simple faith in God.


IT had been the expectation of the Community to make the Mansion House its winter quarters; partly on account of their needing more room, and partly for the sake of the educational and social advantages of consolidation. But the interior of the house was not nearly completed, and it became evident that unless some new method of constructing dormitories should he devised, more expeditious than usual, the intention must be abandoned. At that time, the Community was comprised of about twenty married couples and several unmarried persons, beside the children. At length a plan was devised for temporary convenience, which, for its novelty and satisfactory result, deserves particular description.
One half of the second story, i.e., a space of thirty-five feet by thirty, was finished as a single room. There were windows on three sides of the room, ten in all. Around these three sides, as well as the fourth, were arranged twelve sleeping apartments, called from the peculiarity of their construction tents. The partitions were not of lath and plaster, hut flowing curtains of cotton cloth, hung on wires; the whole supported on upright wooden frames, seven feet high, and about two feet below the ceiling, thus allowing full circulation of air and light from the windows. The large interior space was in the form of a hollow square, and became a comfortable common sitting-room for the occupants of the tents. One large stove in the center of this sitting-room was found sufficient to warm the twelve rooms around it; and the whole was lighted by two reflectors (those were the days of candles), suspended conveniently in the central part of the room. Thus a space which had been designed only for six bed-rooms, each of which would have required its separate stove and light, was converted into twelve bed-rooms, with a sitting-room in the midst, requiring for all only one stove and two lights. The cloth for the tents cost only ten dollars, arid the labor of constructing them was very slight. This was always called the Large Tent-Room. This was the "horrible large Tent-Room" that has given rise to legions of falsehoods concerning the sleeping arrangements of the O.C.; the room that has caused very moral folks to shake their heads and say, '0 dreadful!" But though unique the room was very pretty; especially after drab moreen cur-
[ 7 ]

tains were substituted for cotton, and two of the tents were thrown into the sitting-room. The curtains were surmounted by a neat little frill or valance of blue woolen delaine, which had the effect of a cornice, and gave to the whole a finished and even elegant appearance.

Suspended upon wires, the curtains could be drawn. and in a moment the whole space thrown into one large room; and it could again as quickly be restored to separate enclosures, perfectly distinct, and private enough, for persons of sound morality.

The dedication of the new Tent-Room took place on Christmas eve, 1848. The room had been fitted up as above described, and the different families moved in the day previously; there were E. H. Hamilton and wife, H. W. Burnham and wife, A. Kinsley and wife, E. L. Hatch and wife, L. H. Bradley and wife, J. L. Baker and wife, 0. H. Miller and wife, J. Abbott and wife, L. W. Worden and wife, D. P. Nash and wife, S. W. Nash and wife and H. W. Thayer and wife. Each couple occupied a tent. Nothing could exceed the delight with which they entered their new apartments. They admired the new room for its novelty and simplicity, and no one was tempted to wish for larger quarters. The innocence and purity of their hearts were sufficient protection from unseemly behavior. They felt it meet to commemorate the event, and for this the tents were tastily trimmed with evergreens and other necessary preparations made. At candle-light the whole family were present, including the children. In the midst of 'green festoons," they celebrated the occasion with music and sentiment; the occupants sitting in the doors of their respective tents, each man with the wife of his youth beside him, while Mr. J. H. Noyes took the Bible and read the account given by Moses of the institution of the Feast of Tabernacles, and also the account of its celebration in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.

The Community had now fairly taken possession of the new domicile, incomplete as it was. The basement story was ready for use; and while the details of the parlor were finishing, the family held their meetings in the dining-room. The sleeping accommodations were ample. Besides the large Tent-Room, there were two smaller tent-rooms; three bed-rooms and a large attic, divided into the north and south garret. Hardly a room in the house possessed a door, but instead were hung thick woolen sheets or bed-spreads. The furniture of the house was very plain, but corresponded well with the circumstances


of the O.C. No attempt had been made to organize the household arrangements; heretofore the several families composed as usual of parents and children together, were distributed to the four houses belonging to the Community. But when the new Mansion came to be occupied, the following arrangements were made: the best of the original houses, known as the "White House," was converted into a nursery; the children between the ages of two and twelve (seventeen in number), with the necessary house-keepers and teachers, were established there by themselves. The other principal dwelling-house, called the "Burt House," was also converted into a nursery, and given up to the six infants, with their nurses and housekeepers. The adults of course occupied the new Mansion. The separation from the main household proved to be very favorable to the comfort and good-breeding of the children, at the same time saving the older people from much noise and confusion. The women who served as mothers and attendants of the children found the business not a burden, but a pleasure. At first the mothers experienced considerable distress in giving up their little ones to the care of others. Having so recently left ordinary society, with its old traditions, it is not surprising that occasionally a melodramatic scene should occur. But having once given their children up to the care of others, a new sphere of existence opened to them; and they now found time and opportunity for educational pursuits. Besides, the improvement in the behavior and general condition of their children was of greater value than the luxury of a sickly, maternal tenderness. Mrs. Cragin seemed especially qualified by nature and attainment for the care of the children, and in connection with Mrs. H. A. Noyes had charge of them.

In the midst of the hurry and confusion incident to the early days of the O.C., the women quietly achieved a great reform. During the summer some new ideas had been broached on the subject of women's dress; Mr. Noyes in his Bible Argument, then in manuscript, had made the following remark: "The present dress of women, besides being peculiarly inappropriate to the sex, is immodest. Woman's dress is a standing lie. It proclaims that she is not a two-legged animal, hut something like a churn standing on castors. When the distinction of the sexes is reduced to the bounds of nature and decency, by the removal of the shame partition, and woman becomes, what she ought to he a female-man (like the Son in the Godhead), a dress will be adopted, that will be at the same time the most simple and the most beautiful, and it will be the same, or nearly the same, for both sexes. The dress of children - frock and pantaloons - is in good taste. This, or something like it, will he the uniform of vital society." This suggestion was taken seriously by some of the more thoughtful women, who resolved to use their influence in favor of simplicity in (1rcss. Not long after, three women might have been seen in the garret of the Log House (then one of the temporary dwellings of the (O.C.) contemplating their wardrobe with eager, earnest countenances. They were Mrs. M. E. Cragin, Mrs. IJ. A. Noyes, and Mrs. H. H. Skinner; and they had met in this secluded place to devise a fashion adapted to the every-day life of a Community - dress, al once simple, modest and attractive. After various experiments and many "contrivings," they finally made short dresses of their long ones. and of the part cut off made pantalets to correspond. They tried them on, and were almost frightened at themselves. Had they courage to wear them? This innovation upon worldly fashions was entirely original with them (Bloomerism had not been heard of then), and in adopting it they might be considered hold and unfeminine. But conscious of a right motive, they resolved to don the new suit and take the consequences. Their first appearance took the family by surprise, and, as they had apprehended, produced a sensation. To some they looked exceedingly comical; a number of the women were very much shocked; others declared the new costume ridiculous and absurd; and a few were

greatly distressed. But the voice of the majority commended their trim appearance, and after the first surprise most of the family were delighted with the change. The advantages to be derived from its adoption were very apparent to the more candid, and it was not many weeks before the fashion became universal. This was in June, 1848. After more than twenty years' trial, the short dress and pantalets are still worn by the women of the O.C., and it is needless to say, greatly preferred to any other costume now in vogue.

Nearly a year after the dress reform was started another innovation was made. As a matter of taste, it was discovered that short dresses and long hair looked incongruous. Then the usual practice of letting the hair grow indefinitely, often taking an hour to comb and arrange it properly, is incompatible with true simplicity in dress. Several of the women declared it was becoming distasteful and burdensome. The idea of wearing the hair short often occurred, but Paul’s theory of the natural propriety of long hair for women seemed to stand in the way. But after a careful examination of the subject, it was found that Paul’s language expressly points out the object for which women should wear long hair; and that was not for ornament, but "for a covering." The popular fashion of combing and coiling the hair upward oil the top of the head made it anything but a covering. The simple style of little girls, with short hair, falling round the neck, answered to Paul’s advice a great deal better. The argument was conclusive. Some of the braver women set the example of cutting their ‘shining locks;" and in a short time a wonderful change had taken place. Short hair altered the looks of the women still more than the short dress. These reforms not only bad the effect to make the women appear younger but proved very beneficial to their health. T doubt if there are any among us who could be persuaded to go back to the old style of long hair, especially in these days of chignon and folly. For the reason that the short dress and short hair make a women appear youthful, visitors often mistake our middle-aged women for girls, and our young women for children.


You have a pleasant home -- your people are happy -- everything works harmoniously - tell us what wonderful influence it is that binds you together" are expressions often made by people visiting the O.C. Were we to define the secret of a pleasant home, we should say it is a perfect organization; of a happy home, perfect unity. The O.C. long ago discovered that without these Communism is impossible. They can testify, that the one thing more than another that has brought about these happy results is our system of evening meetings. Every member of the family feels it not only a duty, but a pleasure, to attend them. Christ said to his followers, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." How much more should two or three hundred expect to realize his presence when gathered together? This is the "wonderful influence" that holds us together, that organizes and unites us - more potent than law, more binding than vows.

The evening meeting is the oldest of Community ordinances. At the outset, when the family numbered scarcely a dozen persons, the plan was formed of holding meetings for an hour or two each evening. The object of them was to talk over business arrangements, relate experience, and also to discover new truths for the profit of all. The first of these gatherings was held at the old Log House. In the absence of chairs, persons sat on the bed, the stairs, the trunk, the cradle, or whatever else they could find. Afterward, as more members were added, they came together in an old shanty standing back of the saw-mill, which also served as a dwelling-house. Every Sunday meetings were held in the large and somewhat commodious barn, at which our neighbors were often present. As soon as the basement of the new Mansion would admit of it, the meetings were held in the kitchen and dining-room, persons sitting on boards until benches could he made. The family assembled in the parlor as soon as it was lathed. Not long after, January 6th, 1849, the question of the best manner of spending the long winter evenings, came before the family. After some deliberation, the following plan for the evening meetings was decided upon: At six o'clock, the Community were brought together by the ringing of a bell; an alphabetical roll of all the members called, for the purpose of


giving each person an opportunity to offer any criticisms, suggestions of improvement, business proposal, or testimony of experience. At each meeting, also, a question was proposed, to be answered in writing the answers to be handed to the reader before the succeeding meeting. These were the exercises for every evening of the week. Soon after, a committee was appointed to digest and propose a plan for the disposal of the part of the evening that remained after the general meeting. They brought in the following schedule: Monday - Reading and Report of Newspaper
Tuesday - Lecture on Social Topics
Wednesday - Exercises in Phonography
Thursday - Music, Vocal and Instrumental
Friday - Dancing
Saturday - Reading Perfectionist Publications Sunday - Bible Class
The foregoing programme, with the usual meeting at 1 P.M., every Sunday, was followed during the winter and spring.

We have few records left of those early times, and can hardly tell when the change was made; but many of the older members vouch, that as the weather grew warmer the parlor was plastered, and the meetings in the meantime adjourned; and when they again commenced the hell called the family together at eight o'clock instead of six; and from that time until the present the meeting hour has been at eight.

And here, perhaps, is the most fitting place to mention the parlor; for of the many rooms in the old house it was the pleasantest by far. Originally its size was twenty feet by thirty-two. In after years twelve feet were added, which made a square room of it. It was well lighted, with three windows each on the east and west sides, and three glass-doors on the south, which opened on a verandah. On the remaining side was a large book-case, (made of butternut), which contained nearly the whole library of the O.C. The room was pleasantly situated, and commanded fine views of the surrounding country in nearly every direction. The furniture was far from elegant indeed was somewhat rude. But what if the seats were pine benches without any backs, the floor uncarpeted, the walls unpapered and the windows uncurtained? We were none the less happy for all that. The walls were smooth and white, and the floors neatly oiled; with the large book-case on the


north side, the handsome old-fashioned clock suspended at one end, opposite a good-sized mirror, and a number of very pretty pictures distributed about, the room was peculiarly "homey." In summer it was cool and airy; in winter snug and warm. But for its size, we never complained of our old parlor. In after years, when handsomely papered, curtained and carpeted, when new seats took the place of old benches, and the room was heated by hot-air, it was really quite luxurious. ~{ore might be said of the many little details that go to make a room pleasant: but I must forbear. and proceed with my story. We shall none of us forget the old parlor, for within its walls we have passed many a pleasant hour; here many a song was sung, and many a play rehearsed; many a knotty problem was solved, and many a wrong righted; here, too, were the keen criticisms, the self-examinations, the spiritual labors, the earnest confessions of Christ with which the foundations of our social life were laid. Here, indeed, was our first school of sincerity. Its memory is sacred, and like the affection one feels toward a kind parent is the love we hear to our old parlor.

IT had been the practice of the Putney Community to devote their evenings from time to time to criticism of individual character. The process was this: a person offered himself for criticism. At the next meeting the conductor of the exercises called on the other members to express freely their views of the character presented. This system was introduced at Oneida. Different methods of truth-telling were adopted; at one time a committee of four persons was appointed to administer a course of criticism to the whole Community. They devoted several hours of each day to the work; first consulting with one another and those best acquainted with the persons to be criticized, and afterward telling the subjects their faults as plainly as possible, and giving such admonition and counsel as the case might demand. In this way the committee went through the whole family. After their labors were closed, the following question was presented, to he answered in writing: "What has been the effect of our system of criticism?" The universal testimony was, that it had been exceedingly beneficial. One member testified, "After going through a severe process of criticism T was in doubt what to think of it, and opened the Bible; the first words that met my eye were these: 'Submit yourselves unto those who have the rule over you.'

Another said he felt "as though he had been washed; felt clean through the advice and criticism given. I would call the truth the soap; the critics the scrubbers; Christ's spirit the water."

Another testified, "The effect of the late season of criticism upon me has been to strengthen my general confidence in God, and confirm my belief that he favors this method of educating us.

Another: "However painful, we have seen it yielding the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them who have been exercised thereby. I am persuaded that the spirit of wisdom and of judgment has been given of God for this work, and also that it has been performed in the spirit of love. The secrets of many hearts have thus been revealed. Self-examination has been produced among believers, and godly sorrow for faults has wrought a clearing of themselves from those things that were offensive. I am confident, moreover, that instead of producing enmity and grudging, the criticisms that have been performed have increased the love and confidence of the members toward each other."


And so on through the Community - all expressed gratitude for the truth - no one grumbled or spoke evil of the committee.

One of the members of the committee sent in the following: "The study of character has been a looking-glass to the committee, by which they have received considerable criticism gratis; and at the same time they have been edified and comforted by the faith and goodness abundantly manifest. They have prized their position more particularly for the opportunity it gave them to improve their acquaintance with all the members. If they have speculated on the outside with the eye of criticism, heart has met heart within. There were three particulars suggested to us in the beginning, that we should bear in mind as prominent faults of the Community. 1. Want of repose -restlessness. 2. The spirit of levity - want of earnestness. 3. Individualism. We found that one or other of these faults is constitutional in almost every member - it has been observable in the manner of receiving criticism. Some appeared to have over-anxiety for criticism -a little impatience of the tide of improvement. In others there was a slight disposition to lightness and unprofitable talk about the subject. Our conversation with some seemed to open the door for the spirit of judgment from God, while the active presence of this spirit in others forestalled much criticism. We think the spirit of judgment is fast superseding the use of external discipline. A surprising change is observable in respect to sensitiveness, since the system of criticism was first commenced. The benefits resulting from the communication between the committee and the Community have been highly reciprocal."

A young woman writing home to her friends in Northern Vermont, expressed the spirit of earnestness that permeated the whole Community at that time:

"Oneida, April 4, 1849
"Dear Friends: The Community is prospering externally and internally. God is with us of a truth, directing all our movements, searching our hearts and trying our ways, convincing us more and more that he is a God of love and faithfulness. I have felt of late as though I should like to say to all contemplating coming here, that they will find 'judgment laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet.' Criticism is administered in faithfulness and love without respect to persons. I look upon the criticisms I have received since I came here as the greatest blessings that have been conferred upon me."

In an antiquated bundle of manuscripts the following item was found. It bears date of May 13, 1849:

"Our meeting last evening winds up a protracted session of one hundred and sixty-five evening meetings. It was thought there was a fullness in the minds of all, and that a change affording time for reflection and digestion would be healthy; and in view of the approaching short evenings we concluded to postpone indefinitely our regular meetings, excepting those of Sunday."

Up to this time nothing had occurred to interrupt the evening gatherings. They had been full of interest. Their suspension was only for a few weeks; but short as was the interim it marked an interesting era of Community history.


 As we have given an account of the origin of free criticism in the Community, it may be interesting to introduce in this connection one or two bona-fide specimens of character-dissection as performed in our "cliniques." The first is copied from the old Family Register, and dated April, 1849:

"Critic No.1 - I think Mr. - has a true appreciation of our principles, and gives them a large place in his mind and heart. He needs the cultivation and refinement that Communism will give. He might be compared to a tree, striking its roots out in all directions, and promising eventually to have a large top and become a glory among trees. His earnestness, energy and strength of character, make him very valuable.

"Critic No.2 - Mr. - has all the solid qualities firmness, uprightness and sincerity; he intends to deal justly with every one.

"Critic No. 3 He is warm-hearted, and a man of tender, delicate feelings. I think be is governed by the Spirit of Truth more than most men; but his mind and manners do not fairly represent his heart.

"Critic No. 4 - He is an unselfish man; free from envy and jealousy. He needs outward refinement. The inward beauty of his character is working out, and will eventually overcome all external defects.

"Critic No. 5 - He is a philosopher - a man that thinks and reasons deeply; but he lacks simplicity in the expression of his thoughts.

"Critic No.6 - The interior of his character is excellent; but the exterior is faulty. In order to do him the good we wish to by this exercise, a severe criticism ought to be aimed at his faults. I do not believe in neglecting criticisms of the external character because the internal is good. I should advise him, instead of being contented with inward beauty, to think it of a great deal of importance to have a beautiful manifestation of it. We know that, except at times when his spirit is unusually free, his utterance is labored, tedious and awkward. lie is aware of all this, and I hope he will not account it a small affair, but determine to qualify himself unto all pleasing, and not limit his ambition to being merely a good man. At present he does not do justice to himself. I believe be has in him the soul of music - he feels the glorious emotions of which music is an expression, but he is no singer. Again, in regard to his business character, he has the reputation of


perfect honesty, but there is a lack of science and tact in his business transactions which have brought him into many difficulties.

"Critic No.1 - He has large hope, and often promises more than he fulfills; disappoints folks. I think his business habits are quite bad his financial accounts are always at 'loose ends.' He needs to carry his conscientiousness into business affairs.

"Critic No. 7 - I like that. It is true that he does not fulfill his promises. He is what I should call an outline character; he makes excellent plans, but is careless in executing details.

"Critic No.6 - He should cultivate more simplicity and playfulness of manner.

