Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Supreme Royal Circle of the Friends of the World

In my Waymarking adventures I’ve come across this on tombstones at predominantly African-American cemeteries.

Supreme Royal Circle

According to one website (http://www.herroncenter.org/stones.htm):

The Supreme Royal Circle of Friends of the World was founded in 1909 in Forest City Arkansas by Dr. Richard A. Williams. This fraternal organization for black men had as its primary goal promoting the moral, physical, intellectual, and material welfare of its members.

The success of the Royal Circle was partly due to blacks' mistrust of government and white owned banks. The Royal Circle of Friends offered great returns for small investments, with the support of friends, neighbors, churches, and respected black business leaders.
The fee for joining the Royal Circle, including a medical examination, was $2.50. Members then paid $1 per quarter, which paid $300 to the beneficiary after the member's death.
For years to come, in rural black cemeteries loyalty to the Royal Circle of Friends was indicated by the distinctive headstones that displayed the organization's symbol of the majestic lion and letters RCF.


It’s neat the things you find when you have adventures.