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in favor of P. G. P. Wilson Small, who repaired to New Haven and opened and constituted the Grand Encampment of Connecticut, and located it in that city, on the 20th of the same month. His return of the manner in which he performed this duty is herewith presented.
Application was received from Trenton Encampment, No. 2, Mt. Ararat Encampment, No. 3, and Olive Branch Encampment, No. 4, having fourteen Past Chief Patriarchs in good standing, and the assent of Mt. Sinai Encampment, No. 5, was signified by vote, (having no Past Officer to represent it in convention,) praying for a Grand Encampment for the state of New Jersey, to be located at the city of Newark; and also, to grant the privilege of holding sessions at the city of Trenton until the 1st of January next. Dispensation was accordingly issued, and the Grand Encampment opened and instituted at Trenton, as prayed, and its permanent location fixed at Newark, on the 11th day of May, 1843, by the Grand Sire, assisted by the valuable services of brother John G. Treadwell
, Grand Patriarch of the Grand Encampment of New York.
Application was received from Palmetto Encampment, No. 1, and Eutaw Encampment, No. 2, the only Encampments at the time in operation in South Carolina, praying for the grant of a charter for a Grand Encamp ment in that state. Dispensation was issued on the 21st of July, 1843, authorizing the same to be located at Charleston. The deputation was forwarded to the worthy D. D. Grand Sire Case, who opened and constituted the same on the 11th day of August, 1843. His return is herewith submitted.
Each of these dispensations will require the action of the Grand Lodge during the present session, to authenticate them.
An application was received in August last, from Oglethorpe Lodge, No. 1, and Live Oak Lodge, No. 3, for a Grand Lodge to be located at Savan nah, in the state of Georgia. Two other lodges being at the time the application was made, in successful operation within the limits of the jurisdiction prayed to be formed, who had not united in it, so far as relates to location, it is respectfully submitted to your direct action.
At the tiine when the Order was organized in this country on its present successful plan, those who were most active in framing it, were anxious to retain a general numerical registry of all lodges then in being, and which should thereafter be instituted, under the remote as well as the immediate jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the United States. The failure to establish so valuable a regulation at a period so propitious to its successful introduction and operation, is subject for sincere regret. Modification of our system and mode of government, under circumstances where experience convinces us it so nearly approaches the perfection desired, would be attended with much labor and no little vexation. Yet, to delay to future time a regulation which ever would have been useful, and is likely to become more essentially so in time to come, will be providing for an increase of these difficulties, superadded to that of rendering the task less possible to be performed with correetness. It is respectfully suggested to the Representatives to adopt measures for ascertaining the date of instituting the several subordinates which have been opened since the establishment of the Grand Lodge of the United States, whether by the authority of this Grand Lodge, or that of the states, and to have the same registered in for
mal manner, lodges and Encampments separately, and to provide for the preservation of a perfect register hereafter; so that a complete chronological re. cord of the past and future progress of the whole Order may be preserved in the archives. A measure of this kind would not interrupt the mode of preserving numerical registry under the state Grand Lodges and Grand En. campments, as at present practised; each state and country could continue the use of local numbering ; but it would provide for additional registration on general books. In view of a more extended operation than has heretofore limited our efforts, these preparations are the more essentially necessary at the present time.
Nothing can be more servicable in preserving the welfare and purity of the Order at large, than the exercise of proper care in the selection of persons for admission to membership. Among remaining practices in various parts of the jurisdiction, requiring correction by general regulation, and which is legitimately within the province of the Grand Lodge of the United States, may be enumerated that of initiating persons at places remote from their permanent residences, while lodges and Encampments are known to be located in their immediate neighborhood. Constant complaints are being made that highly improper persons have been thus admitted to membership, who in many cases have been refused admission by those to whom they were known, and admitted to the Order by those who had opportunity to be nothing but strangers to their true reputation. Would it not be well in such cases, for the Grand Lodge to protect one portion of the Order from the inconsiderate action of another
part of it.
Previous to the time arriving for the several D. D. Grand Sires to enter into their office according to the terms of appointment, the Grand Sire, pursuant to the suggestion on the subject in his report of last year, bad prepared a formal commission, detailing the duties proper for such officers to perform. A copy is herewith submitted for the sanction of the Grand Lodge. The exceeding great usefulness of these adjuncts to the Grand Sire have been proved in the most satisfactory manner during the current year, while such extraordinary accession has been making to both branches of the Order. It affords unmeasured satisfaction to be enabled to present for the first time reports in formal and regular manner, setting forth the performance of their duties, and the condition and prospects of the subordinates under their cha ge. Much that was hoped for from method has already been obtained, experience will supply the deficiency. Among those who have performed the largest amount of service during the term, may be noted D. D. Grand Sires Case, Hersey, and Bain; these brethren have labored with an industry deserving of all commendation. Be. sides furnishing special reports of every official act as it transpired, brother Case has presented a semi-annual report worthy of being considered a model. Each of the persons announced as having been selected for appointment by the Grand Sire were duly commissioned, excepting one, who not being qualified by the requisite degrees, his commission has been withheld and the duties devolved on brothers specially deputed. Full returns of the state of their respective charges have been received from D. D. Grand Sires Moore, of the District of Columbia; Glazier, of Delaware; Stewart, of Missouri, &c.; Potts, of North Illinois, &c.; and Mondelli, of
Louisiana—which places the department within their limits in the most promising position, excepting so much as relates to the Encampment branch in Delaware, which is stated to have been prevented from successful revival by the rates of charges for initiation, &c., under a Grand Encampment in a neighboring state, being on a lower scale than the Grand Lodge of the United States requires its subordinates to exact.
This is a proper subject for the Grand Lodge to so regulate as to prevent one part of the Order from inflicting injury on another. In the districts composed of the states of Connecticut, New Jersey, and South Carolina, the necessity of such officer is superseded by the establishment of Grand Encampments within their limits, which completes therein the arrangeinent for local supervision.
A laudable solicitude continues to manifest itself in every portion of the jurisdiction for information on the proper mode of work; and much anxiety exists for the personal visit of a proper Officer of the Grand Lodge to impart instruction. The Grand Sire was prevented from accomplishing a long cherislied desire of performing such duty in portions of the Order, most likely to need it, by circumstances as sadly painful as they were imperative. It is however gratifying to know that the necessity has been in some degree abated by the frequent visitings of brothers from all parts of the country to the seat of the Grand Lodge. Yet the uniformity of work is a matter which cannot be compromised, and the most active measures are necessary to perfect it.
For several years past a deep and abiding anxiety has exhibited itself, on all sides, for a revision of the style of the lectures and charges. None have opposed it as an unnecessary proceeding, but division has heretofore existed on the most appropriate time for its performance. Very few of the causes for delay now remain, the most important, that of supererogation in case of a settlement of differences with the A. M. C., (when an entire revision was expected to be necessary,) is likely forever removed. No occasion more fit can occur than the present to commence the work, equally on account of our freedom from external controlment, and the great abundance of mental accession to our councils. Would it not at the same time be commendable in the Grand Lodge to direct the preparation of suitable lectures for the side degrees ?
At the earliest possible period after the adjournment of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Sire, in pursuance of the vote on the subject, by commission, appointed P. G. Frederick Gol, Jr., and P. G. James Gavey, Jr., of Concorde Lodge, No. 43, of the state of New York, to examine and report on the correctness of the French translation of the lectures. Their report, which with their commission, is herewith submitted, will more fully inform you of the character of the reputed deficiencies in the translation committed to them for examination. Under further instruction, they kindly consented to revise and prepare a more finished and correct version; this labor they have performed to the entire satisfaction of capable Frenchmen to whose inspection it has been submitted. The resolution of last session, by which their above cited commission was raised, authorized the Grand Sire to compromise with the translator of the former version for the amount of his claim. Opportunity having been offered to bring together all the parties, the Grand Sire was enabled to conclude an amicable arrangement
which will no doubt prove satisfactory to the Representatives. It is sug. gested to present each of the Past Grands who rendered assistance in improving the translation, with a suitable memorial of the consideration in which valuable services are held by the Grand Lodge.
Notwithstanding the very clear manner in which our regulations on regalia define the mode of distinguishing the various ranks, there still ap pears to exist some little misapprehension on a few minor points ; should time permit, your attention to the subject is requested. The Grand Lodge will not fail to observe, that while legislating on the denoting emblems of advancement and office in the Order, it has heretofore neglected to define the appropriate jewels for its officers, as well as for every other grade of office. By providing for jewels suited to each office in the Order, the Grand Officers will be much relieved and assisted, as at present they are obliged to refer to the enactments of the several state Grand Lodges and Grand Encampments, which are as various as they are numerous.
The Official Magazine has continued in its onward course of usefulness to the Order, and gratifying evidence is afforded of the energy and capability of those to whose hands its management has been intrusted; much improvement is apparent as well from the increased experience of its able Editor and the style of its execution, as the growing punctuality of its publication. A certainty of regular appearance at the stated times, will further add to the confidence which the brethren throughout the land already evince towards it as a medium of official communication. The time has passed by when it seemed probmatical whether advantage would result from the dissemination of useful official information, judiciously selected. only question which can now be profitably considered in relation to it
, is one involving the best means of making it support itself, and incidentally contributing to the declining financial ability of the Grand Lodge of the United States. This latter part will be more particularly adverted to in another portion of this communication.
It must be gratifying to the Representatives to observe the interest manifested by brethren in various parts of the jurisdiction, favorable to the permanent establishment of this important assistant to their own labors, in supporting the true principles of the Order, and promulgating valuable information relative to its interest and progress ; untrammelled by local feeling or the jealousies arising from rival competition. Such qualities are essentially requisite to the channel of public communication with the brotherhood at large, and the community in which we live. And such may with certainty be expected from a work under the immediate control of the Representatives of the constituent bodies, dependent for support on the whole extent of our fraternity. Much to forward the work might have been done during the past year by agents especially authorized to visit the most eligible localities for obtaining subscribers. Several brothers high in the confidence of the Order, have within that period, made formal application for such appointment, and however much it might have gratified the Grand Sire to be thus instrumental in aiding this means of prosperity, nevertheless he could not conceive the power for such appointment rested in his hands. The propriety of taking measures for such commission in future, and the adoption of every other means which will tend to the improvement and success of the Official Magizine, is urgently pressed on the attention of
the Grand Lodge. The Agent, whose special duty it is, will lay before you the details connected with the business department of the Magazine, to which you are referred for more full information.
You are referred to the reports of the Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer for the detail of receipis and expenditures during the current year. Our system of finance was no doubt well adapted to a more limited
operation and less profuse disbursement; but it has now become experience that an entire renovation is required to render it at all adequate to the necessities of an extended and still extending jurisdiction. In his last report, the Grand Sire called attention to the propriety of a more vigorous enforcement of system and accountability ; in a slight degree the legislation of the session was in accordance with the suggestion, leaving, however, the more important defects wholly untouched. Is it not essential that immediate measures be adopted for re-organizing the manner of receiving and disbursing the funds, and for systematizing the mode of keeping the accounts ? Under the present system of heterogenous accounts, the income of the Grand Lodge appears, to the superficial observer, much more considerable than in reality it is. That which in justice can alone be reckoned as bona fide revenue, is such as is realized from charter fees, dues, and per centages; all other receipts are little else than re-imbursements for expenditures advanced in the preparation of books, &c., for the use of the fraternity. These should be kept as distinct as possible, every class of subjects of account appearing for itself
, and periodically the ascertained profits, should any accrue from the sale of books, &c., could be carried from such account to the general fund of the Grand Lodge. By adopting a plan of this character, the true amount of available revenue would be exhibited, and the business of the Grand Lodge correspondingly accelerated.
Misapprehension appears to exist, even among the best informed, relative to the financial abilities of the Grand Lodge. And hence it becomes a duty to lay before the Order the present and future means of support. perform such work in a manner to do justice to the great interests involved, would claim more attention than can possibly be devoted to it during the haste usual at the sessions of the Grand Lodge; and may make it necessary for a committee to take charge of the subject in the recess, and digest such improvements as experience and the prospects of the future may demand. While our attention is thus directed, it may not be improper in advance, to inform the Representatives assembled, that unless important improvement is made in the lateral sources of revenue, the Grand Lodge will be compelled, within a very short period, to resort to the doubtful expedient of an increase in the rate of dues. Every Grand Lodge and Grand Encampment added to our constellation, involves the substitution of a specific, direct and limited amount of dues for the more expansive income arising from charter fees, and per centage previously received from the subordinates to whom the grant is made; and is therefore in effect a diminution of revenue from a locality where the natural growth of the Order will require an increased expenditure from the general fund in its behalf. The system of direct taxation, which in theory may deem the most equitable and just, and to a limited extent in practice is so doubtlessly, has ever when solely used for filling the public coffers been abhored as the most odi