Z Index Book outline
About these letters
About EJ Phillips
Baltimore 1892 Baltimore 1894 Baltimore
train stations Richmond VA 1893
EJP's Washington DC Google Map http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=202426891661796490166.00049833b1ebaec40c0c0&z=13
The Willard's Hotel (opened 1861 but a different building now) is still in business at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, and very elegant. Mary Glen had tea there in January 1992 with Linda Osborne and Sara Day, friends from her first post-college job at the Franklin Mint, which was splendid preparation for this project. She had just discovered these letters in Tennessee. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willard_InterContinental_Washington#History Julia Ward Howe wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic lyrics while staying at the Williard in 1861.
The Actors Fund group in 1887 went to the White House, the Diplomatic Reception Room in the State Department, the War Department and the Treasury Department, where the vaults were opened for them. College roommate Vicki Jackson included me in a tour of the White House with her family, thanks to a friend who worked there. Linda Osborne and I toured the Old Executive Office Building [OEOB] (built between 1871 and 1888) in Jan. 1992 https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wash/dc32.htm It housed the State, War and Navy Departments (and the tour pointed out differing door knobs for each agency.) OEOB, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Executive_Office_Building
State War & Navy Building 1917
Hamilton statue Treasury 2016
Treasury Dept 2016
Mary Glen & Linda Osborne at Williard Round Robin bar
The Treasury Building seems to be the same one used today (which is not where
money is printed.) Virtual tour of the Treasury Building
History of the Treasury Building http://www.treasury.gov/about/education/Pages/The-Treasury-Building.aspx Walked around outside, but haven't arranged for a tour yet.
Staying at the Marriott several times, across the street from the Willard Hotel and steps from the National Theatre I could see how close both are to the White House. I could see the Washington Monument from my hotel room, and wondered if EJ Phillips could -- of course it was not completed until 1885 and not open to the public until 1888. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Monument
Soldiers Home established 1851) still has four of the original buildings,
including what is now called Lincoln Cottage which Abraham Lincoln used as a
summer retreat during his presidency. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_Lincoln%27s_Cottage_at_the_Soldiers%27_Home
Arlington House became a memorial to Robert E Lee in 1955. Arlington National Cemetery was established at the mansion, in part to prevent the Lees from returning.
Finally visited both in April 2014, with Linda and Bob Osborne.
Washington Post MARCH 8 1885 On and Off the Stage THE THEATRICAL PERFORMANCES WHICH PLEASE THE PRESIDENT. Inauguration Weak in the Theatres -- inauguration week has been
a good one for the theatres. Some of the managers had doubts about its being a paying season, and told me that Washington people would have "show" enough in watching the display made by the visitors from abroad...
EJ Phillips performed in A Celebrated Case for Grover Cleveland’s inauguration in March 1885. it was at D & 9th St NW "Lincoln Hall Late" http://www.streetsofwashington.com/2012/07/briefly-noted-lincoln-hall.html
According to James Goode, Lincoln Hall was "one of the finest auditoriums in the Nation's Capital during the nineteenth century," a pre-cursor to the Kennedy Center. The ornate building was put up by a group of organizations including the YMCA in 1867. The Grand Army of the Republic, a Union Army veterans group, used the third floor of the building before they built their own meeting hall on Pennsylvania Avenue opposite the Willard Hotel. Lincoln Hall was destroyed by a devastating fire at 2 in the morning on a snowy December night in 1886. After the fire, the ruins were cleared away, and in 1890 another auditorium, the Academy of Music, was constructed and remained there until the 1950s. Whether it met the Star's safety standards is unknown.As seen in the stereoview, Lincoln Hall was extravagantly ornamented, perhaps surpassing even the Old Executive Office Building in its excess. Goode notes that the ornamentation may have been "in questionable architectural taste," but at least it provided whimsical delight to passersby. James M. Goode, Capital Losses (2003), p. 403, and newspaper articles.
