The transcriptions of the Lucy Scott West journal were prepared by Tom Culberston and Verna Young of the Hayes Presidential Center. Lucy wrote the original journal entries on Executive Mansion paper. Each was done in crosshatch fashion. Descendants of Lucy Scott West, owners of the journal granted the Hayes Presidential Center permission to place the transcriptions on the web site.
Lucy Scott, daughter of Isaac Webb and Mary (Buchanan) Scott, M.D., born in Kentucky in 1859, moved with her parents to New Orleans after the Civil War. There her father joined with his brother, Dr. Joseph Scott, in forming a medical practice. The brothers fought on opposing sides during the Civil War, and few of New Orleans' wealthier citizens would consult with Lucy's father as he had fought against the South. The brothers were double cousins to Lucy Webb Hayes, their mother being a sister of Lucy Webb Hayes' father, and their father being an uncle of Lucy Webb Hayes' mother. Due to the difficulties arising from Isaac Webb Scott's Civil War service, Lucy's prospects for attracting a proper suitor were dim. Her family arranged for a series of visits among Northern relatives whereby Lucy would be introduced to eligible gentlemen. Her "coming out," as it was then phrased, began at the home of the most prestigious of her cousins - Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes and the nation's First Lady. After her visit to Kentucky, Lucy journeyed to the home of her cousin, Lucy McFarland Bergland at West Point, New York, the Judge Charles Scott home at New Brunswick, New Jersey; the Mrs. James Stillwell home in Livingston County, Illinois; and, once again, to the John McFarland home in Lexington, Kentucky. While at the White House, Lucy met West Point first classman and future cavalry officer Lt. Barrington King West whom she later married in Lexington, Kentucky (in 1883). The couple moved to Fort Apache where they spent ten difficult years of frontier duty. They later returned to Washington, D.C. where she assisted another First Lady, cousin Caroline Scott Harrison. Lucy and Barrington were the parents of four children. Lucy died in 1923 at Lexington, Virginia.
Scope and Content
Lucy Scott West's firsthand account of her stay at the Executive Mansion presents a rare glimpse of life inside the White House during the Hayes Administration. While at the White House, Miss Scott wrote letters home in a "journal" style with nearly daily entries, using a cross-hatch writing pattern. The first entry occurs on February 16, 1878. And the final entry, dated March 19, 1878, informs her family of her safe arrival in Lexington, Kentucky. Lucy describes Hayes family members, social events, guests, table arrangements, and White House decor as well as tours around the capitol, including Mount Vernon and Arlington.
Photocopies of original journal entries and transcriptions of same
Nov. 14th 1877
My dear Cousin-
Will you pardon my writing with pencil. Of course I understand about the selection of time being at my request - and now I will say I shall be very happy to see the cousin in February - but don't like a declination on your part - only defer it to a more convenient season. I received your kind letter in due time but if I have not had your excuse actually. I might refer you to Lu in explanation of my time - this morning I have had calls social calls from strangers ladies seven - gentlemen a portion of a delegation all gentlemen of New York City - two of the number were old acquaintances hence the early call - a rather larger number than normal but what I lack in numbers is made up in time - other days - I saw Cousin Mary and Lu a few days ago. I have prepared their mind for a visit from me this pleasant weather - it is a great pleasure to know they are so near us - Tell Lu little Fan is struggling with music and French and really begins to feel that she has much care - My love to the other Lucy and I only hope to love her as I always have her dear father.
Again I must apologize for the pencil but my letter of yesterday is just being finished this morning -
With kind regards and love
LUCY SCOTT'S WHITE HOUSE JOURNAL
My dear Family
According to Mama's advice I intend to write a weekly bulletin for yr edification & will send it every Saturday. Was very glad to hear from home but can not understand how it happened that you received no letters from me for such a long time. I wrote the last week I spent in Lex & twice while in N.Y. It would be impossible for me to tell you how happy & contented I am here; just picture to yourselves the bliss of living in the Royal Palace, dining sumptuously, being always robed in purple & fine linen; having more invitations than you can possibly accept beaux in abundance; concerts, lectures, operas, theatre parties, etc. succeeding one another without intermission & lasts but by no means least, else pleasurable sensation that every body feels honored by yr attentions & you may in a faint degree comprehend my situation. Thursday night I attended Secretary Evarts Reception & Mrs. Jeffrey's Ball; both most elegant entertainments but "Oh ye Gods & little fishes" what a crush upon my word we were half an hour getting up the steps to the dressing room (at Sec. Evarts) & down again. Every body & his wife was there & the rooms presented the strange appearance of a dense mass of human beings struggling about helplessly in the most inextricable confusion. Two thousand invitations had been issued. The house is lovely & large enough for airy seasonable festivity. The library, supper room & saloon parlors were thrown open on the first floor & there were two or three lovely little apartments up stairs where you could take yr ease & sip coffee, chocolate, or tea. A great many celebrities were present among others the Japanese minister an unnatural looking little specimen, & the wife of the Spanish Minister. She is a most striking & elegant woman famed for her good taste & the elegance & beauty of her toilets. At present she is in mourning for the Pope & at the Secretary's was attired in a lovely dress of some rich black material, low neck & short sleeves with long black gloves. Her diamonds are magnificent & both her neck & hair were ablaze with them.
Last night I went to Mrs. Wise s Musicale & afterwards to a large dancing party given by Miss Coleman. This latter was the party of the season & Cousin
Lucy was especially anxious for me to be there. I wore my white silk & looked unusually gorgeous. Miss Coleman has the reputations of giving the most select entertainments in the city & it certainly appears to be true. The whole house was thrown open & brilliantly illuminated. We (the Executive party) arrived about 10 P.M. & found the rooms comparatively empty; but , about half past ten the rush began & by l1 the rooms were full through not too crowded for comfort. The ball-room had an inlaid floor & was waxed to the last degree of slipperiness.
At twelve supper was announced & never in my life have I seen such a beautiful & elegant table. Terrapin, rare wines, costly French dishes delicious ices etc etc It is not my habit to eat much at a party but I really ate more there than ever before.
Monday Feb 18th/78
The Saturday Reception was unusually large & very pleasant. We ladies entered the East Room at exactly 3 P.M. & immediately the doors were opened & a perfect crowd rushed in. I was to have stood with Cousin Lucie [sic] as it was my first appearance (last Saturday I was very unwell) but one of the ushers mistook his orders & told me she wished me to stand with Miss Foote which I did. It was the most exciting scene I ever witnessed strictly speaking I shook hands with at least ten people a minute & before I had been in the room twenty minutes was so demoralized that 1 would leave given anything for wooden digits. Met two old friends of yrs, one a Mrs. Rand of the Navy; the other one of yrs & Papa's old St. Louis friends formerly a Miss Julia Garrett or Garrard I don t know which, but at all events a most lovely woman not looking a day over thirty; with beautiful dark eyes & hair & fine complexion. The Reception lasted until 5 P.M. when we ladies "Folded our tents like the Arabs & as silently stole away", going immediately with the exception of Cousin Lucy & Miss Foote to another Reception given by Mrs. Carlile Patterson of Brentwood, one of the first families in Wash. & by the way related to the St. Louis Pattersons. They have a grand old place in the suburbs & give delightful entertainments. We had a very pleasant time there & returned at 7 P.M. for dinner. After dinner I went to the Theatre with Mr. Bergland. The Grand Duchess was given & listened to most attentively by a large audience. Sunday I dined with Mrs. Emory at 2 P.M. Met there a Mr. Parrish a young lawyer of Phila. & Miss Wainwright - Sallie's cousin. The dinner was very good & excellently cooked. Also had very good sherry & claret. Returned here at 5 P.M. & managed to get through without another dinner, of which, as it was very nice I will send you the menu
This morning I have been driving with Cousin Lucy & went to Mr. Browne's studio to see a full length portrait of the President which has just been finished. Passed Corcoran's Home for Old Ladies commonly called the Louise. It is a beautiful red brick building three stories, a mansard & a basement & seems well cared for.
Tuesday Feb 19/78
Aunt has been at this desk all morning but at last I have a chance to do my day's scribbling. Had a splendid time last night at the reception (you know Cousin receives every night) & met crowds of pleasant people among others yr old friend now Mrs. Alexander of the Army nee Miss Julia Barrett. The Vice President made quite a long call as did several other notabilities. Of all people in the world who do you think called on me? Why Mrs. Runkle & Maude. You remember them n'est pas? Maud is very pretty & has quite sweet manners. Mrs. & Miss Snead (Miss Grundy also honored me with a special visit & I found them very agreeable. Mrs. S. desired to be remembered to you said she recollected you at once). Miss Grundy eyed me from top to toe & pumped me vigorously. Fortunately I had on my black silk diamond cross, ring etc & happened to be in one of my happiest moods, so hope I passed muster. Aunt Mary, Maggie Cooke, Eric & Miss Foote had gone to hear Wendell Phillips lecture on the "Lost Arts" leaving Cousin Lucy & me to entertain the guests & I think they rather regretted having done so when they heard what a charming time we had had. Tell Papa I am very much obliged to him for the $18.00 sent by Col. Tourtellote but must confess that when I opened the note the Col. sent it sans its contents & the signature I was in a quandary. Cousin Mary Dudley & Cousin Lou B. are spending the morn-ing here but as they are with Cousin Lucy I do not feel that I shall be missed. Saturday at the Reception I met two of Col. Barry's daughters. They are nice looking girls but not a bit stylish. both were polite & invited one to visit them at Fort McHenry. The girls have gone to the "House" to hear a speech on the "Silver Bill." It will last three hours & a half so I declined with thanks. Tomorrow we are to have a dinner party here (not a State affair however); there are to be twenty four at table, all military people. The last event of the season, the grand "State Dinner" will take place in a week or two. It will be gorgeous beyond description & just think yr humble servant will be present. Shall write you a full account of the whole affair & if you are hard up why just sell it to the "Picayune." Of course a large sum would be paid for any effusions from my graphic pen.
Enclosed in this Journal you will find a plan of the Executive Mansion & an attempt to describe the various apartments. It is truly merely an "attempt" but I trust you will take the will for the deed. According to your request I went down to see about having my photo taken but was immediately staggered by learning that I must pay $8.00 for one doz or $5.00 for six. Not very high but beyond my means at present. If you really wish the pictures I will have them taken. Really I never as well before & never will again, so if I am ever to have another picture this is surely the rarest opportunity. Mrs. Gibson called on me & as you anticipated was most gushing; fancy however that my frozen manner rather dampened her ardor. Now Mon Cheri Mere it will not do for me to make enemies of the New Orleans people as any life will doubtless be passed there & it is therefore only politic for me to secure as many friends as possible. Judge Leonard was here last night &: inquired for Papa & all of you. Is he engaged to a friend of Natika's called Marie? He spoke of her several times & said he had asked Papa to speak; a good word for him.
