SKU: AM00295 Category:


Description: The name “The Sans Souci Club” was adopted on Oct 28, 1868, and was incorporated as a Club in Oct 25, 1875. The “particular business and object of the Society” was “social, gymnastic, boating, aesthetic, musical, literary, and lawful sporting purposes.”

The two quarto (9 ½” x 7 ½”) limp-leather volumes of meeting minutes (approximately 220 pages) give an insider’s account into the workings of the Club and its various activities (approximately. We learn that the Club held regular meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month and special meetings when called by the President and five other members. During the annual meeting in October each year, they elected new officers. The detailed minutes and annual reports name members of the Club as well as document various Club proposals and decisions, including expulsions of members for not paying dues. Overall, the notes record all the improvements made to the Club, list purchases from furniture to gaming equipment, and include treasurer’s reports on resources, liabilities, receipts and reimbursements. The first entry in the first volume is a hand-written copy of the Club’s constitution and by-laws as instructed by the President of the club. The two secretaries who maintained these notes are John H. King (1871-72) and William C. Groesbeck who took over from him on Oct 14, 1872 and served as Club Secretary at least until 1885, as evidenced by the printed by-laws booklet (included with the manuscript minutes books).

Many of the entries give use a sense of the gradual growth of the Club in size, as well as, social activities. An October12, 1871 entry records the Club’s move from the Rensselaer County Bank Building to the Porter’s Building on State St. for a rent of $96.00 per year. Members made two important amendments to the Constitution in March1872 to increase the annual membership to $40 and to expel members who did not pay arrears once given notice. In June 1872, they passed a motion to charge resident members $6 dollars and non-resident members $3 to raise money to liquidate Club debts and for its repairs. In January 1874, they offered the use of their rooms to The Harmonie Society for one evening each Tuesday, from 7:30 to 9:30p.m. In August, 1875, Club President Mason explored the possibility of “securing a lot and erecting thereon a Club and Boat House.” They later secured the lot at the north-west corner of River and Market St., and decided that the budget for the construction not exceed $10,000. They also established various committees to estimate cost of furnishing. In February 1877 they discussed the propriety of giving a Ladies Reception and approved it as a Tuesday evening entertainment. In September 1877, the Club appointed a committee “to ascertain the details of a Yacht Regatta from Albany to Troy,” which they finally approved in September 1878. In December a proposal for a billiards tournament was adopted. In June 1879 they approved a social on the second evening of the Yacht Regatta at the Club House. In the following years “a portable fence” was built on the north and south side of the Club, and much attention was given to maintenance of the Club. In December1881, Club President Danchy called a meeting for “the purpose of arranging for a series of socials . . . for which [a member would pay] the sum of ten dollars into the treasury for each evening use of the Rooms and piano.” The socials were to be held on Friday evenings. These collections, we learn, were used towards repairs. The final entry on Nov 26, 1883, lists a number of proposals, both monetary and social, which were beneficial to the Club’s future.

Inserted in the book is a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation submitted from the Club to the State of New York, Rensselaer County on Oct 22, 1875.

Item #AM00295

Condition: Light scattered soil, losses to leather of spine, generally good condition and quite readable. The accompanying 1886 booklet of the Club’s by-laws is in very good condition.