Sunday, February 12, 2023

Whiskered, powdered and dandyfied Gansevoort

Gansevoort Melville
The New York Public Library Digital Collections

Before and after the 1844 presidential election, some political opponents of Gansevoort Melville (Herman's older lawyer-brother) called him a Broadway exquisite or dandy, mocking his supposedly over-the-top devotion to fashionable clothing and personal appearance. Gansevoort's success as a popular democratic orator eventually won him a respectable diplomatic post in London. Down in Hinds County, Mississippi, editor George W. Harper, age 21, could not resist the chance to depict the newly appointed Secretary of Legation as "a whiskered, powdered and dandyfied stump speaker."

08 Aug 1845, Fri Hinds County Gazette (Raymond, Mississippi)

"REWARDED.-- Gansevoort Melville, of New York--a whiskered, powdered and dandyfied stump speaker for Mr. Polk, in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, last summer--is going out to London, as secretary of legation, with Mr. McLain." -- Raymond Gazette, August 8, 1845.

A dandified hair-dresser in his salon arranging a woman's wi Wellcome V0019828 

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