Am awfully tired this afternoon & shall not be able to write much. Spent all morning from half past ten until half past two P.M. at the church of St. Aloysius hearing a Grand Requiem Mass for the defunct Pro Novo. Instead of writing it out here I will send you two news paper scraps. Eric leaves tonight to bring Lucy over & Aunt May will go down to Fort Foote Monday. Just think my visit is half over & yet I feel as though I had scarcely reached here. We are to have an elegant dinner in the State Dining Room tonight. Think I told you something about it in tile beginning of this scrawl, but it has been very much changed since then. Instead of twenty four persons there are to be thirty eight & of course that necessitates a change to the State Room. My partner for the evening is Col. Tourtellotte who I am told is very handsome & very rich. Intend to wear my blue silk with yr wedding veil draped over it & caught here & there with blue flowers. Have been quite elated lately by several compliments from His Excellency the President. The other night he held an evening reception & told Aunt May afterwards that he had been very proud of me as a relation for I was the finest looking girl in the room. He also admires any opera hat very much & frequently says complimentary things about its being so becoming etc etc.
Why do you not write to me oftener I have only received one letter since I have been here & am beginning to feel slighted. Lou Breckinridge & her august spouse are to be here tonight for the dinner & will remain until tomorrow morning. They both insist upon my making them a visit & I suppose I shall have to do so. Wish you could see Aunt Mary! She is as full of herself as a young girl in her teens & fusses more over her looks when going out than I do. Adios for today. Its time to dress so I can write no more.
Thursday 21st 10 A.M.
Am more dead than alive this morning but have had a perfectly glorious time. The dinner was superb & the table beautiful beyond description. The dining room really looked like fairy land & the only thing that marred my pleasure in the least was the thought of my own family were not present. I have written the names of all the guests in regular order & will send them to you as well as the menu & will now do my best to describe the table. It reached almost the length of the room & was covered with a snowy cloth of tile finest damask. The central ornament was an immense mirror with raised edges of gold & golden figures in the centre laden with choice exotics in fact the whole table was covered with the loveliest flowers. At the plate of each gentleman was a button-hole bouquet in a silver holder while each lady was provided with a prize calla lily filled either with violets or lilles of the valley. Knives forks & spoons were of gold & tile different courses were served alternately in costly crystal & elegant French china. One set of China I noticed especially as it had the Coat of Arms & "E. Pluribus Unum" in the center. On entering the Red Parlor each gentleman was presented with a card containing a sketch of the table on one side & the name of his partner on the other & on reaching the table he found large cards with the traditional Coat of Arms & our names written upon them. I have preserved mine also some of the beautiful bon bons presented to each guest. Am keeping the menu so that when our ship gets in we can give an elegant dinner also. We sat down at the table a little after seven & did not get up until past ten o clock. There was not the least formality & we had a most charming time. I wish you all could have seen the exquisite water ices & creams. They were beautifully moulded in the following forms. A snowy lamb reposing upon a green hillock & looking as though ready to baa. A hen & chickens the hen snowy white with red comb & black eyes the chickens pink green & white; made respectively of strawberry pistachio & vanilla & the most life-like & cunning little things you ever saw. A ferocious looking lion with tawny mane (chocolate cream) & muscular form & lastly a large perfect swan surrounded by her young who were colored like the chicks. It seemed to me like sacrilege to destroy them but my partner calmly helped himself to a chicken & Mr Bergland (who was on my left) decapitated the lamb & being thus encouraged I robbed the Lion of his caudal appendage & took a generous slice out of the hen's breast.
The last course was Nectar for the Gods in Rose-leaves, Violet leaves Orange blossoms & strawberries preserved in Paris. I send you one orange flower & an violet petal that you may judge what food the guests subsisted upon. Met with one accident. A careless waiter emptied a plate of salmon over Col. Tourtellotte & a little got on my skirt fortunately too low down to show much. Don t remember many of the dresses but will try to describe a few. Cousin Lucy was attired in a gorgeous robe of crimson velvet & brocade & looked lovely. Aunt Mary wore a black velvet with purple satin front & cape of duchess lace. Miss Platt a combination suit of pale blue silk & brocade with silvery pattern. Maggie Cooke a dress of some cream material over cream silk. Miss Foote pink silk not very pretty. Gen. Sherman's daughter (by the way a most charming girl) also pink silk. Miss Dickerson white silk. Mrs. Gov. Dennison black velvet. Mrs. Gen. Crittenden costume of black silk & some black material. Lou Breckinridge black & green satin trimmed with black lace. Miss Evarts a very pretty blue silk & Miss Forsythe, daughter of Gen. Dennison a very handsome dress of black. My costume was lovely blue silk with white lace overdress. Aunt vows that I always look as though I was painted & takes especial pains to tell everyone my color is perfectly natural. Company left about 11 P.M. Tonight there will be a large party at Mrs. Bloomer's which I will attend. Tell you what you should all appreciate this journal for it is very hard for me to get time to write it. Adieu till tomorrow.
Friday Feb 22d
Here I am again with eyes fairly closed for want of sleep & a chronic case of gape. Had a glorious time last night just as I had anticipated. danced every set & danced all the round dances. Col. Bacon of Frankfort was my escort & introduced me to every one. Mrs. Bloomer & her son were also very polite in bringing up gentlemen. Webb Hayes arrived this morning from Canada. He is not at all handsome but has rather a pleasant face & made himself quite agreeable at breakfast by giving us an animated description of his travels, the people he had met etc. Cousin Lucy & Mr. Hayes went to Baltimore yesterday afternoon & returned at 12 P.M. Of course I did not see them as I was at the party. Lucy McFarland will be here today on the 4 P.M. train & Maggie Cooke leaves for home at nine tonight. Poor girl she looks quite doleful at the prospect of leaving us or rather I should say the Executive Mansion. Received a nice long letter from Mina Breaux. She seems in excellent spirits over her approaching marriage which she says is to take place in May or April. Now Mes amis what I want to know is when shall I be expected home & do you intend me to wait & be Lucy's bridesmaid or not. Aunt says I must not think of leaving before the wedding, but I leave it entirely to you. I will quit this mansion either on the eighth or ninth & go straight to Chillicothe where I expect to spend a week or so. Then I wished to be in Lex. Frankfort & Louisville & would like exceedingly to be in the latter place when Mina is there. Can't you all come North this sumner you must need a change of climate by this time. Eric & Lucy expect to go to Europe after their marriage & Aunt M. says she wishes I could manage to go with them but naturally that is out of the question. Last night we had quite a wind storm & now it is damp & dreary looking out doors & oppressively warm within. My dear friends now don't you think I ought to be favored with at least one letter a week from home? I fear Cousin Lucy will think me neglected as I have only received one missive since my arrival. I delivered Mama's messages to Madame Hayes who declared she was very much delighted that my "Mother was as poor writer as she was such a miserable correspondent herself." I shall send this letter today instead of Saturday as it is already very bulky.
Please write to me soon & give me lots of news. With much love to all in which Cousin Lucy & Aunt Mary join in. I am
Very Truly & aff.
February 20th 1878
Menu. 40 Persons.
I st Course
Risolles a la Pompadour
3d Course Salmon Lobster Sauce
Fresh Cucumber & potatoes
Filet-de Boeuf aux Champignons
Turkey & ham with maccaroni
Lamb chops with peas
Filets of Ducks with olives
Grouse roasted with cresses Salads
Asparagus with butter sauce
Golden Jelly with violets
Ice-cream as Lion, Swan, Cygnets
Lamb & Hen & chickens
Apricots & gages, oranges,
bananas, Malaga grapes, Nectar, French Bon-Bons,
candied grapes, oranges, chestnuts,
cherries & plums
Friday 3 PM [February 22]
A grand or rather an immense procession has just passed & Mrs. Hayes was obliged to stand upon the steps in front of the White House & see them go by. It was a Temperance affair & by the way I forgot to tell you that I had had the honor of an introduction to Francis Murphy & quite a talk with him. He is very fine looking & quite agreeable. Would write some more this afternoon but am to be at two parties tonight & must have a little sleep beforehand. The President, Aunt Mary, & Cousin Lucy are to dine at George Bancroft's (the historian) & we young ladies are to drop in at nine P.M.
always address yr. letters
Preserve this journal. I will like to look it over in the future.
Suppose I sold not be forgiven did I let a day pass without writing to you; but to tell the truth I am not at all in the humor this morning. Last night I went to Mr. Bancroft's first & then to a patty at Justice Bradley's. Both were very elegant affairs & I met many distinguished people. For instance Senor & Senora Mantilla (the Spanish Minister & his wife). The Japanese Minister & wife; the Argentine Minister Lady, Roscoe Conkling, Senator Blaine; the Secretaries of the French & Italian Legations & many others. Mr. Bancroft is a fine looking old gentleman with snowy hair & beard & very affable manners; his wife pleasant, but nothing extraordinary. Justice Bradley's house is splendid for entertaining being double with a depth of three large rooms. The library which has a waxed floor was set apart for dancing & I can assure you that I enjoyed it. Gen Sherman chaperoned me & introduced me to every body.
He is so kind & thoughtful that any stranger is lucky to be with him. I saw some elegant toilets & noticed particularly that of Madame Mantilla. She wore a dress of white lace thickly strewn with pearls over an elegant cream silk & quantities of diamonds in her hair & on her bosom. Lucy McFarland arrived just as we were leaving for Mr. Bancrofts. She has a headache this morning & is looking forward with dread to the 3 o'clock Reception. It is to be the grandest of the season. Mrs. Tyler (Ex Presidentess) Mrs. Willis, Miss Harlan & Mrs. McCrary are to receive with Cousin Lucy & twenty young ladies have been invited to receive with me. Young people in the Green Parlor Aunt Mary chaperoning the party. After the Reception we are all to adjourn to the Library & have refreshments.
Webb Hayes is ever so nice. Not at all stiff & as kind & polite as his mother. If Mr. Hayes would only give his relatives an office I would consider him perfect.