Souvenir of the Inauguration Ball, March 4th, 1885 EJP and Palmer's company performed. The ball was in the New Pension Building (entrances at the F, G and 5th Street doors). No hat, bonnets, overcoats nor cloaks, allowed to be worn on the ball room floor. Persons not allowed to stand in centre of "dancing halls" during dancing.
of my most exciting discoveries came in Sept. 2003 when I finally got around to
visiting the Building Museum and realized
that EJ Phillips had been there for
Cleveland's 1885 Inaugural Ball. The
Pension Building is now the National Building Museum in Washington DC.
Pension Building History http://www.gsa.gov/portal/ext/html/site/hb/category/25431/actionParameter/exploreByBuilding/buildingId/123
Pension Office Interior c.1918
discovered which play the Union Square Company was playing in for the
inauguration -- A Celebrated Case at Herzog's Hall, 9th St and D NW. This
theatre burned and the
Academy of Music was in the same location in 1894.
Madison Square Company's
trip to Washington DC April 18, 1887 for an
Benefit performance of
Jim the Penman
April 18, 1887 "The party was met with coaches and carriages at the depot and carried to the Arlington, where they were guests of Mr. Roessie, the proprietor. The dinner in the
banquet-room of the Reverdy Johnson House annex. "one of the most complete given in Washington this season.
Arlington House Hotel was at Vermont between H and I Streets, now the site of the Dept of Veterans Affairs. http://streetsofwashington.blogspot.com/2010/08/opulent-arlington-hotel.html Connected to the main hotel building on its north end as an annex was the former mansion of British Minister Reverdy Johnson
The Botanic Garden is one of my favorite places in
http://www.usbg.gov/history/history.cfm Open to the public since 1850
the location seems to have moved several times. Could EJ Phillips have
seen it during Grover Cleveland's inauguration or another time?
1874 Botanic Garden near the US Capitol
1891 previous: New York 1891
April 24th 1891
My dear Son,
just heard that we are to be a travelling company until Jany 1892. "Ben"
Harrison was President] is not at home so I could not present your
compliments to him - he is swinging around California somewhere. I walked
around the White House yesterday, but did not go in. I do
not yet know where we shall put up in Baltimore, but you can direct
AM Palmer Co Theatre. That will find me. Love and Kisses etc. Mother
Washington Post 1891 April 24 SAINTS AND SINNERS An Excellent Production by Mr. Palmer’s Company Last Night "Saints and Sinners," presented by the Palmer Company at the National last night, does not lack for striking and effective situations, even though its plot and motive have grown worn with use. Apr. 25 ad "AM Palmer's Madison Square Theater Co." National Theater Today at 2 A Pair of Spectacles and A Man of the World. Tonight at 8 Jim the Penman JIM THE PENMAN AT THE NATIONAL "Jim, the Penman," was warmly appreciated at the New National last night, as given by A. M. Palmer's Company. The cast included Frederic Robinson, Maurice Barrymore, E. M. Holland. Miss Dyas. Mrs. Craddock, and others.
April 25th 1891
Dear daughter Penelope,
I am delighted that [grandson] Edward is doing so well and enjoys his outings so much - he will grow good and strong with such treatment. I hope you will have him christened Sunday. Of course it would afford me great pleasure to be present - but I think his christening is too important to be put off until I could attend, which could not possibly be for some weeks to come.
Sorry I had to disappoint you, in not returning to pay you another visit - but the promise was made when, by the advertisements in the papers, I thought I would not have to leave New York until the 3rd of May, and it was rather difficult to get away to say goodbye to Hattie. I did get away though, on the Friday morning at 9, and returned by the 4 PM train on the Monday, Mr. Millward, our prompter, having kindly dropped me a note on the Saturday telling me the company playing in Alabama were going to be photographed on the Monday, and there would not be a rehearsal until Tuesday 11 AM. That gave me a few more hours with Hattie than I first expected. I think Hattie is getting along very nicely - I think has now gained strength to enable her to get through her approaching sickness [baby due]. She was at Mrs. Dolman's on Thursday and thinks she perhaps may not again go so far until the "picnic" is over. Anytime after the 6th of May we may expect squalls.
The report is that the company leave for Portland Ore on the 13th of July, to open there on the 20th for one week, and that the company will travel from that time until January 1892. Whether I am included or not I cannot say, but the supposition is that I am, and I do not object - it is not so lonesome for me when I am traveling and no more expensive.
