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Robert G. Ingersoll quotation from “Superstition” (1898)
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Walking Tour Stop 11

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Site of Ingersoll’s 2nd D.C. Home
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Site of Ingersoll’s 2nd D.C. Home

Ingersoll’s Second DC home at 1315 K Street, N.W. (not extant)

This site on the north side of Franklin Square (now Franklin Park) in the middle of the block is today occupied by an office building. 1315 K Street is now the entrance to the Almas A.A.O.N.M.S. Sphinx Club.

Moving to this larger house in 1883, the Ingersoll family lived here until November 1885. Here the Ingersolls hosted the Hungarian violinist Edouard Remenyi, who played pieces he composed in honor of his “Jupiter” Ingersoll, the English freethinker George Jacob Holyoke and Supreme Court Justice John M. Harlan, known as the “Great Dissenter” for voting against the Supreme Court majority upholding segregation.

Ingersoll’s 2nd D.C. Home, c. 1920
photo 34 enlarge
Ingersoll’s 2nd D.C. Home, c. 1920

In April 1883, Ingersoll delivered the funeral oration for his friend John G. Mills, a freethinking journalist and lawyer who lived at 940 K Street, N.W. The funeral was held at the home of his friend, Colonel Fitzgerald. “He was not a Christian,” declared Ingersoll. “Humanity was his God; the human race was his Supreme Being. In that Supreme Being he put his trust. He believed that every pure thought, every disinterested deed, hastens the harvest of universal good.”

Early in 1884, Ingersoll had told a reporter, “Washington was a beautiful city, a pleasant place in which to live, and that he expected to stay there the rest of his life” (Topeka Capital, March 15, 1884). “The election of 1884 [with the defeat of Blaine and the victory of Cleveland] had ended that prospect. He had turned his back on politics, and politics had walloped him. To the victorious Democrats he was anathema, to the defeated Republicans a deserter. His Washington law practice was drying up. What should he do?” (Smith, 1990, p. 244).

In November 1885, Ingersoll moved his family to New York City to be “nearer to the great clients and the enthusiastic audiences from whom he drew his living and his repute” (Dictionary of American Biography, 1990, p. 470).

Walking Directions (printable version)

To leave the area via Metro:

The McPherson Square station is one block away at 14th and I Streets.

 
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