Archive for the ‘Adelaide Scarsey Herrmann’ Category

My very dear, my highly esteemed friend Mr. Lippincott,

Here it is April 10th and I am waiting anxiously to receive an answer from you, to my registered letter written March 17th where I thanked you sincerely, with all my heart, for your dear letter of March 1st enclosing again generously 15$. Before I tell you anything else, let me say I hope God will return you this a thousand fold. You good hearted generous young man! You don’t begin to know the wonderful good you are doing. It is indeed a trying time I am going through, but it is the same all around me! The millionaires do not seem to have money to live on—it is hard for them. They have been accustomed differently. As for my poor person, I had to work and toil all my life and always had enough to get along comfortably. Now a panic has seized the whole world and I must confess my heart bleeds for my beloved America in which country I spent the best part of my life, being so successful—16 years! having the means to cross the Atlantic every 2 years to visit my dear mother in Vienna, so I crossed 16 times, always with the Cunard Line, till the last time I took a German steamer back and somehow or other I have not been able to reach my beloved America again. And since I am here, I have not done so well!

I hear through my radio and also read in the daily paper sad sad reports of America. They say it is a country where the least taxes were paid and now all of a sudden people are taxed heavily—taxes of 45 percent for inheritance, telegraph and telephone taxes, 10% from amusements, from theatres and moving pictures, 5% additional  for inland postage. I do hope and pray that all this does not concern you and may be that all this turmoil and change is the cause why mails do not arrive more regularly.

I am perfectly distressed should you not have received my registered letter dated March 17th—please let me know because I have the receipt and will have it traced.

Now, dear friend, I come to beg you to do me a great favor. A dear aunt of mine in my age died in New York on February 19th /32. Her name is Frau Professor Adelaide Herrmann and lived since years in New York, Hotel Arlington, 19-20 West 25th Street. She was the wife of my uncle Professor Alexander Herrmann who died many years ago in his Pullman Palace Car. Both, man and wife, were magicians. Although aunty died February 19th in New York, I only heard of it March 24th through a lady by the name of Mrs. A.G. Smith, living 69 Lincoln Park, Newark, N.J. In this letter she calls herself a niece of my aunt. My aunt had no children, who are the heirs? She must have had, rather left, considerable money! A year ago when she sent me some large photos of hers, she also sent me a scenery of hers which she used on the stage, and she wrote underneath: this scene costs 5,000$. I was on very good terms with my aunt. We corresponded together and for my birthday she always sent me 10$ or a draft for 50 marks which I cashed at the bank. This year she forgot my birthday. She was in Los Angeles, California working moving pictures. I have answered Mrs. Smith’s letter and take the liberty to send you a copy of the letter, begging you kindly to read it carefully. I have written to Dr. Lawley York, a dentist who years ago resided in Berlin and has now a house and garden in Bad Doberan i/Mecklenburg–Rostockerstrasse, Deutschland. I have asked him to find out what I could do to find out about the will. So this is what he said: All properly drawn up testaments are registered at the Office for Births, Marriages, and Deaths and that anyone can see the same, or obtain a copy by paying one dollar or so the fee used to be, but it may be now higher. I presume the Registrar will be City Hall.

Now, darling dear friend, will you kindly do this for me? By taking hold of this affair you may probably help me out of my present misery—probably I may have part of the inheritance. Dr. York furthermore says aunty may however have written on a piece of paper a few lines that may not have been registered or she may have died intestate, that is, left no will whatever, if so the inheritance would be divided amongst her next of kin according to the law of State in which she was born or in which she claimed nationality.

Aunty was taken sick at the Arlington House where she lived and taken to a hospital where she alas died of pneumonia. Will you before all, please write to the proprietor of the Arlington House enclosing a return stamp and envelope to your address and find out to which hospital aunty was taken to and then please, when you know to what hospital, will you kindly, I beseech you send 1$ in a registered letter to City Hall New York and inquire if a will of Mrs. Adelaide Herrmann, maiden name Addie Scarsey, who died Febr. 29th at Hospital ? and also direct the answer living Arlington House 18-20 West 25th Street N.Y. City, married to Alexander Herrmann is registered there? You see Mr. Lippincott, I am 10,000 miles away and under the present circumstances cannot afford a lawyer—besides, I know no one, so please dear good faithful friend, do me this favor to write to the Arlington House and ask name of hospital? and to inquire at City Hall New York. By the way, aunty was 79 years old. I thank you with all my heart in advance for the great service you are doing me. I look upon you as my guardian angel and always enclose you in my prayers, begging God to bless you!

