A Grand shoddy wedding in Washington — Jenkins's description of the affair.
, of Rhode Island
, a millionaire since the war by shoddy contracts, was married in Washington
on Thursday night last, to Miss Kate Chase
, "the eldest and accomplished" daughter of Secretary Chase
, of the Treasury.
of the Washington Chronicle
gives the following account of the wedding.
Shoddy was in all its glory:
The invitations to the wedding were as strictly private as it was possible to be in consideration of the high social position occupied by both the parties.
Yet, notwithstanding this fact, some five hundred invited guests were assembled at the mansion of Secretary Chase
, between the hours of half-past 8 and twelve o'clock. The representatives of the newspaper press, with one or two exceptions, and these personal friends of the Senator
and Secretary Chase
, were, on this occasion, non recipients of cards of invitation.
The reputation of ex-Governor Sprague
, not alone as Executive officer of the State
of "Little Rhody" and as a statesman, but as a brave and gallant soldier, is world-wide.
The part he took in defence of the Capital
in July, 1861, at the first battle of Bull Run
, is known to all our readers.--At this battle he personally commanded a Rhode Island brigade, and behaved with great gallantry.
Subsequent to this he was conspicuous as an officer upon Gen. McClellan
's staff during the Peninsula
Besides these personal acts of merit in the field, Senator Spragne
has on numerous occasions bequested a false proportion of his immense wealth to the organizing, equipping, and supporting the soldiers from his own State, and by his personal influence and example has, up to the present time, encouraged a vigorous prosecution of the war.
Miss Kate Chase
, the bride of the distinguished Senator
, is a lady possessed of those rare virtues of heart and mind which alone can be recognized and appreciated by those who are daily thrown in contact with her; and it is in the modest retirement of her own home that these graces sparkle and radiate like gems of dazzling splendor.
Modest and retiring in her manners, yet blending withal a dignity and ease that singles her out so the least observant eye as a woman endowed with a nobility of heart, fitting her for any position in life, no matter how exalted.
During the day everything had been properly arranged for the reception of the guests.
A roll of matting had been run from the main entrance down the steps to the carriage steps.
Shortly after dark a large crowd of all sexes, ages and conditions be gan to assemble around the mansion of Secretary Chase
They were very good-natured, as large crowds generally are, and waited patiently for the arrival of the first carriage.
About 7½ o'clock it drove up to the door, the occupants alighted and proceeded within.
Shortly another arrived, and then another, and soon a continuous line of carriages ranged along E street, from Seventh street to near Fifth street. As one after the other discharged their inmates, some spicy and good-natured remarks were passed by the eager crowd in attendance.
Much anxiety was manifested for the appearance of President Lincoln
and Secretary Seward
. President Lincoln
did not arrive until half-past 8 o'clock. He came in his private carriage, without escort and alone.
The carriages were arranged all around the square and completely blockaded the passage way; but little or no confusion occurred.
As we have said before, the marriage took place at half past 8 o'clock. At that hour the bride and groom entered the room, followed by the following named ladies and gentlemen acting as bridesmaids and groomsmen: Miss Chase
, sister to Miss Kate Chase
; Miss Skinner
, niece of the Secretary
, and Miss Nichols
, niece of Governor Sprague
; Maj. H. Baldwin
, of Gen. Stahel
's staff; Capt. Hayes
, of Gen. McDowell
's staff, and Capt
, Fleet Captain
of the Potomac Flotilla
The parties having ranged themselves at the head of the room, the marriage ceremony was performed by Bishop Clark
, of Rhode Island
, in the chaste, beautiful, and impressive language of the Episcopal
Among the five or six hundred guests the intensest silence prevailed, and at the conclusion of the ceremony the parents of the bride stepped forward and saluted her with a kiss.
Then followed the scenes of joyous congratulation incident to such an occasion, which promised to occupy the best portion of the night before finished.
was dressed in a gorgeous white velvet dress, with an extended trail, and upon her head wore a rich lace vell.
But little or no other ornament was perceived upon her person.
was clad in a suit of rich black cloth, with the usual addition of a white silk vest.
Among the dignitaries of the evening we noticed the President
, Abraham Lincoln
, together with nearly all the members of the Cabinet
, and others.
Of the foreign ministers there were present Lord Lyons and Count Mercier
legations were also well represented.
The military was represented by Major-Generals Halleck
, and other officers of lesser note.
, and Conness
, of California
, we also noticed during the course of the evening.
Hon. Simon Cameron
and his two daughters were alike conspicuous among the hosts of guests assembled on the occasion, together with President Garrett
and Wm. Prescott Smith
At half-past 11 o'clock the dancing (the Lancers) commenced in the dining room.
Miss Kate Chase
led off with Hon. R. C. Parsons
, ex-Consal to Rio Janeiro, as her partner.
The young and beautiful daughter of Gen. McDowell
was singled out among the crowd for her very fine dancing.
Among the belles of the evening was the daughter of the Brazilian Minister
, whose beauty was the cynosure of all eyes.
During the evening the Marine band, which discoursed most elegant music, performed a superb wedding march, especially written for the occasion and dedicated to Miss Kate Chase
The banquet, which occurred at a late hour in the evening, was a most sumptuous affair, and the edibles and viands were of the choicest description imaginable.
The greatest hilarity prevailed on all sides, and mirth and merriment were the order of the evening.
Towards midnight the guests commenced to depart, and the scene that occurred outside the mansion, as the carriages drove up the sidewalk and rolled off with their occupants, was a varied and animated one.
The marriage of Miss Chase
and Senator Spraque
last evening passed off with the greatest eclat,
and nothing occurred to mar the festivity of the occasion.
Notwithstanding the high social position and extreme wealth of the twain thus united in the holy bonds of matrimony, the entire affair was destitute of all that vulgarity of show and glitter which is so frequently the concomitants of such procedures.
Everything seemed planned with a view to the comfort of the guests alone, and there was nothing calculated to offend the eye or taste.