Talk:American Boy Scouts

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It appears that the actual name of this group was either "The American Boy Scout" or "American Boy Scout". See [1], [2], [3] and [4]. I can't figure out if "The" is properly part of the name. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 16:42, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm thinking that the official name of the organization may have been "American Boy Scout" then later "United States Boy Scout" but they were probably referred to by mistake quite often as the "American Boy Scouts" and the "United States Boy Scouts". I'm not sure whether "the" was officially part of their names or not. --Jagz 01:51, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not going to worry about the "The". Some sources show it as singular, others as plural. Here is an American Boy Scout rifle: [5] We might just stick this in as a footnote. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 20:59, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I sent an email the the World of Scouting Museum in Valley Forge that has a copy of the ABS Handbook from 1910[6] and they said that the name was the "American Boy Scouts". They also said that the name was later changed to USBS “after they got in trouble using the word American Boy Scouts b/c it was confusing with the BSA". I have confirmed that the Handbook they have is actually from ABS and not BSA. That Handbook should be able to illuminate whether ABS was intended from the beginning as a paramilitary organization (before Hearst quit). --Jagz 21:23, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

In 1910, Willian Randolf Hearst - the American Newspaper owner, incorporated "The American Boy Scout" - which in popular discussions is now incorrectly known as the "American Boy Scouts". The New York Supreme Court, in dealing with the case in 1917-1919, correctly uses the designation "The American Boy Scout" and the later name of "The United States Boy Scout" see; Supreme Court, New York County, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, -against- THE UNITED STATES BOY SCOUT, Defendent August 1917-March 1919. The Court records offer incontrovertible proof of the correct title.Osjknights (talk) 07:55, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

The entries for the names have been swapped as a result of the establised facts, as either entry will find the name.Osjknights (talk) 07:55, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Concerning the American Boy Scout movement and Hearst, see the New York American May 10, p. 3; May 12, 1910, p. 4; June 5, 1910, p. 11L; June 7, 10, 1910, p. 10; July 7, 1910, p. 4; July 10, 1910, p. 6L; July 12, 13, 15, and 20, 1910, p. 8; July 26, 1910, p. 5; August 6, 1910, p. 14; August 14, 1910, p. 10L; August 20, 24, 1910, p.5; September 4, 1910, p. 3-II; September 5, 24, 1910, p. 8; October 9, 1910, p. 11L; October 13, 1910, p. 4. For Hearst's election as national president of the Boy Scouts and his financial contribution, see ibid,, July 1, 1910, p. 8; July 18, 1910, p. 5. Note, however, that Hearst resigned his position in December 1910, upon discovering evidence of corruption in fund-raising. See ibid., December 9, 1910, p. 11; December 14, 1910, p. 4; December 21, 1910, p. 7. 27. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:26, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Osjknights (talk) 07:55, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Are copies of any of these articles available? --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 12:41, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

I have not seen the article, but they are cited in Proctor, Ben, William Randolph Hearst: The Later Years, 1911-1951, Oxford University Press, USA (April 24, 2007), Page 13 You can read the relevant text in google books;
I have in my files on the ABS the entire transcripts of the New Yort Court Case. At some stage I will upload a precise of the case. I also have the entire historical records of the British Boy Scouts and Order of World Scouts in my archive.Osjknights (talk) 07:55, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

The transcripts of the court case would not be copyrighted; it would be grand to have these on Wikisource.
According to the New York Times, the organization was using "United States Boy Scout" on their official letterhead, but changed the letterhead to "United States Boy Scouts" in 1917.
"Ask U.S. Boy Scouts to Drop Their Names". New York Times. August 10, 1917. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
--—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 13:00, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

U.S. Junior Military Forces[edit]

How long was the U.S. Junior Military Forces active? It should go in the article if known. --Jagz 08:15, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

New York Supreme Court[edit]

Did the New York Supreme Court or a federal court issue the ruling? See [7], Early Actions section. --Jagz 08:08, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Rowan says New York state. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 20:20, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the rewrite![edit]

Thanks for the rewrite. It was actually the Hearst group that was the paramilitary one with rifles and close order drill! GCW50 20:09, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes- I read this a couple of times and couldn't figure out the original sentence here, so I deleted it. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 20:18, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
The American Boy Scouts may have become paramilitary after Hearst quit the organization. --Jagz 20:43, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
This reference supposedly discusses the new leadership of ABS after Hearst quit and that it became a military organization. I have not seen it yet. "David I Macleod, Building Character in the American Boy, University of Wisconsin Press, 1983, page 147". --Jagz 21:12, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I just got this book. There are just a few sentences about the ABS on page 147; the meat of it is already covered here. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 15:12, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

