Monday, November 8, 2010

November 8, 1895

Last year I wrote about how Howard Pyle altered his painting “The Burial of Braddock” after it was first published in magazine and book form in 1896 and before it was sent to its new (and present) owner, the Boston Public Library, in 1897. Now, here’s a little something written on this day 115 years ago about the origins of the same work...

And in case Woodrow Wilson’s handwriting is difficult to read, here is a transcription:
Everett House, Union Square, New York.

8 Nov., 1895

My dear Mr. Pyle,

Your last letter came just as I was leaving home, and I had to bring it off with me to find time for an answer.

You will notice that Washington in his account of Braddock’s death says “near the Great Meadows,” careful Mr. Parkman says exactly the same, writing before the publication of W’s account. It would not be safe, I think, to take the picture of Braddock’s grave as a picture of Great Meadows. [Colonel Thomas] Dunbar’s camp at the time of B’s death was, I should judge, between Gist’s and Great Meadows, nearer the latter than the former. See map opposite page 438 of Winsor’s “Mississippi Basin,” on which Gist’s is called “Guests.”

In haste,

Cordially Yours,

Woodrow Wilson

Mr. Howard Pyle
Wilson, by the way, was writing from Everett House, a hotel on the north side of Union Square, at the corner of Fourth Avenue (now Park Avenue South) and 17th Street, right next to The Century Company - a fragment of which can be seen on the left side of this photo of the hotel from the Museum of the City of New York. The hotel was pulled down in 1908, but The Century offices (which Pyle visited somewhat frequently in connection with his work for St. Nicholas and The Century Magazine, etc.) are now home to a Barnes and Noble store.

[Note of November 8, 2013: I added a few details and links since first posting this]

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