The Adventurers' Club of New York was an adventure-oriented private men's club founded in New York City in 1912 by Arthur Sullivant Hoffman, editor of the popular pulp magazine Adventure. There were 34 members at the first meeting. In its second year, "Sinclair Lewis, Hoffman's assistant, was elected secretary and served three years." Monthly dinner meetings, and weekly luncheons, were the primary functions of the club.
According to club secretary, newspaperman Fred J. Splitstone, the club's "One inviolate rule is that no publicity is ever given to the meetings. It makes men freer to talk." It also makes the club difficult to research. However, soon after making those comments, in 1926, the club began publishing a monthly newsletter, The Adventurer. It ran at least until 1960. Its content primarily concerned club business, e.g. changes in leadership, new members. It occasionally ran profiles—and obituaries—of members. The main content was typically a description of the previous monthly dinner meeting. The speakers were described along with a summation of their speeches.
A weekly CBS radio show, Gold Seal Associates, featuring members of the club describing the most exciting moment of their lives, was inaugurated on June 13, 1930. Major C. E. Russell was the inaugural speaker.
The club appears to have faded out in the 1970s.
Among the members of the Adventurers' Club of New York were many prominent citizens, travelers, writers, artists and explorers, including the following. Members who attended the first meeting on December 7, 1912, are indicated with "[O]," for original.
Notable speakers before the club include the following:
|1||1912||1917||Henry Collins Walsh|
|2||1918||1918||Robert Welles Ritchie|
|3||1919||1925||William E. Aughinbaugh|
|4||1926||1927||Wesley H. Wallace|
|6||1929||1930||George W. B. Witten|
|7||1930||1930||Fred J. Willock|
|8||1930||1930||George W. B. Witten|
|10||1932||1932||C. E. Russell|
|11||1933||1933||John J. Lyons|
|13||1936||1937||Raymond C. Schindler|
|14||1939||1939||Henry M. Kalvin|
|15||1940||1940||Lewis N. Cotlow|
|16||1941||1942||Charles R. Haffenden|
|17||1943||1944||John McElraevy, Jr.|
|18||1945||1945||James B. Pond|
|19||1946||1946||Charles R. Haffenden|
|20||1947||1947||Raymond C. Schindler|
|22||1949||1949||Harry C. M. Reed|
|23||1950||1950||Arthur M. Menken|
|24||1951||1951||G. Theon Wright|
|25||1952||1952||Norris L. Bowen|
|26||1952||1952||Russell B. Aitken|
|27||1953||1953||Paulus P. Powell|
|28||1954||1954||Edward L. Bill|
|29||1955||1955||G. Theon Wright|
|30||1956||1956||John S. Davis, Jr.|
|31||1957||1957||Raymond E. Buck|
|33||1959||1959||Patrick B. Fay|
|34||1960||1960||Ansel E. Talbert|
|35||1961||1961||A. Fred Nielson|
|36||1962||1962||Carl von Hoffman|
|37||Frederick Houk Law (Emeritus)|
The club also awarded medals and honors. Recipients include:
In 1964, the club published The Adventurers' Golden Jubilee 1912–1962: A History of the Adventurers Club of New York.
Adventure was an American pulp magazine that was first published in November 1910 by
the Ridgway company, an offshoot of the Butterick Publishing Company. Adventure went on to become one of the most profitable and critically acclaimed of all the American pulp magazines. The magazine had 881 issues. The magazine's first editor was Trumbull White, he was succeeded in 1912 by Arthur Sullivant Hoffman (1876–1966), who would edit the magazine until 1927.Albert Payson Terhune
Albert Payson Terhune (December 21, 1872 – February 18, 1942) was an American author, dog breeder, and journalist. He was popular for his novels relating the adventures of his beloved collies and as a breeder of collies at his Sunnybank Kennels, the lines of which still exist in today's Rough Collies.Arthur Sullivant Hoffman
Arthur Sullivant Hoffman (September 28, 1876 – March 15, 1966) was an American magazine editor. Hoffman is
best known for editing the acclaimed pulp magazine Adventure
as well as playing a role in the creation of the American Legion.Byron Khun de Prorok
"Count" Byron Khun de Prorok (1896–1954, born in Philadelphia as Francis Byron Kuhn) was a Hungarian-American amateur archaeologist, anthropologist, and author of four heroic travelogues. He has come to be regarded as the original tomb raider, or grave robber, one "loved by audiences and held in contempt by the scientific community".Count Byron De Prorok was educated at the University of Geneva. He worked on the excavations at Carthage from 1920 to 1925 and held the Archaeological Institute of America's prestigious Norton Lectureship in 1922–1923.During the later 1920s and early 1930s, Prorok undertook a series of expeditions in Africa of dubious scientific value, pursuing ancient legends and eventually came to believe he had found evidence that proved Atlantis lay in North Africa, the true location of the fabled Biblical land of Ophir and what he supposed were the ruins of an ancient temple where Alexander the Great "became a god". In addition to these tremendous 'discoveries' he also claimed to be a member of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, the Royal Archaeological Institute and The Royal Geographical Society.
