Skip to main content

Sigmund Freud’s Sortie To America

July 2024
19min read

The Father of Psychoanalysis came, saw, conquered—and didn’t like it much

In 1908 the American medical profession was becoming aware of a new method of treating mental disease. It had first been advocated during the 1890’s by two Viennese doctors, Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud. Breuer ceased to practice the method, but Freud had developed the theory on which it rested, had described its applications to everyday life in a number of books, notably The Interpretation of Dreams , and had become the center of a small group of supporters. A main contention of psychoanalysis, as Freud called his method, was that sexuality began in the earliest years of a human being’s life and that much mental trouble sprang from the repression into the unconscious of events connected with this natural instinct. The theory had aroused such opposition that Freud was surprised to receive late in 1908 an invitation from Stanley Hall, president of Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, to lecture on his controversial ideas at the university’s twentieth anniversary celebration the following year.

In New England and in the cities along the East Coast, where many of America’s important medical schools had grown up, the Puritan ethic was still strong. Years later the American doctor Weir Mitchell, whose rest cure Freud had prescribed for his patients during his early days in practice, was still happy to describe Freud’s writings by the single word filth. However, there was another side to the coin: within organized American psychiatry there was an underlying acknowledgment of much that lay at the heart of Freud’s theories. Samuel White, who had helped found the American Psychiatric Society, had said in an address on insanity in 1844: From the cradle to the grave man’s life will be found a series of antecedents and consequents, having a direct bearing on his physical and moral powers. To investigate the human mind, we must trace its history from its infant development, through manhood, to decrepitude.

Nor was it doctors alone who, long before Freud, were saying in general terms what he was later to say specifically. In The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne had described how the Calvinist minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, was treated by his friendly physician who “strove to go deep into his patient’s bosom, delving among his principles, prying into his recollections, and probing everything with a cautious touch, like a treasure-seeker in a dark cavern.” Twenty years later Oliver Wendell Holmes, addressing the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard, went further. The more we examine the mechanism of thought, the more we shall see that the automatic, unconscious action of the mind enters largely into all its processes. Our definite ideas arc stepping-stones; how we get from one to the other, we do not know: something carries us; we do not take the step.”

By the 1890’s this idea was gaining ground in the area occupied by the psychologists and the psychiatrists. In 1894 William James noted how Breuer and Freud used hypnotism to work out repressed unconscious memories which he described in an apt phrase as “thorns in the spirit, and by the turn of the century he apparently had been fully converted. In the wonderful explorations by Binet, Janet, Breuer, Freud, Mason, Prince, and others, of the subliminal consciousness of patients with hysteria, he said in his Gifford Lectures of 1901–2, published as The Varieties Religious Experience: A Study in human Nature , we have revealed to us whole systems of underground life, in the shape of memories of a painful sort which lead to a parasitic existence, buried outside of the primary fields of consciousness, and making irniptions thereinto with hallucinations, pains, convulsions, paralyses of feeling and of motion, and the whole procession of symptoms of hysteric disease of body and of mind. Alter or abolish by suggestion these subconscious memories, and the patient immediately gets well.

While Freud’s critics and supporters were airing their views, a few men cautiously were beginning to experiment with the revolutionary ideas which had found their way across the Atlantic lrom Vienna. One was James Jackson Putnam, a Boston physician and professor of neurology at Harvard, who had begun to investigate psychoanalysis despite the warnings of his wife who had, his daughter later wrote, reacted with tragic bitterness, feeling that he had been mistakenly lured into a false path which would ruin his professional standing.

Putnam’s cautious support and the continuing criticism of other Americans was reported to Freud by Ernest Jones, a young Welsh doctor who had joined Toronto’s psychiatric clinic in 1908 and who had quickly begun to make forays across the border to gauge the standing of “Freudianism,” as it was soon to be called, in Boston and New York. Jones noted that while many doctors were sympathetic, ‘one must not hope too much however from it, for they are the only people in America at all interested in Psychotherapy & even they are so concerned in money-making as to do practically no original work or observations.

