Born in Massachusetts to a family of merchants and seamen, Clapp traveled to Paris to translate the socialist writings of Fourier. In Paris, Clapp abandoned his ardent sympathy for the temperance movement and embraced the leisurely café life of the city. Upon returning to New York in 1850, he sought to recreate this atmosphere, spending hours at Charlie Pfaff's beer cellar, drawing a crowd of journalists, painters, actors, and poets to cultivate an American Bohemia in which participants admired and discussed the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and Washington Irving (Martin 15-7). Junius H. Browne notes that "[Clapp] was nearly twice as old as most of his companions; was witty, skeptical, cynical, daring, and had a certain kind of magnetism that drew and held men, though he was neither person nor manner, what would be called attractive" (152). Clapp, sometimes referred to as the "King of Bohemia," was often telling stories and jokes and displaying a facility for word play and puns, as Thomas Gunn, who socialized with the Bohemian crowd at Pfaff's, noted saying, "Clapp puns a good deal, and if permitted, always tries to ride roughshod over others" (vol. 10, 16).
Clapp is best known as the tireless editor, instigator, and fundraiser for the Saturday Press, a short-lived but influential literary journal which showcased fiction, poetry, literary criticism, and social commentary by many of Pfaff's bohemians. William Dean Howells contended that the Saturday Press "embodied the new literary life of the city" ("First Impressions" 63). Its first issue was published on October 23, 1858 (Martin 79). Gunn characterized the Press writing "Clapp generally does an impudent, flippant, Frenchy tainted editorial in paragraphs of one sentence each, the rest is Ada Clare, Getty Gay, Banks (and brays) Arnold &c &c. Wilkin's provides a 'feulleton', brilliant, cool, impudent and amusing, reading like a translation from the French, and all the rest of the writers imitate him. The paper is a mere swindle on advertisers, principally publishers, the circulation being nominal" (vol. 11, 162). Scholar Mark Lause presents another view arguing that "in promoting what it saw as the best in its field, the Press became an advocate for good journalism and publishing" and received praise from many of its contemporary newspapers (78). The Civil War took a toll on the paper, and after the war, Clapp attempted to reestablish the Saturday Press, only to find that "the Bourgeois press was even more hostile toward Bohemianism than before," and the paper was shut down for good (Levin 68). Afterwards Clapp became a "'casual writer for City journals'" but no longer held any real journalistic standing (Lause 116).
Howells characterizes Clapp as an editor who was "kind to some neglected talents, and befriended them with a vigor and a zeal," which included Walt Whitman, who owed a great debt to the patronage of Clapp ("First Impressions" 65). Clapp was dedicated to establishing Whitman's career by keeping his work before the public in the pages of the Press. To this end, Clapp published eleven of Whitman's poems and printed over twenty reviews of Leaves of Grass in addition to publishing eight poems written as parodies or homages to Whitman's distinct style. Clapp also gave ample advertising space to Thayer and Eldridge, the Boston-based publishing firm that had recently released the third (1860) edition of Leaves of Grass. Clapp remained a tireless champion of Whitman's work; Whitman would later muse that his own history could not be written without including Henry Clapp, Jr (Lause 53).
By 1870, he had begun to take some solace in drink, and during his final years, he spent "an untold number of stints in asylums." Scholar Justin Martin noted though that "still, as Clapp made his shambling rounds, [around New York City,] he was sometimes spotted by one member or another from the old Pfaff's set" (260). Clapp died on April 10, 1875 in a sad state, which Whitman described saying, "'he died in a gutter—drink—drink—took him down, down'" (Martin 161; Lause 116). The author of his obituary in the New York Times defined his legacy arguing that "no man was better known in the newspaper and artistic world a few years ago than than the eccentric and gifted King of the Bohemians" ("Obituary" 7).
Whitman describes Clapp as "a very witty man," remarking that he always took the head of the table amid the bohemians' reveries at Pfaff's.[pages:10]
Allen writes that Whitman began frequenting Pfaff's at some point after Clapp, who had recently founded the Saturday Press made Pfaff's his "informal club and gathered around him a coterie of writers and wits reputed to be very sophisticated, irreverent, and 'Bohemian'" (229). Allen mentions that at this time, the term "Bohemian" was not a common American terms and had been imported from Paris with by Clapp and others, who returned from visits abroad "with contempt for its [America's] puritanism and a mania for shocking it" (229). Allen describes Clapp during this time as follows: "Clapp was a former New Englander who had been a sailor, had educated himself to be a freethinker and skeptic, had aquired a varied experience in journalism, had worked for a while with Horace Greeley and Albert Brisbane in trying to popularize the doctrines of Fourier and socialism, and was not attempting to edit a smart and sprightly literary and critical journal, which did manage to achieve considerable prestige but could seldom pay its contributors" (229).
Allen briefly discusses Howells' interactions with Clapp during his first and only visit to the Saturday Press offices and Pfaff's (230-231). Allen responds to Howells' criticisms of Clapp by writing: "Clapp must have had more character and ability than Howells thought. In Whitman's later opinion he had 'abilities way out of the common,' which in a different environment and with financial resources, 'might have loomed up as a central influence' on American literature. Howells might have been partly right in thinking that Clapp had taken Whitman up because he was so obnoxious to respectable society, and Whitman's gratitude may have led him to exaggerate Clapp's importance. But the editor of the Saturday Press, along with Ada Clare, Ned Wilkins, and several others, did render a service to the history of American literature by giving Whitman companionship and encouragement when he greatly needed them. In his old age Whitman told Traubel that his 'own history could be written with Henry left out.' Since no complete file of the Saturday Press has survived, it is not possible to trace every detail of Henry Clapp's editorial support of Whitman, bt it seems not to have developed unitl late in 1859" (231).
Allen mentions that there is proof Clapp received advance, unfinished copies of the Boston publication of the third edition of Leaves of Grass. Allen also discusses Clapp's strategy for publicizing the book, including his role in sending review copies to several important persons, including Mrs. Juliette H. Beach. During this time period, Clapp appears to have been preoccupied with keeping the Saturday Press in business and managing its financial difficulties. He was able to get a letter to Whitman in Boston via his brother George which discussed mainly his concerns about the stability of the paper, but also assured Whitman of his success and pledged to help him advance his book (242-244).
Allen feels that Clapp was most likely the author of a long article on Leaves of Grass that appeared in the Saturday Press on May 19, 1860. The article began: "We announce a great Philosopher - perhaps a great Poet - in every way an original man." The critic also admitted, however, that the book had passages "which should never have been published at all." The critic also claimed, though, that the poems showed "the philosophic mind, deeply seeking, reasoning, feeling its way toward a clear knowledge of the system of the universe" and celebrated the "felicity of style" in phrases such as "bare-bosomed Night," "slumbering and liquid trees," and "Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon, just tinged with blue!" (260). When the negative review attributed to Juliette Beach appeared in the paper, Clapp included the editorial comment that "It gives us pleasure to print every variety of opinion upon such subjects." The next week, he ran a correction after Mrs. Beach wrote the paper to explain that her husband had intercepted her copy of the book and had submitted his own review for publication. Mrs. Beach's own review most likely ran two weeks later, signed by "A Woman" (261).
Allen notes that Whitman was "no match for the mercurial Fitz-James O'Brien, satirical George Arnold, or perhaps even his sardonic friend Henry Clapp" (270).
In the fall of 1862, after the Saturday Press had dissolved, Clapp, Ada Clare, and several other Bohemians were writing and working at the Leader (273).[pages:229-31,242-244,260,261,269,270,273,280,494]
Editor-in-chief of The Saturday Press. Clapp wrote a letter to Whitman about his anonymous contribution to the Atlantic Monthly. Clapp enjoyed the press commentary on the Atlantic Monthly at the publication of Whitman.[pages:290, 292]
Belasco describes him as "Whitman's loyal friend, fellow Bohemian, and fiesty editor of the Saturday Press." Clapp is mentioned as believing, along with Whitman, "that any publicity [for Leaves of Grass] was good publicity" (251).
For the publication of "A Child's Reminiscence" on December 24, 1859, on the first page of the Saturday Press, Clapp included this notice at the beginning of his editorial column" "Our readers may, if they choose, consider as our Christmas or New Year's present to them, the curious warble, by Walt Whitman, of 'A Child's Reminiscence,' on our First Page. Like the 'Leaves of Grass,' the purport of this wild and plaintive song, well-enveloped, and eluding definition, is positive and unquestionable, like the effect of music.
The piece will bear reading many times--perhaps, indeed, only comes forth, as from recesses, by many repititions" (252).
Belasco notes that Clapp was "eager to attract attention and readers to his newspaper" and "not only published Whitman's poems but also printed parodies of Whitman's poems, as well as promotional advertisements for the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass. Throughout the early months of 1860, Clapp was reguarly publishing Whitman" (252). "You and Me and To-Day" was printed in the January 14,1860, edition of the paper as one of Clapp's "original" poems, a feature which ran in nearly every edition of the Saturday Press, usually on the first page (252). Clapp published "Of Him I Love Day and Night" on January 28,1860, as "Poemet" with a notation "For the Saturday Press" at the upper left-hand corner of page 2. Clapp would publish a second "Poemet" ("That Shadow My Likenes," a Calamus poem) and "Leaves" ("whose three numbered verses became three distinct poems, two in the Calamus cluster and one in the Enfans d'Adam cluster in the 1860 Leaves of Grass) in this spot (252-253).[pages:251,252-253]
Belphegor expresses his agreement with Figaro's review of Sam (281).[pages:281]
Browne cites him as the head of the "original" Bohemians of New York City and the United States. Clapp was their leader "as well by age as experience and a certain kind of domineering dogmatism." Browne notes that Clapp had been previously associated with several New York papers and was "one of the first to introduce the personal style of the Paris fuilleton into the literary weeklies" (152).
Browne notes that Clapp began the Saturday Press after the "inception" of the "informal society" of the Bohemians. Browne calls the Saturday Press the paper "to which the brotherhood contributed for money when they could get it, and for love when money could not be had" (152-3). Browne mentions that Clapp was able to keep the paper running for a year and tried to revive it twice after its first failure.
Browne mentions that Clapp was able to keep the paper running for a year and tried to revive it twice after its first failure. He claims that since then "Clapp, bitter from his many failures, now lives a careless life; writes epigrammatic paragraphs and does the dramatic for one of the weeklies. He is stated to be over fifty; but his mind is vigorous as ever, his tongue as fluent, and his pen as sharp" (153).[pages:152-153]
Clapp includes a letter from the paper's "friend," H.C., Jr., that discusses the brilliance of the Saturday Press and the paper's subscription "crisis" (2).[pages:2]
Clare defends her right to publish her opinions in her column and claims that they "will sometimes be diametrically opposed to those of the Editor, and Personne." She claims that neither man will take this personally or suffer any ill consequences from their difference of opinion (2).[pages:2]
Posits that it was at Clapp's insistence that Gardette wrote a number of Whitman parodies for the Saturday Press in 1860, around the same time that Clapp was heavily promoting the 1860 Leaves of Grass in the pages of the Press (261).[pages:261-262]
Derby writes that at the time of the founding of the Saturday Press Clapp "was a man well-known at the time in journalistic circles." Clapp was editor-in-chief of the paper (232). Derby also writes about how Clapp often took charge of the Saturday Press's advertising receipts as he did not like to sleep in the morning and Aldrich often slept in (232).
He is mentioned as one of the "brightest and most popular humorous men of the day," known to rally around the book store of George W. Carleton. Derby calls him "that famous King of all Bohemia." Derby notes that "the noonday hour frequently found most of them at Pfaff's celebrated German restuarant, in a Broadway basement, near Bleecker-street, the rendezvous at that day of the so-called Bohemians" (239).[pages:232,239,412]
George G. Clapp's brother and leader of the Bohemian group that gathered at Pfaff's and made it "a famous resort back in the fifties."
