Home > 1908-1909 Board of Managers Meeting Minutes

1908-1909 Board of Managers Meeting Minutes

OCT. 12, 1908-MAY 8, 1909
MS 988, Box 4, Book 7



Season of 1908-1909. Upcoming Meeting. 

Board Meeting of October 12th, 1908.

The Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore held a meeting on Monday, October 12th, 1908, at the home of the President, Mrs. John C. Wrenshall, 1037 North Calvert Street. In all ten members attended this meeting: The President; Second Vice President, Mrs. Alan P. Smith; two Secretaries, Mrs. Uhler and and Miss Crane; Treasurer, Miss Mullin; and, of the Directors: Mrs. Turner; Miss L. W. Reese; Mrs. Powell; Mrs. McGaw, and Mrs. Tyson.

The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of June 1st,--the last Board meeting of the former season.

The President presented a letter from Mrs. Samuel A. Hill, sending her resignation of the Chairmanship of the Committee on Historical Studies. Mrs. Hill’s health had not improved; and she expecting to spend the winter in the South. Consequently she feels obliged to resign the Chairmanship of her Committee. The President’s answer was to make no change; but to tell Mrs. Hill to get well, and come back to us, to be the queen of an afternoon again as soon as she can. To this the Board agreed. Mrs. Hill did not resign her membership in the Club.

The President said that Miss Annie W. Whitney has gone to live in New York; and probably will not live in Baltimore again. Of course, she cannot be at the head of a Committee now, but can only be a non resident member,--as she


has been practically for some time past. Miss Mullin, Treasurer, asked if Miss Whitney’s non-resident membership should be dated from last February? Her question was answered in the affirmative. The resignation of membership and Chairmanship by Miss Henderson was also presented. Her name was placed on the programme of Topics, as Chairman of the Committee on Authors and Artists of Maryland, before her resignation was received. Miss Henderson had been asked by the President to reconsider her resignation; but said she could not do so; and the Board could only send its regrets by the Corresponding Secretary.

The resignation of Miss Olivia Meyers, on account of living so far away from us,--was presented, and could only be accepted.

Mrs. William Panet has written to the President from the Church Home, resigning, not her membership,--only, her Chairmanship of the Committee on Foreign Travel. It was announced that Mrs. Atwater would take the place of Mrs. Panet on that Committee.

Mrs. Uhler presented the resignation of Miss Lydia Kirk, who speaks of her enjoyment of our meetings; but says she wishes to devote herself to her music this winter. Her resignation was--with regret--accepted.

Mrs. Rinehart has written to say her eyes have failed so much that she cannot do any literary work, and feels compelled, notwithstanding her enjoyment of our meetings, to resign her membership.


There was a protest against losing Mrs. Rinehart from the Club; and the President proposed that she should continue with us, as the guest of the Club, without duties or dues. This met the approval of the Board; and the Corresponding Secretary was requested to write the same to Mrs. Rinehart.

A letter from Miss Virginia Bowie was read, expressing her pleasure, and her thanks for her election to active membership in the Club.

Another letter presented was from Miss Lena Stiebler, accepting the honorary membership offered her with enthusiasm, and proposing to give her best efforts in playing for us.

The subject arose of bringing desirable new members into our ranks. Names of Baltimore women who have done literary work were mentioned, and discussed.

Mrs. Powell, Chairman of the House Committee, by request, presented her account. She had paid out $15. The Treasurer was requested to send Mrs. Powell a check for $25 to reimburse her for items she had paid for, and reported in detail, and also to give her something in hand, for current expenses. The question of a new maid was discussed, and left in the hands of Mrs. Powell.

Some special invitations to our general meetings were discussed, and agreed to be given. Miss Mullin made some practical suggestions with regard to the manner of paying dues to the Club; and the Board expressed its desires to make the Treasurer’s duties as little burdensome as possible. The Board adjourned. The affairs of the Poe Memorial Executive Board were taken up.


