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1893-1894 Meeting Minutes
[MS988 Box 3, Book 2]
October 3rd 1893.
The 26th Salon of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, October 3rd 1893, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets, being the opening meeting of the Club year 1893 and 1894. Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], the President, called the meeting to order. The Recording Secretary read the Minutes of the three last meetings of the past Club year, including those of the annual election on May 23rd and May 27th and that of the closing Salon of May 30th 1893.
The Minutes were adopted. We were then given the opening address of the President.
She greeted us in coming together again, with very much to encourage us. There have been no losses by death in our numbers,--we can congratulate ourselves on the high position our Club has gained before the eyes of the community as a Literary centre; and feel that we have opportunities for increasing our
literary work, for careful study and mental advancement. We were reminded that we are living in a great and splendid age,--also that we live among law-abiding people, that the best basis of law in love; and that we are united in the love of learning. She quoted some eloquent words that were said in Ancient Egypt about the love of knowledge. She spoke of the learning of the early Greeks, of their power of reasoning from causes to effects,-- and geometry, of the study of the characteristics of that great people that can be made from their literature. She quoted from Macaulay "That no external advantage is to be compared with that purification of the intellectual eye which gives us to contemplate the infinite wealth of the mental world; all the hoarded treasures of the primeval dynasties, all the shapeless ore of the yet unexplored mines."
In the spirit of these words, let us again take up our literary work,--like the old Greeks to make the best of ourselves.
Our President went on to speak of all that we hope for in the coming year. That the work of our Committee on Economies may be built up like the Greek temple in straight and faultless lines. That in Modern Philanthropy we may be able to relieve human suffering, especially as women can, the sufferings of little children, the children of [?Mr.] Browning's poem, who "Know the grief of man
without his wisdom,["] who "sink in man's despair without its calm," "are martyrs by the pang without the palm."
Our Committee on Education has this noble work also. Our President hoped that our Committee on Art may do some of the most refining work God has given to be done,--for Art is the materialization of poetry, the exemplification of the progress of man, of the divine hand guiding the hand of the mortal.
Women are fitted to be artists in their perception of color, and of harmoniousness. In their attention to children and sick people, they see nature effectively.
That from our Committee on the Authors and Artists of Maryland, Authors and Artists may go out to fill the ranks of the representatives of our own state. That our studies in Archeology may be full of interest, and full of history in their researches into the Antiquities of Egypt, Italy, Greece and other lands.
Miss Brent spoke of a word used by Professor Lanciani in one of his lectures in Baltimore. Some one understood him to speak of a courier in the study of Archeology. Another one of his auditors thought he had said a curio, which raised a laugh. Another one however believed he had said a Cuvier, because Cuvier, the Naturalist, was said to be able to reconstruct an
extinct animal from a single fossil bone.
Our President thought that some one of our members might in this sense, be a Cuvier in Archeology. She hoped that our Committee on Ancient and Medieval Poetry would bring us those works so full of emotion and intelligence, that we may truly feel the influence of the great minds of former days.
That our chairman of the Committee on Modern Poetry, Miss Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese], may give us the songs of the lark, and the sunrise, of the music and light of the present and of the future. That our Committee on Essays and Essayists may show us how well these subjects can be treated arousing even intenser [sic.] and higher interest than ever before.
That our Committee on fiction may show us how truth can be taught by fiction, and even corrected by its influence.
That our Committee on Unwritten History may develope the resources of those unworked, or imperfectly worked fields, both North and South, which shall yield us rich returns. That our Committee on Translations shall venture into Spain and [Provence], France, Italy and Germany, and less known regions to bring back new and old gems of literature, and give them to us in our own tongue.
Charles the fifth is reported to have said, that by so many languages as a man knows, so many times is he a man.
We may not each of us be many women, but we can add to the intellectual riches of many fellow women, and of many home [?circles].
That our Committee on Current Criticism may continue its excellent work of keeping in touch with the literature of our own times, our own passing days.
The Committee of the Exact Study of the English Languages, has a great work before it.
Our President spoke of the confusion of tongues on the plain of Shinar, when the human race seemed hopelessly dispersed over the world, never to be re-united. But expansive steam has been brought under rule, and made to do its work.
She quoted what James Russell Lowell said in the good mental discipline of the study of modern languages.
Also his saying that "Literature has escaped the doom of Shinar, and still everywhere speaks in the universal tongue of civilized man."
In conclusion, our President thought we could go forward with enthusiasm, keeping our motto "Woman's Words" and [?taking] for our watchword "Onward."
Mrs. Miller now gave us an article on Louise [Louisa] May Alcott. She introduced her subject by speaking of our sometimes passing by the tall and highly colored flowers in a garden, to find the small
fragrant blossoms that we love for the true pleasure they give us. She spoke of the noble womanly life of one to whom many of us, old and young have cause for gratitude.
Louise May Alcott, though belonging by ancestry and residence more to Massachusetts than to any other state, was born in Germantown Pennsylvania in 1832. Her father failed in keeping school there, and went back to Boston. This father was the well-known A. Bronson Alcott of whom Hawthorne in 1841 speaks as "a transcendental visitor to Brooke Farm.["]
He was an unsuccessful man in worldly affairs, but his unworldliness was loved, honored and revered by his family and friends.
The family were poor in money; they were we are told a pathetic family.
Mrs. Miller described the family life so charmingly recorded in "Little Women" and other stories and sketches, and in the testimony of eyewitnesses in Concord. Then Hawthorne was their next door neighbor, and Emerson as we were told their good genius in what has been called the genial Concord which existed from 1859 to 1865 or thereabouts. "To warm the [?light] cold feet on the carpet at home." Louisa began as we were told, to launch ships on the Atlantic, and to write books, and long before her death, made herself and her family independent.
In the War, she went to
work in the hospitals, though her mother said she should feel helpless without Louisa and her father, that he was giving up his only son. But then her physical strength broke down. We were told of her struggles and sacrifices,--that she might have married, but would not. Also that she proposed to omit marriage from the lives of some of her heroines, but was told by her publishers that the public would demand it.
After speaking of Miss Alcott's various writings, Mrs. Miller gave the tribute of her own gratitude to this author. She spoke of reading aloud to her own children; of her pleasure in finding books to read to them of which they approved as highly as she did. When her doors were closed by the measles they were yet opened to "Eight [?Cousins]" and other gay and good young company.
To the question whether Miss Alcott's books would live, Mrs. Miller answered: "Only time will show." But she asked if it is not much to have given true and wide spread pleasure--to have been dear to two generations in this world?
Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] next gave us an original poem called A Blessed Vision. It was founded on the love story in the life of the poet Whittier. She read to us first his little poem "In School Days" telling of the school boy, and of the school girl who was sorry she spelt a word and [?went above] him,
[?-illegible] her little heart had learned to love him. Mrs. Graham told us that the fact remains that he was true to her memory, that he was engaged to the same girl, who died when she was nineteen, and he was never engaged again.
Mrs. Graham's poems told of the poet dying when the lesson he had learned, and the laurels he had earned seemed to crown his life, and pure lilies and victorious palms seemed to hover over him. Then perhaps a blessed spirit who had only stood with the good in the world came to him, whose words had been lamps to those here below, came that they too might hand in hand enter into peace and joy.
Mrs. Graham told us that she had dedicated her poem to her friend Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace].
Some announcements were made with regard to the next meeting. It was proposed and agreed that the announcements of the programmes of the future meetings should be posted on the door of our assembly rooms.
We then had the pleasure of receiving a letter from our former President, Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull], to her dear friends, the President and members of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore.
It was written from York, England, and sent to and read by the Recording Secretary. Mrs. Turnbull sends the love and greeting to us as we must on the first Tuesday of October. She tells us that her interest in the antiquity of
the quaint old city of York cannot dim her vivid interest in her dear Club. She congratulates us upon the promise of careful and serious work of which whispers have reached her, upon the re-opening of our pleasant interviews, and upon the high standards we are all striving to maintain. She expresses her pleasure in knowing that in our President we have a Leader as faithful as she is able, and praying for us all a restful and inspiring year.
She tells us that her windows look out upon the grandest and perhaps the most satisfying Cathedral in England, and upon the curious old city walls.
After speaking of the beauty and antiquity which surrounds her she tells us she would have preferred to write from Edinburgh, which adds to the beauty of art and nature, and historic associations, the classical and intellectual charm that has given it the name of Modern Athens. She wishes our [?practical] makers of cities with their passion for straight lines could be won by the rare picturesqueness of Edinburgh, which climbs the hillsides and bridges the chasms unconscious of any sin against propriety.
She wished for all of us there, especially for the Fiction Class, before the monument of the prince of story tellers. She described many lovely and interesting scenes, with their associations of song and story.
But the reverse of the picture is in the noisome [?closes] or alleys, of which she
says [?if] they are treasure ground to the historian, should be retained as historic alone and their inhabitants given clean homes in the [?smiling] country that almost touches them,--all of which she thinks would have interest for our class in Economies.
She spoke of the monuments and literature commemorations the great men and great deeds belonging to Edinburgh; and thinks that we might do a great deal in our own city of Baltimore, and for our country, and make our successors mentally greatly richer for our labors.
She speaks of the Lake Country where she wished for the Artist and poets of our Club, and for all of us who are artists and poets at heart, to see the homes and haunts of many who seem to us like friends and acquaintances. She speaks of Wordsworth's cottage, which from her account seems yet to show evidence of his "plain living and high thinking."
Also of the near by grave of Miss Clough, first principal of Newham College, in whom she felt "a personal interest."
Mrs. Turnbull sends her love to each member of the Club and her hope for our happiness and profit during the coming year, hoping that each one will accept this as an individual letter, and if the spirit should move any of us to send her a line telling of our own welfare, our work or Club news, it would be most gladly
welcomed. Her permanent address while abroad is Brown Shipley and Co. Bankers, London, England. The rest of our evening was spent in social [?converse] and mental and physical refreshment.
87th Regular Meeting.
October 10th, 1893.
The 87th Regular meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, October 10th, 1893.In the absence of the President, Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton], a Vice President presided, and called the meeting to order
The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting on October 3rd.
The first article on the programme was an unpublished story by our former fellow member, the late Mrs. Mary Spear Tiernan, which her relatives think was finished a short time before her death. The manuscript was read by Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord], who told us that as it was a 16 chapter novel, it had been necessary to leave out as much as possible, without spoiling the story. Four chapters she had left at home and would endeavor to condense the rest. The latter part of it was said to have been written in Mrs. Tiernan's last illness. The story was entitled "Circumstances."
The first chapter was called "Mischief." The [?first] scene was laid in Central Park, New York City.
The characters introduced were two infants (two begin with the most important), two [?excessively] Hibernian specimens of the class borne in cap
and apron, and two boys of the type described by Sir Walter Scott "the self-willed imp"--"half a plague and half a jest." The nurses discover that they came over in the same ship from Ireland, but before they have time for further personal communications the advent of a military procession--of course engages all their attention for a few moments. Of this the [?elfish] boys take advantage to exchange the children putting Ma's charge "the by"--into the carriage of Bridget's charge--"the gurrul" and they converse. Then after carefully shading the children's faces, they call the attention of the nurses['] minds to a few drops of rain beginning to fall, and hurry their victims homewards.
Another slight circumstance, the crossing of a street for no special reason, causes a gentleman, at the beginning of the showers to go into a restaurant unknown to him; there to fall into temptation which doth so easily beset him. He is drawn into a drunken fight, in which he kills a man, a stranger to him.
In the shock of the event to which the whole more or less drunken crowd, he manages to escape, leaving the rememberance [remembrance] of his face with only one of the number of frightened witnesses. He goes home to hasten by 12 hours an already arranged trip to Europe. His invalid wife overcome by this culmination of anxieties, is carried on the ship, the same night, having just before her husband's terrible home coming told by Bridget that her one baby girl has come in
from its airing asleep, and it would be a pity to make her. Bridget having discovered the exchange has been praying for a miracle to save her from ill consequences, and the prayer seems to have been answered, for she manages to escape to the shore again after carrying the child on board the ship.
When the sick mother regains consciousness and strength, she is told that her little girl has died, and been buried in the sea, and later, that her husband had taken a fancy to a little waif of a boy on the ship.
The other nurse takes her substituted child to the boy's nursery, lands it in the cradle, and escapes also.
Then the boy's father advertises, employs detectives and at last starts off to travel in search of his only child, having committed the little girl to the care of the good sisters in a convent.
That the guilty husband died, the remaining principal characters meet each other in Switzerland, the father saves his son's life as that of a little acquaintance only, that the would be avenger of the homicide has to give up his appearance, that the living parents of the two changelings fall in love with each other, and recover the children belonging to each and to both of them, that one of the [?changers], grown up and duly repentant finds himself at last forgiven, is all [?solved] gracefully, and with those little turns and expressions, and side sentiments--true and humorous--with
which Mrs. Tiernan was accustomed to please and entertain us in her books and in her conversation, and in the little speeches we liked much to listen to from her in the early days of our Club.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. Edmund Jenkins [Mrs. Edmund Plowden Jenkins], and was on "Cultivating Taste for the True Ideal in Works of Fiction." She spoke of Idealism and of Realism, and of the true and the false distinctions that have been made between them, of the ideas of love and beauty that may be found in apparently commonplace lives. She quoted from Thomas Carlyle his severe criticism of the wretched novels that are written, and of the wretched girls who read them, and think that they can write such works also.
The mother in such novels, is either a whining simpleton or a schemer, the future husband a prince, charming with oriental splendor, or representing blackest crime.
We were reminded of Aristotle's ideas of painting men as men--faithfully but painting them fairer than they are.
We were told of two pictures, one of a coarse girl, and the other of a voluptuous woman, both ugly whether life-like or not. That some things seemed to be called ideal, because unnatural.
Also of the reaction into Realism. But the true writer selects the best of all that is before him. The parting of the lovers in Schiller's Don Carlos was recalled to us which leaves
the reader with a sadness, but a desire for good which haunts him ever afterwards.
Mrs. Jenkins spoke of Thackeray, Bulwer, George Elliott [Eliot] and others, who seem to lack successors in the present time.
True Idealism can lift the soul to heaven, and encourage the highest and strongest desire for good on earth. We had been promised on the programme three poems of Sea Songs by Miss Zacharias [Jane Zacharias], called "Coming from Church," "Fisher and Net," and ["]Where Driftwood lies." They were to have been read by the Recording Secretary. But as the poems had not been received, it was impossible to read them. Whether from failure of the mailer, or from some other developement [development] of the total depravity of inanimate things, or some other cause unknown, the poems had to be given up, for this meeting at any rate.
The meeting adjourned.
October 17th, 1893.
The 88th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, October 17th 1893, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets.
Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton], the second Vice President called the meeting to order, and presided. The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of October 10th which were adopted.
Miss Haughton read a letter from Mrs.
R. W. Latimer [Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer], thanking the Club for her having been made an honorary member, which honor however does not preclude the exercise of her service to the Club, she hoped to work for us still, and would also have soon the pleasure of presenting a book of her own to our library, a companion volume to the one she presented a short time ago. "France in the 19th Century." The former work treats of Russia and Turkey in the same period of time.
This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann], chairman of the Committee on Current Criticism.
The first article on the Programme was by Miss Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese] and was on "Short Stories." She spoke of some of the scotch stories of Barrie, and gave us very charming extracts from them. One illustrated the ordinary mean's fear of his wife's displeasure. One told of the Scotchman who became a humorist in a [?ship]yard, another of the one who witnessed his own funeral and came back to read the inscription on his own tombstone, also of the one who was too arrogant to be superstitious.
Miss Reese then spoke of the stories of Henry James. She wished that he would put more flesh and blood into them, and not continue to give us the same succession of myths, that he would only be definite. If he were not so artistic we might perhaps call him dull.
Miss Reese next spoke of the Irish Idylls by Jane Barlow. She told of the people
of that part of Ireland of which we hear little except in regard to famine and evictions; and yet this book about the bogs of Connemara--where hunger, rainy weather, hard work and hard winter seem to take the heart out of existence--has something to tell us about the Celt we never heard before.
She told of the widow who received a whole five dollars from her friends in America, and set out to spend it; returning with tea for one, sugar for another, tobacco for another, and so on through her poor friends; and with a little salt for herself. If the one too many of a poor family, and of the peacemakers of a village, whose death caused her neighbors to wish that they "might slip off as airy please God."
The demand for bread still leaves room for a love story, and even for a glimpse of paradise.
Our next article was by Mrs. Thomas Morris, and was on "The Heavenly Twins." She showed us a picture of the writer of the book, Mrs. Grand. She did not particularly commend the style of the writing, but thought the book was written with a purpose, and its author greatly in earnest.
The twins, who are--according to their own account not signs of the zodiac, but signs of the times, are very bright and [?witty], but Mrs. Morris said, such twins as she would be thankful not to meet with her own life. That they give the name
to Mrs. Grand's book; otherwise she might have been at a loss for a name to give it.
Mrs. Morris spoke of a review of this book by Boyesen in the Cosmopolitan for October--in which he speaks of it as a study of the Psychology of marriage. To the review she took exception in some points, especially to his speaking of the "unwifely attitude" of the heroine as having accelerated her husband's moral deterioration. This view she thought unfair, but as old as Adam and the garden of Eden. "The woman that Thou gavest me, she tempted me" etc.
We were given a review of the story to show that the so called "unwifely attitude" was accepted and desired by the husband to make life bearable if not happy to both of them. "His mental deterioration, begun before marriage, was she thought on the lines of his own want of fine and noble qualities. The ending of the book seems to awaken many questions. That after her husband's death, the awakening of [?Evadore's] love, not by passion's touch, but in the realization of her own high ideals is depicted with a light and graceful hand; if it is not life it is a possibility, at least.
Mrs. Morris spoke of Maarten Maarten's work "An Old Maid's Love," but he, she said, saves his heroine from marrying the man whose moral deterioration and its progress she discovers in time to prevent such a fate. She spoke of George Elliott [Eliot];--and then some
of the problems in Psychology in Heredity, and in other branches of scientific research which are deeply interesting to all of us.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. Francis Dammann, and was called "Memories and a Literary Squabble." Mrs. Dammann spoke of biographies and of autobiographies, and of some of them as of special interest. We were given comment upon and extracts from The Life of Sir Richard Burton by his wife; beginning with the dedication or consecration of the book by the wife to the husband, to "her earthly master in life" into which ["]both of their lives were fused"--telling him to wait for her, ["]for the time will not be long."
Lady Burton seems to think aloud in this book; which is in some respects a vindication as well as a biography, for she thinks that her husband was not treated rightly by the English government. It is a book with whose faults the critics are disposed to deal gently. That the history is fascinating, however told, we were willing to believe, from the extracts read to us.
We were reminded of Captain Burton's journey to Mecca in disguise, of his adventure in [?Abyssiania], in the Crimea, among the Mormons, in Central Africa, and of the fevers in which he saw the dark green [?water] across the [?world], that no man knows yawning before him. Also of his admiration for General Gordon
whom he thought unsupported by his government at home. That Lady Burton tells of her husband's knowledge of 29 languages and never mixing them, his contributions to geography, ethnology and kindred sciences, his power to make friends everywhere, his literary work, especially his translation of the Original Arabian Nights, which caused much discussion, but also profit.
We were told of his peculiarities, the love of old clothes and tables, his horror of honey like that some people have of cats, his love of the color red and the metal silver, his lack of religion which did not involve a lack of superstition, and his oriental or gypsy aspect and nature.
The early love story of this afterwards devoted couple gave us another view of both of them. He taught his wife to adopt his brave almost savage mode of life, which having no children she was able to do, and although she was a strict Catholic and he an Agnostic, she seems to have given him all the hero-worship of her nature.
Mrs. Dammann then went on to tell us of the autobiography of William Bell Scott, which has made some sensation in the literary world. Mr. Swinburne has taken reception to some of the accounts of himself, and says that if biographies have given a new terror to death, autobiographies have given a new terror to life, and this, notwithstanding he is here called the greatest rhythmic genius
in England. Others have also taken exception to Mr. Scott's statements largely, and his editor has made efforts to explain and soften them.
Mrs. Dammann gave us extracts from these reminiscences and letters which extend from 1811 to 1890, relating to people not only distinguished but interesting. There were incidents connected with artists like the [?Rosetti's] and Holman Hunt and others.
A letter of Holman Hunt describes his earliest suggestion of his picture The Light of the World, and its growth and completion with artistic affection, and enthusiasm.
Mrs. Damman thought that for this description of the lofty purpose of Holman Hunt, in what Ruskin calls his great poetical picture of The Light of the World, we were greatly indebted to the Autobiography of William Bell Scott.
The entertaining programme of the meeting being finished, the articles for the next meeting were announced, and the meeting adjourned.
October 24th, 1893.
The 89th regular meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, October 24th 1893, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets.
The President, Mrs. Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], was in the chair. The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of October 17th. The President read a letter from our fellow member, Miss Szold [Henrietta Szold], resigning her position
as a member of the Executive Committee, on account of business engagements, which will oblige her to spend part of her time in Philadelphia. The President also announced that Professor Edward Graham Daves had sent to the Club an article of his own on Sir Walter Raleigh's settlement at Roanoke Island, in North America. Also giving the latest discoveries with regard to that very interesting colony.
Miss Brent also announced the names of the Memorial Committee, who have in charge the decoration of the graves of Maryland authors and artists on All Soul's Day. This Committee have power to fill vacancies or to make additions to their number. Mention was also made of the proposal to have given in some of our meeting, interesting accounts of Woman's Work in connection with the World's Fair at Chicago.
The President then announced that the business of Amendments to the Constitution, deferred from last Spring, is now to come before the Club. A few resolutions adopted by the Board of Management in order to facilitate the proposed work of Revision and Amendment of the Constitution were read to the Club, and proposed to be read again at the meeting of October 31st which shall be a business meeting. It was requested that to this meeting no visitors should be invited.
It was understood that we were about to have the pleasure of a visit from Miss Marlowe, the actress, and that she would read a paper of her own before the Club. This meeting was under
the direction of Miss Bennett [Sarah H. Bennett], the chairman of the Committee on Fiction.
The first article of our Programme, was by Mrs. Percy M. Reese [Elizabeth Reese], and was a story called “A Mother’s Temptation.” She painted the mature, still handsome mother, and her only son-- the pride and glory of her life. While her son is at College, and she is lonesome, the Mother has sent for Margaret Vance, the daughter of a clergyman—rich only in daughters-- to make her a long visit. Margaret enjoys the elegant environment of her friend, almost as much as the company of her friend herself. But the son comes home, and Margaret, who might appear to the Mother only a pretty rural daisy, is to the son a most exquisite rose. Nor can the unworldly girl of nineteen see many things that are plain to the eyes of the woman of fifty seven. At the first intimation of her son’s love for Margaret, the Mother explains that she has far higher, more ambitious views for him. He answers that these are the first unworthy words, he has ever heard from his Mother. The Mother then tells her guest Margaret, that she feels that she has been very selfish-- in keeping her with her so long, that she discerned in her father’s last letter, a great great desire for his eldest daughter’s presence, that she would telegraph to him to meet his child at the station that evening. Meanwhile the maid can pack her trunks for her and the carrige [carriage] will be ready for her at the proper time.
Margaret declines the services of the maid, but prepares herself to leave, and goes out to bid
good by to her dumb friends, the dogs. Of course she meets her lover, and both of them become silently conscious of their love, and of the obstacles in their way.
Meanwhile the Mother, left to herself, fights her battle with the temptation-- confronting her,-- and conquers it.
Margaret returns to the house, to find that the telegraphic dispatch has not been sent, the carriage has not been ordered, her friend will not consent to the proposed departure. Perfect love has cast out-- not fear this time, but-- pride and ambition. For love will still be lord of all.
Miss Marlowe now came in, accompanied by her friend Mrs Wordward [Woodward?], they were requested to sit near the President, who announced that Miss Marlow would read to us later in the evening.
The next article on our programme, was a story written and read by Miss Cloud [Virginia Woodward Cloud]. It began with an afternoon tea, at which by one table was seated a lady of fifty, in black satin and very old and very real lace, evidently one of the very self[-]respecting nobility of the Kingdom of Philistia. She greets with enthusiasm, a tall[,] very handsome, very concentrated young woman, whose Greek outlines and pure coloring might perhaps recall to one student of human nature centuries of civilization, to another the fresh young gleaner of ripened grain, unspoiled by our old[-]worldliness.
The elder lady is “so glad” that Mrs. Harwood has asked the younger one to assist at the tea.”
She is always on the look out for celebrities, and is evidently the right person to have now. She says she is glad that her companion does not respond to the being called an artist with the usual remark "Yes I paint a little." Yet she afterwards shrinks from hearing the young artist speak of her "work--as if it were a ["]labor"--adding "Now don't grow strong minded and anti-matrimonial;--the men hate it, as if that were conclusive in the matter.
She quotes largely from her friend General Knox, minister to some unpronouncable place; among other things his opinion that a little woman could rule the world, given for the benefit of an unfortunately large one. The small talk of Philistia becomes bright and entertaining, and the Psyche who quietly listens is rather pleased to hear it, with her eye occasionally resting on a small gold ring she wears. Presently the Philistine lady begins to tell of a certain Jack Sherrod, "an artist too, in his way, but artists professionally and socially are different beings, you know." Jack she says is a merciless flirt, and of one of his love affairs last summer at the sea shore they say he really was engaged to her, but he cant marry her, she was just any lady, you know, but they say she was superb looking." He is, she says engaged to a great heiress now, and we would not have courage to break that engagement.
While she is talking on in this way, the ring is loosened from the Psyche's finger;--her companion says she is pale and prescribes a cup
of tea, but does not wish her to sit down--as "she looks so much better standing." Then she tells her--There is the heiress now going up to speak to the hostess. The ring falls, and rolls unnoticed on to the feet of the new-comer--the heiress. A heavy curtain behind the two who have been talking is suddenly and silently parted, and when the lady of Philistia turns from her own inspection of the heiress, the curtain has fallen between her and the other woman.
Miss Marlowe then rose to read to us. She said that she had been unable to give us a specially written article, and could only present the one she had already read at Chicago, and she hoped that any of the Club who may have heard it there, would be able to hear it again.
It was on Woman's Place in the Drama. She spoke of the History of Dramatic Art especially with regard to the struggle of men, and still more the struggle of women who were on the stage to gain the recognition and the position which is their due; also of the beneficial influence of women here as elsewhere.
As we know, the parts of the women of Shakespeare were at first taken by men. She told of a play given before Charles the Second, when a long delay in beginnings was explained by the announcement that the Queen was not yet shaved.
Miss Marlowe spoke of the prejudice against such an innovation as the presence of women on the stage, late in the 17th Century, of how
Prynne called actresses monsters, and how some of those who saw their first efforts in this line only hoped they would never try the same thing again.
But the truth and beauty of Shakespeare's women would certainly seem to suggest that Desdemona and Juliet and others could be best personated by women. Once begun, the custom grew rapidly, and actresses soon gained recognition and respect. She recalled to us the women who first won distinction on the stage, also the great actresses of later times. She spoke of Mrs. Betterton who trained on "carriage and utterance" the Lady Mary, and the Lady Anne, who were both afterwards Queens of England; and both are recorded as having learned from her to pronounce answers to addresses or speeches from the throne, distinctly, clearly and with grace of enunciation.
The reverence for genius and the recognition of the dignity of Woman's Work, has advanced truly since the early days of the modern Drama. But it is not many generations ago, since the young Rachel pawned her umbrella for twenty [?sons] to buy a copy of Racine.
Mrs. Marlowe spoke of Mrs. Landon and of her self-sacrificing work in the hospitals during the war, as well as of her work on the stage. We were told how Laura Keene once just before a performance became dissatisfied with the costumes of some of her company and determined to improve them; which she did with a brush and a bucket of black paint, and then said "There, keep apart, don't sit
down, don't brush against the ladies," and ran off to dress for the part she herself was to take.
Miss Marlowe said that "in Literature, women had not yet won the acknowledgement of creative genius,--nor in music and some other arts. But in Dramatic Art, she stands absolutely side by side with man. Here her emotional and sensitive nature is eminently fitted for success. And her efforts to raise the standard of the stage, and to dignify its intellectual and educational importance have not been in vain. And, what helps to elevate the position of woman in one department, ought to help raise her position in all things. It has been said of the stage in the present day, "Enter boldly, here too there are Gods."
We had been promised an article by Miss Perot [Annie S. Perot], but as she could not give it to us this afternoon, Miss Bennet had consented to give us a story of her own, called "A Prodigal Friend." She painted for us a frozen landscape, with a village surrounding some mills, and consisting chiefly of the homes of the mill workers. It is Christmas Eve, and a working woman near her own door is accosted by the young minister, who speaks of the half time for work in the mills on that day. The woman says, "It is no odds to me," and seems not much disposed to conversation. The minister with some embarrassment, speaks of the duty of forgiveness and charity even for those who have injured us, in the name of the Babe of Bethlehem. But his words seem to make but little impression on Martha. When later, she is at her own lonely fireside, a neighbor comes in and asks her if she
has heard the news that [?Van Snell] has come back to the village, where she ought to be ashamed to show her face, and if she were Martha, she would go and give her a piece of his mind--give her what she deserves. Then the second woman comments on Martha's preparation for her Christmas dinner, and on the fact that she herself with seven head of children, can not afford a turkey, but will have a roast of beef if she has to borrow a pan to cook it in. She proceeds to borrow the pan from Martha, and leaves with the advice to go and give Van Snell the tongue lashing she deserves. When she has gone, Martha goes to an old sugar bowl, and takes out a paper. It is her marriage certificate. The neighbor did not know that it was her husband, not her lover whom Van Snell had run away with.
