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Greetings in FL&T,

from the desk of Bro. Supreme Page :

Worthy Brothers and sisters of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows in America and Jurisdiction Happy New Year !!!! The past year for District 13 was chock full of ups and downs yet we are still going strong and still moving forward.  Our strength is only as strong as our weakest members though. With that being said I would emplore all the members who read this to extend your heart in hand to a brother or sister whom you haven’t seen at the last meeting,  someone who you almost forgot about.  Doesn’t necessarily have to be an Elder but even so, check on them often  !!!!!

Our national communication should be more than death notices and Facebook Groups !!!!

It is my sincerest attempt to inspire potential candidates to bring new life into our mysteries yet, I feel compelled to speak with our elders. Understanding that time isn’t on our side, we must seek out,  and bring all our elders back to the “Light” of Oddfellowship.  Not saying you have to go out and hit yelp n look up every past member (although I do) , but how much would it hurt to call and inquire about our lodge or household  pioneers?  The torch can’t be passed if we fail to extend our hands ! These brothers and sisters are our living libraries and some very important events in our history are stored in their minds.

I am on the hunt for stories,  old programs, old photos, etc.  Ultimately it is time for our story to be told to the public, letting the world know about this beacon of light we have been shining since 1843!

 

I am writing a book on our history,  possibly two, because so much has been left unsaid for too long ! I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of our brethren,  to do research about US ! To browse the personal effects of those who came before us is in itself a jewel worth it’s weight in gold ! Being able to teach a wider audience about all we have done throughout history is a labor of love ! My only hope is that some of you will reach out to me with your own stories about a lodge, household,  or specific members. You can send me an email at:

Supremelyodd@gmail.com

To my up and coming researchers I need your help as well.  Many college libraries have special collections waiting for someone like you to spelunk their volumes ! You can start online and so your journey begins. If you’re interested in our rich history and it’s preservation hit me up…..

I leave as I came in the bond of Friendship Love and Truth!

Bro. Supreme Emanuel Page jr NG Wayman lodge 1339, Dist.13 Gr. Historian and National Historian for America and Jurisdiction

 

Bro. Ransom W. Westberry, was born July 1871 in Horatio,Sumter County, SC
His childhood was split between working the farm and attending some grade school. Later, he attended Benedict College as well as Wilberforce University for a term.
For 15 years he lived in the city of Chicago where he worked as a mail carrier.
Bro. Westberry served in Company C. 8th Illinois United States Volunteer Infantry in the Spanish American War.
The 8th Illinois was the first African American regiment to have all African America Officers. They were mustered in at Springfield, IL., and traveled by the Cruiser Yale from New York City to Santiago, Cuba, where they garrisoned the town of San Luis de Cuba. They spent nine months in Cuba and returned on the steamship Sedgwick to Newport News, VA.; then by rail to Chicago, where they were mustered out on Aug 3, 1899.
Once back in the Carolinas , Westberry accumulated quite a few properties and started the R. Westberry Realty Co. He held a slew of prominent positions in and around Sumter. He was Secretary of the Mutual Undertaking and Embalming Association, Sec. of the colored State Fair Association, President of the National Farmers Association, President Auxiliary of the National Negro Business League etc….
Among the secret societies work he was of course an OddFellow, G.U.O.O.F , serving for years as head of the State Endowment Dept. He was also known among the Good Samaritans , the Knights of Pythias, and the Masonic GL of South Carolina where he served as Grand Director. He died , November 1928 and was buried in #LincolnCemetery in #Illinois

There are three types of people in this world :

1. Those who make things happen.

2.Those who watch what happens.

