The Jewel of Julia Tent 449.

Wilson Daily Times, 12 October 1957.

The Jewel of Julia Tent 449 [not “Jewels” and not 444] was established in Wilson in 1933. This is the earliest reference I have found for the organization and would appreciate any information anyone has.

[Update, 2 January 2022: And in a matter of hours, a reader — thank you, Theresa E. Williams! — comes to the rescue.

The Jewel of Julia was a chapter of the United Order of Tents. From their website: “Organized in 1867 by two ex-slaves, Annetta M. Lane of Norfolk, Virginia and Harriett R. Taylor of Hampton, Virginia. The United Order of Tents is a Christian Fraternal Benevolent Organization managed predominately by black women. Its membership spans Georgia, North Carolina, District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The Order was incorporated on June 17, 1883, by the Circuit Court of the city of Norfolk as “The J. R. Giddings and Jolifee Union” and began operations as such. Through error, the Corporation became popularly known by its present name and on June 28, 1912, a charter amendment was granted changing the name. The Order was first licensed as a fraternal benefit society in 1906 and has continually operated as such. The entire history of the organization displays a record of providing shelter and service to people who are unable to care for themselves.”

Years ago, I ran across a certificate of memberships in the Tents for my grandmother, Hattie Henderson Ricks. I had never heard her mention the organization, and I suspect she was affiliated only during the years before she migrated to Philadelphia, when she worked at the sanatorium. Assuming there was only one only chapter in Wilson, my grandmother was a Jewel of Julia!]


  1. I can only access my state on newspaperarchives, , but I see an article on December 14, 1979 in the Wilson Daily Times newspaper that references The Jewels of Julia Tent 449.

    “Wilson Daily Times Newspaper Archives, Dec 14, 1979, p. 2 › … › 1979 › December 14
    Dec 14, 1979 — Mrs. Williams was a member of the jewels of Julia tent no. 449 and a member of the Royal degree chamber no. 16.”

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