Sunday [February 24]
The Reception yesterday was delightful Cousin Lucy had invited twenty young ladies to receive with us in the Green Parlor & we had the room crowded for two hours. After the Reception we all adjourned to the Library & partook of chocolate, ices, cakes etc. At eight P.M. I went to the Ebbitt House (to attend a dance) & stayed until 12 P.M. Col. Bacon was my escort & as usual made me have a delightful time.
Met Mrs. Alexander & Capt. Jowett there both of whom were very polite.
Had a head-ache this morning & could not go to Church, so remained at home & read to Scott.. The youth is quite a book worm & yet not being able to read with ease presses every one into service. Lucy & Eric are out taking a walk & I am resting after a race with Minnie Platt. Minnie is a lovely girl & one of the most admirable characters I ever met.
She does not make a very good impression at first, but the longer you know her the more you esteem her. I have an admirer here but unfortunately he is poor . Don't you know I am very attractive to poor men but never to rich ones. Can't write any more as Cousin Lucy has a headache & wishes me to press her head. You know I am not fond of such work but of course as it is the Presidentess I am charmed, delighted, etc. Adios
Monday [February 25]
Took a long ride with Cousin Lucy today & went to Bell to have my photograph taken. It is rather good but nothing extra. Of course I have only seen the negative but I flatter myself that I am a little better looking than it is. Aunt Mary left this morning for Fort Foote. Think she felt mournful at the last moment & don't wonder. It is very hard to leave all this grandeur & become common folks again.
Mrs. Morse wife of some railroad man took her place at once. You perceive that they lose no time here one comes & another goes. Mrs. M is enormously rich & just as common as dirt (excuse the expression); altogether one of yr "shoddy" women.
We are expecting another guest a Mr. Bierstadt this evening; he is to be present at the State Dinner. By the way I leave some news which I know will disappoint you not one of us young ladies will appear at the State Dinner. It is to be entirely for old folks. Must say we are all dreadfully put out but nothing can be done. We are to be sent to the theatre & have our dinner when we return. Will endeavor to send you a list of guests, the menu, etc., & hope it will prove satisfactory. Am invited to dine at the Gibson's this evening & as the dinner is given to Aunt & myself must go. Do not think it will be a very grand affair as the invitation came Saturday. Webb and I are great friends & have lots of fun together.
He is very much like his mother always in fine spirits & ready for everything. Lucy has spent about three hours in the Blue Parlor with Mr. Bergland. They are the most devoted couple & carry on extensively to my intense amusement. Lucy has the most sentimental look & becomes quite babyish & lisps when he is around. It disgusts me & I will never be married if I have to make such a spectacle of myself. Why has Mina's marriage been delayed a month? Have heard from Sassande only once since my arrival here; guess Saxon engrosses her time to the exclusion of everyone else. Papa's friend Judge Leonard left for Cuba this morning to make Marie a visit. I have changed my opinion of him & think him horrid. You see he addressed Miss Mamie Mitchell of Lex. & she rejected him & now instead of behaving like a gentleman, he insinuates that she is very much in love with him but that he has given her up. What do you think of that.
Hope Nan's autograph album will get here soon or it will be too late for me to have it filled for her.
Went to the Gibson's last night & had quite a pleasant time. I was the only lady invited but there were plenty of gentlemen. Among others friends of Papa's, Col. Johnson, a son of Albert Sidney Gen. Gibson proposed Papa's health which we all drank in a bumper of Champagne. The Gen. is an agreeable man & has a very pretty wife. Don't like Miss Montgomery very well. Think her quite commonplace & uninteresting.
The table was lovely & the diluter excellent. Can not give the exact menu but will make an effort & send a memoranda of all I recollect. I wore my black silk, diamond cross & flowers in my hair. Miss Montgomery was in blue; Mrs. M. & Mrs. Gibson in black. I went at seven & remained until half past nine. Gen. Gibson was my escort in to dinner. On leaving I was presented with an exquisite bouquet of tea rose buds; violets, & smilax. Came home & spent the rest of the night with the family. The President gives his last Reception tonight & great preparations are going on down stairs. It lasts from 8 P.M. till 10 P.M. & afterwards we young people are to go to Mrs. E~nbry's, another reception. Tomorrow night is the last "Assembly Ball" & we all intend to go. Received Mame's letters this morning but fear it will do no good for me to say anything. No one has any influence with Cousin Rutherford his wife least of all, & we relations never mention offices. He is very kind and polite to me but I would as soon be hugged by a Polar Bear as mention business to him I read Papa's letter to Aunt Mary & said what I could to her for Gen. Greene why in earth did Nan have so little sense as to hurt Dora's feelings about that note paper. I would not have had it occur for any thing & I think Nan very silly to have mentioned it. Dora's letter was very nicely written & most welcome & I awn provoked with Nan for not behaving more sensibly. Mary Breckinridge is here spending a week with Fanny & the two little people seem to have a good time generally. Can't write any more today. Cousin Lucy just called me to go down & see company.
Wednesday [February 27]
The Reception Last slight was a grand success. It began at exactly a quarter to eight & lasted over two hours. The President & Cousin Lucy stood in the middle of the Blue Parlor (which is between the Red & Green Parlors) to receive the guests. While Millie Platt, Emma Foote, Mrs. Andrews, Lucy McFarland, Millie Sherman & I were grouped behind them to entertain such friends as chose to come & see us. The family dining room & the state dining room were used as cloak rooms after leaving their wraps people fell in line passed through the hall, entered the Red Parlor, passed through it to the Blue where they were first presented to the President by Webb & then to Cousin Lucy by Col. Casey the Master of Ceremonies. Each one shook hands bowed & left the room by the "Green Parlor". Thence on to the "East Room" where they congregated until there was a dense mass.
Cousin Lucy & I both wore our white silk. Minnie Platt a blue damasse & Lucy a white robe of same material. We had a glorious time & circulated around generally. At 11 P.M. Mr. Rutherford Mead a Cousin of Mr. Hayes escorted me to a party given by Mrs. Secretary Sherman where I opened the ball by a square dance with general Sherman. He is awfully kind and attentive to me & if his daughter ever comes South we must exert ourselves to the utmost for her benefit. Count Litta of the Italian Legation was most polite to me but he was an awful bore. Miss Grundy spoke of my dress as one of the most elegant toilets of flee season. Tonight I am going to attend the Assembly with Webb Hayes & expect to enjoy. myself exceedingly.
Thursday morning [February 28]
Feel as though should like to retire to my downy couch again but suppose I ought to write up this everlasting "Journal" first started for the Assembly at "Marine's Hall" last night at 10 P.M. Minnie Platt went with Col. Bacon & I with my dear Webb. I wore a pale blue silk with white lace veil as an over dress beautifully looped with delicate blue flowers & lillies of the valley had my hair puffed & wore a lovely wreath of lillies of the valley. Lou Breckenridge, Mrs. Alexander, Mrs. Emory & Admiral Mullany were present & seemed to be having a very nice time. The Hall is splendid for dancing & of course being from the Ex Mansion I had no lack of partners all of my dances were divided among three or four gentlemen. Gen. Sherman as usual was very attentive to me & introduced numbers of officers to me. Col. Bacon is another gentleman to whom I am much indebted for politeness & kindness. He is (excuse slang) a "brick" & ought to be promoted. We did not leave the Ballroom until 2 A.M. & were very reluctant to do so even then. Aunt May came up from Fort Foote this morning. She is to start for Lex. tomorrow with Judge Harlan & Miss Hatchett. The Grand State Dinner comes off tonight & as one of the Ladies invited is sick, Aunt is to take her place. We infants are all going to the theatre to see Boucicault in the Shaughraun & are to dine on our return. Luci goes with Eric, Minnie with Mr. Dickinson, I with Mr. Tillman & Webb as general protector.
The proofs for my photo have just arrived. It may sound vain, but Mr. Bell (the photographer) was so pleased with them that he took me in six different positions. I insisted upon his not doing so but he would take no denial & even took to [sic] of them himself. Think he will be overpowered when he learns that I only want a half doz. Knowing that you wanted the clothes rather than the face I paid a great deal of attention to the proper arrangement of the trail & even wore any best bonnet. It gives me the greatest pleasure to inform you that Cousin Lucy really seems fond of me & when I mentioned my departure she said "No my dear, I do not intend to let you off so soon. I am thinking strongly of going to Chillicothe soon
Guests at State Dinner
February 28th /78
The President & Mrs. Hayes
Chief Justice & Mrs. Waite
Speaker of the House & Mrs. Randall
Justice & Mrs. Miller
Secretary of Treasury & Mrs. Sherman
Postmaster General & Mrs. Key
Senator & Mrs. Morrill
Senator & Mrs. Window
Senator & Mrs. Gordon
Senator & Mrs. Dawes
Senator & Mrs. Randolph
Senator & Mrs. Hill
Mr. & Mrs. Hale
Mr. & Mrs. Foster
Mr. & Mrs. Townsend
Mr. Bierstadt (the Artist)
This dinner although very imposing was not near as pleasant as the one I attended. Aunt says the guests were rather stiff & dull something like Lamb's "Party in a parlor all silent & all damned" (forcible but expressive)
Miss Grundy has written most flattering things about me as have others. I am keeping the choicest bits for you. Please send back the two newspaper slips I sent you last week. I want them particularly. I shall not dispose of my pictures until I hear if you approve. L. Scott
State Dinner Feb 28/78
Consomme' de volaille a'la d'Orleans
Petites bouchees a'la Cardinal
Saumon garni sauce Tartare
Concombres de Serre
Pommes de terre Duchesse
Filet de boeuf a'la jardiniere
Estomacs de dinde a'1 Ambassadrice
Supreme de faisans aux petits pois
Stewed Terrapin a'la Maryland
Tomato farcies a'la provencale
Petites aspics de foies-gras individuelles
Punch a'la Romaine
Perdreaux rotis garnis de cresson
Salad en mayonaise
Canvass back ducks gelee de de groseille
Petits soufflets de fromage au parmesan
Savarins aux supreme de fruit sauce abricots
Gelees biquarrees garnies de quartiers d'Orange
Creams, Ices, Oranges, Malaga grapes, Bon Bons, Candied fruits, Bananas,
Nectar, gages etc.
Could suggest a few changes in this menu but have copied it verbatim for yr benefit.
myself & if I do will take you with me." Of course this plan is as yet very vague & may end in smoke, still would not it be splendid if she did go. You see she would have a private car & I should not have to pay a cent for the trip. However as it is so uncertain please do not fail to let me have my passage money at once as may not be pressed to stay after all. Why does not Nan send her album. By the time this reaches you it will be too late Aunt M is to send Mammie's last twelve dollars from Lex. We had altogether forgotten it. I remain.
