xt773n20cs3z https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt773n20cs3z/data/mets.xml Semple, Ellen Churchill, 1863-1932. 1896  books b92-273-32007235 English Flexner Bros., : Louisville, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Economics. Civilization. Civilization is at bottom an economic fact  / by Ellen Churchill Semple. text Civilization is at bottom an economic fact  / by Ellen Churchill Semple. 1896 2002 true xt773n20cs3z section xt773n20cs3z 


THiIPDJS BirNNII-\

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  bv iNVrrATION Or1 THI WOMAN'S CLUB3 Or
        LOUISVILLU. KY., MAY, 1896.




          Uinitt  in  iTurrsitv.



FLERNEII BR-OTHERS, LOUISVILLE. KENTUC(..
          MDCCCXCvI.

 This page in the original text is blank.

 









                    Tablr of Tnntents.





OPENING OF THE THIRD BIENNIAL, RXFv. ANNA GARLIN SPENCER . .

ADDRESS OF WELCOMRE, MRS. PATTY B. SEMPLE..... .. . ..   . 8

ANNUAL ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT, MRS. HENROTIN ... .    .  .   . 14

LITERATURE DEPARTMENT .... . . . . .. . .. . .. . . ..   . 27

HTOmE DEPARTMENT .... . . . . .. . .. . . .. . .. . ..   . 95

PHILANTHROPY DEPARTMENT .... .   . .. . .. . . .. . ..   . 133

FINANCF DEPARTMENT . .......q... . .. . .. . . .. . ..  . IS9

SOCIAL ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT .... . .. . .. . .. . . ..   . 271

EDUCATIONAL DEPARTMENT .... .  . . .. . .. . .. . . ..  . 337

EVEENING SESSIONS-

   MAY 27TH, RECEPTION GALT HOUSE...... .  .. . . .. .  . 389

   MAY 28TH, MACAULEY's THEATER .... . . . .. . .. . .  . 390
       " Romance," Mrs. Mary Hartwell Catberwood.
       TiThe Relations of tile College to the Lower Schools," Miss
          Clara Conlway.
        Woman in Finance," Miss Agnes Repplier.

   MAY 29TH, MACAULET'S THEATER . . . .. . . .. . .. . .. 409
        Philanthropy," Re,. Anlna Garlin Spencer.
        Civilization is at Bottom an Econonoic Fact," Miss Ellen, -
          Selple.
       "Social Life," Miss Evelyn Mason a-d Mrs. Helen H.
          Gardener.

REPORT OF COMIMITTEE ON RESOLUTIONS.  .... . . .. . ..   . 435

INTRODUCTION OF NEW OFFICERS ... .     .  ............ 437

LIST OF OFFICERS oF THE FEDERATION FRO-4 1890 TO i896 . . .......439

 This page in the original text is blank.

 










         THIRD BIENNIAL CONFERENCE.






           MACAULEY'S THEATER, MAY 27th,

                            9 A. M.

   The third Biennial of the General Federation of Women's
Clubs was called to order at nine o'clock on the morning of the
27th of May, I896, at Macauley's Theater, by the President of the
Woman's Club of Louisville, Ky., Mrs. C. P. Barnes, who said:
"Club Women, I have the honor to present to you Mrs. Ellen
M. Henrotin, President of the General Federation of Women's
Clubs."
   Mrs. Henrotin. in acknowledging the greeting said:
   " In all eternity no tone can be so sweet as when man's heart
with God in unison doth beat. Von will now be led in prayer by
the Rev. Anna Garlin Spencer":

  0, Thou Eternal One, whom we worship as Truth, whom we seek to
obey as Righteousness, whom we date to love and aspire toward, as the
Heart of Love, our Heavenly Father, we need. ask naught or Thee, Thou
givest beyond our wildest pleadings, but we ask for ourselves to be teach-
able and humble learners in Life's School, to be friendly and sisterly one
toward another, to have the world's sorrows and the world's cares upon
our hearts, next to the sorrows and cares of our own homes, and so to grow
true and noble,just atd free as becometh the Daughters of the Kiug. We
ask and offer all in the namne of the great Brotherhood and Sisterhood of
Faith the world around, in humble trust. Anmen.

  At the conclusion of the prayer Mrs. Barnes introduced Mrs.
                               (7)

 





Patty B. Semple, the First Vice-president of the Woman's Club
of Louisville, who delivered the following address of welcome:

Madam President, Ladies of the Board, Members o/ the General Feder-
    ation of Women's Clubs:
    Such an assemblage as this, which I have the honor to address, makes
 thought active. The mind teems with suggestions; the difficulty is not
 to find ideas, but to choose among those that crowd and press. I am here
 to bid you welcome; I do so with all my heart, in the name of our club, of
 our city and state, and in the name of the South, now, at least in one sense,
 the " Solid South," united as it is in a desire to take its place in the march
 of progress. While you are with us our best is at your service; when you
 go I hope you will carry away, as I ani sure you will leave bebind, a store
 of pleasant memories.
   As I look upon this audience, of all the thoughts that come, on.e, by
contrast, is uppermost. It is a picture of the olden time; one that I have
gleaned somewhere, I could not well recount from what old volume. The
time is the sixth century; the place is France; the occasion, a council of
Holy Church. In imagination I see the sunny plain which alone was
large enough to meet the needs of the throng, for it was not yet the age of
vast cathedrals. I hear the jingle of bridle bells as the portly abbots and
bishops ride on their " ambling pads" to the appointed place. I see the
monks in gowns of black and white, of gray and russet, their fingers busy
with beads or missal, their eyes bent down (like St. Bernard's when he
rode through lovely Switzerland) to shut out the smiiling beauty about
them. Here come groups of white-robed acolytes, with swinging censer,
upright binner, or crucifix; there a band of nobles with their fierce re-
tainers, who are here to listen and to learn. But there is one element, the
lack of which in the scene would strike strangely upon our modern eyes.
No woman is to be seen ; her presence would be all abomination in the
sight of these holy men. And yet it was true then, as it is slow, that this
element is not one to be ignored; women in all ages have had a way of re-
fusing to be ignored, and I doubt not that every man there had in his
heart memories to make very personal the question he had come to dis-
cuss. This question was, whether women, in view of the snares they ever
lay for the souls of the faithful, their wiles, their fatal charm, their incon-
sistencies, their quick and inconvenient emotions, the utter lack of reason
that prevents them from recognizing the wisdom of lives spent on the bat-



8



TH]IRD BIENNIAL.

 


ADDRESS OF WELCOME.



tle field or in monasteries, their perverse preference for beauty and peace
and love-whether, considering all these damning facts, it can be possible
that women have souls to save! The record did not tell, or I have forgot-
ten, how these grave churchmen decided the matter. No doubt, to their
own satisfaction, there being no feminine voice raised in protest. No
doubt at the close of that summer day each roan rode away well content
with himself and with the world that was arraiged for him-the superior
dignitaries to such measure of luxury as the rude times afforded, the
monks to gloomy cloisters, to prayer and penance for sonse haunting
thought aroused by a chance word spoken that day, and the nobles-well,
to their wives and sweethearts, perhaps.
   The world has gone far since that scene took place. Along many lines
has the progress been stupendous, and in none more wonderful than in the
position now recognized to be held by women. I shall not weary you with
a dissertation on that subject; it has been done to death of late; and
besides, my attitude toward it is not one of -entire self-satisfaction as to
privilege, but rather one of anxiety as to responsibility. But on an occa-
sion like this, we can not fail to cast a glance backward, to give a thought
to our sisters of the past. We see many sad faces; many pathetic figures
saints and martyrs ; starved, baffled lives, of all perhaps the most pitiful,
many whose existetice was one long, vain protest; many who madly flung
themselves upon the thorns of life, and bled arid fainted. Out of great trib-
ulation, surely, have come the possibilities of to- day, and we draw a full, deep
breath of profound gratitude that it is given to us to live in this time,
rather than in any other; that at last we have made good our claim to be
more than mere puppets or idle lookers-on at life. I truly believe that in
the so-called Womarn's movement this has been the vital spark which has
insured success, that beneath froth and bubble and floating rubbish there
has ever been the strong, steady current of desire to be allowed to take
part in the honest work of the world. I have profound faith in the essential
earnestness and integrity of wonen ; in their se nsitive conscientiousness, in
their tendency to cling to ideals- We may make many mistakes, but they
are errors that arise from unwise enthusiasm; from lack of experience, not
of right intention.
  And surely, we of America have special cause for satisfaction. In no
other part of the world is life for us so full or possibilities so great. True
to the traditions which made her first the refuge of the poor, the oppressed
for conscience sake, for those who gladly faced the discomforts and perils

