Order of the Iroquois


Opening Ceremony

Our National Flag upon upright staff should be placed at left of the altar. A Bible should also rest upon the altar. President will take his seat, call the Lodge to order, and, rising says:
President, *:
The Lodge will come to order, and officers will take their respective stations.
President will appoint members to fill vacant stations.
Guard, ou will ascertain if the outer door is closed, and if the Sentry is at his post.
Guard, returns from anteroom, and from his station reports as follows:
Mr. President, the outer door is closed and protected by the Sentry.
Marshal, you will examine all present, and ascertain if all are entitled to the privileges of The Order of The Iroquois.
Marshal, after investigation:
Mr. President. I have obeyed your command and find all present in possession of the semi-annual and permanent passwords, and members of The Order of The Iroquois, and entitled to remain.
Brothers, assemble about the altar.
All form a hollow square; President steps down to open side, the Prelate back of altar.
We have assembled at this time to teach and practice the principles of our Order. Let us remember that during this session nothing of a political or sectarian character shall be introduced, let harmony prevail, and the welfare of our Order guide us in all the transactions of this hour. All are invited to unite in singing the Opening Ode:
My country, ‘tis of thee
Sweet land of Liberty,
Of thee I sing:
Land where my fathers died;
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride;
From every mountain side
Let freedom ring.

My native country! thee,
Land of the noble free.
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

Our father’s God! to thee,
Author of Liberty!
To thee we sing;
Long may our Land be bright.
With freedom’s holy light!
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King.
The Prelate will now invoke the divine blessing.
Prelate stands back of altar facing President.



Eternal Spirit, by whom we live, we offer to thee our lives for loyal service of the truth. Thou art the author of all joy! We would find our highest happiness in obedience to thy will. Thou art love! May our human love be made pure by the inspiration of thy loving spirit. Thou art light! Enlighten our minds, that we may do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Move us, thy children, to all brotherly affection and mutual helpfulness. And since thou hast given us thy world of beauty to enjoy, help us to make it more beautiful by our devotion to truth and our love of God and man. Help us to keep our covenant with each other and with thee. Guide us by thy counsel, and afterward receive us to thyself. Amen.
Brothers, advance the sign of this Order.
President returns to his station and *.
The Lodge is ready to proceed.
The Lodge is ready to proceed.
Order of business
1. Calling roll of officers
2. Reading record of last meeting
3. Reading applications for membership
4. Reports of Investigating Committees
5. Reading Medical Directors Report on Applications
6. Balloting on applicants
7. Degree work
8. Communications and bills
9. Reports of Committees
10. Does any one know of a brother sick or neccl:ng assistance
11. Unfinished business
12. New business
13. Good of the Order
14. Collectors report. giving receipts to General and Benefit Funds separately.
15. Has the Treasurer received the same?
16. Closing ceremonies.


