Ritual of Adoption


Opening Ceremony
President gives one rap and when quiet is obtained:
President: Does any Neighbor know of any reason why this Homestead should not light the fire on our hearthstone that shall be a beacon of welcome to travelers?
If reasonable objections are made, time of opening may be extended by President; otherwise the President will open as follows:
President: Honored Neighbors, you have gathered about my hearthstone to discuss matters of importance to our Neighborhood. Before taking them up, we should make sure that no enemy is near and all is secure without, and ample provisions made within to entertain guests properly and accord them a sincere pioneer welcome.
Worthy Marshal, you will see that the Herald and Man-at-Arms are each at his post, that all is in order within the Homestead and my guests comfortably seated, and report to me.
Marshal retires to the ante-room to comply with President’s instructions.
Marshal returns, gives both passwords to President, and then takes up both pass-words from all present, beginning with L. of C, ending with L. of F, steps to northeast corner of room and advances diagonally to the Altar and standing in front of same gives entering sign and remarks.
Marshal: Honored President, the herald has made careful search and reports all secure without. The valiant Man-at-Arms is at his post. All within the room is in proper order, and your guests in comfort.
Worthy Secretary, you will call the names of the officers and the Marshal will answer, present or absent, while you note the absentees in your records. President will then fill vacancies.
President: Neighbors, it affords me great pleasure to welcome you to my fireside. Among our guests is our worthy Chaplain, whose words of cheer and kindly acts in time of need are so highly valued. Let us heed his voice in silent respect.
Calls Neighbors to their feet by three raps.
Chaplain: Almighty God, hear us in this hour of our need and give to each of us that which is best and most necessary for our good, and those with whom we come in touch. Guide us in the way we should go; bless us and our friends and neighbors, and this Society, and direct our thoughts and actions to our Eternal betterment; aid us in conducting this meeting in peace, harmony, and the right, and with good will toward all. Amen.
President: Honored Neighbors, our worthy Chaplain has indeed made a touching and noble appeal to that which is best in us, and pointed out to us a pleasant path of duty. We will now sing our opening odes.
Friends, we come with hearts of gladness,
Let each Neighbor join our song;
Friendship here, and naught of sadness
Mingles with our happy throng,
Songs, of joy, we’ll sing no other;
Smiling faces all unite;
Hail, to every loyal neighbor:
Joy with song must reign tonight,
Joy with song must reign tonight.
Thus our hearts with gladness bounding,
Merry strains to all we sine,
While the earth and air resounding,
With our happy voices ring;
Hail Fidelity our motto,
Truth our brightly shining star,
And Benevolence our watchword,
Love shall mingle with our song,
Love shall mingle with our song.
Once more we have gathered ‘round the hearth-stone;
To place a Backlog on the grate,
And to join in song as we watch the emblers glow
And the progress of the day relate
There’s a sound that thunders like the ocean,
As its billows beat against the earth,
It’s a ceaseless sound, and it ever stronger grows,
‘Tis the story of The Homesteaders’ birth.
By our faith and courage we are founding,
On the golden prairies of the West,
Midst the birds and flowers in the spring-time softly fair,
For the comfort of the Pioneer
Let Fidelity be the thought,
That Truth has with her name entwined,
While our neighborly acts sweet Benevolence teach
What the Blue, Gold, and Brown proclaim.
Our purpose in meeting here is to aid our Great Teacher in carrying out the sublime principles of Fidelity, Truth and Benevolence, and in their names.
I declare this Homestead open.
Seats Neighbors.
Worthy Secretary, you will read the minutes of our last meeting Let, every Neighbor attend closely, that no errors may be made.
Secretary reads minutes.
If there are no errors or omissions, they will stand approved. Short pause to hear objections. If none, gives one rap. They are approved. We are now ready to receive guests. Man-at-Arms, draw the latch-string that neighbors may know we are receiving guests. M. A. A, obeys the order.
Worthy Secretary, are there any applications for adoption?
Secretary reports all recommendations by Application Committee.
Honored Neighbors, we are about to ballot upon the applications of … reads names for adoption into this Homestead. If there are no objections we will ballot on all at once. If objection is raised by any member, ballot must be taken separately, if none, on all collectively. Worthy Marshal, you will prepare the ballot. Neighbors, white balls elect, black balls reject; be careful of your ballot, and vote for the good of this Society.

Ceremony of Adoption
Women may be excused from all except the obligation.
President: Worthy Marshal, are there any newcomers in our Neighborhood who have not been welcomed to my fireside?
Marshal: Honored President, I have been informed that settlers are near, seeking counsel with you.
President: Worthy Marshal, you will ask the Man-at-Arms to send a message of welcome and invite all newcomers to break bread with us.
