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The February meeting of the Louisiana Historical Society took place in the Cabildo, on the evening of Wednesday the 24th, 1915. There was a good attendance of members with the president in the chair and the secretary at the desk.
The reading of the minutes of the previous meeting was dispensed with.
Mr. T. P. Thompson, chairman of the committee appointed to convey the thanks of the society to the various generous contributors of service or other donations to the Centennial celebration of the Battle of New Orleans, introduced the following resolution, which was duly seconded and passed :
WHEREAS: The ceremonies commemorative of the Battle of New Orleans and of the hundred years of peace with England which began with the end of that battle, held in this city on January 8. 9 and 10, 1915, under the auspices of the Louisiana Historical Society, was pronounced by all to be the most elaborate and correct historically of any similar event in the history of the State; and
WHEREAS, So many in New Orleans and elsewhere contributed to the success of the event; therefore be it
Resolved by the Louisiana Historical Society, that the thanks of the society and through the society the thanks of the people of the State of Louisiana be, and are hereby extended to all those who assisted in the great celebration, and that as a slight acknowledgment of the debt we owe them, this resolution be published in the newspapers of New Orleans, it being impossible to particularize by name, owing to the very many who would have to be mentioned if that course were followed.
Mr. Thompson read a letter from the Hon. A. J. Peters, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, thanking the society for the delightful hospitality extended to him and his wife on their recent visit attending the celebration, and enclosing a letter from the President of the United States thank
ing the society for the medal sent him, and congratulating the society on the success of their celebration.
W. 0. Hart, Esq., followed with the reading of a note from Mrs. Louise 0. Trudeau, presenting to the society the commission of A. D. Trudeau as Justice of the Peace for the Parish of St. James, dated August, 1811, and signed by Governor Claiborne.
The following were elected members of the society : Miss Alice Magee, Dr. Robert Sharp, Mrs. Philip Werlein, Mrs. L. A. Tassin, Mrs. I. G. Clark, 808 Broadway; Mr. and Mrs. Royden Douglas, 7825 Elm street. Mr. Hart spoke of the approaching meeting of the Mississippi Valley Historical Society in New Orleans, and he moved that the Louisiana Historical Society appropriate $75 to be used on that occasion. The motion was carried.
The president of the society, in a few felicitous words, then presented the Hon. Charles F. Buck, who had kindly consented to give the paper of the evening, one that, as Mr. Cusachs said, no one in the city was so well qualified as he to present, on "Chess and Chess Players of New Orleans."
After a few introductory remarks on the origin and history of the game of chess, Mr. Buck discarded his notes and spoke from his own rich personal reminiscences of chess in New Orleans, and of the founding of the Chess Club of New Orleans; of the famous Paul Morphy, and of the many celebrated players who had in times past been its guests, dwelling on the celebrated champions that Paul Morphy had met and defeated, imparting to his audience many a rare bit of information and detail concerning his subject, giving as the president of the society had said, what no one in the city could give so well as he. In the pleasant informal discussion that followed, Mr. Buck answered many questions with urbane generosity and gave the explanations asked as to the particular excellence in chess that Morphy had displayed to win the title of the “Flawless Player."
Mr. Buck was voted the hearty thanks of the society for his most interesting and instructive discourse, furnishing an evening of rare profit and entertainment. He received also many personal compliments and thanks for his contribution.
The meeting adjourned, on motion.
The Louisiana Historical Society met on Wednesday evening, March 17, 1915, in the Cabildo. President Cusachs being absent, Vice President Dymond replaced him. The attendance was unusually large; the hall being filled to overflowing.
After the reading of the minutes by the secretary, Mr. W. 0. Hart, chairman of the Membership Committee, presented the following names for election:
Messrs. Dudley Avery, H. A. S. Backer, Charles P. Hard, André C. Duval, Mrs. R. G. Bush, Miss Mary J. Richey, and Miss Evelina 0. Kean.
