Junior Order of United American Mechanics
Initiation Ritual – Degree of Virtue



The time for opening the meeting having arrived, the presiding officer will take his station and give one rap.
The Officers will take their stations and the members will be seated. Brother Vice Councilor, are the doors of the Council properly guarded?
Vice Councilor:
They are and the Sentinels are at their posts.
Brother Conductor, you will prepare the Altar and place the Flag.
The Conductor will approach the Altar, place the Flag on the Altar, open the Bible on the Flag and place the Emblem of the Order at the head of the Bible, but not on the Flag.
The staff Flag will then be placed at the Councilor's station.
Brother Councilor, the Altar is prepared in due form and the Flag is properly placed.
Brother Warden, you will distribute the Private Work and Ode cards.
Brother Councilor, your order has been obeyed.
Brother Inside Sentinel, you will take charge of the outer door and direct the Outside Sentinel to report to me.
Brother …, are you the Outside Sentinel of this Council?
Outside Sentinel:
I am.
What are your duties?
Outside Sentinel:
To attend the outer door and have full charge of the ante-room during the session of this Council; to admit no person without the term password, unless by your direction.
Brother Outside Sentinel, you will retire to the ante-room and be in discharge of your duties. Direct the Inside Sentinel to enter the Council chamber.
Inside Sentinel:
Brother Councilor, the Outside Sentinel is at his post and in discharge of his duties.
Brother Vice Councilor, have you the present term password?
If the Vice Councilor has not the password, he must receive it from the Councilor.
Vice Councilor:
Brother Councilor, I have.
Brothers Conductor and Warden, you will proceed to the Vice Councilor, receive from him the term password and bring it to me by the right and left.
The Conductor and Warden will approach the Vice Councilor, give him the Grip and receive the password, after which they will receive the password from each member. Every member will arise, take the officer by the hand, giving the Grip and give him the password in a whisper. Members without the pass-word will receive it at this time from the Councilor. When all have given the password, the Conductor and Warden will proceed to the Councilor, give him the Grip and password.
The password is correct. Brothers Conductor and Warden, you will return to your stations.
The Councilor will give two raps, calling up the Council.
Brother Junior Past Councilor, you will give the signs of the Order and the members will follow you and give each sign.
The signs will here be given in the following order:
1. Salute to the Flag.
2. Countersign.
3. Hailing sign.
4. Recognition sign.
5. Sign of distress.
6. Answer to sign of distress.
7. Signal of distress.
8. Answer to signal of distress.
9. Voting sign.
All persons present being members of this Order and the Altar being in due form, we will sing the Opening Ode:
Opening Ode

Come join each member of this band,
Our duties to fulfill;
We've pledg'd to each both heart and hand,
And here we pledge them still
Our right to rescue from a foe
Born in a foreign land,
The watchword of our sires know,
God and our native land.
Brother Chaplain, you will now perform the duties of your office.
The Chaplain will read a portion of Scripture and pray. He must perform these duties at the Altar.
Our Heavenly Father, with profound reverence we approach Thy throne to thank Thee for past blessings and invoke Thy guidance tonight in all our deliberations. Make Thy presence known and may each of us have a sense of our obligations to Thee and to one another. Bless our great beloved Order. Make it a power for good in our land and help us to live up to our objects and principles that the world may be blessed by it and men be influenced for good by our example. We thank Thee for our Nation, with its civil and religious liberties. Aid those in authority that they may fear Thee and labor for the good of those they represent. Help us to maintain our public schools. Grant that Thy Word may ever be read therein and that the children may be taught to govern their lives according to its teachings. Comfort any of our number who are sick; if it be Thy will speedily restore them to health. May none suffer for the want of brotherly kindness. Make this a profitable hour while we remain together as brothers and to Thee we will give the praise. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer may be recited by all members in unison.
"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, the power and glory forever. Amen."
Councilor: I now declare this Council open for the transaction of business according to the laws, rules and regulations of the Order.



