The Builder Magazine
November 1922 - Volume VIII -
The Trial of the American Masonic Federation in
the United States Court
BRO. CHARLES C. HUNT, DEPUTY GRAND SECRETARY. IOWA
BUILDER for September Brother Hunt gave a general statement of the American
Masonic Federation Case: in the issue for October he made a critical
examination of the claims of that body to the higher degrees: he now furnishes
an account of the manner in which the affairs of that organization,
masquerading as Masonic, were brought to the attention of Federal authorities,
and of the action taken in consequence. A careful study of this series of
articles, the fourth and last of which will be published next month, will give
a reader a clear insight into some of the most important principles of Masonic
MATTHEW MCBLAIN THOMSON, head of the self-styled American Masonic Federation,
sent out paid organizers all over the country whose duty it was to organize
lodges and confer Masonic degrees. The charge for the Craft degrees ranged
from $35.00 up to $50.00 or more, the usual charge being about $50.00. For
the Scottish Rite degrees from the Fourth to the Thirty-Third the charge was
from $135.0 to $200.00. Sometimes the Shrine and Templar degrees were given
for this amount, sometimes not.
Occasionally, these organizers in different cities would be arrested by the
police on the charge of obtaining money under false pretences. Sometimes
convictions were had, but usually these convictions were hard to obtain, for
the reason that it was difficult to disprove statements made by Thomson and
his organizers. This difficulty existed because of a lack of knowledge on the
part of Masons called to testify in such trials.
1915 one of these organizers by the name of Ranson was arrested in St. Louis.
The Post Office Inspector in charge in St. Louis learned of the case, and
concluded that it was a matter for the United States Government to take up
since it involved a fraudulent use of the mails. He therefore assigned one of
his inspectors, Brother Monte G. Price, to investigate the matter. Brother
Price was not able to enter actively upon this work until 1919; from that time
until the trial last May he spent much of his time making an investigation in
various parts of this country, and even going to Scotland and to France.
result of his investigations, an indictment was found in the District Court of
the United States against Matthew McBlain Thomson, Thomas Perrot, Dominic
Bergera and Robert Jamieson, and the case was brought to trial in the United
States District Court at Salt Lake City, Utah. As the regular judge in this
district is a Mason, Judge Wade of Iowa was assigned to try the case and he
impressed all who attended the trial with his absolute fairness to both the
prosecution and the defense.
writer of this article attended this trial, and procured a stenographic copy
of the proceedings. Therefore, in what follows, he is speaking from his own
knowledge as well as from the official report.
indictment charged the defendants, Matthew McBlain Thomson, Thomas Perrot,
Dominic Bergera and Robert Jamieson, with entering into a conspiracy and using
the mails in furthering and carrying out that conspiracy. Said defendants were
officers of the American Masonic Federation and the Confederated Supreme
Council, organizations claiming to control the Craft and higher degrees of
conspiracy charged was that of devising a scheme to defraud, in that, as set
forth in the indictment:
defendants would make written and verbal, fraudulent and deceptive
representations regarding the authority, chain of title, power and history of
said two corporations; that said defendants would represent to the public
generally throughout the United States of America, and to the persons so to be
defrauded as aforesaid, for the purpose of inducing such persons to join said
corporations, among other things, the following: that Freemasonry was and is
an ancient, exclusive and honourable Fraternity of great merit and
respectability, that all true and regular Freemasonry in Europe and America
traces its antecedents, authority and power to the ancient lodges of England
and Scotland; and that said defendants would falsely and fraudulently
represent, pretend and claim that said American Masonic Federation and said
The Confederated Supreme Councils of the American Masonic Federation were and
are the only regular, legitimate and true Scottish Rite Freemason bodies in
America, and that they trace their history through regular and true charters
to legitimate Scottish Rite bodies in Scotland, which said Scottish Rite
bodies themselves were and are of unimpeachable authority, reputation and
responsibility and which reckoned their existence from time immemorial; that
said American Masonic Federation had full power and authority within itself to
confer what are commonly known as the three Craft or Blue Lodge degrees and to
create and charter Craft and Blue Lodges and Grand Lodges superimposed
thereupon throughout the United States of America, by virtue of the right and
power contained in a charter of authority from the Supreme Council A.&A.S.R.
of Freemasonry for the Sovereign and Independent State of Louisiana, a
corporation of said State of Louisiana (hereinafter in this indictment
referred to simply as the Supreme Council of Louisiana), to said Thomson and
thereafter surrendered and transferred to said American Masonic Federation;
that said Supreme Council of Louisiana itself traced its Masonic authority and
power to Mother Lodge Kilwinning No. 0 of Scotland, represented to be the
oldest known source from which Masonic power flowed; that said American
Masonic Federation and said The Confederated Supreme Councils of the American
Masonic Federation had authority to confer within the United States of America
what are commonly called the higher degrees in Masonry and to create and
charter consistories, councils, conclaves and tabernacles by virtue of a
patent granted said Thomson by the Grand Council of Rites of Scotland, under
date of the twentieth day of April, in the year eighteen hundred and
ninety-eight, which said patent said Thomson had surrendered and transferred
to said The Confederated Supreme Councils of the American Masonic Federation;
itself a part of and within said American Masonic Federation; that said Grand
Council of Rites of Scotland had recognized said The Confederated Supreme
Councils of the American Masonic Federation; that said Grand Council of Rites
of Scotland was the oldest Masonic high degree body in the world, was
self-existing, the parent of many, the offspring of none, embracing within its
bosom all rites and systems which have, in the course of time, been gathered
around the parent stem of Scottish Masonry, and that it was a regular,
legitimate and true Masonic high degree body of good reputation and
unquestioned authority; that said patent given by the Grand Council of Rites
of Scotland to said Thomson was the first charter granted by regular Scottish
authority to work the Scottish Rite in America and that by virtue of said
alleged charter of authority from the Supreme Council of Louisiana and of said
patent from the Grand Council of Rites of Scotland, heretofore described, said
American Masonic Federation and said The Confederated Supreme Councils of the
American Masonic Federation, had the only legitimate and direct chain of title
and authority of any Scottish Rite Masons in America, that they alone in
America were in regular possession of the Scottish Rite degrees, and that,
because of their power and authority predicated upon the alleged charter and
the patent aforesaid, they alone in America could confer true, genuine and
regular Scottish Rite degrees from the First to the Thirty-Third inclusive;
that said defendants, by themselves and their agents and employee, the names
of said agents and employees being to the Grand Jurors unknown, therefore
their names are omitted from this indictment, in the name of and by pretended
authority from, said American Masonic Federation, would pretend to grant
charters of supposedly legitimate, regular and authoritative origin, and to
create subdivisions, branches, groups and organizations of supposedly regular
Masonry, and would pretend to confer legitimate Scottish Rite Masonic degrees
upon all such persons as might, by means of said false and fraudulent
representations, pretensions and claims, be induced to apply for and purchase
the same and to transfer to said defendants, their agents or employees sums of
money therefor; and to aid and assist in conferring said pretended and
fraudulent degrees, and as a part of said scheme and artifice to defraud, said
defendants would make and print, and cause to be made and printed charters,
diplomas, certificates and commissions purporting to give to the holders and
bearers thereof true and genuine Masonic degrees, rites, powers and authority;
that further, as a part of said scheme and artifice to defraud, and to aid in
executing the same, and to convey and communicate to persons so to be
defrauded the representations herein alleged, the said defendants would print
and cause to be printed and distributed throughout the United States, books,
pamphlets and statements which would be artfully and carefully prepared,
containing pictures of alleged true charters of authority and affiliation to
said Thomson and said corporations so as to mislead and deceive the persons
who might read them and induce such persons to join said American Masonic
Federation or The Confederated Supreme Councils of the American Masonic
Federation, or any of their several branches, subdivisions, lodges or
chapters, in the belief and with the understanding that they were joining
institutions having the true, genuine and legitimate history, power and
authority, which, as hereinbefore alleged, said defendants would claim and
represent them to have; that further, as a part of said scheme and artifice to
defraud, said defendants would publish and print and cause to be published and
printed, at Salt Lake City aforesaid, in the name of said corporations a
monthly journal or magazine entitled, "The Universal Freemason," which said
journal or magazine should be published every month throughout said period of
time at Salt Lake City aforesaid and should be distributed by means of the
postoffice establishment of the United States throughout the United States of
America and should be sold to the persons to be defrauded as aforesaid; that
said magazine should contain cunningly and carefully prepared articles and
statements in support of the claims and pretensions of said defendants, as
hereinbefore stated, and should be made by said defendants with the hope and
expectation that credulous and uninformed persons, to whom said magazine or
some of the copies thereof might come, would be attracted by their alluring
and misleading statements and thereby induced to join said corporations, or
their subdivisions, lodges, chapters or branches, and to pay said defendant or
said corporations, the fees required as a privilege for so joining; and that
all said printed charters, diplomas, certificates, commissions, books,
pamphlets, and magazines are too numerous, voluminous and lengthy to be set
out in this indictment in full and are for that reason omitted by this Grand
Jury. . . .
said defendants and each of them throughout the period of time hereinbefore
alleged, well knew of the falsity and fraudulent and misleading character of
said representations, claims and pretences and of the falsity and fraudulent
character and purpose of said artifice, scheme and device; and that all and
regular of the false and fraudulent statements, representations and pretences
hereinbefore set forth, would be and were intended by said defendants to be
made, done and practised for the fraudulent purpose on the part of said
defendants and each and all of them to deceive the said persons so to be
defrauded, and fraudulently to induce said persons, and each of them, to pay
sums of money to said defendants, their agents or employees, or to said The
American Masonic Federation and said The Confederated Supreme Councils of the
American Masonic Federation in return for membership or degrees in either or
both of said corporations, and to cheat and defraud said persons so to be
defrauded as aforesaid, with the intent then and there on the part of said
defendants fraudulently obtained, in whole or in part, to the use, gain and
benefit of said defendants and each of them, and of said other persons to the
Grand Jury unknown, with whom said defendants conspired, as aforesaid. That
said conspiracy of defendants was continuous in nature and in purpose and was
continuously in existence and in the process of execution by said defendants
throughout all the time from and after the said first day of May, in the year
nineteen hundred and eighteen, until and including the day of the finding and
presentation of this indictment, as aforesaid."
first three named defendants only were on trial. Robert Jamieson did his part
of the work in Scotland and could not be reached by the courts in this
country. He had been a member of a regular Masonic lodge under the Grand
Lodge of Scotland. In 1914 he was expelled by that Grand Lodge for his part
in this scheme. However, he continued to sign diplomas and certificates
issued by this organization, thus giving the Impression that the authority
claimed from Scotland was genuine.
first witness called by the Government was Brother Monte G. Price, the Post
Office Inspector residing at St. Louis, Mo. He testified that he had been
assigned to investigate this case by his superior officer in 1915, but had not
been able to do any work on it until four years later. On August 6, 1919, he
interviewed the defendants and obtained from them a written statement of the
source of their claimed authority, which was substantially similar to that
stated above. He found that the charter from the Grand Council of Rites,
which was quoted in the preceding article, was the only authority Thomson had
or claimed to have for conferring the higher degrees, from the Fourth to the
Thirty-Third inclusive. He also found that the only authority he had or
claimed to have for conferring the Craft degrees was the following endorsement
on the back of the Scotch patent:
Jos. N. Cheri, M.P.S.G. C. of the Supreme Council of the State of Louisiana,
do heartily endorse the purposes on the reverse hereof.
M.P.S.G.C. of the S. C. of La,
Honourary Member of the G. C. of Rites of Scotland."
1920 this patent was photographed by the Post Office Department, in New York
City, when the following additional endorsement appeared on the back:
"George U. Maury,
Powerful Sovereign Grand Commander of S. C. of La."
this Patent by the Grand Council of Rites of Scotland, extended to cover the
Craft degrees by indorsation of the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme
Council of Louisiana, as given above, the Grand Lodge Inter-Montana was
instituted on January 7th, 1907, and the Confederated Supreme Council of the
Early Grand National Scottish Rite for the United States of America, on the
23rd of April, 1907."
proved by two witnesses and by Thomson's own admission that Maury's signature
was affixed for the sole purpose of authenticating Cherils signature. Maury,
who was the successor to Cheri as Sovereign Grand Commander, testified that
the date "Dec. 11th, 1918" and the words beginning "Under this patent . . ."
were not there at the time he, Maury, signed it. Therefore, Thomson's claim
that Cheri granted him a charter to confer the Craft degrees had no foundation
in fact whatever, even if the patent itself had been valid, and even if Cheri
had the power to grant a charter to confer such degrees. It was shown that
under the laws of the Supreme Council of Louisiana no charter was valid unless
signed by the first four officers and the Secretary of that body.
U. Maury, Sovereign Grand Commander, and Rene C. Metayer, Secretary General,
testified that the only authority given to Thomson was to heal some
clandestine lodges in and around Boston, Mass.
evident that Thomson realized that he did not have the authority he claimed,
for on October 31st, 1919, he wrote to Maury asking him to sign and send to
him the following certificate, so that he could have it photographed to prove
ALL WHOM THIS MAY CONCERN,
is to certify that I, George U. Maury, have seen and recognized the
indorsement made by the late Illustrious Bro. Joseph M. Cheri, Sovereign Grand
Commander of the Supreme Council of Louisiana on the Patent granted by the
Grand Council of Rites of Scotland to the Illustrious Bro. Matthew McBlain
Thomson confirming and extending the powers of said patent to cover the
Symbolic degrees and that the American Masonic Federation created thereby is
in fraternal relation with the Supreme Council of Louisiana.
witness my hand and seal of the Supreme Council of Louisiana this....... day
of November, 1919.
Powerful Sovereign Grand Commander."
that he asked for this certificate so that it could be photographed. If his
patent had given the authority he claimed, why could it not have been
photographed, as well as a certificate, is the question that naturally arises
and to which Thomson could give no satisfactory reply. As a matter of fact,
it was photographed later by the United States Post Office authorities.
SEPARATES FROM THE SUPREME COUNCIL
schemes proposed were for the Supreme Council of Louisiana to become a
subordinate of the American Masonic Federation and to revive Polar Star Lodge
and remove it to Salt Lake City. The Supreme Council of Louisiana did not
accede to any of these Propositions, and after promises and flattery failed to
bring them to terms, Thomson began to threaten.
letter to Maury, Commander of that Supreme Council, dated December 2, 1919, he
intimates that complaints have come to him regarding the regularity of the
present Supreme Council of Louisiana. He then goes on to recite the history
of the connection between their two bodies, but his recitation is somewhat
different from the claims he had previously made. He virtually admits that
the only authority he received from Louisiana was a personal endorsement of
Mr. Cheri, that his connection with the Supreme Council of Louisiana had given
him nothing in the way of authority, and he threatens to withdraw recognition
from Maury's organization, unless he, Maury, can prove that the said Supreme
Council is regular. Maury asked him what proof he wanted, and Thomson replied
that the best proof he could offer would be to sign the certificate above
goes on to say that unless he receives a prompt reply acknowledging that
Cheri's endorsement on his Patent was for the purpose of allowing him to
organize lodges and that Cheri had power to grant such authority, he would
sever all connections with the Supreme Council of Louisiana.
refused to write the letter demanded, and Thomson then severed relations with
the Supreme Council of Louisiana; thereupon disregarding claims previously
made on many occasions, he asserted that he had never claimed authority from
Louisiana to confer the Craft degrees, but that on the contrary, he had
received such authority from the Grand Council of Rites, through the Rites of
Mizraim and Memphis.
October 1921 he published, under the title of "Is it Ignorance or Malice?" a
statement that some people, including certain of his own members, were making
"loose and unauthorized claims, which, being incapable of historical support
or proof, are maliciously seized upon by our enemies, refuted, and claimed as
disproving our whole claim to regularity of descent and Masonic standing.
Among these unauthorized claims is that the Supreme Lodge works by authority
of a charter granted to it by the Supreme Council of Louisiana. A variation
of this story claims that this charter was granted by the Lodge Polar Star of
New Orleans, La. Needless to say, both these stories are erroneous, and
whether the result of well-meant zeal on the part of ill-informed brethren or
malicious perversion on the part of our local enemies, the effect is the same,
equally hurtful. Following we give the official version of our origin taken
from a pamphlet circulated by the Supreme Lodge twelve years ago, that should
leave no room for misconception."
official version he then gives goes on to say that his authority to confer the
Craft degrees came through the Scottish Grand Council of Rites having control
over various so-called Masonic rites, including those of Memphis and Mizraim,
but this was very different from his previous claims.
pamphlet referred to as published "twelve years ago" is "Who is Who in
Masonry, and Why I am a Scottish Rite Mason," but it did not contain the
explanation quoted until republished in 1920, when this explanation was
interpolated without any intimation that it was something entirely new. On
the witness stand Thomson was asked to produce this, or any other pamphlet,
published "twelve years ago" which contained this explanation of his
authority, but he could not do it, nor could he produce a pamphlet in which he
had said substantially the same thing prior to the investigation by the United
States Government. On the contrary, he had repeatedly contended that his
authority from the Grand Council of Rites was for the higher degrees only, and
that for the Craft degrees he had been compelled to go to the Supreme Council
of Louisiana. It was not until the officers of that Supreme Council refused
to confirm his claim that he repudiated them as clandestine and asserted other
claims to authority over the Craft degrees. Witness after witness testified
that it was on the basis of claims made for authority over the Craft degrees
from the Supreme Council of Louisiana, behind which they believed to stand the
authority of Mother Kilwinning Lodge of Scotland, that they had been induced
to join Thomson's organization. In all these representations he never
intimated the fact that the Supreme Council of Louisiana was an organization
composed of coloured men, but gave them the impression that it was composed of
Frenchmen. Maury testified that there were only two or three white men in his
THOMSON TRIES TO EXPLAIN
witness stand Thomson attempted to explain the statements made in his writings
to the effect that he had a charter from Louisiana by saying: "Charter is used
in the general sense, as authority, a permission, a sanction, or a word of
similar nature, and in all my writings I denied receiving a charter in the
sense of a formal document. . . . I always said it was an endorsement upon my
Patent. That is the sense in which I used the word. The general sense of an
authority." On cross examination he was asked to produce any writings prior to
this investigation where he had made this explanation, but he could not.
following quotation from the cross examination is interesting:
You explained that is not accurate language and that in all your writings you
have denied that you have a charter from the Supreme Council of Louisiana.
Will you please refer us to these writings?
Would I be allowed to say that I always said that it was an indorsation on my
Will you show me any place where you had said "I deny that we have a charter
from the Supreme Council of Louisiana.' Show me any place where you have ever
written that until this late controversy?
don't know where I have written it.
You don't know where you have written it?
have written it, but I can't produce it. I have always affirmed the other way.
The volumes of your magazine are on the desk there. Can you turn to any
volume where you said 'I deny that we have a charter from the Supreme Council
of Louisiana' until the time of this controversy?
don't know that I could."
Reference has been made to a pamphlet "Who is Who in Masonry, and Why I am a
Scottish Rite Mason." It was the great text-book of Thomson's organization.
