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Lincoln University
Langston Hughes Memorial Library

Historical Collections


Named after the famous African American abolitionist and orator Henry Highland Garnet, The Garnet Literary Association (also occasionally spelled “Garnett” and sometimes referred to as a “lyceum” or a “literary society”) was one of two such societies formed shortly after Lincoln University’s founding, in association with the Collegiate Department. As documented in the college catalogues, students joined one of the two societies and through them had extensive practice in debate and oratory. These literary societies remained vitally important through the nineteenth and even into the twentieth century, at least until the arrival of intercollegiate football and Greek fraternities on campus.

Click here to access that collection, which is organized chronologically, oldest to newest.

Links to online Garnet Society documents:

1867 Constitution and Bylaws

1870 Letter to Editor (New Era) re anniversary of Garnet Literary Association

1893 Constitution

1894 28th anniversary printed program

1896 30th anniversary printed program

1899-1917 Minutes , handwritten in ledger book

1907 41st anniversary invitation booklet and program



For more information, contact Tracey Hunter Hayes

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