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The Federation we have formed, no selfish aim shall blight,
Together we will ever stand for Progress and for Right,
May Wisdom guide us as we strive to make the earth less sad,
While high ideals shall lead us on, and Love shall make life glad.
SALLIE SOUTHALL COTTEN.
What has been known as the Woman's Movement, was a revolution--bloodless but not purposeless. A new era in world history was imminent but not yet visible. A psychic Call from the Infinite stirred the soul of womanhood, and unconsciously woman responded to the call without analyzing or understanding it. It was a call for emergence from selfish individuality into broader service to the world. It was not confined to any one country or people. While Susan B. Anthony in the United States was struggling with prejudice in her demands for justice to women, Olive Schreiner in South Africa was writing and clamoring for the emancipation of women from the trammels of the past.
Everywhere woman while absorbed by the duties of motherhood and home-making, felt, without understanding, the inner stirrings of undeveloped powers, but was afraid of the uncharted seas of effort which began to be visible to her. The psychic call had come to earth in ages past but woman could not respond because she was not educated, nor prepared for new duties, but this time a more educated womanhood felt the call and answered as best it could. In the past, education had not been considered essential to feminine virtues and very slowly has woman attained to a higher education. It is an interesting fact that woman's activities beyond her own home began with an effort
for more knowledge, more culture, and a demand for universal education. From the Garden of Eden to the present day the Tree of Knowledge has allured her, and her persistent application of her knowledge to the betterment of human life has contributed much to the onward march of civilization.
When the Woman's Movement began to express itself, Knowledge and wider experience were her greatest needs, and intuitively she sought more education. Fortunately it was the least offensive to old ideals and she was not hindered in her pursuit of Knowledge until now almost all barriers to her advance have been removed.
Educated womanhood is absolutely essential to develop "the female of the species" into proper mates for educated manhood, and for the fulfillment through them of God's law of evolution which forever calls for higher types. Reproduction is not evolution, for evolution means gradual and permanent improvement of the race, which can only come through higher spiritual types of both men and women. Only together are they one. The restrictive conventions of her isolated individuality gave to the women of the past what would now be called an "inferiority complex," which was simply the habit of sex-submission, from which she will ultimately be emancipated. Many sex discriminations continue to exist, in the law, and in the social life but they will ultimately be removed, as many have already been removed by man's voluntary action. Individual security has yielded to the call for race progress, and in that progress woman is a large factor.
Without knowing why, woman has started on the adventure of self-development, facing with courage past race habits and traditions, masculine ridicule--once so hard to bear--and all the handicaps incidental to the attainment of an acknowledged equality with man. Man, while leading and dominating the animal kingdom yet continues to belong to it, yet nowhere else in the animal kingdom is the female subservient to the male, and the inconsistency is beginning to dawn upon him. So when the Divine Discontent, like a spirituous ferment, stirred the souls of many women and urged to action, the result became organized womanhood. The great need for strength and coöperation led to the forming of many organizations among women, all of them being for the benefit of humanity. The demand for suffrage, long ridiculed into obscurity, finally began to receive respect until Justice prevailed.
The Suffrage Association and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union were the leading pioneers. The Club Movement followed. First derided, then tolerated as a passing fad, then acknowledged as good for women and for the world, the club movement moved onward, gaining influence and respect, though it has required years of faithful striving to bring it to its present status of respectability and usefulness. Man has been hard to convince of the difference between men's clubs and women's clubs--one being for pleasure and self indulgence--the other for culture and reform. Man dislikes the word Reform. It intimates a lack of perfection which he is slow to acknowledge. Now the leaven has acted and new clubs formed for men's
activities all have altruistic objects and follow lines of public benefit and patriotic stimulus. That women should develop initiative of their own and have courage to follow that initiative once seemed absurd, but results have removed the fear that clubs would demoralize women and few are left who ridicule the work of organized womanhood. Organizations of women for church work and for literary culture had existed in many places, but the Woman's Club sprang from the need for wider fields of activity felt by the more highly educated womanhood developed by the nineteenth century. Perhaps no one will ever know why so many organizations calling themselves "clubs," widely scattered should have been formed in a limited number of years, each following its own individual line of action, and all with a view to the altruistic solution of local problems, yet with no intention of concert of action and no consciousness of the power to be found in united effort.
Sorosis of New York City was the first woman's club to become the focus of the limelight of publicity and that club was the first public protest against sex discrimination which had no sensible foundation. In 1868, Charles Dickens, the famous author, made a tour of the United States. On the eve of his departure for England the New York Press Club gave him a complimentary dinner. Some brave and brainy women, themselves doing press work and other literary work, asked permission to hear the toasts and after dinner speeches. Such a natural desire! Such a simple request! Not to sit at the banquet table but in the gallery
or ante-room and listen to the wisdom of the Lords of Creation. The managers of the banquet were horrified at the effrontery of the women and denied their request. Having prepared the tables and seen that all was ready the proper thing for them to do was to go home. Rebellion was inevitable. "We will form a club of our own" said brilliant Jenny June Croly, herself a reporter and writer of note. "We will give a banquet to ourselves, make all the speeches ourselves, and not invite a single man." So they did, and that explains why women's organizations are called clubs. Sorosis (from Soror a sister) was duly organized, and when the banquet was given the hearts of the women relented, and all resentment dead, they invited the men, who came, and learned that women could speak well and sensibly.
The turn of the tide was marked.
Twenty-one years later (1889) Sorosis decided to celebrate its birthday by inviting all Women's Clubs in the United States to a banquet, which should be made the occasion of uniting them all in a national body. The response was a surprise even to Sorosis itself. The invitation to the banquet in New York was sent to ninety-seven widely scattered clubs. Delegates from sixty-one of those clubs appeared for the meeting and letters of regret were received from six others.
The meeting was a revelation to every woman present. To become united in effort, to feel the strength which comes from union of purpose and activity, gave to each delegate courage and enthusiasm for their declared purpose of working for all women.
At that New York meeting the General Federation of Women's Clubs was formed, composed entirely of individual clubs, which continued to be organized in many states, though the work was sporadic rather than concentrated, and no one had even dreamed of such a thing as a State Federation of Clubs.
The first clubs were literary, but all eventually evoluted into broader lines of service. Women felt the need of higher culture and broader experience. Club life taught them discretion, self-control, self-reliance, forbearance toward others, eliminated the tendency to gossip by supplying something better to do, and laid the foundation for a sisterhood of women in the future.
Maine has the honor of having first had a vision of greater strength from local union, and in September, 1892, formed the first State Federation of Women's Clubs, which immediately joined the General Federation. Utah was next to follow and then Iowa with 45 clubs in membership. Like an epidemic the State Federation idea spread from state to state. In six years, thirty State Federations were formed and all joined the General Federation. Naturally some confusion resulted as the Constitution only provided for individual clubs, and the respective representation from single clubs and State Federations necessitated thought and changes in the Constitution of the National body. Problems were solved as they developed and finally every state was represented in the General Federation by its own State Federation and the individual clubs.
Possibly the most outstanding recognition of the value of Women's Clubs, in those early days, was when the
U. S. Government sent Miss Helen Varick Boswell of New York to organize clubs in the Canal Zone. The construction of the great waterway, the Panama Canal, had become a combination of industrial and social problems. The skilled men in charge of the work were not contented without their families and the unhealthy climate and the absence of social life made their families reluctant to stay there. Between the Panama Canal and Women's Clubs there seems no connection, yet by this means the problem was solved. A representative of the National Civic Federation (whose wife no doubt was a club woman) suggested that the need of social life in the Canal Zone might be obviated by organizing Women's Clubs there, thus bringing the women together with mutual aims, and get them interested in their husbands' work. So Miss Boswell was sent by the Government to organize Women's Clubs in all the larger towns throughout the Canal Zone. The result was entirely satisfactory both from an industrial and a social viewpoint, and the Canal was built and no doubt many women disseminated ideas as well as happiness to their struggling husbands.
Today there is a Canal Zone Federation affiliated with the General Federation and its delegates attend the Biennial Conventions, all of which proves that woman's presence and woman's influence is needed everywhere.
The North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs was organized in 1902 and joined the General Federation in 1903. The organization was made during the Centennial Celebration at Salem Academy (now Salem College) in Winston-Salem in May, 1902. Miss Louisa Poppenheim, then President of the South Carolina Federation, and Corresponding Secretary of the General Federation, suggested that it was an opportune time for such action, and Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, ever alert and progressive, promised coöperation in the effort. As an officer in the General Federation Miss Poppenheim sent a call to the clubs in North Carolina, asking that delegates, duly authorized to join the proposed State Federation, be sent to a meeting in Winston-Salem. Various clubs responded to the call, and the first meeting was held at the residence of Mrs. H. R. Starbuck, on May 26, 1902. Miss Poppenheim was made temporary Chairman, and Mrs. A. J. Howell, representing the North Carolina Sorosis, the oldest Woman's Club in North Carolina, became temporary secretary. The object of the meeting was fully discussed, an organization made, a constitution adopted, and the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs became an entity, small, but healthy and ambitious.
The next day, May 27, the organization met for final action in the Chapel of the Moravian Church in Salem. More delegates had arrived, who duly enrolled their
clubs, and plans for work were adopted. The clubs enrolled at that meeting were Sorosis, Round Table, and Embroidery, of Winston-Salem, the North Carolina Sorosis of Wilmington, a department club already affiliated with the General Federation, the Goldsboro Woman's Club, a department club with 68 members, the Circulating Book Club of Salisbury, and the Alpha Club of Statesville.
Visiting club women were present from Asheville, Lexington, and Waynesville but deferred action until reporting to their respective clubs. Other prominent women, not representing clubs, were present, many of whom subsequently joined the work. The officers elected were: President, Mrs. Lindsay Patterson; First Vice President, Mrs. R. R. Cotten; Second Vice President, Mrs. W. R. Hollowell; Recording Secretary, Miss M. L. Gibson; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Claytor Candler; Treasurer, Mrs. Charles Price.
The Departments of work were assigned on the lines of Education, Library Extension, Village Improvement and State Charities.
In those early efforts Village Improvement Societies and Betterment Associations were very popular and inoffensive to the masculine critic, while training women for further activity. From the beginning Library Extension was recognized as a factor in the education of all women.
An invitation to hold the first annual meeting in the following October at Winston-Salem was accepted, and the club women dispersed thrilling with enthusiasm at the consciousness of having launched a new factor for good in the Old North State.
All history is divided into periods and the annual Conventions naturally punctuate the work of the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs.
The pioneer work was arduous and discouraging but the new officers met the emergencies with zeal and fidelity and the movement grew gradually.
The first Convention was held in the Chapel of Salem Academy in October, 1902. The 25 delegates were welcomed by Dr. Clewell in appropriate words. The number of federated clubs had increased from 7 to 17, each vying with the other in activity and zeal. The chairmen of Departments had aroused interest in their lines of work, and new vigor stirred the energies of the women. A Department of Art and Music was added. Mrs. Martha Orr Patterson, President of the South Carolina Federation, made an address, explaining the work done in that state and giving words of encouragement. Greetings from other states, and one from Mrs. Denison, President of the General Federation, were read. Miss Poppenheim was present and explained the work of the General Federation.
The General Federation at that time was a Federation of individual clubs and the rapid growth of State Federations caused some confusion and necessitated many changes. Before the development of State Federations, a woman in each State, named by the General
Federation was given the duty of bringing clubs into the National body. She was called The State Chairman of Correspondence, because the work was done by correspondence. The North Carolina Sorosis of Wilmington had joined the General Federation and its President, Mrs. Andrew J. Howell, was appointed the first State Chairman of Correspondence but soon relinquished it because she was too busy to perform the duties. There was no money for traveling expenses and the progress by correspondence was slow. Then the committee to represent the General Federation in each State was increased to three. In North Carolina that committee of three was composed of Mrs. Andrew Howell, Miss Margaret Gibson with Mrs. R. R. Cotten as chairman. In the year 1900, Mrs. Cotten attended her first Biennial Convention which was held in Milwaukee, where she was the special guest of the Chairman of Correspondence for Wisconsin, and you may be sure they exchanged confidences as to the woes and handicaps of Correspondence Chairmen. At that Convention she served on the Credential Committee because of her official position as Chairman of Correspondence for North Carolina. It was because of that service in 1900 that Mrs. Cotten was admitted to the Society of Pioneers, no service later than 1900 being recognized as Pioneer service. The Committee of Three finally yielded to a General Federation State Secretary appointed by the General Federation Board, then later elected by each State Federation but with the same duties. Now the General Federation State Secretary
has been replaced by a Director from each State on the National Board, which is genuinely democratic and seems entirely satisfactory.
The Keystone, published at Charleston, S. C., was adopted at Winston-Salem as the official organ of the North Carolina Federation and for many years remained our official organ.
The election of officers resulted as follows: President, Mrs. Lindsay Patterson; First Vice President, Mrs. W. R. Hollowell; Second Vice President, Mrs. T. M. Pittman; Recording Secretary, Miss Mary Petty; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Claytor Candler; Treasurer, Mrs. H. R. Starbuck; Auditor, Mrs. J. P. Cook.
Thus organized and equipped with efficient officers, the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs began its career of usefulness.
A musicale and reception by Dr. and Mrs. Clewell, and a trolley ride, tendered by the electric car company added to the pleasures of the occasion.
The second Convention of the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs was called to order by the President, Mrs. Patterson, in the Pythian Hall of Concord, on October 14, 1903. Mrs. Robert Gibson welcomed the club women and Mrs. Hugh Murrill responded for the Federation. The President's address was so fine that it was printed in the Sunday papers, which was then quite an honor for a woman.
Three new clubs had been added, among them the now famous Charlotte Woman's Club, which made the number of federated clubs 20, with a membership of 440, and a voting strength of 24 present. It was voted to join the General Federation, and four delegates, Mesdames Patterson, Alderman, Murrill, and Candler were elected to represent North Carolina at the St. Louis Biennial.
The Departments made fine reports. The Chairman of Music and Art declared the combination too much for one department and at her suggestion the Department was divided into two: one of Art, the other of Music. New departments were created, one of Publication with Mrs. T. M. Pittman, chairman, and one of Reciprocity with Mrs. G. W. Whitsett, chairman. Through the Department of Reciprocity the club women exchanged papers on various subjects, wise and otherwise, and secured information for papers they were writing. The subjects of papers thus written and
exchanged would astonish, and perhaps puzzle many a college professor, but those women were in earnest, and the papers were instructive, interesting, and mutually beneficial. Moreover a small fee of ten cents was charged for every paper loaned so there was a small revenue for the department and in those days the question of finance was a serious one to a young Federation.
The Chairman of Library Extension reported 28 new traveling libraries, making a total of 39 traveling libraries in operation in 1903. It should be recorded and remembered that the North Carolina Women's Clubs started traveling libraries in the State at their own expense. Later the clubs were largely instrumental in getting a bill passed by the Legislature, authorizing the appointment of a Library Commission for the State. In recognition of that activity, when the Commission was appointed, an active club woman, former chairman of Library Extension, Mrs. Sol Weil of Goldsboro, was made Vice Chairman of that Commission.
A reception by the New South Club, one by the Concord Woman's Club at the home of Mrs. J. C. Wadsworth, a drive to Sunderland Hall, where another reception was given by Miss Montgomery, were all delightful social features of the meeting. An interesting incident was the presentation to Mrs. Patterson, from Captain Charles McDonald, through the Julia Magruder Club, of a beautiful pin, made from a nugget of pure gold taken from a mine in Cabarrus County.
The same officers were unanimously reëlected and great interest and enthusiasm prevailed, while the second annual convention passed into history.
The third convention was necessarily postponed until May, 1905, which caused the change of date for the Convention from October to May, which has since become permanent.
The Goldsboro Woman's Club had already established itself in well equipped Club Rooms, and when the President, Mrs. Patterson, called the delegates to order in those rooms and declared the Third Convention assembled, all felt that North Carolina womanhood was coming into its own.
Twenty-nine clubs were reported with a membership of 550 and a voting strength present of 35. The broadening of view and the inevitable broadening of effort were apparent and great harmony prevailed.
Words of welcome from Colonel Joseph Robinson of the Argus, which left no pleasant adjective unused, and from Mrs. Hollowell, President of the hostess club, were responded to by Miss Gibson of the Wilmington Sorosis.
Then followed an address by Dr. Benj. Sledd on North Carolina Literature, and one on Club Work for Women by Mrs. R. R. Cotten. Later an address was given by Dr. A. J. McKelway on Child Labor. Those
addresses proved the serious trend of thought which attracted the activities of the federated women.
A graphic report of the St. Louis Biennial was made by Mrs. Hugh Murrill who had attended that meeting as a delegate from the North Carolina Federation. It was heard with great interest--seemed almost like a fairy tale to the inexperienced club women who had never seen a "Biennial" but who were in good training for the big work and have since participated in it until now a Biennial is only one of many pleasant events in life. The Departments made satisfactory reports and a new Department was added, called Child Study with Mrs. R. R. Cotten as Chairman.
At Goldsboro the first shadow fell on the Federation. Miss Candler, the beloved and efficient Corresponding Secretary, was too ill to be present. Telegrams of sympathy and letters of love were sent to her, but a premonition of the coming shadow was felt. She fell asleep soon after, lamented by all who knew her.
Mrs. Patterson after three years of arduous, loving service asked to be permitted to rest, so Mrs. J. T. Alderman of Henderson was unanimously elected President with Mrs. W. R. Hollowell, First Vice President; Mrs. Hugh Murrill, Second Vice President; Miss Margaret Gibson, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Hill Parham, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. D. L. Bost, Treasurer; Mrs. J. L. Gilmer, Auditor.
Many social functions added charm to the meeting, among them a beautiful reception at the home of Mrs.
Sol Weil, and a drive followed by a buffet luncheon in the pavilion at Herman Park. A play, entitled "Petticoat Perfidy" was given by local talent in the rooms of the Woman's Club followed by a reception. Another reception, the following evening, was given at Hotel Kennon, followed by an elaborate banquet where the menu was interspersed with toasts and brilliant responses, all by the club women. That famous banquet was distinctive in being marked by the entire absence of men. Yet one of the special toasts was "Man," and the woman who responded to the toast did the subject justice and established the fact that the work of the sixth day of creation was very good, and the world would have been incomplete without him. While no man was visible the club women rather suspected that some masculine eavesdroppers were concealed somewhere among the full draperies. Some enthusiastic reporter even grew poetical and thus reported it the next day:
There was a sound of revelry by night
And Wayne's capital had gathered then
The State's beauty, her wit, her intellect, and bright
The lights shone o'er fair women--but no men.
Near a hundred hearts beat happily, and when
Into view came the banquet table with its lights and flowers,
Bright eyes looked admiration, red lips were wreathed in smiles,
And all went merry, the clubs had met again.
The toast mistress of the occasion was Mrs. M. O. Humphrey. The toasts were as follows:
While Mrs. Stover was lauding the possibilities of the Professional Woman, suddenly, the lights went out. The club women never really knew whether it was an accident or a joke by the men, thus insinuating that the future of the Professional Woman was dark. However, the lights returned, the revelry continued to a successful close, and the first Woman's Banquet in North Carolina became a pleasant memory.
As a mark of their esteem the Goldsboro Woman's Club presented Mrs. Patterson with a Goldsboro souvenir spoon, which must inevitably recall to her a pleasant occasion. It was at all times evident that interest in the work and in each other was increasing among the women, and when the Convention adjourned every delegate carried away pleasant memories and a stimulus to increased activity.
The first Charlotte Convention, destined to be followed by many more, was called to order by the President, Mrs. Alderman, in the auditorium of the Colonial Club. A luncheon given to the Executive Board by Mrs. Hugh Murrill, inaugurated a custom so fraught with pleasure and benefit that it has become a permanent feature of the annual meetings, always preceding the opening of the Convention, and following the official meeting of the Executive Board.
Mrs. Eugene Reilley, President of the hostess club, made the address of welcome, and Miss Gertrude Weil expressed the pleasure of the delegates in being permitted to breathe the Independence-laden air of Mecklenburg County.
The new President, Mrs. Alderman, made a fine address and the ease with which she presided proved the wisdom of her election to the high office.
Thirty-three clubs were reported enrolled, among them the Raleigh Woman's Club, then and now, the largest club in the state. The voting strength present in Charlotte was 52, showing increased strength since the Convention in Goldsboro, and so long as growth continued the women were encouraged to continue the work.
Eighty valuable papers were reported in the Reciprocity Department and many of them used by the clubs.
The important Department of Domestic Science was added, with Dr. Delia Dixon Carroll as Chairman. This Department has since undergone several changes of name without changing its nature. From Domestic Science to Household Economics, then to Home Economics and now again to the American Home--each change being an improved name and a higher ideal.
A department of Forestry was recommended at Charlotte but not added until the following year.
Federation colors were adopted, blue and white, to be in harmony with the General Federation colors. A pine cone as a design for a Federation pin, and a sprig of green pine for an emblem were also adopted.
A tribute to the lamented Miss Candler was read by Mrs. Hugh Murrill and a memorial page in the Year Book was ordered to be inserted in her memory.
A reception to Mrs. Alderman, the Federation President was given by the Charlotte Woman's Club, another at the home of Mrs. R. O. Alexander, a trolley ride followed by an al-fresco party, and a musicale and play at night were much enjoyed diversions. An elaborate reception by the Manufacturers Club on the last evening brought a most successful meeting to a close.
When the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs met at Wilmington in April, 1907, the extreme illness of the President, Mrs. J. T. Alderman, prevented her attendance. The work and responsibility of the meeting devolved upon the Vice President, Mrs. Eugene Reilley, who met the emergency with courage and ability. A warm welcome was extended by Sorosis, through Miss Margaret Gibson, which was responded to by Miss Adelaide Fries of Winston-Salem.
A luncheon to the Executive Board was given by Miss Gibson at her home.
Flowers and a telegram of regret and sympathy were sent to Mrs. Alderman. The clubs numbered 33, with a membership about 800 and the Credentials Committee reported a voting strength of 44 present.
This evidence of continued growth was most gratifying. Meeting together was no longer an exciting novelty but an anticipated pleasure. The strength of union was felt, as was the fact that many things in the State needed woman's coöperation, and that they could help each other bring such things to pass. Greater seriousness began to mark the meetings and the spirit of altruism was predominating over the love of pleasure and the selfish desire for personal literary culture. Women were gaining the courage of their convictions,
and could second a motion without feeling as if they had committed a crime against womanly modesty. They no longer trembled at the sound of their own voices but discussed issues in a sane and sensible way. Reports, discussions, motions, and resolutions, filled each session. A resolution was passed that in future one entire day, including the evening session, should be given to business. At a later Convention this was changed to two whole days, and now more is needed. Clubwomen can readily see why Fine Arts Evening, combining the Reports of Several Chairmen of Departments, the announcing awards in contests, etc., was instituted, which combines business with pleasure and demonstrates the progress made in those departments.
An incident of the Wilmington Convention was the presentation of a gavel to the Federation from the Charlotte Woman's Club. It was made of wood from Mount Vernon and presented by Mrs. John W. Miller. Mrs. D. Y. Cooper accepted it for the Federation and Mrs. Reilley used it faithfully during the Convention. It remains one of the treasured possessions of the Federation. An address on "Woman in Civics and the Home" was made by Dr. Delia Dixon Carroll.
The new Federation pins, a pine cone, with the letters N. C. F. C. on a background of light blue and white enamel were on sale, and eagerly bought by the delegates. Miss Adelaide Fries presented a plan for a Scholarship at Salem Academy, in honor of Mrs. Stonewall Jackson, an alumna of that Institution. The Convention endorsed the plan, and later the clubs responded in donations of money for the scholarship.
At the suggestion of the acting President, Mrs. Reilley, a Department of Literature was added to the work, and Miss Fries was made Chairman. Being herself a woman of rare literary attainments, this department, under her management proved of great value as a stimulus to activities along literary lines.
It was at the Wilmington Convention that the first official action was taken in regard to the Stonewall Jackson Training School at Concord. The North Carolina Legislature had authorized the establishment at Concord of an Industrial Training School for Boys, as a needed reform for the good of the State and as a memorial to Stonewall Jackson of Confederate fame.
The clubs had been invited to join with the King's Daughters in erecting a cottage at that school. At Wilmington the name of the Department of State Charities was changed to Industrial and Child Labor and the Chairman, Mrs. D. Y. Cooper, was instructed to take up the special work of a cottage at the Stonewall Jackson School.
The spirit of coöperation was further emphasized by the appointment of Mrs. R. R. Cotten as a Fraternal Delegate to the Convention of King's Daughters, soon to convene in Henderson. This was probably the first example in North Carolina of coöperation between two organizations of women, and marked the beginning of that true spirit of unity which should underlie all action, and which has become almost universal and which means Progress.
The General Federation had changed its method of management and now permitted each State to elect its
own General Federation Secretary, who was to do the duty formerly done by a committee. Miss Gertrude Weil was elected to fill the new office. The other officers elected were President, Miss Margaret Gibson; First Vice President, Mrs. Eugene Reilley; Second Vice President, Miss Mary Petty; Recording Secretary, Miss Sallie Kirby; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Rebecca Watkins; Treasurer, Mrs. Thomas Maslin; Auditor, Mrs. E. F. Reid.
The meetings were all held in the Masonic Temple where each day delightful luncheons were served, thus promoting fellowship among the delegates through social intercourse, and economizing time for business.
A reception by Sorosis at the residence of Mrs. R. W. Hicks, a trolley ride to Wrightsville Beach, a trip down the historic Cape Fear on the steamer Wilmington where delightful social functions were enjoyed by all.
The progress of the North Carolina Federation, while not phenomenal, was continuous and encouraging. Some few clubs disbanded, a few withdrew, but each year more new clubs affiliated and more were being organized all over the State. In 1908, the Convention met in Greensboro where five federated clubs welcomed us, four of which had been faithful members since the beginning of the organization. It was before the day of the Greensboro Woman's Club, whose glory, however great, cannot overshadow those four faithful clubs in the early years.
Luncheon to the Executive Board was given by Mrs. G. W. Whitsett at her home. The opening session was held in Elks' Temple, the President, Miss Gibson, presiding. Mrs. B. C. Sharpe welcomed the delegates and Mrs. Reilley responded for the Federation. The clubs numbered 36 with a membership of more than 1,000, and a voting strength of 63 present, which was nearly double what it was three years before in Goldsboro. Mrs. Emma Fox, Corresponding Secretary of the General Federation, was the guest of honor, and a guest of honor was a sure sign of progress then. Mrs. Fox spoke on the work of the national organization and urged the affiliation of individual clubs therewith. She also made an interesting talk on Parliamentary Law and urged all clubs to study and practice it.
A brilliant address on Southern Literature was made by the gifted Dr. Alphonso Smith, then at the North Carolina University. Mrs. Annie Smith Ross, President of the North Carolina Library Association, spoke on State Aid to Libraries and the ensuing discussion resulted in the appointment of a committee to act with the Library Association in the effort to secure a Library Commission for the State.
A new field of usefulness was found at the Greensboro Convention. It was the securing and filling of scholarships. Nine scholarships at various State institutions had been placed at the disposal of the clubs, through the Education Department. True, those scholarships had to be filled with boys, but the living spirit of education was filling the souls of the women and idle scholarships appeared an abomination in their eyes. So a committee was appointed to fill those scholarships, which it did. That committee was also instructed to agitate the matter of coöperation with other State Federations in raising a fund for a scholarship at Oxford, England, which should give to American women the same opportunity given to men by the Cecil Rhodes scholarships.
The growth of the work made new departments necessary. At Greensboro a Department of Forestry was added and the name of Village Improvement was changed to Civics. The Stonewall Jackson Training School was discussed and $320 was pledged for the cottage there. Delegates and alternates to the Boston Biennial were duly elected.
Previous to the Greensboro meeting the Federation Year Book had been simply a directory of clubs, and reports from the departments, but at that time the address of the President, the minutes of the Convention and a few other items were included, adding interest to the Year Book.
A session was held in Cornelian Hall at the State Normal and Industrial College--Miss Gibson in the chair.
Reports were heard from the Executive Board, the General Federation State Secretary, and the officers of the Federation. Four new clubs were reported making a total of 36 clubs with an aggregate membership of 1186, as against the record of the preceding year of 32 clubs with 1,000 members.
The Credentials committee reported a voting strength of 63. The Treasurer reported an increase in revenue and a balance on hand of $75. When one remembers that the per capita dues were at that time ten cents, one has to recognize the officers of the Federation as financiers.
At the invitation of President Foust of the State Normal College the clubwomen met the students of that college and several addresses, brief, but appropriate were made.
Mrs. W. S. Primrose, President of the Raleigh Woman's Club, presented greetings from her club and an invitation to the Federation to hold its seventh Convention in Raleigh, which invitation was accepted.
The Committee on Courtesies expressed grateful acknowledgment of all attentions shown the Federation while in Greensboro.
A beautiful reception by the Greensboro clubs at the home of Mrs. E. P. Wharton was specially mentioned and enjoyed. All business having been disposed of the Federation adjourned to accept an invitation to luncheon at Greensboro Female College--now Greensboro College for Women. After luncheon, carriages were provided by the local chapter Daughters of the Revolution for a drive to Guilford Battle Ground where Major Joseph M. Morehead, President of the Battle Ground Association, became the invaluable cicerone of the party.
A reception given in their club rooms by the Merchants and Manufacturers Club of Greensboro brought to a close in pleasurable social intercourse the Sixth Convention of the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs.
NORTH CAROLINA FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S CLUBS On Steps of Capitol, 1909
Clubs were increasing and flourishing; women were finding themselves and each other; prejudice against clubs was weakening as time proved no harmful results therefrom. Village Improvement Societies were becoming Civic Leagues; Book Clubs were changing their names but not their nature, often extending their activities beyond the pursuit of knowledge. It is interesting to record that the work of the clubs extended from the care of County Homes to the Study of Shakespeare; from the civic conditions of their communities to the real problems of Public Welfare. Their ideals were expanding and they began to realize that the betterment of the world was their concern as well as the betterment of their homes, and that working together brought better and quicker results.
