Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more;
but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.
-- Micah 4:3-4


About Friends of Adin Ballou

FAB Events

FAB Newsletter

FAB Essay Contest

Adin Ballou Biography

Walking Tour

Works by Adin Ballou

Works on Adin Ballou and Hopedale

Hopedale Town History

Picture Gallery


Vine and Fig Tree

October 2011

Friends of Adin Ballou present

Patricia Hatch, M.Div.

Women in the Early Hopedale Community

Sunday, October 23, 2011 3-4:30 p.m.
Hopedale Unitarian Parish

Patricia Hatch Patricia Hatch is an itinerant Unitarian Universalist preacher and inspirational writer. Winner of the Olympia Brown scholarship and the St. Lawrence Foundation award for her writings on Adin Ballou and the Early Hopedale Community, she earned her Master of Divinity degree from Boston University, and has preached for over two dozen congregations.

Peaceful ideals, hard work, childrearing, abolition, women's rights, bloomers, scandal, poetry... It was all there in the Dale of Hope.

Who were the women of the early community? Lucy Hunt Ballou came to support Adin Ballou's vision. Abby Hills Price spoke out for women's rights and charmed with her poetry. Emily Gay practiced medicine. The three Thwing sisters wielded their influence. Abbie Ballou Heywood taught school. But did these women have true equality? You are invited to come and hear about the unsung founders of the Early Hopedale Community.

An Invitation from the Center for Nonviolent Solutions

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We have received an invitation from the Center for Nonviolent Solutions in Worcester to attend an event entitled "The Way of Nonviolence: A Luncheon Honoring William P. Densmore." William Densmore is one of the founders of the Center.

Congressman James P. McGovern will be the guest speaker. For more information or to reserve call: 774-641-1566

Call for Members for the Board of Directors

We are seeking a few FAB members to serve as members of the Board of Directors to help us expand our mission to keep alive the non-violent dreams of the early community.

Poetry for Peace in the Park

On July 31, 1011, a beautiful 80-degree Sunday, Friends of Adin Ballou gathered in Adin Ballou Park in Hopedale for our second annual Poetry for Peace in the Park Day. Though we were small in number we were strong in spirit. Everyone came prepared to share a reading.

Marcia Matthews opened with music by playing an old slave tune from the 1850s, "Jimmy Crack Corn." We also sang "Kingdom Coming," also known as "Year of Jubilo" (1863).

DJ Malloy followed by reading Frederick Douglass's moving "Fourth of July" speech that explained why he as a black man could not celebrate America getting its freedom while so many of his brothers were not free. Dan Malloy then read with gusto Adin Ballou's Fourth of July speech delivered at Westminster. Dan remarked that the problems with the government are the same today as in yesteryear.

Marcia read Sojourner Truth's famous speech, "Aint I a Woman?" Sojourner spoke at one of Hopedale's August 1st picnics at Nelson's Grove, celebrating the freeing of the slaves in the British West Indies and the British empire (1835). The Hopedale Community gathered annually at the grove (near the present day Sacred Heart Church) where visitors and guests would picnic and dignitaries would address the crowd - which at one time numbered over one thousand persons.

Jeanne Kinney spoke about the recent uncovering of the writings and history of Abby Hills Price. Thanks goes to Susan LaMar who gathered Abby's writings for her master's thesis at Andover-Newton Seminary in 1998. Other recent scholarship has tracked Abby's movement after she left the Hopedale Community under a cloud in 1853. Jeanne read from Abby's address at the first National Women's Rights Convention in Worcester in 1850. Abby believed that the issues of peace and female equality were linked together. She advocated voting rights and equal pay for women in Worcester. At home in Hopedale she advocated for a "unitary domestic kitchen" that would have allowed women freedom from being "chained to the stove" by having shared community dinners prepared by a few women at a time on a rotating basis using one large well-equipped kitchen.

Terry Caccavale appeared, representing Clarence Burley from Paxton, and read Vachel Lindsay's poem "Above the Battle's Front." Viola Capistron from Uxbridge submitted "A Note on the Wall" that reportedly was found on the wall of Mother Teresa's room. Cal Johnson, a Friend of Adin Ballou in Lakeland, Florida, sent an anti-war poem, "The Box" by Lascelles Abercrombie. Marcia noted at the end of the session that the new Hopedale tree warden has planted five new trees in Adin Ballou Park.

Thank you, all, for your submissions and contributions.

-- Jeanne Kinney

FAB at Day in the Park

Friends of Adin Ballou once again set up a table at the Hopedale "Day in the Park" festival. This year marked the 125th anniversary of the founding of the town of Hopedale, which split off from Milford in 1886.

The weather was a perfect warm and sunny day. Marcia Matthews set up our banner and a book display of early Hopedale offerings next to the Unitarian Church stand. Altogether 10 new interested persons joined our network.

Kai Rostcheck, a recent arrival in Hopedale, is establishing a network of community organizations that will help spread the word about our events and meetings. Rev. Paul Hull, the pastor who replaced Dick Drinon at the Unitarian Church, was on hand and spoke about his interest in the early community.

