Pittsburg dispatch. (Pittsburg [Pa.]) 1880-1923, March 05, 1889, Page 10, Image 10

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Tlie City of Magnificent Distances, Palatial Resi
dences, Beautiful Avenues, Numberless
Parks, and the Amazing
Inside Pacts About life in
Congress, the Parlors
and in the
The First View of Washington.
capital city of the
, United States, from
jl what point you trill,
(there are two land
marks -which will
strike your eye when
von are yet miles
away, as yon arise' to the tops of the hills in
your progress, or look far along unobstructed
They are the two landmarks of the city
most marked in their contrast, the one the
pencil-like shaft of the Washington Monu
ment and the other the graceful, airy, al
most unearthly, dome of the Capitol. Miles
away, in the country, at almost every turn,
the top of the monument will meet the
vision, and only at rarer intervals the less
ixalted dome, but always affording a sense
of relief after the other, as a suggestion that
somebody who at some time lived in the city
had a higher idea of art than was exhibited
by barbarian Egyptians in the construction
of their obelisks.
Seeing this shaft afar, before other ob
jects divert the mind from its contempla
tion, one is led to wonder what mind con
ceived that its form was the most appro
priate memorial for the "father of his coun
try," when the same amount expended in
this useless and uncanny shaft would have
erected a fine library building, an art gal
lery, or have gone far toward the endow
ment of a great national university. This
landmark, visible at so long range, is useful
for only one thing, and that is so much that
one can almost forgive the misconception.
For from its windows, near the top, glorious
views are to be had, hardly finer, to be sure,
than from the dome of the Capitol, but with
the immeasurable addition that in one of
the views is included the dome itself, which,
of course, is lost to the landscape while it is
under one's feet.
Come though you may to the Capitol a
thousand times you will never tire of this
dome. It is such a boon to Washington as
the matchless one of St Peter's is to Borne.
"With the one exception of St. Peter's it is
the grandest dome of the universe, sur
mounting gracefully that long and pillared
pile, which, with all its imperfections, is
one of the most imposing edifices of the
Seen a thonsand times and it is always
new. Tt has more phases than the moon. A
pace ot poetry would not describe its subtile
changes, with the varying light, and once
seen by rail or highway, from suburban
hills or down suburban valleys, it is never
The Souse Mr. Blaine Owns.
forgotten, but always awaited with an
tlmost tremor ot anxiety, to know what
sew beauty it will present to the eye and the
Washington is surrounded by hills. Not
long ranges, nor high peaks, but gentle
promontories, a few hundred feet above the
comparatively flat point between the Poto
mac and Anacostia rivers, on which most
ot the city is built From scores of these
points ot vantage the city seems spread out
ct one's feet, and after the first range of
promontories is exhausted, and one pene
trates back miles into the country, the
Desks rise higher, and ever a little higher,
and the city continues to come into view
now and again in a magical sort of way
which suggests its determination that the
eyes of the country shall always be brought
back to this central point.
Particularly fine views are to be had from
the Soldiers' Home, from Fort Myer, from
Arlington, from Georgetown Heights, from
St. Elizabeth's Asylum, and from a dozen
points down the river on both the Virginia
and Maryland shores. Coming up the
river on one of the many steamers which
ply there for the pleasure of the residents
and visitors at the Capitol; miles awav the
monument and the dome stand out in relief
against the sky, and as one nears the city
the whites and grays of the Capitol, the Ex
ecutive Mansion, and the War, State, Navy
and Treasury Departments stand out? dis
tinct from the otherwise crushed strawberry
tone of the city, their vast piles indicating
infallibly the business of a great. nation.
One would know without telling that it was
the capital city of a population of many'
Tbe Flan of tbo City.
To the stranger, the plan of the city of
Washington is exceedingly interesting, bnt
exceedingly confusing. One would think
that a place whose streets run mainly at
right angles, and which are lettered and
cumbered so thafone always knows which
way to go to reach a certain point, must of
necessity be easy to traverse. But the fact
that there are four "sections" of the city,
divided by North Capitol, East Capitol and
South (Capitol streets, and "the Mall" on
the west, and that half of the streets traverse
two sections and the other half tbe other two
lections, and the farther fact that tbe many
avennes, named for the States of the Union,
cross the squares made by the east and west
and north and south streets at all sorts of
t 'fVa MJufoWs
the "White House, the Halls of
of Fortune's Favorites
angles, as is the case with Vermont and
Rhode Island avennes at Iowa Circle,
serve to make Washington one of the most
difficult of cities to learn. Does one en
deavor to settle the question of one's locality
by landmarks, one sees the landmark from
a dozen different points, and looking the
same from the entire dozen.
a confusing situation.
For instance, the dome of the Capitol and
a portion of the building are seen from
distant points along the vista of 20 streets,
but to tell what direction from the Capitol
is the spot on which one is standing is im
possible until one has thoroughly learned
the city. From Dupont Circle there are 11
exits, all on prominent streets. Let any
stranger enter the circle from one ot these
streets, thread the winding walks, and at
tempt to pass into the same street on the
other side, and ten to one he will make a
I have met even old citizens, on a night
when there was a mo'on and the lamps not
lit, wandering abont the precincts of this
and other circles, endeavoring to read the
names on the lamps, wholly unable to get
their bearings. I found the great city of
Old Seward Mansion. Leased by Blaine.
London, and even that labyrinthine capitol,
Genoa, unequaled for its tortuous ana nar
row ways, easier to learn than this mathe
matical city of Washington, which seems
so very simple and is yet so very complex.
