Adam Badeau (December 29, 1831 – March 19, 1895)

OutHistory is grateful to an anonymous contributor who provided  the following information.

Wikipedia: Adam Badeau (December 29, 1831–March 19, 1895) was an American author, Union Army officer, and diplomat. He is most famous for his service on the staff of Ulysses S. Grant during the American Civil War and his subsequent three-volume biography of Grant. Badeau enjoyed a successful career as a writer, and assisted Grant with the research, fact checking, and editing when Grant authored Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant.   A native of New York City, Badeau was raised and educated in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, and became clerk in the New York City Street Department while studying law. In addition to practicing after he was admitted to the bar, Badeau became a writer, and his early work as a theater critic was carried by Noah's Sunday Times

William S. McFeely, Grant: A Biography (New York: Norton, 1982), p. 497, writes that "Badeau was probably homosexual." McFeely also says that "Badeau was the strangest of the strange men who were close to Ulysses Grant" and Badeau "spent an astonishing night" with the famous actor, Edwin Booth, "in the rarely opened country house of Booth's father."

Page 497: "'I was talking with a man who drove me around the place yesterday: we passed the theatre; I asked who played here, and who drew best. Booth draws better than any one comes here. Sir.' He wanted to know if I'd ever seen him. I thought I had, once or twice, wasn’t he good looking'? 'Oh! Yes Sir. that’s the man.'" Adam Badeau, letter to Edwin Booth, "Richmond" 15 August 1858 [?], The Players. "I have a champagne supper dependent on a bet, which you are to decide. Binsie tells me he saw you walking with Briggy the actor; (arm in arm I think.) while you were last in New York. I was sure you did not walk with him. Which was right?" Adam Badeau, letter to Edwin Booth, 24 November 1858, The Players.

"So the fellows have gone mad about you in Charleston, not the women; complimentary truly: that's what you get for being so handsome! Wouldn’t you be in demand in Turkey?" Adam Badeau, letter to Edwin Booth, "New York," 14 April 1858 [?], The Players.

Same-sex sexual activity was legalized in the Ottoman Empire (the predecessor of the modern-day Republic of Turkey) in 1858, and in modern Turkey, homosexual activity has always been a legal act since the day it was founded on 29 October 1923.

Page 75: Adam Badeau was arguably the first person to influence the young Edwin Booth in a systematic approach to the actor’s artistic education.'" Bom in New York City in 1831 and privately educated in Tarrytown. Badeau became "a young man-about-town, connoisseur of the arts, feuilletonist for the Sunday Times over the signature of 'The Vagabond,' and very much an exponent of what Nym Crinkle would one day label sensitive dillentantism.'"' He is, however, best known for his later associations with Ulysses S. Grant, becoming, in the words of Grant's biographer W illiam S. McFeely, "the strangest of the strange men who were close to Ulysses Grant. .After joining the Union army, Badeau served on the staff of General Thomas W. Sherman and was wounded at Port Hudson, after which he joined Grant's staff in 1864. taking part in the Wilderness campaign. He published a three-volume Military History of Ulysses S. Grant in 1882 and a two-volume collection of sketches and letters entitled Grant in Peace: From Appomattox to Mount McGregor in 1887. Badeau also served as consul-general at the American Embassy in London from 1870 to 1881.

NOTES TO ABOVE: Oggel refers to Badeau as "the most literate, sensitive mind EB had encountered. [...] EB's father excepted, he had the most effect on EB prior to EB's marriage" i Letters x.xiv). ‘^Shattuck. tŒ B 18. '■*

Page 76: Havana from 1882 to 1884. afterwards producing "a stinging, if gossipy, book about English society called .Amrocracv in England (New York. 1886)."'' Badeau s relationship with Booth began from an admiring distance almost immediately after Booth's arrival in New York, during which the young critic observed and wrote about the young actor in extraordinary terms.

Page 84: In a note Badeau refers to Booth as both "Romeo" and "Hamlet" in his essay "A Night W ith The Booths" (The Vagabond 347-54).

Page 86: The letter clearly had an impact, for. as Badeau commented later, "at the end of a week he [Edwin Booth] consented to spend Sunday with me: and from that time dated a peculiar intimacy." The young critic and actor spent "days as well as nights together," during w hich Badeau used to hunt up books and pictures about the stage, the finest criticisms, the works that illustrated his scenes, the biographies of great actors, and we studied them together. We visited the Astor Library and the Society Library to verify costumes, and every picture or picture-gallery in New York that was accessible.