Freud’s invitation from Worcester was therefore somewhat unexpected, even though President Hall had become known as the “Darwin of the Mind.” The ambivalent nature of his character is suggested by the fact that, although a founder of the American Psychological Association, he openly described his life as “a series of fads or crazes.” Luckily for Freud, psychoanalysis had by 1909 become the latest of these. “Although I have not the honour of your personal acquaintance,” Hall wrote, “I have for many years been profoundly interested in your work, which I have studied with diligence, and also in that of your followers. Would Freud, he went on, visit them during their twenty-year celebrations to be held in July, and give from four to six lectures. “We believe that a concise statement of your own results and point of view would now be exceedingly opportune, and perhaps in some sense mark an epoch in the history of these studies in this country.’

Freud refused. The reason was that he normally worked until the end of July, and to stop sooner would mean the loss of several thousand kronen. Clark University was offering to contribute only four hundred dollars toward his travel expenses and, as he pointed out to Carl Jung of Zurich, at that time one of his most ardent followers, he was “not wealthy enough to spend five times that much to give the Americans an impetus. (That’s boasting; two-and-a-half to three times as much!)”

However, in February, 1909, Hall wrote again, telling Freud that the celebrations were being postponed until September, that the travel allowance had been increased to seven hundred and fifty dollars and that he was now able to add the promise of an honorary degree. Freud accepted the renewed offer without delay. “I must admit that this has thrilled me more than anything else that has happened in the last few years—except perhaps for the appearance of the Jahrbuch [the first Yearbook of Psychoanalysis ]—and that I have been thinking of nothing else,” he wrote to Jung. And to Karl Abraham, a psycho-analyst in Germany, he observed: “perhaps it will annoy some people in Berlin as well as in Vienna. That cannot do any harm.”

In early August Jung was also invited. Freud was delighted: as he noted to Jung, “the invitation is the main thing … the audience is now at our mercy, under obligation to applaud whatever we bring them.”

Freud was well aware of the importance of his first series of lectures to an English-speaking audience and was determined to guard, as far as possible, against any mishaps. Principally for this reason, it appears, he proposed that Sandor Ferenczi, a colleague from Budapest, should accompany Jung and himself. Ferenczi agreed. He was to give Freud invaluable support.

It was eventually arranged that the three men should sail from Bremen on August 21, and on August 20 Freud traveled to the north German port, where Jung and Ferenczi were awaiting him. Before they left the following day on the George Washington there was a strange incident for which various explanations have been given. Freud was host at a luncheon party for his two colleagues, and during the meal, conversation turned to the mummified corpses of prehistoric man still being found in North Germany. Jung was an expert on the subject, and continued to expound on it until Freud interjected with: “Why do you keep talking about these corpses? You are wishing my death. Jung replied: My dear Professor, can’t you stop such funny interpretations.

Freud then fainted. He appears to have been brought round without the slightest fuss, and it is a little difficult to justify the monument of exegesis which was later built on the incident.

“Afterwards, Jung subsequently wrote, “he said to me that he was convinced that all this chatter about corpses meant I had death-wishes towards him. I was more than surprised by this interpretation. I was alarmed by the intensity of his fantasies—so strong that, obviously, they could cause him to faint. But Freud had at the start of the meal persuaded Jung to renounce his teetotalism for a glass of wine, and the fainting fit had been interpreted as a psychic penalty for this minor triumph. However, Freud was keyed-up at the prospect of the journey and he had a congenital dislike of dissection. The explanation could well be that the man who, according to his eldest sister, could not bear the sight of blood simply reacted with distaste to details about mummified corpses.

On the George Washington the three travelers whiled away the eight-day crossing by analyzing each others dreams. Freud’s, according to the account which Jung gave to Ernest Jones soon afterward, seemed to be mostly concerned with cares for the future of his family and of his work. Later, however, Jung produced a more dramatic account: Freud had a dream—I would not think it right to air the problem it involved. I interpreted it as best I could, but added that a great deal more could be said about it if he would supply me with some additional details from his private life. Freud’s response to these words was a curious look—a look of the utmost suspicion. Then he said: ‘But I cannot risk my authority!’ At that moment he lost it altogether. That sentence burned itself into my memory; and in it the end of our relationship was already foreshadowed. Freud was placing personal authority above truth.…”


