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No Silent WitnessThe Eliot Parsonage Women and Their Unitarian World$
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Cynthia Tucker

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390209

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390209.001.0001

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The Rush of Words

The Rush of Words

(p.51) 3 The Rush of Words
No Silent Witness

Cynthia Grant Tucker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

With the marriage of Abby's oldest son Thomas Lamb Eliot (1841–1936) and Henrietta Robins Mack (1845‐1940), the scene shifts to Portland, OR, where the new pastor virtually replicates his father's career in St. Louis. Tom also tries to enforce the words on the Eliot coast of arms: Tace Et Face (“Keep Silent and Work”) but Etta, full‐throated and resolute, is indomitable. Constrained from confiding in lady friends and unable to get the ear of her spouse, she is prone to depression and loneliness and begins covertly to write for herself and for readers of ladies' magazines. Her first success as a published author, a resounding polemical essay, is picked up by several religious papers, but Tom objects, and again, she goes under cover in using her talent. Etta helps write her husband's sermons, and she speaks before embryo congregations without presuming to characterize it as preaching.

Keywords:   Rebecca Robins Mack Eliot (1845–1940), Thomas Lamb Eliot (1841–1936), Portland, OR, depression, loneliness, ladies' magazines, published author, preaching

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