November 7th, 1908.

The Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore held a meeting on November 7th, 1908, at the home of the President, Mrs. John C. Wrenshall. Seven members attended this meeting: the President; one Vice President, Mrs. Alan P. Smith; two Secretaries; the Treasurer; and of the Directors; Mrs. Turner; Mrs. Tyson, and Miss Reese.

The President proposed that a committee should be appointed to visit such of our members who are ill; or apparently unable to attend our meetings. This subject met informal discussion.[1]

The Treasurer was asked if there was anything to report with regard to our Club’s claim against our former bankers, Wilston, Colston, and Company? Miss Mullin answered that she had heard from Mr. Brent that their receivers would pay a first dividend of 12 cents on the dollar; and would probably make a smaller payment later on. Our claim was reported as $279.75.

The President asked if there were any names to be proposed for consideration, with a view to new memberships? It was said that it had been impossible to see those whose names had been informally mentioned at the last Board meetings. A verbal list of desirable new members was then presented.

The President made the proposition to have evening entertainments in addition to our regular literary meetings, as we have done in former years. The proposal was received with unanimous approval. She spoke


of having a central object on each of these evenings; as a musical evening, with “Folk Songs; a lecture by a distinguished lawyer; and other entertainment; each one to have simple refreshments, and to close with a social hour. The question of expense was discussed; and the general opinion was that there need not be any great outlay for sandwiches, cake, coffee, and lemonade.

The Treasurer reported a balance in bank of $175,--and not all dues paid yet,--and some payments to be made. The President said we might she thought have the entertainments at the rate of $15. She suggested that we should pay for the extra light to the Academy of Sciences,--which was approved. With regard to invitations, it was agreed that our members should have notices by post cards sent to them, and should be allowed to give invitations,--in addition to the list of guests invited by the President and Board.

To the inquiring when our First Vice President would be with us again?--it was answered that she would leave Liverpool for home on the 10th of November,--and pleasure was expressed for the hope of soon welcome Mrs. Stabler again.

The time of beginning the evening meetings, and the question of holding them once a month was left to the President.

Mention was made of the meeting of the National Academy of Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University in December and January; and the probability of a meeting or reception being held in its honor by the Maryland


Academy of Sciences. Any questions relating to this subject were referred to our able Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Uhler.

Details of all subjects discussed were referred to a later meeting;--and the Board was adjourned, for informal conversation around our President’s hospitable table.

Board Meeting, November 17th, 1908.

The Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore held a meeting on Tuesday, November 17th, 1908, in the library of the Academy of Sciences, before the regular literary meeting of the Club on that date. Nine members attended this meeting: The President, Second Vice President; two Secretaries; the Treasurer; and of the Directors: Mrs. Powell,--Mrs. McGaw,--Miss Reese, and Mrs. Tyson. The subject of the evening entertainments agreed to be given by the Club at the Board meeting of November 7th was taken up. It was announced that the first of these entertainments would be held on Monday evening November 23rd; that it would be a musical occasion with Russian Folk Songs given by Mr. Paulsen, assisted by Miss Stiebler, followed by a social reunion. Postcards had already been sent to our members, and invitations to some of our guests. Regret was expressed that on the same evening


was to occur the concert for the benefit of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, by the Philadelphia Orchestra. But it was of course agreed that we could not postpone our entertainment; as those engaged to take part in it had already promised their services for that evening.

An interesting [conversation?--word omitted] followed with regard to the succeeding entertainments to be given by the Club. It was agreed that the new maid, Agnes, would have someone to help her in the preparation of the rooms and the refreshments. The President then read the List of the special invitations to be given to musical and literary people,--men and women,--especially to those who have helped with our former entertainments,--and who were to receive special cards from the Recording Secretary. After questions asked and answered, the Board was adjourned.

Board Meeting, December 12th, 1908.

The Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore held a meeting on Saturday, December 12th, 1908, at the home of the President, Mrs. John C. Wrenshall. Seven members attended this meeting: The President; Second Vice President, Mrs. Alan P. Smith; Recording Secretary, Miss Crane; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Uhler; Treasu-


rer, Miss Mullin; and Directors: Mrs. Powell and Miss Reese. The President admitted the question of making December 15th the last meeting of the year,--the 23rd being too near to Christmas; and, on the 29th our rooms would be at the service of the Academy of Sciences for the entertainment of the National American Scientific Association. The Board agreed to the proposal for an intermission of our meetings from December 15th to January 5th.

The President then took up the question of the meeting of January 5th, 1909, which would be our New Year’s meeting, and represent our annual Twelfth Night entertainment. She said our very efficient Chairman of Entertainments, Miss Haughton, was ill, and could not do anything for this year’s celebration. We could not this time spend as much money as we did at last year’s festival, but we could have a very pleasant home-like Reception. It was said that we could dispense with the orchestral exercises of former years; but have a little music; no prepared programme, and up--if we choose--with the old fashioned Virginia Reel. The these proposals the Board agreed.

Suggestions were given with regard to making the evening attractive. Names of musicians--vocal and instrumental were mentioned--who would be likely to add to our entertainment. The President said she hoped each of us would be not only the hostess of her own friends, but of the friends of other members.


Mrs. Wrenshall [said?--word omitted] she would be obliged to go to Washington on Saturday, December 19th,--but would return on January 2nd.

The question of the expense of the coming entertainment was next taken up. The Treasurer, Miss Mullin, said we had a balance in the bank of $286,--all bills having already sent, except one of Bridges’ for $9.80. On the question of refreshments, it was agreed to have our usual large Twelfth Night cake; and, in addition, sandwiches, ice cream, and coffee. The President [said?--word omitted] we could hardly give a “party” under $100.

With regard to decorations, the President proposed that, instead of evergreens--which make dust and trash,--we should have growing plants like ferns and little trees, which would be bought afterwards, if so desired.

Mrs. Uhler, Corresponding Secretary asked and received instructions with regard to the invitations to be sent out. A list was made for her, containing the names of guests who were to be specially by the President and Board,--in addition to those invited by the members of the Club.

It was agreed also that post cards should be sent to all our members, informing them of the omission of our meetings for December 22nd and 29th.

The Board received the resignation of membership in the Club by Mrs. Charles Morton,--which was supposed to date from the 1st of October.

The President read a letter from Mrs. D. L. Bartlett, asking information with regard to the


payment of her dues. It was agreed that she must be informed that only active members were considered amenable to dues,--and she was understood to have received honorary membership. The President said, of course she would answer Mrs. Bartlett’s letter. It was agreed that we should express our wish to see Mrs. Bartlett at our meetings, and the hope that she would become an active member--The Board was adjourned.


January 11th, 1909.

On January 11th, 1909, a meeting of the Edgar Allan Poe Association Executive Board having assembled its members at the home of the President, Mrs. Wrenshall; and all its members present being also members of the Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club, a meeting of the latter Board was called to order beforehand. The only question before us was that of omitting our general meeting of January 19th, on account of the Poe Centennial meeting that evening in the McCoy Hall, to which The Woman’s Literary Club was invited by the Poe Association and the Johns Hopkins University. The Board unanimously voted to omit our regular literary meeting of that date,--and adjourned.

A meeting of the Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was


called for Friday, February 26th, 1909; but it was found that so few of the members could attend it that it was deferred, to a later occasion.

March 8th, 1909.

The Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore held a meeting on Monday, March 8th, 1909, at the home of the President, Mrs. John C. Wrenshall. There were present: The President; Second Vice President, Mrs. Alan P. Smith, two Secretaries, Mrs. Uhler and Miss Crane; Treasurer, Miss Mullin; and Directors: Mrs. McGaw and Miss Reese.