Brother Warden, you will retire and ascertain if there are any candidates in waiting to be initiated.
The Warden will give the countersign to Councilor, retire to the ante-room and take the names of those in waiting, if any. Re-entering, he will give the countersign and, while standing before the Altar, report:
Brother Councilor, I find Mr. … in waiting, who desires to be initiated into our Order. (Or, Brother Councilor, I find no one in waiting.)
If any are in waiting, the Councilor will say:
Brother Recording Secretary, has the candidate (or candidates) been elected to membership?
Recording Secretary:
He has (or they have).
Brother Warden, you will conduct the Junior Past Councilor and Financial Secretary to the ante-room, where they will perform their duties.
On reaching the ante-room, the Junior Past Councilor, in the presence of the candidate or candidates, will proceed as follows:
Junior Past Councilor:
You are at the threshold of an organization composed only of those who have been born in this land of freedom, or under the protection of its Flag, and who are banded together for the promotion of Virtue, the preservation of Liberty and keeping alive the fires of Patriotism.
Before you can enter our portals, it will be necessary for you to give a pledge of your sincerity in seeking membership in this Order. You will raise your right hand.
Do you, of your own free will and accord, with no mental reservation, solemnly pledge your sacred word of honor that the answers you shall make will be true, that you will bind yourself to use every effort in your power to fulfill all of the obligations you may assume, and that you will forever keep secret all you have seen or heard, or may see or hear during your initiation?
When the candidate has answered affirmatively, the following questions shall be asked:
What is your age?
Where were you born?
Do you believe in a Supreme Being as the creator and ruler of the universe?
Are you suffering or have you ever suffered from any hereditary or constitutional disease?
Are you, so far as you know, in sound health?
Have you ever been a member of this Order?
If so, how did your connection cease?
Have you ever been rejected by any Council of this Order?
Do you promise to do all in your power to maintain the Public School system of the United States of America, to prevent sectarian or partisan interference therewith, and to uphold the reading of the Holy Bible therein?
Are you willing to do all you can to prohibit the landing upon our shores of the ignorant, pauper and criminal of the Old World?
Are you willing to pledge yourself to give an American the preference whenever or wherever you can do so, without injury to yourself or family?
Are you willing to assist in placing greater safeguards about the right of franchise, and for the adoption of more stringent laws relative to naturalization?
When the candidate has answered these questions satisfactorily, signed the pledge and list of questions, the Financial Secretary will collect the initiation fee.
Junior Past Councilor:
Brother Warden, while we make our report you will prepare our friend for the ceremony through which he will be required to pass.
The Warden will then blindfold the candidate and place a chain about him in such a way that it may be easily removed. Meanwhile the Junior Past Councilor and Financial Secretary shall re-enter the room, reporting themselves as the returning Officers, being admitted without the password. After giving the countersign and while standing at the Altar, they shall report:
Junior Past Councilor:
Brother Councilor, I find the candidate qualified and willing to proceed.
Financial Secretary:
Brother Councilor, the initiation fee has been paid by the candidate.
The Junior Past Councilor and Financial Secretary will then proceed to their stations. The Councilor will direct the members to observe order during the ceremony.
Brother Inside Sentinel, you will give one rap on the door.
This will be answered by the Warden with one rap.
The Inside Sentinel will open the door and say in a loud voice:
Inside Sentinel:
Who knocks?
The Warden of this Council with a candidate properly qualified for initiation.
Inside Sentinel:
Enter. Permits them to pass.
The Warden will then lead the candidate to the Conductor, who will be standing midway between the door and the Altar.
Brother Conductor, I have the pleasure of introducing Mr. …, whom I now place in your charge.
My friend, you have entered the portals of an organization, the cardinal principles of which are Virtue, Liberty and Patriotism. These principles we shall endeavor to teach you as we proceed. You will now be required to pass through ceremonies which will teach you how Virtue can free you from that bondage which your condition now represents; admit you to the blessings of Liberty in the broadest sense, and cause you to feel a love for the land of your birth which you may never have felt before. I will now conduct you to our Councilor.
Conductor leads candidate to Altar.
Brother Councilor, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Mr. …, who awaits your pleasure.
My Friend, you are now presented to me for further light on the mysteries of our Order, which it will be my pleasure to impart, but before doing this you will be required to take an obligation which will not conflict in any manner with any duty you owe your God, your country, your family or yourself. With this assurance, are you willing to proceed?
Candidate answers:
I am.
Brother Conductor, you will place the candidate in due form to receive the obligation.
The Conductor will direct the candidate to kneel upon his right knee, place his left hand on the Holy Bible and American Flag and his right hand over his heart.
Brother Councilor, the candidate is in due form to receive the obligation.
The Councilor will call up the Council (two raps) and advance to the Altar and say:
You will say I, give your name, and repeat after me the obligation of our Order.

