Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Etiquette and the Polite Protest

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Judith Martin (aka "Miss Manners") on Civil Disobedience and Politely Protesting

"A riot is the language of the unheard." 

 Martin Luther King, Jr.

Coretta Scott King, shaking hands with Mayor Robert Wagner of New York City, as Martin Luther King, Jr. stands smiling between them.

Martin Luther King Jr. was known for Peaceful Protests That Bolstered Civil Rights in America: Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. believed that nonviolent protest is the most effective weapon against a racist and unjust society. But it required rallying people to his cause. Here is one of the most revolutionary peaceful protests King led.

Lasting about two months in 1963, the Birmingham campaign was a strategic effort started by Dr. King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference to end discriminatory economic policies in the Alabamacity. Some of the protests included boycotting certain businesses that hired only white people or that had segregated restrooms.

When businesses refused to change their policies, protesters held sit-ins and marches, with the aim of getting arrested. King encouraged these nonviolent tactics so that the city’s jails would overflow. Police used high-pressure water hoses and dogs to control protesters, some of whom were children. By the end of the campaign, many segregation signs at Birmingham businesses came down, and public places became more open to all races.

Of the tactic used in the Birmingham campaign, King said, “The purpose of … direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.” ~From The Christian Science Monitor

"Miss Manners"
Protest, like every other human activity, requires etiquette. The saddest thing about using rude tactics is that they damage the causes for which they are used. Rather than the targets thinking that they are being shown a way in which the world would be improved, they focus on the immediate way in which they are being mistreated. These people may claim to want to make the world better, their victims conclude, but are actively making it worse.

Miss Manners would think it obvious that in order to persuade people about an issue of justice they had not considered, you must open their minds to your arguments. People who are humiliated shut down and turn defensive.

But when they see orderly picket lines or sit-ins, or hear speeches or read leaflets and articles by people who seem to be well-intentioned and reasonable, they just might stop to think. ~
"Miss Manners" is Judith Martin of the Washington Post

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator for Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, April 26, 2015

19th C. Mexican Etiquette and Dining

Home Life of the Mexican, of the 1880s

Depiction of Mexicans in daily life, in the late 1800s

Family Gathering of Our Southern Neighbors— Customs and Manners of the Table in Private and When There Are Guests

Correspondence of the Sacramento Record-Union
Zacatecas, Mexico, Dec. 1886—

I invite you to dine with me to-day, dear friends, à la Mexicana. As I am myself a guest, we must touch the subject tenderly, for, while the truth may be told at all times, we would abuse the generous hospitality shown us everywhere in Mexico by indulging in invidious comparisons.

In a spirit of mutual good feeling, then, remembering that customs of all lands differ and that a Mexican would probably find as much to object to in our methods as we in his, let us repair to the dining room. Generally the most welcome words that greet my ears are "Vamos a comer," ("let us go to dinner,") for in Mexico nobody breakfasts American fashion, but takes only a tiny cup of chocolate or coffee with a little loaf of Mexican bread, which resembles a badly "raised" breakfast biscuit, without butter or other accompaniment, immediately on arising. That is the desayuno or almuerzo.

Among the upper class the real breakfast is much like an American dinner, served in various courses, accompanied by wines, and generally occurs between 11 o'clock A. M. and 2 in the afternoon. As may be imagined, by that hour our wealthy Yankee appetites are "sharp set" enough to do justice to any menu, however unguessable a conundrum the ingredients of the dishes may be.

Unlike other rooms of the house the comedor (dining room) is often not even tiled with brick cemented, or floored at all; but its hard surface, though worn into hollows here and there, is carefully swept and kept as sweet, and clean as would not be possible with carpets in this insect breeding country. Of course there are houses, especially in the city of Mexico, where the dining room is a marvel of luxury, but we are speaking of that the average well-to-do Mexican, and of the casa, like thousands of its class, which has been my home for many months.

In Mexico carpets are a comparatively rare luxury in any part of the house— and very sensibly, for the tiled floors, or those of cement, tinted in soft colors and shining like marble, are much more beautiful and suited to the tropical climate.

The comedor of my temporary home opens into the sunny inner court, which at this time of the year is full of fruits and flowers. Being paved with rough stones, the court is raised a few inches above the level of the dining room, and therefore, when the brief torrents of rain come, which are common in this latitude, a small flood pours in and forms small lakes in the hollows made by much shoving about of chairs, which the servants make haste to bail out with plates. The one enormously wide window is, of course, barred on the outside, and its massive inner shutters—without slats, made exactly like those of a shop or barn—are never unclosed.
Grouping of "molinillos" or hot chocolate whisks.
This house, like many others in the interior of Mexico, has not a pane of glass anywhere; but its great windows, with their deep ledges and protecting bars, are charmingly quaint and picturesque—after you get used to the fashion so foreign to American ideas.

As there is no communicating passage between dining room and kitchen, the outer door of the former stands always hospitably open, both in Summer and Winter, for otherwise it would be as dark as a dungeon unless the shutters were unclosed, and in the latter case (the great window opening directly on the street) the leperos and other gamins would swarm around in such numbers that enjoyment of the meal would be impossible.

In rather incongruous contrast to the dirt floor is a handsome mahogany sideboard, with much glassware shining upon it, some distracting pieces of old blue china, and queer articles of Guadalajara pottery, in the line of the water jars, etc., which we long to possess. The corners of the room are adorned with washstands, with bowl and towel accompaniment, the convenience of which is by and by apparent, in lieu of finger-bowls.
The most distinguished guest is given the post of honor at the head of the table, other guests are seated at his right and left, and the host and hostess place themselves wherever it happens. When we enter there is nothing upon the table but a pile of plates, a heap of knives, forks, spoons, and a cluster of goblets— all at the foot of the table, where stands the head waiter. 

