April 21

April 21, 1863

Drew ten days' rations to-day, so I guess there is some of Company B left and that they will be back to eat it.

April 21, 1864

Thursday. We were loaded up and ready for a start early this morning. We dropped down-stream to our place in the long line of steamboats, gunboats and most every kind of boats. Got onto a sand bar and had to be pulled off. A gunboat got fast just below us and getting that loose took the rest of the day.

A truly beautiful day, warm and pleasant with no wind at all; regiment moved to a new camp this morning; most of the line officers remain here yet. The three left Companies, B, G and K contested for the medal Major C. G. Chandler proposed giving last winter, and B, my old Company and the one I have been with all winter, won it. Of course it would! It always honors itself and me; got a letter from home to-night.

April Twenty-First

From the date of its settlement, Maryland became the Land of Sanctuary—the only spot in the known world where the persecuted of all lands were at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of their own hearts. Freedom of conscience was offered by Lord Baltimore to the oppressed of the Old World, thus carrying into effect the original motive of Sir George Calvert's colonization scheme when seeking a charter from King Charles I.

Hester Dorsey Richardson


Passage of the “Act Concerning Religion” by the Maryland Assembly, 1649, endorsing the principles of religious toleration promulgated by Cecilius Calvert in 1634

Independence of Texas established at San Jacinto, 1836



April 21

April 21, 1855.--I have been reading a great deal: ethnography, comparative anatomy, cosmical systems. I have traversed the universe from the deepest depths of the empyrean to the peristaltic movements of the atoms in the elementary cell. I have felt myself expanding in the infinite, and enfranchised in spirit from the bounds of time and space, able to trace back the whole boundless creation to a point without dimensions, and seeing the vast multitude of suns, of milky ways, of stars, and nebulae, all existent in the point.

And on all sides stretched mysteries, marvels and prodigies, without limit, without number, and without end. I felt the unfathomable thought of which the universe is the symbol live and burn within me; I touched, proved, tasted, embraced my nothingness and my immensity; I kissed the hem of the garments of God, and gave Him thanks for being Spirit and for being life. Such moments are glimpses of the divine. They make one conscious of one's immortality; they bring home to one that an eternity is not too much for the study of the thoughts and works of the eternal; they awaken in us an adoring ecstasy and the ardent humility of love.

April 21

April 21, 1865. (Mornex ).--A morning of intoxicating beauty, fresh as the feelings of sixteen, and crowned with flowers like a bride. The poetry of youth, of innocence, and of love, overflowed my soul. Even to the light mist hovering over the bosom of the plain--image of that tender modesty which veils the features and shrouds in mystery the inmost thoughts of the maiden--everything that I saw delighted my eyes and spoke to my imagination. It was a sacred, a nuptial day! and the matin bells ringing in some distant village harmonized marvelously with the hymn of nature. "Pray," they said, "and love! Adore a fatherly and beneficent God." They recalled to me the accent of Haydn; there was in them and in the landscape a childlike joyousness, a naïve gratitude, a radiant heavenly joy innocent of pain and sin, like the sacred, simple-hearted ravishment of Eve on the first day of her awakening in the new world. How good a thing is feeling, admiration! It is the bread of angels, the eternal food of cherubim and seraphim.

I have not yet felt the air so pure, so life-giving, so ethereal, during the five days that I have been here. To breathe is a beatitude. One understands the delights of a bird's existence--that emancipation from all encumbering weight--that luminous and empyrean life, floating in blue space, and passing from one horizon to another with a stroke of the wing. One must have a great deal of air below one before one can be conscious of such inner freedom as this, such lightness of the whole being. Every element has its poetry, but the poetry of air is liberty. Enough; to your work, dreamer!

