A Confederacy of Dreamers: Scott Fitzgerald, his father and the American Civil War.

During his time at prep school and university, the author F. Scott Fitzgerald would make regular trips to Washington D.C to see his friends and confidants, Sigourney Fay and Ruth Sturtevant. His encounters with Washington would continue until 1936 when his mother Mollie died at her apartment at Meridian Mansions, 2400 Sixteen Street. Mollie and Scott’s father, Edward Fitzgerald had moved to the capital with Scott’s sister, Annabel in the early 1920s. Initially they had stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel before moving to an apartment at The Highlands. Sometime in 1927 they took up a permanent place on Sixteenth Street, one of the oldest and most venerable streets in Washington. In their 2022 biography of Sixteenth Street authors John DeFerrari and Peter Sefton described the street as an enclave of gilded age mansions whose evolution was concomitant with the evolution of American democracy. It did have its fair share of infamy too. On the corner of Sixteenth Street and K Street NW, where the St Regis Hotel stands today, lived the notorious Washington socialite, Rose Greenhow, who would tip off the Confederate army of imminent attacks by Unionists. The house, kept loaded with diplomats, congressmen and generals on an almost routine basis, had operated as a secret listening post.

At the southern extremities of this broad and perfectly straight avenue was Lafayette Square and the White House. Their subtitle for the book was ‘Avenue of Ambition’ as no other street in America reflected the excessive aspiration of political power quite so profoundly as this one. Also known as The Envoy, on account of the sheer volume of ambassadors, diplomats, senators and military personnel who stayed here, the apartment complex can be found in the Meridian Hill district of the city’s Northwest Quadrant. For many years 16th Street had been identified as part of the White House meridian and at one time there was even talk of using it to challenge its prime rival in Greenwich, London for control of global time. Just a mile or so south west of the hotel were Scott’s old friends, the Sturtevants and Mrs Critten, whose home on the same street was now being occupied by his literary mentor, Shane Leslie.

Edward and Mary’s decision to leave Saint Paul may have been due in part to the health of Edwards’s 97 year old mother, Cecelia A. Scott Fitzgerald who for several years had been living at P Street NW on the northern banks of the Potomac River. It was through Cecilia’s illustrious and occasionally infamous line of descent that Scott was related to the man who penned the country’s national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. In a long rambling interview with the New York Evening Post in 1936, Scott recalled the romantic and nostalgic stories his father had told him of helping ferry Confederate spies from one side of the Potomac River to the other during the American Civil War. His family, he told journalist Michael Mok, had “been mixed-up quite a bit in American history.” The first cousin of Scott’s father had married John H. Surratt whose mother, Mary Surratt had been hanged after being charged as an accessory in the assassination of Lincoln in 1865. [1] Surratt was a resourceful Confederate spy and had made his escape to Rome where, as a devout Catholic, he enlisted in Pius IX’s Papal Zouave Regiment — the Pope’s foreign legion who battled so valiantly against Giuseppe Garibaldi’s Republican army the Redshirts, during his revolutionary bid for independence in Italy that same decade. Despite the rumours of Lincoln offering Garibaldi leadership of his own Union platoon during the American Civil War, the Pope of Rome was under diplomatic pressure to arrest Surratt, turn him over to officers and return him to the United States. A daring escape saw Surratt make his way to Alexandria in Egypt where its authorities, obliged under an existing extradition treaty with America, gave orders for the 28-year old suspect to be detained and deported. After a jury were unable to agree on his guilt he was acquitted. In 1870 Surratt dished the dirt on the Lincoln assassination and his daring escape across Europe in a sensational lecture in Rockville, not far from where Edward Fitzgerald and his family were living. At the time he was earning his living as a teacher in nearby North Bethesda.

