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Commercial Club of Boston records

Collection MS-1992-017: Commercial Club of Boston records


  • Creation: 1866-1953
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1874 - 1922

Scope and Contents

The Commercial Club of Boston records contain correspondence, financial records, membership books, photographs, meeting minutes, lectures, and event materials including artifacts, programs, and menus. Of note are an account of a 1905 trip to Cuba written by Robert Batcheller, the Club's secretary, and materials related to the visit of President William McKinley in 1899.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Historical note

In 1868, delegates from boards of trades and chambers of commerce from across the country planned to attend a national meeting in Boston. Responsibility for planning the entertainment of this convention was placed upon a committee of delegates from the Boston Board of Trade, known as the Entertainment Committee. After the convention, the Committee continued to meet to discuss local issues. On November 7, 1868, they formally organized as the Commercial Club of Boston (CCB). The CCB later separated from the Boston Board of Trade and became an independent social organization.

The CCB defined its purpose in the organization's constitution as "advancing by social intercourse, and by a friendly interchange of views, the commercial prosperity and growth of the City of Boston." The CCB was run by an elected Executive Committee which consisted of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and three other members. Officers were elected on an annual basis. Nominations for club membership were made to the Executive Committee.

Meetings were held monthly and included a lecture on a contemporary topic followed by dinner. Prominent guests included Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and William McKinley. The club meetings allowed local merchants from different sectors of Boston's economy to come together to discuss issues related to the city's economic growth. Lecture topics included the proposed Museum of Fine Arts, the telephone, Arctic explorations, and the Panama Canal.

Sister clubs were formed in Chicago (1878), Cincinnati (1880), and St. Louis (1881). The clubs would occasionally hold joint meetings. The CCB continued to exist as an independent men's club into the 1920s. By the early 1930s, it merged into the Merchant's Club of Boston.


Batcheller, Robert, and Commercial Club of Boston. Constitution, officers, chronology, retrospect. Boston: 1906.


20.25 Linear Feet (34 containers)

Language of Materials



Records documenting the Commercial Club of Boston, a social club for area businessmen in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Materials include correspondence, ephemera and artifacts from Club events, financial records, membership books, photographs, regular and executive committee meeting minutes, and lectures.


Arranged into five series: I. Correspondence; II. Events; III. Financial records; IV. Meetings; V. Publications.


Gift of George H. Ellis, 1992.

Commercial Club of Boston Records
1866-1953 (bulk 1874-1922)
Edward Coppenhage, 1996; Sarah K. Nytroe, May 2005; and revised by Ray Hartley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States