Friday March 1 st /78
You must not be disappointed if this letter for today is stupid for I have just received the most depressing epistle fiom Mama & feel more like indulging in a few drops of the briny than writing this scrawl. Jnthon is either a confounded idiot or a perfect scoundrel. No other person in the world allows mistakes to be made as he does & I would soon get rid of him if I were in Mama's place. If you have not paid taxes on a piece of land for seven years & no one was any the wiser is not the debt out lawed? We do have worse luck than any family I know of it seems to me about time for Fortune to give her cranky old wheel a turn in our favor. Now listen to my plan & tell me what you think of it. I intend to write to Aunt Minnie & see if she can get me a French Class in Chatsworth & if she can I will go there to spend the summer. It is the cheapest place I can think of & by teaching all summer I can probably make enough to bring me home. If that plan fails Auult M. has invited me to stay with her & teach in Lex. I shall not need a new dress for Lucy's wedding as my white silk is lovely & perfectly fresh. Aunt Mary now speaks of delaying the affair till June for Cousin Lucy Hayes benefit who might not be able to come until that time & naturally I could not go home in June. However I leave all that to you & will come home or stay for the wedding just as you may think best. I have just been thinking that even if I do come to New Orleans I can not possibly pass the summer there in safety but would have to be sent down to some plantation or else have some swamp fever & lose all I have gained. Have you entirely given up yr trip to Asheville? Do try to get there it would be so good for you all & I only wish Papa could go also. Enough croaking for the present & I will write upon a pleasanter topic viz yesterday's entertainments. The State Dinner began at seven P.M. & at six P.M. Webb Minnie & myself stepped into the dining room to take a last fond look at the table. It was gorgeous & far beyond my poor descriptive powers. In the centre was the huge mirror with raised golden edges containing four golden epergnes heaped with the rarest exotics. At each end two more gold epergnes filled with choice flowers which scented the air with their delicious perfume. At each plate was a lovely silver flower holder containing alternately a bunch of exquisite tea rose buds & a dainty little boutonniere. Scattered around promiscuously were queer crystal & china dishes filled with French bonbons, candied fruits, nectar mottoes & on each snowy napkin was a large gilt edged card with the name of the person to occupy that seat. Hiawatha's boat purchased by Mrs. Grant at the Centennial occupied a prominent position upon a fancy table & was mtich admired. It is of silver floating upon a crystal lake & is kept laden with violets, roses, prim roses & lillies of the valley. The Marine Band was stationed in the hall just outside the dining room & "discoursed sweet music" while dinner was going on. Minnie & I hid behind a door & watched the guests enter the "Blue Parlor" where Cousin Lucy & the President stood in state to receive them. I only remember four of the dresses viz Cousin Lucy's an elegant robe of pale grey & some other unknown color made by Moskowitz & worth $350.00. Miss Moss's a black velvet with superb point lace cape. Mrs. Justice Miller's Quaker grey or cream I don't know which with an elegant overskirt of black lace & Aunt Mary's a wine colored brocade & velvet, she Ivory Lucy's diamond earrings & my cross & looked like a duchess. At twenty minutes of eight our party left for the theatre & had a very jolly time. We got home at 11 P.M. & at once went in to dinner. I for one was famished & did justice to the dainties so lavishly provided. We had everything that had been served at the State Dinner & feasted like kings & queens being zealously served by elegant youths in white chokers & swallow tails. Boucicault is inimitable & one of the best actors I ever had the pleasure of seeing. He is about sixty & does not look a day over eighteen as Conn the Shaughraun. Aunt Mary left this morning at 8:30 A.M. & was seen to the depot by Webb & her loving daughter. I was in high feather until Mama's letter arrived which acted upon me like a violent shower bath. Do hope I shall recover by night as I am booked for two parties. By the way did you hear of Cousin Belle Welch's death. It was very sudden & overwhelmed the family. It was thought that she had cancer of the stomach but whatever it was it went to her brain & killed her immediately. Now though this journal is for the family still this part is for Mama & Papa alone: It is impossible for me to do any thing for office seekers & still more so for Cousin Lucy. Mr. Hayes is like granite & having once said his wife & relatives were to have no influence he meant it. I am very sorry as I should like to do anything in my power to please you both but this is out of the question. The celebrated artist Al. Bierstadt is a guest here at present & a most charming man. I have had several chats with him & he has painted me two exquisite butterflies which are rendered very valuable by his initials in one corner. Tell you what mes amis it is very nice to know celebrated people & be on terms of equality with them. Yesterday Mr. Berglund took me out driving & we had a delightful time.
Saw the Agricultural grounds, the Smithsonian Museum, the Naval Monument, the English Minister's house & many other objects of interest. I intend going through the Capitol, the Treasury Building, Mint, Patent Office etc. next week & will not fail to tell you of all I see.
The "Silver Bill" has passed & yesterday Cousin Rutherford received the first dollar coined under flee new act. It is a very handsome piece of money & has quite a showy eagle.
Am so glad the Peterson's are not friends of Mama's for they are awfully common looking & I was really ashamed to know them.
I want to send this journal today & may add a little more before doing so, but just now must close as Webb is waiting to play billiards with me. Enclosed you will find bill of fare for the State Dinner & a list of guests who attended.
4 P.M. About the photographs I will send you one as soon as they are finished.
Surely there is no one in New Orleans to whom you could possibly wish to give one & I have so many calls for them up here. For instance Cousin Lucy, Nettie McDowell, Mamie McCreary, Aunt Sallie & Minnie Platt. Minnie has just given me one of her which is excellent & made me promise one of myself in return. I have a very good photo of Cousin Lucy & she will give me on of Cousin Rutherford & the children. Tell Aunt Dora that Howard is the image of Webb Hayes in fact I never saw a stronger family likeness.
Minnie has not yet given one the menu & I can't wait any longer so will send it next week. Please preserve this journal for me with care. It is abominably written but will be interesting for one to look over in years to come. When you finish reading it just lock it up in my secretary. With love to all. Most aff. L. Scott.
Journal for week beginning March 2d/78
Saturday March 78
Was sorry not to be able to send you the menu of the State Dinner but you shall certainly have it this week. Last night for a wonder I did not go out - stayed home to help Cousin Lucy receive. The callers were awfully stupid poor Mme Hayes & myself were frightfully bored. At 10:30 P.M. the last person left & then Mr. Bierstadt, Webb, Minnie & I retired to the Library & played whist until 12 P.M. when Lucy & Emma Hook returned frown a reception & broke up our game. We had a fine lunch on the hall table & retired about 2 A.M. What do you think of such midnight orgies? Mr. Bierstadt has painted me five beautiful butterflies as a souvenir. I intend to cut them out & paste them on our student's lamp when I really home.
Cousin Lucy gives her Last Reception today & to our great dismay has decided to have it in the Blue Parlor. It will be a terrible jam & ruinous on our best bibs & tuckers. Mrs. Key, Miss Schurz, Mrs. McCreary [McCrary], Mrs. Sherman, Mrs. Evarts, & Mrs. Thompson will stand with Cousin Lucy & Rutherford & the Misses Evarts, Minnie, Lucy, Emma & myself will be grouped around the room to entertain our friends. A great many people here take me for Lucy & vice versa to our great amusement. L. vows it is only because we have the same hair dresser, but I tell her that she ought to be highly complimented instead of trying to get out of it. So far have seen nothing of Miss Cummin. She may have called while I was out. Now my dear family I must bid you adieu as the hair dresser is waiting for me.
Sunday Morning [March 3]
Just as I expected the Reception was a "Jam" & our trains suffered, also our feet. Think as an average that I had about one man a minute on mine & was seized with a wicked desire to dance over every dress that approached me. Cousin Lucy wore an elegant dress of wine brocade & velvet extremely becoming & very stylish. Mrs. Key a pink silk damask, Mrs. McCrary blue silk, Miss Schurz black silk with black lace over white. Mrs. Dennison black silk; Miss Evarts white cashmere trimmed with blue; her sister ditto trimmed with pink. Emma was attired in white silk underskirt with polonaise of some gauzy cream & blue material Minnie in a Nile green silk & Lucy & I as twins in our black silks with coral ornaments. A great many distinguished people were present among others Count Litta; General Cesnola; the Swedish Minister & Lady; Mr. Bierstadt; Miss Jewett the authoress; Mr. & Mrs. Bancroft & Mrs. Dennison, wife of Gov. Dennison
The Reception commenced promptly at 3 P.M. & lasted until 5:15 during which time there was a constant stream of people entering by the Red Parlor paying their respects in the "Blue," passing on to else "Green" & then straggling around the East Room which soon became densely crowded with human beings. Once or twice I mustered sufficient courage to attempt a tour of the rooms with Mrs. Andrews (wife of the artist) & Mrs. Rogers (wife of Cousin Rudd's private secretary) but was so squeezed & trampled upon that I was glad to beat a hasty retreat to the Blue Parlor. A Gen. Kyler or Tyler came up to me & said he had seen you all only a week or so past & had promised to call upon me. The old gentleman seemed to have very tender recollections of a certain dish of "gumbo" made by our cook for his especial edification. Last night I was too tired to go out & as we had no visitors spent the evening on Cousin Lucy Hayes' bed carrying on generally & having a good time. Minnie stayed to keep me company & Lucy went with Emma to some stupid old "Tea." Webb dropped in upon us in the course of the evening & commenced a systematic course of teasing, which ended in his being ignominiously expelled & the door locked. He is a dear old fellow & full of fun. Don't know how we would get along without him. Cousin Lucy says I must not think of leaving this week as she wishes to take me to Chillicothe herself if she goes. Did I ever tell you all that Emily & Jennie Herran were engaged. Well they are; the former to a Mr. Parsons of
Tuesday Mch 5th/78
Alas! My forebodings were only to [sic] well founded & I am now a melancholy wreck. Mr. Bergland was to take me to the theatre & after dinner I rushed upstairs to get ready but Webb was on the watch. He waited until I got into the bath-room & then locked me in & not withstanding my plaintive wails & entreaties he kept me there until Mr. B. arrived; meanwhile rummaging my jewel box & discovering several horrid tin types; among others that frightful group of Papa, Nan, Mame, & Dora. When I was released from durnace vile Webb had disappeared so I went to his room. Made a " ? " in his bed, hid his brush & comb; wrote him a sweet note which I pinned on his pillow & left the Ma 1sion happy. The evening was very cold & bracing & I enjoyed the walk to the Theatre very much. Raymond is splendid "Risks," in fact as good in it as he is in Col. Sellers. We had excellent seats viz. could both see & be seen but were not too near the stage. Did not get home till 1l P.M. & when I entered this apartment thought that I surely had the nightmare. Such a scene you never witnessed. Webb had stacked the room; that is turned every chair sofa & table in it upside down; emptied the contents of drawers, ward robes & trunks in a promiscuous heap torn the bed to pieces, placing the mattress on the floor the sheets etc under it; deposited the pin cushions on the slop jar & the foot stools on the bureau; covered our gowns with flour & our brushes with pepper; in fine done every thing a scamp could think of. Poor Lucy did not enjoy the affair very much but was obliged to help me straighten up. We finished about l A.M. & were as tired as though we had danced all night. This morning Webb most innocently inquired "if I had slept well," but I intend to fix him yet. Mama's very welcome letter & the two autograph albums arrived this morning. I have already procured Cousin Rutherford's & Cousin Lucy's signatures & hope to obtain those of the Cabinet this afternoon. Am sorry Nan put any names in hers before sending it on. How in the world did Aunt Minnie ever leave May & Scott? Lucy & I were astounded whets we heard she was with you, but Victoria Emory & Mrs. Bacon came in soon after we did. Minnie has gone out to dine & departed looking most mournful. Dear old girl, she has been most kind & affectionate to me & I can never repay her. I am glad your were all pleased with my journal but can not agree with you in thinking it well written. Why I always scribble in a great hurry & never stop to choose my expressions or avoid repetition. I slave merely endeavored to write as far as possible a sketch of each day's pleasures & occupations to repay you all for yr many sacrifices in my favor. That is I should say to let you see how happy I was & of course that would repay you. The five dollars for my photos reached me in safety. What do you think of my spending part of the summer with Aunt Minnie? It would be economical & then we get along so well that it would be nice for us both. Mrs. Dodge & Miss Cumins called on me yesterday. I feel very sorry for the latter & will certainly mention her name to the President & cousin Lucy; still I do not for a moment expect any opinion to have the least weight with His Excellency. Cousin Rudd received an autograph letter from the Spanish King Alphonso, announcing his marriage & Senor Mantilla the Spanish Minister read it to him. He also got a long letter from Rome signed by the three principal Cardinals & speaking of the great loss the "Church" had sustained in the death of Pius IX. One of those cardinals is now Pope Leo. His signature I noticed particularly, it was so tiny, just this style (Pica) though of course he had his full name.