Many witnesses testified that Thomson always referred to it as the answer to
every question that was asked him regarding his authority and as the final
argument in every controversy. The preface to this pamphlet is signed by all
three of the defendants, and is as follows:
booklet is intended for the exclusive use of members in the obedience of the
American Masonic Federation, Inc., of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
of Freemasonry, so that each member may be in a position to have on hand a
brief historical chain of title of our system of Masonry as descended to us by
proper Masonic charters from the oldest lodge of Masons known to the living
world, viz., MOTHER KILWINNING, incidentally giving the origin of the Grand
Lodges of the State or Modern Masons from the cold facts of history, thus
placing our members in a position to refute false statements that may be made
to them by any person or persons, and enabling them to distinguish as to 'Who
is Who' in Masonry.
published by authority of the Supreme Lodge of the American Masonic
witness stand Thomson was asked if he had read the preface to the pamphlet
before signing it. He replied: "I can't say that I did."
You see your name there at the preface?
Quite possible. It might have been written with a stamp. That is not my
writing. I don't see anything wrong with it.
Well, you put that out. You were publishing it as being under your approval,
am willing to accept that as stated therein. I am willing to accept that,
because there is nothing wrong in it. It is not very lucid in its statement.
Had you read page 8 before this magazine was sent out to the public?
don't remember reading, but I am willing to accept the statements in it.
Did you read it after it was put out to the public?
read it, I think yesterday.
Have you ever read it before, Mr. Thomson?
don't believe I did before."
sons of fair Science, impatient to learn,
meant by a Mason you here may discern;
strengthens the weak, he gives light to the blind,
the naked he clothes - is a friend to mankind.
walks on the level of honor and truth,
spurns the trite passions of folly and youth;
compass and square all his frailities reprove,
his ultimate object is botherly love.
measure of capacity is the measure of sphere to either man or woman. -
Elizabeth Oakes Smith
FREEMASONRY OF THE MIDDLE AGES AN INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY
BRO. CYRUS FIELD WILLARD, CALIFORNIA
ARTICLE "Travelling Craftsmen" written for THE BUILDER by Bro. E. Ellison, the
wise Master of Balder Lodge of San Francisco, contains statements which show
that there are some things in Freemasonry which have escaped his notice. "Even
Homer nods" was a proverb among the Greeks and Brother Ellison's article shows
that even he is unaware of recent developments in Masonry. "Balder is dead"
wailed the old Norse Saga, which lamentation Longfellow repeated, but his
spirit lives in the lodge of descendants of the sturdy vikings at the Golden
Gate who now plow the Pacific as their ancestors roamed the stormy Atlantic,
and of this lodge Brother Ellison is the helmsman. In his article he says:
have been gravely assured by the writers . . . that Freemasonry in medieval
times was an international association of church builders, incorporated under
a charter issued by the Pope, granting to the society a complete monopoly in
the building of religious edifices. It was said that the mysteries of Gothic
architecture, both operative and speculative, were the particular secrets of
the corporation and whenever a new cathedral or other religious house was
contemplated, requisitions for plans and specifications must he made to the
headquarters of the body," etc.
comes this further statement which seems to be contradicted by the fact:
alas, the belief in the existence of an international corporation of builders
has been shattered and swept into the dust heap by Robert F. Gould, the
iconoclast, together with many other venerable cobwebs which had gathered
around the columns and arches of the Masonic edifice and thus prevented us
from viewing the structure in the light of true history.
demonstrates conclusively that 'International Freemasonry' in the Middle Ages
is a fiction. Careful search in the archives of the Vatican has failed to
bring to light the slightest evidence that the Masonic Craft has ever received
any special honours or favours from the pope; and the only basis for the
belief in papal patronage seems to be that at various times popes' and
prelates (?) issued bulls (?) promising indulgences to persons who should make
liberal donations of money, lands or labour, to churches in course of
construction. Nor has anyone been successful in locating the headquarters of
this 'international society'."
the German Steinmetzen (Freemasons) were along more than local lines. In 1549
they formed," etc.
evident from the above statements that Brother Ellison is not in touch with
modern developments in Masonic research. There is no question in the minds of
those qualified to judge that "The Builders" by Brother Joseph Fort Newton,
the first editor of this Journal, is a book which represents ripe scholarship
and his summation of the most careful research up to the present time. He
locates the headquarters of this international society on the island of
Comacina of Lake Como, in Lombardy which lies in the northern part of Italy on
the borders of Switzerland. He calls attention to the great work, "The
Cathedral Builders," by Leader Scott, and "Further Notes on the Comacine
Masters," by Brother W. Ravenscroft.
great fault with Robert Freke Gould is that he is unwilling to accept anything
except evidence that would be conclusive in a court of law. In the very
nature of things, in dealing with Masonic subjects, our obligation prevents us
from dealing openly and fully with such matters and the prohibition against
"cutting, carving, writing or printing any of the arts, parts or points" was
more strictly enforced in olden days than now. This difficulty of supplying
openly the evidence demanded by such natures as Gould's occurred to my mind
recently while listening to an address by Brother H. L. Haywood before a
meeting of members of our lodges in San Diego. I said to him afterwards,
jokingly, that if he had not been talking to an audience of Masons, it was a
question whether he would have been understood and the evidence which he
submitted then in elaboration of the many points in his remarkably fine
lecture would have been regarded as having no evidential value.
Brother Ellison makes this sweeping statement that anything in Masonry is a
fiction, let him remember that Troy was a myth until Schliemann came.
surprising that he should bring in such negative evidence as that because the
desired evidence in favour was not found in the "archives of the Vatican,"
hence the organization never had the powers attributed. The fallacy of such
argument can be shown by a question: "Supposing such evidence had existed in
the archives of the Vatican down to the time of the issuance of the bull by
Pope Clement in 1738, would, it have been allowed to exist after that time?"
Then again, there having been two and even three popes at the same time and
the records having been carted to Avignon and elsewhere and burned by the many
captors of Rome, would it not have been possible for such powers to have been
in existence at one time and spurlos verzenkt"?
let me give some positive evidence. I find in Clavel the following:
colleges (of Rome) enlisted up to the time of the fall of the empire in all
their vigour. The invasion of the barbarians reduced them to a small number;
and they continued to decline so much that it was these ignorant and ferocious
men who finally preserved the cult of their gods. But when they were converted
to Christianity, the collegia flourished anew. The (Christian) priests who
caused themselves to be admitted there as honourary members and as patrons,
impressed a useful impulse on them and employed them actively in building
churches and convents in Italy. They appeared at this time under the name of
'free corporations' and 'fraternities.'
most celebrated were those of Como; and on in Muratori, that they had acquired
such a superiority that the title of 'magistri comacini', 'masters of Como,'
had become a generic name for all the members of the corporations of
architects. Their primitive organization had been maintained up to then.
They had always their secret instruction and their mysteries, that they called
'Kabala'; they had their jurisdictions and their private judges; their
immunities and their franchises.
soon their number was multiplied tremendously, and Lombardy, which they had
covered with religious edifices, sufficed no more to contain them all. Some
among them were united and this constituted one sole great association or
fraternity with the purpose of going to exercise their industry beyond the
Alps in all the countries where Christianity, recently established, still
lacked churches and monasteries. The popes seconded this design; it suited
them to aid in the propagation of the faith by the majestic spectacle of vast
basilicas and by all the prestige of the arts, with which they surrounded the
new cult. They conferred then on the new corporation, and on those which were
formed afterwards with the same object, a monopoly which embraced the whole of
Christendom and which they supported with all the guarantees and all the
inviolability which their spiritual supremacy permitted them to impress on it.
The diplomas which they delivered to this effect to the corporations accorded
to them protection and exclusive privilege to construct religious edifices;
they conceded to them 'the right to erect (or build) directly and uniquely
from the popes,' and freed them 'from all the local laws and statutes, royal
edicts, and municipal regulations concerning either the taxes or any other
imposition obligatory on the inhabitants of the country.' The members of the
corporations had the privilege 'to fix, themselves, the amount of their
salaries (or wages) and to regulate exclusively in their general chapters, all
that which appertained to their interior government.' It was forbidden 'to any
artist who was not admitted into the society to establish any competition to
its prejudice, and to every sovereign, to sustain his subjects in such a
rebellion against the Church.' And it was expressly enjoined on all 'to
respect these letters of creation and to obey these orders, under penalty of
excommunication.' The pontiffs sanctioned such absolute proceedings, by 'the
example of Hiram, king of Tyre, when he sent the architects to King Solomon in
order to build the temple of Jerusalem.'"
given this quotation from Clavel so amply because it shows he was better
qualified as a historian in some respects than R. Freke Gould, inasmuch as he
recognized the possibilities of the Comacine Masters and gave them their due
emphasis at that period of architectural knowledge long before modern scholars
had appreciated their importance. Also, he gives in quotation marks certain
rights and privileges and other matters which he is evidently quoting from the
diploma he refers to, and it is evident he had certain sources of information
before him which he could not name publicly for some reason now not known to
let us refer to Rebold, another French historian, in his work, "Histoire des
Trois Grand Lodges de Francs-Macons en France," (History of the Three Grand
Lodges of Free Masons in France), Paris, 1864, page 28, from which I translate
the terrors of the year 1000, (it was a superstition then that the world was
coming to an end at the end of the year 1000) society emerged from its long
lethargy and suffered a veritable transformation. They renewed nearly
everywhere the religious edifices of the Christian world. A great number were
demolished in order to be rebuilt. It is then that the corporations of
Lombardy (Lake Como is in Lombardy) demanded from the pope the renewal of
their ancient privileges [Note: King Rotharius of Lombardy in 643, issued a
royal edict giving the Comacine Masters certain rights and privileges as a
corporate body. See "The Builders," J. F. Newton] which the Roman
corporations enjoyed and the pope accorded these to them with the exclusive
monopoly of erecting religious monuments in all Christendom; it is then also
that they expanded in all the Christian countries of the south.
"Although a part of the members of these corporations belonged to a communion
opposed to the popes, these monopolies, of which the first was decreed to them
by Boniface IV in 614, have nevertheless been confirmed to them and preserved
since Nicholas III (1277) up to Benedict XII (1334)."
then quotes all the special wording given by Clavel without mentioning the
name of Clavel, showing he had been all over the same ground and in addition
gives the dates above cited. He is much quoted by Gould as a reliable
historian except where he takes sides with one of the Grand Lodges of France
of which he was a violent partisan.
chapter on the Stonemasons of Germany page 176, vol. 1, history of
Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould says:
remarkable tradition appears to have been prevalent from the earliest times,
viz, that the stonemasons had obtained extensive privileges from the popes.
Heideloff gives, amongst the confirmation of the Emperors already cited, two
papal bulls, viz., from Pope Alexander VI, Rome, 16th September, 1502; Pope
Leo X, pridie calendarium Januarii 1517.
Heideloff, Die Bauhutte des Mottel-alters also says that they received an
indulgence from Pope Nicholas III, which was renewed by all his successors up
to Benedict XIII, covering the period from 1277 to 1334."
then goes on to describe the various efforts of Moss and Krause to find
copies, and how Governor Pownall obtained permission to search the archives of
the Vatican. The latter was politely assisted by one of the Vatican
Brother Ellison does not tell his readers that Governor Pownall after his
unsuccessful efforts in the Vatican still asserted his beliefs that these
bulls were issued and might still be in existence somewhere.
let us examine Gould's great iconoclastic efforts so eloquently described by
Brother Ellison. Personally I have not much use for iconoclasts. They were
the ones who destroyed the beautiful statues of Grecian art and got their name
from that pursuit of destroying images which apparently (judging by present
day art) can never be replaced.
great iconoclastic effort is contained in the following mild and innocuous
statement in which the "great iconoclast" does, in the words of Nick Bottom,
the weaver, "roar as gently as any sucking dove" by saying on page 177, vol.
1, History of Freemasonry:
whether or not the tradition rests on any solid foundation it is certain that
the Church, by holding out from time to time special inducements, sought to
attract both funds and labour for the erection of its special cathedrals and
some of these tempting offers were not quite consistent with strict morality."
not even able to find a copy of the bull issued by Pope Innocent IV on May 21,
there was reason for all this. Apparently, for some reason, Gould did not
want to acknowledge that these bulls were issued and thus lay the foundation
for the reason that the Freemasons, relying on the prerogatives granted by the
popes, had opposed the statutes of England which tried to regulate their wages
in opposition to the rights guaranteed them by the popes to fix the amount of
their own wages. This they did when England was Roman Catholic and it may be
that Gould, now that English Freemasonry is Protestant and ruled by the royal
family, did not want to show that the Masons ever rebelled against the royal
authority. What Gould thinks of such an action is shown in his description of
a French lodge which admitted "the notorious Paul Jones" as he terms one who
is regarded in America as a national hero.
is his comment on the statement made by Heideloff, whom he acknowledges a
worthy and accurate historian, when Hiedeloff tells about Herr Osterrieth, one
of the last of the steinmetzen of Strassburg, being initiated into a lodge of
Freemasons in Germany where Heideloff assisted in the initiatory ceremonies?
Heideloff says that Osterrieth told him after he had been initiated that the
grip of the entered apprentice and that of the steinmetzen was identical.
Gould says in view of these facts (which if inquired into might have shown
that the steinmetzen originated from the freemasons who were brought over from
the York Cathedral in 782 by Alcuin after the cathedral had been rebuilt) that
such a thing was impossible and if it were true he had no right to tell it.
very beginning; of his chapter on the steinmetzen, Gould says:
gives a long list of churches and convents erected by the devout men from the
British Isles and other holy men. Then came Charlemagne and taught the German
tribes to build cities and palaces (Aix-la Chapelle, Ildesheim, etc.)."
is just about as accurate as Gould is about many things. He gathers a great
heap of materials but makes no accurate deductions from what he has gathered
and misses many things of a revealing nature among the great mass of citations
he has heaped up with an evident purpose of impressing his readers with his
Charlemagne could not teach anyone. He was so ignorant that Alcuin, the
mason-monk from the Cathedral School of York, England, was obliged to teach
him to write his own name and there is an amusing word picture in the life of
Alcuin of Charlemagne twisting his features up while he tried to make the
stiff fingers which were used to handling the sword encompass the pen and make
it trace the regular pothooks and hangers.
Alcuin who was brought up for forty years or more first as pupil and then
master in the Cathedral School of York while the Comacine Masters brought from
Rome by Egbert were rebuilding the Cathedral which had been destroyed by fire
in 741 and who brought over to France the torch of knowledge in 782 which then
burned only in England and introduced civilization anew into Europe among the
Germanic tribes. He first started the palace school at Aix-la-Chapelle and
then was instrumental in spreading the "seven sciences" which the Old Charges
speak of through the monasteries at Tours, Fulda, and even as far east as
Salzburg. The workmen, and particularly the masons whom he brought over from
England, at that time spread all over Germany, building monasteries, churches,
convents, palaces, etc. Heideloff, who was an architect, writing in 1844,
said that "during the time of the Anglo-Saxons, [that is, during Alcuin's
time,] building operations continued and their monuments of architecture are
the finest example of the state of building during those ages. They also
introduced the science into Germany and understood building, erecting convents
footnote of Gould's History, page 318, vol. 1, is a statement that in an old
life of King Offa, which was written by Matthew Paris, who was Alcuin's king
and from whom he obtained permission to go over to France and enter the
service of Charlemagne, there is a miniature showing King Offa giving orders
to the master of the works where St. Alban's cathedral is being erected and
the Master holds the square and compass in his left hand while a perpendicular
arch is being tried by a plumb rule, while others are hewing the rough ashlar
and still others are raising stones by a windlass and setting them in place.
Heideloff's words given above describe Alcuin's activities under Charlemagne
and it was he who was responsible for the edict which Charlemagne signed which
gave the Comacine masons liberty to travel everywhere and erect churches and
other buildings while the other workers were tied to the soil under the laws
of the feudal system. Alcuin was the intellectual prime minister of
Charlemagne, according to Guizot, and it is not an improbable conception to
attribute to him the introduction of York Masonry into Germany, and thus the
identity of the entered apprentice's grip of English Freemasonry and the grip
of the steinmetzen of Germany would be explained. Gould in his attention to
the dead letter "which killeth" missed this as he did the inner meaning of
Governor Pownall's words. The latter says, on page 258, "The pope not only
had formed them into a corporation," etc. He also is quoted on the same page
of Gould's history as saying after his search in the Vatican as recorded in
Pownall's "Archoelogia"; "I cannot however yet be persuaded but that some
record or copy of the diploma must be somewhere buried at Rome amidst some
forgotten and unknown bundles or rolls."
is the authority on whom Gould depended and Gould is the authority on whom
Brother Ellison depends and it is easy to see that instead of the "great
iconoclast" destroying the belief in the existence of a bull or diploma giving
certain rights to the Freemasons of that time that the very authority on whom
Gould depended asserted his belief in the existence of same.
facts in the case warrant the belief in the existence of such grants of rights
and privileges from the time of the Quatuor Coronate down to the time of the
completion of the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages.
popes naturally would grant such privileges in order to have such edifices
erected. Tradition recorded testimony as to the existence of diplomas or
bulls granting such rights and privileges are so common and universal that
there must be a substratum of fact beneath it all.
understand how such diplomas or bulls would disappear after the masons had
been fulminated against by Pope Clement in 1738. But the common knowledge of
their existence previous to that time cannot be destroyed by Gould or any one
else while such cloud of testimony as to their previous existence persists.
rest of Brother Ellison's article in relation to the journeyman carpenters or
"Travelling Craftsmen" is interesting.
ago I was brought into relationship with the journeymen hatters and then
learned that they too had a system of recognition which evidently came down
from the old Compagnonnage of France. In going into a strange hat shop, the
traveller approached the nearest journeyman (who was one who worked by the "journee,"
French for "day") and said "How's trade?" who then nodded his head to or
pointed toward the shop-steward to whom the traveller went and repeated the
same query The steward answered "Good" or "Bad" or "Fair" as the case might
be, and then asked; "Who wants to know?"
traveller then repled: "A gentleman hatter on turn."
expression came back to me all through the years at times as I could not see
the significance and the hatters could not explain it as it was something that
had come down to them in their association or union.
looking over a history of the Compagnonnage, I saw the expression used
describing their travelling or trips after they had finished their
apprenticeship as being "en tournee de compagnonnage" which would be
pronounced "on turn-ay" etc. Leaving off the "ay" sound as would be dropped
down the years, it would be seen that the expression "on turn," which means
nothing in English, would be descriptive as meaning "on tour" if taken from
the French expression "en tournee."