It is not my province to go into any de
scription, guide book style, of the number
less places of interest in and around the
national capital. "My desire is, in brief
space, to give a bird's eye view of the city
and its surroundings. It would require a
volume of considerable size to convey any
adequate idea of the Capitol, with its hall's
of Congress, its great library, its scores of
committee rooms.each containing something
of interest, its pictured and frescoed dome,
its Supreme Court, its "chamber of horrors,"
more mildly named the Hall of Statuary
the courtroom being the old Senate
chamber where Sumner was assaulted by
Brooks, and where the historical debates
and quarrels occurred previous to the war,
and the Hall of Statuarv being the old
Hall of Ecpresentativcs, on whose floor
many a fisticuff has occurred between op
posing politicians and the thousand other
nameless objects ot interest in and aboutthis
vast pile; the Patent Office with its myriad
ot curious models of inventions; the Post
office, with its wonderful machinery for the
conduct of tbe mail business of this and
other countries, and its Dead Letter Office,
a mnseum of itself; the Pension Office,
where relief for .the
is gronnd out as from a mill, and from
which emanates the warrant for the millions
that are paid out annually to the old
soldiers of the nation; the Treasury, that
great banking house of the nation, with its
cosh room showing at all times big piles of
gold and silver, its vaults with tons upon
tons of silver and gold piled high in their
little canvas bags, the hundreds of employes
to audit the accounts Of the Government and
pay its dues, the counting and disposition
of money and rev.cnue stamps, the counting,
cutting in pieces and reduction to pulp of
redeemed and mutilated currency, the draft
ing of designs and the giving ot contracts
for the public buildings of the whole
country; (he War, State and Navy Depart
ments, with their museum, their curious
models, their historical portraits, their vast
magazine of interesting documents, their
multifariousdesigns for the destruction of the
human race; the navy yard.the arsenal, the
magazines; the Bureau of Engraving and
Printing, where nearly all of the" paper
money, stamps and other securities of the
Government are printed; the Government
Printing Office, which grinds out mountains
of public documents and prints
by Congress every year; the Agricultural
Department, with its great array of curiosi
ties and its fine nursery and greenhouse;
the horticultural .gardens; tbe National
Museum and the Smithsonian Institution,
almost as interesting as tbe Kensington
Museum, of London; the Medical Museum,
with its unequaled library and its innu
merable curiosities and horrors, among
which is tbe skeleton of Guiteau. the assas
sin; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, with its
very interesting collection of paintings and
casts and statuary; the Geographical Sur
vey, the Signal Office and the Observatory,
and many minor departments of the Gov
ernment devoted to the cause of science and
industry and commerce; the prison where
many noted criminals have been confined
and executed; the insane asylum where
many noted lunatics in tbe persons of poli
ticians and claimants and others gone mad;
the Congressional and other cemeteries,
populous with the noted and historical
dead; old churches, with bricks and altars
and ornaments brought from foreign coun
tries more than n century ago, when the na
tion was not yet conceived; these, with the
outdoor attractions of tbe c ty at large, its
tree and flower-lined (in summer) avenues
and streets, its magnificent dwellings of
its many little parks and circles, its monu
ments, its more ancient parts, quaint with
dwellings of the olden English type, the
bujurban drives and points of interest, such
as Arlington, the Soldiers' Home, Mount
Vernon, Fort Washington, the ruined forti
fications seen on all sides, with the scenic
charms which may found in every direc
tion, altogether make up an aggrgation of
absorbing interest which is- not approached
by even ancient Boston, nor by the vast
metropolis of population on the bay of New
York. Washington is not a place to visit
for a day. It is a study for weeks, and
months, and years, and added to tbe tangi
ble attractions briefly mentioned, are the
ever varying phases of political and social
SotPsmm ?3"'l' 4vyt JsflfeMisM
life, fast and fascinating, a magnet that is
constantly growing stronger and stronger,
drawing tbe wealth and genius and bril
liance of the country to itself, as well as its
more sinister qualities, a witches' brewing
of intrigue, romance, tragedy, luxury pur
ity, honesty, corruption, the den of the lob
byist, the haven of the schemer, the hope
of the innocent, the. despair of the sophisti
cated, the butt of the cynic, the joy of the
Social Life In Washington.
"Unavoidably the entire life of Washing
ton is affected by the official element. In
this also it is strongly contrasted with all
other cities of the country. In Boston the
class which sets the social pace is veneered
by a mixture of money and culture. Money
must be real if culture is a fancy. "As
sume a culture if you have it not," is the
unwritten law. In New York tbe Stock Ex
change is king. In Chicago it is grain and
pork. In Cincinnati, St. Louis and Mil
waukee it is beer, and in New Orleans, Sa
vannah and Charleston it is cotton. Here
it is the army and navy, the President and
Cabinet, Senate and House, and all the
officials of the department who are exalted
enough in rank to be counted.
The army and navy influence is tremen
dous. It is cohesive and continuous, while
other circles are forever breaking in pieces
on account ot changes of administration and
competition for place. For instance, at this
very time we are noting the demise of a
social clique, the most brilliant and extrav
agant that has ruled society in Washington.
That the Whitneys have been the leaders
of capital society during the last four years
goes without saying. The place of the
President and Mrs. Cleveland in social life
has been notable because he was President,
and she "Mrs. President." Their enter
tainments have been eminent because they
were at the White House. Without being
even at the head of the Cabinet in point of
rank, or "succession," (for it must be re
membered that every Cabinet officer, except
the newly-created Secretary of Agriculture,
is a possible President) Secretary Whitney,
or, rather, Mrs. Whitney, has set the social
pace, and the lavish expenditure of money
in this circle has forever obscured the old
and inexpensive methods of giving enter
tainment and pleasure in the highest circles
of the' capital.
