Scholarly Editing

The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing

2014, Volume 35

Journal. 1839.

by Christopher Pearse Cranch
View Front Cover
Full size in new window

JOURNAL.

1839.

View Page
Full size in new window
     

JOURNAL.

           

1839.

            "Mein Vermächtniss, wie herrlich weit und breit! Die Zeit is mein Vermächtniss, mein Acker ist die Zeit." [1]       EPΓA KAI HMEPAI [2]             "Work while it is day. The night cometh, wherein no man can work." [3]       View Page (blank)
Full size in new window
View Page
Full size in new window

Journal.
January. 1839 —
Louisville, Ky, Jan. 8th. —

I begin this ^day a journal. I think I shall
find it highly useful. I do not think it
necessary to record herein every day, of
my life — but simply to record such
events, and note down such thoughts, fee=
lings & experiences as have a ^more intimate be con=
nection with my mind & character.
A Journal should be a reflection of the
True Life — the interior being, experience
& growth —. a mirror of myself, to
some extent. I intend to journalize
more systematically & philosophically
more than I have done. This book, now
blank, shall be my friend, my com=
panion, my teacher & monitor, as well
as my record.
I need something of this sort. I
need to retire back on myself [4] — take
an observation of my longitude & latitude
in the boundless ocean of Eternity on which
I am sailing. I must look back. I
must look forward — square my accounts. View Page
Full size in new window
2
And post them, clerk-like. I must ask
myself, as I enter on this newyear, & this
journalbook — how I stand, with myself,
& before God. Thus far I have voyaged,
by His all preserving & continually uphold=
ing grace — Nearly twenty six years have
I been borne along the stream of time [5]
a checkered Past! — various experiences! —
Has this Past been a Teacher to me? God
grant it may have been, in some degree —
Let not the years pass by me like the
wind, viewless, silent, forgotten! I have
many defects, errors, weaknesses to con=
fess, O God, before Thee! Do thou grant
strength & light for the future! Give
me a more tender conscience — give me
a firmer faith — inspire me with that
spiritual Mind which comes only from
Thee! —
And now, I am Here. The
mystery of life has borne me to this
point. And I must begin afresh, &
with that resolution whose absence I
continually mourn, yet too vainly, I
must turn a new leaf. — What I
want — is Action. [6] I must begin to
Live more in earnest, than I have done. View Page
Full size in new window
3.
It seems to me as if those lines of
X

William Wordsworth, 1770–1850.

's applied pointedly to me. What a
beautiful meaning [7] is in them!
"My whole life I have lived in pleasant thought, As if life's business were a summer mood; As if all needful things wd come unsought To genial faith, still rich in genial good; But how can He expect that others should Build for him, sow for him, & at his call Love him, who for himself, will take no heed at all?" [8]
All things must become more real
to me. I must "see into the life of
things." [9] I must realize. The great end
of life is to realize. At present I
only dream. Half of my existence
seems to be dreaming. A deadly In=
difference hangs over me — like a leth=
argy. It is partly temperament — &
partly a habit of mind — I think. I
must break this ^egg shell — out of this
prison I must forth. I must realize,
& the way to realize, is to give up
dreaming and go to acting & working [10]
And as to needed knowledge, will it not
"come round" as
X

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803–1882.

says, to him who
works and truly lives — ? — [11] I find my= View Page
Full size in new window
4
self perpetually repining that I am
not familiar with books — that I am
so ignorant of things which every
man of almost knows. But if I
may learn Things instead of books,
shall I not be more truly wise than
if "had all knowledge". [12] And will not
this learning of Things from ^the actual col=
lision of Life, be the very best prep=
aration for book knowledge — ?
As it is now, I cannot keep up
th a thirst for truth. I am wholly
indifferent to knowledge — except now
& then, when excited. I am not fond
of reading, except when a book happens
to suit my tastes in most respects.
I enjoy writing I think more than
reading. Nor do I remember what
I read. Now were I more alive
awake — shaken up — by a more active,
out of door life — much of this might
be remedied. I might see in books
but the reflection of what I experienced
& saw in real life. Because I
should be ever catching revealings of truths View Page
Full size in new window
5
and realities in at first hand, I should
be best prepared to appreciate them
when seen at second hand. [13] I shd
remember better and thirst ^for more hab=
itually, the scattered truths in books.
Then, I want Faith in myself.
Unbelief in ourselves, says
X

Thomas Carlyle, 1795–1881.

, is
the worst skepticism. [14] I want faith
in my former impressions & convictions,
and aspirings. I want Faith that
I am a Spirit: and that the hidden
energies of a Spirit are wrapped up in
me. [15] I must be a more independent
thinker. I must not be afraid of
my thought. I must love it, if it
is an earnest & true one, to myself.
I must be an independent feeler
not grieving if I do not think I feel
deeply enough — but trying to be nat=
ural. I am not now natural
enough. I am afraid of those
around me — They'll think me af=
fected, strange, undignified or lax
in principle — must not mind them.
Do what is right and natural. Obey
my higher instincts.
View Page
Full size in new window
6
In a word — I must begin to Live.
Then I shall begin to Realize — then
to think, feel, act, grow.
This ministry to the Poor, may
be a great thing for me. A stern
discipline, but a salutary.
God grant me faith and patience, and
the spirit of self sacrifice!
     
I have been in Louisville since the
28th of October — about 10 weeks. — Since
the 22d December —
X

James Freeman Clarke, 1810–1888

Clarke was a cousin of Margaret Fuller. He befriended C. P. Cranch while at Harvard Divinity School, from which he graduated in 1833. Soon afterward he was installed in Louisville. He shared with Cranch an enthusiasm for Coleridge and German literature, as well as the ideas of Emerson. With Ephraim Peabody, Clarke founded the Unitarian literary magazine The Western Messenger, and took over as editor in 1836. Like Cranch he saw that Unitarianism would cease to be relevant unless Unitarian leadership learned to re-organize church life to meet the changing demographic of western American life. He would resign his puplit in Louisville in 1840 and move to Boston.
has been here. [16]
It is delightful & profitable to me, to
be with him. The river being closed,
but a prospect of its opening, I shall
remain here till boats run. [17] The roads
are too bad to attempt to go by land.
     
Jan 9th. It is ^a blessing to know
a mind and character like
X

James Freeman Clarke, 1810–1888

Clarke was a cousin of Margaret Fuller. He befriended C. P. Cranch while at Harvard Divinity School, from which he graduated in 1833. Soon afterward he was installed in Louisville. He shared with Cranch an enthusiasm for Coleridge and German literature, as well as the ideas of Emerson. With Ephraim Peabody, Clarke founded the Unitarian literary magazine The Western Messenger, and took over as editor in 1836. Like Cranch he saw that Unitarianism would cease to be relevant unless Unitarian leadership learned to re-organize church life to meet the changing demographic of western American life. He would resign his puplit in Louisville in 1840 and move to Boston.
's. I feel that it does me good
to be with him. While I feel my own
weaknesses and defects in his society —
I feel that it is useful for me to be thus
with a superior spirit. I may be gath=
ering material for thought & action which will View Page
Full size in new window
7
carry me on with far surer prospects than
if I had not one near me like him, to
whom I may look up. It is bad to live
always with inferiors or equals. We need
sometimes to compare ourselves with those
of a larger stature, that we may real=
ize our littleness.
I may learn from him several things.
I may learn, first, & chiefly, Independence.
Independence of mind and of conduct.
To be myself— and not another. — To be
natural and free. [18]
I may learn 2d. self denial and devotion
to Truth & Duty, instead of self seeking [19]
I may learn, 3d. how to realize things —
take interest in every thing — and get good
out of everything.
Today I wrote to
X

Nancy Greenleaf Cranch, 17721843

— and last
evening to
X

Elizabeth Haven Appleton, 1815–1890

Elizabeth ("Lizzy") Appleton was a cousin of C. P. Cranch who hailed from the Baltimore Appletons. She came to Cincinnati in 1832, as her father was engaged in the manufacturing of white wax. See In Memory of Elizabeth Haven Appleton is Printed this Selection from Her Lectures (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1891). Cranch is mentioned on page 6.
— quite a Sar=
torish letter — put in some drawings — "an
Intellectual All in All" — and some other
comic illustrations of
X

William Wordsworth, 1770–1850.

