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A memorial meeting to commemorate the life and service of Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson '41 was held in Sanders Theatre last night, the eve of Colonel Higginson's birthday. Mr. R. H. Dana '74, president of the Cambridge Historical Society, presided. Mr. Dana spoke of the active life that Colonel Higginson led in the public service. His two terms in the Massachusetts Legislature brought out that independence of action and of thought that so characterized his life. Colonel Higginson was the Democratic candidate for Congress in 1888 and although defeated, his sturdy fight did much to prepare the way for the election of Sherman Hoar two years later.
Hon. Samuel W. McCall paid a deep tribute to the manner in which Colonel Higginson served his fellow men; he enlisted for life in the public service with no thought for himself but with simple devotion and consecration to those causes which his clear vision knew to be right. Always alert to the progressive movements about him, he early allied himself with the Anti-Slavery cause. In this field his work is scarcely second to that of William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips. When the war came he volunteered his life and sword for the cause he loved, serving with distinction as colonel of a negro regiment. In his political and private life he was an invigorating, beneficent and wholesome force, a fine example of splendid talent, guided by a noble devotion to the right.
Colonel Higginson's work and interest in the cause of woman's suffrage was praised by Mrs. Lucia Ames Mead. Colonel Higginson made no extravagant claims for woman suffrage but he realized that the influence of women in the hard-headed political life of the country would be of inestimable value.
Dr. S. M. Crothers h. '99 reviewed Colonel Higginson's life as "Citizen and Neighbor." He was one of the few men who in everyday life had time to pass a word of friendship with his fellows. He was a lover of men, but never forgot the truth, always speaking plainly and yet never seeming to give offense.
Professor Bliss Perry spoke of the great work Colonel Higginson had done in the field of letters. His prose possessed an easy and flawless texture, mature from his very youth. Perhaps that work which best typifies the man is his "Cheerful Yesterdays," into which he has been able to throw the whole of his delicate, cheerful, and chivalrous character.
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