Read CHAPTER IX - SOCIAL LEADERS IN WASHINGTON LIFE of As I Remember Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century , free online book, by Marian Gouverneur, on ReadCentral.com.

I passed many delightful hours in the Washington home of General Scott and had a standing invitation to come and go as I pleased. Upon his return from the war with Mexico, crowned with the laurels of victory, he immediately became one of the most prominent lions of the day. He had successfully invaded a practically unknown country reeking with the terrible vomito, a disease upon which the Mexicans relied to kill their foes more expeditiously than ammunition, and had well earned for himself the plaudits of a grateful country. I distinctly remember that he received flattering letters from the Duke of Wellington and other distinguished foreigners congratulating him upon his military success. His headquarters were now established in Washington, and his house became one of the most prominent social centers of the National Capital. About this time Mrs. Scott was much in New York, where her third daughter, Marcella, subsequently Mrs. Charles Carroll McTavish, was attending school, and consequently her daughter Cornelia, who not long before had married her father’s aide, Henry Lee Scott of North Carolina, was virtually mistress of the establishment. Mrs. Henry Lee Scott’s social sway in Washington was almost unprecedented. She was as grand in appearance as she was in character, and during one of her visits to Rome she sat for a distinguished artist as a model for his pictures of the Madonna. General Scott seemed to derive much pleasure and satisfaction from the society of his former companions in arms, who were always welcomed to his hospitable board. Among those I especially recall were Colonels John Abert, Roger Jones, William Turnbull and Ichabod B. Crane, whose son, Dr. Charles H. Crane, later became Surgeon General of the Army. These occasions were especially delightful to me as a young woman, and I always regarded it as an exceptional privilege to be present.

The Whig party meanwhile nominated General Scott for the presidency. The opposing candidate was Franklin Pierce. One day during the campaign Scott, in replying to a note addressed to him by William L. Marcy, Secretary of War in Polk’s cabinet, began his note: “After a hasty plate of soup” supposing that his note would be regarded as personal. Marcy, who was a keen political foe, was too astute a politician, however, not to take advantage of the chance to make Scott appear ridiculous. He classified the note as official, and the whole country soon resounded with it. I saw General Scott when he returned from his Mexican campaign, covered with glory, to confront his political enemies at home, and I was also with him in 1852 when the announcement arrived that he had been defeated as a presidential candidate. Were I called upon to decide in which character he appeared to the greater advantage, that of the victor or the vanquished, I should unhesitatingly give my verdict to the latter. There was a grandeur in his bearing under the adverse circumstances with which the success and glamour of arms could not compare.

The Rev. Dr. Smith Pyne, the beloved rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, often mingled with the distinguished guests gathered at the residence of General Scott. He was full of life and fun and good cheer and would even dare, when occasion offered, to aim his jokes and puns at General Scott himself. At one of the General’s dinners, for example, while the soup was being served, he addressed him as “Marshal Turenne.” It is said that upon one occasion, when the good rector failed by polite efforts to dismiss a book-agent, he was regretfully compelled to order him from his house. “Your cloth protects you,” said the offended agent. “The cloth protects you,” replied Dr. Pyne, “and it will not protect you long if you do not leave this instant.” In spite of this incident, it was well known that the Doctor had a tender and sympathetic nature. After he had officiated at the funerals of his parishioners it is said that his wife was frequently compelled to exert all her efforts to arouse him from his depression. About this same period, Olé Bull, the great Norwegian violinist who was second only to Paganini, was receiving an enthusiastic reception from audiences “panting for the music which is divine.” Upon this particular evening Dr. Pyne sat next to me, when he suddenly exclaimed: “If honorary degrees were conferred upon musicians, Olé Bull would be Fiddle D.D.” At another time, when Dr. Edward Maynard, a well-known Washington dentist, was remodeling his residence on Pennsylvania Avenue, now a portion of the Columbia Hospital, Dr. Pyne was asked to what order of architecture it belonged and replied: “Tusk-can, I suppose,” a pretty poor pun, but no worse, perhaps, than most of those one hears nowadays. The Rev. Dr. Pyne performed the marriage ceremony, at the “chain buildings,” of General Scott’s second daughter, Adeline Camilla, and Goold Hoyt of New York. It was a quiet wedding and only the members of the family were present. I remember the bride as one of the most beautiful women I have ever known; her face reminded me of a Roman cameo.

General Scott was something of an epicure. I have seen him sit down to a meal where jowl was the principal dish, and have heard his exclamation of appreciation caused in part, possibly, by his recollection of similar fare in other days in Virginia. He did the family marketing personally, and was very discriminating in his selection of food. Terrapin, which he insisted upon pronouncing t_a_rrapin, was his favorite dish, and he would order oysters by the barrel from Norfolk. On one occasion he attended a banquet where all the States of the Union were represented by a dish in some way characteristic of each commonwealth. Pennsylvania was represented by a bowl of sauer-kraut; and in speaking of the fact the next morning the General remarked: “I partook of it with tears in my eyes.”

New Year’s day in Washington was a festive occasion, especially in the home where I was a guest. General and Mrs. Scott kept open house and of course most of the Army officers stationed in Washington, and some from the Navy, called to pay their respects. All appeared in full-dress uniform, and a bountiful collation was served. I was present at several of these receptions and recall that after the festivities of the day were nearly over General Scott, who of course had paid his respects to the President earlier in the day, always called upon two venerable women Mrs. “Dolly” Madison, who then lived in the house now occupied by the Cosmos Club, and Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, his next door neighbor. During the winter of 1850, which I spent with the Scotts, I participated with them in the various social enjoyments of the season.

Early in the month of January, 1851, and not long after the re-assembling of Congress, that genial gentleman, William W. Corcoran, gave his annual ball to both Houses of Congress, and it was in many ways a notable entertainment. As this was long previous to the erection of his public art gallery, his house was filled with many paintings and pieces of statuary. Powers’s “Greek slave,” which now occupies a conspicuous place in the Corcoran Art Gallery, stood in the drawing-room. General Scott did not care especially for large evening entertainments, but he always attended those of Mr. Corcoran. In this instance I was the only member of the household who accompanied him, and the ovation that awaited his arrival was enthusiastic; and as I entered the ballroom with him I received my full share of attention. Among the prominent guests was General “Sam” Houston, arrayed in his blue coat, brass buttons and ruffled shirt. His appearance was patrician and his courtesy that of the inborn gentleman. I once laughingly remarked to General Scott that General Houston in some ways always recalled to me the personal appearance of General Washington. His facetious rejoinder was: “Was ever the Father of his Country so defamed?” I met at this entertainment for the first time Charles Sumner, who had but recently taken his seat in the U.S. Senate and of whom I shall speak hereafter. Caleb Cushing was also there, and Cornelia Marcy, the beautiful daughter of William L. Marcy, was one of the belles of the ball. I have stated that General Scott did not generally attend evening entertainments; in his own way, however, he took great interest in all social events, and upon my return from parties, sometimes at a very late hour, I have often found him awaiting my account of what had transpired.

