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the botanist, Dr. C. Hart Merriam, and William H. Dall, zoologists, and Dr. B. E. Fernow, the leading forestry expert of the country, Prof. A. Graham Bell, one of the inventors of the telephone, Dr. E. M. Gallaudet, the instructor of deaf-mutes, A. R. Spofford, the librarian, and scores of others notable for excellence in some department of learning, are usually to be seen in the club rooms. The clubhouse, which stands on the corner of H Street and Madison Place, overlooking Lafayette Park, is a mansion of historic fame. In its spacious drawingrooms the lovely Dolly Madison once held her Republican court. Here also dwelt the heroic Admiral Wilkes. Since the club bought it a large assembly hall has been added, which is used for the monthly business meetings of the club, and is also given, rent free, to the meetings of the biological, philosophical, and other scientific societies of the city. During the social season the Cosmos gives loan exhibitions, at one time of Japanese curios, again of Navajo blankets, a third of architectural plans and drawings, etc., to which admission may be had by securing cards from members. There is also once a year a general art exhibition, in which not alone professional but advanced students in the art schools are asked to participate.
There is a pleasant group of literary workers at the capital. Hon. George Bancroft, the Nestor of American historical writers, Henry Adams, George Kennan, Charles Nordhoff, Messrs. Hay and Nicolay, who are writing here their great work, “ The Life of Abraham Lincoln," Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett, who has a charming home on Seventeenth Street, Mrs. Admiral Dahlgren, Worthington C. Ford, the writer on statistics and political economy, who is now engaged in editing the letters of Washington, and others. The literary life of the town centres in the Literary Society, an organization limited to forty persons, and which meets fortnightly during the season, at the homes of its members. On these occasions an original paper or translation by some member is read, there is music and social intercourse, and a simple collation is served. The membership is composed of twenty-five literary members, ten artists, and five musicians. A lady member is privileged to invite an escort, a gentleman to bring his wife, and the hostess may invite as many guests as her parlors will accommodate.
The fine arts cannot be said to have obtained a foothold as yet in the capital. There are artists and art schools of local celebrity, but none of national fame. The Corcoran Gallery is a museum of art. There should be in connection with it, as its founder designed and, as its trustees hope soon to institute, an academy of the fine arts, to become the centre of an artist colony, which all public-spirited citizens would like to see formed at the national capital. Nor has music that development here which has been attained in New York, Boston, Cincinnati, and other capitals.
1789-1797 1797-1801 1801-1809 1809-1817 1817-1825 1825-1829 1829-1837
1837-1841 1841 ; died April, 1841
1845-1849 1849 ; died, 1850
1857-1861 · 1861 ; killed, 1865
1877-1881 1881 ; killed, 1881
1881-1885 1885–1889 1889