Marshal, you will proceed to the ante-room and learn if there are any candidates in waiting to receive the degree.
Marshal proceeds to anteroom; retuns to the altar, salutes, and reports, giving names of candidates.
Mr. President, I find … candidates in waiting. They are … names.
President, * * *:
The Past President, the Collector, and the Marshal will retire to the ante-room The Past President will examine the candidate, the Collector will collect any fees due the Lodge and the Marshal will prepare the candidate for the degree.
While officers are in ante-room, members may be entertained by instrumental or vocal music.
The Past President and Collector reenter the hall and proceed to the altar. Past President reports:
Past President:
Mr. President, the stranger has assented to all requirements and is ready to be conducted through our mystic rites.
Brothers, attention! Guard, you will inform the Marshal that we await his entrance with the candidate.
Marshal will blindfold the candidate and when ready will give signal on the inner door.
Mr. President a stranger is knocking at our gates.
What are his motives? Why comes he here?
Guard inquires through wicket, and then reports to President.
Guard to President:
That he may learn the lessons of Loyalty, Charity and Justice, our three cardinal virtues.
Guard, throw open the portals, and usher in the stranger.
Initiation ode, or march, as Marshal conducts the candidate around the hall, and halts before the Past President.
Past President:
Stranger, that you may become a Brother of this fraternity, it will be necessary to prove your worthiness in accordance with our mystic rites. The scenes through which you will be required to pass are for the purpose of exemplifying the three great virtues upon which The Order of The Iroquois is founded.
Remember, the first principle of our Order is Loyalty in every righteous cause. Loyalty to ourselves as a brotherhood, loyalty to home, loyalty to country. Marshal, proceed with the stranger to the Vice-President.
Mr. Vice-President, the stranger awaits your pleasure.
Stranger, our second cardinal principle, and the greatest of the three, is Charity.
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor. and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things; endureth all things. Charity never faileth.
Stranger, proceed on your way, and give attention to the words of our Counselor.
In seeking affiliation with this Order we trust you are nor actuated by idle curiosity, but rather are impelled by most honorable motives to unite with us, and so assist to the best of your ability in alleviating the sufferings of men; by aiding the unfortunate, relieving the distressed, watching over the sick, and performing the last sad rites at the grave of a brother. The third principle of our Order is Justice. Stranger, our Prelate will now address you.
You have learned that our mission as a brotherhood is of the grandest character, and that the three links which bind us together are Loyalty, Charity, and Justice. Our cause is not a selfish one that aims to benefit only those who march beneath our banners, but our work is as broad as humanity. We unite as brothers of The Order of The Iroquois that we may more effectually advance our cause. You will now be required to take upon yourself the solemn obligation of our Order. With the knowledge already attained, do you voluntarily content to proceed with the ceremonies?
I do.
Marshal, conduct the stranger to the altar or obligation.
Music. Bible rests upon altar. Flag on upright staff at left of altar. Candidate grasps the staff with left hand, and raises right hand to receive obligation.
President, ***, steps down half way to altar and administers obligation.



In the presence of these witnesses, do you, of your own free will and accord, most solemnly promise:
That you will strictly comply with all laws, rules, and usages established in The Order of The Iroquois?
That you will hold allegiance to The Supreme Lodge as the supreme authority of the entire Order?
That you will obey all orders emanating from the Supreme, or from the Subordinate Lodge of which you are a member, so long as they do not conflict with our civil or religious liberty?
That you will not defraud or wrong any department of this Order or any member thereof, or suffer it to be done by others if in your power to prevent?
That you will never introduce anything of a political or sectarian character at any meeting of. or in any way bring reproach upon, this Order?
That you will keep forever secret all that may transpire during our initiation, and will never improperly communicate to any person any of the words, signs, or tokens; and that, should you be expelled, or leave the Order, you will consider this obligation as binding out of it as it is in it?
That you will assist a distressed brother or his family when in distress, as far as in your power, without material injury to yourself or family?
That you will answer all proper signs and use all proper means to protect a brother from defamation?
And should you violate this, your solemn promise, do you hereby consent to b expelled from The Order of The Iroquois?
Do you promise and affirm?
What is your answer?
I do.
Marshal, you will conduct the stranger to the ante-room, and await the summons for his further advancement in our mystic rites.
Marshal proceeds to ante-room. Music.


Amplified form of degree

To effectively present the Amplified Form of Degree, it is necessary to select a degree team every member of which shall be thoroughly drilled in his part, and no ritual should be used during the degree.
The degree team should have about twenty men and be provided with Continental and Indian costumes, muskets for soldiers, a general’s uniform a tent for Washington and a wigwam for Red Jacket, an imitation tree for stake in center of hall, several scenes or screens, for sides of hall, behind which Indians may hide, and a flag on upright staff
The degree is a short historical drama. Good acting elocutionary ability, and careful rehearsals will render it a very effective and interesting play.


