21 November 1888
Once Arrested on Suspicion - His Military Dress and his Big Dog.
[FROM OUR REGULAR CORRESPONDENT.]
Washington, Nov. 20, 1888-The evening papers here, referring to the paragraph in to-day's Herald about "Dr. Tumblety," say that he formerly lived in this city, where he was a well known character. He was a large man, with a very florid face and black hair and beard, and claimed to have been on intimate terms with royal personages, among them the Emperor Napoleon. He gave evidence of considerable native shrewdness, but was very eccentric in manner and appearance and wore a semi-military dress with brass buttons. He was accompanied by a big dog.
During the war he was arrested by order of Secretary Stanton on the charge of being concerned in the Blackburn plot to spread contagion in the North through infected rags. He was afterward released. He was looked upon as an eccentric man, as he affected oddities in dress and speech. He was last here about eighteen months ago. He always appeared to have plenty of money, but no one knew how he came by it except, perhaps, through a preparation for the removal of pimples, of which he was the proprietor.
A naval officer says:--"I met that men in 1861 in this city. I was standing in front of a toy store, looking at a mechanical toy in the window, when this man, who stood beside me, began to talk about it. He afterward invited me to his room to see an arrangement of his to show the circulation of the blood. I then thought that either he was a fool or regarded me as a fool, but after listening to him for some time came to the conclusion that he was a decided crank on the subject of medicine.
"He pretended to be practical, but I soon saw that he knew almost nothing about anatomy. Among other things he had a patent preparation for skin diseases which seemed to have some merit. He rode a magnificent horse - a bay, with white spots - and used to dash up the avenue. At certain points boys would run from the curb, with notes for him, thus giving folks the impression that he was doing a driving business. He did not last very long here, and in 1869 I met him again in San Francisco, where he was doing very poorly."