I have not been feeling very well for the past few days, have dyspepsia. We had very hot weather coming over on the cars, and I drank a very cold apollonian lemonade which I think checked up my digesting apparatus, and I ate some canned chicken which added to my misery, and on Monday & Tuesday I felt very wretched. I have not told Hattie anything about it, for she has enough to worry her in her present condition, [pregnant with Elizabeth Ellen] without worrying about me. I had some mixture from the drugstore which helped me very much and I feel better.
Yesterday I went to see the Soldier's Home - a beautiful place. The weather has been so hot & not feeling well I have not done half the sight-seeing I intended to. Still I know a little more about Washington than I did. It is a beautiful city and seems to be improving very fast - new streets are being opened up in all directions and grand residences are being built. I do not wonder that Walter [Dolman] wants his mother to come and live here. It is just lovely. But I suppose it would require a couple millions bank book to make one comfortable as one would wish to be amidst such gorgeous surroundings.
Jack is now wearing kilt skirts, jerseys and reefer jacket. Hattie writes that he looks very nice in them and that "people do not mistake him for a girl". She wanted a girl but does not like to have Jack taken for a girl! Think I will now take pity upon you and stop or you will be fatigued reading all this. Think of me at the christening, for I shall think of you all and be with you in thought, if not in person. Love and Kisses etc. Mother
Soldier's Home and Lincoln Cottage
Described in the 1942
WPA Guide to Washington DC as "one of the most attractive sites in the District"
and "the oldest soldiers' home in the United States", it is still in Northwest
Washington, not far from Catholic University and the Shrine of the Immaculate
Conception. Both Winfield Scott and Jefferson Davis were instrumental in its
founding by an act of Congress in 1851.
Lincoln Cottage Soldiers' Home Mary Glen went with Bob and Linda Osborne in April 2014. Thanks to Bob who took these photographs.
Nearby is Rock Creek Cemetery, with St. Gaudens' memorial to Clover Hooper Adams, erected in 1891. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_Memorial_(Saint-Gaudens)
Arlington House, Arlington Cemetery April 2014
Linda and Mary Glen, View is indeed great! Philip Sheridan's tomb Pierre L'Enfant's tomb in front of Arlington House
General Philip Sheridan 1831-1888 is buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington House, Robert E Lee Memorial http://www.nps.gov/arho/planyourvisit/directions.htm
next: Buffalo May 1891 previous: New York Oct. 1892 Columbus Celebration
Washington Post Dec. 29, 1892 "
Next Week's Amusements" "Joseph" at the Academy of Music
There seems to be no doubt that theater-goers will have a rare treat when Ramsey Morris' comedy company (from New York) presents "Joseph" next week. The cast shows a brilliant list of names. "Joseph" should not be confounded with farce-comedy and Manager Morris' company will demonstrate the fact that they can make an audience roar for nearly three hours without once resorting to horse play or low buffoonery. "Joseph" ran for over 700 nights in Paris.
O G Staples, Proprietor
Late of the Thousand Island House
January 4th 1893
My dear daughter Neppie,
I arrived at Hattie's New Years Morning at 5:30. I did not have to knock at the door for Hattie & John were downstairs before I was out of the carriage, and though no noise was made by any of us, the door was only just closed when Jack called out, "I'm in bed Grandma; come up stairs and see me". Of course I did so, and was hugged & Kissed and made very welcome by him, but it was too early for any of them to get up, so I went to bed and had three hours sleep which I much needed, having gone through a very hard week of travel. Bad theatres & hotels and felt pretty tired.
After breakfast I was shown Jack's tree and all his presents of which he had a goodly number and was much delighted with all. I left the house a little after 11. Hattie & Jack going with me to Broad St Station and John joined us there. I took the 12:25 train and reached here at 4 PM. We had a very quiet nice day & a good dinner. Roast Turkey, cranberry sauce, &c and an English plum pudding made by Mrs. Harrison and sent by Maud [Harrison] as a Xmas gift to us all and a very delicious present it was.