At the invitation of the Raleigh Woman's Club the Federation met in the Capital City in May, 1909. The opening session was held in the Executive Mansion, where words of welcome and encouragement greeted the club women by His Excellency, Governor W. W. Kitchin. Mrs. R. B. John spoke for the hostess club and Mrs. R. R. Cotten responded for the Federation. The President, Miss Gibson, delivered her address in the Mansion, which was followed by a reception given by the Raleigh Woman's Club but served in the Mansion.
All the business sessions of that Convention were held in the Hall of the House of Representatives, President Miss Gibson, occupying the Speaker's Chair. That Convention was probably the first occasion on which a woman presided officially over an organized body of human beings in that venerable and historic Hall of Legislation where now women may sit and help legislate. Such is progress and thus we go forward to the future.
Bereavement had deprived the hostess club of the services and presence of its President, Mrs. W. S. Primrose, and the luncheon to the Executive Board was given by the Vice President, Mrs. E. C. Duncan. The number of clubs had increased to 43 with a membership of 1350, an increase of 10 clubs with 350 members over the enrollment of the preceding year. The Credentials Committee reported a voting strength of 68 present.
Mrs. Kyle, President of the Virginia Federation, brought greetings from the Virginia women. Mrs. Eugene Reilley made a report of the Boston Biennial, and Mrs. J. L. Washburn, Past President of the Minnesota Federation, gave some pleasant reminiscences of the Boston meeting.
The celebrated Dr. Styles made a profound impression by an address on the dangerous but invisible hookworm.
The Recording Secretary, Mrs. W. C. A. Hammel, recommended the appointment of a Custodian of Records to have the care of the rapidly accumulating documents pertaining to the life of the Federation. Miss Daisy Denson was elected to this place.
A letter was read from the North Carolina Library Association expressing appreciation of the efforts of the clubwomen in the work for a Library Commission. Mr. Louis Wilson, a member of the newly established Commission, spoke of its formation, scope, and plans. The effort to secure the creation of this Commission was the initiation of the Federation into the unexplored fields of legislation, and the members were pleased with the success of the effort. It was voted to transfer all the traveling libraries belonging to the Federation to the Library Commission. The gift included 92 traveling libraries in cases, and several hundred volumes not in traveling cases.
The General Federation had requested all the State Federations to contribute to a fund designed to secure for American girls the same privileges at Oxford, England, as those accorded the Cecil Rhodes scholarships for boys. Mrs. F. L. Stevens, Chairman of Education, announced the completion of the assessment for North Carolina and she was authorized to send the money ($100) to the General Federation. Many clubwomen would like to know the success or failure of that scholarship.
Miss Laura Drake Gill, a well known clubwoman, made an inspiring address on "A Woman's Equipment," which left in the minds of the audience much food for thought. The courtesy of the floor was extended to Miss I. J. Austin, of New Jersey, who made a plea in behalf of crippled children. Sixteen years later North
Carolina boasts of a splendidly equipped Orthopedic Hospital at Gastonia where many crippled children are literally made over.
Miss Fries, of the Literature Department, reported an offer from the State Literary and Historical Association to coöperate in arranging programs for use in Study Clubs. The offer was accepted and Miss Fries and the Chairman of Education were named as the Committee to execute the plan.
The election of officers presented some unique features, inasmuch as it was the first time in the history of the State when women were elected to high offices in the Hall of the House of Representatives and women's votes recognized as legal, at least by their club constituents. Mrs. R. R. Cotten was Chairman of the Nominating Committee and had no doubt of the legality of the slate she presented. The officers unanimously elected were, President, Mrs. Eugene Reilley; First Vice President, Mrs. Sol Weil; Second Vice President, Mrs. James Briggs; Recording Secretary, Mrs. W. C. A. Hammel; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Camille Hunt; Treasurer, Mrs. Alice Fields; Auditor, Mrs. F. R. Harris; General Federation State Secretary, Miss Margaret Gibson.
The first picture ever taken of the North Carolina Federation was taken on the steps of the Capitol during that Convention. The picture has already assumed the appearance of an antique, and the group of earnest women present no appearance of insignificance, even
with that venerable and classic background. Yet, if one wishes to meditate on the changing styles of hats; or wishes to originate new models, one has only to study that picture to be convinced of the folly of fashion, at least in hats.
A complimentary tea, tendered by the Capital Club in their new Club House was much enjoyed, and the meeting closed with a delightful musicale in the hall of the Olivia Raney Library--a memorial to a woman.
The impetus which the club work was gaining was very evident when the Eighth Convention was called to order at Henderson, in May, 1910, with Mrs. Eugene Reilley presiding. The meetings were held in the Vance County Court House, which seemed a fitting background for the official rulings of the only woman ever elected to high office in the Capitol of the State of North Carolina.
The Board luncheon was given by Mrs. Sidney P. Cooper, in conjunction with the meeting of the Executive Board, as continues to be customary.
The first session was called to order in the Court Room of the Vance County Court House by the President, Mrs. Reilley. An invocation by Rev. R. C. Craven and the singing of "Carolina" were followed by an address of welcome by Mayor H. T. Powell. Then came words of welcome from the four Henderson clubs, and the response by Mrs. C. C. Hook. Then came greetings from several women's organizations followed by a forceful address by the President. The Convention then adjourned to attend a reception tendered by the federated clubs of the city at the home of Mrs. R. J. Corbett.
The second session of the Convention was called to order on Wednesday morning, Mrs. Reilley in the chair
An invocation by Rev. I. W. Hughes followed, after which reports from officers, Department Chairmen and Standing Committees were all given.
The clubs numbered 59, with a membership of 1800, an increase of 540 members in one year, which was due to the activity of the new President who had personally taken up the work of extension and enrolled 20 new clubs. The number of delegates present was 75.
A Midwinter meeting of the Board had been inaugurated by Mrs. Reilley, and the first one had been held in February, at Goldsboro. The benefits were so evident that it was decided to make it a permanent feature of the work. The Midwinter meeting was designed as a conference of officers and workers to discuss and plan the work for the clubs and for the Federation itself. It was a happy thought and as the Federation grew in numbers and strength the Midwinter meeting grew in importance and benefit.
The evening session was opened by the singing of the Federation Song. By request of Mrs. Reilley, Mrs. W. R. Hollowell took the chair and introduced the speaker of the evening, Dr. W. S. Rankin, Secretary of the State Board of Health. After an entertaining and enlightening discourse by Dr. Rankin, Mrs. Hollowell moved that a Department of Health be added to the work of the Federation. The motion was enthusiastically passed, and later Mrs. W. N. Hutt was made Chairman of the new department.
Another forward step taken in Henderson!
At the Thursday afternoon session Mrs. R. R. Cotten was asked to preside and she introduced another
well known speaker on civic and sanitary matters, Mr. C. Routzahn, who represented the Anti-Tuberculosis Association. He made an illustrated address on the subject of Tuberculosis, congratulated the Federation on the establishment of a Health Department, which he hoped would vigorously attack the ravages of the White Plague. The Henderson Convention might well be called the Health Convention, because so much time was given to that subject and such wise action taken.
Henderson is a progressive place and it behooved the Federation to "keep step" with Henderson, so many new things came to pass. The Rules and Regulations Committee among other rules, recommended "that all hats be removed on entering the convention hall," and it was adopted, though no one referred to the picture taken in Raleigh. So the exile of the Federation hat began at Henderson.
At the Midwinter meeting Mrs. Duncan, Chairman of Music, had suggested to the Board that she be permitted to ask the clubs for an original song for the Federation, which suggestion was approved. Mrs. Duncan made it known to the clubs. The song written by Mrs. Cotten was selected and music for it written by Mrs. Duncan. This song was first sung at the Henderson Convention by an improvised choir, organized and trained after the Convention met, and so prompt and energetic was that Chairman of Music that it was sung at the opening of the afternoon session. A motion was carried that it should be sung at all succeeding conventions of the clubs.
So the Federation Song was first sung at Henderson.
The reports of Chairmen showed a wonderful amount of work accomplished. After discussion and at the suggestion of the Chairman of Child Study, Mrs. R. R. Cotten, that department was discontinued with the understanding that a Department of Health would be substituted therefor.
On Fine Arts Evening the Convention was entertained by the Contemporary Club at Henderson in a most unique way, which was a combination Shakespearean lecture and musicale rendered by Mr. and Mrs. Wade Brown, of Meredith College. This was followed by the reading of the successful papers in the literary contest inaugurated by Miss Fries, of the Literature Department. The subjects of these papers were; "The Viking Age," by Mrs. W. L. Nicholson, of Charlotte, and the "Development of the Drama," by Mrs. W. C. A. Hammel of Greensboro. At this meeting it was voted that Fine Arts Evening should become a permanent feature of the annual meeting. The literary exercises were interspersed with original music, selected from the scores submitted to the Music Department. These original selections were the Federation Song, words by Mrs. Robert R. Cotten, music by Mrs. E. C. Duncan; "United," words and music by Mrs. Mary Speed Mercer, and a Lullaby, words by Mrs. W. H. Speight, and music by Mrs. E. C. Duncan. The three songs were all beautifully rendered by local musicians.
Friday morning's session was called to order promptly by the President. The Lord's Prayer was repeated in concert and the Federation song again sung.
A resolution to revise the Constitution was read and adopted. A Revision Committee composed of Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Mrs. Sol Weil, and Mrs. James Briggs was appointed and instructed to report at the next Convention.
Waterways was added to the Forestry Department. The Literature Department reported, as a result of co-operation with the State Literary and Historical Association, two study outlines for the use of clubs, one on the Romantic Movement in English Literature, and one on North Carolina History, the latter being specially recommended to the clubs.
A Department of Club Extension was added and placed in charge of Mrs. R. R. Cotten.
After the Report of the Resolutions Committee followed by the Report of the Courtesies Committee and the acceptance of an invitation to hold the next meeting in Asheville, the Convention adjourned.
The activities of the clubs were almost innumerable and clubs were being organized over the whole State. Clean-up Day, screening food from flies and dust, getting garbage ordinances passed, the installation of trash cans on the streets, the writing of county histories, the securing and awarding of scholarships, improving conditions in railroad stations, medical inspection in schools, drinking fountains, and other health measures carried to success, play grounds equipped, and so many things done that the retrospect is wonderful and inspiring. Clean-up Day has become now an official function of every self-respecting town. The dust of bygone ages has been removed, sanitation has succeeded where carelessness with food once prospered. Man who thought housekeeping belonged solely to a "Woman's sphere" is becoming himself a good public housekeeper and generally admits he learned it from the women.
In the days when the Federation first met in Asheville each club gave a report of work done. It was interesting and stimulating, and naturally the clubs vied with each other in achievements. It was good for all, but clubs were becoming so numerous that it was difficult to get all reports read in the limited time of a convention. Only two minutes were allowed each
President in which to tell of a year's work. It became a problem which was discussed and resulted in organizing Districts. It required several years to bring the arrangement of the Districts into working order but it was finally done and now rests on a satisfactory basis, but may grow into even greater order and success.
The Ninth Convention of the Federation was called to order by the President, Mrs. Eugene Reilley, in the Assembly Hall of Battery Park Hotel, at Asheville in May, 1911. The Board meeting was held at the residence of Mrs. W. J. Cocke, followed by the usual luncheon. A picture was taken of the Board on the steps of Mrs. Cocke's home, and another of the entire delegation on the verandah at Battery Park, which are pleasant reminders of a fine meeting--in spite of the predominant Hat.
The Midwinter Meeting had been held in Oxford, a town which abounded in clubs and in hospitality. The programs for the occasion were decorated with a hand-painted, life sized yellow jonquil, apropos of the month, and that blossom seemed like a bit of real sunshine and was greatly admired. Midwinter Meetings had become club reunions and though much larger now, continue to be reunions of friends as well as caretakers for the Federation.
The evening session of the Convention opened with greetings from the clubs of Asheville, expressed by Mrs. Z. B. Vance, while other organizations spoke through Mrs. Eugene Glenn, and Miss Grace Jones--both of Asheville. Mrs. Visanska brought greetings from the South Carolina Federation and Mrs. R. R. Williams
spoke for the City of Asheville. Mrs. Palmer Jerman responded for the North Carolina Federation. Then came the address of the President, Mrs. Reilley, and an address by Mrs. Philip N. Moore, of St. Louis, President of the General Federation. A reception followed to the officers, delegates, and visitors by Mr. and Mrs. J. I. Alexander, of the Battery Park Hotel.
The first business session on Wednesday morning was opened with the singing of "Carolina." Then followed reports from officers, committees and departments. Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Chairman of Club Extension, reported 21 new clubs, which brought the number of clubs to 79 and the membership to more than 2300. The Credentials Committee reported a voting strength of 100. Again the membership and voting strength had doubled in two years, and all the reports indicated a state of healthy activity and much interest. The Literature Department reported 52 clubs, with 1550 members doing literary work, and two new outlines for study ready for use, one on American Literature and one on North Carolina History and Literature. The Education Department reported 14 scholarships in use, and one given by Salem College, the first woman's college to place a scholarship at the disposal of the clubs. In Civics a great awakening was reported. Many Civic Leagues were being formed and 34 federated clubs were doing civic work.
The Department of Industrial and Child Labor was again given a new name, that of Constructive Philanthropy. The Chairman, Mrs. D. Y. Cooper, reported
$1,000 in hand for the cottage at the Stonewall Jackson Training School, and she was instructed to present check for the full amount to the King's Daughters at their approaching Convention. Illness in the family of Mrs. Cooper prevented her attendance at that Convention, and at her request, Mrs. Cotten, who in the meantime had been elected President of the Federation, presented the check and expressed the good wishes of the clubwomen for the work of the King's Daughters and for the School at Concord.
In June, 1912, the King's Daughters held another meeting--that time in their cottage at the School, at which time a tablet placed on the Cottage, commemorating the donation from the Federation was unveiled by Mrs. Cooper for the King's Daughters, and acknowledged by Mrs. Cotten, then serving as President of the Federation. The spirit of unity and love which pervaded that occasion marked an epoch in coöperative philanthropy in this State.
The subject of an endowment for the General Federation was eloquently presented by Mrs. W. G. Rogers, and the North Carolina Federation was asked to double its dues to the General Federation for one year, for the endowment. The clubs were asked to contribute individually to that fund. It was voted to double the dues of the North Carolina Federation for one year, as requested, but the clubs were left to use their own discretion as to individual contributions.
The endowment idea seemed contagious, and it was suggested by Mrs. R. R. Cotten to start one for the North Carolina Federation, and to incorporate the organization,
thus giving it a business basis and a legal status. Mrs. Cotten was authorized to choose a committee to help her start such an endowment.
Moved by Mrs. C. C. Hook that the Nominating Committee be composed of five members, elected by ballot from those previously nominated from the floor, the five receiving the highest vote to be declared elected. This was amended by Dr. Carroll by adding that no two nominees should be from the same town. The amendment was accepted by Mrs. Hook and the motion passed. The ballot for the Nominating Committee showed the following names elected: Mrs. S. P. Cooper, Mrs. Whiteford Smith, Miss Adelaide Fries, Mrs. W. R. Hollowell, and Dr. Dixon-Carroll.
The evening session was Fine Arts Evening with Mrs. James Briggs, Second Vice President, presiding. The music rendered and papers read were the prize winners in the contests conducted by the Departments of Literature and Music.
Miss Fries reported for Literature and the successful paper was on "The History of our Country," by Mrs. J. P. Lucas, of Charlotte. Another paper on "What Study Clubs are worth to North Carolina" read by Mrs. Frank Martin was heard with deep interest.
Mrs. E. C. Duncan reported for the Music Department. The prize winner for original music was Miss Janie Alexander Patterson. It was a piano solo--"The Flight." Other original music by Miss Louise Bahnson, "Alma Mater" and "The Sweetest Flower that
Blows" were rendered and enjoyed. It was before the days of silver cups, but the writing of original music was being stimulated.
The Thursday morning session was promptly convened, and after prayer by Rev. Clarence Reynolds, business progressed rapidly consisting principally of reports.
The report of the Nominating Committee was called for, and the following submitted, after the appointment of tellers. President, Mrs. R. R. Cotten; First Vice President, Mrs. Palmer Jerman; Second Vice President, Miss Grace Jones; Recording Secretary, Mrs. G. W. Whitsett; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Mary Irvin Bridgers; Treasurer, Mrs. B. K. Hays; Auditor, Mrs. W. J. Conrad; General Federation State Secretary, Mrs. M. L. Stover. The report was accepted and nominations from the floor called for. Miss Gertrude Weil was nominated for General Federation State Secretary by Mrs. E. C. Duncan. Mrs. C. C. Hook was nominated by Mrs. F. L. Stevens for the same office. Miss Weil declined to allow her name to be used, which left two candidates for this office, Mrs. M. L. Stover and Mrs. C. C. Hook. The ballot showed Mrs. Hook elected. No other nominations being made, the report of the Nominating Committee was accepted and the names presented, with Mrs. Hook as General Federation Secretary were declared elected, and the meeting adjourned for luncheon. A drive to Biltmore filled the afternoon.
The Friday morning session was filled with reports from 53 clubs and a few chairmen.
The report of Committee on the Revision of Constitution and By-Laws was called for. Mrs. Cotten read the new Constitution and the By-Laws, article by article, section by section, and after much discussion and some amendments, the new Constitution and By-Laws were accepted as a whole and Mrs. Cotten moved it be substituted for the old. This was carried, and a vote of thanks given the Revision Committee.
The afternoon session brought the report of the Resolutions Committee, and those resolutions which were adopted were ordered printed in the Year Book. It had never been done before but it was a wise step and continues until now, for even good resolutions are so easily forgotten and fail of accomplishment.
Under new business was read a letter from Dr. J. I. Foust, President State Normal and Industrial School, offering to coöperate with the women's clubs of the State, in issuing Bulletins, and aiding in other ways to benefit the women of the State. Mrs. C. C. Hook moved that the Chairman of Education accept the coöperation of the State Normal and Industrial School so far as possible, to meet the needs of the Federation. The report on Courtesies was read by Mrs. Al Fairbrother, and accepted.
New Bern, through Mrs. Monroe Howell, extended an invitation from the home club for the Federation to hold its next meeting in that City.
Miss Adelaide Fries, for the federated clubs of Winston-Salem, also invited the Federation, asking Mrs. Howell to withdraw her invitation in favor of Winston-Salem, reminding the women that Federation was born in Winston-Salem, and it seemed fitting that every
tenth anniversary should be held there. Mrs. Howell graciously consented and Winston-Salem secured the next meeting. Adjournment followed.
Among the many pleasures planned by Asheville for the pleasure of the clubwomen, was the performance by the Ben Greet Players of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." It was the courtesy of the Men's Clubs and gave great pleasure to all.
Another notable feature of that Convention was the presence of many officials of the General Federation. Mrs. Philip N. Moore, President of the General Federation, was the guest of honor and through all the sessions gave generously of her wisdom and experience. Mrs. Reilley, the North Carolina President, was herself at that time a Director on the General Federation Board. Mrs. Alvin Bailey, of Massachusetts, was also present throughout the Convention, and one sunny day there came to the Convention a bewildering bevy of women, Mrs. George Welch, Recording Secretary of the General Federation, all the way from far off Minnesota; Mrs. J. L. Washburn, Past President of Minnesota Federation; and Mrs. Coonley-Ward, of Chicago, who has served many organizations in many capacities, and whose cheery greetings on that day linger in the memories of many women she never knew.
The Convention was a brilliant success. The Asheville papers spoke of the clubwomen as being "fair to look upon and good to listen to" and several complimentary editorials after the women had departed, convinced the most doubtful of the sincerity of the editors. Happiness and hope for the future reigned and all left the Land of the Sky with regret.
The new Constitution adopted at Asheville provided for a Council, which included the Department Chairmen and the Executive Board and called for a meeting between the annual conventions. So what had been known as the Midwinter Meeting became the Council Meeting and so continues.
This meeting was held in Greenville, at the invitation of the clubs of that town. The opening session was held in the court room of the Pitt County Court House, where words of welcome were heard and responded to most sincerely by Mrs. G. W. Whitsett, Recording Secretary.
The second evening session was held in the spacious auditorium of the Teachers' Training School, now the North Carolina Teachers' College--then and now the pride of Eastern Carolina. Short addresses were made by officers and chairmen of Departments, followed by an able address by Mrs. C. C. Hook, who captivated the audience with her oratory and wit. President Wright gave a stirring welcome to all, and seeing the late Governor Jarvis in the audience called on him for a few words. In his quiet, wise way he responded, and then at the close, a request from the floor brought the entire audience to its feet and all sang "Dixie" with a ring.
A reception by the faculty and students followed.
As recommended at the Asheville Convention, the State had been divided into eight districts, each of which was supposed to hold an annual meeting, so that the clubwomen of each district might get together and gain from each other help and inspiration. It was for some time called "Reciprocity Day" hoping to make the clubs take the hint and return the hospitality of the District entertaining them. The district work was in its infancy and presented many perplexing problems. After many changes and vicissitudes, the District Meetings have become popular and successful, bringing pleasure and benefit to the women, even prizes being awarded to the District doing finest work.
The Convention which met in Winston-Salem in May, 1912, marked a decade of growth in the life of the Federation and inevitably the opening exercises followed retrospective lines. The recital of the events of progress during ten years, stirred the love of the clubwomen for their Federation, and aroused new zeal. The loyal women who served the Federation in the days of its early evolution, were all living to be proud of the success of their plans. They builded well and their co-workers delighted to honor them.
The Council met at Bramlette, the beautiful home of Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, the first President, who entertained at luncheon after the business meeting. The inevitable picture of the Council was taken at Bramlette with four Past Presidents, and the inevitable and unreformed Hat, much in evidence.
The Board of Directors met in the afternoon.
The opening session was most appropriately held at Salem College, where the Federation was organized in 1902. The invocation was made by the venerable Bishop Rondthaler. The clubs of Winston-Salem, of men and of women, the U. D. C., and the D. A. R., the Twin-City officials and Salem College itself, all united in such hearty welcome as made the occasion a genuine home-coming for the clubs.
Their thanks were beautifully expressed by the Vice President, Miss Grace Jones, after which all united in singing the Federation Song.
Each Past President then gave a resumé of the events of her administration, which showed the growth of the work. Mrs. Patterson in her own unique way told of the trials and vicissitudes which characterized her efforts to lead North Carolina women "in the way they should go" by inducing them to join the new Federation.
Then followed a beautiful tribute to Miss Candler, the first Secretary of the organization.
Mrs. J. T. Alderman, the Second President, was unavoidably absent, to the regret of all.
The next incumbent, Miss Margaret Lovell Gibson, took up the story and related the activities of her administration. Mrs. Eugene Reilley followed with many facts of interest which filled her term of office as Fourth President. Mrs. Robert Cotten, Fifth President, represented the present time. She had no reminiscences to offer but told of the status of the work and prophesied future greatness for the organization.
The addresses were followed by a reception tendered by Salem College.
On Wednesday, May 7, the business sessions began at Winston-Salem, with the President, Mrs. Robert Cotten in the chair. Officers and chairmen reported, and necessary committees were appointed. Fourteen new clubs were reported, which despite three withdrawals left a total of 87 clubs with a voting strength of 127 present. Progress was progressing and the increasing strength was accepted as an augury of better things to come.
A report on "The Legal Status of Women in North Carolina" aroused much discussion, for the women of North Carolina seemed to have no legal status. It had been decided to make an effort to have women permitted to serve on the school boards of the State but the State Constitution, like a stone wall, confronted the effort. The President, Mrs. Cotten, had interviewed the Attorney General of the State, Mr. T. W. Bickett, later Governor of the State, expecting to take to the Winston-Salem Convention some cheering message to encourage the women in the effort. On the contrary he assured her that the Constitution of the State absolutely debarred women from such public service, and so she reported to the assembled clubwomen. It was an appalling fact, but the women were undaunted and it was unanimously voted to enlarge the committee, pursue the investigation and report at the next Convention. Women were awakening to their own need of opportunity for service.
Before time for the next Federation Convention, the Federation of Clubs, in coöperation with the Teachers' Assembly had succeeded in getting passed by the North Carolina Legislature, a statute permitting women to serve on the school boards of the State. Since that time, women have gained much in "legal status," being now full fledged citizens with the many privileges of citizenship. Looking back, it seems such a simple thing, getting on the school boards, but it was then difficult to accomplish in the face of custom, prejudice, tradition, and law, but it was done. At Winston-Salem an innovation in the regular routine of conventions, was an automobile drive to Kernersville, in response to an invitation from the Kernersville Woman's Club, to hold one session there. It occurred on an afternoon and the meeting was held in the Moravian Church at Kernersville. The address of welcome was written by a member of that club, Miss Dore Korner and sent from far away Paris, to prove that distance is no bar to coöperation when one is genuinely interested. The meeting was followed by a reception at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Gilmer Korner, after which the automobiles sped back to Winston-Salem in time for the evening session. Good roads and automobiles make many things possible. Fine Arts evening brought out a prize winning paper on "Virginia Dare," by Miss Helen Montague, and three splendid poems, "The Phantom Gold," by Mrs. Mary Groom McNinch; "The Mother," by Mrs. Eugene Glenn; and ["]Mammy," by Miss S. O'H. Dickson; all of which were read to the Convention.
In the Music Department the winning numbers were "The Holy Child" by Janie A. Patterson; "Sundown and Maytime" by Mrs. A. D. Glascock, both of which were rendered during the evening.
The reports at each successive session showed great activity on all lines, but especially on Health lines, 43 clubs being reported as doing active health work. The Civic Department, as a result of the activity of the Chairman, Mrs. A. B. Kimball, presented to the Federation a valuable stereopticon, with many slides, for use in promoting the work of Civics and Health. A lecture explaining the slides accompanied the stereopticon and any club could use it by having the lecture read aloud as the slides were used. In some unaccountable way that stereopticon was lost, but the civics activities of the Club continue.
The Chairman of Conservation, Mrs. W. J. Cocke, reported that the petition from the Federation to the Trustees of the North Carolina University in regard to a chair of Forestry at that Institution, had been presented to the Trustees and they had replied that all funds appropriated by the Legislature are specifically named for certain purposes, and they had no power to direct such money into other channels, hence no right to establish a chair of Forestry without funds to maintain it. Another lesson for women in legal procedure!
The subject of an endowment for the Federation was fully discussed. The Chairman of Finance, Mrs. D. Y. Cooper, reported more than $400 on hand for the fund. By an overwhelming vote the Federation took up the
duty of raising an endowment, as a permanent work for all the clubs.
The Treasurer reported a deficit. The women gasped. A deficit! A deficit! What could women do with a deficit? What did men do with a deficit?
Discussion revealed both a sense of humor and a sense of business. Finally a collection was taken up, the Treasury replenished, the Treasurer made happy, and the plan for an endowment more heartily endorsed. Even with ten cents per capita dues, that was the first and last "deficit."
Mrs. John Hays Hammond, and Mrs. Chew of Washington, D. C., appeared before the Convention representing the Welfare Department of the National Civic Federation, and solicited coöperation in the effort to erect a memeorial to the victims of the Titanic disaster. No action was taken.
The name of the Department of Constructive Philanthropy was again changed, and became the Department of Social Service--with each new christening getting a better name for the same work. Under the new Constitution only three new officers had to be elected, the other officers retaining their places for another year. The result of the election was: First Vice President, Mrs. Sidney P. Cooper; Recording Secretary, Miss Gertrude Weil; Treasurer, Mrs. A. B. Kimball. The invitation to meet in New Bern was again presented and accepted. The courtesies Committee reported and adjournment followed.
Among many delightful courtesies which marked the Tenth Convention one stands out as worthy of special
mention. It was the use of a beautiful automobile with its attentive chauffeur dedicated solely to the use of the President. Decorated with sprigs of pine tied with blue and white ribbon, and labeled "The President's Car," it stood each day at her command, to take her to and from the meetings, to expedite errands, or transport business messengers as was needed, always at the President's command, and always a great joy and very useful.
Thus after a retrospect covering a decade of growth, the North Carolina Federation adjourned determined to crown its worthy past with a more active future.
It had been born of a desire to unite women for mutual helpfulness, and nourished by the loyalty, aspirations and work of its members. Thus born and thus nourished its destiny is to grow in strength and usefulness and to produce fruits worthy of the civilization of the future.
The object of the Council Meeting was to discuss ways for promoting the work of the Federation. At first it was composed of the Executive Board and Chairmen of Departments. The new Constitution adopted at Asheville in 1911 recognized the importance of the Standing Committees and the By-Laws were amended, making the chairmen of those committees members of the Council. As the Federation grew in numbers and influence, it required greater coöperation between its various representatives, which was brought about by the conferences composed of those workers, all of whom had the same end in view.
In January, 1913, the Council met in Tarboro as the guest of the Tarboro Civic League. Words of welcome from the Civic League, the Magazine Club, the U. D. C., the D. A. R., the Country Club, and the Board of Trade greeted the visitors and made them happy.
The President, Mrs. Cotten, having once lived in Tarboro, found double pleasure in meeting old friends, whether clubwomen or just friends. Much business was transacted. The new Charter for the Federation had been secured and the Council members present had the honor of signing that document. Their signatures
were attested by Clerk of the Court of Edgecombe County. Thus is was legally fitted for final record as a legal document to be officially presented to the approaching Convention in May.
At the request of the President, drawings for an official seal were submitted to the Council by Mrs. E. F. Reid, Chairman of Art. The one selected was a circle surrounding the words "North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs," with a sprig of pine, the Federation emblem in the center. Mrs. Reid was instructed to have a seal made from the accepted design, and thanks given for her zeal in the matter.
The proverbial hospitality of Tarboro was much in evidence. Luncheons, receptions, teas, theater parties, and constant courtesies made the meeting full of pleasant memories for all who attended.