. [20] I have
a notion that I will illustrate these pages
of my journal by some such things, now & then.
Illustrations which have a sense — Carlylean
graphic-ness — and truth. There can be a
touch of comicality in them too — to give
them a relish. ——
View Page
Full size in new window
8.

Sunday Ev. Jan. 113th——

Last night Clarke & I amused ourselves
making illustrations of Emerson's writings —
see p. 10 & 11. [21] — We had real fun — in=
struction also. —
This morning I preached — to a large con=
gregation — my "Rain & River" Sermon —
an old affair — for want of a better,
X

James Freeman Clarke, 1810–1888

Clarke was a cousin of Margaret Fuller. He befriended C. P. Cranch while at Harvard Divinity School, from which he graduated in 1833. Soon afterward he was installed in Louisville. He shared with Cranch an enthusiasm for Coleridge and German literature, as well as the ideas of Emerson. With Ephraim Peabody, Clarke founded the Unitarian literary magazine The Western Messenger, and took over as editor in 1836. Like Cranch he saw that Unitarianism would cease to be relevant unless Unitarian leadership learned to re-organize church life to meet the changing demographic of western American life. He would resign his puplit in Louisville in 1840 and move to Boston.
thought
he wd preach in the afternoon —
He preached grandly. Text — "The Lord is my
shepherd" — He has preached it before, but
it is still fresh. The Louisvillians do
not know what a treasure they have in
that man. For my part, take him
simply as a preacher. I do not know
that I have ever listened to preaching so
good as his. Such freshness, boldness,
earnestness of style, thought, delivery — It
is delightful to listen to him. — Such a
fine union of deep, original thought with
practical illustration , and of a poetic
imagination with the tenderest feeling —
His Independence in everything he does
is truly refreshing. He is no formula=man.
He "swallows all formulas", as
X

Thomas Carlyle, 1795–1881.

View Page
Full size in new window
9
phrases it [22] — thinks, feels, talks , &
acts himself, and not another. I bask
in the light of such a man. I think
this sojourn with him, has done me good.
It ought to. He is a rare genius: a
noble spirit.
He spoke in his sermon of the spiritual
advantages of travelling. [23] 1. The dangers
of travelling lead us to reliance on God
2. The contemplation of Nature in travelling
expands the mind & heart — 3. Contemp.
of works of Art, rail roads over moun=
tains & tunnels through mountains, for
instance, shew us the care of God for us.
4. We may see the Impartiality of God
(in travelling) in the compensation [24] — made
in various lands — a barren rocky land
e.g. producing industry — & a rich land
indolence &c. 5. Parting from friends
a lesson & trial to the spirit — 6. This
leads to the parting of death — which
separates the good only for a time.
Clarke has in him great versatility.
He has a face to meet you in, for all
moods of mind. This is why, though he
is so superior to myself, I can yet See p. 11 View Page
Full size in new window
10

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Standing on the bare ground — my head
bathed by the blithe air, & uplifted into
infinite spaces, — all mean egotism vanishes.
I become a Transparent Eyeball."
Nature. p. 13

View Page
Full size in new window
11

"I expand and live in the warm day,
like corn and melons."
Nature. p. 73

  sympathise so freely with him, and open
to him my mind & heart. I can laugh
with him, pun with him, draw pictures
with him, poetize with him, sermonize
with him, and be grave or gay as he
is so.
View Page
Full size in new window
12

Cincancinnati O. Jan. 22d. 1839.

     
I left Louisville nearly a week ago — the
River having finally broken up. Pleasant trip
up — rather hard to leave
X

James Freeman Clarke, 1810–1888

Clarke was a cousin of Margaret Fuller. He befriended C. P. Cranch while at Harvard Divinity School, from which he graduated in 1833. Soon afterward he was installed in Louisville. He shared with Cranch an enthusiasm for Coleridge and German literature, as well as the ideas of Emerson. With Ephraim Peabody, Clarke founded the Unitarian literary magazine The Western Messenger, and took over as editor in 1836. Like Cranch he saw that Unitarianism would cease to be relevant unless Unitarian leadership learned to re-organize church life to meet the changing demographic of western American life. He would resign his puplit in Louisville in 1840 and move to Boston.
. [25]
I am now here — taking meals with
X

Edward Pope Cranch, 1809–1892

Brother of C. P. Cranch.

at
X

Bertha Wood Cranch

Wife of Edward P. Cranch.
s, & sleeping in the office.
Have not found a room yet.
Before I left, — (Monday Jan 14 — we had
a juvenile concert in our church in
Louisville — fine — Went with
X

Georgiana Emily Keats, 1819–1879

Georgiana ("Emily" or "Georgy") was the first daughter of George (1797–1841) and Georgiana Augusta (Wylie) Keats (1797–1879), and a niece of John Keats. After immigrating to the United States from London in 1818, her parents settled in Louisville in late 1819 so that George could work in the sawmill of Thomas W. Bakewell. From 1821 until his death, George ran a literary salon in his living room to fill what he considered the cultural void in Louisville. In 1847 Georgiana Emily married Alfred Gwathmey, and stayed in Louisville until her death. See also Gigante's The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and George, p. 327, for more on Georgiana's youth in Louisville.
. [26] Friday Ev. Conversation club [27]
next morng. Wednesday — Mr. Cooper
came in to breakfast — smoked with
him.
Last night, Jan. 21. Semicolon, at
X

Charles Stetson

The Stetsons were a prominent Unitarian family who sometimes hosted the Semicolon discussion group at their home in Cincinnati.
s [28] — sent in piece on Dreams. [29]
One of the most delightful parties I
ever was in. [30]
Have talked with
X

William Henry Channing, 1810–1884

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1833, Channing was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. A follower of Charles Fourier's plans for social reorganization, Channing was one of the first Christian socialists, eventually editing the Present, the Spirit of the Age and the Harbinger. In 1848 he presided over The Religious Union of Associationists in Boston and participated in the Brook Farm commune.
, &
X

John Champion Vaughan, 1806–1892

Vaughan was a prominent Unitarian and social reformer who, with Edward P. Cranch, ran the law office of E. P. Cranch and J. C. Vaughan. From 1847–1850, he edited the antislavery newpaper, the Examiner.

about Ministry at Large. Nothing defi=
nite done yet.
Forgot to mention last Thursday Ev.
Jan 17. Conversation meeting at the
vestry room — talk about non= resis=
tance — very good — well attended — View Page
Full size in new window
13
X

William Henry Channing, 1810–1884

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1833, Channing was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. A follower of Charles Fourier's plans for social reorganization, Channing was one of the first Christian socialists, eventually editing the Present, the Spirit of the Age and the Harbinger. In 1848 he presided over The Religious Union of Associationists in Boston and participated in the Brook Farm commune.
is doing a noble work here.
Just the man to send a new life into
our stagnating body of Unitarians. [31]
Have made acquaintances with Miss
Harding — fine girl —
X

Thomas Oliver Prescott

Cranch was likely talking about Thomas Oliver Prescott (also known as Oliver Prescott Hiller), the minister, poet, and Swedenborgian who arrived in Cincinnati in 1839 to practice law after receiving a B.C.L. from Harvard. He was ordained at New Church Ministry, in the Temple at Cincinnati, on 22 August 1841, having realized that the law profession was distasteful to him (The Intellectual Repository and New Jersusalem Magazine [London: Published by the General Conference of the New Church, 1870], 300). He published a poem titled "Moonlight in Cincinnati" (1856), and delivered sermons in Cincinnati in 1841 and 1842, which were published in his Sermons, Doctrinal, Miscellaneous, and Occasional (1860).
— fine
man.
X

James Handasyd Perkins, 1810–1848

A cousin of William Henry Channing, Perkins came to Cincinnati in February 1832, studied law, and was admitted to the bar three years later (though he never practiced). He became editor of the Cincinnati Evening Chronicle, purchased the paper in the winter of 1835, and united it with the Cincinnati Mirror, while also helping Ephraim Peabody edit the Western Messenger. He became an advocate for prison reform by the late 1830s.
I am getting to know [32]
clear, deep man — with fine humor —
that cement wh. every mind needs to
bind strongly & smoothly together every
part. [33]
Went up today a little while with
X

Thomas Oliver Prescott

Cranch was likely talking about Thomas Oliver Prescott (also known as Oliver Prescott Hiller), the minister, poet, and Swedenborgian who arrived in Cincinnati in 1839 to practice law after receiving a B.C.L. from Harvard. He was ordained at New Church Ministry, in the Temple at Cincinnati, on 22 August 1841, having realized that the law profession was distasteful to him (The Intellectual Repository and New Jersusalem Magazine [London: Published by the General Conference of the New Church, 1870], 300). He published a poem titled "Moonlight in Cincinnati" (1856), and delivered sermons in Cincinnati in 1841 and 1842, which were published in his Sermons, Doctrinal, Miscellaneous, and Occasional (1860).
to court. Trial of Butler for
murder [34] — they were examining a bad
woman — poor creature — she seemed
made for better things.
I shall begin to visit soon, I hope,
among the poor & degraded.
     

