National Geographic : 1900 Oct
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT Now, as regards membership : The graphical chart on the opposite page shows the number of members for each year since 1888: Starting in 1888 with a total membership of 209, we note a con tinual and steady increase up to 1899, when we had 1,417 members. Since then the membership has increased to such an extent that it has almost doubled in a single year (1,417 members in 1899, 2,462 members in 1900). It is obvious, then, that we are moving in the right direction. There is every prospect that attention to the Magazine and to the needs of our outside members will result in an increase of membership so great that we may hope in a few years to have thousands of mem bers where we now have hundreds, and to establish on a lasting foundation a great national society of which we may all be proud. I would therefore recommend the adoption of the policy of national expansion, and ultimately, when the proper time arrives, of national representation in the Society, with voting power not limited to the residents of Washington, D. C. Already the Uitlanders outnumber the Boers, 1,264 corresponding to 1,198 active members.* With this policy in view we may consider various steps that might be taken to bring about the desired result. NATIONAL EXPANSION We must pay every attention to our outside members and do every thing we can to hold their interest. (1) At present we can only reach them through our Magazine, and therefore every effort should be made to keep up its character, so that outside members may feel that it is to their advantage to be associated with the Society and receive its publications. It is of the first consequence to success that the Magazine should appear promptly on time; that its contents should be up to date, dealing largely with the geography of current events and those topics that are engaging public attention ; that the articles should be treated in a non-technical manner, so that all our members may understand them, and that the Magazine should be profusely illustrated with maps and pictures of life and action. (2) Special privileges might be given to members by affording them the opportunity of purchasing through the Society at reduced rates geographical works, books of travel, histories, etc. A large * The membership at present (September 15, 1900) is 2,622, of whom 1,41?> are corresponding and 1,209 active.