Scene I

Washington’s headquarters at Newburg. Company of Continental soldiers at order arms before tent. Alarm at door.
Guard inquires through wicket:
Who comes there?
Guard advances to altar, salutes, and reports:
General, a stranger stands without, who states that he has been summoned to your headquarters upon important business.
Admit him. Captain, let your command escort him to my tent immediately
Marshal enters with stranger; company of soldiers marches to door, and escorts stranger to Washington.
General, the stranger is here, in obedience to your commands.
It is well. Obedience is the first requisite of a true soldier. What is your full name?
Stranger gives full name.
It has been reported to me that you displayed great bravery in a recent engagement with the enemy, when you overtook the retreating standard-bearer and captured the Union Jack.
Loud rap at door.
Guard, what means this disturbance?
Guard inquires through the wicket:
Who comes there? Reports from his station at the door: General, a messenger in great haste has handed me a communication, and requests me to deliver it to you immediately. He states that it is of the utmost importance.
Present it to me at once. Opens envelope, and reads message; then says: This is indeed a serious matter. It concerns the stranger before me, and discredits the loyalty of … fill name, that he is at heart a traitor to the cause of national independence. It must be considered before proceeding further. Captain, do you know aught concerning this man?
General, with your permission, I should state that I do not know this man personally. It has been rumored that he came to us mysteriously from the other side.
General discussion follows as to the character, loyalty and bravery of the stranger.
But has he not taken the oath of allegiance to our cause and to our flag?
He has, General, but that is a part a man might play.
And did you not witness his capture of the Union Jack?
I did, General.
Every man should be deemed innocent until he is found guilty. My son, it is evident that some enemy within our ranks, through jealousy, perchance, has sought to do you harm. Do van now and here reaffirm your loyalty?
I do.
We have received information that the British troops have lately been reinforced, and that the Iroquois Confederation is disposed to unite with us in defense of our common country. A treaty of this character must be effected at once, and I must have an embassador who is willing to sacrifice his life if necessary in order to carry out this dangerous undertaking. As a further test of your loyalty and in refutation of the charges preferred against you I hereby appoint you my special messenger. Life is dear, home is dearer, but our country’s independence the dearest of all. Will you undertake this mission?
I will.
I entrust to your keeping thus parchment. Hands package to stranger. It is for Red Jacket, the "friend and protector of his people." The chiefs of the Six Nations are encamped near the mouth of the Tawasentha, and you must proceed thither with all dispatch. If your life is spared, upon your return high honors await you. Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once.
Soldiers escort Marshal and stranger to ante-room while the following is being sung:

On, fraternal soldiers!
Bear your banners high;
In the name of loved ones
‘Forward’ be the cry.

Toilsome though our journey.
Struggle to the end;
Muster in the army
Stranger, neighbor, friend.

Chorus: On, fraternal soldiers!
Bear your banners high;
In the name of loved ones
‘Forward’ be the cry.

Scene II

Night in the woods ion the banks of the Hudson. Scenes or screens at each side of lodge room. Lights turned low, Marshal and strager enter hall. Music: ‘March of the Iroquois.’
Let us follow this bank of the Hudson with all caution. How darkly yonder mountains loom up against the heavens! Remember that danger lurks on every hand. Hush! Did you hear the breaking of a dead branch?
War whoops.
Fly for your life! The Algonquins are upon us.
Indians rush upon and seize stranger; rob him of everything, including Washington’s message; then bind his arms and form circle about him.
Chief addressing stranger:
White man, from across the waters your race came few and feeble, and asked a piece of land of the red man to raise corn for women and children; but now the white man has become strong, and mighty, and bold, and spreads out his parchments over the whole, and says, "It is mine."
Stranger, I understand not these paper rights. I gave not my consent when these broad regions where purchased for a few baubles of my fathers. They
could sell what was theirs; they could sell no more. How could my father sell that which the Great Spirit sent me into the world to live upon?
Stranger, thou shalt plant in terror, and I will reap in blood. Thou shalt build, and I will burn, till the white man or the Indian perish from the land. Warriors, prepare him for the stake.
War dance about stranger. Lines are formed, and stranger runs gauntlet.
Warriors, bind him to yonder tree! Heap high the fagots. So shall our wrongs be avenged and justice attained!
Tree in center of hall. Stranger is bound to it. Fagots piled at his feet. Red fire is lighted, and warriors dance about tree.
Ha-wen-ne-yu, the Great Spirit, gliding in with extended arms:
Away! I am Ha-wen-ne-yu.
Indians flee, hide behind rocks and trees.
Ha-wen-ne-yu, cutting thongs of stranger:
Son of the whitre race, thy life is spared thee to fulfill thy great mission. Thou art an embassador of peace from General Washington to the chiefs of the Iroquois. The red race, though deeply wronged, will forgive, if not forget, in the name of Charity; and the red race and the white race shal form an unbroken union in defense of their common country. Go thy way in safety.
Ha-wen-ne-yu glides away. Marshal reappears and conducts stranger to ante-room, while the second verse of "On, Fraternal Soldiers" is being sung.

