Street, as he did not believe anv road should be located along
98 RECOLLECTIONS FROM
the Capital grounds. Pennsylvania Avenue was then lower than
it is now and had to be raised several feet, for on two occasions
the Potomac River arose so high as to flood the Avenue between
Tenth Street and the Capitol, and boats had to be used to carry
persons across. It was necessary to raise First Street at the
same time, but Shepherd could not make the railroad company
act and it would not elevate the road. In the middle of the night
he took a large force of men and tore up the tracks along First
Street and filled in the street to the height required. The railroad
company made a tremendous fuss about it, but was not allowed
to rebuild the road, much to the joy of the citizens of Washing-
Another eyesore was the rickety, tumbledown frame building,
or, rather, lot of frame sheds, known as the Northern Libert)
Market House, at the corner of Seventh and K streets, on the
site now occupied by the Public Library. Shepherd could not
make them remove it or rebuild it, so he went with a large force of
workmen in the night and demolished the whole thing, and when
the marketmen arrived the next morning they found nothing but
a pile of rubbish. The act of the Governor caused* many law suits
and finally the marketmen were paid by the District for their
losses. The act of tearing down the buildings was one that only
a strong executive like Shepherd would have attempted, but it
was one that had the approval of the citizens.
These are only examples of his services to the District and the
way he accomplished results. His purpose was to make Wash-
ington a city worthy to be called the capital of this great Nation
and he started a work to that end, which is still going on. At
the time he was Governor and for many years afterwards, harsh
things were said about him in the newspapers outside of Wash-
ington, but not by the citizens of Washington. Charges of all
sorts of wrongdoing were falsely made, but today he stands high
on the pages of history as a man and as an executive, and a
statue has been erected to him in front of the Municipal Building.
I had the friendship of Governor Shepherd for many years and
was employed as his attorney in many cases. It is one of the
satisfactions of my life that I had his friendship, as well as that
of so many other men who did great things for their country.
I have seen many inaugurations and have been at some of
the inaugural balls. The first inauguration and the first inaugural
ball I attended were at Lincoln's second inauguration. The ball
A BUSY LIFE 99
was given in the unfinished upper story of the Patent Office. I
was on the reception committee at Cleveland's second inaugural
ball, which occurred on Saturday, and assisted in receiving him
and his wife at the Pension Office, where the ball was held, and
also had the pleasure, as one of the reception committee, of es-
corting them around the building through the immense crowd, and
with him and his wife, went to the rooms set apart fo r them. I
shall never forget the beautv of the scene. The decorations were
most beautiful and the throng of gaily dressed men and women
was something worth going across the continent to see.
There was some question about the advisability, as an act of
humanity, of holding the police court on Sunday, for there had
been a large number of arrests, and I therefore went from this
magnificent ball room with its well dressed men and women to
the first precinct station house to determine whether or not there
was any necessity for holding court on Sunday. I found that
every cell was filled with drunken men and that the space outside
of the cells was packed with them as closely as they could be
laid. The sight was a horrible one and the sounds and odors
were unbearable. The contrast between the scene I had just left
and the scene at the station house was like the contrast between
heaven and hell. These people had come to Washington to see
the inauguration and the public buildings, but knew no better way
of having a good time than to get drunk. As the prisoners were
merely drunks they would be turned loose when they got sober,
as drunkenness without disorder is no offense here and there
was, therefore, no necessity for holding court on Sunday. These
two scenes will never be effaced from my memory.
I saw President Cleveland many times during his two terms,
but not as often as I had seen President Grant. Cleveland was
more closely confined to his office than was any other President
of whom I have any knowledge. He was very seldom seen on
the public streets, whereas Grant not only rode horseback, but did
a large amount of walking, and I saw him many times on the
Avenue, usually alone, walking slowly along with his head down,
undisturbed by the crowds around him. Those whom he met
raised their hats as he went by and he acknowledged it with
a bow. He was known as "the silent man." I think I never
heard him make a speech. Among his personal friends it is said
that he was a very entertaining companion.