The rearrangement of districts was fully discussed at that Council Meeting. Changes in policies, or in personnel are often followed by some confusion. The triumph over such confusion is victory, which was true of the division of the Federation into districts with their annual meetings, all fostered and promoted by the mother organization. It was difficult to arrange the districts scattered over several counties so their clubs could meet and return home the same day as was often necessary for mothers and home-makers. The railroads did not see it as their duty to change their schedules to suit the women, so like Mohammed and the mountain, the women revised their districts until a majority of the clubs could attend the meetings. The work of arranging and revising of districts extended
over several administrations before reaching its present status. A Department of Reciprocity was added to the work, which became a literary exchange of original papers on subjects ranging from the "Myths of History" to the "Loves of George Washington"; from the feeding of infants to the development of brain cells. Nothing was so occult as to intimidate the women of that day and they studied that which they attempted. Club work has been an university to many women, who have learned that self-culture is the surest and best culture. A booklet issued by Mrs. A. H. Powell, when she was Chairman of Reciprocity in 1912, contained a list of papers numbering 172, on many subjects, all ready to be loaned to any club studying the respective subjects. It was called the Reciprocity Bureau, and each club was requested to send in the most interesting and instructive papers written by its members.
That Reciprocity Bureau was the forerunner of the Bureau of Information, which still follows its mission of helping women to gain knowledge. It was in the beginning an experiment but has now become a part of the Extension work of the North Carolina University. In the meantime Reciprocity Day developed into District Meetings, where subjects of broad interest, which limited time kept from discussion at Conventions, were discussed and the exchange of opinion often led to more illuminated outlook, and enabled the women to enter the Convention discussions without embarrassment. Non-federated clubs were often
guests and caught the infection, and joined the State organization.
In May, 1913, the Eleventh Convention met in New Bern, "the Athens of North Carolina." The meeting was characterized by great harmony and an unity of effort never surpassed. The Council met at the residence of Mrs. S. L. Dill, Jr., President of the hostess club, and was followed by a much enjoyed luncheon. The inevitable picture of the Council was taken and the ubiquitous Hat was found much reduced in size, showing to better advantage the faces of the women. The Board of Directors met in the Elks' Temple, Mrs. Cotten presiding, and much routine business was transacted.
The first session was held that evening in Griffin Memorial Hall, Miss Mabel Chadwick presiding. Greetings from many organizations overwhelmed the clubwomen with appreciation. Mrs. D. Y. Cooper spoke for the Federation, after which the Memorial Hall rang with the Federation Song. Those who had learned to sing it, did so with zeal, those who had not learned it, regretted their negligence.
The address of the President followed. She gave the glad tidings of the passage of a statute admitting women to the school boards of the State, and begged them to improve the new field of service opened to them. The announcement was greeted with enthusiastic applause. She reported the legal incorporation of
the Federation, the signing of the Charter, the adoption and making of the Seal from a design by the Chairman of Art.
She reported Certificates of stock were ready for clubs which had contributed to the Endowment and individual Certificates of Membership for all Federation members, to be sold for the benefit of the Endowment, that each woman might have evidence of her membership.
In her address, the President recommended that a Board of Trustees be formed to assume charge of the Endowment, and to advise as to the use of the income to be derived from it. Said Board to be composed of the President of the Federation, the Chairman of Finance, and three others to be elected by the Convention, to serve respectively two, four, and six years.
She recommended the adoption of a motto, and a request had been sent to all the clubs asking that suggestions for such a motto be submitted.
Many other thoughts and suggestions for the benefit of the Federation were made and received with enthusiasm.
Then followed an interesting address by Miss Julia Lathrop, Chief of the Children's Bureau, who explained in a concise and illuminating way the methods of work and sphere of usefulness of that Bureau. She was the Honor Guest of the Federation and every one enjoyed her talk and her charming personality.
A feature of the program was the delightful music rendered by the Italian Orchestra from Boston, and the singing by Mrs. Horace Dowell of Raleigh. The close
of the exercises was followed by a beautiful reception at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Blades.
The first business session was called to order by the President in Elks' Temple on Wednesday morning. The blessing of God was invoked on the meeting by Rev. J. B. Hurley.
The necessary committees were appointed, the Charter and Seal were presented, the Certificates of Membership were where they could be inspected, as also was the Scrap Book compiled by Mrs. G. W. Whitsett, which contained clippings and souvenirs of the first ten years of Federation history. The Scrap Book was made the permanent charge of each succeeding Recording Secretary, thus keeping history true.
Reports of officers and chairmen followed. A Nominating Committee was elected, tellers appointed, Rules and Regulations adopted and the meeting adjourned to be transported in a house-boat called appropriately Comfort, to Glenburnie Park, where an al fresco luncheon was served.
The afternoon session was called to order in the Grandstand at Glenburnie Park where the obligations of the North Carolina Federation to the General Federation Endowment was discussed and pledges taken to complete it.
Facing a threatening storm the session adjourned and all returned in safety to New Bern on board the Comfort.
The evening session was Fine Arts Evening, with interesting reports interspersed with good music. The Chairman of Music reported and announced the winning
number in the Music Contest to be "Cradle Song" by Miss Janie Patterson of Concord who rendered the song and to whom the gold medal was presented.
The contest in the Literature Department had become a permanent feature, and Mrs. Gordon Finger of Charlotte was announced the winner in the contest. She read her story "Across the Sauratown" which was followed by a song "'Carolina Hills" composed by Mrs. A. D. Glascock, and sung by Miss Janie Patterson. The prize poems "Limitation" and "Echoes" were both won by Mrs. Charles Ives of New Bern and read by Miss Mary Hendren.
Thursday morning was filled with fine reports from Clubs and from Departments. The details of all Federation history can be found only in the individual clubs and only the general outline of progress can be given at Conventions.
The Finance Committee reported nearly $1,000 on hand for the Endowment. Before the New Bern Convention closed the amount was largely increased and the Federation was rapidly attaining a "business basis."
The report of the Chairman on Legal Status of Women was of special interest. She gave the details of the coöperation between the Teachers' Assembly and the Federation of Clubs. She recounted the handicaps encountered in getting the bill through the Legislature enabling women to serve on school boards. After being killed twice, it was introduced the third time and passed. In reply to a personal letter from the President, Mrs. Cotten, the clubwomen bombarded the legislators with letters and telegrams while the bill was
being discussed so that no one could fail to understand the wish of the women. The vote was 39 to 39, but the Speaker broke the tie by voting for it. A rising vote of thanks was given him for his courage and the Chairman, Miss Royster, for her aid. The first woman to be appointed to a school committee under the new law was Mrs. Junius Daniel of Vance County, and a message of congratulation and encouragement was sent her from the Federation in Convention assembled.
Another report of special interest which bore immediate fruit was made by Mrs. M. L. Stover, Chairman of Education. She reported that the money raised by the Education Committee, which had kept a girl for four years at the State Normal had all been repaid with interest and the full amount $250 was in the Treasury ready for use. She offered a resolution that the money on hand be made the nucleus of a permanent loan fund for the benefit of North Carolina girls seeking higher education; that it be increased annually by voluntary contributions; and that it be called the Sallie Southall Cotten Loan Fund in honor of the retiring President.
The resolution was adopted with the report and met an immediate enthusiastic response, which before the close of the meeting showed a Loan Fund of more than $1,000 ready for immediate use. It was well known that the education of girls was the favorite "hobby" of the President, who expressed sincere appreciation of the honor done her, and her faith in its destiny of benefit to North Carolina girls. The session was followed by a picnic dinner in the woods of Craven County where
ham, fried chicken and many other delicacies were served from cloths laid on the ground--the display of cloth and Craven County fried chicken was spread over a distance of a mile. The women were served in groups, even the string orchestra being present to gladden the happy occasion with music. It was a memorable picnic and will long be remembered by all present. Business could not be neglected and the afternoon session was called to order promptly in the Elks' Hall, where a large crowd of happy enthusiastic women were ready for business. Reports were continued. The Chairman of Finance, Mrs. D. Y. Cooper, made an appeal to the clubs present and pledges amounting to $692.75 were made from the floor, which increased the Endowment to about $1,000.
The report of the Library Extension Department was read and supplemented by the report of the Federation's representative on the Library Commission. A letter had been received from the President of the Library Commission returning the donation check from the Federation and asking for a discontinuance of the cooperation of the clubs. Knowing the efforts previously made by the clubwomen in promoting the Library Commission, some indignation was expressed at such a summary discontinuance of coöperation without reason therefor. The indignation soon subsided, the returned check was voted to be added to the Loan Fund, and the genuine interest in libraries be continued for the sake of the good to the State. The strange action of the Library Commission failed to evolute into anything
bitter or disagreeable and was accepted, without explanation as one of the vicissitudes of public effort.
The report on District Reciprocity showed the necessity for another revision, which was duly ordered made.
The recommendation of the President in regard to a Board of Trustees for the Endowment was acted upon. The three members, to serve for two, four and six years were elected. They were Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Mrs. D. Y. Cooper, Mrs. Brooks Parham, with the incoming President as ex officio Chairman.
The meeting Thursday evening had been anticipated as the grand finale of the Convention. Judge Walter Clark, eminent jurist, and the staunch friend of women, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, was to speak on "the Legal Status of Women in North Carolina." Every one was prepared for information and entertainment. The stage was decorated anew and on it sat Judge Clark, Mrs. Cotten, Miss Royster, Mrs. M. L. Stover of the Education Department, Mrs. Sol Weil of the Legislative Committee, and Miss Hendren of the New Bern Woman's Club, who was to lead the proposed discussion after the address. Griffin Hall was packed to its capacity, testifying to the interest of all. The exercises opened with a rendition of "The Lost Chord" by the Music Department, the lost chord supposedly being the woman to whom so many fields of activity were legally closed. At the close of the meeting the Music Department rendered the chorus "Angels' Song" perhaps supposed to represent the joy of the angles when justice becomes supreme.
First, Mrs. Cotten presented Miss Royster, Chairman of the Committee on Legal Status of Women, who took charge of the meeting. Miss Royster after a few words introduced Mrs. Sol Weil of that Committee who told of the struggles to secure progressive legislation for women.
Miss Royster then introduced Judge Clark who gave an elaborate and illuminating address of the status of women--past, present, and prospective. He probed into the past when women were chattels and playthings. He showed their development in mentality and strength in the present, and prophesied citizenship and continued development in the future. The address was forcible, logical, and eloquent. An ovation was given him by a rising audience after which Miss Hendren led an investigating discussion. Question after question pounded the Judge from the floor, all of which he answered cheerfully and to the point. Many clubwomen made short talks and many seeds of legal truth were left to germinate in the brains of the women. The meeting adjourned to continue the exchange of ideas at the reception given by the Chamber of Commerce of New Bern.
The final business session of the convention was called to order by the President, Mrs. Cotten, in the Elks' Temple, promptly at ten o'clock Friday morning. After an invocation the reading of club reports was continued. The Credentials Committee, through its Chairman, Mrs. W. G. Rogers, reported a voting strength of 111 present. The Nominating Committee through Miss Margaret Gibson, reported the following
nominations: President, Miss Adelaide Fries, of Winston-Salem; Second Vice President, Mrs. N. A. Sinclair, of Fayetteville; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. E. K. Graham, of Chapel Hill; Treasurer, Mrs. M. L. Stover, of Wilmington; Auditor, Mrs. Clarence Johnson, of Raleigh; General Federation State Secretary, Mrs. S. L. Dill, Jr., of New Bern. There being no nominations from the floor, it was moved and seconded that the Secretary cast the ballot for the nominees presented. The ballot was so cast.
The Committee for the selection of a motto for the Federation through its Chairman, Mrs. Reilley, presented a list of six best mottoes submitted by the clubs. The one recommended by the committee for adoption was "The Union of All for the Good of All" which had been submitted by Mrs. W. G. Rogers. The motto was accepted by the Federation with thanks.
The Committee on Resolutions reported, and several new resolutions from the floor were adopted, and all ordered printed in the Year Book.
Mrs. M. L. Stover moved that upon her retirement from the Presidency, Mrs. Cotten be made Honorary President of the Federation. The motion was seconded and unanimously carried by a rising vote.
Mrs. N. A. Sinclair of Fayetteville on behalf of the Woman's Civic Association of Fayetteville, extended a cordial invitation to the Federation to hold its next Convention in that town. The invitation was accepted with thanks.
A special letter of thanks was ordered sent to Judge Clark for his response to the request of the Federation.
The Courtesies Committee reported with expressions of keen appreciation of the numerous courtesies extended. The report was accepted with a rising vote. Mrs. Fairbrother then added in rhyme the universal appreciation of hospitality. It was moved and carried that a rising vote of thank be given Mrs. Fairbrother for her faithful services as Chairman of Press Committee during the Convention.
Mrs. Cotten then introduced Miss Fries, the incoming President, and relinquished the gavel to her. At Mrs. Cotten's request, Mrs. Reilley introduced the other newly elected officers, each of whom said a few pleasant words, except Mrs. E. K. Graham, who was absent.
The work was over for the time. Every day had been a happy day. The Federation was becoming efficient and active, and after a benediction by Rev. Mr. Merfeld the Convention adjourned for luncheon.
Even then irrepressible New Bern continued to add more pleasures. The afternoon was given to a trip down the Neuse river on the U. S. Revenue Cutter, where the events of the week were lived over, plans for future action formulated, and woman's faith in her sister woman strengthened and renewed.
When the North Carolina Federation was young its Year Books were unassuming. The covers bore the name of the organization and the contents were necessarily brief, being merely a list of the clubs in membership, their officers, and occasionally the motto and flower adopted by the club. They contained no minutes, no reports from Departments, nor from clubs; simply the skeleton of the organization. The small club dues and the cost of printing easily explain that brevity. With the growth of the Federation the Year Book increased in size and interest. Minutes of the Conventions, addresses of the Presidents, reports of Chairmen of Departments and of Standing Committees, and of clubs began to be included, adding greatly to its interest. The white cover began to be ornamented with the Seal of the State, which certainly attested the loyalty of the women. When the Federation became possessed of an official Seal of its own, the State Seal was replaced by the Federation Seal, the name of the organization and the Seal being printed in blue on the white cover--thus getting the Federation colors. It made a neat appearance and the content grew in value. Soon the Constitution and By-Laws, the minutes of the meeting, the resolutions passed, reports of the work, the
towns and cities in which club officers lived and many other items were included, which made interesting reading to sympathetic clubwomen. Then came the blue cover with the name and seal in white. The change was made during the administration of Mrs. T. W. Lingle. The Year Book has now become quite a large pamphlet, destined to grow in bulk and value as the minutes increase, more clubs join, and more needs develop.
The Council meeting preceding the Twelfth Convention, was held in Chapel Hill.
The opening session, January 15, 1914, of the Council was held in a room in the Peabody Building, with nineteen members present, the largest representation to that date. The luncheon and the afternoon session were held at the home of Mrs. Joseph Hyde Pratt. In the evening there was a meeting of the Community Club in the Peabody Building, open to the public, Miss Harriet Berry presiding. Dr. Herty made the address of welcome. Mrs. Lingle, Mrs. Hook, and Miss Fries spoke.
Next day, January 16, the morning session of the Council was held in the Peabody Building; luncheon and afternoon session at the home of Mrs. Archibald Henderson. Then Dr. Kemp Battle led a "personally conducted" tour through the University Buildings.
That evening there was a lecture on "America in 1814" by Dr. Hunt of Washington, D. C., and after this a reception in the College Library, after which the Council adjourned.
In May, 1914, the Twelfth Convention of the Federation met in the historic town of Fayetteville, named for the celebrated Frenchman, and heir to the facts and traditions of the exile of Prince Charley, and the romantic history of Flora McDonald.
The Council met in the home of Mrs. W. T. Brock, President of the hostess club, the Civic Association. It was followed by an elaborate luncheon where the reunion of co-workers created an atmosphere of happiness felt by all present. The Board of Directors met in the afternoon at Hotel La Fayette where the Council joined them and the appropriate business was accomplished. Such meetings would often continue indefinately but for the faithful clocks which record the passing of time, and the Board adjourned in time to permit hostess and guest to become acquainted and for both to don suitable dress for the evening.
The evening session opened promptly. The new President, Miss Fries, had a reputation for promptness and efficiency, and all knew she would sustain it.
An invocation and the Federation Song opened the meeting on the evening of May 5.
Addresses of welcome from the city and from the club were responded to by Mrs. E. K. Graham for the Federation. The President's address, delivered with her characteristic poise and grace was full of sane advice, business acumen, friendly counsel, and ambition for the work she represented. Every woman present was proud to follow so sane a leader, and gave generous applause. Mrs. Pennybacker, President of the General Federation, who was to be the special guest
of honor, had missed a train connection, in consequence of which she had to miss the beautiful reception which was to follow the meeting. However, no time was lost. Mrs. Reilley entertained the meeting with a report of the General Federation Council Meeting in Washington, D. C., and some clubs reported after which the meeting adjourned to attend the reception given by the clubwomen of Fayetteville.
The business sessions were held in the spacious auditorium of the graded school, and the gavel fell promptly on Wednesday morning. Mrs. Pennybacker had arrived and expectation was acute to see and hear a woman of national reputation for oratory and ability. After the invocation she was presented to the audience which rose to receive her. She spoke briefly.
The Credentials Committee reported 129 present entitled to vote. Rules and Regulations for procedure were adopted, Committees on Resolutions, and on Courtesies were named, and a Nominating Committee elected in accordance with the Constitution. Mrs. S. L. Dill, the General Federation State Secretary, gave her report, and she was unanimously chosen as Traveling Manager and Chaperone for the North Carolina delegation to the Chicago Biennial. The delegates were requested to send in their names promptly so she could secure choice reservations. Mrs. W. G. Rogers reported the full assessment for North Carolina $500 collected, in recognition of which the names of Mrs. Reilley, Mrs. Stonewall Jackson, Miss Clayton Candler, Miss Fries, and Mrs. W. G. Rogers had been placed by the General Federation on the Endowment Roll of Honor. The
Chairman of Membership, Mrs. Fairbrother, reported and introduced twenty new clubs. Adjournment for lunch followed, and in front of the graded school building the inevitable picture was taken of the whole assemblage with the Historic Hat present but in a subdued form, more modest and becoming.
Luncheon was served in the Domestic Science building where it was evident that "a feast of reason and a flow of soul" have no power to appease the human appetite.
At the appointed hour the afternoon session resumed business. Many reports were received in rapid succession. A plea by Mrs. C. C. Hook brought pledges amounting to $384 for the Loan Fund.
Miss Anna Michaux reported on the Economic Status of women teachers in North Carolina. The report showed that while North Carolina had an increasing number of women wage earners, the North Carolina woman herself had no economic status, her labor being legally the property of another. By authentic statistics Miss Michaux proved the insufficiency of the salaries of women teachers and the great need of a change on that line. The report made a profound impression. On motion by Miss Royster the committee was continued another year, with instructions to include in the investigation the status of girls working in telephone exchanges and ten cent stores. That report was made in 1914, since which time considerable progress has been made in legislation and public opinion. May it not be possible that the searching investigation and subsequent agitation by the clubwoman on such an important line caused that progress? There is no
doubt that public opinion and just legislation will "follow the light" of Right, when that light is kept burning.
The evening session opened with a string quartet by Red Springs Students, which was followed by a vocal solo rendered by Miss Severson of the State Normal.
Mrs. Reilley then introduded the speaker of the evening, Mrs. Percy Pennybacker, who delivered to an attentive audience an eloquent address on "The General Federation as a Sociological Force."
More club reports followed and the program of the evening concluded with more music rendered by the Red Springs Quartet.
The Fourth business session was called to order by the President on Thursday morning, May 7th. After the invocation many club reports were read.
Miss Royster presented the report of the Legislative Committee. Instead of the paper on Legal Status of Women in North Carolina prepared by Mrs. A. C. Avery, Jr., which the Council had authorized the Committee to have printed for distribution, the Chairman presented a pamphlet on the same subject compiled by two young lawyers, Messrs. Clark and Broughton. The report was accepted and discussed, the pamphlets ordered paid for, but not put on sale among the women as had been planned. It was moved and carried that a letter of thanks be sent to those lawyers. A rising vote of thanks was given Mrs. Avery for her work and a rising vote for Miss Royster for her efforts.
Many reports followed answering the question "What is the best thing your club has done this year?"
Similar reports filled the afternoon session and showed the clubs striving for community betterment. Mrs. C. C. Hook read a telegram from Elizabeth College granting a scholarship to the Federation. The Corresponding Secretary was instructed to acknowledge with thanks.
The District Reciprocity Report showed improvement. It was encouraging to learn that successful meetings had been held in six of the eleven Districts.
Thursday evening was Fine Arts Evening. Miss Fries introduced Mrs. Sidney Cooper, First Vice President of the Federation, who presided over the entire evening exercises. Mrs. Cooper gave a brief survey of the origin and growth of Fine Arts Evening. She then introduced Mrs. J. A. Brown, Chairman of Music, who presented Mrs. J. D. Edwards, of Wilmington, the writer of the two best musical compositions. Mrs. Edwards sang the two songs and was presented with the Coble gold medal.
Miss Hendren, of the Literature Department, next introduced the speaker of the evening, Mr. Ernest L. Starr, head of the English Department in Salem College. He gave a beautiful address on the life and writings of John Henry Boner, the Poet of the Whispering Pines. Mrs. Cooper expressed thanks for the address and the program concluded with the singing of "Carolina Hills," the music of which was written by Mrs. A. D. Glascock.
The last session of the Convention was called to order by the President and business resumed. The Credentials Chairman made final report showing by roll call 126 of the 129 formerly reported, present.
Mrs. Graham for the Nominating Committee presented the following report:
First Vice President, Mrs. A. H. Powell, Oxford; Recording Secretary, Mrs. A. C. Avery, Jr., Morganton; Treasurer, Mrs. T. B. Tyson, Carthage. Nominations from the floor brought out: First Vice President, Miss Gertrude Weil, Goldsboro; Treasurer, Mrs. D. Y. Cooper, Henderson. The ballot resulted in the election of Miss Weil for First Vice President, Mrs. A. C. Avery, Jr., for Recording Secretary, and Mrs. D. Y. Cooper for Treasurer.
The election of delegates to the Chicago Biennial was next in order. Nominations were made from the floor and the ballots were written with the understanding that the six receiving highest number of votes would be the delegates and the next six highest the alternates. The following were elected delegates, Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Mrs. Al Fairbrother, Mrs. C. C. Hook, Mrs. W. T. Brock, Mrs. T. W. Lingle, Mrs. B. F. Long. The alternates were Mrs. W. G. Rogers, Mrs. E. E. Moffitt, Mrs. R. F. Beasley, Mrs. Sol Weil, Mrs. T. B. Reynolds, Miss Delia Cline.
A rising vote of thanks was given Mrs. Sallie Cotten Wiggin, daughter of Mrs. R. R. Cotten, for a donation of $150 for the Loan Fund, made by an entertainment given by Mrs. Wiggin for the benefit of that fund.
The report of the Committee on Courtesies was presented by Mrs. Sidney Cooper and accepted by the Convention.
At the request of the President, Miss Fries, the new officers were introduced by Mrs. Cotten. Each responded briefly.
Mrs. D. R. Kornegay, President of the Goldsboro Woman's Club, extended a cordial invitation to the Federation to hold its next Convention in Goldsboro. This was accepted with thanks.
The President announced that Statesville had asked to entertain the next Council Meeting. The invitation was accepted. The minutes were read and approved, the doxology was sung and the Convention adjourned.
When the Goldsboro Woman's Club invited the Federation to hold another convention in Goldsboro, it defied an old superstition, for that convention was to be the thirteenth. No one was daunted; the women of that club were too intelligent to yield to any time worn superstition. The invitation was accepted in the same courageous spirit. Every one felt sure of welcome and pleasure.
The Council had been held in Statesville in January. Sickness in her home prevented the attendance of the President, Miss Fries. In her absence Mrs. B. F. Long presided at the meetings and introduced the speakers with her always sweet manner. Many officers and chairmen were present, and many visiting clubwomen from nearby towns. Greetings, receptions, luncheons, music, and business, were all successfully intermingled. Several interesting addresses featured that meeting and it was most gratifying to see the number of men who attended each evening session. They seemed anxious to learn more about clubs and an opportunity was given them to gain such knowledge.
Mrs. Reilley talked about "The Woman of Today" and Mrs. Cotten gave many reminiscences of the early days of clubs, and told how the "Woman of Yesterday" had shown courage and evinced faith in the
"Woman of Tomorrow" by her loyal club spirit when clubs were unpopular.
Mrs. T. W. Lingle made an address on the true meaning of Social Service. It was a clarion call to all women for their duty to society.
Statesville women had conceived the happy idea of having one day of the Council Meeting as a District Reciprocity Day, thus bringing a number of experienced workers in close personal touch with their co-workers in the Federation. The effort was a great success and many derived benefit. The premonitory rumblings of the World War began to be felt, and a special prayer for Peace, and many talks on that subject characterized one session, and the women returned home in a more serious frame of mind.
The Thirteenth Convention of the Federation of Clubs convened officially on Tuesday evening, May 4, 1915, in the Wayne County Court House, the President in the chair. The usual invocation followed by the Federation Song opened the exercises. The welcome was generous. Mrs. D. R. Kornegay spoke for the Woman's Club; Col. Joseph Robinson, the all-time friend of Women's Clubs, spoke for the city. Mrs. Clarence Johnson responded for the Federation. She said "the clubwomen of this State have had a dream of empire which should embody a victory over ignorance and disease," and prophesied they would not cease from effort until that dream becomes reality.
Greetings from South Carolina were brought by Mrs. W. T. Allen. Miss Emily McVea spoke for Ohio. Reared in North Carolina, once Lady Principal of St. Mary's School, she had become Dean of Women at Cincinnati University, and knew club life in Ohio.
Miss Mary O. Graham brought greetings from the Teachers' Assembly, and Miss Lida Rodman from the D. A. R. From so many sources the clubwomen caught an inspiring vision of what other clubwomen were doing.
The President's address followed, full of wisdom and enthusiasm. Then Mrs. Horace Dowell gave a vocal solo. Echoes from the Chicago Biennial Convention were given by Mesdames Reilley, Dill, Hook, Lingle, Long and Cotten, each trying to answer the question, "What have you brought your State from the Biennial?"
The meeting adjourned to attend a reception by the Algonquin Club, at its club house, followed by a real dance in the ball room, where all felt happy and at home.
The morning session was held in the Court House, Miss Fries presiding. In all conventions there is necessarily much repetition of procedure which is needed to secure order and accuracy, but not interesting to those outside the Federation. That morning in Goldsboro all necessary routine was followed. The Credentials Committee was at work in another room. The Rules and Regulations Committee reported, which brought on a discussion about an old time aggressor, viz.: the Federation Hat. At Henderson it had been ruled out of the meetings as a non-member, but by
degrees it had insinuated itself again into obnoxious publicity. It was proof of the way clubwomen persisted in the battle against all public evils, when they voted again to abolish the hat from the Convention and an intermission was allowed for the retirement of the Federation Hat into (at least) a temporary obscurity.
Many reports followed. Mrs. A. C. Avery reported that 21 new clubs had been admitted to membership while two had withdrawn, thus making an increase of clubs from 100 to 121, with a total membership of 4,000 women. Applause greeted the announcement. It meant continued growth. Mrs. H. A. White, ever alert, delivered early an invitation for the Federation to hold its next Convention in High Point, in which invitation all High Point organizations united. Mrs. Gordon Finger then presented an invitation to come to Charlotte, but the vote went in favor of High Point and Charlotte had to defer its anticipated pleasure.
The business sessions that morning and all through the Convention were full of discussions and witty repartee. The Federation had grown so large that the time allotted for reports from Chairmen and clubs was totally inadequate. Something had to be devised to meet the emergency. At Goldsboro an experiment was tried. Groups of Departments held conferences each afternoon, which while not perfect, suggested improvements and furnished ideas to be worked out during another year.
A discussion on the floor of the Convention as to which was more stimulating and instructive, the conferences or the business sessions, brought out a verdict
in favor of the regular business sessions. It was a democratic verdict. In the business sessions every one was "in it" while all could not attend all the conferences. Every delegate wanted to hear every discussion. How could it be accomplished? The incoming Council was asked to solve the problem and suggest some plan by which one person could be in several places at the same time. It was an Herculean task to place on the new council but the plan for conferences was not abandoned, and bore good fruit later.
Another perplexing problem was the report of the individual club within the limit of time. The clubs had increased and naturally each club president desired to give her report because her club had done such fine things. All the work done by a club in a whole year could not be told in two or three minutes. Yet the days could not be made longer to give more time. What could be done to solve the problem? The individual club president with her report not read was having a most uninteresting time, though the whole Convention was on her side. The discussion grew lively and serious but no one could lengthen the hours of the day. The final vote turned the problem over to the Council for solution, the club report being almost unanimously sustained.
The Sallie Southall Cotten Loan Fund was reported as amounting to $2,000. Pledges for $300 more were received. Mrs. Cotten presented a beautiful crocheted bed spread, made by Mrs. John Hassell of Greenville, and donated to the Federation to be sold for the benefit of the Loan Fund. Mrs. Cotten also presented a rug,
woven by herself, to be sold for the benefit of the Loan Fund. It was moved and carried that the Federation buy that rug and present it to Miss Fries, the retiring President, which was done. Miss Fries gracefully accepted the attractive souvenir.
Mrs. D. Y. Cooper had resigned as Treasurer but the Endowment was growing and the new Treasurer would continue the work.
The afternoon was given over to Conferences. The Departments of Civics, Conservation and Social Service met in the Court House, while Literature and Library Extension met in the Club Rooms. Then followed a drive and a Garden Party.
The evening session was addressed by Mr. R. B. Watrous of the American Civic Association and by Mr. Clarence Poe on "Meeting State Needs." The addresses were interspersed with delightful music.
Mrs. J. A. Brown, Chairman of Music, announced Mrs. M. G. Dalrymple of Carthage as winner of both first and second prizes in the music contest, for her two compositions, "Cradle Song" and "Still, Still With Thee."
Miss Amy Joseph of Goldsboro was the winner of the prize in Research work for her paper on "Eleemosynary Institutions of North Carolina."
Mrs. Schlicter of Charlotte won the Short Story prize for her story, "Uncle Abe's Funeral."
In poetry the winners were Mrs. Charles Ives of New Bern, for "Research," and Mrs. Zoe Kincaid Brockman of Gastonia, second prize for her poem "A Singing Lad."
Thursday morning, May 6, found much business yet to be transacted. Amendments to the By-Laws were adopted. The Chairman of Resolutions reported. Among the resolutions adopted was one highly endorsing the movement to establish a State School or Home for erring girls. From the beginning of the Federation the subject of such a home had been discussed in almost every convention but no results reached. It began to assume an appearance of possibility and the women rejoiced to again endorse the movement.
