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Sisters of the Mysterious Ten.
Iff TWO PARTS.
A NEGRO ORDER.
Organized August 1, 1861, in the City of Louisville, Ky.
CONTAINING PHOTOS, SKETCHES,* AND ^NA^AJ-IVES OF THE LIVES
W. H. GIBSON, SR.
I RINTED BY THE BRADLEY & GILBERT COMPANY.
I8 97 .
REV. MARSHALL W. TAYLOR,
W. N. HAZELTON,
[Taken from an old daguerreotype.]
Before giving a sketch of this history, we shall preface
it with reasons for performing the task, which will be of
interest to all of those who wish to learn of its origin,
and of those persons who were the originators. We be
lieve that this can be accomplished more to the satisfac
tion of the impartial reader when written by one who
has taken an active part in nearly all of its deliberations
for more than thirty years. For be it known to all
readers of history that more reliance is placed upon
those who were present and eye-witnesses to a scene
than to those who depend on sketches of hearsay and
from disinterested parties ; often the dates are conflict
ing and misleading views are given, causing the authen
ticity of the volume to be in doubt. But the principal
and greatest reason for this historical sketch should be
to place before the world the history of a Negro organ
ization whose growth has been unprecedented, number
ing its membership by thousands, its secret signs, em
blems, and outfits of all grades, mostly original.
Starting out as a local benevolent society, in the year
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one,
a few young men, free and slave, being desirous of im
proving their condition, met in a private residence in
the city of Louisville, Kentucky, and there organized
the benevolent society known as the United Brothers
of Friendship. The society grew rapidly and many were
added to its membership. Just at this time the Civil
War had begun. They had hardly been organized two
years before the negro was called to take up arms in
defense of his country by the immortal Abraham Lin
coln. "To Arms! To Arms!" was the cry many of
its members responded to the call the membership was
diminished, but enough remained to keep the society in
existence until the close of the war, when a new epoch
And here let me say, while we have no discussion in
our ranks about our legality as an order, or from whom
we obtained our charter, or of our right to assemble in
State or National Grand bodies on account of our color,
we affirm that none of these questions disturb us, for we
have accepted the badge of distinction, and therefore
are not elbowing our way into any white organization ;
we claim to be purely Negroes and of Negro origin.
But there is one question upon which we have had
some discussion, and we propose to settle it in this sketch
in a plain and impartial manner: The question in regard
to who were the original organizers and the fathers of
the Order as it is generally applied. This, to our mind,
is an important question, and ought to be answered
truthfully, and let it be known to the present and future
generations who were the fathers of the Great Negro
By way of illustration, it is said that Columbus dis
covered America, but he was not called the father of
his country because of discovery. It is just now at a
period of four hundred years that his right of discovery
has been acknowledged by the civilized world. Wash
ington, the father of his country, acquired the title from
the victories achieved over the enemies of the country,
thereby making it possible for a State and National
Government, with a constitution acknowledging the
freedom and equality of mankind. For these things he
was called by those who loved him and was with him
in the struggle for freedom, The father of his country.
In every department of life, where genius, science,
and other great achievements are obtained, there are
those who are ready to dispute with others their right
to their own inventive genius, and were it not for the
patent laws of our country the labor and time spent
and the royalty due them would be lost to the proper
and legal inventors.
Our object shall be to divide this history into tw6
epochs. The first giving the names of those organiz
ing the benevolent society, and secondly of those who
gave it a State and National existence a grand and
noble secret order, composed of male and female mem
bers. We shall not detract from those names who ap
pear conspicuous in the organization of the first epoch
of benevolence, but shall endeavor to give them credit
for the noble work performed up to the second epoch.
At the same time we shall give credit to those of the
second epoch who organized a secret order, laid the
foundation for statehood and National confederation,
which has been successfully administered by the various
State and National officers. There should be no need
for jealousies and bickerings, for there are but few in
the ranks that were in it thirty-six years ago ; hence the
old men have passed away, the young men become
their successors, and what few are left should be re
vered by the younger men, their deeds should be
forever remembered, and in death they should be ten
derly deposited in the tomb to await the resurrection
It is the pride of the Anglo-Saxon race to repeat and
commemorate the deeds of their fathers their biogra
phies are published that the world may know that such
individuals lived and benefited mankind. We are grati
fied when we read the history of several Negro orders
and find them presenting the names of their founders
and the good deeds they have accomplished for hu
We know that the Order of the United Brothers of
Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten will join
heartily in giving credit and honor to whom honor is
UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP,
Organized August 1, 1861.
By the combined efforts of Marshall Taylor, Wm. N.
Hazelton, Charles B. Morgan, Charles Coats, Wm. Law-
son, Wm. Anderson, Wallace Jones, Ben Carter, and others,
the Benevolent Society of the United Brothers of Friendship
was organized, in the city of Louisville, Ky. Its aim and
object is set forth in the following preamble:
"We invite you, one and all, that are friends of human
ity you that wish to advance Benevolence and Christian
ity to come and unite with us in our effort to create a
system of harmony and friendship; not the empty title of
friends, but of friends in need and friends in deed, for
with the help of God we never intend to cease our efforts in
this good cause until death intervenes or our great object of
Friendship is accomplished."
The society grew rapidly among the young men for two
years, though it came into existence coeval with the "Re
bellion " of the Southern States against the Government of
the United States. Here their progress was interrupted by
UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
a call to arms. There were many patriotic hearts beating
for freedom, and from this society a large number responded
by enlisting in the United States Army. The ranks of the
society were depleted by this call and enlistment, but a rem
nant was left to perpetuate the United Brothers of Friend
The regular order of business was conducted by those
officers who remained, the sick were ministered to, the dead
were buried, and correspondence was kept up with the sol
The war was closed in 1865, "Peace was declared" many
returned home, others paid for our liberties with their blood,
their bodies remaining on the battle-fields and filling a soldier s
grave; others located in different States and Territories and
never returned. The return of the soldier boys was a joyful
meeting; receptions and barbecues; their mothers, wives,
and families vied with each other in the Grand Jubilee.
At the stated meetings of the society many renewed their
membership, but things had changed; the organization began
with free and slave members, now all were free men. After
consultation it was found necessary to inaugurate a new sys
tem of management. There were some complications that
required mature consideration. At this juncture a leader
was wanted. Marshall Taylor, George Taylor, Asbury Tay
lor, Charles Coats, Wm. Anderson. Wallace Jones, Wm. N.
Hazelton, and Ben Carter were pupils of W. H. Gibson,
Sr. He taught day and night school at Quinn Chapel (A.
M. E. Church). These young men, who were members of
this society, prevailed on Bro. Gibson to join them, as he
had more experience in society work than any of them.
Finally he accepted the invitation and became a member.
He was made Secretary. All the books and papers were
FIRST KPOCH. 9
turned over to him for adjustment. For three weeks or more
he was engaged in this work, for the books were considerably
out of balance, there being a large amount of back dues and
a number of promissory notes uncollected. He recommended
that the features of the Order be changed, and that it be
chartered by the Legislature. He wrote the charter himself,
stating about what they wanted. The brethren appointed a
committee, a lawyer revised, prepared, and presented it to
the Legislature, and a charter was granted February 7, 1868.
INSTITUTED AUGUST I, 1 86 1.
SECTION i. That William W. Jones, William H. Lawson,
William N. Hazelton, Charles Coats, and William Ander
son, and their associates, be, and they are hereby created, a
body politic and corporate, by the name and style of the
Grand Lodge of the United Brothers of Friendship, of the
State of Kentucky; and they, with their associates and suc
cessors, shall so continue, and have perpetual succession ;
and by that name are hereby made capable in law, as natural
persons, to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded, to
contract and be contracted with, to answer and be answered
in all courts of law and equity in this Commonwealth and
elsewhere ; to make, have, and use a common seal, and the
same to break, alter, or amend at pleasure. They may make
and ordain such regulations and by-laws, for their govern
ment, as from time to time they may deem proper, and may
change and renew the same at pleasure ; Provided, they be
not in contravention of the Constitution of the United States
or of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
SEC. 2. Said corporation shall have the right to purchase
and hold a suitable lot or lots in the city of Louisville, or
elsewhere in this Commonwealth ; to erect such buildings as
may be wanted for the use of the Grand Lodge and such
subordinate lodges of the United Brothers of Friendship as
10 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
are now in existence, or may be hereafter created in said city
or elsewhere in the limits of said Commonwealth.
SEC. 3. Said corporation shall have power to raise money,
by subscription or borrowing, to any amount not exceeding
thirty thousand dollars, and lay the same out as specified in
SEC. 4. Said corporation shall have power to sell or other
wise dispose of the ground acquired by virtue of this act, or
any portion thereof, provided they deem the same neces
SEC. 5. Within thirty days after the passage of this act,
the corporators herein named, or a majority of them, shall
call a meeting, at a convenient time and place, in the city of
Louisville, and give due notice thereof to the residue, and
at such meeting shall adopt such permanent regulations as
the majority may deem proper.
SEC. 6. Said Grand Lodge shall not have or execute any
power or privilege not herein expressly granted ; and the
Legislature reserves the right to amend, modify, or repeal
this act; but the repeal shall not dispossess the said Grand
Lodge of the property and effects acquired and held under
SEC. 7. Each and every subordinate lodge of the United
Brothers of Friendship now organized, or which may here
after be organized, under the jurisdiction of the Grand
Lodge, shall be a body politic and corporate, by the name
and style stated in the charter granted to them by the said
Grand Lodge, and shall be vested by all the powers and
privileges given by this act to the said Grand Lodge, not in
consistent with said charter, and subject to like limitations
and restriction, so long as they continue to hold a regular
and unforfeited charter from said Grand Lodge.
SEC. 8. It shall be the duty of the corporators herein
named, and their associates, to appoint a Board of Managers,
consisting of five members of the Grand Lodge, whose duty
it shall be to take charge of the fiscal concerns of said cor
poration, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum to do
Approved February 7, 1868.
FIRST EPOCH. II
The charter having been obtained, it was necessary to
organize lodges under it, Bro. Gibson being authorized to
correspond with societies and individuals for that purpose.
It will be noticed that it was three years before the charter
was operative, but during the interval correspondence was
opened with parties desirous of being organized under it,
and favorable responses received.
The name "United Brothers of Friendship" was adopted
by the Benevolent Society of Louisville, Ky. It may be
proper here to state that many societies and organizations
in this and in other States were known by this name, or a
portion of it, at least. Some were called the Friendship
Benevolent, some Friendship Brothers, others United Broth
ers, United Fellows, Church of the United Brothers, etc.,
but none of them had any connection whatever with the
United Brothers of Friendship. Whenever we heard of a
society by this name we opened up correspondence, and
also with societies of different names, proposing to them a
united body under this charter. Our efforts were crowned
with success at the expiration of three years, and we were
enabled to call a State convention and organize a State Grand
Lodge April 10, 1871.
With this correspondence closed the first epoch with a
grand future looming up before us the inauguration of an
incorporate body the foundation of a State and National
confederation of lodges, instead of a local society the uni
fication of a grand and noble order of Negro representatives,
hailing from every section of this nation.
MARSHALL TAYLOR was born a slave in Lexington, Ky.
There were three brothers, Marshall, George, and Asbury.
12 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
They attended my school, and were studious and naturally
given to literary pursuits. Marshall attached himself to the
Methodist Episcopal Church in his early youth. He studied
for the ministry, and became a prominent minister in that
denomination. His brother, George, was quite a society man
also, his labor being devoted to the Masonic fraternity, and
by his zeal and proficiency he passed through all the degrees,
was elected Grand Master of the State of Kentucky, served
as Grand Commander of the Sir Knights, and also a mem
ber of the Consistory. Asbury was rather eccentric, but of a
religious frame of mind. He was of the Evangelist view,
and was not particularly connected with any denomination.
He traveled extensively through the North and the Canadas,
preaching, lecturing, writing, and composing hymns and
poems. He is yet alive. Marshall was offered for the office
of Bishop at the General Conference that met in Cincinnati,
()., 1 8 , but he was defeated, the white brethren refusing
to vote for a colored Bishop, deeming it unnecessary in their
connection at this time. He was elected, at that conference,
editor of the Southwestern Advocate, printed at New Or
leans. The paper was very ably edited by him for several
years, until his health failed, when he removed to Indianap
olis, and died there in 1889. His remains were brought to
Louisville for interment. We witnessed his funeral. He had
no affiliation with the Order, having left it a few years after
it was organized. I conversed with him after we became a
National body, and he said that his church relations were so
urgent that he could not devote his time to the Order, but
saying that we had his best wishes for its success. George
died a few years later. He was an Episcopalian, and was
buried with the honors of Masonry and the funeral rites of
FIRST EPOCH. 13
WM. N. HAZELTON was freeborn in Baltimore, Md.,
brought to Kentucky by his uncle, David Wells, and edu
cated. We were personally acquainted with him. He was
of a quiet temperament, but very decisive in his dealings
with his fellow-men ; he was also a Christian, and his chief
desire was to be doing something; his heart seemed to be
centered on the society, and how he could best enhance its
usefulness. He died in 1869, before the charter became
operative. His funeral was largely attended by the U. B. F.
CHARLES COATS was born a slave. He was of a peculiar
temperament. He was what we term a zealous Christian,
very active and out-spoken in his views on any subject. He
was a faithful attendant to the sick, and for many years our
Chaplain. His prayers around the sick bed of the brethren
were fervent and consoling. He was one of the charter
members who lived to see the second epoch of the society,
and participated in the organization of the State Grand
Lodge under the charter.
W. H. LAWSON, freeborn, in Maysville, Ky. , is the only
surviving charter member and organizer. His services to
the Order have been invaluable. He has figured in all of
the departments of the Order. He has codified our laws,
improved our secret work, formulated odes and various
services, has been the orginator of many signs and emblems,
and was our chief regalia manufacturer and banner-maker for
many years. He has lived to fill all the important offices
in the Order; also served in the army, and has an honor
WALLACE JONES was a faithful and zealous member of the
society. He did not live to see his desires accomplished as
a charter member. He was afflicted with a lingering disease,
terminating in death, dying at the residence of his former
14 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
master, on Fourth Avenue. The funeral services were per
formed on a Sunday afternoon, the society turning out in its
full strength. A large concourse of people witnessed them.
WM. ANDERSON was also an active member in the early
stages of the society, and his name is recorded with the
charter members ; but he became inactive before the organ
ization under the charter, and he never returned. He died
out of our ranks.
FORMATION OF A STATE GRAND LODGE.
Pursuant to a call, the United Brothers of Friendship
assembled in Quinn Chapel (A. M. E. Church), April 10,
1871, at 2 o clock P. M.
Wm. H. Gibson, Sr. , was elected Chairman, pro tern.,
and H. P. Gains, Secretary, pro tern.
Prayer by Rev. Greenup Cooper.
The Committee on Credentials appointed and reported
the following representatives: Bros. Oliver Chambers, Alex.
Williams, H. P. Gains, Lexington, Ky. ; Richard Courtney,
Porter Filly, Simpsonville, Ky. ; W. H. Russell, H. J.
Graves, Henry Jones, Shelbyville, Ky. ; Wm. H. Gibson,
Sr., M. J. Davis, J. H. Taylor, Wm. Smith, Charles Coats,
J. T. Hudson, W. T. Tallefaro, Louisville, Ky. ; N. B. Stone,
Geo. Russell, Bloomfield, Ky. ; Sandford Thomas, Greenup
Cooper, New Castle, Ky. ; B. F. Crampton, W. T. Dixon,
Stradford Straus, Henry Mars, John Bryant, Frankfort, Ky.
Independent Sons of Honor Moses Yancy, George Buck-
ner, Jas. Graves, Wm. Dorsey, Wm. Smith.
United Fellows W. H. Lawson.
The Committee on Permanent Organization reported the
following: Wm. H. Gibson, Sr. , President; B. F. Cramp-
ton, Vice President; H. P. Gains, Secretary; W. T. Tal
lefaro, Assistant Secretary; T. S. Baxter, Treasurer; Geo.
F. Buckner, Sergeant-at-arms; W. H. Lawson, Secretary of
1 6 UNITED BROTHERS OE FRIENDSHIP.
The Convention being organized permanently, the busi
ness was stated by the Chairman, committees were appointed,
and the wheels of progress put in motion aside from such
business incident to such assemblies. The charter was read.
The articles of agreement were presented by the committee.
ARTICLE i. Resolved, That all Benevolent Societies form
ing a union under the Grand Lodge of the United Brothers
of Friendship shall maintain all the rights originally held by
them under their subordinate constitutions, except such as
may be delegated through their representatives.
ART. 2. Resolved, That an equality of representatives
shall be granted to all subordinate lodges who may, during
this convention, or hereafter, sign the articles of agreement
ART. 3. Resolved, That each lodge shall sign the Grand
Lodge Constitution, otherwise they will not be considered as
forming a part of this union.
ART. 4. Resolved, That each subordinate lodge will use
its best exertions towards having our Order introduced in the
adjacent counties throughout the State.
ART. 5. Resolved, That these articles of agreement may
be revised or amended from time to time at the meetings of
the General Convention.
These five articles, which comprise chiefly the articles
of agreement, are the bed rock or foundation of this New
Epoch, including Article 5 of the Constitution, which reads
as follows :
"The powers of this Grand Lodge are vested in the
charter granted by the Legislature ; with it lies the power to
enact laws and regulations for the government of the sub
ordinate lodges, to alter and repeal laws, and hear appeals
from subordinates and individual brethren when such appeals
are made to the Grand Lodge ; also to secure and purchase
property for the benefit of the Order.
J. H. TAYLOR,
P. G. 1 ., KY.
E. W. MARSHALL,
SEC. G. L. KY.
SECOND EPOCH. 17
These being duly considered by the Convention they were
signed and approved by all the lodges represented, except
two, the Independent Sons of Honor and the United Fel
With some preliminaries, and the election of officers for
the ensuing year, the First Convention and organization of
the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, United Brothers of Friend
ship, adjourned sine die.
Resolved to meet in Frankfort, Ky., in 1872.
The title of the presiding officer was styled Grand Chief.
The following officers were elected to serve one year :
Wm. H. Gibson, Sr. , Grand Chief; B. J. Crampton, Vice
Grand Chief; T. S. Baxter, Grand Secretary; H. P. Gains,
Assistant Grand Secretary; A. W. Williams, Grand Treas
urer; J. H. Taylor, Grand Pilot; Chas. Coats, Grand Chap
lain; O. Chambers, Grand Marshal; M. J. Davis, S. Straus,
W. H. Russell, W. T. Dixon, Richard Courtney, Grand
LABOR AFTER THE ORGANIZATION OF THE STATE GRAND
LODGE OUR FIRST EFFORT.
The State Grand Lodge having been organized, our duties
were of great responsibility. By the suffrage of that body
we were made the leaders to build up an institution in the
State which had occupied only a local position. Many visits
and communications were expected ; special visits and special
instructions were enjoined upon the Grand Chief (as he was
then called). We sallied out from Louisville to organize,
trusting in God, knowing that our cause was a just one. for
just about that time it was perilous in some parts of the State
in regard to meetings of our people. It was during the
l8 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
reign of " Ku-Kluxism ; " hence we moved carefully about
the business, as a stranger in a community was spotted by
Our annual report will tell with what success. We quote
the following from the report of 1873 :
"Brethren This being our second annual meeting, we
congratulate you on the progress made. We should be
encouraged. When we formed this lodge, ten lodges were
represented; at our second meeting, fourteen, and at our
third, twenty-one. Our increase has been a wholesome one.
Go on in the good work, and before another year we hope
that in every county in the State we will have lodges organ
ized. Letters from the States of Missouri, Arkansas, Texas,
Iowa, Indiana, and Mississippi have been received, inquiring
into the workings of our Order, and expressing an earnest
desire to form a union with us, and if consistent to obtain a
charter from this body ; but as our charter privileges confine
us to this State, I have instructed them, and proposed a Na
tional Convention of United Brothers of Friendship Lodges
for the purpose of considering these questions pertaining to
a Grand Union of all the Lodges."
This subject I would most especially and respectfully
recommend for your consideration.
It will be seen from reading the quotations from the fourth
annual report that this matter received due consideration.
Charters have been granted the following lodges : Cali
fornia, Louisville, Ky. ; Sharpsburg, Ky. , Slickaway, Ky..
Wilsonville, Ky., Carlisle, Ky., Chaplin, Ky., Beach Fork,
Ky., Trigg Furnace, Ky. ; also applications from Hopkins-
ville and Bardstown, Kv.
SECOND EPOCH. 19
RESOLUTIONS SUSTAINING THE RECOMMENDATION OF GRAND
LODGE OF KENTUCKY QUOTATIONS FROM THIRD ANNUAL
By B. J. Crampton :
WHEREAS, We have in our midst representatives from
Indiana, over which State our present charter gives no juris
diction ; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the chair appoint a Judiciary Committee
of three to consider and devise some means by which we
may effect a union of all the lodges of said State, claiming to
be United Brothers of Friendship, and those of other States.
Resolved, That the New Albany delegation be considered
a part of this assembly and have the same privileges of our
State until the question relating to said lodge be settled.
D. A. Walker, J. T. Hudson, and N. P. Greenup were
appointed as the Judiciary Committee.
The legality of the lodges organized under our charter in
Indiana was tested in a suit entered against one of our tem
ples, of which Sister Patsie Hart was Princess. The court
decided that the charter from Kentucky was a legal docu
ment, and that, as subordinates under that charter, they had
a right to assemble and transact business.
On another occasion, Edwin Horn, a member of Evans-
ville Lodge, who was also our first National Grand Secretary,
was appointed to consult an eminent jurist in reference to a
National Charter for our National Grand Lodge. Judge
Walter Q. Gresham informed him that " it was not necessary
in order to make our proceedings legal, as each Grand
Lodge was chartered by the State in which it resided."
20 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
By the Judiciary Committee :
Resolved, That we call a National Convention of all the
United Brothers of Friendship in the United States for the
purpose of forming a grand consolidation of all the societies
claiming to be United Brothers of Friendship, that a National
Grand Lodge may be formed, said Convention to be called
as early as practicable.
OBJECTION TO A SECRET ORDER.
By B. J. Crampton :
WHEREAS, That the Order of United Brothers of Friend
ship, to all intents and purposes, is a purely benevolent
organization ; and
WHEREAS, Our object is to reach down to those of our
race in the lowest state of degradation and ignorance and
raise them up to the common level of manhood ; and
WHEREAS, We believe that the introduction of grips and
other signs of recognition into our Order (thereby resolving
ourselves into a secret organization) will be a great barrier
to our Order as above set forth.
Resolved, That the resolutions pertaining to said signs of
recognition be finally dropped.
It will be seen from this resolution that the brethren at
this, session were not prepared for a secret order. This
matter was discussed from the time of the first Convention,
through our subordinate and State Grand Lodge meetings,
and by communications from sister States, with its consum
mation in the years A. D. eighteen hundred and seventy-
five and seventy-six.
[NOTE Second Annual Grand Lodge did not meet, on account ol
small-pox, at Frankfort, the place of meeting.]
QUOTATIONS FROM THE FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT.
"The number of lodges in the city of Louisville now
number five. A growing feeling has been manifested to in-
SECOND EPOCH. 21
troduce into our lodges secret signs of recognition, a matter
that has been before the Grand Lodge before. We would
recommend that some action be taken on the subject.
" We were compelled to call an extra meeting of all the
lodges in the city of Louisville in February, with the Grand
Council and Past officers, for the reason that a spirit of insub
ordination was manifested by several members of the Grand
Council in calling a public meeting in the city for the pur
pose of introducing signs of recognition into the Order
against my proclamation forbidding the meeting, and for
holding correspondence with officers of a sister State Grand
Lodge, making proposals for them to come into our State
and interfere with the officers in our jurisdiction and favored
charter rights. The meeting called by us was largely at
tended ; and in order that these refractory brethren might
be allayed until the meeting of the Grand Lodge, we com
municated to that meeting all the correspondence that we
then had in our possession which was the property and the
business of this Grand Lodge, and by doing so the brethren
were convinced that we were faithfully discharging the duties
that this Grand Lodge intrusted to us. Since then, we be
lieve that general satisfaction has existed.
" On the 1 6th of March we called an extra session of the
Grand Lodge. The object of the meeting was to consider
the date and place of meeting for the National Convention, a
proposition having been received from St. Louis, Mo., ten
dering that city for the meeting. The following lodges were
represented : Friendship, California, St. James, St. Peter,
St. Matthews, Frankfort, Shelbyville, and Lexington.
" Brethren, we have briefly stated the transactions of our
societies during the interval of the Grand Lodge, which we
hope will meet your approval.
"There will be an extra amount of business for this Grand
Lodge to transact on account of the coming Convention in
July next, and here let me say, that the foreign correspond
ence from several Grand Lodges and subordinates, received
during the year, I will now have read, by your permission.
"Correspondence read from Brownville, Mo., St. Louis,
Mo. (5), Boonville, Mo. (2), Natchez, Miss., Austin, Tex
22 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
(4), Arkansas, Keokuk, Iowa (2), Paducah, Ky. , Covington,
Ky. (4), Warren County, Mo., Replies No. 10, 12, 18.
"Committee on Correspondence recommended all sub
ordinate lodges, with their Grand Lodges, to meet in Louis
ville on the 2oth of July next in National Convention, where
we anticipate a happy reunion of sentiment and a permanent
foundation built for our Order throughout these United
"Lodges chartered during the year, viz. : St. James, St.
Matthews, Moorefield, Paris, Georgetown, and Covington."
FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTION UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIEND
SHIP, ASSEMBLED IN LOUISVILLE, KY. , IN THE SEVENTH
STREET HALL (NOW THE ARMORY), JULY 2O, 1875.
Pursuant to call the Convention assembled. The Grand
Chief of the State, Wm. H. Gibson, Sr., called the Con
vention to order and stated its object.
On motion, Wm. H. Gibson, Sr. , was elected Tempo
rary Chairman, and H. P. Gains, of Lexington, Tempo
A Committee of seven on Credentials was appointed,
viz. : Bros. J. H. Rector, St. Louis, Mo. ; W. H. Russell,
Shelbyville, Ky. ; Boyd, of Indiana ; Been, of Texas; A.
Washington, of Iowa; Peters and McClosky, of Kentucky.
J. H. Taylor and T. Henderson, proxy for Arkansas.
Taylorsville Lodge, J. A. Herron and Nathaniel Mathews ;
Wilsonville Lodge, D. S. Miles and Jos. Richardson; Falls
City Lodge, Daniel McElroy and Ed. Bowen; St. Peter
Lodge, W. H. Jones, Wm. Peters, and W. Hunt; Fairfield
Lodge, C. H. Johnson, L. Hughes, and L. Lewis; Coving-
SECOND EPOCH. 23
ton Lodge, C. Goins, J. W. Hillman, and J. Conner; Chap
lin Lodge, R. Morrison, B. McMicken, and Geo. Harrison;
St. Matthews Lodge, R. Harris, J. Smith, and Ed. Butler;
Good Samaritan Lodge, W. Stuban; Moorefield Lodge, T.
Jones, W. H. Metcalf, and Geo. Davis; Bloomfield Lodge,
Geo. Russell, R. W. McClosky, and P. P. Shaw ; Maysville
Lodge, J. H. Nates; California Lodge, J. Dandridge, J.
Gaddy, and H. Harris; Lexington Lodge, H. P. Gains and
H. J. Ferguson; Friendship Lodge, Robert Fox, W. H.
Lawson, and E. P. Brannan; Charity Lodge, A. Williams,
B. J. Crampton, and F. W. Woolfork; St. James Lodge, J.
Montgomery, H. C. Parker, and J. H. Logan ; Scott Lodge,
Z. H. Shores and C. Smith; Excelsior Lodge, B. Tyler;
Owensboro Lodge, J. A. Fields and Morton; Sharpsburg
Lodge, Lewis and Clemmon ; Hardinsburg Lodge, L. C.
MISSOURI. Moberly Lodge, No. 9, J. H. Rector, proxy;
Owsley Lodge, J. M. Richardson ; Macon Lodge, C. H.
Tandy ; St. John Lodge, J. H. Rector, proxy.
TEXAS. Austin Lodge, J. Been; Brenham Lodge, Galves-
ton Lodge, and Fisherville Lodge, J. Been, proxy.
ARKANSAS. Arkansas Lodge, J. H. Taylor and J. T.
IOWA. Keokuk Lodge, Archy Washington.
INDIANA. St. Luke Lodge, J. S. Boyd, J. Harrison, and
The Committee on Permanent Organization reported the
following officers :
J. H. Rector, of St. Louis, Mo., President.
J. H. Taylor, of Louisville, Ky., Vice President.
C. Goins, of Covington, Ky. , Secretary.
J. Fields, of Owensboro, Ky., Assistant Secretary.
24 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
The following important resolutions were adopted at this
WHEREAS, The society known as the United Brothers of
Friendship, established in 1861, for benevolent purposes, has
met the most earnest expectations of its founders in its cir
culation of principles, the accession of members, and the
organization of lodges first in the State of Kentucky,
then reaching into other States, thereby showing its useful
ness; and, whereas, the several lodges of Kentucky, Mis
souri, and Texas, with other subordinate lodges, have issued
a proclamation for this Convention, the object of which is to
form a more perfect union of the Brotherhood ; therefore, be it
Resolved, That this Convention adopt a system of signs,
grips, and tokens of recognition, whereby the brethren of
the Order may be known throughout the United States of
Resolved, That, whereas this Convention has accomplished
the purposes for which it was called, viz. : to form a more
perfect union of the Brotherhood, and also the introduction
of signs, grips, and pass-words of universal recognition, and
for the purpose of drafting a constitution that will meet the
demands of each and every State Grand Lodge working un
der the jurisdiction of the Order, we do adjourn, to meet in
St. Louis, Mo., one year hence.
A grand procession was formed on the last day of the
Convention and paraded the principle streets of the city.
Speeches were made at night by delegates chosen for the
occasion. The ladies spread refreshments, consisting of all
the delicacies of the season.
C. H. Tandy, orator, assisted by J. H. Taylor, J. H. Rec
tor, and others. Their speeches tended greatly towards cre
ating a sentiment that riveted the action of the Convention
and encouraged many to apply to our local lodges for mem
C. II. TANDY,
P. N. D. G. M.
J. H. RECTOR,
P. N. C.
SECOND EPOCH. 25
After the adjournment of the Convention held in 1875, at
Louisville, Ky. , we received a visit from a gentleman by the
name of Foster. He introduced himself as a brother hail
ing from Little Rock, Arkansas, stating that a club had been
organized for a lodge of United Brothers of Friendship, and
that he had been sent to inquire into its workings. We gave
him such information as we thought necessary. He remained
in our city for several days and, we learned, borrowed money
from some parties, and that was the last of him, until we
heard of him in Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana,
claiming to be the authorized agent or organizer for the
LTnited Brothers of Friendship, collecting money for sup
plies, regalias, pins, etc., to the amount of hundreds of dol
lars, always in advance, and the goods never arrived. Hence
our trip to those States, after a continual solicitation, to ferret
out these matters.
THE MISSOURI CONVENTION OF 1876, PURSUANT TO THE CALL
OF THE NATIONAL CONVENTION OF 1875.
The Convention of 1875 adjourned to meet in St. Louis,
Mo., Monday, July 24, 1876.
J. H. Rector, of Mo., called the meeting to order and
stated the object.
J. H. Rector was chosen Temporary Chairman, and W. T.
Coleman, of Kentucky, Temporary Secretary.
A Committee on Permanent Organization, Committee on
Credentials, and Committee on Rules were appointed.
In the absence of these committees the Convention was
addressed by the following named gentlemen and brothers :
26 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
W. R. Vanburen, Texas; J. T. Amos, Indiana; W. H. Gib
son, Sr. , Kentucky, and F. W. Washington, Indiana.
The Committee on Permanent Organization reported the
following, who were elected :
W. H. Gibson, Sr. , Kentucky, President.
C. H. Tandy, Missouri, Vice President.
E. C. Wood, Kentucky, Secretary.
B. S. Alpine, Missouri, First Assistant Secretary.
E. F. Horn, Indiana, Second Assistant Secretary.
W. H. Gilbert, Missouri, Chaplain.
W. L. Bailey, Kentucky, Reporter.
The Committee on Credentials made the following report,
which was adopted :
ROLL OF STATES.
ARKANSAS. J. H. Rector, proxy for Steele Lodge.
ILLINOIS. Steven Lodge, No. 7, of Sparta, F. M. Bar
tholomew; Circle Lodge, No. 8, of Alton, W. H. E. Ellis-
worth; Monroe Lodge, No. 4, of Cairo, James Thomas.
INDIANA. Asbury Lodge, No. i, of Evansville, E. F.
Horn; Washington Lodge, No. 2, Chas. Asbury, F. D. Mor
ton, and R. Nichols.
IOWA. Washington Lodge, No. i, of Keokuk, Archy
KENTUCKY. Henderson Lodge, No. 3, Elijah Ash and
J. T. Amos; W. H. Gibson, Sr. , proxy for Fairneld Lodge,
No. ii, Lexington Lodge, No. 5, Lexington Lodge, No. 6;
Friendship Lodge, No. i, Louisville, E. P. Brannan, R. C.
Fox, and W. T. Coleman ; Falls City Lodge, No. 41, W.
L. Johnson; Owensboro Lodge, No. 7, J. A. Fields and
G. Alexander; St. Paul Lodge, No. , J. H. Burbridge ;
Hazelton Lodge, No. 45, W. N. Spalding, S. Stone, and
E. C. Wood; Green Lodge, No. 47, J. H. Brown; Cali
fornia Lodge, No. 12, H. Harris; St. James Lodge, No. 21,
Wm. Smith; Sharpsburg Lodge, No. 33, by proxy; Golden
Rule Lodge, No. 37, W. L. Bailey ; St. Mathews Lodge,
No. 32, L. H. Williams; Sumner Lodge, No. 52, A. Mar-
SECOND EPOCH. 27
tin; St. Peter s Lodge, No. 22, R. Letcher; Carthagenian
Lodge, No. 50, D. Williams; Gaines Lodge, No. 46, T. M.
Brown ; Lebanon Lodge, No. 53, W. H. Gibson, Jr., proxy;
Bloomfield Lodge, No. 5, Chaplin Lodge, No. 14, W. H.
Gibson, Sr. , proxy.
OHIO. Smith Lodge, No. i, Cincinnati, C. J. Burkley, Jr.
MISSOURI. Steel Lodge, No. 8, J. Fields and J. Harris;
Rockport Lodge, No. 47, and Macon City Lodge, No. 6, R.
S. Cox and B. S. Alpine; Moberly Lodge, No. 9, B. F. Bush,
Chas. Bartlett, and W. H. Thompson; Kirkwood Lodge, No.
12, F. W. N. Carter, S. Renfro, and H. Johnson; Webb
Lodge, No. 16, F. Brown, proxy; Owsley Lodge, No. 3,
Ashley Lodge, No. 4, F. Brown, proxy; Scott Lodge, No.
i, G. W. Bryant, F. Hardy, and A. Payne; Hannibal Lodge,
No. 3, O. H. Webb, proxy; Monroe Lodge, No. 2, David
Urland ; Parris Lodge, No. 1 1, John Taylor and O. H. Webb,
proxy ; Palmyra Lodge, No. 6, O. H. Webb, proxy.
TEXAS. Austin Lodge, No. i, W. B. Vanburen ; Bren-
ham Lodge, No. 2, Galveston Lodge, No. 3, Fishville Lodge,
No. 4, Liberty Lodge, No. 5, Belmont Lodge, No. 6, In
dustry Lodge, No. 7, Bryan Lodge, No. 8, Harrisburg Lodge,
No. 9, W. B. Vanburen, proxy.
The Convention being regularly organized, a Business
Committee was appointed, as follows : J. H. Rector, R. C.
Fox, Robert Harris, Jas. Thomas, J. H. Taylor, Wm. Spald-
ing, F. Brown, A. Washington, C. Bartlett.
The following resolution was offered and passed:
WHEREAS, There exists two factions of the United Broth
ers of Friendship in this Convention ; therefore, be it
Resolved, That each representative in this Convention
pledge himself to abide by the decision of this Convention,
and adhere to the enactments of the same.
RESOLUTIONS OF BUSINESS COMMITTEE.
WHEREAS, A National Convention of United Brothers of
Friendship is called to convene in the city of St. Louis, Mo.,
on the 24th of July, 1876; and,
28 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
WHEREAS, The object of the Convention is to perfect the
reunion that was formed last year in the city of Louisville,
Ky., by the States of Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Iowa, Ken
tucky, and Indiana ; and,
WHEREAS, Much good has been accomplished in this
State by the said union, and by the introduction of signs,
grips, and pass-words ; therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the opinion of the representatives of
our lodges throughout the State, that each State should form
a Grand Lodge as soon as three subordinate lodges are formed
Resolved, That it is also the opinion of the representatives
of this State, that an act of incorporation should be obtained
by each State Grand Lodge.
The Business Committee reported the following :
We carefully examined the two works presented, and we
find that the first degree of W. H. Gibson, Sr. , and Frank
Washington s are so much alike that we accept Bro. Gibson s
first degree, and further recommend the second and third
degree of Missouri Grand Lodge, with some amendments.