Marshal: Honored President, your orders shall be obeyed. Retires to ante-room.
In the ante-room, the Marshal will say to the Candidate: You are about to enter upon the life of the Pioneers. You have been permitted to come thus far by the recommendations of worthy Pioneers who have preceded you along the trail you will follow. They have vouched for you as one worthy of a place among us; as being one who is not disposed to meddle with the affairs of his neighbors; and that you are able to retain tin even temper under trying circumstances. Taking it for granted that you have duly considered the matter, and are ready to proceed, you will repeat after me the following:
‘‘I sincerely promise and agree that I will abide by the laws and rules governing this society. I will preserve inviolate the secrets that may be intrusted to my keeping. I also agree that I will not, through mere curiosity, attempt to gain possession of any secrets, whether business or otherwise, that do not right fully belong to me. All of this I promise to fulfill to the best of my ability.”
1st Plan.
Then the following form may be used: Candidate in anteroom is hoodwinked and led to door leading from ante-room to hall and pushed violently into hall through open door and siezed by Marshal, (conversation to be as outlined at No. 1, or candidate may be introduced in the box us outlined below. Folding cabinet or closet may be used instead of box.
2d Plan
The following form may be used in introducing a man candidate instead of ushering him in as a spy found hiding in anteroom.
Man candidate is admitted to ante-room by Herald and confidentially informed that two or three of the boys have got it in for him and are planning to give him—the candidate—a rough reception, hut that members who desire order and gentle treatment of candidates are trying to get the boys out of the ball until the balance of the members have time to obligate the candidate and then it won’t matter. The M. A. A. can listen at the door until Herald has informed candidate as above and give the signal to the members at the right time, when a few of the members selected for the purpose will begin an argument as though excited about giving candidate the whole thing and a few extras prepared for the occasion. Door should he opened a little so candidate can hear it, and while the argument is in progress, Herald will say:
Herald: Those fellows are coming out here to talk it over, and it will not do for them to see you here or we won’t be able to get them out at all.
He then looks around the room as though in search of something, and remarks as though to himself:
Herald: If you only had some place to hide till they go out. Say, speaking as though a happy thought struck him there is that big box and there’s nothing in it. You get in there quick, and they will never know you are in here.
The box should he prepared beforehand with a little chalk or yellow powder scattered on the floor, and just big enough to get in on hands and knees, and long enough to hide an ordinary man. A peep-hole can he arranged by boring a couple of holes for the eyes, and surrounding them with stiff cloth with soft edge, like the shades of a stereoscope, the edges of the cloth to be blacked with soot, lamp black or burnt cork, so that when candidate peeks he will get a black streak around his eyes. The black and the white or yellow powder in the box is for the purpose of proving to the members, for the purposes or future merriment, that the candidate has been in the box, should he escape before being carried into the hall. After candidate gets into box, two or three of the members come into the ante-room and stand or sit and tell how sorry they are that the candidate did not show up, and what they would have done to him if he had come, etc. The Herald will work around to the box and whisper to candidate to keep perfectly still, and that he has thrown a cloth over the box so that it the boys should walk around there they couldn’t see in the box, and while doing so can sift a little Scotch snuff through a hole in the top of the box prepared for the purpose. (Snuff must he handled with extreme care or both the effect of the lesson and health of the candidate will be injured.) The boys will then slip out into hall and leave Herald alone with the candidate, the door being open; the Herald will caution him to be careful and make sound. Just then another member will come out of hall followed by three others, and, calling Herald by name, say:
Member: That miserable light has got to acting up again and we have got to have something to stand on while we fix it; is there a step-ladder in here?
Herald: No.
Member: What’s in that box?
Herald: It’s full of old books and trash.
Member: Are the handles still on it that we put there to carry our supplies up here?
Herald: Yes.
Member: Well, get hold of those handles, boys, and let s carry it in; it won’t take but a few minutes and we must hurry before the hall is filled with gas.
Four of them pick up box and carry it into the room, and after going through the process of fixing the light, carry it over and set it down in the corner so candidate can see all that goes on. The members will discuss candidate’s failure to appear, etc. When candidate sneezes all will listen and look toward the box and at the second sneeze. Members will advance on the box and pull candidate from his hiding place and hoodwink is placed on him. If snuff fails to work, some member should walk near box and discover candidate and proceed as before. He is then hurried to the door and the M. A. A. pushes him violently back as he reaches the open door to ante-room. The Marshal, who stands just inside and in front of door, seizes candidate by coat with both hands in front of shoulders, and stops him suddenly, with the words: (See form No. 1 below.)