Secret marriages were not favored by employers, but were practiced by the employed. Martha takes the paper, goes out, fastens the door behind her, and walks off through the snow. She comes to a little house where a light is shining, and looks in at the window. Van Snell is there, and what she had not expected to see, a little child lying there, beautiful, playful, unconscious of harm. Martha goes in, and Van Snell, surprised, almost overcome, finds courage to protest that she is an honest woman, that she was married and has papers to prove it.
Martha in the presence of the child cannot answer as she might have done,--some feeling of the Great Birthday is upon her, and the other woman breaks down and begs for pardon, saying that she cannot ask God's forgiveness unless Martha
has given her hers. Then Martha insists that the fire must be made up, and sends the young mother out for wood. When she has gone, Martha draws out her own precious paper, looks at it, and says "What difference does it make after all?" She quickly takes up the child, and brings it to the fireplace,--puts the paper into the unconscious baby fingers,--holds them out, and says "Drop it, drop it!" It falls upon the embers, shrivels up, burns, and falls into ashes. And the light shines out on the snow, and the rooms seem glorified by a Vision.
We expected to have an article by Miss Haughton, but she insisted on withdrawing it that full time might be given for introducing the members of the Club and their friends to the guests of the meeting.
A motion to thank Miss Marlowe for her beautifully written and beautifully read address was made by Miss Crane [Lydia Crane], and seconded by Miss Haughton, and carried by acclamation. Some time was passed in special introductions to Miss Marlowe, and Mrs. Woodward, and in pleasant conversation with them.
The meeting then informally adjourned.
Business Meeting and 27th Salon.
October 31st 1890 [1893?].
The 27th Salon of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, October 31st, 1890 [1893?], at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. The President, Mrs.
Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent] called the meeting to order and announced that the afternoon had been assigned to business,--the business of considering the Amending of our Constitution, of which we had been notified at the meeting of October 24th. She reminded us that no other business was in order.
Mrs. Griffin [Rebecca Griffin] then rose to make a motion. She spoke of the general desire to improve our Constitution, and to give every member a fair chance to be heard in reference to this work. She had named a Committee to consider this question, taken partly from the Board of Management, and partly from the general ranks of the Club. She read her proposition as follows, "I rise to make a motion. That the Constitution of this Club be revised; and the following Committee be appointed to present the revision to this Board to be voted upon. I name
Mrs. Mary Wilcox Brown
Miss Edith Duer
Mrs. W. N. Percy
Miss Bennett [Sarah H. Bennett]
Miss King [Elizabeth T. King]
Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton]
Some verbal changes were suggested to Mrs. Griffin, and accepted by her. Miss Haughton said that the word revision was of much more sweeping signification than the word "amendment." As finally presented, Mrs. Griffin's proposition read: "I rise to make a motion. That the Constitution of the Club be amended, and that the following Committee be appointed to present the amendments to this Club to be voted upon. I name:--followed by the seven names as before.
Some discussion followed: and the resolutions
passed by the Board of Management. "On the Amendment of the Constitution" were brought forward.
But it was claimed that Mrs. Griffin's motion had now [?not sure of word"; and the claim was admitted. Comments were made by Mrs. Johnson [Mrs. W. Woolsey Johnson], Miss Haughton, Miss [Duer,] Mrs. Percy, Mrs. Brent and others. It was proposed to divide Mrs. Griffith's motion making the first part the amending of the Constitution; and the second part the appointment of the Committee on Amendments. The decision was made. Mrs. Percy requested to come to the platform, and assist the President in the voting which was to follow. She at first declined, but afterwards consented to do so.
A request was made that where difference of opinion had arisen, a representative woman on each side of the question on hand should give us some information with regard to it. Miss Brown [Mary Wilcox Brown] then spoke on extending and widening the work of the Club. Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord] and Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock] spoke on points of amendment. Mrs. Morris, Miss Grace, and Miss Haughton spoke also. Mrs. [Duer] and Miss Hoffman [Fanny Hoffman] spoke of a general desire for all--not excluding the board of Management, of course--to take part in the proposed work of amendment. Mrs. Johnson spoke of amendment with regard to the conduct of elections, which probably all of us think necessary, also considering the admission of new members.
She said there were a few minor points which it would be well to consider. A general discussion followed. The first part of Mrs. Griffin's motion was voted upon and passed. The motion "that a Committee should be appointed to review suggestions
for amendments and to consider and formulate them,["] was also passed, the resolution of the Board of Management that proposed amendments suggestions and objections should be sent to the Committee in typewriting before the 10th of December was announced.
Objection was expressed to making typewriting obligatory. Miss Cloud afterwards generously offered to put the proposals of the members into typewriting for them.
The resolution of the Board that a printed copy of the proposed amendments shall be sent by the Committee to every member for her consideration, before the final meeting for voting upon them was also announced; as well as the time of a final vote on all the Amendments proposed, expected to be six weeks from the present meeting.
It was announced that Mrs. Bennett [Sarah H. Bennett] had been elected a member of the Board of Management in place of Miss Szold, who had resigned that position.
After much discussion by Mrs. Morris, Miss Duer, Mrs. Hoffman, Mrs. Graham [Elizabetht Turner Graham], Mrs. Griffin [Rebecca Griffin], Mrs. Haman [Louise C. Haman], Mrs. Lord, Mrs. Carter [Florence Carter], Mrs. Percy, Mrs. Ridgely [Eliza Ridgely] and other members, the question was called for on Mrs. Griffin's nominations for the Committee on Amendments. Miss Brent and Miss Haughton positively declined serving on this Committee. Several members were proposed who also declined.
Finally Mrs. Manly [Lily Tyson Manly Elliott] was nominated in place of Miss Haughton, and Mrs. Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall] in place of Miss Brent. The Committee was elected by
a spoken and standing vote, counted by Mrs. Percy. The first nomination was that of Miss Brown [Mary Wilcox Brown], who received thirty four--34--affirmative voted, to eight--8--negative ones.
The second name was that of Miss Duer, who received twenty nine--29--affirmative, to thirteen--13--negative votes. The third name was that of Mrs. Percy, who was almost unanimously elected. The fourth name was that of Miss Bennett, who was elected with no apparent opposition. The fifth name was that of Miss King, who received twenty five--25--affirmative, to sixteen--16--negative votes. Mrs. Manly and Mrs. Wrenshall were elected with no apparent opposition.
The Committee on Amendments then stood: Miss Brown, Chairman; Miss Duesr; Mrs. Percy; Mrs. Bennett; Miss King; Mrs. Manly; and Mrs. Wrenshall.
After the business meeting adjourned, the rest of the afternoon was spent in conversation--and refreshment.
Note. The Secretary's Minutes of this meeting read and adopted at the succeeding meeting of November 7th, were borrowed by several members; and unfortunately mislaid by "some one." After a long delay, the Secretary has been obliged to re-write her report from the original notes, which were hasty and [?attenuated], but as accurate as she could make them of such a confused meeting.
The 90th Meeting [November 7th, 1893]
The 90th meeting of the Women’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, November 7th 1893, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets.
The president called the meeting to order; and the Reading Secretary read the minutes of the meeting on Oct. 31st.
Miss Cloud [Virginia Woodward Cloud] made a request that that all members who intend to send proposed amendments or objections to the Constitution to her to be type-written, would do so as soon as convenient, that they may be in good time for their consideration the week before the final reading of the Amendment to the Club.
The President announced that the present meeting was denoted to talks on the World’s Fair; but that before that subject was taken up, we were to have Mrs. Atkinson’s [Mrs. Robert Atkinson] report of the work of the “Committee on the Decoration of the Graves of the Authors and Artists of Maryland”-- on All Soul’s Day.
Mrs. Atkinson then spoke of the appropriateness of commemorating in every way the discovery of New World, and especially of commemorating its progress and attainments in all that is great and noble. She reminded us that the Greeks in commemorating the achievements of their successful citizens, of their statesmen and warrior and philosopher, that not we forget their artists and authors; that Phidias and Sappho were honored; and are honored still. She gave thanks for the co-operation given to her Committee both in and outside of the Club. She spoke of the floral offerings
laid on the grave of Edgar Allen Poe, of Rinehart, of Sidney Lanier, of Mrs. Almira Lincoln Phelps, of John P Kennedy, of Mrs. Anne [unsure of last names] and others,-- and especially on that of our former member, Mrs. Mary Spencer [Spear] Tiernan. Also of the star of flowers sent to be placed on the grave of Francis Scott Key, author of our national hymn, “The Star Spangled Banner”. A letter was read expressing the appreciation of Mr. Key’s family for this grateful recognition of our own patriotic poet. Also a letter from Madame Rabillon conveying her thanks that her husband’s grave remembered likewise, which was all the more pleasing-- as she was an adopted citizen of the state whose daughters have wished to honor him. A note of thanks was given to Mrs. Atkinson who gracefully requested that it should be transferred to her colleagues, and to the ladies who had given flowers, and the use of their carriages to her Committee.
Some books relating to the World’s Fair were presented to the Club, by Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent] and Miss Middleton [Maria H. Middleton]. The first article on the Programme was by Mrs. Lord, and was called: “Fugitive Impressions of the World’s Fair”. She began by speaking of the beautiful White City, on the lovely blue water that has charmed the sight of the multitudes of our contemporaries. She went on to speak of the separate buildings and exhibitions, but chiefly devoted her attention to the Palace of Art,-- the temple of many votaries and devotions. She described vividly the paintings and sculptures of the various nations; coming at
last to our own American artists, not forgetting the Baltimorean, Bolton Jones and his brother, and others who have been known among us. She spoke with lively appreciation of the statue of Charles Dickens looking down at Little Nell,-- his lovely creation. Mrs. Lord then spoke of the achievements and possibilities of American Art and Culture, and the past and the future of our nation.
The next article of the programme was by Miss Mabel Carter, and was on “Porcelain & Pottery at the World’s Fair[.]” She spoke of the desire of everyone at the Great Exposition to see what especially interests him or her,-- especially her, we can well imagine,-- and of the fortunate woman who can find another one like minded with her-self, in pursuing her own designs and devices. We were entertained with accounts of the riches of the artistic porcelain of Sevres, Limoges, Meissen, Dresden, and of many other as well known and less known localities. We were told of the part taken by women in the nineteenth century evolution of the ancient art of Ceramics, and we could well understand Miss Carter’s appreciation of the unparalleled exhibition brought before us.
The next article on the programme was by Miss Middleton, and was called “Ten days at the World’s Fair[.]” She spoke of the impression made upon her by her journey to Chicago,-- of the scenery we meet, and of the distance over which we travel, in our own country;-- and perhaps sometimes fail to fully appreciate them. She recalled also the sayings of Mrs. Pullman, that it pays to give people
comfort in travelling. She thought the first view of the Fair might give one a feeling, something like disappointment,-- perhaps before one can really take it into his consciousness. She spoke of the wonders shown, not alone from foreign countries, but in our State Buildings, particularly in those of the West, and more particularly of those of the very far West,-- in their agricultural, mineral, industrial, and natural displays. Nor did she forget the remarkable things in the older State Buildings of the North and the South-- the Massachusetts one, containing the silver watch of Captain Miles Standish, the cradle that had rocked five generations of Adamses-- including two Presidents-- down to the photographs of Bishop Brooks;-- that of Connecticut with relics of the Charter Oak; that of Louisiana with much to please, and with old china and plate for sale,-- and others, with things of as great or greater interest. From very modern things such as railway and electric exhibitions, she went back to three relics of Columbus, and reproductions relating to his first voyage across the unknown ocean that are of never failing interest.
She spoke of the Woman’s building, and then of the Congress of Religions, that first great meeting together of Christians, Israelites, Mohammedans, Parsees [Farsis] and Buddhists, to render to each other the reasons for the faith that is in them. Miss Middleton went on to speak of the hope & courage we feel in seeing the progress and results of the Industry, and Art and Culture and Religion of the World in the nineteenth century,
and of the triumphs of the mind of man, and of our sense and steadfast hope for the future of our race, the “trust that somehow good will be the final goal of ill,-- that good shall fall at last-- far off-- at last to all[.]”
The last article on the programme was by Mrs. Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock], and was called “From Another Country.” She described a young artist at the World’s Fair, who has given himself up to the full enjoyment of the beauty and glamour of his surroundings. But he is recalled from his blissful dreaming, by the sudden, sweet waining [waning?] voice and message of what seems to be a lovely modern living maiden, and also seems to be one of the creations of classic Art, one who has just stepped out of some old Roman or Greek vitorious achievement of man’s genius. Her words bring the artist back-- perhaps to his first love, the beauty and grace and power of the art that was born when the world was young, and can never itself grow old. Perhaps he is only mocked by a degenerate survival of the classic age, who does not know how to appreciate the goodness and glory of the modern times. Perhaps his dreaming mood has dulled his consciousness. So thinks the first friend he meets after the fair vision has vanished from his lids. His friend listens to his story of the lovely Roman girl, Roman, he is sure, though she only said she was “from another country[,]” who came and stood beside him, and talked to him and suddenly disappeared, leaving him thoroughly dissatisfied with what before had delighted
him. The friend listens, thinks him “physically run down,” and leads him off to a restaurant.
A portion of the programme for November 14th was then announced, and the meeting adjourned.
The 91st Meeting [November 14th, 1893]
The 91st meeting of the Woman's Literary Club was held on Tuesday, November 14th 1893 at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets.
The President called the meeting to order, and read read [sic] two special notices. The first was that the members of the club who desire to propose amendments to the Constitution can send such amendments to Miss Brown, chairman of the special Committee appointed to receive and consider such amendments,-- type-written, and before Saturday morning, November the 18th.
The second notice announced that our evenings for special meetings or Salons, should be given in future to the discussion of literary topics of interest to all of us. The President spoke of the writings of Charles Dudley Warner, and of those of some other writers if our own language, as presenting subjects that suggest discussion and comment. She said also that the literature progress and comparative development of other nations, may give us something for consideration and enquiry with pleasure and profit.
The Reading Secretary then read that Minutes of the meeting of November the 7th. This meeting of November 14th was under the direction of Mrs.
Mary Grace [Mary F. Grace], Chairman of the Committee on Translations.
The first article on our programme was given by Mrs. Latimer [Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer], who read to us her own translation of a poem by Francois Coppee called "Shipwrecked." It is unnecessary to speak of Mrs. Latimer's success in translation. She spoke of a certain jerkiness perhaps observable in her version, which was a peculiarity of the original poem, and generally of this author's writings. The poem brought before us the old sailor, rough of mien, who had been wounded long ago in the fight in Navarino Bay, telling his sea-tales of sixty years past. Of how he, a ship-boy, cuffed and kicked all the time, had one friend,-- God sent him only one,-- a dog, a far nobler creature than any of the other shipmates around him. Of how he had been shipwrecked, and gone down in the waves, and had been rescued by his dumb friend. How they two alone had floated in an open boat, under the burning sun, three days without food or water. How the third day, the dog crouched down with a strange stare, his great eyes appealing for help,-- and sprang snapping at him. His one friend was a mad wild beast- and life is dear to us all.
He was rescued, fainting, knife in hand, all covered with the dog's blood. He says that "War is War," he has killed men, scores of them;-- he does not dream of them; but he does dream of the dog.
The next article on the programme was a translation from the German, by Mrs. Volck [Annie C. Volck] of an essay by Professor Rümelin. Miss Volck told us that some students of German literature, would no doubt disagree with the opinion expressed by the
writer of the article she was about to read in the place he assigns to Lessing among German authors. The essay began by speaking of the tendency of the critic of every department of letters and art, to construct a triumvirate, having two great authors, thinkers, philosophers or eminent men of any sort, they straightway find it necessary to place a third on the same plane with them,-- alike to be revered. Many attempts have been made in Germany to find a third great genius to stand with Goethe and Schiller. Public opinion differed much on the subject. In his youth, Professor Rümelin tells us, he sometimes heard of Goethe, Schiller and Herder-- or Goethe, Schiller and Klopstock. Sometimes Richter or even Heine completed the triangle. Later on, Ludwig Tieck did duty as the third. But, about in the fifties the voice of the majority made out the three great stars to be Goethe, Schiller, and Lessing. And Lessing was not considered the Lepidur[?] of the triumvirate, but was called the peer of the other two. He himself with his love and perception of truth might perhaps have been the first to disclaim such distinction.
Professor Rümelin while dissenting from the wide spread opinions he records, went on to speak of Lessing’s real power, ability and achievements. Also of his appreciation and advocacy of the Jewish race and nature, of his ideas of toleration and of reform, of his life work and his part in that period of “Storm and Stress,” when a fresh new life and spirit seemed to be breathed into German literature. The author spoke of looking at Lessing from two points of view, of judging
him by the historic and by the positive standards. We were told that though this great German may not have attained the highest mark,-- he was many-sided he knew the value of insights,-- he found out how learning and common sense can reach to each other the hand unfiltered and free. We were given in this essay a discriminating and valuable criticism of Lessing’s writings, of his purpose and faith -- in Mrs. Volck’s spirited translation.
The next article on our programme was a dramatic reading by Miss Minor [Fanny Minor], from the French of Legouve. It was called “A King Lear of the Nineteenth Century”. The King Lear of this story is very French, very nineteenth century, and very satisfactory. He will not give his daughter 200 000 francs for her marriage portion, because 100 000 francs is all he feels able to spare. And the tears and affectionate pleadings of wife and daughter do not move him. He insists with wit and good humor that parents ought to be richer than their children. Also that the sufferings of Shakespear’s [Shakespeare’s] King Lear were all his own fault-- that Goneril and Regan were not bad originally, that their father was accountable putting in their way the opportunity and the temptation for ingratitude and filial impiety. The young people marry, and are extravagant enough on the 100 000 francs to justify the refusal of the 200 000. At last the good mother begs that their children may have a larger income. On this the eminently sane modern Lear informs her of the debts of their son-in-law; also the well proportional filial love and economical calculation which is the cause of the indefinite and apparently unlimited
[illeg.] that their daughter and her family are making to them. Still the good father plans a charming dinner for the twenty fifth anniversary of his own wedding day for which his daughter is to have a lovely new deed, and his wife is requested to wear his own dear mother’s diamonds. When this happy occasion arrives, the wife & daughter come to the table in tears, and the diamonds fail to come with them. The wise King Lear then says that he is aware they have been sold for the benefit of their son-in-law, but he calls his family to the table. A cry of joy announces that the mother finds the diamonds under her napkin and the son-in-law finds the 12000 francs for his debts. Our delightful King Lear says only: “Don’t do it again because I could not do it again.”
The next article of the programme was given by Miss Nelson [Jenny Nelson], and was “A translation from the French of Vinet. It began with the assertion that the way of the translator is hard. He finds the world the proverbial step-mother. Fluids seem to be lessened by being poured from one vessel to another; words convey different notions to those who draw different conclusions from them--, the almond eyed Celestial and the Caucasian have not the same angle of vision, the [S- unsure] or the Latin may take ideas by the blunt or the sharp end; there are losses which no labor and skill can prevent. But are we devoid of gains to balance these losses? The article goes on with an apostrophe to the ideal poet. There was, we were told, no poetry in Eden; poetry is creation, unfallen man did not need it. Was the soul enlarged since the fall? Some plants when crushed give out
fragrance, and souls in suffering gave birth to virtue, gave birth to poetry. Art or poetry is the inspiration born not made; whosoever makes poetry is no poet. A poet of Nature’s melody is not for us alone, a poet is for her own joy. Mother Nature sings when we are sleep,-- the ruby rests in the mine, and the pearl in the ocean.
Can we-- we may ask-- translate the full message of music and light and color into our own speech?
The last article of the programme was by Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace], and was “On Translation.” She spoke of the accusation that translating poetry was like decanting Champagne. Then of the liberty sometimes taken by the translator to paraphrase, even to amplify, rather than to burden a so called literal translation with quotes and explanations in the effort to do justice to the author. Sometimes the best translation is a compromise, perhaps what Dryden calls; “not so loose as paraphrase, nor so close as metaphrase[.]” Sometimes we were told that fifty worlds of Greek require one hundred words of English,-- perhaps that Aristophanes may not be an impossibility to an English reader. And that while many ideas are common to man everywhere, we must take into account that authors of other times and other nations have addressed their contemporaries and their compatriots. And how can the force of the [unsure] and temporary acceptation of an author’s words be given by a translator? Can a faithful translator substitute modern expressions for those of an ancient author in the hope of gaining a spirited rendering of his supposed meaning? Miss Grace gave us some
interesting instances of curious translations. She spoke of those versions which are said to make the reader forget that they are translations at all. She quoted [unsure] and Newman, and Coleridge and Goldwin Smith. She said the translator’s first duty is to be faithful. He must give us the manner and method of the writer. Poetry we were reminded is a compound of music and suggestions. Perhaps the suggestion of one word cannot really be substituted for another. But all translation is substitution. We were reminded of the assertion that we need not try to cut our way through the forest, when a good road has been made for us already, and that much has been said for and against the view of the subject, though of course scholarship makes us independent of translations.
Miss Grace spoke too of learned blundering, and also of all that translators can hope to do. Her article took a wide range on a subject on which she was able to tell us much of interest and value.
The announcement was made that the Fiction Class would meet on Friday morning at eleven o’clock in the Committee room, and the meeting adjourned.
92nd Meeting [November 21st, 1893]
The 92nd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, November 21st 1893, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets.
The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting on November 14th. She also read the notice that the Fiction Committee will meet each Wednesday morning at
eleven o’clock at the house of Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord].
The first article on our programme was given by Mrs. Sidney Turner [Clara B. Newman Turner] and was her own “Personal Recollections of Emily Dickinson.” Mrs. Turner was a cousin of Miss Dickinson. She knew well this author whose position in the world of letters is as we know, in many respects, remarkable,-- having been won chiefly since her death, and by the singular force and originality of her poems. We have no doubt most of us read Col. Higginson’s highly appreciated records of Emily Dickinson and her works. But Mrs. Turner brought before us the life and personality of the author, with vivid and affectionate interest and regard. She spoke of the early home life of Emily Dickinson, then of her father, who was a gentleman of the old school; and his daughter acknowledged that she was afraid of him, until they began to understand each other. Then of this woman of rare intellectual qualities, always making the bread at home, because her father liked her bread better than that made by anyone else. Also of her fancy for always dressing in white; and of her idea that there would be something unfeminine in the publication of her works to the world. The of her love of flowers, and of all nature. And of her kindness to little children, and of other womanly qualities, which are certainly none the less valuable for being united to genius and culture.
After telling of Emily Dickinson’s life, Mrs. Turner read her latest poems treating of immortality, and told us of her death, and of her simple and appropriate funeral ceremonies. Having given us new and interesting points of view with regard to the
Authors, Mrs. Turner presented her fellow members of the Club with the Poems of Emily Dickinson. A vote of thanks was rendered for this gift.
The next article on our programme was made up of “Sea Songs” by Miss Zacharias [Jane Zacharias]. They were called “Coming from Church[,]” “Where Drift-wood Lies[,]” and “Fisher and Net.” They told of sea and shore and sky and of the love and devotion in earthly lives, and in the higher life also.
The third article on our programme was by Mrs. William Woolsey Johnson [Mrs. W. Woolsey Johnson], and was on “Some Curious Old Customs.” We were told of some old customs in England, which have come down through the centuries, from the days when few people could read and write; which seemed to become part of the common law, and which still survive. They may seem absurd to us, but they are picturesque, nevertheless. We were reminded that we, in a country which began to be, with laws ready made, may have life now too much on the dead level of the commonplace.
Mrs. Johnson told of the custom called “Beating the Bounds:” -- the perambulations by which the ancient boundaries of parishes are supposed to be defined and preserved. She described the crowd of parish officers, beadles, and children who rush through streets, fields,-- even through houses, armed with willow wands, wherewith they strike walls, trees, etc[.], once a year; without the fear of making themselves ridiculous, or specifically objectionable. Formerly she said it was the rule, during the perambulation, to whack the little children with
the wands, by way of impressing on their minds the exact boundaries of their parishes,-- giving them something to remember them by-- which they, no doubt, in turn, gave to the little children that came after them.
We were entertained with the history of these singular surveys from the days of Edward the Third to the present time. These “gang day processions” as they were called, still rush through building in London, beating unoffending lamp posts and letter boxes, not sparing the revered Bank of England itself.
Mrs. Johnson spoke of the relics of the feudal system still remaining in England. Especially those old rules recognized in the laws and customs relating to the manor lands, held by royal grants in, and before the reign of Edward the First;-- a manor being something which cannot be created at the present time.
Curious customs relating to Church and to forest, and to tenant rights and service well described, of much meaning once, and of much interest now. We were told of the legal fiction of the “Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds[“]:-- which was no fiction in the days when the steward was appointed for the protection of the inhabitants in the vicinity of the Chiltern Hills, which were infested with bandits. But now this nominal office, with an almost nominal salary is the resource of dissatisfied members of Parliment [Parliament], which wish to resign their seats by accepting an office under Government;-- sometimes with the hope of being re-elected on a different “platform.”
When we were told, an Irish Member requests the office of “Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds,[“] it is likely to mean that he is going to desert McCarthy for
Redmond. We remember that Mr. Thackeray makes our old friend Colonel Newcome run for parliment [parliament], for the purpose of defeating his nephew Barnes; but he says beforehand that he will apply for “Chiltern Hundred” as soon as possible after he is elected.
Our programme being concluded, the President spoke of the proposal that had been made, that we shall have on our Salon evenings, discussions on interesting subjects. Mrs. Brown [Mary Wilcox Brown] suggested the subject of Modern Female Poets, and proposed Miss Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese] and Mrs. Turner as they members to talk on this theme. Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] read a notice of the Readings of Miss Margaret A. Klein at Lehman’s Hall.
The meeting adjourned.
28th Salon [November 28th, 1893]
The 28th Salon of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, November 28th 1893, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets.
The President called the meeting to order. She gave notice that the Committee on the Essayists, of which Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord] is Chairman[,] would have charge of our next meeting on Dec. 5th.
The Recording Secretary read the Minutes of the meeting of Nov. 21st. She also read a notice of the Club from one of our newspaper, followed by extracts from a review of the new work of Mrs. Lord, “In the Days of Lamb and Coleridge.” The President announced that this book of Mrs. Lord had been presented to the Club,-- for which thanks were tendered.
The announcement was also made of some other
books lately given to the Club. The President announced that this meeting was under the charge of Mrs. Bond, chairman of the Committee on Education, and that the only article on our programme was one by Miss Sally Carter [Sally K. Carter], which would be followed by our open discussion.
Miss Bond gave a short introduction to the subject of the evening. She spoke of the Committee on Education, formed two years ago; of its investigation of the Public schools of our own city, and of its Report on this subject given last Fall. Also of the dignity and vital importance of right education; of the high standards and breadth of view we must all desire to maintain and of the vigilance necessary to keep away all that is false or superficial from the training of future generations, as well as from the work of to day. She spoke of some well known workers in this field with us, of Mrs. Toulmin Smith in England, and of Miss De Graffenried in this country; and also of the interest shown in the work of her own Committee by Professor Herbert B. Adams, Professor Wise, and others. She spoke of the object of the Committee;-- to help each other,-- to gain definite information, and form just conclusions,- and to assist in forming correct public opinions;-- for behind the power of the ballot lies the power of public opinion.
Miss Bond went on to speak of the subjects discussed or written upon, in her Committee; such as m[illeg.] training,-- co-education,-- the training necessary for the profession of teaching,-- the opportunities for mental improvement given to those who have passed through the public schools etc. She ended by read-
-ing Miss Carter’s paper as one of those which had been read to the Committee and would be of interest to the Club.
Miss Carter announced her subject as “The Inadequacy of the Private Schools for Girls, and a suggested Remedy[.]” Miss Carter spoke of the great educational strides made in these swift-winged days of our own country; and of the many doors now wide open to women. She spoke of having been struck, while on a visit to Germany, with the excellence of the primary school in Berlin, the early training fitting the the [sic] child fully for that which is to follow, with steadiness of purpose. She reminded us that the public schools of this country being under some official supervision have a general uniformity of management, which private schools have not. Then from the point of view of a teacher she described the inadequacy;-- the want of uniformity of standards, or co-operations, or fixed purpose; and the vacilation [vacillation?], the laxity, the lack of [illeg.], which she believes to exist in the private schools for girls in our own time and country.
She said she would suggest as a remedy that an association of private teachers should be formed to adopt uniform standards and grades, and to employ lectures on pedagogic subjects, whose lectures all members should bind[?] themselves to attend. There might be six of these lectures in a season. The membership of this association need not be restricted to teachers alone, but could admit others deeply interested or engaged in educational work. Such an association could confer diplomas, after examinations, on students in private schools,-- distinct from school diplomas, the diplomas of the association to admit these holders
to College matriculation. Miss Carter reminded us that not only the children of the poor, but the children of the rich and moderately prosperous, must be given the sound and true education that shall fit them for the lives they are to live. And let us join hands to keep these minds and hearts pure, and their heads clear and right to save our land from the waves of corruption that threaten it. Let us band ourselves together to obtain the help of the best and strongest women of our own time and country. Perhaps none will be better than those of our own Club.
Whether we all fully agreed with Miss Carter’s premises or conclusions or not, her article was of great interest to all of us;-- so was the discussion that followed it.
Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock] spoke of those girls who are not fitted to be college students, but who often make very charming wives and mothers; also of the great differences in the minds of girls, which often make necessary very different modes of teaching and training; and of those too who cannot be graded. Miss Carter described different courses of study to be given to different minds, as well as to backward or physically weak children. Mrs. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann] asked if individuality might not be destroyed? Miss Carter said she thought the friction of bring minds would do away with any loss of individuality, though she admitted that possibly there might be a little loss in the amount of the personal magnetism of the teacher.
