- Sun. 1 January
To church. After to the Levys and Mrs. ?? and
Mme Outrey. Mrs. Wodl. Blair and W. Hopkins here.
Papa to N.Y.
- Mon. 2
First official of the year. Did not go to the White House,
and I did not receive here, because I went to the quarters in Mrs
Hopkins house where Miss Worden was receiving.
I left for the dinner with Mrs. J. Miller, Lowndes, and Everett.
Left cards here: Vindes, Boca, of the Spanish legation, Babcock,
Clover, Henneberger, Strong, Mancomb, Paine, 2 Phillips, Lowndes,
Upshur, Ferguson, King, Adams, Allen, Buchanan, Stephens.
At that time the President still held an open
house on the first of the year (or the second if the first was a
Sunday). Anyone who wished could visit the White House and greet the
- T. 3
Mdlle de Noqueiras here. Went with her to see
Miss West,Mme & Mmle Medina, Fava, G. Lorings, Lee King, Mrsw &
Miss Lippett, Mis Dodge & Miss Turnbull called. Lunch with Mrs
This is the first evidence of a meeting between Amy
Heard and Victoria West.
Victoria had recently arrived in the United States as the
daughter of the new (and never married) British Minister to
Washington, Sir Lionel Sackville-West.
Sackville-West was a career diplomat, having served as Secretary
in Paris and as British Minister to Buenos Aires and Madrid before
taking that office in Washington in 1881. He was the fifth son
of the fifth Earl of Delawarr.
The long term liaison
between the British diplomat and his Spanish gypsy dancer mistress
was the subject of the book Pepita
 by Vita Sackville-West.
Official Washington had already decided to accept
Victoria as the new hostess of the British Legation
in spite of her unusual status, perhaps in
relief of the previous rather dull occupants.
The arrangement, however, proved a source of constant comment
in diplomatic annals of the times.
Despite her initial social handicap, Victoria would prove to
be one of the most clever and adept hostesses in Washington of
Victoria and Amy were roughly the same age. Victoria spoke
little English and Amy was fluent in French, having been
raised in Paris while her father served as an agent for the China
Their common language and age was a
sufficient bond to form a friendship. In March "Miss West"
became "Victoria" in Amy's notebook and Victoria appears
regularly from then on. The two traveled in
similar circles and had many friends in common.
Baron Saverio Fava was the Italian Minister to Washington from 1881
through 1893. Mrs Henry Adams found his wife the Baroness "lively
- Sun. 8
- To see Miss Hopkins, D. King, Adams. The evening at the
Robesons with Davenport and Mama who came to look for us and return
- M. 9
To see Mrs Bancroft, Mr Keever. Mr West, Miss Long, Mrs Phelps
again. Danced at the house of the Mexican minister (Zamacona).
Lunched with Mrs Wadsworth.
- T. 10
To see Mrs cox. Mme and Mlle de Barca & Mathilde de Nogueiras here.
Dined with the Countess Lewenhaupt. Mr de Meissner took me to the
table. Went to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Adams, Mme de Meissner,
Mr and Miss West, Miss Hooper, Miss Beal, Viliasons ? de Bildt, Boca.
- W. 11
Went to the Frelinghuysens. Count & Mrs Upshaw, Mrs Blaine came. Mrs
Robesons theatre party to Miss Pratt. saw "Our Bachelors" Robson &
Crane. amusing__ Supper at Mrs B.
- Thursday 12
Aristarqui Bey, Mme & Mathilde de N, Capt. & Mrs McCalla,
Howells, Storeys here. Mrs C. W. lunched with us. To see the
Pendletons, Zamacones, Bayards.
Dinner for 16 given by Col. Bliss to Mama,
Sen. &Mrs Hale, Mr & Mrs Hopkins, Gen. &MrsMcKeever, Miss L.
Frelinghuysen, Jinny McLane, Mrs. G. Loring
dined. Ct Benst, Aristarqui, Mr Conduzcó, Mr Hopkins at the table.
- F. 13
In the city for the morning. Bad weather and I did not go out
in the afternoon. Mrs. Hopkins and Mrs. Lowndes came.
- Sat. 14
Mrs J. Ricketts Roca here.
To see the Countess Lewenhaupt, Sherman, Upshaw, Kearney, Howell,
Alt. Ray, Outrey_ Max vaccinated by Dr Wales.
- Sun. 15
Church in the morning. Evening at Casa Nogueiras.
- M. 16
Lunched with Ginny McLane, Jinny Pendleton, Miss Sherlock,
Miss Shenck. Later, with Mama to see the Pettisons, the Navy Yard,
Mrs. Bancroft Davis, McCalla. Mr. and Mme. de Fava, Gen. Mrs. and
Miss Hunter, Mrs. Phillips & Miss Levy, Mrs. Lee Phillips,
Mrs. Barbour, Miss Dangerfield, Mrs. Stewart here.
