The New York Times
April 22, 1906
CALIFORNIA'S WOMEN HERE ARE GOING TO AID
Will Give a Progressive Euchre and a Benefit by Amateurs.
TWAIN PRESIDES AT MEETING
It Sends a Telegram to San Francisco Saying "We Are with You" - Many Offer Aid.
The rooms of the California Club, at the Waldorf, Astoria, are to be the headquarters for relief work on behalf of San Francisco by many leading women of New York. They are to act under the lead of a committee consisting of Mrs. Thomas Vivian, President of the club; Miss Blanche Bates and her mother, and Miss Margaret Anglin. The committee will receive and forward clothing, money, and food.
A progressive euchre party will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria on Friday night, under the management of Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt, Mrs. E. H. Harriman, Mrs. Hermann Oelrichs, Mrs. Charles B. Alexander, Mrs. Collis P. Huntington, and Mrs. Ogden Mills.
In the near future, also, Mrs. Benjamin Wood of 440 West End Avenue, who has a home in California, and whose husband lost $1,000,000 in the disaster, will give a benefit performance at her home here. Amateur performers who formerly lived in San Francisco will participate. Mrs. Margaret Anglin is arranging for the affair. The proceeds, of course, will go to San Francisco.
The programme was arranged at a meeting of sympathy at the Casino yesterday afternoon. It was held under the auspices of Mrs. Vanderbilt and Mrs. Oelrichs, and was attended by many women and men in New York society. Mark Twain presided.
Message of Confidence.
This message was sent to the San Franciscans, as voicing the sentiments of the gathering:
"San Francisco shall rise more beautiful than ever. We glory in the bravery of her citizens and have unbounded belief in their ability and determination to sustain this great catastrophe. The spirit of your fathers still lives in their children, and their children's children. The general and spontaneous aid of the whole country is with you."
The telegram was indorsed with cheers.
"Before you give your cheers for the Californians," interrupted Mr. Clemens, walking to the front of the stage and raising his hands, "I hope you'll include the doctors who have done such noble service in the afflicted district. I don't like doctors on general principles, but those men out there have done some great work. Put the firemen and the soldiers in, too."
The cheers were given with a will.
The meeting, which was largely composed of women, was not without dramatic features. While Mr. Clemens was explaining the destruction and suffering that had ensued, a man in the front row groaned and then fell back in a faint in his seat. A dozen women ran to him with restoratives and he soon recovered.
Joseph D. Redding, a former California lawyer, who was introduced by Mr. Clemens, remarked that it was a great pity that private telegrams were not being received from the scene of the disaster.
"I know of only four or five that have reached New York," he said.
Immediately a dozen persons jumped up shouting: "We have news."
"Thank God for that!" exclaimed Mr. Redding. "Has anybody a telegram dated today?"
"Yes, I have," replied a woman who said she was Mrs. Prescott, "I have one this morning, which says: 'We are poor, but safe and hopeful.' "
Another which was read said: "Safe and not discouraged."
Both telegrams were received with applause. Mr. Clemens opened the meeting by introducing Henry Miller, the actor, who said the sympathies of all the theatrical people were with California. He announced that a monster benefit was being arranged to be held at the Casino next Sunday night, and that Miss Anglin, DeWolf Hooper, Mrs. Fiske, Arnold Daly, Harry Woodruff, and others had volunteered their services.
Mr. Clemens then explained the object of the meeting.
"We must not let our minds dwell upon the dead," he said.
" 'After life's fitful fever they rest well.'
"Our sorrows and our sympathies are for the living, suffering thousands. The last time I saw San Francisco was thirty-eight years ago. It was then my home. It is your home, too, and every sentiment endears it to us. Forty-eight hours ago I pledged myself not to speak to any audience that paid to get in. However, you didn't pay to get in here; you're going to pay to get out. [Laughter.] This earthquake and fire transcends anything in human history, ancient or modern, but the same energy that built San Francisco in fifty years to be destroyed in a day, will build it again. Everybody is in a mood to contribute, from the hands of poverty up to those of the millionaire. But it is the poor man that gives most.
"The Salvation Army is the best means I know of to do this work. They are of the poor, and they know how to reach the poor. I have seen their work all over the world - always good. [Applause.]
"Food can and will be carried to the sufferers at once. What they need is covering. We want a committee of women to go to the mayor and say:
" 'Give us some of this money that has been subscribed, and we will buy clothes and bedding for the people who have none, and do it now.' " The committee headed by Mrs. Vivian was then appointed.
Going There to Help.
Just after the committee had been named a young woman arose in the audience and said:
"I am the daughter of the man who made the seal of California in 1840. He died last January. His widow, Mrs. Eudita Kuhner, is in San Francisco now. I was about to go to Europe but instead I shall go to San Francisco."
E. Peixotto, the artist and a former Californian, made a plea for the young art students of California. Other please were made for actors and musicians.
Mr. Clemens spoke again, saying that he interpreted the President's announcement about foreign contributions t o mean that foreign Governments and not individuals should refrain from contributions.
"There's one thing about blood and bone," he added, "and that is that it's common - made of the same clay."
Homer Davenport, the cartoonist, said he wanted to give something.
"I used to live on the Pacific Coast and I would like to contribute but I haven't any money. I would like to offer 1,000 of my original drawings to be sold for the benefit of the suffering."
His offer was applauded.
No Doubt of Help.
Joseph Redding said there could be no doubt that Californians in New York would contribute handsomely.
"I have read somewhere in history," he declared, "of Caesar's entrance into Alexandria in Egypt. He asked the inhabitants where they came from.
" 'We are Athenians,' they replied.
"They had lived in Egypt for thirty years. So I say about Californians, 'Once a Californian always a Californian.' "
This telegram has been received by E. J. McGanney, President of the California Society, in response to a message offering aid:
E. J. McGanney, 3 Broad Street, city:
Many thanks. Help is coming from many quarters. Calamity is so great that all possible aid is welcomed.
GEORGE C. PARDEE
It was agreed before the meeting closed that another should be held in the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria at 4 o'clock tomorrow afternoon.