One member while acknowledging the great benefit of the Kindergarten for the children of the very poor, still, as a motherly naively confessed to a little jealousy
of the Kindergarten for children who have mothers of their own to take care of them at home. Miss Carter spoke of the children who were left to nurses, and for whom the Kindergarten might do parental work.
Miss Volck said that Miss Carter’s plan was an admirable on in many respects, but there may be a vulnerable point in a powerful machine. Many schools are taught as a matter of profit, of dollars and cents, and we hear that it is hard to make them pay. Some owe their success to the phase of religious belief which they represent,-- some are endowed, and others are inadequate to compete with them. In many schools the teachers can not run the risk of losing pupils, and must conform to the wishes of the different parents. There was also danger of the disappearance of the individual characteristics which schools like homes possess. But Miss Volck thought the standard of teaching should certainly be made higher than it is now, and the government should take more interest in education than it has done so far “We have[,”] she said -- [“]a Secretary of State, one of War, one of Agriculture etc.;-- why not a Secretary of Education also? But this should not be a political office at all.” We have inspectors of buildings; but there are buildings here not make with hands, which have no inspectors from city, state, or federal government.
There was further discussion; and Miss Carter also spoke to us of working according to ideals, as well as according to ideas.
Mrs. Franklin [Christine Ladd-Franklin], Miss King [Elizabeth T. King], Miss Bond, Miss Brown [Mary Wilcox Brown] and Mrs. Griffin [Rebecca Griffin] gave us suggestions and
Information of much interest;-- but the time grew so late that the President called for an adjournment.
A vote of thanks was passed to Miss Carter, and to all who had taken part in the discussion of the subject of the evening. The rest of the time we were together was passed over coffee, chocolate and other good things, accompanied by some further amicable interchange of views and opinions on the questions still uppermost in our minds.
93rd Meeting [December 5th, 1893]
The 93rd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, December 5th, 1893, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets.
The very bad state of the weather made the fact not at all surprising that not more than half of the Board of Management, and not a dozen of other members were present. It was impossible to carry out the programme which had been prepared, and it was announced that the articles promised by it would be difficult.
The President gave notice of some books presented to our library: -- one given by Mrs. Franklin [Christine Ladd-Franklin], being the “Arctic Journal” of Mrs. Perry. Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent] also called particular attention to the “Guide to the Study of the Nineteenth Century” Authors “by Louise Manning Hodgkins. The President also spoke of some lectures to be given by our fellow member, Mrs. Latimer [Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer],-- being the fifth week in January.
Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock] spoke of the [illeg.] given by our fellow member, Miss Cousins [Lucy Cousins], of the work of
herself and her pupils in painting in water, and on China: something of this work having taken a prize at the Chicago Exposition.
The President then suggested that we should have some reading from one or more of the books in our library. For a beginning, she selected the new work of Mrs. Perry, then lying on her table. By request, the Recording Secretary read a few pages from this book.
Before the close of the reading, an invitation in due form was received from Miss Cousins, for the Club to visit her artistic exhibition at [illeg.] Building. The meeting adjourned; and a majority of those present accepted the invitation of Miss Cousins, and enjoyed original art as a compensation for the deprivation of original literature.
94th Meeting [December 12th, 1983]
The 94th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, December 12th, 1983, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets.
The President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent] called the meeting to order. She announced that this was to be a business meeting, and an important one, into which no outsider could enter. The Report from the Special Committee on Amendment to the Constitution was to be read to us; & the request had been made that there should be quiet attention, and no interruption. It would be necessary to have a doorkeeper. Miss Ridgely [Eliza Ridgeley] was requested to act in that capacity; and consented to do so.
The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of November 28th, which were adopted. The
meeting of December 5th was, owing to exceptionally bad weather, so thinly attended that nothing of importance was done on that evening, and the reading of the Secretary’s report of that meeting was omitted.
The President then asked for the calling of the role of members. The Treasurer responded by reading her list of names. A number of members came in while this was being done, and after it was finished.
Miss Brown [Mary Wilcox Brown], Chairman of the Special Committee to consider and formulate Amendments to our Constitution, then presented the Report adopted by the Majority of that Committee. She introduced her reading with a few words regarding the careful consideration given by the Committee to each section of the Constitution, and the amount and the character of the work that had been done. She proceeded to read the old Constitution and the proposed Amendments to it in her Report, section by section, accompanying and following her reading with distinct and forcible explanations and comments. She closed by telling us that this Report would be sent by post, to every member of the Club.
Miss Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall] then rose to read the Report of the Minority of the Special Committee on Amendments. Miss Wrenshall prefaced her reading by speaking of the very few suggestions for amendments, that had reached this Committee, from the other members of the Club. She then spoke of the differing views brought forward in the Committee, with regard to many of the features; and the omissions in the proposed amended Constitution of the Majority of this Committee.
She also read the Constitution and the Amendment proposed, by the Minority of the Committee, section by section, explaining and commenting with clearness and earnestness.
Both Reports having been read, and both ably supported and elucidated; the meeting adjourned. Then the question arose whether the Minority Report as well as the Majority Report should be sent to each member of the Club? After some discussion of precedents, legal authorities etc., -- the President decided the question in the affirmative -- and the members dispersed.
95th Meeting [December 19th, 1893]
The 95th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, December 19th, 1893, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets.
The President took the chair, and announced that this meeting was under the direction of Miss Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese], the chairman of the Committee on Modern Poetry.
The first article of the programme consisted of two poems by Miss Cloud [Virginia Woodward Cloud], “Saint Solitude” and “Among the Pines.” They were read by Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace], who well interpreted the delicate and graceful meaning of their author.
The next article of the programme was by Miss Reese, and was an account of Louise Imogen Guiney. Miss Reese said that Miss Guiney was a poet of the school of which Miss Edith Thomas seems to be considered the head. But that Miss Guiney, both in prose and verse differs in some respect from Miss Edith Thomas,-- perhaps in being superior to her. They belong to a recent or young school of
authorship. Miss Guiney was born the first year of the War, and the same year her father, a lawyer in Boston, volunteered and went to the front. He came home at last -- a Brigadier General -- but, a few years afterwards died from the effects of hard service. We were given a pleasant picture of Miss Guiney’s home; of her library and pictures; and of her pet dogs, who have no respect for her as a literary woman, but interfere with her pursuits of learning or authorship without mercy. We had also a very pleasant and appreciative[?] account of her works. We were told of one of them, which Miss Guiney modestly calls “A Footnote to the History of the French Revolution,” in which she gives some account of the Rising in La Vendee under the heroic young leader Henri de La Rochejaquelein.
Miss Guiney, when in France, went to the home of her hero. She went to the manufactory of red plaid gingham, and there secured some yards of the same kind of cloth, that one hundred years ago served the brave Vendians for their uniforms. She was told that it was only sold by wholesale, but on revealing that she had come from America, and was writing a book about Henri de La Rochejaquelein, she was allowed to have what she wanted. She had the presentation copies of her book, bound in the famous red gingham. Miss Reese then gave us the pleasure of hearing some of the poetical writings of Miss Guiney. She closed the reading with a devotional Christmas poem suitable to the present season.
The next article of the programme consisted of three poems by Mrs. Easter [Marguerite E. Easter];-- “A Madrigal,” “So again[?] and November.” They were read by Miss Grace, with
respect and appreciation. The last article on the programme was by Miss Malloy [Louise Malloy]. It was a Dramatic Poem, called “The Prince’s Moving[?],” and was read by Miss Cloud, who brought out and did justice to the artistic [?-illeg.] and dramatic power of Miss Malloy’s work. It took us back to the days of the Crusades, and brought the Mediaeval knights and ladies before us with the strange fascinating radiance of their own times. It showed us the triumph of Love in those old days, as in all days.
At the close of the Reading, the applause was so long and earnest, that Miss Malloy was requested to come forward and receive the congratulations of her fellow members, on her literary work.
After the announcement of the programme for the first Tuesday in January 1894, the meeting adjourned.
[END OF MS 988 BOX 3, BOOK 2]
DEC. 26, 1893- JUN. 9th, 1894
MS 988, Box 3, Book 3
Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore
Followed by Records of the same Club.
Minutes by Lydia Crane, Recording Secretary.
Copied by Miss Hastings.
Nov. 27th, 1894.
Records of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore.
Lydia Crane, Recording Secretary.
"Woman's Literary Club" of Baltimore.
Article 1. Name and Object.
Section 1. The name of this association shall be The Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore.
Section 2. The object of this club shall be the advancement of its members in literature, and their association for the discussion of the questions of the day--literary, artistic, social and political, by written papers, and otherwise.
Article 2. Officers and Directors.
Section 1. There shall be six officers of the Club, namely" a President, two Vice-Presidents, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, and a Treasurer who, together with six Directors, shall constitute the Board of Management, in which shall be vested the government of the Club.
Section 2. The officers and three Directors shall be chosen at each annual meeting by ballot, and shall begin their term of office the first Tuesday in June. Three of the six Directors shall be elected annually to serve for two consecutive years.
Article 2. continued
Section 3. The President shall preside at the meetings of the Club, and be Chairman of the Board of Management.
She shall, with the Recording Secretary, sign all written contracts of the Club, and appoint two Auditors annually. She shall also appoint the Chairmen of the standing committees.
Section 4. In the absence of the President, the Officer next in [?vaute] shall discharge the duties of her office.
Section 5. The Recording Secretary shall keep the minutes of the meetings, shall preserve the records of the Club, and, with the President, sign all written contracts.
Section 6. The Corresponding Secretary shall issue notices of all meetings, notify new members of their election, and conduct the correspondence of the Club.
Section 7. The Treasurer shall collect, and, under the direction of the Board of Management, shall disburse the funds.
She shall report to the Board of Management when desired, and read a
report, previously audited, at the annual meeting of the Club.
Article 3. Board of Management.
Section 1. No expenses shall be incurred in excess of the funds already in the treasury.
Section 2. The Board of Management shall have power to fill, from the ranks of the Club, vacancies in its own body, occurring during the Club year.
Section 3. The Board of Management shall exercise the right, at its members' discretion, of inviting strangers visiting the city, who may be distinguished in science, literature or art, to partake of the priviliges of the Club during their stay.
Section 4. Meetings of the Board of Management shall be called by the Corresponding Secretary at the order of the President, or upon the written request of three members of the Board.
Section 5. Seven members of the Board of Management shall constitute a quorum.
Article 4. Members.
Section 1. Members shall be chosen from women over twenty one years of age who are interested in intellectual pursuits, and willing when called upon to prepare a paper, or engage in a discussion upon some topic of common interest.
Section 2. It shall be further understood that the women of this association have banded themselves together in the hope of encouraging by their influence right and serious views of life and literature, and that the acceptance of membership in this Club shall be considered a tacit admission of this purpose.
Section 3. Moreover, that any member who persistently refused to comply with the requirements of the Club as set forth in Section 1 shall, after remonstrance, be considered to have withdrawn from the Club.
Section 4. The Club shall consist of Resident, Non-Resident, and Honorary Members. Members residing in the city of Baltimore, or within ten miles from the city limits, shall be classed as Resident, all others as Non-Resident Members.
Non-Resident and Honorary Members
shall not be entitled to vote or hold office, and shall bear no share in the property of the Club. Honorary Membership shall be extended only to those who will confer distinction upon the Club, and by invitation of the Board of Management.
Section 5. Names of candidates for Membership shall be sent to the Recording Secretary one month before the day appointed for the election of new members. All names shall be presented in writing, by a member, endorsed by two members all of at least one year's standing, none of whom shall belong to the Board of Management. In proposing a name for membership it shall be stated that such a person is able and willing to comply with Section 1. Article 4. Members may propose and also endorse but one name annually.
The Board shall vote by ballot upon names proposed, two negative votes preventing an election.
Section 6. The meetings of the Board for the election of new members shall be held twice a year, on the first Tuesday in May and the first Tuesday in January, and those persons elected shall be admitted to full membership on the first Tuesday in June and the first Tuesday in February.
Section 1. The annual dues of resident members shall be ten dollars, payable in advance, one half on the first day of October, and one half on the first day of February. The annual dues of Non-Resident members shall be five dollars, payable in advance, on the first day of October.
Section 2. When the dues of any member shall remain unpaid for two months, the Treasurer shall notify her of the fact. After such notification, the privilege of voting shall be withheld until dues are paid.
Section 3. Members who have not sent in their resignations before the first of October, or first of February shall be held liable for half year dues.
Article 6. Meetings.
Section 1. The annual meeting of the Club for the election of Officers and Directors and the reading of the Treasurer's report shall be held on the last business Tuesday in May.
Section 2. Regular meetings of the Club shall be held on all Tuesdays from October to first Tuesday in June, inclusive, at 3:30 P.M. except on the days appointed for the business and annual meetings. On the last Tuesday in each month, there shall be a Salon with an hour for discussion.
Section 3. Two business meetings shall be held during the year, on the first Tuesday in February and the first Tuesday in May, at which meetings the Chairmen of the standing Committees shall be required to read reports of their work. At no other meetings shall business be in order and to such meetings members only shall be admitted. Special meetings of the Club shall be called by order of the President or on the request of twenty members.
Article 6. continued
Section 4. The Corresponding Secretary shall send notifications of a special meeting to each member of the Club, stating the business to be transacted at such meeting, no other business being then in order.
Section 5. Thirty members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, except for constitutional amendments when a majority of the Club must be present.
Article 7. Amendments.
Section 1. No alteration of the Constitution shall be made unless the same be proposed at a business meeting and be finally adopted by a vote of two thirds of the members present at a subsequent business meeting.
Section 2. The Board of Management shall be authorized to frame a code of By-Laws for the Club, which shall be printed for the use of the members. Any changes which may be desired from time to time shall be suggested by the Board and decided by vote of the Club.
Elizabeth Brown Davis. June 5, 1894.
[?Catherine] B. Noble.
Ariana Trail Belt. [Ariana Belt]
Harriet L. Western Hill. [Harriet Louise Wescott Hill]
E. D. Price.
Annie Weston Whitney. [Anne Weston Whitney]
Catharine [?Geose] Spear. [Katharine Spear] June 5, '94.
Margraret A. McGaw. [Margaret Ann Worden McGaw] June 5th 94.
Emma Fenwick Brent, President.
Lydia Crane, Recording Secretary.
Caroline Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], Treasurer.
A. F.[?]. C. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann]
Julia Grace Balch
Maud Graham Early
Alice E. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord]
Mary F. Grace
Letitia W. Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall]
May G. Evans [May Garrettson Evans]
Lizette W. Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese]
Maria W. Miller
Elizabeth M. Reese
Elizabeth [?L.] Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham]
Rebecca Lloyd Shippen.
Bertha B. Hammel
Esteeming it a privilege to belong to the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, I will be loyal to its aims and methods, carefully guarding its reputation, and striving to increase its influence, so long as I retain my membership.
and Business Meeting
The 29th Salon of the Women’s Literary Club of Baltimore came in due order on Tuesday, December[*] 26th 1893. It had been set aside for business of importance to the whole Club. The members assembled in the building at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets.
The President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], called the meeting to order. She reminded us that we are now resolved [?muscles] into a deliberate assembly, and that we were to consider and vote upon the proposed Amendments to the Constitution, as reported by the Committee specifically appointed to receive suggestions, and formulate such Amendments for our actions upon them. The result of the vote of this Committee had been read to us on the previous Tuesday.
The Roll of Members was called by the Recording Secretary.
Miss Ridgely [Eliza Ridgely] rose and moved “that the Report of the Majority of the Committee be now considered section by section. Miss Griffith [Leonora Griffith] suggested that Miss Ridgely’s motion ought to be divided into two motions. After some little discussion Mrs. Morris moved an amendment to the motion before us: “That the Minority Report be substituted for that of the Majority.” Miss Ridgely spoke of the propriety of considering both reports, section by section. Mrs. Morris said that her motion now had precedence. After further discussion by Miss
Ridgely, Miss Duer [Edith Duer], Miss Brown [Mary Wilcox Brown], Mrs. Morris and Mrs. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann] on Amendments and on Amendments to Amendments Miss Griffith moved “that Miss Ridgely’s motion be divided into” shall it be considered section by section”? Miss Brown said a few words, and the vote was called for on the motion. Shall Miss Ridgely’s motion be divided this motion was carried; Miss Ridgely’s motion was divided.
Mrs. Morris called for a vote on her motion, or amendment: “Shall the Minority Report be substituted for the Majority Report?” It was seconded by Mrs. Dammann, and carried; the vote resulting as counted, in thirty three--33--in the affirmative, to seventeen--17--in the negative.
Miss Ridgely asked if the consideration of the Majority Report could not be moved as a still further amendment also? But this was contested as illegal. After further remarks, Mrs. Morris moved “the consideration of the Minority Report, as a whole.”
Mrs. Johnson [Mrs. W. Woolsey Johnson] rose to make a point of order. She said that the Majority Report had a right to a vote. The President refused to and read well-known authorities on Parliamentary Law, touching points under discussion. Mrs. Johnson said that she second part of Miss Ridgely’s motion had not been voted upon. Some discussion arose, as to whether Miss Ridgely had put forward the second part of her motion at the right time, or in proper form. Miss Ridgely said that she was on both sides of this
question. She also thought that the second part of her motion ought to be voted upon. After further debate, Miss Duer moved “that the Majority Report be accepted.” Some of the members asked whether we were willing to go again over the ground, over which we had passed? Mrs. Johnson said she thought we all wished to be fair; many of us did not wish to see either report adopted en masse.
Mrs. Shippen [Mrs. Edward Shippen] proposed to vote on the differences between the two reports, section by section. After further discussion and further readings of authorities on the difference between acceptance and adoption, the limitations of amendments etc., Mrs. Perry [Mrs. M. N. Perry] requested that every one would address the President, and avoid conversation.
Mrs. Johnson proposed the question: “Shall we reconsider the decision that has been made? After comments by Miss King [Elizabeth T. King], Miss Hoffman [Fanny Hoffman], Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], Miss Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham], and others, it was agreed to reconsider. Miss King moved “that the Majority Report be now considered.”
Mrs. Morris again moved “the substitution of the Minority Report for that of the Majority.”
Miss King said her motion had precedence. She said she did not propose to do any fighting; she wished the Club to be developed‑-not changed.
The President put the question; “Shall the Majority Report be considered at this time?” There being thirty‑-30--votes in the negative, the motion of Miss King was lost. Miss Griffith then asked,
“What effect this vote would have upon the Majority Report?” The President decided that it suppressed the Majority Report. Some exception being taken to this decision, the President read the [?reading] of Bushing on Parliamentary Law on this point.
Miss Brown, Chairman of the Committee on Amendments, said “We understand and accept it.”
Mrs. Franklin [Christine Ladd-Franklin] moved: “that the Minority Report be considered,‑-clause by clause.” This motion was lost.
Mrs. Morris moved “the adoption of the Minority Report as a whole.”
Mrs. Bullock asked leave to make a statement. She had, she said, made and put on the blackboard, a tabulated representation of the points of difference between the two reports:--to which she directed our attention. There were, she said, some sections that were identical in both reports; some with only slight points of difference; only one vital point of difference; and one omission of importance.” The Minority Report is a compromise between the Majority Report, and the old Constitution; if it is not adopted, we fall back upon the old Constitution. If neither report is adopted when shall we wish to try this work again? The Committee was the creation of the Club; its members have shown self-sacrifice and devotion in this work. Mrs. Bullock went on to speak of the Saturday Morning Club of Boston, which much resembled our own,--and of other Clubs also. After further careful explanations, citing of precedents, and
expressions of the good will we have for each other, Mrs. Bullock asked for a generous consideration of the Minority Report--now left--to be voted upon.
Mrs. Morris spoke of the Minority Report, as having us still a literary Club,--a point which, she thought, the Majority Report nullified, by omitting the qualifications for membership in the old Constitution. This lack of requirements would, she thought, result in a lack of aim and purpose, in making us a very different Club;--we might have simply a lecture hall, or school of institution.
Miss Brown said it was hardly necessary to discuss these points of difference on this occasion. She, however, wished to say, with regard to omissions, that the clause about two negative votes, in the admission of new members, had been by a mistake of the printer, left out of the Majority Report.
Dr. Mary Sherwood spoke of the broadening of views, and of work that ought to be acceptable to all; of the women, not specially engaged in literary work, who might be valuable members of the Club; of the probable gain of launching out--into wider paths.
The President asked the first-Vice President, to take the chair, while she said a few words to the Club. Mrs. Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent] then referred to the first general meeting of the Club in Goucher Hall, Woman’s College, on March 19th, 1890. She recalled the discussion then of our aims and purposes; the desire of all to maintain a lofty ideal, which we still hope may be reached; to be faithful to a high
moral standard. She recalled Mrs. Tiernan [Mary Spear Tiernan] words on that occasion, presaging that our literary life might be a refreshment and a helping influence in every portion of our city. That we do not build on a social or money basis, and our future life ought to be growth and progress.
Miss King asked time for one brief word, with regard to the omission in the Majority of qualifications for memberships. She said they were not really omitted; for every member was there required to be an active member of at least one Committee.
Mrs. Bullock said that our By-Laws had not been really subject to amendments, by the special Committee. Miss King suggested that the By-Laws and the Constitution held together. Mrs. Bullock said that the amending of the By-Laws belonged to the Board of Management:--the motion or resolution of Mrs. Griffin, by which the Committee on Amendments was appointed, proposed only the “Amendment of the Constitution.” “We do not then, in voting on either report, touch the subject of teachers or lecturers.”
Miss Brown and Mrs. Perry both explained that the Committee certainly thought itself [?empowered] to present Amendments to the By-Laws. The President said this was simply a misunderstanding. Miss Ridgely said that all of the By-Laws had been submitted to the Club.
Some further discussion arose; remarks were made by Mrs. Morris, Miss Brand [Brent?], Mrs. Graham, Mrs.
Lake [Margaret Lake] and others.
Miss Hoffman read some readings on legal points. The question was finally put “Shall the Minority Report be adopted, as a whole?”
The Recording Secretary called the Roll,--the members answering to their names. Miss Folck also kept count of votes. The result was, as marked in the Secretary’s list. Affirmative, thirty seven--37--Negative, twenty one--21. The Minority Report did not gain a two thirds vote. Mrs. Duer asked “If both reports could not still be considered, section by section? But it was decided that each report was a deal better now. Each report having failed, and old Constitution being still in force; the meeting adjourned.
The members then refreshed themselves with coffee and sandwiches, which had been ordered by the second Vice President.
December 29th, 1893.
A specially called meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, “To consider the Incorporation of the said Club,”--was held on Friday afternoon, December 29th, 1893, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets.
There were forty or more members present. In the absence of the President, the First Vice President,
Miss King [Elizabeth T. King], presided. After calling the meeting to order, the presiding officer announced the business for which we had been called together by the President.
This being a special meeting, no minutes were presented. Mrs. Bullock then rose to present three notices or resolutions, saying that she would have preferred to listen to them from some one else. She explained that the only object of incorporation was to define our position, and give us an actual legal existence. At present it is only by the courtesy of the storekeepers that we have credit, or are able to make bills at all.” At the same time, each one of us is liable, individually, and may be sued. A deed of Incorporation requires five names to be signed to it, though these may be as many as we please. There is a small matter of expense, as each signer before the Justice fo the Peace pays thirty cents. Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock] then said she would present a paper drawn up by the Clark of one of our Courts.
Some questions being asked, Miss Duer [Edith Duer], Mrs. Perry [Mrs. M. N. Perry], Miss Clark [Bessy L. Clark] and Miss Hoffman [Fanny Hoffman] gave us some information from their own experiences with regard to incorporate benevolent societies. They spoke of the custom of having twelve Directors or managers of the society to be incorporated--of the incorporators appearing in person at the proper time,--and of the rules of the Maryland Legislature on these subjects. The question arose of the control possessed by these directors. Aiming their enquiries were those with regard to the statement of the full name, and of the full
purposes of the Club or society seeking to be incorporated [This sentence should be checked against the original].
Mrs. Bullock said that she had consulted one of the Judges of the Supreme Court; and that she thought her paper, which had been drawn up by Mrs. [?Frippe], would be just and satisfactory. Her first motion was: “That the Women’s Literary Club of Baltimore shall be Incorporated.” The second: “That all members who wish to sign the act of Incorporation are invited to do so.” The third: That the present Board of Management continue for one year from the present time. This last point, Mrs. Bullock said, was a more difficult one than the other two; but it must be stated, as the law requires that the incorporating Board of Management, shall continue for twelve months after Incorporation. Of course, an officer can resign, if she desires to do so.
There was discussion, and also opposition with regard to the proposed Incorporation. Mrs. Perry asked for information about the statement of the purpose of the Club in the proposed Charter. The answer was: “Literary Purposes,--the advancement of Literature in the State of Maryland, and other states or Foreign Countries.” Other questions were asked. About property of the Club, and on kindred points; also with regard to capital stock,--of which we were reminded, that we have none. Also: whether our furniture would be more secure under Incorporation than it has been heretofore?
Miss Fannie [Fanny] Hoffman moved “to postpone this whole subject until after the Spring elections,” when
a new Board of Management would begin a new year of office,--otherwise the old Board of Management would have an [?undue] length of term. The vote on this motion did not seem to be clearly understood or defined. Mrs. Bullock said that unless Incorporation was shown to be the strong desire of the Club, it was not worth a struggle.” If there was not a pleasant feeling in the matter, it might be well to postpone it altogether.
Mrs. Perry said there had been undue haste in presenting a novelty,-- it would be well to consider the subject, and more graceful to wait for the presence of the President.
Miss Duer [Edith Duer] spoke of the advantages, and disadvantages, of Incorporation; of the power of a Board of Management; and of that of a minority; and of the present friction with regard to the objects of the Club. She said she might not be entirely opposed to Incorporation, but she thought Miss Hoffman’s motion the fairer one for both sides.
Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton] then gave us the opinion of a Judge of the Court of Appeals. She said we have no right--to our furniture,--no redress against loss. [Some one here remarked: “Our clock has already gone] We are, Miss Haughton said “each one liable for the debts of the Club.”
The presiding officer requested the Second Vice President to take the chair for a little while. Miss King then said that this whole matter was a
surprise to her. No Committee had been appointed to consider it; it had not been brought before the Board of Management. “We all,” she said, “want the good of the Club. Our property will not be in danger just now.” Shall we adopt the present Board of Management for a year? And will our Constitution be the legal act of Incorporation?
Miss Haughton spoke of legal advice having been taken before the decision was made to bring this question, not before the Board of Management, but before the whole Club. Miss King asked if the Board was not to have control?
The question then arose whether we would not after Incorporation, be without a Constitution? Miss King spoke of another association, consisting chiefly of men, in which it was decided that as soon as Incorporation went into effect, the old Constitution was wiped out.
Miss Duer [Edith Duer] also spoke on this subject; and then said that a count ought to be taken on Miss Hoffman’s motion. Mrs. Bullock said this thing could not well be done, unless cordially endorsed.” If the Incorporation does leave us without a Constitution, we can reform and take up the old reports and new ones. Mrs. Perry said: “They have now no existence.”
Mrs. Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock] moved that we vote again on Miss Hoffman’s resolution: “To postpone this subject of Incorporation until after the Spring election.” By a rising vote, it was lost.--There being only ten--10--votes
in favor of it. Mrs. Bullock then proposed her resolution. Miss Haughton suggested that they be divided--and the division was accepted by Mrs. Bullock. The question was put: “Shall this Club be Incorporated?” Miss Ridgely [Eliza Ridgely] rose to a point of order, she said that for Constitutional changes, two meetings are necessary, one for proposal, and one for voting and adoption. “Can we make this change at one meeting?” The presiding officer and Mrs. Perry supported Miss Ridgely’s point.
Miss Haughton and Mrs. Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall] read authorities on Constitutional changes, and Constitutional repeals. Miss Ridgely insisted that it was necessary to propose such business at regular meetings. Miss Haughton said “we are not incorporated until the Clerk of the Court registers our act of Incorporation.” Mrs. Bullock said “we are a social body, and the will of the Club is supreme.” After further discussion Miss Ridgely appealed to the Chair. The presiding officer construed the Constitution as supporting the position of Miss Ridgely. She thought that two weeks ought to be given to the consideration of all important business. After further discussion, Miss Haughton appealed from the decision of the Chair. After further remarks by Mrs. Whitelock, Mrs. Bullock, Miss Ridgely, and Mrs. Mandy, the question of Miss Haughton’s appeal was put to the Club. It was sustained,--receiving thirty--30--affirmative votes.
Miss Duer proposed an amendment to the resolution of postponement by Miss Hoffman, to the effect, “That the business of Incorporation shall
be deferred; to be considered after the Spring election, and voted upon two weeks consideration.” Miss Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord] moved as a further amendment, “that this business be acted upon, and that arrangements for this end, be made, this afternoon,” Mrs. Dammann spoke on the same subject--as did also Mrs. Bullock and Miss Haughton.
Miss Hoffman read the post-card calling this meeting, “To consider the Incorporation of the Club.” Miss Haughton said the actual Incorporation is done by the Club of the Court. The vote was called for and taking on Mrs. Bullock’s resolution “that the Women’s Literary Club shall be Incorporated.” It was carried by a large majority. Mrs. Bullock explained with regard to the second of her resolutions, that those who do not sign the Act of Incorporation at the present time can do so later, or can be voted in, as those who sign, expect to vote in every other member failing to sign. The second resolution “That all members who wish to sign the Act of Incorporation are invited to do so,” was also carried.
