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GRAND LODGE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Held at the City of Baltimore, October, 1834.
MONDAY, October 6th, 9 o'clock A. M. The R. W. Grand Lodge convened this day at Odd Fellows Hall, city of Baltimore, being the regular Annual Communication, when the following were present. JAMES GETTYS,
M. W. G. Sire.
R. W. D. G. Sire,
R. W. G. Secretary.
W. G. Guardian.
P. G. Sire, THOMAS WILDEY.
P. G. CHARLES MOWATT, Rep. of New York.
P. G. M. JOHN PEARCE, Proxy Rep. of New Jersey.
The Grand Sire announced as the committee, Rep's Ridgely, of Ohio, and Lucas, of Louisiana.
Rep. Ridgely, of Ohio from the committee on credentials, presented the following report. To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States :
The undersigned committee, to whom was referred the credentials of the Representatives of New York, District of Columbia, Delaware and New Jersey, have examined the same and beg leave to report, that they are entitled to their seats in this Grand Lodge, as Representatives of their respective states.
JAMES L. RIDGELY,
SAMUEL LUCAS. On motion, the report was accepted, and the Representatives acknowledged.
Rep's Mowatt, of New York; Stelle, of District of Columbia ; Wildey, of Delaware; and Pearce, of New Jersey ; appeared and took their seats.
Rep. Keyser, of Maryland, Grand Chaplain, pro tem., addressed the Supreme Ruler of the Universe with prayer.
The Grand Lodge was then declared duly opened for the transaction of business.
The proceedings of the last Annual Communication were read and found correct.
On motion, the Grand Lodge adjourned to three o'clock this afternoon.
MONDAY, 3 o'clock, P. M. The Grand Lodge convened pursuant to adjournment, and proceeded to business.
Rep. Sanderson, of Maryland, from the special committee to whom was referred the petition of P. G. James Clark and others, presented the following report. To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States :
The undersigned to whom was referred the petition of P. G. James Clark and others, praying for a charter for a Grand Lodge for the state of Virginia, and to be located at Harper's Ferry in said state, respectfully report: That the petition is informal, and beg to be discharged from the furîher consideration of the subject.
HENRY S. SANDERSON,
On motion, the report was accepted.
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to draft a Form for petitions for Grand
The Grand Sire appointed Rep's Pearce of New Jersey: Mowatt, of New York, and Hopkins, of Pennsylvania, the committee.
On motion, the Grand Lodge adjourned to meet at three o'clock to-morrow afternoon.
TUESDAY, October 7th, 3 o'clock, P. M. The Grand Lodge met pursuant to adjournment: Present, the same Officers and Representatives as yesterday.
A petition was presented from brothers. J. J. Young, H. Upperman, W. Cunningham, L. Howard, A. K. Arnold, R. Boyd, Wm. Carter, John Borland, T. W. Beall, and Thomas Holtzman, of Jonathan Lodge, No.
4, Georgetown, D. C., praying for a charter to open an Encampment of Patriarchs in said place, to be hailed by the title of “ Adrianus Encampment, No. 2."
On motion, of Rep. Pearce, of New Jersey, the petition was laid on the table.
Rep. Pearce, of New Jersey, from the special committee to whom was referred the subject of drafting a Form of petitions for Grand Lodges, and Grand Encampments, presented the following report. To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States :
The committee to whom was referred the consideration of the 4th Article of the By-Laws, and report a form for the application for the charter for a Grand Lodge and Grand Encampment, respectfully report: That all ap. plications for charters for a Grand Lodge, or Grand Encampment, must be by the vote of the several subordinate lodges, or Encampments, in the state, district, or territory.
[They recommend the following as the form of proceeding : each subordinate lodge, or Encampment, in a state, &c., shall appoint one or more of its Past Grands, or Patriarchs, as a representative of his lodge, or Encampment, to meet with similar representatives from the other subordinate lodges or Encampments, of the state, &c., to consider the propriety of an application for a charter for a Grand Lodge, or Grand Encampment. Each subordinate lodge, or Encampment, shall
furnish to their representative a statement under the seal of the lodge, or Encampment, of the number of Past Grands, or P. C. Patriarchs, in good standing belonging to -them. At the meeting of the representatives of lodges, or Encampments, the vote shall be by lodges, or Encampments.]
The form of application for Grand Charters shall be as follows :
To the Grand Sire, Officers and Members
of the Grand Lodge of the United States, 1. 0. O. F. The petition of Lodge, (Encampment) No. 1, - No. 2, and No. 3, of
respectfully represent: that at present they work under warrants granted by your honorable body-that the Order has increased in the state, and at present they have - Past Grands, (P. C. Patriarchs) in good standing. They are of opinion it would be of advantage to the Order, if á Grand Lodge (Grand Encampment) was established in the state. They therefore pray your honorable body to grant a charter for a Grand Lodge, (Grand Encampment,) in the state of to be located at Witness our hands and seals, this day of — A. D. 18
A B, Representative of No. 1. (L. s.]
E F, Representative of No. 3. (l. s. All of which is respectfully submitted,
The Grand Sire announced as the committee, Rep’s Ridgely, of Ohio ; Mowatt, of New York; and Wildey, of Delaware.
Rep. Hopkins, of Pennsylvania, from the committee to whom was referred the subject of the communications of brother Paul, of Massachusetts, relative to non-judicial oaths, presented the following report.
To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States :
The committee to whom was referred the communications from Massachusetts, make the following report.
That they have taken the subject into their serious consideration. In the investigation of the matters referred to them, it appears that the Legislature of Massachusetts, on the 13th March last, passed a law making it highly penal in any person to “administer or take an oath, affirmation or obligation in the nature of an oath.” A copy of this law is annexed. This law has direct reference to the obligations administered at initiation, and on conferring degrees, &c.; it became, therefore, to the members of the Order in Massachusetts, a matter of great importance, and of serious consideration, how they were to act in the business of the Order. If they proceeded as heretofore, they subjected themselves to indictment for a violation of the law; if they yielded implicit obedience to the law as passed, they destroyed the Order in that state. They therefore ask advice of the Grand Lodge of the United States, as to what course they are to pursue.
Your committee consider the matter under consideration, as of great and vital importance to the Order, and as calling for the united wisdom of the members of this Grand Lodge. So far as your committee are able to form an opinion, they would pronounce the law of Massachusetts referred to, as unconstitutional. It takes from the citizen the undoubted right of peaceably meeting together for mutual support and assistance; and at such meeting binding themselves to do, or not to do, acts which may be of benefit to them, without injury to any one. It makes illegal that which pesses in secret; not because of evil arising from the act done, but because of its being done in secrecy—and it offers a reward for the violation of obligations. It is a tyrannical act, which none but those who consider that the enjoyment of liberty by others is an invasion of their individual rights, can advocate. Believing, as your committee do, that the time will arrive when the state of Massachusetts will be compelled by the voice of her people, or by the controlling power of the judiciary, to repeal this obnoxious law; and deeming it would be unadvisable for this Grand Lodge to incur the expense of obtaining a decision of the legitimate tribunal, as to the question of constitutionality of this law; and being anxious that the members of the Order in Massachusetts should be placed in a situation which would protect them from the danger of prosecution for a violation of law, your committee carefully examined the ancient work of the Order; they ascertained that the administering of oaths is of recent origin; that formerly, the candidate pledged his honor to perform what was enjoined on him—this, to most men, was as binding as the most solemn form of oath. Your committee, therefore, recommend the following:
Resolved, That so long as the law of Massachusetts, relating to illegal oaths, remains in force, the lodges in Massachusetts be authorized to admit members, confer degrees, and install officers, &c., on the pledge of honor-and.that the oath' be dispensed with.
Resolved, that the Grand Secretary transmit to the several lodges in Massachusetts a copy of this report and resolution.
On motion, the report was accepted, and the resolutions adopted.
Rep. Ridgely, of Ohio, from the special committee to whom was referred the reports of the several Grand Lodges, &c., presented the following report, which was accepted.
To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States :
The committee to whom was referred the annual reports of the state and district Grand and subordinate Lodges and Encampments, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the United States, beg leave respectfully to report :
l'hat they have carefully examined the several reports submitted to them, and whilst they find no matter therein requiring the particular attention of this Grand Lodge, they cannot avoid congratulating the Grand Lodge upon the continued and increasing prosperity of our Order, wherever it is located in our happy country. They regret, however, that no official report has been received from the states of Louisiana, Ohio, or Delaware ; and beg leave to urge upon the states in general, the great importance of punctuality in their annual reports to the Grand Lodge of the United States.
JAMES L. RIDGELY,
Resolved, That the Grand Lodge proceed to the election of Grand Officers on Thursday evening next, at eight o'clock.
On motion, the Grand Lodge adjourned to seven o'clock, this evening.
TUESDAY, 7 o'clock, P. M. The Grand Lodge met pursuant to adjournment: Present, the same Officers and Representatives as in the afternoon.
A petition was presented from brothers Benjamin Moses, George W. Monell, Alfred Riley, John Maxwell, John Calland, Horizon J. Poor, Peleg Kidd, Willis Payne, B. B. Evans, Caleb M. Kude, Charles Huntman, Edward A. Henry, and J. J. Roach, praying for a charter to open a lodge at the town of Covington, state of Kentucky, to be hailed and entitled “Washington Lodge, No. 3."
On motion, the petition was referred to a special committee of three.
The Grand Sire appointed as the committee, Rep’s Hopkins, of Pennsylvania ; Wildey, of Delaware; and Mowatt, of New York.
On motion, the petition of brothers J. J. Young and others, praying for a charter to open an Encampment of Patriarchs, was taken up for consideration.