We are here for a week and it seems quite like a rest. We have had two good houses so far, the play has made a "hit" and the prospect is good for the rest of the week. From here we go to Richmond, Va for three nights, that will be the 9th, 10th, & 11th. On the 12th will be in Norfolk, Va, the 13th & 14th I am not sure of. We will be in Charleston [West] Va. On the 16th Cincinnati for a week, Albert's native town. One of the tours will be Toledo for 3 nights. We will open at the "Union Square" Theatre, NY on the 20th of March for three weeks and perhaps longer. Weather is very cold here! I am sitting by a grate fire and have my plaid shawl over my shoulders and still do not feel warm enough.
O.G. Staples, Proprietor
Late of the Thousand Island House
Jany 6th 1893
My dear Son,
Astonished to hear you have no sleighing - the sleighs are running here in fine order and the swells are displaying their fine "turnouts". I went out at noon to take a walk but was glad to come back.
We had a very poor house last night in consequence of the snow-storm, I suppose. Mr. [Ramsey] Morris said to me last night that he wanted to talk to me about next season. He hints of being established permanently in a New York Theatre should Joseph be a hit in New York we shall remain for a longer period than three weeks. I am afraid though that the Union Square is not the right theatre for us - too far downtown now.
Jack has a hook and ladder wagon drawn by two white horses - an engine drawn by a white and a bay - a hose cart also drawn by two horses. He said "Santa Claus brought him just what he wanted".
I suppose you have seen by the papers that AMP[almer] is to have possession of the Madison Garden Theatre in 1894. The company are now playing Alabama in Boston & rehearsing Lady Windermere's Fan" for next week I guess. Miss [Julia] Arthur, Miss [May] Brookyn & Mrs. [DP] Bowers are the ladies in the cast. [JH] Stoddart & [Frederic] Robinson are not in it. [Maurice] Barrymore, [Edward M.] Bell & [EM] Holland are. Miss [Maud] Harrison is still idle, as I suppose I should have been, had I not been lucky enough to accept this. In short time, you may hear from me, that I have re-engaged with Mr. [Ramsey] Morris. My love & Kisses to Ted, Neppie and yourself from your loving Mother
My dear Son,
On account of cold weather & snow our business suffered, but we had a fine house last night, and the play has made a hit and a return date is talked of at some future day. Mr. [Ramsey] Morris wants me for the next season.
Georgie Drew Barrymore
taken very ill in San F'co and is being sent home by Sea. Poor woman she is
having a hard time of it. [She died July 2, 1893 in Santa Barbara California.]
I play in Pike's Opera House, Cin'ti [Cincinnati] and think I shall stop at the Burnett House as it is the nearest to theatre. My love and Kisses to Neppie, Ted & Albert my 3 dear "Kids" from their loving Mother
Washington DC: National Theatre http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Theatre_(Washington,_D.C.)#History
opposite Capitol Park
Rates reduced to $2.50 & $3.00 per day
Comfortable coaches run to & from all stations & steamboat landings
Jany 10th 1893
My dear Son,
Glad that you have the prospect of good sleighing. I am tired of cold weather. I wish they would take us down to New Orleans You will see we are still jumping around the map and likely to do so until the 25th of June. We have a lot of traveling before reaching Union Square Theatre on the 20th of March. With love & Kisses to Neppie, Ted and Albert from their loving Mother
next: Cincinnati Jan 1893 previous: Pittsburg, Nov 1894
Washington, D.C. Decr 4th 1894
My dear Son,
Here I am at the Capitol of the Nation. Opened last night to a fine house, Mrs. Grover Cleveland being present with Mrs. Carlisle, Bissell and other dignitaries, but I did not see them.
I sent Neppie our route until the 18th of Feby. We have more travelling than I expected, having some few one night stands. In March we play in New York and Miss Olga [Nethersole] sails for England in May.
Barton Hill is now with us in place of Mr. [JH] Barnes who retired last Sat night. He sails for England about the 12th. I have the White House, Treasury Building and Park in view as I write and the theatre is next door to me. From my window I can see the late Gen. Robert E Lee's residence across the Potomac. Arlington the place is called and now the Soldier's Cemetery where Phil Sheridan is buried & other great men. Love and Kisses to you all dear children Neppie, Ted and Albert from your loving Mother
Wilson Shannon Bissell (1847-1903) was Post-Master General 1893-1895. John G. Carlisle (1834-1910) Secretary of the Treasury 1893-1897
Washington Post Dec. 4, 1894 review
Olga Nethersole's debut before a Washington audience as Camille
The general verdict of those who lingered at Albaugh's until nearly midnight last night to witness the closing scenes of "Camille" is that the advance notices of Miss Olga Nethersole's have been none too glowing and that England has at last sent us a great emotional actress -- possibly a tragedienne. The mere fact that she could, for nearly four hours, maintain interest in that time-worn and tearful tragedy may be taken as an indication that an artist of new and original powers is before and that a new Camille has been born.
