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Striking chromolithographic certificate of mermbership of the Patriotic Order Sons of America, published in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1891.

The image includes a number of famous American historical and symbolic images, including:

  • Mayflower
  • Landing of the Pilgrims
  • Battle of Bunker Hill
  • Washington Crossing the Delaware
  • Washington Praying at Valley Forge
  • Surrender of Cornwallis
  • Battle of New Orleans
  • General Scott entering Mexico City
  • Bombardment of Fort Sumter
  • Rally of Troops in Washington
  • Gettysburg
  • Scene of Peace (ending of Civil War)
  • Portraits of Washingtion and Columbus
  • United States Seal and images of Liberty

Patriotic Sons Order of America

he Patriotic Order Sons of America is an American patriotic fraternal organization that traces its origins to the anti-alien riots of the 1840s.

Founded in 1847 in Philadelphia by  Dr. Reynell Coates, the P.O.S. of A. once had "camps" (chapters) in 20 states. At its peak, there were more than 600 camps nationwide. Today, the society maintains a presence only in Pennsylvania, where it has 14 camps. The national headquarters are in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Alan Axelrod's The International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders notes as follows (wikipedia notes that the entry includes inaccuracies):

The Patriotic Order, Sons of America . . . was, like many organizations with “Patriotic” in their title, an anti-Catholic, anti-immigration Know-Nothing society. It originated as the Patriotic Order, United Sons of America at some time prior to 1847 in Philadelphia. The order disappeared with the collapse of the Know-Nothing Party, but was resuscitated in 1868, this time minus the epithet “United.” The degrees were Red, White, and Blue, and the women’s auxiliary was the (Patriotic) Daughters of America. The Patriotic Order, Junior Sons of America was founded as the junior branch in 1847, and the Patriotic Order of True Americans was the result of a merger between the Patriotic Order of Americans (another auxiliary) and the Daughters of America. There was even (according to the Philadelphia Public Ledger of September 1, 1923) a “fun” or “mummers” division of the Patriotic Order, Sons of America, called the Rough Riders.

The Order began as a "white's only organization, but is not open to all races.  As of 1946, its constitution read: 

MEMBERSHIP QUALIFICATIONS. Section 1.—Any American male person shall be entitled to membership in the Order if he be of good moral character, at least sixteen years of age, a believer in the existence of a Supreme Being as Creator and Preserver of the Universe, born on the soil or under the jurisdiction of the United States, in favor of free education, opposed to any union of Church and State, and to the interference of any Foreign power, directly or indirectly, with the Government, and not affiliated with any secular, religious, or other organization opposed or antagonistic to the American System of free public schools. The provision of this article shall not be subject to the granting of any special permission by the National President or National Executive Committee.


These membership certificates are typically scarce to rare on the market.

No copies listed in OCLC.