The Delphian Club was a literary group that was organized in Baltimore in 1816. Until that time there were no clubs for professional writers, historians, novelists and poets. The group met in the rear of Barnum’s Hotel. Those in the group called the house ‘Tusculum’ and those on the outside called it ‘Gwynn’s Folly’. Here assembled the earliest of the literary persons of Baltimore. Among the members of the club were John Neal, William Gwynn, Paul Allen, Jared Sparks, Robert Goodloe Harper, John Pierpont, Francis Scott Key, Samuel Woodworth, Wiliam Wirt and others. Others that frequented the club included Rembrandt Peale, Peter Hoffman Cruse and John Pendleton Kennedy.
It has been said that Edgar Allen Poe’s never published ‘Tales of the Folio Club’ was in fact a satire of the Delphian Club which was very popular in his day. The club was known to celebrate at their meetings and the celebrations were normally the result of over indulgence in food, drink and ego.
The club operated from 1816 to 1825. The members were editors of at least twelve newspapers and/or magazines.