A former teacher, Charles Bailey Seymour moved from London to New York City in 1849. In New York, he began working as the dramatic and musical editor for the New York Times. In 1858, Seymour published the book Self-Made Men. The book, which won him a certain degree of fame, was "a collection of short biographies of British and American subjects that included [Henry] Clapp's old mentor, Elihu Burritt" (Lause 48). William Winter asserts that he "had the good fortune of friendly companionship" with him and describes Seymour as having "an especially attractive personality" (310).
Although it is unclear exactly when Seymour became associated with the Pfaffians, his connection to them has been identified by multiple sources. For example, A. L. Rawson counted Seymour among Ada Clare’s many friends, which suggests that he was part of the coterie of Bohemians who routinely gathered at her 42nd Street home (103). Tice Miller describes Seymour as a regular at Pfaff’s who likely worked with Henry Clapp during his brief stint at the Weekly Review (38), and other sources place him at the bar, which suggests that he was at least a curious visitor to the Cave (Browne 156, Literary 192). Seymour was also connected to Pfaff's through his friendship with William North. Seymour not only "broke the news to [Frank] Bellew that North had poisoned himself over a love affair," but he also served as the prominent defender of North's work after his death, according to Thomas Gunn (Lause 48; Gunn vol. 9, 78). The obituary of Henry Clapp also links Seymour to Pfaff's, including his name among a list of other individuals who were part of Clapp's bohemian coterie, though the authori argues that Seymour "was rather among the Bohemians than of them" (“Obituary” 7).
In addition to his stint as an editor at the New York TImes, Seymour edited the New York Weekly Review with Theodore Hagen for a few months in 1865 and served as a correspondent for the Times in 1867 at the World Exposition in Paris. Not long after his assignment in Paris, Charles Seymour died in Mary 1869 at the age of 38 (New York Times, May 6, 1869). William Winter remembered him saying "His temperament was sweet and his life was gentle. He was simple and sincere. He took his part in the everyday work of life, and he did his best to make it worthy" (312). While commenting on Seymour’s work at the Times, Winter notes that "Few writers have the equanimity and patience to use the critical faculty in a thoughtful, thorough, conscientious, impartial manner, and singers and actors are indeed fortunate who find themselves recognized in the press with an intelligent appreciation not less sympathetic and liberal than accurate and just" (310-311). Winter also observes that "Seymour was not content with appreciating artists for himself; he labored to interpret them to others. That service, fully performed, imparts a measure of permanence to those artistic achievements which, otherwise, are wholly ephemeral . . . That professional obligation Seymour always strove to meet, and therefore his writing was a benefit to his readers" (311-312).
Belphegor remarks that "C.B.S." "has about recovered from his late accident, and next week will resume his charge of the Feuilleton" (281).[pages:281]
Browne notes that at the time of his writing, Seymour is the dramatic critic at the Times.
He was part of the "fraternity" that met at Pfaff's resturant, that "had late suppers, and were brilliant with talk over beer and pipes for several years." Browne claims "Those were merry and famous nights, and many bright conceits and witticisms were discharged over the festive board" (156-7).[pages:156-157]
Umos discusses Charley Seymour's abilities with Greek (2).[pages:2]
Figaro alludes to the fact that C.B.S. has been writing the column in his absence (24).[pages:24]
Figaro thanks C.B.S. for keeping the column going in his absence (8).[pages:8]
Gunn mentions meeting Charles Seymour at the Lyceum: "One night, (Wednesday the 24th) at Brougham's benefit performance at the Lyceum, taking Mr Greatbatch with me. There I met Seymour, (alias Bailey) Banks, Carrol, Bunnel &c and a host of Lanternites" (95).
Gunn recounts meeting Seymour briefly on December 22: "To B & P's, to the Printing place; anon met Seymour, alias Bailey, the literary one, who told me of divers rascalities of his wood-pecking brother" (112).[pages:40, 46, 68, 75, 79, 90, 95, 112-113, 190, 201, 203-205, 217]
Gunn accuses Seymour of lying" "Nevertheless both Seymour, (alias Bailey) & O'Brien have industriously lied to that effect. And the former ridiculed, vilified and tattled of our Staten Island summer ramble, when I & Waud admitted him to our company. And O'Brien always 'carries loaded pistols' – (bah, – the coward!) since he was licked at Barton's theatre. And tis surmised that Seymour does the same."[pages:47, 207-208, 219]
Seymour is depicted and described in a newspaper clipping of cartoon engravings.[pages:5(ill.)]
