Happy Mother’s Day!

Colonel John Coolidge remained a widower until right before the beginning of Amherst College classes for Calvin in 1891. It was then that the Colonel married what his son considered “one of the finest women of our neighborhood,” Miss Carrie A. Brown, whom he had known all of his life growing up in Plymouth. Thinking of her many years later, he wrote, “After being without a mother nearly seven years I was greatly pleased to find in her all the motherly devotion that she could have given me if I had been her own son. She was graduate of Kimball Union Academy and had taught school for some years. Loving books and music she was not only a mother to me but a teacher. For thirty years she watched over me and loved me, welcoming me when I went home, writing me often when I was away, and encouraging me in all my efforts. When at last she sank to rest she had seen me made Governor of Massachusetts and knew I was being considered for the Presidency.” It was principally to both his mother and loving stepmother that Coolidge credits these measures of his success. The next morning after taking the Presidential oath by parlor lamp light, Calvin (having first knelt and prayed) went downstairs and paused at the grave of his mother, Victoria, before hastening to board the train and take up responsibilities in Washington for the next six years. A locket with his mother’s picture remained with him always and it was found next to his heart when death came on the crisp day of January 5, 1933. It was clear that Coolidge, blessed with good mothers, cherished their love and constant care, was inspired to greater heights by them and returned from a life of public service with an abiding gratitude no child can ever repay.

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