Say What Saturday - “For ’tis Thanksgiving Day”

DBF

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
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Lydia “Maria” Francis was born the youngest of six children in Medford, Massachusetts. in 1802. Maria was an educated woman and at the age of twelve she went to live with her married sister living in Maine. She studied for her teacher’s exams, passed them and taught for a short time. While in Maine she visited with the Penobscot Indian settlement and began an interest in the Native Americans especially in their treatment and rights.

It was during the time she was living with her brother where Maria was introduced to literature and developed her lifelong interest in writing. In 1828 she married David Child and the couple moved to Boston.

Her most famous work was her poem published in 1844 that she titled “The New England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day”. ​

Over the river and through the wood,
to Grandfather's house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood,
to Grandfather's house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
for 'tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood—
oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
as over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,
with a clear blue winter sky.
The dogs do bark and the children hark,
as we go jingling by.

Over the river and through the wood,
to have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling ding!"
Hurray for Thanskgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood—
no matter for winds that blow;
or if we get the sleigh upset
into a bank of snow.

Over the river and through the wood,
to see little John and Ann.
We will kiss them all, and play snowball
and stay as long as we can.

Over the river and through the wood,
trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound!
For 'tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood
and straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow—
it is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood—
Old Jowler hears our bells;
he shakes his paw with a loud bow-wow,
and thus the news he tells.

Over the river and through the wood—
when Grandmother sees us come,
she will say, "Oh, dear, the children are here,
bring pie for everyone."

Over the river and through the wood—
now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie! {1}

At some unknown point in time the poem was set to music and throughout the years various words have changed. We usually sing “to grandmother’s house we go” and the original poem was “over the river and through the wood” has been changed to “woods”. In some versions the holiday has been changed to “Hurrah it’s Christmas Day”. Many verses have been eliminated when the song is performed but her basic poem remains.

Mrs. Child was an active abolitionist and along with her husband the couple wrote many articles that expressed their anti-slavery views. She also was an activist in the area of women’s rights. The couple were close friends of Charles Sumner and were vocal after his famous Senate beating. In a rebuke of that action she wrote the story “The Kansas Emigrants” which was serialized in the daily and weekly editions in the New York Daily Tribune.

Sadly for Lydia the woman that wrote the Thanksgiving poem that we sing as to “grandmother’s house we go” - never was a grandmother or a mother - but her poem has delighted generations.​

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🦃 🦃 🦃 🦃 🦃 🦃 🦃




Sources
1. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/lydia-maria-child
2. https://historybecauseitshere.weebl...ores-over-the-river-and-through-the-wood.html
3. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/24074927/lydia-maria-child
 

Georgia

Sergeant
View attachment 382010

Lydia “Maria” Francis was born the youngest of six children in Medford, Massachusetts. in 1802. Maria was an educated woman and at the age of twelve she went to live with her married sister living in Maine. She studied for her teacher’s exams, passed them and taught for a short time. While in Maine she visited with the Penobscot Indian settlement and began an interest in the Native Americans especially in their treatment and rights.

It was during the time she was living with her brother where Maria was introduced to literature and developed her lifelong interest in writing. In 1828 she married David Child and the couple moved to Boston.

Her most famous work was her poem published in 1844 that she titled “The New England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day”. ​

Over the river and through the wood,
to Grandfather's house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood,
to Grandfather's house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
for 'tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood—
oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
as over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,
with a clear blue winter sky.
The dogs do bark and the children hark,
as we go jingling by.

Over the river and through the wood,
to have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling ding!"
Hurray for Thanskgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood—
no matter for winds that blow;
or if we get the sleigh upset
into a bank of snow.

Over the river and through the wood,
to see little John and Ann.
We will kiss them all, and play snowball
and stay as long as we can.

Over the river and through the wood,
trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound!
For 'tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood
and straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow—
it is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood—
Old Jowler hears our bells;
he shakes his paw with a loud bow-wow,
and thus the news he tells.

