Early in May of 1921, a little more than six months after Reed's death, Louise left Moscow for America. At Riga, the capital of Latvia, one of the three Baltic States, she was intercepted by a United States Commissioner, just as Reed was in Norway two years earlier by an American representative of the State Department. And, more or less, for the same reason.



The State Department, this time headed by Charles Evans Hughes, realizing she was the only American journalist, whom Lenin and Trotsky trusted, wanted to know what she might have learned from them, since so little credible information was available anywhere about what was really happening inside the Soviet Union.



The report of the Commissioner's interview, an impressive diplomatic document of four 17 X 11 inch pages, initialed by a half dozen officials who had read it, was buried on June 7, 1921, along with other government documents marked CLASSIFIED, and was not declassified until March 23, 1960.



It contained nothing at all that might have been considered a threat to national security, beyond what Lenin had told her. And this might have been considered a "threat" by the new Warren G. Harding administration, since .it did not seem to square at that time with U.S. policy toward the communist regime.



Lenin had expressed eagerness for trade relations with the United States. He told her that "America is the country we must trade with. Even if we could trust Japan, she has nothing to give us; even if we could trade with Germany, she cannot give us what we want. We want machinery, etc., from America. America has the things we need and we have the raw materials it needs."



On religion, she told the Commissioner: "The head of the Russian church seems content. He says the church has needed shaking up for a long time." The Russian clergy, however, became incensed when the Bolsneviki placed on the facades of all churches signs reading: 'Religion is the Opium of the People,' and would not permit them to place beside these signs others which say 'Religion is the way of Salvation for the People.'"



Zinoview is not at all popular in Russia and is not really a big man. (This may have been a subjective judgment. Grigori Zinoview was a close friend of Lenin's. As president of the Communist International, it was he with whom Reed had to deal while seeking approval for the more radical communist group he had organized in America. They disagreed over what the relationship should be between Reed's group and American socialists.)

No matter what hardships Russia experienced, said Louise, children remained precious and received top priority.



The Russian people had a warmer feeling for Americans than for the French, English or anyone else. A Russian schoolteacher told her she knew all about America because "that's where they make the wonderful sewing machines."


Louise, with a great deal of material in her possession for Hearst newspaper articles, appears to have been careful to provide the Commissioner with very little information, especially the interviews with Soviet leaders, many of whom she had also talked with at the height of the Revolution in 1917.


Upon her return to America, "secret correspondent" Louise Bryant and the material she had brought back for publication, posed a serious problem for the Hearst people. Published articles about people and events that were shaping the world, would never be credible to readers, unless they appeared in the papers under the byline of someone who could unquestionably have had access to those who had been interviewed.


Louise happened to be the only one who qualified. She had written a book about the Revolution and had made big headlines. Thus came about the metamorphosis of "a beautiful dupe of the communists" to a roving correspondent for the International News Service, an honor with which went an excellent salary and an unlimited expense account.


The articles and interviews dealt mostly with the great changes that had occurred in Russia since the 1917 Revolution. By 1920, the ranks of the revolutionary proletariat, said Louise, had thinned out almost to the vanishing point. They were killed by the thousands in the counter-revolutions. And they had died bravely and uncomplainingly, in the belief that capitalism was about to dissolve and that their deaths would bring about a new and brighter world in which production on the basis of need, instead of profit, would provide a better life for everyone. But the assurances both Lenin and Trotsky had given her in 1917 that the Bolshevik Revolution would ignite revolutions throughout the world failed to materialize. And now Lenin had told her about the necessity to retreat: "We have to face the fact that we have become a petty bourgeois state."


In the middle of May in 1922, the Hearst people sent her to Europe. She went to France, where she covered a number of insignificant events - then she was asked to cover the Greco-Turkish war, during which, among other things, she interviewed Mustafa Kemal Pasha, who became the first president of the Turkish Republic. She was then sent to Italy, where she obtained from Mussolini the first interview he had given any correspondent.



News item in Hearst and other papers serviced by International News Service:



PARIS - Louise Bryant, correspondent for International News Service, embarked for the United States today after completing a difficult and dangerous mission that enabled her to send some of the finest "beats" since the War. The American woman, traveling alone, has ventured throughout Russia and the Caucasus in search of news. She is the only woman ever to have visited Mustafa Kemal Pasha and his native home in Angora.


Louise Bryant reported the conflict between Greeks and the Turks in Asia Minor, and she capped her work when she obtained a 3,000-word interview with Premier Mussolini, the first interview the Italian dictator had given to anyone, detailing his view on world affairs.


Louise did not stay long in New York, only long enough to tie up loose ends involved in ending her career as a correspondent for International News Service. She returned to Paris, where she had become deeply involved with Bill Bullitt.



She was on the Hearst payroll for two and a half years, the first year secretly, the remainder as an acknowledged correspondent with her name over the articles she wrote.



When she returned to America after Reed's death, she was alone, bewildered and without funds. Seeing herself with a bleak future and few alternatives, she reluctantly decided to accept the Hearst offer.



She was nearing her thirty-sixth birthday, had become almost completely alienated from her family and was troubled by a feeling that she had betrayed Reed in going to work for the Hearst people in the first place, even though it was in order to be with him and he was in no shape to be critical by the time she arrived. Her writing soon became dull and uninspired.



She decided she must try to get out of journalism, perhaps get married and have a child while there still was time. The interview with Mussolini, strengthened her resolve to find a way out.



She was surprised and pleased when she answered the ringing telephone and heard Bill Bullitt's voice. He was in Paris, he said, and having read her Mussolini article wondered if she would mind talking to him about it. She told him she didn't like Mussolini, but would be delighted if he came up to talk with her. He agreed to see her at noon the next day.



She recalled the first time she met him four years ago. He was at that time still an important member of the Woodrow Wilson administration, and she had accompanied Jack to Washington, because all of Jack's notes for his planned book about the Bolsheviki takeover of Russia had been confiscated by the government when he arrived to face trial on the conspiracy charge. He wanted Bullitt to try to get the material released so that he might begin writing.



After assuring Reed he would do his best to get the government red tape unraveled, Bullitt looked at her and said: "I've been reading your articles on Russia in the Philadelphia Ledger. ("Six Red Months in Russia" is actually a collection of the Ledger articles.) You know, I once had an ambition to be a newspaperman and got a job at $10 a week on the Ledger." Then he began chiding her in a friendly fashion for her involvement in suffragette activities that frequently turned to violence followed by hunger strikes. What did she think all this would accomplish, he wondered.



I am not at all certain what all this will accomplish," she had replied. "What I am certain of is that we're tired of having idiotic men make all the laws which control our lives, I do not think anyone could have said it better than Sarah Bernhardt: 'It is ridiculous that my chauffeur has the right to vote and I haven't.'"



When he came into the room, he seemed somewhat ill at ease, and, as if he had rehearsed what he would say, he greeted her with, "Well, now that women have joined idiotic men in making the laws which control our lives, do you think the world is a better place?"