His numerous critics say that this "count" Byron de Prorok was neither a real count nor an archaeologist, was expelled from The Royal Geographical Society (allegedly in 1932), who had "a vivid imagination" and "was given to gross exaggeration". He was, however, an active member of the Adventurers' Club of New York.
Regardless of his archaeological faults, De Prorok was a pioneer in using motion pictures, which he did first in 1920. However, none of his films survive.His published works include Digging for Lost African Gods (1926), Mysterious Sahara: The Land of Gold, of Sand and of Ruin (1929), Dead Men Do Tell Tales (1933) and In Quest of Lost Worlds (1935).Captain Dingle
Aylward Edward "A.E." Dingle was a sailor and writer. He was born in Oxford, England, in 1874. He died in Cornwall in 1947.Carl von Hoffman
Karl von Hoffman (St. Petersburg, Russia, c. 1889 – New York, New York, USA, 8 July 1982) was a soldier, adventurer, author, and photographer of German ancestry. He was a descendant of Melchior Hoffman; journalist Nicholas von Hoffman is his son.
At the age of 17, von Hoffman—then a military cadet—disobeyed his mother's wishes and joined the Russian army during the Russo-Japanese War. For actions during the war he was awarded the Order of St. Anna. He participated in World War I, serving in the Russian army, and then under Admiral Kolchak on the White Russian side in the Russian Civil War. Von Hoffman is said by some sources to have been on the Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition in 1913; however, Theodore Roosevelt does not mention him in his memoir of the expedition, but footage proving von Hoffman's presence can be found here.
Von Hoffman was an explorer who once led a safari from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo—a walk that took him three years and was the basis of his two books, Jungle Gods (New York, H. Holt and Company [c1929]) and Jerry on Safari: A 7,000 Mile Journey from Cairo to the Cape (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1936). Von Hoffman's photographs of the Mexican Revolution and of Theodore Roosevelt were celebrated; his photographs of Roosevelt and Pancho Villa were exhibited in 2002 at the Martin & Osa Johnson Safari
Museum. He was the cinematographer for films including The Life of General Villa, (1914,), featuring Pancho Villa himself. The movie was produced by D. W. Griffith. Von Hoffman often said his knowledge of the use of machine guns was one of the things Griffiths offered Villa to gain his participation in the movie. (In 2003, the filming of the documentary about Villa was turned into a TV movie, And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Larry Gelbart with the minor role of von Hoffman played by Julian Sedgwick.) Von Hoffman was also cinematographer of The Marriage Bond (1916) directed by Lawrence Marston. He was a member of the Explorers Club. He was also an Honorary Life Member and past president (1962) of the Adventurers' Club of New York.E. H. Calvert
Elisha Helm Calvert (June 27, 1863 – October 5, 1941) was an American film actor and director. He appeared in more than 170 films, as well as directing a further 60 titles.Eddie Eagan
Edward Patrick Francis Eagan (April 26, 1897 – June 14, 1967) was an American sportsman who is notable as being the only person to win a gold medal at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games in different events. Eagan won his summer gold in boxing and his winter gold in four-man bobsled. Finally, Eagan is one of the few athletes who have competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympic games.Ends of the Earth Club
The Ends of the Earth Club was a group of artists and explorers founded in 1903. Its members included Mark Twain, General John Pershing, Admiral Robert Peary, Gutzon Borglum (the sculptor of Mt. Rushmore), Herbert Adams Gibbons (a Princeton professor and journalist), and more than 100 other prominent businessmen and academics located, primarily, in the northeastern United States.
