To Mrs. G. W. Hale
14 February 1894.
Arrived safely night before last at 1 o'clock a.m. The train
was seven hours late, being blocked by snowdrifts on the way. However,
I enjoyed the novelty of the sight: several men cutting and clearing
the snow and two engines tugging and pulling was a new sight to me.
Here I met Mr. Bagley, the youngest [Paul F. Bagley], waiting
for me at the station; and, it being very late in the night, Mrs. Bagley1
had retired, but the daughters sat
up for me.
They are very rich, kind and hospitable. Mrs. Bagley is
especially interested in India. The daughters are very good, educated
and good-looking. The eldest gave me a luncheon at a club where I met
some of the finest ladies and gentlemen of the city. Last evening there
was a reception given here in the house. Today I am going to speak for
the first time. Mrs. Bagley is a very nice and kind lady. I hope the
lectures will please her. With my love and regards for you all, I
PS — I have received a letter from Slayton2
in reply to that in which I wrote to him that I cannot stay. He gives
me hope. What is your advice? I
enclose the letter [from Narasimhacharya] in another
John Judson Bagley (1833 – 1898) was one of Detroit's most influential
women, who had met Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament of Religions in
Chicago. She was a great admirer and supporter of the Swami and was his
hostess during this period. She honoured him with an enormous and gala
reception to which the élite of Detroit were invited.
Slayton Lyceum Lecture Bureau of Chicago, with whom the Swami had
signed a contract for three years. Later he broke the contract after
noticing that the Bureau had been cheating him.
of Madras was a delegate to the Parliament of Religions, held at
Chicago in 1893, where he became acquainted with Swami Vivekananda.
After the Parliament was over, he stayed for some months in the United
States. He had written a letter to Swami Vivekananda from the Nicholson
Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, where he was stranded. The letter reads:
"Dear Swami, I have come here, and without being able to get out am
stopping; and I would be very much obliged if you would kindly send me
$50 so that I can fix the whole thing and come over to Chicago, from
which place I shall go back home. Please do so at once as I am in
trouble. Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain, Yours sincerely,
Narasimhacharya". Swami Vivekananda mailed this letter to
Mrs. G. W. Hale on February 14, 1894, from Detroit with a line: "What
do you advise, Mother? Vivekananda".