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Title: Memories of Jane Cunningham Croly, "Jenny June"
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memories of Jane Cunningham Croly, "Jenny June"" ***

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Caroline M. Morse, editor



[Illustration: Portrait]

[Illustration: Facsimile of signature
              "With sincere affection
                      J.C. Croly"]

       Memories of
  Jane Cunningham Croly
      "Jenny June"

                TO THE
              IN AMERICA



            NEW YORK CITY


On January 6, 1902, a Memorial Meeting was called by Sorosis jointly
with the Woman's Press Club of New York City, and a month later the
Press Club formally authorized the preparation of a Memorial Book to
its Founder and continuous President to the day of her death, Jane
Cunningham Croly.

the Rev. John Cunningham, this book, so it was planned, should contain
such letters, or excerpts from letters, as would illustrate her
lovable personality and her life philosophy.

A Committee of Publication was appointed, consisting of Mrs. Caroline
M. Morse, Chairman, Mrs. Mary Coffin Johnson, Mrs. Haryot Holt Dey,
Mrs. Miriam Mason Greeley, Miss Anna Warren Story and Mrs. Margaret W.
Ravenhill. These began their work by sending a printed slip to club
members and to Mrs. Croly's known intimates, asking for her letters.
But the response came almost without variation: "My letters from Mrs.
Croly are of too personal a nature for publication." A few, however,
were freely offered, and these it was decided should be used,
depending for the bulk of the Memorial upon copious extracts from
Mrs. Croly's "History of the Woman's Club Movement in America," from
her editorial work on _The Cycle_, and from her miscellaneous
writings. To this characteristic material her long cherished friends,
Mr. and Mrs. Thaddeus B. Wakeman, added an account of the "Positivist
Episode," that objective point in her career, with which her husband
was closely identified.

With these are: Mrs. Croly's Club Life, a sketch by Mrs. Haryot Holt
Dey; the Sorosis-Press Club Memorial Meeting; the Resolutions of the
Woman's Press Club of New York City, the General Federation of Clubs,
and the Society of American Women in London; tributes from London
clubwomen; Essays and Addresses; Letters and Stray Leaves and Notes,
written by Mrs. Croly; tributes from many of her friends, and my own

                    CAROLINE M. MORSE,


  "JENNY JUNE."--Ethel Morse

  A BROTHER'S MEMORIES.--John Cunningham, D.D.

    Dimies T.S. Denison
    Charlotte B. Wilbour
    Phebe A. Hanaford
    Orlena A. Zabriskie
    Carrie Louise Griffin
    Cynthia Westover Alden
    May Riley Smith
    Fanny Hallock Carpenter

    Resolutions of the New York State Federation
    From the Croly Memorial Fund of the Pioneer Club of London

  THE POSITIVIST EPISODE.--Thaddeus B. Wakeman

  MRS. CROLY'S CLUB LIFE.--Haryot Holt Dey

    Beginnings of Organization
    The Moral Awakening
    The Advantages of a General Federation of Women's Clubs
    The Clubwoman
    The New Life
    The Days That Are
    A People's Church

  NOTES, LETTERS, AND STRAY LEAVES.--Jane Cunningham Croly

    Miriam Mason Greeley
    Marie Etienne Burns
    Izora Chandler
    Janie C.P. Jones
    Catherine Weed Barnes Ward
    Sara J. Lippincott--"Grace Greenwood"
    Jennie de la M. Lozier
    Genie H. Rosenfeld
    S.A. Lattimore
    Ellen M. Staples
    Margaret W. Ravenhill
    T.C. Evans
    St. Clair McKelway
    Laura Sedgwick Collins
    Mary Coffin Johnson
    Caroline M. Morse
    Ella Wheeler Wilcox




  11, 1902

  MARCH 24, 1902




Jenny June

  The South Wind blows across the harrowed fields,
    And lo! the young grain springs to happy birth;
  His warm breath lingers where the granite shields
    Intruding flowers, and the responsive Earth
  Impartially her varied harvest yields.
    Through long ensuing months with tender mirth
    The South Wind laughs, rejoicing in the worth
  Of the impellent energies he wields.

    Within our minds the memory of a Name
  Will move, and fires of inspiration that burned low
    Among dead embers break in quickening flame;
  Flowers of the soul, grain of the heart shall grow,
  And burgeoned promises shall bravely blow
    Beneath the sunny influence of Her fame.


A Brother's Memories

_By John Cunningham, D.D._

The most interesting and potent fact within the range of human
knowledge is personality, and in the person of Jane Cunningham Croly
(Jenny June) a potency was apparent which has affected the social life
of more women, perhaps, than any other single controlling factor of
the same period.

Jane Cunningham was born in Market Harborough, Leicestershire,
England, December 19, 1829. She was the fourth child of Joseph H. and
Jane Cunningham, and though small in stature and delicate in organism,
was full of vivacity, and abounding in natural intelligence. Her rich
brown hair, blue eyes and clear complexion proclaimed her of
Anglo-Saxon origin. She was the idol of her parents and the admiration
of her school teachers. Her comradeship with her father began early in
life and was continued to the time of his death. The family came to
the United States in 1841, making their home at first in Poughkeepsie,
and afterwards in or near Wappinger's Falls, where the father bought a
large building-lot and erected a neat and commodious house, which
remained in the possession of the family until sold by Mrs.
Cunningham after the death of her husband. The lot was soon converted
into a garden by its owner who tilled it with the spade and allowed no
plough to be used in his little Eden. It was characteristic of his
generous spirit, too, that none of the surplus product was ever sold,
but was freely given to less favored neighbors. Happy years were spent
by Mr. Cunningham in his shop, in his garden, with his books, and in
visiting his daughter Jennie in New York after her marriage when she
became established there. It was as nearly an ideal life as a modest
man could desire. He lived respected by the best people in the
community, and died in peace, with his children around him.

As I remember my sister in early life, the sunniness of her nature
is the first and prevailing characteristic that I call to mind;
occasional moods of reverie bordering on melancholy only made brighter
the habitual radiance and buoyancy of a nature that diffused happiness
all around her. She was a perfectly healthy girl in mind and body. A
sound mind in a sound body was her noble heritage. She was always
extremely temperate in food and drink, fastidious in all her tastes
and personal habits, indulgent never beyond the dictates of perfect
simplicity and sobriety. Proficient in all branches of housekeeping,
her apparel was mostly of her own making. Good literature was a
passion with her, and while never an omnivorous reader, she had a
natural instinct for the best in language. A spirit of indomitable
independence, courage and persistence in purpose characterized her
from childhood. She must think her own thoughts, and mark out and
follow her own path. Suffering from a degree of physical timidity that
at times caused her much pain, she possessed a spirit that sometimes
seemed to border on audacity in the assertion and maintenance of her
own convictions. From childhood she developed a personality which
charmed all with whom she came in contact. Persons of both sexes,
young and old, the sober and the gay, alike fell under the influence
of her magnetic power. Living for a time in the family of her brother,
to whom she proffered her services as housekeeper when he was pastor
of a Union church in Worcester County, Mass., she drew to her all
sorts of people by the brightness and charm of her personality.
Self-forgetful and genuine, interested in all about her, she lived
only to serve others, valuing lightly all that she did. Here it was
that her remarkable capacity for journalism first developed itself.
One of the means by which she interested the community was the public
reading of a semi-monthly paper, every line of which was written by
herself and a fellow worker. The reading of that paper every
fortnight, to an audience that crowded the church, was an event in her

Jennie was no dreamer. She was no speculative theorist spinning
impossible things out of the cobwebs of her brain. She was no Hypatia
striving to restore the gods of the past, revelling in a brilliant
cloudland of symbolisms and affinities. If she was caught in the mist
at any time, she soon came out of it and found her footing in the
practical realities of daily life. Never over-reverential, she never
called in question the deeper realities of soul-life. She was no
ascetic: she would have made a poor nun. But she was a born preacher
if by preaching is meant the annunciation of a gospel to those who
need it. Jennie was always an ardent devotee of her sex, and whatever
else she believed in, she certainly believed in women, their instincts
and capacities.

In the year 1856, on February 14th, St. Valentine's Day, my sister
Jennie was married to David G. Croly, a reporter for the New York
_Herald,_ and they began life in the city on his meagre salary of
fourteen dollars a week. The gifted young wife, however, soon found
work for herself on the _World_, the _Tribune_, the _Times_, _Noah's
Sunday Times_ and the _Messenger_. The first money she received for
writing was in return for an article published in the New York
_Tribune_. Their joint career in metropolitan journalism was
interrupted however by a short term of residence in Rockford,
Illinois, where Mr. Croly was invited to become editor of the Rockford
_Register_, then owned by William Gore King, the husband of our
sister Mary A. Cunningham. Mr. Croly was aided in the editorial
management by his wife, and while the work was agreeable and
successful, it was due to Mrs. Croly's ardent desire for a larger
field, that at the end of a year they decided to return to New York.
The results for both abundantly justified the change. As managing
editor of the daily _World_ for a number of years, afterwards of the
New York _Graphic_, and later of the _Real Estate Record and Guide_,
Mr. Croly won an honorable position in New York journalism. He was a
conservative democrat of the strictest sort, a radical in religion,
and had but little appreciation of the deeper forces at work in
society and in national life. But he was able and honest, and enjoyed
the respect of his fellow-craftsmen.

"Jenny June" was a person of very different mental and moral mould.
Her work soon revealed a new, fresh, vigorous force in journalism. An
examination of her editorial contributions to the _Sunday Times_ from
March to December, 1861, suggests her mental vivacity, vigor, breadth
of view, and uniform clearness and power of expression. The title
of the whole series is unpretentious enough: "Parlor and Sidewalk
Gossip." All through her journalistic career similar qualities of
originality characterized her pen. She was editor of _Demorest's_
magazine for twenty-seven years, and was both editor and owner of
_Godey's_ magazine and _The Home-Maker_. _The Cycle_ was her own
creation and property. In each of these publications the dominating
thoughts are those which make for social elevation, the honor of
womanhood and home comfort and happiness. In addition to this
editorial work she was a regular contributor to several leading
newspapers in Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore and other
cities. She inaugurated the system of syndicate correspondence, and
was the author of several books--"For Better, For Worse"; "Talks on
Women's Topics"; "Thrown on Her Own Resources"; three manuals; and
"The History of the Woman's Club Movement," a large volume of nearly
twelve hundred pages.

During the most active years of my sister's literary life, she had
also the care of a large household, and her home was always bright and
hospitable. The Croly Sunday evening receptions were one of the social
features of New York City.

Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Croly. Minnie, the eldest, was
happily married to Lieutenant Roper of the U. S. Navy; her early death
was a grief hard to bear. The second child, a boy, died in infancy.
The surviving children are: Herbert G. Croly, a man of letters in New
York City; Vida Croly Sidney, the wife of the English playwright,
Frederick Sidney, lives in London; and Alice Gary Mathot, the wife of
a New York lawyer, William F. Mathot, resides in Brooklyn Hills, Long

Mrs. Croly, one of the founders of Sorosis, perhaps the most noted
woman's club in existence, was its President for many years, and its
Honorary President at the time of her death. The cause which led to
the founding of Sorosis is an open secret. Women were ignored at the
Charles Dickens reception; this was not to be tolerated, and in
consequence of this affront Sorosis came into being, an effectual
protest against any similar indifference in all time to come. Of the
growth of the club movement in the United States, in Great Britain,
France, Russia, and in far-off India, I do not propose to enter into
detail. Suffice it to say that it is one of the marvels of the modern
social and intellectual life of women.

What was the secret of Jenny June's charm and power? Not
scholarship--let this be said in all sincerity. How greatly she
appreciated the scholar's advantages was well known to her intimate
friends. But these advantages did not belong to her. Nor did it
consist in inherited social rank or wealth; her earnings by her pen
were large, but her patrimony was small. It should have been said
before, that she received the degree of Doctor of Literature from
Rutgers Women's College, and was appointed to a new chair of
Journalism and Literature in that institution. She was also a
lecturer in other women's schools of the first rank.

Nor did Jenny June pattern her work according to the advice or after
the example of any one man or woman. There was no example by which she
could be guided. Woman was a new factor in journalism, and Jenny June
was a new woman, a new creation, if I may so speak, fashioned after
the type of woman in the beginning, when God created man and woman in
His own image. I cannot too fully emphasize the fact that she was a
new and original personality in journalism. No one understood this
better than her husband. In matters of detail his counsel was of value
to her, but the spirit and character of her work were her own; and
happily for her and for womankind she could never be diverted from her
chosen path. This, indeed, was one chief secret of her success. She
was unalterably true to her divine womanly ideals of woman's nature,
place in society and redemptive work. I say redemptive work, for it
was one of her deepest convictions that woman's function, was to be
the saving salt of all life. Sorosis was founded upon this idea;--not
a literary club merely or mainly; not a political, social or religious
club; but one founded on womanhood, on the divine nature of women of
every class and degree.

Jenny June's recognition of this vital truth brought her into sympathy
with a world-wide movement. The new woman is no monstrosity, no
sporadic creature born of intellectual fermentation and unrest, but
the rise and development of a better, nobler type of womanhood the
world over. Jenny June's eminent distinction was that she was a leader
in this movement. It made her what her husband once said in my
hearing: "a wonderful woman." Of course there was the capacity for
bursts of feeling on occasion, which those who knew her best seldom
cared to provoke. "I am not an amiable woman," she once said to the
writer. Radiant as she was, there was a volcanic force in her nature
which could be terrific against folly, frivolity and wrong.

Thousands of gifted women are now making themselves heard in poetry,
dissertation, fiction and journalism because Jenny June opened the
path for them. Womanhood was her watchword, and God, duty, faith and
hope the springs of her life. It may surprise even those who knew her
well to learn that her physical timidity was great, and at times
painful. But her moral and intellectual courage impelled her at times
almost to the verge of audacity, and was held under restraint only by
conscience and good sense. Humor and wit can hardly be said to have
been marked traits in her mentality. There was something delphic and
oracular often in her familiar conversation. Sentimentalism had no
place in her nature, her reading or literary work. A soul full of
healthy and noble sentiment left no room for sentimentalism.

Was Jenny June a genius? Well, if a boundless capacity for good
original work is genius, then she was a genius. Magnanimity was a
marked trait in her character. Envy or jealousy of the gifts of
another were foreign to her. Love of nature, and especially of fine
trees, was one of her most noticeable characteristics. "There will be
trees in my heaven," she once said to the writer. But works of art, of
the chisel, the brush, the pencil and the loom were her delight. She
loved the city, its crowding humanity, its stores and its galleries.
She loved London even more than New York. Continental travel was her
chief pleasure and diversion. A long period of physical suffering,
caused by an accident, cast a cloud over the last years of my sister's
honorable life. She sought relief from pain and weakness, at Ambleside
in Derbyshire, England, and at a celebrated cure in Switzerland, but
was only partially successful. The final release came on December 23,
1901, and her remains were laid by the side of her husband in the
cemetery at Lakewood, New Jersey.

Noble Jenny June! Shall we ever see her like again!

Sorosis-Press Club Memorial Meeting

A memorial meeting, called by Sorosis jointly with the Woman's Press
Club, was held at the Waldorf-Astoria on January 6, 1902, a fortnight
after the death of Mrs. Croly. It was attended not alone by the
members of these two clubs but also by representatives from every
woman's club in New York and the vicinity. Letters from many clubs
belonging to the General Federation were read, and from the
secretary's report of the meeting have been gathered the following
tributes of notable clubwomen to the beloved founder of both clubs.

Address by Dimies T.S. Denison, President of Sorosis

We have met this afternoon to pay a loving tribute to one of the
departed of Sorosis, who was for many years its President, and for
years its Honorary President.

The loss is not ours alone, for our sorrow is shared by all clubwomen,
from Australia around the world to Alaska. Her position will always
remain unique. Whenever there comes a time for a great movement there
has always been a leader. The Revolution had its Washington; the
abolition of slavery its Lincoln; and so, when the time came for such
a movement among women, there were also leaders. Mrs. Croly remained,
throughout her life, an advocate of everything which was for the
betterment of women, and she died in the heart of the movement.

Her perception of the value of unity, of the advantage of organized
effort, was remarkable. Perhaps the generations beyond ours will think
of her most in that quality, but the women of our time will remember
her, as they loved her, for her ready sympathy and her unfailing
helpfulness to all women. Though departed, she is still with us, and
the beauty of her life remains, in that its influence is imperative.

Mrs. Croly had that particular sense of fellowship among women most
unusual. If you will stop to think, in our language you will find that
there are no words to express that thought, except those that are
masculine--fellowship, brotherhood, fraternity. Mrs. Croly, perhaps
more than any other woman in the world, had the sense of what
fellowship or fraternity meant in women, and although she sometimes
may have been called an idealist or sentimentalist, it is recognized
by many women that this thought must be abiding, for in a federation
it is the spirit that is current through it that keeps the federation

The last afternoon it was my privilege to be with Mrs. Croly we had a
long talk, and it seems to me, in looking back, that Mrs. Croly was
then leaving a message with me for all clubwomen. I never heard her
speak so eloquently. We talked of some of the problems of the General
Federation--its possible disruption. Mrs. Croly said: "It does not
matter; if anything happens that the General Federation should be
disrupted, another will be formed at once." She had absolute faith, if
not in a Divine Providence, that there was a possibility it was part
of the human scheme of development that must be carried on through the
Divine Will. So, if she left any message for the General Federation,
it was this: that whatever our personal opinions are, whatever we
think of any question, we are to think first of the life of the
General Federation; because in it is the great thought of the
fellowship and fraternity among women that is to bring us closer and
closer to the millennium.

[Illustration: MRS. CROLY at the age of 40. (About the time Sorosis
was inaugurated)]

Address by Charlotte B. Wilbour

When a soul that has worn out its frail body in the work of the world
crosses the threshold of eternity, the darkness that gathers around
our hearts has in it a relief of light. Nature has suffered no
violence; the power of the body has been exhausted in good service,
and the tired spirit is set free from the encasement that can no
longer serve it. A fond look backward, a hopeful look forward, and the
portals close with our benediction.

  "A life that dares send
   A challenge to the end,
   And, when it comes, say
    'Welcome, friend,'"

inspires the wish that we may so fill the measure of our days with

The departure of such a spirit would be fittingly commemorated by the
grand marches of Chopin and Beethoven, or the majestic requiems of
Mozart, rather than by our simple words. And yet they are our hearts'
testimony to her in whose name we are assembled and, let us hope, made
worthy. To us who believe that life reels not back from the white
charger of Death towards the gulf of inanity and oblivion, there is a
vivid realization that our words may be spoken to the conscious
spirit; and we desire that, in the sacred name of truth, and with the
love that comprehends and overcomes, we may speak simply as "soul to

One of the most beautiful lessons I have learned of death is that
after the departure of a friend, or even of an acquaintance, our
memories retain and cherish their best and noblest qualities and
deeds. We repeat their finest words and recount their generous works.
The sunshine falls clear on their virtues, and the shadow lies kindly
on their faults. It exalts our nature that our minds elect only the
lovely and beautiful characteristics of the lost friend. This sublime
power in us breaks the force of the bitter criticism of the obituary,
the eulogy, and the epitaph--that they are false notes in a hymn of
praise. And to us yet living, there is sweet comfort in the thought
that our best and higher selves shall remain with those we love and
honor. And so shall the good we do live after us. These purified
remembrances are links of the chain that binds the humblest to the

In my early womanhood I knew our honored president, a fair, happy,
healthy, active English woman; and she appeared to me (sobered by the
loss of most of my family) to rejoice in a fulness of life. We were
maidens, and her interests and activities were in domestic and social
life. I have not lost the fresh memory of her in those days.

She was our president for ten years, and afterwards our honorary
president. The activity of her life has made the deepest impression
upon me. Every member of our association and of sister associations
will agree with me, that never a woman brought a more cheerful and
willing spirit to her official duties than did she. She rejoiced in
her place, delighted in her privilege, and fully enjoyed the
recognition and good fellowship of other clubs. This cheerful service,
rendered for years, made her widely known in the club world. She
responded to personal influence and suggestions made directly to her.
She was most receptive to practical ideas, and adopted methods
readily, and her liberal service brought to her just recompense.

For years it required sacrifice on her part to attend the regular
meetings of Sorosis, for she had daily occupation, and a lost day must
be redeemed. But when an officer she made the sacrifice cheerfully.
She was social and hospitable. Freely her house was given to us for
lectures, receptions to distinguished guests and business meetings.
For years the Positivists held their meetings at her home. She found
her pleasure in pleasing, and in helping others gave herself joy. She
loved her work for clubs, and you will remember that she had several
business enterprises connected with them, during the years that she
was an active clubwoman.

I was in this country while she was preparing her history of clubs
(not the history of Sorosis), and she brought the interest and
enthusiasm of a young woman to the work; with a satisfied pride she
showed me the material she had collected for the history. Nothing else
to her mind was more important, or to be thought of until that was
accomplished. I believe that her usefulness to clubs has been
commensurate with the interest and gratification she had in the

During the years of our acquaintance our intercourse was genial and
concordant, and the results of our early work in Sorosis cannot equal
the sweet satisfaction that came with its performance.

In the early life of the club many of us were young mothers, and our
domestic duties had strong claims upon us, and one prominent thought
in connection with the formation of Sorosis was that the attention of
a large class of thinking women, directed in concert towards important
domestic and social questions, could be secured; and, while the
character of the club should be pre-eminently social, we hoped to
quietly bring in important reforms, or at least some effective action
on these questions, and, above all, to secure an intelligent social
intercourse without increasing our domestic duties and responsibilities.
Have we not accomplished this?

As the smallest consoling thought is greater than the most eloquent
expression of sorrow, so do we find some consolation in the fact that
fate was kind to our friend, and led her away when she could no longer
enjoy life, and that she went while with us whose hearts were warm
with an active sympathy and tender helpfulness.

Our kind purpose to her name lifts our acts above criticism, and
fortifies them by our love and worthiness of intention. Let us live to
live forever--so shall we never fear death; let our warm human love be
the prophet of a union for greater benefits; and let us have faith in
the love that lives in human bosoms still:

  "Lives to renovate our earth
   From the bondage of its birth,
   And the long arrears of ill."

Address by the Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford, Vice-President of the Woman's
Press Club of New York City

I am requested to speak of the excellent work done by its departed
president, in and for the Woman's Press Club of New York City. To
others is assigned the testimony in reference to the career and work
of our departed president as a press woman, and her place in

We are not here to analyze her character, or to chronicle her work.
Nor are we here to dwell on those biographical details which belong to
the pen rather than the voice; to the book and the reader rather than
the address and the hearer. We are here to testify our regard for one
whose busy pen is laid aside, but whose example of industry we may
well imitate; though in the journalistic field the women of to-day
will never have opportunity to emulate her perseverance and
fearlessness, since her entrance in times long gone by on this
untrodden path bore an important part in opening the way and obtaining
results for women with whom the pen to-day is a power.

Mrs. Croly was the founder of this club in 1889, and for twelve years
and to the day of her death, its only president. It started (as she
tells us in the large quarto volume relating to clubs--which was the
closing, if not the crowning, effort of her busy pen) with an
invitation sent out by herself in November, 1889, to forty women, a
number of whom were then engaged upon the press in New York City, to
meet at her residence, and consider the advisability of forming a
Woman's Press Club. It was eminently fitting that one who had been
stirred in former years by the absence of social recognition in
journalism as within woman's province, on the part of the men of the
press, and moved to take a prominent part in the formation of Sorosis,
should organize a club of women writers--women journalists
especially--which should be known everywhere as distinctly a Woman's
Press Club.

The response to her call was most gratifying. Her ability as an
organizer, and her social qualities which could attract and hold women
together in strong bonds of mutual esteem and fellowship, were again
evident, and on November 19, 1889, the organization was effected and a
provisional constitution adopted.

At first the literary features of the new club were considered
secondary to the social and beneficiary, but gradually they grew to
their present importance.

In its early days, like most clubs this one was migratory, and its
work incidental. Gradually it came to have a more permanent home, and
its monthly programmes which, as Mrs. Croly herself stated, "are more
in the form of a symposium than of a question for debate," came to be
so attractive and varied, and in every way so excellent, that they are
often declared to be unsurpassed in interest by any woman's club. This
was a matter of exceeding satisfaction to its founder, who saw the
club grow from its membership of fifty-two to two hundred. She was
never weary of recounting its successes, literary, musical, artistic
and social. The Press Club was her joy and pride from its organization
to the very day when she last met with its members, devoting on that
day her failing strength to a cause that was beyond expression dear to
her heart. I think I shall only be saying very feebly what the members
of the club, especially those who have been members from its
organization, now feel--that they regard her presence with them on the
recent day of installation of new officers as a benediction, though
they little knew that in her feebleness she was bidding them a loving
farewell. When the news of her departure reached them it was received
with surprise and deep sorrow. By prompt action the officers at once
came together, and immediate measures were taken for appropriate
expression of the Press Club's loyalty and love.

Its members are here to-day not only to express their own high regard
for their departed founder and president, but also to unite with
Sorosis, the London Pioneer Club, and other clubs in the State
Federation, who, by their presence, speech, or song, indicate the
sympathy they have with those who will hold in fadeless remembrance
their ascended president, who has learned ere this, that

  "Life is ever Lord of Death,
   And Love can never lose its own."

