The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8
This letter was received February 2, 1878, but the minutes of the Standing Committee arrived on the 24th of January, when the following reply was addressed to Grand Secretary Cuktis:
"It has been found necessary to make full quotations from the printed proceedings of the Standing Committee to render the reply which I shall make in defence of the report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, intelligible and of proper force.
"First, I will frankly concede that the committee have erred in stating that 'the card issued is in contravention of the terms of the Charter,' and 'that one of the specifications in the Charter of the Grand Lodge of Australia provides that all cards issued by that jurisdiction shall emanate from the Grand Lodge of the United States. 'This is certainly error, superinduced possibly by the existence of such provision in the Charter of the Grand Lodge of the German Empire; more probably, from the utter inability of the G. L. of U. S. to surrender so vital and indispensable an attribute of its sovereignty to enable it to maintain a uniform T. P. W. and card throughout the world, It is, however, an unimportant inquiry how the committee fell into the error. It is conceded to be error. The simple question is: Is the card illegal otherwise, and has it been improperly interdicted in the jurisdiction? I do not propose to occupy many words in the vindication of this position. Let us examine for a moment the Charter of the Grand Lodge of Australia. The sovereignty in Odd Fellowship granted in your jurisdiction, is limited in the second and third paragraphs to the third more particularly I refer (although the second is quite definite and comprehensive), viz.: 'That this Grand Lodge reserves to itself the right to give to the said the Grand Lodge of Australia the annual traveling password, to be used within the jurisdiction of the said the Grand Lodge of Australia, and both jurisdictions shall use the same traveling password.' The position assumed is that the card issued by the Grand Lodge of Australia is unauthorized and of course illegal.
"First, because it is an 'alteration and repudiation of the work of the Order as known and practised within this jurisdiction' forbidden by the first section (second paragraph) of its Charter. See also Digest, title 'Cards,' Sec. 214 et passim. It need only be remarked that cards are a fundamental part of the machinery of our system and are an indispensable part of the detail of the traveling password which the G. L. of U. S. alone supplies throughout the globe
"Second. The casus omissus of this condition in your Charter in words is abundantly supplied by its ubiquity in spirit in every part of the document, and the utter want of ability which the Supreme Grand Body would thereby possess to enforce uniformity and universality in its T. P. W. or its system of work wherever the Order is established.
"I shall with pleasure give the publicity to the minutes of your Standing Committee on this subject which you desire, by giving the same publicity to your denial as has been given to the mistaken assertion of the Committee on Foreign Relations.
"And now, having with the best grace of which we are capable, considered the mistake of the Committee on Foreign Relations, in assuming in their report the existence in your Charter in terms of a clause requiring the emanation of all cards issued in your jurisdiction from the G. L. of U. S., and shown the presence of such a provision in the Charter in spirit and in un- page 42 avoidable combination with the reservation to supply what the general system of work requires, we have done, and fraternally conclude this communication, satisfied that you will promptly retire the cards and conform to our law on the subject with pleasure."
On the 2d of February Grand Secretary Curtis was informed:
"Your favor of Nov. 28th has been this day received at this office, I am sorry that our respective Grand Lodges should apparently be getting asunder, instead of drawing closer together in conformity to first principles and to the instinctive fellowship of our beloved Order.
"The present aspect is inauspicious, it is true, but it involves no irreconcilable conflict. Patience, forbearance, intelligence, and a spirit of reciprocal love for Odd Fellowship, will, it is believed, restore our fraternal relations and adjust our system upon a sound basis, so that the superstructure will be everywhere a unit, everywhere solid and enduring. I have already replied to the minutes of your Standing Committee in that spirit, and now feel persuaded that your Grand Lodge will respond correspondingly. The question of the uniform card is a vital one, and involves not only the supremacy as to jurisdiction and authority, but also the entire possibility of maintaining the system of ubiquitous visitation, which is an essential and indispensable part of our working machinery. The system in the jurisdiction of the German Empire is simple and free from all trouble. The card is supplied by us in the English language; authority is conferred to print the text on the reverse side of the card in German, thus the same card emanating from the head of the Order circulates in both jurisdictions and is equally effective, vital, and convenient, maintaining one supreme law and one entire working system. How easily you perceive all conflicts of right and jurisdiction are avoided, and how beautifully harmony of system is maintained. I respectfully commend this practice to your imitation and adoption "
The letter of J. H. B. Curtis, It. W. Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Australia, of September 17, 1877, refers to the meeting of the Grand Lodge at Melbourne on the 21st, 22d, and 23d of August, remarking: "You will observe that the two important questions in reference to the Clearance Cards and the Supreme Grand Lodge of Australasia were left for the decision of the Standing Committee. I do not think it probable that a Grand Lodge of Australasia will be formed for sometime; meanwhile, I ask your instruction as to the granting of Warrants or Charters to Grand Lodges in any of the Australian or Australasian Provinces. There are now six Lodges opened in South Australia, of which Adelaide is the chief city. To whom must they apply for a Charter for a Grand Lodge? In yours of 17th of July (which I received yesterday), you speak of the R. W. Grand Lodge of New Zealand as being subordinate to our Grand Lodge. I fear it will scarcely be prepared to acknowledge any such subordination. It seems to me that, until the Grand Lodge of Australasia is de facto established, Charters for all Grand Lodges in Australia must be issued from the Grand Lodge of the United States. Please give me definite instructions in this matter at your very earliest convenience.
"At the end of the Journal of the Grand Lodge you will find a brief report of the proceedings of the Grand Encampment. From it you will perceive that I have been elected Grand Scribe, Frederick Batcheldor is M. W. Grand Patriarch; William Gane, M. W. Grand Master."
To the above a reply was sent on the 27th of October, from which I quote as follows:
"You inquire of me as to the granting of Warrants or Charters to Grand Lodges in the Australasian Provinces, premising what you have to say with the remark that, you 4do not think it probable that a Grand Lodge of Australasia will be formed for some time.' Proceeding upon the theory of a federal government in Odd Fellowship for Australasia all applications for Colonial or Provincial Grand Lodges which are to form the Supreme Lodge, should be to the Grand Lodge of the United States. I spoke of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand as being subordinate to your Grand Lodge, from the fact, that page 43 it was not authorized by the Grand Lodge of the United States. More recent information, as you will perceive in my last report, removes all doubt about its illegal status in the Order. It claims to have been organized by Bro. Meacham, D. D. G. Sire of the G. L. of U. S., by and with the consent of the Grand Lodge of Victoria, and that it is a Co-Grand Lodge of equal power and privileges with the G. L. of Victoria (now Australia); is wholly independent of it, pays no tribute to it, and occupies the same position as that of a State Grand Lodge in our federation. I notice in the printed address of G. Master Braithwaite to the G. L. of New Zealand, session of 1877, a reiteration of his position, that 'a Supreme Grand Lodge for Australasia, to which the Colonial Grand Lodges should all be subordinate, would be expensive, unworkable, and without any advantage,' also that they, the G. L. of New Zealand, desired to retain the position it had hitherto held, viz.:—that of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, co-equal to the Grand Lodge of Australia, and subordinate only to the Grand Lodge of the United States. This is a remarkable position to occupy on the question of independence and national sovereignty. A communication received from Bro. Meacham and published on pages 7415, 7416, Journal of 1877, establishes the fact that the Grand Lodge of New Zealand has no such status as is assumed by Grand Master Braithwaite. The letter referred to contains this remarkable passage. 'In 1869, by virtue of a Charier granted by the Grand Lodge of Victoria, which had already received a Charter from the G. L. of U. S., I established the same Order in New Zealand, and gave to them the signs, working password, etc.' Hence G. M. Braithwaite's position is not well taken."
This letter was promptly acknowledged by Grand Secretary Curtis on the 26th of December, who said:
"We were all particularly interested in reading the copy you inclosed of a letter received from Bro. A. D. Meacham at the last session. It had been rumored in Melbourne that he had gone over to the 'great majority' some years ago; we are happy to find that he is still alive, and that he takes an interest in our welfare, notwithstanding that, owing to his somewhat isolated position, he is not quite au fait with our doings here. I had not the honor of his acquaintance, but many of the brothers here speak very highly of the pains that he took to indoctrinate them in the working of the new system.
"I submit to you. with great respect for your superior judgment, that the only way of giving a legal status to the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, would be by giving them a Charter from the R. W Grand Lodge of the United States. I have this day written to the M. W Grand Sire, Bro. John W. Stokes, giving him some particulars about the voyage. I hope he will be able to spare the time to visit us, as there can be no doubt that his presence will fan the flame of Odd Fellowship, and be the means of bringing many under its genial influence who might otherwise remain in the cold.
"I have a piece of intelligence which I have no doubt will be gratifying to you. In a conversation which I had a few days ago with my friend Mr. Jacob Hart, the Grand Secretary of the Victoria branch of the Manchester Unity, he told me that at the coming meeting of their A. M. C. they are going to remove from their Constitution a law which forbids members of any other society calling themselves Odd Fellows from joining their body. Mr. Hart is a very intelligent man, and so are all their Grand Officers. We often confer together privately on subjects of mutual interest. You will also be glad to hear that about two years ago they, and the officers of other friendly societies here, paid me the high compliment of electing me chairman of a conference of all the friendly societies for the purpose of watching the progress of a Bill introduced into Parliament to amend The Friendly Societies' Act. This Bill received the Governor's sanction a few days ago, and will shortly come, into operation.
"I perceive that some of the officers of some of your State Grand Lodges fall into the error that we are bound by all your Constitutional laws. This could not possibly be the case, as we must conform to the friendly Societies' Act. The chairman of the Committee of Correspondence of some State Grand page 44 Lodge (I forget which) gave us some very unnecessary hints, owing to his want of knowledge in reference to this matter."
Letters referring to the visit of the Special Commissioner were addressed to Grand Master Gane and Grand Secretary Curtis, February 8th and 28th, and March 6th and 7th.
In the letter of March 6th the receipt of Grand Secretary Curtis' letter of December 26th, which reached this office March 2d, was acknowledged, from which I quote as follows:
"I was glad to observe the cordial relations which subsist between you and Mr. Hart, Gr. Sec'y of the Victoria branch of the Manchester Unity. That is right, and will do much to conciliate all good citizens. That is not only the correct policy, but is also a correct principle. Do not let the course of any of our State officers disturb your equanimity. The G. L of U. S. will do you no harm or in any way trespass upon your rights; but on the contrary will ever uphold them and advance them by all legitimate means. Above all, will it uphold you in your constitutional prerogatives, and shelter you from wrong. Of course you will be strenuously sustained in deferring promptly and thoroughly to the laws of your country, and in viewing them as paramount and obligatory."
On the 25th of July a letter was received from J. H. B. Curtis, R. W. Gr. Sec'y, dated Melbourne June 15, 1878, as follows:
"I have the honor and the very great pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your very kind letter of 5th of March, 1878, which was delivered into my hands on Sunday, June 9th, by R.W. Deputy Grand Sire, Bro. J. B. Harmon. We had been very anxiously on the lookout for the good brother for two days previously, as we had received a telegram from Bro. Braithwaite, informing us that he had started from Dunedin. Grand Master Gane, Deputy Grand Master Judge, two members of our Parliament, Bros. Bidston and Cook, Past Grand Masters Batcheldor and Kidston, also myself, went to Sandridge to meet the Commissioner and escort him to town We took apartments for him at one of our best clubs. On Monday, 10th, he was entertained at a sumptuous banquet provided by P. G. M. Kidston, at which all the leading brothers of the Order in Melbourne, including the consul, Mr. S. P. Lord, were present.