Death is on our footsteps,
He will vanquish all!
Hark! The direful summons
When our brothers fall!

Peace attend the dying.
Comfort the distressed;
Our fraternal army
Cares for the oppressed.

Scene III

Great Council of chiefs of Six Nations. Great Council fire in center of hall; chiefs in a circle; wigwam at President’s station; Marshal enters with stranger, and approaches the council fire. Music.
Chiefs leap to feet with raised tomahawks and exclaim:
Who is this stranger?
An embassador of peace from General Washington.
Chiefs, lowering tomahawks:
Welcome stranger, to our council fire! Red Jacket, friend and Protector of thy people, a messenger of peace awaits thee!
Red Jacket steps from wigwam.
Red Jacket:
Thrice welcome, if misdeed thou are a messenger from the Great Captain of the Continental Army.
Great Chief, our journey to your council fire has been fraught with danger. Your enemies, the hated Algonquins overtook us, and the embassador was robbed of the valuable parchment containing General Washington’s message to the Great Council of the Iroquois.
Red Jacket:
How may we know this is true? The white race has ever been our foe.
Chiefs, together, all raise tomahawks:
An enemy! An English spy!
Great Chief, let me tell you how his life was saved. He was bound to the stake. The war dace began, the fire was kindled, and death seemed nigh at hand, when from the dark woods appeared a majestic figure in white robes, with long white beard and hair—
Chiefs, in chorus:
Ha-wen-ne-yu! Ha-wen-ne-yu!
Ay, Divine Providence! The Algonquins fled in terror. The prisoner’s bonds were snapped in twain, and the majestic figure said, "Go thy way in safety. The Iroquois, though deeply wronged, will forgive in the name of Charity."
Red Jacket:
Stranger, the Great Spirit has smiled upon you.The Indian beholds him in the star that sinks in beauty behind his lonely dwelling, in the sacred orb that flames on him from his midday throne, in the flower that waves in the morning breeze, in the lofty pine that has defied a thousand whirlwinds, in the timid warbler that never leaves its native grove, in the fearless eagle whose untiring pinion is wet in clouds, and in his own being, glowing with a spark of that light to whose mysterious source he bends in humble though blind adoration.

Enter Ha-wen-ne-yu.

