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"Arianne ." <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 1 Jul 2019 13:47:01 -0700
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Thank you for this information. I know about this article and think of
Swinton as one of his pals but also Richardson might’ve been the one I’m
wondering about. I really appreciate your help grateful Arianne

On Mon, Jul 1, 2019 at 12:26 PM John H. Muller <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Arianne,
> Thanks for your note. The walking tour of Twain in D.C. is mostly
> Pennsylvania Avenue from the White Hose to the area of the Newseum. We
> visit the Willard, which warrants a mention of Grant, but we do not visit
> the area where Grant lived before becoming President. The story I think you
> are alluding to was contained in the January 16, 1868 dispatch Twain sends
> from Washington City to the Daily Alta California, which published the
> story 14 February 1868.
> While Twain does not name who "we" are it is likely William Swinton, one of
> his most well-known drinking pals while in Washington City.
> Here's the link to the dispatch
> *Grant's Reception.*
> We went there, last night, to see what these great receptions are like. A
> crowd of carriages was arriving, and a procession of gentlemen and ladies
> pouring in at the door. We found a "good house" within, already, but
> evidently the reception had not begun. A band of uniformed Dutchmen were
> playing brass instruments, and ladies were flitting about from parlor to
> parlor like the little busy bee that improves each shining hour. We removed
> overcoats, up-stairs, where the gentlemen were corralled, and at the proper
> time followed down with the rest. General and Mrs. Grant stood in one of
> the back parlors, and the people were filing past them and shaking hands.
> At intervals, some lady or gentleman well known to them, halted for a
> moment and spoke a few words, and occasionally some lout that did not know
> as much as a large dictionary stopped to say the dozen sentences he had
> gotten by heart for the occasion -- and he always got pushed along by the
> crowd, and never had a chance to finish them; then he felt awkward, and
> backed on somebody's feet, and turned to apologize and lowly bowed his head
> into somebody's intervening back, and at the same moment stepped on
> somebody else's toes -- and so, butting, and crushing, and apologizing, he
> would shortly be swallowed from sight in the crowd. I stood against the
> wall, close by, and watched the reception ceremony for an hour, and I
> cannot tell when I enjoyed anything so much. Poor, modest, bored, unhappy
> Grant stood smileless, anxious, alert, with every faculty of his mind
> intensely bent upon the business before him, and nervously seized each hand
> as it came, and while he gave it a single shake, looked not upon its owner,
> but threw a quick look-out for the next. And if for a moment his hand was
> left idle, his arm hung out from his body with a curve that was suggestive
> of being ready for business at a moment's notice. And so he seized each
> hand, passed it on, grabbed for the next, passed it, grabbed again, with
> his soul in his work and that absorbed anxiety in his eye; and it reminded
> me irresistibly of a new hand catching bricks -- a new hand that was full
> of misgivings; fearful that he might make a miss, but determined to catch
> every brick that came, or perish in the attempt. He is not a large man; he
> is a particularly plain-looking man; his hair is straight and lustreless,
> his head is large, square of front and perpendicular in the rear, where the
> selfish organs of the head lie; he is less handsome than his pictures, and
> his face, at this time, at any rate, lacked the satisfied, self-possessed
> look one sees in them; he is broad of beam, and his uniform sat as
> awkwardly upon him as if he had never been in it before.
> General Grant had all my sympathies -- I had none for the visitors. The
> stylishly dressed old stagers who had been at receptions before, and knew
> all about them, moved complacently up, with many a smirk and stately
> obeisance, shook hands, laughed pleasantly, said a word, and swept on,
> composedly -- perfectly well satisfied with themselves. But the towering
> boys from the interior, with a kind of human vegetable look about them, and
> a painful air of discomfort about their gloved hands and their unfamiliar
> Sunday clothes, were in a constant flutter of uneasiness; they seized the
> General's hand, gave it a wring and dropped it suddenly, as if it had been
> hot, then staggered, in a bewildered way, discovered Mrs. Grant, came to
> the scratch again, got tangled as to the etiquette of the business, thrust
> out a paw, drew it back, thrust it out again, snatched it back once more,
> bent down, far down, in a portentous salaam, and then reeled away giddily
> and ground somebody's foot to pulp under their responsible No. 13's.