 





of life in the new world to breathe its pure, free air, our country has been,
in the main, more hospitable than others to new ideas, and has furthered
rather than hampered our aims. We are a power here as nowhere else; the
Anglo-Saxon race in this, as in all else, leads the world. I have talked
with women in France and Italy and Germany, with others from Russia
and the far East, and always their eyes are turned westward to see what
we are doing, to ask wistfully how far they may dare to follow in our foot-
steps. As one of our great modern thinkers has said, "By the development
of the western contineut, the United States has become the new Orient of
the world." A privilege, but a great responsibility as well; one to teach
us to take the broad, clear view, to cultivate the same mind, to do away
with prejudice and partisan spirit.
   And is not the uleeting here to-day the best possible proof that this we
are trying to do  Again a picture of the past comes before me, of those
years when our dear land was in the throes of civil war; when the new
birth of union and strength was bathed in an awful baptism of blood. I
was a little child then, and could but dimly apprehend the significance of
events; but impressions were made deep and fast, and time has brought
enlightenment. In this border state we had more than mere rumors of
war; if not actual bloodshed in our midst, we had bitter strife and dissen-
sion, brother divided against brother, father against child, quarrels that
meant lifelong estrangement. Along our streets rolled day and night the
heavy rumble of army wagons, taking supplies to the Federal troops
farther south. Every child in those days was familiar with the sight of
uniform and musket; with the sound of tramping feet, the sharp, stern
word of command, the galloping of orderlies, the solemn music and final
volley of the military funeral. We saw the regiments come by boat down
the river, land at our wharves and march fresh and eager southward. And
later we saw those sanme men return-mnt all, alas !-tattered and weary;
their faces worn by privations, with arms in slings and bloody bandages
about their heads. Often they guarded groups of gray-coated soldiers even
more pathetic than themselves, because they had fought against starvation
with all their other enenmies. Our suburbs were white with temits; our
great tobacco warehouses were turned into hospitals and prisons, often
both in one; and it has happened, as I well know, that when the clouds
grew blacker, when distrust and suspicion were rife, when no one whose
loyalty could be questioned was allowed to enter those pathetic abodes of
heartsickness and imprisonment, of wounds and death, it was the children



THIRBD BIENNIAL.



1O

 

ADDRESS OF WELCOME.



who went from cot to cot, to soldier from the North and soldier from the
South alike, and distributed delicacies that tender-hearted women had
brought to the threshold they were not allowed to cross. I have seen a
troop of weary men halted in our streets to rest and draw fresh water, and
soon from some house would come its mistress and her negro maid to dis-
tribute hot coffee and simple food, to give a pair of shoes or a hat or coat
to the most needy. There were no half-worn gabrments left in our homes
in those days, and often our kitchens were swept suddenly clean of food.
And these men, mark, had been fighting against the army in which were
those very near and dear to the women who fed them. These samewomen
spoke angry words at times, no doubt-they had some provocation-but
it was only a flash; the steady fire of love and charity they kept alive, like
the vestals of the ancient world the pure flame -hat stands ever for all we
mean by hearth and home. Was there not already, even then, the promise
of what has since collie among us-a spirit of fo: giveuess, of mutual confi-
de-ce, that makes it possible for me without danger to speak such words,
to arouse such memories-the spirit that bronght the Grand Army of the
Republic to us last year, and has made you with avowed purpose choose
to have this meeting of the General Federatioa of Womenl's Clubs here
on Southern soil Surely it is not inappropriate that we should rejoice
to-day in all this signifies; that my welcome to you should be front the
entire South; or rather, that we should exult together in the thought that
there is now no South or North, or East or West, but one grand whole-
one country. We have known the awful