The obituary notes that Clapp was known as the "'King of Bohemia,' a title by no means easy to win or hold in such brilliant company. He barely escaped genius. To this day the impresion of his remarkable gifts and strong personality is held in vivid recognition by those who knew him, however alightly."[pages:3]
Edwards recalls that Clapp wrote a "highly laudatory article" about William North after his suicide and that Clapp "had known him intimately in London and Paris." Edwards also describes his own relationship with Clapp in Paris and states that Clapp introduced him to Horace Greeley. Of Clapp, Edwards says that "he had cultivated to a fatal point the art of saying disagreeable things in an innocent manner" and cites several examples of this behavior. Edwards states that he was surprised to hear Clapp described as a Bohemian, since Clapp did not drink alcohol at all when Edwards knew him.[pages:83-88]
Ego writes that the portrait of Jules Janin in the most recent issue of Illustration "appears as old as your 'Figaro' did when I saw him in Paris and nearly as good-looking" (3).[pages:3]
Ego refers to an idea of Figaro's during his visit to Paris ten years ago which held that "academies, colleges, and all such institutions were established only to prevent diffusion of learning" (4).[pages:4]
Ego compares the style of Jules Janin's Fueilleton about Les Chanteurs Ambulants to Figaro's (4).[pages:4]
English claims O'Brien, Clapp, and Arnold "used to laughingly class themselves as Bohemians, speak of Pfaff, his beer; but they spoke of no club" (202). English states, "I remember very well saying to one of these gentlemen, with a feeble attempt at pleasantry -- 'As there are so many buyers of beer among your people it is quite proper that you should have a cellar to receive you'" (202).[pages:202]
Described as "powerful, arch, and often caustic." Epstein also alleges that he might have been a lover of Whitman's.
Clapp is described as a "most skillful and devoted publicist," who"could make hay out of scandal." He ran both good and bad press for promoting Whitman. Epstein claims that Clapp gave Whitman the advice, "Better to have people stirred against you if they can't be stirred for you."[pages:55-56,57,310,314]
Clapp was responsible for sending a review copy of Leaves of Grass to Juliette Beach that was intercepted by her husband.[pages:311]
Mentions Henry Clapp as one of the "group of men and women, all of whom had distinguished themselves in various avenues, — in literature, art, music, drama, war, philanthropy" who met at Ada Clare's house on West 42nd Street in New York on Sunday evenings (21-22).[pages:22]
Claiming to be "seized with a fit of 'indisposition'," Figaro states that if he were a performer, he would send someone out to the audience to beg for him to be excused until next week (168).[pages:168]
Mentioned as a writer Whitman met at Pfaff's.[pages:61]
Clapp is mentioned as both a friend of Whitman and an advocate of his poetry.
Identified as one of "The group of men at that table [who] constituted the Bohemia of a quarter of a century ago, the most notable gathering of its kind that one city has ever known."
Clapp is referred to as "The King of Bohemia, the man who, above all others kept the band together." He is described as "a small, queer looking old fellow, with reddish gray whiskers, iron gray hair, a protruding forehead and a short, black clay pipe that he was forever smoking." The article also contains a never-before-published biography of Clapp's life dictated by Clapp himself to the author of the article.[pages:9]
Mackenzie claims that Clapp knew when he published "The Fire Fiend" in the Saturday Press that the poem and its story were a hoax.
Referred to as "Baron Clapper."
Mentioned as one of the Bohemians at Pfaff's "gossiped" about by Rufus B. Wilson in a "reminiscent letter to the Galveston News."[pages:479]
Glicksberg writes about Clapp Written about in a discussion of Walt Whitman. Clapp was called "Figaro" and is noted as a Pfaff's regular.[pages:273,275]
He is mentioned as part of "a group of journalists and magazine-writers of great repute in their own day, but as remote as Prester John to ours" with whom Aldrich was familiar during his days in the "Literary Bohemia" in New York (38).
Greenlset describes him as one who has gone the way of the "journalists of yester-year" and calls him "perhaps the intensest personality of the group, the 'King of Bohemia'" (39). Greenslet describes him as "a clever, morose little man, a hater of the brownstone respectability of his day. He died in middle life after a brilliant but far from prosperous career in variegated journalism" (39).
Greenslet quotes Clapp's statement at the first failure of the "Saturday Press" in early 1860, "This paper is discontinued for lack of funds, which is, by a coincidence, precisely the reason for which it was started" (48).[pages:38,39,48]
Gunn describes a visit to Henry Clapp, "Wednesday. At evening with Cahill and Haney to visit Clapp, a newspaper man, living in this street. A sort of literary soiree. O'Brien, Bellew, Piercy, Arnold, Whelpley and Wilkins (of the Herald) were present, with a Mr Delanno – the only non-literary man present. Pipes, cigars, beer, puns and songs. Not a very successful evening" (35-36).
Gunn depicts Clapp, "Monday. In doors, Jerrolding, till sunset. At night with Clapp, O'Brien and Cahill in Haney's room. Clapp is an exceedingly ugly little man, with nothing particular in the way of a nose, and a beard. He is a "Come-Outer" of the most extreme description, having progressed from a starting point of Anti-Slavery propaganda ism, to the advocacy of "Free-love" and Fourierism, of the most ultra description. Withal he is a character, talks pretty well, and piques himself on studying people. In the talk I got antagonizing with O'Brien, who is, I believe, radically, inherently, and inevitably my opposite" (42-43).
Gunn states that O'Brien owes Clapp, among others, a supper, "O'Brien called in the afternoon. Incidentally, I have heard a characteristic thing of him. Underwood, one of the editors of the "Atlantic Monthly" being on here, O'Brien must needs give him, Wilkins, Clapp and Fry (of the Tribune) a supper at Delmonico's – some $30 affair or more. Splendid illustration of Erin go Brag!" (53).
Gunn has a discussion about money and rich men with Clapp and O'Brien, "Sunday. To Parton's. Found Haney there. He left in the afternoon, Parton accompanying him to New York, presently returning alone. I called at "Doesticks" at night. Found O'Brien and Clapp in Haney's room on my return, Cahill with them. Got into a sort of discussion with the two former about money and rich men, they railing at 'em after a common fashion, and at the supposed deference paid to them: I holding that such railing did not good, might originate in envy and bosh – that if you looked close enough you might find out a certain amount of right in everything, even in the popular respect for wealth – money representing, tangibly, somebody's labor, intellect and ability. Let the rich have fair play in talk – they do in life – and away with the pitiful clique cant against them because they are rich. (Gunn adds, "I'm not sure that they were her notes, after all. Feb. 16 - They were.") Clapp spake much on what he considered the false importance into which money had been elevated, drawing paralels [sic] between the cases of a man entering a friend's room and feeling no scruple of helping himself to cigars or wine &c and another considering it dishonorable to help himself to a small sum of money &c. He said he shouldn't mind receiving $100 or $500 from a rich man. We didn't have this objection to receiving money from the dead &c. Would I object to having a sum presented to me. I said and thought that I'd rather earn it. O'Brien launched out into laudation of generosity – that popular pseudo virtue he likes to holla on. I'd rather have Justice. An Odd Coincidence. Clapp and Whitelaw,two of the ugliest men I've ever known (not unlike in physiognomy too.) are both Socialists" (62-63).
Gunn documents a story from Clapp regarding Lola, "Here's a story or two of Lola, from Clapp who knew her in Paris and visits her now. In order to avoid the trouble of dressing her hair, which is, really, very good, she on one occasion before lecturing, clapped on a wig. Dressing once, while he sat talking to her in an ajoining room, she put out her head (in order to see if he were attentive) her face covered with soap suds and cigar in mouth! She smokes incessantly, making her own cigars. Being remonstrated with on the former indulgence by a railroad conductor, (Lola has got into innumerable rows from persistence in smoking in the cars) she put the comether over him by asking "Ye're from Oireland?" and describing herself as "a little girl from the auld counthry!" A Mr Ware called on me, this afternoon, having been preceded by an introductory letter from Damoreau. A Bostonian" (68-69).
Gunn talks about an article written by Clapp that is read aloud by Haney, "O'Brien had an article from the "Boston Transcript" puffing him tremendously as the author of the Diamond Lens, and giving a memoir of him, his literary & dramatic successes (?) &c. Haney read it aloud. It was written by Clapp. There were exaggerations in it amounting to lying. Talking of Picton, Haney says he's generally drunk within precisely fifteen minutes after the bank, wherein he's employed as cashier, closes!" (80).
Gunn mentions seeing Clapp with a woman, "Saturday. To Harpers with notions. 8 to do. To Frank Leslie's, Pic Office, Post Office. Met Moore, of the Times, and Ware the Bostonian, also Gun, Bellew's man. Phonography at night. Saw Clapp in Broadway with a woman – probably Lola" (99).
Gunn attended a burlesque with Clapp, "Wednesday. In doors all the drenching day. Chores, phonography, letter to Dillon Mapother. Gun playing cribbage with Haney at night, he a little boozy. Cahill with Clapp at Wallacks to see a new burlesque by Stuart, O'Brien and another. It was produced last night, not a success. Haney & Clapp called for the authors but the less interested audience requested them to "Dry up!" So a scene with three stuffed figures, prepared for the occasion, wasn't available!!" (158).
Gunn details Clapp's anecdotes of North, "Writing at night. An hour with Clapp, Gun and Haney, in the room of the latter. Clapp told some anecdotes of North, of his borrowings, improvidence and frequent talk of suicide. He got turned out of one boarding-house for not paying his rent, and though continued by Clapp not to incur the same risk in his next abode, loafed for two weeks, accepted money from Clapp to pay up, didn't do it but squandered the sum in a brothel and – got turned out again. He borrowed from everybody, never paying. Clapp made his acquaintance in England, knew him also in Paris. He would enter Clapp's room, announce his intention to commit self murder, bid him good-bye and go off – Clapp not even caring to remonstrate, knowing nothing would come of it. Clapp says he always made preparations for being interrupted. At the time of the suicide they were not friends, Clapp having objected to North's persisting in being third party to a friend's dinners, and further offended him by what the narrator characterized as "a joke." I must put it down, it is so suggestive of the men, the society the wretched suicide moved in. They were at a party. Said some one "I go against God!" "So do I!" chimes in North. "Gentlemen," replies Clapp, "that's not fair – it's two against one!" How much more terrible a tragedy is there in North's real life and death, than ^|in| the wretched bosh into which he idealized himself in fiction" (195-196).
Gunn says that Haney had gone to Clapp's, "Thursday. Writing hard all day, from 9 A.M. till midnight. O'Brien came up in the evening after Haney (who had gone to Clapp's), said he wanted a plot – had a three act comedy to write – Collins the actor wanted him to do it – he had "been modest" and asked $350 – Collins said he'd give $500. Erin go Brag!" (204).
Gunn talks about a new paper to be edited by Clapp, "Cahill is supposed to live with her, now. He collects or solicits advertisements for the Picayune, on commission – does nothing else. Haney says he had a real friendship for him, but that when Gun appeared – the man with money, who'd stand drinks & go to brothels with him – Cahill dropped Haney and chess playing. There's a new paper to be published, edited by Clapp, Haney business man – it is to be a la Home Journal – I opine every way weaker" (236).[pages:35-36, 42-43, 53, 62-63, 68-69, 80, 99, 158, 195-196, 204, 236]
Gunn learns of Clapp's past: "Emerson, Hawthorne, Edmund Quincy &c, Hitchings has met, knowing the last familiarly. From celebrities to notorieties – he could tell me something of Clapp. I am not a bit surprised to find that the hideous little 'Free lover' is a scoundrel. He had some clerkish post in Boston, perpetrated some dishonesty in it, which either necessitated his flight to France or was discovered subsequent to it. He has, says Hitchings, 'been everything' in the come-outer way. When in Paris he lived the usual depraved life – took men to see the Industrious fleas &c. Probably he kept himself by corresponding with American papers – a wretchedly stale re-hash of which contributions he is now serving up in the 'Saturday press.' He's a Fouricrist, a Freelover of the ultra order and, I fancy, – if anything theologically – an Atheist. Nevertheless he has certain ability, of a third rate-order, with his pen. I fancy he owes much of his general estimation – such as it is – to his matchless assurance and egotism. Haney was rather taken by him at first, thinking him a good talker – which praise is not uncommonly bestowed upon him. (I fancy the 'Saturday press' has enlightened Haney as to his caliber of intellect.) Clapp puns a good deal, and if permitted, always tries to ride roughshod over others. His impudence is matchless, in this. I believe he admires Stephen Pearl Andrews and hates Brisbane – he was always saying infernal things of the 'meanness' of the latter. O'Brien consorts with Clapp, and affects to admire his powers of conversation. Morally they are on the same level, basing their every act on utter selfishness. They swindled their landlord in this (Bleecker Street) of some hundred dollars or so and the man came to a smash in consequence. This I had from Mrs Potter. Some acquaintances of hers, seeing Clapp and O'Brien entering this house in one of their visits to Haney, warned Mrs P. against them, thinking they might design boarding with them. By the word swindling I mean they owe that amount to their unlucky entertainer" (16).
