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Obituary: Henry Clapp

"Obituary: Henry Clapp." The New-York Times. 11 Apr. 1875: 7.

Clapp's "Obituary" focuses largely on Pfaff's associations during the height of the Bohemian era at Pfaff's. After a discussion of Clapp's professional life, the "Obituary" talks about the group that often gathered at Pfaff's and highlights the fact that the majority of this group has passed away.

People Mentioned in this Work

Arnold, George [pages:7]

Arnold is described as a "poet of fame" who wrote as "McArone" for Vanity Fair. He was a regular at Pfaff's and had pre-deceased Clapp.

Clapp, Henry [pages:7]

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.

Clare, Ada [pages:7]

The "Obituary" states that Clare was "everywhere known as the 'Queen of Bohemia'" during the days of Pfaff's. The "Obituary" also mentions that "after an eventful life, in which she made some fair attempts as an actress, she married a Texan theatrical manager, and died in this City recently from hydrophobia communicated by a pet dog."

Danforth, Jennie [pages:7]

She is described as a regular at Pfaff's and "a wild, impulsive, Western woman." At the time of Clapp's death, she is also dead.

Fox, Mary [pages:7]

She was a regular at Pfaff's. The "Obituary" states that she is "not at all dead" and "is frequently heard of as 'M. H. B.' the correspondent of the St. Louis Republican."

Gay, Getty [pages:7]

She was a regualar at Pfaff's and described as "a talented bit of womanhood." According to the "Obituary" she "died long ago."

Hall, Abraham [pages:7]

The Leader became Mayor Hall's paper after the death of John Clancy.

House, Edward [pages:7]

He is described as a regular at Pfaff's. At the time of Clapp's death, House is said to be in Japan, "an officer in the Educational Department of that Government."

Neill, Harry [pages:7]

Henry Neill is described as a "gifted Philadelphian" who visit Pfaff's. According to Clapp's "Obituary," he died "years ago."

O'Brien, Fitz-James [pages:7]

O'Brien is mentioned as one of Clapp's assistants at the Saturday Press. He is described as "the gifted poet, for the time, of Harper's Magazine, full of the enthusiasm of his Irish nature, and as brave and reckless as his people ususally are." He is described during his Pfaff's days as being "not much of a talker, but and excellent writer."

The "Obituary" also notes O'Brien's death in the "War of the Rebellion," claiming that he "served nobly" and "died without an enemy."

Ottarson, Franklin [pages:7]

He is mentioned as an occasional visitor of Pfaff's and described as "Frank Ottarson, who stirred up the Bohemians so savagely in the Round Table." At the time of Clapp's death, Ottarson "has become a Federal office-holder, and only occasionally dabbles in press writing."

The Saturday Press [pages:7]

The "Obituary" mentions that Clapp founded the Saturday Pres, "a weekly paper of remarkable brilliancy, that died - as many another journal has done - before it was able to walk alone" about fifteen years ago.

Seymour, Charles [pages:7]

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."

Shaw, Dora [pages:7]

She was a regular at Pfaff's. The "Obituary" states that her "unsuccessful dramatic career and claim to the authorship of 'Beautiful Snow' will be remembered." The "Obituary" seems to indicate that she is also deceased.

Stephens, William [pages:7]

The "Obituary" mentions that "when the Saturday Press went the way of all journals that are too smart to live, Mr. Clapp, with Mr. Stevens and others, started the best imitation of Punch that we have had in this country-- Vanity Fair . Around this nucleus gathered the circle so widely known as 'The Bohemians,' of whom Mr. Clapp was the head and exponent."

Thomson, Mortimer [pages:7]

At the time of Clapp's death "'Doesticks' Thomson is in the land of the living, and bids fair to take the belt of the fat men's club."

Whitman, Walt [pages:7]

The "Obituary" mentions that "Leaves of Grass" "shocked and attracted critics." At the time of Clapp's death, Whitman "is, or has recently been, an invalid, and save now and then a characteristic screed, he is unheard of."

Wilkins, Edward (Ned) [pages:7]

The "Obituary" names him as Clapp's chief assistant at the Saturday Press. Wilkins wrote "a series of free dramatic and musical criticisms that were much too independent for the Herald under the pen name "Personne" in the Saturday Press. Wilkins was the dramatic critic for the Herald.

Clapp and Wilkins are cited as the "organizers" of the "much wondered at, admired, and sought after" group of Bohemians.

Wilkins is mentioned as being the first Bohemian that passed away. He is described as "a very quiet Yankee, but a well informed and trusty wit."

Winter, William [pages:7]

He is described as a regular at Pfaff's. At the time of Clapp's death, "the demure and silent Willie Winter is still a journalist on a New-York daily."

Wood, Frank [pages:7]

He is described as a regular at Pfaff's who has also passed away. Wood is described as "the invalid cynic Frank Wood -- too bright, if not too beautiful, to last."