Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
Tne mctaer or tiarry i naw Is tall
and stately. She has absolute poise
of manner, an easy, social grace
which, strangely enough, is now even
more marked in Harry K. Thaw,
whom I met later on.
Mrs. Thaw's hair issnow-white
and her blue eyes have a serenity
which seems almost miraculous when
you recall her years of sorrow and
I saw Mrs. Thaw for the first time
during the trial of her son for the
killing of Stanford White, and,
though seven years have passed since
then, she does not appear perceptibly
older. Now more than 70, her cheeks
have a fresh pink color and her hands
are plump and white.
When we met at Concord she wore
a dress of black wool trimmed with
bands of wide hand-embroidery' done
in heavy black silk floss. The skirt
was undraped, the waist had a nar
row but deep square guimpe of baby
Irish lace in a heavy shamrock pat
tern. From a chain around her neck
hung a tiny gunmetal watch with
Mrs. Thaw's initials set in a Gothic
design of tiny diamonds. On her left
hand was" a wedding ring and one
large solitaire, perhaps her engage
"You must have been glad that
Jerome declined to come to Concord
and appear before the commission,"
"Of course, he didn't come when
he was asked by the commission to
produce FACTS against Harry's ad
mission to bail," Mrs. Thaw replied.
"He hasn't any facts. The commis
sion said they didn't want his OPIN
IONS! When it's merely a matter of
opinion, Jerome can make white ap
pear black and blue seem green!
"My son has been greatly benefited
by his stay in New Hampshire," Mrs.
Thaw added. "He has gotten plenty
of fresh air and exercise. The long
walks he has taken with Sheriff Drew
have been splendid for him."
"And, of course, merely being away
from a house of horror like Mattea-
Twan after you have been yiere must
seem like Paradise," I suggested.
"Yes, indeed, to both Harry and
me," his mother answered. I had
once dined with Mrs. Thaw in the
house near Matteawan Asylum which
she took to be near her son, so I
knew how much she hacT shared his
"I hope I shall never see that place
again! I took my house there from
month to month furnished so I would
not establish any ties of any kind
with that dreadful place. Yet I can
not help feeling that Harry's stay
there was a benefit to others through
what he was able to do in bringing
about investigation and reform of
the treatment of the poor unfortu
nates with whom he was confined.
There is great need of reform in the
matter of commitment to insane asy
lums, I understand. I believe that
large numbers of people who are not
insane are committed by interested
relatives, because all that is neces
sary is the word of two physicians
and a member of the family. It is
ofte to the selfish interest of per
sons to have relatives put away so
that they will not give away their
Now that we were on the subject
of social reform, I asked Mrs. Thaw
to tell me what she thinks of woman
suffrage and of the eugenic marriage
laws in operation in her native state
of Pennsylvania and also in Wiscon
sin. Mrs. Thaw said she deplored the
efforts of some members of the clergy
to meddle with eugenics.
"A clergyman is the ambassador of
heaven, isn't he?" she said. "He
should occupy timely with spiritual
things and leave marriage laws to the
"You are not a suffraget, are you?"
I said I was, the deepest-dyed one,
and gave my reasons. "Well," Mrs.
Thaw remarked, "I think I'm right.
I believe woman suffrage would double-
the unthinking vote. -Yet you
know If any woman should claim tho