Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lovecraft Postcard at Auction (23 October 1933)

Just seen at auction ...

(roughly $1100).

Alternate Post Card showing same scene ... a bit better than HPL's card.

My best decipher:

Thanks exceedingly for the eternal supply of Oct. Fantasy Fans. It looks to me even more interesting than the first number. Smith's tale is splendid - the remunerative (?) editors are certainly fools to turn it down. Glad to see that a large number of readers are showing up Ackerman's u...? People like Ackerman are peculiarly ridiculous - one can plainly see that this G..G..? is really an egotistical gesture to call attention to themselves. However, most people outgrow this stage. Glad you were able to ? someting young Barlow - he's definiely worth encouraging. Hope you won't find my article too long & ponderous. ? your younger readers will think its a long time getting really started.

All good wishes.


No notes on provenance. Seller's notes:

This is a postcard from H.P. Lovecraft to Charles D. Hornig postmarked 4:30 PM Oct 23, 1933, Providence RI. Charles D. Hornig was editor of Fantasy Fan magazine, published a Lovecraft Memoir, edited Gernsback's Wonder Stories and Fantasy Magazine. The handwritten note from Lovecraft includes references to Fantasy Fan, (Clark Ashton) Smith; (Forrest James) Ackerman; (Robert H) Barlow; and his own article. It is signed HPL.

Smith (1893-1961) was author of Lost Worlds, Abominations of Yondo, Tales of Science and Sorcery etc. Ackerman (1916-2008) was one of science fiction's biggest collectors and promotors, editor, writer and agent who is credited with coining the term Sci-Fi. Barlow (1918-1951) was author, anthropologist, historian and longtime friend of Lovecraft and Robert Howard. He was Lovecraft's literary executor.

Howard Philips Lovecraft (1890-1937) was probably the most influential horror writer of the 20th century. The postcard is from the science fiction-horror collection of Joseph F. Hartdegen.

The postcard has the word General printed in ink at the left margin; the postmark surrounds and partially overlaps the HPL signature; otherwise
EX condition.


On 21 October 1933 Lovecraft wrote to barlow:

Groovy 19th Century Cat Picture

These advertising cards were all the rage - and collectible. Just a bit before Lovecraft's day, but I couldn't resist in honor of Kappa Alpha Tau !

As a bonus, here are cartoon cards for irons.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Providence of 1916

OK, this post is really for me 'cuase I though it was a cool brochure. Providence was big and getting bigger all the time, and so attracted conventions. The pictures and text show contemporary highlights for tourists. A nice snapshot in time of July 1916. (Lovecraft was almost 26).

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Their Names Were Written In the Book"

Records of the First Baptist Church of Providence.

The Pastor under which Lovecraft rebelled!

Subsequent pastor ...

Lovecraft Misses Religious Occasion

[To Galpin, Tuesday, 30 September 1917]

The neighbourhood is quite honoured today. His Emminence Cardinal Mercier of Belgium being entertained in the McElroy mansion only four houses west of Castle Theobald {i.e. Lovecraft's then home} on Angell Street. My Aunt is now there at the reception being given in his honour.

The extensive grounds are all fenced off to deter curious crowds, and awnings cover the long drives whereby the mansion is reached from the street. His emminence will sleep there tonight,then depart of the lawless town of Bosting {Boston}. I should like to see the Cardinal, but feel to confoundedly miserable today to breast any bustle, formality, or excitement. {...}

The McElroy home is the only stronghold of Hibernianism. It was built by the late Joseph banigan, sometimes called the "Rubber King", who was Mrs. McElroy's father. He was a poor Irish peasant who suceeded in business and lived to found afamily whose inante good qualities gave them a definite social standing hereabouts. He married an American lady, and gave his children the best education obtainable, so that they are rather influential in the community. One of our principal skyscrapers - whre my grandfather had his office the last two years of his life {1902-1904} - was named the "Branigan Building" - though Providencepride has led it to its recent renaming as the "Grosvenor Building" ...

My mother and aunts knew the daughters of Joseph Branigan from childhood, and found them really worthy in every respect. The grandchildren were my earliest playmates, though it made me shudder in my British soul to know "Dicky Banigan", "Robert McElroy", "Edmund Sullivan", wtc!

However there is some consolation in the fact that Dick, Joe, and John Banigan, who live nearest me (next house to #454 Angell) were only a quarter Irish. Their father had followed the example of his own father and married into an old American family. Still, I wished they could have been solidly Saxon! The Banigan heirs are the recognized heirs of catholic circles here, and have entertained all the visiting Popish dignitaries such as cardinal Sarton of Italy, Gibons of baltimore, and now Mercier. Mercier, by the way, is rather Galpinesque in altitude {i.e. tall}. My aunt went to the college exercises this morning to see him obtain his LL.D., and says that the tallest professor was selected to confer on him his academic cap. The registrar (whose wife told my aunt) is supposed to perform this ceremony, but is such a pygmy that he felt he could not do it graceflly, so called in more assistance!

