Home | Quotations | Newspaper Articles | Special Features | Links | Search

The New York Times, May 11, 1907

Century Theatre Club, After Its President Adjourns Session, Reconvenes.
So Everybody Agrees to Forget the Actor's Fair Incident -- Office Made for Mrs. Rosenfeld.

The Century Theatre Club held its annual election yesterday afternoon, confessed its sins, and received absolution. The summary treatment of Mark Twain by its President, Mrs. Sidney Rosenfeld, is a thing of the past. The club is now prepared to live happily with Mrs. Rosenfeld as Past Honorary President.

Since Mrs. Edith Ellis Baker, Chairman of the Actors' Fund Fair Committee of the Century Theatre Club, invited Mark Twain to be the feature of the Century Club's booth at the fair, only to have him request to stay away by the President because he did not share her reverence for Christian Science, the Century Club's feelings have been in a soda water state of effervescence.

The situation was saved by the Players' Club, which, with great joy and gladness, took the venerable humorist to its booth, while the Century Club begged pardon for its President, as well as it could, and the President stayed at home from the fair and matters were as little complicated as possible.

It should also be noted that Mr. Clemens appeared at the Century Theatre Club's booth at the fair yesterday, doing his share in burying the hatchet.

But the election, which was scheduled for yesterday, with Mrs. Rosenfeld's name up for President, was looked forward to with much interest. Club members said they could not possibly elect Mrs. Rosenfeld to office again, and it was rumored that word came from the Rosenfeld household that Mrs. Rosenfeld would not think of resigning.

Pouring rain did not keep the members away from the meeting. They were out in full force, and Mrs. Rosenfeld, as President, opened the session with a statement of her side of the matter. It was an executive meeting, only members being admitted, but, according to the statement given out at the end, Mrs. Rosenfeld said something like this:

"Members and Dear Friends: I wish to ask your pardon for the stand I have seemed to take I this unfortunate affair. Christian Science is my religion. I must stand up for it, and I should do again anything that might be necessary to uphold it. But I have intended to act only as a private individual, and in seeming to act for the club I have been in the wrong.

"I love every member of the club and I feel that they love me, but I cannot again accept the office of President; I would not wish to do so unless I was unanimously elected, and so I withdraw my name from the ticket.

"I would propose that this meeting be adjourned and the election be postponed until Fall."

Mrs. Rosenfeld had been much affected in speaking, and in the excitement which followed the close of her remarks someone called from the floor:

"I second the motion."

"All in favor will please say 'Yea'; opposed, 'Nay' -- it is a vote," said the President. Stepping then from the platform, she moved out of the door and was gone before any one knew that she had left the meeting.

Mrs. Grace Gaylor Clarke, who plays the role of Mother in "The Rose of the Rancho," at once arose and exclaimed:

"Ladies, this is unconstitutional. We must remain in the name of justice, if not as members of the club."

Mrs. John Livingston Niver, First Vice President, then took the floor, while the wondering club was catching its breath, and said:

"Why, we can't adjourn in this way, because it isn't parliamentary. The President's suggestion was not a motion, and anyway there were more nays than yeas."

"It will be constitutional to reconvene the meeting," said Philip Dillon, so the meeting began once more.

There followed the reading of the Actors Fund Fair reports by Mrs. Baker, with the correspondence concerning the Mark Twain affair. She was frequently applauded.

A final letter from Mr. Clemens himself was read to close the incident, a communication benign and kindly in tone, in which the humorist declared he harbored not one whit of ill-feeling toward anybody.

Mrs. Henry W. Hart of Brooklyn, who has been in no way connected with the fair trouble, finally proved acceptable to all sides, and she was nominated and elected as President, after several women had declined the nomination.

An amendment to the Constitution was made providing for the office of Past Honorary President, and Mrs. Rosenfeld was elected to fill it as a "tribute to her splendid ability and untiring work for the club."

"We were perfectly satisfied with the outcome of the meeting," said one member. "We are all very fond of Mrs. Rosenfeld and we were glad to have her remain in the club. I don't think she could have been elected President after what had happened, not because we think less of her, but we should not like to have anything like this affair with Mark Twain happened again."

Return to The New York Times index

Quotations | Newspaper Articles | Special Features | Links | Search