3rd Plan
This form may be used instead of the box plan just described: A folding or stationary cabinet or closet may be provided and placed in the ante-room, so located that the candidate can readily go at once through the door into main hall. A small opening may be left, apparently without intent, in the closet door, so candidate can peep through at parties in lodge room. The closet may be hung with coats, etc., to make the appearance less suspicious to the candidate. The colors, worked in the box scheme, may be worked here. The closet door can be suddenly opened at the right moment, when the candidate is likely to be caught in the peeping act, and he can be hurried through the open door to be met by Marshal inside, etc.
4th Plan
A curtain may be provided, behind which candidate may hide, and a similar procedure gone through with, with practically the same results. These last three plans are not mandatory upon the lodge, simply suggestions, that must be worked with caution.
No. 1
Marshal: Halt, and give your name quickly. Candidate is allowed to reply. You are a stranger within our palisade. How you gained admission I know not, but you must explain. Begin.
Candidate is given a chance to explain, then Marshal says:
Marshal: Let the Herald answer how this stranger gained admission to our palisade; and, you, Neighbors to members, mark well his every word and remember your obligation.
A loud conversation is carried on between Marshal and Herald as follows:
Marshal: Neighbor, how came this stranger here?
Herald: Worthy Marshal, as I was making fast for the night, I found this man hiding inside the gate, I made our hailing sign without being recognized. I then started to give the warning sign to the Man-at-Arms, when the stranger attempted to escape by this door, and you captured him.
Marshal: Is that all you know of him?
Herald: All, Worthy Marshal.
Here may be used a short wordy chastisement of candidate by members, if desired.
Marshal: Worthy Vice-President, what shall be done?
Vice President: Perhaps he is a Homesteader who has become bewildered and lost on the plains and knows not what he does. See if he recognizes the implements of our craft.
Marshal: Worthy Vice-President, your order shall be obeyed.
Marshal now turns, candidate facing altar in center of room, and marches straight to it. The implements upon it are displayed one by one, a froe, flail and dial, and candidate is questioned as to the names and uses of each, etc.
When an implement is presented and candidate expresses ignorance of its name, members will groan and talk in low tones to each other regarding the stranger’s ignorance and probable object in entering hall. If candidate gives proper names of each and its proper use, the Vice President begins as follows:
Vice President: Worthy Marshal, you know our laws?
If candidate is unable to properly name the implements:
Marshal: Worthy Vice-President, he is not experienced in the use of our tools, and knows not the name of the most common of our implements.
Vice President: Maybe the stranger seeks our protection and desires to become a Homesteader. Is it so, stranger?
Candidate answers: I do.
Vice President: Worthy Marshal, you know our laws?
Marshal: Yes, Worthy Vice President, strangers must be tested before being trusted. Many a happy Homestead has been broken and scattered through the treachery of an untried member Honored President we are prepared to renew our vows.
President gives three raps, all rise and repeat after him: Of my own free will I entered this Homestead and promised to obey its laws, officers and precepts. To observe Fidelity, Truth and Benevolence towards its members, and mete out vengeance to traitors and spies. I now renew my vow.
One rap and all are seated.
Marshal: Stranger, hostile Indians are near, and we are compelled to send a scout to find their hiding place and strength in numbers It requires a brave man and a cool head, as the journey is beset with danger. None of our Homestead can be spared. Will you go?
Member, whispering to candidate: Don’t you do it; there is a trick in it, etc.
Candidate is allowed to answer. If he says, No all exclaim Coward, Spy, Renegade, Traitor, and threats of personal violence are used, which are interrupted by calls of ‘‘Order’’ from the Chair, and the President will say:
President: Fear of treachery and suggestions of pretended friends cause the stranger to hesitate. To candidate: This Homestead is not disposed to take any advantage of your present surroundings Are you willing to submit to the ordeal by which you may learn the lessons of the Pioneers?
Candidate will answer. Same form will then be followed as if the answer had been “Yes” at the first. If “Yes,” candidate is told that he is a brave man and will no doubt become a worthy Neighbor, and is then given a small bag or shelled corn, a tin cup and some matches, an old gun and powder horn or hunting knife and belt. Hoodwink raised.
Marshal: This corn is the food of the Homesteader; it is light, occupies a small space, is easy to carry, and will appease your hunger. With this cup quench your thirst from the brook at the wayside. With the matches, build a fire to keep yourself warm or light a signal if in distress. This weapon is not furnished you with any evil intent in mind, but simply as a means of defense; or an aid in the rescue of helpless humanity when necessary. Be careful, a rash act may cause sorrow and remorse untold.
Hoodwink is closed and he is led by the Marshal in zigzag courses about the ball to the Chaplain. The hoodwink is then raised.
Marshal: Worthy Chaplain, we seek counsel with you.
Chaplain: Why come to me in this garb of war? I am a man of peace.
Marshal: We ask your counsel. Your wisdom is known in the land and we are in trouble.
Chaplain: What are you seeking?
Marshal: Friends are lost whom we fear have been taken captive by savages, and who, unless soon rescued, may be put to death.
Chaplain: Your mission is indeed a worthy one, beset by many dangers. Speaking to candidate. My son, before beginning this fateful journey, take the counsel of an old man who has had many years of experience on the frontier. Be faithful to the principles you represent and to your manhood. Speak and act the truth, and shun all semblance of deception, misrepresentation or treachery. Be benevolent and charitable in your dealings with all mankind and you will be rewarded by a clear and peaceful conscience, and should death overtake you on this journey, you will experience no regrets for the past. Be ever ready to protect the weak and to shield the innocent. Go with my blessing and best wishes for your success.
Marshal: Worthy Chaplain, we thank you. To candidate: No better advice could be given, and falling from the lips of one whose age and experience have ripened and developed mature judgment, it behooves us to profit by the lessons presented. There to the south appears a light!
Candidate’s hoodwink is closed and he is led about the hail in a zig-zag course as before, while the, lights are turned low and an artificial campfire is placed in the center of the room. When Marshal finishes with “Wait, I see a small camp fire, such as is used by Indians,” and before he asks candidate, “Do you see it?” he will open hoodwink.
Marshal: Wait, I see a small camp fire, such as is used by Indians. Do you see it?
Candidate answers.
Marshal: Let us approach it cautiously, as enemies may be hidden near.
They then advance cautiously on tip toe to campfire and look about; no one is to be seen.
Marshal: It seems quiet and the fire to be deserted. We will take advantage of this. Let us lie down here for the night and take a much needed rest and go forward at daybreak.
Marshal closes candidate’s hoodwink after candidate lies down and all is quiet; members all adjust Indian masks which have been distributed by M. A. A., then M. A. A. (now known as Oka-Man-pe-du) and four dressed as Indians, advance quietly to campfire and seize candidate as he lies, binding hands in front and assisting him to his feet. Camp fire is removed, Indians take seats with members, hoodwink is raised.
Oka-Man-pe-du: How? Newa, Selka, Cola.
Marshal, to candidate: He says: “How do you do, bad white man.” Offer him your hand.
Candidate obeys.
Oka-Man-pe-du: Multa Shunka Sula see wah.
Marshal: He says: “You dog, did you come after the white squaw?” To candidate: Say yes.
Candidate answers: Yes.
Oka-Man-pe-du: Tah su-newa sewah?
Marshal: He says: “What will you give for the white squaw? Will you let them take you captive if they will let the white girl go with me.”
Candidate is allowed to answer. If “Yes:”
Oka-Man-pe-du: Newali, washta cola lu see wah.
Marshal: He says that you are a good friend to the white girl, and a brave man, and that he will not kill you but let you carry wood with his squaws.
If candidate says “No,” or makes no answer:
Oka-Man-pe-du: Mutta Shunka wenah lu wah te ho.
Marshal: He says: “You dog and coward! You shall be beaten by my squaw and burned at the stake.” I cannot help you, for you have failed in bravery, manliness and benevolence.
Oka-Man-pe-du turns, waving his hand in a circle about his head and calls: Hiawatha, Inkpaduata, Powhatan, Teeumseh, luke so awah.
Marshal: He has ordered four warriors to take you to his camp.
The four Indians come forward and take candidate away after closing hoodwink, zig-zagging about the hall to make it appear a long distance, and finally stop in center of a circle of the members wearing Indian masks, with but a campfire for light; one lady should be without mask and appear as a prisoner. She should be a good speaker, that her appeal to the Indians may be impressive to the candidate. Marshal should also appear as prisoner. Lady candidates may be arranged within the circle with captives also, and should accompany Marshal before the wise men. Hoodwink is now opened.
Perfect quiet should he maintained by the members while this dialogue is being carried on and the speakers should talk clear and loud so they may be heard all over the hall. The candidates cannot be impressed with this beautiful ceremony unless they see and hear it without interruption.
Marshal: Great Chief, we have traveled many suns in search of our white sister, who is not used to the ways of the red man, and who weeps for her home. I have brought you a slave to hoc your corn, carry wood for your wigwam and fill your pipe, that the white girl may return to her Chief. Let the words of the Great Chief fall upon our ears in the language of his pale face brother.
Oka-Man-pe-du: The voice of the White Lilly is like the song of the river and whispering voices of the forest. Her absence must cause the heart of her white chief to be sad. The Great Spirit taught the red man to be brave and care for the weak and innocent. He taught the red man to be truthful and not lie. He taught the red man to give food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty. Let the white man say what; the Great Spirit taught the paleface.
Candidate is given a chance to reply.