In the presence of Almighty God and these witnesses, I do, of my own free will and accord, solemnly pledge my sacred honor that I will comply with all laws, rules and usages of this Order and will not make known to any person, unless legally authorized by the proper officer of this Council, any of the signs, tokens, passwords or secrets of this Order.
I will neither write, print nor impress the same upon anything movable or immovable, whereby the uninitiated might be able to discover any part of our secret work.
I will not propose for membership any person whom I know to be unworthy.
I will obey all the Laws, Rules and Regulations of the State Council and of the Subordinate
Council of which I am a member. I will be loyal to the Government of the United States of America.
I promise to exert every effort in my power to secure the enactment and enforcement of laws to protect our country from undesirable immigration.
I promise to aid in the protection of the nonsectarian public school system of the United States of America.
I will give an American the preference in business, and assist a distressed brother who proves himself worthy of the same.
I promise never to wrong this Order, or any member thereof.
Should my connection with this Order cease, I will consider these promises as binding out of it as in it.
To the true and faithful performance of all the foregoing, I pledge to this brotherhood my most sacred honor.
The following song is sung.

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in mystic love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
When we asunder part,
It gives us in- ward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet a-gain.,
Brother Chaplain:

Chaplain's Charge

My brother, you have just assumed a solemn and binding obligation in an Order composed of native-born Americans. Our Order was founded to protect Americans and our American institutions. You will see as you proceed that we have very important duties to perform.
This Order honors God and His Holy Word and you have agreed in your primary obligation that you believe in a Supreme Being. It is incumbent on you that you pay strict attention as you proceed through the degrees that you may fully realize the importance of your membership in our Order.
Washington, trusting in God, commanded the forces, that have given to us through their sacrifice and suffering this Country. In the darkest hours of those trying times that illustrious patriot said, "Put none but Americans on guard tonight," and that same command applies to you.
Let us pray.
Almighty and most merciful God, we implore Thy blessing upon this brother who has just assumed a high and responsible obligation.
Impress upon him the sacredness of these promises made in Thy presence and upon Thy Holy Word.
Vouchsafe to him Thy benediction and give him strength ever to be faithful to these vows and to be true to his God and his Country. Amen.
Brother Conductor, you will now conduct the candidate to the Vice Councilor.
Councilor and Chaplain return to their stations. Councilor then seats the Council with *.
The scene will be placed between the Altar and the Councilor's station near the Altar.
The candidate will be conducted around the room to a position between the scene and the Councilor, facing the Vice Councilor, the room to be darkened, blinkers on candidate to be opened.
Spotlight may be directed on Vice Councilor as he approaches the Altar.
Brother Vice Councilor, by direction of the Councilor, I present to you this candidate for the lessons in Virtue.
Vice Councilor, approaches Altar clothed in white gown as an old man:
The lessons about to be imparted to you are designed to elevate you and increase your love for our Country and its institutions and cause you to appreciate, as you may never have done before, the privilege of having been born in this land of freedom. The downtrodden from other lands fly to our shores for relief from tyranny and oppression, and, while we are ever ready to welcome the industrious, moral and thrifty, who are willing to swear allegiance to our Country and support her cherished institutions, we have no room for those whose hearts are tied to either religious or political thrones.
The sovereignty of man and the nobility of citizenship can only be maintained if founded on the basis of the wisdom and virtue of those it is designed to govern. To attain the first, we advocate the education of the masses through one general non-sectarian free school system.
Our object is to make American citizens of all who seek to make this land their home, and our public schools, with education in the language of our Nation, we believe, will accomplish that result. Ignorance fosters vice, and vice has been the cause of the downfall of nations, as well as of individuals.
We demand the reading of the Bible in our schools, not to teach sectarianism, but because it contains the purest code of morals the world has ever known, the highest precepts, the noblest gems of thought and the loftiest aspirations of which the human heart is capable.
Be serious, for our lesson is sad and melancholy.
Behold Pointing to the skull or scene a representation of one who one day trod the earth, enjoyed its pleasures and mourned its disappointments.
What an admonition that silent, yet solemn, monitor affords. Meditate the scene.
The following song is sung softly.

Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me;
Still my song shall be
Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee!
Reflection brings its lessons and teaches us that beyond this scene there is a nobler life. Therefore, seek the path of Virtue, shun all that is vicious and while thus elevating your own moral manhood, you will also add to the glory of our Country by giving it an upright citizen. With full knowledge that ere long all that is mortal in man shall have mouldered to dust and nothing remains but a semblance of that which is before you, I admonish you that you be faithful to the lessons here taught.
I now declare you a brother in Virtue.
Go, my brother, perform the task before you.
Practice these lessons and in them you will find your own reward.
The blinkers will then be closed.
Vice Councilor:
Brother Conductor, you will conduct our brother in Virtue to the Junior Past Councilor.
All sing ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’.
At the conclusion of the singing, the candidate will be placed between the Chaplain and the Altar facing the Junior Past Councilor. All lights out. Blinkers removed.
Brother Junior Past Councilor, by direction of the Vice Councilor, I present to you this candidate bound in darkness and chains who desires of you such instruction as will restore him to light and make him a brother in Liberty.
Junior Past Councilor:
Brother in Virtue, I can fully appreciate your desire for light and liberty. This darkness and these chains are emblematic of the condition of those whom you now represent. How many millions are there yearning for the blessings of civil and religious liberty! To obtain these blessings, our forefathers freely shed their blood, and pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors.
They conquered and the fruits of their victory we now enjoy. In addition to the privilege of selecting our own rulers and being eligible to the highest positions in our Country's gift, we also enjoy the liberty of worshipping God according to the dictates of our own conscience. We have no form of religion established by law to whose support we must pay tribute.
A Public School education levels all distinction and the children of the humblest become the peers of the greatest in our land. We are responsible to no one but God and ourselves. We would haw you free yourself from the bondage of ignorance, superstition and vice which makes man a greater slave than any system of human serfdom the world has ever known. Strive to free yourself from this slavery and you will be free, indeed. Practice the lessons of Virtue and Moral Liberty.
Then shall darkness fade into light,
Here have the lights turned up full.

then shall the shackles of human bondage be broken,
Here drop the chains to the floor.

and man brought to a realization of his destiny as designed by the great Author of our being.
May your introduction here aid in releasing you from all blindness of moral vision, set you· free from the fetters of ignorance and error and bring you from a death in selfishness into a life of active benevolence and virtue.
Then takes candidate by the right hand.

Brother in Liberty, I greet you. Go forward, clothed in Virtue and free from the bondage of ignorance and error. Success awaits you.
Brother Conductor, you will now conduct our brother in Virtue and Liberty to the Councilor.
Conductor conducts candidate to a position between the Councilor's station and Altar, facing Councilor.
Brother Councilor, the candidate has been instructed in the lessons of Virtue and Liberty and awaits your further commands.
You are now a Brother in Virtue and Liberty, and we desire that you should become with us a Brother in Patriotism. But before permitting you to pass through this experience, we desire that you should give some thought to the lessons of Virtue and Liberty through which you have just passed. Consider them carefully so that they may be deeply impressed upon your mind; learn our obligation, for a faithful observance of its tenets is absolutely essential to your membership in our Order.
You may now retire.
The Degree of Patriotism may be conferred on the same evening as the other Degrees. If the Lecture Form is used, candidate will be conducted around the room to a position before the Altar, facing the Councilor.