Mrs. Bullock said that these proposals ought to bring quiet and peace. She did not care for the present Board of Managers to be Directors, especially Miss Ridgely said that one of the Board was certainly absent. It was said that she could be voted in. In the discussion of the third resolution the question arose, “whether the Director could adopt a Constitution and By-Laws; and elect officers for the present year?” The resolution retaining
the present Board of Management for a year, was opposed by Mrs. Perry, Miss King, and others. Miss Haughton asked leave to offer her resignation as second Vice President, to take effect in May. Miss Crane [Lydia Crane], Recording Secretary, asked leave to resign under the same terms. Mrs. Wrenshall moved that Miss Haughton’s resignation be not accepted. The presiding officer said it was unnecessary to take action on resignation now.
After further discussion, a Committee was proposed to make arrangements for the Incorporation of the Club. It was agreed to apparently without opposition, and Miss Haughton, Mrs. Wrenshall and Mrs. Bullock were proposed as this committee.
The third resolution, “That the present Board of Management be continued for one year,” was carried also,--receiving an undoubtable majority of the votes cast. After further discussion, Miss King asked, “By whose authority had this meeting been called?” Miss Haughton explained that about twenty ladies had requested the President to call it. Miss Duer asked “if our Charter had been prepared?” She said she objected to the statement of our object of existence as a Literary Purposes; thinking it too narrow and limited. Miss Hoffman said we might, as least, retain the words of the cast off Constitution, and add “social, artistic and political purposes.” Miss Ridgely said that these words could be incorporated into our Charter. This proposition was favorably received, and seemed to meet general
agreement. The hour being late, the meeting informally adjourned. After adjournment, a Justice of the Peace arrived; and the legal document--or Act of Incorporation--prepared by Mr. [?Trippe], was read to the ladies remaining in the Club room. It was then corrected by the addition of the words which it had been understood, here to be added to the statement of the purposes of the Club--making them “literary, social, political and artistic,” and defining the duties of members.
Twelve names were then signed to the paper namely: Miss Haughton, Mrs. Wrenshall, Mrs. Bullock, Mrs. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann], Mrs. Tait [Anna Dolores Tiernan Tait], Mrs. Graham, Mrs. Jenkins [Mrs. Edmund Plowden Jenkins], Miss Crane, Miss Balch [Grace Balch], Mrs. Evans [Mrs. Henry C. Evans], Miss Evans [May Garrettson Evans] and Miss Malloy.
January 2nd, 1894
The 96th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, January 2nd, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets.
The President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], called the meeting to order. The first article of the programme was by Mrs. Miller and on: “The Influence of George William Curtis upon his Times.” After introducing her subject and her hero, Mrs. Miller spoke of Curtis as an orator, especially of his speeches on Civil Service Reform, on Education, on Fair Play for
Women, on Modern Infidelity, and on other subjects. She spoke of his political career--of his leaving his party, where he believed his party to have left the high principles he gave it credit for when he joined it. She spoke of his literary career, of his early works, so familiar and pleasing to some of us long ago. Then of the beauty and cleanness of his style; also of his literary friendships and enthusiasms. Then of his editorial for “Harper’s Weekly.” Then of Curtis as our personal friend, then, the recipient of the “Easy Chair” of “Harper’s Magazine.” A Maryland author, the brightest woman I ever knew intimately said she always read the “Easy Chair” in “Harper’s” whether she had time for the rest of the Magazine or not. There are no doubt some among us, who will thank Mrs. Miller for reminding us of many of those essays that seem still shining with some of the best lights of the past. Miss Brent and Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace] gave us some pleasant references and recollections relating to George W. Curtis also.
The next paper on our programme was by Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord], Chairman on the Committee on Essayists, under whose direction this meeting was held. Her essay was on “Thomas Carlyle as a man and a Writer.” She spoke of Carlyle as having been likened to a Cathedral bell, Certainly he was full of stirring tones, and always ready to sound them forth. Mrs. Lord drew a parallel between Carlyle and Emerson, speaking of Emerson as
the only American who seems ever to be compared with Carlyle. She thought that though Carlyle is called a pessimist, and Emerson found all things good--in the works of the all-good Creator--there is more agreement, more unison of faith and feeling between the two philosophers, than the first impressions of their works may give us. She went on to speak with enthusiasm of the works of Carlyle, and gave us eloquent extracts from “Heros and Hero Worship,” “The French Revolution,” and other justly admired works of the great Master.
She said that great appreciation and great honor came to him--but too late. His own health and that of his wife had been worn out; his wife died too soon to fully enjoy their success, and he had lost the power to do so. In speaking of his married life, and to his friendship, and of his criticisms, Mrs. Lord sought to be just and kind in her estimates and in the comments. Mrs. Latimer [Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer] gave us an account of some incidents at a dinner party in England, at which Carlyle took her mother down to dinner. He did not at all sympathize with that lady’s enthusiasms, he could not understand how anyone could enjoy travelling, and he thought the best solution of the Irish question, would be gained, by dipping the whole island under the sea for twenty four hours.
Mrs. Carlyle who was, Mrs. Latimer told us, extremely pretty and charming, took great pains to
explain to the ladies of the party, that her husband did not really mean what he said. By way of giving them something else to think about--Mrs. Carlyle told them the story of the poet Browning’s courtship, of his poet-wife--then very new and always very interesting.
Mrs. Latimer said that Mrs. Carlyle had made about the greatest mistake a woman can make: being a lady, she had married a peasant. Mrs. Turner [Clara B. Newman Turner] said she would have been glad to hear Carlyle talk, glad to have had him to call upon her when no one else was doing the same; but she could not have lived in the house with him. Miss Grace, Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham], Miss Richards--a visitor--and others continued the entertaining conversation.
Mrs. Latimer was asked to tell us the Love Story of the Brownings, as related by Mrs. Carlyle. She did so with spirit and humor. Notice was given of the Reading by Mrs. Turner--before the Lend a Hand Club--of her admired article on Emily Dickinson.
The names of new members proposed, and voted upon by the Board of Management, were read to the Club. Notice was given of the reception of resignations from nine of our members;--followed by the announcement of a resolution of the Board of Management,--expressing regret and requesting these members to reconsider their resignations.
The meeting adjourned.
January 9th, 1894.
The 97th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, January 9th 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], called the meeting to order. The Recording Secretary read the minutes of four previous meetings:--those of the literary meetings of December 19th; of the Business meeting and Salon of December 26th; of the Special Business meeting of December 29th 1893; and of the literary meeting of January 2nd, 1894. The two business meetings having been somewhat difficult to report, she asked for any corrections which might be thought necessary by her fellow members.
Miss Ridgely [Eliza Ridgely] then asked leave to read a Protest signed by herself and Mrs. Atkinson against the work of incorporation of the Club, done at the special meeting of December 29th, 1893. She also asked that this protest should be recorded in the minutes of this meeting. The Protest. “We the Undersigned, do most earnestly protest against the action taken by the Special Meeting of Friday, December 29th, 1893, to incorporate the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore.” We do not oppose Incorporation per se, but we ask that it take place only after due and general consideration, and that it take place Constitutionally according to Article VII, Section I, which says, “No alteration of the Constitution shall be made unless the same be proposed at a regular meeting
and be finally adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at a subsequent meeting, where twenty shall constitute a quorum.” Then followed the signatures of “Laura Atkinson” and “Eliza Ridgely.” Miss Ridgely proposed to have the work of incorporation done over again in a more regular and constitutional manner. Some discussion arose. Miss Ridgely said that her motion was to reconsider the work that had been done. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Franklin [Christine Ladd-Franklin].
The President asked Miss Ridgely if she had voted on the majority side of this question or on that of the minority? Miss Ridgely said she had voted against the incorporation. The President said she had voted according to Parliamentary Law, only a member of a majority had the right to move a reconsideration. She requested the Secretary to read the ruling of Cushing on Parliamentary Law upon this point. After this reading, Mrs. Franklin said she must withdraw her seconding of the motion to reconsider. Miss Ridgely asked for the consideration of the protest. Mrs. Atkinson also spoke in favor of the protest signed by herself and Miss Ridgely. The President called our attention to the fact that this was a literary meeting. A meeting was proposed for explanations and comparison of views on the matter under discussion. Some members said this was unnecessary. Miss Ridgely proposed to explain another point regarding Incorporation, but it was decided that she was out of order. Some remarks were made by Mrs. Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall], Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], Miss Griffith [Leonora Griffith] and Mrs. Sioussat [Annie Leakin Sioussat], and Mrs. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann]
read a legal opinion on the subject of Incorporation. The President reminded us that as this was a literary meeting, it was not in order to allow business to interfere with the programme prepared for it. Some announcements were made to the Club;--especially the results of the election to fill vacancies in the Board of Management, which had taken place in the meeting of the Board this same afternoon. Miss Balch [Grace Balch] and Mrs. Shippen [Mrs. Edward Shippen] had been elected members of the Board of Management, and Mrs. William Woolsey Johnson had been elected First Vice President of the Club, in place of Miss King [Elizabeth T. King].
The first article on our programme was by Mrs. Fabian Franklin [Christine Ladd-Franklin], and was called “Notes on England.” she spoke of English views of America; and then of some things particularly striking to an American in England:--for instance the custom of not checking baggage. She spoke of the noble Englishman, who did not like to be separated from his “luggage”, and who complained that in America there was no cab to take him and his belongings from the station to the hotel. Cabs, she acknowledged, do belong to good street pavement, and good city government. But the antiquated absence of baggage checking in railways, would seem to show that the Englishman likes discomfort far better than change. Mrs. Franklin spoke of the bewilderment and inconvenience of travellers, and of the confusion and anxiety which interfere with their parting directions and affectional adieus, and leave them no peace of mind in
journeying. She spoke of the badness of English hotels, outside of London; of the toughness of the meat and the bread, which is equalled only by the length of the bill. The Continental dinner is the acme of civilization, but since English hotels are conducted on the penny-wise and pound-foolish plan of saving in the wrong places. Mrs. Franklin told of two American ladies who agreed that English hotels were extremely bad ones; but one lady made an exception of one hotel--and only one, naming it. The other lady said that was the only one with which she was acquainted, and on her experiences of that one, her opinion had been based. We have much to learn from old England, of course; but on one or two subjects, she might learn from us--or from her neighbors across the Channel.
Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace] spoke of having lost a trunk three times between Cork and Killarney. Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton] told of a gentleman who had his baggage painted red, white and blue, for purposes of identification.
We had been promised by our programme an article by Miss Haughton; but she insisted upon withdrawing it. The next article on the programme was by Miss Perot [Annie S. Perot], and was called “A Sketch of the Classic Era of French Literature.” She spoke of the years from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the nineteenth one. She told of the reformation of French Literature by going back to Greek and Latin models; and of many things beneficial, and some things otherwise, in this
movement. Then of the disagreement of Nature, and of all things natural by some of the writers of this period. Also of the poet who calls attention to his own noble birth, in contrast to the fact that Horace was only a Irishman. She spoke of Pierre de Ronsard, and of his successors,--on to Madame de Seoigne and Moliere, and their contemporaries and followers. Miss Perot went on to speak of seventeenth optimism. “We, she said, “Have not the self-satisfaction of our ancestors. But how we wish for Bellamy’s second sight of one hundred years backward or forward.”
It was announced that Mrs. Latimer’s [Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer] last book “Russia and Turkey in the Nineteenth Century” had been presented to the Club by the author. Mrs. Miller was requested to acknowledge the gift with our thanks.
The meeting adjourned.
January 16th, 1894
The 98th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, January 16th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. It was a Dramatic meeting and the members of the Shakespeare Club were invited to be present. The President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the Minutes of the meeting of January 9th.
The Treasurer, Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], presented her semi-annual Report. (Which had been ready at the last meeting but had been crowded out by other business.) The Report was full and exact. In general terms the balance brought over from the former six months was: $147.44. Dues up to date, $405.00 making $552.44. The expense of various kinds, including furnishing etc., had been $391.67. The balance on hand was $160.77. The Report was approved.
The first article on our programme was by Mrs. Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock], and was called: “How I went to see John Drew in Lent.” Mrs. Whitelock spoke of the newspaper reporter, otherwise known as the professional interviewer. She said that when going to live at the Mt. Vernon Hotel, she had hoped to see something of the celebrated people who would certainly be guests there, perhaps to satisfy for herself that curious interest which the interviewer gives all of us credit--for possessing,--more or less. But the celebrities did not bestow themselves upon the other guests in the hotel to any great extent. When Mr. John Drew was, as she knew, staying in the house, during one Lenten season,--she was much attracted at dinner time by a party of four at the next table; and could not keep hearing their conversation, and fully recognizing its professional flavor. The gentleman of the party had a singularly attractive face, the kindest sort of voice, and a beautiful smile, especially when talking to his wife. Altogether she found him most pleasing,--and his discourse, with the aforesaid
voice and professional flavor--no less so. She had not gone to the theatre in Lent; but on telling a sister, less orthodox--if that is the right expression--than herself, she was informed that Mr. John Drew looked like a frog, and was squint-eyed, and that the beautiful smile was incredible. She herself, expatiated on the beautifying power of genius and character, without convincing her sister, who declined an invitation to stay to dinner, in order to be convinced. She then made up her mind to go to see John Drew on the stage,--and went. In arriving at the theatre, a huge poster met her eyes, with a picture of the “star.” She said it was a very bad likeness, and was then informed that she had come to see the wrong man. She saw John Drew, and thought him not so ugly nor with quite such obliquity of vision as she had been prepared to find him.
But she was soon convinced that the handsome face, kind voice and beautiful smile of the dinner table, all belonged to Mr. Sol Smith Russell. She went on to tell that by rare good fortune, she did have a conversation with Mr. Russell at the hotel, shook hands with him, and had the smile bestowed upon herself for a little while. Mr. Russell said that Jefferson was the Bishop whom he followed. He told the story of his having in on city, boarded with a good Methodist lady, who had never been to the theatre in her life. Once, when the play was very good, he invited his hostess to see it. Some days afterwards, she informed him that she did not
know how such a good peaceable gentleman as himself could “cut up” on the stage as he did. The conversation was interrupted, and Mrs. Whitelock was not able to ask whether the good lady had really gone to see the Russell play, or whether she had formed her opinion with regard to the “cutting up” on hearsay evidence only.
The next article on our programme was called “The Hue of the Apple: A Tragedy,” and was written by Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton]. She took us back to the old story of Adam and Eve,--and farther back still to the traditional Lilith,--Adam’s first wife, and to the jealousy of the first women over the first man; all of which is reproduced or exemplified by the three modern children of Adam and Eve,--The two women and one man of Miss Haughton’s Tragedy. Jack Adams, has been Lily’s Jack, and is now Evelyn’s Jack, and Lily is determined that he shall be her Jack again. We have heard that two against one is hardly fair. The fight of wits and wills is a fierce one. Lily sings: “Alas, how often things go wrong!” But the denouement, in which Jack continues to be Evelyn’s Jack, might be right or wrong to the different members of Miss Haughton’s audience, according to their different points of view. This appearance in the interested and lively discussion that followed Miss Haughton’s reading.
The next article on the programme was on “The Drama,” and was by Miss Malloy [Louise Malloy]. She spoke of the intellectual pleasure to be derived from the Drama. Then of the demand of the audience of today for comedy, rather than for tragedy. But Shakespeare,
she said, has not lost his power, nor has that amiable abstraction called that Public, lost all its taste for tragedy. Give us another Shakespeare, and see how we will follow him. She spoke of American Dramatic Writers, especially of Bronson, Howard, George H. Boker, Dr. Bird and George H. Miles of our own city. The thought the coming American Drama will be at least cleaner than that of other nations--founded on more of healthy common sense. An American seems to think that the suspicious husband who kills his wife, ought to rank with the one who beats her when she offends him. He would hoot from the stage, the sham honors that rank with the bogey man that eats up little boys. We have dramatic elements and advantage in the full human life around us. Why, we are asked, should we go abroad to dig for gold, when it lies here at our feet.
At the conclusion of Miss Malloy’s article, we were favored with two poems by Miss Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese]. The first was “Peach Blossoms in Maryland,” and the second: “All in an April Wood”: bringing us the hues and scents and fresh air of our own woods and fields, and the human sympathy they call forth,--in sweet graceful verse.
The last article read to us was by Mrs. Whitelock, and was read by Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace]. It was called “A Great Silent Personality” It spoke of the hobbies ridden by some authors, which sometimes seem unridden for a while, and yet are not overturned nor destroyed. The so called Shakespeare Controversy is one of these,
and the question again is heard: “Who is William Shakespeare? Is he a myth? Or a name?--a common place play actor? He certainly lived and died,--whether he wrote all ascribed to him or not. We do hear of him as man, writer and actor. Of the man, what do the records tell? That his parents were ignorant, that he left school at fourteen, married at eighteen, was an actor, stage manager etc.--and some other items that do not seem to substantiate his claims to genius and erudition. What else we have seems negative testimony. The man fails to respond when we reach out to touch him. Did he touch men when lived? We do not know much of the actor. Who wrote the plays? Asks the Nineteenth Century. This essay went over the Shakespeare Controversy, bringing the argument and comments relating to it before us. The theory was advanced, that the actor Shakespeare not only took his plots from others, but took the plays of others, who perhaps did not wish to figure as play-wrights, and adapted them for the stage. That the adapter became one of the immortals after the great writers and the small ones had gone to another immortality.
There was much interest in the comments and expressions of opinion which followed this article, until the meeting adjourned.
January 30th, 1894.
The 99th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, January 30th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the two meetings of January 16th and January 23rd.
The announcements were made of the resignations of Mrs. Anderson [Mrs. W. H. Anderson], of Miss Carter [Mabel Carter] and of Miss Sally Carter [Sally K. Carter]. It was also announced that Mrs. George Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock] had been elected Corresponding Secretary of the Club, that Mrs. Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall] had been elected a member of the Executive Committee; that Mrs. Easter [Marguerite E. Easter] had been appointed as the assistant of Mrs. Miller [Mrs. John Miller?], the librarian of the Club, and that Miss [?Comins] had been appointed Chairman of the Committee on Art. The announcement of the subject in the next meeting as Decorative Art, was made. The meeting about to be held was devoted to music,--a musical programme having been prepared for it by some of the members of the Club.
The first exercise of the evening consisted of three pieces,--piano-solos--given by Mrs. Samuel Tracy Brown, who had kindly consented to play for us. They were: “A Gavotte” by Bach, “A Minuet” by Beethoven, and the Troitrice Fahrt, by Tchaikovski: of course played with great power, grace and expression. Mrs. Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese], who was expected to sing for us, was prevented from being present by illness. We next
enjoyed the singing of Miss Reiba Thelin. Her song was: “A Summer Night,” by A. Young Thomas. Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord] then sang for us; “A Faded Violet,” by Albert Robert. She also favored us with her song: “My Ladye,” the words being by Mrs. Lord herself, and the Music by F. W. Wolf. We again had the pleasure of hearing Miss Thelin sing, her second song being: “A Winter Lullaby,” By De Koren. In both songs she was accompanied by Mrs. Mealy [Mrs. John W. Mealey]. Mrs. Sidney Turner [Clara B. Newman Turner] was then requested to sing, and consented to do so. She gave us two songs: the first was Sidney Lanier’s well known “Song of the Trees”; “Into the Woods, My Master went” etc. with Mrs. Turner’s own music.
Of the second, the words were by Emily Dickinson;--”If I can save one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain,” etc. and both were sung with time and loving expression. Two of the articles of the programme, were unavoidably omitted. An earnest request was made to Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton] to sing for us, and she agreed to the request of her fellow members, and sang two songs, accompanied by Miss Cloud [Virginia Woodword Cloud]. The first was “I Promise Me,” by De Koren, and the second was, “Alas how often things go wrong” by Millard.
Miss [?Comins] then read to us some extracts from a review of George Upton’s book on “Woman and Music.” In this book, attention is drawn to the small achievement of Women in the composition of music. We were reminded that in musical composition, no woman can yet stand
where Rosa Bonheur or George Eliott or Mrs. Browning do stand in other departments of creative art or discovery. The writer spoke of Music as the expression of our emotions, and suggested that a woman’s emotions are so truly a part of herself that she cannot cooly and regularly image them in the form of musical construction. Men, the author supposes to have their emotions more under control, and to be much more willing to wait for success, in art, and to endure rebuffs before attaining it than women are. But he went on to say, that in the interpretation of music by the voice, woman is almost pre-eminent, and here seems to be her most excellent department in music.
Some discussion arose after this reading. Some members failed to see that men can control themselves much better than women can, and spoke of the aversion some men show to cats, perhaps to other innocent objects.
The meeting adjourned.
January 23rd, 1894.
The 30th Salon of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, January 23rd, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets;--under the direction of the Committee on Unwritten History. The Maryland Society of the Colonial Dames had been invited to be present, and a number of its members had
accepted the imitation. Some other guests were also present on the occasion, among them Mrs. Elizabeth Brown [?Davien], the mathematician. The President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], called the meeting to order.
The first article on our programme was by Mrs. Sidney Turner [Clara B. Newman Turner], and was on “Unwritten History.” Mrs. Turner spoke of the different departments of study in our Club. Passing by most of them, she led her audience to one door; of which she lifted the drapery, and invited them to enter, the department of Unwritten History. The work of the department naturally divides itself into the consideration of the history of the Past, the Present and the Future,--the Future which belongs, or will belong to all of us. She told us of many distinguished people, who are not professional historians, but who live and unconsciously write the history of their own time, and influence that of the times to come. She spoke of many persons whom she had met;--of Mr. Stone and Mr. Beecher, of Mrs. Kendall and Mrs. Whitney, and Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett. Also of Miss Clara Barton, whom she called the Joan of Arc of the nineteenth century. Mrs. Turner went on to speak of the achievements of the nineteenth century, in Science and Art, and still more in seeking and saving that which was lost.
She spoke of the grand future that will belong not only to our successors, but to us also, prophetically and spiritually,--intellectually and really.
The next article on the programme was by
Miss Kate Mason Rowland [Katherine Mason Rust Rowland], and was read by Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace]. It was on Robert Carter of Virginia, a grandson of the once famous King Carter. King Carter’s name was Robert also, but he was a king in his large possessions, among his neighbors, tenants and servants in the early part of the eighteenth century. The Robert Carter of Miss Rowland’s essay, was a King’s Councillor under George the Second and George the Third, the friend of Lord Botetourte, a pure statesman and patriot, distinguished in public and private life in Virginia and Maryland, and in the mother country also. We were given some accounts of social and polite life at the county seats and in the towns of Maryland and Virginia; also of the theatrical entertainments of the time, especially of one at which the so-called emperor and empires of the Cherokees were present,--and seemed to enjoy it. We were told of public events during the War with France, and afterwards. Then of Mr. Carter’s love and appreciation of Music, of his importing furniture, and especially books from London. Then of his high abilities, and of the love and affectionate respect he gained through life.
The next article read to us was by Mrs. Clarence Cottman, and was A Dialect story, called “Shades of my Ancestors.” She described one of those old colonial mansions, of which a few still survive among us--one built in the year 1720, by the son of an English nobleman, and after English Models. Here on a modern Christmas Eve, in a
pause of the merry making, a party of children gathered around a fire, welcome the coming of an old colored Mammy as an honored guest. The old colored mammy seems sometimes old by position, but this one says she is ninety years old, and has seen five generations of the family she serves. When the children clamor for a story, she tells them one, a ghost story, not without a meaning, in which spirits move slowly, through moonlight, over snow-covered ground to execute the will of the dead upon the living. All of it she assures them, is “the blessed truth,” as perhaps it was to her.
The next article given us was by Miss M. A. Minor [Mary W. Minor], and was on “The Pages of Rosewell,” in Virginia. Miss Minor described the old mansion of Rosewell in Gloucester County, Virginia, still standing, but not in its former splendor; built by Mann Page, early in the eighteenth century. There every brick was English, it is said, and the wood for the carved wainscotting and stairways was brought from Madeira. The roof was covered with lead, but this it has been said was taken off to make bullets during the Revolutionary War. Some of the anecdotes, letters, and even of the epitaphs quotes in the essay, were full of the inimitable flavor of the wit and humor of the olden time. It is a little surprising now, to be told in a letter from New York, written by Mr. John Page to his son, with the date of March 1789,--that New York is not half so large as Philadelphia, nor
in any manner to be compared to it for beauty and elegance. Miss Minor’s account of the Pages of Virginia, made us feel that we had been shown some of the pages of a very interesting book,--of the annals of our own neighbors and friends for more than more than [words repeated in original] two centuries.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. Gaston Manly [Lily Tyson Manly Elliott], and was called “Sketches of Colonial Maryland.” Mrs. Manly told us of the letters, written in Latin, by Father White, the priest who came to Maryland with Lord Baltimore. They were discovered in Rome by Father McSherry, translated, and brought to this country. They give the authentic story of the planting of our own Colonial tree. We were further told of those who first took shelter under its branches, and from the private letters and traditions, was pictured to us the life of our own people in the good old Colony times. We were told of a trial for the crime of witchcraft,--at St. Mary’s, our old capital, in the year 1674, in which the accused man was condemned to die, according to the custom of the times. But the lower House of the Maryland Assembly--not altogether according to the custom of the times,--made a petition to the higher powers, that his life might be saved, on his promise never to practice witchcraft again. It was pleasant to hear that this petition met with a favorable response and action.
Mrs. Manly then gave us extracts from the letters of men and women among the Colonial residents of our own state, which sustained the traditions of the
excellence of their epistolary correspondence.
Our President exhibited a brick from the old State house at St. Mary’s--the old capital of Maryland, now in ruins.
She then invited all the company to take tea, congratulating us that we had enjoyed the memories of our Colonial history, without the contemplation of the Boston Tea Party, nor of that of the Peggy Stewart at Annapolis.
The meeting adjourned for tea and conversation.
February 6th, 1894.
The 100th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, February 6th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. It had been before announced, this meeting had been devoted to Ecclesiastic Needlework. The members of the Decorative Art Society, had been invited to be present. The meeting was under the direction of the Second Vice President, Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton], and other members of the Club. By their efforts, and by the generous kindness of Cardinal Gibbons, Rev. Mr. Powell of Grace Episcopal Church, Rev. Dr. Guttmacher of Madison Avenue Hebrew Temple, Rev Mr. Smith of St. Michael and All Angels, the Clergymen of Loyola College and Georgetown College, the Sisters of All Saints, and other ladies, the room in which we are accustomed to meet, was decorated with treasures
of artistic beauty, and in still greater interest, with the ancient and modern symbols of the faith and devotion of Christians and Hebrews and even Buddhists.
The Club was called to order by the President, and the Recording Secretary read the Minutes of the Meeting of January 30th. The Introductory article of our programme was by Miss Haughton and was “Of the Beauty of Holiness.” She described vividly the symbolical significance of colors and forms and letters and delineations which have come from early Christian times down to our own days; each we may believe, with its own appropriate lesson, like that of the alabaster boy of the precious ointment that was poured upon the Master’s Feet or the wedding garments of which He has told us. We can appreciate all efforts to do homage to that “beauty of holiness” in which we are commanded and recommended to “worship the Lord.” Miss Haughton went on to speak of religious symbolism in general; and then of the efforts of humanity in different ages and countries to work for the glory of God; and it may be possible with different comprehensions, and difference of administrations, still striving for a day when there shall be one fold and one Shepherd.
The next article on the programme was by Mrs. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann], and was on the “Symbolism of Sacred Vestments.” She began by speaking of the antiquity of embroidery, of the needlework dear to woman in all ages,--her solace and joy. Then of the peplum of Minerva, of the work of the women of Sidow, before the Trojan War, and of what Homer tells us
of the work of Andromache for Hector. Mrs. Dammann spoke of the woven work of the ninth century, and of the tapestries of the twelfth century, and then of the oldest Ecclesiastic embroideries of England, and of the continent of Europe. She quoted from the book of Exodus of the holy garments made for Aaron the Priest, “for glory and for beauty,” of their purple and gold and silver and of the embroidered coat of fine linen, and of the girdle of needlework that he wore. She told us of the significance attached to some of the ancient forms of vestments and adornments, not only by the Hebrew and by Christians, but even by heathens also. She spoke of the survival of these holy garments, and of other ancient costumes in the sacred vestments used in our own days. Mrs. Dammann described the garments of the Roman Catholic priest in celebrating the mass, and also showed them to us in beautiful reality, telling us of the religious and historical meaning and purport--and of the prayers appropriate to the putting on of each of them. By the side of the magnificent brocades embroidered with silver and pearl and real gold thread that were shown to us with the laces and exquisite illuminated work, there were some things of peculiar historical interest. One was the faded chasuble that had been worn by Father White, the chaplain of the first Noble Calvert who came to Maryland, more than two and a half centuries ago. Another was an old Mexican vestment that had been used in the chapel of the emperor Augustin Iturbide.
Another was a long scarf from the Phillipines Islands, the work of two nuns who were said to have devoted their lives to it. It was made of the inner fibre of the pineapple, and was lent by Miss Balch [Grace Balch]. Among many beautiful things the jewelled altar cloths of Grace Episcopal Church, and St. Michael and All Angels were much admired. Of a different kind, but of very great interest, was shown in a Chinese Mandarin’s coat, said to be two hundred years old.
The last article of the programme given us was offered by Miss Haughton, and read by Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace]. It was on “The Symbols of the Jewish Church.” It spoke of a worship of thousands of years ago, remaining almost unmodified to day. The same customs, the same symbols of the early Old Testament Scriptures, so far as it can be carried out, the same ceremonial used in Ancient Palestine, with its gold and purple and fine linen;--for the Hebrew has always given of his best to the service of his God. We were shown the Curtain placed before the ark containing the scrolls of the Law;--a beautiful drapery of white brocade and silver,--the scrolls themselves with their strange silver ornaments, and their embroidered velvet covering; the singular silver breast-plate of the Hebrew priest, worn during service, and also the silver rod and wand, held by the Reader of the Law, said to be the same symbols used in Somolan’s Temple, three thousand years ago, truly seeming to call for reverential regard now. Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord] now spoke of some
remarkable work done by nuns in Cologne. After much appreciative enjoyment of the wonderful suggestive art and beauty around us, the one hundredth regular literary meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore adjourned.
