Sunday, July 17, 2016

William Barton Rogers to Henry Darwin Rogers, May 29, 1860

Boston, May 29, 1860.

. . . We go to Lunenburg on Friday. As soon as there I shall write out my observations on binocular vision, etc., in a form suited for presentation.

Our “Reservation Committees” are to continue their action until the next meeting of the Legislature, feeling strong hopes of obtaining the grant of land on the Back Bay through further efforts. They have urged me to accept the chairmanship, and I have conditionally agreed. Among our present purposes is that of framing a plan for a Technological department, with which some of our leading men, as Erastus Bigelow, Ignatius Sargent, etc., think they can secure a subscription of $100,000 from the manufacturers and merchants, and that being assured, we can come before the Legislature with an irresistible claim.

Now can you not, while in London, gather up all documents relating to the Kensington Museum, that in Jermyn Street, etc., which might be of assistance in digesting such a plan? You will do us a great service by sending me such as you collect....

The anti-Darwin review in the last “Edinburgh” is, I suppose, by Owen. It does not seem to me to be altogether fair or philosophic. I see a notice of his “Palaeontology “ in the small type of the "Westminster," which I ascribe to Huxley, and which certainly shows up the deficiencies and errors of that treatise very positively.

This morning's paper brought the sad announcement of the death of Theodore Parker. The news lately received from Florence led us to look for such a result. But now that it is certain, how deep will be the grief of the large circle of friends upon whom it will fall as one of the heaviest of bereavements. No one will be more sincerely mourned, or leave a more lasting memory in the affections and gratitude of liberal hearts everywhere, than our noble, self-sacrificing, gently loving and heroic friend. I feel that his name will be a power, and that the free and wise words that he has written, and the disciples he has reared, will continue the labours of humanity and freedom which he showed such unfaltering boldness in carrying on. You and I have lost a good friend, who knew how, better than almost any other, to appreciate the free thought that was in us. I shall never forget his kind words of you and to me, as with a tearful eye I last parted from him.
You have no doubt seen the action of the Chicago Convention. How decorous and manly and consistent their course, compared with the Democratic and the old-fogy conventions that preceded! There is good reason to expect the success of the Republican ticket; Lincoln and Hamlin are both men of superior endowments, are honest and patriotic, and sufficiently versed in affairs.

The Union-saving party is looked upon as a “dead thing” Some one lately said to one of these gentlemen, who had just been telling him that they had nominated “Bell and Everett,” “Why did you not choose?” “Why, he has been dead this twelvemonth!” was the reply. “Not so dead as either of your nominees,” was the rejoinder.

SOURCE: Emma Savage Rogers & William T. Sedgwick, Life and Letters of William Barton Rogers, Volume 2, p. 34

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