US Boy Scouts[edit]

"In response to complaints from the Boy Scouts of America about the bad and erroneous publicity, the American Boy Scouts changed their name to the United States Boy Scouts around 1916 to help dispel the confusion. Unsatisfied, the Boy Scouts of America sued the group in 1917 and won." See [8]. --Jagz 21:58, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I think it more probable that it was a combination of the BSA and reorganizing that lead to the USBS name. None of the literature I have is quite clear on this. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 23:51, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

This says that the ABS changed their name to USBS in 1913.[9] --Jagz 00:24, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the link is to a pay site. This is a better reference:

--— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 20:02, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


This NY Times article raises inconsistencies in the Wikipedia article regarding the peak membership number in ABS/USBS and John Gluck's role. --Jagz (talk) 23:02, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

--— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 16:32, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't see that in the (July 21, 1918) link. In Gluck (August 19, 1917), he describes himself as commissioner at large. You can find more on him by searching for "John D. Gluck", mostly about the Santa Claus Association. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 23:21, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
The July 21, 1918 article says that Gluck was an officer of USBS, not a fund raiser, it also says that ABS/USBS had a peak of 17,000 not 3,000. --Jagz (talk) 23:33, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
My eyes must be tired. Specifically, it says that the USBS stated it had a membership of 200,000 but others stated it had a maximum of 17,000 and around 4,000 at the time. In our article it says "the USBS claimed 200,000 Scouts but there were probably only about 3,000" (I just double checked Peterson and that 3,000 is what he stated). I doubt there is any truly reliable source on this. The USBS was not alone in membership number issues— the Lone Scouts of America had inflated numbers for most of its life. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 23:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

British Boy Scouts[edit]

The article Order of World Scouts and another one that I read somewhere seem to indicate that the formation of the American Boy Scouts was prompted by the formation of the British Boy Scouts (prior to the founding of the Order of World Scouts). The article says, "In 1909, a group of troops withdrew from Baden-Powell's Boy Scouts Association and formed the British Boy Scouts (BBS), out of a concern that Baden-Powell's association was too bureaucratic and militaristic." "The BBS and BGS program soon spread to several other British Commonwealth countries, and to nonCommonwealth countries such as the United States (The American Boy Scout)." It is possible that Baden-Powell's Boy Scouts Association shifted to a more non-military organization early on; this may have left the BBS without good reason for being a separate organization.

The American Boy Scout article had the sentence until March 2007, "Although given the opportunity, Hearst did not want to cooperate with fellow newspaperman William D. Boyce, founder of the BSA, due in part to Hearst thinking he needed to have "his own Scouting organization" and partly because he felt the group was becoming too paramilitary in nature." It is possible too that the BSA also shifted to being a more non-military organization early on. Also, the ABS may have shifted to being a more military organization, perhaps to fill the void left by the BSA, or maybe the change happened when new leadership took over after Hearst left. --Jagz (talk) 19:50, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

From my sources, it would appear that the BSA did not really take any sort of stance until West took over in January 1911; he seems to have been the driving force behind non-militarism. Given that several organizations using the "Scout" were formed around the same time, it seems obvious that the Scouting concept leaked into the U.S. independently of Boyce. I have never seen any mention of where Hearst got the idea for the ABS. I'm afraid the rest is interesting supposition. Unfortunately, there is no definitive work on the ABS—I'm starting to believe that this article has become better than the sum of its sources. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 21:31, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

More USBS information[edit]

According to: Macleod, David (1983). Building Character in the American Boy: The Boy Scouts, YMCA, and Their Forerunners. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-2990940-4-9.

"The USBS's story can be followed in Uncle Sam's Boy 1 (1918-19)."

--Jagz (talk) 02:25, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I had seen that reference, but darned if I can find any information on it; an online search gives you a gazillion hits. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 11:27, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

United Boy Scouts - dubious[edit]

"Another group the United Boy Scouts split off of the Boy Scouts of America in 1913 and were later renamed the American Boy Scouts."[10]

This is based on a single statement in The History of Remington Firearms. This is not recorded in any BSA history. I highly suspect that the Remington history is incorrect. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:56, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Although it may be based on this NYT article:

In the last two paragraphs, General L.W. Amerman, executive officer of the USBS, stated that the ABS was incorporated in June 1910 and that the BSA was formed later by members who split from the ABS. He also states that the ABS "got permission" from the New York supreme Court to rename to the USBS in 1913. The first is nonsense and none of that agrees with more reliable histories. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:10, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