Again the afternoon was devoted to Conferences.
The feature of the evening session was a delightful Lecture-Song Recital, "Music in America" given by Mrs. Wade Brown, accompanied by Mr. Wade Brown. It gave a fine idea of the evolution of American Music, and was much enjoyed.
The meeting adjourned at nine o'clock to attend the event par excellence of the Convention. Every one was in a state of exhilaration. Goldsboro Club was to give another banquet, and Goldsboro never did half do anything. The banquet was given in the Grant Building, broadly conceived and brilliantly executed. It was much grander than the famous banquet of 1905, but not more unique, nor more enjoyed. The number of guests to enjoy it, however, was much larger. All attempts at description fail to do it justice. Seats had been arranged for three hundred guests and a celebrated caterer engaged to serve the feast, to enjoy it being the only duty.
In preparing the program there had been an attempt to reproduce the same 1905 toasts, so far as progress permitted, as an auld lang syne souvenir.
The toast mistress, Miss Sallie Kirby, genial and inimitable, sat facing the guests and on each side of her sat those who had been chosen to speak, as follows:
The responses were appropriate and interspersed with wit and wisdom. The plural nature of the closing toast, progressed from the former one--Man--was a temptation not to be resisted, and after a clever response Mrs. Graham with a twinkle and a smile closed with the toast "The Men--God bless 'em."
The guests of honor, Mrs. Allen of South Carolina, Miss McVea, and Miss Mary Graham all made interesting talks.
Mrs. Reilley responded with a clever poem about the "Eyes." Colonel Joe Robinson, now a real member of the Woman's Club, was the only man present visibly but the eyes of three hundred women detected a group of men peeping at the door, and the chorus which had enlivened the evening, began the refrain, "Here's to the men," caused them to disappear before they could be captured.
It was a delightful evening. Miss Fries expressed the appreciation of the Federation for the honor and pleasure given, and hoped all present might meet in Goldsboro again and be happy together.
In spite of the late hour at which the banquet adjourned, Miss Fries, the President, called the meeting to order on Friday morning at the regular hour. The invocation, roll call, and minutes being concluded, the Credentials Committee reported 122 voters present. The Nominating Committee then reported. The Chairman, Miss Kirby, requested Miss Royster of the committee, to announce the first name. It was that of Miss Gertrude Weil of Goldsboro for President. A spontaneous ovation was given the announcement, and several minutes elapsed before Miss Weil could be heard, declining the honor offered. She had served the Federation ever since its organization in so many capacities and always with such ability that the Convention refused to consider her declination. She was firm, and nominations from the floor were called for. Mrs. Palmer Jerman and Mrs. C. C. Hook were nominated but both declined to serve. Then Mrs. T. W. Lingle, of Davidson, was nominated and after some hesitation, she bravely accepted the responsibility amid much applause and an unanimous vote. The other names presented by the Nominating Committee and unanimously elected were: Second Vice President, Mrs. C. C. Hook; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. M. L. Stover; Treasurer, Mrs. T. B. Tyson; Auditor, Mrs. Max Gardner; General Federation State Secretary, Mrs. E. K. Graham. Miss Weil, First Vice President, and Mrs. A. C. Avery,
Jr., Recording Secretary, were continued in office, their terms not having expired. Miss Fries was elected to the Board of Trustees.
The new officers were presented, the gavel was given to Mrs. Lingle, the minutes were approved, after which the doxology was sung, and a benediction pronounced followed by adjournment.
At one o'clock luncheon was served by the Chamber of Commerce, after which the Board of Directors met in the Court House which closed an interesting and delightful convention.
Goldsboro could sleep in peace! The hearts of the clubwomen were hers!
A largely attended meeting of the North Carolina Conference for Social Service was held in Charlotte in January, 1916, at which the social service needs of the State were discussed. Many clubwomen attended, several of whom were on the program, among them the new President of the Federation, Mrs. Lingle, well known for her great interest in social service work. From Charlotte the clubwomen wended their way to Shelby to attend the Council Meeting which was to convene there on January 26, preliminary to the Convention to be held in High Point, in May.
It was a busy meeting. It had devolved on the Council to solve two problems for the Federation. Suffice it to say those problems were solved.
The Council Meetings inevitably had assumed the aspect of miniature Federation Conventions, and elicited many social functions which made mentality more alert for the discussion of important business. The rhythm of life is work and play, ebb and flood, pleasure and business, and all that keeps up rhythm should be encouraged.
The dinner to the Executive Board was given at the home of Mrs. Max Gardner, Auditor of the Federation. In the evening a reception was enjoyed at
the residence of Mrs. W. J. Roberts, courtesy of Twentieth Century Club. Thursday morning the business sessions began, at the Masonic hall, Mrs. Lingle in the chair. The meeting was strictly executive and followed by luncheon at the residence of Mrs. S. S. Royster--courtesy of the Civic League.
The afternoon was an open session. Addresses of welcome by Shelby Civic League, were delivered by Mrs. Clyde Hoey, and from the Twentieth Century Club by Mrs. W. J. Roberts. The response by Mrs. C. C. Hook, was followed by informal talks on pertinent subjects.
Thursday evening found a large crowd gathered in the Cleveland County Court House, all anxious to hear something about the Federation, Mrs. T. W. Lingle, President, in the chair. Brief addresses were given as follows:
Delightful music was rendered by local talent between the addresses.
The business session Friday morning was followed by a luncheon at the residence of Mrs. R. L. Ryburn, through the courtesy of the U. D. C. of Shelby.
Friday evening was another open session, supposed to illustrate the Federation at work--Miss Gertrude Weil, First Vice President, in the chair.
Mrs. Eugene Reilley told about the Biennial soon to be held in New York City. Miss Daisy Waitt discussed "The Club Woman in the Making." Mrs. A. H. Powell discussed Library Extension. Mrs. Gordon Finger spoke on Forestry and Nature Study. Mrs. E. F. Reid told of the growth of the club movement in North Carolina.
In response to an insistent request from the audience, Mrs. R. R. Cotten, who had not expected to speak, made an impromptu talk on the identity of the "Old Woman and the New." Herself a grandmother of the Past, and a veteran clubwoman of the present, she was well equipped to discuss the subject from all its sides.
The Shelby Council Meeting passed into history as a brilliant success enjoyed by all who were there. The first editorial in the Cleveland Star was written on our arrival and was just in the manner of a welcome, polite, chivalrous, and hospitable, but another, printed after all had gone away, showed the effect of the meeting, the personnel of the women, and the good that was done. It was as follows:
The favor of many men has been won to the Women's Clubs by reason of the brilliant gathering of women here last week. They have learned that the Federation does not recognize clubs that are purely social in their nature, but takes in the clubs only that stand for social betterment. This covers a wide range of work and the ladies in the clubs are doing inestimable good for the land.
Thanks, Mr. Editor!
The Fourteenth Convention of the North Carolina Federation met in High Point, May 2, 1916. Delegates were everywhere, laughing, talking, listening, and all anticipating both pleasure and benefit. The Boy Scouts were voluntary baggage masters and elicited the most cordial appreciation. Everywhere could be heard the exclamation, "Look at my Boy Scout, isn't he splendid?" The gallant Scouts laden with bags and suitcases deserved the universal commendation.
The Executive Meeting was held at the home of Mrs. J. Elwood Cox, followed by a luncheon at the home of Mrs. J. J. Farriss, President of the High Point Woman's Club.
In the afternoon there was a Conference of Club Presidents with the State President, and one of Department Chairmen with their committees. The Board of Directors and the Trustees also held their customary meetings.
Promptly at eight o'clock in the evening, Mrs. Lingle, the President, brought the gavel down in the High School Auditorium, and declared the Fourteenth Convention in session.
An invocation and the singing of "America" followed. Addresses of Welcome by Mrs. Farriss from the Woman's Club, and from the city by the Superintendent of City Schools, Mr. Thornwell Haynes, who made a very impressive application of the Hindoo word "No-ma-sta," which means "I salute the divine in you." In all his tributes to womanhood he applied the "I salute the divine in you." It was a sermon in itself and every woman felt a greater desire to cultivate
the "divine" within herself. Mrs. Max Gardner responded for the Federation.
The President, Mrs. Lingle, then gave an address and emphasized her wish that the Convention should be a meeting devoted to community upbuilding. She was followed by Rev. Charles E. Raynal in an address on "Community Upbuilding." Himself a community builder he knew whereof he spoke, and his words fell on willing ears. The meeting then adjourned for the delegates to attend a reception given by the Elks in the Elks' Home.
On Wednesday morning at 9:30, the Credentials Committee was "up and doing, with a heart for any fate," and at ten o'clock Mrs. Lingle declared the Convention in session. After the invocation, Mrs. Lingle presented Mrs. Percy Pennybacker, President of the General Federation, who was again the guest of the Federation. She expressed her pleasure in being again at a North Carolina Convention.
The Committee on Rules and Regulations read the rules which had been successfully used at the preceding Convention and advised their adoption.
The Hat again protruded itself into notice, a few dissenting voices protested against its banishment, but they soon pleasantly acquiesced to the rule of the majority, and the Hat again retired into exile.
Committees on Resolutions and Courtesies were appointed and a Nominating Committee voted for. So many names were on the ballots that tellers were appointed to count the vote and report the highest vote for the five women necessary for the Committee.
During the absence of the tellers many reports were heard, among them, the report of the Council Meeting. The election of delegates to the New York Biennial had been held at the Shelby Council, on the authority vested in it by a vote at the Goldsboro Convention. The result was announced as follows, for Delegates, Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Dr. Delia Dixon-Carroll, Mrs. B. F. Long, Mrs. E. F. Reid, Mrs. Clyde Hoey, Mrs. Joseph Brown, Mrs. Henry A. White; for Alternates, Mrs. A. H. Powell, Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, Miss Bettie Windley, Miss Sallie Kirby, Mrs. Palmer Jerman, Mrs. W. B. Waddill. The Council advised the continuation of the Department Conferences, believing they would adjust themselves in time, also that the Districts had been again realigned and that Mrs. W. B. Waddill of Henderson had been appointed Chairman of Reciprocity and was bringing order and enthusiasm in the districts. Of the thirteen districts, ten had held meetings and the Chairman felt much encouraged.
Mrs. E. F. Reid reported 27 new clubs and a majority of them present. The new clubs then reported and Mrs. Pennybacker congratulated them. She noted the absence of any mention of club flower, or club color, by any new club. She was sure their reports on health, literary work, social service, and civic cleanliness would produce more happiness than club flowers and club colors--once so prominent in clubs.
The Credentials Committee reported a voting strength of 162 legal voters registered.
The resignation of Mrs. E. K. Graham as General Federation State Secretary was read and accepted with regret. The Recording Secretary stated that the offices to be filled were First Vice President, Rceording Secretary, Treasurer, and General Federation State Secretary. The tellers then reported, as the result of the ballot, a Nominating Committee composed of the following: Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Miss Adelaide Fries, Mrs. J. J. Farriss, Mrs. J. R. Chamberlain, Mrs. J. H. Pratt.
A call was made for a report from the Committee on Legislation, which brought out the fact the marriage and removal from North Carolina of the Chairman, Miss Royster, had left a vacancy which no one had been willing to accept, so that there was no report. Mrs. Lingle was not discouraged but felt sure the right woman to fill the vacancy could and would be found. An intermission of five minutes was followed by a spirited address by Mrs. Winfred Sackville Stoner on Natural Education. Adjournment followed.
An appetizing luncheon was served in the basement of the church by the U. D. C. of High Point. Confederate flags as decorations brightened the occasion and the souvenir Confederate flags which decorated the clubwomen as they filed out of the dining hall, might have been mistaken for a parade of the Daughters of the Confederacy.
The afternoon was devoted to Conferences of Departments.
The evening session was marked by an address on "Public Health and the Clubwoman's Opportunity"
by Miss Florence Hanswold, of Versailles, Kentucky. She was introduced by Mrs. Mark Quinerly, Chairman of Health.
The last speaker of the evening was Prof. Maurice Felton of Davidson College, who was introduced by Miss Fries. He gave an illustrated lecture on "Shakespeare's Environment."
Thursday morning the Convention was again called to order at the Wesley Memorial Church, Mrs. Lingle in the chair.
The Chairman of Credentials reported more registrations which raised the number of legal voters present to 178 instead of 162 as previously reported.
It had been customary to read all the Resolutions together on the last day, and have them discussed and adopted, but by special permission because it was an emergency, a resolution was brought to the attention of the Convention and prompt action requested. It had been learned that an efficient woman was to be deprived of her position as Supervisor of Public Institutions, for no reason except to create a vacancy which a man had been selected to fill. It was time for the Federation to test its influence. The resolution was read by Mrs. A. H. Powell, Chairman, and read as follows:
Be it resolved, That the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs ask the Governor of North Carolina, who holds the power of appointment and discharge of a Supervisor of Public Institutions, to continue a woman in that office, for which the Federation believes women eminently fitted.
The resolution was promptly adopted, a committee of three appointed to wait upon the Governor, and a copy of the resolution sent to him at once. It is pleasant to record that the resolution, carrying with it the endorsement of the Federation was followed up by the committee of three, who saw the Governor in person, fulfilled its mission and the woman incumbent was retained in office for the time of her appointment. At the expiration of her time however, she was succeeded by a man. A stand for justice had been made and the action of the Federation justified.
An hour of the morning session was given to a discussion on Rural Club organization, led by Mrs. Jane McKimmon, State Agent for Demonstration Work, who has done so much for the rural women of the State. It was her favorite topic--rural clubs and rural women, and she enjoyed discussing it. Mrs. Jones of Salemburg, added a few remarks and Mrs. Pennybacker gave some interesting personal experiences in rural meetings.
The afternoon was again devoted to Conferences. At five o'clock Dean Shirley of Salem College gave an organ recital to a large audience, at the Wesley Memorial Church.
The special feature of the evening session was the address of Mrs. Pennybacker. A woman of brains and a born orator, she held her audience with intense interest. She had a real message for North Carolina women and urged three things, viz.: efficiency, co-operation, and loyalty, as the basis of all work. She desired to see inscribed on every woman's memory
the three words, investigate, concentrate, eliminate. Investigate to find the truth, concentrate to realize the truth, and eliminate by taking out the false and unworthy.
A special feature of the High Point Convention was a pageant given by the 1600 children of the public schools. It was gotten up by the teachers of the various grades under the approval and supervision of the Superintendent of Schools. It represented many phases of American history. Nothing makes a boy so happy as to play Indian, and as the Indians are a real part of American history, it was proper that the pageant should be led by a group of Indians in perfect attire and proud of their prominence.
Then came Columbus and the discovery of America, the Puritans next in their peculiar dress, followed by the Quakers with long coats and round hats (which have never experienced any exile). Then came the United States Army and Navy, the Red Cross in white uniforms and many of the activities of the clubs were shown, such as Clean-up-week by a group dressed in blue and white (Federation colors) armed with brooms, and bearing banners bearing such legends as "Clean up" and "Cleanliness is next to godliness," etc. Many of the states were represented beginning with North Carolina bearing long leaf pines and banners with the date "May 20." Slavery was also shown, and the gold rush to California in "49." But the cutest and cleverest of all the mile-long parade was the bevy of little "tots" who represented the North Carolina
Federation supposedly the last and best item of historical interest. They were dressed in white and waving sprigs of pine, Federation emblems, and carried blue banners with North Carolina Federation of Clubs on them in white. They were greeted with enthusiastic applause. It was a splendid pageant and a credit to the schools of High Point and to its teachers.
At the invitation of Mr. Fred Tate the clubwomen visited the High Point Silk Mill. All the processes of manufacture were explained and each delegate given a souvenir of white raw silk from China, tied with blue and white baby ribbon. They had been instructed and entertained.
In the evening a reception was given by the Woman's Club of High Point at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. J. Elwood Cox.
Friday morning found much unfinished business but Mrs. Lingle attacked it with a brave heart. The meeting opened with the Federation Song, after which a prayer was offered. Some one must have thought the rendition of the Federation Song needed praying for, or more attention given it, for it was moved, immediately after the prayer, that the Chairman of Music send a request to the President of each club, asking its members to learn the song so all could sing it together at Conventions. Discussion followed and disclosed the fact that the plate used in printing the song had been lost. The Chairman of Music was authorized to have a new plate made and copies printed for sale to the clubs.
Mrs. C. C. Hook presented the Loan Fund and received many pledges for it. She reported 33 loans made and $800 on hand to help others. The clubwomen were so gratified to hear of its usefulness that many of the clubs increased their pledges.
Reports were finished and then the Nominating Committee presented the following nominations: First Vice President, Mrs. Clarence Johnson, Raleigh; Recording Secretary, Miss Clara Cox, High Point; Treasurer, Mrs. T. B. Tyson, Carthage; General Federation State Secretary, Miss Gertrude Weil.
Mrs. Tyson positively declined the honor, and after nominations from the floor, Miss Fries of Winston-Salem was elected, along with the other nominations.
Mrs. Norman Wills extended to the Convention on behalf of the federated clubwomen of Greensboro, an invitation to attend a luncheon to be served in the basement immediately after adjournment.
The Resolutions were read and adopted. The Courtesies Committee reported, the new officers were called to the platform and presented, after which Mrs. Lingle declared the Convention adjourned.
In the basement the Convention became the guests of the Greensboro Clubs. It was an hour full of pleasure. Nothing had been forgotten, from flowers for the Honorary President to the varied, and delicious viands. Many talks and toasts were made and no one will forget the clever, punning rhymes of Mrs.
Fairbrother bringing in the names of so many co-workers.
Miss Royster, the last chairman of Legislation, appeared in her new character as Mrs. Judd and spent a happy hour with her former co-workers. She expressed great pleasure at the reunion.
The truth of history demands that it be recorded that at High Point no picture was taken. The Hat was in exile.
Clubs continued to be organized and all joined the Federation. A small proportion withdrew, but many of them for the purpose of forming Departmental Clubs and coming back to the Federation in the new form.
The vision of all was broadening and unceasing activity existed. New opportunities for service were discovered every year and clubwomen began to regard handicaps only as tests of strength. Difficulties became stimulants and increased the power of those who overcame the difficulties. Mrs. W. B. Waddill was solving the district problem, and the individual club report was adjusting itself pleasantly to the District Meetings. The World War was on and every woman was doing her duty as a home soldier, conserving food, practicing thrift and hoping for peace.
Personalities had become trifles, for women who work for others cease to be narrow minded or selfish. The Federation had been organized for coöperation with the United States Government by plans formulated under the advice of Government officials. A National Council of Defense had been organized in each State of the Union and in it all women became united in service for the safety of civilization and for
peace. It did not interrupt but greatly increased all the club activities. Mr. Wilson had declared it the hour of test and American womanhood responded.
The Council Meeting was held in Morganton in November, 1916. The winter work was planned and the arrangements for the May Convention perfected. As usual the hearts and homes of the people of Morganton welcomed the representatives of the Federation.
The first meeting of the Council was held in the Rest Room of the Woman's Club, the President presiding. The afternoon session was held in the Amusement Hall at State Hospital for the deaf and the business of the morning continued. Reports from various Chairmen of Departments and Committees were accepted. Mrs. J. R. Chamberlain gave an interesting report of her Committee on Laws and Legislation. The matter of the framing of a bill providing for the establishment of a State Department of Public Welfare was discussed. It was decided that such a bill should be introduced at the next General Assembly. Also the Council went on record as endorsing the bill for delinquent girls then being prepared by the North Carolina Conference for Social Service.
The open session of the Council was held in the Auditorium on Thursday evening, Mrs. C. C. Hook, Second Vice President of the Federation, presiding. Welcome was extended by Rev. C. C. Gregory for the town, Mrs. A. C. Avery, Jr., for the hostess club, and Mrs. G. P. Erwin for the non-federated clubs of Morganton. Miss Gertrude Weil responded for the Federation.
Brilliant addresses were given by the President, Mrs. T. W. Lingle and Dr. A. A. McGeachy, on "Books and Bonfires."
Another open meeting was held in the Auditorium on Friday afternoon. Possibly the most interesting feature of the program was the illustrated lecture on "Conscience in Dress" given by Mrs. Henry White of High Point. Types of dresses from the early Colonial period to the present time were worn by seventeen Morganton girls who enjoyed the exhibition as much as did the spectators. The costumes portrayed the styles in dress from 1790 to 1911. Later Charlotte, Wilmington, and Asheboro had this costume exhibition for local benefit.
Following Mrs. White's address, Miss Mary C. Robinson of Asheville presented a pageant play to the audience, urging the preservation of State and county history in that form of drama. The Friday afternoon program was concluded with an address by Mrs. Clarence Johnson, on "The Club House and its Relation to the Community." As President of the Raleigh Woman's Club which had built the first club house in North Carolina, Mrs. Johnson was well acquainted with her subject.
The meeting then adjourned.
The Fifteenth Convention of the Federation met in Durham on May 1, 1917.
The Executive Board met at the residence of Mrs. I. F. Hill. The luncheon to the Board was a courtesy extended by Mrs. T. D. Jones.
The Trustees met at the Y. M. C. A. Building at 4 p.m. The Board of Directors met in the court house at 8 p.m.
The preliminary business having been transacted the Convention opened on Wednesday, May 2, in the Administration Building of Trinity College, (now Duke University), at 9:30 a.m., Mrs. Lingle presiding.
After the invocation the Federation Song was rendered with Mrs. W. A. French, of the Music Department, at the piano.
Committees on Resolutions and on Courtesies were named. After a few remarks by the President, the reports from the officers were read and accepted. The Rules and Regulations Committee reported and moved the adoption of the same rules used during the preceding Convention.
The Recording Secretary read that section of the Constitution relating to the Nominating Committee and stated that four offices would have to be filled, the term of the President, Second Vice President, Corresponding Secretary, and Auditor expiring with the Durham Convention. A nominating committee was elected composed of Mrs. J. R. Chamberlain, Mrs. H. W. Chase, Mrs. Gordon Finger, Mrs. C. L. Ives, and Miss Gertrude Weil.
Reports from the Treasurer and the Board of Trustees were accepted.
Mrs. E. F. Reid presented 33 new clubs added during the year. Delegates from the new clubs came
forward and were greeted most cordially by the President and the Convention.
The report of Mrs. Waddill, District Chairman, was heard with great interest. A map was effectively used by Mrs. Waddill in explaining the difficulties in the location of the districts. Reports from six districts followed.
After an intermission of fifteen minutes the Convention assembled in a Memorial Session to Susan Moses Graham, (Mrs. E. K. Graham) with Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Honorary President, in the chair. After a few words by Mrs. Cotten, Rev. W. T. Moss, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Chapel Hill, read a selection from the Fifth Chapter of Matthew followed by prayer. Mrs. Graham was an officer and a co-worker in the Federation, full of beautiful courage, and zeal for all true progress, and the speakers selected for the memorial addresses all knew her well.
Dr. Archibald Henderson of the North Carolina University was the first speaker. He paid a beautiful tribute to her as a woman, loving and beloved, earnest, strong, and true, with an unfailing joy in life and in service.
The second speaker was Mrs. J. S. Holmes of the Community Club of Chapel Hill. She depicted in loving words Susan Moses Graham's life in her own community. No more beautiful tribute from one woman to another was ever spoken and all knew it was true of the woman who had been taken from us.
Mrs. Al Fairbrother, friend and co-worker, was the third speaker, giving the life of Susan Moses Graham
as a clubwoman. The three heartfelt tributes brought clearly before the Convention the beautiful character of the woman all loved, and as never before, the women realized their loss, and their hearts went out in new sympathy to her bereaved husband, and to the community which had lost such a treasure.
The meeting then adjourned for lunch by the Durham Civic League.
The afternoon session was called to order by the President, who requested Mrs. C. C. Hook, Second Vice President, to preside. The subject for the afternoon was Rural Welfare and Community Upbuilding. A Round Table discussion on "How has your club contributed to Community Upbuilding" was entered into with great interest by many which proved activity in many communities.
Mr. J. R. Young, State Insurance Commissioner, made a short talk about the waste of lives and property by fire, and urged the women to help him in his work. It was moved that a resolution be passed favoring coöperation with the Insurance Department of the State.
Many reports were read and accepted, after which the Convention adjourned to attend a Garden Party in the afternoon at the home of Mrs. W. A. Erwin, through the courtesy of the U. D. C. Chapter of Durham.
The evening session was held in Craven Memorial Hall, at Trinity College, Mrs. Lingle presiding.
Mrs. T. D. Jones welcomed the delegates in behalf of the Durham Civic League. Dr. W. P. Few, President
of Trinity College, expressed welcome from the College. Mr. B. S. Skinner, Mayor of Durham, spoke for the city.
Mrs. Clarence Johnson responded for the Federation. Mrs. Thrash, President of the U. D. C., brought greetings from her organization. Then followed the address of the President, Mrs. Lingle. She called special attention to the closing words of President Wilson's famous War Proclamation, "The supreme test of the Nation has come. We must all speak, act and serve together." She said that appeal was directed to the women of the country as never an appeal was made before, and declared the test applied to efficiency as well as to loyalty.
Mrs. William Grimes, Vice President of Raleigh Chapter of the American Red Cross, made a few timely remarks about the importance of Red Cross work.
An original poem by Mrs. Willis Peace was read, followed by the singing of one verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner." The Convention remained standing a minute after the song in honor of Mrs. R. R. Cotten, the new Director from North Carolina in the General Federation of Clubs, who was to speak. Mrs. Cotten told them about the recent meeting of the General Federation Council in New Orleans, which she had attended in her new role as Director. She told them how the General Federation was planning to assist the Government in the World War, how the clubwomen everywhere were responding, and how each state could coöperate in the national plans. She knew the North Carolina women would gladly cooperate
in the plans, and she had promised to the General Federation the fealty of North Carolina women.
At the Biennial in New York in 1916, the General Federation had amended its Constitution so as to give each state representation on the Board of Directors, making a truly representative National Board to replace the previous small Board of eleven women. It was a most democratic action and met with universal approval. At New York, Mrs. Lingle had been elected as Director from North Carolina but had found it impossible to serve and had tendered her resignation as Director to the Executive Board of the North Carolina Federation of Clubs, which Executive Board had elected Mrs. Cotten to succeed Mrs. Lingle on the General Federation Board of Directors, where she served for four years.
After Mrs. Cotten's report of the meeting in New Orleans and the agitation of preparation for war, Mrs. Eugene Reilley addressed the Convention on "Ourselves and Others." The report of the General Federation State Secretary, Miss Gertrude Weil, was read and accepted, after which the Convention adjourned to attend a reception in the Administration building, through the courtesy of Trinity College.
Thursday the Convention was called to order by Mrs. Clarence Johnson, First Vice President.
Mrs. Lingle had fulfilled her prophecy and found a most efficient Chairman for the Legislation Committee in Mrs. J. R. Chamberlain, of Raleigh, who then made her full report. She had found that the
special work in the late Legislature (1917) upon which the Federation could concentrate its efforts were the establishment of a State Welfare Commission, and a State Home for delinquent girls and women. She declared the 1917 North Carolina Legislature was full of young, forward-looking men, progressive and constructive, with a decided vision along philanthropic lines. Both the aforementioned measures, endorsed by the Federation, had been passed. The Welfare Commission had no appropriation, the Home for delinquent girls had an insufficient appropriation, but it was a step onward, and would no doubt grow in future.
The passage of the bill creating this Home for delinquent girls, later to be known as Samarcand, was a great victory for the Legislative Committee under Mrs. Chamberlain's leadership.
The North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs was the first organization to sponsor such a movement which later had the support of other social agencies.
The institution was a much needed one for many years, dealing as it does with an age-long condition, and an ancient evil, but only of later years had the public conscience been sufficiently awakened to deal reasonably and impartially with the consequences of certain sins.
For several successive General Assemblies the matter was embodied in bills and brought up for discussion, but while at first the bills were considered faulty, and the measures defeated, yet inevitably such discussion was bringing about new views of these matters.
In the winter of 1917 the Social Service Conference and the State Federation of Women's Clubs, still being
actively engaged in pressing the establishment of some kind of a reformatory for girls and women, upon the General Assembly, and the social service elements of the churches being willing to help, bills were formulated and a measure was passed, in the last part of the session. While perhaps not perfect, this measure was truly a great achievement. Senator A. M. Scales of Greensboro was the introducer of this bill, and he was greatly aided in its passage by Hon. Walter Murphy of Salisbury. The Legislature of 1917 was the most liberal-minded body of our experience, and one which built so much for the coming race that it will be known by favorable report in history for its farsighted action in many things. This liberal assembly has the credit for the achievement as a beginning, for it passed an act appropriating $25,000 for the establishment and $1,000 per annum for the maintenance of an institution which should try out this difficult reform.
The board of this institution had a new feature, in that it had a majority of women, and in that it was very small, consisting only of five members. Its membership was earnestly interested in the work, not only as a feat of accomplishment, but also because the special need appealed to each individual. Dr. McGeachey, the president, was the father of the whole idea, in that he was the mover of the first agitation for such an institution.
The board was appointed by Governor Bickett and called into service on the 28th day of May, 1918. Mr. R. F. Beasley, State Commissioner of Public Welfare,
was from the first, a counselor of the board, and was present at its deliberations. After our State problem was discussed, in 1917, came the Great War, with its enormous problems of every sort, and among them the need of safeguarding the soldiers from every evil. Hence the problem of the United States War Department became the same as our local one. Mrs. Martha P. Falconer, the one individual who had been most successful in reforming young women who had fallen under the law in any one of the several ways, was consulted constantly by the proponents of the bill before the Legislature made it an act. The bill was drawn by the Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the State Federation, Mrs. J. R. Chamberlain, consulting frequently with Mrs. Falconer, as an expert in the matter, and with Mrs. Kate Burr Johnson, Mrs. B. H. Griffin, Mrs. W. N. Hutt, Dr. Dixon-Carroll as helpers. This practical counsel was of the utmost help. The plan was purposely kept simple and undefined enough to give large discretion in handling the women. It was decided at an early meeting of the board that only a rural situation for this institution would be desirable, and preferably one in the approximate center of the State. Advertising and inquiry brought out the fact that the sand-hill section was the most wholesome and desirable. Mr. R. F. Beasley, State Commissioner, and Mr. W. S. Blakeney, of the board of the institution, were commissioned to look up several locations offered, and in their inquiry they were assisted by Mr. J. R. Page, of Aberdeen.