The general of Grant's army who came most prominently into
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political life was Gen. Logan. He represented the State of Illi-
nois in the United States Senate for many years. Logan boasted
of his descent from Pocahontas and showed Indian blood in his
long, straight black hair and dark complexion. The first time I
ever saw Gen. Logan was toward the latter part of the war. As
I remember it both he and General Grant were in Washington
at the Willard Hotel. Logan's horse and his orderly were outside
and a crowd gathered, hoping to see him when he came out.
hen he did so, the crowd began to call his name and asked
for a speech, but he jumped on his horse and rode down Pennsyl-
vania Avenue as fast as the horse could go. I saw him many
times after that, both on the streets and in the Senate.
I have heretofore spoken of the war governors, that wonderful
body of men who seemed to have been raised by Divine Provi-
dence for the occasion. Governor Yates of Illinois was equal
to the best of them. After the close of the war he was elected
to the United States Senate and while a Senator acquired the
drink habit. He roomed in a house near me on E Street, and
I have heard him many times in the middle of the night coming
home in a drunken condition. He was one of the most brilliant
men in the Senate and it would seem as though such men acquire
the habit more easily than others. Afterwards he signed the
pledge and became a strong advocate in behalf of temperance.
Another brilliant and very witty Senator noted for his drinking
was Senator McDougal of California. In his later years he
hardly ever drew a sober breath. This story is told of him,
which illustrates his wit even when drunk. Washington then, as
now. was being dug up to put in sewers and there was a very
deep one being laid along Pennsylvania Avenue. McDougal
came along there one night and had the misfortune to stumble
into the trench and began to yell at the top of his voice for some
one to get him out. After being rescued, between hiccoughs, he
said, "Before I fell in I was McDougal, but after I fell in I
was Seward." Seward was the great man of the administration,
being Lincoln's Secretary of State. In the winter McDougal
always wore one of those old fashioned overcoats with seven
capes. I have seen him enter the Senate when it was in session
and stand in the space directly in front of the Vice President and
throw his hat on the floor and then stand and look around at each
of the galleries, then take off his overcoat and throw 7 that on the
floor, then continue to look around. Pages would run and pick
A BUSY LIFE 101
up his clothing and carry them into the cloak room. After he
had finished his survey of the galleries he would stagger to his
seat. It was a crime for such a man to throw away his great
abilities so that the Senate and the Nation lost his services, saying
nothing of his own loss.
Hon. William E. Chandler, at one time Assistant Secretary of
the Treasury, was from New Hampshire, as was Mr. Rollins,
and they were great friends. I came to know him well. He aft-
erwards became Senator from New Hampshire and held that
office for many years, and later was appointed by President Ar-
thur, Secretary of the Navy. After that service he was appointed
president of the Spanish Claims Commission, which heard all the
claims arising out of the Spanish-American War. During the
time he was president of said commission he got into a controversy
with President Roosevelt and subsequently resigned from the
commission. He is now, as I write, attorney for the heirs of
Mrs. Eddy, the Christian Scientist, in their controversy over her
estate. He is a man of wonderful mind and great in debate. My
relations with him have been of a rather intimate character, and
he has always shown himself a friend. I insert a letter which
he wrote while Secretary of the Navy, intended as a letter of
introduction to Senator Pike, a United States Senator from New
Hampshire, whom I wanted to see on business for a client and
wanted to be properly vouched for. It was of such a unique
character that I asked the Senator to be permitted to retain it.
February nth, 1884.
My Dear Mr. Kimball:
I have your letter of Feb. 6th. If you will present this letter
to Senator Pike when you see him he will understand that I com-
mend you to his consideration as one of the best men in the
world. Very truly yours, W. E. Chandler.
Senator John J. Ingalls of Kansas was another brilliant speaker
and one whose chief delight seemed to be to stir up a hornets'
nest among his opponents by some sharp saying. No man of
whom I have ever heard could equal him in that regard. I took
a sea voyage with him and his wife, sitting next to him at the
captain's table, and became well acquainted with him personally.
