Freethinkers' Minutes, Part 1
Freethinkers' Minutes, Part 2
Freethinkers' Minutes, Part 3

Return to Freethinker Society of Indianapolis minutes, 1870-1890 EXAMINE page


Minutes of the First Meeting for the
Founding of a Free Congregation

The first meeting for the founding of a free congregation took place in the Turnhalle on Sunday, April 3.

Following a notice in the "Telegraph" concerning the founding of a free society, a large gathering took place on April 3rd, in the Turnhalle. Mr. Beyschlag gave a lecture and illustrated different points of view essential for a union of liberal German elements, who, because of their disagreement, could not reach a goal until it was reached through their cooperation.

Through regular lectures concerning academic, social and religious fields, the organization is expected to strive for the edification of its members, especially the oncoming generation. For the necessary steps to spearhead the performance of this project, the gathered chose a president for the party, Mr. Clemens Vonnegut, and the undersigned as secretary, and concluded the following:

Resolved: To charge a committee made up of Mr. Beyschlag, Despa, Ott and Dr. Scheller with outlining a constitution and presenting it at the next meeting for discussion.
Resolved: To hold the next meeting at precisely 10:00 a.m. Sunday, April 10.
Resolved: To publish the results of discussions in the press.

Th. Dingeldey, Sec.


President Vonnegut opened the meeting. Reading of the minutes from the last meeting. Approval of the minutes. The committee presented a draft of a constitution, which was only partially discussed. A motion from Mr. Lieber to name the society "Freethinkers Society" was accepted. The following people were nominated for membership to the Board of Directors.

I. Chairman: Clemens Vonnegut, Albert Reihdner, Bernhard Dietz.
II. Chairman: Ernst Despa, Karl Grobe, Jon. Ott.

Protocol Sec: Th. Dingeldey, A. Ruhe, Biedermeister.

Corresp. ": H. Loeper, Dr. Scheller, H. Freese.

Treasurer: H. Reese, G. Herrmann, J. Dickert.

Trustees: Dr. Reese, A. Metzner, G. Mansfeld, Ferd. Dietz, Aug. Kuhe, Faul Funke, Karl Kohler, Schulmeyer, Joh. Müller.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey, Secretary


Meeting, April 17 in the Turnhalle.

The president opened the meeting. The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. The discussion of the proposed constitution of the society was continued and brought to an end.

Resolved: To print sufficient copies of the constitution.
Resolved: To elect the board of directors at the next meeting.
Resolved: The board of directors comprises of one protocol and one correspondent secretary, one first and second chairman, one treasurer, and four trustees.
Resolved: The society's main annual meeting is to be held on the first Sunday in April when the officials have to present their reports.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey, Sec.


Meeting in the Turnhalle, Sunday April 24.

The president opened the meeting. The minutes of the last meeting were read and accepted. New elections for the board of directors as follows:
1. Chairman: Cl. Vonnegut
2. Chairman: Ernst Despa
Prot. Sec.: Th. Dingeldey
Corresp. Sec.: Dr. Scheller
Treasurer: H. Reese
Trustees: Biedermeister, Grobe, Dickert, A. Kuhe.
Speaker: H. Beyschlag

Resolved: to charge the board of directors with the presentation regarding the establishing of the speaker's salary and other necessary orders at the next meeting.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey


Board of Directors Meeting, April 26.

Present: Chairman Vonnegut, Beyschlag, Dingeldey, Despa, Grobe, Reese, Dr. Scheller. Minutes were read and approved.

Resolved: The speaker's first three months' salary was established at eighty dollars a month. This decision can be changed after the expiration of the given time.

The Collection: of the membership fees should only be collected at the society's location and only collected by the treasurer, the rest may be collected by a voluntary collector; if this is not possible, a collector will be chosen and paid a fee.

Resolved: The membership fees are due starting April 1 and on the same date the speaker's salary begins. Mr. Vonnegut and Grobe were appointed to take the necessary steps regarding the society's pub. The Turnverein is given special thanks of the Freethinkers Society for the use of their gymnasium.


Sunday school: is to begin under guidance of the speaker Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (tentative) in the gymnasium. Members are urged to send their children.


Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey

Above proposals were accepted at the society meeting on May 1.

Th. Dingeldey


Board of Directors Meeting, May 10.

The president opened the meeting. The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. Mr. Beyschlag read a letter from the Turnverein about negotiating rent for the Turnhalle. It was agreed that the secretary thank the Turnverein for the offer and the previous utilization of the hall. The invitation for the celebration of the fourth of July was presented.

Resolved: To buy children's texts for the Sunday School for $25. Mr. Beyschlag, Dr. Scheller and Dingeldey were appointed as committee for the project.
Mr. Reese proposed to purchase one dozen chairs for the Sunday meetings. Resolved
Mr. Grobe promised to see to that.
Resolved: The next meeting of the Society to be announced in the "Telegraph."

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey.


Board of Directors Meeting on June 8.

Present: Cl. Vonnegut, Biedermeister, Despa, Beyschlag and Dingeldey.
Opening of the meeting: The minutes from the last meeting were read and accepted.

Resolved: To print 500 copies of the constitution. The chairman made a suggestion to present a draft at the next meeting. Its elaboration is left to every member of the board of directors and shall serve as preface to the constitution of our association. Agreed.
Resolved: To hold a regular board of directors meeting on the first Wednesday of each month and to notify the absent members in writing of the happenings in the meeting. Dr. Scheller reported the arrival of a number of books for the Sunday School which totaled $9.84 including express expense. H. Beyschlag numbered and distributed them.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey


Meeting of the Board of Directors on July 6.

Chairman Vonnegut opened the meeting. The minutes from the last meeting were read and accepted.

H. Beyschlag reported that 500 copies of the constitution were printed.
Resolved: The speaker distribute the copies.

Th. Dingeldey indicated that the books for the Sunday School totaling $12.25 had arrived and were delivered to H. Beyschlag. The cost of all ordered books totaled $22.09 ($2.91 left over). This sum was given back to the treasurer.

One bill for $6.50 stating the printing cost for the constitution and announcements, and a second bill for chairs totaling $7.50 were acknowledged and ordered to be paid.

The treasurer gave his quarterly report. The income of $216.75; expenditures $265.-- The report was accepted as read.

Mr. Despa was authorized to take the necessary steps to cover the deficit.

The Sec. was ordered to keep record of the society's income and spending, to receive the dues from the collector, and deliver them to the treasurer against receipt.

Mr. Vonnegut proposed for the next quarter, to remit the regular income from the society after deduction of costs to the speaker (for his salary).

Mr. Vonnegut read a thoroughly prepared essay, which should be the preamble to the constitution; also two presentations from L. Wilmar were read.


Because of the late hour, the discussion of this subject was postponed until the next meeting.

Resolved: The next meeting to be held July 13.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey.

Meeting on July 13.

Chairman Vonnegut opened the meeting. The minutes from the last meeting were accepted. Different members presented their suggestions for the preamble to the constitution.

Resolved: The members were ordered to put a list together from this material for presentation at the next meeting.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey


General Meeting, Sunday, July

The suggestions from the board of directors regarding the speaker's salary and constitution's preamble were approved. Dr. Scheller proposed that the society participate in the Turnerbund pageant.

A committee of three, made up of Mr. A. Metzger, Gauss and Reese, were named to guarantee that the society would participate in a greatest possible number. The names of the members with outstanding debts were read.

Resolved: A treasury report be prepared as soon as possible.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey

Board of Directors Meeting, August 18.

Mr. Vonnegut. President

H. Beyschlag presented a letter from Mr. Schünemann-Pott, in which he asked if he could give a lecture.

Resolved: To invite Mr. Sch.-Pott for his lecture. H. Beyschlag, in the name of the society, is in charge of taking the necessary steps.
Resolved: To add H. Beyschlag as an additional member to the Turnerbund's pageant committee.
The secretary presented his report on the general fund situation. It was accepted.
Resolved: to include the finance report in the minutes.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey



Income and Expenses During
the First Quarter
Collected from Schulmeyer for quarterly membership fees $196.25
one quarter of $33 yearly fee $8.25
from E. Despa collected as volunteer $38.00
from H. Beyschlag collected as regular dues $14.50
from Dingeldey for rest of the book bill $2.91

Total $259.91
Salary for April $80.00
Salary for books $25.00
Salary for May $80.00
Salary for June $80.00
Schulmeyer for collection $11.30
Telegraph $6.50
Chairs $7.50

Total $290.30

Income $259.91

Deficit $30.39
General Fund Total as of August 17, 1870
May 9, from Schulmeyer $100.50
May 14, from Schulmeyer 23.00
June 1, from Schulmeyer 45.00
June 24, from Schulmeyer 48,25
July 22, from Schulmeyer 8.00
August 17, from Schulmeyer 52.00 $276.75
July 7, from Dingeldey outstanding debt for books 2.91
July 7, from Hemug for books 1.00
July 18, from Beyschlag collected 14.50
July 18, from E. Despa as volunteer dues 38.00 $56.41

Total income
May 11, Salary $80.00
May 11, for books 25.00
June 1, Salary for speakers 80.00
July 2, Salary 80.00
July 8, telegraph 6.50
July 22, collection (Schulmeyer) 11.30
July 29, Salary for July 50.00

Total expenses

Rest in cash box
Collections delivered
Beyschlag collected 14.50 $291.25
Collections collected in first quarter $229.25
Collections collected until Aug. 17 72.00
Collection in hands

$301.25 301.25


Board of Directors Meeting, September 21.

Mr. Vonnegut, Despa, Grobe, Dr. Scheller, Kuhe and Dingeldey were present. The minutes of the last meeting were approved as read.