Gunn describes Clapp's physical appearance; a newspaper cartoon of Clapp follows: "Clapp is the ugliest man I ever saw in my life, his countenance almost justifies his nature. He is small and spare in stature, has nothing particular in the way of nose, eyes which glance at you with a sort of stare, and a copious beard. Haney and Cahill say his voice is agreeable. I dissent. Latter's testimony is worth nothing, as he is weak and, also, by his pecuniary position and antecedents committed to the Clapp and O'Brien code of morals. Then, too, Cahill's judgment about Intellect, literature &c isn't worth a straw. Clapps tremendous assumption goes down with him. It's a very common thing when a man is uniformly hideous – Nature being sternly consistent in her work – to find out some detail to eulogise in him. The beauty of an ugly womans hand, bust &c will be descanted on by her would-be toadies. Honestly I don't think Clapp's voice agreeable. He has sense and shrewdness, and I think did not one's inner instinct rise in judgment against him, might be, by some considered a pleasant companion. He affects me just as I fancy some of the Jacobins of the first French Revolution would have done. I find no modesty, no kindness, no humanity in him. He took in Haney by his unparalled assumption, mixed with his certain amount of real ability" (16-17).
Gunn talks about Clapp's Saturday Press: "North's stories are reprinted besides Clapp's Parisian trash, and his own stories from Harpers Mag" (18).
Gunn describes an encounter with Clapp: "Next day Clapp, who has heretofore officiated as O'Brien's jackal, comes round, says that O'B[rien] can't write without money in his pocket and must have $100! This ended the affair. Doesticks declared, before his loss, that he wouldn't write for it, Brougham will do scarcely anything – so Watson confessed to me – and I won't write unless I get money paid when I bring in copy. It's time to break off with bad paymasters" (66).
Gunn encounters O'Brien in the Saturday Press office: "At noon went over the way to the Saturday Press office. There I found not Clapp, but O'Brien standing with back to the stove, in a small, rather dingy and decidedly unventilated room, two others being present. O'Brien chose to assume his ultra-insolent, supercilious airs towards me, wherefore we had a little conversational spar" (82-83).
Gunn says that O'Brien has left the Saturday Press, giving Clapp what he wants, "O'Brien's left the Saturday Press, which, he says, owed him some $100 and more. Wilkins supersedes him and does better. The paper is horridly in debt, the milch-cow having gone south. So the hideous little 'free-lover' and Socialist (Clapp is both) has it all his own way – Aldrich having left, too" (103).
Gunn reveals that Clapp victimized Haney: "Clapp victimized Haney only to the extent of $1.50. His morals(!) pecuniarily and socially are a counterpart with O'Brien's, but he has more shrewdness in his rascalities, not the extravagant, grandiose swagger of the Irishman" (108).
Gunn describes an encounter with Clapp: "Clapp in, addressed me, was so civil that I conclude he don't believe in the long continuance of his paper and wants to make friends of the mammon of unrighteousness. Expressed regret at O'Brien's behaviour, when I went up in the office, vilified O'B[rien] – justly enough. Picton drinking 'Monongahela plain' and talking enough for sixty. To Mataran's, where I left him in a fair way to get drunk. Met Bellew. Writing all the evening and till 2 or 1" (110).
Gunn says that O'Brien had to stay in Clapp's room: "Pretty recently O'B[rien] was so hard up, he had to camp in Clapp's room. They both vilify each other now. O'B[rien] is every day a dropper in at Haney's office. Wonder what he expects to make by it?" (112).
Gunn describes an embrace from Clapp: "Anon came in Haney and Cahill, from Edward's probably. Clapp gave Haney a burlesque French embrace – unpleasant to look upon, anon going over to the side table where he and Cahill sat at, to converse with him. Thus till midnight, then to room and bed, quitting Haney & Cahill at the corner of Broadway" (114).
Gunn meets Clapp at Howell's Tavern and they discuss the life of William North: "Meeting Clapp there, who since O'Brien and he quarreled, has n't tried any of his airs on me! I set him talking of North and here goes for particulars, which I have little doubt are true enough. North's character and wretched end make his career unusually interesting, especially as affording such a contrast with his own self-painted snob-hero portrait, 'Dudley Mondel.' Clapp met North first in London, at a party where were Hannay, Coventry Patmore and others. North came in late, had been compelled to take shelter from a shower of rain in a coffee-shops, where he had written some indifferent 'poetry' which he read to the company which didn't mind it much. Clapp's attention flattered him and procured the American an invitation to visit him at 'his chambers.' These were in Lyons Inn, consisting of one indescribably dirty and slovenly room where Clapp found North in bed at 1 P.M. The sheets, Clapp described, as of as dark a hue, from dirt, as one of the fellow's pants – I mean the listeners to the narrative. Well, Clapp was invited to breakfast, so after knocking about among utensils which had been put to all sorts of indefinite uses, North went out and ordered a cheap meal from an adjacent coffeeshop, threatening to pay the boy who presently brought it with a kick a posteriori on his objecting to leave the grub without the money. Thus commenced, the intimacy continued. When Hannay's 'Singleton Fontency' was published he presented North with a copy, who with Clapp was exceedingly hard up, so they sold it to a bookseller on the day before publication, at trade price, neither of them having read it. Clapp described, not unamusingly, their subsequent separate interview with Hannay, when he questioned them as to their opinions of his book. North was then in love with his 'Blondine' – whom he has put in divers books. Clapp describes her as clever, pretty, cockneyish, law-born, says that North shared her favors with a 'greengrocer's clerk' who stood first in her affections and by whom she became pregnant. This woman North wanted to marry. He and Clapp peddled it about at the book stalls, having agreed that the minimum price should be half-a crown. Much more did Clapp relate of North's amours, of a similar character. He was always 'in love' – hot, enthusiastic – idealistic – capulatory – devil knows what! Ada Clare was one of his latest flames, but, Clapp says, didn't like him. He always talked about himself and nothing else to the women on the second interview, and bored them. At first his eager, impulsive, lively talk attracted them. All the novelistic surroundings of his 'Columbia' in the 'Slave of the Lamp' are simply bosh, but he intended that heroine for a scraggy little girl who had written a book. She didn't care a jot for the fellow, but attitudinized, went into deep mourning and such rot on the strength of his suicide. North's egotism was so ill-balanced as to incline towards craziness. He told Clapp, once, that he had come into a fortune of Â£1000 or so, that he designed returning to England, hiring Exeter Hall, scattering the money (in gold!!) among the audience, after a revolutionary harangue, in consequence of which proceedings, in two weeks he would be on the throne of Great Britain! He borrowed, got in debt, was reckless of moral or pecuniary obligations, quarreled with everybody – in a word acted as though license were man's rudder through life. What a life and what a death! The ghastly side of Bohemianism with a vengeance! Clapp asserts that he 'knew North like a book' and though during the life of the latter their mutual selfishness and egotism must have again and again brought them into antagonism, nay, have induced the hatred of which only intensely vain people are capable, Clapp can have no more inducement to pervert truth about his dead comrade that is offered by a desire to shine at his expense. I find Clapp does nearly everything for effect. His literary judgments are not worth a rotten straw, he neither thinks or trys to think honestly of anything, has no reverence, no belief; neither his life or thoughts are squared with truth. I am inclined to think North was the less depraved man of the two, the wretched suicide with all his insane vanity, did aspire to something, alloyed as it might be with Free-Love Phallus worship, His Millenium of invention-gone-mad is a poor business to be sure but better that than none at all" (146-149).
Gunn believes Banks idolizes Clapp: "Banks' epidemical hero-worship has now elevated Clapp to the place of honor in A. F's ill-balanced mind! Clapp goes to call on Banks at his Wall Street office and on one of the latter's fellow clerks commenting on the ugly and sinister appearance of the little man, Banks blazes into Euphinistic wrath, telling the ribald clerk that that man, Sir, possesses more talent in his little finger than he and his preceding seventeen generations – if he has seven- teen generations, which A. F. doubts! Furthermore, Banks eulogizes Clapp's villainous egotism for the profoundest thought &c after the old, delightful fashion. I find something exquisitely appropriate in this conjunction. Clapp in his heart must have the hardest contempt for Banks: the latter is the honester of the two. It's immensely funny" (168).
Gunn believes that Clapp's "free love" philosophy has influenced Banks: "Then Banks mounted the Slavanic hobby, asserted than in ten or twenty years there would be but two nations, Russia and the U. S. existing in the world. Then he talked 'Free Love' rather coarsely. (I suppose he got this Phallic itch from Clapp.) Leslie's face, listening to Banks, was funny to contemplate. He disputed loudly, dictatorially, dissented logmatically, but Banks outtalked him. Came away and had some oysters at another place with Leslie" (172).
Gunn reminisces about a party he attended at Henry Clapp's: "Wrote a letter to George Bolton; went down town, sent off parcel to him. (By todays paper I see that the man of whom he purchased his farm has been condemned to be hanged for the murder of the mailman.) To a Mr Ames who has patented divers life-preserving garments, one of which I remember as the invention of a Mr Delano, the queer man whom I saw at Clapp's on our first visit to him. Clapp & O'Brien had him in as a butt, though he appeared to infinitely greater and advantage than they did. It was on this occasion I believe that I became antagonistic to the ugly little Free Lover. O'B had proposed his health in an inflated speech, and I fearing what subsequently happened, that speechmaking would set in for the evening, that we should all alternately be playing pumps or buckets – fearing this, I, in drinking Clapp's health adding to it the hope that he wouldn't be lengthy in response. It was done jocularly and he affected to take it well, but it subsequently appeared that he and O'B had arranged a little programe which I inadvertently upset. Clapp's strong point among the asses who pretend to admire him is his speechmaking" (213-214).
Gun sees Wood and Banks at Howells. They are discussing Clapp, "Passing Whitelaw's shop, looked in and saw him. To Howells where I found John Wood, Banks and another. Banks boring the other, raving about Clapp's ability. I talked to Wood. When we came out at 11, That Glover was at the door with four or five others" (244).[pages:16, 16-17(ill.), 18, 66, 82-83, 103, 108, 110, 112, 114, 146-149, 168, 172, 213-214, 244]
Gunn recalls that Clapp mentioned being employed by Townsend: "When a person arrived, Mrs P. being out, the old woman her mother refused to deliver the poor old boy's traps with many bitter denunciations of him, until Leslie interfered and got them rendered up. Old Townsend was a well-to-do Boston merchant once; Clapp spoke of being in his employ. His (Townsend's) son had a berth in the Tribune Office and died recently. Poor old boy!" (10).
Gunn recounts when he was walking uptown with A. F. Banks: "I overtook and walked uptown with Banks this afternoon. He was singing Jo Peans to Clapp and the Saturday Press, after his old, old, asinine manner" (32).
Gunn details an incident between Clapp and Shepherd: "Clapp denouncing Shepherd in the Saturday Press as a plagiarist &c, Shepherd having forwarded a little poem which Clapp assumed to be similar to one of Aldrich's. Cahill and Arnold went and bullied Clapp about it and 'Daisy' writing a letter hinting at cowhiding the hideous little editor apologized openly in his next number. Fearfully superfluous, licking Clapp. What would he be like if beaten?" (84).
Gunn comments on the Saturday Press: "Banks, as Bellew expresses it, has formed a 'criminal connexion' with the Saturday Press; apropos of which I learn that Clapp's little Boston indiscretion was a forgery" (89).
Clapp and the Saturday Press--as well as Vanity Fair--are mentioned when talking about a new paper: "Cahill is now a little cock-a-hoop [about] a new comic paper which he has been asked to write for. Its editor will be Frank Wood, a very young man in every sense, its artist Stephens, of Frank Leslie's paper, its capitalist and founder, the brother of this Stephens. The first name proposed was 'the Owl' – a stupid one – the second 'Vanity Fair;' which is that, at present, decided on. Clapp, O'Brien, Banks and others of that ilk are spoken of. Clapp's 'Saturday Press' still survives – how kept alive, only he knows. It is impudent, flippant, Frenchy and pretentious, principally got together on the dead-head principle. Arnold sends gratis contributions, 'Ada Clare' 'Getty Gay' and other unfortunate literary females combine to fill its columns" (160).
Men are referred to as being the "Clapp style" in connection with Ada Clare: "The first of these some years back made an attempt – several attempts – to become a tragic actress, but despite any amount of puffery on the part of fellows who knew her (or wanted to know her in a scriptural sense) failed. She had money and aspired for 'fame' only. She lived with a musician, subsequently went to Paris and returned with an illegitimate child, the result of a liason with a young Frenchman. Affecting the Bohemienne and Georges Sand business she acknowledges the maternity, and is the centre of a circle of the Clapp style of men" (161).