Wednesday Mel, 6/78
Lent has begun & we have bid adieu to balls, parties & Receptions & prepared to rest for six weeks. Am very much afraid you will not find my journal very interesting now as I will have no more society events to chronicle. Lucy McF & Eric are spending the day at Fort Foote. They wished me to accompany them, but I knew that two is company etc & formally declined the invitation. Cousin Lucy Hayes speaks of spending the day with Lou very soon & if so will take me with her. For two days past she has been suffering from a severe sick headache & looks pale & "fagged." Nothing seems to do her any good, so she sits like "Patience on a Monument" until nature works a cure. Little Fan received an elegant present Monday viz a large doll-house finished as carefully as a real dwelling. It is two stories high with attic & has been furnished throughout. Fan is delighted with it! It was sent from some body in Baltimore & must have cost a large sun.
Heard from Aunt M. this morning. She says Mr. Gannan has made up with Lizza that he will be married in the spring & take his bride to Europe. Poor fellow he has caught a Tartar.
Aunt will doubtless send Mame's money at once as Lucy has written to her about it.
It is the fourth & last payment & in future she must depend on herself. In my next home-letter it would please me very much to hear fully & clearly what I am to do this summer. That is whether I am to stay north or go south. Lord & Lady Dufferin sent Webb their photos which he says are excellent likenesses. Lady D. is not at all pretty but she has a sweet face & is said to be remarkably graceful. Lord D. is a very ordinary looking man with not the slightest air of distinction. Papa looks much more like a Lord than he does. Webb has a fine riding horse & is quite anxious to have me try it, but I have no riding habit & Minnies is far too small. It is a pity for the rides around Wash. are lovely & I should enjoy them so much.
It is positively hot today & as we have furnace heat all through the Mansion, I have been nearly roasted. Am now sitting near the window trying to catch a refreshing breeze. This week I intend to examine the Capitol, Treasury Building, State Department & various other buildings of interest. Shall try to give you a sketch of each one. Have not had time to draw the promised plan of the White House. Am preserving most of my invitations to show them to you all when I return particularly the one to the State Dinner, which is a very fine affair.
Thursday Mch 7th/78
Papa's letter was handed to me while at the breakfast table & proved a very agreeable surprise but is it possible he did not know that Aunt M. was in Ky? Am sorry on his
account; however nothing can be done as I do not know Senator Thurman & only met Senator Beck once. Will Speak to Cousin Lucy which I may add will have not the slightest effect.
Have already introduced Gen. Greene to the President; that is have talked about him & as for Miss Curnmins I have very little hope for her. Cousin Rutherford is very polite but it is easy to see he does not care a snap for yr remarks on political subjects. The V.P. was here last night & spent some time laughing & talking with us. He is such a nice man & we all like him exceedingly.
Poor Webb is quite under the weather again. He went to Canada for change of climate as he was suffering frown severe chills & here he has only been home two weeks & had a violent attack last night.
I was down in the "red Parlor" for a short time but seeing to (sic) bores entering slipped out & kept him company in the Library. He looked strikingly like the "Last Rose of Summer" as he sat chattering & shivering on the hearth with a most despairing expression of countenance. Lucy got back from Fort Foote about 5 P.M. She enjoyed the day excessively & regretted that I had not accompanied her. Webb, Minnie & I spent the evening lolling around on the sofas & beds altogether a most unsatisfactory day. Lent is horrid & I do wish it could have been post-poned for a week or so.
After Luncheon Lucy & I are to start out on a regular calling tour & we are looking forward to it with feelings of dismay. Lucy especially who has the appearance of a condemned criminal & whose only hope is float every body will be excused. Gen. Cesnola called last night. He is a distinguished looking man & seems quite impressed with his own importance.
Tell Papa I have seen neither Judge Gist nor Gen. Crane & do not appear to have any prospect of so doing. Will some of you please send me Nan’s measure (of her height). I have requested it a dozen times but you all have a peculiar talent for forgetting my modest requests. Can't remember her size think I have gotten her mixed up with Mame. For yr edification I will add that since my departure from the sunny South I have taken another start & am .now by actual measurement 5 ft. 7 l/2 inches & weight 160 Ibs. Is not that rather large I have been telling every one Nan was about to my eyes but since I have grown as much have lost my reckoning.
Friday Mch 7th/78
Was out calling yesterday from 2 till 5 P.M. & accomplished wonders as scarcely anyone was at home. Lucy was happy, said she sincerely hoped no one would be home & scowled ferociously upon the poor servant when they admitted her. The pleasantest visit I made was at Secretary Sherman's, where I met Lizzie Sherman, Senator Cameron's lovely fiancee. She is one of the most attractive girls I have ever known & one of the most perfect ladies. She is about my height, slender & graceful with beautiful dreamy brown eyes, a dainty rose-leaf complexion, glossy brown hair clustering in natural ringlets around a smooth open brow, Grecians nose & a perfect mouth. The Don is a very lucky fellow to have secured such a treasure & had I been a man I should have disputed it with him. Her engagement ring is a huge solitaire about three times the size of Mama's & of the purest water. Last night we had a great deal of company & among it the usual number of notabilities & absurdities. Gen. Sherman brought round quite a large party. He requested Cousin Lucy to light up the Conservatory which she did & we spent some time wandering through it. It is really a beautiful place in day time & at night just like a scene from fairy land. The brilliant light huge tropical plants feathery ferns & stately azaleas, with the gay groups clad in dazzling attire flitting to & fro, form a scene long to be remembered. Miss Grundy was here with her mother who is apparently the same age. Poor Miss G has no taste whatever & gets herself up in a manner fearful & wonderful to behold. Yesterday she appeared in a curious looking brown affair which made her resemble a strong minded female. Lucy went to the theatre to see Raymond in "Risks" so Millie & I were the only young ladies on hand. We both had very interesting novels & were crazy to finish them but Cousin Lucy summoned us below without mercy & we of course obeyed the royal mandate.
Eric is to take his fair fiance & me over to Arlington this afternoon. It is a lovely day & will doubtless be a very enjoyable trip. I am anxious to see Mt. Vernon before leaving here. Do hope some one will offer to take me down. Webb has had three more chills & looks as though life has lost its charm. He is dreadfully imprudent & yet can not understand why he is always sick. I have excellent photos of Cousin Rutherford, Cousin Lucy & Birchard & have been promised those of the whole family so you had better prepare some frames or a handsome album. Believe I should prefer an album one just for Cabinet photos. My pictures will be sent next week. Shall send two of them & think that plenty. Must now close my journal for the week & hope it will repay you for the trouble of reading it. Give my love to Aunt, Uncle Joe & all the family & ask Aunt Dora why she does not answer any letters. Do any of you ever see the Fernadez family? I have not heard from Sassande since my arrival here. Now for a last & fond adieu. Take good care of my room & general belongings & you will all receive the blessings of yrs affectionately
Lucy C. Scott
Friday Afternoon [March 8]
Have just come up from lunch & having a few moneys to spare; am at any desk as usual, for you know this journal is all written at odd moments. Had the honor of lunching with Bayard Taylor & afterwards promenading up & down with my fingertips resting upon his august coat sleeve. He is a great fat coarse looking man with grayish hair & whiskers & very red shiny face. For a wonder I was not at all embarrassed but talked & laughed as though we were the best of friends. Our conversation was chiefly in French & English but occasionally he introduced a little Arabic which it is needless to say was all Greek to me. Cousin Lucy, Webb, Lucy McF & I were out driving nearly all morning & enjoyed ourselves exceedingly. We drove through the Agricultural grounds, Smithsonian grounds, & many other lush parks. This afternoon Lucy, Eric & I are to drive over to Arlington & then visit the Observatory & the old VanNess house. But I fear we will not be allowed to enter the latter place. Bayard Taylor told us several very amusing jokes during lunch concerning his literary friends.
