The Quaker Doll
Who Slept in
by Sarah J. Prichard
Tale of the American Revolution
Patty Rutter had fallen asleep with her bonnet on, and had been
lying there, fast asleep, nobody knew just how long; for, somehowit
happened sothere was nobody in particular to awaken her; that is to
say, no one had seemed to care though she slept on all day and all
night, without ever waking up at all.
But then, there never had been another life quite like Patty
Rutter's life. In the first place, it had a curious reason for
beginning at all; and nearly everything about it had been as unlike
your life and mine as possible.
In her very baby days, before she walked or talked, she had been
sent away to live with strangers, and no real, warm kiss of true love
had ever fallen on her little lips.
It all came about in this way: Mrs. Sarah Rutter, a lady living in
Philadelphiaexactly what relation she bore to Patty it is a little
difficult to determinedecided to send the little one to live with a
certain Mrs. Adams, at Quincy, in Massachusetts, and she particularly
desired that the child should go dressed in a style fitting an
inhabitant of the proud city of Philadelphia.
Now, at that time Philadelphia was very much elated because of
several things that had happened to her; but the biggest pride of all
was, that once upon a time the Continental Congress had met there,
andand most wonderful thinghad made a Nation!
Well, to be sure, that was something to be proud of; though
Patty didn't understand, a bit more than you do, what it meant.
However, the glory of it all was talked about so much that she couldn't
help knowing that, when this nation, with its fifty-six Fathers, and
thirteen Mothers, was born one day in July, 1776, at Philadelphia, all
the city rang with a sweet jangle, and called to all the people,
through the tongue of its Liberty bell, to come up and greet the
newcomer with a great shout of welcome.
But that had been long ago, before Mrs. Sarah Rutter was grown up,
or Patty Rutter began to be dressed for her trip to Quincy.
As I wrote, Mrs. Rutter wished that Patty should go attired in a
manner to do honor to the city of Philadelphia; therefore she was not
permitted to depart in her baby clothes, but her little figure was
arrayed in a long, prim gown of soft drab silk, while a kerchief of
purest mull was crossed upon her breast; and, depending from her waist,
like the fashion of to-day, were pincushion and watch. Upon her
youthful head was a bonnet, crowned and trimmed in true Quaker fashion;
and her infantile feet were securely tied within shapely slippers of
kid. Thus equipped, Miss Patty was sent forth upon her journey.
Ah! that journey began a long time agofifty-eight, yes, fifty-nine
years have gone by, and Patty Rutter is quite an aged little lady now,
as she lies asleep, with her bonnet on.
It is time, says somebody, to close.
No one seems to take notice that Patty Rutter does not get up and
depart with the rest of the visitors, that she only stirs her eyelids
and turns her head on the silken quilt where she is lying.
The little woman who keeps house in the Hall locks it up and goes
away, and there is little Patty Rutter shut in for the night. As the
key turns in the old-time lock, the Lady Rutter winks hard and sits up.
Well, I've been patient, anyhow, and Mrs. Samuel Adams herself
couldn't wish me to do more, she said, with a comforting yawn and a
delightful stretch, and then she began to stare in blank bewilderment.
I should like to know what this all means, she whispered,
and where I am. I've heard enough to-day to turn my head. How
very queer folks are, and they talk such jargon now-a-days. Centennial
and Corliss Engine; Woman's Pavilion and Memorial Hall; Main Building
and the Trois Freres; Hydraulic Annex, railroads and what-nots.
I never heard of such things. I don't think it is proper to
speak of them, or the Adamses would have told me. No more intelligent
folks in the land than the Adamses, and I guess they know what
belongs to good society and polite conversation. I declare I blushed so
in my sleep that I was quite ashamed. I'll get up and look about now.
I'm sure this isn't any one of the houses where we visit, or folks
wouldn't talk so.
Patty Rutter straightened her bonnet on her head, smoothed down her
robe of silken drab, adjusted her kerchief, looked at her watch to
learn how long she had been sleeping, and found, to her surprise, that
it had run down. Right over her head hung two watches.
Why, how thoughtful folks are in this house, she exclaimed in a
timid voice, reaching up and taking one of the two time-pieces in her
hand. Why, here's a name; let me see.
Reading slowly, she announced that the watch belonged to Wil-liam
Wil-liamsworn when he signed the Declaration of Independence. Ah!
she cried, with pathetic tone, this watch is run down too, at
four minutes after five. I remember! This William Williams was
one of the fifty-six Fathers. I guess I must be in Lebanonhe lived
there and his folks would have his watch of course. Here's another,
taking down a watch and reading, Colonel John Trumbull. Run down,
too! and at twenty-three minutes after six. He was the son
of Brother Jonathan, Governor of one of the Mothers, when the Nation
was born. Yes, yes, I must be in Lebanon. Well, it's a comfort, at
least, to know that I'm in company the Adamses would approve of, though
how I came here is a mystery.
