George Francis Train in decline (1886)

“How completely George Francis Train has slipped out of public life. I see him nearly every day and has not changed in the slightest degree since he took up his vigil in Madison square. At a certain hour every morning- I think at eleven o’clock- he wanders into the park and seats himself on one of the benches near Madison avenue. His big, cumbersome boots, ill fitting clothing and rather rusty overcoat lend no distinction to his figure, but there is something about his face with its short, gray beard and big brown eyes that cause men to look at him intently as they pass. Sometimes he has a book, but he usually sits with his hands folded idly in his lap talking gently to the groups of children who gather about him with mild and thoughtful faces. Very often four or five little girls will stand listening to George Francis Train for hours. In olden times he would have been considered a sage; now young America lights a fresh cigarette, grins, calls him a crank and passes on”

found in the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper, January 31, 1886
previous posts: Punchinello answers correspondents
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