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Saunders, Charlie

Charlie Saunders may have been a member of the "Fred Gray Association," a group of young men at Pfaff's whom Ed Folsom and Ken Price characterize as "a loose confederation of young men who seemed anxious to explore new possibilities of male-male affection" (62). According to scholar Stephanie Blalock, member of the Fred Gray Associate often met at Pfaff's, in addition to other establishments located throughout New York City. Members of the group included Walt Whitman, Nat Bloom, and Frederick Schiller Gray (after whom the group may have been named), Nat Gray, Charles Kingsley, Hugo Fritsch, among a few others (50). Paul Zweig more definitively links Saunders to this group and the group to Pfaff's with his assertion that during 1860-1861 Whitman "was mostly at Pfaff's with the crowd of drinkers he would soon be writing to from Washington: Hugo Fritch, Nat Bloom, Charlie Saunders, and others" (325).