         Trampling of the vintage where the grapes ofwrath are stored,

and I am sure our hearts are kneeling in thanksgiving to God that igno-
rance and prejudice have fallen away, and that over us the doves of peace
are bronding.
   It is a singular fact that since the war the basis of all advancement has
been ionre and more the maxini that union is strength. in the world of
politics, of commerce, of philanthropy, even of liteistuTe and art, co-oper-
ation is the order of the day. More and more men stand shoulder to shoul-
der in doing the work of the world, which is being systematized as it never
was before. We too have had to learn the less-on, and this meeting shows
what progress has been made. In this Federation are clubs from Canada
to Texas and Mexico, from California to Englaad and distant India. We
rejoice in the fact, in this opportunity to meet together, to rub off angles,



II

 





to broaden our horizon, to plan largely for the future. But, no doubt, this
point of view will be often emphasized during the next few days. The
word I have to speak-and I shall leave it with you as a final thought-is not
so much our power through combination, co-operation, but rather individ-
ually; the duty of each one here (a duty somewhat pressed upon in these
busy days of clubs and societies, of board and committee meetings) to de-
velop her own personality.
   Far be it for me to say one word against organization; if there were no
other reason, the occasion is certainly inopportune. But it seems to me to
be attended already by some evil results, and to threaten with niore seri-
ous danger. Life is crowded and complex enough at best; the day remains
the same length ; what must be put into it has been multiplied a hundred
fold. Education, domestic life, social engagements, self culture-all these
are making each year ever-inlcreasilng demands upon us, as formerly upon
men. We know how they have sighed under the burden. We remember
Wordsworth's "The world is too much with us; " Emerson's plea for soli-
tude, for that necessity which at times "drives each adult soul as with
whips into the desert; ' Sidney Lanier's effort, "Tho' teased by small,
mist claims to lose no large simplicity ;" Matthew Arnold's lamnent that
"we never once possess our souls until we die." If men, with their
stronger frames, feel this strain, we can not hope to avoid it. Who of you
has not been conscious of the pressure  Who has not wondered whether
she were keeping true the balance between the nearer and the wider duties 
Who has not had the sense of being overwrought, and so unfitted for mmec-
essary close relationships  In our natural eagerness to enter into the
broader field, this is our snare. It is right for us to be here; right for us
to take the new place to which the age has called us. There are some hid-
eous evils which I believe can be fought only by the hands of woumeim. But
it is not right for us to be intemperate in our duties any more than in our
pleasures ; it is lot right for some of us to add anything to the respomisi-
bilities that life in its natural development has laid upon us. We must
dare not to know, dare moit to do,  any things ; we must accept, if mreed
be, misunderstanding and criticism. It is miot, after all, what we do, but
what we are, that is of supreme importance ; it is not attainments, but char-
acter, that tells, and character grows best with periods of quiet conditions.
It is " tranquil activity " that is the secret of successful effort as well as of
truest happiness. A generation back there was a strong tendency to press
into occupations for which the time was not ripe; there was a re-less de-



TH[IRD BIENNVIAL.



