THRIVES ON MYSTERY AND VEGETABLES
(New York Times April 11, 1894)
First Dinner of the “V” Club Results in an Enjoyable Evening
No fish or meat, nothing but vegetables to eat, no wine or beer, nothing stringer than apollinaris to drink; no cigars to smoke — these were some of the attractions of a dinner given by the “V” Club at the St. Denis Hotel last evening. The “V” Club is a young organization, and its membership is “shrouded in mystery,” but that it is composed of merry and hospitable men and women was fully evidenced by the very pleasant gathering last evening.
The only member of the club who was at all conspicuous was the Secretary, C. A. Montgomery, who presided in the absence of the President. The Secretary said that the object of the club was to initiate reforms in social matters, but they did not believe in reform with a big R, and in long-haired cranks as reformers. They thought that many social reforms could be effected by merry and pleasant gatherings of congenial spirits.
Cremation, reform in doctors, and in the granting of death certificates, and in the abolition of capital punishment are among the objects of the club.
Among those who enjoyed the hospitality of the “V” Club, last night were Mrs. D. G. Croly, (Jennie June,) John Swinton and Mrs. Swinton, Murat Halstead, George Francis Train, Mrs. Arthur L. Smith, Vice President of the Vegetarian Society; Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Donaldson, Frank J. Donaldson, Jr., Dr. Egbert Guernsey, Miss Florence Guernsey, Mrs. Lee C. Harby, Dr. Howells, Mrs. Olivia S. hall, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Scott, the Rev. J. Reynolds, Mrs. Haryot Holt Cahoon, Fannie B. Merrill, Edward O. Lyman, and Mr. and Mrs. G. Conkling.
The guests sat at V-shaped tables, handsomely decorated with fruits and flowers and V-shaped garlands of smilax.
Celery, Olives, Radishes, Tomatoes,
Mixed vegetarian sandwiches,
Cornets, with spiced vegetables.
Cream of Asparagus, with vegetable custards.
Fried tomatoes, with spaghetti croquettes,
Braised Celery, with cream sauce and spinach patties.
Stuffed egg plant, with mushrooms and rice fritters.
New peas, English style, and fried sweet potatoes.
Artichokes, with Spring vegetables.
Bermuda potatoes, with cream parsley sauce and fried cauliflower.
Baked fresh mushrooms on toast.
Celery root salad, with mixed green salads and toasted crackers.
Cornstarch pudding, with currant jelly sauce.
Berlin pancakes, with apricot sauce.
Vanilla ice cream, with wafers, Orange salad,
Strawberries and cream,
Fruits of the season.
Mixed cakes. Chocolate, Coffee, Tea.
After the guests had done full justice to the peculiar viands set before them, Secretary Montgomery announced that he had received a number of letters from invited guests who wer unable to be present, among which was one from President and Mrs. Cleveland and another from Chauncey M. Depew. Mr. Depew’s letter read:
Chauncey M. Depew would like to investigate the “V” Club and trust his hardened digestive apparatus to its novel and probably better methods, but would be more pleased to meet the disciples of the “V” Club and test the effects of their diet upon their good fellowship. Not doubting them, but being engaged, he cannot come, and very regretfully sends this message.
It was also announced that Swami Vivekananda, the high caste Brahmin and representative of orthodox Hinduism, who was one of the marked persons at the Parliament of Religions at the Chicago World’s Fair, and who is to be the guest of Dr. Guernsey in this city, was expected to be present at the dinner to respond to the first sentiment of the evening, “Humanity,” but he had been unavoidably detained.
Mrs. Croly made a pleasant and humorous response to the sentiment, “Hygiene”; John Swinton spoke on “Economy,” Mrs. Arthur L. Smith on “Temperance,” and Murat Halstead on “Philosophy.”