HomeClub Constitution (c. 1900)

Club Constitution (c. 1900)


The Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore

Organized March 22nd, 1890.

Incorporated January 25th, 1894.

[published 1900? MDHS PN22 .W65 1900z]


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Mrs. Mary Spear Tiernan.

Mrs. Fabian Franklin.

Miss L. C. Osborne Haughton.

Miss Hester Dorsey.

Mrs. Charles W. Lord.

Mrs. John T. Graham.

Mrs. Henry P. Goddard.

Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull.


Mrs. George Whitelock.

Miss Katharine Pearson Woods.

Miss Lizette Woodworth Reese.


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The Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore. 

“Formed to encourage exact and noble thinking among our women; hoping to prove that added strength will cultivate larger grace of speech and manner, keener instincts of pure womanhood, a deeper appreciation of the precious opportunities of the home life, with a truer comprehension of its responsibilities- a broader, and not less loving and believing heart.” 

[Extract from first address delivered before The Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, by its first president, Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull, in April, 1890.]


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The Woman’s Literary Club
Of Baltimore


Article I.- Name and Object.


Section 1. The name of this Association shall be The Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore.

Sec. 2. The object of this Club shall be the advancement of its members in literature, and their association for the discussion of the literary and artistic questions of the day- by written papers and otherwise.

Article II.- 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.


Sec. 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 should be elected annually, to serve for two consecutive years.

Sec. 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 the chairman

Sec. 4. In the absence of the President, the officer present, next in rank, shall discharge the duties of her office.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 6. The Corresponding Secretary shall issue notice of all meetings, notify new members of their election, and conduct the correspondence of the Club.

Sec. 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 III.- Board of Management.

Section. 1. No expenses shall be incurred in excess of the funds already in the treasury.


Sec. 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.

Sec. 3. The Board of Management shall exercise the right, at its member’s discretion, of inviting strangers visiting the city, who may be distinguished in science, literature, or art, to partake of the privileges of the Club during their stay.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 5. Six members of the Board of Management shall constitute a quorum.

Article IV.- 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 3. Moreover, that any member who persistently refuses 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 5. Names of candidates for membership shall be sent to the Recording Secretary two weeks 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 IV. The Board shall vote by ballot upon names proposed, two negative votes preventing an election.

Sec. 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.


Sec. 7. Other meetings for the election of members maybe held at the discretion of the President, when candidates who are regularly presented according to the foregoing rules, may be duly elected.

Article V.- Dues.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 2. When the dues of any member shall remain unpaid at the expiration of the half year, the Treasurer shall notify her of the fact.

After such notification the privileges of the club shall be with-held until dues are paid.

Sec. 3. Members who have not sent in their resignations before the first of October or first of February, shall be held liable for full half-year dues.

Article VI.- 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.

Sec. 2. Regular meetings of the Club shall be held on all Tuesdays from October to the 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 of discussion.

Sec. 3. A business meeting shall be held annually on the first Tuesday in May, at which the Chairmen of the standing committee shall be required to read reports of their work. At other meetings business shall not be in order, and to business meetings of the Club shall be called by order of the President, or on the written request of twenty members.

Sec. 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 a meeting, no other business being then in order.

Sec. 5. One-third of the active members of the club shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, except for Constitutional amendments, when a majority of the active members must be present.

Article VII.- Amendments.

Section. 1. No alteration of the Constitution shall be made unless the same be proposed at the business meeting, and be finally adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at the subsequent business meeting.

Sec. 2. The Board of Management shall be authorized to frame a code of By-Laws for the Club which shall be printed fro 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.




Esteeming it a privilege to belong to The Women’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.





Membership shall be limited to one hundred, including non-resident members.


Membership shall be completed by signing the Constitution and Pledge.


The election shall be conducted under the laws as held by the Recording Secretary.


Each member has the privilege of bringing a non-resident guest to any regular meeting.


Members wishing to invite residents of the city as guests, may obtain invitations by application to the Corresponding Secretary, and no resident of the city may be invited more than twice during the season.



The Board of Management shall appoint, annually, from its own body, a House Committee of three, also a Librarian from the ranks of the Club.


Each member of the Club shall be an active member of a committee.


Committees shall consist of Club members only, who should refer their papers to their respective chairmen before presentation to the Club.


No reports of the meetings shall be given to the press without the approval of an officer appointed by the Board of Management.


The Board of Management of “The Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore” shall have the right to appoint the date of the opening Salon of the Club Year in October, and of the one closing the Club Year in May, when it shall be found necessary or expedient to hold either or both after the first Tuesday in October or before the last Tuesday in May.


The Standing Committees
The Women’s Literary Club of Baltimore



“The President shall appoint the Chairmen of the Standing Committees.”

See Constitution, Article II, Section 3.

Archaeology, Mrs. Philip R. Uhler.
Art, Mrs. Wrenshall Markland.
Colonial and Revolutionary History, Mrs. Thomas Hill.
Current Criticism, Miss Lucy Temple Latané.
Drama, Miss Virginia Woodward Cloud.
Education, Mrs. Robert B. Bowie.
Essays, Mrs. Sidney Turner.
Fiction, Mrs. Percy Meredith Reese.
Foreign Languages, Miss Nellie C. Williams.
Foreign Travel, Mrs. Charles W. Lord.
Letters and Autographs, Mrs. Harriet Lummis Smith.
Literature of the Bible, Mrs. Alan P. Smith.
Music, Miss Lina Stiebler.
Modern Poetry, Miss Lizette Woodworth Reese.
Authors and Artists of Maryland, Mrs. John C. Wrenshall.
House Committee, Mrs. Wm. M. Powell.
Librarian,  Miss Lillie Schnauffer.



The Twelfth Night Festival


(Old Christmas)

Instituted in

The Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore,

January 6th, 1902


The President

Mrs. John C. Wrenshall


“Led by the star, we come, as did those of ancient days, the music of the far away time for us, as it was for the shepherds upon the hills, and the three kings of the Orient, prototypes of the phases of life in the host ever moving onward, together, in the harmony of immortal souls led by the star.

Down through the ages the host has come, following the star with songs of joy and all the innocent mirth of the season, the nations of the civilized world uniting in keeping ‘Merrie Christmas’.... Memories tender and true are a part of Christmas and as we hold dear and follow the old customs, we emulate the example of the folk that made them, and come together

“To keep our Twelfth Night.”

Excerpts from a Twelfth Night address by Mrs. John C. Wrenshall.


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