The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Saturday, January 10, 2004
And the feisty Mrs Sinclair...
...deserves a snippet of her own.
Sinclair is (having read half the book) discreet about his womenfolk. His first marriage, to one Meta H. Fuller, did not work out (he does not mention her name).
But he had better luck with his second, the Mississippian Mary Craig Kimbrough , who sounds as if she was quite the handful, but lasted him nearly fifty years.
There's a sentimental piece at the end of Chapter XVI on Kimbrough and her Daddy; and, in Chapter XXIV, an instructive piece of observation un-anachronised (as surely it would in retelling) by Sinclair's modern pinko equivalents:
There is a picket in support of the striking Colorado miners outside the Rockefeller offices at 26 Broadway. Sinclair and others are duly arrested and carted off to the cop-shop, and thence
to the Tombs prison, where the ladies sang the Marseillaise...
The picketers were fined, and, needless to say, refused to pay the fine.
Meanwhile, Mrs S, after dealing with a mother (one senses a touch of the Scarlett O'Hara bolshiness running in the family!) who had shlepped all the way from the Magnolia State to get her baby out of jail (another AP fairy-tale!), took her place on the picket-line. Sinclair says
I was amused to observe that the police did not arrest her, nor did the newspapers ridicule her. Was it because she was a woman? No, for I have seen the police beat and club women doing picket-duty--working-women, you understand....No, it was not because my wife was a woman; it was because she was a "lady." It was because in the files of the New York newspapers there reposed a clipping recording the fact that her father was "one of the wealthiest men in this section and controls large banking interests."
Contrast this portrait with the ignorance and anachronism that characterised the debate before Christmas on the liaison between Strom Thurmond and Carrie Butler that resulted in the birth of Essie Mae Washington: how impossible to accommodate in the narrow schemata of the grievance-meisters a daughter of the South who supports both Jim Crow and striking miners!
free website counter