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2 The Adversaries A struggle between Templars in the American South and in Britain strained the unity of the IOGT and eventually shattered it. Controversy over black membership grew explosive in the 1870s, when large numbers of white southern and British recruits swamped the Templar Order. The unexpected new geographical and cultural diversity unsettled the balance of power and made Templar decisionmaking about Mrican American membership divisive. Contemporaries personalized the dispute as a duel between a Kentuckian and an Englishman. The charismatic John J. Hickman , a farmer turned insurance agent, headed the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and later the international Order. The tenacious Joseph Malins, a former furniture painter who for a couple of years had lived in Philadelphia, dominated the Grand Lodge of England. During the great schism of 1876-87 the rival parties were nicknamed the Hickmanites and the Malinites (or Malinsites). The controversy can also be dramatized as a clash between leading Grand Lodges, those of Kentucky and England, whose roles in the conflict went beyond Hickman's and Malins's leadership. Kentucky , the oldest and the largest of the southern Grand Lodges, claimed to speak for the American South. The much younger Grand Lodge of England was the biggest in the world. Excited by the IOGT's universalist ideology, the English Templars helped organize lodges in British colonies and northern Europe and among overseas British merchants from Argentina to Japan. In retrospect, the competition between the Templar organization of a medium-sized state and that of a country with many times its population seems unequal. In late 1873 and early 1874 England had over 200,000 adult members. With a much smaller population its neighbor and ally Scotland boasted 62,000 in 1875 and 1876, while Wales and Ireland created lesser Grand Lodges that looked to England for leadership.1 The RWGL acknowledged the importance of 32 The Adversaries 33 England and in 1873 held its annual session there, the first time that the convention had taken place outside North America. The RWGL also rewarded English delegates with international offices. In 1874 and 1875 Malins was elected to the second highest office, Right Worthy Grand Counsellor. Yet during the period when people who lived in the United States and Canada controlled the IOGT organization, the giant . Grand Lodge of England appeared to many Templars remote and peripheral, whereas the flourishing Grand Lodge of Kentucky constituted the gateway to a promising mission territory in the American South. By the mid-1870s at least a third of the Templar membership in the United States lived in the former slave states, and many Templars expected the proportion of the membership living there to increase.2 Since membership was volatile, large numbers of southerners belonged to the IOGT briefly. For instance, over 194,000 white Georgians joined the Templars from the time that the state's first lodge was organized in 1867 until the end of the great schism twenty years later.3 Meanwhile, during the late 1860s and early 1870s the IOGT faded in its old northeastern and Great Lakes strongholds, so Templar successes in the southeastern states during the mid-1870s were all the more gratifying. According to RWGL statistics , Tennessee had some 10,000 members in 1875, as did Georgia in the following year. In 1876 Alabama counted nearly 11,000. In 1877 Missouri had over 14,000. Virginia, atypically, reached its peak of nearly 14,000 around the time of reunion that ended the schism. Although every former slave state had a Grand Lodge at one time or another, North Carolina and South Carolina were the only other southern states whose Grand Lodges reached a significant size; their largest memberships were over 7,000 and 3,000 respectively.4 An alliance with the large "Grand Temple" of Canada strengthened southern influence.5 From 1873 until he was defeated for reelection in 1880, a Napanee, Ontario, journalist and mayor, Walter Scott Williams, served as the international organization's secretary , while Kentucky's Hickman was elected the RWGL's counsellor in 1871 and 1872 and RWGT in 1874, 1875, 1876, 1879, and 1880. In 1881, as a kind of consolation for the South, when Hickman was defeated for reelection, Kentucky's current GWCT was elected Counsellor. A Virginian was elected in 1882. As further evidence of southern influence, the RWGL met at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1876, the fateful session at which the unity of the Order was disrupted.6 During the schism years it met at Charleston, South...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780813161518
Related ISBN
9780813119847
MARC Record
OCLC
903964986
Pages
224
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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