New York Times (February 8, 1907)
EVELYN THAT TELLS HER STORY
Lays Bare Her Life in Court to Save Husband
Letters of Thaw’s
Dressed as a
schoolgirl might have been dressed by her mother, Mrs. Evelyn Nesbit
yesterday told the jury which is trying her husband in the Criminal
the Supreme Court for the murder of Stanford White, the whole story of
life, and her relations with White.
There were women in the courtroom. The story caused them to bow their heads and hind their faces and the prisoner to veil his haggard features in his hands and weep. Yet it must be said that the former chorus girl and artists’ model told the story with a calmness which was little short of astounding. At no time did her voice become inaudible. At no time did her own face seek the shelter of her hands. At time her voice quivered, and it seemed as if the tears would well up in her eyes and course down her cheeks. But tears came.
sobbed, and his agony had no hint of theatrical effect about it. He drew a handkerchief from his pocket when
he could stand the story no long, and his heavy shoulders bent over the
table. His face was hidden, but the broad
twitched. Those near him could hear
great gulping sounds as he fought to master his emotion.
Calm as She Testified.
Yet, telling of her own degradation, the woman whose beauty has cost the life of one man and put at peril the life of the man who married her despite her past never once lost control of herself. Dressed as a child, she comported herself as a woman of many years in the ways of the world. Never once did she lapse into the fluency of everyday conversational language. It was always, “I do not remember” or “I cannot recall.” In her long narration there was never a “don’t” and never a “can’t” or any other of the little signs which usually betoken spontaneity.
Delmas conducted the examination. His
voice was as ever, soft and kindly. But
every word he said in leading Mrs. Thaw onward with her narration was
distinct. He got the story in evidence
on the ground that she had related the facts to Thaw when he asked her
“He wanted every detail,” said Mrs. Thaw, “and I told him everything. He would sit and sob or walk up and down the room as I told him.”
It was manifest as she spoke that the prisoner was again going through the torture of that night. Prepared by his counsel for a day of mental agony, he had seemed when he came into court to have his heart steeled against the pain of an old wound begin reopened. But when his wife, with her soft, black hair dressed so that the coiffure rested between her shoulders, with a linen collar, simple black tie, and blue jacket that a child might have worn accentuation the girlishness of her form, began to tell of her meeting with White, Thaw shuddered, drew his brown overcoat closer about his shoulders and began to sink in his chair.
Told with a Girlish Lisp.
Mrs. Thaw’s life story after she had told of the shooting of White began with the death of her father and the consequent poverty of her mother, her brother, and herself. She has a girlish lisp which she did not lose at any stage of her story. When she told how one day she saw a notice tacked on the door of her mother’s home and later found out that the family had been dispossessed, she told of the incident as a little child would have told it. It accentuated the poverty and misery.
They jurymen watched Mrs. Thaw keenly as she told of those days. The foreman, Deming B. Smith, eyed her with the eyes of a man of long experience as a juror. The frequent hammering at the jury that they should not allow their sympathies to be swayed as against their fair and honest judgment, into which Mr. Jerome had gone toward the end of the examination of talesmen, showed at this time. Not a man of the twelve showed a crinkling of the eyelids, a deepening of the lines from the nose to the chin, a bit of moisture at the lashes.
There was no effort on the part of Mrs. Thaw to accentuate the story of poverty, as it might have been accentuated with a change of pitch of voice. It was told as simply as the rest.
Nesbits were homeless the mother hastened away for the place of their
hand-to-mouth existence, bringing her son and daughter to
Her Advent In
There was an unconscious touch of pathos in one statement the witness made as she told of the beginning of her career when she started form the studio life to the life of the footlights.
Mrs. Thaw was telling how a girl friend of the chorus had arranged for her to go the studio of Mr. White.
“I asked her to have the cab sent by the Waldorf,” she said, “so that we could stop there for a moment. I had never see the Waldorf and wanted to see it. But she did not have the cab go that way.”
Again and again District Attorney Jerome stopped the narrative and asked if the rules of evidence were not being stretched by the defense.
“You told all
this to Harry K. Thaw that night in
Her Meeting with White.Mrs. Thaw said that when she began posing in
“What did you do with this money?” asked Mr. Delmas.
“I gave it to mamma,” she replied.
She Meets Stanford White.
into the chorus of “Florodora” led to the acquaintanceship with other
the chorus. When she was asked to join a
party at Stanford White’s studio in the
From this time until Mrs. Thaw told of her awakening after having, as she intimated, been drugged in another studio kept by White in West Twenty-fourth Street, she constantly referred to the solicitude the architect showed for her. She said he would never let her take more than one glass of champagne. He appeared anxious about her welfare. He wanted her to go to a dentist and “have her teeth fixed.” He wrote to her mother and asked her to visit him. The offer of a dentist’s services was made to the mother as wee, the architect explaining that there was nothing strange in this, as he had done the same service for nearly every girl in the company.
the time when the mother was to go back to
Incident of a Velvet Swing.
On the first visit to White’s studio, when Mrs. Nesbit, now Mrs. Holman, was still in the city, Evelyn said, she and her girlfriend had what she called “fun with a swing” in this apartment. The swing in question was of velvet. When the girls were in it the men swung them high toward the ceiling. Their toes struck the crisp paper covering of a great Japanese fan swung form the ceiling, ripping the fan to tatters.
White sent her a message to meet him in a photographer’s studio. She was to have some pictures taken. She posed as a Japanese girl.
When she went to the dressing room to put on
her street garb again he came to the door and asked if she did not need
help. She told him “
The narrative crept on. In its telling, the architect was still kind, treating the chorus girl with almost paternal tenderness.
the story went; there came a night when she was called to the studio in
Her Entry Into the Trap.
On the occasion of the visit alone, the witness said, she started away when she found that no one else was present, but Mr. White told her that perhaps the others had forgotten; they would have something to eat anyhow. She had her single glass of champagne with him and ate with him. She had been in the studio before, she testified, and was surprised when White asked her to let him show her his antiques and beautiful things, and disclosed a narrow stairway leading from the studio upward. She followed him to a room in which there was a piano and many pictures and objects of art. She thrummed the piano for a moment. Then White bade her go into the next room with him. The room was chintz covered. It was a bedroom, and there was a table and a chair beside the bed in it. On the table was a small bottle of champagne and a glass. Mr. White poured the wine for her and she sat down and sipped it. She said that she did not want it, but her host bade her drink the glass dry.
Thaw knew that here was the crisis. He shuddered again, covered his face with his hands, and then reached for his handkerchief to better veil his emotion. “What happened then?” asked Mr. Delmas.
Court Silent as She Speaks.
She described her feelings. There was the sound of thumping in her head, she said, and the chintz bedroom began to whirl about.
Thaw was sobbing; his shoulders heaving up and down, the pale face which has stood the keen gaze of hundreds for two weeks must have been terribly distorted behind the white handkerchief. The courtroom was so quiet that a shriek or an outburst of hysterical laughter, the dropping of a book, or the shuffling of feet, anything to distract the mind for a moment, would have been hailed joyously.
Mr. Delmas stood at the railing in front of the bench, calm and placid of countenance. The habit he has of nervously twirling his glasses in his right hand, to relieve his own feelings, was not indulged in. He appeared complete master of the situation, and the situation appeared to be that upon which the life of Thaw hung.
In the silence even the sobs of Thaw had ceased. Outside the snow carpet on the streets deadened all sound of traffic that might have crept though tiny crevices between the windows and the heavy stone walls of the court. It seemed as it every one in the room had ceased to breathe.
“And, will you please, Madam, tell what happened when you regained consciousness?” Come smoothly, gently, reassuringly from Mr. Delmas’s lips.
The women in the courtroom bowed their heads over the backs of the chairs in front of them. The men continued to lean forward to catch every word.No blush colored the smooth, oval countenance of the witness. But when she opened her lips they trembled.
“I found myself in bed,” she said, and told how she began to scream. She went home and cried all night.
“And you told all of this to Harry Thaw that night in Paris after he had asked you to marry him?” asked Mr. Delmas, when the story had been told in detail.
“Yes,” said the witness with eh childish lisp in her voice.
Attack This, Invites Delmas.
Mr. Jerome addressed the court and asked Justice Fitzgerald to instruct the jury that the testimony was to be accepted by the jury only as a means of showing the resultant effect on the mind of the prisoner.
“Under the rules of evidence,” said Mr. Jerome, “the People are not allowed to put in evidence to show that testimony of this sort may not be true.”
“The defense will waive its right under the rules of evidence in this issue,” Mr. Delmas suavely replied, “and we will permit the District Attorney to attack this evidence.”
That the offer was not altogether unheeded and unappreciated was shown by the District Attorney when he made memoranda of the real names of persons referred to by Mrs. Thaw as Mr. Blank or Miss Blank. Mr. Delmas had suggested that no manes be brought into the trial when the names were not absolutely necessary. Mr. Jerome agrees with him on this. But whenever the witness referred to man or woman who had entered these strange scenes in her life, Mr. Jerome went to her, bowed his head so that his ears could catch her lowest whisper, took the name from her and jotted it down on his pad. Mr. Delmas delayed his direct examination time and again to give him opportunity to obtain this data.
No Possible Effect Lost.
While the hypothesis in law was that this testimony was being given to show that within Thaw’s heart there was born an awful hatred for Stanford White, which eventually made of him a maniac, as the result of this night in Paris, Mr. Delmas took his time about coming to the point where Thaw’s subsequent mental condition would be the real issue.
He used the story of poverty for the full value of its every word and syllable. He used the strategy of Stanford White for every drop of effect that he could get from it. He used the mental blindness of the mother until she was pictured by the witness as stone blind in the matter of motherly caution and care. He used the many mirrors, the antiques in the studio, the thrumming of the piano, the velvet swing, the crisp paper covering of the Japanese umbrella, and the childlike desire of the girl in short dresses just to see the Waldorf.
The first display of evidence as to the effect Thaw was made when he had the witness picture him sitting, wide-eyed, horror stricken, listening to this narrative in the Paris hotel. Mr. Delmas had the prisoner’s wife accentuate this by the manner in which she told of the proposal of marriage. He had her tell how Thaw pleaded to her that he loved her and asked her if she did not love him, and he had her tell how she had said that she did care for him, but could not marry him, “because,” as she put it at first. Again and again she said, “Because,” just as it she was in the room in the Paris hotel, and then told how Thaw put both his hands on her shoulders and asked her:
“Is it because of Stanford White?”
Thaw’s Hunger for Details Told.
connection between this confession of Evelyn Nesbit and Thaw’s
mental condition was made when the witness brought out the fact that
possessed a morbid hunger for the details of the wrong she had told him
had done her. Nothing escaped the
attention of the man who had asked her to be his wife, as she told the
yesterday. She described the kimono in
which she had posed for the Japanese photographs. It
was gorgeous. This she had told to Thaw,
otherwise it would
have been incompetent testimony. Mr.
Jerome time and again sought the court to instruct the jury that all if
testimony was merely bearing on Thaw’s mental condition when he stood
Stanford White in
Mr. Delmas invariable retorted with a request to Mrs. Thaw to tell the court and the District Attorney whether she had related the details to the prisoner.
After the testimony of the night when the chintz room changed to a room of mirrors, Mrs. Thaw lost the tremolo in her voice. She seemed calmer perhaps than a witness under such unusual conditions might have been expected to be. Mr. Delmas took her back to the room in the hotel in Paris just long enough to remind Mr. Jerome that she was merely repeating what she had said to the prisoner previously, and in testifying Mrs. Thaw’s voice was devoid of any trace of emotion and her fact as coldly beautiful as if she were telling of a matter of casual interest.Her Illness and Operation.
stretch of narrative between the night in the White studio and another
important event in the witness’s life was passes, and she was telling
serious illness she suffered when at school in
with its many tense moments and dramatic reaches for the mind of the
seemed to have reached a point where there could no longer be hope of
thrill. The long hand of the clock on
the western wall of the courtroom was counting off the seconds, the
of the timepiece jerking with painful deliberation as it moved form
notch, from one Roman number to another.
