Skidmore Lecture Course: Mr. Sweeney, 1899

The Skidmore Standard did what it could in the fall of 1899 to promote participation in Skidmore’s brand-new Lecture Course.

Mr. Sweeney was the first of the five speakers, and the Standard took care to point out that others had previously found his presentations most satisfactory. From the November 24, 1899 Skidmore Standard:

Advertisement for the Skidmore Lecture Course in 1899.  "Dr. Sweeney's Lecture, Thursday, December 14.  Single admission tickets fifty cents."

From the December 8, 1899 Skidmore Standard.

Mr Sweeney made his theme “The Golden Age” a medium for everything that goes to make an entertaining lecture. It was full of wit, sense and eloquence. – Topeka Capital.


No lecturer has ever gone from our assembly leaving a better impression than Gen Sweeney. His manner is entirely unique and original. He has something to say, and his own way of saying it. He abounds in humor, and yet he is very embodiment of dignity and pathos. He is striking in his appearance, yet pleasing in his every movement. His broad experience abroad has given him a marvelous knowledge of men and things. He is withal so thoroughly American that to hear him is to be drawn nearer to our country and its flag. – Winfield (Kansas) Chautauqua Herald.


It is not often that a lecturer who is not at the same time a professional humorist fires off so many good things as Mr. Sweeney did last night. It may be supposed that the reverend gentleman does not aspire to be exactly a joker, and yet many a comedy has been put on the stage with less to laugh at in it than was contained in the “Journey to Jerusalem.” Mr. Sweeney’s summary of the English character in the matter of fondness for class distinctions was as brilliantly epigrammatic as anything of Max O’Rell’s. The whole lecture occupied more than two hours in its delivery, but the beauty and power of Mr. Sweeney’s language, the melodious variety of his voice and the infectious humor of his anecdotes were such that the interest of his audience never flagged for one moment. – Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal.

The Standard was also no slouch when it came to promoting local advertisers alongside the lecture course, as we see elsewhere in that issue:

Reuben Barrett, one of our substantial farmers was a caller at the Standard office Saturday. He had just purchased a fine road wagon of J. H. Grigsby after pricing the Maitland dealer’s rigs and said he intends to ‘put on style’ with the best of them this winter until the new wears off. Mr. Barrett is highly gratified over the Skidmore lecture course and he, with his entire family, will attend this winter.

In the following week’s issue, the paper reported:

The executive committee of the Lecture Club has selected the ‘Golden Age’ as the lecture which Mr. Sweeney shall deliver here. This is Mr. Sweeney’s favorite and we may go to hear him with the expectation of hearing something good.