Richard Henry Savage(June 12, 1846 – October 11, 1903) was an American military officer and author who wrote more than 40 books of adventure and mystery stories. Savage's eloquent, witty, dashing and daring life may have been the inspiration for the pulp novel character Doc Savage.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag. With the discovery of gold in California, Savage's father came West in 1850. Savage joined with his family in 1851, and was among the first boys to attend public school in San Francisco, along with future poet Charles Warren Stoddard and the brothers Gus, Charles and Harry de Young who would found the San Francisco Chronicle. While the younger Savage was in school, his father helped discover the rich silver deposits of the Comstock Lode.
Savage finished high school at age 15 and began to study law with U.S. Senator James A. McDougall. Later, he studied with the law firm Halleck, Peachy & Billings, while partner Henry Halleck was back East serving as major general in the Union Army. The Civil War found Savage immediately joining the Union Army but his father had him discharged for extreme youth. Savage's father pushed to keep California on the Union side, and was rewarded by President Lincoln with the post of Collector of Internal Revenue 1861–1873. Through his influence, Savage's father gained for Savage an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1864, and Savage traveled across the Isthmus of Panama with significant wartime delays preventing him from joining the June 'plebes' but allowing him a place with the September students. In 1868, Savage graduated sixth in his class of 55 at West Point, and was assigned as brevet second lieutenant with the Army Corps of Engineers at Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco Bay. Savage took part in survey work on the Indian reservations of Round Valley in Northern California and the Pima and Maricopa reservations in Arizona.
==Government and writing career==
Savage served ably at his Army tasks but was unhappy with the narrowly defined role. He tendered his resignation on December 31, 1870. Through President Grant, he went to Marseilles and Rome as an American vice-consul. Beginning in 1871, Savage traveled to Egypt to act for one year as secretary at the rank of captain to Charles Pomeroy Stone, a former American general in the Egyptian Army, serving under Khedive Isma'il Pasha. Following an honorable discharge from the Egyptian Army, Savage returned to the U.S. and was tasked by Grant to serve as one of three commissioners investigating a series of border incidents between the U.S. and Mexico 1872–74. At the same time, he worked with Richard King and the nascent Corpus Christi & Rio Grande Railroad as the chief engineer surveying the route to Laredo.
At the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., on January 2, 1873, Savage married the aristocratic Anna Josephine Scheible, a German widow three years older than he who had arrived in war-torn America in 1864 with her first husband, Gustav, to look after family-owned land in Georgia. Gustav Scheible died in 1866 and Anna became a favorite of the Washington social circle. Her marriage to Savage produced one daughter, who later married Anatol de Carriere, a minor nobleman and an Imperial Russian Councilor of State.
In 1874, Savage began a ten-year stay in San Francisco. He worked with his father and brother on an iron foundry enterprise, and served two years as colonel of the 2nd Regiment California National Guard. Savage took a prominent role in the civic and social life of the city, and was often called upon to make extemporaneous speeches to large crowds, a skill on which Henry George complimented him. In January 1878, Savage served as chief military executive officer of the Committee of Safety, a group set up to oppose Denis Kearney and his riotous mob of angry supporters who wanted to get rid of Chinese immigrants. Savage's calm and logical presence was seen by San Franciscans as a rallying point for law and order during the riots. Savage renewed the friendship of his childhood schoolmate, now Bohemian Club poet Charles Warren Stoddard. He made the acquaintance of writer Archibald Clavering Gunter, who would later publish some of Savage's stories.
While in San Francisco, Anna Savage began a devoted interest in the fight for women's suffrage. Savage retired from government service in 1884 to practice law with his youngest brother. In 1890, he moved to New York City.
In late 1890 at a friend's house on Lake George in upstate New York, while recovering from a near-fatal case of jungle fever contracted in Honduras, Savage wrote a tale loosely based on his life, entitled My Official Wife. The book was a great success, and was translated into many languages. The Times in London called it "a wonderful and clever tour de force, in which improbabilities and impossibilities disappear, under an air that is irresistible."
Savage followed his first book with Delilah of Harlem, The Mask of Venus, Our Mysterious Passenger and Other Stories and In the Shadow of the Pyramids. In addition to his fiction prose output, Savage published collections of his speeches and essays, and in 1895 wrote a book of poetry dedicated to his wife: After Many Years. Savage's writing style was fast and precise: he wrote from morning to night and rarely needed to correct his first drafts. He was able to carry on a conversation while writing. He joined the Author's Guild of America in 1894.