3. Those who wonder what happened.

It pleases me to announce that here in Columbia, SC.  The brethren of Wayman Lodge 1339 are growing.  It goes without saying that fraternal organizations are experiencing a decline worldwide.  There exists a social and generational gap between these organizations and the world in which we live. The world is in a state of disarray with accountability being the word of the day!   The lodge however is managing to capitalize and fulfill the needs of worthy brethren  through our bond of Friendship, Love, and Truth  !  We still manage to shine a light through societal darkness. This past month we initiated two individuals who are more than worthy….. May I introduce to the world Brothers Tim Reed and Terrance Hayes !

These two new additions to our Lodge are living proof that we’re on the right path. These two fellows are a testament to our plight as their presence in turn brings more light and life to the Order. No longer are we a thing of the past but a staple for the future ! Many good things are in order for this new young brand of Odd fellows,  sticking to traditional values while implementing innovative methods of fellowship and continuing this rich legacy……

Pictured above is the brethren from left to right (PNF) Emanuel Page, (OG) Andrew Williams, (W) Andre Williams, newly initiated Brothers Terrance and Tim, myself (NG) seated left, and (VG) Jarrett Jenkins, but minus (WC) Bro. Humphrey and our Double Odds from Texas…..

At our last gathering we were presented with an apron that was worn by our predecessors,  gifted to the lodge by our Past Noble Father, who continues to enlighten us….He still travels 6 hours one-way to attend meetings and assist us, never letting the lodge down!  

Some might not understand this brotherhood,  and we’re okay with that, because Oddfellowship isn’t for everyone, but our earnest goal is to help everyone that we can.   Being a part of history is a rewarding feeling of itself,  making history shall be the reward of those who come after us……

I leave as I came in the bond of friendship, love, and truth……

 

 

Bro. George W. Latimer was born in Norfolk, Virginia. His father, Mitchell Latimer, was white and his mother, Margaret an African slave belonging to his uncle Edward A. Latimer. In the early part of his life he was owned by a man named Edward Mallery, for whom he worked as a domestic servant until the age of sixteen. After that time, his labor was hired out and he primarily worked driving a dray and as a shopkeeper. On two separate occasions he spent time in prison as a result of the debts of his master. He was eventually sold to James B. Gray. Gray was a shop owner whose store Latimer manned. He abused Latimer and it is thought that this abuse precipitated Latimer’s flight to Boston.

On October 4, 1842, Latimer and his wife, Rebecca, who was pregnant at the time, ran away. The pair hid beneath the deck of a northbound ship that took them to Baltimore. From there they traveled to Philadelphia, with Rebecca posing as a servant to her lighter-skinned husband. At last, they made their way to Boston, arriving on either October 7 or 8th. James Gray offered a reward of $25 if Latimer was captured in Virginia and $50 plus expenses if he was captured outside Virginia. On the day George Latimer and Rebecca arrived in Boston, Latimer was recognized by a man named William R. Carpenter, a former employee of James Gray. On October 20, Latimer was arrested. The initial charge was larceny. Latimer was brought before Justice Joseph Story, who ordered that he be held.

After Latimer’s arrest word spread through the black community and a group led by Henry G. Tracy attempted to rescue him. They were unsuccessful. Latimer’s lawyer, Samuel Edmund Sewall, then sought a writ of personal replevin from Massachusetts Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw, who was known to have strong anti-slavery views. Sewell argued that Latimer should have the right to have his identity determined by a jury. This attempt at freeing Latimer, however, also failed, as Shaw denied the writ. According to the abolitionist paper the Liberator, Shaw said that it was a federal matter and the Constitution and the laws of Congress “were to be obeyed, however disagreeable to our natural sympathies or views of duty.”

The Latimer and North Star Journal was created by the men appointed to the newly formed Latimer Committee, Henry Ingersoll Bowditch, William F. Channing, and Frederick Cabot. Issues came out every other day. The Latimer Journal reported that the social unrest related to Latimer’s imprisonment was such that “fire and bloodshed threatened in every direction.”Latimer’s arrest resulted in an uproar so great that “Boston was, without a doubt, the most potentially violent city in America.” The case brought about an immense public response in the state of Massachusetts. Latimer’s counsel, Sewell, chaired a meeting at Faneuil Hall where attendees not only vowed resistance to slave-catching but also voted for disunion. Additional meetings were held throughout the state, called “Latimer Meetings.” These meetings included both black and white abolitionists.