Over the river and through the wood—
when Grandmother sees us come,
she will say, "Oh, dear, the children are here,
bring pie for everyone."

Over the river and through the wood—
now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie! {1}

At some unknown point in time the poem was set to music and throughout the years various words have changed. We usually sing “to grandmother’s house we go” and the original poem was “over the river and through the wood” has been changed to “woods”. In some versions the holiday has been changed to “Hurrah it’s Christmas Day”. Many verses have been eliminated when the song is performed but her basic poem remains.

Mrs. Child was an active abolitionist and along with her husband the couple wrote many articles that expressed their anti-slavery views. She also was an activist in the area of women’s rights. The couple were close friends of Charles Sumner and were vocal after his famous Senate beating. In a rebuke of that action she wrote the story “The Kansas Emigrants” which was serialized in the daily and weekly editions in the New York Daily Tribune.

Sadly for Lydia the woman that wrote the Thanksgiving poem that we sing as to “grandmother’s house we go” - never was a grandmother or a mother - but her poem has delighted generations.​





Sources
1. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/lydia-maria-child
2. https://historybecauseitshere.weebl...ores-over-the-river-and-through-the-wood.html
3. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/24074927/lydia-maria-child
Her poem/song is a vocal Currier and Ives engraving.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Famous as an abolitionist, Maria Child was also a woman of broadly powerful intellect. Check this out from her wiki bio:

Born to a strict Calvinist father, Child slept with a bible under her pillow when she was young. However, although she joined the Unitarians in 1820, as an adult she was not active in that, or any other, church.[11] In 1855 she published the 3-volume “The Progress of Religious Ideas Through Successive Ages”, within which she rejected traditional theology, dogma, and doctrines and repudiated the concept of revelation and creeds as the basis for moral action,[12] arguing instead “It is impossible to exaggerate the evil work that theology has done in the world” and, in commenting on the efforts of theologians “ What a blooming paradise would the whole earth be if the same amount of intellect, labor, and zeal had been expended on science, agriculture, and the arts!”[13]
 

Georgia

Sergeant
Famous as an abolitionist, Maria Child was also a woman of broadly powerful intellect. Check this out from her wiki bio:

Born to a strict Calvinist father, Child slept with a bible under her pillow when she was young. However, although she joined the Unitarians in 1820, as an adult she was not active in that, or any other, church.[11] In 1855 she published the 3-volume “The Progress of Religious Ideas Through Successive Ages”, within which she rejected traditional theology, dogma, and doctrines and repudiated the concept of revelation and creeds as the basis for moral action,[12] arguing instead “It is impossible to exaggerate the evil work that theology has done in the world” and, in commenting on the efforts of theologians “ What a blooming paradise would the whole earth be if the same amount of intellect, labor, and zeal had been expended on science, agriculture, and the arts!”[13]
She does make some valid points. I attended a Protestant (Methodist, Baptist, Judeo-Christian, Presbyterian (USA) and Baptist- in that order)schools from pre-K through my Masters Degree. Some required coursework in religion, others had daily Chapel and prayer before each class and others where it was never discussed.
So, in college, we were required to take at least a year of general religion. Depending upon your professor, it was either philosophically taught, more historically taught or more taught as a true religion class.

Finding out ancestral backgrounds which include Quaker, one ancestor was one of the 16 which started the Primitive Baptist Church in the US, Methodist, Lutheran, Puritan and being a graduate of Presbyterian College, having dear friends of our family who were Jewish, Muslim and Hindu, currently attending (not during the pandemic) an Episcopal Church and being christened Catholic by the nuns at the hospital as I wasn’t expected to live- my findings have been there are more similarities in religions than most would care to accept.

Research into the Crusades, my ancestor’s involvement with the Cromwells ( he was friends with Henry and preached Oliver’s eulogy), studying the rise of the Third Reich, coupled with all the catechism, Bible verses and other prayers and creeds learned has given me enough of an appreciation to see what Ms. Child meant when she said the “evil work of theology” in the world.