As the short hand snuggled in the very middle of
Mrs. Thaw left the stand. Soon afterward she ate a hearty luncheon in the little room where Mrs. William Thaw, the aged mother of the prisoner, and May MacKenzie have daily been waiting patiently all day until they shall be called to the stand.
White’s Pursuit Pictures.
But Mr. Delmas
has not used up his ammunition. After
recess he put Evelyn Nesbit Thaw back on the stand, and brought her
Mrs. Thaw testified, also, that she had been told that Thaw was a morphine fiend. All through this testimony ran the thread of Thaw’s devotion to the girl who had refused to be his wife. Mr. Delmas has swung the pendulum so that it would cut slowly and deeply in another direction against his dead target. In the morning it had been gently and tender consideration of the part of White—with a sinister motive. In the afternoon it was tender thought and hungry pursuit—with a noble motive on Thaw’s part.
Letters from Thaw Put In.
period of the narration by Mrs. Thaw came the presentation of letters
by the prisoner of his then counsel, Frederick W. Longfellow, of
“It doesn’t matter whether the letter was written yesterday or long before yesterday,” argued Mr. Delmas.
“Do you mean to say that the defendant is not insane?” asked Mr. Jerome.
But Mr. Delmas avoided the question. Later he covered the gap by saying that the change in the handwriting of the accused in the various letters he would introduce would show his loss of mental control.
This explained in some measure the presence of David Carvalho, the handwriting expert for the defense. He sat among the alienists who will testify for Thaw. Dr. George Franklin Shiels, Dr. Britton D. Evans, Dr. Graeme Hammond, and Dr. Charles Wagner.
But the first letter did not create the still undeveloped thrill of the afternoon. Two other letters, Exhibits B and C, were put in evidence, after two long battles between Mr. Jerome and Mr. Delmas.
The Love Theme in Them.
Mr. Delmas read the first to the jury. Then he read the second. In this Thaw wrote to his lawyer telling him, along with a great deal that is on the surface incoherent, but is clear now that Mrs. Thaw has given a part of her story, how deeply he loved the woman who was eventually to be his wire. Mr. Delmas’s examination to a higher pitch, but it was none the less soft and pleasant to the ear. After reading that part of the letter which told of Thaw’s refusal by Evelyn Nesbit he lifted his voice and read:
“She would give all she has, now, to have been sent to school by me that have come out last July, even if I wouldn’t marry; far more even if I could.
“This sounds unnatural to write, but I should most gladly have it so, though I should have been dead by now. Just to have left her safe.
“This is not trouble for you. Can you see if we marry and I die first, my coking coal income goes to my wife for life, but not to her people upon her death?”
Another passage told of his desire to have Evelyn Nesbit, as his wife, cared for in case of his death.
“If I die or am killed,” Mr. Delmas read form this epist’c” she is unlikely to live until 21. Her wretched mother must not benefit vastly. Can her family be cut off? I should provide especially for her brother, but that is aside from the important point of law.”
“Poor Ill-Advised Angel,” He Wrote.
Once more the courtroom was breathless and again the interest of Judge, jurors, lawyers, and spectators reached the point where it was painful.
“When I knew her,” read Mr. Delmas, “and her mother deceived me and her, she was the most active, laughing, wholesome, strong, and brave child I ever saw.”
There was a postscript. At that time Mr. Longfellow had just been married. “I congratulate you heartily,” read the postscript. “You have a blessing I never shall have now.”
In the next letter there was a chaos of words, all of which Mr. Delmas read carefully to the jury. But there was a streak of intelligence colored with tenderness in one passage.
“To make you sure,” read Mr. Delmas, “I’ll explain. After I saw the poor, ill-advised angel, I was so sorry; she meant to do right, and was right, had she only kept the purest things from the polluted, lying, double-minded, deceitful, money-grasping, smooth-tongues, hard-hearted but soft-speaking professional deceivers.”
Nine Letters in Evidence.
Nine letters, all told, were offered by Mr. Delmas. To identify them properly Mr. Longfellow was sent for and Mrs. Thaw was taken from the stand while he was examined for the identification of the letters. Each letter had been passed to Mrs. Thaw before that and she had identified the handwriting. Their reception by Mr. Longfellow and the establishing of the dates of their delivery finished the task for the defense.
The lights were turned on and the glare of the incandescent globes of chandeliers above and wide-spreading electroliers on the walls destroyed the faint gray of the Winter twilight hour when Mr. Delmas finished reading Exhibit C. The clock showed the hour of 5 passed by a minute. Thaw arose from his seat, turned, met the jailer and followed him to the little door which opens on the path to the Tombs. Mr. Delmas and Mr. Jerome bowed to each other, the court was adjourned, and a day pregnant with hope for the prisoner had ended.
Wife Testifies Again To-day.
Mrs. Thaw will resume the stand, and her direct examination will be
finished. It is believed that Mr. Delmas
will use the entire forenoon, and that the cross-examination will not
until after recess. That Mr. Jerome is
preparing to meet the effects of her testimony was shown yesterday when
ex-Judge William K. Olcott was brought to the
Mr. Olcott was on the first counsel engaged by Thaw after the killing of White. He was afterward dismissed with his confreres engaged for the case. It is believed that a statement made by Mrs. Harry K. Thaw as to her relations with both White and Thaw is in the possession of Judge Olcott. Now that the defense waived the privilege of relations between lawyer and client by putting on Mr. Longfellow, and using the letters sent to him by his former client, the calling of Judge Olcott has special significance.
The relentlessness of the District Attorney on cross-examination was amply shown when Dr. Wylie, the first witness, was on the rack for an entire day. How he will deal with the wife of the prisoner this afternoon is causing those who have been following the case in the courtroom no end in conjecture.
EVELYN NESBIT THAW’S STORY.
What She Told Thaw of Her Relationship with White.
When the morning session opened Evelyn Nesbit Thaw was called to the stand.
Q.—When were you born?
A.—Dec. 25, 1884.
A.—On the evening of the 25th of June of last year were you in company with your husband at dinner at the Café Martin in his city?
Q.—Kindly state who, if any one besides you tow, composed the party?
A.—Mr. Truxton Beale and Mr. Thomas McCaleb.
Q.—In what part of the dinning room were you sitting?
A.—On the Twenty-sixth Street side, down toward the end.
Q.—Toward the end, near Twenty-sixth?
Q.—About what time did you arrive there?
A.—Well, it was after 8 o’clock; I don’t know what time it was.
Q.—Where had you come from immediately before you arrive there?
Q.—Did the four of you come together from there?
A.—No; I came with Mr. Thaw and I think Mr. McCaleb and Mr. Beale came together. They met us there.
Q.—About what time did you leave the Café martin?
A.—I do know exactly. It was after 9 I know.
Q.—And form there where did you go?
Q.—did the party separate?
A.—No, we went together.
Q.—When you were at the Café Martin did you see Stanford White?
Q.—About what time did you see Stanford White?
A.—I do not know exactly what time it was.
Q.—When you arrive or before you left?
A.—It was some time after we arrived.
Q.—Where was he when you first saw him that evening?
at the entrance that leads on
Q.—Into the dining room in which you were sitting?
Q.—Did he remain in that dining room or did he pass through it and go somewhere else?
A.—Yes, he passed through it; went out on the balcony.
Q.—On the outside balcony?
balcony there on
Q.—In the Summer, furnished with shrubbery and flowers?
Q.—How long did you see him from the time you entered the dining room until you lost sight of him—that is, the first time?
A.—That I don’t know, because I saw him go out.
Q.—Well, I am not speaking of his going out; I am speaking of his coming in. But perhaps I am confounded. You saw him coming in the dining room from where?
A.—From the Fifth Avenue entrance.
Q.—Coming from outside, then?
Q.—In what director?
Q.—Down on his way from the entrance as he passed you, when did you lose sight of him?
A.—Well, when he passed through the door that leads to the balcony.
Q.—Precisely. After he reached the balcony, then you saw him no more at time?
Q.—Did you see what he did or what position he took on the balcony when he remained there; you did not?
Q.—After that did you see him again that evening?
A.—I saw him go out.
Q.—Where did he come from, or where was he when you saw him in the act of going out?
A.—He came from the balcony.
Q.—And in what direction was he going?
A.—Toward the Firth Avenue entrance.
Q.—The same entrance through which he had come?
Q.—You saw him then merely pass through?
Q.—About what time was that, rather let me ask how long a space of time had intervened between his coming in and his going out?
A.—I cannot tell; I don’t know.
Q.—It may have been an hour or might have been longer? Quiet a long time?
A.—It was some time.
Note She Wrote to Thaw.
Q.—After you had seen Mr. White did you call for a pencil form any one?
A.—I think I asked Mr. McCaleb if he had a pencil.
Q.—While I am upon that subject, will you kindly describe to the jury how the four of you were seated at that table, and you may do that by beginning to tell who was on your right and who was on your left:
A.—Mr. McCaleb was on my left, Mr. Truxton Beale on my right, and Mr. Thaw sat facing me.
Q.—Now, then, you asked Mr. McCaleb for a pencil. Was you request complied with?
A.—No; I think he said he didn’t have any.
Q.—Then did you ask anyone else?
Q.—Who was it?
A.—I do not remember exactly. Somebody gave me a pencil.
Q.—Did you then write anything?
Q.—After you have written, may I ask upon what you wrote?
A.—I wrote upon a little slip of paper.
Q.—Which you procured how?
A.—I think from Mr. McCaleb.
Q.—What id you do with the writing after you had written it?
A.—I handed it to Mr. Thaw.
Q.—Did Mr. Thaw make any remark or say anything to you after you had passed the paper to him?
Q.—What did he say?
A.—He looked at me and said, “Are you all right?” and I said, “Yes.”
Q.—What else did he say if anything?
A.—That was all.
Q.—At that time that you passed this paper to your husband, and from that time on what was your condition as to being visibly, manifestly affected or disturbed from your usual composure?
The District Attorney objected to the question and was sustained. Mr. Delmas tried to put it in another way, but again Mr. Jerome objected successfully, and Mr. Delmas passed on.
Q.—After you had done this Mrs. Thaw—passed this piece of paper to your husband—how long did you remain there?
A.—I don’t know how much longer.
Q.—Without asking you for the contents of that paper—you have not the paper in your possession?
Q.—Have you seen it since that time?
A.—I have not.
Q.—Without asking you for the contents of the paper, I will ask you if the paper related to the presence of Stanford White?
Mr. Jerome—Objected to. Please do not answer. I ask that be stricken out.
Mr. Delmas—I have no objection.
The Court—Stricken out.
Mr. Delmas—The answer if stricken out in order that an objection may be made, as I understand?
Mr. Jerome—Objected to on the ground that it is secondary evidence.
The Court—Objection sustained. The paper itself is the best evidence.
Then Went to the Roof Garden.
Q.—From there, Mrs. Thaw, you say you went to the roof garden?
Q.—Do you know whether tickets for the roof garden had been procured?
Q.—About what time?
A.—I don’t know.
Q.—But in the course of the afternnon?
Q.—At what stage of its progress was the play when you arrived upon the garden?
A.—I don’t know; it was about the end of the first act.
Q.—What part of the seats did you occupy; whereabouts were you seated?
A.—About three-quarters or a little more back, about the middle, and a little further back.
Q.—How did you sit; who was nearest to the aisle?
A.—I don’t remember exactly when we got there. We saw a Capt. Wharton, a friend of Mr. Thaw, and in order to give him a seat Mr. Thaw went back to the rear.