KNIGHTS OF LABOUR
Knights of Labour, an American organization which was founded in 1869 by Uriah
S. Stephens, who was a Mason, had its signs of recognition and hailing signs,
grips and passwords, with obligations and oaths taken on the Bible with due
Terence V. Powderly, a Roman Catholic, became its head, he submitted its
ritual and secret work to the approval or disapproval of the dignitaries of
that church with the result that all such secret work was eliminated. It was
probably thought it was too dangerous to give the great mass of the working
people ideas and rituals so close in form to Freemasonry.
result the nativistic and Protestant American element withdrew and set to work
to upbuild the American Federation of Labour with such success that the
Knights of Labour is now practically extinct. Now that the American
Federation of Labour has grown so strong the clerical element in the United
States is seeking at all times to secure control of that body by the election
of a Roman Catholic as its president.
was an occult strain about the ritual which was very appealing to those who
had never taken the Masonic degrees, especially in that pertaining to opening
and closing the general assembly, as the highest body was called. This part
of the ritual was drawn up by Stephens and modified by Victor Drury and
Charles Sotheran of New York, the latter of whom had taken all the degrees in
Masonry and was well known to the writer. He is quoted at great length by
Madame Blavatsky in "Isis Unveiled," in a long letter on Masonry.
been allowed to continue as Stephens designed with its system of recognition
of travelling craftsmen and assistance provided for them, it would undoubtedly
have grown to a membership of five millions or more, as it did reach a
membership of over a million.
that case, the half-baked and undigested economic provisions that constituted
its so-called principles would undoubtedly have been put into practical
operation to a greater extent than they were with even greater damage to our
Brother Ellison has opened up a very interesting subject and there is no doubt
but what there is much to be gleaned from members of old trade unions which
have brought down traditions and methods of recognition from past centuries.
There was a journeymen freestone cutters' union in Boston at one time which
might yield interesting material as it has been alleged that the Free Masons
took their name from "masonne de franche per," as Gould quotes it, which meant
"mason of free stone." The shipbuilders of East Boston and of Maine had also
interesting traditions and organizations which came down the centuries from
England and elsewhere.
LEWIS OR LOUVETEAU
The words Lewis and
Louveteau, which, in their original meaning, import two very different things,
have in Masonry an equivalent signification - the former being used in
English, the latter in French, to designate the son of a Mason.
The English word Lewis"
is a term belonging to operative Masonry, and signifies an iron cramp, which
is inserted in a cavity prepared for the purpose in a large stone, so as to
give attachment to a pulley and hook, whereby the stone may be conveniently
raised to any height, and deposited in its proper position. In this country
the lewis has not been adopted as a symbol in Freemasonry, but in the English
ritual it is found among the emblems placed upon the tracing board of the
Entered Apprentice, and is used in that degree as a symbol of strength,
because, by its assistance, the operative Mason is enabled to lift the
heaviest stones with a comparatively trifling exertion of physical power.
Extending the symbolic allusion still further, the son of a Mason is in
England called a Lewis," because it is his duty to support the sinking powers
and aid the failing strength of his father, or, as Oliver has expressed it,
"to bear the burden and heat of the day, that his parents may rest in their
old age, thus rendering the evening of their lives peaceful and happy."
By the Constitutions of
England, a lewis or son of a Mason may be initiated at the age of eighteen,
while it is required of all other candidates that they shall have arrived at
the maturer age of twenty-one. The Book of Constitutions had prescribed that
no lodge should make "any man under the age of twentyone years, unless by a
dispensation from the Grand Master or his Deputy." The Grand Lodge of England,
in its modern regulations, has availed itself of the license allowed by this
dispensing power, to confer the right of an earlier initiation on the sons of
The word "louveteau"
signifies in French a young wolf. The application of the term to the son of a
Mason is derived from a peculiarity in some of the initiations into the
Ancient Mysteries. In the mysteries of Isis, which were practiced in Egypt,
the candidate was made to wear the mask of a wolf's head. Hence, a wolf and a
candidate in these mysteries were often used as synonymous terms. Macrobius,
in his Saturnalia, says, in reference to this custom, that the ancients
perceived a relationship between the sun, the great symbol in these mysteries,
and a wolf, which the candidate represented at his initiation. For, he
remarks, as the flocks of sheep and cattle fly and disperse at the sight of
the wolf, so the flocks of stars disappear at the approach of the sun's light.
The learned reader will also recollect that in the Greek language "lukos"
signifies both the sun and a wolf.
Hence, as the candidate
in the Isiac Mysteries was called a wolf, the son of a Freemason in the French
lodges is called a young wolf, or a "louveteau."
The louveteau in
France, like the lewis in England,
is invested with
peculiar privileges. He is also permitted to unite himself with the Order at
the early age of eighteen years. The baptism of a louveteau is sometimes
performed by the lodge of which his father is a member, with impressive
ceremonies. The infant, soon after birth, is taken to the lodge room, where he
receives a Masonic name, differing from that which he bears in the world; he
is formally adopted by the lodge as one of its children; and should he become
an orphan, requiring assistance, he is supported and educated by the
Fraternity, and finally established in life.
In this country, these
rights of a lewis or a louveteau are not recognized, and the very names were,
until lately, scarcely known, except to a few Masonic scholars.
* * *
To the interesting
paragraphs printed above, which appeared in The American Freemasons' Magazine
for November 1860, it may be added that the custom of conferring special
benefits on the sons of Master Masons in France became in time a source of
trouble. The servants and uninitiated rough-laborer employed by Master Masons
organized themselves into bodies that became affiliated with the Compagnnonage.
As time went on these organized laborers, jealous of the privileges enjoyed by
Masters and their sons, often engaged in bloody combats over differences, and
finally were able, owing to their numerical preponderance, to gain control of
industry in general. It is probable that the custom of granting special
privileges to their sons was one method employed by Master Masons to retain
their privileges for their own families and in as small a circle as possible.
But it is now a time
long gone in which the “lewis" thus figured in organized Crafts; conditions
have so changed, and Masonry likewise, that the Fraternity might well revive
the “lewis" customs without in the least endangering the democrat of the
Order. And the custom would have this advantage, that it would make for a more
compact solidarity and continuity a Freemasonry. We should in all ways
encourage young men to follow in the footsteps of their Masonic fathers.
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS - RICHARD W. THOMPSON
BRO. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P. G. M.. DISTRICT OF COLUMBiA
RICHARD W. THOMPSON,
patriot, protestant, and Mason was one of those stalwart leaders of the
Republic whose memory we have too early let die. He was born in Culpepper
County, Virginia, June 9, 1809, of English ancestry; he died in 1900 at the
great age of ninety-one, known the country over as "Uncle Dick," and loved
dearly by all his friends, his whims and idiosyncrasies to the contrary
notwithstanding. After having received "an excellent education" he moved to
Louisville, Kentucky, where for a time he clerked in a store, after which he
moved to Indiana where he studied law at odd times and with such success that
he was soon admitted to the bar at Bedford, Indiana. His habits, his industry,
and his thrift were such that soon he forged ahead, and was able, in the
Yankee vernacular, "to take care of himself," which qualities made a leader of
him in those early communities.
From 1834 to 1838 he
was in the state legislature; and from 1841 to 1843 he was a United States
Representative, being a colleague of Lincoln. He again served in the United
States Congress from 1847 to 1849, but refused another nomination. He also
declined the Austrian Mission, tendered by President Taylor, likewise a
position as recorder in the Land Office, a place offered to him by President
Fillmore. While a delegate to a Republican National Convention he had the
distinction of nominating Oliver P. Morton for the presidency.
On March 12, 1877, he
became Secretary of the Navy under President Hayes which office he held until
1881 when he resigned to become chairman of the American Committee of the
Panama Canal Company. So thorough was Judge Thompson's knowledge of politics
(he was judge on the eighteenth circuit district of the state of Indiana in
1867-8-9) that he was given the task of writing several party platforms. As
Secretary of the Navy he had few peers, even if the public did good-naturedly
twit him about his never having seen a ship before accepting the office; he
proved that it is executive capacity, not maritime knowledge, that fits a man
for that position, which is a civil office rather than military in its nature.
Judge Thompson wrote
several treatises on financial and political subjects. One of his productions,
"Personal Recollections of Sixteen Presidents," has of late years been
republished in de luxe form by Bobbs Merrill of Indianapolis; it is a richly
rewarding work in two volumes, and of value to the student of history in that
its author enjoyed the absolutely unique privilege of having known personally
so many Presidents. He said himself that he had seen with his own eyes every
President since Washington and Adams. From the days of the campaign of 1840,
when the slogan was "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," until his death in 1900, he
was a picturesque and active figure in politics. His most distinctive work was
"The Papacy and the Civil Power, published in New York in 1876; it is still a
live and vivid book, and should be widely read. His "History of the Tariff,"
published in Chicago in 1888, may also be mentioned. These books, and this
political record, however, give one a meagre idea of the abounding vitality
and far-spreading influence of this remarkable man, who was, as well as being
a writer and scholar, a public speaker with a golden tongue, remembered to
this day for the telling stump speeches delivered during some of the famous
old time campaigns.
Brother Richard W.
Thomson was one of the founders of the Masonic Veterans Association in
Washington, and attended its meetings whenever possible, and delivered many
speeches before it. He was a close personal friend of the Sovereign Grand
Commander, Albert Pike. The records show him to have been a member of Terre
Haute Lodge No. 19 in the State of Indiana.
RICHARD TV. THOMPSON MEMORIAL
can rehearse the praise
soft poetic lays,
solid prose, of Masons true,
art transcends the common view ?
secrets, ne'er to strangers yet expos'd,
Preserved shall be
only to the Ancient Lodge disclos'd.
PROF. EMORY S. BOGARDUS, PH. D., HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY,
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Emory Stephen Bogardus
was born near Beludere, Illinois, February 21, 1882. He took his A.M. Degree
in Northwestern University in 1909, and did his post-graduate work in the
University of Chicago in 1910-1911. In 1911-13 he was assistant professor of
sociology in the University of Southern California; since then he has been
professor and head of department. Aside from his work on various boards and
his membership in several learned societies, he is the author of “The Relation
of Fatigue to Industrial Accidents"; "Introduction to Sociology"; "Essentials
of Social Psychology"; “The Technique of Writing Social Science Papers";
"Essentials of Americanization"; "A History of Social Thought"; and also
various papers in sociological and other magazines. He is editor of The
Journal of Applied Sociology. His address is 3557 University Avenue, Los
Professor Bogardus has
established himself in the esteem of thinking people up and down the Pacific
Coast as an apostle of common sense in the storm-harried domain of Sociology.
His books and lectures prove that a man may be original and untrammeled while
dealing with sociological problems without selling himself out to extremists,
or lapsing into an unthinking jingoism; and that it is possible for a
clear-headed man to think out social problems in the terms of fact, instead of
in the terms of theory, as is so often the case.
Americanization movement began in 1914 when the European War was started.
Americanization Day had its beginning on July 4, 1914, in Cleveland, Ohio; it
was fathered by "the sane Fourth Committee" of that city. In 1915 at least 150
cities observed Americanzation Day; the idea was to lessen the emphasis on
"spread eagle oratory" and on trite boasting about the greatness of the United
States, as well as on noisy celebrations and the use of dangerous explosives.
The emphasis was laid on sane considerations of the nation's need, on making
the Fourth of July a day for national stock-taking, and particularly on making
the newly naturalized immigrants feel in new ways the deep significance of
their recently pledged national loyalty.
In 1915, also, the
National Americanization Committee was organized by citizens interested
unselfishly in the welfare of our nation. The purpose of this committee was to
further a nationalization movement that would unify the various peoples of the
United States in behalf of the principles of democracy. In 1918, the Federal
government undertook specific Americanization work through six different
governmental departments. These activities were coordinated in January, 1919,
and were centered upon the general problem "of the assimilation of the races
and the general education of the foreign born," and upon the problem of
During the eight years
since the Americanization movement began significant principles have been
established as a result of practical experience. These principles constitute
the basis of the new Americanization, which is by no means generally
understood or practiced. Certain of these essentials will be presented here.
applies to the native born first. If native Americans do not express in their
lives the best American principles, the immigrants cannot be expected to do
better. If natives violate the speed laws jauntily and boast of their ability
to buy freedom from punishment in the courts, immigrants will feel no
necessity of respecting the laws of the land and the Constitution.
Every native must go
through the process of becoming Americanized. He is not born with his head
full of American patriotism. He has to acquire this patrotism through a long
educational process. Twenty-one years is the ordinary length of time required
of a native before he is considered fit to vote. Not all natives, after having
been born on American soil and living amidst American traditions, have become
worthy citizens. To the extent that many persons are bigots, men of narrow
vision, profiteers, labor shirkers, exploiters, and selfishly inclined they
are not well Americanized. Americanization therefore begins at home.
2. Americanization is a
process. It is not a big stick, nor a complacent, easy-going attitude that all
will turn out well. You cannot compel a person to love a country. You can
force obedience, but not love. The matter of creating loyalty is an
exceedingly delicate psychological process. It is easy to crush the tender
sprouts of incipient loyalty between the upper and nether millstones of force.
No one ever develops a loyalty for a nation suddenly.
means understanding what American ideals really signify. If one were to ask
fifty native Americans today what Americanism is, he would be met with no
unanimity of opinion. If he mentioned "liberty," he would get a medley of
interpretations. If he suggested "democracy," he would receive contradictory
definitions, ranging from platitudinous phrases to a denial that the United
States is a democracy at all. If he were to say that America's ideal is
"brotherhood," he would be challenged even by many native Americans.
In other words,
Americanizaton involves the acceptance of a common interpretation of American
ideals. How can we Americanize when we are not agreed as to the object of
Americanism? The solution rests in patient, thoughtful, open forum, and
scientific educational programs.
4. The term,
Americanization, cannot be used directly, in dealing with the newcomers. The
average immigrant on arrival is not keen about being "Americanized." He has
come ordinarily to seek new economic opportunities. His attitude can be
appreciated if the reader will imagine himself arriving in Italy because of
own anticipated chance to make money, and being informed that an
Italianization program is in effect, and that he, the immigrant from America,
is about to be Italianized. What would the response be? Quick as a flash it
would come, "I don't want to be Italianized; I love America; I have come to
Italy to make money."
5. The Americanization
of the immigrants must take place indirectly. It is not the programs that we
promulgate and expose or subject the immigrants to, that count, but rather the
attitude we manifest toward them. Too many Americans take a snobbish attitude
toward or "look down upon" the foreigners. We do not realize that these same
foreigners see our faults and look down upon us because of some of our
unattractive ways. This point is especially true of those immigrants who come
from civilization and cultures that are five, ten, or twenty centuries old.
The immigrant is often chagrined by American thoughtlessness. Everybody is
going about his own business, but very few persons seem to be really
interested in an ordinary, strange foreigner, except to cast side glances at
him, and thus unintentionally to make him feel miserable.
6. The indirect
influence of a constructive social environment cannot be overestimated. If we
protect the immigrant from exploitation and insist on better standards of
living, of sanitation, of recreation, of education, he will almost
automatically in due season become an American. The public must see the need
of giving the honest but unlearned immigrant a social handshake, sympathetic
glances of the eye, and full opportunities for a self-expression that is in
harmony with the best American principles. If we will give the immigrant a
cordial welcome, a practical fraternalism, and democratic opportunities in our
work-day world, he as a class will give his all to America. As a class, the
immigrants are teachable and patriotic. Often they appreciate better than we
the meaning of freedom. When they learn about Americanism at its best, they
repudiate autocracy and enlist in the cause of democracy.
7. Americanization is
denationalization for the immigrants. Before an immigrant can become an
American he must give up his loyalty to his native soil. One's love for his
place of birth remains with him persistently. Notice how the Iowans, the
Buckeyes, and the Hoosiers constitute to hold state picnics in Southern
California long after they have emigrated from their native states. The place
where one was born and has spent the years of his childhood tend to remain
dear. They hold sacred memories. They often represent loved ones whose voices
have been silent for years. The deepest loyalties of life cannot be entirely
foresworn. Americans need to remember how hard it would be for them to swear
away their loyalty to Illinois, New England, or Virginia, if they were in a
foreign land. Americanization thus means a transfer of loyalties for the
immigrant. He must renounce something dear, which is not always easy.
8. The immigrant must
assume responsibility. Too often he comes from a country with traditions and
cultural viewpoints so different from ours that he cannot readily understand
America. He seeks one kind of democracy, and we offer another. He may even
come as a propagandist, seeking to make over our country. This of course is an
erroneous attitude, although it is similar to that which missionaries and
other religious leaders, commonly manifest. The constructive results of
American life justify, however, that we require of immigrants an attitude,
first of willingness to learn as far as possible the meaning of American
principles, and second, an attitude of trying to contribute constructively to
the development of these principles.
includes education, beginning with the teaching of the English language.
Without the language of the country the immigrant is isolated, subject to all
forms of exploitation and prejudices, and unable to become Americanized. As a
condition of entrance we may require of immigrants that they assent to
learning the English language within a reasonable length of time after
entrance. Such a requirement puts upon us the responsibility of making
possible such a process.
Our night schools are
doing wonderfully well in teaching English to immigrants, but they cannot meet
the need. American adult laborers in a foreign country after working during
the day time would not as a class do well in mastering the foreign language in
the hours of the evening. Adult minds trying to master a difficult foreign
tongue cannot uniformly succeed when the mental processes are slowed up not
only by habit but by overfatigue.
Carrying the school to
the factories where the immigrants are employed is a plan that has met with a
surprising degree of success when given a fair trial. At its best it works as
follows. The employer gives the employee one-half hour on pay to attend a
class in English providing the laborer will give one-half hour without pay.
The classes meet from four-thirty to five-thirty or at some other convenient
time. The employer gives the use of a room in the factory and furnishes
heating and lighting; while the public school system furnishes the services of
special teachers. As a result the employees become better citizens; they are
also of greater economic value to the employer.
includes the foreign-born mothers. It has been the custom in our country to
neglect immigrant women, especially the mothers who, although residing in the
United States, continue to think in European terms, read foreign language
newspapers, and have almost no contacts with American life. While the children
are being Americanized by the public schools and the men are coming in contact
with America in the factories and mines and mills, the immigrant mothers
remain closely at home and scarcely know America at all.
The visiting teachers
or home teachers of the public schools are doing a superb type of
Americanization work. They go into the immigrant homes, carrying modern ideas
of child caring, sanitation, and home making, but most important of all, they
carry the American spirit and the atmosphere of democracy into the habitations
of the foreign-born, and by their counsel arouse new ambitions. They also
conduct cottage classes in English, sewing, and cooking at places and hours
convenient for immigrant mothers.
11. Americanization is
not a process to be left in the hands of Americanization workers as a class,
or even in the hands of public educators. Employers, landlords, and their
agents, may render, if they will, tremendous and fundamental aid to the cause
of Americanization, or they may through the use of exploitation, injustice,
and hypocrisy offset the good that nearly all other persons can do in behalf
Americanization is a
responsibility and an opportunity which comes to everyone who is a citizen of
the United States. The best principle of procedure is to, begin, not with the
weaknesses, but with the good will and intelligence of immigrants. The
immigrants also must bear a part of the responsibility and share in.the
opportunity of becoming true Americans - they must will to become good
Americans. The process of Americanization then depends upon good will, social
attitudes, and the spirit of co-operation, and patient and understanding
effort upon the part of all who live in the United States.
BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD
Every art to the
artist, poetry, which is the finest of all the fine arts, most of all!
therefore is it that we of the laity are ever shy about permitting others to
read our compositions. The writer of these pieces confesses to a more than
usual reticence, and that for obvious reasons. "The Visitant" was written to
preserve the memories of an experience of ineffable things - an experience as
unsought as it was mystical and mystifying: therefore the poems were not
intended for other eyes; but gradually, and through accident and often in
secret, they made their way about among a circle of friends, several of whom
have since urged their publication. In deference to them, and with many
misgivings, the pieces are here exhibited in print. To Freemasons they will
not be without meaning or interest it is hoped, seeing that thev express in
simple wise. and after a fashion of their own, that which the Fraternity
teaches in its own Holy Places. H. L.
eventime which Thou lovest
was no notice of Thy approach,
was no knock upon the door or footfall upon the stair;
not thinking of Thee, when suddenly Thou wert here!
wert not visible yet I saw Thee
the walls were turned to mist in Thy presence.
was no sound made, yet Thy words passed through my ears as never a voice has,
and my heart felt Thy words;
said that which never had any speech said.
didst surround me as the air,
felt myself standing in the center of Thee,
and hearing all things through Thee,
and hearing them as they are.
art the Answer to all my questions;
art the Solution of all my problems;
Thee I found that which is really myself,
there has come that Great Peace
the labors of hand and mind fall into the rhythms of the soul.
art here and now I know not if anything beside is here;
familiar things are strange and uncertain.
Thou comest a second time bring back my human world to me,
when I go among my fellows they consider me mad.
can a human being do without his human world?
let my human world be in Thee as Thou comest,
not otherwise shall I possess it for ever!
I was wondering to what purpose I had been granted this great gift of life:
I was puzzled as to what it was I had been brought here to do,
Suddenly Thou wert with me to ask for my love!
love Thee I must gather into my nature all that is beautiful and good in the
love Thee I must make continual war on whatever is the enemy of life;
To love Thee I must
have eyes to see Thy face shaping itself behind the million faces of my
I must learn to
recognize Thy words as they come to me over the tumults of creation:
Ah, my Lord, Thou must
give me all the keys that open Thy resources of power
If I am to carry on
this great work of loving Thee!
At midnight I saw Thee
coming through the heavens:
All the stars were
jangled by Thy feet like ten thousand thousands of bells;
The breast of Space
rose and sank like the bosom of a girl in love;
Thy laughter went up
into the heavens as in the beginning of Creation;
And it was as if
perpetual sunrises broke from Thy smiles,
When lo! Thou wert
knocking quietly at my door.
"Hast Thou come to this
poor destination after such a journey," I whispered!
"I am coming into thy
soul," Thou saidst, "for breathing space and for room."
The willow stands by
the dark water in the dusk stretching down its hands toward the shadow of
It bends low as if a
great weight were pressing on its soul;
It gathers the dark to
itself as if it were fain to hide a sorrow at its heart;
The winds come very
soft through its pendulous branches lest it wound the grieving spirit of the
I stand pensive beside
it thinking of many things!
Old memories of my race
hover about me and sad echoes trouble my heart like the shadows which lie upon
As I stand thus
brooding, Thy stars come up and gaze at me through the leaves of the willow:
In a time like this,
when so many sighs are going up from the lips of men,
It reassures me to see
Thy stars shining through the branches of the willow tree.
Prayer for Blindness.
Open my eyes I prayed,
open my eyes,
Give me to see, O Lord,
as Thou dost see.
Thus as I prayed Thou
liftedst up a grain of dust and bade me look.
I saw world behind
world wheeling for ever,
World beyond world, and
each world moved with the swiftness of light,
So that I turned and
rested my eyes upon Thee.
I looked again and saw
skies behind skies and every sky full of planets and stars;
Far as I could look
into the infinitude of the dust I saw sky beyond sky;
And again I sought Thy
face, as a bird, wearied of flight, rests upon a branch.
I looked again and lo!
in the uttermost depths of the dust
Were angels, angels and
cherubim and seraphim, and God, raised above ten thousand thrones!
Sick with dizziness and
awe, I turned to Thee and cried,
"O Lord, restore my
While I was sitting
bewildered by the strangeness of things,
Overcome by the
complexity of all my problems,
While I could not think
my way in thought or learn what it was that I should do,
While I sat helpless,
like a child that has been lost in the wilderness,
I prayed earnestly that
Thou mightst drawn near to relieve me,
And behold, Thou wert
here so that I felt Thy presence as one may lay his hand on his flesh!
But ah, what could my
poor nature do while overborne by Thy all-powerful self ?
How could my poor mind
dare to think while Thy all-knowing mind lay opened before it?
How could my weak will
dare to act while Thy resistless will was there to press upon it ?
In the great light of
Thy presence all my own lights flickered and died:
The music which I had
been drawing from my spirit became as a noisome sound in the fullness of Thy
What were ail my
pictures and dreams with Thy face there before me, awing me into silence and
Then it was that I
O Lord, become my
secret God again;
Surround me with Thy
hints and whispers, let me have glimpses of Thy comings and going,
But be Thou my hidden
God for ever!
I sat down by the
roadside to gaze at a ragweed;
It laid hold of a clod
and lifted itself toward the skies;
It drew forces from the
sun ninety-five million miles away
Nor had any fear of
that cauldron of heat;
The dumb virtues of the
soil it transformed into most marvelous miracles of life;
The orbit of the earth
and the circles of the stars were laid hold of by it and twisted into the
patterns of petal and leaf;
When I saw this tiny
creature overcoming the authority of Nothingness,
When I noticed how it
bent the universe to its will,
While I was almost
overborne with fear to witness such miraculous powers,
Thy voice came from its
"Be not afraid, it is
While I was wishing
that I was in places where I should like to be,
While I was desiring
many things which I should wish to possess,
In the midst of my
discontent and my unhappiness
There came from Thee a
great joy into my nature:
How, or for what
purpose, or for how long it comes this I cannot
The small vessel of my
heart runs over into silent amazement and surprise:
Like drops falling from
fountains it breaks into little songs which I cannot express;
It runs away in streams
everywhere gladdening my small world:
It enriches the roots
of my thoughts so that each one becomes beautiful like a flower:
My emotions have wings
and fly back to Thee with a thousand bird-notes of delight.
Ah, my Lord, can it be
that Thy own happiness comes from thus witnessing my joy?
Old Lady in the Kitchen.
While the twilights
thicken the old lady is working alone in her kitchen;
Wearied of toil her
husband sits on the porch steps, asleep over his pipe:
Already the children
are upstairs tucked away in bed, but she does not stop:
Thoughtful for them she
prepares for the school lunches of tomorrow;
She puts the dishes
away, seeing that every one is in its proper place;
The pans she makes to
shine brightly where they hang on the wall;
When she has finished,
the floor is spotless;
She works on and on in
the dusk but does not murmur a tune.
Ah, my Lord, canst Thou
not give her to see herself one hour as Thou dost see her?
If she could know that
the eyes of the angels are blinded by the shining of her pans,
Could she but learn
that each dawn the seraphim dance across her snow-clean floor,
If she could understand
that the shuffling of her steps is sweeter music to Thee than the singing of
Would she not sing to
herself as she works alone in the night?
Asters, like purple
wraiths, bow and sigh by the roadside:
A field of corn,
ripened and husked, stretches up to the hill crests
Where a strip of plowed
ground lies darkly at the feet of a thin line of gray-green trees:
All this lifts itself
up to the sky in a continuous prayer,
And the sky is
blue-black and profound, with ghosts of cloud skirting its edges:
A smoke mist is over it
So that my gaze
clutches it lest it fade to a shadowy dream.
The haze-yellow stretch
of the field and the blue-black depths of the sky,
And ah! how few are the
eyes that may see it!
What a waste of beauty
What are the words Thou
art saying, my Lord?
"And is it so strange
to thee that I also should love the Lady Beauty?"
Goldenrod is shining
around the edges of the yellow corn;
The wind is leaving
glad footprints among the tassels and leaves;
Who has spilled all
that purple wine over the heads of the asters ?
All day they look down
into the stream where the clouds are hiding their faces:
All day the sunflowers
spurn their reflections to look up at the clouds themselves;
The sunflowers are too
intent on their visions to notice the birds that light among their broad
The field is enamored
of its own beauty and rises into a hill to gaze at itself;
Last night I saw Thee
standing on that hill to look at Thy garden:
The stars crowded
around to peer over Thy shoulder;
They had never seen
anywhere so lovely a poem.
Until this afternoon
when the leaves play like children along the ground,
When the trees are
uttering their visions at last,
Surprising us with all
the beautiful secrets they have hidden from springtime and summer,
I had not learned, my
Lord, how lovely, how lovely Thou art!
I did not know of Thy
music till the breezes drew Thy breath through these branches!
A few flowers remain
like afterthoughts of Thy heart.
The gossamers draw me
Will they bind me fast
to Thy feet?
Are all Thy dreams as
lovely as this?
Dream on, my Lord, for
Perhaps Thou eanst some
day make me as beautiful as this leaf which runs everywhere seeking for Thee.
While I was praying,
suddenly Thou wast with me
And my words died away,
smitten byJthe great sound of Thy silence.
The sweet bells of Thy
speech go through the house, but nobody can hear them.
Hast Thou been abroad
in the great noisy places ?
What did the streets
have to say to Thy silence?
Would that all my words
in the future could say as much as that single look of Thine!
While the factories are
thundering what do men think of Thy wordlessness ?
Are they afraid to
listen for Thee under the great guns of the War ?
The world is upheld by
the secret might of Thy breath;
Thy silence speaks
beyond the power of our ears to listen;
Speak not aloud lest
the earth split to fragments;
Utter no words lest the
souls of men be paralyzed;
The silent indication
of Thy glance is almost more than we can bear:
How could we endure to
listen shouldst Thou speak the loud words of Thy power ?
He sat upon the
doorstep talking to his cronies;
gesticulations he was saying blasphemous things:
Between the puffs of
his pipe he was exclaiming that there is no God.
Those who listened
laughed as if he were telling a pleasant jest.
I sat by, hardly
restraining myself, hurt by his talk, ready to engage him in argument,
When I saw Thee
standing above him with a patient and kindly smile
Giving him the breath
wherewith he was denying Thee!
Since Thou camest I
have gone about like one in a dream:
I feel my body with
I gaze with tenderness
on the earth, remembering how Thy touch is on every grain of dust:
It amazes me to hear
Thy speech sounding through the ten thousand dialects:
Above the rain I hear
the ceaseless comings of Thy feet:
When it is night I
cannot see the darkness for the shining of Thy face;
I hate nothing except
veils which blind our eyes to Thy presence:
I dare not despise the
meanest thing lest I find myself despising Thee:
Whatever I approach
melts away into Thy form:
in all the countless
mirrors there is but one Face reflected:
Living and dying does
not perplex me anymore than my breathing perplexes me:
Everything comes and
goes with the pulsing of Thy breath.
I am no longer anxious
There can be no more
heaven than this.
The waters raise
themselves up before the wind
And fly to the shore
with many invocations:
The rocks do not open
The rocks throw them
back with cries of derision.
What is the Wind, O my
Lord, which drives Thee ceaselessly against me ?
I am no rock to
withstand these endless assaultings.
Should I dissolve
myself into dust and be washed away into Thy Being
What were the gain to
O leave me this my self
The flowers that bloom
on the shore line will gladden us both:
Thy waves breaking on
me will become a thousand poems to fill my world with music.
Was All That Beauty?
I stood by the river
while the sunset was staining each tree and shrub with wonderful dyes;
The water was like a
mirror in which a thousand angels might look at themselves;
After a little a
pearl-gray mist settled over the stream and long stretches of trees and the
Everything seemed to
float in the air like an apparition.
When the lights of the
city came out they were like timid stars,
And it seemed to me
that the stars themselves were as timid as the eyes of little children:
But I turned from all
this loveliness because thou, my Lord, wert with me.
Who could look at the
stars when he might be gazing upon Thy face ?
The river's murmur was
forgotten because Thy voice was in my ear:
The haunting scene
could no more hold me because Thy dear strong hands were about my heart:
What was all that
beauty while Thou wert there with me!
Wee Brown House.
The wee brown house is
happy among the hollyhocks:
The old man, wearied by
toil, rests on the steps, reading his paper:
Grandmother is about,
slipping dead leaves from the rose stems;
Two children play with
a swing, and sweet is their unconscious laughter;
A quiet woman, with
soft yearnings in her eyes, prepares the table where soon they will enjoy the
communion of food:
The curtains are
spotless, the carpets are clean, and brightly shine the dishes along their
O pleasant this home of
thine, my Lord,
This one of Thy
Often when I sit in
passiveness to muse awhile,
Behold! thou comest
along my thought's frequented paths;
I cannot see Thy face
and yet I see Thee, or hear Thy voice and yet I hear Thee.
The hated distance
vanishes before this strange magic of Thine.
When Thou comest like
inward day to gladden all my world
All things precious
seem to be about Thee in living presences
As when birds cloud
about a tree in blossom.
If I look upon that
which is lovely, or hear melodious sounds, or find myself visited by beautiful
thoughts and dreams,
The heart within me
" 'Tis He, 'tis He!"
loves from whole to parts, but human soul
rise from individual to the whole;
Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
small pebble stirs the peaceful lake.
center moved, a circle straight succeeds,
Another still, and still another spreads;
Friend, parent, neighbor first it will embrace,
country next, and next all human race.
ON THE DROMORE MEDALLION
BY BRO. R.J. MEEKREN,
In spite of its brevity
the little article that appeared on page 107 of THE BUILDER for April of this
year has aroused more discussion than any other item for many moons, save only
one or two. Through an unfortunate inadvertency the title was made to read "A
Masonic Medallion of 1516," thus conveying the impression that ye editor
accepted that date, whereas the title should have read "A Masonic Medallion
Supposedly of 1516." Ye editor does not accept that date, neither is he sure
that the numbers 15 and 16 were intended to serve as a date, as is evidenced
by one question in the editorial note that prefaced the article. Of the many
letters received by way of discussion it has been possible to publish only a
very few: one appeared on page 260 of the August issue, and another on page
292 of the September number. Another appears in the Correspondence Department
in this issue.
IN THE April number of
THE BUILDER, page 107, the material of which this Masonic relic is made is
said to be petrified oak. Presumably by that is meant what is usually known as
"bog oak." This is found in the form of logs and trunks of trees of unknown
age, preserved in the peat bogs. It is not in any real sense petrified, though
it has lost to a very large extent the grain, or fibrous nature of wood, so
that it must be cut or carved more as jet or alabaster. It is very dark,
almost in many cases a true black, and the color is the same all through. This
is an important consideration, as a fresh cut on a piece of this material is
practically impossible to distinguish from an old one. It is used to a limited
extent from which to make curios of various kinds. The writer has in his
possession a brooch of the same shape as the medallion but somewhat smaller in
size that is about fifty years old. It has a relief view of Killarney castle
and church surrounded by a rather delicately carved border of foliage. Though
this article is evidently a stock design of no particular merit from an
artistic point of view, yet compared with it the workmanship of the medallion
is rough, not to say crude. Judging by the cuts in the latter there is no
attempt at relief, and the various emblems are merely delineated by incised
outlines. Of the two sides the one marked B in the cuts, is by far the most
carefully done. One might almost suppose that it was the most important in the
mind of the maker, and should therefore be called the obverse. Indeed one
might almost suppose that the two sides were done at different times, and even
that they were done by a different hand.
At the top is a crudely
cut object that appears to be intended for an irradiated eye. The pupil is
lacking, and the rays rather ludicrously resemble an attempt to indicate the
lovrer eyelashes. The want of the pupil makes it possible to question whether
it is really intended for an eye. But other indications of incompleteness on
this side of the medallion might account for this.
Below this are the sun
and crescent moon. The sun's rays are very badly spaced. In all ten are shown.
The one pointing directly to the crescent is cut as one of a secondary series.
Two others at the right and left respectively of the one at the top, seem
almost as if they might have been also intended as secondary rays. It is
possible therefore to suppose that the designer intended to give the sun seven
rays, with seven more appearing from behind these, and in between their
intervals; but gave up the attempt because of the bad spacing of the primary
On the left of the sun
is a cross-shaped object of the simplest character. It might be taken to
represent two chisels or "Points." In an old design, referring to the original
undigested, inchoate, Royal Arch, reproduced by Oliver in his "Historical
Landmarks," (it is also reproduced by Macoy in his Cyclopaedia under "Arch of
Enoch" apparently copying from Oliver). There is an emblem consisting of three
nails crossing each other, representing probably the three nails of the Cross
of our Lord. The form of the nails in this design is very similar in outline
to the two members of the cross-shaped object on the medallion. As these
appear to be very lightly cut it is perhaps possible the emblem was
unfinished, and that a third nail was to have crossed the other two. However
this is pure conjecture.
To the right of the
moon is a very crudely marked object which however appears to be meant for a
sword with a triangular shaped guard. Or is it a badly executed circular one
in perspective? If it is not intended for sword or dagger or like warlike
instrument it would be difficult to say what it is.
The two pillars (of no
imaginable order of architecture!) have a difference in their capitals.
Whether this is intended or not would be hard to say in view of the
nondescript design; but in the old drawing referred to above are two pillars
that are obviously and intentionally different, and not only in style and
proportions, but the shading seems intended to represent different material.
In this is probably intended a reference to the two pillars of the children of
Seth, upon which they engraved the various discoveries they had made, and one
of which was made of a many named material that would not burn in fire and the
other of another as uncertainly distinguished substance that would not drown
in water; as is related in the Legend of the Craft.
Upon the bases of the
pillars in the medallion are some indistinct markings. The one on the right
seems to be meant for the square and compass. The other is so faint that it is
hardly worth while to guess about it. Something might be obtained possibly
from a close examination of the medallion itself.
Between the pillars are
the square and compass superposed upon a quadrilateral figure that may be
intended to represent an open book, or it may be it is meant for the symbol of
the lodge. Unless it be regarded as unfinished it is strange that the median
line representing the juncture of the pages was omitted, which the merest tyro
would hardly forget, while that it is intended for a book would seem to follow
from the little indentation visible in the middle of the bottom line just
above the square, and a slightly curved outline to the upper side. The
supposition that this side of the medallion was not fully finished would
account for a good many things.
Below the square are
the figures 15 and 16 which are supposed to be the date. Of these more will be
said later. Below these again is an object that may be intended for a
threebranched chandelier. If this is what it is meant for it is very unusual,
and if it is not so intended it is hard to conjecture what it might be. In all
the old Craft designs and diagrams known to the writer the three lesser lights
are always reprcsented by three separate candlesticks. In looking closely at
the left-hand branch there does appear a faint outline of a flame above a very
short candle-end. As this is in shading and not distinct lines it is hard to
say whether it really appears in the original. Above the central branch there
is the still fainter resemblance of a flame in the corresponding position. The
one to the right offers nothing distinguishable.
To the left of the
pillars is an object than can hardly be anything else than a folded two-foot
rule, rather faintly outlined and with the divisions very roughly indicated.
