History of the Mosaic Templars of America: Its Founders and Officials

This is a reprint of classic history of an important African American organization. Originally published in 1924 and long out of print, this book tells the story of the Mosaic Templars of America (MTA), a famous black fraternal organization that was founded by two former slaves in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the late-nineteenth century. The organization originally provided illness, death, and burial insurance during an era of segregation when few basic services were available to black people. By 1900, Mosaic Templars' industries grew to include an insurance company, a building and loan association, a publishing company, a business college, a nursing school, and a hospital.By 1905, it had a number of lodges across the state with thousands of members. Its headquarters were housed in a handsome new building that opened in 1913; Booker T. Washington delivered the dedication speech. In the 1920s, they claimed chapters in twenty-six states and six foreign countries, making it one of the largest black organizations in the world. However, in the 1930s the MTA began to feel the effects of the Great Depression and eventually ceased operations. However, a single chapter remains, in Barbados. The headquarters building burned down in 2005, and this book is being published to coincide with the grand opening this fall of a completely rebuilt structure that will house the new Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.