Our story finds Ben on his 16th birthday still grieving over the loss of his
Grandpa and his Papa, and how he is expected to leave his mother alone while
goes away to boarding school for higher education in the beginning of this new
But before this happens there is a wedding of good friends the sale of the family farm, renovations to Mama's family home in Hartford, making it into a two family home, so that Mama's close friend Emma who is having to raise her 4 youngest children alone can have a place to live and work His school years had many trials and testings, even after Ben found the Lord as his personal Saviour.
He is able to help Matt. and Vickey through a family crisis that caused great confliction between Vickey and the couple who raised heras their daughter. but really her aunt and uncle.
Ben made his home with Matt and Vickey while he attennded Harvard Divinity college.
Soon after graduation he received a commission as an exhorter among the seamen at Mystic conn., for a short time before being released to serve as Chaplain on a whaling ship and Missionary to any lands of Islands he might find himself in. The Whaler, Indian Queen .sailed away from Mystic on July 1 1831. For the next 3 years and 8 months of his life was filled with what Ben was to thnk of later as the greatest adventure of his life. His first chore was nursing the young cabin boy throuqh sea sickness.
Many storms, times of becalm when there was not a breath of air to help them sail, that lasted for days at a time. The amazing sights at foreign ports, some civilized some entire Islands of naked black natives. where he delivered the message of the gospel of God, to all who would listen. And one Island where the Chief offered hi favorite daughter as a wife for Ben.
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Read an Excerpt
Dec. 4, 1826 Today is my 16th birthday. Is it possible only years have passed?
Surely it must have been a lifetime. My past years filled with Grandpa Hall, Mama, Papa, Matthew, Uncle Jon, the farm, neighbors and friends and growing up surrounded with love. Now with Grandpa Hall and Papa both gone to be with the Lord and Matt living in Boston with Uncle Jon, I'm not really sure where I fit in.
No matter where you go in this world or how comfortable you get there can only be one place where you feel free and at peace---home. I have until January 9th before I return to school.
Matt, Uncle, Victoria and her traveling companion are to arrive tomorrow for Abbey and Dan's wedding on the 17th. The house is beautifully decorated.
Dan and I spent all day arranging the granary so there will be room for dancing, with trestle tables for the food. Kate, Meg, Mama and Abbey have been bustling around getting things together and fixing some things that will keep.
I met a girl at school this year who intrigues me. Come to think of it she hasn't crossed my mind since leaving school until today when Dan asked if I had any special girl friend. I told him I didn�t have anyone special, but then proceeded to tell him about Bettie. Her name is really Elizabeth Harlow. She doesn't like her first name so has let everyone at school know it is Bettie.
Dan smiled, "Have you asked her to the wedding?"
Shaking my head I explained, "I did think about asking her, but what stopped me was I'm really not smitten with her. I really don't think it would be worth the teasing. She lives in Springfield, Massachusetts so she would have to stay here and I would have to entertain her. I don't think she would fit in. She puts on airs and tries to impress people with hers and her family's importance.
"Dan, do you realize you just helped me sort things out? I had almost convinced myself I cared for her as more than a friend. Speaking out my feelings like this has helped me realize what a shallow person she is and how shallow our relationship would be. Now I feel free to just be a friend to her."
Dan smiled then running a hand through his hair--a gesture he always makes when nervous--said, "Do you think your Mother and you might consider selling me the farm?
I know it means a lot to both of you. Your Mother has been talking of her
home in town. Your mother has even give Abbey and me the large west bedroom
after we are married. It's just I love this farm. It's always been my
dream to someday own my own place."
In spite of the surprise and the tug at my heart at his words I managed to speak, "I don't know. I hadn't given it any thought. Let me speak to Mama and see how she feels. Can it wait until after Christmas?"
With a look a relief on his face Dan nodded, "That will be fine."
We were greeted by a world of white this morning with more snow falling all day.
Matt, Uncle, Victoria and her companion arrived safely. The house has been bustling all day with people coming and going.
Dec. 17, 1826 Dan and Abbey were married at 4 o'clock this afternoon by Rev. Phillips near the fireplace in the parlor. Matt and Victoria were their attendants. Family and friends filled the parlor and hallway. With the final 'I do' Dan heartily kissed the bride. Everyone bundled up to go to the granary for the further festivities.
Dan was handsome in his dark gray suit Uncle had tailored for him in Boston as a gift.
Abbey was truly beautiful in her white satin gown, a gift from Victoria. When Uncle escorted her into the parlor for the ceremony there were 'oh' and 'ahs' at how beautiful she looked with her dark hair brushed back from her radiant face and caught in a cluster of curls at the nape of her neck. The high standing collar on her gown and the filmy veil that fell just below her shoulders from the tiara made her look as regal as a queen.
Dan looked as though he might faint at any minute as Rev. Phillips admonished them on the duties of a husband and wife to form a lasting partnership in their marriage centered on love, respect and commitment. He was shaking so bad it took him all of two minutes to get the ring on Abbey's finger. Finally it was over and with a look of relief Dan held Abbey's hand as they turned to the guests to be introduced as husband and wife.
In the granary Mama quieted the crowd long enough to announce that everyone was to help themselves to the food. Then the music commenced with the eating and music continuing until 1 A.M. when the last guest left for home.
Dan and Abbey had planned to leave to go to Boston for their honeymoon, but the storm may force them to stay until travel is safe. When the last guest left, Mama shooed them off to the house while we with Matt, Uncle, and Victoria did only what was necessary before going to our own beds.
Dec. 25, 1826 What a beautiful Christmas! We attended church for our savior's
birth. Our family including Dan and Abbey were here for dinner.