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Sons of Temperance Records

Sons of Temperance Records

1 of 2
Open Finding Aid

SONS OF TEMPERANCE RECORDS, 1860-1967

Sponsor:

Processing of this collection was funded by a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications and Records Commission).





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Sons of Temperance
Title:Sons of Temperance Records
Dates:1860/1967
Quantity:6.25 linear feet (11 boxes)
Abstract:The Sons of Temperance Records include constitutions, by-laws, meeting minutes, financial records, membership rolls, newsletters, and photographs created by members of the Sons of Temperance.
Identification:MSS 215

Series List

SERIES I. National Division of North American Records
A. Administrative Records
B. Membership Ceremonies and Rituals
C. Newsletters
D. Photographs
SERIES II. Grand Division of Massachusetts Records
A. Administrative Records
B. Membership Records
C. Financial Records
SERIES III. Subordinate Division Records
A. Old Bay State Division, No. 32
B. Wenuchus Division, No. 41
C. Welcome Division, Rowley
D. General Subordinate Division Records

Scope and Content Note

The Sons of Temperance Records include constitutions, by-laws, meeting minutes, financial records, membership rolls, newsletters, and photographs created by members of the Sons of Temperance. This series has been arranged into three series.


Series I. National Division of North America Records include records published and distributed by the Sons of Temperance National Division of North America to all Grand Division and Subordinate Division members. This includes a National Division approved constitution, journals of proceedings from the annual session, handbooks, a manual of hymns, music, and responses, and guidelines for opening, initiations, and closing ceremony practices.


Series II. Grand Division of Massachusetts Records include constitutions, by-laws, journal of proceedings from the annual sessions, meeting minutes, membership records, and financial records created by the elected officials and members of the Sons of Temperance Grand Division of Massachusetts.


Series III. Subordinate Division Records include meeting minutes, rolls of members, and financial records created by individual Sons of Temperance divisions within Massachusetts. Specific division records include the Old Bay State Division, No. 32 and the Wenchus Division, No. 41, along with general subordinate division records such as the Blue Book for the Use of Subordinate Divisions of the Order of the Sons of Temperance, which contains the ritual of the Sons of Temperance.


Historical Sketch

The Sons of Temperance was a fraternal group and mutual benefit society that advocated for the societal benefit of abstinence and temperance, while providing assistance for its members, such as sickness and disability benefits, and allotted money to assist with burials of fellow brothers and their wives. The organization met for the first time on September 29, 1842 at Teetotaller’s Hall in New York City. As the Sons of Temperance gained popularity, the group became known for its secret passwords, grips, handshakes, and rituals of initiation and ceremony. To join, a man had to be nominated by an existing member, and then allow three members to conduct an investigation into his life and character. Once this process was completed, the membership was decided by secret ballot.


On June 17, 1844, the first meeting of the National Division was held in New York City, where officers were elected and committees were appointed for regalia, certificates of membership, revision of constitutions, and for ceremonies of the organization. At its height, the National Division of North America comprised the Grand Divisions of the various states and of the different provinces of Canada and Newfoundland. National Divisions were also formed in Great Britain and Ireland, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand.


The Grand Division of Massachusetts was instituted on June 18, 1844. Subordinate Divisions in Massachusetts were established, beginning with Washington Division, No. 1 of Boston. The total number of divisions within Massachusetts reached over one hundred, including the Old Bay State Division, No. 32, chartered on May 28, 1846 and instituted on June 4, 1856 in Boston, and the Wenuchus Division, No. 41, instituted on December 7, 1876 at the Maple Street Chapel in Lynn, Massachusetts.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Dennett, Charles E., b. 1837
Dixon, Leroy L., b. 1882
Sons of Temperance of North America
Sons of Temperance of North America--Grand Division of Massachusetts
Sons of Temperance of North America--Old Bay State Division No. 32 (Boston, Mass.)
Sons of Temperance of North America--Welcome Division (Rowley, Mass.)
Sons of Temperance of North America--Wenuchus Division No. 41 (Lynn, Mass.)
By-laws
Fraternal organizations
Societies
Temperance
Temperance--Societies, etc.
Boston (Mass.)
Salem (Mass.)
Account books
Letters
Music
Newsletters

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Request for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Sons of Temperance Records, MSS 215, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This majority of material was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Leroy L. Dixon on October 19, 1971. Various other records were acquired on June 9, 1982. The material in this collection was originally arranged as Fam. Mss. 955.

Processing Information

Collection processed and cataloged by Halley Grogan, May 2012.


Related Material

Ellis, Samuel. The History of the Order of the Sons of Temperance. Boston, MA: Stacy, Richardson & Co., 1848. Internet Archive. Web. 18 May 2012. http://archive.org/details/historyorderson00tempgoog


Additional Sons of Temperance material is available in our Essex County print collection, including constitutions and by-laws for the following Massachusetts Subordinate Divisions:

• Henfield Division, No. 2, Salem

• Washington Division, No. 3, Marblehead

• Ipswich Bay Division, No. 4, Ipswich

• Monument Division, No. 5, Salem

• Franklin Division, No. 6, Beverly

• Essex Division, No. 12, Newburyport

• Golden Dawn Division, No. 27, Salem

• Good Samaritan Division, No. 30, Manchester

• Rantoul Division, No. 63, Beverly

• Merrimac Division, No. 77, Amesbury

• Phillips Division, No. 84, Salem

• Kenoza Division, No. 163, Haverhill

• Holten Division, No. 166, Danvers


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