October 1st 1881
- 1st Sat.
Not out in daytime.
Dined at Mrs. Marshall O. Roberts, no one but her 2 sisters,
Endicott & a Miss McAllister?
Afternoon to party at Ida's. Mrs Craig
Wadsworth, Miss Dehones.
Marshall Owen Roberts
(1814-1880) was a capitalist and politician
who, among other things, managed many government mail steamship
service contracts. These businesses were severely damaged by
competition from Cornelius Vanderbilt. Roberts gained notoriety as a
profiteer from his steamship dealings during the Civil War. He was an
anti-Seward Whig and a Republican. He was one of the group that
financed Cyrus Field's first cable venture.
Mary Endicott was the daughter of the
Secretary of the Navy and
a friend of Victoria's
who married the British Diplomat Joseph Chamberlain
successful negotiation of the British-American Fisheries Treaty.
Mrs. Craig Wharton
Wadsworth is the
former Evelyn Willing Peters,
1845-1885. She would
later be Amy's neighbor on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington.
- 2nd Sun.
- Not out. Mrs Calvert cd.
Mrs. Sturgis & Rita & Susie tea with us.
The abbreviation "cd." stands for "called." The custom of calling
is well described by Tehan in Henry Adams in Love
, p. 24:
The paying of calls was governed by iron-clad
rules. Any lady who was or wanted to be in society must first leave
her printed calling card before making a visit. Her footman
presented it to the servant of the house, and if the corner was
turned down it signified that the lady had come in person.
The lady for whom she left the card must, within seven to ten days,
leave her card in return. This ritual use of the engraved bits of
pasteboard was a means of testing the social temperature before
entering the water. Next came the exchange of formal calls. One
etiquette writer declared, "You cannot invite people to your house
(however often you may have met them elsewhere) until you first call
on them in a formal manner and they return your visit. It is a
safeguard against undesirable aquantances. If you don't wish to
continue the friendship, you discontinue to call and no further
advances are made. But it is bad manners not to return a call in the
- 3rd Mon.
Arthur Carey, Mrs. Hopkins cd. Drove with
Mr. Warren. Misses Endicott & McAllister.
- 4th Tues.
Dr. Brackett filled tooth up. left.
Mr. Atherton Blight, Arthur Rives, Miss Dehones.
To see R. Sturgis,
Mrs. Rob. Cushing.
- 5th Wed.
To see Mme Outrey.
Dr. Brackett general polishing.
Mrs Parkinson sent us her carriage.
Cd. on Phimneys, Wales, Perkins, Parkinson.
Mrs. J. C. Gray, Miss Frick
Mme Outrey was the
"winsome" wife of the French Minister to
Mrs. John Chipman Gray
was the wife of the brother of Russell Gray,
later to become Amy's husband.
John C. Gray was a Professor of Law at Harvard and
founding partner of the Boston Law Firm of
Ropes and Gray.
(actually, a half brother)
Horace was then a U.S.
Supreme Court Justice.
In her letter to her father of 15 January 1882, Mrs. Henry Adams
writes of Judge Gray that
Last Sunday Judge Gray to dine. Has not gained in charm of manner in
the years since we last met.
- 6th Th.
To see Mrs. Roberts, Endicotts,
Miss McAllister. Mrs. Edw. Potter cd.
Possibly Edward Potter is the sculptor
(1857-1923) who created statues for the Chicago World's Fair in
1893, did several equestrian statues, and did the lions for the New
York Public Library.
- 7th Fri.
Rita Sturgis, Mrs. A .A. Low,
Miss Low, Mrs. H. Pierrepont Jr, cd.
Dr. with Mr. Warren.
Abiel Abbot Low
(1811-1893) of Salem was a merchant and the clerk and
of Russell & Co. in Canton China, the company founded by
Samul Russell of Middletown, Conn., following his arrival in China in 1824.
Amy's father's uncle
had been a partner of Russell & Co. (1831-1836)
before founding his own company,
Augustine Heard & Co. 
Russell & Co. was the largest and Augustine
Heard & Co. the second largest American trading firms in China.
A. A. Low formed his own company A.A. Low & Brothers and eventually
became the leading China and Japan trader in silks and tea. He also
shared in in financing the first Atlantic cable and in the building of
the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad through West Virginia.
Rita Sturgis is possibly
either the wife of Russell Sturgis of Boston, who also was a partner
in Russell & Co. (1842-1844) or of Robert Shaw Sturgis
of Boston, another partner
It is possibly coincidence, but there was also a partner of Russell & Company
named John N. Alsop Griswold, possibly a relation to Minnie Griswold.
- 8th Sat.