102 RECOLLECTIONS FROM
Another Senator whose acquaintance I valued very highly was
Senator Harris of New York. He was a great Judge, having
been on the bench of the Court of Appeals of New York for
many years, and was one of the lecturers at the Columbian Law
School when I was a student there. It was his daughter who
was in the box with President Lincoln and his wife at the time
of the assassination.
In the personal recollections of the great men of my time I
cannot omit the name of Hon. Hugh McCulloch, who, in so many
ways from the time of my boyhood to his death proved himself
so true a friend. When father moved his family to Fort Wayne
in the early part of 1846, Mr. McCulloch, although educated as
a lawyer and in his early days always called Judge McCulloch,
was cashier of the Fort Wayne branch of the State Bank of
Indiana. When a new charter was granted the said bank under
the name of the Bank of the State of Indiana, with its main office
at Indianapolis and branches in all the important cities of the
State, Mr. McCulloch became its president and continued to hold
that office until he was appointed Comptroller of the Currency
in 1863. Father's family and that of Mr. McCulloch were on the
most intimate terms and as a boy I felt almost as free to go to
his house as to my own and spent many happy hours there. His
boys and I were playmates and schoolmates. Mr. McCulloch
gave me my position in the Treasury Department and was always
interested in my well being, but never in any way secured my
promotion in the department, saying that I must earn it, and
if worthy would get it. Mr. McCulloch received three appoint-
ments as Secretary of the Treasury â€” first March 7th. 1865, from
President Lincoln ; second from President Johnson, continuing
him in the office, and third, October 28, 1884, by President Arthur.
He was considered one of the greatest financiers this country has
ever produced. After his term under Johnson he became the
London partner of Jay Cooke, under the firm name of Jay Cooke,
McCulloch & Co., and lived in London several years until the fail-
ure of Jay Cooke, by which he lost considerably. He then re-
turned to Washington and lived here or on his farm in Maryland
till his death May 24th, 1895.
I was frequently employed by him after I commenced the
practice of law and do not believe that he had any one else here
to represent him in legal matters. I find among my papers the
following recommendation written in his own hand, but do not
remember the occasion for it.
A BUSY LIFE 103
Washington, D. C.
March 26th, 1885.
The bearer, Mr. I. G. Kimball, is a good lawyer and a gentle-
man of excellent character. He stands high in my estimation
and any business entrusted to him, I feel snre will be carefully
and properly attended to. He has my confidence to the fullest
extent. Hugh McCulloch.
Mr. McCulloch drew his own will, but, at his request, I was
one of the witnesses. It was dated April 6th, 1883, and was pro-
bated May, 1895. His son, Charles, was named executor, but he
made the following recommendation : "I recommend my friend,
I. G. Kimball, Esq., as attorney of my executor in the perform-
ance of the duties of his trust."
The friendship of such a man and my having retained it to the
very last and his speaking of me in his will as his friend, is a
great pleasure and gratification to me and I trust it will be
to my children when I am gone.
I was personally well acquainted with Presidents Garfield,
Harrison, McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft and with the members
of their cabinets. My position in the G. A. R. and as a United
States Judge gave me entrance and a hearing everywhere.
I cannot leave this part of my story, however, without referring
in a word to some of the other great men with whom I have
come in contact.
William H. Seward, Secretary of State: With his strong
homely face that carried to his death the scar of the assassin's
S. P. Chase, Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury : Afterwards
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, whose wonderful ability
raised the money which carried on the war. but a bitter enemy
of his chief and who did everything he could to defeat his re-
Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War : The man of
iron blood, the counterpart of Lincoln is so many ways, but just
the man for Secretary of War under him.
Gideon Wells, Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy: Who was
called the "Granny of the Cabinet," with his long white hair, who
did the work of creating a navy from nothing wonderfully well
William P. Fessenden, Senator from Maine : Afterwards Sec-
io 4 RECOLLECTIONS FROM
retary of the Treasury, who was another example of a boy under
the most adverse beginnings making himself a power in the
George S. Boutwell, a Senator from Massachusetts : The first
Commissioner of Internal Revenue and afterwards Secretary of
Lott M. Morrell, Senator from Maine : Afterwards Secretary
of the Treasury.