Q.—And one of the four seats was yielded up to Capt. Wharton?
A.—I think so.
Q.—And Mr. Thaw took his seat somewhere else; is that right?
Q.—Or went back?
A.—He went back.
Q.—Did Mr. Thaw return to where you were seated?
Q.—About how long was he absent?
A.—I don’t remember exactly.
Q.—Well, was it five, ten, fifteen minutes, half an hour? Give us some general idea if you can.
A.—It might have been fifteen minutes and might have been more.
Q.—At that time did Mr. Thaw take a seat with you in the group?
Q.—The seat that Capt. Wharton—
A.—He sat beside me.
Q.—And how long did you sit there together, your husband sitting alongside of you?
A.—Until the end—or until we go up to leave.
Q.—And that may have been measured in minutes about how long?
A.—I cannot tell you exactly.
Q.— Well, was it five, ten, fifteen minutes, half an hour?
A.—I think about half an hour; I don’t remember the time exactly.
Q.—During the time that Mr. Thaw sat there by your side, during this half hour, you understand, what was his manner? Were you conversing with him?
Q.—Was there anything peculiar in his manner? Describe his manner, then, to anticipate the objection, as compared with his usual manner?
A.—He was just the same as ever.
Q.—Tell us everything Madam?
A.—He did not seem to be agitated about anything.
Q.—The conversation that you had with him during the time, was it upon any special topic, or was it general?
A.—Just general, about the play.
Q.—Who suggested, if any one, going before the play was over?
A.—I think I did.
Q.—The play was probably not interesting to you?
A.—Not a bit.
Q.—And you suggested that you had better go?
Q.—Now, will you kindly describe to the jury how the party left? I mean by that, who was in the lead and what course you took to go out?
A.—Well, we did not go immediately after I said that. We sat a while longer, then I think somebody else said something about it being a poor play, and we might as well go out, and I think it was Mr. Thaw himself.
Her Story of the Shooting.
Q.—Now, may I ask you the question, how you left, if you left alone, whether you walked out—
A.—We all went out together.
Q.—You went out together, the four of you?
Q.—Who was in the lead, if any one?
A.—I think Mr. McCaleb and myself.
Q.—Mr. Thaw and Mr. Beale following?
Q.—Immediately behind you?
A.—I think so.
Q.—How are had you gone when something unusual attracted your attention?
A.—Well, we were almost to the elevator and I was talking to Mr. McCaleb, and turned around to say something to Mr. Thaw and he was not there.
A.—And then I looked to see where he had gone, and I saw Stanford White sitting at a table as measured with relation to any object that is now within your view
Q.—How are were you at that time from Stanford White, as measured with relation to any other object that is now within your view?
A.—Well, about as far as from this chair to the end of the jury box.
Mr. Delmas—I should say about twenty-five feet. I am not very accurate about that.
Mr. Jerome—Approximately, yes.
Q.—You saw Stanford White seated there?
Q.—How long after that did you see Mr. Thaw?
A.—About a minute later.
Q.—Well, by a minute do you mean sixty seconds, or do you mean a moment?
A.—Well, I don’t know just how long it was, whether it was a minute or whatever it may be, and then I saw my husband.
Q.—Where was your husband when you saw him?
A.—Standing about as far from where I am seated as to where you are, toward Mr. White, directly in front of him.
Mr. Jerome—How are was that, so the record may show?
Mr. Delmas—I should say fourteen or fifteen feet. (This was accepted.)
Q.—He, and by he I mean your husband, was standing or in motion?
A.—He was standing.
Q.—What was he doing?
A.—He had his arm out like that. (Indicating.)
Q.—did he then move forward?
A.—No, he stood still a little longer.
Q.—Did you hear any shots fired?
Q.—How soon after that?
A.—Immediately I saw Mr. Thaw I heard the shots.
Q.—He was then facing Mr. White, you say?
Q.—How many shots did you hear?
Q.—Upon hearing of these shots did you make any exclamation?
Q.—What was it you exclaimed?
A.—I said, I think to Mr. McCaleb, “My God, he has shot him!”
Q.—What then took place that you observed?
A.—Mr. Thaw walked toward me.
Q.—Describe the manner in walking toward you; what position his hands were in, if you noticed?
A.—I don’t remember exactly. I only remember that he walked toward me.
Q.—He walked toward you?
Q.—Did he come up to where you were?
Q.—Did he say anything to you, or did you say anything to him?
A.—I said something to him.
Q.—Will you kindly state what it was?
A.—I said: “My God, Harry, wheat have you done, what have you done?”
Q.—And what did he reply?
A.—He leaned over and kissed me, and he said, “All right, I have probably saved your life.”
Q.—After that, what took place, if you remember immediately following that?”
A.—I think I heard Mr. McCaleb say something.
Q.—Do you remember what it was?
A.—I think he said, “God, Harry, you must have been crazy,” or something like that.
A.—I don’t remember particularly. I was taken away.
Q.—You remember that you left there; that you were taken from there?
A.—Yes, Mr. McCaleb and Mr. Beale took me away.
Q.—You remember going down the elevator?
Q.—And you left the place?
Q.—And did not return there that evening?
Q.—You state, Madam, that you are the wife of the defendant?
Q.—When were you married?
A.—April 4, 1905.
A.—At the residene of Dr. McGill.
Q.—The pastor or minister of some church there?
A.—Of the Third Presbyterian Church.
Q.—Who were present at the marriage?
Mr. Jerome—Do you think it is necessary?
Mr. Delmas—Your mother was present?
Q.—And the mother of your husband was present?
Q.—And it has been asked what other relatives, if any, were present?
A.—I think Mr. Thaw’s brother, Josiah Thaw.
Q.—Josiah Thaw? Was your mother’s husband also present, Mr. Holman?
Q.—Her present husband, (witness nods assent.)
A.—When had Mr. Thaw proposed for the first time to marry you?
A.—Will you kindly state the circumstance and the conversation that took place at that time between your husband, your present husband, and yourself?
Mr. Jerome—I object to that.
The Court—In what way is it material? Can you tell me its materaiality?
Mr. Delmas—If you Honor will permit me to withdraw the question I will put another one that will answer your Honor’s question.
Q.—At the time Mr. Thaw proposed to you at that time did you accept his offer or did you refuse it.
A.—I refused it.
Q.—Did you state to him the reasons why refused it?
Q.—Were those reasons based on any event in your life?
Q.—With which Stanford White was connected?
Some objection was raised by Mr. Jerome and sustained by the court as to the form of this question. After a brief discussion between counsel Mr. Delmas asked:
Told Story When Thaw Proposed.
Q.—In stating the reason Mr. Thaw why you refused his offer, did you state a reason to him which you then stated was based upon an event in your life with which Stanford White was connected?
Q.—Then will you kindly give us the whole of that conversation form beginning to end?
A.—Mr. Thaw was sitting down opposite me, and he suddenly said to me that he loved me and wanted to marry me, and I stared at him for a moment, and the he said, “Don’t you care for me? Don’t you care anything about me?” And I said, “Yes.” And he said, “What is the matter:” And I said, “Because,” and then he said, “Well, tell me, why won’t you, for what reason; why won’t you marry me?” Then he leaned over me and put his hands on my shoulders and looked straight at me, and he said, “Is it because of Stanford White?” And I said, “Yes.”
Q.—What was his manner at the time he placed his hands upon your shoulders and looked at you?
A.—He was very kind and nice, but he looked at me very straight.
Q.—Very kind and nice?
Q.—Now, then, what reply—you said “Yes” in answer to that question?
Q.—Proceed then and state the rest of the conversation.
A.—Then he sat down again and told me in my presence he cared more for me than he ever cared for any one else, that he never could love any other woman, he never could marry any one else, and if I would marry him he never would marry any one else, and asked me to marry him, and I started to cry.
A.—I cried. I started to cry.
A.—Mrs. Thaw, if possible, will you kindly relate that circumstance and that episode as you recall it, without putting me to the necessity of reiteration my question, if you can do so?
Mr. Jermoe—The question is objectionable.
The Court—What was said; merely what was said.
Mr. Delmas—All that was said and all that was done, if your Honor please. All that was said and done at that time and from that time on at that interview.
The Witness—Then he told me again he loved me, and he wouldn’t think any less of me if I told it, and he wanted me to tell it. So I began by telling him, how and where I had first met Stanford White.First Meeting with White.
Q.—The will you kindly repeat to the jury what you told him of your first meeting Stanford White, and what followed, if anything?
A.—I told him that in the theatre a girl named Edna Goodrich had come up to me and asked me to go a dinner party with some friends of hers.
Q.—Mrs. Thaw, will you permit me right here? You have mentioned the name of a certain lady whom I do not know, and I would request of you, if the request meets with the approval of the District Attorney, that in giving your narrative you omit, unless he shall insist upon it, the names of any other person connected with any of these events except that of Stanford White?
Mr. Jerome—That is a very proper request, and I concur most thoroughly in it.
The Court—Let the name be expunged form the record, and the words “young lady” substituted.
Mr. Delmas—And the record will stand then that a certain “young lady.” Will that be satisfactory?
Mr. Delmas—(to the witness)—And will you be kind enough to bear in mind that in giving your narrative you are to omit giving the names of any persons excepting the name of Stanford White?
The Witness—(continuing her statement)
lady asked me to go with some friends, and I told her my mother would
me to go. She came again and asked me to
go out again, and I still refused, but I said this time I would ask my
mother. My mother refused to let me go. Then this young lady and another young lade
came to me and asked me to go to a lunch party.
They said the people were very nice people, and were in
the very best
A.—The this young lady came up for me one day in a hansom cab. My mother dressed me, and we got into the hansom cab, and I remember hoping that we would go to the Waldorf, because I wanted to see it. But instead of that we went down Twenty-third Street, up around where I lived, and then we went straight down Broadway and turned into West Twenty-fourth Street, and stopped at a little, dingy-looking door. Edna Goodrich—this young lady—got out of the hansom cab, and asked me to follow. I got out of it, and we walked across—
Mr. Jerome—Pardon this interruption. You see Mr. Delmas, apparently this witness is telling of an occurrence and the question is as to what she said to Mr. Thaw. It is apparent that she is relating what she says is an occurrence, and I simply call your attention to that.
The Court—Did you tell this to Mr. Thaw?
A.—All of this.
The Court—About the Waldorf?
Mr. Jerome—At that time?
A.—Yes, some time after
Mr. Delmas—It has been suggested to me, Madam, by the Assistant District Attorney, that the date of that event and that invitation to luncheon should be fixed and we might as well have that done now.
A.—I am not quite sure, but it was in August.
Q.—You say, then at that time you were 16 years and some months old?
Q.—You say that your mother dressed you on that occasion?
Q.—Now, then, will you proceed with your narrative, with what you stated to Mr. Thaw, and I again caution you, that there may be no mistakes about it in future and no further interruptions, though the interruption was perfectly proper, that you are to state only what you told Mr. Thaw.
Door Opened Itself.
A.—I told him that the door opened without anybody opening it. It opened itself. And we went in thorugh that door, and then we went up some steps, and another door opened in the same way. Then we went up some more steps. And when were about half way up I stopped and asked this young lady where we were going. And a voice called down—but I could not see who it was. Then she started upstairs and I followed. Then a man’s voice called downstairs—
Q.—Did you see the man?
A.—I could not until we got to the top of the stairs.
Q.—You heard the voice first without seeing the man?
A.—When we went into the room there was a table set for four people. The furnishings in the room were of velvet and very fine, but I though the man big and ugly—
Q.—You thought the man a brilliant man?
A.—No; I thought this man was a big man and I thought he was very ugly, and he asked us to take off our hats, and so we took off our hats.
Q.—Permit me—there was another gentleman there with him?