At Casa Pendleton for the evening.
Bancroft Davis was nominated
Assistant Secretary of State in December 1881, a position Mrs. Adams
says he had refused under Blaine. That same month Chief Justice
Horace Gray of the Massachusetts Supreme Court was nominated to
become Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
by President Chester A. Arthur. Miss Shenck is likely the daughter
of General Shenck.
A German was a dance or cotillion, where the custom was that the
women had turns asking the men to dance.
- Tues. 17
Danced the "Tuesday German" with Roca.
Mrs. Rives is possibly Mrs. William Cabell Rives, the former Grace
Sears of Boston, who was mentioned in the letters of Mrs. Henry Adams
of 1 January 1882. Mrs. Adams had never spoken to her, but they had
exchanged cards some time before. Mrs. Rives granddaughter
Amélie Rives (later Princess Troubetzkoy) was a novelist.
Amélie also crops up in
Mary Curzon, the biography of Mary Leiter
, about whom we shall hear more later.
Her future husband, Lord Curzon, spent three days during August 1982
at "the house of a Mrs Rives" in Virginia, "whose daughter
Amélie he had met in England." Curzon commented how
"Upon me Amy shone with the undivided insistence of her starlike
eyes" in his diary.
- W. 18
In the city with Mama. To see Dr. Pope. Mme. Outrey, Mrs. and Miss
Rives, Cap. de la Chére, Mr. Bérard to see us.
William Rives was American Minister in Paris during the 1830's.
- T. 19
Mrs. & Miss McCeney, Mr. & Mme. deBille, Dr. & Mrs. Pluwer,
Mrs. Lam. Palmer, Jam. Palmer, Mme. Pollock, Mme. de Chambrun, the
Nog. here. To see the ??, Hunter, Stuart, Phelps, Knight, Delany, L.
- F. 20
To see Mrs. Ricketts, Miss Turnbull, Mrs. & Miss Rives. Danced the
"Bachelor German" with Babcock.
- Sat. 21
It rained all day, but ??
with Mrs. Hoskins. Mrs Robeson, Miss Pritt, Mme de Bildt came here.
- Sun. 22
Visit by Mrs. Lowndes.
- Mon. 23
With Mama to see Dr Pope (second time).
To Mrs Pollok, Mullen, & Grace.
Visits by the Jays, Outreys, Schuylers, Coxes, Frelinghuysens,
Shermans, Howels, Martinez, Biddles, Bancroft Davis, Storey. For the
evening "at home" at the home of the Spanish Minister.
Eugene Schuyler (1840-1890) was a lifelong diplomat. At this time
he was Counsel at Bucharest. His wife was the former Gertrude
Morrison R. Waite
of Ohio was chief justice from 1874 through 1888.
- Tues. 24
To see the Biddles, Mrs. Lamb. Palmer and in the city.
Mrs. Mackely and Lorings here.
- Wed. 25
To buy boots for Helena. To see Mathilde.
- Thurs. 26
Mrs. B. Morse here, Mathilde. To see Mrs. sen. Hale.
Dined at British Legation with Mathilde.
Misses Barca, Martinez, Lowrie, Hooker
and Mr's Roca, Bérard, Cadojan, Lowrie, Count Brunetti,
and Lord Geo. Montague. I was conducted to
the table of the Minister Mr. West. After
- Fri. 27
To consult Dr. Loring for my eyes.
And Mama for her ears. To See Mrs. Schuyler and Mrs. Jay.
Mama fell on the stairs and sprained her foot so badly that she will
have to stay in bed for several days.
- Sat. 28
Mrs. Robeson, Miss ??, Mrs. and Miss Pitts, Mrs. and the Misses
Emory, Cte Lippe, Mrs. Wadsworth here. I to the
McCeneys, Barcas, Hopkins.
Dinner given for Mama at the French Legation. With Papa and Mrs.
Wadsworth. Also Mr and Mrs Schuler Mr and Mrs Jay, Misses Loring,
Ginny McL., Mathilde de N., Baron Arinos, Mrs. de Meissner,
Perry Belmont, Villarmo?, ?? took me to the table.
- Sun. 29
To Church. Lunched at the Nogueiras'. with Count Brunetti
later to the customary party. Papa came to find me and take me to
- M. 30
With Mathilde to Miss West,
Aldis, Waites, Millers, Emory.
The Brownes, ?? Palmers, Pendletons, Lewenhaupts, F. Adams, Babcock,
Miss Porter, Misses Markol, Mr. Blaine.
- T. 31
I was sick, stayed in bed. Snowed all day.
Robert M. Gray, September 23, 2005