Resolved: to submit to the society the following suggestions for consideration and approval.
In consideration of the general fund, the speakers for the next few months should be cancelled.
For the continuation of the Sunday school, he should receive five dollars each Sunday.
Resolved: To delete the last two paragraphs of the constitution and print the constitution with the preface.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey


General Meeting, October

The minutes of the last meeting were accepted.

Mr. Beyschlag turned in his resignation as society speaker. Accepted.

Resolved after a long debate, that the presentation of the board of directors be re-directed to the executive committee and that H. Beyschlag should be invited to a meeting. Other discussions concerned an article published in the "Telegraph" in which H. Beyschlag was attacked. It was concluded to harshly reproach the author of the article.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey

Board of Directors Meeting, October 5.

The President asked if reporters should be present in today's discussion. Upon Dr. Scheller's proposal, this was not granted.

Mr. Winter, an editor from the "Telegraph", asked to become a member and was accepted.

Mr. Beyschlag took back his resignation.

Resolved: to change the presentation by T.C.; that the speaker be remitted all the society income after deducting the costs.
The speaker waived his salary for three months (Oct., Nov., Dec.). Mr. Scheller made the suggestion to donate the rest of the amount to the library.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey


Board of Directors Meeting, November 2, 1870.

The minutes from the last meeting were read and approved. A letter submitted by H.Beyschlag asked that his bill for the second quarter be balanced.
The secretary is in charge of transferring the income for the second quarter, after deducting costs, to Mr. Beyschlag.

Several bills were ordered to be paid.

Meeting adjourned

Th. Dingeldey.

Board of Directors Meeting, December 17, 1870.

After Dr. Scheller's report, the discussion related to the organization of the Sunday school; it should be arranged in three classes (with three teachers). The groundwork for the organization of the Sunday school was accepted as suggested by Mr. Schmitt. Salary for teachers at $100.00 each.

Resolved also: receipts to be printed and to be signed by the secretary to better control the collection.
As of January '71, the secretary must keep accounts on income and expenses of the society and also take membership fees from the collector and write receipts.

Th. Dingeldey


Freethinkers Society Second Annual Meeting
Sunday a.m., April 9, 1871, School Building.

In the absence of the secretary, Mr. Dingeldey, Mr. Kothe took over as temporary secretary.

Chairman: Clement Vonnegut.

As the first society year was at an end, new officials were elected for the following year; namely, the executive committee.
President Clemens Vonnegut
Vice president should nominate the executive committee
Protocol secretary Carl Gauss
Corresponding secretary should be nominated by the executive committee.
Treasurer Henry Reese
Trustees Wm. Kothe

Th. Dingeldey

Jacob Dicket

G.A. Schmitt

Gustav Hermann

The treasurer's report was consigned to the committee, H. Metzger, G. Ferling and Wm. Kothe for investigation.

Wm. Kothe, secretary

resp. Charles Gauss


Meeting of the Executive Committee
April 26, 1871

Present were Mr. Vonnegut, Scheller, Dickert, Herrmann, Schmitt, Reese, Kothe and Gauss.

Agreed: to request Mr. Schmitt and Dingeldey to hold a presentation every third Sunday; each holding 14 presentations a year, and paying each $100.00 that year as compensation.

Agreed to hold an entertainment evening one Sunday of each month, Mr. Dingeldey, Schmitt and Bopp were authorized with the arrangements. H. Reese was authorized to inquire about the use of the Turnerhalle.

Proposed and agreed was to add the following gentlemen to the executive committee: Mr. Lieber, Louis Schulmeier, Ott and Grobe, Bennescheidt, Jose, Ferling, Bopp, Weinberger and Koehne; the secretary was delegated to notify them of this decision.

Meeting adjourned

Charles Gauss, sec.


Executive Committee Meeting, March 24, 1871

All members were present. Mr. G.A. Schmitt's suggestion was discussed. He suggested holding 26 presentations a year, for which he would be reimbursed with $400.00. Although the general fund could not account for this expense out of the regular membership fees, Mr. H. Lieber, H. Reese, and C. Vonnegut were authorized to determine a way to raise the money.

Meeting adjourned

Charles Gauss, Sec.

Executive Committee Meeting, July 5, 1871

Present were Mr. Vonnegut, Herrmann, Lieber, Scheller, Grobe and Gauss. Messrs. Vonnegut and Lieber reported on their charged assignment received on May 24; they could not raise more than $220.00 for the speaker's salary. The secretary was charged to collect the money and keep a separate record of the sum.

Charles Gauss, Sec.

P.S. It was furthermore concluded that Mr. Schmitt be paid the above mentioned reimbursement quarterly, namely $55.00 a month beginning June 4, 1871, with the assurance that the society would pay him better if they could raise more money.

Charles Gauss, Sec.


The following members have pledged to pay the amount stated below for the speaker's salary.
Becker Jacob $25.00 pd. 6.25
Metzger Alexander $25.00 pd. 6.25
Lang Louis $25.00 pd. 6.25
Meyer Theodor $10.00
Erdelmeyer F. $25.00 pd. 2.25 2.25
Post F. $25.00 pd. 6.25 6.25 6.25 6.25 25.--
Vonnegut Clemens $25.00 pd. 6.25
Bohlen D.A. $25.00 pd. 2.50
Lieber Herrmann $20.00 pd. 5.--
Weinberger H. $10.00 pd.
Mannfeld Georg $10.00 pd. 2.50 2.50 2.50 2.50 $10.--

Received from Mr. G.A. Schmitt upon order from Mr. Vonnegut
Amount 15/1871 $30.00
Charles Gauss, Sec.

Received from Mr. Louis Lang upon order from Mr. Vonngut
$48.45 to repay the debt of the Freethinkers Society for the piano bought by Mr. Soehner.

December 6, 1871

Charles Gauss, Sec.


Special Meeting of the Executive Committee
on August Thirtieth 1871.

Present were Mr. Lieber, Kothe, Jose, Reese, Bopp and Gauss. In absence of the president, Mr. Lieber was elected chairman.

Mr. Schmitt left the Sunday school. Those present discussed if another teacher should replace him. A committee consisting of Mr. Dingeldey, Jose, Reese, Bopp and Gauss was asked to examine the question.

Meeting of the Executive Committee
on Wednesday, September 6, 1871

Present were Mr. Vonnegut, Ferling, Bopp, Herrmann, Schulmeyer, Reese and Gauss.

Recommended and accepted: to hire Mr. Knotel as third teacher for the Sunday school. The secretary is in charge of informing the others.
Recommended and accepted: to name Mr. Dingeldey director of the Sunday school and to ask him with the help of other Sunday School teachers to draw up a curriculum and bring it to the meeting.
Recommended and accepted: that the Executive Committee as well as the Committee for Spiritual Gymnastics of the Indianapolis Turn-Verein will meet next Wednesday, September 13 at Mr. Louis Lang's to discuss how the interests of both societies could be promoted.

Mr. Bopp was in charge of ordering an index for the Sunday school books.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss, Sec.

Special Meeting of the Board of Directors
on Wednesday, September 13, 1871.

The meeting's attendance was fairly good.

Mr. Vonnegut recommended Mr. Keesly, also Mr. Bopp, Knotel and Haas as new members for the Freethinkers Society.

The secretary was ordered to bring the protocol book to the next meeting. Mr. Bopp was ordered to make an effort, with the help of the members of our society and the Turners, to open and close the Sunday meetings with songs.

Since the Committee for Spiritual Gymnastics of Indianapolis Turn-Verein did not appear, the question suggested in the last meeting could not be discussed.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss, Sec.


Meeting of the Executive Committee
on Wednesday, October 4, 1871

The president opened the meeting; almost all members were present.

The minutes were read and accepted.

Mr. Dingeldey was concerned that the number of the children in the first grade of Sunday school was getting smaller. He therefore suggested to hand over the Sunday school administration to Mr. Kessly who, as main teacher of the school, should urge the children to attend Sunday school more regularly.
This motion was not adopted, and Mr. Dingeldey will further devote his indispensable strength to the Sunday school.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss, Sec.

Meeting of the Executive Committee
on Wednesday, December 6, 1781.

Recommended and accepted: the secretary was ordered to give the rest of the fund collected for Mr. G.A. Schmitt as speaker of the Freethinkers Society, an amount of $48.75, to Mr. Louis Lang to pay the debt of the Freethinkers Society for the piano purchased by Mr. Soehner.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss, Sec.


Meeting of the Executive Committee
on Wednesday, April 3, 1872.

Present were Mr. Vonnegut, Lieber, Herrmann, Reese, Post, Dingeldey, Ferling, Lang, and Gauss.

President Vonnegut opened the meeting.
1. The minutes from the last meeting were read and accepted.
2. The yearly reports from the secretary and treasurer were received and the trustees report was accepted.
3. Resolved in order to pay the debt for the piano, to organize a concert on the first Sunday in May. Mr. Dingeldey and Lang were asked to arrange this.
4. Resolved: to put Mr. Bopp in charge of making a list for the Sunday books and to hand it over to the secretary.
5. Resolved: to have regular meetings starting next Sunday and every first Sunday of the month.

Charles Gauss, sec.


The Third Yearly Meeting of the Freethinkers Society
Sunday a.m., the Seventh of April, 1872.

Chairman: Clemens Vonnegut.

Mr. Vonnegut held his speech about the society's effectiveness in the past year, and, more importantly, stressed the vast and noble goals the society could reach if the members were not so dilatory. After that the present officers were elected for another term as Mr. Kothe had proposed.

The secretary's and treasurer's annual report were approved and the meeting was adjourned with a reading from Mr. Koessly.

At the voting about the conclusion of the executive committee, it was not approved to hold a meeting every month, but to meet every Sunday morning as before.

Charles Gauss, sec.

Regular Meeting of the Executive Committee
Wednesday, The Fifteenth of June, 1872

Present were Messrs. Vonnegut, Reese, Metzger, Dingeldey, Lang and Gauss and Ferling.
President Vonnegut opened the meeting.