A.—Not there then; another gentleman came a few minutes after.
Mr. Delmas—And I will request you now, so as to caution you, not to mention his name unless called for.
Witness—This other gentlemen came in later, and we sat down to the table, and I remember they teased me because my hair was down my back and I wore short dresses.
Mr. Jerome—This is what you told Mr. Thaw?
A.—Yes, he told me to tell him everything.
Q.—You still wore short dresses?
A.—Yes, but not very short; they were up to my shoetops.
Mr. Delmas—Now, then, proceed, and state what you related to Mr. Thaw regarding that luncheon party and then this other gentlemen went away. He said he had business in Wall Street and went away. Then we went up two more flights of stairs and got into another room, and in this room there as a red velvet swing, and Mr. White put us in this swing and we would swing up to the ceiling.
Q.—Bt that you mean yourself and this other young lady?
A.—Yes, turn about.
Q.—And he would swing you?
A.—Yes. We would swing up to the ceiling. They had a big Japanese umbrella on the ceiling, so when we were pushed up very high our feet passed through.
The Question of Fact.
Mr. Jerome—One moment, will you? If your Honor please, of course this testimony is admissible only as to the effect it might have had on the mind of this defendant. As your Honor knows, the People would not be allowed to introduce any testimony to show that these facts did not occur. I now at this point ask your Honor to instruct the jury what the purpose of this testimony is—that it is purely to show that the mind of this defendant was affected by the narration of these facts by the witness and that the rules of evidence do not permit the District Attorney to controvert the fact as ever having occurred, and he is only allowed to controvert the question whether it was or was not told to this defendant.
Mr. Delmas—If your Honor please, if I catch the drift of the learned District Attorney’s remarks, it is that he would not be allowed to controvert the testimony as to the occurrence of these facts, by some rule of law or of evidence. I will state to him how that we will have no objection whatever, and will not invoke that rule. If he desires to probe into the occurrence of the fact, he is at perfect liberty to do so.
Mr. Jerome—Your Honor sees my purpose in asking your Honor to instruct the jury as to the rules of law. I must try the case according to the rules, and your Honor must not permit me, even upon consent of the counsel for defense, to go into it.
The Court—Is there any objection now before the court?
Witness—Then, after a while, Mr. White said he was a hard-working man and had to go back to his office, but he would like to stay all day, and then he asked this young lady that he wanted to speak to her. (At this point the witness lowered her voice so that part of her answer was inaudible.) In a few moments they came back, and there was some talk about a ride around the Park in an automobile, and then this young lady was to go to a dinner. Shall I say the name?
Mr. Delmas—No, it is not necessary.
Witness—And then we went downstairs and went into an electric hansom and rode around the Park, with this young lady and myself, (remained of answer inaudible.)
White Wrote to Her Mother.
Mr. Delmas—Proceed, then, with the next statement you made to Mr. Thaw.
Witness—Then the next time I saw Mr. White was after he had written a letter to my mother asking her—
Mr. Jerome—Wait, please. The contents of the letter are objected to.
The Court—Do not state the contents.
Q.—Did you see the letter?
A.—I did, and had a hard time making it out.
Q.—Did subsequent events make you familiar with the handwriting of Mr. White?
A.—Yes, very much.
Q.—Did you state the contents of that letter to Mr. Thaw—
One more Mr. Jerome objected, on the ground that as the witness was merely relating what she had told the defendant in Paris as a reason why she could not marry him, and she would not have repreated the contents of this letter, it must not be detailed in court.
Justice Fitzgerald agreed with this, but Mr. Delmas asked the witness if she had told Thaw what was in the letter.
replied. “Mr. Thaw told me to tell him
everything so I did. The note asked my
mother to call at
The court warned Mrs. Thaw to be careful to confine herself to what she had told Thaw, and she promised to do so. The examination by Mr. Delmas then proceeded.
Q.—Continue to observe it an proceed.
A.—Mr. Thaw asked me what was in the letter, and I told him as much as I could remember.
Q.—Tell us what you told him?
A.—That Mr. White wanted my mother to come to see him, which she did. Then Mr. Thaw wanted to know what Mr. White said to my mother, and I told him that Mr. White had requested my mother to not only take me to the dentist, but that she was to go also, and my mother said, no; it was a very strange thing, she thought, to do, and Mr. White said no, that he had done that for nearly all the girls in the “Florodora” company, and they had all gone, and it was to be nothing out of the way at all.
Suppers in the
A.—And then the next time I saw Mr. White was at another luncheon in the same suite of rooms in Twenty-fourth Street, and there was a different (rest of answer inaudible.)
The Court—Did you tell this to Mr. Thaw?
Q.—Did you tell Mr. Thaw how you came to go to that luncheon, whom you were invited by, and in what manner?
A.—Mr. White invited me and told me there would be several parties there whom I already knew, but I must not ask who it was until I got there. He told me not to say anything to the first young lady I had gone with.
Q.—Not to say anything to her?
A.—Yes, sire; not to tell her.
Q.—Proceed with your narration of what you told Mr. Thaw of the events.
A.—I told Mr. Thaw that Mr. Stanford White—I told Mr. Thaw that Mr. Stanford White had sent me a hat and a boa.
A.—A hat and a
boa, a feather boa, and a long red cape.
My mother made me a new dress and sent it to the theatre
one night, and
told me I was invited to a surprise. I
was to put on the new dress, the boa, and the hat.
The carriage was waiting for me on the west
(Mr. Jerome takes the names from the witness.)
Mr. Delmas—Proceed with your narration, Madam.
Witness—Mr. Thaw asked how they behaved at the party, and I said very nicely.
tell him in what room or apartment you had gone into in the
A.—I did. I told him it was in the part of the tower that Mr. White had.
Q.—Did he ask you to describe these apartments to him?
A.—No, he said he had been there once.
Q.—He said he himself had been there?
A.—Yes. Then I told him there were three or four—
Q.—You told him, as I understand you, that the last you had said on that subject was that this party was perfectly proper?
A.—Yes, that I had a very nice time, and I had supper there, and Mr. White wouldn’t let me have but one glass of champagne—told him that he said that this little girl was not to have more that one glass and that she was not to stay up late and must be taken home to her mother, and he took me home to my mother, took me clear to the door of our apartment at the Arlington Hotel, and knocked at mother’s door.
Q.—What time of the night would you say this way?
A.—Half past one or a quarter of two.
Mr. Delmas—Proceed then.
Witness—I told Mr. Thaw there were three or four parties like that with the same people.
Q.—In the tower?
A.—In the tower; all in the tower.
Q.—Did you give him a description of the parties, whether anything peculiar or strange happened; did you tell him, as on the other, that they were all apparently proper?
Q.—And conducted properly?
Q.—You say the same personnel was present at all these parties?
A.—Yes, the same people.
Q.—That is, Mr. White, this other young lady whose name has not been mentioned and another gentleman whose name has also not been mentioned?
Mother Leaves Her in White’s Care.
Q.—Very well, then. Proceed with your narrative. What else did you tell him about the events?
White came to call on my mother several times, and asked if she wanted
to go to
Pittsburg to visit her friends there, and she said no, that she could
and visit there and leave me alone in New York, and he said, “No, that
perfectly right,’ and then he came again and saw mother several times
was there, and I remember hearing him tell that it was not impossible
to go and visit Pittsburg, if I was left with him.
He said she might go and visit in
mamma told me he was a very grand man, and afterward she went to
Q.—I am requested, Madam, by the Assistant District Attorney to ask you to fix the date of that occurrence as near as you remember it?
A.—I think it was in September.
Q.—Of what year?
Q.—The other occurrences that you have spoken of were also in 1901, and commenced, if I understood you, in Auguest?
Visit to White’s Studio.
Q.—Very well. Then you went to his studio?
Q.—Describe, if you please, what you said, or related to Mr. Thaw about the occurrences that took place at that studio, if you said anything on the subject?
A.—I told him that the door opened by itself, and that I had gone up several flights of stairs and there were no curtains in the windows, and the house looked like nobody lived there from the outside. Then when I got upstairs there was a man, a photographer that I knew, a photographer that I had posed for.
Q.—You need not mention his name unless it is called for.
A.—He was there and there was another man.
(Mr. Jerome gets names from the witness)
Q.—There were then this photographer, you told Mr. Thaw, and another person whose name you have given the District Attorney?
Q.—Now, then, did you describe or relate to Mr. Thaw what took place in that photograph studio?
A.—I said they showed me a dressing room, and I put on a very gorgeous kimono, and they went out and I put on this Japanese kimono, and Mr. White said it came form Hongkong, and I posed for long time.
Q.—Did you describe to Mr. Thaw the general appearance of those garments?
Q.—Kindly state what you said to him on the subject?
A.—Well, he had seen the photographs of me taken at that time.
Mr. Delmas—Very well. Proceed.
Witness—And then I told him that this man took the photographs, that I had known him before, and he posed before, and the other man that carried the plates for the photographer, and then I got very tired. I posed a long, long time, and Mr. White said that the photographer could go and the other man could go, and asked the other man to send him some food.
Q.—I am asked if Mr. White was there when you first came in?
Q.—Well, then, there was Mr. White, there was the photographer that you had mentioned, and
Q.—And they were all three together there up to the time you are arriving at?
Q.—And Mr. White told the photographer or the other gentleman to go?
A.—He told the photographer he could go and the other man I think was sent to get some food.
A.—Yes. And then I went into the dressing room and shut the door and put on my dress. I took off the kimono and put on my dress. I took off the kimono and put on my dress. mr. White came and knocked at the door and asked me if I needed any help, and I said no. Then when I got dressed I cam out again, and there was some food in the studio. We sat down and ate, and Mr. White wouldn’t let me have but one glass of champagne, and then he put me in a carriage and sent me back to the hotel.
Q.—When you said we, you mean yourself, Mr. White, and this other gentleman?
A.—No, he had gone away.
Q.—You two had been left there alone?
Q.—Very well, proceed. You then went back in a carriage to your home, to you hotel?
Q.—Your mother was absent, as I understand you?
Invited to a Party; Only White There.
A.—Then the next night after that I received a note from Mr. White at the theatre asking me to come to a party, and he would send a carriage for me, the carriage would be waiting. so after the theatre I got into the carriage and was taken down to the Twenty-fourth Street studio and when I got there the door opened and I came out and went upstairs, and Mr. White was there, but no one else was there, and I asked him if the same people would be there who were at the other party.
And he said “What do you think, they have turned us down.”
And I said: “Oh it’s too bad. Then we won’t have a party.”
He said: “They have turned us down and probably gone off somewhere else and forgotten all bout us.”
And I said: “Had I better go home?” and he said: No, we will sit down and have some food, anyhow, in spite of them”; that I must be hungry.
So he sat down at the table and I took off my hat and coat. We sat down at that table and ate this food. Then I remember Mr. White going away for a while and coming back again.
So after supper when I got up from the table he told me that I hadn’t seen all of his place; that they had three floors, and there were some very beautiful things in all the different rooms, and he would take me around and show them to me.So we went up another flight of stairs, not the one I had gone up before, but a little tiny backstairs, and came into a strange room that I hadn’t seen before, and there as a piano in this room, paintings of the wall, and very interesting cabinets all about, and we looked at this room for some time, and I sat down at the piano and played something.
Drank Glass of Wine: Lost Senses.Mr. White asked me to come to see the backroom, and he went through some curtains, and the backroom was a bedroom, and I sat down at this table, a tiny little table—there was a bottle of champagne, a small bottle, and one glass. Mr. White picked up the bottle and poured the glass full of champagne. I paid no attention to him, because I was looking at a picture over the mantel, a very beautiful one that attracted my attention, and asked him who painted it, and he told me. Then he told me he had decorated this room himself, showed me all the different things about. It was very small.