William Dennison, the War Governor of Ohio : Afterwards
Commissioner for the District of Columbia and Postmaster Gen-
eral. I first saw him at Fort Wayne, where he made, a speech
from the train as he was returning from the Chicago Convention
which nominated Lincoln in i860.
Benjamin F. Wade, Senator from Ohio: For many years Presi-
dent of the Senate.
John Sherman, brother of General Sherman : Senator from
Ohio, Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State. I first
heard him in the campaign of i860.
James G. Blaine, of Maine : .Speaker of the House of Repre-
sentatives, Secretary of State and candidate for President.
Benjamin F. Butler: Member of Congress and candidate foi
President, a great lawyer and powerful in debate. He had pe-
culiar eyes and was very nearsighted, being compelled to hold a
book within four inches of his eves to read it, making it very
unpleasant to hear him quote authorities.
Maj. Gen. Carl Schurz : a great German, whom I first heard in
the Presidential campaign of i860 when he stumped the West in
the interest of Lincoln. He was afterwards Secretary of the
Zachariah Chandler: Senator from Michigan from 1857 to
1875 and Secretary of the Interior under Grant.
Roscoe Conkling: The brilliant Senator from New York; a
man of wonderful powers of oratory but without any thought of
anyone besides himself. I remember seeing him in a crowded
car on his way to the Capitol, with his legs turned so that he
occupied two seats, using the additional space for the reception
of his letters as he read them. He would throw them into this
space without heeding the fact that he was thus depriving
some lady of a seat. This is only an illustration of his thought-
less disregard of others.
Schuyler Colfax: Speaker of the House and Vice President,
A BUSY LIFE 105
who. had he not made the mistake of accepting- Credit Mohillier
stock without, as I believe, any thought of wrongdoing, might
have been President.
John Hay: Starting when a very young man as Secretary to
Lincoln and was Ambassador to Great Britain and Secretary of
State. He was a great man but extremely modest. It was al-
most impossible to induce him to make a speech. When Depart-
ment Commander, I urged him to be the orator at Arlington on
Memorial Day, but failed to get him to accept, as his secretary
had told me I would fail.
Luke P. Poland: A member of Congress and Senator from
Vermont for many years. He was always pointed out to visitors
as the man who always wore a blue frock coat with brass but-
Parson Brownlow : The great Union man from Tennessee and
after the war, Senator from that State. The great wonder is
that he was not killed by the hot-heads of the South, for he was
very outspoken and strongly proclaimed his Union sentiments.
Walt Whitman, the poet, was a clerk in the office of the Solici-
tor of the Treasury when I first came to Washington and was
a very notable figure on the streets, with his long white hair and
whiskers and his very broad-brimmed light colored felt hat. He
could be seen daily riding on the front platform of the horse cars
on Pennsylvania Avenue, where he delighted to ride to get
thoughts for his poems. I never saw him on the inside of a car
but, rain or shine, he was to be seen on the front platforms.
George P. Putnam: Afterwards the head of the great pub-
lishing house, was a client of mine in the settlement of his
accounts as Collector of Internal Revenue and I highly valued
Henry C. Bowen : The editor and proprietor of that great jour-
nal. The Independent, also saw me several times in the settle-
ment of his accounts as Collector of Internal Revenue for one of
the Brooklyn districts.
I saw Horace Greeley, the editor and proprietor of the New
York Tribune but once, but that sight strongly impressed itself
I became acquainted with Frederick Douglas, the great negro
orator, in the early seventies and knew him well and admired him
for his great ability and for his work for the negro. I remember
hearing his address at the First Congregational Church on the
io6 RECOLLECTIONS FROM
life and character of the great Netherland leader, and after eu-
logizing him in the highest terms, Douglas paused and said,
"I have often thought that if I were not a negro I would like to
be a Dutchman."
I have seen Bancroft, the great historian, many times. I also
saw the great novelist, Charles Dickens, when he was in Wash-
ington on his second tour of the United States.
