Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Co-operative Union


Opening of the Alliance

The President calls the house to order:
The hour has come to open this Alliance. If any one present is not a member in good standing he will please retire.
Brother Doorkeeper; secure the door. Done.
Brother Conductor, take up the word and see that all are correct. Done.
* * *. All stand.

Brother Chaplain, offer prayer. Done.
All assist me to advance the signs. Done.
I now declare this Alliance open for business.
Brother Secretary, read the minutes. Done.
Brother Secretary, call the roll. Done.

Brother Secretary, are there any candidates present for initiation?
Mr. … is present and desires to enter.
Brother Secretary, has he been elected, and is his fee secure?
Brother Conductor, you will bring in the candidate and present him to me.
The Conductor leads the candidate to the President and says:
Mr. President, I present to you Mr. …, who seeks initiation into our Order.
The President, addressing the candidate, says:
Mr. …, do you believe in a God who made and rules all things and will judge all men?
I do.
Mr. …, you will have to take a solemn obligation before you can be initiated; but it will in no way interfere with your political or religious opinions.
With this assurance, are you willing to proceed?
I am.
Then place your left hand upon this Bible, your right hand on your breast, use your name where I use mine and say after me:
I, …, in presence of Heavenly Father, and these witnesses, solemnly promise that I never will reveal any of the secrets of this Alliance to any person in the world, unless by strict test, or lawful evidence I know him to be a member and entitled to receive them. I will obey the Constitution and Rules of the Order. I will act in harmony with the members and do all in my power to secure the unity of the Alliance. I never will willfully cheat or wrong a worthy member, but will assist him and protect his interest when in my power to do so. I will speak the truth when talking to a member, and counsel and help him in temptation and danger.
I will not recommend for membership in the Alliance a person whom I know to be unworthy. I will never vote against, or oppose admission of any one on account of personal enmity. I will always recognize and answer all lawful signs given me by a worthy member. I furthermore solemnly promise, that if I should ever withdraw from the Alliance, or be suspended or expelled, for any cause whatever, I will keep this obligation as sacred out of the Order as when a member. So help me God.
Brother Conductor, you will lead Brother … to the Chaplain, who will instruct him in the principles of our Order.
They advance to the Chaplain.
Brother Chaplain, the President desires you to instruct Brother … in the principles of our Order.
Brother …, it affords me much pleasure to meet you here. In all ages men by union and organization have accomplished what was impossible to individuals. Without the organizations of families, communities and nations, civilization could not exist; and she can accomplish her higher aims and nobler purposes only by higher and purer organization.
One of us alone can do but little; a hundred united can do much. Perfect organization produces the harmony of Heaven; and perfect harmony on earth, which must antedate the restoration of all things and the glory of the millennium, can be brought about by no other method. Deception and fraud should perish. A dollar’s worth shall be given for a dollar and then peace shall reign. Brotherly love must harmonize all our indifference and make us a unit. You will contribute your mite to the redemption of our race by laboring for perfect union. Let us hope that these noble aims will be ever before your mind and in your heart.
Brother Conductor, you will lead Brother … to the President for final instructions.
They return to the President.
Mr. President, I present Brother … for final instructions.
Brother …, you are now a member of our Alliance and it becomes my duty to instruct you in the pass-words, grip and signs of the Order.
When wishing to enter an Alliance when at work, you will come to the door and give … raps. The Door-Keeper will open the door and you will give him the door-word, which is …. You will then enter the room and salute the Vice-President with our salutation signs, thus …. He will recognize you thus …, and you may then be seated.
The room-word is ….
The degree-word is ….
The grip is given thus ….
The distress sign is …. The answer is ….
We counsel a Brother in danger ….
We open Alliance ….
We close Alliance ….