« PreviousContinue »
Mrs. THOMPSON. Would my question of privilege be in order now, in reference to a printed circular?
PRESIDENT GENERAL. No, certainly not. The Chair is required to rule it out of crder; there is a motion before the house.
A MEMBER. As a resident of a western State which has nothing particular to preserve, I would like to say that the Iowa delegation is heartily in sympathy with this motion of Mrs. Fowler, of Massachusetts.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. I would like to have this proposed amendment read, so that you may understand it.
READER. I am instructed by the Chair to read to you this proposed amendment of Mrs. Fowler, which is now under discussion. "Amendment offered by Mrs. Laura W. Fowler, of Boston, Mass.: In Article VIII, Section 3, strike out the first sentence and substitute: "The local Chapters shall be entitled to retain three-fourths of the annual dues, and three-fourths of the life membership fees paid to them, respectively, for their own use.''
Mrs. KEMPSTER, of Wisconsin. Daughters of the American Revolution, I simply ask to say a few words for our northwestern State of Wisconsin, which hardly likes to be set aside as being disposed to any certain plan which Massachusetts has decided it favors. We of the West have no landmarks to preserve, or at least very few of them. We are therefore, by natural circumstances, somewhat led to the wider work of the National Society (applause] by our interest in the government of the Nation under which we live, and also in the flag which
We are led to see wherein we are related to the United States as a Nation, and our work is perhaps broadened in this respect. We have a number of branches in our own State interested in the preservation of the flag, which is not a narrow work perhaps, and in which we wish you all to be interested. It depends our ability to carry on this worksomewhat upon the amount of funds which a Chapter or a State can control, consequently we have been led to feel that we need a little larger portion of the money which the Daugliters could contribute to it as a patriotic work-our share in this work which we feel very dear to our hearts. [Applause.)
Mrs. HOLBROOK, of Massachusetts. Madam President and Daughters of the Eighth Continental Congress: This question has been approached with so much deliberation, and the way to it has been so laboriously paved, that I think it will assuredly be treated with calmness and without the heat of impulsive and unpremeditated debate. It is unfortunately true that the question concerned in this amendment has aroused more dissension than any other in the world; for nations, and corporations, and even families, have been roused to aggressive and opposing relations when they were called to confront the division of property. But surely this is not our mental attitude; this is no division of property, it is the discussion of a great and united family as to the wise and advantageous disposition of the income. Let us clear away all misunderstanding at the very outset. This is not an attempt on the part of those who favor this amendment to cripple the National Board in its usefulness. I for one believe in a generous provision for the work of this magnificent organization. [Applause.] I believe in a provision commensurate with its magnitude and its importance. But the article to which this amendment refers was framed before any one could have had a full comprehension of the phenomenal growth. The provisions which were made for a small society, the proportion of dues that was considered requisite for the work of a small society, become excessive when that society has grown to such dimensions; for no one will assert that the expense of administration increases proportionately with the membership. After a size of 10, 15 or 20,000 is reached, will any one say that every 1,000 members requires the payment of $1,000? The dues paid over to the National Board have for some years exceeded the expenses of administration by several thousand dollars; this has been passed over to the Continental Hall Fund.
(Cries of "Time! Time !'') Mrs. McCARTNEY. I beg that she be allowed to proceed.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. If there is no objection she may be allowed to proceed. I hear none.
Mrs. HOLBROOK. I am very sorry to be taking so much time. The sum passed over to the Continetal Hall Fund
is for a noble project. I wish it well, but I do think it should be provided for in some other way than by this taxation. I ask, in speaking of my loyalty to the Board, I do ask that they recognize the other side of the question. Would the heart have its faithful and normal beat if the life current were simply sent to it and not despa'ched again to the tips of the hands, thus making them strong and quick to execute? I am told that the National Board in its use of the surplus can use it more wisely than the Chapters.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. The National Board has no use of the surplus.
Mrs. HOLBROOK. That is what I have been informed; but if they were to have the use of the surplus, I believe that the Congress would find that the Chapters have a high idea of their work and the use of this surplus. What our Chapters are doing means not alone social festivites and real glory. Our own Paul Revere Chapter is now giving heed to a scheme for stimulating patriotism through the boys and girls, through the sentiments of a noble work in the public schools of Boston. I am told that Massachusetts should refrain from defending this amendment because it will give her the appearance of being penurious and grasping. To this I scorn to reply. Massachusetts if her magnificent outpouring of generosity in the recent war, if her unquestionable beneficences and philanthrophy do not speak for themselves, no words of mine can for them. [Applause.] Massachusetts never asks for charity, she always asks justice. [Applause.)