Many of the great leaders of the army and navy made Wash-
ington their home after they retired from the service and ap-
peared on the streets and mingled with the crowds like any
other citizen. This was true with reference to Gen. Sherman,
Gen. Sheridan, Gen. Howard. Gen. Schofield, Gen. Miles, and a
host of others of the Union army and navy and many of the Con-
federate army, including the celebrated Gen. Joseph E. Johnson,
who received the appointment of United States Railroad Com-
missioner, and the great guerrila General, John S. Mosby. This
was also true of Admiral Dewey, the hero of the battle of May
ist, 1898, at Manila, and of Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, the
hero of Santiago, with whom I met and chatted many times in
Masonic Lodges as he was an enthusiastic Mason, and whose
sudden death in New York, October 2d, 191 1, is being mourned
as I write.
As I write of the past, a flood of familiar faces appears to
me, for in the years of my residence in Washington, I have at
some time or other met all those of my time whose names are
There have been very many curious characters in Washing-
ton, especially during the time of the war, none more so than
a man called Beaux Hickman, well known to every citizen of
Washington and to all visitors as a curiosity whom they ought
to meet. Hickman was always to be seen in front of or in the
vicinity of the Metropolitan Hotel. I do not know where he
spent his nights. He made his living from those who were in-
troduced to him, always saying, "Ain't it worth a quarter to know
me?" Many stories were told of him which I have every reason
to believe were true. One was that Hickman got onto a train
for New York without a ticket and when he saw the con-
ductor coming, put his head out of the window, apparently ob-
serving some passing object very closely. When the conductor
called "Tickets, tickets," he paid no attention to him, finally the
conductor gave him a shove and Hickman jumped in such a
A BUSY LIFE 107
way as to knock his hat out of the window. He became very
angry with the conductor, accused him of knocking off his hat
and claimed that his ticket was in his hat for which he had
just paid eight dollars. He demanded a ticket to New York and
eight dollars for the lost hat, and succeeded in making the con-
ductor give him both. Not only did Hickman have no ticket,
but his hat was very old and shabby. This is an example of
the way Hickman managed to live. At his death he would have
been buried in Potter's Field if some charitable people had not
advanced the money to bury him.
Another singular character made his stopping place in front
of Willard Hotel. He was tall, with very dark hair, which he
wore long. His peculiarity was the way he had his clothes made.
He was naturally broad shouldered but had his shoulders built
out about a foot on each side and wore his sleeves so long that
they came to the end of his fingertips. He usually stood with
his back to the hotel, speaking to no one and looking at no one,
but observed by everyone who passed. There this singular char-
acter was to be seen month after month and year after year. His
father was one of the great lawyers of the early days in the
District, and his brother was also a very prominent lawyer.
Knowing the peculiar character of his son, his father cut him
off in his will, giving his share to his other son in trust with direc-
tions for his care and support. Of course such a figure was
observed by all persons passing along Pennsylvania Avenue.
There was this difference between him and Beaux Hickman, he
spoke to no one but stood like a statue, whereas Hickman was
ready to talk with any one.
How I First Met President Garfield.
Late one afternoon a stranger came into my law office on F
Street and wanted me to take several suits for breach of con-
tract against prominent members of Congress. Among them was
a case against Gen. Garfield, afterwards President. He did not
have the evidence with him to support the claim and I de-
murred at taking any steps in the case until I had had a chance
carefully to examine the alleged contracts. He made a plausible
excuse why I should take action to the extent of writing a letter
demanding a settlement and promised to bring full proof to sus-
tain the claims in a dav or two when he returned from New
108 RECOLLECTIONS FROM
York. Reluctantly I consented to write the letters as requested.
I got replies denying all liability and claiming that the con-
tracts had been procured by means of fraud and misrepresenta-
tion. At the request of General Garfield I called upon him at
his residence on the northeast corner of Thirteenth and I Streets,
northwest, and he gave me a full explanation of the whole mat-
ter and I told him that I would have nothing to do with such a
case, that I would not be a party to a suit where any question
of fraud was involved. My determination pleased the General
very much and from that time until his death he was my warm
friend and I have had many friendly talks with him.
How I Became Acquainted With President McKinley..
I made the acquaintance of President McKinley when he was in
Congress, through a suit of considerable importance in which