"Congress bumbles on. Everybody laughs at its assumed spasms of virtue, no one is deceived by any reform pretenses". Clover Adams's political commentary in 1883 could serve as the lead of a legislative story today- that's one reason why it's so much fun to read her mail. ...What's striking here is how open the political scene was to women. Historians tend to insist that women occupied no political space before suffrage, or more commonly, they ignore women altogether... But Mrs. Henry Adams quickly assumed influential womanhood in Washington. As he was leaving his post as Secretary of the Interior, the Adams's old friend Carl Shurz brought her his report on Indian affairs, which she deemed "worth reading".