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At the Nation's Capital
Social Fend Said to Be Cause of Chairman Shonts' Resignation from
Panama Canal Commission—Study of "Fire Alarm" Foraker of
Ohio—Other Gosaip from Washington.
WASHINGTON. "Official etiquette," and
snobbishness in capital society, of whieh his wife
and daughters, Theodora and Marguerite, were
victims, is declared, to be the real cause of Theo
dore P. Shonts' resignation from his $30,000 a year
position as chairman of the Panama canal com
It was natural for outsiders to suppose that
when Mr. Shonts came here from Chicago as chair
man of the commission he would take high rank
in the government and have a correspondingly
high social status in the fabric of Washington.
Mr. Shonts, who was president of a railroad, did
not realize that the actual control over the dig
ging of the canal had been officially placed in the
hands of the secretary of war, who was paid
$22,000 a year.
Mrs. Shonts also misunderstood her rank in society, and out of the mis
apprehension grew a social conflict so great that President Roosevelt had to
settle it. The president ruled that the isthmian canal commission takes rank
immediately after the interstate commerce commission. Chairman Shonts,
therefore, was outranked socially by Chairman Knapp, by the civil service
commission and by the regents and secretary of the Smithsonian institution,
to say nothing of the members of the cabinet, the diplomatic corps, the
justices, senators, representatives and delegates in congress, and commission
ers and judicial officers of the District of Columbia.
The commission, by official writ, was put so far down the list that the
wife of its chairman would have had to make her first call on several hun
dred other women to have kept in harmony with the Washington social code.
This is a matter of the gravest import in Washington society.
The trouble was accentuated by Mrs. Shonts' social secretary, who ad
vised her to limit her calls to wives of only high "official rank." Calls were
omitted which should have been made, and invitations declined which would
better have been accepted. On the other hand, calls were made and invita
tions accepted which did not in any way further the social status of the chair
man of the canal commission and his family.
Out of the enmity developing resulted the resignation.
FORAKER THE SAME FIGHTER AS OF OLD.
Just now Senator Joseph Benson Foraker of
Ohio is one of the most prominent public men
standing in the national limelight. Two causes—
one carefully planned, the other accidental—bring
NEGROES ARE SERVED IN RESTAURANT OF HOUSE.
Southerners are indignant because the other
•day for the first time in the memory of members
of congress negroes have been served at the
house of representatives' restaurant.
While several southern men were dining in
the portion reserved for members and their guests,
a negro accompanied by a white woman entered,
took seats at an adjoining table and ordered food
as cooly as though they had no idea of the prece
dents they were smashing.
The negro waiters served them with alacrity.
Adamson, of Georgia Randell, of Louisiana Tay
lor, of Alabama, and a few other southerners were
dining in the same room.
Representative Weeks, of Massachusetts, and
Gardner, of Michigan, at an adjoining table, waited
to see what the southern members would do. They did nothing.
tinued to eat without starting a lynching bee.
Foraker well into the proem of tlie political story
of the country.
First he is a candidate for the Republican
nomination for president in 1908 second, he is
the self-avowed antagnoist of the present incum
bent of the White House and all his works.
In both these stituations Foraker stands out
primarily as a fighter. And as a fighter the char
acteristics of the man and the methods of the
man appeal to all dabblers in the picturesque
chronology of the day.
Foraker is one of the men in the senate who
works. His enemies may say he is bitter they may say he is revengeful
they may even say he is vindicative, but they cannot deny that he is ever
He is up every morning before daylight, and it is after midnight nearly
every night before he retires. During the most active sessions of the sen
ate—no matter what fight he may have on hand—he never neglects to keep
up his extensive line of reading.
Without exception, he is undoubtedly one of the best Latin and Greek
scolars in public life. But busy as he is in Washington with the affairs of
the nation and the affairs of his state—which state, by the way, keeps its
senators fully occupied—he remains in close touch with the law, and does
more legal practice when in Cincinnati than any other man in the United
That he is one of the hardest workers in congress is an established fact,
but despite his hard work, he maintains his health.