1. The secretary asked if the president or any another other member of the executive committee were authorized to create an expense for the society without the approval of the executive committee. The question was denied.

2. Mr. Vonnegut proposed to order more Sunday school books totaling $14.95, which was approved, but postponed until more money is available in the general fund.

Meeting adjourned

Charles Gauss, Secretary

Regular Meeting of the Executive Committee
Wednesday, the Seventh of August, 1872

Present were Messrs. Vonnegut, Lieber, Ferling, Reese, Lang and Gauss. President Vonnegut opened the meeting.

Resolved--to combine the Sunday school with the German-English school, which shall also take over the teachers' salary payments; the dues will be collected as before from the members and made payable to the treasurer of the German-English school, who will use the money to the best advantage of the German-English school.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss, Sec.


Regular Meeting of the Executive Committee
Wednesday, September 4, 1872.

Present were Messrs. Vonnegut, A. Metzger, Lieber, Bopp, Dingeldey, Post, Reese, Lang and Gauss.

The president opened the meeting. The minutes were read and accepted. Mr. Bopp resigned from the Sunday school and asked that the Sunday school books be removed from his responsibility. The Freethinkers Society is not in the position to pay the Sunday school teacher, but the wish was to further keep Mr. Bopp for the Sunday school.

Charles Gauss, Sec.

Regular Meeting of the Executive Committee
Wednesday, November 6, 1872.

Present were Messrs. Vonnegut, A. Metzger, Lieber, Ferling, Post Schnell, Reese, Lang.

The president opened the meeting. The minutes were read and accepted.

Resolved: to thank Mr. Louis Lang for paying the debt, which the society still owed on the piano.
Resolved: Mr. Ramp will take care of future collection.
Resolved: to further collect membership dues and to use them for completion of the library.

Resolved: to hold a meeting on Sunday, November 10, 11 a.m. in the school building to present to the society the above decisions for acceptance.

Charles Gauss, Sec.

Regular Meeting of the Executive Committee
Wednesday Dec. 4, 1872.

Present were Messrs. Vonnegut, Lieber, Post, Reese, Ferling, A. Metzger, Lang, Dingeldey, Gauss and Schnell.

The president opened the meeting. The minutes were read and accepted.

Resolved: Mr. Louis Lang was authorized to buy a piano stool.
Resolved: Mr. Tschentscher is in charge of buying a German-English lexicon and a German dictionary.
Resolved: a committee comprised of Mr. Tschentscher, Dingeldey and Post to be in charge of compiling a list of books for the next meeting which are recommended to the society for purchase.
Resolved: to hold the next meeting, Wednesday, January 8, 1873.

Mr. Tschentscher was accepted as a new member.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss, Sec.


Regular Meeting of the Executive Committee
Wednesday, the Eighth of January, 1873.

Present were Messrs. Vonnegut, Lieber, Ferling, Tschentscher, Haueisen and Gauss.

President Vonnegut opened the meeting. The minutes were read and accepted.

Mr. Tschentscher had a list of books which he recommended.

Resolved: Mr. Tschentscher is to be in charge of purchasing the books.
Resolved: The secretary is in charge of purchasing a bookcase.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss, Sec.

Regular Meeting of the Executive Committee
Wednesday, the Fifth of February, 1873.

Present were Messrs. Vonnegut, Lieber, Tschentscher, Metzger, Post, Lang and Gauss.

President Vonnegut opened the meeting. The minutes were read and accepted.

Mr. Tschentscher had a price list for books and the society gave him an order to purchase the books at the most reasonable price.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss Sec.


The Fourth Yearly Meeting of the Freethinkers Society
Sunday, April 20, 1873

Chairman; Clemens Vonnegut.

Secretary Carl Gauss read the yearly report; declared the society free of debt and with a balance of $764.00.

The secretary's report was accepted and Mr. Schmidt and Jose were ordered to investigate the books.

Following Mr. Lieber's suggestion, the same officials were elected for the upcoming year. Mr. Lieber presented a bill of $6.50, being the rest of the bill due for the lecture of Clara Naimann. Ordered to be paid.

Resolved: to have a meeting every Sunday morning, 10:30 a.m., in the school building.

Charles Gauss Sec.

Regular Meeting of the Executive Committee
of the Freethinkers Society
Wednesday, March 7, 1873.

Present were Messrs. Vonnegut, Lieber, Tschentscher, Lang, John F. Meyer and Gauss.
President Vonnegut opened the meeting.

Mr. Lieber presented a bill from E. Steiger N.Y., which was ordered to be paid.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss Sec.


Meeting of the Executive Committee of the
Freethinkers Society, Wednesday, January 27, 1875
School Building of the German-English School, East Maryland Street

Present were Messrs. Vonnegut, Scheller, Tschentscher, Haueisen, Metzner and Gauss.

The president opened the meeting. It was discussed how the present money should be spent. Concerning the poor attendance of the meeting, Mr. Tschentscher moved that the secretary should announce a meeting for Wednesday evening, the third of February, and publicize it in the "Telegraph." Motion adopted.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss, Secretary

Meeting of the Freethinkers Society
Wednesday, February 3, 1875.

Mr. Lieber's motion was adopted: not to spend the funds, and to put the secretary in charge of depositing the money for 6 months to gather interest. Upon Mr. A. Metzger's motion it was approved to charge the secretary with asking members and friends of the Freethinkers Society to come to a meeting on Sunday, February 7 at 10 o'clock a.m. in the school building of the German-English school, East Maryland Street.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss, Secretary


Meeting of the Freethinkers on February 21, 1875 following a resolution from February 7 concerning the reorganization of the Freethinkers Society of Indianapolis. Mr. Hermann Lieber was elected chairman and Charles Gauss secretary.

The committee nominated on February 7, 1875 to prepare the constitution reported and the constitution was accepted as follows:


The Society shall be called "Freethinkers Society of Indianapolis, Indiana" (Verein der Freidenker von Indianapolis, Indiana).


The purpose of the Freethinkers Society is the active spreading of free ideas of religious, political and social nature, also to awaken the feeling of togetherness of all like-minded people.


The effectiveness of the society should begin with public lectures combined with social entertainment. Furthermore, the support of schools of free direction and the practice of public charity are being considered.


Every person of sound character who is satisfied with the society's goals and promises to support them can become a member by paying the set monthly dues.



The exclusive operation of the society is left to a five-member executive committee which shall select from among itself the necessary officers.


The executive committee is obligated to hold a general business meeting every three months, and has the right to call an extraordinary meeting if urgent. If 10 members demand an extraordinary meeting, the committee is obligated to call one.


The execution of the constitution is further regulated through by-laws. After the constitution was accepted it was signed by the following members, and the chairman declared as reorganized.
C.A. Bennerscheidt 280 E. North
Max. Scheller 423 S. Madison Ave.
Fr. Goldhausen 9411 S. Alabama
D.A. Bohlen 71. N. Noble
R.C. Tschentscher 168 N. Davidson
Geo. Mannfeld 366 N. East
Wm. Haueisen 297 N. Tennessee
Fred. Ballweeg Madison Ave. and Delaware
Charles Fred. Kriegert
C. Bopp 214 Madison Ave.
John Gustav Herrmann 472 E. Ohio
H.R. Henning 355 E. Market
John F. Meyer 127 E. St. Joseph
Charles Grobe 138 S. Meridian
Wm. Kothe 496 E. Market
Clemens Vonnegut 508 E. Market
Diedrich Reiners ?
Friedrich Gauspoke ?
Nicklas Jose
Charles Koehne 467 N. Delaware
Phil. Rappaport
Hermann Hensel
Anton Blank 508 E. Market
Alexander Metzger 385 N.Pennsylvania
Charles Gauss 8 Fletcher Ave.
Hermann Lieber

Resolved; beginning March the first, '75, to keep monthly dues until further notice at 25 cents, which must be paid in advance.

The following five Messrs. were elected to the executive committee:
Hermann Lieber
Charles Koehne
Wilhelm Kothe
Nicklas Jose
Rud. Tschenstcher

Resolved: to call the next meeting when executive committee deems it necessary.

Resolved: to accept a proposal by Mr. Lieber and nominate a committee of five persons who will discuss with other citizens the necessary steps to be taken in order to achieve the goal of the current German education movement for thorough German instruction in the public schools. The following Messrs. were named to the committee:
Alexander Metzger, Wm. Haueisen, C.A. Bennerscheidt, Charles Grobe, Nicolas Jose.

Meeting adjourned.

Charles Gauss Sec.


Meeting of the Board of Directors of the
Freethinkers Society, Thursday, March 4, 1875

The board, elected on Feb. 21, met in the office of Lieber & Co.and voted according to #6 of the constitution on the following officers:
Hermann Lieber as President
Nicolaus Jose as Vice-President
Wilhelm Kothe as Treasurer
Char. Koehne as Corresponding Secretary
Rud. Tschentscher as Protocol Secretary

The corresponding secretary was put in charge: to communicate with the Freethinkers Society in Milwaukee, in order to initiate a closer connection of the existing freethinkers societies.

On this the board resolved:
to call the first meeting of the reorganized society on Sunday 7, at 3 o'clock p.m. in the Turnhalle. For this meeting, Mr. Phil. Rappaport will give a lecture about the topic: "What do we need?" and the secretary promised to play music. W. Kothe promised to provide the beer, and C. Koehne explained that he obtained permission from the board of directors of the Turnverein to use the hall for the first meeting of the Freethinkers Society.

C. Koehne and N. Jose will take over the arrangements in the gym hall on March 7, a.m. for social entertainment. A janitor is needed to heat and clean the gym hall. He is to be paid $2.50, which was accepted.

After the board made a decision that the general meetings should take place regularly once a month until more interest is shown, the secretary was ordered to publicize the first meeting in the "Telegraph" and "Indiana German Newspaper."