Marshal: Great Chief, the white man is silent. He has not followed the teachings of nature.
Oka-Man-pe-du: Let the White Lilly say whether the white man has shown his fidelity to the teachings of the Great Spirit.
The four Indians now slip out and assume the stations of President, Marshal, Vice President and Chaplain, unless regular officers are prepared to do so. M. A. A. represents Great Chief Oka-Man-pe-du.
White Lilly: Great Chief, your white brother has been led away from the teachings of the Forest and prairie by the False promises of the city. Here food raiment and the cultivation of the soil are the necessaries of life and the daily vocation. Nature has provided you a home, the forests and prairie your food and do thing. No need for strife and deception here. In the city, father deceives son, brother robs brother, and sister betrays sister. Your white brother is weak; his home is in the city; he dares not express an opinion until he knows it to be a popular one, lest those who trade with him might go to others. His knees tremble and his soul quakes when he hears the voices of the forest. He fears to die, for his heart is troubled. He dares not remain alone at night for he thinks of the past. Let him be conducted to your wise men and be taught how to understand the voices that come from the forest, the prairie and the night.
Oka-Man-pe-du: My white sister speaks words of wisdom, Her kind words have penetrated the heart of the Great Chief. The trail to my village is open. Let the White Lilly lead the paleface to my medicine men. I have spoken.
The hoodwink is closed and candidate led around the room, while a tepee is being prepared and the four Medicine Men seated therein in a circle on the ground. They may be smoking, making bows and arrows, or engaged in any appropriate Indian custom, and discussing among themselves the past, present and future of the Red Man. Tepee between President and Chaplain station near wall—near Chaplain.
White Lily and Candidate listening outside just north of tepee.
First Medicine Man: The Great Father has talked to us in the past as to his favorite children, but today his face is turned from us; the pale face is given the land of our fathers. What evil have we done? Have we not hearkened to the voices of the Forest, and taught our young men and maidens to obey the dictates of the Great Spirit? Why are the graves of our fathers trampled under the feet of the white man, and torn and scattered to make room for great buildings of stone and wood?
Second Medicine Man: My heart is sad, and my tear dimmed eyes are silent reminders of the grief we bear. Our young men, on whom we rely as our support, when our days are hastening us toward the setting sun, have put away the moccasins and hunting knife of our fathers, and have taken up the habits of the white intruder. We are living in a misty haze of doubt; we know not the future. The buffalo and deer have joined our fathers in the Happy Hunting Grounds. The frown of the Great Father has darkened the sunshine of former days, and the present is darkness altogether.
Third Medicine Man:  My brothers, the Great Father may chastise his children; he may turn his face for a season, but his great soul is full of kindness; he cannot forget that to us he gave the earth in its purity, and that we have preserved it without blemish. Though for a season we may be bowed with grief and despair, the ever-returning smile of providence will dispel our gloom, and reveal to us the bright rainbow of promise.
Fourth Medicine Man, rising and apparently looking toward the east: Listen to me, sages of the Forest! I can see a light and hear the hum of industry. Even while I speak to you, I note the onward tread of civilization; its votaries are among and around us we are completely swallowed up and lost to sight in the mad whirl of golden possibilities that our innocence overlooked. See! the pale face is before us in chains; his head is bowed, he expects us to be revenged. Shall we assume to punish him by acts of brutal force for the fancied wrongs of a nation, or shall we not rather break his fetters and bid him God-speed that he may broaden the trail leading to the ultimate brotherhood of all mankind? Free him! Let him go to his people and there learn the use of the implements so necessary to his existence and happiness in a new country. Candidate’s hands are loosened.
First Medicine Man steps forward and unbinds candidate.
Hiawatha, Inkpaduata, Pownatan and Tecumseh now come forward to candidate and Hiawatha closes hoodwink and all leave the hall with candidate. The officers now assume regular stations and prepare to receive Oka-Man-pe-du, his braves, the white girl and candidate.
Medicine Men may be separate and distinct members from Oka-Man-pe-du and his four braves and the regular Homestead officers, or the four Indians of Oka-Man-pe-du, or the regular officers as the Homestead desires, act as Medicine Men. If Oka-Man-pe-du Indians do the work they should assume the four stations immediately after Oka-Man-pe-du finishes and while candidate’s hoodwink is closed. If others take these parts, candidate’s hoodwink should be closed while change is made. The candidate’s hoodwink -will be closed and Oka-Man-pe-du will step down from President’s station and followed by White Lilly, with candidate, one Indian on each side of them and two behind, march quietly to the ante-room, closing door behind them. Regular officers then assume their proper stations, or if they act as Medicine Men, remove costumes, and prepare to receive the Great Chief, Oka-Man-pe-da, as white men. The Indians will, when they reach ante-room, form in line, Oka-Man-pe-du at head, Indians following single file with White Lilly and candidate side by side, following. Herald raps loudly at door. Man-at-Arms opens door to ascertain cause of alarm.