In her first scenes she is Camille the siren, willful and coquettish, spoiled and a trifle pettish, but intensely real. She does not flirt with Armand but her fascination is undeniable and the first important fact of the drama - why the hero should throw himself away on a woman of her class -- is firmly established. After that the other events follow logically, but she must be more than merely beautiful to win Armand in the first place.
Miss Nethersole is thoroughly consistent. Her strong scenes are impassioned but not theatric. Like Mrs. Kendall she is not afraid to spoil her makeup by faithful imitation of a woman in tears. This was rather too realistic for some of the masculine element in the audience, but it is only truth to state that after her interview with Armand's father - - a long and trying scene of sustained intensity -- half the women in the house were in tears. Likewise her death bed scene, while not so realistic as to be revolting, was wonderfully near to the truth. In short she is a modern actress who knows how to hold the mirror up to nature, without revealing or concealing too much.
Miss Nethersole's support in this play is good. Maurice Barrymore being a manly and convincing Armand, while Barton Hill and Mrs. Phillips are excellent in their roles. There was a fine audience, including Mrs. Cleveland, Secretary and Mrs. Carlisle, Mrs. Bissell, Logan Carlisle, Senator Mitchell, Mavroyent Bay, and many members of Congress and the diplomatic corps.
Washington Post Dec. 6, 1894
AS THE FAIR JULIET Her Personal Triumph Complete"
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear is Miss Olga Nethersole's Juliet compared with the support she receives in this play. Personally the young English actress is a revelation and a fulfillment of the powers of which she gave promise in "Camille", but "Romeo and Juliet" is not a one part play. It is only truth to say that Mr. Barrymore's Romeo is as much a disappointment as his Armand was an agreeable surprise. He looks the part, and some of his scenes are excellent, but others are as crude and ill-digested as to destroy the harmony of his whole characterization. Beyond the Friar Lawrence of Barton Hill and the Nurse of Mrs. EJ Phillips, there is little to commend the rest of the cast.
Washington Post, Dec. 9, 1894
IN RE OLGA NETHERSOLE Some Critical Comments on the New English Actress
No new and almost unknown actress has come to Washington within recent years and in a single week's engagement gained such general and enthusiastic approval as Miss Olga Nethersole. ... As Juliet she challenged comparison with Julia Marlowe, who has long been Washington's prime favorite in this part. ... In the Transgressor she may be said to have risen superior to the play, but in Camille her triumph was unqualified. ,,, Miss Nethersole is yet a young woman, only 21 it is said-- and she has been seven years on the stage. ...she does not come from a theatrical family, her father being a London solicitor. She was educated partly in Germany and partly in the public schools of England. Her stage aspirations were early pronounced and in March 1887 she made her first professional appearance at the Theatre Royal, Brighton. ...After fifteen months provincial appearance Miss Nethersole made her London debut at the Adelphi Theatre in Pettit and Grundy's play "The Union Jack". more on Olga Nethersole
Washington Post 1894 Dec 2 Olga Nethersole at Albaugh's Dec 6 Miss Nethersole's Call Upon Mrs. Cleveland Dec 8 Albaugh's Olga Nethersole in "Camille," afternoon, "The Transgressor," evening "JANE EYRE" UP TO DATE. That Describes "The Transgressor" as Played by Miss Nethersole.
Imagine "Jane Eyre" dramatized with a strong emotional actress In the title role, and one has a good idea of "The Transgressor," A. W. Gattie's new play, presented by Miss Olga Nethersole, at Albaugh's last night.