Gunn explains that Charles Bailey Seymour changed his name due to the fact that his brother, John, did some knavery in England: "John Seymour begs and spunges [sic] on his brother to the extend of his endurance. It was this John who did some knavery in England which induced his brother to change his name from that of Bailey (perhaps as too suggestive) on coming to America."[pages:166]
Gunn comments on Seymour's dishonesty, "He is now theatrical critic on the Times "during Mr Seymour's absence" – which absence may be protractted [sic] for ever and a day, according to Welden's report. He says that there have been many inquiries after him, that he owes a great deal of borrowed money and lastly that he went off in debt to and with the wife of the German, his partner in the publication of "Our Musical Friend." They made money by the thing. Seymour alias Bailey, sailed for Hamburg. Does dishonesty run in families? when he encounters Cahill, which cousin shall be entitled to cast a stone at the other?"[pages:235-236]
In regards to North's suicide, Hamilton quotes Seymour's assessment that "[t]he cause of death was love, not poverty. He impressed that upon me the night before the catastrophe."[pages:42]
Seymour hailed from London. A former school teacher, he became a music and drama critic for the New York Times and attained fame in 1858 with his book Self-Made Men (48).
Seymour attended the Paris Exhibition in 1868, and died the following spring (116).[pages:41, 48, 49, 116]
Augustus Maverick uses Seymour's letter as evidence of O'Brien's plagiarism. He identifies Seymour as the literary executor of William North.
He is described as having "taken the road to dusty death."[pages:192]
A regular at Pfaff's. Seymour edited the New York Weekly Review, where Henry Clapp worked from January to July of 1865 (38).[pages:16, 38, 128]
Clapp's "Obituary," mentions that "readers of The Times will remember our genial dramatic and musical writer, Charles B. Seymour, who was rather among the Bohemians than of them."[pages:7]
Odell mentions a concert given in his memory June 12, 1869, with afternoon and evening performances at Steinway Hall. The concert appears to have been well cast with noted musicians.[pages:522]
Quelqu'un reports that the checked the Times for "the anesthetic Seymour's" review of Brougham's new piece at the Bowery (2).[pages:2]
A member of Clare's coterie of Bohemians.[pages:103]
Seymour was born in December 13, 1829, in London. He came to New York at the age of twenty and worked as a teacher. Seymour later became associated with the editorial staff of "The New York Times," which was started in 1850.
Winter met Seymour when Seymour was the paper's musical and dramatic reviewer (310).
Winter comments on Seymour's style of criticism: "[s]ome of the qualifications for such an office are learning, judgment, taste, sensibility, discernment, a kind heart, and the habit of incessant industry. Seymour possessed them and, during a period of fourteen years from 1855 to 1869, he recorded the movement of musical and dramatic art in New York, advocating right principles, fostering worthy endeavor, recognizing merit, and continuously exerting a good influence . . ." (311-12).
Winter describes Seymour's personality (312).
Of Seymour's writing, Winter says: "Continuity of effort in composition had made him an exceptionally facile writer, so that his pen never halted, and in emergencies he was neither dazed nor perplexed. His style was clear and terse, and a glow of spontaneous mirth often played along the silver threads of his thought." Winter notes that most of Seymour's newspaper writings have been lost(312).
Seymour had worked as a correspondent for "The New York Times" during the Paris Exposition, in 1868. Seymour was recognized for his services as a member of the American Commission by the Emperor of France, who presented him with a medal (312-313).
Seymour was a member of a New York group of artists and writers that existed before the Pfaff's Bohemians that also included Gayler, North, Bellew, Charles G. Rosenberg, Eytinge, and O'Brien. Winter was not a member of this group; all of its members are dead at the time of Winter's writing. Winter states, "That society, unlike the Pfaff's coterie, was, after a fortuitous fashion, organized, and it had a name,--the remarkable name of the Ornithorhyncus Club." The club was named after a Duck-Billed Platypus (308).
Winter notes that one "memorial" to Seymour that "remains in something like a permanent form is the "volume of biography that he wrote, called 'Self-Made Men,' published in 1858" (313).[pages:308,310-313]
The Vault at Pfaff's
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015