Jan. 23.d.

This afternoon attended sewing
circle of ladies ^at
X

William Greene, 1797–1883

Greene was a lawyer and Unitarian who lived on Third Street in the fashionable part of Cincinnati. He often hosted the Semi-Colon meetings at his house, and was known as the club's official reader.
s
with
X

William Henry Channing, 1810–1884

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1833, Channing was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. A follower of Charles Fourier's plans for social reorganization, Channing was one of the first Christian socialists, eventually editing the Present, the Spirit of the Age and the Harbinger. In 1848 he presided over The Religious Union of Associationists in Boston and participated in the Brook Farm commune.
. [35] A sort of
Bible class. Rather interesting talk — but
too much confined to
X

William Henry Channing, 1810–1884

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1833, Channing was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. A follower of Charles Fourier's plans for social reorganization, Channing was one of the first Christian socialists, eventually editing the Present, the Spirit of the Age and the Harbinger. In 1848 he presided over The Religious Union of Associationists in Boston and participated in the Brook Farm commune.
& myself.
Took tea with
X

William Henry Channing, 1810–1884

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1833, Channing was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. A follower of Charles Fourier's plans for social reorganization, Channing was one of the first Christian socialists, eventually editing the Present, the Spirit of the Age and the Harbinger. In 1848 he presided over The Religious Union of Associationists in Boston and participated in the Brook Farm commune.
at
X

William Greene, 1797–1883

Greene was a lawyer and Unitarian who lived on Third Street in the fashionable part of Cincinnati. He often hosted the Semi-Colon meetings at his house, and was known as the club's official reader.
s'. After tea
interesting talk on religious & meta=
physical subjects.
X

William Henry Channing, 1810–1884

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1833, Channing was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. A follower of Charles Fourier's plans for social reorganization, Channing was one of the first Christian socialists, eventually editing the Present, the Spirit of the Age and the Harbinger. In 1848 he presided over The Religious Union of Associationists in Boston and participated in the Brook Farm commune.
reminds me
of
X

John Sullivan Dwight, 1813–1893

A graduate of Harvard College in 1832, and (like C. P. Cranch) a Unitarian minister-in-training after finishing Harvard Divinity School in 1836, Dwight eventually "became the gentle arbiter of America's taste in music" with his starting Dwight's Journal of Music in 1852 (Miller 3). In addition to responding eagerly to Ralph Waldo Emerson's non-conformist ethic and neo-Platonic spirituality, he befriended George Ripley, minister of the Purchase Street Church in Boston, who was one of Emerson's astute Transcendentalist allies, and his wife Sophia Dana Ripley, who shared Dwight's musical enthusiasm. He would play a major role in the Brook Farm experiment.
. He is a noble spirit. So
is
X

William Greene, 1797–1883

Greene was a lawyer and Unitarian who lived on Third Street in the fashionable part of Cincinnati. He often hosted the Semi-Colon meetings at his house, and was known as the club's official reader.
. I like to talk with such —
View Page
Full size in new window
14

Sunday, Jan. 27th

Thursday Ev. we met in vestryroom & talked
about Looking at consequences in matters of
duty.
Friday Ev. went to Mr Fisher's & to
X

David R. Estes

'. Saturday Ev. to Debating club.
Yesterday afternoon attended Mr Mackay's
funeral.
X

William Henry Channing, 1810–1884

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1833, Channing was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. A follower of Charles Fourier's plans for social reorganization, Channing was one of the first Christian socialists, eventually editing the Present, the Spirit of the Age and the Harbinger. In 1848 he presided over The Religious Union of Associationists in Boston and participated in the Brook Farm commune.
officiated — in his usual
impressive manner. Coming home talked
with
X

James Handasyd Perkins, 1810–1848

A cousin of William Henry Channing, Perkins came to Cincinnati in February 1832, studied law, and was admitted to the bar three years later (though he never practiced). He became editor of the Cincinnati Evening Chronicle, purchased the paper in the winter of 1835, and united it with the Cincinnati Mirror, while also helping Ephraim Peabody edit the Western Messenger. He became an advocate for prison reform by the late 1830s.
about the Ministry at Large.
If I do not take it, he intends to engage
in it himself — and to devote his life to
it. We are to talk about it this evening
at
X

William Henry Channing, 1810–1884

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1833, Channing was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. A follower of Charles Fourier's plans for social reorganization, Channing was one of the first Christian socialists, eventually editing the Present, the Spirit of the Age and the Harbinger. In 1848 he presided over The Religious Union of Associationists in Boston and participated in the Brook Farm commune.
's room. I shall leave the
task to him. He is just the man for it.
I was surprised & rejoiced to hear it. What
a noble spirit he is! He is all spirit, as
X

Edward Pope Cranch, 1809–1892

Brother of C. P. Cranch.
says. [36] He will make the most
efficient minister to the poor, that could
be found in the country. He is already
fitted for it. I am not. The time that I
shd spend in learning, he would spend in
acting — and acting on the broadest &
most foundation, & with the most ear=
nest & devoted spirit. It will realease
me from my position — a position I have been
standing in less from my own will, View Page
Full size in new window
15
than from the urgency of my friends.
I feel that though this Ministry wd be a
glorious discipline to myself, yet I am
unfitted for it , and by taste and habits;
while with
X

James Handasyd Perkins, 1810–1848

A cousin of William Henry Channing, Perkins came to Cincinnati in February 1832, studied law, and was admitted to the bar three years later (though he never practiced). He became editor of the Cincinnati Evening Chronicle, purchased the paper in the winter of 1835, and united it with the Cincinnati Mirror, while also helping Ephraim Peabody edit the Western Messenger. He became an advocate for prison reform by the late 1830s.
, it seems to be the
very sphere for which everything in him
predestines him.
Still some such discipline I must have.
But where shall I now go? The West is
all before me. Shall I remain this side
of the mountains, or not? [37] I must de=
cide quickly.
     

Jan. 30th.

X

James Handasyd Perkins, 1810–1848

A cousin of William Henry Channing, Perkins came to Cincinnati in February 1832, studied law, and was admitted to the bar three years later (though he never practiced). He became editor of the Cincinnati Evening Chronicle, purchased the paper in the winter of 1835, and united it with the Cincinnati Mirror, while also helping Ephraim Peabody edit the Western Messenger. He became an advocate for prison reform by the late 1830s.
will engage
in the Ministry to the poor. God grant
him happiness & success in it. How I
wish I could express to him my feelings
about it — that I could thank him &
praise him with anything like the warmth
which my heart feels. I could almost
kneel to him — I have felt the tears
almost starting when I saw him thus
resolved on commencing & giving himself
to the work. But my manner is all
unchanged. No one knows how warmly
the stream of feeling & enthusiasm runs View Page
Full size in new window
16
beneath the cold icebound exterior
of manner, wthrough which it cannot
break. [38]
And now I am free. I have been
making up my mind to go Eastward,
to settle. I think I shall do so.
I think I shall be happier & more
useful at the East than in the West.
I shall probably start next week,
for Washington, which I shall make
my point of lookout, till I can
get a parish which suits me. [39]
     

February.

1st. Young Soeffjes — Party at Millers.
2d. Cold day. No prospect of river open=
ing or rising. Think it likely I shall
be obliged to go home by land. Dont
like the idea. Doing nothing here — &
not supporting myself.
Went to Debating Soc. in evening with
X

Bertha Wood Cranch

Wife of Edward P. Cranch.