They approached New York on the evening of the twenty-seventh. As the ship nosed into upper New York Bay, Freud turned to Jung with these words: “Won’t they get a surprise when they hear what we have to say to them!” “How ambitious you are!” Jung replied, to which Freud indignantly retorted: “Me! I’m the most humble of men, and the only man who isn’t ambitious!” Jung, unwilling to be bested, answered: “That’s a big thing—to be the only one.” On shore they were met by A. A. Brill, the naturalized American from Austria who had already begun to translate Freud’s works and had the previous year set up practice in New York as America’s first fulltime psychoanalyst. Jones arrived from Toronto two days later and the five men then spent a week sightseeing. Before it was over the rich American food, against which Freud maintained an obstinate lifelong grudge, had induced them to fast every third day. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art he studied the Greek antiquities and in Tiffany’s was unable to resist buying a Chinese jade bowl for his collection. They visited Coney Island—a “magnified Prater,” he said, comparing it with Vienna’s great park. They dined at Hammerstein’s Roof Garden and visited Columbia University. And in a Manhattan cinema Freud and Ferenczi saw their first moving pictures. On the thirtieth, Freud wrote to Hall announcing his arrival in the United States and explained that since his English was still poor he would be obliged at Worcester to “transfer the difficulty to the side of the hearers and talk in my native tongue.”

On the evening of Saturday, September fourth, Brill put the four men on the overnight steamer to Fall River, the next leg of their journey to Worcester. Here they were met by Stanley Hall and his wife, described by Jung as “plump, jolly, good-natured and extremely ugly.” The Halls’ sumptuous home gave the visitors their first hint of the lavishness that could be experienced in America. “The house,” Jung wrote to his wife, “is furnished in an incredibly amusing fashion, everything roomy and comfortable. There is a splendid studio filled with thousands of books.… Two pitch-black Negroes in dinner jackets, the extreme of grotesque solemnity, perform as servants. Carpets everywhere, all the doors open, even the bathroom door and the front door; people going in and out all over the place; all the windows extend down to the floor.…” If these wonders were not enough, there were boxes of cigars even in what were then still called the lavatories.

Freud’s first lecture was to be given on Tuesday, September 7, but until almost the last moment he had little idea of what he would talk about. On his arrival at Worcester he had felt inclined to restrict the lectures to dreams alone, but on Jones’s advice he decided to spread the net wider. Even so, the lectures were improvised on what was a remarkably adhoc basis, in which Ferenczi played an important role. “In the morning, before the time had come for my lecture to begin, we would walk together in front of the University building and I would ask him to suggest what I should talk about that day,” Freud has written. “He thereupon gave me a sketch of what, half an hour later, I improvised in my lecture. In this way he had a share in the origin of the Five Lectures .”

The first of the five successive mornings was the occasion which really mattered. “In Europe,” Freud was to write, “I felt as though I were despised; but over [in Worcester] I found myself received by the foremost men as an equal. As I stepped on to the platform … it seemed like the realization of some incredible day-dream; psycho-analysis was no longer a product of delusion, it had become a valuable part of reality.”

Lack of preparation paid dividends, for at virtually the last moment he decided to give a straightforward, relatively nontechnical account of how psychoanalysis had developed. It was not only well received in Worcester; even today, after psychoanalysis has evolved from the simple ideas of its early days into a maze of differing, and sometimes competing, beliefs and theories, the five Clark University lectures still offer an excellent outline of the subject.

Freud began with what was, in the light of his future attitude, a remarkable statement. “If it is a merit to have brought psycho-analysis into being, ” he said, “that merit is not mine. I had no share in its earliest beginnings. I was a student and working for my final examinations … when another Viennese physician, Dr. Josef Breuer, first (in 1880–82) made use of this procedure on a girl who was suffering from hysteria.” There followed an elegant account of how Breuer had dealt with Bertha Pappenheim, the young Viennese known to the psychoanalytical world under the pseudonym of “Anna O.” Next came one or two examples drawn from his own practice and then the much-quoted conclusion that “ hysterical patients suffer from reminiscences .”

