Stanford White pp 158-173 | Cite as


  • Charles C. Baldwin


In 1880, McKim introduced Stanford White to the family of “Bull Smiths.” Three years later, after a protracted siege (to use Prescott Hall Butler’s1 phrase) the fortress surrendered, and White became engaged to Miss Bessie Springs Smith, youngest of the thirteen children of Judge J. Lawrence Smith, of Smithtown, Long Island. McKim was naturally delighted. He had watched and aided his partner’s wooing. The girl he had known from her earliest school days. To her he had recounted many fine and glamorous tales of White’s doings. Immediately upon announcement of the engagement he wrote to welcome her into the firm of McKim, Mead and White:

But how can I say it—it that I wish to say—that I wish you both all that is good and best and happiest—and to you that you are very welcome among us whose office is now yours. We will pull in one boat; and we will all pull together. And all I have got to say is that if the financial weather don’t clear up soon we will keep a-pulling till it does. Meanwhile on the voyage HOME all we ask of the Captain is Civility—Stan will some day tell you the rest.2 And when you bring him to dine with me in 3 5th St., very soon I hope, he shall carve and you shall pour out the tea after dinner just as if I were the guest and it were already 1884. Kimmie.


Financial Weather Glazed Tile Black Swamp Sixteenth Street Lexington Avenue 
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  1. 1.
    Prescott Hall Butler, Harvard’ 69, where he and McKim first became acquainted. In 1872 Butler married Cornelia, eldest daughter of Judge T. Lawrence Smith. Later Butler became a partner in the law firm of Evarts, Choate and Beaman. He died in 1901.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The “rest” is explained in another letter of McKim’s, written in August, 1893: “You remember the ship’s captain who commanded one of his sailors: Silence and damned little of that—to which the sailor replied: All I asks of you is civility, and that of the commonest damned sort.”Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The son of Admiral Farragut, and reputed the most popular member of the Century Club.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Later that same year Mead, in Europe, married Miss Olga Kileny of Budapest.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    The discoverer and excavator of Troy, and the subject of a recent biography by the indefatigable Ludwig.Google Scholar

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© Charles C. Baldwin 1931

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  • Charles C. Baldwin

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