THE HISTORY OF GEORGIANA THOMAS GRAND CHAPTER
In pursuance to a call issued by Queen Esther Chapter No. 1, Order of the Eastern Star, located in Washington, DC, and united in by the officers and members and signed by the Worthy Matrons, Worthy Patrons, Associate Matrons and attested by the Secretaries of Queen Esther Chapter No. 1, Queen of Sheba Chapter No. 2 and Gethsemane Chapter No. 3, located in Washington, DC, and Electa Chapter No. 2, Queen Esther Chapter No. 5 and Queen of Sheba Chapter No. 6, located in the state of Maryland, for a Convention to be held in Washington, DC, on the 24th day of May 1892, for the purpose of organizing a Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star for the District of Columbia and its Jurisdiction. A Convention composed of duly accredited delegates and representatives from the above named Chapters assembled at 708 “O” Street, NW, Washington, DC in the Chapter Room of Queen of Sheba No. 2, on Tuesday, the 24th day of May, A.D. 1892, and after mature deliberation did form the Grand Chapter the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern or Adoptive Rite of Free Masonry for the District of Columbia and its Jurisdiction.
The Convention was called to order at 11 o’clock a.m. by Sir James O. Bampfield, Worthy Patron of Queen Esther Chapter No.1. After the reading of the call, a temporary organization was effected and Sir James O. Bampfield was made temporary chairman, and Sir J. Murray Ralph, temporary secretary. A permanent was then perfected and Sir Thornton A. Jackson, Deputy Grand Patron, was elected President: Sir Henry P. Ringold, Vice President, Sir James O. Bampfield, Secretary; and Sir J. Murray Ralph, Assistant, Assistant Secretary. The following was submitted by Bro. John N. Hunt and unanimously adopted:
RESOLVED: That we do organize a Grand Chapter of the Eastern Star for the District of Columbia and its Jurisdiction, and that all Chapters represented at this Convention holding charters being organized by the Deputy Grand Patron Thornton A. Jackson, and the same having been adopted by a regular Lodge of Free Masons of the District of Columbia or of Maryland, will upon surrender of their old charters, to this Grand Chapter, when formed, receive new charters at the nominal cost of the same. On motion of Sir W. H. Bruce, the Convention proceeded to the election of Officers of the Grand Chapter, after which, on motion of Sir John N. Hunt, the Convention adjourned sine die.
The Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star was then opened in due form by Sir Thornton A. Jackson, Deputy Grand Patron. Sir R. Howell Gleaves, 33rd degree, then installed Sir Thornton A. Jackson as Grand Patron for the ensuing year. The Grand Patron installed the Grand Officers-elect as follows: Sister G. Thomas, W.G. Matron; Sister M.A.S. Cary, Assoc. W.G. Matron; Bro. Jas. O. Bampfield, W.G. Secretary; Sis. M. Upshur, Assoc. G. Conductress; Bro. Henry P. Ringold, W.G. Chaplin; Bro. John N. Hunt, W.G. Lecturer; Sis. S.J. Owens, W.G. Ruth; Sis. Kate Moore, W.G. Martha; Bro. J.B. Hutchings, W.G. Organist; Bro. J. Murray Ralph, Assoc. W.G. Patron; Sis. Annie Warren, W.G. Treasurer; Sis. S.J.C. Ralph, W.G. Conductress; Sis. F.V. Hemsley, W.G. Warder; Bro. R.H. Gleaves, W.G. Marshal; Sis. H.A. Blake, W.G. Adah; Sis. Helen Jackson, W.G. Esther; Sis. M.J. Hill, W.G. Electa and Bro. James N. Davis, W.G. Sentinel.
From 1892 to 1955, the Grand body of the Eastern Star of this city was known as the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star for the District of Columbia. In 1955, this Grand Chapter was renamed the Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter, O.E.S., P.H.A., for the District of Columbia and Jurisdiction, as a tribute, in honor of its first Worthy Grand Matron, Georgiana Henson Thomas.
Since Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter was organized, the number of subordinate chapters has increased from three to fifteen at the present time. The Chapters:
Queen Esther No. 1 Electa No. 6 Martha No. 11
Queen of Sheba No. 2 Datcher No. 7 Thrift No. 12
Gethsemane No. 3 Ruth No. 8 Redemption No. 14
Miriam No. 4 Naomi No. 9 Audrey Robinson Underwood Military No. 15
Prince Hall No. 5 Fidelity No. 10 Mattie R. Griffin No. 16
The presiding officers of the Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter have graciously upheld the banner of dignity and the standards of the Order of the Eastern Star. We are grateful to those pioneers who paved the way with loyal and valuable service and have left their footprints in the sands of time.
Reference: Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter, OES-PHA, Jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, Souvenir Program, Ninety Eighth Annual Session, December 14-15, 1990.