I have spoken of General Houston’s appearance. I now wish to refer to his fine sense of honor. He was married on the 22d of January, 1829, to Miss Eliza Allen, daughter of Colonel John Allen, from near Gallatin, the county town of Sumner county in Tennessee, and separated from her directly after the marriage ceremony under, as is said, the most painful circumstances. The wedding guests had departed and General Houston and his bride were sitting alone by the fire, when he suddenly discovered that she was weeping. He asked the cause of her tears and was told by her that she had never loved him and never could, but had married him solely to please her father. “I love Doctor Douglas,” she added, “but I will try my best and be a dutiful wife to you.” “Miss,” said Governor Houston, even waiving the fact that he had just married her, “no white woman shall be my slave; good-night.” It is said that he mounted his horse and rode to Nashville where he resigned at once his office as Governor and departed for the Cherokee country, where and elsewhere his subsequent career is well known. Having procured a divorce from his wife, he married Margaret Moffette in the spring of 1840.

During the same winter I attended a party given by Mrs. Clement C. Hill, as a “house-warming,” at her residence on H Street. Many years later George Bancroft, the historian, occupied this residence and it is still called the “Bancroft house.” Mr. Hill was a member of a prominent Maryland family which owned large estates in Prince George County, and his wife was recognized as one of the social leaders in Washington.

Another ball which I recall, which I attended in company with the Scotts, was given by Colonel and Mrs. William G. Freeman at their residence on F Street, near Thirteenth Street, the former of whom was at one time Chief of Staff to General Scott. I well remember that General Scott accompanied his daughter and me and that he wore at the time the full-dress uniform of his high rank. As he measured six feet four in his stocking-feet, the imposing nature of his appearance cannot well be described. Mrs. Freeman, whose maiden name was Margaret Coleman, was one of the joint owners of the Cornwall coal mines in Pennsylvania. Her sister, Miss Sarah Coleman, shared her house for many years, and old Washingtonians remember her as the “Lady Bountiful” whose whole life was devoted to good works. Colonel and Mrs. Freeman’s two daughters, Miss Isabel Freeman and Mrs. Benjamin F. Buckingham, still reside in Washington.

The first guest whom I recall at this ball was the sprightly Mary Louisa Adams. She made her home with her grandfather, John Quincy Adams, who lived in one of the two white houses on F Street, between Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets, now called the “Adams house.” She was the venerable ex-President’s principal heir, and subsequently married her relative, William Clarkson Johnson of Utica. George B. McClellan was also a guest at this entertainment as one of the young beaux. His presence made an indelible impression upon my memory as I was dancing a cotillion with him when, to my nervous horror, the pictures in the ballroom began to spin and I made myself conspicuous by nearly fainting. I did not, however, lose consciousness like the heroines of the old tragedies, and was conducted to a retired seat where, at the request of General Scott, I was attended by Dr. Richard Henry Coolidge, Surgeon in the Army, who was also a guest. General Scott’s admiration for this distinguished gentleman, personally as well as professionally, was very great. I have often heard the General say that Dr. Coolidge not only prescribed for the physical condition of his patients but also by the example of his Christian character elevated their moral tone. He concluded his eulogy with the words: “Dr. Coolidge walks humbly before his God.” His widow, Mrs. Harriet Morris Coolidge, daughter of Commodore Charles Morris, U.S.N., one of the distinguished heroes of the War of 1812, is still living in Washington. I occasionally see her in her pleasant home on L Street where she welcomes a large circle of friends, giving one amid her pleasant surroundings a pleasing picture of a serene old age.

During my many visits to the Scott household after the Mexican War, I always occupied a comfortable brass camp bedstead which had formerly belonged to the Mexican General, Santa Anna. It seems that just after the battle of Cerro Gordo this warrior made a hasty flight, leaving behind him his camp furniture and even, it is said, his wooden leg. This bedstead was captured as a trophy of war, and finally came into General Scott’s possession. The memory of this man’s brutal deeds, however, never disturbed my midnight repose. Texas history tells the story of the Alamo and of the six brave men there put to death by his orders, suggesting in a certain degree the atrocities of the Duke of Cumberland of which I have already spoken. Santa Anna, however, had Indian blood in his veins an extenuating circumstance that cannot be offered in defense of the “Butcher of Culloden.”

There was always more or less gossip afloat concerning the alleged strained relations existing between General and Mrs. Scott, owing largely to the fact that the conditions attending and surrounding their respective lives were fundamentally different and often misunderstood. General Scott was a born commander while Madame la General from her earliest life had had the world at her feet. Such a combination naturally resulted in an occasional discordant note, which unfortunately was usually sounded in public. Their private life, however, was serene, and they were invariably loyal to each other’s interests. When Mrs. Scott, for example, learned that James Lyon of Richmond, an intimate friend of the General and herself and a trustee for certain of her property, had, although a Whig, voted against her husband when a presidential candidate, she at once revoked his trusteeship. At another time she wrote some attractive lines which she feelingly dedicated to her husband.

I recall an amusing incident related by General Scott just after a journey to Virginia that well illustrates the exigencies that awaited persons traveling in those days in carriages. For a brief period before the inauguration of President Harrison, General Scott was in Richmond, and in due time, as he thought, started for the station to catch a train for Washington to be present when the President-elect should take his oath of office. He missed the train, however, and immediately secured a carriage to convey him to Washington, as his presence there was imperative; but after a hard day’s journey the horses could go no further, and he was obliged to seek shelter for the night. Stopping at a house near the roadside and inquiring whether he could be accommodated, he was told that there was but one vacant room and that it had been engaged some days in advance by a German butcher, accompanied by his wife and daughter. This party meanwhile arrived and upon being informed of General Scott’s predicament generously offered to share the room with him. It was arranged that the women should occupy one of the beds and General Scott and the butcher the other. The women, after retiring early, gave the signal, “All right,” when the men took possession of the second bed. After some pretty fast traveling the next morning, General Scott reached his destination. While he was relating this laughable experience to us some years later, I inquired whether he had enjoyed a comfortable rest. “No,” was his emphatic response, “the butcher snored the whole night.” During this visit to Richmond, General Scott was invited by an old friend to accompany her and her two sisters to a Roman Catholic church to hear some fine music. Upon arriving at the door they were met by the sexton, who, somewhat flurried by seeing General Scott, announced in stentorian tones the advent of the strangers “three cheers (chairs) for the Protestant ladies.”

