America's Oldest "Tea Drinking and Whisky" Speaking Society
Merton College Library
Cottage Club Library
Merton College, Oxford
University Cottage Club, Princeton
Library, South Bay
Merton Library
Merton Society Insignia


"Good Taste With Humour Conquers All"

By the end of the eighteenth century, the art of clever speaking and debate had become a well-respected activity at the great English universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.

In contrast, contemporary American universities rarely had the resources to foster such scintillating activity. But some time after 1800, better-educated Americans began to form associations in order to share their knowledge and speaking skills with other like-minded individuals. Often modeled after the great Oxford and Cambridge University forums of similar purpose, these American associations became known as "Speaking Societies."

This is the continuing story of the Merton Society, America's oldest "Tea Drinking and Whisky" Speaking Society. We hope your visit to this site is punctuated by the Society's humour and good taste above all.