Meeting adjourned.

Rud. Tschentscher


General Meeting, Sunday, March 7, 1875
3 p.m. in the Old Turnhalle

President H. Lieber opened the meeting and indicated the purpose of this gathering. Mr. Phil. Rappaport gave his lecture about the topic "What do we need?" It was very interesting and the numerous audience showed their interest by applauding. As a remedy for the prevailing evil in the social and political life, he suggested the protective custody, a better financial system, especially the adoption of the gold standard and the reform of civil service.

After the lecture had ended, part of the audience left because the gym hall was not heated very well, and the rest sat and socialized for quite some time longer.

The income for beer was $6.30
The expense was 5.00
gross equals $1.30
Profit for the society's funds

Meeting adjourned

Rud. Tschentscher

Business Meeting, Sunday, March 21, 1875
10 o'clock in the German-English School Building

Present were the executive committee and the appointed committee for drawing up the by-laws. The minutes were read by the secretary and approved.

The committee submitted its report.

The following paragraph was approved and added to the constitution: Suggestions for the amendment of the constitution must be discussed in two consecutive meetings and two thirds of the members present must approve in order for the amendment to pass.

The by-laws, after detailed deliberation, were received in the following version:

  1. The executive committee is comprised of 1 president, 1 vice- president, 1 corresponding secretary, 1 protocol secretary and 1 treasurer, and will stay in office for 1 year. New elections will be held the first Sunday in the month of March.
  2. The quarterly business meetings will be held on the first Sunday in the month of March, June, September and December.
  3. The executive committee is responsible for organizing lectures according to the constitution and make arrangements which would appear efficient to stimulate entertainment during the society meeting.
  4. They also have to, as soon as circumstances permit, establish and support a Sunday school, which would administer instruction on the principles of the Freethinkers.
  5. The monthly membership dues are 25 cents, to be paid to the treasurer.
  6. After missing payments for three consecutive months, even after reminders, the member has to be considered resigned; if he wishes to join again, he must be renominated for membership.
  7. Members' complaints dealing with the business leadership of the executive committee must be submitted in written form, and will be decided on by the majority of the members present.


  8. New members must be nominated and the executive committee will decide upon their admission.
  9. No drinks will be served during the meetings.
  10. The members are obligated and bound to lend mutual support in cases of sickness and death; the executive committee's decision concerning the necessary means in representing the society at the burial of the deceased member must be followed.
  11. The ostracizing of a member because of not fulfilling his duties will be attended to by the executive committee in a special meeting and a majority of two-thirds present will confirm his staying or termination.
  12. Ostracized members can be nominated again after a six month period and their acceptance underlies the same regulations as that of a new member.

Resolved was to schedule the next society meeting on Sunday, April 3, and to announce it in the "Telegraph" and the "Indiana German Newspaper."

Meeting adjourned.

Rud. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Sunday, April 4, 3 p.m.

Because of the nice spring weather, the attendance was moderate. The undersigned secretary held a lecture on "Freethinking Here" [Heimisches Freidenkertum] and read the by-laws to the constitution.

New Members reported are:
Robert Schmidt 96 S. East
Louis Schulmeyer 458 N. New Jersey
Theobald Lietz 225 S. New Jersey
Paul Berwig

Mr. Chas. Kueger read a poem of free-spirited content and the funny song "The Hypocrite", and also the story "Wilhelm Teller" in the Jewish dialect. The audience seemed to like his performance. After this those of a mind talked and socialized until 6 o'clock, when they finally adjourned.

Rud. Tschentscher

Business Meeting, Thursday, April 22, '75
Lieber & Co. Office

The executive committee met, except Mr. Chas. Koehne. The following resolutions were passed:
1. Not to give humorous lectures in the society meetings, to de-emphasize scientific lecture, and rather aim at the mutual exchanging of views of all members on topics of common interest.
2. To accept the proposal by Mr. Phil Rappaport to hold a lecture at the next meeting.
3. To schedule the next society meeting for Sunday, May 9.
4. To have the secretary notify people about the meeting through the two German papers.

Meeting adjourned.

Rud. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Sunday, May 30, 1875
in the Turnhalle

Since there were only a few members at the last meeting of the society and it stands to reason that some freethinkers prefer to walk outside in the nice weather instead of being indoors, today's meeting was called at 8 o'clock in the evening. Still, attendance was low.

Mr. Phil. Rappaport held a lecture on the topic "Morality, Justice, and Humanity from a Materialistic Point of View." In a fascinating manner he showed that morality as well as justice and humanity are not immutable products of [illegible] belief but rather the results of a given world view which is subject to change. The lecture was very successful and was well received. Those of a mind stayed together until 11 o'clock and had pleasant entertainment until they adjourned.

Rud. Tschentscher, Secretary

Business Meeting of the Board of Directors
Thursday, June 3, '75, 8 o'clock in the Office of
Lieber & Co.

All members were present. Messrs. Chas. Sust and Casper Hederich were suggested as new members of the society by the president and were unanimously accepted. The secretary is in charge of ordering from the Telegraph 500 invitation cards printed for meetings of the Freethinker Society. The next business meeting should be made known not through the paper but through postcards to the members. Instead of Sunday, June 6, it will be the 13th, since some members cannot participate on the former date because of choir practice.

R.C. Tschentscher


General Meeting, Sunday, October 3, 1875
in the Old Turnhalle

The meetings were interrupted in the summer and the first autumn month, because of the many outdoor activities. Through special invitation cards and newspaper advertisements, today's meeting had a big attendance. The lecture was held by Mr. P. Berwig on the topic "In every mishap is a luck," but first he gave well-considered words about the true purpose of the Freethinkers Society. Much effort was put into the lecture and several humorous allusions were especially enjoyed by the ladies. Afterwards, most members socialized until midnight and then adjourned. Later, it was noted that the board had invited free-thinker Reitzel who is currently on a lecture tour in Evansville to give a lecture at our place, but he could not keep his agreement last November and sent a cancellation because of lack of time.

Rud. C. Tschentscher

Dr. H. Pink, 245 E. Washington St. applied as a new member. D.O.

General Meeting, Sunday, November 7, 1875
in the Old Turnhalle

Phil. Rappaport held a lecture at tonight's 8 o'clock meeting about the relation of religion, materialism, art and science, in which he pointed out that religion was originally inspiring to art and science, but during the years had become more hindering than useful. Modern times, through a material point of view, have helped art and science to a free and manifold development. The lecture was acknowledged all around as interesting work and it resulted in a lively exchange of ideas until 11 o'clock, when the meeting was adjourned.

R. Tschentscher

Business Meeting in the Office of H. Lieber & Co.
November 9, 1875

Present were the members of the executive committee. Mr. Jose was excused. The secretary pointed out that the member U.W. Haueisen has, at his own expense, ordered the Milwaukee newspaper "Der Freidenker" for the society. The Freethinkers Society from Milwaukee sent 3 petitions around for signatures, which asked the congress and the senate about the right to recall the representatives.

President H. Lieber announced that H.F. Schuetz from Milwaukee has asked for approval to hold a lecture at the society's expense. It was agreed and decided to use the building of the Turnhalle. Mr. Koehne took over the necessary preparation for the hall and the secretary made the announcement in the "Telegraph" and in the "Indiana German Newspaper."

R. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Friday, December 10, 1875
in the Old Turnhalle

Mr. Fr. Schuetz held a free lecture about "Immortality." He first proved that natural science does not know the dualism of body and soul, and that life after bodily death is therefore impossible. Furthermore, he said that the belief in life after death comes from the feelings of unsatisfactory justice and the longing to maintain a union with the loved ones beyond death. However, the speaker denied a lack of justice in this world. He described the heaven of the believers as a boring place. He gave us good advice in order to curb our longings for those who have passed away, to remember them by performing good deeds. The brilliant lecture was very well received. The speaker's suggestion to have another lecture in this manner on Thursday, August 14 was generally welcomed. To support him in this intention, the society member Mr. Chas. Grobe and the secretary, asked the Maennerchor for the use of the hall for Mr. Schuetz's lecture and to make the necessary announcement in the "Telegraph."

The concession was given by the Maennerchor which was very much appreciated. Mr. Schuetz held a lecture Thursday in the Maennerchor hall on the topic "On Love in the Narrow and Broad Sense." The lecture was well received. For today's lecture, Mr. Schuetz wanted 30 dollars and for the second, the society donated an additional dollar, as well as the payment for janitorial service during the second lecture.

Rud. Tschentscher

Business Meeting in the Office of Lieber & Co.
January 10, 1876, 8 o'clock

All members of the board were present except for Mr. Jose, because he did not receive the invitation in time due to insufficient address. Mr. Kohne announced that the Turnhalle was occupied next Sunday. It was approved that the next Vereins meeting be held Sunday 23. The secretary is in charge of sending the necessary invitations and newspaper announcements. The secretary's suggestion to hold a lecture was accepted. President Lieber presented a letter from Mr. Schünemann-Pot to hold a lecture for the Freethinkers Society, the executive committee thanked him for the suggestion but they had to decline out of financial considerations.

R. Tschentscher

Society Meeting in the Old Turnhalle
Sunday, February 6, 1876, 8 o'clock p.m.

The Turnhalle was already taken on the 23rd and it was impossible to have the meeting on the Sunday following because of a performance by the Turners in the academy on that day. The regular society meeting of the Freethinkers was thus postponed until today. Attendance was very good. The secretary held a lecture on three old superstitions: "If it doesn't help, no harm done either", "It should not be otherwise", and "The scholars do not know everything." From this a lively discussion ensued about "cremation," and the final decision from the meeting was to hold the next discussion on the topic "Luxury". It was also agreed to take time, besides the society lectures, for a general exercise in speaking.

R. Tschentscher

Business Meeting in the Office of Lieber & Co.
February 17, 1876, 8 o'clock p.m.