Gunn mentions Clapp when describing the quality of the Saturday Press: "To return to the Saturday Press. Clapp generally does an impudent, flippant, Frenchy tainted editorial in paragraphs of one sentence each, the rest is Ada Clare, Getty Gay, Banks (and brays) Arnold &c &c. Wilkin's provides a 'feulleton', brilliant, cool, impudent and amusing, reading like a translation from the French, and all the rest of the writers imitate him. The paper is a mere swindle on advertisers, principally publishers, the circulation being nominal. Clapp talks each week of his going round to borrow money to purchase paper. Frank Wood 'an evaporating dish' of a young man, as Haney characterized him, paid Clapp $25 of Stephen's money for suggesting the title of Vanity Fair. I fancy the little literary Gorilla is a good deal believed in by Wood" (162).
Gunn documents a row among the Clapp clique: "There's a good deal of a row about an epigram of Morris' on Clapp, among the Clapp clique. Here 'tis, not over decent but decidedly witty 'Clapp slept with a Mercer Street Venus Who d__nably treated the same, For she took off the head of his penis And also the tail of his name!'" (186).[pages:10, 32, 84, 89, 160, 161, 162, 186 ]
Clapp and O'Brien are mentioned in connection with a Vanity Fair contribution: "Drawing on wood till 11 at night, Morris and Cahill present. The former got $25 from 'Vanity Fair' today, for three contributions. His are really the best things that have appeared in the thing. I've not sent anything, inasmuch as I'm pretty sure that the young squirt, Frank Wood, would enjoy the opportunity of practically resenting my involuntary castigations of him in the 'Pic.', when I pitched into old Powell for his vilification of Dickens. Also I know that the O'Brien and Clapp clique would be sure to accord foul play; good and sufficient reasons both. Young Wood's shallowness has got him virtually superseded, though he nominally retains the position of editor. He must have been very amusing in that capacity, 'slinging around' his French phrases, as Cahill would say" (12).
Gunn reveals that Clapp has acquired yet another partner for the paper: "Talk about the 'Saturday Press'. Clapp has secured another partner, about the eleventh 'third' of the paper that has been sold, as the fellows say. They call him the 'Permanent Basis' and his name appears in conjunction with H. C. Junior. Long incomprehensibility by Walt Whitman in this last week's number, who after subsiding for three years' threatens to keep on the surface again" (13).
Gunn describes an argument between Clapp and Banks: "Clapp and Banks have had a row about the latter's inviting himself to Ada Clare's on New Years Eve and making his appearance drunk. He had been there before in the course of the day, when he was tolerated by 'the Queen of Bohemia', but at night, her sworn admirer Clapp undertook to remonstrate with Banks and did so sans ceremony. This produced a rumpus at Pfaff's and now Banks does not sit at the sacred round table, but scowls at his adversary from a side one. Banks is one of the most offensive of conceivable creatures when drunk, he bawls at the top of his voice, talks incessantly, is disputatious, contradictory or blatantly jovial. He used to regret that Clapp was under petticoat government to Ada, 'for the sake of the paper'. Clapp's aspirations towards her are a joke among the fellows" (13-14).
Mrs. B tells Gunn that Clapp tries to imitate William North: "O'Brien had recently called. Mrs. B spoke of the great change for the worse that has taken place in his manners, since his advent in this country. Says, too, that Clapp tries to imitate North, as a conversationist [sic]. Mrs. B admired North. Indeed he was much more likeable than O'Brien or Clapp. The latter's passion for 'Ada Clare' seems generally known and smiled at" (18).
Gunn and Cahill encounter Clapp at the Tribune Office: "There till 1 1/2. Downtown after dinner, I meeting Cahill (who dines and lunches off jokes, selling 'em to 'Vanity Fair' at 50 cents each) walked to 'Courier' Office with him; went to Liberty street, rejoined Cahill at the 'Tribune' Office, where we encountered Wilbour and anon Clapp (the latter looking sinister in a felt hat and a red shawl neckerchief), then, together up-town. To Dixon's for 'Scalpel's in the evening" (22).
Gunn passes Clapp entering Pfaff's: "First to Pfaff's, in search of Barry (met Clapp descending, as we ascended the steps) then to the Athenæum club in the Fifth Avenue" (62).
Gunn describes two of Clapp's contributors: "Shepherd has been equally green towards Clapp, lending him $10. O'Brien 'tried it on,' too, with Shepherd, but unsuccessfully. Generous-souled fellow, O'Brien! he never bears malice, not he! he'll ask a man for money in the morning whom he has insulted overnight! Clapp has swindled the man Pearsall, – a weak, well-to-do Fifth-Avenoodle, they say, – to the amount of $4,000, though the 'Saturday Press.' This Pearsall is to marry Ada Clare, who, consequently, doesn't show so much among the Pfaff clique. He originated dreary, innocentish, gushing bosh entitled 'Leaves from Nature' in the S.P., getting men to e-write 'em as he couldn't do English himself; he had his name printed in conjunction with Clapp's, as 'editor and proprietor'. Last week he fired off piddling satire at the Pfaff clique in the 'Courier', which Briggs, getting it for nothing, printed" (139-140).
Clapp is mentioned in conversation Gunn overheard at Pfaff's: "down to Pfaffs for lager. Banks there with a German. Banks cracked and talk–i–n–g at his usual dreary, endless, inconclusive, erratic, idiotic manner. His mind must be resembles a room full of sand, cobwebs and feathers, with a wind blowing into it. Here are fragments of his discourse.The tambourine girl (who came round begging and being complimented by fools) was the handsomest woman on New York – Dora Shaw (an elderly actress drinking in the cellar with such members of the clique as were present) was the handsomest woman in New York – he, Banks, had determined to devote himself to literature again – he'd give himself twelve months to obtain a footing – he had the entrÃ©e to Harper's – anything he took there would be accepted (this in consequence of the insertion of one forlorn, half-cracked, half- column article!) – it served Pearsall right that Clapp had swindled him – what right had an aristocrat to come among literary (!) men? – with more blatherskite than this book would hold. I lit my pipe, put my legs up, and let him talk. O'Brien's false, strident laugh proceeding from the cellar, and I saw Clapp's hideous face on its way to it" (144-145).
Gunn feels E. C. Stedman described the Pfaff crowd too favorably, especially Clapp: "Stedman has just been writing a description of the Pfaff crowd in a letter to a Chicago paper which they assume much indignation at. He mentioned them only too favorably, to my thinking, conceding power of repartee and conversation to Clapp who is only more dogmatic than he is shallow" (156).
Gunn encounters Clapp: "Sol Eytinge came in, stood talking awhile with Bellew – nose and chin much more prominent than of old, looks more Jewish. Clapp came in, talked a bit, looked sinister and old-clothesmanish. Uptown, Clapp and Bellew walking together, Cahill and I following. Cahill was a little intoxicated, had been loafing and drinking, sans dinner, all day. When we got home, I took a bath, then aroused Cahill by wet towel applications, to his supper, which he needed" (169).
Gunn records Sol Eytinge's comparing of Clapp to a spider: "A not-bad thing of Sol Eytinge's saying, at the expense of Clapp. Seated at Pfaff's one night, Sol compared him to a spider, adding that he shouldn't be surprised if Clapp projected something sticky out of his stomach, affixed it, and ran up to the ceiling!! Clapp was savage about it" (192).
Gunn reveals Stedman's distaste for the Clapp clique: "[Stedman] dislikes the Clapp clique, talks curt condemnation of Doestickism and has pitched into Fanny Fern in print, being provoked to it by a bit of her literary smut" (215).
Banks talks to Gunn about Clapp: "Up Broadway, passed Sally and, I think Matty; met Banks. Banks told me 'two of the best jokes he had ever made', and deplored his having sunk $60 in the 'Saturday Press', characterizing Clapp as a 'financial sleuth-hound'(!) Clapp had written him 'a sympathizing letter', in response to Banks' application for the money, but devil a dollar was in it" (225).[pages:12, 13, 13-14, 18, 22, 62, 139-140, 144-145, 156, 169, 192, 215, 225]
Gunn says O'Brien chose Pfaff's for a quiet altercation, even though the Bohemian gang was present, including Clapp, "So O'Brien, conscious, it may be, that House is a thinner and sparer man than himself, chivalrously determined on punishing his detractor. He told Shepherd that he was going to be very quiet, didn't want a row &c but yet chose Pfaff's as the scene for this altercation, when the whole crowd, Clapp, Wilkins, George Arnold – in short all the Bohemian gang – were present" (81).
Gunn hand writes Clapp's name into song lyrics (83).
Gunn states that George associates primarily with Clapp and Winter, "Shepherd, too, is "on a rock" as he phrases it. Arnold, he says he sees little of. "George is very much changed." He consorts principally with Clapp and William Winter "the poet"!" (114).
Gunn describes Clapp's selfish and begging manner, "A few Bohemian items, got from Shepherd. Clapp he estimates much as I do, and knows much to corroborate that opinion. A deliberately dishonest and utterly villainous borrower, relying on his overrated colloquial powers as the chameleon or ant-eater or I know not what beast does on its tongue – sticking it out for silly flies to alight on and be ensnared by its glutinosity. Very silly insects they must be, not to be warned off by the natural beacon of his hideous countenance! But he has victimized many; his whole problem of life being utterly selfish and damnable. He cronies most with George Arnold now. O'Brien asserts that he has lent Clapp money repeatedly (which may be the case, for the Irishman's vanity might induce him to play the free handed Bohemian) but that, when he, O'Brien was out of luck, in want of a dinner, homeless and half desperate, though he wrote almost supplicatory letters to Clapp, for a single dollar, he failed to obtain it. Clapp has next to begged from men at Pfaff's, recieving [sic] a disdainfully given $10 note from one who "didn't mind throwing that away on the Saturday Press." He and Arnold hunt carrion- flesh of the female sort in common now; treating demi-harlots of the singing-saloon order to supper and seduction – sometimes losing their game, too" (119-120).
Gunn details Bellew's acquaintances, "Bellew knew James Hannay, Wilkie Collins and others of that rank. With North he was a schoolfellow. He made Clapp's acquaintance when that little vampire came to England" (177).
Gunn quotes Wood, "Belle likes Clapp for his esprit!" said Wood, anon regretting that all this valuable experience couldn't be used in a literary (!) way – as in Paris! He was going off to the country with O'Brien, on Saturday" (199).
Gunn records that Clapp was present when O'Brien was introduced to Roberts, "Another O'Brien incident. He met Roberts of the "Constellation," in a barroom, Clapp, George Arnold, Shepherd and others being present, when one of the party introduced O'B. to Roberts. It was subsequent to the publication of Shelton Mackenzie's attack on O'B., who drew himself up inquiring if Roberts were the publisher of the paper, and on being answered in the affirmative first walked aside with him, then returned and abused him to his face, before those assembled, as a liar, blackguard, &c" (206).[pages:81, 83, 114, 119-120, 177, 199, 206 ]
Gunn reveals a rumor among the Bohemians that may have originated with Clapp or O'Brien, "She was one of the Allie Vernon stamp, a married woman, her maiden name Gertrude Louise Vultee, her married one, Wilmshurst. Her husband edits a feeble weekly, entitled the "Traveller," in this city; both he and she lived with "Ada Clare" otherwise Miss Micklehenning – the fast literary woman. Shepherd tells me that the Bohemians had a whispered rumor that the affection between these women was of a Parisian, Sapphic charater – it may be so, or only a monstrous canard originating in the depraved minds of such men as Clapp or O'Brien. Judging from "Ada"'s writings, one might credit it" (16-17).
Gunn says Allie had previously known Clapp and wrote for the Saturday Press, "Since their nonintercourse, Haney contrived to do Sol a service. Allie wrote a few things for the "Saturday Press"; had known Clapp before, in her Bohemienne days, when she was hawking her writings, and a more vendible commodity, about the low newspaper offices in New York. Well, Clapp affected to admire her verses, called upon Haney and incidentally, inquired for Sol's Brooklyn address. He didn't get it, however, and Haney told Cahill to give Sol a caution. No more of Allie's writings appeared henceforth in the "Saturday Press!" (102).[pages:16-17, 102]
Gunn recalls that Clapp proposed to take editorship of the paper, "Stockton up in my room during the evening, and, later, Boweryem. The former is now editorializing for the "Century," under Mc. Elrath; the paper is more of an "Army and Navy Gazette" than ought else; it has been debated whether it should not assume that title. Clapp modestly proposed to take the editorship of it, to Mc Elrath, also to change its name to that of the "Bohemian," but Mc E. didn't see it The "Saturday Press" died deservedly in January" (8).
Gunn mentions passing Clapp, "These I have been copying on light paper, to save postage, during the last three or four days. Re- turning, passed G. Arnold and Clapp. In the evening Hills of the "Post" came up, stayed half an hour or so" (34).