M. A. A.: Has the scout returned with tidings of the captive, or have we again been attacked by the tribe of Inkpaduata??
Herald: The Great Chief, Oka-Man-pe-du, with his braves, seeks counsel with the White Chief.
M. A. A. returns to hall, leaving door open and announces:
M. A. A.: Honored President, the Great Chief, Oka-Man-pe-du, with his braves, is at the palisades, and seeks counsel with the White Chief of the settlement.
President: Oka-Man-pe-du is a brave and skillful Chief, true to his friends and fearful to his enemies. Admit him without delay, and seat him and his braves in the place of honor at my right.
Chairs should be placed between Chaplain and Secretary’s station, in front of members.
M. A. A.: The White Chief welcomes his red brother. Enter.
Oka-Man pe-du, followed by Indians single file, White Lilly with candidate at her right following, enter and proceed in a straight line up center of hall from south end toward President’s station. When Oka-Man-pe-du is within about ten feet of President’s station he will raise left hand to a level with top of his head and halt, all halting at his uplifted hand. He will then fold his arms in dignity, facing the President. The President will step down from his station and advance to meet Oka-Man-pe-du, who will now advance to meet the out-stretched hand of the President, where they clasp hands.
President: The White Chief welcomes his red brother to his fireside.
Drops Oka-Man-pe-du’s hand, turns slightly to the west, raises his right hand on a level with his head, and in front, as though beckoning, and placing left hand on Oka-Man-pe-du’s right arm, says: Let my guests be seated in the place of honor at my right, and food and water be set before them. They have come a long journey and must be tired, hungry and thirsty.
Oka-Man-pe-du, raising right hand, palm outward in front of face, as though warding a blow, speaks quickly: No! No! the heart of Oka-Man-pe-du is heavy with sorrow, for he has brought shadows and gloom to the wigwam of his white brother. When Oka-Man-pe-du has brought back the sunshine to his white brother then will he eat, then can the red man drink the pure water that the Great Spirit has provided for his children.
Oka-Man-pe-du now raises his right hand as a signal and the two Indians at the foot of the line right face, step two paces forward, stop, left face to President, forward march opposite their two companions, stop and all four will face inward. When in position:
Oka-Man-pe-du: White Chief, when the nightingale sang and the gray of evening hung on the willow, a beautiful White Lilly stood on the banks of the river and her voice was like the ripples where the pebbles play in the sunlight. One of my young warriors saw; he came not back to his wigwam for many suns, and then the White Lilly was with him, with the raindrops of her heart still wet in her bright eyes She was not for the red man. She is here waving his hand in her direction. Let her say what shall be the Fate of Oka-Man-pe-du.
White Lilly advances to the President, leaving the candidate alone; the President clasps her extended hand.
White Lilly: Honored President, the Great. Chief is a brave man truthful and just. He has returned me to my home and spared the life of the white man who came from this settlement to my rescue.
President: A man from this settlement to your rescue? Where is he?
W. L. turns and walks to candidate, takes his arm and leads him forward to President.
White Lilly: Here, Honored President, is he who came to my rescue.
President: This man is not of our settlement, but a stranger to me. Can any one here vouch for him?
Marshal: It is he whom we found hiding within the palisade and sent as a scout to test his courage.
Oka-Man-pe-du: If the Great White Chief will listen to the voice of his red brother, let him be silent.
President: Speak, brave Chief, we trust you.
Oka-Man-pe-du: When the time comes for the red man to go on the war path he seeks the dark forest and finds a young hickory, straight, smooth and sound. The bow that is shaped from its stout heart will never be found wanting. The arrow will be true as the eagle’s eye. The captive is as the young hickory of the forest.
President: The hand of the gentle White Lilly shall guide the halting steps of the white man thru the valley of wisdom, as taught by our emblems, and the Great Chief and our red brothers be seated as witnesses of our benevolence.
Candidate is now led to Marshal. Oka-Man-pe-du seats himself Indian fashion on floor of President’s rostrum at President’s left, and President assumes station.
Implements or working tools of The Homesteaders:
M.—Surveyor ‘s chain.
C.—Broad Axe.
N P.—Dial.
White Lilly: Worthy Marshal, I present a friend who desires knowledge in the use of the Homesteaders’ implements.
Marshal: The surveyor’s chain was made use of by the pioneers to measure and lay out the land granted to them by the government into fields and lots, and to accurately fix boundaries, distances and highways. We make use of it for the sublime purpose of measuring our capacity for glorious and elevating education and bounding the limits of our usefulness to our fellow-men. Each link in this chain represents an element of neighborly friendship, and bears a message of Fidelity to you. Study its uses and make the lessons taught a part of your daily life.
