Anacreontic Society of Baltimore, Minute Book, 1820-1826, MS 1793



Anacreontic Society of Baltimore Minute Book, 1820-1826
Maryland Historical Society

(Text converted and initial EAD tagging provided by Apex Data Services, March 1999.)

Anacreontic Society of Baltimore Minute Book, 1820-1826
Maryland Historical Society


Contact Information:
Special Collections
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
[email protected]


Descriptive Summary

Anacreontic Society of Baltimore,
Minute Book, 1820-1826

MS 1793

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674


Scope and Content

The book, 7 ½ x 4 inches contains 85 pages of Minutes, 1823-1826, Constitution, Oct. 1823, list of members and honorary members attending nights, 1823/1824, statement of funds to April 1824. Entries are few after 1824.

There is also a brief history dated 13 March 1820 of the Anacreontic Society (called The Harmonists). The history contains a list of members (1820-1824) and a list of 68 glees and catches sung.

The Society was reorganized in 1821 and called the Anacreontick Society of Baltimore. Members for the first to the eighth seasons are given. The 6th season is dated 1824, suggesting an earlier existence of the Society.

Biographical Note

The Anacreontic Society of Baltimore, as recorded in this volume existed from 1820 until about 1827 (though the ending date is conjectural.).

The constitution of October 1823 (when the Society was recommenced) allowed fifty-five members, and the dues were $10 each. Since the members of the Society were private gentlemen of various professions and walks in life, many prominent Baltimoreans took part in the Society's activities.

The volume notes that there was an Anacreontic Society of Baltimore formed in 1820 under the presidency of Edward J. Coale, and that it was later reconstituted in October 23.

An advertisement of a meeting of the Anacreontic Society was announced in the Baltimore American of October 2, 1807, with the name of Secretary, John H. Hoskyns. In the Baltimore Directory of 1810 MR. Hoskyns has an address in Green Street.

There is no connection with the later societies as far as is known.

Further biographical details will be found under Guide to related materials.


Processed by: P.W. Filby

Date: February 1970


The records of the Anacreontic Society of Baltimore were donated to the Maryland Historical Society by Edward G. Howard of 1308 Bolton St., Baltimore, Maryland in January 1970.


Mr. Howard purchased the volume from Lowdermilk's of Washington, D.C. c. 1960 for $35.00. The volume was appraised for IRS purposes in February 1970, for $200.


All property rights belong to the Maryland Historical Society.


Accession number: 62742 1 vol.


Ms. number: 1793

Guide to Related Materials

Two pieces of sheet music commemorate the Anacreontic Society: O swiftly glides the bonny boat... as sung at the Anacreontic Society, Baltimore... by John Pattison, Esqr. Baltimore, John Cole, Copyright, May 4, 1822. Oh 'tis love, sung by Mr. Pearman at the Theatre's (sic) and the Baltimore Anacreontic Society... by G.W. Reeve. Baltimore. G. Willig. (c.1825).

John Pattison was a member of the Society.


From Maryland Historical Magazine, XVII, 144n.

The Anacreontic Society is an association of private gentlemen of various professions and walks in life, who being fond of music, had met for a few years at the house of Mr. Clifton, a teacher of music (his real name is Corri, son of the celebrated Corri of London, who in consequence of the infidelity of his wife, the present Lady Hawke, of notorious character, left his native country for America, and changed his name). Many of the amateurs and others, not liking the manner in which Mr. [UNK] conducted the affairs of the Society, determined on removing it from under his management, and engaged suitable accommodations at Barnum's (the City Hotel) and employed Mr. Meinecke to play on the piano. The amateur performers are chiefly Messers Ludder, Miles, Findley, Walsh, Norris, Cole, Cohen, andc andc. The meeting is at 7 o'clock every Tuesday night, and the number limited to 60 members. At 10 o'clock there is a cold supper, and during the evening Brandy and water, and hot [UNK] punch are prepared in an adjoining room. The ticket for the season is 10 D. and five strangers' tickets are alotted to the members in turn.

Arthur Clifton (1784-1832) was a teacher, musician and composer.


From Md Hist. Mag. LVI, 225/6

Minutes of The Anacreontic Society-The Anacreontic Society of Baltimore, which flourished in the 1820's, is succinctly described in a footnote to The Diary of Robert Gilmor, himself a member (Md. Hist. Mag. XVII, 231, 244). It was, he said, an association of private gentlemen of various professions and walks in life who, being fond of music, met each Tuesday at 7 P.M. both to hear and to make music. Membership was limited and dues for the season were $10. Brandy and water and hot whiskey punch were served during the musicales; and a cold supper at 10 P.M. At first the meetings were held at the house of Arthur Clifton, a teacher of music, but later (before 1827) at Barnum's Hotel because certain of the members did not like the manner in which Mr. Clifton conducted the affairs of the Society.


I have recently acquired the manuscript minute book of the Anacreontic Society for the period October 9, 1823-1826, though entries after November 1824 are few. Much of it consists merely in lists of members or their favorite glees, but it contains a few matters of more general interest, including a brief history of a predecessor society, that seem worthy of publication.


The minute book is a pocket-size volume about 7 1/4 by 4 inches, bound in leather and boards. The front cover bears the legend in ink: Minute book / Anacreontic Society / October-1823 / A. Clifton / Secretary. The back cover bears the name J. L. Coale in ink. Some 85 pages contain entries, and an approximately equal number remain blank.


1308 Bolton St., Baltimore 17, Md.

Edward John Coale (1776-1832) was a publisher and bookseller. He was President of the 1820 Anacreontic Society. J.L. Coale is unidentified.