International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

3rd International Vegetarian Congress 1893
Chicago, USA

From the Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester), August, 1893:

JUNE, 1893.
(Report of the deputation. from The Vegetarian. Society.)

OUR deputation left Liverpool, May 20th, after a farewell breakfast at Chapman's Restaurant, and arrived, May 29th, at New York, where they were met by Mr. Scott, President of the New York Vegetarian Society, Mr. Haviland, and Mr. Power, son-in-law of Mr. Harrison. It had not been found practicable to arrange a public meeting, but the above named and other friends joined the deputation at the Metropolitan Hotel, in an informal conference. The Rev. H. S. Clubb, from Philadelphia, came to New York, on May 30th, and returned with the deputation.

Philadelphia was reached May 31st, and the deputation were met by the Messrs. Metcalfe and Mr. Horrocks, who escorted them to the Bible Christian Church, in the parlour of which a large company was assembled to greet them. Lunch was ready, and after it had been partaken of, Mr. Clubb gave a hearty and affectionate welcome to the visitors, which was responded to by the Rev. James Clark, Mr. Ernest Clark, Mr. Axon, Mr. T. A. Hanson (London), Mr. C. Dixon (Cambridge), and Mr. E. B. Reeves (Norwich). The afternoon was devoted to a delightful excursion to Fairmount Park, the Museum, and by steamer to Wissahickon Creek. In the evening, after dinner, a small tree was planted in the church grounds as a memorial of the visit, each member of the deputation assisting, and Mrs. Axon also sharing the pleasant duty. An evening service was held in the church, when the Rev. James Clark preached on the needs and duties of the members of that church. Many offers of hospitality had to be declined for want of time. On the same evening Mr. Axon gave an address at the Presbyterian Temple, on "Peace and Vegetarianism."

Washington was reached June 1, where Miss A. F. English and Mr. Silliman had arranged a reception and meeting at the Wimodaughsis Club. The Rev. H. S. Clubb presided, and made a very spirited speech, which was followed by addresses from each of the deputation and their friends, and by a number of local Vegetarians. As a result, it was decided to form a Washington Vegetarian Society, for which there were evidently abundant and excellent materials.

The next day began our thousand miles journey by rail to Chicago, which was reached June 3. A business meeting was held on the 6th, when Miss May Yates and Mrs. C. Le Favre were appointed secretaries of the Congress, and a committee was named to prepare resolutions. This committee consisted of Rev. H. S. Clubb, Miss Dusenbury, Mr. Axon, Mrs. Stoekham, MD., and Mr. Eisenstadt. The delegates were then invited to a Reception, to be given by the Chicago friends on the following evening, which proved a great suocess. About seventy persons were present, to most of whom the delegates were introduced, and a pleasant evening was spent, music and recitations being interspersed at intervals. On the 8th, the Congress assembled for its first session. After an invocation by the Rev. James Clark, Mr. C. C. Bonney, chairman of all the Congresses, delivered an address of welcome, which was responded to by Mr. Axon. Mr. Clubb then took the chair, and after his address the following papers were read and discussed :-

  1. Vital Food, Arnold F. Hills, President of Vegetarian Federal Union, England. Read by Miss May Yates.
  2. Universal Vegetarianism, Rev. Prof. J. E. B. Mayor, President of the Vegetarian Society of England.
  3. Vegetarianism and Agriculture, Dr. M. L. Holbrook, New York City.
  4. Letter from Miss English, of Washington, to Mr. Clubb, read by Mr. C. Dixon

At the afternoon session Mr. Axon presided, and the following papers were read and discussed :-

  1. The Esthetics of Vegetarianism, the Hon. Mrs. Bruce, England.
  2. Vegetarianism in Germany, Dr. Paul Förster, Berlin.
  3. The Evolution of Vegetarianism, Dr. Rachel Swain, Indianapolis, Ind.
  4. Vegetarianism, Rev. A. T. de Learsey, D.D., Rector of Como, Miss.
  5. The Use of Starch in the Human System, Josiah Oldfleld, MA., B.C.L., Editor of The Vegetarian, London, England.
  6. Right Thought and Right Life. Mrs. M. L. Mason, ex-President of the Vegetarian Society of Chicago.
  7. Vegetarian Literature, W. E. A. Axon, of Manchester, England, Hon. Secretary of the V. S.
  8. Cutaneous Diseases and Vegetarian Practice, Dr. Purdon, Belfast, Ireland.

Mrs. Richardson, the daughter of the famous Prof. Agassiz, presided at the evening session, and called upon Sidhn Ram and Lala Jinda Ram, Hindoos from the Punjab, to address the meeting. The following papers were read and discussed :-

  1. The Highest Aspect of Vegetarianism, Edward Maitland, England. Read by Miss Johnson.
  2. Vegetarianism v. Meat Eating, Dr. S. W. Dodds, Dean of Hygienic College of Medicine and Surgery, St. Louis.
  3. Vegetarianism the Final Solution of the Drink Question, Miss May Yates, Hon. Secretary of the Bread and Food Reform Leagne, and Organising Secretary of the London Vegetarian Society.
  4. The Food of the Orient, Mrs. Alice B. Stockham, M.D., author of Tokology, Chicago.
  5. Athletics and Aliments, J. P. Wihorg, President of Chicago Vegetarian Society.
  6. Faithist Views on Diet, Dr. Wicksell, Boston, Mass.
  7. Flesh as a Stimulus to the Passions, Sarah L. Hard, M.D., New York City.