All were duly elected. Mr. Hart commenting on the large audience before him, made the suggestion that those present who were not members of the society should join it, and thus strengthen and enlarge its powers of usefulness in the community.
Mr. Wm. Beer, chairman of the committee for the reception of the Mississippi Valley Historical Society, shortly to meet in the city, reported that a program of exercises and entertainment had been adopted and that the arrangements thereto were progressing favorably.
In behalf of Mr. E. T. Merrick, who could not be present, Mr. Hart presented to the society a handsome and massive plaque, framing a shield bearing the seal of the Seventh Regiment of United States Infantry, the famous regiment that had taken part in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, and also in the celebration of the Centennial of the Battle in 1915. Mr. Hart gave a short account of the life and services of the regiment. The vice president accepted the present for the society, with many expressions of appreciation. A moton was proposed and passed thanking the donor for the very significant and handsome gift.
Mr. Hart also presented to the society a handsome bronze medal, replica of the original Andrew Jackson medal voted by Congress on the occasion of the victory at Chalmette. The medal was sent through Captain J. B. Allison by the Department of the Mint at Washington.
Mrs. Wm. Preston Johnston, in the name of Mrs. Ann Lewis, made the donation to the society of the portrait of Midshipman Wm. P. Canby, one of the seven men killed in the naval engagement on Lake Borgne between the United States and the British flotilla, December 14, 1814.
Midshipman Canby's grave lies in the old St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Its stone bears the following inscription:
“Sacred to the memory of William P. Canby, midshipman of the United States Navy, born (Norfolk, Va.) August 30, 1796, who fell in the unequal contest between the United States gunboat squadron and the British flotilla, near New Orleans, December 14, 1814.”
Mrs. Johnston said that at this remote day very little data was procurable concerning the life and services of Mr. Canby. The portrait was painted by the brotherin-law of Mr. Canby, a Polish gentleman and an amateur artist. It came by inheritance to his niece, Mrs. Lloyd Lewis, and at her death to Mrs. Ann Lewis, to whom the society was indebted for the interesting gift. Mrs. Johnston was thanked by a vote from the society.
In most complimentary terms Mr. Dymond then introduced to the audience "one who he said required no intro
duction to an audience in New Orleans," Mr. George W. Cable, the famous writer.
Mr. Cable in a few remarks replete with expressions of affection and sentimental attachment to his native city, which he said had been his home during the precious years of childhood and youth, in whose public schools he had received his education, and among whose men and women he had gained his first friends and where he had also sought and found inspiration for his work. He then read a paper from an unpublished manuscript, “The Maple Leaf,” a thrilling episode of the war (the newspaper account of which is subjoined).
Times-Picayune, March 18, 1915. "George W. Cable, noted author, whose stories of New Orleans are known throughout the world, entertained the Louisiana Historical Society Wednesday night with the reading of an unpublished story of the civil war, “The Maple Leaf.” The attendance was the largest the society has enjoyed at a regular meeting in several years, the big meeting room of the Cabildo being crowded to capacity. The rendition of the author delighted the audience, and was applauded enthusiastically.
"The Maple Leaf" is the story of seventy-one heroes, of whom several were Louisianians, and a few Orleanians. It grew out of a letter received by the author immediately following publication of "The Cavalier.” The writer of the letter suggested that Mr. Cable write an artillery story. Correspondence led to a meeting, at which Mr. Cable secured the material for “The Maple Leaf.” For fifteen years he made no use of the material, until last summer, when he wrote the story. Then the European war broke out, and the possible market for the narrative was destroyed. So the author pigeonholed it. : “But a few days ago, when the Louisiana Historical Society invited me to read a paper, I recalled this story, and thought it would fit in, so I wrote and had it sent to me,” Mr. Cable said.
The story deals with the adventures of Morse, Nelson, Fuller, Semmes, McGowan, Holmes and Fusilier, heroes 'vho led a band of seventy-one captives in an escape from