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Chapter 3: The Rush of Words

With the marriage of Abby’s oldest son Thomas (1841-1936) and Henrietta Robins Mack (1845-1940), the scene shifts to Portland, Oregon, where the new pastor virtually replicates his father’s career in St. Louis. Tom also tries to enforce the words on the Eliot coat of arms (“Keep Silent and Act”), but Etta, full-throated and resolute, is indomitable. Constrained from confiding in parish friends and unable to get the ear of her spouse, she begins, covertly at first, to write for herself and appreciative readers. She also helps Tom write his sermons and speaks before embryo congregations without presuming to characterize it as preaching.