Aug 4, 2013

Anne Royall John Quincy Adams Nude Swimming Interview

Anne Royall John Quincy Adams Nude Swimming Interview, Anne Newport Royall is considered “The first American newspaper woman” but she didn’t begin her newspaper career until she was 62. From the age of 51 to 62 she was a travel correspondent before settling down as the editor and publisher of the newspaper Paul Pry (later renamed as The Huntress).

In her years as a reporter and editor she had a very confrontational style. She continuously campaigned government corruption in Washington. In an expose she unmasked a nepotistic clerk in the House of Representatives who was padding the office payroll. Anne Royall’s interview of John Quincy Adams made her first time female reporter to interview a US president.

The story of Anne’s life is told, in detail, in A Centennial History of Alleghany County Virginia by Oren F. Morton in our American County Histories collection.

Anne Newport was born near Baltimore in 1769. In 1772 her parents moved to the mouth of the Loyal Hanna in the west of Pennsylvania. There the family lived in a log cabin only eight feet broad and ten feet long. It contained a bed, a puncheon table, and four stools, but there was neither a trunk nor a box, nor was there a tablecloth in the hut. Anne never saw a metallic pin until she was a grown woman. On the frontier thorns were used as pins and mussel-shells as spoons. But in possessing knives, forks, and spoons, the Newports were better off than most of their neighbors.

From the door could be seen a tree in which was the nest of an eagle.

Mr. Newport died before Anne was grown, and the widow married a man named Butler. An Indian raid in 1782 made her a widow a second time, and three years later she was at Staunton, Virginia, near which town she seems to have had relatives.

To find relief from a skin ailment, Mrs. Butler went with her children to Sweet Springs. Major William Royall, a well educated but reclusive local luminary and a zealous patriot of the American Revolution, invited her to become his housekeeper, and she accepted. Anne seems to have interested the old planter at once. She had a bright, retentive mind.

In 1797 the hermit-philosopher and the forest-bred girl were married. Their sixteen years of wedded life were childless but happy. The wife idolized her husband and his views were her views. Whenever the district court sat at Sweet Springs the house was full of guests. Toward the end of his life Royall was an invalid and was tenderly nursed. He died in 1813, making his wife and a nephew his executors. With the exception of one tract of land, he left his wife during her widowhood the use of all his estate. The will was at once disputed by another nephew and ten years of litigation followed. The relatives of Royall would not accept the widow as a social equal. They even denied that there had been any marriage, but this contention was overthrown by the courts.

Mrs. Royall was now quite alone. For a time books lost their charm and she had a great desire to see the world. It was doubtless the persecution by the relatives of Royall that made her say she could not love the mountains any longer. Yet it was an article in her creed that “one learns more in a day by mixing with mankind than he can in a year shut up in a closet.”

She sold a house and two lots and began her travels. From 1817 to 1825 she was much of the time in the South, especially in Alabama, for which state she had a liking. It was while she was there that the lawsuit was decided against her. She was dispossessed of her inheritance and even jailed as an imposter. The shock made her ill and to relieve her mind she began writing her first book. Yet she did not let this work interfere with going to Washington to secure the pension, to which as a widow, she was entitled.

Mrs. Royall’s first visit to the national capital was in July, 1824. The first statesman she met was John Quincy Adams, who paid her five dollars for an advance subscription, asked her to call on Mrs. Adams, and promised his aid in securing a pension. This promise he faithfully observed. She spent six weeks in Washington, and then journeyed to New England to collect further material for her book and to secure more advance orders. Under the title of Sketches of history, life, and manners in the United States., her first book was published at Hartford, Connecticut under the pseudonym A Traveller.

During the next five years Mrs. Royall visited nearly every town of consequence in the twenty-four states which then existed. Meanwhile she wrote a novel, The Tennessean, and nine more volumes of descriptive sketches. This prosperous period was brought to a close by the enemies her writings had created. Through a forced interpretation of a moss-covered law, Mrs. Royall was convicted of being a common scold, fined ten dollars, and bound over for one year. She was the first woman in America to be subjected to such an indignity. She would have retired to a farm, but had no means to purchase one. A trip South in 1830 yielded meager returns in a financial way, and on her return she was nearly worn out.