Always good at analogies, he explained the significance of the phrase by using as examples the carved Gothic column at Charing Cross in London which commemorates the death of Queen Eleanor in the thirteenth century, and the Monument, a mile or so away in the city, built after the Great Fire of 1666. What, he asked his audience, would one think of contemporary Londoners who became melancholy about Queen Eleanor’s death as they passed the Cross, or who shed tears before the Monument? “Yet every single hysteric and neurotic behaves like these two unpractical Londoners,” he went on. “Not only do they remember painful experiences of the remote past, but they still cling to them emotionally; they cannot get free of the past and for its sake they neglect what is real and immediate.” And he ended the first lecture on a humble note. His account, he said, might not have been particularly clear, and Breuer’s explanation was incomplete; but it might well be that it was “not possible to make them much clearer—which shows that we still have a long way to go in our knowledge of the subject.” As for explanations, “complete theories do not fall ready-made from the sky.”

During the second lecture Freud explained how he had developed Breuer’s method by dropping hypnotism. He went on to describe repression and resistance and gave his audience an account of the way in which Breuer’s technique had grown into psychoanalysis, illustrating his story with the case of Elisabeth von R. from “Studies on Hysteria” the book which he had written jointly with Josef Breuer. In the third lecture he introduced the technique of free association and explained that the study of jokes, and of everyday slips of the tongue, led to a better understanding of unconscious motives. He also revealed why he had not yet dealt at length with dream interpretation. “I was held back,” he said, “by a purely subjective and seemingly secondary motive. It seemed to me almost indecent in a country which is devoted to practical aims to make my appearance as a ‘dream-interpreter,’ before you could possibly know the importance that can attach to that antiquated and derided art. The interpretation of dreams is in fact the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious; it is the securest foundation of psychoanalysis and the field in which every worker must acquire his convictions and seek his training.” After this preamble he gave a brief account of the part that dream interpretation played and was heavily sarcastic about those who condemned psychoanalysis while knowing nothing about it. The “arrogance of consciousness,” he concluded, was one factor which made it so difficult for ordinary people to understand the reality of the unconscious.

Only in the fourth lecture did he come to the delicate question of sex in general and of infantile sexuality in particular. He began by reiterating that the sexual origin of the neuroses was not something that he had been looking for but was something forced upon him by evidence that he could not ignore. So, too, with infantile sexuality. Here he was able to play a trump card. For was it not Dr. Sanford Bell, himself a Fellow of Clark University, who had dealt with infantile sexuality in The American Journal of Psychology three years before Freud had discussed the subject extensively in his “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality”? Bell, Freud continued, had said “exactly what I have just told you.” Moreover, Bell’s concept of infantile sexuality, outlined in “A Preliminary Study of the Emotion of Love Between the Sexes,” had been supported by no fewer than twenty-five hundred positive observations in the course of fifteen years, among them eight hundred of his own. Having laid the ghost that he was propounding an un-American idea, Freud then gave a brief account of the conclusions he had arrived at in “Three Essays.” “You can, if you like,” he ended, “regard psycho-analytic treatment as no more than a prolongation of education for the purpose of overcoming the residues of childhood.”

His final lecture was a neat rounding-up, blaming a good deal on civilization, which made reality unsatisfying and thereby encouraged fantasy. Those with artistic gifts could sublimate their fantasies into artistic creations rather than into the symptoms of the neurotic. “The neuroses have no psychical content that is peculiar to them and that might not equally be found in healthy people. ” After a quick look at transference, Freud suggested that there were three possible results of successful psychoanalysis. Once the repressed unconscious had been brought to the surface, it could be mastered with success. It could, secondly, be sublimated for different and more useful purposes. And thirdly, “a certain portion of the repressed libidinal impulses” could be enjoyed once they had been brought up into consciousness. “I must thank you for your invitation,” he concluded, “and for the attention with which you have listened to me.”

He was over the hump; he had given an honest account, yet he had, he correctly estimated, shocked only a few members of his audience.

Freud and Jung were both awarded doctorates in an event that included “a tremendous amount of ceremony and fancy dress, with all sorts of red and black gowns and gold-tasselled square caps. …” Freud was visibly moved by the occasion, noting in his brief speech of acceptance and thanks: “This is the first official recognition of our endeavors.”

All the lectures had been public and Freud had attracted a varied bag of listeners. Among unexpected visitors was the anarchist Emma Goldman. She had attended Freud’s lectures in Vienna a decade earlier and, having a chance business connection in Worcester, took the opportunity to hear him once again. On the psychiatrists and other potential converts, he had made a considerable impression, and after the Worcester meeting Putman appears to have abandoned most of his doubts.

