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Appendix On 20 September 1876, at the semiannual session of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in North Adams, William Wells Brown argued the case for the Right Worthy Grand Lodge of the World. In the abolitionist tradition, he accused his opponents of hypocrisy. He also made use of personal invective, directing insults at Kentucky's white population and Canada's Indian peoples and "low French." Brown's speech was . published, as follows, in the Good Templars' Watchword. 1 Grand Worthy Chief Templar,-We have listened for an hour-and-ahalf to P[ast].R.W.G. Templar [Samuel D.] Hastings, in his defence of the actions of the R.W.G.L. at its late session in Louisville [Kentucky ], where that body practically re-affirmed its former policy of permitting the exclusion of coloured persons from our Order in the Southern States. He has tried to prove to you that the R.W.G.L. has always been on the side of giving justice to the negro; that it has never sanctioned the exclusion of the blacks from our Order in the South. Let us see how far his assertions are correct. For ten years the coloured people have been excluded from our Order in the South. They are excluded to-day. Somebody has done it: Who is it? As early as 1866 the G.L. of Kentucky put in her Constitution, that no person in that State would be admitted into the Order except those of"pure white blood;" a most ridiculous proposition, since there is no such thing as "pure white blood," and if there is, Kentucky is about the last State in the American Union that should make such a claim, for it is a historical fact that during our colonial times England transported a large number of convicts to her American possessions, and landed them in Virginia and Maryland, and many of them afterwards emigrated to Kentucky. The blood of these transported convicts courses through the veins of the present white population of Kentucky. So much for the "pure blood." 156 Appendix 157 This exclusion of the blacks by the Kentucky G.L. was well known to the R.W.G.L. and sanctioned by it. At the Madison [Wisconsin ] Session, in 1872, this exclusion on account ofcolour came up, and here the Southerners declared that the negroes would not accept our Order; that they would not become Good Templars; and it was this positive assurance on the part of Southern Representatives that induced Joseph Malins to reluctantly consent to the blacks having the Temperance cause presented to them in another way than that of Good Templarism. And now the Southerners claim that Bro. Malinswhose amendment was lost-was the author ofthe "U.[nited] O.[rder] ofTrue Reformers." A greater falsehood never was circulated. In North Carolina the blacks had subordinate lodges before the whites, and yet when Col. [J.J.] Hickman, as R.W.G. Coun.[sellor], went to North Carolina to organise a Grand Lodge he ignored the coloured lodges, and took in only the whites. And yet the P.R.W.G. Templar Hastings says the R.W.G.L. knew nothing of exclusion? Among the decisions given in his report at the London Session in 1873, R.W.G. Templar [John] Russell gave this:- "The action of the R.W.G. Lodge, at its late session, relating to Lodges of our Order among the coloured population of the Southern States, gives to all Grand Lodges now existing, or hereafter to be organised, full power over that question within their respective jurisdictions , even to the discontinuing of Subordinate Lodge Charters previously granted by this R.W.G. Lodge." This shews [sic] most clearly that the American leaders of the R.W.G.L. not only knew that the blacks were excluded from our Order in the South, but that the R.W.G.T. committed them to the mercy of the Southern G. Lodges, even to the right of taking away their charters. But in England the Representatives saw through this transparent veil, and demanded that something should be done for the negroes, and this demand caused the passage [in 1873] of the following :- "That all Subordinate Lodges, within the jurisdiction of any Grand Lodge, whose Charters have not been revoked or suspended for a violation of the Constitution, Laws or Rules of the Order, are entitled to be recognised and receive [the] quarterly Password, and that the refusal thereof, because of race...

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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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