Page images

with a high honor and entered the coveted en- 1891. His daughter, Mrs. Townsend, is a promgineer corps.

After a career marked by dis- inent social leader in Washington and his grandtinction, he reached the head of the corps and child, regarded as the most beautiful young became Chief of Engineers.

woman of the Capital, is the wife of Senator When Daniel Webster was a United States Peter Goelet Gerry, of Rhode Island. Senator, he had appointed as page a little “Dick" Townshend went west after his freckle-faced boy from Capitol Hill, named apprenticeship among the lawmakers ended, Isaac Bassett, who remained a faithful if humble taught school, studied law, was admitted to the servitor of the Senate for sixty years or more. bar in 1862, enlisted in the Civil War, afterwards Isaac Bassett grew into the tall, stalwart old went into politics and was for ten years a Demogentleman, whose white beard and white hair- cratie member of Congress. He died in 1889, the latter rolled from his neck—made him for and, singularly enough, his official biography in many, many years a picturesque figure as he the Congressional Directory written by himself announced, “A message from the President of the like that of Mr. Scott, is silent as to his term as a United States”; or, in the crowded hours of a page in the House of Representatives. closing session, with blushing face and a broom handle, he would turn back the hands of the

A Page Who Kept the Speaker Posted clock and thus save the face of the Senate at the THER prominent men have served as cost of violating the Constitution of the United pages in the House of Representatives but States.

history has made no note of them and their There is no Isaac Bassett now, and no page names cannot be found in contemporaneous of the present day who sits under the admonish- records. There was, however, one page in the ing gaze of the modern guardians of the peace lower house who gained fleeting notoriety by and dignity of the Senate can possibly appre- being the parliamentary guide, if not the phiciate what it meant to be tapped on the head bylosopher and friend, of a Speaker of the House. Mr. Bassett's gentle fingers and be told, “Come, His name was Thad. Thomas, and the Speakerboy; hustle."

at whose elbow parliamentary tradition says he During his lifetime, Captain Bassett-whose stood to guide him through the mazes of rules military title was derived from his service as and precedents-was William Pennington, who commander of the guard of Capitol employees served over fifty years ago. organized to protect the big marble building Tradition has it, too, that Thad. Thomas from threatened incendiaries and other enemies would often give counsel to his chief in tones of the United States-kept a diary and gathered that were audible throughout the chamber, both a mass of material relating to the men and adding to his own reputation as a parliamentarian measures of the sixty-year period of his official and calling attention to the weakness of the prelife, with the intention of having it published siding officer. after his death. As yet, however, no publication According to official statistics, Grafton D. of this interesting and valuable data and anecdote Hanson was the first boy to be appointed a page has been made.

in the United States Senate. Nepotism in

official life apparently existed then as it does Two Pages Who Went to Congress

to-day, although possibly not in such virulent O far as can be learned accurately, the two form, for the Sergeant-at-Arms, in 1829, when

men who having been pages in the House of Hanson received his appointment, was General Representatives, and who afterwards served as Mountjoy Bayley, the boy's grandfather. John members of that body, were the late William L. C. Calhoun was then President of the Senate, Scott, of Erie, Pennsylvania, and Richard W. and Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Lewis Cass, Townshend, of Illinois.

and other great men and statesmen were memBoth lived as boys in Washington and had no bers. capital except the friendship they formed among Mr. Hanson was a type of the faithful and the public men of their day. Scott, after the loyal public servant, like Captain Bassett, who, pageship ended, was taken to Erie by a Congress- having been called to the service of the State, man who had befriended him in Washington, are disinclined to desert. He was promoted from became ultimately his man of business, branched one place to another in federal employment after out on his own hook and, eventually, became leaving the Senate and died not so many years one of the wealthy railroad and coal operators ago at a very advanced age while holding the of the United States. He was known to fame as a responsible office of chief clerk of the Paymaster Democratic leader and as Chairman of the Demo- General's Department of the Army for forty cratic National Committee. Mr. Scott died in