The President spoke of our Twelfth Night Entertainment, or New Year’s Reception on January 5th, and said that Mrs. Powell, Chairman of the House Committee had sent in her itemized account of the expenses on that occasion,--amounting to $63.73.[3] Among other things the coming of the Orchestra for only a part instead of the whole of the evening made its cost $12, instead of $30. Mrs. Powell was congratulated on her good management.

The name of Mrs. Ashley was presented for consideration as a probable new member of the Club. She had been to our meetings and was delighted with them. It was expected that Mrs. Percy Reese would propose her name for membership.

The President proposed a note of thanks to Mr. Thomas Mackenzie, for the interesting


lecture he had given us on February 25th, on “The legal status of women in Maryland.” The note of Thanks was passed unanimously. Mrs. Uhler, Corresponding Secretary was requested to write to Mr. Mackenzie a note expressing the grateful appreciation of the Board. She was also requested to write from the Board to Mrs. Sidney Turner a note expressing our sympathy in her late bereavement. She was also requested to write a note of sympathy to our valued member, Miss Haughton, who had lost her father.

The President that, three months ago, a young lady connected with the Sunday Sun had proposed to write for that paper a history of the Woman’s Literary Club,--as she expected to do for other Clubs. The President said she would be willing to give this young lady--Miss Reiche--the items desired; but she thought she would rather first talk to the Board about it, before giving her consent. She had not been satisfied with some of Miss Reiche’s statements in former newspaper articles, in which she had spoken of inaccurately. She presented the subject to the Board, for its considered life and work of this Club, which, on the 19th of March, enter on its twentieth year. But does this young lady have the proper attitude for this work. Mrs. Wrenshall spoke of the several societies that have owed their origin in whole, or


in large part, to the Woman’s Literary Club,--especially the Audubon,--Alliance Francaise,--Folk Lore,--Laudriga,--and Poe Memorial Associations. It would not be necessary to relate the secession from us some fifteen years ago, and the formation of another Club on different lines from our own. Miss Reiche may do her best,--but we will not give her our books. It seemed the desire to give further consideration to this matter. It was proposed to have a small book of our own, containing our Constitution and By-Laws, and other information,--for distribution among our members; as appropriate to our entrance into our twentieth year.--Our book published more than a dozen years ago, though valuable for our childhood, is now out of date. The President proposed a Committee on this subject, and suggested the members then present us, at least, the beginning of such a Committee: The President, one Vice President, Mrs. A. P. Smith, the two Secretaries, Mrs. Uhler and Miss Crane; Mrs. McGaw and Miss Reese. It was said much of the work could be done in our own homes.

The President spoke of the arrangements for the next evening entertainment,--a musical one--to be given on March 18th, by Mr. Harry Patterson Hopkins.

The resignation of Mrs. Mary Wane was announced. It was regretfully accepted. The resignation of Mrs. Hunner was also announced, and regretfully accepted. The Board adjourned.


March 24th, 1909.

The Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore held a meeting on Wednesday, March 24th, 1909, at the home of the President, Mrs. Wrenshall. There were present: The President; Second Vice President; the two Secretaries; Treasurer; and Director, Mrs. McGaw,--making a quorum.

The first business taken up was the proposal of the name of Mrs. Ashley for membership in the Club. Mrs. Ashley was proposed by Mrs. Percey M. Reese; endorsed by Miss Hollins and Mrs. William Milligan Smith. Mrs. Ashley was unanimously elected. The Corresponding Secretary was requested to inform Mrs. Ashley of her election.

The question of the invitations to our evening entertainments was brought up; and the Corresponding Secretary reported that she had still unused seventy five of those already ordered. For the last evening meeting--the musical entertainment of Mr. Hopkins on March 18th--there were, she said three hundred cards distributed,--and the room was full.

The Board was informally adjourned, to be followed by a meeting of the Executive Board of the Poe Memorial Association.