Scott’s father was, he confessed, from “tired old stock” that had little left in the way of vitality and energy, but what he had he had shared with Scott. During his teens the pair would come to blows. Scott had called his father a liar and his father had beat him. After that there had always been ill-feeling, with the pair often disagreeing violently, especially when it came to politics. The only real joy they ever shared was in the stories his father told. No matter how fanciful they were Scott would ask him to repeat them and repeat them and repeat them. Having known so very little about his father’s world, it was as if the physical iteration of the tales would make something about his father real. [3] In a foreword to a book on the historic houses of Maryland that Scott wrote shortly before he died, the author described how the vistas and the glories of the legends his father had told him had followed the family west to Minnesota. He was a native of the Maryland ‘Free State’ only through ancestry and anecdote. His childhood had been spent trying to spin from the tiny web of tales his father had told him a deep and abiding connection to America’s heroical past. America had been self-fashioning years. Scott was quick to recognise that he’d only ever been continuing that tradition, building on the stories that America had told about itself with stories he told about himself, and the stories his father had told — stories which were themselves only shadows of the truth they tried so pitifully to serve. His own myth and his own legend had evolved from Frankenstein DNA. Scott might have said the same thing of America. As a race, the American was a patchwork creation without “common sense or guts or dignity”. But it wasn‘t just America. It was everyone. In the end, all that remained of life were the stories we told: “time obliterates people and memories and only the more fortunate landmarks survive,” he wrote. [4] The flesh dies and only the legend remains.

When he was fifteen years old Scott had a story published in his school magazine. It was, in many respects, a continuation of the young boy’s obsession with American history. His first imaginary adventures had begun at the age of ten when he made up little plays about the American Revolution and staged them in the attic of a friend in Buffalo. The following year he had written an essay on George Washington that had brought favourable comments at school. Scott was by his own admission, a child of the Revolution. His story for the magazine was a macabre little piece of historical fiction that imagined a world in which Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, had not been killed at the Garrett farmhouse as commonly believed, but had in fact escaped. The Room with the Green Blinds built upon a popular local belief that Booth had managed to evade capture and been harboured for years by Confederate sympathizers. It was your classic ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’ or government cover-up story but Scott’s handling of the tale gave it all the unsettling grisliness of Poe. In Scott’s story time is literally peeling from the walls. The house of full of secrets and forbidden places, doors that shouldn’t be opened and words that shouldn’t be said. Perhaps it illustrated better than anything what life was like in the home of Edward and Mollie. There was a dark, hidden cancer eating slowly away at the family, the painful, decaying upshot of secrets too deeply buried and lies too long preserved. It is sealed lips that start the story and sealed lips that end it. In the Fitzgerald household the past was something that just kept on repeating, whether you wanted it to or not.

John Surratt — accessory in the murder of President Lincoln.

When Cecilia Fitzgerald died at the ripe old age of 97 in February 1924 she was buried at the family plot at Old St Mary’s Church in Rockville. The Washington press described her as the last living descendent of Maryland’s famous Key family.

In 1883 Cecilia had sold the last of the furniture at the family farm in Gaithersburg and relocated to the capital, spending her time between her daughter’s home in Randolph and the university district of Georgetown. Among her friends and associates here were George Herbert Wells, a Professor at the University and organist the local church and Colonel Charles W. Coombs, the special messenger of the House of Representatives and one of the Capitol’s longest serving officials. The Georgetown district of Washington had featured prominently in the Lincoln Assassination, with three of the eight people convicted in the conspiracy being members of the Georgetown alumni. Scott would later tell his daughter Scottie that his father Edward had attended the college in Georgetown in the early 1870s. Located on the banks of the Potomac River, this historic North Western district would have been a constant reminder of the glory days of the Rebellion and the part that Edward had played in the subterfuge of its spies.

Among the mourners at his grandmother’s funeral were the Forrest family, a distinguished Washington family whose ancestral home in Georgetown Cecilia had resided at during her early years in Washington. The head of the Forrest was well-known government attorney Randolph Keith Forrest, the nephew of Captain French, the former commander of the Norfolk Navy Yard who, like Surratt, had served the Rebel cause. An entry in Scott’s ledger records that he stayed with his grandmother and the Forrests in March 1912, after a trip to his see his aunt near the famous naval base at Norfolk. The death of Scott’s grandmother had brought his parents back to the capital. Some thirty-five years earlier, the pair had married at Saint Matthews Cathedral just a few hundred yard’s west of 16th Street. At the time they were staying with Scott’s grandmother, Louisa. A local newspaper reports that Mary wore a gown of white corded satin with a high body, sweeping train and “superb diamonds”. A bridal veil of white was said to envelope her like a cloud and her bouquet was composed of Marguerites. The house had been tastefully decorated with plants and palms and the mantelpiece had been banked with cut flowers. A small string band played throughout the reception that followed which featured a supper served by candlelight. Edward’s best man that day was Lawrence Washington.

