O’Connor, Tatham, Nadal, Van Zo Post, 1891

William Scott O’Connor, Charles Tatham, C. C. Nadal, and Albertson Van Zo Post (seated)

Fencers’ Club Stars


standing left to right
William Scott O’Connor
(1892 US Foil Champion),
(1905 US Epee Champion)
OLYMPIC  SILVER medal 1904

Charles Tatham
(1901 US Foil Champion)
(1901, 1902, 1903 US Epee Champion.),
2 OLYMPIC SILVER medals 1904,
1 OLYMPIC BRONZE medal 1904

Charles Coleman Nadal
member of the 1894 AFLA Rules Committee, 1892 finalist in the national foils championships held at the Berkeley Lyceum

Albertson Van Zo Post
(1895 US Foil Champion),
(1896 & 1912 US Epee Champion),
(1901, 1902, 1903 US Saber Champion)
2 OLYMPIC GOLD medals 1904,
1 OLYMPIC SILVER medal 1904,
2 OLYMPIC BRONZE medals 1904

Members of this great championship team from the New York Fencers’ Club not only won Olympic medals and US titles but also helped to found the US Fencing Association in 1891.  In 1892, however, they were defeated by great teams from the other 2 top fencing clubs.  Here is an article from the period:

“No better place than the large gymnasium of the Central Turn Verein could have been chosen, and at nine o’clock, when the contest began, the sight was one that could not fail to inspire with delight the eye and heart of a person interested in fence.  There were
three spaces marked off on the floor, which was the limit of space allowed contestants to work in, and in each space a contest “waxed hot and furious” for two hours, before three sets of judges and referees.
The purple velvet and the black cloth uniform worn by the fencers mingled in picturesque profusion, and were the objects of much admiration to the many ladies present; but the white uniform, which is decidedly the handsomest of all, was noticeably absent,
owing to the fact that the points were to be counted by chalk tips on the foils, which leave a white spot on the dark fencing jackets when a “touch” is made.
Now, in glancing over the list of competitors (of the twelve, with one or two exceptions, they were champions or ex-champions), one might expect, with reason, to see some good fencing.  But in this expectation every visitor was grievously mistaken; for although
all the contestants are good swordsmen when fencing in the salle d’armes for amusement, they failed to show their skill and expertness on this occasion.
They had not come to fence, as was generally supposed, but, as they immediately demonstrated when they began, to win that cup “by hook or by crook.”  As soon as the word was given to “go” they flew at one another as no man in his senses would do had the weapons been sharp, trusting almost entirely to chance, and not to skill, to touch one another, with but one desire- that of placing a white chalk mark upon the jacket of the opponent.  I venture to say that if the swords had been sharp, and they had fenced in the manner they did, there would have been twelve expert swordsmen killed by their own hands that evening, instead of any surviving victors.  Fortunately,
the foils were buttoned, and so no harm was done, except that some suffered from chagrin at losing.  But, taken as a model to encourage fencing in this country, I am afraid it was a failure.
The final round was very close, and it was anybody’s game almost to the finish.   The New York Athletic Club Team, however, won the cup, witha score of 105.66 points;  the Central Turn Verein, was second, with only half a point behind, 105.11; and the Fencers Club, third.”Richard B. Malchien , Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, January,1893.