It does not matter if it is recorded in BSA history or not. BSA history is highly slanted. Does it spell out that Baden-Powell lied under oath to say that he control the Scouting movement when it was consider initial to be an adjuct program of other boy's programs like the Boy's Brigade? Does the BSA history tell of scouting programs started before the BSA? No, it goes on about the unknown scout and Boyce. Incorrect or not the Remington article is verifiable. Spshu (talk) 15:44, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Does the BSA history tell of scouting programs started before the BSA?
By BSA history, I do not mean only BSA published histories. Both the BSA and others have noted that a few groups existed before and after the BSA was founded.
Regardless, and to the point of the issue: No history shows that the ABS/UBS split from the BSA. Every history shows that the ABS was organized independently in June 1910 and that it was renamed to the USBS some time after that and then to other names. The only reference to United Boy Scouts is in the Remington history and now here. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 18:36, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Well I lost a good semi-long response in an edit conflict. Based on the timeline of the ABS to USBS name change (1913), United Boy Scouts (UBS) split (1913) and the rifles manufacturing history (1913-1914), it would seem that the UBS/ABS is not the same as the ABS/USBS just like the USBS is not the sames as National Highway Protective Association's BSUS. Do any of the books mention the United Boys' Brigades of America's or the California Boy Scouts scouting program (found in early Boys' Life issues)? As they weren't listed as in any the above Scouting Mag.'s articles. Also, I doubt that they mention a Boy Scout Troop chartered by the Boy Scout Association in 1909.
This second ABS(UBS) is listed in the ABS article since it isn't notable on its own and used the ABS name. Spshu (talk) 21:02, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
United Boys' Brigades of America is mentioned in Macleod, p. 88. If you are trying to make the point that Boy Scout units existed before the BSA and after the BSA was organized, then that is well documented. There were a number of locally formed Boy Scout units influenced by Scouting for Boys in the US, but there is very little documentation on them, including your example of William Foster Milne.
  • Woodcraft Indians; formed 1902, merged 1910, reorganized 1915
  • Sons of Daniel Boone; formed 1905, merged 1910
  • YMCA Boy Scouts; formed 1909, merged 1910; Macleod
  • Boy Scouts of the United States; merged 1910; Peterson, p. 52; Macleod, p. 147; Scouting
  • National Scouts of America; merged 1910; Peterson, p. 52; Macleod, p. 147; Scouting
  • Leatherstocking Scouts; merged 1910; Peterson, p. 52
  • Peace Scouts; merged 1910; Peterson, p. 52; Scouting
  • California Boy Scouts[12]
  • YMMIA Scouts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; formed 1910, merged 1913; [13]
  • Salvation Army Life Saving Scouts; formed 1910, renamed LifeSaving Guards-Boys, merged 1929; Scouting
  • Boy Rangers of America; formed 1913, merged 1930; Peterson, p. 108
  • Lone Scouts of America; formed 1915, merged 1930; Peterson, p. 85
  • Polish National Alliance Scouts; existed in 1914 through at least 1933; Macleod, p. 215; Scouting
  • Rhode Island Boy Scouts; formed 1910, merged 1917; Scouting
  • New England Boy Scouts; formed 1910, merged 1916; Scouting
But the core issue here is the ABS/UBS/USBS.
  • American Boy Scouts, formed 1910, renamed to United States Boy Scouts in 1913— well documented by several reliable sources
  • United Boy Scouts, split from the Boy Scouts of America in 1913, renamed American Boy Scouts— a singular mention in a firearms history
Just does not seem likely. I suppose we could question the author of the Remington history. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 22:51, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

←So the indication at the website of a letter from BP to Milne indicating that he was the first USA scoutmaster isn't proof? Or some knowledge that the Boy Scout Association charter was sent back to the Scotland in 1920? Aldrich Public Library's Barre Boy Scout Collection with a photo dated 1909 and its William R. Cameron Papers. It is very significant that their was a British charted group in the USA not just local formed group. Even your source, Marching to a Different Drummer, mention Milne:

A rivalry between the two organizations was natural. An example of shifting loyalties was the B.B. company at the Baptist Church in Barre, Vt., in 1908. It was led by William Milne, a Scottish stonecutter. Many years later, a member, Wallace Watt, recalled, 'We did marching mostly, and Bible study.' "In 1909, William Milne visited Britain and heard about Scouting. When he came back, Watt said, "he told us what he had learned and asked if we would like to change from Boys' Brigade to Boy Scouts. His descriptions entranced us, and we said yes." So the Boys' Brigade company became Troop 1 of Barre. The same scenario was repeated in other towns.