A major development that occurred as a result of Latimer’s arrest was the Latimer Committee’s creation of two separate petitions, the “Great Massachusetts Petition” and the “Great Petition to Congress.” The former requested a law banning the involvement of state officials or public property in the detention or arrest of suspected fugitives. The latter demanded that laws be passed severing any connection between Massachusetts and slavery. Latimer’s freedom was purchased while these petition drives were still ongoing, but they had a considerable impact. The petition delivered to the State Assembly contained 64,526 signatures and weighed 150 pounds by the time it was delivered on February 17, 1843. This petition was a significant contribution to the passage of the 1843 Personal Liberty Act, dubbed the “Latimer Law,” which prevented Massachusetts officials from assisting in the detention of suspected fugitive slaves and banned the use of state facilities to detain such suspects.

Latimer’s arrest spurred other action as well. It was the “immediate impetus” for the organization of the New England Freedom Association and increased collective action in the black community of Massachusetts. One example of this is the fundraising efforts that helped raise the money that was eventually used to purchase Latimer. These meeting were addressed by such abolitionists as Frederick Douglass and Charles Lenox Remond.Latimer’s freedom was eventually purchased from Gray for $400.

After his freedom was purchased, George Latimer remained involved in the abolitionist cause, attending anti-slavery conventions and helping to gather signatures for the two petitions that were started while he was imprisoned.

There is not a great deal of information available about Latimer’s life as a free man. He continued to be involved in, and connected to, the abolitionist movement. In 1851 he was involved in the rescue of an escaped slave, Shadrach Minkins, when he was paid to keep Minkins’s owner under surveillance.

The first of the Latimers’ four children was born shortly after his freedom was purchased. The youngest, Lewis Howard Latimer, who was born in 1848, went on to become an inventor, and worked for such prominent inventors as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.

In the bond of Friendship Love and Truth the Brethren of the Mighty District 13 greet you all !!!! Provided below are more pictures for your viewing pleasure from this year’s Grand Officers Installation for the Grand United Order of Oddfellows in America and Jurisdiction. …

 

DGM Bro. Cannon speaks to the group after presenting Most Honorable Grand Master Green with a PNF Collar as a token of appreciation for his noble assistance.

Most Noble Sisters of the Grand Household of Ruth !

Brothers of SC’s own District 13 with the Committee of Management wearing the collars and aprons gifted to them…

Hon.GM Green delivered an inspiring oratory after the installation and presentations


We are blessed to come amongst a group of individuals dedicated to the preservation of the Order !  If District 13 continues on this path, there will be nothing that can stand in the way of our righteous endeavors.

MAJORS, MONROE ALPHEUS

(1864–1960). Monroe Majors, a black physician, civil rights leader, and writer, was born to Andrew Jackson and Jane (Barringer) Majors on October 12, 1864, in Waco, Texas. At the age of ten he worked as a page in the Texas legislature. He attended Tillotson College (now Huston-Tillotson College) and normal school in Austin from 1878 to 1883; he also worked for the post office. After graduating from Central Tennessee College, Nashville, with a bachelor of science degree, in 1883 he enrolled at Meharry Medical College at Nashville, from which he graduated as salutatorian of his class in 1886. In college he worked as a reporter for several local newspapers. In 1886 Majors began practicing medicine in Brenham, Texas. During that year he became the principal guiding spirit and one of the fourteen founders of theLone Star State Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association. Shortly afterward his name appeared on a list, prepared by a group of racists, of influential blacks who were to be uprooted from their positions of importance in the community. Dr. Majors received advance warning about this threat and left his practice in Brenham for Calvert and then Dallas. He ended up teaching in a small country school for a year (1887–88). He later found out that two of the other persons on the list had been hanged.

