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Abby Hutchinson Patton 1829 ~ 1892


Was born August 20, 1829, in Milford, New Hampshire. She was well known as Abby Hutchinson, being a member of the well-known Hutchinson family, whose gift of song made them famous. Mrs. Patton came of a long line of musical ancestors, especially on the maternal side.

In 1839 she made her first appearance as a singer, in her native town. On this occasion the parents and their thirteen children took part. In 1841, with her three younger brothers, she began her concert career. They sang in the autumn and winter, devoting the spring and summer to their farm, while their sister pursued her studies in the academy.

In 1843 the Hutchinson family visited New York City, and the harmony of their voices took that city by storm. The Hutchinsons were imbued with a strong love for liberty, and soon joined heart and hand with the abolitionists, and in their concerts sang ringing songs of freedom. These singers were all gifted as song writers and musical composers.

In 1845 they visited England, finding warm welcome among such friends as William and Mary Howitt, Douglas Gerald, Charles Dickens, Harriet Martineau, Hartley Coleridge, Mrs. Tom Hood, Eliza Cook, Samuel Rogers, Mrs. Norton, George Thompson and John Bright Charles Dickens honored them with an evening reception in his home. After one year in Great Britain the family returned to America.

On February 28, 1849, Abby Hutchinson became the wife of Ludlow Patton, a banker of New York City, and after her marriage she sang with her brothers only on special occasions.

After Mr. Patton's retirement from active business in 1873, they spent several years in travel abroad, during which time Mrs. Patton was a frequent contributor to the American newspapers. She composed music for several poems, among which the best known are "Kind Words Can Never Die," and Alfred Tennyson's "Ring Out Wild Bells." Mrs. Patton was always actively interested in the education of women. Her death occurred in New York City November 25, 1892.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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