The Red Men Societies
The Improved Order of Red Men traces its origin to certain secret patriotic societies founded before the American Revolution. They were established to promote Liberty and to defy the tyranny of the English Crown. Among the early groups were: The Sons of Liberty, the Sons of St. Tammany, and later the Society of Red Men. …
“At Baltimore, Maryland, in 1847, the various local [societies referred to as “tribes”] came together and formed a national organization called the Grand Council of the United States. With the formation of a national organization, the Improved Order of Red Men soon spread, and within 30 years there were State Great Councils in 21 states with a membership of over 150,000. The Order continued to grow and by the mid-1920s there were [societies referred to as “tribes”] in 46 states and territories with a membership totaling over one-half million.
Today, The Improved Order of Red Men continues to offer all patriotic Americans an organization … to promote patriotism and the American Way of Life, to provide social activities for the members, and support various charitable programs. Our activities include:
- Flag Recognition Program — A program to honor those patriotic Americans who display the flag regularly.
- Faith Of Our Fathers Chapel — Chapel erected at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to memorialize the ideals and principles of our founding fathers.”
Degree Of Pocahontas History
The Degree of Pocahontas is the women’s affiliate of The Improved Order of Red Men. It was organized in 1885 and soon councils had sprung up across the United States.
Very prominent people have been part of this including Richard Nixon. William O. Barnard of Newcastle, who has given over half a century to the cares and responsibilities of the profession of the law and public office, is a native of Indiana, his grandparents having been pioneers of the state. The Barnard’s represented the sterling Quaker stock which has been such a valuable element in the citizenship of Eastern Indiana…
Judge Barnard is a trustee of the Friends Church of Newcastle, he is also a trustee of Earlham College at Richmond, is a Republican, in Masonry has affiliations with the Lodge, Royal Arch Chapter, Council and Knights Templar Commandery, has held chairs in the Knights of Pythias, is a member of the Improved Order of Red Men, is an honorary member of the Rotary Club, and is a director of the Henry County Building & Loan Association.
One of the confusing aspects of the Red Men society is because thier standing in the society is referenced in death records, there people today who claim to be descendants from Native People not realizing that it is because they had an ancestor who was part of this group.
Proclamation April 13th, 2016 as Improved Order Of Red Men Day.
The Proclamation read:
IMPROVED ORDER OF RED MEN DAY
WHEREAS, the Improved Order OF Red Men was first known as the “The Sons of Liberty”. The Improved Order of Red Men is the oldest fraternal organization chartered by Congress in the United States.
WHEREAS, the Improved Order of Red Men were the group of men who threw the tea into the Boston Harbor prior to the Revolutionary War.
WHEREAS, some notable members of the Improved Order of Red Men included; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams.
WHEREAS, in the 1880’s Tombstone started a Charter known as “The Optapa Tribe #15 and some of its local notable members included Dr. Goodfellow, Virgil Earp and Mayor John Clum with one of its Chief’s being George W.P. Hunt who in 1912 became, the first Governor of the State of Arizona.
WHEREAS, the last recording of the tribe was in 1915 and now 101 years later the’ Great Council of the United States is granting a charter and the new Tombstone tribe will be known as “The Chokonen Tribe #49.
NOW THEREFORE, I Dustin Escapule, Mayor for the ‘City of Tombstone, do hereby proclaim April 13, 2016 as “The Improved Order of Red Men Day” in the City of Tombstone and urge all citizens to recognize the return of America’s oldest fraternal organization chartered by Congress to Tombstone, Arizona.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto, set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the City of Tombstone to be affixed this 12th day of April 2016
MY GRANDFATHER AND HIS FATHER BOTH BELONGED TO THE IMPROVED ORDER OF THE RED MANS SOCIETY IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA.
Comment *I’m ashamed to admit that my great grandmother belonged to the Degree of Pocahontas, the women’s version of this society, in the early 1900s. Awful to think of.
In several places on this website I mention that all of us humans are fabulous and flawed*. I suspect this was also true of your great grandmother if for no other reason then she produced you, a person who cares. We can’t change the past but we can impact the future. Share this website, be out there doing things and the world can change. *Go to and scroll down: https://tools4racialjustice.net/becoming/being-allies/)