You know it really could have been the Big ORANGE!!!!!

The Orange Order Confronted in the United States Of America

 Orangeism reached the United States of America via New York. as early as 1820, with the first parade in Boston in I824.The Institution was probably taken to America bv Ulstermen, many of whom were to make an impression on the country at the highest le vel. Ulstermen in the armed forces, business. and the professions, made an incredible impact on the country. Ulster churchmen affected the Christianity of America so considerably that there has remained a close affinity between the churches of Ulster and the United States.

 There was also a Canadian Orange influence in the early days of American Orangism. Soon it was to be a two-way thing fore American Orangemen found employment in Canada, some of them to settle there permanently. From the beginning a number of free bor n Americans centered the ranks.

 By the end of 1850 five states had Orange charters. and Orangemen had so impressed the American people that they were invited to parade next to the military at the funeral of President Tavlor. William Shannon was named as Grand Master. In 1869. an application was made by the American Orange leaders to the Grand Lodge of Ireland for National Grand Lodge status. The Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. John H. Nunn, Dublin, sent this certificate:-"To all whom th ese presents shall gaine.Greeting. Know ye that we, the Grand Master and Members of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, do hereby certify that there is no objection or impediment on the part of the Loyal Orange institution of Ireland to the formation of an Indepe ndent Association of Orangemen in and for the United States of America. Signed on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Ireland January, 1870 Ennisskillen, Grand Master".The receipt of the certifcate was acknowledged by John H. Bond. Grand Master of the Loyal Oran ge Institution of the United States of America. in correspondence dated, Mav 4. 1870. with thanks to the Grand Lodge of Ireland.

 At about the same time as the U.S. Grand Lodge application to Ireland for recognition. the Orangemen of New York petitioned the Grand Lodge of Ireland for recoenition as a State Grand Lodge. The State Grand Lodge of New York was founded in 1874. It incorporated Irish orientated lodges. American orientated lodges. and the American Protestant Association.

 The early years of American Orangeism were not easy. It was compelled to face problems unknown in the British Commonwealth. It had to adapt to republicanism. The imperialism of Orangeism elsewhere was suspect to Americans.The dissolution of the Orange Institution in Britai n, in 1836. meant that it ceased to function in America for a short period in the 1840s. Rut if the Order was not working the spirit of Orangeism remained strong. The American Protestant Association. founded in Philadelphia in 1844, after the attempt to prohibit the use of the authorised version of the Bible in public schools, was apparently the Orange Order continuing .

The Orangemen of New York, from 1868, were to face annual assults from Irish Roman Catholics and in 1870 here was disruption of an Or ange event in Elm Park.The accounts of the attacks on the Twelfth (of July) picnicers by 500-600 men makes a gory story; nine died in the affray. and, perhaps, 100 were injured. A reporter of the "New York Times" blamed the Roman Catholics. He said, "The attack was premeditated and altogether unwarranted." The sympathy of the public was with the Orangemen, and their constitutional right to parade on the Twelfth of July the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 as the Hibernians did on March 17 (St. Patrick's Day). The police arrested many of the rioters, although they were released quietly shortly afterwards. New York. at the time, had a most corrupt administration. for these were the days of Boss Tweed, and Mayor Oakley Hall, of the Democrat ic Party and Tammany Hall. Tweed and Hall were Protestants, but the Irish Roman Catholics controlled Tammany. In 1871 there was more aggravation, and confrontation between the Orangemen, and the Irish Roman Catholics. Rumour, and press conjecture, was ri fe on what the Roman Catholics would do to the Orangemen if they dared to march on the Twelfth. The matter was brought to a head when John J. Bond. Grand Master, asked if the Orangemen would be protected as they were entitled to be as New York citizens. T he question was answered in more than one way.. Many argued the right of the Orangemen, Irish Protestants, to march. After all, the Irish Roman Catholics had the patronage of the city when they marched each year. But 'The New York Times" disagreed. It sa id: 'We confess our inability to see why the existence of one abuse siould be made the excuse for perpetrating another." The Orangemen were determined to march, and the Hibernians promised to prevent them. Oakley Hall favoured the Roman Catholics. for he had been the first Mavor of New York to walk at the head of a St. Patrick's Day Parade. Archbishop McCloskey, and the Irish clergy, who spoke against any counter demonstration on the Twelfth, were attacked by Thomas Kerrigan, President of the New York Hib ernians. when he condemned the attitude of the churchmen. and the Roman Church's attitude to Orangeism in Ireland. He promised that it would not be permitted to act in the same way in America. The New York Orangemen wrote to Mayor Hall about protection. B ut Hall encouraged Superintendent Kelso, head of the New York Police Department, to ban the Orange march. He did this on July 10. His decision was bitterly denounced by uninvolved people, and organisations. and "The New York Times" had a July 11 head line, "Terrorism Rampant. City Authorities Overawed by the Roman Catholics." Even some Irish Roman Catholic organisations were appalled at the decision and angry at the Irish who had produced it. The ban was revoked by Governor Hoffman. He promised the Or angemen protection by the state and Federal authorities if the city of New York could not provide it. Kelso, shamed, then offered protection.The lifting of the ban was not known to the Orangemen until the Twelfth morning. Because of that. a number of them having arranged to march in New Jersey, had already left the city, the parade was much smaller than it would have been had the notice of the lifting of the ban been received earlier.Twelfth Day incidents were reported from 7.00 a.m. Mobs were gathering f or trouble. There was now no doubt that the march would be attacked. At 2 p.m. the parade moved off with the Orangemen cocooned in the midst of soldiers and policemen. After a march full of incident the Orangemen dispersed at the Cooper Institute on Fourt h Avenue .The death toll of the day was 50 rioters and six policemen: 300 rioters were injured, and 60 police and army personnel. Only two Orangemen were slightly injured. Close on 400 Irish Roman Catholics were arrested for various offences. But charges were not pressed against them. The organisers of the attack were not even taken into custody, but the public outcry led to many native Americans joining the Institution. People were to say: 'Not only had the Orangemen a right to parade. but that now it was their duty to parade as defenders of free speech. and the right of free association."