The Banigan or McElroy Mansion, where Mercier is now receiving the homage of local society, is one of the "show places" of the neighbourhood, and excited Klie's {Rheinhart Kleiner} vast admiration when he was here.

It is a gothic maor-house of brick and stone, such as its peasant builder may have seen and admired at a distance in his boyhood in Ould Oireland {i.e. old Ireland}. The grounds are extensive and beautifully kept, with hedges, trees, and stables of pleasing architecture. It lies almost exactly half way betwixt the house where I was born, and the one which I inhabit. Altogether, fancy the Irish have helped rather than harmed the locality!

From a New York Times Notice:

October 1, 1917, Wednesday
Page 7, 363 words
Plan to Raise Purse Is Launched at Dinner for the Belgian Cardinal.
Bishop Burch Pays Tribute to Guest of Honor--Cardinal Leavesfor Providence.
On the eve of his departure yesterday for Providence, R.I., Cardinal Mercier, Primate of Belgium, was the guest of George L. Duval at a private dinner in the Metropolitan Club, Fifth Avenue and Sixtieth Street.
From Wikipedia: Désiré-Félicien-François-Joseph Mercier (November 21, 1851—January 23, 1926) was a Belgian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Mechelen from 1906 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1907. Mercier is noted for his staunch resistance to the German occupation of 1914.
A local article from: Jewelers' circular, Volume 79, Issue 1, p.103 shows some behind the scenes work, and list of attendees.

From Cardinal Mercier: a memoir By David A. Boileau, p. 225: President Wilson had "an illness in the White House" and could not see the Cardinal. On the 26th of September he visited Philadelphia. On 29th he was at Princeton. New York on the 30th. 1 October he toured Providence. {Which is most likely an error in the book, as Lovecraft dates his letter the 3th September}. Hartford and yale on the 2 October. Springfield, MA thr 4th-7th on the way next to Boston.
Lovecraft is confirmed precise in this pericope from, Journal of the ... annual session of the Rhode Island Episcopal Convention By Episcopal Church. Diocese of Rhode Island. Convention, p.77, which states, "Tuesday, September 30. Providence. Attended Cardinal Mercier at exercises at Brown University, at Providence College and at City Hall. Attended luncheon for Cardinal Mercier and made address of welcome. P. M.: Attended reception to Cardinel Mercier. Evening: Presided at dinner of the Harvard Club for President Lowell of Harvard University."

As to Banigan, here is an historical note of his signifcance, and why he was tied to rubber.

Rhode Island's Irish history is tied closely to Joseph Bannigan, the sole Catholic out of a list of 200 influential Rhode Island businessmen in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Bannigan emigrated from Ireland after the potato famine and became an apprentice jeweler before eventually owning the fledging but growing Woonsocket Rubber Company. In 1882, Bannigan built a companion rubber mill in Millville, Ma. He was well-loved for his philanthropic efforts in the community and his strong loyalty in the hiring of the Irish. Banigan worked to foster the Irish community, but problems arose in 1885 as tough economic times led to a lowering of the wages for his millworkers.

As the Irish grew in their independence and self-confidence, they became indignant that Bannigan did not consult with them before cutting their wages. This led to a thousand workers walking out in the Millville plant creating the first strike in America on June 18, 1885. The Holy and Noble Order of the Knights of Labor was funded from the New York area, and the labor organizing movement started in the Blackstone Valley with approximately 10,000 strikers demonstrating in Millville.

Strikebreakers were sent in to intimidate the workers, yet about 60 workers lay siege to the boarding house where the strikebreakers were staying and a riot and injuries ensued. Anyone found to support these strikebreakers would be shunned and eventually, Banigan appealed to Father Michael McCabe who appealed to workers to accept Banigan's terms. Workers were aware that many of Banigan's foremen were top church leaders and money flowed easily to the Church from Banigan. However, an agreement was accepted in October 1885 in which Banigan compromised on the pay cut but created a list of regulations which included "must attend church on Sunday or be fired." This last rule created another uproar but the State finally ruled in favor of the workers and the antagonism finally subsided though many mill workers progressed to become more independent construction craftsmen and more influential after this debacle.

Eventually, Joseph Banigan went on to become the President of the US Rubber Company which bought out the Woonsocket Rubber Company. His role in history, though eventually controversial, was a milestone for the Irish worker in Rhode Island.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

La Concha Hotel circa 1931

Dave Goudsward sent us this image and note. Thanks, Dave !

Key West's Grand Dame, La Concha Hotel on Duval Street, where HPL stayed on his 1931 visit.

Hemingway was a regular here as well and Tennessee Williams finished A Streetcar Named Desire while staying here.

