Twenty Years in Europe / A Consul-General’s Memories of Noted People, with Letters From General W. T. Sherman

Twenty Years in Europe / A Consul-General’s Memories of Noted People, with Letters From General W. T. Sherman

Author:
S. H. M. Byers
Author:
S. H. M. Byers
Format:
epub
language:
English

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Author: Byers, S. H. M. (Samuel Hawkins Marshall), 1838-1933
Europe — Description and travel
Twenty Years in Europe
A Consul-General’s Memories of Noted People, with Letters From General W. T. Sherman

TWENTY YEARS IN EUROPE.

Heidelberg Castle.


Twenty Years in Europe
A CONSUL-GENERAL’S MEMORIES
OF NOTED PEOPLE, WITH LETTERS
FROM GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN
BY
S. H. M. BYERS,
U. S. Consul-General to Switzerland and Italy,
AUTHOR OF
Sherman’s March to the Sea,” “The Happy Isles,”
Switzerland and the Swiss,” ETC.

PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED.

Chicago and New York:
RAND, McNALLY & COMPANY,
PUBLISHERS.
Copyright, 1900, by Rand, McNally & Co.


INSCRIBED
TO
MARGARET GILMOUR BYERS.

Time robs us all of some things we would keep,
And favoring winds to-morrow may forsake;
But, joyous thought​–​O! Future! Smile or weep,
The happy years behind us none can take!


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR.

While staying in Switzerland and Italy as a consular officer, during a period of well on to twenty years, I kept a diary of my life. Without being a copy of the diary, this book is made up from its pages and from my own recollections of men, scenes, and events. It was during an interesting period, too. There were stirring times in Europe. Two great wars took place; one great empire was born; another became a republic; and the country of Victor Emmanuel changed from a lot of petty dukedoms to a free Italy. It seemed a great period everywhere, and everything of men and events jotted down at such a time would of necessity have its interest. This book is not a history​–​only some recollections and some letters.
Among the letters are some fifty from General Sherman, whose intimate friendship I enjoyed from the war times till the day of his death. They are printed with permission of those now interested, and they may be regarded as in a way supplementary to the series of more public letters of General Sherman printed by me in the North American Review during his lifetime. They possess the added interest that must attach to the intimate letters of friendship coming from a brilliant mind. Their publication can only help to lift the veil a little from a life that was as true and good in private as it was noble in public.
S. H. M. BYERS.
St. Helens, Des Moines.


CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.
1869.
  PAGE.
A Little White Card with President Grant’s Name on It​–​A Voyage to Europe​–​An English Inn​–​Hear Gladstone Speak​–​John Bright and Disraeli. 15
CHAPTER II.
1869.
In Switzerland​–​The Alps​–​Embarrassment in Not Knowing the Language​–​Celebrated Exiles Meet in a Certain Café​–​Brentano​–​Wagner​–​Kinkel​–​Scherr​–​Keller and Others. 20
CHAPTER III.
1870.
In the Orsini Café​–​Great News from France​–​What the Exiles Think​–​Letter from General Sherman​–​I Get Permission to Go and Look at the War​–​In the Snow of the Juras​–​Arrested​–​The Surrender of the 80,000​–​Zurich in the Hands of a Mob​–​Friendly Hint. 27
CHAPTER IV.
1871.
The Paris Horrors​–​Some Excursions with Literary People​–​Beer Gardens​–​A Characteristic Funeral​–​Funeral of a Poet’s Child​–​Caroline Bauer, the Actress​–​A Polish Patriot​–​Celebrating the Fourth of July at Castle Rapperschwyl​–​The St. Bernard​–​The Mules and Dogs​–​On a Swiss Farm​–​For Burning Chicago. 34
CHAPTER V.
1872.
Louis Blanc, the Statesman​–​His Novel Courtship​–​His Appearance​–​Invites Us to Paris​–​Just Miss Victor Hugo​–​His Speech at Madame Blanc’s Grave​–​Letter from Louis Blanc​–​Alabama Arbitrators​–​See Gambetta and Jules Favre. 42
CHAPTER VI.
1872.
William Tell​–​The Rigi in the Good Old Times​–​Pilatus​–​Rose Bushes for Fuel. 48
CHAPTER VII.
1872.
General Sherman Visits Us at Zurich​–​Letters from Him​–​Swiss Officers Entertain Him​–​His Lake Excursion​–​He Explains His Greatest Campaign to Them​–​He is Entertained at the Swiss Capital​–​Letter from General Dufour. 52
CHAPTER VIII.
1872.
Letter from General Sherman​–​Visit America​–​Sands of Bremen​–​Storms at Sea​–​Elihu Washburne​–​Banquet to Him on Ship​–​I am a Guest at the Sherman Home​–​Mrs. Sherman​–​Arrange to Take Miss Sherman to Europe​–​Meet Mr. Blaine​–​My Song Sung in the Sherman Home​–​Conversations with Sherman​–​Meet President Grant​–​How I Happened to Be in the Rebel Army Once​–​Letters from General Sherman. 61
CHAPTER IX.
1873.
Letter from General Sherman​–​Loss of the “Atlantic”​–​The Boyhood Home of Napoleon III and of His Mother, Queen Hortense​–​A Companion Tells of the Prince’s Pranks and Studies​–​Josephine’s Harp​–​Arenaberg Full of Napoleon Relics​–​We Have a Long Interview with the Ex-Empress Eugenie​–​Letter from Sherman​–​Speaks of Thiers. 77
CHAPTER X.
1873.
The Source of the Rhine​–​Strange Villages There​–​A Republic Four Hundred Years Old​–​The “Gray League”​–​“The League of the House of God”​–​Louis Philippe’s Hiding Place​–​A Tour in the Valley of the Inn​–​Letter from General Sherman​–​Regrets His Career Seems Over. 86
CHAPTER XI.
1874.
Sherman on Cuba​–​Visit Italy​–​Garibaldi’s Wonderful Reception at Rome​–​The Artist Freeman​–​First American Painter to Live in Rome​–​Rome in 1840​–​See Victor Emmanuel​–​Joaquin Miller​–​His Conversation and Appearance​–​New Swiss Constitution​–​More Letters from General Sherman​–​Too Many Commanders in Washington for Him​–​Will Go to St. Louis​–​His Views of War Histories. 95
CHAPTER XII.
1875.
Letters from Mrs. Sherman and the General​–​He Tells Me He is Writing His Life​–​The Negro Question​–​A Chateau by Lake Zurich​–​I Write a Book on Switzerland​–​Also Write a Play​–​A City of Dead Kings​–​Go to London​–​Meet Colonel Forney​–​Dinner at George W. Smalley’s​–​Kate Field​–​Visit Boucicault​–​Conversations with the Newer Shakespeare​–​The Beautiful Minnie Walton​–​Breakfast at Her Home​–​Professor Fick​–​His Home Built in the Old Roman Wall​–​Lectures​–​Holidays at the Consulate​–​Mrs. Congressman Kelley​–​A Student Commerz​–​Beer Drinking​–​Dukes of the Republic​–​Duels​–​Letter from General Sherman​–​Prussian Army Maneuvers. 104
CHAPTER XIII.
1876.
Storm in the Alps​–​Mr. Benjamin​–​Kate Sherwood Bonner​–​Icebergs​–​A Scotch Poet​–​Horatio King’s Literary Evenings​–​Colonel Forney​–​Mr. Robert​–​A New York Millionaire’s Home​–​A Christmas Night Hurricane at Sea​–​The Tilden-Hayes Fight​–​Civil War Feared in Washington​–​Dennison, the Inventor​–​A Strange Murder​–​The Wreck of the Schiller and Loss of Miss Dimmick. 119