I2

 

ADDRESS OF WELCO ME.



sire to do something out of the ordinary, not wait for the God-appointed
task to seek us. Now, I am glad to say, there is a reaction, or at least a
sober pause, and I speak this word in praise of it, and in honor of those
who are brave enough to go their own way, to obey the dictates of their
own souls, who are unobtrusively, but none the less surely, doing their
part. Public life, even very active club life, is not for all woolen; formerly
sonie courage was needed to enter it; now, almcst as much is required to
keep out. We must not work against the grain cf our own personality; if
we do, the friction is great and results are poor. Follow the inborn bent,
and all nature seems to conspire to help us. Whatever else they may be
or do, women stand ill this world for ideal conditions; they make the
poetry of life; they keep alive by the spiritual food for which all hunger.
Com.lpare thenx with oxen ill middle life, and see how much oftener they
have "respected the dreams of their youth " and struggled successfully
against mere materialism ; how much more readily they respond to all
that is pure and noble and of good report. Shall ;ve give up this high
province  Shall we even endanger it by the fever and the fret into which
msany of us are being led  What can we do tlat in its ultimate result is
comparable to the " quiet, wise perception that lives in the present and
ntakes the present great "
   As the chain is only so strong as its weakest link, so each club repre-
sented here is but the aggregate of the forces brought to it by its members.
Only through each individual is the general average raised. My plea is,
then, that individual development be not lost sight of in the effort for or-
ganized action. I ask that amid so manly problemus crowding upon us, this
one be not relegated to all inferior place: How to reconcile the claims of
the outer and the inner life ; how to ineet the greater practical demands
without sacrificing those of tile ideals ; how to take part effectively ill what
so far has boen regarded as manl's work, and yet keep intact our own pecul-
iar relations to the world; how to retain the pat ence, the quick sympath-y,
sosIe mneasure of leisure for the small, sweet courtesies of life ; hoss to keep
our hold upon the heart of things-all, ill short. that goes to nsake up the
wonsan truly all honor to her kind ; progressive, yet normal ; bulsy, yet
keeping in perfect poise; full of cheer atld of ssneet seriousness, but yield-
ing never to undue exciteniemit or inertness. Only by solving this problem
-and it seems to me to press hard upon us just now-can we help to real-
ize that golden age which cause to Shelley in p ophetic vision. Then, in-
deed, thse world shall see



13

 


THIRD BIENNIA L.



                    " Won-, frank, beau tiful and kind
               AS the free heaven whirh rains fresh light and dew
               On the wide earth    gentle, radiant forms,
               From custom's evil taint exempt and pare;
               Speaking the wisdom once they ould not think,
               Looking emotions once they feared to feel,
               Anld changed to all which once they dared not be,
               vet being now make earth like heaven.

   Besides the honor of representing my club to-day and bidding you wel-
come, I have another pleasant duty to perform. Only one who has been
in the position of chief executive of a large body, can fully realize the de-
mands which such a position makes; the untiring energy required; the
expenditure of time and force; the sacrifice of personal plans antd wishes;
the infinite patience; the calmu, clear judgment. That you, Madam Presi-
deut, possess these qualifications has been proved by your being chosen to
that office, and by the ability with which you have filled it. It is the wish
of the Woman's Club of Louisville to muake some expression of its appreci-
ation of those services which it has shared with other clubs. We have se-
lected as an appropriate medium this gavel, made from the wood of a tree
at Ashland, one of the very trees, perhaps, under which Henry Clay and
Abraham Lincoln once walked and talked together. It may stand, then,
as a symbol of this new union its which we rejoice, as you, Mladamn Presi-
dent, stand as a type of the nobler womanhood toward which we are all
striving. We beg that you will use it during the meetings this week and
keep it as a mark of our esteem. A modest offeringg to carry so great a
weight, but you will remember the proverb that Theocritus has preserved
for us, "Surely great grace goes with a little gift, and all the offerings of
friends are precious.'