John Howard Appleton, Chemist

Notice the address: 209 Angell Street.
Not so far from young Howard (194 Angell Street, so then numbered).

Winslow Upton, Obituary in Science

Science, Volume 39 By American Association for the Advancement of Science p. 202 -203 (6 February 1914)

The latter passages indicate why, possibly, Lovecraft had been captivated by him.


Winslow Upton, professor of astronomy and director of the Ladd observatory at Brown University, died of pneumonia, at Providence, on January 8, in the sixty-first year of his age. His forbears were of north England origin but early in the seventeenth century the founder of the New England family emigrated to Massachusetts. Professor Upton was born on October 12, 1853, nnd was the fourth son of James Upton, a prominent merchant of Salem, Mass., and a liberal contributor to Brown University. Entering Brown in 1871 he was graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1875. He had attained to almost equal excellence in the pursuit of studies in ancient classics and in science, but he felt that his forte was rather in the line of scientific investigation. So he turned to the University of Cincinnati for

graduate work in astronomy and was there awarded the degree of A.M. in 1877. His alma mater conferred on him the honorary degree of Sc.D. in 1906.

He was assistant in the astronomical observatory at Harvard, 1877-79; assistant engineer in the TJ. S. Lake Survey at Detroit. 1879-80; computer in the U. S. naval observatory at Washington, 1880-81 ; computer and assistant professor in the U. S. Signal office, 1881-84.

In 1884 he wag appointed professor of astronomy at Brown University and since 1891 he has been both professor of astronomy and director of the Ladd observatory (the gift of the late Governor H. W. Ladd) which was built under his supervision. The facilities of the observatory have been used chiefly to aid in the instruction of the university, in the maintenance of a local time service, and in regular meteorological observations in cooperation with the U. S. Weather Bureau.

Professor Upton has been connected with a number of important scientific parties. He was a member of the U. S. astronomical expeditions to observe the total eclipse at Denver, Colorado, in 1878, and at the Caroline Islands in the South Pacific, in 1883. He also observed the solar eclipse of 1887 in Eussia, that of 1889 in California, of 1900 in North Carolina, and during a sabbatical year, 189697, he was attached to the southern station of the observatory of Harvard College, at Arequipa, Peru.

Professor Upton's publications, for the most part in the department of meteorology, include the following:

1. "The Solar Eclipse of 1878," a lecture before the Essex Institute (Bulletin of the Essex Institute, Vol. 11. 1879; reprinted, pp. 19).

2. "Photometric Observations Made Principally with the Equatorial Telescope of Fifteen Inches Aperture During the Years 1877-79"; by E. C. Pickering, C. Searle and W. Upton (Harvard Astr. Obs. Ann., Vol. 11, 1879, pp. 317).

3. " Information Eelative to the Construction and Maintenance of Time-balls " (Washington, 1881, pp. 31 + 3 pis., U. S. War Dept. Professional papers of the Signal office, No. 6).

4. " Lectures on Practical Astronomy," 1882 (Report of the Chief Signal Officer, Washington, 1882, pp. 104-120).

5. " On the Methods Adopted in the Computation of Barometric Reduction Constants " (Report of the Chief Signal Officer, Washington, 1882, appendix 61, pp. 826-846, Washington, 1883).

6. " The Use of the Spectroscope in Meteorological Observations " (U. S. signal service notes, No. IV., pp. 1 + 3 pis., Washington, 1883).

7. "Report of Observations Made on the Expedition to Caroline Islands to Observe the Total Eclipse of May 6, 1883 " (reprinted from Memoirs of the National Academy of Scisncet. Vol. 2, Washington, 1884, pp. 64 + 7 pis.).

8. "Distribution of Rainfall in New England February 10-14, 1886, from Observations reported to the New England Meteorological Society" (reprinted from Science of March 19. 1886, Providence, 1886, pp. 8).

9. "An Investigation of Cyclonic Phenomena in New England" (1887).

10. "Meteorological Observations During the Solar Eclipse August 19, 1887, at Chlamostina, Russia " (reprinted from the American Meteorological Journal, Ann Arbor, 1888, PP- 25).

11. " The Storm of March 11-14, 1888 " (reprinted from American Meteorological Journal, May, 1888. pp. 19).

12. " Characteristics of New England Climate1' (Harvard Astr. Obs. Ann., Vol. 21, 1890, pp. 265-273).

13. " Meteorologial and Other Observations Made in Connection with the Total Solar Eclipse of January 1, 1889, at Willows, California," by W. Upton and A. L. Rotch (Hartará Astr. ОЪв. Ann., Vol. 29. 1892, pp. 34 + 2 pis.).

