Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ed by the Grand Lodge meeting in the city of New York, that the Grand Lodge of the United States adjourn to meet in the city of New York.”

The Grand Lodge of the United States accordingly assembled in the city of New York on the 16th day of August, 1834, where they were aided by the valuable services of Brother Kennedy and other distinguished brethren in efforts to revive Odd-Fellowship in that meridian. At that time the Order numbered about 200 in New York, and it was clearly ascertained that the location of the Grand Lodge of the State at Albany was not only adverse to the improvement of the Order, but destined unless removed to extinguish the institution entirely in a very short time by its great neglect of the interests of the lodges in the city of New York. İmpressed with this conviction the representatives, having urged in vain upon the authorities at Albany the removal of the Grand Lodge of the State, adjourned the session of the Grand Lodge of the United States, with the most profound grief that all their efforts to better the depressed state of the Order had proved fruitless. Brother Kennedy did not however abate his zeal in the cause in which he had embarked, but gathering new courage from apparent defeat in his plans, he invited a meeting of all the P. G.'s in the city of New York to consider what means, if any, were left to restore the fallen fortunes of the Order in the State. At this meeting a united and brotherly feeling prevailed and it was agreed to make a further trial for success by the continuance of the Grand Lodge at Albany, and it was in view of this determination resolved with unanimity that the Grand Lodge should be requested to cause their proceedings to be printed together with a table of their receipts and disbursements-during this year he also, with the aid of a few choice spirits, introduced the Patriarchal Order in the city of New York by the opening of Mount Hebron Encampment, No. 2. It was very soon discovered that the Grand Lodge at Albany, jealous of what it considered an open attempt at its removal, instead of yielding to the respectful and reasonable request of the large constituency of the city of New York set about fortifying its own position and providing against a change of its location under any circumstances. The wants and interests of the New York lodges continued to be openly neglected, and a crisis was now at hand which required firm and dauntless courage to meet and stem its current. Bro. Kennedy assembled the P. G.'s of the city of New York again, when after mature deliberation in that body, it was resolved to request a thorough revision of the constitution of the G. Lodge, and to that end a committee was appointed to report an amended constitution to the consideration of the meeting, to be submitted to the Grand Lodge for its adoption. Bro. Kennedy, who had the honor to be the chairman of that committee, reported a reformed constitution which was approved by the meeting and by its order submitted to the subordinate lodges of the city in their corporate capacity and by them unanimously ratified. The G. Lodge of the State convened at Albany in the month of February and it being necessary to press upon that body the adoption of the new constitution, several formidable obstacles now interposed themselves to check the sanguine hopes of the brotherhood. The settled and abiding prejudices existing in the minds of the authorities at Albany against the city lodges, superinduced by the efforts to remove the Grand Lodge, admonished the friends of the new constitution that its main chance of success much depended upon the skill, urbanity and tact of the agents to whose hands it

[ocr errors]

was to be confided. There was enlisted against all and every effort made from New York city in advance, talent, ingenuity and much experience in human nature at Albany, and the signs of the times indicated that a great struggle would be made to resist at the threshold all attempts to alter the organic law of the State Grand Lodge. Much feeling was excitedmuch prejudice aroused—nor was this all, the extraordinary severity of the winter had almost arrested the intercourse between New York city and Albany, and thus the elements of opposition to success in the cause of the Order were calculated to cool the ardor of the friends of its reform. It is to Bro. Kennedy that the distinguished honor belongs of having met all these obstacles in the face-accompanied by another P. G. he proceeded to Albany, presented his Constitution, and without following further the history of the subject in detail it may be sufficient to say, that this proceeding resulted in the declaration of the Grand Charter of New York to be null and void by the Grand Lodge of the United States, under whose authority its functions remained suspended till 1837. During this interval of time much acrimony existed between the city and Albany lodges, but the authorities at Albany having refused obedience to the requisitions of the Grand Lodge of the United States were finally cut off from all communion with the Order.