Gunn states that Clapp's brother was at Pfaff's on Saturday night, "Descended together, joined Cahill and the man and walked to the Smithsonian with them, when I learnt that on leaving me, on Saturday night, he went down to Pfaff's, where were George Arnold, O'Brien, Mullen, the brother of Clapp and others. They scrutinized him awhile and then Arnold went to the side-table at which he sat with; "I think I know you!" He joined them in the cellar, got tremendously drunk, supped with Arnold at Florence's and so, didn't rise in time to keep the appointment which had wasted part of mine and Haney's morning" (49).
Clapp's brother came into George Arnold's, "Round to George Arnold's by 12 1/2, having a question to ask, pertinent of price for a story for Strong, of which I have done a chapter and the plot. Clapp's brother came in momentarily; he is considerably less hideous than H. C. junior – couldn't help being so, for or Nature would have behaved demoniacally" (52).
Clapp is mentioned in a newspaper clipping about the Saturday Press (99).
Gunn documents that he and Cahill had met Arnold and Clapp earlier, "Stayed half an hour or more, then looked in at Pfaffs. (I had met George Arnold and Clapp, this morning, when walking down-town with Cahill; they stopped to recognize him and we all spoke together.)" (117-118).
Gunn reveals Allie Vernon had met Clapp previously, "By the way, there was a certain Burr who had her as his strumpet, during her assumed "marriage" with the miserable little dentist; he, Burr, was mean, though a rich man and didn't care about keeping her, as he intimated in jocular conversation with Haney. She [Allie Vernon] had met Clapp, too, at some "Free Love" haunt, before her marriage with Sol, hence, perhaps, his desire to renew the intimacy" (143).
Gunn had met Wilkins once before at Clapps, "Wilkins of the "Herald," who died yesterday, was buried or rather had funeral service performed over his body to-day. I met him once, at Clapp's, when O'Brien toadied him a good deal, and I was familiar enough with his writings and intimates" (157).
Clapp is documented at being present at Edward Wilkins's funeral, "A good many of his intimates and acquaintances showed at his funeral today, as Seymour, Clapp, Stuart, George Arnold, "Ada Clare" and others" (160).[pages:8, 34, 49, 52, 99, 117-118, 143, 157, 160]
Clapp is mentioned in a conversation with Bellew, "I spoke my convictions about O'Brien, whom Bellew defended. Clapp he holds almost at his right estimate. That newspaper gorilla he knew for the first time in England, when Clapp often dined at his expense. On Bellew's departure for America, the American would have depleted him of two-thirds of his money, giving in return, an order for a similar sum on "a friend in Minnesota." At a later perior Clapp proposed to borrow $300 from Bellew" (227-228).[pages:227-228]
The General reminds Gunn of Clapp's ugly countenance, "The General appeared a rather undersized man of between fifty and sixty, with grizzled gray hair and beard and a decidedly ugly countenance, reminding me of Clapp's, only Germanic" (33).[pages:33]
Gunn journals meeting Clapp: "Then to Leslie's. Met House and Clapp by the way. A lovely Septemberish day" (57).[pages:57]
This text identifies the following pseudonym: Figaro (36).[pages:36]
Hemstreet describes Pfaff's and the Bohemians as follows: "There of an evening met the literary Bohemians of the city, in the days when Bohemia really existed and before the world had well-nigh lost significance and respect. They were gifted men with great power of intellect, who spoke without fear and without favor and whose every word expressed a thought. They were real men and they made the world a real place, a place without affectation, without pretense, without show, without need of applause, and without undue cringing to mere conventional forms. These were the characteristics of the Bohemians, and Bohemia was wherever two or three of them were gathered together. Bohemia was the atmosphere they carried with them, and whether on the streets or in Pfaff's cellar they were at home. Pfaff's happening to be a convenient gathering-place, and beer happening to be the popular brew with most of them, they gathered there. It is a tradition that the place came into favor through the personal efforts of the energetic Henry Clapp. He was attracted to it, so the tradition runs, soon after he started the Saturday Press in 1858" (212-14). Hemstreet claims, however, that it is unimportant if Clapp was solely responsible for calling attention to Pfaff's; it only matters that it became the Bohemians' meeting place (214).[pages:212-214]
Clapp is described as the "King of Bohemia" and Whitman's "avowed champion."[pages:109,110,111]
Howells doesn't refer to him by name, but it's clear from the context that he's talking about Clapp.
Howells claims that Clapp must have stolen the "shredded prose" style of the Saturday Press from the writing of Victor Hugo (63). Howells states that Clapp "brought it back with him from one of those soujourns in Paris which posses one of the French accent rather than the French language" (63).
Howells describes Clapp as "a man of such open and avowed cynicism that he may have been, for all I know, a kindly optimist at heart; some say, however, that he had really talked himself into being what he seemed. I only know that his talk, the first day first day I saw him, was of such a quality that if he was half as bad, he would have been too bad to be. He walked up and down his room saying what lurid things he would directly do if anyone accused him of respectibility, so that he might disabuse the minds of all witnesses" (63).
Howells states that he "could not disown" his fascination with Clapp during his first meeting with him, even though Clapp's language caused him "inner disgust" (63).
Clapp preferred the anonymity of writers in New York to the tradition and recognition of Boston writers (63).
Howells feels that Clapp was toying with him when he asked him of his impression and relationship with Hawthorne (63).
Howells discusses Clapp's death: "The editor passed away too, not long after, and the thing that he had inspired had ceased to be. He was a man of certain sardonic power, and used it rather fiercely and freely, with a joy probaby more apparent than real in the pain it gave. In my last knowledge of him he was much milder than when I first knew him, and I have a feeling that he too came to own before he died that man cannot live by snapping turtle alone. He was kind to some neglected talents, and befriended them with a vigor and a zeal which he would have been the last to let you call generous. The chief of these was Walt Whitman, who, when the Saturday Press took it up, had as hopeless a cause with the critics on either side of the ocean as any man would have" (65).[pages:63-65]
The obituary identifies him as one of the "Knights of the Round Table" of the "lions of Bohemia."[pages:2]
John writes that he heard from the Saturday Press that Figaro "had gone back" on it and that it "is no great loss." John also blames Figaro's mental decay on being forced to write praise for plays and actors when he knew he should write the truth (264).[pages:264,265]
Lalor desribes him as one of the "brightest lights" of the New York Boehmians (131). Lalor writes that "at Pfaff's, he [Whitman] was a living shrine, a figure whom Henry Clapp, the recognized 'King of Bohemia,' would have liked to consider the ultimate Bohemian, whose success and artistry dictated adulation and deference" (133). Lalor writes that of all the people Whitman would encounter and associate with at Pfaff's, Clapp was the "individual most closely related" to him and "the most beneficial" (137). Lalor writes that of the "debts" Whitman owed to his "Bohemian interlude," they were "principally owed" to Henry Clapp (137).
Taylor, Stoddard, Aldrich, and Stedman are mentioned as the parties in New York involved in the "inconsistent opposition" to the third edition of Leaves of Grass in 1859-1860. Lalor writes that "It was chiefly against this ambivalent group and against the naysayers of New England that Clapp did battle for Whitman, with a characteristic originality of method which was both a tribute to the Press at the same time it was a boon to Whitman" (137). Lalor infers that Clapp and Whitman met, Clapp introduced Whitman to Bohemia, and the two men worked together to publicize Leaves of Grass and Whitman; "Whitman seems to have had a sympathetic if somewhat aloof attitude towards his champion. However their initial meeting came about, it was certainly fortuitous for Whitman" (137). Lalor states that "In essence, what Clapp did for Whitman was make the public listen, to help others hear and hear about this new voice in literature" (137). While Lalor feels that it is an oversimplification to claim that the Saturday Press existed mainly for the exploitation of Whitman, he does argue that "without Clapp's assistance, Whtiman may not have achieved the recognition he did within his lifetime" (138). Lalor quotes Mabbott's estimation of the Saturday Press as "a smart New York paper" and Clapp as "brilliant and humorous, understood much of significance of Whitman" (138). Lalor also cites Emily Hahn: "if it hadn't been for Emerson's warm praise and Clapp's stubborn faith, even Whitman's self-confidence might have suffered. As it was, the staff of the Saturday Press made him a cause, publishing his work and declaring his genius" (138). Lalor also quotes Parry and Allen for perspectives about the influence of Clapp and the Press on Whitman's career (138). Lalor claims that "The aims and purposes of the Press were closely interrelated with the character of Clapp and he, its editor-publisher, regarded independence, a freedom of unbridled expression, as inherent" (140). As a show of support for Whitman, Clapp even allowed him use of the editorial column, "sacrosant property" to Clapp; however, he also "maintained a degree of editorial autonomy in the selection of material about Whitman" that was published in the Press (140). Of these materials, more than half were condemnations of Whitman or "transparent and acknowledged parodies of his style." Lalor feels that Whitman probably had little or no say on what was published on him at this time and that these publications may have been reflective of Clapp's idea that any notice is valuable or his desire to present both sides of the debate about Whitman (140-141).
Lalor cites Charleton's account of Arnold and Whitman's fight at Pfaff's and notes that "Clapp broke his black pipe while pulling at Arnold's coat-tail" (135).
Whitman's relationship with Clapp appears to have ended in 1862, when Whitman left Bohemia. It does not appear that the two continued to correspond during the Civil War, while Whitman went on to the war and "the editor to slay other dragons and to puff other aspirants for literary fame." However, when Clapp revived the Saturday Press in 1865-1866, he paid Whitman tribute twice (141).[pages:131,133,135,137-45]
Clapp was responsible (along with Fitz-James O'Brien) for introducing his group of literary friends to Pfaff's beer cellar (50).
Clapp was a devout abolitionist, and the Massachusetts "Washingtonian" clubs selected him to represent them at the World Temperance Convention in London in the summer of 1846 (8). However, his strong views on slavery and politics made him a number of enemies in the movement, particularly William Lloyd Garrison (8). Throughout 1848 and 1849, Clapp continued to tour Europe and attend peace conferences (9-10).
While living in London is 1848, Clapp formed part of the "literary Bohemia of that day" (12). After London, Clapp moved to Paris, and "found the French 'more ready, more genial, more witty' than English or Americans" (14). It was here than he began to develop a taste for strong coffee, alcohol, and "spending time with women, without marriage as a goal" (17).
Clapp returned from Europe as an admirer of Fourier, and remained a "'prominent spokesperson for the Socialists'" in the United States (17).
Though Clapp would later "largely be forgotten," Walt Whitman thought his abilities were "'way out of the common'" (18).
Clapp's views on religion were particularly controversial, and he once scoffed "'what is the use of Christianity?'" (96). However, he began as a pious New England man, who rejected the devil and his works (2).
Henry was a twin, and grew up in a large family in Nantucket (2). He held many jobs as a young man, and had much success in maritime and mercantile employment (3).
"Clapp and his circle started their own thoroughly independent and iconoclastic newspaper, the Saturday Press, as an expression of discomfort along the more radical margins of an increasingly successful Republican Party" (64-65). "In promoting what it saw as the best in its field, the Press became an advocate for good journalism and publishing" and received praise from many of its contemporary newspapers (78). However the war took a toll on the paper, and after a short attempt at restarting it in 1865, it was shut down for good (116). Afterwards Clapp became a "'casual writer for City journals'" but no longer held any real journalistic standing. By 1870 he had begun to take some solace in drink, and he died a few years later. Whitman said of him, "he died in a gutter—drink—drink—took him down, down" (116).
William Winter wrote an epitaph after his death:
Wit stops to grieve and laughter stops to sigh
That so much wit and laughter e'er could die;
But Pity, conscious of its anguished past,
Is glad this tortured spirit rests at last.
His purpose, thought, and goodness ran to waste,
He made a happiness he could not taste:
Mirth could not help him, talent could not save:
Through cloud and storm he drifted to the grave.
Ah, give his memory,--who made the cheer,
And gave so many smiles,--a single tear! (118)
Walt Whitman once said "'You will have to know something about Henry Clapp if you want to know all about me'" (53).
More than anything, Henry Clapp valued humor. He is known to have asked "'What is there here on the earth, or up yonder in the skies, to be so mighty solemn about? Nature herself is half the time on the broad grin. She laughs at us even through her tears" (126).[pages: 47, 50, 61, 114, 119, 124, 125, 8-17, 71, 15-18, 95-97, 2-4, 64-65, 77-79, 115-116, 49-50, 74-75, 28, 51, 53, 58-59, 18-20, 21, 30, 31-35, 37, 38]
Levin notes that the Bohemians of New York clustered around Henry Clapp Jr., "an iconoclast who had just returned from Paris with the idea of emulating la vie bohÃ©me." Clapp and others sought to create a Bohemia of their own at Pfaff's beer cellar. "Clapp seized upon Pfaff's because of its excellent coffee and beer and, most likely, because of its foreign ambiance" (18).