" It will not do for the Harrison regime
to "let up" on the striking brilliancy
of the entertainments of the exalted social
circles. Of course there will be the same
round of formal calls and receptions, open
house occasionally for the mob, and exclu
sive receptions and balls for the fast set.
The reinstatement of the Eepublican party
will be marked by asocial as well as a po
litical glorification.
It is a saying constantly on the tongues
of Democrats as well as Republicans resi
dent at the capital that there is always more
money spent when the Republicans are in'
power. Tbe mass of the rich men ot the
country are Eepublicans, and they come
to Washington, naturally, oflener, and stay
longer when they can meet their political
friends rather than their enemies. During
the Cleveland administration a great bulk
of tbe visitors at the capital were men and
women of the South, who had to be content
with modest expenditure. With the return
of the Eepublicans the tide of visitors will
come from the North, and the superior
wealth of Northern society will "make
things hum," to use a common local ex
pression. Already it is apparent from the prepara
tions that are in progress, that the reign of
me coming auminisiraiiun win ue a urm
iant one socially. If only the Secretary o f
War led tbe racket during tbe period ot tbe
Cleveland's, with Vilas, and Bayard, and
Lamar, and Garland, not even furnishing a
lively background, the regime of the Har
risons will be kept on tiptoe of social ex
citement by such rich social lions as Blaine,
Morton, Wanamaker and tbe rest, and the
royal entertainment of the Whitneys will
bo discounted by a half dozen owners and
occupiers of mansions whose spreads and
routs will be the wonder of the day. ,
This digression is for the purpose of illus
trating the character of the leadership of the
purely political circle. The aristocracy of
the army and navy cannot indulge in such
lavish outlay, but thev go into the most ex
clusive assemblies and give to them that
dash of military life that is so dear to the
society of every country. A -Washington
Senator Palmer Borne.
mother would rather have her son educated
for the army or navy than for the bar or tbe
church. Mothers with marriageable daugh
ters endeavor to make a match with a young
man of the army or navy. It does not make
any difference whether he has"a cent or not.
They have the money and the young man
will have the social standing and a sure
thing on society all his life, provided he be
have himself half way decently, if he does
not get drank too openly or too often carry
on his illicit relations in the very eyes and
ears of his social circle.
The reign of the Cabinet circle is neces
sarily brief, and its members must make a
brilliant sortie for fame. They rub up
close to the right side of the "first gentleman
and the first lady of the land," they are not
forced to have their every movement
scanned, and they cut a great figure at the
head of the socialcircle of the first class.
The Cabinet Day is the most important of
the social days of the week, and is reported
with the greatest of particularity by the so
ciety correspondents. Next in order comes
the day of the Supreme Court, then the
Senatorial Day, and common Eeprosenta
tives are so low in the social scale that they
are not allotted any special day, but al
lowed to choose as individuals what time
they will receive, which day is graciously
and conspicuously noted in the society col
umns of the local press. The Cabinet cir
cle takes in the high-up foreign diplomats,
the flower of tbe army and navy, citizens of
wealth and "blood" and the nick and
choice of the Court, Senatorial and House
But there is a fast growing tendency to
crystallize the various classes, and it is
plain that it will not be long before It will
be as difficult for those who are not bred to
fashionable society of the most ultra kind,
with that conspicuous veneering than, can
pot be mistaken, to penetrate to the upper
class asMt is for the rough and ready En
glish 'squire to go familiarly into the pres
ence of lords and dukes and princes. A
few vears ago it was a common sight to see
'department clerks moving about Cabinet
ana benatoria: circles as though perfectly
sure of their footing. Now they mby stand in
line for three hours at a public reception 'of
I tin ? 'HMPanVI ifinL
the President and his wife to get a chance
to shake the hands ot those dignitaries.
It is a brilliant scene that one may see on
the streets on days of formal calls. Mag
nificent blooded horses draw the most mag
nificent of carriages, many of the latter
bearing coats of arms. Some of the coats
of arms are on the carriages of Lord Smith
or Count Jones, of the leading foreign lega
tions, but many are also seen on the panels
of the carriages of citizens not in office,
blooded officers of the army or navy, or rep
resentative officials who have joined in the
fad of late years to trace their lineage back
to some family which was entitled to armor
ial bearings. On many of the residences of
these people coats of arms are conspicuously
displayed, and on their walls hang family
trees far-spreading as the cedars of Lebanon.
Magnificently clad ladies lounge in these
carriages, languidly alighting here and
there at a dwelling where society decrees
they must pay their dues or be counted out
of 'the swim. Gorgeously dressed liveried
footmen open the doors of the carriages and
ring the bells of the elegant residences, abd
coachmen tricked out with gold belts and
gold lace and cocked hats almost as daz
zling as the unequaled majordomos who
stand in front of the old palaces of Genoa
and Some, sit up stiff and haughty on their
scats, superior even as the coachmen and
grooms of these splendid people, to the
open-month citizens whose nearest approach
to society is to sec these street movements of
the queens of the highest social circle.
