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1st International Congress 1889
Cologne, Germany

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, October, 1889:


To the Executive Committee.

GENTLEMEN,- Your representatives, Rev. James Clark, and Mr. Alfred Tongue left Manchester, as arranged, on Monday, 9th and proceeded via Harwich to Rotterdam, and thence to Cologne. Soon after going aboard the steamer we encountered our lively and venerable friend Mr. Thomas Lloyd, of Norwich, proceeding to the same destination laden with tracts of all sorts, which he distributed in all directions, to British and foreigners, with unfailing diligence and good humour. He had credentials as a representative of thirteen societies of various kinds, and carried a bouquet made up of flowers given by a score of cottagers out of their own gardens-a present to the Congress. In the early morning we made acquaintance with Mr. Marshall, of Blandford, a volunteer member to the Congress, Professor and Madame André, and the London deputation, consisting of the Rev. G. V. Briscoe and Mr. W. H. Sullivan, accompanied by two friends unofficially, Mr. Davidson and Mr. Kibblewhite. At Cologne we found our President, Professor Mayor, other representatives from London, Mrs. Hawkins and her sister. Miss Harding. All these made the trip up and down the Rhine, according to programme in September Vegetarian Messenger, and on the way we met two other London friends, Mr. Boult and Mrs. Boult, who was one of the representatives of the London Vegetarian Society. Herr Weidner's engagements connected with the Congress prevented him joining the excursion, and the leadership fell on Herr von Seefeld, of Hannover, whose patient gentle kindness won everybody's goodwill. Some other German friends were of the party, notably Herren Kuhn, and Wunseher, of Dresden, and Winkler, Mainkur.

It is needless to dwell here on the wonders and pleasures of a trip on the Rhine under a clear sky, except early morning fogs, in autumn weather. Our business is with the Congress.

On Saturday morning we assembled in the Wolkenburg, where there was an exchange of compliments and salutations between assembled friends. In addition to those already named, we were introduced to (place aux dames) Miss Betty Las, who had come two days' journey from Memel; Mrs. Anna Beumer, of Neuweid; and Fraulein Felling, a juvenile and cheerful lady of 70, who has a Vegetarian pension at Waldersheim, of which we heard very favourable accounts. Of those who took a prominent part were Herren Oscar Schlemm, of Amsrichter, Uelzen (a judge), Weidner, Julich, Dr. Dock, Assessor Driessen, and Dr. Aderholdt. Besides these we became friends with Herren Steiner and Burghardt, of Cologne; Winkler, of Mainkur, Frankfort; Huth and wife, Hamburg; Zeidler, Berlin; Priege, Badkreuznach; Schneider, Barmen; Heintz, Elberfeld; Gossmau and wife, Cassel. Herr and Madame Veithen, and Madame Weidner rendered great services in connection especially with the meals that were provided.

The proceedings opened with an address of welcome by Herr Weidner to all visitors, and at the close three cheers-Hoch ! Hoch ! ! hoch ! ! ! - for the English visitors. Hon. Presidents-Prof. Mayor and Rev. G. V. Briscoe; Hon. Secs.-Rev. J. Clark and Dr. Aderholdt, were elected. Prof. Mayor on taking the chair addressed the meeting in German and English. Prof. André told the meeting about Dr. Allinson's labours in the Weekly Times and Echo, which has 150,000 circulation. He also suggested a special telegram should be sent to a score of prominent German Vegetarians, urgently desiring their presence. This was done, and elicited replies which were read at a subsequent meeting, and in two cases the persons addressed came on to the Congress.

Letters were read from Mr. Hills, President of the London Society, and from Mr. Knight, Secretary of the Vegetarian Society; also from Mr. Algernon Taylor, Torquay, and others.

In the afternoon a dinner was given to twenty-one children, consisting of chocolate soup, fruit cake (Kirsch pudding), grapes, plums, and bread; then a lecture was delivered by Dr. Deck, of Waid, near St. Galle, on "The Great Importance of Vegetarian Training for the Bodily and Mental Development of Children."

Proceedings were resumed at eight, when Professor Mayor read his paper on "Why am I a Vegetarian?" It was given with much energy and spirit, and was well received. He gave also a version in German.

Dr. Aderholdt read his paper on "New Scientific Proofs of Vegetarianism." It was well received by the audience.

Miss Betty Las recited some verses written by Dr. Aderholdt in memory of Ed. Baltzer, the founder of the Vegetarian Society, twenty years ago. A fine portrait of Baltzer occupied a prominent place on the platform, in a handsome frame, and at an appropriate place the reciter placed an evergreen wreath below the portrait, amid loud applause. About 100 persons present.

On Sunday morning there was an assemblage at the Wolkenburg, and then some went to the English Church, where Mr. Briscoe preached and others visited the Dom, or elsewhere.