As members of the club she, who has now passed into the eternal light,
founded may we seek earnestly to walk in the light of Truth, strenuous
for that more than royal liberty of conscience, which means liberty
under righteous law and seeking for the Unity which obeys the Golden
Rule, and thus binds heart to heart. So shall the Woman's Press Club
of New York City truly honor the memory of its founder and first
president, Jane Cunningham Croly.

Address by Orlena A. Zabriskie, President of the New York Federation

That the New York State Federation should be called upon to attest its
love, devotion, and admiration for Mrs. Croly and her wonderful work
among women, is a privilege we appreciate, and I shall try in a few
simple, honest words, to explain a little of what her influence has
been to the New York State Federation. We all know she was an
organizer and founder, but it is well to repeat those words, although
I think there is little danger that we shall ever forget them. From
all over the State have come messages to me from different members of
the federation, expressing their love and obligation to Mrs. Croly for
what she has done for them individually, and for the State. One letter

     "I shall think of her always as that lovely, sweet-tempered
     woman who, under the most trying circumstances, never lost
     her temper, or felt she was at all aggrieved. She took it in
     the right way, and was just as lovely and kind at the close
     as at the beginning."

I saw her at Friendship, a little town in the northwestern part of the
State, before the meeting at Buffalo, and there we had a long talk
about matters of Federation interest. She gave me some good advice in
her own gentle way, that I shall never forget, and I am only too glad
to have this opportunity of saying it helped me to carry through that
convention as I could not have done otherwise.

What was the secret of her power as an organizer? I think this--she
saw the little spark of good in each woman, every woman she came in
contact with, and even in those she did not come in personal contact
with. She knew it was there and she had the ability to call it forth,
and that magnetic influence drew them together, so that they realized
that they could do more in large numbers than they could as
individuals. Knowing our power, she urged and encouraged us to do our
best. When with her we did not feel as though we had a "specked" side.
I think it was just that that gave her power and influence in the
clubs she founded, to make them live and be a greater power than ever
they could have been without her memory and example set before them.

She has done good work, and started us on a task that she saw had
practical possibilities, and now we can carry out those ideas of hers,
and give them force in years to come. It may take a long time, but we
will keep on being patient, cheerful, kind-hearted, and considerate,
as she was. Let us therefore be grateful we had her as long as we did.
She was for us a grand inheritance, and let us appreciate it.

Address by Carrie Louise Griffin, President of the Society of American
Women in London

If I could only command that physical self as I would like to, I would
tell you how grateful I am to be privileged to speak, and how much I
think we have to be thankful for to-day, in the life of our dear one,
which was given us.

I am new in this club, and, as most of you know, my friendship with
Mrs. Croly is not yet three years old, but I have been singularly
privileged and honored in loving her, and in the love which she gave

She came into my life (I must be just a little personal for a moment)
as our first luncheon, in our little Society of American Women in
London, was about to be given. The president of Sorosis had written to
London saying: "Do you know that Mrs. Croly and Mrs. Glynes are to be
in London, and I think they would help you?" Bless her, and Mrs.
Croly: she came as a benediction to the few of us who were then
novices in what we were doing. I can never tell you what a benefit she
was to us in the difficult work we had undertaken. You have given me
exceptional privileges in coming among you, and I am grateful for the
help you have been to me, but I would say to you--and you have given
me this privilege--I have never met a woman who seemed to have
recognized the birthright in women as the birthright in men, to create
that link which binds our powers to our intellect. It seems to me that
it was with Mrs. Croly as it was with our late Majesty, Queen
Victoria, that she was an influence, perhaps, rather than a power. She
conceived great ideas and passed them on for the executive work of
others to fulfil. I can assure you she was everything to us. Her
English birth gave her an instinctive insight into English character.
English women seemed to know and understand her, as she knew and
understood them, and there has been no finer link between the women of
America and the women of the Old World than Mrs. Croly. It was my
privilege to be with her personally a great deal while in London, not
only when she stayed in my own house, but when I have gone back and
forth with her as her guide to the many functions we attended
together. We can all be proud of her. Wherever she went she was not
only hailed as the pioneer woman, but also as one who did honor and
credit to the name of American womanhood, for, although born in
England, she still claimed that she was an American woman, as you

I shall never forget a little picture she gave of herself one day.
She told us of her life in her home in a little town in the north of
England. Her father was a Unitarian, and often had classes in his
house for teaching the working people. His views, as you may imagine,
were quite contrary to the views of the orthodox Church of England,
and the people there rebelled, stoned the house, and wanted to turn
them out of the town. The mother said to the father: "I wish you would
take little Jennie by the hand, in her white frock, and lead her out
to the people; perhaps when they see her they will not throw stones."
That was her earliest memory of that little English town. Later, I
believe, they left in the night and came to America, in order that
they might live out the courage of their faith.

At our luncheon Mrs. Croly said: "I want English and American women to
love each other. I remember with pride and honor my English birth. I
can see my little room now--a small room with a lattice window over
which the roses grew, and as I stood at the window on tiptoe, I could
look into the old-fashioned garden below. I stood on an old chest. In
the winter my summer frocks were kept there, and in the summer my red
woollen dress. I loved it; it was beautiful, and it made me love
England. When I am in England and I hear anything not quite kind about
America, I am sorry and my heart aches, and if, when I am in America,
I hear something not quite kind about England, my heart aches again,
because I love it all."

In talking with Mrs. Croly, she said to me, "I hope some day you will
come to a General Federation." Quoting Matthew Arnold, she said: "If
ever the world sees a time when women shall come together, purely and
simply for the benefit and good of mankind, it will be a power such as
the world has never known." And she said, "There you will find it." We
had talked about it and looked forward to seeing it together, but that
will never be. It was her hope and dream that there should be such a
General Federation of clubs as to bring in the women of the Old World
with the Federation of Clubs in the New, that we might stand hand in
hand together. She said to me, "I think you are narrow in your
society--its members are only Americans." We have often talked this
over, and have decided that in order to strengthen our centre we must
keep it, at present, to American woman; but it may be possible to have
an associate membership--the thin edge of the wedge looking toward the
realization of her dreams.

Address by Cynthia Westover Alden, Vice-President of the Women's Press
Club, and President of the International Sunshine Society

Mrs. Croly has left us. Yet I cannot think of her work as ended, of
her mission as closed. You may go over every line she ever wrote, you
may recall with, microscopic exactness every word she ever spoke,
without finding one single grain of bitterness towards any human
creature. Her active life was such as must find the ripe continuance
of its activity in the better country whither she has preceded us. I
feel that there is no hyperbole in applying to her memory the striking
words of Lowell's Elegy on Dr. Channing:

  "I do not come to weep above thy pall
    And mourn the dying-out of noble powers;
  The poet's clearer eye should see in all
    Earth's seeming woe, seed of immortal flowers.

  "No power can die that ever wrought for truth;
    Thereby a law of Nature it became,
  And lives unwithered in its blithesome youth,
    When he who called it forth is but a name.

  "Therefore I cannot think thee wholly gone;
    The better part of thee is with us still;
  Thy soul its hampering clay aside hath thrown,
    And only freer wrestles with the ill.

  "Thou art not idle; in thy higher sphere
    Thy spirit bends itself to loving tasks,
  And strength to perfect what it dreamed of here
    Is all the crown and glory that it asks."

The women of America owe much to Jenny June. By example she showed
them that the career of letters was open to them. Her style, cheerful
and vivid, sometimes epigrammatic, always entertaining, was her own.
It could not be copied, it could not be imitated, it stood by itself;
her career, filled with a large measure of the courage of her success,
belonged in the broadest sense to women as women. How many worthy
ambitions that career has stimulated to fruition we know not, and
never shall know. One thing, however, is certain--that if you deduct
from the literature of America the names of women who have followed
Mrs. Croly's example and have been cheered by the fact that she did
not fall by the wayside, you leave a void that never could be filled.
How consciously they have been affected by Mrs. Croly's blazing path I
cannot tell; but the influence has been none the less real and none
the less powerful.

Woman's battle for literary recognition will not have to be fought
over again: it belongs to the past. The old contempt of editors and
publishers, aye, and of readers as well, has gone to join slavery and
polygamy and human sacrifices in the chamber of horrors. But we can
never forget the woman who braved that contempt, and faced it down by
achievement that could not be ignored. Mrs. Croly belonged to the
period of that early struggle. In her sweetness of temper she lent to
its very asperities the charm of a tournament, overcoming evil with
good, and triumphing at last over prejudice which thousands of women
had feared to face. We loved her for herself. We are sad in spite of
ourselves that she has gone. But we shall only remember her as one of
the greatest benefactors of woman in literature; one of the most
delightful of all the delightful characters that we have ever known.

  "This laurel leaf I cast upon thy bier;
    Let worthier hands than these thy wreath entwine;
  Upon thy hearse I shed no useless tear--
    For us weep rather thou, in calm divine."

In the Silence

_By May Riley Smith_

    They are out of the chaos of living,
     The wreck and debris of the years;
    They have passed from the struggle and striving,
     They have drained their goblet of tears.
    They have ceased one by one from their labors,
     So we clothed them in garments of rest,
    And they entered the chamber of silence;--
     God do for them now what is best!

    We saw not the lift of the curtain,
     Nor heard the invisible door,
    As they passed where life's problems uncertain
     Will follow and burthen no more.
    We lingered and wept on the threshold--
     The threshold each mortal must cross,--
    Then we laid a new wreath down upon it,
     To mark a new sorrow and loss.

    Then back to our separate places
     A little more lonely we creep,
    A little more care in our faces,
     The wrinkles a little more deep.
    And we stagger, ah, God, how we stagger
      As we lift the old load to our back!
    A little more lonely to carry
      Because of the comrade we lack.

    But into our lives whether chidden
      Or welcome, God's comforters come;
    His sunshine waits not to be bidden,
      His stars,--they are always at home.
    His mornings are faithful,--His evenings
      Allay the day's fever and fret;
    And night--kind physician--entreats us
      To slumber and dream and forget.

    O Spirit of infinite kindness
      And gentleness passing all speech!
    Forgive when we miss in our blindness
      The comforting hand them dost reach.
    Thou sendest the Spring on Thine errand
      To soften the grief of the world;
    For us is the calm of the mountain,
      For us is the rose-leaf uncurled.

    Thou art tenderer, too, than a mother,
      In the wonderful Book it is said;
    O Pillow of Comfort! What other
      So softly could cradle my head?
    And though Thou hast darkened the portal
      That leads where our vanished ones be;
    We lean on our faith in Thy goodness,
      And leave them to silence and Thee.

Jenny June

_By Fanny Hallock Carpenter_

    A beautiful soul has journeyed
     Out from the Now into Then.
    Her voice echoes back to us, waiting,
     The sound of the great Amen.

    Her life was a song so winsome
     It sung itself night and day
    Into the hearts of the people
     Who met her along the way.

    Her life was a flower so fragrant
     That every one passing her, knew
    By the perfume from it exhaling,
     The love out of which it grew.

    Her life was a book so vivid
     That all, though running, could read
    The story of earnest endeavor
     Written for woman's need.

    Her life was a light whose radiance
     Brightened all woman-kind,
    As sunshine wakens the flowers,
     Or genius illumines the mind.

    Her life was a poem so tender
      It thrilled with its cadence sweet
    Many a life prosaic,
      Which caught up the rhythmic beat.

    Her life was a bell whose ringing
      Gave no uncertain sound,
    Its chiming rang out to the nations
      And girdled the world around.

    Her life was a deed so holy,
      So noble, so brave, so true,
    That it set all womanhood noting
      The good one woman could do.

    Her life was a brook, that swelling
      Grew to a river wide,
    That freshened the souls of the many
      Touched by its flowing tide.

    The song has trilled into silence,
      The flower is faded and gone,
    The book's strong story is ended,
      The light is lost in the dawn.

    The poem's sweet rhythm is ended,
      The chiming has ceased to be,
    The deed is fully accomplished,
      The river has joined the sea.

    She dropped the pebble whose ripples
      To the shores of all time shall extend,
    She has spoken the word into ether
      Whose sound-waves never shall end.

    She has started a light on its journey
      Out into limitless space,
    She has written a thought for women
      Eternity cannot erase.

    A wonderful soul has journeyed
      Out from the Now into Then,
    Her voice echoes back to us, waiting,
      The sound of the great Amen.

Resolutions and Tributes From Clubs

[Illustration: Fac-simile of resolutions adopted by the Woman's Press
Club of New York, January 11, 1902.]

Resolutions of the New York State Federation of Women's Clubs

In Memoriam

_Mrs. Jane Cunningham Croly_

We have tenderly laid away to rest our beloved honorary president,
Jane Cunningham Croly, to sleep the blessed sleep that knows no waking
in this toilsome, troublous world.

Her gentle soul is at peace, her personal work is accomplished, her
useful life is ended. She has been taken from further pain and further
labor, to that existence where all is perfect peace, perfect rest,
perfect rhythm.

We wish to place upon our records, therefore, our appreciation of the
fact, that this New York State Federation of Women's Clubs has
suffered such a loss as can come but once to any, a loss like that of
a loving mother to an affectionate child.

We shall miss her at our meetings, at our larger gatherings, and at
our conventions.

We shall hold her, and the desires of her heart in relation to us, in
loving and constant memory.

And we purpose to take up her work, where she laid it down, and carry
it on with the same unselfish aims, high ideals, and unremitting
patience with which she labored, until we shall reach the goal upon
which her farseeing eyes were fastened, and her great heart was set.

                    FANNY HALLOCK CARPENTER.
                                   February 13, 1902.

[Illustration: Resolutions adopted by The Society of American Women in
London, March 24th, 1902.]

The Croly Memorial Fund of the Pioneer Club of London

_First Annual Report_

In July, 1900, a fund was raised by the exertions of Mrs. E.S.
Willard, to present a life membership of the Pioneer Club to Mrs. Jane
Cunningham Croly, known to all who are interested in woman's work as
"Jenny June."

Mrs. Croly had a special claim to this distinction, for she was the
originator of women's clubs. The first woman's club was founded by her
in New York, March, 1868, under the name of "Sorosis." The example was
quickly followed elsewhere, and when, in 1889, Sorosis, to celebrate
its majority, called a convention of women's clubs, ninety-seven were
known to exist in the United States. This convention led to a
Federation with biennial meetings. In 1896, the Federation included
one thousand four hundred and twenty-five dubs. The Pioneer is the
only English woman's club which belongs to the Federation.

Mrs. Croly's activities were not confined to clubs, although up to the
time of her death the movement owed much to her wisdom and energy. She
was a journalist, a writer, an admirable critic, and all her life a
devoted worker for every movement that could raise the position of

She was a dear and valued friend of Mrs. Marsingberd, the president
and founder of this club. It was a recognition of their unity of
spirit and purpose that made the response of this club so ready that
the only life-membership as yet presented, was offered to Mrs. Croly.
She was deeply gratified, but unfortunately did not live long enough
to enjoy a privilege which she highly esteemed. Her useful, loving,
laborious life ended in December, 1901. But she had been among us from
time to time. Her interest in us never flagged, and we prize some
tokens of her regard. Nor shall we soon forget the stirring words she
addressed to us on two occasions, pointing out the opportunities which
our association gave for useful work and sympathy.

When the life-membership fee had been paid, some money still remained,
and when the question arose as to what should be done with it, Lady
Hamilton made the valuable suggestion that it should be used as the
foundation of a fund to be called "The Mrs. Croly Memorial Fund," to
be applied in sisterly loving kindness to such cases as might arise
within the club, where urgent material help was needed. This
suggestion was heartily welcomed by a small provisional meeting called
by Mrs. E.S. Willard, October 15, 1902, when preliminary steps were
taken. At a second meeting, November 25, a definite constitution was
formed for the administration of the fund.

It is hoped that the members of the Pioneer Club will do all they can
to support this fund, for it is an effort to give some tangible
expression to the principles which governed the lives of both Mrs.
Croly and our own president. They always unselfishly tried to give
loving help to sister women.

January 27, 1903.

The Positivist Episode

_By Thaddeus B. Wakeman_

     "The Positivist Episode was a positive factor in my
     life."--MRS. CROLY.

Those were bright, sunny, happy, idyllic, and fruitful days of the
Positivist Episode, when the first of the two following letters which
my wife and I now contribute to the "Memories of Mrs. Croly," were
written. That episode, of which these letters represent the beginning,
and the end throws an explaining light not only over the life of her
whom this memorial is to honor, but over that of her husband, who
passed to the higher life in 1889; and largely also over the lives of
others more or less associated with, or affected by, the introduction
of the study and culture of Positivism into America, of which they may
be regarded as the chief promoters.

Yes, as friends of Mrs. Croly and of those dear to her, we may well
recall, as she often did, this Positivist Episode as among the
pleasantest of her--and may we not also add of ours?--earthly days.
The first letter shows the movement well under way, when meetings had
begun to be held, and visits to be made to the homes of those deeply
interested. Never shall we forget the first of those visits made by
Mrs. Croly to our then "almost out of town" home in 116th street,
where our house, pleasantly overlooking the East River, was clothed
with trees and vines. The Catawbas on a large trellis, trained in
stories with upright canes, excited her admiration, and she assured us
that she had "never seen nor eaten anybody's grapes with such
delight." Naturally, a basket or two of grapes soon followed to her
home away down and over to the other side of town at number 19 Bank
street. Thus the "vines" and "fruit" referred to in her letter are
explained; and with them was thus associated in holy sympathy her love
with ours of "the kindly fruits of the earth." Mr. Croly also referred
to gifts of this kind in the New York _World_--thirty varieties of
grapes raised under and in proof of the "law of correlation, expounded
by the raiser as the law which held us of the world together."

But when our turn came as Positivist students to visit at their home,
we found the cosey parlors well filled with the higher samples and
fruits of human culture and intellect. Mrs. Croly's social position,
sustained by the ability of Mr. Croly and his prominence as managing
editor of the New York _World_, and afterwards of the _Graphic_,
enabled her to call together the leaders, and many interested in the
then (and now?) two leading schools of scientific and constructive
thought; the Positivist school of Augusta Comte, represented by Henry
Edgar and partly also by Mr. Croly and others; and also in contrast
therewith, the Synthetic Philosophy of Herbert Spencer, represented by
Edward L. Youmans, John Fiske and others. Nor were there wanting those
who, like the present writer, would combine those two schools, and
more, into the scientific and republican growth of our newer world and
life in America.

The initiative of these meetings was a course of lectures procured by
Mr. Croly, to be delivered by Mr. Edgar at De Garmo Hall early in
1868. Out of the interest thus excited, Mr. and Mrs. Croly called
around them the elements above referred to, including, among
miscellaneous attendants, perhaps a hundred earnest students of
Positivism and of the higher religious and scientific philosophies.
The meetings were not always held at the homes mentioned, but at the
home of Mr. Courtlandt Palmer and of other participants. All the
parties named, and many others, took part in the discussions of this
unorganized circle, until its name and influence reached and
interested generally the thinkers of the city. This interest, as the
years rolled on, resulted in or influenced the forming of many
societies, among which were a Positivist Society, the Society of
Humanity, the New York and Manhattan Liberal Clubs, the Philosophic
Society of Brooklyn, the Nineteenth Century Club, the Goethe Society,
and indirectly a Dante Society and several others. All of the clubs
and societies of women with which Mrs. Croly and her work have been
associated may be thus included. Certain it is that this "positive
factor" in her life was the source from which the new, altruistic
inspiration originally came which made her finally recognized as the
"Mother of Women's Clubs" and of their beneficent influences--the new
life, light, and hope of women, of which they are the beginning.

Nor less should be said for the literature that has sprung from the
same source. It began with the "Positivist's Calendar," by Mr. Edgar,
and Professor Youmans's admirable collection of articles, and the
introduction, on "Correlation" of the physical and other forces,
published by Appleton, and never to be outgrown. Then Professor Fiske
published in the New York _World_ his able series of lectures on the
"Positive Philosophy," which some think he weakened by turning into the
"Cosmic Philosophy." Then (for further details are not in place here)
Mr. and Mrs. Croly and Mr. Bell and most of us went into literature in
some way, to an extent that made quite a library, now mostly lost or
forgotten. Would that I could "lend continuance to the time" of those
disputants, and show why and how they drifted apart instead of
together! For the shadow of oblivion seems to be creeping over all;
and against that I, as the last survivor, seem to be their only and
yet their helpless protector. Yet we can now see, as they mostly did
not, that their divergence was really a "differentiation process,"
leading each to a higher integration of truth.

Thus, what I cannot do for each, the volunteer seeding of time is
doing silently for all, though they noticed not the good seed they
scattered. For instance, Mr. Croly wished these words to be placed
over his grave: "I meant well, tried a little, failed much." He saw
not that the sound seed of which he was a real and great sower, were
his well-meant and effective efforts to bring Positivism, as the sum
and synthesis of science and humanity, before all thoughtful American
people, as the real religion and basis of their modern life. That view
of life was then new, but now it is replacing or changing all dogmatic
or supernatural religions. In a word, modern scientific thought is
becoming practical, constructive, and positive in religion; directed
more and more toward advantages in the human future on this earth. The
real basis of sentiment is the new science of Sociology and the new
sense of altruism--first named by Auguste Comte and first brought to
the American people in and by this "Positivist Episode."

It is by the up-coming of such seed as was then sown, that the old
issues and their old world have been replaced by the new; which we
should gratefully inherit from those sowers. It is said that they
seemed to look upon much of their life as failure because they did not
see the harvest in their day as the direct result of their hands. How
strange that the faith of evolution did not give them the "after
sight" which is the crown and reward of those who "mean well," and who
"work and hope!"

To Mrs. Croly did come not only the well-wishing and the patient
labor, but also a foretaste of her reward. Her days were extended
until her purposes fulfilled met the gratitude of her successors. Even
"the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," referred to in her last
letter to us, were warded off by the human providence which, in her
own words, "realizes the eternal goodness of the perfection of the
order which governs the universe."

Thus her friendships with the many she loved and served have closed
with unalloyed satisfaction--to me and mine a sincere friend for more
than thirty years! And no words come that I might wish unsaid unless
these: "Be careful now, for I have told more than one that you are my

From Mrs. Croly to Mr. Wakeman

        Sept. 26, 1870.

My dear Mr. Wakeman:

Thank you very much for allowing us to share so largely in the
luxuries of your pleasant home, and in the rewards of your labor. The
grapes were a great treat to us, and we have enjoyed them exceedingly.
The variety is wonderful; and the difference in the flavors, each one
being perfect in itself, constantly excited our admiration.

I hope by this time your term of bachelorhood is at an end, and that
Mrs. Wakeman and the children are with you. If she has arrived, please
convey to her my acknowledgments for the card she left for me, and say
how much I regretted not seeing her. Please also to remind her that
next Monday (first Monday in October) is the meeting of Sorosis, and
that I shall expect to find her at Delmonico's, corner of 14th Street
and Fifth Avenue, at 1 P.M., as my guest. She can walk straight
upstairs, and a waiter will send in her name to me, so that she need
not enter alone; or she can arrive a little earlier (I am always there
early) and see the ladies as they come.

As I have not many occasions for writing notes to you, Mr. Wakeman, I
desire to say to you, with the deliberation with which one puts pen to
paper, that I am thankful for having known so true a man, and happy
that my husband can count him friend. One thing done is worth many
words spoken, yet I am doubly glad when words and acts walk
harmoniously together.

  Always your obliged friend,
                 J.C. CROLY.

From Mrs. Croly to Mrs. Wakeman

         LONDON, December 24, 1900.


I am sure that you have thought many times that I was forgetful and
ungrateful, but indeed the first part of the indictment cannot be laid
to my charge. I never forget you, and if I have not written, it is
because I have suffered and enjoyed many things during the past two
years, and have permanently lost the power of rapid movement, or of
doing anything under great stress and pressure.

But now that this wonderful year is ending, this Sabbath of the
centuries, I feel that I must at least send my love and unforgetness
to you; also my hope that you are finding on the other side of the
continent of North America, compensation for all that you left behind
in the east, and greater promise for the future.

For all that I have gained for some years past I have to thank my
losses. Chief among my gains is, I hope, a little realization of
eternal goodness; of the perfection of the order which governs the
universe, and the relation of every separate atom to the Divine Unity
of the whole. I know Goethe proclaimed it a hundred years ago; but
every separate part has to grow to its knowledge for itself.

I wonder how you are spending Christmas. This year seems to me so
remarkable that it is a privilege to live in it. I am trying to use
its last days as if they were mine, in doing the things I should be
most sorry to leave undone.

I expect to return home soon--that is, in a few months. Or rather, as
I have no home now, and a trustee has lost the money I had saved and
entrusted to him in making provision for my old age, I shall only try
to find a corner to rest in.

I hope you have been dealt with more kindly in body and estate. Please
remember that I never forget the union of the spirit we once
enjoyed--that the Positivist Episode was a positive factor in my life,
and that I shall always recall Mr. Wakeman as my chief helper in it.

  With love to you and yours, I am unforgettingly,
                    J.C. CROLY.

     (It has seemed pertinent and interesting as bearing upon the
     "Positivist Episode" to here insert extracts from
     testimonials to Mr. Croly published in the memorial issued
     at the time of his death in May, 1889.)

[Illustration: DAVID GOODMAN CROLY.]

From a Testimonial to Mr. Croly, by T.B. Wakeman

David G. Croly must not be forgotten. He rendered our country an
invaluable service, not yet recognized. He was the man who _planted
Positivism in America_. The many who have felt, the thousands who
hereafter will feel its influence for good, should learn to bless, and
to teach others to bless and continue his memory and influence.