When I looked a little closer at Mr Washington I could’t believe my eyes. According to a 1922 news item, Lawrence was a lineal descendant of George Washington, the legendary founding father of the United States of America. His family home at this time, 587 Summit Avenue, was just doors away from the house where Scott completed his first novel, Edward and Molly having moved to Summit Avenue some time in 1914. His 1922 obituary revealed that Lawrence had lived in Saint Paul since the age of 18 and that his own line went back to George’s namesake elder brother. Richard’s mother Sarah Tayloe Washington (b.1800) was the daughter of Colonel William Augustine Washington, George’s nephew. A story in a New Jersey newspaper told how Sarah vividly recall visiting the homesteads on which George and generations of the Washington family had been raised at the Popes Creek Plantation. The original houses had long since been abandoned and their bricks carried off by relic hunters. After a modicum of success in the California Goldrush of 1849, Lawrence’s father Richard Bushrod Washington (b. 1827) moved from Virginia to Hastings, Minnesota. At the start of the civil war Richard went back to Virginia to serve as an orderly sergeant in the 9th Virginia Cavalry regiment in the Confederate Army under J. E. B Stuart. According to several sources he died at the Battle of Hagerstown (Williamsport) in Maryland in July 1863. [5] In June that year, Stuart’s 5,000 strong cavalry unit arrived in Gaithersburg and Rockville, the home of Edward Fitzgerald and his family near Clopper’s Mill. Once here Stuart and his men quickly established a network of intelligence gatherers among rebel sympathizers. A write-up of the raid in the Harrisburg Patriot painted a clear picture of the support they had in the area: “Rockville has never been noted for its loyalty”, they snorted. Clopper’s Mill, owned by Michael and Cecilia Fitzgerald’s neighbour, Francis Copper, would subsequently feature in the trial of George Atzerodt, an accomplice of John Wilkes Booth and John Surratt in the Lincoln Assassination. On April 15 1865 Atzerodt made his way by stage to Rockville where he proceeded on foot towards Gaithersburg. Upon reaching the mill he was put up for the night by its operator, Robert Kinder. For the remaining few weeks he hid at his cousin’s house in nearby Germantown.

A story in the Saint Paul Daily Globe in the year that Scott was born tells how Lawrence, a wealthy building contractor and stone merchant, was one of several ushers as the city celebrated the 164th birthday of America’s founding father. ‘They Loved George’, roared the headline. [6] As a passionate member of the Sons of the Revolution, Lawrence was something of a regular feature at patriotic events in the city. At one such event in 1898, over a thousand children had joined him in singing a string of songs at the People’s Church on Pleasant Avenue. A portrait of the American leader hung over the pulpit and further engravings of Washington crossing the Delaware celebrated his heroic deeds. Among the songs they sung were The Battle Hymnn of the Republic and Our Bright Starry Banner before finishing on a high with The Star Spangled Banner —  a song written by Scott’s own forebear, Francis Scott Key. ‘Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty’, the children whispered in communion, passing the wafers of national devotion between them in a dignified observation of time. [7] For the man who would become the Keeper of the American Dream it was the most auspicious of family histories. Other guests at Edward and Mollie’s wedding that day included William Rush Mirriam, the 11th Governor of Minnesota, Senator Daniel Voorhees, a Copperhead during the war, and several members of the family of rail magnate, James J. Hill.

The report of the wedding is interesting for several reasons not least because it provides a clear picture of the social circles the family moved in. Among the guests are two naval captains: Captain Schwann and Captain Meade. The music provided that day was by The Marine Band. Had Edward, Meade and Schwann trained as marines together? Was it Washington’s Navy Yard they had in common? A further clue may be provided by the house that Scott’s grandmother, Louisa McQuillan occupied in Washington at this time. The local press report that her large four-storey brick house within a square at Thomas Circle had been leased from a naval man, Samuel L. Breese, the son of Illinois senator Sidney Breese and nephew of the infinitely more famous naval commander, RADM Samuel Livingston Breese — hero of the American Civil War. Breese wasn’t the only prominent naval man in the Fitzgerald family history. In 1903 Scott had acted as flower boy at the wedding of his cousin Cecilia Delihant to Virginia’s Richard Calvert Taylor (1871-1909), the son of a Confederate naval man who had once escaped to England. According to press reports at the height of the Civil War, Richard’s father, a paymaster on the military steamer, CSS Florida, had evaded capture of the ship by Union forces at Bahia. Once in London, Taylor and the ship’s Captain, C.M. Morris arranged a series of interviews with the British newspapers, anxious to quell the rumours of a brutal and bloody defeat in Brazil. None of their officers had been killed. All suggestions to the contrary, they said, were propaganda and the work of Federal spies. On his return to Virginia after the war, Richard and his family had settled in Norfolk City in a street in Colonial Place, close to the naval shipyards. It was this same house that Scott would visit both before and after he had become a writer. [8]