Those who heard Senator Foraker make his Brownsville speech in the
senate the other day, and who knew him in the old Ohio fights, recognized
in him the same old "Fire Alarm" ftoraker. They recognized in him the same
quick spirit of repartee—the same eager sarcasm—the same alertness to
a lost point. He is the same Foraker that he was 20 years ago. The
years have whitened his hair, but it has not dimmed the enthusiasm and the
fighting spark that has been within him since those school days when he
"licked" his playmates.
After they had returned to the Democratic cloakroom they decided to
"cut out" dining in the house restaurant hereafter. "We are not in the habit
of dining with negroes," said one of them, "and we don't propose to do it now,
even if it is permitted s,t the capitol."
And only Saturday Senator Tillman, of South Carolina, gloated over the
fact that there were places in Washington where negroes "could not drink
with white men, and you senators know it is true."
"It is a good thing Senator Tillman was not eating in there when that
colored man sat down," commented one of the negro waiters after the restau
rant episode had occurred, "because there sure would have been something
FROG INDUSTRY FAILS TO IMPRESS CONGRESSMEN.
Frogs are responsible for the abolition of one
of the great agricultural department bureaus
which spends annually about $50,000.
This is the biological survey. When the item
was reached in the agricultural appropriation bill
the committee wanted to know exactly what the
biological survey was.
"It is now engaged in establishing a new in
dustry," a member of the committee answered.
"What is this new industry that has been going
on at $50,000 a year?" Representative Lamb of
"It is studying zones in which frogs are the
most prolific, in what kind of water they prefer
to live, and how they can be raised," Representa
tive Brooks told him.
"It don.'t take any $50,000 a year for me to tell where frogs live and in
what kind of water," Mr. Lamb insisted.
"But the frog industry bids fair to be important." Representative Brooks
"Only Frenchmen eat frog legs," insisted Representative Trimble of Ken
tucky, "and I'm opposed to raising frog3 for our French population. If they
must have frogs, let 'em bring 'em with 'em. It's class discrimination."
"We have horned toads in New Mexico," "Bull" Andrews explained.
of even a Digger Indian eating them."
"I've eaten frog legs and found them mighty good," Chairman Wads
Well, I wouldn't tell it," Scottfield of Texas interrupted.
A majority of the committee agreed with Mr. Lamb. The appropriation
was not put in. This will knock out Dr. Charles T. Merriam, chief biologist
an assistant, and clerks and messengers enough to make a salary roll of
$8,000, together with the regular appropriation made for the bureau.
Friends of the frog hope to get a provision inserted in the senates
BUYING A WAGON
How Mr. Brown Got the
Worst of Two Bar
TRIED MAILORDER METHODS
Thought He Was Saving Money, But
Will Not Try the Same Thing a
Second Time—Buying at
(Copyrighted, 1906, by Alfred C. Clark)
Mr. Brown, a farmer living in
Boone county, Mo., decided to buy a
spring wagon. The next time he was
in town he went to the local dealer
to see what he had in stock. One
wagon that suited him was offered to
him at $75. He thought he would
take it, but before ordering he looked
over a mail order vehicle catalogue.
Here he saw described a wagon which,
as far as description went, was the
same as the one he saw in the deal
er's store room. In fact, the descrip
tion was written in such a convinc
ing manner and all of the good points
of the mail order vehicle were brought
out so thoroughly that it appeared to
be superior to the other one. And the
price was only $67.45. Mr. Brown
thought of the saving of $7.55 which
represented several days of hard work.
The more he thought about it the
more he wanted to save that arhount
and in the end the Chicago mail or
der concern got his check.
When the wagon finally arrived,
with a freight bill of $4.50, he rode to
town with his son and spent half a
day putting it together. He had to
buy a screw driver and some oil and
s&nd paper and a few bolts to replace
some that had been lost in shipment.
All of these cost him 75 cents. He
was not experienced at putting spring
wagons together and he didn't do a
very good job of it, for one of the
seats refused to sit in the right place
and he had to get a local blacksmith
to help him fix it. This cost him
another half dollar and delayed him
so much that he and the boy had to
go to the hotel for their dinners an
additional expense of 70 cents. So
before he got his team hitched to the
wagon it cost him $73.90, allowing him
a saving of $1.10, which was very
stingy pay for the time he had lost.
