From the December 8, 1903 issue of the New York Times
St. Nicholas Society Dines
Sixty-eighth Annual Celebration is Held in Delmonico’s—Geroge C. De Witt Presides.
The St. Nicholas Society held its sixty eighth annual dinner last night in Delmonico’s. The banquet hall was lavishly decorated with orange and black. The Stars and Stripes were in no way neglected. They were every where in evidence.
George C. De Witt, the presiding officer, in his opening address told something of the Dutch stock, and mentioned incidentally that it was not dying out, as evidenced by many sturdy graduates of Yale and Harvard, and incidentally a certain young man of Princeton named De Witt, the “champion of Old Nassau.” Yale and Harvard men and the men of many universities and colleges joined in applause at the mention of the Princeton Captain’s name.
The President of the United States and the Governor of New York were honored in toasts that were pledge standing. Mr. De Witt, before introducing the first speaker of the evening, said that one of the chief purposes of the society was to prove that the spirit of St. Nicholas never dies, and that he is chiefly in mind about the time the people in the woods begin to cut down Christmas trees.
Long pipes, after the fashion of the Hollanders had been passed among the company, the descendants valorously drawing on them. One elderly diner remarked in a voice loud enough for many to hear that he had attended twenty-nice dinners and had reached home without braking one of the clay pipes, and that he expected to to as well this year. The pipes were hanging in his studio. His health was drunk, and then two little pictures of life in the Netherlands were handed out to each guest. They were presented by John Rutger Planten, Consul General Consul of the Netherlands, in honor of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the charter of New Amsterdam as a city were handed to each guest. Huge but handy corkscrews, with buck horn handles, were given as souvenirs.
The Rev. William T. Manning was the first speaker. He dwelt on the position America held among the nations of the earth. R. Fulton Cutting, in answering to the toast “Our City,” said that New York was the great centre for good and evil in influencing other cities. Tammany Hall, the Horse Show, and Coney Island are potential for good or evil. For the benefit of marking that in the last half century the political life was not equal, or comparable, with the individual life of the citizens. In conclusion Mr. Cutting said that whatever criticism might be made of the present city administration, it had in an unparalleled way tried to broaden its work in behalf of the minority.
The other speakers were Gen. Stewart L. Woodford, Rear Admiral Fredrick Rodgers, William H. McElroy, and Major John S. D. Knight