In 1867-68 he began his great work. Henry Edgar had the seed from
Comte direct, and then tried to sow it in a course of lectures given
in a hall chiefly paid for by Mr. Croly. But the seed would not take.
After Edgar had gone, the sturdy brain and hand of D.G. Croly took the
matter in charge and actually made the growth start. Then the _World_,
with him at its head, evoked and published John Fiske's "Lectures on
Positivism," far better in their first shape than when pared and
cooked over into the "Cosmic Philosophy." Then came the "Modern
Thinker" and "Positive Primer." Then Dr. McCosh came out, in reply,
with his volume on "Positivism and Christianity." Then Positivist
Societies and Liberal Clubs, one after another, were formed and some
continue, whence John Elderkin, Henry Evans, James D. Bell, the writer
of these lines, and not a few others commenced to ray out the new
light, which never has been, and never will be extinguished. By the
aid of that light let a distant posterity read with gratitude the
names of _David G. and Jane Cunningham Croly_, for without them I know
it would not have been.


From a Testimonial by Herbert D. Croly

... I should like to relate one incident in the history of my father's
relations with myself--an incident which was eminently characteristic
of certain aspects of his nature.

From my earliest years it was his endeavor to teach me to understand
and believe in the religion of Auguste Comte. One of my first
recollections is that of an excursion to Central Park on one bright
Sunday afternoon in the spring; there, sitting under the trees, he
talked to me on the theme which lay always nearest his heart--that of
the solidarity of mankind. There never, indeed, was a time throughout
my whole youth, when we were alone together, that he did not return to
the same text and impress upon me that a selfish life was no life at
all, that "no man liveth for himself, that no man dieth for himself."
His teachings were as largely negative as positive. While never,
perhaps, understanding the Christian religion as a man with a weaker
faith in the truth of his own convictions might have understood it,
his attitude was one, I judge, of sympathetic scepticism. He was
always endeavoring to impress upon me that, while there must
necessarily have been something great and good in a faith that had
been the inspiration of so many souls, and comfort of mankind through
so many centuries, yet at the same time it was incomplete; that very
often the followers of Christ gave more to the doctrine than they
received from it; and that the teaching of Auguste Comte supplied what
was lacking in the teaching of Jesus Christ. His desire to impress
upon me a belief which he held himself with all the force of religious
conviction led him to attempt explanations which the mind of a child
could neither grasp nor retain. He even discussed, for my benefit,
theoretical questions as to the existence and nature of the Supreme
Being; discussions, of course, that I could so little understand that
it was like pouring water on a flat board. It was simply the fulness
of his belief that led him to do this. His desire was that, surrounded
as I was by people who burnt their candles at the altars of the
Christian faith, I should have full opportunity to compare the
Positivist _Grand Être_ with the Christian Cross. Under such
instruction it was not strange that in time I dropped insensibly into
his mode of thinking, or, more correctly, into his mode of believing.

While I was at college I was surrounded by other influences, and while
retaining everything that was positive and constructive in his
teaching, I dropped the negative cloth in which it was shrouded. My
change in opinion was a bitter disappointment to him, as several
letters which he wrote at the time testify. But intense as was his
disappointment, it never took the form of a reproach. This is very
remarkable when we consider what an essential part of his character
his beliefs constituted. Here was an end, for which he had striven
through many years, failing at the very time when it should have
become most fruitful. And his disappointment must have been all the
more severe because he exaggerated the differences that existed
between us. It was his opinion that his negative opinions were
necessarily connected with those which were positive; and that it was
impossible truly to hold the one without the other. Yet, as I said,
his disappointment never took the form of a reproach. "It is your
right; nay, it is even your duty," he used continually to say, "to
work your own salvation. It has turned out to be different from mine.
Well, then, mine is the loss."

From an abstract point of view it may not seem to be so much of a
virtue that a father should consider his son's intellectual honesty to
be of more importance than his own opinions. But I am not writing from
an abstract point of view. We are all but children of the earth; not
good, but simply better than the bad. So it was with David G. Croly.
His opinions, crystallized by the opposition which they met on every
side, were so very much the truth to him that he wished his son to
perceive them clearly and cherish them as devoutly as he did. That
wish became impossible of fulfilment. Part of his life-work had
failed. "Mine is the loss."


From Mr. Croly to His Son Herbert at College

  LOTOS CLUB, Oct. 31, 1886.

My Dear Boy--You said something about the divergence between my ideas
and those of the philosophers whose works you are reading at college.
Let me beg of you to form your own judgment on all the higher
themes--religion included--without any reference to what I may have
said. All I ask is that you keep your mind open and unpredisposed. In
the language of the Scripture, "prove all things and hold fast to that
which is good." Be careful and do not allow first impressions to
influence your maturer judgment. You say you are reading the
controversy between Spencer and Harrison on religion. In doing so keep
in mind the fact that Spencer's matter was revised, while that of
Harrison was not; and that upon the latter's protest the work was
withdrawn in England.

I wish during your college year that you would read:

(1) Miss Martineau's translation of Comte's "Positive Philosophy."
(2) Mill's Estimate of Comte's Life and Works.
(3) Bridges's Reply to Mill.
(4) All of Frederic Harrison's writings that you can find.
(5) All of Herbert Spencer's works that are not technical.
(6) John Fiske's works.
(7) The works of the English Positivists, such as Congreve, Bridges
and Beasley.

By noticing the dates I think you will find that Spencer appropriates
a great deal from Comte and that he tries to shirk the obligation. It
would be well to read the latter's "General View of Positivism"
further along.

My dear son, I shall die happy if I know that you are an earnest
student of philosophic themes.

Do cultivate all the religious emotions, reverence, awe, and
aspiration, if for no better reason than as a means of self-culture.
Educate, train every side of your mental and emotional nature. Read
poetry and learn the secret of tears and ecstacy. Go to Catholic and
Episcopal churches and surrender yourself to the inspiration of
soul-inspiring religious music.

  Ever your affectionate

From a Testimonial by Edmund Clarence Stedman

My intimacy with Mr. Croly began in 1860, when we were together upon
the editorial staff of the New York _World_. We had many notions,
socialistic and otherwise, in common. With these, however, we did not
venture to imperil the circulation of that conservative newspaper. He
was City Editor, and knew his business. I was struck by the activity
of his mind, and his combination of shrewd executive ability with
inventive skill. I found him a staunch friend, loyal to his
allies, helpful to his subordinates; moreover, a man of strong
convictions--which he asserted with a fine dogmatism; an idealist
withal, quite unhampered by reverence for conventional usage and
opinion. Absolute mental honesty was his chief characteristic.

He was a humanitarian, in the Positivist sense of the word. All his
aspirations were for the future glory and happiness of the human race.
Faith in the reign of law, and a prophetic certainty of man's
elevation--these were his religion. As a thinker and talker he
certainly was of the same breed with Tennyson's poet, who

  "Sings of what the world will be
   When the years have died away."

He bore good fortune and adversity with an equal mind, and he
displayed stoical courage throughout prolonged illness of a most
depressing type.

Others will add to your own feeling statement of his varied labors.
But let me say that, whether our paths came together or diverged, I
always thought of him as in every sense a comrade. His loss makes the
lessening roll of those with whom I touched elbows in the old
newspaper days seem ominously faded.


From a Testimonial by J.D. Bell

Mr. Croly was a great journalist. He was not a great editorial writer,
but he was a great editor. He had the true executive temper and
power--that is, the ability to obtain from others the work that was in
them. He never made the mistake of endeavoring to do everything
himself. He was just, as well as generous to his subordinates, and
many of the younger journalists have reason to remember his kindness
to them. In any company in which he was thrown he was sure to attract
attention, and there were very few companies in which he did not take
the leading part by virtue of his ability and not of his
self-assertion. He never used tobacco in any form, and was otherwise a
strictly temperate man. In his utterances he was often very radical,
but in practice he was always thoroughly conservative.

His social predilections led him to study the writings of Auguste
Comte. He accepted his doctrines and endeavored to popularize them in
writings and meetings, but with very limited success. Indeed, he often
said that while intellectually Positivism was in the air, as a social
doctrine it was too far in advance of the present age to become

He was essentially a family man and loved his home and household.
During the greater part of his married life, however, the exacting
editorial duties and literary labors of himself and his wife prevented
them from enjoying the society of the home circle to the extent that
each desired. Here, as in so many other cases, the individual was
sacrificed for the benefit of the public.

From a Testimonial by St. Clair McKelway

... David G. Croly's personality was always healthy and hopeful. He
commended with justice, he censured with consideration, he changed or
cut out your copy with regard exclusively to the increased value of
the article for newspaper purposes. The staff was like a large family
under him. Every one's equal rights were regarded, every one's special
talents were stimulated, every one's peculiar fads or foibles were
genially borne with. Officially he had no favorites. Personally he
chose his friends among the staff as freely as he would do among
outsiders. The unrecorded kindnesses of the man were fragrant and not
few. To newcomers he would intimate what were the prejudices or
susceptibilities or limitations of those among whom they were cast. He
would be just as careful to see that the old standbys did not make
things rough or unfair for the newcomers. He had little respect for
the gifts or views that could not be made interconvertible with
newspaper results. He took a public view of party questions and rarely
a personal view of any questions. Between what he thought and wished
as an iconoclast, a reformer, or a reconstructor of foundations and
what he was intrusted to say as an editor, he drew the line sharp and
clear. While, as I have remarked, he was rarely a writer with his own
hand, the articles which he suggested or poured into or pulled out of
others were made so eminently characteristic of himself that they were
stamped with his quality as truly as if he had written them himself.
He was very proud of the success of the men in after life who started
on their newspaper careers under him. He followed them with good
wishes always, he spoke strong words for them when, where, and to whom
they little suspected, and he rightly regarded their success as a
vindication of his own prescience in having set them on their way, and
also as a gratification not merely to his confidence in his own
opinion concerning them, but to the wishes of his unselfish heart in
desiring that they should take the pinnacles of achievement in
whatsoever field of newspaper work inclination, necessity, opportunity
or destiny marked out before them.

                                     ST. CLAIR MCKELWAY.
  The _Eagle_ Office, Brooklyn, May 14, 1889.

From a Testimonial by John Elderkin

David G. Croly was a strong man. He was strong in his convictions, his
honesty, and his capacity to meet all the requirements of life in the
most populous, enterprising, and brilliant city of the continent. His
strength begot independence, and he was before all else independent in
the formation and expression of his views, both on public affairs and
those which are more personal and philosophical. He never apologized
for his opinions, and his life needs no apology. His mind dwelt on
that side of every question which involved the interest and welfare of
the whole mass of mankind, and his religious philosophy was pure
Humanitarianism. His reverence for Comte was the result of his
intellectual conviction that in his altruistic teaching was to be
found the only remedy for the wrongs and sufferings of the world.

In personal intercourse Mr. Croly was suggestive, inspiring and
encouraging. It was always with a slight shock to preconceived
notions and prejudices that one listened to his comments on any
current movement or event, for he was sure to take an original and
characteristic view which could not be calculated.

From Mrs. Croly's Contribution to Her Husband's Memorial

Mr. Croly was in his twenty-seventh year when I first knew him, but as
yet had made no mark in journalism. He had not found his place in it.
He was employed as City Editor of the New York _Herald_--a position
which had not then developed the importance which attaches to it
to-day--and his duties consisted mainly of making out the "slate" for
the staff of reporters, and doing such reportorial work as it was the
province and habit of the City Editor to perform. This afforded little
scope for a man of Mr. Croly's latent power; and his dissatisfaction
and desire to find a new field was the cause of our going West within
three years after our marriage and starting a daily paper in a Western
town. Had the town been larger the story would have been different. As
it was, we spent our money, not without result; for Mr. Croly
discovered that his forte was not execution, but direction, and that
his fertility of brain only needed a sufficiently wide field to
develop powers capable of greater expansion.

He was the most utterly destitute of the mechanical or "doing" faculty
of any man I ever saw, and never used his own hands if he could
possibly help it. But ideas flowed freely upon all subjects in which
he was interested, and he distributed them as freely, knowing that the
reservoir though forever emptied was always full. This amazing
fertility was in some respects a detriment, for it led him into too
many projects, and made him careless whom he enriched, while his
dislike of the mechanism of his work made profit for others at his
expense. I know no other journalist in New York City, during my own
journalistic career of thirty-three years, who has made so many and
such diverse publications, or put so much originality and force into
the detail of his work. The _World_, and particularly the Sunday
_World_, which was the foundation of the Sunday newspaper, the New
York illustrated _Graphic_, the _Round Table_, and other journals were
built up by his energy, and owed their most striking and successful
features to his suggestiveness. He was particularly unselfish in his
estimate of other men and his appreciation of their work. He was as
proud of discovering the good qualities of a man on his staff as a
miner of finding a nugget, and never wearied of expatiating upon them.
Indeed, he did this more than once to his own disadvantage, thus
furnishing an instrument to treachery.

I am sure the "boys" of the old _World_ staff, St. Clair McKelway,
A.C. Wheeler ("Nym Crinkle"), T.E. Wilson, H.G. Crickmore, Montgomery
Schuyler, E.C. Stedman, and others, will look back with a little sigh
for the "old times," and for the generous recognition they received
from one who was never at a loss for a subject, or for the treatment
of a topic, and was always a good comrade and heart and soul
sympathizer in their work, its trials and its achievements.

A chief quality with Mr. Croly was faithfulness to the interests he
served. This was put to some severe tests; but they could not be
called temptations, for disloyalty did not present itself as a
possibility to him. His faults were those of a nervous temperament,
combined with great intellectual force and a strength of feeling which
in some directions and under certain circumstances became prejudice.
He could never, in any case, be made to run a machine. He hated the
obvious way of saying or doing a thing. He cultivated the "unexpected"
almost to a fault, and always gave a touch of originality even to the
commonplace. His pessimistic and unhopeful temperament was doubtless
due to inherent and hereditary bodily weakness, and to the lack of
muscular cultivation in his youth, which might have modified inherent
tendencies. His mental lack was form not force; and he had enough
original elemental ideas to have supplied a dozen men. In that respect
he was superior to every other journalist I have ever known--not
excepting Horace Greeley, Henry J. Raymond and Frederick Hudson.

But the time has gone by for ideas. It is not that they are a drug in
the market, but that there is no market for them. To-day is the
apotheosis of the commonplace, the iteration of the cries of the
street, the gabble of the sidewalk, and the gossip of the tea-table;
neither originality nor force is needed for such journalism as this,
and they may therefore well rest to the music of the pines.

One of the strongest influences in Mr. Croly's life was his
acquaintance with the Positivist movement in England, and his interest
in the works of Auguste Comte. Up to this time he had experienced none
of the undoubted benefit which accrues to every man and woman from the
possession of an ideal standard, and settled convictions which inspire
or take the place of religious aspiration. Positivism did all this for
Mr. Croly, so far as anything could, and he became one of its most
eager and devoted adherents.

Mr. T.B. Wakeman, himself one of the earliest and most able leaders,
credits Mr. Croly with being the "father" of the movement in this
country, and in fact he was the first to make known that any
representative of Positivist ideas existed in America. He invited and
paid for the first lecture ever delivered in New York City upon the
subject; it was given by Mr. Edgar, an unknown "apostle," in a little
hall (De Garmo) on the corner of 14th street and Fifth avenue, on a
certain Sunday some twenty or more years ago. The result of the
lecture was that a dozen people formed a little society and engaged
Mr. Edgar to give them a series of Sunday talks on the practical
bearings of the religion of humanity. Mr. Edgar was not in himself an
interesting exponent of his ideas, but his message inculcated duty,
love to man, a life open and free from concealments, the possession of
personal gifts or acquired property as trusts to be used for the good
of others, and the recognition of value in all that has been and is.

These ideas became more or less an actuating principle. They brought
together a circle of men and women of the best quality, who endeavored
to live up to their standard, and by work and daily life, rather than
by active propagandism, to crystallize opinions into a vital force.
For several years the regular meetings were held at our house, the
"festivals" of the year being often given at the residences of other
members of the society--Mr. T.B. Wakeman, or Mr. Courtlandt Palmer.
There is still an "old guard" left, of as good, brave, and unselfish
men and women as ever walked on this earth, and though some differed
from. Mr. Croly, and from each other on some points, yet they all knew
and acknowledged that he brought to them the beginning of the best
inspiration of their lives.

Mr. Croly's latest expressed wish was that all the usual forms should
be disregarded in the event of his death, except the simplest service
and the presence of flowers. "If any one thinks enough of me," he
said, "to bring me flowers, let them; but have no elaborate mourning,
and bury me close to the earth, near the pines, and facing the sea."
The legend he left for his grave-stone was: "I meant well, tried a
little, failed much." But this will not be the verdict of those who
came under the influence of his strong and many-sided personality.

Mrs. Croly's Club Life

_By Haryot Holt Dey_

There is a pleasant and not irrational fancy in the mind of the writer
that somewhere in space there exists the abiding-place of ideas, and
that as fast as earth-dwellers are ready for them they are released.
Like a bird the idea takes flight and seeks a home in the brain of
some one who is singled out to forward and exploit it for the benefit
of humanity. Thenceforward, that person becomes the apostle of the
idea. "We are not in the possession of our ideas," says Heine, "but
are possessed by them; they master us and force us into the arena
where like gladiators we must fight for them." But it is only to the
elect that great ideas are assigned, one who either through heredity
or by special development is qualified to carry the message. This
fanciful reasoning applies admirably to the idea for women's
clubs--organizations for women--and in its selection of Jenny June it
made no mistake in the character of its agent.

The first woman's club was organized in March, 1868, and was the
outcome of feminine protest, because women were barred from the
reception and banquet tendered to Charles Dickens by the Press Club of
New York City. Among those who applied for tickets on equal grounds
with men was Mrs. Croly, then an active, recognized force in
journalism, and when the idea of a woman's club took possession of her
she had become the most indignant and spirited woman ever locked out
of a banquet hall.

Forty years ago it required courage for a woman to step aside from the
ranks of conservatism and organize a woman's club; it was regarded as
a side issue of "woman's rights," a movement then in grave disrepute.
But Mrs. Croly had dared untrodden paths once before when she stepped
into the field of journalism, and her experience there had developed
self-confidence. She had been writing for women for many years, and
through her mission had acquired instinctive knowledge of their needs;
and so when the affront was put upon her by her male colleagues of the
press she conceived the idea of a club for women. It should be one
that would manage its own affairs, represent as far as possible the
active interests of women, and create a bond of fellowship between
them, which many women as well as men thought at that time would be
impossible of accomplishment. Mrs. Croly wrote in her "History of
Clubs" thirty years later: "At this period no one of those connected
with the undertaking had ever heard of a woman's club, or of any
secular organization composed entirely of women for the purpose of
bringing all kinds of women together to work out their objects in
their own way." And then again: "When the history of the nineteenth
century comes to be written women will appear as organizers and
leaders of great organized movements among their own sex for the first
time in the history of the world."

"The originator specially disavowed any specific object, only asking
for a representative woman's organization based on perfectly equal
terms in which women might acquire methods, learn how to work together
for general objects, not for charity or a propaganda."

"This declaration of principles was the cause of much abusive
criticism, as well as failure to obtain aid and sympathy. Had Sorosis
started to _do_ any one thing, from building an asylum for aged and
indigent 'females' to supplying the natives of Timbuctoo with pocket
handkerchiefs, it would have found a public already made. But its
attitude was frankly ignorant and inquiring. It laid no claims to
wisdom or knowledge that could be of any use to anybody. It simply
felt the stirring of an intense desire that women should come
together--all together, not from one church, or one neighborhood, or
one walk of life, but from all quarters, and take counsel together,
find the cause of separations and failures, of ignorance and
wrong-doing, and try to discover better ways, more intelligent

Under this banner Sorosis was launched. Alice Cary was its first
president. The story of Sorosis from the beginning is a very
interesting one; from the view-point of the press its doings and
sayings and business affairs generally have always afforded
subject-matter for comment and conjecture. Of its early days Mrs.
Croly wrote: "The social events of the first year were memorable, for
they were the first of their kind, and practically changed the custom
of confining public dinner-giving to men. The first was offered as an
_amende honorable_ on the part of the New York Press Club, and
consisted of a 'breakfast' to which the Press Club invited Sorosis,
but did not invite it to speak or do anything but sit still and eat,
and be talked and sung to. The second was a 'tea' given by Sorosis to
the Press Club at which it reversed the order, furnishing all the
speakers and allowing the men no chance, not even to respond to their
own toast. The third was a 'dinner,'--the brightest and best of the
whole--at which the ladies and gentlemen each paid their own way and
shared equally the honors and responsibilities." This is said to be
the first public dinner at which men and women ever sat down on equal
terms. A report of it in a daily newspaper closed as follows: "The
entire affair was one of the most delightful events of the season, and
will long be held in pleasantest memory by all who had the honor to
participate in it. We believe we violate no secret when we say that
the gentlemen were most agreeably surprised to find their rival club
composed of charming women, representing the best aristocracy of the
metropolis, an aristocracy of sterling good sense, earnest thought,
aspiration and progressive intellect, with no perceptible taint of

The growth and expansion of Sorosis were watched by Mrs. Croly with
the same eager interest with which a mother contemplates the
development of a child, not knowing just how its character will shape,
guarding it always with love, for a potential force in its directing.
It was her spirit that steered it over rough places; that brought
harmony out of discord; that inspired, soothed, provided wise counsel,
and that many times sacrificed personal feelings for the good of the
whole. To do this required mental qualities of a high order--courage,
foresight, judgment, and not a little of the martyr spirit. Women had
never organized before, and the conditions to be met and the problems
to be solved stood absolutely alone, with no precedent to build upon
or decide even the simplest question. What firmness was required in
the leader at that time, when, for example, women who had been her
staunchest allies deserted the ranks because they could not select the
club name! It was a firm hand that kept the unorganized body from
going to pieces on the rocks of dissension, and it was at that time
that the leader proved her inalienable right to her title. She had led
women into the field of journalism, and now she was leading them into
organization. Clubs began to form in all parts of the country, and
when Sorosis arrived at its twenty-first birthday, it was Mrs. Croly's
idea that they should all come together, and when the invitation was
issued they came. Thus was formed the General Federation of Women's
Clubs. At present there are 800,000 women belonging to that
federation; each State has its own federation, New York forming first,
at Mrs. Croly's suggestion, and now containing 32,000 enrolled
members. The General Federation was formed in 1889. The writer recalls
the triumph in Mrs. Croly's tone when she replied to the appeal of a
man who came to her to beg to be given the names of the women
belonging to the federation. "If you choose to send a woman to copy
the names," she said, "you may do so, but it will take her more than a
week." And the General Federation was less than three years old at the

Mrs. Croly organized the Woman's Press Club of New York in 1889. It is
due to her wisdom that it was carried through many crises. She was its
president from the day it was founded to the day of her death; always
its loving teacher, her enthusiasm regarding its development never
flagged. She lived to see it firmly established, a harmonious and
delightful organization, and she was satisfied.

Mrs. Croly was neither parliamentarian, orator, nor politician, but
she had a fund of good sense, wise judgment, and a power of expression
which, could clarify an atmosphere when mere knowledge of the "Rules
of Order" would have failed. She had spiritual vision, and by it she
knew the soul of the club; no amount of dissension could shake her
faith in its ultimate good, and in times of crisis she presided with a
serenity only accountable in the fact that she viewed from the
mountain summit what her associates saw only from the housetop. What
years of development she enjoyed long before the club idea possessed
her, endowing her with wisdom and mental breadth, and what
associations that urged and demanded that she become a student of
sociology! The seeds of thought planted in those early days of
journalistic experience, inclusive of what she terms the "Positivist
Episode," blossomed in her later, more mature years, and all the
harvest she brought and applied to the organization of women. To the
casual observer an organized body of women differed in no particular
form from any ordinary assembly of women. What it was to her one can
only realize by a careful perusal of her writings on club formation,
and the moral awakening that sounded the bugle note of progress when
women began to organize.

Once it came to the hearing of this gentle apostle of development,
that she had been said to represent a cult. The occasion was a
reception given in her honor by one of her clubs on her seventieth
birthday. There had been speeches and congratulations, and the scene
was one of general rejoicing. "Oh, she is the leader of a cult,"
whispered a guest, and the remark was repeated to Mrs. Croly. She
received it with a sorry smile of regret that any one should so
misinterpret the significance of the scene. As if the narrow and
exclusive word "cult" could be applied to an assembly that stood for
organization and human development, which, in her prophetic vision,
only needed time to unite races, and ultimately to extend around the
globe. To her it signified "the opening of the door, the stepping out
into the freedom of the outer air, and the sweet sense of fellowship
with the whole universe, that comes with liberty and light."

Few women carry their enthusiasm till past three-score-and-ten, as
Mrs. Croly did. With the failing of physical strength the wand of
power passed into the hands of younger women whom she hailed as her
successors, and whose growth and development were the blossoms
springing from the seed she herself had planted; and in the last years
of her noble life, when the glow of sunset was on the garden of her
activities, the love she bore her fellow-women was her unfailing joy
and inspiration.