The point is that one source say: "In its earliest days, the BSA wasn’t the only Scouting organization on American soil. Others included ..." Thus indicating that the list is not complete and there are others not mentioned. What about the Rhode Island Scouts (not the Rhode Island Boy Scouts) in your source may be the only mention of them and doesn't proof a 1910 founding. Everywhere else, Rhode Island Boy Scouts is mentioned including Boys's Life with a early 1911 break away from the ABS. 90 Years Old and Counting doen't mention the RIBS being apart of the ABS. Spshu (talk) 14:44, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

We keep getting off the point here. Again:

  • The American Boy Scouts formed independently in 1910 and renamed to United States Boy Scouts in 1913. Is there any doubt on this point?
  • The United Boy Scouts split from the BSA in 1913 and renamed to American Boy Scouts. This is sourced to The History of Remington Firearms. Since you added the Remington source, the onus is on you to defend it. I don't think it is correct:
    • This is the first I have ever heard of the United Boy Scouts— I have been studying Scouting history for over 30 years, and have a well stocked library. I have checked every available reference and find nothing on United Boy Scouts.
    • They are not mentioned in Peterson or Macleod; both mention the ABS and USBS as well as most of the other groups.
    • The source is a history on firearms, not Scouting; the author is well represented on the web and seems well versed as a firearms historian, but nothing shows his expertise in Scouting history.
    • A diligent web search returns no meaningful hits on "United Boy Scouts", just adjacent words; whereas "Leatherstocking Scouts" and the others return a multitude of hits.

Bottom line: The United Boy Scouts never existed. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 16:40, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Whether or not you have heard of the United Boy Scouts is not relevant nor is your length of study nor your library, which is mostly primary material slanted to the BSA. You claim both that you know nothing of Milne and have studied USA BS history for 30 years but over looked a mention of him in one of the Scouting magazine articles. I am guessing that you have not seen the Barre Boy Scout Collection nor William R. Cameron Papers. So you have indicated that you where not aware of BS Association chartered Troops (UK) in the USA. I have source that not all groups have been listed previous, but you brush that off as getting off the point. As I can not find any thing re: Rhode Island Scouts (RIS) via Google. Have you found any other reference in those books about the RIS? So what if the only remaining reference to the group is connected to a fire arm? The BSA was quiet into eliminating other groups quite completely and pretenting that Boyce was the source of scouting in the USA. Yes, they do mention some other groups form at the same time and were absorbed but don't indicate any scout groups predate the BSA (nor provide much info on them). The Leatherstocking Scouts google search primarily brings up webpages about the "Saga of Leatherstocking Scouts" fiction book, which you should know where a popular fiction genre and product lines previous to the BSA legal stranglehold on scout/scouting. Anyways, the rifle exists but if the UBS exist they probably were not large enough to get a deal with Remington. An NRAblog connects the rifle with Hearst's ABS. Spshu (talk) 15:19, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
>You claim both that you know nothing of Milne...
Huh? Where did I say that? I stated "but there is very little documentation on them, including your example of William Foster Milne." I have run across Milne before, but it's a minor historical footnote.
>So you have indicated that you where not aware of BS Association chartered Troops (UK) in the USA.
I stated "There were a number of locally formed Boy Scout units influenced by Scouting for Boys in the US, but there is very little documentation on them..." I never discussed The Boy Scout Association.
>The BSA was quiet into eliminating other groups quite completely and pretenting that Boyce was the source of scouting in the USA.
Boyce got the rights to Boy Scouting from Baden-Powell— that is well documented. Peterson and Scouting both note that there were other Scout units before and after the BSA was organized— see my list above. You are correct in that West was very protective of the Boy Scout brand and used legal action against a multitude of vendors using the BSA logo on products, as well as other organizations using the Scout name. The federal charter was very important in this regard. No one has written on the issue of the Scouting brand in the context of the 1900s era copyright laws, so I am not bringing that up now.
>Yes, they do mention some other groups form at the same time and were absorbed but don't indicate any scout groups predate the BSA (nor provide much info on them).
Why would they? The BSA issued histories are histories of the BSA; most mention the other groups in passing. McLeod is one of the better sources, but he barely mentions the predecessors, probably because they had little influence.
You appear to be making the case that the BSA has conspired to erase all history of other Scouting groups. You also seem to be making inferences from my remarks that just aren't supported. I don't know where to go with that. I don't know why you are bringing all of this up, as the issue in question is the existence of the United Boy Scouts, a Boy Scout group previously unmentioned in any mainstream Scouting history. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 19:04, 10 August 2012 (UTC)