Lots and lots of love—lots of thanks—ever your grateful, your sincere and faithful Corelli

Excuse bad writing and please acknowledge this directly.

Copy of a letter which I sent registered with return receipt April 4th to a Mrs. A.O. Smith, 69 Lincoln Park, Newark, N.J.

Dear Mrs. Smith,

I answered your kind letter of March 15th on March 27th. I hope it reached you safely. I can yet not console myself over Aunt Herrmann’s death! Am unfortunately 10,000 miles away, so it is difficult to learn particulars—details. I am happy to hear you say in your letter that aunty had a beautiful life, she was a beautiful woman! and certainly deserved it.  Addie was a lovely character, always had a smile on her face. I never knew her to frown and she always had a good kind word for everybody. Please let me know her burial place, the name of the cemetery where she is buried, the number of her grave, and who was the physician who attended her. I am surprised not to have received a second letter from you, telling me further particulars.

The happy life my aunt lead, I don’t know as you know it Mrs. Smith, she has to thank me for it! It is I who brought this marriage about, only I as I know from Addie’s lips, this marriage ought and must take place. I did not rest for 4 months until Alexander swore to me, in Boston Mass. that he would marry Addie. Addie spoke of this many a time to me and said she would never forget me. Then other things happened, for which Addie owes me thanks and gratitude! It is impossible for me to unroll our whole lives for you because you, dear Mrs. Smith, are comparatively a stranger to me! but considering the past and knowing that Mrs. Adelaide Herrmann is my aunt and as she has no children, I certainly claim to be an heiress. Be kind enough and save me the expense of a lawyer and save before all every kind of publicity and let me have by return of mail an attested copy of my aunt’s will and the name of the executor of the will. Please send everything registered.

I know attorneys in New York, of great name and fame—at the time they got me my divorce from my husband. I should hate though, to have any stranger or the law mix up in this affair but no having attended to my inheritance matters, that is the reason that I am poor today. I know Addie’s sentiments regarding our affairs—I know her feelings toward me, so I am sure that she thought of me when she made her will, to help me on in my old days, should she close her eyes forever ere I do.

Hoping that you will understand me perfectly, dear Mrs. Smith, and not bear any ill feeling toward me, believe me

Yours sincerely

Blanche Corelli

Nürnbergerstrasse 1 III, Berlin W.50

Kindly let me have Johnny Nash’s address residing now in Los Angeles, California.

My highly esteemed friend, Mr. Lippincott,

It is only on the 11th of this month (5 days ago) when I mailed a registered letter to you asking a return receipt. A dear letter of yours enclosing 15$ arrived 2 hours ago and I hasten to thank you with all my heart. You overwhelm me with kindness, you dear sweet soul. Heaven reward you a thousand times for your generosity and kindness. You have given me courage to face the future. I must try and brace up and not let all hopes vanish. I must believe that something good must yet turn up, but you never acknowledge the receipt of any of my letters. You never seem to hear or accept my thanks and I could fill this letter only with my thanks. How did I ever deserve such beneficence!? from you? from you? I ask myself, to whom I have done nothing. I cannot understand it—and others—numerous people who owe me big sums for tuition, who owe me thanks as I procured them positions and fame—nothing from them! I will try and answer your dear letter that came today some other day.

Here are simply a few lines to tell you that I had another letter from that Mrs. Smith telling me that my aunt did leave a will dividing all between her cousin John and her—that it does not mean a thing as she had lost all in stock speculation. All she had left was an annuity which of course stopped at her death. Mrs. Smith also sent me a magazine, called The Linking Ring. It is a monthly Magic periodical about magic and the occult arts, by Clinton Burgess, 101 West 84th Street, New York City. It is in the Linking Ring for March and on page 8 is a memorial for my poor aunt. pages 9, 10, 11 gives you further accounts that she died February 19th in the Community Hospital, 8 St. Nicholas Place, New York of pneumonia. The funeral services held Monday morning Febr. 22nd in the Eickelberg Funeral Parlors, 55th Str and 8th Ave. The internment was in Woodlawn Cemetery, E. 233 St., Woodlawn Heights, New York City beside the remains of her beloved husband Alexander Herrmann.