While I am relating Scott anecdotes, I must not omit to speak of an amusing experience the old General was fond of relating which occurred while he was traveling in the West. In his official capacity he was a sojourner for a short period in Cincinnati, and, upon leaving that now prosperous city, he directed that P.P.C. cards be sent to all persons who had called upon him. It seems that the social convenances had not yet dawned upon this city, now the abode of arts and sciences, as the town wiseacre, learned in many things as well as social lore, was called upon for an elucidation of the three mysterious letters. Apparently he was not as able an exponent as was Daniel at Balshazzar’s feast, who so readily deciphered “the handwriting on the wall.” He construed the letters to signify pour prendre cafe, an invitation which was gladly accepted, much to General Scott’s astonishment, who decided then and there to confine himself in future to plain English.

The charming old resident society predominated in those days in the District of Columbia, and wealth was not a controlling influence in social life. The condition of society was, therefore, different from that of to-day, when apparently the

... strongest castle, tower or town,
The golden bullet beateth down.

The old Washingtonians are now sometimes designated as “cave dwellers,” and, generally speaking, the public bows to the golden calf. The term “old Washingtonians,” as now used, applies to residents descended from the original settlers of Maryland and Virginia, as well as to Presidential families and the representatives of Army and Navy officers of earlier days. Their social code is, in some respects, entirely different and distinct from that of any other city, and was formed many decades ago by the ancestors of the “cave dwellers,” who were so peculiarly versed in the varied requirements and adornments of social life that to-day no radical innovations are acceptable to their descendants.

Speaking of the Army and Navy, I am reminded of an amusing anecdote which has been generally circulated regarding the wife of a wealthy manufacturer from a small western town who, after building a handsome home in the heart of a fashionable section of the city, announced that her visiting list was growing so large that she must in some way reduce it and that she had decided to “draw it” on the Army and Navy. It seems almost needless to say that this remark created much unfavorable comment, as Washington is especially proud of the Army and Navy officers she has nurtured.

Among the families who were socially prominent at the National Capital when I first knew it, were the Seatons, Gales, Lees, Freemans, Carrolls, Turnbulls, Hagners, Tayloes, Ramsays, Millers, Hills, Gouverneurs, Maynadiers, Grahams, Woodhulls, Jesups, Watsons, Nicholsons, Warringtons, Aberts, Worthingtons, Randolphs, Wilkes, Wainwrights, Roger Jones, Pearsons, McBlairs, Farleys, Cutts, Walter Jones, Porters, Emorys, Woodburys, Dickens, Pleasantons, McCauleys, and Mays.

I often recall with pleasure the days spent by me at Brentwood, a fine old country seat near Washington, and picture to my mind those forms of “life and light” arrayed in the charms of simplicity which were there portrayed. The far West had not then poured its coffers into the National Capital, and the mining element of California was then unknown. It is true that Washington, with its unpaved streets and poorly lighted thoroughfares, was then in a primitive condition, but it is just as true that its social tone has never been surpassed. Brentwood was the residence of Mrs. Joseph Pearson, who dispensed its hospitalities with ease and elegance. For many years it was a social El Dorado, where resident society and distinguished strangers were always welcome. Although it was then remote from the heart of the city, most of its numerous visitors were inclined to linger, once within its walls, to enjoy the charmed circle which surrounded the Pearson family. Both the daughters of this house, Eliza, who married Carlisle P. Patterson, Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey, and Josephine, who became the wife of Peter Augustus Jay of New York, were Washington beauties. Their social arena, however, was not confined to this city, as they made frequent visits to New York, where they were regarded as great belles. Christine Kean, an old friend of mine who was a younger sister of Mrs. Hamilton Fish, both of whom were daughters of Peter Philip James Kean of New Jersey, was intimate with the “Pearson girls,” and made frequent visits to Brentwood, where she shared in their social reign. Christine Kean married William Preston Griffin, a naval officer from Virginia, who survived their marriage for only a few years. I was accustomed to call her “sunshine” as she carried joy and gladness to every threshold she crossed. She was superintendent of nurses in the sanitary corps during the Civil War, and as such rendered conspicuous service in the State of Virginia. She still resides in New York, admired and beloved by a large circle of friends, and those charming traits of character which have always made her so universally beloved are now hallowing the declining years of her life.

I often met Joseph C. G. Kennedy at General Scott’s, usually called “Census” Kennedy. One day we were shocked to learn that Solon Borland, U.S. Senator from Arkansas, standing high in political circles but called by General Scott “a western ruffian,” had assaulted Mr. Kennedy and broken his nose. I knew both Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy in after life. He was a gentleman of the old school, beloved and respected by everyone. His death in 1887 was a shocking tragedy. A lunatic with a fancied grievance met him on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Fifteenth Street, and stabbed him. Mr. Kennedy was a grandson of Andrew Ellicott, who, his descendants claim, conceived the original plans of the city of Washington instead of Pierre Charles l’Enfant, to whom they are generally attributed.

While visiting in Washington I had the pleasure of renewing my acquaintance with Isaac Hull Adams of the Coast Survey. He was a bachelor, and his sister, Miss Elizabeth Combs Adams, always lived with him. They were children of Judge Thomas Boylston Adams, a son of President John Adams, and resided in the old Adams homestead in Quincy, Massachusetts. I had originally known both of them in earlier life in New York, and it was a sincere pleasure to meet them again. Miss Adams was a generous and broad-minded woman who inherited the intellectuality of her ancestors. Her reminiscences of the White House during the Monroe administration, when her uncle, John Quincy Adams, was Secretary of State, were of the deepest interest. She also loved to dwell upon the days of the administration which followed, when she was a constant visitor at the White House as the guest of her uncle, the President. I called upon her a few years ago in Quincy, while I was visiting in Boston, and found her living quietly in the old home, surrounded by her many household gods. She died soon after I saw her, but the memory of her friendship is enduring.

Before making my visit to Quincy I wrote to Miss Adams asking her whether she was equal to seeing me. She was then nearly ninety-two years old, having been born on the 9th of February, 1808. In a few days I received the following letter from her own pen:

21 ELM STREET, QUINCY, MASS., November 16, 1899.

My dear Mrs. Gouverneur:

I was very glad to receive your note saying that you would come to see us in a few days. I am a very poor writer, not holding the old pen of the “ready writer,” and my brother Isaac Hull is a great invalid and not able to get about, so lame.

I began two or three notes to you but my fingers are so stiff I do not hold the pen, but wish to tell you that we shall be glad to see you. We are both tired of being invalids. We do not forget good old times far back in the century. The steam cars leave Boston at the South Station. I think I sent you a letter yesterday, but if you fail to get it, I shall be very sorry.

I have so many letters to write and can but just keep the pen going. It is a lovely day, but I never go out now and Isaac Hull is suffering all sorts of pains. Comes down when he can. Sorry to send such a poor sample. I have not been at Jamaica Plain for two years.

We live in the oldest house and are the oldest couple in “all
Connecticut,” as Hull used to sing.