Returned from Arlington & Fort Whipple about ten minutes ago we had the jolliest ride imaginable & several little accidents to vary the monotony of things. No wonder the Lees wish to recover Arlington. It is without exception the loveliest place I ever saw. We went all through the house which is an old fashioned three story affair that is two good stories & another not so high. There is a large porch in front supported by immense pillars. This porch is only one story high & therefore extends from the ground to the roof. The house is situated upon the top of a rising piece of ground & commands a fine view of the river & Washington City. Entering by the front door you find yrself in a wide hall running the length of the house. The first door on the right heads into a good sized room where you see a desk with a large book upon it in which visitors register their names. The furniture is very scanty & the floor bare while the white washed walls are hung with various patriotic tracts cheaply framed. Back of this room & connected with it by a small door is another room much smaller; also scantly furnished & with bare floor. Here I might as well remark that all the floors are bare. The hall is airy & cheerful & at both extremities the view is lovely. The walls are hung with maps of the cemetery & grounds & are white washed like the rest of the mansion.
On the left of hall are two rooms like those on the right also several smaller ones & a very nice conservatory. This however was locked so we did not get in. There are large maps in nearly all the rooms. Upstairs in the second story every thing is naked or bare looking & there is nothing to interest you; but on the third story or attic are confused heaps of letters, bills, etc. I managed to procure a voucher written & signed by Robt. E. Lee when a Captain at Fort Hamilton & shall preserve it as a most valuable souvenir. We walked through the grounds, visited the old spring, indulged in a refreshing draught of "Adams Ale" & after reading the inscriptions on a few tomb stones got into the carriage & started home by way of the Long Bridge. The surrounding country was beautiful but unfortunately in going up a steep hill the horses stalled & refused to move. We finally alighted & toiled up on foot while I not content with such a quiet way of proceeding managed to fall into a ditch & get my feet covered with mud. When we reached the middle of the bridge you can imagine our dismay upon seeing that the flooring had been torn up for a space of twenty yds & that we could not possibly get across for at least half and hour & there we sat for forty blessed minutes by turns scolding & laughing & fairly chattering with cold, for you know the river breeze is very fresh. It was six P.M. when we arrived here & we hardly had time to dress for dinner & for one to scribble the beginning of this account.
Saturday 8 A.M. [March 9]
Have only time to write a few lines as we are to spend today at Mr. Vernon & must be on board the "Arrow" by 10 A.M. Lucy, Eric & I form the party. .Last night I was in the "Red Parlor" receiving with Cousin Lucy & Minnie Platt until after ten o'clock. It was not one of our nice evenings & I was bored to death by reporters & tattling old women. Cousin Lucy & Minnie looked worn out & could scarcely keep from gaping in the people's faces. When the last caller left, we breathed a sigh of relief & retired exhausted to our apartments there to woo the bating. Tuesday I shall go to Fort Foote & spend the night with Lou. I am told her quarters are lovely. Lucy will of course go with me. Now for some good news. Cousin L. Hayes, Miss Minnie Platt, Miss Lucy McF., Miss Lucy Scott, Webb Hayes, Esq. & the two children leave here Friday evening by special car for Chillicotlle. Mr. Moss furnishes his own car & we will travel in grand style. Said car has a lovely sitting room, a dining room, kitchen & state rooms with large double beds in them. It is exquisitely clean & we will be dressed as nicely as we are at home. Can you imagine any thing more elegant than such a trip? I think Cousins Rudd & Lucy are fond of me or they would not have insisted so upon me staying a week longer & then going with them. Only wish their fondness could benefit us. The Pres. & I are on the best of terms & embrace most affectionately upon meeting in the morning. Have this moment had a letter from Papa handed to me. Am much obliged for the check; which is most welcome & hope he will not be bothered again soon. Adieu the carriage is at the door.
Sunday Morning [March l 0]
I scarcely know where to begin this morning. My trip yesterday was a perfect success. By ten A.M. Lucy, Eric & I were on board the steamer "Arrow" en route with hundreds of others for the "American Mecca." Mt. Vernon is distant two hrs from Washington, but so many objects of interest claim ones attention that the time slips by as if by magic. Soon after leaving the city you see the Arsenal on yr left. It is a very pretty place but I am told, is not kept up as well as it used to be. As we passed slowly by, the pilot pointed out to me the place where Mrs. Surratt was hung, showing me as near as possible the situation of the gallows. Lucy, Eric & myself were up in the Pilot House in order to see every thing. We next came to Alexandria where the Capt. stopped to take up some passengers. A. is not a very inviting looking place. It takes just one hour to reach Fort Foote which was our next stopping place. The scenery there is beautiful. The Fort is situated far up upon the bluffs & is reached by a winding stair way I got on top the boat & managed to see Lou's house in the distance. It looked very tiny perched way up there but Lucy says it is quite nice inside. After leaving Fort Foote I descended to the deck took a camp stool sat down near the guards & studied the surrounding country while enjoying Operatic airs played by some strolling Italians on board. At exactly 12 P.M. we came in sight of Mt. Vernon embosomed in a grove of stately trees & modestly overlooking the river from a most commanding eminence. Landing at the old wharf we were met by Col. McHenry Hollingsworth the Superintendent & commenced the ascent to the House. We were lead first to Washington's tomb (en route to which we passed on our right The Willows from sprigs over the grave of Napoleon at St Helena) built from directions left in his will. The tomb is protected by double iron gates. On the right is seen the sarcophagus of Washington surmounted by a handsome shield of the United States. Below the shield is written Washington. On the foot "By permission of Lawrence Lewis the surviving executor of George Washington. This sarcophagus." The next line is obliterated. To the left of vault you see another sarcophagus of same material but perfectly plain. Upon it is "Martha, Consort of Washington," on the foot is "Died May 21, 1801, Aged 71 years." Through the grating over the vault you read "I am the resurrection & the life & whosoever believeth in me shall not die--St. John XI, 25-26." A sparrow has her nest in the niche that contains this slab & seems perfectly at her ease. It is said the key of the vault was thrown into the Potomac so that no one can ever enter it. Over the gates, I forgot to say, is the inscription, "Within the enclosure rests the remains of General George Washington." On either side of the front of the tomb are two stately monuments enclosed by iron railings to the right (with yr. back to the tomb) you read "sacred to the memory of John Augustine Washington, son of Corbin & Hannah Lee Washington etc. Can't remember all these inscriptions so, shall not finish any of them. Turning to the other monument you see "Within the vault lie buried the mortal remains of Bushrod Washington, An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States etc. Going to the right of the vault, I found also enclosed by an iron railing two handsome monuments; on one is inscribed "Sacred to the memory Mrs. M.W.A. Conrad, wife of Ch's M. Conrad, of New Orleans daughter of Lwre & Eleanor Lewis etc.
On the other Sacred to the memory of Eleanor Park Lewis grand-daughter of Mrs & adopted by Gen. Washington etc. Passing from the tomb along a path we rested under an immense Oak tree said to have been a favorite of the Gen's & then entered the yd pausing for a moment before the old stable where Washington kept his fine horses. This stable has been thoroughly repaired. Going on a little farther we reached the porch of Mt Vernon Mansion 92ft. 8in. by 12ft. 8in. The flags of this porch were brought from England by the Gen when he enlarged the Mansion. They are now almost worn out. In front you have a splendid view of the Potomac. We next strolled into the Deer Park which is on the left of the Mansion, it is empty now, but is to be restocked by Ex. Gov. Walker of Virginia. Someone from Montana has also promised some elk for the same purpose. Leaving the park we entered the house by a large hall which runs through it from East to West. The old stairs first catch yr attention, & on the landing you see Washington's old clock, which ran down half past two & has been left undisturbed. The most interesting thing in the hall is the key to the Bastile suspended in a glass case on the wall, which was hung by George himself & has never been touched since. The original agreement of Lafayette to serve in the Continental Army is also hung on the wall. All around are the Coats of Arms of various states, which used to be in the Council Room. Some engravings are scattered around. In this hall is a table holding the register in which all visitors are requested to write their names & addresses. As we turned to the right to enter the East Parlor we saw two plain iron hooks over the door on which George used to hang his spy glass. In this East Parlor is a large glass case containing many relics of Washington viz autograph letters to his family. A compass used by him in his surveys, presented by Judge Bell of Va. A suit of his clothes. By the way, he had not much taste & must have been rather stingy for the clothes were of a horrid brownish yellow material, the pants all patched & the collar of the vest much the worse for wear. A duplicate of Houdon's cast Lafayette's Masonic apron. A number of water buckets bearing his name his spy glass. A piece of one of his coffins; box containing three tacks, a brass screw & a handle which fell from his last wooden coffin when it was removed April 19, 1831. His sword & Blunderbuss, also a long "stocking" upon which I could distinctly read G. Washington L. 97. An old British flag presented to the Association by Gen. Grant. The most valuable relic is a small old fashioned locket containing a lock of the General's hair. On the East wall is the family tree; in the South East corner a glass case enclosing the original cast by Houdon. In the North East corner is a globe used by George which has a most venerable look. Over the mantle hangs "The Farewell Address. " We next went into the "State Dining Room" which is the largest in the house & is now called the "New York Room." Entering from the East Parlor on my right was a door opening upon the porch over which hung a fine engraving viz. " The Reunion of the Army after the Revolution." Just beyond it is a portrait of Wash by Lambdin of Phila. The most interesting object to me was the Harpsichord given to Nelly Custis by the Gen & which cost $1,000. In this room is the famous Marble Mantle beautifully sculptured & presented by Sam Vaughan. Standing prominently in the center of the room is a curiously executed model of the Bastile cut from one of the stones of that famous prison. The model is enclosed in a wire screen. On the mantel which is also wired in, are a pair of handsome old vases & a portrait of George after Stuart. The next thing I spied was a very comfortable looking old arm chair in which I at once took my seat & proceeded to write some of the notes from which this journal is written. This chair was George's special favorite & is said to have come over on the "Mayflower." Nearly a whole side of the room is occupied by a splendid painting by Rembrandt Peale representing "Washington Before Yorktown." An old railing protects a space under this painting which is filled with George's camp Equipments viz his Tripod, Trunk & Liquor Chest the bottles of which are of finest cut glass & holsters. Lucy & Eric went out to the Lunch Rooms & left me in the West Parlor. This is a very bar old room & there is not much in it. A looking glass of George's hangs on the wall. Over the mantle is the picture of the "Battle of Carthagina" in which Lawrence Washington served under Admiral Vernon for whom he afterwards named his place. In the back of the fire place I saw the Family Crest & G. W. clearly cut. These fire backs were cast in England. The Council Room or Old Library is entered from the Family Dining Room on the West from the New Library in the extension, on the South. This is the room where the Regent & Vice-Regents hold their council every May. Over the mantel is a fine portrait of Miss Ann Pamela Cunningham the first Regent. A large frame hangs on the wall containing the names & amounts given by persons who subscribed to restore the porch on the South of the Mansion. Another relic is a print of Hon.