At the time of life when people recognize the fact that their forces
are waning, and that a well-earned period of rest has arrived, Mrs.
Croly set for herself the last task of her busy life. She felt she had
something to tell about the success of her great idea, her message to
women, and she wrote the "History of the Woman's Club Movement in
America," a volume containing eleven hundred and eighty pages, which
told the story of nearly all the clubs in the General Federation. This
book will remain a monument to the founder of women's clubs. Into it
she put the skill and experience of her long years of editorship,
urging every faculty to the work, and applying herself with a degree
of industry that characterized the zeal of her best working years. And
it testifies to the martyr-like nature of her spirit, that she even
rallied from the disappointment consequent upon the financial failure
of the book. The dedication of the work reads as follows: "This book
has been a labor of love, and it is lovingly dedicated to the
Twentieth Century Woman by one who has seen and shared in the
struggles of the Woman of the Nineteenth Century." But nothing that is
good is lost, and the book testifies to the illimitable ideas, the
trust in eternal goodness, and the strength of purpose of one who had
a glorified estimate of latent feminine forces that require to be

Essays and Addresses by Jane Cunningham Croly

Beginnings of Organization[1]

Women in Religious Organization

When the history of the Nineteenth Century comes to be written, women
will appear for the first time in the history of the world as
organizers, and leaders of great organized movements among their own

[Footnote 1: _History of the Woman's Club Movement in America._]

The world of to-day, both for men and women, is a different world from
that which furnished the outlook for the men and women of a hundred
years ago. Science, invention, have changed its material aspects; and
while retiring some individual activities and occupations, they have
created new fields of industry that are rapidly changing the face of
the world, and making new demands upon strength and energy.

The world which man has conquered, and is still conquering, is no
longer the purely physical. He is working now toward the discovery and
control of the powers of the air, and has already harnessed some of
them to do his bidding. The succession of great events and discoveries
will mark this century as an epoch in the world's history, and is
responsible for economic changes which create social disturbance, and
to which both men and women must adjust themselves, often without
knowing the why or wherefore of that which is so different from what
has been. It is one of the paradoxes in human nature that women, while
being made responsible for human conditions, have been condemned to
individual isolation. It has been largely the result of general
physical differentiation and the dependence that grew out of it, and,
secondarily, the long ages required to produce settled social
conditions and a reversal of that great unwritten law of kings and
men--that might made right.

It is true that there was a time, some traditions of which are still
preserved among the Indian tribes of North America, when the woman
possessed controlling influence and power. This matriarchal or mother
age passed with the primitive period in which the energies of men were
absorbed in hunting and fighting. It was a tribal effort through
tribal women to formulate and give importance to family life, and it
must have been accepted and more or less sanctioned by the men. This
tribal leadership, at first domestic and social, disappeared with the
development of military leaders, the acquisition of military powers,
and the centralization of property in lands, houses, and personal
belongings, that required constant and effective methods of protection
and defence.

Instances are not wanting of heroic women of those early days who were
capable of holding and defending person and property against
aggression and warfare. But the logic of events was strong then, as
now, and the destiny of the woman was not that of military supremacy.

The first step in associated life taken by women was a simple protest
against the use and abuse of power on the part of men, wrought up by
fear or loathing to the point of desperation. Women, usually of rank,
fled to the desert with one or two companions, and encountered
unheard-of hardships rather than submit to the fate to which they had
been condemned by father, brother, or some other man who could
exercise authority over them. The first Church-sisterhood grew out of
such beginnings, and gradually obtained the sanction of the Church. A
recent remarkable work, "Women in Monasticism," shows how wide and
powerful the system of religious sisterhoods had become as early as
the fifth century, and traces its growing strength and enlargement
until its decline, which was coeval with the Reformation.

The strength of this extraordinary development lay in the fact that it
furnished women with a vocation; it gave employment to faculty. The
sisterhoods of the convents and monasteries were the nurses, the
teachers, the students, the caretakers of the poor, and the guardians
of the orphaned rich. The Fathers of the Church--St. Jerome, St.
Chrysostom, St. Augustine--all bear witness to the high character of
these sisterhoods and to their individual members, to their virtues
and lives of self-sacrificing devotion. Many of these women became
learned by the exercise of memory alone, for they had no books. Many
enriched their convents with manuscript books--the result of lives of
painstaking labor. The Beguines, who founded hospitals and schools,
were the best educated women of their day--the eleventh century. They
read Tacitus and Virgil in the original, and were skilled in medicine.
Disease often took loathsome forms, and only women whose lives were
consecrated to self-denying labor could have been the patient
ministers to the diseased poor.

This is all the more noteworthy because the idea of vocation was not
the early incentive to monastic life. It was sought as a refuge; it
developed into a vocation; and it is a matter of interest to women
to-day that these spontaneous vocations, growing out of an enforced
life, were inspired by love of well-doing, desire for study, the
acquisition of knowledge, its distribution, and the ever-ready spirit
of helpfulness at the sacrifice of every personal indulgence.

Naturally the monastic life of women was controlled by the Church, and
could have continued to exist only by permission. A Spanish lady of
rank who had befriended Ignatius Loyola as a young student of
Barcelona, attracted by the odor of sanctity and scholarship which
attached itself to the Order which he founded, gained reluctant
permission to establish (1545) an Order of Jesuitesses, subject to the
same strict rules and discipline. This was the beginning of a strictly
woman's Jesuit "college," which flourished notwithstanding all the
efforts Loyola himself made to get rid of it, and the restrictions put
upon it. Many noble ladies joined it, and it became the foundation of
a number of houses of the same name and character, extending into
Flanders and England, when, without cause, except fear perhaps of
their extent and influence, they were finally suppressed by a bull of
Pope Urban VIII, bearing date, January 13, 1630. This Order of
Jesuitesses existed for nearly a century. Their colleges were
scholastic, and had given rise to preparatory schools, when they were
summarily suppressed because of their independent life.

Had this Order continued to exist it might have gained an educational
ascendency throughout Europe which even the strong wave of the
Reformation would have found it hard to overcome. But the convents and
monasteries generally suffered at this time from the abuses which had
crept into the Church, and the rage for power which possessed its

The influence was mischievous also from a social and domestic point
of view; from the sanctity and superiority attached to those who
ignored natural ties and duties, thus lowering the social and domestic
standard, and setting the nun's habit above the woman, the wife and
the mother. Yet nature had asserted itself even in the convent. The
motherhood in the monastic woman made her the mother, the caretaker,
the nurse, the teacher, and the helper of all those who needed
maternal care, while condemning and ignoring its common aspects and
place in everyday life.

This absence of domestic ties was not, however, obligatory upon all
sisterhoods. An interesting story of the "First Council of Women,"
told by Madame Lendier at the Congress of Women in Paris in 1889,
bears upon this point.

The monastic school out of which the Council grew, was founded in the
early part of the seventh century, by Iduberge, wife of Pepin, mayor
under the Frankish kings.

Iduberge cleared a space in the forest, and built a house for the
education and religious consecration (if they desired it) of the
daughters of nobles, her daughter Gertrude becoming the abbess. No vow
of celibacy was imposed. As long as they remained in the abbey they
were to conform to the rules of the house, but if they desired to
marry they were free to leave. The _chanoinesses_ of Nivelle spent
their morning in religious duties, but the rest of the day they were
at liberty to mix with the outer world. The abbess alone took upon
herself the vow of perpetual virginity. A hundred and seventy passed
away after the death of Gertrude. The abbey had grown in power, had
gathered around itself a town with gates and towers and
fortifications, but was independent of the French Government, being
under the sole rule of the abbess, who was called the "Princess."

This independence excited the jealousy of the Church, and in May, 820,
Nivelle received a visit from Valcand, the reigning bishop of Liège.
He was received by the lady abbess in the habit of her order, a cross
of gold in her hand; mounted on a white horse she rode at the head of
the procession that marched to meet him. Young girls of noble birth,
clad in long white gowns trimmed with ermine, and mounted on palfreys,
followed their abbess, and behind them the town authorities, feudal
lords and administrators of justice.

At the same time Valcand entered the town with every honor and
courtesy due to his rank. He held a solemn service, and having given
the benediction, he rose again and addressed the _chanoinesses_. He
declared that it had been decided by the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle
that he should be sent to Nivelle to enforce the rules of St. Benoit,
which must be followed by all religious bodies; this rule being that
all the devotees of Nivelle were required to take upon themselves the
vow of perpetual virginity, to acknowledge themselves dependent upon
their bishop in all secular matters, and finally to yield up to
Valcand all temporal power at Nivelle.

This solemn declaration was received in silence. For some moments no
one moved or spoke, but a low murmur swept over the young sisters of
Nivelle Abbey. The lady abbess, followed by her _chanoinesses_, rose
and advanced to the rails of the choir stand. The abbess Hiltrude,
daughter of Lyderic II, sovereign of Flanders under the emperor, then
between thirty-five and forty years of age, was beautiful; of that
calm, grave type which speaks of a quiet, well-regulated life.

"In the name of the Cloister of St. Gertrude," she said, "we protest
against any interference in the temporal power of this government. We
claim the right of taking to ourselves husbands when it seems right to
us so to do. We are therefore resolved to follow the rules of our
patron saint, as we always have done heretofore, and if this protest
is insufficient we will present our appeal to our Holy Father, the

The bishop declared that he would maintain the rule given by the
Council at Aix, and then descending from the pulpit, he ordered his
people to follow him at once out of Nivelle, refusing to join in any
of the festivities prepared in his honor.

Hiltrude now took things seriously into her own hands, leaving nothing
undone to secure the success of her appeal. She sent a courier to the
Pope, and another to Louis le Debonaire; but the wise abbess took yet
further precautions: she at once organized a council at Nivelle of all
the abbesses of the French Empire, requiring silence from them, and
assuring them of security in the town. The council could not be
brought together for a year, but on the 1st of May, 821, Hiltrude
inaugurated her "Concile de Femmes."

She took advantage of the marriage of Count d'Albion with Regina,
which was to take place at the abbey. Regina was a _chanoinesse_, and
it was the custom when a member of the circle at the abbey married,
that the marriage should be solemnized at Nivelle. Fifteen titled
abbesses, all of aristocratic lineage, arrived with imposing suites.
The council was a short one. They approved of all that Hiltrude had
done, and signed the appeal. The document, written, signed, and sealed
by all the abbesses present, was immediately sent to Rome, and to
Valcand himself. Meantime the pope and the king, who were much
perplexed, and the bishop, who was completely baffled by the logic,
strength and force of appeal of the "Concile," were obliged to
withdraw the opposition, and the _chanoinesses_ were left in peace to
marry or not to marry, as they pleased.

The ancient order of deaconesses imposed no vow, yet it was
co-existent with the early church, and accepted by many of the fathers
as part of the apostolic order. This position was strengthened by the
high character of the women, many of them widows, or unprotected
women, whom death or some other calamity had freed from natural ties.

Ancient church history is full of the records of courage, devotion,
and self-sacrifice on the part of these women, who were generally of
high birth, but gave themselves to poverty and the most menial
offices, and left names which have perpetuated the sanctity of their
order, and come down to the present day as types of good women.

The ceremonies used in the ordination of a deaconess were precisely
the same as those used for a deacon. The deaconesses were not
cloistered: they lived at home with children or relatives. But they
wore a distinctive dress, and had their place in the church with the
clergy. The "golden age" of the order is said to have been immediately
following the apostolic era, before the spirit of monasticism had
destroyed or limited activities, and shut off sympathy with the
outside world.

The royal and imperial order of the Hadraschin in Prague, Germany, is
the most imposing relic remaining of the religious orders of women,
though not the most numerous. There are about forty chapters still in
existence of this ancient order, with a royal residence at Prague. The
abbess possessed the right to crown the queen at coronation
ceremonies, and exercised it as late as 1836, wearing all the
magnificent insignia of her rank in the order.

A more numerous order of consecrated women, presided over and governed
by one "mother-general," is that of St. Joseph de Cluny. This was
founded by a woman, Madame Javonbey, in the beginning of the present
century, about ninety years ago. It has one hundred and twenty-eight
houses in France, and two in the United States. It has others in South
America, one in Italy, several in the West Indies and some in Africa.

All its property is in community, and its membership--about six
thousand women--teach in its schools, and care for the sick poor in
hospitals and in their homes. Two hundred are assigned to the care of
the insane, by the French Government.

The mother-general administers, from the mother-house _(maison mère)_
at Paris. She has two assistants and a council of six sisters. Under
the mother-general there are mother-superiors, one to each estate,
administering and governing it, but under this mother-superior at
Paris. These lesser governing women send in weekly reports to the home
convent at Paris, giving brief accounts of transactions and events,
such as the entrance of pupils, the purchase of lands, and extra dole
of food to the poor, the death of a member and the like. They are a
prosperous, working sisterhood, and have preserved the integrity and
independence of their beginning.

It was the spirit of protest against church and monastic abuses,
embodied in Martin Luther, which broke up the monastic system for both
men and women. Doubtless also it had outlived its usefulness in any
large or general sense. A more settled social and domestic life was
becoming possible through the development of trades and industries,
while the domestic virtues in women began to acquire a value, and
furnish guarantees to the State.

The discovery of printing gave a tremendous impulse to the spread of
civilizing and educational influences, to the multiplication of
schools, and the desire for knowledge. It was the dawn of intellectual
freedom, and the school of the people was the open door for it.

Spiritual freedom had to wait longer. It waited the unfolding of the
woman. At the beginning of this century she was still under the
dominion of the church and its leaders, and her efforts were
controlled by sects and doctrines.

The first associated work of women in this country, and in this
century, was still religious and philanthropic. The "Sisters of
Charity" in America owes its origin to a young and beautiful New York
woman, Elizabeth Seton, who was born in 1774, married at twenty, but
lost her husband by death in a very few years. Obliged to support
herself, she opened a school in Baltimore. But her tendency was toward
the devoted life of a _religieuse_, and the gift of a foundation fund
enabled her to gratify this strong desire. She assumed the conventual
habit, and opened a convent school on July 30, 1809, in Emmetsburg, of
which she became mother-superior. The character of "Mother" Seton was
considered saintly by Protestants and Roman Catholics alike. She died
at her post in 1821, after a life the last half of which was entirely
spent in self-denying work. Mrs. Seton was exceedingly lovely as a
young woman; and her sweet, serene face and presence, as she grew
older, was said to exert a magical influence upon all who came in
contact with her. This was particularly seen in her care of the sick,
and in dealing with turbulent spirits: they came immediately under her
influence without any effort on her part.

The first ten years of the present century saw the beginning of a
number of religious societies of women, organized to create funds, and
aid in church mission work. First among these were the "cent"
societies, 1801 and 1804, and later the Woman's Auxiliaries to the
Board of Foreign Missions. These grew in size and strength, until in
1839 there were six hundred and eighty-eight of these societies. But,
unfortunately, their limited and purely subjective character afforded
small basis for the wider growth necessary to perpetuity, and they
gradually declined, until in 1860 they had become nearly extinct.

A little later, 1864, the first independent "Union" of women
missionary workers was formed in New York by Mrs. Doremus, and within
a few years every denomination, beginning with the Congregationalists,
had its organized Woman's Auxiliary to the American Board of Home and
Foreign Missions. The "Missionary Union" remains, however, the only
independent society of women workers in this field, managing its own
affairs, raising its own funds, and sending out its own missionaries,
both men and women. Its very existence has been a great strength to
the Woman's Auxiliaries, stimulating them to independent action, and
especially to the demand for a voice in the disposal of the large sums
they raise and turn over to the treasury of the American Board.

The oldest purely women-societies in this country were also started
for missionary and church work. The first is the "Female Charitable
Society" of Baldwinsville, N.J., and is still existent.

The object of the Baldwinsville society, as stated in the
constitution, was "to obtain a more perfect view on the infinite
excellence of the Christian religion in its own nature, the importance
of making this religion the chief concern of our hearts, the necessity
of promoting it in our families, and of diffusing it among our fellow
sinners." A further object is "to afford aid to religious
institutions, and for the carrying out of this purpose a contribution
of twelve and a half cents is required at every quarterly meeting."

Mrs. Jane Hamill presided at its first meeting; the Rev. John
Davenport opened it with prayer. Mrs. Hamill was still the presiding
officer at its jubilee anniversary in 1867. At its seventy-eighth
annual meeting Mrs. Payn Bigelow was elected president.

The "Piqua (Ohio) Female Bible Society" was founded in 1818. It
consisted at first of nine women. In those early days the country was
a wilderness. Other members were added later. It has had in all, over
nine hundred members. Mrs. Elizabeth Pettit was its presiding officer
from 1840 until 1881--forty-one years. The daughters and the
granddaughters are all made members by right of inheritance, and in
several instances four generations have been represented at one time.
It held its seventy-fifth anniversary in 1893, when all the
descendants of the early members were notified, and many were present.
It has held a meeting on the first Monday afternoon of each month for
seventy-eight years, and the records are preserved intact. The founder
was Mrs. Rachael Johnston, wife of the Indian agent. It has sent over
fifteen thousand dollars to the parent Bible Society in New York.

It should be remembered that down to the last quarter of the present
century, there was little sympathy with organizations of women, not
expressly religious, charitable, or intended to promote charitable
objects. "What is the object?" was the first question asked of any
organization of women, and if it was not the making of garments, or
the collection of funds for a church or philanthropic purpose, it was
considered unworthy of attention, or injurious doubts were thrown upon
its motives. In Germany, even yet, societies of women are not
permitted, except such as have a distinctly religious, educational or
charitable object.

The Moral Awakening[1]

The life of the world is continuous, morally and spiritually as well
as materially. The individual sees it at short range and in fragments.
That is the reason why it so often seems dislocated and out of joint.
A thoughtful writer, Mrs. L.R. Zerbe, says: "When Goethe made his
discovery of the unity of structure in organic life, he gave to the
philosophers, who had long taught the value, the 'sovereignty' of the
individual, a physiological argument against oppression and tyranny,
and put the whole creation on an equal footing."

[Footnote 1: _History of the Woman's Club Movement in America_.]

The dignity of mind, and the right of the individual to its conscious
use and possession, had been already clearly enunciated by Fichte,
Herder, and others, who antedated Goethe. But Goethe went farther. He
carried the discovery of the rights of the individual to its logical
conclusion, which was, that the rights of every created thing should
be given a hearing. This was absolutely new doctrine. It brought women
and children within the pale of humanity. It moralized and humanized
nature itself; bringing birds, trees, flowers, all animate life, into
the "brotherhood" of creation.

The writings of Rousseau and Châteaubriand extended the idea, and
Madame de Staël and Mary Wollstonecraft were the natural outgrowths of
it. It may be said indeed to have been the actuating principle of
modern literature, especially of modern English poetry, which
vitalizes and idealizes children and nature. Whatever credit may be
given to others, it should never be forgotten that to Goethe we owe
the discovery of structural unity, that the cell of all organic life
is the same.

The ideas that grew out of this discovery reached the higher, thinking
class, and inspired the poets with a new enthusiasm for humanity long
before it reached the masses. The French nobility were satiated with
power. The "Little Trianon" was the only reaction possible to a queen,
from the wearisome magnificence of Versailles, the gilded slavery of
the court. The people recognized no sentiment of human sympathy in the
so-called "whims" and "caprices" of the luxurious occupants of
palaces; and maddened by countless wrongs, precipitated the French
Revolution, which, it has been said, turned back the tide of progress
for one hundred years.

From this movement were developed all those reforms which have made
the nineteenth century glorious, monumental in the history of
progressive civilization. The abolition of slavery, the development
of a spirit of mercy towards dumb animals, the recognition of the
human rights of women and children--all these may be traced through
many a winding way, back to the German scientists and philosophers,
who rediscovered the inner life while working from its outer side.

Yet, as in history there are no sporadic instances, no isolated facts,
so this flower of our century--the recognition of the rights of all
created things, with all that it involves--belongs to universal
history. It is the product of the Reformation and the Renaissance,
with roots only the records of Rome and Greece and Egypt may discover.

The quickening of moral and spiritual life in our day, its accelerated
movement, is not to be claimed by or traced to any one set of
influences or propaganda. The awakening has been all along the line;
and it has resulted in a new mental attitude toward the human life of
the world, both as a whole and in its various parts. Its great outcome
is the learning to live with, rather than for, others.

This new view, this great advance of the moral and spiritual forces,
addressed itself with singular significance to women. To those who
were prepared, it came not only as an awakening, but as
emancipation--emancipation of the soul, freedom from the tyranny of
tradition and prejudice, and the acquisition of an intellectual
outlook; a spiritual liberty achieved so quietly as to be unnoticed
except by those who watched the progress of this bloodless revolution,
and the falling away of the shackles that bind the spirit in its early
and often painful effort to reach the light.

The broadening of human sympathy, the freedom of will, gave rise to a
thousand new forms of activity; some of these an expansion of those
which had previously existed; others opening new channels of
communication; all looking towards wider fields of effort, a larger
unity, a more complete realization of the eternal ideal, the
fatherhood of God, the motherhood of woman, the brotherhood of man.

Realization of this ideal brought a new conception of duty to the mind
of woman, unlocked the strong gates of theological and social
tradition, and opened the windows of her soul to a new and more
glorious world. The sense of duty is always strong in the woman. If
she disregards it she never ceases to suffer. Her convictions of it
have made her the most willing and joyful of martyrs, the most
persistent and relentless of bigots, the most blind and devoted of
partisans, the most faithful and believing of friends, and the only
type out of which Nature could form the mother. This quality has made
women the constructive force they are in the world, and gives all the
more importance to the new departure, to the influences of the new
sources of enlargement that have come into their lives.

Thus it became a necessity that the quickening of conscience, the
widening of sympathy, the influence of aggregations, the stimulus to
desire and ambitions, should be accompanied by corresponding growth in
knowledge and a love beyond the narrow confines of family and church.

The cry of the woman emerging from a darkened past was "light, more
light," and light was breaking. Gradually came the demand and the
opportunity for education; for intellectual freedom for women as well
as men; for cultivation of gifts and faculties. The early half of the
century was marked by a crusade for the cause of the better education
of women, as significant as that for the physical emancipation of the
slave, and as devoted on the part of its leaders.

Simultaneous with this were two other movements--the anti-slavery
agitation, inspired by the new enthusiasm for human rights and carried
on largely by the Quakers of both sexes. The woman's-rights movement
was the natural outgrowth of the individual-sovereignty idea which the
German philosophers had planted, and of which Mary Wollstonecraft was
the first great woman-exponent.

The keynote of the educational advance was struck by Emma Willard in
1821. She was followed by Mary Lyon, Mary Mortimer, and other brave
women who dared to ask for women the cultivation of such faculties as
they possessed, without let or hindrance. This demand has taken the
century to develop and enforce. The work was so gradual that it is not
yet, by any means, accomplished. Schools and colleges exist, but not
yet equally, except here and there. They are, however, giving us an
army of trained women who are bringing the force of knowledge to bear
upon questions which have heretofore only enlisted sympathies.

Simultaneously with this question of educational opportunity, has
arisen an eager seeking after knowledge on the part of women who have
been debarred from its enjoyment, or lacked opportunity for its
acquisition. The knowledge sought was not that of a limited, sectional
geography, or a mathematical quantity as taught in schools, but the
knowledge of the history and development of races and peoples, of the
laws and principles that underlie this development, and the place of
the woman in this grand march of the ages.

The woman has been the one isolated fact in the universe. The outlook
upon the world, the means of education, the opportunities for
advancement, had all been denied her; and that "community of feeling
and sense of distributive justice which grows out of cooperative
interests in work and life, had found small opportunity for growth or

The opportunity came with the awakening of the communal spirit, the
recognition of the law of the solidarity of interests, the
sociological advance which established a basis of equality among a
wide diversity of conditions and individuals, and opportunities for
all capable of using them. This great advance was not confined to a
society or a neighborhood; it did not require subscription to a tenet,
or the giving up of one's mode of life. It was simply a change of a
point of view, the opening of a door, the stepping out into the
freedom of the outer air, and the sweet sense of fellowship with the
whole universe that comes with liberty and light.

The difference was only a point of view, but it changed the aspect of
the world. This new note, which meant for the woman liberty, breadth
and unity, was struck by the woman's club.

To the term "club," as applied to and by women, may be fitly referred
the words in which John Addington Symonds defines Renaissance. "This,"
he remarks, "is not explained by this or that characteristic, but as
an effort for which at length the time has come." It means the
attainment of the conscious freedom of the woman spirit, and has been
manifested first most strongly and most widely in this country,
because here that spirit has attained the largest measure of freedom.

The woman's club was not an echo; it was not the mere banding together
for a social and economic purpose, like the clubs of men. It became
at once, without deliberate intention or concerted action, a
light-giving and seed-sowing centre of purely altruistic and
democratic activity. It had no leaders. It brought together qualities
rather than personages; and by a representation of all interests,
moral, intellectual, and social, a natural and equal division of work
and opportunity, created an ideal basis of organization, where every
one has an equal right to whatever comes to the common centre; where
the centre itself becomes a radiating medium for the diffusion of the
best of that which is brought to it, and where, all being freely
given, no material considerations enter.

This is no ideal or imaginary picture. It is the simplest prose of
every woman's club and every clubwoman's experience during the past
thirty years.

