Showing posts with label Spiritualism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spiritualism. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Ada Shepard Badger

Ann Adeline "Ada" Shepard/Shephard (1835-1874) daughter of Otis Shepard/Shephard (1797-1858) and Ann Pope (1803-1886) born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She married Henry Clay Badger and had four children: Theodore Badger (1862-1910), Frederick Badger (1865-1944), Ernest Badger (1869-1888), and Katharine Badger (1872-18920. Ada is a direct line to Ralph Shephard, who came to Massachusetts in 1635 on the ship "Abigail." Photo from Special Collections Concord Library
The "Banner of Light" published an account of Ada was governess and translator to the children of author Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) and Sophia Peabody (1809–1871): Below is a photo of the Hawthorne children: Una Hawthorne (1844-1877) Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934) Rose Hawthorne (1851-1926) taken 1862 by Silsbee and Case courtesy of Hawthorne in Salem
Ada was recommend by Horace Mann, husband of Mary Tyler Peabody Mann, sister of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne. Horace was president of the co-ed Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio where Ada was a student.
Read my article on GenealogyBank blog "Writer Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Real-Life ‘Ghost Story’"

Ada traveled with the Hawthorne family for two years visiting major cities in France, England, Italy and Switzerland. 

Susan D Abele (1904-1999), granddaughter of Ada notes in her essay, "Ada Shepard and her Pocket Sketchbooks, Florence 1858,"
that "scholars have pigeonholed Ada as the governess, using her correspondence to illuminate her famous employer's European experiences. But Ada was more than a governess. Her education was unusual for the time and her later work as an educator gained the respect of her peers." Susan Abele's assertion is quite accurate. Ada attended speeches and lectures given by women's right advocate Lucy Stone and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison

In Memories of Hawthorne, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (1851-1926)  "Last evening Miss Ada Shepard and I went to a neighboring villa to see some table-turning, which I have never seen, nor anything appertaining to spirits,"  Miss Shepard then took a pencil and paper for the spirits to write Photo from Sundry Thoughts
Aunt Ingersoll Julian Hawthorne wrote to regarding Mary Rondel.
Among the artist circles present during these 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1860), Robert Browning (1812-1889) and their son, Robert "Pen" Wiedeman Barrett Browning (1849-1912), Margret Fuller  
William Wetmore Story (1819-1895), his wife Emelyn Story (1820-1895). 

William Wetmore Story (1819-1895) son of Joseph Story (1779-1845) and Sarah Waldo Wetmore (1779-1855) married Emelyn Eldredge (1820-1895) daughter of Oliver Eldredge (1789–1857) and Hannah Smalley (1793–1867) His sculpture Cleopatra Photo from The New York Times 1916

Ada married Henry Clay Badger (1832-1894) son of Joseph Badger (1792-1852) and Eliza Mehitable Sterling (1799-184) .

Henry Clay Badger (1833-1894) graduated from Antioch College in 1857, and from 1859 to 1861, he was its Professor of Modern Languages. He was ordained on Nov. 13, 1862, and served congregations in Cambridge, Dorchester (Christ Church), Staten Island, and Ithaca, New York. He was curator of the Harvard Map collection from 1889 to 1892 Photo from Unitarian Universalist Association. Minister files, bMS 1446. Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School

The couple met a professor at Antioch Ada established a  School known as the Newbury Street School in Boston.
One account of Ada's death was published by Henry's brother, William Whittlesey Badger (1835-1898) who it an "over-sensitive constitution resulting in nervous prostration and loss of reason."

Henry Clay Badger Photo from Andover-Harvard Theological Library Special collections Unitarian Ministers bms 1446

The Newbury Street School. [A Circular.] 1874 The school year announcement to reopen after Ada passed

Lucretia Peabody Hale (1820-1900) daughter of Nathan Hale and Sarah Preston Everett

 William Wetmore Story--Cleopatra (1858) was described and admired in Nathaniel Hawthorne's romance, The Marble Faun, or The Romance of Monte Beni. The replica in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry M. Bateman (78.3) see William Story and Cleopatra by Albert T Gardner 

  • Giles Badger and his Descendants, First Four Generations by a Descendant John Cogswell Badger, Manchester, N.H. 
  • A History of the Dorchester Pope Family. 1634-1888: With Sketches of Other Popes in England and America, and Notes Upon Several Intermarrying Families
  • Ralph Shepard, Puritan published in Massachusetts 1893 Ralph Hamilton Shepard
  • Ada Shepard and Her Pocket Sketchbooks, Florence 1858 Susan D, Abele
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife, Volume II Julian Hawthorne, 1884
  • A Volume of Records Relating to the Early History of Boston, Volume 36
  • Letter 
  • The Brownings Correspondence 
  • The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne 2001 Margaret B. Moore 
  • Hawthorne and his circles Julian Hawthorne 
  • Mary Peabody and Horace Mann 
  • Julian Hawthorne's Contributions to the "Pasadena Star-News", 1923–1935 
  • Tea, Strawberries, and Spirits: A History of Spiritualism and the Occult in Salem: The Rise of Witch City Maggi Smith-Dalton (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2012)
  • Hawthorne's mad scientists: pseudoscience and social science in nineteenth-century life and letters
Joseph Badger the first missionary of the Western Reserve published by Ohio Archeological and Historical publication Byron R Long
Jonathan PHELPS, father of Rachel Phelps Hawthorne from "The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 104"

