Who is to say, who was gay? In the past, back in the day, one easily could make a call as to who was handsome, debonair or elegant. But, which of these Newport residents of yesteryear seems homosexual to you? Can one ever tell, only by looking? Now as before, many insist they can always tell. Marriage and children are no reliable measure to be sure.
The “delighted”, patrician, happy warrior, what an exceptional president FDR was. But gay? No way! Of course Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his share of faults as do we all. To begin, the fortune of the Delano’s, his mother’s family, was derived from the China trade, which villainously imposed opium sales on the Chinese. Less obliquely, as chief executive, fully aware of the ghastly implications of the Nazi “Final Solution”, Roosevelt did nothing. He even failed to accept the offer of Britain’s foreign secretary to forgo England’s immigration quota in favor of German Jews following Kristallnacht. At home in America, notwithstanding all the empathetic goodwill of his wife, his record concerning oppressed, disenfranchised and lynched African Americans was scarcely better.
“With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds.”
'Watching a squawl of brilliant stars against the inky sky, listening to the powerful rhythm of the pounding surf while getting your cock sucked, you can imagine that it was Ann Pennington or even Queen Marie of Roumania, it's wonderful...But it's best to recall it's a great brute with a large member kneeling before you. Wonderful...'
Soon enough, in 1925, their father was remarried, to Mathilde Scott Townsend "a noted international beauty" whose portrait had been painted by John Singer Sargent. Until World War II, the Welleses lived on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C., in the landmark Townsend Mansion, designed by Carrère and Hastings, later the home of the Cosmos Club A wealthy widow, sadly while on holiday in Switzerland with her husband, Mrs. Wells number two died in 1949 of peritonitis.
Thereafter Welles spent the bulk of his time a few miles outside of Washington in the Maryland countryside at a 49-room house on his 245-acre estate, known as Oxon Hill Manor designed by Jules Henri de Sibour and built in 1929. He entertained foreign dignitaries and diplomats there and hosted informal meetings of senior officials. FDR used the site as an occasional escape from the city as well.
Welles final wife was his childhood friend Harriette Appleton Post. The couple married on January 8, 1952, in the bride's home on Fifth Avenue in New York.
Welles who attended the same schools as Roosevelt, partly enjoyed his esteem due to their similar social backgrounds . Yet notwithstanding his polished manners and aloof bearing, Welles began to behave so scandalously that in order to keep him from mischief F.D.R. assigned Secret Service agents to mind him.
Roosevelt couldn't overlook Welles' peccadillos once Welles unsuccessfully wooed a railroad dining car steward in July, 1937, two months after Roosevelt had appointed him Under Secretary of State.
The diplomat was en route to Little Rock, representing the State Department at the funeral of Senate Majority Leader Joseph T. Robinson when the steward caught his eye. An invitation to visit Welles' compartment brought a complaint from the steward that was passed on by the railroad directly to the White House.
After that, the FBI stuck close to Welles whenever he traveled to conferences or represented the President abroad. This was true when Welles attended the Panama conferences in 1939, when he toured the major allied and axis capitals of Europe in 1940, when he accompanied F.D.R. to the sea meeting with Churchill in 1941, and when he was a delegate to the Rio de Janeiro Conference in 1942.
Even after Welles' resignation from the Under Secretaryship in 1943, he was still a hot potato who had to be handled with care by police detectives in major American and Canadian cities, where his critical books on U. S. foreign policy made him much in demand as a speaker at conclaves on international affairs. Welles slipped his guards and nearly landed in headlines on one wild weekend in Cleveland in January, 1947. Welles, who was so fond of whisky that he downed at least two double Manhattans before venturing out of bed in the morning, drank intermittently until 3 a.m. the next day. Then he ducked his detective escort and headed for a gay night on the town.
The frantic detective and a correspondent for a national magazine who joined the search found Welles in the Royal Castle Hamburger cafe, 15 Public Square, squiring a handsome youth. The boy admitted that the inebriated Welles had given him three $50 bills to persuade him to come to Welles' hotel suite. The correspondent persuaded the lad to fork over the cash, and the detective got Welles into a taxi only by promising to take him to the Club Vendome, a late hour pickup spot that was favored by Cleveland's most flaming homosexuals until it was later closed by police.
Finding himself tricked and at his hotel, the former under secretary was understandably obstreperous. But eventually his keepers put him to bed, taking his clothes and money as a precaution, to make sure he wouldn't resume his manhunt. Mr. Welles was determined. The following evening he again gave his guard the slip after wheedling back his clothes, but not his money.
On the morning of Dec. 26, 1948, Sumner Welles was found semi-conscious in a field near "Oxon Hill Manor," His fingers and toes were frozen by seven hours' exposure in 15° temperature, and his uncharacteristically disheveled clothes, heavily covered with mud and sand, were frozen to his body!
The bizarre story and, subsequent news of Welles' difficult recovery were front page news. But the only reason ever published for the accident was an allusion, unverified by Welles' physician, the "possibility of a heart attack."
As for Newport? Newport retains its magical lure. Presenting contrast of wealth and poverty, conventional conformity and abandonded rebellion, elaborate artifice and the most majestic kind of natural splendor, even devoid of the Naval College, the Y, or a full-time gay bar, it remains one of the most compelling places in the country.