"We have had two meetings of the Standing Committee of our R.W. G. L., at which Bro. Harmon fully propounded the manner in which he proposes to arrange matters for our more perfect government. I don't think there will be any difficulty worth mentioning in carrying out the plan. It is an enormous advantage for us to have as your Commissioner a man of so much erudition and with the legal acumen of Bro. Harmon. Although from the kind eulogium you had passed upon him in your two former letters (the receipt of which I should have acknowledged earlier), we had expected to see almost a perfect type of an American Odd Fellow, still I speak nothing more than the bare truth when I assert that our expectations have been more than realized. I know, my dear brother, that your kind heart will always cause you to say everything possible in praise of a brother, but you really could not exaggerate the merits of Bro. Harmon. He is truly a man whom to know is to love. I deeply regret that the stern necessity of bread-winning will not allow me to spend more time in his dear company; there is so much to be learned in conversing with him. He has edified and delighted us beyond measure in the Lodge-room. He performed the ceremony of initiation in the Duke of York Lodge, No. 1, on Tuesday night last, and you will be gratified to know that in comparing our manner of giving the S. W. with his perfect model, we find that we are strictly accurate. This is, of course, owing to the kindness of the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States in sending us the means of securing such accuracy.
"I have a great deal that I could say to you, but am very much pressed for time, and am only writing these few lines because I know that Bro. Harmon is very busy. This morning I saw him off for Ballarat, the next place in importance to Melbourne. He is to be entertained there at a public ban- page 45 quet on Monday night. I send you a copy of a document that we issued, that you may see some of the arrangements.
"I can assure you that no language can adequately express our indebtedness to you and to the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States for this proof of your interest in our welfare in sending to us so distinguished a Commissioner. "
The circular of Grand Secretary Curtis is appended as follows:
I. O. O. F. Grand Lodge of Australia, Grand Secretary's Office, Melbourne,
12th June, 1878.
Dear Sir and Brother:
It is my very pleasing duty to inform you officially of the arrival of Bro. J B. Harmon, Deputy Grand Sire, G. L. of U. S. This distinguished brother has been commissioned by the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States to come to Australia for the purpose of placing our system of government on a more perfect basis, giving us enlarged powers, and making us harmonize with the grand model of the United States. Bro Harmon has already been present at two meetings of the Standing Committee of our R. W. Grand Lodge, and has given the amplest proof of his pre-eminent qualifications for the mission which has been intrusted to him. We have no doubt that almost every individual brother would like to have it in his power to say that he has enjoyed the honor of grasping the hand of one of the truest and most accomplished Odd Fellows in the world. Unfortunately for us, Bro. Harmon's stay in Victoria will be very short, as he must leave Sydney for San Francisco on the 18th July. Bro. Harmon has kindly made the following arrangements:—He will proceed to Ballarat on Saturday, 15th, and will be present at the banquet to be given by the brothers of the Ballarat District on Monday 17th. He will remain at Ballarat till the 18th. He will be at Castlemaine on Wednesday, 19th; at Sandhurst on Thursday, 20th; at Echuca on Friday, 21st. He will return to Melbourne on Saturday, 22d. On Monday, 24th, he will be at Geelong; at Winchelsea on Tuesday. 25th; at colac on Wednesday, 26th. He will return to Melbourne on the 27th. On Monday, 1st July, a public banquet will be given to him in Melbourne, the arrangements for which will shortly be advertised. He will leave Victoria for Sydney about the 6th of July.
The M. W. Grand Master feels that it is quite superfluous for him to bespeak for Bro. Harmon the kind attention of the brothers in the districts that he visits. Bro. Harmon would desire to visit each individual Lodge, for his heart seems to revel in the society of the Lodge-room; but as it would be impossible for him to indulge this wish, it is hoped that, when he is visiting a Lodge, the brothers in the district will make it their business to go to that Lodge. He will visit some of the Melbourne Lodges on his return from the country, but he cannot yet make further definite arrangements. The Worthy D. D. G. M's in the country districts that Bro. Harmon is to visit will please arrange with the N. G. and other Lodge officers for summoning the brothers to meet Bro Harmon on the nights indicated above, when the brothers will enjoy a treat which they have never yet experienced, and which they may never again have in their life—a treat which would well repay a journey of many miles. I am, dear sir and brother,
Yours in F., L. & T.,
J. H. B. Curtis,Grand Secretary.
By order of the M. W. G. M.
The letter of Bro. Curtis was answered on the 1st of August, as follows:
"The links which bind us have incorporated ourselves not only in one body, but resolved our natures into unity. Let us thank God, then, that we have labored zealously to this grand consummation, and that our leading men and legislators may direct the auspicious promise which now smiles upon American Odd Fellowship until it shall bring together in one fold the scattered tribes of Judah. I acknowledge with great pleasure yours, dated page 46 Melbourne, June 15, 1878, and give you sincere congratulation at the very grand diplomatic results, through the agency of our talented Special Commissioner, which it announces. I am exceedingly happy that he has proved himself equal to the crisis, and that success, complete and thorough, has rewarded his labors and personal sacrifices which have been great to a brother of his professional ability. When we have been able to realize the magnitude of the service rendered by Bro. Harmon to Odd Fellowship after our experience of results in a year or two, we shall be ready to exclaim in grateful homage to all who have participated in the persistent work, 4 Well done, good and faithful servants; ye have been zealous and faithful to the end. May God remember you when he makes up his jewels.' I do not propose at this time to answer your elaborate letter, which will be reported to the G. L. of U. S., but simply to render you well-deserved thanks for the unremitted interest which you have taken in this very great subject, and to felicitate you upon its enduring success. May God crowd your temples of Odd Fellowship with new recruits, and reunite our brethren wherever divided, throughout the world."
The Proceedings of the twenty-fourth Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Australia, held at Melbourne, Aug. 21st, 22d, and 23d, 1877, and Minutes of the Standing Committee, November 12th, 1877, February 11th and May 6th, 1878, were duly received and supply important information The report of the Grand Master, Bro. Hugh Ross, is an interesting document. He speaks of his efforts to open new Lodges through correspondence with 110 members, "scattered not only through nearly every town, hamlet, and district in this Colony, but also over the other Colonies," as meeting with such success as warrants the expectation of speedily establishing many Lodges at places where none now exist. Twenty-two decisions were reported. He quotes the statistics presented in the Journal of the G. L. of U. S. to show the "progress of the Order," remarking: "It is gratifying to be able to report that the Order, both abroad and at home, has never been in such a flourishing condition. In America, its already gigantic proportions have been considerably enlarged: while in Europe—especially Switzerland—and the other dominions into which it has more recently been introduced, it has increased to a very large extent."
The Grand Secretary, Bro. Curtis, said, "The triumphant achievements that have adorned the year 1876-7 have been richly earned by the untiring zeal of him who has so worthily filled the highest post of honor that it is in your power to bestow. Two Lodges opened in New South Wales, five in South Australia, and four in our own Colony may well be called a 'triumph,' of which every officer and Representative of this honorable body may be justly proud." He reports the membership, March 30, 1877, in Victoria and Tasmania as 2,750, an increase of 310 during the year; the total, including New South Wales and South Australia, being 3,380. "A list of Lodges and nights of meeting for the year 1878," gives the names and location of 45 Lodges in Victoria, 3 in Tasmania, 4 in New South Wales, 9 in South Australia, making a total of 61 under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Australia, an increase of 17 during the year.
Assets of 43 Lodges in Victoria and 3 in Tasmania $55,015, increase $13,647
Paid to sick members 9,800 increase 147
Total receipts 44,400 increase 7,851
Expenditure from incidental fund 21,310
Funeral fund disbursed by Grand Lodge $2,900
Sick pay disbursed by Subordinates 9,800
Total relief for the year $12,700
General Funeral Fund of the Grand Lodge, June 30, 1877 $21,240 00
Grand Lodge Fund in hands of the Trustees $19,700 00
In Bank 1,110 00
Interest on investments received during the year 770 00
The indebtedness on Hall and Asylum amounts to 6,235 00page 47
The published correspondence occupies 38 pages of the Journal, embracing the several letters from this office and the replies thereto. The session was apparently an interesting one, largely attended, and the business transacted in a systematic manner. The session of 1878 was to be held at Castle-maine, August 20, 1878.
The Journal of the Grand Encampment (August 21, 1877) is printed with the Grand Lodge Proceedings. It appears there are 3 Encampments in Victoria and one in New Zealand under the jurisdiction of the Grand Encampment of Victoria. The number of Patriarchs now good on the books is 120. No further statistics concerning this branch of the Order are given.
The minutes of the quarterly meetings of the Standing Committee, Nov. 12th, Feb. 11th, and May 6th were duly received, from which we learn of the institution, since the session of the Grand Lodge in August, of ten new Lodges. In the Loyal Secundus, No. 9, Adelaide, South Australia, one hundred and twenty-two candidates were initiated on the opening night, and on the night of institution of the Loyal Lincoln Lodge, No. 96, at the Swan Hotel, in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, fifty-two candidates were initiated. The Finance Committee "are sorry to be compelled to notice that some of the older and at one time promising Lodges have the half of their members unfinancial." At the February session Grand Secretary Curtis made an interesting report of his visit to Sydney and Newcastle, New South Wales, under a special commission from Grand Master Gane, and at the May session G. Master Gane reported the visit of the Grand Master, and Deputy G. Master Judge to South Australia, where at Adelaide he had instituted the Loyal Alberton Lodge, No. 10, and the Loyal Bon Accord Lodge, No. 11, with over sixty members each. Since his return another Lodge had been opened, called the Loyal Excelsior, No. 12. A Lodge is about to be organized at Gawler, about 25 miles from Adelaide, also one at Charters Towers, in Queensland, and measures were taken to establish one at Abbotsford. The consideration of the subject of "clearance forms" was "postponed until the meeting of the Standing Committee, which will be held after the arrival of the R. W. Deputy Grand Sire Bro. Harmon." A committee was appointed "to receive the R. W. Deputy Grand Sire, and attend to his comfort," the Standing Committee resolved to meet immediately after his arrival, and it was also "Resolved, That the Brothers of the Order be invited to a demonstration to be given in Melbourne to the R. W. Deputy Grand Sire, Bro. John B. Harmon."
The correspondence with the authorities of New Zealand embraces letters from Joseph Braithwaite, G. M., dated Sept. 25, Oct. 5, and Oct. 30, 1877, also as P. G. M., Nov. 10 and Nov. 14, 1877; Jan. 31 and Feb. 28. 1878; with letters from this office dated Sept. 29, Oct. 1, Oct. 29, and Nov. 30, 1877, Jan. 3, Feb. 6, Feb. 7, Feb. 28, March 7, and March 8, 1878, to Brother Braithwaite, his successor. Bro. Mcgaw, and Grand Secretary Wilson.
