1894 - 1900 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT ACCOUNT BOOK AND FINANCIAL DIARY OF THE SECRET FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THE MYSTIC CHAIN [AOKMC]

By: B.F. CARR [?]

Price: $3,255.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is an original 1894 - 1900 Pennsylvania manuscript account book and financial diary of the secret fraternal order out of The Ancient Order of Knights of the Mystic Chain [AOKMC]. This unique book details six years of historical and important data of the Pennsylvania unit of the group. [While there are no specific indicators of ultimate ownership or responsibility for compiling the records a number of personal pieces of ephemera indicate a B.F. Carr as, at least, one of the main holders of the book.] This secret fraternal organization was founded in 1870s, in the traditions of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Amongst the founders were Freemasons and Knights of Pythias. Some of the characteristics of this order can be traced to these two groups. This AOKMC was founded in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1870, and all of the members' addresses that are written on the last few pages of this journal [home town and state], are all from PA. This fraternal group, though quite popular in 19th Century Pennsylvania did not make much headway outside of Pennsylvania, and at its peak in membership, quite possibly numbered 35,000 - 40,000 members. It did not survive the depression years and seems to have completely disappeared in the early 20th century. The Knights of the Mystic Chain had three degrees: Knighthood, Mystery and Chivalry. The central point of a Castle [lodge] was an altar, upon which was an open Bible. The initiation rituals are far less serious. In the first degree the candidate is placed on a metal plate and instructed to take an object out of a bowl of water. At that time an electric shock is put through the candidate. In another degree the blindfolded candidate is ordered to bow deep until their heads dip in cold water. Members are urged in the rituals to make a fool of the candidates. All for the fun of the members. After several years a fourth degree was added, the Mark-degree. This degree was only open to past masters of Castles. There was also a separate paramilitary uniform-rank and a degree for women: Naomi or the Daughters of Ruth. In 1889 the order started to work in insurance, and pay out sick and death benefits, however it never grew larger. It disappeared in the first half of the 20th century. Both the Ancient Order Knights of the Mystic Chain and the Supreme Lodge of the Mystic Chain are long since defunct. The National Fraternal Congress of America's listing of name and status changes of fraternal benefit societies does not mention either of them. Are there any remaining chapters, and did it ever get out of PA? This mystery may have to remain unsolved. However, "In early 2006, the Phoenix masonry site received an email from an AOKMC member informing us that there was one lodge remaining, Castle #23 in Vera Cruz, Pennsylvania. It is not known if this Castle is still active." This significant, handwritten manuscript has over 200 pages of entries, names, dates, expenses. Members names included are: Clayton Augustine, Emmanuel Fry, Edward Fitzkee, Abraham Kays, Martin Kaugh, Edward Liebhard, Moses Knisely, Amos Leber, Sterling D. Mitzel, Jonathan McGuigan, Erwin E. Poff, Francis Reiginger, Jacob Shindler, Isaac Ruby, Francis Sprehkle, Pius Wolf, Milton Wallick, John Flory, Milton Breneman, Charles W. Detioiler, A. M. Schrantz, R. K. Emenhiser, D. E. Shortledge, Samuel W. Heaugh, Samuel W. Siple, R. E. Olerriler, Paul Krafs, Joseph D. Dellinger, Leander Horn, H. L. Doll, etc., to include several members who died and received death benefits. Expenses accounted for include: Initiation, Weekly Dues, Monthly Dues, Insurance Payments, Sick and Death Benefits, Officers Salary, State Tax, Fire Tax, Books and Postage, Representatives Expenses, Statements, Per Capita Tax, Merchandise, New Flag, Payment on Loan, Hall Rent, Weekly Dues, Pay the Janitor, Grave Digging, Pay Nurse, Expenses for Regalia, Benefits Paid Out, Insurance Tax, etc. Death benefits in the amount of $100 were paid out to several members who are listed under "Deaths," and $40 were paid out to the wives. One member who died did not get any death benefits as he "was in arrears on his dues." Condition: The handwritten entries are as neat, clean, and precise as the day they were entered on the pages of this 19th century journal which measures approx. 9 x 14 inches, and weighs approximately 7-8 pounds when wrapped. Internally this handwritten book is in very good condition, externally, it is not very attractive. The covers are worn, rubbed, and chipped [please see images], the outside cover of the spine has worn, yet book is holding together tightly. Tucked away inside the pages of this volume are numerous pieces of ephemera to include: bills of sale, handwritten letters, Veterans administration paper work, photographs etc., dating into 1950, tucked away apparently for safe keeping. Based on our research of fraternal organizations this is the only ledger we were able to ascertain was actually from the history of The Ancient Order Of The Knights Of The Mystic Chain. Overall G. NOTE: EXTRA SHIPPING DUE TO SIZE AND WEIGHT.

Title: 1894 - 1900 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT ACCOUNT BOOK AND FINANCIAL DIARY OF THE SECRET FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THE MYSTIC CHAIN [AOKMC]

Author Name: B.F. CARR [?]

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Manuscript, 19th Century Ephemera,

Publisher: READING DARBY PENNSYLVANIA PA, 1894

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: Folio - over 12" - 15" tall

Seller ID: 0002082

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