Of the amount he spent for the wagon,
only $1.95 remained in Boone county.
The railroads and the mail order
house got the rest of it.
In the meantime his neighbor, Mr.
Jones, bought the $75 wagon from the
local dealer, who made a profit of
$16 on the sale. As the vehicle was
already assembled and there were no
extra parts' or tools to buy, the amount
paid for the wagon represented all of
the cost to Mr. Jones. The dealer
spent the $16 profit for a new sign on
his building the sign painter hired a
carpenter to repair the roof on his
house the carpenter paid his bill at
the butcher's and the butcher bought
a hog from Mr. Jones. And so the
$16 kept going in the county until a
farmer with the mail order habit got
hold of it. He sent it to Chicago and
it never came back.
But this wasn't the last of the two
purchases. A few weeks after the
two wagons were bought, Mr. Brown's
boy and Mr. Jones' boy, driving the
new vehicles, met on the country road.
They drove too close to each other
and a smash-up resulted. The weak
est part of each wagon gave way an
axle on the mail order product.W^J
broken and a doubletree on the other
was smashed. Both breaks were plain
ly because of defective construction.
Mr. Jones took his broken doubletree
to town the next day and the dealer
gave him a new one. Mr. Brown at
tempted to explain to the Chicago firm
that the axle would not have broken
if it had not been defective and
coupled this explanation with a re
quest for anew part, but after several
weeks of correspondence with the
piece as far away as at the begin
ning, he gave it up and bought the
axle himself. This experience told
Mr. Brown why he should trade with
home merchants instead of patroniz
ing the mail order houses.
Like the terrible devil fish the catalogue house is death to everything
that gets within its grasp. Once its death-dealing tentacles have wound
around your community, there is no esoape. Are you assisting the
monster by sending your dollar to the mall order house.
In Boone county and in every other
county there are many who send thou
sands of dollai? out of the county
every year, without over considering
the fact that they are making Ihelr
community poorer, reducing the per
capita of Health, and dwarfing local
business, only to enrich a. concern al
ready rich enough to buy several
counties. An extra thousand dollars
in any community will mean, during
the year, many thousands of dollars in
business transacted and increased in
come for practically every one in the
community. Often the amount sent
to the mail order houses is more than
enough to turn the balance the other
way and business depression exists
where prosperity would prevail under
normal conditions. Even if the coun
try purchaser was able to save a snug
sum by ordering his supplies from a
mail order house, the loss to the com
munity would be greater than the gain
for himself. It is needless to point
out that ag the amount of the mail or
der business from any community in
creases the amount of loss to the com
munity also increases, until It is only
a question of time until the individual
loss caused by the general depression
of business will exceed the individual
In fact if everyone in the commun
ity bought from the mail order houses,
local markets would disappear and
the farmer would be compelled to sell
as well as buy from the catalogue
concerns. The rural "districts would
be devoid of business activity while
the wealth of the country would be
centered in one or two points. Buy
ing by mail may be attractive, but the
most pronounced mail order fiend
must look with apprehension on any
condition wherebyi he would be com
pelled to depned on the mail order
man for a market for his products.
But the idea of saving on individual
purchases is, to a great extent, a
fallacy. In spite of his boasted ability
to buy in large quantities, he is not
able to buy for much less than the
country merchant. Competition In all
manufactured products is too keen for
that. And the small saving he is able
to make by large purchases is more
than offset by his larger expenses
These expenses must come out of the
purchaser so the mail order man is
compelled to make a larger profit than
the local dealer. It costs him more to
market his goods. He must maintain
a large and expensive office force and
he must advertise. As an example
of what "the mail order man expects
to make out of his customers, a letter
written by a prominent mail order
man might be quoted. Writing to a
magazine he said: "Advertising in
your publication cost us 17 cents an
inquiry and we made sales at a cost
of only 56 cents each for advertising.
This is about half of our regular cost."
This man was selling "A complete out
fit of clothes for $9.95." He was will
ing to pay a dollar for each sale the
advertising brought him. Ask your
local dealer how long he could keep
the sheriff away from his doors if he
took a dollar out of every ten dollar
You can't buy the same class of
goods any cheaper from the catalogue
houses than from the local dealer,
though one may think he can after
reading the catalogues. The differ
ence comes in the quality of the goods.
