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Yorker already quoted : “Unchanged as the eternal sky above us is the moral law which they revered. Unfailing as the sure succession of the seasons, its operation in the affairs of men. All the prosperity—the power—the permanence of the republic-more than ever the pride of the children-more than ever the hope of mankind-rests in obedience to the unchanged and unchangeable law. The essence of the father's faith is still the elixir of the children's life ; and should that faith decay
-should the consciousness of a divine energy underlying human society, manifest in just and equal laws, and, humanely ordering individual relations disappear, the murmur of the ocean rising and falling upon Plymouth Rock would be the endless lament of nature over the baffled hopes of men.”
The mission of the pioneer in our civic and social economy is eternal. The border-line between the pursuit and the achievement is ever carried forward by all our diversified currents of life. I address those of my own generation with these suggestions. Into the ways of commerceinto the ministries of truth and justice--before the forge of industryon the farm and into the home-carry everywhere the spirit of the true pioneer! Move on with the great social engineries of the Puritan—the home--the scbool-the church. The great business of life is to build human character. Man in the world—God in the universe-human character forever! To these ends work all the historic forces of all the ages.
THE INFLUENCE OF WOMAN IN THE EARLY SETTLE
MENT OF THE COUNTRY.
A SPEECH BY HON. JOHN HUTCHINS. Whatever mistakes may be charged to Moses by those wiseacres who think they know more now than Moses did when he wrote, his account of the motive for the creation of woman is not one of them.
." And the Lord God said it is not good for man to be alone, I will make an helpmeet for him.”
The truth of this is well established in the history of all peoples, bar. barous and civilized, and is as conspicuously prominent in the history of
the early settlers as anything relating to it used as themes in the addresses, papers and remarks at our annual meetings.
For the most part heretofore at our meetings the acts and characters of prominent men have been referred to, while those of the women have beed kept in the background. I will therefore say a few words on the influence of woman in the early settlement of the country. I am encouraged in this direction by the action of the society three years ago in the election of Mrs. J. A. Harris as vice-president. The quick-witted, the late George C. Dodge, to whom we are indebted largely for the formation of this society, elated at this new departure and understanding full well the meaning of it, arose and making use of two of the marked characters in the works of Dickens, thus happily expressed his approval of it: “I desire to congratulate our society upon haviug settled one question : We have vindicated Sarey Gamp and squelched Betsey Prig. There is a Mrs. Harris.”
This action of your society is a just recognition of the influence of woman in the events resulting in the unique success of the early settlers. In fact, without this influence the settlement of the country would have been a miserable failure. It needs no argument to prove this; it is one of those self-evident propositions that the simple statement of it is its best proof. Without it the men would have had no inducement to visit the new country, and no motive to remain if they had visited it, and they would have sighed and sighed and then have died. In a ten minutes' speech no details of the influence of particular women can be given. A few suggestions applicable to all must suffice.
The wives of the pioneers who accompanied their husbands into, or joined them in the new country, were animated with the same heroic purpose to brave dangers, submit to privations and perform labor and drudgery necessarily connected with new settlements as their husbands, and therefore are entitled to equal credit. In addition to the perils, anxieties and cares of maternity, the wives and daughters of the early settlers performed more hours of hard labor than husbands and sons. The shades of evening gave husbands and sons a chance for repose. Not so with mothers and daughters. Dishes had to be washed and put away ; dresses had to be made and mended; stockings had to be knit and darned ; pantaloons, coats and vests had to be made, patched and repaired. The merchants in those days could not afford to sell readymade clothing at cost, and give away houses and lots and other valuable property to their customers. The daughters had not the opportunity to spend their winter evenings in roller rinks or their days in riding schools, but “when night found them weary, in innocence they slept.”
The mothers in early times brought up their sons and daughters to lives of industry, and consequently to lives of usefulness, and the sons, therefore, did not grow into dudes, nor the daughters into Flora McFlimsies. The daughters had something to do and something to wear, but nowadays those girls who have nothing to do generally have nothing to wear.
The mothers of early times were not believers in the notion that to complete the education of their daughters it was necessary to send them abroad to be taught to ape the manners, habits and customs of the aristocracy of Europe.