Louise laughed: "No, all we wanted and all we got by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was the right for idiotic women to join idiotic men in making the laws - that's what equality means, you know."



Bullitt told her that he was in "diplomatic exile," that he had quarreled with Woodrow Wilson's top confident. Col. House, while the Democrats were still in control, and had, for several years, been a sort of "good will ambassador" in Europe for the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. But he remained interested in world affairs and was eager to learn from her all she could tell him about Mussolini, aside from what she had written about him for publication.



First, however, he wanted to know something about her association with the Hearst newspapers. (Hearst newspapers were often called "the Yellow Press" because of their sensational headlines and emphasis on crime and scandal.) Louise reluctantly told him a few of the details that made it necessary for her to accept a Hearst offer of employment, and then: "The Mussolini assignment was the last straw. I'm going to resign."



She told him that Mussolini was a repulsive monster, who had the sort of contempt for people which nauseated her. He referred to the Italian people as "the masses" and listening to him talking about "the masses" brought up a mental picture of an overfed early nineteenth century American plantation owner talking about his slaves.



Mussolini, said Louise,, wanted to see "the masses" comfort-able, have jobs, schools, providing they did not get involved in the decision-making process. What they needed, according to Mussolini, was a powerful leader who knew what was best for them.



Bullitt was intensely interested in what she had to say. She said she asked Mussolini why he, the editor of the socialist paper "Avanti," turned to fascism, and discovered, said Louise, “that he was, among other things, also a liar.”



Mussolini told her it was because of the way the German socialists reacted to the Kaiser's call for all-out support of the war against the allies in 1914. For years, said Mussolini, they shouted their slogans, "workers of the world unite, cast off your chains," "end the rule of capitalist exploiters" and so on and on.



But at the sound of the bugle, the waving of the flag, the German socialists led the pell-mell rush to arms. . . they forgot their slogans and began shouting, along with everyone else "Deutchland uber alles."



That was when the paper "Avanti" began urging Italian support for the allies. But he was lying, said Louise. The truth is the Italian socialists fired him when they suspected he had been bribed by the French to use the paper to gain Italy's support for the Allies. (When he became dictator he retaliated with a series of atrocities aimed at Italian workers.)




He was sitting next to her when he asked her if she would care to talk to him about Jack Reed and his last days with her. His question acted as an electrifying catalyst. She suddenly realized how lonely she had been and how desperately she needed to feel wanted. A wave of desire overwhelmed her and she began to sob.

He began to visit her more and more often and she began to see in him the strength and direction she had so unsuccessfully been seeking until now to ease the pain and emptiness that Jack's death had left behind. As their involvement deepened, and the anticipation of each night together grew in passionate intensity, she pulled out of her despair and her daydreams and romantic images took control of her thinking. She began to build for herself an exciting, secure and happy life with Bullitt.


Based on wishful-thinking, the future she was creating would be, she was certain, a continuation of the exciting life she had been living, but in a different context. She would again meet important people, but this time as Mrs. Bullitt, their equal, and not as a journalist by special appointment. She would be able to participate in discussions with them and become known not only as the attractive wife of a world-famous diplomat, but also as an intelligent woman, well-informed on important matters.


She was not unaware, moreover, of the practical dilemmas her new life would resolve. She was thirty-eight years old and time was running out for her to have a child - a boy who would constantly remind her of her years with Reed.

Equally important, it would help her become reconciled with her mother. A telegram with news that she had married a man of distinction would surely please her mother and Sheridan.

They were married secretly in Paris on December 10, 1923, after Ernesta Drinker, the daughter of a former Lehigh University president, divorced him.

Bullitt, born in 1891, did not know that she was six years older than he was. Nor, for that matter, did he know much of anything else about her background.


What he did know was that she was more than six months pregnant on December 10, 1923.




William Christian Bullitt's background and temperament, if nothing else, made the chances practically zero for a lasting marriage with Louise Bryant. It is impossible to imagine a sharper contrast in the environments in which each was born and lived, and in their personalities and sense of values.


Louise, the granddaughter of Irish and German refugees from hunger and tyranny in Europe, and Bullitt a member of a distinguished American family, with a history that goes back to the seventeenth century.


The first of Bill Bullitt's ancestors to reach American shores was Benjamin Boulet, who came from France to settle in Maryland in 1655. He anglicized his name to Bullitt because aliens were at that time barred by English law from holding land in the colonies.


As the years passed, descendants began to settle in Virginia, Kentucky, and in the other colonies; and everywhere they were patriots, soldiers, statesmen, framers of constitutions, historians. Supreme Court justices, authors, capitalists and philanthropists. Branches of the Bullitt family tree became interwoven with the names of other early American families such as Scott, Fry, Christian, Dixon and Harrison.


There was, for instance, Susan Bullitt Dixon who wrote a history, "The Missouri Compromise and Its Repeal," which the New York Times described as one of the great contributions to the history of America. There was an earlier ancestor, Joshua Fry, who commanded the colonial forces. When he died the command was taken over by Lieutenant Colonel George Washington. There were scores of others. Indeed, somewhere in the history of nearly every family that goes back to early American there is a Bullitt, a Fry, a Harrison, a Christian-all related in some way to William Christian Bullitt, the third husband of Louise Bryant, whose own father was a track-laying laborer for America's first transcontinental railroad.


As for Bill himself, he was one of the Philadelphia Bullitts. His grandfather, John Christian Bullitt, came from Kentucky in 1849 to practice law, and very soon became one of Pennsylvania's important civic and political leaders.


His father was also a Philadelphia lawyer and political leader, whose great wealth came from America's coal and railroad industries. Bill was tall, handsome, urbane, with a disarming smile, and excellent credentials as an intellectual and a liberal in politics. He was also very wealthy. "His uncles and aunts keep dying and leaving Bill their fortunes," wrote Lincoln Steffens.


His antecedents on his mother's side (she was his father's second wife) were also distinguished Americans. She was a Jewess, whose maiden name was Louise Gross Horowitz. Her grandfather, Dr. Samuel Gross, a famous surgeon, is memorialized in Washington for his important contribution to the science of medicine.


Bullitt was universally admired for his skill in the diplomatic world, and an important member not only of the Woodrow Wilson administration, but also that of Franklin Roosevelt's.


But along with his effervescence, eloquence, charm, and other admirable qualities, Bullitt was egocentric, demanding, never willing to budge from what he had determined was right.


All of this was best illustrated by the problem Sigmund Freud faced with him when they decided to write jointly a psychological study of Woodrow Wilson. Publication was held up for years while they argued over who would contribute what to the book's contents. In his capacity as a friend of the family, Freud later tried without success to halt or slow the deepening of Louise's paranoid schizophrenia.


But all of Bullitt's diplomatic know-how, his ability to discuss brilliantly ways to reconcile conflicts among nations, did not help when it came to converting irrepressible Louise Bryant into a charming hostess at elaborate receptions.