"Critic No.8 - He is not as neat in his personal habits as good taste requires; be needs to pay more attention to outward adornment.

"Critic No.6 - The principle of polishing the outside is the principle of democracy. I am in favor of free democratic principles in regard to the different faculties of our nature. Every member of our system has its rights; the external senses have their rights as well as the mind; and because they are subordinate in the body politic, are they to be trampled under foot ~ Let us carry out democracy and assert that all the senses and susceptibilities, even those most inferior, have their rights, and show them a wise and generous attention. We should not devote all the wealth that God has given us to a certain part of our nature, but let every part have its rights."

* * *

The following criticism was given some years later: - - is a young man of good promise. One feels confidence in his purpose to serve God. When under the sway of appetite or passion be may appear selfish; still one can always rely upon the warmth and generosity of his heart.

"His generic faults - those which include all others, are, superficiality and love of excitement. He contents himself with what he can see at a glance and with what he can do at a stroke. He is smart -has a good deal of what may be called genius - still he has not yet shown much talent for patient and persistent labor. The plodders out-strip him. He has a good mind, but be does not read enough to strengthen it. He skims things; the cream of most things lies at the bottom. His talent excites expectations of noble achievement; but he dissatisfies you, because he lets his fields lie fallow.


"He generally seems ill at ease - never is quite contented with the thing at band, but is always reaching forward for something else. He seldom sits long at a time, but is given to roving - to 'rushing about,' as he terms it. If the rush of events is not rapid enough, then be rushes after events. His love of excitement is thought to very much govern his relations 10 the truth. He has a curiosity about the troth, but not love enough for it. He docs not study and plod for the truth in a simple love for it. If he attends to the truth there must be some excitement about it. Excitement-seeking, if not exactly disobedience, is certainly very far from waiting on the Lord. He should thoroughly study the subject of repose of character.

" - - is much more gentle and lovable than a first glance at his manners would lead one to think. One says of him that be is not quiet and reflective enough to be first-rate company. Then, too, he is inquisitive, and much given to looking and prying. People naturally dislike to be the subjects of curious scrutiny. It is thought he could improve in refinement.

"He suffers from loss of self-respect. The tendency of this has been to lead him into descending fellowship. The Committee would exhort him to take no counsel from condemnation. If a man loses self-respect he is exposed to all manner of wicked spirits. – should persevere, and struggle with all his might to keep his self-respect. He should be hard in earnest to secure the help of God. Of late he has grown manly and sober. Many of his old faults have disappeared, and there are good reports of his quiet industry. He has had experiences in the overcoming faith that are bright and very encouraging.’


WE have remarked in a previous number, that there was to be a suspension of the evening meetings for a few weeks. The sub-joined extracts from an old journal indicate the various subjects then occupying the attention of the Community.
"May 13, 1849 - As last evening closed the first series of evening gatherings, I will note down the most important topics presented. Four reports were brought forward:

"First - a report from a committee consisting of S. W. Nash, H. M. Waters and S. A. Burnham, who were appointed some time since to inquire into the character and condition of the boys between the ages of twelve and eighteen.

"Second - a report from another committee, consisting of J. Burt, F. H. Hamilton Mrs. M F. Cragin, and Mrs. H. H. Skinner, who had been appointed to introduce to the Community through their report the newly-arrived members.

"Third - a report of arrangements from Mr. Cragin, in which he gave a general history of the Community to the present time. His report of our financial affairs abundantly shows God's care over us.

"Fourth - a report of arrangements that have grown out of our late discussions on the subject of organization. Several new appointments were made, which relieved Mr. J. H. Noyes from his special oversight of the family, spiritual and temporal. The general superintendance of household affairs, exercised thus far by Mrs. M. F. Cragin and Mrs. H. A. Noyes, was transferred to Mrs. H. H. Skinner. Mr. Hamilton was relieved from his responsibilities in the building department by Mr. F. L. Hatch. H. W. Burnham and S. L. Skinner were appointed to execute Mr. Cragin's offices as financier and general agent for the Community.

"After these appointments were made Mr. Noyes remarked that he and others would now be free to leave Oneida when circumstances should require, expressing at the same time a conviction that the nucleus of a Community would soon be formed in New York City."

The boys alluded to in the first report were, as a class, independent, lawless and pleasure-seeking. They came to the Community because their parents desired it, not from any desire of their own. They were a great annoyance, and the necessity of placing them under the con-


trol of some wise person or persons, soon became apparent. The committee talked kindly to them, and found them generally tractable and willing to receive advice. Taken separately they were easily entreated, but when banded together they were headstrong and disagreeable. It was believed by the committee that if they could be induced to mingle more with the older members, and less with each other, they would become acceptable members of the family.
In reference to the second report, it might be stated that during the month of May, 1849, thirty new members were added to the Community, including the Kinsleys, the Burnhams, the Higginses and the Halls from Northern Vermont; the Bakers and Millers from Southern Vermont; the Nortons, the Clarks and Kelloggs from Connecticut; the Van Velzers and the Wordens from New York. The committee inquired into their several histories, and obtained from each a brief biographical account, which is chronicled in our Family Register. They were recommended by the committee to seek the ascending instead of the horizontal or descending fellowship. Fellowship flows downward with facility, and it needs patience and endeavor of will to turn our hearts to those above us. They were advised to forget, as soon as possible, the things which were behind and press onward to new attainments in spirituality. The best foundation to build upon is a bold confession of Christ, and they were encouraged to faithfully adhere to it under all circumstances.

The fourth report, concerning the new organization, etc., was but preliminary to the formation of a new Commune. During the spring the Community had come into possession of a house in the city of Brooklyn, L. 1. The report was presented on the 13th of May, and on the 16th Mr. and Mrs. Cragin, accompanied by Mrs. H. A. Noyes left for Brooklyn. On the 18th, Mr. S. H. Noyes and Mr. F. H. Hamilton left for the same destination. This was the beginning of the Brooklyn Commune. For the succeeding five years there was constant interchange between the two Communes. Although Brooklyn was only a branch society, it was yet a post of central interest, for the reason that Mr. Noyes for the most part of the time made it his headquarters.

The suspension of the evening meetings was short, but, as we have shown, events crowded closely upon each other. Before the first of June the meetings were resumed with renewed interest on the part of all.


OWING to the somewhat rapid increase in the size of the family, it became necessary to build an addition to the old Mansion house during the spring and summer of 1849. Accordingly a wing running west, sixteen by forty-five feet, was erected. It was two stories high, with an attic lighted at the end and sides. The basement was occupied as wash- and bake-room, having large boilers for heating water, and connected with it a large brick oven (eight feet by ten on the inside), suited to the requirements of a Community bakery. It was a grand old oven, and with all our modern improvements we find none so commodious as that. The second floor of the wing was designed for sitting-and sleeping-rooms; the attic for boys' sleeping apartments, and was commonly known as the "boys' garret."
Projecting south from this, was soon added another wing, eighteen by twenty-five feet. This was also two stories high; the basement designed for a wood-shed; the second story for sitting- and sleeping-rooms. It would be amusing to record the various uses to which these wings were appropriated in the course of twenty years. The basement of the first wing was used as already mentioned, for a few years, when the laundry was removed; then, as the kitchen department required more room, the second wing was converted into a bakery. This basement of the first wing was called the "back-room," and the other the "bakery." The second story of the south wing underwent several important changes; it was used for some time merely as a sleeping apartment; then given lip for a school-room; afterward partitioned off and converted into sleeping-rooms again; then, as the needs of the family required it, the partitions were taken down, and it again became a school-room; still again the partitions were removed that it might better accommodate the Children's department, in connection with the adjoining room of the west wing, which in the meantime had undergone several transformations.

A year or two later a wood-shed, sixty feet long, was attached to the wing, making the entire south front one hundred and forty feet long. The second story of the shed was a large, unplastered chamber, which was primarily used for hanging up clothes. After the removal of the washing department it was often used as a dancing hall; sub-


sequently a few tents were hung across one end, and several of the young men slept there. For several years it was called the "wood-shed chamber." After a year or two it was lathed and plastered, and partitioned off into nine bed-rooms - a long hall, running the full length, was called "The Avenue"- and these bed-rooms were forever denominated "Avenue Rooms." A few years before the old edifice was demolished, several of the rooms were thrown together, making a very pleasant play-room for the little ones. The partitions were afterwards put back again, and the bed-rooms appropriated as of old.

The frequency with which the Community have made alterations in their buildings, and moved them from place to place, has given rise to many jokes. One of our workmen was heard to say, "The Community folks should hang their partitions on hinges, and set their buildings upon castors, they change so often;" and our own people have expressed themselves similarly from time to time. However, when all things are considered, the readiness to change, exemplified in these alterations and removals, should elicit admiration rather than jeers; for it shows the disposition of the Community as a whole to adapt themselves to their circumstances. Many times a change in arrangements was necessary, that would conflict with some private interest, but in every instance this was willingly sacrificed for the public convenience. Indeed. temporary changes were but the "twistings and turnings" to which the Community resorted, to save the greater expense of building.

Several other wooden structures were put up during the same year, which, though not belonging to the Old Mansion house, are very much connected by association. This was especially true of the "Children's House;" standing within thirty-six feet of the Mansion House, and connected with it by an under-ground passage-way, the two buildings are almost inseparable in our recollections. Previous to its erection, the children had continued to occupy the old "White House," until it was nearly over-crowded, and the necessity of having larger quarters was almost absolute. With the addition of adult members, there has been a proportionate increase in the children's department. in consideration of these facts, a large frame house, twenty-five by forty-three feet, two stories high, with an attic, was erected in the months of June and July; into which the whole family of children moved before the first of September.


Note -- Our statement last week that the Kinsleys and Burnhams were included among the thirty members that joined the Community in May, 1849, needs some modification. Mr. Henry W. Burnham and family and sister joined the previous year, while Mr. R. Burnham and wife, the father and mother of H.W.B. and sister, joined, as staled, in 1849. Mr. Albert Kinsley and family also joined in 1848.

ONE of the first discoveries made by the women of the O.C. was, that an immense weekly washing was inevitable. The combined experience and means of the Community did not offer any easier mode of washing than had prevailed in the little farm and village kitchens they had severally left. However, they set about the work with good heart, generally assisted by one or other of the men. Previous to the completion of the Mansion House, there was no particular system about the washing. The clothes were brought together at the "White House," and the women formed themselves into a committee of the whole to see it done. Mrs. H. A. Noyes and Mrs. H. H. Skinner took the lead as usual in this kind of serving, and they found many others ready to follow their example. After the removal of the family into the Mansion House the washing was also moved. The conveniences were still limited. The work was all performed, as may be surmised, in the old-fashioned way of rubbing, pounding, boiling, etc. Not having any "back-room," (this was previous to the addition of a wing), the washers sometimes invaded the kitchen; but more frequently the work was done out-of-doors. The women remember several instances when the weather was freezingly cold, and their dresses, wetted by the spattering of soap-suds, became frozen stiff; and occasionally numerous icicles formed a crystal border around their skirts. The contrivance for boiling clothes was primitive; two crotched sticks were driven into the ground, and upon a stout pole, placed across them, a large copper kettle was suspended. This arrangement was, under the circumstances convenient, and gave good satisfaction. At that time no improvements had been introduced; there was not so much as a good cistern for holding rain-water; and the bard water they were obliged to use was all brought from a well across the road, more than a dozen rods distant.

Improvements were introduced slowly. After the first wing was erected, (as related in the last chapter), the washing occupied the western end of the "back-room." A large cistern was built, a copper boiler purchased, and two long wooden boxes made, at each of which twelve persons could work at a time. More than all this, our friend Mr. G. W. Robinson of Baldwinsville, presented the Community with a small washing-machine, which completed the number of improve-


ments for the year 1849. During the next year the business of washing became systematized. The children's clothes, which had heretofore been kept separate, were added to the already increasing pile. For the sake of enlisting the men the washing day was changed to Sunday. A full list of all the names was printed, and it became a custom every Saturday evening to draw out the names of twelve or fourteen couples, who were to get up the following morning at half-past four and rub clothes until the breakfast hour. Another list, consisting of a second company of men and women, was also read, who were to assist the regular force during the forenoon, or until the clothes were boiled, rinsed, wrung, starched, hung out, and everything put to rights about the wash-room. A company of six or eight women and girls was appointed to iron the clothes, which employment generally lasted four or five days. The clothes were sprinkled, folded and ironed by band, for the succeeding ten years. After that length of time new improvements were introduced. Different chemicals were tried to loosen the dirt. Several small washing-machines were used, but proved to be inadequate for a Community washing. A large wooden centrifugal clothes-wringer was made, sometimes run by hand, but oftener by horse-power. It was always dangerous, and occasioned one or two rather bad accidents. It finally gave place to the Universal Clothes Wringer.

"In 1863, the Community having become easier in its finances, and the mechanics all very confident in what they could do, and every one tired of going on in the old way, it was decided to build a washhouse and laundry, 'with all the modern improvements.' The 'Ton-tine,' a brick building seventy-two feet long, thirty-six feet wide and three stories high, was accordingly put up, and one-half devoted to the washing department. A steam-engine and boiler were introduced; 'Shaker' and 'Nonpareil' washing-machines; pipes for hot and cold water; an iron centrifugal wringer; a complete system of drainage; an ironing-room and a mangle. and a dry-room with fixtures for bad weather. This was a great victory over dirt, and relieved us all. It continued in operation until the requirements of silk-making made it necessary to move the washing to the 'Mill.' A one-story brick building, seventy feet Iong and thirty feet in width, with a small boilerhouse attached, had been fitted up previous to the removal. The building had been successively used as a forging-shop, wood-shop,


and fruit-preservatory, and consequently had no particular fixtures for the new business. Everything had to be done as if for the first time. No more novelties in the way of machinery have been introduced. The improvement on the old wash-house is mostly in the general arrangement and working of the parts. The business is all on one floor, and the clothes, after being received in bags at the sorting-room at one end of the establishment, pass straight on to the washing-machines, rinsing-boxes, wringing-machines, steam dry-room or clothes-yard (according to the weather), and to the ironing-room at the other end of the building, where they are packed in chests and taken to the house to be sorted and distributed to the shelves of their respective owners. Steam and hot water are supplied from a boiler, in the works. The machinery is driven by a water-wheel in the Mill."

In addition to these changes, hired help was introduced, as our own people were required in various increasing businesses. Since that time, with the exception of those who have charge of the department, the family generally have been discharged from washing, though "bees" for ironing are becoming fashionable again this season.

Still the memory of those Sunday mornings is always fresh. We do not forget the lively times we enjoyed converting the drudgery of washing into a pastime. The traditional 'washing day," upon which the anxious housewife has often been said to.

"Thump, thump, scold, scold, thump, thump away," etc. was entirely superseded by the Community washing-day, upon which many hands and happy faces were wont to...
Rub, scrub, laugh and be gay.

Ah! our old washing-days the whole scene comes up before me as I write. The room is brightly lighted, the tubs filled with water, and every preparation made for the morning's event. An odor of soapsuds, emanating from two large caldrons of boiling clothes, fills the atmosphere. One by one the washers come in, some looking rather sleepy', others wide-awake for the work. Finally, the wash-boxes are surrounded, the partners standing vis-a-vis. In a few moments all are busily washing a pleasant hum of voices can he heard, despite the thumping of the one washing-machine in the corner. A few of the men are discussing the latest political news; another group are absorbed in topics nearer home; others are rehearsing, with comments of their own, the play enacted the previous Saturday evening. Anon, the


whole group are formed into a grand musical chorus; now singing snatches of an old anthem, and now divided into sections, the air is soon resonant with such rounds as, "Scotland's Burning," "Merrily, Merrily Greet the Morn" "Glide along my Bonny Boat," etc. Tired (If this, all is quiet, until Mr. I – is prevailed upon to sing "Dearest Mae," which he alone can render to suit this audience. He is loudly applauded, and before another song can bc produced the breakfast bell sounds, announcing to the astonished company that they have washed an hour and a half. A fine pile of clothes in yonder box, looking spotlessly white, proves that the time has not been squandered.

But, alack! Progress and improvements have taken from us this interesting ordinance, and our children seem destined to grow up in total ignorance of the wash-tub. However, we feel reconciled, for notwithstanding the pleasantness of the bees, we were glad, when the release came and gave us a chance to devote ourselves to education and industries more profitable and better adapted to our tastes.


THE Kitchen, as already mentioned, adjoined the "Wash Room" in the basement of the Old Mansion. During the first year it was under the superintendence of Mrs. Sylvia Hamilton, assisted by the other women in rotation. Subsequently, the post of general stewardess or manager was subject to frequent changes, and for the last ten or twelve years there has been a constant rotation of officials as often as once in three weeks. Aside from these "mothers-in-the-kitchen," as they are familiarly called, whose business it is to plan the meals and arrange the work for each day, the kitchen corps generally consists of two men, and five or six women. And for the last twelve or fourteen years the department has required a steward, whose business it is to purchase flour, sugar and other groceries, and have general control of the kitchen expenses. Of those who work together, perhaps many of them have once presided over little establishments of their own. and practiced the culinary art on principles derived respectively from the tradition, of their mothers. No two persons have been taught just alike. For instance, one has been brought up to think vegetables should always be put into boiling water, never lukewarm "Let the water thoroughly boil," said my mother, (mothers are prime authorities), "before you put in your potatoes. But Mrs. A. says, "It is just as well to put water and potatoes over together." Again, Mrs. B. thinks cakes made with soda should go into the oven the moment they are mixed - but other good cooks are indifferent about that. and Mrs. C. would rather her biscuit should stand awhile than not. With all this theoretical diversity, there is a most attractive state of practical harmony in our kitchen. The plan of appointing one or two to manage the work for a certain length of time saves confusion and discord, and besides, by working together so many years, the Community have organized a standard of their own, so that old traditions have less weight than they had in former years.

Kitchen work in the Old Mansion House was conducted somewhat differently from what it is at present, though steam was introduced seven or eight years ago. Before the advent of steam and machinery, a great deal of frying, boiling and stewing, a great deal of heavy lifting, a great many hurried steps were required to get through a day's work.


Certain persons were appointed to the work, as we have shown, but the whole family were ready to help as occasion required.

There are few of us who do not remember with pleasure the hours spent preparing meals for the family when we lived in the Old Mansion. There was the long cellar, not too well lighted by six small windows, where we made our plans and came together to execute them. Here the kitchen group were wont to form a merry circle around the table, while they pared apples or potatoes; looked over greens or trimmed asparagus picked up cod-fish or hulled strawberries, according to the day's bill-of-fare.