 In the Grand Lodge report of 1872 there is the statement that the Institution "had more than doubled its membership in the past year, especially in New York." Sym pathy Because the Order represented the fight for freedom it had the sympathy of all fair-minded Americans. There was no trouble in the 1872 demonstration in New York and no demonstration in 1873. At the second sessions of the State Grand Lodge of New York in J une. 1874 there were discussions on a New York Twelfth march. The report concluded: "The prevailing opinion is that parading through the streets on the Twelflh of July is entirely unnecessary, and as the authorities have decided in favour of the society h ave the same rights extended to them as other societies the right to parade it is now deemed not at all necessary . . . that instead each lodge should meet at their headquarters and celebrate the anniversary . . . by a social reunion."

 The Twelfth. 1874, being a Sunday, the brethren attended services at Holy Trinity Church where the Rev. S. H. Tynge was the preacher. He said of the Orangemen:"They were American Protestants - no longer Irish Protestants. They did well to remember the deeds of the br ave men of Ennisskillen, and sternness of Prince William, but he would beseech them to be done with the emnities, to cast aside the prejudices born in these hours of trial."The Americanisation of the movement was under way.

There were no Orange parades in New York until 1890 when there was a march with a picnic in Jones Wood at which 4.000 were present. The last New York parade was in 1900 when the Imperial Grand Orange Council of the World had its sessions in the city. The Orange and Green were so agre eable together bv this time that there were no incidents. The Orangemen, by winning the right to parade, had ensured civil and religious liberty for all Americans. Their behaviour showed a resoluteness to defend both "their inalienable rights." and a resp ect for the law, and so they gained the regard of the American public. This aided the growth of the Institution at that time.The years. 1894-6. saw the Order in America grow by one- third. The growth was due. in part. to the appointment of 19 organisers. with David Graham, Past Grand Master, New York. National Organiser. The organisers were appointed by the Grand Master for States which had no State Grand Lodge. At 1897 there were State Grand Lodges in Connecticut. Nebraska. New Hampshire. North Dakota, N ew York, Oregon. Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont. Washington. Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas. Marvland, Missouri, Montana, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Pennsvlvania. There is an account, in the report of 1900, of a visit to Grand Lodge of the famous William Johnston, of Ballykilbeg. Past Imperial Grand President, and Member of Parliament at Westminster for South Belfast. Johnston, in 1867, had led 40,000 Orangemen in defiance of the Party Processions' Act in an Orange march at Bangor, Co. Down, on the Twelfth. He had been imprisoned, but far from harming the cause, his punishment had made him a national hero and discredited his opponents. His efforts were largely responsible for the repealing of the Processions Act.

The Imperial Grand Or ange Council of the World met in New York, in 1900. That was the one opportunity American Orangemen has had of acting as hosts to that august body. David Graham, New York, presided as Imperial Grand President. He was regarded as the father of American Ora ngeism and was to lay the foundation stone of the Orange Home in 1901.In the early part of this century the American Institution split through inter-state rivalry and two bodies emerged, each claiming to be the supreme Grand Lodge. One of the incontrovert ible facts of Orange history is that the injuries of this division made the Institution in America incapable of recovering its original vitality and strength. Eventually the two Orange bodies were re-united, after a special session of Grand Lodge at the O range Hall in Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia on November 26, 1930, and of the International Orange Association meeting at the same time in the same hall. The lodges settled up their respective affairs, and amalgamation was affected when the officers relin quished their posts. and new elections held. The settlement was received, with gratitude, to those who had brought reconciliation after years of division.

The subsequent history of the Institution has been of a continuing campaign to keep alive the grea t principles of a society which stands ('or civil and religious liberty and for equal opportunities for all, special privileges for none.

The Orange Institution has been one of the aids to that development for some men. It is an organisation which brin gs churchmen together, from different denominational strands, and gives them the comfort of a unity which finds its strength in a three-fold confidence in God; in men who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ; and in the Christian duty. to witness to other s of the power of God to win them for Christ. The Orange ideal is a lofty one. It takes a worthy man to subscribe to it.

 Today Orange lodges still operate in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. One thing can be said about Orangeism in America, it cares about people, their bodies and souls, and their rghts and privileges. America Orangemen are sensitive, community minded people with a strongly developed sense of serv ice to God and men.

 Rev Canon S. E. LONG

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