& Kate Wood. [40]
Sunday — 3d. Went to New Jerusalem ch. with
X

Thomas Oliver Prescott

Cranch was likely talking about Thomas Oliver Prescott (also known as Oliver Prescott Hiller), the minister, poet, and Swedenborgian who arrived in Cincinnati in 1839 to practice law after receiving a B.C.L. from Harvard. He was ordained at New Church Ministry, in the Temple at Cincinnati, on 22 August 1841, having realized that the law profession was distasteful to him (The Intellectual Repository and New Jersusalem Magazine [London: Published by the General Conference of the New Church, 1870], 300). He published a poem titled "Moonlight in Cincinnati" (1856), and delivered sermons in Cincinnati in 1841 and 1842, which were published in his Sermons, Doctrinal, Miscellaneous, and Occasional (1860).
. [41] Good high heads — dull preacher — cur=
ious exposition of the miracles of the loaves &
fishes. [42] In the wing heard
X

William Henry Channing, 1810–1884

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1833, Channing was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. A follower of Charles Fourier's plans for social reorganization, Channing was one of the first Christian socialists, eventually editing the Present, the Spirit of the Age and the Harbinger. In 1848 he presided over The Religious Union of Associationists in Boston and participated in the Brook Farm commune.
— most View Page
Full size in new window
17
powerful sermon I ever heard . — Text. 1 John.
IV. 20 — "If any one love not his brother whom
he hath knew, how can he love God whom
he hath not seen." — He who loves not, is an
atheist. The bigot, the worldling, the sneerer,
all who see not the divine in man are
atheists. We can only love & see God, through
our aff the affections of our heart, with wh.
we love one another. There is no other pos=
sible way of knowing & loving Him, but
by experiencing & developing the common af=
fections of love & sympathy wh. we
extend towards man.
The whole discourse was most condensed,
original, eloquent & touching. He is a
glorious preacher.
     

Feb 17th. Sunday afternoon

How time flies! Here tis the middle
of February — doing nothing here. [43] Shall
leave for home this week. It is hard
to leave Cincinnati — but I must —
This loafer life will never do.
Heard
X

William Henry Channing, 1810–1884

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1833, Channing was ordained and installed at the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. A follower of Charles Fourier's plans for social reorganization, Channing was one of the first Christian socialists, eventually editing the Present, the Spirit of the Age and the Harbinger. In 1848 he presided over The Religious Union of Associationists in Boston and participated in the Brook Farm commune.
preach this morning
a noble discourse on Prayer — worship
in spirit & in truth. Spoke of the objec=
tions & doubts generally held about
prayer.
View Page
Full size in new window
18.

Feb 21.

Shall not leave till
next week — River low — ice running.
Feelings unsettled — and uncomfortable.
Wish I was at home , or somewhere, at
work. Last Monday Ev. Semicolon
at Mrs
X

Charles Stetson

The Stetsons were a prominent Unitarian family who sometimes hosted the Semicolon discussion group at their home in Cincinnati.
s. Tuesday at
X

John Champion Vaughan, 1806–1892

Vaughan was a prominent Unitarian and social reformer who, with Edward P. Cranch, ran the law office of E. P. Cranch and J. C. Vaughan. From 1847–1850, he edited the antislavery newpaper, the Examiner.
's.
Oh this dreadful indifference wh.
hangs upon me —! It is a life "night=
mare life in death". [44] I am dissatis=
fied with myself, and almost every=
thing about me. Action — a habitual
daily fixed routine of duty can alone
"deliver me from the body of this death." [45]
I feel now as if I were letting my powers
run to waste. It must not be —
     

March 14th. 1839. Washington City —

I have been here about a week —
Came on with Mr Lynch, Mrs Lucas,
&c. Rather pleasant journey — cold. [46]
Find all well here. Have had
several talks with
X

Rufus Dawes, 1803–1859

A lawyer in Boston, poet, and devoted Swedenborgian, Dawes married C. P. Cranch's sister Bertha in 1829.
about
the New Church. [47] He presents it to
me in a most interesting & less sec=
tarian light than I have ever se viewed View Page
Full size in new window
(19)
it. Not sectarian — that is not the
word — but he opens to me a far
broader & more elevated view of the
New Church ^truths than what I have been
accustomed to see. I am reading
X

Emanuel Swedenborg, 1688–1772.

's Arcana, which is
interesting — also
X

Alexander Kinmont, 1799–1838.

Born in Scotland, raised a Calvanist, and educated at Edinburgh, Kinmont settled in 1828 in Cincinnati, where he directed an academy and married Mary Eckstein, the daughter of a devout Swedenborgian. He was best known for his Twelve Lectures on the Natural History of Man and the Rise and Progress of Philosophy (Cincinnati, 1839), which embraced the theory of man's divine nature yet radically suggested that educators ought to emphasize classical education (i.e. less originality and more imitation of Greek and Latin masters) and natural science instead of Biblical instruction.
's Lectures
on the Natural History of Man. [48]
This latter is a very profound and
original book, and exceedingly
interesting & instructive.
Preached last Sunday for
X

Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch, 1809–1870

A graduate of C. P. Cranch's alma mater Columbian College in 1826, and of Harvard Divinity School in 1830, Bulfinch became a Unitarian clergyman in 1831 and assumed congregations in the Northeast before settling in Cambridge. He published several liturgical works and hymns.
. [49] Have called as yet on
scarcely any one.
 
Ap. 2.d. My journal lags too much. One
must be alone to journalize much —
My time has been passing delightfully here.
There is no place like home. I have not
written much — but have read somewhat —
finished
X

Alexander Kinmont, 1799–1838.

Born in Scotland, raised a Calvanist, and educated at Edinburgh, Kinmont settled in 1828 in Cincinnati, where he directed an academy and married Mary Eckstein, the daughter of a devout Swedenborgian. He was best known for his Twelve Lectures on the Natural History of Man and the Rise and Progress of Philosophy (Cincinnati, 1839), which embraced the theory of man's divine nature yet radically suggested that educators ought to emphasize classical education (i.e. less originality and more imitation of Greek and Latin masters) and natural science instead of Biblical instruction.
. I read
X

Emanuel Swedenborg, 1688–1772.

by
fits. Am now reading
X

Victor Cousin, 1792–1867.

Cousin was a French philosopher who espoused a philosophy synthesizing Idealism with the Scottish Common Sense Realism of Thomas Reid and Thomas Brown.
— but
I never shall be a great reader. [50] Wrote
a poem on "Correspondences" which
X

Rufus Dawes, 1803–1859

A lawyer in Boston, poet, and devoted Swedenborgian, Dawes married C. P. Cranch's sister Bertha in 1829.

thinks the best thing he has seen of mine. [51]
Last week wrote a Sermon on the text —
"Can any good thing come out of Naza=
reth — come & see." Think it one of
my best. Occasionally draw, & india= View Page
Full size in new window
20
ink — and flute with
X

William Cranch

Brother of C. P. Cranch (cited in Scott's Life in Letters, pp. 4 and 67).

or Major Hitchcock, or amuse my=
self with the piano forte — Had one
musical evening with Fleischmann.
My passion for music is such that
I sometimes wonder tis not all=ab=
sorbing. No enjoyment of my exis=
tence is greater. When I sit down
at twilight to the piano forte, and
roam over the Soul like chords of
that glorious instrument, I can feel
what perfect beauty is. [52] What God
is. I can feel what the language
of the angels must be. That language
must be music. What else can
it be? ——
Next week I shall probably start
for the North — shall stop on the
way — a good deal — & probably shall
go to Northampton — Mass. [53]
I must learn to renounce, more
than I do, many of the my talents
& tastes, in music & drawing, for
instance, & give myself more to
my profession. I am behind hand
in this. I am too desultory — too
indolent, too unclerical. . . [54]
View Page
Full size in new window
21.