   Mrs. Henrotin's response to Mrs. Semple's address was as fol-
lows:

   My address as President has been printed and I wait you all to take it
home with you and read it. And while yost read it, think of me as one
woman talking to another woman. I have many recoumnendations, most
of them of a practical nature, which I wish to give to you, but this is not
the time. The business meetings are too short and we have so much of
interest that I want you to attend strictly to business during this hour and
a half; and it is not too much to ask of the delegates that they remain



14

 

PRESIDENT'S ADDRRIS'



quietly seated in their places and give attention to the business of the
Federation.
   And now a word for myself personally. These two years of my life in
which I have served the Federation have been a joy. They have brought
me nothing, absolutely nothing, but the most Mlessed experiences and for
the loyalty which you have each and every one evinced toward me I
thank you.
   It was with the greatest cordiality that the Board of the Federation
accepted the invitation of the Louisville Women's Club to hold the third
Biennial in fair Kentucky. To us of the North the word alone suggests
chivalry and that pleasant country life which, after all, is the usost delight-
ful phase of existence. We think of her beautiful horses and bluegrass
ard fair vonsen and gallant men, and now we are to see them. Thus far
all has exceeded our delightful anticipations. We shall return with a reali
zation of the traditions of the State which concern all Americans.
   This gavel to preside over the Biennial zomes to us typical of the
thought of three men, and to us all here, women who owe so much to men,
it is therefore doubly valuable. Mr. C. P. Barnes, husband of our Record-
ing Secretary, whose thought it was to give mc this souvenir, and who has
passed away from us, was with us at the last Biennial. He took a great
interest in all that interested his wife. A con:panionship in marriage and
a conmunity of interests where lives unite is shown in this tender thought
for the Biennial of '96.
   The gavel was made by the husband of one who has contributed much
to our comfort, Mrs. George Avery, and the work of Mr. Avery represents
the labor of ruen by means of which so many of us are enabled to serve in
brave altruistic movements. Their toil and Iheir endeavor leave us free
from that anxiety about our daily bread, and therefore we are enabled to
devote time and strength to furthering the getmtler humanity.
   The wood from Ashland, Henry Clay's home, seems singularly appro-
priate for the gavel of the Federation, whose motto, " Unity in Diversity,"
and whose field, always toward unity, is to-day controlled by the thought
of him who was known as the great peacemaker. The policy of the
Federation is beautifully voiced by him: "I know no North, no South, no
East, no West; the Union is my country."



is

 

THIRD BIENNIAL.



                  PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS.

To the Clubs of the General Federation:
   The time is necessarily so short at the disposal of a convention where
so many subjects are to be discussed and so much routine business to be
transacted, as is the case at the Biennial, that it has seemed wise to publish
this address rather than take the time to deliver it. The published reports
of the Biennial will include the reports of the general officers, and from
them you can form some idea of the extent of the labor involved in con-
ducting this organization. The success of the Federation is due to the
thorough manner in which all have fulfilled their duties.
   To the Board of the Federation we tender our sincere thanks, and to
the Vice-President, who has visited many cities in the interest of club ex-
tension, and has always been willing to give that personal co-operation
which is the most valuable gift anyone can share. The Recording Secretary
has compiled the record in perfect form; the record books of the Federa-
tion are among the exhibits, and all club members should examine them.
The Corresponding Secretary has conducted the extensive correspondence,
on which depended so touch the success of this organization, with prompti-
tude, and has always been willing to extend that gracious word which
makes a business letter a pleasure.
   The Treasurer, though residing at a great distance from the other gen-
eral officers, by her immediate response to all letters and the admirable
and concise manner in which she has kept her accounts, has entirely obvi-
ated all seeming difficulty in this respect. I recommend the reports of
these officers to your careful consideration as models of business methods.
The Chairmen of state correspondence have devoted both time and energy
to extend a knowledge of the General Federation and to induce the clubs
to join. To the valuable co-operation of these officers is largely due the
rapid increase in membership since 1894.
   I appreciate the significance of this gathering, and the Federation has
great cause of congratulation in having secured the hospitality of Louis-
ville. All conventions and congresses held in the United States seem to
be "going South," so that the proverbial hospitality of our Southern sis-
ters is in danger of being overtaxed.
   Two meetings of the Board of Directors have been held since 1894; this
does not, of course, include the meeting of the Board held in Philadelphia



ir6

 