Very truly yours,

E. C. ADAMS.

As I say, the very oldest and the head of five generations. I
am so forgetful.

“Hull” Adams, as he was generally called, had a fine tenor voice and I have frequently heard him sing in duet with Archibald Campbell, who sang bass. Adams and Campbell were lifelong friends and were fellow students at West Point. The latter was graduated from West Point in 1835 and resigned from the Army in 1838. He subsequently became a civil engineer and was a Commissioner to establish the boundaries between the United States and Canada. His wife was Miss Mary Williamson Harod of New Orleans, and a niece of Judge Thomas B. Adams. Her father, Charles Harod, who was president of the Atchafalaya Bank of New Orleans, was an aide-de-camp to General Jackson at the battle of New Orleans and, with Commodore Daniel T. Patterson in command of our naval forces, met and arranged with the pirate Jean Lafitte to bring in his men to fight on the American side. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were lifelong residents of the District, where she is especially remembered for her many pleasing traits. Their son, Charles H. Campbell, still resides in Washington and married a daughter of the late Admiral David D. Porter, U.S.N. For many years, the Archibald Campbells lived on H Street in a house which is now a portion of The Milton.

I remember when Commander Matthew F. Maury, U.S.N., the distinguished author of “The Geography of the Sea,” was stationed in the old Naval Observatory and preparing those charts of the ocean which so gladdened the hearts of mariners, quite unconscious meanwhile of the sensational career which awaited him. He and Mrs. Maury resided in Washington and, aided by their daughters, dispensed a lavish hospitality. A few years later, however, when Virginia seceded from the Union, Maury resigned from the Navy and linked his destiny with his native State. I learned much of his subsequent career from General John Bankhead Magruder, a distant relative of my husband, who also resigned from the service and espoused the Southern cause. At the time of General Lee’s surrender, Maury was in England and the following May sailed for St. Thomas, where he heard of Lincoln’s assassination. He then went to Havana, whence he sent his son to Virginia, and took passage for Mexico. He had approved of the efforts of the Archduke Maximilian to establish his empire in America and had already written him a letter expressive of his sympathy. Without waiting, however, for a reply he followed his letter, and upon his arrival in Mexico in June was warmly welcomed by Maximilian, by whom he was asked to accept a place in his Ministry; but the flattering offer was declined and in its place he received an appointment as Director of the Imperial Observatory. It seems superfluous to add what everyone knows, or ought to know, that Maury was a Christian gentleman of rare accomplishments and one of the most proficient scientists of his day.

General Magruder was with Maury when they learned of Lincoln’s assassination, and accompanied him to Mexico, where he served as Major General in Maximilian’s army until the downfall of the usurping Emperor. In referring to his experiences in Mexico he dwelt with much emphasis upon the Empress Carlota and her interesting personality. He described her as especially kind and sympathetic and as treating Maury and himself with distinguished consideration at her court. This pleasing experience, however, was not of long duration. A cloud hung over the Mexican throne and it became apparent that Maximilian’s reign was drawing to a close. Realizing this state of affairs, Magruder and Maury left Mexico, the former returning to the United States while the latter sailed for Europe. The Empress Carlota returned to Austria, leaving Maximilian to fight alone a hopeless cause. Louis Napoleon’s vision of an European Empire on American soil soon vanished, and Maximilian’s tragic death and Carlota’s subsequent derangement caused a throb of sympathy which was felt throughout the civilized world.

During the Mexican War, General Magruder, though a good officer and one of the bravest and most chivalrous of men, never lost sight of his position in the beau monde. He never went into battle, however pressing the emergency, without first brushing his hair well, smoothing his mustache and arranging his toggery after the latest and most approved style. Often during the rage of the battle, while the shot were raining around him like hail and his men and horses and guns were exposed to a destructive and merciless fire, he would stand up with his tall, straight figure in full view of the Mexicans and, assuming the most impressive and fashionable attitudes, would eye the enemy through his glass with all the coolness and grace suited to a glance through an opera glass at a beautiful woman in an opposite box. I have always heard that he could not be provoked by any circumstances to commit an impolite or an ungenteel act. But he came very near forfeiting his reputation in this respect at the battle of Contreras. Upon being ordered to take a certain position with his battery, he found himself exposed to a terrible fire from the enemy’s big guns. In the midst of this hot fire, an aide of one of the generals, from whom Magruder had not received his order to occupy this position, rode up to the gallant officer and told him that he had orders for him from General . “But, my dear fellow,” interrupted the polite Captain, “you must dismount and take a glass of wine with me; do I have some excellent old Madeira.” The aide dismounted and the wine was hastily drunk by the impatient young Lieutenant, who did not enjoy it very much as there was a constant fire of grape and canister rattling about them all the time. But Captain Magruder desired very much to have a little agreeable chat over his wine, as, he remarked, it was no use popping away with his diminutive pieces against the heavy guns of the enemy. “But I am ordered by General to direct you to fall back, abandon your position, and shelter your pieces,” was the impatient response. “My dear fellow,” replied the Captain, “do take another sip of that wine it is delicious!” “But you are ordered by General to retire, Captain; and you are being cut up.” “Much obliged to you, my dear friend, but if you will only make yourself comfortable for a few minutes, I will get some sardines and crackers.” “I must go,” impatiently remarked the Lieutenant, mounting his horse; “what shall I report to the General?” “Well, my dear fellow, if you are determined to go, please present my compliments to General and tell him that, owing to a previous engagement with General , I am under the necessity of informing him that before I leave this spot I will see him in the neighborhood of a certain gentleman whose name is not to be mentioned in polite society.” So, at all events, goes the story, and I presume we may believe as much or as little of it as we please.

General Magruder, while our guest in our country home near Frederick, in Maryland, related to me many interesting incidents connected with Maury’s career. The General seemed to possess an unusual appreciation of the good things of life and told me with much gusto about the numerous delicacies with which Mexico abounded. His descriptions served to recall to my mind the fact that when he was in our regular army he had the reputation of “faring sumptuously every day.” When in command at Newport, Rhode Island, he gave a ball, during which he employed the services of some of the soldiers under his command for domestic purposes, and for this act was reprimanded by the War Department. After the Civil War he went to Texas and died in Houston in the winter of 1871. He was a brave soldier and was twice brevetted for gallantry and meritorious conduct on the battlefields of the Mexican War.

General John B. Magruder and his brother, Captain George A. Magruder of the Navy, who early in life became orphans, were brought up by their maternal uncle, General James Bankhead, U.S.A. General “Jack” Magruder, as he was usually called, developed rather lively traits of character, while his younger brother George was so deeply religious that, during his naval career, his nickname was “St. George of the Navy.” When both young men had reached manhood, General Bankhead read them a homily, having special reference, however, to his nephew “Jack.” “I have reared you both with the utmost care and circumspection,” he said, “but you, John, have not my approval in many ways.” Jack’s response was characteristic. “Uncle,” he said, “I can account for it in the following manner George has followed your precepts, but I have followed your example.” At the outbreak of the Civil War, Captain Magruder resigned from the Navy and went with his family to Canada, where his daughter Helen married James York MacGregor Scarlett, whose title of nobility was Lord Abinger, his father having been raised to the peerage as a “lower Lord.”