Philadelphia —Ap. 18th. 1839. [55]

Left home on Saturday last. Ap 13th
in the afternoon cars. Home, dear
home — thou art once more shut out from
my eyes — but my heart is still with thee.
How many blessings — how many de=
lightful hours were mine during that
one month's stay. O may God make
me thankful for such a home — for
such a
X

William Cranch, 17691855

Nephew to Abigail Adams, William was the son of the famous watchmaker, legislator, and jurist Richard Cranch (1726–1811). From 1801 until his death, William presided over the Circuit Court of Washington, D.C.
, such a
X

Nancy Greenleaf Cranch, 17721843

, such
sisters & brothers, as mine are — !
O, the pleasant hours in that old
library, with
X

Rufus Dawes, 1803–1859

A lawyer in Boston, poet, and devoted Swedenborgian, Dawes married C. P. Cranch's sister Bertha in 1829.
! The good times
with dear Margy — they are past.
I am once more be mistered. [56]
[cut-away] View Page
Full size in new window
22.
Wednesday morning left Baltimore, &
arrived here in the afternoon. Am
at Mary Eliot's — (Mrs. James T. Furness)
delightful place — and people — every=
thing as pleasant as possible.
Walked about this morning with
X

William Henry Furness, 1802–1896

A Shakespeare afficionado, lifelong friend of Emerson's, and "mildly transcendental" minister in Philadelphia (Miller 51), Furness was a cousin of C. P. Cranch. He is best known for his Remarks on the Four Gospels, a book that influenced Cranch's thinking during his travels in 1836–9.
— saw houses,
public buildings, pictures & people.
I am going to stay here two Sun=
days, while he goes North with
his wife. [57]
     
Ap. 23d. — Mr
X

William Henry Furness, 1802–1896

A Shakespeare afficionado, lifelong friend of Emerson's, and "mildly transcendental" minister in Philadelphia (Miller 51), Furness was a cousin of C. P. Cranch. He is best known for his Remarks on the Four Gospels, a book that influenced Cranch's thinking during his travels in 1836–9.
is still here
on account of Judy Barnes' sickness
[cut-away] [cut-away] View Page
Full size in new window
29.
June 24th—— I am reading
X

Théodore Jouffroy, 1796–1842.

Cousin's understudy, Jouffroy also translated the works of Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid.
on Philosophy, in Ripleys Spec.
of foreign literature. [58] He is a most clear,
profound & spiritual writer. It is satis=
factory to get hold of such a writer. He
seems to do something to fill a void in
my nature. I need to be based more
firmly upon eternal truths. I want
a sound philosophy to prop up my
too wavering faith.
[cut-away] View Page
Full size in new window
30
shew us any good?" [59] — Commenced
with speaking of the freshness, joy, &
faith of childhood — then of the
enthusiasm of manhood — then
of the wants of the soul which the
world cannot satisfy — and of virtue
as the only good — the only means of
happiness &c. His delivery is very
fine — almost too much gesture.
[cut-away]

