Founder: Dr. Reynell Coates
December 10, 1802 – April 27, 1886
Dr. Coates, surgeon, scientist, statesman, naturalist, pedagogue, poet, lecturer, essayist and founder of the Patriotic Order Sons of America was born in Philadelphia.
He was the organizer and chief promoter. He wrote the constitution and laws, the ritual and ceremonies, and chose the songs which yet remain in use. All the Camps chartered were given the title “Washington Camp, No…..” at his suggestion.
The decades between 1830-1850 was a time of controversy. Some influences and movements were regarded as dangers to the perpetuity of the republic. The United Sons of America were in their prime. The members felt that steps should be taken to instruct the youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one in the lessons of American patriotism.
He issued the call for the first meeting to be held on December 10, 1847.
The beginnings of the P.O.S. of A. Fraternity may be found in the early days of our American Republic. Patriots banded together to uphold the principles of Americanism and duty to our flag. In 1847 the P.O.S. of A. was established to serve Our Country.
Basic Aims and Purposes
- Arouse appreciation of the heritage of freedom which is ours under God as American Citizens.
- Establish a feeling of devotion to country, its Institutions, the Constitution of the United States, and respect for our Flag.
- Support and defend the American System of Public Schools.
- Oppose foreign interference in State and National affairs.
- Advocate a firm program and legislation for National Defense and the Security of the Nation.
- Oppose all subversive movements against our Constitutional Government and the powers of law and order.
- Work for adequate restriction of immigration.
- Cultivate harmony, fellowship, and friendship among the membership.
- Worked for and secured law making Flag Day a National Holiday
- Originated idea and continues to present Stars and Stripes to public schools and churches etc.
- Presents awards to outstanding citizens to recognize distinguished service to our country
- Cooperates with pro American organizations on behalf of our Nation’s welfare
Description of Organization
The Patriotic Order Sons of America was organized December 10, 1847 to preserve the Public School System, The Constitution of the United Sates and our American way of life. It was incorporated by an Act of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, February 27, 1867. The subordinate unit, Washington Camp #150 was chartered by the Parent Corporation in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, May 21, 1871.
A Historic Service rendered by the Patriotic Order Sons of America includes the saving of Washington’s Headquarters at Valley Forge and the surrounding grounds. As a result, by an agreement with the Valley Forge Park Commission acting for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, December 4, 1919, Our Order was given the use of the old “Riddle Mansion” standing on the west bank of Valley Creek, just south of the Colonial stone bridge with carries Gulph Road over the stream. This building, called Patriot’s Hall, is the present monument, shrine, reception center and National Headquarters of the Order. The park is now under the supervision of the National Park Service.
In 1959 the administration of all affairs relative to the care of the Order’s Shrine with curtilage surrounding at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, was given to the Washington Camp #150 Commission associated together and for the Patriotic Society by the National and Pennsylvania State Organization.
All Activity is approved under the laws, rules, and edicts of the parent organization. The commission is to provide a continuing National Information and Promotional Center for the Patriotic Order Sons of America; a work including the development, cataloging, editing and distribution from historical and contemporary Patriotic Order Sons of America records and information, the lessons and pleasures of history and Americanism, to the citizens of the United States of America.
Details for the Commission cover maintenance, etc., of property and grounds, the authority to solicit gifts and donations for the Commission and to assist the entire Order for all of its purposes. As called and known: The Commission for the Patriotic Order Sons of America Research and Service Center, Box 124, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 19482 , is permitted to receive, administer and disburse funds received from gifts and donations that will aid the entire Fraternal Structure in its Organization, Education, Patriotic and Civic Purposes.
Programs and Types of Services
From the Commission and the roll of Associate Members, several committees provide opportunities for the Program Service, including: Personnel, Finance, Honors and Awards, Patriotic, Educational and Civic Service for the Order. A Council of Honor consisting of the Commission and Four Members, who are annually elected from the Roll of Associate and Contributing Members. This council has the power to award certificates, medals of honor, scholarships and such other award which the Commission has approved for individual and group distinctions and merits.
