mutual pledge. That in the troubles and difficulties which, within the last seven years, have befallen the craft, they have availed themselves of his name, and authority, and influence, to sustain their drooping fortunes, as far as it has been in their power, has been matter of public notoriety. A sense of justice has restrained him from joining in their processions, as he has been importunately urged by invitations to do, but he has not withheld from them his support.'"
Almost forty years have passed away since the National Grand Bodies assembled in Triennial Session in the City of Baltimore. Behold the change! Those fourteen brave Knights have gone to their reward — not one of them now lives to rejoice at this triumphant return to Baltimore. They sleep peacefully and serenely the last great sleep: peace to their ashes; honor to their names. The railroad and telegraph now traverse populous States, then scarcely known. The Union stretches from ocean to ocean, and holds in its fast embrace great States, whose territory was then unexplored.
From all parts of this wide extended country—from the Atlantic and the Pacific—from the great rivers, with their fertile valleys— from the mountain ranges, with their verdant slopes — from the rugged North and the sunny South—from the great West, whither the star of empire is taking its course, and from the sea-girt populous East—come up here to Baltimore to this Eighteenth Triennial Session of the Grand Encampment of the United States, in companies, in battalions, in regiments, thousands of true Knights, bearing the banners of the Cross, living witnesses of the truth of the resolutions passed by the General Grand Encampment in 1832, that "Political Parties, in assailing the orders of Knighthood, aim a blow at all the free institutions of the country."
The institution which, in 1832, was abused and maligned, its members insulted and degraded, and which could then gather in its National Convention but fourteen tried souls, has survived the abuse, the malignity, the insults, and degradation, and stands before you to-day in its wisdom, strength, and beauty.
In 1832 those fourteen Knights did not disturb the usual tranquillity of Baltimore, and their presence here was unrecognized. Quiet in demeanor, unobtrusive in manner, they came with a firm determination to fully perform their devoirs to Temple Masonry.