14. " Star Atlas, Containing Stars Visible to the Naked Eye and Clusters, Nebulœ, and Double Stars Visible in Small Telescopes . . . and an Explanatory Text " (Boston, Ginn and Co., 1896. pp. iv + 34.

15. " Geographical Position of Arequipa Station " (Harvard Astr. Obs. Ann., Vol. 48, 1903, pp. 52 + 1 pi.).

He was also the contributor of numerous short articles to the Astronomische Nachrichten since 1877, to Zeitschrift für Meteorologie, Siderial Messenger, Popular Astronomy, Science, American Meteorological Journal, Astronomical Journal and other scientific publications. For over twenty years he wrote monthly letters on astronomical topics for the Providence Journal and was editor of the astronomical part of the Providence Journal Almanac 1894-1910.

Professor Upton was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the Deutsche Meteorologische Gesellschaft, of the Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi Societies and of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. He married, in 1882, Miss Cornelia Augusta Babcock, of Lebanon Springs, N. Y., and their two daughters are graduates of Smith College.

At Brown University Professor Upton was secretary of the faculty 1884-91, Dean 19001901, one of the committee on organization of the movement to increase the university endowment 1910-11 ; and, for more than a score years, a member of important administrative committees. He was also an active church worker, endowed with rare simplicity, genuineness, and warmth of Christian faith, and, at different times, glee-club and choir leader, and organist. His musical talents (so often the possession of astronomers and mathematicians) were inherited from his father; the George P. Upton who has given us many a pleasing volume on musical topics is a distant relative.

Professor Upton was possessed of unusual scientific ability, coupled with brilliancy and rare clarity of thought and power of exposition of intricate subjects. Too much, it seemed to some, did the university demand of his time and strength to deal with administrative problems, when he might so easily have multiplied his contributions to science. That extensive projects in this direction were contemplated are indicated by manuscripts left behind. He had a good deal of personal magnetism, a joyous appreciation of refined humor, and was constantly in demand as a lecturer. In the class-room he displayed exceptional power to arouse enthusiasm. He was tactful and of judicial temper, a man inspired with the highest ideals in the conduct of life and possessed of unfailing patience, of great tenderness of heart and kindliness of spirit. He was beloved alike by colleagues and students.

Only a week ago, our friend was in the classroom. Because of the tragic swiftness of his passing—for just the other day he seemed to us but in the prime of bodily and mental vigor—a pregnant hush of introspection pervades the academic community. This afternoon his body was borne to his native city. "Warte nur, balde Ruhest du auch."

R. G. Archibald

Brown University, January 10, 1914

Winslow Upton, Ciriculum Vitae (circa 1904)

From Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 1764-1904.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lovecraft's Father and The Columbian Exposition of 1893

"In 1893 he began having hallucinations while in Chicago on business..."

I've often wondered if the 1893 trip to Chicago business trip involved Lovecraft's father visiting the Exposition. I will never have a "smoking gun", but here's a very strong coincidence that he did go to Chicago, and may have attended the exposition just before losing it at the hotel room. The exposition opened 1 May 1893. The only date I've seen for the breakdown was about April 25, 1893 (*) - so was he there to help set up the exhibit? Or just a coincidence?

The official directory of the World's Columbian exposition, 1893 - 139 pages
Group # 97, section N, block 1, south.

# 297 Gorham Manufacturing Company Providence RI Silver and plated ware etc 605

(*) KennethW. Faig, The Unknown Lovecraft, "Lovecraft's Parental Heritage", p.57.

Sweet Adeline

Lovecraft remembered this being a hit in the Spring of 1904. His memory holds.

In 1934, Lovecraft recalled the Spring 1904 song "You're the Flower of My Heart, Sweet Adeline". From Wikipedia:

"(You're the Flower of My Heart) Sweet Adeline" is a ballad best known as a barbershop standard. It was first published in 1903, with lyrics by Richard H. Gerard to music by Harry Armstrong, from a tune he had written in 1896 at the age of 18. According to a 1928 newspaper story, the lyrics were inspired "by a girl who worked at the music counter of a New York department store."

After failing to find a publisher with the initial title, "You're the Flower of My Heart, Sweet Rosalie", according to a story the two decided a new title was in order and were inspired by a poster advertising the farewell tour of opera singer Adelina Patti. It did not become a hit until it was performed in 1904 by the {Philadelphia based} group The Quaker City Four. They re-priemiered is at a performance at the Hammerstein Theater and the "lid blew off".

{Lovecraft does not mention, but would probably have been chagrined at its use by John F. Fitzgerald, grandfather of John F. Kennedy, who used it as his theme song for his two successful campaigns for Mayor of Boston. In 1931, the Marx Brothers used it comedically, but I've not seen where Lovecraft saw the Marx Brothers in anything. Unlikely his "cup of tea".