The group's honorary president was the British adventurer and writer, Rudyard Kipling. During the first three decades of the twentieth century, the group held an annual dinner at the Savoy Hotel in New York, where its members would meet and exchange stories about foreign travel and politics.The members of the group generally favored Anglo American colonization of the non-European world. Mark Twain recalled an evening at the club in a dictation recorded on March 7, 1906. During the evening, the chairman of the dinner, General James L. Wilson, proudly told the group that they were "all members of the Anglo-Saxon race." Wilson further commented, "And when the Anglo-Saxon wants something, he takes it." Twain said that Wilson's comment meant that Englishmen and Americans were "thieves, highwaymen, and pirates – and proud of it."The club was one of at least two such clubs in New York. The other club was the Adventurers' Club of New York.George Edmund Holt
George Edmund Holt (February 15, 1881 in Moline, Illinois – October 16, 1950 in San Diego, California) was an American journalist. In Morocco, he covered the defeat and abdication of Sultan Abd-el-Aziz for the Associated Press. He also met Raisuli. He was appointed Consul-General for the United States in Morocco.He also wrote short stories for magazines such as Collier's. and contributed both fiction and non-fiction to AdventureHe resided in San Diego from 1922 until his death.Harold G. Hoffman
Harold Giles Hoffman (February 7, 1896 – June 4, 1954) was an American politician of the Republican Party who served as the 41st Governor of New Jersey from 1935 to 1938. He also served two terms representing New Jersey's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, from 1927 to 1931.James L. Clark
James L. Clark (18 November 1883 in Providence, Rhode Island – 1969), was a distinguished American explorer, sculptor and scientist.
Following his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and his training at the Gorham Silver Company, he worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1908, he spent time studying wildlife in Wyoming, and then traveled to Africa with Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore to take photographs for Collier's Weekly. On this trip Clark produced the "first film to record African wildlife." He brought back specimens for hunters like Theodore Roosevelt and for American museums. He returned regularly to Africa and also traveled to Asia to collect zoological specimens. Clark was a member of the National Sculpture Society, the New York Zoological Society, and the American Geographical Society.John Alexander Douglas McCurdy
John Alexander Douglas McCurdy (August 2, 1886 – June 25, 1961) was a Canadian aviation pioneer and the 20th Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia from 1947 to 1952.John McCloy (Medal of Honor)
Lieutenant Commander John McCloy, USN (January 3, 1876 – May 24, 1945) was an officer in the United States Navy who was one of only 19 individuals to receive the Medal of Honor twice. He received his first Medal of Honor for action in the Boxer Rebellion in June 1900. His second Medal of Honor came in 1915 for action in Vera Cruz, Mexico in April 1914.McClelland Barclay
McClelland Barclay (1891 – 18 July 1943) was an American illustrator. By the age of 21, Barclay's work had been published in The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, and Cosmopolitan. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve in 1938 and following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor he went on active duty. At the time of his death, in 1943, he was a Lt. Commander.Norman Schwarzkopf Sr.
Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf (; August 28, 1895 – November 25, 1958) was the first superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. He is best known for his involvement in the Lindbergh kidnapping case. He was the father of General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., the commander of all Coalition forces for Operation Desert Shield/Storm.Thomas Scott Baldwin
Thomas Scott Baldwin (June 30, 1854 – May 17, 1923) was a pioneer balloonist and U.S. Army major during World War I. He was the first American to descend from a balloon by parachute.William Henry Jackson
William Henry Jackson (April 4, 1843 – June 30, 1942) was an American painter, Civil War veteran, geological survey photographer and an explorer famous for his images of the American West. He was a great-great nephew of Samuel Wilson, the progenitor of America's national symbol Uncle Sam.William Willis (sailor)
William Willis (September 8, 1893 – July 1968) was an American sailor and writer who is famous due to his solo rafting expeditions across oceans.