By Smith Lodge, of Cincinnati, O. :
Resolved, That a book be compiled containing all the
work of the United Brothers of Friendship, viz. : Rules,
regulations of lodges, lectures, oath, Mysterious Ten, hymns,
funeral ceremonies, the duty of every officer, and form of
By the Business Committee :
WHEREAS, There are ladies connected with both branches
of the Order as it previously existed; and,
WHEREAS, We, in this Convention, have consolidated,
and we desire this bond of union to include the ladies ;
therefore, be it
Resolved, That the union that is formed between us, be
formed between them (the ladies). Be it further
SECOND EPOCH. 29
Resolved, That as the degrees are in possession of the
ladies of Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, and Kentucky, that they
be, together with the title, "LADIES TEMPLE," adopted for
the ladies now belonging to or related to the Order through
out the United States; and be it further
Resolved, That the Committee on Degrees be furnished
with the work of the different temples, and write them, so
that all may have the same work.
The following resolution was offered by J. T. Amos and
J. Burbridge, of Kentucky:
Resolved, That this Convention, before its adjournment,
shall organize itself into a National Grand Lodge, the officers
of which shall be as follows : A National Grand Master, Na
tional Deputy Grand Master, National Grand Secretary, As
sistant National Grand Secretary, National Grand Treasurer,
two National Grand Trustees, National Grand Chaplain, and
National Grand Sword Bearer.
The Convention being called to order, the following reso
lutions were offered by Bro. F. D. Morton and adopted :
WHEREAS, We, the delegates and past and present Grand
Officers of the United Brothers of Friendship, have been
called to assemble in National Convention in the city of St.
W T HEREAS, We feel that our meeting here has been for,
and has secured, that union between us which we have long
desired and prayed for ; therefore, be it
Resolved, That we extend our heartfelt thanks and mani
fest our feelings of respect and obligation to our worthy Pres
ident, W. H. Gibson, of Kentucky, who has ruled so judi
ciously and impartially in this, our Convention ; be it further
Resolved, That we extend our heartfelt thanks to the Com
mittee on Business that has handled and directed the busi
ness of this Convention with such indisputable wisdom, and
may the Divine Ruler shower his blessings upon their heads
throughout their future lives ; and be it
30 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Resolved, That we feel a debt of gratitude to the officers
and members of this Convention for their punctuality and
earnestness in the work of the Convention ; be it further
Resolved, That we extend our thanks to the citizens of St.
Louis, and that a copy of the resolutions be furnished for
publication, and also that the resolutions be recorded in the
minutes of this Convention.
NATIONAL GRAND LODGE ELECTION.
The following brethren were elected to serve for two years,
viz. : W. H. Gibson, Sr., of Kentucky, National Grand
Master ; J. T. Amos, of Kentucky, Deputy National Grand
Master; E. F. Horn, of Indiana, National Grand Secretary;
R. C. Fox, of Kentucky, National Grand Treasurer ; W. R.
Vanburen, of Texas, First National Grand Trustee; F.
Washington, of Indiana, Second National Grand Trustee ;
E. P. Brannan, of Kentucky, National Grand Chaplain ;
F. D. Morton, of Indiana, National Grand Lecturer.
As we have before remarked that we should divide this
history into two epochs, it will be observed that it has
required three Conventions, beginning with that of 1871 and
terminating with 1876, to complete and permanently estab
lish the order of the United Brothers of Friendship, Knights
of Friendship, and the Sisters of the Mysterious Ten. We
have quoted from the minutes a portion of the most im
portant resolutions discussed before that body, so that the
reader of this history may be informed in regard to the opin
ions entertained in the Conventions in regard to a union of
all the lodges into a National Grand Body. It will be seen
that there were those among the delegates who were opposed
to a National Federation and in favor of only a State Grand
Body, but a majority favored the resolution offered by Bros.
Amos and Burbridge. The resolution, when passed, caused
SECOND EPOCH. 31
great rejoicing and shaking of hands, and was made unani
The brethren at St. Louis had introduced a secret work
before the brethren of Kentucky, and, as an effort was being
put forth to establish a National Grand Lodge, we were un
willing to introduce anything pertaining to secrecy until we
had accomplished that object. There were parties in St.
Louis anxious to come over and introduce their work, and
parties here encouraging them to come. This was discour
aged by us for the reason that all of our correspondence was
through our Grand Lodge and its officers to officers of other
States, and we did not wish to forestall any of the proceed
ings that would naturally come before that body. Therefore,
at the first Convention held in Louisville in 1875, one secret
degree was introduced for recognition. At the Convention
that met in St. Louis in 1876 we encountered considerable
opposition from those parties who were so desirous of intro
ducing signs or secrets before the meeting of the Convention.
Letters were produced showing that parties in our city
(Louisville, Ky.,) were cognizant of the affair, and had been
sowing the seeds of discord. But after the matter was duly
considered and explained, and the schemes laid bare and
exposed, it was submitted to the Committee on Degrees.
Success attended every effort, and the object for which we
met was accomplished.
We were highly entertained by the citizens of St. Louis.
There was a grand parade to the park, where a large con
course of people were enlivened with music and speeches by
32 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
FIFTH GRAND SESSION OF KENTUCKY QUOTATIONS.
"Brethren of Friendship Again we have met as a Grand
Lodge, through the mercies of an all-wise Providence, to
transact the business of another year. Since our last meet
ing prosperity has attended our efforts and the progress of
our Order has surprised the most sanguine expectations.
"After the rise of the Grand Lodge in May, 1875, m
Owensboro, a Convention met in Louisville, July, 1875, f r
the object of uniting all of the lodges known as the United
Brothers of Friendship. Six States were there represented
and the union formed. You have before you the proceed
ings of said Convention. One of the main features of it
was the introduction of signs, grips, and pass-words, making
our society a secret one. It at once gave a new impetus to
the lodges. One degree was introduced for the first year as
a trial ; so far, it has worked admirably.
"The Convention adjourned to meet in one year from the
time of its adjournment, at St. Louis, Mo., at which time it
met, and we are proud to say that our Grand Lodge was
nobly represented. There were eight States represented in
the Convention several States that were not represented in
the first were there also a portion of this Order known as
the National Wing of the Order, whose location was in Mis
souri, and who had not confederated with us in the union of
1875. The object of the Convention was to harmonize, if
possible, the two wings or factions. State and National, and
also to make a uniform work for them, if the union could be
accomplished. We are proud to say that we were successful
in our mission and object. After a thorough investigation of
the charter rights of each State, and the origin of our Order,
also the rights and privileges derived from the laws of the
several States, contained in their charters, a resolution was
offered that each party of the Brotherhood would agree to
sustain whatever the Convention would do in regard to mak
ing the union permanent, said resolution being the basis on
which the delegates acted. Hence a union was formed on
the following basis :
" That the work of the Order shall consist of three de
grees, those degrees to be arranged as follows : The Con-
SECOND EPOCH. 33
vention at Louisville, in 1875, organized on a basis of one
degree, known as the First Degree of Kentucky. Missouri s
second and third degrees to be retained and added to the
first degree of Kentucky, making three degrees.
The subject of a National Grand Lodge was next pre
sented. This subject was thoroughly discussed and many
reasons given, pro and con, by the delegates. It was finally
agreed upon to form a National Grand Head. The officers
were nominated and elected. Your humble servant and
several of the Kentucky members were elected to positions
in the new compact. The action of this Convention touch
ing the National is to be ratified by the several Grand Lodges
at their first session. It will be a matter for your present
"The duties of this year have been arduous. Owing to
these proposed Conventions we have had a very extensive
correspondence with the officers of Grand and subordinate
lodges touching the subject of the Convention and the
changes attending it. The lodges of our State under the
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge are in a prosperous condi
tion, as far as we can learn.
"We have visited a number of the lodges in this State,
but not all of them. We made the following visits : Lexing
ton, Covington, Maysville, Cincinnati, O., Bloomfield, Fair-
field, Taylorsville, Chaplin, Shelby ville, Lebanon, Stanford,
Frankfort, and our city lodges. We found the lodges, gen
erally, prosperous, with but little to distract and interrupt
their progress. We also deputized our Past Grand Officer,
H. P. Gaines, to visit the lodges at Flemingsburg, Paris,
Georgetown, and Mt. Sterling, and to establish lodges at
Lexington and Danville. We also deputized Bro. D. M.
Brown to establish a lodge at Cadiz, Ky. We also deputized
the Grand Secretary to visit Wilsonville Lodge, which he
reported in good condition.
" Letters have been received during the year from various
directions, in and out of the State, for information concern
ing the establishment of lodges, their work, etc. Such infor
mation has been given by letter and by a distribution of
minutes and constitutions, which has had the desired effect
34 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
toward the establishment of lodges. Our State now num
bers fifty-six lodges, eleven of which are in the city of Louis
" The resolution passed by the Convention of 1875, held
in this city, concerning Ladies Temples for the Order, has
been put into successful operation. Several charters have
been granted, two being in the city of Louisville and one in
the city of Covington, and we have applications for others.
We highly commend this female branch of the Order as tend
ing to elevate our wives and daughters by bringing them
nearer to us in the ties and mysteries that we so highly
"A special session of the members of the Grand Council
and Masters of the city lodges was called on the - - day of
February for the reason that a spirit of insubordination was
exhibited by Bro. Henry Wilson, the acting Master of Hazel-
ton Lodge ; said brother having persistently introduced reg
ulations into the Order without permission from the Grand
Master or Grand Lodge, and in violation of section 7 of the
"At said meeting the Grand Master was sustained by the
Grand Council and Masters. Bro. Wilson stands suspended
by the Grand Master, and also by his lodge, for improper
conduct. Said brother also wrote a very unfair letter to the
St. Louis Convention against the officers and delegates of the
Grand Lodge, containing many falsehoods, which had a
tendency to hinder our progress for a while in the Conven
tion. We remand his case to this Grand Lodge for con
Bro. St. Louis Davis, a member of our Order, who left
us about six years ago, to take work in the ministry, in the
State of Arkansas, and who was also successful in establish
ing lodges in that State, is among the deceased of this year.
We have received letters of his demise. He died in the
triumph of a living faith, with a wish that his brethren should
meet him in heaven.
"We have a communication from the Knights of the
United Brothers of Friendship, of Detroit, Mich., through
our esteemed and worthy brother, J. H. Rector, desiring our
SECOND EPOCH. 35
co-operation in that direction, he having been assigned to
the work of establishing encampments throughout the South.
" Brethren, this has been one of the most successful years
of the Order. We have granted charters to nineteen lodges.
Eight of them were granted to Louisville. We have much
to be proud of. It is our fifteenth anniversary, with fifty-six
lodges in the State, a Grand Lodge, and a union formed with
eight sister States, and several others asking recognition into
the Brotherhood. In the language of one of old, Surely
God is with us, for he is turning the hearts of the young
men to virtuous habits, and from vice and immorality.
Hundreds of them are studying and learning the golden
rules of our Order. Young women are entering the temples,
that they, too, with their brethren, may learn these mys
teries, and inculcate them in their lives. Brethren, you
have a golden harvest before you, then * thrust in the
"For five years you have intrusted to my charge the
guidance of this Order ; you have honored me with the high
est honor that of Grand Master. I have endeavored to
fulfill the trust faithfully that you have so often reposed in
me, and if I have met with success, it has been by the help
of God and your assistance. I have erred at times, I doubt
not; but it is human to err. I claim not perfection, but I
know that to err has never been intentional during my admin
istration. I have striven to deal justly with the brethren,
yet tempered with mercy, and now that my term will expire
at the close of this session, I had hoped to be relieved from
the cares of an office for at least a year. But, behold! a
greater responsibility has fallen upon me by the National
Convention conferring upon me the office of National Grand
Master. Instead of looking after the interest of one State,
I shall have the interest of many States to which to admin
ister; yet in this capacity, in my new position, I earnestly
ask the assistance and general co-operation of the entire
"In conclusion, my brethren, it will devolve upon you to
select one from your midst to be your Grand Master. You
have a number of worthy brethren that no doubt will serve
36 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
you faithfully and competently. Hence I leave the matter
in your hands, hoping that you will make a wise and judi
cious selection. I thank you, brethren, for your many kind
regards and the support that you have given me for five
years as Grand Master.
"WM. H. GIBSON, SR., Grand Master.
THE FIRST STATE GRAND LODGE IN KENTUCKY AFTER THE
ORGANIZATION OF THE NATIONAL GRAND LODGE IN ST.
It was one of interest. The actions of the National were
to be ratified by each State Grand Lodge. A Grand Master
for the State of Kentucky was to be elected and the report
of the former Grand Master, who had been promoted to the
office of National Grand Master, was to be received also.
The reports of the delegates to the National Convention
were to be received and adopted.
A resolution was offered, and passed unanimously, that a
vote of thanks be tendered Bro. W. H. Gibson, Sr., for his
faithful services during five years as Grand Master of the
State; and also that he be presented with a gold chain, the
presentation to take place at the Exposition building at 1 1
o clock P. M., August 25, 1876.
The presentation by J. H. Taylor, P. G. V. P., was per
formed in the presence of an immense audience.
NATIONAL GRAND MASTER S FIRST REPORT.
LOUISVILLE, July i, 1878.
2o the National Grand Officers and Members of the United
Brothers of Friendship :
BROTHERS I take great pleasure in presenting to you the
following report of the financial transactions of my office
from July, 1876, to July, 1878, with the hope that you will
SECOND EPOCH. 37
find everything satisfactory as to the discharge of the duties
incumbent upon me as National Grand Master.
Through the providence of God we are again permitted
to meet in our biennial session. Since last we met many
voices that joined with us in our lodge exercises have departed
this life, and their names are registered on the death-roll of
our Order, and we trust that their spirits are enjoying the re
pose of that better land for which we are all struggling.
Since the adjournment of the National Grand Session we
have endeavored to perform the responsible duties devolving
upon us in consequence of the high and honorable position
to which you have seen fit to exalt us. We entered upon
those duties without any written laws to govern us save such
usages as are customary to a National Grand Master having
the oversight of the whole Order throughout the States. Our
first business, after leaving St. Louis, Mo., was to arrange
for the publishing of the minutes and secret work of the
Grand Session, said work being delegated to us by the Con
vention. These duties were performed to the very best of
our ability, though without any means to meet expenses,
which amounted to a sum bordering on two hundred dollars.
After the work was printed and ready for delivery we noti
fied the proper authorities of the several States and waited
for remittances to meet expenses, as was agreed upon at St.
Louis, Mo. With but few exceptions, the reply was to send
the work, but, as the lodges were not able to pay or settle
then, they would do so hereafter. We did not feel justified
in doing so, hence a large portion of the work remained in
the printing office for one year before it was paid for and
distributed to the lodges. Here, let me say. that we had to
deviate from the course we had intended to pursue when we
started out, which was to have all moneys pass through the
hands of the National Grand Secretary and National Grand
Treasurer, as is customary ; but for the reason that we were
held responsible for the printing and the State lodges re
sponded so slowly or indifferently to our request to pay their
pro rata of expenses, we were compelled to take a different
course. That course was this : to use the money on appli
cation for charters to the liquidation of the printing bill, as
38 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
the money could not be collected as provided for by the
National Grand Lodge at St. Louis, viz. : that each State
should pay for its portion of printing.
The duties of the National Grand Master, as we under
stand them, was to establish lodges and temples in States
where there were no Grand Lodges existing. This we have
done, and by pursuing this course we have succeeded in
paying off the National Grand Lodge debts and have a small
balance to turn over to the National Grand Treasury.
This course of procedure was somewhat out of the proper
channel, but it was a case of emergency, where we were
dunned for the printing bill, and there being no other
resource, we took this, hoping that when the Grand Lodge
assembled it would verify our acts so far as they were con
sistent. We informed the National Grand Secretary of our
course at different times and assigned the reasons for so
doing. Several charters granted by me failed to have the
Secretary s signature attached, as we were separated by many
miles, and it was inconvenient to have them signed without
incurring the expense of double postage and no treasury to
These charters can be called in and others given, or his
signature authorized and affixed.
Another matter has given me considerable trouble, and
also attached to it some expense, that is, the imposition of a
so-called Grand Master for the State of Arkansas, in the per
son of one J. C. Foster, who has roamed the State of Arkan
sas, some portion of Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas the
latter State he has swindled out of hundreds of dollars, by
collecting in advance money for charters, degree books, re
galias, pins, etc. He has represented himself as Deputy
National Grand Master, claiming that his authority was re
ceived from us as National Grand Master. He was more
successful in Texas than elsewhere, from the fact that the
State is very large, and contains a vast territory five times
as large as the State of New York. We had a Grand Lodge
in that State, and yet it appears that in the northern part of
the State, where he was operating, they did not know that a
Grand Lodge existed. About twelve lodges were organized
SECOND EPOCH. 39
by him and large amounts of money gathered, with the as
surance that he had written to the National Grand Master
for charters, and that he was waiting for them. They waited
until their patience became threadbare; they then took mat
ters into their own hands, and began writing and dispatching to
me, relating the state of affairs, and threatening a dissolu
tion, and to organize into some other order. We wrote to
them that there was a Grand Lodge in the State of Texas,
and gave them the name and address of the Grand Master.
Their reply to me was this : That they had been deceived by
deputies, and that if the head of the Order would or could
not visit them, that they would disband.
After consultation and deliberation we concluded to risk
a visit to Texas, and save those brethren to our Order who
desired to be with us, but were ignorant of our workings.
We left Louisville October 14, 1877, for Sherman, Texas,
and arrived on the i7th; met the brethern and sisters tem
ple, lectured, and put them in working order; remained two
days; left on the i8th, p. M., for Dallas, Texas, in company
with Bro. Henry Reid, of Sherman, who rendered us very
efficient service; arrived at Dallas, met the lodge, gave in
structions, heard grievances, and set them to work; met
same lodge on the ipth; invited to Fort Worth, but did not
go; left the same night for Austin and arrived there on the
2oth, and met several Grand Officers of the State, with the
subordinate lodge of Austin a noble band of brothers who
received us cheerfully.
We compared our work, and such changes as we deemed
necessary we made; we also informed the Grand Officers of
the depredations of Foster, and heard the grievances of that
body against him, who, they asserted, had robbed them of
their means by imposition, and that they desired to be set
right and receive the proper work. We obligated them and
put them in possession of the work. Other lodges in the
northern part of the State applied and needed our attention,
Fort Worth, Jefferson, Texarkana, and Shreveport, about
one dozen lodges in all. Under the circumstances we deemed
it advisable to visit the southern part of the State and confer
with the Grand Master and officers, and acquaint them with
40 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
the state of affairs. After writing and dispatching we re
ceived pressing invitations to visit them. Then we con
ceived the idea of the necessity of deputizing some one to
visit the lodges of the northern portion of the State and in
form them of our presence in the State, and also to give in
structions as received from us. For that purpose we selected
Rev. Henry Reid, of Sherman, who had urged every means
to have the Order set right before the people of Texas. We
authorized him to act as deputy over those lodges until the
time for the call of the Grand Lodge of Texas, and then re
port to that meeting. We thought this whole matter would
be settled, and that the northern lodges would be recognized
and be received under the State Grand Lodge of Texas.
Hence my visit to the southern portion of the State to
confer with the Grand Master and Grand Officers, and in
form them in person, and map out a plan for a union of the
legitimate and illegitimate lodges.
We granted charters to Sherman and Bonham, and obli
gated them at Dallas, so that they might be properly within
We visited Austin, arriving there on the 2oth, and were
received by W. H. Mitchell and a number of the leading
members, also Bro. Black, Deputy Grand Master of Texas;
visited the lodge on the 2ist and 226. inst, lectured, revised
their work, and conferred with them in regard to the best
mode to pursue towards those northern brethren who had
been so basely deceived. The brethren expressed a desire
to see them under the control of their Grand Lodge, and
promised to work to that end when assembled.
We left Austin on the 22d, at 7:15 p. M., for Houston,
arriving there at 8:30 A. M. on the 23d inst., and met with a
very warm reception from Bros. F. E. Banks, Watson, Green,
and others ; met the lodge at night, had a happy reunion, was
introduced, lectured, and set matters in order generally.
On the 24th we left for Galveston, arriving at 12 M., and
were received by Bro. Moses Morris and S. M. Todd, Grand
Secretary. A very heavy storm prevented our visiting the
lodge until Friday, the 26th, causing us to remain three
days. We had a good time, this being the headquarters of
SECOND EPOCH. 41
the Order, with a finely furnished lodge room. We lec
tured and tried to make ourselves generally useful, review
ing matters pertaining to the disturbances in the State, and
arranging with the Grand Officers on the basis mentioned
before. I expected to have met Grand Master Vanburen,
but was disappointed, as he had removed to another portion
of the State, and did not get my letter until I had left the
The time of the meeting of their Grand Lodge had passed
without a call. We urged them to call a session as early as
possible in order to perfect arrangements with the northern
brethren of the State. The Grand Lodge assembled at the
time appointed, and you have their representatives and min
utes for reference. We learn that the matter had not been
amicably adjusted, as we had hoped it would be, at that ses
sion at Houston. It is, therefore, a matter for consideration
by this Grand Assembly. There are about a dozen lodges
claiming protection from this Grand Body.
We have also recently received a communication from
parties in San Antonio, Tex., claiming to be United Brothers
of Friendship, set up by Foster, and inquiring as to his
authority, and desiring to know if there is a Grand Lodge
in Texas. We have written to the Grand Officers in Texas
informing them of the matter.
Louisiana has also been imposed upon by said Foster. A
lodge has been organized at Shreveport, La., and we have
received many communications from there. We sent them
the charter gratis, as they claimed to have paid for one, and
as we expected a delegation from there we hoped that their
grievance would here be settled.
We visited the State of Indiana soon after the adjourn
ment of the National Grand Lodge. September 4, 1876, we
organized a temple in the city of Indianapolis in the A. M. E.
Church (Elder Lankford, pastor,) numbering one hundred
and fifteen worthy ladies.
September 6th we visited Covington, Ky., and organized
a temple for our State.
November 16, 1876, we organized a male lodge at Indian
apolis of forty members. We were assisted by Bro. W. H.
42 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Lawson, one of the original founders of the Order. On the
1 7th inst., we visited the temple, settled a difficulty, and left
them in good condition.
April 28, 1877, we organized a lodge in Indianapolis of
forty-one members, all apparently good material.
On April 3<Dth we organized, in the same city, a temple
of ladies, visited Temple No. i at night, gave them a lecture,
and left them in good spirits. Indianapolis is now the
stronghold of the U. B. F. s of Indiana.
August 20, 1877, we visited JefTersonville, Ind. , and or
ganized a temple there.
September 25th, organized in the same city a lodge, the
application for which had been made before the Grand
Lodge of Indiana had been organized, but we had not found
it convenient to do the work. We had instructed the officers
of the lodge to petition the Grand Lodge of Indiana, which
they did, but the answer was unsatisfactory and they were
about to disband, so in order to save them to our Order we
organized the lodge.
On our last visit to Indianapolis we advised them to con
fer with the other lodges and call a Convention and form a
Grand Lodge. They did so, and in July, 1877, a Grand
Lodge was formed with Charles Asbury, Esq., as Grand
Master, and the lodges and temples of the State are in a
We organized a lodge at New Albany - ,1877.
There are now one male lodge and two temples in that city,
all in good condition, as we learn from the officers.
We visited the State of Ohio. There is but one lodge
there, which is at Cincinnati, and in a flourishing condition.
We have had an application from Dayton, in that State, for
a lodge, but, for some cause, we have not succeeded in
effecting an organization. We commend it to the brethren
of Cincinnati to work up.
We opened communication with an order in Cincinnati
calling themselves United Brothers, who desired to know the
terms on which they could be received into our Order. We
furnished them with our minutes, and also met a committee.
The only difference seemed to be a change of regalias. This
SECOND EPOCH. 43
we left with the brethren there to work up, and the future
will tell of their success.
. From Illinois and Iowa we have received no special com
munication, save from Alton, that the lodge there is in good
We have been in regular correspondence with the leading
officers in Missouri and know nothing to mar the prosperity
of that noble band of brothers.
We visited Arkansas in October, 1877. In the city of
Little Rock, where we found the Grand Master of that State,
Bro. A. W. Kern, there is a lodge of brothers and temple of
sisters, true types of their Order, who received us very kindly
and courteously. We lectured there on our new work, and
put them in possession of all that was necessary to establish
the Order permanently there.
We have received numerous letters from the brethren in
Louisiana. A lodge has been organized at Shreveport, in
that State, which has labored under many disadvantages. It
was organized by Foster, promised a charter and degree
books, regalias, etc., and paid for them in advance, but had
not received them. We deputized a brother from Texas to
go there and organize them properly, and sent them a charter
gratis. We are expecting a representation here, and that all
the facts in the case will be heard by this Grand Assembly.
A sister s temple has been organized there by Bro. Dearmay
and an application for a charter is now in our possession.
In the city of New Orleans a body has been organized
and are preparing to send for a charter. \Ve have sent them
a copy of minutes and a constitution. The prospects look
favorable in that State.
We have a lodge in the city of Memphis, Tenn., organ
ized by T. S. Baxter. I have received numerous letters
from them. They have had much trouble there. We
should have visited them at the same time that we made our
tour to Arkansas and Texas, but could get no reply from the
officers of the lodge. We have learned that the lodge was
not aware of my desire to meet them. They have since had
a lawsuit, and their treasury is low. They yet desire to
44 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
have an official visit. We commend their case to the con
sideration of this Convention.
Our last visit was to Alabama, in June, 1878. At Hunts-
ville we have a lodge and temple. A society had been estab
lished in 1866, but, by bad management and dishonesty of
leading officers, it had dwindled down to nothing. A few
brethren, however, held on and endeavored to revive it.
They recently opened communication with us and decided
to send for a constitution and minutes. They resolved to
reorganize under our charter and receive the same work.
We visited them for that purpose and installed the officers of
a lodge and temple. The lodge is composed of about fifty
of as good men as we have seen at any time or place, and
the temple is composed of twenty-five amiable ladies, the
wives and relatives of the brethren. They promise, under
the new regime, to revolutionize the State of Alabama and
make the United Brothers of Friendship a power within its
There are other States in which our Order has not been
introduced as yet, but it takes time to develop and utilize
great institutions, and we believe we will be successful in
organizing and establishing ours.
The progress of the Order has been rapid since our first
National Convention in 1875. Tne second, held in St. Louis
in 1876, gave a new impetus to our growth. Truly, it may
be said that " In union there is strength." It was a new
order of a few years experience, and we have been carefully
feeling our way, learning our weak points, and in our Con
ventions correcting our errors in order that we might emerge
with greater energy and zeal in behalf of our beloved insti
One among our greatest necessities is a printing bureau,
or sinking fund, created for the purpose of meeting the ex
penses of our conventions or grand assemblies. We need the
proceedings of our conventions, we need degree books, con
stitutions, and other things pertaining to a growing order like
this. Minutes issued nine or twelve months after the ad
journment of a convention do not show business qualities.
Resolutions of taxation upon the membership of lodges,
SECOND EPOCH. 45
with no power to enforce them, show weakness in the ad
ministrative power of the lodges. Standing debts from year
to year do not add to the influence of any individual or body
of indviduals. Experience has taught us this lesson, and
being desirous of profiting by the teaching of the school of
experience, we have made the following arrangements for
meeting the expenses of the Grand Lodge :
We called a Council of Grand Masters of States on the
day of February, 1878, in the city of Louisville, as in
structed by the resolutions of the National Convention of St.
There were present at that Council Grand Master Chas.
Asbury, of Indiana; T. S. Baxter, of Kentucky; National
Grand Treasurer R. C. Fox, National Grand Chaplain E. P.
Bran nan, the Grand Council of Kentucky Grand Lodge, and
the National Grand Master.
We decided on the day of meeting, stated our plans for
raising means for defraying expenses, and deprecated the
strain we had labored under in raising money to defray the
expense of our Grand meeting.
Our plan was to sit in convention three days, and on the
fourth day have a grand celebration, rent a park or hall, have
an entertainment to raise the means, and the overplus divide
among the Louisville lodges, who would be invited to assist
in perfecting the programme. We issued our circulars, and
accordingly, on the 3oth of April, we called a mass-meeting
of the Louisville lodges, read numerous letters from Grand
Masters and Officers of States approving the call, and we
then requested the lodges to appoint a committee to co-oper
ate with us in carrying out this programme.
The lodges appointed their committee. After their ap
pointment a second meeting was held, when the joint com
mittee of lodges assumed entire control of the fourth day s
management of the affairs of the Convention, and contended
that this Convention had no power or control over it further
than they permitted, more especially the financial depart
ment, a department conceived by us, and intended to assist
in liquidating debts that might accrue against this body whilst
46 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Brethren, this portion of my address we deprecate, and
would prefer that it were blank, but these are facts, and I
desire that my acts in this particular be either approved or
As the Executive Officer of the entire Order, we hold that
a sub-committee from subordinate lodges have not the right
to interfere with arrangements made by the Grand Masters
and their Councils for raising means to defray the expenses
of the Grand body.
If the plan were offensive they should have resigned and
let others be appointed. We have not been notified from
any lodge that the provisions made were offensive, or that
they would not support them. Hence it must not be con
sidered that we are charging the lodges of Louisville with
discourtesy, but only the committee that has usurped all the
power to itself. If we have a National Grand Lodge with
an executive at its head, we claim that it should be respected ;
and it is with you to say, yea or nay.
In conclusion, my brethren, having given you in detail
the most important transactions of our Order for two years,
we submit it for your careful consideration.
Rev. E. W. S. Hammond, a member of the National
Grand Lodge from Covington, Ky., figured conspicuously.
This being the first National meeting after the organiza
tion of the National body at St. Louis, Mo., two very import
ant branches of the Order were to be organized, viz.: the
National Grand Camp and the National Grand Temple and
Sisters of the Mysterious Ten.
To Bro. Hammond belongs the credit of composing the
ritualistic work of the Grand Camp. He, being chairman,
wrote it, and the committee and National Grand Lodge en
dorsed it. He also espoused the cause of the sisters having
a National Grand Temple. As there was considerable oppo
sition to this feature of their organization, Bro. Hammond s
appeal in their behalf caused a majority of the delegates to
SECOND EPOCH. 47
vote in favor of this very important measure. The wisdom
of it has been verified long since.
The closing scenes, a long and tedious work of five
years accomplished, much anxiety was felt for the success
of this meeting by the friends of the Union, for there had
been an effort made to defeat it, and when the Convention
was opened we found letters and adverse instructions against
our plans, but, after a fair discussion, pro and con, the ob
ject for which we met was accomplished.
Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, and Texas were repre
sented in the persons of Grand Masters, viz.: W. H. Gibson,
O. H. Webb, Frank Washington, and W. R. Vanburen.
They were soon commissioned by this National Grand Body
to go throughout this broad land, from ocean to ocean, from
the gulf to the lakes, and proclaim the birth of a Negro
Order, whose duty would be to gather in a portion of the
millions of negroes who, on account of American slavery and
an internecine war, were destitute of homes, uneducated,
and starving for those comforts that go to make up and ele
vate a people. By their efforts they were to build up lodges
and temples and widow s and orphan s homes, and assist in
educating them in all the avenues of life that tend to make
them free and happy. The blessing of God was invoked
upon them, and they went forth as generals leading their
respective armies. Time has revealed how well their labors
have been blessed. This is the foundation upon which this
structure was built.
48 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
SECOND BIENNIAL SESSION OF THE NATIONAL GRAND LODGE.
The second biennial session of the National Grand Lodge
will convene in the city of Indianapolis, Ind., July i, 1880,
at 12 o clock M. Each Grand Lodge is entitled to five dele
gates and subordinate lodges entitled to three. Secretaries
of subordinate lodges will observe Articles i and 2 in Na
tional Grand Lodge Constitution (page 36) in reference to
taxes. All delegates will appear properly accredited. By
order of W. H. GIBSON, N. G. M.
ED. F. HORN, Secretary.
Ladies of the Mysterious Ten, United Sisters of Friendship :
The second session of the Sisterhood will assemble in the
city of Indianapolis July 2 at 3 o clock p. M. Delegates from
each temple will be expected to be present. Each temple
will be entitled to three delegates, with credentials properly
signed and attested. W. H. GIBSON, N. G. M.
ED. F. HORN, Secretary.
A session of the Grand Camp will be held during the ses
sion of the Grand Lodge. On the 5th of July a grand
parade of the Order will take place, escorted by the Knight
hood. A competitive drill for a fine sword will take place.
Commanders of camps are expected to have their members
uniformed in strict conformity to the regulations.
W. H. GIBSON, N. G. K. C.
E. W. S. HAMMOND, N. G. Sr. K. C.
J. H. RECTOR, N. S. C.
J. MCLEOD, N. G. R.
F. D. MORTON,
P. N. G. M.
F. W. GROSS,
N. G. SECRETARY.
SECOND EPOCH. 49
INDIANAPOLIS, July i, 1880.
In pursuance to call, the National Grand Lodge convened
in regular biennial session at the U. B. F. Hall, corner of
Delaware and Court streets.
The Grand Lodge was called to order at 12 o clock M. by
D.N.G.M. A. W. Kern, of Little Rock, Ark.
The stations were filled as follows : T. S. Baxter, D. N.
G. M., pro tern; E. F. Horn, N. G. S. ; E. W. Marshall,
A. N. G. S. ; J. S. McLeod, 2 d A. N. G. S. ; J. W. Hill-
man, N. G. T. ; Fred. D. Morton, N. G. L. ; B. Gary, N.
G. G. ; G. Asbury and J. H. Rector, N. G. T. ; A. Walters,
N. G. M. ; F. Washington, R. S. ; H. W. Washington, L.
S. ; J. T. Amos, L S., and W. H. Warley, O. S.
Devotional exercises by Grand Chaplain.
T. P. Pool, of the Committee on Reception, delivered
the welcome address.
Response by Rev. Wyatt Scott, of St. Louis. Mo.
National Grand Master W. H. Gibson being detained,
on motion the Committee of Arrangements met him at the
evening train with carriages and music.
JULY 2, l88o SECOND DAY S SESSION.
National Grand Master W. H. Gibson was received with
the honors of the Order and proceeded to make his biennial
report, as follows :
ADDRESS OF THE NATIONAL GRAND MASTER.
Bretliren of the National Grand Lodge of the United Brothers
of Friendship :
The work of the Second Biennial Session being closed, I
now submit for your consideration the subjoined report; and
as a preliminary, allow me to say that, through the dispensa-
50 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
tion of Divine Providence, we are permitted to meet again
and extend the greetings of friendship, and can say that "all
is well," although we can not say that " we are all here."
We have been caused to mourn the death of two familiar
faces; faces dear to our memory in consequence of past as
sociations; faces imprinted on the hearts of the Brotherhood
on account of their great zeal in promoting the welfare of
the Order. I speak of Bros. Jones, Grand Master of Mis
souri, and S. M. Todd, Grand Master of Texas. May we
sincerely say, "Brothers, rest in peace; you have fought a
good fight, and have been conquerors go up higher."
Now let us examine the work of the last two years and
carefully note the result of this labor. At the adjournment
of our last Grand Session we launched out upon the sea of
onerous duties assigned to our hands. New laws, regula-
lations, and degrees for both male and female were to be
disseminated throughout our jurisdiction. With the assist
ance of our several Grand Officers we have, to a reasonable
extent, been successful in advancing our cause. Our first
duty was to co-operate with the Committee on Knighthood,
whose chairman was Bro. E. W. S. Hammond. They
received the hearty approval of the Brotherhood upon the
completion of the great work entrusted to them.
The Committee on Second Degree work for the Ladies
Temple, whose chairman was J. H. Rector, performed their
work with that degree of perfection which reflects credit and
demands commendation toward its originators.
The work of these committees was printed and delivered
to the National Grand Secretary for distribution.
The proceeds derived from the sale of minutes, degree
books, rituals, etc., were to be appropriated as a special
fund to be used for the purpose of defraying the expenses of
the National Grand Lodge.
The Knighthood has been established upon a firm foun
dation, and bids fair to rival that of the most advanced of
the older secret orders, and is bringing hundreds of good
men to the lodges of this Brotherhood.
By persistent efforts we have succeeded, and now pre
sent to this Order a complete outfit. Our tactics have been
SECOND EPOCH. 51
arranged according to the best methods, and are now in
possession of the several camps.
Our lodges and temples throughout the several States
have been visited officially by the Grand Masters and Grand
Lecturers, and they report rapid progress. Hundreds have
been added to the Order in its several branches, and, as a
result, we find necessity for more legislation upon many
articles in our Constitution One of the greatest needs I
find to be an equitable system of insurance. We expect to
hear a report from the Committee on Plans of Insurance a
a report that will meet the end sought.
The Sisterhood, a branch of our Order of which we are
proud, has grown to such magnitude and excellence that
additional and broader laws are needed to meet their require
ments. The ladies first and second degrees, in our opinion,
are sufficient for present use, and they meet all purposes.
We would simply recommend a change in the sign of the
An organ to promulgate the interest of the Order is much
needed. Our worthy deceased Brother, S. M. Todd, may
justly be considered the pioneer of this work, and we refer
with pride to his effort in this direction. By his death, we
not only lost an efficient and active member, but an able
little organ in defense of the Order.
In September, 1879, tne Ohio Falls Express made its
debut. From the able manner in which it is edited, coupled
with its extensive circulation, it has at once taken the front
rank among colored newspapers. It is considered the paper
of our Order, and we are proud to say that the editors and
proprietors, Dr. H. Fitzbutler, F. D. Morton, T. S. Baxter,
and E. W. Marshall, are active members of the Order.
Our Age, first a monthly, but now a weekly, was issued
October, 1879, our National Grand Secretary, E. F. Horn,
being its editor and proprietor. We recommend that one of
these papers be adopted as our organ, and that this Order
give it their hearty support.
In October, 1877, we appointed Bro. E. W. Marshall
Assistant National Grand Secretary. He has distinguished
himself as an efficient officer, relieving the National Grand
52 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Secretary of considerable work, and he has proven a valua
ble acquisition as an officer.
August 1 6, 1878 By a special invitation we visited the
lodges and temples at Huntsville, Ala., the occasion being
their anniversary. We found them in a prosperous condi
tion, with many of the leading citizens names enrolled as
members and officers. We .addressed them, lectured, con
ferred degrees, and gave such instruction as was generally
required. The insurance system was strongly advocated,
and a desire generally expressed for the Grand Lodge to
September 16, 1878 Organized and installed a camp at
JefFersonville, Ind. , assisted by S. Kt. E. W. S. Hammond
and Grand Master Chas. Asbury.
October n, 1878 Visited Carthagenia Camp No. 2.
October 18, 1878 Visited Carthagenia Camp No. 2.
November 21, 1878 Organized a camp at Georgetown,
Ky. , assisted by V. Kt. Lewis Johnson, K. C., of No. i.
November 22, 1878 Organized a camp at Frankfort,
Ky., assisted by V. Kt. W. L. Johnson, K. C., of No. i.
December 31, 1878 Conference with J. H. Rector, N. J.
K. C., of Missouri, on the uniform of the Order. (Sample
December 5, 1878 Initiated candidates for Deborah
Temple No. 28.
December 12, 1878 Installed officers for St. Matthews
December 18, 1878 Visited Falls City Lodge.
January 18, 1879 Installed officers for Temple No. i,
January 20, 1879 Installed officers for Friendship Lodge
No. i, Louisville, Ky.
January 21, 1879 Visited Carthagenia Camp No. 2,
January 28, 1879 Visited New Albany, Ind., and in
stalled officers for St. Luke Lodge.
SECOND EPOCH. 53
February 13, 1879 Visited New Albany, Ind., lectured
and installed officers for Temple No; i.
February 21, 1879 Visited Camps Nos. i and 2, Louis
ville, Ky. , and lectured on Knighthood.
March 5, 1879 Installed officers for Deborah Temple
No. 28, Louisville, Ky.
March 18, 1879 Visited Temple No. i, Louisville, Ky.
April 5, 1879 Visited Garrison Camp No. i.
May 1 6, 1879 Visited Chicago, 111. Organized in the
afternoon of that day a temple of thirty-five members, and
at night a lodge of twenty-five members.
May 20, 1879 Visited Carthagenia No. 50.
June 6, 1879 Visited St. Rose Temple No. 17, Louis
June 10, 1879 Visited Temple No. 4, Louisville, Ky.
June 1 6, 1879 Delivered an address to Temple No. 4
at Twelfth-street Z. A. M. E. Church; a union meeting of
July 9, 1879 Visited a mass meeting of Ladies Temples.
July 10, 1879 Installed officers for temple at Nevr
July 25, 1879 Visited Hannibal Camp, Jeffersonville,
August n, 1879 Visited Union Anniversary of Ladies
Temple, Louisville, Ky.
August 12, 1979 Visited Grand Lodge of Indiana.
August 13, 1879 Visited Carthagenia Camp No. 2.
August 1 6, 1879 Attended Charity Lodge Anniversary,
August 1 8, 1879 Called a special session of the Grand
Camp at Cincinnati, O. ; knighted forty-seven.
August 19, 1879 Banner presentation, Smith Lodge
No. i, Cincinnati, O.
August 20, 1879 Special session Grand Camp, Cincin
nati, O. ; Knighted thirty.
September n, 1879 Left Louisville for Shreveport, La. ;
September 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 1879 Remained at
Shreveport; assisted by Grand Master S. M. Todd, of Texas,
54 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
organized a camp, conferred first, second, and third degrees,
lectured, attended anniversary of lodge and temple and
parade of the Order.
September 22, 1879 Visited St. Louis, Mo. ; met the
brothers and sisters in mass ; had a pleasant interchange of
sentiment; escorted to a grand entertainment given by the
G. U. O. O. F.
September 23, 1879 Visited Evansville, Ind. ; Knighted
twenty-three, organized and installed the officers.
September 24, 1879 Visited Covington, Ky., organized
David Camp No. 6, and installed the officers.
September 26, 1879 Visited Cincinnati, O., organized
and installed the officers of Belle Camp.
October 6, 1870 Visited Garrison No. i.
October 22, 1879 Received a dispatch of sad intelligence
of the death of S. M. Todd, Grand Master of Texas.
October 30, 1879 Met Committee on Camp Tactics and
completed the work.
November 8, 1879 Met mass meeting of U. B. F.
lodges, Louisville, Ky.
November 18, 1879 Visited Zion Temple No. i.
December 9, 1879 Visited Temple No. 4, Louisville, Ky.
December 10, 1879 Visited Garrison No. i.
January 5, 1880 Installed officers for St. James Lodge
and St. Mary s Temple, Louisville, Ky.
January 16, 1880 Installed officers for St. Peter s Lodge
January 13, 1880 Installed officers for Star of the West
Temple No. 13, Sister Vina Harris, Princess; presented with
a sword by the officers, which was the first sword made for
the Order of K. of F.
February 18, 1880 Visited Garrison No. i.
February 27, 1880 Visited Star of the West Temple No.
March 3, 1880 Installed officers for Deborah Temple No.
28, and initiated; installed officers for Garrison Camp No. i.
March 19, 1880 Visited Chicago, 111., and organized a
temple of seventy-three members.
May 29, 1880 Visited Indianapolis, Ind.
SECOND EPOCH. 55
The closing scenes of this National Grand Lodge relieved
us of a series of duties that had devolved upon us for twelve
years or more, from secretary of a subordinate lodge to Grand
Master of State and National Grand Master. We were grat
ified to know that we had the applause of the Order, and that
we had been faithful in the performance of our duties ; our
financial affairs had been scrupulously observed, and every
thing accounted for in our dealings with the different depart
ments. In their complimentary resolutions we had conferred
upon us the title of Honorary Membership in the Order of
the United Brothers of Friendship, which shall ever be ap
Though relieved of a great responsibility, we had premo
nitions of something greater weighing upon us. Three days
after adjournment, we were caused to mourn the loss of our
beloved companion, suddenly taken off by heart trouble.
Her counsel had been of the greatest service to us in matters
pertaining to the management of our affairs. She was one
of the early regalia makers, and many members patronized
her for her neatness and promptness in her work. We have
lost a loving wife and Christian mother. Six children mourn
her loss. Our prayer to God is that they may copy her
Christian example, and endeavor to meet her in that " house
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
The grand parade by the Order was witnessed by thou
sands of citizens and visitors from the surrounding country.
The first competitive drill between our Knighthood took
place at the Fair Grounds. Three camps, Belle, of Cincin
nati, O., David, of Covington, Ky., and Garrison, of Louis
ville, Ky., entered. The drill was contested by Belle and
Garrison, Belle being the winner of the prize, a sword, the
first ever made for a colored organization. They retained it
56 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
until the sitting of the National Grand Camp at Louisville,
Ky. , 1892, when it was presented to the original owner,
P.N.G.C. W. H. Gibson, Sr., by Wm. Smith, P. G. M.,
representing Belle Camp, Cincinnati, O.
The establishment of temples among the female portion
of our families and other well disposed females has worked a
great revolution in the communities wherever established.
Our first effort of organizing after we returned from St. Louis
was here in the city of Louisville. One of the oldest female
benevolent societies, after learning of our intentions, peti
tioned us and reorganized under our charter, Sister Polly
Mosby first Princess. Others soon followed, and the result
in our city is twelve temples, and in other portions of the
State equally as many. We have also established two tem
ples in Indianapolis, Ind. , two in New Albany, Ind., one in
Jeffersonville, Ind., and one in Huntsville, Ala.; and we
have visited and instructed others. The membership of
these temples are yet increasing. Some of them are pre
sided over by women of marked ability for government,
while others have shown weakness; but with the code of
laws put into their hands for their guidance and a council
for appealed cases, all things considered, it has been a suc
cess. Thousands of women have been gathered into the
folds of the society that otherwise would have been left to
wander unprotected through the world without a brother s
care. Hence, we have advised this convention of ladies of
the time of our National meeting so that we might become
acquainted as a family, and that the Brotherhood and Sister-
Miss C. E. SCULL,
N. G. SEC. S. M. T.
MRS. G. A. HENDERSON,
N. G. P.
SECOND EPOCH. 57
hood of. the different States might be brought face to face
and our several wants and necessities made known more
successfully than by correspondence.
The code of laws governing the female part of our Order
was delayed and was not issued for at least six months after
the minutes and degree books were out. Our apology for
this is that we had the manuscript ready in part, but had not
the means to pay the printer, and as we deemed the degree
books of the greatest importance to the Order we attended
to them first. We succeeded in having them printed and
distributed, and but a few copies remain ; we would rec
ommend that the Committee on Constitution and By-laws
revise and have a new edition published.
The number of male members of a temple is limited to
three. We have carefully watched the workings of that por
tion of the system, and it is our opinion that three are suffi
cient, for the reason that we have a male department where
gentlemen can exercise their love for the Order without
intruding upon the ladies, and those three are only there for
a specific purpose.
THE FIRST CONVENTION OF THE TEMPLES OF THE U. B. F.
The first Convention of the Ladies Temple convened in
Quinn Chapel A. M. E. Church, Walnut Street, in 1878,
as no hall could be obtained of suitable capacity to accom
modate the great number of sister delegates present.
Bro. J. T. Amos, Deputy National Grand Master, called
the Convention to order, followed by the appointment of
Rev. A. Walters, of Indiana, to act as Chaplain.
Hymn "Jesus, Great Shepherd," was sung, Mrs. Mary
V. Smith presiding as organist.
The first chapter of Esther was selected for the scripture
58 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
The welcome address was delivered by W. H. Gibson,
National Grand Master.
Secretaries Rev. E. W. S. Hammond and Sister Mar
garet Finley, of Evansville, Ind.
Committee on Credentials Sisters Laura Hamilton, Ken
tucky; Sarah F. Hart, Indiana; P. White, Illinois; J. H.
Taylor, Tennessee; Owsley, Missouri; Patsie Waddy,
Arkansas; L. Taylor, Louisiana; O. Thomas, Texas; J. H.
Rector, Missouri, at large.
During the absence of the Committee the Convention
was addressed by the following brethren : Charles Asbury,
J. T. Amos, A. Walters, Sister P. Hart, Allen, Indiana ;
C. H. Tandy, O. H. Webb, Missouri; R. Nichols, S. M.
Todd, Texas; A. W. Kern, Arkansas; J. H. Taylor, Ken
tucky; M. Finley, White, and Rev. E. W. S. Hammond.
The Committee on Credentials returned delegates from
the following temples: (For names of delegates see min
utes). Chapman No. 19, Star of the West No. 13, Tallevate
No. 7, St. Martin No. 8, Esther No. 4, St. Rose No. 17,
Zion No. i, Zion No. 20, Temple No. 27, Deborah No. 28,
St. Mary No. 35, South Carrollton No. 39, Eastern Star No.
2i, Mary Magdalene No. 33, Queen Esther No. 24, Union No.
n, Good Shepherdess No. 16, Rebecca No. 31, Rutt No. 22,
Covington No. 6, United Sisters of Friendship No. 4, Venus
Star No. 37, Star No. 18, St. Mary No. 2, Olive Branch No.
29, Star of Esther No. 30, Star of Carthage No. 9, Adelia No.
36, Grace No. 42, St. Francis No. 10, Kentucky; Mexico
No. i, Boonville No. 2, Friendship No. 29, Elizabeth No.
3, Rockport No. 4, Hannibal No. 4, Scott No. 15, Missouri;
St. Mary s No. 2, Deborah No. 3, Golden Rule No. 4, Mt.
Carmel No. i, Star No. 6, St. Mary No. 7, Golden No. 5,
Star of Esther No. 30, Indiana; St. Paul No. i, Arkansas.
SECOND EPOCH. 59
SPECIAL COMMITTEE MEETING AT NINTH AND MARKET
STREETS, HALL OF U. B. F.
Pursuant to a call the Ladies Temples of the city of Lou
isville met in mass convention in the brothers hall, at 4
o clock P. M., W. H. Gibson, National Grand Master, pre
siding, J. H. Rector, Past Deputy National Grand Master,
and the present and past officers being present. J. S. Mc-
Leod was appointed Secretary.
The object of the meeting was stated by the chairman,
which was to instruct the sisters in the work, and confer
upon them the second degree, by the authority of the Na
tional Grand Lodge.
Sister J. H. Taylor was chosen by the National Grand
Master to take the chair as Most Worthy Princess, to open
the temple, to exemplify and make uniform the existing
work, in order that differences might be compared, which
was done, after the necessary officers were appointed. The
work was commended by the National Grand Master, and
Bro. J. H. Rector, of Missouri, was requested to give the
opening ceremonies of Missouri Temples, which he did, and
was also commended by the National Grand Master, who
stated that the few technical differences could be readily
Rev. E. W. S. Hammonds and F. D. Morton addressed
the ladies on the present condition and possible future of
the organization. Their remarks were very impressive and
Sister Vina Harris, M. W. P., of Western Star Temple;
Sister J. H. Taylor, M. W. P., of Temple No. 16; Sister Tal-
bot, M. W. P., of Temple No. 25; Sister Gaddy, of Temple
No. 28, made short and pointed addresses, assuring the
brethren of their continued sisterly confidence and regard.
60 UNITED HROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Thus closed the First Grand Session of the Sisters of the
Mysterious Ten (U. B. F.), with forty-six temples repre
sented and ninety-two delegates and visiting sisters from all
the city temples.
The ladies were entertained with a Kentucky hospitality
such as is common to Kentuckians.
Indianapolis was named for the next assembly.
The Temple Sisters gave a picnic at Central Park, and a
grand review was held by the National Grand Officers, which
was witnessed by a large concourse of citizens.
SECOND NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE SISTERS, AT INDIAN
APOLIS, JULY 17, 1880.
The Second Session of the Sisters of the Mysterious Ten
was largely attended, business of importance transacted
ritualistic work, conferring degrees, and lectures in the new
work. Sisters Hart, Finley, Robert, and Hamilton dis
tinguished themselves as proficients in their offices. The
ladies accompanied the parade in carriages. The banquet
at the Exposition building was tastefully prepared and the
guests had a very enjoyable time.
INSURANCE OR MUTUAL AID DEPARTMENT.
The necessity of an insurance department connected with
the Order had been discussed at every general meeting since
the organization of the Kentucky State Grand Lodge, and
various forms had been suggested. The National Grand
Master had recommended it in all of his reports. At this
session of the National Grand Lodge Bro. F. D. Morton, of
the Standing Committee, offered a plan thought to be plain
MRS. CELIA WRIGHT,
MRS. M. E. WHITLOW,
SECOND EPOCH. 6 I
On motion of J. H. Rector, of Missouri, the matter of
insurance was placed in the hands of a special committee,
composed of Bros. Morton, Lawson, Baxter, Gibson, and
Fitzbutler. The committee drafted a constitution, naming
Louisville, Ky., as its headquarters. An act of incorpora
tion was obtained, the incorporators being F. D. Morton,
Esq., W. H. Lawson, Esq., and Dr. H. Fitzbutler.
Board of Management F. D. Morton, President; W. H.
Lawson, Vice President; W. H. Gibson, Treasurer; Dr. H.
Fitzbutler, Secretary; T. S. Baxter, Assistant Secretary.
The management issued policies to the membership and
a very bright prospect loomed up before us for two years.
Our report at the Cincinnati meeting of the National Grand
Lodge was encouraging, but in the third year a difficulty be
tween the secretary and policy-holders caused consider
able confusion, and in consequence of this our progress
was somewhat impeded. A change of officers was the result
of this affair. For one year we were endeavoring to settle
the difficulty. At the National Grand Lodge at Galveston a
review of the matter was placed in charge of a committee
and properly adjusted, and the management placed in the
hands of the following officers: W. H. Gibson, President;
W. T. Peyton, Secretary; J. W. Hillman, Treasurer, with
power to appoint sub-committees in the several States to act
as agents. A new impetus was given to the Mutual Aid As
sociation, a number of new policies issued, and a consider
able sum paid to deceased members.
For four years the management of the Mutual Aid depart
ment was conducted by the above named officers. Their
biennial reports were submitted, and received the approval
of the Order. There were no deficiences during their term
of office. There was a marked improvement, new policies
being issued, and the assessments of old claimants met.
62 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
At the session held at St. Louis, Mo., July, 1888, a new
management was elected as follows : Dr. Burney, of New
Albany, Ind., President; E. W. Marshall, of Louisville,
Ky., Secretary; French, of Louisville, Ky., Treasurer.
[NOTE The State Mutual Aid Insurance seems to be superseding
the National. They take up less territory, and are better managed.
The reports of several States are quite an improvement on the former
plan, and as soon as every member of the Order is enrolled on the
insurance plan, and policies obtained, the results will be such as will
make our Order all that the most sanguine could wish, and the relief
to our dependent families will be an hundred fold.]
ORGANIZATION OF THE GRAND AND SUBORDINATE CAMPS.
FRIDAY, July 5, 1878.
At this session of the National Grand Lodge the following
resolution was offered by C. H. Tandy and R. C. Fox :
Resolved, That we recommend the establishing of the
Knights of Friendship in all States composing the National
compact of the United Brothers of Friendship.
By A. Walters and Chas. Asbury, as a substitute for the
resolution of C. H. Tandy and R. C. Fox:
WHEREAS, As there is a Brotherhood of Knights of
Friendship in the city of St. Louis, recognized by said State
Grand Lodge as such ; and
WHEREAS, The other Grand Lodges are not aware of the
fact that the National Grand Lodge has not acknowledged it
as such ; be it
Resolved, That this Grand Lodge approve it as being of a
higher degree of United Brothers of Friendship, and that the
National Grand Lodge do recognize the Knights of Friendship
of Missouri as the fourth degree of United Brothers of Friend
SECOND EPOCH. 63
Resolved, That the said degree of Knight be given to the
Grand Master of each and every State, and that he be in
structed to give the same to subordinate Masters under his
The resolutions were tabled by a vote of fifty-one to five.
By Dr. H. Fitzbutler :
Resolved, That this National Grand Lodge do hereby
establish the degree of " Knights of Friendship" as the
fourth degree of the Order, and recommend the same to the
subordinate lodges of the United Brothers of Friendship
throughout the jurisdiction of this Order.
Lost by substitution.
By Thos. W. Johnson, of Ohio, as a substitute for the
Resolved, That a committee of one member from each
State here represented be appointed by the chair to compose
or generate the degree of Knighthood.
Adopted, and the following committee appointed :
Knights Degree Chas. Asbury, Chairman; J. H. Tay
lor, J. H. Jones, R. Toney, S. Johnson, A. W. Kern, S.
M. Todd, E. W. S. Hammond, R. Christian, J. H. Rector,
and F. Washington.
The degree, as composed or generated by said committee,
was conferred on the delegates gratis at 9 o clock p. M.,
July 5, 1878.
TUESDAY, July 9, 1878.
A meeting of the select committee appointed by the
National Grand Lodge was held at the hall on the corner of
Ninth and Market streets for the purpose of electing officers
preparatory to the organization of a National Grand Camp,
Knights of Friendship. W. H. Gibson was elected Chair-
64 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
man of the preliminary meeting with J. S. McLeod as Sec
Nominations for office of National Knight Commander
being next in order, W. H. Gibson, E. W. Hammond, and
J. H. Rector were nominated. W. H. Gibson was elected
on the third ballot, and, on motion, his election was made
The following officers were elected : E. W. S. Ham
mond, N. G. S. K. C. ; J. H. Rector, N. G. J. K. C. ;
J. S. McLeod, N. G. K. R. ; J. W. Hillman, N. G. K. W. ; S.
M. Todd, N. G. K. C. of G. ; R. C. Fox, ist N. G. K. G. ;
F. D. Morton, 2 d N. G. K. G. ; Chas. Bartlett, N. G. K.
D. ; J. H. Taylor, N. G. K. P.
The National Grand Camp being properly organized, the
officers-elect were installed and camp opened in due form
with a solemn and impressive ceremony.
Resolutions offered :
Resolved, That the N. G. K. C., N. G. S. K. C., and
N. G. J. K. C. shall be empowered to grant a warrant to
open a camp of Knights of Friendship to any ten members
of the United Brothers of Friendship having the third degree,
and being in good standing, on their petition and the recom
mendation of the Master and Secretary, with the seal of the
Resolved, That the aforesaid officers of the National Grand
Camp are hereby authorized to agree upon and have printed
blank warrants, with the proper emblems thereon, and the
fee for issuing said warrants shall be $5, which shall be paid
into the National Grand Treasury.
Resolved, That all past and present officers of the National
Grand Lodge U. B. F. shall be entitled to admission as mem
bers of the National Grand Camp of Knights of Friendship
on payment of three (3) dollars membership fee.
Resolved, That all members of this National Grand Camp,
while in good standing, shall be considered honorary mem-
P. N. G. C.
W. H. GIBSON, JR.,
P. G. SECRETARY.
SECOND EPOCH. 65
bers of all subordinate camps established by its authority and
under its jurisdiction.
The Degree of Knighthood was then conferred upon the
following named brethren, and they were declared to be
knights at large of the Order: J. Montgomery, J. T. Hud
son, and E. W. Marshall, of No. i; J. Gaddy, F. H.
Antle, and H. W. Lewis, of No. 12; W. Day and H. C.
Parker, of No. 21; W. H. Jones and R. Letcher, of No. 22;
L. L. Fox, of No. 32; W. L. Johnson, Stepney Ray, and
G. Murfrie, of No. 41 ; Isaac Curtis and T. Thomas, of No.
45; W. H. Warley and M. Green, of No. 47; J. W. Sherley
and Wm. Coleman, of No. 50; C. S. Jackson, of No. 52;
G. Hood and A. Slaughter, of No. 54.
[NOTE The introduction of this degree into the Order, with its
splendid uniform and drill exercises, gave to the young men of the
Order new vigor, life, and animation. It has added very consider
ably to our processions and grand street parades, and the competitive
drills have won the applause of the people and the press. The most
noted camps are Garrison, Belle, and David, of Kentucky. The Cap
tain General, W. Lewis Johnson, has immortalized himself as a drill
master. The camps under his command move like clock work, and
many are the trophies won from the Gulf to the Lakes.]
STATE GRAND MASTERS OF KENTUCKY.
L. H. Williams, elected August, 1876, at Louisville, Ky. ,
successor to Grand Master W. H. Gibson, Sr. Grand Mas
ter Williams served but one term. He was a bright young
man and promised to advance the interests of the Order.
His first step was to resign his occupation (a blacksmith by
trade), and travel as an organizer. At the expiration of his
term the Grand Lodge preferred charges against him and he
was expelled after a trial of several days duration. He
66 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
finally made his mark, becoming a minister of the gospel
and dying beloved and respected by the societies and the
community in which he lived.
T. S. Baxter, successor to Grand Master Williams, was
elected in 1877 at Mt. Sterling, Ky. Grand Master Baxter
ranks with the fathers of the Order. He was in the first
State Convention, and first Grand Secretary for Kentucky.
He served four successive terms and organized many lodges
and temples in this State and Tennessee. He has made
many sacrifices for the interest of the Order, and has held
many positions in State and National assemblies with profit
W. H. Lawson, successor to Grand Master Baxter, was
elected in 1882 and served two terms. Grand Master Law-
son s fame has gone abroad as one of the fathers and organ
izers of the Order. He is a charter member and a gen
eral dispenser of U. B. F. literature. He has served in all
positions of importance, and, from all appearances, is des
tined to be of considerable service to the Order in his de
J. W. Woolfolk, successor to Grand Master Lawson, was
elected in 1885. Grand Master Woolfork, of Frankfort, Ky.,
ranks with the early and earnest workers. He served
terms and traveled extensively throughout the State, organiz
ing a large number of lodges and temples. His annual re
ports show executive ability. He stands at the head of the
list of legislators, as many of our laws are the production of
his brain. He is the author of our code of laws the Digest.
He has filled many important positions in the State and
National meetings, and seldom fails to be present.
E. W. Glass, successor to Grand Master Woolfolk.
Grand Master Glass administration was a clean one, as
SECOND EPOCH. 67
he is noted for his business qualities. He had the support
of his Grand Officers. His report compares favorably with
his predecessors. He is popular as a politician, having been
elected jailer of his county. He is known as a philanthro
pist in his vicinity, and by his influence many have sought
membership in our Order.
W. A. Gains, of Kentucky, successor to Grand Master
Glass. Grand Master Gains ranks among the popular young
men of the Order. He has made a successful Grand Officer,
has traveled the State about as thoroughly as any of his pre
decessors, and has wrought the lodges and temples up to
great proficiency in discipline and in their financial rela
tions. To his effort, be it said, the success of the Orphans
Home, thus far, is attributed. The notes were due and no
money to meet them. He rallied the State, and Kentucky
has met the obligations, otherwise we should have failed
with the thousands of failures that have occurred during the
panic. He has force of character, and seems to know where
and when to strike for success. His general deportment is
such as to command the respect of all true brothers and
sisters of the Order. We should not be surprised to see him
occupy the National chair at some future day. His term of
1894-95 has been one of many perplexities, but he seems to
be equal to the task.
E. W. Marshall, Secretary of the State of Kentucky and
Past Assistant National Secretary, has been one of the most
conspicuous officers of the Grand Lodge for years. His un
tiring zeal and honesty and prompt attention to business has
endeared him to the entire Order. His accounts are such
as will always bear the closest scrutiny. His interest and
support to the State Grand Master in the Orphans Home
affairs command the admiration of the membership at large.
68 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
The following eloquent speakers have addressed the Order
of United Brothers of Friendship, of Louisville, Ky. : Hon.
Peter H. Clark, Rev. Grafton H. Graham, Rev. Geo. W.
Bryant, Hon. Morris Chester, Rev. E. S. W. Hammond,
Rev. Lucket, Rev. Dr. E. Tyree, Rev. Dr. J. Abbey, Rev.
Anderson, Rev. J. W. Asbury.
Grand Master Chas. Asbury was one of the promoters of
the Order in the southern portion of this State. He was be
loved and respected by the members of the lodges and tem
ples. He was elected Grand Master continuously, from
year to year, until his death. His loss to the Order will
long be felt, as his presence in the National Grand Lodge
was always pleasant.
Grand Master P. F. Hill stands prominent in this State
as an organizer. The Order received many accessions dur
ing his administration. His difficulty with the National
Grand Master caused a division in the State, but the Chicago
meeting restored him, and he stands to-day a faithful worker
and advocate of the Order. Our progress in Mississippi,
Kansas, New York, and a portion of Alabama is due largely
to his untiring efforts.
Grand Master Wm. Porter, successor to P. F. Hill, is
really the hero of Tennessee. He has the force of character
that draws men to him. His honesty of purpose qualifies
him for the position of Grand Master. He has re-united the
scattering forces that had ceased to act under Bro. Hill s
supervision, and all seem now to be moving on to prosperity.
The Tenth Annual Session of the Grand Lodge of this
State has clothed itself with honor and credit to the entire
SECOND EPOCH. 69
Order. It being the Centennial Year of the State, Grand
Master Hill and his aids have mapped out a plan to give the
United Brothers of Friendship a prestige that will immortal
ize the Order in Tennessee and throughout the United States
as a colored organization. Financial arrangements by con
tributions and other means instituted in order to make it a
success ; headquarters established in Nashville for six months,
also a reception headquarters for the United Brothers of
Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten from every
quarter of our domain ; a Grand Temple for the State or
ganized; an endowment fund established; a committee ap
pointed to select and purchase a Widows and Orphans
Home. This programme, successfully executed, will make
the Order in Tennessee excelsior. J. Thomas Turner, the
ever active Grand Secretary and Assistant National Grand
Knight Recorder, and Bros. Hill and Porter, form a trio
from which we shall look for wonderful results.
Past Grand Master Tandy, the father of the Order in
Missouri, is extensively known throughout our jurisdiction.
He has given much time and attention to the advancement
and building up of the Order. He has been a conspicuous
figure in all of her councils, both State and National, and
was our first Deputy National Grand Master. Missouri s
history is incomplete without the name of C. H. Tandy. In
the First National Convention of the United Brothers of
Friendship in 1875, ne ^ * n tne city f Louisville, Ky., he
represented his State and did much toward the organization
of the National Grand Lodge, which was fully established in
his own State in 1876. J. H. Rector, his colleague, was
also an active worker in that memorable event.
70 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Missouri has furnished a galaxy of stars in our firmament :
Bros. Webb, Jones, and Bartlett, the first Grand Masters,
were revered by the Brotherhood. Rev. T. H. Phillips, with
his burning eloquence, always aroused the National Grand
Lodge members to eulogistic praise and applause. Rev. Wyatt
Scott, his colleague, the impartial and urbane, is noted for
his parliamentary points of order. A. B. Moore, the schol
arly Grand Master, has left his imprint, and it will not be
effaced during the existence of the Order. It was under his
administration that the history of the Order in Missouri was
ordered, and codified by that very excellent Secretary, W.
N. Brent, whose minutes of our Grand sessions are so re
plete with general information. The Missouri minutes of
1890 should be in the hands of every Grand Officer. Through
Missouri our Kansas work has received much attention.
Grand Master Bish controlled the State for several years
and promised favorable results, but unfortunately he became
involved in a law suit with Mt. Hope Temple. The case
was brought to the notice of the National Grand Lodge for
two sessions, with instructions given, but he failed to obey
them, and he was finally expelled at the St. Louis meeting.
Chicago is the headquarters of the Order in Illinois.
The Sisters of the Mysterious Ten are the most numerous.
The temples are composed of a very intelligent class of
ladies, and they are doing much good for the Order.
The male forces are not so strong, as our opposition comes
from the various male organizations in the State. We are in
want of a good male organizer for that city. Since the ac
cession of Drs. McGee and Jones we hope for a revival in
the male department.
SECOND EPOCH. 7 I
Past Grand Master Wm. Smith ranks among the leading
organizers of our Order. For about twenty years he has
faithfully represented the United Brothers of Friendship
from Smith Lodge No. i. The Order has grown to immense
proportions, until the leading cities of the State have lodges
and temples organized, with some of the best and most intel
ligent citizens. His work among the camps deserves especial
attention. Ohio s roster contains the names of Prof. Max
well, O. P. Benjamin, Dehart, Ayres, and Linthecome.
W. T. Linthecome, a member of Rising Star Lodge No.
6, and Knight Recorder of Belle Camp No. i, U. B. F. , is
one of the prominent and ardent workers of the Order. Bro.
Linthecome is properly the originator of the insurance or
endowment policy, introduced at the State Grand Lodge
that convened in Cincinnati, August, 1895.
In his appeal to that Grand Body for the endowment
policy we quote his remarks, that no doubt reached the hearts
of all who heard him: "To have so elaborate funerals as
we usually do, and then afterwards visiting the home of the
deceased, our eyes beholding sights most pitiable to behold,
and our ears arrested with the touching cry, Mamma, is
there no bread? and the answer comes No, from the sur
vivors of one who has spent his life in the Order, and his
interment was one of grandeur. Ah ! had part of the money
that was spent on his or her funeral been bequeathed to the
family, it would have reflected honor and credit upon that
brother or sister lodge, and also the Order of U. B. F."
This appeal, after a lengthy discussion, had its desired
effect, for it was, by resolution,
72 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Resolved, That the United Brothers of Friendship and
Sisters of the Mysterious Ten have and adopt an Insurance
or Endowment Policy.
Resolved, That said policy shall go into effect immediately
upon its passage at said Grand Lodge session.
The plan is plain and simple. The leading resolution is
as follows :
Resolved, That the Board shall pay to the deceased mem
ber s survivors twenty-five cents per head for every financial
member in the State of Ohio reported at the last quarter,
last third month.
The officers were elected and all the necessary equip
ments for this department provided. Prof. H. J. Dehart is
President, and the department is now running in good order,
with Bro. Linthecome, Secretary.
Grand Master Robinson, a highly respected brother, has
worked ardently to build up the Order, and has held honor
able positions in the National Grand Lodge. The recent
sitting of the National Grand Lodge, which was held in the
State house, reflects credit upon him, and shows what in
fluence he has with the officials of his State.
Among the early workers of the State was Bro. Dear-
masey, who succeeded in organizing a lodge, temple, and
camp at Shrevesport. Grand Master Green, deceased, was
an earnest worker, and established the Order in other parts
of the State.
Sister Foster, formerly of Chicago, 111., Mount Hope Tem
ple, organized a temple in Denver, and threw to the breeze
SECOND EPOCH. 73
of the far West our work. She represented her temple at
Little Rock, July, 1894.
Organized under the administration of National Grand
Master F. D. Morton, and has been represented by the Rev.
Jehu Holliday, now Bishop of the A. M. E. Zion Church.
Was organized under the administration of National
Grand Master Collins by P. F. Hill, Organizer, and the late
Rev. John L. Swears ; also Canada.
WASHINGTON, D. C.
Organized under the administration of Dr. W. T. Pey
ton ; also Liberia, Africa.
SKETCHES OF NATIONAL GRAND MASTERS.
The history of the work of our first National Grand
Master, under the organization of the Second Epoch having
been given, we will review his successors.
Frederick Douglass Morton, second National Grand Mas
ter, elected at Indianapolis, Ind., July 6, 1880. Bro. Mor
ton has been an earnest worker in the Order. He was the
leader of his delegation to the National Convention at St.
Louis that organized the National Grand Lodge. His telling
speeches in favor of a union of all the lodges was replete
with logical reasoning, and they had the desired effect. At
the first National Grand Lodge, at Louisville, in 1878, his
services rendered in that Grand Body convinced us that he
was the coming young man that would do honor to the
74 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Order if placed in the Grand Master s chair. His orations
at Louisville and Indianapolis were received with the highest
applause. He accepted the honor conferred with a firm
determination to add new laurels to what had been achieved
by his predecessor, and in order to accomplish his aim he
resigned a lucrative position in the public schools of Evans-
ville for one year in order to travel and organize lodges and
temples. The sacrifice proved to be a great one to him, but
his object was to improve the Order in all of its branches
and introduce it into States where it had not yet been known.
He was successful in that respect, and many lodges and
temples were received under his administration and new
States added to the roll. We regret that we have not his
biennial report, that we might quote from it some interesting
details of his work, which would add greatly to the historical
sketches of the Order. Unfortunately, after being turned
over to the National Grand Secretary, at Cincinnati, O., it
is claimed that the entire minutes of that session were lost.
Bro. Morton was elected a second term at Cincinnati, O.,
July, 1882. It was at this session that the Order realized
the sacrifice that the National Grand Master had made dur
ing his term of office after having resigned his position at a
good salary. The office and labor of National Grand Master
did not remunerate him for the sacrifice, and he was there
fore loser by hundreds of dollars, consequently his second
term was not as brilliant as his first, for the reason that he
had to return to his occupation and devote less time to the
At this session he recommended the degrees of the Royal
Household for the Ladies, Junvenile Department, and Past
Master s Council. These departments have been organized
and are in good working order. The Insurance and Mutual Aid
SECOND EPOCH. 75
Society was organized under his administration. The labors
of National Grand Master F. D. Morton will compare favor
ably with his cotemporaries. His second term closed at
Galveston, Texas ; it was a stormy, though interesting ses
W. H. Lawson, third National Grand Master, one of
the founders and charter members of the Order, the suc
cessor to F. D. Morton, was elected National Grand Mas
ter August i, 1884, at Galveston, Texas. Brother Law-
son has been known to the United Brothers of Friendship
from its organization, through the first and second epochs,
and now receives the exaltation of his brethren. It will
only be a sketch of Bro. Lawson s work that we shall write,
for it would take more space than we can afford in this his
Bro. Lawson occupied the position of artist for the Order,
being the regalia manufacturer, banner maker, and general
decorator of the Order for years. He did all the work, but
as the Order increased and became numerous its patron
age was solicited by colored and white artists ; and be it
known, that thousands of dollars are reaped annually from
our coffers. There is not a position in the Order that Bro.
Lawson has not filled. His ability is acknowledged by the
At the Galveston meeting one of the most important
duties were assigned to him, that of chairman of the ritual
istic work and the codifying of our laws. Without a nickel
he went at the work, and involved himself to the amount of
seven hundred dollars or more, causing him much embarrass
ment and loss of property. The work was approved and is
now the standard work of the Order. He served one term
as National Grand Master. It was under his administration
76 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
that the Order was carried into Michigan, Kansas, and
Canada. Bro. Lawson s labors will ever be a standing
monument to his fame in the Order.
Bro. R. G. Collins, successor to W. H. Lawson, was
elected July 24, 1886, at Memphis, Tenn. Bro. Collins be
longs to that noble band of brothers from the Lone Star
State a State of vast resourcess a State that is only second
in number of lodges. This State, whose territory is so ex
tensive, with its large population of colored people, has con
tributed to the Order of United Brothers of Friendship some
of her most intelligent citizens, male and female, of which
Bro. Collins is a true type. Grand Master Collins served
one term, and his biennial report is replete with valuable
suggestions for the betterment of the Order. Financial em
barrassments seemed to have met him at the beginning of his
administration, but if his views are adopted his successor
may not have the same to encounter. It may be proper to
remark just here, that twelve years of experience with the
workings of this Grand Body should have, by this time, com
pleted a perfect system of finance ; in fact, the system
that we have, or the laws governing them, if enforced, would
produce better results. We have the ability, we have the
numerical strength to move mountains (so to speak), but it
does seem that we are deficient in executive force. We
agree with Grand Master Collins, that our laws must be en
forced more rigidly in order to be financially successful.