> Everyone of them came with his mind made up as to what he was going to do
> and say, and then forgot it all, failed to do it or say it either.
> Bye and bye the parlors were crowded. Old Dowagers were there with
> marketable daughters; little maids in the blushing diffidence of girlhood;
> imperious dames of the F. F. V. in the imposing costumes of a former
> generation; chattering young ladies of fashion, with elaborately painted
> faces and uncovered bosoms; General officers in uniform; foreign Ministers
> with orders upon their breasts; gold-laced naval heroes; and half a dozen
> young masculine noodles in white kids a size to small, scarf-pins that were
> dazzling, claw-hammers without dust or wrinkle, hair fearfully and
> wonderfully done up, and faces whereon were written -- nothing. About
> one-half the company had the old complaint -- they could not think of
> anything to say -- they could not determine upon an attitude that was
> satisfactory to them -- they did not know what on earth to do with their
> hands. They were an aimless, uneasy, unhappy lot, and deserved compassion.
> General Sheridan was there -- a little bit of a round-headed,
> broad-breasted, short-legged young Irishman, with hair cropped down to
> plush on his large, ungainly head, and with nothing in him that is in his
> features save the bright spirit that is in his eye and the bravery that is
> in his lip. He is very homely. And Seward was present also, with his
> splendid beak, and a scar and an ugly protuberance on his port cheek that
> come of the murderous attempt upon his life the night Mr. Lincoln was shot.
> The reception was still under headway and Grant was still wearily "shaking"
> the old crowds and shaking hands with the news ones when we departed. His
> gloves that were so white and smooth at first, were worn and soiled and
> greasy then. His exhausting watch was only half over -- it was but little
> after nine o'clock.
> On Sat, Jun 29, 2019 at 3:51 PM Arianne . <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > ) Dear John
> >
> > (I have always wanted to say that)
> >
> >  Do you by any chance include the house where Ulysses S Grant lived
> before
> > he became president? Somewhere I read that Clemens and some reporter
> friend
> > of his went to that house to contact grants father to take him out
> > drinking. I can’t remember where I heard that or read it. Have you heard
> > that story? I would love to pin down the source of it  And to know which
> > reporter friend was with him.
> >
> > Thanks for any help.  I sure would love to go on your tour if I ever get
> > back to New York. Thanks again Arianne Laidlaw
> >
> > On Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 12:03 PM John H. Muller <
> > [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > ---
> > >
> > > Starting near the Jackson statue in Lafayette Square, journey back to
> the
> > > mid-19th century, when Mark Twain spent the winter of 1867–68 working
> as
> > a
> > > journalist for a half-dozen newspapers. Join historian and author of
> > “Mark
> > > Twain in Washington, D.C: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent”
> John
> > > Muller as you travel to sites like the Willard Hotel, Newspaper Row,
> and
> > > the old City Hall to uncover this little-known but pivotal chapter in
> > > Twain’s life. While walking, you’ll hear captivating stories about
> > Twain’s
> > > time in various boarding houses and the lively, irreverent, and
> > > hard-drinking bohemian correspondents he ran with.
> > >
> > > Learn About Mark Twain’s Years in Washington, DC!
> > >
> > > - Historian and author John Muller reveals the untold stories of one of
> > the
> > > most famous authors of all time.
> > >
> > > - Visit Essential Historic Sites
> > >
> > > - John leads you on an adventure stretching more than a half-century as
> > you
> > > visit places like Newspaper Row, the old Police Court, and more.
> > >
> > > - Get some steps in - approximately 1.5 miles - with friendly,
> > like-minded
> > > people.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > John Muller
> > > 202.236.3413
> > > Capital Community News l Greater Greater Washington l Washington
> > Syndicate
> > >
> > > *Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C: The Lion of Anacostia
> > > <
> > >
> >
> > > >*
> > > [The
> > > History Press, 2012]  Winner of 2013 DC READS
> > > Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital
> Correspondent
> > > <> [The History Press, 2013]
> > >
> > --
> > Arianne Laidlaw A '58
> >
> --
> John Muller
> 202.236.3413
> Capital Community News l Greater Greater Washington l Washington Syndicate
> *Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C: The Lion of Anacostia
> <
> >*
> [The
> History Press, 2012]  Winner of 2013 DC READS
> Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent
> <> [The History Press, 2013]
Arianne Laidlaw A '58