In 1888 he moved to Los Angeles and became the first black physician to practice medicine west of the Rocky Mountains. He was invited to lecture on medical topics at Los Angeles Medical College; in California race was not a bar to participation in the medical societies. In 1889 Majors married Georgia A. Green. In 1890, after the birth of their daughter, he moved back to Waco to practice medicine and serve as lecturer in hygiene and sanitation at Paul Quinn College. He was at the college from 1891 to 1894. During this time he built and operated a hospital for blacks in Waco. Between 1893 and 1895 he was editor of Texas Searchlight, a serial publication that addressed issues facing blacks. During 1893 Majors worked in Chicago at the newly established Provident Hospital and with Frederick Douglass for five months. He also published Noted Negro Women (1893), a book of biographies of prominent black women of the period, which he had written in California. In the preface to this book Majors states the motivation for his literary efforts: “The world is full of books yet few of them appeal directly and peculiarly to the Negro race….[I] commend these pages to the reading world, trusting that they will for long stand out in bold relief, a signification of Negro progress.”

Majors moved to Decatur, Illinois, around 1896 and to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1897. In Indiana he served as associate editor of the Indianapolis Freeman (1898–99). He returned to Waco, where he was superintendent of his hospital for two years, but moved back to Chicago in 1901. From 1908 to 1911 he was the editor of the Chicago Conservator, and for two of those years he was on the Chicago Board of Health. During this time he became a close friend of the poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Majors was active in civic and political affairs, especially in racial issues, an involvement that no doubt caused some of his frequent moves. He was also a member of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the National Business League, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was a Mason, a Methodist, and a Republican. In 1921 he wrote First Steps and Nursery Rhymes, the first book of nursery rhymes written specifically for black children. He contributed articles and poems to other publications, including the Chicago Defender, the Bee, and the Chicago Broad Ax. In 1908 he divorced his wife and in 1909 married Estelle C. Bonds. They had one daughter. In 1925 Dr. Majors lost most of his vision; thereafter he was less active politically and professionally. He returned to Los Angeles in 1933 and died there on December 10, 1960.

From https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmacq

The Odd Fellow City: The Promise of a Leading Black Town

 

It was billed as the greatest agricultural endeavor by African Americans since Mound Bayou, Mississippi, nearly 400 acres of prime land to be owned and operated by Negroes. The year was 1913; the place, Twiggs County, Georgia; the backers, the Atlanta-based Georgia District Lodge No.18 of The Grand United Order of Odd Fellows (G.U.O.O.F.). According to the advertisements, the Odd Fellow City would boast a post office, cottages, an industrial school and working farm. Lodge members purchased plots, skilled men farmed the land, and visitors from around the county toured the enterprise. Yet, today neither city officials nor community historians in Twiggs County can tell you where the farm was located; indeed, it appears that no one there has heard of the Odd Fellow City*. But for a while, it was the crown jewel of the Odd Fellows of Georgia, a testament to what forward thinking race men could do.

Of all the Negro Odd Fellows lodges, the Georgia District was by far the most successful in attracting members and filling the coffers. According to one historian, under the leadership of Benjamin Jefferson Davis, Sr., district grand secretary, and B.J. Ingram, district grand master, the Order had income of “$20,000 a month…and was worth $750,000 in assets in 1912.” State lodges numbered more than 1,000. In 1913, the Order held the grand opening for the Georgia Odd Fellows headquarters. The massive, $110,000 office building still stands on Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue, once the heart of the city’s African-American business community. Built on time, debt free, and by Order member Robert E. Pharrow, the Odd Fellows headquarters set the standard for African-American construction. National black leader Booker T. Washington remarked of the headquarters: “Negro ambition conceived the vision, Negro brains devised the plans, Negro money paid for the brick and mortar and Negro hands and brains placed the building there. It is worth a trip to Atlanta for any colored man to see this building.” In 1914, the Georgia District dedicated the Odd Fellows Annex, which included a 1,300-seat auditorium, theater, and Roof Garden. Washington gave the opening address, calling the annex and dedication a “proud moment for the Odd Fellows of Georgia and for the people of our race.