After all the vegetables were prepared, the job of putting things to rights was next in order; not only in the cellar, but the kitchen also, a large room adjoining, which contained, besides a good cooking-range (not to mention the steam fixtures afterwards added), tables and various conveniences for cooking the food for the family. Both rooms swept and mopped, and it was time to put the various articles over to cook for dinner. The work went along quietly until the last quarter of an hour before dinner then what a scene did that old kitchen present! At either end of the room were gathered the men, who had just returned from their work; while in the center where stood the range, were concentrated the whole kitchen company; a table filled with empty plates, bowls, and nappies, was drawn in front of the smoking viands; one of the "mothers" stood by dipping the food into the various dishes designed for it, while the other was rapidly organizing the rest of the group, who amid all the din and excitement were to see that each dish was deposited in its proper place on the tables in the dining-room adjoining. The last dish put on - the bell rung - the room emptied of people, the kitchen group once more breathed freely. Good luck generally attended these occasions, though sometimes things were troublesome; the over-heated cooks were anxious because the potatoes were not baked, or the tomatoes were burned, or the gravy was spilled, or the dinner was late. The generous lookers-on generally rendered their services in those dilemmas, and things came out straight finally. But such occasions were rare - the dinner generally came on to the table promptly and in order.

Before the Community gave up the use of meat, tea, and coffee, the table was set in the usual way, seldom varying from a certain form. But when, for reasons we shall relate in a future chapter, these com-


modities were withdrawn, it took much more study to get up a tasteful, attractive meal. A greater variety of dishes was required to supply the place of the staple article - meat. During the fruit and vegetable seasons this was not very difficult, but when these were past the cooks found ample occasion to experiment and invent new dishes. For several years, when retrenchment and economy were practiced about everything, the Community lived in contentment on bread and milk, potato and milk-gravy; only occasionally indulging in the luxury of butter, pie and pudding. And even afterward, butter once a day was considered quite a rarity. The kitchen department was allowed the use of so much butter per week, to use in cooking, and it often took the closest economy to keep within the limits. But it was excellent discipline, and much real enjoyment was derived from it. Occasionally the family took supper in the parlor or under the butternut tree; having bread and butter, cake and cheese passed round. These meals were very pleasant, inasmuch as the whole family could partake together, which has never yet been the case in any of our dining-rooms. Several attempts were made to arrange the dining-room so as to accommodate all the members at once; the first arrangement only seated sixty-eight members; by a little squeezing, another table was added, so that one hundred were accommodated. Afterwards an addition of ten feet was built on to the house, so that thirty or forty more could be added, but we always had to set the table twice to feed over two hundred people.

In the fall of the year it was common for the kitchen department to call an apple-paring bee, which generally was held in the kitchen and took the place of an evening meeting. After some pleasant confusion in getting seats, numerous little circles forming all over the room, and filling it so as to make a complete labyrinth for the attendants, the company were furnished with knives and pans, and fruit, and a brisk business was carried on for an hour or more, amid the reading of correspondence, the singing of songs, and the pleasant flow of conversation, never more lively than on such occasions.


NOTWITHSTANDING the limited size of our old dining-room, it accommodated not only our own family of two hundred, but during the summer season crowds of strangers also. For the last sixteen or eighteen years, the Community has been quite a resort for pleasure-parties, and almost before we knew it we found plenty to do in the kitchen, to supply the increasing demand for our fruit- and vegetable-dinners. How little did we anticipate such a result, when we first came together here at Oneida Indeed, little or no attention was given to gardening, and no attempt was made to attract visitors, by any ornamentation whatever. North of the house was a plot of ground intended for a garden, which possessed three or four unfortunate cherry-trees, a bed of cabbages, onions, lettuce, spinach, a few tomatoes, and a small bed of asparagus, but not enough of anything to supply our table. For larger fruits, we had only apples, and for these we were mainly dependent upon buying. Occasionally enough raspberries were picked in a neighboring wood to give the family a meal; and a few wild strawberries gleaned from a hill-side gave each of the children a taste; but the idea of cultivating small fruits in quantities sufficient to supply our table freely, had not been thought of by any of us, until the arrival of Mr. Henry Thacker (well-known to our readers), in the fall of 1849. With his scientific knowledge and practical experience we were destined to see a great reform, not only in our fruit- and vegetable-garden, but in our orchards and among our flowers. His standard was high, and in less than one year from the time of his arrival our gardens were wonderfully improved, and everything growing luxuriously. Two years more, and we were able to add an attractive variety to our table; the "mammoth strawberries,'' beautiful to the sight and delicious to the taste, were among the chief dainties. We all rejoiced - none more than the providers in the kitchen.

Possessing in common with other civilized people a natural tendency for party-making and general hospitality, one of the first thoughts of the Community was to get up a strawberry feast, and invite our neighbors to share with us our berries. We find in the following letter, written to Brooklyn by Mr. G. W. Noyes, a full account of this ever memorable occasion:


"Oneida, June 25, 1852
"Dear Friends: Our Strawberry Festival yesterday all agree was the most exquisite thing of the kind that we ever witnessed. It was preceded by many tokens of God's favor, and the Community were unanimous in offering themselves to the conscious inspiration which seemed to preside over and direct all its arrangements. Early in the morning some of our people constructed a bower of sweet-scented cedar, in the children's play-ground, capacious enough to seat 75 or 100 persons. Another party engaged in picking and preparing the strawberries of which over seven bushels were gathered before noon from our garden beds. Another party prepared biscuits, etc., for the entertainment. Various groups of rustic chairs and tables of fantastic pattern were arranged in shady spots about the grounds. Everything was done easily and with enthusiasm.

'About eighty families of our neighbors and of citizens in Vernon, Oneida Castle, and Oneida Depot, had been invited to partake of strawberries and cream. Feeling that God had dealt bountifully with us, in our 'basket and our store,' it was the hearty, spontaneous desire of the Community to share the blessings of the season with others and according to a suggestion of Mr. Noyes to offer the first-fruits of our garden to the great Community spirit which is hastening to encircle all mankind.

"Soon after 3 o'clock our friends began to arrive: and though most of them were strangers to a majority of the Community they were none the less welcome. The house was thrown open, and those who pleased were attended in a stroll through the gardens, or were invited to amuse themselves in their own way. The company however soon took their way to the arbor, where an abundance of strawberries, cream and sugar, were awaiting their acceptance. Parties continued to arrive for about two hours, and there were said to be three hundred guests. Though they were drawn from all the different ranks of society, there was perfect order, harmony and good behavior, throughout. Not a jar occurred to disturb the pleasure of the occasion, and the Community were gratefully sensible of the fact.

"During the gathering at the Community booth, the attendance and singing of the Community children were apparently gratifying to our visitors. The company interested themselves in the house and in the grounds, with picking strawberries and conversation, till about


7 o'clock, when all withdrew. We were happy in being able to supply many of them with strawberries to carry home. The Community unite in thanksgiving to God for the privileges of such an occasion, for the providence which minutely ordered it for general pleasure, and for the numerous luxuries which crown the Community spirit."
A few days later, another Strawberry Festival was given this time to the Oneida Indians. Mr. G. W. Noyes writing of this event, under date of June 29, 1852, says:

"The Indians have been our very good neighbors from the commencement of the Community here, and we are glad to show our appreciation of it, as well as to pay our respects to the remnant of a once powerful race. We inhabit the home of their fathers; the Community domain but a few years since was their common ancestral inheritance. We believe it was never deeded as the property of any individual white man, but passed from the community of nature to the community of civilization and grace. We felt it to be appropriate to celebrate thee idea of human fraternity with these descendants of the red men, on ground thus doubly devoted to the common interest. We commissioned their minister, the Rev. Thomas Cornelius, to invite the whole resident nation (about 150 persons), to meet in the Community grounds. Several Indians from the Green Bay colony, now on a visit to their Oneida brethren, were also among our guests. About seventy sat down under our arbor, to partake of strawberries and cream. Among them were several members of the Indian Minstrel Company who lately gave concerts in New York, and who favored us with several hymns in their own tongue. Their singing was really delightful accurate in execution, and yet possessing a certain wildness of tone, reminding one of the notes of the wood-robin, and the ringing echoes of the forest. We answered them with a song or two - the Community children also sang; after which they adjourned to the garden and strawberry beds, and then took their way home. The Community enjoyed this kindly meeting with the Indians exceedingly, and look upon it as a representative affair."

* * *

As we have stated, these were the first experiences of the O.C. in entertaining company on so great a scale, but none the less enjoyable. Several neighboring papers gave glowing accounts of the festivities of


the first Strawberry Festival. Whether owing to the reputation of our strawberries, or to the magnetic influence attendant on these two occasions, we cannot say, but from that time forward the Community has had ample opportunity to "entertain strangers" every summer.

THE time we passed in the Old Mansion House was fraught with many remarkable changes. As we think over our experience there, we involuntarily divide and subdivide it into epochs, each marked in our remembrance by conspicuous events. Thus the first epoch (which has already been described) included the period of building, general household arrangement and organization of the members into a family, followed by a year of quiet home-life, in which the members studied the fundamental doctrines of the Community, and, as before related, practiced mutual criticism. The next important epoch was the formation of the Brooklyn Commune and reorganization of the Oneida family in consequence. Then came the fruit growing epoch, including the Strawberry Festivals, and so on.

But one of the most remarkable years in the annals of Community history was that of 1851 our store and printing-office were burned; Mrs. Cragin and Miss Allen were drowned; the publishing business was removed to Brooklyn; the evil-eye of our neighbors was upon us. We can never forget the occasion of the first disaster. It was a warm summer 5 evening, and everything out-of-doors seemed unusually quiet and serene; the family were all in meeting, when the sudden announcement, "The store is on fire," sent a thrill and shudder through everyone. For a moment all sat motionless; then, as one man, we rose to our feet, and in another instant were on the spot. To us, the loss of the store was nothing, in comparison with the printing-office - that we would fain have saved. One glance told us the building was inevitably doomed, so we contended ourselves with rescuing from the flames whatever we could. We succeeded in saving all the goods from the store, the type from the office, benches and tools from the shoe-shop, and many of the windows and doors of the building.

This unaccountable calamity seemed to be only the precursor of another, and far sadder one, occurring but three weeks later. Preparations were making for removing the publishing business to Brooklyn (as had been suggested immediately after the destruction of the store), and it was expected to commence the next volume of the paper there. Mrs. Cragin was actively interested in the change, and was herself to be editress. So that we were wholly unprepared for the startling intel-


ligence brought us one morning by Mr. H. W. Burnham and Mrs. C. A. Miller from Brooklyn, that the sloop Rebecca Ford had sunk and carried down with her our two sisters Mrs. Cragin and Miss Allen. A meeting was called after breakfast in the old parlor. and as we listened to Mr. Burnham's narrative, (he having been an eye-witness of the accident), there were few dry eyes in the room. Although the agony we felt was like the parting of soul and body, it was soon followed by a quiet confidence in God who "doeth all things well."

The gloom attending these accidents had hardly been effaced from our minds, when there followed a tumultuous out-cry from the immediate neighborhood against us. Some of the more excitable of the population talked loudly of using mob-violence to exterminate us from the land. Every fancied wrong was magnified by tongue and pen until we were nearly ready to leave the State. However, when we offered to do so, and asked the public to say the word, friendly voices in high places were raised in our behalf; these affirmed that we were peaceable citizens, and expressed a desire to have us remain here. Thus assured, we settled down again, and soon out4ived the prejudices of our neighbors.

As previously planned, the paper was removed to Brooklyn, and as early as November the first number printed. By this change Brooklyn became the central home. Whatever was received from the Brooklyn family was highly valued by us at Oneida. For the subsequent three years, a great portion of every evening meeting was occupied by the reading of letters and reports received from there. The first-fruits of everything at Oneida was joyfully sent to Brooklyn. Although often embarrassed in money-matters, Mr. J. Rt. Miller, who had charge of the finances during this remarkable year, could always spare for the benefit of the paper and family there. In one of his letters written to Brooklyn, he said: "I fully believe that God blesses me in proportion as I am ready to share his blessings with you, in a prompt. cheerful spirit. In sending money to you the sincere feelings of my heart are, that it increases rather than diminishes our funds here." This was ever his attitude toward the interests of the paper; and his influence and example gave tone to the whole family here at Oneida.

* * *
The events above narrated all occurred in the year 1851, and formed
[ 38 ]

a separate epoch in some respects the saddest in all our history; and though some of them were connected with scenes far removed from the Old Mansion, yet all are inextricably interwoven with its memories.

ONE of the greatest triumphs ever achieved by the Oneida Community was the complete subjugation of the TOBACCO PRINCIPALITY - the principality to which millions of people are in bondage today. A large majority of the men were addicted to the use of tobacco in one form or other before coming to the Community, and until the year 1853 continued it as freely as formerly. The effect on individuals was often deleterious, causing them from time to time to make strenuous efforts to leave off the use of it in fob: hut laws and resolutions were unavailing; their taste for the fascinating "weed" was too strong for them, and they returned to using it as before.

But a short experience in the Community during the existence of this filthy habit was enough to make all wish for a change. It certainly was a great drawback to the attractiveness of home. Even the men were conscious of this fact, hut had not the strength to break away from their servility to the tyrannical principality. The women were very much annoyed with the uncleanness of the habit, but were for-hearing, remembering that 'charity covereth a multitude of sins." Still they could not ignore the fact that at the best, tobacco is a dirty, nasty weed, not only scenting everything with which it comes in con-tact, but when used in the mouth particularly offensive, as it produces the desire to expectorate often, which is in itself revolting. Spittoons were in requisition, not only in all the public rooms, but in many of the bed-chambers besides; and these nuisances had to be emptied and washed every day by the women - and oh with such feelings of disgust! Many and many a time was the wish expressed, "that the men would give up tobacco it would be so much better." Still no one expected such a change would actually be realized during the present generation.

Matters continued in this way for four or five years, when one day, in the month of March, 1853, there came from Brooklyn, a long Home-Talk by J.H.N., entitled 'Tobacco Reform." It was a startling title, and produced no little sensation among the tobacco-lovers here at Oneida. However, the Home-Talk was not only received with favor, but after reflection all were ready to carry out the spirit of it. After


defining the nature of the tobacco-fascination, and repudiating anything like legality in the matter, Mr. Noyes remarked:
"As a means of grace, what kind of an idea would it be to propose to all the Communities the experiment of a fast from tobacco for one day. Name a day, and let those that have power over their wills lay aside tobacco and give up the day to meditation on the subject. That might have a good effect, if it were a free-will offering. I think more will be done by a free-will offering of that kind than ever could be accomplished by legality. Appointing a fast to the Lord is a totally different thing from making solitary resolutions. There is no dependence upon will-works in the case; they will be abortive and ineffectual.

"I would propose that the Community contemplate as the hope of their calling the entire breaking up of this bondage. I am in no hurry about measures, but let us take this as our ‘stint,’ so that by faith we can see to the end. If we have a faith that sees to the end, we shall be ‘warping up’ to it. In one way or another I am confident that the tobacco-devil, instead of leading us captive, is going to be itself led captive.

"To come to something practical, I would recommend that those who are free from tobacco should not contemplate using it, but keep their freedom. And I would recommend to those who can drop the use of it, without quarreling with themselves, to do so at once. While to those who are thoroughly imprisoned in the use of tobacco, I would recommend the experiment of a fast; say, for instance, next Sunday. Let us quit it for one day, and give up our minds to reflection and attention to the Lord’s mind about such matters."

The proposal to keep a fast of one day from tobacco was readily acceded to, and Sunday, April 3, 1853, was appointed as the time. Although one day may seem a very limited suspension, it is true that a number of our good brothers underwent a severe struggle in denying themselves their favorite solace for even so short a time. A member writing to Brooklyn about it afterward, said:

"There was an interesting fact connected with our tobacco fast, which I will report. Nearly all the men who had been in the habit of using tobacco were affected with dizziness – making them feel very much as a person who had drunk too much wine. It was also interesting that many, both men and women, who had never used tobacco, were affected in the same way; but had no suspicion of the cause, till


they heard the experience of the tobacco-chewers, smokers and snuffers in the evening meeting."
On comparing notes it was found that not only at Oneida, but at our Communes in Newark, Brooklyn, Putney and Wallingford, the experience was much the same while fasting from tobacco. And the event of the fast seemed to loosen the hold of the tyrant, and the Community began to fed an inspiration to conquer the habit such as they never had had before. In a few days Mr. Noyes sent word to Oneida -"Bear it in mind that the purpose which we propose to ourselves is to make an end sooner or later of the bondage we have been in to this tobacco principality. We will set no time and make no resolutions in regard to specific things to be done, for the accomplishment of that end; but we will set it before us as the result for which we are hound in faith. We must be in earnest that legality is not substituted for faith. If we wish to succeed, it will be essential to keep legality out of the matter."

Thus warned, the Community were armed, and the miraculous, magical change was effected almost without an effort. The mood was on for crushing the tyrant forever. Four days after the fast, one reported to Brooklyn, "There is but very little tobacco used here now. Several have left off entirely, and others use it only temperately. We keep the matter open to the light, by telling our experience in the meetings every evening."

There was no condemnation brought upon those who, from time to time, chose to use it, but the prevailing feeling seemed to be, that it was better to abstain from it, as far as possible without legality. In fact, it was a grand, inspired move, entered into by the whole family; and from this very fact destined to succeed. Over thirty of the men left off the use of tobacco simultaneously, and found strength to resist temptation about it afterward; there were others who were weak in temptation, but who finally found strength, in their union with those who were victorious, to abandon it altogether. Gradually tobacco became unpopular, and many who had for years been slaves found themselves free; and before the end of the year tobacco was not used in the Community, and from that time to this (now eighteen years) has found no place among us. We think with thankfulness, what a blessed freedom! What a salvation it has been for the young men growing up in our midst; not one of whom is addicted to this degrading practice.


Our house is clean and sweet - no rooms fuming with smoke - no floors discolored with spittle - no spittoons to disgrace our parlors -but home attractive for all to enjoy. Thank God for the inspiration, combined with faith, that enabled our brothers to step from bondage to freedom!

A few years since some of our people wrote out their 'tobacco experience," from which I will extract a few paragraphs. After relating the story of his tobacco-service, which Tasted twelve or fifteen years, Mr. G.W.N. winds up with:

"Good-bye Anderson, Lorrillard and Lillienthal. Your companionship, cosy as it is brings with it a bad smell. Good-bye, Mrs. G. B. Miller. Your charming influence does not render a man very acceptable to others of your sex. Thank God, the reign of yellow drizzle, spittoons, stale scents and 'old-soldiers,' is over! Thank God, the most vile, absurd, unclean, slave-driving tyranny that ever cursed humanity is hereabouts broken, and the insurrection is spreading!"

Mr. William H. Woolworth contributes the following:

"I should no doubt have been in tobacco bonds to this day, but for the combined Community rising and revolt against narcotic tyranny, which carried all irresistibly before it. I did not seem to get free at once, however, from the tobacco principality; but for years after my emancipation from all voluntary bondage, I would be subject to imposition in my sleeping hours, and compelled to imaginary chewing in my dreams. But for the last two years I have rejoiced in complete deliverance from imaginary as well as real narcotic servitude; thanks to the combined movement."