Henry Clapp is referred to as "Prince of Bohemia" by William Winter (19).
Levin states that it was Clapp who set the tone for the group of Bohemians and "created a self-conscious Bohemian spirit" (21).
Clapp started the Saturday Press in 1858. The paper attempted to employ Bohemian "freedom of thought," but this often translated into a "scathing critique of what the Pfaffians took to be one of the central banes of bourgeoisie existence: humbuggery" (21). The paper helped "popularize notions of Bohemianism and its position within American culture (21).
Clapp provides a direct link between Antebellum reform and Bohemia through his lectures and writings on Abolitionism, Temperance, Fourierism, and Free Love (22).
Levin writes that for Clapp, "Bohemianism seems to have represented a disillusioned turn [...] and he often used Bohemianism to articulate an agonized 'politics of anti-politics.'" However, she notes that there is still some continuity between his Bohemianism and his earlier visions of reform (26).
Henry Clapp was against slavery and had once declared, "'Slaveholding is a sin'" (28).
Levin notes that Clapp had a very particular view of Bohemia, locating it "at the intersection of several overlapping yet distinct bourgeois discourses" (29). Though Clapp promoted the Bohemian sense of artistic entitlement and exemption from the requirements of bourgeois life, he himself must have been a diligent worker, having published several articles a week (36).
"Paradoxically enough [...] Clapp viewed a 'distinct national character' as the very condition of a future, more broadly based American Bohemianism" (45).
Surprisingly, Henry Clapp appears to have possessed some anti-Semitism. He once stated "'Jews excepted, I have from my youth up had a lively sympathy for all creatures who are the victims of general persecution'" (46). Still, Levin notes that "such sentiments did not prevent the Bohemians of Pfaff's from welcoming the openly Jewish actress Adah Isaacs Menken to the beer cellar (47).
Clapp felt that New York "offered a liberating anonymity to its 'aesthetic inhabitants,' allowing them greater independence from bourgeois mores and control" (66).
After the Civil War, Clapp attempted to reestablish the Saturday Press, only to find that "the Bourgeois press was even more hostile toward Bohemianism than before" (68).[pages:5, 18, 19, 21-29, 36-37, 55, 68-69, 42, 44-47, 57-60, 66]
Levin notes that the group at Pfaff's "clustered around him." Levin lables him an "inconoclast" and credits him with the vision of a Parisian recreation at Pfaff's (6). Clapp picked Pfaff's for the quality of the coffee and beer and "foreign ambiance" (18). Clapp "'puffed' Pfaff's" (19) and set the tone for the group and created self-conscious Bohemian spirit (22). According to Levin, both Clapp and Whitman provide "direct links" in the discussion of the emergence of Bohemian "in the wake of antebellum reform movements and experimental utopian communities" (23).
Clapp refered to as both the "King" and "Prince" of Bohemia. Levin quotes William Dean Howells' description of Clapp on p.73.[pages:6, 18,22,23,25,28,30-36,45-46,51,55,57-59,61,70-71,73,76-77,82,87,90,91,299]
The section "The Magazines and Their Contents" lists Clapp's "The Old Grambrel-Roof" and "The Little Giant" as appearing in the November issue of the Knickerbocker Magazine. A note on Harper's Magazine lists Henry Clapp, Jr. among the "principal contributors" (3).[pages:3]
He is described as the "Prime Minister of this realm [the Kingdom of Bohemia] and editory of the Press. Clapp's current whereabouts are described as follows: "Henry Clapp, alone of his goodly company, maintains his old allegiance, and is pointed out to strangers in New York as the sole remaining representative of a literary coterie that was a power in its day."[pages:192]
Due to his leadership and influence, the Pfaffians were sometimes referred to as "Clappians."
Clapp was most valued by Whitman during Whitman's visits to Pfaff's and during early days of Leaves of Grass. Clapp promoted the book in The Saturday Press and read poems as part of this effort. Of this time period, Whitman told Traubel, "one must know about Clapp to comprehend fully the history of Leaves of Grass."
Loving mentions a late meeting with Whitman at Pfaff's in 1867. Clapp was a heavy drinker and died in the gutter of alcoholism in 1875.[pages:235,236,237-239,241-246,260,304, 318-319, 352,371]
He is mentioned as the "king" of the "real literary Bohemians of the later fifties" who would gather at Pfaff's "at the noon-meal hour and through the evening until late into the night."[pages:396]
"Henry Clapp believed in cutting his victims swift and deep" (77).
William Winter told his son Jefferson that "Whenever old Clapp knew I was at work on a bit of satire he would keep vigilant guard, like a sort of grim old bird over a nestling, fending off intruders and interruptions, sucking away at an ill-smelling pipe while we were alone, and furtively and eagerly watching me out of the corner of one of his bright, glinting eyes. He was terribly embittered, and the sharper the satire the more he liked it" (77).[pages:1, 15, 18-42, 44, 47, 49, 51, 58, 64, 67, 69, 71, 74, 75, 77, 78, 80, 82, 101, 103, 104, 128-129, 130, 138, 165-167]
Mott states that "Clapp was a man of volatile temperament, caustic wit, and a freedom and courage in criticism of the American scene which were rare in those days" (38).[pages:38-40]
The Times "Obituary" begins: "No man was better known in the newspaper and artistic world a few years ago than than the eccentric and gifted King of the Bohemians Henry Clapp, Jr. He died yesterday, neither old nor young -- about the begining to a natural decline." Clapp is described as "a man of rare conversational powers, always entertaining and often inspired with wit and repartee."
The "Obituary" gives a brief biography of Clapp's professional life.
The "Obituary" mentions that when "the Saturday Press went the way of all journals that are too smart to live," Clapp, Stevens, and others started Vanity Fair, "the best imitation of Punch we have in this country." Vanity Fair is where several of the Bohemians re-assembled, but the periodical eventually went under.
The "Obituary" mentions that both before and after his experience with Vanity Fair Clapp wrote regularly for the Leader Clapp wrote his articles under the pen name of "Figaro" and did mostly dramatic and musical criticisms. Of these, "His writings were spicy and attractive, but his judgment was indifferent and they all passed like sea-foam--fresh and pleasant for one moment, but gone and forgotten the next."
The "Obituary" mentions that Clapp wrote for several City journals, but after Vanity Fair "he was merely a contributor, and had no regular journalistic standing." The author of the "Obituary" claims that he will be best remembered for his role as "King of the Bohemians" and the company which he kept during that period, many of whom have passed away. Clapp and Wilkins are cited as the "organizers" the "much wondered at, admired, and sought after" group of Bohemians. The "Obituary" states that it could name more of the Bohemians, but seems to feel that the enterprise is futile, especially now that death's "resistless sickle has swept in the first and practically the last of the Bohemians.[pages:7]
Odell cites to 1850 theater reviews in The New York Herald written by "Figaro." These reviews range from March to May (New York Public Library file ends May 10).[pages:69-60]
Coffin's obituary does not mention Henry Clapp, Jr., by name, but rather refers to the "King of Bohemia," which was Clapp's nickname. Clapp is credited with having loaned $100 to Geroges Clemenceau so that Clemenceau could "go to Maine and court the present Mme. Clemenceau, once a pretty Yankee girl" (5).[pages:5]
Clapp was born November 11, 1814, in Nantucket, to "a family of seamen and merchants famous for longevity." His family did not support his early literary endeavors, which prompted the older Clapp to give this advice to young writers: "Never confide secrets to your relatives: blood will tell" (43). Clapp became "a radical and a cynic" after "a number of years at sea and behind the counter"; "When he finally emerged into the press and literature, he became known as the greatest hater of brownstone respectability of his time" (43). Parry writes, "It was said of him that exposed all kinds of sham except his own. But this was not quite true" (44). Clapp began his adult life as a Sunday-school teacher, temperence editor, and lecturer and later drifted towards Socialism, Bohemianism, and drinking; "To the end of his life he poked fun at almost all the new ideas and men discovered by him as well as at his old follies." Also, according to Parry, while he did bring Bohemianism to America, he did not enjoy the title of "King of Bohemia." Clapp helped Brisbane translate Fourier's works from the French, and the story he told about discovering that Brisbane had a glass eye when he was reading to Brisbane and he fell asleep seeming to have one eye open inspired O'Brien's "The Wondersmith" (44-45).
Parry writes that "it was the bon mots that were destined to make Clapp's reputation in American letters. After his death, even his enemies admitted that Henry Clapp said more 'good things' than any other American journalist of his time." Parry continues to provide several examples of Clapp's most notable, remembered, or famous "bon mots" (45). According to Parry, some of Clapp's personal targets were Wall Street, which he called "Caterwaul Street," the government for selecting "In God we trust" for the motto that appears on coins, the island of Cuba, and the Union College of New York's conferring on Gen. Grant an LL.D. (45-46).
Parry writes, "Clapp looked such an indefinite age that his confreres called him the Oldest Man. He was small of stature, haggard of appearance, but wiry and alert. His voice was thin and cutting. His eyes seemed the bluer and his beard the grayer for the incessant smoke of his pipe and the steam of his coffee. He looked the epithet of 'the intensest personality' often applied to him. The most characteristic sketch of him, drawn by an unknown admirer, hung on the walls of Pfaff's for many years" (46). Parry also includes the description of Clapp that appeared in the New York Leader in 1864, where he was then a contributor. Parry also notes, however, that other "more devastating characterizations" of Clapp began to appear in the press at this time. Both Clapp and Bohemia were attacked by outsiders and former Pfaffians turned "respectable." In answering these attacks, Clapp named "bogus Bohemians" among them, namely Stoddard and Stedman. Parry notes, however, that even Clapp had agreed that the pre-war Bohemia was much better than what existed after the Civil War and grew increasingly bitter and cynical over the years. According to Parry, "He was baffled by the fact that he, the oldest of the Bohemians, was outliving most of them. The brilliant of the group were dying fast, the mediocre lived on. Perhaps, he felt qualms as to the wisdom of lingering behind much longer in the doubtful company of Winter, who tried to make the American theater very respectable, and Stedman, who became a Wall Street broker to the detriment of his poetry." Parry also notes that Clapp took Arnold's death especially hard, and feels that this event started him "on his course of suicidal drinking" (47). According to Parry, "He knew that his end was approaching, and though he was cynical about America, her people, her politics, and her letters, he was cheerful about his own fate. There was something socratic in the Henry Clapp of the closing years. The few friends who understood him supplied him with money to buy the drinks. Herr Pfaff fed him gratis. But some meddlesome souls tried to save Clapp from his bliss; George Hall, mayor of Brooklyn, printer and temperance worker, sent him several times to the Binghamton Inebriate Asylum, but to no avail. Plainly, Clapp was proving how wrong William Douglas O'Connor was when he prophesied that Henry would most horribly end in respectibility as a member of the Common Council or Board of Aldermen -- 'the guilty result of Bohemianism'" (47). Clapp died April, 1875, and Parry reprints the harsh April 16, 1875 obituary from the New York Daily Graphic that states:
"There has rarely been a more pathetic picture than this poor old man presented, reduced to rags, consumed by a horrible thirst, and utterly without a hope for this world or the next. What memories must have haunted him of the young men who used to meet him at Pfaff's and whom he had educated to believe that drink and infidelity were the marks of literary genius! From temperance lectures and Sunday-school teaching to beggary, lonliness, and the degredation is a stride that no man can take without knowing the keen misery of mourning over a wasted life" (47).
The obituary then continues on, accusing him of corrupting and hastening the deaths of other young writers, such as Arnold, through his example. Parry also writes of Howells's negative remarks about Clapp and notes taht "there might have been consolation for the dying Clapp in the memory that he never paid Howells for his contributions" (47-48).
In discussing the project for a writer undertaking a history of Greenwich Village and what was in New York before Greenwich Village, Parry writes: "Yet earlier, the writer is compelled to trace a connecting link between a great genius like Poe and a talented dilettante like Clapp because both of them were called Bohemians and, in fact, Clapp's group gathered in Pfaff's saloon a few short years after Poe's death from alcohol and madness" (xiii). Parry continues that this first Bohemian group "was not still-born. It had a justification of its own, however negligent most of its achievements and results may seem now. It burst forth in the wake of the sluggish and ponderous Knickerbocker school. It stormed the prim fastness of literary Boston. Rebellion against the slow waters and mild breezes emanating from the ancient seat of American culture was the main raison d'etre of New York's first Bohemians. Henry Clapp, Fitz-James O'Brien, Ada Clare, and their group were the first organizers writers to insist on transferring contemporary life and literature from the prison of salons to the freer air of saloons. They upheld the memory of Poe, they helped enthrone Whitman, and they prepared the path for much of the unorthodox that was to follow in American letters" (xiii).
