After receiving a second UOSP medal in the mail, and upon putting the two in a drawer with their cousins, it occurred to me that I have a nice little clutch of medals from extinct IOOF appendant groups. I think it’s odd, that I have two pieces from the UOSP, an organization which existed for 2 years or less; yet I don’t have, nor have I perhaps even ever seen a medal from AMOS, the successor to the United Order, which has existed for 90 years. But such are the ironies of collecting, I suppose.
These are nice pieces, interesting, and I’m glad to get them cataloged and updated here. There’s a story here, by the way, told in little symbols and complex emblems. One of the earliest pieces of this story can be seen at left, the front page of an OOH (no P, the P came later) ritual book, which I found in pdf format at the LOC.
The Oriental Order of Humility & Perfection (OOH&P) was the longest-lived and probably largest of the early IOOF appendants. I base that claim on research done by Seth Anthony, as well as the density of OOH&P objects that crop up, from fezzes to medals and so forth. (Strangely, however, a search in newspaper archives that yield a good amount of information on, say, the Imperial Order of Muscovites, turns up almost nothing for the Oriental Order.) The running symbolic narrative that stretches from the mid 19th Century OOH, through to the AMOS emblems of today, primarily uses the vocabulary of the OOH&P.
The UOSP was formed in 1924, under pressure from the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the IOOF. The Muscovites, Knights of Splendor, OOH&P and Cabiri had been deemed by the uppity ups to be unfit movements for Odd Fellows, and the UOSP was created to absorb these rascally renegade groups and provide an appendant body more in line with what the SGL of the IOOF saw as appropriate. Now that I write that…the UOSP sounds awfully, dangerously, horrendously boring. Maybe that’s why the UOSP was a complete flop and folded after only a couple of years. Let’s face it: when The Man tells you that your fun side-order is out of line and forces you to do something else that is more under His control, is that really the party you want to go to twice a month?
The IOOF continues to have an odd (sorry) relationship with its appendant body. The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans, which as I mentioned is coming up on its Centenary, isn’t actually recognized by the IOOF. It is, as far as I can tell, tolerated. A couple of years ago, while attempting to research the history of the Muscovites via high-end officers of the Odd Fellows, and mentioning that the IOM had been a precursor to the Samaritans, I had a Grand Secretary somewhat curtly inform me that the AMOS are referred to as “the cast out” and pretty much refused to discuss anything else with me. Why exactly the IOOF has decided on this course of action is a mystery to me (and it’s none of my business, frankly); but to this day, appendants and Odd Fellows hierarchy seem to discreetly look past each other.
Check out some other UOSP and OOH&P pieces here:
IOOF and Related Organization Dues Cards and Lockets IOOF and Related Organization Medals and Ribbons