From the letter of G. M. Braithwaite, dated Sept. 25th, I quote the following:
"Our Grand Lodge has, after an animated and well-conducted debate, unanimously adopted 'Table C,' as amended herewith, respecting new rates of contributions, applicable only to members joining after Dec. 31st of this year. Members previous to that date to pay the old rate, viz.: 1s. 3d. per week all round. Personally, the opinion held by me is, that the latter is inequitable, inasmuch as, if it is a fact, according to the four tables prepared by Messrs Leslie and Black, that our rates were insufficient for the benefits we promise ourselves in the future from 26 years of age upward, then it follows, as a matter of course, that the mere fact of raising the subscriptions to a correct charge on members joining after a certain date, will not counterbalance the inadequate rates contributed by those who were members prior to that date. Many other sound arguments can be advanced proving the inequality of the arrangement. However, we made a step in advance in financial reform, and considering that all the societies here are working upon our old system, it was a hopeful sign to see that our Representatives were of page 48 one mind so far as the matter went. No doubt time will prove the anomaly created by charging two prices for exactly the same goods. Perfection cannot be obtained all at once, and I am therefore pleased to see that our Grand Lodge has commenced in its early existence to concede some points in financial reform. We can therefore rest content that from this basis all evils of a similar character will be rectified as experience points the road."
"Table C" (converting the currency of the country into United States currency)provides as follows:
"Benefits allowed after 12 months' membership: Sick, $5.00 per week for the first six months, $2.50 for the second, $1.25 after 12 months. Funeral, $100.00 on death of a member, $50.00 on the death of a member's wife (for one wife only). Surgeon and Chemist's benefits immediately on joining.
"Initiation fees: 18 to 25 years, $5.00. 26 to 30, $6.25; 3l to 40, $7.50; 41 to 45, $10.00.
"Contributions to Sick, Funeral, and Management Funds (Management expenses limited to 15 cents per week, per member, allowance being made for Initiation and Honorary members' fees), per quarter of 13 weeks: 18 to 20 - years, $3.80; 21 to 25, $4.06; 26 to 30, $4.33; 31 to 35, $4.87; 36 to 40, $5.41; 41 to 45, $5.95. The amounts to be appropriated to 'Sick Fund' and to 'Funeral Fund' are specified, as of the $5.95 from members from 41 to 45 years of age, $2.97 are placed to the - Sick 'and 95 cents to the' Funeral Fund.' After deducting from each quarter's subscription the amount thus appropriated, the balance is to be credited to the 'Management Fund' for payment of general expenses only, including Surgeon and Chemist; also all initiation fees, including honorary members' subscriptions, are to be placed to this fund, which added together represent 15 cents per week paid by every member as working expenses. If management expenses of any Lodge exceed this rate, a levy shall be raised to meet the difference, so as to keep the Sick and Funeral Funds intact.
"During the last two years, the following are the members initiated, also ages when admitted, as far as Return Sheets show: 10 from 18 to 20 years, 60 from 21 to 25, 56 from 26 to 30, 36 from 31 to 35, 9 from 36 to 40, 5 from 41 to 45 "
In their report Messrs. Leslie and Black say:
"The Tables of Sickness and Mortality used are those of the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows, compiled from the experience of that society in Great Britain, by Mr. Henry Ratcliffe, the C. S. of the Order. The reputation which these Tables have acquired renders comment on our part almost unnecessary. Such is the estimation in which they are held, that the Actuarial Commission lately appointed by the Imperial Government, have affirmed them to be the only reliable tables extant, relative to friendly societies."
They question the correctness of the assertion, that the rates of sickness and mortality experienced among friendly societies in New Zealand are less than those of England, as they have not sufficient statistics to determine the matter, but if so, that the age of members and other causes may influence the result, as the Manchester Unity in Otago (New Zealand), out of 1,583 members have not one beyond the age of 56 years, and few, if any, societies of like number in England are so favorably situated, while this society may be taken as a fair sample of the rest of the New Zealand societies.
The letter of Oct. 5th advises: "We are holding one of the most successful meetings ever held by the Grand Lodge, which has upheld the views expressed by myself to you on the 30th May, concerning the Constitution of the G. L. of New Zealand. In yours of the above date you say in effect, 'that the preamble in our law-book settles the question that the G. L. of New Zealand is subordinate to the G. L. of Australia.' We fail to observe this, inasmuch as there is no subordination of any kind mentioned therein, on the contrary it appears to be an unconditional surrender on the part of the G.L. of Victoria, A I. O. F. (afterward G. L. of Australia, I. O. O. F.), and at the same time creates us an independent body for the Colony of New Zealand without any reservations.page 49
"According to the substance of the reservations maintained by the G.L. of U. S., respecting the Order here, no mention is made of having a uniform Withdrawal (or Clearance) Card, therefore the Lodges in America which refused to receive our brothers because the card was not the same as the American one, acted unconstitutionally."
Bro. Braithwaite, in his letter of Oct. 24th, says: "The facts and figures in your yearly volumes should enlist the active sympathy of all philanthropists and induce them into the ranks of the Order. Your progress in the past has been truly most wonderful, and feelings of conscious pride animate me when I reflect that to such a worthy association of brothers I have the honor to belong. My poor efforts shall always be devoted toward the accomplishment of what you have so often expressed, that is, the extension of the kindly offices of our Order to all parts of the civilized world, and I yet hope to live to see a Lodge of our Order planted in every city and village throughout Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The annual report of the G. L. of Australia, received yesterday, shows rapid progress, and if continued, there is much to be said for and against the creation of Subordinate Grand Lodges for the political divisions in Australia, under the control of a Supreme Grand Lodge, to be composed of Representatives from the former, and to have functions somewhat similar to the G. L. of U. S. I cannot, however, see how the G. L. of New Zealand can take any beneficial part in it, owing to the distance of sea that divides us from Australia. Practically we are altogether a distinct island, and call for special legislation on your part respecting our Constitution. Of course the question of a Supreme Grand Lodge for Australia assumes rather a different aspect since I wrote to you on the subject, in consequence of Lodges being lately created in South Australia and New South Wales, where none existed before. If the erection of a Supreme G. L. is at all desirable, there is certainly more material now to work upon. Before this there were only two ordinary Grand Lodges, similar in their functions to your State Grand Lodges, and then they were divided by sea as before stated.
"The number of members stated in my last address only represents the actual financial members (owing less than three months' dues) of Lodges that sent in their returns. If the members owing over three months' subscription, and those in Lodges that failed to send in their returns were included, we would number about 825. Our progress has not been as fast as I should like, but we are determined to push vigorously for new Lodges next term. You will be pleased to hear that a Lodge will be instituted to-day in Wellington, one of our principal cities; the petition for the same having 25 signatures. We are endeavoring to organize Lodges in the other cities along the coast, viz.: Invercargill, Auckland, Napier, and Wakitika. When this is accomplished it will be an easy matter to branch off there from to the interior. We have several difficulties to contend against that you do not experience. Railways are unknown, except in a few isolated cases, but this difficulty is being remedied. The Manchester Unity, I. O. O. F, and other Orders are very strong throughout New Zealand, and it therefore requires herculean efforts to start our Lodges; but we do not despond, and we take advantage of every opportunity.
"We are assured that the apparent negligence to us was simply owing to a misunderstanding, and are doubly assured now of the undoubted interest the G. L. of U. S. takes in her young branches everywhere, especially in the welfare of the Australasian jurisdiction. We earnestly hope that our puny efforts respecting financial reform may be of some assistance to your Special Committee on Dues and Benefits. Next year our Grand Lodge will meet at Timaru, 100 miles away, the first occasion a session will have been held out of Dunedin."
October 30th, Bro. Braithwaite says: "Brothers who take an interest in the welfare of our Order must regret that any of our Lodges should be unable to meet their engagements as promised to members upon entering. It is forced upon us, from time to time, whether we like it or not, that generally page 50 speaking our oldest Lodges have to meet heavy sick and funeral claims, and with past experience to guide us, these claims will increase every year. Are we to let these Lodges die out by effluxion of time and so retard our genuine progress and deprive many worthy brothers of the benefits and privileges of our institution when they most require them, or are we to take time by the forelock, and promulgate a system that will tend to check these evils. These remarks have been prompted by the able reports of your Committee on Dues and Benefits, and later still by a perusal of the last annual report of the G. L. of Australia, wherein the all-important subject is brought prominently before us. Our Order can never obtain the confidence of the general public, or even its own members, so long as Lodges do not meet their engagements, and are allowed to break up through causes that can certainly be obviated in a great measure. My desire is humbly to assist our Order to become a power for real good on our Mother Earth, which it is eminently adapted for, therefore I beg to submit that our society possesses within itself immense machinery for inculcating living vital principles necessary for the eternal welfare of mankind, but we must combine the several links in such a shape as will perpetuate our glorious institution. It is undeniable that the sickness and death rates increase the older we grow; therefore to be financially sound, it is necessary to inaugurate a graduated scale of weekly contributions according to age to the Sick and Funeral Funds only, and apply it to all Lodges. Our Order is unable to furnish sufficient experience of sickness and mortality, but this does not excuse us from adopting the only reliable rates published, viz.: the late Henry Ratcliffe's Tables.
"The close application of the system adopted by the G.L. of New Zealand, would, it appears to me, preserve intact in every Lodge the two most important funds, viz.: the Sick and Funeral, which should be kept separate, so that no one fund shall be used for the benefit of the other. After mature thought I am convinced that a General Sick Fund and a General Funeral Fund held by each State Grand Lodge on the same principle that the Grand Lodges of Australia and New Zealand hold the Funeral Fund for the whole of the Order in each jurisdiction, would prevent the evil I have mentioned. Unity is strength applies to this question as well as to many others. Many of our Lodges do not invest their funds at interest, most of which belong to the Sick and Funeral Funds. Under the plan I have suggested, each Subordinate Lodge (having better facilities) would look sharply after this, and besides would always know the exact amount added, as well as expended on account of sickness and death in the whole of the Lodges every year, and also know what age the members were when claiming sick allowance and funeral donations, and how many weeks each person was sick, all of which it is impossible to ascertain under the present system. This information is absolutely essential to enable our Lodges to legislate with a view of compiling, from their own experience, correct rates of contribution."
Bro. Braithwaite suggests some objections that may be urged to this measure, but thinks there will be no difficulty in inaugurating the system. On the subject of suspensions he says: "It is grievous to perceive the large number of members that drop out for N. P. D. A good cure is to adopt the principle of paying subscriptions in advance. One of our Lodges here has gradually increased ever since it established this plan. The general rule is to let members run on for 13 weeks, but when a few weeks more pass a member grudges (does not care, forgets, or perhaps gets indifferent) to pay $5.00 or more; whereas, if they paid one, two, or even three months in advance, the amount would not be so heavy, and invariably it would be paid; besides we have no right to expect the Lodge to give us trust for 13 weeks, for benefits and other expenses that the Lodge is liable for on our account during that time. The system is unsound. We have known Lodges to pay to members sick claims and incur other expenses for their benefit, and they never paid another penny into the Lodge, but dropped off.