Candidate is then led to V. P.
White Lilly: Worthy Vice President, I present a friend who desires further knowledge in the use of The Homesteaders implements.
V.P.: The mattock was an implement made use of by the pioneer to clear away trees, shrubs and other obstacles from the land and to prepare the soil for successful cultivation. We make use of it for the sublime purpose of removing obstacles of prejudice and ignorance from our minds and preparing them for the reception of knowledge and truth. Carefully inform yourself of its many uses and be ever ready to employ it in uprooting deception and falsehood wherever found.
Candidate is led to Chaplain.
White Lilly: Worthy Chaplain, I present a friend for further instruction in the use of The Homesteaders’ implements.
Chaplain: The broad axe was used by the pioneers in preparing the material for the builder’s use, and to remove and make smooth the rough surfaces or timbers and transform them into things of beauty and usefulness. When properly utilized, these timbers sheltered their owner from the snow and storms of winter, the rains and heat of summer, and at all times from the bullet and arrow of his enemies. We make use of the lessons taught by this valuable instrument to remove from our lives all moral and intellectual roughness, the better to fit us for earrying out the benevolent principles of our Great Teacher and to be used in building our eternal home. Keep the moral Broad Axe ever at hand and hew to the line, let the chips fall where they may.
Candidate is led to President.
White Lilly: Honored President, I present a friend for further instruction in the use of The Homesteaders’ implements.
President: The dial was an instrument used by the Pioneer to measure time and divide the sunny hours of the day equally for the purposes of labor refreshment and rest With us it is the symbol of wisdom which is the wages of a well spent life. It teaches us to be punctual, regular in our habits and to prize the sunshine. It teaches us to look upon the inventions of man with doubt and to receive the gifts of nature with confidence and thankful hearts. It teaches that only when the hands and conscience are clean can the heart be full of sunshine, and pure benevolence be mirrored there. You have been encircled with the Homesteader’s Chain of Friendship, and taught to make use of it for the purpose of keeping yourself within due bounds of reason and morality; you have been taught to use the Mattock of Fidelity in uprooting insincerity, faithlessness and superfluous habits; the Broad Axe of Truth to remove from your mind prejudice and a desire to practice deception or bear malice; and the Dial of Wisdom, Sunshine and Benevolence that you may profit by experience. Let sunshine enter your heart and kindle the fire of benevolence there that it may forever shine forth as a beacon of love and good will toward every Neighbor.
Worthy Marshal: Let the white strangers at our gates be prepared for their vow.
Candidate is presented by the Marshal before the Altar with all other candidates, in ,a semi-circle facing the north, and the Indians seated in chairs at President’s right, facing east.
President, at his station, to Candidate: Worthy Candidate, you have been recommended to the members of this Homestead by two of our most valued members, as being in every way worthy of our confidence and respect, and they have vouched for you that you will take, and conform to all obligations required of you, and that you will do your best to comply with all requirements of this Homestead and the Society. Are you willing to do so?
Candidate: I am.
Calls up Homestead.
President leaves station, advancing to within six feet of altar.
President: It is well. You will repeat after me the following obligation: I sincerely promise—on my word of honor—that I will keep inviolate all information—regarding the secret signs, words and usages—coming to my knowledge—while in attendance at meetings of the Homestead—or communicated to me by any officer or member thereof. I will obey the laws of this Homestead—and of the Society—and the instruction of my superior officers. I will never wrong or defraud a Neighbor or his family,—or assail or traduce the character thereof knowingly,—nor permit another to do so in my presence─if within my power to prevent,—my neighbor not being the aggressor. If through sickness, injury or misfortune─I become unable to make my payments—in time to save suspension—I will notify the President or Secretary—in person or in writing. I will attend the meetings of my Homestead at all times—when business of importance is to be considered—unless prevented from so doing—by unavoidable circumstances and will use my influence—for its growth and advancement—and the benefit of its members. To all this I pledge my word of honor.
President: Honored Neighbors, you have heard the pledge of this (or these) Neighbor just adopted. He is now in our faith and work. Be ever ready to advise and guide him in his duties and for his welfare, each being as faithful in defending, protecting, and cherishing, as you expect the other to be in time of need, and all will be well.
To candidate: You are now entitled to our secret work, which I will give you: In this work there is an Alarm; a Permanent Pass-Word; Semi-Annual Pass-Word (which will be communicated to you during the course of the evening); an Entering Sign and Answer; a Retiring Sign and Answer to the Sign; a Warning Sign and Answer; a Hailing Sign and Answer to the Sign, n Sign of Distress, its Answer, and Words that accompany it; a Grip, and a Voting Sign.