At first sight it almost appears from the alternation of short and long cross
lines that inches and half inches were intended. But this is not carried
through consistently, and counting the total number of divisions would make it
seem as if twelve were intended to be indicated on each half, which makes it
correspond with the twenty-four inch gauge.
On the right of the
pillars is a plumb rule, which does not call for any special remark. The lines
are more deeply cut than on the gauge, and the plumb bob is indicated.
The pillars stand at
the top of what undoubtedly represents a flight of steps. This arrangement
follows the oldest tracing boards very closely. Most of these old designs show
seven or eleven steps. Whether there are any examples with five the writer is
not sure, not having made any notes on this point. But he remembers to have
seen none with the three which are customary at the present time. A somewhat
distant view of the steps on the medallion gives the impression, in spite of
the roughness of the cutting, of an intentional alternation of broad and
narrow spaces. It could be taken as a crude attempt to represent three steps
in perspective, the two broad spaces being the treads and the three narrow
ones the risers. But in view of the character of the rest of the design this
hardly seems very likely, unless one should take it to be of comparitively
The object at the foot
of the steps is probably meant for a coffin. This emblem of mortality appears
at the foot of the three steps in many of the "Master's Carpets" in use early
in the last century, and in some tracing boards of earlier date, though most
of the earliest show the coffin in the form now used in the British Isles, -
what French call the "Cercuil" or "Sepulchre."
The general design of
this side of the medallion is so much better conceived and so much more
carefully executed that it might almost give rise to the suspicion that it was
not by the same hand as the other. At least it is hard to suppose that it was
done at the same time and under the same conditions. Compare for instance the
crude capitals of the two pillars with the quite graceful if simple foliage
tracery below the triangle. The letters, too, with the exception of the G and
S. are all well proportioned and spaced and excellently cut. The curves of the
other two letters make them of course very much more difficult to cut, and
their defect is another indication that the work is not by a professional
hand. The whole appearance of this side however seems to indicate greater care
if not greater skill than the other, aside from the introduction of pure
ornament, as the tracery in the apex of the triangle, and above the letters
H.M.D.D., and that at the base of the triangle too, in all probability.
of the letters till the last, there is first the ladder to the left inside the
triangle. It is of three rounds, as has become customary in our modern
designs. So far as the writer is aware, the ladder when appearing in ancient
Masonic and quasi-Masonic designs invariably has six or seven or more rungs.
This may have some bearing on the question of date.
Below the ladder is an
unmistakable branch of some plant. Of what species the design does not show,
of course, but it is natural to suppose that it represents the Sprig of
Acacia, though very likely the designer thought of it as Cassia.
On the right is a
trowel, of a shape intermediate between the rhomboid form now universal among
ourselves, and the medieval form with an equilateral triangular blade, which
is still used in Germany and Belgium and parts, at least, of France.
Below the trowel is a
stirrup-shaped object that is probably meant for the head of a stone-cutter's
or carver's mallet, often, though not very accurately, called a gavel by
present-day Masons. Close examination will show below the curve a short but
clearly cut line in the right place to represent the end of the handle. And
there appears also the faintest trace of the outline of the handle itself. But
reference to the original would be necessary to determine whether this
appearance is intended. However if the object is not a mallet-head it is hard
to assign any meaning to it.
In the center of the
triangle is the compass extended upon an arc, with the letter G. Without the
initial this is now the jewel of a Grand Master. But there is some reason to
suppose that at the emergence of Masonry into its historical period, that is,
since 1717, some lines of tradition assigned this emblem to the Master of the
lodge. It is certain that in the older forms of Masonry, what is commonly
known as Operative, the compass distinguished the Master, and in his hands
is usually put
in all ancient drawings and sculptures representing Masons and their work. To
pass from the square to the compass in old Scotch phrase was equivalent to our
modern "raising," and alluded to a ceremony still in use in the English type
of work. In the earliest form extant of the so-called York work the square is
assigned to the Entered Apprentice as a working tool in addition to gavel and
gauge. On the other hand the present-day assignment of the three immovable
jewels to the three principal officers of the lodge appears to have also been
in vogue at the dawn of the historical period. In Hogarth's "Night" the
incapacitated Mason being helped home is wearing a collar from which the
square is suspended: but of course we do not know that Hogarth meant to
represent the Master of a lodge. In another old engraving a man clothed as a
Mason and undoubtedly intended for the Master, seems to have all the
implements of Masonry hanging to his collar.
Below the compass and
arc is the very crude delineation of a winged figure The wings are almost
heraldic in style and the face is represented in most primitive fashion. The
whole irresistibly reminds one of the cherubs so frequently represented upon
eighteenth century headstones, or even of the winged death's heads
occasionally seen. As this side of the medallion certainly refers mainly to
the Royal Arch, the former is the most likely interpretation of the two. The
cherubim and the angel of the burning bush played a great part apparently in
the symbolism of the early forms of this degree, of which traces are still
left even in the American type of work.
The foliage below the
base of the triangle seems more ornamental than significant. It could quite
naturally be referred to the sprig of Acacia, were it not that that emblem
already appears in a more important position.
The plumb and level
call for little comment, except to note that their form is the conventional
one so familiar today. Of this more will be said later in discussing the
question of date.
The three arches are of
course most naturally referable to the Royal Arch, though not probably to the
degree as we know it today. In the design reproduced by Oliver, mentioned
above there are nine arches in rows of three superposed upon each other. In
the older rituals three arches are mentioned, as one below the other. American
and English work has simplified these to one, while the corresponding degree
in the A. &
A. S. R. has amplified them to nine. But possibly nine was the original number
in the inception of the Royal Arch. It is not at all easy to decide in our
present state of knowledge.
The square and compass
below the arches do not seem to require remark, unless it be to point out that
the device seems to be more carefully drawn than the corresponding emblem on
the other side of the medallion. The square has ornamental curved ends, the
compasses are more slender and the joint better proportioned, more like a real
We now come to the
letters. The K. S. hardly requires explication, or the letter G in the centre
of the triangle. The J. H. and Z. which might be puzzling to Companions in the
U. S. A. are perfectly familiar to those exalted in the English form of work.
They are the initials of the three personages represented by the three
principal officers of the chapter - Jeshua the high priest, Haggai the
prophet, and Zerubbabel the prince of the people, of whom the latter is first
in rank. The monogram to the right is probably a simpler form of the "triple-tau,"
and referable to Hiram Abif, though other recondite meanings are attached to
it. The W is puzzling: one thinks naturally of the W. S., but it seems very
unlikely that the S would have been dropped if that were intended.
To the letters above
the two sides of the triangle there seems at present no key, or even plausible
conjecture. It is difficult even to guess whether each group represents one
word, or whether they are a group of initials, or partly both. As, to take
familiar examples, O.B., K.S.T., and H.A.B. Nor do we know whether they
represent English or Latin words, or are of some other language. A good many
Latin phrases were in use by the Masons of the early eighteenth century: the
diagram already alluded to contains the phrase "we have found" in three
languages. The H.M.D.D. is reminiscent of H.R.D.M., but the resemblance is
doubtless adventitious. On the other side, the A.A.A. is evidently separated
from the W.P. If there are any extant remains of the Royal Arch ritual as
worked in Ireland in the eighteenth century some clue might be found therein,
but failing that or some similar help there seems to be nothing possible but
conjecture, which must always remain inconclusive.
OF THE MEDALLION
It has been stated in a
previous publication of the medallion that the members of the Dublin Lodge of
Research were of the opinion that "it is undoubtedly one of the oldest emblems
in Ireland, genuine in every respect, even to the date 1516." If this be their
considered conclusion it must be given due weight as they have had the benefit
of examining the object itself. But it is necessary to remember that 1516 is a
long time ago. Martin Luther had not nailed his theses to the church door in
Wittenburg, and Henry VIII of England had not been so very long upon the
throne. There is of course nothing inherently impossible in the existence of a
Masonic device of this or greater age, eve have indeed examples of such, but
much water has run under all bridges since then. It must be remembered that
Gothic architecture was still a living tradition. Men were doubtless still
alive who had wrought on that masterpiece of the style in England, the Chapel
of Henry VII at Westminister; men were in all probability still alive who
could design and execute that culminating marvel of Gothic work, the so-called
"fan vaulting!" Operative Masonry was still fully alive, though on the verge
of that decline which was to bring it to decay and nearly to complete
extinction, had it not re-arisen phoenix-like in Speculative Masonry. It is
necessary to grasp the circumstances at the time of the putative date of this
relic in order to appreciate the indications we have as to its credibility.
First of all there is
the general appearance of the designs. This is an argument that could only be
made conclusive by comparison of similar designs at different periods, and
even then it would require some knowledge of such matters to appreciate it.
The writer's own feeling, whatever it may be worth, is that the medallion is
of eighteenth century work, or at the earliest of the end of the seventeenth
century, and that its style would have been utterly impossible in the
beginning of the sixteenth century.
To strengthen this
general impression there is the form of the working tools. The level and plumb
seem to the writer almost conclusive in themselves. In any really old
representation of mason's tools known to him, it always has the proportions of
the real working tool, which is still used in its primitive form by
bricklayers and stonemasons in England. It is about four feet long and three
inches wide. Not until the institution had become completely divorced from all
operative connection could the instrument tend towards the shortened
conventional form, so much more convenient as an emblem, though useless as a
tool. The level is still more striking. Its oldest form seems to have been an
equilateral triangle, and under this form it still appears sometimes in
continental Masonic designs. Sometimes a perpendicular member is introduced
from the apex of the triangle to the base. A form intermediate between this
and our modern emblem has the upright member supported by two braces, thus
preserving the triangle though reduced in size. Such a tool the writer as a
boy has seen actually in use.
To this must be added
the indications afforded by the ladder, trowel, and folding rule. The first
two are not very conclusive by themselves, but they increase each other's
significance by all tending in the same direction. The writer has never seen
in any Masonic design, ancient or modern, except catalogs of Masonic
furnishers, the folding rule as equivalent to the twenty-four inch guage. It
is in any case probably a modern invention, though there is no available
information on the point.
What then do the
figures 15 and 16 represent? They certainly look as if intended for a date. On
the other hand though arabic numerals were known before the sixteenth century,
they were very little used. Account books were kept in Roman figures, and
dates were almost universally so written for long afterwards, indeed down to
the beginning of the nineteenth century. One cannot well advance the theory of
forgery after the careful investigation made by responsible members of the
Craft, unless one supposes the forger lived a hundred years ago or so, hid his
work and forgot all about it.
The number 15 has some
significance in our work even yet, and this was more strongly emphasized in
the work of the eighteenth century. The "Masons Confession" speaks of nineteen
Fellow Crafts and thirteen Entered Apprentices as apparently forming a lodge,
and the Sloan MS. 3329 speaks of six Masons being necessary, or if so many
cannot be found, "that five will serve." Whether the two numbers in question
could have had some such significance is hard to say. If one took the
quadrilateral figure above as a symbol of the lodge this might seem plausible.
On the other hand if it be taken as intended for a book it is an added
indication of the eighteenth century origin of the medallion, as in the
earlier arrangements of the lodge the Bible, or Book of the Gospels, was not
closely associated with the square and compass, and seems indeed to have been
originally introduced to give an added sanction to the O. B. of the entrants:
the present symbolic use of the Bible being filled by the book or roll of the
Ancient Constitutions. Perhaps the Trinity College MS., which is supposed to
be of Irish origin, might throw some light upon the matter, if it were ever
published and so made accessible to Masonic students.
YOUR COMMUNITY SELL OUT? - PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM FOR SALE
"We are authorized to
offer for sale the Ardmore public school system, which has buildings and
grounds and equipment worth $750,000, 100 teachers, all-the-year-round
schools, a Department of Educational Research and Guidance which has attracted
attention all over the country because of its efficiency, a supervisor of
music, a supervisor of drawing, a supervisor of penmanship and a supervisor of
grades; that has Junior and Senior High Schools organized in such a way as to
give every child the kind of work for which he or she is particularly fitted;
that has a modern cafeteria; that has a sheet metal department; mechanical
drawing, benchwork, lathe work, machine work; domestic science, domestic arts,
home decoration, a complete commercial course, a fully equipped printing
plant, a coach of athletics and physical training who devotes all his time to
the work and a football team which is one of the best in the country.
"But this school system
is costing the taxpayers of Ardmore more than $200,000 a year. Possibly it is
better to leave this $11.00 in each individual's pocket in the city, and
dispose of the school system. Therefore, we are authorized to offer this
school system for sale to the highest and best bidder, so that Ardmore may
have the opportunity of ascertaining which way she would be better off, with
or without a public school system. There are 3,700 children being educated in
these schools every day." - Supt. C.W. Richards, Ardmore, Oklahoma - Journal
of Education, p. 172, Febr. 16,1922. - M.S.A. Bulletin No. 8.
is love: to strip the shoulders bare
need be, that a frailer one may wear
mantle to protect him from the storm;
bear the frost king's breath so he be warm;
crush the tears it would be sweet to shed,
smile so others may have joy instead.
is love: to daily sacrifice
hope that to the bosom closest lies;
mutely bear reproach and suffer wrong:
lift the voice to show where these belong -
more, nor tell it even to God above;
is love - indeed herein is love.
TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
The following paper is
one of a series of articles on "Philosophical Masonry," or "The Teachings of
Masonry," by Brother Haywood, to be used for reading and discussion in lodges
and study clubs. From the questions following each section of the paper the
study club leader should select such as he may desire to use in bringing out
particular points for discussion. To go into a lengthy discussion on each
individual question presented might possibly consume more time than the lodge
or study club may be able to devote to the study club meeting.
In conducting the study
club meetings the leader should endeavor to hold the discussions closely to
the text of the paper and not permit the members to speak too long at one time
or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that the
discussion is turning from the original subject the leader should request the
members to make notes of the particular points or phases of the matter they
may wish to discuss or inquire into and bring them up after the last section
of the paper is disposed of.
The meetings should be
closed with a "Question Box" period, when such questions as may have come up
during the meeting and laid over until this time should be entered into and
discussed. Should any questions arise that cannot be answered by the study
club leader or some other brother present, these questions may be submitted to
us and we will endeavor to answer them for you in time for your next meeting.
on the subjects treated in this paper will be found at the end of the article.
BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD
XV - THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD
attempts have been made to expound Freemasonry's teaching concerning God by
recourse to the peculiar phraseology that is employed in the ritual, but these
attempts have always broken down because the ritualistic language has been
fashioned, not for the purposes of exact theological thinking, but for
symbolical and ritualistic purposes. God is not in fact an architect; such a
term is very misleading. It suggests a great artificer who made the worlds
out of nothing, or else out of crude material, and who went about it as a
carpenter might frame a house. Such a Being would necessarily exist apart
from the thing He has made, as a machinist is apart from the mechanism he
contrives. The modern mind will have nothing to do with such ideas because
men have learned that God cannot be conceived of as living and working apart
from the universe, but must somehow be involved in that universe. The Masonic
thinker can escape from these difficulties by remembering that in the ritual
God is described as T.S.G.A.O.T.U., not because such words describe His nature
as Masonry understands it, but because such an appellation is in harmony with
the architectural language of the ceremonies.
Freemasonry, nowhere offers a definition of the nature and attributes of God,
but leaves such matters to each individual to fashion as best he can. It asks
of a man only that he believe that God is. It does not even try to prove the
existence of God, after the fashion of the dogmatic theologians, but assumes
that its candidates already have that belief in their hearts.
However, it appears that while Freemasonry does not define its conception of
God certain attributes are assumed by the Masonic system as a whole, and taken
for granted throughout it, so that while these attributes are nowhere insisted
upon explicitly, they are a necessary postulate of Masonic teachings as a
whole. I may be wrong in this; if I am, it will not greatly matter, because
this paper, like the others in this series, is designed to be not exhaustive
but suggestive, and prepared as a paper for discussion, rather than as an
is the "peculiar phraseology" referred to? Have you considered that such a
name truly describes God? Did you gain any conception of God while taking the
work? What are the objections to the theory that God exists apart from the
universe? In what way can God be involved in the universe? What is the nature
of the theological language employed in the ritual? Does Freemasonry anywhere
define or describe the attributes of God? What is meant by "attributes"? How
would you prove the existence of God? What is an atheist? What is meant by the
phrase "necessary postulate"?
most fundamental sense - the only sense in which Freemasonry teaches it - the
Fatherhood of God means that when a human being comes into existence there is
somewhat in him (let us not try to define it) that derives immediately from
God's own being; and that through all his existence - which we believe to be
endless - this man's being remains rooted in God's own being, so that if God
Himself were to cease to be he would also, and at the same instant, cease to
be. In the language of metaphysics the relation between God and man is
ontological. It exists in the nature of things, so that neither God nor man
could cause it not to be; and it does not depend upon a man's religious
beliefs, or upon any other belief or opinion. All men, whatever be their
faith or fortune, from Plato down to the African dwarf, have this relation
with God. What God is to any one He is to every other one, and all that God
can be to or do for any man, He is to and does for all men equally, and
everlastingly. This eternal an universal Fatherhood in Him does not come into
existence when we begin to believe it; it is already a fact before we believe
it, and remains a fact whether we believe it or not.
Fatherhood of God is more than a symbol it is a fact, albeit of a very
different nature from human fatherhood. By God's love is meant that our being
is rooted in Him, and that He is ever doing for us all that a God can do. His
relation to us is neither purchased nor given but holds in the very structure
of life itself. It does not rest on sentiment or emotion but in the nature of
things, so that it is a great blunder to suppose that because God is our
Father therefore He can, at will, reverse the processes of the universe or set
aside the everlasting laws of things. He remains our Father through all our
experiences, but not for that reason are we shielded from pain, from loss, and
from the extreme horrors into which our own or the world's ignorance, or the
vicissitudes of fortune may bring us. Nevertheless, whatever be our lot, it is
the great secret of our courage to know that the show and scheme of things is
not swirling about us in the wind of chance, but that our lives are rooted in
One who thoroughly understands us; and that, whatever betide the inner stuff
of our nature cannot dissolve away into dust, or our beings be brought to
extinction. Our belief in God's Fatherhood - so this is to say - does not
create the fact, but it makes the fact a power in our conscious thought, and
that is a mighty thing.
doctrine of Fatherhood in God is a doctrine of faith. It is a belief about
the interior mystery of the Infinite supported by much, and opposed by much,
in the experience of mankind. It is a belief about the universe, in behalf of
our human world, supported by all that is best in that world; it is fitted to
elevate, energize, gladden and console human beings; it is the belief that
generates and justifies all other high beliefs. If God is the Absolute
goodness and compassion, our human world is his concern, all righteousness has
his approval, all efforts at righteousness are followed by his sympathy, all
sin must reckon with his endless enmity, all penitence may count upon his
pity, all strivings at reform may be sure of his inspiration, all union in the
endeavour to cleanse the earth of moral evil may move in the tides of his
Spirit, all grief may find consolation in his infinite love, all loss may hope
to become, in the courses of the ages, eternal gain in Him. If Fatherhood in
God is the ultimate reality in the Infinite, as the Infinite is related to our
human world, that world is glorious with meaning and with hope."
is your own conception of the Fatherhood of God? How do we know that God
exists? How do we know that He is a Father in the sense described? How is his
Fatherhood to be reconciled with the evil and the suffering of the world? What
does belief in God's Fatherhood do for a man? Is such a belief required of a
Mason? In what way does Freemasonry teach the Fatherhood of God? What is
taught concerning this subject in the Old and the New Testaments?
