Club Minutes: Mutual Improvement Association, 1912-1916

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Bound 201-page ledger containing original, handwritten minutes from December 6, 1912 to October 19, 1916 for the Mutual Improvement Association society located in Sandy Spring, Maryland. The Mutual Improvement Association has met continuously since May 1, 1857.

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Several new Presidents rode on horseback to the Capitol, Jefferson from two accounts seems to have both walked and ridden, perhaps he had such a slow hackney he really went in a walk.

McKinley’s 2nd inauguration was the most imposing up to that date, 3500 persons being in the procession, Rosevelt’s was still larger, Taft’s more yet, and Wilson’s greatest of all.

Rebecca T. Stabler asked if anyone knew of a home for a colored boy, and Estelle T. Moore told of a very neglected child who sh’ld be sent of a “Home with a Capital H”, unless we prefer to deal with a criminal later.

Sarah E. Kirk’s bright little paragraph was entitled, “When life was simple and sincere, when people were happier than now and did not make so much money.” There were only 2 fancy desserts, “Float” and “Tarts”, “now supplanted by ice cream, meringues, crackers and rotten cheese”. We suppose the former was made of White of egg beaten very light and placed on top of a custard. We once saw it prepared some years since by being combined with enough jelly to give color & flavor, then dropped in boiling milk by the spoonful. As soon as it stiffened it was arranged on a nice custard in a large glass bowl. We never tasted the dainty before nor have seen it again to this day.

Cornelia H. Bentley brought us the true story of “Casablanca”. The original was the son of a French Admir’l, who had told his boy not to leave the ship until his father gave permission. The latter was slain and the child lost his life by his obedience. Mrs. Hemans was the author who made a poem out of the pitiful sacrifice, the title meaning, “a white soul”. The captain of the vessel was named

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Benjamin Hallowell! Our hostess said when she was a little girl “Casabianca” was read to her one 1st day morning and she wept so copiously her eyes were too red to admit of her going to Mtg. that a.m.

Sarah F. Willson’s short extract was from our old friend Ella Wheeler Wilcox,

“By the cynic, the sad and the fallen, Who had no strength for the strife, The world’s highway is cumbered to-day They make up the item of life. But the virtue that conquers passion And the sorrow that hides in a smile, It is these that are worth the homage of earth, For we find them but once in awhile.”

Sallie Randolph Janney contributed a witty Limerick nearly 200 years old.

“Lord Erstwise at woman presuming to rail Calls a wife a tin-canister tied to one’s tale And fair Lady Ann, while the subject he carries on Seems hurt at his Lordship’s degrading comparison. But wherefore degrading? If considered aright, A canister’s useful, and polished, and bright. And if dirt its original purity hide That’s the fault of the puppy to whom it is tied."

Mildred H. Bentley wished us to become interested in the work of a Society for the prevention of blindness in Md. Mrs. Bloodgood of Balto. is Pres. and there is need of prevention and cure instead of so many Blind Asylums.

Ellen Farquhar read poetry by Nixon Waterman upon “The Breaking Plow”

"I am the end of things that were And the birth of things to be My coming makes the earth to stir With a new and strange decree: After its slumbers, deep and long, I waken the drowsy sod, And sow my furrow with lifts of song, To glad the heart of the mighty throng Slow feeling the way to God.

A thousand Summers the prairie rose

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Has gladdened the hermit bee, A thousand winters the drifting snows Have whitened the grassy sea;

Oh, Seer with vision that looks away A thousand long years from now, The marvelous nation your eyes survey Was born of the purpose that here, to-day, Is guiding the breaking plow!”

Harriet I. Lea told us that the only child born in the White house, to a Pres., was Esther Cleveland. She also gave “Let Me Review My Work”, by Henry Van Dyke, inculcating the principle of making daily duties, pleasures instead of burdens.