Edward Vernon made by Jolly Taber in 1740. Some old furniture is scattered around. Over the next door is a steel Engraving of Lord Chatham & from this door you go into the Family Dining Room. There I saw two splendid medallions of Gen & Martha Washington after Stuart. They were given to Miss Cunningham by Hon Wm. Everett. An old Looking glass of George's & several ordinary pictures hung on the walls. The Library or Ohio Room is south of the Council Room & to reach it I went through a small hall. It is empty containing only large book cases full of "Mt. Vernon records." In the wall are a number of panels for secretly keeping papers valuables etc. Now for the Second Floor. Returning to the main hall & ascending the stairs we found at the top on our left the "Lafayette or New Jersey Rootn." Where I had the pleasure of seeing the Bureau, Looking Glass, & Dressing Case used by Lafayette during his visit to Mount Vernon. A Table Cover elegantly worked with masonic emblems, given by the ladies of the Revolution to Washington. On the wall were some fine Engravings among others the Portrait of Mrs. Washington by Butre known as, "The Bride of Mount Vernon. " The predominating color in this room is blue. The doors of this & the other three rooms opening on this passage are guarded by locked wickets & we stare through the bars like wild animals. Next is the "Penn Room." The furniture, Fitly the exception of the bed head belonged to George. Nothing particularly interesting in it. Next is the "Delaware Room," rather small but very nicely furnished by the Vice-Regent. Directly opposite Lafayette's Room is "Nelly Custis," or the Maryland Room in which the furniture is just as it was left by Nelly herself. Here I fortunately found the wicket unlocked & slipped in. The bed is an old fashioned four poster very high & with steps to get in. Of course I improved my chance, skipped up the steps & took my seat in the side. After Sitting there a minute or so I descended & strolled around the room trying the chairs & examining my sweet ? in the glass & was rocking most complacently in Nelly's favorite chair when up came a guide & very politely but firmly requested me to step out. Between this & the "Delaware Room" is a Large empty apartment; going through it I came out over the Library to the South side of the Mansion & the Room in which Washington died. This room is light, airy & pleasant & stepping through the low windows upon a little porch you command a lovely view of the surrounding country. On the west side of this apartment are two large linen closets, Martha's especial pride & pleasure. The bed in which Gen. Washington breathed his last stands between two windows. It is a very plain old four poster & has been shamefully hacked by relic-hunters. The old affair has rather a curious history which was told me by Col. Hollingsworth & which to the best of my remembrance is as follows. 'At the time of the War it was at "Arlington Mansion when this "Estate" was sold during the war this bed passed through various hands until it at last remained in a negro cabin in Alexandria from which it was rescued during the past year by Gen Custis Lee who has loaned it to Mrs. Judge Zall of Va. Vice Regent. In the room was an old secretary used by George, his table, chair, bureau, fire-screen & andirons. I sat down at the secretary & wrote a great many quotes my diary. Saw an old Lady gazing upon me with suspicions. Guess she thought me a Reporter. Lucy, Eric & I once more joined company & ascended the stairs to the 3rd story & entered the Wisconsin Room in which "Martha" died. It is one of the smallest & most inconvenient.rooms in the house but was selected by Mrs. Washington after George's death on account of its being the only one in the house from which you have a view of the Old Tomb. This room has been refurnished by Mrs. Mitchell, Vice-Regent from Wisconsin in style facsimile to that used by Mrs. Washington. Mrs. M. tried to purchase the original furniture but was charged such extortionate prices that she was obliged to abandon the plan for instance she was charged $20,000 for Martha's Bible. Every thing that was in the room has been exactly imitated but in much handsomer materials viz the rag carpet has been imitated by Turkey Carpet costing $9.00 a yd. the calico curtains for bed & chairs by finest camels hair & finest merino even the sheets have the crest & motto "Exitus Acta Probat" exquisitely worked on them. There are five rooms on this floor but they are all empty. A cupola surmounts the whole & is reached by a winding stair case from this floor. It commands one of the most perfectly grand & beautiful views I ever saw. The cupola & stairs have names written all over them. Having finished my examination of the Mansion, I left it by the rear or West door & going to the right of the lawn (which occupies about 20 acres) towards the Green House & Flower Garden on the left I passed the garden & going by the Superintendent's room now found myself in the flower garden. At the gates are four magnificent old trees two ash & two poplar planted by Washington himself. Entering I saw that all the beds were bordered by box 100 years old, planted under the direction of George or Martha. The gardener told me that in Spring the beds are filled with old- fashioned flowers. With infinite precaution I managed to abstract a piece of the box-border a twig from one of the jasmine trees & a fern growing in a secluded corner. Next I went through the "Green House," a new building; the old one was destroyed by fire & it was rebuilt by the Federal Government, Congress having appropriated $7,000 for the purpose. The only thing remaining in it that ever belonged to George is the stalk of the Sago Palm, now 130 years old. A young Palm from the original bulb is flourishing finely. In the Green House is a fine grapevine from which bunches weighing a pound have been taken. Just inside the garden gate are four Calacanthus bushes, given by Jefferson to Washington & named by the latter for his four friends, Madison, Monroe, Adams & Jefferson. On either end of the gardens are Implement & Seed houses in octagon shape. Starting again toward the house Col. H. pointed out to me the Magnolia Grandiflora & the Kentucky Coffee Tree, planted by Washington. I made praiseworthy efforts to obtain a leaf from these celebrities but was too closely watched. Eric, Lucy & myself now retired to a rustic seat under some fine old trees & ate heartily the delicious lunch ordered for us by Cousin Lucy Hayes herself. I amused myself by feeding the chickens & guinea fowl with stray crumbs & tormenting an old cat (probably a descendant of George's pet kitten this I cannot vouch for.) After lunch we separated & wandered through the grounds. I went down to the old tomb & finding the door open crept in & took my seat. As you see I have been on the exact spot where the coffin of "The Father of His Country" once reposed. At precisely 2/l5 the whistle sounded from the wharf & soon after people were seen straggling toward it from all directions. I was awfully tired & looked like a rowdy with my broad brimmed hat on the side of my head & my face as red as an Indian's.
At 2:30 the gang-plank was drawn in & with another shrill whistle the Arrow turned her back on Mt. Vernon & commenced the homeward journey. I went up on deck & leaning on the guard looked back at the Mount as long as it was in sight. The first landing on the return trip was effected at Fort Washington, which is on the Maryland shore. It is a large fortification designed by George & completely commanding the Potomac River. It is here that you first catch a view of the magnificent & beautiful Capitol "Rising (as some author has it) Like a giant among pigmies it sits upon its commanding site among the magnificence of the Capitol City & like the Acropolis it seems the very clouds to kiss. The next landing was Forte Foote I believe I told you that it was an earth work erected in 1863 & garrisoned by a few troops. Here I made another ineffectual attempt to see Lou Breckinridge. Our last landing was at Alexandria. Here I saw Old Christ Church which was easily known by its white Belfry & green blinds. This church was built in 1773 & Col. George Washington was one of its first vestryman. His pew for which he gave the sum of thirty pounds & some odd shillings is still to be seen. Nearly opposite Alexandria is Shepherd's or East Alexandria. Farther up on the Eastern Branch is Grisboro, the place where the British landed in 1812, when they fought the famous battle of Blandensburg. Still further up you can catch a glimpse of Arlington Mansion the home of Gen. R. E. Lee of which I gave you a most imperfect description. The next object of interest is the St. Elizabeth Insane Asylum which belongs to the Government. It is a grand massive building situated on a lofty eminence. When we reached the "Arsenal" the Capt. showed me the site of the Old Penitentiary a few minutes after we landed at the wharf in Washington where we found our carriage waiting & came home reaching here just in time to dress for dinner.
Monday Mch 11th 10 A.M.
Stayed home all day yesterday & at night sang hymns in the Library with the Vice-President, Cousin Rutherford, Cousin Lucy & the rest of the family. Webb has been amusing himself all morning at my expense so to repay me he is going to take me out sight-seeing. We are to thoroughly examine first the Smithsonian Museum, then the State green house & lastly after coming home for lunch to "do" the Capitol. If I live will write it all up for you tomorrow. Adieu the carriage is at the door. Webb & I are going to see Raymond as Col. Sellars tonight. Adieu ami
Tuesday Mch 12th/78 10 A.M.
We, that is Webb, Lucy, & I carried out our programme yesterday & in consequence are nearly dead this morning. To begin I will make a few remarks upon the Smithsonian Museum which was the first place we visited. The Museum is a large, handsome building surrounded by beautiful grounds. Entering we walked through the main hall & up the steps to the immense room in the second story. On yr left as you enter is a large glass case containing a Japanese laborer & wife. Life size & so perfectly made that they almost seem to breathe. The man's hands are especially life like even the finger nails & wrinkles in the knuckles are perfect. Another large case contains Chinese figures of every description from Mandarins to coolies all life-size & very good but nothing in comparison with the Japs. The next case is filled with Indians; the next with Esquimany, next with Arctic Explorers & so on. All very interesting. The whole room is crowded with curious & beautiful things. Minerals all sizes & colors; bows & arrows used by Indians in hunting & in war; mummies, hideously ugly & looking like dried apes queer Chinese wares; exquisite screens; military shells; etc. On top of a case stands a birch bark canoe about 30 ft long containing an Indian & a squaw. He is steering & she rowing. In the centre of the room is a huge rock & on each of the four sides are miniature fortresses in exact imitations of some old forts far in the west. after examining every thing we descended the stairs & went into the main room on the ground floor. Shall have to wait till I return home to tell you all I saw for it would fill a book to write it down.
