United Sons of Vulcan
President: Brothers, we have again passed through another week of toilsome hours, and have met together for the purpose of considering such subjects as may be for the interest of our trade and organization. We may differ in our views, but let us still cherish and protect the rights and privileges we enjoy as workingmen. To cultivate the social ties existing between the members of our craft and meeting together for the common good. Let us study well our laws and endeavour to abolish injurious privileges and bring all under the restraint of wholesome duty, and let each Brother remember that the interest of one is the interest of all.
Vice-President, what are your duties to the Forge?
Vice-President: To assist you in the performance of your duties, and officiate for you during your absence.
President: Recording Secretary, what are your duties to the Forge?
Recording Secretary: To keep a correct record of all the proceedings of this meeting.
President: Financial Secretary, what are your duties to the Forge?
Financial Secretary: To keep a correct account of all dues and assessments between the Forge and its members; receive all money, and pay the same to the Treasurer.
President: Treasurer, what are your duties to the Forge?
Treasurer: To safely keep all money of the Forge and pay the same only on the order of the President and Secretary.
President: Conductor, what are your duties to the Forge?
Conductor: To place and replace all property of the Forge in a careful manner and examine all present at the opening of the Forge, and see that they are qualified to remain.
President: Guardian, what are your duties to the Forge?
Guardian: To guard the entrance to the inner Forge; admit none nor allow none to retire, unless by your command.
President: I now declare this Forge open for the transaction of business.
Upon the announcement of a candidate for initiation, the Secretary will retire to the ante-room and propound the following questions, to wit:
Secretary: Have you ever been proposed for membership in any other Forge before this?
If the answer be in the affirmative:
Secretary: Please state the reasons, if you know them, and the place, name and number of the Forge that rejected you?
If the answer to the question be in the negative, and the Secretary is satisfied that the candidate never did hold membership in any sub-Forge, he will report to the President that he has examined the candidate, and finds him worthy of membership, and willing to proceed.
President: Conductor, you will now retire and prepare the candidate for initiation.
When all is ready, the Conductor will give the alarm at the door.
Guardian: Who comes here?
Conductor: Conductor with a candidate who desires to enter and become one of the mystical body of the United Sons of Vulcan.
The Conductor will enter and proceed with the candidate in the usual manner to the chair of the President, who will call the Forge to their feet.
President: In order that you may not be deceived, I here announce for your information that the obligation you are about to take will not interfere with any duty you owe to your family, your church, or your country. Having received this assurance, are you now willing to take the necessary pledge to become a member of this Order?
Candidate: I am.
President: You will now repeat after me the following
I., …, of my own free will and accord, with my right hand clasped in yours, and my left hand enfolded in the emblem of my country’s freedom, do solemnly promise to carry out faithfully the policy of’ this Order, and obey all its laws now in force, or to be enacted by this Forge, of the National Forge of the United States; and if at any time I should withdraw from this Order, for the purpose of following any other occupation, I will hold the secrets of this Order inviolate, and endeavor to forward the interests of its members, individually and collectively. Failing to do all this, when in my power, I will consider myself justly entitled to the scorn and contempt of every good and true member of this Order.
The members will be seated.
President: The Conductor will present the candidate to the Vice-President for further instructions.
Vice-President: Brother, the success of our craft depends to a certain extent on your daily walk and conversation, therefore it is necessary that I should give you a few of the many reasons for our formation.
It is an undeniable fact that of the many laws enacted by our State and National Legislatures, none are directly beneficial to the workingman. While it is equally true that the manufacturers are amply protected by law and special chartered privileges, together with the vast powers―socially and politically―that capital always commands. Experience teaches us that nothing can be expected from the generosity of the capitalist. Nay, verily; their highest ambition is to place you and all honest sons of industry in such position financially, that you cannot resist their too-often nefarious demands.
Therefore, Brothers, we have united ourselves together not for the purpose of dealing unjustly with our employers, but for the general improvement of the members of our order both mentally and morally, also to inculcate brotherly love and friendship, to protect ourselves against the encroachments of Capital, and if necessity require, to resist the unjust measures so often used by the manufacturer for the oppression and degradation of our trade.
I therefore entreat you to carry out faithfully the policy and obey the instruction of this Order, and I doubt not, with the blessing of God and the unity of this organization, the day is not far distant when all the sons of toil will receive their just reward "A fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work."
The Conductor will now proceed with the candidate to the President for final instructions.
President: Welcome, Brother, to our friendly Order.
As you are now duly pledged to carry out the policy and obey the Laws of this association, it devolves upon me to give you the necessary instructions and impress upon your mind the extent of your obligation, together with the strictness of the pledge by which you are bound to observe them.
1st. It is required of you that in the future you will learn no Helpers, as such a course in former years, has been the cause of many of the evils through which our trade has passed.
Should your circumstances be such, that it becomes a necessity for you to take on a green hand, it will be your duty to refer the case to your Forge, and by a two third’s vote in your favour, the privilege shall be granted you, otherwise it shall not.
2d. As we have by our own individual acts, resolved ourselves into an Order cemented together by the most sacred ties imaginable, it is, therefore, natural that the interest of one should be the interest of all. Should a Helper’s job be at your disposal, you are obligated, if you know a Brother of this Order out of employments, to give him the preference; but it is not required that you retain such Brother unless he perform the usual duties of a Helper.
3d. It is your duty to use whatever influence you may command in the mill where you work, to procure employment for such Brothers as may be idle and desire situations. In fact, when it is in the power of one to forward the interest of another it is his bounden duty so to do.
4th. It is incumbent upon you as a provision of your duty that you make known to this order its enemies. By such is meant, any member who may so far forget himself as to divulge the secrets, or act in such a manner as will bring reproach upon the order or its members.
5th. You are obligated to appear at our meetings at least once a month, except in case of sickness or absence from the city. It is necessary that you should bear this in mind, and make your visits to our meetings as frequent as possible.
Experience has taught us that without obligations such as you have now taken, and such instructions as you have now received, our efforts to promote our interests would be fruitless therefore ponder them well and if anything be added thereto or deducted therefrom it shall only be by the action of this Order.
All this you are bound to observe; endeavour to act in accordance with its dictates, and with unity of action the members of this organization will soon stand forth regenerated, demanding and receiving the respect of an intelligent and appreciative public.
Conductor, you will now present the Candidate to the Secretary where he will pay all fees, and sign the Constitution.
President: I will now instruct you in the unwritten work of our Order.
After the Candidate has been instructed in the secret work, the President will call the Forge to their feet.
President: Brothers, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Brother …, our newly initiated member. You will please extend to him a fraternal greeting.
The President will now seat the Forge.
President: Brothers, I will thank you to be standing while the Forge is being closed.
We are now to separate. I thank you for your presence and attention, and before we adjourn let me admonish you to be prudent and watchful in all your intercourse with each other, and let us eandeavor to show forth the benefits of our Order.
Brother Vice-President, I will thank you to perform the last duty of your office.
Vice-President: Brothers, as the success of our craft depends on the unity of its members I respectfully invite as many of you as can make it convenient to be present at our next meeting.
President: Guardian: what is the last duty of your office?
Guardian: To open the door and let the Brothers depart in peace.
President: I now declare this Forge closed until next … at … o’clock.