Writings by Susan Dickinson

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garrett, and a tender sadness seem to gather about me, and melt into my nature
'till I cried like a grieved child. What was it? as we all sat hushed and
softened, by this revelation of the great man, Bishop Huntington, in a rev-
erent tone said "It was doubtless Beecher, a sense of the Infinite pressing
down upon your young soul". Uncle Sam, alway inconoclastic quickly added
with a fascinating shrung of his shoulders, " You had probably been eating
green aples [sic], Beecher!! A shout of laughter broke the spell, and the talk
ran upon affairs, until the company dispersed. These Commencement days
brought many rare men about our dinner table, and it is needless to add, that
the best viand upon it offered there was the rare talk. Dr. Taylor, of the Tabernacle
church New York, spent one year Com[mencement] with us, as Dr. Storr's guest, and the house
rang with their merriment, hour after hour. Dr. Taylor was curiously inter-
ested in Uncle Sam, as a representative American, drawing him out in a most
exhaustive fashion on all questions of affairs, eager to absorb from him
a knowledge of them in detail, for he was fresh from Scotland, and in earnest
to put himself in sympathy with his new surroundings. The visit made a very
strong impression upon him, for he said to me a few days ago, in coming out
of the College Chapel, where he had been preaching, "That visit was twenty years
ago, and what a visit it was, and Sam Bowles, was the spleandor of it all".
The reaction from this experience was really depressing, and for days after-
ward we were homesick for our exhilarating friends. Dr. Storrs' visits have
been often repeated, as you know, but Uncle Sam soon died, and Judge Spofford
of New Orleans, who also, was one of the number in that famous visit, died
also, leaving such saddening changes in all our atmosphere, that Dr. Storrs
wrote soon after this, " Amherst seems too lonely, I can not make up my
mind to go to Commencement again.

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Last updated on January 23, 2008

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