elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

A. Piatt Andrew & Henry Davis Sleeper

Abram Piatt Andrew, Jr. (February 12, 1873 – June 3, 1936) was an economist, an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, the founder and director of the American Ambulance Field Service during World War I, and a United States Representative from Massachusetts. A lifelong bachelor, some sources state that Andrew was in a relationship with his neighbor, interior designer Henry Davis Sleeper (1878-1934). Others state that the two were just friends.

He was born in La Porte, Indiana on February 12, 1873. He attended the public schools and the Lawrenceville School. He graduated from Princeton College in 1893, was a member of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences from 1893 to 1898, graduating with a Masters degree in 1895 and a doctorate in 1900. He later pursued postgraduate studies in the Universities of Halle, Berlin, and Paris.

He moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts, and was instructor and assistant professor of economics at Harvard University from 1900 to 1909. In January 1907 Andrew published a paper that anticipated the economic panic that hit in the fall of that year. On the strength of this paper as well as on his strong economics education, Andrew was selected to serve on the National Monetary Commission tasked with reforming the American banking system. Andrew took a leave from Harvard and spent two years studying the central banks of Germany, Britain and France. He served as Director of the Mint in 1909 and 1910, and as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during 1910-1912. He attended the historic meeting at Jekyll Island in 1910 with commission chairman Nelson Aldrich, Henry Davison, Benjamin Strong, Paul Warburg, and Frank Vanderlip. The commission's report recommended the creation of the Federal Reserve System.

Henry Davis Sleeper was a noted antiquarian, collector, and interior decorator. The Harvard economist A. Piatt Andrew who had built a handsome summer mansion, Red Roof, on a rock ledge above the harbor, introduced Henry Sleeper to the Eastern Point in Gloucester, Massachusetts in the spring of 1906. Sleeper was much taken by the location and immediately decided to build a little further along the ledge from Red Roof. Construction of Beauport, Sleeper's relatively modestly scaled Arts and Crafts-style house began in the fall of 1907 and was sufficiently finished to receive A. Piatt Andrew as a houseguest in May 1908.

The Republicans lost the White House in 1912, and Andrew, unmarried and out of a job, went to France when war broke out in the summer of 1914. He wrote his parents about his compulsion to respond to "the possibility of having even an infinitesimal part in one of the greatest events in all history--...and above all the chance of doing the little all that one can for France."

Andrew drove an ambulance in the Dunkirk sector for a few weeks, but his supervisor at the American Military Hospital recognized his exceptional energy and organizing ability. Robert Bacon created a new position for him to fill: Inspector General of the American Ambulance Field Service. In his official capacity, Andrew toured the ambulance sections of Northern France and learned that the American volunteers were bored with so called "jitney work," transporting wounded soldiers from railheads to hospitals, far back from the front lines. French army policy prohibited foreign nationals from traveling into battle zones.

In March 1915, Andrew met with Captain Aime Doumenc, head of the French Army Automobile Service and pled his case for the American volunteers. They desired above all, he said, "To pick up the wounded from the front lines…, to look danger squarely in the face; in a word, to mingle with the soldiers of France and to share their fate!" Doumenc agreed to a trial. The success of Andrew's Section Z was immediate and overwhelming. By April 15, 1915, the French created American Ambulance Field Service operating under French Army command.

Andrew headed the organization, soon shortened to American Field Service, throughout the war, though his role changed significantly when its ambulance sections were taken over by the United States Army in late summer 1917. Andrew established a domestic organization based in Boston to recruit young American drivers and to raise funds from wealthy donors. The stateside office was headed by Henry Davis Sleeper and assisted by Henry Hays Hammond and former ambulance driver, Leslie Buswell. The French office was located at number 21 rue Raynouard, Paris.

At the time of militarization, the American Field Service had formed thirty-four ambulance sections manned by 1,200 American volunteers. (A total of 2,100 volunteers had volunteered over the course of two years.) In addition the AFS had created fourteen camion sections with 800 additional American volunteers trucking supplies and soldiers up the Voie Sacree from Bar-le-Duc to Verdun and other routes to the Front.

The AFS motto was "Tous et tout pour France," everyone and everything for France. At an AFS reunion a few years after the war, Andrew said, "The opportunity of living in France, as we Americans lived during the first years of the war...meant glimpses of human nature shorn of self, exalted by love of country, singing and jesting in the midst of hardships, smiling at pain, unmindful even of death."

Andrew was elected as a Republican to the Sixty-seventh United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Willfred W. Lufkin; he was reelected to the Sixty-eighth and to the six succeeding Congresses and served from September 27, 1921, until his death.

He was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1924 and 1928. In 1924 he proposed a bonus for World War I veterans.

He was made an officer in the Legion of Honor in 1927.

He was a member of the board of trustees of Princeton University from 1932 to 1936.

He died on June 3, 1936 in Gloucester, Massachusetts at his home "Red Roof" from influenza.

The following day the United States House of Representatives adjourned at 2:55 p.m. to honor his death.

His remains were cremated and the ashes scattered from an airplane flying over his estate on Eastern Point in Gloucester.