All members of the executive committee were present except Mr. Jose. Resolved: to hold the forthcoming annual business meeting on Sunday 20, 10 o'clock a.m., in the hall of the German-English school. The secretary was in charge of making the necessary newspaper announcements and to send invitation cards to members and friends of the society.

R. Tschentscher

Annual Meeting in the German-English School Hall
February 20, 1876

Present at today's annual meeting were 17 society members and a few friends. President Lieber opened the meeting with appropriate words. The treasurer, Mr. W. Kothe, read his report:
The cash report from the last treasurer
The income for the fiscal year ending today $296.30
expenditures 90.02
society capital total

of which $200 are deposited in Ritzinger's bank at 6 percent interest.

The treasurer, Mr. Kothe, was discharged from the office. After this the undersigned secretary gave a report. According to that, the society members initially totaled 28, of which several must be considered resigned since their addresses could not be found, so that currently only 24 members were left.
New members accepted during the year 8.
The number of the present members is 32.
The number of business and general meetings total 7 each. The 3 last lectures were given free of charge by members Mr. Ph. Rappaport, the secretary and by Mr. P. Berwig.

Fr. Schuetz from Milwaukee held a paid lecture. It was decided that the information from this report should be included in today's minutes. After this, the president ordered the members to make suggestions for the more active development of the society. Thereupon, Mr. Phil. Rappaport presented the following well-based motion.

To charge the board with finding a more suitable locale for the society. An proposal from Mr. N. Jose to compile and present to the members a list for subscription in order to cover a potential deficit resulting from a lecture series by outside freethinkers was amended: that dues on the list should be used to cover the smaller proceeds, which might follow the upcoming lecture by Mr. Schuenemann-Pot from San Francisco taking place at this location. With this amendment the motion from Mr. Jose was supported and accepted. The election of board of directors followed and Messrs. Mannfeld and Goldhausen were named the election committee. By ballot and majority vote the following persons were elected:

H. Lieber
Ph. Rappaport
Wm. Kothe
Chas. Gauss and
Rud. Tschentscher

The secretary's proposal: to submit written thanks to the Indianapolis Turn-Verein for the permission obtained to use their hall for the Freethinkers meetings, was accepted through acclamation. Finally, Mr. Kothe made known that more new members had applied which, according to the constitution, must be nominated before the president of the society, and then the meeting adjourned.

R.C. Tschentscher

Business Meeting, February 23, '76
in the Lieber & Co. Office

Present all the members elected at the last annual meeting, with the exception of H. Chas. Gauss. The offices were distributed in the following manner: H. Lieber, President; Mr. Kothe, Vice- President; Mr. Gauss, Treasurer; Mr. Rappaport, Corresponding Secretary; Mr. Tschentscher, Protocol Secretary.

It was approved to
1) to wait until Fall with the provision of the society's locale.
2) to authorize the president to invite Mr. Schünemann-Pot for a lecture in the city.
3) to assign the corresponding secretary to invite the Turn-Verein and Gesang-Verein to send delegates to a meeting on March 12, 10 a.m. in the assembly room at the German-English school in order to discuss the celebration of a harvest festival.
4) the next society meeting will be on March 5th in the Turnhalle and will be announced in the newspapers.

Meeting adjourned.

R. Tschentscher

P.S. Mr. Kothe suggested Messrs. H. Baas and A. Ulrich as new members and no one was rejected.

R. Tschentscher

General Meeting in the Turnhalle
March 5, '76, 8 o'clock p.m.

The well attended meeting started with a debate about "Luxury." Mr. N. Jose gave a long speech opposing luxury and Mr. P. Rappaport spoke for luxury. At this point other members entered the lively debate, until it broke off at 11 o'clock.

R.C. Tschentscher.

Business Meeting of the Directors
March 23, '76 in the Lieber & Co. Office

Present: only members except Mr. Ph. Rappaport.

Resolved: to hold a society meeting on March 26 in the Turnhalle and to try a free debate without disclosing the subject beforehand. The secretary was in charge of sending out the invitations on postcards.

R.C. Tschentscher

General Meeting in the Old Turnhalle
March 26, '76 at 8 o'clock p.m.

The debate on luxury was continued. Messrs. Vonnegut, Gramlig, Jose and Rappaport debated. It was determined that Messrs. Vonnegut and Dr. Scheller hold a debate on Sunday, April 9th on "Vegetarianism."

Phil Rappaport

Business Meeting of the Directors
Thursday, March 30 in the Lieber & Co. Office

Resolved: to hold the next society meeting on Sunday, April 19 and to accept the proposal of Messrs. Cl. Vonnegut and Dr. Scheller to attempt a debate on "Meat and Vegetable Diets."
2. to have the corresponding secretary invite delegates from the different societies in the city, in order to confer with the delegates of the Freethinkers Society, Messrs. Rappaport, Goldhausen and Tschentscher, about initial steps for the centennial of the republic.

R.C. Tschentscher.

General Meeting, Sunday, April 9, '76 in the Old Turnhalle

Today's meeting was exceedingly well attended. The debate between Messrs. Dr. Scheller, who was for mixed diet, and Cl. Vonnegut, who was for vegetable diet, later joined in by the two secretaries who tended to lean toward Dr. Scheller's view, seemed to stimulate all sides.

R.C. Tschentscher

Business Meeting of the Directors
Wednesday, April 19, 1876 in the Lieber Building

Present: Messrs. Ph. Rappaport and Gauss.

Resolved: to hold the next meeting on Sunday, April 23, 1876 and Mr. P. Berwig will speak on the theme: "Striving for truth," after which a debate will be held.
2. Mr. L. Schmidt, on Mr. Kothe's proposal, was accepted as society member.

R.C. Tschentscher.

General meeting in the Old Turnhalle
Sunday, April 23, 1876

Only a moderate amount of people turned out due to unfavorable weather. Mr. P. Berwig held a lecture "Striving for truth," which induced a stimulating debate, in which the lecturer's interpretation of "truth" was challenged.

Business Meeting Thursday, April 27,'76
in the Lieber Office

Resolved: 1) The offer from Mr. G. Gramlich to give a lecture at the scheduled society meeting on Sunday, May 14, was accepted.
2) The suggestion from President H. Lieber that he, as representative of the Freethinkers Society, would attend the scheduled Freethinkers Convention in Philadelphia at the end of June was accepted with appreciation.

R.C. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Sunday, May 28, '76
in the Old Turnhalle

The meeting scheduled for May 14 could not be held until today due to several circumstances. Considering the beautiful spring weather, which would normally attract many interested people to the outside, the meeting was attended better than expected.

Mr. Geo. Gramlich held, with much applause, a lecture, "The Development of German Art," on the occasion of the Philadelphia World Exhibition. After this, the president thanked members of the society who maintained and supported the society and announced that the regular meetings would be interrupted because of the expected hot weather. Then he read an invitation of the Milwaukee Freethinkers Society to participate in a life insurance program founded by said society, and it was proposed by Mr. Cl. Vonnegut to inquire through businessmen about the dependability of his life insurance. Messrs. Alex Metzger, Cl. Vonnegut and N. Jose were named for this purpose. After this there was a discussion about the way the society would represent itself at the centennial and fourth of July parade in a dignified manner. It seemed those present were not well prepared to discuss this point, and therefore the settlement of this matter was postponed until Thursday June 2nd 8 p.m. in the Turnhalle. At the end of the meeting, someone suggested to hold a Freethinkers picnic. It should be held on June 18 and the arrangements are to be made by society officials.

R.C. Tschentscher

Business Meeting, June 2, 1876
in the Old Turnhalle

Present were the executive committee except Mr. N. Kothe. As new members were accepted: Peter Lieber, Otto Schissell, Fred Schulmeyer, Gustav Czech and H. Schnell.

Resolved: to furnish the float of the Freethinkers at the Centennial parade with appropriate passages from Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" as well as taking advice from G. Cxerh in decorating the float and to give a concert in Baldus Garden on July 4, p.m.

C.A. Barnes withdrew his membership.

R.C. Tschentscher

Business Meeting, June 11, '76
in the Old Turnhalle

A great number of people attended.

Resolved: to have a picnic in Schurmann's Park on June 18. Mrs. H. Metzger presided and nominated the members Messrs. Ch. Koehne, Wm. Kothe, Fr. Schulmeyer and R. Tschentscher for the arrangement committee.

R. Tschentscher

Business Meeting of the Directors on June 28, '76
in Lieber's Office

Present: H. Lieber and C. Gauss. Ch. Koehne also attended the conference.

Resolved: to hold a public business meeting on Sunday, July 2 to discuss the fourth of July festivities.
It should also be noted that the picnic planned for June 18 could not be held because of bad weather.

R. Tschentscher

Business Meeting, Sunday, July 2, '76
in the Turnhalle

Mr. Rappaport announced that the float of the Freethinkers Society was almost finished and the members decided to participate in the parade together with their spouses. There was not much business to carry out and the people present helped to decorate the float with wreaths and garlands.

July 4, 1876

The parade of the Freethinkers Society on July 4 was a big success. A great many society members participated in the parade and in the evening a great number of people met in the Volksgarten.

Phil. Rappaport

Meeting on Sunday, July 16, 1876

Attendance was very good. Mr. Hermann Lieber reported on the discussions of the Freethinkers Conference in Philadelphia and read the resolutions and the platform. An informal discussion about the latter occurred. Upon Mr. Koehne's suggestion, it was approved to discuss the individual points of the platform starting on Sunday, July 30. Further approved: to become a member of the Freethinkers Alliance established in Philadelphia. A yearly due of $5.00 was approved. It was further resolved to express gratitude to Mr. Lieber for representing the society in Philadelphia.

