April 27th, 2009

The Wawenoc Tribe, No. 153, Improved Order of Red Man would meet Tuesdays at Granger’s Hall in 1875.

The Improved Order of Red Men traces its origin from the Sons of Liberty patriots who were active before the American Revolution and are well known for their participation in the Boston Tea Party. The Sons of Liberty ~ and in turn the I.O.R.M. emulated in their organization, philosophy, and regalia the League of the Iroquois or Six Nations. Hospitality was extremely important. The Iroquois would surrender his dinner to feed the hungry, vacate his bed to refresh the weary, and give up his apparel to clothe the naked. On March 12, 1834, George A. Peter and William T. Jones along with a few others formed Logan Tribe, No. 1 and adopted the motto, Freedom, Friendship, Charity. The first act of the Logan Tribe after its organization was to pass a law that no council fire should be kindled in any wigwam where fire water (liquor) was sold. Membership was restricted to free white males of good moral character and standing and at the full age of twenty-one great suns who believed in the existence of a Great Spirit, the Creator and Preserver of the Universe, and who possessed some reputable means of support. In addition, as slavery became more of an issue, no person owning or holding a slave could be admitted into their organization. In 1885 the organization welcomed women through the Pocohontas Degree. Later came the Degree of Hiawatha, the Junior Tribe of Red Men, composed of boys eight years and older. The aim of the Hiawatha Degree is the development of each boy so that he may appreciate the virtues of unity, freedom, strength, peace, charity, loyalty, education, hope, love, courage, friendship, patriotism, and tolerance – in other words, to help young boys of today to mature as exemplary men in the world of tomorrow.

In regard to their meetings, the Sachem presided at the far end of the wigwam at the stump with the first and second Sannaps to his right and left. Four warriors sat in front of him as a guard. The Chief of Records sat in the far left-hand corner of the wigwam and the Collector of Wampum and Keeper of Wampum in the right-hand corner. Against the right wall sat the Junior Sagamore with the stake in front of him. Against the left wall sat the Prophet with two scouts in front of him. The near wall, close to the entrance, held the seats for the Senior Sagamore and four braves before him. In the center of the wigwam was the place of council brand where the council fire was kindled, during which time strict order was maintained.

Some prominent Americans who have been members of the I.O.R.M. include: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard M. Nixon, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, Thomas Paine, and Paul Revere.

Last Modified: 12.27.22

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