The property finally selected was a rare find, and a great send-off for this institution. Dr. Handford Henderson, a most original and successful educator of boys, had a school for the sons of wealthy families at Samarcand in Moore County, where he had conducted it for four years. He was unable to keep the desired teaching force, because of the selective draft, but especially because his earnest young college men volunteered early and could not be replaced. He himself volunteered also, and there was the property unused. He sold it to the State, partly furnished, at a reasonable figure.
Miss Agnes McNaughton, a woman trained at Sleighton Farms, in Pennsylvania, under Mrs. Falconer, was engaged as Superintendent. Miss McNaughton has had the very best of training in all that is known of the best practice in these institutions and continues to be most successful.
The State Board of Charities and Public Welfare has been much strengthened under Mrs. Kate Burr Johnson, who was appointed to replace Mr. Beasley, on his resignation, and the whole work of the rather novel experiment has been carried forward under her supervision.
She had been a close counselor who advised each move of the campaign for establishing the Institution. She was careful during her presidency of the State Federation to keep the women of the State informed as to the working of the plan they had striven for. She is now in charge of the work, and by this fact the women
of the State are assured of the proper administration of this child of the State Federation.
The report of the Executive Boards showed that the Finance Committee had evolved a new plan for completing the Endowment, which plan was being worked out amidst all the various World War activities.
Mrs. S. L. Dill, Jr., had been appointed Sub-Chairman of Education to have special charge of the Loan Fund. In many Departments the work had become so heavy that many subdivisions and subchairmen had become necessary, and with their help all the work went on.
The Constitution was amended so as to provide for the election every two years of a Director in the General Federation and giving her a vote in all the divisions of the State Federation.
The By-Laws were amended to give the same privileges to District Presidents, Chairman of Standing Committees, etc.
The morning session adjourned for a drive and lunch at Chapel Hill, where the afternoon session was held. Charming Chapel Hill! Home of North Carolina University, with its literary atmosphere and hospitable spirit, its natural beauty, its dignified old oak trees, and its tincture of antebellum days! Everybody loved it, everybody enjoyed it, everybody thought of "our Susan" and the tributes to her memory which so recently had stirred our hearts.
The session convened in Gerrard Hall. Dr. E. K. Graham, President of the University, made us welcome to the University. "No matter where you live or what
your interests are, remember this is your University" he said, and commended the clubs for their efforts to promote the cause of education.
Many reports were read and then Mrs. Chase, President of the Community Club, invited all to luncheon in Swain Hall, as the guests of that club.
In the afternoon, in the open air theater of Battle Park a May Fete was staged for the pleasure of the clubwomen. It was before the day of the successes of the Carolina Playmakers, but was much enjoyed.
But the sun would not stand still even for the Federation and the return to Durham called to duty, so the "Hill" was necessarily left behind.
The evening session, assembled in the Academy of Music, Mrs. Lingle presiding. Miss Elliott of the North Carolina College for Women made an inspiring and thoughtful address on Civic Art. Mrs. K. L. Baldensperger of the National Bureau of Prisons delivered an address on Prison Reform.
After singing "America" the meeting adjourned.
Friday morning the Convention again assembled in the Academy of Music; Mrs. Lingle presided and expedited all business.
The Chairman of Music, Mrs. W. A. French, reported that the successful contestant in the Music Contest was Miss Pearl Little of Hickory, and presented to Miss Little a silver cup upon which her name was engraved. It was a great surprise to every one and was the beginning of Silver Cups in the Federation, which now awards five cups each year. Mrs. French explained that the cup had been purchased with money from the
sale of the Federation Song, which money had slowly been accumulating for several years. The Federation was left to make rules to govern the awarding of the cup.
Mrs. Cotten moved that the cup be known as the Duncan Cup in honor of Mrs. E. C. Duncan who had first suggested to have a Federation Song and who had composed the music for that song. The successful composition by Miss Little was entitled "A Child's Wish Granted."
In the literary contest the poem, "At the end of the way," by Mrs. M. C. Robinson of Asheville, was declared the winner.
The Credentials Committee reported 213 present to vote.
The Nominating Committee then submitted the following: President, Mrs. Clarence Johnson, Raleigh; Second Vice President, Mrs. M. C. Robinson, Asheville; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Joseph Hyde Pratt, Chapel Hill; Auditor, Mrs. T. D. Jones, Durham; General Federation State Secretary, Miss Margaret Gibson, Wilmington; Director on National Board, Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Bruce.
Mrs. Pratt withdrew her name, Mrs. W. T. Bost, Raleigh, was nominated in her place, and the Secretary was instructed to cast the vote for the names submitted with Mrs. Bost's name substituted.
The Loan Fund had been allowed to sleep for a season so as to give the Endowment time to grow, and the Chairman of Finance reported it was growing.
Mrs. E. F. Reid was elected Chairman of Districts.
The Resolutions were read, and contained one so patriotic, pledging loyalty to State and Nation, that Mrs. Hook started "The Star Spangled Banner," in which all joined.
Mrs. Cotten moved that the Federation make a contribution to the Susan Moses Graham Memorial to be erected at Chapel Hill. This was carried enthusiastically.
A luncheon given jointly by the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club and the Merchants Association followed the adjournment of the morning session. It was a most unique event, given in the East Duke Building. Previous to the luncheon the gentlemen from the three organizations, forty-five patriotic men wearing white coats with aprons, caps, and ties of red, white, and blue, gave a drill on the campus headed by Major S. C. Chambers. After the drill they preceded the guests into the building where they served as waiters. A delicious luncheon was served on tables artistically decorated with carnations and Easter lilies, with the colors of the three civic organizations blended. It was a time given to merriment, while an orchestra added a feast of music to the feast of festivity, fun and food.
In the afternoon a beautiful reception was given by Mrs. John Sprunt Hill at her elegant residence on Duke Street. With such a charming hostess there could be only pleasure, and appreciation of the courtesy.
The final session of the Convention was called to order in the Academy of Music, on Friday evening, the President, Mrs. Lingle, presiding.
Miss Bettie Windley, Chairman of Literature, read her report, after which she presented Mrs. M. C. Robinson of Asheville, winner in the literary contest. Mrs. Robinson then read her winning poem "At the end of the way." Miss Ross then sang the winning music number, "The Child's Wish Granted," by Miss Little, who accompanied the singer of her cup-winning composition.
An address on the "Study of Latin America" was made by Prof. W. W. Pierson of Chapel Hill.
Dr. Thomas W. Lingle of Davidson College, delivered a profound address on "The Latin American Peoples and their Problems."
The Resolutions were reported and the courtesies acknowledged. The new officers were brought to the platform and presented to their "constituents," to whom they all promised cheerful allegiance.
A rising vote of thanks was given the retiring President for her faithful services. She acknowledged in a few appropriate remarks and then surrendered the gavel to the newly elected President who declared the Convention adjourned.
In the autumn of 1917 the Council of the State Federation of Women's Clubs met in Winston-Salem upon the invitation of Miss Adelaide Fries, Past President of the State Federation. The meetings were held in the Y. W. C. A. It was a small Council meeting, and all of the time was given to transacting business. Our country was at war, and the women had neither time nor interest to give to social functions.
Early in the year the Executive Board of the Federation had accepted the invitation of the Woman's Club of Waynesville to hold the Council meeting in Waynesville, but as time went on it seemed advisable on account of war conditions to meet in some more accessible place; so Winston-Salem was substituted for Waynesville.
The year 1918 was a memorable year all over the world. Every one was doing World War Work and hoping for peace. It was a time of stress, but the month of May found the Raleigh clubwomen full of happy anticipations because the Federation was to meet in the Capital City in May. The new Club House,
the first in North Carolina to be built by a Woman's Club, especially for club meetings and other public functions, was in readiness and the women were justly proud of their achievement. For many years the Raleigh Woman's Club had aspired to a club house of its own. In 1906 the club had bought a residence fronting the Capitol Square, and made of it a temporary club house, without relinquishing the desire to build one to meet the needs of such a large club with high ambition. In a few years the State needed the site on which their temporary club house stood, and a sale to the State was effected at a good advance on the purchase price. A desirable site on Hillsboro Street, not far from the Capitol was purchased and plans for a club house perfected. Undismayed by a small debt, that club saw its dream come true in the completion of a commodious club house which gave stimulus and encouragement to many other clubs with similar aspirations. That was a tribute to the wisdom loyalty, fidelity and coöperation of a Building Committee composed of women who personally supervised every step of the work.
At last the Federation was coming and the Club House was ready to receive it. Another interesting feature of the occasion was that the beloved Mrs. Clarence Johnson, who was a member of the Building Committee, and who was President of the Raleigh Club when the Club House was completed, had been elected President of the Federation, and was to hold her first Convention in the new Club House. So despite of War in France, the Raleigh clubwomen were
exultant for already their Club House was serving as a Red Cross Center in which all were serving humanity.
The Committee on Arrangements had announced that the Convention was not to be a social function, but a meeting of serious minded women, and that the keynote of the Convention would be War Service. Several unique features characterized that Convention. One was a request that Governor T. W. Bickett come to the meeting and administer the oath of allegiance to the women in Convention assembled, which he did. Not that any one doubted any one's loyalty but all wished to reiterate and impress their allegiance to their country.
The meeting of the Executive Board was followed by a luncheon by Mrs. George Lay, President of the Raleigh Woman's Club. The Trustees and Board of Directors met in the afternoon. The Convention was formally opened in the Auditorium of the Club House on Tuesday evening, May 28, 1918, the President of the Federation, Mrs. Johnson, in the chair.
After an invocation by Dr. George Lay, and the singing of "America," Mrs. Lay, President of the Raleigh Women's Club, welcomed the Federation in behalf of the club. Judge Crawford Biggs spoke for the Chamber of Commerce, and Mrs. T. D. Jones responded for the Federation.
Mrs. Jacksie Daniels Thrash, President of the North Carolina Division U. D. C., Mrs. Marshall Williams, President of the D. A. R., and Mrs. McKinnon, representing the South Carolina Federation, all delivered greetings from their respective organizations.
At this juncture Mrs. Josiah Evans Cowles, President of the General Federation of Clubs, entered the auditorium. She was presented by Mrs. Johnson as the special guest of the North Carolina Federation and the assembly arose in her honor.
Then followed the address of the President. She stressed the service of clubwomen in all war time activities such as the sale of Liberty Bonds, War Saving Stamps, and the unceasing Red Cross work. She stated that no record was available of the first Liberty Bond campaign, but of the second loan, the women sold $2,393,740 worth, and of the third the women sold $7,250,000 worth. She added that the Federation had bought a $1,000 bond as an investment for the Endowment. She urged the women to bind themselves by solemn obligation not to use German goods, and to allow no criticism of the President nor of the United States Government, and to permit no German propaganda to go unheeded or unchecked. Her address was a masterpiece and fell on attentive ears.
At the conclusion of the session a reception by Governor and Mrs. Bickett was given at the Executive Mansion.
The statements given in Mrs. Johnson's address caused a survey to be made of the activities of the officers of the Federation at that time. The result was a most interesting sidelight on the activities of the officers. From knitting to occupying pulpits were found among their works. Mrs. Clarence Johnson, President of the Federation, and First Vice President of the Conference for Social Service, had served on the Finance
Committees of the State Council of Defense, and on the Central Committee of the Third Liberty Loan Campaign. As chairman of the School Committee, and as President of the Raleigh Club her work for the promotion of home security was varied and extensive.
Mrs. C. C. Hook, Vice President of the Federation, was Vice President of the Mecklenburg County unit of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense, and Chairman of Education of the Charlotte Chapter of the American Red Cross. Her home being near Camp Green, she took an active part in all things which were for the benefit of that camp and was Chairman of the Y. M. C. A. Finance Committee Campaign which raised $2,500 for the Y. M. C. A. She assisted in cataloguing the books for Camp Green, and in presenting a historical pageant for the benefit of the Red Cross. She also assisted in the war work of the D. A. R. and the Colonial Dames.
Mrs. James Gudger, Second Vice President of the Federation, was Chairman of the Home Relief Committee of the North Carolina Division Council of National Defense and active in all War Work.
Miss Clara Cox, Recording Secretary of the Federation, took the pulpit of the pastor of a rural church near High Point, who resigned to take up Army Y. M. C. A. work. Being a member of the Friends Church she has equal rights with men to serve as a preacher. She was President of a Woman's War Prayer League, assisted in the organization of the High Point Red Cross Chapter, assisted in forming three Auxiliaries of the same and made many public
talks on Food Conservation. In the Second Liberty Loan Campaign she was Chairman of the Woman's Committee in Guilford County, in which the women of High Point, under her leadership sold $150,000 worth of bonds.
Mrs. Thomas Bost, Corresponding Secretary of the Federation, served as Chairman of the Lutheran Church Canvassers during the Y. M. C. A. and the Y. W. C. A. War Campaigns conducted through the churches; was a member of the Publicity Committee of the campaign undertaken by the Child Welfare Unit of the Council of National Defense, and was an active worker in the Red Cross.
Miss Fries, Treasurer of the Federation, was busy in all War Work, securing Red Cross members, buying War Savings Stamps, and organizing War Savings Societies, knitting, working in her War Garden and many activities along useful lines.
Mrs. T. D. Jones, Auditor of the Federation, led her Civic League into all War Work from selling bonds and helping the Red Cross to collecting books and magazines for the soldiers.
Such was the material of which that Board was made!
All the sessions of that 1918 Convention were held in the Auditorium of the Club House.
The fall of the gavel on Wednesday morning was followed by an invocation and the singing of the Federation Song.
Mrs. Antoinette Funk, another Federation guest, was presented and welcomed.
Reports followed from Departments and District Presidents. Miss Margaret Gibson read two poems written by Miss Gordon Thompson, who for four years had been using the Loan Fund to complete her education at the State Normal. Miss Thompson was present and was presented to the Convention. She told of the good work the Loan Fund was doing, expressed her appreciation of the opportunity to use it, which caused many voluntary additions to be made to the Fund.
Mrs. W. T. Bost read a telegram of regret and good wishes for the meeting from Mrs. R. R. Cotten who was at the bedside of her husband in a sanitarium. A telegram of sympathy was ordered sent to Mrs. Cotten, also one to Mrs. Gudger, absent because of the illness of her husband.
Miss Gibson read the report of Mrs. Cotten as Director from North Carolina on the National Board. Mrs. Cowles kindly explained the work of the War-Victory Commission of which Mrs. Cotten was a member. Mrs. Cotten reported $1,600.50 contributed by the North Carolina clubs to the fund for the purpose of maintaining Furlough Homes in France for our soldiers, and that one girl from North Carolina, Miss Eugenia Rowe of Asheville, had gone to France with the General Federation Unit of one hundred girls sent over for special service.
The report of the Trustees recommended that no girl be permitted to borrow from the Loan Fund more than $200 for any one year, and not more than $400 altogether.
The Credentials Committee reported 202 delegates. The Nominating Committee was elected in accordance with the Constitution.
It was moved that on the next day a period of prayer be observed in compliance with the wish of President Wilson in setting apart the day for fasting and prayer. Mrs. George Lay was requested to arrange such services.
The Convention adjourned for luncheon, which was given through the courtesy of Chamber of Commerce.
The afternoon session was given over to Department reports and general discussion, after which an automobile drive around the city ended in a delightful tea at Nordell Hill, the log bungalow of Dr. Dixon-Carroll in Bloomsbury Wood.
The evening session was presided over by Mrs. Hook, who presented Mrs. T. W. Bickett, the popular wife of the Governor, a woman interested in all good movements, and from whom all women receive inspiration.
Mrs. Bickett in a few gracious and appropriate words introduced Mrs. Josiah Evans Cowles, President of General Federation of Clubs, as a woman beloved from California to Carolina. Mrs. Cowles then gave the address of the evening, telling of the war work of the General Federation in coöperation with the Government, in which all the states were helping. She urged the women to continue faithful in both remedial and constructive work.
The program for the remainder of the evening was in charge of Mrs. Norman Wills, Chairman of Music. The St. Cecilia Club of Raleigh gave a number of
selections from American composers, under the directorship of Mr. R. Blinn Owen.
Thursday morning another business session was held, Mrs. Johnson in the chair.
Mrs. Antoinette Funk was presented and welcomed.
Business proceeded until eleven o'clock, when, in accordance with a motion previously carried, the Convention paused for a period of silent prayer, after which Mrs. Lingle made an earnest petition for our country and our soldiers in France. Then "My Faith Looks up to Thee" and "Star Spangled Banner" were sung.
A brief intermission was then taken after which the Convention reassembled to hear an address by Governor Bickett. Nothing more impressive, nothing more earnest, had ever been heard by the Clubs. It was a protest against a double standard of morals, which all women have approved of and worked for without success. It was a new thing for a public man to publicly declare himself thus, and raised a new hope in the hearts of his hearers. He emphasized the need of clean men, and commented on the fact that 29 per cent of the drafted men were rejected after examination, as "unfit." He asked the vital question "Is a man fit to marry who is unfit to fight?" It was a searching question and he dwelt on it, and on what could be done to decrease vice diseases.
It was a magnificant address and touched a responsive chord in the hearts of all who heard it. At the close he was given an ovation of applause, after which he administered the oath of allegiance to the United
States, the members of the Convention standing with right hands uplifted. It was a most impressive occasion.
Many reports which followed told of the adoption of many French and Belgian orphans by the clubs. Through the proper channels checks were sent yearly for the maintenance of those orphans.
Mrs. Chamberlain, Chairman of Legislation, read her report which was full of suggestions. She moved that the President appoint a special committee embodying her suggestions which were in accord with the recommendations of Governor Bickett. The committee was named and the resolution endorsed when presented.
Mrs. Platt of Charlotte read an interesting account of the Biennial in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She told of the invitation from the city of Asheville, from the federated clubs of Asheville, and from the North Carolina Federation of Clubs, to the Council of the General Federation to hold its next Mid-Biennial Meeting in Asheville in 1919. The invitation had been accepted, and all over the United States clubwomen were anticipating the pleasure of seeing the far famed beauties of Asheville.
Mrs. Fairbrother reported $138.30 on hand for the Susan Moses Graham memorial at Chapel Hill. Mrs. Fairbrother was continued as Chairman of that fund, and the hope was expressed that more might be added to it.
An amendment to Article 10, Section 1, of the Constitution, was approved by motion. The amendment
increased the dues from 10 cents per capita to 15 cents per capita, and that the club pay 25 cents as that club's share of the dues from the State Federation to the General Federation.
Another feature of that Convention was the approval of a motion to discontinue the soliciting of homes for the delegates to a Convention. Hospitality was not doubted but the Federation had grown so large that the work of securing homes had become strenuous. It was passed without objection, all realizing the situation, and from that time the delegates have been very happy and free, sojourning in hotels.
Then the committee on Resolutions reported and the long delayed storm burst. For many years the expediency of adopting a resolution in favor of Suffrage for women had been discussed at each Convention but in respect to many, who believed in it but thought the time for action had not come, it had not been brought before the Convention until the Raleigh Meeting. It was the thirteenth Resolution, and the last one to be read. Again superstition was defied, and after some discussion the Resolution endorsing Suffrage for women was passed amidst great applause. The Corresponding Secretary was instructed to send a telegram to Senators Overman and Simmons, announcing the action of the Convention, as the Suffrage Amendment to the United States Constitution was at that time being discussed in the Senate. It was considered a good day's work and the meeting was adjourned to discuss the victory.
The evening session of that memorable day was held in the Auditorium of Meredith College, Mrs. Johnson presiding.
Mrs. White reported for the Courtesies Committee and expressed the universal appreciation of many pleasures.
The three new officers had been duly nominated and elected and were presented to the Convention that evening as follows, by Mrs. Johnson: First Vice President, Miss Clara Cox, High Point; Recording Secretary, Miss Harriet Elliott, Greensboro; Treasurer, Mrs. J. H. Brodie, Henderson.
The singing of Miss Lora Lulsdorf of the State Normal delighted the audience.
Mrs. Antoinette Funk was then introduced as Secretary McAdoo's "right hand man" and Vice Chairman of the Liberty Loan Committee. She made an eloquent address, reviewing the history of women from virtual slavery to the present time, and the history of democracy up to the World War struggle for the freedom of the world. She was much enjoyed and her address greatly applauded.
After other selections by Miss Lulsdorf the Sixteenth Convention of the North Carolina Federation adjourned.
With confidence born of genuine club spirit, and a consciousness of ability to succeed, the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs, in coöperation with the city of Asheville, and the Women's Clubs of Asheville had invited the Council of the General Federation to hold a session in Asheville and see the beauty of North Carolina scenery from that vantage point.
The invitation had been accepted, and the time of the meeting arranged to precede the annual Convention of the North Carolina Federation in Hendersonville.
This was done so that delegates and visitors to the North Carolina Convention could enjoy the pleasures and privileges of the General Federation Council Meeting, and then proceed to Hendersonville, without additional expense to Asheville.
It was perhaps the grandest and most beautiful woman's meeting ever staged in the Old North State. With Asheville secenery as a background, with Grove Park Inn as official headquarters and Battery Park as State headquarters, with perfect weather and unbounded hospitality the event impressed every visitor in a way never to be forgotten.
A joint committee of arrangements from the General Federation, the North Carolina Federation and from Asheville duly met in Asheville and formulated plans for the pleasure and entertainment of the visiting clubwomen. North Carolina was on its mettle, and there was nothing going to be left undone, all were agreed on that point.
Mrs. Eugene Reilley, representing the General Federation, of which she was Second Vice President, had been named as Chairman of Program. Every one knew the program would be satisfactory. She knew how to please the General Federation women. Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Director from North Carolina on the National Board of Directors, had been appointed Chairman of Local Arrangements. Her heart and her ambition were all in the work, but unfortunately she lived in the extreme eastern part of the State, and could do but little in the local preparations. She was not dismayed nor discouraged. She knew Asheville, she knew Asheville clubwomen and she knew they would do everything possible. A preliminary meeting was planned, and Mrs. Reilley and Mrs. Cotten journeyed to Asheville where a wonderful "Get-together" Luncheon was enjoyed at Battery Park attended by many Asheville women, and representatives from the city and from the Men's Clubs and others. It was most enjoyable. Mrs. Clarence Johnson, President of the North Carolina Federation, Mrs. Bickett, Mrs. Malcolm Platt, Mrs. James Gudger, Mrs. T. A. Cosgrove and many others were there. The men promised to stand back of the women in all their efforts and the women believed them. The women
promise each other coöperation and faith. At that meeting innumerable committees with innumerable duties were appointed. From Credentials to Courtesies, from decorations to badges--everything was thought of and when all was through, Asheville was no longer a city of individuals but a city of committees with duties to be performed and be it said those duties were well performed.
Mrs. James Gudger, Chairman of Local Arrangements, knew her city and its men and women, and no people ever responded more cheerfully and generously to every demand than did the people of Asheville, and their reward was great in the appreciation of the visitors. Finally with everything in readiness the day for the opening meeting dawned, May 26, 1919.
Grove Park Inn, the most unique hotel in the world, was aglow with enthusiastic women, to whom its unique features appealed and who found on every side, new wonders and beautiful "views." Battery Park and other hotels were also full of clubwomen. Many husbands had accompanied their wives, notably Dr. Josiah Evans Cowles, husband of the President of the General Federation and a native of North Carolina. The golf links and other pastimes kept them happy while their wives were in busy business sessions. Mrs. Vanderbilt opened the Biltmore Estate for a drive, by the Rotarians, each with a cargo of clubwomen. Luncheons, teas, drives, business sessions, receptions and exclamations of delight from the visiting clubwomen filled each day to the great gratification of the North Carolina clubwomen, proud of their beautiful mountains.
The declaration of an old darkey porter at the station was true, because in spite of fatigue and confusion the women were pleasant (and perhaps "tipping"). He said, "Yas suh, quality fokes beats tother kind, and dese is all quality fokes," which was a real compliment from one who knew people from long experience.
At that meeting 43 states were represented as follows: North Carolina the hostess state had 356; Massachusetts 21; Illinois 13; Virginia 11; South Carolina 11; Georgia 11; Florida 10; Pennsylvania 8; Mississippi 10; Missouri 7; Indiana 7; Maine 6; West Virginia 6; Kentucky 5; California 6; Iowa 4; Vermont 4; New Mexico 3; London 1; Japan 1.
Where so much was beautiful and wonderful it is hard to select any one thing for special mention, but possibly the most unique feature of the public meetings was the singing of "Spirituals" by the colored children of the colored public schools of Asheville. Those "Spirituals" were well rendered and showed good training and such a scene could only be produced in the South. The "Spirituals" were familiar to Southern women, but women from the West and North, who had heard of such things but had never seen them, were instructed and entertained, the famous "Swing low, Sweet Chariot" giving special pleasure.
The Rose Tea, complimentary to the guests by the courtesy of the Country Club and the City Federation of Clubs was a dream of beauty, a picture from fairyland. Pink roses bloomed everywhere, great garlands of the pink beauties were suspended from the ceiling and
draped the pillars. Even the cream was in the form of pink roses whose beauty it seemed sacrilege to mutilate.
Another notable event was an elaborate banquet given to the distinguished guests by the North Carolina Federation. Mrs. Reilley was toastmistress and had arranged a program worthy of her. Many distinguished women were on that program, Mrs. Sidney Porter, Mrs. William Jennings Bryan, Mrs. Cowles of the General Federation, Mrs. Johnson of the North Carolina Federation, Mrs. Cotten, Mrs. T. W. Bickett and many, many more all added something to the brilliant occasion.
Alas! for human joy. Everything beautiful and happy must pass, and the days sped swiftly on.
During the closing exercises Mrs. Fairbrother presented to Mrs. Cowles, for the General Federation, a gavel made from a tree which grew in the historic Guilford Court House Battle Ground.
For the North Carolina Federation, Mrs. Johnson presented to Mrs. Cowles a hand carved teatable, made from walnut wood from the Biltmore Estate and carved by native mountain boys. Having a husband born and reared in North Carolina, Mrs. Cowles did not need other material things to remind her of her visit to his native State, but she was pleased to accept most graciously the token of the esteem of the North Carolina clubwomen.
After a few minutes of silent prayer Mrs. Cowles declared the Council Meeting adjourned.
(Editorial From Asheville Citizen, January 17, 1919)
There was a time when men generally "tolerated" women's clubs with a sort of superior wisdom. "The women--God bless 'em--have a good time fighting among themselves, so why bother them?" was a favorite line of thought for the man of the house, lord of the manor, and thoroughly mistaken individual who was wont to refer to womankind as the "weaker sex." But we are gradually throwing such ideas into the discard, and the day is not far distant when the masculine biped will see the light.
It has been the happy privilege of some men in recent months to note the inner workings of women's clubs, and to become more closely identified with women's movements along the lines of uplift and development. To these have come revelation and inspiration, a realization of the fact that women's clubs and organizations have not frittered away their time in frivolous and useless discussion, but have quietly but none the less effectively worked for high ideals and splendid principles. Their discussions and debates have been along lines that really stand for things that are worth while. And perhaps it would take some of the conceit out of men could they hear some of the eloquent and forceful speeches that are delivered by women, old and young, at these club meetings. Without apology or excuse, without the self-depreciation wherewith men usually preface their remarks at public gatherings, your modern woman can launch into the discussion of almost any topic, and her remarks are generally flavored with an abundance of sound reasoning and common sense.
All of which leads us to say that woman's day has arrived, never to depart. From the back seat of obscurity, she has stepped with easy grace to the front ranks of world activities and there is none to say her nay. And "between us girls" the world is going to be a happier and brighter place wherein to live, because of her coming.
From Asheville, the North Carolina clubwomen, enthusiastic and pleased with the success of the Asheville meeting, proceeded to Hendersonville to hold their own Convention. Mrs. Josiah Evans Cowles, Miss Georgia Bacon, Mrs. Reilley, Mrs. John D. Sherman, Mrs. Cyrus Perkins, Dr. Rachel Yarras and other representatives of the General Federation also repaired to Hendersonville, the guests of the Hendersonville club women. No greater hospitality ever greeted a body of women than was extended at Hendersonville. Mrs. B. H. Colt, President Woman's Club, and Mrs. R. P. Freeze, District President, had perfected all plans for the comfort and entertainment of the guests. Grove Park Inn and Battery Park were not missed for Hendersonville had opened its hearts and homes to the visitors, and some who preferred hotels were given rooms there.
The war was ended, but the necessities of Peace were just as urgent, and the women, on the eve of enfranchisement, seemed to feel approaching responsibilities.
On Monday the Executive Board was entertained at luncheon by Mrs. Colt and Mrs. Freeze.
The Board of Directors met in the afternoon.
The evening session was marked by welcome greetings from the city, the hostess club and other organizations followed by a response from Miss Harriet Elliott.
The address of the President followed. The Hendersonville Convention closed her administration, which had been marked by fine War Service and she declared her faith in her co-workers and urged them to continue in their "well-doing."
On Tuesday morning the business sessions commenced. The usual committees were appointed and elected and assumed their customary duties.
Afternoon conferences were dispensed with so as to give the delegates opportunity to hear the National Chairmen who were present. Mrs. Cowles spoke on Tuesday very interestingly. She called herself a North Carolinian because her husband was one and the law declares man and wife one. She noted the lovely decorations of golden eyed daisies and azaleas, and said it had been whispered to her that the lovely mountain azaleas were unusually late in blooming because they wished to see her and wished her to see them.
Other General Federation speakers expressed their pleasure and admiration of the Land of the Sky, and their enjoyment of the hopitality of Mrs. Oates at her commodious home.
The enthusiasm of the meeting reached a climax when Mrs. S. P. Cooper announced the completion of the Endowment, $5,000 in cash, the interest of which was to be used for Federation needs. Her success brought rounds of applause. It was an interesting coincidence that during the accumulation of the $5,000, three Henderson women had served as Finance Chairman and worked on it, viz.: Mrs. D. Y. Cooper, Mrs. Brooks Parham and Mrs. S. P. Cooper, all of whom rejoiced at
the final success. Mrs. Cooper announced that another $500 Liberty Loan Bond had been bought making the Federation the possessor of $1,500 worth of Government Bonds. Patriotic and safe!