"Let me congratulate the Order in America upon its immense success, and may it ever continue. It is also certainly very pleasant to read of its page 51 great prosperity in Australia, Germany, Switzerland, England, and Holland. "
In his letter of Nov. 10th he acknowledges the receipt of the P. W's, and on the subject of cards remarks: "We recognize the necessity of uniformity and will support any legitimate steps to effect this end. You can quite understand now that we printed our own cards in ignorance of any obligation to the contrary. We feel grateful to the G. L of U. S. for taking such a lively interest last session in our welfare, and we shall certainly do our best to give the Grand Sire or Deputy Grand Sire a fraternal welcome. Our own brothers who have visited America and returned, state that we are well up in the work. In the letter from Bro. Meacham, in your Daily Journal, he does not detail what powers he conferred respecting the relations that the Grand Lodges of the United -States, Australia, and New Zealand bear to each other. Remarks from him on these points would be interesting at the present time. I lately came across a volume giving a history of the Order in the U. S. from its commencement in 1821 to 1845. From a beginning of five brothers what marvelous success you have achieved, primarily through the unprecedented exertions of the early fathers. Many brothers of the Manchester Unity and our Order are grieved at the continued division, and believe that judicious concession on both sides, with a view to the amalgamation of the two great branches of the I. O. O. F., should be entered into, consistent with the material and moral improvement of each. Let me enjoin upon you to urge the G. L. of U. S. to put in force a sound system of dues and benefits in every Lodge, so as to enable the Order to fulfil its obligations and thereby secure the confidence of everybody. If this is accomplished our success in the future is assured."
The letters of Nov. 14th and Jan. 31st are brief, advising of the P. O. addresses of the new Grand Master and Grand Secretary, the receipt of Journals, &c.
On the 28th of February, Bro. Braithwaite wrote:
"I have received a letter from Bro. Meacham which has given us great satisfaction. Not having heard from him since he left here, we thought he was dead. Under present circumstances I forbear to discuss the question of Charter, etc., believing that all will be settled amicably on the arrival of your Commissioner, who will then practically understand matters. Our new hall in Dunedin (a handsome structure) will be dedicated on the 23d of March next "
The letters from this office Sept. 20th and Oct. 1st transmitted the P. W's, advised that the Officers' Reports and Daily Journal had been mailed, and communicated the action of the G. L. of U. S. on matters relating to Australia and New Zealand.
On the 29th of October the receipt of an advance copy of Grand Master Braithwaite's report to the G. L. of New Zealand was acknowledged, and re-plying to his remarks concerning the position of the G. L. of New Zealand, a copy of the letter of Bro. Meacham, printed in the Daily Journal of last session, was inclosed with the remark that "you will perceive that your Grand Lodge, according to Bro. Meacham's letter, has a vague and unsatisfactory history. Whether he established the Grand Lodge by virtue of the Victoria Charter, or whether he acted as Special Deputy of the G. L. of U. S., does not clearly appear, but certain it is, that he had no authority from the G. L. of U. S. to institute your Grand Lodge; nor was it ever for many years recognized, until its complaint appeared of neglect from the parent Grand Body, the G. L. of U. S., to which alone it desired to be subordinate. Thus it is extremely doubtful whether your Grand Lodge can substantiate the status in the American Order of which you boast. As I have already observed, Bro. Meacham, as agent of the Grand Lodge of Victoria and as Deputy of the G.L. of U.S., mystified things very much, and these errors we now desire earnestly to correct. I trust you will reconsider your views in the premises, and that your Grand Lodge will consent to organize the Order anew, beginning at first principles and establishing a Supreme Grand Lodge after you have formed four page 52 or five Colonial Grand Lodges, which the Grand Sire will be compelled to do should he visit you in person, or authorize the D. G. Sire to do. I will not stop to discuss the questions which you raise about the expense, or want of advantage in the change of system, since the necessity of the case is all controlling, if you desire to conform to the wish of the G. L. of U. S., and to its established policy in relation to its form of government in foreign countries. I cannot fail to perceive that Odd Fellowship will be greatly improved by the change of system, and although it may require time to develop the improvement, yet it must eventually come as the certain fruit of the systematic federal union of your several Grand Lodges. We have the certain evidence of such results, wherever we have inspired our brethren in foreign countries with our views. I forbear to press the subject further, hoping that you will co-operate cordially with the G. L of Australia, and such other Colonial Gr. Lodges as the G. L. of U. S. may authorize to consummate this desirable result."
The letter of Nov. 10th is in reply to Bro. Braithwaite's of Sept. 25th and Oct. 5th; that of Jan 5th acknowledges the receipt of letters of Oct. 24th, Oct. 30th, and Nov. 14th, principally on the subject of the new scale of dues and benefits adopted by the G. L. of New Zealand, and the views of Bro. Braithwaite on the subject, remarking "That is truly the vital question in Odd Fellowship. It is in vain that we invite membership, unless in good faith we comply with our promises, and to enable us to do so we must adopt a scientific system, by which our risks will be adequately proportioned to the dues we receive and the relative age of the members. The G. L. of U. S., as you will observe, has been pursuing this inquiry for several years, and will continue its research until sufficient data shall have been obtained to justify a proper system.
"There is a reasonable prospect that some amicable arrangement will be made between the Manchester Unity and our Order for harmony of action and intercourse, which will bring them nearer together."
The letters of Feb. 6th and 7th, addressed to James Mcgaw, Grand Master, advised of the shipment of a box containing the revised Charge and Degree Books, etc., in accordance with his request made to the Grand Sire; and those of Feb. 28th to Grand Master Mcgaw and Gr. Sec'y Wilson, informed them of the contemplated visit of the Deputy Grand Sire. Those of 7th and 8th of March to Bro. Braithwaite, acknowledged the receipt of his, dated Nov. 10th and Jan. 31st, and commended the Commissioner to the special care and attention of the brotherhood in New Zealand.
The mail of July 25th brought the following from P. G. M. Braithwaite, dated Dunedin, June 20, 1878:
"D. D. Sire, Bro. John B. Harmon, before leaving here, made me promise to give you the result of his visit. I now do so with pleasure, but first beg to refer to a few matters which were left undiscussed between us in view of Bro. Harmon's advent, the outcome of your various letters and reports.
"It would really appear as if the G. L. of U. S. did not fully understand the powers granted in the Charter of the Grand Lodge of Australia, or else if an independent and supreme continental sovereignty was meant to have been in force, why not all these years past inofficial communications have addressed the head officer thereof as M. W. Grand Sire instead of M. W. Grand Master? The error, if any, never having been once pointed out. Further, this Charter does not specifically confer the power to institute Subordinate (or Colonial) Grand Lodges. The G. L. of New Zealand has the very same powers in its Charter, and neither body of themselves can discover anything to the contrary; and it was this fact, among others, that led us to maintain that the two Grand Lodges held only the same privileges as your State Grand Lodges, both being subordinate to the G. L. of U. S. The officers of the G. L. of Australia and the G. L. of New Zealand were always titled the same as your State Grand Lodges, a fact you must have surely have been aware of. Next, the G. L. of U. S., at its last session, amongst other strictures directed against the Order in Australasia for printing their own cards, resolved, page 53 'That one of the specifications in the Charter of the G. L. of Australia provides that all cards issued by that jurisdiction shall emanate from the G. L. of U. S.' We have also examined the Charter on this point and fail to see any such specification. All of us agree that Bro. Meacham instituted the best form of government possible under the difficulties existing when the affiliation with the I.O.O.F. took place, and it was the only system that we would conform to at that time. Our membership and Lodges have more than trebled in numbers since, both in Australia and New Zealand, which would have not been the case had our system of government hitherto been as is now proposed, because at the time of our affiliation with your Order we in New Zealand made it a condition before entering, that we must have an independent Grand Body and be relieved from paying any more dues to the G. L. of Victoria (or Australia), which was agreed to.
"It was the Grand Encampment of Victoria that instituted the Encampment here through our Bro. Wheeler, who went over to Melbourne, Victoria, for that purpose. The G. L. of New Zealand only lent the money necessary for its organization, and this is all the jurisdiction our G. L. has over the Encampment. On review of the foregoing comment's we have fair grounds to think that the brothers in Australasia have been 'more sinned against than sinning,' and that Bro. Meacham has received very little praise, as far as we have seen, for what he practically accomplished. These remarks are made with all due deference to your worthy self and the G. L of U. S., and in the absence of a knowledge of the records contained in your Journal when the affiliation was effected, which reports we have not seen yet.
"The circumstances upon which our arguments were chiefly based in letter of May 30, 1877, when opposing the formation of a Supreme Grand Lodge for the whole of our Colonies, have materially changed since that letter was written, simply from the fact that Lodges have rapidly sprung into being in the other Colonies where our Order did not exist before. There being now much more material to form such a Grand Body out of than existed hitherto, and thus our greatest objection thereto having been providentially removed, we resigned all minor considerations and past extraneous matters for the purpose of discussing the main question on its merits, and after two nights debate the Grand Lodge of New Zealand unanimously decided to become an integral part of a Grand Lodge for Australasia. I was glad for the sake of the trouble and expense that the G. L. of U. S. had gone to, that we were enabled to approach the matter more favorably than when at first presented, because had the Order existed only in Victoria and New Zealand, as has been the case all along until lately, I feel certain that the main object of Bro. Harmon's mission would have failed.
"Our distinguished visitor arrived at Auckland, N. Z., on the 9th ult., and visited all the Lodges directly on his line of route, at Wellington, Christ- church, Temuka, Timaru, Oamaru, and Dunedin, being by far a majority of the Lodges. Bro. Harmon's time being limited, and the other Lodges being somewhat out of the road, they could not be visited. He initiated a large number of candidates in the various Lodges and exemplified the whole work of the Order. I met him at Christchurch, 250 miles from here, on behalf of our Grand Lodge. At every place where he visited our brethren turned out strong, and in every instance feted him with banquets and other appropriate celebrations. Both inside and outside the Lodge-room our welcome visitor gave spirited addresses, all of which were enthusiastically received; in fact, we have had him at Odd Fellowship every night since he arrived in New Zealand. The last Lodge meeting in Dunedin was attended by over 80 members, when he initiated one of our principal clergymen (the first one initiated in the Order in New Zealand). The Encampment work was afterward gone through, and I was glad to see that we had the whole of the work nearly perfect. I forbear to say anything as to the receptions individually and collectively that were extended to our worthy visitor, preferring to leave Bro. Harmon to speak for himself. We feel extremely grateful to the G. L. of U. S. for sending, and to Deputy Grand Sire, Bro. Harmon, for coming to us, and page 54 feel assured that it will be pleasurable and profitable to all concerned. His visit has aroused the latent energies of the whole brotherhood, the outcome of which will be the propagation of our Order, and a corresponding extension of its usefulness in places where its influence was hitherto unknown. Time only permits me to give a very brief sketch, no doubt Bro. Harmon will report more fully Our visitor left for Melbourne on June 3d, accompanied to the place of departure by a large number of brothers, all of whom heartily wished him safe restoration to his family and brother Odd Fellows in America. Please consider this letter as a reply to all your communications to me which remain unanswered."
