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3 The Road to Louisville Mter the Civil War several paths and tracks crisscrossed on the way to Louisville in 1876. In justifying their behavior, Templar factions quarreled over the relative importance ofthe resulting controversies in bringing the IOGT to the great schism, each faction assigning blame for the fratricidal disruption to people other than themselves. On these intersecting disputes the central collision, affecting all the others, was the struggle overMrican American membershipespecially in the former slave states. White southerners quarreled about how to protect white supremacist policies, by secession or compromise . To mollify critics from outside their region, they created an Mrican American fraternal temperance society, the True Reformers , which the British and many blacks dismissed as a demeaning kitchen order. Along another road to Louisville the British resisted proposals for multiple or duplicate Grand Lodges in the same geographical jurisdiction. North Americans saw such a constitutional change as opening a new segregated route through which blacks could enter the IOGT, while the British feared it as a stratagem preparing for the breakup of the large Grand Lodges of England and Scotland. The emergence of powerful Grand Lodges in Britain and in the American South aggravated the strife over black membership. Without these Grand Lodges separated by thousands of miles and divergent racial attitudes the great schism would not have occurred, for in 1876 Templars in the northern states who identified with the abolitionist heritage played a marginal role, and most of them ended up on the side of the white southerners. The larger racist culture affected the IOGT, but the turmoil over race among the Templars demonstrated that a universalist ideology softened or at least compli~atedracism. Virtually all other fraternal orders in North America simply rejected blacks. There is little evidence to suggest that the northern and Canadian lodges in such societies objected to the racial views of their southern brethren. 57 58 Temperance and Racism Decades before the Civil War, white Freemasonry's Grand Lodges admitted a handful of blacks to white lodges. In the first few years after the Civil War the reaction against slavery made a few white Masons eager to show that they repudiated extreme racism, so they admitted another half-handful. For instance, in December 1867 the New England Freemason mentioned a Boston-area caterer, Joshua Bowen Smith, whose skin color-"a shade darker than the Caucasian"-and facial features were not decidedly African. Also in 1867 the Grand Master of New Jersey urged his fellow Masons to honor the "universal brotherhood of man" by admitting persons of all races and religions. Five years later the newly organized Alpha lodge in Newark, New Jersey, admitted black members. But after it elected a black man as Worshipful Master in 1878, the white members drifted away. Into the mid-twentieth centuryAlpha lodge stood out as the only black lodge affiliated with a white Grand Lodge, and in 1950 only one person who admitted to being black was a member of an otherwise white Masonic lodge in the United States. The racism that afflicted Freemasonry had grown rigid. The white Grand Lodges did not even acknowledge the legitimacy of the numerous independent black Masonic organizations, often called Prince Halllodges.1 Other fraternal temperance societies sometimes admitted blacks. The Good Samaritans did so a few months after the organization was established in 1847. As a result of white defections, the Good Samaritans became virtually an all-black organization during the Reconstruction era when African Americans could join in large numbers.2 After the end of slavery the Sons of Temperance opened their doors to blacks a little. In 1866 the National Division delegated discretionary authority over black membership to the Grand Divisions. Four years later the National Division authorized the Most Worthy Patriarch to organize segregated Grand Divisions for blacks wherever the white Grand Division approved. In the following year the National Division, meeting at Boston, seated "without discussion" William Wells Brown, a black representative of the virtually allwhite host Grand Division of Massachusetts, and "after considerable discussion" a delegate from a newall-black Grand Division of Maryland . In a shift from its policy of organizing black Grand Divisions, the National Division then declared its dislike of segregation and distinctions based on "race, color, or former condition."3 Despite the fact that this affirmation of racial inclusion was never enforced, the Sons of Temperance lost many white southerners . A member of a rival fraternal organization sneered: "If the The Road to Louisville 59 negroes desire Temperance...

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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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