Harman Literary Society

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Obit Sep 1957.jpg

Mrs. Howard G. Watson, formerly Helen Fooks Wright, of the class of 1903, died on May 31, 1957.  She was the principal of a high school in Perryville, MD, and the mother of one.  She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and of Pi Beta Phi, along with the Harmon Literary Society, the Navy League, and the Women's College Club of Cecil County, MD.  She was a also a former president of the Retired Teachers of Marylnd.  Miss Ruth E.

Date: September 1957
Activities of the Harman Literary Society, 1919

The activities of Harman Literary Society are in full swing.  Interesting plans for the year have been worked out by the Program Committee with the help of the President of the Society and Mrs. Meredith, Dean of Women.

Date: October 10, 1919
Historical Sketch of the Harman Literary Society

Shortly after college opened in the fall of '96, Dickinson women began to consider how they might obtain the training, which is best furnished by active work in a Literary Society.  After consulting with the President, they met October 21, to formally consider the question, with sixteen present.  After effecting a temporary organization, a committee on constitution was appointed.  It was then suggested that the society be named in honor of Dr. Harman.  On November 18, 1896, the constitution, together with the name was formally adopted.

Date: October 3, 1919
Harman Society History

On October 3, 1919 The Dickinsonian published an article comparing the histories of Dickinson's three literary societies, one of them being the Harman Literary Society, which was created as an all female group in 1896. The organization was open to all interested women, and at the time, was highly praised by the Dean of Women, Mrs. Meredith. 

Date: October 3, 1919
The Onion

In an article published in The Onion (an alternative paper published by the Sophomore Band), the author refers to female Dickinsonians as "Lloyd Hall Skirts." He goes on to desribe a female student being tricked by a male student.

Date: 1909
The Onion

The Sophomore Band's publication The Onion mocks the Harman Literary Society's publication in 1908. According to the Sophomore Band, the Salmagundi is becoming a rival of The Onion. The writer goes on and congratulates the Harman Literary Society on mock articles he claims were in their paper.

Date: 1908
Harman Literary Society Minutes September 29, 1900

After three years of being dormant, the Harman Literary Society was revived once again in the 1900s. In the Harman Literary Society Minutes, it documents the beginning of the society again in September 1900. The minutes list Josephine Brunyate (Meredith) as being the President of the organization, Ethelyn Hardesty as Vice-President, Helen Schaeffer as Secretary and Georgia Cranston as Treasurer. The society decided to meet every week at ten o'clock on a Saturday morning in Denny Hall.

Date: September 29, 1900
Limerick on Harman Literary Society

Cornelia B. White (Class of 1907), writes a limerick for The Salmagundi, a literary publication by the Harman Literary Society. The limerick is of, but what else, the Harman Literary Society. She praises how the society is "composed of some twenty maids charmin'...their knowledge was something alarmin'."

Date: May 1904
debate.jpg

The Inter-Society Debate took place on March 9, 1922 between the Harman Society (a female society created in 1896) and the McIntyre Society (also for women, founded in 1921- It appears to have only been active in 1921) at Bosler Hall. It discussed the enactment of a constitutional amendment for the protection of women against political, legal or civil discrimination due to their sex. Margaret Eslinger (this document came from her personal scrapbook of her Dickinson years) assisted Kathryn Smith '24 on the negative side of the argument.

Date: March 9, 1922
"Cause and Effect"

The 1909 Microcosm published a humorous piece, the "Debate on Co-Education: Spirited Riot in Harman Literary Meeting." This piece is about a debate amongst the ladies of the Harman Literary Society on whether co-education is better for women or if it is better for women to study at an all-girl's institution.

Date: 1909