I found a notice that at least by 16 December 1904, this was a billboard #1 hit: 1904 ... "Sweet Adeline (You're the Flower of My Heart)" by Haydn Quartet. Again, many people would have rushed to cover this to get a record sale. This one "had legs" as they say. Parodies would immediately be rampant, too.

Also, remember that there were dozens of top songs in these years - nothing changes - these are only the ones that impressed him over the years.

For instance, here are a few top Billboard hits of December on each year - Christmas was a hot buying time even then. The same singers/groups were perennial hit-meisters.

1908 ... "Sunbonnet Sue" by Harry MacDonough & Haydn Quartet
1907 ... "Let's Take an Old-Fashioned Walk" by Ada Jones & Billy Murray
1906 ... "Love Me and the World Is Mine" by Henry Burr
1905 ... "Where the Morning Glories Twine Around the Door" by Byron G. Harlan
1904 ... "Sweet Adeline (You're the Flower of My Heart)" by Haydn Quartet
1903 ... "Any Rags?" by Arthur Collins
1902 ... "In the Good Old Summer Time" by J.W. Myers

[Adeline was Adelina Patti, a 19th century singer of renown, and froma billboard sign of her parting came the song]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Thanks for reading, and for the comments here and on the Google Group.
Stay tuned the enxt few weeks - lots more comin' at ya.


On The Banks of the Wabash

Lovecraft alludes to this song in passing in one of his letters (1934), but it was old even in his day. It would be more from his parent's era, but he remembered it.

From Wikipedia...

"On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away" was among the best-selling songs of 19th-Century, in terms of sheet music sold. Written and composed by American songwriter Paul Dresser, it was published by Tin Pan Alley firm Howley, Haviland & Co. in October 1897. The lyrics of the song reminisce about life near Dresser's childhood home by the Wabash River in Indiana.

The song remained popular and the Indiana General Assembly adopted the song as the official state song of Indiana on March 14, 1913. The song was the basis for a 1928 film by the same title. Its longtime popularity led to the emergence of several different lyrical versions of the song, including an 1898 anti-war song and a Swedish version that was a number one hit.

The song was composed during a transitory time in musical history when songs first began to be recorded for the phonograph. Wabash was among the first popular songs to be recorded, and Dresser's inability to control the distribution of phonograph cylinders led him and other music companies to petition the United States Congress to expand federal copyright protections over the new technology. Dresser's song was the subject of some controversy after his death in 1905.


Round my Indiana homestead wave the cornfields,
In the distance loom the woodlands clear and cool.
Oftentimes my thoughts revert to scenes of childhood,
Where I first received my lessons, nature's school.
But one thing there is missing from the picture,
Without her face it seems so incomplete.
I long to see my mother in the doorway,
As she stood there years ago, her boy to greet.

Oh, the moonlight's fair tonight along the Wabash,
From the fields there comes the breath of newmown hay.
Through the sycamores the candle lights are gleaming,
On the banks of the Wabash, far away.

Many years have passed since I strolled by the river,
Arm in arm, with sweetheart Mary by my side,
It was there I tried to tell her that I loved her,
It was there I begged of her to be my bride.
Long years have passed since I strolled thro' there churchyard.
She's sleeping there, my angel, Mary dear,
I loved her, but she thought I didn't mean it,
Still I'd give my future were she only here.

Addison Munroe biography

From -
History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical
NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

ADDISON PIERCE MUNROE -- No list of successful business men and eminent citizens of Providence, Rhode Island, but would include the name of Addison Pierce Munroe, retired since August 1, 1909, from the wholesale and retail grocery business. He was then but in the prime of life, yet he had won fortune's favor as a merchant, and although not a member of the dominant party has served in both branches of the General Assembly, and is the father of some important legislation. Successful in business and politics, he is prominent in the patriotic orders, his ancestry tracing to the 'Mayflower', and in its course entitles him to membership in all societies based upon early Colonial residence and Revolutionary service. Of these privileges he has availed himself, and is a member of the Rhode Island Society and of the National Society of Mayflower Descendants, holding official position in both.

The family in Scotland traces to remotest times and in America to William Munro, born in Scotland in 1625. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester by the forces of Cromwell, and on November 11, 1651, was banished to New England by the Protector, along with others. He settled at Lexington, Massachusetts. This branch traces to Thomas Munro, believed to have been a nephew of William Munro, he settling in Bristol, Rhode Island, where his son, John Munroe, was born May 14, 1701. He married Hannah Rosbotham, fifth in descent from Richard Warren, of the 'Mayflower'. The line continues through their son, Stephen Munroe; his son, Burden Munroe; his son, Philip Allen Munroe; his son, Addison Pierce Munroe.

