Tirzah’s Blog

Tirzah Miller

I was born September 13, 1843 in Putney, Vermont.  My mother was the youngest sister of John H. Noyes, the founder of the famous Oneida Community.   Mr. Noyes converted his two younger sisters and brother to his own peculiar views of religious and social life, and then having arranged their marriages with persons of similar views, he entered into co-operation with them, having common ownership of this world’s goods and forming themselves into one large family with himself as the head.

My first recollection of Mr. Noyes is when I was three years old.  There was a lounge in the sitting-room all around the edge of which were pretty silk tassels of variegated colors.   One day one of these tassels was cut off and someone accused me of doing it.  I did not do it, and of course my denial must have been called in question for my next remembrance is of being perched on Mr. Noyes’ knees while he, with his arms folded, regarded me with a searching glance and told me to “look him in the eye and tell the truth.”  This was my first experience of fear of a human being and a kind of terror seized me; but I must have held to my first assertion for I do not recall any further punishment and the matter was soon passed by and forgotten by everyone but me.   I remember Mr. Noyes afterwards as very kind and gentle to children.

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