February 13th, 1894.
The 101st meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, February 13th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. It was under the direction of Mrs. Gaston Manly [Lily Tyson Manly Elliott], Chairman of the Committee on Authors and Artists of Maryland. Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], the President, called the Club to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of February 6th. The President announced that the vacancy in the office of Corresponding Secretary had been filled by the election of Mrs. Gaston Manly to that position, and that members who desired invitations for their friends, should apply to Mrs. Manly for them.
Before beginning the exercises of the programme, the President announced that we had present with us Mrs. Richardson [Hester Crawford Dorsey Richardson], who as Miss Hester Crawford Dorsey, was we all knew, one of the earliest proposers and founders of our Woman’s Literary Club, and was our first Vice President. Mrs. Richardson said a few words of greeting to her fellow members. She spoke of the pleasure in finding us with our enlarged membership and widened influence, working under the same name and with the same definite purposes, with which we began our existence
as a Club nearly four years ago. She spoke of some other Woman’s Club[s], especially of the Sorosis of New York,--which is, however, not strictly literary. It grew she said, out of the feeling aroused by the refusal to admit women, however distinguished, to a dinner given to Charles Dickens, when he was in New York. Upon this, Jennie June and Fanny Fern and other[s] concluded that the women of New York ought to have a Club of their own, in our time. The Brooklyn Woman's Club was, she told us, really a literary club, though it is by no means a narrow or limited one in its aim or management. It has been said of this Brooklyn Club, that a mother who wishes her daughter to join it, ought to give in the name of her child as soon as it is born, and perhaps, when the infant becomes a woman, there may be a vacancy ready in her admission to membership.
Mrs. Richardson said that she believed that we would go on with no limited aims, but with broad culture taking in all great subjects and still remaining a Woman's Literary Club. She had heard of the formation of another association by some of the former members of our own Club, whose work may be on somewhat different lines from ours. Of course there is regret in parting company, but there need be no rivalry, nor anything but good feeling between the two bodies. We know that the Sorosis and the Nineteenth Century Club are very different from each other, but that does not prevent the holding of membership in both of them at the same time. She could hope, she said that both of the Baltimore Woman's Literary Clubs might continue and succeed.
The first article on our programme was by Miss Louise Malloy, and was called: "Three Generations of Maryland Genius." She spoke of the great names in literature, art, and history which belong to our own city of Baltimore, especially of those great names belonging to the Drama, and of these, Baltimore perhaps owns more than any other American city. She went on to speak of the Booth family who have been in some sort identified with this city ever since Junius Brutus Booth came over from England, and lived in Exeter Street, and afterwards in High street in what we call Old Town. They were a Spanish Family, who in England, had translated their names into English. They were eccentric, but genius often is so--somewhat melancholy, shy and retiring--of the stage. One sister named Rosaline carried the hereditary [?resume] to such an extreme degree, that her neighbor doubted her actual existence. The elder Booth was erratic to the point of insanity. He loved animals--an admirable trait certainly, and once while living in Harford county, he invited his neighbors in due form to a funeral, which they were surprised to discover was that of a favorite horse. Though he set a high value on animal life of every kind, and cautioned his children against cruelty more than anything else perhaps, he is known in the excitement of acting to have pursued a fellow actor over the stage with a drawn sword.
Miss Malloy spoke of the early struggles of Edwin Booth for success in his profession, of his want of ease and apparent want of fitness when
he first appeared on the stage.--of Edwin Forrest's telling the elder Booth that his son Edwin would never make an actor; it would be better to put him to learn a good trade, which has a strange sound now. She spoke of the early friendship of John Sleeper Clark, who was a sort of good genius to Booth, before and after he became his brother-in-law. To Mrs. Clark--Asia Booth,--who was educated at Carmelite Convent in this city, Miss Malloy gave credit for possessing in full measure the family genius, and in too full measure the family melancholy.
After that tragedy which overshadowed our whole nation, Edwin Booth would never consent to play in Washington, and Mrs. Clark, though she brought up her children as Americans, would never again consent to live in America. Edwin Booth was in Boston at the time of his brother's insane act, and though he had voted for President Lincoln, was only saved from arrest by strong political influence. Our own essayist went on to tell how Edwin Booth courted his first wife in a landing house in Fayette street, where afterwards stood the Post Office. He became engaged the second time also in Baltimore, after he had been accidentally hurt by another actor on the stage. The only time he was ever known to have dropped into poetry as a friend--like or rather unlike, Mr. Wagg, was in some lines to Miss Martha Ford concerning her little blue shoes and her big blue eyes, in pleasanter and kinder verse than most of such poems own. Miss Malloy went on to speak of the histrionic ability of
Creston Clark, the son of Asia Booth, relating his dramatic triumphs, and his success in the character of Hamlet especially. He belongs she said to Maryland, and shows in the third generation the striking genius of his kindred. She spoke of his mental and physical likeness to his mother's family, which was confirmed by a picture shown to us.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. John D. Early [Maud Graham Early], and was on “Alfred J. Miller,” the Artist.” It was read by Mrs. Manly. It spoke of Mr. Miller as the first artist produced in Baltimore, so far as known. It dwelt on his pictures of the North American Indians, and told of his opportunities for studying that race on their native heaths, in what was then the Wild West;--opportunities impossible to gain now, and which were most fortunately given to Mr. Miller, and appreciated by him. Some of his pictures are owned by Mr. Walters and by others in this city, and they increase in value as time goes on. We were given the newspaper notice of July 3rd, 1874, recording Mr. Miller’s death, in the 65th year of his age. His father was at the bombardment of Fort McHenry. At eighteen Mr. Miller painted his first historical picture, the murder of Jane McCrea. He was a pupil of [Thomas] Sully in Philadelphia, and afterward studied abroad. At the Louvre he painted without restriction, and was called in Paris, the first American Copyist. He was some time in Rome, and made excursions through Italy, before coming back to Baltimore. Sir William Drummond Stewart, a Scotchman, who had fought at Waterloo, who was in 1837
about to travel in Canada and the North West, invited Mr. Miller to join the expedition, and to make illustrations of it. They started from St. Louis, then thought to be far West, and they brought back at last pictures of wild Indians and wild scenery of great value. The same generous friend invited the artist to come to Scotland, and gave him princely entertainment there. Cardinal Wiseman, we were told, found in one of Mr. Miller’s pictures a text for one of his lectures. Mr. Miller painted pictures of various kinds, but the Indian ones have been most valued. For a long time he sent one of three every year to Sir William Stewart. We were told of some of Mr. Miller’s pupils, whose names are well known in Baltimore. Also that he had left a kind and pleasant memory of his personality among us.
Some of Mr. Miller’s pictures had been lent to the Club, to adorn the walls of our meeting room on this occasion--most of them representing “the noble red man.”
The next article of our programme was the Presentation of a Bust of Edgar A. Poe to the Club from Mrs. John D. Early. Miss May Evans [May Garrettson Evans] had been requested by Mrs. Early to present the Medallion for her to the Club, also to say something about the poet whom it represents. Miss Evans told us that Mrs. Early’s gift which would hold an honored place in our meeting room, was the work of Mr. R. B. Goddard, and that the likeness from which it was taken belonged to Miss Amelia Poe, who was present with us as a guest on this evening. Of Edgar Allan Poe
himself, she reminded us that an unfriendly critic had once said, “Write it rather Edgar--a poet, and then it is right to a t.” She spoke of the work that has been tried by time, of the art and beauty that gains higher appreciation everywhere as time goes on. She spoke of the detractors of the poet, and of some of those who have written about him who seem to have drawn upon their imaginations for their facts. She spoke of talking to an intelligent woman who seems to have expressed intelligent opinions, until the name of Poe was mentioned, when she said “Oh he is too morbid for me.--have you read Miss Toucey’s Mission?” “And I” said Miss Evans “took up my tin dishes and doll clothes, and went home.” “We must seek, she said, “for Poe’s true life in the works of his brain.” She read to us the poem “To one in Paradise,” and asked if there was anything morbid in that? She then spoke of Poe’s criticisms, in which she said he was honest, really served true art, and had the courage of his convictions. Miss Evans then read some extracts from these almost inimitable criticisms with full appreciation of their wit, humor and satire.
The next article on the programme was the Recitation of the “Star-Spangled Banner” by Miss Martha Ford, who had consented to give it to us, and who was known to have given the same patriotic recitation at the Exposition at Chicago. Two handsome flags, a Star-Spangled Banner and a Maryland Flag had been brought to us on this evening by the Colonel of the Fifth Maryland Regiment, to whom thanks were voted for
the favor. At the close of Miss Ford’s recitation, the applause was so long continued and earnest, that the reciter was led back to the platform by Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton] our Second Vice President. Miss Ford said she could not give us another recitation, but she would give us a quotation from Shakespeare. She gave us the speech of Portia, “The quality of mercy is not strained etc,” with appropriate grace and expression.
The programme being concluded, the President said that having expressed our pleasure for the entertainment given us, we should also express our gratitude to all of those friends who had lent us the superb embroidered vestments and other draperies and ornaments which had adorned the meeting of February 6th. She proposed the appointment of a Committee to draft resolutions of thanks to be sent by the Corresponding Secretary, in the name of the Club, to Cardinal Gibbons, Mr. Powell, Rabbi Guttmacher, Mr. Smith and all the other generous contributors to the success of our exhibition on the evening mentioned. Miss Malloy, Miss Grace, and the President herself were named as this committee.
The President then by request, gave some of her own recollections of the performances in the old Baltimore Museum--a building which some of us can well recollect on Baltimore Street, a good many years ago. She told of the playing of the elder Booth there, of the Baltimore actor Owens, of a picture by Mr. Miller, which hung there, of the playing of Joseph Jefferson and Mrs. [?Germon] who always
seemed to take their audience into their confidence,--and other entertaining recollections.
A vote of thanks was given to Mrs. Early for the gift of the medallion of Poe. Miss Malloy read the draft of the resolutions to be sent, returning thanks to the loan of the vestments, ecclesiastical embroidery, symbolical ornaments etc., sent to us on February 6th, which resolution was approved.
The meeting was adjourned.
February 30th, 1894.
The 102nd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, February 20th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of February 13th. The President said a few words with regard to the more than one hundred regular literary meetings of the Club, and the reports of them that had been read to us. She then gave us the pleasure of having read a letter from our former President Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull], written in Rome, and addressed to the Club. Mrs. Turnbull sends to her dear friends of the Club, warm love, deep sympathy and strong hope for the future.
The meeting of this evening was under the direction of Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], the Chairman of the Committee on the “Exact Study of the English
Language.” The first article of the programme was by Miss Brent herself, and was on “The Origin and Progress of Language.” She said that the most precious gift ever given man was called “The Word.” “In the beginning was the Word” etc. “In Him was Light, and the Light was the Life of man.” Miss Brent went on to speak of human speech,--the gift of man alone. Animals have their notes and cries; but not language except in the kind of imitative speech, which is obtained by the parrot. But even this is not what can be given by the child, or even by the idiot. The monkey has been called “the speechless man”; though we do now hear of a supposed simian language. But the monkey is the same hairy creature that ancient travellers have told us of; his nature may seem to walk on parallel lines with that of man,--but parallel lines never meet. The Chinese tell us of a tribe of ancient people in their country whose language is composed of the simplest possible sounds,--the name by which they call themselves seems scarcely to be pronounced at all. But the old Chaldeans reached a high degree of written speech, of poetry and legend. We were given the old Chaldean story of the seven spirits of evil,--neither male nor female, but fiends,--and the poetical conjurations that were addressed to them. Also, the Chaldean myth of the Sun and the Moon. In Ireland are found named brought from Phoenicia,--the name of [?Shamas], for instance; and it has been said that the Basques in Spain, speak the language that they brought
from the plains of Shinar,--from the tower of Babel. Miss Brent spoke of the different accounts of the great confusion of tongues, of that of the Jews, that of the Chaldeans, etc., and of the substratum of fact to be found in all of them. She quoted from Ragotzin, the description of the great Chaldean ruin, with its seven stages or stories, built of some different colors, the colors these early astronomers identified with the seven planets with which they were familiar. And this ruin is believed to contain the remains of the real tower of Babel. She reminded us that it has been suggested, that the origin of language may be found in the sounds of nature, and of animals. The mew or miaw--of the cat, gave the name of the animal in Egypt, and in Asia, and there are other instances of the same kind. She went on to tell of the observations made by M. [?Faine] on the origin of speech in his own child,--a baby girl. He thought that the child begins with sounds as it it does with motions. When it first tries to turn its head, or to put out its hands, there is a vague twitter; then gutturals;--the vowels come before the consonants however. At twelve months there is speech; and then the gaining of new words. Observations of this kind were made by Darwin, on a little boy. Miss Brent spoke of the sounds that have come down through the ages, through Hebrew, Greek, German and Latin--to the English language, fitted for the genius of Shakespeare, and for the needs of daily life, for “whatever stirs the
mortal frame.” The speech of the earliest known inhabitants of Great Britain is retained, like that of the Indian tribes of our own country, chiefly in geographical names; and perhaps, in a few words relating to their own common daily life and customs. All have gone to make the language of the King,--the King’s English.
Miss Brent read to us a beautiful little poem by an unknown author, called “The Winter Street,” or “The Milky Way in the Heavens.” It told of an old legend of the days of Odin and Thor; about two lovers, parted by the width of the heavens from each other; and of their building a bridge of light across the distance. And no power could compass the destruction of their work; for what Love had built Love himself would not destroy.
The next article of the programme was by Miss Maria Middleton [Maria H. Middleton], and was read by the Secretary. It was on “Etymology and Pronunciation.” She spoke of Pronunciation as following Etymology, and called attention to the argument used against the advocates of the Phonetic system, that in dropping superfluous letters we may use sight of root-words, and of the wonderful history that belongs to them. Then to the curious guess that under strong emotion or in making unusual exertions with the muscles, we give forth sounds with our vocal chords. From these, she said, are born our interjections, which are sometimes whole sentences--almost volumes. But so much meaning
may be greatly owing to the modulation of the voice. Yet we spend hundreds of dollars on the art of singing, and lay no stress on the needful art of the modulation of the voice in speaking. And much of the happiness of daily life is bound up with the right use of the voice. Miss Middleton quoted Shakespeare’s description of Cordelia’s gentle and low voice; and Tennyson’s account of Cleopatra’s “lyre of widest range” that “glided through all change”; and noted the difference. Verse has been called a form of music, and poetry should have its full effect when read or recited aloud. She spoke of the power of words; and then of some words that in the centuries have become degraded in Meaning--while other have been ennobled. The word “Awfully,” meaning full of awe, of mingled fear and reverence, now sometimes means simply abhorrent, but is fast taking rank with the unemphatic “very” of every day life. But English Grammar is now far more of a science than ever before. It is not always poverty of feelings that leads to poverty of vocabulary, but want of culture. There was no poverty of language in the suggestion made to that unhappy foreigner, who in looking at picture, remarked: “What a flock of ships!” He was told that a flock of ships was called a fleet; that a fleet of sheep was called a flock; that a flock of girls was called a bevy; a bevy of wolves was called a pack; a pack of things was called a gang; a gang of angels was called a host; and so forth,
for a long page more. There are, our essayist admitted, some difficulty in the use of the English pronouns, and even by dignified writers. We are sometimes reminded of the hapless old woman,--a witness in a murder case,--who testified: “He’d a stick, and he’d a stick; and he beat he; and he beat he; and if he’d a beat he, as hard as he beat he,--he’d a killed he, and not he he.” In listening to a well bred, well read Englishman, and well bred, well read American, we are not conscious of any marked degeneracy in our countryman, but to be well bred and well read requires much effort. The common errors of pronunciation through spelling into confusion; and misspelling brings about changes in pronunciation.
Miss Middleton protested against the careless use of the word “like,” especially in making it do duty as a conjunction. She spoke of the believers in progress, who are too violent to distinguish between progress and mere change. “By all means,” she said, “let us have progress,--but not rapid transit.” That is not the order of the Universe, in which we must bear our part. We should saturate ourselves with the best literature, and associate with those who have already done so; and influence young people especially to do the same. We remember Pope’s advice,--as good now as ever before; “In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold, alike fantastic, if too new or old.”
“Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.”
The next article of the programme was given by Mrs. Randolph Latimer [Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer], and was made up of readings from two old specimens of the newspapers of Boston in the last century. They were “The Herald of Freedom” and “The Federal Advertiser”; and their dates were in April and May 1789. Mrs. Latimer spoke of the language used some sixty, or a hundred or more, years ago; as that in fashion in the present time. She said she sometimes wished, in reading a certain author, that a law might be enacted restraining him--or her--from using more than a certain number of adjectives on each page. She gave an account of a piece of impudence far beyond that usually accredited to the modern reporter, in the case of a Scotch clergyman who felt it to be his mission to go and preach to the Pope. The interview ended very creditably to the Pope, who was polite, and even contributed to the expense of the would-be adviser back to his own country--probably thinking him crazy.
In one of Mrs. Latimer’s old papers is an indignant letter to the editor from a person styling himself “A Customer,” telling of a proposed duel, in which the other party would not fight. There is also news of the Indian War, on the borders of North Carolina, describing a skirmish between forty white men and two hundred Indians, resulting in the relief of a besieged fort; without the certainty of any one having been killed on either side. In contrast to this, we were given the news sent to Prince Gallitzin, the Russian Ambassador, at Vienna,
giving an account of a Russian victory over the Turks, in which great slaughter is recorded,--”not counting those who were sabred in their houses.”
We were given a leading editorial on the approaching election for the first President of the United States, denouncing the actions of the opposers of the lately adopted Constitution against “the hero to whom even Britons do homage,” General Washington. This article says that the candidates proposed in opposition to Washington are not an Adams, nor a Hancock, but Patrick Henry, and Governor Clinton of New York. There is much local politics in these papers, also facetious old jokes from European publications. There are obituary “poems” worthy to rank with those encountered in our own daily newspapers. Also a laudatory notice of the first published American novel “The Power of Sympathy, Dedicated to the Young Ladies of America,--A bound book--price nine shillings,--I. Thomas and Company, Boston.” a jeweller advertises: “Very neat ladies’ and gentlemen’s watch-chains.”
The paper of April 10th, gives the latest news from Europe; thirty five days from Lisbon, direct; and forty seven days from London. A change in the British Ministry is announced as having taken place. The Prince of Wales having become Regent of the Kingdom, Mr. Pitt had resigned his office, and Mr. Foy had become Prime Minister. The death of Charles the Third, King of Spain, is announced. And the prospects are said to be gloomy for the presentation of peace, in this first half of the year of Grace 1789.
Miss Mary David informed us that she had a copy of the first American novel “The Power of Sympathy” in her own library. Also that she had an electoral ticket for one of our early Presidential contests.
The next article on our programme was by Miss Mabel Carter, and was on “The Emotional Element in Chaucer’s Poetry.” She spoke of the emotional element as indispensable to the poet. Then of Chaucer’s ideas and figures, of his subjective quality of his ear that heard the birds, and of his spirit that felt the charm of nature, of the romance and chivalry and the religion he pictures for us; of what he has felt, and has told us of love, of suffering and merriment. Miss Carter went on to give us a very appreciative review of the different works of Chaucer; and of the characteristic beauty and charm of each of them. She said he passed over tenderly the faults of his heroines, and dwelt on all of the true womanliness in them. He was no misanthrope,--the justice and gentle charity of his work has given him immortality.
The last article on our programme was by Mrs. Henry C. Evans, and was called “What’s in a Name?” She spoke of the spirit of investigation rife in the present day; of the Helen’s babies, who are not content “to see the wheels go round,” but “want” themselves to open and shut all the things they see,--and who ask not only “Why?” but How? And When? And Wherefore? also.
The word girl has been derived from garrulous;
but if loquacity is its meaning, the word girl might belong to either sex. Perhaps the true apple of discord grew in the Garden of Eden. Mrs. Evans spoke of the time-honored expression of discontent over the name of the Western Continent, as America, instead of Columbia. She quoted an ingenious writer who attempts to prove that our side of the world was not named after Americus Vespucius at all; that he himself was named Alberico; and that the name America has an entirely native origin, and means “the windy country.” It follows then, that Alberico Vespucci received the name Americus after he had visited and written about “the windy country,” in something like the way in which “Chinese Gordon” became the designation of a hero of our own time, after his adventure in China.
Other names, geographical, historical and personal, Christian and family names were discussed for us with interest, ingenuity, and suggestiveness. Mrs. Evans told the story of a German “gentleman” who was said to come to this country in the last century, rejoicing in the name of Feuerstein. His neighbor informed him that this was Flint in English, the good foreigner translated it, and was known as Flint. After a migration to another part of the country, other neighbors, taking the name to have an additional “e,” informed the son of the house that “Flinte” in German was musket in English, and the obliging young man called himself Musket. Musket being not
considered euphonious however,it was changed to Gunn. But in the next generation strong objections were found to the name Gunn, and it was altered to John. Still another generation made this Johnson, and we were told the second Johnson was named Andrew, and is known to history as Andrew Johnson, seventeenth President of the United States.
The programme being finished, an invitation was read to a Lecture by the Dean of Swart[h]more College.
The meeting adjourned.
February 27th, 1894.
The 31st Salon of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, February 27th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President called the meeting to order. She reminded the Club of the very pleasant letter from our former President, Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull], which she had read to us at the meeting of the last Tuesday, and said she had omitted to repeat the address of Mrs. Turnbull which is: Care of Brown, Shipley and Company, Bankers, London, England. She added that Mrs. Turnbull had requested that as many of the Club as could do so would write to her. The President also announced that this meeting was under the direction of Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton] of the Committee on Music. We were then given
three songs by Miss Leila Snyder [Lila Snyder], accompanied by Mrs. Shefloe [Mrs. Joseph F. Shefloe], and three more by Miss Celeste Winans Crown; also three more songs by Mrs. Gray. We were also given Piano solos by Miss Annie Perrin. The music was highly appreciated, and enjoyed by the Club.
The only literary article on the programme was given by Miss Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese], and was “A Talk on Songs.” After a few words on lyrical composition in general, Miss Reese spoke of reading songs and singing songs. A poet she said ought to be born with an ear; but of course, all poems can not be sung,--some are meant only to be read. She spoke of the songs that are meant to be sung, but do not give themselves kindly to that service. Some songs which have the true singing qualities hold their own for centuries. The old Cavalier songs, the later Irish melodies, and others of kindred nature, are still sung and enjoyed, while many written since, and even in our own time, have sunk, or are sinking into forgetfulness. She spoke of Thomas Moore’s power of fitting words and music to each other,--also of the work of other true songsters. We were reminded of old melodies and of “soft airs” “married to immortal verse,” that seem to go on sounding through the ages.
At the close of Miss Reese’s article, the President announced that she had received through the mail, a poem type-written with the request that it might be read to the Club. The outside address was type-written also, and the request was endorsed only “One of the members.” Mrs.
Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall] was requested to read the poem, and did so. It was entitled: “To the Ideal Member of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore.” This Miss Reese suggested might apply to our former President. It called on the guardian of the world ideal to hold the standard high, to remember the resting of the Son of God in Woman’s Care,--still to touch His garment’s hem and let her feet tread near to him.
The Recording Secretary was then requested to read the minutes of the meeting of February 20th, and did so. The President proposed a vote of thanks to Miss Haughton for her efforts to give us the musical entertainment of the evening. This having been done, the meeting adjourned.
The 103rd Meeting. [March 6, 1894]
The 103rd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, March 6th, 1894, at the Corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Francis Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann], the Chairman of the Committee on Current Criticism. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the Minutes of the Salon of February 27th. The President spoke of the serious illness of Mrs. Easter [Marguerite E. Easter], Chairman of the Committee on Ancient Medieaval Poetry. She also announced that at the Salon of this month on March 27th, Miss Duvall [Ellen Duvall] will give us her paper on
Iago and discussion is requested to follow its reading. The Recording Secretary then read to the Club a very courteous note from Rev. J. Havens Richards, President of Georgetown College. It was in answer to the letter of our Corresponding Secretary thanking him for the loan of the beautiful vestments which added so immensely to the interest of our meeting of February 6th.
The first article on our programme was given by Mrs. Tait [Anna Dolores Tiernan Tait], and was called “Two Fools in Fiction.” Mrs. Tait criticized the novels God’s Fool by Maarten Maartens, and “Dodo” by E. F. Benson, which latter she called the “Fool of the World, the Flesh and the Devil.[”] Both the stories she said were somewhat pessimistic. The first treats of its hero in a Dutch Commercial city, deaf and blind from an injury to his brain given him by a step-brother, very early in his life,--and worse than orphaned. The story shows the development of a soul--of love--and of self sacrifice. Of the novel “Dodo,” though it comes from Lambeth Palace, the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mrs. Tait said it is not a sermon in disguise, not even a story with a moral; but the story of spoiled girl who seems to know what she wants and always gets it, who finds herself more interesting to herself than anyone else is, and who perhaps cannot help being what she is. We were told that the characters are drawn after artistic models, like the pictures of [?Dr. Maurier], and by a gentleman, who
is above the vulgarity of prudence. The story was sketched for us gracefully and attractively, until “conscienceless and serene,” her Serene Highness passes out of vision.
Mrs. Dammann next gave us the review of two new books she had lately enjoyed reading. The first was “A Gentleman of France,” being the Memoir of Gaston de Bonne, by S. J. Wetman. This book, she said, does not give problems and fail to answer them, it is refreshing and gratifying. The second book was “The Ships that Pass in the Night,” by Beatrice Harraden. No one, it is said, could read this book without being roused to better thoughts and more loving life in the world where we go to and fro, and meet beautiful unselfish deeds and lives. Though there might be a more distinct recognition of the one Father of us all, there is sympathy and truth in the book that will do us good.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. Oliver O’D. Hoblitzell [Eliza W. Hoblitzell], and was read by Mrs. Dammann. It was called “The Child of Today, the Man of Tomorrow.” It spoke of the love for little children--for all children,--which we know is, or ought to be in the heart of every true woman. Mrs. Hoblitzell went on to speak of the outcome of this love and the expression of it that she believes herself to have found in the writings of Mrs. Kate Douglass Wiggin. She thought the children of to day need just such books as Mrs.
Wiggin can give them. They are natural and helpful, and she has what has been called the seventh sense, the sense of the ridiculous. She may resemble Louisa Alcott, but is not an imitation of her. Mrs. Wiggins is a widow, but not an old woman,--born and brought up in California. It is in Southern California that she places the scene of her story “Polly Oliver’s Problem.” Polly’s efforts to save from the jaws of Fate her mother, who has broken down under taking boarders for a living, were described as well as her successful economies,--till the mother’s life fades away. But we were told, when the sun of her hope sets, she lights a candle called patience, and guides her footsteps by its light. Polly is employed by a benevolent lady at a small salary to tell stories to the children in an orphan asylum. She adopted the profession of a paid story-teller to the children of those of those who can pay well for the service; but not forgetting the orphans, whose company she loves. Mrs. Hoblitzel[‘s] article went on to speak of the improved and healthy literary tone of the children’s books at the present day.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. R. K. Cautley [Lucy Randolph Cautley], and was called “A Plea for Small Poets.” Mrs. Cautley suggested that fifty minor English poets was none too many. That all singers can not be nightingales. And the nightingale sings only one month in the year, must all the other birds keep silence, all the year round because they are not nightingales? Must we walk through the woods with our ears stopped with cotton wool,
and see spring flowers, but not hear the spring songs? She liked them all, even those of the frogs, who might be called nature’s negro minstrels, and rather low perhaps, but capable of giving pleasure to some of us. And we can let the little birds sing. The first of the minor poets she reviewed was William Watson, who, as she reminded us, is believed to have failed to receive the appointment of Poet Laureate, as Tennyson’s successor, through the misfortune of a temporary loss of reason. But he is still a young man, and may yet give us many more true poems like those quotes in the essay.
The next minor poet mentioned by Mrs. Cautley was as she said a woman, and the peer of the rest; Miss Augusta Webster. She shows the influence of the Brownings, having been well acquainted with both of them. But she is a singing bird herself also, and we were glad to have brought before us the good and true music of one of our own sex. The next minor poet of Mrs. Cautley’s list was Rudyard Kipling, perhaps more popular than any other young poet in England. He has, she said, been called a brute and a savage, but he has written about strange countries and people; and one can not paint a ruler to us like a Fra Angelico angel. He has painted Hindoo life, and also the Homesickness of Europeans in India, better than anyone else has done. We were given one of Kipling’s poems, a patriotic tribute to Lady Dufferin from the Hindoo women whom she had helped and comforted during her stay in their country. The last minor poet on Mrs. Cautley’s list was Robert Bridger, a quiet
Oxford student, rather liked by the critics, as yet not much known in America, who has written some lovely lines. Mrs. Cautley went on to speak of the ambitious efforts of some young contemporary writers. Referring to the old fable that the nightingale sings with its breast against a storm, she spoke of those who try to prick themselves into nightingales, but such self-inflicted torture does no good. Mrs. Cautley closed the review with a poem written by one entirely unknown in America, a poet and artist who asks “When all Nature Sings, Why should I be dumb?”