Mr. J. Burt finishes his story with the following paragraph:

"My bondage to the habit of chewing continued without intermission till I was forty-six years old, when Communism finally set me free. It was on this wise: The Community men after due deliberation decided by unanimous vote to expel tobacco from their circle. The rout was complete. More than thirty of us broke from its use simultaneously, and the Community as a body has remained undefiled by it for fifteen years. A few days sufficed to clear me from all hankering for it, and I have been a healthier and happier man in consequence

One of the women thus appropriately spoke the mind of her sex:

"A woman's love must be strong indeed that can surmount tobacco, and her sense of the poetical must suffer when she views the accom-


paniments necessary for the tobacco-chewer, in the shape of spittoons, etc., or still worse, when she sees her best beloved, with pursed-up mouth and eager eyes, looking for a suitable place to spit.

"For myself the antipathy to tobacco grew stronger and stronger, arising partly from disgust and partly from a conviction that its use was injurious to the body and enslaving to the mind. Thus there commenced a series of domestic skirmishes, usually ending in the cheerful surrender of the tobacco-box to my safe-keeping for days together; and as the disbursement of its contents was left entirely to my generosity, it is needless to say that the box was empty at the close of every campaign.

"This state of things continued: dislike on one side, and slavery on the other. until that blessed era in Community history when the men, with the love of truth for their guide and that ;tern heroism which goes to battle but to conquer threw aside their tobacco, and declared themselves freemen. That was no less a glorious day for the women. They have no longer a rival in tobacco, but are united with their brothers in abolishing slavery in all its forms. For this and a thousand other deliverances the women of the O.C. have to thank (BIBLE) Communism."

* * *

All agreed in saying of tobacco, 'Good riddance;" and whether brought about through an influence exerted by the women, or through some deeper influence, we are sure the CURE IS EFFECTUAL.


THE breaking up of the Brooklyn Community. which occurred during the year 1854, forms another conspicuous epoch in our recollections of the past. One morning in the month of October, 1854, Mr. S. R. Leonard, foreman of the Brooklyn printing-office, arrived at Oneida, bringing with him a proposition that the Brooklyn family should return to Oneida with the press the coming winter, provided that accommodations could be made for them, and everything got in readiness to commence the next volume of the CIRCULAR here. Although taken by surprise, it is hardly necessary to say that the O.C. received this proposition with great joy. and a reply was soon returned to Brooklyn in the affirmative. So the work of preparation went on; a large and pleasant printing-office was fitted up in the Mill, and sleeping rooms were remodeled and arranged so as to suit the convenience of all who might come. On the 8th of December, 1854, the first detachment, a company of twelve persons, left Brooklyn for Oneida, arriving in the night. A week or ten days afterward the rest of the Brooklyn family arrived, with the exception of two or three persons, who joined the Community at Wallingford. The meeting of friends was a joyful one; and in fact the merging of the Brooklyn family into the Oneida family en masse had an electrical effect, and stimulated all to cultivate brotherly love and whatever would make a happy home.
At the close of the volume the readers of the CIRCULAR were apprised of the intended change in the following language: "We shall employ the short vacation this year in removing our press and printing materials to Oneida, where, after a few weeks we expect to resume our regular issues. We have no very definite plan for the future, but we expect God's plan concerning us will develop as fast as is necessary. We are well assured that our present move is in the right direction. In leaving the city, we seem to hear a voice like that of old -- 'Come out of her my people' -- and all the signs that are open to our discernment indicate a gathering storm of trouble and wrath banging over the nation, and particularly these great city centers of iniquity. In face of the separation and discord around us we concentrate."

These words seem almost prophetic, when we connect them with the events that followed. During the summer of 1855, while the united


Oneida and Brooklyn families were rejoicing in their strength to overcome evil, the city of Brooklyn was visited by a pestilence, the yellow fever; and Willow-Place, secluded as it had always seemed, did not escape. Indeed, the desolator singled out its victims from beneath the very roof of our former home. Strange Providence!

During the first winter after the Brooklyn arrivals, business at the shops did not demand the attention and time of the men, so much as now. We were able to carry out such a programme as the following, without inconvenience: after breakfast, the whole family attended Bible-game for half an hour, after which they went to their various employments for the forenoon. Dinner at twelve. From one till two all bands joined a bee for sewing on carpet-bags (then our most lively business) or braiding palm-leaf hats, as the case might be. At two all separated to their various occupations until the supper hour at six o clock. At a quarter to seven the bell rang for classes in grammar, spelling, geography, arithmetic, philosophy, etc. These generally lasted until a quarter to eight. Once a week, in place of the classes, a lecture was given in the parlor on some subject of interest, as physiology, geology, grammar or the like. Sunday afternoon a meeting was held from two to three. These were continued until some time in the month of March.

As we have mentioned the Bible-game as one of the Community ordinances, we will endeavor to give an account of its history among us. The game started at Wallingford Community, whence it soon circulated in the other Communities, and as early as the Spring of 1854, was in the "full tide of successful experiment." The object of it was to familiarize persons with the Bible, and, as someone said, "enable them to invariably tell the book, chapter and verse when any passage is read." The game, when first introduced, was conducted in the following manner:

"We arranged ourselves in a circle, forming a class as in school. Two or three of the best readers were appointed to take turns in the office of master. The master opened the Testament at random with the point of a knife, and reading the first verse that met his eye, called on the head of the class to tell what book it was in. If the answer was correct, the master said, 'Right,' and opened again, and put a new verse to the next in the class. If the answer was not right, he said, 'The next,' and 'The next,' and so on until the answer was correct. Then he went on as


before." This was one method; another was to practice on single books; for instance, the book of Matthew was given out as the lesson, and all were much engaged in preparing for the trial. Even the children went over every chapter, and took note of each verse minutely. The 1st chapter might be called the "Genealogy chapter;" the 2nd, the "Herod and Egypt chapter;" the 3rd, the "John the Baptist chapter;" the 4th, the "Temptation chapter;" the 10th, the "Apostle's chapter;" the 13th, the "Parable chapter," and so on. When we had labeled each chapter in this way, as well as we could in our own minds, we were prepared to refer any verse that was proposed to one of these general departments, just as a merchant knows, when a certain piece of calico is called for, that he shall find it on the calico range of shelves. But each one found out his own best way to learn. Various methods suited various minds.

A writer after describing the game, added "If competition and penalties are wanted to give piquancy to the sport, the various methods usual in schools or parties may be employed. You may have a head and foot to the class, and the one that answers right may 'go above' those that answer wrong. Or you may 'choose up' as they used to do in the old-fashioned spelling schools. Or you may appoint judges, and when one answers wrong let him be judged according to the custom in parties. Or you may invent new methods. Our fashion sometimes has been to give out two or three corns or counters to each person in the circle, and have it for the rule that as often as one misses an answer, he shall put a counter in a box in the midst of the party. When the questioning is finished (which in this case should go round only so many times as there are counters given to each), those who have lost are to draw from a box containing the names of all in the party, as many critics as they have lost counters. The persons drawn are to criticise the drawers, or 'judge' them in any fashion old or new. Some of these methods may be used occasionally, to give variety, and make amusement for the children. But I am inclined to think that, in general, competition and penalties will not be needed to make this exercise attractive."

Another variation of the game is thus described by a member of the Wallingford Community:

After our usual Bible-game this morning, we had another exercise which proved entertaining.


A. having fixed in his mind upon some book of the Bible, the rest of the circle tried to find out which book it was by asking him questions.
  This tests our general knowledge of the Bible pretty well. There is no limit to the variations we may have in our Bible studies.

This game possessed many advantages it not only familiarized all with the Bible in a new and interesting way, but afforded an opportunity for old and young to mingle together in its study. While all


others found it necessary to give diligent attention to each lesson in order to answer correctly, Mr. Noyes, from his previous knowledge of the Bible, and without reading over the appointed lesson, seldom failed to give at once, the book, chapter and verse of the passage read, and to indicate its locality in the Polyglott Bible he had always used. While we were often astonished at his wonderful memory of the Bible, it incited us to renewed perseverance in acquainting ourselves with the same.

The Bible-game continued popular for several years, but was discontinued for other studies, and although the Bible has since been studied, that particular method has not been pursued. We are not yet without hope, that it may sometime be revived.


The evening meetings during the first year after the arrival of the Brooklyn family are memorable for the many animated discussions on various topics. At one time the Community became exercised about ventilating the meeting-room. The old parlor seemed close when our two hundred members gathered in it. How to circulate air through it without occasioning a draft upon some one's head was a vexed question. It was finally agreed to open the windows and ventilate the room after every gathering, and to limit the evening meeting to one hour. For some time previous it had extended indefinitely over one, two and even three hours. A person was appointed to announce in a loud voice, "Nine o'clock," which was to be the signal for closing. Occasionally afterward some enthusiastic person was interrupted in the midst of an earnest observation by this amusing cut-off, and was obliged to make the best of it as the whole party dispersed. At another time the "dress question" was presented to the family for consideration. The women were tempted into copying worldly fashions, and bestowing too much attention upon outward adornment. The earnestness of the whole Community brought to bear against these tendencies soon restored the women to their original purpose of dressing in simplicity and without display. The following observation made by J.H.N. produced a decided influence in the right direction:

"I am free to confess that the practice of frequently changing dress, so common and fashionable in the world, is entirely contrary to my ideas of true taste. When I see a person in new attire, different from his or her ordinary dress, it makes me feel as though I had lost some-thing. A certain amount of strangeness seems to have been put upon that person, that makes him or her appear unnatural to me. In meeting a person in a new dress. especially one that seems to court attention, and is gay and flaunting, I feel myself introduced to the dress, and not to the person. The real object of every modest person, either man or woman, should be to dress so as not to attract attention at all. Persons may attract attention by being slovenly and disorderly in their dress, as well as by being dandyish. But a truly modest person is one who does not attract attention to his dress either for its good or bad qualities. If we dress to suit other folks' eyes, we should dress to


suit the Primitive Church, not to suit the Oneida Community nor the world."

One evening the conversation turned on improvement of time. It was thought that this was an important subject, and the suggestion was made that every member should keep a log-hook or a daily account of how every hour and minute of the day was spent. This suggestion was carried out conscientiously by all for a time, and the custom of having these journals or "logs," as they are called, read at the evening gathering became quite popular. The following is a pretty good specimen of the usual style in which these "logs" were written:

"Read our Bible-lesson, and chatted some with the agents who were about to start on their trips, till Bible-game. in which I took part as reader. Was some amused by the replies of Job to his three friends. 'Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace; and it should be your wisdom.' - If your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you; and shake mine head at you.' I judge that these three friends, were more full of talk and worldly wisdom than sincerity; and Job's sorrows and afflictions were so great that he could not patiently listen to their superficial treatment of his case, and he replies to them with sarcastic words. But when he faces around toward the Lord, his expressions of trust and submission are most notable. Spent the forenoon at work on the hoes. After dinner returned to tile shop and finished the job. With some help from the women have put the blades on to seven hundred hoes. Appreciate the presence of the women in the shop very much; I have been led to notice the mechanical judgment and skill some of them display. Let them have good opportunities, and they will become very efficient. At four I had a pleasant ramble after flowers with S.C.H. and S.F.J. Found some specimens, but flowers are not very plenty yet. Played ball a few minutes with the children before supper was edified by the spirit that prevailed at the table enjoy meeting persons there, and desire to cooperate in making our meals true Lord's Suppers. Held a meeting with the children from seven to eight. Felt like trusting the Lord to make me edifying, and was conscious that He met my faith and put words in my mouth. After meeting tried to analyze some of our wild flowers with two of the sisters. Succeeded partially, but found it somewhat difficult. Went to bed at ten."

As spring advanced, business discussions were in order. Work on


the farm and garden was brisk, but it was found that much time was lost through a lack of perfect organization; tools were left around at hap-hazard, and no one felt personally responsible for them. After due agitation of the matter for several evenings, and severe criticism of carelessness in general, the family took a resolution to "have a place for everything, and to keep everything in its place." The garden tools were branded, and a person appointed to take charge of them; each one using a tool was expected to put it in its place perfectly clean. Other matters of business often came before the meeting. Mr. J. H. Noyes, who since the Brooklyn removal had made Oneida his home, now interested himself in the trap-business; he succeeded in bringing it out of its obscurity, and placing it among our important industries. Since the trap-trade has become so important, and Newhouse's Steel Trap so renowned, we recall with interest the zeal with which Mr. Noyes worked at this time, in bringing it to notice, and awakening the interest of the family. The improvements in the manner of labor were often discussed in our meetings, and by degrees the trap-business became of central interest with all.

Severe criticism fell one evening on the spirit that indulges antipathies. Some had given expression to the idea that likes and dislikes are involuntary and uncontrollable. When this spirit was really brought to the light it proved to be very weak. One person in criticism it emphasized the fact, that if a person were really delivered over to an irrational antipathy he would be delivered over to perdition. "For," said he, "whoso hateth his brother is a murderer; and no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." Suffice it to say, such sincerity proved availing in dispelling this evil, and many years ago it was found that where antipathies had existed they soon gave place to genuine attraction, proving that they were entirely without reason.

About a year after the concentration, the question was brought before the Community, "Shall we entirely discontinue the use of pork?" The result was an hour's lively discussion on the subject; many testified to a growing distaste for it, and the family as a whole saw many good reasons for urging its abandonment; and a vote was taken to abolish that article of food from our table, and as fast and as far as possible to discontinue the use of lard in cooking. This was the 7th of December, 1855 since which time no pork has been used in our family.


Below is an account of our first experience in frying doughnuts without lard:

"As the kitchen group were making out their day's programme this morning, and had concluded to have coffee for dinner, one of them said that sometime. for a special treat, he wished we could have some doughnuts fried in butter; and albeit we were just meditating retrenchment in this precious article, the idea took so well that all said, 'Let's try it we shall have the benefit of the experiment, if we waste the butter!' So about twenty pounds of butter were weighed out, and put in a dripper on the range to melt. Meanwhile the dough for the nuts was mixed. Presently the butter began to boil quite furiously, and a cake was dropped into it, but was taken out a poor, drowned thing, all water-soaked and briny. We must wait, it appeared. till the butter could be reduced to oil. Then there were grave speculations and consultations over the case; how long would it take for this to be effected? Some thought the process would carry us beyond the dinner hour; which put us in a quandary; and when by and by the foaming mass began to rise in the dripper and threaten most imminently to all go over, we thought our 'fat was in the fire' sure enough. However, by being judiciously elevated from the stove, and blowed at by several concurrent cooks, it subsided, and after a little while presented a state of calm, which showed that the water had boiled away, and the oil was pure. Then we put in another cake, and this reappeared quickly with all the signs of a lively doughnut, soon putting on a 'lovely brown,' and saying to us, "You may begin to fry in earnest now." We fried twenty-two times twenty in about an hour and a half, all with the utmost satisfaction; and weighing the butter that was left we found but just ten pounds had been consumed by the process, which was very little more than we use for a bread-and-butter supper."

We might add to the above, that after experimenting awhile with butter, equal parts of suet and butter were used successfully; and at length we discovered that suet itself makes a very good substitute for lard, which is now alone used in the frying of doughnuts.


WE have already shown the changes wrought in the general Community arrangements after the reunion of the Oneida and Brooklyn families. Improvement was the watch-word stimulating every department. Not only was this true of the various businesses, but there was a revival of interest in intellectual pursuits. Classes in Creek, Latin and other languages were started, and some attention given to the higher branches of mathematics. Music, which had thus far commanded only a small portion of the general interest, now became an acknowledged source of pleasure. A small organization, consisting of a dozen members, was formed at this time, and a systematic course of drill attempted. The noon hour was chosen as most convenient, and for the succeeding eight or ten years the family spent the half hour after dinner agreeably, in noting the progress of this orchestra, as it grew in size and ability.

Aside from the orchestra. however, very little attention was given to entertainments; but as a large class of boys and girls were about graduating from the Children's House, the necessity of introducing some pleasant pastime, in which old and young might take part, seemed to be increased.

The 'bag-bees" were already made attractive by the introduction of attractive reading, and were well attended. The taste for novel-reading, so common to young people, was gratified, and yet no had effects followed from it; on the contrary we found this course prevented a great deal of isolated "poring over novels," which is so pernicious. One of the advantages of this public disposal of novel-reading was the chance afforded for selection; "yellow-covered literature" was entirely ignored; we confined ourselves mostly to Walter Scott's novels, though now and then a novel from the pen of 13ulwer, Dickens. Charlotte Bronte, or Charles ilcade, seemed to give new interest to the "bag-bees." Occasionally the reading was interrupted by some apt criticism (by the reader or one of the auditors) of the plot, style, or perhaps of an erroneous sentiment expressed, so that the reading proved to he of benefit to the young in learning to discriminate right principles from wrong.

When we speak of our young people graduating from the Children's


House, it must be borne in mind that at this time the Children's House was very different from what it now is. The children all lived in a separate building, and their communication with the adults was not nearly so frequent as the present class of children enjoy, though free to meet their parents when desired by them. The older children, a large class of boys and girls, had now arrived at a suitable age to graduate. That is, they had outgrown the rules and restrictions suitable for small children. and seemed to require another form of government to rightly mold their characters. For this purpose, they were invited over to the Mansion House to live with the "grown folks." It can easily be imagined that the addition of over twenty young people to the main family within a year was no small event; by it a strong current of young life was introduced into the very center of the Community. Indeed, it is not too much to say, that the young folks soon became a conspicuous part of the family, and that many changes afterward made had their interests in view.

During the autumn of 1855. a dancing-class (the first ever arranged by the O.C.) was formed, consisting mostly of young people, who met every evening to learn the steps. Mr. G. W. Noyes Mrs. H A. Noyes and Mrs. M. F. Newhouse took charge of the class, and taught the figures. As soon as the first class became familiar with the steps, other classes were formed, and the members of the first class assisted in teaching the rest. In this way, more than half the Community were soon able to go through a contra-dance without difficulty. The first of November, 1855. is memorable as the occasion of the first Community dance in which old and young took a part. In place of our usual classes after supper, the hours from six until eight were spent in a general dance. For a hall, the old "wood-shed chamber" was arranged for the occasion, and a space cleared that would allow forty couples to dance at once. It was lighted by hanging lanterns, and withal looked cheerful and unique, the laughing children perched upon up-piled boxes, and the musicians seated in a rude alcove reserved on one side. Floormasters were appointed, who knew how to dance, and we formed ourselves, to begin with, in two rows across the length of the floor, displaying a greater variety in heights and ages than perhaps ever met for the same purpose before. The first lesson was how to make a how, and as the courtesy loses its grace and fitness in the short dress, both sides were instructed in the same action. Next we practiced the ten


steps, first with counting and then with music. Tall men, who had never used their feet to any such tricks, made their first essay. We danced at least two simple figures, which, by judicious matching of those who could dance with novices, went off very well. The effect was altogether good. Here was a fascinating pleasure all pervaded and salted with a spirit of improvement. Parents and children danced together. The whole affair was pleasant - a combination of sobriety and playfulness. vivacity and wisdom. In connection with this dance, one of the members sketched down the following experience, which seemed touchingly appropriate at the time. As it is short I will insert a copy of it here:

"Some years ago, a youth, just at the age most susceptible to outward attractions, wished very much to attend dancing-school, and pleaded with his mother for her approval. She was a woman who feared the Lord, and sought to bring up her children in the ways of godliness, and she did not like to have him go. She did not think evil of dancing; she sympathized with his attraction for it, and contrary to the common religious sentiment, regarded it as an innocent and dignified amusement, and as an appropriate expression of sacred joy. But with its associations in the world, she feared it would be a snare to her son, and she advised him to deny himself for Christ's sake, and trust Christ for the gratification of his passion in the right way. The boy yielded to his mother's advice, and they sat down with the family to hear some reading in the Bible. By a happy coincidence, the chapter to which the reader opened was the 31st of Jeremiah, in which among other promises to repenting Israel. it is said, 'Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together.' 'That,' said the mother, 'we will take as a prophecy!' She did not dream then of Community, but she believed that sometime - if not here, at least in the New Jerusalem - dancing would be an enjoyment of the good. That son, now grown up to be a man, loves the sport as well as ever, and is the leader in the present movement - the mother also seeing with pleasure the realization of a favorite idea in the introduction of dancing into the home circle, as an ordinance of health, social improvement and unity."