Monday, April 19th, 1909.

The Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore held a meeting on Monday, April 19th, 1909, at the home of the President, Mrs. John


C. Wrenshall. The Recording was unavoidably absent from this meeting, had verbal accounts of it from Mrs. Uhler and Miss Mullin.

The President brought up the subject of the evening meeting to be held on the next Thursday, April 22nd, when a lecture was to be given to the Club by Mr. Allen S. Will of the Baltimore Sun,--his subject being: “Suggestions for the development of Authorship in Maryland. Mr. Will had written to her with regard to the formation of a Maryland Society of Authors. He suggested that the Woman’s Literary Club should launch the movement for such a society, on the occasion of his address before it.

The members of the Board that their strength and time are only adequate now to the duties proper to their Club, and those of the Poe Memorial Association. The President was requested to make a subtle answer declining to inaugurate the proposed “movement.” The Board was adjourned.

May 8th, 1909.

Meeting of the Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore. In Joint Session with the Executive Board of the Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Association. Minutes taken by the President, and reported by her up to the conclusion of her Statement on Page 48.[4]


Report of Mrs. John C. Wrenshall, President of the Woman’s Literary Club, and also of the Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Association.

At the meeting of the Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore on May 8th, 1909, held according to custom at the residence of the President, 1037 North Calvert Street, the following members were present: Mrs. John C. Wrenshall, President; Mrs. Jordan Stabler, First Vice President; Mrs. Alan P. Smith, Second Vice President; Miss Lydia Crane, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Phillip R. Uhler, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. William M. Powell, Chairman of the House Committee. A quorum being declared, business matters were discussed.

It seemed best to the President to call the attention of the Board to affairs of mutual interest with those of the Executive Board of the E. A. Poe Association; this in view of, and resultant from, the intimate relations existing between the two Boards, which since April 19th, 1907, when the Poe Association was formed, have remained almost identical in membership;

Record of such affairs as discussed at this meeting to be incorporated in the minutes of the Woman’s Literary Club, and of the Poe Association, alike by the Recording Secretary, Miss Lydia Crane, 313 Dolphin Street.

The President first spoke of a letter she had written to the publishing firm of


Putnam and Company asking a more definite statement from the manager, Mr. J. S. Curtis, as to the amount to be paid to the Poe Memorial Association for the use of its name in soliciting sales for the “Putnam Centenary Edition of the Work of Edgar Allan Poe,” according to offer made to the association.

[The firm had offered to the Association to send out circulars containing its endorsement, giving, for $5, a year’s subscription to their magazine, and a six volume edition of Poe’s Works,--giving the Association a share in the profits. This letter of May 1st, read by the President: says: “In accordance with the arrangement made in our previous correspondence, we shall pay over to your Association the sum of fifty cents for each subscription received as a result of this circular letter.” It was recalled that the works of Poe were published by the Putnam’s firm as far back as 1845. L. C.]

(Pres.) In reply to the President’s letter was read in which [as above] Mr. Curtiss positively agrees to give the amount named, fifty cents for each subscription secured through this circular letter; and gratefully accepts the suggestion made by Mrs. Wrenshall, in same letter that the names of the Executive Board of the E. A. P. M. Association should be put to the circular, thus strengthening the offer.


Should the proposition of the undertaking meet with the success that is hoped, and the Firm circularise the offer to the extent of one million, as they promise, the advisability will be seen of both Boards holding a record of the manner of so important a contribution having been made to the Memorial Fund.

[Announcement was made that Miss Harriet P. Marine had sent $50 to the Poe Memorial Fund as the result of an entertainment given at the Bard Avon School under her direction.] L. C.


The next matter of importance taken up was the arrangement of the Centenary Meeting on the 19th of January 1909; [The 100th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe.--held in the McCoy Hall, Johns Hopkins University.]