An afternoon meeting was held in the Lese Geselleschaft, when Dr. F. Heyer read a paper on "The Importance of Garden and Fruit for the Maintenance of National Health and the Increase of National Well-being." About eighty persons were present, and a discussion ensued, in which Dr. Dock and Messrs. Von Seefeld, Deganhard and others took part.

A meeting was held at night from 8 to 12, at which dinner was served, consisting of seven courses, viz. 1. Elisensalat, the ingredients as far as an eater could judge, being beetroot, potatoe (sic), cream and, arranged tastefully on the top, very small pickled onions. 2. Kraftsuppe à Ia Camilla, a soup mainly of lentils. 3. Spargel mit Rambeigus u. Beilage; this seems a terrible name for asparagus and white sauce. 4. Kölner Schnitzel mit Kartoffeln, Butter u. Salat. This was a Cologne "chop," a fritter, compounded of the cook knows what, pleasant to eat with potatoes and sauce. 5. Maizena biscuit pudding, mit Kagebutten beiguss, &c.-maize pudding with cream poured over. 6. Obsstarte, fruit tart. 7. Frisches Obst, fresh fruits. This dinner began with music then recitations in German, after that course 1. Then speeches and toasts to the ladies who had provided. Course 2. More speeches, including one from Rev. J. Clark, which many of the German friends said they understood every word, because it was very slowly and distinctly uttered. Health to the English friends, responded to by Professsor Mayor. Course 3. More music, and a long piece by Dr. Aderholdt, recited by Miss Betty Las with great power. Course 4, and so on till nearly twelve o'clock. This was the longest dinner we ever had, and it left us nearly as hungry at the end as we were at the beginning. One of the English party described it as an entertainment with a few minutes for refreshments; but "other countries, other manners." A very tasteful bill of fare (Tischecart) was supplied to each guest.

This day we became acquainted with Mr. Walker, from Zurich, a Swiss gentleman, who had been formerly in the United States, and spoke English perfectly. He said there are about a hundred Vegetarians in Zurich, though there are no meetings held nor any public propaganda. Mr. W. M. Deggenhard was also added to our list of friends. He had been fourteen years in Derbyshire, and is now a Stadtgartner in Dresden. He is an ardent Vegetarian.

A peculiarly German feature was, after midnight (Monday a.m.), the introduction of a quadrille band; dancing begun about 12-30. Most of the English guests retired when dancing begun.

Monday. A proposal was made to have an international address book or list of members, and after much debate it was resolved to try first national address books for each country.

Professor André strongly recommended societies for the young, similar to the bands of hope, but German friends did not approve that course.

The last meeting we attended was held at eight in the evening of Monday; about 50 were present. Mr. Kiindharem reported on preparations of vegetable albumen which he had made from wheat and pulse.

Mr. Volkmar, of Leipsic, treated of alcohol from the politico-economic point of view.

About nine o'clock we retired for our return journey, and on our movements being perceived, Herr Weidner called the attention of the meeting, and we were sent on our way with hearty farewells, Mit hoch ! undt hoch ! undt hoch !

This visit has given us a good opinion of our colleagues in Germany, and will, we trust, prove encouraging to all in the movement. In the course of the proceedings it was considered when and where another congress should be held. Some voices were for annual, some biennial, and some triennial. Rev. Mr. Briscoe invited the friends to come to London next year, and a number of promises to attend were given.

The following letter was addressed to the Congress by Mr. Joseph Knight:-

7, Leigh Avenue, Marple, near Manchester, 7th September, 1889.

To the International Vegetarian Congress assembling at Cologne.

DEAR FRIENDS,-Permit me-though unable to join you in person and take part in your meetings-to send my hearty greetings to you as fellow-workers in the Vegetarian movement. My earnest desire is that your meetings may be successful, and that the bond of sympathy may be greatly strengthened between the Vegetarians of different countries as one result of the Congress. Happily, as Vegetarians, we know nothing of nationality ; nothing of religious creed or sect ; nothing of political party.

We believe ourselves possessed of the knowledge of a principle with regard to diet which, when wisely adopted and prudently pursued, tends to promote the well-bejng of the individual, and therefore of the community and the nation in which it be generally practised. And as it tends to the benefit of the human race, so likewise is it of service to those races of animals which are in subjection to man, their condition being greatly alleviated by the diffusion of the principles, and the extension of the practice of Vegetarianism. And if from the Congress there go forth a light which shall manifest to civilised nations the reasonableness and the righteousness of those principles, and which shall lead to their examination and acceptance many to whom they are now but "strange doctrines," the promoters of and participators in the Congress will have accomplished a worthy result, and have done something towards making the world better, and happier because better. - Again wishing you every success in promoting Vegetarianism, temperance, and the principles of right living, permit me to subscribe myself very faithfully yours, JOSEPH KNIGHT (Secretary of The Vegetarian Society)