January 17 - Mister Chairman

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On January 17, 1901, Paul Laurence Dunbar was elected chairman of the newly-formed Pen and Pencil Club, an association of Black writers in Washington, D. C.

The Pen and Pencil Club, composed of men engaged in newspaper and other literary work, met Thursday evening of this week.  After the discussion of the constitution and the partaking of a toothsome luncheon, the following officers were elected . . .

Paul Laurence Dunbar, chairman

This organization is composed of some of the brainiest young men in the country, and is destined to wield a powerful influence for the good of the race.

"Pen and Pencil Club."  The Washington Bee (Washington, D. C.)  January 19, 1901.  Page 8.

The influence of the Pen and Pencil Club is being potently felt in the intellectual circles of Washington.  The February meeting of the club was the most successful of the series.  The merry knights of the quill made the welkin ring with their witticisms amid the transaction of serious business.

"Valedictory of the Negro:  The Pen and Pencil Club Cornering the Brain Market."  The Freeman (Indianapolis, Indiana).  February 16, 1901.  Page 4.

The group was known for its social gatherings and hearty meals, which prompted one newspaper columnist to suggest that they change their name to the Knife and Fork Club.  Paul and Alice Dunbar hosted the March meeting at their home in Washington.

The Pen and Pencil Club held its regular monthly meeting last Thursday evening at the residence of Mr. Paul Laurence Dunbar.  The literary den of the famous poet was the scene of one of the most enjoyable and profitable meetings of the club.

"Paul Bray's Budget of Interesting News and Gossip at the Nation's Capital," by Paul Bray.  The Plaindealer (Topeka, Kansas).  March 15, 1901.  Page 1.

The Pen and Pencil Club held its March meeting last Friday evening at the cozy residence of Mr. Paul Laurence Dunbar.  The attendance was large, and included the flower of the literary lights of the town.  The session was highly interesting and entertaining, wit and business running along parallel lines.  During the recess an elaborate collation was served under the supervision of the accomplished hostess, Mrs. Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar.  The menu was dainty and toothsome, and went a long way to relieve those who had been led into the mazes of oratory during the evening.

"The Pen and Pencil Club."  The Colored American (Washington, D. C.)  March 16, 1901.  Page 2.