Then he came to me and told me to finish my champagne. I said I didn’t care much for it. He insisted that I drink this glass of champagne, which I did, and I don’t know whether it was a minute or after or two minutes after, but a pounding began in my ears, a something and pounding; then the whole room seemed to go around; everything got very black.
Mr. Delmas—I do not desire to distress you any more than is necessary in this matter, but it is absolutely essential that you should go on with your testimony.
Then the witness continued in detail. She told of awaking later, to find herself in a bed surrounded by mirrors. She screamed, and Stanford White asked her to please keep quiet. She screamed more than ever and he went out of the room. The she went home and sat up all night.
She repeated the conversation she had with White the next day. He praised her beauty and her youth, told her how he liked girls, and said he would do a great many things for her.
Q.—Did you state anything to Mr. Thaw on that occasion other than you have stated?
A.—I don’t remember anything more.
Q.—Did you state anything that Mr. White had told you or any explanation he had given of this stupor you had fallen into?
A.—Yes: I asked him about it.
Q.—You asked Mr. White?
A.—Yes, and he asked me not to ask him anything about it and that I must not worry about it.
Effect of the Story on Thaw.
Q.—What was the effect of this statement of yours upon Mr. Thaw?
A.—He was very excited.
Q.—Will you kindly describe it?
A.—He would get up and walk up and down the room a minute, and then come and sit down and say, “Oh, God! Oh, God!’ and bit his nails like that, and keep sobbing.
A.—Yes, it was not like crying—it was a deep sob. He kept saying, “Go on, go on; tell me the whole thing, all about it.”
Q.—How long did that scene last, Mrs. Thaw:
A.—Why, we stayed there all night; we sat up all night in this place.
Q.—You sat up all night in this room?
Q.—What was done during the night, what did he do?
A.—He sat there. He sobbed in this way, and walked up and down, and every now and then he would come and ask me some particular thing about it.
Q.—Asked you about he details of his occurrence that you have mentioned?
A.—Yes. And he asked me a great many questions about mamma.
Q.—Will you kindly state to the jury in what direction there questions were—what they were would be better?
A.—He tried to find out whether mamma knew anything about it, and I said she did not. She thought, like a great many other people, that Mr. White was a very noble man, very kind-hearted and noble, and that she knew nothing about that, and then Mr. Thaw made up his mind that mamma was very foolish and had been fooled by these letters, and he said that it was not really her fault, only in the beginning she never should have accepted anything form him, never should have taken any flowers and presents, and that she ought to have known better than to let me go out with an old married man.
Renewed Offer of Marriage.
Q.—After you had stated this occurrence, Madam, and the reason why you could not accept Mr. Thaw’s offer in marriage, did he renew his offer or break it off?
A.—Not that night. But that night he told me that any decent person who heard the story would say it was not my fault; that whatever happened was not my fault; that I was simply a poor, unfortunate little girl, and that he did not think anything less of me, but, on the contrary, he said that I must always remember he would be my friend, no matter what happened, he would always be my friend.
Q.—When did you next see him?
A.—The next day.
Q.—The next day?
A.—In fact, I saw him every day.
Q.—And when was it that any recurrence or any reference was made again to these events that you have mentioned?
A.—Continually, all the time.
Q.—I am asking, rather, as to any proposal for marriage on his part; when was it after this that he renewed his proposal of marriage, if at all, to you?
A.—Later on; it was maybe two months after, that he had made up his mind I was not to be blamed for anything that had happened, that it was not my fault, and he was going to marry me anyway, in spite of it all.
Q.—Did you accede to his request at that time, or did you decline it, and, if so, did you give him any reason for declining?
Q.—Will you please state to the jury that conversation?
A.—I told him several times after that—I told him that several times after that, that even if I didn’t marry him, that friends of Stanford White would always laugh at him and make fun of him, and that he would be always talked about, because the people in the theatre were very quick to catch on to that sort of thing, and that they all suspected it more or less, and some of the people of the theatre even had missed up, and I told him and said it would not be right for us to get married, that as soon as I got able to dance—I had been ill—and as soon as I got able to dance I would go back to the theatre.
Q.—Was there any mention at that time, when you gave him the reasons why you should not marry him, about his family, his mother and sisters?
A.—Yes; we had several quarrels. When I said that everybody did these things, he said it was not true; that it was a dirty lie. He said that everybody did not do these things. He said that there were lots of decent women in the world, that he had two lovely sisters and a lovely mother, that some women did these things, but as a rule they did not. He said it was a dirty lie.
Q.—That is when you were speaking to him of what had been told you by Stanford White on that subject?
Q.—I mean was there anything said in connection with our declining his offer of marriage as to how it would affect him, to marry you, with his family, that and with his social position?
A.—Yes; I said
it would not be a good thing, that I had been to a great many
Stanford White, for another thing (part of answer not audible.) and I
did not think it would be the right thing.
I said if he had met me in
Q.—What did he say to all these reasons of yours—what reply did he make?
A.—He kept saying he could not care for anybody else and could not possibly love anybody else; that his whole life was ruined; he could not marry anybody, and he said he never would marry any one else.
Her Early Life.
Q.—Did you at that time, and subsequently before you were married to Mr. Thaw, give him a history of your life up to the time you met Stanford White?
Q.—Will you please state to the jury what you said to him about that subject?
A.—Well he asked me a great many questions.
Q.—Will you state it as nearly in narrative form as you can, the substance of what you told him, where you were born, what you did up to the time you met Stanford White?
A.—I told him
that I was born in ____, Penn, up the Allegheny River, and my father
Then after a
while, when that didn’t pay also, mamma got away back in the rent, and
the Sheriff came and put a sign on the door and that all the furniture
be sold, and I remember we had a terrible time.
Then I think Mr. Holman came to our rescue, and paid this
owed. Then mamma made up her mind that
she would leave
Mr. Delmas—Not necessarily now.
old family that had known my mother and her people, and they put us on
train and gave the conductor instructions that we were to be put off at
Q.—You are speaking of your bother and yourself?
Q.—How old were you at that time?
A.—I think I was about fifteen or fourteen and a half. Then we traveled all alone, and had a lot of trouble with the cat which we had with us. The conductor wanted to put is off, and we cried and he finally let us keep it.
Begins to Pose for Artists.
cat. Then when we got to
While we were there we met Mrs. Barry, who was an artist, and she wanted to paint a picture of me. and I went to her studio one day of West 100th Street, and I sat for this picture, and while I was there another artist came into the room—she came into the room and wanted me to pose for her, and this lady explained to her that I was a new model, and I was just posing for this picture for her. And then this other artist came several times and wanted very much I should come and sit for her, and said there were lots of artists in the building, and it would be very nice for me if I would do it, and mamma let me go, and I posed for some angels fro her. While I was posing for her another party in the same building came in and asked me to pose for him, and so I posed for four different persons in that building.
Then they sent
me to a photographer named Phillips, who made a portrait of me, and
then all of
a sudden two different men artists, who were together, came and I posed
them. then when we moved to
Q.—Now, during this time you were posing for these various artists you received a certain remuneration?
Q.—What was that applied to, the money that you thus received?
Mr. Jerome—One moment. Did you state that to Mr. Thaw?
Q.—As to what was done with the money that you got from these various artists?
Q.—What was it; what was done with the money?
A.—I gave it to my mother.
Q.—You gave it to your mother, and at that time did you tell him whether the family had any other means of support except that moneys that you earned?
A.—Yes, I told him that sometimes Mr. Holman helped the family.
Q.—Sometimes Mr. Holman helped the family?
Worked at Model to Support Family.Q.—Now proceed.
A.—Then after mamma got to New York she sent back to Pittsburg on a pass: she sent me back to get Howard, my little brother, and I went back to get him, and I stayed there for a while, a few weeks, and then we came back and visited with those same people we were with before—they are a very large family—and I remember mamma and a young lady came to meet us at the station and took us to this house on West Twenty-second street. Then my mother tried again to get a position, and she couldn’t; she kept failing all the time, and we lived in a little backroom on the second floor, and things got very bad, indeed. We didn’t have anything to eat sometimes for days but bread; sometimes some coffee, and then my mother took this Phillips photograph of me to Mr. Carroll Beckwith.
I think that was in December of 1900. Mr. Beckwith told her that if she would bring me up there to the studio he would surely give me some work to do. So I went to Mr. Beckwith, and it was arranged that I was to pose for him two mornings a week, and he told me I was not the sort of girl that ought to go knocking on studios doors; that he would give me letters of introduction, he would give me letters to reputable artists in the City of New York, and I was never to go and knock on studio doors, the way models do.
And he gave me a letter of introduction to Mr. Church, and Mr. Church gave me a letter to Mr. Herbert Morgan and Mr. Charles Brandt, and I posed for them. (In the last answer the witness named some other artists to whom she received letters of introduction.)
Q.—These gentlemen and the lady whom you have mentioned all are well-known artists?
Q.—Of the highest rank?
Q.—Very well. Now, you commenced posing them, upon this introduction, for Mr. Beckwith?
Q.—And went there twice a week for how long?
A.—Until I went on the stage.
Q.—That would be, if you will kindly tell the jury, about how long?
A.—December, 1900, to May or June, 1901.
Q.—Then did you state to Mr. Thaw whether you posed for these other artists that you have spoken of?
A.—Yes, I told him.
Q.—During that time?
Q.—Also for a
Q.—Did you tell Mr. Thaw what all this work of yours result4ed in so far as money, so far as earnings were concerned?
A.—About $17 or $18 a week.
Q.—About $17 or $18 a week. Did you tell him what you did with your money?
Q.—What did you tell him you did with it?
A.—I gave it to my mother.
Q.—Did you tell him who during that period supported the family, composed of yourself, your mother and brother?
Q.—What did you tell him?
A.—I told him that I did most of it and sometimes Mr. Holman did some.
Q.—Now, then, did you tell Mr. Thaw how after having thus earned $17 or $18 a week as a model, you came to go on the stage?
Mr. Delmas—Please tell the jury what you told him on that subject.
Then She Went on the Stage.
Witness—In some way, I forget how, a reporter came down to the house and asked who I was, and he met my mother, and my mother showed him my photograph, and he heard I was a model, and he took one of these photograps and put it in the paper, and said I was a model in New York, and told where I lived in this article, and then reporters begain coming to the house. One was a woman reporter, and mother gave photographs to her, and then I began getting letters form strange people, and I got a letter form theatrical manager named Marks. He wrote a letter saying he wanted to make me an offer, and he would come and see me in the drug store on the corner, and I didn’t pay any attention to it. Then this Mr. Marks wrote another letter. I met this man Marks, I think, through another girls, and then Mr. Marks gave us a letter of introduction to Mr. John C. Fischer, who is manager of “Florodora” company; and I found out that I could pose in the day and work in the theatre at night and double the money I was earning at that time.
Q.—Double the money?
A.—Yes; I could earn $15 a week in the theatre and $17 or $18 at the same time. So I wanted to go on the stage. My mother didn’t want me to, but I insisted on it, and I went one day with my mother to Mr. Fischer’s office, and I told Mr. Thaw what happened there. I told him we went into Mr. Fischer’s office, showed him the letter, and he said it wasn’t a baby farm.
Theatre Man Called Her Baby.
A.—He said it wasn’t a baby farm, and he couldn’t take me.
Q.—It was not a baby farm?
A.—Yes. Mr. Fischer said it wasn’t a baby farm, and he said if they put me on the Gerry Society would be after them. And I cried and said I wanted to go. He said there was a rehearsal going on upstairs, and that we could go up and look at it. He took me upstairs, and after the rehearsal he brought the stage manager back to me and the stage manager aske me if I could dance. I said yes, I had learned to dance at dancing school. So after rehearsal he had some one play the piano and I danced for him, and he told Fischer to engage me, and he said he would, but must be careful about my age and must not tell people how old I was, and I could come to rehearsal the next morning. I did, and I cam there for about a month.
