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the New Orleans calendar for 1918. Even the minor balls have been reduced to a minimum.
Everyone will realize the wisdom of this policy. It is what New Orleans has always done in the past. The people of this city are social and hospitable, and believe that life should be made as agreeable as possible, but that the serious things of life should not be sacrificed for pleasure. Whenever conditions, therefore, have been bad; whenever the community has been in danger, they have acted promptly in shutting down on Mardi Gras. We did so when Farragut's fleet was lying before the forts threatening New Orleans, and the Carnival remained suspended during the Civil War. Again, during the disturbed days of reconstruction and dual government in Louisiana, in 1875, there was no Mardi Gras. But it has been noted that when the disturbances that have caused this suspension were over New Orleans has returned to its Carnival with zeal, and reorganized and greatly improved the celebration. The Carnival of 1876 was one of the most brilliant this city has ever known, when the city awoke from its sleep. New features about it came to life, which we have ever since followed. We can be reasonably sure that we will follow this precedent when our great war is over and Americans celebrate the return to peace; but festivities of this kind are not to be thought of when we face so many dangers and difficulties and so many duties and responsibilties are thrust upon us.
TRIBUTE TO MRS. RUTH MCENERY STUART. (Read by Mr. William Beer at memorial meeting held in honor
of Ruth McEnery Stuart at Tulane University.) I esteem it a privilege to be delegated by the Louisiana Historical Society to present to this meeting its tribute of admiration and respect for one of its members, the well-known Louisiana authoress, Ruth McEnery Stuart.
I had the pleasure of being present on one of the first occasions where was recognized her talent for reading in public, adding the charm of her voice and manner to the interest of the stories themselves. This was nearly thirty years ago. She received great encouragement in her work from the kindly sympathy of that ripe scholar, William Preston Johnston, president of Tulane University. Early in the '90s accident called her to New York to occupy temporarily the editorial chair of what was then the leading and most popular weekly organ appealing to women. In this position she not only made good as an editor, but by her social talents won the friendship of many of the brightest spirits of the literary world of that great city with whom she was assisted in the creation of a literary resort, Onteora on the Hudson.
There can be but little doubt that the association with men and women actively engaged in the production of literature was an incentive to the writings of that long series of successful fiction and light poetry which has won for her lasting fame and popularity. A bereavement, from the effects of which she never fully recovered, saddened her later years.
Four noble women are particularly noteworthy in the history of Louisiana literature, Mary Ashley Townsend, who contributed stately verse; Mollie Moore Davis, who gave us fiction and poetry of great beauty; these two have passed away; Grace King, who is still with us, has made valuable contributions to local history and fiction, and Ruth McEnery Stuart in whose works the present generation finds interest and amusement. These volumes will always furnish to the student of Southern history a true transcript of the manners, traditions and language of a race which forms one-half of the population of her native State. It has been my pleasant duty to collect in the Howard Memorial Library all procurable writings of these authors.
(From the New Orleans States.)
RUTH MCENERY STUART. The South is the poorer for the passing of Mrs. Ruth McEnery Stuart, whose death is announced in New York. Few writers have portrayed more accurately, more sympathetically and more delightfully certain phases of Southern life. Her negro and rural types were sketched with extraordinary fidelity, and she was a mistress of negro and backwoods dialect.
Born in Louisiana fifty-seven years ago, her first story was printed in 1888. Three years later she moved to New York, for the advantage she hoped it would give her in her literary career, and except for occasional visits to New Orleans she spent the rest of her life there. But change of residence made no difference
in her sympathies or the character of her work. She wrote from beginning to end of the South and Southern types, and every sketch or story reflected her affection for the section of her birth.
Her work was of high literary quality and widely praised by American critics and thousands all over the country who have been charmed by her books will mourn her passing.
(From The Times-Picayune.
Ruth McENERY STUART FAMOUS FOR HER STORIES OF THE OLD
New York, May 7.-Ruth McEnery Stuart, the well-known author, died Sunday after a long illness, in the fifty-seventh year of her age.
Mrs. Stuart's first story was written in 1888 and printed in the Princeton Review, after which she gave close attention to literary pursuits, following up the first story, “Uncle Mingo's Speculations," which was a sweet, pathetic picture of negro life, with other dialect tales in magazines, until 1891, when she moved to New York.
