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Politics and legal matters

A number of letters indicate that EJ Phillips was quite interested in politics. 

Copyrights   Economics   International relations   New York politics   Newspapers   North American Review   Prohibition Presidents  President Ulysses S Grant   Grover Cleveland 1885 inauguration   Dedicates Statue of Liberty 1886  Palmer's Company goes to DC and meets  1887 Cleveland elected 1892  Cleveland baby 1893  Benjamin Harrison elected 1888   1896 election McKinley & William Jennings Bryan   Voting

Legal matters - contracts
The Harvard Theatre Collection has a book of William Mitchell's Olympic Theatre (New York) contracts, including one of John Nickinsons, which is unsigned.  On May 9, 1893, "he was asked to engage for the next season at $15 per week, with the usual benefit of one-half the receipts for one night, less -- note the new formula and grasp its significance -- "less the amount of such private boxes as may be let for the season".  Odell

Various Dolmans (Johns Sr. and Jr. and Walter) were Philadelphia lawyers.  An obituary of John Dolman Sr. (Philadelphia Call July 15, 1895) reports "During his theatrical career and triumphs he also studied law under the tutelage of George W. Arundel and at the University of Pennsylvania, and on June 26, 160, soon after his admission to the bar, he bade farewell to the stage at a performance of "The Hunchback."   Mr. Dolman opened an office for the practice of his profession on Sixth street, below Walnut. About 1861 he was elected clerk of the courts, but, by reason of his growing practice, resigned before the expiration of his term of office.  In 1862 he was elected to select council, but never took much interest in public life, preferring the even tenor of the courts.  The only criminal case of prominence in which he was interested was that of Mrs. Burroughs, who had murdered her husband, in which he represented the defense.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (July 15, 1895) gave his term as Select Council in 1882. "He was a genial and popular man, carrying with him all the time some of the mannerisms which clung to him from his stage career.

Detroit, Mar. 15, 1895  Your nice little note rec'd this noon.  Thought someone was sending me a contract to sign. 

Vicki Jackson, a college roommate, now a law professor, told me about  theatrical contracts providing useful examples in contemporary contracts classes.  I should find out more.

Dramatic Copyright Law of 1856,  International Copyright Agreement accepted by US 1891

Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance and New York premiere 
From Pinafore to Porter:United States United Kingdom Interactions in Musical Theatre 1879-1929, Andrew Lamb , American Music 4(1) Spring 1986: 34-49 https://www.jstor.org/stable/3052183?seq=1
Copyright infringements and the multiplicity of Pinafore companies led to the New York premiere.

Because of the lack of an international copyright agreement, Gilbert and Sullivan received little of the earnings generated by the “Pinafore Craze.” Gilbert, Sullivan and Carte traveled to America and mounted an authorized production of H.M.S. Pinafore, while completing plans to open their next opera in New York in order to secure copyright privileges.  https://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/gilbert-and-sullivan/hms-pinafore

Cincinnati, Jan. 20, 1893 We are going to play The Judge tomorrow night.  We are busy rehearsing it.  It is only for the 1 performance at present to secure the right of the play.

Foreign plays were seldom paid for before Albert M. Palmer's time. That manager succeeded in getting a court decision which prevented rival managers from producing unprinted foreign plays which he had contracted for and produced, he paying the foreign authors so much a performance, probably not more than $50. Until the introduction of international copyright in 1891, printed foreign plays were pirated without apology.  Hornblow, 1919  http://www.theatrehistory.com/american/hornblow17.html

President Ulysses S. Grant
John Nickinson was in Nashville Tennessee from June 22-July 30, performing at Duffields Theatre to large crowds with a troupe from Pike’s Opera House in Cincinnati. Son Albert Nickinson was born in Cincinnati July 8.  What was it like for EJ Phillips in Cincinnati?  Had John Nickinson been present (or at least around) for her two previous births?