Dancing now became an adopted ordinance, the members all taking part in it. General dancing occurred as often as once a fortnight. Although all were hearty and enthusiastic in their enjoyment of the


dance while it lasted, we seldom continued dancing more than an hour and a half, and then were ready to sit down to a quiet meeting, as on other evenings. Dancing was not allowed to interfere with other established exercises. After the first two or three general dances, which took place in the "wood-shed chamber," we chose the dining-room for a dancing-hall. It was only a few moments' work to remove the tables and shove the stools to one side, and there were always volunteers ready to assist in arranging the room. The enjoyment of the dance increased in proportion as the members became familiar with the steps; and, thanks to the patient instructions of G. W. Noyes, C. W. Hamilton and others, it was not long before most of the family could trip through, not only all simple contra dances, but waltzes, polkas, cotillions, etc.
Dancing was a popular amusement during our sojourn at the Old Mansion House, and also for the first years after we moved into our new house; but for a few years past we have danced but little. Occasionally a dance is announced, and the intelligence is received with pleasure. If we engage in this amusement less frequently than formerly, it is not because we love dancing less but other things more.

ANOTHER form of amusement, that served to pleasantly "while away the hours" of many a long evening, was the drama. Aside from a few public rehearsals, given by the young folks, of "dialogues," "pieces," etc. (learned at school), nothing had ever been attempted in this line. Our first experiment was tried a few months after the "family dance," described in the last chapter. The story of Ruth was chosen, as being simple and affording an opportunity for all ages to bear a part. The characters of Ruth, Orpah, and the reapers were personated by young folks, while Boaz, Naomi, the kinsmen and the elders, were represented by persons of appropriate age. A temporary stage or platform was built at one end of the old parlor, which for this occasion was covered with bundles of straw and other articles necessary to portray the story. This little play gave universal satisfaction, and the family expressed a wish that this form of entertainment might be continued. However, for some good reason, no more public presentations were given for a year or more. The attention directed to amusements, meanwhile, centering mostly on general improvement of tile orchestra, which, by the way, now numbered twenty members, and included a fair proportion of the young "graduates" heretofore mentioned. Dancing and marching were also somewhat popular during this time; but there were a few enthusiasts, who kept up a separate exercise in elocution, and private rehearsals of single pieces were of frequent occurrence.

Nearly two years from date of the little play of Ruth, the following announcement for the early evening entertainment, printed in conspicuous letters, appeared on the bulletin:


The class in elocution had persevered industriously for several months, and this was their first public essay. The recitations were considered very creditable to the ambition and talent of the class, and the audience derived genuine enjoyment from listening to them The Orchestra, which had now acquired a little proficiency in music, assisted on this occasion quite acceptably. Indeed, the success attending the whole affair led to a systematic course of theatricals. The Community as a whole gave more thought to the matter than they had done before, and without hesitation sanctioned the plan of considering dramatic entertainments on our list of amusements. It is a fact worthy of mention, that whenever the whole Community become interested in a matter, inspiration and enthusiasm seem to surround it with a peculiar charm, making it an ordinance of health and happiness. So in this case: we engaged in theatricals with the same hearty spirit of improvement that we did in the Bible-game, and had no more fear as to the results. This was in October, 1857.

Four weeks later, another announcement appeared on the bulletin, of which the following is a copy:


Dramatis Personae
ANTONIO - L. Van Velzer
BASSANIO - Geo. W. Noyes
DUKE - H.W. Burnham
  This play, with music between the scenes and a short interim, occupied the whole evening, commencing at half-past 5, and lasting until 9 o'clock. But it was time well spent. The cast of characters was fitly chosen, and no time or pains had been spared in thorough rehearsals. Mr. G. W. Noyes, who perhaps had most to do with the general arrangement of this comedy, was untiring in his labors; much of the concinnity of the play was greatly due to his artist's eye. He carefully studied every expression of the face, every gesture of the arms, every attitude of the body. He also assisted Mr. R. S. DeLatre. our crayon artist on this occasion, to get up appropriate scenery. The parts were well committed, the company well trained; perfect success crowned the event. The fate of poor Antonio, the miserly character of Shylock, the fortunate guess of Bassanio, the comic conversation between Old Gobbo and his son Launcelot, the silly love-scene between Lorenzo and Jessica, and above all, the eloquent appeal of fair Portia for Antonio, are scenes still fresh in our minds.

Following this was a series of dramatic entertainments, occurring as often as once in two or three weeks, and lasting during the winter months; these were sometimes varied with songs by the quartette club, dialogues, recitations, etc. Occasionally these exercises were diversified by dancing, or, as happened on two or three occasions, a


free entertainment given to the O.C. by a music-teacher, residing in the neighboring village of Vernon. His troupe consisted of his wife, a guitarist, and two young men, one of whom played the second violin, and the other the violoncello. His rendering of the "Carnival of Venice," though rough compared with professional artists, was sufficiently skillful to give the Community great pleasure, and met with applause.

The Community appetite continued good for dramatic entertainment for the next six years, in which time the following plays were rendered with at least a moderate amount of success: "Taming the Shrew' '-"Lady of Lyons"-"The Stranger' '-"Family Jars' '-"Speed the Plow"-' 'A 11's Fair in Love"-"Much Ado About Nothing"-"Rob Roy"-' Still Waters Run Deep' '-"The Honey Moon"-' 'Pizarro' '-"Damon and Pythias' '-' Merry Wives of Windsor' '-"School for Scandal"- besides several extracts from "Pickwick," and Mrs. H. B. Stowe's world-wide novels, etc.

Our theatricals were always amateur rather than professional in character. In fact, our drama was in little danger of ever becoming a professional affair, as a different cast of characters was selected for every new play. We regarded the stage as a school for all-not an institution separate from the general family. The drill in memorizing, and opportunity offered for gaining our freedom, were valued by all who took active part in the plays. It was really surprising to see dramatic talent spring up in unexpected places, as it frequently did. Persons often astonished themselves as well as their audience.

It must not be inferred from what we have said, that the whole time and attention of the O.C. was absorbed in theatricals. Although all felt highly entertained by them, and great faithfulness was required by the chosen actors of each play, still there was a balance of interest going in other directions that preserved a happy state of equilibrium. Business was active; the schools and classes were attended with unabated zeal; vocal as well as instrumental music received a fair share of attention; while the evening meetings absorbed the greatest portion of the family interest, and the spirit of unity grew stronger and the confession of Christ bolder.


WHILE much attention was engrossed with theatricals, instrumental music, and dancing, there was also a revival of interest in vocal music in the Community. From the first there were those among us who could sing very pleasingly -"natural singers," as they were called; hut most of those musically inclined were in much need of cultivation. Very few of our number were able to read music, or sing in accordance with fixed rules. But with a spirit of improvement to stimulate us, we soon became familiar with the simple rules, and able to "sing by note" with considerable facility. A singing-school was held every Sunday evening, which all who desired were free to attend. Several quartet clubs were formed for the purpose of assisting individuals in sustaining their parts. There were few independent vocalists among us at this time, and only one or two of the men who ever ventured upon solo singing. We confined ourselves to simple music, and with what knowledge we had sought to produce harmonious tones. Occasionally, one of the "clubs" summoned courage to give the family a song; such attempts were generally rewarded by the charitable verdict of, "Very well done indeed, considering." Thus encouraged, we continued our practice, though in all the Community there was not one professional teacher of music. We helped one another - those most apt in reading music assisting those who were less so; and those possessing most musical ability and taste setting the standard for the rest. Our progress was very slow, it is true, but we found many incentives to continued perseverance.

And now I must mention an event which led to surprising results. One autumn afternoon, in the year 1858, a dozen of our most "reliable singers," were invited to take supper in the woods. The afternoon was fine and everything conducive to enjoyment. The viands were spread temptingly on a rude table, constructed for the occasion. The company were in fine spirits, and partook of the meal with a hearty relish - all the more enjoyable, perhaps, for the floating rumor that there was a particular object for the gathering, which none of us could guess. Supper over, the party sat chatting merrily around the table, and wondering what surprise was in store, when Mr. H. W. Burnham, who had arranged the party, remarked in a serio-comic voice, that


the occult design of this little picnic was yet to be revealed, and if we would give good attention he would endeavor to make the matter clear. We gave excellent attention, while he astonished us with the following announcement: "We have in our possession a musical drama, 'Daniel, or the Captivity and Restoration' a sacred Cantata in three parts, written by Root and Bradbury. It is over sixty pages long, and some of the music is difficult. Still a number of us, who have glanced it through, think it would be a fine thing if we could make up our minds to learn the whole of it. Now shall we not say that we will learn it, and present it to the family sometime the ensuing winter?"

After recovering from the first surprise, all promised to take hold of the matter and do their best. A copy of the "Cantata" was passed around, for all to pronounce upon. With no professional teacher, and no professional singers among us, the idea of attempting to represent a drama in song looked like a stupendous enterprise. Still we resolved to undertake it, and submit to all the criticism and drill necessary to accomplish the desired result. Before returning to the house, the cast of characters was made out, and nearly all the arrangements, as to the time of practice, number of singers on the choruses, etc., decided upon. We set about our task without delay, and for the succeeding six weeks practiced assiduously. Nearly every evening found us gathered in "No. 9," in the old "Avenue," from six until eight o'clock, rehearsing over and over again our parts. We can never forget the patience of the bassos in learning the passage .

 "In God is our trust, he will help us.

 The arrangement required them to repeat "in God is our trust" several times, and they persisted in running the I on to the i, so that "Tin God" became very prominent. They finally overcame the difficulty, much to the satisfaction of all concerned. There were twenty of us who assisted as vocalists, besides three or four young men who played the instrumental accompaniment. At length we succeeded in committing the first part of the Cantata, and on the 9th of December gave a public presentation on the stage. We did not consider this presentation as anything final at all, but regarded it as an experiment; however, the family were very much pleased with it, and encouraged us to go on and learn the whole drama. So we plodded on two months longer; and on the evening of the 13th of February, 1859, we presented the


entire Cantata to the family. Over two hours were occupied in the rehearsal. The effect of the drama was very much increased by appropriate scenery, costume, etc. Our success was all we could ask. The principal soprano parts were taken by Mrs. H. C. Noyes and Mrs. F. A. Miller, the tenor by A. L. Burt and F. L. Hatch, and the bass by H. W. Burnham and S. W. Nash; ten or twelve others sustaining the choruses. The scene of this drama is laid in Babylon, and the time extends over the seventy years' captivity of the Jews, under the kings Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar and Darius. The following description of the different scenes we clip from an old journal:

"The first scene discloses the Hebrew captives, singing, sad and mournful, by the rivers of Babylon, yet with unshaken faith in the God of their fathers. In the 5th scene a herald announces the royal edict for all people and nations to fall down and worship the golden image. 'Worship, and live; disobey, and perish'- he proclaims. In the seventh scene the 'hateful cornet' is heard to sound, as the signal for worshiping the golden image; and a band of Israelites are seen encouraging one another to trust in God. In scene 8th the King demands, 'Bring forth those stubborn princes'- and to our astonishment they are brought forth and apparently thrust into a burning fiery furnace, whose bright light and leaping flames are suddenly reflected upon the audience from behind a screen. The song of triumph is heard from the furnace; and in the midst of the scene the King in consternation discerns four men unharmed in the midst of the fire, and he tremblingly calls to the servants of the Most High God to come forth. In the last scene of Part I, both Assyrians and Israelites join in full chorus in magnifying the Lord of heaven; which is done with fine effect.

"Part II consists of ten scenes. Darius the Mede reigns in Babylon, and Daniel is his first officer. The Persian princes, envying Daniel and seeking to destroy him, ensnare the King into making a decree that consigns Daniel to the lion's den. Daniel prays, is saved, and again exalted; and another triumphant chorus of Persians and Israelites, honoring the God of heaven, follows. The scene in which the Persian princes detect Daniel in the act of prayer, and sing in chorus-


is susceptible of fine dramatic effect. The first five scenes of Part III, are intended to represent the confession and prayer of the Israelites, and their longing to return to their own land. (See Daniel, chap. 9). In the remaining scenes the King is petitioned to let them go; he consents; then the final chorus of Israelites, etc., is a beautiful finishing of the piece.
"If we might particularize what was specially pleasing in a piece where so much was acceptable, we should refer to the solos and duet by Mrs. Noyes and Mr. Nash, of which the words are as follows:
  Two evenings later the Cantata was repeated for the benefit of invited guests from abroad. The audience was even more surprised at the performance than the family had been before.

A year later a petition was sent into one of our evening meetings to have the Cantata once more repeated. The general voice was in favor of the petition, and the singers in accordance with this expressed wish, refreshed their memories by frequent rehearsals, and on the 3rd day of March, 1860, presented the whole drama for the last time.


BUT I must not dwell longer on the subject of amusements, when there are so many other topics of interest awaiting my pen. I will picture, if possible, something of the internal workings of the Community, especially during the period after the older children were invited over to the "Mansion House" to live. Immediately after the admission of this class to the society of adults, they were placed under the particular care of individuals selected by the Community. They were at the same time distributed round to the various departments of business: the boys finding employment in the shops, on the farm, and in the garden; the girls in the kitchen, laundry and printing-office. Most of the boys continued their attendance at the school while the girls pursued their studies under special instructors, or attended the various evening classes. All were instructed to join the family at eight o clock in attending the meeting. Once a week a special meeting was generally held, for the benefit of the young, at which criticism was often solicited, or heart experience related. Matters went along quietly enough for some time, nothing occurring to interrupt the peaceable relations between old and young. Occasionally disrespect and insubordination showed themselves, but they were faults easily dispelled by criticism. Frivolity and superficiality were often criticised, and with good results. The manners of the young at the table, as well as in general, was a subject of frequent reprobation While the girls were most susceptible to worldly influences in matters of dress, music and the like, a fertile source of trial and temptation with the boys arose from their alimentiveness. And here I should state, that coincident with the transfer of the young people to the Mansion House, the state of our finances necessitated the most scrupulous economy on the part of all. Consequently our meals became exceedingly frugal; bean porridge, potatoes and milk gravy, brown bread and milk, formed our most usual bill-of-fare. Butter came on the table but seldom, and wheat bread was unfrequently made. Pie and cake were luxuries rarely indulged in, and then with restrictions. Preserves were dainties we could not afford. The older people found genuine enjoyment in this kind of living, as a means of grace; but what can be said of that ever


hungry class of beings denominated boys? Can we wonder that the "goodies" Mrs. Newhouse kept in the old "archway" for company were a temptation to them? They knew she had pie and cake, and "tarts," and many other desirable things, which seldom found their way to the public table; and the temptation to taste of them was stronger than they knew how to resist. Of course, this kind of pilfering was easily detected, and did not escape the deserved censure of their guardians.
Since the demolition of the Old Mansion House, one of this class, now in the prime of manhood, wrote for a composition the following amusing account of those early times:

"While the workmen were dismantling the upper story of the Old Mansion House, one of the young men found a pack of cards, soiled and moldy. They were not ordinary playing cards, but were lettered as follows: "Pie, One," "Eggs, Two," "Apples, One," "Apples, Two," 'Biscuit, Two," "Cake, One," "Cake, Two," etc. The older inhabitants recognized these cards. As I gazed upon them, memory carried me back twelve or more years, to the palmy days of the old building when we all lived in it, packed away closely in its tent-rooms and attics, as well as in its better apartments.

"The results of the frugal management in our kitchen at that time will long he remembered by the boys who were then growing from two to four inches in stature per annum, and who were in consequence always hungry. It was found that many of the younger members, and a few of the older ones, were liable to appropriate, under stress of appetite, more than their share of the delicacies the table did not groan tinder. To correct the matter and improve the moral nerve, the managers produced the set of cards described above. These cards were placed on the table beside the dishes containing the kinds of food named, and denoted that each individual was to limit himself to the number on the card. For instance, "Eggs, Two" forbade any one to eat more than two eggs. "Biscuit, One" confined him to one miniature loaf, and so on. These hints were very generally observed, because it was understood that if one overran the indicated numbers he began to eat some other one's allowance. The total amount of food was not limited, there being always plenty of the coarser kinds. Finding the boys inclined to dodge the notice "Pie, One" by selecting the large pieces, some one put a stop to the little game by inventing a pie


gauge, which marked off all the pieces into the same size. This same individual also brought out what he has since styled "butter-but-tons," or little pats of butter about the diameter of a silver dollar, which aided materially in effecting an equal distribution of that much prized article, until abundance made restriction unnecessary.

"As I have said, the boys were growing rapidly, and had keen appetites. I am sorry to add that their relish for good things led them into some questionable practices. At one time one of the boys ran fearful risks to secure a pocketful of warm crackers, which he discovered on one of the hanging shelves in the kitchen-cellar. Judge of his consternation and chagrin when, after having successfully bagged a lot of them and made good his escape, he took a bite from one and found they were Yeast Cakes! To avoid detection he was compelled to run the same risks again to restore them to the platter. Still another memorable affair was that in which two of the more unskillful of the boys made an attempt on a barrel of newly-made crackers which stood in the "archway" and gave off a delicious odor from tinder an enormous wooden bread-tray inverted over them. One of the boys was tall, the other short. The tall one could reach the crackers by lifting a corner of the tray and thrusting an arm into the barrel, and he thus secured a supply; but the short boy was compelled to wedge the bread-tray up between the barrel and the wall, and then hang with his head and shoulders in the barrel while he filled his pockets, his legs meanwhile dangling outside. While the short boy was thus engaged the sound of rapidly approaching footsteps was heard. The other boy immediately gave the alarm, but the unfortunate lad, in trying to extricate himself from the barrel, jarred the bread-tray so that it fell down pinning him securely with nothing but his frantic legs visible, being thus most literally be-trayed, as our venerable punster remarked on hearing the story. At that instant Mr. Ackley entered, and holding his candle aloft, gazed in evident perplexity at the oscillating members of the imprisoned one. All this was observed by the tall youth from the entrance to the potato-bin in a distant cellar, to which lie had retreated in the greatest confusion. But in point of sang froid one of X.Y.'s earlier operations far outdid either of these. Tie was in the pantry, in the act of helping himself, contrary to instructions, to a large piece of desirable custard pie. As he was about to elevate it to his lips someone approached. Thereupon he deliberately placed the


custard in the only receptacle he possessed, his pantaloons pocket, and walked coolly out. He afterwards ate it in a rather miscellaneous condition!