The author traveled three times to Jeffersonville, Georgia, between 2003 and 2007 meeting and speaking with life-long residents of the area. Those of the African American community referred the author to Robert Hughes, a former New York City detective, who returned to his native Jeffersonville to retire. Mr. Hughes was elected chief magistrate of Jeffersonville in 2000 and was considered a leader and local historian. He grew up just a few miles from the location of the Odd Fellow Farm. Although Mr. Hughes knew of the area, he had not heard of the Odd Fellow Farm. Additionally, there was no mention in the Twiggs County Citizen newspaper of the Negro Odd Fellows or their plans for a city and a farm in the county. The author also visited Mt. Olive Baptist Church which, according to an April 11, 1914, article in the Atlanta Independent newspaper, was located near a school that the Odd Fellows’ wished moved to the Odd Fellow City. Although a historic school stands on the church grounds, it was built in the 1920s and thus is not the school referenced in the Independent. None of the church members present were familiar with the Odd Fellow City. As Mr. Hughes expressed in a September 7, 2011, telephone interview with the author, “A lot of the old stories about Black farmers are dead. People just don’t talk about the past anymore.”

Home

Brother Joseph H. Rainey was born on June 21, 1832 in Georgetown, South Carolina, a seaside town consisting mainly of rice plantations. His mother  Grace Rainey was of French descent. His father,Edward Rainey was a barber, and his master permitted him to work independently if he shared some of his profits, as required by law. Rainey used his earnings to buy his family’s freedom in the early 1840s, and in 1846 the family moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where Edward became a barber at the exclusive Mills House Hotel. As giving official instruction to black children was illegal, Joseph Rainey received a limited education and his father taught him the barber’s trade. In 1859, Joseph Rainey traveled to Philadelphia, where he met and married his wife, Susan, also a half–French mulatto, originally from the West Indies. Rainey continued to work as a barber, and the couple had three children: Joseph II, Herbert, and Olivia.

The Confederate Army called Rainey to service when the Civil War broke out in 1861. At first, he dug trenches to fortify the outskirts of Charleston. He later worked as a cook and a steward aboard a blockade runner, a Confederate ship charged with carrying tradeable goods through the Union Navy’s blockade of the South. In 1862, he and his wife escaped to Bermuda. The self–governed British colony had abolished slavery in 1834, and proved a hospitable home for the Raineys, who took advantage of the thriving economy and growing population that resulted from the lucrative blockade–running business. The Raineys lived in St. George and Hamilton, Bermuda, where Joseph set up a successful barbershop and Susan Rainey opened a dress store. It was here that he became one of our brethren,joining Alexandrina lodge no.1026, the second oldest lodge in the West Indies.

The Raineys were informed about the progress of the Civil War by passing sailors and, after the Union victory, returned to Charleston in 1866.

The wealth Joseph Rainey acquired in Bermuda elevated his status in the community, and looked upon as a leader, he soon became active in the Republican Party. In 1867, Rainey returned to Georgetown, South Carolina, and became the Republican county chairman. When a state constitutional convention was called in 1868, Rainey traveled to Charleston to represent Georgetown. In 1869, he also attended a state labor commission and served as Georgetown’s census taker. In the late 1860s, he worked as an agent for the state land commission and was a brigadier general in the state militia. Joseph Rainey was elected to his first public office in 1870 when he won a seat in the state senate, where he immediately became chairman of the finance committee.