1863 July 3 Vicksburg Mississippi  Vicksburg surrenders to Gen Grant after six-week siege. Confederacy split in two.

EJ Phillips wrote in her autobiography for manager AM Palmer  “During the war I witnessed many striking and patriotic scenes here [at Pike’s Opera House, Cincinnati] the soldiers from every state going to and from the battle field. Our audiences were frequently composed chiefly of soldiers. It was after the Surrender of Vicksburg that General Grant was most enthusiastically received here by the soldiers, many of whom had been with him through his campaign.

1865 April 9 Appomattox VA Lee surrenders to Grant.

1886 Feb 17 New York  EJ Phillips took family friend Josie Dolman to see Grant’s tomb. .
This was a temporary tomb.  Grant had died July 23, 1885. The letters we have really start in January 1886 and we don't know if she was in New York in July  1885.

Took 12 years to raise funds for and design a permanent monument.  Much controversy about not being buried in DC.  Elaborate funeral
Kahn, David (January 1980). General Grant National Memorial Historical Resource Study https://www.nps.gov/gegr/learn/historyculture/index.htm
YouTube Seven Mile Funeral Cortege for General Grant

Over one million people watched the funeral procession.  Both Union and Confederate generals served as pall bearers

By 4pm on the day Grant died Bloomingdale’s had sold over six miles of black crepe,.  Grant’s Last Victory: Ulysses S Grant’s Final Last Year 2011 https://books.google.com/books?id=sb3S4InVZm0C&dq=ulysses+grant+funeral+1885+new+york++crepe&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Civil War veterans from both North and South took part, reflecting the high esteem in which he was held throughout a reunified country. General Winfield S. Hancock led the procession, and Grant's pallbearers included former comrades -- General William T. Sherman, General Philip H. Sheridan, and Admiral David D. Porter - as well as former Confederates - Generals Joseph E. Johnston and Simon B. Buckner.  Grant’s Tomb:https://grantstomb.org/   Burial https://grantstomb.org/burial-construction-early-history/  

Grants's Temporary tomb in Riverside Park 1893   
Temporary tomb Museum of the City of New York photo https://collections.mcny.org/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult_VPage&VBID=24UAYWP03LTM&SMLS=1&RW=1192&RH=586

1886 August EJ Phillips wrote son Albert from San Francisco about the GAR [Grand Army of the Repulblic] being in town  "Grand procession, arches, flags, portraits of Grant and Lee hang side by side"

A box of letters and papers recently turned up a small book Recollections of General Grant by George W Childs published in 1890 https://archive.org/details/recollectionsofg00chil , an account of the presentation of the portraits of General Grant, Sherman and Sheridan at West Point.  Childs commissioned the portraits and was a friend of the Grants.

Grant, Ron Chernow 2017 Oct
Pulitzer Prize winner [and Hamilton biographer] Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency. Before the Civil War, Grant was flailing. His business ventures had ended dismally, and despite distinguished service in the Mexican War he ended up resigning from the army in disgrace amid recurring accusations of drunkenness. But in war, Grant began to realize his remarkable potential, soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign, and ultimately defeating the legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Along the way, Grant endeared himself to President Lincoln and became his most trusted general and the strategic genius of the war effort. Grant's military fame translated into a two-term presidency, but one plagued by corruption scandals involving his closest staff members. More important, he sought freedom and justice for black Americans, working to crush the Ku Klux Klan and earning the admiration of Frederick Douglass, who called him "the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race." After his presidency, he was again brought low by a dashing young swindler on Wall Street, only to resuscitate his image by working with Mark Twain to publish his memoirs, which are recognized as a masterpiece of the genre. With lucidity, breadth, and meticulousness, Chernow finds the threads that bind these disparate stories together, shedding new light on the man whom Walt Whitman described as "nothing heroic... and yet the greatest hero." Chernow's probing portrait of Grant's lifelong struggle with alcoholism transforms our understanding of the man at the deepest level. This is America's greatest biographer, bringing movingly to life one of our finest but most underappreciated presidents. The definitive biography, Grant is a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant's life, explaining how this simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.  http://www.syndetics.com/index.aspx?isbn=9781594204876/summary.html&client=minuteman&type=rn12    Fascinating book

President Grover Cleveland
Souvenir of Grover Cleveland's Inauguration Ball, March 4th, 1885.
   The inaugural ball was in the New Pension Building (entrances at the F, G and 5th Street doors). No hat, bonnets, overcoats nor cloaks, allowed to be worn on the ball room floor.  Persons not allowed to stand in centre of "dancing halls" during dancing. 

