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Listen to the sound of education in early New England. Listen to the sound of religion in early New England. The New England run of songs. The National Association of educational broadcasters resigned the New England run of the song. This is Donald born professor of humanities a Boston University. Our New England Renaissance program today is to be devoted to interviews with two
descendants of transcendental lists. First Mr. Edward world of Forbes and then Mrs. William F. Houston. Mr. Forbes are sitting beside me here in the studio. ELDERLY GENTLEMAN. Good health still sings and I want to be a good way to start to see if you can help. Our audience realize what relationship what relation you work to Ralph Waldo Emerson your one of his grandsons is that correct. Yes and his second daughter my mother last May and 1953 was the hundred and fifty years anniversary of Ralph Waldo Emerson birth May 25th think you know straight out and that was a celebration of course at Concord and in Boston and Cambridge and. And what did you do on Monday itself on the first date itself and that day in the American Unitarian Association. I
gather it's the other large group of people had a celebration. Now they're young and was in Concord they had several bustles of people come out. They visited the Emerson house the Concord Antiquarian Society the manse and probably one or two other places the library I suppose you remember Ralph Waldo Emerson when you were a small boy. How about these memories of your memories of your grandfather. Well in the first place as a group they do not have very much to do with his life and character. He died when I was 8 years old and here for 10 years in the increasingly aging. And so although his mind was clear as far as being able to think of us here he is a memory sadly gone and he didn't have the force and
of his earlier years because he was your old man. What are some of the things you remember your grandfather doing with you. Well perhaps the earliest one is a very childish thing. I must have been not more than three or four years old. I remember he stood me up on a little stand in his study and put his arms to seize me by the waist and said. One to make ready to prepare three slam bang right down there and so with one great sweep lifted me and threw me down on the sofa. Last year she wrote I'd not imagine it more than once a year most of them for the sake of this philosophy always think I was rather far from being funny or having fun. All right what about some other memories you have of him.
Well I have a number of members of both in Concord and Milton in Concord and we every year went and had Thanksgiving at his house. We went up and went in came back to Milton Sunday where we lived and so we saw him for three or four days and I have various memories of those occasions. Then New Year's Day we celebrated the New Years with the AMAs and portion of our family and Christmas with the Forbes Fortune and he and he and his son. Daughter of the family his wife and so on came and your mother was in my mother's house and then we had a two a three day celebration that knew it was time and I have some regulations that one of the Mazas he took me in his knee one day and asked me what I was study It was studying at school and he was all my recreations of him a
most friendly and kind and loving old gentleman. Yes do you have any other memories you like to talk about. Well it wasn't a storm I remember a story Hester as well that that was one of the last ones a little more vivid than most of the others. It happened that my aunt had taken us out to the what to call the cliffs in Concord near the river. This was Elam. And we have had a picnic there and suddenly we're caught by a thunderstorm and we were drenched by it when we got back to the Emerson house. We observe that lightning had struck an apple tree right by the kitchen door and branches were falling off and was lying on the ground and when my one of my brothers and I were going to have my grandfather came up and looted it with us. I don't remember anything they said but we were much concerned this happened on the 2nd of July in 81. Garfield
was shot that day and we were very much interested to know how or whether he was going to die or live and used to walk down to the what's called the mill dam and the Concord center. To get the news we have one of my brothers and I walked down that morning two days later and saw on the blackboard outside the apothecaries and I was feeling better and walked off and I beg your pardon I forgot you got the president and the rest of us a lot so we walked back toward the house and we met our grandfather and he said what's the news. We said it said that the president was feeling better and what he said was No he didn't walk. That's a mistake. Then he found that the world was wait. He saw instances of the mistake. I remember that my mother said that when he and any of the children were getting noisy instructor was making trouble at the dinner
table. He would tell the child to go out the gate and look and see if there were any clouds coming in the sky. And the child was quite pleased with this important mission and went out he came back quite sobered up and behaved himself after that big story and then another occasion. Somebody who's interested in come on Earth as was asking how one of the dishes they're eating was composed of and he answered It is made of violets. Remember once that we were he took us out for a walk and I remember I was being perhaps about six or seven at the time saw some of the plant everlasting and I picked it up and trotted up to him and said Here here's a plow This is called everlasting. And he received it and one of my older brothers pulled me aside later and said Don't you suppose that he
