1895 : The First Associate Members

In 1895 the Historical Society of Delaware allowed women to join as associate members. As associate members these women had to be nominated and then voted into the society. On May 20, 1895 Miss Helen J. Garrett (whose father was Delaware abolitionist Thomas Garrett) was nominated for membership into the society. At the following meeting, held on June 17th, Miss Helen J. Garrett was unanimously elected for associate membership. The minute book from the meeting notes Miss Garrett as the “first” female associate member next to the record of her election.

This is an example of what associate members of the Historical Society of Delaware received.
This is an example of the letter associate members received upon membership.

Following the successful election of Miss Garrett additional women joined the Historical Society of Delaware as associate members throughout 1895. At the September 16th meeting additional women, who had been nominated at the June meeting, were also unanimously elected as associate members. Eleven women became associate members in September.

Associate members, the only membership option to women, had the following privileges: paid $1 yearly in dues, had an open invitation to attending all meetings, and they received some of the publications of society. Active membership was only open to men. The men paid $5 in yearly dues, could hold office, vote in the meetings, and were welcome to attend all meetings.

Throughout 1895 additional women became associate members at the Historical Society of Delaware. Three women joined the society in October and November, and an additional six women were elected members at the December 16th meeting. Altogether twenty-one women became associate members of the Historical Society of Delaware in 1895.


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