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The Independent Order of Good Samaritans
THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF GOOD SAMARITANS.
Office of R. W. Grand Chief, Charlottesville, Va.--It['s] Humble Origin and Noble Object.
Before calling attention to the growth and operation of the several departments of State Grand Lodge No. 6 I. O. of G. S.
and D. of S. of Va., we deem it proper to furnish you with a general statement of the origin and object of this now Grand
Institution, which is demonstrating that often small beginnings produce great results.
The Independent order of Good Samaritans cannot boast of a great antiquity, nor claim any great men as its founders. It commenced
with a few plain men who had given way to strong drink, but resolved to give it up and induce others to do so.
The first Lodge of the Order was organized in the city of New York, in a hall corner of Lispenard street and Broadway, on
the 9th of March, 1847, by Isaac Covert, M. D., C. B. Hulsart, R. D. Heartt and a few others. Six months after the Grand Lodge
was organized, on September 14th, 1847, at the corner of Hudson and Canal streets composed of representatives from Lodges
Nos.; 1, 2, and 3, of New York city, No. 1, of Bridgeport, Conn, and No. 1, of Newark, N. J. J. C. Hulsart was elected Grand
Chief, and R. D. Heartt Grand Secretary. On December 9th, 1847, the first Lodge of Daughters of Samaria, and at the next session
of the Grand Lodge they admitted their delegates, March 14th, 1848. At the first meeting of the Grand Lodge a charter was
granted to I. W. B. Smith and others, to institute a Lodge of colored members, thus including all classes male and female,
of every race of the human family.
The name chosen was singular appropriate. The parable of the Good Samaritan was given to overturn the idea that one man was
better than another on account of his birth or nation. It teaches that man is the constituent of one great family, that all
are subject to the same trials, sufferings and temptations, and all need the same sympathy and aid, and none are in need of
this more than the poor drunkard, not only robbed of his money and goods, not only life wrecked and wounded, but the loss
of character also. So all his disown him, and the good and pious cast him out as one forsaken of God and man, pass him by
on the other side, and leave him to suffer and die. It is then our Order, as good Samaritans, comes to his assistance, relieves
him in his distress and points out to him that better way by which his future happiness will be best assured.
In the choice of the emblem and motto of our Order the founders were equally fortunate. The triangle, with the dove and the
olive branch in the centre, and Love, Purity and Truth on its three sides. The triangle is look on as an emblem of perfection,
its three sides denoting equality, and is used as an emblem of the Trinity. The base of the triangle is marked Truth--a sure
foundation. Truth never dies, for truth is as eternal as the throne of God, and must prevail. On the left side of the triangle
is inscribed Love--the sweetest word to be found in our language--the happiness of earth and joy of heaven. Purity is marked
on the right side of the triangle. Purity requires us to shun all vice and uncleanliness, and with us particularly the vice
of drunkenness. Such is in part the teachings of our triangle. In the centre is the dove, which has always been considered
an emblem of sincerity and simplicity. Harmless as doves is the teaching of the Redeemer. The dove brought the proof to Noah
of the retiring of the waters of the flood. It was offered as a sacrifice under the Jewish dispensation. It descended on our
Saviour as he came out of the waters of Jordan, and descended on the disciples on the day of Pentecost. The olive branch
is a token of peace and good will. Such is a part and only a part, of the teaching of the emblem and motto of our Order. Our
object is; to secure sympathy and relief for the unfortunate and distressed; provide for the widow and orphan in their afflictions;
bury the dead and elevate the living; and spread the principles of Charity among mankind.
In this you have you find [sic] the foundation upon which our Order is built. Hoping that Samaritans in every locality are
demonstrating these principles by their lives and thus reflecting credit upon the Order.
I am your for the progress of the same.
R. Kelser, G. C.
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