Wed. 2nd
To say g.b. & leave cards at Mrs. Blight's & Perkins, Bruens, Tweedy, Pomeroy, Ida & King, old King, Cunningham, Derby, Calvert, Forsythe, Redmond, E. Potter
2nd W.
Left Newport by night boat.
3rd Th.
Arr. N.Y. about 7 or 8 A.M. Came to N.Y. Hotel. Not out all day. Rain & fatigue. Saw no one but the crowd in dining room.
4th Fri.
To see the cousins Taylor & Schönberger. Shop'g. Mr. & Mrs. J.C. Gray cd.
5th Sat.
Shopping. To see Mrs. Roberts & Endicotts. Papa, Mamma & I dined at Mrs. J.C. Gray's, with Judge Barrett & went to the Standrd after to see "Patience" Sullivan & Gilbert last operetta, the success of the season. "Bunthorne" played by Ryly excellent. (Take off of the aesthetic craze_).
Bunthorne was a satire of Oscar Wilde.
6th Sun.

To see the Rouths & Mrs. Baldy Smith. 

Major General William F. "Baldy" Smith was a civil war commander with a reputation for being something of a martinet.

7th Mon.
Mrs. Ch. Minot cd. Drove to Central Park with Mrs. Roberts. dined with her, 2 Endicott sisters, a brother Robert & Miss McAllister.
8th Tues.
Shop. in the morn. Shops close at noon, election day.
9th W.
10th Th.
Left N.Y. about 10AM. Arrvd Washington about 5. Mama, Max & I to Mrs. Penn's Boarding House 1800 F. because the house taken on Mass. Av. not finished.
11th Fri.
Ethel Robeson came in the mf & took Max off for the day. Mama & I lunched at Mrs Hopkins with Mrs. Craig Wadsworth (staying there). Then to see the house Mass. Av., down town with Mr. Hopkins to the gas fixtures, to Mme Outrey's, the Rob. McLanes. Mr. & Mrs. Robeson & Outreys here.
Max Heard
Ethel is possibly the daughter of George Maxwell Robeson (1829-1897), a lawyer, New Jersey official, and U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1869-1877). He was a Republican congressman from New Jersey (1879-83). Max was Amy's younger sister, Helen Maxima Heard (1868-1937), who was Amalia West's age and was also to be on intimate terms with the West sisters. She was known throughout her life by the nickname "Max," but during her Korean stay in the 90's she signed herself more formally as "Helene." During the 80's The West sisters and Amy called Max "Bébé" (French for Baby) and she so signed her letters. Amalia often refered to herself (or to Max) as Amy's "Second Bébé."

Robert Milligan McLane (1815-1898) was in the House of Representatives, was Governor of Maryland from 1883-1887, and later minister to France.

Sat. 12th
To see Mrs. Robeson. Max there to stay. Mama & I dined at the Outrey's. only Mr. Lowndes.

Mentioned frequently in the letters of Mrs. Henry Adams, James Lowndes was a South Carolinian and Confederate Army Colonel who settled in Washington following the war to practice law. He was believed to be the model for the character "Carrington" in Henry Adams' book Democracy [1].

Sun. 13th
To St. John's Ch. with Miss McLane (Jinny)- To see Mme Outrey & stayed to din.
Mon. 14th
Breakfast Jinny McLanes. In town with Mama. Mrs. Philaino cd. ordered books for me.
Tues. 15th
Mrs. Davenport cd. & Mrs. Andersen Williamson. To the R. McLanes.
Jinny Davenport was referred to by Mrs. Henry Adams as being a member of the "team" consisting of the Miss Bayards (Katherine and Mabel), Miss (Emily) Beale, and Henry James. The Misses Bayard were the daughters of Thomas Francis Bayard (1828-1898), the Senator from Delaware (1869-1885) and President Cleveland's Secretary of State from 1885-1889 and Ambassador to Great Britain from 1893 to 1897. Katherine Bayard would later committ suicide following the announcement of the departure of the Spanish Minister, her reputed lover Juan Valera, from Washington. As shall be seen, Valera seems to have figured prominently in Amy's life as well.
Wed. 16th
Not out. Lieut. Davenport cd. & Minnie Stout.
Th. 17th
Mrs. John Davis, Mrs. Hopkins, Mrs. Adams, cd.