Philip Allen Munroe was born in Swansea, Massachusetts, November 27, 1821, and died in East Providence, September 18, 1908. During his youth he was variously employed, but finally settled in Providence, where he became a grocer, retiring in 1876, leaving a business which extended to Providence, Rehoboth, Seekonk and Swansea. After retiring from mercantile life he devoted himself to the management of his private estate, including thirty houses and stores in East Providence and Providence. He was a fine business man, a Universalist in his religious faith, and an ardent Democrat. He married, at Thompson, Connecticut, December 29, 1844, Delana Pierce, born in Rehoboth, July 13, 1823, died at Barrington, Rhode Island, June 19, 1909, daughter of Isaac and Polly Pierce, of ancient New England family, Isaac Pierce, a soldier of the Revolution, tracing to Captain Michael Pierce. Philip Allen and Delana (Pierce) Munroe were the parents of a large family, this narrative dealing with the life and career of their youngest son and eighth child, Addison Pierce Munroe.

Addison Pierce Munroe was born in Providence, Rhode Island, January 2, 1862, and is yet a resident of his native city. He completed the course of Thayer street grammar school, then studied under a private tutor until entering business life as clerk in the store of his brothers, Lyman F. and Philip A. (2). He continued in their employ until 1885, then formed a partnership with his brother Philip, they opening a grocery at No. 14 Cranston street. They prospered, enlarged that store, and opened another at No. 111 Washington street, Addison P. becoming manager of the new store. Addison P. Munroe continued a successful business on Washington street, dealing in both wholesale and retail quantities, until August 1, 1909, then retired, there not then being a single firm or merchant doing business on Washington street who was there when he opened his store on that street in 1885. Since 1909 he has devoted himself to his private business affairs.

A Democrat in politics, Mr. Munroe early began his active interest in public affairs, serving as president of the Young Men's Democratic Club of Providence in 1899 and 1900. He represented Providence in the House of Representatives in 1903, being elected by over two thousand majority, although defeated the previous election by a small plurality. In the House he served on the committee on accounts and claims, and completed a record of usefulness. In 1910 he was elected State Senator from Providence, was reelected in 1911, and in 1912, at the first biennial election, was returned for a term of two years. He introduced some important bills during his legislative career, and took active part in the discussions in both House and Senate, and in the latter body was on the committees on judiciary and militia. He found favor with the independent voter, and at the contest at the polls in 1912 he received a majority of five thousand votes. At the Democratic State Convention of 1912, Senator Munroe was a candidate for Governor, but in the interest of harmony withdrew his name, although strongly supported. In 1913 he received the full party vote in both House and Senate for United States Senator, and is a recognized leader of the party in the State. In 1916 he was the Democratic candidate for Governor, but was defeated at the election. He was appointed a member of the commission in charge of the new armory for the State cavalry demands, and has rendered other public service of note.

Through his descent from Richard Warren he gained membership in the Rhode Island Society of Mayflower Descendants, and has served the society as treasurer, deputy governor and governor. In 1912 he was elected deputy governor-general of the National Society of the same order; is a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, Sons of the American Revolution, and Rhode Island Historical Society.

Senator Munroe married, December 22, 1885, Annie Burnside Hopkins, born in Cranston, Rhode Island, August 12, 1861, daugher of Nelson and Emily Greene (Bateman) Hopkins. Mrs. Munroe is a member of the Society of Colonial Dames, tracing to seven Colonial ancestors, and a member of Gaspee Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, by right of descent from Spencer Merrill. Mr. and Mrs. Munroe are the parents of two sons, Chester Pierce, a salesman, who married Mary Doris Davenport, and Harold Bateman, a salesman, who married Esther Louise Whipple.

Monday, February 22, 2010

San Francisco Earthquake

The Last Test - with Adolphe de Castro

Few persons know the inside of the Clarendon story, or even that there is an inside not reached by the newspapers. It was a San Francisco sensation in the days before the fire …

De Castro has been a fascination of mine since I came across a group of his old letters at auction, and was able to purchase some of them. A notable Jewish leader, acquaintance of Ambrose Bierce, a fixture in San Francisco society, and a sometimes thorn to Lovecraft.

And when I think of The Last Test and San Francisco, I can't help but recall the great Earthquake.

This was all well before Lovecraft's time, but on the Ebayeum appeared a Providence, Rhode Island, account of the earthquake. Interesting reading from the dispatch.

Now, if you'll allow me a digression, here are silent prayers for those lost in Haiti and good thoughts and more for the survivors' grief and recovery.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chrispy Time Travelin': In Search of ... "Bedelia"

Warning. Although Chrispy tries valiantly to make this a family-freindly blog, the nature of Lovecraft's beliefs and his era and milieu causes us to delve into darkness sometimes. I will do all I can to keep this of moderate temperament. "Bedelia" is ethnic and somewhat racist. Recall, Howard is now 12 years old, and these songs were permeating his young world. Chrispy believes that racism is learned, and usually in the pre-teen or teen-aged years. And so from an early age, HPL was being indoctrinated by his culture and probably by his family.

