Abby entries from May 1867 continue
Tues. 21 Willie Marland came up in the evening and staid till eleven oclock. He gave me a small white handled pen knife.
Wed. May 22 Sewed nearly all day. Went to bed in the afternoon. Did not feel quite well but after taking some hot ginger tea felt better.
Thurs. 23 I went down to D. Moore’s and pulled my wart out while there. Had my pique dress cut. Sarah Randall and Aunt Abbie spent the afternoon and evening with us.
Fri. 24 Went to walk after school with Hattie up to the Mansion House to engage board for Mrs. Goldsmith. Did not succeed very well. Mr. Frye was up in the evening.
Sat. 25 Aunt Abbie invited me to come down to see Sarah Randall. I didn’t want to go and went to walk with Hattie down to Indian Ridge and met Aunt A and Sarah there. Went I got home I found Frank Bates. He has been to San Francisco and is going again on a long voyage. Mother went to New Market to night.
Sun. 26 It rained nearly all day. Went to church in No. Andover in the morning. W. and L. Marland came up in the evening. Perabo is in town and going to play at the Fem Sem.
Johann Ernst Perabo was only 22 years old in the spring of 1867, but he was already on his way to becoming one of Boston’s most prominent concert pianists and piano teachers. He had begun his musical training in his native Germany, and came as an immigrant to New York City with his family at the age of 7. He made his professional debut in New York in 1854 (when he was 9) before his family moved first to Dover, NH and then to Chicago. Wealthy patrons from New York sent him back to Hamburg, Germany in 1858 (when he was 13) for more musical education. He remained in Europe for the duration of the war years and after performances in New York, Ohio and Illinois, established himself in Boston in 1866.
Perabo was invited to perform at Abbot Academy by Samuel Morse Downs, the school’s teacher of piano, voice and theory, who was responsible during his forty year tenure for bringing many distinguished performers to campus. Perabo also performed occasionally at private parties, including one notable occasion in Andover when the artist/musician Charles Wesley Sanderson (then a music teacher at Phillips Academy) hosted Ralph Waldo Emerson and Harriet Beecher Stowe among others in “his rooms.” Sanderson described the evening as part of a printed tribute to Andover Theological Seminary’s Professor Park. “At about half past eleven Ernst Perabo was begged to play his own transcription of the great triple concerto of Beethoven for Mr. Emerson. When midnight was near the pianist hesitated before the last movement of the opus. At this pause, [Park] remarked, “It is getting very late, Mr. Emerson,” who immediately replied, “Professor Park, there is no lateness.” Mr. Perabo consequently finished playing the work to the evident satisfaction of our transcendental guest.”