(Pres.) This was made in the form of a written statement, read by the President, and drawn from a record,--kept from December 12th, 1908, to January 19th, 1909, of letters received, with carbon copies of replies; all correspondence being placed on the life of the papers of the Association.

Commencing with the letter from Dr. Remsen, President J. H. U., requesting the cooperation of the Poe Association with the Johns Hopkins University in the celebration of the Centenary of Edgar Allan Poe, and her acceptance for the Association, Mrs. Wrenshall spoke of the appointment of Professor Bright by Dr. Remsen as his repre-


sentative; and of three visits received from Dr. Bright, December 15th and 20th,--and January 5th. She showed and read letters written by Dr. Rall,--Registrar J. H. U.--for Professor Bright; and spoke of details as arranged for the programme in Dr. Bright’s first two visits in December. Namely: Dr. W. P. Trent, invited by the University, to speak forty minutes; and Dr. Huckel and Mr. Poe, asked by the Association, to have each from twenty to thirty minutes for their addresses.

In his visit of January 6th, Professor Bright peremptorily insisted on Mrs. Wrenshall’s requiring Dr. Huckel to shorten his address to from eight to ten minutes; and asking Mr. Poe to reduce his to four or five minutes. To do this Mrs. Wrenshall positively declined,--with difficulty maintaining the position of the speakers as asked by the Association.[5]

The entire attitude of the representative of the University made it impossible to suggest Miss Reese’s poem being added to the programme. This not having been written until after Christmas, could not thus have been offered until the date of this visit,--January 6th.[6]

At this point Mrs. Wrenshall called for the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Board held on January 11th.[7] Miss Crane Miss Crane [repetition in original] reading them, further circum-


stances of that meeting were recalled, by the six members present who had all attended the January meeting, and in correction and addition.)

Taking up the thread of the minutes Mrs. Wrenshall continued: “As you know Miss Reese was unwilling to accept the situation as laid before the Board, and said, ‘She would herself go to Dr. Bright, and ask permission to read it,’”--her poem. Recognising the unsuitability of the request coming from her[8], Mrs. Wrenshall endeavored to dissuade her from doing so, and said “she would write and ask in the name of the Board that the poem should be added to the exercises of the evening” Miss Reese replied: “She preferred to go herself--and would do so,” but finally consented that the letter from the Board should precede her visit. Mrs. Wrenshall wrote the same evening, January 11th, and asked the desired permission from Dr. Bright, making her letter as strong as possible from the Board. The carbon of this letter is on file; also the letter from Miss Reese in which she states: “She had seen Dr. Bright; that he had received Mrs. Wrenshall’s letter; and that Dr. Remson had replied to it. Dr. Remson did not reply; but Dr. Ball, the Registrar, did in the briefest terms possible. In concluding Mrs. Wrenshall said she wished to emphasize the facts: First, that Miss Reese’s poem was not written when the poem was decided on, in Dr. Bright’s two visits of December


15th and 20th. Second, that after hearing from Miss Reese that she had a poem, (this in the last week of the year,) she was willing to forego her own judgment, and ask Dr. Bright for Miss Reese to be placed on the programme, according to the letter asking him to call before the programme was finally arranged.

Thirdly, that when he came on the evening of that day, the situation was so uncomfortable and strained that she could not consistently with the dignity of the Association ask for any further addition to the programme from the Association.

Furthermore,: When as at the meeting of January 11th, all things were as cited, Mrs. Wrenshall offered to write, and did so, obtaining the concession to the wish of the Board.

At the conclusion of Mrs. Wrenshall’s Statement, the members of the Board expressed their entire satisfaction and approval; and agreed that our President had done all that she could have done under trying circumstances; and more than could[9] have been asked or expected.

The Recording Secretary then proposed that after our President’s eleven consecutive years in our highest office, it would be appropriate to offer a resolution expressing the loyalty, confidence and affection


we hold and cherish for her; and our appreciation of her executive ability, impartiality, and untiring dedication to the Club and to her fellow members. The proposition was approved;--and it was suggested that it should be presented from the Board to the Club at our closing meeting.