knew that already he was kind to you when I spoke. What did you do on birthdays and holidays with your girl. I mean when your grandfather was alive or to celebrate birthdays pretty regularly and cup parties and we had we had our New Year's presents and the perceived her presence and under us were up and running Christmas. It was done by age. And first of all the family gave presents to my grandfather and my grandmother and then the oldest of the next generation then down to our generation one by one and it was the custom of the family. Several of the members wrote coins a little primes to go with the persons and he himself wrote the number we have in our possession now. I think perhaps 10 or 15 little verses which he
wrote and they say all these gifts. So these gifts with us and they're not worth publishing at this point and they've been shown to the people who are the people like us or us who who was a Roscoe rather brusk of Columbia s who has written the book about even if I don't the any of them who have been thought good enough to be published and then some of the other his sons and daughters also his son and daughters also of the little verses you know the gift that was one of the family do you have a do they have a Christmas tree. No he's now now that it was done. But nevertheless I was with the other family and on Christmas before Dr. Walks Out here did have a Christmas tree and your early you as a customer came from Germany I was just wondering what it was it was going to. What did you do or New Year's Day or after the presents that you have a well.
Or of. Yeah yes there's a lot is done and then after that another singing in the evening. And my uncle now from Forbes sang a song about the twins that amused my grandfather you remember that or oh yes I remember it very well and I was a trip to remember the words I have to go home to their grave many verses begins in form and feature face and limb I grew so like my brother that folks kept taking me for him and each one another it was a lot of good here thinkin and reached a fearful bit or one of us was gone up when another solo which that's the beginning was rather mild then the amusing verses come later. Who wrote a new member I don't know disaster mid-Victorian song of folk song of most world hard to focus on the table with dread it must have had a lot of it I
would have wanted of other people kept adding versus to own I don't know so I would have got up something that was that was just an example of one of the many songs that were sung by the few people in the family who could sing song and then the also a Thanksgiving Day we made to recite those of us where at any point of diehard Rylander school had stand up and recite them out of barracks you would hear a little child not thinking that I was used to me and then I think it was some scene but the last of the Emersons were less interested in music and and music from the smaller part of the statement after Thanksgiving. This afternoon is that they have because they have a good little plays the children the way they do or Louisa May Alcott described her as and she after.
After my grandfather's death when he grew up on my I'm glad was in charge as they did. We used to quite frequent have a little impromptu plays one to another. Something other than sub sank you drive much Mr. Forbes and the novelist knows. We take you to Main Street in Concord Massachusetts to have a pleasant children shop operated by Mrs. William F. cuse I'm a direct descendant of Amos Bronson orchids. We're talking with Mrs. Q soon and hope bright delightful apartment on the second floor above the store. In a building which boasts the flavor of colonial architecture surrounding us as we talk of many books and shows many of the volumes belong to Amos Bronson orchid Mrs. Kew Simmons of friendly neighborly type of person short in stature gray head and a jet ECG in her appearance and manner. Like many other descendants of the transcendentalists she is proud of our heritage and takes an active interest in the preservation of historical objects and spots which
played such a prominent part in her family history. One of these spots is the orchard house once the home of the orchid family which we visited on the New England renaissance. Last week she is gracious fully at ease as we talk. Mrs. William Hughson and your name is always a crap. You were I was and Mrs. Hughson What is your relation to Branson or Parker Bronson Orkut was my great grandfather. You know you're related as my father's grandfather and my father was Frederick aka prop. And he was dominate in little man. What is your relation to the wretched house the orchard house. Is that I am president of the Louisa May Alcott
memorial a Southeast Asian and you are there occasionally to supervise the wood you make when you go there I've been there often. Well the orchard house has cost audience who do the guiding and take the physical care of the house that were at your house. We have a cause here that you've been kind enough to let us look at. Oh yeah let me read some of this this is our indoor duties for children and it's a great appeared you know what that date is there. Side. 46. And what is hillside HealthSouth is now called the white side. It is next to the orchard house on the road incompetent side is now the way satin know the right way and for a number of years the outside before I bought a house and moved into that which is not right next door.