Phil. Rappaport

General Meeting, Sunday, July 30, '76

The discussion of the platform from the Freethinkers conference in Philadelphia was stated. The first paragraph was unanimously agreed upon as being in compliance with our Freethinkers society. The 2nd paragraph, however, which entitles both sexes to the same rights, was in dispute. There was a lively debate on this, and the Messrs. Lieber, Vonnegut and Koehne and the Mrs. Rappaport and L. Schulmeyer were for, and the Messrs. Rappaport, Jose and Tschentscher against the same rights, at least in a political sense.

Resolved: today's discussion to be continued in 8 days.

R. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Sunday, Aug. 6, '76

A great many people attended. The debate on women's rights was continued. The undersigned read a short essay on: "The possible consequences of women's right to vote," by Mrs. L. Schulmeyer, a long treatise in which she sought to defend women. Mr. N. Jose presented an essay which did not support equal rights for men and women. Mr. Rappaport followed with an eloquent speech against women's right to vote. Then Mr. H. Lieber read an essay which spoke out for equal rights for women in every respect. Mr. Makbeth from Milwaukee opposed, in a humorous way, women's rights. An enthusiastic discussion followed and Mr. Koehne acted as gallant defender of the women's cause. The secretary called off the debate at 11:00. No one seemed to be interested in converting and Mr. Rappaport suggested to schedule the next meeting for August 20.

R. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Sunday, August 20, '76
in the Old Turnhalle

The discussion on the platform continued, mainly on the abolishment of the presidency and Senate as well as the responsibility and recalling of representatives. Participation of almost everybody present; special supporters of the abolition of the president were Messrs. Vonnegut and Lieber. Mr. Rappaport spoke against the platform passage in which the presidency is mentioned as the main source of all evil. He also stated different reasons why the republic would not fare any better without a president, and observed that it seemed doubtful to him if a unicameral system would oppose severe and precipitate law making more efficiently than the now-standing bicameral system. Today's debate proved to be very instructive and it was approved to continue on Sunday, Sept. 3.

R. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Sunday, October 29, '76

Since the Freethinkers meeting 8 days ago could not be held due to lack of attendance a new meeting convened today.

The call was followed by a considerable number of people, not necessarily society members. Mr. Ph. Rappaport held a lecture on "The Notion of God," [Die Gottesidee] which earned him unanimous applause. Then a social gathering followed. Afterwards Mr. Chas. Dietrichs was accepted as a new member.

R.C. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Sunday, November 19, '76

Because of bad weather, attendance was weak. The secretary held a lecture on "Progress in the Natural Sciences During the Last 25 Years," which earned applause. After that, a social gathering was held.

R.C. Tschentscher

Business Meeting, Thursday, Nov. 23, '76
in Lieber's Office

Only President Lieber and the secretary were present. Therefore, the meeting was postponed.

R. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Sunday, December 10, '76

Mr. Amand Gräg from Genf, an old revolutionary, held a lecture before a considerable number of people on "The Present Condition in Chicago," which was very interesting and received a big applause. A social gathering followed.

R. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Sunday, January 6, '77

Because of bad weather, not many attended. Mr. P. Gawczjewlsky from the "Telegraph" held a lecture on: "Freethinkers Today." This lecture stimulated an exciting debate because the speaker maintained that the developments in science did much harm to religious ideas.

General Meeting, Sunday, February 4, 1877

Attendance was good. Mr. Hugo Hamm from Indianapolis held a lecture on "The Danger of the Jesuit Order," which entertained the listeners. After this, Mr. H. Lieber presented a document for signing which will be sent to Congress as a protest against those Christians who intend to adopt God in the Constitution, and the secretary read a letter from member Carl Doerflinger of Milwaukee, that he is trying to prepare and publish a youth newspaper, "Uncle Carl." The society agreed with Carl Doerflinger and the secretary is authorized to tell him of the society's support. A social gathering followed.

R.C. Tschentscher

Business Meeting, Sunday p.m., February 11
at the House of Treasurer, Chas. Gauss

Agreed; 1) to hold the annual society meeting next Sunday, 9:30 a.m., in the hall of the German-English school.
2) to allow Mr. Ph. Rappaport to hold his lecture that evening.
3) to suggest society improvement at the upcoming yearly meeting. These suggestions are:
a) to encourage the society members' wives to more steadfast participation.
b) to continue holding a society meeting every 8 days and that always one Sunday be primarily devoted to social gathering, to be followed with intellectual entertainment the next Sunday.
It was further agreed upon to leave the serving of beer at the society meetings to Pflüger. Mr. Rappaport promised to tell Pflüger of this decision and the undersigned secretary will send out special invitations for the annual meeting to the members.

Meeting adjourned.

R.C. Tschentscher

Annual Meeting, Sunday, Febr. 18, '77 in the
Hall of the German-English School

Approx. 18 Freethinkers. President H. Lieber gave a report on the society's activity in the past year, and it was proposed by Mr. Ph. Rappaport that it should be added to the society's records. Then the undersigned secretary read his yearly report, after which the society counted 36 members at present.

This report, prepared by those at the business meeting on the 11th of the month, asked for a more active function of the society and submitted the director's resolutions in that matter. They were sanctioned. Also, the report commemorated member Blank, who died this past year. In his honor, the gathered stood up and Ph. Rappaport entered the following passage in the society's minutes: "Today on the occasion of our yearly meeting, we mournfully remember our deceased friend and fellow member, Anton Blank. We remember him as an eager and faithful follower of free principles, and as a man who honorably filled his place in society. We will always preserve his memory in faithful remembrance."

Proceeding to the election of officers. The president named members Chas. Grobe and Fred. Schulmeyer as election officials. By ballot, the following new officials were elected:
H. Lieber
Ph. Rappaport
O. Schissel
Chris. Bopp and
Rud. Tschentscher

Finally, the undersigned secretary recommended to the gathered including Mr. Dehnse, the agent from the Milwaukee Freethinkers youth magazine "Uncle Carl," published by the Freethinkers, and then the gathered adjourned. Afterwards it was noted that the society sent in its yearly report on the 14th of the month.

The amount of income $331.73
The disbursements 159.14
Total 171.99

It was directed that this report be placed in society records.

R.C. Tschentscher

General Meeting, Sunday, Febr. 18

Considerable number of people in attendance. Mr. Ph. Rappaport held a lecture on "Free Trade and Protective Duty," in connection with "The Conditions of the Worker, Industry and Agriculture." He received well deserved applause. The speaker defended the protective duty supporting the proposition with a number of irrefutable facts. After the lecture, an informal debate took place.

R.C. Tschentscher

Business Meeting on February 20th in Mr. Lieber's Office

Present were all members of the newly elected board of directors. The offices of the board of directors were distributed in the following manner:
President H. Lieber
Vice-President Ph. Rappaport
Treasurer R. Tschenstscher
Prot. Secretary Ch. Bopp
Cor. Secretary O. Schissel

Resolved: to postpone the debts of the following members who were behind with their contributions until Jan. 1877: H.R. Henning 2.25--Lietz 3.50--Goldhausen 3.00: total 8.75. The secretary is in charge of reporting the resolution from the last yearly meeting, to thank the Turnverein on behalf of the society for the use of the Turnverein locale, to the above mentioned.

Mr. Grobe was authorized to be in charge of entertainment and to join other members in that committee who are responsible for musical performances.

C. Bopp

General Meeting on March 4 in the Turnhalle

The president presented Mr. Heinrich as the speaker for this evening. He held an excellent lecture on "Socialism," and received well-deserved applause from a good-sized audience. After the lecture, Mr. Rappaport handed out a report about radical societies, which told about their activity in the past half year. A pamphlet, "War to the Presidency," was distributed by Bopp, and the respective address submitted for signature. Mr. Vonnegut moved to hold a preliminary debate on the above mentioned subject in which Messrs. Rappaport, Goldhausen, Jose and Lieber took part. A continuation of the debate was scheduled for the next meeting. Mr. Grobe called upon those present to help him with the musical part of the society meeting. Mr. Rappaport announced the next such performance to be held on Sunday, March 11 at 8 o'clock p.m. in the Turnhalle.

C. Bopp

General Meeting, March 18th in the Turnhalle

President Lieber opened the debate with his views on Socialism. Subsequently, the debate followed: Jose, Vonnegut, Rappaport, Grobe, Köhne, Goldhausen, also a socialist--Mr. Limonson--who was not a society member.

First, Rappaport's proposal to make the socialist demand "Abolishment of Private Property," the subject for the next debate, was not accepted. However, Mr. Jose's suggestion "Is the Abolishment of Private Landownership Advantageous?" was accepted. Mr. Jose retracted his proposal and another proposal from Köhne was accepted. It read: "What are the Demands of Socialism and How are they to be Realized?"

C. Bopp

General Meeting, April 1 in the Turnhalle

Because the undersigned was prevented from coming to the debate, he put the announcement in the "Telegraph" on Monday, April 2.

C. Bopp

Freethinkers Society

Yesterday evening, the continuation of the society's arranged debate on Socialism took place in Turnhalle. Main participants were Messrs. Krumann, König and Rappaport. The debate was very exciting and lasted until after 11 o'clock. The attendance was great and the hall was nearly filled. The number of women in attendance was especially high. The Socialists were well represented. The Freethinkers Society does indeed offer, through lectures and debates on general important questions, an instructional medium not to be undervalued. A week from Sunday, the question will be debated: "How do the Socialists desire their people's state, and how can it be reached?"

Business Meeting, April 11 in Lieber's Locale

Present are all the members of the board of directors. Mr. Lieber announced that Mr. Grossmann intends to present his lecture entitled "On Human Happiness" on April 24. The society will pay the cost of the invitations and tickets, as well as the announcements in the paper, while the admission fees will be given to Mr. Grossmann.

Resolved: to send a $5 fee to the Radical Alliance. Resolved: to reschedule the announced debate for next week due to the "Kellerconcert"

Mr. Rappaport announced Messrs. Krug and Buschmann as new members, which was accepted.