It has been in every sense an awakening to the full glory and meaning
of life. It is also a very narrow and self-absorbed mind that sees in
these openings only opportunities for its own pleasure, or chances for
its own advancement on its own narrow and exclusive lines. The lesson
of the hour is help for those that need it, in the shape in which they
need it, and kinship with all and everything that exists on the face
of God's earth. If we miss this we miss the spirit, the illuminating
light of the whole movement, and lose it in the mire of our own

The tendency of association upon any broad human basis is to destroy
the caste spirit, and this the club has done for women more than any
other influence that as yet has come into existence. A club that is
narrowed to a clique, a class, or a single object, is a contradiction
in terms. It may be a society, or a congregation of societies, but it
is not a club. The essence of a club is its many-sided character, its
freedom in gathering together and expressing all shades of difference,
its equal and independent terms of membership, which puts every one
upon the same footing, and enables each one to find or make her own
place. The most opposite ideas find equal claims to respect. Women
widest apart in position and habits of life find much in common, and
acquaintance and contact mutually helpful and advantageous. Club life
teaches us that there are many kinds of wealth in the world--the
wealth of ideas, of knowledge, of sympathy, of readiness to be put in
any place and used in any way for the general good. These are given,
and no price is or can be put upon them, yet they ennoble and enrich
whatever comes within their influence.

We are only at the threshold of a future that thrills us with its
wonderful possibilities--possibilities of fellowship where separation
was; of love where hatred was; of unity where division was; of peace
where war was; of light--physical, mental and spiritual--where
darkness was; of agreement and equality where differences and
traditions had built up walls of distinction and lines of caste. This
beautiful thing needs only to be realized in thought to become an
actual fact in life, and those who do realize it are enriched by it
beyond the power of words to express.

Women have been God's own ministers everywhere and at all times. In
varied ways they have worked for others until the name of woman stands
for the spirit of self-sacrifice. Now He bids them bind their sheaves
and show a new and more glorious womanhood; a new unit--the completed
type of the mother-woman, working with all as well as for all.

The Advantages of a General Federation of Women's Clubs[1]

_Address by Mrs. Croly to the First Meeting of the First Federation of
Women's Clubs, Held in Brooklyn, N.Y., April 23, 1890_

The growth of the woman's club is one of the marvels of the last
twenty-five years, so fruitful in the development of mental and
material resources. What it was destined to become was, perhaps, far
from the minds of those who aided its inception, but all the
possibilities of the future lay in the germ that was thus planted, for
it was formed by the marriage of two great elements--freedom and

[Footnote 1: _The Cycle._]

The club has been called the "school of the middle-aged woman." It is
so in a very broad sense. It begins by gratifying her desire for
fellowship, her thirst for knowledge; by training her in business and
parliamentary methods; and gradually develops in her the power of
expressing her own ideas, of concentrating her faculties and focusing
them upon the object to be attained, the purpose to be accomplished.
At the same time she finds that a more subtle process has been going
on in her own mind. An insensible alchemy has been widening her
horizon, getting rid of prejudice, obliterating old, narrow lines,
leaving in their place a willingness to see the good in Nazareth as
well as in Galilee.

This result shows that she is a clubable woman, for it is emphatically
the club spirit. It is in this respect that the club differs from
those societies that are devoted to a single purpose; which demand
subscription to an idea, an opinion, a dogma, a belief, a single basis
or principle, and do not admit of fellowship on any other terms.
Doubtless those have their uses--they are the necessary and often
powerful expression of an advancing public opinion; but they have
always existed, usually and in past times, under the leadership of
men, even when composed of women. But it remained for the nineteenth
century to develop a moral, social, and intellectual force, made up of
every shade of opinion and belief, of every degree of rank and
scholastic attainment, of every kind of disposition and habit of
thought, all moulded into form,--and though as yet only the promise of
what will be, furnishing an outline of that beautiful united womanhood
which was the dream with which the club was started, and has been the
guiding star to its development up to the present time.

The union of clubs in a federation is the natural outgrowth of the
club idea. It is the recognition of the kinship of all women, of
whatever creed, opinion, nationality or degree; and it is a sign of a
bond that entitles every one to equal place;--not to charity or
toleration alone, but to consideration and respect. Inside of the club
we are equal sharers of each other's gifts. Each one brings her
knowledge, her sympathy, her special aptitude, her personal charm of
manner and disposition, and we are all enriched by this outflowing and
inflowing, by this equal part and share in a fountain made up of such
bountiful and diversified elements.

But the tendency of a circle is to widen. This is natural and
necessary to healthful life. Stop its currents, dam up its inlets and
outlets, and it is reduced to stagnation, and soon becomes foul and
mischievous instead of healthy and life-giving. The tendency of narrow
ideas is to run to routine, to spend time and strength upon trivial
details, and allow them to block and hinder the consideration of
weightier matters. There is undoubtedly a use for practice in business
methods, particularly for those women who have had no previous
training in business life; but the club ought to be an evolution. Once
acquired, the knowledge of business ways, methods, and tactics can be
put to better use than to aid or hinder the transaction of routine
affairs, which it is the function of a committee to dispose of.

The direction which the enlargement of club life takes must depend in
the first place upon local conditions and environment. Already in many
cities it has made itself, as in Philadelphia, the centre of the
active, moral and intellectual forces. In others, as in Milwaukee, by
cooperation in spirit and practice, it has provided a home for
literature and the arts. Whatever the woman's club does, is and ought
to be done on the broadest human principles; for if it forgets this it
ceases to be a club, and becomes merely a propaganda for the
advancement of certain fixed and unchangeable ideas.

But its own life, no matter how broad, is not enough. Whatever is
vital is social. This is why a club when it comes to understand its
own powers and sources of life, wishes for the companionship, the
sympathy, the fellowship, the shaking hands with other clubs. It is
said that corporations have no soul: clubs have souls, and they call
loudly for the enlargement of club sympathies, the discussion of
knotty club questions, the affirmation by others of what have become
club convictions, and mutual congratulations on club successes.

This is not all that a federation of clubs can accomplish, but it is
enough for a starting point. It is the kindly, providential,
sympathetic way in which we are always led from the smaller to the
larger field of work. Just before descending from a crest in the
Sierras into the valley of the Yosemite, you come suddenly upon a
wonderful view; it is called "Inspiration Point," and it is like an
open door, a revelation of the infinite, a promise in one gleam of
transcendent beauty, of all the separate and divisible splendors that
are to follow.

This spirit of enlargement beckons us and leads us to the formation of
the Federated Union of Clubs, and we cannot do better than follow its
guidance. We all need, clubs as well as individuals, encouragement and
counsel; we need to enlarge our knowledge of what other clubs are
doing, of their extent, of their objects, of their ambitions. Above
all, we need to enlarge our sympathies, to cultivate sympathy by
knowledge; for our prejudices are born of ignorance, and we rarely
dislike what we intimately know. As Charles Lamb said: "How can I
dislike a man if I know him? Do we ever dislike anything if we know it
very well?" With the growth of clubs the purely personal
characteristics of them will disappear, or at least be subordinated to
larger aims; and it is in the prosecution of these larger aims that
the federation will find its reasons for existence.

There is a vast work for clubs to do throughout the country in the
investigation of moral and social questions, in the reformation of
abuses, in the cultivation of best influences;--not the influence of
class or clique or party, but a wide, liberalizing, educational
influence which works for true goodness, for cleanliness, for order,
for equal opportunities, for the recognition of God in man and nature,
in whatever stage of unfolding the Divine in us may happen to be. It
is in the last twenty-five years that village-improvement societies,
first instigated by a woman--Miss Sallie Goodrich of Stockbridge,
Mass.--have created a transformation in whole townships, and so
enhanced the value of property as to drive out the original
inhabitants and change farming communities into fashionable summer
resorts. This result is of doubtful value. But every woman's club,
especially in the newer sections, has in its power, by wise and
careful action, to improve the conditions, elevate the tone, and
crystallize the moral force of its community in such a way as to make
it more desirable to live in, more beneficial to its own citizens,
more of an example to others.

All these questions of club life and work would naturally come up
before a federated body, and these would as naturally lead to
governmental questions; to contrasts and records of activities in
different parts of the world, and to the investigation of the causes
which bring about certain results.

Women are naturally both receptive and constructive. The affirmative
states of mind are those which, particularly belong to women; as
iconoclasts they are mere echoes. This affirmative condition is most
favorable to true development. Nothing good has ever come of mere
negation. But we must look for our truths and our basis of true
growth, in the light of the rising dawn--not, as heretofore, in the
waning glory of the setting sun. The union of clubs is the natural
outgrowth, of the planting of the true club idea. It was a little
seed, but it contained the germ of a mighty growth in the kinship of
all women--the women who differ as well as the women who agree; and
the federation of clubs is the forerunner of that unity of the race of
which philosophers have spoken, of which poets have dreamed, but which
only the constructive motherhood and womanhood of the race can

The Clubwoman[1]

The nineteenth century has been remarkable in many ways. It has
developed a new material and social order; but the fact is not as yet
fully recognized that it has developed a new woman--the woman who
works with, other women; the woman in clubs, in societies; the woman
who helps to form a body of women; who finds fellowship with her own
sex, outside of the church, outside of any ism, or hobby, but simply
on the ground of kinship and humanity.

[Footnote 1: _The Cycle_.]

It is not yet twenty-one years since a great daily in New York said
that if a society composed wholly of women could hold together one
year, a great many men would have to revise their opinion of women.
The remark was made apropos of the formation of the first women's
clubs in this country, and was echoed on all sides publicly and
privately. It is only significant now as showing the isolated position
of women, and the general impression which prevailed that they could
not and would not work together, except, perhaps, for some common
cause, religious or philanthropic, which for the time being absorbed
their energies and made them lose sight of their personal jealousies
and animosities. Why women should have been believed to be
antagonistic to women it is hard to say. This idea seems to have been
cultivated assiduously by men, and women have echoed it; for it cannot
be denied that the new fellowship that has come with the century and
with the awakening of women to the life which is theirs--the life of
friendship, of sympathy, of enlargement, of interest in affairs, of
common kinship with all that exists in a beautiful world--has in it
something of the nature of a surprise. Is it possible that women may
have a life of their own, may learn to know and honor each other, may
find solace in companionship, and lose sight of small troubles in
larger aims?

These questions have been answered by thousands of women, answered
with tears, after the manner of women, but tears of joyful recognition
of the new day which has dawned for them;--a day of larger
opportunities, a day which comes after a night of ages; for the woman
is for the first time finding her own place in the world. Heretofore
she was only welcome if the man wanted her, and if he no longer wanted
her she was again cast out. But she is now learning that the world
exists for her also; that she is one half the human race; that life,
liberty, and the pursuit of whatever is good are as desirable for her
as for the man, and as necessary in order to put her in _rapport_
with the eternal springs of all life and its varied forms of activity.

The first impulse of the awakened woman is to unite herself with other
women; her next to learn that which she does not know in regard to
art, literature, peoples, races; the countries she has never visited,
the kinsmen and kinswomen she has never seen, and the degree in which
their progress has kept pace with or gone beyond her own. This
knowledge comes to her through her club or literary society.

The woman's club has become the school of the middle-aged woman. It
has brought her up to the time. It has enabled her to keep pace with
the better advantages given to her sons and daughters. It has put an
interest into her life which it had never previously possessed, and
made her more humanly companionable because better able to judge and
more willing to suspend judgment. The clubs of women in America--the
growth mainly of the past twenty years--can now be counted by the
hundreds, and their membership by many thousands, and the history of
them all is practically the same.

It is this woman, born of women's clubs, who is the woman of to-day.
She is the centre of the intellectual activity of townships and
neighborhoods all over the country. She forms stock companies, and
builds athenaeums; she is at the head of working guilds; she organizes
classes, teaches what she knows, while she is being taught what she
did not know; and in mental activity, and labor which is not routine,
has renewed her youth, and added to her attractions. She is at the
same time far removed from a lobbyist. She is able to look at
different sides; she is socially at home with the best people in every
sense of the word. She is a lady as well as a woman, and does not
adopt what is _outre_ in order to obtain notoriety.

The New Life[1]

It is a very dull mind, whether belonging to man or woman, that does
not feel stirred by recent movements--not here alone but all over the
world--into some quickening sense of the deeper life, the broader
human claims, the unifying and uniting influences which have sprung
into activity, and which address, not the visionary, but the
thoughtful and far-seeing, with prophetic gleams of a new heaven and a
new earth.

[Footnote 1: _The Cycle_.]

It is also a very narrow and self-absorbed mind which, only sees in
these openings opportunities for its own pleasure, or chances for its
own advancement on its own narrow and exclusive lines. The lesson of
the hour is help for those that need it, in the shape in which they
need it, and kinship with all and everything that exists on the face
of God's green earth. If we miss this, we miss the spirit, the
illuminating light of the whole movement, and lose it in the mire of
our own selfishness. To women this uplifting, these open doors, mean
more than to men. They have been hedged about with so many
restrictions, forced and held in such blind and narrow ways, that it
is little wonder if sight and steps are feeble, and that they find it
impossible to take it all in, or to recognize at once the full meaning
of the day that is dawning for them.

For we are only at the threshold of a future that thrills us with its
wonderful possibilities;--possibilities of friendship where separation
was; of love where hatred was; of unity where division was; of peace
where war was; of light--physical, mental and spiritual--where
darkness was; of agreement and equality where differences and
traditions had built up walls of distinction and lines of caste. This
beautiful thing needs only to be realized in thought to become an
actual fact in life, and those who do realize it are enriched by it
beyond the power of words to express. "I should like to wake up rich
one morning just to see how it would feel," said one woman to another
not long since. "I do wake up rich every morning now," said the other,
"though I have still my living to earn, because my life is full of
prized opportunities, of cherished friendships, of chances for
acquiring knowledge that I had not in youth, and keeping myself in
touch with broad human facts and forces. Everything is interesting to
me, more interesting the closer my acquaintance with it, so that I am
fast getting rid of those ugly things we call prejudices, and laying
in a stock of appreciation instead, which is in itself enriching."

The old feeling of patron and dependant--so irksome, so humiliating,
so feudal, yet containing for many the whole moral law--is done away
with, and in its place appears a spirit of true fellowship, a growing
sense of mutual respect and helpfulness. Club life teaches us that
there are many kinds of wealth in the world--the wealth of ideas, of
knowledge, of sympathy, of readiness to be put in any place and used
in any way for the general good. These are given, and no price is or
can be put upon them; yet they ennoble and enrich whatever comes
within their influence.

Money is the only kind of wealth that is not common, that is not given
freely; and for that reason it has a deadening and demoralizing effect
upon the minds of those who cultivate and increase it for its own
sake, or fail to put it to its larger and more human uses. Wise
distribution is the only way in which money can be made valuable in
the world: it is only as a developing power, as an aid to the worker,
and a creator of instrumentalities by which good objects can be
accomplished, that it is desirable. In the light of this view, what
place do those men and women occupy who shut themselves up with their
money, and shut out the wide human interests which educate the mind
and heart to noble issues? Going to church does not help them, for it
must be an exclusive church and an exclusive pew, under an exclusive
pastor who patronizes Jesus Christ but does not sympathize with Him,
and who talks about the "dregs of society" as if it were something
far removed from the knowledge and consciousness of his hearers.

The woman of the past has especially been cramped up, bound around,
and blindfolded by her special form of belief, by her tradition, by
her social customs, by her education, by her whole environment; and
the effect will remain stamped more or less upon her individuality
long after the predisposing causes have passed away and better
influences and circumstances have taken their place.

But the present is full of encouragement. The new life has begun: the
woman is here;--not the martyred woman of the past; not the
self-absorbed woman of the present, but the awakened woman of the
future. That woman whose faculties have been cultivated, whose gifts
have been trained, whose mind has been enlarged, whose heartbeats
respond to the touch of the unseen human, and whose quickened insight
recognizes father, brother, sister, and friend beneath the strange as
well as the dilapidated robe.

This woman whose face no artist has painted, who is not yet familiar,
is among us, and will remain. Her work humanizes and reconciles, and
the changes it will effect will come so noiselessly that the majority
will not be aware of them till they are accomplished, and then each
one will announce, and perhaps believe, that they themselves have
brought these things about. But this will not matter, for when the
work is done it is really of little consequence who did it, since all
who do any good work at all are simply agents and ministers, charged
with a task it is their business to perform, and happy only as they
are able to execute it. It is those who are "let alone," who live for
and in themselves, who are the unhappy ones; and for these, though
they possess fine houses, much gold, stocks and bonds, the poorest
worker may well fervently pray that the new life may come to these

The Days That Are[1]

We live in an age of discontent. Discontent has been deified. It has
been called divine; and unrest, the seal as well as the sign of
progress. Doubtless there is a time and a place even for discontent,
for there is no faculty that has not its function. But discontent,
which is a sacred fire when it burns within and is kept for home use,
is a mischievous and destroying element when it is widely distributed
and unthinkingly-employed by ignorance and short-sightedness.

[Footnote 1: _The Cycle_.]

Then it is certain that if discontent is good, content is far better,
and thankfulness better yet. If time teaches us anything, it is to
work and wait and trust; to be thankful for what is--for the digging
and seeding time as well as for the harvest; for one must come before
the other.

Time brings only one regret--that we had not more joy in the things
that were; more belief, more patience, more love; more knowledge of
the way things work out; more willingness to help toward the final
result. The preparation, the planting, the laying foundations, must be
done in the dark; usually done with blind eyes as well, which see not
what may or will be, but anticipate a harvest of pain from a
spring-time of rain. Yet these showers may have been indispensable to
the ground, and the seed may have expanded and sent its shoots up to
the surface in consequence of them.

But why use symbols? The days that are;--the days that are with us are
the good days. Suppose it is hard work, and only the prospect of hard
work? Work is the best thing we have got: it is salvation. It is the
means by which we struggle up out of the darkness into the light. It
is the law of life. It is the ministry of all that is good in the
world; and the better it is the better for us, the better for every
one. It is only those who do not know how to work that do not love it;
to those who do, it is better than play--it is religion.

But this is the mere influence of work itself. Suppose, besides your
work, you have the blessing of a family to be cared for, and your work
provides for them? This consecrates every part of it. It makes every
movement of the hand a benediction, every heart-throb an unuttered
prayer. Are not these days so full of labor best days? For about you
are those you love. They are under the roof you provide; their voices
furnish the music, their presence the sunshine of your life. Sometimes
that which your discontent craves will come to you. The freedom from
toil, the absence of "troubles" that now loom up so large to you; but
with your troubles your joys will have vanished, and you will sit in
the twilight waiting for the end, and wishing that you had cultivated
the sweetness instead of the bitterness of the beginning, that you had
not allowed the thorns to cover up your roses.

Wisdom seems to have been the same always, but each one has to learn
its lessons for himself. That is the reason why there is so little
apparent progress in essential truths. There are always those who have
grown into their realization; there are always those who are at the
threshold, and who must travel over the same paths, for we can none of
us acquire true wisdom for another; it must become a part of
ourselves, of our own moral and spiritual consciousness.

"It is all very well for you," says one; "you have never known the
pinch of poverty." How do you know that? We none of us know how and
where the shoe has pinched another person's foot. It is not our
business to know, but it is our business to prevent our soreness from
becoming sourness and bitterness. It is our business to make the
pathway of others as pleasant as we can, so that their unseen corns
shall irritate them as little as possible. All the wisdom of the days
that have been, and the days that are, will be found in the following
lines from Goethe's "Tasso":

  "Would'st thou fashion for thyself a seemly life?
   Then fret not over what is past and gone;
   And spite of all thou mayest have lost behind,
   Yet act as if thy life were just begun.
   What each day wills, enough for thee to know,
   What each day wills, the day itself will tell.
   Do thine own task, and therewith be content;
   What others do that shall thou fairly judge.
   Be sure that thou no mortal brother hate,
   Then all beside leave to the Master Power."

A People's Church[1]

"What would you do if you were rich?" This is a question often asked,
and readily answered by those who have not wealth of their own to
dispose of, for there is nothing easier than to give away other
people's money. But it is more difficult to the conscientious, who
feel that their unearned millions ought to inure in some way to the
public benefit, yet do not always see the way to the reconciling of
their own conditions and circumstances with that use of money which
seems to them wisest and best.

[Footnote 1: _The Cycle_.]

As a rule it may safely be assumed that if all who are poor were
suddenly made rich, they would do as the majority of our rich men do
with their money--keep it. But it is at least pleasant to think how
generous one might be, and as the rich occasionally are; and I propose
to suggest one object that I hope will one day be realized in this
great city, where everything good is possible, as well as everything
evil, and which only needs to take vital root in some active mind to
become a living reality.

Within a certain area New York may be called a city of churches, but
they are churches for the rich; solemn, imposing, cathedral-aisled,
glass-stained, costly, munificently beneficed, elegantly pastored--God
locked in, the poor locked out. I know there are "mothers'" meetings
and "mite" societies, and all the rest of it, but all the same the
poor woman in her old shawl and bonnet would not think of entering one
of those expensive pews, nor does the man in his working suit feel
that that is the place for him. Outside, the majority of churches take
no account of the necessity for the consolation, the comfort, the
upbuilding, the refreshment of religion, save and only for certain
hours on Sunday, and then it must be in full toggery, and in company
with, the eminently respectable.

The most beautiful thing about the old churches abroad is not their
splendor of carving and painting, but that they stand with, open doors
week days and Sundays, for the people to enter; and they do enter. The
market woman with her basket drops in for a moment on her way home
from the labor of her weary day. The old woman totters in to say her
"Ave Maria," the young woman to pray away her perplexities. Even the
business man sometimes finds it a resource from his struggles and
temptations. The poor, with their crowded houses and narrow quarters,
have so little privacy as to make quiet, and even an opportunity for
self-communion, a luxury. Then how often in the perplexities which
fill their lives they desire for a little while a retreat, a refuge
where they can think, perhaps receive a word of counsel, at least find
an atmosphere of absolute peace and restfulness.

The Monday prayer-meeting, the afternoon exhortation; the evening
conference of the Baptists, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, or the
Congregationalists, are not what is wanted; nor is it a cold and
barn-like edifice which makes one feel, if one goes to call upon God,
as though He were out, and could only be seen at stated times, and by
the will of the sexton and the trustees.

A people's church is wanted, where the people can come and go as they
please; which asks no questions, which is always open, which has brief
singing and organ services that all and any people of any kind and
degree may attend and feel themselves welcome. A morning service of
praise, a mid-day song of rejoicing, a vesper hymn of thankfulness. No
word of condemnation, no word of controversy, no word of doubt, no
word of assertion or denial; only unceasing love, continued and
eternal recognition of human kinship and readiness to minister to any
soul's need as far as it may be reached and helped.

No one minister could perform its offices; its servants would have to
be in a manner consecrated to its work, and they should be men and
women who have suffered, and therefore know, but who would find more
reason for rejoicing than lamentation; who would possess gifts of
music and oratory, and whose personal influence would be strong for

There are great churches with scattered congregations, in Fifth
avenue; there are a few poor churches, and small, for which no one
cares, and which offer no attractions to the over-flowing population
of Mott street. The spring and summer will soon come, and then these
great churches will be closed, their pew-owners distributed over lake
and mountain in all the different parts of the wide world. But the
"people" will be here. People who work in foundries and shops, who
live in tenement-houses; people who earn a hand-to-mouth living as
clerks, book-keepers, seamstresses and petty store-keepers; people who
have to stay in such homes as they can support because they cannot
afford to break them up and go elsewhere.

For these people and their children there is only the street. The
children occupy the street. For four or five months in the year they
make life hideous, especially on Sunday, by noise and exhibition of
vandalism that would disgrace the savages of any age or nation. The
police acknowledge themselves powerless to prevent it. It is simply
the exercise of undirected faculty which might be turned to account,
but which has only noise, confusion, and street warfare for its
opportunity for exercise.

There are possibilities in these congregations of the highways and
byways, and when we have our people's church or churches, open all the
year, and all the night as well as all the day, and the voices of the
angels for sweetness, singing love and peace on earth, in an anthem
that pierces the roof, and with the tones of a mighty organ to
emphasize to all the world its message, and it is not a question of
clothes, many people will be glad to listen, and will find an
influence in the music, in the willingness, in the free-heartedness,
in the sympathy, in the kindness, in the spirit of brotherhood, that
they would not get out of preaching nor dogma.

Whom are we waiting for to build this church? Is it a woman? Surely it
is an opportunity that carries the two-fold blessing.

Notes, Letters and Stray Leaves

A "free lance" is less free than the organs of a party. In one case it
means at least the opinions of a group; in the other, the dogmatism of
the one who wields the lance. Nothing is less free than the
self-styled freedom of the individual.

Enthusiasm implies a certain narrowness of vision. When people can
take a broad view they can see the elements of goodness or beauty
everywhere, and they cease to be enthusiastic in regard to one. The
great popular preachers are not university men, or those who are quiet
and literary in style, but strong, dogmatic men.

Perhaps the most noticeable difference between the so-called new woman
and the new man is this, that she is seizing every opportunity that
opens up new avenues of individual employment, while he is discovering
and storing energy to save himself from doing any work at all. The old
man made other men, and women too, work for him, the new man is making
the hitherto uncontrolled forces his servants, locking them up in such
small compass that a twist of the wrist will start the crash of

The notes of the great god Pan, so "piercingly sweet by the river"--a
far cry and a weary way from Pan to Handel and Beethoven; yet during
all that time music has been the joy and the consolation of
peoples,--all except the Quakers.

If Poetry is the prophet of the future, music expresses all
emotions,--love, joy, fear, above all, aspiration. Music is
essentially religious, and has inspired the most perfect forms of
emotional composition we know.