A musical program of unusual interest was given in the First Baptist Church, Miss Cox presiding, which opened with an address by Mrs. Norman Wills, Chairman of Music. There was no award for music. The Chairman of Literature announced the winning poem in the literary contest had been written by Mrs. Zoe Kincaid Brockman of Gastonia, to whom the Separk Cup was at once presented by Mrs. Murrill. Mrs. Castlebury then read the prize poem aloud.
Delegates to the Des Moines Biennial in 1920 were elected.
The Nominating Committee, Miss Adelaide Fries; Mrs. C. E. Platt, Charlotte; Mrs. H. G. Connor, Jr., Wilson; Mrs. C. M. Platt, Asheville; and Mrs. C. A. Shore reported and the vote of the Convention cast for the following: President, Mrs. C. C. Hook, Charlotte; Second Vice President, Mrs. Sidney P. Cooper, Henderson; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Hugh Murrill, Charlotte; General Federation State Secretary, Mrs. E. F. Reid; General Federation Director, Miss Margaret Gibson, Wilmington; (Service to begin after Mrs. Cotten's term expires); Member Board of Trustees, Mrs. Clarence Johnson, Raleigh.
Just before the close of the meeting Miss Gertrude Weil, President of the North Carolina Suffrage League, entered the Convention Hall, and the President, who seemed to understand, said "Miss Weil to the Platform,
please." She obeyed, face smiling, and too full of joy to rescue her handsome evening wrap which was dragging the floor in her excitement. She held in her hand a yellow paper which often means joy or sorrow to some one, and which all recognized as a telegram. She read the message aloud "The Suffrage Bill passed Congress, two votes to the good." She was too full of joy to respond to the call for a speech, except to say "Victory will not be ours until North Carolina has ratified." But she held fast to the yellow paper, declaring she wished it for a souvenir. Much applause greeted her announcement.
An invitation to hold the next Convention in Charlotte was given and accepted; the new officers were presented, the gavel turned over to Mrs. Hook, who made a few remarks, the Courtesies Committee reported and a most delightful Convention was declared adjourned.
The retiring President, Mrs. Johnson, was not permitted to be idle. She had been appointed Director of Child Welfare Division of the State Board of Charities and Public Welfare by Commissioner R. F. Beasley. Her interest in Welfare Work was well known and coöperation along welfare lines among clubwomen could easily be won by the capable and well beloved Mrs. Johnson.
When Conventions grow in size and interest each year, and reports of value crowd upon each other; when speakers enthuse and splendid resolutions are endorsed on every pertinent subject; when lunches, teas, receptions, lawn parties and auto drives fill every extra minute; when friendship and hospitality make the air heavy with good feeling; when men and women, organizations and individuals combine in an effort to attain the perfection of good cheer; how then can any historian ever be able to do justice to all? It is an impossible task and everwhelms every one who attempts it. Such has been the experience of the North Carolina Federation wherever it has convened. Every step of its progress has been sane, and hospitality and courtesy have met it everywhere. The hearts of its members beat with pride when a retrospect is made.
When the time arrived for the meeting of the Eighteenth Convention great progress was evident. Many old problems had been successfully solved. The Endowment had been completed and invested. The Districts had become well organized and were doing good work. Literary talent and musical genius had been stimulated by the contests in those departments and the Federation had become possessed of two silver cups
as awards in those contests. The dues had been raised a very little but it was helping, and best of all the womanhood of the State were standing together for high ideals and working together for their realization. Everything seemed to point to an encouraging future.
A brilliant Council Meeting had been held in Gastonia. The meeting had been scheduled to take place in 1918, but an epidemic of influenza forced the recall of the invitation and the time was changed to November 1919.
The clubwomen of Gastonia were determined to prove that a pleasure deferred is often increased in value. The social functions were many and very enjoyable, but the Federation had a President, Mrs. Hook, who permitted nothing to interfere with business, yet she gave time for much social enjoyment.
The feature of the opening evening, after many welcomes, was an address by Mrs. R. R. Cotten, the Honorary President. She spoke on Americanization, of citizenship, and of all the problems that confront the modern world. She declared if one was a good North Carolinian that was an admission to all other things, for to be a good citizen and a good American embodied the same principles as being a good citizen of a state.
It was a fine meeting well planned and executed. Elaborate luncheons, spiced with unusually interesting toasts, were given each day. Those toasts were "Our Guests, The Council," Mrs. Robert C. Warren at the luncheon served at the home of Mrs. W. J. Clifford; "Our President, Mrs. Hook," Mrs. J. F. Thompson at the home of Mrs. Clifford; "Our Federations," Mrs.
T. M. Brockman, at home of Mrs. W. J. Clifford; "Mrs. Reilley and the Thrift Campaign," Mrs. W. C. Barrett at the home of Mrs. A. A. McLean; "The Mother of the Federation, Mrs. R. R. Cotten," Mrs. H. Kenneth Babington at the home of Mrs. McLean. Also at home of Mrs. McLean a striking toast to "The Women of Today," by Mrs. Joe Wray took the form of a poem, a la Hiawatha, and reflected the faith of the author in the Women of Today. The toast to "Our Federations" (note the plural number), was treated so uniquely and poetically that a part of it is reproduced that all clubwomen may enjoy the expression of a poetic soul, for Mrs. Brockman had won the Separk Cup for three successive times for her poems in the Federation contests. She said, "To my mind the North Carolina Federation of Clubs is a noble river, formed by smaller but no less noble streams, sweeping its vivifying waters from border to border of our State, watering and making fertile otherwise arid and fruitless soil, causing ideas and ideals to flourish and carpeting the land with the matchless turf of worthwhile accomplishment, sweeping on and ever on to lay its accumulated richness upon the bosom of the National Federation, an ocean of majestic strength and ceaseless endeavor upon whose broad bosom ships, propelled by the fires that burn in women's hearts may ride." It was a most appropriate simile.
Where so much that was fine was showered upon us it is difficult to dwell on any special thing.
Reports had been made, plans for the approaching Convention at Charlotte were discussed. Much had
been accomplished, much pleasure enjoyed, and when the adjournment came, all said good-bye to Gastonia with genuine regret.
On the 27th of April, 1920, Charlotte, the Queen City (because it was named for Queen Charlotte), was invaded by an army of clubwomen, eager to do their duty on all lines from believing in the Mecklenburg Declaration to enjoying the inevitable pleasures of Federation Conventions. Mrs. Hook, the new President, was to have the same privilege enjoyed by her predecessor, Mrs. Johnson, which was that of holding her first Convention in her home town.
The Executive Board met and was entertained at luncheon by Mrs. V. J. Guthrie, President of the Charlotte Woman's Club.
The Trustees and Directors met in the afternoon.
The evening session was held in Graham High School. After the invocation "America" was sung. Addresses of welcome followed, by Mayor McNinch for the city, by Mrs. Guthrie for the Woman's Club, and by Mrs. John Yorke for the federated clubs of Charlotte.
Mrs. R. R. Cotten responded and the Federation Song was sung. Greetings from other organizations were brought by Mrs. W. O. Spencer for the D. A. R., Mrs. Felix Harvey for the U. D. C., Miss Gertrude Weil for the Suffrage League, Miss Julia Alexander for Business and Professional Women, Mrs. T. W.
Lingle for Social Service Conference, Mrs. Gordon Finger for Tuberculosis Association.
After the shower of greetings Mrs. Hook delivered her address.
A reception through the courtesy of the Current Topics Club, at the home of Mrs. Eugene Reilley closed the evening.
Wednesday morning the session was held in the Masonic Temple, the President, Mrs. Hook, in the chair.
The Rules and Regulations of preceding years were adopted, and the usual committees formed.
Miss Fries reported a recommendation from the Trustees that the Federation establish a scholarship in the Social Service School at the State University, and that $200 be raised by the Convention for that purpose. This was carried and amount promptly subscribed.
Mrs. Hook announced that Charlotte Hawkins Brown of the Sedalia School would appear on the afternoon program to talk on the negro problem.
Mrs. J. L. Graham, Chairman of Art and Crafts, announced an exhibition of bed spreads and other home made articles--the home craft of mountain women from North Carolina material--was in a room of the Masonic Temple and requested all delegates to inspect it. Much of that exhibit was sold and orders taken for more.
Many reports filled the afternoon session. Charlotte Hawkins Brown made an appeal for coöperation between white women and negro women interested in Social Welfare, and asked for the help of the Federation
in securing an industrial school for colored girls similar to the one at Samarcand for white girls. A resolution was passed endorsing such a school for colored girls.
The feature of Wednesday evening was the presentation of a club comedy called "Ourselves and Others" written by Mrs. Eugene Reilley, and rendered by Charlotte clubwomen. It was a clever and entertaining burlesque on a Federation Convention, full of wit and clever "hits" and made a delightful recreation from the routine of business discussions.
Thursday morning found the delegates ready for work. The Chairman of Literature reported that 73 entries from 15 clubs had made the poetry contest lively and interesting. The poems were of unusual merit and testified to the hidden ability just emerging into light among the clubs. The final judgment passed by the Department of English at the University and awarded first prize to "The Still Born," an exquisite gem, by Mrs. Zoe Kincaid Brockman of Gastonia, to whom the Separk Cup was presented. Having won it twice in succession, she became the owner of the cup in compliance with Mr. Separk's wish. Every time a person wins the cup twice in succession, the winner becomes permanent possessor, and Mr. Separk on his own offer, replaces the cup.
Thirty-one new clubs were reported and introduced. New clubs were no longer novelties, but were gladly welcomed.
The districts had been permanently placed under the supervision of the Second Vice President, who was to be
known as Chairman of Districts, while the woman who managed each District was to be known as District President.
Mrs. Cooper made her report as District Chairman, whereupon Mrs. Hook requested Mrs. Cooper to preside while the reports of District Presidents were read. This has become a regular custom. Eight districts reported. Dr. McGeachy made an address on the needs of Samarcand Manor. Luncheon followed at the Country Club, by the D. A. R.
The afternoon session was crowded with inevitable reports which represented the inner life of the Federation and were of interest to all.
Miss Gibson of Wilmington extended an invitation from Sorosis to the Federation to meet in that city the next year. The invitation was accepted. The Convention then adjourned to attend a Garden Party given by the U. D. C. at the home of Mrs. A. L. Smith.
Time was insufficient for the Charlotte people to include all they desired to do for the Federation, so there were necessarily several "side lines" pursued out of the regular sessions. One was a delightful buffet supper given by Mrs. Hook at which all the women had the pleasure of shaking hands with her husband, and of seeing her mother with all the charming grace of old Southern hospitality, pouring tea and coffee, while Rosalie Hook and her cousin, Ida Patterson, served the guests.
It was a delightful affair and could have lasted all the evening but that the evening session was calling to the women.
Another "side line" unofficial but most delightful was a dinner, planned and given by the Press Committee at the Rotary Club. Many prominent men and women attended, no one suspecting it was more than another contribution to their pleasure. The secret came out when Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, in behalf of Mrs. Gordon Finger, presented to the Literature Department of the Federation a silver loving cup, in memory of her friend and press associate in bygone days, Mr. Joseph P. Caldwell, so long the editor of the Charlotte Observer. Mrs. Patterson's words of presentation were a suitable tribute. The cup was gracefully accepted by Mrs. A. Basye of Wilson, representing the Literature Department. The dinner was given in the main dining-room of the Manufacturers Club and was one of the most delightful functions at that meeting. Among the guests was Mrs. T. G. Winter of Minnesota, then Second Vice President of the General Federation and later its most brilliant President. The presentation of the cup by Mrs. Patterson and a toast to Mrs. Cotten by Miss Margaret Gibson were the main features of the dinner. Mrs. Finger was mistress of ceremonies and by her own cleverness loosed the tongues of many guests who were not prepared for responses. She insisted on calling the table, around which the guests were seated, her "Ouija Board" and called on many guests as dwellers in the Spirit Land, and many clever responses were made.
The next session of the Convention was held in the High School Auditorium, Mrs. Hook presiding. The Credentials Committee reported 202 legal voters present.
It represented the largest registration in the history of the Federation, up to that time.
Only three officers had to be elected, the terms of the others not having expired.
The Nominating Committee, composed of Mrs. B. H. Griffin, Raleigh, Mrs. J. T. Alderman, Henderson, Mrs. Duke Hay, Black Mountain, and Mrs. Gold of Ellenboro then reported: First Vice President, Mrs. J. W. Pless, Marion; Recording Secretary, Mrs. T. Lenoir Gwynn, Waynesville; Treasurer, Mrs. E. M. Land, Goldsboro. Nominations from the floor brought out for First Vice President, Mrs. E. R. Michaux; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Henry White, High Point.
On motion the Secretary was instructed to cast the ballot for Mrs. Land as Treasurer, while the vote for the other officers was taken. The result was: Mrs. E. R. Michaux, First Vice President; Mrs. T. Lenoir Gwynn, Recording Secretary.
The Loan Fund was reported growing and useful.
The final session was held in the Auditorium of the High School with Mrs. Hook in the chair.
The feature of the evening was a magnificent address by Mrs. Thomas J. Winter of Minneapolis on Citizenship. Mrs. Winter was the guest of the Convention. Miss Weil reported the Resolutions and Miss Margaret Gibson read the report on Courtesies.
A music recital, the courtesy of the Charlotte Sorosis, was given by the violinist, Israel Dormans, assisted by Miss Ruth Chapman, soprano, and Dr. J. B. Ninniss, accompanist, which closed the evening session, and the Eighteenth Convention was adjourned.
The Council met in Henderson, November 3, 4 and 5, 1920, and was delightfully entertained by that hospitable town. In addition to the discussions and conferences of Federation activities, the meeting was featured by most interesting speeches, notably the one on "Recreation," by Mr. E. C. Lindeman of the North Carolina College for Women, and one on "A Summer in England," by Miss Harriet Elliott, of the same college.
Mrs. Hook, President, presided over all the business sessions which were interspersed with delightful social events.
One of the chief matters to be discussed was the work of the Legislative Council in the approaching 1921 session of the Legislature. The Federation was represented in this Council by its President, Mrs. Hook, the Chairman of Legislation, Mrs. Jerman, and two members at large. But the formation of the Council was largely due to the zeal of Mrs. Hook, and the Federation took the initiative in promoting it.
It was at the Convention in Hendersonville that the Federation voted to undertake to organize the State Legislative Council of Women. The object of the Council was to coördinate the Legislative work of various Women's Organizations throughout the State.
At the Council Meeting in Henderson, October 1920, representatives of various organizations were invited to meet. The following organizations sent representatives: The North Carolina Federation of Women's. Clubs, League of Women Voters, Business and Professional Women's Clubs, and the W. C. T. U.
It was agreed by all present that we take immediate steps to form the organization and a Committee was appointed to bring in the Constitution and By-Laws, also to look toward the employment of a whole-time Executive Secretary and to secure offices in Raleigh in which to work during the session of the Legislature 1921. Preliminary meetings were held and Mrs. Chas. C. Hook was elected the first President of the Council. Only measures endorsed by all organizations were undertaken. It was also agreed that measures being cared for by other organizations should not be undertaken by the Council. Miss Lillian Thompson of Raleigh was First Executive Secretary and much of the success of the work of the Council was due to her tact, pleasing personality and efficiency. Since this time the State Parent-Teacher-Association, North Carolina Nurses Association, Woman's Auxiliary of the Episcopal Church and the Young Woman's Christian Association as coöperating members have come into the Council, and this organization is meeting in a large measure the legislative needs of women.
The closing evening of the Henderson Council, "A Harvest Festival," was presented by the Recreation Department of the Women's Club of Henderson, followed
by "Midnight Frolics," at the lovely home of Mr. and Mrs. S. P. Cooper.
To hold a convention at the seashore was a lure to clubwomen and therefore a large number gathered at the Oceanic Hotel, on Wrightsville Beach, June 7, 1921, to attend the Nineteenth Convention of the North Carolina Federation.
The seashore has a lure all its own. The roar of the surf, the swish of the waves, the grandeur of the ocean, the invigorating salt breeze, the ebb and flow of the tides, all add to its attractions.
The women were thoroughly pleased with the new plan of rooming and meeting under the same roof. The kindness and accommodations of hotels made it an ideal arrangement and a dip in the ocean was an added privilege at Wrightsville Beach. From the artistic little sea shells, pendants to the badges, up to the action of the Convention, all was good and complete.
The voice of the ocean breathed an unusual welcome, old friends met again, new friends gave glad handclasps, and the success of the meeting seemed assured.
The first session convened in the Harbor Island Auditorium on Tuesday evening, June 7, the President, Mrs. Hook, in the chair. The usual shower of welcomes followed, from the city, from Sorosis, from Wrightsville Beach, from the Colonial Dames, the War Mothers, the U. D. C., the Forestry Association, the League of Women Voters, the Business and Professional Woman's League, the W. C. T. U., several State Federations, the State Nurses Association, and from His Excellency, the Governor of North Carolina. So many kind words of greeting made failure impossible.
Mrs. Hook delivered her address, which was full of inspiration and aspiration. This was followed by a reception at the Oceanic Hotel, the courtesy of the Wilmington Sorosis.
The Assembly Room of the Oceanic Hotel witnessed the Convention in session on Wednesday morning, Mrs. Hook in the chair. Instead of the usual invocation, the Lord's Prayer was recited in unison. Then the Federation Song was sung, after which the necessary committees were named and the routine arranged. A nominating committee was duly elected and tellers appointed to serve through the Convention. The Credentials Chairman reported 204 delegates registered and many "old-timers" thought of the years gone by when fifty delegates was thought a big Convention.
The reports began with the officers and Miss Gibson made a talk on the approaching Biennial in Chautauqua, N. Y. Nominations for delegates to that meeting were made and turned over to the tellers to be counted.
Mrs. Herbert Bluethenthal of Wilmington presented the story of the "Pageant of the Cape Fear," which was to be presented that evening, and said complimentary tickets would be presented to the clubwomen as they left the hall at the close of the meeting.
Mrs. Clarence Johnson gave the report from the Trustees and recommended that the Social Service Scholarship at the University started at the Charlotte Convention be continued. It was then serving a North Carolina girl.
Mrs. Cotten moved that the scholarship be made permanent and the necessary money taken from the treasury. Mrs. R. W. Hicks moved that two scholarships be established. Mrs. Cotten then withdrew her motion for taking the money from the treasury.
Motion was then amended and carried, that money for one scholarship be taken from the treasury and the other made up by voluntary club subscriptions. Subscriptions handed to Mrs. Hicks amounted to $104.
Mrs. A. H. Powell, Chairman of Finance, was absent but her report was read by Mrs. W. T. Carter of Winston-Salem. She also read a letter from Mrs. Powell urging that the Endowment be increased. Mrs. Hook made a special plea in behalf of an increased Endowment. Mrs. Carter moved that the Endowment be increased from $5,000 to $10,000, and $1,200 was promptly pledged toward the desired $10,000.
During the afternoon session reports were read and Mr. Frank McNinch made an inspiring address on Community Service. Dr. Hamilton of Wilmington spoke on "Health Conditions Relative to the Welfare of Mother and Child." The meeting adjourned to attend a Garden Party at the beautiful home of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Parsley on Masonboro Sound, where supper was served, through the courtesy of the Colonial Dames and the U. D. C. Automobiles met the delegates at Wrightsville and conveyed the guests through beautiful wildwoods to the home of the Parsleys, and later took them on to Wilmington to attend the "Pageant of the Cape Fear." It was rendered on the banks of the Cape
Fear, in the rear of the residence of Mr. James Sprunt. Many of the actors in the pageant were lineal descendants of the people who had made the history portrayed by the pageant. It was a very beautiful and successful entertainment. After the pageant complimentary street cars took the delegates back to the beach for restful slumber near the continuous lullaby of the Atlantic Ocean.
Thursday morning found the delegates alert for business. All the departments were clamoring for greater activity along their respective lines. The Art Chairman begged for more interest in Art; Music begged for better Music; Literature for more libraries and interest in books; Education clamored for better schools, et cetera ad infinitum, all willing to work for the desired improvement. Mrs. Sidney Cooper gave her report as District Chairman and presided over the meeting, while the District Presidents told of their work. Mrs. Cooper presented to the Federation a handsome gavel which she desired given each year to the District bringing in the largest number of new clubs during the year. The gavel was then presented to Mrs. Thomas O'Berry of District No. 8, who had won it that year. The Loan Fund was presented and received a generous addition to its total.
Mrs. Hutt made a talk which was a tribute to the recently deceased Mrs. L. B. McBrayer, who had served the Federation for a short time as Chairman of Health.
A motion was made and carried that a letter of sympathy be sent from the Federation to the family of Mrs. McBrayer. A discussion of a memorial to Mrs. McBrayer
followed. It was decided to maintain a free bed at the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium in her memory. Mrs. E. F. Reid was appointed Chairman of that memorial.
The subject of box luncheons at District Meetings was discussed and approved, as solving the question of feeding a large crowd economically and with a minimum of labor. The clubs, however, were left free to decide the question for themselves.
Mrs. Reilley reported for the Nominating Committee as follows: President, Mrs. S. P. Cooper, Henderson; Second Vice President, Mrs. John Gilmer, Winston-Salem; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Brooks Parham, Henderson; Auditor, Mrs. W. B. Ramsey; General Federation Director, Mrs. Palmer Jerman.
The Secretary was instructed to cast the ballot for President, Second Vice President, Corresponding Secretary and Auditor.
Miss Margaret Gibson, Director, was nominated from the floor for reëlection as Director.
Vote by ballot was taken for this office. Miss Gibson was reëlected. Mrs. Palmer Jerman moved that this election be made unanimous, which motion was favorably acted upon.
Luncheon followed at the Carolina Yacht Club, through the courtesy of the Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, and Chamber of Commerce.
On Thursday evening the Federation again convened in Harbor Island Auditorium, Mrs. Hook in the chair. After some reports, Mrs. Basye, Chairman of Literature, gave her report. She announced that the
Separk Cup had been awarded to Mrs. Hannah Ives of New Bern. In the absence of Mrs. Ives, Mrs. Nixon of New Bern received the cup and read the successful poem, which was called "Small Town Memories."
In the absence of Mrs. Gordon Finger, the donor of the Joseph Caldwell Cup, that cup was presented to Miss Susie Whitehead of Salisbury Travelers Club for the best short story.
Mrs. Stikeleather, Chairman of Music, announced Miss Pearl Little of Hickory, winner of the Duncan Cup. In the absence of Miss Little, Mrs. W. B. Ramsay of Hickory was requested to deliver the cup.
By reason of the lateness of the hour it was moved to adjourn until the next morning so the delegates could attend a dance at Lumina given in their honor by the Tidewater Power Company.
The final session convened in the Assembly Room of the Oceanic Hotel, the President in the chair.
Mrs. Hook presented the new officers, who spoke briefly. The report of the Resolutions Committee was read and was unusually exciting. It is generally conceded that the Resolutions adopted at each successive convention cover the needs of the whole world, but those adopted at Wrightsville were especially interesting.
Women are accustomed to "asking" for things, and as a rule they keep on "asking" until they get what they seek. When clubwomen pass resolutions they either "ask" for something or endorse something they think should be done. In one of the Wrightsville resolutions they asked for the Australian Ballot, and they will continue "asking" for it until it comes.
Mr. R. F. Beasley, Commissioner of Public Welfare, had resigned, and one resolution "asked" the State Board of Charities and Public Welfare to elect Mrs. Clarence Johnson to fill the vacancy. They knew their woman, their request was granted, and the State has been benefited by her services.
They asked for improved rules and conditions at the Caswell Training School, and for a woman physician to be placed in charge of woman patients in all State Institutions.
Possibly the most notable and far reaching was the resolution offered by Miss Gertrude Weil, favoring disarmament among the nations by agreement, etc. The resolutions were all adopted with enthusiasm.
Mrs. McClamrock, in behalf of the Federated Clubs of Greensboro, invited the Federation to hold its next Convention in that city. The invitation was accepted.
The Courtesies Committee then reported, the gavel was given to Mrs. Cooper and the Convention was adjourned.
It was at the Session of the State Legislature in 1921, that the Legislative Council of Women presented a bill asking for State Censorship of Moving Pictures. Mrs. Henry Perry of Henderson led the forces of the State Federation in this movement. It had the endorsement of all State organizations, all churches, women's organizations and many civic bodies, and the sentiment at the time was highly crystallized toward a bill for censorship. Had the measure carried, success might have come at the same time to two other states. There were thirty states at this time trying for censorship bills in one form or another. One of the
State papers at the beginning of the Session of the Legislature spoke in a very frivolous vein of the bill, making the comment that it was not likely to carry much weight. The reporter and many others were compelled to change their minds before the Legislature was over for it has been stated by those in close touch with the Legislature in times gone by that few measures have created more widespread interest. The moving picture people, themselves, feeling the bill of such importance, sent to Raleigh a powerful lobby. This lobby was led by Rev. Thomas Dixon, one of North Carolina's most brilliant writers and motion picture producers. Mr. Dixon spoke before the Legislature for the moving picture people, bringing into play his brilliant wit and fine satire. The Censorship Bill was championed by Hon. Isaac Meekins, and in his defense of the bill he seemed to meet every argument of Mr. Dixon's with a keener wit and a more biting satire. The bill was lost and since that time the motion picture people have so successfully combatted the idea of censorship that it is probable that it may never be taken to the Legislature in the same form again. However, the moving picture industry does not yet satisfy all those who at one time felt that censorship was advisable.
"The producers' only test seems to be the cash box. Some day there will be better movies for better people. Edwin Booth in Shakespeare's plays and the Bowery Melodrama drew big houses in New York at the same time, but not the same people. Meanwhile there are things that the average movie audience tolerates because it cannot help it, not because it is wild about them."
When the Council of the Federation met in the progressive town of Rocky Mount in November, 1921, it was greeted with the usual shower of welcomes, from both federated and non-federated clubs. It was a demonstration of a nonpartisan spirit among women and a desire for the union of all for the good of all.
The ambition of Rocky Mount is limited only by the impossible, and its clubwomen had prepared well for the coming of the Council. After the invocation and the welcomes were concluded and acknowledged, a cantata was presented.
The President of the Federation, Mrs. S. P. Cooper, was then introduced to the audience, after which Dr. E. C. Brooks of Raleigh made an address on "Education for Citizenship."
After some announcements the meeting adjourned for the delegates to attend a brilliant reception at the home of Mrs. J. C. Braswell, President of the hostess club.
The business sessions began promptly the next morning, with Mrs. S. P. Cooper presiding.
The Executive Board, the Trustees and Directors all met, necessary committees were provided and then luncheon was served in the Club Cafeteria, courtesy of Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club.
The afternoon was filled with reports from various departments, including a report from the Southeastern Council which had met in Savannah, Ga., and which the North Carolina Federation had joined, and of which Mrs. Murrill had been made Vice President. The Federation Song was sung, and was followed by adjournment.
The evening session was to be held in Nashville, preceded by a Buffet Supper at the home of Mrs. L. T. Vaughan. Automobiles, promptly at 5:30 p.m., conveyed the delegates to Nashville, where another shower of welcomes met them. After those addresses there was no longer any doubt as to why Nashville was so neat and progressive, for the women had learned that the Aldermen of the town had a committee of women as coadjutors, and of course Nashville was clean and attractive, for women improve everything they touch. Mrs. John Gilmer spoke for the Federation. Mrs. Eugene Reilley and Mrs. S. P. Cooper gave echoes from the General Federation Biennial, which they had attended. An address followed by Mrs. R. R. Cotten, on "What Every Woman Should Know." It was an educational explanation of the Australian Ballot, and how it would affect men and women in using their citizenship.
Mrs. Jerman reported the status of legislation and that the Legislative Council had been invited to attend the meeting at Rocky Mount.
While that joint meeting, called Legislative Council, was going on, presided over by Miss Elsie Riddick, a conference of District Presidents was meeting, with
Mrs. John Gilmer, Chairman of Districts, presiding. Miss Kelly made an address on Community Coöperation, which she had found much needed in her work against adult illiteracy.
Luncheon was served in the Woman's Club cafeteria, after which the women departed for their homes.
Chicago boasts that no train ever passes through that city because the traveling public always must change trains there for all points of the compass. Perhaps that explains why Greensboro is called the Gate City, because it is the Gate to Everywhere, and through those gates from Everywhere in North Carolina, clubwomen gathered on May 2, 1922, to hold the twentieth Convention of the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs, in response to an invitation from the Greensboro City Federation of Clubs. Fourteen years had elapsed since Greensboro had entertained the Federation. The city had grown large and prosperous. So had the North Carolina Federation and they were each anxious to renew and strengthen the old ties. When the Federation was organized in 1902, Greensboro had sent delegates from five clubs, and now a City Federation of ten clubs was ready to welcome the clubwomen.
The new O. Henry Hotel was named as headquarters. The delegates had grown fond of "being together, in all sorts of weather" under the same roof, so the O. Henry was crowded. Mrs. Clarence Johnson had been elected
Commissioner of Public Welfare and was making a name for herself as an efficient welfare worker. Several other clubwomen were serving the State, as well as the Federation and were accomplishing much good.
The Executive Board met at the O. Henry and was entertained at the Club House, Mrs. McClamrock, President of the Woman's Club, as hostess. The Trustees and Board of Directors met in the afternoon, at the Club House. Club Houses were increasing but not yet plentiful, and the beautiful home of the Greensboro Woman's Club stimulated every visitor to renewed activity in the effort to build a home for her own club.
The Smith Memorial Building was crowded for the opening exercises. An invocation by Mrs. Lucy Robertson, President Emeritus of Greensboro College for Women, was followed by an address of welcome by Miss Harriet Elliott representing the Greensboro City Federation of Clubs. Mrs. John Gilmer, Second Vice President, responded for the Federation, followed by the singing of "Carolina."
Greetings were given from South Carolina.
The President's address was a clarion call for a better North Carolina, to which women could and should lead the way. It was an inspiring address, and awoke a response in the heart of every clubwoman.
The meeting adjourned to attend a reception at the O. Henry Hotel, courtesy of Women's Clubs of Greensboro.