As Scott sat and enjoyed the vista of the famous Grand Canal he may well have imagined his father gliding past in a gondola, the stars and bars of the Rebel Flag flapping boisterously in the wind. His father would smile broadly at him, his stout upright frame pushing at the water below him with his long-handled oar, immaculately dressed as usual as he ferried an illicit manifest of Confederate spies across the waters to the sanctuary of San Pietro di Castello. Steaming behind them in hot pursuit would be the USS Sturtevant, First Lieutenant Robbins waving his fists from the quarterdeck. Scott was well as aware of his father’s fantasies. In the heart of Edward Fitzgerald, the tough gristle of reality sat in uneven strips with the delicious tender fillets of romance. It was his father that had read him the likes of Byron and Poe, his father who had inspired Scott’s always beautifully cut clothes, his father who had been the first to encourage his writing and his father who impressed upon him the elasticity of history and the sweet imperishability of time. The past in the Fitzgerald household was repeated on an hourly basis. Its hands ticked and its chimes purred. The old married couple couldn’t have retired to a better place. Edward had finally found himself at the centre of the great Meridian and had arrived here by a mixture of celestial observation and a well-timed inheritance from his mother-in-law, Louisa. The grandfather of the American Dream sat comfortably ensconced at the northern rear of the White House, embraced on two sides by the cool free waters of the Potomac River. In the park opposite was a geodetic marker that had been placed there by Thomas Jefferson. It would be another twenty-five years before Orwell would write that superb line ‘he who controlled the past controlled the future’ but Jefferson had already understood the gist of this years before. Jefferson had already seen that he who controlled the past and controlled the future, controlled everything that happened now. There was no north here. There was no south. Edward sat in his boundary castle at 2400 Sixteenth Street like some twentieth-century Janus. On one side was the ‘savage violence of the frontier’ and on the other, the whirring cogs of progress and civilisation.

When Zelda visited Edward and Mollie in Washington in the late 1920s, she had found Edward’s imagination still very much intact. In his last few years in Washington it is believed had found some kind of happiness. Zelda told Scott how his father had liked Washington, and had become to think himself as very much “a part of government machinery”. One of the highlights of the year was when the Merdian would host the annual reception of United Daughters of the Confederacy, a time when the energy of the Rebellion would return and the battle cry of freedom would ring out. After various disagreements, usually about politics, the father and son had become estranged and Zelda was anxious to share only the positives. The failures and anxieties of his middle years had receded. For the best part of Scott’s childhood and adolescence Edward had plodded from one unsuccessful job to another. He had started a novel but never finished it. He would start a business and never see it through. Nobody knows what had held him back, whether it was the drink he consumed quietly on the porch alone at night or the aching sense of loss after the defeat of Maryland during America’s civil war — Scott was never entirely sure. Either way, that “great scramble for a place in the world” was all but gone. Edward had probably spent the best part of his life trying to recapture the thrill and the glory of his youth in Maryland, dodging bullets and hiding spies. How does a person really move on from all that? His wild imagination had taken the raw, unfiltered drama of experience and turned it into the most colossal and impossible of dreams. Life had been become one long gasp of expectation, an adrenaline filled manhunt for self-worth. For the best part of sixty years Edward had craved the danger and excitement of war. Men like John Surratt, the Key Scotts and the Fitzgeralds had been part of the moving plates shaking the ground of American history. In a letter to Ernest Hemingway Scott had mentioned his father’s guerilla activities during the War of Rebellion and how they had stayed with him all his life. Hemingway had made some references to men like John Mosby — the ‘gray ghost’ of the Confederate army noted for his ability to elude detection and achieve almost impossible things in his raids. Like Lawrence Washington’s father Richard, Mosby had been a scout for J. E. B Stuart when he and his guerillas had led the advance on Rockville. It was the Catholic Mosby and his men — perhaps ably assisted by young Maryland boys like Edward and his friends— who had crossed the Potomac River to attack Unionist trains and wagons. Hemingway’s reference to Mosby may have been due in part to a story that Scott had published in Esquire some years before. In a letter to Edwin Knopf dated February 1940, Scott explains how a cousin of his father had been caught up in a surprise attack on Lt. Gen. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson on Chancellorsville in May 1863. The story of his cousin’s capture would eventually make it into another story he would publish in Colliers magazine that June.  The story, The End of Hate, recalled a gruesome little episode in which one of Mosby’s men, Tib Dulany, is hung up by his thumbs and ends with a conversation in which a disfigured Tib overhears the plot to assassinate Lincoln at a boarding house in Georgetown. The editors had been so disturbed by the content that Scott had been forced to revise it several times. In light of the proximity of Scott’s father to Lawrence Washington, lineal descendant of President George Washington, it is interesting to note that one of his kin, Ella Bassett Washington, had taken up residency at a boarding house in Georgetown at this time. Ella, the wife (and cousin) of Lewis William Washington, a second cousin of Lawrence, was eventually impeached over a pardon-brokerage business that featured prominent Confederate officers and America’s new President, Andrew Johnson. Zelda’s family in Alabama, the Sayres, had been implicated in the very same scheme. Like Lawrence’s father Richard, both Ella and her husband Lewis had sided with the Confederacy during the war, Lewis having served as aide to General Henry A. Wise. Was it possible that in the last few years of his life, Scott had been extending the romantic confabulations handed down to him by his father, perhaps drawing on, or confusing, various family intrigues and rumours for his stories?

History didn’t remember men like Mosby but in the eyes of Scott and his father it was soldiers like him that had made all the difference. He would spend the last years of his life working for the US Department of Justice in Washington D.C. His last known address was 1333 L Street NW, just a thirty walk east of Scott’s grandmother Cecilia on N Street and within spitting distance of the boarding house on 10th Street where President Lincoln had died. After a sixty year wait, Edward had finally crossed the river himself, making a final, lasting incursion into the Territory of Columbia. With the cool, quiet stealth of Major Mosby, Edward had plugged himself into the mainframe of political life in Washington and was sitting back enjoying the noise. Zelda told Scott that he still spent his time in a “vague dream” but at least it was a happy dream. He was not to worry and should not feel sorry for his father. The Ferris Wheel still turned and turned like it was never going to stop but any hopes of trying the big top had all but disappeared. He had died a contented man. [9]

The hotel ‘friends’ that Zelda referred to in her letter to Scott were composed largely of society people like Major General William J. Snow and his wife, Isabel, League of Nations economist, Charles P. White, Brigadier General Melville Jarvis, Senator John Thomas, Major Herbert H. Hawkins, Marine Commander Logan Feland and Chief Naval architect, Colonel Frank van Vleck and his wife. A day rarely went by without an Ambassador, Senator, diplomat for foreign legation being dined or entertained. For someone whose dreams had always wished to soar above the highest towers of influence, residing at Meridian Mansions was as good as it got. Sitting majestically at the top of Meridian Hill, this million dollar apartment building stood seven storeys high and boasted an uninterrupted view of the city. When work commenced on the building in 1916 the Washington Evening Star promised that it would be the finest structure of its kind in the nation’s capital. Located at the corner of upper 16th and Crescent Streets the building would occupy an area of about 53,000 square feet and contain more than 500 rooms, many of them unusually large. The lower floor would be used for public functions and the roof would be home to a tea-garden and tennis courts. At the time it was the capital’s most expensive residential hotel.

Edward had soon found himself feeding off the buzz, his curious little wireless tuning into the multi-channel frequencies of power. At the farthest extreme of the avenue was the White House. It was like standing at the pillars of heaven and having a concierge of angels hoover your room and make you breakfast. One of the guests who made the acquaintance of Scott’s mother some years after the death of Edward recalls an elderly woman dressed in black insisting that they share a taxi back Meridian Mansions. The woman was the wife of Senator Joseph Lister Hill, then serving as Chairman of the House Committee on Military Affairs. In January 1934 the pair had been travelling back from Alabama on the Crescent, a long-distance passenger train that connected New York and New Orleans — the Crescent City. Lister had engaged Mollie Fitzgerald in conversation and was surprised to learn that she was the mother of the famous Flapper novelist. Mollie had spent the Christmas holidays with the family at the home of Zelda’s parents in Montogomery and was on her way back to Washington. It wasn’t long before they had another surprise: Mollie, like the Hills, was also heading to Meridian Mansions. From that moment on the Hills became ever more fond of Mollie. She was lonely, that was one thing they learned. On one occasion she had handed Mrs Hill a copy of a story that Scott had just published in the Saturday Evening Post. The story in question was probably, More Than Just a House published in June the year before. Mollie was unhappy. It wasn’t up to Scott’s usual standard and she was getting more and more disturbed by his obvious decline in standards. On another occasion Mrs Hill had been preparing for a dinner that she and Lister were giving in honour of General MacArthur. It was winter and the snow had begun to settle. As the day wore on more and more guests called to cancel. As a result Mrs Hill had to keep updating the seating arrangements. Just as she was finishing putting the place cards on the table, Mrs Fitzgerald came in and started looking over the table, remarking on her efforts. Distracted by the old woman, Mrs Hill says she ended up putting everyone who should have been on the right of her on the left. Among the guests that day was Admiral Harry Huse and Senator Hugo Black, a virulent anti-Catholic Democratic and New Dealer and member of the Klan back in Alabama. If Scott had come in that day he might well have said that in post-war Washington it was no longer immediately obvious which side anybody was on. [10]

A few weeks after meeting Mollie, the Hills were introduced to Zelda. They had several friends from Alabama in common, including the father of Zelda’s school friend, Tallulah Bankhead. The women ended the week by taking the 12 year old Scottie on the usual tourist tour of the capital: The White House, Capitol City, the Washington Monument, the Library of Congress — you name it. When Hill was finally introduced to Scott he is said to have bowed to the floor in a deep and rather mocking “cavalier’s sweep.” Zelda had swiftly rebuked him with a curt, “Oh Scott, cut it out.” In light of Hill’s dinner guests that week, his sarcastic and theatrical flourish was probably the least offensive option.

[1] Conversations with F. Scott Fitzgerald, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1896-1940, University Press of Mississippi, 2004, p.121-122. Surratt’s wife, Mary Victorine Hunter was the daughter of Thomas Hunter (1812-1854) and Susannah Key Hunter (1820-1885). Susannah was the sister of Cecelia Aston Fitzgerald (and Edward Key Scott) who was married to Michael Fitzgerald, Scott’s grandfather, father of Edward.

[2] ‘Arrest of John H. Surratt’, Washington Evening Star, December 4, 1866, p.2. Prior to joining The Pope’s Zouave, Surratt had escaped to both Liverpool and London. Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth had family in Clerkenwell, London.

[3] ‘The Death of My Father’, F. Scott Fitzgerald, A Short Autobiography, ed. James L. W. West III, pp.118-120

[4] Foreword, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Colonial and Historic Homes of Maryland, Donn Swann, Etchcrafters Art Guild, 1939. 

[5] History of Saint Paul and Vicinity, Lewis Publisher, Chicago, 1912, p.876-77; ‘Lineal Descendent of Mount Vernon’s Owner Dies in St Paul Home’, February 21, 1922, p.1; The Washingtons. Volume 4, Part 2, Justin Glenn, Savas Beatie, 2014, p.1866. Richard Bushrod Washington certainly appears in several books on the Washington lineage. His son Lawrence Gibson Washington and his wife Ellen Center appear in the 1860 census in Hastings. Richard’s mother married her 5th cousin.

[6] ‘They Loved George’, Saint Paul Globe, February 22, 1896, p.10. It was the year of Scott’s birth. Lawrence also lived on Summit Avenue.

[7] ‘Little Patriots’, Saint Paul’s Globe, February 23, 1898, p.8

[8] Washington Evening Star, September 25, 1889, p.2. Could Edward’s best man, Lawrence Washington trace his heritage back to the elder brother of George Washington? Himself a naval man. The house that Scott visited in Norfolk City was on what is now, Gosnold Avenue (previously Grafton Avenue, see US Census 1910, Cecilia Delihant Taylor, Norfolk City, Ward 7, Virginia). Richard Taylor arrived back in Virginia to found several prominent banks. Also in the extended Taylor family was Commodore Perry and William Conway Whittle, the executive officer and an navigator of the Confederate blockade runner CSS Shenandoah. The ancestral home is the Taylor-Whittle House at Freemason Street.

[9] ‘To Scott, January 1931’, Dearest Scott, Dearest Zelda, p.100-01

[10] Washington Evening Star, March 4, 1934, p.34

Main photo of Edward Fitzgerald and Son, Family Photographs; F. Scott Fitzgerald Papers, C0187, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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