In February 1870, Representative Benjamin F. Whittemore resigned his northeastern South Carolina seat, having been charged with selling appointments to U.S. military academies. The Republican Party nominated Rainey for the remainder of Whittemore’s term in the 41st Congress (1869–1871) and for a full term in the 42nd Congress (1871–1873). On October 19, 1870, Rainey won the full term, topping Democrat C. W. Dudley by a substantial majority (63 percent). On November 8, he defeated Dudley once again, garnering more than 86 percent of the vote, in a special election to fill the seat for the remainder of the 41st Congress.  Joseph Rainey was sworn in on December 12, 1870, as the first African American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. One month later he was joined by the second black Member, Representative Jefferson Long of Georgia. Rainey’s moderate policies were met with approval by both African–American and white voters, and he was elected without opposition to the 43rd Congress (1873–1875).

Rainey advocated for his constituents—both black and white. He used his growing political clout to influence the South Carolina state legislature to retain the customs duty on rice, the chief export of the district and the state. He also submitted a petition to improve Charleston Harbor and fought against an appropriations cut for Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter in Charleston. However, Rainey’s committee appointments and policies reflected his desire to defend black civil rights, and his loyalty to the Republican Party. Rainey received seats on three standing committees: Freedmen’s Affairs (41st–43rd Congresses), Indian Affairs (43rd Congress), and Invalid Pensions (44th–45th Congresses, 1875–1879). He also served on several select committees, including the Select Committee on the Centennial Celebration and the Proposed National Census of 1875 (44th Congress) and the Committee on the Freedmen’s Bank (44th Congress).

Rainey’s work on the Committee on Freedmen’s Affairs—created in 1865 to handle all legislation concerning newly freed slaves—earned him the most recognition.  On April 1, 1871, he delivered his first major speech, arguing for the use of federal troops to protect southern blacks from the recently organized Ku Klux Klan. Enumerating the dangers of returning home to South Carolina on congressional breaks, exposing himself to violence by the Red Shirts—a virulent South Carolina white supremacist organization—Rainey said, “When myself and my colleagues shall leave these Halls and turn our footsteps toward our southern homes, we know not that the assassin may await our coming, as marked for his vengeance.” The Ku Klux Klan Act was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on April 20, 1871, but the bill failed to stop Klan terrorism.  After his speech, Rainey received a letter written in red ink instructing him and other advocates of black civil rights to “prepare to meet your God.” White southerners virtually ignored the Ku Klux Klan Act, and congressional opponents circumvented its provisions by eliminating funding. In March of 1872, Rainey found himself arguing for the federal appropriations needed to enforce the act.

Rainey also advocated Radical Republican Senator Charles Sumner’s Civil Rights Bill of 1875, which outlawed racial discrimination on juries, in schools, on transportation, and in public accommodations. Sumner believed a law passed in 1872 granting amnesty to former Confederates should be conditioned by the passage of his civil rights bill. Although Rainey favored the Amnesty Act, which allowed most former Confederates to regain their political rights, he agreed with Sumner because of personal experience with discrimination in both Washington and South Carolina, ranging from exorbitant charges for drinks at a pub, to more serious violations of his civil rights. Rainey also described widespread segregation on public transportation, including trains and streetcars. Speaking for his black constituents, he declared, “We are earnest in our support of the Government. We were earnest in the house of the nation’s perils and dangers; and now, in our country’s comparative peace and tranquility, we are earnest for our rights.”

Rainey focused on the bill’s provisions for desegregation in public schools, an issue that had bedeviled race relations for more than a century. Breaking from fellow Republicans, he was among the minority favoring a $1 poll tax to support public education. Other Republicans successfully argued this would disfranchise most freed slaves. Nonetheless, Rainey continued to advocate education, later arguing that money from the sale of public land should be used to fund public education. Though the Civil Rights Bill passed the House on February 5, 1875, with the Senate quickly concurring, its diluted provisions failed to address desegregation or equality in public schools.

