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Relationships of Winter, William

To explore the relationships between the various bohemian writers and artists who frequented Pfaff's bar, select a person or group, and then select a relationship type. This section of the site is currently under construction; new content is being added on a regular basis.

Displaying 1 - 55 of 55

Briggs, Charles Frederick (1804-1877)

Clapp, Henry Jr. (1814-1875)

The author describes Winter as one of Henry Clapp's associates at Pfaff's when it was "a famous resort back in the fifties."

Winter is credited with contributing towards a granite monument for Clapp's grave site and with writing the inscription and epitaph for the monument itself.

Upon Henry Clapp's death, Winter wrote a touching epitaph. However, since the lines were not approved by his only living relative, they were not ascribed on his gravestone.

Winter said that in temperament and mentality Clapp was really more of a Frenchman than an American; he even compared him to Voltaire, in looks, at least.

Clare, Ada (1836-1874)

After Clare died, Winter wrote a short obituary and poem. Winter was also on the coroner's jury that investigated Clare's death (15-16).

Winter wrote of his relationship to Ada Clare: "A brother's place in that fond breast was mine to hold" (36).

Congdon, Charles Taber (1821-1891)

Winter writes about Congdon briefly in his book, noting how his journalistic career began modestly at the Atlantis before he wrote for the esteemed Tribune.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1803-1882)

Winter remembers Emerson as one of the literary authorities during his early days as a poet and writer in Boston and Cambridge.

Gardette, Charles Desmarais (1830-1884)

Heron, Matilda (1830-1877)

Winter remembers meeting Heron and calls her a "beautiful actress."

Seymour, Charles Bailey (1829-1869)

Winter met Seymour when Seymour was the paper's musical and dramatic reviewer (310).

Stoddard, Richard Henry (1825-1903)

Mott quotes an anecdote by William Winter in which Winter locked the doors of the Press office to hide from Stoddard when he came by to collect payment for a poem that Clapp had published (39).

Winter talks about Stoddard's poetic tendencies that he had told him about (155-6).

Winter went to the Stoddards at least on one occasion because he said he met Bayard Taylor there (177).

Winter recalls a time when he and Clapp were in the Press offices and Stoddard came to receive his payment for a piece that was published, and Clapp and Winter pretended they weren't there so they wouldn't have to pay him because the Press was having financial problems at the time (294).

Taylor, Bayard (1825-1878)

Winter reprints a letter Taylor wrote him on the subject of the book dated October 8, 1872, from Goatha. In this letter Taylor thanks Winter for sending him copies of the New York papers and mentions that he hopes Winter does not mind that Taylor parodied his writing. Taylor also discusses his European travels and asks after Winter and other New York friends. Taylor speaks of his return and asks Winter to write him with "all the gossip, literary and otherwise" (161-164).

Winter notes that at one point in time, he and Taylor lived almost across the street from each other, on East Eighteenth Street, in New York, and worked together at "The New York Tribune," so they met often and exchanged notes when they could not meet (167-8).

Winter also recalls that his first meeting with Taylor was at the Stoddards' home at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Tenth Street, in New York, where they would often gather their friends: "there I have seen Taylor, as also at his own fireside and at mine, the incarnation of joviality and the soul of mirth" (177).

Ward, Artemus (1834-1867)

Winter recalls meeting him for the first time in the autumn of 1860, when Browne came from the West to New York to write for and eventually edit "Vanity Fair" (285).

Winter describes Ward (285-6).

Winter claims that "in the days of our intimacy I sometimes urged upon the attention of Artemus the importance of a serious purpose in humorous writings, especially commending to him an example of Thackeray. Those monitions of mine were always gravely accepted, but with a demure glance and a twinkle of the blue eyes that seemed to betoken more amusement than heed" (286-87).

Winter recounts a story about when he and Ward were staying at the Jones House together (287-8).

Wilkins, Edward (Ned) G. P. (1829-1861)

Winter met Wilkins when he was associated with "The New York Herald."


Butler, George H. (1840-1886)

Butler offered Winter an annual salary of $2,500 to drop an occasional good word about Fisk into the papers. Winter rejected the offer.

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

According to Lalor, Winter "felt an overt antipathy toward Whitman and Whitman reciprocated the rancor. Neither party ever outlined reasons for his feelings, but Winter's abiding faith in all things romantic and Whitman's grandiose self-esteem may have been the causes for the other's attitude" (135). Lalor cites the publication of a parody of Whitman's style by "little Willie" Winter as an example of Whitman's probable lack of control over what was published about him or Leaves of Grass in the Saturday Press. Lalor writes that Whitman "detested" Winter and "certainly would not have endorsed [his work] for publication" (141).

Winter was one of the men at Pfaff's who was quite willing to join in tormenting Walt Whitman over his Leaves of Grass.

Parry mentions that Winter and Stedman were among the Pfaffians who disliked Whitman and did not enjoy his presence at the saloon. Parry cites Whitman's "gross bigotry" and Winter's dislike of Whitman's birthday toast of "That's the feller!" for Clapp (39). Despite this, Parry writes that during the promotion of Leaves of Grass in the Saturday Press, "Even Willy Winter made a turn-about in his smoldering enmity for Walt and published in the Saturday Press of October 20, 1860, a serious poem in the Whitmanian style. Perhaps Clapp, implacable to wavering adherents in his own camp, ordered Willy to prove, in this fashion, his allegiance to him and Walt" (40).