But of course much of these perform
ances is simply a counterpart of what may
be seen in the wealthy society of any city .
of tbe land. The evening receptions, din
ners and balls have the same accompani
ments of flowers and palms and potted
plants, the costly services of the table, the
viands prepared by the most famous artists
of the kitchen, the wines the rarest that can
Mrs. Whitney's
be bought for money. The only difference
is that the company is invariably made up
largely of persons whose names are familiar
to every boy and girl who reads the news
papers. The groups of the drawing room
are composed of eminent Judges, Cabinet
officers, great Senators,of prominent Repre
sentatives, old in the service, their names
household words. Occasionally the Presi
dent and his wife grace one of these assem
blies, and the President's wife may even at
rare intervals unbend so much as to dance,
as Mrs. Cleveland has done just once dur
ing her career in this city, when at Secre
tary Whitney's she led in the german with
no less a celebrity than the Bon. William
L. Scott as her partner.
Atone of these great assemblies, when
the distribution of cards has been more lib
eral than usual, one may stand in the street
in the small hours of the night, when the
company is breaking np, and hear practi
cally the roll of .all the high officials of the
land called out by the policemen and other
attendants whose business it is to order the
carriages as they are wa'nted.
This it is which makes Washington so
ciety unique and fascinating, not that the
machinery is different, but that it it made
up of the pick and flower of the land, in
wealth and intellect, and that the, personnel
is known to every one. Who cares to read
reports ot society doings in any other city of
the country? In these a familiar name of
some lord of railroads or of the Stock Ex
change, or of the grand bazaar, may occa
sionally meet the eye, but here a report of a
reception or a dinner is a dash into the
inner life of a man in whom every other
man, woman and child of the land has a
personal interest and a claim.
Go to the theater in Washington. A
President and his friends occupy a box. In J
other boxes are Cabinet officers, diplomats
or other high officials. In the orchestra
chairs are others of the same set. Scat
tered about are many members of Congress.
Here and there is a white-haired Senator,
or member of the House of national renown.
An aged and ' dignified Judge of the Su
preme Court laughs at the absurdities of
"The Henrietta," or weeps at the woes of
"La Tosco." When one whom we know, a
famous person, a Colossus of the forum, the
palace or the bench, is moved to weep, we
small persons must needs be interested and
laugh and weep with him. In the United
States you can have that pleasure brought
to your door only in this Capital City.
Official Life in Washington.
Doubtless one of the most fascinating
features ot Washington official life to the
general reader would be the ordinary,
everyday conduct of incumbents of office,
from high to low, but this also wonld re
quire a volume to describe adequately. It
is i3 difficult to reach, moreover. It is
only after years of daily contact that one
is fitted to proceed with any elaboration in
this field of description, The daily routine
of life, especially of the higher officials, is
not open to tbe continual inspection of the
curious. I am inclined to think that the
person who writes the "great Antericad
novel" founded on official life must be ope
who has occupied the position of private
secretary to every official who is allowed
such an assistant, and who las been em
ploye d for a time in every division of every
one of the departments, or else a newspaper
writer who absorbs a universal knowledge
by intuition almost from a very limited
Presidents were once much more easily
reached bv all sorts of people than they
are now. 'We have grown so numerous as
a people, while the President is no more
numerous than he was a hundred years ago,
that the demands on him and other high
officials are ten fold greater than they were
40 or SO years ago. The line must be'drawn
somewhere, and It is drawn at the room ot
the private secretary of the President.
All may penetrate to that outer sanctuary,
but he or She must be Important, Indeed, to
get farther toward the sacred room where
sits the chief executive. The private sec
retary "sizes up" a caller at -a glance, and
unless he be a man of very large political,
business or social proportions, o"r unless his
mission is so important as to sink the ques
tion of his own obscurity, he can get no
further. - -
So great is the pressure to see the Presi
dent that even the private secretary is
forced to assume delusiveness to some ex
tent, and therefore the watch dogs of the
various entrances to the office rooms of the
executive i mansion are also keen of scent,
and know'at sight one who has business of
enough importance to warrant his admis
sion, and visitors are often peremptorily
stopped by them with the information that
neither the President nor his secretary isiu,
or that they are engaged. Usually,, how
ever, the visitor may penetrate the room of
the secretary.
If any one imagines 4hat fee lot of the
President is a happy one let him sit for a
half a day, during office hourei in that inner
room where the President', transacts his of-
ficial business. He goes through a volumi
nous mrtil, though it is only a small portion
of that which is addressed to him com
munications which are thought by the pri
vate secretary to be of sufficient
importance to turn over to him.
Then there are questions from
every department to pass upon fot the Presi
dent is primarily responsible for the con
duct of every office filled by his appoint
ment, and heads of departments are con
stantly appealing to him for advice. These,
with members of Congress and other visitors,
who come to ask for office for constituents,
to talk of a thousand different things, to
pay friendly calls, added to the demands of
social life, receptions, special and general,
dinne"rs, and so forth, and such attention as
every one desires to give to private, domes
tic and personal affairs as makes lite worth
living, suggest that the office of President
is one of the most, undesirable within the
gift of the people. Yet there are several,
excellent gentlemen in the country who are
suspected of harboring anxiety to occupy
this position.