Rainey’s fight against discrimination was not limited to prejudice against African Americans. Appointed to the Committee on Indian Affairs, he made history in April 1874 when he took the chair from Speaker James G. Blaine, becoming the first black American to preside over the House of Representatives.  He oversaw the debate on an appropriations bill providing for the management of Indian reservations. Rainey also generally opposed legislation restricting the influx of Asian immigrants to the United States.

Throughout his career, Rainey involved himself in the economic issues that affected his race. Established by Congress in 1865, the Freedmen’s Savings and Trust Company (Freedmen’s Bank) was envisioned as a means to help newly emancipated African Americans build capital through secure savings. Two–thirds of the bank’s holdings were originally invested in United States treasury bonds. In 1870, an amendment to the bank’s charter allowing half of its deposits to be invested in real estate bonds came to the floor. Recognizing the instability of such an investment, Rainey opposed the amendment and stood behind congressional control over the institution: “I am opposed to any one man holding assets of that bank, having them wholly at his disposal, I do not care who he is, whether he be colored or white, whether he be a German or an Irishman it makes no difference to me. I want no one man to handle the assets of the bank.”  His position on the Select Committee on the Freedmen’s Bank gave him a voice, but he and his colleagues were unable to prevent the bank’s failure in 1874.

After an easy re–election in 1872, Rainey’s subsequent campaigns were made vulnerable by the growing threat to Congressional Reconstruction in the South. In 1874, Rainey faced Independent Republican Samuel Lee, another African American and a former speaker of the state house of representatives, in a dangerous and close campaign. When Rainey planned to travel to a meeting in Bennettsville, South Carolina, friends warned him that Lee’s supporters were planning a violent intervention. Accompanied by a large posse of friends and met by U.S. soldiers upon his arrival, Rainey arrived safely and the meeting was peaceful. Rainey won the election, taking 14,360 votes (52 percent) to Lee’s 13,563, but Lee demanded that the House Committee on Elections void some of Rainey’s votes due to a spelling error in Rainey’s name on some ballots.  The committee upheld Rainey’s election, with the whole House concurring in May 1876. That same year, Rainey defeated Democrat John S. Richardson for a seat in the 45th Congress, again winning a tight campaign with 52 percent of the vote.  Richardson later accused Rainey and the Republican Party of voter intimidation. Noting the presence of federal troops during the election, Richardson also claimed that armed black political clubs and black militia were scaring voters at the polls. Richardson’s election had been certified by Democratic South Carolina Governor Wade Hampton, and Rainey maintained that only the South Carolina secretary of state could certify elections. Rainey took his seat, but in May 1878 the Committee on Elections declared the seat vacant, citing irregularities. The House failed to act on the committee report, and Rainey kept his seat for the remainder of his term.

Rainey’s final two terms were wracked by setbacks for African–American civil rights in South Carolina and the final blow that virtually ended federal Reconstruction in the South. On the American centennial on July 4, 1876, black militia celebrated by parading through a street in Hamburg, South Carolina. When a group of white men attempted to cross the street, the black soldiers refused to stop. The white men subsequently fired upon and killed several militiamen. Debate over the incident became bitter on the House Floor during Rainey’s final term in the 45th Congress. Rainey condemned the murders and exchanged coarse remarks with Democratic Representative Samuel Cox of New York, who believed the “Hamburg massacre” resulted from poor government by black South Carolina leaders.  Bolstered by renewed Democratic control in South Carolina, John S. Richardson defeated Rainey in the 1878 election for the 46th Congress (1879–1881) by more than 8,000 votes. Joseph Rainey retired from the House on March 3, 1879.