Another Virginia family of social prominence, whose members mingled much in Washington society while I was still visiting the Winfield Scotts, was that of the Masons of “Colross,” the name of their old homestead near Alexandria in Virginia. Mrs. Thomson F. Mason was usually called Mrs. “Colross” Mason to distinguish her from another family by the same name, that of James M. Mason, United States Senator from Virginia. The family thought nothing of the drive to Washington, and no entertainment was quite complete without the “Mason girls,” who were especially bright and attractive young women. Open house was kept at this delightful country seat and many were the pleasant parties given there. One of the daughters, Matilda, married Charles H. Rhett, a representative South Carolinian, and my friend, Cornelia Scott, was one of her bridesmaids. Florence, another sister, who was generally called “Folly,” married Captain Thomas G. Rhett of the Army, a brother of her sister’s husband. He resigned at the beginning of the Civil War, as a South Carolinian would indeed have been a rara avis in the Federal Army in 1861, and became an officer in the Confederate Army; while from 1870 to 1873 he was a Colonel of Ordnance in the Army of the Khedive. Miss Betty Mason, the oldest of these sisters, was a celebrated beauty and became the wife of St. George Tucker Campbell of Philadelphia.

It was about this time I first made the acquaintance of Emily Virginia Mason, who recently died in Georgetown after a long and active life. We were accustomed to have long conversations over the tea table concerning bygone days, and I sadly miss her bright presence. Her memories of a varied life both in Washington and Paris were highly entertaining and as one of her auditors I never grew weary while listening to her graphic descriptions of persons and things. She was a daughter of John T. Mason and a sister of Stevens Thompson Mason, the first governor of Michigan, often called the “Boy Governor.” She was very active during the Civil War as a Confederate nurse and continued her kindly acts thereafter in other fields of benevolence. She wrote a life of General Robert E. Lee and several other books, and made a compilation of “Southern Poems of the War,” which was subsequently published under that title.

One may readily turn from Emily Virginia Mason to her life-long friend, the daughter of Senator William Wright of New Jersey. It was during her father’s official life in Washington that Miss Katharine Maria Wright met and married Baron Johan Cornelis Gevers, Charge d’affaires from Holland to the United States. After her marriage she seldom visited her native country but made her home in Holland until her death a few years ago. Her son also entered the diplomatic service of his country and a few years ago was living in Washington.

After my father’s death we continued as a family to live in our Houston Street home in New York, but in 1853 we found the character of the neighborhood, which had been so pleasant in years gone by, changing so rapidly that we sold our house and moved to Washington. We secured a pleasant old-fashioned residence on G Street, between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets, which in subsequent years became the Weather Bureau. Next door to us lived Mrs. Graham and her daughter, Mrs. Henry K. Davenport, the grandmother and mother respectively of Commodore Richard G. Davenport, U.S.N. Mrs. Graham was the widow of George Graham, who, for a time during Monroe’s administration, acted as Secretary of War. While he was serving in this capacity, his brother, John Graham, was a member of the same cabinet, serving as Secretary of State. Mrs. Davenport was the mother of a family of sons known familiarly to the neighborhood as Tom, Dick and Harry. In the same block lived Mr. Jefferson Davis, who was then in the Senate from Mississippi. I remember hearing Mrs. Davis say that it was worth paying additional rent to live near Mrs. Graham, as she had such an attractive personality and was such a kind and attentive neighbor. A few doors the other side of us resided Captain and Mrs. Henry C. Wayne, the former of whom was in the Army and was the son of James M. Wayne of Georgia, a Justice of the Supreme Court; while across the street was the French Legation. Next door, at the corner of G and Eighteenth Streets, lived Edward Everett. Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Wainwright lived on the next block in a house now occupied by General and Mrs. A. W. Greely. I attended the wedding of Miss Henrietta Wainwright, soon after we arrived in Washington, to William F. Syng of the British Legation. She was the aunt of Rear-Admiral Richard Wainwright, U.S.N., who, as Commanding Officer of the Gloucester, rendered such conspicuous service at the battle of Santiago. Not far away, on the corner of Twenty-first and G Streets, lived Lieutenant Maxwell Woodhull of the Navy and his wife; and their children still reside in the same house. On F Street, near Twenty-first Street, was the home of Colonel William Turnbull, U.S.A., whose wife was a sister of General George Douglas Ramsay, U.S.A., who was so well known to all old Washingtonians. General Ramsay was very social in his tastes, and many years before this time he and Columbus Monroe were the groomsmen at the wedding at the White House when John Adams, the son of John Quincy Adams, married his first cousin, Miss Mary Hellen. General and Mrs. Ramsay lived on Twenty-first Street, not far from his sister, Mrs. William Turnbull. Mrs. John Farley (Anna Pearson), a half-sister of Mrs. Carlisle P. Patterson, lived on F Street, near Twenty-first Street, and the latter’s sister, Mrs. Peter Augustus Jay (Josephine Pearson), began her matrimonial life on the northwest corner of F and Twenty-first Streets.

William Thomas Carroll’s residence on the corner of Eighteenth and F Streets witnessed a continuous scene of hospitality. Mrs. Carroll was never happier than when entertaining. She lived to an advanced age, and until almost the very last, remained standing while receiving her guests. I have heard that she retained two sets of servants, one for the daytime and the other for the night. In her drawing-room hung many portraits of family ancestors arrayed in the antique dress of olden times. She was a daughter of Governor Samuel Sprigg of Maryland and was a handsome and accomplished woman. Her four daughters, who materially assisted her in dispensing hospitality, were very popular young women. Violetta Lansdale, the oldest, married Dr. William Swann Mercer of the well-known Virginia family; Sally is the present Countess Esterhazy; Carrie married the late T. Dix Bolles of the Navy; and Alida is the wife of the late John Marshall Brown of Portland, Maine. The Carroll house is still standing and became the residence of the late Chief Justice Melville Fuller of the U.S. Supreme Court. I have always heard that the Carroll house, a substantial structure with large rooms, was built by Tench Ringgold, who was U.S. Marshal of the District of Columbia longer than any of his predecessors. He occupied this position during the whole of President Monroe’s administration, and I have heard it related in the Gouverneur family that, when Monroe was retiring from office, he asked his successor, John Quincy Adams, on personal grounds, to retain Mr. Ringgold. This request was granted and Mr. Monroe made the same appeal to Andrew Jackson shortly after the latter’s inauguration, and received the cordial response, “Don’t mention it, don’t mention it.” On the strength of this interview, Ringgold naturally assumed he was safe for another term, but, to the surprise of many, he was succeeded two years later by Henry Ashton, who retained the office for about three years. “Old Hickory,” as everybody knows, had a mind of his own.