In 1953 a bridge carrying Massachusetts Route 128 over the Annisquam River to the island section of Gloucester was named the "A. Piatt Andrew Bridge" in honor of his service as a Congressman.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Piatt_Andrew

A denizen of Beacon Street in the Back Bay, Charles Hammond Gibson (November 21, 1874 - November 17, 1954) was a minor poet and author. A frequent guest at Henry Davis Sleeper's estate, Beauport, he also regarded himself as a designer. For a time, he served as Boston Parks commissioner and was responsible for the architecture of the Beaux Arts-style "comfort station" on the Boston Common. His own home has been preserved as a shrine to late-Victorian taste and style. Gibson, who employed a series of young working-class men as his live-in servants, was said to have upset his prudish neighbors by appearing about the neighborhood in silk pajamas. (P: Charles Hammond Gibson (seated at the desk) with author John P. Marquand)

The Gibson House Museum is an historic house museum located at 137 Beacon Street in the Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts. It preserves the 1860 building occupied by three generations of the Gibson family.

The widowed Catherine Hammond Gibson purchased the newly filled in land for $3,696 in 1859 in order to move away from Beacon Hill. Edward Clarke Cabot designed the building which was finished by 1860 in the Italian Renaissance style with an exterior of brownstone and red brick. She passed it on to her son Charles Hammond Gibson.

Charles married Rosamond Warren in 1871 and brought her to live at number 137. Rosamond was from a very distinguished Boston family and after Catherine's death in 1888 redecorated the house with Japanese wallpapers.

After Charles Hammond Gibson, Jr., Catherine Hammond Gibson's grandson died in 1954, the house became a museum in 1957, and in 2001 was declared a National Historic Landmark. The Gibson House's landmark status is due to its claim that it is the only Victorian era row house in Boston's Back Bay to maintain the integral relationship between the exterior architectural shell and the original interior plan, with its accompanying decorative schemes. Its interior is a composite of family furnishings and pieces added to make it more complete.

The museum is not well known and runs on a $100,000 yearly budget.

Source: www.historyproject.org/exhibits/public_faces/23.php

Henry Davis Sleeper (March 27, 1878 - September 22, 1934) was a nationally-noted antiquarian, collector, and interior decorator. He was born March 27, 1878, in Boston to Major Jacob Henry Sleeper, a distinguished Civil War veteran and Maria Westcott Sleeper, their youngest son after Jacob and Stephen. He was grandson of Jacob Sleeper, one of the founders of Boston University as well as a clothier and manager of a real estate trust. Henry's education appears to have been by private tutors due to ill health as a child. No record of formal higher education has come to light.

Henry Sleeper was introduced to the Eastern Point in Gloucester, Massachusetts in the spring of 1906 by the Harvard economist A. Piatt Andrew who had built a handsome summer mansion, Red Roof, on a rock ledge above the harbor. Sleeper was much taken by the location and immediately decided to build a little further along the ledge from Red Roof. Eastern Point was an enclave occupied by a somewhat louche group of "Bohemian" artists and intellectuals with frequent visits from some of the more colorful and unconventional members of Boston Society, in particular Isabella Stewart Gardner, the legendary art collector and builder of Fenway Court in the Back Bay Fens, now the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The group became known as Dabsville, DABS containing the initials of the core members .

Construction of Beauport, Sleeper's relatively modestly scaled Arts and Crafts-style house began in the fall of 1907 and was sufficiently finished to receive A. Piatt Andrew as a house guest in May 1908. As property flanking Sleeper's became available, Beauport was expanded several times until 1925, often in response to events or important experiences in his life. The house was now not only a home but a major showcase for Sleeper's interior design and decoration business. Clients could choose wallpapers, window treatments, or entire rooms to have reproduced in their own houses. Sleeper had a specialty in "Puritan Revival," the Jacobean-American architecture and decorative arts of the original American colonies, but his tastes and interests included French decor of several centuries and a great deal of orientalia.

Sleeper became the U.S. Representative, and a major fundraiser for the American Field Service, an ambulance corps founded by A. Piatt Andrew early during World War I. While Andrew served in the battle zones, Sleeper criss crossed the Atlantic with supplies and funds, and worked closely with the French Military. France awarded him the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor.

After the War, Sleeper's practice expanded and he won national recognition via prestigious periodicals and several high-visibility clients. Isabella Stewart Gardner commissioned work from him; Henry Francis du Pont engaged his assistance with the big new wing of the family's massive Delaware house, Winterthur, now a famed museum of American decorative arts; he designed for Hollywood stars Joan Crawford and Fredric March. In May 1934 he was granted an Honorary Membership in the American Institute of Architects.

Henry Davis Sleeper died in Massachusetts General Hospital of leukemia on September 22, 1934 and is buried in his family's plot in Mount Auburn Cemetery located in Watertown and Cambridge, Massachusetts. A. Piatt Andrew wrote the memorial tribute published in the Gloucester Daily Times.

A gay man, some source say that Sleeper was in a relationship with Andrew. Others state that the two were just friends-

Sleeper had never married and left no direct descendants. Beauport passed to his brother Stephen whose real estate income was unequal to Henry's debts. Beauport was sold to Helena Woolworth McCann who was contacted by Henry Francis Du Pont urging that Sleeper's rooms remain exactly as they were as the value of the house and its collection of art objects depended primarily on their being left unchanged. Mrs McCann preserved the house as it was; at her death, the house was inherited by her daughters from whose hands it passed into the care of Historic New England in 1942.

Henry Davis Sleeper was sufficiently prominent that Beauport, Sleeper-McCann House, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2003.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Davis_Sleeper

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher

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