Dr. W. T. Peyton s election to the National Grand Master s
chair was another step in the advance. His position as an
educator gave hopes for an administration far in the lead of
his predecessors. His ambition for those honors and his
qualifications to fulfill them was a sufficient guarantee for his
success. His term began with the three-year system, adopted
SECOND EPOCH. 77
at St. Louis, which gave him an advantage, allowing
time to formulate plans and become thoroughly acquainted
with the wants and usages of the Order. His first term
ended at Chicago in 1891. His reports were received and
adopted. He succeeded himself for another term. Under
his administration the Orphans Home was recommended
and purchased on terms that are easy, and will be, when
completed, an honor to the Order and to those worthy breth
ren in whose care the management has been intrusted.
During his second term, petitions have been received
from our fatherland Africa, across the sea for admission
to our Order; also from the West Indies communications
have been received. Under Dr. Peyton s administration the
financial department of the Order shows vast improvement,
the heavy debts that had accrued under several administra
tions having been canceled. The Widow and Orphans
Home property was acquired under his second term, and bids
fair to be a successful effort. The following are quotations
from his annual address :
In the early part of the administration s career, by the
consent of the State Grand Lodge I set forth a National
Thanksgiving Day. The thought seemed well founded and
has proven a great benefit to the Order. You must bear in
mind that when we last met, the cry of our creditors was
loud in our ears and is not yet silenced. The National
Grand Secretary and myself have each a financial report
which shows our present status. Dear brethren, we must
provide for a better insurance and must establish the Or
phans Home, so nobly introduced by my loving friend and
brother predecessor, R. G. Collins, of Texas. My visit to
Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee, Indiana, and Chicago
are among the happiest periods of my life, and the many
acts of kindness showered upon me by the brave Texans,
the brilliant Buckeyes, the whole-souled Hoosiers, the Ten-
78 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
nesseeans, Kentuckians, and those of Chicago, can never be
erased from my memory, and will be told my children, thus
making dear to them the names United Brothers of Friend
ship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten. May 15, 1891, I
received and accepted, with great reluctance, the resigna
tion of Grand Master White, and recognized as his succes
sor the Deputy, Bro. W. F. Bledsoe, of Marshall, Texas.
By request, Bro. Isaac Curtis was appointed National Grand
Organizer, to fill the term. The Order has been established
in Kansas and strengthened in New York and Pennsylvania.
I recommend that the Sunday next after Easter be the legal
Thanksgiving Day of the Order. Further, that the National
Grand Master be empowered to appoint a committee of three,
with power to act in purchasing or erecting a National Home.
I present the offer of the Centralia Land Association, offering
a site for a home. I further recommend the publishing of a
hand-book of the Order, showing its true origin and designs.
I further recommend that the Mutual Aid Association be ap
plied to States not having a satisfactory Mutual Aid Associa
tion, in the same manner as it is conducted in the State of
Missouri ; that this applies to States and Territories, but only
to those joining the lodges after the passage of this law.
J. Chavis, of Illinois, read the following proposal for Or
phans Home :
WHEREAS, The contemplated Orphans Home means the
founding of an institution for the protection, care, and edu
cation of the sons and daughters of United Brothers of
Friendship, who have been unfortunately deprived of that
parental care so essential to the early training of men and
women for usefulness in life ; and
WHEREAS, Facilities for education and political protection
can best be secured in the State of Illinois; and
WHEREAS, A single member of this noble and independ
ent Order of ours, in the person of Walker Wilkinson, has
agreed to deed to this Grand Lodge, or its authorities, fifty
acres of Illinois freesoil, on the C. V. & C. R. R., in the
SECOND EPOCH. 79
county of Alexander, and State of Illinois, for the site of
said institution ; therefore be it
Resolved, That the National Grand Lodge accept the
above proposition and select the site for the Orphans Home
on said fifty acres of land, in the county of Alexander, and
State of Illinois.
HISTORY OF PAST MASTERS COUNCIL, ROYAL HOUSEHOLD, AND
As created by the following Compiling Committee, ap
pointed by the National Grand Lodge, at a meeting held in
the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, July 17 to 21, 1882: W. H.
Lawson, G. M., Ky, Chairman; J. J. Norris, Pa. ; W. A.
Burney, D. G. M., Ind. ; W. H. Coleman, G. M., Ohio; J.
E. Bish, G. S., 111.; Chas. Bartlett, G. M., Mo.; R. Law-
son, G. M., Ark.; A. L. Scott, Tenn. ; R. H. Day, Texas.
Revised and published by the following Ritualistic Com
mittee appointed by the National Grand Lodge at a meeting
held in the city of Galveston, Texas, July 28 to August 2,
1884: W. H. Lawson, W. H. Gibson, W. T. Peyton, and
T. S. Baxter.
The Past Masters Council, an annex to the Knighthood,
has added interest to the membership as a door to the
Knighthood and honors for services rendered.
The Royal Household adds beauty and grandeur to the
Ladies Temple degrees. Their Royal Court and splendid
equipment is the crowning point of the Mysterious Ten.
Great interest is being manifested in the Juvenile Depart
ment by the mothers of the Order. It fills our hearts with
gratitude when we behold the army of children being trained
for usefulness by the mothers and sisters of the temples.
Thousands have been gathered in since its organization.
80 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
THE BIENNIAL SESSION OF THE NATIONAL GRAND LODGE,
HELD AT LITTLE ROCK, ARK., JULY 23, 1894.
The National Grand Lodge was called to order at 2 o clock
p. M., in the State House, National Grand Master W. T. Pey
ton in the chair. A large and respectful audience of ladies
and gentlemen, citizens of Little Rock, and delegations of
the Order filled the house. Address of welcome by Bro.
Bradford, of Little Rock, response by National Grand Mas
ter, and short addresses followed by Judge Gibbs, of Little
Rock; W. H. Gibson and W. H. Lawson, of Ky. ; Wm.
Porter, of Tenn. After a very pleasant interchange of feel
ing among the members, the meeting adjourned to meet at
9 o clock A. M. on Tuesday.
At night the Temple Sisters gave a reception to the visit
ing delegates at the U. B. F. Hall. It was a very enjoyable
feast of good things, such as revive the inner man. The
citizens of Little Rock vied with each other in their efforts
to care for us while their guest.
The business of the Grand Lodge was considerably re
tarded by a very unpleasant feeling that existed between the
delegation from Kentucky and the National Grand Master
in regard to the purchase of the Widows and Orphans Home.
Committees were appointed to investigate the whole affair,
and after a thorough examination the National Grand Lodge
referred the whole matter to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky
for settlement. (See National Grand Lodge minutes).
MEETING OF THE NATIONAL GRAND TEMPLE AT LITTLE ROCK,
ARK., JULY, 1894.
Grand Princess Mrs. Dr. Georgia Henderson called the
temple to order. Divine blessing was invoked by the Grand
P. F. HILL,
G. M. OF TENNESSEE.
C. D. PRITCHARD,
G. M. OF INDIANA.
SECOND EPOCH. 8 I
Chaplain. The routine business of the Grand Temple was
then proceeded with.
The delegation was a very large one. The ladies were
tastefully attired and attracted considerable attention through
out the community. Many wives and daughters of the male
members accompanied them, and the presence of the ladies
gave inspiration to the Grand Assembly. Mrs. Dr. Georgia
Henderson, the Grand Princess, was re-elected for the fifth
term. She seems to possess all of those qualities really
necessary for that exalted position. Her demeanor is of a
lovely bearing; she is scholarly, and withal a Christian.
She has won the affections of all the Temple Sisters.
The Temple Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, of Little Rock,
have made an impression that time will not erase.
The colored citizens of Little Rock are a business people.
Their enterprise attracted the attention of their visitors ; for
amid the tortures and distress chronicled from day to day in
the South, they seem to go right along as though nothing had
happened. Their educational facilities are fair. They have
good churches, and all are well attended. The colored trades
men are patronized, also the professions. There are many
farmers, who have a large proportion of colored salesmen
vending their products with the same tact and skill as their
white fellow citizens.
RECEPTION OF WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON CAMP AT CHI
CAGO, ILL., JULY, 1891.
William Lloyd Garrison Camp No. i, of Louisville, hav
ing just arrived in fatigue uniform, was introduced to the
Grand Lodge by W. A. Gains, Grand Master of Kentucky,
as follows :
l Worthy Grand Master, Past Grand Masters, Officers and
Delegates I have the extreme pleasure of introducing to you
82 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
the first camp that was ever formed in defense of the grand
and glorious honor of this great Order, and bear in mind, if
you please, that it has at no time ever faltered or shrunk
from the performance of any duty; and we guarantee you
that this valiant band of Knights of Friendship is still stand
ing in defense of the sacred principles of our Order, and are
a living illustration that men of color have the capacity to
conceive and the ability to perpetuate a great organization
for the benefit of mankind, and the presence of this camp
here to-day is an assurance that you will be protected, if
necessary, at the point of the sword."
National Grand Master Peyton said :
^Members of the National Grand Lodge You have before
you William Lloyd Garrison Camp, named in honor of the
immortal friend of freedom. In those dark days of our ex
perience, when there was no light ahead, when all seemed
gloomy for our fathers and mothers, William Lloyd Gar
rison went forth in the path of right and duty, amid a storm
of opposition, until he finally triumphed in the name of God
and humanity ; and so this knightly band of brothers, bear
ing his revered name, has raised the banner of our Order
in honor of his memory. It is the first of our Order that
trod the streets of Cincinnati, that marched through the dust
of Indianapolis, and walked like men of war through the
thoroughfares of Galveston, on the borders of the Gulf, all
in honor of the United Brothers of Friendship. When this
camp was requested to come to this city by the officers of
the National Grand Lodge, to demonstrate the military per
fection of the Order, it generously consented to pay its own
fare. These Knights of Friendship are here at a personal
cost to themselves of $600, to further the underlying prin
ciples of our Order Justice, Mercy, and Truth and to
bear aloft our banner in this great city. We ask, and we are
sure, that the brothers and sisters of Chicago will treat them
as they deserve, and in recognition of the compliment in
calling upon the National Grand Lodge, we will now give
them the grand honors."
SECOND EPOCH. 83
NATIONAL KNIGHT COMMANDERS.
W. L. Johnson, Past National Knight Commander and
Captain General of the Valiant Knights of Friendship. This
division of the Order is indebted largely to V. K. Johnson
for the high attainments in the manual of drill, the perfec
tion arrived at, and eulogies expressed on every occasion
when brought before the public.
At the organization of Garrison Camp, when a drill mas
ter was to be selected, the National Commander offered Bro.
W. L. Johnson for the position. He had some experience
in the art of drilling, from the fact that he was connected
with the military of our city and had excellent opportunities
for learning. The selection proved a fitting one, so much
so that from Drill Master he advanced to Knight Com
mander, National Knight Commander, and Captain General.
He has been in office ever since the organization of the
camps. Garrison has won many prizes and trophies by his
skillful maneuverings. Two other camps have been organ
ized, getting a portion of their members from Garrison.
Commanders J. H. Rector, W. L. Johnson, Wm.
Porter, Jesse Montgomery, Bryant Luster.
MEETINGS OF THE NATIONAL GRAND CAMPS.
Louisville, Ky., July, 1878, organized; Cincinnati, O.,
August, 1879, extra session for work, Knighted 77; Indian
apolis, Ind., July, 1880; Cincinnati, O., July, 1882; Louis
ville, Ky., extra session, 1883; Galveston, Tex., July, 1884;
Memphis, Tenn., July, 1885; Memphis, Tenn., Grand Ses-
sion,i886; Little Rock, Ark., July, 1887; St. Louis, Mo.,
1888; Chicago, 111., 1891; Little Rock, Ark., 1894; St.
84 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
VISITS OF VALIANT KNIGHTS.
Garrison visited Indianapolis in 1880 and contested for a
prize with Belle, of Cincinnati, O. ; Belle, of Cincinnati,
O., visited Indianapolis in 1880; David, of Covington, Ky.,
visited Indianapolis in 1880; Garrison visited St. Louis in
1877; Garrison visited Galveston, Tex., in 1884; Garrison
and Belle, of Kentucky, visited Indianapolis in 1888; Belle,
of Cincinnati, visited Louisville in 1888; Garrison visited
Chicago in 1891; Belle, of Cincinnati, visited Chicago in
1891; Morris Henderson, of Chicago, visited Memphis,
Tenn., in 1891; Garrison visited Cincinnati in 1893.
The National Grand Camp met at Louisville, Ky. , in
1892. The following camps were present: Winchester
Camp, Kentucky; Mt. Sterling Camp, Kentucky; Quinn
Camp, Indianapolis, Ind. ; Lexington Camp, Kentucky ;
Carthage Camp, Jeffersonville, Ind. ; Belle Camp, Cincin
nati, O. ; David Camp, Covington, Ky. ; Pride of Kentucky
Camp, Louisville; Belle Camp, Kentucky; Garrison Camp,
Kentucky, and representatives from Little Rock, Ark., and
Fort Worth, Texas.
The largest prize ever offered at any of our grand drills
was presented by the three camps of Louisville, Ky. the
sum of $500. Winchester Camp, Kentucky, captured the
first prize, $300; Logan Camp, Lexington, Ky. , second prize,
and Belle Camp, Cincinnati, O., third prize of $100 each.
1888 A contest a,t Winchester, Ky. , between Logan
Camp, of Lexington, Ky ; David Camp, of Covington, Ky. ,
and Belle Camp, of Louisville, Ky.
1889 A contest at Maysville, Ky. , between Logan Camp,
of Lexington, Ky. ; Golden Eagle Camp, of Winchester,
Ky., and Belle Camp, of Louisville, Ky.
SECOND EPOCH. 85
1890 A contest at Indianapolis, Ind. National Drill-
between Garrison Camp, Golden Eagle Camp, Winchester,
Ky. ; Logan Camp, Lexington, Ky. ; Belle Camp, Cincin
nati, O., and Belle Camp No. 2, Louisville, Ky.
1891 A contest at Lexington, Ky., between Golden
Eagle Camp, Winchester, Ky. ; Belle Camp, Louisville, Ky.,
and Maysville Camp, Maysville, Ky.
Belle Camp No. 2, K. F., of Louisville, Ky., was organ
ized on October 8, 1888, the following being the first elective
officers : Lee Mattingly, K. C. ; John Hyde, K. R. ; Elijah
Mitchell, S. K. ; F. W. Kittrell, Jr. K. ; Dudley Mills, Cap
tain Guards, and L. Hutchinson, Captain General.
The first contest, at Winchester, Ky., between Lexington,
Covington, and Belle camps, was won by Belle Camp, the
prize amounting to $50.
The next contest was at Maysville, Ky. , between Lexing
ton, Winchester, and Belle camps. Winchester received
first prize, the amount being $60, and Belle Camp second, $45.
The next contest was at Lexington, Ky. , in 1891, between
Winchester, Maysville, and Belle camps. First prize, $75,
won by Belle Camp ; second prize, by Winchester Camp, $25.
At Indianapolis, Ind., the National Drill between Cin
cinnati, Garrison No. i, Winchester, Lexington, Belle of
Cincinnati, and Belle of Louisville, took place in July, 1890.
First prize, $150, was won by Belle Camp No. 2, of Ken
tucky; Garrison second, Winchester third.
The organization began with forty-two members. The
following are the present officers: W. H. Smith, K. C. ; F.
VV. Kittrell, S. K. ; Theodore Terry, J. K. ; B. F. Hays, K.
R. ; Oliver Arnold, Captain Guards, and L. J. Hutchinson,
Captain General. Financial members at this date, thirty-
86 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Never lost but one prize since organization in any contest
the camp ever entered.
Pride of Kentucky Camp. At the organization of this
camp Valiant Knight Nathaniel Mathews was elected Knight
Commander. This camp has a fine corps of members; they
are well drilled, and have not had the same experience as
Garrison and Belle camps, but with Knight Commander
Mathews and his strict discipline they will vie with the other
camps in the manual of arms. Every officer and member
has the confidence of the Commander, and they can not fail
to succeed. Valiant Knight Mathews has a large experience,
and he has been in the Order since the first convention, in
1875. A. L. Jones, Commander.
Belle Camp, of Cincinnati, O., was present at Garfield s
funeral, which took place at Cincinnati, O., September,
1 88 1. Thousands of military and civic societies participated.
Belle Camp, of Cincinnati, O., and David Camp, of Cov-
ington, Ky. , made a handsome display in their beautiful
regulations. They were assigned a prominent position in
the line, with a band in front of them. They were com
manded by V. K. Tom Johnson, with the following Grand
Camp officers in full regalia: W. H. Gibson, Sr. , N. G. C. ;
J. C. McLoud, G. R. ; J. W. Hillman, G. W. ; Wm. Smith,
G. S. B.
Our trip to Texas was fraught with forebodings, the his
tory of the State being so noted for cow-boys and an element
of outlaws that has terrified travelers from the days of San
Jacinto and Gen. Sam Houston to and after the Civil War,
SECOND EPOCH. 87
but duty called and "we must obey." At Texarkana we
had our first mishap. We boarded the wrong train, through
the ignorance of a porter or his meanness, there being only
two trains on the road, morning and evening, and were
dumped out at a saw-mill in a forest, to remain from 9 o clock
A. M. to 6 o clock P. M. We had an engagement that night
at Sherman, but failed, of course, to meet it. The work
men at the saw-mill viewed us with a critic s eye, but further
than that they did not molest us. It was the most lonesome
day that we ever spent. The train arrived, and we boarded
it and left for our destination. We were received by Rev.
H. Read, visited the temple and lodge, instructed them and
left in company with Bro. Reed.
The scenery was grand, and the prairie afforded much
food for reflection. In all the places we visited there, we
found many thrifty colored Americans, their cabins and
farms showing thrift and enterprise. Some of them had
good churches and schools, especially at Dallas, Austin,
Houston, and Galveston. We visited an institution at Mar
shall, supported by the Episcopalians, a gentleman from the
West Indies being its principal.
We received the same treatment on the trains as our
people are accustomed to in the South ; we shared with the
emigrants. Our train was crowded, and at night the cries
of the children kept us awake. The foreign languages and
costumes added considerably to the novelty. We ventured
out to the hotels and lunch stands; at several we were
accommodated and at others refused. At Herne we called
for a cup of coffee, but the waiter must have been deaf and
dumb, as he never answered nor opened his mouth, so I
supposed he was a negro-hater, and I concluded to "let
88 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
At Austin we had a grand time with the brethren, lectur
ing and setting things right generally. We visited the Capi
tol, a beautiful stone building. The brethren had our pho
tograph taken as a token of their esteem.
At Houston we were on the track of Foster, as he was in
the city. A committee was sent to inform him of our ar
rival, and a meeting was arranged for 9 o clock. But lo !
at that hour the bird had flown to San Antonio. We had a
grand time at Houston with the lodge and temple, and then
left for Galveston.
We arrived safely in Galveston, and went out in the after
noon with Bro. Moses Morris to view the city. A rain came
down upon us, and it continued from Tuesday until Thurs
day night. We were water-bound. The water was up to
the floors of the street-cars and the inhabitants were floating
around in skiffs. I began to think of some mode of escape,
but I was surrounded by the gulf and the bay and the river
and a three-mile trestle to cross to get to land. Friday was
clear, the waters had subsided, and we had a glorious time.
Saturday we left, delighted with our trip.
The meeting of the National Grand Lodge in Galveston
July, 1884, left some pleasing reminiscences which will ever
be remembered by the visitors to the Lone Star State, espe
cially those from the more northern States and the delegates
who had never been so far south, consequently, they were look
ing for strange sights. The delegations from Ohio, Indiana,
Kentucky, and Illinois met at Cairo, and the Tennessee and Ar
kansas delegation met at Milan junction. We were introduced
by Grand Master Hill, and soon became as one family. We
found the brethren kind and affable, and the ladies graceful
and dignified. The most elite of the Anglo-race could not
have displayed more refinement than this delegation. A
SECOND EPOCH. 89
special conductor was appointed to accompany us the entire
route. Telegraphic communications were forwarded to the
hotels and restaurants for meals. In the State of Texas we
were accommodated at some hotels and at others we were
denied the privilege. Our train was closely scrutinized by
the Texans and inquiries made if we were emigrants, and
to what locality, etc. The trip was a lengthy one on account
of wrecks ahead of us. We left Louisville on Thursday and
arrived at Galveston on Monday night. On Sunday even
ing we missed connection at a junction and we camped on
the suburbs of a small town. We were accommodated at
the hotel with supper and breakfast. The landlord and his
family served us as though we were white. In camp we en
tertained ourselves with songs and speech-making. Nearly
all the inhabitants of the little village came out to our meet
ing. Late at night a few cow-boys annoyed us by shooting
around our camp, and caused us to put out sentinels com
posed of the members of Garrison Camp under Captain
General Johnson. We left on Monday at 10 A. M. and
arrived at Galveston at 9 P. M. Our arrival was greeted
with cheers by a waiting assembly of citizens and members
of the Order. We were kindly conducted to our lodgings,
and received the hospitality of the citizens during our stay.
The scenery was interesting. A view of the Gulf of Mexico,
the strand and bathings on the sea shore, the gathering of
shells by our ladies during the morning strolls, all added to
our pleasure. Galveston turned out in force on the day of
the parade. Thousands thronged the streets to witness the
splendid cortege. The impression made will be a lasting
one. All the delegates returned delighted with the trip ex
cept two, who lingered behind to continue the stroll longer
on the beach, which finally ended in a wedding in the Lone
90 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Star State between Hon. J. W. Woolfolk and a lady of
The meeting of the Grand Temple was largely attended
and considerable business transacted by the ladies. A reso
lution passed and offered to the National Grand Lodge for ap
proval, asking for a united Grand Lodge, composed of male
and female, with the right to vote for Grand Officers, created
considerable debate and confusion. The resolution was
tabled, and a counter resolution passed to discontinue the
Grand Temple and the presence of ladies at our Grand
The meeting adjourned, with many regrets by the friends
of the ladies.
At the morning session, after the reading of the minutes,
Father Gibson asked permission to make a few remarks,
which was granted. He reviewed the proceedings relating
to the ladies, and showed the bad effect that it would produce
in the Order. He reviewed the temples from their organ
izations and showed the good they had done. In many cities
they had been the forerunners in organizing, when men stood
aloof from us. He stated that in nearly every organization
in the country, State and international, females were recog
nized; they traveled far and near to build up the various in
stitutions and help raise fallen humanity. His time was up,
but he was permitted to proceed. After his speech the reso
lution was reconsidered by a very large majority, and the
Grand Temple has survived the gloom of that evening s pro
ceedings, and since then thousands of females have been
added to the roll of membership.
At Little Rock we were entertained by Bro. Kern, and
the brethren and sisters made it very pleasant for us. We
SECOND EPOCH. 91
visited schools, churches, and the various enterprises of our
people. We found them in business and patronizing each
other, also in the City Council and other departments of the
The United Brothers of Friendship banner was first un
furled at Shrevesport, in the northwestern part of the State.
Our visit to that city was received with all the honors due
our position in the Order. We were met at the depot by a
committee of brothers and sisters and escorted to Bro. John
son s, and royally treated for one week. We had a large
amount of work to perform, such as initiations in the several
degrees, knighthood, and temple work. We dispatched for
Grand Master Todd, of Galveston, Texas, to come over and
assist us. He came immediately, and we labored together
and put Louisiana in working order. We were dined by
the citizens of Shrevesport in a manner that we shall not
forget. After our labors were over, the Order had a grand
parade and a meeting in the hall, where speaking and music
enlivened the large audience. The principal business of the
city is the cotton trade, of which our people are largely in
terested. The colored representative of that district, Sena
tor Harper, visited us and showed great admiration for our
Order and its workings.
S. M. Todd, Grand Master of Texas, related some thrill
ing adventures while organizing lodges in his State on several
occasions. He was mobbed and cruelly treated by the out
laws that inhabit that section of country. On one occasion,
he went into a store to purchase a handkerchief; he asked
for the article that he wanted, and was told that such was for
white people bandanas were for negroes and said that he
was a northern negro putting on airs. There was a party
92 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
sitting around the store, and they immediately began to twit
him about his clothing; his beaver hat was obnoxious to
them ; they swore that he was from New York and that he
should deliver a greenback speech. They placed a box in
the center of the store, made him mount it, pointed their
pistols at him, and then shot at his hat, several balls passing
through it; they also forced him to drink from a jug of
whisky. He was so alarmed and frightened that he fell
prostrate to the floor, and an old colored lady, who saw the
treatment, begged them not to kill him. They promised her
that if she would take him away they would spare him.
They took his satchel, ripped it open, and discovered that he
was a Grand Master; they taunted him, and warned him
never to be caught in that neighborhood again.
At another time, while holding a meeting, the lodge was
assailed by a klan and several were injured; some jumped
from the windows; others were beaten by the mob. These
are some of the trials incident to organizing in those districts
where outlaws rule the community. But amid it all, we have,
through the determined efforts of such men as Todd, Van-
buren, Collins, Mitchell, and White, made Texas one of our
Marshall, Texas, was reached on Saturday night, and our
train proceeded no further. We laid over all day Sunday
and formed some acquaintances. They had no lodge there,
but a few members from Jefferson, about sixteen miles dis
tant, upon hearing that I was there, sent Bro. Hernado, who
drove over in his wagon, requesting me to visit Jefferson
members ; but for fear of missing the train at night I did
not go. I attended church at n A. M., and at 3 P. M. wor
shiped in the court-house with an A. M. E. congregation,
who had no church building. I escaped the klan of which
SECOND EPOCH. 93
Bro. Todd related, but I met a chinch klan that annoyed me
terribly on Saturday night.
Our trip to Huntsville was an interesting one, from the
fact that it was one of those States where negro supremacy
was supposed to have the ascendency at that time. On our
arrival we were kindly received by Bro. Roberts and the
members of lodge and temple. They were organized, but
had not the secret work. We conferred degrees and in
stalled officers. They had a street parade of a very creditable
showing, public speaking at the Fair Grounds, and for the
first time I had the pleasure of seeing the Juvenile Brothers
drill a squad of boys from the ages of twelve to sixteen
years, numbering about twenty-five equipped and uniformed
in Revolutionary style, commanded by a drill master that
surprised me and many others for their precision and knowl
edge of military tactics. They received many eulogies and
applauds for their movements.
The colored people of Huntsville were moving along as
well as could be expected, they were doing business accord
ing to their means, and had investments in real estate, gro
ceries, etc. The schools and churches were improving. We
formed the acquaintance of Professors Council, Goodloe, and
Lowery the former was principal of the public school, and
he was highly appreciated by the people. Prof. Lowery,
who has gained a wide reputation for his silk culture and ex
hibits throughout the United States, has a large following
among his people. He run for the legislature in his dis
trict, but was defeated by a small majority. We were highly
delighted with a visit to Miss Ross, the organist and pianist
of the Methodist Church. Miss Ross is one of the most
94 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
brilliant musicians of the South, and a native Kentuckian.
Her father, Rev. Liberty Ross, was an intimate associate of
ours, and pastor of Quinn Chapel, Louisville, Ky. , during
the war. Sunday we visited the churches and Sunday-
schools, and all had large congregations.
We were indebted to Bro. Lawless for a ride upon the
mountains that surround Huntsville, from whose summit the
States of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia are seen. That
trip was a memorable one. We were up above the clouds,
apparently, and a terrible storm was raging beneath us
thunder roared, lightning played its antics as vivid as we have
ever witnessed finally we were in it and nearly drowned,
our wagon being filled with water and our body thoroughly
drenched, yet we enjoyed our visit and desired to stay longer
in Alabama, for our treatment was the most hospitable.
Received in Chicago by Bros. I. Walters and Alex. Tay
lors. Having planted our Order firmly on the Gulf, we were
delighted with the idea of reaching from the Gulf on the south,
to the Lakes on the north. Clubs were formed for a lodge
and temple. Everything being prepared we organized them,
and unfurled the banner of the United Brothers of Friend
ship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten in Chicago. A grand
reception was given at the close, and we were the recipients
of a pair of gold eye-glasses by the ladies of Mount Hope
Our second visit to Chicago was equally as pleasant.
Another temple was organized, and composed of the younger
class of females, and as intelligent and promising as any that
we have met anywhere in our travels.
SECOND EPOCH. 95
Sister Hart, a faithful sister of St. Mary s Temple No. 2,
of Louisville, located at Indianapolis, and through her in
fluence we were enabled to enroll and organize the banner
temple of the State. Through the influence of the sisters
we were soon called again to organize a lodge and another
temple. We had many friends in that city whose acquaint
ance we formed during the war, and they rallied to our
standard, and our success was all that the heart could wish.
Evansville, the home of the three United Brothers of Friend
ship giants of the State, Bros. Asbury, Morton, and Wash
ington, gave us a grand reception. The lodges and temples
there were up to the highest standard and proficiency of the
Order. New Albany and Jeffersonville have received many
visits from us, being on the border of Kentucky. We have
almost considered them in our bailiwick. They have three
temples, one camp, and two lodges there. We granted them
charters and set them to work. They present a fine appear
ance when assembled, and have an intelligent corps of
The Grand Lodge of Indiana is composed of good ma
terial, and their officers, Bros. Asbury, Morton, Washington,
and Birney, reinforced by Prof. C. S. Pritchard, Seymour,
Parks, and Harris, are competent. They have formerly met
in joint session, male and female, as in Ohio, but they have
increased in numbers and finance, so that each division can
meet separately. We have spent some very pleasant hours in
their sessions. .
Our visit to their last session in 1893 convinced us of the
demand for a history of our organization. The National
Grand Master was present and witnessed their expression in
96 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
that direction. We consulted and resolved to issue one.
The educational facilities of the State are excellent, and we
have a number of the cultured of the State composing their
Cincinnati, the Queen City of the West, had a noble
representative in the person of Bro. Wm. Smith, of Friend
ship Lodge No. i, of Louisville. Having removed from our
city and located in Cincinnati, his desire was to see a branch
of the Order established in Ohio. We corresponded, and
soon a pro tern, lodge was in existence. Our services for
organizing and granting them a charter was asked and we
responded. Berkley Temple, our female representative, re
ceived its name from Sister Amanda Berkley, a very estima
ble lady, and the most efficient worker in the organization
of that temple. We granted them a charter and set them to
work, with a very efficient corps of officers.
At Dayton we were represented in the persons of Bro.
A. W. Jackson and wife, who worked so assiduously to
organize a pro tern, body of United Brothers of Friendship
and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten. They were successful,
and Dayton can boast of an organization second to no other
in the State. We visited them, and were highly delighted
with the composition of that body of ladies and gentlemen.
We have visited the Grand Lodge of Ohio on several oc
casions, and we can truly say that it is a representative body,
though deviating somewhat from our general rules in that
they meet conjointly or as a consolidated body, lodges and
temples doing their annual business in the same session.
Circumstances over which they had no control was the cause
of this digression. Our cause, though, has lost nothing by
this seeming violation ; for it is a fact, that we found in
J. H. AYERS,
G. M. OF OHIO.
A. j. DEHART,
SECOND EPOCH. 97
organizing our Order, especially in northern cities, that the
females were first to receive it. Other orders had preceded
us and claiming connection with organizations whose founders
were white men and with a history antedating hundreds of
years. The men of those cities were slow to welcome an
order whose founders were Negroes, and largely of the late-
bondsmen. For several years our greatest support was de
rived from the women of Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio. In
dianapolis, Cincinnati, and Chicago furnished the nucleus,
but by persistent efforts, with efficient officers, we can boast
of a strong organization of intelligent men and women as
any order extant.
The first Grand Master of Ohio, Wm. Smith, deserves
great credit for his untiring zeal in the interests of the Order.
Having never been married, he keeps a suite of parlors for
the accommodation of the local and visiting brothers. On
several occasions visiting camps have been the recipients of
his hospitality. The services of Grand Master Smith will
ever be appreciated by the U. B. F. and S. M. T. of Ohio,
and the entire brotherhood. Bro. Smith was ably supported
by Bros. T. W. Johnson, Chas. Burkley, Fitzhugh, Belle, and
other faithful brothers. Two among the most prominent,
Bros. Belle, First Knight Commander of Belle Camp, for
whom it was named, and Knight Commander Wood, have
finished their work, and have gone to reap their reward
in that far better land of the blest. Belle Camp mourns the
loss of these Valiant Knights.
This Grand Lodge has also become strong enough to
organize and meet in separate sessions, with a Grand Tem
ple, under W. T. Peyton s administration.
Rev. R. C. Benjamin, Past Grand Master of Ohio, joined
uider the administration of National Grand Master F. D.
98 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Morton. He has been a conspicuous worker in the Order
for the past ten years, having served as Grand National Or
ganizer, establishing lodges and temples in portions of Ala
bama, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and District
He published The Triangle, a newspaper devoted to the
interest of the Order, at Birmingham, Ala., in the year 1892.
This paper, we believe, aroused the interest of the Order in
that State, notwithstanding a lodge and temple had been
organized at Huntsville for twenty-years, and was repre
sented at the first State Grand Lodge in Kentucky.
The following ode was composed by him for a Thanks
giving service :
BY REV. R. C. O. BENJAMIN.
Tell who are they who ever stand
Along life s rugged way,
With pitying heart and helping hand
Misfortune s tear to stay;
Who from the pleadings of the poor
Ne er turn their ear aside;
Whose footsteps often seek the door
Where woe and want abide.
The generous band, who, hand in hand,
From grey-beard to the youth,
Have sworn they side by side will stand
In Justice, Mercy, Truth.
See, stretched on yonder bed of death,
A widowed mother lies
" My orphan babes," with struggling breath
And faltering voice, she cries.
"O, who your young and tender forms
From sorrow s grasp will save,
Or shield you from life s crushing storms
When I am in my grave ? "
P. G. M. OP OHIO.
W. T. LINTHECOME,
ORGANIZER OF THE ENDOWMENT FUND.
SECOND EPOCH. 99
Have peace, loved one, kind friends are nigh,
Who ll guard their tender youth,
And round them twine the hallowed tie
Of Justice, Mercy, Truth.
Speed on, ye S. M. T., speed on ;
And blessings with you go,
Still aid the widow in her need,
And soothe the orphan s woe.
Still by the heart-sick stranger s side,
With words of kindness stay,
And bid the deep and troubled tide
Of sorrow pass away.
And U. B. F., long may ye stand,
The grey-beard and the youth ;
Shoulder to shoulder, head, heart, and hand,
In Justice, Mercy, Truth.
Memphis. One of the grandest displays ever witnessed
by the members of our Order was that of the Grand Temple
banquet and celebration during the session of 1886. Grand
Master Wm. Porter had proclaimed that his angels would
astonish the fraternity. His sayings were verified on the
night of the entertainment. Five hundred ladies, dressed in
white and formed in lines of two, marched into the park
which contained a large amphitheater. On the balcony was
seated a military band which discoursed fine music. At the
command of the Grand Marshal the doors were thrown open
and the procession marched into the hall, led by the Grand
Supporter, with staff in hand. They formed in front of the
stage, on the lower floor, being the first division. Second
division, Royal Household, in purple. Third division, Grand
Princesses, in royal robes and cro\\ms decked with jewels.
Fourth division, Third Degree members. Fifth division,
Valiant Knights. The stage was reserved for the Grand
100 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Princesses and Grand Officers. The balconies were occu
pied with the vast assembly.
G. W. Bryant, National Grand Orator of the occasion,
made an oration that excelled in brilliancy all others. His
logical reasoning on the future greatness and advancement
of the Negro race was a masterly one, and will ever be re
membered by those who appreciate good speaking.
Chicago s Grand Temple display was also interesting.
The entertainment was of a different character; it consisted
more of a literary display; music, of a classic style, essays,
fan drills by the Juvenile Misses, and a grand promenade of
the Grand Temple and Household in their royal robes.
They presented a scene that is seldom witnessed by our
people. Without these displays by the Grand Temple our
Grand Assemblage would lose much of its interest. The
large hall was crowded and many were turned away. The
Grand Temple is a great institution.
GRAND CAMP SESSION, AT LITTLE ROCK, ARK., JULY 23, 1894.
The Grand Camp was called to order at 2 o clock p. M.,
in the U. B. F. Hall.
National Grand Commander Jesse Montgomery in the
chair, and all the National Grand Officers in their repective
The meeting was harmonious. The proceedings showed
considerable improvement in the work of camps, with many
additions. Some inconvenience was incurred by the. two
bodies meeting at the same time, as many of the delegates
to the National Grand Lodge were members of the Grand
Camp. This matter was discussed, and a resolution passed
changing the time of meeting of the Grand Camp to every
two years, so as not to conflict with the National Grand
Little Rock, Ark.
N. G. C.
W. H. BUTLER,
N. K. R.
SECOND EPOCH. i OI
Logan Camp, from Lexington, Ky., visited Little Rock,
and entered for the prize drill. These Valiant Knights made
a grand display. Their regulations were complete; their
drilling was perfect ; they made the highest per cent, on the
schedule, and won the prize. The Valiant Knights of Little
Rock entertained the visiting knights with a grand banquet,
and it was an enjoyable affair.
The grand parade was witnessed by at least five thousand
people, who cheered them as they passed in their knightly
apparel. At night the park was crowded. Knight Com
mander Lustre, of Little Rock, and Grand Master Robin
son, supported by the Temple Sisters, will ever be remem
bered for their hospitality.
GRAND LODGE OF KENTUCKY.
The thirty-fourth annual session was held at Covington,
Ky., in August, 1895. Grand Master Gains sixth term.