No one knew anything about the secret marriage, except Lincoln Steffens, the close friend of Louise and Jack Reed, as well as Bullitt. But Steffens did not know when they were married. He knew only when their child was born, because he was there. The exact date of the marriage is in Bullitt's secret divorce testimony.


Near the end of February in 1924, less than three months after the marriage, Steffens wrote to his sister in California about Louise's and Bullitt's reaction to the birth of their first and only child.



Louise Bryant has been having a baby. They were married last year, telling nobody. While I was in London Louise kept writing that I must come over; she couldn't have the baby without me, and Billy wanted me there too. And the baby was due. Well, I lingered and yet when I did come the baby didn't, and it was only Sunday night that it was born. And it was my baby theoretically. Billy wanted a boy, so did Louise; I preferred a girl. They said that if it was a boy they would keep it, if it was a girl, I should have it. When the labor pains began Billy phoned me. But it was not until the next morning that the baby was born, and it was a girl. Billy phoned me and said that it was not merely a girl; it was a terrible, dominant female. It came out kicking Louise; it made a mad, bawling face at Billy, grabbed the doctor's instrument and threw it on the floor.


"I shall have nothing to do with it," said Billy. "I am afraid of it. You can have it. All I ask of you as a 'parent', is to keep it off the streets. But I doubt that you can even do that. It will do whatever it wants to do. I saw it the next day, and it is a pretty child, a bit red yet, but handsomer than any newborn baby I have ever seen.


If medals were awarded to the best and most dedicated husband during a wife's pregnancy, Bill Bullitt would have won hands down for the almost uxorious attention he lavished on Louise. "He hovered over her like a mother hen," said Ella Winter, Lincoln Steffens' wife. She described Louise as "the pregnantest woman I have ever seen, looking radiantly happy in her maternity gown which must have been fashioned for a Persian queen."


One day Bullitt came home, wrote Ella, and found Steffens reading to Louise. He kissed Louise and sat down beside her. Suddenly he jumped from his place beside her, his face white with anger. He realized Steff was reading from James Joyce's - at that time a very controversial book - "Ulysses". "How dare you read books unfit to print in my home. What effect do you think stuff like that will have on my unborn child?"



As the weeks and months rolled by, it remained, at least outwardly, a most glamorous life for Louise Bryant who, during the Russian Revolution, often had to satisfy her hunger with a cucumber and a piece of herring, in America sometimes pawn Reed's father's watch to pay the rent for their Patchin Place apartment. Now there was wealth, there were servants, there was a special nurse for the baby, a house at Rue 44 Victor Hugo with a special studio where she could write and paint.


But during the night, in her dreams, her years with Jack would intrude. He would upbraid her and accuse her of betraying everything he stood for. "What has happened to you, my little sweetheart?" he would say. "Have you forgotten the Irish poets and writers who battled British troops with a sword in one hand and a copy of Sophocles in the other about whom you used to write articles for the Masses? Why did you bring a girl child into the world? Don't you remember our last days together when we reproached ourselves for not having found time to have a child? And you broke down and cried and said you had always wanted a son who would be named John and be like me."


"But Jack," she would plead, "I've come to love Anne. I didn't really at first, and was disappointed because it wasn't a boy. Anne is such a sweet child, and so clever. One day we were taking a walk and met Dr. Freud, who was lecturing in Paris. And we stopped to chat with him. Then Dr. Freud asked Anne, 'Do you love your mother?', 'Yes, I love my mother,' replied Anne. 'And your father, Anne, do you love your father,' asked Dr. Freud. 'Oh, my father is God,' said Anne. Dr. Freud turned to me, Jack, and said: 'That child is very articulate. You know, I have developed a theory that male children's first love is their mother, and females' the father. But this is the first time a child has confirmed my theory.' Then Dr. Freud laughed and said: 'You know, if we could find a newborn infant who could tell us if it felt any pain while being born, we could solve a lot of problems.'"


Louise would awaken and stare at the ceiling tired, confused and depressed. Jack had accused his "dear little sweetheart" of betraying him, the phrase Russian employ to express affection, respect, sympathy. "Tears will not bring her back to life, little grandmother," says a doctor to a grief-stricken grandmother.


It was true that only a few days before his death they had talked about their failure to have found time to have a child, but Jack was by that time a gaunt, human skeleton and his greatest concern was the welfare of his mother in Oregon. Her own thoughts were often on a child by Jack - thoughts she carefully avoided confiding to him, fearing it would compel her to end her career and participation in events that were shaping the world.


She decided she would talk with Dr. Freud about her dreams. She had interviewed him for the Hearst newspapers and was beginning to see more and more of him because of Bill Bullitt's and Freud's joint interest in a book about Woodrow Wilson. What troubled her was that all her dreams seemed to leave her tired, frustrated and depressed and a vague feeling of insecurity about what she was, what she is and what she will become. Bill Bullitt, the millionaire diplomat, whose name was dropped from the Social Register when it became known he had married the widow of a communist - a radical in her own right - remained a solicitous and devoted husband and father. When she decided that what she needed was travel, they began to travel, even though she had already been to most of the places and talked with, and written about, kings and dictators and other world leaders. Their schedule: Boulogne, Madrid, Riviera, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Philadelphia, Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Constantinople; and then Paris again, Vienna again; - and much more of the same.


They had a home in Paris, another in Philadelphia and a summer farm home in Conway, Massachusetts. They were in France - at Boulogne - when she received word of her mother's death in Central California. The shock not only depressed her and deepened her feeling of guilt about her mother, it also increased her need to turn away from the realities of the real world and seek refuge in a self-created world of fantasy and illusion.





Her mother, despite their long estrangement and the apparent lack of maternal warmth in the irregular correspondence that had begun between them in the fall of 1922, had never forgotten that of her five children she had borne, it was Louise who kept fresh her memory of Hugh Mohan, the only man she had ever loved passionately and without reservation. She had hinted several times that she would like to see Louise again. . .Perhaps if she and her husband had occasion to be on the West Coast? . . .


Louise had planned to suggest to Bullitt a possible trip to California, but there were the deceptions she had created about her past - that she was raised in Nevada by her grandfather, a disinherited British nobleman, that she was distantly related to Oscar Wilde. So she had put off the day of asking him for a time when circumstances would make it possible for her to go alone. She felt terribly guilty that she had betrayed her mother, causing her and poor Sheridan so much pain and agony. Those dreadful headlines in the Reno papers: LOCAL WOMAN DEFENDS BOISHEVIKS/ LOUISE BRYANT IN RED PROBE.


Threats and other forms of harassment finally forced them to abandon their home and move to the eastern division point of the railroad at Marysville, near Sacramento in California. There in Marysville Louise's mother, whose reconciliation Louise had sought by marrying a man of distinction, died. Louise Bryant Bullitt was listed among those survived her.