Notes

1. "My inheritance, how wide and fair! / Time is my estate; to time I'm heir," from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Wilhelm Meister (1795–96), as translated by Thomas Carlyle and quoted at the beginning of the first American edition of Sartor Resartus, ed. Ralph Waldo Emerson (Boston: James Munroe, 1836). Francis B. Dedmond notes that Carlyle's epigraph was omitted from later editions ("Christopher Pearse Cranch's 'Journal. 1839,'" in Studies in the American Renaissance 1983, ed. Joel Myerson [Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983], 147). Remaining citations of Sartor Resartus come from the California edition by Rodger L. Tarr et al. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).Go back
2. "Works and Days": An allusion to Hesiod's work, as well as to Carlyle, who argues that we should focus daily on producing things of value. Emerson also admired Hesiod; having lectured on his work Emerson later included an essay, "Works and Days," in his 1870 collection Society and Solitude, Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Ronald A. Bosco and Douglas Emory Wilson (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008), 7:79–94.Go back
3. Almost a direct quote of John 9:4 (King James Bible): "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." Dedmond ("Cranch's 'Journal,'" 147) notes that Carlyle ends the "Everlasting Yea" chapter with a version of this verse: "Work while it is called To-day; for the Night cometh, wherein no man can work." Leon Jackson, "The Reader Retailored: Thomas Carlyle, His American Audience, and the Politics of Evidence," Book History 2 (1999), 158 and 170, says, "The fact that Cranch also quotes two lines from Goethe from the title page of Sartor suggests that he was thinking more of the Scottish author than the Gospel one."Go back
4. Cranch echoes Emerson's opening in the first chapter of Nature: "To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society" (Nature, Addresses, and Lectures, vol. 1 of Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Robert E. Spiller and Alfred R. Ferguson [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971], 8; cited hereafter as CW).Go back
5. See Cranch's "River of Time" caricature (image 21, http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:2317964), which features Emerson's idea that books can potentially hinder one's relationship to nature. Compare also Nature, chapter 4, "Language": "Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour, and is not reminded of the flux of all things? Throw a stone into the stream, and the circles that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence" (CW, 1:18).Go back
6. Action] Following his metaphor of the "stream of time," Cranch echoes Carlyle, who in Sartor Resartus says that "the articulated Word sets all hands in Action" (47). See also Carlyle's quoting the Erdgeist from Faust: "In Being's floods, in Action's storm, / I walk and work, above, beneath, / Work and weave in endless motion! (43).Go back
7. beautiful meaning] Dwight had written a similar line about Tennyson's "Claribel," a poem "full of meaning, felt to the soul," given its "vague and mysterious" and "magic power": "Is there nothing worthy conveyed into the mind through the subtle melody of mere verse?" (quoted in J. Wesley Thomas, "John Sullivan Dwight: A Translator of German Romanticism," American Literature 21, no. 4 [January 1950]: 433). Dwight said elsewhere that the poems of Wordsworth, too, like Goethe, "are never dull" and "are always steeped in the music of the man." ("The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser," Christian Examiner 28, no. 222 [May 1840]).Go back
8. From Wordsworth's "The Leech-Gatherer, or Resolution and Independence," stanza 6, lines 36–42.Go back
9. "see into the life of things"] From Wordsworth's "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey": "Almost suspended, we are laid asleep / In Body, and become a living soul: / While, with an eye made quiet by the power / Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, / We see into the life of things" (lines 47–49). This was one of Emerson's favorite poems, according to his journal entry of May 25, 1837 (Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks by Ralph Waldo Emerson: 1835–1838, ed. Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), 5:335), which anticipates the "transparent eye-ball" passage in Nature (see Patrick J. Keane's Emerson, Romanticism, and Intuitive Reason: The Transatlantic "Light of All Our Day" [Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2005], especially pages 100–107, on Emerson and Wordsworth). Compare also the "Symbols" chapter of Sartor Resartus: "In the Symbol [. . .] the Infinite is made to blend itself with the Finite, to stand visible, and as it were, attainable there" (162). Dedmond ("Cranch's 'Journal,'" 147) notes that the Western Messenger featured Carlyle's Miscellanies in its "Critical Notices" in December 1838. In it "C" (which is probably Cranch, though it could be Clarke) writes, "We know of no life-reviewer equal to Carlyle. He has an eye to see into the soul of man as well asunder beneath his keen philosophical glance, as distinct as Day from Night" (5:138).Go back
10. Compare Sartor Resartus, chapter 5, "The World in Clothes": "Cast forth thy Act, thy Word, into the ever-living, ever-working Universe: it is a seed-grain that cannot die" (30); and the closing of book 1, chapter 11, "Prospective": "What is the use of health, or of life, if not to do some work therewith? And what work nobler than transplanting foreign Thought into the barren domestic soil; except indeed planting Thought of your own, which the fewest are privileged to do?"(60–61). The closing of "The Everlasting Yea" argues that the impediment to the ideal is a lack of action.Go back
11. From Emerson's "American Scholar" address: "if the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him" (CW, 1:69).Go back
12. "had all knowledge"] Dedmond ("Cranch's 'Journal'") points to First Corinthians 13:2 (King James Bible): "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." This also follows a thread from Emerson's lecture "The Doctrine of the Soul": "With all the godlike knowledge and godlike virtue we can find in history, we can spare it all"; and "I could forgive the man of calculation his want of faith if he had knowledge of the uttermost that man could be and do" (Early Lectures of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 3: 1838–1842, ed. Robert E. Spiller and Wallace E. Williams [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972], 13, 14).Go back
13. Following his thoughts on the value of books, Cranch parallels Emerson's "General Views" lecture (from the 1837–38 "Human Culture" series): "Now what is true of a month's or a year's issue of new books, seems to me with a little qualification true of the age [. . .] One man, two men,—possibly, three or four,—have cast behind them the long-descended costume of the academy, and the expectations of fashion, and have said, This world is too fair, this world comes home too near to me than that I should walk a stranger in it, and live at second-hand, fed by other men's doctrines, or treading only in their steps" (Early Lectures, vol. 2: 1836–1838 [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964], 361). This also follows the theme in "The American Scholar" that significant truths derive not necessarily from books but from an engagement with nature—"instead of Man Thinking, we have the bookworm" (CW, 1:56).Go back
14. After his precept in the "Everlasting No" chapter of Sartor Resartus to not know thyself, but "know what thou canst work at," Carlyle asks a rhetorical question: "Hast thou a certain Faculty, a certain Worth, such even as the most have not; or art thou the completest Dullard of these modern times? Alas, the fearful Unbelief is unbelief in yourself; and how could I believe?" (123). The "skepticism" recalls Carlyle's arguments against the "Age of Skepticism" induced by Voltaire, Hume, the French Revolution, materialism, and British Utilitarianism. In his "State of German Literature" essay, Carlyle suggests that German writers provide spiritual sustenance to people hampered by skepticism, which has made Europe "a scene blackened and burnt-up with fire; mourning in the darkness, because there is desolation, and no home for the soul" (Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, The Works of Thomas Carlyle in Thirty Volumes [London: Chapman and Hall, 1899], 26:85). Compare also Emerson's "Religion" lecture, in which he warns of "profound unbelief,—a diffidence" resulting from the fact that "society sickens of skepticism" (Early Lectures, 2:97).Go back
15. Cranch echoes the primary message of Emerson's first chapter of Nature—the synthesis of soul and nature—that "Nature always wears the colors of the spirit" (CW, 1:10)—which itself recalls Carlyle's metaphor of the philosophy of clothes in Sartor Resartus.Go back
16. Leaving for Boston in 1838, Clarke had asked Cranch to take over as editor for at least two issues. When Clarke returned to Louisville in late December, he exalted in the "exquisite keenness of [Emerson's] intellect and antique charm of his imagination," resolving to stand behind "a man whose life is holiness, whose words are gems, whose character is of the purest type of heroism, yet of childlike simplicity" (quoted in F. DeWolfe Miller, Christopher Pearse Cranch and His Caricatures of New England Transcendentalism [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951], 35).Go back
17. Cranch experienced the same problem the last time he was in Louisville, as is indicated in a November 21, 1838, letter to Clarke: "Our river is up once more, and everything alive and stirring. 'Da regte sich was Hande hat,' etc." (Massachusetts Historical Society [MHS] typescript).Go back
18. natural and free] Cranch echoes Emerson's saying in "Heroism" that "A great man scarcely knows how he dines, how he dresses; but without railing or precision, his living is natural and poetic." An early version of "Heroism" was delivered as a lecture in Boston in the winter of 1837, as part of his lectures on "Human Culture." See also the introduction to this edition for more on how the "natural and free" idea comes from Dwight's musical aesthetics.Go back
19. Truth & Duty] This illustrates not only the influence of Kant's categorical imperative but also the Calvinistic strains of Cranch's thought. As Miller suggests, Cranch was raised in a Puritan household, and "God's immanence and man's duty to God were real truths for him" (Cranch and His Caricatures, 10). Cranch's lineage compares to Emerson, whose Aunt Mary was likewise puritanical in her many letters to him in his formative years. See Phyllis Cole's Mary Moody Emerson and the Origins of Transcendentalism: A Family History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 8–18.Go back
20. The letter has not been located.Go back
21. Dedmond cites Clarke's letter to Emerson from March 11, 1839 ("Cranch's 'Journal,'" 148): "Cranch and I were so profane as to illustrate some of your sayings by sketches not of the gravest character. I should like to show them to you, for I think you would like them. . . . C. P. Cranch has quite a talent at drawing diablerie & such like" (The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Ralph L. Rusk [New York: Columbia University Press, 1939], 2:190). In a May 20, 1839, letter to Clarke, Cranch then commented on these drawings: "By the way, I lent [Furness] my Emersonian scraps to take on with him, and it seems by sundry external signs upon them since they were returned to me, that they have been considerably thumbed and pocketed. Great men have looked upon them. The genius of a Dewey and a Channing hath stopped to smile condescendingly on them. Our fame, friend, groweth. It hath been budding with the spring. We are linked in celebrity, and thus will descend to posterity as the immortal illustrators of the great Transcendentalist! When all trades fail, let us take to caricaturing. We have humors that way" (MHS typescript). See Appendix 1 for a larger portion of the letter.Go back
22. "swallows all formulas"] Cranch is most likely thinking of Carlyle's translation of Mirabeau's saying about himself—il a humé toutes le formules—in his Memoirs (Carlyle, Historical Essays [Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002], 188). Cranch had also probably read a related passage from Carlyle's French Revolution, vol. 2, book 3, chapter 7, "Death of Mirabeau" (1838): "So blazes out, far-seen, a Man's Life, and becomes ashes and a caput mortuum, in this World-Pyre, which we name French Revolution: not the first that consumed itself there; nor, by thousands and many millions, the last! A man who 'had swallowed all formulas'; who, in these strange times and circumstances, felt called to live Titanically, and also to die so. As he, for his part, had swallowed all formulas, what Formula is there, never so comprehensive, that will express truly the plus and the minus of him, give us the accurate net-result of him? There is hitherto none such" (A Carlyle Reader [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984], 363).Go back
23. Compare Cranch's own words in "A Letter on Travelling," in the June 1838 Messenger: "Well, here I am—again a wanderer—another, and still another parting have I endured. For nearly three years it has been my lot to rove from place to place, North, South, East, West—making friends and parting from them—verily, I am growing aweary of such itinerant ways of living" (Western Messenger 5 [June 1838]: 183). Emerson would later warn against the dangers of traveling in "Self-Reliance": "Travelling is a fool's paradise [. . .] The rage of travelling is a symptom of a deeper unsoundness affecting the whole intellectual action. The intellect is vagabond, and our system of education fosters restlessness. Our minds travel when our bodies are forced to stay at home" (Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Joseph Slater, Alfred R. Ferguson et al [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980], 2:46–47). That thought could have had its genesis in "The Individual," where he quotes the adage, "To know that the sky is everywhere blue, you need not travel round the world" and says, "I travel faster than you. In my closet I see more and anticipate all your wonders" (Early Lectures, 2:178–79). See also Dedmond, "Cranch's 'Journal,'" 133.Go back
24. compensation] Cranch anticipates Emerson's doctrine of compensation, that the world consists of "relations of parts and the end of the whole remaining the same"—an idea evident in Nature, for example, in the "Idealism" chapter, where the virtuous consider the "whole circle of persons and things, of actions and events, of country and religion, not as painfully accumulated, atom after atom, act after act, in an aged creeping Past, but as one vast picture, which God paints on the instant eternity, for the contemplation of the soul" (CW, 1:29, 36). Cranch could also be thinking of Emerson's early lecture "On the Relation of Man to the Globe" (Early Lectures 1:27–49), which set the groundwork for compensation as one of Emerson's fundamental ideas (even though the word "compensation" does not appear in the lecture and in Nature).Go back
25. In a letter of February 9, 1839, Clarke also entertained doubts about "the expediency of my leaving Louisville," adding that "I have no such serious purpose, but at times I am 'exercised in mind' about the propriety of so doing. It often seems to me as if some one else could do more good than I here, and I do more good somewhere else. I am by no means a popular preacher in this place, nor ever shall be ... I am extremely anxious in this matter to be guided solely by duty ... William Channing urged me so strongly to retain the 'Western Messenger' that I have agreed to do so till the end of the sixth number, volume vi. Then I hope they will take it to Cincinnati. C. P. Cranch stayed three weeks with me after I reached home, and I grew to love him very much, and he me" (James Freeman Clarke: Autobiography, Diary, and Correspondence, ed. Edward Everett Hale [Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1892], 126).Go back
26. On October 14, 1837, Cranch had written to his sister Margaret about Georgiana Emily: "I went the other night to see Mr. Keats, an English gentleman residing here, and brother to Keats, the poet. He seemed to be a very intelligent and gentlemanly man, and has some daughters, only one of whom I saw, a young lady about fourteen years apparently, with face and features strongly resembling Keats, the poet, or that little portrait of him which you see in the volume containing his poems in conjunction with Coleridge and Shelley. I could scarcely keep my eyes from her countenance, so striking was the likeness" (Scott, Life and Letters, 38–39). See also Denise Gigante's study, The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and George (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011).Go back
27. Dialogic artistry was a crucial aspect of transcendentalism, due in large part to the salon-like conversation/debating clubs such as the Semi-Colon club that Cranch attended (see note 28). See Noelle A. Baker's "Conversations," chapter 24 of The Oxford Handbook to Transcendentalism, ed. Joel Myerson et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 348–60.Go back
28. Semi-Colon was a primarily Unitarian conversation club consisting mostly of writers and intellectuals. The Beecher sisters were among its members, and the club played a part in launching the career of Harriet Beecher Stowe (see Forrest Wilson's Crusader in Crinoline: A Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe [New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1941], 122–26). Semi-Colon provided intellectual stimulation for a small cohort of Boston-area transplants in a rugged frontier city. See Louis Tucker, "The Semi-Colon Club of Cincinnati," Ohio History 73, no. 1 (1964). For a recent essay on the Semi-Colon members, women writers, and its hostesses (including a section on Cranch's relation to club), see Nicole Tonkovich's "Writing in Circles," in Nineteenth-Century Women Learn to Write (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995), 149–78. Cranch praised Semi-Colon for providing freedom for more advanced writers as well as "embolden[ing] beginners to a spontaneity of thought and style" (Library of Congress manuscript; quoted in Tonkovich, 152). Tonkovich also challenges the accuracy of Wilson's view on the club's responsibility for bolstering Stowe's career.Go back
29. "Dreams" appeared in the Western Messenger 6 (June 1839): 98–100. Of interest is his rhetorical question, "may it not be, that dreams are one way in which the spiritual gains access to the spirit's ear [. . .] ?" The "imprisoned spirit" looks to the Imagination for spiritual answers. This may have informed Cranch's poem "The Three Muses," in which he describes a bewildered traveler's waking dream, and a muse calls upon "the truth sublime" of "The soul within the soul, the hidden life, / The fount of dreams, the vision and the strife / Of thoughts that seized on every other force, / And turned it to their own resistless course" (The Bird and the Bell, and Other Poems [Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1875], 31). Cranch often channeled Emerson's idea in Nature that "the world is a divine dream" (also "a dream may let us deeper into the secret of nature than a hundred concerted experiments" [CW, 1:37, 39]).Go back
30. Cranch wrote to Clarke on January 22 about the party: "Last night I went to a Semicolon party at Mrs. Stetson's. We had a glorious time. The pieces were good, and the music refreshing; and dancing—heavens! how they danced. 'Old men and maidens gay', whose heads seemed almost topsyturveyed. It was one of the most delightful seasons of social refreshment I ever enjoyed. A perfect inundation of spirits, whose merry and sparkling utterances seemed to set afloat in mere kindliness, the most staid and old, who at first were prone to root themselves to the sides of the room in their chairs. 'Such music flows from kind hearts, in a kind environment of time and peace.' 'The poor claims of me and thee vanished.' We were all as one" (MHS typescript).Go back
31. In an undated fragment of a journal or letter, Cranch expressed his frustration with the "over-cautious and conservative Unitarians of Massachusetts" who took issue with his work at the Western Messenger (MHS typescript). He was also not afraid to poke at them: see his poem (signed "X") in the May 1838 (vol. 5) issue of the Western Messenger— "Surely our preachers should have warmth of soul, / And yet we hear of Unitarian coldness— / We have our Green-wood, Furness, Burn-up, Cole, / And Flint and sparks once blazed away with boldness, / And now along with names so warm and zealous, / There's lately come to kindle us, a Bellows." For a similar play on names, see also Cranch's poem "A Landscape."Go back
32. Perkins had written in a letter to a friend, just after he became minister-at-large, that the individual spirit was being lost to the whims of the masses: "The mantle of Minister at Large has fallen upon me, and in this vocation I hope somewhat to realize that usefulness to which you allude as the crowning gift of man. The field is wide and undug; my spade is dull and weak. . . . Pauperism, Poverty, Infidelity, Vice, Crime,—these are five well-armed and most determined demons to war with,—true children of the world, the flesh, and the Devil, which, jockey-like, cross and recross their breeds for ever" (Memoirs and Writings of James Handasyd Perkins, ed. William Henry Channing [Cincinnati: Trueman and Spofford, 1851], 1:114–15; quoted in Dedmond, "Cranch's 'Journal,'" 148). His chief objective was "to form such connections with the poor as will enable us, in some degree at least, to withdraw them and their children from evil associations, and to combine immediate physical relief with continued moral relief; and second, to find those in need employment" (1:118–19).Go back
33. cement] Cranch may have recalled this metaphor from Emerson's 1833 lecture "The Uses of Natural History," in which he encourages strong minds to sympathize with all fellow beings: "Where is it these fair creatures (in whom an order and series is so distinctly discernable,) find their link, their cement, their keystone, but in the Mind of Man? It is he who marries the visible to the Invisible by uniting thought to Animal Organization" (Early Lectures, 1:24). Also, he might be remembering a similar thought from "Water," in which Emerson speaks of the friend who "is present in every function of life, grows in the vegetable, is a cement, and an engineer, and an architect, in inanimate nature" (Early Lectures, 1:51).Go back