Mr. Hanson, in the closing days of his life, would become reminiscent of the time when he

waited on the statesmen. Having been a page in the days of old-fashioned statesmanship, he became an old-school gentleman”; that is, he

wore a stock, top boots, carried a goldheaded cane and bowed low to every lady of his acquaintance. His remembrance of

Daniel Webster was especially clear and he loved to dwell on Webster's especial

fondness for him as was indicated by an affectionate pat on the head or shoulder when directing





Standing in the center is Mr. David
S. Barry, Sergeant-at-Arms of the
United States Senate and author
of this article. Standing at the rear
(right) is Mr. Joseph E. O'Toole,
who has charge of the pages on the
Republican side. At the left is
Mr. Edwin A. Halsey, who per-
forms a similar service on the

Democratic side.


It was


I lanson to convey a message or deliver a docu- which Thomas M. Cooley was member. inent to "the reprobates," as he of the lofty brow

a bench enjoying the very highest ind eagle eye had named "the minority.” reputation.

Hanson was a page in those traditional days The pages in the legislature of Michiganwhen the eloquence of such silver-tongued “messenger boys" they were called there-were, Senators as Henry Clay and Preston of South like those of other tes, eager to get promoted Carolina flowed so fast that the official reporters to Washington. One of them, seeing his chance, could not take down their words. Their quick wrote a letter to Senator Christiancy, his fellow brains and subtle fingers were paralyzed. The townsman of Monroe, and it reached him in -reporters who perform the parliamentary pot- Washington in the nick of time on the very day hooking of the present day recognize eloquence that a caucus was held with the object of electing when they hear—or see—it, but they seldom per- a new sergeant-at-arms. But the incumbent mit the flowers of oratory to interfere with their rallied enough votes to hold on. One of his supbusiness.

porters was Judge Christiancy, and the outcome One of Mr. Hanson's anecdotes of the early was the arrival at Monroe of an official letter of period, one, by the way, which illustrates how which the following is an exact copy: carefully such delightful

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS OFFICE, specimens of Congres

SENATE OF THE UNITED sional wit have been preE often hear intel

States. served, was this:

lectual people say

Washington, March 24, 1875. A drove of mules was passing through the that superstition is harm- To Honorable grounds of the Capitol one

J. P. Jones, less; but nothing is harmless

Chairman, Committee on day, and Henry Clay, call- which makes a man believe

Contingent Expenses, ing the attention of John

that he is a puppet at the Sir: Holmes of Maine to them, banteringly said, “Holmes,

mercy of signs and symbols, I order the removal of there are a lot of your

John P. Ringgold, a page in omens and inanimate relics,

the Senate, on account of constituents out there." that there is a power in the

over-age. And appoint to fill “I see," replied the New world trying to do harm to

the vacancy

thus made, Englander dryly. “They mortals.

David S. Barry of Michigan. are on their way to Ken

And, in accordance with tucky to teach school.”

law, respectfully submit the

same for your approval. How Pages Meet the High Cost of Living This change to date from the sixteenth proximo. AGES in the Senate are appointed by the


Sergeant-at-Arms, Senate U. S. be between twelve and sixteen years of age. They

Approved: Jno. P. Jones,

Chairman, Com. on Contingent Expenses. are paid $2.50 a day for the session, which means every day from the beginning to the end of a Later on, sitting together on the steps of the session, including holidays and Sundays. In Senate rostrum—the pages' throne-Ringgold, these days of the high cost of living, a bonus of who was employed temporarily in the Chamber $20 a month is added.