Papa came in the night. Mrs. Wetmore, Miss M. Whiting,
Ida Decon, Mrs. Cunningham, Miss Hurd cd. I on the Providence.
Smith's, M. Griswold, Ida where several girls came to aft. tea. Maud
Legdard drove me home.
- Oct 9th
Ch. Papa to N.Y. by night boat.
- 10th Mon.
Revd Potter, Min. Griswold, Emily Upton,
Miss Gray, Mrs Kenuce
Miss Gray is likely one of Harriet or Elizabeth (Bessie) Gray, (half)
sisters of John Chipman and Russell Gray.
- 11th Tues.
Large girl's lunch at the Russells. Cd on Whitings,
Mrs Boit, Eyre, W. Wadsworth, Sands. The misses Mason cd.
- 12th Wed.
Mamma to lunch at the Rodmans.
Mrs Livingston, Woodsworth, Endicotts cd.
- 13th Th.
To see Mrs. W. Forbes at Mrs Pomeroys. out.
Cd. on Mrs Dr. King, Mrs Rich. Willing here & Mrs. Terry & Daisey!
To see Mrs. J. C. Gray after dinner.
The name of Forbes also enters through Russell & Co.,
John Murray Forbes of Milton, Mass.,was a partner (1834-1838)
as were Robert Bennett Forbes of Milton (1839-1844),
Paul Sieman Forbes of New York (1844-1873), and
William Howell Forbes of New York and Paris (1861-1880),
Frank Blackwell Forbes of New York (1863-1880),
James Murray Forbes of Milton (1869-1872),
John Murray Forbes, Jr., of New York (1871-1880),
and Henry De Courcy Forbes of New York (1872-1880).
Russell & Co. was clearly a family affair, as was Heard & Co. Many of these
men made fortunes while still young and some, like Amy's father, lost most of
it during the recession of the 1870s.
Mrs. J.C. Gray was Anna Sophia Lyman "Nina" Gray.
She became a close friend of
Oliver Wendell Holmes.
- 14th Fri.
Mr. & Mrs. Forbes & Miss Pomeroy cd.
Dr. with Mr. Warren. Cd on Miss Madeleine Mixter.
- 15th S.
Mrs. Griswold & Miss Derby cd.
Boston Mr. &
Mrs. Gray came today, J. C. after din.
Papa & Mama dined at the Pomeroys. I at the Griswolds. Afterwards to
Commerce Party at Ida's.
- 16th S.
- Ch. cd. on Mrs. & Miss Minot,
dined 1.30 at the Pomeroys. Walked with Miss Erving. aft. tea. at Miss
Howard's. Papa left by night boat.
- 17th M.
Mamma to join Papa in N.Y. & go on
to Washington & hunt houses with him. Mrs & Miss Minot cd. I on
Mrs. Rich Willing & the Russells.
- 18th Tues.
- Drove to Paradise & Purgatory
- 19th Oct.
Mrs & Miss Phinney, Min. Griswold here.
Drove with Miss Phinney.
- 20th Th.
Cd on Smiths & Mrs. Stanard.
- 21st Fri.
Mr. Crawford, Maud Ledyard,
Mr. Morgand. Drove with Mr. Pomeroy (Tandem). Mamma back fr.
Washington. Aug. fr. Quincy to see Brachdt.
- 22nd Sat.
Drove with Mr Warren.
- 23rd Sun.
Not out. Mr Arthur Rives cd.
- 24th M.
Aug. back to Quincy. Began packing.
- 25th Tues.
Miss Ida Mason & Perkins Cd.& Mrs Russell
- 26th Wed.
Miss G. King. Mme de Vaugrigneuse cd.
- 27th Th.
Mrs Buchler & B. sailed for Havre in "Lessing."
Mrs. Edw. Potter cd. Not out since Saturday nor seen anyone. Hair
The Lessing was a ship of
3,496 gross tons, length 375.1ft x beam 40ft, one funnel, two masts, iron hull, single screw, speed 13 knots, with accommodation for 90-1st, 100-2nd and 800-3rd class passengers. It was launched in 1874 by A. Stephen & Sons, Glasgow for the Adler Line, Hamburg. she started her maiden voyage from Hamburg to New York on 28th May 1874. In 1875 she was purchased by Hamburg America Line and continued Hamburg - Havre - New York sailings.
- 28th Fri.
- 29th Sat.
Papa home. Mrs and Misses Austin, Miss Smith cd.
- 30th Sun.
Ch. to say gbye to Miss Jane Stuart, Griswolds. Mamma
dined at Mrs. D. King Sr. (French deb)
- 30th Mon.
Robert M. Gray, September 23, 2005