This letter was acknowledged August 1st, as follows:
"To you, who are so earnest a devotee to American Odd Fellowship, and so zealous and intelligent an advocate of whatever is abstractly right, I need not say a word, or utter a sentiment, expressive of my profound delight and gratification of the advent of Bro John B. Harmon, the distinguished Special Commissioner of the G. L. of U. S. to the Grand Jurisdiction of Australasia. May the seed that has thus been cast upon this willing and fertile furrow in your country by the Grand Lodge of the United States, I. O. O. F., through our instrumentality, lead by your valuable agency to the union of our beloved Order, and its consolidation throughout the globe. This sentiment had its lodgment in my heart ever since I was born into the Order (1829), and although I may not survive to witness its consummation, you and Bro. Harmon are among the enlightened descendants of the American and English races that more than probably will live to greet so grand an era.
"It is my great pleasure to acknowledge your very interesting favor of June 20th, dated at Dunedin, Otago, N. Z. It will be presented formally to the Grand Lodge of the United States in my annual report at the session in September next, and will be honored by that Grand Body with the most cordial respect and gratification. So momentous and long desired a consummation as the harmonious union of the Order in the two hemispheres through its instrumentality will long be hailed with joy by the American Order, and will doubtless lead to results, in behalf of mankind, which cannot now be adequately estimated I give you sincere thanks for your active co-operation with Bro. Harmon in the diplomacy which produced this glorious result. God be praised."
The Journal of the "Fifteenth Annual Session of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, held at Dunedin, Sept. 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 26, Oct. 2, 4, 31, Nov. 2, 1877," was duly received. The report of Grand Master Braithwaite states the amount to the credit of the General Funeral Fund, $5,240.00; General Management Fund, $250.00; stock on hand, $250.00; total, $5,740.00. Number of Lodges, 17; benefit members owing less than three months' dues, 515; amount expended for funerals $475.00; for sickness as returned by 8 Lodges, $497.50; total relief, $972.50; aggregate value of Lodge funds exclusive of property, regalia, etc., returned by 9 Lodges, $11,795.00. The Grand Master named six delinquent Lodges that failed to make returns, and stated the amount due by Subordinate Lodges to be $1,063.00, saying: "It will be your duty to initiate steps at once to alter this pernicious system of neglect. The members belonging to the Lodges in arrears for dues must surely know that if any of them or their wives die the Grand Lodge can refuse to pay their funeral claims. This neglect (mainly the Secretaries') is the bane of our society, and it is impossible through this cause, to ascertain truly how the Order stands. It is provoking to complain of this matter every session, but the evil is increasing, and at all costs it should be dealt with without further leniency. Green Island Lodge was instituted Oct. 6, 1877, and has now a membership of 24, and the Avon Lodge, Christchurch, Dec. 4, 1876, now numbering 36. During the session a telegram was received advising of the institution of the Southern Cross Lodge. Sundry amendments to the Constitution of the G. L. were proposed, to authorize the establishment of Subordinate Grand Lodges in the Provinces of New Zealand, and when six such page 55 Lodges are established, the G. L. of New Zealand to become the supreme tribunal in New Zealand." The tables of "income" and "expenditures" embrace ten columns under each head, showing the various sources of receipts and objects of payment. Another table contains forty-four items which Subordinates are required to report. Twenty-three pages of the book are appropriated to correspondence; the several letters addressed to this office with the replies, appear in full.
Barbados.—At the last session it was recommended "that the proper Grand Officers continue the correspondence with a view of establishing a Lodge" at Bridgeton. Under these circumstances I present such portions of the communications that have been received and transmitted during the year.
On the 26th of September, the following, dated August 22 1877, was received from E. Isaac Baeza:
"By the 'Victoria' this morning for New York, I hastily wrote you a few lines serving to cover petition from myself and four others (including Bro. R. J. Clinckett) to the G. L. of U. S., asking them to take into consideration the impracticability of any one of us being now enabled to go to your city to receive instructions in the principles of the Order, or rather working of the Order, and grant us a concession like that granted to the brethren in Australia, as you advised of. This petition we forward under the suggestions in your letter to Bro. Clinckett in February last, and we trust that the Representatives will see the inconvenience we would be subjected to for either of us to proceed to your city to receive the necessary instructions, besides the enormous expense of traveling from these parts it would entail, and grant us the desired permission. We see no other way to do this, and we depend upon your explanation to the Grand Lodge of the situation we are in, and using your influence toward the consummation of an object from which great good must be derived.
"The certificate forwarded from the Lodge to which we belong will be of itself a sufficient guaranty of our good intentions and motives, and we thought it advisable to obtain the same, so that the members of the Grand Lodge could see into whose hands they were placing the Order."
This letter was answered Sept. 28th, advising: "You will perceive from the Journal sent to you, that the petition was presented by the G. C. and R. Secretary, referred to the Committee on Petitions, and duly reported on. We, the Grand Officers, as the report sets forth, although quite anxious to inaugurate the system of admitting Lodges of the Manchester Unity bodily into our Order when satisfactorily vouched for, in view of the advantages it would afford the two Orders, in the way of reforming the one, and of elevating its morale, and of propagating the other all over the world, a desideratum greatly to be sought for, in my judgment, are powerless in the premises at present. Nevertheless, if your patience will endure a few months longer, I believe the present status of the business is quite favorable for the ultimate success of the proposed measure. You will observe 'that the proper Grand Officers are directed to continue the correspondence,' etc., which means the M. W. Grand Sire and the Grand C. and R. Secretary, who, I believe, favor the introduction of American Odd Fellowship, in the way you propose, to Barbados. The Grand Secretary recommended it in his report and the Committee on Foreign Relations did not object The only question now is, how can we get to you a proper Odd Fellow to instruct you in our ritual and system, and inaugurate you so as to enable you intelligently to act with us as a Lodge? We are not authorized to expend any money for the purpose. We have many zealous brothers who would go if their expenses were paid, and establish you upon a firm base. If you can do anything in this direction, I think the work might be accomplished during the year. There are a good many Odd Fellows who are sea captains, in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other commercial cities, trading to your place. Among them you might make inquiry, and doubtless successfully. I write without an opportunity of conference with the Grand Sire, but will send this to him as page 56 a 'continuance of correspondence' authorized by the G. L. of U. S. I shall request him, should he concur in my views, to write to you on the subject."
The mail of November 8th brought a letter from Bro. Baeza, dated Oct. 20th, in which, referring to a letter from this office of Sept. 13th, acknowledging receipt of the petition forwarded, he said: "You are in error in saying we wish to come under your jurisdiction intact as a Lodge of Odd Fellows. It is only as members of Amity Lodge we wish to, but we have no doubt that (with one or two exceptions) all the members of Amity will join the new Lodge, but will still remain as members of the former."
Inclosed in this letter was a slip from the Barbados Globe of Oct. 1, 1877, giving an "extract from the financial portion of the Auditor's Report on the accounts and affairs of the 'Amity Lodge' of Odd Fellows, Manchester Unity, friendly society, in this city for the half year ending June, 1877." It appears the Lodge had been in existence 18 months, the membership was 25. It had received during that time, $317.78, and disbursed for sickness, $32.58; expenses, $39.80; total, $72.38, having $245.40 on hand.
On the 9th of November a reply was transmitted, from which I quote:
"From your letter I am informed that I made a mistake in saying that you wished to come under our jurisdiction intact as a Lodge of Odd Fellows. That is all the better, as error, for it will avoid complication. As you have been advised, the Grand Sire and Grand Secretary are favorably disposed to the object, and only await the proper facilities and order of procedure. I fear, however, the fact that the said officers having charge of a pending proposition for the reciprocal visitation and fraternal intercommunion between the Lodges of the M. U. and our Order throughout the world, submitted to our last session by the G. M. and Board of Directors of the Manchester Unity at the instance of the Grand Annual Movable Committee of England, may interpose some delay in your particular case. If, however, any opportunity should present itself to any of you, or any other eligible and intelligent citizen of your vicinity, to visit the United States and become a member of our Order and receive the several degrees, I think the Grand Sire would authorize any Lodge in the United States, with the consent of the local authorities, to perform the ceremony. Trusting you will facilitate such a procedure if practicable, I remark that inquiries are made from our Canada jurisdictions for Lodges of our Order in Nassau and other places in the British West Indies."
On the 26th of January, Bro. Baeza's letter of January 1st reached this office. He apologizes for delay in answering the letters of Sept. 28th and Nov. 9th, on account of severe illness which confined him to his house for five weeks, and says: "Bro. Clinckett and myself have fully perused your letters, and we are glad to learn there is not so much difficulty. We, however, cannot see our way toward the consummation of so much desired an object as to come within your requirements. Captain Sanders, who was in command of the 'Victoria,' owned by Messrs. H. Trowbridge & Sons, of New Haven, a regular trader here, is a member of your Order, but he is not now in command of that vessel. It is true there are scores of captain? coming this way who are members of your Order, but we are unfortunately unable to know of it until too late to act, whilst if they were regular traders to this port it would be quite easy for us to make all arrangements for accomplishing the object in view. Bro. Clinckett, the other petitioners and myself are quite agreed that at this time we cannot see any chance to accomplish our wishes, and must therefore wait until you are authorized to do by us as by Australia—send us the ritual and cipher to go by, institute a Lodge, and afterward get instruction in the higher branches from members of your Order who come here from time to time, or when one of our members may find it convenient to pay a visit to your country. Meanwhile we accept with pleasure the resolution passed authorizing a continuation of a correspondence, which I shall be happy to carry into effect.
"We observe your remarks respecting the proposed fraternal intercommunion between the M. Unity and your Order. It may be desired on some page 57 grounds, but as a practical thing I cannot see how it can be acted on. I am almost sure that no decision which will be liked by the Manchester Unity will be arrived at. I, of course, say this with all deference, but I am led to this opinion on looking at the past relative positions of the two Orders and their present working.
"I trust that speedily some arrangements may be concluded to effect our object."
The letter was duly acknowledged, saying: "We regret that we find no opportunity of accomplishing your and "our wishes with regard to the establishment of our Order in Barbados. We hope to learn of some member going from here or New York, through whose instrumentality a Lodge could be instituted, but have been disappointed. We do not, however, despair, as we think some means will yet be found to organize the Order on your island." He was also advised of his error concerning Australia, the Order having been introduced into that country by a qualified and specially commissioned officer.
The last letter from Bro. Baeza, dated March 20th, reached this office April 17th, and refers principally to his non-receipt of packages of Journals mailed from this office in November and February. On the special subject of correspondence he wrote: "By this vessel a younger brother of mine leaves for the United States in search of some more lucrative employment then the position he recently held. Should he fail in obtaining such, he will be returning within three months, and an opportunity may thus present itself to accomplish our mutual object I have requested him to communicate with you if he is about to return, so that we may not lose this chance. He is a member of the 'Amity Lodge' here. I have given him letters of introduction to yourself and Bro. Ross, which will speak for themselves. I presume that if he is initiated for the purpose of bringing out the necessary instruments of organization no charge will be demanded for such initiation, and that if he is in any other city than your own you will make the necessary arrangements to have him duly initiated."
A reply was sent on the 11th of May, stating: "We think an arrangement such as you suggest, for the initiation of your brother, can be made. It will, though, depend somewhat on circumstances. If in Baltimore or Philadelphia there will probably be no difficulty in meeting your wishes."