I take off my hat to the new man--that is, I would if I wore one, but
I wear a bonnet, and pin it on with long, sharp-pointed things which
if they were not used voluntarily would be considered instruments of
torture. Think of the man who is testing the force of dynamite--who is
holding lightning bolts in his hand and forcing them to do the work
which he has planned for them, who is taking the altitude of the
mountains in Mars in his observatory in the air at midnight,--think of
these men stopping to swear while they ran the murderous little weapon
through six thicknesses of buckram, lining, velvet, lace, feathers,
ribbon and hair--to fasten on their bonnets!

Letter to the New York Woman's Press Club

  October, 1900.

My dear Friends and Fellow-Members:

It was really a grief to me not to be able to meet you individually
and collectively before leaving to be absent the entire season. The
accident which disabled me for the summer, threatens to cripple me for
the winter also, and in this condition of dependence and general
disability, it seemed best to go where I could have seclusion, and the
care of some member of my own family.

I resign my place among you with less reluctance because the Woman's
Press Club is now strong and well able to guard its own interests, and
direct its own affairs. It will, I am sure, be all the better and
stronger from being thrown upon its own resources, and made to depend
wholly upon the potent efforts which have been evoked, and which may
be still further developed on the part of its membership.

It will be a source of the deepest satisfaction to me in my retirement
to think of you in connection with the happy times we have had, and
the good work done during the past three years, and also of the spirit
of loving fellowship which has grown so strong and so deep. Nothing
can give greater pleasure than to hear of your continued growth and
prosperity, of continued endeavor to make the work effective, and the
life of the Woman's Press Club beautiful and useful.

Remember that a well-rounded club is an epitome of the world; that it
never can and never ought to be perfect according to any one
individual's idea of perfection, for every one's ideal is different;
and it is the unity in this diversity which constitutes the spiritual
life of the club, as the soul animates and inspires the body.

Exalt the club. Bring your best to the front. Extinguish personal
aims. Mind not at all the little picking and carping of human
gadflies, whose desire to extract blood is perhaps a survival of their
species, and an evidence of their unfitness for human companionship.

I think of you at every gathering, and if you remember me, show it in
your determination to make the Woman's Press Club of Greater New York
an honor to the metropolis of the New World and to American womanhood.

                                     J.C. CROLY.
  Hill Farm, Hersham,
    Walton-on-Thames, England.

Letter to Sorosis

  May, 1899.

To my dear friends and fellow-members of Sorosis:

On the eve of my departure from New York for a season, my heart turns
towards Sorosis with a depth of affection I find it difficult to put
into words. For thirty years it has held a large place in my life. It
has represented the closest companionship, the dearest friendships,
the most serious aspirations of my womanhood. The past is filled with
delightful memories, social and intellectual, of which it was the
happy instrument and inspiration. Its galleries are stored with living
pictures of noble women who were with us, who are always of us, who
have become a part of that eternal source of spiritual life from which
the best things spring. What is the secret of the strength of Sorosis?
What is its value to the community and the world at large? It is, as a
centre of unity. This is our Holy Grail,--and this we are bound never
to defame, or defile by thought, word or deed.

We planted the seed not in Sorosis alone, but in the General
Federation; and it is our duty to see that it is preserved in its
integrity. Sorosis does not want place or power in the organization
she created, but it is hers to see that the great principle it
embodied is not lost sight of. That the limitless growth and
expansion provided for in its foundations are always from centre to
circumference, not in sections; and that as differences are not
recognized in the local organization, so there can be no north, south,
east, or west in the general organization, nor any separation or
division of interests. This is the aim of Sorosis:--to perfect within
its own membership that unity in diversity which is the basis of its
life, and the source of its growth; and, as far as its strength and
influence extend, preserve it as the foundation of a united womanhood.

The consolation I feel in going away is that I shall find you here
when I return; not, I hope, crippled and disabled as now, but able to
be among you once more. I leave a monument of the woman's club in the
"Women's Club History," which carries marvellous testimony to the
ideals and aspirations of the woman of the home--for this is the woman
of the club.

God bless and keep you all! I wish I could look into your kind faces
individually, and thank you for all that Sorosis past and present has
been to me.

  Faithfully yours,
                 J.C. CROLY.

Letter to the Society of American Women in London

  November, 1901.

To the Society of American women in London:

On the eve of my departure for America, I desire to express to the
Society of American Women something of what I feel sure I owe it
individually and collectively since its initial gathering in the
beginning of March.

My visit to England has been made under extremely trying and painful
circumstances. I had expected no participation in any social
functions. I had communicated with only a very few near and dear
friends. Formal intercourse with comparative strangers seemed

But there was nothing strange in the atmosphere of the American
Society. It provided at once an atmosphere in which one could breathe
freely, so kindly and so cordial were its tone and spirit.

It formed at once a social centre in which the best elements
contributed to the most varying attractions. It brought together many
of the most charming and progressive women in English as well as
American society, and also many of the brilliant women we read about,
but rarely meet.

In addition, it performed a most useful office in extending the hand
of welcome from American women in London to the representative women
who attended the International Council; and has a future of
exceptional character in filling a social need which has never been
filled by the official representatives in republican America.

It is not too much to say that it has put life in London in quite a
new and much more attractive aspect to American women, by focusing the
best elements and bringing them in touch with each other. With time
and development the highest results of the modern co-operative spirit
should be attained, and the fulness of a life that will enrich each
individual member, and reach out beyond to an ever widening sphere of
happy influence.


Letter to the Pioneer Club of London

  June, 1901.

To the Finance Committee of the Pioneer Club:

I hope I shall not be considered as taking a liberty in presenting a
subject of some importance for your consideration.

There is a feeling in some clubs and among some clubwomen that the
time has arrived for expanding the club idea and at the same time
drawing closer the ties which unite women in the form of organized
fellowship, which the modern clubwoman recognizes as a potent and most
valued element of her club life. It is believed, in short, that the
time has come for the initial steps to be taken for the formation of a
European Federation of Women's Clubs.

There are many reasons which seem to make it eminently proper that the
Pioneer Club should be the one to take these initial steps. It is the
oldest and best known woman's club in London. It was founded upon the
broadest human lines by a woman who possessed in the highest degree
that sixth sense which the nineteenth century contributes to the
twentieth--the sense of the Universal. This led her to affiliate the
Pioneer Club in the beginning with the General Federation of Women's
Clubs in the United States, and should inspire it to progressive life
and work.

The initial step is not formidable. It is, if thought desirable,
simply to address a circular letter to women's clubs on record,
wherever they may be known to exist, proposing a basis of federated
affiliation, and inviting them to unite in forming a grand Federation
of organized bodies of women capable of realizing any purpose upon
which they might bring their united forces to bear.

If it is said, "Of what use is such a Federation?" I might point to
many instances of educational and municipal progress, and social
reform in America effected by this combined effort. But details are
as nothing compared with the one great, glowing, ultimate aim of the
solidarity of thoughtful, high-minded, intelligent, progressive women.
It is written in the stars. It will surely become an accomplished
fact; and there are other clubs willing to take the initiative; but it
is fitting that the Pioneer Club should lead, and by its wisdom and
judgment lend an added dignity to noble endeavor.


Letters to Mrs. Dimies T.S. Denison, President of Sorosis

         22 AVENUE ROAD,
  LONDON, NW., January 27, 1899.

My dear Mrs. Denison:

Thank you very much for your delightful letter. It was so good and
heartening. Its spirit was so representative of the best that
club-life has given us that it made me feel more than ever thankful
for Sorosis and for that reserved strength and all-roundedness of
resource and character which makes it able to successfully tide over
any difficulties.

I have not heard of any effort to form a London Sorosis, nor do I
think it could be done successfully on precisely the same lines. If we
were starting a club to-day it would differ considerably from the one
started thirty-one years ago. That had to be formed out of such
materials as were available at that time, and built as it knew and as
it grew. Its virtue lay in its breadth, in the true and scientific
character of its conception. It made a centre and worked from that to
the radiating points of an illimitable circle, not knowing precisely
where these would take it, but with all the faith of Columbus in
results founded upon essential principles. We had no idea at the time,
that at every one of these farther points other centres were being
formed that also, in their own time and way, struck out feelers and
shafts, and thus became part of that great system of creative force,
which, still acting on its central and original idea of a larger
unity, brought together the General Federation. This is the mother
idea which Sorosis represents, and which needs no legal enactment to
enforce. It stands for this as much in London as in New York, and in
its own way has become unique. It lacks some of the elements of the
newer clubs, but it contained the germ of them all, and is essentially
a true growth, an aggregation of all the qualities of a diverse and
unified womanhood;--not by making it something else, but by studying
its own spirit and life, and the genius it has developed.

First, it stands for a wide hospitality and the generous recognition
of all other women; for high standards in literature, art, ethics, and
all the interests belonging to and growing out of them. Above all, it
stands for home duty; for honor, faithfulness, loyalty, courage and
truth. Finally, it stands for subjection;--that highest subjection of
the one will to the many; of that subordination of our own dominant
desire to the spirit and will of God, represented by the spirit and
will of the majority. For the voice of the people is in a real sense
the voice of God, whether we recognize it or not.

O my beloved Sorosis, you are the core of my heart! What have I said
but that you represent an ideal of life and character, and that each
member should hold herself responsible for its preservation and its
increasing beauty and value?

  Faithfully yours,
                 J.C. CROLY,
                      Honorary President.

Dearest Mrs. Denison: When I began this letter it was intended for you
alone; as I went on it seemed as if it might find a little place at
the Breakfast. Use your own judgment in regard to having an extract
made for that purpose...

  Yours lovingly,     J.C.C.

  LONDON, N.W., April 16, 1899.

My dear President:

What a lovely programme! I am so proud to show it, and so happy that
Sorosis is going on so beautifully. Have I congratulated you? If not,
let me do it now with all my heart. I always knew your time would
come, and that you would make a popular as well as a wise president.
You have a light touch, but a very appreciative one, and that good
thing--a fine sense of humor. You do not take yourself too seriously,
but you give the best of yourself unreservedly. God bless you for
carrying the banner of Sorosis up to its highest level, and
maintaining its dignity in a way worthy of its reputation.

The London Club, or Society of American Women in London, is
flourishing. The president comes often to see me, and in her address
at the second luncheon, April 10th, said that she considered it a
special providence that I was in London at the beginning; that I had
been of the greatest help to her, and that she should always look upon
me as their "Club Mother." I began to wonder if that was what my leg
was broken for, and how many more times I might have to be cut to
pieces to make "Mother" enough to go around.

Mrs. Henry Norman (Muriel Dowie, author of "A Girl in the
Carpathians") made a brilliant little speech. She is delightful, and
very anxious to visit America. Her husband is the Englishman who of
his own choice graduated from Harvard. He has written some very
appreciative articles about America...

I hope I shall know when Mrs. F. and Mrs. L. are coming, and something
of their plans. At least how long they will stay in London. Won't you
be so good as to tell them this and give them my address?

I am endeavoring now to put myself under treatment for the pain and
weakness I feel when I try to walk (with sticks) in the street...

  Really yours,
                 J.C. CROLY.

         October 3, 1900.

My very dear President and Friend:

Your letter was most welcome. I have been in a quiet little country
place since coming from Ober-Ammergau, and know no one. I thought much
of you in those quiet days, and wished to write, but waited to hear,
and the echoes did come in a way I understood, for I had letters
before leaving America which were an indication of the general trend
of thought and desire. Of course I never for a moment misunderstood
your attitude in the matter of the election... You could not help your
election. [Referring to the first vice-presidency of the General

I am very, very sorry the color question has been raised again. It
almost made a split six years ago. It was, at the best, premature. It
was a sacrifice of the greater to the less, of the real good we had
attained and the ideal towards which we were working, to a theoretical
possibility which had not yet presented itself. We have yet a thousand
obstacles to overcome within ourselves; a thousand problems to solve;
an ideal to work towards capable of infinite expansion. But we should
not strain the limits while the centre still lacks order and form, and
depends upon the wisdom with which it is guided for permanence.

We have made some dreadful blunders,... but ideals are not stones in
the street; they are stars in the sky. They are always beyond us; we
cannot wear them as breast-pins but we can work towards them...

  Yours faithfully,
                 J. C. CROLY.

  LONDON, W.C., April 10, 1901.

My very dear Friend and President:

How good it was of you to send me the beautiful souvenirs of the
thirty-third Annual Breakfast. They took me straight back to you all
through a mist of tears that were half pleasure, half pain; pleasure
that I was not forgotten, pain that I was not there to see the loving
glance, and share the hand-clasp. It is true I have many friends here,
but none that seem quite like the old friends; and there is only one
Sorosis--God's blessing be upon it for evermore! Yet wherever I go,
God's blessing and His Spirit seem to me to have descended upon women.
They show the most wonderful goodness and insight. They seem each one
to be specially made; not the kind that are kept in stock, so to
speak. Oh, I feel sometimes as if all my life had been partly a test,
partly an experience of their goodness, and that it is a sufficient
blessing, for nothing else has been left me.

A writer remarked the other day, in an article on the South African
war, that the best results of war were ties--the spirit of good
comradeship that it established among men. This is what we
preeminently get out of our club life, and without paying so fearful a
price for it. I hope to see you all when you come together in the

  With loving remembrance,
                 J.C. CROLY.

Letters to Mrs. Charlotte Carmichael Stopes (London)

            Jan. 15, 1889.

My Dear Mrs. Stopes:

It is very kind of you to take this trouble to give us a pleasure, and
I would not miss it on any account. But it is a little difficult for
me to name the day. I am in the hands of the dentist this week; I
shall hardly get through to go to the Writers' Club on Friday. These
two circumstances have postponed my visit to Miss Genevieve Ward to
whom it is now arranged that I go a week from to-morrow. I could make
it any afternoon that week that would suit you. Mrs. Sidney will be
delighted also to accept your invitation; and perhaps Miss Ward also.
Please make the afternoon to suit yourself and Miss Blackburn.

  Really yours,
                 J.C. CROLY.

  Jan. 19.

I go to Miss Ward's on Monday. It is her day at home, and therefore
will be more or less fatiguing. Tuesday I have promised to dine at the
Crescent Club with Mrs. Phillips and hear Mr. Felix Moscheles' lecture
afterwards. Miss Ward and her brother, Col. Albert Lee Ward, go also.
Three days of continuous going out would be too much for me, and
something would have to give way. I would rather it would be any event
than yours. Suppose you arrange it for the week following, and in the
meantime call for me at Miss Ward's on Monday. You will find Miss Ward
a very striking personality, and I particularly wish Col. Ward to
accompany me to your house. I will see you on Friday, and you can tell
me how you decide.


  Jan. 20.

Friday the 27th will suit me very well. I have been out-of-doors so
little as yet, that I feared I might break down on the third day of
trying. I do know Lady Roberts Austen; have been to luncheon at her
house, but have not seen her since I came this time; I have
communicated as yet with so few. I heard from her the other day
however, and I know she will go to your house if she possibly can. I
have to drive wherever I go. I move too slowly for crowds and public
conveyances. I cannot risk weather.

  Feb. 8.

I want to thank you for the afternoon I spent at your house; I enjoyed
it so very much. You will not consider me "pushing" if I say I am only
half satisfied. There are so many sides to your house; I want to see
the Queen of Scots portrait again, and the Donatello, and some of your
rare cookery books. I expect to change my quarters in about three
weeks to the North West; then you will let me come and browse, won't
you. But first you must come and lunch with me. With kind regards to
your delightful family,

  I am, etc.

  March 12.

May I come up next Thursday afternoon and bring with me an American
friend, Mrs. Stockber of Silverton, Colorado, who has just arrived by
the _Umbria_. Mrs. Stockber is an unusually interesting woman. She is
equal owner with her husband, an intelligent and large-minded German,
of one of the largest silver mines in the States, and is one of the
only two honorary women members of the great Association of Mining
Engineers of the United States. Mrs. Griffin, the President of the new
Society of American Women in London, also wants to come. I don't want
to inundate you; and this is only to ask if you are better, and can
receive a trio safely.

  Yours, etc.

  March 16.

I am sorry to give you so much trouble. But I have a friend here just
now, a woman of unusual character and ability. I remember I told you
of her. The other is Mrs. Helen T. Richards of the Boston Institute of
Technology. The only moment I can get her is on Monday afternoon, and
I want her to see the collection of prints and your pictures. If it is
all right I will bring her with me on Monday at 3 P.M. We must go to
Miss Ward's at 4.30. Do not have tea at that primitive hour; for we
shall be obliged to have a cup at Miss Ward's. I wish we might have a
chance of seeing Mr. Stopes; but of course that is something that may
be prayed for, but not what common people are made for. Dear, take
care of yourself if you can. There is only one of you.


  March 17.

We will postpone. I cannot reach my two troublesome friends, and next
week you will be busy and tired. "By-and-by" is coming with the sun
and flowers. We will come too.

  Yours lovingly and really,

      June 25, 1901,

My very dear Friend:

I have only time to thank you for your kind "welcome," and tell you
how sorry I am not to see you to-day, and your precious Winnie, who I
hope has really started on the road to recovery. Children are the
richest boon vouchsafed us in this world, and the parents are the
trustees of this wealth committed to their charge, but belonging to
the world at large, and of which time only tells the value. I shall be
very busy now for a few days, but will see you as soon as possible.


[Illustration: Facsimile of a portion of a letter written by Mrs.
Croly in October, 1900.]

    222 WEST 23D STREET,
  NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 1901.

My dear Friend:

Thank you very much for your letter and card. It was a great pleasure
to me to receive it, and to learn something about yourself and what
you are doing. The news was long belated. The letter was to have been
printed the week that I left, and I provided to have it sent to about
a dozen friends as a good-bye. But it was so long delayed by Transvaal
excitement and sad war news, that I did not expect it to appear at

I had a wonderful celebration on my seventieth birthday in December;
poems written, cakes with seventy candles sent, and a great
spontaneous gathering in my honor, which really bothered me not a
little, for I do not pose worth a cent, and do not know where to look
or what to do when people compliment me.

However, one thing gratified me above all others. It was a "birthday
party" given me by the Daughters of 1812--the most exclusive of
patriotic societies that is restricted to lineal descendants. The
gathering was magnificent; the cake was brought in lighted by seventy
candles borne on the shoulders of four men. By unanimous vote they
conferred upon me honorary membership, and the insignia were
conferred. The president in seconding the motion said, this departure
from their rules (alluding to my English birth) was not in honor of
"the club," nor of the "literary women," but of the woman who knew no
line of separation, and whose work had been done for all women. Was
not that a beautiful thing to say? Only that I intend to be cremated,
I would have it put on my tombstone.

We had a very bright and very beautiful beginning here to the "Holy
Year," so far as weather is concerned, and it is also very gay, though
my lameness prevents me from participating much in social doings. I am
also grieved by the unexpected effects of the Boer war, in England.
There must have been shocking blundering and mismanagement somewhere.
The pitying way in which "poor, stupid, decrepit old England" is
talked about is galling. Some military officers remarked recently that
England was hardly worth having a "scrap" with, she would be so easy
to beat.

Our General Federation holds a Congress in Paris in June, and my
passage is taken for May 19th. If nothing untoward prevents, I shall
be in London for a week early in June, and then go to Paris and
Ober-Ammergau. If you could go it would be very pleasant. Give my love
to your daughters, and kind regards to Mr. Stopes.

  Yours ever,
            J.C. CROLY.

Letter to Mrs. Carrie Louise Griffin

              June 25, 1901.

My dear Mrs. Griffin:

Mr. Bell wants an article immediately, about the American Society, for
the Chicago _Recorder_; and I am glad to write it, because it enables
me to make it stand for what it does; and will, still more, in the
very heart of western clubdom; and will be a John the Baptist for you
if you should go over next summer. He wants some photographs, yours
particularly; which please send. He left his card with address of
_Recorder_ in Fleet Street, which I omitted to take up-stairs at the
moment, and afterwards it could not be found. I am hoping that you
have it and will give it to me, or that Mr. Griffin perhaps knows it.
If you can drop in on Monday, A.M., I should be glad to ask you in
regard to some members--what to say of them, etc. Would Mrs. Clarence
Burns allow her picture to be used, and have you one of Mrs. De

  Always faithfully yours,
                 J. C. CROLY.

From a Letter to Mrs. May Riley Smith

... I have never done anything that was not helpful to woman so far as
it lay in my power. (April 2, 1886.)

Letters to Miss Anna Warren Story (Chairman of Executive Committee of
the Woman's Press Club of New York)

         Oct. 29, 1900.

My dear Executive:

Your letter giving me all the news to date was most kind and welcome.
It seems very strange to be away from you all in this secluded corner
of Surrey, with nothing in sight but woods, a meadow in which cows are
grazing, and one neighboring cottage. My morning walk, when the
weather will admit of walking, is along the old post road lined with
woods and at the foot of our little lane or entrance to farm. The
other morning one solemn old cow put her head through the fence, and
stared with amazement at my crutches. Four others walked over to see
what she was looking at; and they all stood in a row, looking and
making no sound as long as I could see them. It was very funny.

It seems so odd after so many years of continuous and often hurried
work, to be using days for walking, and little things that since I was
a grown woman have been crowded into odds and ends of time, or omitted
for want of enough of it. I am gaining strength, however, and realize
how complete the prostration was, and how radical the reconstructive
processes had to be. The seclusion in which I live, surrounded by pine
woods, a mile and a half from the nearest post office (tho' a postman
brings our letters) and an equal distance from such supplies as a
village can afford, is a little trying in some ways, but a real boon
to me in my present condition.

It would have been very easy to plunge into the activities of women in
London. Many invitations have reached me, but I have been nowhere but
to one little dinner given by our only neighbor, the wife of a London
editor, and herself a popular story writer.

I can walk now with one crutch and a stick, and begin to hope for
complete restoration, which at one time seemed to me impossible. But,
oh, how tedious and wearing it is! We have an unusually fine October
for England, but gray skies and almost daily rains now. But the Surrey
country is beautiful, full of quaint old villages and objects of
picturesque interest. I am longing for the time and the weather to
explore it. I could write all day about my gradually growing desire to
be "up and doing." But time and space do not admit. Let me say in one
word how deeply I was touched by the action of the Executive
Committee, the Governing Board, and club. But I am also disappointed.
I wanted to leave the field clear, and have new energy put into the
club by bringing into active and central circulation the young, best
blood we possess. Thank you for your assurance that as far as possible
that will be done; and thank every officer and every member in my
behalf for the long and affectionate confidence they have reposed in
me, and for the many acts of personal kindness I have received from

I am sorry you have lost the Countess by removal, and other valuable
members by death...

  Yours faithfully and affectionately,
                 J.C. CROLY

            August 20, 1901.

My dear Anna:

Your letter came most opportunely. I had been thinking about you, the
Press Club, and my dear friends at home; for somehow I have not felt
the old pleasure in being in England, and if I had a home to come back
to, and my goods and chattels were not so far off, I should have come
back, I think, this autumn.

For one thing, the weather has not been favorable. We had such warm
weather in July; but every month has had a week or more of very cold
and wet weather. In Ober-Ammergau on the 8th of July we perished with
the cold, and the rain almost caked in ice upon us. Still, even such
weather could not spoil Ober-Ammergau. It is the one thing of its kind
on earth, and the nearest to an absolutely perfect thing I ever saw. A
great charm is the unconsciousness of the performers. They do not play
to an audience. There are no footlights, nothing theatrical; only the
Great Tragedy wrought out as a living reality. I think of all the
scenes; the one that made the deepest impression upon me was the one
in which there were the fewest actors and least acting. That was the
Garden of Gethsemane. So intense was the agony of spirit, that it
seemed as if I myself should cry out if the disciples had not gone
away and left the Saviour alone to his mortal struggle.

It is a great thing, Anna, that these people have done. They have
lived the Passion of Christ for nearly three hundred years. They are
born in it; they are fed upon it. They have made a cult of religion;
and they are absolutely religious, but not in the least sectarian. The
Christ they have lifted up draws all men unto him.

I have been in a quiet country place for four weeks, and shall stay
two weeks longer... If I remain this winter we shall probably go back
to Paris by November and to Italy in the spring. Now that I am here I
might as well give myself this one more chance... I was very tired
when I came back from our hurried trip, and was very glad of rest and

Do not let my dear friends in the Press Club build upon me, or weaken
their force by re-electing me. Elect a young, strong, press woman.
Anna, do this without any reference to personal feeling or likes or
dislikes. You are capable of acting impersonally. Beg the club to do
this in my name, and to pick out their best for the chairmen of their
representative committees.

My own dear friends and fellow members; how I wish I could make them
feel the strength of my desire for their growth in wisdom and honor.
God bless them all!

  Yours affectionately and faithfully,
                 J.C. CROLY.

     May 30, 1901.

My dear Anna:

Your kind letter arrived this morning, forwarded by Mrs. Sidney to
this remote village in Derbyshire. I left London ten days ago because
I had to get fresh air and quiet. Ashover is a quiet little village; a
paradise of meadows starred with flowers, and wooded and cultivated;
hills in which all the treasures of one of the richest counties in
England (in floral wealth) are to be found. When I came here there
were still primroses, cowslips, violets, forget-me-nots, and fields
white with small daisies and yellow with buttercups. Now there are
masses of yarrow, marguerites, rhododendrons, bluebells, and great
trees of white and purple lilacs. Roses, I am told, will cover
everything by and by, but development is a little late this year. I
wish you could spend a month here this summer: what a revelation of
English beauty it would be to you!

