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The Sons of Temperance was a brotherhood of men who promoted the temperance movement and mutual support. It began spreading rapidly during the 1840s throughout the United States and parts of Canada.

The organization had a highly restricted membership. In order to become a member (called a “brother“), a man had to be nominated by an existing brother. Three other brothers would then investigate his life to determine if they thought he was worthy of membership.

The Sons of Temperance required a two-dollar initiation fee, an amount equal to a week’s wages of an ordinary worker. In addition, the weekly membership fee was six cents. It had secret rituals, signs, passwords, hand grips and regalia.

The organization also acted as an insurance company. Its constitution required the brotherhood to pay thirty dollars to cover the burial costs of any brother who died. It also required the payment of fifteen dollars for the funeral costs of a member’s dead wife.

A bylaw required fellow brothers to visit any sick brother at least once a day, and one of the orders of business at each meeting was to identify any brothers who were ill. The organization later admitted women.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdommarker Sons of Temperance Friendly Society is based in Blackfriars Roadmarker, Londonmarker. It appears that this society is slowly winding down as evidenced by their website and a news article.

The Order of the Sons of Temperance was introduced into the United Kingdom in 1849, the first division being formed in an area of Liverpool known as 'Old Gory'. By 1855 it was sufficiently widespread that a charter was granted by the parent body for the institution, on 6 April 1855, of the National Division of Great Britain and Ireland.

External links

Today the Society exists in Scandinavia and UK only


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