Near Beltsville, Md P.O.
18th March '86
E.C. Brown, Esqr
Your note and enclosure
came to hand yesterday evening.
Although my house is as good
as I desire, and my grounds too
they would not fill the bill "of
a beautiful country place" in
the mind of nine-tenths of the
readers of the graphic.
When in Charlestown Navy
Yard a dozen years ago making
an inspection as Chief of Bureau
of Yards & Docks, Admiral Steed-
man was then in command and
Mrs. Steedman complained of the
meagerness of the money allotted
to rebuild a porch or portico
around the house in which they
lived. I said that it seemed to me
sufficient, that it actually cost
more than my house in which
I lived and was certainly satisfied
with. It is simply a house to
live in and in explanation I
send you a pamphlet on "Coun-
try Houses & Their Improvement"
were you to visit my place
you would deem the question
entirely pertinent "why don't
you improve it?"
Referring to the "physiology of be-
lief" if I have not yet fully explained
I will do so now nicely.
After "The Atlantic Coast" was pub-
lished I received a letter from Steed-
man who enclosed a note from
his executive that he was very
much surprised that I had not
done justice to the Bienville!
I replied in very much the
terms of my note to Steedman.
He had the idea that when he saw
me he could to use a vulgar phrase
"talk me down." When he met
me & opened the question I replied
as indicated in the first letter in the
"physiology" - But as a vain and
stupid man, he resorted to a senti-
ment of indignation at my not
accepting his "personal recollections"
that of his 1st Lieut and others.
His indignation was so grievous
that when my letter on the "physi-
ology of belief" reached him
knowing my handwriting he
left it unopened and re enclosed
it to me. Naturally I felt pro-
voked and prepared the article
for publication and read it to Ad-
miral C.P.R. Rodgers who said it
was very funny but hoped that I
would not publish it. So I laid it
in my drawer, until Roe attacked
me in the Army & Navy Journal.
Stupid men always band together &
as soon as I felt there was a com-
bination, I determined to open on
them in time to prevent another
one giving his views of the battle
of Port Royal. Neither Steedman
or Roe replied. I announced as
a fact that figuratively I was a
man with a bludgeon and if any
one dared attack The Atlantic
Coast "I would knock him down".
I confess I was more amused
than concerned at the attacks and
Navy men who have read these letters
say they have laughed more over them
than any thing they have seen lately.
Very sincerely yours