NOTE TO ABOVE: Adam Badeau. "Edwin Booth. On and off the Stage. ” M cClure’s Magazine. I (August 1893). 259. cited in Shattuck HEB 21-22.

Page 95: Badeau s and Booth's relationship began to wane coincidental to Booth's meeting and eventual engagement to Mary Devlin in 1859. Preceding the engagement. Badeau "fixed on B ooth[.. .]a downright sexual possessiveness." which, as expressed in his letters. Shattuck

Page 96: finds "make troublesome reading."^'’ Gene Smith refers to Badeau as "sexless or asexual or homosexual,"^ William S. M McFeely as "probably homosexual, and in a world that accorded him limited license to express himself,"'^ and William Winter avoids any mention of Badeau in his Life and Art of Edwin Booth. From his letters to Booth, it is clear that Badeau was infatuated with the actor, often com plim enting him on his beauty."’ expressing jealousy over his acquaintances,"*’ and, given accepted standards, making pointed homosexual jokes."' How much Booth reciprocated in this relationship is unknown from the extant letters, however there are some indications from Badeau that Booth's friendship may have been more than platonic:

Don’t you taunt me so with the Badeau fever Sir, its quite bad enough to have it without being ridiculed, especially by you. To be sure, you have done your best to cure me. Perhaps you think to laugh me out of it. I don’t know but that my case is improving; as you say: "a load has oppressed my mind for

NOTES TO ABOVE:  Shattuck HEB 28. '


Page 97: "but of late I don’t think the fits have been so severe, haven't my letters indicated as much for about two weeks past? Its five months tomorrow since I've seen you, that ought to allow one's effervescence to subside, don't you think so? Only you know there are some feelings in your nature, that get rampant [?] when long deprived of their natural meat. I am, however very calm."'

Badeau would include titillating hints in his published articles about his own sexuality and his relationship with Booth:

Every once in a while I get a letter directed to "The Vagabond" — sometimes graceful, sometimes flattering, sometimes caustic, sometimes saucy, always piquant. Somebody who read my enthusiastic praise of young Booth's beauty, was sure it was written by a woman; but you couldn't persuade my fair correspondents of this. Do you think they'd waste thoughts and paper on one of their own sex?"'

His article. "A Night With the Booths," recounting an evening spent with the young actor at the abandoned Booth homestead Tudor Hall, is peppered with intriguing innuendo:

"We talked away long after our candles had burned out; previous to which I induced Hamlet to read me some funny stories, and when he got tired of reading, to tell me more; so I fell into a doze, with his voice ringing in my ears; and he may tell of having put one auditor to sleep by his monotonous deliver. I warrant you. some of his fair admirers would not have slept, so long as he talked, and doubtless they envy me my snooze on his arm. But twas dark, and I couldn't see his eyes; besides. I had seen them all day."  

Adam Badeau. Letter to Edwin Booth. "New York" 14 April, 1858 [?].
Badeau "Unknown Correspondents." The Vagabond 166. "
Badeau, The Vagabond 352.

Page 98: Despite Booth's increasing irritation at Badeau s infatuation,'’’ they continued their relationship. Badeau consented to help "educate" the young Mary Devlin before their marriage, was best man at their wedding, and was even invited to Niagara Fails to share the couple's honeymoon. Although Badeau and Booth's relationship was cooled by a quarrel in the mid 1860s, and Badeaus military career (and infatuation with a young Union soldier) found them occupying different social worlds, by the late 1870s their friendship was renewed, and Badeau wrote paeans to Booth following the actor's death in both published articles and private letters. Although Shattuck questions why Booth would "put up with such nonsense," he concedes that he did, "and we must adjust our preconception of his character enough to include that fact."'’'’ Regardless of what the details o f their relationship may have been. Booth's tutelage was soon to be taken over by another. 

NOTES TO ABOVE P. 98: '’’Several exchanges in their letters indicate a strain in the relationship. See, particularly. Booth's letter to Badeau in which Booth assumes Badeau would have destroyed his letters due to their content, Edwin Booth, letter to Adam Badeau, 27 December 1861, The Players.