It is the one place of all others in the
service of the people in which the pecupant
is harassed, hounded, slandered, belied, be
yond the possibility of endurance, one
would think, yet there is'a suspicion that
no one to whom the position were offered
would refuse it. ,
On a lesser scale the heads of departments
and bureaus are subject to Incursions such
as those which invade the President's sanc
tum, and thev are obliged in turn to build
about themselves a Chinese wall to exclude
those who would for trivial purposes con
sume their time. Verv frequently it hap
pens that a Cabinet officer is more exclusive
than the President himself. To some of the
Cabinet officers of the present administra
tion, access has been almost impossible, ex
cept ih the case of a very few high officials,
influential politicians, and foreign diplo-
Grand Ball Room.
mats. But for the most part the more im-
Eortant officials of Mr. Cleveland's regime
ave been approachable and genial, and
open to access as far as could be reasonably
expected. The constant application for audi
ences, the many who must be heard on trial
subjects, because they must not be offended,
the vast quantity of official work that de
mands imperative attention, and which is
enough to appal the most industrious and
capable, arc calculated to make the official
irritable, and the only wonder is that these
officials maintain so even a temper and meet
all who penetrate to them so genially.
The popular interest, however, is proba
bly directed more to the rank and file than
to the more conspicuons officials. Those
busy beehives, the departments, with their
teeming life,Jiave for me a constant and
abounding fascination. They are the base
of organized' industry, directed by the
Practically the employes of the civil
service are an army, disciplined, governed
by strict rules, engaged in the transaction
ot the civil husiness of the Government as
soldiers do the military. The various de
partments and bureaus remind me in a
striking manner of the plan for the scientific
direction of all the industries of the country
depicted in Edward Bellamy's very inter
esting work, "Looking Backward."
All employes of tbe Government above
the grade of mechanics are required to
work but six and one-half hours. They
must report for duty at 9 o'clock. At some
time in the neighborhood of noon they have
30 minutes for luncheon. At 4 o'clock they
are free, and from the great department and
burean buildings thousands upon thousands
of men and women pour forth, prompt upon
the minute. All work is shaped for these
hoursT As 4 o'clock approaches, desks are
i-icarea, oraers, correspondence, warrants,
and so forth, are signed bv the chiefoffini.il
of department, bureau, or division, books
are closed out for the day, business is cut
off sharp and square, to be taken up the
following morning as though it had been
laid down only for a moment. Compared
with the long hours of employes in private
business, the day of the workman in the
civil service is an Ideal one. It leaves some
leisure for pleasure, for self improvement,
for devotion to things which most please
the fancy of the individual.
It is a common objection to short hours of
work that it leaves time for Indulgences,
and that few of the persons who secure this
boon ot leisure would use it with benefit to
themselves, I do not find this to be the
fact. My acquaintance of several years
with the members of the civil service is that
they are as a mass far superior in informa
tion, cultivation and habits to the mass of
employes who perform similar service for
private individuals. As a class thsy are
sober, serious, and devote their leisure time
to domestic or social enjoyment of the purest
type, to study, to invention, to literary
work for pleasure or reputation, to scientific
research, or to those great social questions
which are agitating th,e minds of the best
people the world over. There are no
brighter, mbre capable, more brilliant, if
you will, persons in Washington than num
bers of department employes whom I could
The indolent, dissipated, inefficient and
disreputable are rare. Is a department em
ploye a drunkard or a brawler, he may be
set 'down at once as the favorite striker of
some influential politician, who is kept in
place solely that the Government may pay
him a living salary, while is really doing
the private work of his master. I dare say
that 'of an evening not more than 100 em
ployes of the civil service, all told, would
be found in the saloons or places of ill re
pute throughout the city. A vast number
of the employes belong to social, literary or
scientific clubs, and it is with a view to
gaining leisure for this enjoyment and cul
ture that a great number of the employes
labor for and secure admission to the public
A question much discussed, and upon
which-there is a great difference of opinion,
is the employment ot women in the civil
service. Scandals constantly arise from the
fact that officials or politicians of influence
impose their favorites upon the departments.
Theie is a picturesque feature of de
partment life which is not often men
tioned, and which is not visible
to the general visitor. In each one of
the public buildings, shortly before
the hour of 4 o'clock, arrive squads of
women, poorly dressed, theirpoverty appar
ent in every lineament They take their
places on benches in the halls. The mo
ment the offices are emptied of their occu
pant this army of .women takes pos
session. Scrubbing clothes are 'donned
in a twinkling, brooms, mops, buck
ets, scrubbing- brushes and soap appear
as by magic, and within an hour or two
floors are cleansed, furniture is dusted, the
thousands of towels used during the dav are
gathered together, and before nightfall the
great buildings are polished from garret to
cellar, and fresh and sweet for the occu
pancy of the army of, employes the next day.
This work of scrubbing the public buildings
tnd washing the towels alone gives occupa
tion to hundreds of women, nearly all of
whom are mothers of families, and is of it
self one of the important departments of
labor in the National Capital.
Government Official! and Their Salaries.
But who are the department officials and
what do they get? Ah, yes, what do they
get? The importance of all things is meas
ured by the money value attached to them.
And it must be confessed that with most
officials the salary attached to their offices
is the important consideration. Few of the
Federal offices are filled by men or women
who merely seek the honor of the place,
For instance, an official of the depart
ments was recently promoted to a much
higher position than he had previously
occupied, through the resignation of one
Vice President Morton's Residence.
who had been his superior in'rank and pay.
He stood in the line of promotion, but it
was a question with the appointing
power whether the promotion should
be made or the place filled by
a new man. The official pleaded so Hard to
be given the honor of the higher office that
he finally got his wish, possibly because of
the imminence of the change of administra
tion. Now, it happened that I and several
others knew that it was not honor
that was so prayerfully sought by
the gentleman, but a largely increased sal
ary, which he specially desired that he
might settle a recalcitrant board bill, a re
sult of spendthrift habits and undue confi
dence in the certainty of the re-election of
President Cleveland, and his consequent
retention in office. He knew he would be
bounced soon after the 4th of March, and
like the honest man he is, he desired to re
tire in good order with the blessing of his
Of course, everybody knows that the
President receives a salary of $50,000 per an
num. Beside that he has a number of fat
appropiiations for contingent expenses,
which enable thrifty incumbents of the
office to almost save the entire amount of the
fixed salary. These appropriations are
scattered about in deficiency bills, sundry
civil bills and legislative, executive and
judicial bills, and the lump cannot be dis
covered witbout a good deal ot nsning.