in another capacity, and Barry, while exchanging Although there is no ruling on this point, the confidences, brought out the fact that the new size of a page has as important a bearing as age page was more than a year older than his predeon the matter of his appointment and retention. cessor removed because of “over-age.” But, This is well illustrated by the following in- then, Ringgold was tall while his successor had cident:

the misfortune of being short, like Alexander, Thirty-five years ago a wave of so-called Napoleon, Andrew Carnegie and other more or political reform swept over the legislatures of less distinguished men. various States, and several “stalwart” leaders in Soon after that letter had been received at the United States Senate were retired to private Monroe, Michigan, where it was duly apprelife. Among them were General Logan, of ciated, a full-fledged United States Senator came Illinois; Matthew Carpenter, of Wisconsin; and to town-the first time the recipient had gazel Zachariah Chandler, of Michigan, all friends and upon such a personage. The statesman was full supporters of President Grant. Mr. Chandler's panoplied-frock coat, silk hat-which is pracsuccessor was Isaac P. Christiancy, Chief tically taboo now, even in the United States Justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan, of Senate. The embryo page, having been invited



to meet the great man at breakfast, at the the rule in Congress, especially in the Senate, private house where he was the guest of honor, where the custoṁ is rightfully frowned upon, as was told by him that Senate pages were much undignified and calculated to discourage the favored beings, that they received five dollars a building up of character and manly independence. day, wore pretty blue uniforms furnished by The boys, however, have a few time-honored Uncle Sam, were required to report for duty only methods for making pin-money, and, as may be on such days and in such hours as the Senate supposed, they employ them to the fullest extent. might be in session, and, in many other respects, One is to sell autograph books filled with the were far removed from the humdrum drudgery signatures of Congressmen, which bring good devolving upon ordinary mortals.

prices, or to get such books filled, on commission. Reporting for duty in December, the trusting Twenty-five or thirty years ago, when Conpage, not entirely a novice because of his ex- gressional oratory was at a higher premium than perience with the lawmakers of the Wolverine it is to-day, the custom of interchange of speeches, State, learned, somewhat to his sorrow, that the at individual expense, was more prevalent than Senators of that day, even

now, and the pages of that those with the shiniest

period, in the sessions hats, the largest coats and

preceding political camthe most luxuriant whisk

F invalids and people in paigns, reaped a bountiful ers, were apt to be a little poor health could only harvest from the circucareless in their state- hold persistently the perfect lation of subscription lists ments occasionally, just as image of themselves, and,

a commission from those of to-day nod once

private printers. in a while and overlook a no matter how much it

Once in a while, trapoint or two.

might howl in pain for rec- dition has it, one of the It was found, for in- ognition, refuse to see the older pages (for occasionstance, that the boys were sick, discordant, imperfect ally a boy not too big paid one-half of the image, the harmony

physically to attract amount stated by the

suspicion, or in spite of it, Senator, that no uniforms thought, the truth thought

manages to run over the were worn, and that the would soon neutralize their

age limit) attempts a hours of duty were opposites and they would little genuine lobbying, regulated by those in be well.

having been long enough charge without especial

in service to cut his eye reference to whether the

teeth, but this sort of Senate is. or is not in

foolishness generally ends session. In fact, a page's duty, at that time, disastrously both to the employer and employed. was similar to his duty to-day.

One of the Senate customs of long standing There Are No "Tips" for Pages

is the annual Christmas dinner to the pages

by the Vice-President of the United States. HE boys have a very good time. There is The Vice-President is the presiding officer of the

lots of fun with the work and some Senate, and in the years since the genial Thomas opportunity--not nearly so great, however, as R. Marshall-who is very fond of children, espethe public may have been led to believe by cially boys-has been the host, the dinner has fanciful publications of the reckless or unin- been followed by a symposium of speech-making formed-of making “tips.” Senators and Repre- on topics assigned by Edwin A. Halsey, the sentatives ar not as much given to handing official on the floor of the Senate, who acts as out small change needlessly as might be supposed. master of ceremonies on these interesting occaIt has long been a saying of the pages that sions. At the last dinner, the boys discussed “Congressmen are 'tight wads,'” but, in one way such topics as “The League of Nations,” and another, the boys manage to pick up enough “National Prohibition," "Should the Senate money on the outside to keep them in chewing- Pages Attend Night School," and similar subjects. gum.

