of the Mosaic Templars of America
Its Founders and Officials
A. E. Bush and P. L. Dorman
Introduction by John William Graves
of classic history of this 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
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.
Photo of the Mosaic Templar's Endowment
Office staff from the History of the Mosaic Templars of America and Its Founders and Officials.|
Courtesy Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.
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.
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
Aldridge E. Bush (A. E. Bush) was born in
1894 and died in 1953. He served with the MTA and helped establish
the Century Life Insurance Company in Little Rock in 1926.
Percy Lipton Dorman (P. L. Dorman) was born
in 1876 and died in 1958. Besides working for the MTA, he
taught in schools around the state.
John William Graves is chairperson of the
Department of Social Sciences and professor of history at
Henderson State University. He is the author of Town and
Country and serves on the advisory board of the Mosaic
Templars Cultural Center of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
6 x 9, 312 pages, 42 photographs
$24.95 (s) cloth
ISBN 978-1-55728-882-0 | 1-55728-882-8