The Pension Building is now the National Building Museum http://www.nbm.org/ beautifully restored and a spectacular space.  The Great Hall is about the size of a football field.  

The New Pension Building was not yet complete

Palmer's company performed A Celebrated Case at Herzog's Theatre in Washington around the Inauguration, according to one of the two DC newspapers of that day I have. .

Harper's Weekly XXIX (1473):170 March 14, 1885 has some great illustrations and reported "The military in the streets of Washington had no defensive equipments, though dressed in garments like those of the soldiery at the commencement to the Civil War and carrying weapons, there probably was not a cartridge in their cartouches.  Batteries of artillery had come to be in line, but it is doubtful if they had a round of ammunition.  None of their troops were quartered on the government. Every witness of the inauguration parade paid his own expenses.  But all looked with surprise upon the vast changes in Washington city, when at the least real call of need, soldiery and strangers had beholden unsightly streets, a town so scattered as to seem a ruin, and a river tawny and without channels.  Now they beheld a Potomac half rescued from the mire and the city from the malaria, the whole profile of the town, developed in grade of asphaltum and boulevards of shade, the great avenues paved as for a king, the public departments in spacious size and various architectures, probably excelling those of any contemporary government stationery in the streets, and the great monument to WASHINGTON, after thirty years of popular neglect, completed to be the highest statue in the world, by four years of concurrent endeavors of Congress and the army. Where hardly twenty years ago it was a felony for a colored man to carry arms, large companies of Negroes were following the Democratic president with music and muskets and military from every portion of the Slave States looked on this revolution without concern... At night the Italian palace where the pension rolls of the Union are to be kept was made a literal Coliseum, and given up to beauty and spirit ... around the lofty obelisks to WASHINGTON fire-works ascended to the stars, the last signal lights of a long sectional debate lost finally in the majestic dome of a recovered and free union.  George Alfred Townsend.

Cleveland Inauguration Ball dance program 1885


Images from Cleveland's 1885 inauguration, Library of Congress http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pihtml/pi029.html

       Washington Chronicle Inaugural Extra March 4, 1885      
Inaugural Ball regulations 
Grover Cleveland's Inaugural Menu  

1884 election Cleveland vs. Blaine https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/elections/election1884.html
Grover Cleveland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grover_Cleveland

San Francisco, Aug. 4, 1886  Saw [General] Logan in the hall this morning -- they are making a great fuss over him here, I should imagine by the look of things that he will be the next Republican choice for President. 

General John A. Logan had been the Republican nominee for Vice President in 1884, running with James G. Blaine against Grover Cleveland and Thomas Hardwick.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated by Grover Cleveland on Oct 28, 1886 in a ceremony on Bedloe's Island   Bartholdi Day  John Dolman and Mrs. Dolman (Hattie's mother- in- law after her 1887 wedding) came from Philadelphia and Lottie Powell (an old girlfriend of Albert's?) was "on the grandstand with the President of the US, and all his cabinet and the foreign officials" and had "a grand view of the whole affair".

Palmer's Company goes to Washington DC for Actors' Fund Benefit -- Jim the Penman  and is received at the White House by Grover Cleveland, April 18, 1887

Benjamin Harrison 
Boston June 8, 1888 Yesterday I sent you a Boston Herald because of the excellent likeness it contained of Grover Cleveland. I hope the ticket pleases you, Cleveland & Thurman. Have you any doubt of their election?