I am sending you this hastily dear friend, so that you must not trouble to write to the Arlington Hotel to find out where Aunty died. But knowing this now, dear Mr. Lippincott, I would love to have a copy of Aunty’s testament of which Mrs. Smith is sure not to send me—because I do not believe it that my dear aunt did not consider me? me—who founded her fortune?—who am the cause of her marriage! I hasten to get this off, my highly esteemed friend, really taking the liberty to kiss your benevolent hand and thank you once more for the wonderful gift of 15 dollars! Please answer by return of mail. With a world of thanks, sincerely and most gratefully,

B. Corelli

Please buy the Linking Ring of March and see page 8, 9, 10, 11.

Dear dear Mr. Lippincott,

Do forgive me troubling you so, but please read Mrs. Smith’s letter and read my answer. Do advise me. I really have no one in the world. You know American laws—can I take a lawyer? and ought I? Of course, poor aunty left something—before all her life insurance—and I think that I have more rights than other nieces and nephews. Aunty sent me 2 years ago a scene she used on the stage and she wrote underneath This scene cost 5,000$. Where is it? She owns a lot of paraphernalia, jewels, laces, stocks, life insurance—however as I write, I would be satisfied with 500$. Do help me dearest friend and advise me. Thanking you in advance for your wonderful kindness, believe me yours sincerely and most gratefully, B. Corelli

Copy of Mrs. Smith’s 2nd letter in answer to my letter of March 27th.

Dear Mme Corelli,

Your letter of March 27th received. Auntie did leave a will, dividing between my cousin John and me, but it does not mean a thing as she had lost all in stock speculation. All she had left was an annuity which of course stopped at her death. It is amusing how interested people are in a will. We have a number of cousins who never did a thing for aunty—but as soon as they heard she was critically ill, came up like mushrooms and on learning there was nothing, are all missing again. Auntie always loved to speculate, she lost heavily when we were in Berlin years ago and kept at it right to the end, but it was her money, she worked hard for it, and she had a right to do as she wished with it. As long as she had every comfort and care while she lived, I am satisfied. She knew I loved her and did everything for her for herself, not for any personal gain; she always told everyone a daughter would never have made the sacrifices I did for her. So I haven’t one regret. As we sow, we reap. I know everything about the family and all aunties affairs so please do not say aunty made any promises or is under any obligation to you. I know it is not so. I have receipts for money etc. she sent you from time to time.

I sent you a magazine last Sunday giving beautiful tributes to her memory. I have had hundreds of letters. Every one knew how dear she was to me. With all good wishes, Sincerely,

Adele G. Smith, 69 Lincoln Park, Newark, N.J.

Forgive me troubling you dear Mr. Lippincott, but I feel as if you ought to know the truth about every thing. I also take the liberty to copy my answer to Mrs. Smith to above lines. You see she did not send me an attested copy of the will—none at all! Aunty did send me, for my birthday, or for Xmas a 5$ or 10$ note—that is all and if she were not indebted to me, why would she have acted so? I am an unfortunate being. Read my answer to Mrs. Smith and please let me know what you think of it?