If this important fuctionary is a woman her head and shoulders are usually wrapped in her reboso (for she wears only a skirt and a chemise.) and the ends of the national long shawl have an uncomfortable habit of flopping into the soup and thence helping to flavor the whole bill of fare. If the waiter be a man, he of course wears no coat, but frequently the omnipresent zarape (native blanket) is thrown over his shoulders, and his precious sombrero is always upon his head, partially covering his flowing locks.
Young Mexican girl, circa 1890s
This midday meal, whether we call it breakfast or dinner, is such an exceedingly ceremonious affair as to necessitate a great number of plates to each person. There is little variation in the menu, one meal being nearly the exact counterpart of all others during the year.

As the servants emerge from among the roses of the courtyard bearing an ambrosia, we think of fairy tales and the "Arabian Nights"— only these errados do not much resemble orthodox fairies, nor is the food they bring like the ambrosia of our imagination.

First, broth is served in small china teacups, each cup covered with a hot tortilla (pancake) and is set upon a plate, which also holds a huge brass spoon.

Mexicans have a peculiar fondness for fat of all kinds, a passion for that species of red-chili peppers called "chili," and a settled belief that onions are as necessary to life and happiness as salt and sunshine; hence this broth—and every other dish for that matter—is always very greasy, very oniony, and burning with chili pepper. If there happens to be any ripe fruit in the house—notably grapes, figs or pomegranates—it is put into broth and eaten with it.

The other day I saw with delighted eyes some big yellow peaches being carried into the comedor, and went to dinner in happy anticipation of at last having something to eat like home food. But what do you suppose they did with those peaches? Actually sliced them, every one, with the greasy, garlicky broth!

The second course is always sopa— either vermicelli, rice, or macaroni— first boiled in water and then fried in oil, with much garlic and garnished with slices of green peppers. Sometimes stewed tomatoes are mixed with it, or goat's cheese is crumbled upon it, and the greasy mixture is eaten with a spoon.

Then comes the main dish of the meal, which never varies throughout the whole course of a Mexican natural life—the same at least once a day throughout the 365 days of every year— anolla podrida of boiled beef, mutton, sausage, chicken, pork, veal, cabbage, onions, small green apples or pears, with various tropical roots, seed bulbs, and vegetables not known at the North— all cooked together in one pot. It is served in a promiscuous heap on a big platter, and is eaten with chili sauce, to which red-hot coals would be a mild comparison. The amount of pepper which the smallest children here devour as easily as ours do candy, inclines to the belief that the Mexican "inner man" certainly must be copper-lined and double-plated.                       
Buying meat from the butcher.
The nearest approach to roast meat comes in the next course— a piece of pork or young goat, stuffed with spices, herbs, chili, and chopped onions, and "boiled down" in the pit 'til its surface is slightly browned. What we consider a roast is no more easily obtained in Mexican markets than beefsteaks. The cattle are the lankest of creature, and when killed their flesh is cut up into lumps and strips regardless of "grain," in a way that would strike an English butcher dumb. As there are a few stoves with ovens for roasting or gridirons for boiling, the meat is cut with especial reference to the pot or frying pan.

The boiled dish is followed by a variety of entrées, each in a separate course— such, for instance, as chili-con-carne— meat cut into bits, boiled in grease and seasoned with tomatoes and chili; large green peppers stuffed with chopped pork and onions, cheese and scrambled eggs; cheese or sour milk boiled with chili; the brains of a kid, to be scooped out of the boiled head and spread on one's tortilla, etc.

Invariably at every meal, in all Mexican households— high and low, rich and poor— the last dish before dessert is frejoles, small red beans. They are stewed soft, generally in oil, and to neglect to eat them after each meal is not only a breach of etiquette, but would be considered indubitable evidence of bad breeding. Some people pour molasses over their beans, while other prefer to mix crumbled cheese or curdled milk with them—but I think, reader mine, that you and I will take them "straight."

At intervals during the repast, tortillas are served smoking hot from the griddle. These little cakes, as before described, are merely boiled corn crushed into thick paste with a little water (without salt or soda,) and baked on a flat stone griddle. They are never brought in on plates, as we have pancakes, but the servant piles them into heaps on the table cloth near the host or hostess who, distribute them around the festive board with a dexterous toss, precisely as cards are dealt out in the innocent game of "casino."
Empress Charlotte, or "Carlota of Mexico," born Charlotte of Belgium (Marie Charlotte Amélie Augustine Victoire Clémentine Léopoldine; June 7, 1840 – January 19, 1927), was empress consort of the Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico

If bread is used it is laid on the table in the loaf, and if one desires a piece he carves it to suit himself. The wines are always of good quality, either imported or made from Mexican grapes, Spanish claret being the favorite home beverage. Beer is used, though not so commonly, generally Milwaukee or St. Louis lager.

After frejoles some sort of dulce (native sweatmeat) or fruits is served—but never anything like pie, cake or pudding, those indigestible Yankee devices being entirely unknown here—and the repast is concluded with small cups of strong, bitter, black, Mexican coffee— which there is none better in the world.

Afterward, and sometimes at intervals during the meal, the gentlemen of the family— and not infrequently the ladies also—settle back gracefully in their chairs and smoke a cigarette or two.

These tiny Mexican cigarettes that the ladies generally use are not at all like the strong smelling things one sees in the United States and Cuba. These are rolled up in corn husks, are not much larger than straws, and have a delicious fragrance. Nearly every Mexican lady's pocket is supplied with cigarette holder and match box of more or loss elegance, and the dainty fingers of many a fair señorita, who would scorn to touch the lightest task pertaining to household labor, are discolored at the tips like polished bronze from much cigarette rolling.