Incumbent Grover Cleveland and his running mate Judge Allen G. Thurman of Ohio were the Democratic nominees for president in 1888. Benjamin Harrison and Levi Morton were the  winning Republicans. Of course EJ Phillips could not vote except as she reports on Aug 15, 1896 below . She died well before the 19th amendment was passed. (And did she ever give up Canadian citizenship?)

1888 election Harrison vs. Cleveland https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/elections/election1888.html

One Hundred Years towards Suffrage, E. Susan Barber,  Library f Congress  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/naw/nawstime.html

Buffalo, May 15, 1891  Business has not been very good.  There was great enthusiasm here the early part of the week over Grover Cleveland.  Would like him to appear here for a benefit for me.  He is a great favorite in the City. 

Washington DC, Apr. 24, 1891  "Ben" [Benjamin Harrison was President] is not at home so I could not present your compliments to him - he is swinging around California somewhere.  I walked around the White House yesterday, but did not go in.

Benjamin Harrison inaugurated Mar. 1889 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pihtml/pi030.html 

Philadelphia, June 22, 1892   I suppose you are politically very busy just now as they are in Chicago.  Nobody can tell who will be President 'til after the election though.

Philadelphia, June 27, 1892  Mr. Dolman made very kind inquiries for you.  I said I thought you had been very busy with convention work.  He smiled and said that Newspapers were generally pretty busy at such times. I suppose you are pleased with the nomination of G.[rover] C[leveland] and will work hard for his election.  It will be a close fight this time I guess but I hope he will win. 

Baltimore, Nov. 5, 1892  I suppose the Election is keeping Albert busy and on Wed'day we shall know who is the victor.  Seems a pretty hard fight at last and bets more numerous than ever.  Everything seemed so quiet a month ago that it did not seem like election time at all.  

Hartford, Nov. 8, 1892   You will soon know I suppose who is President for the next 4 years.  I believe "The People" want Cleveland but there is too much boodle on the other side and very funny that Blaine goes to Washington at the 11th hour.  Harrison must have apologized to him.  I shall be very sorry to see Cleveland defeated

Grover Cleveland and Adlai Stevenson defeated Benjamin Harrison and Whitelaw Reid on Nov. 8 1892  in the presidential election.
1892 election

Troy, NY, Nov. 13, 1892, Of course you are all happy at the result of the election. Hattie writes me that there are ten roosters in the Argus so you must be very jubilant. Orange Co though was "out of the swim". How about Middletown  itself? 

Roosters as a Democratic symbol Although the donkey is used as a symbol of the U.S. Democratic Party, it has never been officially adopted. The rooster, however, was. https://www.ithaca.edu/rhp/programs/cmd/blogs/posters_and_election_propaganda/the_rooster_as_the_symbol_of_the_u.s._democratic_p/  

Philadelphia, Sept. 10, 1893  So Mrs. [Grover] Cleveland has at last got a baby. People began to think it was all talk, and no baby. But it has turned out all right and another girl. 

Esther Cleveland was the first child born to a sitting US president.  Frances Folsom Cleveland http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Folsom_Cleveland

Washington DC, Dec. 4, 1894  Here I am at the Capitol of the Nation.  Opened last night to a fine house, Mrs. Grover Cleveland being present with Mrs. Carlisle Bissell and other dignitaries, but I did not see them. 

Stage Struck: Frances Clevel and the Theatre, White House Historical Society https://www.whitehousehistory.org/stage-struck

1896 presidential election
Chicago, July 6, 1896  Town pretty full now and the people are very busy trying to nominate a Presidential Candidate.  Hope the best man wins.  My choice is not Whitney or Russell.  Love to all your loving Mother 

The Democratic Convention was In Chicago and nominated "dark horse" William Jennings Bryan on July 11th.  Republican William McKinley won the election in November.  W.C. Whitney was a "leading figure in the fight for sound money, combating the advances of the silver men, and left New York for the convention in 3 private [train] cars."  William E Russell, the ex-governor of Massachusetts, joined the train at Albany. (NY Times, date?) 
William C. Whitney
, a millionaire, a close friend of Grover Cleveland, and his former Secretary of the Navy, rushed to the convention to organize the pro- gold forces, but found that delegates who shared his sentiments were in the minority. 1896 Election, Democratic Party,  http://projects.vassar.edu/1896/democrats.html  