The Awards Program is open for the participation of all true United State’s Citizens. Awards cover projects for Excellence in Educational Endeavor, Outstanding Civic Leadership, Meritorious Patriotic Activity, the Portrayal of God’s Ethics for Patriots, Praiseworthy Literary Expression and the Junior American Award.
Other Programs the Center supports cover assistance to Local Units and State Units with American Citizenship Studies, Library Films and a Speakers’ Bureau. In addition, it furnishes Literature and Information Release news Outlets to the Public and tenders events to Special Native Born and Naturalized Citizens. Further, it provides instruction to school children on the use of the National Flags, giving knowledge regarding its genesis as a symbol of liberty, and distributes among schools and citizens a primer on Patriotism. Paragraphs of Opinion are produced based on reflections upon current affairs and their relation to the Order’s Platform of Principles.
The Order’s Patriotic Activity sponsors National Flag presentations to Schools, Organizations, public parks and other projects. All flags at Valley Forge National Park, at Washington Crossing Park, Pennsylvania, and at Independence Hall Mall in Philadelphia are supplied by this Order.
Promoting Memorials, Historic Tours and Marking Historic Places are endeavors to further stimulate the cause of Liberty. The Order’s assistance to Veterans Organizations, cooperation with Churches and other religious organizations, and the sponsoring of Junior Sons, youth activities, father and son endeavors are within its programs.
Fraternity for Order Members and the Home Association are ever present to assist in the lives of others to whom adversity or the presence of a need has come. The order aspires to not let a member be troubled.
Tax Exempt Status
Under the ruling of the U.S. Treasury Department, by the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue, for the State Camp of Pennsylvania, Patriotic Order Sons of America, it was held that the Organization specified together with subordinate camps appearing on the lists submitted and current are entitled to exemption from Federal Income Tax under the provisions of Section 101 (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 which corresponds to Section 501 (c) (8) of the 1954 Code. Ruling was first rendered July 26, 1940. We are listed in Page 886 of the Cumulative List of Organizations described in Section 170 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, revised to October 31, 1985 under Patriotic Order Sons of America Pennsylvania State Camp, Philadelphia, PA.
Associate and Contributing membership classes have been established. Associate Members are those of the National and various State organizations who contribute annually. Contributing members are those American Citizens, members or non-members of the Order, who further contribute toward the income required.
Objectives and Operations
The Objectives of the Order are embodied within its Platform of Principles, and are essentially: to inculcate pure American Principles; to teach loyalty to American Institutions; to cultivate fraternal affection; to oppose foreign interference in State or National Affairs; to oppose all appropriations of public moneys for Sectarian Purposes; to maintain and support the Constitution of the United States of America; to defend and maintain the American System of Public Schools; to defend the rights of Men and Armed Forces; to work as America’s foremost Civilian Patriotic Organization in combating foreign propaganda and in preventing our participation in future foreign wars; to work for an adequate Army, Navy and Air Force, which will command respect of foreign nations and prevent future war.
Recent operations of our organization have covered financial support and participation in the dedication of the Tennessee State Memorial in the National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and participation in raising funds for the Statue of Liberty.
Provision of information promoting the Cause of Law, Order, Rational Liberty and the Political Education of American freemen. Publication of a Book entitled, A New Look at the Constitution of the United States of America. This book is available to all School Libraries throughout the Nation. It is a book containing analysis of the Executive; the construction and performance of Congress; the rights of the States; prohibitions of the United States; the Preamble; personal rights of citizens and the Judiciary, many additional items and listings, plus very usable indexes to assist in the desire for knowledge. This was in preparation for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of that important document. Some of these books are still available.
Any person, invited by a member of this Order, shall be eligible for consideration for membership in the Fraternity if he be of good moral character; of age as included by the scope and of the Membership involved; a native born or naturalized citizen of the United States of America and who is in favor of all of the Order’s Principles as established in its “Platform of Principles.”