Not a member?     Existing members login below:

Adventures and Letters

In the spring of 1889 Richard as the correspondent of the Philadelphia Telegraph,
accompanied a team of Philadelphia cricketers on a tour of Ireland and England, but as it
was necessary for him to spend most of his time reporting the matches played in small
university towns, he saw only enough of London to give him a great longing to return as
soon as the chance offered. Late that summer he resumed his work on The Press, but
Richard was not at all satisfied with his journalistic progress, and for long his eyes had
been turned toward New York. There he knew that there was not only a broader field for
such talent as he might possess, but that the chance for adventure was much greater, and
it was this hope and love of adventure that kept Richard moving on all of his life.
On a morning late in September, 1889, he started for New York to look for a position as
reporter on one of the metropolitan newspapers. I do not know whether he carried with
him any letters or that he had any acquaintances in the journalistic world on whose
influence he counted, but, in any case, he visited a number of offices without any success
whatever. Indeed, he had given up the day as wasted, and was on his way to take the train
back to Philadelphia. Tired and discouraged, he sat down on a bench in City Hall Park,
and mentally shook his fist at the newspaper offices on Park Row that had given him so
cold a reception. At this all-important moment along came Arthur Brisbane, whom
Richard had met in London when the former was the English correspondent of The Sun.
Brisbane had recently been appointed editor of The Evening Sun, and had already met
with a rather spectacular success. On hearing the object of Richard's visit to New York,
he promptly offered him a position on his staff and Richard as promptly accepted. I
remember that the joyous telegram he sent to my mother, telling of his success, and
demanding that the fatted calf be killed for dinner that night was not received with
unalloyed happiness. To my mother and father it meant that their first-born was leaving
home to seek his fortune, and that without Richard's love and sympathy the home could
never be quite the same. But the fatted calf was killed, every one pretended to be just as
elated as Richard was over his good fortune, and in two days he left us for his first
The following note to his mother Richard scribbled off in pencil at the railway-station on
his way to New York:
I am not surprised that you were sad if you thought I was going away for good. I could
not think of it myself. I am only going to make a little reputation and to learn enough of
the business to enable me to live at home in the centre of the universe with you. That is
truth. God bless you.