Mrs. John Davis was one of the three daughters (Sallie) of Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen (1817-1885), a senator from New Jersey (1866-1869) and Secretary of State as of 12 December 1881, succeeding James G. Blaine, of whom much will be said later. John Davis served as assistant Secretary of State. Mrs. Adams is Mrs. Henry Adams (1843-1885), probably the primary chronicler of social and political Washington of the day and the wife of the historian Henry Adams, the grandson of one President and the great-grandson of another. Their house at 1607 H Street was one of the social hubs of political and diplomatic Washington. Born Marion Hooper, she was known as "Clover"[11]. Her brilliant wit became increasingly clouded by depression until her suicide in 1885 following the death of her father. Her husband's memorial to her, sculpted by St. Gaudens, is in Rock Creek Cemetery near Washington.

Fri 18th
To the house Mass. Av. Cd. with Mme Outrey & Mama on Mrs. Don Cameron, Blaine, I to the McLanes_to dine with Mrs. Davenport at Wormdays. (Cont Lippe & Mrs Bosh of the Spanish Leg.) Aftern. with Mrs. D. and son to Miss Carisa Garewell Concert. Not sympathetic, though fine voice.

Mrs. J. D. Cameron was the former Elizabeth Sherman, a niece of General W. T. Sherman and Senator J. Sherman. She married in 1878 James Donald Cameron , the Senator from Pennsylvania during 1877-1897, Secretary of War 1876-1877 under Grant, and a widower of twice her age. He was also Chairman of the Republican National Committee during Hayes' campaign and term. His father, Simon Cameron, was Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury before being removed for flagrant corruption. He was referred to as "Mr. Corruption" of the Republican Party and is famous for the comment that "an honest politician is one when bought, stays bought." She was close to the Adams for many years and was romantically linked to Henry following the death of Clover. The story of this romance is told in Henry Adams in Love [23].

James G. Blaine was Secretary of State; he would be replaced by Frederick T. Frelinghuysen on 12 December. He had represented Maine in congress for 20 years and was a principal power in Republican party politics. He had run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1876 and 1880 and he would be the Republican presidential candidate in 1884 as the "plumed knight," but clouds of suspicion regarding his honesty would contribute to his loss to the Democrat reform candidate, Grover Cleveland. Theodore Roosevelt fought hard against Blaine's nomination at the 1884 convention, but he reluctantly supported Blaine after his nomination. Blaine refused the nomination in 1888 on the grounds that having lost once, he would not be the strongest candidate. (If only Richard Nixon had thought along similar lines!) Benjamin Harrison, the "little general," became the nominee and Blaine regained his position as Secretary of State. Soon thereafter he appointed Amy's father Minister and Chief Consul to Korea. The leading male character of Adams' Democracy, Senator Silas P. Ratcliffe, was generally believed to be patterned after James G. Blaine. Clover Adams detested Blaine.

Mrs James G. Blaine's letters provide, after those of Mrs Adams, the most informative source of Gilded Age Washington society. Born Harriet Stanwood in 1828, she married Blaine in 1850. She led an incredibly active and by in large happy life until 1893, when in short succession she lost her two elder sons, her daughter, and her husband. The remaining ten years of her life were unhappy to the extreme. A short biography of Mrs Blaine may be found in Bradford's Wives. [6]

Count Lippe is Count Lippe-Weissenfeld, a counselor of the Austria-Hungary Legation.  

Sat. 19th
To choose gas fix. with Phillips. To see Mrs. Phillips (Levy) & Mrs. Robeson. Papa came fr. N.Y.
Sun. 20th
To St. John's with Mr. Davenport. To see Minnie Stout.