On the 15th of June a letter was received from I. L. Baeza, dated 231 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, 14th of June, 1878, inclosing a letter of introduction from E. Isaac Baeza, the brother thinking it doubtful about his being able to visit Baltimore.
A letter from Bro. Baeza, dated July 27th, was received August 10th, while this report was in the hands of the printer, from which I extract as follows: "I learn there is at St. Thomas a gentleman purporting to be a Commissioner from your Grand Lodge endeavoring to establish a Lodge there. Is this so? I, however, hardly think so, as a gentleman writing from that island says the man has got into very undesirable company, associating himself with individuals who could hardly be expected to respect the Order as it should be."
Chile.—The correspondence with this jurisdiction has been quite limited. Since the letter of Grand Secretary Cox, which appears on pages 7278-9, Journal of 1877. in which a further letter was promised by "an early steamer," only one letter has been received, and that came on the 7th of January, from Bro. George S. Brown, D. D. Grand Sire, dated Nov. 30, 1877. He wrote: "I am very sorry that I cannot report that progress in our Order which I could wish. We are now in the midst of a commercial crisis, and business of all kinds is at a stand still. Recently the bank of D. Thomas, in which was deposited the larger part of our funds, failed, and the loss to the Order was some $7,000.00, of which I think we may recover about forty per cent. This and the very dull times combined will retard in a measure the growth of the Order for some time, although in the Chilian Lodges initiations are frequent.page 58
"The Encampment branch does not seem to thrive at present, but I cherish the hope that when business revives all branches of our Order will again flourish. One thing is very certain, Odd Fellowship is planted forever in this country and there are plenty of good men who will work for its progress. I hope in my report in January to have better news to communicate "
Letters were written from this office as follows:
To W. J. Cox, G. Sec'y, Sept. 27, 1877, advising that the papers transmitted by him were presented to the Grand Lodge and of the action had thereon. Dec. 29th, to the same, advising of shipment of Revised Journal for 1877, etc. Jan. 8, 1878, to Geo. S. Brown, D. D. G. Sire, in reply to his letter of Nov 30, 1877, expressing regret that the Order in Chile had met with such a heavy loss of funds, and the general depression in business. June 7th, to the same, advising: "We have been anxiously looking for the report of the Grand Lodge of Chile for 1877; also for the report of Southern Watch Encampment, No. 1," and requesting in case the reports have been forwarded, that he would send duplicates.
We are unable to account for such silence on the part of the authorities in Chile, where heretofore they have been noted for extraordinary promptness in their correspondence and transmission of reports.
Denmark.—On the 17th of April a petition was transmitted by the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of the German Empire, as follows:
To the M. W. Grand Sire of the Grand Lodge of the German Empire,
Mr. J. C. Praetorius, Hannover:
The undersigned, two of whom are Past Grands, and whose Withdrawal Cards are herewith inclosed, and the remaining three who are not attached to the Order, but acquainted with its principles, consider it will be conducive to the interest of the Order to institute a Lodge of the I. O. O. F. in this city, and respectfully request that you will grant authority for the institution thereof.
As it will require both time and money for a regular initiation of the three undersigned who are not connected with the Order, we beg for a dispensation empowering an informal initiation of the three indicated and pray that you may grant all such powers as will enable us to work under the jurisdiction of the German Empire; and we inform you that the Lodge, which designs working in the German language, will be opened under the name of Denmark Lodge, No. 1, of Denmark.
Dated at Copenhagen, 21st March, 1878.
Julius Meyer,Past Grand of Andrew Johnson Lodge, No. 433, New York City.
Andrew Holck,Past Grand of Naomi Lodge, No. 117, Pomeroy, Ohio.
P. G. Osterly,
A few days subsequently, and before the necessary papers were transmitted, a letter from F. Meyendorf, G. Secretary, dated Berlin, March 26th, advised: "I have discovered that besides the petitioners there are three Odd Fellows who have neither Withdrawal Cards nor Certificates from the Lodges to which they were attached. I have, therefore, undertaken through you to secure for them the proper credentials. According to reliable information they are men of marked respectability, who will exert themselves zealously in our cause. They are prepared to settle any dues that may be standing against them and forward as directed. They all request an expeditious transmission of their Withdrawal Cards that they may be enabled to join the Lodge in Copenhagen. The names of these brothers are: S. Hoffmeyer, P. G., of Pacific Lodge, No. 2, Lahaina, formerly Danish Consul to the Sandwich Islands; C. Tratz, 5th degree, Sumner Lodge, No. 180, Jersey City, page 59 New Jersey, now in Copenhagen, str. Kougensgade 21; john rath, initiatory, Omaha Lodge, No. 2, Omaha, Nebraska, formerly Danish Consul there, now in Copenhagen, Hyharn 13."
The necessary steps were at once taken to procure the cards, and prompt responses were received from Sumner and Omaha Lodges. Pacific Lodge, No. 2, Sandwich Islands, being defunct, and having been under the immediate jurisdiction of the G. L. of U. S., Bro. Hoffmeyer's certificate was prepared at this office. The proper papers authorizing the institution of the Lodge were forwarded May 23d to Bro. J. C. Praetorius, M.W. Grand Sire, Hannover, Germany, and reached their destination in due time, as Bro meyendorf advised in letter dated Berlin, June 13, 1878. A letter of Bro. Charles Tratz, one of the petitioners, dated Copenhagen, July 12th, addressed to the Assistant Grand Secretary, was received July 31st, and advised of the institution of the Lodge. The following extract is presented, believing that it will doubtless interest the brotherhood:
"Your highly esteemed letter of May 23d was received in due time, and to-day I take great pleasure in informing you that the first Lodge of the I. O. O. F. in this country, under the name of Denmark Lodge, No. 1, was instituted on the 29th of June by Bro. J. C. Praetorius, M. W. Grand Sire of the Grand Lodge of the German Empire, assisted by G. Secretary Mey dorf and a delegation from the Lodge of Hamburg. Of course, we are not yet in full working order, but we hold our meetings regularly, and have very fair prospects of success. As with all young Lodges, we are 'hard up for cash,' as the expense of establishing has been nearly $1,100.00, and we number about 35 members only. We hope to receive some money by the admission of new members, but the heavy expense of procuring By-Laws, receipts, cards, etc., have to be met now, and we should be glad to have some pecuniary assistance, if possible, from the Grand Lodge of the United States.
"I am greatly obliged to Bro. W. W. lawrence, D. D. G Master, of New Jersey, for his kind words concerning me, and I beg to assure him and all my dear friends and brothers that I shall always work with a good will for our noble cause.
"We had a very pleasant time at the institution, having a grand dinner got up in the finest style, with decorations of flowers, etc., and a full band of music playing.
"We shall be very glad to meet with brothers from the U. S., and as every summer some of them visit our city, you will oblige me by giving publicity to the fact that Denmark Lodge, No. 1, meets Wednesday evenings, at Oestergade 15, and that Andrew Holck, N. G., resides at Fredriksberg Alle 21, Just M. Caen our Conductor, at Amagerton 27, and my address is Str. Kongersgade No. 21, Copenhagen. We all speak English, as does our worthy Secretary, Bro. John Rath, Nyhair 13, and many of our members.
"The press has mentioned us in very complimentary terms, but I fear that our Masonic brethren do not look upon us in the friendly and kind manner that we should like. The Jews are not admitted to membership in Masonic Lodges here; if they belong to Lodges in foreign countries, of course, they can visit, but that is all We admit them to membership, of course, if there are no other objections than their religion, and we have already received some of the very best of this class of people. Denmark, politically, has nearly as free a Constitution as the United States, and all systems of religion have equal rights in this country.
"If the G. L. of U. S. can aid us, it will be a great step to the advancement of the Order here. I shall feel much obliged for information on any matters relating to our beloved Order and you may be assured that I will do all in my power to promote its interest."
The mail of August 5, 1878, brought letters from the Grand Sire and Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of the German Empire, relating to the institution of Denmark Lodge, No. 1. The Grand Sire writes as follows:
"In compliance with the honored commission vested in me, and referring page 60 to the communication directed to you by the Grand Secretary, Bro. Meyendorf, I have the honor to submit the following report:
"Assisted by the Grand Secretary, Bro. Meyendorf, and two brothers from Hamburgh, I instituted Denmark Lodge, No. 1, of Denmark, on the 29th of June. On the 30th the hall was dedicated, candidates initiated, the different degrees conferred, and the necessary instructions pertaining thereto given. You will please find in the annexed report the names of the elective and appointed officers.
"Although it was previously proposed that Denmark Lodge, No. 1, should work in the German language, I am of the opinion, after fully considering the question in all its bearings, that it is not only in the interest of our Order, but also absolutely necessary to do the work in the Danish tongue, to give an opportunity to the whole of the members to participate in the proceedings.
"As the demand in this case was urgent, and presupposing that my action would be sanctioned by the G. L. of U. S., I have authorized Bro. Holck to translate the text of the regular work (opening of the Lodge, duties of officers, etc.), and also to keep the minutes and records in the Danish language.
"You will be pleased to sanction these acts, being the necessary result of existing circumstances. You will please also to notify me if the documents and books of our Order are already printed in the Danish language. In the latter case you will be kind enough to transmit them without delay, to Pastor A. Holck, Fredericksborg Allee 21, Copenhagen
"I am also charged by the brothers to request that more time be given for deliberation whether to place their Lodge under the jurisdiction of the G. L. of G. E. or the G. L. of U. S.
"I venture the prediction, that with the foundation laid by Denmark Lodge, No. 1, of Denmark, a grand future for the Order will be inaugurated. Its members are both capable and enthusiastic, and I hope that the banner of our beloved Order will soon float over all Denmark. Sweden, and Norway, and that noble-minded men will clasp their hands in brotherly love.
"I would respectfully suggest that the Lodge should be partially reimbursed for the outlay in the installation of officers, dedication of the hall, etc. I should think that $100 would be sufficient, and I would recommend the granting of this sum on the part of the G. L. of U. S., and that I be authorized to transmit this sum to Denmark Lodge, No. 1, of Denmark. In the interest of the Order I can safely assert that this amount could not be donated for a better purpose.
"I hereby return documents transmitted to me on the 22d of May to be filled out. and in conclusion, would respectfully ask that my suggestions may be duly considered and acted upon, my sole motive being the welfare and interest of our beloved Order."
The following is from the letter of Bro. Meyendorf. Grand Secretary:
"You will be in possession of the report of the M. W. Grand Sire of the G. L. of G. E., and the special communication of the S. D. Grand Sire for Denmark Lodge, No. 1, both represented by Bro. Praetorius, notifying you of the institution of that Lodge.
"Having had the honor to be instrumental in the founding of the same, I have now had the pleasure to become personally acquainted with the brothers in Copenhagen, and I may here state that their work promises well for the future, and that soon it will be allied to a number of other Lodges in the North.
"My connection with this Lodge, directly as well as officially, would necessarily cease for the present, being under the jurisdiction of the G. L. of U. S., but there remain some little arrangements to be settled which have been made under the supposition that eventually the Northern Lodges would come under the jurisdiction of the G. L. of G. E. In relation to these matters, I refer to my letter of May 31st, and respectfully request an answer to my inquiries contained therein; also to inform me what your charges will page 61 be for Charter and books, and whether these are to be transmitted directly to the parties, or through my office.