PRESIDENT'S ADDRES'



immediately following the Biennial. The first Board meeting was held at
St. Louis and the second at Atlanta, Ga.
    The Chairmen of state correspondence and th - Presidents of State Fed-
 erations also met at Atlanta with the Board by the invitation of the
 Woman's Board of Managers of the Atlanta Exposition and the Georgia
 Women's Press Clnb, a member of the General Federation. The result of
 this meeting was the great interest aroused in club extension throughout
 the South, and two clubs were thereby added to the Federation-the
 Woman's Club of Atlalnta and the Womlan's Club of Rome. At the Board's
 meeting in St. Louis, held in October, 1894, the invitation of the Louisville
 Woman's Club was accepted to hold the Biennial of z896 in this city.
   One of the forces powerfully affecting the civilization of the twentieth
century is the " Woman " question; for of necessity the emancipation of
one-half the citizens of a country, that half of the co.nmunity especially
pledged by tradition and instinct to maintain the cause of law and order,
to promote the peaceful arts and to protect childhood, must ultimately in-
fluence all social questions; all countries and all causes will feel its effects.
   In England and America womene's organizations are already exerting
some political influence, and the peace movemnent among German women
and the league of French women make the sign; of the times not difficult
to read on the continent.
   It has been reserved to the twentieth century to witness the birth and
development of organizations similar to the General Federation of
Women's Clubs, pledged through organization and by educational methods
to raise the moral, social and economic standard of life of the average
womaln. This educational movement among women was inaugurated about
the mliddle of the century, for then women began to realize how illy fitted
they were either in ninid or body to cope successfully with nlew industrial
conditions; animated by the desire, born of this knowledge, to improve
themselves, small groups of women met together to discuss some topic of
present interest or to study literature ; this was the commemncement of the
-club movement. This educational activity affected the women in the home
as powerfully as it did women who were forced by economic conditions
into the competitive labor market. American women, perhaps, felt this
impulse toward action more acutely than the woomen of other nations, as
social and industrial conditions seem less stable in this country. The civil
war forced a large number of women who had greviously lived in comfort,
evems luxury, into tme labor market, and to-day, no matter how prosperous



I7

 




a man's circumstances may be, the spirit of restless energy which never
allows him to retire on a competency subjects the members of an Ameri-
can family to sudden changes in their financial situation; this, in a meas-
ure, accounts for the activity of wonren in educating themselves to meet
new social and industrial conditions which has above all characterized our
country women.
   Most of the women who formed these little clubs had passed the
school age; University Extension wvas unknown, and the thousand
and one means of securing an education which women now possess were
unthought of. It is now quite possible for a woman, mistress of a house
and mother of a family, to attend a post-graduate course of a university
near her own home, and many womeln are doing this.    The summer
schools, such as Chautauqua, Bay View, etc., are powerful aids in further-
ing popular education; but forty years ago all these were u.known, and
woman, feeling vaguely out frour her narrow environmeut for some edu-
cational force outside the school by which she could fit herself for new
social conditions, found the force she desired in association.
   The Women's Club movement has therefore been one of the edu-
cational factors of the century, and it has been valuable as it has enabled
women who could not leave home to proceed with their education through
classes and in the department club, to transmute into action the knowledge
they had acquired. The club work gave theni the exact knowledge and
experience which enabled them to act with decision and courage, a cour-
age which nothing but wisdom Carn justify, and which only women of
broad sympathy can make available.
   The next step in the development of the club was to study parlia-
mentary law, adopt a constitution, and in many cases take out charters.
To study soon ceased to satisfy the club, and thus the great department
club was evolved from the literary club; woman, being above all practical,
desired to put ill action some of the many theories in which she had be-
come interested, and most of the clubs began work on philanthropic linres,
and they have enlarged their scope till the club calendars now embrace
civics, household economics, education, sociology, literature, art and
science.
   Many clubs are now chartered corporations with large incomes. Many
have formed stock companies and built club-houses; as the New Century
of Philadelphia, the New Century of Wilmington, the Peoria Women's
Club, the Propyleum of Indianapolis, the Richmond County Club of New



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ITHIRD BIENNiIA L .

 

PRESIDENT'S ADDRES&.