From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:
The United Brothers Society was formed in 1806 by students who had not been admitted to the only existing society for debate and literary improvement, the Philermenian Society. They held their first meetings in Room No. 6, University Hall, at midnight, without a light, and with guards at the door, to insure the secrecy of their plan. After their constitution was approved by President Messer in April 1806, the society raised $120 for books for its library. The Philermenians found out about the new society when a box of books arrived at the College, directed to the “Secretary of the United Brothers Society,” and immediately sent a committee to President Messer to ask him to suppress the society, only to learn that the society already had his approval. Among the founding members of the society were William L. Marcy 1808, Dutee J. Pearce 1808, Jonathan Going 1809, and Daniel Frost 1808. The United Brothers Society was a Republican group with views differing from the Federalist Philermenians. It held its own exercises until 1841, when the United Brothers and the Philermenians began to have a joint celebration, at which the Brothers wore white ribbons to distinguish them from the Philermenians. After 1859 there were few meetings of the United Brothers except for initiations, and the joint anniversaries ended in 1863.
The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright ©1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.