"This state of things could not long continue in the Community. The whole family became aroused, and the most direct criticism was brought to bear. At the same time the boys themselves came under conviction in regard to the matter, and thus it came about that such practices entirely disappeared. Furthermore the circumstances of the Community soon began to improve, so that all were more liberally fed, and the temptation to pilfer disappeared with the practice.

"It is cause for profoundest gratitude that the Community children of the present time know nothing of such things. Their every want supplied, and their spiritual education more carefully looked after, there is every reason to hope that they will grow up ignorant of many bad habits of thought and action which some of the earlier classes contracted or brought into the Community from outside society."

* * *

It is indeed true that these barbarous practices long ago disappeared from among us. The effect of the Community spirit and discipline has been to subdue mere animal instincts, and insure in their place a moral and spiritual development. The class of boys now growing up in the O.C. listen to the tales of their predecessors with surprise and incredulity, so foreign are such operations to their desires. We thank God for the triumph of good over evil.


IF all the persons who ever joined the O.C. had remained till this day, what a large family we should now have! I wonder if I can remember the names of all those who joined and left us while we inhabited the Old Mansion. Let me see. There were the Ruggles family, man and wife, who were among the first to enlist in our cause, but for some reason forsook it in less than a year. There were the Holmeses, a family of five, who made only a short trial, on account of the discontent of Mrs. Holmes. There were Mr. Francis Long and two children, who stayed with us nearly a year; and Mr. Daniel Long, wife and daughter, who came all the way from Old Virginia to join us; a few weeks sufficed to show them how little prepared they were for the connection, and they returned whence they came. There was Mr. Samuel Hutchins, with his wife and five children he remained with his family nearly two years, when he left on account of discontent; the two daughters, who were always thoroughly loyal to the cause they had espoused, returned to the Community after a short absence, and are yet with us. There were the Morgans, a family of four, who stayed with us nearly two years. There were the Howards, a family of five, who spent a year or two with us. There were the Lords, a family of four, who lived with us about two years, when all left but one son, who is still with us. There were the Deans, a family of four, who spent a short time at our Putney Community. There were the Knowlses, a family of four, who, after living with us two years, returned to the world, with the exception of the eldest son. There were L. W. Worden, wife and two children, who came to the O.C. in 1849, and made it their home the ensuing five or six years, when, on account of some difficulty with his son, Mr. W. was advised to take his family outside. There were the Lyveres. a married couple, who lived with us a year. There was Mrs. Gray, with three little children, who remained with us nearly a year. There was Mr. Hollister, with his mother and daughter, who remained with us nearly three years. There was Mr. Abram C. Smith, with his three children, who, after a residence in the Community of over eight years, concluded to again try the world. There were Mr. F. Schelling, wife and two children, who spent eight months with us, but, not having sufficiently counted the cost, left at

the end of that time. There was Irving Sedgwick, who remained with us nearly a year. There was Miss Delia Wright, who lived with us eight or nine years; and Rebecca Smith, who lived here two or three years. There were Mr. Perryman, Joshua Smith, George Vail senior, Mr. W. V. Seighman, Mr. J. S. Hull, two sons of our Mr. DeLatre, Ira Hutchins, George Hatch, Leonard Burt, young Miss B., John Hutchins senior, young S. Hutchins, James Prindle, which we believe complete the number of those who left us while we sojourned in the Old Mansion House. We say nothing of the twenty or thirty who left us after we took possession of our new house in 1862.

What an array of names! Cannot the reader picture to himself something of the trials the Community have been through? Imagine these persons outside, supplicating and humble, asking to be admitted to the Community; very sure they are prepared to come, and unwilling to take no for an answer. After a long correspondence, and perhaps a short personal acquaintance, they are kindly received; think of the labors of love bestowed upon them the confidence extended toward them - the privileges they enjoyed; and then think of their gradual alienation and final separation! Of all recollections of the past twenty years these events are among the saddest. Connections made in apparent candor and sincerity were vital, and could not be severed without affecting the whole body painfully. Is it strange that after twenty years of such experience the O.C. should listen to applications for membership with less indulgence? The Community heart is as large and benevolent as it ever was its desire for the salvation of the world as strong; its appreciation of Communism as a means of grace as great; its wish that the worthy may enjoy its advantages and blessings as earnest; and its conviction that true Christian Communities are to multiply and flourish still unshaken; but our experiences have been such as to induce the deepest study and the most careful inquiry as to the indication of God's providences respecting the admission of new members and the formation of new Communities; and the result is that our true policy for the immediate present seems plain to us, namely, to concentrate attention on our own improvement, and labor for that progress in general society that must precede any great extension of Communism. Meanwhile we shall do all we can to encourage unity of heart and purpose between all earnest believers in the principles that have made the Oneida Community a successful experi-


ment. But to return: Our doors have always been open for all who chose to leave, and although we could scarcely help regretting the separation from those whom we had learned to love, still we never put aught in the way of their leaving. As a general rule, discontented members have gone away from among us peaceably, and with good feelings on both sides - the exceptions to the rule are rare, and unworthy of mention. The reasons for leaving have been as multifarious as the individuals. In some cases a family came among us, who seemed for a time to be doing well, and to harmonize with the Community, when suddenly the father would become alienated, from some cause, and oblige his wife and children to go with him into the world. In other cases the reverse of this would be true, and the mother would require her husband and children to go away. Then again the children became the cause of separation. Some persons, attracted here by our outward prosperity, expecting to realize all their ideal of beauty and love, to the exclusion of a practical, earnest life, have left from disappointment. Others, who came for a home, found our soldier's life too much for them. Those who came to get away from the world, and yet bad no particular purpose before them, found themselves unprepared for our warfare with evil, and could not stay. Those who loved their own lives more than the truth quarreled with our method of criticism. Modern Spiritualists found it impossible to make a junction with us; and those that were tinctured with Universalism, that were neither hot nor cold themselves, and could not sympathize with righteous indignation against evil, left us. All pleasure-seekers, that sought their happiness in outward things alone, gradually found their way out of the O.C. In fact, the work of separation and sifting has gone on, until the Community is now able to pursue its onward path of progress free from the distractions of all sorts of malcontents.

My "Memories" would he incomplete without further reference to the beloved brothers and sisters who were called from our ranks by death. Though the death-rate of the Community has ever been comparatively low, nearly forty names are on the Family Register of those members who deceased previous to the time of our entering the New House, in 1862. Of these, eight were elderly people, two or three were merely sojourning with us, eight or ten were middle-aged, and with the exception of ten infants, the remainder were of various ages under thirty; hut as some notice of the death of nearly all has appeared in our paper, I need not mention them in this connection by name; nor need I dwell upon the different causes of their death, for these were classified in a report prepared by T. R. Noyes and published in No.34 of the last volume of the CIRCULAR. I will, therefore, simply endeavor to give an idea of the way in which death has come to he regarded by the Community. This is perhaps of more importance, as the false notion prevails in some quarters that we treat death as a light matter; that no impression is made on the family by the death of one of its members; and that all natural feelings are ignored on such occasions. Nothing can he farther from the reality. True, we have abandoned many of the forms of solemnity usually observed, and endeavor to regard death as is becoming to Christians professing faith. But think you in such a family as ours, where the members are so closely united, it would he possible for one of the number to he taken away, without deeply affecting the whole body? Indeed, no. Death always makes us realize how truly we are one large family, whose members are all united to one another by ties quite as strong as those which in smaller families unite father and mother, brothers and sisters. Yes, the memories of all who have left us are still held in tenderest regard, and their names ever recalled with sincerest affection. if we preserve our cheerfulness on the death of a brother or a sister, it is because we do not think of our friends as lost to us, but still reckon them one with us in faith and purpose only separated hy a thin partition that may soon he removed. Then, again, our organization is not destroyed by the death of a member, as is frequently the case in an isolated family. The blow however severe is shared by

all, and on this account, most fortunately, never crushes to earth the near relatives of the deceased, as so often happens in common society, where all life's hopes are linked with the departed one. But most important of all are the victories we have won in Overcoming the fear of death; and here I am reminded of a discourse by Mr. J. H. Noyes, delivered some twenty years ago at the funeral of a dear member, which has many times enabled us to dry our tears, and look death cheerfully in the face. I append it as the best conclusion I can make to my present article:

 "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living." Rom. 14:7 - 9.

In seeking consolation and rest for our hearts in view of death's doings, the great thing that we need to realize is, that the same Lord, the same Jesus that we trust in here, and that cares for us here, is also Lord of the dead. This is the idea contained in the passage I have read: he "is Lord both of the dead and living."

The world of the dead is a region that is unknown; it is to us a mystery - a place of darkness, in one sense. But if we have confidence that the same Lord that we know here, and believe in here, and in whom we find salvation, life, and eternal rest, is Lord of the dead, then we feel at rest and safe.

What proof have we then of the fact that Christ is "Lord of the dead and living?" In looking back through the history of Christ, we see that when he was on earth, he first proved himself stronger than death, in all its forms - curing all manner of diseases, and raising the dead. And then, as though it were not enough to resist death, Christ claimed the power to conquer it, after submitting to it and letting it do its worst, by still rising victorious and immortal over the principality of death. His crucifiers mocked him, saying, "He saved others, himself he cannot save." But he might have asked, Which is the greater miracle - to be kept from the fiery furnace, or to go into it as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did, and come out unscathed? It was far the greater miracle to enter thus into the very portals of


death, bow to it, and come out alive, as the three Hebrew children came out of the fiery furnace. By that act he conquered him that had the power of death. He said, "I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again." He laid down his life, and took it again: and thus proved himself "stronger than the strong man armed." It was then that he assumed his throne, and declared that all power in heaven and on earth was given unto him. And we have a very interesting fact in the New Testament, showing the extent of his power over death. In the last interview he had with his disciples before the ascension, the question of their destinies came up; and he predicted to Peter, that he should be crucified. Then Peter, seeing the disciple whom Jesus loved, says to Christ, "What shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me." The point to be noticed is, that Christ here claims power over life and death, and decides the destinies of men, according to his own will. To one he says, "Thou shalt be crucified;" and of another, "If I will that he tarry, what is that to thee?" It was as he willed. He destined Peter to crucifixion. Why? Because Peter had denied him; and it was necessary that he should be crucified, in order to take back that denial, and fulfill his original vow to follow him to death. He therefore says to him, "Follow thou me;" and he did so. In that act of deciding that one should die, and another should not, he proved that he was master of death; and from that time, death instead of being an enemy, or power resisting him and his kingdom, became his servant, as in the case of Peter. He could say to death, This man you shall take; that man you shall not.

If we look into the history of the Primitive Church, we shall see plenty of evidence that "he is the Lord of the dead and living." For instance, Stephen was stoned; and "looking up steadfastly into heaven, he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." He saw his master in death. Again, Paul was stoned, and stoned, so far as we know, as thoroughly as Stephen; was left for dead; and yet when his enemies had left him, he rose up alive, and departed. Here again, Christ is Lord of the dead and living. He gave power to the stones to kill Stephen, and denied that power to the same stones to destroy Paul.

So then, we know that Jesus Christ is the master of death; "that he through death destroyed him that had the power of death." He has


taken the place of death; and what before might have been regarded as the omnipotent power of death has now passed into the hands of Jesus Christ, and it is for him to dispense it as he pleases. And not only so, but his power extends further; and his word has gone forth, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." John 11:25. Again he said, "The hour is coming, and NOW IS, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear SHALL LIVE." John 5:25. This is a mystery; but there is precious meaning in it which involves the perfect victory of Christ over death,

Let us then accept Christ now, as "the Lord of the dead and living," and believe in him as the resurrection power, both on this and the other side of the veil. This world and Hades are but two mansions in the same house, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the master of the house.

The practical inferences to be drawn from what I have said are, first, that it is our duty not to mourn for our friends: and secondly, that we ought not to be afraid to die.


THE subject of my last chapter brings to mind the names of many persons who are now numbered among the absent ones, but with whom our past history is most intimately connected; of these, many were long associated with us in all our daily avocations, and shared with us our every joy, and sympathized with our every sorrow. We cannot think of the pioneer life so fraught with incidents that required our combined faith, without recalling the lively interest they took in all Community enterprises.

The successful management of our finances, and the toleration gained for our movement in this State at an early period in our history, we ever ascribe, in a great degree, to the wise and energetic action of Mr. J. H. Miller. Mr. Miller was remarkable for great hope he never was disheartened; be was a man of faith always prompt to act in emergencies no doubter; and his moves were attended with success. So long as a penny remained in our treasury he was cheerful, and did not despair of paying off a pending debt. By his strenuous efforts, as well as personal address, which was naturally very pleasing, he succeeded in bringing about most peaceable relations between the O.C. and the authorities of Madison county, as early as the year 1851. He was prized not only for his endowments as financier and business agent, but greatly beloved as a brother and faithful adherent of our cause.

The formation of our Brooklyn Community, and its life of a few years, are always associated with the remembrance of some persons not with us now. There were Mrs. Cragin, Mr. Daniel P. Nash, Philander Abbott, the two Mrs. Hamiltons, Herbert DeLatre and Sarah E. Burt, who were among those who formed the family at Brooklyn.

And the Putney Community, which existed for six or seven years, we cannot think of separately from those valued members who helped to make it a pleasant home. Mr. James Baker, Mr. Hial Waters and Mr. Daniel Hall, three brothers who were among the earliest converts to our faith and always ready to serve in any station, were prominent members of the Putney family.

In our domestic arrangements, to which I have already referred, the names of Mother Hamilton (as we familiarly called her), Mother


Burnham, Mrs. Mary Olds, Mrs. Betsey Kellogg, Mr. D. P. Nash and Mr. H. Burnham, are often mentioned.

In calling to mind our entertainments, musical as well as theatrical, dancing and other amusements once so popular among us, we see again the smiling faces of many an absent one.

We well remember the time when we all gathered under the butternut-tree, at the call of fife and beat of drum, with the enthusiasm and eagerness of little children, to attend a bee for planting or cutting corn - (those were the days when outdoor work was popular with the women) - for building fence or leveling a spot of ground.

As plainly as if it were but yesterday, come before us the "bag-bees," held so regularly for many years. Sitting in a semicircle, or round a large table, busily at work, but with an ear to the story always read on these occasions, were our sisters, Mrs. Howes, Junia Higgins, Maria Bailey, Mrs. Seymour, Mother Hamilton, Mother Burnham, S. C. Hamilton, S. E. Burt, Mrs. M. Kinsley, Mrs. Lynde, Jane Seymour. as well as many persons who are still with us. Indeed, the hour spent thus together was one of particular interest, and we never can think of it apart from those who were the most constant workers on the bags.

We seldom take a stroll down to the old "Mill," so long the abode of our central industries, without remembering the time when we all, women as well as men, found plenty of attractive labor to call us together at the trap-shop. The busy hum of machinery in the carpenter-shop falls familiarly on the ear and reminds us of those days when we "typos" were at work in the printing-office just above. As we listen to the sound once more, our thoughts go back to many a scene of interest to all of us, and recall the face of many a person who enacted a part in it. In the printing-office, there was Mr. George Noyes editing or writing, and who also had the job of packing traps; Herbert DeLatre, writer, chief of the "typos," as well as one of our principal phonographic reporters; Mrs. Susan Hamilton, who was not only ready with her pen, but who served efficiently for several years in the lighter work of the trap-shop; Sarah Burt and Florilla Nash, always faithful compositors and pleasant companions; Hial Waters, who worked in the grist-mill, but who also possessed considerable literary taste and ability, and occasionally contributed an article for the paper; and Mr. Ransom Reid, capable mechanic, who worked in the


trap-shop, and was generally consulted in all important operations about the trap-shop. Many others formed the busy corps of workers, whose beaming faces and laughing voices come vividly to mind when wandering over this old building; among whom were Mr. James Conant, Henry and Arthur Clark, Mr. Mallory, Samuel Hutchins, Edmond Knowles, and our brother Joel Higgins, whose death was noticed in last week's paper.
Beloved by all, and associated with the childhood of many a young man and woman now grown up in the Community, is the remembrance of Mrs. P. Noyes, or "Grandmother Noyes," as we always loved to call her. She drew to herself the love of the young folks, because she was always so interested in them. She was youthful unto the age of eighty, and enjoyed youthful sports to the last. She was a powerful advocate of the Bible, and 1 think it is true that she had much to do in stimulating the young people to love it. 1 have myself known her to spend hours with children, patiently listening to their reading many a chapter in the Bible, she in the meantime explaining.

The establishing of a children's department separate from the general family was an important event, and I cannot write of it without remembering the labors of love performed by such persons as Mrs. Cragin, Mrs. S. D. Worden, and Mrs. L. F. Knowles; they, assisted by members who still form our number, were the first to carry out the new plan. Mrs. Cragin was a great lover of children, and while she was severe on obvious evils, and labored untiringly to eradicate faults in character, no one took more delight in pleasing children than she. As I was one of the juveniles at the time of which 1 am writing, 1 can testify to the truth of this assertion She not only labored assiduously herself, but enlisted all in whom she discovered a natural tact for caring for and amusing children. She introduced Mrs. W. into the department, as she was not only one of the motherly kind of women, but really possessed a fund of genuine mirthfulness, and was able to devise many forms of amusement. And Mrs. Knowles, ever careful and saving, was appropriately selected to take charge of the mending and sewing for the children. Mrs. Cragin interested herself in all our affairs, from the appointing of our attendants and school-teachers to the details of our meals and amusements. She frequently held earnest meetings with us before school, in which she would call our attention to the Bible, occasionally giving us a chapter to commit to memory.