The meeting was adjourned,--and informal consultation followed around our President’s table.

Meeting of May 22nd, 1909.

Joint meeting of the Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore; and the Executive Board of the Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Association.

The Board of Management of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore; and the Executive Board of the Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Association held a joint meeting at the home of the President of both societies, 1037 North Calvert Street. Eight[10] members attended this meeting,--representing the two Boards,--the members of both being nearly the same. They were: the President, Mrs. John C. Wrenshall; two Vice Presidents; two Secretaries; and Directors, Mrs. Powell, Mrs. Turner and Miss Cooper. Mrs. McGaw.[11]

The minutes of the meeting of May 8th were called for; and were read. They principally consisted of a very clear and comprehensive statement made by the President, (type written, and read by herself,) to both Boards, with regard to affairs which she alone could explain. They related to the Poe Cen-


tennial meeting at McCoy Hall, on the evening of January 19th,--and to occurrences before[12] and after it. Mrs. Wrenshall’s Statement was placed on the records of both Boards,--by unanimous consent.

At the end of the reading of the minutes, the members renewed their assurances of approval and support of our President’s just and generous actions under very trying circumstances.

Further verbal explanations followed; from which it was discovered that Miss Reese had in some way received the impression that Dr. Remson, President of the Johns Hopkins University, had written a letter about the reading of her poem, of which she had not been informed,--whereas he had written no such letter at all.

With regard to any further action relating to this subject, it was agreed that it would be best left to rest,--for the present, at any rate. Miss Reese had offered her resignations as a member of both Boards,; but it was further agreed to take no action upon them formally. Her term of office as a Director of the Woman’s Literary Club expired with this season; and she had entirely declined to be a candidate for reelection.

Miss Crane, Recording Secretary of the Woman’s Literary Club, spoke of our President’s eleven consecutive years in her office, and offered the following Resolution: “We, the members of the Woman’s


Literary Club of Baltimore, desire to give to our honored President, Mrs. John C. Wrenshall, the expression of our loyalty, confidence and affection; and of our grateful appreciation of her executive ability, and generous untiring devotion to the progress, welfare and advancement of the Club and her fellow members.”

The Resolution was seconded by the First Vice President, Mrs. Jordan Stabler; and also by the Second Vice President, Mrs. Alan P. Smith; and endorsed by the Board, for presentation to the Club,--the President only refraining from voting. [It was presented and passed by the Club at the closing meeting of the season, May 25th, 1909.]

The President then spoke of having a regular day once a month for the meetings of the Board of the Literary Club,--as we could then know the day, and keep it in mind. After discussion it was agreed to appoint the first Thursday in each month for our Board meetings; and also that the announcement should be made to the members of the Board, each month, from the platform, at the general meeting of the Club on the previous Tuesday.

The President announced that Mrs. Marden had felt obliged to resign the Chairmanship of the Committee on Autographs and Letters; and Miss Octavia W. Bates had consented to take Mrs. Marden’s place.

Mrs. Wrenshall said she had asked Mrs. A. M. Elliot to take again the Chairmanship


of the Committee on the Authors and Artists of Maryland; but she said she did not know whether Mrs. Elliot would consent to do so.

The President spoke of increasing our membership: and numerous names were mentioned as those of desirable, or possible, members. Among these were Mrs. Frank Morley, 2026 Park Avenue; Miss Horwitz, a writer of Chronologies; Mrs. John T. Mason; and Mrs. Ramsey; Mrs. Stabler spoke of Mrs. James Locke, as the wife of an author, and daughter of a Yale professor. Mrs. Hopper was spoken of; also Miss Albert, and her sister-in-law, Mrs. James Albert,--the latter two having been members of the “Eight o’Clock Literary Club,”--”back in the 80’s.”

