NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, Journalists, Showbiz

Harvey Fergusson
(January 28, 1971 – August 27, 1971)

1435 Clifton St. NW, Columbia Heights neighborhood, DC.

Fergusson was the author of ten novels, including Capitol Hill (1923), and Wolf Song (1927, based on the life of Kit Carson), as well as three books of nonfiction and one memoir, Home in the West: An Inquiry into My Origins (1945).  In the 1930s, he worked in Hollywood, and his screenwriting credits include It Happened in Hollywood (1937) and Stand Up and Fight (1939). 

Fergusson was a Westerner at heart, born in DC and dying in California.  But he lived in DC twice, moving here after graduating from college in 1911 to work as a staff reporter for the Washington Herald, then returning in 1914 as the Washington correspondent for the Chicago Record-Herald.  His second novel, Capitol Hill, draws heavily on those experiences.  The book is cynical and amusing.  As his main character, Ralph Dolan, muses: “The small political infection planted in our midst by the founding fathers had become a huge tumor with a seemingly unlimited capacity for growth.  There was no apparent reason why we should not all in due course become politicians and lobbyists, except for the sordid necessity that some one get the wherewithal out of the ground and through the factories.”