And after supper, she often called us together, inquiring of each one if he or she had spent any time of the day in reflection and if so, on what subject? The answers to her inquires were generally as various as the children who spoke, and doubtless afforded her considerable amusement as well as edification. On other occasions she would join our plays, and amuse us with a lively song or story as it happened. Speaking of her interest in our amusements reminds me of the time when she was instrumental in the purchase of a handsome wax doll for each of the girls, besides one or two very large ones, to be shared by all of us -"Community dolls,"- as we used to call them. Well, like all little girls, we thought a great deal of our dolls, and bestowed great affection upon them, too much for our good. The grown folks soon discovered that we were idolaters, worshiping our little waxen images, and becoming very heedless of our variously appointed chores about the house, as well as inattentive to the Bible and more serious matters. The result was, that the public voice condemned dolls, as the means of cultivating idolatry and creature-worship. Mrs. Cragin commissioned herself with the task of presenting the matter to us children. Her natural powers of elocution, combined with a wonderful aptitude of persuasion, soon convinced us that it would be the very best thing in the world to join with the grown folks in voting dolls out of the Community forever! And suiting our actions to our words, we all formed a circle round the large stove, each girl carrying on her arm her long-cherished favorite, and marched in time to a song; as we came opposite the stove-door, we threw our dolls into the angry-looking flames, and saw them perish before our eyes. We were all hearty and even enthusiastic in making the sacrifice, and yet it was some time before we could think of this wholesale slaughter without a slight emotion. But the work was effectual; from that time to the present (over twenty years), dolls have never been brought into our nursery.

More might be said of Mrs. Cragin's dealings with the children, but perhaps the above is sufficient to show her usual interest in them. It is hardly necessary to add that she won the affections of the whole little flock, and her precepts made a lasting impression on the minds of many of the boys and girls belonging to it.

There are other names, which though not mentioned personally, are as often thought and spoken of in the home circle as any already


named. Our past history is all the more sacred from the fact, that in all our experience, whether in battles with temptations, or in our greatest prosperity, they were with us, taking active part, recipients of our affection, and contributing their share to the happiness of all. But we are still one, and we can think of them only as a part of our great unit.


To resume a thread of my story that 1 left sometime since, 1 will speak more particularly of the origin and gradual development of a musical organization among us; and as Mr. George W. Noyes wrote a history of "Music in the Community," a few years since, in which are many interesting details regarding the old orchestra, I shall take the liberty to freely copy from it.

"On the removal of the Brooklyn family to Oneida in 1854, the scattered streams of minstrelsy began to converge and form the nucleus of what became afterwards the Community Orchestra. The hour of half-past twelve on alternate days saw a half-dozen or more musicians coming together in the parlor of the Mansion House; and for the next fifteen minutes the tuning of fiddles and bass viol, and the endeavor to harmonize a couple of indifferent flutes, made a most 'mellifluous' confusion, followed by about an equal time of performance out of the two or three well-worn collections of music which we happened to have. After a while, to accommodate the increasing number of instrumentalists who joined the circle, a four-sided stand was made on which to place the books. The front row of performers were seated, and others from behind looked over their heads."

This pictures well the scene, and brings vividly to mind the company of anxious, would-be musicians, all huddled around a square blue box, and earnestly endeavoring to get a glimpse of the music from one or two books placed thereon. We were all the merest tyros in instrumental music, but nevertheless very ambitious. We had no system -- some of our music was arranged in one, some in two, and some in three parts; and we contented ourselves with being able to read it through with tolerable accuracy. As someone expressed it, "we had no leader; every man did what seemed good in his own eyes;" or sometimes we were leaders in turn, which office consisted in selecting the tunes and giving word to the rest in a commanding tone, "All ready, play." But as "all" were very seldom ready at a time some very questionable music often resulted. Still there were no critics to discourage our rude attempts, and we pressed on. Certainly, the enthusiasm and ambition of each member merited the praise that time ultimately awarded.


From the first, the enthusiasm and ambition in musical matters were coincident with an equal interest in labor; as our author says, "Music in the Community was the bride of labor - the flute and violin forming an accompaniment to the clang of the anvil;" and Mr. I. H. Noyes, in a reminiscence of this period, alludes to the same idea:

"At that time (1855) I commenced going into the trap-shop and nibbling around, to see if 1 could not learn to make traps. Mr. Newhouse allowed me to do some of the very minor portions of the business. I soon began to push a little further; and J. TI. Barron, Mr. Newhouse's assistant, gave me the help I needed. The band was just then starting, and we were both interested in music. We would drill away at the music day after day, and then go down to the trap-shop and talk it over." And it is a curious fact that we can hardly think of musical gatherings in the old parlor after dinner, without calling to mind the days when we all found labor at the old mill"- and all our experience among the traps, in the printing-office, etc., are as intimately associated with the growth of the orchestra. But to proceed. The progress we made in musical matters was slow; "in the spring of 1856, the orchestra consisted of the following pieces: a piccolo, two flutes, six violins, a violoncello and ophicleide. To supply instruments of percussion, J. F. Sears went to work and made a small and large drum. The tinkling of a triangle occasionally added to the concord of sweet sounds. In May of this year, C. S. Joslyn arranged Blockley's air of "Love Not" in eight parts for the orchestra, which was its first advance beyond the three-part tunes of the common instruction books. The effect of a more complicated harmony was wonderfully stimulating."
C. S. Joslyn, our leader, was allowed a certain portion of each day for the study of music and composition. Consequently our noon practice was occasionally enlivened with an original composition from himself or a new arrangement of some old, familiar air. Among the first of these were the following from Dodworth's "Brass Band School," which he arranged in a manner adapted to our orchestra: "Gift Polka," 'Rover Quickstep," "Marseillaise Hymn," and the "German Andante." These additions, comparatively elaborate to anything we had previously had, inspired the performers with unwonted zeal, and, under the systematic leadership of Mr. Joslyn, they made unmistakable progress.

In the summer of 1857 our music began to attract the notice of tran-


sient visitors. Gradually a knowledge of our regular noon practice spread through the surrounding country, until we found ourselves playing before large and even quite fashionable audiences. During the month of March, 1858, we were invited by the citizens of a neighboring village to use their church for a public concert. We had practiced diligently through the winter, and were better prepared than ever before to please the public; still we accepted the invitation with considerable trepidation. "The church at which the concert was appointed was at first but dimly lighted; but at length, by the aid of some tallow candles from the grocery, a tolerable illumination was secured, and the audience poured in to the number, probably, of two or three hundred, including the inevitable group of peanut-cracking boys. The concert was satisfactory, so far as we know. We, at least, did the best we could, and charged nothing for it. But in returning home we brought away, besides the thanks of the audience, an invisible companion that we would rather have avoided, viz., the measles."
In the spring of 1859 the orchestra had twenty-five members, and the musical compositions which it had at command numbered over seventy, consisting of marches, quicksteps, ballads, patriotic airs and a few easy extracts from the operas. "In the following May, our leader arranged for the full orchestra the overture to 'Figaro' by Mozart (No.75), and this was followed during the summer by a composition of his own, in the style of an overture, entitled "La Bambinella."

"In the winter of 1860 Mr. Joslyn, by appointment of the Community, spent several weeks in New York for the purpose of improving his acquaintance with standard music, and studying orchestral organizations and effects. On his return, he brought with him the piano copies of several musical works, among which were the overture to 'Le Calif de Bagdad" by Boildien, an andante from the "Sicilian Vespers" by Verdi, and Auber's overture to "Fra Diavolo" (No.90).

"At about this time, some of the young men, being dissatisfied with their self-taught methods of execution on the violin, purchased Hill's edition of Sphor, and went back to the foundation, under that noted instructor, and by conscientious drilling on his system became respectable soloists. Another young man obtained a hundred dollars by what he considered over-work, and purchased with it a fine silver Boehm flute, but by advice of others exchanged it afterwards for two


silver-lined ones, worth about sixty dollars each, which were used in the orchestra."

When we were so closely crowded in the old house, one of the great questions that frequently arose was, "Where shall we go to practice?" Someone, who doubtless had experienced the inconvenience of our snug arrangements, thus depicts the state of things:

"Innumerable are the perplexities of an Association so full of conceits as this, with so little room! Where shall we rehearse our play or our song, so that everybody will not know it by heart before we are prepared to bring it out ~. Where shall we go to scrape our first lesson on the fiddle, or to bolt our first brayings on the horn? Where shall our committee on such a subject meet? Where can we gather for this or that? The school-room is one good place. The desks can be piled at one end and leave a respectable hall for whatever exercise you please. The dining-room will answer your purpose for a dancing lesson, if you will help hurry up the chores and be at some trouble to move the central table. The printing-office is an occasional resort out of hearing. If we have any proper Academy of Music it is the dairy-house! Quartette clubs and amateur violinists find a retreat there, and our parlor performances are often importations from that quarter. Some chilly dormitory will do on a pinch. Where there is a will there is a way, and we contrive after all, by dint of accommodation and organization and the stratagems of necessity, to find places for all improving pursuits."

In the summer of 1860, Mr. Felix Schelling, a Swiss music-teacher, came here with his family, and resided nearly a year. His specialty was vocal music, the guitar and piano-forte; but it is only justice to say, that he did much in raising the musical standard in the Community; he gave considerable attention to correctness of intonation, general artistic effect and other niceties, hitherto somewhat neglected. From this time the proficiency of the orchestra was noticeable -- rapid progress was made in the character of the musical selections and in their execution.

"It is true that still the bass-drum would occasionally come in with a resounding thump at the wrong place, spoiling a delicate cadenza, or the clarionet would get something in its throat, and emit a suppressed squeak like a distressed duck. The flutes were sometimes refractory, and refused to come into perfect tune with the other instruments; the violins would get a habit of breaking a string in the


midst of a solo passage, and the tenor horns seemed sometimes to grow louder instead of softer, as they should have done. But in spite of all this our music improved.'

During the year 1861 the orchestra reached its maximum of numbers and efficiency. From an impromptu gathering of four or five self-taught performers, it had grown to number twenty-eight passably well-drilled amateurs. The names of the instruments and performers were as follows:


In 1862 the wing of the new house was completed, and in the month of June the great Hall was ready for occupancy. "The first trial of it by the orchestra, seated on the raised stage with which it was provided, proved it to be well arranged for acoustic effects, and thenceforth all our musical exercises took place there." The degree of excellence attained by our musicians at that time would not compare with their present standard of accuracy, any more than the present systematic selection and arrangement of pieces would compare with the gregarious mixture of performers and instruments above enumerated. It would be a long story to follow the many vicissitudes to which our musical organizations have been subject since; but 1 have only to do with the "Old Mansion House Memories," and therefore have confined myself to the times when the orchestra, our first musical body, existed in concrete form.

ONE of the pleasantest episodes connected with our musical enthusiasm comes to mind while 1 write. In the course of the year 1859, a copy of Auber’s overture to "La Bayadere," arranged in seven parts, fell into the hands of some of the musicians. The orchestra had never attempted anything more difficult than a few easy extracts from the operas, and the first glance at the new overture appalled the more timid ones. To render such music seemed like an impossibility; but ten of the most heroic members of the orchestra, led by Mr. J H. Noyes (who, it is but justice to say, on all occasions stimulated the other musicians to renewed perseverance), undertook the task of untangling this elaborate overture. By constant and resolute practice for several weeks, they were ready to present it to the family on the 2nd of April, 1859. The instruments were two flutes, four violins, a clarionet, violoncello, double-bass viol and alto cornet. The effect was a perfect surprise to the family. The musicians had indeed surpassed themselves for once; and though yet unskilled in the practice that goes to make an artist, they had touched the threshold of all that is sublime and poetical.

Here is what G. W. Noyes says of this entertainment:

"Many of the audience had never heard an overture, and the execution of this piece was consequently a revelation, opening a new door to their conceptions of musical art. They could read in its variety, its symmetry, its sustained interest and its magnificent finale, the dramatic or story-telling power of which music is capable. The light, bounding movement in six-eight time with which it commences is a perfect musical idealization of a dancing-girl. The notes themselves dance and frolic with bewitching abandonment and grace. Then follows the grave remonstrance of a guardian or lover, who seeks to tame this wild beauty; then her repentance is heard in a wail of anguish and remorse, which gradually diminishes to a complete pause, sounding like a child sobbing itself to sleep. After further escapades of the still unsubdued bayadere, and a varied dialogue in which the sober spirit of the lover steadily prevails, the twain finally blend into a rapid movement, each borrowing some traits of the other, and closing in a superb climax of harmony. Such, as we remember it, was the story suggested to our ears, by this beautiful composition."


The introduction of this overture, was but the beginning of a new kind of music in the Community; after hearing its delightful strains, the popular taste changed, and demanded more music of the same kind. Shortly afterward Mr. Joslyn arranged "Figaro," by Mozart, for the full orchestra. Then followed "La Bambinella," by C. S. Joslyn; "Le Calif de Bagdad," by Boildieu; "Fra Diavolo," by Auber; "Lodoiska," by Kreutzer; "Les Deux Nuits," by Boildieu; and "Tancredi," by Rossini, mentioned in the last chapter. Whether because of the charm of novelty and surprise that attended the public rehearsal of "La Bayadere," or whether the performers themselves were under a peculiar inspiration at the time, we all remember that no overture that followed ever called forth such an enthusiastic response.

THE chapter of "Old Mansion House Memories," in which is a somewhat detailed account of the experience of the Community with "seceders," has been the occasion of remark by some readers of the CIRCULAR. As I feel anxious to do entire justice, I have thought best to devote another chapter to this subject before proceeding further with my reminiscences. As an appropriate introduction to the matter in hand, I will subjoin an extract from a letter lately received:

"Springfield, Mass., Dec. 4, 1871.
"I saw my name, not long since, in 'Mansion House Memories' among those who had left the Community. however that may be, I can truly say that the Savior I found while with you has never left nor forsaken me. When Mr. Noyes said one of the children could tell me how to confess Christ, I entered on a pathway of faith which soon enabled me to 'find him whom my soul loveth,' that 'friend that sticketh closer than a brother,' 'the chiefest among ten thousand,' 'the one altogether lovely,' for whom I had vainly looked for years before, because I had a trembling, unbelieving heart and sought him not by faith. Though that faith at first was very weak, even like a grain of mustard-seed, and though my poor crushed heart, and soul, and body, seemed hardly worth the saving, still the Lord has been very merciful to me, and today 'I joy in the Lord and rejoice in the God of my salvation.'

"I regard those two months at the Community as the natal season of a new life. the period of my theological course of studies, and the Community as my Alma Mater. The truths there learned are still dearly cherished, and the spirit there imbibed, is a 'well of water springing up into everlasting life,' and the suffering there endured has doubtless saved me years of trouble by the lessons learned.

* * *

"It seems to me your experiments, open to intelligent inspection and abridging the private rights of none, should secure toleration for their scientific value, in view of your conceded honest and intelligent investigation. For if you find great truths they are freely given to the


world, and your own faults and errors are rescinded, as discovered, because of your single-eyed devotion to Christ and the truth.

We can truly say we have always regarded Mr. Hull as one who sympathizes with the Community, and do not doubt the sincerity of his remarks. There are others who stand in much the same attitude toward us; and in this chapter I wish to give particular emphasis to the fact that the Community owes no grudge and harbors no ill-will toward those members who for any cause chose to go outside. While we could not approve of their choice, and in many instances even found it necessary to withdraw fellowship from them, still there has never existed any feeling of enmity on the part of the Community toward them. On the contrary, most of the persons enumerated in our previous chapter as "seceders," if not in entire harmony with us in every respect, yet stand in the relation of very good outside friends. Mr. Reuben Holmes was one of the first to leave our ranks; but he has always been on the most friendly terms with us. Mr. John Howard and family have always maintained most pleasant relations with the Community, and on numerous occasions have shown themselves ready to render us a favor. Mrs. P. Lord is an outside believer, and is a faithful reader of our writings. Mr. Atwood Knowles and wife, though alienated from us for awhile, have at different times and in various ways given evidence of regret for their course; Mrs. Knowles recently wrote --"The Community seem very dear to me." Mr. Francis Long has given tokens of continued interest in the Community. Mr. Leander Worden has never been alienated in spirit, though his outward circumstances have separated him from us. Mr. W. V. Seighman has often expressed an interest in our cause. Mr. and Mrs. Schelling have always been friendly, and have from time to time shown their good-will by presents of music to their old pupils in the Community.

There have been instances of persons leaving the Community, who after a season applied again for membership, and returned to be numbered among our most valued brothers and sisters; while others have left us after a second trial, only regretting that they could not more easily conform to the customs of our new form of society.

Some correspondent, in referring to our chapter on seceders expressed a desire to know more of the causes that induced so many


persons to leave the Community. It is somewhat difficult, after the lapse of from ten to twenty years, to recall the motives which actuated different ones; still, it is generally true that many left from not being able to bear our ordinance of truth-telling, which we call free criticism. There were some who left from expediency, and some whose attractions for the world and its allurements were greater than their love of an earnest life; but the larger number of departures were from the cause first given. And it is proverbial among us, that if a person begins to think evil of, or quarrel with criticism that is given to him, it sooner or later leads to a bad experience; and if he does not become reconciled, it ultimately takes him outside of our ranks; and, conversely, if a person courts the truth and opens himself to the light, he is the one to win the love and respect of all about him, and gain for himself a position not to be attained in any other way. So that you show us the man who loves the truth - who seeks to know the truth -- who will bear to be plainly told the truth about himself - and you will have shown us a man whose house is founded on a rock, and who will never leave the cause he once espoused. We want no better pledge of faithfulness than this from any one.

I was about to refer to our experience in giving up meat, tea and coffee, when I interrupted my story to say a few words concerning those persons who had left the Community.

I have already mentioned the disuse of pork, which took place in 1855. But the family continued to use beef, veal and mutton, freely; while they drank their cup of coffee at breakfast, and tea for supper as a matter of course. As early as 1850, several attempts were made to change our practice in this respect, hut as the general appetite was strongly in favor of a hot, stimulating drink, matters went on as before. A few years later the experiment was tried of bringing these drinks on to the table only as luxuries; this worked nicely for awhile; but then it was so cozy to sit round the festive board, with the steaming decoctions of tea and coffee before us, sending up odors most delicious to our olfactories, that we easily relapsed into our former habit.

After awhile another attempt at reform was made; this time the plan was proposed to wholly give up the use of these beverages for a certain length of time; but either from a lack of downright earnestness, or unity of purpose, or for some other reason, tea and coffee again came into popular favor, and soon were used as much as ever. Thus we vacillated between a struggle for freedom from bondage and a desire to gratify natural appetites, for several years. At length a public move was made, and the following compromise proposed: we were to abstain from the use of tea and coffee except at certain stated times, which it was decided should be every Tuesday and Friday noon thereafter and whatever went beyond this should be regarded entirely as luxury. This worked the best of any plan we had yet hit upon. But there were drawbacks still. As time went on, and this routine was established, the "tea-and-coffee-days" became real seasons of conviviality, and those who had not learned self-control were apt to indulge in too large draughts on these occasions, which in turn brought unpleasant reaction and general unsatisfactory experience. Then so long as tea and coffee remained in the house, they were more or less of a temptation.