Chiefs, in chorus:
Ha-wen-ne-yu! Ha-wen-ne-yu!
All kneel in a circle with bowed heads, and tomahawks touching floor.
Chiefs of the Iroquois, in the stranger before you, behold the embassador from General Washington. He brings to you the olive branch of peace. The message itself was destroyed, and the embassador’s life barely saved. As all things are known to me, so is this message. Washington’s army is struggling against a foreign foe, to maintain an independent nation where all may dwell in peace and happiness. Washington proposes that all hostilities between the colonists and the Iroquois shall cease and that you ally your forces with his army against the English, our common foe.
Red Jacket:
Ha-wenne-yu, thy interposition shall bridge the mighty gulf that has so long separated the two races. The land of our inheritance must be preserved. We remember all too well how the white settlers have seized our possessions and slain our warriors. The white race is mighty, and our days are numbered. In the name of Charity, these wrongs the Iroquois are willing to forgive, if the Great Captain will mete out justice, and bestow upon our race certain rights and portions of this land of our fathers.
Across the ocean came a pilgrim bark, bearing the seeds of life and death. The former were sown for the white race; the latter sprang up in the paths of the simple native. The red race shall wither from the land. An hundred years will change the character of this great continent, and growing cities will stand where the Indian once pitched his wigwam. As Red Jacket is indeed the "Protector of his People," so the Great Captain of the white race will lead his followers on to victory and national independence, and will be called the "Father of his Country." Justice shall hold the scales, and the Iroquois shall be rewarded according to their loyalty. Exit.
Red Jacket:
Stranger, the pleadings of the Great Spirit in behalf of thy mission we cannot refuse. General Washington is a friend of the Iroquois. He is fighting in a noble cause in the belief that all men are created equal, with the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. His defeat means the utter destruction of our race, his victory will bestow upon us our share of the rights of life, liberty, and happiness. Chiefs of the Iroquois, will you pledge yourselves and your warriors to the Great Captain of the Continental Army?
Chiefs, in unison:
Where Red Jacket leads, the Iroquois will follow!
Red Jacket:
Then follow me! Let us hasten at once to the great camp, and swear allegiance to the Continental Army. Embassador, the chiefs of the Six Nations will see that you return to your great commander in safety.
All march to ante-room while the third verse of "on, Fraternal Soldiers" is being sung:

Youthful dreams of riches
Long since had their day;
Sickness and misfortune
Met us by the way.

"Home, sweet home" ‘s the castle
We must fight to keep;
Sound the stirring bugle
Rouse the boys from sleep.

Scene IV

Washington’s headquarters. Washington before his tent. Flag at his right. Company of soldiers at order arms. Fife and drum. Alarm at door.
Guard, calls through wicket:
Who comes there?
After inquiring, Guard advances to hall center, salutes and says:
General, your embassador to the Great Camp of Six Nations has returned in safety.
Admit him without delay. Captain, direct your command to escort him to my tent.
Company marches to door and halts.
Another alarm at door.
Guard, calls through wicket:
Who comes there? Advances to hall center. General, your embassador is accompanied by the chiefs of the Six Nations, and they have come to swear allegiance to the cause of freedom.
Admit them at once. Captain, order your command to escort them to my presence.
Guard opens door. Stranger with Marshal and chiefs enter. Soldiers march about hall with embassador and chiefs in rear, and finally halt before Washington.
Welcome, Embassador! Welcome, chiefs of the Iroquois! And thrice welcome, Red Jacket, Protector of thy People!
Red Jacket:
In token of my treaty of peace and union consummated by your most loyal embassador, the chiefs of the Iroquois now lay their tomahawks at the feet of the Great Captain.
Chiefs of the Iroquois, upon this union shall be builded the majestic empire of the New World. So shall your loyalty in freedom’s cause, and forgiveness of wrongs, win for your people the everlasting friendship of the descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers. "Man is unjust, but God is just, and finally justice triumphs."
Red Jacket:
The Great Spirit has approved the mission of your embassador, for he saved him from the stake and directed him in safety to our council fire. Great Captain, the English forces are on the march, and we must prepare our bands of warriors for effective battle. We await your command.
Chiefs of the Iroquois, as a further pledge of loyalty to our cause I must require you to take the oath of allegiance. Are you ready to do so?
Chiefs, in chorus:
We are, Great Captain.
Beneath the folds of the stars and stripes, our national emblem, do you, each and all, swear that the terms of this treaty of peace and union shall be forever preserved; that you will ever fight for and defend our national independence? Do you so swear?
Chiefs, in chorus:
We do so swear, great Captain!
Red Jacket, in honor of the union this day consummated, whereby the Continental Army and the Iroquois Confederation has joined hands across the bloody chasm of the past, and are henceforth joint defenders of a common country, I present to you this medal on which is inscribed, "In honor of the Protector of his People and his Country."
Worthy embassador, your loyalty and bravery in the execution of the dangerous mission which I entrusted to you deserve the highest praise. You have risked your life for your country, and as a token of my appreciation I appoint you first lieutenant upon my staff, and present you with this sword inscribed with the glorious motto "Loyalty, Charity, Justice."
Marshal, conduct the stranger to our Past President, who will address him briefly concerning this union or brothers, The Order of The Iroquois.
Marshal proceeds to station of Past President, while the fourth verse of "on, Fraternal Soldier" is being sung.

