SOCIETY WHISPERS FROM THE STATES.
Punch, August 24, 1904
[Two well-known Philadelphia society men have recently fought a prize-fight of twenty-five rounds in a private room. At the end of the twenty-fifth round one of the pair was knocked out.]
From the “New York Society Slogger”:—
“Tough Ted” Roosevelt, who is open to fight all comers for the championship of the States, is in strict training at the White House for his forthcoming contest with “Judge” Parker. Ted was in rare shape when our representative called at his training quarters. He wrestles twice a day with the Trust problem, and improves his hitting by punching cows. Of the Judge’s qualifications for championship honours little is known. His previous experience in the ring has been limited to his contest with “Kid” Hearst, when, it will be remembered, he obtained the decision on points. He is training on a course of sea-water baths. Those who have means of knowing state that he is getting on swimmingly.
An eye-witness of Dan Sully’s last performance in the ring says that, though knocked out on that occasion, the Cotton man is still to be reckoned with. He is game. Our correspondent was greatly struck with the rapidity with which he left his corner when time was called.
Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish’s At Home on Friday last was a genuine success. The event of the evening was, of course, the twenty-round contest between “Corny” Vanderbilt and “Bill” Gillette. The histrion had height and reach in his favour, but the nightly doses of morphia which he was compelled to inject while playing Sherlock Holmes in London have had their inevitable effect on his stamina; and “Corny,” after having the worst of some exchanges at long range, bored in and rattled his man with heavy hooks at the body. At the end of the fifteenth round the tall and brainy mummer was compelled to throw up the sponge. The winner, it is interesting to note, was trained by his fascinating hostess exclusively upon larks’ tongues on toast.
One of the first sights shown to visitors, when they have seen enough of Grant’s tomb and the Statue of Liberty, is Wall Street, where “Pierp.” Morgan is now training for his next deal. This tricky fighter gets himself into condition by hustling around and lifting British trade. He has nearly recovered from the nasty jar he sustained in his failure to get control of the White Star Line, and intends for the future not to risk his reputation in such purely “exhibition spars.”
Admirers of “Oily” Rockefeller’s style will be sorry to hear that he has not yet got the new interior for which he advertised recently. This interferes greatly with his work in the ring. His opponents complain that he can no longer put down the steaks.
The battle between James J. Jeffries and Mrs. Carrie Nation was a complete fiasco, neither of the principals being able to come to an agreement on the subject of the rules. Jeffries holds that he had a perfect right to object to Mrs. Nation using her hatchet, and he claims the purse. To appease the disappointed audience, who had begun to hoot loudly, Mrs. Nation gave an exhibition later in the evening at Tom Sharkey’s saloon on East Fourteenth Street, where her science and hard hitting won great applause from all but the proprietor, who is suing for damages.
Unsigned article as printed; credited to P. G. Wodehouse in the Index to Vol. 127 of Punch.
punching cows: Theodore Roosevelt had overcome the sickliness of his childhood by working as a cowboy, or “cow puncher,” in the Dakota Territory as a young man.
“Judge” Parker: Alton B. Parker, Democratic nominee for President in the 1904 election, having defeated William Randolph Hearst in the quest for the nomination. Roosevelt was easily re-elected, gaining 336 electoral votes to Parker’s 140. An item in the New York Times for August 7, 1904 notes that “a number of letters have been received by Judge Parker urging him not to expose himself unnecessarily to risk while he is a candidate. He has been urged, in view of the new importance attaching to his life, to give up his morning swim in the Hudson....”
Dan Sully: “Cotton King” Daniel J. Sully attempted a risky speculation in cotton futures in 1903–1904, driving prices from 7 to 17 cents a pound, but in March 1904 was forced to announce that he could not meet his obligations, and the markets collapsed, leaving him in debt for millions of dollars.