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Mary Baker Eddy: The Bow Years

From the July 1971 issue of The Christian Science Journal

In the old "Upside-down Book," carefully preserved in Bow, New Hampshire, the name of Mary Morse Baker, later Mary Baker Eddy, first appears in written history. The worn leather volume has been affectionately called the "Upside-down Book" because, a century and a half ago, the town clerk started one set of records at the beginning and another set from the opposite end. On page 347, in reverse upside-down, appear the statistics for the Mark Baker family.

"Mr. Mark Baker Abigail his wife, their Children," runs the list: "Samuel, Albert, George, Abigail, Martha." And then—perhaps the brown ink made from the bark of the swamp maple was thicker than usual, since the last inscription on the page stands out from the others—"Mary Morse Baker."

Mary Morse Baker, who became Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, lived all of her childhood in Bow, and two thirds of her ninety years in her native state of New Hampshire. Replying to a testimonial from the city council of Concord, she once wrote: "My home influence, early education, and church experience, have unquestionably ripened into the fruits of my present religious experience, and for this I prize them. May I honor this origin and deserve the continued friendship and esteem of the people in my native State." The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 366;

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