It was at this time that the popular practice of getting up "parties," at which, among other dainties, it was expected coffee and tea would


be served -- came into vogue. For instance, the hands at the trap-shop, wishing for a little diversion, gave a grand supper at the "old mill," inviting half the family, at which the favorite beverages were not omitted. Soon after this, the carpenters got up a tine "party," which was soon followed by a printing-office "party," and this by a farmers' "party," and so on. The fashion once started there seemed to be no end to it; the musicians, in their divisions and subdivisions of "Large Orchestra," "Small Orchestra," "Quintette," etc., found numerous occasions to sit down to an extra supper, at which the part of "Hamlet" was never left out. The women, after a pleasant quilting-bee, must needs have a little supper, "just to leave a good impression," and what could be so nice as a cup of tea! Thus, though these drinks were restricted to two days of the week on the public board, hardly a day passed hut they were called in requisition for some "party" or another. Besides, the "tea-and-coffee-days" were of too much importance in the minds of the younger portion of the family, and some of the older persons regarded them as the dinners of the week. We were getting ripe for a reform.

About this time, February, 1860, the steward announced that there had lately been an unusual consumption of tea and coffee. He referred to a resolution the family had taken the year previous, that they would have these drinks but once a week, as well as the more recent attempts to confine their use to twice a week, and showed how matters stood at that time. He invited the expression of the family on the subject. As a result of the conversation which followed, it was thought that our backward move in this respect was greatly owing to the fact that we had had one rule for our visitors and another for ourselves. We prepared tea and coffee for our visitors as a mark of courtesy (almost impossible to omit), and as we had visitors constantly, the tempting fumes of one or other of these drinks were in our dining-room every morning and evening, and very naturally a temptation to many. It was thought we should either have to alter our arrangements for visitors, or furnish meals for them in a separate room. The matter was left open for thought and future remark.

A few weeks later, the subject was again alluded to; it was thought that using so much tea and coffee had something to do with our having those that were "weak and sickly" among us. Although circumscribed at the family meal, in all cases of indisposition they were freely


used, as well as on various other private occasions. It was thought that these drinks held the same fascinating power over persons, and had the same tendency to enslave, as ardent spirits and tobacco. It is the nature of all stimulants to encroach upon the appetite, and extend and perpetuate their power, and finally destroy a person’s free-will. The universal testimony was, that the use of such stimulants impairs the relish for simple, wholesome food. There was a tendency to anticipate the "tea-and-coffee-dinner" with too much eagerness, and a temptation to slight the other meals as quite insipid. Tea and coffee had come to befuddle instead of food. Why should we not expect to be blessed in abandoning these stimulants, as we were in giving up tobacco?

After one or two evenings more had been devoted to a pretty free discussion of the uses and abuses of narcotics in general, the family were prepared to vote for the final banishment of tea and coffee from our table. Not a dissenting voice was heard. This occurred on the evening of March 1, 1860. A few evenings later the whole family testified to satisfactory experience since the change, and never from that time has Java coffee, or black or green tea been prepared for family use. And though for several years we have furnished these drinks freely to our visitors, they are no longer temptations to us.


SOME of my readers will be led to infer, from what was said in my previous article about the abolishment of the beverages, tea and coffee, that we as a Community have abandoned hot drinks in toto. I hasten to correct such an erroneous opinion before it is formed. The facts are, that very soon after old Java was swept off the board the question arose from different quarters, "What shall we have for a substitute?" Occasionally, there seemed to be a natural demand for something besides the usual drinks of cold water and milk; but what, was yet to be decided. Various experiments were tried in this line, and with various results: one person was positive that potatoes baked to a dark chocolate color would make excellent coffee; another proposed bread-crusts toasted to a dark brown color; and another was strongly in favor of parched peas. The "potato-coffee" was made, and many declared they could discern in its flavor a faint resemblance to the once-loved Java; but others again laughed at this idea, and protested that the potato flavor was too conspicuous to be pleasant, and further attempts to establish it as a drink would be unavailing. Then "crust-coffee" was made, and as a pleasant, simple and very economical beverage, was preferred to "potato-coffee." The "pea-coffee" was made, and bore off the palm, and for a year or two became our usual drink, varied only by "crust-coffee." About this time some one, after several unsuccessful experiments, hit upon the plan of drying strawberry leaves. which it was found made an excellent imitation of black tea, without its disagreeable effects. It is simply necessary to add that this drink became popular, and was afterward served frequently at the family meal. So another and another acceptable drink was added to our bill-of-fare, until we at last bad the following varieties to choose from: "crust-coffee," "pea-coffee," "malt-coffee," "cocoa," "shells" and "strawberry-leaf-tea;" and while no excitement attended their use, either in anticipation or reaction, the family were on the whole greatly pleased with the change. At the present time we confine ourselves pretty much to "malt-coffee" and "cocoa," but have recourse occasionally to "crust-coffee" and "strawberry-tea." Of all the different drinks adopted since the banishment of tea and coffee, none have met with more general approval than "strawberry-tea." I find in an

old number of the CIRCULAR, published several years since, an article entitled "American Tea," from which I cull the following:

"The majority of our Community members never thought of strawberry-tea, until, a few years ago, some of their number, once particularly fond of the Chinese beverage, started the practice of gathering strawberry leaves for this purpose. At first the new enterprise received little favor; but as 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating,' so the proof of the tea was in the drinking; and, as few of the incredulous withstood this practical test, the new candidate for table honors rapidly gained in general esteem. More strawberry leaves were gathered by individuals and groups the second year than the first; and the third year the tea-leaf harvest became a regular and recognized business. Both Communities now lay by an annual supply of strawberry leaves, sufficient to afford a tri-weekly cup of tea to all who like it; from which number scarcely one wishes to be reckoned out. Many old tea-drinkers say it compares favorably with the oriental product. Visitors often mistake it for "Bohea" and "Suchong." Only a few days since a friend from a distance could hardly credit the statement that the tea he drank was simply an infusion from strawberry leaves. He had always been very particular to purchase the best quality of black tea, and thought he had been drinking a cup of tea prepared from a first-rate article. The Communities long since discarded common tea and coffee as ordinary daily drinks, deeming them injurious to health of mind and body, and because they chose to assert their independence of the spiritual bondage usually engendered by the use of all such stimulating articles. The new or American tea (as I have christened it), is far less stimulating than the foreign article, and, so far as we have been able to ascertain, if used with common moderation, is not injurious to health of mind or body. Other considerations might be named in favor of its general cultivation and use.

"In gathering the leaves, it is only necessary to select those which are free from rust and which are vigorous; also avoid stems and runners. The oldest are said to make the strongest tea, while that made from new leaves has the superior flavor. The leaves are dried in the shade, by being thinly spread on shelves or tables. Occasionally examine and turn them over, till they are dry enough to pack away; and in packing, endeavor to exclude the air and so prevent the aroma from escaping. In preparing the table decoction, steep the leaves as


though they came direct from China in bamboo box lined with lead only take a triflingly larger quantity of leaves."

Notwithstanding all the good things that may be said of "strawberry-tea," "cocoa," and other harmless beverages in themselves, we as a Community have found ourselves more and more indifferent to them; our attachment to hot drinks is lessening yearly, and at the present time we can say, We are not in bondage to any.

As for meat, the Community long ago abandoned the practice of bringing it on to the table every noon. Pork we never use. The use of other kinds of meat, as beef, mutton, venison, poultry, etc., is entirely optional with us sometimes abstaining from it for months, and again using it in some form as often as once a week. While we feel free to use meat or let it alone, and while it forms a pleasing variety, whether baked, fried, in a soup, as hash or otherwise, still I think it would cause very little disturbance if it were entirely withdrawn from our bill-of-fare.


AMONG other pleasant reminiscences connected with our sojourn in the Old Mansion was the sudden outgrowth of debating-classes or lyceums, which for a year or more were very popular with the Community. The idea, I think, originated on this wise: Some one during the year 1860, called together in the Printing-Office at the Old Mill a number of our literati for the purpose of discussing literary and aesthetic topics; they styled themselves the Conversation-Club. The particular object of the club was to find out and cultivate the highest standard of taste and beauty in literature and art. and not for the purpose of debate. In reality, they were designed to stimulate and encourage the desire for refinement and culture already beginning to grow in the Community. As a means to this end, they were a success, besides affording the members who attended them a new source of amusement. After several gatherings of this quiet kind, certain subjects were introduced which involved considerable discussion, which suggested the idea of forming a regular debating society. This plan was very soon carried out; and many interested persons joined the class. and took an active part in the debates. The arguments were often exceedingly entertaining, and many attended who came only to listen. These debates at first took place at the Shoe-Shop, but were soon transferred for the accommodation of the increasing number who wished to attend them, to the Printing-Office, then to the School-Room, and finally a few were held in the old parlor. at which the whole family were present. Mr. C. W. Noyes meanwhile interested himself in organizing the young men (who were at the time at tending Mr. Underwood's school) into a debating club; they, with their teacher. entering into the project with enthusiasm. Without delay they formed themselves into a society which they called the Y. M. S. C., or Young Men's Speaking Club. Officers were appointed, by-laws made, and everything arranged in the most systematic way. The Y.M.S.C. met every Sunday evening after supper in the old schoolroom; these sessions were enthusiastically attended by the young men, and frequently by the young women and others interested. Occasionally considerable excitement attended the debates, and sometimes most ludicrous blunders were made by the speakers.

One or two incidents of this kind are related of the first debating class which are quite amusing: One evening the subject of labor was up for discussion. The arguments pro and con were long and exhausting. Finally Q. arose for a clincher.

"You see," said he, "labor is natural; hard labor, real hard; and it was ordained by the Lord, too. Don't you remember what he said to Adam? 'Thou shalt earn thy bread by the sweat of thy brow, and on thy belly shall thou go all the days of thy life.'"

Of another occasion the matter of diet was debated:

"A promising speaker, whose eloquence was not always sufficiently ballasted with accurate statements, in urging the superior claims of fruit and farinaceous substances for food, referred to the offerings of Cain and Abel, representing the former as making a meat-offering which the Lord indignantly rejected, and the latter as presenting the fruits of the ground, which were accepted with blessing. Scarcely had he indicated his intention of resting his oratorical powers, when X--was designated by the chairman as having a right to the floor. Rising exultingly, his height of seventy-two inches apparently increased by three or four more, with his long arm extended, and bony finger pointed, and with a voice well adapted to his manner, he said: 'Mr. Speaker! I tremble for the destiny of that man's soul. He evidently has not read the Scriptures since an extreme youth. What are the facts about Cain and Abel? It was Cain who brought of the first-fruits of the ground apples, turnips, beets, onions and the like -and the Lord would none of them! But Abel brought the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof; and the Lord was pleased with his offering; the incense thereof was pleasant to his nostrils.' Then turning to the record, he slowly read the account, strongly emphasizing certain portions. It is hardly necessary to add, that the question was decided against the side whose opener had so fatally blundered in his Scriptural argument."

The Young Men's Speaking Club was a very interesting part of the winter's course of education; it not only assisted those who took a part in getting freedom to express themselves before others, but it certainly aided each one to think and reason independently on the various subjects brought before the Club for debate. And these debating-clubs not only benefited those who belonged to them, but created an ambition for intellectual improvement in those who came within


their influence. The exercises were varied on one or two occasions, and instead of the usual debating-club, a "Sociable" (as it was named) was substituted. 1 was among the invited guests, and have the incidents of the first occasion still fresh in mind. The party occurred on the 14th of April, 1861, on Sunday evening. Each member of the Club was present with a partner, and many others who came were honorary members or constituents to the Y.M.S.C. At 6 o'clock we were ushered into the school-room, which presented to our astonished eyes a truly brilliant appearance; artistic fingers had been at work, decorating and arranging everything with an eye to beauty. Evergreens hung in graceful festoons about the room, and mottoes containing the different resolutions discussed by the Club had been handsomely copied for the occasion, and were tastefully suspended over them. The tables were daintily spread, and looked very attractive in the bright lamplight. The President opened the entertainment by a speech, in which he explained the purpose of the gathering. It was for a two-fold purpose: primarily for the benefit of the founders of the Club; and secondarily, they wished to make an experiment of having a party that would fulfill their idea of a "Sociable." After this speech the guests discussed the supper in the merriest manner; then followed appropriate toasts, interspersed with songs and extempore remarks. An honorary member made the remark that when he was at college twenty years before, it was customary to have debating-societies resembling that of the Y.M.S.C., but there was not near the freedom of discussion or enthusiasm which he saw here. He thought the debates were beneficial inasmuch as they were conducive to reflection, and led them to seek to get at truth on the different subjects presented for discussion. Someone brought forward the following original lines:
"At the clash and roar of battle
Rolls the blood more free along:
Cannon's boom and musket's rattle,
Blowing up some tyrant wrong.
Fighting for a home and freedom
These are objects truly grand,
But, young man your field's before you;
Fight the battle where you stand!

"Garibaldi's name is glorious.
Anderson's and Harelock's too;
Courage makes brave men victorious,
Whatsoe'er they're called to do;
But honor's not alone in Sumpter,
Or in some fort of foreign land:
'Tis in the duty next before yo
Be a hero where you stand!"

Before separating we settled one question which had previously been before the club - a closely contested question, which after long and animated debate had been decided in the affirmative by weight of argument - namely: "Do the sorrows of this life exceed the joys thereof?" now by weight of actual facts, by a unanimous "No." Thus ended "Sociable" No. 1. "Sociable" No. 2 occurred nine months later, and I believe terminated the existence of the Y.M.S.C.


As I daily pass the site of the Old Mansion, my thoughts involuntarily revert to the time when we all were snugly housed in the old building, and many a scene dances before my mind which has long lain buried in the past. I see again those companions whom I so early learned to love; I see the kind guardians and parents who so anxiously watched over our every interest; I recall the dreams of childhood, the fond hopes and aspirations of youth, the deeper affections and binding friendships of maturer years and I live once more in the past. The hours of buoyancy incident to youth, with the care, and sadness even, of riper years, are the same to me now equally sacred. The dances, the songs, the dramas, the games, are all curiously associated and intermixed with an undercurrent of stern experience, in which mind and heart were chastened and character deepened and molded. Yon butternut tree, still standing, is the one relic left of the early days when we lived together in that homely Old Mansion House, and is to us a reminder of what has gone before. Often of a summer's evening we were wont to convene under its sheltering limbs to take a rustic supper, or listen to music, or hear the words of some eloquent speaker. Ah! the old butternut tree has been a silent witness all these years, and it stands today as a memorial of times past; a connecting-link between the old and new the past and present. But I must on with my story, and tell how we came to build a new home

In the autumn of 1856, after the concentration of the four Communes, we were a good deal crowded, and it took pretty skillful management to get along smoothly. By dint of good calculation, said to belong to that "mother of invention," necessity, we packed our goods and chattels into unused corners, and ourselves into attics and out-of-the-way places, and were thankful. But the fact of our crowded condition could not well be ignored, and the question was at length forced upon us, what should be done? In the first place, was it probable that we should always stay in this neighborhood? If so, was it not time to make arrangements for the better accommodation of our increasing numbers? At any rate, there was no harm in agitating the subject peradventure, something might come of it, notwithstanding the low state of finances at the time. The enthusiasm of the family,


was soon aroused, and there followed a series of plans and diagrams, some of which were amusingly elaborate. Now, after the lapse of a dozen years or more, since the house is all made of brick and mortar, we cannot but laugh at the various and extravagant notions of some, who in all gravity propounded most intricately drawn plans for our consideration. The first which I remember was like this: an octagonal building one hundred and fifty feet in diameter and two stories high, having an octagonal room in the center of ninety feet diameter, extending in height to the top of the building, and surmounted by a dome of the same diameter with the central room; the dome to be covered with ground glass; the rooms around the central room on the first floor above the basement to be occupied by various departments of business; and the division of the second story to be made into tent-rooms for sleeping apartments these all to open into a balcony which was to surround the central room; this latter was to be the Community parlor, and place for general meetings. The basement to be used for a cellar, kitchen, dining-room, etc. Mr. J. improved on this plan by suggesting wooden partitions instead of cloth for the bed-rooms.

This plan was further elaborated by some imaginative body, who proposed that the entire structure should be fire-proof the framework of iron, the covering of glass, the floors of marble, and so on. Indeed this one would have made us a veritable palace.

Another gentleman modified the form of the previous plan, and suggested the shape of the Greek Cross, a circular room in the center to be covered by a splendid dome; and everything to be arranged in the magnificent style

Mr. Y., of a more practical turn, drew a plan distinct from either of the others, and stated his objections to those previously proposed, especially the octagonal form. He thought there would be many inconvenient angles. Then followed several very simple diagrams, but objectionable as being old-fashioned, and too circumscribed for a Community dwelling. Mr. G. then made remarks on all the plans already exhibited, but expressed his preference for the octagon. At this time the state of our finances prohibited the idea of taking any practical measures, and the discussions were postponed to some future time. Thus matters remained for two or three years more, until we were urged by necessity to decide upon something. Our business had


been prosperous, and we had now the means to do with. So through the winter of 1859-60 plans were again in favor and invention active. After due consideration of the good points in each presentation, Mr. E. H. Hamilton, assisted by Mr. J. H. Noyes, and authorized by the family, drew the final plan! This matter was then settled. Then came an important item for discussion, viz., location. It was not very easy to decide this point, there being so many minds about it. But the majority favored the present site; so that when the question was put to vote, a ready decision was given

As soon as the spring of 1861 opened the work commenced, and in the month of April the corner-stone was laid. In February, 1862, the wing of the house was ready for occupation. On the 26th of June, the large Hall was completed, and was opened with appropriate exercises. Songs, instrumental music, with speeches and toasts, characterized this memorable occasion. Thus we left the old house for the new. We continued to use the former as a dormitory, and until within two years it contained our kitchen and dining-room; but it was never home after we built the brick house. The "old parlor" was no longer the scene of our evening gatherings, but was subsequently partitioned off into six large bed-rooms.

Two years ago, when the new wing was completed, which amply accommodated men, women and children, we began to consider the danger of having a wooden building so near us; the old house was then condemned to destruction. On Tuesday, the 24th of November, 1870, we took our farewell dinner within its walls. "Tables were arranged in the old dining-room and kitchen, so that both the Oneida and Willow-Place Communities were able to discuss at the same time the nice oysters provided by our generous steward."

When the day of doom was announced for the old edifice it was emptied of its valuables; the contents of closets and cupboards were dragged to light to be reclaimed or rejected forever. Someone remarked, "There was truck enough in the bowels of the old structure to supply a small village." One by one every article was removed; the doors and window-casings were taken out, partitions, floors and every board of value saved, leaving only the skeleton of a house; on Saturday afternoon, the 27th of November, the last bent went down with a crash, and the Old Mansion House was NO MORE!

Thus I have traced an outline of our history during the memorable


years of our residence in the Old Mansion. I have endeavored to faithfully delineate our varied experience within its walls, and when my memory has failed to serve me, I have had recourse to the past published reports and journals of the Community. There are still many details yet untold, and many interesting sayings not reported indeed, volumes might be written of the heart experience of individuals; but I leave them to other pens. My story is done I will say farewell to the reader, make my curtsy, and retire.




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