Peace Links

As we remember the victims of 9/11/01 in this anniversary year, we remember also the teachings of non-violence espoused by the Early Hopedale Community. Two women researchers at Brown University have produced a report on the cost of ten years of war, both human and financial. We recommend everyone watch their presentation, which was on Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on September 9.

We would also like to recommend a new movie, How to Start a Revolution, about Gene Sharp and his work at the Albert Einstein Institute in Boston. Mike True, our esteemed mentor, says Gene Sharp is the greatest apostle of non-violence since Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friend of Adin Ballou Peter Reilly has written an article, Occupy Wall Street: The Unfinished Business of Nineteenth Century Reform, reflecting on today's events in the light of the principles of the Hopedale Community.

In a country filled with pro-war propaganda, let us try to remain loyal to the principle of non-violence so beautifully enunciated by Adin Ballou.

In peace,
Jeanne Kinney

Readings and Poems from

Poetry in the Park
for Peace and Freedom

July 31, 2011

Above the Battle's Front

by Vachel Lindsay

St. Francis, Buddha, Tolstoi, and St. John -
Friends, if you four, as pilgrims, hand in hand,
Returned, the hate of earth once more to dare,
And walked upon the water and the land,

If you, with words celestial, stopped these kings
For sober conclave, ere their battle great,
Would they for one deep instant then discern
Their crime, their heart-rot, and their fiend's estate?

If you should float above the battle's front,
Pillars of cloud, of fire that does not slay,
Bearing a fifth within your regal train,
The Son of David in his strange array --

If, in his majesty, he towered toward Heaven,
Would they have hearts to see or understand?
. . . Nay, for he hovers there to-night we know,
Thorn-crowned above the water and the land.

-- submitted by Clarence Burley, Paxton MA

The Box

by Lascelles Abercrombie

Once upon a time, in the land of Hush-A-Bye,
Around about the wondrous days of yore,
They came across a kind of box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labeled "Kindly do not touch; it's war."

A decree was issued round about,
And all with a flourish and a shout
And a gaily colored mascot tripping lightly on before.
Don't fiddle with this deadly box,
Or break the chains, or pick the locks.
And please don't ever play about with war.

The children understood.
Children happen to be good
And they were just as good around the time of yore.
They didn't try to pick the locks
Or break into that deadly box.
They never tried to play about with war.

Mommies didn't either;
Sisters, aunts, grannies neither
'Cause they were quiet, and sweet, and pretty
In those wondrous days of yore.
Well, very much the same as now,
And not the ones to blame somehow
For opening up that deadly box of war.

But someone did.
Someone battered in the lid
And spilled the insides out across the floor.
A kind of bouncy, bumpy ball made up of guns and flags
And all the tears, and horror, and death that comes with war.

It bounced right out and went bashing all about,
Bumping into everything in store.
And what was sad and most unfair
Was that it didn't really seem to care
Much who it bumped, or why, or what, or for.

It bumped the children mainly.
And I'll tell you this quite plainly,
It bumps them every day and more, and more,
And leaves them dead, and burned, and dying
Thousands of them sick and crying.
'Cause when it bumps, it's really very sore.

Now there's a way to stop the ball.
It isn't difficult at all.
All it takes is wisdom, and I'm absolutely sure
That we can get it back into the box,
And bind the chains, and lock the locks.
But no one seems to want to save the children anymore.

Well, that's the way it all appears,
'cause it's been bouncing round for years and years
In spite of all the wisdom wizzed since those wondrous days of yore
And the time they came across the box,
Bound up with chains and locked with locks,
And labeled "Kindly do not touch; it's war."

-- submitted by Cal Johnson, Lakeland, FL

Marcia Matthews presented a reading by a Black woman who made a lasting impression on the audience.
Although her Hopedale speech was not recorded, she may have said similar words to those gathered here.

Aint I a Woman?

by Sojourner Truth

Delivered 1851 at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio
(first recorded version)

Sojourner Truth I want to say a few words about this matter. I am a woman's rights. I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that?

I have heard much about the sexes being equal. I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that is now. As for intellect, all I can say is, if a woman have a pint, and a man a quart - why can't she have her little pint full? You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much, - for we can't take more than our pint'll hold. The poor men seems to be all in confusion, and don't know what to do. Why children, if you have woman's rights, give it to her and you will feel better. You will have your own rights, and they won't be so much trouble.

I can't read, but I can hear. I have heard the Bible and have learned that Eve caused man to sin. Well, if woman upset the world, do give her a chance to set it right side up again. The Lady has spoken about Jesus, how he never spurned woman from him, and she was right. When Lazarus died, Mary and Martha came to him with faith and love and besought him to raise their brother. And Jesus wept and Lazarus came forth. And how came Jesus into the world? Through God who created him and the woman who bore him. Man, where was your part?

But the women are coming up, blessed be God and a few of the men are coming up with them. But man is in a tight place, the poor slave is on him, woman is coming on him, he is surely between a hawk and a buzzard.