Q.—And you continued, therefore, to pose in the daytime, earning about the same amount of money, $17 or $18 a week?
Q.—And earned some fifteen dollars a week at the theatre?
A.—At the theatre.
Q.—Did you tell Mr. Thaw what was done with all the money that you thus earned?
Q.—What did you tell him?
A.—Told him it was spent for the family.
Q.—For the family?
Q.—For the support of the family?
Q.—During the intervening period between that time and the time you met White, had you told Mr. Thaw anything else?
A.—No, except I told him that I posed for artists, and he immediately asked me for whom. I told him I posed for a lot old stuffs and then would—
Q.—You posed for what?
A.—Stuffs. He said they were a lot of old fogies and stuffs.
proposal of marriage that you have stated was made by Mr. Thaw to you
Q.—When was that!
you return to the
A.—In November or the end of October; I think the end of October, 1903.
First Met Thaw in 1901.
Q.—When was the first time that you had seen Harry K. Thaw so as to know of his existence—so as to know that there was such a person as Harry K. Thaw?
A.—You mean when I first met him?
Q.—At what time?
A.—About—a little before Christmas time.
Q.—A little before Christmas time?
Q.—How much has you seen of him during that time?
A.—I saw him just a few times.
Q.—Was there any social intercourse between you and him during that time—did he visit you?
A.—He visited us.
Q.—Will you kindly tell the jury how many times he came to visit you, and where?
A.—He came sometimes when I was out; I don’t remember how many times. I know he came once when I was at school.
Q.—Where do you remember seeing him for the first time when he came to visit you—where, at what hotel, what place?
A.—At the Audubon Hotel.
Q.—Was your mother present at the time?
Q.—How long did he stay at that time?
A.—I couldn’t tell; about half an hour.
Q.—Will you please describe in a general way what was the occasion of his visit, what he said?
Mr. Jerome—One moment. What he said—I suppose you still are on the question of unsound mind?
The Court—You may state the conversation.
Thaw’s Interest in Her.Q.—Will you please state the conversation between you and him at that time?
A.—I do not remember particularly, but I know he said I was too young to be on the stage and I ought to be sent to school.
Q.—That you were too young to be on the stage and ought to be sent to school?
A.—Yes; he offered to send my brother to school.
Q.—He sent your brother to school?
A.—He offered to.
Q.—This was in the latter part, as I understand you, of 1901?
Q.—Were either of these offers accepted at that time?
Q.—When did you see Mr. Thaw again after that?
A.—I don’t remember exactly.
Q.—Was there an interval there that you did not see him?
A.—Yes; I do not think I saw him again for a few weeks.
Q.—Well, I mean a later or more considerable interval than that, when you did not see him for several months after 1901?
A.—I did not see him for a long time, for several months.
Q.—That is what I am asking you.
A.—I did not see him again until I was at school.
Q.—Were you taken ill at any time when you had to go to a hospital?
Q.—What time was that?
A.—That is when I was at school.
Q.—I am asking for a date?
A.—In 1903, in the early part of the year.
Q.—When did you go to school?
A.—I went to school in 1902, I think.
A.—It was about the end of October, or the beginning of November, somewhere along in there.
Q.—Now, between the latter part of 1901, when you first saw Mr. Thaw, and the time you went to school, how often did you see him, and where?
A.—I think I
saw him one day in town; I think he came to call on me.
He said he had just come to call on me.
He said he had just come back for
Q.—That is, the offer, as I understood you, to send you and your brother to school upon his stating that you were too young to be on the stage was declined?
White Sent Her to School.
Q.—How did you
come to go to school later, as you have describe, in
Mr. Jerome—One moment.
The Court—That is part of the conversation.
Mr. Delmas—That is true, your Honor.
state to Mr. Thaw at any time how you had come to go to school in
Q.—Kindly state that.
A.—I told him all about it.
Q.—Well, will you please tell the jury what it was that you told him?
A.—I told him
that Mr. White had gone to
Operation Performed at the School.
Q.—While you were at school there, you say you were taken ill?
Q.—Had to have an operation performed?
Q.—When was that time that you were taken ill?
A.—The early part of 1903.
Q.—Did you see Mr. Thaw at that time?
Q.—Where id you see him?
A.—I saw him when I was sick in bed.
Q.—How long had it been before that—how much time had elapsed between the last time you had seen him and the time he came to see you when you were in bed?
A.—I do know exactly; it might have been two or three weeks.
Q.—Will you please describe to the jury what Mr. Thaw did when he saw you there in bed?
A.—Well, the doctors told him that I would have to be etherized, and that I was very sick, and to go and see what was the matter, and that something had happened. They did not tell me what it was. They all went out of the room, and Mr. Thaw came in. He did not say a word to me, because I was too sick to talk. I could not talk. And he knelt down beside the bed and kissed my hand and just looked at me a moment, and then went out. He was the last person I saw.
Q.—Never uttering a word?
A.—He never said a word.
Q.—Did he indicate to you in any way that he did not wish you to speak?
A.—No. I think they told him that I was not allowed to talk. I was very ill.
Q.—Then the last person you were seeing before you were put under the influence of an anaesthetic was Mr. Thaw?
A.—Yes, except the doctor.
Q.—Then did you see him again at the school?
A.—No, I saw him the next time at the hospital.
Q.—You had been transferred from the school to the hospital?
Q.—How long after this time that he had come and kissed your hand was it that you saw him at the hospital?
A.—Oh, I guess it was three weeks or something of that sort.
Q.—What took place at that interview?
A.—I have forgotten. I remember I was able to talk then.
Q.—Did Mr. Thaw on that occasion bring you anything?
A.—Yes, he brought me fruit and flowers, and told me he had made arrangements that several things were to be sent to me; that chicken was to be sent to me several times a week, and flowers.
Q.—When did you recover from that illness sufficiently to be about?
A.—In May, 1903.
That Arranged Trip to
Q.—Had any arrangements been made at that time for you to travel?
Thaw had arranged with my mother that I was to go to
arrangements were then made that you should go to
Q.—And those arrangements were made with your mother?
with your mother and Mr. Thaw went to
A.—No, he went on another boat a week before.
A.—Yes, we met
you return form
A.—IN the latter part of October 1903.
Q.—Did you bring with you any letter written by Mr. Thaw to any one?
Mr. Delmas—If you honor please, may I show the witness this letter; I mean, may I step inside the rail and show the letter to her?
The Court—Yes, or have an officer hand it to her.
Q.—(Handing paper.)—Can you recognize the handwriting of this letter?
Q.—Whose handwriting is it?
Mr. Delmas—I offer it in evidence.
Fight on Admitting Thaw’s Letters.
An objection was here made by the District Attorney to the effect that while the law permits oral testimony tending to show the condition of the defendant’s mind at the time of the killing, that the admission of writings from the defendant under the general rules of evidence is not permissible.
The Court—What is the theory of the offer?
Mr. Delmas—If you Honor please, the letter which I hold in my hand has direct reference to the statements which the witness made to Mr. Thaw, is written at the time, and I submit to your Honor, the very best evidence of the effect that those statements had upon his mind. His acts and oral declarations of a party alleged to be of unsound mind are admissible in evidence, and I submit to your Honor that his written acts and declarations can be equally so.
Mr. Jerome—The letter, I think should be marked for identification, and the questions might be reserved if you Honor concurs. It seems to me that it would be recognized as a very wise part of the general rule to exclude statements made by a defendant and only allow the characterization of them as rational or irrational. These things were told to this defendant, according to the witness, and property could have an influence on his mind. Whether they did have an effect on his mind is to be determined by the evidence, by his appearance, and not by letters which he was writing about it. From those things the jury is to infer, not as to their truth or falsity, but as to their effect on this defendant’s mind.
The Court—I understand you to say as a general statement that oral conversations are admissible, and written statements also as matter of logic should follow that rule. Do you know of any case where evidence of that character has been admitted?
Mr. Delmas—I could not tell you that I have a case now at my tongue’s end, which I could cite to you. I can state to your Honor that in a somewhat extended experience in matters of this kind I have never heard the propositions questioned to this effect. For instance, if it was proper to admit the declaration of Mr. Thaw, as no one would contend it was not, at the time of the killing. “He has ruined my wife,” if that was proper as evidence of the mental conditions of the defendant at that time, how is it conceivable that as showing his condition of mind a letter written by him immediately after he had heard the story which had been told upon the stand, written to a friend or to any one else, would not be evidence of the condition of the mind. I have no doubt while I have stated to your Honor that I could not at the present moment place my hands on any authority which would support the proposition I have advanced, that I can find abundant authority to support it.
The Court—As abundant authority can be found to support the proposition, there is no need discussing it. Mark it for identification, and I will look at the authorities.
Mr. Delmas—If you Honor will pardon me, I was not presumptuous enough to say there were. I said I had no doubt abundant authority could be found.
The Court—Mark it for the present time for identification.
Mr. Delmas—Then, if your Honor please, for the present moment I shall withdraw the offer until I have had an opportunity to examine the authorities. And as I have reached now this stage of the case, will hour Honor grant us an adjournment now?
The Court—Have you finished with the witness?
Mr. Delmas—Oh, I am not through with the witness.
The Court—Then you may go on with some other branch.
Mr. Jerome—I think it would be no more than fair, if you Honor please, as the witness is going through this long ordeal, that she be given a little longer time at the recess hour and think we might adjourn now.
Mr. Delmas—I thank the District Attorney for his courtesy.
The Court—Then, the counsel on both sides desiring it, we will take the recess now until the usual time.
The Court then announced a recess until 2 o’clock.
THAW’S LETTERS READ.
Wife’s Testimony Also Continued at the Afternoon Session.
Although Evelyn Nesbit Thaw was recalled to the stand as soon as Justice Fitzgerald took his seat after the recess the proceedings for over an hour consisted in a duel between the lawyers on technical questions. Mr. Delmas arrivd prepared to argue the admissibility of the letter written by the defendant to his lawyer, Longfellow, after he had heard Evelyn Nesbits story, but found that the District Attorney had withdrawn his objection.
Mr. Jerome asked to see the letter before it was marked for identification, and Mr. Delmas objected, on the ground that when on Wednesday he had asked to be allowed to examine a statement made by Mr. McCaleb permission had been refused. The District Attorney pointed out that Mr. Delmas had not followed the regular practice of the court in his request. the letter was then read, as follows:
Longfellow: Mrs. Nesbit sails to-morrow for
Her daughter can’t be with
her, because Mrs. N. by superhuman negligence was
beguiled by blackguard when the child was 15 2/3 years.
the child was drugged. With
perfect silliness the mother unintentionally was the cause and
horribly—.[Here appeared two
stars.] For present don’t trouble at
all, except to find her address from
Telephone Mrs. N., not with your name. Say, “Did you see Mr. Thaw abroad?” After hearing answer put up phone. Finis.
If you can’t read this don’t trouble. Only one thing. (over) (In haste unavoidable.) Please telephone Mrs. N. incoginito. Hear what she had to say, then put up phone. Please cable me all news about her fully, my expense.
On a scrap of paper pinned to the letter was written:
“Mrs. N. insisted on sailing
for N.Y., leaving her daughter. Then her
daughter left her. I kept Mrs. N. in
Another letter was produced by Mr. Delmas, and he wished to introduce it by getting Mrs. Thaw to identify the handwriting. It was undated, but according to counsel for the defense contained a reference to the wedding of Thaw’s brother by which its approximate date could be fixed.
The District Attorney objected strenuously, and after some debate Mr. Delmas withdrew the document. A third letter was then produced by the defense, and once more Mr. Jerome objected. There was a date Nov. 13, 1903, upon it, but he contended that it was not in the handwriting of the rest of the letter.