While the boys revealed in their Christmas It is proverbial that the pages of the House of dinner speeches a pretty clear knowledge of the Representatives get hold of more tips and out- matters they had heard discussed in the Senate, side money than those of the Senate, but in both and a knack of expressing themselves in true chambers extra coin is derived more from extra oratorical style, truth compels the assertion that, work of a legitimate character than from the although some of the boys do go to night school pockets of the members. But "tipping” is not

(Continued on page 148)


[ocr errors][merged small]

Suggestive Helps for the Multitude of Readers of THE NEW SUCCESS,

Who Write to Dr. Marden for Advice

Are You Bigger Than Your Job? The habit of always expecting the best things to

come to us, that the future holds all sorts of good THERE is a great difference between being a lawyer

things for us, instead of thinking that we are nothing and being a member of the bar. President Butler

but puppets unrelated to our source, tossed hither and of Columbia says that one of the greatest misfortunes thither by chance or a cruel destiny which is dogging of the country, is the fact that law is a stepping stone our steps from the cradle to the grave, changes the to political preferment. Most of the men so preferred aspect of our whole career. are not really lawyers, but only members of the bar,

Why shouldn't we expect the best and the grandest and not at all the right type of men for leaders.

things in the world? We have certainly inherited all Are you bigger than your job? If not, you will never good from the All Creator. We were intended to live be a very big man, never be advanced very rapidly or

the life abundant, the life triumphant-not the povto a very high place. The winner is always bigger

erty-stricken, the failure life. than his job; it is the man behind the merchant, the

The fact that we crave good things, beautiful things, man behind the lawyer, the man behind the politician glorious, sublime things; that our ambition is always that counts most.

looking for something better; that our very souls long for something cleaner, purer, nobler; these are indica

tions that our very nature was planned for the things The World's Offerings

we desire, that they were intended for us and that we

should have them. dous rewards for the trained intellect, the specialwell; never before has the world held up such great Just Plain Old-Fashioned Kindness prizes for the optimist, the man who has the right outlook upon life, the man who faces life with courage,

MOST people realize, as they near the close of life,

that the best thing, the most important thing in hope, and confidence, with assurance, with a spirit of

the world is plain, old-fashioned kindness. Kindness kindness and helpfulness.

is the best sort of religion, it is practical Christianity. Never before has the world offered such rewards for

The man or woman who is kind to everybody has the great endeavor, for a high purpose.

recipe for a helpful, happy life. Never before has the world offered such splendid

No life is really happy until it is helpful, is really rewards for human integrity, for robust honesty, for

successful until it is radiant with joy and gladness, the the square deal, for considering the man at the other

gladness of good cheer, of good-will toward everybody, end of the bargain.

of the spirit of brotherhood toward all men. Only by Never before has the world offered such superb re

giving ourselves can we hold what we have, can we wards for right thinking and right living.

grow. We cannot be selfish and still be kind to everybody. We cannot be greedy and grasping, we cannot

bear ill-will, hatred, envy, jealousy or malice towards Make the Mind an Art Gallery of others and be kind to them. You can't be kind and Beauty

be a fraud. If you are kind you are honest and help

ful, you are charitable, you are loving. WHY not determine this year to cultivate the A spirit of generosity and kindness is an indication

habit of making the mind an art gallery of beauty: of greatness of soul. Jealousy, envy, a disposition to the habit of decorating it with bright, cheerful, hope- keep from others the credit which belongs to them, ful, optimistic pictures, prosperity pictures, health pic- are marks of a small nature, a pinched mentality. A tures, instead of hanging up in it black sables and ugly, kindly spirit always accompanies largeness of nature, demoralizing pictures? This will make all the differ- breadth of character. ence in the world with your happiness, and your suc- If I were asked to give in one word the summum cess. Everything depends upon the way you face bonum of life, I think it would be-kindness. life, upon the models you hold up for yourself.

If there is anything we should regret it is the fact Most of us do not realize that our every thought and that we have been unkind to others, unkind to human every emotion, our moods, our mental attitudes, are beings or to dumb beasts. all creative forces, always producing that which is like The habit of saying kind things of others and about themselves.

them, of always looking for the good in them, savors

« PreviousContinue »