Page 108: re Mary Devlin: 
In her letter to Booth written on October 11, 1859, Mary begins to capitalize on Booth's growing annoyance with Badeau's sycophancy. Her reference to Badeau s homosexuality and his attraction to Booth is unmistakable, and she adds a warning that the men's relationship must be altered by Booth: 

"You must continue to write me of all the pleasant times you have and I enjoy reading them almost as much as if were there. Mr. Bader's [sic-Badeau’s] visit will doubtless place some restraint upon you [note] 86 --what a pity he is not like other men—then his friendship would ever be welcome to you,--you must tutor him, or he will continue through life an intolerable bore—a second Boswell—I fancy that is what he most desires to be."[note] 87

In a second letter written on the same day. Mary mention’s Booth's feeling of estrangement, perhaps a depression which seems to have been a predominant characteristic throughout his life, and equates her companionship to him with a divinely mandated mission to lead him to professional success and personal happiness:

This morning in my walk —I was thinking of the strange being God had given me, to influence and cherish! for you have ever seemed to me like, what Shelly [sic] says of himself—'a phantom among men'—"companionless as the

84: "Booth performed in Buffalo October 3-14, 1859 at the Metropolitan Theatre.
85: Mary Devlin, letter to Edwin Booth, 7 October 1859, The Players.
86: Booth performed in Boston October I7-November 12, 1859 at the Howard Athenaeum. Adam Badeau ("Mr. Bader") had planned visiting Booth during his run there.
87: Mary Devlin, to Edwin Booth, 11 October 1859, letter 17 in Oggel Letters 18.

Page 109 re Mary Devlin: . . . . A.s tensions mounted and the war eventually began, it became a recurring reference in her letters, reaching particular significance during Booth's tour of England and Europe in 1861[note]88. Her letter continues and toward the end of it. Mary effectively insinuates herself as the replacement "tutor" for Badeau and offers another glimpse into Booth's personality:

Page 110: re Mary Devlin: However, her choice of "rustic poems" over the classics does seem to place her in a favorable comparison to Badeau. steeped as he was in the classics and aesthetic philosophy. Whether conscious or not, her mention of Booth's rather malicious "gift" to Badeau follows directly after the preceding selfdeprecation: How indignant

How indignant Mr. Badeau will be at the receipt of the fruit-card you sent him—I laughed heartily at the drollness, o f the idea; he has not been to see me yet. nor do I expect him, while this cold weathe [r --sic] lasts.

Note 90 to p. 110;  Mary Devlin, to Edwin Booth, 28 November 1859, letter 21 Oggel of Letters 22.

Page 111: Without knowing the precise reference in Booth's letter to her it is impossible to discern the exact meaning of the "fruit-card" or the nature of the gift, however it seems plausible it is a reference to Mary's observation that Badeau is "not like other men."

Alphabetical Bibliography

Badeau, Adam. (Grant's Gay Aide & Friend)... | Campfire Chat ... › ... › Campfire Chat - General Discussions
Apr 6, 2016 - 20 posts - ‎5 authors
I read a forum on this book and in the forum it mentions that not one union soldier was court martial for being gay/ homosexual in the civil war. Source: OutHistory user to OutHistory.

Badeau, Adam. OutHistory user to OutHistory: “This I think was Adam Badeau's  last book on President Grant. Title: Grant in Peace: Appomattox to Mount McGregor. The opening chapters talk about his relationship with Grant...

Bloom, Arthur W. Edwin Booth: A Biography and Performance History › books Says: There is no evidence for “openness.” For further possible nineteenth—century homosexual references, see Adam Badeau to EB, n.d. [after May 17, 1859] “This is a biography of . . . Edwin Booth, the foremost tragic actor of the nineteen-century American theatre.  . . . “. . . the relationship between Booth and Adam Badeau might be seen as platonic, homosexual, self-serving, symbiotic and/or educational. What is the significance of . . . Booth calling Horace Howard Furness, the editor of the Shakespeare Variorum, “sweetheart?  It is impossible to answer such questions with absolute certitude. Consequently, what follows is one scholar’s ‘version’ of Edwin Booth. . . .” [says 2 other Booth biographies are “underway”]

Princeton University Library. Civil War Letters of Adam Badeau. › special-collections › collections › civil-war-l... This collection documents Adam Badeau's career as Grant's secretary during the ... interested in the particulars of Badeau's career should consult the Ulysses S.