Mary Bird, borrowing a good scrap from Ellen Farquhar’s contribution read of the diet fad which induces some to emulate squirrels by living on nuts, while other enthusiastic seekers after health became tigers for the novice and swallow scraped meat, nearly raw. Still others foster and develop a taste of grass-like edibles as do the the bovine tribe. The conclusion of the whole matter was that if “perfectly prepared good food of all sorts is healthful.”

Mary E. Thomas said this is the season to become familiar enough with the wildflowers to call them by their own names and even a small plot under one’s window may offer opportunity for considerable study.

Madge G. T. Moore was advised to use tobacco smoke upon her heliotrope infested with green aphis.

The Secy read various extracts from a long acct. of what is termed “the most remarkable school in the world”, a tremendous establishment on Irving Place, N. Y., that has 6000 pupils and 217 teachers, and is known as “A High School for Girls”. Under the one roof, covering an entire block, are a real Bank, a real greenhouse, shop, 5 room flat, kitchens, a printing office, dress-making and millinery depts., as well as a thorough course in Art and Domestic Science.

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4-3-1913 We shall be interested to hear more of this institution after it has been in operation for a few years, certainly its aim is high and its graduates will be able to earn their livelihoods in many different avocations.

M. B. T. also called attention to Gov. bulletins for the use of house-keepers and especially helpful apparently to the women in the country, - very few of the Asso. members had ever asked for these gratuitous publications.

Adjourned to the home of Ellen Farquhar on 4/31/1913. Mary Bentley Thomas, secy.

The Cedars 4-3-1913

4-3-1913 found us assembled at The Cedars with Ellen Farquhar. Guests of the day were Ellen Stabler, Eliza H. Brooke, Ind. Downey, Margaret B. Magruder, Annie F. Brook, Eliz. Iddings, Frances D. Stabler, Pattie T. Farquhar, Corrie M. and Sadie P. Brooke.

A communication was read from the N. S. A. asking that we petition Congress and Pres. Wilson to grant Woman Suffrage.

A resolution was passed endorsing the same and petition and letters have been sent by the Secy. No reply was rec’d from the White House, nor from Sen. Smith but we think the following satisfactory answer should be recorded here.

(copy). House of Representatives, U.S. Wash. D.D. April 8th, 1913

Mrs. Mary Bentley Thomas Sandy Spring, Md My dear Mrs. Thomas,

I have your very kindly letter of a few days since, and appreciate the interest you have in the very important subject you advocate.

While my work is along lines that completely take my time and preclude me from undertaking any leadership in such a widely important reform as the suffrage for Woman amts. to, my interest in the success of the movement

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is deep and sincere. I hope that the women of this country may soon be able to exercise a potent voice for the lasting benefit of the people. Yours very sincerely, David J. Lewis

Ellen Farquhar’s sentiment was from an unknown source. “Those who live on the mountain have a longer day than those who live in the valley. Sometimes all we need to brighten our day is to rise a little higher.”

At this juncture a very small citizen was introduced to the Asso. when R. B. Thomas Jr. appeared at the door for a moment.

Mary T. Bond read a short anecdote about Cleveland of whom it was proposed to make 2 portraits for the White House as he was supposed to have been better looking when first inaugurated. Eliza N. Moore gave from “The Outlook” a bright picture of Nantucket new and old. This place has probably changed less in the past 200 yrs. than any other part of New England, though it may now rejoice in electric lights and cars. The people who do not reside there are called “off islanders” and those who come to board in summer are termed “the strangers”. At one time there were said to be about 100 “Captain Coffins” on Nantucket, which is only 15 mi. long, by 3 mi. wide. Flowers are extensively cultivated and the drives are most attractive. Antique stores abound and the enclosed “walks” still on the house-tops after 150 yrs. always interest visitors.

E. N. M. also read a few verses upon the Mar. 3rd Parade in Wash., which was followed by a discussion of the disgraceful behavior of the Police force of that city.

Pattie T. Farquhar gave the incident of an amateur electrician who failed to get a light, though the instrument gave forth sound but it required more power to shine than to make a noise. The quiet unassuming people often surprise us by reserve force that proves depth of character. A question with

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