century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

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William E. Verplanck


Centurion, 1900–1928

Full Name William Edward Verplanck

Born 8 April 1856 in Fishkill, New York

Died 18 December 1928 in Princeton, New Jersey

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Proposed by Robert Fulton Cutting and William Church Osborn

Elected 3 November 1900 at age forty-four

Archivist’s Note: Grandson of Gulian C. Verplanck

Proposer of:

Century Memorial

William E. Verplanck was a familiar figure at the Century lunch-table and in the Graham Library. He had a particular affiliation with the Club as grandson of its first president [Gulian Verplanck]; that very remarkable littérateur who, drafted suddenly from the pursuits of law to complete an unfinished volume of introductions to Shakespeare’s plays, stepped at once into the front rank of Shakespearian criticism and who, notably in his brilliant studies of “Othello” and “As You Like it,” had the distinction of shaping the present-day conception of those works. The grandson’s bent of mind was practical rather than literary, but a cultured mind and keen interest in the affairs of life gave flavor to his conversation, and he was as loyal a Centurion as his distinguished ancestor.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1929 Century Association Yearbook