My answer to Mrs. Smith, Berlin April 17th /32

I herewith acknowledge the receipt of your letter of April 7th, also receipt of the Linking Ring of the month of March, for which I am especially grateful. I must say that I am very sorry that as many people, only not I know of your existence and of course I did not know how dear my poor aunt was to you! My whole sympathy goes out to you, may God comfort you and help to heal your wounds. But allow me to say that you do not know all about the family. Addie’s maiden name is not even spelt rightly. Her name is spelt Addie Scarsey and not the way it is in the Linking Ring: Scarsez! and my remembrances no!—not remembrances but facts which I have lived to see are: that Addie was brought to the United States by the Impresario Schumann who engaged a Company of Specialists in London and brought the whole co. to New York! calling the co. Schumanns Grand Trans Atlantic Novelty Combination. In that company were Benedetti, the sword swallower, Tom Lovell, clown and pantomimist, Mr. Brown, velocipede rider with his girls, Herman Unthan born without arms who played the violin with his feet, then Alexander Herrmann who had to give half an hour’s performance at the end of each performance. Addie at that time was one of Mr. Brown’s velocipede riders and was the columbine in Lowell’s pantomime. When this company crossed the Atlantic, Alexander got acquainted with Addie and when I made Addie’s acquaintance, I became her friend and confident, and it was I who talked and pleaded 3 long months before I could get Alexander round to marry Addie. You do not know it, Mrs. Smith, but I know it and many more people who are yet living know it that all this is true! Often and often did Addie speak to me about her gratitude to me—that she would never forget. Then other things happened of which you are not aware. When Herrmann opened the summer season at the Academy of New York in New York, he borrowed of me my beautiful bridal locket—it was a simple gold shield with one—only onebig diamond in the center. I did not want to let him have it, but my husband said why not? so I let Alex have the locket. He wore it several nights and sure enough, he lost the diamond. Isidor Block, my cousin a diamond broker at the time in New York, had another diamond put in, but a much inferior one, much larger but flatter, and I would not accept it. My aunt knew about it, both her and Alexander promised me an equivalent. I never received anything! is it to be wondered at that my aunt Addie once or twice a year, for my birthday and Xmas, sent me a 5$ bill. Had she been a stranger to me or under no obligation, she would not have sent me anything. no! Mrs. Herrmann surely had the feeling of gratitude and obligation towards me! gratitude and a lot of gratitude which she owed me! And just these last months I helped her with her memoirs, sending her the original marriage document of my parents so that she might get names and dates right. And just as I mentioned before dear Mrs. Smith, I repeat it, I consider myself an heiress and shall certainly claim my share. I repeat it, my aunt did promise not to forget and my aunt Mrs. Herrmann is under great obligations to me for in the very first place it was through my efforts, amiability and talking to Alexander that Alex married Addie. That is God’s truth.

I asked you to send me a copy of the will—of course you did not send it. I am very sorry, but I shall have to look out for my interests. I shall not allow people whom I do not know and have never heard of in my life to take possession of what by rights belongs to me.

By the way, in a letter of my aunt addressed to me, dated March 16, 1929, she writes: When I feel lonesome or blue I go to a theatre. I have nieces and nephews that I brought to this country and gave a good home, what do they care for me? I could be dead and buried and they would never know it. If you like, Mrs. Smith, I can show you the letter. But let us leave all quarrels aside. I know my dear poor aunt did not close her eyes without considering me! Please think over everything quietly and honorably Mrs. Smith. Think that I also am 79 years old and have to work for my daily bread, and after all I have told you in this letter, you must acknowledge my claim. I shall be satisfied if you will send me 500$ which you will surely be only too happy to let me have. 500$ in settlement of all claims. Hoping to hear from you by return of mail, believe me yours sincerely,

B. Corelli

Please excuse my mistakes, but I am not English. I am Austrian by birth and American by marriage. Please send me Mr. Nash’s address in Los Angeles.

Mr. Hall Lippincott

My very dear friend!

Two dear letters of yours are before me—one dated May 5th, the other April 23rd. The letter of May 5th enclosed again 15$ for which I must say thanks—a 1000 times thanks—allow me to kiss your benevolent hand! The letter encloses also the few lines the clerk wrote you of the Surrogate Court of April 26th, New York. I hesitated answering, because you told me not to be impatient and await the answer of the judge of the Probate Court in Newark, New Jersey, to whom you were kind enough to write.  I do not think that Aunty’s will can be filed there, as my aunt lived since about 20 years at the Arlington House, New York. and always kept her room there, even when she was on the road.