Thank you for your sympathy with my personal troubles. I am not
unhappy... The goodness of women to me is always and everywhere
miraculous. This alone makes life worth living...

I am rejoiced to hear of the Press Club's prosperity. Nothing could
give me greater pleasure than to know of its constant growth and

  With love, ever yours,
                 J. C. CROLY.

Letters to Mrs. Caroline M. Morse

     SURREY, ENGLAND, Dec. 13, 1898.

My dear friend:

I was sorry to know from Ethel's note, received day before yesterday,
that you had been ill, and were still unable to the task of writing. I
wished above all things that I could in some way help and comfort you,
having always in mind the help and comfort you were to me during the
trying days last summer that followed my accident, and the consequent
long and tedious illness. There are many people who feel
sympathetically, but so few are capable and who are ready or are
permitted to apply the act of sympathy. It is the friend in need that
is the friend we remember with a grateful, lasting love...

At this moment we are on the eve of removal to London where we are
taking rooms once occupied by the family of David Christie Murray. We
go to-morrow, and begin a new chapter in this most disastrous of
years. So many things seem to culminate toward the close of the
century--good fortune for some, evil fortune for others; hopes dashed
at the seeming moment of realization, as if all the forces in nature
were aiding to make an end of the century's efforts in any way that
would bring finality.

For my part I feel as if I had been forcibly brought to a standstill.
In a few days (the 19th) I shall have reached the milestone: I shall
be seventy. Sorosis would have made an occasion of it if I had been in
New York. As it is, I feel a little tinge of regret that my
annihilation last June was not more complete; that I did not leave,
along with my dear friend, Mrs. Demorest. Not that I am wholly
unhappy; I only feel somehow brought to an unfinished close; left in a
state of animated suspension. I seem to see everything from a
distance; separated by my inability to participate in the goings and
comings, the doings and pleasures of others. I feel the wall that
stands between those who still live and those who have passed from
this world; but alas, I still retain consciousness, and desire for
sympathy, and can see and hear and feel, though my feet are chained.
It is just three months since I arrived. A part of the time we had
beautiful weather, and I could walk on the road a little on sunshiny
days, leaning upon my two sticks. But during the past five weeks, my
out-door exercise has been nil: the roads were too wet and rough. It
has been almost constant fog, rain, wind; and the drip, drip, drip, of
a mist that was wetter than rain. This, I think, has added a little
rheumatism to give name to the pain and stiffness of joints and newly
forming muscles. The change we are about to make will be a new
departure for me--I shall have to try stairs... But I shall have the
dear companionship of Marjorie,[1] who has lived an ideal out-of-door
life here. She will there begin to have regular lessons at home, or go
to kindergarten. I have been reading to her Mary Proctor's "Starland,"
which by your thoughtful prompting she caused to be sent to me through
her London publishers. I am so much obliged to you and to her for
remembering the promise that I should have a copy. It is charming, and
ought to have a wide sale...

[Footnote 1: Her grandchild.]

I must stop; Vida has come for my mail, and is going to the
post-office on her bicycle. She and Mr. Sidney are never so happy as
when taking long bicycle rides on these fine English country roads.

With warmest greetings to Colonel Morse and Ethel, and ever loving
remembrance to you, dear friend, I am, as always,

  Ever yours,

       LONDON, January 29, 1899.

My dear friend:

I have been wondering these many days where you are and how it is with
you. How I have wished that you were near by, and that we could have
taken some of my lonely, painful "duty" walks upon crutches together.
I miss your sympathy and ever ready kindness... I suffer terribly now
with sore and swollen feet--the result of pain, stiffness, strain in
movement, and lack of exercise. But I am stronger. I can now lift my
arms and brush my own hair...

We are having beautiful weather just now. We have had sunshine for a
week, and people go about announcing the fact with joy and surprise,
as if a new Saviour had arisen; all but the Americans, newly come, who
complain about everything, rain or shine...


  LONDON, Jan. 16, 1901.

Dear friend:

This letter is for the family. Poor as it will be, it will have to
tell of all I would like to say to you, and for the thousand and one
things I would like to tell of London and of the many kindnesses I
have received. I had not expected to be here this winter, as you know,
and ought not to be. The cold and the damp have developed rheumatism
of a very severe type in my lame leg, and I suffer from pain and
difficulty in walking... I could, of course, obtain some mitigation of
these conditions, but the same reason that compelled my return to
London, Mr. P.'s actual failure, has so encroached upon my
income--without a prospect of even partial recovery for a long time to
come--as to make it almost equally difficult to live either in
Switzerland, where, at Schinznach-les-Bains, I could receive so much
benefit; or in London, or New York. I wish, as I wished two years ago,
that my accident had ended it, and saved all the pain and difficulty
of solving a perpetual and insoluble problem... It seems sometimes as
if there were only two kinds of people in the world--those who ride
over others roughshod, and those who are ridden over. The cruel
accident that shattered me on that June day shattered my world. Life
since then seems in the nature of a resurrection; every day a special
gift, and every pleasant thing an act of Divine Providence. Love to
you all. This is about myself. Write soon and tell me all about


From a Letter to Mrs. Christina J. Higley

  LONDON, July--, 1899.

My dear friend:

... It seems as if everything had been taken from me but the
friendship, the affection of women; and that manifests itself here as
well as at home. God bless them! They have made all the brightness of
my life.


From a Letter to Mrs. Catherine Young

  LONDON, Sept. 3, 1895.

Dearest Mrs. Young:

Your letter has been before my eyes many times...

Keep up your courage and your faith in women and in the _old flag_. I
came across it the first time after I arrived, in a moment of extreme
despondency. It did me a world of good... In three weeks, if all goes
well, I shall see you. We sail for New York on the 12th of this month.


From a Letter to Mrs. Harriet Nourse

... Oh, yes, I have made my will many times; but some man always
spoils it and I am obliged to make it over, I am not at all
superstitious about making a will. My only trouble is having nothing
to leave. I am fond of superstitions--the little ones. They give
interest to life, if you have to spend it in one place. A little
unreason is less monotonous than the eternally reasonable, and if it
makes you happy for a minute to see the moon over your right shoulder,
why not see it, and be unreasonably happy?

From a Letter to Mrs. Margaret W. Lemon

   222 WEST 23RD STREET,
  NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 1900.

My dear Mrs. Lemon:

I am very glad you are to formulate the resolution of thanks and
appreciation of the work of the Reception Committees. Of course it
goes without saying that it will be spread upon the minutes.

The work was altogether so fine and painstaking, and showed such
thought, care, taste and judgment, that, apart from my personal
pleasure in it, I felt exceedingly proud, and happy at the complete
and beautiful result... I am sorry you do not like "Current Events."
To me "Current Topics" means the fag end of everything we know and
have been obliged to read about in the papers. "Current Events" has a
broader significance, and leaves out the trivial and vulgar.

  Sincerely yours,
                 J. C. CROLY.

From a Letter to Mrs. E. S. Willard

            August 28, 1901.

... As yet I think I am still in London; or at least still in England.
Crossing the Atlantic is not so much of an undertaking; less than
taking a "trip" with "crossing" changes. Packing and unpacking, and
the harassing "customs" are the worst features. There were only
fifty-six passengers on the _Minneapolis_, but it took us from 8 A.M.
to 1 P.M., in a pouring rain, to pass the argus-eyes of one hundred
and eight inspectors, about two to each passenger.

In my case it seemed a bit ironical,--one of Thomas Hardy's "Little
Ironies," for a _rapid_ American trustee had lost my whole capital
during my absence... The necessity for tying up the ragged ends and
applying a test brought me home. But it is a trial, though I seem to
have lost the power to be unhappy. Do you know what that means? Is
that unarmed neutrality the serenity of Heaven?

I am as yet living in England. My thoughts are there, and my desire. I
see you and a few others whom I love come and go, and I exchange the
loving word, the kindly smile, the sympathetic look.

I am waiting for an indication of where I am to end my days. If my
steps turn towards the isles of the sea, you will be a magnet to draw
me, you with your spiritual beauty, and your constant, unfailing
goodness. God bless you, and grant that I may see you again, and that
we may gain the love, as well as the peace, that passeth all

  Yours always,
            J.C. CROLY.

Resolutions of Protest Offered by Mrs. Croly Through the Woman's Press

(From the Recording Secretary's Report)

At a special meeting of the Governing Board, held in the club rooms,
126 East 23rd street, Dec. 26, 1892, the following resolution
proposed by the president was adopted.

_Resolved_: That the Woman's Press Club has learned with deep regret
of the backward action of the Columbian University of Washington, in
deciding to exclude women from its Medical Department, after ten years
of co-education.

_Resolved_: That we unite with Pro-Re-Nata of Washington, D. C., in
expressing an emphatic protest against this retrograde movement; that
we earnestly hope that better counsels will prevail; that, at a time
when so conservative an institution as the British Medical Association
has voted to open its doors to women, the stigma of retrogression will
not be allowed to rest upon the foremost school in the Capitol of the

Tributes of Friends

Jane Cunningham Croly

An Appreciation from Miriam Mason Greeley

In the joyful Christmas-tide of 1829, into the sweet influence of an
English country home there came to life a blue-eyed, brown-haired
maiden, whose sunny nature was destined to laugh with gladness of
heart, or smile through falling tears, for more than seventy eventful
years. "Jenny June" while yet a child came with her family to New York
State, entering here an atmosphere well adapted to foster her
activities and her power to work for the good of others. Her breadth
of vision and her genial sympathy would have been evinced in any land
or clime, but in the stimulating freedom of American thought her
abilities developed to their best.

She found opportunity to plant the seeds of earnest thought, of which
later she was to gather such a rich harvest in the confidence of her
fellow-women. Her eager mind was a rich soil for the growth of ideas
springing from her fertile brain; which led her to be both
conservative and impetuous, grave or vivacious, ever fearless and
versatile, all pervaded with the wholesome balance of quick

To her is due the tribute of praise for having borne the heat and
burden of the day in the early development of women's clubs. Friends
tried to persuade her to abandon her plans for organizing woman's
varied abilities, ridicule assailed her most cherished hope, and the
sarcasm of opponents barred the way. She lived to triumph in seeing
her aims successful, and after thirty-five years of club life to be
honored by one of the highest gifts in the power of the General
Federation to offer--the honorary vice-presidency.

Mrs. Croly formulated in 1890 her well-matured plan for a general
federation of women's clubs, and with the cordial assistance of the
"Mother Club, Sorosis," issued the first call for representatives of
women's clubs of all the States to meet.

Stimulated by the success of the General Federation, Mrs. Croly urged
the formation of the New York State Federation, and assisted by
Sorosis as the hostess, an invitation was issued to all the State
clubs to be the guests of Sorosis at Sherry's, November, 1894.

[Illustration: MRS. CROLY at the age of 18.]

Mrs. Croly's life-work as a writer had gone forward hand in hand with
her club interests, and, having finished the foundation work of the
two federations, she devoted her time to the preparation of her
massive volume on the "Growth of the Woman's Club Movement," which is
a monument to her patient industry, and the only permanent record of
the development of women's clubs in America.

She sleeps--but each woman who to-day shares the benefit and the
responsive pleasure of club life, should place a leaf in the garland
for "Jenny June."

From Marie Etienne Burns

     "Work is a true savior, and the not knowing how is more the
     cause of idleness than the love of it."--MRS. CROLY.

The idea of a State Industrial School for Girls originated with Mrs.
Croly, and at a spring meeting of the Executive Committee of the New
York State Federation of Women's Clubs, held in 1898, she suggested
that the first work of the Philanthropic Committee for the year be an
endeavor to establish a State Industrial School for wayward, not
criminal, young girls of tenement-house neighborhoods. Soon after this
Mrs. Croly met with a serious accident and was obliged to give up all
active work. She decided to go to Europe, hoping to be benefited by a
stay abroad. Just before her departure Mrs. Croly wrote asking me to
present the proposed industrial-school plan to the Convention for its
endorsement. The next day I called upon her to discuss matters. I
found her confined to her sofa with, a crutch beside her, and
evidently suffering much pain; but she seemed to be thinking less
about herself than about the work that was so close to her heart. She
urged me to take up the work which, she was regretfully obliged to
abandon, and was most enthusiastic over it.

Mrs. Croly said: "Those who have worked among the poor in large cities
are aware of the value of orderly and systematic industrial training
for girls of irresponsible parentage, between the years of twelve and
eighteen. These girls are often bright and attractive, but they are
usually self-willed, lacking in judgment, and ignorant of every useful
art, as well as of all social and domestic standards that lend
themselves to the development of a true womanhood. Their homes are
usually unworthy of the name, often scenes of disorder, not
infrequently of violence, from which their only escape is the street.
Their vanity and unbridled desire for low forms of pleasure expose
them to all kinds of evil influences, and the first steps in a
downward career are taken without at all knowing whither they lead.
The most dangerous element in the lives of such girls is their
ignorance. It bars all avenues to respectable employment and deprives
them of self-respect, which grows with ability to maintain oneself and
one's integrity in the face of adverse circumstances. In putting the
knowledge of the simplest art or industry in possession of the
untrained, unformed girl you supply an almost certain defence against
that which lurks to destroy."

I fully agreed with Mrs. Croly. My many years of experience as a
worker among the poor of New York City had taught me the importance,
and indeed the necessity of just such a school, and I gladly promised
to carry forward the good work.

Mrs. Croly said in parting: "I can truly say that during the whole of
my working life in New York, a period of more than forty years, my
heart has bled for these poor neglected, untrained girls, who yet have
the elements of a divine womanhood and motherhood within them, though
undeveloped and hidden by the rankest weeds and growth."

At the Convention in New York City, held in 1901, I presented the
Industrial School project, and the plan received the unanimous
endorsement of all those present. It was, however, deemed wiser to
omit the word "wayward," as the school was to be preventive and in no
sense reformatory. A Committee was formed, of which Mrs. Croly was
made Honorary Chairman; and the work upon a State Industrial School
for Girls was begun.

It was my desire as Acting Chairman of the Committee that the movement
should carry at all times the banner bearing the name of its inceptor,
a name that would always suggest not failure but success. While
seemingly insurmountable obstacles at once arose, they were more or
less overcome as the preparations and work of the Committee
progressed. And at the time of Mrs. Croly's death the project had
reached a point more hopeful than assured, resulting in the
establishment of at least one school which should stimulate the State
Legislature into a realization of the needs of the young girls of the
tenement-house neighborhoods, so that some time in the future there
might be provided through State legislation, on a broad plan, the
State Industrial or Trade School for Girls, the idea of which was
conceived by Jenny June.

From Mrs. Croly's Letter to Mrs. Burns, Relative to the Proposed
Industrial School for Girls

      Feb. 28, 1900.

My dear Mrs. Burns:

There is only one point that I would have emphasized, and that I do
not find included in your otherwise excellent statement. It is the
moral influence of a training for self-support. Ignorance and idleness
lead to vice and crime; and a Technical Training School would do more
to remedy the Social Evil and raise the standard of morals than all
other influences combined. The fact that work is the great purifier is
what I wish could have been embodied in the plan presented.

  Yours with real regard.

From Izora Chandler

How can one picture all that this one woman was to the hundreds of
other women who loved her: the gentle demeanor, the thoughtful
conversation, the high thinking evidenced not less in her choice of
subject than in the fitness of word and phrase which gave a
distinctive charm to all her utterances, whether public or private?

When first meeting Mrs. Croly one could hardly believe that so
gentle-voiced, slight a creature could have accomplished the
pioneering accredited to her in the enlargement of the mental life of
women. Drawn to her at the first greeting one was soon convinced of
the hidden forcefulness of her nature which could be likened to the
resistless, unyielding under-current, rather than to the wave which
visibly and noisily assails the shore.

Present or absent, the thought of her was magnetic. While charming the
heart she convinced the mind with argument. Her power did not absorb
and minify; it enlarged, enlivened, and became a source of
inspiration. After talking with her, impossibilities became possible
to the timid, the diffident were encouraged to dare, and those who
were strong at coming went away valorous. Her dignity and ready
decision when presiding over a public assembly were noteworthy. She
became a stateswoman in whatever concerned her sex; an earnest soul
pleading for love among co-workers, and for more and yet more of love,
for only in that atmosphere can the heart of woman come into its
rightful sovereignty, urging that slights be forgotten, aggressions
overlooked, and that the fair mantle of love be spread tenderly over

An earnest devotee of the best and highest in art, she seemed to have
an insatiable desire after the beautiful; and was never more serene
and lucid of mind than when considering this scheme, and encouraging
with rich appreciation those who were in the field.

Her store of knowledge was phenomenal. She was a constant learner, an
unwearied seeker after wisdom. When those who had given special study
to any subject addressed the house over which she presided, they
received her most flattering attention, and in the brief afterword of
the chairman she indicated intimate knowledge of the matter in hand,
often giving comprehensive data and suggesting fresh lines for
consideration. No wonder that the finest minds were attracted to her;
that thinkers desired her acceptance of their thoughts; that active
workers sought her coöperation and leadership. Quiet and forceful;
competent as a critic, but ready with encouragement; simple in manner,
easily approached; patient with those who appealed to her, seeking
rather than waiting to be sought; abundantly appreciative of others,
her memory becomes an abiding impulse towards high and generous
thought, towards simple, worthy living.

From Janie C.P. Jones

Before my friend's last trip to England I went to bid her good-bye,
and among her parting words were the following which I never can

"I dislike going so far from my friends. To me they are the most
precious things on earth, the greatest gift the world can bestow; to
me they have been like flowers all along my path, and their sweet odor
of influence has made me better every day. I cannot prize them too
highly, for all I am I owe to them."

To have known one who so highly appreciated the value of friendship,
who knew the true meaning of the word "friend," and who possessed the
rare gift of knowing how to retain friends, was an inspiration, and an
influence which added to the value of life. I think of her now as
having "gone into her garden to gather lilies for her Beloved."

From Catherine Weed Barnes Ward

My task is at once sad and pleasant: sad, because I speak of a dearly
loved and lost friend; pleasant, because I am asked to bear my
testimony as to her worth.

Mrs. Croly's friendship and unselfish kindness began with my entrance
over twenty years ago into club life, and from then onward she was
continually urging and helping me towards increased intellectual
effort. Through her active inspiration I joined Sorosis, the Woman's
Press Club of New York, and other American organizations, as well as
the Society of American Women in London, the Women Journalists of
London, and various English organizations, besides taking part in the
International Congress of Women held in London three or four years

Mrs. Croly lived constantly in two generations, her own and the next
one; her wonderful mental vitality setting the paces of many pulses,
besides those which stirred her own brain. I know much of the actual
labor she accomplished for her sex, both here and in England, but even
nobler than that was the high ideal she set them in her own life and
the inspiration of her personality to younger women.

To those she called special friends her loyalty was unswerving, true
as the needle to the pole, and as one blest with such friendship I
feel the influence of her beautiful, unselfish living will be ever
with me, though something has gone out of my life, never to be
replaced. Her daughter, Mrs. Vida Croly Sidney, worthily carries on
the traditions and work of her noble mother, and her friends feel that
in her there is a living tie between the untiring spirit laboring now,
we may well believe, in another existence and the work so loved by
that spirit while on earth.

A true heart, a generous nature, a broad mind, and keen mental acumen
are qualities that do not die with their possessor; they bless the
world to which she has gone and that she left behind.

We can best honor her memory by carrying on her work and by leaving
the world better and happier for our having lived in it.

From a Letter to the Memorial Committee from Sara J. Lippincott (Grace

I feel Mrs. Croly's death very deeply. The sacred holiday season,
dedicated from time immemorial to household joy and mirth, and calling
for Christian gratitude and hope, was already saddened by
bereavements, and her death--absolutely unlooked for by me--made it
melancholy and mournful.

"She should have died hereafter." I did not dream when I saw her last
that she was to solve the great mystery before me. Though feeble,
there seemed so much of the old energetic, enthusiastic self about
her; and I parted from her hoping to see her soon in renewed health
and strength.

She always had a peculiar fascination for me: her soft, sweet voice;
her strong though quiet will; her unfailing faith in all things good;
her loyalty to her sex. I think her pass-word to the realm of rest and
reward must have been, "I loved my fellow-woman."

  35 Lockwood Avenue, New Rochelle,
         January 6, 1902.

From a Letter to the Memorial Committee from Jennie de la M. Lozier

Mrs. Croly was a woman of uncommon intuition and sympathy. She took
wide and far-reaching views of woman's possible development and
usefulness. She believed in organization as a factor in this
development, and spared no effort to form and maintain, even at
personal sacrifice, the woman's club or federation. She was always
generous and warm-hearted, of boundless hospitality, never more
genially herself than when her friends gathered about her in her
attractive home and she could make them happy. I shall always recall
with pleasure the rare moments when she talked with me of her real
life, her hopes and her plans. I believe that she constantly exerted a
noble influence, and that she stood for all that makes for woman's
unselfish helpfulness, courage and independence.

New York, February 10, 1902.

From Genie H. Rosenfeld

In the early days of the Woman's Press Club, when it was divided upon
the question of a suitable meeting place, and undisciplined members
were resigning in appreciable numbers, Mrs. Croly surprised me one day
by declaring that the club had never been stronger than it was at that

"Why, Mrs. Croly!" I exclaimed, "we have only a handful of women

"My dear," she said, "we have lopped off all our dead wood. The
branches that remain may be few, but they are vigorous, and from them
will spring up a tree that will be a glory to us."

This little saying of Mrs. Croly's has come back to me and been of use
many times, and it has often enabled me to understand the benefit of
lopping off dead wood and starting anew.

Contributed to the New York _Tribune_ by S. A. Lattimore

The sad announcement of the death of Mrs. Jane Cunningham Croly
recalls a delightful incident of several summers ago when I had the
pleasure of meeting her at Long Branch.

In the course of a most interesting conversation I ventured to ask her
to give me the origin of her well-known _nom-de-plume_ of "Jenny
June." In her bright, sympathetic way, which all who knew her can
describe, she said:

"Yes, I will tell you. In my early girlhood I knew a young clergyman
who was in the habit of occasionally visiting our house. One day he
came to bid us good-bye, saying that he was going to a Western city to
reside. As he bid me goodbye he gave me a little book. It was a volume
of B. F. Taylor's poems, called 'January and June.' The little book
opened of itself at a page containing verses entitled 'The Beautiful
River.' An introductory paragraph read thus: 'On such a night, in such
a June, who has not sat side by side with somebody for all the world
like Jenny June? Maybe it was years ago, but it was some time. Maybe
you had quite forgotten it, but you will be the better for
remembering. Maybe she has gone on before where it is June all the
year, and never January at all,--that God forbid. There it was, and
then it was, and thus it was.' This stanza was marked in pencil:

  'Jenny June,' then I said, 'let us linger no more
    On the banks of the beautiful river;
  Let the boat be unmoored, and muffled the oar,
    And we'll steal into heaven together.
  If the angel on duty our coming descries
  You have nothing to do but throw off the disguise
    That you wore when you wandered with me;
  And the sentry will say: "Welcome back to the skies,
    We long have been waiting for thee!"'

On the margin was written, 'You are the Juniest Jenny I know.'

"The years of my girlhood passed on, and with their passing faded away
all memory of the young minister. Later there came to me, as I suppose
there comes to every young girl, the impulse to write, and when some
early efforts of mine were judged worthy to be published, I was
confronted for the first time with the question of a signature.
Shrinking from seeing my own name in print, by some witchery of memory
the words 'Jenny June' suddenly occurred to me, and that, as you know,
has been my name ever since."

After a little pause Mrs. Croly said: "Now that I have answered your
question I must tell you something else. Thirty years after I had
assumed my _nom-de-plume_ a gray-haired stranger called at my house
one day and asked to see me. The name he gave recalled no one I had
ever known, and in meeting there was no recognition on either side.
But he proceeded in a straightforward way to explain the object of his
visit: 'For the last thirty years,' he said, 'since my removal from
this city, I have lived in the West; naturally, I have been a constant
reader of Eastern papers, and particularly have I read every article I
have ever seen bearing the signature of "Jenny June." I have made many
efforts, but always without success, to ascertain who she was, and
whether the name was real or fictitious. Somehow I have never
forgotten the little girl I knew before I went West, and to whom I
gave a little volume of poems with something written on a page that
contained a stanza that I greatly admired about "Jenny June." I have
wondered if she had become the famous writer, and upon my return to my
native city, after so long an absence, I have sought you simply to ask
if you are that little girl.'"

The Fairies' Gifts

_By Ellen M. Staples_

  To an English home one bright Yuletide
  While Christmas bells rang loud and wide

  Came a babe with the gentle eyes of a dove
  And a face as fair as a thought of love.

  "Now, God be thanked," the old nurse cried,
  "That the child is born at Christmas-tide;

  "For the blessed sake of Mary's Son
  God's benison falls on lives begun

  "When Christmas music fills the air
  And men are joyful everywhere.

  "And as to Him came Wise Men three
  Offering gifts on bended knee

  "So to one born at the Holy Time
  On land or sea, in every clime,

  "Come three Good Fairies, and each one bears
  A gift to brighten the coming years."

  The pallid mother gently smiled
  And looked upon her tender child.

  "Good nurse, the legend is full sweet;
  And I lay my babe at His dear feet

  "Whose human Sonhood is aware
  Of the painful bliss that mothers bear.

  "I can well believe that heaven may
  Send gifts to the child of Christmas Day."

  Tired by her flight from Paradise
  The baby shut her wondering eyes,

  Nor knew that 'round the cradle stood,
  To bless the babe, three Fairies good.

