This post might be a little late but we have the entire year to celebrate and commemorate our history in this country! Three by three with #FLT to all the #oddfellows of the world !!!! Today is extra special because it is the 176th Anniversary of the #GrandUnitedOrderofOddFellows in #America and #Jurisdiction !
Something that has lasted for centuries and survived long enough for US, the new faces of the #GUOOF to carry it high on OUR shoulders to ensure this Order’s existence is felt in perpetuity ! Brothers Hail Hail thrice Hail!!!!! From the mountains to the valleys on this day and forever more ! Eternal thanks to the creator for deeming us worthy enough to be gifted with our founder……The Illustrious Past Grand Master, Brother Peter Ogden !!!! We owe him for our eternal bond……
⌛Institution of the First Lodge⌛
The free colored men residing in #NewYorkCity and #Philadelphia organized and maintained societies for literary improvement and social pleasures many years before the #CivilWar.
The leading organization in the former city was styled the #PhilomatheanInstitute; and in the latter qty, the Philadelphia Library Company and Debating Society, Quite naturally they turned to the “Friendly Society” of Odd Fellows, and accordingly, in 1842, Patrick H. Reason, James Fields and others, of New Yorkpetitioned the IOOF for a dispensation on behalf of Philomathean Institute, which organization had already resolved itself into an association with a view of becoming an Odd Fellow’s Lodge. It is said that the petitioners were treated with contempt, and their application pre-emptorily refused. However, our early brethren were not so easily repulsed, but continued negotiations with some kindly disposed members of that Order, who held out the vain hope that the dispensation would ultimately be granted.
About that time, #PeterOgden, a colored man, steward of the ship Patrick Henry sailing between #NewYork and #Liverpool, England, arrived and was informed of the desire of these men and of the effort to obtain admission to #OddFellowship in this country. He averred that the dispensation could be secured through his Lodge in Liverpool, and that to be connected with England and the #GrandUnitedOrder was to obtain Odd Fellowship in its pristine purity.
Yet the forlorn hope held out to the Association at New York had given the members some encouragement, and they did not readily accept Peter Ogden’s advice. So, after several more ineffectual attempts to procure a charter, the members of the Association were sickened and convinced that the Independent Order would never grant it, and for no other reason under Heaven, than that the petitioners were colored men. They accepted Peter Ogden’s philosophy and his generous offer to ask for a dispensation through his Lodge, Victoria, No. 448. As the duly accredited deputy of these, our early brethren, he went on his mission. Braving the dangers of the deep, Peter Ogden arrived safely in Liverpool, and to Victoria Lodge he presented his applicaton. The Lodge did not hesitate, it is said, but gladly accepted. In the presence of Peter Ogden and others it immediately communicated with the Committee of Management at the headquarters, then at Leeds. The Committee of Management, being true Odd Fellows indeed, and knowing no men by color, were overjoyed at this promised extension of the Order in America. They therefore promptly granted the dispensation to institute Philomathean Lodge, No. 646, New York City, N. Y.. It was duly set apart on the first day of March, 1843, and from that time we date our beginning in America.
WHY THE FIRST NUMBER IS 646 ?
The question has often been asked why the first Lodge is not No. 1, and why do the breaks appear in the numerical order of our dispensations ? The reason is : Because all dispensations of the Grand United Order are issued first from the Committee of Management, England, and are numbered consecutively by them without regard to what Sub-Committee or country they go. For instance : all Lodges from #1 to #645 are in England ; and the numbers from #647 to #709 were granted to English Lodges after our first number, #646 was granted and before we applied for the second, Hamilton lodge #710……..
Just a little history for you to get some understanding of our journey into the greatest fraternal order to ever exist !!!!
I have included some pictures from District 13’s celebration held at Wayman lodge #1339 in Columbia! Might have to make it a post on its own….Representatives from the majority of lodges in SC came together in FL&T !