After completing instructions in signs and their use, President will say: Worthy Marshal, you may conduct the Neighbor to the chair of our Secretary, where he will sign the Constitution and certificate and return to this chair.
Here instruct in the semi-annual pass-word.
After obligation and before members are seated a pitcher of water and two glasses are brought by Chaplain, one given to President, and the other used by the Chaplain, and each candidate is given a swallow or two of water from it; after each has been supplied, the President will raise his glass and say:
President: Water is a God-given beverage—the emblem of purity and truth. We have all taken a draught of this sparkling liquid in a spirit of fraternity. Let the sentiments of our hearts in the future be as pure and transparent as the contents of this glass.
President places glass on the Altar and returns to station and seats members. Indians, headed by Oka-Man-pe-du, will now rise, advance to President’s station and beginning with one of the Indians and ending with Oka-Man-pe-du shake hands with the President and depart from the hall in silence, disrobe and return as neighbors, finishing initiatory ceremony.
Retiring drill.
Closing Ceremony
President: Honored Neighbors, the hour grows late and the business which called you together has been attended to. I have enjoyed your company very much, and profited by your counsel. I hope that each of you will return to your homes feeling well repaid for your visit and fully resolved to attend our next house warming, which will be … (day) at … (hour) o ‘clock, and to bring the name of some worthy stranger for membership in our Homestead. Worthy Marshal, you will see that all property of this Homestead is placed in safe keeping.
Marshal: Honored President, your order shall be obeyed.
Closing Odes
How sweet the happy evening ‘s close!
‘Tis the hour of sweet repose—Good-night
The mid-night hour is close at hand,
Her voice is soft and light,
As pleading still with breaking day,
Softly now she seems to say—Good-night
These tranquil hours of social mirth,
Form the dearest ling of earth—Good-night!
And, while each hand is kindly pressed;
O, may my prayers to heaven,
With humble fervor be addressed
For its blessings on our rest—Good-night!
O, how each gentle thought is stirred
As we breathe the parting word—Good-night!
O, could we ever feel as now,
Our hearts with love up-raised,
And while our warm affections flow,
Hear in murmurs soft and low—Good-night
Whatever be our earthly lot,
Wherever we may roam,
Still to our hearts the brightest spot,
Is round the hearth at home
The home where we received our birth,
The hearth by which we sat,
No other spot on all the earth
Will ever be like that.
When winter, coming in its wrath,
Piled high the drifting snow,
Safe, clustered round the cheerful hearth,
We watched the firelight glow;
Nor brighter seems the ruddy flames,
Than did, our hearts the while,
A loving mother breathed our names
With sweet approving smile.
When wearied with the eager chase
Thro’ many a tangled path,
How sweet the dear accustomed place
To take around the hearth;
And, still, when by our toil and care
We feel ourselves oppressed,
Our thoughts forever cluster there,
And there alone find rest.
Around the cheerful hearth at home
Where we in childhood sat,
No other spot, where’er we roam,
No other spot will ever be like that
No other spot will ever be like that.
President: Before separating and again taking up the burden winch, for the moment, we laid down to gather around this hearthstone in social forgetfulness, let us give heed to the counsel and advice of our Worthy Chaplain.
Chaplain: Honored Neighbors, let us bow our heads in the presence of t he Great Pioneer, who guides every footstep; whose hand scatters flowers and things of beauty on every side, and points out to us a path of pleasure, peace and plenty, if we will but see. Whose voice lulls the strife, the storms and noise of life’s battle to sleep, and calls forth the song of birds and all nature to make us glad. Think not of your sorrows and woes, think not of your troubles, for each has his share; spread sunshine, speak cheering words, and meet your neighbor with pleasant smiles and cheerful greetings and make the Golden Rule a part of your daily life, so that when we meet again about this fireside each can truthfully say “I have aided a neighbor to meet misfortune with a brave heart and smiling face, and thank God for this great privilege. Amen.”
President: Honored Neighbors, our Worthy Chaplain has indeed given us wise counsel and a glimpse of heaven; let us heed this timely message and carry it to all the world. The Great Pioneer alone knows how soon we may be called to the bedside of an unfortunate Neighbor to bring comfort and sunshine. Let each do what he may to swell our Sunshine Fund against the day of need. Gives three raps.
All rise to their feet.
Gives four raps, and, beginning with the Lady of Charity, members move to the east, stopping at President’s station to deposit a coin, to be called a “Sunshine Fund,” and to be used in the purchase of flowers, etc., for sick members. Pass on out of the hall or to former station at will, depending on whether refreshments or other program is rendered; this being the end of the closing ceremony.