1900-1901 Whitman Speech and Debate Team



Debating was done in the student run literary societies.

Students went to different faculty members for coaching.


Whitman News

A.     Rev. Stephen B.L. Penrose was the college president.

B.     The Pioneer became a weekly publication and carried advertisements for the Cohen Bros.

C.    Electricity for lighting was added to the Ladies Hall and the Conservatory of Music.

D.    Students began calling for more self-government.


Speech in the English Department News



Same as 1899-1900



Same as 1899-1900


World News

A.     McKinley was elected president.

B.     Prohibition became a subtle nation-wide movement.

C.    Congress signed the Platt Amendment, limiting the autonomy of Cuba.

D.    “The Boxer Rebellion, the goal of which was the removal of foreign influence from China, occurred.”

E.     “The US Navy accepted its first submarine, designed by John Holland.”

F.     “Max Planck, the German physicist, published his quantum theory.”

G.    “In the United States the paper clip is invented.”

H.    “In the United States, the Hawaiian Islands are deemed U.S. Territory.”

I.       “Fauvist movement in painting begins, led by Henri Matisse.”

J.      “Sigmund Freud published his book ‘The Interpretation of Dreams.’”

K.     “Ferdinand von Zeppelin constructed the first dirigible. It had a speed of
14 miles per hour.”



Team News

·        The Athenaeum and Phrenakosmian Literary Societies, meeting weekly, furnish opportunity to the young men for pleasant and profitable practice in the important work of de­bate and oratory.

·        The Libethrean Literary Society has been organized by the young women of the College for the development of literary culture and social life. It meets on Saturday evening of each week at the Ladies Hall.

·        The University of Idaho, the Washington Agricultural College and School of Sciences, and Whitman College continued their two annual debates are held each year under the Yale-Harvard debating rules.

·        To develop power and taste in oratory still further there has been inaugurated a College Oratorical Association. This association is a charter member of the Inter-Collegiate Oratorical Association of the States of Washington and Idaho, embracing the Washington Agricultural College, the Idaho State University and Whitman College. The first contest occurred in Walla Walla, May 25, 1897.

·        The Wilson prizes for excellence in oratory will be awarded to those whose essays and delivery are adjudged first and second in the home contest. These prizes are from money given by Mrs. Lester S. Wilson for this purpose and will amount to $15 for the first and $10 for the second prize.


Team Results


I.                 Debate at Whitman

A.     Two rival debate societies on campus, the Athenaeum and Phrenakosmian Societies, were completely autonomous of each other. Each society had governmental structures and met weekly to debate current topics and discuss aspects of debate.

B.     The first intersociety debate was on “Resolved: That the Frye-Payne Ship Subsidy Bill now before the U.S. Congress should be passed.” The competition determined which debaters should be on the intercollegiate team, which often meant combining the top debaters from each society.

C.    Calls were made for one professor to be dedicated to debate rather than students getting a variety of support, advice, and coaching from many professors over the course of the year.

D.    Intercollegiate debate

1.     The Whitman team of James Rigsby, Elmer Brown, and George Marquis traveled to Pullman to debate the negative of “Resolved: That the Philippine Islands should be made an integral part of the United States.” Whitman won unanimously.

2.     The Whitman team of Palmer, Proctor, and Brattain traveled to the University of Idaho to debate on “Resolved: That combinations in restraint of trade should be so restricted by national legislation as to promote competition.” Whitman lost 2-1.

3.     Arthur Hauerbach won the intercollegiate oratorical contest with a speech entitled “The Twilight of the Revolution.”