==New York life==
In New York, Savage spent some time in legal battles. From his apartment at The Gerard, 123 West 44th Street in Manhattan in 1896, he sued his publisher for $12,000 in unpaid royalties. The publisher, Frank Tennyson Neely, who had filed for bankruptcy five years earlier before accepting Savage as a client, argued that he didn't owe Savage anything, instead, Savage owed him. Neely's scattered and incomplete accounting books prevented an easy conclusion to the trial. Three years later, Neely once again declared bankruptcy. In 1899, Abraham Lewis of Brooklyn sued Savage for $10,000 in damages, for stealing away the affections of his wife. Savage's own wife and a friend defended him in court, saying Lewis, an informal supplier of food to soldiers under Savage's command, was retaliating for being stopped from the lucrative but illegal act of selling liquor to the troops at Montauk Point.
On January 3, 1898, Savage and his wife celebrated their 25th anniversary, in New York City. On February 16, Savage volunteered for Army duty during the Spanish–American War. Savage would have served as lieutenant colonel of the 1st Tammany Regiment, but New York's Governor Frank S. Black declined the formation. Savage was instead assigned senior major of the 2nd U.S. Volunteer Engineers at the end of May. After stateside training and the building of a complete Army camp at Montauk Point, his unit traveled in November to Havana, Cuba and cleared Marianao to build Camp Columbia for the Army of Occupation. Savage hoisted the first American flag in Havana Province on December 10. He was in command of the battalion at the surrender of Havana on January 1, 1899. Weakened with yellow fever, Savage was mustered out of the Volunteer Engineers in April, 1899, and assigned captain with the 27th Volunteer Infantry. Continuing illness prevented him from traveling with his unit to the Philippines, and he was honorably discharged.
In August 1903, Savage's wife and daughter were in Kishinev, Russia, where Savage's son-in-law Anatol de Carriere was serving the Russian government. Savage's wife sent word through Breslau to London that 27 of the Kishinev pogrom rioters had been given prison sentences. The de Carrieres hid some 40 Jews in their house during the rioting. Anna Savage warned that if further bloody riots were encouraged by the Tsar's government, "the wealthy Russian aristocracy will be in danger of their lives."
==Death and legacy==
Savage died on October 11, 1903, at Roosevelt Hospital after being knocked down and injured in the ribcage on a New York City street by a horse and wagon on October 3. Savage's wife and daughter were still in Europe at the time of his death.
Anna Josephine Savage died at the age of 67 on July 7, 1910 after a long illness in New York City, with her daughter at her side. For 30 years, she had been a noted supporter of women's right to vote.
Author Marilyn Cannaday has suggested that Doc Savage, the pulp hero from the 1930s and 1940s, was based in part on Savage's life, or at least his name. Though he never met Savage, Henry Ralston, one of men who created the pulp character, joined Street and Smith publishers one year after a collection of Savage's short stories were published.
*(1891) My Official Wife, at Google Books
*(1891) My Official Wife, at Internet Archive
*(1892) The Little Lady of Lagunitas: A Franco-Californian Romance, at Project Gutenberg
*(1892) The Little Lady of Lagunitas: A Franco-Californian Romance, at Internet Archive
*(1892) Prince Schamyl's Wooing: A Story of the Caucasus-Russo-Turkish War (1892), at Internet Archive
*(1893) Of Life and Love: A Story of the Rio Grande, at Internet Archive
*(1893) Delilah of Harlem: A Story of the New York City of To-Day, at Internet Archive
*(1894) The Anarchist: A Story of To-Day, at Internet Archive
*(1894) The Princess of Alaska: A Tale of Two Countries, at Internet Archive
*(1895) Miss Devereux of the Mariquita: A Story of Bonanza Days in Nevada, at Internet Archive
*(1895) His Cuban Sweetheart, at Internet Archive
*(1895) After Many Years, at Internet Archive
*(1896) An Exile from London: A Novel, at Google Books
*(1896) Lost Contessa Falka: A Story of the Orient, at Internet Archive
*(1896) Checked Through, Missing, Trunk No. 17580: A Story on New York City Life, at Internet Archive
*(1897) An Awkward Meeting, Fighting the Tiger and other Thrilling Adventures, at Internet Archive
*(1897) A Fascinating Traitor, at Project Gutenberg
*(1897) Captain Landon: A Story of Modern Rome, at Google Books
*(1898) In The Swim: A Story of Currents and Under-Currents in Gayest New York, at Google Books
*(1899) His Cuban Sweetheart, at Google Books
*(1900) The Midnight Passenger, at Project Gutenberg
*(1902) The Mystery of a Shipyard, at Google Books
*(1904) The Last Traitor of Long Island: A Story of the Sea, at Google Books
*(1904) The Last Traitor of Long Island: A Story of the Sea, at Internet Archive
| NAME = Savage, Richard Henry
| ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
| SHORT DESCRIPTION =
| DATE OF BIRTH = June 12, 1846
| PLACE OF BIRTH = Utica, New York
| DATE OF DEATH = November 11, 1903
| PLACE OF DEATH = New York City
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