As the days and weeks passed, life with Bullitt became more and more difficult. She discovered that his strength, which had initially drawn her to him, also made him overbearing and that what he expected of her was not an attractive, well informed wife who would participate as an equal in significant discussions with important people, but a charming hostess who would smile graciously and unobtrusively at guests as they arrived for receptions. She caught him glancing at her disapprovingly if her laugh rose above the level of others. She began to find dressing for receptions a nuisance, the receptions themselves boring, the people loathsome. She discovered that compared with living with multi-millionaire Bullitt, her dull life with her first husband Paul Trullinger in Portland was almost exciting.



“How wonderful to be free, to be able to do just what you want and do it when you want," she had said to herself on reading John Reed's article in a magazine on a streetcar in Portland before she met him. Now he was gone and ahead of her lay a bleak, desolate future. She soon came close to despising Bill Bullitt - his wealth, his arrogance, his determination to convert her into a millionaire's wife able to entertain important people. Who was he? Where did his wealth come from? Did his money not come from the tortured lives of the railroad workers Eugene Debs fought for, and the miners for whom Big Bill Haywood had gone to prison? Were these people, with whom she was being forced to associate, not the same people who supported the blockade of Russia so that medical supplies could not reach Jack when he was dying?


The slide to disaster began with quarrels, frequently reprimands by Bullitt about her behavior which he considered undignified for the wife of one in his position. Louise found herself helpless, intimidated, insecure, frustrated and unable to articulate the emotional turmoil his words were creating in her.


He spoke slowly and precisely, never altering his professor style manner of presentation, as though he was explaining the merits of the Treaty of Versailles to Col. House. If she tried to argue, to explain and broke down and began sobbing, he approached her, put his arms around her and tried to console her.


But alone in her room, she brooded and reenacted the quarrel. Here she knew exactly what she should have said to him and what she should have done. Here she was the winner, for here wouldn't he have to admit her greatness, her achievements, her involvement in historically significant events, her ability to win the respect and admiration of world leaders. . .compare all that, Bill Bullitt, with having displeased an over-dressed bitch at a reception.


She began turning to this self-created world in her mind, where she was always the winner, more and more often and remaining there for increasingly lengthening periods. When Bullitt, in despair, turned to Sigmund Freud for help, Freud called it "schizophrenia".


A time came when Bullitt became "real" as she mentally argued with him. Then she would demand to know why he never used four-letter words. Jack, she would inform him, always used four-letter words.


The scenario could have been written by Robert Louis Stevenson and entitled Doctor Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde.



As her schizophrenia deepened, she became wary not only of Bullitt, but also of everyone else who was deeply concerned about her. She would try to convince all of them of her importance. She found herself surrounded by "enemies". A servant with a tray was Bullitt with a gun. This was "paranoia", said Freud. Bullitt told him that in periods when fantasy seemed to have completely replaced reality, she would suddenly come into a room naked without regard to who was present. This Freud called "exhibitionism" - a very primitive form of behavior with erotic connotations.



With Freud's help, Bullitt realized that Louise was a sick woman. He might as well blame her for having terminal cancer as for the spells during which fantasy replaced reality.


Freud had by that time begun modifying the theory that bringing to the surface the causes for mental problems will end them. Helping Louise, said Freud, would be somewhat like trying to put a scrambled egg together. "There are so many things we don't know and may never know. I myself have not been able to determine why I never fail to bring my mother a potted plant on her birthday, but invariably forget a wedding anniversary gift for Mrs. Freud. I also do not understand why I am afraid to cross a street at an intersection with a crowd." Neither could he explain why a beautiful, intelligent, articulate individual should suddenly begin to alternate between quoting Byron and Shelley and hurling the vilest invective at another equally brilliant, articulate individual, then accuse him of attempting to kill her.




In 1925 she suffered an attack of elephantitis and was forced to wear clothes to cover as much as possible the hideous appearance of her skin and to take drugs to which she soon became addicted. By 1926 she was drinking heavily.


Then in 1929, the news broke in all the papers:


PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 4, AP--William C. Bullitt, diplomat, author and newspaperman, filed suit today for divorce from Mrs. Anne Louise Moen Bryant Reed Bullitt, charging her with "personal indignities. . ." The couple were married in 1923 and have one daughter, Anne Moen Bullitt. Aspects of the case were concealed even to the present whereabouts of both parties.


And, in 1930:


PHILADELPHIA, March 24, AP-William C. Bullitt, author and diplomatic agent during the World War, received a divorce in common pleas court here today from Mrs. Anne Louise Moen Bullitt, whom he charged with "general indignities" in his suit filed last December. No other details were available. They were married in 1923 and have one daughter. Mr. Bullitt, who is managing editor of Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, was married in 1916 to Ernesta Drinker, and they were divorced in 1923.


Little wonder that "no other details were available." Bullitt's petition for a divorce was heard behind closed doors by Francis Biddle, who became Franklin Roosevelt's Attorney-General in 1941. Because of the nature of the case and the people who were involved, Biddle suggested that the records be impounded when he recommended to the full Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County that the divorce be granted. The records remain impounded. (The Philadelphia legal firm of Wexler, Wesiman and Forman, however, was able to obtain permission for a summary of the transcript for the author.)

From the records of Case No. 1527, December Term for 1929:


"The parties, William C. Bullitt and Anne Louise Moen Bullitt, were married in Paris on December 10, 1923. They traveled extensively, usually together, over the next five years. The parties separated in early November of 1929, and did not see each other after that date. The Master's Hearing was held on February 2, 1930, attended by Bullitt, his attorney, an attorney for Mrs. Bullitt, and four witnesses called by Bullitt. Mrs. Bullitt, did not appear at the hearing. Upon recommendation of the Master, the Court granted a Final Decree of Divorce on March 24, 1930.


"The legal grounds for the divorce were 'indignities to the person,' which renders one's condition intolerable and life burdensome.


"Bullitt testified: Mrs. Bullitt began drinking in the winter of 1926-27, and as her drinking became heavy, her hostility toward him increased.


"During the winter of 1927, at the house of Lawrence Langley, he noted this incident: 'A pianist began to play, and when the hostess asked her to stop talking, she stood up and called out that it was an insult to intelligent people to have a pianist interrupt their conversation, and she stalked out of the house in a rage.'


"As time went on, Louise drank even more frequently. She stopped occasionally on his request, but started drinking again soon afterwards. Bullitt pointed out that she was charming when sober, but very irritable when drunk.

