|Article Page url: http://www.thehistorybox.com/ny_city/society/printerfriendly/nycity_society_balls_dances_article00213.htm|
The Gay Season Opened by the Patriarchs At Delmonico's 12-20-1880
Last night at Delmonico's, the whole upper portion of the building was given up to the first great private ball of the season of 1880-1, the December entertainment of the Patriarchs. The association by which the entertainments are given, was founded 10 years ago by a few leaders in New York society. Its members give three balls in the course of the Winter, of which the initial one is always regarded as the leading event. This season the pressure for invitations has been so great that the number of persons comprised in the association has been increased, although not to the sacrifice of the exclusiveness of tone which has rendered these affairs so popular with our best society. Much diplomacy was exercised by people not fully admitted to the inner circle to obtain invitations, but as one of the managers observed yesterday, a limit must be fixed somewhere, and 400 guests form a pleasant coterie while 4,000 would be simply crushing. The association this season numbers 48 gentlemen. Intended to be a species of American Almack's the gentlemen composing it must be leaders socially as well as financially.
The following is the list for this
season: William Astor, Hamilton
Fish, Francis R. Rives, William E.
Schermerhorn, Johnston Livingston,
Buchanan Winthrop, William Waldorf
Astor, Robert Goelet, Ward
McAllister, William R. Travers,
Royal Phelps, Clarkson N. Potter,
George Henry Warren, Adrian
Iselin, Delancey Kane, John W.
Hamersley, Edwin A. Post, James W.
Gerard, Augustus Belmont, Charles
E. Strong, Jonathan Edwards,
George L. Rives, F. S.G.
d'Hauteville, George Peabody
Wetmore, Maturin Livingston,
William Oothout, Smith Clift, H.A.
Johnson, Pierre Lorillard, Charles
Suydam, John Stewart, Jr., J.A.
Roosevelt, J.N.A. Griswold, George
G. Haven, R.G. Remsen, William
Turnbull, Charles H. Berryman,
William Gihon, N.N. Rockwell,
Alexander S. Webb, E.N. Taylor,
Edward Cooper, William Cruger
Pell, J.W. Clendenning, S.V.R.
Cruger, Louis C. Hamersley,
Meredith Howland, Matthew Wilks.
As it is an unwritten by-law that
every Patriarch shall be present
at the first ball of the season
with his wife, If married, the
list of guests embraced all the
Of the distinguished guests who
were expected to drop in the
course of the entertainment the
names may be mentioned of
President Hayes and wife, Gen. and
Mrs. Grant. Among those present
were the Hon. Hamilton Fish, Gen.
George B. McClellan and wife,
James MacIntosh, of England,
Gerald Paget, the head of the
house of Angle-sea, and wife, the
Prince d'Oliveto, Capt. and Mrs.
Randolph, of England, the Baron
Favrot de Kerbreck, and Capt. de
la Chiere, of France.
The floral decorations were
magnificent. The materials, as
usual on such occasions, consisted
of ropes of smilax, ferns of
exotic beauty, and Eastern palms
of various species, filled in with
vases of flowering plants and
banked with verdure until perfect
thickets were formed. The entrance
to the ball-room was thus
transformed into a carpeted path
upon either hand, of which palms,
ferns, and flowers were banked
shoulder-high and the ball-room
itself was decked with the same
regard to general design rather
than merely decorated here and
there with special pieces. When
the work of the florist was
finished the upper floors were
closed to visitors, and none were
permitted to pass without the
special sanction of the manager of
Among the ladies whose toilets
were particularly noticed for
splendor and taste were Miss
Astor, Miss Fish, Mrs.
d'Hauteville, Mrs. Wetmore, Miss
Beckwith, Mrs. William Astor, Mrs.
Frederick Bronson, Mrs. James
Potter, Mrs. Stuart, Mrs. S.S.
Howland, Mrs. S.V.R. Cruger, the
Misses Jerome, Mrs. Yznaga, who
has just returned from Europe and
a visit to her sister, Lady
Mandeville, Mrs. Robert Goelet,
Mrs. Ogden Goelet, Mrs. Paran
Stevens, Mrs. Pierre Lorillard,
Miss Livingston, Miss Post, and
the Misses Carroll, and many
others. Among the young ladies who
made their debut in society were
Miss Lanier and Miss May Robbins.