C. Bopp

General Meeting, April 24 in the Turnhalle

The president presented Mr. Grossmann as speaker for the evening. He held a lecture: "On Human Happiness," which was well attended. Mr. Grossmann received $25 for the lecture. After the lecture there was a social gathering.

C. Bopp

General Meeting, May 18 and 19 in the Turnhalle

Speaker Reitzel, from the Free Community of Washington, was presented by the president. He held a lecture on "The Eternal Jew" and the following evening held a lecture on "The Saints of Nov. 11." Both lectures were enjoyed by a numerous public. After every lecture there was socializing. Mr. Reitzel received $50 for both lectures.

C. Bopp

Board Of Directors Meeting, June 18 in Lieber's Locale

Present were all members of the board, except for Mr. Schissel. Mr. Rappaport reported that a letter had been received from the board of directors of the Radical Alliance which announced its resignation only to initiate a reunification with the free communities.

After that the following was approved: "We regret the resignation of the board of directors. At the same time, we acknowledge their effort to fully restore the organization. In this sense we approve of the board's procedure and recognize the temporary board as executive organization until the final election of a new board. We favor this election to be held as an electors. Mr. Rappaport will announce this decision to the temporary board of directors."

C. Bopp

Board of Directors Meeting, Aug. 29 in Lieber's Locale

Present were all members. The president announced the death of a longtime member, Ch. Gauss. It was approved that the society walk behind the casket, that R. Tschentscher speak at the mortuary, and Ph. Rappaport speak at the gravesite.

C. Bopp

Board of Directors Meeting in Rappaport's Office

All members were present except R. Tschentscher.

Resolved: to commence holding the regular lectures. Discussion over the arrangement of holding a series of (6) lectures by outside speakers: Reitzel, Schütz, Grossmann.

C. Bopp

General Meeting in the Turnhalle, October 21

Mr. Rappaport gave a lecture on "Church and State." Good attendance. Applause for the speaker.

General Meeting, Nov. 4 in the Turnhalle

Mr. Tschentscher held a lecture on "Proceedings During the Paris Commune, 1871," and received much applause from the large audience.

General Meeting, Nov. 18 in the Turnhalle

Entertainment night. Attendance was 100%. Miss Emma and Clara Grobe sang a duet. Mr. Tschentscher recited "The Cossack's Mother." After that, Mr. and Mrs. Rappaport sang a duet. Recitations from Rappaport, Grobe, Pingpank followed a quartet sung by Maennerchor members. The newspapers gave an excellent report about the first entertainment evening and asked for a repeat performance.

Board of Directors Meeting, Nov. 20 in Lieber's Locale

Present: Lieber, Tschentscher, Bopp

Upon proposal from Mr. Lieber, it was resolved not to schedule Mr. Schütz for a lecture.

C. Bopp

Meeting, Dec. 2 in the Turnhalle

Mr. Pinkpank held a lecture on "The Origin of the Freethinkers." From this, Mr. Lieber read a memorandum to the Congress, which petitions it to discontinue the purchasing of public property; so that a land aristocracy may not be created here as it is in England, which would bring danger to public welfare. He stimulated those present to sign the petition to voice their opinion, which was readily met because the memorandum gave specific arguments which were obviously valid and to the point.

General Meeting, Dec. 16 in the Turnhalle

The second entertainment evening. The Turnhalle was 100% full. The program was as follows:
Recitation: Engelbach, Rappaport, Tschentscher, Grobe
Quartet: Hehsling, Bennerscheid, Licius, Emmerich
Solo: Bennerscheid
Comic Recitation: Pingpank, Mummenhof

Third Entertainment Evening, Jan. 20 in the Turnhalle

The opening number was a flute and piano duet presented by Emma Schnull and W. Kothe. After which Engelbach presented his own poem "Behind Bars." Other recitations by Emmerich, Rappaport and Tschentscher followed. E. and L. Grobe, Mrs. Rappaport, members of the Lyra and the Maennerchor sang songs. At the end, Mr. Tschentscher requested those present to sing together the song "This is the Day of the Lord." Attendance was very good.

General Meeting, Jan. 28, 1878 in the Turnhalle

Travelling speaker H. Grossmann held a lecture on "The Moral Ideas of Mankind are the Results of the Nation." Small audience.

General Meeting, Feb. 3 in the Turnhalle

Mr. Rappaport held a lecture on "The Bill of Rights," which was well received by a large audience.

Annual Meeting, Sunday, Feb. 24, 1878
in the Hall of the German-English School

President Lieber requested those present to vote for a secretary, which resulted in R. Tschentscher being elected. Herewith, he gave an overview of the present status of the society, which now has 47 members, in comparison to last year at this time when the society had 36 members. Then the undersigned, as present treasurer, read the finance report: capital totaled $138.33, which was audited and approved. Shortly before the end of the fiscal year, the secretary resigned and gave no report. The president's request to submit suggestions for promoting and strengthening the society was an occasion to express different opinions and to nominate standing committees for propaganda, lectures and social entertainment.

The business of those present was to execute the election of the new board of directors, in which the following members--Rappaport, Bohn and the undersigned--declined any nominations. The following 5 members were elected by majority vote: H. Lieber, Chas. Koehne, O. Schissel, Caspar Hedderich and Chas. Pingpank.

R.C. Tschentscher

Board of Directors Meeting, Feb. 1878 in Room No. 30, Bates Bld.

Present were all members of the newly elected board of directors and the offices were appointed as follows:
President: H. Lieber
Vice-Pres: C. Hedderich
Treasurer: Chas. Koehne
Prot. Secretary: Chas. Pingpank
Corr. Secretary: O. Schissel

Resolved: to name an entertainment committee, as well as a propaganda committee, and the secretary is charged to invite 8 society members to the board of directors meeting next Thursday for them to meet and form the above mentioned committees. Those invited are: Cl. Vonnegut jr., Dr. Pink, Dr. Scheller, A. Bohn, R. Tschentscher, Chas. Grobe, Ph. Rappaport and Fr. Goldhausen.

Further Resolved: to invite Mr. W.N. Hartmann from Milwaukee to hold a lecture on March 14 and to pay him 15 Dollars for the lecture.

Chas. Pingpank

Board of Directors Meeting, March 7, Room 30, Bates Block

Besides the board of Directors, those invited were also present. The two committees are as follows:

Entertainment: R. Tschentscher, Ph. Rappaport, C. Grobe, Fr. Goldhausen.
Propaganda: Dr. Pink, Dr. Scheller, Cl. Vonnegut jr. and H. Bohn.

Chas. Pingpank

General Meeting, Sunday, March 10 in the Turnhalle

Dr. Scheller held a lecture before a large audience on "The Doctor and the Hospital Room," which was very informative and at the end received well deserved applause. After the lecture was a social gathering.

Chas. Pingpank

General Meeting, Thursday, March 14 in the Turnhalle

Mr. W.N. Hartmann from Milwaukee was invited to hold a lecture this evening on "The German School in America," which was well received. Attendance was considerably good.

Chas. Pingpank

General Meeting, Sunday, March 24 in the Turnhalle

Entertainment evening. Attendance was good. Miss Despa opened the evening with a recital of a song accompanied by Miss E. Schnull. This was followed by a flute and piano duet, which was performed by the Kothe brothers. "The Tyrolian and his Child," with guitar accompaniment by Miss Schulmeyer, a comic lecture by Mr. Grobe and recitation by Goldhausen and Ph. Rappaport followed.

Chas. Pingpank

Board of Directors Meeting, April 4 in Bates Block

All members were present. New members for the society were accepted: Peter Balz, Jul. Buttler and L. Kuehler.
Approved: to print 300 copies of the constitution of the Freethinkers Society, also on Thursday, April 11, to invite members of the committee to decide what steps need to be taken to further promote the society.

Chas. Pingpank

General Meeting, Sunday, April 7 in the Turnhalle

Attendance was good. Mr. P. Gawczyjelski held a lecture on "The Truth About Belief and Science and the Position of Man in the Universe," and proceeded to a stimulating debate, in which Mr. Rappaport and Ende in particular joined.

Board of Directors Meeting, Thursday, April 11

Present were, besides the board of directors, also the members of both committees. The constitution of the society and its amendments were read, and after much discussion, Mr. Chas. Grobe and the secretary were charged to have 300 copies of it printed, omitting Amendment #9.

Chas. Pingpank

General Meeting, Sunday, April 21 in the Turnhalle

Entertainment evening. Attendance was very good. Music and recitations were performed in which members of Lyra and the Maennerchor participated. Everything went beautifully.

Chas. Pingpank

Board of Directors Meeting, Saturday, June 8 in Bates Block

All members were present. The president reported that a few freethinking local Americans had approached him with the request to help cover a deficit which might arise from an upcoming lecture by Dr. Bell as well as helping to find a room for the lecture. Their membership is not big and influential enough to carry this out on their own, and therefore they ask the society to take control of this event. The president suggested a list for contributions up to $35.00 for this cause, and suggested to support the matter since the society would not be faced with major expenses.

Tuesday, June 11:

Lecture by Mr. E. Bell of Mass. (in the Maennerchor Hall) on the topic "What has free thought to offer in place of Christianity?" The lecture, although on the whole held superficially, offered some remarkable analysis. Attendance was good.

Chas. Pingpank.

General Meeting, June 23, in the Turnhalle

Entertainment evening. This being the last meeting of the season, the attendance was poor. Also the quality of music, recitation and lecture lacked. In conclusion, in lieu of the president who was absent, Mr. Tschentscher spoke to those present and announced that this was the last entertainment evening of the season. He asked the members not to forget the society's causes and goals during the vacation months.

Chas. Pingpank.

Board of Directors Meeting, Sunday, Aug. 18.

