Eddy, Daniel C. (Daniel Clarke), 1823-1896

Titles by this author
The young woman's friend : or, the duties, trials, loves, and hopes of woman

Born in Salem, Massachusetts to Daniel Eddy and Martha Honeycomb, Daniel Clarke Eddy graduated from New Hampton Theological Institution in New Hampshire in 1845 and served the First Baptist Church in Lowell, Massachusetts for ten years. He was also associated with the Tabernacle Church in Philadelphia, the Baldwin Place Church in Boston, and the First Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York. Eddy married Elizabeth Stone in April, 1846 and raised a family of four children. In 1854, he was elected to the state legislature on the Know-Nothing (or American) party ticket and served as speaker of the house for a two-year term. Eddy then ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts on the Prohibition ticket in 1876. Knownothingism, a nativist political movement of the 1850s, that exploited anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant sentiment, grew in strength through the middle years of the decade but fell apart with the election of Lincoln in 1860. Although Eddy's subsequent career was not in politics, he continued to express his Knownothing sentiments in frequent public speeches. For example, he spoke against the political strength of Unitarians in Massachusetts, and in the 1880's, he believed that there were Roman Catholic intentions to gain control of the United States through mass immigration and Vatican propaganda. He did not support, however, restricting immigration on the basis of religion. He advocated civil rights for black citizens and supported the temperance movement.

Eddy was a well-known public orator and author of popular travel books and religious advice for young people. Among these books of morality are The Young Man's Friend (1850) and The Young Woman's Friend (1858). Waiting at the Cross (1869) concerns devotion, while both Daughters of the Cross (1855) and Christian Heroines (1881) examines the lives of women missionaries. According to Ernst, "Neither scholarly nor of lasting literary quality, these books nevertheless reached and inspired many Baptists and other Protestant Readers" (291).

In the preface to The Young Woman's Friend, Eddy states, "It is the hope of the author that this humble work may contribute to the formation of honorable and beautiful human character, lead the mind of the reader to a higher conception of the aims and purposes of life, unfold and develop the graces that adorn and bless humanity and lead those who find no rest here to the great source of rest, the Redeemer and Saviour of the world" (Preface, 5). While Eddy does not explicitly state in his preface that his book is directed at women, it is clear throughout that he has limited his audience. He retells and reinterprets the creation of woman in the Bible chapter of Genesis: "He took the rib out of his side, instead of taking a bone from the head or foot, that Adam might be taught the equality, not the superiority or inferiority, of his wife" (14). He claims that "the constitution of woman, her physical organization, the structure of her material nature, show that she was not designed for hard, out-of-door service" (21) or military work (21) or politics (22) or the pulpit (22). "Where, then, is woman's sphere? At Home. Home is woman's throne, where she maintains her royal court, and sways her queenly authority" (23). Eddy illustrates all the roles of women; The Dutiful Daughter (Chapter II), The Good Mother (Chapter III), The Married State (Chapter IV), The Praying Mother (Chapter VI), The Unfaithful Woman (Chapter IX), The Sister of Charity (Chapter XI). Each role is illustrated by a biblical woman, such as Ruth, who serves as a moral example to other women. For example, The Unfaithful Woman, Delilah, demonstrates "the evil effects of curiosity, which draws out secrets which should not be known, and the fatal consequences which sometimes follow what is deemed the most innocent tattle" (186). The lesson to be learned from Delilah is revealed: "It is woman's mission to be true and faithful, kind and loving; and herein she gains her noblest power over her male companion" (183). Clearly, Eddy recognizes the importance of power relations and instructs women that they will become powerful by following the commands of the Bible.

Ernst, Eldon G. "Eddy, Daniel C." American National Biography. Vol. 7. Eds. John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford, 1999. 291.

Other Sources:

Starr, C. A Baptist Bibliography, Vol. 7. 1961.

Calvert, John Betts. Men Who Have Meant Much to Me 1918.

Haynes, G.H. "A Know-Knothing Legislature." Annual Report of the American Historical Association, 1896.

Written by Stephen Rachman