KINDRED SPIRITS - DETAIL|
Richard Henry Dana, Sr. was the brother of Allston's second wife, Martha, and he happened to also be Channing's cousin. Dana had a lifelong friendship with Bryant which began when, in 1821, Dana solicited poems from Bryant for his short lived magazine The Idle Man. In it, Dana published an article titled Musings. Dana wrote about "kindred" 28 years before Durand painted Kindred Spirits. In Musings Dana wrote,
...there are beautiful souls, too, in the world, to hold kindred with a man of feeling and refined mind; and there are delicate and warm and simple affections, that now and then meet him on his way, and enter silently into his heart, like blessings. Here and there, on the road, go with him for a time some who call to mind the images of his soul, -- a voice, or a look, is a remembrancer of past visions, and breaks out upon him like openings through the clouds; and the distant beings of his imagination seem walking by his side, and the changing and unsubstantial creatures of the brain put on body and life. In such moments his fancies are turned to realities, and over the real the lights of his mind shift and play; his imagination shines out warm upon it, and it changes, and takes the airiness of fairy life.In the same article Dana wrote,
Life indeed, with him, in all its connections and concerns, has an ideal and spiritual character, which while it loses nothing of the definiteness of reality, is ever suggesting thoughts, taking new relations, and peopling and giving action to the imagination.