Before you throw stones at Lovecraft, let us all examine our own prejudices and beliefs. Beware glass houses. Otherwise, let us now scholarly pursure "Bedelia"

The music (no words) can be heard on this quick-time link. You will have to have quicktime. Chrispy was unable to find all the words on this time travel trip, sorry.


OK, Lovecrftians, sit back as we click the time machine and go back to visit young Lovecraft in 1903. He mentions in passing* he used to sing "Bedelia". What's a Bedelia, you may ask? Let's depress "Da Google" button, and slip up the wikipedia lever a notch, and we get ...

"Bedelia (I Want to Steal Ye, Bedelia, I Love You So)", written by Billy Jerome and Jean Schwartz. We now go over to the Indiana University archives and we find ...

Title: Bedelia
First Line: There's a charming Irish lady with a roguish winning way,
First Line of Chorus: Bedelia, I want to steal ye, Bedelia, I love you so,
Composer: Schwartz, Jean
Lyricist: Jerome, William, 1856-1932
Performer: Elizabeth Murray
Published: New York: Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., copyright 1903

Now remember, these hit songs were covered by many, many people once they broke out, so we may not know which singer he heard (see cover art above), or maybe he heard several versions of them. They would be played EVERYWHERE, much like Billy Cyrus' Achy-Breaky Heart or Macarena was a while back. You wouldn't be able to miss it. Believe me, you COULDN'T miss it, any more than you would have missed those songs YOU hear EVERYWHERE.

Here is a commentary:

... the Irish were also vilified in the early 20th century as invaders of the land and stealers of employment. The authors of this song seemed to go for a double play by sub-titling this song as "The Irish Coon Song Serenade". My God, what on earth were they thinking of! The lyrics of the song are all Irish referenced but the sub title perhaps shows just what the authors thought of the Irish.

In fact though, it does appear that it was the musical style, the "coon song" style that they may have been referring to for the lyrics make no mention of African-Americans, nor does it try to make comparisons. The lyrics do however, use stereotypes and common misconceptions about the Irish.


Lovecraft doesn't mention it, but we should add this historical note, as well.

"Cordelia Malone" a novelty song written in 1904 by Billy Jerome and Jean Schwartz, and recorded that same year by popular Irish American singer Billy Murray {Not Bill Murray, the ghostbuster SNK person}. The lyrics are a stableboy's first-hand account of his courtship of Cordelia Malone, a "smart Irish girl". Over the course of the song, he describes his seemingly successful efforts to woo Cordelia through use of the then newly invented telephone, stating that:

"...Young suitors can all nightly flock 'round the door, since her sister Bedelia won fame, but her smiles don't you see, they are only for me, so they might as well leave her alone, 'cause she seems to rejoice at the sound of my voice when I sing through the Bell telephone: "Hello, hello, sweet Cordelia"..."

The name given to Cordelia's sister, 'Bedelia', may be in reference to a popular (previous year) 1903 song, "Bedelia (I Want to Steal Ye, Bedelia, I Love You So)", also written by Billy Jerome and Jean Schwartz.


Well, that's all we have "time" for right now, heh. (Mr. Wells only lets us borrow his machine every so often.)

[* In a 1934 letter he writes down the lyrics of "Bedelia", the big hit of 1903..., I don't have a copy but a reference states this is in Selected Letters: 1932-1934 p. 365 - To J Vernon Shea, 4 February 1934]

Friday, February 19, 2010

More ... Clara Hess (1908)

Near bottom of clipping: "Miss Clara L. Hess ... furnished the music ..."

Beginning of article, with date: 7 July 1908.

In: The Federation bulletin, Volumes 6-7 By General Federation of Women's Clubs

Providence Anecdotes, one with Clara Hess

"“This Really Happened in Rhode Island,” the volume represented “cartoons that have been presented in the Providence Evening Bulletin” as “compiled from items contributed by readers from all parts of the state.”

"Loring, who died in 1968, was a Wickford resident, an artist for Yachting magazine and a longtime cartoonist for the Providence Journal-Bulletin Co. His “This Really Happened In Rhode Island” series has a “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” quality"

More at link.

In 1658 wolves preyed on livestock in R.I. At Warwick (a reward of five hounds) was offered for the death of one large wolf. (Clara Hess, Warwick Neck)


Others tangential to HPL.

It was a law in Providence that a horse might not be put to a gallop between the houses of John Whipple and Pardon Tillinghast. (J. Muratore, Providence)

The Providence Public Library once attached chains to their books. (Mary Slater, Providence)



In 1953 it was 16 years after HPL's death, scientifiction was all the rage, yet still fans remembered Mr. Lovecraft.

