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JOHN JUDSON BAGLEY

BY GEORGE H. HOPKINS
June 7, 1882

Years later he wrote:
"Detroit, Jan. 8, 1880.
"Dear M——* * * I don't agree with you about Jesus. That is to say, I see no reason why I shouldn't celebrate Washington's birthday, because I think Lincoln was a greater man. I don't take any stock in the miraculous Jesus or the atoning Jesus, or the son Jesus. I think the idea connected with him of human brotherhood, good will to men, worth celebrating. The manger business suits me. It shows the worth of poverty to common folks—of plain people. Whether it be myth or fable, or real history, I care not. The thought that the poor are necessary, that the reforms of the world come from the bottom, is the grand idea connected with Jesus. If Abraham Lincoln had been rich, or a graduate of Yale, or a philosopher, he would never have been the martyr. Rail splitters make martyrs and heroes and saints. The others have their spheres and are necessary, but these are God-born
. "Your brother,
"JOHN J. BAGLEY. "
The training of the mother and the spirit of the boy are shown in a school oration delivered at White Pigeon when about twelve years old. The subject chosen was "The importance of improving the season of youth. " I give a single sentence: "Now is the time when, in the spring of life, when health sparkles in your eyes, when your blood flows purely in your veins, and when the spirits are gay as the morning, to mould your future actions, habits and dispositions. On the manner in which you spend your early days depends your future destiny. His school days were few and ended when he was fourteen; during a portion of the time between eight and fourteen, he had attended school at Con-stantine, White Pigeon, and Owosso; but to have known his mother was a liberal education; and from her home teachings he graduated with the highest honors.

Michigan


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