Kathryn Allamong Jacob


On her book King of the Lobby: The Life and Times of Sam Ward,Man-About-Washington in the Gilded Age

Cover Interview of May 06, 2010

In a nutshell

King of the Lobby is about power, politics, money, and lobbying in Washington in the Gilded Age.  It is about delicious food, fine wines, and good conversation and how one suave New Yorker, Sam Ward, combined all three to create a new type of lobbying—social lobbying—and reigned as “Rex Vestiari” for a decade.  Scion of an honorable old family, brother of unassailably upright Julia Ward Howe, best friend of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, mathematician, linguist, California ‘49er, spendthrift who squandered several fortunes, Sam Ward was one of the most amazing men of an era crowded with larger-than-life personalities.

rorotoko.com After lecturing the house Ways and Means Committee on the hazards of lobbying and the importance of dining well, Sam Ward told a parable about a clever cook, the king of Spain, and a meal with an unusual ingredient.  In this newspaper cartoon, he cooks up a pot of $1,000 pigs’ ears himself. (New York Daily Graphic, December 20, 1876.)