It was announced that Mrs. William Burns Trundle had resigned her membership.

It was proposed to have a Committee to take care of new members,--perhaps of guests also.

The President asked for next year to have a Secretary come to her, perhaps once a week,--to relieve her clerical work. It was recalled that in the early days of the Club, when Mrs. Turnbull was President, and Miss Cloud was Corresponding Secretary,--and they were near neighbors,-- Miss Cloud went to consult with Mrs. Turnbull after every regular meeting of the Club,--relieving the President of many troublesome details. But Mrs. Uhler could not undertake so much,--and none of Miss Cloud’s successors have followed her example. The Board unanimously


agreed that it be only just to our President to engage for her the assistant suggested.

Taking up again the affairs of the Poe Board the President spoke of the letter she wrote to the Editor of the London Academy, to correct his mistakes with regard to the Celebration of the Poe Centenary. He published her letter in his paper in full. She referred to Mr. Grierson’s letter to her on Poe and his Works; and of having received Mr. Grierson’s word from Mr. Grierson himself in England,--speaking particularly of his Essays.

The President also spoke of the Poe Book, in which we are specially interested. It is edited by Mr. Buchholtz; and he expected it to be published in September, by Williams and Williams.

An informal talk followed, around our President’s hospitable Board,--and then came farewells--for a time.

Board of Management for the Club Year 1909-1910
Elected May 18th, 1909.

President:                                Mrs. John C. Wrenshall.

First Vice President:                  Mrs. Jordan Stabler.

Second Vice President:              Mrs. Alan P. Smith.

Recording Secretary:                Miss Lydia Crane.

Corresponding Secretary:          Mrs. Philip R. Uhler.

Treasurer:                                Miss Elizabeth L. Mullin.



Miss Virginia W. Cloud.              Mrs. Powell.

Miss Annie Hollins.                    Mrs. McGaw.

Miss H. J. Cooper.                     Mrs. Sidney Turner.

Following over from last year’s election for two years.[13]


[END OF SEASON 1908-1909]

[1] Do I sense some, dare I say, sass?

[2] It’s odd that the last meeting before March 8th was January 11th, and even then, that was an informal meeting called simply because members of the Poe Association were already meeting and they happened to overlap with the Literary Club. Strangely, the only reason they even called a meeting was to cancel another meeting later in January in favor of something else. In 1907-1909 the Board had 1-2 meetings a month; the two-and-a-half–month hiatus is striking, but its significance is unclear and would be worth pursuing further.

[3] The amount spent on the Twelfth Night event was less than half of what they paid the previous year, indicating significant cost-cutting.

[4] This entry is confusing. It’s stated in the beginning that the President is taking minutes, but then it seems to switch between Wrenshall and Crane. The handwriting looks almost identical throughout, though sometimes the ink is darker and sometimes seems more rushed. It’s not clear why the President would want to take minutes; perhaps she wanted to retain control over what was said.

[5] Who is Dr. Bright? He pretty much wants to slim these guys’ speeches down to nearly nothing. Wrenshall stands her ground; this is a moment where you can sense the tension that would result during this time if a woman said no to a man-- especially one as ‘important’ as this one (or as important as he thinks he is).

[6] It’s not clear why these minutes are being discussed four months after the meeting took place.

[7] Wrenshall is referring to a Edgar Allan Poe Association Board meeting, not a meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club’s Board of Management.

[8] I wonder if Wrenshall is worried about Reese doing this strictly because of her interaction with Bright on January 6th, or if it’s inappropriate for some other reason.

[9] ‘could’ is changed from should; in the text the revised version actually reads ‘chould’-- it seems to have been changed hurriedly.

[10] Written above ‘eight’ in pencil: ‘nine’.

[11] ‘Mrs. McGaw’ added in pencil.

[12] Crossed out: ‘after’ (before the ‘after’ included)

[13] Written sideways next to the list of Directors.