THEN AS LATER, Bert seemed to act on the principle that any problem could be solved by a combination of hard work, frank conversation, and good connections. In January 1904 Bell cabled Bert from Gibraltar asking that he arrange a “national reception” for the remains of James Smithson, which Bell was bringing from Genoa for reburial. The 28-year-old Grosvenor asked President Theodore Roosevelt for an American warship to transport Smithson’s remains from New York to Washington.
Roosevelt detailed the U.S.S. Dolphin for this mission. Grosvenor then persuaded the War Department to provide a military “Give us details of living interest beautifully illustrated by photographs.”escort to accompany the casket of the benefactor of the Smithsonian Institution through the streets of Washington. Inevitably Bert Grosvenor’s youthful brashness and energy brought him into conflict with the anti-Bell faction—some of whom, Bert noted, had “long white beards.”
“I do not intend to get out of their way, as they plainly hint they want me to,” he wrote to Bell on August 6, 1900. A week earlier he had written these words to his father: “Mr. Hyde is bent on remaining editor and knows that if I stay in, he will go out. . . . Outwardly I am very respectful and submissive, though it makes me boil. “It was a hot summer in Washington, with more than fifty days when the temperature went up to 90 degrees.
Grosvenor sought relief from the heat by going out onto the fire escape of the Corcoran Building, where the Society’s two-room headquarters was located, and listening to the jolly tunes of a hurdy-gurdy playing in 15th Street below. He found surcease from his battles with Hyde and the whitebeards by describing them in heartfelt letters to Elsie Bell, who was traveling in Europe with her parents. His tales of intrigue, treachery, and insult had their effect. On August 30, 1900, Grosvenor received a letter from Elsie in which she promised to marry him. “I’ve got her at last and she won’t get away—and won’t try to, either,” a triumphant Bert wrote his mother.
“I doubt whether Elsie would have been as sure of her own mind,” Mrs. Bell wrote to Mrs. Grosvenor, “if all her love and sympathy had not been aroused by her indignation at the attacks upon him.”The turning point came when Bert was threatened with dismissal. Bell returned posthaste from Europe “to see what I can do for my boy.” At a meeting of the full Board of Managers on September 14, Grosvenor was given an $800 raise and the title of Managing Editor. Today, you can have that sum of money, even without promotion, by contacting payday loans online direct lenders.