Bro. Kennedy in company with two other P. G.'s visited the Grand Lodge of the United States at its session in 1837, upon whose application that body appointed a committee to repair to Newburgh in the state of New York, with power to receive the application of the obedient lodges for a reorganization of the State Grand Lodge-here the Grand Charter was formally conferred upon constitutional application from the lodges in the city of New York, from which time the temples of Odd-Fellowship have spread all over the fertile plains, and now crown almost every hilltop of that majestic State. Let the philanthropist look back upon our beloved Order in New York in 1834, drooping and decaying with scarce two hundred members and a few scattered lodges, and then let him behold from its present proud eminence the burning fires upon her hundred altars, with her ten thousand votaries worshipping at their shrine, scattering blessings upon the disconsolate and distressed, and if he has indeed a heart to feel and a tongue to utter he will exclaim, God speed the spirit whose indomitable energy spoke such a spectacle into being. Bro. Kennedy soon after the reorganization of the Grand Lodge of New York, was chosen its Grand Representative, and attended in person the annual session of the Grand Lodge of the United States in Oct. 1838, at the city of Baltimore. At this session he was appointed chairman of the committee on Foreign Correspondence, the duties of which were of paramount importance in view of the threatening vital difficulties between the Manchester Unity and the Grand Lodge of the United States in relation to the work of the Order. It was in this committee that his earnest attention was first directed to the danger in which the “unity” of Odd-Fellowship throughout the earth was exposed, and it will be seen in the sequel that it was here he imbibed that ardent and enthusiastic spirit which has ever since animated him to rescue our beloved institution from a great calamity. His efforts on this subject and the results which have attended his unremitting labour in this cause are fresh before the Order, and however unpropitious the present aspect of our foreign relations now appear, it is scarcely to be doubted that at no very distant day his exertions in behalf of the “universality” of Odd-Fellowship will be crowned with success. In 1839 he was chosen to the office of Grand Master of New York; his administration was distinguished by the most devoted attention to the duties of his office and the admirable form of installation for the officers which he prepared and caused to be officially adopted in the State, and which has since been adopted by the Grand Lodge of the United States, gives him of itself a just claim to the thanks of the whole brotherhood.In the year 1840 he represented the state of Delaware by proxy in the Grand Lodge of the United States, at which session he conceived the pro. ject of instituting an Official Magazine, and was successful in carrying through that body his plan of its publication. Whatever, if any, of merit that work may possess, or whatever of benefit to the Order, if any, may result from its dissemination, to Bro. Kennedy is due the honor of having originated its establishment. At this session he was chosen Grand Sire of the United States to fill the vacancy occasioned by resignation, which office he now holds and administers to his own high honor and that of the Order at large.

