Return to Freethinker Society of Indianapolis minutes, 1870-1890 EXAMINE page
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.|
Th. Dingeldey, Secretary
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.
Th. Dingeldey, Sec.
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|
|Trustees:||Biedermeister, Grobe, Dickert, A. Kuhe.|
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.
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
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
Above proposals were accepted at the society meeting on May 1.
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
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."
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Rest in cash box||.36|
|Collections collected in first quarter||$229.25|
|Collections collected until Aug. 17||72.00|
|Collection in hands||10.00|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Vice president should nominate the executive committee|
|Protocol secretary||Carl Gauss|
|Corresponding secretary should be nominated by the executive committee.|
The treasurer's report was consigned to the committee, H. Metzger, G. Ferling and Wm. Kothe for investigation.
Wm. Kothe, secretary
resp. Charles Gauss
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.
Charles Gauss, sec.
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.
Charles Gauss, Sec.
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|
|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.--|
|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.
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.
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.
Charles Gauss, Sec.
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.
Charles Gauss, Sec.
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
This motion was not adopted, and Mr. Dingeldey will further devote his indispensable strength to the Sunday school.
Charles Gauss, Sec.
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.
Charles Gauss, Sec.
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.
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.
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.
Charles Gauss, Secretary
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.
Charles Gauss, Sec.
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.
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.
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.
Charles Gauss, Sec.
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.
Charles Gauss, Sec.
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.
Charles Gauss Sec.
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.
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.
Charles Gauss Sec.
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.
Charles Gauss, Secretary
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.
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|
|Charles Koehne||467 N. Delaware|
|Anton Blank||508 E. Market|
|Alexander Metzger||385 N.Pennsylvania|
|Charles Gauss||8 Fletcher Ave.|
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:
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.
Charles Gauss Sec.
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."
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
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:
Resolved was to schedule the next society meeting on Sunday, April 3, and to announce it in the "Telegraph" and the "Indiana German Newspaper."
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|
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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||$222.70|
|The income for the fiscal year ending today||$296.30|
|society capital total||$206.28|
The treasurer, Mr. Kothe, was discharged from the office. After this
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:
Chas. Gauss and
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.
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.
P.S. Mr. Kothe suggested Messrs. H. Baas and A. Ulrich as new members and no one was rejected.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Only President Lieber and the secretary were present. Therefore, the meeting was postponed.
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.
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.
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.
Agreed; 1) to hold the annual society meeting next Sunday, 9:30 a.m.,
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.
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
Grobe and Fred. Schulmeyer as election officials. By ballot, the
following new officials were elected:
Chris. Bopp and
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|
It was directed that this report be placed in society records.
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.
Present were all members of the newly elected board of directors. The offices of the board of directors were distributed in the following manner:
|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.
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.
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?"
Because the undersigned was prevented from coming to the debate, he put the announcement in the "Telegraph" on Monday, April 2.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Mr. Rappaport gave a lecture on "Church and State." Good attendance. Applause for the speaker.
Mr. Tschentscher held a lecture on "Proceedings During the Paris Commune, 1871," and received much applause from the large audience.
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.
Present: Lieber, Tschentscher, Bopp
Upon proposal from Mr. Lieber, it was resolved not to schedule Mr. Schütz for a lecture.
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.
The second entertainment evening. The Turnhalle was 100% full. The
program was as follows:
Recitation: Engelbach, Rappaport, Tschentscher, Grobe
Quartet: Hehsling, Bennerscheid, Licius, Emmerich
Comic Recitation: Pingpank, Mummenhof
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.
Travelling speaker H. Grossmann held a lecture on "The Moral Ideas of Mankind are the Results of the Nation." Small audience.
Mr. Rappaport held a lecture on "The Bill of Rights," which was well received by a large audience.
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.
Present were all members of the newly elected board of directors and the offices were appointed as follows:
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Entertainment evening. Attendance was very good. Music and recitations were performed in which members of Lyra and the Maennerchor participated. Everything went beautifully.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The undersigned held a lecture on "Rousseau and Voltaire," and the attendance was weak due to warm weather.
Entertainment evening. Attendance was good, Music and recitations were performed and those present seemed pleased.
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.
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.
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.
Mr. Th. Dingeldey held a long lecture on "The Educational Aspect of Playing," and those present listened attentively from beginning to end.
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.
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.
In the regular business meeting, 5 members were voted into office for the board of directors:
|Prot. Secretary:||Dr. Max Scheller|
|Corr. Secretary:||Hermann Lieber|
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|
Dr. Max Scheller
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.
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.
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.
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.
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