Life and Correspondence of Theodore Parker: Minister of the Twenty-Eighth Congregational Society, Boston - Vol. 1

By John Weiss | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II.

Autobiography--Childhood--From Birth the age of Eight.

A FRAGMENT of an Autobiography, which was commenced at Rome, is printed here in its original condition, except that a few pages of botanical matter have been corrected and arranged by Rev. John L Russell, of Salem, in conformity with a request transmitted by Mr. Parker to his old friend. When he found that he could write no more, he closed the manuscript with a caveat to the reader, which is here transferred to the commencement.

N.B. Caveat Lector.--This will require careful re-writing, and, as it stands, may contain many errors of detail,* for I write it when too ill to read, and with no memoranda to aid me. I should like to consult the deeds of the early settlers in my neighbourhood, to learn the original ownership of land, the date of the houses, and the names of places like "the great meadow." Few men, if any, now living will remember the name, but I have found it in old deeds.

I began this at Rome, March 16th, 1860. It is not likely I shall get far in it. I have waited more than a year for strength to begin it, and now commence at my weakest point.

The material and human circumstances about a man in his early life have a strong and abiding influence upon all, especially on those of a sensitive disposition, who are both easily affected by such externals and rather obstinate in retaining the impression made on them.


OF THE MATERIAL SORROUNDINGS.

About 1710, my grandfather's grandfather, John Parker, then some. what advanced in life, with a part of his grown-up children, removed from Reading, where a family of Parkers had settled about 1640, to the Cambridge Farms, since called Lexington, where he had bought a considerable quantity of land, with one small house upon it, probably of logs. The next year he built him a large and commodious house, and furnished it with the usual out-buildings necessary for a farmer's business. The situation was pleasant; a considerable valley a mile or more in length and half a mile wide, with a fresh meadow at the

____________________
*
Much may be omitted that he would have noted under favourable circumstansces but all blanks have been filled, and only one or two errors of commission needed attention. This Autobiography was commenced by Mr. Parker with the object of entrusting it, when finished, to his friend Mr. Lyman, to be used by him some day: the fragment, accordingly, was sent to him

-17-

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Life and Correspondence of Theodore Parker: Minister of the Twenty-Eighth Congregational Society, Boston - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface. v
  • Contents of Vol. I xi
  • Illustrations to Vol. I. xiii
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 17
  • Chapter III 27
  • Chapter IV 49
  • Chapter V 89
  • Chapter VI 130
  • Chapter VII 160
  • Chapter VIII 200
  • Chapter IX 221
  • Chapter X 248
  • Chapter XI 282
  • Chapter XII 314
  • Chapter XIII 351
  • Chapter XIV 407
  • Chapter XV 437
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