"As I have already reported in my last-named letter, the brothers of Copenhagen have paid me 60 marks, according to the Constitution of the G. L. of G. E., and I have provided them accordingly with working books, I have also provided them with a copy of the transactions of the G. L. of U. S. of the years 1873 to 1877 inclusive, to serve as a nucleus for a library. The brothers would feel greatly obliged to you if you would be pleased to transmit to them from your stock on hand the Proceedings of past years. It is essential that Denmark Lodge, No. 1, of Denmark, should receive forthwith a copy of the Constitution of the Subordinate Lodges of the G. L. of U. S., so as to be able to frame its By-Laws. Be kind enough to transmit the document directly to Copenhagen. The three Withdrawal Cards have not been received as yet, either by me, the M. W. Grand Sire Bro. Praetorius, or the brothers in Copenhagen; but as you have advised me of the transmission of the cards by letter, I have, notwithstanding their non-arrival, proceeded with the institution of the Lodge.
"After having transacted all the routine business, it only remains for mo to express to you my most sincere wishes for the welfare of our beloved Order."
Germany.—As heretofore, the correspondence with Bro. F. Meyendorf, R. W. Grand Secretary, has been of the most friendly character, and highly- satisfactory. The letters have been transmitted with the promptness which has in the past characterized the intercourse of the officers of the two Grand Bodies. Such portions of the letters received and sent as are of special interest are herewith submitted.
The letter of September 29th to Grand Secretary Meyendorf acknowledged the receipt of his communications of July 30th and August 29, 1877, and recited the action of the G. L. of U. S. on the subjects presented, viz.: the permission asked to print their own supplies, and the right to authorize Subordinates to suspend the payment of benefits. The G. Secretary was informed that "the first and second resolutions on page 7459 were indefinitely postponed (p. 7504), for the reason that your Grand Lodge has the constitutional power to act in the premises, and the third resolution (p. 7460) authorizing supplies to be sold to the G. L. of the German Empire at cost was adopted. You now have the whole subject of benefits in your own power, and I trust will soon be able to place yourselves beyond the penalties prescribed in Section 29, Trespasses, of the laws of your country. There is the most liberal and generous feeling in our Grand Lodge toward the G. L. of G. E., and no reasonable request would for one moment have been interfered with, but it was considered too perilous to venture in the direction indicated. From my experience in the matter of printing our supplies, I think you will soon congratulate yourselves that you can purchase them at cost, and have no trouble or expense in printing them."
On the 29th of September Bro. Meyendorf's letter of September 12th was received, acknowledging receipt of letter from this office of August 24th, and transmitting extracts from German newspapers concerning "a merchant named Bry, represented to be an Odd Fellow, who some weeks ago was accidentally killed. The affair sounds somewhat improbable, but being constantly interrogated in regard to it, I venture to ask whether you know anything about it, in which case I would thank you to give me some information." The publication of August 29th states the manner of accident and refers to "the truly munificent manner in which the American Grand Lodge relieves the families of deceased brethren," etc. The issue of August 30th states that the Lodge referred to "belongs to the Order of Odd Fellows, which has its domicile in America, and is simply a relief association," etc., and the notice of September 4th says: "Reports have reached us about the nature of that society, its aims and its organization, which are in direct contradiction to each other, and we therefore refrain from giving them, not being in a position to decide between them." This page 62 was answered October 6th, regretting our inability to furnish any information on the subject, and on the 11th of October we returned to the Grand Secretary the papers in the case of Dr. Hausleutner. October 19th the letter of the G. Secretary of September 30th, advising of the transmission of 28 copies of Journal of. the G. L. of G. E., was acknowledged, and the same day the P. W's were sent to Bro. J. C. Praetorius, M. W. G Sire, saying: "In performing this agreeable duty, allow me to call to your attention especially the necessity and importance of causing the information to be made known to the Subordinates in your jurisdiction, that the P. W's are positively in force on and after January 1, 1878. I dwell upon this point for the reason which will appear by the accompanying papers of complaint to this office."
The mail of November 21st brought a letter from Bro. Meyendorf, dated October 30th, in which he wrote: "I regret the necessity of returning to you once more the appeal of Bro. Dr. Hausleutner. We did not intend to evade the regular course of appealing, but the address of the G. Master of Illinois is not known to me. Please forward the papers to the proper party and favor me in due time with further communications on the subject.
"The charge books I ordered, I suppose are printed in accordance with our new German translation. We return our sincere thanks for the privilege of purchasing supplies at cost, a favor we did not expect, and did not even hope for. I agree with you that such arrangement is more to our advantage than would be the publishing of the same in Germany, as it would require more capital than the small demand would warrant."
The appeal papers were forwarded, December 6th, to John Lake, M. W. G. Master, Rockford, Illinois, who on the 8th of December acknowledged the receipt of the same, saying: "I will give the matter immediate attention, and advise you of the result as soon as the facts are ascertained," and on the 13th of February, 1878, they again reached this office, and were immediately forwarded to Bro. Meyendorf.
Bro Meyendorf was informed December 7th of the disposition of the papers, and that "the charge books are printed according to our own text, the G. Lodge not having authorized any change as yet. It will be necessary, as you will readily understand, that the translation made in Germany shall be critically examined by competent parties and be approved by the G. L. of U. S., before it can be printed. I regret exceedingly that the late hour of the session at which the translation was received (as you will perceive at page 7511, Journal), rendered it impossible to give to that subject the proper attention. No power exists under these unfortunate circumstances anywhere to intervene, until the next Annual Session.
"I am happy to know that you agree with me in the reasoning employed to sustain the recommendation to the G. L of U. S. on the subject of furnishing to your Grand Lodge supplies at cost."
On the 24th of November a letter was received from J. C. Praetorius, M.W. Grand Sire, dated Hannover, November 1, 1877, acknowledging receipt of the P. W's sent to him October 19th, and saying: "I will endeavor, to the best of my ability, to further the interest of our beloved Order, and will make every effort to gain for it that position in Germany which it is truly and fully entitled to by virtue of its intrinsic excellence, and hope that Heaven may prosper it.
"I notice the complaint from Virginia, and will take care to have the A. T. P. W. communicated to the Subordinates in due time."
The above was duly acknowledged on the 7th of December.
November 28th a letter from the G. Secretary, dated November 10th, requesting a Withdrawal Card for Simon Mueller, of Farragut Lodge, No. 265, was received and acknowledged, and December 21st the G. Secretary was advised of the shipment of 10 German Digests and 51 copies of Revised Journal of 1877.
A letter of Bro. Meyendorf, dated December 12th, reached this office on the 29th of the same month, advising of the receipt of charge books, etc., page 63 per his order of August 29th. He also wrote: "On the 18th of November a new chapter in the history of Odd Fellowship was begun, as we then dedicated to the principles of humanity the beautiful hall erected on our own ground for Lodge purposes. Although in the present depressing state of business it was particularly difficult to accomplish an undertaking that involved an outlay of 320,000 marks ($80,000), the possession of such a building is the more agreeable, and we all hope that the enterprise may serve to elevate and increase our beloved Order. Even now, after so short a time since its occupancy, an additional and gratifying activity pervades the new hall."
On the 1st of January, 1878, the letter was answered as follows:
"I am rejoiced to learn that our brethren of Berlin have dedicated their new Odd Fellows' Hall, which enterprise, in view of the present commercial depression and scarcity of money, is a great success. Henceforth they may congratulate themselves at having provided 'a local habitation and home' for our beloved Order in that great city. It was a wise measure on their part, and will at once elevate the Order in public sentiment, as well as greatly promote its business facilities and comforts."
From a letter of January 22d, received February 13, 1878, I extract the following:
"I make use of this opportunity to send a circular of Wildey Lodge, No. 21, Texas, through the G. Lodge of Texas, which has been transmitted to the G. Lodges of Hannover and Württemberg, and handed to the Grand Sire of the G. L. of G. E. for further authority. In view of the fact that the Lodges of Germany have been recently instituted, they are not so financially situated as to be able to render the assistance requested. Besides, we have in Germany many Lodges that need help, and it was therefore deemed inexpedient to recommend the Lodges to aid Wildey Lodge, No. 21, in rebuilding their hall. We sympathize with the Lodge on account of the heavy loss, yet I am compelled to inform them through the G. Lodge of Texas that it is impossible to obtain any assistance from the Lodges in Germany."
G. Secretary Meyendorf was immediately informed of the reception of the letter, and the transmission of its contents to the G. Master of the G. Lodge of Texas. He was also advised that "the papers this day received from the G. Master of the G. Lodge of Illinois, viz.: Appeal of Dr. Hausleutner; Copy of letter from John Lake, G. Master; Letter of Eclipse Lodge, No. 404, Illinois, to G. Master Lake; and letter of Amos Henderson, P. G. M., to G. Master Lake, are inclosed herein."
On the 2d of April the Dismissal Certificate issued by Farragut Lodge, No. 265, New York, to Bro. Simon Mueller, was forwarded to the Grand Secretary.
On the 1st of May the following was sent to Bro. J. C. Praetorius, M. W. Grand Sire, Hannover, Germany:
"I inclose a letter from Bro John W. Stokes, M. W. Grand Sire, authorizing the institution of a Lodge at Copenhagen, Denmark. The necessary papers are prepared and await the cards from Omaha, Nebraska (John Rath), and Jersey City, New Jersey (Charles Tratz), which have been applied for. The card for S. Hoffmeyer will be issued from this office, Pacific Lodge, No. 2, at Lahaina, Sandwich Islands, having surrendered its Charter several years ago. You will have five petitioners holding Withdrawal Cards and Certificates, a number sufficient to institute a Lodge without 'making' Odd Fellows for the purpose. I will send the documents as soon as possible, and ask you to procure the 2 Charge, 2 Degree, and 2 Rebekah Degree Books (German) from G. Secretary Meyendorf, and we will replace them in first shipment to him from this office."
On the 23d of May he was advised:
"Some delay has occurred to prevent the transmission of the documents required to institute Denmark Lodge, No. 1, at Copenhagen, until now. I mail with this a petition to be signed by the applicants for initiation for the purpose of organizing a Lodge; commission authorizing the Special Deputy to initiate and confer the degrees; petition to be signed by the applicants page 64 for the Lodge; commission authorizing the institution of the Lodge; petition for the Lodge to be placed under the jurisdiction of the G. L of the German Empire to be signed by the N. G. and Secretary (or all the members) after the Lodge is organized, attested by the seal (if they have one), and a Charter in blank. All of these documents please have properly filled and, with the exception of the Charter, return to this office as soon as possible."
On the same day a letter was addressed to Bro. F. Meyendorf, G. Secretary, in reply to his communication of March 26th (noted under "Denmark"), advising him of success in obtaining the cards requested, the transmission to G. Sire Praetorius of all documents required to institute Denmark Lodge, and requesting him to "send as soon as convenient a statement of the condition of the Order in the German Empire, January 1, 1878, for publication in the report of the Grand Secretary."
The following extract from a letter of Bro. Meyendorf, dated May 31st, which was received June 15th, is published as requested to correct an error in the pamphlet report of the Grand Sire of the German Empire from which the translation was made.