Upon being introduced, Hon. Rhinock, Mayor of the city,
delivered the welcome address as follows :
11 1 am pleased to welcome you to this city. You should
be congratulated upon such an organization, which, I am
informed, was organized in 1861. I believe about sixteen
years ago, when I was a boy running around the city of
Covington, you met here in this city. I am told Kentucky
is the birth-place of the Order and it has grown from seven
men to 200,000 in the United States. I am eminently
pleased to say a few words in commendation of your execu
tive officer and our worthy and esteemed citizen, W. A.
Gains, a man who stands high in the esteem of the citizens
of this city. I congratulate you upon your Orphans Home,
for all of your acts are charitable and benevolent, and again,
as Mayor of this city, I welcome you in an official capacity."
These remarks were responded to by H. S. Smith, of
Hopkinsville, in behalf of the Order.
102 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
The session continued for three days, and was one of the
most interesting sessions of this Grand Body. Grand Mas
ter R. C. O. Benjamin, of Ohio, addressed the meeting, and
also presented to the Grand Lodge an original African gavel,
made from iron-wood, that belonged at one time to the
Speaker of the House of Representatives at Liberia, but
was brought to this country by the Colonization Society.
Grand Master Gains received the gavel as a memento for
the archives of the Order.
The report of Grand Secretary E. W. Marshall shows
receipts for two years, as follows: Receipts, $4,680.33; ex
pended, $4,647.53; balance, $32.91. Of this amount
$2,500 has been spent on the improvements of the Home.
Thirteen hundred bushels of oats were gathered by the
farmer this year off of seventy-five acres of land.
For other business of importance, see Grand Lodge min
The Grand Lodge closed with a grand parade at Coving-
ton, Ky., and Cincinnati, O. Ten thousand visitors from
nearly every town and city in Kentucky thronged Covington
and Cincinnati to witness the closing scene of the Grand
Lodge. After parading the principal streets of the two cities
ranks were broken and the vast concourse of people pro
ceeded to Price s Hill, where a grand promenade concert,
speeches, and a prize drill was given by the camps. The
procession was headed by National Grand Commander Jesse
Montgomery and staff, mounted on chargers; Valiant Knights
S. J. Franklin, W. L. Linthecombe, of Cincinnati, O., W. S.
Martin, and J.K.C. W. L. Johnson, P. N. C., of Louisville,
Ky. The present and past officers and Sisters of the Mys
terious Ten were in carriages. Thus ended one of the grand
est and most remarkable Grand Lodge sessions of the State.
SECOND EPOCH. 103
The following camps visited the Grand Lodge of Ken
tucky and formed the grand parade from Covington, Ky., to
Price s Hill, Cincinnati, O., August, 1895: Belle Camp, of
Cincinnati, O. ; Logan Camp, of Lexington, Ky. ; Gains
Camp, of Cynthiana, Ky. ; Belle Camp, of Louisville, Ky. ;
Franklin Camp, of Georgetown, Ky. ; Golden Eagle Camp,
of Winchester, Ky. ; David Camp, of Covington, Ky. ; De-
hart Camp, of Walnut Hills, O., and Juniors, of Madison-
The thirty-fifth annual session was held at Covington,
Ky. , in August, 1895. The instructions of the National
Grand Lodge were carried out or confirmed by assuming the
entire control of the Widow and Orphans Home property.
Provisions were made for meeting these notes as they be
came due. Assessments were made on all of the depart
ments of the Order, and ere the next National Grand
meeting, in July, 1897, the officers expect to have the entire
debt eliminated. The report of the State Grand Lodge of
1896, at Harrodsburg, is quite a luminous one, and it shows
wonderful tact and determination in the members of the
various departments to secure the Home to the grand old
Order, and that united they stand in this herculean effort.
The Secretary s report shows a financial membership of
lodges of 3,515, temples of 3,497, and cash receipts $2,-
884.01. Paid on the Orphanage since the close of the Grand
Lodge of 1895, $9 6 5; balance due on the Home, $2,170.88.
ORPHAN AND DEPENDENT HOME.
This house, purchased in 1891 by the Grand Lodge of
Kentucky, contains two hundred and thirty-four acres, at a
cost of six thousand dollars. It is situated on a beautiful
tract of land, twelve miles from the city of Louisville, on the
104 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
L. & N. R. R. It has one fine dwelling-house of six rooms,
a smaller house, barns, stables, out-houses, and plenty of
good water. It contains two hundred acres of cleared land
and thirty-four acres of woods.
The Secretary s report for 1896 to the State Grand Lodge
is as follows :
Stock on farm 5 cows, i calf, 2 colts, i sow, 14 hogs,
35 hens, 15 roosters, 70 young chickens, 14 turkeys, 32
geese, 20 ducks, 3 ricks of clover, 30 acres of corn, 100
bushels of corn over from 1895, ^o 00 bushels of sheafed
oats, i trial patch of tobacco, i hay rick, i truck, and a
Amount due on the property, $2,170.88; sundries,
$908.13 total, $3,079.01.
The Sisters State Auxiliary Board have raised and do
nated this year for the Home $50 ; check to the Grand Lodge,
$20 total, $70. LILLIAN B. JACKSON, Sec y.
JOINT LODGE AND TEMPLE U. B. F.
A remarkable coincident attending our advancement as
an Order was the seeming neglect to procure real estate in
the city of Louisville, after having obtained a charter in
1868 for that purpose, and a hall to meet in exclusively our
own, and for the accommodation of our many lodges and
temples. For fifteen years the headquarters of the Order
was at Ninth and Market streets (Armstrong Hall). The
lodges and temples in the smaller cities and villages had pre
ceded us in this direction. Thousands of dollajs were paid
out for hall rent, yea, enough to have purchased a hall.
Thanks are due to a few leading sisters, who, being desir
ous that we should have a hall for our lodges and temples
whose title should be vested in the United Brothers of
MRS. L. F. MARSHALL,
N. G. T. S. M. T.
Miss M. V. WEBSTER,
SECRETARY OF JOINT LODGES AND TEMPLES.
SECOND EPOCH. 105
Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, resolved to
make an effort and held a number of meetings for that pur
pose. Among those most prominent were Sisters Jane Tal-
bot, Jane Webster, Alice Roberts, Louisa Hedges, Florence
Norton, Hopkins, Emaline Lawson, Grooms, J. H. Taylor,
Martha Webster, and others. From these meetings was
organized the Joint Lodge and Temple, whose object was to
accumulate means to build or purchase a hall. Organized
March 25, 1886.
Committee on Constitution and By-laws W. H. Lawson,
W. H. Gibson, Mrs. Jane Webster, J. H. Kennedy, Mrs.
Louisa Hedges, Mrs. Jane Talbot, Mrs. Florence Norton,
and N. Mathews.
A Board of Managers was appointed, supported by their
respective lodges and temples, and a hall purchased. Each
lodge and temple is a stockholder, purchasing as many
shares at fifty dollars ($50) as they could afford. The lodges
and temples moved into the building as soon as the first pay
ment was made, paying rent to themselves and using every
effort to meet future notes when due. So successful have
their efforts proven that at a meeting held in July, 1895, ^
was resolved to purchase the adjoining property at a cost of
four thousand dollars ($4,000).
The " Negro Problem" is being solved by our Order,
using the factors education, wealth, moral and Christian
WIDOWS AND ORPHANS HOME FURTHER ACQUISITION OF
PROPERTY BY THE ORDER OF UNITED BROTHERS OF
At the National Grand Lodge meeting at Chicago, 111.,
July, 1891, a proposition was offered by Prof. N. R. Harper
to donate 200 acres of land at Centralia for a Widows and
106 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Orphans Home, also a proposition by Bro. A. Chavis, of
Illinois, for a donation of fifty acres in Alexander County,
Illinois, for the same purpose.
A resolution was offered that a committee be appointed
to investigate those locations of lands, etc., the committee
to be composed of nine members of the Executive Board or
Council the National Grand Master being a member.
After the adjournment of the National Grand Lodge, the
National Grand Master proceeded to select a location in the
State of Kentucky, thirteen miles from Louisville, and pur
chased the same in the name of the National Grand Lodge
without the consent of the majority of the committee ap
pointed by the National Grand Lodge. The amount of
money necessary to meet the first note was not raised, and
he consequently had to borrow one thousand dollars from
the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. The second note became
due and he applied to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, through
her Grand Master and Secretary, for the second loan of one
thousand dollars, as he, the representative of the National
Grand Lodge, had failed to raise or pay any money on the
property. They refused to loan the money of the Grand
Lodge of Kentucky unless the deed of the property was
transferred to that lodge, as no money was paid or raised
from any other source. (So represented).
The National Grand Master consented to the transfer,
and so announced in his circular. The money was paid, the
second note lifted, and the property deeded to the Grand
Lodge of Kentucky.
After this deal the National Grand Master recanted and
endeavored to hold a claim to the property in the name of
the National Grand Lodge. This action caused much bit
terness and confusion between the parties, and became a
SECOND EPOCH. 107
matter of grievance before the National Grand Lodge at its
session at Little Rock, Ark., in July, 1894. The matter
was thoroughly investigated by a committee appointed by
said body, and they reported the following conclusions :
We, your special committee on National Orphans Home,
beg leave to report that we have carefully examined the Na
tional Grand Master s report relative to the National Or
phans Home and the report of the Chairman of the National
Orphans Home, Bro. W. A. Gains, and we find that the
transactions have been irregular from beginning to end, and
that the edicts of this most worthy National Grand Lodge
have been ignored, and that instead of there being purchased
a " Home" in the name of the National Grand Lodge their
action has resulted in the purchase of a home in the name of
the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, without the knowledge or
consent of the Committee on Orphans Home, thereby
thwarting the great fundamental principles of the Order to
perpetuate the name of this most worthy National Grand
Lodge in caring for its widows and orphans. Therefore, we
First That the entire amount contributed by the several
States and Territories to the fund known as the Orphans
Home Building Fund be refunded to them, except Ken
tucky, the National Grand Ledge issuing its papers payable
on demand to the several Grand Lodges and lodges and tem
ples, said paper to be receivable for all dues and taxes due,
or to become due, the National Grand Lodge in amounts
equal to the amount contributed ; that the Grand Lodge of
each State make proper adjustment with their own subordi
nate lodges and temples.
Second That the Home, with full title, be transferred
and confirmed to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, and that
the State of Kentucky assume all indebtedness now out
standing against the Home, which might be construed as a
debt against the National Grand Lodge.
Signed by a committee, A. B. Moore, chairman, and ten
108 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
THE HISTORY OF THE TEMPLES AT CHICAGO, ILL.
Sister P. N. G. A. S. of S. M. T. Powell stands prominent
as a defender of the laws and customs of the Order. In
1885 and 1886, when, through mismanagement and sore op
pression, the female department was nearly disbanded, this
sister proved the heroine for the occasion, and with the
charter granted Mount Hope Temple in 1877, she went be
fore the courts and contended in a suit for the right of self-
government as a temple rights guaranteed by the charter.
She was sustained, but other technical points were sprung on
her, and she appealed to the National Grand Lodge for two
sessions for the cardinal principles of Justice, Mercy, and
Truth in her case and Mount Hope Temple. Her course
was sustained by the National Grand Lodge. This decision
united all the temples of that city, and the result was a united
front at the Chicago National Grand Lodge. The Sisters of the
Mysterious Ten distinguished themselves as the supporters of
the Order in that city, and left lasting impressions on the
brotherhood and visitors of their kind hospitality and Sister
Powell s eternal fidelity to the U. B. F. and S. M. T.
Sister Susan E. Foster, of Denver, Col., the Mother
Pioneer of the Order of the Sisters of the Mysterious Ten,
was originally a member of Mount Hope Temple No. i, of
Chicago, 111. She emigrated to the far West in 1887, and
organized a temple of S. M. T. There was no brother s
lodge there to assist her in the work. She organized a club,
set them to work, and they have sustained themselves with
credit to the Order which they represent. They were repre
sented by Sister Foster at the National Grand Temple at
Chicago, and at the National Grand Meeting at Little Rock,
MRS. P. HART MAGRUDER,
Miss GEORGIA NANCE,
SECOND EPOCH. 109
Sister Foster writes that she is now in the act of forming
a club of gentlemen, preparatory to establishing a male lodge
of United Brothers of Friendship. Her prayer is for some
official organizer to visit Denver and assist in this good work.
This is only one of the many instances where our sisters
have been the pioneers in cities and in States. We are in
separably joined heart and hand to go forth through the
world disseminating the principles of Justice, Mercy, and
NATIONAL GRAND OFFICERS ELECTED AT THE BIENNIAL
AND TRIENNIAL SESSIONS.
1876 W. H. Gibson, Sr., Kentucky, N. G. M.; J.T. Amos,
Kentucky, D. N. G. M. ; E. F. Horn, Indiana, N. G. S. ;
R. C. Fox, Kentucky, N. G. T. ; F. Washington, Indiana,
N. G. T. ; W. B. Vanburen, Texas, N. G. T. ; E. P. Bran-
nan, Kentucky, N. G. C. ; F. D. Morton, Indiana, N. G. L.
1878 W. H. Gibson, Sr., Kentucky, N. G. M. ; A. W.
Kern, Arkansas, D. N. G. M. ; E. F. Horn, Indiana, N.
G. S. ; S. M. Todd, Texas, A. N. G. S. ; J. W. Hillman,
Kentucky, N. G. T. ; F. D. Morton, Indiana, N. G. L. ;
W. H. White, Kentucky, N. G. C. ; Alex. Walters, Indiana,
N. G. M.
1880 F. D. Morton, Indiana, N. G. M. ; C. H. Tandy,
Missouri, D. N. G. M. ; H. Fitzbutler, Kentucky, N. G. S.;
W. H. Mitchell, Texas, A. N. G. S. ; J. W. Hillman, Ken
tucky, N. G. T. ; N. S. Baxter, Kentucky, N. G. L.
1882 F. D. Morton, Indiana, N. G. M. ; C. H. Tandy,
Missouri, D. N. G. M. ; Dr. H. Fitzbutler, Kentucky, N.
G. S. (Minutes lost.)
1884 W. H. Lawson, Kentucky, N. G. M. ; C. H.
Tandy, Missouri, D. N. G. M. ; M. T. White, Texas, S. G..
110 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
D. ; F. C. Long, Texas, N. G. S. ; J. T. Turner, Tennes
see, A. N. G. S. ; Win. Porter, Tennessee, N. G. T.
1886 R. G. Collins, Texas, N. G. M. ; Dr. W. A.
Burney, Indiana, D. N. G. M. ; A. B. Moore, Missouri, N.
G. S. ; W. A. Gains, Kentucky, A. N. G. S. ; Wm. Porter,
Tennessee, N. G. T.
1888 W. T. Peyton, Kentucky, N. G. M. ; Wm. Porter,
Tennessee, D. N. G. M. ; W. N. Brent, Missouri, N. G. S. ;
J. T. Turner, Tennessee, A. N. G. S. ; D. A. Robinson,
Arkansas, N. G. T.
1891 Dr. W. T. Peyton, Kentucky, N. G. M. ; Morgan
T. White, Texas, D. N. G. M. ; W. N. Brent, Missouri, N.
G. S. ; J. T. Turner, Tennessee, A. N. G. S. ; D. A. Rob
inson, Arkansas, N. G. T. ; A. J. DeHart, Ohio, N. G. O. ;
W. O. Vance, Indiana, N. G. L.
1894 W. N. Brent, Missouri, N. G. M. ; W. H. Leon
ard, Kentucky, D. N. G. M. ; W. F. Gross, Texas, N. G.
S. ; Jordan Chavis, Illinois, A. N. G. S. ; Dr. W. A. Bur
ney, Indiana, N. G. T.
GRAND LODGES ORGANIZED.
State Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Ar
kansas, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana.
Territorial Mississippi, Kansas, Alabama, Pennsylvania,
New York, Colorado, California, Indian Territory, Canada,
West Indies, Africa, Washington, D. C.
LIST OF CAMPS.
Kentucky. Wm. Lloyd Garrison No. i, Louisville; Belle
No. 2, Louisville; Douglas No. 3, Frankfort; Franklin No.
4, Georgetown; Israel No. 5, Henderson; David No. 6,
Covington; Woodfolk No. 7, Owensboro; Smith No. 8,
SECOND EPOCH. Ill
Maysville ; Logan No. 9, Lexington; Golden Eagle No. n,
Winchester; Gains No. 17, Cynthiana; Taylor No. 18,
Paris; Franklin, Germantown ; Napoleon No. 19, Mt.
Sterling; Excelsior No. 22, Paducah ; Pride of Kentucky
No. 23, Louisville; Rob. B. Elliott, No. 24, Richmond;
Maynard, No. 28, Danville ; Morning Star, No. 29, Bowl
ing Green ; St. Joseph No. 30, Russellville ; Reindeer No.
Arkansas. Garrison No. i, Little Rock; Good Samari
tan No. 2, Argenta; David No. 3, Texarkana.
Tennessee. Morris Henderson No. i, Memphis; Jackson
No. 2, Jackson; Hill No. 3, Nashville; Blazing Star No. 4,
Indiana. Carthagenia No. i, Jeffersonville ; Quinn No.
3, Indianapolis; Pride No. 4, Indianapolis.
Missouri. St. Marks No. i, St. Louis; Evening Star
No. 4, Hannibal; Mound City No. 5, St. Louis.
Louisiana. Dunn No. i, Shreveport; A. Lincoln No. 2,
Texas. Todd No. i, Galveston.
Ohio. Belle No. i, Cincinnati; Olive No. 4, Cincinnati;
A. J. DeHart No. 5, Cincinnati, consolidated with Olive;
Garfield No. 6, Madisonville.
Illinois. McCullom No. 2, Chicago; Chas. Sumner No.
NATIONAL GRAND CAMP OFFICERS.
Bryant Luster, N. K. C., 109 W. Fourth Street, Little
Rock, Ark. ; J. H. Ayres, N. K. C., Cincinnati, O. ; H. J.
Brent, J. K. C., Winchester, Ky. ; W. H. Butler, N. K. R.,
3510 Cozens Avenue, St. Louis, Mo.; J. Thomas Turner,
N. A. K. R., Memphis, Term.; E. W. Chenault, N. K.
112 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
W., Lexington, Ky. ; W. H. Brown, N. C. O. G., Mem
phis, Tenn. ; R. M. Hammonds. N. K. D., Little Rock,
Ark.; D. L. Simms, N. K. G., Louisville, Ky. ; W. H.
Price, ist N. G., Cincinnati, O. ; G. E. Thompson, 26. N.
K. G., Lexington, Ky.
Trustees W. H. Gibson, Sr., P. N. K. C., Louisville,
Ky. ; Wm. Porter, P. N. K. C., Memphis, Tenn. ; W. L.
Johnson, P. N. K. C., Louisville, Ky.
THE GOOD AND EVIL TENDENCIES OF SOCIETIES.
A great many things have been said and published about
the evil tendencies of societies, and we must admit that some
of the objections and criticisms are true, but by a careful ex
amination it will be seen that the good far excels the evil.
Let us enumerate some of the evils. The late hours of meet
ing is criticised because men and women are kept out too
late at night. Our laws specify the time of meeting and ad
journment. The answer in many cases to this breach of law
should be condoned, from the fact that our people, in many
instances, among the males, are teamsters and laborers of
various kinds, and are compelled to finish up their day s
work before they can return to their homes to prepare for
lodge meetings ; and it is a fact, that in a majority of cases,
the colored laborer is required to work more hours than his
white co-laborer. Females are under the same ban. It is
claimed by some that the churches are injured by our orders
and societies ; members fail to perform their church vows,
and the society is esteemed higher than the church. This
should not be so. The Church of God should be held and
appreciated above all other things of human inventions.
4 Pay thy vows to the most high," says the Good Book.
The benevolent orders receive their teachings of benevolence
MRS. S. E. FOSTER,
L. B. NELSON,
SECOND EPOCH. 113
from the church ; the church is the foundation of every good
work. The orders and societies receive moralists into their
ranks, while the church laws and canons require a spiritual
confession commensurate with the teachings of the gospel of
Christ. Our Sunday funerals are condemned and severely
criticised by some. We would have that part of our cere
monies moderated or curtailed, if possible. Our Sunday
funerals, attended with bands of music, draw crowds of
toughs and the scum of the cities following them, making
our sad movement to the grave a day of merriment and
mirth for those inconsiderate hoodlums. If we must bury
our deceased on Sunday, let it be done quietly and without
The good deeds of the United Brothers of Friendship
are enumerated as follows :
For thirty-six years they have been administering to the
sick and burying the dead.
For thirty-six years contributing to the wants of widows
For twenty-one years united a National and International
organization, gathering in thousands who heretofore were
destitute of the benefits that this Order confers.
For twenty-one years bringing into close alliance the in
telligence and superior ability of our race.
For twenty-one years acquiring real estate and homes for
the benefit of the Order, thereby giving it prestige and re
spectability among the communities wherever organized.
And lastly, contributing for the financial claims of its
membership several millions of dollars, a record that any
Negro order might will be proud of.
114 UNITED BROTHERS OF FRIENDSHIP.
Having been requested to publish the history of our Order,
giving the origin and names of its founders, and the general
progress up to date, we have assumed the task which we
hope will be a help to those seeking this knowledge, and put
to rest many erroneous ideas in reference to its founders.
We have given a more eleborate account of Kentucky, the
Mother State, from the fact that we were here, and an eye
witness to many statements that we have made.
Respectfully submitted in J., M., T.,
W. H. GIBSON, SR.
W. H. GIBSON, SR
FIFTY YEARS EXPERIENCE AND A PARTICIPANT IN THE JOYS AND
SORROWS OF HIS PEOPLE,
FROM THE YEAR 1847 TO 1897.
SCENES AND REMINISCENCES BEFORE THE REBELLION, AND
MANY INTERESTING AND THRILLING NARRATIVES
DURING AND SINCE THAT MEMORABLE
HON. FRED. DOUGLASS.
W. II. GIBSON, SR.
P. N. G. M.
PROGRESS OF THE COLORED RACE,
AS NOTED BY THE WRITER DURING A PERIOD OF FIFTY YEARS.
Born and reared in the city of Baltimore, Md., and edu
cated in the select schools of those days, also receiving the
private instructions of the Rev. Benjamin Kurtz, D. D., a
Lutheran divine, and the Rt. Rev. D. A. Payne, D. D.,
Bishop of the African Methodist Church, the writer, at an early
age, manifested a desire to travel West. An opportunity pre
sented itself in June, 1847. r l" ne Rev. James Harper, of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, who then had charge of
the Fourth-street Colored Methodist Church, located on the
corner of Fourth Avenue and Green Street, made applica
tion for a teacher to come to Louisville and locate, as there
was a field of labor for such an one if desirous of benefiting his
race. After mature consideration I accepted the invitation,
and bade farewell to kindred and friends for "My Old
I arrived at Louisville, Ky. , June 21, 1847, after one
week s journey across the Alleghany Mountains by the Na
tional Road route in stages, the forerunner of the "iron
horse," changing horses every ten miles., and viewing the
4 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
picturesque scenery that had presented itself to the millions
of travelers who had gone this way before me. This scene
caused my imagination to reach out in wonder and amaze
ment at the great and stupendous work of nature, and the
possibility of these rocks and mountains fleeing away at the
final consummation of all things.
Arriving at Pittsburg, the head of navigation, I took a
steamer for Cincinnati, O. I was several days on the beau
tiful Ohio, and witnessed scenes that interested me very
much. The coal mines on either side of the river, and the
palatial steamers and barges heavily laden with products for
the South, were my first lessons in this panoramic view.
Upon arriving at Cincinnati I was kindly received at the
residence of Mr. and Mrs. Crisup, mother and father of
Mrs. Eliza Gordon, wife of the noted coal merchant. I
visited Mr. and Mrs. Clark, the former a prominent barber
in Cincinnati. Mrs. Clark, in later years, became the wife
of Bishop D. A. Payne.
Upon arriving in Louisville I was kindly received by the
officers and members of the Fourth-street Church, whose
guest I was, viz. : R. M. Lane, David Straus, Wm. Butcher,
Levi Evans, Frederick Myers, Anthony Frazier, Walker
Wade, Caleb Christopher, Nathan Hardin, and N. B. Rog
ers. In addition to these, the citizens, generally, gave me a
Robt. M. Lane taught school on East Street, between
Walnut and Chestnut. He was originally from Ohio. I
associated myself with him for six months. In January,
1848, I opened a school in the basement of the Fourth -street
M. E. Church, situated at the corner of Fourth and Green
streets. This move attracted considerable attention, from
the fact that the locality was in the heart of the city.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 5
The theater was on the southeast corner, and the negro
church and day school on the opposite corner. I was ad
vised by some persons not to open the school there, as it
would be closed by the city authorities. For a few days we
changed front, and occupied a small church on Center
Street, in the rear of the Fifth-street Baptist Church. It
was occupied by the Presbyterians, Rev. Bowman, pastor;
but through the indefatigable efforts of Rev. James Harper
and his white friends we were permitted to teach the school
at the church on Fourth and Green streets, with instructions
to teach no slaves without a written permit from their master
or mistress. Of these permits we had hundreds on file ; for
amid the strictures of the laws and prejudices of the slave
holders to negroes learning to read and write, there were
other Christians (white) who did not object, and would give
STIRRING SCENES WITH THE CONGREGATION OF THE FOURTH
STREET METHODIST CHURCH AND THEIR PASTOR.
The writer, being a member of said church at the time of
this occurrence, will give a sketch of its history.
Fourth Street Colored Methodist Church (now Asbury
Chapel) has a history that no other colored church, perhaps,
has passed through in this State. The property was pur
chased in 1845, at Chancery Court sale. The congregation
was under the immediate control of the Methodist Episco
pal Church South. Colored, ministers were appointed over
colored congregations, with white presiding elders. Trustees
of colored churches were white men ; also many class leaders
were white men. At the chancery sale a question was asked
the judge, if free colored men could not hold property in
trust for colored congregations? He answered, "Yes, if
6 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
they were free." They informed him that they would prefer
colored trustees. He said if they would produce five col
ored men he would appoint them. The following names
were presented to the court : R. M. Lane, Wm. Butcher,
Levi Evans, James Harper, and David Straus. The next
important point was the drawing up of the deed, which was
peculiarly drawn. A clause read, " Deeded to the Colored
Methodists of Louisville, Ky. , and their successors forever;"
a clause that has given much trouble, both to the white wing
of the Methodist Church and the African M. E. Church.
After the division of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in
1844, into North and South Methodists, on account of slavery,
a large number of colored members were anxious to leave
the Southern branch, but as their property was deeded to and
held by the white trustees, they could not see their way clear
to withdraw without leaving their property, which they did
not wish to do. The congregation at Fourth Street was the
only party prepared to enter the conflict for church freedom
from the slaveholding power, and the peculiarity of the deed
gave them this advantage.
In the fall of 1848 the African M. E. Church Conference
met at Madison, Indiana.
Resolutions were passed by the officers and members of
the Fourth-street Methodist Church to sever their connection
from the white Southern Methodist Church and apply for
membership in the African M. E. connection. A committee
was appointed to meet in conference, viz. : Frederick Myers,
Robert Lane, and Wm. Butcher, to present the resolutions
asking for admission. They were received by the confer
ence, Bishop Quinn presiding, and the officers and members
received into full connection. Rev. James Harper was ap
pointed elder in charge for the conference year. This bold
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 7
secession, by a Negro church, in the heart of slavery, in the
very city where the division of the North and South Church
took place, and only a square from the locality of that
memorable event of 1845, which shook the Christian de
nominations of this country from center to circumference,
was a striking coincident.
The news created a sensation in Methodist circles. The
white masters met and considered the matter, and then con
cluded that if the negroes wished to join the A. M. E. congre
gation that they could do so, but they would retain the prop
erty for those who would be willing to remain in the Church
South. So they preferred a charge against the leader of the
movement, the Rev. James Harper, for rebellion, and cited
him for trial. The writer was present when the summons
was served on him. He refused to attend, stating that he
was no longer a member of that church. However, they
proceeded with the trial and expelled him from the church.
On the following Sunday, the officers of the white South
ern Church met the colored congregation at 3 o clock p. M.
for the purpose of reorganizing with those of the congrega
tion who wished to remain in the Church South.
The pastor, Rev. James Harper, made a strong defense
against their action. An eminent judge was employed to be
present and witness the proceedings. He called their atten
tion to the clause in the deed, reading as follows: To the
Colored Methodists of Louisville, Ky. , and their successors
forever." He claimed that they had no business there, and
would enter suit against them for disturbing religious wor
ship, for they were not colored Methodists. The pulpit
scene was graphic. The white presiding elder ascended the
pulpit; also the colored elder. One seized the Bible and the
other the hymn-book.
8 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
The colored brother read "Jesus, Great Shepherd of the
Sheep, to Thee for help we fly," etc., which was sung with
great power by the vast congregation. He prayed -such a
prayer as only he could pray, with responses from all the
members over the house. At the close, the white elder an
nounced his text: "Servants, be obedient to your masters."
The argument was unheeded, for they had concluded to
come out of Egypt, though Pharaoh and his host pursued
them. The matter was settled in the court; the decision
sustained the colored congregation as the legal owners of the
This was the first victory gained in the State of Kentucky
by a colored congregation withdrawing and taking the prop
erty with them, though it has given a precedent for several
others in this and other States to make the effort. Several
have been successful in this State since the war, and the free
dom of the race declared.
For some time this event was a matter of rejoicing among
the colored people. A grand reception was given Bishop
Paul Quinn on his first visit after this accession to the A. M.
E. Church. The parsonage of the Rev. James Harper (ad
joining the church) was the scene of a great jubilee by the
clergy of the city and vicinity.
SALE OF PROPERTY AND SPLIT IN THE CONGREGATION.
The preceding events moved on smoothly until the fol
lowing fall. The location of the church was an enviable
one, in a business point of view, and was coveted by the
white Masonic fraternity. It was joining property on which
they wished to build a magnificent temple and theatre, ex
tending the entire block. They sent a committee to the
pastor and trustees with a proposition to purchase the church
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 9
property. Several conferences were held, and finally an
agreement was made by the trustees to sell the property.
The agreement read as follows: "That the Masonic fra
ternity agrees to purchase the property and build another
church in lieu of the present structure. They agreed to
locate the property within a certain boundary, viz.: not
farther east than First Street, nor farther west than Seventh
Street, nor farther south than Broadway, nor farther north
than Market. Several months elapsed before a location was
found, for the prejudice was so great against Negro churches
in white settlements that when they learned for what purpose
the property was wanted there would be an objection raised by
the entire neighborhood. Finally the committee concluded
to go beyond the boundary for a site. This resolution was
not satisfactory to all concerned; yet the trustees consented,
and a split or division in the church was the result. The
first proposition to sell was drawn up under the administra
tion of Rev. James Harper, but the succeeding conference
removed him to New Orleans, La. Rev. Hiram R. Revels
succeeded him, and under his administration the contract or
first proposition was annulled.
Harper returned to Louisville in the spring of 1849.
The dissatisfied parties met him and related their objections
to the deal. They had several interviews with him, which
caused the minister in charge of the congregation (Rev. H.
R. Revels) to charge Harper with causing a disturbance
in his congregation. A committee of elders was called;
Harper was tried, expelled from the connection, and pub
lished in the papers as a refractory preacher.
Harper called his forces together and established an inde
pendent church. Each party were renting. The building
was not completed during these troubles; but when it was
10 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
each party claimed it. So bitter was the feeling, that when
the cape-stone, with the name of the building inscribed upon
it, was put up, the opposition took it down and broke it in
pieces. When the church was completed, a lawsuit was
entered for possession, and an injunction was granted against
the African M. E. Church until the court decided the right
of possession. The same argument was used in this case as
in the suit with the white Southern Methodist Church; that
the church belonged to the Colored Methodists of Louisville
and their successors, and not to the African M. E. Church.
The lower court so decided in favor of the Harper party.
An appeal was taken to the Court of Appeals at Frankfort,
Ky. The opinion of the lower court was sustained, so far as
the deed was concerned, but as the minister, officers,
and members had joined the A. M. E. Church under a
protectorate, and subjected themselves to the appointing
power of the Bishop, therefore the A. M. E. Church Con
ference had sole control of the congregation, without the
change of deed, and that Rev. James Harper must vacate.
The litigation continued for several years, and a considerable
amount was expended for court and lawyers fees. Harper
vacated, rented a vacant church on the next block, and had
considerable following for awhile, but the congregation be
came dissatisfied and he removed to Baltimore, Md. His flock
scattered and sought membership in the various churches of
the city. So ended an unfortunate occurrence in the history
of the A. M. E. Church in this city.
The officers and members of the A. M. E. Church took
possession, and Rev. Frederick Myers was appointed in
charge. He was succeeded by some of the ablest ministers
of the connection, such as Rev. B. L. Brooks, Rev. F. Car
ter, Rev. J. M. Brown, Rev. John Mitchell, Rev. Knight,
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. II
and others. Under their administration the church pros
pered. In 1872 the church was remodeled by the Rev. J.
C. Waters. A heavy debt accrued, the contractor sued on
the notes, and a long litigation ensued. During these troubles
the church burned down (supposed by an incendiary). It
was not insured and remained without a roof for many years.
Rev. Bartlett Taylor succeeded in rebuilding it, but for years
it seemed a drag on the connection, with forty years of
trouble and not yet released. The deed seems to be the
great stumbling-block in the way. The trustees give con
siderable trouble to the pastors, it is said, with few excep
tions, who are sent there by the appointing power.
HISTORY OF THE MOTHER A. M. E. CHURCH QUINN CHAPEL.
The first African Methodist Church was planted in Louis
ville, in the State of Kentucky, then a missionary point, in
1840, by that venerable centenarian, Rev. Father David
Smith, the members assembling from house to house, until a
room over a stable on Main Street was obtained, and a con
gregation formed to worship in the name of Bethel A. M. E.
Church. It has grown to be the leading church of the con
nection in this State, and has been pastored by the most
distinguished ministers in the A. M. E. connection, notable
among them being the Revs. M. M. Clark, Dr. W. R.
Revels, Hiram Revels, Dr. G. H. Graham, H. J. Young, J.
W. Asbury, J. Gazaway, O. P. Ross, Dr. B. F. Porter, Dr.
Abbey, Dr. Evans Tyree, and many others of distinction.
In the early days of its organization it was considered by
the community as an abolition church, which carried with it
a stigma to deter the slaves of this community from associa
tion and affiliation with its members. The idea of an aboli
tion church established in this city among slaves could not
12 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
be tolerated by some slaveholders; hence they forbade their
slaves visiting that Free Negro Church (as it was styled),
though a few of their servants would attend. One member
of the family of a slave-trader joined the church and attended
regularly, and this trader had a pen in the city filled with
slaves for the Southern market.
Locations From the stable on Main Street to a frame on
the corner of Eighth and Green streets, from there to Ninth
and Walnut streets.
In 1854, from a little frame building was erected the
present brick. The ground was purchased by the money
raised by the efforts of George W. Johnson, Rev. Byrd Par
ker, and Rev. John A. Warren. The latter paid the last in
stallment and lifted the mortgage. The brick building was
one of the strong efforts of Willis R. Revels, who canvassed
Indiana, Ohio, and portions of the East to raise money to
meet the payments on the building. The Quaker Friends of
Indiana gave liberally towards the building. They were so
anxious to know that the money was being properly used,
that at times they sent a committee to investigate. The de
sire of the Quaker Friends for the education of our race
caused Dr. Revels to promise them that a school would be
connected with the church for educational purposes, and for
this reason they gave more readily.
The foundation of the new edifice was laid with some
forebodings. The day appointed for digging the foundation
was one of interest, as certain parties living on the same
block had declared that a negro church should not be erected
there a nuisance to the neighborhood but the people of
God prayed that the work might go on in spite of every op
position, and God heard their prayers. Friends among the
white people aided them, and the ceremonies were performed.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 13
Rev. Levi Evans, who is yet alive, dug the first spade of dirt.
The brick work of Quinn Chapel was performed by colored
bricklayers from Lexington, Ky., Col. Bayless, a boss brick
layer, superintending the work. The building was covered
in, and the congregation worshiped in the basement for four
years. The basement was dedicated by the late Bishop D.
A. Payne (then Dr. Payne). Aaron M. Parker was the ap
pointed pastor. A school was opened in the basement by
W. H. Gibson, free and slave children taught slaves by
written permits. The Quaker Friends visited the school and
inspected the work, to see that their donations were appro
priately applied. In 1858, Rev. Willis Miles, of New Or
leans, La., was appointed. He was a very affable and lov
ing pastor. After his induction into the pastorate his anxiety
was to complete the church and move up into the auditorium.
He called together the officers, members, and teachers of the
Sunday-school, and they, with the pastor, mapped out a plan
for the completion of the building. The young people of
the church and their friends organized a literary society
known as the Chapel Relief, whose object was to discuss
questions pertaining to our interest and the general improve
ment of the mind. Dr. W. R. Revels was the organizer of
this society. Its influence was felt throughout the city, and
by its members a large amount was raised towards meeting the
large debts that had accumulated during the progress of the
work and the completion of the building. At the adjourn
ing of the Annual Conference the dedicatory services were
performed by Bishops Quinn and Payne, Revs. W. R. Rev
els, J. M. Brown, John Turner, Willis Miles, and others.
The following is the roster of Quinn Chapel, A. M. E.
Church, by succession :
First missionary, Rev. David Smith, the centenarian; first
14 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
pastor, Rev. Geo. W. Johnson; Revs. Byrd Parker, W. R.
