A running theme of my blog seems to be "While researching something else, I came across this cool thing!" & today's post is no different. I was just searching online for some local suffrage images for a colleague (& myself), when I came across a great virtual cemetery on Find A Grave listing members of the Easton Political Equality Club. I noticed a lot of family names, so I started trying to piece together how folks were related.
Then I came to Jonathan E. Hoag. & the next person on the list turns out to be his third wife Lydia Martin (nee Dwelle) Hoag. The couple joined the EPOC in 1892, just one year after it's founding. So we have husband/wife suffragists in Easton. Cool! As I start reading Jonathan's bio on Find A Grave, I notice that he was poet & friends with Howard P. (H.P.) Lovecraft! Very cool! Since I just happened to be working in the Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library at the time, I went over to the OPAC & located a copy of The Poetical Works of Jonathan E. Hoag with an Introduction by none other than H.P. Lovecraft.
|Jonathan Elihu Hoag of Easton, NY poet & suffragist|
|Suffragist Lydia (nee Dwelle) Hoag of Easton, NY|
Jonathan Elihu Hoag was born in Valley Falls (Rensselaer County), NY on February 10 1831 to Abigail (nee Gifford) Hoag & her husband, Robert Nesbit Hoag. The family, including six other children, moved to South Easton when Joanthan was 8. He moved to Greenwich in 1911, & lived there until his death on December 17, 1927. He was 96 years old, & had outlived three wives.
|Hoag wrote poems for family & friends|
I have yet to read the entire volume of Poetical Works..., & while I have not yet found a poem entitled "An Ode to a Suffragist", I did notice one about Dionondahowa Falls. Please enjoy...
An Ode to the Falls of Dionondawa [sic]
by Jonathan Elihu Hoag (1917)
Ye towering rocks o’er which the waters fly,Pray tell me whence ye came and when and why;Your revered age reveal, your purpose show,Unseal those mysteries of long ago!Was it at Nature’s noon that first your heightRose to the fulgent rays of solar light?Or was it at the dawn, when nascent earthGlowed like the nebula that gave it birth?Speak, hoary torrent of the primal scene,And trace the course of ages that have been;Reflect once more that ancient sky, whose raysLit the first drops with mist-enshrouded blaze;Recall each memory, and display the wholeOn revelation’s all enlightening scroll!Tell the long story to yon clinging vine,On that proud sentinel, the wind-swayed pine;In whispers tell the tinted flowers that springClose to the banks where your swift waters sing;Tell the green groves by balmy winds caressed,Where twittering wrens and chirping robins nest;Why be so loath your secrets to unfold,Ere time shall leave your gorges dry and old?Some fateful day the sage will seek in vain,Where now your ripples run, a numerous train;And many a weed and thorn will lift its headO’er the mute pebbles of the arid bed.So speak, thou cataract, while time remains,And I will spread thy fame in Doric strains;Thy wondrous tale to millions shall be dear,And generations yet unborn shall hear!When glacial cohorts on the heights arrayed,In icy wonder watched thy tall cascade;With deadly purpose scanned thy gorge below,And stalked with hypoborean skill the foe;Didst chant a warning, and the glaciers greetWith prophecies of peril and defeat?On sunny plains to Phoebus wont to yield,They left their rocky bones strewn o’er the field!And when the Red Man in primeval prideIn admiration sought they pine-clad side;In each white spray a Manitou to trace,And bow before the spirit of the place;Didst thou to him thy secret then relate,And tell the copper visitor thy fate!See Cossayuna, stately, gray and tall.With question grave, address the waterfall;“You tell me some,” he grunt, “Me tell you more,”But naught is heard above the mighty roar.Then lovely Minnewawa, she whose eyesGleam brighter that the stars of midnight skies;“You tell,” she says, “the many things you know;“Me tell you Indian lore of long ago.“Your rocks and torrents, I’ll preserve to fame,“And your proud falls, Dionaondawa name!”Then spake the rocks, whose ancient lips so longHad lain in silence, dumb to speech and song;With thunderous accents they the records read,Kept through uncounted years of varied dead;“Behold our sides, by time’s sharp chisel rent“When Nature rocked the rising continent,“Dark were the thick veiled skies, no sound was heard“Save the black Vulcan’s subterranean word.“The sooty Cyclops, with gigantic might,“Heaved up the rocks from realms of Stygian night,“Plutonian silence and Cimmerian pall“In hideous mantle shroud and cover all;“In sunless, moonless, starless, soundless space,“A new world joins the planetary race,“Then falls the fiat as the Almighty speaks,“A rift of light through the deep vapor breaks—“Sun, moon, and stars their wonted paths assume,“And ordered heaven supplants the primal gloom.“We gaze above, where circling seraphim“Induct a foaming torrent o’er our brim;“With sprightly grace the crystal waters flow,“And loud reverberate in the gulf below;“Through the deep gorge with rushing force to rage,“And serve the mill-wheels for a future age.“In days to come a million souls shall reap“The blessings our tumultuous waters keep,“And industry, with all her copious store,“Shall feed the mendicant and clothe the poor.“Its work complete, the useful stream shall glide“To where the river meets the salty tide;“And there the laboring flood at least shall rest,“Safe sleeping on Old Ocean’s ample breast!”
|Dionondahowa Falls from the Easton side looking toward the Stevens & Thompson Paper Mill|