CHAPTER XIV.
1877.
General Grant Visits Lake Luzern​–​Conversations with Him​–​How I Brought the Good News of Sherman’s Successes in the Carolinas to General Grant at Richmond​–​Grant’s Simplicity in His Travels​–​A Strange Experience on the Rigi​–​London Papers Amazed at the Population of the United States​–​First Telephone. 128
CHAPTER XV.
1877.
General Grant and the Swiss President​–​Banquet to Grant at Bern​–​Good Roads​–​Am Chargé d’Affaires for Switzerland​–​Writing for the Magazines. 134
CHAPTER XVI.
1877.
Franz Liszt at Zurich​–​Swiss Great Lovers of Music​–​Wagner Once Lived Here​–​His Singular Ways​–​Dr. Willi​–​Madame Lucca’s Villa​–​Liszt’s Kissing Bees​–​Jefferson Davis’ Daughter​–​A Laughable Mistake. 140
CHAPTER XVII.
1878.
Some Recollections of Mine about General Grant in the War​–​Grant at Champion Hills​–​Sherman’s Letter on Confiscation by Taxation in America​–​Grant at Ragatz​–​I Give a Banquet in His Honor at Zurich. 145
CHAPTER XVIII.
1878.
The St. Gothard Tunnel​–​I Describe It for Harper’s Magazine​–​Its Cost​–​A Great Scare in the Tunnel. 153
CHAPTER XIX.
1879.
American Artists at Munich​–​I Meet Mark Twain​–​Take Him to an Artists’ Club​–​Conversations with Him​–​Beer Drinking​–​He Reads the Original of “What I Know about the German Language”​–​We Entertain the Americans at Zurich​–​A Letter from General Sherman​–​Confederates More Popular than Union Men​–​Sherman Ready to Surrender 157
CHAPTER XX.
1879.
A Trip Through the Black Forest​–​Stein on the Rhine​–​A Famous Castle​–​“All Blown Up”​–​Good Roads​–​Fox Hunting. 165
CHAPTER XXI.
1879.
Bret Harte​–​Letters from Him​–​Visits Us​–​Stay at Bocken​–​Conversations​–​Mrs. Senator Sherman​–​Evenings at Bocken​–​We All Go to the Rigi​–​How We Got the “Prince’s” Rooms​–​Harte Goes with Us to Obstalden in the Alps​–​Very Simple Life​–​A Strange Funeral​–​Harte Finds His Stories in a Village Inn​–​More Letters​–​We Visit the Moselle River​–​Finer than the Rhine​–​A Wonderful Castle of the Middle Ages​–​All Furnished and Fresh as When New​–​The French Did Not Find It When They Were Demolishing German Castles​–​An Exquisite Gothic Church Five Hundred Years Old​–​Wonderful Roman Ruins at Treves​–​More Letters from Bret Harte​–​A Happy Man. 170
CHAPTER XXII.
1880–1881.
A Little Stay by the Mediterranean​–​Am Offered a Position in China​–​An Article on the Swiss Rhine​–​Also One on My Experiences in the Rebel Army​–​Two Letters from General Sherman​–​Grant and the Presidency​–​Says the Bare Narrative of My Escape from Prison Would Be an Epic​–​Banquet at the Legation​–​I Write for the New York Tribune an Exposé of How Certain European Communities Sent Paupers to the United States​–​Am Violently Attacked for It by Many American Journals and Reprimanded by State Department​–​Swiss Government Complains​–​Investigation Follows​–​I Am Justified​–​Letter from Sherman as to His Son Tom​–​Visit America​–​Secretary Blaine Compliments Me​–​The Press Changes Its Tone and New Laws Are Adopted as to Immigration in United States and Switzerland​–​Tribune Says Editorially, “Mr. Byers Deserves the Thanks of the American People”​–​A Little Visit to the Poet Longfellow, and the Alcotts; also to the Author of “America.” 189
CHAPTER XXIII.
1881.
Elm and All Its People Destroyed by an Avalanche​–​A Foot Trip in Ireland​–​Fenians​–​Red Coats​–​Poverty​–​The Queen Hooted​–​Out of Jail and a Hero​–​Muckross Abbey by Moonlight​–​An Irish Funeral​–​A Duplicate Blarney Stone​–​Letters from General Sherman​–​The Duke of Wellington​–​The Assassination of President Garfield. 205
CHAPTER XXIV.
1882–1883.
Visit Northern Italy​–​American Indians in Zurich​–​Death of the Poet Kinkel​–​Letters from Carl Schurz and the Poet’s Wife​–​Letter from Sherman as to the Bounteous Mississippi Valley​–​A Second Letter from Sherman​–​The Presidency​–​Conversations with Scherr, the Writer​–​The Poet Kinkel’s Son​–​His Powerful Memory​–​We Visit Berlin​–​Minister Sargent’s Trouble with Prince Bismarck over American Pork​–​Sargent Is Appointed to St. Petersburg​–​Indians Again​–​Baby Lions​–​Visit America Again​–​Funeral of the Author of “Home, Sweet Home”​–​Swiss National Exhibition​–​The Swiss War Minister Visits Me​–​We Had Been Comrades in Libby Prison​–​Trouble with Fraudulent Invoices​–​Origin of Expert System at Consulate​–​I Succeed in Stopping the Frauds​–​My Action is Reported at Washington as Saving a Million Dollars to the Government​–​Another Letter from General Sherman​–​His Coming Retirement from the Army. 216