Clapp returned to New York and "boldly" declared himself a Bohemian after the "struggling journalist and theatrical critic" visited Paris. After this declaration he "named his articles feuilletons, and for lack of sidewalk cafes cultivated Pfaff's beer cellar under the Broadway pavement" (21). He was joined by actors, writers, artists, law and medical students who also called themselves Bohemians and was also imitated in several other New York saloons. "They too called themselves Bohemians; they kept late hours; they pretended to flout conventions, and they clothed their poverty with the poetical cloak of Murger's philosophy. The time was propitious, for by the beginning of the second half of the century America had produced a sizeable class of professional men of arts, but was not as yet ready to pay them more than a gingery and dubious admiration" (21). According to Parry, "It was Charlie's coffee that attracted Clapp, his discoverer and first booster" (22).
In a discussion of various Pfaffians's attempts to emulate or uphold the memory of Poe, especially his "distrust of mankind and his despair of the world," Parry writes that Clapp "endeavored to be as sexless and as sublimely morose as Poe, but since Henry was essentially a cynic and a wit he failed, and turned out to be caustically sullen instead -- yet quite sexless" (9).
Parry writes that Clapp "reluctantly answered" to the title "the King of Bohemia" and that he and Ada Clare "were consorts in name only." According to Parry, Clapp was the "least active" of Clare's many admirers. "Clapp, in spite of his volubility, kept much to himself; he liked to talk of everything except himself; no on knew whom or when he loved" (19).
Clapp founded the Saturday Press in October 1858; the paper was "jestingly referred to as the house organ of Pfaff's." According to Parry, "The public gasped at the editorial paragraphs of Henry Clapp. For the first time in the memory of the living, the whiskers of American gods were pulled by a weekly with such nonchalant energy and air of authority." Parry also writes, "Often, Clapp and his paper appeared to be naive and hitting at small fry, but on the whole it did valuable spading of American life and spanking of the native arts" (24). Parry mentions that Clapp wrote under the "transparent incognito" of "Figaro" (24). Parry also notes others' views of Clapp and the Saturday Press: "When, in August, 1860, Howells paid a personal visit to New York and Clapp's editorial office, he found himself displeased with the foreign character of Henry's coterie which he called 'a sickly colony, transplanted from the mother asphalt of Paris, and never really striking root in the pavements of New York.' Winter said that in temperment and mentality Clapp was really more of a Frenchman than an American; he even compared him to Voltaire, in looks, at least. Even his enemies in the contemporary press wrote of Clapp: 'He caught the trick of French terseness and sharpness, and he feuilletons might have been written by a Parisian'" (24).
Parry writes that after the Civil War, despite the losses among the former Pfaffians, illnesses, and changes in spirit, Clapp attempted to "revive the old spirit" of Bohemia. He brought back the Saturday Press on August 5, 1865, and several national newspapers gave positive reviews to the papers' first few issues. Pfaff advertised the paper's return (32).
In terms of publicizing and reinforcing Whitman's ego, at Pfaff's Whitmat "was the shrine to which Clapp brought the faithful" (38). Parry notes that Clapp helped to spread Whitman's fame and would often show him off to visitors at the bar. Clapp missed him the rare evenings he did not show. While Clapp seems to have liked and enjoyed Whitman's presence at Pfaff's, several other regulars, such as Stedman and Winter did not mind when he was absent and did not miss his "gross bigotry." Parry cites Whitman's birthday toast of "That's the feller! to Clapp as one instance in which "Winter though it mighty poor eloquence in honor of Clapp and still worse English" (39). Clapp, "one of the first to proclaim the genius of Walt Whitman," however, would sometimes make friendly jests at Whitman's expense: "Walt, you include everything. What have you got to say to the bed-bug?" (39). According to Parry, "Clapp and his journal brought upon themselves the ire and the admiration of the day for their insistance that Whitman was greater than Longfellow" (39-40). Parry gives and overview of the poetry, editorials, parodies, and reviews of Whitman's work that Clapp published in the Saturday Press. During this period, Clapp and Whitman kept up a correspondence in which Clapp discussed some of the financial problems of the Saturday Press with Whitman. According to Parry, Whitman especially liked the stories in which Clapp would barricade the paper's office doors to prevent the entry of bill collectors and would prompt the staff to remain silent when creditors tested the doors; Whitman called Clapp's efforts "the most heroic fight to keep the Press alive" (40). Clapp introduced Burroughs to Whitman, as he knew both men through the Saturday Press, which is also how Burroughs took notice of Whitman's work. Parry notes that even though the Press died, "Clapp still championed the cause of Walt in a world so hostile to both of them" (41).
Parry mentions that in the Summer of 1865, when Clapp attempted to "resurrect New York's Villonia, the opposition was terrifc." His former co-workers at the Leader strongly opposed the idea and went as far as to write articles and editorials to that effect (60). Much later, when the idea of Bohemianism was revived, in the form of the New Bohemian writers like Eva Katherin Clapp contributed based on claims of blood ties to Clapp, and the paper made "other mistakes that showed their complete ignorance of that old Bohemia which they tried to claim as their honorable family-tree" (186).[pages:xiii,9,19,21,22,24,32-33,38-41,43-48,44(ill.),49,60,61,68,97,99,100,110,118,125,138,186,212,284]
Clapp is not mentioned by name here, but there is a description of "the king" of bohemia sitting atop his throne.
Nantucket-born, spent time in Paris and pronounced himself a bohemian upon his return in mid-1850s. Clapp is described as becoming "the archetypal bohemian, lashing out at everything but standing for little besides a love of fine coffee, strong liquor, and lively repartee."
Clapp worked as a Sunday-school teacher,temperance lecturer, and an abolitionist. At one point, he became involved in socialism and translated Fourier's works for Albert Brisbane. Clapp also joined Stephen Pearl Andrews' free-love league after returning from Paris. He wrote against conventional marriage in 1858 in the free-love book Husband vs. Wife. Briefly revived The Saturday Press in 1865. Around 1867, Clapp worked as a clerk in a New York public office.
In describing his career, Whitman told Traubel, "You will have to know something about Henry Clapp if you want to know all about me."[pages:376-378,453-454]
The obituary states that "By the best of his leisure he struggled up into self-education, and the companionship of such men as Bayard Taylor and Henry Clapp" (5).[pages:5]
Clapp, who is identified as "a young newspaperman, with a journal of his own," is described as someone "whose ideas grow proportionately more shining with the recession of the dark tide [of liquor] in the bottle before him" (199).
Rogers says that Clapp "breaks a spear in [Whitman's] defense daily" (200). Rogers writes of a trip to the opera that Clapp and Whitman take on the evening of April 13, 1861, in which Clapp attempts to call Whitman's attention to a beautiful actress on the stage only to have Whitman respond cooly ("'Look Walt, ain't she a beauty? Why, she smiled right at you.' But Walt was granite" .)[pages:199-200,204-06,296]
Sentilles describes him as "a living illustration of the connection between American bohemianism and middle-class idealism."[pages:141-142]
He is listed as one of the Pfaffian writers that "have fallen into obscurity." Stansell wonders how much influence these writers weilded on Whitman's literary career (108). Stansell notes that Clapp "set the tone" at Pfaff's and "was known for his slashing wit and withering bon-mots: a disdain for puffery was a point of principle for his Saturday Press" (117). Stansell also writes that one can understand the "superheated conditions of literary work" in the 1850s from Clapp's correspondence to Whitman (117).
Stansell writes that "Henry Clapp himself thought bohemia to be an entirely French phenomenon, impossible to transplant to America" (110).
As one of the "Pfaffian regulars" who did "serious writing along with journalism", Clapp wrote criticism (114). Stansell writes that at Pfaff's "There was verbal play with literary material: O'Brien took the idea for a sensationalist Poe-esque story about a glass eye from a story Clapp told one night" (117).
Stansell observes that the way Whitman referred to Clapp is similar to "the sort of evasion and half-glimpse which Whitman often used as a sexual code" and suggests that the two might have been lovers. Regardless of this fact, Stansell notes that Clapp was a "champion and friend" of Whitman; "a much needed ally at that time...when almost the whole press of America when it mentioned me at all treated me with derision or worse," and also, "Henry Clapp stepped out of the crowd of hooters" (119). Clapp was 44 and Whitman 39 when they met, and they "shared a general affiliation to radical reform." Clapp was born in Nantucket and had worked as an abolitionist lecturer in the 1830s, edited a temperance newsletter, and worked as the secretary to Albert Brisbane, the American Fourierist. Stansell notes that Clapp's political positions seem harder to gauge in the 1850s, as he separated his political and literary works, but notes that he attended a "star-studded convention of radicals in Rutland, Vermont" in the late 1850s -- "a gathering of spiritualists, free-thinkers, advocates of women's rights and free love, and abolitionists" (119). Stansell writes that "more salient...to Clapp's friendship with Whitman was his involvement in free love circles" and notes that he was arrested in a police raid in 1855, during a meeting of the New York Free Love League, "a discussion group of men and women presided over by the anarchist and sex radical Stephen Pearl Andrews." According to Stansell, Clapp was a prominent member of this group and spoke for them both the night of their arrest and at their trial (119-120). Stansell writes, however, that "By the time Whitman met him...Clapp sought a more protean oppositional identity than radical reform offered. He impressed others as a bohemian genius who set his entire existence against the forces of convention" (120).
Stansell discusses Howells's visit in detail, focusing on Howells's interactions with Clapp when he visited the Saturday Press (120). According to Stansell, "Howells' mistake was to be from Boston. We can view the entire account of his meeting with Clapp as materializing from his decades-long battle against the ascendancy of New York over his beloved Boston as literary capital of the country. Howells was both drawn to the literary dynamism of New York and repelled by it, and he preserved until the end of his life a nostalgia for the well-bred Boston literary elite which had enfolded him in their circle when he first migrated to the city from the Midwest in 1861. For Howells, Clapp's 'bad' qualities were inseparable from his New-York-ness: 'he embodied the new literary life of that city.' And at the heart of that life was a contempt for Boston, 'a bitterness against Boston as great as the bitterness against respectability'" (120-121).
According to Stansell, during the 1850's, the publishers and writers of New York "were just beginning to take advantage of the possibilities the new markets offered for a publishing business free of the dominance of the Boston critics and publishers. Clapp was a leader in this process, and Whitman would in some ways be its first great success. Clapp's prescience lay in his comprehension of how publicity and celebrity could, within a changing literary market, obviate the need for critical and moral approval. Whitman seemed to have something of this in mind when he noted that Clapp was the writers' avant-garde, 'our pioneer, breaking ground before the public was ready to settle.' At a moment whne some gentleman writers still shied away from advertising their books, Clapp fully grasped the democratizing features of the market. 'It is a fundamental principle in political economy,' he instructed Whitman in 1860, 'that everything succeeds if money enough is spent on it'" (121-122).[pages:108-10,114,117,119-23]
According to Starr, "Regularly toward nightfall, Pfaff escorted any unwary patrons who were sitting in the vault to some other part of his restaurant, Henry Clapp, Jr., took his seat at the head of the table, the initiates appeared, and presently, in Whitman's words, 'there was as good talk around that table as took place anywhere in the world'" (4). Starr writes that it had been about five years since "the bright-eyed, witty Clapp" had returned from Paris, where he had become "infatuated" with Henri Murger's Scenes de la Vie de Boheme and "set himself up here as 'the King of Bohemia.'" Starr continues, "No one, to judge from substantial evidence, was quite sure what Bohemia was all about, but the movement, if anything, was stronger than ever. 'The New Theory of Bohemia' was warmly discussed in the current Knickerbocker, and the New York Illustrated News of February 23, 1861, had a starry-eye piece on the Pfaffians -- 'free-thinkers and free-lovers, and jolly companions well met, who make symposia, which for wit, for frolic, and now and then for real intellectual brilliance, are not to be found in any house within the golden circles of Fifth Avenue'" (4).
As an example of his claim that "The wit and frolic, at least, were beyond cavil," Starr cites the following exchange: "Charles F. Browne ('Artemus Ward') read a telegram from a California lecture bureau: 'What will you take for forty nights?' Clapp sang out: 'Brandy and soda, tell them,' an answer that endeared Browne to the West Coast" (4).