34. On December 7, 1838, Thomas Butler fatally stabbed a clerk named James T. White with a Bowie knife in "a house of ill fame" in Cincinnati (Cincinnati Whig, December 10, 1838). The Whig reported that "some disturbance took place in an upper room of the establishment, (but with which Mr. White had nothing to do,) which attracted the notice of Butler, who immediately started for the scene of the riot. In going up stairs, he met Mr. White coming down, and instantly gave him two fatal stabs in the region of the heart, and, (so far as is known,) without the slightest provocation. ... Butler made his escape." The mayor of Cincinnati offered a $250 reward for his capture. He was captured in late December and returned to his native city of Jeffersonville, Indiana, according to a Cincinnati correspondent's report in the January 3, 1839, Scioto Gazette (Chillicothe, Ohio). Butler's trial ended on January 22 with a guilty verdict of second-degree murder.Go back
35. For more on William Henry Channing and the sewing circle in the Ohio Valley, see Elizabeth R. McKinsey's The Western Experiment: New England Transcendentalists in the Ohio Valley (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973), 42–48.Go back
36. Starting in March 1839, Channing would spend three years as the lead pastor in the Unitarian Church of Cincinnati. See Octavius Brooks Frothingham's Memoirs of William Henry Channing (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1886), 144–50).Go back
37. Compare to Cranch's poem "Original Ode": "We gather by wild stream and wood / In a far Western land / [. . .] When by the Rock on Plymouth's shore / They moored their lonely bark, / And round them listened to the roar / Of a winter wild and dark."Go back
38. Cranch had written similarly in an August 1837 letter to Clarke, saying he is "reserved, secretive, proud, indolent, but above all diffident. This besetting diffidence lies at the root of all my reserve, and keeps me again and again silent and seemingly cold, when no one could tell how deep and strong the stream which ran hidden within" (Scott, Life and Letters, 35).Go back
39. Cranch did not leave Cincinnati until around March 2.Go back
40. Bertha and Kate were the daughters of Mrs. Wood, who provided meals for the Cranch brothers.Go back
41. On May 23, 1840, Cranch wrote Clarke that he was "getting to be somewhat of a Swedenborgian. ... I do not think we study him enough. ... For my part, I could be a New Church man, were it not for the doctrine of the identity of Jesus and God" (MHS typescript; see also Dedmond, "Cranch's 'Journal,'" 148–49).Go back
42. loaves & the fishes] In his Remarks on the Four Gospels, one of the most important books Cranch read in 1836 alongside Nature, William Henry Furness devotes a chapter to the miracles, arguing that the word comes from the Latin miraculum, meaning "wonder," and that Jesus's miracles were wonders of "moral elevation" rather than supernatural feats (Remarks on the Four Gospels [Philadelphia: Carey, Lea and Blanchard, 1836], 145–46). He also quotes William Ellery Channing's remarks that God's purpose is to establish the "order of Nature," "and miracles, instead of warring against, would concur with nature" (147–48). Another connection is Cranch's Eliot relatives, who, as Cynthia Grant Tucker writes, "were happy to leave the Virgin Birth and Three-Person God to the orthodox" and were "willing to forfeit the miracles, the loaves and the fishes," conceding to logic and natural philosophy (No Silent Witness: The Eliot Parsonage Women and Their Unitarian World [New York: Oxford University Press, 2010], 235).Go back
43. In a February 16, 1839, letter to Clarke, Cranch admitted that "I have been a regular loafer here. Living in a dusty, noisy law office, and sleeping in the same on a most extemporaneous couch-bed, without a pillow,—very unsettled and inactive." He also indicated his weariness with his intrepid lifestyle: "Heartily tired am I of wandering. I want a home; quiet steady work, and a wife. I shall not find them this side of the mountains" (Scott, Life and Letters, 46).Go back
44. From Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," when the Spectre-Woman appears, "The Night-mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she" (1.193), and again in III.220–4. Compare also Milton's Samson Agonistes, "Then had I not been thus exiled from light, / As in the land of darkness, yet in light, / To live a life half dead, a living death, / And buried; but, O yet more miserable! / Myself my sepulchre, a moving grave" (lines 98–102).Go back
45. From Romans 7:24, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" For a similar sense (also anticipating Coleridge's life-in-death), compare Paradise Lost, book 10, "Both Death and I / Am found eternal, and incorporate both" (lines 815–16).Go back
46. On March 6, after a boat trip up the Ohio River to Wheeling, Cranch took the stagecoach to Frederick, Maryland, and then traveled by train to Washington. He left Mrs. Lynch and Lucas in Frederick (Dedmond, "Cranch's 'Journal,'" 149).Go back
47. In a March 8 letter to his brother Edward, Cranch wrote that "Rufus [Dawes] is sitting with me in the old library, reading Carlyle. We had a long talk this morning about the New Church. He talks grandly about it, and almost makes me in love with the system of Swedenborg. He thinks most of the Unitarians today will all come round to the New Church before long" (Quoted in Dedmond, "Cranch's 'Journal,'" 149).Go back
48. Emanuel Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia: or, Heavenly Mysteries Contained in the Sacred Scriptures, or Word of the Lord, Manifested and Laid Open; Beginning with the Book of Genesis. Interspersed with Relations of Wonderful Things Seen in the World of Spirits and the Heaven of Angels, 12 vols. (London: J. Hodson, 1789–1806). Alexander Kinmont, Twelve Lectures on the History of Man, and the Rise and Progress of Philosophy (Cincinnati: N. P. James, 1839).Go back
49. Dedmond notes that Cranch wrote to Edward on March 8: "I have not yet seen Greenleaf Bulfinch. He is busy moving" ("Cranch's 'Journal,'" 149). The February 1838 Western Messenger published a "discourse" by S. G. Bulfinch, then pastor of the Unitarian Church in Pittsburgh. Cranch kept close with him, as is indicated in an August 13, 1843, letter to Dwight that he lives "in perpetual creation," welcomes his new poverty, and says that he "preached one sermon only for Bulfinch, as he needed help" (Scott, Life and Letters, 82).Go back
50. Cranch was probably reading Cousin's Elements of Psychology: Included in a Critical Examination of Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding (New York: Gould and Newman, 1838). On June 21, 1839, Cranch wrote Edward from Philadelphia: "I am also continuing to read Cousin. He does much to strengthen my faith" (MHS typescript; quoted in Dedmond, "Cranch's 'Journal,'" 149). At around this time Emerson and his followers were attracted to the common sense and eclecticism of Cousin and Jouffroy, yet Emerson soon wrote in his journal that he found "nothing of worth in the accomplished Cousin & the mild Jouffroy." See Philip F. Gura, American Transcendentalism: A History (New York: Hill and Wang, 2008), 59–60.Go back
51. Published in Dial 1 (January 1841): 381, and dated "March, 1839," "Correspondences" continues the theme of poetry as dream-making. The optimistic, thoroughly transcendentalist poem attempts in "Seeing in all things around, types of the Infinite Mind": "Little dreaming the cause why to such terms he is prone, / Little dreaming that every thing here has its own correspondence / Folded within its form, as in the body the soul" (Poems [Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1844], 42).Go back
52. Cranch, who was at this time equally well regarded among close friends for his musical as for his conversational abilities, once complained about the tediousness in staying in one place, day after day, "'as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean.' I should think it was next to being becalmed at sea. The good folks here seem to have discovered my musical propensities and weaknessess, and I am accordingly made use of as unceremoniously as if I were a poor passive pitchpipe for everybody to sound. I fear my consenting to sing that everlasting 'Schoolmaster' has proved the father of many future bores on my part. Two or three times already, have I bawled it out to the exercise of many cachinnatory muscles in the auditors thereof. Some of my German songs also, I have attempted. I flute all alone as yet, though I found a fine flute at Mr. G's—, on which I played a little while there" (MHS, undated typescript of journal or letter fragment).Go back
53. On April 14, Cranch wrote Edward from Baltimore: "I shall be in Balt. a few days—they want me to stay over another Sunday, but I shall not have time. Next Sunday I intend to preach in Phila spend a few days in New York, & be in Boston the last week in April. Where I shall then go, I know not yet. Perhaps to Northampton. Mr. Briggs said he would try to arrange it. There are many vacant parishes in N.E." (quoted in Dedmond, "Cranch's 'Journal,'" 149).Go back
54. Dedmond quotes Cranch's reflection in "The Book of Thoughts," an unpublished commonplace book, ca. 1872–79, pp. 191–93, in which he laments his "misfortune (as regards worldly & pecuniary success) to have too many sides—to have been born (and educated) with a diversity of talents . . . I have wooed too many mistresses; and the world punishes me for not shutting my eyes to all charmers but one" (MHS; Dedmond, "Cranch's 'Journal,'" 149).Go back
55. In a September 22, 1891, scrap from a letter or journal, Cranch recalled this time in more detail: "In 1839 I preached a sermon in Dr. Furness' pulpit in Philadelphia, and afterwards in several other pulpits, in which the leading idea, if I remember, was—all life has a tendancy [sic] upwards. The mineral is taken up by the vegetable, this into the animal, the animal into the intellectual, and the intellectual into the spiritual. He that loseth life shall find it. The lower life is lost that the higher may survive. I remember preaching it once at the Thursday lecture in Boston, when Mr. Emerson was one of my hearers, and that he was interested in it. The MS. was lost—burnt up with all my old sermons in the fire that destroyed the old De Windt homestead in 1862, with all my books and my letters, and other things I hardly remember now" (MHS typescript).Go back
56. This page was cut away, and it is not known who is responsible for cutting out this and the following pages. Pages 23–28 were written into but entirely cut away.Go back
57. Cranch revealed in a June 21, 1839, letter from Philadelphia that "The people are not sociable. There is an air of stiffness, reserve,—a disposition which even their very houses manifest upon their fronts—to keep by themselves, to keep their hands behind them at the approach of a stranger. There is nothing of the cordiality of manner you meet with in the West. // I can't say I have been at all industrious since I have been here." He recalled writing two sermons, one on "The voice crying in the wilderness"—which, Cranch said, "the superficial might say was upholding 'Transcendentalism'"—and another on "Sects," "in which I took the ground that sects were not only unavoidable, and not to be regretted, but were necessary to the development of truth" (MHS typescript). See Appendix 2 for another section of this letter containing a poem on Cousin and transcendentalism. Go back
58. Cranch probably learned about Jouffroy from being in Cincinnati with William Henry Channing, who was working on a translation of Introduction to Ethics, Including a Critical Survey of Moral Systems in two volumes for the Specimens of Foreign Standard Literature series (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, 1840–41). Go back
59. Probably Psalm 4:6 (King James Bible): "There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us."Go back