Revels, H. R. Revels, Israel Cole, John Morgan, Emanuel
Wilkerson, John A. Warren, Aaron M. Parker, Willis Miles,
John Turner, Page Tyler, Liberty Ross, Austin Woolfork,
B. L. Brooks, Thos. Strother, Dr. M. M. Clark, Richard
Bridges, H. R. Revels, Henry J. Young, Grafton H. Gra
ham, John Asbury, John Gazaway, T. B. Caldwell, O. P.
Ross, Dr. B. F. Porter, Levi Evans, Dr. J. Abbey, and Dr.
The Center-street Church is the oldest colored Methodist
Church in this city, and like all other colored Methodist
churches before the war was under the ecclesiastical control
of the Southern Methodist Episcopal Church. During the war,
in the sixties, the members of this church applied and was re
ceived into the Zion A. M. E. Church, and continued in said
church for several years without a change or transfer of the
deed of property to said Zion A. M. E. Church. An effort
was made to secure a change in the deed by Peter Lewis,
Jackson Burkes, and other officers and members of Zion A.
M. E. Church, but failed, from the fact that a large number
of its members were opposed to changing their relations to
the white Southern Methodist Episcopal Church. This party
was led by Rev. W. H. Miles and others. Miles afterwards
On the loth of May, 1870, the Methodist Church South,
in a meeting of the General Conference, passed a series of
resolutions with reference to the religious interest of the
colored people, who were then under the control of that
One resolution reads as follows : "That the action of the
last General Conference in reference to an ultimate organiza-
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. I 5
tion of the colored people of the Methodist Episcopal Church
South into a separate church is complete, and therefore no
additional legislation is necessary to the end intended.
"Further, That we fully approve the purpose of the Bishops,
as expressed in their address to this Conference, at an early
day to call a general conference for our colored members to
organize them into a separate church, as provided in the dis
Further, That all trustees now holding church property
for the use of our colored membership be instructed to make
title to said property to the properly constituted trustees of
the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church South, according
to the discipline of said church when organized."
The following resolution has caused considerable litiga
tion among the colored bodies:
" WHEREAS, Application has been made by certain parties
for the transfer of the title to the property belonging to the
Methodist Church South to congregations who have with
drawn from our communion; and, whereas, we regard the
property conveyed to our trustees, for the use of the colored
congregations of our church, a sacred trust to be held for
"Resolved, That it is the settled conviction of this body
that the Methodist Episcopal Church South has neither the
legal nor moral right to transfer any property thus held to
those who have withdrawn from our church. That we com
mend the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church South, when
formed, to the warmest sympathies, earnest prayers, and sup
port of people of the South."
The Colored Church South was organized under these
resolutions, and the members of Center-street Church of
Louisville became a part of that general organization.
l6 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
Being inspired by these resolutions from the General Con
ference, the trustees, viz.: Washington Watson, Joshua Tevis,
Jackson Pitman, Moses Bradley, and others, of Center-street
Church, instituted suit March 22, 1871, against the trustees
of Jackson-street Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, of
Louisville, Ky. , for the possession of their property, claim
ing that it was also deeded and held in trust for those adher
ing to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The suit was
defended by the trustees of Jackson-street Church, viz.: Joel
Bradshaw, Alexander Means, George Butler, Wm. Evans,
Green Thomas, and others. Hon. J. M. Harlan (now Judge
of the Supreme Court at Washington, D. C.), was counsel
Judge Harlan, in his concluding remarks, said : * That the
appellants do not sue in the capacity of trustees of that
general church organization, composed of many local so
cieties, but in their capacity as trustees of the Center-street
Church. By what authority does that particular local society
claim the exclusive benefit of the order of May 10, 1870?
There is nothing in the discipline of the Colored Church
South, nor has any action been taken by that organization
conferring upon the Center-street Church the exclusive right
to sue for the property in controversy. Any other local
society of the Colored Church South has an equal right to
claim the benefit of the order of May 10, 1870.
11 If, therefore, the order is valid for any purpose, the party
to sue is the general organization, known and described in
that order as The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church
South, and not any one of the local societies.
" Upon the whole case, this court can not hesitate to affirm
the decree below. "JOHN M. HARLAN,
"Attorney for Appellees, Bradshaw, et aL
^LOUISVILLE, KY., Sept. i, 1874."
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 1 7
Thus ended this famous suit of three years and six months
in favor of the trustees of Jackson-street Church.
Like her sister Methodist churches, she, too, had her bit
ters with her sweets, in her early history. She was guided
and pastored by the Rev. George Holland and Rev. Thomas,
under whose Christian ministry many were added to the
church. After the war, in 1870, they passed through a fiery
ordeal, by the attempt of the trustees of the Colored Metho
dist Church South suing for their property, in order that
they might hold it in trust for those that might desire to re
main in said southern connection. To meet this litigation,
they employed an eminent jurist, Hon. Judge Harlan, who
defended them and gained the vexatious suit. Since then,
they have been pastored by some of the most eloquent
divines of the Methodist Episcopal Church (North), among
them being E. W. S. Hammond, Marshall Taylor, Dr. L. M.
Hagood, and J. H. Stanley.
The principal Baptist churches during the forties and
fifties were the Fifth-street Baptist Church and the Green-
street Baptist Church. Rev. Henry Adams, pastor of the
Fifth-street Baptist Church, was, in his day, a very popular
minister and a devout Christian. His congregation was large
and imposing. He was also a revivalist; for weeks, and
some times for months, his church was crowded with anxious
seekers for redemption in Christ. He pastored that church
for thirty-five or forty years, except for a short interval dur
ing the fifties he was called to Cincinnati to pastor Baker-street
Baptist Church, which was the leading church of that city.
1 8 PUHLIC CAREER OF VV. H. GIKSON, SR.
The sentiment of that church was strongly anti-slavery, and
many of its members were connected with the Under-ground
Railroad. Politics was discussed and prayer-meetings held
for the liberation of the slaves. Bro. Adams was not ac
customed to mixing politics and religion ; hence there was a
divergence of opinion. He resigned and returned to his old
flock at Louisville. During his absence Rev. Campbell was
pastor of the congregation. Rev. Adams died in 1872, his
remains being rested in the white Baptist Church, Fourth and
Walnut streets a distinction that had not been tendered any
other colored pastor of this State. Rev. Andrew Heath, who
had been for several years assistant pastor to Rev. Henry
Adams, was elected to fill the pulpit of the Fifth-street
Baptist Church. A more devout Christian gentleman could
not have been selected for the position. He was beloved by
his congregation, and all who came in contact with Bro. An
drew Heath admired him as a minister and a gentleman.
We were personally acquainted with him for many years,
and sat up with him during his illness. He was a brother
Green-Street Baptist Church In the early forties the Rev.
George Wells was pastor of that congregation. He was a
very pious man and much beloved by his congregation. After
his death several ministers officiated, until a regular pastor
was chosen. Rev. Sneathen was called to Green-street Bap
tist Church. He was a fearless leader among the people,
and a good church governor. The large brick edifice was
built under his administration. He increased the congrega
tion by his popularity. He died in the seventies, and his
funeral was largely attended. Dr. Gaddy, successor to Elder
Sneathen, is one of the leading Baptist ministers of the South,
and a graduate of the State University. His sermons are
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 19
always interesting, and he is beloved by his congregation.
He has also improved apd beautified Green-street Church
during his administration, and it is a very popular church
among the denominations.
York-street Baptist ChurcJi This church was, in early days,
occupied as a place of worship by the Fifth-street Congrega
tion, Rev. H. Adams, pastor. It was then considered in
the woods. After the Fifth-street Congregation moved into
the heart of the city it was abandoned for years, until the
Rev. W. W. Taylor occupied it. The Fifth-street Congrega
tion claimed it and there was some litigation in regard to it.
Rev. W. W. Taylor held possession until his death. A se
rious accident happened there in 1870, during a protracted
meeting. The lower floor and gallery being crowded, it was
thought that the pillars were giving away and a panic fol
lowed. A rush was made for the stairway, others jumped out
of windows, and the result was eleven persons were killed.
The church has been remodeled and now in charge of Rev.
Parrish. a very excellent and learned divine, and President
of the Exstein-Norton Seminary. This church is now called
the Calvary Baptist Church.
These churches mentioned were the old churches before
the war, during the dark days of slavery. Since the close
of the war a new era has dawned, and we have a large ad
dition to our church properties and congregations.
There was a small congregation of colored Presbyterians
in Louisville in 1847, R CV - Jeremiah Bowman, minister. It
was located on Center Street, between Walnut and Chestnut.
It was not very prosperous. The pastor resigned and joined
the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Several attempts
20 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
were made to establish a church of this denomination, but
its adherents worshiped with the white congregations, until
Andrew Ferguson, a wealthy colored citizen, bequeathed to
them a church with a complete outfit, and bore the chief ex
penses of the church, as the congregation was very small.
At his death he willed to his relatives, church, and Orphan s
Home, as follows : $1,000 and a city lot to each of his three
grandchildren; $500 to his pastor, Rev. S. W. Parr; $100
to St. James Old Folks Home, $100 to the Colored Orphans
Home, and $200 to Knox Presbyterian Church. We were
personally acquainted with Mr. Ferguson. He was truly a
Christian gentleman and a philanthropist.
For years the Hancock-street Christian Church has been
pastored by some of the most talented ministers of that de
nomination, among them being Revs. Robinson and Dr.
Rufus Conrad, deceased. Lately a missionary branch has
been organized in the western part of the city by the Rev.
ST. MARK S COLORED MISSION EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
This church was established in the year 1867, also a High
School, Feb. n, 1867, on Green Street, near Ninth. The
ceremonies attending the High School opening for colored
youths were under the auspices of the Protestant Episcopal
Church of the Diocese of Kentucky. The school was under
the immediate supervision of Rev. Joseph S. Atwell, rector
of St. Mark s Church. He was ordained at St. Paul s Church,
in this city, by Bishop Smith. The teacher of the school
was Miss Cornelia A. Jennings, who resigned the tutorship
of a school in Philadelphia to take charge of this one. She
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 21
brought from the various officials of that city the very highest
testimonials as to her qualifications and previous success in
teaching. As a graduate of the Philadelphia Institute she
was awarded the Latin prize for the class of 1860, and had
since been unusually successful as the principal of a school.
The ceremonies were opened with religious services by the
rector, and speeches by distinguished friends of education
among our people. The Hon. James Speed, Attorney-Gen
eral to President Lincoln, was among them and gave words
This mission church and school continued for several
years. Rev. Atwell and Miss Jennings married and resigned.
Prof. D. A. Straker and a young lady assistant succeeded
them. They continued church and school for some time,
but finally closed and located in Washington, D. C. Another
location was obtained for the mission, donated by Dr. Norton,
on Madison Street, between Ninth and Tenth ; Rector John
Cook (white) had charge, under Bishop Dudley. The school
was taught by Miss Cornelia Roxborough and Mr. Wilson,
and improved in numbers. A third location was purchased,
through the influence of Bishop Dudley a large brick church
(formerly the property of the Presbyterians). In thirty years,
through a hard struggle, they have a large congregation.
Rev. Brown, of New York, is the present rector.
The friends of St. Mark s Episcopal Church being desi
rous of helping that mission, offered their services to Miss
Jennings to assist her in a concert to be given in New Al
bany, Ind. A hall was obtained and the date announced
through the papers and hand-bills. The writer was selected
as manager, Miss Jennings and Mrs. M. V. Smith, soloist
and pianist, assisted by W. H. Gibson, Jr. The audience
had assembled and the concert in full blast, when the sheriff
22 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
of the county appeared and demanded our license. We had
none. We stated it was a church concert. He stated that
it made no difference ; we must pay or shut up. We paid
the license, as there seemed to be no other remedy; but it
left us a very small margin for the mission. Our next con
cert was on this side of the river, where church concerts pay
no license, and we had success.
COLORED ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
This church was erected on the site of the Old Soldiers
Barracks and Hospital, Broadway and Fifteenth Street. By
the solicitation of a number of colored Catholics, Bishop
Spalding, who then had charge of this diocese, employed me
to instruct the first colored choir of jthe church at $25 per
month. I performed that duty until I found that it would
conflict with other duties in my church, then resigned. Mrs.
M. V. Smith and W. H. Gibson, Jr., were my successors
until they obtained a teacher of their own denomination.
The membership has increased rapidly, and they have a large
denominational day school attached, conducted on Catholic
LEADING CHURCHES AND PASTORS.
Quinn Chapel A. M. E. Church Rev. E. Tyree, M. D.
Asbury Chapel A. M. E. Church Rev. Jackson.
St. James Chapel A. M. E. Church Rev. Certain.
Young s Chapel A. M. E. Church Rev. Dent.
Twelfth-street Zion A. M. E. Church Rev. Seymour.
Fifteenth-street Zion A. M. E. Church Rev. Mason.
Jacob-street Tabernacle A. M. E. Church Rev. Jones.
Center-street C. M. E. Church Rev. Luckett.
Old Fort Missionary Chiwch
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 23
Independent Methodist Church Rev. Anderson.
Jackson-street Methodist Church Rev. Johnson.
Fifth-avenue Baptist Church Rev. J. Frank.
Green-street Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Gaddy.
Calvary Baptist Church Rev. Parrish.
Center-street Zion Church Rev. Craighead.
Gladstone Church Rev. Scott.
Lampton-street Church Rev. Bates.
Eleverith-street Mission (Christian) Rev. Robinson.
Hancock-street Christian Church
OUR SUNDAY-SCHOOL WORK.
This branch of the church received less opposition, from
a religious and literary point of view, than any other in
which the negro could be engaged. It was at the Sunday-
school gatherings that the Christians of the various white
congregations would come and engage in this work, teaching
the free and the slave to read the Bible, with Christian lec
tures, presentation of libraries, maps, and charts necessary
for ^such work. They considered this "Home Mission 1 the
heathen at their own door. This labor eliminated the stigma
of Abolitionist, and all who felt disposed could engage in this
noble and charitable work, in which we are proud to say
many Christian ladies and gentlemen of different denomina
tions joined in prosecuting.
The names that will be foremost in the memory of those
who attended these Sunday-school gatherings are Mr. and
Mrs. Bliss, and Mr. W. H. Bulkley and family. They spent
a lifetime in the interest of the colored Sunday-schools of our
city. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss are dead and gone to rest. Mr.
24 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
Bliss died recently in Cincinnati, O. Mr. Bulkley still lives,
but he is too aged to work, and has retired.
In the early part of the fifties, the officers of Quinn
Chapel, Asbury Chapel, Center-street and Jackson-street M.
E. churches organized a Union Singing-school for children,
to alternate from church to church, every Sunday afternoon.
The movement had a telling effect. " Music hath charms."
Parents and children came from every direction, until often
the churches could not seat the immense crowds. The sing
ing was conducted by the writer, at that time the only vocal
teacher of music for our children. It was conducted suc
cessfully until the breaking out of the Rebellion of 1861,
when it was closed.
THE COLORED ADVISORY SCHOOL BOARD.
At the opening of the Public Schools by the State, for the
education of colored children, it was thought advisable by
the white School Board, who were elective, to appoint a
number of colored citizens to act as an Advisory Board, be
ing better acquainted with the wants and conditions of their
people, visit the schools, recommend suitable teachers, see
to the comforts and locations of buildings, etc. These duties,
in conjunction with the white board, worked well for a time,
but, unfortunately for us, we are so apt to carry our church
or denominational views into every general enterprise that
interests the whole people, that failure generally results. This
Advisory Board was attacked by a number of citizens meet
ings being called and a petition signed and addressed to the
white board setting forth their grievances. We quote the
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 25
"As citizens, we do not desire to patronize denomina
tional schools, neither Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, or any
other. We desire to send our children to schools which are
free from the influence of any particular church or denomi
national influence. The remedy in this matter is quite
plain. If our schools are to be conducted in church interest,
let us have a man on the Advisory Board from each of our
colored churches, in both ends of the city. If they are to
take notice of the citizens in each ward, let us have a man
on the Advisory Board from each ward. If this can not be
done, then let the Advisory Board of the colored schools be
abolished, and let the white trustees, whom we helped to
elect, conduct the schools."
The petitioners succeeded in their efforts, and the col
ored board was abolished. Peace was secured by this
action, and our Public Schools are the pride of our citizen,
vicing with the best disciplined of any city in the country.
Profs. Maxwell, Williams, Perry, Mazeek, Taylor, McKinley,
Carter, and Miss L. N. Duvalle are the principals, with an
efficient corps of teachers.
PROMINENT LOUISVILLE MEN OF THE FORTIES AND FIFTIES,
AND THEIR BUSINESS.
Washington Spradling was the leading colored man in
business and the largest real estate holder. He was a bar
ber by trade, but he made his mark as a business man by
trading and brokerage, in connection with his shaving. His
mode of making money consisted in buying and leasing lots
in different parts of the city and building and moving frame
cottages upon those lots. He also built several brick busi
ness houses on Third Street. Mr. Spradling had many
peculiarities; his dress was very common, as he exhibited no
pride in that direction. He loved to converse on law, and,
though he was uneducated, was considered one of the best
26 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
lawyers to plan or prepare a case for the court. He was
very successful, and nearly every colored person who was in
trouble (more or less) first consulted Washington Spradling;
he selected the lawyer and prepared the case. He was sel
dom defeated, and, if so, he was sure to take an appeal.
His customers were the first judges and lawyers of the State,
and from long and constant contact with them he seemed to
have acquired their inspiration. He was a Methodist by
profession, being a member of the Jackson-street M. E.
Church. In the early history of that church it was called
Spradling s Church. He died in the year 1867 and his body
was rested in the Jackson-street church, Rev. Hiram Revels,
ex-Senator, preached the sermon. His wealth was esti
mated to be one hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars,
which was willed to his wife, children, and grandchildren.
His son, \Vm. Spradling, was his successor.
David Straws, a prominent barber and an honored citi
zen, was conspicuous among the colored citizens. He was
born a slave, but purchased his freedom, and by application
to business acquired some very good property, one piece
located on Sixth Street, an annex to the Louisville Hotel.
He was a prominent member of the Fourth-street M. E.
Church, and figured very prominently in the lawsuits against
the white Methodist South and the Harper split against the
African M. E. Church. He died in 1868 and willed his
property to his wife, May Straws.
Peter Lewis, George Sutton, and Willis Taylor were noted
colored painters of their day. Peter Lewis, at one time,
controlled the principal jobs of the city and employed many
hands and apprentices. He acquired some good property,
but lost it by security debts.
Cain Bazil, Jackson Burks, Moses Lawson, James Tate.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 27
and Green Stevens were engaged in merchandising, running
carpet and furnishing stores. They made comfortable liv
ings and acquired some property. James Tate is the only
one of this group that survives.
John and Berry Evans were noted boss carpenters.
Jesse Merriwether was a noted carpenter. He was born
a slave, but was freed by consenting to go to Africa, which
he did in 1847, remained one year, and returned and lived
and died here in sight of his liberators.
Bartlett Taylor was a noted butcher before the war. He
had a stall in one of our principal market-houses and did a
flourishing business. He was impressed and called to the
ministry, closed out business, and joined the itineracy of the
A. M. E. Church. He was successful in his labors and con
sidered the church-builder of the Kentucky Conference. He
is now numbered on the superannuated role, and has a com
Wm. Malone is a boss bricklayer and controls a large
Adam Nichols, J. Morand, and Chas. Logan are boss
mechanics, blacksmiths and wagon-makers.
C. B. Clay is a noted tailor on Broadway, and receives
Henry Cozzens was a prominent barber in the Louisville
Hotel, but changed his business to that of a confectioner.
His confectionery and ice cream saloon was the resort of the
elite among his people. For years the name of Cozzens
Saloon was known from New Orleans to Pittsburg. He was
also a great church man, and was in his glory when he had
the clergy as his guest.
John Morris, another noted barber, was a highly esteemed
citizen of Louisville, and acquired considerable property.
28 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
He was a very humane man and a Christian gentleman.
Alexander Morris, his nephew, succeeds him in business, is
highly respected, has held several important positions in the
Government service, and is chairman of the Centennial
Commission of the Colored Department of Kentucky at
Nashville, Tenn. His brothers, Shelton and Alexander,
were of the same profession tonsorial artists. Alexander
died in New Orleans, La., of yellow fever, in 1848. Shel
ton acquired considerable property in Louisville, but closed
out business and moved to Cincinnati, O., in the forties, be
ing accused of voting for Gen. Harrison for President;
from Cincinnati he moved to Xenia or Wilberforce, where
he engaged in farming. He died a few years ago, and left
a widow and several children to inherit his property. The
children and grandchildren occupy prominent positions in
Theodore Sterritt and Nathan B. Rogers, for many years
conspicuous as barbers at the old Gait House, with the
notable Major Throckmorton, were quiet and Christian
gentlemen. Rogers acquired considerable property, and
bequeathed it to his wife and children at his death, in 1891.
J. C. N. Fowles and Austin Hubbard were prominent
barbers. Hubbard died a few years ago.
Madison Smith conducted a stove manufactory and ac
quired considerable wealth. He closed business, moved to
Indiana, and engaged in farming, where he died. His
wife remained there, conducting the farm.
Green Smith was a leading plasterer, and employed a
number of hands and apprentices. Many of the fine build
ings of Louisville received the finishing stroke of his trowel.
Willis Talbot and brother, John Jordan, were first-class
carpenters. Willis was born -a slave, but acquired his free-
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 29
dom by his genius and skilled workmanship in wood. His
master, Dr. Johnson, took him to New York to examine the
fine buildings of that city, so that he could return and build
him a house from the designs that they had examined. He
was equal to the task and obtained his freedom. The build
ing in that day was considered one of the finest in the city.
He was noted as a great stair-builder, and he worked for the
leading contractors, until his age retired him from labor.
The Fox Brothers, J. H. Taylor, and Wm. Watson con
trolled the undertaking business. It was introduced by J. H.
Taylor in 1867. Mrs. Fox succeeded her husband and man
aged the business for many years. J. H. Taylor and Wm.
Watson now handle the business of the various societies,
churches, and the colored community generally.
George Brown and Daniel Clemmons were professional
caterers, and their establishment, during the war, was the
resort of noted generals and distinguished citizens. Their
menu was such as the most fastidious might crave.
Frank Gray and Thornton Thompson are noted caterers,
and they have acquired considerable property.
William Butcher, for upwards of thirty-five years, was with
the firm of Bradley & Gilbert. He was connected with the
office when Messrs. Bradley and Gilbert were apprentices,
and much of the knowledge they acquired of the printing
business was obtained under the tutelage of Mr. Butcher.
He remained with them up to the time of his death. He
was skilled as a pressman, working on the first Adams
presses that were shipped west of the Alleghany Mountains.
He occupied a prominent position among his people a
devout Christian and charitable to the poor and needy. He
was one of the first warranted members of Mt. Moriah
Lodge, held many posts of honor, and died in 1892. He
30 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
willed his property to his sister, at her death to be given to
Mt. Moriah Lodge, F. A. Masons.
SOCIETY AMONG THE FREE COLORED PEOPLE.
Among the harassing scenes that the system of slavery
produced, there were, at times, here and there, a few oases,
as it were, where the free people could assemble and rest
from the environments from which the peculiar situation
subjected them to during the forties and fifties.
The great highway between Pittsburg and New Orleans,
the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, on whose bosom floated the
palatial steamers loaded with the products of those valleys,
and giving employment to thousands of free colored men
and women, had its clouds and its sunshine. Often, when
arriving at New Orleans, the steward, or some one of his
crew, would be arrested for coming into the State in con
travention of the law. We have known men and women,
free born, who would choose some officer of the boat to act
as his master, in order to evade the law. At other times, for
a sufficient sum of money, a white woman or Creole would
swear before a court that you were born in the State, or that
she was your godmother; and when these subterfuges failed
the free negro was sold, until some one redeemed him from
the shackles of the chain-gang.
These cruel, unjust laws and punishments did not deter
these free men and women from contesting and contending
for the right to make a living on these great highways.
The same instinct that leads the white race to dangers
and put their lives in peril in the mines, on the sea, on
desert, or wherever money is found to enhance his happiness
and that of his family, and the same spirit of perseverance,
were displayed by the free men and women, at the risk of
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 31
becoming slaves. With all of these surroundings it showed
a spirit of indomitable courage, whose example may well be
copied by the present generation.
The occupation of steward was a position of rank, com
manding a salary of from $150 to $200 per month; second
stewards from $75 to $100; barbers, on a trip from Pitts-
burg, Cincinnati, and Louisville to New Orleans, netted from
$50 to $75 ; cabin boys from $40 to $50 a trip; stewardesses
from $50 to $100.
When in port these employes, though free and in a
slave country, would seek their pleasure, for many of them
owned their property in those ports, and on the arrival of
these steamers a large party or some amusement for their
family and friends was given. The music of violin or piano
would be heard until the wee hours of morning.
During the forties and fifties was the golden age of steam-
boating on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers among the free
colored men and women. Music was furnished on all the
steamers for the passengers, and colored musicians were
always in demand, as the foreigner had not monopolized
everything in that line as now. The colored artist of those
days made a respectable competency during the boating
seasons. Musicians from the East would come West and
South, as they were in demand. Among them were mem
bers of the celebrated Frank Johnson s Band, of Philadel
phia, the same that escorted Gen. William Henry Harrison
to the West in the forties, after his election to the Presidency.
Prof. Johnson also visited England about that time, played
before the Queen of England, and received from her a silver
bugle. Among the most notable of those musicians playing
on the boats were Prof. Anderson Lewis, George Hamlet,
the "Ole Bull" of his race as a violinist; Elijah Smith, the
32 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
renowned violincello player; Edward Johnson, the clarinet
ist; Samuel L. White, the guitarist, and others of that cele
brated band. These men were also composers, as we have
in our library a number of pieces dedicated to the steamers
Eclipse, Mary Hunt, A. L. Shotwell, and Falls City, by
The prominent stewards of our city were Wm. Rankin,
Salin Stephney, David Clark, T. H. Miller, Jas. Dungy,
Joseph Brady, David Wells, John Rankin, Conoway Barber,
Leonidas Cox, Dabney Page, and Sullivan Clark. These men
were highly respected by the citizens generally, and most of
them acquired property and lived comfortably in their homes.
The finest hotels in the country furnished no finer bills of
fare than these stewards did for the Ohio and Mississippi
steamers. This class of freemen were compelled to use dis
cretion in their intercourse with their slave brethren. Some
times close conversation or undue familiarity would cause
suspicion from their masters, and if one should escape to
Canada the freeman would probably be arrested as being
connected with the Underground Railroad.
A VISIT TO THE FREESOIL CONVENTION AT PITTSBURG,
PA., IN 1852.
Being imbued with the spirit of freedom, and living, as
it were, in a " Pent up Utica," we desired to see the lead
ers and listen to the discussions of this great question that so
aroused the nation from North to South, from East to West.
We stealthily stole away by steamer to the Smoky City, but
few friends knowing our destination. On arriving there, we
sought the Convention Hall, which was filled to its utmost
capacity. For the first time we saw the leaders of this great
political movement, which culminated in the protection of the
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 33
virgin soil against the blighting curse of slavery. For the first
time we saw that trio of negro leaders, Frederick Douglass,
William Harlan Garnett, and Dr. Martin R. Delany, asso
ciated with such men as Henry Wilson, W. L. Garrison,
Thaddeus Stevens, and others.
The subject of free and slave territory was fully and ably
discussed in all of its bearings; also the policy of nominating
candidates upon a platform that would secure to the emigrant
free and untrammeled liberty from the encroachment of slave
When Frederick Douglass arose to speak upon those mo
mentous subjects, he related an incident that occurred on his
trip to Pittsburg, he being in company with the delegation from
Rochester, N. Y. all white but himself. When the train
stopped for dinner everybody rushed to the hotel, among
them Mr. Douglass. The proprietor, standing at the door
to receive his guests, when Mr. Douglass attempted to enter,
remarked: "You can not enter my dining-room!" Mr.
Douglass, whith his massive form, straightened up, and with
that silver-toned voice, exclaimed from the door-way: "Is
there anyone who objects to Frederick Douglass entering
this dining-room?" The answer came immediately from
a hundred voices, " No ! No ! No ! " The proprietor stepped
aside, and Mr. Douglass was the hero of the dining-hall.
His speech was the ablest that we had ever heard from a
colored man, and we felt more than compensated for travel
ing five hundred miles to hear him.
It was our first visit to a National Convention, and that a
Freesoil Convention. The impression there made will never
be eradicated. We subscribed for the paper published by
Mr. Douglass, at Rochester, N. Y. ; one for myself, and one
for each of my friends, Jesse Merriwether and James Cun-
34 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
ningham. We had them mailed to New Albany, Ind., in
the care of my friend, Wm. Harding. They were brought
over, read by us, and the subject-matter discussed. When
through with them we hid them in the top of the piano,
among the music, for had the authorities known of that
seditious sheet (as it was termed at that time) our peace and
happiness would have been disturbed.
THE FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW OF 1850.
This law presented to the free negroes of the United
States a panic. Every State north of the Mason and Dixon
line became a hunting-ground for the slave-owner and slave-
catcher for fugitive slaves.
The decision rendered by Judge Taney, of the Supreme
Court of the United States, "That negroes had no rights
that white men were bound to respect," set every negro-hater
wild for blood. The President of the United States, Millard
Fillmore, issued a proclamation for its execution, and in a
short time the United States Army and Navy were in hot
pursuit of the fleeing fugitive at the behest of his master.
The streets of Boston, the cradle of freedom, was desecrated
by the tramp of this army.
Frederick Douglass, who had escaped to the North, and
for years lectured and exposed the nefarious system, escaped
to England and there remained until his body was purchased
by the friends of freedom and the slave. Other noted fugi
tives, who had lived North for years and raised large families,
had to flee for their lives, for resistance was death.
This decision had its effect upon the large free population
in the southern cities. The legislatures enacted oppressive
laws, forcing them to leave the States or virtually become
slaves. In our own State. Kentucky, there was a bill offered
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 35
to bind out all free negro children until they were of age.
This bill aroused the free families, and an exodus took place.
Families left this city to look for other quarters of freer soil.
Some went to Northern Ohio, Michigan, Canada, and others
left in groups, prospecting for a place to settle, fearing that
the bill would pass. The writer was one of a party who left
the city and visited Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Canada.
Some of the party made purchases in those States and in
Canada. The writer and several of our citizens purchased
in Chatham, Windsor, and London. The bill failed to be
come a law; for it had many opponents and friends of the
free people in the legislature. A large number of the legis
lature were gradual Emancipationists, and hence would not
support the bill.
The writer was handled very roughly on one occasion du
ring these perilous times. Having visited the East and re
turning West, when arriving at Seymour, Ind., he, with other
colored passengers, were driven out of the passenger coach
by a mob into the baggage car, among the dogs of the hunts
men (for it was in the fall season). The mob swore that no
negroes should ride in the coach with white people. Such
was the effect of that iniquitous bill upon the condition of
the colored people. History seems to be repeating itself in
that of the separate coach laws of this day and time.
The laws inspired the slave-hunters, for large rewards
were offered for the return of absconding slaves. A female
slave of a noted family of Kentucky was traced to Cincin
nati, O. She was arrested, and the court under the law
consigned her to her master. She was a mother. She and
her infant were placed on board of a steamer plying be
tween Cincinnati and Louisville, and when a few miles from
shore she plunged into the river,, with her babe in her arms,
36 PUBLIC CAREER OF \V. H. GIBSON, SR.
and was drowned before assistance could be rendered. She
sought a watery grave in preference to slavery and the
punishment that awaited her on her return.
SYSTEM OF PATROLLING, AS IT WAS CALLED, BY POLICEMEN.
It was an iniquitous system during those days of horror,
It was customary for three or four of those guardians of the
night to visit the houses of free families at midnight, search
their houses, uncover females in their beds, and ask for run
away slaves, or negroes from free States here in contraven
tion of the laws of the State. We have known instances,
when such persons were found, in which they were impris
oned, fined heavily, or ordered to leave the State. These
occurrences were immediately reported to our ministers of
those days, and they would console their congregations by
requesting fasting and prayer, especially on Fridays, for de
liverance. You who read this history can judge whether
their prayers were answered.
A MINISTER PRAYED OUT OF THE CHAIN-GANG WHILE GOING
THROUGH THE CANAL ON A STEAMER FOR THE SOUTH.
Frederick Cranshaw, a slave, though entitled to his free
dom, was kidnapped and placed in the hands of traders.
Passing through the canal was a slow movement for boats
in those days. The church people heard of the arrest it
was on Sunday they hurried to the canal in crowds, singing
and praying to God to stop the boat and deliver Bro. Fred
erick. The excitement grew so intense that the sheriff ar
rested the captain and had the matter investigated.
It was proven by the investigation that Bro. Frederick was
entitled to his freedom. His chains were stricken off, and a
great prayer-meeting held in the old Fourth-street Church,
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 37
thanking God for his deliverance. We were personally ac
quainted with Bro. Frederick Myers. Cranshaw was the
name of his owner, and he was often called by that name.
He was a member of the Indiana Conference A. M. E.
Church, and held prominent appointments in that State. He
was a member of the Missouri Conference when last we
heard of him. Frederick Myers is extensively known by the
older citizens of Louisville. He also had charge of Asbury
Chapel after the lawsuit between Harper and Strauss.
BLOODY MONDAY, AUGUST, 1855 MURDERING AND BURNING
THE HOUSES OF IRISH CITIZENS.
The political campaign of that year created many bloody
scenes in Louisville among the Irish citizens, from the fact
that they, with others of the foreign element, had opposed
the common or public school tax. The Catholics bitterly
opposed the system, and desired their taxes separated for de
nominational purposes. This gave rise to the "American"
or "Know-nothing Party" throughout many of the States,
and a severe conflict was the result at the polls, especially in
the large cities. One of the bloodiest scenes or tragedies
ever witnessed occurred at the polls in Louisville. Every
Irishman or foreigner who dared to approach the polls were
assailed by the American or Know-nothing Party and driven
away, clubs and guns being used in districts where the
Irish were largely located. The bloodiest scene occurred on
Twelfth and Main streets, where a whole block of buildings
was burned, and the inmates shot down while escaping.
Seven were burned in the buildings, and among them a Ro
man Catholic priest. The bodies were conveyed to the Court
house, where the inquest was held, and were viewed by
thousands of spectators. In the eastern portion of the city
38 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
the Germans were attacked, but they did not fare so badly
as their Irish fellow-citizens. The negro was only a spec
tator to these scenes. It was a white man s fight, the ne
groes troubles being reserved for the near future.
THE SCHOOLS OF THE FORTIES AND FIFTIES.
Three schools were taught at that time by colored teach
ers, viz. : R. M. Lane, Rev. Peter Booth, and Rev. Henry
Adams ; but as their schools were more on the outskirts of
the city, they were not thought to be so objectionable. We
opened a school on the corner of Fourth and Green streets,
and trusted in God for its guidance and protection. We
taught there for three years, until the building was sold, in
1851. During our location there we had school exhibitions,
singing classes, night schools, and concerts, and without
molestation. Mrs. Hoffman and Miss Cummins taught small
The greatest novelty was the first introduction of a musical
instrument in a colored church in this city. Our music
classes were led by a violin, and our concerts accompanied
by an orchestra, composed of colored and white musicians.
Prof. James Cunningham and Henry Williams employed
German musicians in their bands. The Germans had not
learned the prejudice existing against the negro in the
forties. The following incident I witnessed in Baltimore,
Md. , during a grand parade : A colored band was driven out
of the procession by Gen. Smith, who rode his horse over
them, and all because the white band refused to march with
them ; but the company that employed them came out of the
QUEEN OF SONG.
WIDOWS AND ORPHANS HOME,
Brooks Station, Ky.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 39
THE SLAVE AUCTION-BLOCK, AS SEEN BY THE WRITER FOR
THE FIRST TIME JANUARY I, 1848.
Market Street was the scene of this American evil.
Thousands wended their way thither to witness the separa
tion of husband and wife, children and parents, never to
meet again, perhaps, in this life. On the auction block the
auctioneer cries, "A fine negro woman, Sallie, going at $500,
$600, $700. with no incumbrance." Another, "with two
children, can be sold together or separately;" and another,
"Tom, a fine farm hand, ought to bring $900 he hired out
last year for $300. " There were hundreds sitting on the curb
stone and in the market-place, with two or three children,
and a baby at the breast, weeping. The husband sold in
another direction, and mother and children crying, "don t
take papa;" but their entreaties were in vain with those
traders in human flesh. With this, our first view of the slave
mart, we left, praying God that we might be saved from
another such scene.
COLORED ARTISTS IN MUSIC AND PHOTOGRAPHY.
One among the colored artists in music was Henry Wil
liams, the renowned violinist. But few distinguished white
persons in the forties and fifties from whose parlors could not
be heard the sonorous strains of Henry Williams violin.
He was employed to teach their sons and daughters quadrilles
and mazourkas, and for years was the leading spirit of his pro
fession. James Cunningham, Sr. , successor to Henry Wil
liams, for many years was held in the same high esteem as a
musician. He was born in the West Indies and served in
the British Navy. He was highly cultured. He furnished
music for all of the stylish weddings, parties, picnics, etc.