Pass along the watchword!
Shout the glad refrain!
Marching up from Georgia
‘Mong the hills of Maine;
Spread the joyful tidings
Way across the land,
From Atlantic westward,
Till our country’s spanned.
Past President:
The scenes you have witnessed are historical pictures of our country’s early struggle for independence. In battling for any great cause, there must be cooperation—a union of forces in order to achieve success. This lesson of strength by union was sent down to us nearly three centuries ago when the untutored Indians formed the famous Iroquois Confederation. Under the leadership of the Protector of his People and the Father of his Country, a union of the Iroquois and the colonists was effected, by which a nation was established that has become the majestic empire of the New World. Our Vice-President will now receive you.
Marshal conducts stranger to Vice-President.
I would remind you of the brevity of human life. Old time seems to stand like an archer with his quiver full of days, and shoots them by us with the speed of swift-winged arrows. But yesterday we lay a babe in the mother’s arms; today, youth and manhood are here; tomorrow, old age, gray hairs, a tottering form, and the tomb. "We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by any reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." Pass on, and listen to the words of our Counselor.
Marshal conduct stranger to station of Counselor. Music.
The Order of the Iroquois is a regiment of the grand army of fraternity that is marching on to meet a foe that never yet was vanquished. That steady tramp of mighty hosts is ever onward from day to day and year to year, until one by one, we shall reach that inevitable goals of all humanity―the grave. But with Christian faith we can see light even in the darkness of the tomb. The grave is but the portal of heaven.
Our mission as brothers is to make such ample provision for loved ones dependent upon us that when we are summoned to "the silent halls of death" the unburdened spirit shall peacefully wing its flighty to the land of golden streets, celestial light, and unfading glory. Marshal, escort the brother to our President for instructions in the unwritten work of our Order.
Marshal proceeds with stranger to President’s station.
My brother, the following instructions will enable you to work your way into any subordinate lodge of our Order.
Instructions: see key. These should be memorized and given without reading.

May the lessons you have received impress you the importance of being true in all particulars to the obligation you have voluntarily assumed. Remember too, that our financial ability to meet all requirements will be greatly strengthened by your prompt payment of dues and assessments. In your transactions, not only with brothers of this Order, but with the world at large, be guided by our motto, "Loyalty, Charity, Justice."
"To thine own self be true;
And must it follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
I now hail you as a Brother of The Order of the Iroquois. I present you with a copy of our Constitution and Laws; also a blank application, which is to be presented by you to some friend who would make a desirable member of our Order.
Marshal turns stranger so as to face the Lodge.
Officers and brothers, I now take great pleasure in introducing to you Brother …, as a member of The Order of The Iroquois.
Members, in chorus:
Welcome, brother!
I now declare a short recess for congratulations.
Marshal turns new member about face in front of President’s station and members come forward and cordially greet him.
President, *:
Members will come to order. Let business be resyumed.
Closing Ceremonies

Closing ode

How happy is he, born or taught.
Who serveth not another’s will;
Whose armor is his honest thought,
And simple truth his highest skill;
Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than goods to lend:
And walks with man from day to day,
As with a brother and a friend.
This man is freed from servile bands,
Of hope to rise or fear to fall:
Lord of himself though not of lands.
And having nothing, yet hath all.


All members repeat with the Prelate:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen
The Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other.
Brothers, let us unite in giving the sign.
I now declare this Lodge adjourned until … night at … o’clock.