Guests in Eden


"Self-forgetting in his service for Town and College
Resolute in his convictions, at one with Nature
He believed in God, and hoped for immortality."

It might be fitting to speak of the family in terms of their church. Samuel Fowler Dickinson, Madame's great-grand­ father, became a deacon at the age of twenty-one and con­tinued in that office for forty years. His son, sensitive no doubt to the disturbing implications of natural science, attended serv­ices and assumed parishional obligations, but did not actually join the church, upon confession of faith, until late in life. Emily alone never became a member. But she was often pres­ent, either in person, or else vicariously in the little bouquets which she would send over to be found by friends in their various pews.

The First Church edifice was in large measure the creation of Madame's father. He was one of a building committee of three. He, and his father were two of a group of eight men to contribute $8,000 towards the fund. When he died the parish went on record as follows:

"The beauty and condition of the church property, its handsome building and exceptional grounds, are evidence of his taste, skill and labor."

The Rev. Mr. Jenkins said: "It was Austin built the church and parsonage"; and again, "He has done much to improve and enrich the music."

Thus Madame Bianchi, in her own and sometimes uncon­ventional way, loved the church. It was the music which she considered her special province and in the promotion of which she was most active. Not long before her death she spoke to the Women's Union on the subject EASTER IN OTHER LANDS, a presentation which she had had in mind and in preparation for several months. The occasion obviously moved her greatly.

Madame Bianchi was the last of this notable family. A talented Author in her own right, her great contribution to literature

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Transcription and commentary copyright 2000 by
Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
Maintained by Lara Vetter <>
Last updated on March 10, 2008

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