[Applause.] Ladies of the National Board, I am proud of our organization. I am profoundly loyal to the National Society. May we not ask, have we not a right to expect, that on the other hand you will give careful heed, that you will give full recognition, to our desire? To
needs? To our responsibilities? Members of the Eighth Continental Congress, this question is at last fairly before you. If you will give it your full consideration, if you will come to a free and unbiased judgment, I for one will gladly and cheerfully acquiesce in the will of the majority.
Mrs. MAXWELL, of Kentucky. I wish, as I am speaking for myself personally—I do not know if all the representatives of
my State agree with me—to say that I think $1.00 is very small for a large organization of this kind to pay annual dues. It did seem to me, when I saw the amount expended for the year, that it was large, but we must remember that when the membership of our Society increases, our expenses would naturally increase. Ther are a great many things it would seem cannot possibly consider. Of course, the State Regents can realize the amount of work that is done in the States, which is very large, and of course these National Officers have to attend to all these expenses, printing and everything of that kind, and it seems to me that our first consideration should be for the National Society, to make it one that we should be proud to belong to. [Applause.] Then again, I think that we have pledged ourselves at the beginning of our organization to build one great grand monument to our ancestors. It seems to me that a body of women nearly 30,000 strong should proceed to do that; and I think that if we decrease the annual dues we are getting off this opportunity. I agree with the member from Massachusetts that that is a very grand State and has a great many historical spots and many heroes to remember. We have a few in Kentucky. [Laughter and applause.) We have a few heroes whose memories we are striving to perpetuate, but we never dreamed of taking the $i dues that we know the National Society needs. We do this by extra work; and it seems to me that if the members are patriotic-of course they are—that they might increase their patriotic spirit by giving little extra contributions toward those particular spots. Then, very likely we may in this Congress have a little money to put aside to give to special States, and probably those States can send in their bids for this money, and we can all get a little part of it.
Mrs. WARING, of South Carolina. I propose to amend the amendment by striking out the words "three-fourths" and substituting "one-half." Seconded.
READER. Mrs. Waring, of South Carolina, submits the following amendment to the proposed amendment: “I propose to amend the amendment by striking out the words 'three-fourths' and substituting 'one-half.'"
Mrs. THOMPSON. Doesn't that go back to the original Constitution?
Mrs. WARING. The amendment as it stands reads this way: “The local Chapters shall be entitled to retain three-fourths of the annual dues and three-fourths of the life membership dues paid to them, respectively, for their own use." My amendment is that it shall read that they shall be entitled to retain three-fourths the annual dues and one-half the life membership dues paid to them.
Mrs. WHITNEY, of Michigan. I am not speaking personally, I am representing the sentiment of Michigan. We have in Michigan a few elics, a few heroes to commemorate; but we also have a rising generation to educate and instill in them a spirit of patriotism. I wish to speak for this amendment by giving an illustration of why Michigan would like to retain more than one-half. We have started a series of lectures there; our first has been by Mr. William Ellsworth, his subject being “From Lexington to Yorktown," illustrated by over 175 fine views. It was given in an auditorium of 2,000 seating capacity, and we had every child in Detroit who was studying American history at that lecture free. [Applause.) And to give you a little idea of what that lecture did for those children, I will quote a remark of a ten-year old child coming out of that building. She said, “Now I will be able to pass my examination in American history next week;" and we feel that we are doing something there with our money to assist our children. We do not in any sense wish to cripple the work here; we do not begrudge a cent; but we feel that self-preservation is the first law of nature, and Michigan wishes to raise a generation of well-educated patriots.
Mrs. GREEN. Madam President, and ladies of the Eighth Continental Congress, I have listened very attentively to all that has been said. I came here with my own ideas on this subject. I studied the four amendments very carefully, and I think there is a great deal in each one that is very good. But it seems to me that one amendment can embody and cover the entire ground. I have always been loyal to the National Society. I feel that they consider every point for the Chapters, and feel very greatly for them. On my con