"During a visit to their summer home in Conway, Massachusetts in 1927, she was drinking worse than ever before, and told Bullitt she hated him for attempting to stop her. She said he 'should love her whether she was drunk or not.' By autumn, upon their return to Paris, he claimed she refused to perform any household duties. "By January of 1928, she had gotten herself into a very nervous condition about her drinking and left the house (the first of many departures). After searching throughout Paris for her, Bullitt found her and convinced her to return home. However, this incident had no effect on her drinking habits. "The Bullitts were invited by an American friend, Mr. McAlmon, to attend an evening reception at the home of a French author. When Bullitt noticed the particular pairing of people there, he decided it was a party for homosexuals and lesbians and requested Louise to leave. She refused, but he left anyway and returned home. Louise arrived home at 5:00 a.m. accompanied by McAlmon, Miss LeGalliene and Miss Ledoux. All four were thoroughly drunk and subjected Bullitt to' a rude exhibition for half an hour. This appeared to be the beginning of an apparently close relationship between Louise Bullitt and Miss LeGalliene.


"In June of 1928, the chairman of the Regatta Committee invited the Bullitts to the Harvard-Yale Regatta. As the varsity race began, Louise, who had been drinking heavily, stood up and started to fall overboard (they were sitting on the Chairman's yacht). Bullitt said he caught her and stopped her. He testified: 'She cursed me, saying that she had a right to fall overboard if she wanted to; that I was trying to restrict "her liberty in every possible way.' This exhibition of behavior was performed before thousands of people. Bullitt testified that when they reached their hotel she called him 'a dirty little Philadelphia Jew whose only idea was to persecute her; that I was a miserable bourgeois and could not appreciate an artist like herself and could not appreciate her thoughts or anything she felt about life, and that she could not endure being near me any longer;. . . She took her clothes off and rushed through the hotel stark naked.' Bullitt ran after her and carried her back to the room, although she was cursing and struggling with him. She fell into a drunken sleep, and when she awoke she renewed her attack upon him, claiming she hated him for disapproving of her drinking and wanting to live her own life exactly as she chose. "During that summer, she began drinking at all hours of the day, and drank herself into a stupor two or three times a day.


"While on board the DeGrasse, returning to France, the Bullitts were drinking in the smoking room with the other passengers. When the others left to observe a passing ship, Louise seized every other glass and drank all the dregs. Bullitt remonstrated with her, but she got angry and said he was restricting her personal freedom.


"During their stay in Paris, Louise occasionally stopped drinking, but her abstinence was always temporary. About November 15, 1928, she left their house and obtained a room at the Hotel Ansonia. Afterwards, she only spent the night at Bullitt's house when she was sick or drunk. During this time, she saw Miss LeGalliene very often and tried unsuccessfully to convince Bullitt of the virtuous character of her 'friend'.


"One night at dinner with the Duke and Duchess DeRichelieu, Louise was drinking heavily and conspicuously flirting with the Duke. Bullitt testified that he admonished her about such shocking behavior. She responded that "I was just a horrible petty bourgeois who was trying to turn her into a respectable bourgeois wife, which she did not intend to be, and she would go on drinking as she wished.'


"She returned to the house when Bullitt was seriously ill with the flu, but she was drunk, hostile and paid no attention to him. She refused to take care of him, and left with Miss LeGalliene.


The Bullitts went together to the Riviera to help him recuperate from the flu. But Louise constantly drank, remained in another room with Miss LeGalliene and kept him up at night with their drunken conversation. One day at lunch she was drunk and speaking very loudly. 'She was furious at Bullitt's disapproval and called him a swine and repeated the discourse about his bourgeois values and background. Despite his pleas, she finally left Paris with Miss LeGalliene.


Bullitt testified Louise borrowed $1,000 from him on the pretext that she was helping her brother in California. However, he later discovered that the money was given to Miss Ledoux who had been "unfaithful" and had gotten pregnant.


Bullitt testified that the most damaging effect of her conduct was on their baby. Neither mother nor child was capable of staying with each other for any length of time without pushing themselves into a very nervous condition. Having left Louise at home one day, Bullitt testified he returned to find that his wife had put the whole household through a terrible experience (apparently due to her drinking and hostility).


On their return to New York, Dr. Lorber advised them that Louise should enter a sanitarium to take a drink cure, and should be placed in the hands of a neurologist. While the doctor was visiting Bullitt, Louise entered the room totally naked. She adamantly refused the doctor's care.


Bullitt said he came to Philadelphia, but returned immediately upon hearing that Louise had taken an overdose of sleeping pills. After this suicide attempt, she was placed in a neurological hospital, but she refused to remain there or go home with Bullitt.


Although the parties apparently never discussed any agreement about a separation or divorce, they finally separated in November, 1929.


Four witnesses were called by Mr. Bullitt: Ferdinand Hommet (chauffeur), Alfred Mijon (butler), Louise Mijon (cook), and Hortense DeJean. All four confirmed Bullitt's testimony about Louise's continuous drinking, her disrespect for him, the damaging impact on the child, and her association with Miss LeGalliene.


Bullitt was granted custody of their daughter Anne. He agreed to provide support funds for Louise during her lifetime.







Her secret marriage to Philadelphia millionaire-diplomat William C. Bullitt was a disaster. They were separated in November of 1929 and divorced a year later. She deteriorated rapidly. Not even Sigmund Freud, with whom Bullitt had collaborated on a book about Woodrow Wilson, could slow her deepening paranoia and schizophrenia. She shuttled from Paris to New York frequently spending a great deal of time brooding in the apartment she and Reed had occupied, and on one occasion was arrested for brawling in a saloon. This is Louise Bryant a few years before she died in 1936 in Paris at the age of fifty-one.







Nineteen-thirty! The great Depression! Climbing unemployment statistics. Lengthening breadlines. . . President Herbert Hoover, as have all presidents, had pledged "to end poverty in America", and, as all presidents had done, had not forgotten to add, "with the help of God." But despite his assurances and those of the nation's top bankers and economists that there was nothing to worry about, the stock market collapsed in November 1929, and the just-around-the-corner Hoover-Coolidge prosperity vanished.


Then Herbert Hoover, whom Louise's brother, Floyd, had accompanied on his mission of mercy to help feed starving Europeans, found himself faced with the problem of feeding his own starving countrymen. Jobless Americans were selling apples on street corners; homeless Americans were building shelters out of cardboard and other scraps in colonies they called Hoovervilles: and in the Virginias, coal miners were starving while in the Dakotas wheat farmers were burning grain to keep from freezing to death. Banks were closing on every hand, tokens instead of money began to appear, and ruined executives were committing suicide.


It was another troubled, turbulent period in American history. But this time no one could blame the anarchists, communists, socialists or agitators. Capitalism found itself on the brink of collapse, without anyone who could really be blamed. It brought in its wake a revolution - through the democratic process, however, with the election of Franklin Roosevelt as President, and social legislation that changed the face of America.



Louise, who, as a socialist, used to argue that revolutions - where only the leaders are changed - do nothing to remove the causes for future depressions and wars, was by this time in no shape to argue with anyone about anything.


Bullitt had made provision for her support, but his attorneys doled out the money in a way that would hopefully keep her from using it for liquor and drugs. It was "prohibition time" in America. Bootleggers were the only ones doing "business as usual," and a bottle of whiskey cost anywhere from six to ten dollars. All that the attempt to keep her from spending Bullitt's money on alcohol and drugs achieved was to reduce what she spent on necessities.