On Friday, June 9, the morning session was opened by an address from the chairman, the Rev. James Clark. The report of the Committee on Resolutions was presented by the Rev. H. S. Clubb, and adopted. The following papers were read and a lively discussion ensued :-

  1. Some Popular Fallacies in Discussions on Vegetarianism, H. Louisa Exton, M.D., Clinton, N.J.
  2. Rational Selection of Food, Rev. Louis Paroli, of the Catholic Mission, New Orleans, La.
  3. Food Reform in New South Wales, W. D. Campbell, President Vegetarian Society of N. S. W., Sidney.
  4. Vegetarianism the Basis of all Reform, Mrs. E. M. Bingham, M.D., Springfield, Mass.
  5. Figs v. Pigs, Rev. Madison Allen, California.
  6. Vegetarianism and Progress, Rev. MT. P. Alcott, Indianapolis, lnd.

At the afternoon session Mrs. Stockham, M.D., took the chair, and the following papers were read and discussed :-

  1. The Food of the Future, C. W. Forward, Editor of Hygienic Review.
  2. Man's Natural Food the Produce of the Field and Garden, J. S. Herron, Hon. Secretary of the Irish Vegetarian Union, Belfast, Ireland.
  3. Dietetic Cure, Mrs. C. H. Wallace, London, England.
  4. Vegetarianism and Humanity, Rev. F. W. Bruce, Liverpool, England.
  5. Vegetarianism for Convalescents, Dr. James H. Jackson, Sanitarium, Danville, N.Y.
  6. Vegetarianism Pure and Simple, Miss A. Stanford, Pasadina, Cal.
  7. Animal Products and Condiments, J. G. Stair, M.D., St. Joseph, Mo.
  8. Fruit Culture, Edmund J. Baillie, Chester, England.

Miss Mitchell sang two songs, one or them being Miss Julia Ward Howe's famous "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The evening session was presided over by Dr. J. H. Kellogg, who, instead of the paper announced from him, gave an important address on "Vegetarianism and Surgery." The papers read and discussed were :-

  1. Food in Relation to Health, Juliet H. Severance, Chicago.
  2. Food in Relation to Spiritual Development, Rev. S. J. David, Minneapolis,
  3. Realizing the Ideal, Miss Adelaide Johnson, Washington, D. C., taken as read.
  4. The Welfare of the Masses as Promoted by Vegetarian Customs, James Arbuckle, Sr., formerly Secretary of the V. S., of Glasgow, Scotland.
  5. Health and Beauty, Mrs. Le Favre, Chicago, First President of the Chicago and New York Vegetarian Societies.
  6. The Proper Aliment of Man, Emery F. Boyd, New Britain, Conn.
  7. Vegetarian Ethics, Drs. Martha and J. H. Neff, Fort Wayne, Ind.

The attendance varied, but was always good, and the interest was maintained to the close, which was regretfully arrived at, by all the friends.

On June 8 Mr. and Mrs. Axon were invited to an informal reception, by the "coloured" people of Chicago, and were accompanied by Mr. E. C. Clark, to an interesting gathering of clergymen, lawyers, doctors, authors, &c., all of the negro race. After addresses from Hon. Fred Douglass and others, Mr. Axon was called upon to respond, and incidentally showed how Vegetarianism

might help in mitigating social prejudice. On June 9 Mr. Axon was invited to address a large meeting of the Chicago Stenographic Society, and took occasion to point out the interesting connection between Vegetarianism and shorthand and pay a warm tribute of respect to Mr. Isaac Pitman, a Vegetarian of more than half a century, and the "Grand Old Man" of the stenographic world.

On the Saturday a reception was given at the Chicago Exhibition, to inaugurate the exhibit of the Vegetarian Federal Union.

Mr. and Mrs. Axon visited the Sanitarium, Battle Creek, Michigan, and Mr. Axon lectured there, June 12, on "Milton and Shelley as Vegetarian Poets," and on June 14 gave an address at Lake Gognac, on "The Tendencies of Vegetarianism."

A public meeting was held in New York on June 16, when addresses were given by Dr. M. L. Holbrook, Miss Fuller, Mr. Scott, and others, and on the English side by Mr. Dixon, Mr. Hanson, the Rev. James Clark, and Mr. E. O. Clark.

In addition to these formal meetings and discussions a large amount of interest was excited throughout the whole of the journey, both on the steamers and in the trains by the presence of the deputation, and much conversation ensued; and it is believed much seed was sown which will bear fruit in the future. The zeal of Mr. Dixon, of Cambridge, was especially conspicuous at all times, and the members of the deputation did not fail to follow up his pioneer work.

The deputation in concluding their report desire to pay a well-earned meed of praise to the excellent services rendered by Miss Yates, whose zeal and tact in overcoming the great difficulties of arranging the Congress in the short time allowed to her were recognised on all hands. It is also a pleasant duty to mention the kindness of the friends alike in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and Chicago - a kindness that will ever be remembered.

The World's Vegetarian Congress, which was the main aim of the journey of the deputation, was successful beyond any previous gathering of the kind, the attendance was good, the interest deep and continuous, and the papers were, on the whole, of the highest value and importance. The Chicago Congress will, we hope and believe, form the starting point for an earnest and active forward movement, and lead to a wide diffusion of Vegetarianism alike in the Old and in the New world.