The President announced the request of the board of management that those members of the Club who wish to propose the names of new members, will send them to the Board, on or before the first of April.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. Thomas J. Morris, and was on John Oliver Hobbs and Maarten Maartens. She said she would not bring us an essay but only opinions. She spoke of some of the books of John Oliver Hobbs,--the nom de plume, of an American woman living in London. One was she said a story of marital infelicity, and not pleasant to dwell upon. Another was called “A Study in Temptation,” and on this one, the author seems to have made her reputation. It is bright but unsatisfactory, with glittering sentences and repugnant situations. She spoke of another called “A Bundle of Life,” and gave us from these books, some very striking and extraordinary quotations. But she
concluded that these books are not in sympathy with Article I. V. Section 2nd of our beloved and lately imperiled Constitution, on the encouragement of right and serious views of life and literature. Mrs. Morris also reviewed “The Greater Glory” by Maarten Maartens. She told us of the only son of a typical Dutch father and mother, committed to a tutor who was told to make him a gentleman, not a scholar. Of the principal that finds expression in the old motto “Nobless Oblige,” and the different conceptions of the principle by different souls. She gave us some wonderful descriptions and character scenes; and close and closed with an eloquent interpretation of the title of the book “The Greater Glory.”
Miss David offered for us the inspection of the Club, an old ticket for our early Presidential election. Mrs. Morris spoke of the literary entertainment to be given by Mr. Lincoln on the sixteenth of March, and of its great Attractions. Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] spoke of the work of our Committee on Modern Philanthropy.
The meeting adjourned.
March 13th, 1894.
The 104th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, March 13th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the Minutes of
the meeting of March 6th. It was announced that this meeting was to be under the direction of Miss Lizette Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese], the Chairman of the Committee on Modern Poetry.
The first article on the programme was a poem by Mrs. Easter [Marguerite E. Easter], called “A Conceit,” which was read by Mrs. Cautley [Lucy Randolph Cautley]. It reminded us of the falling roses and the dusks of Autumn, and of the gloom of Winter, and of the reviving presence of a bright and warm human love. The announcement was made that Mrs. Easter was recovering from her severe illness. Our programme next called for a poem by Mrs. Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock] however told us that she had left her own translation at home, and had brought us instead a printed article, with which she had been very much impressed. She then read to us a poem which appeared in Scribner’s Magazine for last January,--called “The Wolf is at the Door,” and written by Charlotte Perkins Stetson. It falls upon the unemployed poor,--not the dread of dying like men, by lead or steel, but of being devoured--themselves and their little ones--by slow starvation. Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] said she tanked Mrs. Whitelock for the poem she had given us; but thought she still owed us the one we had expected to hear.
The next article on our programme was by Miss Imogen George, and was on Sidney Lanier
and his work. Miss George spoke of the place in our literature won by the street singer, whose songs must live longer than those of many others now popular among us,--of him whose truth and purity and faith shine like the stars above us. She would not dwell on his life and personal qualities known so well here in Baltimore, but she went on to speak of the true poet and musician--who loved God and little children--and of the humor and broad religion, of the love, first pure, and then holy to be found in his writings. We were next given a poem by Miss Grace Denio Litchfield, one of our honorary members. It was called “Courage,” and was appreciatively read by Miss Virginia Cloud [Virginia Woodward Cloud]. It calls on the brave mariner mariner who has suffered shipwreck before he could reach the haven of refuge, to plant on the cliffs a victor’s cross, even though it marks the spot where a barque went down.
The last article on our programme was by Miss Reese, and was on “Poetry as a Means of Education.” Miss Reese spoke of the mercantile spirit, which would make “getting on” in the world the chief end and aim of education, which puts mathematics in the foremost place and gives literature a much lower one. The mercantile spirit and the missionary spirit, have brought on a reaction from the old happy go luck readings of former days. Jack is becoming a dull boy instructed in facts and figures, and is letting his mysteries and illusions go. The “Rollo” books were
pionëers in the line of fact, teaching children’s stories, and have had many successors. But the old happy go lucky readings gave true human delight, and the child can still travel the heights of imagination, the dark still pursues him, the wind answers him, the moon looks at him. A child who reads good poems, lays up a store of good words for future use; and every good word, lives quite as long as, we are told, every idle word does. How much of Shakespeare do many of us use unconsciously every day? Miss Reese spoke of the influence of a liturgical form of worship, in teaching good language to those who use it. She told of a lady who taught her Sunday School class a poem of George Herbert’s and so gave one of her pupils the only bit of culture that has followed him through life. She said, “we cannot parse John Milton, and read him too.” Some classics have been belittled to us by the effort to break them up into nine parts of speech. Can the expert do more with a poem, than he can do who listens to it only as he does to a strain of music, and so is richer by one mystery the more. Cabbages can be bought at any market, we have June roses, only in June. Miss Reese spoke of the simple lines learned in childhood, that we never forget; and told us that poetry will never fail us, as long as we have the mother and the child with us still.
The President announced that our next meeting will be under the direction of Mrs. Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall], the chairman of the Committee on Archaeology, and as
some visitors are expected to be present, it will be well to have ushers appointed for that occasion. She then appointed Miss Mabel Carter and Miss George to act in that capacity on that evening.
The meeting adjourned.
March 2nd, 1894.
The 105th regular meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, March 20th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the Minutes of the meeting of March 13th. The 105th meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall], Chairman of the COmmittee on Archaeology. The President read a short paper introducing the topic of the meeting, “The Archaeology of India.” It spoke of the early life and the strange creed of the Indian Peninsula, of the original faith which seems to have been belief in the one true God, afterwards modified into a belief in three Gods, showing relation to the wide-spread idea of a Divine Trinity. Of the East Indian early life and civilization the record remains to us in rock-hewn temples and carved images, in images, in symbols, and inscriptions that appeal to us with wonderful force and meaning, full of the history of man’s ancient desires and aspirations--his hope and trust. We were told
of the rise of Buddhism in India, of the reaction from Brahminism, and of the Buddhist symbols or emblems for the divine flame, for law and for the priesthood. The principal article in the meeting was given by Mrs. Wrenshall, and was on The Archaeology of India. It was illustrated by pictures of the wonderful temple, rock carvings, images, and curious sacred symbols of India, provided for us by Mrs. Wrenshall, and thrown upon the screen by Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton]. Mrs. Wrenshall spoke of the mystery and the elusive secrets of the long past ages in the peninsular of India, a land shut in by mountains and seas. The monuments of Minervah and of Egypt, the Hebrew Scriptures give us no certain knowledge of land or people. Not before the fourth Century before Christ, is any reliable mention of the land of rich treasure, gorgeous beauty and intellectual subtlety. Then the meteor brightness of Alexander the Great, illumines the darkness between the East and the West. The confused annals of India contrast with the orderly records of China and Egypt, in their character writing--while India possessed the greater advantage of an alphabet.
Three distinct races occupied the land. The barbarous aborigines whom their conquerors called [?Daysus] or slaves, but who played an important part in their country’s history; the Dravidians--a [?Iranian] people, who had come perhaps from Babylonia, and the conquering Aryans; a literary people upon whose Vedic literature we must depend for knowledge until the rise of Buddhism. With Gautama in the sixth century before Christ,
the architectural story of India begins, and rock temples and monasteries with their sculptures, paintings and inscriptions, have thrown much light on an almost lost record. The growth and development of Buddhism during a thousand years are vividly illustrated in profuse and wonderful pictures in stone. Brahmin and Jainist sects too, emulated this example in excavating rock and cave temples, taking up the story where else the thread had been lost. And through them we know Southern India in the centuries between the fall of Buddhism and the Moslim Conquest. Mrs. Wrenshall went back to the Aryan invasion placed by scholars about 3100 before Christ, and said that the Aryans at first possessed an elevated and joyous faith--the worship of all that is beneficent and beautiful in Nature. Falling from its high estate this religion became debasing and degenerate bondage, subjecting the people to paralyzing restrictions.
In the third century before Christ, the great reform movement began by Gautama, 200 years before it was accepted by King Asoka, and the religion of peace was made the state religion. The despised casteless aborigines and low caste Brahmins hailed the relief from the iron-bound fetters of caste. Buddhism, to which, we were reminded, we owe a great historical debt, maintained its power for over a thousand years. Missionaries were sent including the son and daughter of King Asoka to teach forbearance, charity morality and self abnegation. The King himself is said at last to have resigned
his throne to lead an ascetic life. Now arose countless monasteries, monumental shrines, memorials of the visits of Gautama, gradually becoming asylums for his followers, and great monolithic pillars with inscriptions upon them commending the Buddhist faith; but no force was used in spreading Buddhism. Pilgrims from other lands came to the spot where Gautama had lived and taught. The journals of two Chinese pilgrims, who, in the fifth and seventh centuries visited the sacred places of India, are still preserved.
We were told of a tree in Ceylon, supposed to have grown from a piece of Gautama’s sacred Bo tree, and perhaps the oldest object of worship in the world. Mrs. Wrenshall went on to tell us of the Archaeological remains of ancient India, from the rude cavern where Gautama rested from his wanderings--the cradle of the mighty wave of thought that was to reign supreme over vast India, and control many millions of the mighty halls of Egypt. The article was beautifully read and intensely interesting and finely illustrated by the pictures which accompanied it.
At the close, Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] proposed a vote of thanks to Mrs. Wrenshall and to Miss Haughton, which was passed by acclamation.
The meeting adjourned.
March 27th, 1894.
The 32nd Salon of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, March 27th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President called the meeting to order, and announced that the one reading of the afternoon would be of a paper by Miss Duvall [Ellen Duvall], and that at the close of the reading, discussion would be in order. ALso that some time ago a prize had been offered by a magazine for the best article on one of Shakespear’s characters. The article of Miss Duvall “On the Character of Iago,” was adjudged the best of all offered in competition, and was adjudged the prize. Miss Duvall’s article was then read to us by Mrs. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann]. It began with some appreciative remarks on Shakespear’s character and Shakespear’s work--the supreme work of the world up to the present time. Also on the personality impressed upon the work that we call Shakespearean; and on the privilege in this inquisitive rather than inquiring age of overcoming time and space and resting in the presence of the master spirit, sympathetic, complete and compelling. It went on to speak of the great subjective poems, Job, Hamlet, and Faust, in which the drama is within, on the stage of human consciousness. Then of the opening of the play of Othello, with the full, finished presentation of the character of Iago. We do not witness the gradual ruin or triumph of a soul, as in Macbeth or Hamlet. The questioning of life, in
which every human soul is exercised, for Iago lies behind him;--his philosophy, brief, simple, portable is identical with that of Satan in the book of Job. “Does Job fear God for naught?” Iago has considered, appreciated and rejected love and duty as inadequate and foolish, and we feel his terrible power for evil, moved by wounded self love and desire for revenge.
The comparison was drawn with Milton’s Satan, strange, wonderful; still in his fall--commanding human sympathy. Desdemona alone, we were told in his purity and simple love is Iago’s victim solely, never his tool or cheat. He has not even the common grace of honesty; and although his revenge is deadly unswerving and terrible, it is ignoble--with not even the small redemption of personal intrepidity. Yet, it was said such is Shakespeare’s consummate art, that this trickster coward and liar can not be despised. He has stupendous difficulties to overcome. As Hamlet is impelled to create a world of good, so Iago is impelled to create a world of dissonance, sin and death each out of the elements of his own nature,--and we with bated breath watch the process. Iago’s wickedness is fearfully free from weakness. Shakespeare it was said, seems not to have believed that wickedness is negative. Milton’s Satan, retains a sense of beauty and purity. Eden, we were reminded, is never lovlier [lovelier] than when seen through the lost angel’s eyes. That over Iago’s soul no sense of beauty comes, there is no heaven nor hell to him--only the earthly daily life he is investing to his own purposes.
That he so far transcends in devilishness the Satan of Milton, as both Iago and Satan transcend in power and coherency of conception and scope of action, the Mephistopheles of Goethe. That Mephistopheles is consistent only in his mockery:--that he is constantly denying, and a spirit that denies is necessarily negative. But one mind, it is said before that of Shakespeare encountered the essence of evil, and gave us its likeness in one passing, blinding flash; but the feature hideousness and terror are never to be forgotten. That in literature, and art that likeness does not again appear till Shakespeare, with a like thought to that of the author of Job, set Iago completely before us. Miss Duvall was opposed to the idea that Iago was a young man, saying that there is no trace of lingering youthfulness about him. The effect of years of life and experience on good men and bad ones,--on Hamlet and Iago, on Lear and on Macbeth, and the likeness and the difference they show in fulfilling the self enacted condition of their being, were finely brought before us in this essay; and also the wonder and worth of what Shakespeare has revealed to us.
After the reading of Miss Duvall’s paper, an animated and appreciative discussion followed on the subjects treated in it, by Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Johnson [Mrs. W. Woolsey Johnson], and others.
The meeting adjourned.
March 20, 1894.
A special meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was called to meet on Friday afternoon, March 30th, 1894. It was to consider the adoption of a Constitution; the admission of new members; and other business before the Club.
Probably owing to an unaccountable failure in the reception of notices, the attendance was so small that it was decided, after some delay, to postpone the proposal business to another meeting. The President took the opportunity of reading to those present, the documents she had received regarding the “Federation of Women’s Clubs of America,” which association our Club had been invited to join. This invitation had been accepted by the Board of Directors. A resolution passed by the Board of Management or Directors, making suggestions to the Club with regard to the voting in of new members, was read to the members present.
Some discussion, and suggestions by members with regard to our action on various subjects; some expressions of opinion; and informal votes occupied the time of the meeting. The President announced that another special meeting of the Club would be held on the following Thursday, April 5th, at 3 p.m.
The assembly adjourned.
April 3rd, 1894.
The 106th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday April 3rd, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Edmond Jenkins, Chairman of the Committee on Fiction. The President called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of March 20th and March 27th. The President announced the reception from Professor Edward Graham Daves, of a pamphlet containing the Report of the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, now more than one hundred years old. Notice was also given of the special business meeting of the Club to be held on the succeeding Friday afternoon, April 5th. The President said she hoped all of us would attend that meeting who could possibly do so; that the business claiming attention was simple but important.
The first literary paper given us was by Mrs. Jenkins [Edmund Plowden Jenkins], and was called “A Review of English Fiction.” Mrs. Jenkins took us back to the earliest known English Literature, to Caedmon and the gift of song and story which came to him in sleep by his own belief, and in a miracle by the belief of some of his contemporaries. After speaking of Chaucer, the first great English poet, and his renowned Canterbury Tales, she dwelt upon Edmund Spenser. Of his “Faery Queen,” and its loveliness and its lengthiness she quoted the
opinion of Macaulay and Charles Lamb. Then upon immortal Shakespeare, and upon Goethe’s dream of all famed writers passing in procession, and of the great William leading all the rest. Mrs. Jenkins went on to speak of Robinson Crusoe as really the first English novel. Then of Richardson, and of other writers of the eighteenth century, many of whom are too tedious for the reading of the lovers of fiction of to day. She thought the nineteenth century the time of novels. She spoke of the present fashion to disapprove of Thackeray and Dickens and Bulwer and George Eliot and Charlotte Bronte. But she found some consolation in remembering the doctrine of the survival of the fittest; that these authors may live again and still be read when forgetfulness has fallen upon some of those who are now showing what the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table calls “a weak flavor of genius, which is detestable.” Mrs. Jenkins spoke of women in literature, of literary society, and its purpose and mental magnetism, and of that moderate amount of mutual admiration among literary people, which has its uses and is not to be despised.
The first story on our programme was by Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord], and was called “Fin de Siecle” Old Maryland. Mrs. Lord painted a dear, old, sleepy little village; in which are old fashioned country stores, where boys and darkies would seem to be the only customers, and domestic animals, and poultry the chief frquenters. But on “the hill” are old colony houses, built of brick and tiles brought from England;
and within them the furniture and customs of Queen Anne’s time. Even now the whist, the gossip, the family pride and the cousinship still survive; although war and emancipation have wrought them change, and the necessity for, and the presence of “summer boarder” are working theirs also. Still the distinction is kept up between those resident families who worship in the old church of St. James, and those “other people” who attend the Baptist or Methodist services. We were given pictures of afternoon tea, and tennis and love-making, ending with a wedding trip to the World’s Fair; and the opening of the gates of prejudice and conventionalism which are never to be closed again.
The next article of the programme was made up of two sketches by Miss Virginia Cloud [Virginia Woodward Cloud]; “An United Tragedy,” and “Bartley.” These were the third and fourth of Philistia Stories, of which Miss Cloud had, as we were glad to remember, given us the first on the afternoon when Miss Marlowe was the guest of the Club. Miss Cloud’s first story told of a party on a yacht, with a Chinese cook, and various musical instruments, and gay conversation; in which last Mr. Granby takes little part; and a blonde boy just twenty one, takes no part at all. Grandy alone knows that the boy will not eat or sleep, that he has had a letter which turned his face white, and has made him sick and silent. Soon the talk turns to stories of mermaids and sea-serpents; and Grandy
tells of a green and white ghost. She was a ghost, though the man she bewitched thought her a woman; and her hair was yellow and she cared only for gold. She conquered him before he found her out. Just before the wedding day she eloped with his cousin, who had just received a fortune. It was good for the first-man however, for the cousin was killed in a duel about her soon after, and she went on being more alluring than ever. A little later, the untold tragedy comes near to being a tragedy to be told indeed. Granly seizes the boy ready to plunge into the sea, and holds him mind and body fast to his life. THen the boy asks if the ghost’s name was [?Heline]? So it was: but when the boy is brought back to reason, it is Granly’s turn to whisper [?Hilene], as he stands looking out upon the dark waves.
Miss Cloud’s second story “Bartley,” opens with a church fair, for a new organ, and secondarily for charity children; with all the usual attractions; including living pictures of all nations; and music also,--the marvelous tenor from the metropolis having been engaged at a marvelous price, to sing on the last night. Miss Cloud placed the scenes and the various actors before us, bringing out the humor and pathos of the denouement; when the great tenor, at the end of the entertainment gives a sign to the charity boys, and sings with them “Jerusalem the Golden,” thereby revealing himself as their old comrade, the adopted child of an old chair-woman, as Bartley, a supposed ne’er do well
who had been made to leave town in disgrace, after mischievous pranks. He finally disappears from our view, declining invitations from the patrons of the fair holding arm of his old mother, as he calls her, for whom he has made a home--but leaving on a slip of paper in one of the hands that he has shaken, a receipt in full for payment of his services to the fair. And the verdict of his old detractors is: “A gentleman, by the grace of God.”
The next article was given by Mrs. Frederick Tyson [Florence McIntyre Tyson], and was her own translation from Italian of a story by Salvatore Farina, called “An Irrevocable Separation.” Mrs. Tyson prefaces the story with some remarks on the Italian language and literature. She spoke of the opinion of most great scholars that the most beautiful of all languages spoken on earth is the Greek, but she thought that one who had wandered through the streets of Athens, and heard both the Greek and the Italian spoken, would give the palm for beauty to the Italian. She spoke of the Italian fiction of to day as pure and refined, its writers showing a respect for women, thus differing greatly from their ancestors the Latins, but following the later school of Dante and Petrarch. She told us of Salvatore Farina, who has the grace of style of Washington Irving;--who has been called the Dickens of his country--but this only means that he has a great deal of humor. Farina is a resident of Milan, a student, and the conductor of a paper. His
works have never before been translated into English, so far as known, though they have been published in Spanish, Russian, German, even in Turkish translations. After enumerating some of Farina’s works, Mrs. Tyson read to us his story of Sulspicio and Concetta, who for fifty five years were always declaring themselves irrevocably separated. This kind of thing had begun on their wedding tour, when after their first quarrel, they had agreed to take each other on trial once more, and they went on irrevocably separating and coming together again in the course of an hour or two--until Concetta dies, and, in the course of an hour or two Sulspicio lies down and dies too, true to the old habit. The male and female pair of peacemakers of the old couple, who have married each other in the course of the story, have their first quarrel just before this last perfect reunion of the poor old husband and wife is announced to them. THey can only say “We too, is it not so?”
The last story given us was by Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton], and was called: “His Buried Sorrow.” It was a sequel to another one called: “The Minister’s Wife.” The Minister had buried an uncongenial wife and was popularly supposed to be inconsolable. The comments of his parishioners were variously and entirely wrong concerning his grief. Meanwhile there was a little insignificant girl to whom he had once had shown a tenderness, somewhat inconsistent with the proper gravity of demeanor suitable to his holy calling and his position. But being free now from unpleasant
ties, he did the attention to the little insignificant girl that she and himself might have supposed would follow in due time. He treated with disgust the rumor that this small unimportant maiden was engaged to a rich man. But when the rich man came and asked him to officiate at the wedding--he felt,--”well said the story,” we all know how he felt,--but we would never acknowledge it.” He read the service, with great solemnity, but the little insignificant girl did not look at him but at the man he was making her husband.
At the close of the readings Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] made some explanations with regard to the story, and to the one to which it was a sequel. Miss Evans [May Garrettson Evans] asked if it was taken from life. Miss Haughton answered that it was a composite story, that six widowers had been made into one. Mrs. Graham thanked Mrs. Jenkins for the afternoon’s entertainment. The meeting adjourned.
April 5th, 1894.
A special meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, for Constitutional Business, was held on Friday afternoon, April 5th 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The meeting was called to order by the Second Vice President, Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton], who was the highest officer present. The President,
Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], wrote a note to tell us that she was, to her great regret, prevented by severe indisposition from coming to the meeting. The roll was called by the Recording Secretary, and the responses noted by Treasurer. The required quorum being announced to be present, the Act of Incorporation of the Club was then read from the certified copy sent to the Treasurer. Before proceeding to the adoption of a Constitution, the motion was made and seconded, that we now vote in the members who have not, for various reasons, signed the Act of Incorporation. The motion was carried without opposition, and the members of the Club who have not resigned, were so made members of the Club as they were before the Incorporation.
The question then arose whether we should on this occasion exercise the privilege of voting new members into the Club? or should wait until the new Constitution is adopted?--or until the first Tuesday in May, our former time for such elections. The presiding officer asked for the opinions of the members. An amicable discussion followed by Mrs. Tyson [Florence McIntyre Tyson], Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], Mrs. Goddard [Li Goddard], Mrs. Cautley [Lucy Randolph Cautley], Mrs. Jenkins [Edmund Plowden Jenkins], Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Griffith and others. The opinion of the speakers seemed to be the safer plan on the whole to wait until our usual time, for electing new members; and that the adoption of a Constitution should now occupy our attention. The presiding officer reminded us that the first Tuesday in May was little more than three weeks off now. The motion was made and seconded “That we shall elect new
members into the Club to day.” It was defeated by a large majority. Mrs. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann] then called our attention to the Revised Constitution, also known as the "Minority Report" of the Committee appointed to prepare Amendments to the Constitution last October. The question arose whether this Constitution should be voted upon Article by Article or not? and opinions were expressed that it ought to be taken as a whole. Mrs. Bullock reminded us that Article Third. Section First. of the Revised Constitution reads: "No expenses should be incurred in excess of estimated income of the Club." She moved that we shall go back to the wording of the old Constitution, which reads: "No expenses shall be incurred in excess of the funds already in the treasury." The motion was seconded and carried without further discussion. Mrs. Bullock spoke of several verbal changes which it would be well to consider. The question of the limit of distance for non-resident membership was discussed, especially whether the change might be made from twenty miles to twelve miles, with advantage to the Club? counted from the City Hall, or from the City Limits? After discussion by Mrs. Cautley, Miss Thelin [Reiba Thelin], Mrs. Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall], and others, Mrs. Balch [Grace Balch] moves that members living ten miles from the city limits shall be considered non-residents. Mrs. Tyson seconded the motion, and it was carried without further opposition. The Treasurer then spoke of Article Fifth. "On Dues of the Revised Constitution." She gave many
reasons chiefly drawn from her own experience as Treasurer of the Club, for changing Section Second of the Article, which reads: "When the dues of members shall remain unpaid for two months, the Treasurer shall notify her of the fact, and unless the same shall be paid within two week thereafter, she will be supposed to have withdrawn." A substitute for this section was offered by Mrs. Bullock, and seconded by Mrs. Wrenshall, which read, "When the dues of any member shall remain unpaid for two months, the Treasurer shall notify her of the fact. After such notification the privilege of voting shall be withheld until dues are paid." It was carried immediately.
Our attention was then called to Article Seventh, Section Second.--the word "Club" should be substitute for the word "members." A proposition was made to change the limit of the number of visitors from twenty five to twenty; but this matter was not specially considered. Mrs. Dammann then moved that the Revised Constitution as now amended, be adopted as a whole. The motion was seconded by Miss Grace and Mrs. Goddard, and was carried unanimously.
The meeting adjourned.
April 10th, 1894.
The 107th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, April 10th, 1894, at the
corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. George Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock], Chairman of the Committee on Unwritten History. Owing to the inclemency of the weather, the number present was unusually small; and some changes were made in the prepared program; but the papers read were highly appreciated and enjoyed. The President called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the Minutes of the meeting of April 3rd.
The President read a letter from Mrs. Charlotte Emerson Brown, President of the Federation of Women's Clubs of America, welcoming the entrance of our Club into the Federation. Also a letter from Miss Mary B. Temple, of Tennessee, one of the Corresponding Secretaries of the Federation, expressing her especial pleasure in welcoming a Southern Club into the Association. She spoke of loving her whole country, but of having a warm corner of her heart for the South. The hope was expressed that we would be represented at the Biennial Meeting of the Federation in May, in the city of Philadelphia. We were shown the badge of the Federation, which can be procured, and worn if desired by any of our own members. It was much admired. Our President spoke of the suggestion to join the Federation, as having come first from our fellow member, Miss Griffith [Leonora Griffith]. Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent] also spoke of the influence of our own literary work on women in different portions of our city.
The first article on our programme was by
Miss Mary D. Davis [Mary Dorsey Davis], and was on the Honorable William Burgess. It was an account of the earliest colonists of our own state of Maryland, the leader of the emigrants that [missing word] on South River, in the year 1650. We were reminded that England, in the infancy of her American Colonies, did not realize their value, but left their development to private enterprise. Col. Burgess brought to Maryland at different times, about 150 colonists; among them the ancestors of some of the most distinguished families of our state. His own family arms connect him with Truro, in Cornwall. In his epitaph on the stone--still standing near South river, which was erected by his "loving wife" to perpetuate the worthy [?deserts] of her dear Maryland, we learn that he died in 1688, about 64 years of age, that he had been a member of Lord Baltimore's Council of State, one of his Lordship's Deputy Governors, a Justice of the High Provincial Court,--Colonel of a regiment, and sometimes General of the Military forces of the Province of Maryland.
Miss Davis told of the Anglo-Catholics, and of the Puritans who found refuge under the patronage of Sir William Burgess and Governor Stone. She spoke of the founding of Annapolis in 1649, and of the district that was erected into a County in 1650, and named Anne Arundel, after the daughter of Lord Arundel of Wardour,--the wife of Cecilius Calvert. William Burgess, we were told, founded the now extinct town of London, formerly called the successful rival of Annapolis. In 1657, Colonel
Burgess was appointed one of the Burgesses of Anne Arundel County, but refused to take the usual oath, interpreting the command to "swear not at all" literally for which he was fined, and another put in his place. But he afterwards made his peace with Lord Baltimore; and in consideration of his usefulness, was pardoned "without trial or fine." Colonel Burgess's scruples may perhaps be traced to the influence of George Fry and his followers, who had gathered large congregations and made many "Friends" in Maryland. About the year 1688, Colonel Burgess was a member of the Council to settle boundaries between the lands accorded to William Penn and those accorded to Lord Baltimore. These two great leaders evidently became good neighbors; and it is recorded that at one time, Penn conducted Lord and Lady Baltimore to a "Quaker meeting," at a place called in the account Tred Haven. The lady is described as a "courteously carriaged woman." She had been the widow of Councillor Henry Sewall of Patuxent River; and Colonel Burgess's daughter Susannah married her son, one of the Sewalls. It appears that Colonel Burgess went back more than once to England, and copies of some quaint old documents were read to us relating to his actions on both sides of the ocean. He was a member of the assembly of the Colony; and was always a leader in measures of justice to the red men, as well as in protecting the rights of his fellow citizens. Miss Davis spoke of our grateful recollections of the benevolent character
of the early laws and resolutions of the Assembly of our Province for the protection of friendly Indians. Every acre of land was paid for. Father White testifies to the moderation, conjugal fidelity, and general good character of the Indians of Maryland, and says: "If once imbued with the principles of Christianity, they would certainly become examples of every moral and Christian virtue." Testimony of the same kind was given by an English traveller of the Society of Friends also. But "evil disposed persons stirred up strife; and an Indian Queen afterwards piteously appealed for protection from the depredations of the white men,--her people not having learned to fence in and secure their lands and possessions as the Colonists did. So, as we were told, the aborigines began to fall away before the onward march of a stronger people.
In 1665, Captain Burgess was sent to suppress disorders; and was given command of all the forces of the Province against "Diverse Foreign Indians." His commission signed by Charles Calvert, expresses especial confidence in his fidelity, courage and experience. It also instructs him "to associate with friendly Indians," and ["]to avoid occasion of quarrel." He was appointed one of the Judges of the Court, with power "to punish all offenders of all manner of feloneys, witchcraft, Enchantments, Sorceries, magic arts,"--and extortions whatsoever.
The August Court met at London Town, but of London town, founded by Colonel Burgess, only
one building now remains. In connection with the evidence of the intelligence culture and refinement of the early residents of our state, we were told of the South River Club, probably the oldest association of its kind on the Continent. And that on the 15th of July, 1746, the gentlemen belonging to the ancient South River club, appointed a grand entertainment to express their loyalty to his Majesty on the success of the Duke of Cumberland over the Pretender, Charles Edward,--to be held at the Club house the following Thursday. It is said that this Club still exists, but Miss Davis told us she had been informed that only three members are left belonging to it, and that the old Club-house has passed into the hands of the Grange.
