Mrs. Potter Palmer
President Board of Lady Managers Columbian Exposition
1849 – 1918 A.D.
Miss Bertha Honorè was born and educated in Louisville, Kentucky. She also studied in the convent school at Georgetown, D.C.
She became the wife of Potter Palmer, the Chicago millionaire, in 1871, and soon became, and since continued to be, the recognized social leader of fashionable society is Chicago.
But Mrs. Palmer has marked intellectual as well as social qualities. She is a skilled musician, a proficient linguist, a brilliant writer, a skilled parliamentarian, and a woman of marked executive ability. She was chosen president of the Board of Lady Managers of the Columbian Exposition at Chicago, and in the interests of the exposition visited Europe in 1891 and enlisted the interest and co-operation of many leading women in Europe.
Mrs. Palmer is noted not only as a social leader but her gifts for state and local charities as well as private gifts are in generous proportion to her fortune.
The Board of Lady Managers of the Columbian Exposition ordered a portrait of Mrs. Palmer to have a place in the Assembly Hall of the Woman’s Building. Mr. Anders L. Zorn was chosen as the artist.
At the unveiling of the portrait addresses were made by several of the prominent women. Among other things this was said:
“In after times, when our names have been forgotten, those who came after us will look upon this portrait and see not only the likeness of our president but the attributes which surrounded her, that helped us to help the women of this century. Her genius has for three years led us over the mountains of difficulty, through valleys of humiliation, to the crowning peaks of difficulty, never listening to such words as ‘fail.’
“We court not the titles of rank in this land of ours, where every woman may be a queen, and when the women of America choose a leader and representative she is not only a queen by queenly. If we cannot crown our Queen we will present our Queen already crowned.”
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.