The business sessions began Wednesday morning in the ball room of the hotel, the President in the chair.
Necessary committees were named, the officers reported, then Mrs. Johnson spoke of the Social Service Scholarship at Chapel Hill. More than $300 was pledged to continue the scholarship, following the injunction, "be not weary in well doing."
The Nominating Committee was elected as follows: Mrs. Clarence Johnson, Raleigh, Chairman; Mrs. C. C. Hook, Charlotte; Miss Margaret L. Gibson, Wilmington; Mrs. W. B. Ramsay, Hickory; Miss Mary DeVane, Goldsboro.
The Credentials Chairman reported 242 delegates registered. A motion to extend the privilege of the vote to District Presidents who were not representing individual clubs, was carried. The action added six to the voting power.
In the absence of Mrs. B. H. Griffin, Chairman of Membership, Mrs. Pless of Marion reported 45 new clubs, the largest number ever admitted in one year. Great applause followed. Mrs. Cooper cordially welcomed the new clubs.
The Loan Fund was reported. In response to the appeal by Mrs. Hook pledges for $800 were made, and a loan of $100 without interest was accepted.
Luncheon was served in the Y. W. C. A. Hut through the courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce.
The afternoon session was held in the hotel ball room. Miss Elliot announced that the rain would not interfere with the drive to Guilford College, to which place all were driven for a pleasant afternoon. Tea was served at the college by the Community Club, after which all returned to Greensboro.
Through the generosity of Mrs. Cooper, the President, the evening session witnessed an unique scene. Mrs. Bonnin, a full-blooded Sioux Indian Princess from Dakota, a direct descendant of Sitting Bull, was present in her native Indian costume. She made an interesting address on the subject, "Americanize the First Americans." It was a plea for the ballot to be given to the Indians, as it had been given to Negroes, aliens, and women, only the "first Americans" being without the privilege of a vote.
Mrs. Clarence Johnson moved that a resolution be adopted pledging the coöperation of the Federation in securing the ballot for Indians.
Mrs. Henry White, of High Point, Chairman of Education, made her report and then introduced Dr. Howard Rondthaler of Salem College, who made an address on "Certain Educational Problems."
Mrs. John Gilmer, Chairman of Districts, then made a report in which she recommended that the State Federation of Home Bureaus be admitted to the Federation as an affiliated organization. Mrs. Jane McKimmon, head of the Home Bureaus, spoke of the wisdom of such action. Motion was made and carried. It was a happy and progressive step, bringing into close relation the clubs of the Federation and the rural clubs of the Home Demonstration work; giving to each set of clubs a new feeling of sisterhood and coöperation, each capable of helping the other. The resolution embodied the plan for affiliation and was as follows:
The following plan to affiliate the State Federation of Home Bureaus with the State Federation of Women's clubs has been agreed upon by a committee appointed from each organization, and the results of the deliberations of the joint committee will be presented to the State Federation of Women's Clubs at its May meeting in Greensboro, and to the State Federation of Home Bureaus at its meeting in August.
As the best means of bringing organized urban and rural women together the committee recommends that affiliation shall begin in the fourteen districts as follows: From each county in the district a delegate from the Home Bureau shall represent her county organization at the district meeting and report on its proceedings, and have the privilege of the vote.
These Home Bureau delegates shall elect one of their number to represent the organization at the State Federation. This will make eventually a representation of fourteen delegates who shall have the power to vote in the Federation, and who shall make a report of the work of the State Federation of Home Bureaus through its President or her chosen representative. Affiliation fees shall be on the basis of $2 for each district represented.
The Committee further recommends that a delegate from each district in the Federation be sent to the annual meeting of the Federation of Home Bureaus and that a report of the work of the Federation be made by the president or her chosen representative. The committee recommends also that clubs in small villages and rural districts come into the organization which best fits their needs having a realization that the affiliation of both organizations means a united womanhood to work for the good of the home and the State.
| For the State Federation
of Woman's Clubs
| For the State Federation
of Home Bureaus
|Mrs. Thomas O'Berry||Mrs. Jane S. McKimmon|
|Mrs. Estelle T. Smith||Mrs. J. B. Mason|
|Mrs. G. E. Leftwich||Miss Anna Rowe|
The above report and resolution was presented at Greensboro to the Executive Board, the Board of Directors and the Convention, and unanimously adopted.
Mrs. Ed. Land, the Treasurer, then reported, making many fine recommendations for the benefit of her successor in the method of handling the increasing variety of funds, managed by the Treasurer. She begged that the Loan Fund "never be completed until every girl in North Carolina is educated and fitted to take care of herself on life's highway." Her recommendations were all adopted and Mrs. Land was thanked for her fidelity and efficiency.
The Chairman of Art, Mrs. Marshall Williams, reported the giving of these prizes in her Department. One of $10 in gold, the gift of Mrs. Cooper; one of $5 by Mrs. Marshall Williams, and the third by the Art Department for the best High School Exhibit.
A little nonsense, now and then
Is relished by the best of men,
and on Thursday afternoon a diversion was created when the nine Ex-Presidents marched into the Convention Hall, in the order of their election, singing the "Song of the Exes." Music had always been rendered at the meetings but that was an innovation. It was a poetic effusion from the active brain of Mrs. Eugene
Reilley, "one of them," and was sung to the tune of "The Old Oaken Bucket." The verses brought in the names of each Past President.
How dear to our hearts is this old Federation
As your charming Ex-Presidents but come into view.
There's Patterson, Alderman, sweet Margaret Gibson,
Our own Laura Reilley belongs to you too.
For the first time in the history of the Federation Conventions, all Ex-Presidents were present and Mrs. Reilley improved the opportunity. Great applause greeted the "Exes" as they marched in, one behind the other in the order they had served, and mounted the platform in a line to receive the ovation which was given them with vigor and enthusiasm, Mrs. Cooper, soon to be an "Ex" standing in the rear so as to be seen. It was greatly enjoyed.
Delegates to the Biennial at Chautauqua were elected and it was announced that the General Federation had requested each State to send to Chautauqua a state musician and Mrs. Lois Long Riker of New York, but a North Carolina woman, well known for her beautiful voice, had been appointed as the North Carolina contribution to Biennial music.
As always, Fine Arts Evening was elaborate and interesting. A delightful musical program was presented by Mrs. Norman Wills, which was thoroughly enjoyed. Then followed the awarding of the silver cups, an event always interesting and sometimes thrilling.
Mrs. Hook presented the Duncan Cup to Miss Pearl Little, of Hickory, it being the fourth time she had won it and she was present to receive it. Her winning song was called "If I Were a Fairy."
Mrs. Fairbrother then presented a new silver cup to the Federation. It was the gift of Mrs. Sidney Cooper, in honor of her mother-in-law, Mrs. D. Y. Cooper, for many years a faithful worker in the North Carolina Federation. The cup was to be known as the Florence M. Cooper Cup and was to be awarded for the second best original musical composition entered each year in the contest.
Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Honorary President of the Federation, and co-worker with Mrs. Cooper in the pioneer days, accepted the cup for the Federation. Mrs. D. Y. Cooper, the honoree to whom it was a great surprise, expressed her deep appreciation of the honor, and the
Florence M. Cooper Cup was admitted to the Silver Cup Sorority of the Federation.
The Literature Chairman then presented the Separk Cup for the best poem, to Mrs. Roscoe Wall of Winston-Salem, and the Joseph Caldwell Cup to Miss Mary Pressly of Hickory for the best short story.
The Chairman of Art presented the first prize for Art, $10 in gold, the generosity of Mrs. S. P. Cooper, to Mrs. Julia Smith of Greensboro; the second prize of $5 from the Art Department, to the Greensboro City Schools, which was accepted by Mr. Guy Phillips of Greensboro. The prize for the rural schools was accepted by Mrs. Patton.
The following morning with Mrs. John Gilmer presiding the thirteen districts were all represented and gave good reports. Mrs. Gilmer presented the gavel to Mrs. John Knox of Lumberton, for District No. 12, which had brought in the largest number of clubs during the year. The second prize, a picture of Mrs. Cotten, was given to Mrs. Thomas O'Berry of Goldsboro, of District No. 8, for having brought in the second largest number of clubs. Special mention was made of Mrs. Falls of District No. 4, for the good work of her District. The quotas for purchasing furniture for the living rooms at Samarcand Manor were read by Mrs. Gilmer and the districts cheerfully promised to raise their quotas and thus add to the happiness of the girls at Samarcand.
The Nominating Committee, through the chairman, Mrs. Clarence Johnson, reported: First Vice President, Mrs. T. Lenoir Gwyn, Waynesville; Recording Secretary,
Mrs. F. R. Perdue, Raleigh; Treasurer, Mrs. Clyde Eby, New Bern.
A motion was made and carried that the ballot be cast by the Secretary for the nominees which was done.
Mrs. T. W. Lingle brought a message from the Social Service Conference. Miss Weil presented twenty resolutions, which were all adopted, and courtesies were read by Mrs. J. T. Alderman. The new officers were presented, and the Twentieth Convention of the Federation was declared adjourned.
A largely attended and very interesting Midwinter Council Meeting was held at Pinehurst in December, 1922. The North Carolina Federation had joined the Southeastern Council, and that organization met at Pinehurst at the same time, thus bringing representatives from seven southern states together for discussion and friendship, while holding separate meetings. Both organizations were well represented, each State having its President and some delegates in attendance. A new and unexpected experience had come to the Federation. It had been blessed with many splendid presidents but none had ever presented it with a baby girl for a mascot. This Mrs. Cooper had done and the baby was at Pinehurst, in proof thereof. She was born on Election Day, November 7, 1922, and on December 7, Mrs. R. R. Cotten presented her to the two organizations, as "the most precious gift life can bestow" because a girl baby embodies all future possibilities. She was at once enveloped in an ovation of good wishes. She was promptly elected an honorary member of the Southeastern Council, and presented with a silver cup by that organization. She was formally adopted as the Federation Mascot, and Mrs. John Gilmer, Second Vice President, presented a silver bowl,
MARY LOUISE COOPER Our Mascot
properly engraved, in behalf of the North Carolina Federation, from which bowl she was later christened. Then the Home Economics Department, recognizing the necessity for food, presented a silver knife, fork, and spoon. Mrs. Reilley, followed by the President of the seven states represented, made good wishes, like fairy godmothers, and all accepted her as an embryonic clubwoman, and possibly a stateswoman of the future which will be full of possibilities for women. It was a most auspicious occasion and demonstrated that women could serve the public, as Mrs. Cooper had done, and continue to raise families.
The days passed pleasantly, but business was not neglected. Program and plans for the Winston-Salem Convention were discussed and perfected. Motion picture censorship was discussed, pro and con, but the Federation had endorsed censorship, and refused to rescind its action.
A visit to Samarcand Manor greatly increased the interest of the clubwomen in that institution. There is nothing so convincing as seeing theories in actual practice and working out satisfactorily.
Dr. McBrayer gave a talk on the work at the State Sanatorium. Teas, drives, and social pleasures made it a time of great joy to all.
Here's to the Royal Twin City,
The city of Progress and Peace,
Where the men are as gallant as witty
And courtesies kind never cease.
Our hearts we leave with the women,
Our bills we leave with the men,
Good-bye! and if ever you ask us,
We'll certainly come back again.
So sang the Federation Bard, Mrs. Al Fairbrother, when the 1912 Convention in Winston-Salem adjourned.
In fulfillment of her prediction, and in response to the invitation from the Twin City clubs, the Federation did "come back" again" for another Convention in 1923. Anniversary meetings are like family reunions. They bring the clubwomen back home, and strengthen "the tie that binds," both in heart and service those who strive together for a better world in which to live.
The Twenty-first Convention of the North Carolina Federation opened on Wednesday, May 2, 1923, with the Executive Board meeting at the home of Mrs. Frederick Bahnson, who also entertained the Board at a beautiful luncheon. The Trustees and the Directors met in the afternoon in the Orangerie Room at the Robert E. Lee Hotel. Those meetings were followed by a drive over the city and a visit to Reynolda.
The evening session was held in Memorial Hall at Salem College, the birthplace of the Federation. An impressive invocation by the venerable Bishop Rondthaler was followed by the Federation Song. Welcomes from ten organizations greeted the visitors after which Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, the First President of the Federation, in her own unique way welcomed her "one time baby," now grown to its maturity, and showing the results of her training by its service to humanity. The response for the Federation was made by Mrs. R. R. Cotten, which included many points of interest in the twenty-one years of the life of the Federation. She asked and answered two questions, "What have clubs done for women?" and "What have clubwomen done for the world?"
The President's address followed. She declared her faith in Women's Clubs as a future factor in civic life, urged the women to live up to their motto, "The union of all for the good of all." That meeting marked the close of her administration but she said there would be no cessation of her activity in promoting them and hoped her little daughter, the Federation Mascot, would in time become an active clubwoman.
Several vocal solos were rendered between the events of the evening.
Mrs. Kennickell, Chairman of Music, introduced Mrs. Marx Obendorfer, Music Chairman of the General Federation, who made an interesting talk on "Music and the Clubwoman." She congratulated the State on having the best folk music in the world.
The business session commenced on Thursday morning. A splendid new idea had been evolved from the brain of Winston-Salem clubwomen.
To gain more time for exchange of thought and experience, Department Breakfasts at 8 a.m. had been launched to take the place of Afternoon Conferences, thus leaving afternoons for general business which all could attend. Each Department and those delegates interested in the subjects to be discussed would meet at the same table and while waiting to be served and during the meal, discuss informally their respective problems. It was an experiment. Early rising was not the special function of clubwomen. After being up late the preceding night, it was feared by some that being ready for breakfast and a discussion at 8 a.m. was a hard test. The result was amazing, even thrilling. Nothing more popular, nothing more beneficial had ever been devised. The brain is clearer and capable of quicker action in the early morning. So the Departments were grouped, the District Presidents were assigned time and place, and the Breakfast Conferences went merrily on, and were pronounced a success.
The Credentials Committee began its duties at 9 a.m., and the business session in the Masonic Temple at 10 a.m., Mrs. Cooper in the chair. The Clubwoman's Collect was recited, and the familiar routine business followed.
Committee on Rules and Regulations continued to report the Federation Hat a non-member, and not a voice was raised in behalf of that exile.
Mrs. Kennickell announced that the new Club Woman's Hymn would be rendered by a quartet, after which she reported a fund of $240 for a Music Loan Fund, which the Executive Board recommended that the Federation accept. It was to be used at the discretion of successive Music Chairmen to help girls obtain a musical education. She also suggested that each succesive Music Chairman try to increase the fund.
The Credentials Committee reported 285 delegates present which announcement brought great applause.
The Nominating Committee was elected as follows: Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Mrs. Charles E. Platt, Mrs. Jack Hollister, Mrs. E. M. Land, Miss Adelaide Fries.
The Trustees reported $4,000 cash to be invested for the Endowment. Pledges were taken for the Endowment.
Mrs. Rose Berry, Chairman of Fine Arts for the General Federation, and the guest of the North Carolina Federation, having arrived, was invited to the stage.
Mrs. Land, Chairman in charge of the Loan Fund, made a comprehensive report of that fund. She reported forty-eight girls had been aided, and no money had ever been lost. The time for surprises had come and her first surprise was that Mrs. Cotten had presented to the Fund a booklet of Negro Folklore Stories, which Mrs. Cotten herself had written. The stories had been printed and the booklet was on sale for the benefit of the Loan Fund. Another pleasant surprise was that Mary Louisa Cooper, six months
old daughter of the President, had loaned to the Federation a North Carolina Bond for $1,000, to be used by the Loan Fund Committee without interest for fifteen years, and then revert to the donor as a nucleus for her own education.
Mrs. Cotten then presented the Mascot to the Convention which was giving her a rising vote of thanks, which she received in a calm manner, without saying a word. Perhaps she thought Mrs. Cotten would talk for her. The splendid report elicited a rising vote of thanks for Mrs. Land, after which generous pledges of money for the coming year were added to the Fund.
Mrs. B. H. Griffin, Chairman of Membership, reported 54 new clubs had joined the Federation. Many of them had delegates present, who were welcomed by their co-workers, and a rising vote of thanks given Mrs. Griffin for bringing in again the largest number of clubs ever admitted in one year. She had excelled herself.
It is wisdom to flavor business with a dash of pleasure. This was exquisitely done at a luncheon to the Federation Past Presidents (by Mrs. Reilley dubbed "the Exes") given by Miss Fries, "one of them," at her home on Thursday, May 3. The decorations and table settings were all in blue and white, Federation Colors, and each "Ex" was presented with a tiny gold "X" enameled in blue and white and arranged so it could be attached to the Federation pin. It was a dainty souvenir of a most delightful occasion.
Thursday evening was Fine Arts Evening, always interesting, for every one wishes to know who won each
cup. The stage looked very elegant decorated with six handsome silver cups, which meant, not a display of silverware but the proof of the existence of real literary and musical talent in North Carolina, which the Federation was striving to stimulate and encourage.
The meeting opened with the singing of "The Club Woman's Hymn." Then followed an organ selection by Dean Shirley of Salem College.
Then the cups were presented to the winners, each winner coming forward and receiving her special cup. The Duncan Cup was awarded to Mrs. J. K. Pfohl of Winston-Salem for the best vocal number, entitled "The Light'ood Fire."
The Florence Cooper Cup went to Miss Pearl Little of Hickory, the musical genius who has won cups so many times. It was for an instrumental number called "Valse Lente." The $10 gold piece, offered by Mrs. Kennickell, Chairman of Music, for the best setting for the Club Woman's Hymn, the verses of which Mrs. Cotten had written at the request of Mrs. Kennickell, was awarded to Miss Ethel Abbott of Raleigh.
The O. Henry Cup, gift of the Kiwanis Club of Greensboro, for the best short story with a humorous touch, was awarded to Mrs. Homer Benton of Sanford, for a story called "They's Liars Here."
The Separk Cup for the best poem was awarded to Mrs. J. Bryan Grimes for the poem "The House of Loneliness."
The Joseph Caldwell Cup for the best short story went to Miss Mary Pressley of Charlotte for the story, "The House of Life."
Mrs. Leavitt, Chairman of Literature, and Miss Martha Doughton, Chairman of Contests, announced they had collected all the prize winning material, prose and poetry from 1915 to 1923, and that material had been published under the title Poems and Stories of the Old North State. It would be sold to all desiring it but it must pay the printer before any profits could accrue to the Federation. There were 153 entries for the cups in the literary contest and to emphasize the interest in literature, there were 165 women at the Breakfast of the Department in Literature in Winston-Salem.
A silver cup had been given by Mrs. John Gilmer, Chairman of Districts, to be presented each year to the District President having the largest percentage in attendance at the District Meeting, the number of clubs in the District, the distance traveled, all being considered. A new district had been added, Number 14, and Mrs. J. G. Fearing was its President. The cup for the districts, called the Gilmer Cup, was won by Mrs. Fearing. The gavel for securing the largest number of new clubs also went to Mrs. Fearing. Her new district was fertile soil and she, being thoroughly alive and full of club spirit, had aroused great interest in her district and was winning many prizes.
The second district prize, a picture of Mrs. Cotten, was won by Mrs. John Knox of the 12th District.
In a few well chosen words Miss Margaret Gibson introduced Mrs. Rose V. S. Berry of California, General Federation Chairman of Fine Arts, who gave a scholarly address on "Music, Literature, and Art, the Voice of the Peoples."
Two piano solos were rendered by Miss Naomi Brevard, winner in the piano contest of the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs, and South Atlantic District.
First prize in tapestry was awarded to Mrs. Rufus Gwyn, Lenoir; first prize in painting to Mrs. J. L. Graham, Winston-Salem; first prize in china painting to Mrs. James Gray, Winston-Salem. A vocal solo by Mrs. Pfohl closed a lovely evening.
The Friday morning session found much business yet unfinished, but the delegates promptly got down to work with Mrs. Cooper in the chair. Many splendid reports were read full of fine recommendations for future work. Mrs. White, Chairman of Education, pleaded for the energies of the clubwomen to be directed to helping Miss Kelly eradicate illiteracy and to strive for a 12th grade in every high school. Miss Kelly made an earnest plea for the illiterate, and urged support for the Towner-Sterling Bill. Then a wave of excitement swept over the audience.
Mrs. Thomas G. Winter, General Federation President, once more the honored guest of North Carolina, had entered the hall. She was introduced to the Assembly and responded to the welcome. She declared the General Federation had special appreciation for the type of women North Carolina is giving to the
General Federation, and mentioned Mrs. Eugene Reilley of Charlotte who had served the General Federation in many capacities for many years.
The report of the Nominating Committee was called for. It is always an exciting report, but when the Chairman, Mrs. Cotten, presented the first name, Mrs. Palmer Jerman of Raleigh, she could not proceed with the report because of the storm of applause. The women had long desired to make Mrs. Jerman president and at last the time had arrived. The full report was: President, Mrs. Palmer Jerman, Raleigh; Second Vice President, Mrs. Thomas O'Berry, Goldsboro; Recording Secretary, Mrs. E. L. McKee, Sylva; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. F. R. Perdue, Raleigh; Auditor, Mrs. Fred Bahnson, Winston-Salem; General Federation Director, Mrs. S. P. Cooper, Henderson; Trustee, Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Farmville.
No nominations came from the floor. On motion the Secretary was instructed to cast a unanimous ballot for all the nominees and that Mrs. Cooper for Director and Mrs. Cotten for Trustee be elected by a rising vote. It was so done.
Miss Gibson made her report on General Federation Headquarters. An enlightening discussion followed, and Miss Gibson made a plea for an increase in contribution from the North Carolina Federation. The amount finally forwarded through Miss Gibson to the Washington Headquarters from the North Carolina Federation was $1,500.
The following recommendation was offered by Mrs. Parham: "That the Executive Board of the North Carolina Federation takes pleasure in presenting the name of Mrs. Eugene Reilley, Past Vice President of the General Federation as a candidate for the office of Honorary Vice President of the General Federation of Women's Clubs." On motion of Mrs. John Gilmer, the recommendation was accepted, and it was ordered that the name of Mrs. Reilley be presented at the General Federation Council meeting to be held at Atlanta, Ga., the following week. It is a pleasure to record that the General Federation was pleased at the Los Angeles Biennial, to bestow on Mrs. Reilley an honor she had earned and one she would wear with distinction to herself, her State and her Federation.
Miss Gibson then presented a number of amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws. One was to raise the annual per capita dues for each clubwomen from 15 cents to 50 cents. A lively discussion followed, as an increase in taxes always excites an American, but it was finally voted down most emphatically.
Mrs. Cooper announced that all Past Presidents of the Federation, all Presidents of clubs, all District Presidents, were expected to sit on the platform at the evening session. Mrs. Winter, President of General Federation, would be the speaker of the evening and it would literally be a President's Night.
The new officers were invited to the platform and all received an ovation. They knew they were expected to work, but they took up the task cheerfully.
The evening session was a gala time. Memorial Hall at Salem College was ablaze with beauty and joy. It was President's Night, not even surpassed by the Commencement Nights to which Memorial Hall was accustomed.
The procession of Presidents was headed by Mrs. Winter, President of the General Federation, and Mrs. Cooper, President of the North Carolina Federation, closely followed by the newly elected President, Mrs. Jerman, with Miss Berry, and Mrs. Obendorfer of the General Federation Board, with Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Honorary President North Carolina Federation, and guests of North Carolina Federation; next came the District Presidents and the Presidents of all North Carolina clubs present. They marched to seats of honor on the stage, while Mrs. T. H. Sebring played on the organ Gounod's Grand Processional March from the "Queen of Sheba."
The meeting opened with the singing of "America," Mrs. Sidney Cooper presiding.
In a few well chosen words Mrs. Cooper introduced Mrs. Winter, the audience rising in her honor. Her subject was "The American Home," and Mrs. Winter was well qualified to discuss it. A true woman, with heart and brain aglow with the love of humanity, an orator by nature and a believer in American ideals, she kept her audience enraptured while she reviewed the changes of time which now seem to threaten to destroy the home life of the people. It was a masterful effort, full of thought and feeling from a home loving
woman, who yet serves the public so well, thereby honoring all women.
After the applause subsided Mrs. W. T. Bost, President of the Raleigh Woman's Club, gave a most alluring invitation for the Federation to hold its next meeting in Raleigh. This was cordially endorsed by Mrs. Josephus Daniels. Asheville and Wilson both gave invitations for the same convention, but Raleigh's Star was in the ascendant, and Asheville and Wilson withdrew in favor of Raleigh.
An invitation from Hickory for the next Council Meeting was also accepted. Then Mrs. Winter took a hand in the administration of "surprises" which had characterized the Convention. Acting for Mrs. Cooper, the retiring President, she presented to each Past President of the North Carolina Federation a gold barpin bearing the words, Past President North Carolina Federation of Clubs, with date of service, and on the reverse side the name of the recipient. It was a graceful acknowledgment of their loyalty and coöperation.
After the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" by the assembly, the meeting adjourned to attend a reception at the Robert E. Lee Hotel, courtesy of the Woman's Club and the Winston-Salem Sorosis.
One would suppose the delightful reception was a suitable "end of a perfect day," but after many had left the ball room and were retiring, the hotel was reported on fire. Much smoke was on the upper floors, and a near panic ensued. Many had not retired but lingered in the lobby talking over the pleasures of the Convention. Still in their evening gowns those who lingered
in the lobby were shocked to see crowding into the lobby, friends and co-workers, some en dishabille, some hastily donning their clothes as they emerged from the elevator, and many who preferred the stairway came down strewing hastily collected garments as they descended. Even Governor Morrison was not immune from the panic which seemed contagious. The manager of the hotel handled the situation promptly and courteously, assuring the women there was no danger, which was easy to believe while in the lobby because the tell-tale smoke was on the upper floors, which had been promptly deserted.
The Federation Mascot was transferred to safety via the fire escape by a devoted father who took no chances of a crowded elevator or staircase.
The fire was confined to a cement chute designed to receive trash and paper. It was believed some one had carelessly thrown a match or cigarette stump into the chute and the paper ignited. By natural laws the smoke ascended to the upper floors, and crept through crevices until discovered, when the Fire Department soon put an end to danger and the women returned to their rooms. It was the climax of surprises, and when all danger was past many incidents became amusing. The lobby was compared to a gipsy camp where many in vari-colored kimonas wandered restlessly around, carrying suitcases and precious parcels, with feet encased in high-heeled evening slippers, or gay colored bed room slippers. One lady, bearing the Separk Cup, declared she would save it for its winner if all her clothes were burned, while one staunch Daughter
of the Confederacy strove to calm the crowd by assuring them that the name of the hotel--Robert E. Lee--was a talisman, and no one could get hurt in it. The newly elected President, when warned of the danger, said calmly, "It has certainly been a day of surprises to me. To be elected the head of 40,000 women in the morning, and go through a fire that night does not happen to every woman." The next morning there was no evidence of panic or fright; only praise for the manager of the hotel.
A few items of business still being unfinished, the Convention, calm and undismayed, met on Saturday morning. The Resolutions were read and adopted. The courtesies were read and ordered printed.
Then Mrs. Cooper handed over the gavel to Mrs. Jerman. Both spoke of the joy of serving such a splendid body of women, and all the new officers made short talks pledging loyalty and coöperation.
Then Mrs. Jerman, who never forgets business, called a meeting of the Directors immediately after the adjournment and declared the twenty-first Convention adjourned.
At the appointed time the Council gathered in the town of Hickory, the guest of the Community Club. The Executive Board met at the home of Mrs. Carrie Gamble, President of the hostess club, where a delicious luncheon was served.
The Trustees and the District Presidents met in the afternoon.
The evening session was held in the City Auditorium, to which the public was cordially invited. Mrs. Gamble presided. After an invocation by Dr. R. B. Peery, the Federation song was sung, Miss Pearl Little at the piano.
Mayor E. Lyerly welcomed the Council, and Mrs. S. H. Farabee brought greetings from the Hickory Clubs, to which Mrs. F. F. Bahnson responded.
Mrs. Gamble presented Mrs. Jerman, President of the Federation, who introduced Judge Wade H. Williams, of Charlotte, who made an address on "The Juvenile Court."
After some announcements and the singing of "Hickory, Hickory," the meeting adjourned.
The business sessions were held at Corinth Reformed Church, where the morning session opened promptly,
with Mrs. Jerman presiding. There was a good attendance. The Club Woman's Collect was recited in unison.
Department Chairmen reported plans for their winter work, which were discussed and approved.
Messages of sympathy and love were sent to Mrs. Rosalind Redfearn, who was not present because of the death of her mother, also to Mrs. E. F. Read, whose husband was critically ill.
The resignation of Mrs. George Byrum of Edenton, Chairman of Civics, was accepted, and Mrs. Robert N. Page of Southern Pines was elected to succeed her. Mrs. Chase, Chairman of Education, made her report. A discussion followed on Motion Pictures--the usual disturber of the equanimity of all women. Motion was made by Mrs. W. T. Shore, seconded by Mrs. Hook, that publicity be given to the attitude of "watchful waiting" adopted by the Federation toward the question of Motion Pictures.
Miss Gertrude Weil, Chairman of International Relations, explained the work of her committee, and moved that the clubs unite with the North Carolina League of Women Voters, and any other statewide organization in requesting the North Carolina Senators in Congress to support the movement for the participation of the United States in the permanent Court of International Justice.
It was announced that Mrs. Charles Wagoner of Concord, Chairman of Music, had composed the Mecklenburg March, which had been used at the Made-in-Carolina Exposition in Charlotte.
Some minor routine business was transacted and the Courtesies read.
An elaborate reception that evening at the home of Mrs. K. C. Menzies closed a delightful meeting. Many social features kept the business from being monotonous. One feature was the drive to "Jugtown," when the delegates and hostesses, escorted by the Kiwanians, drove over to the Jugtown potteries. It was a revelation to many to see the potters at work, moulding the native clay into beautiful shapes with their skillful fingers. Each delegate received a "little brown jug" of perfect shape, as a souvenir. While not full of "Mountain dew," they were full of good wishes and in many homes will long be reminders of a very pleasant occasion. A gavel made of hickory wood, and Hickory walking sticks will long recall the meeting at Hickory.