In her letter from Mrs. Henry Adams to her father dated 20 November, Mrs. Adams mentions that

We are going to have a Thanksgiving dinner as well as you: Mrs. Augustine Heard and a beautiful daughter; the Lewenhaupts; Miss Beale; Count Lippe; and Kasson of Iowa, if he accepts. Mr. Heard may be here, so I must keep his place open and get another man too. Mrs. Heard is in a stuffy boarding-house, and looks as if life were a demnition grind. They've taken a house here for the winter. Tell Ellen, Mary de Connick, the little sister, was married two weeks ago to a man named Johnson, of Baltimore, without announcing it beforehand, Mrs. Heard says. I thought folks in boarding-houses and stray diplomats might help in a national sacrifice, and Emily Beale is to be all alone ...

Emily Beale was a constant companion of Elizabeth Cameron's. Kasson is John Adam Kasson (1822-1910) was returning to Congress as a Republican from Iowa after four years in Vienna as American Minister to Austria-Hungary. He was a candidate in December for Speaker of the House, but lost to Keifer of Ohio.

Mon. 21st
Papa, Mama & I by 10.30 train to Baltimore to see old Mrs. McKion & dine with her at 5 O'clock. Mrs. K. grandchildren & sister Miss Cordelia Hollins. To see old Mrs. Chatard_Mrs. Grace_ the Lydia Howards. Greenmount to Grandmama's grave.
22d Tues.
To 1777 Mass. Av. A.M. Mama & I out with Mme Outrey in the P.M. to see wall papers. Call on Mrs. J.  Davis. Mlle de Chambrun, Mrs Davenport, Mrs. Adams, the R. Mclanes. Count & Countess Lewenhaupt, Swedish Minister. Count & Countess de Noqueiras, Portuguese min. called yesterday.
Mlle de Chambrun is Thérèse de Chambrun, the daughter of the Marquis de Chambrun, the French counsel before the French and American Claims Commission. Mme Mathilde de Nogueiras was the daughter of the Portuguese minister of 1878-1888, Visconde das Nogueiras.
23rd W.
Rained all day & not out.
24th Th.
Thanksgiving Ch. Papa, Mama, & I dined at Mrs Henry Adams with Count & Ctess Lewenhaupt, Miss Beal, Ct Lippe & Capt. Dewey who took me in.
Mrs. Henry Adams writes on 27 November 1881 to her father:
Our Thanksgiving dinner went off gaily; it grew to ten and Herbert Wadsworth came in to dessert and stayed till midnight to tell us about the South and cotton gins. Mr.  Heard came with his wife and daughter, Lewenhaupts, Lippe, Miss Beale, and Captain Dewey, all Dinnerless folks.

Captain Dewey is the future Admiral Dewey, the hero of the battle of Manila in the Spanish-American war.

In her letter of 11 December she further writes

By the way, Mrs. Heard was much interested to see Miss Beale on Thanksgiving Day, having heard of her in Newport as the authoress of Democracy in collusion with Herbert Wadsworth, whom she accused of it after Miss Beale had gone. He looked very conscious and embarrased and when we told Emily Beale she only gasped. So her fury of last year may have been a blind.

The Washington political novel Democracy[1] with its characters based on on leading figures of the time (including James G. Blaine) was attributed to many authors. The book had in fact been written by Henry Adams.

28th Mon.
Down town with Mama._ with Min. St. to dress-maker Jackson _to see Mrs. Dr. P. Riske. Mrs. Adams with Mama._ Mrs. Blaine, Miss Knight, Miss Mixtur cd.
Tues. 29th
Mama in town with Mrs Hopkins & back to lunch with her. Miss Beal, Mrs & Miss Pattison, cd. To Miss Knight's. Mr. Davenport & Babcock came in after din.
Wed. 30th
To the house & Mrs. Hopkins.

Robert M. Gray, September 23, 2005