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After an address to the Throne of Grace by the Grand Chaplain, the Grand Sire appointed Rep’s Cook, of New York; Taylor, of Ohio ; and Vn Sickell, of New Jersey, a committee to examine the credentials of the Representatives of the several Grand Lodges.
Rep. Cook, of New York, from the committee on credentials, presented the following report, which was accepted and the Representatives acknowledged. To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States :
The committee on credentials report, that they have examined the certificates of election and appointment of the various Representatives and Proxies from the several state Grand Lodges, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the United States, and find them made out in due form, with seals attached to them. We are unable, however, to report as to the correctness of these seals, not having fac-similes of the seals of the various state Grand Lodges, before us, to compare with them. The committee, however, would recommend that the Grand Corresponding Secretary examine the seals attached to the certificates, and if he find them, or any of them, correct or incorrect, to so report to the Grand Lodge. All of which is respectfully submitted.
SYLVESTER VN SICKELL. The Grand Sire announced the following Standing Committees :
On Finance-Rep's Hopkins, of Pennsylvania ; Vn Sickell, of New Jersey; and Kennedy, of Delaware.
on Petitions-Rep's Kennedy, of Delaware; Cook, of New York; and Leidy, of Pennsylvania.
On Returns-Rep's Marley, of Maryland ; Bradley, of Connecticut; and Bayley, of Missouri.
On Correspondence-Rep's Hopkins, of Pennsylvania ; Taylor, of Ohio; and Warner, of Maryland.
On the State of the Order—Rep's Leidy, of Pennsylvania ; Wildey, of Mississippi ; and Ridgely, of Ohio. The
Grand Treasurer presented his Annual Report, which was referred to the Committee of Finance.
The Grand Sire presented the following, being his Annual Report, which was read.
To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States :
presents his report to the Representatives at their regular Annual Communication. In so doing, he avails himself of the occasion, most cordially to falicitate them upon the progressive march of Odd Fellowship, in both hemispheres. Since a period not exceeding, it is believed, fifty years, was the Independent Order of Odd Fellows originally instituted in England, and under circumstances far from auspicious, struggled its way amid difficulties and trials, which for the most part encompass the infancy of all efforts of benefaction to man. From thence its principles have been dis
seminated to every quarter of the earth, embracing within the extended circle of its genial influence, our own happy land. However vigorous and progressive its increase wherever transplanted, it seems destined in no country, to a greater degree of prosperity, than in the land which gave it birth. To have planted their standard in this vast continent, and to have witnessed the growth of the scion, would of itself have satiated an ordinary ambition ; but the zeal which animated the founders of the Order, has not abated with the present generation of Odd Fellows in England. While the former have made every county, town, and village at home, the seat of one or more lodges, the latter have pushed the jurisdiction of the Manchester Unity, within the last few years, to Scotland and Ireland, to the continent of Europe, to Gibraltar, and even to the colony of New South Wales. To bind, if possible, more closely the relation which we bear to the mother country in Odd Fellowship, (it has been my constant desire to cherish a good understanding with the G. M. and Board of Directors in England,) and to leave no effort unemployed to assure them of the deep interest which the Grand Lodge of the United States have felt in the prosperity of the Order, wherever established. To these ends, immediately after the adjournment of your last session, the Corresponding Secretary was directed to resume and continue with regularity, the correspondence which had been previously had with that body. I have great pleasure in informing you, that this duty has been promptly and satisfactorily discharged by that officer, as from the correspondence which will be submitted will be manifest to the Representatives. I congratulate you upon the cordial spirit with which our brethren in England have received our suggestions, upon the zealous co-operation which they tender us in the promotion of the great ends of the Order, and the earnest regard which they express for the American link in that chain of Odd Fellowship, with which they hope to encompass the habitable earth.
While it is thus a source of great pleasure to contemplate the success of the cause of Odd Fellowship in England, it is not the less gratifying to survey its continuing prosperity in nearly every quarter of our own jurisdiction. To present a detail of its condition at home, being more especially my duty, I proceeed to recount our immediate operations during the past year. In the exercise of the authority with which the Grand Sire has been clothed, by law, I have caused dispensations to be issued for the organization of Grand and subordinate Lodges and Encampments, during the vacation of the Grand Lodge, and acting under the salutary example set by my immediate predecessor, I have in no instance exercised the power, except with great caution and after diligent inquiry into the character and qualifications of the applicants.
Conformably to the resolution passed at the last session, granting the petition of Quinnipiac Lodge, No. 1, Charter Oak Lodge, No. 2, and Middlesex Lodge, No. 3, of the state of Connecticut, to form a Grand Lodge, to be located at the city of New Haven, in that state, a Grand Charter was issued, and P. G. M. John A. Kennedy, of New York, was entrusted with a deputation to open and constitute said Lodge, on the fifteenth day of November last. Early in the following month, I had the pleasure to receive from that worthy brother, a return of the deputation, accompanied with an interesting report of ihe very flattering auspicies un
der which he had instituted the Grand Lodge of Connecticut. To use the emphatic language of the report, the improvement of the Order in Con. necticut has been as rapid as diffusive, the number of Odd Fellows hava ing increased from five, at its beginning, three hundred." Three subordinate lodges, with a Grand Lodge to supervise this work, are now cooperating in that state to spread the principles of our beloved Order. I caused, as directed, a new charter also to be issued to Merrimack Lodge, No. 7, in the state of Massachusetts, in lieu of the one represented to have been destroyed by fire; this document was delivered to P. G. Sire Thomas Wildey, who, under a former order of the Grand Lodge, was charged with a visitation to that section of the country. Having received no official report from that brother upon this subject, I presume it his intention to present an account of his mission directly to you, at your present session.
On the first day of March, 1841, petitions were received from Lone Star Lodge, No. 1, Harmony Lodge, No. 2, and Galveston Lodge, No. 3, all of the republic of Texas, praying for a charter for a Grand Lodge, subject to this jurisdiction. The petitions being in strict conformity with Article IX, of the Laws, and testimonials as to the character of the applicants entirely satisfactory, the Grand Sire authorized a dispensation on the 12th day of March, 1841, and further directed a deputation to P. G. M., J. DeCordova, of Galveston, to open and constitute the same as the Grand Lodge of the republic of Texas, to be located at the city of Houston. regret to say that no return of the deputation has as yet been received. From the high character of P. G. M. DeCordova, and the great confidence reposed in him by the fraternity at New Orleans, the Grand Sire entertains no doubts of the trustworthiness of the Deputy, and is disposed to attribute his failure to report, to causes not within his control.
On the 22d day of March last, a dispensation was authorized, upon the proper and formal application of a constitutional number of brethren residing at Black Creek, East Florida, to form a subordinate lodge in that territory, and a special deputation was issued to P. G. Daniel Parkhurst whose character in the Order was fully vouched for by the Grand Lodge of New York, to open and constitute said lodge, to be hailed by the name and style of “Florida Lodge, No. 1,” in the territory of East Florida. Brother Parkhurst has made a due return of the opening of the lodge, and presents a glowing account of the prosperous condition of the Order in this distant region of country.
In granting this dispensation, the Grand Sire felt himself at great difficulty, and yielded his objections only to the earnest solicitations of the brethren concerned, who appeared so zealous in the cause of the Order, and so anxious to establish the lodge, that he was induced to confide entirely in their representations, having no evidence before him, excepting in the case of brother Parkhurst, of New York, that the petitioners were in good standing; trusting entirely to the representations made in the petition, that they had all regular cards, and having received from the Grand Lodge of New York, information that brother Parkhurst was in regular standing, the Grand Sire, in view of all the circumstances, ventured to entrust the deputation to brother Parkhurst, with a strict injunction, however, not to constitute the lodge unless satisfied that the petitioners were all as represented, duly qualified. What constitutes the evidence of “good
standing" in the language of the first article of the By-Laws, it is difficult to ascertain. It is true that it has been the practice to require the cards of the applicants to accompany the petition ; but as such a compliance would by no means entirely protect the Grand Lodge from imposition, if it were designed, it is suggested that some definite regulation be adopted on the subject.
On the same day, a dispensation was also authorized upon the proper application of five brethren of Weldon, in the state of North Carolina, to form a lodge in that place; accompanying this application, a letter was received from P. G. M. Bain, late Representative of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, bearing testimony of the entire qualification of all the petitioners, and recommending the grant of their request. A special deputation was accordingly issued to P. G. M. Bain, authorizing him to open and constitute said lodge, to be hailed by the name and style of “Weldon Lodge, No. 1,” to be located at the town of Weldon, county of Halifax, and state of North Carolina. No special instructions were given to the deputation, the Grand Sire considering it fortunate for the Grand Lodge, that so able and distinguished a brother was found willing to give to the Order, the benefit of his services on this occasion. A special dispensation as prayed for, was issued on the 12th day of May, 1841, upon the application of brother John H. Honour and others, for a subordinate lodge, to be known by the name and style of “ Marion Lodge, No 2," to be located at Charleston, in the state of South Carolina. This application was in strict conformity to the regulations of the Grand Lodge, and the character of the applicants satisfactorily avouched for by South Carolina Lodge, No. 1, located in the same city, a lodge under this jurisdiction in good standing, and efficiently engaged in the Work of the Order—a certified copy of the recommendations and resolutions of that lodge, in behalf of the applicants, is herewith presented. P. G. Thomas Greer Clayton being recommended as a suitable individual to entrust with the opening of Marion Lodge, a deputation was accordingly transmitted to him to that end, and accompanied with specific instructions, enjoining the necessity of a return of his deputation before your
Annual Session ; and it affords me great pleasure to inform you, that the duty with which brother Clayton was charged, has been most promptly performed, to the delight and satisfaction of the fraternity in Charleston-his return is herewith presented.
On the 16th day of May last, an application was received from the D. Grand Master of Virginia and other members of the Order, praying for a charter to open and constitute an Encampment of Patriarchs, under this jurisdiction, at Lynchburg, in that state. The high character of the
applicants appearing to the Grand Sire abundantly vouched for by the D. Grand Master of the state, and the application conforming in all respects to law, a dispensation was accordingly issued pursuant to their request, and a deputation transmitted to brother P. G. George J. Roach, of Richmond, to open and constitute Virginia Encampment, No. 8, to be located at Lynchburg, in the state of Virginia ; thus making eight Encampments of Patriarchs in that state—all of which, it is believed, are in successful work.
Upon the application of Tennessee Lodge, No. 1, and Nashville Lodge, No. 2, in the state of Tennessee, praying for the institution of a Grand Lodge in that state, a dispensation was issued as prayed for, on the 24th
July last, directed to brother P. G. C. C. Trabue, authorizing bim to open and duly organize the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, at the city of Nashville. Brother Trabue, with great promptness, has discharged the duty entrusted to him, and his return, herewith submitted, will inform the Grand Lodge of the brilliant prospects of our Order in that enlightened state.
Early in the month of August last, an application in due form of law, was received from several Patriarchs, for a dispensation to open an Encampment in the state of Connecticut, at the city of New Haven, to be styled “Sassacas Encampment, No. 1." This petition was accompanied with a resolution adopted at a regular meeting of Mt. Sinai Encampment, of the state of New York, highly commendatory of the character of the applicants. The Grand Sire did not hesitate to authorize the dispensation prayed for, and, at the request of the applicants, directed a deputation to constitute said Encampment, to be transmitted to P. C. P's John G. Treadwell and William Y. Clark, of the city of New York, whose return and report, accompanying this communication, furnishes the most gratifying account of the Order in Connecticut, and evidence of the deep interest taken by the deputation on the business of Odd Fellowship, in their readiness to serve the Grand Lodge of the United States. A second application was very shortly after the return just referred to, made from the same state, for the formation of an Encampment of Patriarchs, No. 2, to be located at the town of East Haddam, and county of Middlesex, to be hailed by the style and title of “Oriental Encampment, No. 2.". The petition being in due form, and from qualified brethren, vouched for by an official resolution of Sassacas Encampment, No. 1, of the state of Connecticut, a warrant was issued, with a deputation addressed to P. G. M. John A. Kennedy, of New York, authorizing the instituting of Oriental Encampment, No. 2, of the state of Connecticut, at East Haddam. The return of brother P. G. M. Kennedy, of the opening of said Encampment, has been received, and accompanies this report.
On the 2d of September instant, the Grand Sire had the pleasure of receiving an official application from South Carolina Lodge, No. 1, and Marion Lodge, No. 2, of Charleston, in the state of South Carolina, desiring a warrant for the organization of a Grand Lodge in that state. in all respects conforming to law, the dispensation prayed for was issued, and P. G. M. George M. Bain, of Virginia, deputed to proceed to the city of Charleston, to institute the Grand Lodge of South Carolina. It is a source of regret to the Grand Sire to report, that a letter has been received from brother Bain, declining, on account of pressing prior engagements, the performance of the duty requested of him, and that accordingly this Grand Lodge has not been yet opened.
These dispensations were all granted, subject to the approbation of the Grand Lodge of the United States, at its present session, and the returns of the deputation in each case are herewith submitted, that you may determine whether charters shall be authorized. I am happy to be able to inform the Grand Lodge, that so far as information has reached me, every lodge or Encampment instituted during the recess, is in the most prosperous condition at the present time; and from the prospect afforded by the zeal and enthusiasm which animates the brethren in the states where Odd Fel. lowship has been but recently introduced, I am confident thai they will