What a change in the character of the young men and women of our cities of to-day would there be if our city mothers were imbued with the philosophy of their mothers and had the nerve to apply it in training and educating their children. It is not because city mothers have less love for their children than their mothers had that city children are edu. cated on what is falsely called a higher plane than was possible in early times. The kind mothers of to-day are anxious to have their children enjoy all the advantages at command, and believe that education and culture, and what are called accomplishments in society, will contribute more to the happiness and usefulness of their children than those lessons of rigid economy and healthful and useful labor to which they were subjected when children. Hence, manual labor is to be shunned, and the evidences of industry must not be seen on the hands or faces of their children. The children are willing converts to this theory. Hence, the tender care and wealth of parents contribute in many cases to the effeminacy of their children. The lessons of experience are ignored or forgotten. The taper fingers of the young men, and the soft hands of the young ladies of our cities, if joined together, will never influence to any great extent the affairs of business, or guide the welfare of the state or the nation.
Would it not be wise for the mothers of today to pay more attention to the example of the mothers among the early settlers ?
The tree of this example, like other trees, is known by its fruit. The pioneer mothers taught their children, by precept and example, the necessity and value of useful labor in the development of human character, but their influence did not end there. Upon them to a large extent was imposed the task of the moral training and education of their children, and most faithfully, and with a self-sacrificing devotion, of which only mothers are capable, did they execute this task. School books must be furnished; there were in those days no free school book advocates ; they had not then been born and it was generally for the mothers to see that their children were suitably provided and equipped for attending on week days the school and on Sundays the church. The means which the united labor of fathers and mothers had earned and their joint economy had saved were legally under the control of the fathers, but the details of application were left to the mothers and many faithful mothers were put into their graves prematurely by reason of their assiduous devotion to the moral and educational training of their children. The result was the children of the families of the early settlers were well taught in the rudiments of a common education and in common sense. Most of the prominent and influential men and women in this city to-day and in the state and nation are largely indebted to the love and devotion of their mothers for the moral training, education and habits of industry and economy which have enabled them to achieve distinction.
It was natural, therefore, that our esteemed and lamented friend, George C. Dodge, should be elated at the election of Mrs. J. A. Harris vice president. She is a fitting type of thousands among the early settlers, who, without romance, ostentation or mystery, in a quiet way, contributed largely to the growth and prosperity of the country.
I have not referred to the influence of woman in the history of the early settlers to detract from the influence of man, but to show that in what we most admire in that history woman was the coequal of man and “a helpmeet for him," and besides I wanted to vindicate Moses, and could not do it better than by reference to the character of pioneer women. A word to the ladies by way of advice, which is generally cheap, unless given by lawyers : You, by the action of our society, are eligible to office and you may wish to know how to hold on to it. Cultivate inoffiensive partisanship and you will then be as wise as men and harmless as doves.
At the suggestion of Vice-President Mrs. Harris, the ladies of the association formally recognized the tribute paid them hy Mr. Hutchins.
Mrs. Lohmann then rendered “The Old Barn Window, John,” and gracefully responded to an encore with “The Devoted Apple.” Hon. John A. Foote moved a vote of thanks to Mrs. Grace Perkins Lohman for her inspiring musical selections. Mr. Foote said that he had never known the difference between a chord and a discord, but the vocal music had touched his heart as it had never been touched before. The motion was unanimously adopted.
GOVERNOR CLINTON AND THE OHIO CANAL.
A PAPER READ BY GEORGE B. MERWIN. MR. PRESIDENT:
The important subject of opening and rendering permanent a navigable water communication between lake Erie and the Ohio river had been discussed by the press and business men for some length of time in various parts of the state, and in January 1822, the legislature enacted a law and appointed commissioners to examine the country and report on the practicability of making a canal from Lake Erie to the Ohio river.
These commissioners employed the Hon. James Geddes, of Onondaga county, New York, as an engineer, who arrived at Columbus, the seat of government, in the month of June 1822. On his way he had examined the Cuyahoga summit.
In the spring, summer and autumn of 1822, Mr. Geddes examined the country for a canal a distance in length amounting to nine hundred miles; our engineers leveled eight hundred miles. The commissioners themselves assisted in the examination, devoting nearly all their time to this service, and continued the examination of different canal routes