Tbe tendency amongour solons is to make
offices pay, and therrfore to provide for fam
ily expenses and pin money from the public
treasury; and so there is a gradual widen
ing ot tbe appropriations in all departments
for expenses which should be borne out of
the salary of the official. This comes so
gradually that it is not noticed in passing
by the public, but one of these days some
meddlesome fellow will get out a publica
tion similar to the radical almanac pub
lished by the more daring wing of the En
glish Liberals, in which will be grouped all
of these little things, and then there will be
a row in popular politics. Now they are
merely mentioned from time to time by the
newspaper correspondents, and then are lost
to view.
There is now a scheme on foot to pay the
President $75,000 a year, the Vice President
and Cabinet officers $20,000, members of
Congress from 8,000 to $10,000, and other
high officials accordingly; and, really, the
"salaries of officials of the United States are
absurdly small compared with those of for
eign nations. For instance, the British
Minister in this country receives over $100,
000. with an allowance for expenses and a
magnificent mansion rent free, while the
United States Minister at the Court of St.
James receives bnt $17,500 all told. Our
Minister to St. Petersburg receives similar
pay, while the Eussian Minister here re
ceives $75,000 a year for expenses alone.
On the other hand our Senators and mem
bers of the House receive $5,000 annually,
while the representatives in the British
Parliament get nothing at all. This puts a
great burden-on the constituencies, or has
the more serious effect of throwing the
office into the hands of the wealthy class
who are able to pay the large bills of a cam
paign. Very few of the Eepresentatives or
Senators of the United States Congress save
anything out of their salaries, except those
Chief Justice Fuller's Home.
who have a sure thing on their nomination
and, election year after year, and these,
generally speaking, are persons who do not
need the money. Usually the salary is al
most eaten up in campaign expenses,
political assessments, and so forth, so that
very often even those who are not in affluent
circumstances are forced to pav a considerable
portion of their expenses in Washington out
of their own pockets.
Down in the departments offices below
that of the Cabinet are not accompanied by
large salaries as a general thing, but they
average well. All kinds of employes in the
departments are better paid than similar
employes in private business. As few of
the offices are such as to attract applicants
to fill them on account of the honor alone,
we must assume that mostof theincumbents
are there for the salaries, small as these
The First Assistant Secretary of State
only has $4,500 a year, though he often acts
in the place of the Secretary. The assistant
secretaries in all of the departments are
paid at about the same figure. Next come
the chief clerks and the chiefs of divisions,
whose salaries range from $2,500 down to
$1,800. Below these are the clerks and
messengers of the classified service, whose
salaries extend from $720, $840", $900, $1,000,
$1,200, 51,400, $1,600, $1,800, $2,000 and up
ward, though there are only a few who are
The private secretary of tbe President has
for years received only the small salary of
$J,250, but since he has become an official
who bears the blunt of the onslaughts on
the President by an immensely Increased
number of visitors, the pav has been
thought too small, and in trie Executive
Appropriation bill passed a few days ago
the salary was increased to $5,000.
Some of the higher salaries of the depart
ments and of Congress, about which little is
known by the general public, will be of
interest. The Director of the Mint receives
$4,500; the Supervising Surgeon General,
$4,000; General Superintendent of the Life
Saving Service, $4,000; Chief of the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing,
$4,500; First and Second Controller of the
Treasury, and the Controller of the Cur
rency, $5,000 eacbjEegijterof the Treasury,
$4,000; Superintendent of the Coast and
Geodetio Survey,-,. $6,000; Commissioner of
HBIlIiSI 4ft
Internal Bevenue. $6,000r Treasurer, $6,000;
Bapervisiug Arch itect, $4,500: Commissioner
, 9uns o m,( f4-000." Professor irMeteoroIogy
in the. Signal Office, $4,000; the First. Sec
ond and Third Assistants in the Postoffice
Department, $4,000 eachr First and Second
Assistant Secretaries of the Interior De
partment, $4,500 and $4,000; Commissioners
of Patents and of Pensions, $5,000 each;
Land Commissioner and Indian Commis
sioner, $4,000 each; Commissioner ot Rail
roads, 4,500; Director of the Geological
Survey, $6,000; Commissioner of Labor,
$5,000f the Inter-State Commerce Commis
sioners receive $7,500 each.