"In the printed Proceedings of the R. W. G. L. of U. S., of the session of 1877, page 7513, Schiller Lodge, No. 3, in Stuttgart, is recorded as having surrendered its Charter This is an error, doubtless caused by the report to the Representatives in the G. L. of G. E., of the then Grand Sire, Bro. Elsasser, and embodied in the proceedings of the G. L. of U. S. It was not Schiller Lodge, No. 3, in Stuttgart, but Liebig Lodge, No 3, in Munchen, that surrendered its Charter. This is properly stated in the report of the G. Sire, as printed in the Journal of the G. Lodge of the German Empire. At the request of Schiller Lodge, No. 3, I request that you will make the proper correction in your Proceedings.
"I also request, as Denmark Lodge, No. 1, is to be instituted by the authority of the G. L. of U. S., information as to the transmission of the fee for the Charter and books, and what amount will be required. They have been notified that they will have to pay other fees, and I hereby advise you that the customary fee of Go marks ($15.00) has been received by me from the parties concerned. On account of the limited time, I will supply them with books from the supply I have on hand; that is, sell them without making any special claim on you for their restitution. I acknowledge the receipt of the card for Bro. Mueller. "
The following, also from the G. Secretary, dated June 13th, was received June 29th:
"In acknowledging the receipt of yours of May 23d, I take the opportunity of expressing my warmest thanks for the prompt dispatch of the favors requested, as advised by Bro. Ross, Assistant G. Secretary. The formation of the Lodge at Copenhagen is progressing, and in a very short time we shall be able, through the documents transmitted by you to our M. W. Grand Sire, Bro. Praetorius, to undertake the institution. The G. Sire is of opinion, that, as there are few Odd Fellows in Copenhagen, and they anticipate having fifty candidates, it will be necessary for some brother to accompany him from- Germany to assist in the ceremonies. As it is provided by the law in Section 1244, Digest, that all traveling expenses must be paid by the Lodge to be instituted, a very heavy burden will be laid upon the shoulders of this young Lodge, in defraying the expenses of the two officers for this long journey. In view of the fact that the G. L. of the German Empire is at the present time so financially situated that it not only has no funds on hand, but must even carry on its labors with a deficit, I take the liberty of requesting that the G. L. of U. S. kindly reimburse Denmark Lodge for the traveling expenses incurred in the institution.
"I am this day authorized by the M. W. Grand Sire, Bro. Praetorius, to mention a matter, which, in the interest of our Order here and abroad, should elicit a free conference and interchange of opinions. Frequently, but more particularly of late, brothers of American Lodges, provided with page 65 Traveling or Withdrawal Cards, have visited Germany, and immediately after their arrival applied to Lodges or the members here for relief; and even when they make no claim for assistance or benefits they represent their object to be the restoration of their health through some sort of a cure, for the payment of which they do not possess the means. One Lodge even recommended a certain brother, as without means, to the German brotherhood. This one had traveled from the United States under circumstances which made it clearly apparent that immediately upon his arrival here he would be obliged to apply to the German Lodges for assistance. Our Lodges, on account of their recent institution, are not so financially situated as to be able to spare sufficient money out of their Lodge funds for the relief of needy brothers, as their means are barely sufficient to pay the guaranteed benefits in addition to the other expenses, therefore the applicants from abroad must be assisted by voluntary contributions. As only the regular frequenters of the Lodges are subjected to such collections, it will not surprise you to learn that, however self-sacrificing the Lodges and individuals of the Order in Germany may be, complaints in reference to this matter have been loudly expressed, by reason of the frequent occurrence of such cases. I do not design, indeed it is not in my power to present every case to you; it will be sufficient to cite a few in proof of what I have written, and that the complaints are well founded.
"Bro. Bernhard Jacoby, of Mount Sair Lodge, No. 336, New York, arrived here sick, accompanied by his wife, in order to be cured. They were supported here for nine months, and being cured he was supplied with money for his traveling expenses.
"Somewhat similar was the case of Bro. Meyer, of Franz Deak Lodge. He was assisted from time to time, and unfortunately was robbed, when we were obliged to raise 90 marks ($22.50) in order to send him to his home (Pesth, in Hungary. Since that time he has given no evidence of his existence, although he promised that upon reaching his home he would return the amount advanced to him.
"At the present time, Bro. Israel Rosanszky, of Admiral Lodge, No. 577, New York, is again here. He possesses the third degree, is entitled to one dollar a week benefits; is afflicted with chronic inflammation of the membrane of the brain, and was sick when he left New York. It is true that he refuses benefits (which would be repaid by his Lodge), without being able to afford proof of his ability to support himself. He is seeking to have his health restored through some kind of an institution, but for this he will be obliged to pay a large sum.
Through circumstances of the character named continually occurring, the disposition to liberality of our brothers here has been considerably lessened. There have been also cases brought to my notice where brothers have visited Germany, and under the mantle of brotherhood have committed acts calculated to bring the Order into disrepute. For the sake of example we were obliged to take from a brother,———Hauslein (of Admiral Lodge, if I do not err), his Traveling Card because he was guilty of gross violation of the laws. Besides this, a letter from Bro. Bauer, the M. W. G. Master of the G. Lodge of Württemberg, has just been handed to me by the G. Sire, warning the Order against an Ancient Odd Fellow from America, by the name of Glass, who has acted most treacherously toward the brethren in Switzerland and Southern Germany, and who, on account of his rascality, was published in the papers and is now an inmate of the jail at St. Gallen. I am not aware of the name of the Lodge to which he belonged.
"In our German jurisdiction, where Odd Fellowship is just being developed, occurrences like those mentioned must create an unfavorable influence upon the membership. A dozen of such transactions as I have recorded will place our Order in such a light, that, while its existence may not be terminated, yet its advancement will be seriously retarded, if not entirely prevented. In the interest of our beloved Order whose success is so dear to all our hearts, I request of you, honored brother, to use your influence with the page 66 Grand Lodge of the United States to make such arrangements in reference to the granting of Traveling and Withdrawal Cards as will protect our Order from the disrepute that may be brought upon it by unworthy holders of such certificates. By order of our Grand Sire I have directed all our jurisdiction to prove strange brothers thoroughly.
"Although it grieves me to bring such occurrences to the attention of the G. L. of U. S., I feel it a duty, as it becomes the true Odd Fellow to strive for the removal of all evils that affect our great and glorious Order."
Some delay was experienced in procuring translations of the letters of 31st May and 13th June, and the reply was not sent until the 19th of July, when the G. Secretary was informed that his request for the correction of the error concerning Schiller Lodge, No. 3, at Stuttgart, would receive attention by a proper notice in the report of the G. Secretary to the G. L. of U. S. He was also advised that "the fee for Charter and books for a Subordinate Lodge is $30.00 (about 120 marks), Digest, Section 653 (Constitution, Article XIV.). The books accompanying a Charter, are 2 Charge, 2 Degree, and 2 Rebekah Degree books. You have been requested to furnish Denmark Lodge with the books, as above named, which we will replace in the first shipment from this office to you, and we request that you make no claim on the Lodge at Copenhagen for the value of the same.
"In your favor of June 13th you prefer the request 'that the G. L. of U. S. kindly reimburse Denmark Lodge for the traveling expenses incurred in the institution.' I shall take great pleasure in presenting this subject to the consideration of the G. L. at the session in September, but suggest that the amount of such expense be named, in order that the committee may know the extent of the appropriation asked for.
"We are pained to learn that the Lodges in the German Empire have been subjected to such serious annoyance, and in several cases, as you recite, to imposition at the hands of holders of cards issued by Lodges in the United States. The evil, as you represent it, is serious indeed, and we are surprised to learn that any Lodge in this country should expect one of its members to be supported by the Lodges in your jurisdiction. You may rest assured that the subject will be presented to the G. L. of U. S. at its next session, with the hope that adequate legislation may be secured to prevent such great injustice in future as it is evident has been inflicted upon the Lodges under the jurisdiction of the G. L. of the German Empire. In the meantime I beg to call your attention to the law of 1874, Journal, 6310, 6326 (Digest, Section 1691a), which was intended to compel members to conform to their promises or suffer the punishment prescribed for failing to return money loaned to them. Of course, as recited, this law applies only to those holding 'unexpired Visiting Cards.'
"Your Grand Sire has acted wisely in directing that all visiting brothers shall be thoroughly proved. This is, indeed, important at all times, but especially when the visitor is an applicant for assistance."
On the 24th of December a letter was received from Bro. Eugene Grimm, Leipzig, December 3, 1877, desiring information in relation to two persons, one residing near Cincinnati, Ohio, and the other at Jersey City, New Jersey. Steps were taken to obtain the particulars asked for, which were promptly communicated to this office and transmitted to Bro. Grimm. This brother is the publisher of "Der Odd Fellow," a semi-monthly paper, eight pages quarto, and in the letter above referred to advised of sending a bound copy of the first volume for the library of the Grand Lodge of the U. S. The book was received on the 27th of December and duly acknowledged.
The mail of March 23d brought another letter from Bro. Grimm, dated March 2, 1878, as follows:
"For your kindly communication in reference to Mr. Weise, of New Jersey, who, however, is dead, I return my warmest thanks, as well as for the great interest you have taken in behalf of the German brethren, and especially in the efforts of our Lodge and our paper, as so kindly expressed in the letter addressed to each. We will take the liberty, therefore, of forward- page 67 ing hereafter, as before, 'Der Odd Fellow,' and request for it a continuance of your much valued encouragement."
The numbers of the paper (Vol. II., 1 to 20), October, 1877, to August, 1878, have been regularly received.
Under date of July 16th, Bro. Meyendorf wrote:
"Referring to my communication of June 13th, I hereby transmit report of the condition of the Order from January 1 to December 31, 1877.
"l am sorry to state that the number of members has slightly declined, the receipts have fallen off, and the disbursements have been large, all, undoubtedly, owing to the depressed condition of commerce and trade.
"In the formation of new Lodges, two useless classes of members retard its success, namely: those who seek what they cannot find, and those who are not qualified for our cause. The latter class, especially, hinder the proper development of our Order in all its beneficent influences, and they must be under all circumstances eliminated from the organization. However, we have added to our list of existing Lodges, one Grand Lodge and four Subordinate Lodges, and we hope in the ultimate success of our cause, as this year has already witnessed the institution of several new Lodges "
Report of the Grand Lodge of the German Empire for the year from January 1 to December 31, 1877.
Grand Lodges, 4; Subordinate Lodges, 46; increase, 4. Members, Jan. 1, 1877, 2,024; initiated 275; admitted by card, 57; reinstated, 10; total, 2,366. Withdrawn, 194; suspended, 138; expelled, 63; deceased, 21; total, 416. Members, Dec. 31, 1877, 1,950; decrease, 74. Brothers relieved, 103; widowed families relieved, 19; paid for relief of brothers, $1,869.70; widowed families, $335.50; education of orphans, $212.88; burying the dead, $495.45; special relief, $145.32; total relief, $3,058.85. Amount of the annual receipts, $18,615.11. Encampments, 5. Members, Jan. 1, 1877, 185; initiated, 35; reinstated, 1; total, 221. Withdrawn, 3; suspended, 36; deceased, 1; total, 40: Members, Dec 31, 1877, 181; decrease, 4.