Every day at about 5 o'clock P.M. coffee or chocolate is again served, as at breakfast, with little cakes resembling sweetened biscuits, crackers, and sometimes dulce. Dinner is usually at early candle-lighting, and the late supper is partaken whenever it suits the family convenience.
Everybody goes straight to bed from the supper table, and what with hearty food at such unseasonable hours and the eternal grease, garlic, and chili, the wonder is that the nation has not died out from dyspepsia long ago.

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator for Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Royal Manners

Prince Albert, Prince of Wales, later who became King Edward VII of England 
If fine manners are naturally associated with rank, the supposition would be that the higher the rank the finer the manners. It would then follow that the guest of honor, who is also the stranger, would take precedence of all others. It is therefore bewildering to learn that when the Prince of Wales recently gave a dinner to General Grant the distinguished visitor brought up the rear of the procession to the dining-room.  We are but boors in etiquette; yet if the Prince of Wales had been the guest of honor of the President of the United States he would not have been permitted to close the march to dinner; and he would have proceeded, not as Prince, but as guest; for it would be equally true of untitled Mr. Bright or Mr. Gladstone as of a Prince. 
General Grant, who later became the 18th President of the United States
Courtesy is a poor thing if it cannot dispense, upon due occasion with the rigidity of the ceremonial forms. It is rumored that the American minister in England was long absorbed in the task of arranging General Grant's invitations, so that he should not be apparently insulted by being treated at entertainments given in his honor with less consideration than any other guest. This is hardly credible to an unsophisticated American, because he cannot comprehend either an English gentleman should offer or an American gentleman accept such a situation. The rules of really good society, whether titled or untitled, are everywhere the same in regard to certain essential points, and it is a pity if they are violated in the house of Prince.  To invite an untitled man into titled company, upon an occasion of pure ceremony, where titles determine precedence, is to invite him to go behind. If a Prince gives a dinner in honor of an untitled guest, he is bound to honor him chiefly, and invites the company merely to help him render the honor.
The Prince of Wales entertained General Grant at Marlborough House
If, therefore, it be true that the Prince of Wales gave a dinner specially to General Grant and permitted the greater part of the company to proceed him to the table, General Grant should quietly have left the house, and all the more if, as is constantly said, etiquette and forms are real things to European society. For if that be so, the significance of the situation was that an American without a title, however illustrious, however honored at home, and the especial guest of the occasion, is not to be recognized as the equal of titled people.  Probably, if the story be true, General Grant was not troubled; but if English gentlemen are required by etiquette to acquiesce in so flagrant a discourtesy they're greatly to be pitied.— Harpers Magazine, August, 1877 

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura Graber, is the Site Moderator for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Etiquette at Versailles ~A Victorian View

Men's high heeled shoes, tights and garters, all helped to show off their muscular calves which was very fashionable for the day ~ Louis XIV, also known as the "Sun King", (reigning from 1643–1715, one of the longest reigning monarchs in history), decreed, among other oddities, that only nobility could wear heels that were coloured red, and that no one’s heels could be higher than his own.

A Victorian Era Take on the French Royal Court: In the First Quarter of the 18th Century-

The tension of the struggle which the previous century had witnessed was withdrawn, and society sprang back with the recoil to a light-hearted gayety, unlike our national earnestness.

The nation took its ease from grave pursuits. Life retained a little of the adventurous. Men had wealth to gratify and leisure to cultivate new tastes; they acquired literary reputations as amateurs or critics. The club and coffee house, the newspaper, the bookseller and publisher, proclaimed the rise of an idle class and a reading public, and heralded the time when plebeian genius no longer needed a patrician Maecenas.

Moral and metaphysical inquiry was the chief stimulus to thought, as faction was to energy. A new premium was set on the acts of society when women became a power, and when the difference between the tie-wig and the full-bottom or the upset of a teacup was fraught with the fate of an empire. The romance of life was concentrated on the pursuit of gallantry.
At Versailles, artificial manners and strict etiquette were combined with loose conduct.

Pope was never more truly the mirror of his own times than when he threw all the passion of which he was capable into the love epistle of Eloisa. Moral refinement fell hopelessly behind advancing civilization. As at Versailles, artificial manners and strict etiquette were combined with loose conduct. It was not 'til decorum was outraged that the moral law was considered. Unless misconduct sinned against taste it was hardly regarded as an offense but at Versailles vice was draped with all the grace and painted with every allurement which civilization could supply.

At St. James's she was sufficiently brazen to move without a blush for her nakedness, and society imitated the coarseness of the Court. Over the social and political memoirs of the day is shed the charm of that class of French literature; there is the same incongruous juxtaposition of serious and gay, politics and scandal, combined with something of the same neatness and finish of mind that touches lightly the light things of society, and something of the same sprightly wit and sparkling epigrams to temper the despotism of the Whig aristocracy. 
The Dog Barber~ For sport hunting, specially designed enclosures for accomodating dogs (according to the type of game they hunted), kennels at Chantilly also housed not only all of the various valets needed, but a bakery too.

Poetry shared in the same lack of enthusiasm. It was the poetical age of reason. It was still the fashion for men of letters to appear before the public in verse, but prose was usurping the place of poetry. Artistic elegance and scholarly form replaced the varied fancy, the exuberant imagination of the older English school. Poetry subsided into an argumentative, didactic, useful character. It grew classical and courtly, embellished familiar objects and every-day events. But it ceased to be "intellectual opium eating." It was kept in touch with all the movements of the day, scientific, political, religious, social.

And this picture of contemporary life was not conveyed through any literary medium. The generation which placed Roman heroes on the stage in perruques and buckles, or adorned the hand that wrote upon the wall at Belshazzar's feast with ring and ruffle, did not seek the disguise of classical or mediaeval costume. Its active interests were represented in a simple straightforward style in the ordinary dress of the day. The sublimity and greatness of poetry disappeared, but it was instinct with natural life. 
The Edinburgh Review, 1884

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura Graber, is the Site Moderator for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Friday, April 24, 2015

Victorian Etiquette and Chivalry

The Modern Decadence, Its Causes and Significance

How Women Suffer and How They are Partly Responsible for the Change - Chivalry Impossible When They Become Rivals of Man - Concealing Emotion and the Accomplishment of "Wheedling"

From the London Saturday Review, March 1882

If modern manners fall short of perfection, their defects can hardly be due to a want of instruction. A host of etiquette books provide for the exigencies of decorum with the grotesque minuteness, and over and above these official sources of information there is a growing tendency among private persons to constitute themselves irresponsible judges of what is popularly known as "form."
However, the state of things suggests the uncomfortable reflection that an age which has produced such a multitude of counselors may have much to learn, and possibly general progress may have impaired our manners. The question is one which can hardly be answered offhand; for in manners as in religion, what is heterodox in one age maybe orthodox in its successor, and a true estimate of the manners in a given society requires a careful regard to the surrounding social conditions. The relations of the sexes supply us at once with the origin of manners and their chief field of exercise; and a glance at the past reveals some curious variations, from time to time fashionable, in the manners of men to women.  
Women are wont to pride themselves, and with some justice, on their higher powers of reading character and concealing emotion, which together with the peculiarly feminine accomplishment of wheedling, they insist on claiming as original sexual superiorities. However, philosophy declares, with the most brutal candor, that these qualities owe their origin to the animal instinct of self-preservation, working under conditions which happily differ widely from those which at present prevail.
A woman's desire to fascinate must have received a considerable stimulus from the sense that safety of life and limb from the fury of a morose barbarian depended on the success of her efforts at ingratiation; and it is safe to conclude her powers of interpreting the moods of her savage mate or repressing exhibitions a feeling likely to give him offense or marvelously quickened by the reflection that her lord and master might resent any error in the one direction or indiscretion in the other by dashing her brains out, and not in probably eating her afterward. "When Adam delved and Eve span, where was then the gentleman?" fairly expresses a feeling which is common among ignorant opponents of social distinctions. 
The traditional mother of mankind might have echoed this sentiment, but in a very different sense. It is conceivable that some of the amenities at a later civilization might have proved a welcome relief to the harshness of her ordinary life. We can imagine that Adam, after a days delving in the earth cursed for his sake, or a toilsome war of the extermination against thorns and thistles, may have required some little "managing" in the bosom of his family; and it is hard to suppose that the domestic harmony of this primitive circle can have been largely promoted by the presence of such a person as Cain. However, with the habits of these early times we have no further concern then to mark their contrast with those of the present day. We no longer habitually butcher our wives, nor dine off them, nor even subject them to that modica castigatio sanctioned by Roman law. On the contrary, the tables have been completely turned; woman has made good use of the weapons which her wants have fashioned; the arts which originated in self-defense are now employed for subjugation; from the cowering squaw of antiquity natural selection is involved in the lady of civilization "I fearfully efficient manner wheedling machine." 
"Mr. Trollope has recorded a protest against the men and the manners the can endure to discuss ladies openly by their Christian names; but the practice enjoys the strong growth of all ill weeds and thrives apace." Anthony Trollope was one of the most respected writers of British, Victorian Era England. 
Theoretically, then, woman's claim to the courtesy and homage of a man is now admitted on all hands, but practical experience makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that the Silvius of the 19th century is not "all adoration, duty, and observance" in his attitude to the other sex. Without reviving in full detail the practices of the times when woman was "half wife, half chattel," we are careful to keep alive the relics of their actuating spirit. In a ballroom, for instance, we may be seen appropriating their fans to our exclusive enjoyment. We "give" them dances in our own lordly way, and if a mistake arises in respect of a dance so "given," we sometimes express our convictions with an engaging frankness which savors less of the retort courteous then the lie direct. We leave their invitations answered or unanswered at our own sweet will (probably as a token of suzerainty.) and we repay our hostess's efforts to entertain us by the graceful tribute of looking bored.
Mr. Trollope has recorded a protest against the men and the manners the can endure to discuss ladies openly by their Christian names; but the practice enjoys the strong growth of all ill weeds and thrives apace. Feminine views on the subject of tobacco have of the late years been so far modified as to partially vitiate any comparison with the past; but it would be instructive to know how many yet adhere to the graceful custom of removing the cigar from the lips on meeting a lady. The easy grace of courtesy is too often replaced by a slangy familiarity not seldom tinged with a strain of indelicacy, and in all ways there is probably less inward respect and certainly less outward deference to women than an older ideal of manners demanded.
It is sometimes urged that, whatever be the defects of modern manners, they contrast most favorably with those which prevailed in the "good old times "so often eulogized and so seldom understood. But here, again, we must take into account the different social conditions of a century ago. Modern taste may sicken at a grossness of speech and action which even the presence of woman was not always effectual to restrain, but it must not be forgotten that these belong to an age when the culture of the average man was practically nil, and that of the average woman culminated in deportment and sampler work. Coarseness that would now be resented as an insult formerly passed as the merest badinage, and, without defending dueling, it may be doubted whether intentional slights, especially to women, were not rare in the days when the ethics of courtesy had their sanction in the sword. 
Women, no doubt, are the principal victims of this degeneracy of manners, but at the same time they are partly responsible for its existence. The same progressive influences which of acted so powerfully on men have had their effect on the opposite sex also. Woman has at last awakened from the torpor of ages, and is fain to be up and doing such share of the common work of humanity as falls to her hand. The gain to the community from this accession to its working power is immense; but the wholesome impulse which prompts it is mischievously perverted in the present tendency of women to identify their activities of mind and body with those of men. That there is much common ground where man and woman may profitably work hand-in-hand is daily becoming more manifest; but it is equally plain that there are distinct social functions peculiarly appropriate to the special energies of either sex, which at best can be only imperfectly discharged by the other.
So long, therefore, as the activities of womankind do not encroach on the domain of peculiarly masculine occupations, the work of the community is relatively well done, and the social equilibrium remains unshaken. But the moment this line is passed, not only does the sum total of work suffer, man being constrained to regard woman less as a coadjutor and more as a rival, there ensues a disturbance of social relations in which the delicate graces of life are apt to go to the wall. That chivalry or deference to woman should flourish in such an atmosphere is out of the question; for though these are not, as the noisy advocates of her so-called rights would have it, mere concessions accorded in good-natured contempt to her supposed inferiority, they are the outward and visible signs of an inward, and we may almost Sais be ritual, feeling of tender reverence for the beauty of her womanhood-a feeling which becomes meaningless and impossible if men and women are held to be in all respects alike. 
But though the responsibility for this social disorder must be shared by both sexes, its remedy lies almost wholly in the hand of woman. Where the instincts are faulty, direct appeals to the reason are not of much of avail. To exhort a man not to be a snob is as idle as to recommend a change of skin to the Ethiop. But beyond the power which belongs to a woman as queen of society of excluding her by simple veto contaminating influences from the circles over which she reigns, she also enjoys, in virtue of her womanliness, the rare gift of insensibly refining by her presence the coarseness with which she may be brought in contact.
Austin Dobson was an English essayist and poet.