It’s all well and good if two people believe the same thing. As soon as someone believes something differently, there becomes an issue. And, that has really been a difficult concept for me to accept that issues which foundations are of love and respect for others and trying to live as helpful of a life have been reduced to bloodshed.
 
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Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
She does make some valid points. I attended a Protestant (Methodist, Baptist, Judeo-Christian, Presbyterian (USA) and Baptist- in that order)schools from pre-K through my Masters Degree. Some required coursework in religion, others had daily Chapel and prayer before each class and others where it was never discussed.
So, in college, we were required to take at least a year of general religion. Depending upon your professor, it was either philosophically taught, more historically taught or more taught as a true religion class.

Finding out ancestral backgrounds which include Quaker, one ancestor was one of the 16 which started the Primitive Baptist Church in the US, Methodist, Lutheran, Puritan and being a graduate of Presbyterian College, having dear friends of our family who were Jewish, Muslim and Hindu, currently attending (not during the pandemic) an Episcopal Church and being christened Catholic by the nuns at the hospital as I wasn’t expected to live- my findings have been there are more similarities in religions than most would care to accept.

Research into the Crusades, my ancestor’s involvement with the Cromwells ( he was friends with Henry and preached Oliver’s eulogy), studying the rise of the Third Reich, coupled with all the catechism, Bible verses and other prayers and creeds learned has given me enough of an appreciation to see what Ms. Child meant when she said the “evil work of theology” in the world.

It’s all well and good if two people believe the same thing. As soon as someone believes something differently, there becomes an issue. And, that has really been a difficult concept for me to accept that issues which foundation are of love and respect for others and trying to live as helpful of a life have been reduced to bloodshed.

"...preached Oliver’s eulogy..." !!!

Jeez, I'm dieng to hear this story!
 

NH Civil War Gal

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
I just learned this from the New England Historical Society:

1. The cozy image of childhood – bundled in a sleigh racing to grandfather’s house – bore no relation to her own unhappy girlhood. Lydia Maria Child was the last of five children and felt unwanted by her sick, distant, mother and her gloomy, unsociable father. Thanksgiving gave her one of her few happy childhood memories. Her family welcomed as many as 20 local working people into their home — the wood sawyer, the washer woman – on Thanksgiving Eve and filled them with sweet and savory pies. Her father gave them bread and crackers and pastries to take home for their children.

2. Lydia Maria Child destroyed her career in 1833 when she wrote a book called Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans. In it, she denounced slavery and called for the immediate emancipation of slaves with no compensation to their owners. So many people canceled subscriptions to her children’s magazine that it folded. People boycotted her books, and friends turned away from her on the street. George Ticknor wouldn’t talk to her or to anyone who talked to her. She did find new friends among the abolitionists, and both Sen. Charles Sumner and Wendell Phillips credited her Appeal with awakening them to the horrors of slavery.
 

NH Civil War Gal

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
And this from the same source:

"In 1829 she wrote The Frugal Housewife. Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy. Her husband forced her to practice what she preached when he went to jail for libel and ran up chronic debts. The book went through 33 printings in 25 years. According to Child’s biographer, Carolyn Karcher, a majority of women in the 1830s read it. The book popularized shucked oysters and the one-crust pumpkin pie later celebrated in Over the River.

The Childs never had children and separated for a while, but eventually reconciled. She wrote 52 books during her lifetime, and edited Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, the story of Harriet Jacobs’ sexual oppression.

Lydia Maria Child died on Oct. 20, 1880. She is remembered mostly for her activism and for Over the River and Through the Wood, which an unknown musician put to music."
 

