Our Deportment eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 348 pages of information about Our Deportment.
of the diplomatic corps and distinguished visitors at Washington, as well as the ladies of their respective families.  The visiting hours at the capital are usually from two until half-past five.  The labor and fatigue which social duties require of the ladies of the family of a cabinet officer are fairly appalling.  To stand for hours during receptions at her own house, to stand at a series of entertainments at the houses of others, whose invitation courtesy requires should be accepted, and to return in person calls made upon her, are a few of the duties of the wife of a cabinet officer.


When writing to the different officials, the President is addressed “His Excellency, the President of the United States;” the members of the cabinet “The Honorable, the Secretary of State,” etc., giving each his proper title; the Vice-President, “The Honorable, the Vice-President of the United States.”  In a ceremonious note, words must not be abbreviated.  In conversation the Speaker of the House of Representatives is addressed as “Mr. Speaker;” a member of the cabinet as “Mr. Secretary;” a senator as “Mr. Senator;” a member of the House of Representatives as “Mister,” unless he has some other title; but he is introduced as “The Honorable Mr. Burrows, of Michigan.”  The custom is becoming prevalent of addressing the wives of officials with the prefixed titles of their husbands, as “Mrs. General Sherman,” “Mrs. Senator Thurman,” “Mrs. Secretary Evarts.”


The custom of first visits or calls at the capital is that residents shall make the first call on strangers, and among the latter those arriving first upon those coming later.  Foreign ministers, however, in order to make themselves known, call first upon the members of the cabinet, which is returned.


It is entirely optional with Senators, Representatives and all other officials except the President and members of his cabinet, whether they entertain.  They act upon their own pleasure in the matter.


Foreign Titles.

In this country, where everybody possesses one and the same title, that of a citizen of this Republic, no one can claim a superiority of rank and title.  Not so in European countries, where the right of birth entitles a person to honor, rank and title.  And as our citizens are constantly visiting foreign countries, it is well to understand something of titles and ranks and their order of precedence.


In England, the king and queen are placed at the top of the social structure.  The mode by which they are addressed is in the form “Your Majesty.”

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Our Deportment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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