In 1682, Colonel Burgess's signature was appended to Lord Baltimore's declaration justifying himself from having shown partiality to the Church of Rome in the government of the Colony, to the disadvantage of the Protestants and to the ill advantage of the whole Province, by preventing other resorting thither. Colonel Burgess and other gentlemen avowing themselves to the Protestants and loyal subjects of the King of England, and in duty bound to unfold the naked truth, declare his Lordship's favors to be impartially administered, Protestants being the greater number in his Council.
Colonel Burgess was cut off in the midst of his usefulness but, said Miss Davis, we can read between the lines of his epitaph, his high sense of honor, his worthiness of the largest trusts, his laboring to lay the
foundation of the Commonwealth, strong and deep, "preparing the soul that we might reap the harvest." She paid a tribute to the wives of our first Colonists, who left their native lands to risk a long and perilous voyage, to be content with a home on the edge of a forest full of wild beasts and wild Indians, with perhaps scanty stores and not often replenished supplies. We were told that Father White records the upsetting of a boat in which the maids were washing linen; and the dire calamnity this proved to be. Miss Davis said our fathers chose well when they sailed up the Chesapeake, and took shelter in her harbors. That Virginia has been called the parent colony, but Maryland was no unworthy follower. That they early proved asylums to each other, and have stood side by side in trying hours and on well fought fields; sisters clasping hands, across the picturesque Potomac, and sending greeting from shore to shore of our beautiful inland sea.
The next article given us was by Mrs. Miller, and was on some of the "Curiosities of Maryland and Other States." Mrs. Miller showed us an old official document with the date of April 5th, 1684, being a grant of land from Lord Baltimore to Charles Merryman, still preserved in the well known Merryman family. It was old and faded, and difficult to read, but Mrs. Miller translated it for us. The tract described was on the Patapsco River, and on the West side of Jones's Falls. Another grant given and preserved by the family has among its signatures the names of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, both afterwards Presidents of the United States. Mrs. Miller also spoke of the very earliest accounts of
Maryland of the ships that before the coming of the Colonists, traded along our shore for skins and fish. She went on to speak of the earliest currency of our country,--Indian wampum, and musket balls. She gave some curious information regarding these representations of money, and told of the English, Dutch and Spanish coins that succeeded them. She gave an account of the Massachusetts Pine-Tree Shillings of 1652, the first Colonial coin, and of the next one, the Oak-tree Shilling; and showed us well preserved specimens of both of them. We were told of the anger of King Charles the Second, with the presumption of the Colonists in attempting to coin money; and of the wise answer that turned away his wrath. He is said to have asked a visiting Colonist what tree was represented on the shilling shown to him? "Of course your Majesty, said his American subject, that is the Royal Oak, that saved your Majesty's life." The King said the Colonists after all were "honest dogs."
What particularly interested us were the Maryland silver coins next shown to us, the sixpence and the groat, which Lord Baltimore with difficulty succeeded in having coined in England for circulation in his Province. We were also shown the Washington coin of 1791, to which Washington himself objected, thinking the head of a President on a piece of money, likely to suggest the effigy of a King. Mrs. Miller spoke of the suggestion made years ago that at least one of the coins of the United States should commemorate Christopher Columbus. This she said had been
partly carried out in the souvenir half dollars of the quadricentennial year 1893.
The next article given us was by Mrs. George Whitelock, and was on "An Old Maryland Town." It was an account of Ellicott's Mills,--now called Ellicott City,-- and its environment; of which Mrs. Whitelock had also brought us beautiful photographic views. She thought those of us who had seen this place with its river, and the green hills and vales of pleasant Maryland, would never forget it. She spoke of the brothers Ellicott, and of their influence on that and other parts of the country. They were Friends of Quakers, who in 1772, came from Pennsylvania, bought land in the Patapsco, and built a town on it. In those days ships came up to wharfs there, and he worthy Ellicotts traded, built mills, and prospered. Mrs. Whitelock described the old life of the place, and remarked that its Quaker origin did not entirely prevent the sale of liquors, and of silks and satins within its borders.
Mrs. Manly [Lily Tyson Manly Elliott], a descendant of the Ellicotts herself, said that Friends were not always averse to silks and satins. Also that one Ellicott gave orders for the making of bayonets for General Green's army to be used at the battle of Cowpens,--which order cost him his place in the meeting. She told of another of the family who was called a crank on account of being before his time in appreciation of the power of steam. But being so advanced cost him one of his arms, by reason of his experiments with the then little known power.
It seems appropriate that the first railroad in the country, perhaps the first in the world, was built between Baltimore and Ellicott's Mills. Mrs. Manly also described a musical clock, made by one of the Ellicotts, which played twenty four times, one given to each hour;--which is now in one of the finest houses in New York, in a room especially set apart for it. Mrs. Manly also spoke of the visit of George Foy to Maryland, and of his recording that one of his meetings was attended by many Protestants and some Catholics, which was probably the occasion mentioned in Miss Davis's paper, when Lord and Lady Baltimore came to a Quaker meeting with William Penn.
Mrs. Manly went on to speak of the old Colonial Clubs,--of the South River Club of 1716.--of the old Fishing Club of 1732,--and of the Fox Hunting Club of 1766. Of the Philadelphia Fishing Club, said to be the oldest of its kind in the world, she gave many interesting particulars, of former and present days, with pictures of the elegant Club house. One of the rules of this Club required the gentlemen to do their own cooking, and it is related that General Lafayette on being elected a member, insisted on complying with this regulation, and cooked his own beefsteak for dinner. We were given a lively song which these gentlemen fishers are accustomed to sing together.
Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock] then spoke of our next meeting which is to be under the direction of the
Educational Committee. The President then requested the members present to remain for five minutes longer. She spoke of the new names to be sent to the Board of Management for election to Membership in the Club, and said the Constitution had been so lately adopted, that it would be impossible to give a whole month's notice of these names. She proposed that on this occasion, the month's notice of the new Constitution should not be required. The proportion was agreed to by all present. The meeting adjourned.
April 17th, 1894.
The 108th Meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, April 17th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Waller Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], Chairman of the Committee on Education. The President called the Club to order, and the Recording Secretary read the Minutes of the meeting of April 10th.
The first article of the programme was by Mrs. Bullock; and was called "Education in Old Maryland." Mrs. Bullock gave us some information regarding the efforts made by our forefathers, the colonists of our country, to give their children all the advantages of education within their reach.
In New England, the highest class was the educated one, as they understood and appreciated education. We were reminded that the educational idea in Maryland was naturally different from that of New England. That Maryland was conservative, and had an aristocratic form of government. Some of the colonists sent their sons to be educated in the old country, of course. The very early and later educational advantages given to those who remained in the colony were explained to us, in a review extending from the year 1671 to 1812,--when the system of what we call free schools came into existence. Mrs. Bullock read accounts of different schools and of academies, such as King William's School, still surviving, in St. John's College at Annapolis, and Washington College at Chestertown, as well as others of earlier date. The early academies of Maryland were called free schools, not from any teaching without pay;--but because they agave a liberal education; or what their founders believed to be such. We were told of the acts of the Governors and of the General Assembly, and of a petition to the King and Queen, William and Mary, among the efforts of our ancestors for the advancement of learning. Some very curious advertisements relating to schools or teachers were read to us. We were told of the singular custom of buying a schoolmaster; that is, that the substantial residents of Maryland, when they went to meet the ships from England arriving at their wharves,
to engage the indentured servants who had come over in them, they would often buy the time--the term of years--of a school master, as they would that of a carpenter, or of any artisan.
As time went on, the education of poor children unable to pay, began to receive attention. In one school it was announced that negroes would be instructed in the fear of the Lord gratis; but that all other Religious education was never neglected in Maryland, and our state has never been without its share of educated men.
The next article on our programme was by Miss Zacharias [Jane Zacharias], and was "A Few Personal Recollections of Mr. S. Teackle Wallis."--the distinguished citizen whose recent loss we all must feel. Miss Zacharias spoke of old St. Paul St, of the square down town, where the houses are all old, and many of them have little signs bearing the words "Attorney at Law" upon them. St. Paul Street, [we] were reminded, after crossing the dividing line of Baltimore street, takes the name of Light street, and like a shop girl out for a holiday, skips down to the wharves. One of the old houses in St. Paul street built of pressed brick, and retaining what the other have lost, the old trees that were before it long ago, was--only a few days past--the home of the man who had made our city better because he had lived in it. After speaking of the solemn funeral in St. Paul's Church on Friday, the 13th of the present month. Miss
Zacharias went on to tell of a phase in the life of Mr. Wallis which had made an ineffaceable impression upon her. When the Legislature of Maryland met in Frederick in the stormy days of 1861, the session was opened with prayer by her father. Mr. Zacharias, afterwards led daughter,--one of a band of school girls, to hear Mr. Wallis speak. We were told of his good English, his power and self control in debate, and the ability that was tried in the memorable session. Miss Zacharias also spoke of having seen Mr. Wallis at the funeral of Chief Justice Taney; and of his standing by the grave with an expression on his face that raised her thoughts to that heaven in which we can still look for stars. Miss Evans [May Garrettson Evans] and Miss Grace [Mary. F. Gracce] told anecdotes illustrating Mr. Wallis's sympathetic courtesy and independence.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. Mary G. Welles, Instructor in Greek, in the Woman's College of Baltimore. Miss Welles spoke of the aim of College education for women, as not necessarily to teach them Greek or Sciences. It was not so much to graduate scholars, as women,--women with sound and great minds, in sound and graceful bodies. She told of the foundation of the Woman's College of Baltimore seven years ago, of its endowment, its buildings, its courses of study, its students, and something of its apparent outlook. She dwelt particularly on the department of Physical Culture, and the results obtained from it. Miss Welles quoted some sentences from an address by Professor Charles E. Norton.
In speaking of the alleged tendency of Democracy to vulgarity he dwelt upon the responsibility of preserving the refinement of our nation which rests chiefly upon its young women,--with their power over the hearts and souls of all around them.
The last article on our programme was by Mrs. Elizabeth Brown Davis, who is taking a course of mathematics at the Johns Hopkins University, and is also making calculations for the Government's Natural Almanac. The subject of Mrs. Davis's article was "A Few Women at the University." She began by reminding us that the time is past when a woman was expected to "eat strawberries and cream, and sit on a cushion, and sew up a seam." She referred to the opinion of Curtis that there is a waste of reserved power when cultivation is given to the mind of one sex only. And to that of Sidney Smith, that nature has been as bountiful in the matter of intelligence to one sex as to the other. M[?m]. Davis spoke of the College for Women; Vassar, Smith, Wellesley, etc., and of the Colleges in which women have been admitted as students. She thought it would be eminently desirable for the Johns Hopkins University, which has taken rank with the Universities of Germany,--to open its doors to women as well as to men. So far, only the Medical School of the University has done so. And this has been brought about by the Endowment Fund of Miss Garrett, and of other women working with her. Women have,--a few of them, studied at the Johns Hopkins University, and a few are doing so now, but for the most part without full recognition
as students there. Our fellow member in this Club, Mrs. Franklin [Christine Ladd-Franklin], was the first of these women as students there, under Professor Sylvester, and obtained a fellowship there. Mrs. Bascom, from whom Mrs. Davis read to us a letter, was the only woman who has ever taken a degree there. But the fear was expressed that the doors of our University will not be thrown open to women, until another Miss Garrett shall be found to give the golden touch,--to speak the open sesame. Mrs. Davis closed her article by reading Sidney Lanier's Ode, commemorating the fourth anniversary of the founding of the Johns Hopkins University.
Discussion then followed on the effect of college training on home life, and whether it is beneficial or injurious to the women who are to be the wives and mothers, and to make the homes of our country's future? It was related that the question was brought to the attention of the students of Vassar College, whether "sweet girl graduates" were as apt to get married, as other sweet girls? That the Vassar girl rose in her [?wrath], and studied statistics on the subject. The result proved, we were told[,] that quite as many college girls as married as other girls, and that the statistics showed one divorce only among them. The discussion by Mrs. Manly [Lily Tyson Manly Elliott], Miss Grace, Miss Welles, Mrs. Warren and others, was carried on with earnestness and vivacity.
The President announced that all of us who wished to propose new names for membership in the Club, were requested to send them to the Recording Secretary on or before Tuesday April 24th. Another
announcement was made of the reduced rates offered to the Club for seats at the performance of Hamlet by Mr. Creston Clark on Monday night. The President said it had been proposed to send some flowers to Miss Martha Ford on Monday night, and she wished to know if it was the desire of the Club to do so? By a vote the question was decided in the affirmative.
The meeting adjourned.
April 24th, 1894.
The 33rd Salon of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, April 24th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Wrenshall, Chairman of the Committee on Archaeology. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of April 17th.
The first article on the programme was by Miss. Pauline Covington Rust; and was entitled "Among the Mounds of the Shenandoah Valley." Miss Rust spoke of the very few pre-historic remains of our own country as compared with the rich discoveries in other lands. Also of the difference in this respect between the Northern and the Central portions of the Western Continent;--the latter giving us relics of Aztec, [?Foltec] and Peruvian civilizations. She went on to speak of the various theories advanced with regard
to the origin of the Indian tribes of America. Those students who are convinced of the Semitic descent of our Red men, still find difficulties in proving their claims. But those who think them the remains of the lost Tribes of Israel, can tell us of an Indian tribe who will not touch hog's flesh. We were told that the Aztec priest in old Mexico, wore on his left foot the symbol of the owl;--just as the Egyptian priest had done on the banks of the Nile long ages ago. We were reminded of Charles Egbert Craddock's story of the graves of the "Strange Little People" in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee; and of the modern mountaineers' innocent belief that only little children had been buried there. We were reminded of the Mound Builders of the Mississippi Valley. Also of the Cliff Dwellers of our own South West, and of the late discoveries of Mr. Cushing with regard to their altars, showing the definite purpose and intention of their position and structure. Miss Rust then told us of what she herself had seen among the mounds of the Shenandoah Valley. She spoke of the Massanutten Mountains of this portion of Virginia, with the phenomenon belonging to them, that their peaks seemed to be arranged in clusters of three corroborating the old Indian name "Massanets"--meaning "three tops."
In this Shenandoah Valley, Mr. Gerard Fowke of Washington, has, in the interests of the
Smithsonian Institute, been making investigations into some of the Indian mounds and battle fields. Three miles from the village of Luray he has caused to be opened a mound in which skeletons, and implements, ornaments etc. of great interest have been found. Miss Rust had accepted Mr. Fowke's invitation to visit this mound; and had there seen skeletons lying in layers, alternating with layers of flat stones. Some of the bones were charred black, giving a gruesome suggestion of the practices of savages in this continent,--and in the other one too--of disposing of their prisoners of war. Miss Rust described copper arrow heads, carvings, etc., and told us that many ancient and curious articles have recently been placed in the Smithsonian Institute at Washington. One of these ancient ornaments Miss Rust was allowed to bring home herself, and to keep--for a time. Before long however, it was found broken, and soon after, not found at all. She could not help connecting its disappearance with the remark of her colored handmaiden: "Dat are thing shoah to bring haunts to the house." The President, Miss Brent, spoke of some singular customs among the ancient Scandinavians, as resembling those of the North American Indians.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. John D. Early [Maud Graham Early], and was "A Short Study of the Primitive Alphabet." Mrs. Early reviewed the various theories that have been advanced with regard to the origin of the arts of reading and writing, from the rudest picture signs to
the modern well developed alphabet. Theories often lead us through error into truth. She spoke of the story of Cadmus, the man from the East, but reminded us of the Assyrian alphabet existing before the alleged era of Cadmus. She quoted Rudyard Kipling's lines describing old Adam scratching in the mould with a stick, and the comment of the Prince of Evil that "it was very pretty, but was it Art?["] Yet Adam, she thought, knew the stars above him, and after his fashion read them. His descendant, Noah, read the meaning of the rainbow also. And the mark set upon Cain must have been recognized, if not read by his contemporaries. After speaking of ancient Hieroglyphics, and of the cuneiform of wedge-shaped writing of Assyria, Mrs. Early went on to speak of the arrow head sculptured characters, and the bull's head which came to be represented by a triangle, as leading up to the Alpha, known so often as the first letter in ancient and modern alphabets. After speaking of some still existing papyrus documents--older than Moses; she reminded us of the debt which modern students owe to the Moabite Stone and to the Rosetta Stone, and some other enduring records. She traced the evolution of some single characters, shown us on the blackboard the supposed progress of the letter m, for instance, from the owl's head through the Hieroglyphic Hieratic, Hebrew, Phoenician, Greek and Latin forms to the familiar thirteenth letter m of our own alphabet. The true alphabet was, we were told[,] of Semitic origin like the true religion, and we cannot limit the
antiquity of so good a gift of the Divine Love to the human race.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. M. W. Sloan [Mrs. Morton Wortham Sloan], and was on "The Story of the Sphynx." Mrs. Sloan spoke of the buried figure and the grand old head that has looked out with inscrutable gaze for thousands of years, the symbol of all time keeping the secrets of all the ages. Could we imagine what message those lips would have for us, if speech were given to them now? And what was the voice and message of those who lived around him in his youth? Ruskin would call him the work of a good man, a true artist. Mrs. Slaon went on to speak of the spiritual meaning of Egyptian Art, contrasting and comparing it with Assyrian and Grecian Art. Neither Assyria nor Greece understood or appreciated the Sphynx of Egypt, but turned the grand conception into less ennobling forms. We were reminded of the Egyptian faith in the Sun-God; and also of the fact that the succeeding generations gave to the Sphynx the face of the living and reigning king. To them it was the symbol of light and of life--present and to come. Mrs. Slaon described and represented to us the Egyptian symbol for the principle of life; which was like some other ancient signs a trinity of symbols, together making a cross. The upright bar represented man, the horizontal one, woman, and it was crowned with a cross--not the cross of the Hindoo, nor of the Greek, but wonderfully like that cross which to
millions of Christians represents the central fact in human history. The philosophers of Egypt seem to have been acquainted with electricity and with other things in which we ourselves are novices. May not the secret of the Sphynx have been grander than anything its interpreters have been able to tell us of it? May not the wise Egyptians have been entrusted with the prophetic vision of the incarnation and of the redemption of man,--of the eternal power of the cross?
At the close of Miss Sloan's article, the President made a few remarks suggesting that the Club should take into consideration the founding of a memorial chapel, for distinguished Marylanders, first for literary people, and afterwards for military heros, and others of our own state who are worthy of honor. Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] said that while she approved the President's idea, she thought we might do something to help the living, to uphold the struggling genius and talent of our state. The President said she thought we might be able very soon to lay aside a little fund to commemorate distinguished Marylanders. She then invited the members present to take a cup of tea together; and the literary meeting adjourned.
May 1st 1894.
The 109th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of
Baltimore was held on Tuesday, May 1st, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This was a business meeting at which the reports of Committees were in order. The President called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the Minutes of two former meetings;--that of the special business meeting of April 5th. And that of the literary meeting of April 24th. The announcement was made that nineteen new members of the Club had been elected by the Board of Management. The Recording Secretary then read the names of new members.
The President asked for the Report of the Chairman of the Committee on translations. Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace] answered that there was but little to report. We were however reminded of the excellent papers her Committee gave to the Club at their meeting which took place the 14th of last November. We were then entertained with translations by Miss. Volk [Annie C. Volck], Mrs. Latimer, [Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer] Miss Minor [Fannie Minor], Miss Nelson [Jenny Nelson], and an original article by Miss Grace herself. “On translations.” The President said that the Chairman of the Committee on Ancient and Mediaeval Poetry was unavoidably absent, and could not of course give us a Report.
The Chairman of the Committee on Modern Poetry, Miss Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese], was next called upon. She spoke of the two programmes prepared by her Committee. The first was given us on December 19th, 1893. On this occasion poems were given by Miss Cloud [Virginia Woodward Cloud] and Mrs. Easter [Marguerite E. Easter], a paper by Miss Reese herself on Louise Imogen Guiney and a Dramatic poem by Miss Malloy [Louise Malloy]. The
second meeting of this Committee was given on March 13th, at which were read poems by Mrs. Easter and Miss Litchfield [Grace Denio Litchfield], a Selection by Mrs. Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock], an article on Sidney Lanier by Miss Imogen George, and an article by Miss Reese on “Poetry as a means of Education.
The Chairman of the Committee on Essays and the Essayists, Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord], reported that her Committee had given us one meeting on the 2nd of January 1894, at which a paper was read by Mrs. Miller on George William Curtis, and one by Mrs. Lord herself on Thomas Carlyle, followed by a discussion on Carlyle and his Works. Mrs. Lord told us that her Committee had proposed to hold meetings to read the Works of Carlyle, but that these meetings had not been regularly attended.
The Chairman of the Committee on Fiction reported that she had only held her position since February 8th 1894. Since then, her Committee had been meeting once a week for discussion and for the presentation of original work. She had given the programme of one meeting, that of April 3rd; at which five papers were presented. These were: A Story by Mrs. Lord, two short stories by Miss Virginia Cloud, a translation by Mrs. Frederick Tyson [Florence McIntyre Tyson], and a Review of English Literature by Mrs. Jenkins [Mrs. Edmund Plowden Jenkins] herself.
The Chairman of the Committee on Unwritten History reported that her Committee had held meetings for study; and had conducted two meetings of the Club. At the first of these meetings on January 23rd, a
delegation from the society of the Colonial Dames was with us by invitation of the Club. Articles were given by Mrs. Sidney Turner [Clara B. Newman Turner], Miss Kate Mason Rowland [Katherine Mason Rust Rowland]. Miss M. W. Minor [Mary W. Minor], Mrs. Clarence Cottman and Mrs. Gaston Manly [Lily Tyson Manly Elliott]. At the second meeting of this Committee on April 10th, articles were presented by Miss Davis [Mary Dorsey Davis], Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock] and Mrs. Manly.
The Chairman of the Committee on Education, Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], reminded us that she had accepted her position from which Miss Bond had retired had retired, on the 1st of February, giving up more tempting works to take up this one. She spoke of the work already done by this Committee; of the papers on Education, North and South, American and European, ante a post bellum given by Mrs. Franklin [Christine Ladd-Franklin], Mrs. Colvin [Mary Noyes Colvin], Mademoiselle [?Melle] and others; also of the discussion on Kindergartens, on early and later Education in Maryland, and on College and University training. She spoke also of the work proposed to be done by this Committee in the future. There have been this year two meetings conducted by the Committee on Education; those of November 28th, and ofg April 17th. In the latter one, articles were given by Mrs. Bullock, Miss Welles [Mary G. Welles] and Mrs. Elizabeth Brown Davis.
The Chairman of the Committee on Modern Philanthropy did not present a Report on this evening. The Chairman of the Committee on Art, Miss Cumins spoke of having accepted her position under protest last February, but gave us as interesting statement of the work done, and proposed to be done by her Committee.
This Committee is appointed to have charge of the meeting of the 8th of May. The Chairman of the Committee on the Authors and Artists of Maryland was not present.
The Chairman of the Committee on Studies in Archaeology, Mrs. Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall], next made her Report. She was appointed to this position in May 1893. She then requested the Committee to meet at her house, and seven members responded to the call, and agreed to meet for study fortnightly after October 1st, and to study their subject generally. They had made use of the Peabody Library, of the Reports of the United States Ethnological Society, of the Congressional Library, and of the works of Isaac Taylor and other authorities on this line of studies. They had this year given the Club two meetings; the first on April the 10th, devoted to the Archaeology of India, a great and comprehensive subject discussed and illustrated by the Chairman. The second meeting was on April 24th, at which articles were given by Miss Rust, Mrs. Early and Mrs. Sloan. Mrs. Wrenshall hopes to arouse a little more general interest and enthusiasm in Archaeology than has hitherto been shown in our Club. She spoke of the comprehensiveness of the study of Archaeology, of the opportunities given by it for gaining knowledge in History, Science, Art and Religion, of bringing before us the beauty and work of Greece and Rome,--and of the far away Orient. Also of unravelling the unknown past of America, and of
reading everywhere in ancient mounds and rude dolmens and Cyclopean piles as well as in beautiful temples and monuments the progress of the human race. And of scaling the heights inviting us, and entering the palaces where portals are open before us.
The Committee on Current Criticism under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann] had given this year two meetings to the Club, on October 17th, 1895, and on March 6th, 1894.
The Chairman of the Committee on the Exact Study of the English Language, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], said that she regretted the many interruptions in the work of this Committee which our former President Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull], had wished might continue its usefulness, and which she herself hoped might next year be more successful than during this season. This Committee had given one meeting at which papers were presented by Miss Middleton [Maria H. Middleton], Mrs. Latimer, Miss Carter [Sally K. Carter], Mrs. Evans [Mrs. Henry C. Evans] and the Chairman herself. Miss Brent also spoke of the language and of the importance of preserving etymology in order to understand the history of words. She spoke of words as keeping us in touch with human nature in former times, like the phonograph, they give us messages from other times and places, they preserve the teaching of Science, and lead us to noble ends in the future.
The President then spoke of the approaching election for officers of the Club, and said that a plan had been adopted by the Board of Management for this election which seemed to promises quiet and
successful voting. It is in accordance with the scheme proposed by the Ministry of the Committee on Amendments of last Fall. A Committee of the members have been appointed to receive and classify nominations. She announced the names of Mrs. Wiley, Mrs. Wrenshall, Mrs. Carter, Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton] and Miss Cloud [Virginia Woodward Cloud]. Miss Haughton and Miss Cloud declining to serve, and Mrs. Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese] and Miss Griffith [Leonora Griffith] who were requested to vacant positions, declining also, Mrs. Goddard [Li Goddard] and Mrs. Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock] were appointed members of this Committee, which finally stood, Mrs. Wiley, Mrs. Wrenshall, Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Whitelock and Mrs. Goddard. Printed slips containing lists of the offices to be filled will be sent to every voting member of the Club, on which each one is to write the name of her choice for each office, and send it to the Recording Secretary, before the 14th of Mary. The Secretary is to send these slips to the Committee on Nominations at the Club rooms. The Committee are to have a meeting on the 15th of May, at 11 am.m. to count the number of votes received by each candidate. The names of the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes for each office, shall be posted in the Club room one week before the election.
The President also spoke of the Federation of Clubs, and of their approaching meeting in Philadelphia on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of May. She said that Mrs. Wrenshall as the Chairman of correspondence for the state of Maryland, Mrs.
Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord] as a delegate, and Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock] in place of our presiding officer will represent our Club at this meeting. She spoke of the reduced Railway fair in connection with this meeting. After a few questions and answers the meeting adjourned.
May 8th, 1894.
The 110th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, May 8th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Miss Lucy Cumins, Chairman of the Committee on Art. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of May 1st.
Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] then said a few words regarding the work of the Lend a Hand Club of Mt. Washington; also introducing the organ of that society. The Mt. Washington Advocate, for which she said she would be glad to gain the aid--literary, and otherwise--of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore. Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], our President, spoke of the desire to have useful books for our Club Library; and also to have lists of the books which will be servic[e]able to us in our various lines of study. The President also laid before the Club a proposition which has come to us from members of the Arundel Club, Mrs. Griffin, First Vice President of the Arundel Club, and Mrs. Anderson,
and in which our fellow member, Miss Milnor [Mary Worthington Milnor], who has lately come from Chicago[,] was much interested.Our attention has been called to the fact that Mrs. Hensotin of Chicago, the President of the Federation of Women’s Clubs of America, which has been holding a meeting in Philadelphia, would be in Baltimore during this week; and also that it would be desirable for this lady to address the Women’s Clubs of Baltimore. It was proposed to invite the other Women’s Clubs of Baltimore to our next meeting to hear an address from Mrs. Hensotin. A motion of this effect was made, seconded, and passed without opposition. The President said we would this evening make some changes in our programme;--that her own article instead of being read first would find its place later in the afternoon.
The first article given us was written and read by Miss Piggott [Margaret Moore Piggot]; and was called: “A Plea for Out-Door Sketching.” Miss Piggott spoke of the beauty of Nature in its reality; of the lights and shades that Turner himself could not bring away from field and sea and sky--and that most of us would not dare to paint just as they look to us;--and of the fairy gold that melts away before it can be coined. She told of the very small outfit she took with her into her open air sketching. It was not too small however to prevent her from receiving in one small town the information that book agents were not let in, nor to save her from the questions of a war-veteran, who wished to know
in what hall she was giving a lecture, or what newspaper she wrote for. She went on to speak of light, the light that God gave to the world when it was yet without form and void, and she quoted the advice of an artist to take care of the lights, and the shadows would take care of themselves. She said we must not be afraid of Nature; we must be on good terms with “all out of doors,” if we would learn “the rhymes of the universe.” That the old Pagans wrought directly from Nature, they worshipped the immortality of youth and strength, and the God-head in each human creature. That honesty begins at home, we must tell the truth with pencil or brush, without regard to stumbling blocks or tricks of trade. We have no right to paint roses blue, because they match the surrounding colors of the landscape. Art cannot be taught in six easy lessons. We must climb the Hill Difficulty, which has lost none of its characteristics since Bunyan’s day. It has been said: “An honest man is the lov[e]liest work of God.” But he does not walk in darkness, and the true artist may attain to a gleam of that “light that never was on sea or land.” Miss Piggott illustrated her reading with sketches from her own open air work.
