American Patriotic League
Position of Officers
The President sits directly opposite the entrance to and at the furthest end of the room. The Secretary will sit at the right, and the Treasurer at the left of the President. The Vice-President will be directly opposite the President. The Sergeant-at-Arms will sit at the side and centre of room, and the Chaplain on the opposite side. The Doorkeeper will gurad the inner door and the Sentinel the outer door.
The Altar should be placed in the middle of the room and draped with the American Flag.
The President will be responsible for the rituals and the Secretary for all other property belonging to the League.
President: The hour for opening this League having arrived, all persons present who are not members will retire, the officers will take their respective stations, and the doors will be closed and guarded.
The Sergeant-at-Arms will now take up the pass.
The S.-at-A. advances and gives the pass to the Pres., and then receives it from the other members in a whisper. All being found correct the S.-at-A. will so report, and the Pres. will declare the L. opened for business. But should any person present be without the pass he must retire unless vouched for.
Pres.: The Secretary will now call the roll of officers.
The S.-at-A. will then proceed to the ante-room, ascertain if there are any candidates awaiting admission, getting their names &c., and report. While the S.-at-A. is absent the Secretary will read the minutes of the last meeting. On the return of the S.-at-A. he will hand the Sec. the names of such candidates, and if the parties have not been elected, they may be balloted for by unanimous consent.
This being done and the candidates having been elected, the S.-at-A. will again see the candidates, and ask them these questions:
Ques.: Do you believe in a Supreme Being?
Ans.: I do.
Ques.: Do you understand the object of this League?
Ans.: I do.
If the candidates do not know our objects and principles, they should be read in full from the card.
Ques.: Are you willing to give them your support?
Ans.: I am.
The S.-at-A. will then return and report. If the candidates have satisfactorily passed the examination the P. will direct their admission. The S.-at-A. will again retire and all being in readiness will rap at the inner door. The Door-Keeper raises the wicket and asks S.-at-A. in a loud voice:
Doorkeeper: What is the cause of this alarm?
S.-at-A.: Friends who seek admission to our brotherhood.
Doorkeeper: Have they been found worthy?
S.-at-A.: They have.
Doorkeeper to Pres.: Worthy President, the Sergeant-at-Arms announces friends who seek admission to our brotherhood, and have been found worthy.
Pres.: Admit them.
The Pres. strikes the gavel 3 times, all members rise, the candidates enter and march around the room three to the Vice-Pres.’s desk while a stanza of some patriotic song is sung in which all join.
S.-at-A.: Worthy Vice-President, I am pleased to present to you friends to whom the principles of this League have been made known, and who having been elected and tested are qualified to proceed.
Vice-Pres.: Friends, you have sought admission to our ranks, but before you assume the responsibilities devolving on a member, you should know more of the objects of the League.
These are troublous times; the citadel of American liberty is threatened by dangerous, powerful and subtle foes. The peril is imminent and volunteers are called for to man the ramparts. The institutions of our country are assailed, and we propose to defend them. The battle is to be fought at the ballot box, and through legislation we hope to erect bulwarks so formidable and strong, that no earthly power can successfully assail them. To secure this object we have adopted a platform of principles which has been made known to you, and which you have endorsed. It is our purpose to act politically, and support for public office only those who will adopt our views. At times it may be hard for you to oppose the candidates of the party with which you have hitherto affiliated, but on entering this League, party lines must be effaced, and principles of this organization must be maintained to the exclusion of all other party interests.
If you are not willing to act in conformity with these sentiments you are still at liberty to withdraw.
Do you desire to proceed?
Should the response be in the negative, the candidate will pledge himself to secrecy and leave the room. If in the affirmative the Vice-Pres. will continue:
You will be conducted to the Chaplain who will invoke the Divine Blessing.
S.-at-A. before the Chaplain: Worthy Chaplain, these persons having been found suitable for admission to our brotherhood, you are requested to invoke the Divine Blessing that they may remain steadfast and true.
Chaplain: Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, we ask thy blessing on, these our friends, who desire to unite with us in protecting and perpetuating the holy cause of liberty. Let not selfish interests, nor the strife of political factions ever cause them to swerve from the path of duty, and the obligations they are about to assume. As they are true to these responsibilities, so may they be prosperous and happy through endless years to come. We ask Thee to confirm their loyalty, strengthen their resolution, and endow them with usefulness in the cause we hold most dear, and to Thy Name be the glory. Amen.
You will now be conducted to the P
The candidates will again march around the room, while all join in singing another verse, after which they will form around the altar, facing the Pres.
S.-at-A.: Worthy President, these candidates desire further instructions from you.
Pres., advancing to the candidates: Brothers, for such I hope to call you, having been thus far admitted to our ranks, it is now incumbent upon you to take an obligation which will bind you still closer to us, and which has been assumed by all here assembled. I assure you it will not in any way conflict with the duties you owe to your God, your country, your family or yourself.
If you are willing to assume this obligation raise your right hand, place your left on the flag of your country as evidence of your sincerity and repeat after m, using your full name after the word I.
I, …, do solemnly declare and affirm, that I have answered truthfully all the questions asked me here tonight; and that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and of the State of …; I will use my best endeavors to promote civil and religious liberty, and will oppose all attempts to appropriate the public funds or property for sectarian purposes. I will to the extent of my ability, aid, protect and perpetuate one general non-sectarian Free School system throughout the United States, and will not knowingly vote for, nor appoint nor assist in electing or appointing to any political office, any person who is known to me to be opposed to the principles of the American Patriotic League. I furthermore promise that I will not make known to the uninitiated the name of any member of this order, its places of meeting, its numerical strength and its private work and business. All this I promise on my honor as a man, and without hesitation or mental reservation.
Pres.: I now welcome you as brothers, and trust you will keep in mind the solemn pledge which you have here voluntarily taken. I will now instruct you in the secret work.
The Pres. then gives the work in the following order :
1st: To gain admission to the ante-room.
2nd: To obtain entrance to the meeting room.
3rd: Salutation on entering and leaving room.
4th: Recognition signs, challenge, &c.
5th: Grip, questions and answers.
6th.: Pass word.
Pres.: The pass word is only to be used to gain admission to the Lodge. You can give it to no one but the guardians and the Sergeant-at-Arms and can receive it from no one but the President.
You will now proceed to the Secretary's desk and sign the roll of membership.
The initiation fee should be collected by the S.-at-A. in the ante-room before the candidates are admitted.
Position of Officers