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Colby descendants make mark as social reformers

From My Story in Newburyport News Part 2 Macy-Colby House See Part One Vibrant energy of the Colby family 

The descendants of Amesbury’s frontier crusader Anthony Colby inherited his avant-garde spirit. The archives are brimming with Colby movers and shakers whose roots hinge from the sturdy foundation forged by the paternal patriarch in “the tenantless town in the wilderness.”

The Macy-Colby house is where Colby line emerged and comrade families like Sergeant, Hoyt, Blasdell and Bagley bred and fostered several generations of progressive souls.

In this home lived soldiers, shipbuilders, farmers, men of the cloth and others of worthy callings. Among the treasures not mentioned in yesterday’s column to visit at the home: the ancient horn beam barrel, Quaker hat of John Greenleaf Whittier, original communion table with pewter chalices from the Sandy Hill Meeting House and portraits gracing the walls of the Colby ancestors.

Among the potent pedigrees are social reformers openly ready to take on the tasks to build a better world. Here are a few among these notable men and women.

George J.L. Colby juggled several vocations. His crafty knack for the oral and written word matched his effervescent passion for social reform. He was in the Liberty Party, editor for an abolitionist paper in Amesbury and a traveling lecturer.

In 1856 George became co-owner and editor of the Newburyport Herald. He was made postmaster, Naval Officer of Customs and elected to the General Court. In 1872, he launched The Merrimack Journal, which his colleagues in the Port applauded as “a good looking, well-made newspaper” (Lowell Daily Citizen).

In politics, George was known to be bold and savvy, as one newspaper reports he “came down on the state constables with forty horse power” and dubbed them with “hard names,” more specifically “pimps,” and that his assertiveness made him a “Hail Columbia” champion type (Herald 1870). He was cherished among his peers, well known in Washington for his strong support of the coalition and became county commissioner.

Over the years, George contributed several articles to “The Standard History of Essex County.” He is noted for his valuable contribution and labors by George Wildes, author of “The Memoirs of Captain William Nicholas”: “I have been throughout indebted to the notes of George J. L. Colby, the intimate friend of Capt. Nichols.” He adds that if George had not “prepared extensive notes of the personal history of Capt. Nichols,” a heroic and noble character may not have been preserved.

Luther Colby published a Spiritualist paper “Banners of Light” (1857) with William Berry, who worked with him at the Boston Daily Post. Although Spiritualism was referenced to a Victorian trend where the rage became table wrapping and seances, Luther forged a campaign to establish creditability in the religion. He believed if society could fully embrace the ideals of Spiritualist enlightenment, it would inspire one toward social reform and thus heighten the moral conscience of each individual.

Luther had the longest run for a publication in his genre; Bennett in “World Sage: Thinkers and Reformers” asserts: “It is impossible to estimate the great influence Colby has wielded, and the vast amount of opinion he has been instrumental in forming.” Colby family from all over the country was advocating Luther’s “Banner of Light.” Some were Quaker abolitionists and others fighting for women’s suffrage.

Amelia Colby Luther (direct from Philbrook) lectured throughout the Midwest, speaking out against slavery and often participating in the Spiritualist sessions run at Camp Chesterfield.

Clara Bewick Colby, wife of Gen. Leonard W. Colby (direct from Zaccheus), (Pic below) was president of the Woman’s Suffrage Association and founded the Woman’s Tribune in 1883. In her speeches, the femme fatale applied the Spiritualist practice of non-resistance, “instantly aligning themselves with infinite strength” as did the ancient sages “who stopped the mouths of lions; quenched the violence of fire; escaped the edge of the sword; out of weakness made strong” (Portland, Ore. 1908).


Myra Colby Bradwell (direct from Ensign Enoch) was one of the most influential forces in the Woman’s Suffrage movement. She was denied the right to practice law in Illinois because she was married, but truth be told the old boys club just was not ready to accept a woman in this position. Myra remedied her loss by establishing The Chicago Legal News (1868), which became the most widely circulated legal newspaper in the United States. Her influence was massive and she helped pass laws giving women equal rights in guardianship custody cases, wages and property.

There are many more Colbys to explore at a visit to the old homestead. And one thing is for certain — little did Anthony and his “band of exiles” know their sacrifices spurred a force that will never expire. Anthony “is not dead,” affirms James W. Colby; “greatness and goodness are not perishable commodities.”

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