First Woman to Join the NYYC: 1894

history9 sBy Charles A. Dana, Commodore 2001-2002

Lucy Carnegie was the first woman to join the NYYC; the year was 1894, and it was not all smooth sailing. Much debate was heard in the board room and echoed in the New York Herald that wrote, "...Legal lore scintillated across the room. Eloquence leaped skyward in volumes. "Seen and unseen reefs were talked of, and the reverse of smooth water, fair tides, winds abaft the beam and sunshine for the old club were thought to be as Neptune lives, if the constitution was so construed."

The nays had it at first, but within a couple of months the tide turned with an amendment. Mrs. Carnegie was elected with her new steam yacht Dungeness, usually moored at Cumberland Island, Georgia's southernmost sea island, 22 miles long and predominately peopled by Carnegies. She had often entertained NYYC members there, which no doubt helped her application.