But people are bad. I am sending you a copy of Mrs. Smith’s last letter in which she says I have no claim whatever and am no relation. In one of the letters she says that she has in hand several money orders, a proof she my aunt helped me but that my aunt was under no obligation to me!  I have to explain this much to you, dear Mr. Lippincott, that my aunt always sent me for Xmas, and for my birth day 5$ or 10$, and she did this through cheque through the Bank. Once I received a money order for 50 marks. Do you think Mrs. Herrmann would have done that were I not a relation? and were she not under obligation to me? It is really impertinent of Mrs. Smith to say I am no relation whatever. The fact is that Addie Scarcey married my father’s youngest brother, by the name of Alexander, and that she owes it to me, only to me, that he married her.

Of course, my hands are chained here. I am unable to do a thing, I cannot take a lawyer and fight the case. Even if my aunt left no will, I have a claim, but she did have a will. Mrs. Smith says so in her letter. And why? if she is sole heiress and can triumph, why does she hesitate to let me have a certified copy!! I know there is a saying in America: possession is nine points of the law and so it is in this case! Of course I grieve and pine over it—Aunt Herrmann liked me so much, was so proud of me, proud of the position and name I made myself in Berlin. You are right to say “It is difficult to believe that Mrs. Herrmann did not provide for me in her will.” The court could not possibly notify me, as they surely could not locate me, and perhaps my aunt called me in the will Mrs. Dora Herrmann, as Blanche Corelli is only my professional name. However it has upset my heart—the loss of my darling aunt—now this end! and tormenting you! You, you dear good young soul. You goodhearted being!

Now, I really meant to live to be able to show you my gratitude. There is a little souvenir coming to you, dear friend, a souvenir from your very old and grateful Corelli. You shall have it as soon as I can get hold of it. You see how frank and openhearted I am to you! It is my father’s watch chain, really the only thing I inherited from him. It is a dainty, wonderful thing. One link is platin[um], the next gold and between are black pearls and little diamonds. The middle pearl has been removed; as father wore the chain the middle has to be slipped through the buttonhole of the vest, and each end of the chain in the right and left waistcoat pocket.

Compars Herrmann's watch chain

When my father died it was the same story as now with my aunt. I happened to be in Vienna and of course wrote to the court that I was the only daughter and considered myself heiress. The court of course accepted my claim, I had to sign every page of the inventory. It took several months to settle affairs. I returned to the States to earn money but relatives notified me that my father died as multi millionaire, but that everything belonged to his 2nd wife Mrs. Rosalie Herrmann. It is too long a story to tell. All I received then from Mrs. Herrmann was 10,000 guilders—everything was in her name! as she kept the correspondence and bank accounts. It is a sad disgraceful story which the whole of Vienna knows. I am alas a poor poor defeated and cheated woman, who had to work hard all her life, to live an honest life.

Times are so hard now. My pupil has left and I dismiss my servant on the 1st of next month. I cannot keep her, it is too great a luxury. By letting her go, I save 130 marks a month. There are only 3 rooms to attend to now, and although I am nearly 80 years old, fancy dear friend, 80, I must do it. I am determined to do it.

I must go back to the little watch chain. About 6 months after my father’s death, Mrs. Herrmann, father’s 2nd wife, sent it to me with a little picture of father in an etudis and then a life sized bust of father—the original bronze bust made by Levi in Paris is in the Museum of Art in Vienna—furthermore she sent me marble pedestal for the bust—it is so heavy I cannot lift it. These 3 things are my inheritance from my millionair[e] father. I know of no one in the world more worthy to possess that chain that my dear good friend Mr. Hall Lippincott. I would not for the world have my son in law get it. No, indeed. At the present moment, I am sorry to say, the little chain is in pledge. I shall try and get it out and then I shall send it to your home address through Adams Express Co. registered and insured, to 1132 Ashland Avenue Wilmette – Evansville – Illinois. Please advise your dear folks at home should you be in the road or away from house, to be sure and accept the little parcel, and when you receive it dear friend, please wear it, and sometimes think of poor me! May it bring you the very best of luck. God bless you!