Mr. Austin Dobson has described one whose

"Purity doth hedge her
Round with such delicate divinity, that men
Strained to the soul with money-bag and ledger
Bend to the goddess manifest again."

Beyond all doubt there are many such, and it is to them that we must look for the regenerating impulse which modern manners demand. The value of their womanly qualities to society should make us regard with jealousy all influences tending to their distraction. Their total disappearance would be a calamity with which we hope and believe we may never be visited; but, should time give the lie to our predictions and the evil days come upon us when, by the decay of these qualities, society shall have lost its best bulwark against an influx of corrupting elements, the world may gird upon its loins and prepare to enter upon a new phase of social development, for the age of chivalry will indeed have departed.
London Saturday Review, March 1882
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura Graber, is the Site Moderator for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Japanese Etiquette and Lollipops

Eating on sidewalks, or while walking down a street, has long been considered bad manners in Japan, as well as in many other countries. 

"Bad Form for Japanese Children to Eat Sweets on the Streets of Seattle"

Seattle Washington, December 25, 1906-
"While agitation is in progress on the question of Japanese attending American schools a sidelight thrown on the decorum demanded of Japanese schoolchildren at home is interesting. The Minister of Education, Mr. Makino, according to Tokio advices, has just issued private instructions to Governors of prefectures concerning the behavior of school children on the streets. 
The Minister says: 'Boys and girls are to be seen eating sweets and fruits on their journeys to and from school. This habit is to be condemned at once as very bad manners. This highly reprehensible contact tends to impair the youthful character and the social manners and education are likewise affected. I urge upon you therefore, to take stringent measures to put a stop to this evil.'"

In 1906, for five months, all “Oriental” children, based on their parentage and not their origin of birth, were ordered by the Board of Education to be pulled out of their schools and be segregated into “Oriental” schools. The parents of these children, first generation Japanese immigrants known as the Issei, fought adamantly for their reintegration into public schools. Their argument was, “The Nisei never could be expected to be good Americans if they were not permitted to associate freely with Americans of other racial and ethnic backgrounds, and if they were to be segregated on the basis of race.” The parents wanted to spare their children from experiencing the prejudices that were forced upon them. In successfully overturning the order of school segregation, the first generation Issei encouraged their children to make the most of the opportunities that they never had. The Issei felt their children were the “pioneer generation,” who must “carry on the proud heritage of our forefathers to make contributions to American life.” Source~ Seattle Dept. of Education

In Seattle, a large "Japantown" flourished at the south end of downtown in the early 1900s. A wide variety of small businesses served the growing population of Japanese immigrants and their descendants.

Early immigrants arrived in Washington state from Japan, just before the turn of the 20th century. They came to work on railroads, in sawmills and canneries. They endured discrimination in immigration, employment, and housing, as they did not blend in as easily as European immigrants that had arrived for similar reasons. Some turned to farming, converting land covered with marshes and tree stumps into productive cropland. Hardships notwithstanding, they raised families, ran businesses, eked out livings and developed a vibrant community life.

Despite their segregation, Japanese residents became fully involved in American life and in their newspaper, "The Japanese-American Courier" they encouraged individual conduct and behavior that reflected well on the Japanese immigrant community as a whole. They formed churches, attended area schools and colleges, joined grpups such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, played popular American sports, and enjoyed much of the music and movies of the day. Source ~ 
Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura Graber, is the Site Moderator for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Etiquette, Society Gossip and Feminine Fancies

Gilded Age beauty, and wife to U.S. President, Grover Cleveland, Frances Cleveland, didn't fancy wine.

