The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 348
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
was "the most companionable, jolliest good for nothing fellow that
ever lived on other people's money" and as "a story teller" and
"stump speaker" had no equal.8
As Ochiltree would have said, his friends may have "stretched
the blanket" a little, but it was true that by 1895 Tom had formed
friendships with an unusually varied and extensive group of national
and international figures. He had been a close friend of Jefferson
Davis and U. S. Grant, of Chester A. Arthur and Benjamin Harrison.
He retained the friendship of Confederate generals under whom he
had served and had gained the friendship of Union generals against
whom he had fought. He was equally at home with British aristocrats
and French premiers, with tycoons of industry and commerce, with
boxers, billiard players, and jockeys. A familiar figure at the Metro-
politan Club in Washington, the Clover Club in Chicago, the Jockey
Club of New York, and the White Friars and the Scribblers in Lon-
don, Ochiltree was as likely to be seen at the Derby in England as
at Saratoga in New York. A colorful journalist, sportsman, and bon
vivant, he was as gay and breezy at the Waldorf-Astoria as he was
at a German spa or a Paris cafe, as much an attraction in the House
of Representatives as in the stateroom of an Atlantic steamer. Rumors
of his romances and engagements rated the front pages of the New
York Times." He had chatted with Clemenceau about Civil War
strategy, feuded with Bismarck, argued with Napoleon III, talked
politics with Gladstone and Disraeli, and to the dismay of the Ameri-
can minister, had even sung "John Brown's Body" to a shocked Queen
Victoria. He greeted the Prince of Wales with a slap on his back and
a cheery, "Wales, let us take a drink."" A hit play, "Colonel Tom,"
based on his life, appeared on Broadway;' and the Kentucky thorough-
bred, "Tom Ochiltree," won eleven of fifteen races at Pimlico, Mon-
mouth Park, and Saratoga." For years, Ochiltree had kept his name
8Panola Watchman (Carthage, Texas), August 22, 1877.
'Austin Daily Statesman, August 27, 1881; New York Tribune, January io, 1886, Novem-
ber 26, 19o2; Dallas Morning News, May 8, 1886; New York Times, July 13, 1893, Novem-
ber 26, 19go2; Henry L. Stoddard, As I Knew Them: Presidents and Politics from Grant
to Coolidge (New York, 1927), 114.
5Galveston Daily News, December 29, 1877, February 20, 1884; New York Tribune,
January 28, 1884.
eNat Goodwin, a popular Broadway actor, played "Colonel Tom." Dallas Morning
News, January 19, 1890o; Laurence Hutton, "The American Burlesque," Harper's New
Monthly Magazine, LXXXI (June, 189o), 59-74; Glenn Hughes, A History of the Amer-
ican Theatre, z790o-95o (New York, 1951), 267.
'New York Sportsman, quoted in the Galveston Daily News, October 27, 1877; Austin
Daily Democratic Statesman, August 18, October 27, 1877.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/398/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.