Mrs. Stuart was one of the large number of writers who were born below Mason and Dixon's line, and have made their homes in New York, yet have given up nothing of their birthplaces. She wrote of the South, and her expatriation appeared only to give her an added stimulus to create her local perspective. One of her latest books, “Daddy Do-Funny's Wisdom Jingles,” pub lished four years ago, she said was the acknowledged and gladly owed tribute to the slaves who stood guard over women and children left in her care while the Southern men were on the battle front. The dedication was:
“To the memory of those faithful brown slave men of the plantations throughout the South, Daddy’s contemporaries all, who, during the war, while their masters were away fighting in a cause opposed to their emancipation, brought their blankets and slept outside their mistresses' doors, thus keeping night watch over otherwise unprotected women and children-a faithful guardianship of which the annals of those troublous times record no instance of betrayal.”
KNOWN AND LOVED HERE. MRS. STUART Won PLACE IN HEARTS OF ALL SOUTHERNERS.
Mrs. Stuart was a charming writer of short stories, and her depictions of negro types, and the type of backwoods whites, both contemptuously and affectionately termed “Hillbillies,” made her famous throughout the country. Joel Chandler Harris wrote her on one occasion: “You have got nearer the heart of the negro than any of us," a statement which will be indorsed by those who have known the negro all their lives. A master of dialect, Mrs. Stuart was a close observer also, and had the retentive memory of past years that one has found so remarkable in Mark Twain. She was one of the few women writers who had an appreciation of humor, and, unlike most of the humorists of her sex, she made her readers laugh with her characters rather than at them.
Ruth McEnery was born in Marksville, La., in 1860, the daughter of James McEnery and Mary Ruth Stirling. Five of her kinsmen have been Governors of Louisiana. Samuel D. McEnery, Governor and United States Senator, was her first cousin. In the nineteenth century her family was almost continuously represented in the Congress of the United States. Her father, who was a cotton commission merchant in ante-bellum days in New Orleans, was born in Limerick, of a noble Irish family, whose estates were confiscated in the days of Oliver Cromwell. Sir John Stirling, her mother's father, was a sturdy Scot, who came to this country and invested his means in land and slaves, dropping the title when he became a citizen of the republic.
BEGAN TO WRITE IN THE '80s. Ruth McEnery married Alfred Oden Stuart, a cotton planter, of Hemptsead County, Arkansas, in 1879. Her husband died four years after her marriage, leaving her one son, Stirling McEnery Stuart, who died just as he was on the threshold of manhood.
Mrs. Stuart began to write for the public in the latter '80s, and for the convenience of being near her publishers she moved to New York and had lived in that city since, except for the time spent each year in her summer home in the Catskills. During her residence in the North, however, she frequently visited her friends in this city, and traveled extensively. She was at one time editor pro tempore of Harper's Bazaar, and occupied the editorial chair of other publications, but she would accept no permanent employment of that sort, preferring to write the stories which charmed thousands of persons.
HOMELY PHILOSOPHY. One or two jingles will give a good idea of Mrs. Stuart's verse and their homely philosopsy. Take “The Terrapin":
"The Mocking Bird,” which has its little fling at imitators, reads :
“Br’er Mocking Bird sings in de live oak shade,
A iron-hand chat or a serenade;
STUDENT OF OWN TONGUE. Nothing was dearer to Mrs. Stuart's mind than a jealous study of the American spoken tongue, and concerning English criticism of the “American" language, she said:
“Speaking in the large, we are engaged, consciously or not, in an enrichment of the language. That which has been kept at home, and is hence too near their vision for perspective, has possibly suffered somewhat otherwise, and while a fine conversatism has undoubtedly preserved it in better form as to general usage, is it not in danger of becoming a little died out and formal? Is there not aeration, not only of the mind and soul of man, but of their vehicle of expression, in the broad American life with its rapid changes, its color constantly breaking into iridescence, not to mention its grappling and gripping as it breaks new ground and deals with things as well as people elemental ?
“So with all our verbal cheapnesses, our short cuts, our nasal iniquities, and even our slang (which is almost as unpleasant as England's and fully four times as breezy), it seems to our American conceit that perhaps our loved common tongue has in the main gained flavor in American, even if it has lost somewhat in form—this, of course, of our ‘English as she is spoke.'”
Mrs. Stuart was not a prolific writer, yet every story she wrote was worth while, and she had the happy faculty of combining humor and pathos in such a way as to add to the beauty of both. Among her books were “A Golden Wedding and Other Tales," “Carlotta's Intended,” “In Simpkinsville," "Sonny,” “Hally and Pizen," "Napoleon,” “George Washington Jones," “Aunt Amity's Silver Wedding,” “The Haunted Photograph," and “The Cacoon,” which was her last book, published in 1915. She had one son, born in 1881, who died.