President Leslie H. Fishel, Jr., called the Council of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era to order at 5:05 p.m., on December 28, 1990. The Council met in Chelsea Room A, Sheraton City Centre, New York. At the President's request, the Secretary distributed the tentative agenda. The Council informally agreed to follow it. The Council accepted the March 24, 1990, Minutes as distributed.
The Secretary-Treasurer reported that the balance in the Treasury is $1570.57. He noted that there were no outstanding bills. He reported, also, that there had been 134 SHGAPE members. During the year one member, John Jenswold, died.
Roger Daniels moved that the SHGAPE hold a cash bar and reception at the April OAH meeting in Louisville. Vice President Charles W. Calhoun will look into the possibility of securing a room and arranging for the hors d'oeuvres at the meeting. The Council will attempt to schedule reception one hour before the Council Meeting. Robert Cherny seconded the motion. It carried unanimously.
The Secretary-Treasurer reported that the Constitution had passed unanimously. In the ensuing discussion, a member suggested that the SHGAPE hold its annual meeting at the OAH rather than at the AHA. After discussion, the Council decided that while the Constitution and By- laws called for at least one meeting per year, it had established neither a time nor a place for such a meeting.
With the Constitution and By-laws in place, the Council proceeded to draw lots to establish Council terms. There are 12 Council members, each of whom is to serve three staggered terms. SHGAPE member Ari Hoogenboom drew the names of the Councilors for each term. The results of the draw are as follows:
Three-Year Term (expiring in Dec. 1993): Lewis L. Gould, Maureen Flanagan, Priscilla F. Clement, and Robert W. Cherny;
Two-Year term (expiring in December 1992): Michael McGerr, H. Wayne Morgan, Kathryn Kish Sklar, and David Contosta;
One-Year Term (expiring in December 1991): Fred D. Ragan, B. Franklin Cooling, Roger Daniels, and John M. Dobson.
Robert Cherny advised that he had a graduate student who might, if necessary, serve as newsletter editor. President Fishel noted that Peter Wallenstein had tentatively agreed to act as newsletter editor, and had offered to prepare one for the fall of 1990. But, owing to a breakdown in communications between Roger Bridges and Mr. Wallenstein (Bridges had not communicated and forwarded information to Mr. Wallenstein in a timely manner), Mr. Wallenstein had been unable to prepare a newsletter. Mr. Fishel urged Bridges to call and talk with Mr. Wallenstein in order to determine whether he could, in view of his other obligations at Virginia, prepare a newsletter for distribution before the April OAH meeting.
The Council then considered establishing a SHGAPE prize. After a lengthy discussion, the Council agreed that the Society should offer a prize. Those present agreed also that it probably should be offered for a first substantial publication (possibly an article) in the field by a young scholar. Mr. Fishel appointed a committee to draft guidelines for such a prize. The report is to be submitted to the Council during the OAH meeting in Louisville. Mr. Fishel named Roger Daniels chairman, and Kathryn Kish Sklar and Roger Bridges to the committee. Mr. Fishel instructed Bridges to call Kathryn Kish Sklar in order to determine whether she would serve as the third committee member. Mr. Daniels will draft guidelines that will then be circulated to Ms. Sklar and Mr. Bridges for comment and revision. The committee will report to the SHGAPE meeting at.
Mr. Fishel, with the concurrence of Council Members present, appointed the following to the Nominating Committee and charged them with the responsibility for preparing a slate of officers including a Vice-President/President-Elect and four Councilors: Priscilla Clement, Chairman, Frank Cooling and Thomas Reeves members. The slate is to be presented to the April Meeting of the Council and then submitted to the general membership for a vote.
Vice President Calhoun announced that B. Franklin Cooling had arranged a SHGAPE session for the OAH meeting in Louisville. It will be "THE STATE OF THE MILITARY AND NAVAL HISTORY IN THE GILDED AGE AND PROGRESSIVE ERA - A Centenary Assessment." The papers at the session will include Graham A. Cosmas, US Army of Military History, "The Army," and Richard Turk, Allegheny College, "The Navy." Russell F. Weigley, Temple University, will chair the session and B. Franklin Cooling, U.S. Department of Energy, will comment. President Fishel requested suggestions for meetings to be held at subsequent sessions. Those present suggested several topics and themes, including sessions on Immigrant and/or Ethnic History, or perhaps some broader topics relating to the entire era, or a portion of the eras. Members present suggested sessions address such topics as the reassessment of the corruption of parties in the era, the role of business and the interaction of politics, business, corruption, and reform. Several members thought it desirable to hold a luncheon meeting at the AHA (or the OAH) and that the outgoing President deliver a Presidential address.
After discussion, President Fishel appointed a Program Committee to that will be chaired by Charles Calhoun. The President appointed Ruth Crocker of Auburn University and indicated that he would appoint other members as needed upon consultation with Calhoun.
President Fishel then adjourned the Council meeting at 6:00 p.m. The next meeting of the Council will meet at the OAH in April
Roger D. Bridges
Patrick D. Reagan
Tennessee Technological University
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