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History  of  the Red Cross  in  the USA

The Red Cross of Constantine is an order of Masonic knighthood; 23rd of the Early Grand Rite and conferred in the Council of the Trinity, where it was called "Red Cross of Rome and Constantine.  It has been traced in England to 1788 with a reorganization in 1804, but recent research developed the fact that this was the Red Cross of Babylon or Palestine.  It was really started by Robert Wentworth Little in May, 1865.

Between 1865 and 1875, the Grand Imperial Council of England chartered 47 conclaves in the United States, many of which united to form state Grand Councils.  On June 14, 1872, fourteen conclaves in Pennsylvania, charted from England, formed a Grand Conclave.  On August 30, 1872, a similar body was formed in Illinois, which changed its name, October 13, 1899, to include the words,
Western Jurisdiction which, on June, 16, 1911, was again expanded to United States of America but, on June 8, 1946, those territorial pretentions were abandoned and the name was revised to describe merely a state conclave.  Grand Councils were formed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island (combined) in 1873; in New York in 1873; in Michigan in 1874, and in Kentucky, Indiana, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, and Canada all in 1875.  In early years, there were individual conclaves in 16 other states, but the fates of those and the Grand Conclaves above mentioned have gone unrecorded.  In 1877, a Supreme Grand Chapter of the Grand Cross was established.  That organization existed, however, only until 1921, when "the Grand Cross was returned to the Imperial Conclaves."  In 1955, the two Empires originally started in Pennsylvania and Illinois voted to unite, and in 1958, a national body was formed.  The Grand Council of Maine and Vermont remain independent, though the latter is dormant.  By 1956, there had been 200 Grand Cross Knights made in the United States.


Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, by Henry Wilson Coil, 33rd
Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company

"Between 1865 and 1875, the Grand Imperial of England Chartered 47 conclaves in the United States, .."

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St. Stephen's Conclave | History  of  the Red Cross  in  the USA

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