His relationships with these individuals are described in his correspondence with James Harrison Wilson, which comprises most of this collection. There’s also some interesting information on Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes, who is considered by some to be the greatest American actor of all time. In these letters, Badeau provides some meaningful commentary on these figures as well as the general discussion topics of the time: the fate of slavery, reconstruction, etc.In 1863, after Badeau has been wounded fighting with General Grant at Port Hudson, he spends months in New York and New Port with little company besides his caretakers and surgeons (including Edwin Booth, who becomes a dear friend of Badeau) and he writes to Wilson regularly. In this period of perpetual physical pain and loneliness, his close relationship to Wilson becomes apparent. He mostly reports on military affairs, politics, and his convalescence, and these letters show much insight, especially regarding the future of the South. In addition, these letters demonstrate his friendship with Wilson. Badeau engages in a witty and at times flirty banter regarding their correspondence and intimacy. In these letters he divulges how meaningful their friendship is. In 1864, a breach in their friendship arises, which is not fully explained because Wilson's letters are not part of this collection. Eventurally, they do become friends again, and Badeau returns to writing about the generals he serves, and the war, and the aftermath of the war.  The collection consists of 79 autograph letters from Adam Badeau to Union general James Harrison Wilson, dated 1862 to 1865, most of which were written while Badeau was General Ulysses S. Grant's military secretary in the Civil War. One letter describes the Confederate surrender at Appomattox and the meeting between Generals Lee and Grant. Also included is a letter (1909) by Wilson and a few newspaper clippings about him.

Mara, Kim and Robert A. Schanke (2002). Staging Desire: Queer Readings of American Theater History › books Unlike nineteenth-century predecessors James Oakes and Adam Badeau and older contemporaries such as William Inge, Bentley was able to undergo a ...

Mauldin, M. L. "Edwin Booth and the Theater of Redemption . . . . (MA Thesis, Ohio State University, 2000).!etd.send_file?accession=osu1488203552780462&disposition=inline 5 refs to “homo”: (1) p. 15, (2) p. 96 three refs, (3) p.108.

Page 15: The first full biography, Life and Art of Edwin Booth, appeared in the year of Edwin Booth’s death, written by his long-time friend, William Winter, in 1893. This book is more paean than chronicle, delicately circumventing aspects of Booth's life which caused his friend pain, obliquely referring to the assassination as "sudden calamity,” "hideous experience," and "the crime,” " and completely omitting any reference to Adam Badeau, whose homosexuality and intimate relationship with Edwin Booth may have seemed detrimental to Booth's reputation.

Page 22: Another comprehensive collection of letters is found in The Letters and Notebooks of Mary Devlin Booth edited by L. Terry Oggel and published in 1992. This collection evinces the influence that Edwin Booth's young wife had on his acting. Unfortunately, these extant letters are probably only a fraction of the correspondence which passed between them, for Edwin Booth followed the custom of the tim e and destroyed any correspondence which he felt might betray their intimacy.'"' The reader has the opportunity to follow her development into a remarkable maturity, and especially her aggressive campaign to replace Adam Badeau as Booth's chief critic, tutor, and inspiration.

Page 65: Booth's development was deepened when he met and married Mary Devlin, a young actress who strove and succeeded in replacing Badeau as Booth's theatrical tutor. Devlin continued to sustain Booth's realistic “colloquial" approach, and instilled in him the perception that he was suited to become. America's premiere theatrical representative, along with the belief that the theatre possessed the power of moral efficacy.

Page 76: Badeau s relationship with Booth began from an admiring distance almost immediately after Booth's arrival in New York, during which the young critic observed and wrote about the young actor in extraordinary terms. Booth began an engagement at William Burton's Metropolitan Theatre in New York City on May 4.1857. opening as Richard HI (his father's most famous role) in the midst of Burton's press puffery announcing him as "SON OF THE GREAT TRAGEDIAN" and "HOPE OF TH E LIVING DRAMA." " Shortly after Booth's opening, including a single performance as Hamlet on May 12. Badeau discussed Booth's appearances in his Sunday Times essay:

"I have been several times, of late, to see the young genius who is playing at Burton's theatre, and have recognized in his performances the indescribable and unattainable influence, winch I confess I seek for in life and art under their various phases; that alone which subdues the educated and the illiterate, the old and the young, the cold and the impulsive. I have felt the power of genius. To be sure, you sometimes have to sit through an act for the sake of one touch, or one point: but when the time comes it is transcendent, it goes straight home, it compensates. Young Booth has the unmistakable fire, the electric spark, the god-like quality, which mankind have agreed to worship. The vein is with him just struck, but there is a mine behind; the workman is raw. and his tools unwonted, but he is young, and all the more interesting just now from his faults: they so evidently spring from inexperience, they are so palpably negative, they are so curable, that they enlist your sympathies, while four or five times in an evening he does something that requires no sympathy, no allowance, no toleration: that commands, controls, overwhelms."

Shattuck HEB 18. ‘"Playbills and broadsides for the run are in the collection at The Players. ' Badeau's articles were later printed in Adam Badeau. The Vagabond (New York, 1859) 120-21.

Page 77: Badeau commends the twenty-three year old actor as "handsome, graceful, with a countenance full of a higher beauty than that of outline" and compares Booth’s "impulsive, soul-full nature" as something that "no amount of labor and pains would enable an actor to do, as mark the great and impassable gulf for ever fixed between such as Booth and the clever, careful students, even (I dare say it) like Wallack and Davenport."

Page 78: Badeau clearly sees Booth as raw material which must be shaped and molded, implicitly casting himself in the role of tutor, having "fallen in love with Booth’s genius, and determined to become Booth's mentor, guide, and friend."

Pages 95-97: Badeau's and Booth's relationship began to wane coincidental to Booth's meeting and eventual engagement to Mary Devlin in 1859. Preceding the engagement. Badeau "fixed on Booth [.. .] a downright sexual possessiveness." which, as expressed in his letters. Shattuck finds "make troublesome reading." 

Shattuck, Charles Harlen.The Hamlet of Edwin Booth (University of Illinois Press, YEAR?): “but in those years he also affected the dany, priding himsle on his social entrees, fancing himself a ladies’ man…. His youthful attachments to male companions, as expressed in his letters to Booth, and to his  soldier friend Harry Wilson ranged from generous affection to maudlin and even hysterical possessiveness.” p. 18 note 1.,+england&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiR54_2mdrkAhVOOK0KHXH7C_w4ChDoATAFegQIABAC#v=onepage&q=general%20adam%20badeau%20in%20london%2C%20england&f=false

Simpson, Brooks D. Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity Grant historian Brooks Simpson has pointed out (scroll down link to comments), Wilson and Grant aide Adam Badeau were lovers. Brooks [Simpson] mentions their sexy correspondence in Princeton's Firestone Library; part of it was published in 1966 (see card 211). Longacre actually calls Badeau "prissy."  p. 279, Badeau is referred to as an “intimate associate of Wilson”. [Index says that Badeau is mentioned on pages 279, 452, 453, 460-61.] p. 489 cites Wilson to Badeau, LC [Library of Congress]. p. 522 cites: Badeau to Wilson, James H. Wilson Papers, Library of Congress. 

Smith, Gene. Lady Macbeth in America: From the Stage to the White House, p. 110-111. [on actor Edwin Booth. Starts with reference to actress Charlotte Cushman] Booth homosexual&f=false

Smith, Gene. American Gothic (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992) p. 67. [Somewhere Gene Smith refers to Badeau as "sexless or asexual or homosexual."

Titone, Nora. My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry Between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, p. 172. Booth homosexual&f=false

Wikipedia.Date of access?
Badeau was married on April 29, 1875, to Marie Ely Niles. [NOTHING ABOUT HOMOSEX-jnk]

Winter, William. avoids any mention of Badeau in his Life and Art of Edwin Booth. From his letters to Booth, it is clear that Badeau was infatuated with the actor, "often complimenting him on his beauty," "expressing jealousy over his acquaintances," and, given accepted standards, making pointed homosexual jokes." How much Booth reciprocated in this relationship is unknown from the extant letters, however there are some indications from Badeau that Booth's friendship may have been more than platonic: "Don’t you taunt me so with the Badeau fever Sir, its quite bad enough to have it without being ridiculed, especially by you. To be sure, you have done your best to cure me. Perhaps you think to laugh me out of it. I don’t know but that my case is improving; as you say: "a load has oppressed my mind for [NOTES TO ABOVE PAGE  28 or 96!]