99. Abigail Adams

21 April, 1776.

I have to acknowledge the receipt of a very few lines dated the 12th of April. You make no mention of the whole sheets I have wrote to you, by which I judge you either never received them, or that they were so lengthy as to be troublesome; and in return you have set me an example of being very concise. I believe I shall not take the hint, but give as I love to receive. Mr. Church talked a week ago of setting off for Philadelphia. I wrote by him, but suppose it has not yet gone. You have perhaps heard that the bench is filled by Messrs. Foster and Sullivan, so that a certain person is now excluded. I own I am not of so forgiving a disposition as to wish to see him holding a place which he refused merely from a spirit of envy.

I give up my request for Chesterfield's "Letters," submitting entirely to your judgment, as I have ever found you ready to oblige me in this way whenever you thought it would contribute either to my entertainment or improvement. I was led to the request from reading the following character of him in my favorite Thomson, from some spirited and patriotic speeches of his in the reign of George II.:—

"O thou whose wisdom, solid yet refined,Whose patient-virtues and consummate skill To touch the finer springs that move the world,Joined to whate'er the Graces can bestow,And all Apollo's animating fire,Give thee with pleasing dignity to shine At once the guardian, ornament, and joy Of polished life. Permit the rural muse,O Chesterfield! to grace thee with her song,Ere to the shades again she humbly flies;Indulge her fond ambition, in thy train (For every muse has in thy train a place)To mark thy various, full accomplished mind,—To mark that spirit which, with British scorn,Rejects th' allurements of corrupted power;That elegant politeness which excels,Even in the judgment of presumptuous France,The boasted manner of her shining court;That wit, the vivid energy of sense,The truth of nature, which, with Attic point,And kind, well-tempered satire, smoothly keen,Steals through the soul, and, without pain, corrects."

I think the speculations you inclose prove that there is full liberty of the press. Cato shows he has a bad cause to defend; whilst the Forester writes with a spirit peculiar to himself, and leads me to think that he has an intimate acquaintance with "Common Sense."

We have intelligence of the arrival of some of the Tory fleet at Halifax; that they are much distressed for want of houses,—obliged to give six dollars per month for one room; provisions scarce and dear. Some of them with six or eight children around them, sitting upon the rocks, crying, not knowing where to lay their heads.

Just Heaven has given them to taste of the same cup of affliction which they one year ago administered with such callous hearts to thousands of their fellow-citizens; but with this difference, that they fly from the injured and enraged country, whilst pity and commiseration received the sufferers whom they inhumanly drove from their dwellings.

I would fain hope that the time may not be far distant when those things you hint at may be carried into execution.

"Oh! are ye not those patriots in whose power That best, that godlike luxury is placed Of blessing thousands, thousands yet unborn Thro' late posterity? Ye large of soul,Cheer up dejected industry, and give A double harvest to the pining swain.Teach thou, the laboring herd the sweets of toil;How, by the finest art, the native robe To weave; how, white as Hyperborean snow,To form the lucid lawn; with venturous oar How to dash wide the billow; nor look on,Shamefully passive, while Britannia's fleets Defraud us of the glittering finny swarms That hem our firths and swarm upon our shores;How all-enlivening trade to rouse, and wing The prosperous sail from every growing port Uninjured round the semicircled globe."

It is rumored here that Admiral Hopkins is blocked up in Newport harbor by a number of men-of-war. If so, 't is a very unlucky circumstance. As to fortifications, those who preside in the Assembly can give you a much better account than I.

I heard yesterday that a number of gentlemen who were together at Cambridge thought it highly proper that a committee of ladies should be chosen to examine the Tory ladies, and proceeded to the choice of three—Mrs. Winthrop, Mrs. Warren, and your humble servant.

I could go on and give you a long list of domestic affairs, but they would only serve to embarrass you and noways relieve me. I hope it will not be long before things will be brought into such a train as that you may be spared to your family.

Your brother has lost his youngest child with convulsion fits. Your mother is well and always desires to be remembered to you. Nabby is sick with the mumps,—a very disagreeable disorder. You have not once told me how you do. I judge you are well, as you seem to be in good spirits. I bid you good night. All the little flock send duty, and want to see p—a.

Adieu. Shall I say, remember me as you ought?