TWAIN AND IRVING TABLET UNVEILED
Humorist's Daughter Officiates at Historical Ceremony at 21 Fifth Avenue.
GOV. SMITH PRAISES IRVING
George S. Hellman Tells of Author's Efforts to Develop Amity Between Europe and America.
A bronze tablet in memory of Mark Twain and Washington Irving was unveiled yesterday afternoon on the old residence at 21 Fifth Avenue by the Greenwich Village Historical Society. Mrs. Ossip Gabrilowitsch, a daughter of Mark Twain, officiated at the unveiling. The ceremony was brief and simple. Captain Thomas E. Swan of Governors Island made the dedication speech.
Preceding the ceremony memorial services were held in the Church of the Ascension, attended by delegations from many historical and literary organizations. Frank W. Crane, vice President of the society, presided.
Mrs. Catherine Parker Clivette, founder and President of the organization, addressed the meeting and read letters from Governor Smith and Mayor Hylan. The Governor in his message said that New York can claim Mark Twain only as an adopted son, "but Washington Irving is of our own flesh and blood." These old Knickerbockers, he continued, whose chronicler Washington Irving became, "left their indelible mark on our city and its citizens."
Chancellor Elmer E. Brown of New York University spoke on the influence of Mark Twain's writing on American life, and of the influence of Irving on the spirit of New York. He read a letter from Irving to Henry Brevoort written a hundred years ago in Paris, in which the author spoke of New York as a city which held a "perfect spell over the imagination."
George S. Hellman, whose new life of Washington Irving has just been published, declared in his remarks that Irving was the first of our countrymen to make this country, its customs and character happily known to Europe.
"Hardly more than a boy, in 1804 and 1805, during his earliest travels abroad," he continued, "Irving made friends for the young United States wherever he went. And throughout his life, and especially during those years when he was First Secretary of the American Legation at London, and American Minister at the Courts of the Queen of Spain, he developed amicable relations between the lands on either side of the Atlantic."
Edward Renwick Whittingham, the present owner of the house and a great-grandson of the original owner, James Renwick, spoke in appreciation of the society's part in erecting the tablet.
Return to The New York Times
Quotations | Newspaper Articles | Special Features | Links | Search