Fatherhood of God is not anywhere explicitly taught by Freemasonry but it is
everywhere implied, so that the great doctrines peculiar to the Craft demand
it for their guarantor, and make inevitably toward it The Brotherhood of Man
could never come to pass if the peoples of the world were by their very nature
different from each other; it would be as impossible to bridge over such
chasms as it is now impossible to bring our race into an equal brotherhood
with beasts or trees.
also is it with Equality. It is impossible for us ever to be, as I have
already tried to show in this series, of the same fortune or ability, because
the conditions in which we necessarily live make for endless variety, and that
is of itself a kind of inequality: but there is a region beneath all such
differences in which we find ourselves at one. God is to the most ignorant
wretch all that a God can be, and does all things possible for him, so that in
such matters that wretch is the equal of prophets and kings.
hope of Democracy is linked up with the Fatherhood of God. "Always, a new idea
of man implies and involves a new conception of God. It was natural for the
men who bowed low when the glittering chariot of Caesar swept along the
streets of Rome to think of God as an omnipotent Emperor, ruling the world
with an arbitrary and irresponsible almightiness. For men who live in this
land of the free such a conception of God is a caricature. The citizens of a
republic do not believe that God is an infinite autocrat, nor do they bow down
to divine despotism; they worship in the presence of an Eternal Father, who is
always and everywhere accessible to the humblest man who lifts his heart in
prayer. Republican principles necessarily involve faith in the Fatherhood of
God. The logic of the American idea leads to faith in a Divine Love universal
and impartial, all encompassing and everlasting."
is meant by saying that the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God is everywhere
implied in Freemasonry? In what way does the Brotherhood of Man depend on the
Fatherhood of God? What is taught in the V.S.L. concerning the Brotherhood of
Man? What is meant by Equality? In what way does God's Fatherhood make all men
equal? What does the Declaration of Independence teach concerning Equality?
What does the V.S.L. have to say about Equality? What is meant by Democracy?
How is the Doctrine of Democracy related to the Doctrine of the Fatherhood of
God? Could Democracy exist among a people who worship a despotic God?
II, 1916. - Toleration, p. 265; Non-Christian Candidates, p. 302.
III, 1917. - The Chapter - What It Stands For, p. 85; The Spirit of Masonry,
p. 93; Masonic Jurisprudence, P. 211.
IV, 1918. - H.G. Wells' Conception of Deity, p. 63.
V, 1919. - California's Recognition of French Masonry, p. 11; Words and
Realities, p. 19; The Triangle, p. 45; Studies in Blue Lodge Symbolism, P.
VI, 1920. - The letter G, February C.C.B. p. 3; The Lost Word, May C.C.B. p.
VII, 1921. - The Fatherhood of God, p. 21; T.G.A.O.T.U., p. 169; God in
Prison, p. 192.
Mackey's Encyclopedia - (Revised Edition):
Atheist, p. 84; Deism, p. 204; Dispensations of Religion, p. 217; Equality, p.
247; Ethics of Freemasonry, p. 252; God, p. 301; Great Architect of the
Universe, p. 310; I.T.N.O.T.G.A.O.T.U., p. 3; Lost Word, p. 453; Scriptures,
Belief in the, p. 672; Theism, p. 782; Theurgy, p. 783; T.G.A.O.T.U., pp. 3
and 782; Unity of God, p. 816; Word, p. 856.
STUDY CLUB PLAN
Our Masonic Study Club
Course, of which the foregoing paper by Brother Haywood is a part, was begun
in THE BUILDER early in 1917. Previous to the beginning of the present series
on "Philosophical Masonry," or "The Teachings of Masonry," as we have titled
it, were published some forty-three papers covering in detail "Ceremonial
Masonry" and "Symbolical Masonry" under the following several divisions: "The
Work of a Lodge," "The Lodge and the Candidate," "First Steps," "Second
Steps," and "Third Steps." A complete set of these papers up to January 1st,
1922, are obtainable in the bound volumes of THE BUILDER for 1917, 1918, 1919,
1920 and 1921.
Following is an outline
of the subjects covered by the current series of study club papers by Brother
TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
The Masonic Conception of Human Nature.
The Idea of Truth in Freemasonry.
The Masonic Conception of Education.
Ritualism and Symbolism.
Initiation and Secrecy.
10. - Democracy.
11. - Masonry and
12. - The Brotherhood
13. - Freemasonry and
15. - The Fatherhood of
16. - Endless Life.
17. - Brotherly Aid.
18. - Schools of
This systematic course
of Masonic study
has been taken up and carried out in monthly and semi-monthly meetings of
lodges and study clubs all over the United States and Canada, and in several
instances in lodges overseas.
The course of study has
for its foundation two sources of Masonic information, THE BUILDER and
ORGANIZE AND CONDUCT STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
Study clubs may be
organized separate from the lodge, or as a part of the work of the lodge. In
the latter case the lodge should select a committee, preferably of three
"live" members who shall have charge of the study club meetings. The study
club meetings should be held at least once a month (excepting during July and
August, when the study club papers are discontinued in THE BUILDER), either at
a special communication of the lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular
communication at which no business (except the lodge routine) should be
transacted,all possible time to be devoted to study club purposes.
After the lodge has
been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the
lodge over to the chairman of the study club committee. The committee should
be fully prepared in advance on the subject to be discussed at the meeting.
All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned
should be prepared with their material, and should also have a comprehensive
grasp of Brother Haywood's paper by a previous reading and study of it.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
1. Reading of any
supplemental papers on the subject for the evening which may have been
prepared by brethren assigned such duties by the chairman of the study club
2. Reading of the first
section of Brother Haywood's paper.
3. Discussion of this
section, using the questions following this section to bring out points for
4. The subsequent
sections of the paper should then be taken up and disposed of in the same
5. Question Box. Invite
questions on any subject in Masonry, from any and all brethren present. Let
the brethren understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit
and enlightenment and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they
may be able to think of. If at the time these questions are propounded no one
can answer them, send them in to us and we will endeavor to supply answers to
them in time for your next study club meetmg.
information should enable study club committees to conduct their meetings
without difficulty. However, if we can be of assistance to such committees, or
any individual member of lodges and study clubs at any time such brethren are
invited to feel
communicate with us.
ARE TWO BROTHERS"
BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
me your hand:
are rich; I am poor:
wealth is your power, and by it you tread
open path: where for me is a door
is locked: and before it are worry and dread.
sundered, are we,
men can be
are two brothers in Freemasonry
give me your hand.
me your hand:
are great: I'm unknown:
travel abroad with a permanent fame;
on a way unlauded, alone,
hardly a man to hear of my name:
sundered, are we,
men can be,
are two brothers in Freemasonry
give me your hand.
me your hand:
are old; I am young;
years in your heart their wisdom have sown;
knowledge speaks not by my faltering tongue
small is the wisdom I claim as my own:
sundered, are we,
men can be,
are two brothers in Freemasonry
give me your hand.
GOVERNMENT NOT AN EXPERIMENT
IN THESE days when
every reformer, small and large, runs hither and yon with all manner of
schemes for changing our government: when the air is full of criticism of the
work that our forefathers did when they constructed the Constitution and
started the machinery to going; and when the Reds are driving against its very
existence with all their might, it is wise for us to recall the fact that the
political system of the United States did not come into existence as an
experiment: neither was it devised merely in order to prove the truth of some
political theory. Our nation grew up out of the sod like some natural thing,
and its mechanism was designed to perform very practical services. The kind of
democracy built into the Constitution was not a brand new thing on this
continent: the Colonists had had experience of it for more than a century,
save in regard to some political phases of it. Colonial economic conditions of
the new country had made that kind of democracy inevitable. And the kind of
nation ours was, and was designed to be, made it necessary to build just such
a governmental system in order to serve the useful functions of self defense,
maintenance of order, and the successful carrying on of interstate and
international affairs. The fathers were not a set of visionaries dreaming of
some Utopia, though it is true that they had a strain of Utopianism in them:
they were men of affairs (Professor Beard has shown that they were men of
affairs in our present day sense of that phrase) who had before them certain
very practical conditions to meet, and who met them with common sense and
Your typical Red is a
man sworn to a theory. He has in some abstract manner thought out what he
would consider to be an ideal commonwealth, and he bes lieves that a
government should be in harmony with such an abstract scheme. He says to
himself: "We profess to be a democracy. In a real democracy there would be no
classes; there would be no poverty, there would be no clique of politicians
running the national capital; there would be no panics, no unemployment, no
child labor, no exploitation of the masses by the capitalists; and all men,
women, and children would enjoy a full measure of equality." "But in our land
it is not so," he goes onto say; "we have political, social and economic
classes, just as they have in the old world; a cabal of politicians runs
Washington; the cities fester with slums; the south is full of child labor;
millions are unemployed, etc., etc. This is therefore not a democracy,
consequently the government is a failure, and therefore we should destroy the
government we have and put a new one in its place."
The fallacy that
vitiates the arguments of this amiable person is found in his premise. He
says, "a democracy should be so and so" and then he finds fault with the
actual nation for not harmonizing with that picture. Successful governments
are not, never have been, and never will be, built in such wise. A group of
people live in a certain land; this land has certain geographical
peculiarities of its own; these people are of such and such a race and have a
certain bent of mind; they are in such and such a relation with neighboring
people: when these people come to devise a government they must make it out of
such materials as they have, and shape it to such uses as they are in need of.
The institution conforms to the way things really are with that people and not
to a picture imagined in the brain of some Utopian.
This is not to connive
in political chicanery or to exculpate those who are guilty of social and
political corruption: far from it, and quite the contrary. It is merely a
statement about realities. And as for that, it seems self-evident that
political corruption will not be abated, child labor will not be extirpated,
slums will not be cleansed, and wars will not be made to cease by pulling
everything up by the roots, destroying the governmental machinery that we now
have, and bringing chaos upon us. The very persons for whose sake the reformer
is most worried would be the first to suffer from such a regime. The man who
is a real friend of the people will not bring down upon the head of that
people their own government in ruins.
If political and social
affairs in our land were universally corrupt, if our machinery were generally
inadequate, and if it were utterly hopeless to expect any relief from a more
thoroughgoing use of the present governmental system, then a revolution might
be necessary. But such is far from the case in this land. The government
provided for by our Constitution is infinitely susceptible to popular control,
and quite capable, if the citizenship will properly use it, of securing for us
all the fullest possible measure of democracy, equality, and social justice.
Every day during the
last five years an average of 2,173 persons joined the various churches of
America, and three congregations were organized daily.
The total religious
constituency of the country is 95,868,096. The Protestants count 74,795,226;
Roman Catholics, 17,885,846; Jews, 1,120,000; Eastern Orthodox (Greek and
Russian), 411,054; Latter Day Saints (Mormons), 1,646,170.
The total active
membership is 45,997,199, an increase of 4,070,345 over the 1916 census
figures. The several religious bodies report 233,104 congregations manned by
200,090 ministers. For the first time in history the Baptists have passed the
Methodists in total membership. The Baptists, showing their greatest increase
in the south, now have 7,835,250 members, against a Methodist membership of
7,797,991. - Capital News Service.
“Essentials of Americanization," by Professor Emory S. Bogardus, Ph. D., Head
of Department of Sociology, University of Southern California. Published by
the University of Southern California Press, Los Angeles, California, Second
Revised Edition, December 1920. Price $2.00.
AS LONG as the great
mass of immigration to this nation was composed largely of Europeans similar
in breeding, culture, and political faith to native-born Americans the
immigration problem was very largely a mere question of accommodation; the
newcomers were found places and given jobs. But after the cessation, or near
cessation, of that type of incomers, there began a new immigration composed of
Southeastern Europeans and Asiatics, as alien in breed and political ideals as
they were in language. How to Americanize the Bohemian, the Pole, the
Hungarian, the Hindu and the Jap, that is not the same problem as that which
confronted our grandfathers in the days when the majority of aliens were from
Ireland, Germany and Holland. It is a different problem, and more difficult.
The perfervid patriot -
may his tribe increase, too often leaps to the conclusion that all these
outlanders must at once be assimilated to us in every particular. They must
read and write English; they must not resort to colonies in order to maintain
their old world customs; they must steep themselves in our native social life;
they must not be permitted to maintain their own newspapers and churches. But
the efforts to jam the immigrant into this process usually end in worse than
failure, for your immigrant is as human as ourselves, and cannot any faster
change his own skin. The perfervid patriot might, if he were to consider the
matter more closely, come to believe it something of a gain for us to have
these exotic elements of culture in our midst; they help to enrich American
life. He would at least cease to demand the impossible of the immigrant, for
we should either not permit the immigrant to come at all, or we should cease
demanding him to do the unhuman and impossible thing of making over his own
nature to fit a new pattern.
not demand such an impossible thing. What it does demand, however, is that,
once here, the immigrant shall as soon as possible get himself geared up to
the economic and political machinery of the nation so that he can function as
smoothly in those connections as the native-born. The immigrant must be made
to obey the laws, give a day's work for a day's pay, keep the peace, and stand
ready to do his public duty like all other citizens. Merely because he is a
stranger he is not entitled to immunity from any of these duties. If he will
not learn how to make these simple and elementary adjustments he must be
taught how; if he cannot be taught how, he must be removed from the land. To
preserve in our midst great colonies of men and women for whom separate laws
must be maintained, and separate moral codes, that is intolerable.
But it has come to pass
in these last days that a still different task confronts the Americanizer,
and, it may be, an even more difficult task. There have grown up in our midst
groups of citizens who demand, not a mere modification or improvement of this
or that in the American system, but a complete destruction of that system in
behalf of something entirely different. These men and women have ceased either
to understand or to believe the ideals and principles of America. How to
convert them, or re-convert them, to the American program is a task for
All such matters have a
peculiar interest for us Masons. From the beginning, yes even before the
American nation had as yet any beginning at all, it has been apparent to all
that the principles of the new nation and the principles of our ancient
Fraternty are almost identical, and that the governmental system, a democracy
in the form of a republic, adopted by the founders of the United States, is
essentially the same as that which has for centuries obtained in Freemasonry.
Masons are per se upholders of the American system. They helped to create it;
they continue to believe in it; and they always will. It would be in keeping
with the nature of things if lodges the country over were to fall into step
with the Americanization movement, as the Masonic Service Association is
doing, and other organized efforts besides, and devote something of their
activity to making Americans out of Americans. If they do so they will find
waiting to their hand an excellent text-book for their study, "Essentials of
Americanization" by Professor Emory Bogardus, of the University of Southern
began with making the whole field of Sociology his own; gradually, and led by
a keen sense for the practical, he came to specialize in Americanization,
which naturally falls inside the scope of general sociology. As an authority
on Americanization Professor Bogardus has built up a solid reputation on the
west coast, and he is gradually winning a similar recognition among
sociologists in the east. He is the author of an "Introduction to Sociology"
and to "Essentials of Social Psychology" the latter of which is one of the
pioneer works in its own department. Of these three volumes it is possible
that the "Essentials of Americanization" is the most widely useful.
Professor Bogardus has
crowded a great mass of matter into 375 pages. In his Part I he has five
chapters on "Americanization and American Ideals"; in Part II, five chapters
on "The Native-Born and American Ideals"; in Part III, six chapters on "The
Foreign-Born and American Ideals," and in Part IV, five chapters on "Methods
of Americanization." In Appendix A - this would be most valuable to M.S.A.
speakers, are collected a number of interpretations of Americanism by
illustrious Americans from John Smith to Woodrow Wilson. Appendix B consists
of a most exhaustive bibliography - it would be next to impossible to make it
more complete - covering every imaginable phase of the subject as it has been
treated in magazines and books, all of which are accessible to the American
student. An index makes all the condensed matter of the volume instantly
available. Professor Bogardus, as one will discover upon reading his article
that appears elsewhere in this issue, has no hobbies to ride, or theories to
propose; his standpoint is that of common sense and knowledge, than which
nothing can be safer.
* * *
MASONRY AND THE FOUNDING OF AMERICA
"Masons as Makers of America," by Madison C. Peters. Fourth revised edition,
published by the Trowel Publications, Yonkers, New York, 1921. Copies may be
had through the N.M.R.S. at $1.00, postpaid.
When the late Rev.
Madison C. Peters first published his "Masons as Makers of America" in 1917 he
struck a popular chord that gave his little volume of some fifty pages an
instant success. Many copies were sold. Two more editions were called for
before the author's death and now, in 1921, a fourth edition is placed on the
market by the Trowel Publications. It has been edited by Louis H. Perocheau,
of New York, N. Y.
It is easy to
understand why this work has made its way everywhere. It gives in simple
understandable language a rapid account of the part played by Masonry during
the Revolutionary War, and in the organization of our Federal Government: it
tells who were Masons in those stirring days; and what part Masonry took in
the great drama. Chapter I sets forth an account of President Washington, his
Masonic connections and activities. Chapter II covers the part taken by Masons
in the Continental Congress. Chapter III furnishes a list of Washington's
"Masonic Major-Generals"; while chapter IV follows closely with a similar
account of "Washington's Brigadier Generals." In chapter V is given a list of
"Masons as Organizers of our Government"; and in an appendix is given "A
Masonic Anecdote of the Revolutionary War.''
The first editions of
this little book were met by many criticisms concerning matters of fact; it
was found that in certain of his statements the author was wide of the mark,
and many other statements were based on hearsay, and often very doubtful
hearsay at that: but such a thing was inevitable in the nature of things,
because the early records are pitiably incomplete, and in many cases, where
exact records still exist, it is next to impossible to get at them, as many
Masonic writers know only too well. Considering the conditions under which he
did his work, and the fact that he was carving out a new path, Brother Peters
did not go any wider from the mark than most others would have done under
But in this last
edition, which has naturally profited much by the criticisms of the former
editions, and which has had the advantage of subsequent research, there are
some statements that must be received with caution. For example, page 16
contains the statement that though it is now impossible to name the Masons
among the signers of the Declaration of Independence, "it is, however, safe to
say that upwards of fifty were Masons." If by "safe to say" the editor means
that such a figure is not a wild guess, he is in bounds; but if he means that
there is tangible evidence to support the statement, a reader may safely
doubt. Nobody will ever know how many of the signers were Masons. Also, we may
read on page 26 that Lafayette was made a Mason by Washington himself at
Morristown, N.J. As a matter of fact it is not yet known with certainty where
Lafayette was made a Mason. Brother George W. Baird, with whom it is dangerous
to disagree in this field, says that Lafayette was made a Mason at Valley
Forge. In such a work as "Masons as Makers of America" it would seem wise to
give the various accounts, rather than to leave the reader with the impression
that the version furnished is to be taken as it stands. On page 47 it is
asserted that of the fifty-five members of the Constitutional Convention "at
least fifty were Masons." This is almost certainly an exaggeration. Such
cracks in the wall, however, do not seriously endanger the building. The
reader who bears in mind how difficult it is to get at the facts in the
premises, and who exercises reasonable caution, will not be led astray. The
publishers themselves are first to warn readers against these dangers, as we
may read in the Preface:
"This book in its
fourth revised edition is still incomplete. It is the publisher's desire to
carry on the work of the late Rev. Madison C. Peters. With that end in view
criticisms, corrections, suggestions and additional information are invited
for later editions. Particular care has been taken not to overstate the facts.