Clapp and Bohemianism were attractive to antebellum reporters, Starr claims: "So it was that, as 'tails' of a coinage stamped withteh names of the great opinion-makers, reporters in the metropolis of journalism were of sufficiently low estate to find in Clapp's Bohemia a certain rationale, and tehy embraced it with such fervor that the term 'Bohemian' would cling to them long after Clapp and his movement were forgotten" (7).
Of the advances made by several papers in their printing processes, Clapp said: "The daily papers have taken to boasting that everything they print is stereotyped; we thought this fact had been patent from the beginning" (31).[pages:4,7,31,62]
Called the "Prince of Bohmemia." Stovall discusses Clapp's publication of Whitman's poetry in The Saturday Press and his "Bohemian fraternity."[pages:4-5, 6, 7,8,14, 37(n), 226]
The writer refers to the "king of Bohemia" without directly referencing Clapp by name. The writer specifically mentions Clapp's tragic end, stating, "[t]he old king of Bohemia died a pauper, a half-dozen years ago, and some of his old subjects passed the hat around among the trim young journalists, who had never known him, and collected enough to put a head-stone over his grave" (469).[pages:469]
Whitman recalls his loyalty during early days of Leaves of Grass. Clapp and The Saturday Press were much needed allies.[pages:98-99]
Twain claims that Artemus Ward gave Clapp the Jumping Frog story as a "present," and "Clapp put it in his Saturday Press, and it killed that paper with a suddenness that was beyond praise" (450).[pages:450]
"He had the greatest sort of contempt for any writer who would use a word of two or more syllables when the same meaning could be conveyed in one syllable. This man's name was Henry Clapp, Jr. He believed it to be his destiny to establish a new sort of literature in New York, something that would become national, and that would cut off from all newspaper and magazine articles the long Norman words, and keep all utterances confined to the short, expressive Saxon. With this object in view he drew around him many of the promising literary men of the day. Pfaff's restaurant on Broadway, a few doors east of where it now is, near the Grand Central Hotel, was selected as the headquarters where the genial company met and very soon the 'Pfaff's' had a national reputation[...]" (162).[pages:162, 166]
Watson lists Henry Clapp as an editor of Vanity Fair (521).[pages:521]
Whitman records in his journal on August 16 that he met with Charles Pfaff for an excellent breakfast at his restaurant on 24th Street. "Our host himself, an old friend of mine, quickly appear'd on the scene to welcome me and bring up the news, and, first opening a big fat bottle of the best wine in the cellar, talk about ante-bellum times, '59 and '60, and the jovial suppers at his then Broadway place, near Bleecker street. Ah, the friends and names and frequenters, those times, that place. Most are dead—Ada Clare, Wilkins, Daisy Sheppard, O'Brien, Henry Clapp, Stnaley, Mullin, Wood, Brougham, Arnold—all gone. And there Pfaff and I, sitting opposite each other at the little table, gave rememberance to them in a style they would have themselves fully confirm'd, namely, big, brimming, fill'd-up champagne-glasses, drain'd in abstracted silence, very leisurely, to the last drop."[pages:5:21]
The letter is addressed to Henry Clapp, Jr.[pages:55]
Whitman has met with Henry Clapp in Broadway.[pages:328]
Whitman mentions running into Henry Clapp on Broadway.[pages:328]
Whitman mentions chatting with Clapp at Pfaff's over some lager.[pages:339]
Winter recalls having been in New York only a few days before he was hired by Clapp as a sub-editor of "The Saturday Press." Winter states that Clapp started the paper in 1858, "that, all along, had led, and was leading, a precarious existance; and with that paper I remained associated until its suspension, in December, 1860" (57). Winter gives the precise date for the beginning of the "Saturday Press" as October 29, 1858; according to Winter, Clapp began the paper with Edward Howland (66).
Winter states, "Clapp was an original character. We called him 'The Oldest Man.' His age was unknown to us. He seemed to be very old, but, as afterward I ascertained, he was then only forty-six. In appearance he was remotely suggestive of the portrait of Voltaire. He was a man of slight, seemingly fragile but really wiry figure; bearded; gray; with keen, light blue eyes, a haggard visage, a vivacious manner, and a thin, incisive voice [...] He was brilliant and buoyant in mind; impatient of the commonplace; intolerant of smug, ponderous, empty, obstructive respectability; prone to sarcasm; and he had for so long a time live in a continuous, bitter conflict with conventionality that he had become reckless of public opinion. His delight was to shock the commonplace mind and to sting the hide of the Pharisee with the barb of satire" (57-58).
Winter states that "at the time of our first meeting I knew very little of his mercurial character and vicissitudinous career, but with both of them I presently became acquainted" (58).
Winter mentions Clapp's long residence in Paris and states that "indeed, in his temperment, his mental constitution, and his conduct of life, he was more Frenchman than American" (58).
According to Winter, Clapp "had met with crosses, disappointment, and sorrow, and he was wayward and erratic; but he possessed both the faculty of taste and the instinctive love of beauty, and, essentially, he was the apostle of freedom of thought" (58-59).
Clapp was born in Nantucket, November 11, 1814. In his early adulthood, he was associated with the church, the temperance movement, he was an anti-slavery activist under Nathaniel P. Rogers of New Hampshire, "a man of brilliant ability, now forgotten, to whom he was devotedly attached, and whose name, in later years, he often mentioned to me, and always with affectionate admiration." Clapp's early writing career was based in New England, where he published early journalism essays in New Bedford and he edited a paper in Lynn, Mass., during which time he was also jailed for his aggressive pro-temperance editorial stance. According to Winter, Clapp's "views, on almost all subjects, were of a radical kind, and, accordingly, he excited venemous antagonism." Winter also mentions Clapp's in Fourierism and his assisting Brisbane in translating "The Social Destiny of Man." "His career, when I was first associated with him, had been, in material results, more or less, a failure, as all careers are, or are likely to be, that inveterately run counter to the tide of mediocrity. Such as he was, -- withered, bitter, grotesque, seemingly ancient, a good fighter, a kind heart, -- he was the Prince of our Bohemian circle" (59-60).
Clapp "delighted in the satire" of the "Figureheads" of his day (61). Winter discusses some of Clapp's targets and the expected dislike for some of his satires. After the first failure of the "Saturday Press," Clapp wrote for "The New York Leader," then edited by John Clancy and Chareles G. Halpine (Miles O'Reilly). In about 1866 or 1867, Clapp brought back the "Saturday Press" with the announcement "This paper was stopped in 1860, for want of means: it is now started again for the same reason" (61-62).
Of Clapp's later years, Winter says that "Over his signature, 'Figaro,' the vivacious old Bohemian, for several years, writing about the Stage, afforded amusement to the town; but gradually he drifted into penury, and, although help was not denied to him, he died in destitution, April 2, 1875: and I remember that, after his death, his name was airily traduced by persons who had never manifested even a tithe of his aiblity or accomplished anything comparable with the service which, not withstanding his faults and errors, he had rendered to literature and art" (63-63).
Winter claims that Fitz-James O'Brien's story, "The Wondersmith" was inspired by an anecdote that Clapp told in O'Brien and Winter's presence. Clapp's story follows: "'Once, while I was working for Albert Brisbane' (so, in substance, said the Prince of Bohemia), 'I had to read to him, one evening, many pages of a translation I had made, for his use, of Fourier's book on the Social Destiny of Man. He was closely attentive and seemed to be deeply interested; but, after a time, I heard a slight snore, and looking at him, in profile, I saw that he was sound asleep--and yet the eye that I could see was wide open. The and thus I ascertained, somewhat to my surprise, that he had a glass eye'" (69).
"His grave is in a little cemetary at Nantucket. His epitaph,--written by me, at the request of a few friends, but not approved by a near relative then living, and therefore not inscribed over his ashes, contains these lines:
Wit stops to grieve and Laughter stops to sigh
That so much wit and laughter e'er could die;
But Pity, conscious of its anguish past,
Is glad this tortur'd spirit rests at last.
His purpose, thought, and goodness ran to waste,
He made a happiness he could not taste:
Mirth could not help him, talent could not save:
Through cloud and storm he drifted to the grave.
Ah, give his memory,--who made the cheer,
And gave so many smiles,--a single tear!" (63).
Winter includes "One of Henry Clapp's grim witticisms on that subject [O'Brien receiving the military appointment initially intended for Aldrich]: 'Aldrich, I see,' he said, 'has been shot in O'Brien's shoulder.'" Winter qualifies this by stating that "The old cynic did not like either of them" (77).
He is listed by Winter as one of the Bohemians who frequented Pfaff's Cave (88).
In discussing the true nature of Bohemia and celebrations at Pfaff's Cave in response to Howells's recollection of the "orgy" he witnessed, Winter discusses a birthday celebration for Clapp in which Whitman was called upon to give the toast: "I have regretted the absence of Mr. Howells from a casual festival which occurred in Pfaff's Cave, much about the time of his advent there, when the lads (those tremendous revellers!) drank each a glass of beer in honor of the birthday of Henry Clapp, and when he might, for once, have felt the ravishing charm of Walt Whitman's clossal eloquence. It fell to the lot of that Great Bard, I remember, to propose the health of the Prince of Bohemia, which he did in the following marvellous words: 'That's the feller!" It was my privilege to hear that thrilling deliverance, and to admire and applaud that superb orator. Such amazing emanations of intellect seldom occur, and it seems indeed a pity that this one should not have had Mr. Howells to embroider it with his ingenious fancy and embalm it in the amber of his veracious rhetoric" (91-92).
Aldrich writes in a letter to Winter that Clapp, Arnold, and possibly Winter were in attendance for a dinner at Delmonico's thrown by O'Brien using $35.00 borrowed from Aldrich. Aldrich was not invited (101).
Winter reiterates that Clapp and Howland began "The Saturday Press" on Spruce Street in 1858. Aldrich was briefly associated with Clapp and writing in that paper. Winter contributed poems to the paper, such as "Orgia" before he was hired as a reviewer and sub-editor. Winter states that this began his "Bohemian life" (137).
Winter mentions that Clapp had made the acquaintance of Stoddard and that Stoddard sometimes contributed to "Saturday Press." Stoddard "had difficulty, not unusual, in obtaining payment; for the resources of the paper were so slight that its continuance, from week to week, was a marvel. One day Clapp and I, having locked the doors of the 'Press' office, in order to prevent the probable access of creditors, were engaged in serious and rather melancholy conference as to the obtainment of money with which to pay the printer, when suddenly there came a loud, impatient knocking upon the outer door, and my senior, by a warning gesture, enjoined silence. The sound of a grumbling voice was then audible, and, after a while, the sound of footsteps retreating down the stairs. For several minutes Clapp did not speak but continued to smoke and listen, looking at me with a serious aspect. Then, removing the pipe from his lips, he softly murmered, ''Twas the voice of the Stoddard--I heard him complain!'" (293-294).
Winter identifies which writers were specifically associated with Clapp and Bohemia and which writers have been mistaken as Bohemians and, in some cases, were adverse to the lifestyle (295).
In a discussion of William North, Winter calls upon information he received from Clapp: "Henry Clapp, who knew him well, told me that it was one of North's peculiarities that, in whatever room he chanced to be, at night, he could not bear to have the door stand open, even an inch: yet the door of the room in which he died was found to be standing ajar by persons who, at morning, discovered the corpse" (316-317).
Winter reprints a letter from Aldrich, that includes a "playful allusion to an old associate of ours, long since passed away--Henry Clapp, editor and publisher of 'The Saturday Press.'" Aldrich wrote Winter when Winter returned, in 1895, a copy of Aldrich's "The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth," that had been sent to Clapp in the form of a presentation copy from Aldrich. Winter states that he returned this copy becasue Aldrich "preferred to suppress the work as an immature production." Aldrich writes: "My long-forgotten little book, which you were so good to send to me, is much more unsubstantial and ghostly than the slightest of your 'Shadows,'--for they are of yesterday. How on earth did that particular copy fall into your hand? Did poor old Clapp express it to you C. O. D., by some supernatural messenger? The yellow pages have a strange, musty odor: Is that brimstone?" (375-376).[pages:56(ill.), 57-60, 61,62-69,77,88,91-92,101,137,293-294,295,316-317,375-376]
Called the "King" of the Bohemians. The history of how Pfaff's became the "favorite resort" of the Bohemians is described.[pages:1, 2, 65, 92, 124-126, 128, 129, 166, 168, 174, 181, 192, 247]
Clapp became Whitman's champion for a while. Clapp's influence helped make Whitman known and "located him on the margin of literary respectability." Clapp published reviews of Whitman's work and "nursed controversies and kept Whitman in the public eye as a radical new voice."
Clapp edited The Saturday Press until it ran out of money.[pages:263,310,314,322,325]
The Vault at Pfaff's
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015