It was often very pleasant in my new surroundings to welcome to Washington some of my early New York friends; and among these none were more gladly received than Frances and Julia Kellogg of Troy. My intimacy with these sisters goes back as far as my school days at Madame Chegaray’s, where Frances Kellogg was a boarding pupil and in a class higher than mine when I was a day-scholar. It was the habit of these sisters to spend their winters in Washington and their summers at West Point; and it was during their sojourn at the latter place that Frances became engaged to George H. Thomas of the Army who, although a Virginian by birth, rendered such distinguished services during our Civil War as Commander of the Army of the Cumberland. Many years after General Thomas’s death, his widow built a house on I Street, where she and Miss Kellogg presided during the remainder of their lives. During one of our many conversations, Mrs. Thomas told me that when her husband was informed that a house was about to be presented to him by admiring friends, in recognition of his conspicuous services during the Civil War, he at once declined the offer, saying that he had been sufficiently remunerated, and requested that the money raised for the purpose should be given in charity. A distinguished Union General, who had already accepted a house, remonstrated with him and said: “Thomas, if you refuse to accept that house it will make it awkward for us.” General Thomas’s characteristic response was: “You may take as many houses as you please, but I shall accept none.”

At this time the house 14 Lafayette Square, now Jackson Place, still standing but very much altered, was owned and occupied by Purser and Mrs. Francis B. Stockton and the latter’s sister, daughters of Captain James McKnight of the Marine Corps and nieces of Commodore Stephen Decatur. Purser Stockton once told me that he had purchased this home for seven thousand dollars. The house prior to his ownership had been the residence of a number of families of distinction, among others the Southards and Monroes.

After giving up our home in New York I made a visit of some weeks to my friends, the family of William Kemble, who was still residing on St. John’s Park in New York. While there we were invited to an old-fashioned supper at the home of Mr. Peter Goelet, a bachelor, on the corner of Nineteenth Street and Broadway, presided over by his sister, Mrs. Hannah Greene Gerry. Upon the lawn of this house Mr. Goelet indulged his ornithological tastes by a remarkable display of various species of turkeys with their broods, together with peacocks and silver and golden pheasants. As can be readily understood, this was a remarkable sight in the heart of a great city, and caused much admiration from passers-by.

It has been said that at one time William W. Corcoran’s father kept a shoe store in Georgetown, and that the son, one of the most conspicuous benefactors of the city of Washington, was very proud of the fact. I have also heard it said, although I cannot vouch for the truth of the statement, that the son cherished his father’s business sign as one of his valued possessions. Whether or not these allegations agree or conflict with the explicit statement concerning his father made by William W. Corcoran himself, is left for others to judge. The latter wrote concerning his father: “Thomas Corcoran came to Baltimore in 1783, and entered into the service of his uncle, William Wilson, as clerk, beginning with a salary of fifty pounds sterling a year.... He brought his family to Georgetown and commenced the shoe and leather business on Congress Street,” etc., etc. Be the facts as they may, a witticism of William Thomas Carroll was a bon mot of the day many years ago in Washington. Upon being asked upon one occasion whether he knew the elder Mr. Corcoran, he replied: “I have known him from first to last and from last to first.” Mr. Carroll for thirty-six years was Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States, and Chief Justice Roger B. Taney paid him a well-earned tribute when he stated that he was “an accomplished and faithful officer, prompt and exact in business, and courteous in manner, and during the whole period of his judicial life discharged the duties of his office with justice to the public and the suitors, and to the entire satisfaction of every member of the Court.”

At the period of which I am speaking, some of the clerical positions in the various departments of the government were filled by members of families socially prominent. Francis S. Markoe and Robert S. Chew, for example, were clerks in the State Department, and Archibald Campbell and James Madison Cutts held similar positions. For many years women were not employed by the government. It is said that the first one regularly appointed was Miss Jennie Douglas, and that she received her position through the instrumentality of Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, at the request of General Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States. She was assigned to the duty of cutting and trimming treasury-notes, a task that had hitherto been performed with shears by men. General Spinner subsequently stated that her first day’s work “settled the matter in her and in women’s favor.” James Madison Cutts, at one time Second Comptroller of the Treasury under Buchanan, married Ellen Elisabeth O’Neill, who, with her sister Rose, subsequently Mrs. Robert Greenhow, resided in the vicinity of Washington. Both sisters possessed much physical beauty. Madison Cutts, as he was generally called, was a nephew of “Dolly” Madison, and his father, Richard Cutts, was once a Member of Congress from New Hampshire.

It is to the kindness of Mrs. Madison Cutts that I owe the memory of a pleasant visit to Mrs. Madison. She took me to call upon her one afternoon, and I shall never forget the impression made upon me by her turban and long earrings. Her surroundings were of a most interesting character and her graceful bearing and sprightly presence, even in extreme old age, have left a lasting picture upon my memory. Her niece, “Dolly” Paine, was living with her at her residence on the corner of H Street and Madison Place, now forming a part of the Cosmos Club. Todd Paine, her son, unfortunately did not prove to be a source of much satisfaction to her. He survived his mother some years and eventually the valuable Madison manuscripts and relics became his property. At the time of his death in Virginia this interesting collection was brought to Washington, where, I am informed, some of it still remains as the cherished possession of the McGuire family. Mr. and Mrs. Madison Cutts were devotees of society and consequently they and Mrs. Madison met upon common ground. The afternoon of my memorable visit to this former mistress of the White House I remember meeting quite a number of visitors in her drawing-room, as temporary sojourners at the National Capital were often eager to meet the gracious woman who had figured so conspicuously in the social history of the country.

I knew Madison Cutts’s daughter, Rose Adele Cutts, or “Addie” Cutts, as she was invariably called, when she first entered society. Her reputation for beauty is well known. I always associate her with japónicas, which she usually wore in her hair and of which her numerous bouquets were chiefly composed. Her father frequently accompanied her to balls, and in the wee small hours of the night, as he became weary, I have often been amused at his summons to depart “Addie, allons.” As quite a young woman, Addie Cutts married Stephen A. Douglas, the “Little Giant,” whom Lincoln defeated in the memorable presidential election of 1860. It is said that her ambition to grace the White House had much to do with the disruption of the Democratic party, as it was she who urged Douglas onward; and everyone knows that the division of the Democratic vote between Stephen A. Douglas and John C. Breckenridge resulted in the election of Lincoln. Some years after Douglas’s death, his widow married General Robert Williams, U.S.A., by whom she had a number of children, one of whom is the wife of Lieutenant Commander John B. Patton, U.S.N.