BACCHANALIA #1 (April 1953) 8 1/8 x 9 3/4, 32 pages.
Back cover art inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's PICKMAN'S MODEL.
"Random Notes On H.P. Lovecraft" by T.C. Cockcroft (8 pages).
{TC Cockcroft is later identified as TG Cockcroft in fanzine histories, apparently still alive as of 2008}

Chrispy found a few notes on Cockcroft's long career in fantasy and Lovecraftian works.

In 1962, Cockcroft produced: Index to the Weird Fiction Magazines

Cockcroft in 2001 participated in CRYPT OF CTHULHU and in sbsequent issues: #104 - Volume 19, Number 2. "Notes From a Snug Room (Errata for Lovecraft's SELECTED LETTERS)"; In 2002 #106, Notes from a Snug Room by T.G. Cockcroft (on H.P. Lovecraft, Weird Tales, Farnsworth Wright & Edwin Baird); #107, Notes from a Snug Room by Thomas Cockcroft (on the possible influence of H.G. Wells on H.P. Lovecraft).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More ... Clara Hess

In, Gustav Mahler: The New England Tour, 1910, by Mary H Wagner (2006) her research uncovered another anecdote about 20 year old Clara Hess.

The text reads:

... and then we read Clara's name. Yes, she was an elite of Providence, it appears.

More on Robert Morrow

Credit: Here is a historic photo of the Povidence Opera House.
posted by Gerald A. DeLuca on Apr 3, 2005 at 1:45pm

Dave Goudsward was kind enough to look this data up:

Morrow was manager until his death in 1898, when he was replaced by Felix R. Wendelschaefer. Mary Morrow died in 1917.

In Search of ... Mr. Manow (i.e. Robert Morrow)

In Kleiner, p. 69: to Kleiner, 16 November 1916, he mentiones a "Mr. Manow" who lived across the street, lessee and manager of the Providence Opera House. This was in 1896.

I can find no "Mr. Manow" listed in 1899. The immediate neighbors (including the Banigans) are listed below. Intriguingly, there is a widow, a "Mary Morrow", but no "Manow".

Currently "Da Google" only has the 1899 Providence City Directory available.

However, "Da Google" has many other resources, so Chrispy went over to another theater source of the era, and sure enough:

(The dramatic year book for the year ending December 31st, 1891: an annual ... edited by Charles Smith Cheltnam)

Just to confirm, we have on p. 754, Julius Cahn's official theatrical guide, Volume 2 By Julius Cahn, this entry: (link)

Sure enough, there is Mr. Robert Morrow, as manager and lessee. Now, it's possible that whoever did the typescript of the letter to Kleiner could not make out HPL's handwriting. I think, now, we can easily correct that long term error.
The story from: George O. (George Owen) Willard. History of the Providence stage, 1762-1891

Finally, Mr. George Hackett took the lease, and during the five years that he was the manager the public saw many queer "shows," and the stockholders realized very little on their property. The last year, it is said, he did not pay one cent for rent, and the house was permitted to run down so much that when Mr. Morrow succeeded him, in 1885, about nine thousand dollars had to be spent in making the necessary repairs.

Mr. Robert Morrow succeeded George Hackett as the manager of the Providence Opera House, and although it was a new experience to him, he succeeded in greatly improving the list of attractions offered, and also in improving the appearance of the house, both before and behind the curtain.


I found no obituary for Morrow, so he must have passed about 1897-1898.

(I made it to fit, should expand if you click into a new window)

In Search of ... Clara Hess

Only yesterday (17 February 2010) I found out that Clara Hess lived at 21 Oriole Avenue circa 1905. I've attached two maps, a modern and a circa 1905 map. In the old map, it's hard to read but Angell and Oriole are located at the edge of the page about 1/3 of the way down from the top. The modern "Da Google" map is easier to read.

Note, Howard was probably looking out over the river for a better line of sight.

Howard used to go into the fields in back of my home to study the stars.

One early fall evening several of the children in the vicinity assembled to watch him from a distance. Feeling sorry for his loneliness, I went up to him and asked him about his telescope and was permitted to look through it. But his language was so technical that I could not understand it and I returned to my group and left him to his lonely study of the heavens.

(p. 58, fn 34, ST Joshi, HPL: A Life – from Faig, parents, and from The Providence Sunday Journal, 19 September 1948.)

So, roughly speaking, this could not be much earlier than late 1904 (i.e. 14 yrs old, after Howard moved to his new address), and not any later than 1906 (i.e. 16 years old, Howard and Hess are remembered as 'children').

For the time being, I think that "literary archaeology" dates this to Fall 1904 when HPL was "new to the neighborhood", new to Hope High School, and interestingly, Lovecraft and Hess's family were both "Blue Book" members.

The only thing that smacks of anachronism, slightly, is "feeling sorry for his loneliness". Was that, 44 years later, superimposed backwards? Don't know.

Elmwood and Potter


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