There was also William James, who explained to the psychologist Théodore Flournoy that he had gone to Worcester “for one day inorder to see what Freud was like.” He was already fatally ill, and greatly impressed Freud during a walk they took together. “I shall never forget one little scene.… ” Freud wrote. “He stopped suddenly, handed me a bag he was carrying and asked me to walk on, saying that he would catch me up as soon as he had got through an attack of angina pectoris which was just coming on. He died of that disease a year later; and I have always wished that I might be as fearless as he was in the face of approaching death.”


There is some doubt about James’s real feelings at Worcester. Ernest Jones has stated that “with his arm around my shoulder” James left the university with a message of encouragement, saying: “The future of psychology belongs to your work.” James himself implied that his views were more qualified. ”I strongly suspect Freud, with his dream theory, of being a regular hallucine ,” he wrote a few days later. “But I hope that he and his disciples will push it to its limits as undoubtedly it covers some facts, and will add to our understanding of ‘functional’ psychology, which is the real psychology.” Shortly afterward he wrote to Flournoy. “I hope,” he said, “that Freud and his pupils will push their ideas to their utmost limits, so that we may learn what they are. They can’t fail to throw light on human nature; but I confess that he ig made on me personally the impression of a man obsessed with fixed ideas. I can make fH nothing in my own case with his dream theories, and obviously ‘symbolism’ is a most dangerous method.”

Newspaper coverage of Freud’s lectures was also mixed. The Worcester Telegram ambiguously reported that he “developed his method of psychic analysis, which is described as a sort of third degree administered with certain appliances and in certain ways, in which he finds out the general direction in which the cause of sickness is sought.”

The most influential reports were made by the Boston Transcript , which noted that Dr. Franz Boas, the celebrated anthropologist, had given his place to Freud for the latter’s first morning lecture and that Boas and his friends were “enthusiastic over the sacrifice.” On subsequent days the paper gave reasonably informed summaries of the lectures and maintained interest by publishing on September 11 a lengthy interview with Freud by Adelbert Albrecht, a reporter who claimed to have had a long acquaintance with Freud’s writings and who was certainly an admirer.

“One sees at a glance that he is a man of great refinement, of intellect and of many-sided education,” Albrecht wrote. “His sharp, yet kind, clear eyes suggest at once the doctor. His high forehead with the large bumps of observation and his beautiful, energetic hands are very striking. He speaks clearly, weighing his words carefully, but unfortunately never of himself.” He went on to report Freud’s statements accurately, and the result was the best newspaperdescription of psychoanalysis to appear for some years, certainly in the United States and possibly anywhere in the world. Other coverage was spotty. The Boston Daily Advertiser reported that Dr. Ed. Freud (sic) had given five lectures on “the psychology of everyday life.” The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal complimented I” Freud on his clarity of exposition and noted that he “certainly gave his hearers much food for thought, however they might differ from him in details of interpretation.”

The visitors were not due to sail for Europe until the twenty-first and during the week left to them visited Niagara Falls and James Putnam’s camp in the Adirondacks. Before leaving Vienna, Freud had spoken of his ambition to see the Falls, and the spectacle fully came up to expectations. There was only one awkward incident. In the Cave of the Winds, where it is possible to step up to the spray-drenched railing and see the frightening splendor of the rushing water from a dramatic angle, the guide held other visitors back as Freud came forward. “Let the old fellow go first,” he said. Freud, aged fifty-three, was not amused. Nevertheless, he remained in holiday mood, sending the obligatory tourist postcard to his daughter Sophie from the American side of the Falls, then crossing over into Canada where the party sent a “Kindest Regards” card to Mrs. A. A. Brill, who had entertained them in New York, signed by “Abe, Freud, Ferenczi and Jung.”

From Niagara they moved on to the Adirondacks, where a party of about forty was to gather. Putnam’s camp was at the foot of Giant Mountain in Keene Valley, New York, set up by himself and fellow physicians from Boston. Log cabins had been built in a clearing through which ran a fast-flowing stream; some had been elaborately furnished, and the visitors lived in an unusual combination of luxury and austerity.

