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JOHN JUDSON BAGLEY

BY GEORGE H. HOPKINS
June 7, 1882

She claimed it was the way a man worked, and the people he associated with that marked and showed character, and not the thing worked for. About this time in his hours at home "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was read aloud by some member of the family. His mother, as the book was read, was thinking of the effect of the book on the Nation—on the present civilization. His father would take down the Bible—get at the history of slavery—talk of the cotton crop. Who was going to raise the cotton ? He thought we "better not get too much stirred up. " She thought we had better not talk, but organize a Free Soil party without delay, and know for certain the sentiments of every man in Michigan. She wanted facts, statistics, and then move. He thought it would "all come out right at last. " Then Mrs. Bagley would straighten up, put down her sewing and answer, "Not unless we shape it. " In this way John was taught from infancy that he was one of the active forces in shaping the society and polity of Michigan. At one time John had been visiting friends in Cleveland, and soon after, his mother said to a mutual friend who had met him there: "The Western Reserve was settled by the best people from New York and New England; the society is fine, Cleveland is their metropolis;, but didn't John look equal and superior in manly qualities to them all ?" "I did so want a boy of mine to inherit the best blood back of us. " She believed him the brightest, strongest-minded boy in Michigan. She was the first who had faith in him.

Michigan


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