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Independent Order of Odd Fellows.







Preliminary Meeting for organizing the Grand Lodge of Maryland and

of the United States.

BALTIMORE, February 7th, 1821. Pursuant to previous notice, a meeting of a Committee of Past Grands of the city of Baltimore, was held at the room of Washington Lodge, No. 1, to take into consideration the propriety of establishing a Grand Lodge of legislative capacity, separate and distinct from working lodges ; when, after due deliberation, it was unanimously

Resolved, That it is expedient and necessary to separate the legislative from the operative portion of the Order, as well to insure system and uniformity, as greater efficiency in conducting the business of Odd Fellowship.

Resolred, That Washington Lodge, No. 1,be invited to surrender to this body of Past Grands, the sole possession of the charter received by the said Lodge from England. Resolved, That this body proceed to the selection of the requisite Grand Officers,

Committee of Past Grands.—Previous to the organization of Grand Lodges, (or, as they are now termed under the Manchester Unity, District Committees,) the business of supervision was imperfectly performed by "Committees of Past Grands," called together whenever their services were supposed to be needed. These bodies do not appear to have been in possession of any established powers, extent of jurisdiction, or permanent officers, and in convention were destitute of all regulation, other than such as was reflected by the dim light of "ancient usage." Matters of grievance was the principal business submitted to them; but their decisions were in no case final or operative, being merely recommendatory to the lodge, and was adopted or rejected at option. It is worthy of remark, that but few instances are known where their arbitrament was overruled; attributable either to the manifest justice of their action, or to the overawing influence which the rank of Past Grand at that time exer, cised in the Order.

+ Washington Lodge, No. 1.--This lodge was organized at the house of William Lupton, sign of the Seren Stars, Second-street, Baltimore, on the 26th of April, 1819, by Thomas Wildey, N. G. ; John Welch, V. G.; John Duncan, John Cheathem, and Richard Rushworth ; who assembled under a public invitation of the first named, in the papers of the day, and was originally intended to operate on the ancient method of self-institution, and to work according to the usages of the Union or London Order.


The following were chosen, in compliance with the last resolution:

M. W. G. Master.
JOHN P. ENTWISLE, R. W. D. G. Master.
WILLIAM S. COUTH, R. W. G. Warden.

R. W. G. Secretary.

R. W. G. Treasurer, and

W. G. Guardian.
On motion, Resolved, That three blank books be provided for the use of this body,
for records, &c.
On motion, the body adjourned to meet on the 22d inst.

JOHN WELCH, Secretary.

Organization of the Grand Lodge of Maryland and of the United States.

BALTIMORE, February 22d, 1821. The body of Past Grands having assembled pursuant to adjournment, the charter of No. 1, Washington Lodge of Maryland, and of the United States, was surrendered with all its powers into their hands. When the Grand Lodge was regularly organized.

The following Grand Officers were duly installed into their respective offices, viz.

The archives do not furnish satisfactory evidence of the exact period at which this design was abandoned; but there is evidence it was in the first month of the existence of the lodge. The work being thus changed to that of the Independent Order, it became necessary to be possessed of a dispen: sation from competent authority, as required under that organization. As early as June, a series of effort was commenced to that end, directed toward various points, as one after another indicated failure. The Abercrombie Grand Lodge of Manchester, (the head of one of the divisions of the Order who were at the time in active contest for supremacy in Odd Fellowship, and which was merged into the Manchester Unity in 1894,) was the first to respond, and on the 7th January, 1820, issued a dispensation, which however it is believed, never reached the lodge. Through the instrumentality of P. G. John Crowder, who visited Baltimore from Preston, England, during the latter part of 1819, the Duke of York's Lodge, Preston, Manchester Unity, (which in the general enumeration stands at present as No. 17,) by virtue of powers undisputed. also granted and forwarded a dispensation in form following:


“ PLURIBUS UNUM. “The Grand Lodge of Maryland, and of the United States of America, of the Independent Order of "Odd Fellowship.

"To all whom it may concern: This Warrant or Dispensation is a free gift from the Duke of “ York's Lodge, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellowship, holden at Preston, in the county of " Lancaster, in old England, to a number of brothers residing in the city of Baltimore, to establish a "Lodge at the house of brother Thomas Woodward, in South Frederick street, in the said city : “ Hailed by the title of No. 1 Washington Lodge, the Grand Lodge of Maryland and of the United “States of America.' That the said Lodge, being the first established in the United States, hath "power to grant a Warrant or Dispensation to a number of the Independent Order of Odd Fellowship "into any State of the Union, for ihe encouragement and support of brothers of the said Order on "travel or otherwise.

" And be it further observed, that the said Lodge be not removed from the house of brother "Thomas Woodwaru, so long as five brothers are agreeable to hold the same.

" In testimony hereof, we have subjoined our names and affixed the Seal of our Lodge, this the “ first day of February, one thousand eight hundred and twenty. JAMES MANDSLEY, G. M.


(L. S.)


GEO. WARD, P. G. (Colors.)


“GEORGE BELL, P. G." This instrument was not received until 3d of October, 1820, when it was formally accepted, and continued to be the warrant of authority under which the lodge worked, until the Past Grands invited its surrendry into their hands; the invitation was responded to favorably by an unanimous vote, and the lodge received a dispensation from the Grand Lodge in lieu. The success of the Order may with propriety be dated from this event, as concentrated and more enlightened action was the primary result.


M. W. G. Master.

R. W. D. G. Master.

R. W. G. Warden.

R. W. G. Secretary.

R. W. G. Treasurer, and

W. G. Guardian.
P. G. Larkam having been duly admitted to membership, the Golden
Rule Degree was then conferred on five Past Grands.

On motion, Resolved, That a dispensation be presented to Washington Lodge, No. 1, of Maryland, as a subordinate lodge.

The subject of providing means for the support of the Grand Lodge being under consideration, the following were adopted:

Resolved, That ten per centum be paid by the subordinate lodges on their receipts, for the support of the Grand Lodge.

Resolved, That each member pay to the Grand Lodge, seventy five cents for the Golden Rule Degree.

Resolved, That thirty dollars be charged for Dispensations for opening lodges, viz.:
Ten dollars for the Dispensation.
Ten dollars for the White, Blue and Scarlet Degrees, and Books of Charges. And
Ten dollars for the intermediate Degrees, called the Covenant and Remembrance.*
On motion, the Grand Lodge then adjourned.

JOHN WELCH, Grand Secretary.


BALTIMORE, May 22d, 1821. The R. W. Grand Lodge met and opened in ample form, THOMAS WILDEY, M. W. G. Master, presiding. No business appearing for the action of the body, the Grand Lodge adjourned.

JOHN WELCH, Grand Secretary.


BALTIMORE, August 22d, 1821. The R. W. Grand Lodge met pursuant to adjournment, and opened in regular form, THOMAS WILDEY, M. W. G. Master, presiding.

P. G. Larkam was appointed and installed Conductor.
The following resolutions were unanimously adopted :

Ist. That the Grand Lodge receive with entire satisfaction the application of Franklin Lodge, No. 2,t and agree to grant the petition therein contained.

21. That the Grand Lodge will as soon as possible prepare the dispensations, together with the books of the degrees, charges and lectures, in regular form and proper order.

3d. That the Grand Lodge will wait the arrival of the packet ship from Liverpool, in which the new lecture books, and other information written for, are expected to

Covenant and Remembrance.—These degrees, at the time denominated the "Intermediate Degrees.'' were prepared by P. G. John P. Entwisle, and sanctioned and adopted by the Committee of Past Grands, acting as a Grand Lodge, during the previous year.

# Franklin Lodge, No. 2.-This Lodge was organized on the principles of self-institution, about November 9th, 1819, with the approbation of Washington Lodge, by P. G. Henry M. Jackson and others, who drew from the latter named lodge for the purpose. It was located at the time, in the Plymouth House, Fell-street, (now Thames,) Fell's Point. Previous to the receipt of the dispensation from Preston, application was made to the Order in Manchester for a dispensation for this lodge, which at a special committee held on June 2th, 1821, was refused on the ground of Washington Lodge, No. 1, having been empowered to grant charters within its jurisdiction, and the applicants were referred to that body for dispensation.

arrive, in order that the dispensations granted to Washington Lodge, No. 1, and Franklin Lodge, No. 2, may be perfect and complete with the aforesaid lectures, &c.

4th. That the Grand Lodge, from and after the date hereof, hail and acknowledge Franklin Lodge, No.2, as a legal lodge of the I. O. Fellows, and that their dispensation shall be dated September 5th, 1821.

5th. That a committee of three be appointed-viz. the G. Master, D. G. Master, and G. Warden—to draft the dispensations, to prepare the books, and to inquire into the expense of printing fifty blank dispensations, and to report the same to an adjourned meeting of the Grand Committee,* to be called at the pleasure of the Grand Master.

6th. That Washington Lodge, No. 1, and Franklin Lodge, No. 2, be required to deliver to the Grand Lodge, the books of degrees they now have, on their receiving the

7th. That the resolution of the Grand Lodget on the 7th of February last, authorizing the purchase of books for the use of the Grand Lodge, be forth with attended to.

8th. That a sub-committee of three be appointed to draft a Constitution for the Grand Lodge, and to report the same to the next meeting of the Grand Lodge, or to the Grand Committee before, if necessary. Committee-D. G. Master, G. Guardian, and G. Conductor.

9th. That the 1st, 20, 30, 4th and 9th resolutions be communicated to the subordi. nale lodges by the acting G. Secretary. All business being disposed of, the Grand Lodge closed in F. L. and T.

JOHN P. ENTWISLE, Grand Secretary, pro tem.

new ones.


BALTIMORE, November 22d, 1821. The R. W. Grand Lodge met pursuant to adjournment, and opened in regular form, THOMAS WILDEY, M. W. G. Master, presiding.

The Grand Lodge having proceeded to business, eight propositions were presented from the committee appointed for the purpose of framing a Constitution for the Grand Lodge. I which were adopted unanimously.

· Grand Committee.-A term used to distinguish between formal regular sessions of the Grand Lodge, and the special or emergent meetings held for the transaction of special or minor business. The same officers and members who composed the Grand Lodge constituting the body of the Grand Committee. Business transacted by the Grand Commitlee, although official, was not strictly authentic until approved by the Grand Lodge at a regular session.

t Grand Lodge.-The Committee of Past Grands at the preparatory meeting is here alluded to.

Constitution for the Grand Lodge.---Having failed to obtain a copy of this constitution in the archives, a note was prepared stating that fact, and deploring the loss to the Order of so important a document; when a copy was furnished by our indefatigable Boston brethren from the archives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. "Grand Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Maryland and of the United States.

Sec. 1-On the Formation of the Grand Lodge. Art. 1. The Grand Lodge is composed of the Past Grands of all the lodges within the State, that shall b acting under a legal charter and in obedience to the constitution of the Grand Lodge, and must consist of at least five P. G's, from one or more lodges.

Art. 2. Every legal lodge shall be equally represented in the Grand Lodge, when by-laws are to be made, or when any alteration, repeal or amendment shall be made to the constitution; but in other business, a majoriiy of all the members present shall decide.

Art. 3. Any motion for an alteration, repeal or amendment to the constitution, must be sent in writing to the Grand Master or Deputy, at least six months before the annual meeting, at which time alone they can be made, so that the Grand Secretary may communicate the same to the P. G's of the respective lodges, that they may send deputies or appoint proxies to vote on the same; and a majori'y of three to one, shall be necessary to decide.

Art. 4. Any motion for a by-law to be made, altered, amended or dispensed with, must be sent in writing to the G. 8. at least three months before the meeting at which it is to be discussed, and a majority of the delegates or proxies shall decide.

Art. 5. Any P. G. desirous of entering the Grand Lodge as a member, must send a certificate signed by the elective officers of his lodge, and countersigned by a P. G., or if none else have passed the chair, it must be countersigned by the Warden and Guardian, and must be sealed with the seal of the lodge, to wit: That P. G

is clear of the Secretary's books, and under no charges of breach of the general articles or the by-laws, and that he has filled his office with honor to himself and with credit and advantage to the Order.'

Should be not be known to any member of the Grand Lodge, he shall be obligated that the certificate is genuine; and the certificate shall only be admissible on the first session of the Grand Lodge

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