All statements are made in good faith, based upon the best information
available by wide reading, voluminous correspondence, and research among the
oldest records of Masonic labors in America."
To my own mind the most
curious oversight in this outlay of data is the total omission of the
prominent part played by Jewish Masons in the Revolution, and in the founding
of the nation. If the publishers wish for "additional information for later
editions" let them turn to "The Jews and Masonry in the U.S. Before 1810," by
Samuel Oppenheim, and published among the Publications of the Jewish
Historical Society as No. 19, for 1910. To ignore the Masonic financiers of
the Revolution is like leaving Hamlet out of the play.
Also - and may this be
printed in red - it is to be hoped that the next edition will be furnished
with an index. A book made up of bare facts, names, and dates is next to
useless without some guide wherewith to locate such a fact as one is in search
The value of such a
work as this for the careful Masonic student, especially if he be a beginner
in the trade, lies in the fact that it is a trestle board on which is already
laid out a fascinating field for research. The student does not need to begin
at the beginning; his paths are cut for him, and the list of names is
furnished. He can take his point of departure from each name supplied by these
pages and carry his own researches as far afield as he wishes. Some of these
days, it may be hoped, a competent Masonic scholar will furnish us with a
complete and detailed history of the Fraternity's role in the making of
America. To such a work as that the present little book would be as a table of
contents to a thick volume, but even so, and even as things now are, it is of
value, and is to be "well recommended."
* * *
INFORMATION ABOUT THE STARS AND STRIPER
Flag and Our Songs," compiled and illustrated by H.A. Ogden. Published by
Edward J. Clode, 156 Fifth Ave., New York, N. Y. Price sixty cents.
Dramatic Story of Old Glory," by Samuel Abbott, with a Foreword by James M.
Beck. Published by Boni and Liveright, 105 West 40th St., New York, N. Y.
Mr. Ogden's "Our Flag
and Our Songs" contains sixty-nine pages, pleases the eye with its clear print
and its excellent designs, and there are many things crowded into it. There is
a graphic chart of the stars showing all the states for which they stand and
the order and date of the admittance of these states to the Union; there is a
brief sketch of the history of the flag; a chapter on flag etiquette; cuts of
all the various insignia of the army and navy with explanations of each; and
all the familiar patriotic songs (without music) from Yankee Doodle to Dixie;
along with some interesting historical notes, and similar items of
"The Dramatic Story of
Old Glory" is, as its accurate title indicates, a richly-colored description
of the flag's own history, than which, if it be set against the background of
our national beginnings, nothing could be more romantic. "This book," as the
author himself described it, "is concerned wholly with the history of the Flag
of the United States from the days of its existence as the national ensign of
an infant state confined to a narrow fringe of sea-board backed by a rampart
of hills, to the hours of a mighty people whose gates are on two oceans and
whose will for liberty has been impressed upon the world.... It is curious
that, while the record of our Flag is one of the thrilling, dramatic episodes,
no writer has grasped the idea of a book that would give these episodes in
their true light, not exaggerated, and linked together in a running
narrative.... The reader will find matter in 'The Dramatic Story of Old Glory'
that has not hitherto been given in any history of the Flag. The explanation
of Trumbull's errors in his famous paintings; the complete account and the
significance, of the raising of Old Glory over Fort Stanwix; the proof of the
Flag's being unfurled over the camp of the Continental Army on the eve of the
battle of the Brandvwine: the interesting theory as to Benjamin Franklin's
being the originator of the Stars and Stripes; the grandly romantic drama of
the Flag through the Civil War; and the story of Old Glory at the front in
France at the close of the late war; all this is new and important material."
To a Mason one of the
most interesting chapters of the book sets forth the theory that Brother
Benjamin Franklin conceived of the first design of the Stars and Stripes. Many
pages are devoted to Brother Paul Jones to whom the flag was a religion; and
there is a critical study of the Betsy Ross tradition that leaves very little
standing of that story. Pages and pages are filled up with narratives of
famous flag episodes of the great wars, from 1777 to 1918. There is a good
chapter on "Patriotism and the Flag," and the book concludes with a chapter on
the uses of the Flag in the school house.
To the sophisticated
Mr. Abbott's style will seem overcolored and overwrought, after the fashion of
a perspiring Fourth of July oration, but even so there is much leniency to be
shown a man in these days who grows enthusiastic about our government. It has
become the habit to make sport of Washington, D.C., and to grow sarcastic
about the old hopes and ideals of our land; but it would appear to some who
are not without brains or discernment that this prevalent habit of constant
heckling and faultfinding has gone as far as is necessary. After all, the
United States as a nation is not an experiment but an accomplished fact, so
that at present writing we have actually accomplished the feat of becoming a
teeming, prosperous, intelligent people living at peace among our forty-eight
states, and, all our failings to the contrary notwithstanding, destined to a
yet greater future, all of the which is not a thing at which any mall this
side of insanity can possibly sneer.
PUBLICATIONS WANTED, FOR SALE, AND EXCHANGE
We are constantly
receiving inquiries from readers as to where they may obtain publications on
Freemasonry and kindred subjects not offered in our Monthly Book List. Most of
the books thus sought are out of print, but it may happen that other readers,
owning copies, may be willing to dispose of the same. Therefore this column is
set aside each month for such a service. And it is also hoped - and expected -
that readers possessing very old or rare Masonic works will communicate the
fact to THE BUILDER in behalf of general information.
are here given in order that those buying and selling may communicate directly
with each other. Brethren are asked to cancel notices as soon as their wants
In no case does THE
BUILDER assume any responsibility whatsoever for publications thus bought,
sold, exchanged or borrowed.
By Bro. D. D.
Berolzheimer, 1 Madison Ave., New York, N. Y.: "Realities of Masonry," Blake,
1879; "Records of the Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons," Condor, 1894;
"Masonic Bibliography," Carson, 1873; "Origin of Freemasonry," Paine, 1811.
By Bro. G. Alfred
Lawrence, 142 West 86th St., New York, N. Y.: Proceedings of the Scottish Rite
Body founded by Joseph Cerneau in New York City in 1808, of which De Witt
Clinton was the first Grand Commander, and which body became united, in 1867,
with the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, A. & A. S. R.
Also Proceedings of the Supreme Council founded in New York by De La Motta, in
1813, by authority of the Southern Supreme Council, of which he was Grand
Treasurer-General, these Proceedings from 1813 to 1860.
By Bro. Frank R.
Johnson, 306 East 10th St., Kansas City, Mo.: "The Year Book," published by
the Masonic Constellations, containing the History of the Grand Council, R. &
S. M., of Missouri.
By Brother Silas H.
Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin: "Catalogue of the Masonic Library of Samuel
Lawrence"; "Second Edition of Preston's Illustrations of Masonry"; "The Source
of Measures," by J. Ralston Skinner 1875, or second edition 1894; "Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum," volumes I to XI inclusive.
By Bro. Ernest E. Ford,
305 South Wilson Avenue, Alhambra, California: "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum,"
volumes 3 and 7, with St. John's Cards, also St. John's Cards for volumes 4
and 5; "Masonic Review," volumes 1, 2, 7, 31, 32 and 43 to 50, inclusive;
voice of Masonry," volumes 2 to 12 inclusive, and volume 15; Transactions
Supreme Council Southern Jurisdiction for the years 1882 and 1886; Original
Proceedings of The General Grand Encampment Knights Templar for the years 1826
By Bro. George A.
Lanzarotti, Casilla 126, Rancagua, Chile: All kinds of Masonic literature in
Spanish. Write first quoting prices.
By Brother L. Rask, 14
Alvey St., Schenectady, N. Y.: "Remarks upon Alchemy and the Alchemists," by
E. A. Hitchcock, Janesville, N. Y., about 1865; "The Secret Societies of all
Ages and Countries," by C. W. Heckethorn; "Lost Language of Symbolism," by
Harold Bayley, published by Lippincott; "Sacred Hermeneutics," by Davidson,
Edinburgh, 1848; "Solar System of the Ancients Discovered," by J. Wilson,
published by Longmans Co., London, 1856; "The Alphabet," by Isaac Taylor,
Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1883, or the edition of 1899 published by Scribners,
New York; "Anacalypsis," by Godfrey Higgins, 1836 published by Longmans, Green
& Co., London; "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum," any volume or volumes.
By Brother N. W. J.
Haydon, 664 Pape Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: "The Beautiful Necessity,"
and "Architecture and Democracy," by Claude Bragdon.
By the National Masonic
Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa: "Discourses upon Architecture," by Dallaway,
published in 1833; any or all volumes of "The American Freemasons' Magazine,"
published by J. F. Brennan, about 1860.
By Brother A. A.
Burnand, 690 South Bronson Ave., Los Angeles, California: Various Masonic
publications including such as a complete set of "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum";
"History of Freemasonry in Scotland," by D. Murray Lyon, (original edition);
Thomas Dunckerley, Laurence Dermott, etc.
By Brother Frank R.
Johnson, 306 East 10th St.,
Kansas City, Mo.: "History of Freemasonry," Mitchell, 2 volumes, sheep;
"History of Freemasonry," Robert Freke Gould, 4 volumes, cloth in good
condition; "History of Freemasonry," Albert G. Mackey, 7 volumes, linen cloth,
new; Addison's "Knights Templar," Macoy, 1 volume, cloth; "Museum of
Antiquity," Yaggy, 1 volume, morocco; "History and Cyclopedia of Freemasonry,"
Macoy and Oliver, new, full morocco. Also miscellaneous books.
THE BUILDER is an open
forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under
his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity
of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as
such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against
another, but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction,
leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and
Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at all times.
Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our
members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are
following our Study Club course. When requested, questions will be answered
promptly by mail before publication in this department.
ON THE BALDWYN ENCAMPMENT
Will Brother S.C.
Warner of Colorado give us some light on the Baldwyn Encampment?" E. C., Ohio.
We are somewhat in
doubt whether the brother really wishes "light" on the subject, or whether he
desires to provoke a discussion upon the statement made by us in our 1921
address to the Grand Commandery of Colorado, a portion of which was recently
published in THE BUILDER, that modern Templarism is not the lineal descendant
of the Ancient Order.
If the former, we would
answer that the Baldwyn Encampment was located at Bristol, England, and
the Ancient Order, as having been established from "time immemorial." It is
included in our article among the encampments formed in England during the
middle part of the eighteenth century, and according to Hughan, the first
authentic records of its conferring the Order must have been after 1769. Its
claims to succession, antiquity, and exclusive authority were well set forth
by Brother David W. Nash, a prominent frater of the Encampment, just prior to
1860, when it surrendered its independence and was recognized as a constituent
by the Grand Conclave of England and Wales. Its history, its claims, and its
position in the Order have been fully considered by nearly every prominent
English Masonic historian, and very many interesting articles regarding it
appear in the different volumes of "The Transactions of the Lodge Quatuor
Coronati," to which we would refer Brother Coblentz for further information on
If, on the other hand,
he wishes to enter into a discussion with us, we respectfully decline. We in
our address expressly repudiated any knowledge or personal research upon the
subject, and are quite willing to accept the conclusion of English authorities
that the claims of Baldwyn Encampment are so nebulous and inconclusive as not
to warrant their admission. Some of its apologists even go via France to
Canada for authority as to its genuineness and antiquity. There is ample
warrant for the statement that H.R.H. the Duke of Essex, who was elected its
Grand Master in 1812, took no interest in the Encampment, and never
communicated with it during the twenty-four years he was its nominal head.
We do not know, but are
inclined in this as in many other of the extravagant assertions regarding
Masonry, to claim relationship with Missouri. The burden of proof is surely
not on us. S.C. Warner, Colorado.
* * *
The more important
articles on the Knights Templar in the Transactions of the Lodge Quatuor
Coronati to which Brother Warner refers in his reply will be found as follows:
On the Origin and
Progress of Chivalric Masonry in the British Isles, XIII, page 156.
The Reception of a
Templar, XV, page 163.
Origin of the Knights
Templar in the United Kingdom XVIII, page 91.
Knights Templar, XV1,
The Early Grand
Encampment of Ireland, XXIV, page 68.
Transmissionis" of Larmenius, XXIV, page 186; XXV, page 69.
On the Templars and
Gnosticism, XXIV, page 216.
The Earliest Baldwyn
Knight Templar Certificate, XXIV, page 285.
Introduction of Enight
Templarism into the United States, XXVI, pages 57, 146, 221.
Order of the Temple,
XI, page 97.
The Templar Movement in
Masonry, XII, page 178.
Order of the Temple at
York, XIII, page 119.
The Chivalric Orders,
XIV, page 56.
The Very Ancient
Clermont Chapter, XVII, page 84.
Hospitallaria, XVII, page 204; XIX, page 73; XX, page 156.
Knights of Jerusalem,
XIX, page 137.
The Charge of
Gnosticism Brought Against the Freemasons and Templars, XIX, page 209.
Proceedings Against the
Templars in France and England: part one XX, page 47; part two, page 112; part
three, page 269.
Templar Legends in
Freemasonry, XXVI, page 45.
* * *
write to inquire what is a pavior-mason?
A pavior-mason is one
who lays floors and pavements. In medieval times he was an important member of
the Mason guild and, like his brethren in other branches of the Craft, had a
penchant for symbolism. Often he would work designs and emblems into the
borders, a favorite device being something to represent the great age of the
earth, of which the floor itself was deemed a symbol. Holbein, who was himself
no mean symbolist, caught this spirit in his famous painting of the
"Ambassadors" wherein the figures are made to stand on a Mosaic pavement in
which is an inscription to give computation of the world's existence -
"containing a discourse of the world's continuance," as one old interpreter
quaintly puts it. The whole subject is one that calls loudly for
investigation, especially by those students who are interested in the Masonic
symbolism of the Mosaic pavement and the tessellated border. For a beginning
one may consult chapter fifteen of "Westminster Abbey and Craftsmen" by W.R.
Lethaby. See also any good Cyclopedia of Architecture, a thing that should be
in every Masonic library. In histories of architecture, architectural
encyclopaedias, etc., one will frequently find mosaic work listed as "cosmati"
* * *
MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETIES IN ENGLAND
A lodge literary
committee of which I am secretary has asked me to communicate with research
lodges and societies in England. Will you kindly furnish name of same, with
secretaries and addresses? D.L.M., Illinois.
For the list given in
response to your question we are indebted to Brother Herbert F. Whyman, whose
address is given in connection with his name as secretary of Mid Kent Masters.
Please notify THE BUILDER of any omissions or errors.
* * *
Lodge of Fortitude No.
64; meets at Queen's Hotel, Manchester; founded 1739; Secretary, C.D. Cheetham,
care R. Verney Clayton, Esq., 2, Cooper St., Manchester.
"Quatuor Coronati" No.
2076; meets at Freemasons Hall, London; founded 1884; Secretary, W.J.
Songhurst, Esq., 27, Great Queen St., London W.C. 2.
Leicester Lodge of
Research No. 2429; meets at Freemasons Hall, Leicester; founded 1892;
Secretary, H. J. Grace, Esq., Enderby, Nr. Leicester.
Masters No. 2494; meets at Freemasons Hall, Hull; founded 1893; Secretary, J.
G. Wallis, Esq., 33, Albion St., Hull.
Foster Gough Lodge No.
2706; meets at Swan Hotel, Stafford; founded 1898; Secretary, J. Jackson,
Esq., The "Hawthorns," Weston Road, Stafford.
Jubilee Masters No.
2712; meets at Hotel Cecil, London; founded 1898; Secretary, J. E. E. Studd,
Esq., O. B. E., 67, Harley St., London, W. 1.
Mid Kent Masters No.
3173; meets at Freemasons Hall, Chatham; founded 1906; Secretary, H. F. Whyman,
Esq., "Hill Crest," Maidstone Road, Chatham.
Salford Ionic Lodge No.
3248; meets at Freemasons Hall, Salford; founded 1907; Secretary, A. W.
Sidebottom, Esq., 16, King St., W., Manchester.
Hendre Lodge No. 3260;
meets at Freemasons Hall Cardiff; founded 1907; Secretary, T. C. Francis,
Esq., 36 Clife Place, Penarth.
Essex Masters No. 3266;
meets at Freemasons Hall, Colchester; founded 1907; Secretary, H. A. Jager,
Esq., 6, Upper East Smithfield, London, E. 1.
No. 3306; meets at Freemasons Hall, Aylesbury; founded 190S; Secretary,
Herbert E. Langridge, Esq., 8, Cecil Mansions, Balham, London, S. W. 17.
Cornish Masters No.
3324; meets at Freemasons Hall, Truro; founded 1908; Secretary, T. A. Webber,
Esq., Trewethem Gyllyngvase Falmouth.
Dorset Masters No.
3366; meets at Freemasons Hall, Dorchester; founded 1909; Secretary, F. G.
Hawes, Esq., Courthope Poole, Dorset.
Middlesex Masters No.
3420; meets at Freemasons Eall, London; founded 1909; Secretary, T. Howell
Evans, Esq., 26 Berkeley Square, London, W. 1.
Norths and Hunts
Masters No. 3422; meets at Freemasons Hall, Northampton; founded 1909;
Secretary, G. H. Nelson, Esq., "The Berries," Holly Road, Northampton.
Authors' Lodge No.
3456; meets at Cafe Monico, London; founded 1910; Secretary, Algernon Rose,
Esq., 2, Whitehall Court, London, S. W. 1.
No. 3477; meets at Freemasons Hall, Newcastle-on-Tyne; founded 1910;
Secretary, G. M. Clark, Esq., Oakwood Hexham, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
Notts Installed Masters
No. 3696; meets at Freemasons Hall, Nottingham; founded 1912; Secretary, P. H.
Kettley, Esq., Rudloe Red Cliff Road, Nottingham.
Sussex Masters No.
3672; meets at Royal Pavilion, Brighton; founded 1913; Secretary, F. F.
London, Esq., 66, London Road, Brighton.
Berkshire Masters No.
3684; meets at Freemasons Hall, Reading; founded 1913; Secretary, E. O. Farrer,
Esq., "The Knowle," Tilehurst-on-Thames, Reading.
Lord Raglan Lodge No.
3685; meets at Freemasons Hall, Douglas, Isle of Man; founded 1913; Secretary,
A. J. Parkes, Esq., Tromode, Douglas, Isle of Man.
Dean Leigh Lodge No.
3687; meets at College Hall, Hereford; founded 1913; Secretary, Wm. Parlby,
Esq., Castle Cliffe, Hereford.
Somerset Masters No.
3746; meets at Freemasons Hall, Bath; founded 1915; Secretary, Geo. Norman,
Esq., 12, Brock Street, Bath.
