Friday, April 07, 2006
Senator Thurston's Unfortunate (and Recycled?) Poem
As discussed in a previous post, Nebraska Senator John Thurston's marriage to much younger Lola Purman, not long after his wife's death, and his poem to Lola, titled "The White Rose" may have caused a scandal that ruined his political career. The Chicago Tribune described Lola as "about 25" and "pretty and brilliant." The rose poem was precipitated by Lola's having "presented the Senator with a rose at the opera last winter, which resulted in his poem which has now become famous" (Nov. 14, 1899). Thurston denied, however, that he wrote the poem for "Miss Purman" but protested that it was a "youthful effusion written 30 or more years ago" (Tribune, Nov. 18, 1899). The couple married on Nov. 18, 1899 at the Purman household in D.C.