Upon his departure from Congress, Rainey was promised that Republicans would nominate him as Clerk of the House of Representatives; however, Democratic control over the 46th Congress precluded Rainey’s selection as Clerk. When Republicans regained control of Congress in 1881, Rainey spent time in Washington trying to secure the appointment, but he lost the nomination. In 1879, Rainey was appointed a special agent of the U.S. Treasury Department in South Carolina. After being endorsed by 84 Representatives, including future President James A. Garfield of Ohio, Rainey served two years. In 1881, he started a brokerage and banking business in Washington, but the firm collapsed five years later. For one year, he managed a coal mining operation and a wood yard before returning to Georgetown in ill health. Joseph and Susan Rainey opened a millinery shop shortly before Joseph died of congestive fever on August 1, 1887.  There is no doubt in my mind that Oddfellowship was/is a pillar upon which our people are lifted out of despair! We just need to look at our long proud history to find the courage to do away with complacency and seek triumph in our future!

Our brother is another fine example of the what can be accomplished if we believe in our noble cause and do the work….In the bond of Friendship Love and Truth

 

Bro.Page NG Wayman lodge no.1339

http://history.house.gov/People/Listing/R/RAINEY,-Joseph-Hayne-(R000016)/

Fraternal Greetings from District 13 !  

As the title states, today was a very productive day for the Grand United Order of Oddfellows in America and Jurisdiction…..especially if you belong to one of the lodges in the Palmetto State! Firstly, based on the love from our Grand Master as he took time out of his busy schedule to stop into our state for an impromptu meeting of the minds.  Secondly with all who were present this unusually warm morning we were able to gaze upon a piece of our history….our (former) District Grand Lodge! The presence of our brethren and sisters past could be felt throughout. We had the opportunity to fellowship amongst the brothers both old and new, which was truly a blessing. Last but definitely not least, the Charter for Wayman no.1339 was passed from the Grand Master’s hands to the brothers of the newly reinstated Lodge out of Columbia, SC ! One of the oldest dispensations granted in Oddfellows history for South Carolina.  We would like to thank the Grand Master for his tutelage although brief, but we look forward to his lessons as time progresses ! We would also like to thank the Committee of Management in aiding us in our Growth as a state and District.  The future looks bright for Oddfellowship as long as we continue on the path of righteousness, under the watchful eye of the Creator,with our hearts in our hands…..FLT !

I assume this means as much to us Odd Fellows as it does to the Prince Hall Masons of SC……

Here lies Dr. Charles Catlett Johnson or C.C. Johnson……Dr. Johnson (b. 1860, d. 1928) was born in Orange County, Virginia. He graduated from Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C. in 1888, and opened a medical practice soon afterward in Columbia, South Carolina. His is a complicated story. Charles Catlett Johnson, Sr. was born in Orange County, Virginia on December 24, 1860. His mother, Mary Jane Reed, was of Scotch parentage, and his father, Louis Johnson, was an Irish immigrant.
After his father died in 1865, his mother married Nicholas Poindexter, a black man, and Charles and his two sisters grew up in Washington, DC, along with children his mother birthed for Poindexter.

Throughout his life, he remained a “voluntary” black man, though his blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin never failed to raise eyebrows. Likewise, there are few facts known about the early days in Columbia, South Carolina, where the young doctor began his practice at 1103 Plain Street. We know from published biographical records that he was the first physician of color to practice in that city, and that he was the first doctor ever to administer the small pox vaccine there. He was also the first physician of any race to use the X-ray machine in surgical practice in South Carolina. In addition, he taught chemistry as a professor at Benedict College for a time there in Columbia….He went on to become one of Aiken County, South Carolina’s founding fathers with another worthy Oddfellow, Prince Rivers…

In opposition to the “Atlanta Comprise”:

Dr. C.C. Johnson, was a colleague of the famius Dr. DuBois an esteemed black physician and surgeon. In a letter to DuBois, Johnson wrote that he “could not believe that in the long run it can be for the real good of any race to oppress unjustly any man or set of men anywhere in the world”.  Continuing in this manner Dr. Johnson wrote that “It surely needs no argument to any fair minded man to be convinced that the national sin of our country today is the shameful injustice to which our race is subjected in practically all parts of the land, both in a private and a public way”.  

 

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