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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 230 [newspaper clipping]

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Identifier: DX03194587

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 230 [newspaper clipping]

Description: Newspaper clipping of a letter from John Forney to George Roberts, requesting his assistance in getting evidence that actor George Jamieson had an affair with actor Edwin Forrest's wife.




Our friend [Edwin] Forrest is now here, and is about to apply for a divorce from his wife [Catherine Sinclair Forrest]. He has had, for eighteen months, the proofs of her infidelity, but has chosen to keep them quiet, and would have done so still but for her folly in censuring him for leaving her. It is really astounding how he has kept these proofs to himself from all his friends, for all that time; but it is so, nevertheless. The facts are these:—Eighteen months ago, while playing in Cincinnati, he caught Mrs. F. in a very equivocal position with a young man, in his own parlor—not in actual connection, but near it. She protested innocence, and he let it pass by—loving her as he did, most profoundly. They passed on to New Orleans, and so home to New York.

After they reached, and had been there for some time, he found, one evening, on his wife’s table, a billet doux in the handwriting of, though not signed by, this young man, in which she was alluded to in terms the most amorous and unmistakable.

The language alluded to her “white arms, that wound about his neck”—to the “blissful hours they had spent together;” and the letter had been kept as a memento until it was well worn. Upon this evidence, with the other confirmatory proofs, he intends applying to our Legislature for a divorce; but you are now in a position to serve him in a manner he will never forget. The person who wrote to Mrs. F., and in whose company she was detected, is George Jamieson, now playing in New Orleans. If you don’t know him, you can, as the editor of a leading daily paper, soon make his acquaintance. What Forrest now desires to clinch the nail is, to obtain in some way an admission from Jamieson. I named you to him as a safe, steady, and intelligent friend, and he will never forget whatever you may do for him, in this, to him most vital matter. He suggests that you might institute intimate relations with J., and then induce him, either in your presence, or in company, to admit as a thing to be proud of, his connection with Mrs. F. He is fond of a glass, and possibly, in a convivial mood, might become communicative. No harm will come to him; he is game too small for Forrest; and any admission he may make, may be important only as aiding an injured man in getting relieved from a hateful bond. Can you manage this thing, my friend? It will require skill and caution, and, if successful, will warmly endear you to Forrest. He is nearly crazy at the idea of being placed in his present position; but he will spend half he is worth to be released from it. This matter must be kept secret. Above all, do not name me in connection with it; excuse me for troubling you in regard to it. My ardent attachment to glorious Forrest must be my excuse. Now, won’t you help to relieve him?

It would help in the matter, probably, to know that John Green, the actor, now in New Orleans, is the warm friend of Forrest, and may know Jamieson well. You can use your own discretion in letting him know the facts, and invoking his aid. This letter is addressed to you in the knowledge of Forrest.

Please write as soon after receipt as you can find opportunity to look about you. With kind regards, I am, dear Roberts, yours very truly, JNO. W. FORNEY.


PHILADELPHIA, January 25, 1850.

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1850-01-25

Type(s): Clipping, Newspaper

Maker/Creator: Forney, John

Subjects: Actors


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