He was upheld by the court, and Mr. Delmas endeavored to prove the date by showing the letter to Mrs. Thaw and asking her whether she could tell from the handwriting when it was written.
Mr. Jerome objected because Mrs. Thaw is not a handwriting expert, and in the end the discussion was dropped for the time. Mr. Longfellow, to whom the letters had been addressed, was expected to appear in court in a few minutes, and as he cold settle the point at issue without difficulty it was decided that there was no reason to take up the time of the court by arguing technical points.Wife’s Story Resumed.
The direct examination of Mrs. Evelyn Nesbit Thaw by Mr. Delmas was then resumed.
Q.—You returned at the same time that Mr. Thaw, your husband, did or did your return alone, without him?
A.—I came before him.
remember about the time that your reached
A.—About the beginning of November or the ending of October.
Q.—I will ask
you, Madam, if before you left Europe you had any conversation with
Thaw upon the subject of any one meeting you when you arrived in
Q.—Kindly state to the jury what he said to you upon that subject.
A.—He told me that he would send Mr. Longfellow, his lawyer, to meet me, to see that I got thought the Custom House all right.
Q.—Did he give you any letters to be delivered to his gentleman, Mr. Longfellow?
A.—Yes, one letter is all I remember.
you see Mr. Thaw after you arrived in
A.—I think a little over a month.
Q.—And do you recall the date of your landing here?
A.—Not the exact day, but I know it was in October, toward the end of October.
Q.—And you think that several weeks, or your impression is about a month, after that you saw Mr. Thaw for the first time since you have parted from him?
A.—About that, I could not state exactly.
Q.—Where did you see him?
A.—At the Hotel Navarre.
Mr. Delmas—Kindly state what took place between you and him at that time, what he said, if anything, to you, and what you said to him.
Mr. Jerome—I desire to have your Honor instruct the jury that the truth or falsity, so far as the matter it contains is concerned, as not the issue, but only as to what effect it had on the mind of this defendant.
The Court—I presume the jury understands that.
Mr. Delmas—I assume they understand it’ they have been told several times, and I think his Honor’s languate was clear and explicit.
Witness—I did not see him alone; I said I would not see him alone.
Q.—Was he made aware of that fact, that you would not see him alone?
Q.—And therefore he came to see you in company with another person? You need not mention the name unless the learned District Attorney desires it.
A.—I don’t whether he came with this man, but the man was there when he came.
Told Thaw of Charges Against Him.
Q.—Now, then kindly state what conversation took place between you and Mr. Thaw at that time?
A.—Mr. Thaw came into the room and sat down beside me. I was sitting on a trunk, and this other man stood by the window, I think, and I asked him not to go out of the room.
Q.—Without mentioning his name, Madam, the gentleman who was there at the same time as Mr. Thaw is a member of the bar of this city, of standing and reputation?
A.—Yes. After Mr. Thaw came in and sat down beside me he said: “What is the matter with you?” I said: “I don’t care to speak with you because I have heard certain things about you, and knowing these things, I don’t care to speak to you.”
Q.—What reply, if any, did he make?
A.—He asked me what was the matter—that he did not understand.
Q.—Now will you kindly continue and state the conversation without necessitating me putting the question again?
A.—Then I told him that I had heard certain stories about him that were very dirty, dirty stories. the man that told me—I won’t mention his name—told me that he had put a girl in a bathtub and then poured scalding water on her.
Q.—You told him that a certain man had told you that he had put a certain girl in a bathtub and run scalding water on her: is that right?
A.—Yes, sir. And another person had told me that he took morphine, and that he was crazy, and that he was in the habit of taking girls and tying them to bedposts and beating them.
Q.—You told all those to Mr. Thaw?
Q.—Did you mention to him the names of the parties who had told you these things?
Q.—What reply did Mr. Thaw make to you, if any, to these charges?
A.—He shook his head sadly and said: “Poor little Evelyn: I see that they have been making a fool of you.”
White Told Her of Suit Against Thaw.
Q.—What was said after that?
A.—I also told him that Mr. Stanford White had taken me to Mr. Abraham Hummel’s office, and that they had shown me some document, or rather read part of it ot me, and showed me his signature, and it was suppose to be a case that had been brought against Mr. Thaw by one of these persons.
Q.—What reply did he make to that, if any?
A.—He said it was blackmail; that he wouldn’t pay any attention to it whatever; that it was nothing but a pure case of blackmail, and that there was nothing to it; that if I wanted to believe such things I could.
Q.—How long did that interview last?
A.—About 10 minutes, I think.
Q.—Did you persist in your refusal to the end of having anything to do with him?
Q.—Will you kindly tell the jury how you parted or what was said at parting at that time?
A.—I think he kept my hand, and said no matter what I did he would always care most for me and I would always be an angel to him.
Q.—You remember that word distinctly?
Q.—Let me ask you, since I am upon that subject, whether that term of endearment was on which was commonly used by him in speaking to you or of you?
Q.—The word “angle”?
Q.—Then you parted?
Meant to Break with Him.
Q.—But not to see each other again, as you understood?
Q.—Or as he might be led to understand?
Q.—When did you see him again, if at all, after that?
A.—It was sometime after, I don’t know just how long; I think about two weeks for more.
A.—A store at
the corner of
Q.—Was that all that was said at that time?
Q.—And then there was no reconciliation?
A.—No, not a bit.
Q.—When, if at all, did you see him after that?
A.—I met him in the street, but I didn’t stop to talk to him. He was with somebody else and we just passed.
Q.—On what street?
Q.—You passed then without noticing each other?
A.—No, he spoke, and passed on.
Q.—You mean just merely the courtesies of the day?
Q.—Now, then, did you see Mr. Thaw subsequently to that?
A.—I saw him the next time at the Café Beaux Arts.
Q.—In the daytime or in the evening?
A.—It was in the evening.
Q.—What took place, if anything, between you and him at that time?
A.—Well, I was surprised to see him; I did not know that he was to be there. A girl, I wont’ mention her name—(The witness whispers to Mr. Jerome.)
Q.—You have given the name to the District Attorney?
Q.—Do I understand you that you were there in the company with this young lady?
A.—She came after me and asked me to dine there, but did not tell me Mr. Thaw was to be there.
Q.—When you came to his place, you met Mr. Thaw?
Tried to Keep Her Off the Stage.
Q.—Very well. What we are interested in now, and the only thing we are interested in now, as to that, is what took place, if anything, between yourself and Mr. Thaw on that occasion?
A.—I was going
in a play called the “Girl from
Q.—You were going back on the stage?
A.—Yes; I think it was going to open that night—I don’t remember exactly. And he said I looked badly and he didn’t think I was able to dance, and he wished I would not go into that play. I said that I would, and then he said if I would keep away from the theatre he would pay any salary that I was receiving, and would do it very heartily. He wished merely for the sake of my health I would not go to the theatre.
Q.—What was his manner, Madam, at saying that?
Q.—What answer did you make?
A.—I said I would go.
Q.—Let ask you if at that time you had any other means of making a livelihood?
Q.—You have none other? Was that fact known to Mr. Thaw:
A.—I think so.
Q.—Now what also, if anything, was said at that time?
A.—Nothing that I remember.
Q.—Did you remain there with him?
Q.—And after dinner where did you go?
A.—I went to the theatre.
Q.—Do you remember the date of that occurrence?
A.—No, I don’t; it was before Christmas 1903/
Q.—Before Christmas 1903? then I must ask you when you met Mr. Thaw again after that dinner at the Café Beaux Arts?
A.—I met him again with this same young lady in the same restaurant.
Q.—And how long after this occurrence that you have mentioned?
A.—It might have been a day or two days; I don’t remember.
Q.—Also at dinner time?
A.—No, sir; it was lunch.
Q.—Did anything take place at that time, any conversation, between you and Mr. Thaw?
Q.—Will you kindly state it?
A.—Why I asked this girl—I think we both asked her, if she would excuse us while we talked for a few moments then Mr. Thaw—
Repeats Stories Accusing Thaw.
Q.—You asked her to retire?
A.—No, she turned her back to that she could not hear. Then Mr. Thaw asked me if I believed the stories that I had heard.
Q.—The stories you had told him while you were seated on the trunk in the Hotel Navarre, that you have mentioned?
A.—Yes, sir. He told me he wanted me to tell hi every story I had heard, and I did.
Mr. Delmas—Now, you must take the trouble, if you please, to repeat, not in a general way, as you have stated but to repeat as near as you can recall exactly wheat you told Mr. Thaw on that occasion, leaving out, as always, the names of the parties that may have been involved in the matter.
Witness —I told him the one about the bathtub, that this man had told me; that he had taken a girls and put her in a bathtub and run scalding water on her.Q.—Did you give him the name of the man who had told you that?
A.—Then I told him the next one I had heard—I gave him the name of this man. I won’t mention it now. (Witness whispers to Mr. Jerome.)
Q.—You told him that another man, giving his name, had told you another story?
A.—This story was that he lived in a hotel, and at one time in this hotel he had heard loud shrieks and screams, and ran to the assistance of some one; he had burst into this room, and that there was Harry Thaw in this room with a girl tied to a bedpost, and he was beating her with a horsewhip. I told him this story.
White Accused Thaw.
Q.—You gave him the name of the man who had told you that story?
Q.—Now what other story did you relate to him that you had heard, and giving his the author of it?
A.—I told him every story that Stanford White had told me.
Q.—Now tell me what you told him that Stanford White had said about him.
A.—He said that Mr. Thaw took morphine, that he was in the habit of taking morphine; that he knew—Mr. White said he knew it. And while under the influence of this morphine he would do these terrible things, and also repeated the same story about the bathtub that his friend of his told him.
Q.—Then the man that had told you the bathtub story was a friend of Stanford White?
A.—Oh, yes. I think that was about all I heard; I can’t remember.
Q.—All that you told Mr. Thaw on that occasion?
Q.—After you had related to Mr. Thaw these various reports that you had heard about him, what reply did he make?
A.—He said about the first story, the bathtub story, that this friend of Stanford White had told me, that he could easily understand why he told me, because this man hated him and was a friend of Stanford White, and he merely laughed about it. He said it was crazy.
Q.—It was what?
A.—he said it was crazy. the about the second story, he said he couldn’t understand this man having told him—
Q.—The one about the girl being tied to the bedpost?
A.—Yes. He said he couldn’t understand this other man telling the story, as he didn’t know him to be a friend of Stanford White, and he couldn’t understand why this man should make up such a story. then about the stories that Stanford White had told me, he said he could easily understand why that was—
Q.—He said he could easily understand why Stanford White and Hummel had told you those stories?
A.—Yes, and he said that I had no business believing those stories; that I had known him for some time in Europe and had reason to know that they were not so. And then he asked me if I had ever seen him take morphine, and I said no. He said, “If I had taken morphine, wouldn’t I have shown itself some time or another?” (Mrs. Thaw indicated, as if jabbing in her wrist with some little instrument held in the other hand.) And I could not remember ever seeing anything like that. And I told Stanford White that I never knew Harry took morphine, and Mr. White said that there were a lot of other ways of taking it. Said you could smell it up your nose or take a hyperdermic syringe. And Mr. Thaw laughed and said that White knew a lot more about it than he did.
Q.—Did Mr. Thaw on that occasion invite and urge you to investigate into the truth of these stories that had been told of him?
A.—Yes, sir. He offered to go with me to each of the parties.
Q.—Have you stated in substance the whole of the conversation between you and Mr. Thaw upon that occasion?
Q.—Without asking you what you did pursuant to this invitation to investigate, when did you gain meet Mr. Thaw?
A.—Very soon after; I don’t know exactly; a day or two.
A.—I don’t remember.
She Hears Different Story.