East Lancashire P. G.
Officers Lodge No. 3747; meets at Midland Hotel, Manchester; founded 1915;
Secretary, E. B. Beesley, Esq., St. Ann's Passage, King Street, Manchester.
Fratres Calami Lodge
No. 3791; meets at Hotel Cecil, London; founded 1917; Secretary, Rev. C. E.
Roberts, M. A., The Chilterns, Halter, N. Aylesbury.
Norfolk Masters No.
3905; meets at Freemasons Hall, Norwich; founded 1919; Secretary, Dr. H. C.
Pattin, King Street House, Norwich.
Suffolk Masters No.
3913; meets at Freemasons Hall, Ipswich; founded 1919; Secretary, T. Hunt,
Esq., Obe 102, Christchurch St., Ipswich.
East Kent Masters No.
S930; meets at Freemasons Hall, Canterbury; founded 1919; Secretary, J. G.
Sandiford, Esq., 2, Gordon Road. Canterbury.
No. 4090; meets at Town Hall, St. Albans; founded 1920; Secretary, Dr. J. H.
Gilbritson, Esq., Hitchin.
It is worth while to
note that of the twenty-nine organizations here listed twenty-five have been
in existence for seven years or more, some of them for a quarter of a century,
thus showing that a research group, if it be well founded and properly
managed, can last as long as any other association of men. The reader who
chances to own the bound volume of THE BUILDER for 1918 should turn to page 24
and read Brother Joseph Fort Newton's article about "Fratres Calasni,"
twenty-fifth in the above list.
* * *
FREEMASONRY A RELIGION?
My study club was
recently engaged in a long discussion over the question, "Is Freemasonry a
religion?" some arguing it is and many it isn't, and I was asked to present
the question through THE BUILDER to see what members of the Society might
think about it. L.D.S., New York.
It is an interesting
question, certain aspects of which were pretty well ventilated in THE BUILDER
for September. Meanwhile here is a letter from The Masonic Record, a very
beautiful Masonic monthly published in London, which contains some good sense:
it appeared in the issue for June, 1922, page 698:
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Dear Sir and Brother:
There has been much in the "Masonic Record" on the question as to whether
Masonry is a religion. May I, as a Brother and a Clergyman, call attention to
a point that seems to have been overlooked? Surely religion is of such a
nature that it is impossible for any man to have two religions at the same
time. If we assert that Masonry is a religion, we are asserting that this is
not impossible. Every religion teaches morality, but morality is not religion.
Would it not be better to drop the claim that Masonry is a religion, and to
recogruze that Masonry and religion are mutually helpful? A man who is a
worthy member of whatever religion he professes will be a better Mason for it;
and a good Mason will also be an ornament to whatever religion he belongs to
because he is a good Mason.
A. J. DEXTER, Secretary, Albert Edward Lodge. 1557.
* * *
ORVILLE WRIGHT AND JOHN H. PATTERSON
I write to ask if
Orville Wright and John H. Patterson, the two famous Dayton, Ohio, men were
Masons. Thank you.
Orville Wright who,
with his brother, built the first successful aeroplane, is not a Mason, and
neither was his brother Wilbur, now deceased. John H. Patterson, late
President of the National Cash Register Company, was a Mason. His funeral
services were partly in charge of the Scottish Rite bodies, of which he had
been a very enthusiastic member.
* * *
OF MASONRY AMONG INDIANS OF NORTH AMERICA
In a book I was reading
recently, I found what led me to believe that the American Indians possessed
Masonry. I read where places had been unearthed showing what had apparently
been lodge rooms. The east, west, and south had been occupied by persons of
rank, but the north was vacant. I also read of graves being found, "dug due
east and west" and crude implements found on the bodies. This has aroused my
Can you give me more
information of an authentic nature? If the American Indians did possess
Masonry, where did they obtain it? Kindly give me further light on this
subject in the Question Box of THE BUILDER. H.B.B., Massachusetts.
I believe that certain
of our North American Indian tribes had, and still do maintain, a society or
societies which are remarkably close to our own: and that these societies
undoubtedly originated before the commg of white colonists to America.
Among the Cree,
Ojibway, Potawatomi, Menomini, Sauk, Winnebago, Iowa, Oto, and the bands of
Sioux or Dakota Indians comprised under the name of Santee Sioux, who formerly
inhabited the state of Minnesota westward into South Dakota, there exists
today a society called in the language of the first five by some variant of
the title Midewiwh; and among the last four tribes by a name which means
The society is found in
its purest form among the Menomini, Ojibway, and Potawatomi, and was formerly
well known to the Cree, Sauk, and perhaps to the Ottawa, Miami, Peoria, and
other Central Western tribes of the Algonkian stock. Among those speaking
dialects of the Siouan tongue, such as the Winnebago, Iowa, Oto, and Santee,
it is more divergent, and a scarcely recogmzable form is found among the Omaha
The writer being most
familiar with the Menomini form of the ceremonies as practiced on the
reservation of that tribe in north central Wisconsin, where he has often been
present during the performance of the rites, and has obtained the ritual,
etc., in full, will herewith give a brief account of the ceremony and its
origin, as related by his instructors in its mysteries.
The society, which is
called in Menomini the "Mitawin," is considered to antedate the origin of
mankind, having been secured as a gift of the gods to humanity through the
auspices of the mythical hero demigod Ma’nabus (The Great Dawn, son of the
four winds of heaven and grandson of our Grandmother the Earth), who forced
the various manitous subordinate to the Great Spirit to yield to him their
secret knowledge of the healing roots and herbs, and the means of attaining
immortality by successfully negotiating the passage from this world to the
In order to obtain this
knowledge the Ancient Master had to submit himself to be slain, and was then
brought to life once more, in full possession of the mysteries which he
afterwards transferred to mankind in the same manner. These rites have been
carefully preserved and observed to this day.
The manner of
initiating the candidate is as follows: After a long course of preparatory
instruction, when the final day arrives, a lodge is erected, oblong in shape
and oriented east and west. The final preparation of the candidate is
completed in a room formed by curtaining off one end of the lodge. When all is
in readiness, he enters the lodge, and in imitation of the ancient Master,
whom he as the candidate now represents, he is placed in the western end of
the lodge, facing the east. While in this position, he is successively
attacked by four men, bearing bags formed of the skins of animals in their
hands (usually otterskins are used, because of certain mythical episodes in
the story of the founding of the lodge, in which the otter figures). These
bags contain certain medicines and charms, including a sacred shell, which is
imbued with the essence of all. As each approaches the candidate he raises the
head of the otterskin, which he holds in both hands, breast high, blows upon
it, and utters the sacred cry of "We ho ho ho ho," which is said to mean "It
must be so!" At each of the first three attacks the candidate staggers, but
when the fourth attack is made, he falls, and lies as though dead. Then
follows certain evolutions ("floor work") on the part of the four masters of
ceremony, who eventually raise the dead man to his feet, a full-fledged
member, entitled to all the light there is.
Words and grips they do
not seem to have, but badges, symbols, and a lengthy ritual of song,
recitation, floor work, etc., which is passed on down the generations by word
of mouth, there certainly are. The society is graded, having four degrees -
among the Indians everywhere four is apt to be regarded as a sacred number,
rather than three. Four represents the points of the compass, and hence is
often used to symbolize the cosmos. Among all Indians women are freely
admitted as members.
The differences as well
as the similarities of these rites with our Freemasonry are of course marked,
yet the similarities are fundamental, and the differences, among an
independent people of very different culture or civilization, are to be
expected. The question remains "Whence did they obtain these unquestionably
ancient rites?" The answer is, in my opinion, involved with the
question of their
origin. It has been proved by modem research that the ancestors of our Indians
came from Asia, - Northern Siberia, to be precise - via a once-existent land
bridge across Behring Strait. I will not enter further into this phase of the
question, but an interesting source of speculation is thereby opened to the
Brother Arthur C.
Parker of Albany, N. Y., tells me of a society which is found among the Seneca
Iroquois of New York State, wherein the candidate, representing the ancient
founder of the order, is not only slain but is brought to life by the grip of
the bear's paw.
Undoubtedly, in years
to come, we shall learn of further similarities among other tribes, but as yet
we are decidedly in the dark on the subject. Lodge rooms of stone with the
appropriate stations have been reported, and may no doubt exist, especially in
the southwestern United States, but the field is yet almost untouched by those
competent to conduct such research.
I have myself seen
very suggestive things in the jungles of Costa Rica, where I have personally
exhumed from the stonewalled tombs stone figures with their hands in three
reminiscent positions, and where I once found a long rectangular stone
enclosure of no apparent use save for ceremonies in the dense jungle. But
these objects were used by a prehistoric people, wiped out or driven away by
the Spanish Roman Catholic conquerors, and we can only guess as to their
In summing up, I
repeat that I believe that the American Indians do possess a primitive form of
Masonry, which is probably more nearly related to the ancient rites of our
Craft than to what we practice today, although some similarities even to
modern Freemasonry are sufficiently obvious. So far, these similarities would
not entitle them to admission to our lodges nor us to theirs, yet we cannot
deny the relationship.
Of course, there are
many Indians who are at this moment Master Masons in good standing in numerous
of our white lodges, and there have been such since the first history of
Masonry in America, but I know of no exclusively Indian lodge practicing our
ceremonials at present.
See my article
entitled "Little Wolf Joins the Mitawin" in the 1921 volume of THE BUILDER,
Alanson Skinner, Wisconsin.
* * *
FRANCIS SCOTT KEY A MASON?
Will you please inform
me if Francis Scott Key, author of The Star Spangled Banner, was a Mason?
According to the Grand
Secretaries of Maryland and of the District of Columbia there are no records
extant to show that Francis Scott Key was a Mason.
IRISH MASONIC MEDALLION
I have read, reread
and read again your article in the April number of THE BUILDER concerning "A
Masonic Medallion of 1516," and it may be that the following views as to some
of the questions asked may be of interest or shed a little light on the
With reference to the
figure above the Sun in cut "A," I believe that it is supposed to represent
the "All-Seeing Eye," which is found in practically all rituals.
The number 15 may
allude to the "flight of winding stairs of King Solomon's Temple."
As to the number 16 -
if you have ever visited a "Blue Lodge" of the jurisdiction of Scotland, I
think that you will find that this is the total number of steps - of the three
degrees - used in approaching the East.
The five steps may
allude to a portion of the winding stairs mentioned above.
The object resembling
a coffin at the foot of the stair is believed to represent a coffin or a
The "X" shaped figure
is believed to be crossed pencils, or a pencil and scriber or scratch awl, as
under the Scottish Constitution the pencil is one of the working tools.
The winged figure is
believed to typify the spirit winging its flight "To that spiritual mansion,
the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Now I may be
altogether wrong, but I have visited "Blue Lodges" in the Philippine Islands
that still use the old Scottish Rite "Blue Lodge" work, as they were
originally chartered under the Grand Orients of Spain and Portugal,and Spanish
is spoken almost entirely; for this reason the Grand Lodge of the Philippine
Islands has permitted them to continue using it, but they are gradually
learning the York Rite - and the "Blue Lodge" Perla del Oriente, No. 1034,
under the Grand Constitution of Scotland, and I have noticed that these
emblems or symbols used
by them, except the winged figure. If you are familiar with the work mentioned
above, you know that the coffin and grave are significant symbols.
Is it possible that
these symbols have been retained in their work and handed down from "time
immemorial?" Is it probable that speculative Masonry was practiced at this
early period? Or was both speculative and operative Masonry practiced in
conjunction with each other?
Whitlatch, New York.
* * *
TIME MASONS ORGANIZED SUNDAY SCHOOLS
Recently while making a
study of the rise and progress of Sunday Schools in this country I found an
item of peculiar interest for it appears from it that, at one time, the
Masonic Fraternity was active in introducing and sponsoring Sunday Schools in
certain parts of the country.
The item was a letter
written in 1815 by one Miss S. Whitehead of Philadelphia to a Mr. Davie
Bethune of New York. She says: "I had several extracts from Dr. Pole's works
(on Sunday Schools) inserted in the 'Religious Remembrance' a weekly paper of
our city, and the subject excited universal attention. The Freemasons have
taken it up, and at a general meeting it was proposed and carried unanimously,
that several schools should be established, and held in the Grand Lodge,
Chestnut street. There is no doubt that all the different lodges belonging to
the fraternity will take up this subject, and it will extend over the whole
union; one of the officers gave me this information."
The Masons did engage
in the cause, but not sufficiently to extend it over the whole union. F.C.
* * *
MORRIS CONCEIVED THE IDEA OF THE EASTERN STAR
I believe it would be
of interest to Masons everywhere to read the following account of a Masonic
celebration that was printed by a local paper:
"April 11,1922, will go
down in local Masonic history as the date of the greatest meeting ever held
under the auspices of local Masonic bodies. The occasion was a joint
celebration of Lexington Lodge, No. 24, F. & A. M., Lexington Commandery, No.
3, and Lexington Chapter, No. 30, Order of Eastern Star. Lexington is one of
the oldest Masonic lodges in the state of Mississippi, having been chartered
along the early '20s as a Masonic lodge; and many years prior to 1857 it
received a charter from the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United
States of America, having received a charter from the General Grand Encampment
as the third in the state of Mississippi. Not only has it been in the
forefront in the above but also in the Eastern Star, having received the
thirtieth charter in this order. Lexington and Holmes county, therefore, are
not beginning to shine upon the Masonic map during the year 1922, but have
been leaders many years.
"In 1857 the Grand
Commandery of the state was organized in the city of Jackson, and Lexington
was one of the towns to send representatives to aid in this organization. With
the assistance of the Mississippi Commandery No. 1, and Magnolia Commandery
No. 2, of Vicksburg, the Grand Commandery was formed. Since this time there
have been five Grand Commanders from the Lexington Commandery No. 3, two of
whom are now living, and one present Grand Commander.
"Those who have served
as Grand Commander are James T. Meade, Fleet C. Mercer, J. K. Fulson,
deceased, and Robert A. Stigler, who is still active in the various Masonic
bodies; and W. Lonnie Jordan, who is to finish his tenure of office on April
"Not only has Lexington
been prominent in Templarism but also in the Order of the Eastern Star and the
Grand Lodge F. & A. M., of Mississippi. In the Grand Chapter of the Eastern
Star the humble Chapter of Lexington has had two of her members to be honored
with the highest gift within the bounds of the Grand Chapter. Mrs. Irene S.
Eggleston was chosen in 1810 to carry on the work of the Eastern Star in the
state, which was originated in the city of Lexington in 1850 by Robert Morris,
who received the Royal Arch Degree in Lexington Royal Arch Chapter No. 9, in
1849. It was while he attended these meetings that the idea came to him that
some connection should be found whereby the wives, mothers and daughters of
Masons should assist the Masonic fraternity in carrying on the practice of
"After receiving the
Royal Arch Degree he moved to Kentucky where he finished his ritual and began
the organization of the Order of the Eastern Star. It can be truly said,
however, that the foundation of the Eastern Star was made in Lexington, Holmes
county, Mississippi. Having finished his work he gave to Mississippi the
opportunity to promulgate the teachings and principles of the Eastern Star
which was accepted and Lexington was among the first to take this in hand."
* * *
BROTHER McGUIRE SPEAK UP?
During the summer of
1921 this community was visited by a Brother Gabriel McGuire, Pastor of
Ruggles Street Baptist Church of Boston. Brother McGuire spoke before a number
of small lodges located in towns visited by the Chautauqua Company with which
he was lecturing.
His talk was very
interesting and created quite a stir among the brethren who heard it. He told
a very vivid story of having been made a brother in one of the wild tribes of
Central Africa, and of having passed through ceremonies so nearly identical to
the initiation, passing and raising that when he finally (years afterward) was
admitted to the Craft he was able to tell the lodge what was coming.
Another phase of his
talk bore largely on the Pyramids of Egypt.
He was able to prove to
the less informed brethren (and some that should have been better informed)
that the present system of Freemasonry extended back into the savage tribes of
Africa, long before the building of the Pyramids, in fact before the
civilization of Egypt.
Does the Society know
this Brother McGuire?
Rezennitter. South Dakota.
* * *
QUAKERS AND FREEMASONRY
I do know that the
Friends are not as a class opposed to Masonry. There used to be a feeling
among them that nothing should be secret. "If a thing is good why not open the
doors to all that all may profit by the good?" This sentiment is not limited
to Friends as you know. I know there are radical Friends who are opposed to
all so-called secret societies and actually believe there is something
radically wrong with them all but this can be charged to ignorance and
narrowness of mind and certainly not to fundamental teaching in the church.
We still have here a
number of Friends who will not take an oath even on the witness stand but will
only "affirm." Personally I do not see that it makes any difference since you
merely agree to tell the truth and in either case one would be guilty of
perjury and could be dealt with accordingly should one misrepresent.
This question never
came up in connection with our degree work. I know that the best Friends would
make our most enthusiastic Masons if they fully understood us just as I know
that the Friends' creed holds nothing antagonistic to Masonry or Masonry holds
nothing that any Friend would object to. I believe I am in a fair position to
know since I am a pretty enthusiastic Mason having held all the chairs and
have for many years been a district lecturer and am also a member of the
Friend denomination in fairly good standing, I think.
I believe we make some
mistakes as Masons in our own belief that everything is secret. We do not
expect to explain anything and are charged not to argue: that is all right,
but I truly believe that if Masons knew more Masonry they would see there is
not so much secret after all and could explain some things to those who would
be conscientious in knowing. Only the best informed would know where to begin
and where to stop. There is ignorance in all organizations. I have heard
Friends say that Masonry undertook to read a brother into Heaven, that the
lodge tried to take the place of the church; and on the other hand I have
heard Masons say "The lodge is church enough for me." You and I know that both
are founded on ignorance. The first knows nothing about Masonry and the second
does not understand the meaning of what he thinks he knows. A knowledge of
Masonry comprises more than committing the ritual to
There is no antagonism
between the lodge and the church. One merely takes up the problems of life and
living and the great beyond where the other leaves off.
If ministers and Masons
would only talk of things they know how much better we would all understand
Cinderella, ye editor now has a corner of his own.
* * *
Will lodges publishing
their own bulletins or magazines favor us with a copy?
* * *
"I like THE BUILDER
because it is intelligent without being high-brow." Thus writes a member. The
compliment is acceptable, and the distinction is nicely made.
* * *
Study the annual index
carefully. You will encounter items of interest to yourself that you have
overlooked during the year.
* * *
All brethren having
books, clippings, or other data relating to Freemasonry among American Indians
are asked to lend such to Brother Alanson Skinner, Department of Anthropology,
Public Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Associate Editor of THE BUILDER.
* * *
On page 235, September,
1919, Milman was misspelled.
Somewhere in one of my
Study Club papers I misspelled "Carnarvon."
On page 233 of October,
1915, it is said that Franklin was the friend "of Louis XIV": this should have
been "Louis XVI." Transpositions will happen!
On page 59, March,
1920, it is said that Alexander Hamilton was raised in 1757. This is an error.
We are now trying to establish the correct date.
Corrections are always
Mason's chief and only care,
to live within the square.