The next article given us was by Mrs. William Woolsey Johnson [Mrs. W. Woolsey Johnson], and was on “Old English Silver.” Mrs. Johnson said she had brought to this meeting a few specimens of old silver, and would ask the President for five minutes after her reading to
explain their dates and use. She told us of the old and rich City Companies of London, especially of the Goldsmith’s Company, and of the Goldsmith’s Hall. Also of the Mall mark attesting the genuineness of silver plate, real silver, not the plated ware sometimes incorrectly called plate in America. Mrs. Johnson also gave us a clear and interesting historical explanation of the official marks on English silver, which leave no chance for fraud; and described those which have been in use in England, and in some parts of Germany, from the year 1180 onward, as well as those in use in the present day. She spoke of curious table ware and curious customs,--still surviving in our mother country. Also of the very large amount of plate preserved, often for centuries, even by the lower middle class people of England; and this too notwithstanding the loss of the English plate that during the civil wars, and since then, must have been sent to the smelting pot, and made into money. In English wills and inventories we find large records and bequests of plate. We were shown the Nef, a metal ship or rather boat, which the feudal lord of the 14th century took pride in possessing. In this were kept the lord’s own napkin, knife, spoon, spices and salt; it being put on his table for his meal and straightway taken off and locked up after then, for fear of poison, a way of taking off, familiar in those days. Mrs. Johnson’s Nef was of fine copper, carved and polished, but we were told many great lords had them made of
silver, and the Duke of Anjou had one worth much gold. The use of spoons was, we were reminded, much more ancient than that of forks, which latter came to England from Italy in 1607. But some spoons were not only of silver, but even of pewter, as well as some wooden trenchers have great value for patterns and antiquity. The English acorn-headed spoons, of which we were shown a specimen of the 13th century--maiden head poon of the 14th century, with the head of the Virgin Mary on the end of it, were shown to us. Also the Apostle spoons, favorite presents from sponsors at christenings, mentioned by Ben Jonson, and by Beaumont and Fletcher. Of these 13 were a set; one, the master spoon[,] having the figure of Christ with a halo of rays, one with the figure of St. Peter, bearing a key almost as long as himself, and the other apostles having appropriate emblems. It was as a real enjoyment to look at and touch these real old Apostle spoons. We were shown an old loving cup, and told that in the old days when one knight was drinking, two others stood beside him, because a man drinkinking was helpless against assassination. Another beautiful specimen of old silver was a pomander, a round box, pierced with holes to contain spices or perfumes; hung from a lady’s belt by a chain, and worn as a preventive of infection during the prevalence of the plague, as in London in 1665, and as a sanitary measure at any time. Mrs. Johnson also showed us two necklaces made of the silver
clasps of old missals, in pairs with carved heads of saints upon them; having also little pendant silver tassels from the corner of those books of devotion of our ancestry, or their contemporaries.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham], and was given as two poems: “Becalmed[“] and “Purple Horrors.” In the first she described to us her own conception of Art at the present day, as a beautiful ship lying becalmed on a silent sea, waiting for the winds from heaven to stir the waters, or for the breathings of inspiration to fill the sails. Mrs. Graham then describes with wit and vivacity a visit she had made to an Exhibition of Water-Color pictures in New York, and the Purple Horrors she recounted there from the modern rage for heliotrope and violet and all the shades we have been accustomed to call purple. It was suggested that a picture ought to tell you something; also that the royal purple was not meant for a landscape, for landscapes with no sky in them. Mrs. Graham quoted the opinion of an artist that we may have a language, but nothing to say in it. She spoke with admiration however of a picture by Thayer, call A Virgin Enthroned, representing his sister who is adored by his children;--a subject that would appeal to all of us.
The next article on our programme was on “Art and its Compensation,” by Miss Lucy Cumins. Before reading, Miss Cumins spoke of her own visit to an Exhibition of Water Colors; and described what
she had really seen to admire there. She also presented the claims to our attention of the Baltimore Water Color Association; and spoke of the efforts made to increase its honorary membership. In regard to Art and its compensation, Miss Cumins spoke of the audacity of despair which sometimes seems to lie behind great undertakings. Great artists often remain for a time unknown, because it takes a genius to recognize a genius. Miss Cumins went on to speak of Albert Thayer and William Hunt, who, capable of superb work, have left us only suggestions of what they might have done. Those who see through and beyond our ordinary life, not only the intellectual and the artistic, but also the sublime, must be absolutely great. Miss Cumins also spoke of the censure often bestowed upon women of leisure who receive compensation for their work as artists, when others are in need of it. She thought that the women who are not self-supporting may have their part in raising the standard of the work that is sold. Speaking of the point of view of those of us who are dependent upon our work, she thought we were somewhat indebted to women of leisure for keeping us on a higher plain than we should otherwise possess. Some of these women, who have no pressure to dispose of their unsatisfactory work, have been able to aid the struggling artists around them in other ways also. Miss Cumins paid a generous tribute to several women artists by name. Mrs. Graham spoke of the need for artistic work to stand on its own merits. The hour being rather
late, our President insisted on omitting her own article from the afternoon’s exercises. Mrs. Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock] made the announcement that our former President, Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull], expects to return from Europe, and to be back among us in August or September. The President announced that we had with us this evening, as a visitor[,] our former member, Miss Briscoe [Margaret Sutton Briscoe], whom she felt sure we would be glad to meet again.
The meeting adjourned.
May 15th, 1894.
The 111th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, May 15th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the Minutes of the meeting of May 8th. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann], the Chairman of the Committee on Current Criticism. It was however announced by the President, that our programme would be shortened as we expected to be favored with an address from Mrs. Hensotin of Chicago, the President of the Federation of Women’s Clubs of America. Delegates from the Arundel Club, the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the Revolution, the Myrtle Club and other associations had been invited to be present with us this afternoon, and the invitations had been generally accepted. The first article on our
programme was the only one read to us. This article was called “Eddies and Currents” and was written by Miss Duvall [Ellen Duvall], and read by Mrs. Dammann. Miss Duvall recalled to the request made some time ago, by a literary Journal for lists of the 100 best books, or rather for the books considered best to be read by all the readers who chose to answer the invitation. The answers were not without interest, and some were amusing. But, it was suggested that lists might also be formed of books it would be best not to read, and best of all not to write. She went on to speak of the dreary style of books which, just nom we may hope an eddy, and not a current in the stream of our modern literature. They are not altogether bad writing, though pessimistic, and deficient in the sense of humor. Miss Duvall spoke of “Ships that Pass in the Night,” and of the still drearier writings of Olive Schreiner, and other like her. We are not obliged to believe our nights so dark, nor our lives so hopeless as these authors paint them.
Miss Duvall criticized the “Ships that Pass in the Night,” especially the hero, who took 26 years to learn how to smile; and who gave himself liberty to be selfish every day, because he had made the one great sacrifice,--the sacrifice of not killing himself, while his mother continued to live. But he wrote a very good love letter; and then tore it up instead of sending it, thereby making the greatest possible mistake. As for the heroine, we were reminded that the small plain heroine, who is fascinating to the Disagreeable Man,
has held her place in Literature ever since Jane Eyre was created. Miss Duvall turned evidently with great pleasure to speak of the work of Robert Louis Stevenson, “Kidnapped” and “David Balfour.” She reminded us of the charm to be found in Scotch character, like that which belongs to Scotch history and Scotch romance, all of which has been well portrayed by Scotch writers of fiction. She went over the stories of Allan Breck and David Balfour, which she said, tell us of enduring friendship and ennobling love. The moral is not clapped on, but is in the whole atmosphere surrounding them. Such stories have formed a current, not an eddy, in our literature; and we can trust its depth and direction.
At the close of Miss Duvall’s article, the President introduced to us Mrs. Charles Hensotin of Chicago, the President of the Federation of Women’s Clubs in America. Mrs. Hensotin spoke to us of the influence of Women’s Clubs as a factor in the civilization of the present day;--of the benefit, and of the possible danger that may proceed from them. She spoke of the changes wrought by modern conditions of life. There being less government than in former year,--much less of the reign of force, there is all the greater need for self-government and for co-operation in right things. In former days the co-operation of women was, almost entirely by means of the religious idea, in the missionary society, and kindred associations. The Civil War banded women together to work for the soldiers; and later on for their widows and orphans.
Later still came the great movement for Women’s Clubs, and it is impossible to estimate its future. Women’s Clubs are for a purpose, or a cause; and in this they differ from the Clubs of men. We have our beautiful homes and men have helped us to make them. WWe do not desire to interfere with the home, but we have outside of it also, the power to create an educated, enlightened public opinion, a saving and regenerating power in the centres of civilization. In this cause there should be a bond of union for women. Mrs. Hensotin spoke of the Women’s Clubs of Chicago; of the efforts made to prevent crystallization; and, without distinction of classes to make a sisterhood to work for humanity and righteousness. She told us that at the close of the World’s Fair, when the desirable visitors had left Chicago, the cranks and tramps and friendless people remained. The city had done a beautiful thing for the whole world;--and was in danger of doing a barbarous thing in dealing or failing to deal with these unfortunates left within her borders.
Dr. Stevenson, the President of the Woman’s Club called upon all the associations of women in the city,--the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Hebrew, the religious, social, educational, and other societies, and asked their help. They all responded and all took care of the women and children thrown upon them. They offered a hot lunch and 50 cents a day to all women who would work, established their agencies in different parts of the city to save
car-fairs, and fed the army of women and children through the winter, at the cost of $8.13.000,--not by alms--giving but by wages. Mrs. Hensotin thought it not too little to say that this work had saved the city from anarchy. She spoke of having heard Cardinal Gibbons read at the Congress of Religions, a paper on “What the Catholic Church has done for the needs of Humanity,” and of having been especially impressed with what Catholic women have done for the needs of humanity. Women she said do not formulate creeds, that has never been their work, but they have done and do carry out Christ’s command to clothe the naked and feed the hungry. Mrs. Hensotin answered readily and pleasantly such questions as were addressed to her. She spoke of over-organization as a thing to be avoided. She enumerated the advantages of State and city Federations, but suggested that such alliance should not be formed hastily, nor incautiously. She thought that the great subject which interest us in our Club work ought to be discussed intelligently in the homes also. That such discussion would counteract the danger of over organization, and cause the influence of the home to be unceasingly felt and appreciated.
At the close of Mrs. Hensotin’s interesting address, the President spoke of the formation of the Woman’s University Club in Baltimore. Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] spoke of an entertainment of the Lend a Hand Club of Mt. Washington, to which the members of
the Women’s Literary Club were invited. Refreshments and social conversation followed the informal adjournment of the meeting.
May 22nd, 1894.
The 112th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, May 22nd, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was the occasion of the annual election of the officers of the Club. The Election Rules on trial for adoption made it the first action of this meeting for every member to receive at the desk outside of the door of our meeting room, a printed sheet containing the nominations for all the officers to be elected. The members having received these sheets, passed into the room; and the President called the meeting to order. The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of May 15th. The President said a few words in explanation of the manner in which the election was to be conducted. She also reminded us that 18 new members were expected to be present with us at the meeting of the 5th of June, and to receive their certificates of membership.
The hour for the election having arrived, the Recording Secretary called the roll, and announced 35 members as present. 5 more than the meeting quorum to transact business. 3 members arriving a
little late made the number 38. Mrs. Wiley was appointed Judge of Election, Mrs. Carter [Sally K. Carter] Recording Clerk, and Mrs. George Balloting Clerk. The 2 Clerks came through the room receiving and recording the folding balloting sheet of each member, and then retired with the Judge to the Committee room to count the votes and ascertain the results.
The President proposed that while we were waiting for the Report of the Election Committee, we should hear the Reports of our delegates to the Biennial Convention in Philadelphia of the Federation of Women’s Clubs of America. Mrs. Wrenshall [Letitia Humphreys Yonge Wrenshall], the Chairman of Correspondence for the State of Maryland, was the first delegate called upon. Mrs. Wrenshall gave us the Report she had read in Philadelphia in representing the 3 federated Clubs in Maryland: The Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, the Arundel Club and the Lend a Hand Club of Mt. Washington. She prefaced it with the remark that it had one merit--that of being very brief. She had been given at first 3 minutes to read it, but was reduced to 2 and actually allowed about 2 1/2. After a correct and clear statement of our organization and work, Mrs. Wrenshall dwelt on the fact of the large number--70 per cent--of the members of our Club who have appeared in print;--also of the maintenance of our literary name and character. After reading the Report of the three Clubs as given in Philadelphia, Mrs. Wrenshall spoke of the interest and pleasure of our delegates in hearing the Reports from other
Clubs all over our country, representing 50,000 women. Also in knowing the value of our own methods of action to be confined by the testimony of Mrs. Julia Ward Howe and other distinguished literary women, and in finding encouragement and hope for our own future in the experience of others like ourselves.
Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock] was next called upon, and told us of a discussion she had heard at the Convention on the Ideal Club; also of the speech of a real Syrian woman, who spoke English with a charming accent. We were also told of visitors from Ceylon and from the Bombay Sorosis. Mrs. Bullock said, that in her speech at the convention, she had made mention of the special features of our Woman’s Literary Club, of our requiring qualifications for membership, and of our expecting literary work of some kind from each one of our members. Also of our broad range of subjects for treatment, literary, social and political,--with no limitation in the manner of treating them. But, she had said a portion of our members, finding even our boundaries too restrictive, had gone beyond them, and had founded a Club of grander proportions than our own, and that we could be proud of so fine a daughter as the Arundel Club. Mrs. Bullock also spoke of the discussion whether men could be advantageously admitted into Women’s Clubs, as is said to have been done, to some extent, in the New Century Club in Philadelphia. We were told of the elegant hospitality of the New Century Club to the Federation, also of the business like manner
in which business affairs were carried on in the Convention, and of the good order and impartiality maintained in its meetings. Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord] spoke of the election of a new President of the Federation of Clubs, and of the ease and order with which this election was conducted. Mrs. Lord also spoke of the election for a Board of Directors for the Federation of Clubs, on which occasion the Maryland delegates waived the claims of their State in favor of a Director from the city of Washington.
Mrs. Wrenshall, Miss Cumins and Miss Milnor [Mary Worthington Milnor] spoke of the definite purposes of the Federation of Women’s Clubs of America, and of the necessity for keeping them on a high plane of motive and action. Mrs. Sidney Turner [Clara B. Newman Turner] then gave us an account of having been present in Minneapolis at a meeting of the Woman’s Club of that place, at which meeting the New Century Club of St. Paul was also represented. She told of having listened on this occasion to very brilliant conversation and discussion on high and deep subjects. They reviewed the influence of evolution, heredity and civilization on morality; and also debated the question whether civilization has developed justice as it has done benevolence among men. Mrs. Turner ventured to give our greeting to our Western sisters, and received theirs for us in return. Our President said that intelligent discussions in literary and social Clubs might help to restore what has been called the lost art of conversation. It was announced that the programme for the meeting of next Tuesday, would be under
the charge of Mrs. Graham, Chairman of the Committee on Modern Philanthropy.
The annual Report of the Treasurer, Mrs. Bullock, being in order at this meeting was now called for, and was read. It stated that the balance in Bank at the beginning of the year was $147.44. Receipts for the first half of the year $405 and for the second half year $270, making by the three sums $822, 44 cents. Expenses for different items; as Furnishing, Teas, Painting, Dues to the Academy of Sciences,--as Honorary Members,--Federations Incorporation, and other regular and incidental changes given us, amounted to $790.97. Balance $25.47. Mrs. Bullock made some explanations of some points in her Report, and also with regard to some money due to the Club remaining unpaid. She requested the appointment of Auditors to examine her accounts,--a form observed in former years;--to which the President agreed. It was moved that the Treasurer’s Report be received and approved;--which motion was seconded and carried immediately without opposition.
The Election Committee returned to report the names of the successful candidates. The Judge, Mrs. Wylie[,] announced as elected President Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull], First Vice President, Mrs. Waller Bullock, Second Vice President, Mrs. Louise O. C. Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton],--Recording Secretary, Miss Lydia Crane,--Corresponding Secretary,--Miss Grace Balch--Treasurer. Mrs. Francis Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann]--Directors, Mrs. L. C. Wrenshall,--Mrs. C. W. Lord,--Mrs J. D. Early [Maud Graham Early]--Mrs H. P. Goddard [Li Goddard]--Mrs. Gaston Manly [Lily Tyson Manly Elliott] and Miss Louise Malloy. A note of
thanks to our Election Committee for their services was prepared, and carried by general consent. The meeting having adjourned, many congratulations were heard on the ease and expedition with which our election had been accomplished.
It is natural to remember the repeated injunction of our former and now re-elected President, Mrs. Turnbull[,] that the details of business should never usurp the place of our literary work, that work which is the reason for our existence as a Club. We may believe that she will come back to us to find us engaged in the study of Literature,--the Literature which our poet Lowell has called “the unconscious autobiography of mankind.”
May 29th, 1894.
The 113th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, May 29th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham], Chairman of the Committee on Modern Philanthropy. THe President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the Minutes of the meeting of May 22nd. Our attention was called to the copy of the tally-sheet of our late election, which had been put upon the blackboard upon the platform, for the information of our members. THe President also reminded us of
the ruling of the new Constitution, that the new Officers and Directors of the Club should begin their terms of office on the first Tuesday in June. But this year, the newly elected Corresponding Secretary had been requested, and had consented to begin her duties immediately after election.
Reference was made to a poem sent to Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull], and to a message regarding it, received from her. Three new songs by Mr. Edwin Turnbull were presented to the Club. They were called “To a Portrait,”--”The Reaper,”--and “Stairs of the Summer Night.” Another gift to the Club was a pamphlet called “Smallwood’s Immortals,” by Ella Lorraine Dorsey; a tribute to the Maryland heroes who fought with General Smallwood in the war of the American Revolution. A vote of thanks was passed by the Club for these girls.
Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] introduced the subject of the meeting, and spoke of the difficulties she had encountered last winter, after having at the request of the President, undertaken the Chairmanship of the Committee on Philanthropy, which had been assigned by M. Lake [Margaret Lake]. She then spoke of the Literature of Philanthropy, and of Humanity. She mentioned Edward Everett Hale’s story “In His Name,” and other works of the same kind. She reminded us of the book called “Black Beauty,” which in the history of a horse can make us recognize the kinship of all God’s creatures.
The next article on our programme was by Miss Piggott [Margaret Moore Piggot], and was on “The Guild of the Holy Cross.”
The Society of this name was described,--its origin, and its methods. Also the results attained by its work, that of comforting, helping and cheering invalids and disabled people, especially women, and also inspiring and inducing them to work for the help and happiness of others, sick or ill--equipped for the battle of life. Of course a large portion of the members of the society never see each other, but they write letters, and keep in touch with each other in many ways. Miss Piggott related her own experiences and those of other members of the Guild of the Holy Cross, in different parts of our country,--the deeds of week day holiness done to bless each other’s lives.
The next article on our programme was by Miss Reila Thelin [Reba Thelin], and was on the “Country Home for Children.” Miss Thelin spoke of the beginning of this work in a fair or sale held six years ago, by eight young ladies; and described the progress and success of the work since that time. She gave us an interesting and amusing anecdote of her interviews with parents and children in Hamburg street and Gould street, and other remote regions of our city of Baltimore. Also of her intercourse with children en route to and in the Country Home, and a pleasant sketch of the Home itself, as well as its inmates. Miss Thelin called our attention to the little seeds sown and the little drops that fell upon them, and to the harvest that no man can measure in time and eternity.
Our next article was to be given by Mrs. Cautley [Lucy Randolph Cautley], but owing to her illness, it was omitted, and
Miss Zacharias [Jane Zacharias] was request to tell us something about the “News Boys Home” in which she is much interested. Miss Zacharias said it was sometimes easier to speak in meeting than to read, and that she would tell us some of her experiences. She thought there were some misapprehensions among us regarding the news boys and the boot-blacks. The true news boys are very clannish and have their own aristocratic exclusiveness. They refuse to associate with--from their point of view--undesirable company, they object to night schools, and one must find the true touch of nature, to draw them from variety theatres and curb-stone gambling. She said she the first requisite to make a meeting room attractive for them, was to have a sufficiency of gas jets;-- they have but little light in their own poor homes. Then a good fire is needed, and the means of drying jackets and shoes after a rain. When they are made to feel at home, a jew books, some music and games are good for them; but they want the fairy land side of life brought to them as much as possible. They are fraud critics, and never pretend to like anything. It is not always easy to entertain by exhibitions youngsters, who like to see fights and live horses on the stage. She spoke of their manner of receiving a series of Stereopticon Views, as calculated to upset some of our theories. They were shown fine English pictures, but evinced only very little interest in them, and at last called for “the green above the red.” Irish pictures did please them, and after
Dublin they called for Cork. After a view of Paris, a boy rose and said “No Frenchmen present Miss.” One great thing is to meet them regularly, and not to be weary in well doing for them. It matters not if the person who strives to help them is neither young nor beautiful, if the person’s interest and efforts do not fail them. Miss Zacharias told of the friendship she had formed with these boys; told of their wit and pathos, and of their liking for seeing and hearing pleasant things. She spoke of the personal attention needed to give the refining influence which are just what they do not get at home. She told a little of the results of her work,--meeting at a railway station, a young man who had a news stand, which he said gave him forty dollars a month, and who introduced himself to her as one of her boys. He told her she could not know how much good her work had done to himself and his companions. Certainly although we all are told that “Blest are they Who wait in Heaven their Harvest Day,” the repercussion of intelligent gratitude can bless us here and now.
The next article of our programme was by Miss Wilder of the Woman’s College, and was on “Tramps.” Miss Wilder discussed the Tramp problem philosophically; also the solutions that have been offered for it. She spoke of the unequal distribution of wealth in our country, of the effects of the Civil War, of alcoholism and of the various hydra heads that
seem to belong to the great social enigma of our day. But her chief subject of thought was the idler, not necessarily a criminal in law, but determined to live without work. Miss Wilder had studied her subject, and her paper contained many items of information and suggestions regarding these among us who have been called “nomads in the midst of civilization,” and sometimes “savages without resources.”
The next article of our programme was by Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham], and was announced as “Self Denial Week.” The chief part of Mrs. Graham’s paper was devoted to a description of an experience of her own at a Summer Resort on the Jersey Coast. She met there a young man, a gentleman from Sweden, young, rich, and handsome and possessing a marvelous voice, who had, it seemed, from conviction, joined the Salvation Army, and was working with all his heart and soul and voice, as he said, for the souls of his fellow men. She gave us his history as told by himself, with that sort of joyful enthusiasm and singleness of purpose, which strong religious faith can and does give, under varying denominations and environments. Mrs. Graham then explained to us that the Salvation Army had instituted for themselves an annual season of self denial, and special good works, answering in some degree to what among other Christian bodies is called lent. She then spoke of the good work now proposed among us of founding
a Home for Epileptics in Maryland, and suggested that this greatly needed benefit might ask for self denial and effort from the women of our state.
The hour being now late, the meeting informally adjourned.
June 5th, 1894.
The thirty fourth Salon of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, June 5th 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of May 29th. The President made some explanations with regard to the circumstances preceding and attending the meeting of May 15th; on which occasion we were favored with an address by Mrs. Hensotin of Chicago, the President of the Federation of Woman’s CLubs of America and when we also entertained the officers of the Arundel Club, of the Colonial Dames, and of several other organizations, as our guests.
The Report of the Librarian of the Club, Mrs. Miller, was then read. She reported 143 books and 83 pamphlets in our library; reminding us that most of the authors of these works belonged to Maryland, by birth or adoption. We have books on general and particular subjects, taking a wide range of topics, literary, scientific, educational and domestic. We
were reminded of the gifts of Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull], Mrs. Latimer [Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer], Mrs. Turner [Clara B. Newman Turner], Mrs. Franklin [Christine Ladd-Franklin] and others. It was announced that the Club had just received the very valuable gift from Mr. And Mrs. William Keyser of a copy of Boydell’s Shakespeare, a work now out of print. The originals of the pictures in this book now hang on the walls of Shakespear’s house at Stratford Upon Avon. Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace] moved a vote of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Keyser for this gift. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], and passed unanimously.
Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord] then presented to Miss Brent, the Retiring President, a beautiful badge,--a violet set in pearls,--showing the Club colors,--as a token of the grateful remembrance by her fellow members of the unselfish devotion and untiring efforts for their benefit during the past year. Miss Brent responded appropriately in accepting the unexpected gift, telling us that she could never thank the Club enough for the support and affection and confidence they had given her and each other; which had held us together, through unlooked for trials. Mrs. Lord then presented form the Club to the Recording Secretary, a beautiful silver pen holder. Miss Crane [Lydia Crane] could only thank her fellow members for this mark of their kind reception of what seemed to herself unavoidably inadequate work.
The President there gave us her annual address. She spoke of her wish to bow before the Club as a dignified body,--dignified by faith and courage. She mentioned having lately read of the superb courage of
The Maryland soldiers at the battle of Gettysburg; and she thought te Maryland women as brave and as true to what they belief to be right, as the Maryland soldiers ever were. She spoke of those of the children of our State, who have made her “glorious by the pen and famous by the sword,” of the past and of those who are working now, for her glory and fame in the future. She reviewed our work in the year just past, and thought that without vanity we could count upon growth and progress. We had faith in each other and faith in ourselves, and could hopefully continue the work which our first President prophesied would be a great and growing power for good in our community. She spoke of our young members, to whom we must look for the future of our Club. She hoped we might some day have a book to record the work done by our members. She spoke of that love which is the fulfilling of the Law,--the true law of life. Shwe would leave her office with thanks and regret, but with satisfaction in the firm basis on which she believed us to stand.
Miss Brent went on to speak of the Federation of Women’s Clubs of America, to which we now belong; and of the conservative influence it might be our part to contribute to it;--also of the great benefit one Club might be able to confer upon the others. She said that like our own State, we sought, not for size, but for excellence, and to be true to the spirit of our Maryland motto,--to exemplify brave deeds and gentle words. Miss Brent then spoke of the different
Committees of the Club, and of the work proposed to be done by them. She requested all of the members who could do so, to meet at her home on the following Saturday morning, to choose their places in these Committees, and to assist in organizing them. She spoke particularly of the new Committee on Memorial Decorations, of Which Miss Milnor [Mary Worthington Milnor] is Chairman; of the Committee on Biography and Curios, under the charge of Miss Minor [Fannie Minor]; of the two Committees, and on Ancient and on Modern Poetry, one under the care of Miss Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese], and the other under that of Mrs. Easter [Marguerite E. Easter]; and of the Committee on Science, of which the Chairman was not yet appointed.
She explained that we do not propose to study Sanitation nor Physiology, but other departments of Science more within the scope of our general work. She also spoke of the work of preserving newspaper notices of special interest, which Miss Balch [Grace Balch] had undertaken to do for the Club. She also reminded us of the approaching return of our former and re-elected President, Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull].
The lately elected members of the Club were requested to come forward to the front seats to receive their certificates of membership; and the Second Vice President, Miss Haughton[,] [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton] was requested to address them. Miss Haughton said that she feared there might be some little appearance of presumption in her coming to make an address of this kind. But she trusted every one would believe that she spoke now, not as an individual, but only as one of the
Two earliest founders of the Club, and as being a representation of the Club itself. She spoke of having been asked what was meant by that clause of our own Constitution, which asserts: “That the women of this association have banded themselves together in the hope of encouraging, by their influence, right and serious views of life and literature”? Would it not be possible for a woman to take wrong and comic views of literature, and still be eligible for membership in a literary Club? She quoted some appropriate opinions expressed by our first President on noble and womanly purposes in life and literature. She reminded us that for life we have ten definite and authoritative rules, but for literature, nothing of the kind.
She reviewed some of the popular fiction of the day, and then spoke of three boy’s books that tell of wild adventures and crimes. She spoke of those books which mean more to the writer than they do to the reader; and of those which mean one thing to one person and another thing to another person. We were reminded of those books which seem to us able to bear the best light of this world,--and light still more pure and searching. Miss Haughton said in closing, that we pledge ourselves to what our own best selves teach us are “right and serious views of life and literature.[“]
The new members receive their certificates of membership. Miss Brent requested Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], First Vice President, to take the chair, as acting President, until the return among us of Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull].
Mrs. Bullock on taking the chair, said that she had supposed the duties of a Vice President to be very light, and of no great responsibility; but present circumstances would seem to prevent her from having a position of quiet and solitude. She went on to speak with hope and confidence of the prospects of the Club in the coming year, and of the good work that each one can do for all in accomplishing our best ends together.
The last regular meeting of the season of 1893 and 1894 then adjourned. After adjournment sometime was devoted to light refreshments and conversation by members and visitors.
Special Business Meeting.
June 9th, 1894.
A special business meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Saturday morning, June 9th, 1894, at the house of Miss Emma Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], 708 St. Paul Street. After informal conversation, Miss Brent, the retiring President of the Club, was requested to act as Chairman of this meeting. At the request of the Recording Secretary the members present signed the new Constitution of the Club.
Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], First Vice President, called for a meeting of the Board of Management. The Board withdrew, and having considered the small amount of business brought before it, adjourned;--and its members returned to join the general meeting. The Chairman,
Miss Brent, announced the dates of the meetings for the coming year; and requested the Chairman of the different Committees to make known the meetings most convenient for each one of them to take in charge. The members of the Club were each and all invited to join the Committees that suited them, and most of those present did so.
Suggestions were made for the Programme of the first meeting of the new year, in the coming October. A vote of thanks was given to the Librarian Mrs. Miller, for her work in copying the new Constitution for us. The subject of the proposed Memorial Chapel for distinguished Marylanders was also brought forward. An offer was announced as made by Mrs. Milton Whitney to give the white stone to be used in building this Chapel. A vote of thanks was returned for this generous offer.
The meeting adjourned.
[END OF SEASON]
[*] "December" is struck out and "January" overwritten, but December was clearly the correct month of the meeting given the dates given for the subsequent business meeting held on Friday, Dec. 29, 1893.
 Brackets were written into the notes.
 Dickinson's first volume of poetry was published in 1890.
 Molloy is referring to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, Edwin’s brother.
 By Charles Brockden Brown.
 Corrected from “Caedmor.”
 Corrected from “Salvatori.”