Yeah it's right next let me let me read some of the miscues and better of indoor duties for children. Now these were the frogger out of four girls in manning 5 5 AM I'm sure you'll rise they dress 6 o'clock breakfast and then seem to have a lot of different marks and breakfast housewifery recreation. What is that in parenthesis economic gotta. Do With. That well she taught him from drawings recreations and then their prophecies choice. It doesn't seem like much from then. Bathing hours right now as I. Plan. For enfant I see it's Friday afternoon and come to my own study hours.
Time to plan and the harm. Done to point out that in all my morning in Toronto I see fire. On fire you know what that means. Maybe five minutes I think and then four unknown studies with Mr. Lane recreations and then study anyone with a problem. Then in the afternoon 1 1 o'clock rest 2 o'clock sorrowing conversation and reading with mother and Miss Ford. For clock errands and chores recreations of the cure as keep coming in that yes I had a great many and then an evening at six o'clock supper recreation conversation music a 30 to bed going to and then Monday here. See the labor hours play hours eating hours sleeping hours are repeated and waters as Benjamin's punctuality
perseverance prompt cheerful unquestioning obedience a government of temper. Hams are government of tempera hands and turn gentle manners motions and woods. Work studies and play a distinct in to change of labors. Observe silence and observe silence and solitude. This is Mr. Orcutt stropped of the children's indoor kitties. That's a wonder. That's the one that's framed the original is at Orchard House. Yes can you get a copy of this at the lawyer's house Valley's copy. Many other paths as I'm not in favor of that. This is an example of one of them you can buy there. One of the most interesting. I have this right there went out on parent parents because they wouldn't want to get up at 5 o'clock to see about the children.
Life is not going to say I want to shout them if you. Where to go to Orchard House now. Any particular things you would advise people to look at particularly. Well I think this kind of thinking only interesting. My readers know that I think there are some original manuscripts that write many of them grandfather all that they're not and we said Louisa May Alcott. There are a number of author facts up and which he had refused a child. Yes and what are some of the things that are still with us that she had as a child. Yes as a child. I remember all kinds of Ramallah and around. Such things as a few articles of clothing. Some of the costumes that the girls used in match play. That's why I've during. Our walk out of there a lot of.
Our personal belongings follow competent cattle and if you played that type of thing I brought the manuscripts. Are really very thing that a librarian for to let you know. But there's a kind of a funny jacket I remember had to do with clothes pressing something in the wardrobe something they pulled out from the war. Remember that particular thing. We'll get that when we get toward the house of who we're going to make sure it's a very interesting new invention sort of for doing something with clothes as I remember I can't think of a college grad in the kitchen clothes dryer. But there's that there's that fold up and then they put away or something I want to fall back against the wall but it isn't anything unusual on that it was announced that I wanted to get this again this recusant your father was or pretty proud proud and he was a.