I enclose a little snap picture. I had to have my picture taken for my passport. All foreigners have to have passports and papers in order. I don’t think they class me under strangers—I belong to Vienna—I am an Austrian. However, Monday I am going to the Austrian Consulate to get my passport in order. People here advise me to write to the Austrian Embassy in New York (I have the address) about this Smith affair, and in case of expenses, to enclose 3$. I think, though, I shall wait until I hear from you again, which I hope will be very soon. Once more, a world of thanks for your wonderful kindness. Believe me as always, your very grateful sincere

B. Corelli

By the way, one pearl in the chain is a little damaged—it proves though – - – that, that the pearls are real and the little pearl can be polished again.

19 May 1932 enclosure—page 1

1st letter to me:  Copy of Mrs. Smith’s letter dated March 13th arrived in Berlin March 24th 1932

My dear Mme. Corelli,

In going through my Aunt’s papers (Adelaide Herrmann), I found your letter of Jan. 24th. I have very sad news to write you, if you have not already read it in the papers abroad. Aunt Addie passed on, on Febuary 19th—it was quite sudden and has been such a shock that I cannot realize it yet—she broke a front tooth, a periodontist advised her to have the others out. They were as beautiful and I begged her not to do it, it was a crime at her age to suggest such a thing, but she wouldn’t listen—went alone on a rainy day, had six out, then walked around in the rain and caught cold which developed into pneumonia. She was taken to a hospital on Sunday the 14th, had 2 nurses and every care and attention. I stayed right with her to the end. Her passing was beautiful. She must have seen a glorious vision, for she almost sat up with her beautiful blue eyes wide open with such a happy contented expression, then a golden light passed over her face and she was gone. She looked beautiful in her casket, jut asleep. I dressed her in white chiffon and with her glorious white bobbed hair, she was a picture we will all remember. I am satisfied she had lived a full life, acting right up to the end and reserved every attention and honor at the close. The service and eulogies were wonderful at the same little chapel where uncle laid, and every wish of hers that I could recall, was gratified. You will remember I was with her in Berlin and spent most of my life with her. She was more like my mother as I feel her love very keenly. She was devoted to uncle. Even when they brought a strange doctor, her first words were “Did you know my husband?” I have destroyed your letter as there were personal remarks about your father and I knew auntie would wish me to do so. Trusting you and your daughter are well, with all good wishes, sincerely

(Mrs.) Adele Smith, March 14th, 1932

69 Lincoln Park, Newark, N.J.

19 May 1932 enclosure—page 2

2nd letter of Mrs. Smith dated Newark, April 1st

Dear Mme. Corelli,

Your letter of March 27th received. Auntie did leave a will, dividing between my cousin John and me, but it does not mean a thing as she had lost all in stock speculation. All she had left was an annuity which of course stopped at her death. It is amusing how interested how people are in a will. We have a number of cousins who never did a thing for Auntie, but as soon as they heard she was critically ill, came up like mushrooms, and on learning there was nothing, are all missing again. Auntie always loved to speculate, she lost heavily when we were in Berlin years ago and kept at it right to the end, but it was her money, she worked hard for it, and she had a right to do as she wished for it. As long as she had every comfort and care while she lived, I am satisfied. She knew I loved her and did everything for her, for herself, not for any personal gain. She always told every one, a daughter would never have made the sacrifices I did for her, so I haven’t one regret. As we sow, we reap. I know everything about the family and all auntie’s affairs, so please do not say Auntie made any promises or is under any obligation to you. I know it is not so. I have receipts for money, etc. she sent you from time to time. I sent you a magazine last Sunday giving beautiful tributes to her memory. I have had hundreds of letters, everyone knows how dear she was to me. With all good wishes, sincerely

Adele O. Smith,  April 7th 1932 , 69 Lincoln Park, Newark, N.J.

19 May 1932 enclosure—page 3

A copy of Mrs. Smith’s letter, her 3rd letter to me

This letter arrived here May 12th 1932

Dear Mme. Corelli,

Please do not bother me with your foolish registered letters. You make me regret I was good enough to write you of Auntie’s passing. When I showed your letter to Auntie’s lawyer, it amused him very much. He said even if Auntie had left money, you would have no claim, you were not related to her. However, if you doubt my – - – and have money to throw away, it is your privilege to consult your lawyer. I am sending your letters to Johnie Nash. If he wishes you to have his address, he will write you. Any further letters to me will be returned unopened.

Yours very truly,

Adele O. Smith

April 30th 1932