When she and Bullitt separated, she moved into her and Jack's old apartment on Patchin Place. There she would spend hours brooding, pacing the floor, trying to write, lying on the bed and sobbing. At times when she had money she could usually be found in a Village "speakeasy", where she would frequently become quarrelsome and would have to be taken home by someone who recognized her. She would plead with the good "Samaritan" to stay and talk with her because she was so lonely.


One of the Villagers, Mary Ellen Boyden, who found Louise in a speakeasy, reported: "She was drunk and had a black eye," "I took her to her apartment. She could talk about nothing else except how she had loved John Reed."


She began to depend more and more on drugs to escape reality. Art Young, the cartoonist who was by then in his middle sixties, wrote: "Poor, poor Louise, she is heading toward suicide along the dreadful road of drugs."


Schizophrenia and paranoia made reality merge with fantasy. Incidents in the life of Jack Reed became twisted versions of her own childhood. The great estate of his wealthy grandparents overlooking Portland became a wonderful ranch in Nevada where she lived with an imaginary dignified grandfather, and Irish-English nobleman, who had been disinherited by his parents. She believed--as she wrote in the unfinished story of her life with Reed--that she was in Mexico, recklessly riding horses and dancing with handsome Mexican men while John Reed himself was with Pancho Villa. She insisted that it was she and not Reed who got publishers interested in O'Neill's articles.


During "normal" days she spent many hours in the library. Here bitter-sweet memories surfaced as she leafed through Ibsen, Shaw and Sheridan. But when she attempted to talk with others about her reading, schizophrenia often intruded and listeners would sometimes be startled to discover she had changed the subject in the middle of a sentence without them being aware of it: "I think the social changes in England in the nineteenth. . .I said Bill why did you try to strangle me. Who put you up to it. Was it Steff and Jack's mother? Why do they hate me?"


She became an embarrassment to her friends who began to avoid her. Any suggestion that she take hold of herself, perhaps enter a sanatorium, infuriated her and sent her home to brood in her imaginary world where her critics were vanquished easily by her sound reasoning.



She moved to Paris and found a place to live at 84 Rue d'Assas. She tried to recapture her enthusiasm and interest in living with letters to Reed's mother in Portland, informing her of her plans to start work on her book about John Reed. A great many articles had appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the world about Reed, but no full-length book. Among those who were trying to collect material for a Reed biography were John Dos Passos and Mike Gold. Reed's mother refused to cooperate, especially with Mike Gold. He had, according to Max Eastman, vanished from the staff of the Masses when Reed was active on the magazine, taking with him what cash he could lay his hands on. Later he turned up as the author of a successful book, oddly entitled "Jews Without Money." Mrs. Reed feared he would use John's name for propaganda purposes. She protested in vain to everyone she knew about the use that was being made of her son's life and death by John Reed Clubs, which were springing up everywhere.


She wanted Louise to write the book about John, and enthusiastically began collecting material, shedding tears as she found herself looking at pictures of him and her other son, Harry, while they were children on her parents' Cedar Hill estate, and reading again his early poems and affectionate letters home.

As the days passed, Mrs. Reed began to notice an alarming change in Louise's "Dear Muz" letters. She had known nothing about her daughter-in-law's problems, and had no way of knowing that the letters were a clear indication that Louise's schizophrenia and paranoia were deepening. She was bewildered and puzzled and wrote letters to Paris pleading for explanations. . . ."Why do you ask if the postman killed our dog?" and. . . ."What in the world makes you ask if Jack was really born in Portland?"


Interspersed would be rational letters. Mrs. Reed's confusion and bewilderment grew when Louise's letters suddenly began informing her that Bullitt had treated her shabbily, refusing to let her have their daughter Anne, or even to see her.


Mrs. Reed wrote:


. . .There are so many things I do not understand about your situation. You write as if you had no money except for what you earn. Surely you were provided for under the divorce, were you not? And about Anne? Does it mean they have taken her away from you? Your letters are dear, but so very vague.


I dare not write down my sense of outrage about the way Bill is behaving. It all seems so impossible - as if no person with any sanity at all could do these things. Where is Bill? How do they conceal that he is off his head?


. . .I thought you got alimony or a settlement, did you not? I still do not understand how they could take Anne away from you.


Sad, depressed and alarmed, Mrs. Reed wrote that she did not think she would be able to raise the money for a trip to Paris. Then she asked that Louise not include her name in the book, and finally tried to make clear that she wanted to see the proofs before the book was published.


Louise, however, kept doggedly at the task of trying to induce important people to help her with what she insisted would be a most important contribution to literature and history--the story of her life with John Reed. All found a way out of helping. Some said it brusquely, some gently, but it all came out NO.

One of the gentlest and most sympathetic of Reed's friends was Bob Hallowell, the painter from Denver, Colorado, a founder and for a time publisher of the New Republic. He tried to, and did, convince Louise to cooperate with Granville Hicks, who had begun writing what is now recognized by all, except those trying to demonstrate that he repented his radicalism before he died, an excellent biography about John Reed.


But, as the Reed biography by Hicks shows, she gave him little information about herself, and she continued making notes and plans for a book about her life with Reed until the day she died.




Americans who came to Paris during the years 1934 and 1935 to study music or painting, or just as tourists, saw her when they visited a bistro on Rue Jacob called "La Quatrienne Republique." "That," they were told, "Is the wife of Ambassador Bullitt who is in Russia." No one believed it - a shabbily dressed woman, fondling a pernod, her eyes glued to the table top. She spoke to no one, but occasionally pulled a notebook from her handbag and wrote something rapidly.


Her letters during those two years - her last - ranged from complete clarity to incoherence. From the Hotel Raspail where she was now living, she wrote to Art Young:


I always imagined that it was morbid to write a last will and testament but Bill got me over that idea about eight years ago when we walked into the Gerard Trust Co. in Philadelphia where I was introduced to Mr. Tuttle. We went inside his small office and I made my will this way: "I leave everything to my husband, William C. Bullitt." That's all. They explained that Bill's will was similar. I suppose he has changed it in favor of Anne.


Mine troubles me now for this reason: There is no use in fooling myself into believing that I am not in failing health. . . Don't think I am bitter or afraid to die. Ernest Dowson (Ernest Christopher Dowson, the nineteenth-century English lyric poet) wrote, "I am not sad but only tired of everything that I ever desired." I feel like that. To me death means peace. But I have in my unpaid studio letters, books, paintings given me by the most famous people of our time. I have my own books and manuscripts which I think Anne should have.


In this case I must make another will. It must be a will so that if I die here, or somewhere else, suddenly, someone will take charge of things here. Perhaps Bill will see that I get buried decently - also for the sake of Anne.


In sharp contrast was an almost illegible letter about Fred Boyd, a close friend of Reed's.