There is a particular class of goods
known as "mail order goods." This
trade term is applied to cheap but
showy goods and novelties which can
be sold at a large profit. It means
much the same thing as "street fakir
goods" and, as is the case with street
fakir goods, mail order goods are not
handled by the regular jobbers and
wholesalers. They cannot afford to
handle them because their customers
want better merchandise. The street
fakir duplicates, in appearance, the
jewelry carried' by a first class jew
elry house and makes large profits.
The catalogue merchant does the
same thing but does it on a larger
scale and much more cleverly.
To Domesticate a Cat.
It is said that an unfailing remedy
for a cat that will not accustom itself
to a new home is to grease its feet
thoroughly with butter and put it
down the cellar. When it has licked
its feet clean it wiir.be thoroughly
domiciled and will cause no further
trouble by running away!
Marriage Days in Italy.
In Italy Sunday is usually selected
for the marriage of those persons who
have never been married before.
Widows, however, in accordance with
an old custom, usually choose Satur
Gossip of Gotham
New Use for Tights and Shoes Worn by Famous Actresses-'-Phelps
Stokes and Wife Abandon Settlement Work for Socialist Cause—
Other Notes from the Metropolis.
NEW YORK.—One of the oddest flats in New
York city is on the upper West side, not far from
the Manhattan street station of the subway. It
rejoices in the inelegant if expressive title of the
Soubrette Museum. It is tenanted by Mr. Epes W.
Sargent, who some years ago began to pick up
odd theatrical souvenirs and who increased his
collection until it is unlike anything else in town.
The most striking feature of the apartment
is the portiere of tights between the dining-room
and library. Pauline Hall, Vernona Jarbeau,
Cheridah Simpson, Truly Shattuck, Emma Carus,
Belle Gold and half a dozen others contributed to
the collection, which is caught up on either side
with gaudy pink, white and black striped stock
ings contributed by Sallie Stembler. They were worn by her in a vaudeville
sketch and are quite the most impossible things imaginable.
.In one corner of the room a dainty satin apron with lace insertions, worn
by Lillian Russell in her Weber & Fields' days, occupies a prominent place.
A notable feature is a dado of stage shoes running completely around the
parlor. It comprises every style of stage shoe, from the half-ounce dancing
slipper to the 22 ounce clog. The smallest shoe in the collection is that of
Josephine Cohan, a dainty dancing shoe of black kid, a full half inch smaller
than a shoe worn Dy one of the smallest of the Lilliputians' company. There
are steam-stained slippers from serpentine dancers, such as Papinta, side by
side with the dainty French creations of Fougere, the straw sandals of Ten
Ichi, the magician, and a cloth of gold slipper worn by Elsie de Wolfe. Ada
Lewis' slipper is as tough in looks as the parts she used to play. A slipper
from one of the mid-west "honkatonks" hangs beside a dainty pair worn by
one of the genuinely original Floradora sextet girls, while "Slivers" Oakley's
clumsy clog hangs between a blue beaded moccasin worn by Sitting Bull and
a quill-decorated affair worn by one pf the Mesdames Sitting Bull.
A cabinet in one corner was used in one of the productions of the old
Lyceum theater, and scarcely suggests its picture-frame molding and stamped
paper origin, while a glazed cabinet contains .a heterogeneous collection,
ranging from an inkstand owned by Gen. Santa Anna, the Mexican patriot,
and pass-out checks to Ford's theater used the night of Lincoln's assassina
tion, to dressed fleas from New Orleans, and a Turk's head made by Goldin,
the magician, out of a napkin cleverly folded. A two-quart candy jar is very
nearly full of seat coupons^ telling of shows good and bad.
All told the collection consists of more than 2,000 souvenirs, and the his
tory of most of them can be readily recalled by the owner.
MILLIONAIRE AND WIFE QUIT SETTLEMENT WORK.
J. G. Phelps Stokes and his wife, who was
Rose Pastor, a cigarmaker, have abandoned their
settlement work on the East side in New York,
and will become active missionaries for the Social
"So long as there remains this inherent injus
tice in the misguided industrial system, which
makes people poor, and then sees that they are
kept so," they say, they have found their work
can do little or no effective good.