Q.—I am not referring to mere casual meetings upon the street, but I am referring to some time, if ever the occasion arose, when you and he discussed the stories that had been told about him, and when you made known to him, if at all, the result of your investigations into them?
A.—The next time I remember talking to him was at Rector’s. I saw this man who told me the story about the hotel.
Q.—About the bedpost?
A.—Yes, I asked this man to tell me that story over again.
Q.—You repeated this to Mr. Thaw?
A.—Yes, sir; Mr. ___, (the witness said something indistinctly. Mr. Delmas immediately stopped her and cautioned her not to mention the name of this man.) he told me a different story this time.
Q.—He did not tell the same story?
A.—No, he told me a different story. The first story made a very decided impression on me, and I remember—
Q.—Did you tell that to Mr. Thaw?
Q.—Did you relate to Mr. Thaw the fact that you had met the author of that story, and what had passed between the second version and the first?
Q.—Tell us what you told Thaw upon that subject.
A.—I told him that I had asked this man to tell me this story again, and the man told me a very different story, and this time he said that it was a waiter who had told him, that that the waiter had come down to the table in the restaurant where he was sitting and told him about it. Then I asked him what hotel it was, and he said he didn’t know. The first time he told me the name of the hotel; the second time he didn’t seem to know. I asked him more and more, and he said: “What are you so interested in this for?” I said: “Because I want to know.” And I said: “The first time you told me a different one. Now you tell me another one.”Accused Thaw “to Please Somebody.”
He just laughed at me and said: “You didn’t believe that, did you?” I said: “I certainly did.” He laughed and said: “I just told you that to please somebody.”
Q.—He said, “I just told you that to please somebody?
Mr. Jerome—All this is what you told Thaw?
The Witness—Yes. I told Mr. Thaw about that, and after that I asked him what sort of a man he was.
Q.—You told Mr. Thaw that after hearing these contradictory stories form his man, who was the author of the bedpost incident, you asked other people that sort of man he was?
A.—Some time later.
Q.—Did you tell Mr. Thaw on that evening anything of the result of your investigation into the truth of these stories except as to the bedpost and fogging incident that you had mentioned?
A.—No. But I remember being very angry with this man who had circulated the story—
Mr. Jerome—I think that should go out.
Mr. Delmas—Quite right. Now, then subsequently you discussed the other stories you had heard, discussed with him what results you had reached upon investigation did you?
Decided to Believe Thaw.
Q.—Very well, will you kindly tell us that?
A.—I could find nothing in them.
Q.—No, what you told Mr. Thaw?
A.—I told Mr. Thaw that.
Q.—And you told him as the final upshot of the matter that there was nothing in these stories?
A.—I told him I could find nothing in these stories and then Mr. Thaw said to me: “No,” because he told me a lie in his life that I know of.
A White-Hummel Incident.
Q.—You have mentioned, Madam, the name of Mr. White in connection with that of well-known lawyer, here, Mr. Hummel. did you have any conversation with Mr. Thaw, your husband, relating to any incident in you life, in which Stanford White and Abraham Hummel had jointly figured?
A.—Yes, I had a great many conversations.
Q.—When the witness referred to a conversation in 1904, Mr. Delmas said: “I will withdraw this question. I desire to preserve, pursuant to the very proper suggestion of the District Attorney, the chronological order as far as possible. I do not desire to get to any events that took place after Christmas Eve, 1903, and therefore should I accidently call for any such event, if you will call my attention to that I will limit my questions.” He then asked, “ Between the conversation that you have mentioned and Christmas Eve, 1903, did you have any conversation with Mr. Thaw relating to the incident in your life in which Abraham Hummel and Stanford White had jointly figures?”
Witness—No, I don’t think I had..
Q.—Now, on Christmas Eve, 1903 did you see Mr. Thaw?
Q.—Where were you at that time?
A.—I think in my dressing room in the Madison Square Theatre.
Q.—You were then upon the stage?
Q.—In what play?
A.—“A Girl from Doxie.”
Q.—Did you see Stanford White that evening?
A.—Yes, several times.
Delmas Gets Thaw’s Letters In.
At this point
the witness was excused so that Frederick W. Longfellow of the firm of
Delafield & Longfellow,
Before he was allowed to testify that it was written before June 25, 1906, the date of the killing of White, counsel indulged in a long argument. Mr. Jerome was determined to prevent him form supplying the identification, and quoted the privilege of an attorney as regards his client’s affairs.
Mr. Gleason declared that this would be waived as far as the identification of the letter was concerned, but District Attorney replied that if professional privilege was waived altogether, and directed his examination to establishing the fact that Thaw’s letters to Longfellow were sent to him in his professional and not his personal capacity.
At length, however, a number of letters were admitted by Mr. Longfellow’s testimony.
The letters are rambling in style. By agreement of the lawyers names are omitted from the copies given out. It was admitted in court, however, that they were written to Mr. Longfellow. The first letter identified by Mr. Longfellow reads:
Dear___: If they wish to begin any row I am ready, but I prefer K.W. II shall not inform X until I perceive that you have Nov. 10 or 11.
P’gh Nov. 15 or 16
After that I wish to return, possible to be in N. Y. Nov. 24 or 25 when ____ lands. She wishes to see Miss N. there or in Phila. (She knows her.)
Then to be in P’gh about the middle of Dec. to finish with my family all (who count together) together (I mean united) at a big reception.
The more row the better. Possibly Miss X and I might be married after _____comes, possibly not till after rows.
Her mother don’t count much for I think_______or I can tell the brother enough for him to the foolish woman in her tracks. Miss _____ is a thief, trickster, etc. She is very cheeky, but actually a coward; she can be squelched any time but only by a firm grip; also I think as far as she had feelings it is for us. Also, I think she expects much for herself from the blackguards (blackmailing them) and is discouraged about me.
Besides may presents of money, etc., she got $41 then $30 from ____ by false pretenses, saying it was my orders. Absolutely false. I am not sure it is not larceny. The main point is that despite her bullying, etc. she is morally an abject coward. They have no “hold” over her. We have several any of which would “do” her with her own connections.
Another good point. She thought me very “easy.” Now, she thinks the opposite. The matter of being married is most secret. Also, if there shd. be suit for kidnapping it must not be mentioned. The main pint about the suit will be to have one or 2 staffs of reporters. You secure yours. I know a different sort I shall try to get upon landing.
see. If I take myself alone it is very
simple. However, in that case I shd have
let Mrs. X come to
However, this is useless, for _____and I count together. Her side is not simple at all. When I knew her before (Xmas 1901) I could have sent her to school—all good enough, but she was misinformed about me, and also made one sad mistake in imagining something that did not exist—so she kept on the stage too long.
Her name was falsely, but naturally connected with 2 others besides blaggard.
Now, her health and spirits cannot stand exposure. Yet her position wd not be worse. Her own conduct has been so exception except she was poisoned at 15 ¾! Also since.
I mean no one wd dare throw the truth in her face—or in anyone’s but now they can anything.
I can’t write this clearly for legal reasons) but you may catch the drift. Do not keep this letter even in your private safe. These blaggards have blaggarded each other’s reputation so violently that not only will it break their solidarity—(sentence unfinished.)
Give them no dream that I for an instant consider marrying. Don’t even mention it to X., unless she is depressed desperately. She knows more or less. Three months ago I asked her point blank. She thought, but said she would not, as it would shut me out form ____, &c.
She wd give all she has now to have been sent to school by me, then have come out last July, even if I wdnt marry, far more even if I wd.
This sounds unnatural to write, but I shd most gladly have it so, though I shd have been dead by now. Just to have left her safe.
This is not trouble for you. Can you see if we marry and I die first, my coking coal income goes to my wife for life, but not to her people upon her death.
ALL my other property I can dispose of. Cd I leave it to my wife for life (especially if I left the largest proportion to her for life in lieu of dower,) with reversion to my family or others?
If I die or am killed she is unlikely to live to 21. Her wretched Mother must not benefit vastly. Can her family be cut off? I should provide especially for her brother, but that is aside from the important point of law.
When I knew her and her mother deceived me and her, she was the most active, laughing, wholesome, strong, and brave child I ever saw. Now, you understand a little. Yours, very truly.
I congratulate you heartily.
You have a blessing I never shall have now.
On the top of this letter was written:
_____ left dozens of letters and telegrams form the blaggard with me, also ½ a letter of credit much more distinct. $200 was remitted to her account, partly for her to pacify her mother—who rec’d so much more—but mostly to make up to the victim—did give all cash mentioned to Mrs. N. I think—wd better go to Phila or somewhere about Nov. 7th. Then I can see her. As you choose. I send her letters to Savoy Hotel too. Telegraph me fully by Inogram and Marconigram and finally by telegraph to Quarantine. In any case I shall have only one piece of luggage and leave the dock quick.
Man will take the rest.
More Rambling Memoranda.
The second letter and a note at the top of it are as follows:
There are just 3 things in this letter. One is, please send me all the retuned letters. I see if right. (Date in pencil.)
Nov. 13, 1903.
Please have some one inquire at 202 or 204 (or possible 206, but I think 204,) West 46th St. if _______is there, or where a letter or telephone message might reach her.
I slept 1-1.4 hours on the train—a record since the day she landed here.
My responsibility is gone. Should I manage her again I shall know that she can thank me for nay faith, human or divine she, has, and that I can do no more—but make the best of it—which except for conscience was far from bad—except for regrets compared to which every mistake, fault, foolishness or badness—every loss, every illness—every illusion destroyed, every opportunity missed, all these altogether are but as a split glass of water in a river to the last barrel in a disable ship, found poisoned.
I did not start to write poetry. I should have stated scientifically that every other misfortune is trivial, is nothing, for it is as X; X, and X, whether 1 or 100 in relation to X equals O X; X:: X:O.
You see I’m over strained; however I slept 7:15 hours on the train.
Please anonymously find if room 000 Hotel Navarre contains a piano. If not, rent a Steinway for 1 month. Pay, with instructions that it be removed after 1 month. Sent it promptly, anonymously.
I telephone. She was out. Her friend was there. Sounded sensible. Also she referred to X as “your” little girl. How did she learn! My impression is that my position is perfectly free. ____ Worse for her in discrete talk—not otherwise, and the scoundrel most unhappy. His useful ammunition is all by gone. He may start blackmail conspiracy but that will redound upon him with X, as well as in the world.
No one could
have made me believe since I first saw her that she would show any one
he I first thought she cared for any letter.
I should have betted every cent in the world 3 weeks ago
to get money
for fabulous presents for you; that after our trusting each other no
could make you forget all, I won’t say but it is inexpressible sad.
I have been asked not to have anything to do with you because you are a dangerous woman.
He never lied to you.
From the first time he ever saw you he wanted to do his best for you, to send you to school in Paris with your Mother, or to, send you to school, and he never did anything not respectful.
Yesterday he saw you believed everything false people told you as you did before, but as you are absolutely honest he would do you no harm ever for it, only he was sorry. He won’t trouble you at all as he would do anything for you, but now you must get stronger without him.
Lou said you would live anywhere any way he wished so he could have chaperoned you and had all the honour of your exclusive friendship, and lost nothing himself. Instead he wished to give up everything to do all he could for you.
I wish I could have spoken this even through the telephone.
To make you sure I’ll explain. After I saw the poor ill-advised angel, I was so sorry, she meant to do right, and was right had she only kept the purest things from polluted, lying, double-minded, deceitful, money-grasping, smooth-tongues, hard-hearted but soft speaking professional deceivers.
In reference to Room 600, Hotel Navarre, mentioned in this letter, Evelyn Nesbit Thaw, who had been recalled to the stand, declared that at the time the letter was written she was occupying that room. She also identified the handwriting of Thaw in a number of other letters.The court then adjourned. It is expected that this morning the direct examination of Evelyn Nesbit That will be continues.