Bob and Linda Barrett Osborne have been terrific companions from the earliest days of this project up to the present and invaluable traveling companions dating to the time we were all living in England, they in London and I in Oxford, and have made possible many of my expeditions in Washington, to the Library of Congress and were instrumental in uncovering the Dr. Nagle/Jacob Riis connection. .
1880s Penn Station DC https://www.whitehousehistory.org/photos/exterior-of-old-pennsylvania-station was on Mall where National Gallery of Art now stands
The 1887 Actors Fund benefit performance of Jim the Penman in Washington DC group traveled by a special train provided by the Pennsylvania Railroad Co.
Washington DC Railroad History Timeline
August 25,1835 Washington Branch of the Baltimore & Ohio RR (B&O) opens for service. First station located at 2nd & Pennsylvania Ave. NW, now an empty site at the edge of the U.S. Capitol grounds. ...April 9,1851 2nd B&O RR Station opens at New Jersey Ave & C St NW, across from the present day Teamsters Headquarters. ...June 21, 1870 Congress approves the Baltimore & Potomac RR (B&P) entering Washington via a bridge across the Anacostia River and a tunnel under Virginia Avenue, SE from 11th to 8th St. and tracks on Virginia Ave to 6th St. SW with a location for its station on the Mall at 6th & B St. NW (today's Constitution Ave). The Baltimore & Potomac station was built on the present-day site of The National Gallery of Art. Today's freight only Virginia Avenue trackage was the original freight & passenger mainline until Union Station's opening. Bob Cohen, Washington DC Chapter, National Railway Historical Society http://www.dcnrhs.org/learn/washington-d-c-railroad-history/timeline-of-washington-d-c-railroad-history
Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society, Clifton Forge, VA http://cohs.org/ more on Railroads
Washington DC Theaters more in
National Theater 1321 Pennsylvania Ave NW opened 1835
Anderson, Brian for Ford's Theatre Society, Ford's Theatre, Arcadia Publishing, 2014
DC Historic House Consortium http://dchousemuseums.org/
Historic Houses in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia
DeFerrari, John , Historic Restaurants of Washington DC, Charleston SC, History Press, 2013 https://www.amazon.com/Historic-Restaurants-Washington-D-C-American/dp/1626191263
Federal Writer's Project, WPA Guide to Washington DC, New York : Pantheon Books, 1983 (originally published 1937/42)
George, Rebecca Langston, The Booth Brothers: Drama, Fame and the Death of President Lincoln, Capstone Press, 2018
Historical Society of Washington DC and DC History http://www.dchistory.org/
Taylor, Tom, Our American Cousin, Applewood Books, reprint of 1858
Twain, Mark and Charles Dudley Warner, The Gilded Age: A tale of today, 1873 http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3178
Washington on Foot, edited by John J. Protopappas and Alvin R. McNeal, Washington DC, National Capital Area Chapter, American Planning Association and Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992.
Ghosts of DC https://ghostsofdc.org/ 1880s 1890s, Grover Cleveland and more
Washington Post, Proquest 1877+ https://www.proquest.com/documents/ProQuest_Historical_Newspapers_Washington_Post.html
Last updated Dec. 29, 2019
|1885||3||2||to Mar 7||Wash DC||Herzog's Museum||Celebrated Case performed by Union Square Theatre Co|
|1885||3||4||Wash DC||Grover Cleveland's inauguration and Inaugural Ball|
|1887||4||16||Wash DC||National Theatre||Jim the Penman Actors fund benefit visit to White House|
|1887||4||18||Wash DC||Company visits White House State Dept war Dept Navy Dept Treasury|
|1891||4||24||1 week||Wash DC||National Theatre||Saints & Sinners Jim the Penman|
|1893||1||4||1 week||Wash DC||Acad Music||Joseph|
|1894||12||4||Wash DC||Albaughs||Camille Romeo and Juliet Transgressor|
|1992||1||3||1891-93||Wash DC||.trip||MG has
tea at the Willard with Linda Osborne and Sara Day Learns years later
EJP stayed at Willard in 1890s
2014 MG and the Osbornes go to Arlington and Lincoln Cottage in search of
2017 MG goes to Ford's Theatre in Washington DC.
2018 MG goes to Baltimore in search of EJP
A to Z Index
About these letters
About EJ Phillips