  The First bent over the cradle head;
  "These are my gifts to her," she said:

  "A sunny nature, a voice of song,
  And may faithful friends uncounted throng!"

  The Second murmured in accents low:
  "The path will be steep and rough, I know,

  "So I give her a heart that is brave and strong,
  That will patiently work, though the way be long;

  "And though life may fill them with toil and care
  Her hands shall weaker ones' burdens share."

  Then stood the Third for a moment's space
  To thoughtfully gaze on the baby face,

  And over her own a radiance came
  As she softly said: "My gift is a name.

  "Though born while the earth lies spread with
  The babe is a summer-child, and so

  "The sunny nature, the voice of song,
  The helpful hands, true heart and strong

  "With Nature's self should be in tune,
  Sweet child, I name thee Jenny June."

From Margaret Ravenhill

Jane Cunningham Croly left upon the last century an ineffaceable
record. For industrious and successful work in journalism she probably
had no peer. In a speech before the Woman's Press Club not long since,
she said: "When a woman has written enough to fill a room, she feels
like burning it instead of preserving it in scrap-books." Probably no
woman of her day and generation has done more or better work than our
"Jenny June." No woman had more diversity of gifts; she was equally at
home in the editorial chair, or the reportorial office; as a speaker
she excelled. In the old days we who knew her best would sometimes
notice a hesitancy of speech that would occasionally cloud a brilliant
idea; but if she hesitated she was never lost, and the idea was worth
waiting for. She was always clear, logical, forceful in expression,
and exhaustive in argument. Thoroughness seems the word to express the
character of Mrs. Croly. She was quick to catch the meaning of the
uttered thoughts of others, keen in analysis, and executive in all
work. Witness the many organizations which she helped originate. Her
long years of rule as president of Sorosis were of inestimable value
to that "mother of women's clubs." Her great "History of the Club
Movement" should be in the hands of every woman in the land.

Of Mrs. Croly's personality it is a pleasure to speak. Every woman who
enjoyed the privilege of her friendship felt the magnetism and charm
of a rare nature; while, with all her force and power, there was a
childishness about her that impressed one with the idea that the
naïveté and innocence of childhood had never been wholly lost in the
woman. I think it was in some measure owing to the fact that she was
so near-sighted that there was a kind of appealing hesitancy about her
movements that impelled you to her aid.

Mrs. Croly's home was one of refinement and good taste in every
detail, and there she was at her best. Always a charming hostess, she
made every guest feel that he or she was the one most eagerly
expected; there were the hearty greeting, the few low words of
welcome, the sunny smile that transformed her face into positive
beauty. Her Sunday evenings at home came nearer in character to the
French salon than any others in New York. There were the most
delightful people to be met: the gifted minds of our own land and
Europe were among her guests. But Mrs. Croly's proudest boast was that
she was a woman's woman.

From T. C. Evans, in the New York _Times_

When I joined the _World_ staff of writers, in 1860, a few weeks after
the foundation of that journal, I found Jenny June already there. She
did not often appear in the office in person, the lady auxiliary in
journalism not being so familiar a figure as it now is, and she had
not yet adopted her pretty _nom-de-plume,_ but her husband, David G.
Croly, held an official post on the staff as city editor, and her
contributions, which were invariably well written and interesting,
appeared from the first in the _World_ columns, and as the years went
on while she and Mr. Croly remained associated with it, with
increasing frequency. They were written by a woman mainly for women,
and the maids and matrons of her country over all its area from ocean
to ocean and from "lands of sun to lands of snow" have never been
addressed by one of their sex whom they came to know better or to hold
in higher esteem. Her work assumed no pretentious or high importance,
but was sweet and wholesome, sensible, and a mirror of the nature out
of which it proceeded. The name Jenny June, which she adopted a few
years later, became a beloved household word throughout the land,
perhaps more widely known than that of any lady journalist who has
ever wrought in it.

Mrs. Croly's social dispositions and her aptitude for gathering
interesting people around her were gracious endowments of nature's
bestowal, as strongly marked in her youth as in her maturer years,
when she gradually came to have a wider stage on which to display
them. Her pretty little drawing-rooms, somewhere on the west side near
Grove Street, are well remembered by me, and first and last I met in
them a goodly number of people well worthy to be remembered, some with
their trophies of success yet to win, but their merit divined by their
clever hostess, perhaps before it had obtained any full recognition
elsewhere. Many also came who had won their spurs and epaulets and
shone bravely in the bright glitter of both. In her little
unpretending salon of that day might be met the brilliant young Edmund
Clarence Stedman, in the morning glow of his poetic fame; Bayard
Taylor, risen into the mid-forenoon of his fame, with his Orient
lyrics published and his translation of "Faust" well begun; perhaps
Phoebe and Alice Cary, though on this point I cannot be certain, and
many another of note and distinction in that time, her hospitality
taking in all arts, and all the presentable workers in them, so that
poets, painters, sculptors, singers, actors were equally welcome, as
were those who brought to her only their bright young countenances
and winning smiles. Her later drawing-rooms, when she had removed up
town, nearer to the Mayfair of society, became widely celebrated, and
she founded something perhaps as near to a salon modeled after the
traditional Parisian standards as any that America has known.

Mrs. Croly is recognized as the chief among the founders of Sorosis,
the most celebrated woman's club in the world, and parent of the
innumerable organizations of like sect which have sprung up since
their renowned progenitor became with fewer vicissitudes and trials
than might have been anticipated firmly planted on its feet and
attested its self-supporting and self-reliant character. No social
development of the modern period is more striking than the swift
multiplication of women's clubs, not in this country alone, but in
others, and they have shown a power of beneficent work most
advantageous to the community at large, which even the most sanguine
among their promoters could not have anticipated. They have also shown
that women can legislate and administrate and rise to the point of
order and lay things on the table in a manner as parliamentary and
self-restrained as men. For such testimony the world should be
thankful, as it never got anything of the kind before. Among the
founders of this now most impressive group of social organizations no
name stands out more brightly and conspicuously than that of Jane
Cunningham Croly.

Her recent death, though a surprise and shock to her innumerable
friends, came when she had passed her seventy-second birthday, and it
cannot therefore be said that she passed away with her work
uncompleted. It was fully and most worthily performed, and was the
fruit of a systematic diligence never remitted, and in which few of
her sex in any period could have exceeded her. Her memory is fragrant
as the month from which she took her _nom-de-plume_, and will at least
be cherished by those whom her gentle discourse, continued for more
than a generation, has entertained and instructed.

From St. Clair McKelway, in the Brooklyn _Eagle_

The death of Jane Cunningham Croly, noticed in Tuesday's _Eagle_,
involves the loss of a woman of leadership who put a good deal of help
into others' lives. Born in 1829, she began at seventeen to write for
newspapers. Her topics were, for a wonder, practical, the young too
generally beginning with abstract, academical or recondite subjects.
Hers were "fashions" in dress, fads in food, fancies and foibles in
decoration etc. From them she advanced to more philosophical or
general fields, but on all she wrote was the stamp of applicability to
contemporaneous life.

In the middle, later, and more genial period of her life she did more
talking than writing. And her talking was always earnest, direct,
sincere, with a gleam of hope and a note of wisdom in it--the union of
experience and reflection. Had it been reported it would have made for
her a literary name: but she was content, or constrained, to limit her
work to the platform, or to the circle of existence affected by it.

As a clubwoman Mrs. Croly achieved the eminence almost of a pioneer.
It can be shown that a club or two of women had a titular beginning
before "Sorosis," but that was the original society started by her on
the theory that there were opportunities and conditions in club life,
on an educational or literary basis, of which women could well avail
themselves. Mrs. Croly sympathized with the more earnest purposes
entering into her idea, and was in little related to any sensational,
spectacular, or faddish features that may here or there become
attached to it. She was a believer in seriousness, an exemplar of
industry, a devotee to system, and a very remarkably punctual,
effective and straightforward writer. Her flight was never very high,
but it was always progressive, and her regulation of her pen by the
precise rules that govern presswork was entitled to distinct praise.
She could always be trusted to keep within her topic and herself
behind it, and she understood the art of putting things to her public
in a way to discover to them their own thoughts as well as to denote
her own.

To David G. Croly, her husband, long a newspaper man of admitted power
and executive force, Mrs. Croly was a constant help, as he too was to
her. From him she learned not a little of her topical discernment and
technical knack. He was never afraid of ability in whomever found, and
he rejoiced that the sex of his wife, and the novel fact that she was
the first woman in America to write daily for publication, gave to her
and her subjects a vogue he and his could not command in a world of
more and mainly personal work. She survived him twelve years. Their
union was not made any less congenial by marked dissimilarity of
convictions on cardinal subjects.

Mrs. Croly was the recipient of many evidences of the honor and
affection in which her own sex held her, and beyond doubt the
organizations of which she was the inspiring force will pay to her
memory the tributes her disinterestedness and abilities deserved,
exercised as she always was for so long with projects nearly related
to the better equipment of effective womanhood for the conditions and
conduct of life. Her death at seventy-two, after not a little
suffering and not a few sorrows, was not unexpected, though it will be
sincerely and widely regretted. In her last years she was happily made
aware of the love and tenderness towards her which she had richly
earned by service, counsel, and example to the lives of others.

From Laura Sedgwick Collins

  Dear Friend, dear Helper, passed from earth
  To heaven, in earthly grace, I here
  Would give to thee homage sincere
  And memory sweet. Thy ever kindly word
  Has oft the sad heart warmed,
  The drooped head raised, and thy sustaining hand
  A fainting purpose thrilled
  To better courage, firmer aim.

  In that far realm where spirits meet
  And greet with message mystic, there
  Thou must, in sweet commune
  Receive reward for earthly deeds.
  Thy heart ne'er knew the unkind throb,
  Was ever gentle, firm and true;
  Whate'er the cause, if once espoused
  Thou to thy watchword held thyself.

  Throughout our land, in city, town,
  Thy name beloved remains alive;
  Alive in hearts, alive in minds,--
  For thou hadst heart and brain as well
  To touch the soul and win the thought.
  Thy work for woman stands unspoiled;
  Untouched by vanity or marred by pride,
  Unsullied by a thought of self,

  A generous impulse toward thy sex--
  A woman's word for woman's need.
  And so thy name in fragrance fine
  Bespeaks again returning June,--
  The spring of promise, budding hope!
  The cypress changes to the rose,--
  The rose of dawn, the rose of heaven;
  And both are thine and thine the crown
  All jewelled o'er with thy good deeds--
  Deeds of mercy, deeds of love,
  Are with us still though thou art gone!

From Mary Coffin Johnson

Many years before I personally knew Mrs. Croly she was at the height
of her useful public life; the imprint of her hand and mind in
contemporary literature was an evident fact, and she had become a
conspicuous figure in the ranks of well-known women. It is therefore
my privilege to speak of her last few years, when the golden light of
achievement gilded the eventide of her eventful life.

Having had the peculiar advantage of sitting beside her for six years
as an officer of the Woman's Press Club I am thoroughly aware of her
sincerity, and of the singleness of heart which, actuated her motives
in behalf of women. She believed that every united effort that raises
the personal standard of thought and purpose is of the utmost
importance. It was her earnest desire that women should live lofty and
useful lives. She frequently laid stress upon this manner of life, and
at such times her temperament seemed charged with sympathetic interest
in young women journalists. "Unity in Diversity," the motto adopted by
the General Federation of Women's Clubs, is a fitting expression of
the broad conceptions she brought into club life; indeed, her success
in bringing women of unequal social position and essentially different
callings, into harmonious relationship and unity of purpose was
markedly characteristic.

During her last years women's clubs became more than ever of absorbing
interest to her, claiming the complete devotion of her broad mind. The
untiring devotion she had already given to this part of her life's
activities had established her fame, and this fame will ever be
exceptionable, for her work can never be duplicated.

The growing spirit of helpfulness and friendliness which inspires
women's organizations, the manifold opportunities of various kinds
which they afford, and the excellent results which follow could, she
thought, scarcely be estimated. "Club life for women," she would say,
"requires no justification. When we enter our club rooms we leave
behind us much of the rubbish of the world. The richest, fullest
development of life flows through the better social relations, and
from times of old has been uplifting." "It is not merely that we need
one another," she would declare, "but that the sense of kinship is
healthful; it inspires the larger love, and creates a stronger
relationship. It seems to be God's method of helping humankind to the
higher and more perfect life."

On various occasions, when only members of the dub were present, she
would lay aside the formality of the presiding member, and, assuming
the familiar manner of addressing us, pour forth her lofty ideals for
women, unconsciously testifying that the secret spring of her actions
was her love for her own sex. Though the words were always spoken with
gentle calmness, and in a tone of womanly softness, something in her
passionate sincerity would, like the effect of a magnet, attract every
listener, and a spell of silence would fall upon us. In all that she
said we discerned the Divine Principle.

There were those who, from their own viewpoints, carped at what they
heard and saw, but a person even of Mrs. Croly's temperament and
courage, placed amid the recurring action and reaction of a life of
much publicity, cannot, of course, please every one. It would be
surprising if in her long career she had not manifested human
imperfections, and had not sometimes made mistakes; she would have
been more than human had she not.

It was no easy task for her to stem the tide of difficulties and
oppositions from without, for from first to last of her diligent life
she had many trials to endure. Both sunbeam and shadow crossed her
pathway; but her errors were not uncommon to humankind; moreover, she
was very patient under misconception. "It is always fair," said Henry
Ward Beecher, "to credit a man at his best,--let his enemies tell of
his worst." Another writer remarks: "To get a true idea of any
character we most seize upon its higher forming element, that to which
it naturally tends."

Hers was far from an impulsive nature, yet there were times when Mrs.
Croly suddenly revealed in a marked way her true, deep instincts.
While on a visit to this country on one occasion, Madame Antoinette
Sterling, a concert singer in England, was a guest of the Woman's
Press Club. She was asked to sing for us, and responded with "The Lost
Chord." In answer to an encore she sang a ballad of her own
composition, called "The Sheepfold." Mrs. Croly was visibly affected
by the words; seldom had she ever manifested more feeling. When the
song was ended she quickly rose, and in a tremulous voice exclaimed:
"Does not this say to us that if even _one_ were outside, the whole
strength of the universe would be brought to bear upon it, to bring it
into the fold!"

In 1897 Mrs. Croly was honored by the General Federation of Women's
Clubs by the appointment to write the "History of the Woman's Club
Movement in America," an undertaking that required exceptionable
ability. The vast amount of mental energy and wearing labor she put
into this work, added to the past years of constant application to
literary and other interests, told seriously upon her health. Her
nervous system had become exceedingly susceptible, and it was evident
that her good constitution was beginning to break down.

However, the indomitable energy she possessed, and her trained
capacity for work enabled her to continue until the large volume was
finished and given to the public.

Early in June, 1898, Mrs. Croly had a serious fall in which she
fractured her hip, and she was confined to her room for many weeks.
Though she possessed unusual power of endurance, her lessening
strength could no longer bear the strain upon the delicate frame, and
her rallying power was perceptibly diminished. As the fracture slowly
healed she but feebly met the physical exertion necessary to go about
on crutches. Even then it was impossible for her to take life
serenely; she was restlessly eager to be up and doing. When she could
be removed with safety, which was not until the third of September,
she went abroad with her daughter, Mrs. Vida Croly Sidney, who had
come over from England for her, and she spent a year in London and the
vicinity. In August, 1899, they were in Switzerland, and Mrs. Croly
took the baths at Schinznach-les-Bains. She returned to America the
following September, and remained in New York through the winter of
1899-1900. The change agreed with, her, but her health cannot be said
to have improved, and she was still very infirm. Her natural affection
and interest in the Woman's Press Club led her to attend its meetings,
whenever she was able, going there in the carriage sent for her. On
the 12th of May she was present at a club meeting, and gave us an
informal talk, which proved to be her parting address, though at the
time we knew it not. That day her words were full of significance. She
expressed herself with fervor, chiefly on the importance of clubwomen
bearing a large measure of love and good-will towards one another, and
of the cultivation of the tie of divine charity. With earnestness she
urged again that we should stand "hand to hand to exercise patience in
judgment, and to be slow in criticism." "It is God-like," she said,
"to forgive. Remember," she continued, "that all that is good in this
life emanates from love; that it is the very best thing that this life
affords, and that there is nothing on earth that can take the place of
its ministry. Love has no limitations, and if you give the best talent
you possess to your club it will give it back to you. Club life is
often misunderstood, it is true,--but," she slowly added, "there is
nothing in this world _entirely_ perfect." She spoke touchingly of the
personal sense of loneliness she felt; that although she was a woman
among many women she lived many a lonely hour; and she wished it well
understood that the love and friendship of clubwomen was to her the
most precious thing in her life. In closing she emphasized the counsel
she had given, to be "United and conciliatory in our relations with
each other; to be just; to suspend judgment; and to wait long and
trust God who knows all. He," she declared, "will not misunderstand

At the end of May she returned to England. Though nature had not
become victorious over her feebleness, and she was still almost
helpless from the effect of the accident of 1898, she heroically
overcame these physical conditions as far as she was able. Something
continually impelled her onward. She attended the International
Congress of Women held during the Paris Exposition of that year, and
then went on to Ober-Ammergau to the Passion Play, accompanied by Mrs.
Sidney; and then returned to England, where she stayed until the 27th
of July, 1901, when she again sailed for New York, business matters
requiring her presence in this country.

On her arrival in August from the second visit abroad, the grave facts
that her health was not established, and that her time here was not to
be long, were soon evident to her friends. The struggle of nature not
only had begun, the shadow was even now sweeping near. She appeared at
the November business meeting of the Woman's Press Club, accompanied
by an attendant, and took the chair, but she was so much exhausted by
the effort that her nurse easily persuaded her to come away. During
the following four weeks her prostration and decline were steady.

As the final day of her human infirmity approached, she expressed to
the close friend who sat beside her a timid shrinking, common to all
human nature, from the passage out of this life. It may be counted a
special mercy that, as it afterwards proved, she need not have had any
disquietude concerning the inevitable moment, for a few hours before
the closing scene she fell into a state of coma, and passed beyond so
quietly and tranquilly that she did not herself know when the moment
came. She entered the world of infinite repose in the forenoon of
December 23, 1901.

The funeral service was held in the Church of the Transfiguration,
Mrs. Croly's friends gathering from far and near to pay their last
tributes of love and regard. The women's clubs and societies of
Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the suburbs, were represented in large
numbers, and every seat in the church was filled.

Mrs. Croly lies at rest beside her husband, David G. Croly, in the
beautiful cemetery near Lakewood, New Jersey.

"Yon's her step ... an' she's carryin' a licht in her hand; a see it
through the door."

From Caroline M. Morse

As Chairman of the Memorial Committee it is my privilege to add my
memories of Mrs. Croly to those which have preceded. Mine are not of
her club interests, nor of her identification with the woman's club
movement. So much has been written, and so well, regarding these
public phases of her life that it would seem almost officious for me
to add a stone to the already piled up cairn; I write rather of my
friend as my family knew her in her home, surrounded by husband and

It was in 1880 that we first knew Mr. and Mrs. Croly, and the
acquaintance soon became an intimacy that lasted for twenty-three
years. They were living in their own house in Seventy-first street, an
artistically furnished house, an ideal home full of a sweet

Intimate as we were it was frequently our privilege to gather with the
family at their Sunday evening supper, when Mrs. Croly was as
completely the "house-mother" fulfilling the homely duties of the
table, as, an hour later, she was the gracious, though more formal
hostess receiving in her drawing-room the usual Sunday night throng of
old friends and the strangers of distinction who, chancing to be in
town, were fortunate enough to have letters of introduction to her. I
see her slight figure moving from group to group, and the low English
voice and sweet smile with which she encouraged her visitors to speak
of themselves, and, if they were foreigners, of their missions to this
country. A characteristic act of hers was to carry around a little
silver tray on which there might be several glasses of a dainty punch,
the base of which was a light, non-alcoholic wine. This she offered to
friends whom she desired particularly to honor, and the act had all
the significance of the Russian custom of breaking bread and eating
salt with the host. These Sunday evenings at home, which were a
feature of the society in which she moved, were continued until a
short time before her death, or until she was incapacitated by

My friend had none of the usual failings of the traditionary
"emancipated woman"; she would sit down to her basket on an afternoon
and take up a bit of household sewing with the same spirit and
aptitude that had guided her in the forenoon in the writing of an
editorial article or the preparation of a paper to be read before a

I recall with especial joy the long walks we used to take together.
After a day of wearisome work, it was one of her great delights to
leave the piled-up desk and find herself in the street, her arm linked
in mine. At such times much of her talk was ravishing speculation upon
things seen and unseen. It was as if, released for the moment from
the pressure of work, her mind sprang into a world removed from the
practical and immediate, to revel in contemplation of the divine. Yet
she was no visionary, and the world of sight held her cheerful
allegiance. Hers was never "the dyer's hand subdued to what it works
in," and this is the more remarkable since she never relinquished
work, even for our beloved walks, without a mild protest at laying
aside her pen. One afternoon I called, intending to take her out for
one of our "play-hours," but I failed to find her in her apartment.
Next morning the post brought me this note:


     "I was so glad to get your card, and so sorry to miss you.
     It was just that hour out-of-doors with you that I was
     longing for. I have been so long away, and since my return
     have been so busy with much detail of correspondence that in
     quantity is always more or less depressing, that I needed a
     sight of you to tone me up and restore my standard. I have
     also taken advantage of enforced quiet to brace up for an
     heroic two weeks of dentistry, and have therefore been in
     absolute retirement and upon baby diet of the most innocuous

     "I am afraid this recapitulation will take away all desire
     to repeat your effort in my direction. But I trust that
     this may find you in a missionary humor, and that you will
     see that I need 'looking after'--a far stronger motive with
     most women than friendship, isn't it? Anyway, come again
     soon, won't you? Afternoon is our gadding time, you know.

     "Really and lovingly your friend.

     "P.S.--This note will show that I truly have not command of
     all my faculties and need a human tonic."

All out-of-doors was dear to her. Trees were to her as men--rooted,
and she often naively talked to them as if to friends while we
strolled in the twilight. Her love of nature even seemed to affect her
choice of diet, for she preferred simply prepared dishes and the
natural foods. This was doubtless due in part to her unmixed Old World
nationality and to her early surroundings in rural England: as she was
in girlhood, so, in spite of the complex life of this distracting New
World, she remained to the last.

My friend dwelt lovingly upon anniversaries; the true spirit of
Christmas entered her heart at every Yuletide season, and her gifts
showed generous care in selection and in the dainty wrappings in which
they were sent to us. She delighted in the Christmas and Thanksgiving
dinners, but St. Valentine's was the dearest, as it was the
anniversary of her marriage. This the Woman's Press Club of New York
has always observed as the date of its annual dinner.

She had a keen sense of humor, yet never did she forget herself either
in posing or pranks, for hers was the unerring sense of the fitness of
things. An instance of her ready wit comes to me: Soon after her
return from her last visit to England she came to us to stay for a few
days. It was in September, three months before her death. On Sunday
evening several friends dropped in, and from general conversation we
drifted into singing some of the old songs. Now and then she would add
her own low tones to our untrained vocalizing, crooning or
cantillating the tune as if she were musing aloud. We had been singing
for a full hour, she, with crutch near at hand, sitting apart from us
at the open window. We had just sung one of her favorites, the old
ballad "Far Away," and were beginning another with all the energy of
amateurs when it occurred to me that Mrs. Croly might be tired and
ready to go to her room for the night. Bending over I whispered,
"Come, dear, you must be weary of all this." She turned slowly in her
chair, and looking up into my face, smiling whimsically, said: "Oh,
no, not yet! I am enjoying the music just as if it were good!"

I have already intimated that the home life of the family was happy.
There existed between husband and wife a genuine congeniality in
tastes and pursuits; yet between any two minds when both are strong
and original there will generally be a divergence; and it has always
seemed to me that the origin of Sorosis might be traced by the
psychological analyst to some such divergence between Mrs. Croly's
lines of intellectual development and those of her equally gifted
husband, David G. Croly. The power of initiative was strong in each of
these two, and in each it produced excellent though differing results.

It is cause for regret that Mrs. Croly did not write more in her
latter years, when her native wisdom had ripened in the soil of a rich

Her philosophy was the fruit of a rightly-lived, useful life, and even
after the distressing accident which lamed her, her enthusiasm never
waned, but rather seemed intensified and glorified. Seldom do the
heart and brain work together as did hers. She will ever stand to
those who knew her as a fine specimen of a rare type. She had
convictions, and she had the courage to uphold them. She hated shams
and hypocrisy with the vigor of Carlyle. The bravery of her public
life was matched by the beauty of her private life. Good and Truth
were her watchwords. "Good has faculty," says Swedenborg, "but not
determinate except by truth. Determinate faculty is actual power." In
the dear friend whom we here commemorate, faculty was determinate.

Brave and honest pleader for woman; true, tender, sincere friend, you
fought the good fight well; the world is better for your work, and
among your saddest survivors are those whom you smote with a deserved
pen-stroke, or with spoken words, who have long since given you
grateful thanks.



  She cut a path through tangled underwood
    Of old traditions out to broader ways.
  She lived to hear her work called brave and good,
    But oh! the thorns, before the crown of bays.
  The world gives lashes to its pioneers
  Until the goal is reached--then deafening cheers.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memories of Jane Cunningham Croly, "Jenny June"" ***

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