More harmless than malicious, with the exception of the description of one Gilded Age wife, "Feminine Fancies" was the title of a Gilded Age newspaper society column. Without the likes of today's TMZ, Extra, E!, this was a way to cover the society women of the day, and pass on a bit of gossip at the same time. The following is one such column:  

Mrs. Cleveland never drinks wine.

Mrs. William Masters is credited with owning $2,000,000 worth of jewelry.

Drop on inn to Lady Henry Somerset's
Lady Henry Somerset, so it appears in the parliamentary statistics, is the owner of two licensed inns.            
Unless Mrs. Henry M. Stanley was living like someone on "Hoarders," due to her parasol collection, I'm not sure why this "marvelous" collection was deemed "peculiar" society column news fodder. 
Mrs. Henry M. Stanley has a peculiar fad. Her hobby is parasols, of which she has a truly marvelous collection.

Mrs. Ann Walter Thomas, and English lady otherwise noted as a linguist, has the credit of being the best Welsh scholar living.

New York's well-known society woman, Mrs. Marshall O. Roberts who took to husband Colonel Ralph Vivian, of the English army, is said to have presented him a policy on her own life for $100,000.

After writing three recent posts on the very popular Washington D.C. wives of the Chinese Minister and Corean Chargés d'Affaires, we at Etiquipedia, sadly, have not been able to find a photo or depiction of either. We especially are quite taken with the descriptions of Mrs. Ye Cha Un. If any of our readers can lead us to a photo, we would be very grateful! The photo above is a depiction of what a Corean/Korean woman of the late 19th Century would have worn. It is from http://english.chosun.com/
Mrs. Tsue Kwo Yin, wife of the Chinese Minister at Washington, never goes out with her husband, but Mrs. Ye Cha Yun, wife of the Corean Chargés d'Affaires left Corean customs at home and goes almost every where her husband goes.
Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief... Congressman Springer's wife is NOT a bluestocking intellectual!
Congressman Springer's wife is described as a charming little woman, as lively as a cricket, devoted to her home and the interests of her husband. She has written more or less for publication, though she is not a bluestocking. All the young people like her.

Poor Mrs. Kipling was on the receiving end of a mean spirited comment, and we are not sure why. We are happy to read she is "bright" and "entertaining," though.
Miss Balastier, who wedded writer Rudyard Kipling, was a New York girl until she went to live with her brother, Walcott B
alastier, in London. Kipling's bride is not pretty, but she is very bright and entertaining. She is very petite, blue-eyed and brown haired.
A grown up Consuelo Vanderbilt, in a photograph with her two young children.
Miss Consuelo Vanderbilt, the 14-year-old daughter of Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt, is a handsome child, with hair and eyes as dark as a Spanish gypsy and the imperious manners of a young princess. She is quite a marvel of erudition and speaks German and French, Chinese and Italian with equal fluency.

From Rome New York's, Daily Sentinel, 1891

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura Graber, is the Site Moderator for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Etiquette in the Gilded Age Washington Social Scene

Gilded Age Washington society life was one of granduer and continual entertainment and parties, even in the coldest of Washington DC months. The etiquette was rigid and all of the details were scrupulously covered in the press - nationally and internationally.
Washington Social Life

Dinner at the White House to the Diplomatic Corps., a Luncheon by Mrs. Leland Stanford, a Reception by Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Barney, and a Tea by the Corean Minister and Wife...

Washington, February 2, 1892-

The state dinner given at the White House tonight was in honor of the Diplomatic Corps, which august body of Ministers Plenipotentiary and Chargés d'Affaires was well represented. The dinner, as compared with that of last season, was attended by unusually large number of ladies of the Corps. The decorations in the East Room were on a more elaborate scale than at the dinner given to the Cabinet. A large oval basket of maidenhair fern, thickly studded with pink orchids of the variety Cattleya triannal, formed the centerpiece, on each side of which were semi-circular plates of ferns, surrounded by narrow gilt railing and filled with crotons, cypripediums, and dracenaes, from the middle of which rose the spiked leaves of variegated pineapple. At each end of the transverse sections of the table were oval baskets of ferns and Dendrobium nobilis orchids, flanked on the sides with smaller circular plats of ferns and different varieties of orchids.
Exotic flowers were en vogue
Boutonnieres for the gentlemen were of Dendrobium Wardianum. For the ladies, in place of the conventional bouquets, were Watteau bows of Heliotrope pink in the shade of the orchids. One end of the ribbon was painted in gold with the name of the guest, and on the other was engraved the front view of the White House and grounds. The guests were Secretary and Mrs. Blaine, Minister and Mme. Romero, Chargés d'Affaires of the Italian Legation; the Ministers of the Netherlands, Turkey, France, Austria-Hungary, Colombia, Switzerland, Argentine Republic, Belgium; Sweden, China, Portugal, Guatemala, Salvador, the Chargés d'Affaires of Russia, Spain, and Germany; Chargés d'Affaires of Costa Rica and Señora Calvo, Minister of Japan and Mme Tateno, the Hawaiian Minister and Mrs. Mott-Smith, the Corean Chargés d'Affaires and Mrs. Ye Cha Yun and Nicaraguan Minister and Mrs. Guzman.
Spiked leaves of variegated pineapple... No expense was spared for entertaining the Diplomatic Corps.
England was the only country not represented at the dinner, owing to the six weeks' mourning to be observed by the members of the legation for the late Duke of Clarence. There were also present the Haitian Minister, Senator and Mrs. Manderson, Senator and Mrs. Frye, Senator and Mrs. Sherman, Representative and Mrs. Blount, Representative and Mrs. Holman, Mrs. Russell, Mrs. Dimmick. Count and Countess Sponneck sent regrets in the afternoon upon receipt of a cablegram announcing the death of a near relative.

Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford, photographed with their son, Leland Stanford, Jr. on a trip to Paris in the 1880s. Their son died shortly after, and the Stanfords later founded Stanford University in his honor.

The most elegant luncheon of the season was the one given today by Mrs. Leland Stanford in honor of Mrs. Harrison. The long table was laid in the spacious blue and white banquet hall recently added to her residence on K St. In the bay window to the east, among the plants, was an aquarium filled with goldfish, with birds in cages on each side. From the white buffet and mantel hung the branches of branches of orange trees laden with fruit and tied with gold-colored ribbon. Over the cloth of blue and white brocaded satin damask at each end or squares of blue satin under lace on which rested gilt baskets on jonquils tied with yellow ribbon. Beyond these were low epergnes holding varieties of California fruit, single bunches of grapes filling flat cut-glass dishes. 

The centerpiece of lilies of the valley and yellow tulips filled a scalloped shell epergne of gold and silver, which restaurant on the silver-bordered mirror. At the end of each of this were silver and cut-glass stands of fresh strawberries. White tapers burned under white-and-gold shades. The flagons and wine glasses were Bohemian glass, beautifully decorated in figures and flowers. Souvenirs of the luncheon were card cases of different colors in satin, on the cover of which, and gold lettering, was the name of the guest. A service of repoussé gold was used at the first course. About the room were groups and figures of marble statuary, while the walls were hung with valuable paintings.
"A service of repoussé gold was used at the first course." Repoussé flatware remains a popular choice for hosts and hostesses today.
The guests at lunch and were Mrs. Harrison, Mrs. Morton, Mrs. Elkins, Mrs. Noble, Mme. Romero, Mrs. Schofield, Mrs. Justice Brown, Mrs. Sheridan, Mrs. Gorman, Mrs. Senator Dixon, Mrs. John Sherwood, Countess Esterhazy, Mrs. Menocal, Mrs. Swift of California, Mrs. Montgomery, Mrs. McKenna of California, Mrs. Justice Field, Mrs. Sherman, Mrs. Carlisle, Miss Gray, Mrs. Washburn, Mrs. McPherson, and Mrs. Bruen.

Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Barney gave a large reception tonight at their residence on Rhode Island Ave. The host and hostess received in the music room. The hostess wore a gown of white satin brocade and lace, with diamonds. Among the guests were Vice President and Mrs. Morton, secretary and Mrs. Blaine, Secretary Elkins, Justice and Mrs. Fields, Justice Blatchford, Senator Hale, Representative and Mrs. Bellamy Storer, Senator and Mrs. McPherson, Senator and Mrs. Manderson, Commander and Mrs. Train, General and Mrs. Nicholas Anderson, Senator and Mrs. and Miss McMillan, Mr. and Mrs. Marcellus Bailey, Dr. and Mrs. McKim, Dr. and Mrs. Lincoln, Miss Gale, Miss Biddle, Miss Pendleton, Dr. Bispham, Mrs. Sheridan, Mr. and Mrs. Audenreid, Mrs. and Miss Holick, Miss James, Mrs. and Miss Richardson, mr. and Mrs. Pollak, Miss Brewster of New York, Mr. and Mrs. Newlands, Miss McAllister, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Brown, Miss Brown, Lieutenant and Mrs. T.M.B. Mason, Miss Phenix, Mr. and Mrs. Emmons, Mr. and Miss Linden Kent, Mr. and Mrs. Slater, Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Warder, Representative and Mrs. Hitt, Assistant Secretary and Mrs. Stoley, Minister Leghalt, Mr. von Mumm, Minister Paternostre, Mr. Botkin, Mr. Horace Washington, Captain Cowles, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Jesse Brown, General Fullerton, Dr. Murray, Captain Dewey, and Lieutenant Buckingham.

The Corean Minister and Mrs. Ye Cha Yun gave a tea from 4 to 7 o'clock this afternoon which was largely attended by society. The parlors of the location were decorated with growing plants and smilax. Mrs. Ye received her guests in a native gown of light blue brocade with a waist of yellow, trimmed in garnet velvet. Her English is now quite perfect, and there was not the slightest hesitation in starting or sustaining conversation with the many who approached her desirous of that pleasure. Minister Ye remained by his wife's side during the earlier portion of the afternoon, as the company increased he mingled with the guests, escorting friends now and then to the dining room where the receiving party, in pretty light gowns, dispensed with the refreshments. 

In the first parlor Mrs. Sevellon Brown assisted in receiving. In the adjoining room Miss Thompson poured tea, and in the dining room Miss Moore served coffee frappé. Miss Cuthbert served bouillon, and Miss Beatrice Farquhar presided at a large bowl of punch. The other young ladies were Miss Riggs and Miss Thompson of Philadelphia.
Stunning, Gilded Age private ballroom in 1890s Washington D.C.
Mrs. Dixon, wife of Representative Dixon of Montana, gave a tea from 4 to 7 o'clock this afternoon in the ballroom of the Shoreham, which was elaborately decorated with flags which lined the walls on all sides and waved from the chandeliers and balconies about the apartment. In the south balcony, behind an arrangement of palms and plants, an orchestra played, the young people present availing themselves of the good music and perfect floor to enjoy dancing. The effect of the decorations and the elegant gowns of the receiving party as one entered the apartment was very agreeable. The hostess stood at the doorway leading to the ballroom, receiving in a gown of silver-gray satin with silver brocade and passementerie, with vest of pink crêpe. A bouquet of La France roses was carried.