Winter's harsh critique of Menken's performance in Mazeppa is attributed to her earlier friendship with Whitman, who Winter strongly disliked.


Aldrich, Thomas Bailey (1836-1907)

Aldrich's poetry is compared to Winter's: "Mr. Aldrich's dainty love-songs caught the popular ear before the sadder sighing of Mr. Winter's muse."

Winter claims of Aldrich, "No sweeter lyrical poet has appeared in America."

Booth, Edwin (1833-1893)

Winter was considered by Aldrich to be Booth's authentic biographer. Winter published a book on Booth called The Life and Art of Edwin Booth.

Clapp, Henry Jr. (1814-1875)

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."

Clare, Ada (1836-1874)

The article mentions that she, Ned Wilkins, "and the bucket of beer which Clapp used to carry into the office every afternoon" assisted Winter with the dramatic criticisms for the Saturday Press.

Heron, Matilda (1830-1877)

William Winter worked as tour manager for Heron in September/October of 1859.

House, Edward Howard (1836-1901)

Winter and House are both cited as dramatic critics for the New York press.

Jefferson, Joseph (1829-1905)

Winter complimented Jefferson's performance in Our American Cousin.

O'Brien, Fitz-James (1826-1862)

O'Brien was one of the assistant co-editors of The Saturday Press with Aldrich and Winter for the years 1858-1860 (29).

Taylor, Bayard (1825-1878)

Taylor and Winter worked together for some time at the Tribune (167-8).

Wilkins, Edward (Ned) G. P. (1829-1861)

Discusses how Wilkins and Winter worked together at the Saturday Press: "the days when he wrote the dramatic criticisms of the Press, assisted by Ned Wilkins, Ada Clare, and the bucket of beer which Clapp used to carry into the office every afternoon."


Aldrich, Thomas Bailey (1836-1907)

The author describes Winter as a member of Aldrich's "nearer circle of contemporaries" during his experience in the "Literary Bohemia" in New York.

Greenslet reprints some of Aldrich's letters to Winter (see pp. 29-30, 174-5)

Aldrich had a long friendship with William Winter and dedicated a poem to him in the Home Journal.

William Winter and Thomas Bailey Aldrich turned their backs upon Bohemianism and embraced standards of taste we call 'The Genteel Tradition'" (17).

In remembering his old friend, Winter reminisces about Aldrich's demeanor: "Aldrich, that fine genius [...] was, as ever, demure in his kindly satire and piquant in his spontaneous, playful wit" (124). Winter also describes their friendship as unproblematic and cites Aldrich's inscription on his collected works as proof of their mutual affection (133-136).

Arnold, George (1834-1865)

In his 1865 tribute to Fitz-James O'Brien ("O'Brien's Personal Characteristics"), George Arnold mentions that Will Winter visited him to tell him of the loss of another friend, Ned Wilkins.

Greenslet notes that "Handsome George Arnold's sincere and melodious verse was collected after his early death by Mr. Winter, in whose introduction we may read the story of his kindly, ineffective life"

from Jan. 16, 1866 column: Figaro mentions the "monument" to Arnold that will be erected in the form of Winter's book.

Winter describes him as "the most entirely beloved member" of the Bohemian group.

Booth, Edwin (1833-1893)

Brougham, John (1810-1880)

Winter refers to Brougham as his "old friend"(35). Winter eulogizes Brougham as "a pensive moralist, a poetic dreamer, a delicate, sensitive gentleman, as frank as a child, and as gentle as a woman" (144).

Curtis, George William (1824-1892)

Winter remarks that the two men were friends from the moment they met until the end of Curtis' life.

Daly, John Augustin (1838-1899)

The friendship between Daly and William Winter during the 1880s and 1890s caused people to question Winter's "critical integrity and earned him the nickname of 'Daly's house poet.'"

Eytinge, Solomon Jr. (1833-1905)

Winter is mentioned as one of the people Eytinge met at Bulfinch Place, or "the actors' Mecca," in Boston.

Upon Eytinge's death, Winter expresses sadness over the loss of his "old companion of many years."

O'Brien, Fitz-James (1826-1862)

Winter met Fitz-James O'Brien in 1859 and quickly formed a friendship with him: "Winter admired his frankness; the two men because friends and remained so until O'Brien was killed fighting in the North in 1862" (73).

Winter states, "Among those Bohemian comrades of mine,--all dead and gone now and mostly forgotten,--O'Brien was at once the most potential genius and the most original character. As I think of him I recall Byron's expressive figure, 'a wild bird and a wanderer'" (67).

Stedman, Edmund Clarence (1833-1908)

In a letter from William Winter to Stedman, dated May 1, 1863, Winter describes his social isolation: "I am, as I ever was, something of a black sheep and none of our friends care to acknowledge me socially" (79).

Winter writes that he knew Stedman as a poet before they met in 1862. Winter says that their acquaintance "speedily ripened into a friendship that was never marred, notwithstanding our variant opinions as to literary matters and our invariably frank and explicit criticism of one another as votaries of the Muse." Winter claims that they would not have had a true friendship if they had not been able to speak honestly to one another. Winter notes that Stedman knew several authors and does not know how he interacted and critiqued them, but writes that Stedman was always both honest and considerate with him (297-298).

Wallack, John Lester (1820-1888)