All members were present, as well as the members of both committees. Resolved: to schedule a new program of lectures for the coming winter. A committee comprised of Messrs. Dr. Pink, Ph. Rappaport, and the undersigned was charged with contacting appropriate people to give lectures and give a report in the next meeting. It was further suggested to establish a birth and death register, and the board of directors requested suggestions to be presented for consultation at the next society meeting.

General Meeting, Sunday, Sept. 1, in the German-English School

Sixteen members were present, The lecture committee reported that the Messrs. Dr. Pink, Dr. Scheller, Ph. Rappaport, R. Tschentscher, Dingeldey and C. Pingpank were willing to each hold one lecture for the coming winter. Also 2 topics suitable for debates were presented. The proposal concerning the lectures was accepted, but one debate was refused. The board of directors took a stand on last meeting's proposal--nominating a committee of two who are obligated to visit sick members and to be informed about their illness. In case of death, they are to find out how the society can be of assistance to the next of kin especially since they are often helpless in such situations; also notify other society members in writing when someone has passed away and to urge them to pay their last respects in greater numbers than before.

In the case of weddings, the board of directors is not in a position to make any other suggestion than the following: if the family wishes, they may ask the board to have an official make a speech at the wedding.

Further approved, to find 2 people as administrators of the birth and death registers and to amend the constitution to that effect. Messrs. Chas. Grobe and Alex. Metzger were nominated and accepted. Meeting adjourned.

Chas. Pingpank.

General Meeting, Sunday, September 22, in the Turnhalle

The undersigned held a lecture on "Rousseau and Voltaire," and the attendance was weak due to warm weather.

Chas. Pingpank.

General Meeting, Sunday, October 6, in the Turnhalle

Entertainment evening. Attendance was good, Music and recitations were performed and those present seemed pleased.

Chas. Pingpank.

General Meeting, Sunday, October 20, in the Turnhalle

Attendance was very good as Mr. Ph. Rappaport held a lecture about "Duties and Obligations of the Freethinker" and received well deserved applause. A lively debate followed with participation primarily from non-members (M. Haller, Grumann, Braun, u.s.w.) which lasted late into the night.

Chas. Pingpank.

General Meeting, Sunday, October 27.

It was approved, with due consideration for the German Theater in the Maennerchor Hall, to hold society meetings every 3 weeks instead of every 14 days.

Chas. Pingpank.

General Meeting.

Dr. Pink held an interesting lecture about "Malarial Diseases." The audience was not large , yet it was attentive and at the end he received well deserved applause. After the meeting there was socializing.

Chas. Pingpank.

General Meeting, Sunday, January 19, in the Turnhalle.

Mr. Th. Dingeldey held a long lecture on "The Educational Aspect of Playing," and those present listened attentively from beginning to end.

Chas. Pingpank.

General Meeting, Sunday, February 9, in the Turnhalle.

This evening's free debate was on the topic "The True Democracy is the Best Form of Government." Mr. Cl. Vonnegut opened the debate and stated that, in his opinion, the monarchy is the only form of government which could guarantee the people happiness and peace to some extent. The following discussion was very lively and Messrs. H. Lieber, Chas. Koehne, R. Tschentscher, Ph. Rappaport and Graumann participated, but a unanimous result was not achieved.

Chas. Pingpank.

General Meeting, Sunday, Feb. 23, in the Turnhalle.

This evening, Dr. Scheller held a lecture on "Cremation" which was well attended and he received well deserved applause. After the lecture, the society members held their yearly meeting and Mr. Lieber, as president, began the meeting with a few fitting words. Mr. Koehne read the treasurer's report in which he stated that the society's financial standing was the same as last year. The undersigned reported on the status of the members, which at present were 41, and on the lectures held over the course of the year.

The election of the officers is as follows: Messrs. Lieber, Koehne, Rappaport, Scheller and Grobe were voted into the committee. At the conclusion, Mr. Rappaport proposed to reinstate the social entertainment, which was unanimously agreed upon.

Chas. Pingpank.

10th Annual Meeting 1879
Wednesday, March 5, Board of Directors Meeting for
the Freethinker Society

In the regular business meeting, 5 members were voted into office for the board of directors:
President: Ph.Rappaport
Vice-President: Charles Grobe
Prot. Secretary: Dr. Max Scheller
Corr. Secretary: Hermann Lieber
Treasurer: Chr. Koehne

A proposal from Mr. Rappaport was approved:
from time to time provide and distribute propaganda letters. For this purpose, 50 copies of Heinzen's "Six Letters to a Godly Man," and 200 copies from Grossmann's "The Ideal Christian God," were ordered purchased.

Further approved: from now on the meetings will meet regularly every 14 days and for the rest of the season the following program was declared:
Sunday March 9. Entertainment evening
Sunday March 23. Lecture from Mr. Tschentscher
Sunday April 6. Entertainment evening
Sunday April 21. Lecture from Miss Oppenheimer
Sunday May 4. Entertainment evening
Sunday May 18. Lecture

Meeting adjourned

Dr. Max Scheller

Friday, April 18, 1879

Board of directors of the Freethinker Society met with the members of the board of directors of the Turnverein. Mr. Koehne proposed that the lecture of Miss Oppenheimer be postponed until Sunday April 27, thus offering the delegation of the Turners, who are meeting at the same time, spiritual entertainment. Mr. Lieber approved: that in the future, if possible, the entertainment evenings as well as the lecture evenings should be held in conjunction with the Social Turnverein. They chose Mr. Rappaport of the Freethinkers and Mr. Cl. Vonnegut of the Turnverein to consult about the best manner of this arrangement. The two men are then further instructed to discuss the following suggestion and to carry it out through their contacts.

"To join the library of the Freethinker Society with that of the Turner Association, in a way that the library concerned remains property of the respective society, whereas a member belonging to one or the other society has the right to borrow books from both libraries."

It was further approved: to hold a board of directors meeting every 4 weeks, the second Tuesday of the month. Louis Küchler has been a new member since January and Albert Krull was nominated and also accepted as a new member.

One hundred copies of the book, "The Christian God" by Grossmann arrived at Mr. Koehne's and are to be distributed.

Meeting adjourned.

June 13, 1879.
Board of Directors Meeting of the Freethinker Society

Present: Rappaport, Lieber, Koehne, Grobe.

Resolved: to have a picnic at Knarzer's Farm on June 22nd, and members will be charged $1.00 for dinner and music. Grobe is charged to deliver printed invitations and to arrange for music. Mr. Rappaport read an invitation from the administrative center of the Federal meeting in Philadelphia, and upon proposal from Mr. Koehne, two delegates will be sent to the meeting and $30.00 will be allowed for their expenses. Messrs. Lieber and Rappaport were announced as the delegates.

Resolved: the suggestions of the board of directors for this matter will be submitted at the picnic.

Resolved: that those members visiting the Turner Festival in Philadelphia who want to extend their visit and be present at the Federal meeting should also be appointed delegates.

P.S. Because the June 22nd picnic met with everyone's satisfaction, the society's board of director's decisions were approved and accepted.

Dr. Scheller,

Sunday, March 14, 1880.
Annual Meeting.

The president declared that Dr. Scheller had resigned his post as protocol secretary and that it was necessary to vote for a new secretary. Mr. Pingpank was elected secretary. The president gave a report on the past year. Upon proposal from Mr. Lieber, the report is written in the minutes. It is as follows:

Dear members of the Freethinker Society:
Traditionally, at the end of the year, it is my duty as president of your society to look back on the past year and report our progress, and as best as I can, make suggestions for the future.

In the past year, as well as the year before, our society has arranged lectures on natural and social sciences and for the most part, they were held by our members. All those who were kind enough to be so accommodating to our society in this manner, I give you my sincere thanks.

The lectures which were held over the course of the year were as follows:

"Cremation" by Dr. Scheller
"Defamed Animals" by Mr. Rud. Tschentscher
"Religion in History" by Phil. Rappaport
"The Woman's Position on the Social Question" by Miss Fanni Oppenheimer
"Superstition" by Mr. Pingpank
"The Struggle of Being" by Mr. Phil. Rappaport.

We had two debates: The first was about the subject: "Is the republican government to be preferred to a monarchical constitutional one?" This debate was opened by Messrs. Vonnegut and Koehne. The debate about the question: "Are progressive income taxes an effective medium to cause a more equal distribution of earthly goods?" was opened by Messrs. Vonnegut and Rappaport.

[79, 2]
Also of noteworthy interest were the debates about the platform submitted by the Philadelphia Convention of the Radical Alliance which also turned to social science questions. At this convention, I had the honor of representing our society. Although Mr. Lieber was also voted as delegate, he was unfortunately unable to make the trip due to health problems. I had not been instructed in any matter and therefore defended to the best of my ability what I believed in. The amendments proposed by the convention were not approved, not, it seems to me, because too many people opposed but because of chance circumstances. According to the report of the national board of directors, the new platform would have been accepted and our society would have accepted the platform if not I but an opponent of the platform had been chair. You know my position on the points in question and I do not intend to elaborate on it here. All in all, we may be satisfied with our society's activities during the past year, especially since all work was done by members. I should also mention Thomas Paine's birthday celebration.

In order to continue the society's activities into the summer, we organized a picnic which was so successful that we will repeat the experiment in any case next summer.

We have had less luck with our social activities. We have been dependent upon non-members' support, which has often been very difficult to attain. And yet, we should not disregard this field of our activity. It would be highly desirable to create a mixed quartet of male quartet in the society. Mr. George Kothe has made the friendly offer of leading any such quartet, and I recommend that the new executive committee give this matter full consideration.

Freethinkers' Minutes, Part 1
Freethinkers' Minutes, Part 2
Freethinkers' Minutes, Part 3

Return to Freethinker Society of Indianapolis minutes, 1870-1890 EXAMINE page

Created: 12 June 1998, CAC
Updated: 8 February 1999, BAS