Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/174

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The Papyrus Club was the outcome of a reception given by the newspaper men of Boston to Henry M. Stanley, the famous African explorer, on Saturday afternoon, December 14, 1872. About thirty of Stanley's fellow- journalists assembled at the Parker House, W. B. Smart, President of the Boston Press Club, presiding, and John Boyle O'Reilly delivering the address of welcome. He paid a tribute to the "reportorial" profession, and especially to the representative of it, "a man, a young man, trained only as all present had been, who had yet been able to lead an expedition into the heart of Africa, and succeed where the Old World, with all its resources, had failed." After the formal reception and dinner, half a dozen of the young newspaper men present continued the post-prandial exercises at a then famous old chop-house known as "Billy Park's," in Central Court, on Washington Street, in the rear of Jordan & Marsh's dry -goods establishment. The march of commerce has wiped out the hostelry, and built over the Court, but it was on that night, and in "Billy Park's" Tavern, that the Papyrus Club was born. Its christening did not take place until some weeks later. The men who met that night at; Park's were O'Reilly, Stanley, Edward King, Charles Eyre Pascoe, William A. Hovey ("Causeur"), Francis H. Underwood, first editor of the Atlantic Monthly, Alexander Young, the historian, and W. W. Messer, Jr. The second meeting of the club occurred on the following Saturday at the same place. Its object, as stated in the newspaper reports at the time, was that of "organizing the leading writers of the daily, weekly, and periodical press of the city in a club, for the purpose of promoting better acquaintance, one with another, and affording headquarters to which gentlemen of reputation in literature and art may be invited while on visits to Boston."

At this meeting, besides those who had attended the first, were present, Geo. M. Towle, the historian; N. S. Dodge, and Benjamin Wolf, wh gave the club its name. It was quickly