. . .He was a conceited little cockney whom Jack picked up abroad to be his secretary because Jack said he was a perfect machine. Boyd amused him because he had never touched good wine. . .The last chapter of Boyd is this: When he heard I was having difficulty with Bill, he hurried to him to offer his services (for a certain sum, of course). He told Bill that I had lived with Reed before marriage, which he already knew. And since I had done the same with Bill it was entirely silly. Then he started on a series of fantastic lies such as that I was a descendant of Benedict Arnold whereas it was Aaron Burr. A year later I saw Bill in Paris. We had dinner together. He said, for heaven's sake don't try to cooperate with Boyd in a biography (sic) of Jack. I said I had no such intention. He said Boyd told him so and then he told me the rest.



Her statements and exaggerations grew more fantastic. The strangest was a revelation to Reed's friends - assertion that John Reed was in reality an agent of the American government in Russia.


Her restless sleep became a series of nightmares. She was in Vienna, talking with her old friend Sigmund Freud; Nazi storm troopers walked right through the walls into her bedroom and stood there, heiling Hitler.


One night she awoke sobbing and, rushing to the window, leaped outside. She was taken to the hospital but was forced to leave before her foot was completely healed because of lack of funds. One who heard of her financial plight was Raymond Robbins. He sent her five hundred dollars. "He is so rich," wrote Louise, "when I started paying him back, he cried."


She began going downhill faster and faster. Fantasy became more dominant than reality. A month before she died, Louise wrote from Paris to Art Young:

. . .Maybe I feel like Benjamin Franklin or dear Thomas Paine wandering these streets these days with war clouds floating over us which none of us accept. Sometimes I think of the promise I made to Jack when he was dying not to do away with myself. So now I go armed. No more broken feet. No more hospitals without good reason.

And only a week before she died after collapsing while walking up the stairs to her room at the Hotel Raspail, he received a postcard from Louise. It was from 50 Rue Vavin where she had rented a small studio.


I suppose in the end life gets all of us. It nearly has got me now - getting myself and my friends out of jail - living under curious conditions – but never minding much. Know always that I send my love to you across the stars. If you get there before I do - or later - tell Jack Reed I love him.











It was a simple graveside Protestant funeral service. A cold drizzle fell on the casket and the dozen or so people surrounding the grave. There was a minister, a handful of the tenants who lived in the small Left Bank where the woman being buried had also lived, two mortuary attendants and about a dozen strangers whose homes were near the cemetery, and who, for want of something better to do, usually followed funeral processions through the gates.


The minister was from the church that catered to the spiritual needs of those Americans living in Paris during the mid nineteen-thirties. Among them were some who continued clinging to the notion that the Latin Quarter was still the romantic place the Ernest Hemingways and Gertrude Steins and Sherwood Andersons had made it seem more than a decade earlier.


From his prayer book, protected from the rain by his umbrella, the minister read a verse from the Psalms, another from Isaiah, and then, since he had been told very little about the deceased, he spoke briefly about the uncertainty and impermanence of mortal life. During the benediction, the mourners, mostly Catholics and understanding little of what the minister had said in English, crossed themselves and all followed the minister to the cemetery gates. Two laborers, who had been leaning nearby on their shovels, finished filling and smoothing the grave and, after erecting a temporary marker, they also left.



There were no flowers and no messages of condolence. Louise Bryant died alone and forgotten.


The many who knew her when she was involved in historically significant events, did not learn about her death until four days later, when a brief Associated Press dispatch reported it in the newspapers.


PARIS, Jan. 9-(AP) Louise Bryant, 41, (she was actually 51) widow of John Reed, American who became a Soviet hero, and the divorced wife of William C. Bullitt, died at a private hospital on the Left Bank Monday, it was learned today.


Miss Bryant, a native of San Francisco, collapsed while climbing the stairs of a hotel. Since her divorce she had been living quietly in Paris.


The death of the well-known communist, who made a reputation as a journalist in Moscow in 1920, was kept secret four days while arrangements were made through New York for her funeral in Paris.


The item's skimpiness must surely have been written the way Ambassador Bullitt wanted it written - without identifying him beyond his name and saying as little as possible about his ties to Louise Bryant, the mother of Bullitt's only child, who had been living as a recluse in Paris, while he was America's first ambassador to the Soviet Union.


Ironically, at the time Louise died, Bullitt was in the headlines with the news that he had given up his post in Moscow and was moving into the French embassy in Paris. He had become disillusioned with Stalin's administration in the Soviet Union and its dangerous implications for Europe, and before he died in 1967, he was one of the nation's leading Russophobes urging preemptive action against the Soviet Union.



The year 1936 also saw her brother, Floyd Sherman Bryant, the Rhodes Scholar and associate of Herbert Hoover in European famine relief work, become manager of exploration for the Standard Oil of California. Four years later he was elected to the Board of Directors, and in 1942 he became a vice-president of the giant oil corporation. In 1956, the brother of Louise Bryant, who took the radical road to a lonely death, became an Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. He died in 1965 while visiting a daughter in San Francisco.


The few still alive in the seventies who recalled Louise's mother, remembered her as a lady who was always timid, gentle and devoted to her family. When she died on May 4, 1924, the weekly Tribune-Register of Roseville said: "Mrs. Bryant was a highly cultured woman, a true mother, a noble woman, a devoted friend, whose life was a beautiful example of all that was good and wonderful."


Sheridan Bryant, the Southern Pacific Railroad conductor, who occasionally allowed Louise to sit in the caboose cupola of freight trains as they slowly struggled up grades through the magnificent mountains dividing California and Nevada, died in 1957 at the age of 93. He had been blind for a long time and living in a Sacramento nursing home. He and Louise's mother are buried side by side in the Oddfellows Cemetery in Sacramento, with identical markers over their graves - "Mother Bryant" and "Dad Bryant."



Permanently war-crippled Bill Bryant, who died in 1944, was buried in the West Los Angeles cemetery of the Veterans Administration. Her sister Barbara, at whose wedding Louise was a bridesmaid, accompanied her husband to Alaska during the last days of the gold rush. When he died, she returned to Sacramento where she died in 1951. The only Mohan in the family, Lou Parnell, became known as the "Scrappy Irishman" in Central California. Five feet, seven inches tall and weighing only 130 pounds, he was at various times, a baseball player, a prizefighter and a Democratic politician. He died in 1950, a victim of cancer.



Eugene O'Neill's reaction to the news of Louise's death was reported to have been one of shock. Lincoln Steffens, who was 70 and near death, was similarly affected. He passed away that fall. Contacted by the New York Times, Ella Winter recalled, among other things, that Louise was "the pregnantest woman" she ever saw.



In Portland, Fred Lockley wrote a long story for the Oregon Journal about John Reed, who died 16 years earlier, and about the Portland high society mountain climb and the article he wrote for Louise to help her get a job on the Oregonian. Her byline over the Lockley story didn't help her get a job, but it so impressed Reed he spread the word far and wide that Louise was a brilliant journalist.