Mrs. Madison Cutts’s sister, Mrs. Robert Greenhow, was a woman of attractive appearance and unusual ability. Her husband was a Virginian by birth and a man of decided literary tastes. When I first knew her she was a widow, and but few romances can excel in interest one period of her career. She was a social favorite and her house was the rendezvous of the prominent Southern politicians of the day. This, of course, was before the Civil War, during a portion of which she made herself conspicuous as a Southern spy. At the commencement of the struggle her zeal for the Southern cause became so conspicuous and offensive to the authorities in Washington that she was arrested and imprisoned in her own house on Sixteenth Street, near K Street. Later she was confined in the “Old Capitol Prison.” General Andrew Porter, U.S.A., whose widow still resides in Washington and is one of my cherished friends, was Provost Marshal of the District of Columbia at this time, and as such Mrs. Greenhow was in his charge during her imprisonment. This duty was made so irksome to him that, upon one occasion, he exclaimed in desperation that he preferred to resign his position rather than to continue such an uncongenial task. It has been stated that information conveyed by her to the Confederates precipitated the Battle of Bull Run, which was so disastrous to the Union Army. Her conduct, even in prison, was so aggressive that the government officials decided she was altogether too dangerous a character to remain in Washington. They accordingly sent her, accompanied by her young daughter Rose, within the Southern lines, fearing that even behind prison bars her ingenuity might devise some method of communicating with the enemy. From the South she went to London, where she published, in 1863, a volume entitled, “My Imprisonment and the First Years of Abolition Rule at Washington,” to which I have already referred. I have heard that this book had quite a circulation in Great Britain, but that an attempt was made to suppress it in the United States. The last year of the war, Mrs. Greenhow was returning to America with considerable money acquired by the sale of her book, which she carried with her in gold. She took passage upon a blockade-runner which, after pursuit, succeeded in reaching the port of Wilmington, North Carolina. She was descending from her ship into a small boat to go on shore when she made a false step and fell into the water. Her gold tied around her neck held her down and she was drowned. Her remains were recovered and brought to the town hall, where they laid in state prior to an imposing funeral service. She was regarded throughout the South as a martyr to its cause.

Old Washingtonians who recall Mrs. Greenhow’s eventful career will associate with her, in a way, Mrs. Philip Phillips, who was also active in the Southern cause, and whose husband represented Alabama with much ability for one term in Congress. He subsequently remained in Washington, where he was known as a distinguished advocate before the Supreme Court. Mrs. Phillips’s enthusiastic friendship for the South made serious trouble for herself and family. The first year of the war, all of them were sent across the Union lines, and went to New Orleans, where General Benjamin F. Butler was in command. A few days after her arrival she Was brought before him charged with “making merry” over the passing funeral of Captain George Coleman De Kay of New York, an officer in the Union Army. When General Butler inquired why she laughed, she replied: “Because I was in a good humor.” Unable longer to suppress his indignation, Butler exclaimed: “If such women as you and Mrs. Greenhow are let loose, our lives are in jeopardy.” Mrs. Phillips’s reply was: “We of the South hire butchers to kill our swine.” Another day a search was made in Mrs. Phillips’s house for information concerning the Confederacy which she was thought to have. When personally searched and compelled to remove her shoes, she suggested that it was impossible for a Northern man to get his hand inside a Southern woman’s shoe. General Butler finally ordered Mrs. Phillips to be confined on an island near New Orleans, and placed over her a guard whose duty it was to watch her night and day. I have often heard her give an account of her life under these trying circumstances. She said she lived in a large “shoe box” whatever that meant and that her meals were served to her three times a day upon a tin plate. From what I have already said, it is apparent that she was an exceedingly witty woman. One day, while walking on the streets in Washington, she was joined by a distinguished prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, and inquired whether he could lay aside his cloth long enough to listen to a conundrum? Upon receiving a favorable response, she asked: “Why is His Holiness, the Pope, like a goose?” The reply was: “Because he sticks to his Propaganda!”

I shall always recall with pleasure a dinner party I attended at the residence of Edward Everett. As Mrs. Everett was in very delicate health and seldom appeared in public, Mr. Everett presided alone. The invitations were for six o’clock, and dinner was served promptly at that hour. I was taken into the dining-room by Mr. Philip Griffith, one of the Secretaries of the British Legation. We had just finished our second course when, to the surprise of everyone, a tall and gaunt gentleman was ushered into the dining-room. It was Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, then a member of Congress and subsequently Vice-President of the Southern Confederacy. Mr. Everett at once arose and shook hands with Mr. Stephens and with an imperturbable expression of countenance motioned the butler to provide another seat at the table. For a moment there was a slight confusion, as the other guests were obliged to move in order to make room for the new comer; but everything was speedily arranged and Mr. Stephens began his dinner with the third course. No explanation was offered at the moment, but later, while we were drinking our coffee in the drawing-room, I noticed Mr. Everett and Mr. Stephens engaged in conversation.

A few days later, through Mr. Colin M. Ingersoll, a Representative in Congress from Connecticut, the cause of Mr. Stephens’ late appearance at the dinner was made clear to me. It seems that Mr. Everett and the French Minister, the Count Eugene de Sartiges, his next door neighbor, were giving dinner parties the same evening. The dinner hour at the French Legation was half-past six o’clock, while Mr. Everett’s was half an hour earlier. Through the mistake of a stupid coachman, Mr. Stephens was landed at the door of Count de Sartiges’s home and entered it under the impression that it was Mr. Everett’s residence. He walked into the drawing-room and suspected nothing, as nearly all the guests were familiar to him. Count de Sartiges, however, surprised at the presence of an unbidden guest, anxiously inquired of Mr. Ingersoll the name of the stranger, and upon being informed remarked: “I’ll be very polite to him.” Seating himself by Mr. Stephens’ side, an animated conversation followed. Meanwhile other guests arrived and the Count de Sartiges became diverted, while Mr. Stephens, still unconscious of his mistake, turned to Mr. Ingersoll, who stood near, and in an irritated tone of voice said: “Who is this Frenchman who is tormenting me, and where is Mr. Everett?” Mr. Ingersoll explained that the Frenchman was the Count de Sartiges, and that Mr. Everett was probably presiding over his own dinner in the adjoining house.

