Lot 122 of 395:
Progressive Senator denounces college fraternities, ca.1915 letter  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - unsold
$80 - $120

Progressive Senator denounces elitist college fraternities

Thomas, Charles S.

Washington, D.C.




Autograph Letter, signed, on United States Senate letterhead. 4 pages. Undated, ca. 1911-1915. To Rev. Paul Hickock, Washington, D.C., a critique of elitist college fraternities.

Spalding was critical of the “many fraternities…. whose activities are almost entirely social and whose membership is determined not so much by merit as by social favor and social standing. These must inevitably establish a college caste and an artificial exclusiveness entirely inconsistent with the American Democratic Spirit. Wealth sooner or later becomes the arbiter of membership and the poor aspirant for its favors will be rare indeed if successful. The resentments and heart burnings which these conditions beget are unfortunate. They are bad for those within as well as without the charmed circle and justify much of the criticisms directed against all secret fraternities…” Charles Spalding Thomas (1849-1934) was born in Georgia and served as a boy in the Confederate Army, but after becoming a lawyer, moved to Colorado in 1875, and was elected Governor in 1899 and, in 1913, US Senator. Woodrow Wilson was then on his way to the White House and his past opposition, while President of Princeton University, to snobbish fraternal “eating clubs” may have prompted this inquiry to his fellow progressive Democrat from Denver. A timely subject given recent headlines.

Lot Amendments


Item number:
Shipping info:
We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS.  For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained directly from the lot details page for each item or by contacting Megan Hipsley prior to the auction.



Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.