For September 16 the Putnam Camp Log Book recorded that “Dr. James Putnam arrived from Boston—Louisa Richardson and Miss Annie Putnam and three foreign doctors came over from Lake Placid (on the 15th).” There was some confusion about the nationality of the visitors, and Freud the Austrian, Jung the Swiss, and Ferenczi the Hungarian found their cabin decorated in the colors of Imperial Germany.

Freud had been writing to his wife, Martha, regularly—remembering to send her a good-wishes cable on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year—and on the evening of his arrival at the camp he sat down and described his impressions to the family. “It is four weeks today that I set out on my travels,” he began, “and this is likely to be the last letter to arrive before I myself arrive.

Of all the things I have experienced in America this is probably the strangest: a camp, you must realize, in a wilderness in the woods, set on an Alpine meadow, as it might be on the Loser [a mountain near Alt Aussee, one of Freud’s favorite holiday resorts in Austria]. On three sides stones, moss, groups of trees, and uneven ground merge into densely wooded slopes. The camp is a group of roughly made log cabins each of which, as one discovers, has its own name. One is the ‘Stoop,’ a parlor containing library, piano, desks, and card-tables. Another is the ‘Hall of the Knights,’ full of old interesting objects, with a fireplace in the center of the room and benches along the walls as in a peasant’s dining-room. The rest of the cabins consist of living quarters. Ours, with just three rooms, is called ‘Chatterbox.’ Everything, rough but natural in character, seems artificial in a way, yet looks right. Mixing bowls do service as wash basins, mugs as drinking glasses, because nothing is lacking—everything is available in one form or another. We have found special books dealing with camping and containing detailed instructions about how to use such primitive appliances.

“Our reception at 2:30 consisted of an invitation to go for a walk on the nearby mountain, where we were able to appreciate the utter wilderness of such an American countryside. We went along rough tracks, and down slopes where even my antlers and hooves were not adequate.

“Fortunately it is raining today. There are many squirrels and porcupines in these woods; the latter are invisible so far. Even black bears are seen in the winter.”

After supper that evening one visitor accompanied Jung on the piano as he sang German songs. Two others taught Freud and Ferenczi a board game. The Putnams spoke German, and everyone relaxed and enjoyed themselves. Freud himself suffered only two inconveniences. One was some internal trouble that has been variously diagnosed as appendicitis and as gastroenteritis. The other was lack of a barber to trim his beard, a refinement which he sorely missed.

Later there came the incident of the porcupine. When discussing the Clark University lectures before leaving Europe, Freud had said that when faced with a difficult task, such as speaking to a foreign audience, “it was helpful to provide a lightning conductor for one’s emotions by deflecting one’s attention on to a subsidiary goal.” So, before leaving Europe, he maintained that he was going to America in the hope of catching sight of a wild porcupine and to give some lectures.

His hosts at the Putnam camp were willing to help, and two visitors who knew the area well were assigned to accompany him. “They started the climb up a rather gentle hill,” says a relative of one of them, “and had not gone very far before they were greeted by the smell of carrion. As they proceeded, the stench grew steadily stronger, so much so that their companion, Mrs. Wearn, suggested that they turn and go down-wind. Freud refused, so they continued, and at last came upon a bloated porcupine, long dead. Freud approached it, cautiously prodded it with his staff, then turned and announced, “It’s dead.”

There seems to have been no time for a further search, and Freud’s ambition was therefore only half, and rather miserably, fulfilled. However, there was a minor consolation when, before he left, the Putnams presented him with a small porcupine paperweight made of metal. It was to sit on his desk for the rest of his life.

The party now returned to New York for the start of the eight-day voyage back to Bremen. On board the “Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse” Freud wrote a discursive seven-page letter to his eldest daughter Mathilde, remarking that the whole trip had been highly interesting, “very meaningful for our work,” and a great success; but he was very glad that he did not have to live in America.


His reasons, the trivial ones, were what he regarded as unpalatable food and the tempo of Manhattan. Later, though Freud never returned to the United States, his dislike for the country became almost an obsession. Jung’s success here, after the two had become bitter enemies, was one factor. The 1919 Peace Conference, at which Freud blamed Wood- row Wilson for the dismemberment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Freud’s beloved Austrian Tyrol, was a far more serious one.

But in 1909 his feelings were those of any homesick traveler. In his letter to Mathilde, commenting that he wouldn’t be sorry to be back, he added four words in English: “East, West; Home Best.”


Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.