The courtesy of the Rotary Club took the form of a dinner to which the Council was invited: President Henry Holbrook extended the greetings of the Rotarians and expressed the hope that the meeting would be mutually pleasant and profitable. He then turned the meeting over to Mrs. Carrie Gamble who presented other speakers. Mrs. Jerman spoke of the desirability of coöperation between all clubs, and advised the Rotarians to follow the precepts and example of the Women's Clubs.
Mrs. Cotten congratulated the men on the improvement in their clubs. She referred humorously to the men's clubs of by-gone days, which were not as conducive
to good citizenship as the clubs of today. She said she would willingly vote to admit the Rotary Club into the Federation, because they were working for the benefit of mankind and the world.
By virtue of cordial invitations gladly accepted and perhaps by destiny, or some special gravitation, the North Carolina Federation of Clubs seemed to be contracting a habit of meeting at famous new hotels with historic names. At Greensboro it was the new O. Henry, so named in honor of a native Carolinian, who became the world's most famous writer of short stories. Then at Winston-Salem it was the new Robert E. Lee, a name which brings a thrill to the heart of all southerners.
Then the Twenty-second Convention met in Raleigh on May 6, 1924, in the new Sir Walter, a name indelibly woven into the history of North Carolina, not needing even the city of Raleigh to make it famous and familiar. No gallant knights to cover the ground with cloaks were needed, for cement pavements had obliterated all mud, and while no Queen Elizabeths mingled in the throng of delegates, many were there queenly, serene, and worthy of crowns of honor won by service.
The sessions were held in the Virginia Dare ball room, so named in honor of the first white child of English parents, born in the United States. Perhaps few knew the ball room bore such an historic name, but
the giving of historic names to many of the rooms in that hotel adds distinction to the Sir Walter.
It was Federation Week and Raleigh welcomed it with a cordiality profuse and unsurpassed. Fifteen organizations on the opening night expressed pleasure and welcome; the press declared that the man who had once frowned on Women's Clubs, and his sister who agreed with him that "woman's place was in the home," were both out of town, and nowhere to be found.
Everybody approved of Women's Clubs, and all declared the Federation had proved a progressive factor in the State's growth. That made all the delegates happy, and happiness promotes success, so the result was a most successful convention, and every one returned home a more patriotic woman, a more loyal North Carolinian because she had been endorsed as a clubwoman.
The Convention opened in the Virginia Dare Ball Room of the Sir Walter Hotel on Tuesday evening at 8 o'clock, May 6, 1924, with the President, Mrs. Jerman, in the chair. Greetings from social, political, civic, and religious organizations of both male and female membership were responded to by the Secretary, Mrs. McKee.
The absence of Mrs. Josephus Daniels, President of the hostess club, was much regretted, but a gracious greeting sent by her from her sick bed in a distant hospital was read by Mrs. W. T. Bost.
Mrs. Jerman delivered her annual address as President, in which was given a comprehensive report of
the year's work, and a clear outline of work for the Federation for the coming year, closing with an inspirational vision of the possibilities of club work.
Her address was followed by a beautiful reception by Governor and Mrs. Cameron Morrison at the Executive Mansion.
The business meetings began next morning with the popular eight o'clock Breakfast Conferences. The Departments were grouped so as to bring the greatest good to the greatest number. One group met in the main dining-room at the Sir Walter. Another group gathered in the dining-room of the Yarborough. Who can accuse clubwomen of sloth?
At ten o'clock Mrs. Jerman brought down the gavel and business began, with a large number present.
Rules and Regulations were read and approved--hats and proxies being debarred. Necessary committees were appointed and District Presidents given more time for their reports. A telegram of regret for her absence was sent to Mrs. Josephus Daniels on motion by Mrs. Eugene Reilley. The nominating committee was duly elected, composed of Mrs. Clyde Eby, New Bern; Mrs. Henry White, High Point; Mrs. Fred Bahnson, Winston-Salem; Miss Margaret Gibson, Wilmington; Mrs. Taylor, Greensboro.
Many reports were accepted, and Mrs. Clyde Eby was given a rising vote of thanks for her faithful service as Treasurer. Mrs. John Gilmer reported 47 new clubs admitted. The representatives from those clubs were presented to the Convention and given a welcome by Mrs. Jerman.
Report of the Finance Committee disclosed the fact that a small amount was needed to complete the Endowment of $10,000. Pledges and donations were received with the full amount realized. The announcement of the completion of the full amount desired, met great applause and went on record as one of the notable features of the 1924 meeting in Raleigh. Mrs. A. H. Powell of Oxford, Chairman of Finance, was given a rising vote of thanks.
The amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws were next discussed freely and fully. It was finally decided to raise the per capita dues from 15 cents to 30 cents.
A clause was added providing for a Budget, prepared annually by the Finance Committee to assign the expenditures of the Federation funds, including dues and interest from the Endowment. The increase in dues and the interest from the Endowment were supposed to justify the abolishing of pledges to numerous funds from the floor. The Budget would provide for those funds from the general treasury, thus preventing the increased dues from becoming burdensome, and leaving more time for discussion and for desirable speakers. On motion from the floor the Sallie Southall Cotten Loan Fund for the education of girls was not to be grouped with other funds but left for voluntary contributions from the clubs and from interested individuals, and such sources as presented themselves to the chairman of the fund, including the money from the sale of the booklet, What Aunt Dorcas told Little Elsie. The sale of that booklet has no limit, and the
need by girls for aid in securing education has no limit, so the chairman was left free to add to that fund when assistance should be proffered.
Miss Fries offered a resolution that the Loan Fund Committee, by action of the Directors, be made a Standing Committee instead of a subcommittee of the Education Department, and that the Directors elect the chairman along with others, and that the resolution be acted on promptly so the change could be incorporated in the proceedings when the Year Book is published. The President called a meeting of the Board of Directors immediately after adjournment to act on the resolution.
An amendment to omit the word "Auditor" wherever it occurs in the Constitution, and thus dispense with the services of an Auditor, because the books of the Treasurer are always submitted to an expert accountant was carried.
The afternoon session was given over to reports of the District Presidents, Mrs. Thomas O'Berry, Chairman of Districts, presiding.
The meeting adjourned to enjoy two teas in honor of the delegates and visiting clubwomen. One tea was at Wakestone, the home of Mrs. Josephus Daniels, presided over by her husband, Hon. Josephus Daniels, and her daughter, Mrs. Jonathan Daniels. Another tea was at the Woman's Club House, where Mrs. Jerman presided with joy and pride over the home she had helped to build for the Raleigh Woman's Club.
The evening session opened promptly in the ball room of the Sir Walter Hotel, with Mrs. Lenoir Gwyn, First Vice President, presiding. Again it was Fine Arts Evening and the Silver Cups were on the stage, and the audience eager to hear the results of the various contests.
Mrs. C. B. Wagoner, Chairman of Music, read her report, and announced the awards.
The Duncan Cup was not awarded, only one number being entered for the contest.
The Florence M. Cooper Cup was awarded to Mrs. Elsie Stokes Moseley of Charlotte. The winning song, "The Evening Sun," was then rendered.
Mrs. Rufus Gwyn, Chairman of Art, read her report and announced the awards. The Robert Lamar Beal Cup was awarded to Mrs. J. L. Graham of Winston-Salem. Prize of $5 for best interior was awarded to Mrs. Helen Lamar Weathers McCarl of Wilmington. Honorable mention was made of the interior work of Mrs. Bayard Wootten of New Bern.
Miss Marion Blair, Chairman of Literature, reported and announced the awards as follows: The Separk Poetry Cup to Mrs. Paul Green, Chapel Hill; the O. Henry Cup to Mrs. Joy Kine Benton, Sanford; Joseph Caldwell Cup not awarded.
Thursday morning found the Virginia Dare ball room filled with delegates at an early hour, Mrs. Jerman presiding. The Club Woman's Hymn was sung and the Club Woman's Collect recited in unison.
Mrs. O'Berry took the chair while the unfinished district reports were read. She announced the prizes
won by districts. The Cooper Gavel was presented to Mrs. Fearing of the 14th District for bringing into the Federation the largest number of clubs--eleven.
The second prize, a picture of Mrs. Cotten, was awarded to Mrs. Duke Hay of Black Mountain, for having brought in the second highest number of clubs--ten. Mrs. Hay's report was a novelty--being in rhyme and received a good round of applause.
The Gilmer Cup was again won by the new 14th District, and was taken home in triumph by Mrs. Fearing, Chairman of that new and growing district.
Mrs. Land, Chairman of the Loan Fund, made a most satisfactory report and was given a rising vote of thanks. The Fund to date had assisted fifty-eight girls and the chairman was made happy by receiving pledges for more than $1,000 for the coming year.
The Credentials Chairman reported 347 delegates registered.
The report of the Nominating Committee was then made. Only three new officers were to be elected and the report was: First Vice President, Mrs. Fred Bahnson, Winston-Salem; Recording Secretary, Mrs. E. L. McKee, Sylva; Treasurer, Mrs. R. D. W. Connor, Chapel Hill.
There being no nominations from the floor, upon motion by Mrs. Charles Platt of Charlotte, the vote was cast for the three nominees, and they were declared elected.
Mrs. Jane McKimmon presented a message from the State Chairman of Home Demonstration work and explained the plan by which the rural clubs had been
federated. In closing she asked for sympathetic co-operation and good feeling in working out the details of the federation of the Home Demonstration Clubs.
Mrs. R. R. Cotten, in moving a rising vote of thanks for Mrs. McKimmon, said that of all women in and out of the North Carolina Federation who had worked for the elevation of the home, no woman had done more to improve the homes of North Carolina than Mrs. McKimmon. The motion was enthusiastically carried.
Mrs. Rosalind Redfearn gave a report on "The Coöperative efforts between Home Bureaus and the State Federation." At the close of her remarks she introduced to the Convention the delegates from the Home Bureaus.
The incident marked an epoch in the history of the Federation. If "The union of all for the good of all" means anything, it must mean more when the rural women and the city women join hands for mutual benefit. It meant the uniting in effort of more than 50,000 women with a vision of sisterhood in service for home, state, and nation. The possibilities of such mutual help and understanding are too great for expression, but if love of God and service for humanity be the aim of all no one can over estimate the ultimate results. It is a visible proof that "great oaks from little acorns grow," for twenty years ago the membership of the North Carolina Federation was not more than 500, and a growth of 50,000 in twenty years is a phenomenal development.
Lunch followed adjournment, the courtesy of Rotary, Civitan, Lions and Kiwanis Clubs.
The Thursday afternoon session was held in the auditorium of the Woman's Club House, Mrs. Jerman presiding. The change of meeting place was necessary to enable the Virginia Dare ball room to be prepared for the Annual Federation Dinner, given to delegates and visiting clubwomen.
Many reports were heard, among them one from the newly appointed Budget Committee, which reported a Budget for another year's expenditures. It was deemed a very creditable performance after such short notice, but shows how women rise to meet a demand.
The Custodian recommended the purchase of a cabinet for the safekeeping of the records and rapidly accumulating documents such as Minutes, Year Books, etc., belonging to the Federation. It was voted to purchase such a cabinet and that a committee be appointed to select a proper place to insure its safety.
Mrs. Eugene Reilley moved that the office of Historian be created and Mrs. R. R. Cotten be made the first incumbent.
In the evening the Federation Dinner was given and a feast of food and "a flow of soul" was enjoyed. The ball room was brilliantly lighted and long tables with many flowers on them, and many happy beautifully gowned women sitting around them made a scene not easily forgotten.
Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Honorary President, presided. Mrs. Frank Harold, President General of the U. D. C., was an honor guest. She expressed great pleasure in meeting the North Carolina Clubwomen, many of whom were also Daughters of the Confederacy, and she knew their value.
A group of Raleigh club members put on a "home talent play" depicting a club meeting 25 years ago, which added much hilarity to the occasion. The costumes, program, and procedure "then and now" made it very interesting but somewhat grotesque because it showed such a contrast between clubwomen and their ways, "then and now."
At the close of the dinner, the meeting adjourned to the State Theater, where Mrs. Helen Gardiner, U. S. Civil Service Commissioner, made a most interesting and instructive address on "Women in Government Work." She was introduced by Hon. Josephus Daniels. Mrs. Gardiner is well known as an author and lecturer, and was the first woman appointed to high governmental position. She urged women to accept Government work, and declared they were needed in many ways. She was much applauded. The newly elected officers were then presented to the audience, and the evening session adjourned.
The final session of the Convention was held in the ball room of the Sir Walter Hotel, on May 9, 1924, with the President in the chair.
The meeting opened with assembly singing.
A few reports were read and some unfinished business was disposed of satisfactorily. The President thanked the clubwomen for their coöperation in her efforts. Mrs. Eugene Reilley expressed the appreciation of the women for the ability of their leader. The Report on Courtesies was read and accepted. Everybody was happy, everybody was glad to be a clubwoman. The minutes of the session were read and approved, and after singing "Auld Lang Syne," the Federation adjourned sine die.
The autumn Council Meeting which preceded the Pinehurst Convention, met at High Point, October 23-24, 1924. The Executive Meeting was followed by an elaborate luncheon at the home of Mrs. Owen Smith. At two o'clock Mrs. Thomas O'Berry presided over a Conference of District Presidents.
The Council proper began at four o'clock at the Sheraton Hotel, with Mrs. H. D. Sears, President of High Point Woman's Club, in the chair. The address of welcome was given by Mr. T. Wingate Andrews, and responded to by Mrs. F. R. Perdue of Raleigh.
The State President was then formally presented by Mrs. Sears, after which Miss Lavinia Engle, of Baltimore, Md., made an address on "Legislative Programs and Methods."
On Thursday evening the Council members were the guests of the High Point Woman's Club at the presentation of the opera "Don Pasquale."
Friday was strictly given to business. The discussion of the work of the departments was featured by the presentation of more practical outlines for work, free from theory and giving definite concrete programs for each department. It was a most encouraging outlook for the work of the winter.
EXECUTIVE BOARD AT PINEHURST, MAY, 1925 The Superiority of Mind Over Matter "No Hats"
The most outstanding matter discussed was the establishment of a Federation Bulletin as the official organ of the Federation. The subject had been much discussed, and the ambition of the Federation President was set on the attainment of that object during her term of service, but as yet no adequate way of financing it had been found. At this High Point meeting Mr. W. H. Livers of the Extension Department of the North Carolina College for Women, presented an offer from his Department of that College to issue monthly such a bulletin for the Federation free of charge, the clubs to furnish the material through the Press Chairman, and the Extension Department to print and issue the Bulletin, as a contribution from the College to the club work.
The proposition was greeted with enthusiasm and accepted with gratitude. Mrs. Highsmith, the Press Chairman, was made editor of the Bulletin, and Mrs. W. W. Martin of the North Carolina College for Women was elected Associate Editor.
Within a month the first issue was in the hands of North Carolina clubwomen, and a long cherished dream of a Bulletin all our own had become a rosy reality, needing only the coöperation of the clubs to make it another shining light in the history of the Federation. It at once took its place as a valuable asset in club work. The former bi-monthly column of club news so generously given by the North Carolina press is not to be abandoned, but the proposed Bulletin will furnish a fuller and freer exchange of club thought than was possible in the newspaper column.
The North Carolina Federation is greatly indebted to the North Carolina newspapers for the generous space given it which has enabled the Federation to reach a large audience at regular intervals. Now with the addition of this monthly Bulletin, the Press Department has ample facilities for keeping the entire work of the Federation before its members.
It was a memorable meeting because of the realization of a long cherished ambition. Many courtesies were showered on the members of the Council, and the high tide of business and pleasure was reached at the High Point meeting.
In the midst of the famous Sand Hills of Carolina, Pinehurst sits supreme. Its attractions lure people from far and near, and the North Carolina Federation of clubs was well pleased to accept the invitation from the Woman's Civic Club of Southern Pines to hold its twenty-third Convention at Pinehurst.
The arrangements for the pleasure and comfort of the delegates and visiting clubwomen were perfect and a large crowd gathered for the meeting.
The Convention began on May 4 at the Carolina Hotel, where all meetings were held. The usual preliminaries proceeded while more and more delegates were arriving.
The Executive Board met in the Dutch Room and the Executive Luncheon was served in the Private
Dining-room. The Trustees met in the Dutch Room, followed by the meeting of the Directors in the ball room.
In a private dining room at 6 p.m., the Past Presidents' dinner was served, with only five Past Presidents, Miss Fries, and Mesdames Cooper, Alderman, Hook, and Cotten, present to enjoy it.
At 8 p.m. in the ball room of the Carolina, the evening session opened the Convention. The invocation was followed by the singing of the Club Woman's Hymn.
Hon. R. N. Page gave a welcome from the Sand Hills. He loves them--they are his native heath and his beautiful heartfelt tribute to them easily convinced all that the unusual power and ability of the Federation President was due to the fact that she herself is a daughter of the Sand Hills, with power to bring success to all she attempts.
Then followed a welcome from the Fifth District, expressed by Mrs. R. W. Allen, and from the Hostess Club by its President, Mrs. Charles R. Whitaker. The response was made by Mrs. Thomas O'Berry, the Second Vice President of the Federation.
Then came the President's address, full of vigor, enthusiasm and inspiration. She recounted the achievements of the Federation to the present time, portrayed with clear vision the possibilities of the future, and filled each woman with a desire to meet and develop those possibilities. She stressed the great need of a more highly developed political consciousness and tried to impress on her hearers the power dormant in the ballot, which is useless unless used. She named the
outstanding achievements of the year, such as the issuing of the Federation Bulletin, the completion of the History of the Federation. She strongly recommended the establishment of a permanent State Headquarters, where the scattered business of the Federation can be concentrated, and be known and used by every clubwoman.
The Breakfast Conferences had lost none of their popularity. They began at eight a.m. Tuesday, with good attendance at each Conference. It was regarded as one of the most encouraging developments of the work of the Federation, testifying to the real interest in the work behind the pleasures of the convention.
The real business began at 9 a.m. Tuesday, with the Credentials Committee on duty, followed at 10 a.m. by the regular morning session, with Mrs. Jerman in the chair.
The Recording Secretary read a message of good wishes from His Excellency Governor Angus McLean. She then called attention to the North Carolina flag at the left of the stage, which had been loaned to the Federation by the Raleigh Business and Professional Woman's Club, and she moved that the Treasurer of the Federation be instructed to buy a silk North Carolina flag to be the property of the Federation and to be in the custody of each successive President.
Business proceeded promptly, reports following each other in quick succession.
A Nominating Committee was elected composed of Mrs. Kate Burr Johnson, Mrs. C. C. Hook, Mrs. Howard Rondthaler, Mrs. Charles Quinlan, and Mrs. R. R. Cotten.
The Credentials Committee reported 244 delegates registered. Before the adoption of the Treasurer's report the chair called for the report of the Finance Committee which was given by its Chairman, Mrs. Eugene Davis, who also read the statement of the certified accountant who had audited the books of the Treasurer.
Mrs. Davis then announced the completion of the Endowment, the full amount $10,000 being in hand and invested safely. She then read the Budget for the next year, which was adopted and made the following recommendations:
First. That District Presidents be allowed $15 annually for District expenses, instead of $10.
Second. That the successful handling of the Budget having left a surplus in the treasury, that the sum of $250 be given from the surplus to the Maintenance Fund for General Federation Headquarters as a compliment to Mrs. Jerman who is chairman of the Southeastern Division for the raising of the Maintenance Fund in which all the states participate.
Both recommendations were adopted. Mrs. Jerman expressed her appreciation of the compliment, and her pleasure in always seeing North Carolina to the front with other states, when big things are done.
Mrs. Gilmer, Membership Chairman, reported 35 new clubs, whose representatives were graciously welcomed by Mrs. Jerman.
Mrs. O'Berry, Second Vice President and Chairman of Districts, read her report in which she presented a plan for redistricting the State, making sixteen instead of fourteen districts, and displayed a map showing the sixteen districts, and the sanity of the new alignment. The plan was adopted with thanks to Mrs. O'Berry.
The report on Amendments to Constitution and By-Laws was read by Mrs. C. C. Hook. Mrs. Cotten moved to authorize the Committee to make such changes in the By-Laws as would make them consistent with the adopted amendments, eliminating the words "Membership Committee" wherever used, numbering sections properly, etc.
Mrs. Robert Page reported on Civics, and recommended the change of name of her department from Civics to American Citizenship.
The Loan Fund was reported in full by Mrs. Land, showing many girls receiving help, but the number of applicants far in excess of the money available.
The Booklet had sold well and would continue to add some to the Fund, but the need for more money to help girls was immediate. The report was received with enthusiasm and voluntary pledges for $1,400 more were given to become available at once. Mrs. Land's enthusiasm about the Loan Fund and her girls always meets an enthusiastic response.
Mrs. Rosalind Redfearn reported from Home Economics Department and then moved to change the name of that department from Home Economics to The American Home. The motion was adopted and applauded for the keynote of the Pinehurst Convention was The American Home, and the clubwomen endorse every suggestion which looks to the betterment of the Home. Mrs. Redfearn then presented the representatives present from the Home Bureaus. Mrs. Jane McKimmon reported the coöperation between the Home Demonstration Clubs and the Federation.
Mrs. W. N. Hutt then introduced the speaker for the afternoon, Dr. Louise Stanley, of the Bureau of Home Economics of the U. S. Government. Before presenting the speaker Mrs. Hutt made a brief review of the history of that Bureau. Dr. Stanley then gave a most interesting address on "Uncle Sam and the Home Maker." She outlined the part being taken by women in the work of the various Departments and Bureaus of the Federal Government. She explained the work of each Division and its relation to the individual home and urged the clubwomen to use the service of those agencies which existed for their benefit.
After that illuminating address the Convention adjourned to enjoy a drive to Sanatorium, followed by a tea at Southern Pines Country Club, the courtesy of the Southern Pines Civic Club.
Fine Arts evening found the ball room crowded with happy expectant women, Mrs. F. F. Bahnson in the chair.
After the usual assembly singing, Mrs. E. E. Randolph, Chairman of Music made her report and announced the awards as follows: The Cooper Cup to Mrs. Charles Wagoner setting to music of Kipling's poem "When Earth's Last Picture is Painted." The Duncan Cup was also won by Mrs. Wagoner for "At the Circus." Both numbers were rendered by Mrs. Wagoner.
Mrs. Rufus Gwyn, Chairman of Art, reported and announced the awards in her department.
The Robert Lamar Beal Cup was awarded to Mrs. J. L. Graham of Winston-Salem, with honorable mention for Mrs. Nellie Sandborn.
The best display of hand-painted china was a vase of original design, made and decorated by Mrs. J. A. Spiers, and won by the Wilson Woman's Club. By request the vase was presented by Mrs. Cotten to the President of Wilson Club, whose new club house was awaiting the beautiful vase.
The $10 gold piece, given by Mrs. Sidney Cooper for the best sketch in oil, was won by Mrs. G. D. B. Reynolds of Albemarle.
Then Mrs. Randolph presented the Pfohl Orchestra, with its seven instruments and composed of the family of Rev. and Mrs. J. Kenneth Pfohl of Winston-Salem, to demonstrate what music can mean in the American Home. It was exceedingly entertaining, unique and artistic. Each instrument contributed a solo, and many numbers in unison, the harp being exceedingly admired. From the young director, Master Donald Pfohl, age eight, to the mother at the piano and the father with his "cello" the entire performance was exquisite,
and the grace and rhythm of Master Donald's baton, and the poise of his acknowledgment of the applause indicate another coming musician. It was a wonderful object lesson to music loving families as to how to interest growing boys and girls, how to get them interested in special things at home instead of the movies and other outside attractions by the solace of music.
An intermission was taken when many met and congratulated the musical family. Then Mrs. Bahnson restored order, and Miss Blair reported for the Literature Department, with the awards.
The Separk Poetry Cup was won by Mrs. J. M. Vail of Edenton for "The Waits." The Joseph Caldwell Cup was won by Mrs. Homer Benton of Sanford, for a story called "Capsules." The O. Henry Cup was also won by Mrs. Benton for the humorous story called "In Search of the Golden Fleece." Having won the cup three times, it now becomes the property of Mrs. Benton.
The Pinehurst Convention as it progressed seemed to develop more and more progressive suggestions, each suggested change denoting betterment. The change of Civics to American Citizenship, the change from Home Economics to The American Home, the increasing and changing the Districts, the perfecting of plans for the Bulletin, the completion of the history, etc., all indicate activity which means progress. Then when Mrs. Leavitt reported on the book, Stories and Poems of the Old North State, she made a recommendation entirely in line with those mentioned. She announced a satisfactory sale of the book--the printing paid for, and
recommended that from the profits derived from the future sale of the book, that a Revolving Book Fund be created to be used as the Federation may decide, either for a second edition of the book, or for another volume of prize winning poems and stories, or for any other literary publication approved by the Federation. The money accruing to the Revolving Book Fund to be placed on interest, and the Business Manager for the next book to deposit a like amount of money in like manner, the funds to be turned over to the Federation treasurer. Recommendations were accepted with thanks to Mrs. Leavitt for her fine work.
Mrs. Cotten reported the completion of the History of the Federation from its organization to 1925.
Mrs. Kate Burr Johnson moved the Federation authorize a Publishing Committee to have the History published, said committee to be composed of the retiring President and two others to be chosen by her.
Then the President presented to the Convention Mr. W. H. Livers, Business Manager for the North Carolina College for Women, whose interest in the Federation has made possible the publication of the Federation Bulletin. He said the College at Greensboro was glad to render this service to North Carolina women and he hopes to help make it a success. He urged the women to supply the Chairman of Publicity with frequent reports of their activities. At once, Mrs. Hook moved that the name of the Editor of the Bulletin be changed from Chairman of Publicity to Chairman of Press, which was adopted.
The President then called on Mrs. W. W. Martin, Associate Editor of the Bulletin, who expressed her great interest in this new venture. She said there would be facilities provided for taking subscriptions to the Bulletin. She hoped every woman in North Carolina would take it and READ it and she would do her best to make it worth reading. Mrs. Martin is an experienced clubwoman and brimming over with true club spirit. She was roundly applauded as also was Mr. Livers.
The final report of the Credentials Committee was called for. The report showed 310 delegates and 30 visiting clubwomen. The Nominating Committee, through its Chairman, Mrs. Howard Rondthaler, presented the following names for vacant offices: President, Mrs. E. L. McKee, Sylva; Second Vice President, Mrs. E. H. Williamson, Fayetteville; Recording Secretary, Miss Annie Perkins, Farmville; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Rufus Siler, Waynesville; General Federation Director, Mrs. Sidney Cooper, Henderson; Trustee, Mrs. Palmer Jerman, Raleigh.
There being no nominations from the floor, the vote was officially cast for the names presented.
Those who had not enjoyed a Breakfast Conference, contented themselves with a Luncheon Conference and so all were happy.
In the afternoon Mrs. O'Berry concluded her district reports and announced the awards.
The Cooper Gavel for the largest number of clubs federated, was tied for by Mrs. J. W. Huston of the
First District, and Mrs. E. H. Williamson of the Twelfth. It was decided to let each one keep it for six months.
Mrs. J. R. McClamrock of Greensboro, Mrs. F. H. Chamberlain of Lincolnton, and Miss Ruth Burke of LaGrange tied for the second prize, and were all awarded a picture of Mrs. Cotten.
Mrs. Fearing of Elizabeth City won the Gilmer Cup for largest attendance at District Meeting, it being the third time she had won it for her district.
Mrs. O'Berry said that in retiring, her gift to the Federation was a complete Record Book of the Chairmen of Districts, and hoped her successor would get as full measure of pleasure from that service, as she had received. The office of District Chairman brought one in touch with all the clubs as no other office does, and she reminded the clubwomen that the prosperity of the Federation is dependent on the prosperity of the districts, just as the prosperity of a state is dependent on the prosperity of its counties and cities.
The Resolutions Committee then reported, after which a drive to Samarcand Manor was enjoyed.
An interesting feature of the visit to Samarcand was the presentation to the girls by Mrs. Jerman on behalf of the Federation of a check for $420, to be used in purchasing additional furnishings for the living rooms of the girls.
The closing session of the Convention was held on Wednesday evening, May 6. It began at seven o'clock, with the Federation Dinner, Mrs. R. R. Cotten, Honorary President, presiding. The invocation was made
by Dr. Sloop, after which every one enjoyed the dinner and the social intercourse it permitted.
The regular session followed the dinner, opening with the Club Woman's Hymn.
The speaker of the evening, Mrs. Ida Clyde Clarke, of the Pictorial Review, was introduced by Mrs. W. T. Bost. The subject was "A New Woman Looks at an Old World." An accomplished speaker, a deep thinker, an adroit actress, she kept her audience in convulsions of laughter by her witty sallies and her accidental (?) hits at things we all know exist yet cannot cure. It was a masterpiece of witty sarcasm veiled in a camouflage of innocence and hard sense. Nothing was ever more enjoyed.
An invitation from the Men's Clubs and Women's Clubs of Asheville to hold the next Convention in that city was presented by Mrs. J. W. Huston. Mrs. W. J. Brogden brought an invitation for the next Council meeting to be held in Durham and both invitations were accepted with thanks. The Courtesies were read by Mrs. J. M. Brown after which the new officers were presented.
Just as Mrs. Jerman was about to bring the gavel down and declare the Convention adjourned, she was interrupted by the appearance on the platform of Mrs. Sidney Cooper, youngest of the Past Presidents of the Federation. In a few well chosen words she welcomed the retiring President into her inevitable place in the Past Presidents Club and presented to her a Past President's Bar Pin similar to those given to the other Past Presidents at Winston-Salem. Then Miss Fries
presented to the soon to be Past President, the tiny blue and white "X" she had designed to signify the Ex-Presidents, which also had been presented to the other Past Presidents at Winston-Salem, also extending words of welcome to the new members. Then followed words of welcome from Mrs. J. T. Alderman, Mrs. C. C. Hook, and Mrs. R. R. Cotten, who all expressed great pleasure in receiving a new member into their exclusive club, each member being required to serve the Federation for two years as President before being eligible to membership.
Mrs. Jerman expressed her appreciation of the welcome accorded her in her new place of honor. Then the gavel fell, and a splendidly progressive Convention became an example and a memory.