In the Independence Day issue of Harper's Weekly, cartoonist W. A. Rogers contrasts the position of the two major parties on the gold standard. In the background, the newly nominated Republican national ticket, William McKinley and Garret Hobart, celebrate the nation’s birth with an elaborate and brilliant fireworks display showcasing the gold standard under which the Republican elephant runs. In the foreground, leading gold standard Democrats, William C. Whitney (left) and William E. Russell (right), try to salvage the golden, but small and rickety, Democratic Donkey.  http://elections.harpweek.com/1896/cartoon-1896-large.asp?UniqueID=12

1896 election, Bryan vs. McKinley https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/elections/election1896.html
Presidential Campaign of 1896 McKinley vs. Bryan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1896
Rebecca Edwards and Sarah DeFeo, 1896 The Presidential Campaign Cartoons & Commentary, Vassar College  http://projects.vassar.edu/1896/1896home.html William Jennings Bryan, Cross of gold speech July 8, 1896  Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_of_Gold_speech  includes link to full text and audio versions accessed Nov 26 2010

"Crossing the desert " en route to  San Francisco, Aug 15, 1896,  Men came on the train passing through Wyoming yesterday, to take Presidential vote.  We have 13 cars.  There were 52 votes for Bryan and 53 for McKinley.  I voted for the man who is to be nominated.  The above voted were by males.  Phil Davies tells me that voting was originally up to individual states and that some women voted in in the early 19th century elections. Of course women could not vote until the 19th Amendment in 1920. And was EJ Phillps ever a US citizen?

Seattle, Sept. 22, 1896  Who are you going to vote for?  And who will be the next President?  Tell me all about it.  I suppose John [Dolman, Hattie's husband] goes for McKinley.

EJP to Albert, Omaha, Oct. 25 [1896]. On Wednesday night we go on board a sleeper at Davenport to take us to Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids to Dubuque and Freeport, Ill on Saturday night.  Milwaukee, Nov. 2nd  There we hope to be when the Election returns tell us who will be the new man in the White House for the next 4 years.  People seem to think and talk of nothing else in this part of the Country.  I shall be glad when the whole thing is settled and no trouble arises from it. 

New York politics
Boston, Sept, 9, 1887 Have you ever read Henry George’s “Progress and Poverty”? If not I will send it to you.  It ought to be read by every thinking man & woman. I have not quite finished it but will by the time you let me know if you have read it or not. You will perhaps find it rather dry reading at first, but I think you will get interested in it, and as I have done become a convert to his theory

George had run for mayor of New York in 1886  along with Therefore Roosevelt and Abram Hewitt.  Kessner describes the election as "one of the most high-minded in city history" and "unusual for the quality of the candidates and the new ideas about the rights of labor and the imperatives of capital."  Not unexpectedly Hewitt won, but George "driven, funny, filled with restless energy and a passion for social reform" received more votes than Roosevelt." 

New York, Dec. 2, 1886 I think Mr. Armstrong is about right with sugar to the Prohibition man.  I should think he has the money from the committee before this and ought to have paid you!  However it might cost more to sue than the amt of the bill, and you would then be worse off then before. 

The Prohibition party had been formed in 1869 and nominated presidential candidates since 1872.

New York, April 8, 1888  Of course you have heard that Roscoe Conkling expired at 2 this morning.  Another great man gone

Roscoe Conkling , US senator and presidential candidate, died of exposure after trying to walk home from his downtown office in the Blizzard of 1888.  Madison Square park in New York city has a statue of him.

Roscoe Conkling Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscoe_Conkling

San Francisco, Aug. 29, 1888 Glad matters are still progressing favorable with you.  Should prefer you not being so thoroughly mixed up with politics, but perhaps I am wrong.  Wish you success, that is all I can do. 