This room and three other small ones seen to be fairly jammed & there is not a vacant spot. Here in glass cases are collected a vast number of stuffed birds & animals of every variety. From the huge Antediluvian monsters down to tiny hummingbirds from the whale to the minnow. I saw the skeletons of several animals about 40 ft. in height & the shell of a large tortoise which could not have gotten into our hall room. In one of the rooms is a meteorite weighing goodness knows how many hundred pounds which fell in Tucson Arizona. The collection of corals is as superb. I could have looked at them for hrs but Lucy became inpatient & dragged me on. We examined thousands of stones, shells & eggs, poked around musty old hangings & relics & managed to ask Webb about twenty questions a minute. In the end room is a huge group in pottery representing the United States leading on America A is mounted on a buffalo N. O. leads it, an Indian is on the left & some woman on the right. Also in this room are two very handsome vases which were at the Centennial. One called the "Struggle" with the date 1776 is surmounted by a bust of Washington; the other dubbed "Prosperity" & dated 1876 is crowned by a bust of the goddess of Liberty. They are upon pedestals just opposite each other on either side of the room. Quaint old carvings, fantastic shapes & hideous objects meet the eye in all sides & fairly bewilder you. Leaving the Museum we drove to the "Congressional gardens" (what was called the State green houses) & alighting from our carriage strolled around at our own sweet will. The head gardener was of course excessively polite & gave Lucy & myself a magnificent bouquet each; also a little pot containing cuttings of a rare & beautiful begonia. For nearly two hours we roamed from one greenhouse to another one moment sweltering in the tropics & gasping for breath beneath the shade of huge palms, the next cool & happy wandering through the exquisite vegetation of the temperate Zone. Every flower & shrub I ever saw, read of or heard of is there & it is like one of the enchanted spots described in Fairy lore. Having seen all that was to be seen, we returned to the White House swallowed a hasty lunch & left for the Capitol. My dear family after calm & careful consideration I do not hesitate to avow float it must be the grandest building in the world both externally and internally & I only wish I had the pen of an Irving to describe it to you. We entered the right wing of the Capitol through the magnificent & celebrated bronze doors valued at forty thousand dollars. These doors are covered with figures in bas-relief representing scenes during the Revolution & are simply indescribable. Walking down a hall we turned to our left & ascended a stair case. Looking back from the top we had a fine view of that magnificent painting "The Battle of Lake Erie." Inscribed on a scroll twisted around the top of the frame are Perry's famous words " We have met the enemy & they are ours. Oliver Perry." In the center of the painting is a boat in which Commodore Perry stands erect waving his sword his nephew a fair haired handsome lad is trying to pull him down from his exposed position. 0n his right is the Flag Ship which he just left; it has been disabled & is about to sink. On his right a drowning Negro clings to a spar with the grasp of despair, his agonized face half submerged by the crimsoned wave. In the background ships are distinctly visible. The boat's crew are all fine study looking fellows & among them you see the woolly pate & flat nose of a genuine African. We went first to the Senate Chamber, where we heard Conkling, Sen Cameron, Sen Davis & several others call each other liars, black guards etc. in the most amiable manners possible. This room is very large & has six doors at least I saw four & think there were two more. The Senators' desks were arranged around that of the President (Mr. Wheeler) in a half circle; the Republicans on his left & the Democrats on his right. We soon heard enough wrangling to satisfy us & departed to pay the Vice President a visit in his own Sanctum. He received us most cordially (nice old man) & invited us to lunch with him. This apartment is lovely the predominating color being green. Sofas & chairs & table green morocco, carpet & curtains green. On the wall a handsome portrait of Wash
Mr. Dickinson found us here & we proceeded to examine the famous "Marble Room," mere description fails me & I can only say it is superb, grand, magnificent etc. Floor, pillars & all pure marble & such exquisite marble. Costly mirrors meet the eye on all sides & so arranged that wherever you look the apartment seems to extend indefinitely. Next in order is the ."President's Room" which is always carefully locked. It is a perfect gem & no expense has been spared to beautify it. Walls & ceiling are adorned with marvelous frescoes. The windows hung with costly curtains & the floor covered by the most elegant carpet I ever saw. It was made for the room, has a centre of crimson or wine & varrigated [sic] border The sofas, chairs & tables match it & the predominating color in the frescoe is the same. Painted on the walls are fine portraits of Washington & his Cabinet viz Henry Knox, Osgood, Hamilton, Randolph & Jefferson. Above Washington's portrait is the word "Liberty." The center of the ceiling is covered with exquisite figures & in the four corners are full length figures of Christopher Columbus, Americus Vespucius, Ben Franklin & William Brewster. On the mantel is a fine clock. We now entered the main building & went at once into the Rotunda. This Rotunda is gorgeous. Throwing back my head & looking far up I saw the wonderful frescoes which adorn its dome. They are lovely but I did not stare at them long. Over the four doors which lead into this Rotunda are gigantic figures carved out of stone or marble & representing various scenes that took place between Indians & white men in the last century. Around the walls are eight immense paintings the figures in them being all life size. One represents the Pilgrims leaving Delfthoven another “The Baptism of Pocahantas"; another the "Surrender of Cornwallis & still another "Washington Resigning his Commission." After leaving here we entered the "Library" & I could not help thinking how happy Mame would be to spend several years devouring its contents. It is a long narrow room running the width of the central building & containing thousands of volumes. While in there we examined several costly books of Engravings & then, passing out went into the last room we cared to visit viz the "Third House" as it is called; it used to be the House in olden times. Here are collected some fine statues of celebrated men. Each state has been asked to contribute two & a very fair beginning has been made. I noticed particularly Washington, Ethan Allan, Roger Williams, Lincoln, & Gen. Greene. Leaving the Capitol we reached home dressed for dinner & after dispatching that solemn duty the President, Cousin Lucy, Minnie Platt, Webb, Lucy & I "indulged" in a fine game of "Pussy Wants a Corner" We (the same party) play it every evening in the principal hall down-stairs & romp like so many children. Just think of the stately R. B. Hayes flying frantically for a corner, dodging racing & stumbling like a boy. We all enjoy the game particularly Cousins Rudd & Lucy. At 8 P.M. Webb & I started for the theatre. I sat next to the Japanese Minister & had a splendid time.
Wednesday 13th 8 A.M.
Lucy, Eric & I are going down to Fort Foote this morning & will return at 5 P.M. We are to take the Mt. Vernon packet "Arrow" & will have a pleasant trip of an hour or so. Last night we all went to the theatre & after we came home played whist until 12 o'clock P.M. good-bye for Wday
Thursday Mch 14th 10 A.M.
We reached Fort Foote safely & spent a charming day Lou is very nicely situated & lives delightfully. She had purchased a delicious lunch for us consisting of sweet breads & peas, pickled oysters, fried oysters, crullers, sweet pickles, coffee, tea, sliced oranges, black cake, sandwiches, tongue, ham, etc. to which we did full justice. Coming home the old pilot gave me an exquisite bouquet of flowers which he had purchased for me at Mt. Vernon. Was it not kind of him? I intend to preserve them as a souvenir. Last night after our usual game of "Pussy etc." Cousin Lucy Gen. Hastings, Scott & I went to see some wonderful views of London exhibited by an Englishman. It is almost like going to Europe as every thing was life size. We spent most of the evening in rambling (figuratively speaking) through Westminster Abbey & really felt as though I had been there. In next weeks Journal I will give you a full account of all I saw. Think you will find it very interesting. When we came home Webb, Minnie, Luci & I played whist for some time & then Webb took it into his head to tease Minnie & me & in truth nearly drove us crazy. He got a huge garden squirt four ft long & squirted on us until we were soaked. Luckily we had on flannel wrappers. At last we managed to lock ourselves up in one of the spare rooms & there we spent the night. Do not be surprised if this Journal is rather abrupt for the charming youth is in here now & has squirted in the paper several times. I am wringing wet but am determined not to stop for him. Send my pictures today one is for Mina Breaux that is if she will give you one of hers for me. Remember on no other conditions. Start for Lex. tomorrow morning. Cousin Lucy, Webb, Minnie Platt, Lucy McF. & I are to go in a Special car. Hurrah for us! Lucy's wedding is positively to come off in June. Cousin Lucy is coming & Minnie Platt is to be one of the brides maids. Adieu K am in an awful hurry for Webb has filled his squirt again & I intend to run. Aff. L. C. Scott
Been here 5 weeks tomorrow evening. L.
Lexington, Ky. March l9th,/78
Have waited two or three days hoping to hear from you but have at last given up in despair. Lucy & I reached here in safety Saturday at 6 P.M. very tired .& completely demoralized. Cousin Lucy Hayes, Webb, Birchard, Minnie Platt, Mrs. Andrews, Lucy & I left Washington Friday morning about 8 A.M. in Mr. Keyser's special car. The car was beautifully fitted up, consisting of drawing room, small sitting room, large state room, a passage & a kitchen. The drawing room was carpeted & furnished with tables, chair & sofas; the sitting room contains two large sofas which at night were made into beds; the state room was fitted up with chairs, a closet, bed, wash-stand etc. & was most comfortable. Thursday night we, that is, Cousin Lucy, Minnie & myself, were in the Red Parlor until nearly 11 P.M. & the people crowded in all evening to tell us goodbye. Gen Sherman & daughter, Senator & Mrs. Matthews, Postmaster General & Mrs. Key, Mrs & Miss Snead & a host of others made very lengthy stay. Lucy McF was at the theatre with Eric & did not get home until after 11 o'clock. Mrs. Miller, the housekeeper, helped us to fold our dresses & fix things generally but with all her assistance it was half past two A.M. before went to bed. Friday morning I was up a six & by the time I had dressed & eaten my breakfast it was time to leave for the depot. Cousin Lucy, Birch & I with little Jennie Mitchell went in the state carriage, while Webb, Lucy, Minnie & Mrs. Andrews graced the Fremont equipage. We all were nicely dressed & did not look at all like a traveling party. We passed a most delightful morning reading, talking
every day hat. The latter I can get up very easily as I leave a nice straw shape & will only need to have it made over. Will send to Cin for samples & when I get something to suit let you know. Do you not think it best for Mrs. Hough to purchase the material & send it to me, that is of course after I have chosen It? Let me know in yr next.
I was very much shocked & surprised upon reading an account of Judge Leonard's sudden death. Is it true that he was engaged to that cuban girl? Now Ma Chere I must bid you adieu as Lucy & I are going out riding. We are thinking of spending a week with Kate Didlake who lives on a farm. What do you think of my photos? Every one says the full length is best. Did not send one for Maria thinking you would give it to her whether she lets me have one or no. Once more good bye. With love to all.
P.S. Aunt says please look at bands & yokes for chemises, drawers & gowns & send her a price list. Of course they must be elegant as they are for Lucy's wedding finery. Would be pleased by a hasty reply.
- Autograph book kept by Lucy Scott West during her stay at the White House during January
and February 1878
- CDV of the White House acquired by Lucy Scott West during her stay at the White House
during January and February 1878