She threw her energies into widening the club horizon.
“Don't tie too many nots
in your constitution!”
she would say to a young club; and then she would tell how Florence Nightingale cut the Gordian knots of red tape in the Crimea.
Did the constitution enforce such and such limits?
Ah! but committees were not thus limited; let a committee be appointed, to do what the club could not!
(This was what the Doctor
called “whipping the devil round the stump!” )
Many and many a reform had its beginning in one of those quiet Park Street rooms of the “N. E. W. C.”
“When I want anything in Boston
remedied,” said Edward Everett Hale
, “I go down to the New England
When the General Federation of Women's Clubs was formed in 1892, our mother served on the board of directors for four years, and was then made an honorary vice-president.
She was also president of the Massachusetts State Federation
from 1893 to 1898, and thereafter honorary president
once said to her, “Mrs. Howe
, I consider you eminently clubable” ; and he added that he himself was not. He told us why, when he adopted the title of “Autocrat of the breakfast-table.”
The most brilliant of talkers, he did not care to listen, as a good club member must.
Now, she too loved talking, but perhaps she loved listening even more.
No one who knew her in her later years can forget how intently she listened, how joyously she received information of any and every kind.
She never was tired; she always