CHAPTER XXV.
1884.
Some Interesting Letters from General Sherman​–​Requests for Souvenirs​–​His “Flaming Sword”​–​One on the Presidency​–​I Am Appointed Consul General for Italy​–​An American Fourth of July Picnic on Lake Zurich​–​Lord Byron’s Home in Switzerland​–​Some Old Letters about His Life There​–​The Lake Dwellings of Switzerland​–​Keller, the Antiquarian​–​Power of Swiss Torrents. 225
CHAPTER XXVI.
1884.
Start for Italy​–​The Cholera​–​Ten Days in Quarantine on Lake Maggiore​–​A Heroic King​–​We Are Presented to Queen Margaret​–​American Artists in Rome​–​The Royal Balls​–​Receptions and Parties​–​Meet Many People of Note​–​The Hills of Rome​–​Minister Astor and His Home​–​Hugh Conway​–​Ibsen​–​Marion Crawford​–​One of the Bonapartes​–​Keats’ Room​–​The Cardinals​–​Ischia Destroyed​–​Christmas in Rome​–​Letter from General Sherman​–​His Views of Rome​–​Cleveland’s Election​–​Franz Liszt Again. 244
CHAPTER XXVII.
1885.
Still in Rome​–​Presented to Pope Leo XIII​–​Story, the Poet Sculptor​–​Randolph Rogers​–​Tilton​–​Elihu Vedder​–​Astor Resigns​–​Secretary of Legation Dies with Roman Fever​–​I Am Put in Charge of Legation​–​Capri​–​Governor Pierpont​–​Things Supernatural​–​Talk against Gladstone​–​Shakespeare Wood​–​Senator Moleschott, a Remarkable Man​–​Interesting Letters from General Sherman​–​Party Stronger than Patriotism; My Recall​–​Money Lending and Taxes​–​Keep Out of Debt. 261
CHAPTER XXVIII.
1886.
The North American Review Engages Me to Edit Several Chapters of the Sherman Correspondence​–​Sherman Writes as to Magazines and His Book​–​The General Invites Me to Come and Stay at His Home in St. Louis​–​He Offers Me the Use of All His Papers​–​I Publish Also in the Review a Prose Narrative of the March to the Sea​–​Mrs. Sherman Reads It to the General​–​Buffalo Bill​–​General Gives Me His Army Badge​–​Nights in Sherman’s Office​–​Conversations with Him​–​Life in the Sherman Home​–​The General’s Complete Reconciliation with His Son Tom​–​Interesting Letters from Sherman as to Magazines​–​His Forthcoming Book​–​Farms and Taxes​–​War Histories​–​Grant’s Book​–​Newspapers​–​Christmas Letter. 274
CHAPTER XXIX.
1887–1890.
An Interesting Letter from General Grant​–​Sherman Living in New York​–​His Immense Popularity with All Americans​–​Letters from Him​–​Exhibited Like a Circus​–​No Union Man Left in Foreign Service by Cleveland​–​He Writes for the Magazines​–​Magazines Again​–​Approves My Article in the North American Review on the March to the Sea​–​Humblest Union Man Better Patriot than the Proudest South Carolina Rebel​–​Sheridan Dying​–​Congress Should Make Rank of Lieutenant General Permanent​–​His Reception at Columbus​–​Death of Mrs. Sherman​–​About His Memoirs​–​No Profit​–​The Army of the Tennessee at Cincinnati​–​My Poem There​–​An Odd Interview at the White House​–​Conversations with Secretary Blaine​–​Death of the Great General​–​Speeches About Him in the Senate​–​I Am Again Appointed to Switzerland. 287
CHAPTER XXX.
1891.
Go to Switzerland as Consul General​–​An Ocean Voyage Then and Now​–​A Glimpse of Burns’ Home​–​The Highest City in Europe​–​A Novel Republic​–​Life in the Higher Alps​–​Headquarters for Embroidery​–​Princess Salm-Salm​–​An Open Air Parliament​–​The Upper Rhine​–​At Hamburg​–​A Summer on the Baltic​–​Interview with Prince Bismarck. 304

TWENTY YEARS IN EUROPE


CHAPTER I
1869

A LITTLE WHITE CARD WITH PRESIDENT GRANT’S NAME ON IT​–​A VOYAGE TO EUROPE​–​AN ENGLISH INN​–​HEAR GLADSTONE SPEAK​–​JOHN BRIGHT AND DISRAELI.

In the State Department at Washington, there is on file a plain little visiting card, signed by President U. S. Grant. That card was the Secretary’s authority for commissi

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