"The idle rich are blind to the fact that a
donation to charity or philanthropy can serve no
really good purpose so long as the unjust social
system remains," is another reason advanced by
Mrs. Stokes for their abandonment of a task
which his made them known throughout the
When Mr. Stokes, son of a millionaire New York family, took up settle
ment work in New York, after leaving college, he met Rose Pastor, then writ
ing for a Jewish newspaper and working in one of the settlements. She had
formerly been a cigarmaker in Cleveland, O. He married her, gave up his
rich home, and went to live with her in a five-room flat in the heart of the
lower East side.
In explaining their action, Mrs. Stokes issued the following statement:
"My husband and I are no longer engaged in settlement work because,
through the attitude of such institutions—well meaning and kindly as the
spirit of those engaged in the work may be—people are blinded to the real
issues. The idle rich are blind to the fact that a donation to charity or phil
anthropy can serve no really good purpose, so long as the unjust social sys
tem remains, which legalizes the taking of great wealth by the idle.
"The oppressed are blind to the fact that settlements, churches, and sim
ilar institutions can do little real good so long as there remains the injustice
inherent in the industrial system which makes and keeps people poor. We
are now most actively engaged in speaking to awaken earnest men and women
everywhere to a recognition of the real facts and the real issues."
BLIND GIRLS TO OPERATE SWITCHBOARDS.
Miss Hanna Isaacs, the blind telephone oper
ator of Lebanon hospital, the Bronx, has been
requested to teach a class of blind girls the art
of manipulating a telephone switchboard. She is
going to do this at the suggestion of an officer of
the telephone company, who has agreed to hire
the blind operators immediately if they show any
thing like Miss Isaacs' proficiency.
Miss Isaacs was taken to the hospital three
years ago to have an operation performed on her
eyes. At that time her sight was failing. Before
the operation could be performeed, however, she
suffered from blood poisoning, and it was neces
sary to take out both her eyes.
The unfortunate young woman had neither
relatives nor friends. She had become a general
favorite at the hospital, and Superintendent William Daub planned to keep
her and make some easy berth for her. At that time the hospital did not
have a telephone switchboard, and as one was going to be put in ohe of the
surgeons suggested that the blind girl learn to operate it. The switchboard
was put in and it has ten trunk wires and 40 extensions.
The girl learned to operate it in two days with such skill and splendid
precision that everyone who watched her work was amazed. She also learned
to operate a tyepwriter, and now handles all the correspondence for Superin
A few weeks ago the young woman was invited to attend one of Helen
Keller's lectures at the Waldorf, and after Miss Keller spoke she told of her
experience as a telephone operator. Before this Superintendent Tucker of the
telephone company had taken a deep interest in the girl, and proposed that
she teach a class of blind girls to become telephone operators. She was
delighted with the Idea, and will begin her new work next week.
BEGGERS CONTINUALLY HOUNDING MRS. SAGE.
Mrs. Russell Sage is practically in a state of
siege at her country home at Lawrence, L. I., be
cause of the importunities of applicants for her
Sb persistent have been the demands upon
her, not only by special messengers and by mail
but by those who hope to obtain a personal inter*
view, that she is almost -deprived of out-of-door
Scores of these beggars who would extort
from h&- some promise or gift of money for either
real or fancied needs lie in wait outside the
grounds and outposts are maintained by men and
women who trust to luck that fortune may favor
them in their appeals.
Mrs. Sage has been In a quandary whether
to remain in Lawrence or come into the city to live, but close personal friends
have advised her, to remain where she is. For, as one of them remarked:
"Mrs. Sfage is hounded to death in the country, but she wouldn't know a
moment'B peace were she to move to New York."
Mrs. Sage has, according to the statement of this same friend, deter
mined that she will grant an interview to no one that she will neither see nor
speak with any one not an intimate friend or who does not come accredited
from her attqri^ey, Henry "V7. de Forest. I£er servants have been instructed
to tiiis effect.
"As a matter of fact," said this friend, "Mrs. Sage is beginning to feel
herself persecuted, and things have come t& such a state that, she hesitates
to go abroad either alone or Wtth friends.",.