40 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
His band was composed of white and colored musicians,
among them Lewis Lily, H. Hicks, and William Cole. His
children were also adepts in the art, two sons and a daughter
proving to be quite proficient as musical artists. James Cun
ningham, Jr., is the leader of the best colored band in our
Samuel L. White, photographer and musician, originally
of Philadelphia, Pa., was the finest and most accomplished
guitarist of those times, and also a composer. His studio
was the resort of the best classes of colored and white citi
zens. His scholars were of both sexes, white and colored. He
also gave private lessons in white families. All this was du
ring the dark days of slavery. The writer was also one of
his pupils, and can testify to his accomplishments. Yet,
with these accomplishments, he was finally compelled to
leave the State simply for being too refined. His residence
was on Jefferson Street, near the corner of Fourth Avenue.
The old Jefferson House was the corner building and was
used as a hotel. His wife was a first-class milliner. They
had many visitors; of course, he being such a distinguished
personage, it could not have been otherwise. His busi
ness was in the very heart of the city, but, unfortunately,
this Jefferson Hotel was not first-class, as its inmates, or
boarders, were negro-haters. The superior qualifications of
Samuel L. White were too much for their imaginations, so
they began to harass him and his family by stoning his house
from the rear and from the roof of the hotel. They would
hurl stones through the windows and break the dishes on the
table while he and his guests were at meals, and with other
mean devices they continued to harass him until it became
unbearable, as he had no protection. Ku-kluxing and lynch
ing were then unknown, but this substitution answered as
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 41
well. When he applied to the authorities for protection
they advised him to leave the State, as this class would be a
continual annoyance to him. Finally, our old friend bade
us adieu. He moved to Cincinnati, O., where he and his
wife engaged in business. They were aged and devout
members of the Baptist Church. They died in 1870.
FREE SOIL AND SQUATTER SOVEREIGNTY.
The great Free Soil and Squatter Sovereignty questions
convulsed the whole country, and Abraham Lincoln and
Stephen A. Douglass debated the issues of that campaign.
Mr. Douglass visited Louisville soon afterward and spoke to
immense crowds. The people were entertained by the most
noted and hated man in the State as an Abolitionist and
advocate of human rights, Cassius M. Clay. In his speech,
when advocating the cause of the negro, he was asked what
he was going to do with the negro. He replied that he
would first free him and then free the poor white man. His
speech, it is supposed, gained but few converts in this local
ity, as the feeling was very bitter against the advocates of the
Free Soil and Emancipation doctrine; in fact, it was thought
that he would not be allowed to speak in this city, but Cas
sius Clay feared no threats. The writer was present in the
city of Frankfort, the capital of the State, during the same
campaign. The Capitol door was closed against him when
he had an appointment to speak there. The friends of Mr.
Clay held the meeting in the Capitol Square, with hundreds
of candles to light up the grounds, that the people might see
and hear the great orator. The negro element was aroused
at the crisis that seemed impending; they discussed these
issues among themselves and concluded that a conflict was
at hand, and that it would be safer to reside north of the
42 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
Mason and Dixon line, and they were not very slow in going,
many of them free and many slaves, the slaves taking the
From 1855 to 1860 a spirit of unrest pervaded this com
munity among the colored citizens, yet they trusted God and
persevered to do the right, looking forward to some miracu
In the year 1850 Rev. Bird Parker, minister of the
A. M. E. Church (now Quinn Chapel), met a number of
gentlemen at the house of Jesse Merriwether, on Walnut
Street, between Ninth and Tenth streets. The object of the
meeting was to consider the propriety of organizing a ma
sonic lodge. Several meetings were held, and finally they
concluded to organize. Several Masons from Cincinnati,
O., met with them. A question arose in the meeting, and
was discussed pro and con., whether it would be advisable
to establish a lodge in Louisville while the prejudice was so
strong against free negroes, as none but those could be
received. This question caused a split, and the majority
decided to locate the lodge at New Albany, Ind., for a
while, at least. The necessary number for institution was
secured and they went to Cincinnati, O., and received their
warrant from the Grand Lodge of Ohio. Richard H.
Gleaves, Grand Master of Ohio, set Mount Moriah Lodge
No. i to work June 12, 1850. For three years they remained
at New Albany, Ind. They labored under many disadvan
tages, such as crossing the river in skiffs at midnight, amid
high water and heavy drifts, at the risk of their lives, and then
walking five miles up to the city. They finally concluded
to move to Louisville, Ky. , though there was a nucleus fora
lodge left at New Albany with those brethren who lived in
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 43
Our advent into Kentucky was with many forebodings,
but we were not molested until the year 1859, about the time
of the " John Brown raid." The excitement that prevailed
in Virginia and all of the Southern States had extended to
Kentucky. All free negro assemblies were closely watched.
At one of our meetings the police made a raid on us and
marched us to jail. The writer was secretary of the lodge.
We were ordered to bring the books along, so that they could
see what we were doing.
The jailer refused to put us in the castle, but directed us
to the court-room. He sent for the police judge, who came
and interrogated us, and dismissed us until morning. He
took our words as our bonds to return. We returned in the
morning, but they refused to admit us into court or try the
case. So ended this farce or incarceration of negro Masons
The Grand Lodge of Kentucky was organized in 1866
under the "National Compact."
STATE SOVEREIGNTY ESTABLISHED 1875.
Rev. J. H. Sweres, with a number of others, petitioned
the Grand Lodge of Ohio, W. H. Parham, Most Worthy
Grand Master, for a dispensation to organize a body of Free
Masons in the city of Louisville. It was granted, but not
without an appeal and a stubborn resistance from the Grand
Lodge of Kentucky. Blue lodges, chapters, and Knight
Templars were established. This caused quite a rivalry in
Masonry and considerable bad feeling among the craft of
the two bodies. The old Kentucky Grand Lodge renounced
the National Compact and declared State sovereignty in
order to meet the views formerly held by Ohio, but no con
cession seemed to prevail, and the strife was very bitter for
44 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
several years. A few brethren of cool head and pure hearts
believed that this difficulty could be adjusted and peace and
harmony be strengthened. Henry King, of Lexington, Ky.,
being elected Grand Master of the State, he appointed a
committee of Past Masters of the State of Kentucky to open
up a correspondence with the Grand Master of Ohio, W. H.
Parham, to learn upon what terms a settlement could be
made between the two grand bodies. The following was the
committee : W. H. Gibson, Wm. Spradling, Austin Hub-
bard, Horace Morris, and Wm. Butcher. W. H. Gibson
conducted the correspondence and a meeting was arranged
to take place at Cincinnati, O. Grand Master Parham and
a committee from the Grand Lodge of Ohio met and dis
cussed the difficulty that had caused the strained relations
between the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and the Grand Lodge
of Ohio. They finally made a settlement as follows: That
when the lodges in Kentucky working under the Grand
Lodge of Ohio desired to withdraw from Ohio and attach
themselves to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Ohio would
grant the transfer by a proper exchange of warrants and a
settlement of all other claims, and that Ohio would cease to
make Masons in Kentucky while this amity existed. This
proposition was accepted by Kentucky and an amicable rela
tionship established between the two grand bodies. For
years the members of the lodges of Louisville visited the
lodges under Ohio s warrants, and vice versa. They sought
the friendship that is taught and the duties of one Mason to
another until finally this manner of courtship proved to be a
wedding. The lodges, chapters, and Knight Templars ex
changed warrants and became a part and parcel of the
Grand Lodge of Kentucky. This action caused another
grievance on the part of the Ohio Grand Lodge concerning
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 45
some informalities in regard to the exchange of warrants.
Another committee was appointed by the Grand Lodge of
Kentucky to meet in Cincinnati with a committee from the
Grand Lodge of Ohio and adjust this grievance, which was
accomplished by the following committee on the part of
Kentucky : W. H. Steward, Horace Morris, and Chas. Steel,
Our relation with the United Order of Odd Fellows was
most courteous from 1872 to 1888. I was an active member
of St. Luke Lodge No. 1771, and was one of the committee
of Union and St. Luke lodges that concluded we had paid
enough money to white real estate agents for rent, and that
it was time to assemble in our own property. Being con
vinced of this fact, the two lodges, Union and St. Luke,
joined their treasuries together, amounting to near $800, sent
out a committee, composed of Alonzo Black, Shelton Guest,
and Alex. Lily, from Union Lodge, and W. H. Gibson and
Charles Lewis, from St. Luke Lodge, who investigated and
purchased property for a hall on Green Street, between
Thirteenth and Fourteenth, at $2,500, with three years to
pay for it. It was paid for in twenty-one months. These two
lodges invited the other lodges, patriarchies and H. of Ruths,
to take stock in the building, shares $ i oo each. They accepted
the invitation, formed a consolidated lodge, and obtained an
act of incorporation from the legislature. The business was
conducted by a Board of Directors, with President, Vice
President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Everything moved on
harmoniously, lodges were incorporated as their shares were
paid up, and at the expiration of three years they had saved
$1,000. Another and more valuable piece of property was
46 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
offered for sale for $10,000. A committee was empowered to
investigate, a lawyer employed to examine the deed, and the
property purchased at $10,000, with ten years to pay it.
This property was paid for in five years. The purchasing
of property with the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows
seemed to give new inspiration, and everything that they put
their hands to seemed to prosper. In the purchase of this
new hall the act of incorporation was amended, W. H. Gib
son and C. H. Spalding being appointed a committee to visit
the legislature and make the application, and all the lodges
were inserted in this charter. My relation as secretary of
the Consolidated Lodges closed September, 1888, serving a
period of eight successive years, and handling for them over
$20,000, until the property was paid for.
With this rapid and grand exhibit followed a fearful
calamity. On the 2yth of March, 1890, the great cyclone
that visited the city of Louisville demolished our splendid
hall, and crippled several brethren and one sister, whose
lives were miraculously saved. This destruction threw gloom
and despondency over an oppressed people, struggling for a
foothold in the financial circles of the fraternities. But the
Consolidated Board, under the administration of W. H.
Ward, an old and experienced Odd Fellow, it is hoped, will
succeed in paying for the new building erected on the old
site, and that the glory of the latter house may be greater
than that of the former.
THE SCENES OF l86l IN LOUISVILLE, KY.
When the attack on Fort Sumter was proclaimed to the
nation, and when Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
States, called to arms ! to arms ! three hundred thousand
men ! our Governor, Beriah Magoffin, replied : Not a man,
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 47
nor a dollar ! " It was then considered by either party of
politicians in the strife that it was a white man s war, and that
the negro was only considered as a hewer of wood and
drawer of water for the army. Notwithstanding this view
of the negro s position, many of them were eager to take
part in the fray. They bided their time, and the sequel is
known throughout the civilized world.
In the fall of 1862, we, with thousands of other colored
citizens, were drafted in the spade and shovel brigade, throw
ing up entrenchments to protect Louisville from the antici
pated attack of General Bragg s Army on the city. I served
for a time, but was released through the aid of my physician.
I received a dispatch from Dr. W. R. Revels to come to the
city of Indianapolis, Ind., and take charge of a school. I
immediately left for that city and engaged in teaching a
school, which was partly supported by the Quaker Friends
and partly by private subscriptions, for the Hoosier State
had not, at that time, provided public schools for colored
children. The school was largely composed of contraband
children, as General Butler termed them, whose parents
followed in the wake of the army and crossed the Ohio
River into Indiana.
MASSACHUSETTS CALLING FOR COLORED SOLDIERS.
At the solicitation of Dr. Revels, Sidney S. Hinton, and
other friends, I closed my school and accepted the commis
sion of recruiting sergeant, under Col. Condee, for the 55th
Massachusetts Colored Regiment. I went into Kentucky for
volunteers and had hundreds of applicants, but, through the
interference of the officials at headquarters, I failed t get a
man enrolled in Louisville. These officials were so-called
Union men, dressed in the livery of Uncle Sam, but oppos-
48 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
ing such aid as was necessary to help save the country.
They told me that there would be no quarters shown negro
soldiers by the Rebels, and that Massachusetts had no right
to send agents into Kentucky for recruits, and that the ne
gro s place was in the hospitals as nurses, attending the sick
and wounded. They advised me to leave the State, for the
feeling was so strong against us that they could not protect
us. With this treatment, I left my wife and children, re
turned to Indiana, visited Jeffersonville, New Albany, and
Charleston, succeeded in recruiting and enrolling about one
hundred men for the 55th Massachusetts Regiment, gave
them transportation to Camp Morton, Indianapolis, and then
resigned my commission, as Union soldiers at that stage of
the war refused to protect us. My family was so much an
noyed by threat, caused by my action, that I authorized my
wife to sell our property and come to Indianapolis. We
moved there and returned at the close of the war.
During our stay in the Hoosier capital we made many
friends, and many families moved there from Kentucky.
Our masonic relation was very pleasant while there. We
affiliated with the craft, and was present at the organization
of the Grand Chapter of Indiana, by the Most Excellent
Grand High Priest Wm. Darns, of Cincinnati, and Most Ex
cellent John G. Britton, Sidney S. Hinton, Wm. Waldon,
Camp Morton contained recruits for the 55th Massachu
setts and the 28th Indiana Colored Volunteers, with Dr. R.
W. Revels, examining sergeant. The boys made Indian
apolis lively while there in camp. One memorable inci
dent connected with ourselves and the boys I must relate.
The young musical friends of Dr. Revels church, assisted
by Prof. George W. Stewart, now of Fort Smith, Ark.,
Barney Hicks, the renowned minstrel, and myself, as con-
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 49
ductor, gave a concert. It may be remembered that du
ring the war times it was dangerous for a man to sympathize
with the Rebels and the cause of the South, especially
among negro soldiers. Barney Hicks, in a discussion, had
espoused the cause of the South. The soldier boys had
heard of it and they visited the concert in crowds. When.
Barney appeared on the stage, they made a rush for him,
but he escaped from a rear window, jumping some ten feet
to the ground. A soldier with a dirk-knife in hand was after
him. He was so enraged at missing Hicks that he threw his
dirk upon the top of our rented piano and cut a large piece
out of it. They broke up the concert, and we were in
trouble on account of the piano, but through the influence
of Dr. Revels we were saved damages.
CRUELTIES OF THE HOME GUARDS.
The treatment of colored citizens by Home Guards was
very cruel in 1861. They were not allowed on the streets
after 8 o clock without a pass, and many were flogged for
being out. This treatment became unbearable, especially
when it was performed by Union soldiers. The writer of
this sketch was, at that time, a correspondent for the
Christian Recorder, of Philadelphia, Rev. Elisha Weaver,
editor. We wrote up this treatment for that paper, and it
was published, and copies sent to Hon. Charles Sumner, who
had it read in the Senate, and it created considerable ex
citement and debate, especially among the Kentucky repre
sentatives. It had ks desired effect, and there was no more
flogging by patrolling Union soldiers. The Congressional
records will verify this statement. An amusing incident oc
curred along with this raid of the Home Guards. Grand
Master of Masons, Most Worshipful Henry Spencer, of St.
50 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
Louis, Mo., was on a special visit to this city and the craft,
As all of our meetings were suspended at the hall, we held
a private meeting at the writer s house. After adjournment,
as the brethren entered the street, this military patrol came
dashing along; the brethren spied them, and it was really
amusing and laughable to see their coat-tails standing out in
the breeze, while they made for the alleys and hiding-places.
OFF TO KANSAS.
In the spring of 1865 I received a call to Kansas, by my
esteemed friend and brother, Rev. John Turner. I located
at the city of Leaven worth, was employed as a teacher in
the public schools of that city, but partly supported by the
American Missionary Society, and remained there about
fifteen months. The Hon. Judge Brewer, now Judge of the
United States Supreme Court, was President of the School
Board. Among my associate teachers were Prof. Charles
Langton, Mrs. S. Douglass, wife of Capt. Ford Douglass,
and Mrs. Margaret Morris, sister of Prof. John MitchelL
My stay in Kansas was a very pleasant one, and I formed
the acquaintance of many excellent families, viz. : Thomas
Newton, Samuel Jordan, Hiram Young, Josephine Mahoney,.
Mr. Nesbit, Jones, Quinns, and Franklins.
VISIT TO FORT LEAVENWORTH.
The noted distinction of officer of the day was conferred
upon Capt. Ford Douglass and Capt. Mathews. I had the
pleasure of dining with these officers and their families.
Their menu was a very palatable one, such as was provided
for white officers. The scene around the fort is a picturesque
one, and nature seemed to have provided all the beauties of
the floral kingdom for its adornment.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 51
We learned, on our introduction into Kansas society,
that they were not unlike the various communities that we
had visited. They had their piques and quarrels ; my first
visit to a public meeting convinced me of this fact. A diffi
culty, or misunderstanding, between the two churches was
to have been settled at this meeting. A hall was rented and
a large number attended. The discussion began, and, as the
speakers warmed up, bitter words and epithets were used.
Among the audience was the distinguished lady orator, Miss
Susan B. Anthony. She took the floor and tried to quell
the disturbance by her tender and persuasive remarks, but
to no purpose; the parties threatened to shoot; pistols,
swords, and chairs were drawn; pandemonium reigned.
The proprietor put out the lights and I made for a window,
but a lady held me back. I suppose a limb was saved by
her effort. We all got out safe and sound.
The meeting of interest was the first visit of the Hon.
J. M. Langston to Kansas. I had the honor of being one
of the committee on reception. Mr. Langston was royally
received by the citizens of Leavenworth. A hall was rented
for the delivery of an address. The subject was " The Re
construction Measures of President Andrew Johnson." Mr.
Langston bitterly Opposed the measures in his speech.
Friends of the President were present, who defended his
views of reconstruction. Quite a stormy debate ensued,
though Mr. Langston had the best of the discussion. I con
cluded that the epithet, "Fighting Kansas," was well ap
I received a commission from Hon. Sidney S. Hinton r
M. W. G. M. of Masons for the State of Indiana, to rein
state North Star Lodge, of Leavenworth, and set them to
work with Capt. Wm. Mathews, W. M. This completed,
my mission was ended.
52 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
I left Kansas with the intention of returning, as I had
been selected to teach another term, but on visiting my
"Old Kentucky Home" friends surrounded me and pre
vailed on me to settle down in the old State where I had
labored in the dark days of slavery, and now, as it was a
free State, I should enjoy its blessings. After considering
the matter from a business and financial standpoint, I con
cluded to remain. I sent in my resignation to the President
of the School Board, Hon. Judge Brewer. It was accepted
with a regret and wishes that my future might be successful.
BACK TO LOUISVILLE.
We pulled up stakes at Indianapolis, moved back to
Louisville, bought property, and began business under very
We had no public schools for colored children in 1866.
The schools were supported by private funds of the patrons.
The Fraedmen s Bureau schools and the (Ely) American
Missionary School employed teachers and educated the col
ored children until the State, by legislative acts, provided
for the education of colored children in separate schools.
Gen. Ben. Runkle, of the United States Army, established
bureau schools in the colored churches. They were largely
attended by day and night. Private schools were assisted
from the bureau fund. Jackson-street M. E. Church School
was taught by Mr. Henry Merriwether and Mrs. Julia Au
thor; Center-street M. E. Church School by Rev. Wm.
Butler; Quinn Chapel School by W. H. Gibson. The Amer
ican Missionary Society erected a building on the corner of
Broadway and Fourteenth Street. This school was con
ducted by a corps of white teachers from that society.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 53
UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT.
The system of advancing fifty dollars in order that a case
might be heard in said court was a custom soon after the
war. Many of our people from the mountains and interior
part of the State were compelled to come to Louisville in
order to have their cases litigated, there being no United
States Circuit Court in their districts. The Ku-klux clans
were murdering them and pillaging their property, and no
redress could be obtained, as this large fee demanded made
it impossible for them to have a hearing, for they were too
poor to raise that amount. The citizens of Louisville called
public meetings in Quinn Chapel and the Green-street Bap
tist Church. Committees were appointed to wait on Judge
Ballard and the United States Attorney to protest against
the rule of the court as oppressive to this people. They
were courteously received and the matter presented. After
a fair and legal explanation by the court the matter was so
adjusted as to give all litigants a hearing, the court being sat
isfied that the case demanded it.
APPOINTED MAIL AGENT OF THE KNOXVILLE BRANCH L. A N.
R. R., BETWEEN LOUISVILLE AND MOUNT VERNON, KY.
I was appointed mail agent under President Grant s ad
ministration, and served for eight months under very trying
circumstances. The first and second day s trip was attended
with great excitement. As the first negro mail agent in the
State, I was equal to Barnum s animal show, for the people at
every station gathered by hundreds, and climbed upon the
cars to get a view of the black animal who dared to invade
At the end of the route, Mount Vernon, the people
54 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
turned out to hang me. They followed me to the post-
office and waited for me to enter the hotel across the way for
lodgings, but I had made other arrangements and disap
The arrangement of the mob for mob it was that if I
attempte d to enter the hotel the hanging would commence,
and it would have been accomplished with dispatch.
I engaged board with a colored farmer, Walker New-
comb. He was an industrious and brave man, a blacksmith
by trade, and a partner with his former master. The mob
promised that if I remained with my own people I would not
be disturbed ; but they did not keep their promise, for they
annoyed me with notes, giving me so many days to leave the
road, or make my peace with God, signed K. K. K.
At the expiration of eight months I was transferred to the
Louisville and Lexington route. The second day out we
were attacked by three of the clan, at a lonely station, North
Benson, between Frankfort and Lexington, a chosen day for
the murderous purpose snowing, raining, and hailing the
worst day of the year.
At the station, one jumped aboard of the mail coach and
endeavored to throw me out, beating and bruising me con
siderably, but failed in his attempt. His. two pals were
waiting on the platform, with drawn pistols, to shoot me as
I fell out, as they expected; but as God would have it, they
missed their aim, and I was saved. With three coaches of
passengers, conductor, and train hands, no one came to my
relief, and it was only the mercy of God that saved me. They
riddled the car with bullets, but missed me.
The authorities at Washington were notified of the attack
on the United States Mail Agent, and a squad of United
States soldiers were dispatched from the fort to accompany
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 55
me, and for three months I was escorted by the blue coats
of Uncle Sam while I performed my duties. Many threats
were made, and great excitement existed during my stay on
this route. On several occasions I feared a collision between
the military and the mob that gathered at the stations, for
twitting the soldiers for protecting a negro. I was convinced
that under the pressure some one would be killed, and also
the strain upon the nerves of my wife and children reasoned
with me that the sacrifice was greater than the occasion
called for. The soldiers were withdrawn from the train.
Promises were made by the leading authorities of the State
to provide protection, but I proposed to retire from the situ
ation when the soldiers retired, for I had but little confidence
in those promises, so I resigned.
FREEDMEN S BANK.
In 1865 the Freedmen s Bank was established in Louis
ville, with a mixed board of directors, and a white cashier.
I often assisted Cashier Burkholder when busy or absent
from the city. I had charge of the bank when he met with
his sad fate, of being drowned or burned up on the ill-fated
steamer, United States, plying between Louisville and Cin
cinnati, when she collided with the steamer America. He
had been on a trip to Ohio to see his family, but never re
turned to the bank. I remained in charge until the board
met and selected a cashier, Mr. Horace Morris. I was his
assistant when the bank closed.
THE MOZART SOCIETY.
The first colored musical society of Louisville was organized
in the school-room of the writer, Dec. 1852. The Fourth-street
Methodist Church Choir had given a series of concerts, con-
56 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
ducted by W. H. Gibson, assisted by Prof. Henry Williams,
Samuel White, and several German performers (instru
mental). They concluded to organize a musical society for
their further improvement. A meeting was called and the
organization completed. Among those of the organization
were Messrs. George Thomas, Jesse Davis, Peter Hayes,
Benjamin Eubanks, John Jordan, John Collins, Dan Clem-
mons, Geo. A. Schaefer, R. M. Johnson, J. Tevis, D. Ed-
dington; Mesdames Jane Christopher, Letha Ellison, Lu-
cinda Snead, George Thomas, Julia Bullitt Author, Belle
Adams, Miss Thomas, and others. This society made rapid
improvement in music. At times they gave concerts for
benevolent purposes, and also improved the musical taste in
several of our churches. But few of this organization are
now living, but the spirit and love of music then manifested
has been inherited by their children.
The first musical instrument introduced into a colored
church in this city was in 1847 by the writer. The singing
was led by a violin. The old sisters and brothers declared
that the officers had admitted the devil into the church, but
they became used to it and seemed to admire the change.
At this writing there are but few churches that have not pipe
organs and splendid choirs.
The writer was attacked through the columns of our
church magazine in the year 1854 by the Rev. Thomas
Strother for this trespass upon the dignity and solemnity of
the church. Several articles were written, pro and con.,
but the progressive age of music triumphed amid the pious
opposition that then assailed it. Upon the introduction of
the first organ in Quinn Chapel the sisters threatened to
throw it into the street, so we abandoned the instrument for
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 57
FIRST MUSICAL FESTIVAL.
The first musical festival of the Colored Musical Associa
tion of Louisville, Ky., was held in May, 1880. W. H.
Gibson, Sr. , President; N. R. Harper, Musical Director.
The association was composed of about two hundred sing
ers from the various church choirs and public schools, sup
ported by an orchestra from Detroit, Mich., led by Prof.
Johnson. They gave ample satisfaction in the support of
the choruses and solo accompaniments, as they were profes
sional musicians. Miss Eliza Cowan, of Chicago, 111., the
leading soprano, came highly recommended as a vocalist.
She sustained her reputation as such, and left us with the
highest honors. Mrs. Mary V. Smith and Mrs. C. M. Bry
ant, organists, were excellent. Prof. N. R. Harper proved
an efficient leader in chorus singing. This first attempt of a
grand musical festival proved a financial success, and from a
musical standard the community expressed the highest
SECOND MUSICAL FESTIVAL.
The Musical Association of Louisville, Ky., held their
second song festival May 19 and 20, 1881, at Library Hall.
W. H. Gibson, Sr., President; N. R. Harper, Musical
Director. It was the desire of the president and the asso
ciation to make this the grandest festival yet given, and in
order to do so he made several visits to Cincinnati, O., for
the purpose of securing the assistance of the Cincinnati
Choral Association, then in practice, and which had, among
its members, some celebrities of a very high musical culture.
The arrangement was completed, as the following letter will
58 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
CINCINNATI, O., March 12, 1881.
Mr. W. H. Gibson :
DEAR SIR Your letter of the 6th duly received, and con
tents read before the members of the society. I am author
ized to say that we most cheerfully accept the invitation to
participate in the festival, and hope it may be generally un
derstood from this letter between all parties that we will be
present with a good delegation from this city, together with
their many friends.
I am, on behalf of the Q. C. C. S., yours,
THOMAS A. TRIPLETT,
Chairman Executive Committee.
The reputation of Miss A. L. Tilghman, of Washington,
D. C., as a leading soprano at the Capital City, induced
the association to secure her services for this occasion. Her
selections were of the highest order, such as "Aria The
Flower Girl," by Borzinini; Millard s " Inflammatus," solo,
and several duets. Her rendition was all that lovers of music
could desire. She was recalled by the audience after each
The principal artists of the Louisville Association were as
follows: Mrs. M. L. Mead, Miss Jennie Wise, Miss V. M.
Burkes, Mrs. M. V. Smith, Miss S. G. Waters, Miss M.
Henry, Miss M. Robinson, Mrs. C. M. Bryant, Mrs. Belle
Worley, Anna and Sue Talbot, Belle Adams, Miss Lou
Thompson, of New Albany, Ind. ; the Gibson family W.
H. Gibson, Sr., W. H. Gibson, Jr., of St. Louis, Mo. ; Miss
Isabella, M. Jane, and Lucretia Gibson; Frank Thomas Glee
Club Messrs. Frank Thomas, J. Miller, P. A. Thomas, J.
O. Banion, N. P. Grant, and John Reynold. Prof. J. R.
Cunningham s celebrated orchestra furnished string and brass
MRS. DURETTA MOORE,
MRS. A. F. MADISON,
N. V. P.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 59
The following were the officers of the Festival Executive
Committee: J. W. Dorsey, J. N. Caldwell, T. N. Bailey, H.
C. Weeden, G. T. Thomas, W. H. Lawson, B. J. Nichols,
S. Hayes, W. Adams, and N. N. Newman.
The Choral Association, of Cincinnati, O., presented the
cantata, " Esther, the Beautiful Queen," with the following
staff of officers : Musical Director, Mr. P. L. Furgurson ;
Assistant Musical Director, Mr. J. M. Lewis; Pianist, Mrs.
A. E. Baltimore; Organist, Mr. F. C. Lewis; Assistant
Organist, Mr. Al. Quarles; Costumer, Mrs. Julia A. Rice;
Stage Manager, Mr. T. J. Monroe.
Cast of Characters.
Queen Esther Miss Ella Buckner.
King Ahasuerus Mr. P. L. Furgurson.
Mordecai Mr. J. M. Lewis.
First Maid of Honor Miss Cora Watson.
With a retinue of attendants.
The following selections were introduced during the ban
quet scenes of the cantata: Bass solo, " Down in the Cel
lar s Depths," Mr. T. Small; solo, " Mandolita," Miss M.
Fowler; bass solo, "The Toast," W. J. Ross; solo, "Softly,
Softly," Miss Hattie Holmes; quintette, " Father, Guide
Us," from Belshazzar, Misses Barrett and Fowler, Messrs.
C. Henson, Small, and Quarles; "Miserere," from Trova-
tore, Miss Cora L. Watson and Mr. T. J. Monroe, assisted
by Miss Hattie Harper, Mrs. M. Williams, and Messrs. L.
M. Lewis, Thornton, Small, and Quarles. The artists ex
celled themselves in the performance of this sacred cantata.
Their costumes were tastefully selected, and their songs and
performances in the various roles were such as to attract the
admiration of the most technique of the theatrical assemblies.
6o PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
This rare treat, brought forth by the combined efforts of the
musical lovers of Louisville, Cincinnati, Washington, D. C.,
and New Albany, has been far-reaching in the development
of this fine art in our community.
Fifth-street Baptist Choir The concerts and musical en
tertainments given by this choir have always been of the
highest order. We take great pleasure in making special
mention of this association as conducted by the late Madi
son Minnis, with Miss Martha Morton as organist, also de
ceased, supported by Mesdames M. L. Mead, Hutchinson
and sister, and Messrs. W. H. Stewart (successor to Mr.
Minnis), Samuel Jordan, J. L. Moody, Will. L. Gibson, and
others. During Mr. Minnis charge of this choir they made
a tour to Cincinnati, O., and Cleveland, O. The trip was a
pleasant one. and the members were the recipients of many
eulogies for their musical performances.
Green-street Baptist Choir This choir ranks among the
leading musical associations, with our old friend, George
Thomas, conductor (successor to Mr. Jesse Davis). They
have a fine and powerful organ, with Mrs. Gertie Hutchin-
.son, the organist, who skillfully manipulates the finger-board.
The visitors to that church can sit and muse upon the joyful
strains of these earthly choristers.
Jacob-street Tabernacle Choir This choir ranks among the
leading musical associations of the country.
MADAME SELEKA AND S. W. WILLIAMS.
Madame Seleka, queen of staccato, and S. W. Williams,
baritone, made their debut to a Louisville audience June,
1888. The writer, having been concerned in most all of the
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 6 1
musical enterprises of this city, and being the leader of
Quinn Chapel Choir for more than thirty-five years, and
being about to retire, felt anxious that the church of his
long and arduous labors should have an organ second to
none among our congregations. His wishes were made
known to the board and granted, under the administration
of Rev. Levi Evans. A committee, composed of Prof. W.
H. Perry, George Caldwell, and Miss Martha Webster,
visited Pilcher & Sons organ manufactory and selected an
instrument to cost eight hundred dollars, with the latest im
provements. A concert was decided upon. The leader
opened correspondence with Madame Seleka and husband,
who had recently returned from Europe, and were elec
trifying the country with their artistical performances. We
learned their terms, an agreement was entered into, and
a concert arranged for Louisville for the benefit of the organ.
They arrived, and were our guests.
The largest hall in the city was rented for the concert,
the citizens turned out en masse, and it was conceded to be
the grandest concert ever given in our city, both in numbers
and artistic skill. The lady was the finest and most accom
plished that we had ever heard in this community. Mr. Wil
liams baritone was complete, and as a soloist his style and
enunciations were pure.
A second concert was given at the church, and it was
crowded also. Our local talent assisted, and gave prestige
to the occasion. Mrs. M. L. Mead, Mrs. M. V. Smith,
Miss Lottie Bryant, Mrs. Gertie Hutchinson, accompanist,
and W. H. Gibson, conductor. Financially the concert was
a success, the receipts half paid for the organ, and the bal_
ance was raised by the Ladies Organ Association, Mrs. Nel
lie Bibb, President; Mrs. Virginia Thompson, Treasurer;
Miss Laura Douglass, Secretary, and Rev. J. Abbey, Pastor.
62 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
THE FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT.
After the passage of the fifteenth amendment to the Con
stitution by Congress it was in order for colored citizens of
Louisville to have a jubilee celebration. Mass-meetings
were called at several of the churches to make arrangements,
and committees appointed. Rev. H. J. Young was the
chosen orator of the day, with Miss Laura Claget as the God
dess of Liberty. The procession was an immense throng of col
ored citizens, with excursion parties from surrounding cities,
accompanied with bands of music and banners, with many
designs representing freedom and progression versus the
condition of slavery days. A Fifteenth Amendment song was
composed by W. H. Gibson, and sung at the Court Square,
where, for the first time, a stand was erected. Ten thous
and people were gathered to hear speeches and music. We
had seen, on past occasions, on the same square, some horri
ble scenes, slaves sold on the court-house steps, negroes
hung and burned, also the forms of ghastly Irishmen burned
by the Know-nothing mobs on Bloody Monday, but the con
trast of that day s thrilling jubilee the completion of Amer
ican citizenship for the negro seemed a fitting retribution
for the past horrors perpetrated and inflicted by the inhuman
The following is the song composed by W. H. Gibson,
Sr. , which was sung by five thousand voices on the day of
the celebration :
Come all ye Republicans, faithful and true,
Here is a work for you :
The Fifteenth Amendment has fought its way through
True as the boys in blue.
The Democrat party its race has run,
To give way for an era that freedom has won.
Bring out your gun ! Bring out your gun !
Bring them, ye brave and true.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 63
Colored citizens, prepare ye; your manhood s complete,
God grant that " we all may have peace."
The ballot-box is open to all of our race,
Put in your snowy flakes;
For the Republican party will vote in a mass,
For they have guarded well " Thermopylae s Pass."
Vote for them long, vote for them strong,
Vote for the brave and true.
Songs of exultation we gladly will sing
For the twenty-eight States so true ;
For the Fifteenth Amendment s a mighty big thing,
The Democrats know it is true.
Kentucky neutrality, we can not define it,
The Fifteenth Amendment has opened a mine in it
And blown it sky high ! and blown it sky high!
Sing it ye brave and true.
My Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, each of them
Opposed its ratification ;
California, Oregon, Tennessee with them,
Kentucky makes up the seven.
But the twenty-eight States, yes, thirty of them,
Have put to rest the unjust seven.
So let them writhe ! Let them writhe !
Writhe in their agony.
The ratification has made the great Nation
More honored, more just and good ;
The lowly will praise her, the great God will bless her,
Her enemies stand in awe ;
And if the old flag is e er torn from the mast,
Up defenders will rise as they have in the past,
And fly to their arms ! Fly to their arms !
To save the dear old flag.
Our country s flag we do revere,
For we love the Constitution ;
The Declaration doth declare,
All men are born free and equal.
The Fifteenth Amendment hath abolished caste,
Servitude, color, are buried at last,
Never to rise ! Never to rise !
Under the Constitution.
64 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
HON. FRED. DOUGLASS VISITS LOUISVILLE.
The Independent Sons of Honor being desirous of having
Mr. Douglass address the colored citizens of Louisville solic
ited the writer to correspond with him and make such ar
rangements as would suit him. I opened correspondence,
and, after several letters had passed, the invitation was
accepted on terms suitable to him. The following is his let
ter of acceptance :
WASHINGTON, D. C., April 2, 1873.
Wm. H. Gibson, Esq.
MY DEAR SIR Your letter accepting my terms is at hand.
I will endeavor to be in Louisville on the 2oth inst., and will
be ready to unite with your celebration on the 2ist of April.
Please inform me, without delay, the name and address to
which you will expect me to report on the 2oth. Hoping
for a successful celebration of one of the grandest facts in
the history of our country. I am, dear sir,
Very truly yours,
A committee composed of George Buckner, James Graves,
Vincent Helm, W. H. Gibson, Isaac Curtis, and others,
received Mr. Douglass at the depot with carriages and a
band of music. He was escorted to the residence of Mrs.
Lucretia Morris, on Seventh Street. There he received the
courtesies of the citizens of Louisville, colored and white.
The Hon. Judge J. M. Harlan tendered him his private car
riage and horses for his visit through the city. A proces
sion was formed of societies and citizens, and they marched
to the Exposition, where an immense throng of people filled
the building. Mr. Douglass made a fine address, such as he
was capable of making, and it was published in our daily
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 65
papers. He remarked that " the building was so large and
fhe tumult so great that it was as the roaring of Niagara."
His voice was inadequate to fill the building.
The Kentuckian was issued in the seventies, Mr. Horace
Morris being its editor. It was published for several months.
The Planet was published by the Planet Printing Co.
Zion s Banner was published in 1881, with H. C. Weedon
as its editor.