My vis a vis at Mr. Everett’s table was Miss Ann G. Wight, a woman with an unusual history. She was born in Montgomery County, Maryland, and as a child was placed in a convent. She eventually became a nun and an inmate of the Convent of the Visitation in Georgetown, where she assumed the name of “Sister Gertrude.” She was an intellectual woman and was deeply beloved by her associates. Without any apparent cause, however, she planned an escape from the convent and sought the residence of her relative, General John P. Van Ness, dropping her keys, as I have understood, in Rock Creek as she passed over the Georgetown bridge. Mrs. Charles Worthington, a Catholic friend of mine who was educated at this same convent, gave me the following explanation of her conduct: There was an election for Mother Superior, and Miss Wight, deeply disappointed that she was not chosen to fill the position, was dissatisfied and when it became her turn to answer the front-door bell, suddenly determined to leave. She was, however, recognized by one of the priests, who followed her to General Van Ness’s residence, where he insisted upon seeing her. At first she refused to meet him, but, upon informing the General that he must learn from her own lips whether her departure was voluntary, she consented to see him in the presence of her relative. She admitted that she had in no way been influenced. When I first met Miss Wight she was more devoted to “the pride, pomp and circumstance” of the world than many who had not led such deeply religious lives. She was still living at the residence of General Van Ness, and I have heard that she always remained a Roman Catholic. During the Everett dinner my escort, Mr. Philip Griffith, remarked to me in an undertone: “We have an escaped nun here; are we going to have an auto da fe?” I responded that I believed it to be a matter of record that autos da fe were solely a courtly amusement.

Mrs. Sidney Brooks, formerly Miss Fanny Dehon of Boston, was another of Mr. Everett’s guests. She was a relative of our host, and it was her custom to make prolonged visits to the Everett home. Her presence in Washington was always hailed with delight. She was a pronounced blonde, and her reputation as a brilliant conversationalist was widely extended.

Rufus Choate was an occasional visitor in Washington subsequent to his brilliant senatorial career which ended in 1845. That I had the pleasure of intimately knowing this man of wit and erudition is one of the brightest memories of my life. His quaint humor was inexhaustible and some of his bright utterances will never perish. When a younger sister of mine was lying desperately ill in Washington in 1856 he called to inquire about her condition, and the tones of his sympathetic voice still linger in my ear. It has been fittingly said of Mr. Choate that even one’s name uttered by him was in itself a delicate compliment. It is to him we owe the inspiring quotation, “Keep step to the music of the Union,” which he uttered in his speech before the Whig convention of 1855. I have heard some of Mr. Choate’s clients dwell upon his mighty power as an advocate, and it seems to me that words of law flowing from such lips might have been suggestive of the harmony of the universe. The chirography of Mr. Choate was equal to any Chinese puzzle; it was even more difficult to decipher than that of Horace Greeley. I once received a note from him and was obliged to call upon my family to aid me in reading it. He had a fund of humor which was universally applauded by an admiring public. Once, in replying to a toast on Yale College at the “Hasty-Pudding” dinner, he said that “everything is to be irregular this evening.” He followed this remark by poking a little fun at the expense of the College by reading a portion of the will of Lewis Morris, one of the Signers and the father of Gouverneur Morris. This document was executed in 1760 in New York, and in it he expresses his “desire that my son, Gouverneur Morris, may have the best education that is to be had in Europe or America, but my express will and directions are that he be never sent for that purpose to the Colony of Connecticutt, lest he should imbibe in his youth that low craft and cunning so incident to the People of that Colony, which is so interwoven in their Constitutions that all their art cannot disguise it from the World; though many of them, under the sanctifyed garb of Religion, have endeavored to impose themselves on the World for honest men.” The laughter which followed the reading of this extract was as regular as the remarks were irregular. It may be added that Lewis Morris died two years after making this will, when his son Gouverneur was between ten and eleven years of age, and that his desires were respected, as his son was graduated from King’s (now Columbia) College in New York in 1768, when only sixteen years old. His father, cold in the grave, had his revenge on the “Colony of Connecticutt” and the hatchet, for aught we know to the contrary, was forever buried, while old Elihu’s college still survives in New Haven.

An anecdote relating to Gouverneur Morris still lingers in my memory. Before his marriage, quite late in life, to Miss Anne Cary Randolph, his nephew, Gouverneur Wilkins, was generally regarded as heir to his large estate. When a direct heir was born, Mr. Wilkins was summoned to the babe’s christening. One of the guests began to speculate upon the name of the youngster, when Mr. Wilkins quickly said, “Why, Cut-us-off-sky, of course,” in imitation of the usual termination of such a large number of Russian names.

In 1852 John F. T. Crampton was British Minister to the United States and I had the pleasure of knowing him quite well. He was a bachelor of commanding presence, and it was rather a surprise to Washingtonians that he evaded matrimonial capture! He lived in Georgetown in an old-time and spacious mansion, surrounded by ample grounds. The proverbial tea-drinking period had not arrived, but Mr. Crampton, notwithstanding this fact, gave afternoon receptions for which his house, by the way, was especially adapted. In 1856, during the Crimean War, an unpleasantness arose between Great Britain and this country in connection with the charge that Crampton had been instrumental in recruiting soldiers in the United States for service in the British Army. Accordingly, in May of the same year, President Pierce broke off diplomatic relations with him and he was recalled. There was never, however, any severe reflection made upon him by his home Ministry, and after his return to England he was made a Knight of the Bath by Lord Palmerston, and a little later became the British Minister at St. Petersburg. In the autumn of 1856, while in Russia, he married Victoire Balfe, second daughter of Michael William Balfe, the distinguished musical composer, from whom he was divorced in 1863.

I frequently attended receptions at the British Legation, and I particularly recall those in the spring of the year when they took the form of fêtes champêtres upon the well-kept lawn. On these occasions the Diplomatic Corps was well represented, as well as the resident society. I have heard a curious story about Henry Stephen Fox, the English Minister in Washington from 1836 to 1844. He evidently represented the sporting element of his day, as it was said he was en evidence all night and seldom visible by daylight. He was, moreover, exceedingly careless about some of the reasonable responsibilities of life which rendered it difficult for his creditors to secure an audience. They, however, surrounded his house in the First Ward one evening and demanded in clamorous tones that he should name a definite time when he would satisfy their claims. Fox appeared at a front window and pleasantly announced that, as they were so urgent in their demands, he would state a time which he hoped would meet with their satisfaction, and accordingly named in stentorian voice the “Day of Judgment.”

One of the constant visitors at our home on G Street was John Savile-Lumley, who was appointed in 1854 as the Secretary of the British Legation under Crampton, and in the following year became the English Charge d’affaires in Washington. I remember him as a fine looking gentleman and an especially pleasing specimen of the English race. He was the natural son of John Lumley-Savile, the eighth Earl of Scarborough, by a mother of French origin. After leaving Washington, he represented his country in Rome and other prominent courts of Europe, and, upon his retirement from the diplomatic service in 1888, was raised to the peerage as Baron Savile of Rufford in Nottinghamshire. The last I heard of him was through one of Lord Ronald Gower’s charming books of travel, where it states that he was representing Great Britain at the court of Leopold I. in Belgium. He died in the fall of 1896. His younger brother lived in London where, for a period, he acted as a sort of major-domo in society, and but few entertainments were considered complete without him.