Centennial of George Washington's Inauguration 1889

EJP to Neppie, Mar. 5, 1890 Did the Election prove a success to the Democratic ticket?  I hope so! Then Albert will be happy. 

New York, Nov 5, 1890  Well, [H.J.] Grant is again Mayor of New York by an overwhelming majority. 

H.J. Grant Administration reviewed New York Times Oct 22 1890 5:3, World's censure Oct 24 5:1.

New York, Feb 26, 1892  When does the election take place? Glad you are not too sanguine of success, then defeat will be less difficult to bear

Seattle, Sept. 22, 1896  What is [Senator David Bennett] D.B. Hill driving at?  I think he is going to astonish us by and by.  He is playing a deep game for something. 

Senator DB Hill Defends the Gold Standard, July 9, 1896 http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5355/     DAB  

Senator DB Hill  NY State Democratic convention & platform controlled by his friends Sept 19 1896; Presidential  campaign of 1896, Free silver views July 9 NY Times 

New York Senator David B. Hill, a loyal Cleveland man, moved that the convention express its support for the current Democratic administration. The motion failed miserably, and free-silver men wildly celebrated their victory.  1896 Election, Democratic Party,  http://projects.vassar.edu/1896/democrats.html 

International relations
Hawaiian trouble
Louisville, Nov.  27, 1893  I have a Courier Journal ready to post with this giving an account and the paper's opinion of the Hawaiian trouble. Places Mrs. ex-president [Queen Liliuokalani] in a rather queer position if all can be proven true. 

Grover Cleveland's message, Dec. 18, 1893 http://www.hawaii-nation.org/cleveland.html

UNITED STATES PUBLIC LAW 103-150, 103d Congress Joint Resolution 19, Nov. 23, 1993  To acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and to offer an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. http://sisis.nativeweb.org/clark/nov2398us.html

Salt Lake City, Sept. 14, 1886  Chief Justice Waite is here.  He was in Frisco while we were there, said he now could understand the Chinese question.  Now I suppose he will understand the Mormon question.  There is one thing he will find - the Mormons are very polite people. 

Waite is known for his 1878 Reynold's anti-polygamy decision. The Supreme Court did not finalize the Chinese exclusion Act until after Waite had died.

Salt Lake City, Sept.. 26, 1896  Mr. [Daniel] Frohman invited me with three others of the company to take a drive in  Forest Park, and a more beautiful drive I never enjoyed.  The grand old trees & the water views were beautiful.  We were driven by the same man who had taken Li-Hung-Chang through the City and Park five days before.  We were a little too late to see the great man -- who was royally received in  Vancouver.

Li Hung Chang toured  Europe and the  US as part his journey to the coronation of the Czar.  Though he is described as a senior Chinese diplomat this was not an official state visit (though it received extensive press coverage).

North American Review
Boston, May 15, 1890 Read the last number of the North American Review

 When I saw the contents of the May 1890 North American Review.  I couldn't identify any specific article she might have been referring to, but the contents included "Reforms needed in the House" (by the Speaker of the US House), "The Hatred of England", "Soap Bubbles of Socialism", "What shall we do with silver" by a US Representative from Texas, "The Typical American" by Andrew Lang and Max O'Rell, "A few words on Colonel Ingersoll", "Audacity in Women Novelists", "The Mississippi Floods", "Why cities are badly governed" by a New York State Senator, and "The Tariff on Trial".  The  North American Review has been published since 1815, and is still a going concern.

Dion Boucicault published a multi-part series on dramaturgy in the North American Review.

Kintz, Henry J., The inauguration of Grover Cleveland, the president-elect March 4th, 1997: A book for fifth million people, Alexandria VA 1885 [Library of Congress reprint]

Harpers Weekly Presidential Elections 1860-1912 https://www.harpweek.com/
Making of America Journals, University of Michigan http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moajrnl/

Last updated August 25, 2020

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