The Bulletin was published by the Adams Brothers, John
and Cyrus. This paper was very ably edited and received a
large subscription. It was a paper that advocated the cause
of the negro and the principles of Republicanism. The pro
prietors moved to Chicago and the paper is yet in existence,
the name having been changed. An incident in relation to
Cyrus Adams and the study of the German language occurred
here during his study under a German teacher. A large
class of students attended, who were members of the first
families of the city. The teacher said that his progress was
rapid, and he attracted attention by the excellence of his
recitations. The teacher also said that he was much aston
ished one day about the close of the term when he informed
him that he was a newspaper man and one of the editors of
The Bulletin. So the term was closed, and of all the pupils
attending none of them knew that Adams was a colored man
except the teacher, who found it out by mere accident. Had
it been otherwise, the white pupils would have been horrified
at the idea of a colored student belonging to the class. Mr.
Adams made a trip to Europe, studied there, and returned
and taught here in our High School.
66 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
The Ohio Falls Express, edited by Dr. H. Fitzbutler, is
one of the oldest colored papers in the State. It has been
suspended during the Doctor s absence in Europe.
The American Baptist, W. H. Stewart, editor, represents
the interests of the Baptist denomination, and is very ably
edited. It is in its sixteenth year. Mr. Stewart is also a
politician, and is always found in the advance of all questions
pertaining to our race.
The Informer, published by H. H. Hatcher, is a spicy
SUNDAY-SCHOOL PICNICS IN ANTE-BELLUM DAYS.
Our Sunday-school picnics were held on the Fourth of
July, as it was a National holiday. The slave, as well as his
master, had the privileges of that day. We would assemble
our children at the churches and march to the grove, but
not without one or two policemen, at two dollars a day, to
see that we behaved ourselves and that no incendiary
speeches were made. At the last picnic we held before the
war I took an active part, as usual, when I arrived at the
grove. The speakers were our ministers, teachers, and our
old friend, W. H. Bulkley, Presbyterian (white), but at this
time we had a speaker that was not on the programme a
brother who was a slave, belonging to a widow near Hobb s
Station, but was hired out in Louisville as a carpenter. He
was a member of my Sunday-school and desired to speak.
The brethren objected, and feared that he might say some
thing that would harm us, as the officers were there, also a
number of white spectators, but I insisted for them to give
him a chance. When his time came we gave strict atten
tion. He began by saying :
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 67
LITTLE CHILLEN :
We hab sembled to celebrate the Fourth ob July Inde
pendence Day it is called but I never could larn whar de
independence comes in. We are here sembled in dis grove
to yourselves, cept dese paderrols, who is here to watch us.
Now, whar is yo independence ? Little childens, dis is not
yo day, but you will hab a day, for de prophets say so, de pos-
sels say so, and God say so. You read yo Bible and it tells
you dat God made all men free and ecal, and he made dem all
ob de same blood, only one white in de face, anodder black
in de face, and anodder red in de face, but dey were all
bredden and ecal ; but man, being so wise, hab changed it,
and to-day we are not ecal, but de day is comin when you will
be as free and ecal as Gineral Washington. Den you will
hab a day ! But dis is not yo day, little chillen, but you will
hab a day. God haste it on is my prayer. Amen.
This was the speech of the day, and created more com
ment than all the other speeches that were made. Several
of the teachers hid behind the large trees, peeping out to see
what the white police would do if they would stop him ; but
they seemed to enjoy it. We met the same brother, during
the war, in Indianapolis. He went over with the first lot of
fugitives that crossed the river in the wake of the army.
We met him several years later and he had, by his industry,
acquired some property and a comfortable home.
The colored citizens of Louisville had no gala day to cel
ebrate save the ist of August in commemoration of the
West Indies Emancipation of 1834 and in order to enjoy
this pleasure they were compelled to seek other States whose
sympathy was in touch with this grand achievement. At
this time of the year the boating season was over, and those
whose privilege it was to enjoy these excursions made up
their parties and journeyed to Cincinnati, O., Cleveland, O.,
or Canada. Cincinnati being the nearest point, the largest
68 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
gatherings were held there. Rooms were engaged weeks in
advance at the Hotel Dumar, the finest and grandest hotel
established and conducted by colored men in this country at
that time. John Whets and R. H. Gleaves were the pro
On the day appointed for the celebration a large grove
was selected, and there would be thousands in attendance.
Speeches were made by such orators as Messrs. John I.
Gains, Peter H. Clark, Ford Douglass, W. H. Day, Fred
erick Douglass, and others.
Xenia, O., was also noted as a pleasure resort for those
parties. About three miles beyond the city, on the grounds
nearly adjoining Wilberforce University, was another hotel,
kept by Mr. Anderson Lewis, a noted steward and musician.
Large parties and picnics were given there, and those pres
ent indulged in buggy-riding and such other pleasures as are
sought at watering-places. It was, in fact, the " Saratoga "
for our pleasure-seeking people. The springs yielded an
abundance of fine water, containing various medicinal prop
erties. The beautiful scenery that surrounded the locality
was, to those pleasure-seekers, a little paradise. Yet, with
all this pleasure, there was something that was not in har
mony with its close proximity to Wilberforce University.
The president, Bishop D. A. Payne, and the faculty, remon
strated against the balls and dances and seeming imprudence
of the visitors, and of the detrimental influence it might ex
ercise against the institution. Time and patience relieved
them of their forebodings, as Mr. Lewis closed his hotel and
pleasure-grounds, and now, to the surprise of many and the
delight of the faculty and Christian community, Bishop Arnet
occupies and owns the premises. The writer has been a
visitor under each proprietor, and knows whereof he speaks.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 69
Amid the restrictions that surrounded our people during
the forties and fifties, there was a thirst for light, and there
seemed to be a glimmer of hope pervading certain classes.
The free men and women associated with the slaves as rela
tives. A free father and a slave mother, or vice versa, caused
an anxiety to be free; and the little private schools among
the free, though only by sufferance, and often by stealth,
caused an unrest that pervaded many communities. At
Lexington and Frankfort in 1859, through the solicitation of
friends there, we ventured to open a branch school. At
Lexington we taught the common branches, and at Frank
fort we taught a music class. Our school at Louisville was in
charge of my wife and Mr. George A. Schafer. Mrs. Gib
son taught needle-work and dress-making. Samples of her
work can be seen in some of the houses of the oldest citi
zens. Mr. George A. Schafer was for many years in the
postal service a letter-carrier. The political excitement of
those days caused us to close our efforts in this direction.
An educational convention was called in the summer of
1869. The friends of education, by delegations, white and
colored, took a very active part in the deliberations. The
delegates were addressed by Prof. Fairchild, J. G. Fee, Pres
ident of Berea College; J. M. Langston, Esq., Dr. Martin
R. Delany, Rev. H. J. Young, and others. At the conven
tion a State Board of Education was organized, for the pur
pose of forming the State into school districts, and furnish
ing teachers, under the supervision of the Freedmen s Bu
reau. The following officers were chosen: W. H. Gibson,
President; Q. B. Jones, Vice President; John Morris, Sec
retary and Treasurer; Isaiah Mitchell, Traveling Agent and
70 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
Organizer of County and District Schools. Many schools
were organized and teachers employed. These schools con
tinued until the State provided for the education of colored
children under the law, in 1870.
Rev. R. G. Mortimore established a private school in
1858, at Asbury Chapel, for advanced classes in algebra,
geometry, and Latin. A class of young men from my school
attended, and made rapid progress. Prof. Mortimore was
tendered the chair of mathematics at Wilberforce University.
He accepted, and the following class of young men accom
panied him there: W. P. Annis, W. H. Gibson, Jr., Horace
Talbot, Henry Pope, Wm. Robinson, and Chas. Logan,
they being the first from our city to matriculate in that nota
The State University, located on Kentucky Street, was or
ganized in 1879. Prof. W. J. Simmons, the learned Baptist
divine, was called to take charge, after it had been opened
for a short time. It has done much for the educational in
terest of our race in this State and other States. Prof. Sim
mons seemed to be imbued with the necessities of his people,
especially in the Baptist denomination. An educated min
istry was one of their greatest wants. He was to his con
nection what the late Bishop D. H. Payne was as an educa
tor to the African M. E. Church. His establishment of Wil
berforce University has given it prestige throughout the
universe. Prof. Simmons did not live long after organizing
this work, but he has laid a foundation for future usefulness
which that denomination has long since realized. The
faculty is carefully selected from the various institutions of
the country. The commencement exercises are good, and
are always attended with large and appreciative audiences.
Their graduates are dispersed throughout the State, doing
ood work in the educational field.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 7 1
YOUNG MEN S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION.
The Young Men s Christian Association was organized
through the efforts of Albert Mack and Charles Morris.
They were influential in bringing many young men into its
folds, and the organization grew rapidly. Their meetings
were held in the churches, alternately, on Sunday afternoons.
Their weekly and monthly meetings were held in Quinn
Chapel until they had accumulated sufficient means to fit up
a room, which they did in a short time, as they had seem
ingly won the hearts of the people. They held public meet
ings on the street corners, and in the localities of the slums
of the city, and some of their hearers professed a hope in
Christ. The public made them a present of a good library.
They were finally imbued with a spirit to build a hall, Bro.
Mack acting as collecting agent. He used the money he
collected in Louisville in paying rents until the treasury was
The following prominent young men of the city were
among the members : Albert White, Robinson, Chas. Mor
ris, Warden Duson, Elder Frank, Bro. Alexander, W. H.
Gibson, Sr. , and others.
Bro. Mack left on a collecting tour for a hall and has
never returned. A number of newspaper articles have ap
peared against him, disapproving his course.
The society has been reorganized on a firm basis, with
excellent officers, and holding relation with the State and
National Association. It has a good location on Walnut and
Tenth streets. Their meetings are interesting. They have
lectures weekly by the best speakers and thinkers of our
race, and much good has resulted from this organization.
72 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AMONG THE COLORED CITIZENS OF
The Colored Orphans Home, situated on Eighteenth and
Dumesnil streets, was organized in 1877. This institution
was brought about through the efforts of two of our oldest
citizens, Peter Lewis and Shelby Gillespie. They were sex
tons in the Presbyterian churches of Revs. Dr. Stewart Rob
inson and Dr. Humphrey. They made their desires known
to these two divines, who were, in their lifetime, friends to
the colored people. After they had matured their plans, .
they called together a number of colored citizens in the ves
try of Dr. Humphrey s church, where they had his counsel
and advice. They also met in the vestry of Dr. Robinson s
church ; and plans were devised by these clergymen and
financial aid promised when the society was organized. At
a meeting held in Dr. Humphrey s church temporary officers
were elected and a committee appointed to draft a constitu
tion, viz.: W. H. Gibson and Joseph Furgurson. Mr. Gib
son performed the duties of secretary until the permanent
officers were chosen. Meetings were held in all of the col
ored churches, the colored clergy assisting in the work.
Contributions, from time to time, were raised by them, and
the benevolent societies subscribed liberally toward its suste
nance. Our white friends gave liberally, and donated the
grounds and building for the Home, holding it in trust until
the society pays the purchase price. The American Mis
sionary Society donated a third of the sale of the old school
building toward the purchase of the Home. The Orphans
Home Society, during these years, has been managed by a
board of officers chosen from the various churches and socie
ties. The president has generally been selected from some
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 73
of our white friends, and the vice president from the col
ored citizens. Many children have been cared for during
these years and comfortable homes secured among responsi
ble families. The ladies of Louisville have taken great
pride in the Home, and have worked incessantly for its sup
port by holding dinners, suppers, festivals, etc., and every
imaginable means adopted that would bring money for its
support. The following ladies have been foremost in their
efforts to sustain the Home from its earliest inception : Mes-
dames Lucretia Morris. Isabella Belle, M. J. Gibson, Fran
ces McCauley, McKamy, Worley, Minnis, Murphy, Stewart,
Birney, Bullitt, and many others. The teachers of the pub
lic schools have also rendered efficient service by collections
from their pupils and from public dinners and suppers. Mr.
J. C. C. McKinley is its presiding officer at the present time
of writing. He is a principal in one of our public schools.
St. James Old Folks Home was organized by a number
of our citizens for the benefit of our old dependent citizens.
It did not meet with the success it merited. The officers
made a contract for a building in Portland, made a payment
on the property, occupied it for a time, but failed to meet
the notes, and the property was lost to them. This society
has been reorganized and fallen into other hands. The
officers are young and energetic, have purchased property on
Greenwood Avenue, made a partial payment, and the ladies
of the city have organized clubs, and propose to complete
the payment in a short time. They raised by public dona
tions on Sunday, February 28, 1897, $578.20. The prop
erty cost $2,750.
The Louisville Colored Cemetery Company was organized
in 1887 by the efforts of Bishop W. H. Miles, of the C. M.
E. Church, and a few of his immediate friends. Several
74 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
meetings were called at the Center-street Church, and alter
nated at several other churches, in order to bring the matter
before the people, showing them the necessity of having a
cemetery exclusively their own. After organizing and elect
ing officers, a committee was appointed to visit the legisla
ture and obtain a charter, and it was granted. Books were
opened for stockholders, shares $25 each. Thirty-three
acres of ground were selected and purchased on Goss Avenue.
The company has been well patronized by the citizens. Lots
have been purchased, monuments erected, walks and plats
beautifully arranged, and it has been paid for in the course
of eight years, and is .now paying a dividend to the stock
holders. The following are the officers : A. J. Bibb, Presi
dent; H. C. Weeden, Secretary; Dr. Felix Fowler, Treas
THE TREBLE CLEF MUSICAL CLUB.
This musical association of lady artists gave an interesting
muiscale at the Episcopal Church of Our Merciful Saviour.
It was something new in musical circles. The entire
musical clefs were performed by ladies, as follows: First
and second sopranos, first and second altos, first and second
contraltos. Their selections consisted of numbers from
Lohengrin, Chopin, and Schubert, and they were well per
formed before a large and appreciative audience. This club
is composed of the best female musical talent of this city.
The following ladies are its officers : Miss Lucretia M. Gib
son, President; Miss Sophia Johnson, Secretary; Miss Sarah
E. Bell, Treasurer; Miss Eliza Davenport, Pianist and
THE WRITER SERVED IN THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS.
In 1854 was elected delegate to the National Compact,
Masonic Grand Lodge, at Cincinnati, O.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 75
In 1859 was elected Grand Junior Warden, Grand Lodge
of Ohio, at Xenia.
In January, 1869, was elected by the colored citizens of
Louisville a delegate to the National Convention, at Wash
ington, 1). C.
Visited the Judiciary Committee of Congress with colored
Was elected delegate to the Republican State Convention,
at Frankfort, Ky.
In 1870 first colored mail agent appointed from Kentucky.
Plot of Ku-klux to assassinate him.
September 7, 1871, appointed on secret service to visit
Frankfort for witnesses in the Trumbo murder case by
United States Attorney.
April, 1871, elected State Grand Master of the United
Brothers of Friendship, and served five years.
May, 1872, elected delegate to the General Conference
of the A. M. E. Church, at Nashville, Tenn.
June, 1872, elected delegate to the National Republican
Convention, at Philadelphia, Pa., from the Fifth District of
In 1872 visited and was introduced to President Grant by
Gen. Benjamin Bristow.
In 1874 was appointed U. S. guager under President U.
S. Grant s administration.
In 1875 fi rs t National Convention United Brothers of
Friendship convened in Louisville, Ky.
In 1876 was elected National Grand Master United Broth
ers of Friendship, at St. Louis, Mo., and served four years.
In 1878 was elected National Grand Commander of
Knights of Friendship at the first National Grand Lodge,
held in Louisville, Ky. , and served four years.
76 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
In 1880 was elected Secretary of Consolidated Lodge,
Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, and served eight
July, 1880, received first and highest promotion for meri
torious service at the National Grand Lodge, held at Indian
apolis, Ind. an honorary membership for life.
In 1885 was a delegate to the Natio-nal Connectional and
Historical Society, at Nashville, Tenn.
July, 1880, appointed Treasurer of the Mutual Aid Asso
ciation United Brothers of Friendship, and served three
July, 1882, married to Miss Jennie Lewis, of Louisville,
In 1883 was elected President of the Mutual Aid Asso
ciation, and served three years.
In 1887 was elected Treasurer of the Louisville Colored
In 1896 was appointed National Grand Trustee, Knights
of Friendship, at Grand Session, St. Louis, Mo.
In 1897, wrote and published the History of the U. B. F.
and S. M. T.
Served for several years as trustee of Wilberforce LTni-
DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS WHO HAVE ADDRESSED THE COL
ORED CITIZENS OF LOUISVILLE.
Hon. Frederick Douglass, Hon. Charles Raymond, Dr.
Martin R. Delany, Hon. H. C. P . Pinchback, Hon. Alex.
Barbour, Hon. J. M. Langston, Hon. O. O. Benjamin, Hon.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 77
A GOSPEL ODE.
The Lord will come from Heaven,
Will you give Him your heart ?
To resurrect His people,
Will you give Him your heart ?
And execute God s judgment,
Will you give Him your heart ?
We don t want you to fall by the way.
He will come with a mighty shouting,
Will you give Him your heart ?
When He descends from Heaven,
Will you give Him your heart ?
And the voice of the great archangel,
Will you give Him your heart ?
We don t want you to fall by the way.
[NOTE This song was written on the cars coming from Boston to
New York, over the Falls River Line, by Elder F. A. Boyd, the first
army chaplain of the Kentucky Mulattoes. Elder Boyd was a brother
of Marshall and Geo. Taylor. We insert these lines to show that the
three brothers were inclined to literary pursuits. This one has always
been of an eccentric nature. He presented me with this composition.]
It may not be out of place for me to close this history
with several important events that have come under my
notice since I commenced it, and to contrast them with the
introduction of this work, for the reader will observe that
there is much gloom and discouragement in the early pic
ture drawn of the misery and distress attending the race in
the early forties; but in the nineties, a half century later, a
complete revolution has been worked, and it should convince
those who are so impatient and seemingly discouraged, that,
looking back and comparing those revolutionary changes
with the past, " God has led us on a way that we knew not."
The events are the Educational Convention of the Minis
ters of the A. M. E. Church, the State Teachers Associa
tion of Kentucky, and the Negro Day at the Nashville,
78 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
THE EDUCATIONAL CONVENTION OF MINISTERS COMPOSED OF
THE KENTUCKY AND WEST KENTUCKY CONFERENCES.
This body met in Asbury Chapel, June i, 2, and 3, 1897.
I attended a part of two sessions. The convention was pre
sided over by that eminent divine, Rt. Rev. Bishop Salters.
Papers were read and discussed by the members, the sub
jects being such as pertained to our interest. The discus
sion threw light and animation into the participants and its
hearers, and gave us ample opportunity to retrospect the
past and compare it with the present.
My semi-centennial year would seemingly be incomplete
without this scene, and especially as it occurred in the old
building where I begun my public career fifty years ago.
Then it was chaotic darkness, so to speak. We were feel
ing our way, aiming for a higher plane of civilization.
Could we have enjoyed the pleasure and companionship of
those erudite and distinguished scholars, our church in this
city and State would be, at this time, a leading factor in the
educational work of the State, and her academies and col
leges would have been disseminating knowledge to the masses
instead of just now beginning the enterprise. From the re
ports, however, we learn that Wayman Institute has a bright
future, and may yet become the seat of learning for African
Methodism in Kentucky.
NEGRO DAY AT THE CENTENNIAL, NASHVILLE TENN. ,
JUNE 5, 1897.
We live in a great age, it may be truly said of the closing
scenes of the nineteenth century. One hundred years ago, in
Tennessee, the negro was reckoned but a degree higher than
the brute, but time has developed his superiority above the
brute creation. Eighteen hundred and ninety-seven finds the
J. W. HILLMAN,
P. N. G. TREASURER.
P. G. M. OF MASONS.
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 79
negro vicing with his white brother in art, science, and lit
erary pursuits in the "Temple of Fame." The Exposition
exhibits every conceivable skill and genius of the Anglo-
Saxon. The negro of thirty years birth climbs the ladder of
fame, round by round, until he is finally inspired with the
idea that he will reach the summit.
The exhibit in the Negro Building convinced the most
skeptical that the negro was not only thinking, but had put
his thoughts into practice. Nearly every profession is there
represented, and in a manner that bespeaks volumes for the
Whatever might have been the trouble with the local
committees or commissions, the parade and the exhibits at
the Negro Building were a success, and we think that the sen
timent of every visitor will agree with us. We are opposed
to the " separate coach," but we must confess that we favored
the separate Negro Building at this Centennial, as the exhib
its, of which we are so proud, would have lost their identity
in the white buildings unless labeled " negro," and this would
have been objectionable. There have been so many great
and good deeds performed by the negro that never will see
the light of history, only as recorded in a general way in con
nection with the whites, that the negroes are beginning to
write their own histories, so that their deeds and accomplish
ments may not be lost to the future generations of their race.
For instance : I have mentioned several artists in this book
musicians whose compositions have been published by some
of the leading music houses in America. Their songs
were sung and played by thousands, and yet but few knew
that the composers were negro artists. This generation is
ignorant of the fact that such men ever lived. " Didst
Thou ever Think of Me?" a song, was arranged for the
8o PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
guitar by Samuel L. White for the music house of George
Willig, Philadelphia, Pa. ; "The Heart That Loves Fondest
of Any " was arranged by S. L. White for the music house
of W. Peters & Son, Cincinnati, O., and Peters & Webb,
Louisville, Ky. ; "Falls City Polka Quadrille" was com
posed by George Hamlet for the music houses of Peters &
Webb, Louisville, Ky., W. C. Peters & Son, Cincinnati, O.,
and Balmer & Weber, St. Louis, Mo. These negroes com
posed for these houses fifty years ago, but their race
was concealed, only their names being given, for it would
have been unpopular at that day and time to present sheet
music composed by negroes to the public. If the artist be a
German, a Frenchman, an Italian, or an American, his
nationality appears on every sheet ; hence our views, that
whatever the negro does commendable, preserve his identity,
so that future generations may know that you had been
along these lines.
The U. B. F. and S. M. T. Headquarters of Tennessee
were neatly fitted up for the reception of its visitors from the
interior and sister States. At night a meeting was called at
the U. B. F. Hall by Grand Master P. F. Hill and National
Grand Princess Mrs. Georgia A. Henderson. Introductions
and speeches were made by local members and visitors. A
resolution was passed as follows :
WHEREAS, The call of the National Grand Master, Willis
N. Brent, has not been issued for the meeting of the Na
tional Grand Lodge ; and
WHEREAS, The reduction in railroad fares to the Centen
nial from all quarters of the United States to this point is
reduced to such low rates, and ample time will be given for
the transaction of National Grand Lodge business, also time
to witness the display of our people at the Centennial Expo
sition after the business of the National Grand Lodge is
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 8l
WHEREAS, The reduction of railroad fares will save to our
Order and delegates several thousands of dollars should the
meeting be held at Nashville (which money we really need) ;
WHEREAS, The time is so very short for us to make suita
ble arrangements or rates in other directions of the country
with the various railroad agents ; and
WHEREAS, We believe it would be advisable to petition
the National Grand Master, Willis N. Brent, to consider this
matter, and ask that as he has so long delayed the final call
to the lodges and temples that he, by the advice of the Ex
ecutive Committee, change the place of meeting from Wash
ington, D. C. , to Nashville, Tenn., as we deem it an emer
gent case for their consideration and the financial interest of
the Order; and
WHEREAS, It is the opinion of the Grand Master of Ten
nessee, P. F. Hill, the National Grand Princess, and the
Princesses, Masters, also members of the Order in Nashville,
that they can accommodate the National Grand Lodge meet
ing as cheaply and comfortably as can be afforded in Wash
ington, or as they have been provided for on former occa
Resolved, That these resolutions be forwarded to our Most
Worthy National Grand Master, Willis N. Brent, immedi
ately ; and further
Resolved, That they be drafted by Bros. J. Thomas Tur
ner, Grand Secretary of Tennessee, and E. W. Marshall,
Grand Secretary of Kentucky.
In this connection the Grand Master, Willis N. Brent,
issued the following circular, changing place and date, and
designating Nashville, Tenn., as the place of meeting of the
Grand Lodge :
Change of Place and Date Extensive correspondence with
members of the Order in Washington, and well informed
members elsewhere; delay in determining what was best
for the general interest of the Order, especially the great ex-
82 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
pense for the journey and high price of living there have
all concurred in making the change of place and date of
Reduced rates on all railroads to Nashville are provided,
and we are assured of a hearty welcome and magnificent en
tertainment, with all the advantages of the Centennial Expo
sition when we get there.
You are hereby officially notified that the ninth session of
the National Grand Lodge and fourth of National Grand
Temple, will be held in the city of Nashville, State of Ten
nessee, beginning at 10 o clock A. M., Tuesday, August 24,
1897, and continuing in session five days.
Yours in J., M., andT.,
WILLIS N. BRENT.
National Grand Master.
STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION.
This body of educators held their twentieth anniversary
July ist and 2d, at the Central High School, Ninth and
Magazine, Louisville, Ky., and night sessions were held at
Quinn Chapel, A. M. E. Church. The meetings were pre
sided over by President C. H. Parrish. Prof. J. M. Max
well delivered the welcome address, and Prof. C. C. Monroe,
of Owensboro, made a fitting response.
The following papers were read: " Tendency of Educa
tional System," by Prof. J. B. Winrow, of Bowling Green,
Ky. ; "Elementary Science," by Prof. W. C. Taylor, of Lex
ington; "Self Culture," by Rev. C. L. Puree; "Trustee
System and Condition of our Schools," by Mrs. L. V. Sneed.
At the night session Rev. Dr. Tyree invoked the divine
blessing. The Treble Clef Club entertained with a chorus.
President Parrish read his annual address, reviewing the
history of the association, and Prof. J. H. Jackson "How
to Create Educational Enthusiasm."
PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR. 83
At the close a reception was giveji by the teachers of
Louisville to the visiting members.
We listened attentively to the reading of the papers and
the discussions which followed. They were of the highest
character, and carried the listener to the highest realm of
thought. Twenty years of application in this association
has truly developed many able writers and thinkers among
our teachers, of whom the friends of education and the State
officers who are training and supporting this educational
work should feel complimented. As an ex-teacher of the
"old school," my mind reverted back to fifty years ago,
when, in this city, four men R. M. Lane, Rev. Henry
Adams, Rev. Peter Booth, and myself were striving, in a
modest way, to teach the elementary branches of an English
education to those of the race who might be allowed to ma
triculate. The three first mentioned pioneers have passed
away, and I am left, by the providence of God, to witness
some of the wishes and desires of our hearts that our peo
ple might be saved educationally, and at the same time be
the recipients and participants in the redemption of others
in this great work.
Fifty years ago, in the four private schools taught by these
pioneers, the pupils scarcely numbered two hundred, but at
the expiration of a half century we have thousands in at
tendance in the schools of this city, over one hundred teach
ers, nine buildings, and a high school, turning out from
eighteen to twenty graduates annually. We also have a State
Normal School, county and district schools all over the
State, denominational colleges and academies, and industrial
schools for boys and girls. Teachers salaries average from
$40 to $125 per month. " Praise God from whom all bless
84 PUBLIC CAREER OF W. H. GIBSON, SR.
To the readers of my semi-centennial history :
In this narrative I have not endeavored to make any
literary display, but to relate only such facts as actually came
under my notice, and such as I participated in during the
dark days of slavery and of those since the dawn of free
dom and the enfranchisement of our race. The history of
our race is just being given to the rising generation by their
own "kith and kin." Heretofore, sufferings of the most
excruciating nature have been concealed; deeds of Christian
love and forbearance and heroic valor have been a sealed
book to our students. Colored writers and historians are now
collecting evidence from the care-worn veterans of our race
who survive the vicissitudes of an half century. Our white
historians of to-day are yet collecting the past deeds of their
fathers of Revolutionary fame ; their lineage is sought after
that their descendants may know from whose loins they
sprung. The story of the landing of the Pilgrims is repeated
every day in some school-room ; the crossing of the Delaware
is a story that never grows old; and the cruelty of the
Anderson Military Prison in the South is rehearsed at the
camp-fires. Shall we do less ? Is this repetition the open
ing of old sores, and causing wounds to bleed afresh ? No ;
we think not ; we want our own history ; we wish to tell it
in our own way, and put our children in possession of deeds
that would never be known concerning their forefathers
through the school histories of our day. In this history we
give you the dark cloud with its silver lining the past and
the present. Compare them and be wise.
With this apology, I close the fifty years history of my
public life. Yours, fraternally,
W. H. GIBSON, SR.
HISTORY OF U.B.F. AND S.M.T.
Biographical 1 1-14
Charter obtained 9
Founders of the Order 7
Name 1 1
Articles of Agreement 16
Convention for the formation of a State Grand Lodge .... 1517
Labor after organization of State Grand Lodge 17-18
Quotations from Fourth Annual Report 18-20
First National Convention U. B. F. assembles in Louis
ville, Ky., July 20, 1875 20-23
The Missouri Convention of 1876, pursuant to call of the
National Convention of 1875 2 3~ 2 9
Quotations from Proceedings of Third Annual Session at
Lexington, Ky 31
Resolutions sustaining the recommendation of the Grand
Lodge of Kentucky 30
86 INDEX TO HISTORY OF U. B. F. AND S. M. T.
CHAPTER V Continued. PAGH .
First State Grand Lodge in Kentucky after organization of
National Grand Lodge in St. Louis, Mo 36
Quotations from Proceedings of Fifth Grand Session of
Kentucky 3 2 ~36
National Grand Master s First Report 36-46
Second Biennial Session of the National Grand Lodge. . . . 48-56
First Convention of the Temples of the U. B. F 57-5$
Second National Convention of the Sisters, July 17, 1880,
at Indianapolis 60
Special Committee meeting in Louisville for instruction in
the Temple Work 59-6o
Temple Work $6-57
Insurance or Mutual Aid Department 60-62
Organization of Grand and Subordinate Camps, July 5, 1878. 62-65
Grand Masters of Kentucky 65-67
Grand Masters of other States, etc 68-73
History of Past Masters Council, Royal Household, and
Juvenile Department 79
Sketches of National Grand Masters 73~79
Biennial Session of National Grand Lodge held at Little
Rock, Ark., July 23, 1891 80-81
National Knight Commanders 83
Reception of William Lloyd Garrison Camp, at Chicago,
111., July, 1891 81-82
Visits of Valiant Knights ; 84-86
INDEX TO HISTORY OF U. B. F. AND S. M. T. 87
CHAPTER XIV PAGB .
Closing remarks 114
Good and Evil tendencies of Societies 112-113
Grand Camp Session at Little Rock, Ark., July 23, 1894. .100-101
Grand Lodge of Kentucky 101-103
Grand Lodges organized 1 10
History of the Temples at Chicago, 111 108-109
Joint Lodge and Temple U. B. F 104-105
List of Camps no-ill
National Grand Camp Officers 1 1 i-i 12
National Grand Officers elected at the Biennial and Tri
ennial Sessions 109-1 10
Orphan and Dependent Home 103-104
Reminiscences Alabama 93~94
Louisiana 9 l ~93
Widows and Orphans Home Further acquisition of
INDEX TO HISTORICAL SKETCH
PROGRESS OF THE COLORED RACE
IN LOUISVILLE, KY.
Advisory School Board (colored) 2 4~ 2 5
Artists, colored, in music and photography 39-4 1
Bloody Monday, August, 1855, murdering and burning of the
houses of Irish citizens 37~38
Baptist Churches 17-19
Center Street Church 14-16
Christian Church 20
Colored Roman Catholic Church 22
Fourth Street Methodist
Sale of property and split in the congregation 8-1 1
Stirring scenes with the congregation and its pastor. . . 5-8
Jackson Street Church 17
Leading Churches and Pastors 22-23
Presbyterian Church 19-20
History of the mother A. M. E. Church 1 1-14
St. Mark s Colored Mission Episcopal Church 20-22
Concluding remarks 84
Departed for Kansas 50
Douglass, Hon. Frederick, visits Louisville 64-65
INDEX TO HISTORICAL SKETCH. 89
Educational Convention of Ministers composed of the Kentucky
and West Kentucky Conferences 78
Efficacy of prayer a minister prayed out of a chain-gang while
on the road to the South 36-37
Fifteenth Amendment and its jubilee celebration 62-64
Fort Leavenworth, visit to 5~5 2
Freedmen s Bank 55
Freemasonry 4 2 ~45
Free-soil and Squatter Sovereignty 4i~4 2
Free-soil Convention at Pittsburg, Penn., in 1852, a visit to ... 32-34
Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 34~36
Gospel Ode 77
Home Guards, cruelties of the 49~5O
Mail Agent on the Knoxville Branch L. & N., appointed to the
Massachusetts calling for colored soldiers 47~49
Musical Societies, etc.
Church Choirs 60
First Musical Festival in Louisville 57
Madame Selika and S. W. Williams 60-61
Second Musical Festival in Louisville 57~6o
The Mozart Society 55~56
The Treble Clef Musical Club 74
Negro Day at the Centennial, Nashville, Tenn., June 5, 1897. . 78-82
Newspaper enterprises 65-66
Odd Fellowship 45~46
Patrolling, system of, as it was called by policemen 36
Positions of honor held by the writer 74~76
Prominent Louisville men of the forties and fifties, and their
business 2 5~3
Public Institutions among the colored citizens of Louisville . . . 7 2 ~74
Return to Louisville 5 2
Scenes of 1861 in Louisville, Ky 46-47
Schools of the forties and fifties 38
90 INDEX TO HISTORICAL SKETCH.
Slave auction block, as seen by the writer for the first time. ... 39
Society among the Free Colored People 30-32
Speakers of note who have addressed the colored citizens of
State Teachers Association 82-83
Sunday School picnics in ante-bellum days 66-68
Sunday School Unions 24
Sunday School Work 2 3~ 2 4
United States Circuit Court 53
Young Men s Christian Association 71
Hon. W. H. Gibson, P. N. G. M. :
I am proud to know that you have undertaken so great
and noble a work for the Order, as it fills a long and wanted
anticipation, and I know that you are the suitable one for
the occasion. I can safely say that your book will not be
burdensome on your hands, for it will be desired in the
homes of every U. B. F. and S. M. T.
W. T. LlNTHECGME,
Knight Recorder, Belle Camp.
We feel safe in recommending the History of the United
Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten to
the U. B. F. and S. M. T. and the general public. It is
written by W. H. Gibson, Sr., the first State and National
Grand Master of the Order. The history will consist of
about 200 pages. W. A. GAINS, Grand Master.
E. W. MARSHALL, Grand Sec y.
Wm. H. Gibson :
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER I assure you that I appreciate
your request very highly, and truly hope that the undertak
ing will be a success. J. W. HILLMAN,
Past Grand Treasurer,
W. H. Gibson:
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER Your History is a long-felt
need, and I am sure that not only the members, but the
world, will be proud of it. The fact that it comes from your
brain and pen will give it double interest. With best wishes,
I am, in J., M., T.,
CLARA E. SCULL,
National Grand Secretary National Grand Temple.
W. H. Gibson :
MY VERY DEAR SIR AND BROTHER I see, through the
Gazette, that you are preparing an historical work of the
Order of United Brothers of Friendship. When the work is
out of press I will be more than glad to have you send me a
copy. Anything written by you on that subject must neces
sarily be good, and I am interested in all such publications.
I am yours, truly,
MORGAN T. WHITE.
W. H. Gibson, P. N. G. M. :
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER Yours received, and can assure
you that I shall be delighted to handle your book in this
city. I feel that our interest is mutual in this one matter,
the History of our Order. Yours in J., M., T.,
J. W. WOOLFOLK,
Past Grand Master.
Bro. W. H. Gibson :
DEAR SIR I am in receipt of your letter, and just as
soon as your book is out I will be able to put before the peo
ple of Lexington about two dozen copies. I have solicited
nearly that number already. Respectfully,
H. A. TANDY,
DEAR BROTHER Yours received. I have so often heard
of you, also your History of our Order, which I think is the
very thing for the good of the Order in this and other States,
for it is little known in my State. I wish you great success
in your undertaking.
I am yours, respectfully, in J., M., T. ,
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER Yours received. I think the
History of the Order of U. B. F. and S. M. T. is a good
thing, and the very book that we have desired for years. I
shall take one myself, and advise all of our worthy members
to do the same. Yours in J., M., T.,
H. C. MALONE,
N. D. D. G. M.
W. H. Gibson, Esq. :
DEAR SIR I understand that you are about to publish a
History of the United Brothers of Friendship. That such a
work is necessary no one will dare dispute, and I had con
templated such a work ; in fact, had begun it. I have posi
tively done more for the Order, in a general way, than any
five men within the past ten years. I suppose you will not
forget to mention these things, because they are a part of
the history. I am yours in J., M., T. ,
R. C. O. BENJAMIN.
Father W. H. Gibson :
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER Yours received. I hope you
will have a success with your book and have them out so
that we can have some on exhibition at the Centennial. Let
me hear from you at your earliest convenience.
P. F. HILL, Grand Master.
Dear Bro. Gibson :
Yours received. I think it grand and noble in you to
write the History of the Order. May success attend you.
GEORGIA A. HENDERSON,
N. G. P. S. M. T.
W. H. Gibson :
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER Yours received. When your
History of the Order is out, please send copies to Mount
Hope Temple No. i, S. M. T.
Your sister in the Order,
SALLIE ANN ADAMS.
Wm. H. Gibson :
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER Received your circular. Will
be glad to receive the History when it is ready.
W. M. LEWIS.
Dear Father Gibson :
I like your idea of handing down to those who come after
us something of our labor. I will gladly do what I can to
place the work in the hands of all members of our Order.
C. S. PRITCHARD,
W. H. Gibson:
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER Glad that you are still in the
work of our grand and noble Order. I think you are the
one, and the only one, to write up the History of our Order.
My best wishes for your success in the work.
ANNA F. MADISON,
N. v. P.
14 DAY USE
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