second degree

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Takodah Chapter of Owasippe

When Carroll A. Edson became a Field Executive in 1921 in Chicago Council it was only natural that he would bring Wimachtendienk with him. Chicago in 1921 had five geographic districts and a sixth “division” that was an overlay of the entire council. This division was the Douglas Division and it was for African American Scouts. No matter where in Chicago you lived, if you were Black then you were segregated into the Douglas Division.

First Known African American Second Degree

In November of 1932, the Third Biennial Conference for Region 7 was held at Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois. 155 Arrowmen attended from five different lodges plus Grand Chieftain Robroy Price in attendance.

On the night of November 12, 1932 fifteen Arrowmen, selected by their lodge or chapter for initiation into the Second Degree, were introduced to the assembly of Arrowmen that included the Grand Chieftain. Among those fifteen were three members of Owasippe Lodge’s Takodah Chapter, the segregated chapter of Chicago. Those three men were Dr. William H. Benson, Emerson James and Horatio W. Isbell. These three men are the oldest known African American members of the Order to become Brotherhood Honor members. That night they received their initiation and sealed their membership in the Order.

Second Degree Questionnaire Required

The seventh annual session of the Grand Lodge opened at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 14, 1927, at Camp Ranachqua, New York. A large portion of the meeting minutes were concerned with ritual changes. It was noted back in 1923 that Brotherhood candidates needed more knowledge of the Order. Four years later a series of 31 questions was provided as a recommendation to increase knowledge of Arrowmen. The recommendation was approved. Below are the recommended original questions.

Beginning Steps to Brotherhood Questionnaire

From the 1923 Minutes of the Grand Lodge annual meeting, the report of Brother Edson - Chairman Rituals and Ceremonials stated,

"We recommend that the First Degree members before receiving Second Degree initiation shall attend a class in which they receive definite instruction in the fundamentals of the Order as follows:

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