The Solicitor General receives $7,000 and
the assistants $5,000 and $4,000; several
solicitors of the various departments re
ceive $4,500 each; the Chief Justice of the
Supreme Bench receives $10,500, and the
eight Associate Justices $10,000 each, and
their terms are for life; the Clerk of the Su
preme Court has $6,000: Fish Commissioner,
$5,000; the Speaker of the House of Eepre
sentatives receives the same pay as a Cab
inet officer, $8,000; the Secretary of the Sen
ate receives a larger salary than the Sena
tors, or $6,396; the official reporter of the
senatorial debates gets $25,000 a year, and
out of this sum pays his assistants; the offi
cial stenographer of the House gets a salary
of $6,000, and four assistants get $4,000
each; committee stenographers usually get
4,000when constantly employed; on other
committees the reporters are paid by the
piece; Librarian Spofford gets $4,000; the
Architect of the Capitol, $4,500; the Chief
of the Government Printing Office gets
$4,500, and besides a number of well paid
clerks there are in that office over 2,000
compositors and other employes, making it
one of the most populous of the public
These are some of the best paying offices,
cited for the purpose of enabling the reader
to choose which he will have. Of course
there are many offices throughout the States
which pay very nicely, bnt those who want
them are usually well informed as to the
salaries of those within their reach. For
instance, there is the Pittsburg postoffice,
which is worth about $4,000 a year, and the
one at Allegheny $3,000; special treasury
agents at Pittsburg get S4 a day; Collector
of Internal Eevenue, $4,500; Surveyor of
the Port, $350 and tees and commissions;
Surgeon of Marine Hospital at Pittsburg,
$1,800; Inspector of Hulls, $2,000, and In
spector of Boilers, $2,000; Pension Agent,
$4,000; Circuit Judges receive $6,000; Dis
trict Judges, $4,000; United States District
Attorney, $200 and fees; Assistant District
Attorneys about $2,500; United States Mar
shal, $200 and fees; and clerks, commis
sioners and registers in bankruptcy, fees
The electoral messengers, who fetch to the
capital the certificates of the official votes of
tbe various States, get twenty-five cents a
mile, one way, from the place of meeting of
tbe electors.
Washington Literature nod Art.
Possibly it may be pleasing to turn from
these sordid considerations to the more
aesthetic phase of capital life. There is as
yet no literature of Washington as there is
of London and Paris. We are too young
for that. Literary interest does not center
here. Periodicals and books are published
in New York and Boston, and where the
carcass is there will the vultures gather.
National political life does center here,
however, and social life will soon, and the
Senator Don Cameron's Home.
novelist who writes the great, distinctively
"American novel," if such a creation be
possible, must come here to study his fact
and his fiction. There is a subtle
ty about this life which eludes
the grasp in the most exasperating manner,
and the writer who would penetrate to its
inner core must live here and breath the at
mosphere. Time upon time it has been an
nounced that this or that novelist was mak
ing the round of Washington society for the
purpose of doing it into a novel, but each
one of these eminent novelists has grown
timid touching the effort in proportion as
they dipped larther and farther into the
subject and discovered that Washington life
can be understood only by those who live
in it.
I am informed that one famous novelist
finished a realistic work dealing with social
aud political affairs at the Capital, which,
was so ridiculed by a noted official to whom'
he read portions of it, that it never got
farther toward the publisher than the
author's seeret drawer.
These two names suggest that we are not
wholly without a literary element. The
impetus is in this direction. Almost every
year some new name is added to tbe list of
well-known persons engaged in literary pur
suits, who takes up a residence at the capi
tal. There . are, to begin with, a host of
delvers in scientific and other mines of
learning who are not widely known, but
who are regular correspondents to scientific
and technical publications. They have
here a fine field for research in the great
law and medical -libraries, and in the vast
collection of the National Library, com
monly called the "Library of Congress."
It is an interesting sight to watch the in
vestigators and students who come day after
day to dig among these collections,"in the
reading rooms of the libraries, working
from the opening of the doors until the
closing of them, never turning aside, their
whole minds bent on the treasures beneath
their eves. Not a few of these workers are
women, and even some young girls, not out
of their teens, are already old in this fas
cinating hunt after hidden wealth.
Among those engaged in the production
of work of fiction Mrs. E. D. E. N. South
worth is doubtless the oldest resident. Mrs.
Dahlgren is another lady who has become
well known through her novels. 'Mrs.
Frances Hodgson Bnrnett is as prominent
in society here as she is in the wide world
of fiction. Even as I write these lines on
this glowering first day of March she is lend
ing tbe grace of her presence to a distin
guished company at the residence of Hon.
Smedley Darlington, of Pennsylvania, read
ing portions of her works for the benefit of
Wellesley College, and recitations by her
young' son, "Little Lord Fauntleroy," are
being applauded to the echo.
"Gail Hamilton" has oflener than not
been a resident of the capital, and now that
her relative, Mr. Blaine, with whose fami
ly she usually resides, is about to re-enter
public life, the presence of the somewhat
irascible Miss Dodge is again expected.
A lady relative of Mr. Cleveland, em
ployed In the departments, has taken a dash
into literature in the form of a first novel,
but the fate of the infant work seems to
have retired her from the field, as the fate
of politics has retired the President. Mr.
George Bancroft, tbe eminent historian,
occupies one of the old mansions on H
street, near the almost palatial home of Mr.
John Hay.
S6me years ago there appeared without
any flourish of trumpets a little novel of
Washingtonjlfe entitled "Democracy." It
is mainly a satire,- and not a little
overdrawn, but it '. is, in many
features, the smartest thing that has
been written Of Washington ways.
More than one ol the characters were so
true to the life of certain; individuals that
tbev were at once recognized bv all who were
familiar with tbe personality of high politi- ,
cal circles of that day, and that is possibly
the reason why the author has never per
mitted his or her name to be identified with
the work. It is shrewdly supposed that the
writer was a member of the society depicted.
There are many persons yet resident in this
city who are peculiarly anxious to learn the)
identity of the anthor-of "Democracy."
