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Patty Rutter: The Quaker Doll Who Slept In Independence Hall
by [?]

Patty Rutter had fallen asleep with her bonnet on, and had been lying there, fast asleep, nobody knew just how long; for, somehow–it happened so–there 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 Philadelphia–exactly what relation she bore to Patty it is a little difficult to determine–decided 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, and–and most wonderful thing–had 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 ago–fifty-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.