The Oregonian, in turn, carried a story about the days when radicals marched through the streets of Portland yelling slogans "down with the banks" and "free the Wobblies," even though neither Louise nor Reed ever participated in the parades.


Commented Mrs. C. H. Crichton, an aunt of Paul Trullinger, in 1972: "We were all shocked when Paul married her. Today I think all that was wrong with Louise, was that she was born many years ahead of her time."


Several former women friends of Reed issued disparaging statements. For instance, Nina Faubion, the daughter of United States Senator Harry Lane, told Oregonian reporter Harold Hughes that she considered Louise Bryant "a brain picker who picked the brains of everyone with whom she came in contact." She added that Louise "always managed to give the impression, both in conversation and in writing, that she was a person given to deep thought." Actually, insisted Nina, she was nothing of the sort, and she knew for a fact, that Jack was disappointed in her. "He began dragging an anchor when he became involved with her."


"However," commented reporter Hughes at the end of the article, "it was Louise, who was at Jack's side when he died of typhus in the Marinsky Hospital in Moscow - a long way from Portland, Oregon.



Unfortunately, everything that has been written about her in the four decades since her death is based mostly on the years that began in the fall of 1915 when she met John Reed, until his death in 1920. She has thus been described - out of context of her entire life - as a self-aggrandizer, an opportunist, pretentious and a below-average writer.


Her death did not even create the furor John Reed's did with reports he had expressed regret and sorrow over his role in the Bolshevik takeover of Russia. As a matter of fact, Louise was also entitled to the dubious repentance honor - if, indeed, either she or Reed really did repent.


Reed's repentance is based on what three American radicals had to say. They were: Emma Goldman, the anarchist who took care of dying Reed until Louise arrived in Moscow; Ben Gitlow, a one-time candidate for Vice-President of the United States on the communist ticket, and Anna Louise Strong, the Seattle schoolteacher, an activist during the Pacific Northwest Wobbly crisis in the first and second decade of this century.


All three were dedicated socialists and enthusiastic supporters of Lenin's campaign to replace capitalism in Russia with socialism, the basic tenet of which is abolition of private ownership of natural resources and the facilities for converting these into commodities.


What appalled and horrified the Goldman-Gitlow-Strong trio was the ruthless suppression of all dissent and opposition, especially the murderous purge of many who had played an important part in bringing the new regime into existence.


Among the many others who were disillusioned for the same reason was an unusual woman named Angelica Balabanova, and it was she who wrote about Louise's repentance.



Angelica was one of the many young people in Russia from wealthy, often influential, families who were influenced by the Marx-Engels analysis of the way capitalism works, and, as a result, became members of the underground Social Democrats. Her father, a successful merchant, was one of the relatively few wealthy Jews in Czarist Russia. She was one of sixteen children.


Angelica left her home in the Ukrainian part of Southwest Russia because, she wrote, she was disgusted at the pleasure her father got from the servile, boot-licking attention he received from the servants. In Rome, she soon found herself an associate of Benito Mussolini in the editing of the socialist paper AVANTI. She described him as "a lazy, cowardly braggart." (Louise learned a great deal about Mussolini from Angelica long before she interviewed him.) Angelica's association with Mussolini occurred before 1914, when the Italian socialists took the editorship of AVANTI away from him in a dispute over his decision to support the Allies in World War One. They said the French had bribed him to do that. A decade later, Angelica said that had she suspected he would turn out to be the monster he became, she would have gladly poisoned him.


Angelica was among the first Russians to become a close friend of both Louise and John Reed when they arrived in Moscow in 1917.



Angelica and Louise met in Paris not long before Louise died. Here is Angelica's version of the first meeting and what followed:

"As soon as Louise returned to Paris, she got in touch with me. I scarcely recognized her. She was now separated from her second husband, William C. Bullitt, and had been ill for more than a year. I would not have believed anyone could change so, not only in appearance, but in her manner of speaking, her voice and tone. Only at intervals when I continued to see her was she the old Louise I had known with Jack. Whenever we met she spoke of him with deep sadness, of his disappointment in Russia, his illness and death.


"'Oh, Angelica,' she would say in these moments of lucidity and confidence, 'don't leave me, I feel so lonely. Why did I have to lose Jack? Why did we both have to lose our faith?' Shortly after this I heard of her death."


Poor, poor Louise! She was also by this time telling Reed's friends that Jack was really an agent for the United States government in Russia, and how she fought off attempts by Bill Bullitt to strangle her.





First thing one discovers undertaking research, is that people who select library work for a career, have one thing in common - they love books and the contents of books and are eager to share their knowledge with others. Everywhere, from the elaborate libraries on the University of California and Harvard campuses and the artistic marvel in Reno, Nevada, to the small library in Bridgeport, California, personnel was courteous, cooperative and enthusiastic.


This is not to underestimate the contributions of the many others who helped, some becoming almost as enthusiastically involved in locating material for reconstructing the life of Louise Bryant as was the author, himself.


We therefore wish to acknowledge gratefully the help received from library personnel, in addition to those already mentioned, as follows: The University of Washington and City of Seattle; the Tacoma Public Library and University of Puget Sound; The State of Washington Library in Olympia; Portland-Multnomah Library; Marysville, California Library; California State and Sacramento City Libraries; San Francisco City Library; Ventura and Santa Barbara, California Libraries; Los Angeles City Library; Libraries in Syracuse, New York and Chicago; University of Nevada and University of Oregon Libraries, Olympia and Lacey Libraries in Washington state, and personnel in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.


Others who provided valuable help included:


The American Pro Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Paris; The Episcopal Dioceses of San Francisco and Reno, Nevada; Dr. Martin Schmitt, University of Oregon curator; the late John Reddy of Reader's Digest; Kendra Morberg, Mrs. Gladys McKenzie Hug and Mrs. Keith Powell, Louise's fellow students at University of Oregon; Miriam Van Waters, Framingham, Massachusetts, University of Oregon campus magazine editor; Carl R. White, Island I County, Washington school superintendent; Mrs. C. D. Crichton of Portland, cousin of Paul Trullinger; Wallie Warren of Reno; John Reed of Washington D. C. (Jack's nephew); Arthur Spencer of the Oregon Historical Society; L. S. Geraldson of Auburn, California; Philip Earl of Nevada Historical Society; personnel in vital statistics department at Sacramento; Senator Frank Church of Idaho; Public Relations Department, Standard Oil Company of California; Kylie Masterson of North Hollywood, California; Paul 0. Anderson and Robert Merry pf the Tacoma, Washington, News Tribune; Stuart Delaney of Olympia, Washington; and Mrs. Louise Feldenheimer of Portland.









The Cossack costume was a gift from a wealthy Russian woman whom Louise interviewed. She was far less concerned, said Louise, about the property she was about to lose than she was about what the Revolution was doing to the servants. They were leaving her, and those who stayed insisted on calling her “tovarishcha”, comrade.


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