Among- newspaper writers there are a
number who have made some reputation in
literary circles. "SubBosa," a very bright,
though somewhat hastily written, and de
cidedly realistic, noyel of Washington life,
was the work some years ago of Mr. Charles
T. Murray, the then correspondent of The
Dispatch. Mr. George Kennan, famous
by reason of his remarkable papers on life
in Eussia, and his experiences .there, is a
conspicuous figure in literary circles and
Secretary Windom's Residence.
deservedly very popular. 3Ir. Charles
Jordhof, Mr. W. E. Curtis, Mr. Fred
Perry Powers, Mr. Perry Heath, Mr. W. A.
Croffut, and others whose names I do not
now call to mind, have all stepped aside at
times from the monotony of daily newspa
per work to take a turn in the more preten
tious walks of literature, and always with
distinction to themselves.
And among-the women journalists of tha
capital there are several who have taken a
similar departure with credit to their names.
Aside from these resident writers of reputa
tion, many of them not yet in full blossom,
it is a notable fact that most of the promi
nent writers of the country do not now feel
as though they had given themselves the
proper schooling of the year if they do not
drop down upon the capital for a few weeks
during "the season," and mingle with the
domestic article, or submit to be lionized
t.. 1 r-.: - i- .x i ....
ujj wc liuuiunaoie set wno are particularly
happy when they are able to "bring out"
and show off thelionine literary annual at
their entertainments.
Art, too, is making for itself a place at
the capital as rapidly as can be expected.
I dare say there are more amateur artists
in this city than in any other city of It3
dimensions in the world. It is the fashion
able thing to know how to "paint" more
than ever before, and young women and
young men dabble in art to an alarming de
gree. The Art League is in a very flourishing
condition. Heaton, its chief instructor,
has all he can do in portraits. Prof.
Andrews, of the Corcoran Gallery, has a
dozen orders for portraits ot dis
tinguished pnblic men and women, and
is just finishing those of the late
Chief Justice Waite and of Commissioner
Webb. Holmes, Gill and Moser, were all
highly praised by the critics of the recent
exhibition of water colors in New York,
and all made good sale of pictures, as did
also Miss Tiers, ayounglady who is rapidly
pushing her way into prominence. Fisher's
studio is always overflowing with pupils.
Cprrea, a charming and talented young;
Spaniard from Ecuador, is very succesful
as a teacher and portrait painter, and is
growing rich in his profession. Ulke, a
dear old fellow, one of the "men of '48" in
Germany, makes all the money he wants at
Uhl has just finished a full length por
trait of Judge Shellabarger, and is about to
begin one of President Cleveland. Max
Weyl is fairly outdoing all his former brill
iant efforts, and stands without a superior
as a landscape painter in America, and his
equals are exceedingly few. Miss Daisy
Brown, who is pronounced a veritable
prodigy by Cox and Chase, of New York,
under whose tuition she was for a time, has
just gone to Paris, and a letter received
from no less a person than the great Chia
livi declares that tbe writer will do all in
his power to smooth the pathway ot tha
young lady to fame. Truesdell, brother to
the well-known correspondent of that name,
is on the eve of his departure for Paris,
taking with him a truly admirable picture
in a group of his brother's family, intended
for the saion of this vear. -
I do not mention these artists for the pur
pose of "puffing" them, but to show the
skeptics of New York and Boston that if
Washington has "no art," as they assert,
there are at least some very successful art
ists here, and some whose promise is, by
their own admission, as great as that of any
aspirant in those less benighted cities.
There is also enough of an "art atmosphere"
to create quite a sentiment in favor of the
fonnding by the Government of a National
Academy of Fine Arts, simultaneous with
a great National University, and that is a
grand step in the line of progress.
Tbe Future of the National Capl!aL .
If the past of Washington is interesting",
if the present is absorbing, the future must
assuredly be a maker of concern and curios
ity. It is now called the prettiest city of
the world by visitors who profess to have
seen the cities of the world. It is certainly
pretty in its wide, smooth streets, it avennes
of trees, which flourish as trees do not in
any other city I have seen, the broad rivers
that almost surround it, the picturesque
scenery of its suburbs and the variety of its
architecture. This last is not particularly
superior in its artistic qualities, generally
speaking, but its very variety lends the city
at large a picturesqneness that is "not found
elsewhere, excent in some of those rare old
cities of the East, quaint in projecting stor
ies, oriel and dormer windows, and rich in
that color which can only come with age.
One forbidding feature, however, is tha
broken and straggling character of the
edifices which line the streets. The older
shanties, hovels and cheap dwellings,
especially north and west, are being rapidly
uprooted by the better class of dwellings,
ranging from tbe comfortable house worth,
with its lot, $4,000 or $5,000, up the edifice
which of itself Is worth $100,000. Eut the
streets are not filled with these.
Beside the mansions of the wealthy are
often found the hovels occupied, if not
At the Oyster Wharf.
fIL'i kmWimi
owned, by the poor, black and white. Ths -.
shanties are often owned by rich men, or by J
speculators, who are holding the property jdf
for a higher price. They care little in re?
gard to the character of the persons. to .
whom thev rent their hovels, if they, get' -enough
rental to cover the taxes, whichit
is quite well known, are usually made vy
light upon land held by speculators. Bat
tbe streets' are filling up rapidly.
The poor are being compelled, to "moTe
on," tbe sbanties are disappearing; and"
within five years, at the present rate of
building, every street west and north will
be solidly built up with dwellings, nearly
every one of which is distinct in architect,
ure from every other; the long lines of ash,
and maple, and tulip, and other trees, win
have reached maturity, tha "nuli.i
which fronts the dwellings oa-MMlyerSyi ;
street, from 5 to 30 feet, wJat6tT3td