Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
—The secret machinery of the order corresponds very closely to that of the freemasons. The lodges are called "granges," i.e., farms, whence the popular name of the order; but both men and women are admitted to membership. There is a state grange for each state, and a national grange for the whole Union. There are four degrees in subordinate granges, one in the state grange, and two in the national grange, the last three being named, respectively, Pomona, Flora and Ceres.—"No grange, if true to its obligation, can discuss political or religious questions, or call political conventions, or nominate candidates, or even discuss their merits in its meetings." Though the order is thus fundamentally non-political, it has been extremely difficult to keep it free from political influences. Its extent is a standing temptation to designing politicians, and its aim to cheapen transportation has a constant tendency to carry it into a quasi political warfare against railroad corporations. Its leaders have, indeed, been very successful in keeping its organization out of politics, but its success in other respects has taught the farmers of many of the northwestern states the virtues of organization and has caused the temporary formation of "farmers' parties," particularly during the stagnant period of national politics, 1872-5.
—See Appleton's Annual Cyclopœdia, 1873, 622; Kelley's Origin and Progress of the Patrons of Husbandry (1875); Martin's History of the Grange Movement (1875); Smedley's Manual of Jurisprudence of the Patrons of Husbandry (1875); Carr's Patrons of Husbandry on the Pacific Coast (1875).
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