NH Civil War Gal

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
This might be Grandfather's (or Grandmother's House):

Grandfather’s House​

over-the-river-paul-cutis-house.jpg


5. “Grandfather’s House” still exists in Medford. People call it ‘grandfather’s house’ because the poem originally referred to grandfather. No one, however, has proved the house belonged to a grandfather of Lydia Maria Child. No one has disproved it, either. Known as The Paul Curtis House, it belonged to a shipbuilder named – you guessed it – Paul Curtis, who was born in 1800 in Scituate, Mass. The big white Greek revival house sits on the banks of the Mystic River, across from what used to be Curtis’s shipyard. Tufts University bought the house in 1976, restored it, then recently sold it to a private owner. It was a small farmhouse when Curtis bought it, but he expanded it considerably. He moved into the house in 1839, five years before Lydia Maria Child wrote Over the River and Through the Wood. So was the house actually Child’s grandfather’s house? Both her grandfathers were dead by the time she was born. But her maternal grandmother, Susanna Rand, died in Medford when Lydia was 10. So maybe it was grandmother’s house all along.
 

Georgia

Sergeant
This might be Grandfather's (or Grandmother's House):

Grandfather’s House​

View attachment 382258

5. “Grandfather’s House” still exists in Medford. People call it ‘grandfather’s house’ because the poem originally referred to grandfather. No one, however, has proved the house belonged to a grandfather of Lydia Maria Child. No one has disproved it, either. Known as The Paul Curtis House, it belonged to a shipbuilder named – you guessed it – Paul Curtis, who was born in 1800 in Scituate, Mass. The big white Greek revival house sits on the banks of the Mystic River, across from what used to be Curtis’s shipyard. Tufts University bought the house in 1976, restored it, then recently sold it to a private owner. It was a small farmhouse when Curtis bought it, but he expanded it considerably. He moved into the house in 1839, five years before Lydia Maria Child wrote Over the River and Through the Wood. So was the house actually Child’s grandfather’s house? Both her grandfathers were dead by the time she was born. But her maternal grandmother, Susanna Rand, died in Medford when Lydia was 10. So maybe it was grandmother’s house all along.
My, that’s quite a home. Not exactly the snug little wooden structure with smoke coming out of the chimney I had envisioned from the song.
 

DBF

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
John Greenleaf Whittier a fellow-reformer in the abolitionist movement wrote of her in 1884:

“her life was a battle- A constant rowing hard against the stream of popular prejudice and hatred. And through it all--pecuniary privation, loss of friends and position, the painfulness of being suddenly thrust from "the still air of delightful studies" into the bitterest and sternest controversy of the age--she bore herself with patience, fortitude and unshaken reliance upon the justice and ultimate triumph of the cause she had espoused. Her pen was never idle. Wherever there was a brave word to be spoken, her voice was heard, and never without effect. it is not exaggeration to say that no man or woman at that period rendered more substantial service to the cause of freedom, or made such a "great renunciation" in doing it.” {*}

{*} http://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper/JACOBS/hj-child-terrill.htm

She looks like a grandmother - - -

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Flash Titan

Cadet
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Famous as an abolitionist, Maria Child was also a woman of broadly powerful intellect. Check this out from her wiki bio:

Born to a strict Calvinist father, Child slept with a bible under her pillow when she was young. However, although she joined the Unitarians in 1820, as an adult she was not active in that, or any other, church.[11] In 1855 she published the 3-volume “The Progress of Religious Ideas Through Successive Ages”, within which she rejected traditional theology, dogma, and doctrines and repudiated the concept of revelation and creeds as the basis for moral action,[12] arguing instead “It is impossible to exaggerate the evil work that theology has done in the world” and, in commenting on the efforts of theologians “ What a blooming paradise would the whole earth be if the same amount of intellect, labor, and zeal had been expended on science, agriculture, and the arts!”[13]
Ms. Child was a person way ahead of her time.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Entirely by coincidence I read a bio of Frederick Douglass about two years ago that picqued my interest in Maria Child. She was a great supporter of Douglass, through thick and thin, and the two apparently had long-lived mutual admiration club.
 

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