She hung the watches in place, stepped out of the glass room, in
which she had slept, into a hall, and with a slight exclamation of
delicious approval, stopped short before a number of chairs, and
clasped her little fingers tightly together.
You must remember that Patty Rutter was a Friend, a Quaker, perhaps
a descendant of William Penn, but then, in her baby days, having been
transplanted to the rugged soil and outspoken ways of Massachusetts,
she could not keep silence altogether, in view of that which greeted
She was in the very midst of old friends. Chairs in which she had
sat in her young days stood about the grand hall. On the walls hung
portraits of the ancestor kings of the nation born at Philadelphia in
In royal robes and with careless grace, lounged King George III.,
the nation's grandfather, angry no longer at his thirteen daughters who
strayed from home with the Sons of Liberty.
Her feet made haste and her eyes opened wider, as her swift hands
seized relic after relic. She sat in chairs that Washington had rested
in; she caught up camp-kettles used on every field where warriors of
the Revolution had tarried; she patted softly La Fayette's camp
bedstead; and wondered at the taste that had put into the hall two old,
time-worn, battered doors, but soon found out that they had gone
through all the storm of balls that fell upon the Chew House during the
battle of Germantown.
She read the wonderful prayer that once was prayed in Carpenter's
Hall, and about which every member of Congress wrote home to his wife.
On a small stand, encased in glass, she came upon a portrait of
Washington, painted during the time he waited for powder at Cambridge.
Patty Rutter had seen it often, with its halo of the General's own hair
about it. She turned from it, and beheld (why, yes, surely she had
seen that, but not here; it was, why long ago, in her baby days
in Philadelphia, that Mrs. Rutter had taken her up into a tower to see
it), a bellLiberty Bell, that rang above the heads of the Fathers
when the Nation was born.
Poor little Patty began to cry. Where could she be? She reached out
her hand, and climbed the huge beams that encased the bell, and tried
to touch the tongue. She wanted to hear it ring again, but could not
It's curious, curious, she sobbed, wiping her eyes and turning
them with a thrill of delight upon a beloved name that greeted her
vision. It was growing dark, and she might be wrong. But no, it
was the dear name of Adams; and she saw, in a basket, a little pile of
baby raiment. There were dainty caps and tiny shirts of cambric, whose
linen was like a gossamer web, and whose delicate lines of hem-stitch
were scarcely discernible; there were small dresses, yellow with the
sun color that time had poured over them, and they hung with pathetic
crease and tender fold over the sides of the basket.
The little woman paused and peered to read these words,
Baby-clothes, made by Mrs. John Adams for her son, John Quincy Adams.
Little John Quincy! she cried, A baby so long ago! She took the
little caps in her hands, she pulled out the crumpled lace that edged
them. She said, through the swift-falling tears:
Oh, I remember when he was brought home dead, and how, in
the Independence Hall of the State House at Philadelphia, he lay in
state, that the inhabitants who knew his deeds, and those of his
father, John, and his uncle, Samuel, might see his face. I love the
Adamses every one, and she softly pressed the baby-caps that had been
wrought by a mother, ere the country began, to her small Quaker lips,
with real New England fervor for its very own. Tenderly she laid them
down, to see, while the light was fading, a huge picture on the wall.
She studied it long, trying to discern the faces, with their savage
beauty; the sturdy right-doing men who stood before them; and then her
eyes began to glisten, and gather light from the picture; her lips
parted, her breath quickened; for Patty Rutter had gone beyond her life
associations in Massachusetts, back to the times in which her Quaker
ancestors had make treaty with the native Indians.
It is! she cried with a shout; It is Penn's treaty! Patty gazed
at it until she could see no longer. I'm glad it is the last thing my
eyes will remember, she said sorrowfully, when in the gloom she turned
away, went down the hall, and entered her glass chamber.
Never mind my watch, she said softly. When I waken it will be
daylight, and I need not wind it. It will be so sweet to lie here
through the night in such grand and goodly company. I only wish Mrs.
Samuel Adams could come and kiss me good night.
With these words, Patty Rutter laid herself to rest upon the silken
quilt from Gardiner's Island; and if you look within the Relic Room,
opposite to Independence Hall, in the old State House at Philadelphia,
in this Centennial summer, you will find her there, still taking her
long nap, fully indorsed by Miss Adams, and in Independence
Hall, across the passage way, you will see the portraits of more than
fifty of the Fathers of the nation, but the Mothers abide at home.