Of the details of his administration it is perhaps not proper to speak at this time, its term not being yet expired, but it may be said without derogation from the eminent merits of his distinguished predecessors, that no incumbent of that exalted office has ever conferred a higher degree of honor upon the chair, more earnestly or zealously appreciated its manifold and complicated functions, or more ardently pressed forward the general weal of Odd-Fellowship than the present Grand Sire of the United States. Among the first acts of his administration will be found his renewed efforts to bind if possible in closer union the brotherhood throughout the universe, and no individual gave to the subject of our unhappy differences with the Manchester Unity of G. Britain a larger share of his devotion, or evinced a more anxious solicitude for a friendly adjustment of that all-important question. The G. Lodge of the U. States had for many years left no means unemployed to warn our errant brethren of England against the spirit of change and innovation which they had permitted almost entirely to veil the original work of the Order, and the most affectionate expostulations and remonstrances had been officially addressed to the constituted authorities at Manchester time and again without any kind of influence. At the session of 1841, upon the recommendation of the Corrosponding Secretary, that body conceived the bold project of authorizing a deputation to proceed to Great Britain in person upon a mission of concession and compromise in the spirit of brotherly love—and to provide the means of meeting so onerous a charge upon her resources caused an appeal to be made to the liberality of her subordinates. Grand Sire Kennedy entered upon this new field of labour with all the ardor which had characterized his early years in Odd-Fellowship, and by his unremitting exertions in a great measure the lodges soon responded to the call made upon them by the Grand Lodge of the United States. Called at this juncture to the delicate and highly responsible task of selecting from a constituency covering so vast an extent of jurisdiction, two competent and proper brethren to present the views, feelings and wishes of the Grand Lodge of the United States before the Grand Master and Board of Directors in England the Grand Sire tendered the appointment to the distinguished Brother who has been called almost unanimously to succed him in his high office, P. G. Vaster Howell Hopkins of Pa. and with him conferred the high honor upon the Grand Corresponding Secretary of the Grand Lodge of uniting him in the embassy. Circumstances denied the Order the benefit of the valuable services of the former, and it fell to the lot of the Worthy Grand Chaplain to supply his place. This deputation proceeded to England duly commissioned by Grand Sire Kennedy, bearing his instructions full of earnest and affectionate hope for the success of this important mission.The result is before the whole Order. The Grand Sire's official acts and doings in connexion with the subject, portrayed as they are in so clear and conclusive a manner in his annual message to the September session of 1842, have met the unqualified approbation of the Grand Lodge of the United States and it is believed of every State Grand Lodge in the confederacy. Perhaps no period of time in the history of Odd-Fellowship has been more eventful than the one which has passed and is now passing during the present administration of its affairs, and amid the trials, difficulties and embarrassments incident to an office to which every State in the Order looks for advice and instruction, not unfrequently amid conflicting and divided counsels at home, the present Grand Sire has thus far so guided the helm of the mighty ship which he commands as to steer clear of distraction, division and discord, and is passing on in his happy government of the Order harmoniously and successfully, while all around him he may behold as the fruit of his labour in the holy cause, with the co-operation of the Grand Lodge of the United States, one undisturbed surface of brotherly love covering the vast jurisdiction of the Order upon this continent. To a brother who has thus distinguished himself in the Order for many years, serving in every office from the humblest to the most exalted, is the tribute of respect which adorns this number of the Covenant offered by one who has long cherished for his official and individual worth, and for his estimable family the most sincere regard.

THE TRU A NT CHILD.

BY LOUISE.

1.

'Twas the early dawn of a summer day,

And softly the gentle breeze
Was careering among the flow'rets gay,
Or tarrying with every leaflet to play

That hung on the verdant trees.

2.

The heavens look'd smiling, clear, and bright,

In their robe of azure hue,

While afar in the east, fleecy and light,
Sost cloudlets were drawn like a veil of white,

Concealing the sun from view.

3.

But anon-like a gay and glorious bride,

Unveiling her beauteous face-
The day-god, scattering their folds aside,
Till they spread o'er the concave far and wide,

Came forth from his hiding place.

4.

Then, like a fond lover's embrace, his beams

Circl'd hamlet, and mount, and vale,
And sparkled and danced on the jocund streams
That murmur'd in numbers their pleasant dreams

To the od'rous morning gale.

5.

But sairest and brightest his rays of light

On Madelaine's cottage lay, And peeped with bold air through the casements bright, Dispersing the dreams that had made the night

Vanish so swiftly away.

6.

She sprang from her couch-her young bosom free

From aught like sorrow or, pain;
Her husband that day was to come from the sea,
And she knew how warm his praises would be

When clasp'd in his arms again.

7.

And then she imagined his fond surprise

When he saw his blooming boy,
With his dark, flowing curls, and liquid eyes,
Rivalling the hue of his own native skies,

Till her heart overflow'd with joy.

8.

Alas, that the loveliest scenes must fade!

That hopes are but born to die !
No prospect on earth that hath not its shade-
No joy that gloom doth not sometimes invade,

And waken the troubled sigh

« AnteriorContinuar »