Grandson of Bronson or yes. And so his was always a male. Yes so if you're great and Bronson or is your great great grandfather that I know. Let's see what else we can. Talk about here. There's your own name. Always a look at you some banks are a little ways off the pink that daughter. Who is named the week Iraq she is now doing that now and living in New York. You will be back with only I think that's right. But let's say that from Branson Orkut. One is generation to the other for your daughters that yeah the Orkut name is kept alive in that sense. But I have a brother whose name is Frederick Watts a prophet
and he had three sons the name of profit and the middle son called Frederick awk prom. Your father had any author and also in that branch of the family and my older brother had two daughters and his eldest daughter. All right what about that wheezes. Little when the ideas or comments about that book reading it. Of course we're friendly always. Oh yes and we have so many letters from all over the world all year round. That wish information. The book. What do you do after I answer all of those obviously but. Yes we do You must take a lot of time Odell Shepard did a biography of your great grandparents and it's probably a Yank pardners
progress pedal is progress. That pedal is progress because Benson Orcutt at one time had been a kind of Yankee touring the South selling prettily. What were they not. Wouldn't NOT make sure you know the champ of all kinds so yeah that's only the way that he was born in Connecticut. Russell Iraq game two. But ask them here and start at this Temple Scott Walker and Samuel Mae was a good friend of his and it was the lives of those people. One of the three people two sisters who helped him with this temple school and there was a excellent book that she prepared called conversations on the Gospel from the gospels that write conversations on the Gospels. I remember that
one and I remember Louisa May Alcott's wonderful story about her father and mother and the fruit lambs experiment at Harvard massive you know with the the book called transcendental wild oats which has been mentioned on this program before and it's a wonderful story that I did. I remember. A very annoying and very tragic incident. The reason for the schools closing actually prosing down was because there was a branch in Orcutt don't forget this was in the 40s as I remember that taken into the school a small negro boy and some of the parents of the children there decided that that was not. Something they didn't like and so they pulled the children out of the school with lack of knowledge and left with no students around but he did leave Boston. And across in carriage with Mrs. or corrupt your great
grandmother on the right hand side of the seat holding onto a small child as I remember down in the middle of the front seat between Mrs. Orcutt and Bronson Orkut was a little negro boy holding on to a bust of SOCRATES And so the little negro boy was taken care of really through the kindness of those of Bronson and Mrs. Orcutt Bronson or cryptic reading to this crowd you would have your own member duties must have been pretty stern person but so were most of the people in our days once he expected a good deal of the young one he got out of it shows up of course in Little Women. But Mrs. Orcutt must have been very wonderful she was a mob of high and considerate and that too shows up and be everything isn't always easy thing here not what the general terms and a wild oats were made out of.
Private when I couldn't use that tower cam goes because they came from the animal and they had to allow her to use some kind of right because she had to do for diving and clothes and socks and so sometimes there wasn't enough food in the house so there wasn't enough fuel to keep warm. That was because for instance they couldn't they could only eat. Vegetables that I speired that grew into the air and it wasn't rubbish isn't an economical question. Cried often. Of course grandfather awk at all without that the Lord would provide and the Lord did quite all in the shape of a neighbor a person that really did happen once on a question of what they didn't have enough wood to keep them on what to put in the kitchen stove. It came the next morning with on the front porch. We've been hearing family memories told us by two present day descendants of the
transcendentalists Mr. Edward world of Forbes the grandson of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Mrs. William afk usin the great granddaughter of Amos Bronson Orkut. It is quite clear that even today the transcendentalists are remembered kindly by their family's meticulous care is taken to preserve anything and everything from the New England Renaissance period. Visitors to Concord and the sanity can still sense the spirit of the Transcendentalists. There are here in New England and many other descendants of these individual lists. The two people we presented on this broadcast but a brief cross-section of the numerous homes still feeling the influence of the mid eighteen hundreds of. Crop final programme next week. We've invited a panel of experts on the transcendental us to discuss the influence of the transcendental sort on our lives. That discussion will round out we hope your enjoyment and appreciation of the New England renaissance.
This has been the New England run of songs written and produced at Boston University for the National Association of educational broadcasters in cooperation with the fund for adult education. The New England Renaissance was produced and directed by George W. Sloan Jr. assisted by William bag and Mel grey. Our script was written by said Diamond Dr. Richard C. Carpenter was research and content consultant Professor Donald Bourne was never the music for this program was taken from Charles Ives composition
places in New England. And again at the same time the last program in the New England Renaissance series. A panel discussion by experts concerning the influence of the transcendental thought and activity on our lives today. This is the network.
New England renaissance
Family traditions
Producing Organization
WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Interviews with direct descendants of Emerson and Amos Bronson Alcott on family memories, traditions, and legacies.
Series Description
A dramatic re-creation of the New England Renaissance produced at Boston University. In this part of the series, the Transcendentalists are viewed from the perspective of 1954, when this program was recorded.
Broadcast Date
New England--History--1775-1865
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Director: Sloan, George, W., Jr.
Producer: Boston University
Producing Organization: WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Speaker: Bourne, Donald
Speaker: Rightmire, Rod
Writer: Diamond, Sidney, A.
Writer: Carpenter, Richard, 1916-
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-2-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:12
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Chicago: “New England renaissance; Family traditions,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “New England renaissance; Family traditions.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: New England renaissance; Family traditions. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from