Mrs. Charles Gibson wore black thread lace over ivory-tinted satin; Mrs. Carrie, white satin-striped tulle; Mrs. Governor McCreary, white satin brocaded in pompadour colors; Mrs. Hemphill, black lace with scarlet flowers; Miss McCeney, white brocade flowered in colors; Miss Carrie Parker, grey tulle with pink ribbons. The other ladies of the receiving party were Miss Lieutenant Williams, Miss Lieutenant Hare, Miss Howell, the Misses Newberry, Miss Helm, Mrs. Senator Saunders, and Mrs. Sutherland.

At the rear of the ballroom a delightful collation of salads, ices, sandwiches, cakes, confections, and champagne punch was served from an immense round table, in the center of which was a plant of ferns. From a smaller table tea was served by the young ladies.

Miss Lenore Armstrong gave a pink luncheon today in honor of Miss Lansing of Watertown. The guests were Miss Hazeltine, Miss Davidson, Miss Warfield, Ms. Scott, Miss Church, Miss Deering, Miss Buriitt, Miss Rundlett, Miss Kerr, Miss Todd, Miss Hunter, and Miss August.

This article appeared originally in the New York Times, February 3, 1892

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura Graber, is the Site Moderator for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Etiquette – East Met West in DC, Part 2

More on the wife the Corean Chargé d'Affaires in Washington D.C Society of the late- 19th Century 

This building in Washington, D.C., was once used as the legation building for the Korean Empire. In 1892, the first State Dinner was held there, to celebrate the 19th birthday of Corean Crown Prince Ye.  It was reacquired in 2012, by the Korean government, after 102 years.
The 19th birthday of Crown Prince Ye, the only son of his Chosun majesty, the King of Corea, was celebrated last night by the first state dinner ever given at the Corean legation. The Chargés d'Affaires and Mrs. Ye arranged the details of the banquet, which will long be remembered by the guests present as a notable one in the cleverness with which the national colors were carried out in the decorations of the rooms and table. 
In the dining-room the mantle was banked with smilax, which also twined the mirror. The green was studded with American Beauty roses. On either side of the fireplace were tall growing plants, among the branches of which were artificial birds of the vivid blue and red peculiar to Corea. The central lamp suspended from the ceiling was covered with a wide-spreading red silk shade garlanded with smilax. Down the center of the table, over a white damask cloth, were three squares of white silk, the borders bright with native embroidery. On the middle one was a circular centerpiece of American Beauty roses and ferns arranged to represent the middle figure of the Corean flag, and on either side the silver candelabra work with scarlet shades.

A pretty idea of Mrs. Ye, who honored the occasion by wearing a gown of the national colors, was to have at each place for the ladies, instead of a bouquet, a single American Beauty rose. Tied about the stem in a rich bow was a broad white satin ribbon, on one end of which in red lettering was the name of the guest. On the opposite end was the striking blue and red device of the Corean flag, beneath which with the letters "C. P.-19-B. A., "signifying the Crown Prince's 19th birthday anniversary." The letters were in blue and the numerals in red.

In addition to the decorations already described at the legation were two large screens of nearly a dozen sections, each resplendent with native embroidery, the gift of the King to Mr. Ye. On the west wall of the dining-room hung the great white flag of Corea with blue and red decorations. Mrs. Ye, wife of the Corean secretary has not been well for some months past and will leave the city September 5th for a visit to her home in Corea, to which country she will be accompanied by Miss Davis of Abingdon, Virginia, who will go as a missionary. They will sail September 17th from San Francisco, to which city they will be accompanied by Mr. Ye, who will return to Washington in time to celebrate His Majesty's birthday at the legation. Mr. Ye's official duties will not permit him to accompany his wife to Corea. Last month they visited the Natural Bridge and Luray Cave. The Washington Post, 1892
19th C. photo of a Corean baby, carried by his sister ~ The first Corean born in the United States was named after the American capital, Washington D.C. : On October 12, 1890, wife of Charge d’Affaires of the Korean legation, Ye Cha-yun,  gave birth to a son they named "Washon," in honor of the nation's capitol. Washon sadly lived for only a few months though. He died shortly before Christmas. It was reported that Ye never saw the two month old son, due to a Corean custom that prevents a father from seeing a child until three months after its birth. The American press and D.C. social circles were already quite taken with Mrs. Ye, and were sympathetic to her tremendous loss. Less than a month after Washon's death, the NY Times read: “Since the death of their infant son, the poor little woman has suffered greatly from loneliness, as in the absence of the Minister's wife she has no companion at the legation." Mr. and Mrs. Ye used black-edged cards, an American mourning tradition, after the death of their baby. But as they were in Court mourning for the Queen Dowager of Corea, Mrs. Ye wore a strip of plain white ribbon across the front of her gown on the left side, white being the color of mourning in Corea.
On 'Corea' vs 'Korea' ~ Three Corean dignitaries visit Washington D.C. in the late 1880s. "SEOUL — Is alphabetical order destiny? Yes, say Korean scholars and politicians who have begun a drive to change the official English-language name of their country to "Corea." The seemingly arcane campaign is based on an increasingly prevalent belief that the original "C" was switched to a "K" by the Japanese at the start of their 1910-45 occupation of the peninsula so that their lowly colonials would not precede them in the English alphabetical hierarchy. The controversy used to be fodder only for linguists and historians, but lately the debate has seeped out of academia and into the realm of the political. Twenty-two South Korean legislators last month introduced a resolution in their parliament calling for the government to adopt the Corea spelling -- the first time such a proposal has been made in official quarters in South Korea. North and South Korean scholars, who rarely agree on much, also held an unusual joint conference last month in Pyongyang, the North's capital, and resolved to work together for a spelling change. They hope it can be accomplished in time for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, when the estranged countries intend to field a joint team." 2003, Los Angeles Times News

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura Graber, is the Site Moderator for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia