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To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States :
The select committee, to whom was referred the credentials of P. G. M. Frederick Leise, of New York, claiming to be the Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of New York, in the Grand Lodge of the United States, together with the proceedings of a number of Past Grands attached to the Grand Lodge of the state of New York, and the protest of P. G. M's Marshall and Osborn, a committee, authorized by the said meeting, remonstrating against the right of P. G. M. Frederick Liese to his seat in this Grand Lodge, as the Representative of the Grand Lodge of the state of New York, beg leave respectfully to report: That they have had that subject under consideration, and have given to it that careful and deliberate reflection to which its great importance to the Order at large, so justly entitles it. Your committee, in the anxious desire to be fully possessed of all the facts connected with the interesting inquiry submitted to them, invited P. G. M. Liese, and P. G. M's Marshall and "Osborn to be present at their meetings; from each of whom they received, in the presence of each other, their respective statements, testimony, and the arguments by which they sought to maintain their relative positions. The committee, looking to the general interests of the Order, and its welfare more particularly in New York, have therefore regarded the issue thus presented for their consideration, of such moment, as to induce an ardent hope, that the determination to which they have arrived, will be most cheerfully acquiesced in by the brotherhood of New York, in the same spirit of brotherly love, which has actuated this committee, in their efforts to arrive at the truth, in this important inquiry. It must, and we fondly flatter ourselves that it will be obviously evident to the intelligence of our brethren in New York, that this committee, and the Grand Lodge of the United States, should it concur in our views, can have but a single eye to the welfare of our beloved Order, and to the known and established rules of plain sense, in the determination of any question submitted by the states, to our consideration ; and whilst it might, in any inquiry, appear that abstract right sustained one portion of our Fraternity in any step they may have taken; yet, they who profess to be controlled by rules and fundamental regulations, cannot in reason or in conscience be sustained in their abstract rights, if rule and order be departed from in the effort to attain such rights. This decision is a painful
your committee to make, inasmuch as they will not disguise the fact, (if they be permitted to travel out of the real question before them, and express an opinion upon the merits of the matter,) that so far as they have been informed, there is much equity with the brethren who have elected, or proposed to elect, P. G. M. Liese, as Representative to this Grand Lodge; yet, having a single duty to perform, and that being to determine whether P. G. M. Leise has been constitutionally elected, they feel constrained to say, that they are unanimously of opinion, that he has not been elected by the Grand Lodge of New York, a Representative to this body, because, without going into questions which have been argued before them, and which belong exclusively to the consideration of the state of New York, they consider the extra meeting of the Grand Lodge of New York, of the 20th of August, 1836, as unofficial, as called without competent authority; the term of office of the officer assembling the meeting, having expired, and the Constitution confining his authority by clear .construction to his
incumbency, and that consequently all proceedings had under that meeting, and emanating from it, are irregular and not in conformity with the Constitution of that body, or of that of the Grand Lodge of the United States.
Your committee avoid expressing an opinion upon the local questions which, unhappily, agitate our brethren in that state; yet, confidently indulge the hope, that as Odd Fellows, knowing and appreciating the principles of that Order, which we all hold so dear, our brethren in New York, who have thus erred in the form and mode of improving what they hon. estly believed would be the result of their efforts, the condition of the Order in that state, will retrace their steps and begin anew their work, thus giving a bright evidence of their attachment to the Order, and affording a living and lasting example of that most important of all duties of Odd Fellows, a cheerful submission to law and order; to the decision of their highest tribunal. The committee beg leave, therefore, to recommend to the Grand Lodge, the adoption of the following resolutions. All of which is respectfully submitted.
JAMES L. RIDGELY,
THOMAS WILDEY. Resolved, by the Grand Lodge of the United States, That the certificate of election of P. G. M. Frederick Leise, as a Representative to the Grand Lodge of the United States, from the state of New York, does not, in the opinion of this Grand Lodge, proceed from a constitutional meeting* of the Grand Lodge of New York; and that P. G. M. Frederick Leise is not entitled to a seat in this body, as the Representative of the state of New York.
* A Constitutional Meeting of the Grand Lodge. ---Owing to a mischance of some kind, the report of the committee, with the resolutions, were mislaid, and could not be found while making up the proceedings for the press, immediately after the close of the session. The chairman of the committee, however, furnished the Grand Secretary with a report and resolutions, varying in form, but sub. stantially the same in import, with those presented by the committee, which were published in lieu. The original report and resolutions having been subsequently recovered, and spread upon the journal, are now published for the first time. This explanation is deemed necessary to those who may compare and discover a difference between the two versions. The additional report, however, has much value in the explication it affords of the progressive course and motle of reasoning by which the committee reached the conclusion presented in the report submited; and on which account we take the liberty of presenting an extract embodying its entire purport.
"The Grand Lodge of the state of New York having elected its grand officers at its regular annual " meeting, adjourned sine die, having failed to qualify the brethren entitled by the suffrage of the “Louige to installation. At a subsequent period, the late Grand Master, P. G. M. Leise, convened the "Grand Lodge, opened it and they as such proceeded to adopt an entire new Constitution--the Grand “Lorige was declared moved to the city of New York; and this body take possession of the effects of "the Grand Lodge of New York, assemble in the city of New York, and, among other proceedings, "elect P. G. M. Leise their Representative, who presents his credentials, claiming his seat in this body " as the Grand Representative in the Grand Lodge of the United States, from the Grand Lodge of " New York. Nothing can be more obvious than that the adjournment of the Grand Lodge at its "session in Albany, sine die, was an adjournment until the next stated period of meeting by the Con"stitution; and even supposing that the emergency produced by the failure to install the officers elect, "might have authorized the exercise of sound discretion in calling a special meeting of that body, its "functions could not with any propriety have extended beyond providing for the emergency, to wit: "the installation of the officers elect; and it may well be doubled even in such a view of the power to "call a special meeting, whether the call could properly originate from an individual claiming to be "Grand Master, and exercising the powers of that office, whose functions had expired by the constitu. " tional limitation--but for so important a purpose as the adoption of organic law, and fundamental "regulations, there can be no doubt of the irregularity of the meeting, and the consequent defective"ness of all subsequent proceedings."
The excitable character of the controversy which had attained to such importance in the jurisdic. tion of New York, seems to have prevented iis merits from having been fairly understood even by the able committee who had the subject in charge. Time has now softened down every asperity which may have had existence, and the unexampled success the Order has more recently enjoyed within the jurisdiction, has reconciled all parties to the state of things as finally arranged. But in this connection, simple justice to those through whose efforts this season of prosperity was produced, requires a palliatory word or two relative to the occurrences to which allusion is made in the report; and in the expression of which the sentiments of many who were antagonist, are now united. The main point assumed in the reports, is that the meeting of August 201h was " unofficial, called without competent
Resolved, unanimmisły, That P. G. M's Leise, Marshall and Osborn, be, and they are hereby most respectfully invited to seats in the Grand Lodge room, to witness the proceedings of this body.
On motion, the report was accepted.
Whereupon, Rep. Pearce, of Pennsylvania, moved the postponement of the further consideration of the resolutions, which was decided in the neg. ative, by the following vote; the yeas and nays being called by Rep. Ridgely, of Maryland.
YEAS—Rep's Pearce, 2 votes; and Zeitz—3.
Nays—Rep's Ridgely, 2 votes ; Gettys, Wolford, and P. G. Sires Wildey and Gettys-6.
The question was then taken upon the adoption of the resolutions, which was concurred in.
Rep. Pearce, of Pennsylvania, offered the following, which was adopted:
ved, That a committee be appointed by this Grand Lodge, to examinc into the situation of affairs in the state of New York, to make an effort to adjust the difficulties
authority." This position was attained by first assuming that when the Grand Lodge adjourned on Angust 5th, it adjourned sine die, and next, that the Grand Master holding over, was incompetent to call the Grand Lodge together. It is not our business or purpose to discuss these views, but to present a fact on one branch, and a doctrine on the other, in a different light from that in which they appeared to the committee.
The phrase sine die, when taken in connection with the word "adjourned,” is a substantire term, with a special meaning; and only used to show when an assemblage has deliberately determined to separate without an intention of meeting again immediately; and the idea is always embodied in the vote. On the occasion of the adjournment ailuded to, neither the phrase sine die, nor other words of the like import, were embraced in the motion, or slated by the chair; the adjournment was intended merely as a recess for dinner-the Grand Louge being in the midst of the consideration of a new Constitution, which had been regularly submitted for action six months previously, and about onehalf of which had been already adopted. It was not until several minutes after the adjournment was announced, that the Grand Officer who had occupied the chair pro tem., stated that in the absence of the Grand Master the Grand Lodge cannot again assemble, as there are no rules of order on adjourn. ment for the government of the body.” Instantly, the larger portion of the members, among whom was the Grand Master elect, consulied together, and agreed, before leaving the room, to request the Grand Master to re-assemble the Grand Lodge for the completion of the business in hand, as early as practicable; which was complied with, and the Grand Lodge again assembled, after due notice, on the 20th, in greater numbers than at any previous session. A majority of those who afterward protested, were present, using the distinguishing tokens of the Grand Lodge, and participating in the debates and votes. When the session was re-opened, business was resumed at the poiot it had reached when the adjournment took place. The committee was therefore misinformed of the true character of the proceedings, and of the views entertained by the members on all sides at the time the vote was taken on adjournment.
The anxiety manifested by the committee to conciliate the feeling alive among the brotherhood of New York, and to bring about, if it had been possible at the time, an adjustment of existing difficulties, led to a view on the tenure of office not entirely in consonance with the practice of the Order. The term of the Grand Master was assumed to expire previous to the installation of the successor, by * constitutional lim tion." But is it so? Are not all otficers in the Order installe a specified time, and until the installation of their successors? And are not many of them required not to surrender their osce unless a filling successor is chosen? These peculiarities, founded on the very genius of our organization, which abhors and amply provides against the occurrence of a state of nonentity, prevents a positive vacancy from arising in the important offices. Instances have not been rare, in all branches of the Order, from the lowest to the highest, where the presiding officers have continued to exercise the whole powers of office after the expiration of their terms. It is only neces. sary for our purpose, in elucidation, to refer to the session of the Grand Lodge of the United States, of April, 1840, called, as it will be seen, and presided over, by an officer whose term had expired six months before the session was held. On that occasion, the business was not limited to the installation of officers, but extended to the consideration of organic law, and the adoption of fundamental regu.. lations." Yet none have expressed a doubt of the perfect legality of the transactions of that session, nor that the Grand Sire, “whose functions had expired by constitutional limitation, in the October previons, did not rightfully continue to exercise the powers of office, by granting dispensations, etc., up to the moment or the installation of his successor. And such, doubtless, would have been the innate powers of his office, even had the Grand Lodge held a session at the appropriate time for instal. lation, and, failing to perform the ceremony, had in good faith adjourned sine die.
The adjournment of the Grand Lodge of New York, and the want of power in the Grand Ma er holding over, were evidently the true grounds of objection, however unfounded, to P. G. M. Leise being entitled to a scat as Representative of New York. No better proof need be desired of an entire absence of personal feeling influencing the result, than that this efficient brother was unanimously elected to the second office of the Grand Lodge on the same day he was refused membership.
existing in the Grand Lodge of that jurisdiction ; and the said committee be directed to proceed forthwith in discharge of the duties assigned them, if found necessary.
Rep. Ridgely, of Maryland, moved that D. G. Sire Pearce ; P. G. Sire Gettys; and P. G. Sire Wildey, constitute the committee, which motion prevailed.
Rep. Pearce, of Pennsylvania, moved that the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, be furnished with six copies of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of the United States, which was concurred in.
The Grand Lodge proceeded to the election of Grand Treasurer, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of brother Mowatt
, whereupon, P. G. ANDREW E. WARNER, of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, was declared unanimously elected.
On motion, the Grand Lodge proceeded to the election of Grand Officers of this Grand Lodge, for the ensuing term.
Rep. Ridgely, of Maryland, asked and obtained leave to be excused from voting.
P. G. Sire Wildey requested leave to withdraw his name from the list of nominations for Grand Treasurer, which was granted.
Whereupon, the election proceeded, and the Grand Sire declared the following duly elected, having received a majority of all the votes cast.
M. W. Grand Sire-P. G. M. James L. RIDGELY, of Maryland.
WEDNESDAY, 8 o'clock, P. M. The Grand Lodge met pursuant to adjournment.
P. G. Sire Wildey was called to the Chair, who ordered the Grand Secretary to call the roll of the Grand Lodge, when the following Representatives answered to their names, viz: Rep's Ridgely, of Maryland, Gettys, of District of Columbia ; Lucas; of Louisiana ; and Wolford, of Kentucky.
There not being a quorum of Grand Lodges represented, the Grand Lodge adjourned until to-morrow morning, at ten o'clock.
THURSDAY, October 6th, 10 o'clock, A. M. The Grand Lodge met pursuant to adjournment: Present, the Officers.
There not being a constitutional representation present, the Grand Lodge adjourned to meet this afternoon, at three o'clock.
THURSDAY, 3 o'clock, P. M. The Grand Lodge met pursuant to adjournment : Present, the same Officers and Representatives as in the morning.
Having failed to obtain a quorum, the Grand Lodge adjourned until eight o'clock, this evening.
Thursday, 8 o'clock, P. M. The Grand Lodge met pursuant to adjournment : Present, the Officers and a due representation.
P. G. Sire Wildey, from the special committee, presented the following report, which was, on motion, accepted.
To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States :
The committee to whom was referred the printing and distribution of the Work of the Order, intrusted to them by resolution of this Grand Lodge at its last Annual Communication, beg leave respectfully to report :That they have attended to the duty assigned them, and have had fifteen hundred copies of the Charge Books, Degree Books, Encampment Books and Funeral Obsequies, printed on good paper, fair legible type, and done up in a substantial manner, having an eye to economy—all of which they hope will meet with the approbation of this Grand Lodge. They also take pleasure in stating, that the several Grand and subordinate Lodges, and Encampments have been supplied with the new books, and the old ones destroyed, as far as praticable. All of which is respectfully submitted.
THOMAS WILDEY, Chairman. Rep. Gettys, of District of Columbia, from the Committee on Returns and Reports, presented the following report, which was accepted.
To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States :
The Committee on Returns and Reports, to whom was referred the
CHARLES A. ZEITZ. Rep. Gettys, of District of Columbia, moved that the reports of Washington Lodge, No. 3, Covington, Ky., be referred to the Grand Secretary, with instructions to place to the credit of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, the per centage received since the granting of the Grand Charter, which was concurred in.
Rep. Gettys, of District of Columbia, moved that the sum of fifty dollars be paid to brother Andrew E. Warner, on account of the balance due him for the Service of Plate, presented to P. G. Sire Wildey, by this Grand Lodge, and that interest be allowed him on the balance until paid, which was adopted.
P. G. Sire Wildey moved that five hundred copies of the Work of the Order, including the Degrees, with one hundred copies of the Funeral Obsequies, be printed in German, which motion prevailed.
P. G. Sire Wildey, from the Committee of Finance, presented the following report: