The Builder Magazine
October 1924 - Volume X - Number
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FRONTISPIECE - THE SCARBOROUGH ROLL
SIGN AND A SUMMONS!
- A CHALLENGE TO FREEMASONRY - By Bro. Robert J. Newton, Texas
"EARLY TO BED"
PASSING OF DR. KUHN.
MASONIC STONE OF 1606 - By R. W. Bro. Reginald V. Harris, Grand Historian,
SUGGESTIONS FOR LODGE CEREMONIAL - By Bro. Ray V. Denslow, Associate Editor,
FREEMASONRY IN ONTARIO - PART III (Concluded) - By Bros. James B. Nixon
and N. W. J. Haydon, Associate Editor, Ontario
"LET'S STOP BLOWING BUBBLES" - By W. O. Saunders
MISSION TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - By Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins,
MEN WHO WERE MASONS - BARON DE KALB - By Bro. G. W. Baird, P.G.M.,
District of Columbia
STUDY CLUB - Studies of Masonry in the United States - Part II, The First
American Mason. By Bro. H. L. Haywood
Beginnings of Freemasonry in America"
Alfred Robbins' Report Concerning His Visit to the United States
History of Masonry in Ireland
QUESTION BOX AND CORRESPONDENCE
Coolidge, Dawes, Bryan, etc
Book on Temple Architecture
Representative De Molays
Lodges on "High Hills"
"Knights Templar" or "Knights Templars" ?
Horace Greeley Was an Anti - Mason
VOLUME X NUMBER 10
DOLLARS THE YEAR
TWENTY-FIVE CENTS THE COPY
Sign and a Summons!
IMMEDIATELY after reading this please turn to Bro. Robert J. Newton's
inspiriting appeal on the next page. Read it with care - and with prayer! It
presents with incandescent language a tragical state of affairs that must soon
become the business of every Mason in America. Do not read it as "one more
scheme" put forward by "somebody anxious to start something" which is "one
more excuse for begging money"; it is none of these things, or anything like
them. Bro. Newton and his colleagues are one and all responsible Masons, many
of them leaders in the Craft. They have nothing to gain from their efforts
save the satisfaction of knowing they have wrought to bring our Fraternity to
a realization of one of its most pressing duties.
are confronted by countless problems that are interesting, and many that are
important, but this is the most urgent of all, because it involves so many
lives. It is so urgent, so vitally morally urgent, that the Mason who turns
aside from it with indifference will have something laid up against his
conscience that shouldn't be there.
Thousands of our brethren go out to the Southwest every year to escape death.
If they were in the front line trenches of a battle they would not be in
greater danger. Many of them perish, a majority, perhaps; of those that do a
pitiable number leave behind them unprotected wives and children.
this agony is not necessary. Tuberculosis, if the victim is given half a
chance, is curable, but its cure costs time and money, and for that reason
very few are in any shape to wage the battle alone. What is more natural than
that a brother in such a plight, hundreds and thousands of miles from home
usually, should turn to his mother lodge for relief! It is a sarcastic
commentary on our ineffectual methods for taking care of charity needs on a
national scale that usually he turns in vain. It is a matter of record that in
scores and scores of cases he does not even receive a reply from his lodge
secretary! He dies believing that Freemasonry is merely a matter of fine
words, and hopeless of having his family looked after by those brethren
solemnly obligated to such a duty.
lodges of the Southwest are generally doing everything they can; many of their
members, as Bro. Newton indicates, know from experience how bitter a thing it
is to win out from the clutches of tuberculosis. But those lodges are nearly
always small, with slender finances, and scattered thinly across a vast
territory, most of it desert. If every one of them were to devote itself to
tuberculosis relief to the very limit of its powers still would their combined
efforts be utterly inadequate to grapple with the needs, which are so
desolatingly heart - breaking to every man who has knowledge of them.
problem is not local. It is national. It is not for the Southwest to meet; it
is for the entire national Fraternity. Our brethren go there from every Grand
Lodge in the Union; it is the moral obligation of every Grand Lodge to care
for its own. Who would dare to advance in speech or print the argument that
the powerful Grand Lodges of the East and the Middle West should stand by to
let the small Grand Lodges of the Southwest assume their burdens for them, and
carry out their duties ? Nobody ! Yet that is precisely what they are now
doing, almost every one of them, so far as tuberculosis is concerned!
could fill up every page of this issue with detailed accounts of the neglect
suffered by thousands of tuberculous Masons who flee to the dry warmth of the
Southwest to escape the fatal winters back home. We do not believe that Masons
are the kind of men who need thus to be harrowed into doing the brotherly
duties required of them by their own obligations. We believe that if the
Fraternity is brought to a realization of the facts it will act, and that
gladly. Experience thus far has proved that.
Brother Mason, will you not acquaint yourself with the facts ? Will you not
help to make these facts everywhere known? Will you not try to bring them home
to your lodges and to your own Grand Lodge? Will you not do this at once ? We
can say on our own honor, in the name of the National Masonic Research
Society, after careful first hand investigation, that these facts are as Bro.
Newton has stated them.
could plunge into the waters to save one drowning man we would do it, would we
not, however much of a stranger he would be! Here is a situation where,
without sacrifice or risks to ourselves, we can save from an equally certain
death not one, but thousands ;. not strangers, but brethren!
Accuse!" A Challenge to Freemasonry
Bro. ROBERT J. NEWTON, Texas
in connection with this bugle - like call the editorial on the preceding page.
Bro. Newton has been moving heaven and earth in his tireless efforts to bring
to American Masons a realization of the facts concerning the greatest need in
Masonic charity this land has ever known. Bro. Francis E. Lester, P.G.M., New
Mexico, equally disturbed by the awful problem of the White Plague in the
Southwest and also ceaselessly active, has asked us to say for him that he
endorses, emphasizes and commends to the prayerful attention of all readers
everything that Bro. Newton here says. Letters addressed to Bro. Newton will
be forwarded promptly if sent to THE BUILDER.
THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I
am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
Freemasonry, in America, become sounding brass" ?
"a tinkling cymbal"?
it speak with the "tongues of men and of angels"; high sounding platitudes
about its principles, its teachings, its origin and its mission - and fail in
its duties ?
it preach of altruism and brotherhood - and fail to practice that which it
more concerned with the pomp and ceremonies of its Ritual than it is with the
living spirit of its faith ?
it been false to the vows of brotherhood, sworn to before its sacred altars?
there living Freemasons who will dare accuse it ?
there Freemasons who have cursed it - and died ?
ask you, who read these questions, to apply them to yourself, to your Blue
Lodge and to the Grand Lodge of your state, and to answer them in the light of
your knowledge of your own practice of Freemasonry, and of the charitable
activities of your own lodge and Grand Lodge. We do not accuse, but we ask you
to do so, and to make your own defense.
are three million Freemasons in the United States, members of thousands of
lodges, bound together by the most sacred oaths of brotherhood, sworn to aid
and assist each other, their wives, widows and children.
Individually, and as lodges, they try to keep the faith. They do their duty,
as far as they are able, and as they see it. They visit the sick and bury the
dead. They give financial help according to their ability.
Grand Lodges of most states maintain homes and schools for the orphaned
children of Freemasons. Some Grand Lodges maintain homes for the aged and
helpless brethren, their wives and widows.
are the recognized lines of charitable activity beyond which few Masons and
Masonic lodges ever go. And because most lodges are limited in their funds,
the amount spent for charity is necessarily small.
Freemasons take much credit to the Fraternity for their works of charity. How
much does their work of benevolence cost each individual Mason? Is it not true
that Freemasonry is the cheapest, or least expensive, organization to which
most men belong?
average civic luncheon club demands more money from its membership than the
average Freemason gives to his Masonic lodge.
we done our full duty, as men and brethren, to each other?
there no other field of charity and benevolence to which we might turn? Are
there no other needs to be met ?
not true that the care of the orphaned, the widowed, and the aged is a duty
recognized by all peoples claiming the least degree of civilization and that
such benevolent work is but the beginning, and should be but a small part of
the service which we should render ?
not our failure to measure up to our opportunities, and the needs for
humanitarian work, due to a lack of vision on the part of our leaders and
not the average Freemason, cheerfully and liberally, contribute to any worthy
Masonic charity which would save his brethren from sickness, suffering and
who live in the great Southwest, the land which for more than a century has
been the Mecca for the sick and suffering, especially for the unfortunates
afflicted with the Great White Plague, believe that Freemasonry has overlooked
and neglected a magnificent opportunity for putting into practice the
beautiful teachings of the Fraternity. We believe that Freemasonry has a great
duty to perform in providing for the hospital care of the members of our
"Grand Lodge of Sorrow," the brethren suffering from consumption. And we also
believe that the Freemasons of all America will gladly meet their call for
help, provided our leaders give them this opportunity to prove that fraternity
and brotherhood are facts and not mere words.
the three millions of Freemasons in America today, at least 60,000 are
afflicted with tuberculosis, according to the estimates of the United States
Census Bureau and of the National Tuberculosis Association.
these 60,000 men, approximately 40,000 have tuberculosis in the active stage
and need hospital care if they are to have any chance of recovery, and also
for the protection of their loved ones from infection.
these 40,000 active cases, 4,400 die each year and Freemasonry is often called
upon to spend more for the care and education of widows and children than it
would have cost to save the lives of the fathers.
Tuberculosis is a communicable, preventable and sometimes curable disease.
Patients in the first stage, and some patients in the second stage, may have
their disease arrested by hospital care extending over a sufficient period of
Tuberculosis is primarily a poor man’s disease. If you are not poor when you
get it, you will be poor by the time it gets you. The expense of treatment
during the year or more usually required to restore the patient to a self -
sustaining basis is far beyond the financial ability of the average victim.
expense is also far beyond the resources of the average lodge of Freemasons.
Grand Lodge in the United States has any fund for expense of hospital care of
brethren suffering from consumption.
Therefore, Freemasonry fails him in the hour of his greatest need.
becomes of the 40,000 active cases of tuberculosis ?
Nearly five thousand die annually, but 5,000 more take their places.
of them are financially able to care for themselves and do so and many
recover. Most of them work as long as they can, for when they stop work, wives
and children must take their places as breadwinners. They go from bad to
worse, physically and financially. At last pride succumbs and they appeal to
their lodges, or to organized charity, or both.
HE IS ASSISTED
According to its financial ability, the lodge aids them. In the larger cities
this aid is supplemented by the assistance of charity and anti - tuberculosis
societies. In the smaller places and in the country, none of this additional
assistance is available. Some of the patients are sent to local county or
municipal hospitals for the few remaining weeks of life, for no private
hospitals, except the exclusively tuberculosis hospitals, will accept them.
Other patients receive small sums weekly to help maintain the family. And
quite a large number, how many it is impossible to say, many of them in the
advanced and hopeless stage of the disease, are aided to go west to seek the
benefit of a change of climate, sometimes accompanied by their families, more
customary to give the brother a railroad ticket, a small amount of money and
the advice to seek out the Masonic lodge in the city of his destination.
when the sick brother arrives and seeks the aid and comfort of his brethren in
his new place of residence, he often finds that many of them are in the same
condition as himself and are financially unable to help him.
prospects for recovery are in exact proportion to the amount of money he may
have, or may secure, for without money he cannot command the hospital care
which is necessary, even in the favorable climate of the Southwest.
gets some help from the brethren among whom he has cast his lot, for no Masons
are more brotherly then the men of the Southwest, especially those who have
fought, or are fighting, the same battle for life. He gets some help from his
home lodge. He lingers, and may win out, for many seemingly hopeless cases do
so. If he loses he spends the last few weeks, often as a charity patient, in
some city or county hospital, or perhaps a Catholic institution. When he dies
the home lodge may pay the expense of his removal and burial at home.
are the short and simple annals of the poor - and sick - in the Southwest.
They come by the thousands, all races and creeds of men. Some thousands have
recovered and have built up the cities of this favored land and have made the
desert blossom as the rose. But many thousands have died, unhonored and
unsung, and some sleep in Potters' Fields, among them men to whom we vowed the
vows of brotherhood, who might have lived - if we had answered YES to the
question that is as old as humanity, "Am I my brother's keeper ?"
who come west are those who have the spirit of the fighter. They will not give
up as long as there is life left in the body. For every one who comes to the
west there may be five, or maybe ten, who stay to die at home. These, also,
wherever they may be, in city, town, or in a farm home, need the help of their
Masonry has done nothing to help its sick and dying brethren in the years that
are past, thousands of whom might have been saved, must it not plead guilty to
indifference, or neglect of its vows and obligations at least, in answer to
the questions you were asked to propound to yourself and to your lodge?
to a dying brother, who realizes that his life is the penalty for such
indifference or neglect, may it not seem worse than that ? For in addition to
his physical suffering there may be added a mental torture the fear that the
brotherhood which he believes has forgotten its vows to him may also forget
the vows it made for the care of his children.
we think of these things, should we not fall down before our altars and cry
out, "What must we do to be saved ?"
Freemasonry in danger of losing its soul ?
so, it can find it again in service.
can organize for the help of its sick brethren.
individual Mason, no subordinate lodge, and no Grand Lodge can meet the need.
have no Grand Lodge of the United States to which we can appeal to bring
united action by the entire Masonic Fraternity of America. Yet such united
action is absolutely necessary to do this work on the scale which is required
to meet the need.
NEED TEN HOSPITALS
sick brethren are scattered throughout the length and breadth of the land, in
hundreds of cities, towns and villages, on thousands of farms. Because of the
migration to a healing climate, the Southwest has far more than its share.
sick brethren, who need and want hospital treatment, should be cared for in
Masonic hospitals, and a chain of at least ten such hospitals should be
established, and operated, throughout the United States to meet the needs of
least 5,000 hospital beds should be provided for their care.
must be cared for as long as necessary to restore them to health, to their
families and to self-support.
who can should pay all or part of the expense of their care and treatment, so
that no needy brother may be denied the same care. Those who cannot pay must
be cared for by the Fraternity in fulfillment of our obligations.
IT MAY BE DONE
may this be accomplished?
can we not have a National Masonic Sanatorium Association for this work of
relief and charity. If we can form a national organization for educational
work, why can we not do the same thing for hospitalization of the consumptives
among our brethren?
organization and incorporation of such an association may be authorized by any
Grand Lodge or by any of the governing bodies of the Scottish or York Rites of
membership should consist of all Freemasons, lodges and Grand Lodges and other
Masonic bodies which may contribute to its support.
building of hospitals, or sanatoria, can be financed by voluntary
contributions - of Freemasons. A national campaign can be organized and the
money secured just as it has been collected by the great Protestant churches
in their campaigns for millions of dollars for educational, missionary and
operation of such hospitals can be financed by assessments levied for that
purpose by the Grand Lodges affiliated with the Sanatorium Association, and by
gifts and bequests from those who helped to build.
cost of 6,000 hospital beds in ten hospitals may total $12,500,000, or an
average of less than $4.17 for every Freemason in the United States. Thousands
of them will give more.
operation of such hospitals may cost $1,000 a bed annually, or a total of
$5,000,000, an average of $1.67 a year for each Freemason.
contributions would be insurance against tuberculosis for all Freemasons.
Hospital care would save the majority of the nearly 5,000 men who now die
men, when restored to usefulness, would produce in the remainder of their
lifetime thousands of dollars in excess of what it cost to save them.
Fraternity would save thousands of dollars it now expends to care for their
widows and children.
Masonry would double its strength in the next decade, for all good men would
seek alliance with a body of men who translated their ritual into terms of
this, or any other plan for the care of our Masonic brethren suffering from
tuberculosis, is carried out, and our vows and obligations made a living
force, of far greater import than the hundreds of lives and thousands of
dollars saved, or than any increase of our strength. will be the fact that
Freemasonry, in America, has found its soul – and saved it.
we a leader anywhere who will take up this cross of service and carry it
through the dead woods of ritualism and the slough of ceremonialism to the
high hills of true fraternal brotherhood, where it may be lifted up and draw
all sick and suffering Masons, unwilling members of our Grand Lodge of Sorrow,
beneath its sheltering arms?
will answer the call?
PASSING OF DR. KUHN
Dr. William F. Kuhn died suddenly at his home in Kansas City, Mo., Sept. 2,
last. The unexpected word of his passing came as a shock to his friends and
acquaintances throughout the American Fraternity, of which he had as many, one
may believe, as any Craftsman that has ever labored amongst us. There is no
need to recall his career as a physician, or all the high offices in Masonry
held by him, or to describe his personality, so richly endowed; all this is
familiar to every Mason.
Kuhn devoted almost all of his time during the past three years to his duties
as General Grand High Priest, General Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons. His
one high purpose was to organize a national educational movement among Royal
Arch chapters, similar to that now in progress among so many lodges. The Royal
Arch was not to him a mere Side Order but a Rite rich in history and lore, in
possession of a deep and many sided ritual, with untold latent possibilities
for influence; and he prayed that all Grand Chapters might be persuaded to
bend their efforts to uncovering these riches to every member. What could be a
more suitable monument to his memory than to carry out his dream? One cannot
think of any other memorial that would please him so much, as he now watches
from the Unseen.
"EARLY TO BED"
convinced that one reason for the irregular attendance especially of brethren
like myself who are advanced in years is the late hour in the evening to which
in most lodges the meetings are kept up, and I offer two suggestions which
have a bearing on this point. One is that Masters of lodges see to it that
their meetings begin sharp on time; no doubt that is a lesson which a great
many Masters have thoroughly learned already, but at least in some rural
lodges I find a shocking disregard of the clock, and to begin a meeting half
an hour or three - quarters of an hour after the advertised time means a
lateness of dispersal which interferes with an adequate night's rest. We all
admit the difficulty which in this respect besets the small lodges in the
country. The long distance some members have to travel, the heavy burden of
hard work and responsibility at home which cannot be evaded even for a single
evening; and of course when a lodge has become accustomed to slackness in the
hour of meeting it is a herculean task to get back to promptitude. But the
effort is well worth while and may indeed save the life of a lodge. Let the
Master and his Wardens, by personal interviews, or, if necessary, by
personally gathering for the first time or two the necessary number to form a
quorum, be on hand a few minutes before the appointed time and let them
unfalteringly begin on the stroke of the clock, and the trouble will soon
Andrew B. Baird, P.G.M., Manitoba
Masonic Stone of 1606
R.W. Bro. REGINALD V. HARRIS, Grand Historian, Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia
will be good to read this article in conjunction with Bro. Harris' article on
Freemasonry in Nova Scotia published in THE BUILDER of August last; and with
the Study Club article of last month. Bro. Harris' critical analysis of the
claims of the Nova Scotia stone to be the monument of the earliest known
appearance of Freemasonry on this continent was published in "Transactions of
Nova Scotia Lodge of Research," Jan. 31, 1916; as here given he has altered it
some Masonic students and historians regard as the earliest trace of the
existence of Freemasons or Freemasonry on this continent so far as we are now
aware, is afforded by the inscriptions on a stone found in 1827 upon the
shores of Annapolis Basin, Nova Scotia.
are two accounts of the finding of this stone. The first, from the pen of
Judge Thomas Chandler Haliburton (known to us as the author of "Sam Slick"),
was written in the year of the finding of the stone or very shortly afterward,
and is to be found in his Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia,
published in 1829 (Vol. II., pp. 155 - 157), as follows:
"About six miles below the ferry is situated Goat Island, which separates the
Annapolis Basin from that of Digby, and forms two entrances to the former. The
western channel, though narrow, is deep and generally preferred to others. A
small peninsula, extending from the Granville shore, forms one of its sides.
On this point of land the first piece of ground was cleared for cultivation in
Nova Scotia by the French. They were induced to make this selection on account
of the beauty of its situation, the good anchorage opposite it the command
which it gave them of the channel, and the facility it afforded of giving the
earliest notice to the garrison at Port Royal of the entrance of an enemy into
the Lower Basin. In the year 1827 the stone was discovered upon which they had
engraved the date of their first cultivation of the soil, in memorial of their
formal possession of the country. It is about two feet and a half long and two
feet broad, and of the same kind as that which forms the substratum of
Granville Mountain. On the upper part are engraved the square and compass of
the Free Mason, and in the centre, in large and deep Arable figures the date
1606. It does not appear to have been dressed by a mason, but the inscription
has been cut on its natural surface.
stone itself has yielded to the power of the climate, and both the external
front and the interior parts of the letters alike suffered from exposure to
the weather: the seams on the back of it have opened, and, from their capacity
to hold water and the operation of frost on it when thus confined, it is
probable in a few years it would have crumbled to pieces. The date is
distinctly visible, and although the figure 0 is worn down to one - half of
its original depth and the upper part of the figure 6 nearly as much, yet no
part of them is obliterated - they are plainly discernible to the eye and
easily traced by the finger.
subsequent period, when the country was conquered by the English, some Scotch
emigrants were sent out by Sir William Alexander, who erected a fort on the
site of the French cornfields, previous to the Treaty of St. Germain's. The
remains of this fort may be traced with great ease, the old parade, the
embankment and ditch, have not been disturbed, and preserve their original
form. It was occupied by the French for many years after the peace of 1632. *
* * * "
other account of the finding of the stone is contained in a letter written
nearly thirty years after the event, and now in the possession of the New
England Historic - Genealogical Society from the pen of Dr. Charles T. Jackson
of Boston, the celebrated chemist and geolist. It is in the following words:
Francis Alger and myself made a mineralogical survey of Nova Scotia in 1827 we
discovered upon the shore of Goat Island, in Annapolis Basin, a grave - stone
partly covered with sand and lying on the shore. It bore the Masonic emblems,
square and compass, and had the figures 1606 cut in it.
rock was a flat slab of trap rock, common in the vicinity. At the ferry from
Annapolis to Granville we saw a large rounded rock with this inscription 'La
Belle 1649.' These inscriptions were undoubtedly intended to commemorate the
place of burial of French soldiers who came to Nova Scotia, 'Annapolis Royal,
Acadia,' in 1603.
"Coins, buttons and other articles originally belonging to these early French
settlers, are found in the soil of Goat Island in Annapolis Basin.
slab bearing date 1606, I had brought over by the Ferryman to Annapolis, and
ordered it to be packed in a box to be sent to the Old Colony Pilgrim Society
(of Plymouth, Mass.), but Judge Haliburton, then Thomas Haliburton, Esq.,
prevailed on me to abandon it to him, and he now has it carefully preserved.
On a late visit to Nova Scotia I found that the Judge had forgotten how he
came by it, and so I told him all about it.
* * *
* * * *
letter is accompanied by a photograph of the stone made some thirty years
later showing the square and compasses and the figures 1606, rudely cut and
much worn by time and weather, but still quite distinct.
shall later refer more particularly to the stone itself and the two accounts
of its finding, but wish first to refer to the subsequent history of the stone
which is most singularly unfortunate.
1887 it was given by Robert Grant Haliburton (son of Judge T. C. Haliburton)
to the Canadian Institute of Toronto with the understanding that the stone
should be inserted in the wall of the building then being erected for the
Institute. It was to be placed in the wall, the inscription facing inside in
one of the principal rooms.
Sanford Fleming wrote that he received the stone from Mr. R. G. Haliburton for
the purpose of being placed in the museum of the Canadian Institute, Toronto,
in order that it might be properly cared for. There is an entry respecting it
in the minutes of the Institute, acknowledging its arrival and receipt. Sir
Daniel Wilson was then President, and on March 21, 1888, read a paper on
Traces of European Immigration in the 17th Century, and exhibited the stone
found at Port Royal bearing date 1606. Sir Sanford Fleming further adds:
have myself seen it more than once since its being placed in the Canadian
Institute. When the building was erected on the northwest corner of Richmond
and Berti Streets, Toronto instructions were given by Dr. Scadding to build it
into the wall with the inscription exposed; but, very stupidly, it is said the
plasterer covered it over with plaster, and even the spot cannot now be
traced, although the plaster has been removed at several places to look for
it. Before these facts were made known to me, or any trace could be had of the
stone, I had a long correspondence with the Institute authorities, and I
further offered a reward of $1,000 for the stone if it could be found but it
was all to no purpose. I regret extremely that I can throw so little light on
it at this day. If ever the present building be taken down diligent search
should be made for the historic stone, perhaps, the oldest inscription stone
a most regrettable fact that this priceless stone should have ever gone out of
Nova Scotia. The necessity for a Masonic museum in this Province needs no
argument when such things as this happen.
HALIBURTON'S ACCOUNT IS PROBABLY MORE CORRECT
return to the two accounts of the finding of the stone itself, there can be
little or no doubt that Judge Haliburton's account written at the time of the
discovery and on the spot, by one who had made a study of the locality and of
its history, is correct; and that Dr. Jackson's account, written from
recollection thirty years after he found the stone, cannot be relied upon as
to the place of discovery. Moreover, the historical facts stated by Judge
Haliburton as to the place of the first settlement by the French establish
beyond any doubt that the stone marked with the date 1606 was found on the
peninsula extending from the Granville shore opposite Goat Island, Annapolis
the inscription on the stone, although the stone is not now to be found for
inspection, there can be little or no doubt as to the particulars of that
inscription. Judge Haliburton undoubtedly wrote his description of the stone
with it immediately before him. Dr. Jackson's account made after he had seen
it a second time, confirms it and the photograph made before the stone was
sent to Toronto further establishes the fact that the stone bore the date 1606
and the “square and compasses" of the Mason, though these emblems would seem
to be too much worn away to admit of a good photographic reproduction, a
condition not to be wondered at after an exposure to the weather for over two
the other hand, some who have examined only the photograph have doubted
whether the marks on the stone (other than the date 1606) were really the
square and compasses of the Freemason. The fact that these marks appear not to
have been cut so deeply and well has suggested to them that they are surface
scratches such as might have been made accidentally in digging with a pick or
spade. An examination of the photograph, however, clearly shows that the marks
are more than mere scratches - deeper, clearer and more lasting, as they
must have been to survive the attacks of the elements for more than two
centuries. Judge Haliburton in describing the stone says: "It does not appear
to have been dressed by a mason but the inscription has been cut on its
natural surface." It is quite impossible today to decide whether the
inscription was the work of a skilled or unskilled workman.
Turning now to the explanations and theories respecting the inscription. Judge
Haliburton describes it as a stone "upon which they (the French) had engraved
the date of their cultivation of the soil, in memorial of their formal
possession of the country."
Against this theory may be urged the fact that the first cultivation of the
soil by these French settlers was in 1605 and not 1606; Champlain's map
showing gardens is dated 1605; also that they had taken possession of the
country in 1604; and the probability that a national emblem, such as the
fleur-de-lis, would be used rather than a Masonic emblem for such purposes.
That this is exactly what they did is evident from the record of Argall's
capture of Port Royal. In Murdoch's History of Nova Scotia he states that in
1614 “Argall destroyed the fort and all monuments and marks of French national
power. It is recorded that he even caused the names of Demonts and other
captains and the fleur-de-lis to be effaced with pick and chisel from a
massive stone on which they had been engraved."
account not only shows what emblems the French used to commemorate their
occupation of the country, but also that if this stone was visible it does not
commemorate a national event.
DID NOT COMMEMORATE FOUNDING OF A MASONIC LODGE
theory that the stone might commemorate the establishment of a lodge of
Freemasons has virtually nothing to support it, though it is perhaps more than
a matter of interest that during the winter of 1606 - 7 the French colonists,
under the leadership of Champlain, established a sort of club or society
styled the "Ordre de Bon Temps," consisting of fifteen members. Each member in
turn became the caterer to his brethren, a plan which excited so much
emulation among them that each endeavored to excel his predecessor in office,
in the variety, profusion and quality of the viands procured for the table
during his term of office. Lescarbot, a member of the society and the
historian of these early events, says that on each such occasion the host wore
the collar "of the order and a napkin and carried a staff." At dinner, he
marshalled the way to the table at the head of the procession of guests. After
supper he resigned the insignia of office to his successor, with the ceremony
of drinking to him in a cup of wine. The little company included several
distinguished names: Poutrincourt, the real founder of Port Royal; Champlain,
the founder of Quebec, two years later, and the historian of many events at
Port Royal; Biencourt, Poutrincourt's son; Lescarbot, advocate, poet and
historian of this early period; Louis Hebert, one of the first settlers of
Quebec; Robert Grave, Champdore, and Daniel Hay, a surgeon.
this social club was Speculative Freemasonry is highly improbable. The colony
was a French settlement, and Speculative Freemasonry was not known in France
for more than a hundred years afterward, namely in 1718. The corporations and
gilds of stonemasons and architects, we are told in Rebold's General History
of Freemasonry, were suppressed in 1539 by Francis I., although a sort of
trade unionism seems to have existed from about 1650, and a correspondence
with each other is believed to have taken place between the unions at
Marseilles, Paris, Lyons, and certain cities in Belgium. These were
undoubtedly operative bodies and consisted of not only masons and stone
cutters, but of members of other trades, carpenters, architects, decorators,
a union of these workmen may have existed at Port Royal is not of course
impossible, but that it contained any speculative members is exceedingly
improbable. In England evidence is lacking of the admission of Speculative
Masons into Masonic lodges prior to 1646, and in Scotland prior to 1634.
such a speculative lodge existed at Port Royal in 1606 or if the Ordre de Bon
Temps was even in a remote way connected with any trade, either Champlain or
Lescarbot in their very detailed accounts of these early days would have
mentioned other facts which would establish beyond any doubt such
relationship. The entire absence of any such facts must be taken as conclusive
in this matter.
remains for consideration one other theory respecting the stone, that of Dr.
Jackson; that it was "undoubtedly intended to commemorate the place of burial
of French soldiers." This expression of opinion by Dr. Jackson in 1856 may
have been founded on information given him by Judge Haliburton on his "recent"
visit to Nova Scotia, and may indicate that the judge had also changed his
mind. Whatever the facts, the gravestone theory would seem to have more to
support it than any other.
First, as to the stone itself. As described by Judge Haliburton who had
possession of the stone from 1827 until his removal to England in 1859, it
evidently measured two by two and a half feet; undoubtedly monumental size and
Secondly, as to the place where it was found.
Champlain in his Voyages gives a plan of the fort erected by him in 1605. This
plan shows a burying ground and a garden outside the eastern parapet or
palisade. Judge Haliburton's theory that the stone commemorated the first
cultivation of the soil may have been based on the fact that it was found on
the site of the garden but it is equally clear that it might also be a
gravestone, although Dr. Jackson says in his letter of 1856 that it was found
"upon the shore" "partly covered with sand and lying on the shore."
Assuming that the stone is a gravestone, two questions present themselves:
Why are the square and compasses on the stone ?
Whose gravestone is it?
will be convenient to answer these two queries together.
Champlain in his history tells us that during the winter of 1605 - 1606 six
members of the little colony died. While Champlain does not give the names of
those who departed this life nor whether they died' before or after Jan. 1,
1606, yet from his context and Lescarbot's account it would not be difficult
to draw a very strong inference that all died before the New Year dawned. I
think we may safely assume that the stone is not the gravestone of any of
these six settlers.
LESCARBOT DESCRIBES THEIR ACTIVITIES
the spring of that year (1606) Poutrincourt, who had gone home with DeMonts in
the autumn of 1605, induced Mare Lescarbot, an advocate of Paris, to join the
colony. They reached Port Royal on July 27, where they remained until Aug. 28,
when Poutrincourt started on an exploratory voyage down the American coast, as
far as Cape Cod, leaving Lescarbot behind in charge of the colony. Lescarbot,
in his New France, has this to say about the work done while the rest were
"Meanwhile I set about making ready the soil, setting off and enclosing
gardens wherein to sow wheat and kitchen herbs. We also had a ditch dug all
around the fort which was a matter of necessity to receive the dampness and
the water which previously had oozed underneath our dwellings, amid the roots
of the trees which had been cut down and which had very likely been the cause
of the unhealthiness of the place.
have no time to stop here to describe in detail the several labours of our
other workmen. Suffice it to say that we had numerous joiners, carpenters,
masons, stone cutters, locksmiths workers in iron, tailors, wood sawyers,
sailors, etc., who worked at their trades, and in doing so were very kindly
used, for after three hours work a day they were free.
" * *
* But while each of our said workmen had his special trade, they had also to
set to work at whatever turned up, as many of them did. Certain masons and
stone cutters turned their hands to baking and made as good bread as that of
us note in passing the use by Lescarbot of the two words "masons" and "stone
cutters." The original French words in Lescarbot's history are "masson"
(mason) and "tailleur la Pierre," the former being a word of wider
significance than the other, including any operative on the construction of a
building, using either stones, bricks, plaster or cement, the latter word
denoting greater skill including not only the work of cutting inscriptions,
but approaching the work of the sculptor.
Poutrincourt's party meanwhile spent some weeks exploring and when near Cape
Cod a party of five young men landed in defiance of orders and were attacked
by Indians. Three were killed and buried on the spot by their comrades; the
other two were severely wounded; one of them, Duval, a locksmith, lived to
take part in a revolt at Quebec two years later; the other was so pierced with
arrows that he died on reaching Port Royal on Nov. 14, 1606, where he was
During the winter of 1606 - 1607 there were four deaths but these occurred in
February and March, 1607, and not during the year 1606, according to both
Champlain and Lescarbot. If, therefore, the stone was erected to mark the
grave of one of the colonists who died during the year 1606, it must have been
the grave of the man who died on Nov. 14, 1606, or shortly afterward of wounds
received at Cape Cod.
was his profession or trade?
know Duval was a locksmith, and though this is very scant light for us to be
guided by, it is probable that his companions on their wild episode on shore
with the Indians were members of the various trades which Lescarbot says were
at Port Royal at this time. This is merely assumption, and not conclusive. If
he had been a man of standing either Champlain or Lescarbot would have named
him. They name none of those who died at Port Royal.
CARPENTERS HAD THEIR OWN MYSTERY
must not forget that at that time the carpenters of France had their own
mystery or trade gild, worked on lines somewhat akin to Operative Masonry, and
using the square and compasses as their emblem.
may be well illustrated by a short quotation from Felix Gras, the eminent
Provencal poet and novelist, whose works were so highly esteemed by the late
W. E. Gladstone. In his Les Rouges du Midi, a book dealing with the French
Revolution (written in 1792), he describes a visit paid by Vauclair, a
carpenter from Marseilles, to Planctot, a carpenter residing and working in
we stood outside the door we could hear the smooth 'hush hush' of a big plane
as it threw off the long shavings, but the planing stopped short at our loud
knock, and then the door flew open and there was Planctot himself. It was
plain that he knew Vauclair on the instant, but instead of shaking hands with
him, he turned his back and rushed off like a crazy man. . . . In a few
minutes we heard the clatter of old Planctot's wooden shoes on the stair. He
had come to greet Vauclair according to the rite and ceremonial of their
craft. He had put on his Sunday hat and his best wig; and before he said a
word he laid a compass and a square down on the floor between himself and
Vauelair. At once Vauelair made the correct motions of hand and foot, to which
Planetot replied properly and then, under their raised hands, they embraced
over the . . . compass and square."
Planctot is several times called "le maitre," "the master," which I take to
denote his standing in the Craft. I think there can be no historical doubt of
the existence of such a craft gild among French carpenters at the beginning of
the 17th century; that is, about 1606.
us summarize our theories: First, the stone was a gravestone; secondly, it
marked the last resting place of a French settler who died in 1606; thirdly,
this settler was probably a workman and may have been an operative mason or
stone cutter; fourthly, speculative Masonry, unknown in France in 1606, was
not practiced by the French colonists; lastly, the emblem of square and
compasses would seem to be a trade - mark or emblem undoubtedly used by
operative masons as their emblem, and possibly by carpenters as well.
word, the stone marked the grave of either a mason or stone cutter or possibly
a carpenter who died Nov. 14, 1606, and not that of a Speculative Freemason.
king may make a noble knight,
breathe away another;
he in all his power and might,
Cannot make a brother.”
Suggestions for Lodge Ceremonial
Bro. RAY V. DENSLOW, Associate Editor, Missouri
Denslow, who holds many high offices in Missouri Masonry, has for years
devoted especial attention to costumery scenery, and to paraphernalia in
general in the work of conferring degrees; at our request he has written down
here a number of suggestions looking toward fixed principles in this art of
ceremonial, an art sadly neglected, one may suppose, to judge by the slackness
and lack of intelligence with which it is generally managed.
ways are giving place to new; Freemasonry, ever a progressive science, except
in a few scattered jurisdictions, has readily adapted itself to meet new ideas
and twentieth century conditions. The Masonic trail from 1717 to 1924 has been
a long one, cluttered with wrecks and ritual tinkers and philosophical
interpreters and what not, but while rough and rugged has been the path, long
and toilsome the march, the custodian of the Ancient Landmarks has weathered
the storm and is with us today, holding ever before us the assurance that his
is the only true landmark, in much the same manner as does the custodian of
the only true cross.
Webb, Preston, Cross, Pike and other ritualists were to return today they
might recognize certain fundamental words and signs, but they would certainly
enter a new world; instead of a handful of men, they would find millions;
where formerly degrees had been communicated by dozens in the back room,
office, or home, they would now discover large classes numbering into the
hundreds, receiving the degrees at the hands of a large corps of experienced
actors and ritualists, presented in auditoriums or spacious buildings,
specially constructed. Where formerly the fee was fixed at "whatever the
traffic might bear," and consisted in many cases as an individual transaction,
today we find a fixed fee and a modern business organization with up-to-date
records and offices.
old manner of conferring a degree consisted principally of the obligating of a
candidate with probably occasional lectures and charges. The impression
conveyed to the candidate was solely by the mouth-to-ear method. Modern
psychology has taught us that an impression on the mind through the medium of
the eye will be clearer and easier retained; and so we find the modern
director of degree work combining these two methods and striving to appeal not
only to the ear, but to the eye as well.
may read from your descriptive folder that Niagara is one of the wonders of
the world, but if you can stand on the brink and watch it for a few moments
while tons of water pour itself into the abyss below, you will know that this
is one of Nature's wonders. You may read that the Washington Monument is 555
feet high - but walk up it once and you will not question; and so it is with
the California trees, and Yellowstone Park, and other wonders – seeing is more
than believing - seeing is knowing; and the up - to - date Freemason knows
that in addition to teaching the great moral truths embodied in Masonic
rituals, it is also possible to educate the candidate along other lines as
well; by the use of scenery we can teach him architecture and geography; and
by our costuming we may lead him into a study of history, for the various
degrees cover a wide period of history.
new method requires a discussion of five fundamental ways of conveying our
"lesson": (1) the ritual, (2) the scene, (3) the costume, (4) the accessory,
(5) the music. In an article of this length it will be impossible to do more
than suggest possibilities, with probably an occasional word of warning.
RITUAL. As the individual is the instrument used in imparting the Ritual, we
shall deal briefly with him; the speaker (or actor) must understand what he is
trying to teach. He must be more than a mere phonograph; he must know that his
purpose is to instruct. Time is wasted and opportunity lost when our Ritual is
entrusted to the ignorant or poll - parrot. A professional or even a semi -
professional elocutionist can do much to improve the efficient rendering of
SCENE. Highly important is the scenic background for the speaking parts; they
can make or mar a degree in many cases. Some degrees have little to commend
them except the scenery. The great danger is that the imagination of the
scenic painter runs riot when turned loose upon the background for a scene
somewhat remote. We have often read of the "Wandering Jew" and we are positive
we had him located when we beheld some of his race in the precincts of a Greek
Temple during the conferring of one of our historical degrees. We have had the
rare fortune of witnessing the immortal Cyrus, King of Persia, rambling in and
out of a Roman Forum; and we are certain that the Egyptian gods whom we beheld
in an Assyrian palace were more than uncomfortable. Huge stones self -
supported, impossible domes, imaginary combinations of construction; these are
but few of the architectural jumbles inflicted upon us today to distract the
mind of the educated man, the student, or the traveler who knows differently.
Needless to state, the scenery should be accurate and not overdone; it should
not obtrude itself, but should fit in as a part of the whole. Certain scenic
novelties at times may be allowed; proper lighting is desirable.
COSTUME. Having constructed our background and arranged our characters on the
stage it is necessary that we clothe them properly and accurately. If we but
remember that we are building a picture and not a circus performance, we shall
avoid masses of color and historical monstrosities and endeavor to adapt our
costumes to the background, keeping in mind the psychological effect of
various colors. Concerning the average costume in use it is, as a rule,
overdone. Plush, silk and satin are comparatively modern. Ermine was a gift of
the medieval ages. We can never adjust ourselves to seeing King Solomon strut
up and down the stage in a heavy plush robe trimmed with ermine "doo - dads"
and German crown, revealing a wide expanse of Hart, Schaffner & Marx pants and
W. L. Douglas shoes below his royal robe. This criticism would also hold good
in one of the semi - military degrees; where once our novitiate was pledged to
poverty, chastity and obedience, he is today garbed in the most expensive
broadcloth and decorated in all of the bullion at the disposal of its
manufacturer - representing a character neither ancient nor modern. The proper
costuming for degree work in the various rites and jurisdictions includes a
study of Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Grecian, Roman, Jewish,
Medieval, Ecclesiastical, German, Turkish, Scottish, Allegorical and Symbolic
costumes, which covers, one must admit, a wide range of territory and history.
ACCESSORY. As accessories we should list such articles, scepters, shields,
candles, vessels, tables, arks, candle - sticks, ornaments, cross, etc., used
in the interpretation of Masonic rituals. Each period of history has its own
type of accessory; the designer must be an investigator - historian rather
than salesman. A crown of a certain type denotes a definite period just as
much as the figures "1924" denote a year. How striking is the average army or
court guard on the Masonic stage, with their tin helmets and washboiler -
cover shields ? Hottenroth, Planche, Racinet and other authorities are
available and there is little excuse to longer perpetuate such absurdities.
MUSIC. Just as the scenic artist overdoes his part and as the costumer
overdoes his, so does the average musician improve ( ?) the ritual with an
elaborate program of music. The best suggestion in this respect is to remember
that music Is incidental; it should accompany yet never be so conspicous as to
obtrude. Dignity, brevity and simplicity should mark the musical program of
Masonic degree work.
proper conferring of Masonic degrees is an art yet in its infancy. The student
who makes a careful study of the five fundamentals above outlined will find
that a wonderful field of possibilities will open up to him that will at once
prove interesting and educational and, when properly applied, do much to place
our degree work above the commonplace or mediocre.
following appeared in the Freemasons' Magazine for Aug. 1, 1865, page 319. It
is worthy of perpetuation:
men in the British Army have passed a more distinguished career than the late
Lieutenant - General Sir Charles James Napier. In Spain, whilst wounded in a
fierce conflict and an uplifted sabre of an opponent over him, he made the
Masonic sign and the sabre descended harmless, but he then became a captive.
So much for the honor and humanity of a French soldier. A similar occurrence
happened to the gallant General in his brilliant latter period of service, and
to the last he continued devoted to Masonry, which was exemplified in his
dying hour near Portser, his death bed being attended by his son-in-law, Col.
McMurde, and others allied and belonging to the Fraternity, gazing, while
prostrate, upon the trophies of victory which adorned his chamber, and upon
the brotherhood assembled there, he passed from life in consciousness, calm
and resigned to the will of the Great Architect of the Universe, undergoing,
at his own request, the Sublime Degree of being raised as a Master Mason on
his death bed, whilst the immortal spirit of this splendid soldier ascended to
sit beside the great Captain of his salvation. Every Master Mason will
understand the master mind of this hero, whilst the uninitiated will see that
in his record there is a truth revealed which they, without the light, cannot
Freemasonry in Ontario
Bro. JAMES B. NIXON, President Toronto Society for Masonic Research, and Bro.
N.W.J. HAYDON, Associate Editor, Canada
HOWEVER, the Grand Lodge of Canada proved to be something more than a name. It
was very much alive, and was being received into fraternal relations by the
other Grand Lodges, that of Ireland being the first to extend them, followed
by those of Michigan, Kentucky and several others in the United States. At its
convention in 1856, the constituent lodges were re-numbered, showing
thirty-nine on the register who had met the requirements, as some who had been
represented the previous year had not. An important act was the condemnation
in the strongest terms of the wearing of Masonic emblems for business
the same year, the Provincial Grand Lodge received at its convention in
October, R W. Bro. T. D. Harington, Provincial Grand Master of Quebec, who
read a letter from the Grand Secretary in England, announcing the proposed
remedies for Canada, and asking for a statement of the lodges, working or
dormant, under their authority. His reply thereto was heartily endorsed by the
convention, but the good results of this interest was severely affected by the
reports of the proceedings at the quarterly communications referred to above,
and the Provincial Grand Lodge expressed its indignation in a series of
resolutions to be sent to England with yet another petition. Their feelings,
however, did not prevent them from strictly forbidding their members against
meeting with “the self-styled Grand Lodge of Canada.” The committee on these
resolutions met in January, 1857, and reported that in addition to the duties
laid upon them, they had also asked on behalf of the thirty lodges they
represented to be recognized as "The Grand Lodge of Upper Canada, with full
and unrestricted powers," which action was confirmed and a copy sent to R. W.
arrival of these resolutions again upset the placid life of the English Grand
Secretary's office, and W. Bro. Beach, being about to visit Canada, was
apprinted by the Earl of Zetland, Grand Master, to enquire into Masonic
matters there "and determine, if possible, a course which would be acceptable
to the Canadian Masons." His reply stated that the movement towards
independence was too strong to be checked, that personal friendships were
taking many brethren from the Provincial to the Independent Grand Lodge, that
the latter body had organized a Grand Chapter, and the only way to avoid
further secessions was to grant sovereign rights as had been requested.
Crossing this came a letter from the Grand Secretary to the Provincial Grand
Secretary in Toronto stating that the resolutions had been referred to a
"Colonial Board" created by Grand Lodge for the sole purpose of transacting
all business between the Grand Lodge and all Provincial Grand Lodges who would
do all possible to prevent future complaint.
letter was read at the Provincial Convention in June, 1857, R. W. Bros. Ridout
and Harington being in the East, but the good effect it might have had was
nullified by an other statement from the Earl of Zetland, Grand Master, which
while granting further concessions refused the request to appoint "subordinate
Provincial Grand Masters." The tone of this was so ill - liked that another
series of resolutions was passed, declaring that the Provincial Grand Lodge
saw no way to preserve the efficiency and stability of freemasonry in Canada,
save by complete independence, and appointing a committee to meet one offered
by the Grand Lodge of Canada "to negotiate terms on which a reunion may be
During 1857, the Grand Lodge of Canada had prospered exceedingly. At its
second convention, with M.W. Bro. Wilson presiding, thirty - four lodges were
represented, and so lively an interest was shown in the new Constitution that
no less than fifty-six amendments were offered. A committee was appointed to
meet that of the Provincial Grand Lodge and to meet their proposals in every
way that did not affect "the entire independence of Freemasonry in Canada."
same year there were sharp debates in England over the Canadian impasse and
much correspondence faithfully preserved in M. W. Bro. Robertson's History.
The Grand Master and his supporters appeared to consider the preservation of
the dignity and authority of their offices as of first importance, while the
friends of the would - be - loyal Canadians urged that such loyalty and
goodwill and the efficiency of responsible officers should receive first
consideration. The result was that the history of England's political colonial
relations of 1775 repeated itself in the Canadian Masonic relations between
1840 - 57, though without the added horrors of armed rebellion, and the custom
of making inherited social rank a prerequisite to executive responsibilities
added, as was inevitable, another tablet to its Hall of Failures.
SUCCESSFUL PLAN OF UNION WAS DEVISED
plan of union was finally worked out between the Provincial Grand Lodge of
Canada West and the Grand Lodge of Canada, with the result that the Provincial
Grand Lodge met in Toronto in September, 1857, Sir Allan MacNab favoring it
with his presence. Thirty - four lodges were represented and as a first step
towards a union on equal terms, and following the precedents given by Preston
in his record of the Union of the two Grand Lodges of England, the Provincial
Grand Lodge organized itself into "The Ancient Grand Lodge of Canada" with
forty - seven lodges on its roll. Sir Allan was elected first Grand Master and
R. W. Bro. Harington, Provincial Grand Master of Quebec, received the honor of
Past Grand Master for his services. R. W. Ridout was appointed Deputy Grand
Master and installed by M. W. Bro. Harington, together with Grand Senior and
Junior Wardens; all the Past Provincial Grand Lodge officers were accorded
similar rank in the new Grand Lodge.
Eighteen hundred and fifty-eight marked the happy consummation of the long -
drawn - out negotiations; in April M. W. Bro. Harington prepared Articles of
Agreement for ratification between the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons of Canada, and the Ancient Grand Lodge of Canada, and a
program of ceremony, as carefully thought out to meet the case as that by
which President Roosevelt brought together the representatives of Japan and
Russia at Portsmouth, N. H., at the conclusion of their war, nearly fifty
July 14, the Grand Lodge of Canada met in the hall of King Solomon's Lodge, M.
W. Bro. Wilson on the throne, forty - four lodges being represented; two
distinguished visitors being M. W. Bro. Tucker, Grand Master of Vermont, and
R. W. Bro. Rob Morris, Deputy Grand Master of Kentucky. The events leading up
to the meeting were detailed by the Grand Master in his address, as also the
adoption of the Articles of Agreement. At the evening session a deputation
from the Ancient Grand Lodge of Canada was introduced, who announced that
their lodges also had adopted the Articles of Agreement. Being assured of
every fraternal welcome, the deputation retired to their own hall some two
blocks away, and the Grand Lodge was called off.
9:30 p. m. the heavy sound of marching men was heard on the quiet air, and
word was brought of the approach of the Ancient Grand Lodge. Instantly Grand
Lodge was called on, every member on the alert, and the door tyled. As soon as
the hundred and fifty brethren had assembled in the anterooms, the alarm was
given and headed by Sir Allan MacNab they entered and were received with full
honors. Amid echoing applause, M. W. Bro. Wilson descended from the East and
going to M. W. Bro. MacNab grasped his hand saying, "M. W. Sir, you are indeed
most welcome." After this their seats were resumed, members of the two Grand
Lodges being placed alternately, while the cheering continued and on the faces
of the older members tears of joy appeared at the happy fruition of their
efforts. The Articles of Union were then read and unanimously ratified and
confirmed and the Union declared perfect and complete.
day Grand Lodge met in the hall of St. Andrew's Lodge to elect officers. M. W.
Bro. Wilson became Grand Master and R. W. Bro. Ridout, Deputy Grand Master by
acclamation. All the other officers were ballotted for. In the afternoon M. W.
Bro Tucker of Vermont installed M. W. Bro. Wilson, who in turn installed and
proclaimed his Grand Officers; R. W. Bros. Harington, Stevens and Morris were
suitably honored and a medal was ordered to be struck in commemoration of the
Eighteen hundred and thirty - nine brought recognition from the Grand Lodge of
England of the Grand Lodge of Canada, in authority over the whole country west
of the Maritime Provinces, except for such private lodges and brethren as
might prefer to retain their previous allegiance. As the Provincial Grand
Lodge of Montreal had ceased to exist, lodges in its territory were ordered to
choose between the Grand Lodge of England and the Provincial Grand Lodge of
Quebec, and although the Grand Lodge of Canada did not like to have a separate
Provincial Grand Lodge in its territory, the exceptions were granted.
LODGE FELT THE EFFECT OF CANADIAN CONFEDERATION
Craft grew and prospered until 1867 when confederation took place. By this
action Canada West became Ontario, and Canada East was renamed Quebec; so that
while there remained one Masonic Province there were two political Provinces
within the same space, and this eventually led to new friction. At first there
was talk of a Grand Lodge for the whole Dominion, but this was rendered
impossible by the brethren in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick forming their own
August, 1869, seventeen Past Masters of eight lodges in or near Montreal,
headed by R. W. Bro. J. H. Graham and three other P. D. D. G. M's, decided to
form a Grand Lodge for Quebec and so informed M. W. Bro. A. A. Stevenson, then
Grand Master for the two Provinces. But as he found on enquiry that these
brethren had acted without authority even from their own lodges, and that in
two of these the subject of separation had never been discussed, he refused to
recognize them as having the necessary powers precedent to such a step and -
when they continued in their rebellion - suspended them from their Masonic
result of their irregular methods did not deter the advocates of autonomy,
however, and in October of the same year they held a convention at Montreal
where representatives of eight lodges were present, and a Grand Lodge for the
Province of Quebec was organized with a full staff of officers, the Grand
Master being the J. H. Graham mentioned above. As these lodges were a minority
of those working in that section of the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of
Canada, and as two of them and eight of their principal officers were
suspended brethren, it was, of course, impossible for the Grand Master to give
them that fraternal recognition of their desire for independence, which would,
no doubt, have been granted had the regular procedure been followed.
sore spot continued in the Masonic life of Ontario until, at the annual
Communication in Toronto in 1874, an agreement was ratified whereby the Grand
Lodge of Canada withdrew from the Province of Quebec and a formal recognition
was extended to the Grand Lodge thereof, after which the lodges still loyal to
their mother Grand Lodge were also placed within its obedience.
1876 a new schism came into being through the action of certain brethren in
London, who had received a dispensation to work as "Eden Lodge." Owing to
local opposition this warrant was ordered to be withdrawn, but permission was
granted the members to pass and raise those already initiated. The members
refused to accept these conditions but instead retained their dispensation and
five of them with the former D. D. G. M. of the District, R. W. Bro. F.
Westlake, at their head, secured from the Provincial Government Letters of
Incorporation as "The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of
Ontario." The basis of their action was the claim that the Grand Lodge of
Canada having withdrawn from Quebec and there being Grand Lodges in all the
other Provinces of the Dominion, there was no longer any regularly constituted
Grand Lodge for Ontario alone. Other reasons given were that the Benevolent
Funds were used improperly and the Board of General Purposes was too
cumbersome and expensive.
could be, of course, but one result of this action, which was that the five
brethren concerned were suspended from all privileges in Freemasonry, which
action was copied by other Grand Lodges generally.
years later the schism seemed to have been dissolved, as their seal was
surrendered to M. W. Bro. W. H. Weller, and the majority of the members were
healed in two new lodges at London. But other members continued the rebellion
until 1896, when arrangements were concluded whereby their Provincial Charter
was transferred to M.W. Bro. W. R. White and the Grand Secretary as trustees
for their property and all records voluntarily surrendered. All members who
applied were healed, Harmony Lodge, Toronto, being formed for this purpose,
and Grand Lodge honors were conferred on three of their Past Masters who had
"aided materially in bringing about the settlement."
items of outstanding interest to Freemasons generally remain to be told, the
more so as I believe they are unique in the history of Canadian experience.
LODGE WAS CHARTERED TO MEET IN JERUSALEM
February, 1873, M. W. Bro. W. M. Wilson issued a warrant for the formation of
" 'The Royal Solomon Mother Lodge’ to meet in the city of Jerusalem, or in
adjacent places in Palestine." The petition was signed by many distinguished
brethren, including Robert Morris, LL. D., Alex. A. Stevenson, Albert G.
Mackey, John Scott, DeWitt C. Cregier, Robert Macoy, John Sheville, Rolla
Floyd and other brethren of the American colony in that city. M. W. Bro. Rob.
Morris of Kentucky was the first W. M., and the warrant was accompanied by a
gift of the Three Great Lights of Masonry, together with a complete set of the
collars, jewels and clothing required for the officers.
why the application for this warrant was sent this Grand Lodge is explained in
our Proceedings for 1901, from which it appears that requests had been made,
informally, to the three British Grand Lodges, and on being warned of a
probable rejection, to those of the United States, all of which declined as
well. As the country of Palestine was then unoccupied territory, Masonically
speaking, although there were lodges in the Turkish Empire of which it is a
part, any sovereign Grand Lodge could charter a lodge within its boundaries
without invading the rights of any other, and M. W. Bro. Wilson decided to
follow an established Masonic precedent by acceding to the request of the
distinguished brethren named above, though, whether he knew that their request
had been so frequently denied previously is not mentioned in his report. Bro.
Morris' Freemasonry In the Holy Land deals with this episode on page 471.
1901 certain by - laws sent from this lodge for approval were disapproved
because they would have entailed privileges "enjoyed by no other lodge in this
jurisdiction." Further, because distance had made proper supervision
impossible, and it was found that many undesirable practices had become
customary amongst its members, M. W. Bro. R. B. Hungerford ordered that the
charter be withdrawn.
second item refers to Capitular Masonry, about which no special mention has
been made so far to avoid lengthening an already extended paper.
1886 a petition was received from Companions residing in Melbourne, Australia,
a few of whom had been members of the Grand Chapter of Canada. The record
states that these Companions had "appealed to us for encouragement, advice and
assistance," owing to friction with the Capitular methods of other
Constitutions working in that country, and their request was granted.
1888 this precedent was followed by M. E. Comp. R. B. Hungerford, who issued
warrants for two more chapters in the same city, and there was then formed
Australian District No. 13.
Grand Chapter of England objected to these warrants being issued on the ground
that it had always held that the jurisdiction of Colonial and Dominion Grand
Bodies could not extend outside their own borders. Our Grand Chapter contended
that as each Grand Chapter in the several British Provinces is the peer of the
Grand Chapter of England, the Grand Chapter of Canada had equal right to
establish subordinate chapters in any country or colony where a supreme
governing body does not exist.
1889 following the inauguration of the Grand Lodge of Victoria, Australia, a
Supreme Grand Chapter was formed for the same Province, but was not generally
recognized owing to irregularities of procedure, and its authorities added to
the handicap of the Canadian Companions.
1893 one of the Canadian chapters seceded to the Grand Chapter of Victoria,
but petitions were received for three more warrants from that Province, which
were granted by M. E. Comp. J. E. Harding, although those already there had
received no recognition from the chapters under the other Constitutions, or
the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons.
desirability of a union was generally conceded by all concerned, however, and
several conferences of appointed committees were held to that end. Finally, in
1895, a union was consummated "on terms honorable to our Companions in our
Australian District, as well as to those of the Grand Chapter of Victoria,"
due credit being given to the initiative of the Canadian Companions who had
made possible for Capitular Masonry in that Province to have its own Grand
Chapter and its Masonic independence.
HARMONY HAS REIGNED DURING RECENT YEARS
1874 we have had few Masonic experiences deserving special mention. In 1875
our District of Manitoba assumed the toga virilis with the parental blessing,
and thirty years later, in 1905, gave birth to the Grand Lodge of Alberta. The
Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan was established in 1906, as a result of the
political organization of that Province, so that at this date (1924) the only
lodges in Canada, working in their own political unity, but having no Grand
Lodge of their own, are those in the Yukon Territory which forms District No.
10 of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia.
only present cause for dissension lies in the retention of our original
official title "The Grand Lodge of Canada," although our boundaries are now
confined to those of our own Province. The elder brethren, who helped to make
this title a fact, naturally uphold it with a proper pride; some of the
younger ones - unassociated with their efforts - are willing to change
it, and there are some who remember the bitter controversies of 1869 - 74 and
urge its abolition.
1888 this title was modified by the addition of the words "in the Province of
Ontario," but experience has proved that the use of this phrase is generally
not in evidence, especially outside of Canada. This was so particularly
noticeable in 1919, when M. W. Pro. W. H. Wardrope attended the Masonic Peace
Celebration of the Grand Lodge of England, where the representatives of many
other Grand Lodges were in attendance, that in 1920 he moved in Grand Lodge
that the words "of Canada" be struck out. After prolonged discussion the
matter was left until the next year for decision, when, after further
discussion, the motion was "declared lost." However, more acute troubles have
been smoothed away by the lapse of time and this is not likely to be an
real danger as darkens our horizon lies in our enormous increase of
membership, unbalanced by an equally high standard of quality, which has led
to much expenditure of time, money and energy in side issues. This is not
peculiar to ourselves, however, and we can safely trust the inherent purpose
that brought our Order into being, and keeps it going, to dissolve these
accretions when the lessons they can teach have become part of our Masonic
"Let's Stop Blowing Bubbles "
fetching account of the origin of the Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled
Children was published in Collier's Weekly Sept 13 last, is copyrighted by
that journal, and here republished by special permission.
in Atlanta fell under a moving railway train, and one of his legs was crushed
beyond repair. The leg was amputated and infection set in. The boy had no
friends or money.
Forrest Adair heard about the case. He took the boy to Dr. Michael Hoke, an
orthopedic surgeon, and told Mike Hoke to save the boy at any cost and send
him the bill.
Hoke wrestled with the case for weeks and finally sent the boy away well and
robust, with an artificial leg. Forrest Adair waited for the bill. No bill
came. Then he wrote Dr. Hoke. The bill came in a few days; it was $5. Forrest
Adair called on Dr. Hoke.
are you doing, kidding me, sending me a bill for $5 for three months' work?"
I'm not kidding you," the surgeon answered.
"Well, I'm not going to stand for this," said Adair. "I want you to understand
that I'm thoroughly able to pay for what you did for this boy and I wasn't
passing the hat for him."
afraid you just don't understand," said the surgeon. "There are some things in
this life more satisfying than the money rewards we get for our work. I have
been repaid a thousand times in the case of that boy, by his gratitude and joy
at being restored to a life of health and usefulness."
two men stood with eyes fixed on each other for a long time, then they sat
down and talked things over.
Hoke named seven or eight specific cases of poor children in Atlanta who would
be crippled for life because there was not in all Georgia an institution in
which they could be cared for during an operation, and hospitalization was out
of the question because of the poverty of their parents.
can only give them my technical skill," said the surgeon; "I haven't the means
to supply beds and nursing for the weeks and weeks it takes to straighten
twisted limbs and spines."
ADAIR TAKES HOLD
Forrest Adair is perhaps the most forceful man in Atlanta. He has given
several fortunes to charity and he has a way of making his hardest - boiled
friends help the distressed because he knows the joy that giving will bring to
all who give. After his earnest talk with Dr. Hoke he interested the Scottish
Rite Masons of Atlanta in providing a little hospital for crippled children.
And then in 1917 a ten - bed hospital was born. That Scottish Rite hospital
grew and grew until today it has sixty-two beds and plans are being made for
twenty - five more. In eight years 5,000 of Georgia's crippled children of
indigent parents have been restored to health and set upon their feet, raised
from despair to normal boyhood and girlhood, resurrected from years of
helplessness and possible pauperism to the certainty of health and self -
sustaining citizenship. This is what the Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta has
done for the children of Georgia.
hospital not only captured the imagination of Atlantans, but its fame spread
and visitors came from far and near. W. Freeland Kendrick, at that time
Imperial Potentate of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine,
now Mayor of Philadelphia, visited the hospital in Atlanta in 1918. There he
saw the wonders being wrought, and the smiles of crippled children about to be
made as other children are inspired him with an idea.
are about 560,000 Shriners in North America. Noble Kendrick knew what a half
million Shriners could do if interested, and at Indianapolis in 1919 he told
them about the Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Atlanta and
proposed that Shriners establish similar hospitals in every important city in
America. The Shriners listened indifferently. The motion was lost - and
Portland in 1920 Noble Kendrick went before the Shrine again. But nobody
wanted to hear about kids with crooked spines, clubfeet, rotting bones, and
that sort of thing. The thing was again about to be tabled when Forrest Adair
arose. He told them in his own way about what a handful of Scottish Rite
Masons had done for the children of Georgia. And then he said:
was awakened about two o'clock this morning by a Shriner playing a baritone
horn underneath my window. He was all lit up, but he was going strong with
that horn, and the tune he played was 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles.'
see here, Nobles, we've been just blowing bubbles, without ever a care for
anybody but ourselves. Let's do something besides blowing bubbles; let's
justify our existence in a big and beautiful way and get some real fun out of
the business of being a Shriner."
indicated what could be done even with an assessment of $2 a year on every
Shriner; an insignificant sum to the individual Noble but a princely million
and better when pooled. The idea - certainly a splendid one - went over
with a bang. That was back in 1920.
the Shriners have hospitals for crippled children in St. Louis, Mo.; Portland,
Ore.; Shreveport, La.; San Francisco, Cal.; and in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Sites have been bought for similar hospitals in Chicago, Philadelphia,
Montreal, Springfield, Mass., and in Honolulu, Hawaii. Plans are under way for
the erection of twenty hospitals – more if necessary – to reach the 460,000
crippled children in the United States alone. It costs about $300,000 to build
one of these hospitals and about $70,000 a year to maintain it. The Shriners
are at present spending more than a million a year out of their assessment of
$2 apiece, and they will raise that assessment when more is needed. It means
that at last, here on the threshold of a new and better century, millions of
hitherto hopelessly crippled children are to have a new life, a chance to
laugh and romp and grow up to be cheerful, useful self - supporting citizens,
instead of charges upon their families and society.
MEDICAL SCIENCE PERFORMS NEW MIRACLES
Orthopedic surgery is comparatively a new thing; it has made its great
progress within the past decade without its miracles getting the publicity
they deserve. For instance, the method of straightening out a club foot has
been to force the foot into line by virtually breaking every bone in it. The
operation was torturous and often unsuccessful. Dr. Hoke goes into the thin
and wasted leg, chisels the femur in two, turns the entire femur around and,
lo, the foot that turned backward is straightened. The bone of the leg in its
new position knits in a few weeks and in a comparatively short time the
patient is able to walk.
very recently a flat foot was treated by forcing the bones of the arch back
into position by painful manipulation that seldom effected a permanent cure.
Dr. Hoke takes the contrary bones of the flat foot, constructs a one - piece
permanent arch, and the arch forever retains the shape he gives it.
modern miracles of orthopedic surgery are many. But that isn't the story I
wanted to tell. I wanted to give the inside story of how a great idea was sold
to a lot of fun - chasing men in America when it was properly presented.
though folks may seem busy and selfish, they are almost always humane at heart
and ready to do good when someone shows them the way. You will generally find
that the hearts of men are right when you speak to their hearts.
Mission to the United States of America
the report to the M. W. The Grand Master by R. W. Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins,
P.G.W., President of the Board of General Purposes, United Grand Lodge,
many thousands of American Masons who followed with such keen interest Bro.
Sir Alfred Robbins' visit to these shores as an official ambassador of good
will from the United Grand Lodge of England will find his formal report, made
to the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, a notable document,
good to read and worthy of careful study. It appeared as an Appendix to Bro.
Robbins' Report of the Board of General Purposes over date of Aug. 1, 1924.
HAVE the honour to submit a report on the Mission to the United States of
America, with which your Royal Highness was pleased to entrust me.
at the Quarterly Communication on June 4, I was welcomed by your Royal
Highness in Grand Lodge on the day of my return to this country, I used these
words: "I would like to express, here and now, my deep appreciation of the
warmth of the enthusiastic welcome which was given, in various jurisdictions
in the United States I visited, to the accredited representative of the United
Grand Lodge of England. Since last standing in this hall, I have traveled, on
behalf of Grand Lodge, over twelve thousand miles; I have visited ten American
Jurisdictions, and I have spoken at Masonic gatherings in twenty American
cities. And I come back to my own country with the assurance of the devotion
of those Grand Lodges to the principles for which the Grand Lodge of England
has always stood, and of their personal thanks to and admiration of yourself,
M. W. Grand Master, for the manner in which you have so long presided over the
destinies of the English Craft." This tribute I desire to repeat with emphasis
would venture to recall the circumstances which led to my undertaking the
Mission to America. Five years ago, the United Grand Lodge of England had the
privilege of the presence of twenty - nine leading representatives of various
American Jurisdictions - in the main Grand Masters, Past Grand Masters and
Grand Secretaries - on the occasion of the Especial Grand Lodge holden at
the Royal Albert Hall on June 27, 1919, in Celebration of Peace. During their
stay in England these distinguished brethren more than once expressed a strong
hope that their visit would in some way be soon returned; and later I
personally received from time to time invitations to different American Grand
Jurisdictions. It was not, however, until the end of last year that I was in a
position to accept any of these; and then, with the approval of your Royal
Highness, I arranged to make a journey to the United States during the ensuing
spring. The Board of General Purposes, in reporting this to Grand Lodge on
Dee. 5, 1923, expressed the belief that the interchange of fraternal
information secured by such a visit would be of great mutual service, as being
conducive to a greater understanding between the English - speaking members of
the Craft; and later it uttered the hope that the visit would strengthen still
further the bond of friendship and good will between the British and American
peoples. It was in that belief and hope that I arranged to leave this country
on Feb. 27, of the present year, bearing the following message from your Royal
Highness to our American brethren:
the occasion of the visit of Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins, P. G. W., President of
the Board of General Purposes, to the United States, I take the opportunity of
conveying through him to the brethren of all Jurisdictions in friendly
association with the United Grand Lodge of England my fraternal good wishes
and sincere desire for their continued happiness and prosperity.
is my earnest hope that the tenets of our Order may assist still further the
bond of friendship and good will, which so happily exists between our two
nations, and I shall watch with sympathy every endeavour to promote these
feelings by the development of Freemasonry in the purest and highest aspects."
DESCRIPTION OF THE TOUR
planning the details of the tour, it at once became apparent that, in the less
than three months that could be given to the undertaking before returning in
time for the Quarterly Communication in June, severe limitations would have to
be imposed. I found that, if the invitations to visit several Jurisdictions
bordering on the Atlantic seaboards as well as certain Grand Lodges in the
Middle West, were accepted, I should be bound to decline at that date any
outside this definitely circumscribed line. Being thus constrained by
considerations of time as well as of personal strength, I, with sincere
regret, was compelled to decline very cordial invitations to visit the Grand
Jurisdictions of California, Utah, Nebraska, Georgia, North Dakota and
Delaware; but I received from representatives of all these the most cordial
good wishes, as also from the Grand Masters of Connecticut, Rhode Island,
Vermont, Wisconsin and South Carolina, as well as the Grand Secretary of New
Hampshire, all of whom met me during my stay in the United States; while the
Grand Master of Louisiana sent by telegram his especial regards. And I would
premise that an absolute rule during the visit was not to attend any Masonic
gathering, or one even indirectly associated with Masonry, to which I had not
been invited, or was not accompanied, by the Grand Master of the Jurisdiction
in which it was held.
Landing on March 6 in New York, I was welcomed by the leading brethren of that
Jurisdiction, who gave an equally hearty Masonic "send off" on my leaving the
same port on May 28. By the kindness of friends, my headquarters throughout
the American stay were at Montclair, N. J., a few miles south of New York,
whence on March 10 I proceeded to Boston and attended a meeting of the Fourth
Estate Lodge, to see the American working of an important degree. On the next
evening, I was present at the Annual Convocation of the Grand Royal Arch
Chapter of Massachusetts, where I received a very hearty welcome; and the
following day, after being privileged to be at a confidential meeting of the
District Deputy Grand Masters of the Massachusetts Jurisdiction with their
Grand Master, I went to the regular communication of their Grand Lodge, and
again had a cordial greeting. This was assisted by Bro. Thomas R. Marshall, of
Indiana, Vice - president of the United States from 1913 to 1921, who was
emphatic in his fraternal greetings. In the evening the Grand Master of
Massachusetts invited to assemble in my honour the Past Grand Masters and
Grand Officers of his Jurisdiction, as well as the Grand Masters of two
neighbouring states, two others being prevented from attending by a heavy snow
blizzard, which also had hindered hundreds of brethren from distant parts of
the state from being in Grand Lodge. During my stay, lasting until March 14,
in the course of which I had a personal interview with the Governor of the
state, I had the opportunity for frequent consultation with the leading
brethren of the Jurisdiction on matters of Masonic policy, in which
information was given and received on both sides; and it may be here noted
that similar conferences took place in every Jurisdiction I visited.
IN NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY
the course of the two following weeks, I had special consultations with
representative brethren of New York and New Jersey, and was entertained at a
large gathering of the leading members of the former Jurisdiction by their
Grand Master; and on March 31, I went for five days to Washington, there to
meet the brethren of the Jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, which has
Washington for its centre. In the capital city of the United States, I met not
only representative members of the Craft, headed by their Grand Master, but
was made most heartily welcome by Bro. John H. Cowles, Past Grand Master of
Kentucky, who has a vivid memory of the reception given him when visiting
London at the Peace Celebration, and is now the head of the Southern
Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, a very powerful
Masonic body in the United States, which has its counterpart in this country
in the Ancient and Accepted Rite. Under his escort, I inspected the
preliminary work now being pursued for the erection of the George Washington
National Masonic Memorial, in Virginia, as well as the Temple of the
Alexandria Washington Lodge, the original lodge room of which is filled with
relies of the first President of the United States, who lived at Mount Vernon,
near by, and was the first Master of this Virginian Lodge.
in Washington, I had the especial privilege - through the introduction by
Bro. Frank B. Kellogg, the American Ambassador to this country - of
interviews with the President of the United States (Mr. Coollidge) and the
Secretry of State (Mr. Charles E. Hughes), as well as with the Chief Justice
of the United States Supreme Court (Ex - President W. H. Taft). The last of
these distinguished Americans is a Mason, and, in that capacity, attended a
banquet given in my honour at the House of the Temple, at which were present a
number of United States Senators, members of the House of Representatives and
leading American admirals, generals, scientists and literary men, all members
of the Masonic Fraternity. In my interviews with the President and the
Secretary of State, and in response to their questions, I stated the nature
and object of my mission, which was to promote - and, in a large degree,
through Freemasonry - by full, free and frequent intercourse, the already
friendly relations between the English - speaking peoples in general and those
of this country and the United States in particular; and that statement in
each case was approvingly received. Before visiting Washington, I had a
conversation in New York with Bro. John W. Davis, a former American Ambassador
to England, who had the Brevet Rank of Past Grand Warden conferred upon him at
the Especial Peace Grand Lodge of June 27, 1919. Bro. Davis recalled with much
interest that Masonic incident regarding himself, as well as others in
connection with the period of his residence in London; and he expressed
cordial wishes for the success of my mission.
WITNESSES CEREMONIES AT YONKERS
April 7, I witnessed the Ceremony of Initiation, well performed by leading
Grand officers, in the Jonkheer Lodge at Yonkers, not far from New York, being
there accompanied by the Grand Master of New York, and his successor, the then
Deputy Grand Master. I next visited, on the 9th, the City of Philadelphia,
where the Grand Master and brethren of Pennsylvania gave me the most cordial
of receptions. The Mayor of Philadelphia extended to me a civic welcome, and I
was the official guest of the city during my stay; the Grand Master brought
together a large gathering of the leading brethren of his Jurisdiction, who
expressed the warmest sentiments of amity and admiration for the Grand Lodge
of England; and I was given more than one opportunity to inspect the Grand
Lodge Library, a finely arranged and well displayed collection, worthy of
close Masonic study. The great friendliness of feeling here shown was repeated
when I went, on April 15, to Trenton for the regular communication of the
Grand Lodge of New Jersey, which I addressed on the following day, having
spoken the previous night at an assembly of the Grand Master, Past Grand
Masters and leading brethren of the state. In these Grand Jurisdictions, as in
every one visited during my stay in America, I read the personal message of
your Royal Highness. It was everywhere greeted with sincere warmth and with
expressions of appreciation of the great work your Royal Highness has done for
Freemasonry, especially during the twenty-three years' tenure of your Grand
most arduous part of my undertaking began with the fortnight I spent in four
great Jurisdictions of the Middle West. opening with that of Missouri. On
April 19 I traveled direct to St. Louis, a distance from New York of 1,051
miles, and on the 21st, after being specially welcomed by the National Masonic
Research Society of the United States, I spoke at an emergent meeting of the
Grand Lodge of Missouri, the proceedings being most fraternal and hearty. The
following day, the Grand Master showed me much of Masonic interest in and
around St. Louis, and gave me the opportunity for pleasant intercourse with
some leading brethren; and that night I proceeded to Columbia, the University
City of the state, where I not only addressed the Grand Chapter of Missouri,
but witnessed some admirable working in Acacia Lodge. On the 24th, I journeyed
to Kansas City, in the same state, a distance of 278 miles from St. Louis, and
there I was entertained by the Orient Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, as well
as, on the 26th, by the Ivanhoe Lodge of Kansas City, one of the largest
private - or, as they are there termed, subordinate - lodges in the United
States. After being present at the dedication of a new portion of the very
spacious and striking Ivanhoe Temple, I attended a very large meeting of the
lodge to witness the ceremony of raising, in the presence of the Grand Master,
the 4,000th Mason, now a subscribing member of Ivanhoe Lodge. Throughout my
week in the State of Missouri, I was accompanied by the Grand Master to every
Masonic gathering, and I am grateful for all the help he gave.
on the night of April 26, after the Ivanhoe ceremony, I went forward to the
State of Iowa; and, after being heartily welcomed on the way at Marshalltown
by the brethren of the Marshall Lodge, I proceeded to Cedar Rapids, the well -
known Masonic centre of the Jurisdiction. In that city I witnessed some Iowa
working at the Crescent Lodge, in the presence of over two thousand brethren
from different parts of the state; visited twice the Iowa Masonic Library, a
very fine institution which impressed me as admirably designed and managed;
attended a meeting of the Grand Master's Advisory Council by his special
invitation; was entertained, with the leading brethren, by the Grand Master,
and that night went on to Chicago to be greeted by the brethren of Illinois.
After two days in Chicago, where my pleasant experiences were repeated and
even emphasized, being especially welcomed by the Grand Master and his leading
colleagues in the Illinois Jurisdiction, with his District Deputies, I
journeyed, on the night of May 1, to Columbus, to be met by the brethren of
Ohio, headed by their Grand Master, with the same cordial enthusiasm that had
accompanied me throughout the journey. In this last city I addressed, under
the presidency of the Grand Master, a gathering of about 2,000 Masons,
assembled from all parts of the Jurisdiction. The next morning I visited the
New England Lodge at Worthington, one of the oldest lodges in the state, where
an emergent meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ohio was convened to greet me, and
it was due alone to the sudden and severe illness of his eldest son that I did
not have a promised interview with the state governor.
ENDS VISIT TO MIDDLE WEST
the evening of May 3, I ended my fourteen days' visit to the Middle West, in
the course of which I had traveled by rail and motor ear over 3,000 miles,
including five night journeys, and had spoken in ten Masonic centres of
activity. Any record of this part of my tour would not be complete if I did
not mention the very great pains that were taken by the various Grand Masters
to ensure my convenience, as in each instance I was greeted, before leaving
one Jurisdiction, by the Deputy Grand Master or Grand Marshal of the one next
to be visited, and was escorted by him to my destination, a mark of regard
which was very highly appreciated.
resting two days, I attended the Grand Lodge of New York on May 6 and 7, and
gave thereat the message from your Royal Highness with which I was charged.
Not only was my welcome from this very large gathering of the heartiest, but
"the Grand Master's Family" - as the Grand officers and Past Grand officers
of the state are known, corresponding very closely to our Grand Officers'
Mess - gave on their own account a most cordial greeting. On the 13th, I
paid a visit to Baltimore in order to address the Grand Lodge of Maryland,
where the Grand Master and his brethren paid me special honour; and, on the
following day I went to Elizabethtown to inspect the very extensive and
excellently arranged Pennsylvania Masonic Home. The next day I returned to New
York to be welcomed at a special banquet by the National Masonic Service
Association of the United States, at which attended representatives of Grand
Lodges in distant parts of the Union whom I had not previously had the
opportunity to meet; while, on the following night, there was a reception in
my honour at Newark to the most active Masons of the Jurisdiction of New
Jersey. This concluded the formal portion of my Masonic stay, though on May 20
I was the guest in New York of the leading brethren of that Jurisdiction who,
nearly two months earlier, had similarly entertained me, and who throughout
had given me the warmest sympathy and support, as well as afforded the fullest
aid and information.
During the tour I had the honour to present, by your Royal Highness' command,
the newly - struck official badge of a Representative from a friendly Grand
Lodge to the United Grand Lodge of England, to six distinguished American
brethren who had not previously received this mark of honourable distinction.
There were the Grand Lodge Representatives of the Jurisdictions of New York,
Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. In
every ease the presentation was made in the presence, and with the expressed
approval of, the Grand Master of the Jurisdiction, arid in each it was
welcomed by the assembled brethren, as well as by the brother immediately
concerned, with open manifestation of approval and enjoyment.
will afford an indication of the extent of Masonic territory covered during
the mission if there be given, according to the latest available official
statistics, the membership of the various Grand Lodges visited in its course:
District of Columbia 21,132
decidedly more than one million and a quarter American brethren were addressed
through their respective Grand Lodges and Grand Masters.
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
my return home I have had both time and opportunity to consider generally what
I had learned from this visit to the United States, and the chief lesson I
drew from all my experiences - and this is a counsel to be given to brethren
on both sides of the Atlantic - was to avoid hasty judgments formed on first
impressions. In regard to such differences as are plainly visible between the
system of Grand Lodge and lodge government in the United States and our own
Jurisdiction - differences, it is ever to be understood, in degree but not in
doctrine - national characteristics and local circumstances always and most
steadily have to be borne in mind. A marked divergence in national psychology
accounts for the one difference which to the Englishman is most apparent, and
that is that what we as Masons present to the mind's eye is in America
represented to the bodily vision. It is impossible openly to speak more on so
delicate a matter, but I would record the opinion that the manner in which the
dramatic story of our earliest - known workings has developed into the acted
drama now seen across the Atlantic, demands closest study from those Masons,
both English and American, who desire to know what are the differences in
practice here and there, and how and why they arose.
such a study is undertaken, it would always have to be with full realization
of the temperamental and psychological differences between the English and the
American peoples - differences more easily observed than accounted for. It
would be difficult to explain why the English brother who is as scrupulous to
conceal marks of his Masonry from the outside world as his American brother is
ready to display them, and who, in his Masonic observances is as reticent of
emotion as the American is ready with drama, should have in Craft Masonry a
far more ornate display and difference of clothing, whether in Grand Lodge or
private lodge, than is used by the overwhelming body of Symbolic or Blue
Masons in the United States. This is a problem which affects us all; but there
also are problems which directly touch American lodges alone, as there are
those which directly touch English lodges alone. Concerning these, which, at
the most, are non - essential in their basis, it is well that each body should
exercise both toleration and patience, and not seek to impose its opinions,
even by implication, the one on the other.
Masonic practice generally, American Masons appear to pay a degree of
deference to the precise words of James Anderson on constitutional points, and
of William Preston on points of practice, which English brethren who have
studied those eighteenth century Masonic writers at closest hand are
unprepared to share. In this country we do not regard either as an infallible
authority, and our belief is that much of our strength has come from having
been able to differentiate with clearness between what in them is of permanent
value and what personal opinion.
it is always to be borne in mind that the forty - nine Grand Jurisdictions
which exist in the United States are entirely independent of each other,
having no central authority, acting on their own regulations, and by their own
methods of government, within their several boundaries. As a consequence, the
composition of the various Grand Lodges, the method of selection of the
several Grand Masters, and even the term of service of these higher officers,
vary greatly with the Jurisdictions, just as does the working of the private
or subordinate lodges.
much that is strange and often exuberant, the fraternal observer cannot fail
to be impressed not only by the skill and assiduity with which, despite
extraneous attractions, the concerns of American Symbolic lodges are managed,
and the zeal and ability with which their leaders promulgate the genuine
principles and tenets of Freemasonry, but by the almost limitless patience the
brethren display in the discharge of their Masonic work. This last
characteristic is the more noteworthy in face of the overwhelmingly large size
of very many of the lodges; but it is good to recognize the keen sense of
order displayed within the doors of the Grand Lodges and private lodges alike,
while the strict regard paid to the presiding officer is . voluntary
discipline of the best kind. It further is well not only to note but to
appreciate the keen interest in Masonic problems, both practical and
philosophic, and the informed concern with Masonic questions of international
interest, manifested by the foremost brethren in the Jurisdictions I visited.
COMMENTS ON D.D.G.M. SYSTEM
is, however, one striking difference in Grand Lodge methods of government
which aroused my keen attention, and appears worthy of our consideration. Even
in the largest American Jurisdictions, no such divisions exist for purposes of
local self - government as our Provincial or District Grand Lodges; but the
supervision of the lodges is undertaken, and their discipline directly
maintained, by a system of District Deputy Grand Masters. Each of these has a
comparatively, though varying, small number of lodges given directly into his
charge during his term of office, which may, or may not, be for longer than a
year. The District Deputy Grand Master is held responsible for visiting every
lodge under his charge during the year, and reporting on its work to the Grand
Master, who in many cases meets these officers of his own appointment before
each Grand Lodge communication, and enjoins them as to their duties and the
manner in which good results can be obtained. To some extent, this is done in
many of our provinces by a system of visitation under the Provincial Grand
Master's special direction. But that system is not universal, and, in any
ease, it does not apply to London, and, therefore, a closer examination of the
American plan, with an attempt to estimate its full value, would, I believe,
be of much use to ourselves.
phases of American Masonic activity are especially to be noted - the great
and growing exercise of benevolence and the ardent expansion of temple
building. In each ease, American Masons mainly rely on a Grand Lodge levy
rather than on the voluntary system, though individual gifts, and especially
for benevolent objects, are many and munificent. I had the privilege of
visiting the Masonic Homes of Pennsylvania, Missouri and Ohio, at
Elizabethtown, St. Louis and Springfield respectively, while only pressure of
time prevented me from inspecting the great New York institution at Utica. At
each of these, girls, boys and aged Freemasons and their widows and other
dependent female relations have their separate homes, situated within the same
area, and all are splendidly looked after. It would be impossible in so vast
a country as the United States to have three centralised institutions such as
we possess in England, but there is a growing tendency to erect these homes in
Jurisdictions where they have not previously existed. and to extend such as
are already in full work. New York, indeed, at the Grand Lodge communication I
attended, determined to make a very strong effort in the way of extension.
other phase of what may be termed Masonic aid - work demands note and
attention. In various American Jurisdictions there have been established
Masonic Bureaus, Masonic Relief Boards and Masonic Service Associations.
Certain of these appear to exercise the functions here attempted to be covered
by Employment Exchanges and Friendly Societies, and the first-named are an
extension of Masonic effort into the relationship of employer and employed
which invites careful investigation. It is claimed for these bodies that they
have earned the confidence of both sides to the labour problem, and their
existence and energies are not to be ignored.
regard to temple building, American effort is not confined to the large and
splendid edifices which are being erected all over the country for individual
lodges and Grand Lodges, but is extended to the George Washington National
Masonic Memorial. This last great building, when complete, will cost over a
million pounds, the main portion being raised by a levy of one dollar on every
subscribing member of an American lodge, on approval of the project by its
Grand Lodge. It is being erected not far from Mount Vernon, Va., the first
President's home, and near the town of Alexandria, where he was the earliest
Master of Alexandria Washington Lodge, still in existence, of which he
remained a working member to the end. The edifice will from a central rallying
point and place of pilgrimage for American Masons wherever dispersed, and it
is regarded as truly symbolising the unity of American Freemasonry.
very great difficulty that often presents itself to the visiting Englishman,
and one with which, front instinct, he is out of sympathy, arises from the
extremely varied and remarkably strong bodies in the United States which,
though not directly, are in some way associated with Freemasonry. In this
regard, considerations of genius populi as well as genius loci must always be
held in mind, and it would be unseemly to dogmatize regarding detailed matters
which immediately concern Masonic organizations not our own. But, without
attempting to enter into particulars respecting individual semi - Masonic or
pseudo - Masonic American bodies, I would definitely state the opinion that
Masonry, as we know it here, stands in no need of extraneous organizations
over which the authorities of the Craft have no control, but for the practices
of which Freemasonry generally is apt by the outside world to be held
responsible. I, therefore, am strongly of opinion that the rulers and
administrators of the Craft would be well advised to watch with the closest
attention any attempts to introduce similar bodies into the English
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE WELCOME
the course of the visit I was made an honorary member of the Grand Lodge of
New Jersey, a distinction never previously conferred on any brother not an
American, and only on one in that country. The same honour was accorded in the
Jurisdiction of Missouri, in which my only predecessors in honorary membership
were three, two being the great French soldier and patriot, Lafayette, who
assisted materially to secure American independence, and his son, both of whom
received the honour in 1825, and the other being Past Grand Master Jonathan
Nye, of Vermont, in 1842, for distinguished services rendered to Freemasonry
during the Morgan upheaval, which for a time threatened the very existence of
the Craft in the United States. The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of
Missouri likewise voted its honorary membership, while the Brevet Rank of
Senior Grand Warden was conferred in the Grand Lodge of Maryland, and
Massachusetts presented the Henry Price medal, the highest honour that Grand
Lodge gives to one who is not a Mason of the state.
Regarding my welcome generally, for the continuous warmth of which sincere
thanks are rendered to every American brother, of whatever Masonic rank, who
assisted to greet me, I will not attempt to distinguish between hosts. But I
feel bound to acknowledge, with profound gratitude, the recognition given
everywhere of the country from which I came and of which, in a distinct
degree, I was regarded as a representative. In every gathering I attended -
Masonic, public and social alike - the Union Jack was flown side by side
with the Stars and Stripes, and the English national anthem was sung as well
as the American. Even as an act of courtesy to one from afar, it moved me
deeply; as a token of widespread desire for better understanding through
fuller intercourse between our two peoples, it filled me with hope.
were the outward and visible signs of a greeting which was given me as
directly representing the United Grand Lodge of England. In that capacity I
made clear to every Grand Lodge addressed what were the fundamental principles
for which our body stands, and from which, in no circumstance, will it depart.
To each I gave an absolute assurance that the United Grand Lodge of England
stands as firmly as it ever did by the principle of reverent and absolute
recognition of an Almighty Being, with a revelation of His will, and that it
was never less likely than now to depart from this fundamental base. I am
rejoiced to state that every Masonic gathering addressed gave the most cordial
and ungrudging assent to the principles thus defined, and I returned with the
full assurance that the American Freemasonry we recognize in its various
Jurisdictions, is as true as is English Masonry to the essential principles
and tenets of the Craft.
Almost daily now testimonies come from leading brethren in every Jurisdiction
visited, from Massachusetts to Maryland in the East, and from Missouri to Ohio
in the West, that they believe this mission has cemented more closely the ties
which bind English and American Freemasonry. They declare that their brethren
stand where they always have stood, side by side with English Freemasons on
the fundamental principles of the Craft, and they hold with us that, as long
as English - speaking Masons do not swerve from these principles but maintain
them to the utmost, Freemasonry will be a great and growing influence in the
world's affairs. If, in any degree, my visit has served to deepen and widen
the belief in our essential principles, its main object - that of bringing
American and English Freemasonry into closer relationship - will have been
Men Who Were Masons
Bro. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., District of Columbia
GENERAL JOHN KALE, a conspicuous figure in the early history of our country,
is an interesting character not only because of his splendid service as a
general officer, but also for being a close friend of Washington and
Lafayette. He was born June 29, 1721, in the village of Heuttendorf in the
Province of Margraviate, which was under Prussian sovereignty, and not in
Alsace or Bavaria as some writers have stated. He was of humble origin and for
some years in his early life was a waiter. He died Aug. 19, 1780, at Camden,
South Carolina, of wounds received in a battle against Cornwallis.
Kalb was trained in the French Army and rose to be a brigadier. He first came
to America in 1762, being sent here as a secret agent by the French
government. It was through De Kalb that Lafayette gained an introduction to
the American Commissioners in Paris. He joined with Lafayette in relinquishing
the honors and emoluments of a brigadier in the French service in order to
share the fortunes of a people in rebellion against one of the great powers of
the earth. Congress made him a major general in September, 1777. He joined
Washington's army and became active in the military movements near
Philadelphia during the autumn preceding the winter encampment at Valley
Forge. The following year he was in command in New Jersey. While at Morristown
in the spring of 1780 he was placed at the head of the Maryland Line; with
these combined with the Delaware continental troops he marched southward in
April to reinforce General Lincoln, then besieged in Charleston, but was too
late. He was second in command under General Gates in the South and in the
battle at Camden on Aug. 16, 1780, he was at the head of the Maryland and
Delaware troops, which held their ground until Cornwallis concentrated his
whole force upon them. De Kalb fell pierced by eleven wounds before his
regiment gave way. Three days later he died at Camden, where, in 1825,
Lafayette laid the cornerstone of a monument erected to his memory.
Camden monument "was inaugurated on the day succeeding the laying of the
cornerstone, 9th March, 1825. The procession was headed by volunteer soldiery,
followed by Kershaw Lodge of Freemasons, of the town and vicinity, then came
the hearse and the ashes of De Kalb, six Revolutionary officers bore the
palls; a war horse was led after them, General Lafayette and suite,
Revolutionary soldiers, the civil authorities and some of the leading
corporations of Camden brought up the rear. . . Lafayette proceeded to lay
the cornerstone of the monument which was not completed for some time
afterwards. The base is formed of twenty - six massive blocks of granite,
twenty - four of which bear, respectively, the names of the twenty - four
states then composing the union: the twenty - fifth has the inscription Focus
esto perpetual, and the twenty - sixth, with the obelisk of white marble
fifteen feet high, cover the ashes of De Kalb."
the side which fronts the south, on De Kalb Street, are the words:
rest the remains of Baron De Kalb
German by birth, a cosmopolitan in his principles."
the north side:
gratitude for his zeal and services
citizens of Camden have erected this monument."
the east side:
love of liberty induced him to leave the old world to aid the citizens of the
new in their struggle for independence. His distinguished talent and many
virtues weighed with Congress to appoint him Major General in the
the west side:
was second in command in the battle he fought near Camden on August 16, 1780,
and there nobly fell covered with wounds while gallantly performing deeds of
valor in rallying the friends and opposing the enemies of his adopted
above is from the Life of John Kalb by Friedrich Kapp, the best authority
this is not all. Referring to his marriage to Miss Robais, at Paris, April 10,
1764 (page 36), the author says:
was probably the religious persuasion - both being Protestants - which
first brought Peter Von Robais [father of the lady] in contact with Kalb....
The wedding took place on the 10th April, 1764, the marriage ceremony being
performed in the Protestant chapel in the Dutch Legation."
page 249 of the same book this appears:
the opening of the third decade of the present century the inhabitants of
Camden, and especially the Freemasons, of which Fraternity he had been a
member, conceived the design of erecting a monument over his grave."
is all the evidence we can give that De Kalb was a Freemason, a Protestant,
and an unhyphenated American. In Cardinal Gibbons' paper on eminent Roman
Catholic heroes who figured in the American Revolution, published in the
"Mirror," Baltimore, Maryland, June, 1896, De Kalb is given as one of them,
but this is an error as can be seen from the above quotations.
hero's name was John Kalb; he added the "Baron" and the "De" for his own
reasons. The same sort of thing is done today, is well understood, and needs
life - sized memorial has been erected to De Kalb at Annapolis. It is of
bronze on a granite pedestal and bears a plaque inscribed in this manner:
"Sacred to the memory of the Baron De Kalb, Knight of the Royal Order of
Military merit; Brigadier in the Armies of France and Major General in the
service of the United States of America. Having served with honor and
reputation for three years and forty days, a last and glorious proof of his
attachment to the liberties of mankind and the cause of America, in the action
near Camden, in the State of South Carolina, on the 16th of August, 1780,
while leading on the troops of the Maryland and Delaware lines against
superior numbers, and animating them by his example to deeds of valor, he was
pierced by many wounds, and on the 19th following expired, in the 48th year of
his age. The Congress of the United States of America in gratitude to his
zeal, service and merit have erected this monument."
"Masonry rules not by the power of the sword but by those imperishable virtues
which emanate directly from God, charity and brotherly love. She visits the
lonely cot and the lordly couch to relieve the distressed and unhappy, smooths
the wrinkled brow of age, whispers words of cheer into the ears of the
unfortunate, and inspires mankind with higher and nobler aspirations. She
knows no creed or religion, save a belief in an ever - living God, and
welcomes to her lodges men of every faith, thereby exemplifying the
brotherhood of man in the universality of Masonry.”
Studies of Masonry in the United States
Bro. H. L. HAYWOOD, Editor
II. THE FIRST AMERICAN MASON
historical period (properly so called) of American Masonry began early in the
eighteenth century, and its first known date, as will appear farther down, is
connected with Boston and New England. New England was at that time almost a
nation in itself, sharply set off in custom, thought and interests from other
parts of the land, and more or less self - contained. Its population was
almost entirely composed of Englishmen or their descendants, the second and
third generations of which were at the front during the first quarter of the
century; it is said that at the time of the Revolution 98 per cent of all New
Englanders were of that stock. The entire population of New England in 1700
has been estimated at about 105,000, with 70,000 in Massachusetts and Maine.
and town life were at the bottom of the civilization, and the towns were
controlled by mercantile interests, a fact that set New England in sharp
contrast to the important states of the South, where the center of gravity lay
in the country, and everything was controlled by the owners of great estates.
New Englanders were given to shipping, trade, and manufacturing, and therefore
laid emphasis on the virtues of industry and thrift. Because they lived in
towns they could support schools and democratically organized churches, and
could take part in politics, a thing not easy for southern states where the
population was more sparse, and scattered through the country.
Although the ideals of democracy were powerful among the New England
population, the people were, during the period in review, sufficiently Old
World to adhere rather rigidly to a system of social classes, of which
gentlemen were at the head, followed in order by yeomen, merchants and
mechanics. The social system was stratified in this fashion, and so also was
the church, for worshippers were given pews according to this manner of
precedence. In the Harvard catalogues of the time the names of students were
classified in the same manner.
slave system was permitted but not much encouraged, and what slaves there were
usually consisted of house servants; there were few of them in the factories
and mills, so that manual labor never came to be looked upon as a disgrace.
The first public denunciation of slavery was issued by Judge Samuel Sewall in
1700; anti - slavery ideas did not gain much circulation until Revolutionary
churches were organized according to the congregationalist, or self -
governing system; and the people in general were habitually religious, as
befitted the heirs of the Pilgrims. Clergymen were high class men, scholarly,
imbued with a practical mysticism, and much given to taking part in public
affairs; moreover, they and their people were intensely patriotic, and filled
with horror of "European religion." When Andros attempted to introduce the
Church of England into Massachusetts he was met by a storm of protest.
1692 the people governed themselves politically pretty much according to their
own tastes and without much interference from abroad, but in that year the
English Crown initiated a system of Royal Governors for Massachusetts, an
event that marked the beginning of an English political control that increased
gradually until the Revolution, when it was thrown off for once and all. The
majority of these Governors were English - born gentlemen of wealth and
fastidious tastes and somewhat impatient of the simplicity of life in the
province. Gradually they introduced aristocratic modes of living until at last
they moved in the center of miniature royal courts; they rode in gilt
carriages; served expensive feasts to their friends; dressed sumptuously in
fine linen and silk; and lived generally in great style. The Age of Homespun
passed away, as one Massachusetts historian writes, the Age of Brocade took
of the prominent and arresting figures in this Age of Brocade was Jonathan
Belcher, who, in addition to the political distinction of occupying the office
of Royal Governor of the province, stands forth in Masonic annals, so far as
they are now known, as the first known Mason in the Western Hemisphere. Born
Jan. 8, 1681, of Andrew Belcher, a Boston merchant and prominent councillor,
he enjoyed from the beginning the best that the upper classes could afford, an
education in Harvard, from which he graduated in 1699, and then a trip abroad,
where he became acquainted with England's future King. After being polished
off he returned to his native city to become a merchant, wherein he prospered
so that he became prominent in public matters, especially in regard to the
many attempts being made at the time to give the province a stable currency.
In 1729 he was sent to England as an agent for the province. While there, and
upon learning of Governor Burnet's death (the Royal Governor, and son of the
famous scholar bishop of that name), Belcher used his already acquired
influence at Court and secured for himself, not without some trickery so his
later enemies were wont to allege, the appointment in Burnet's place. His
commission was dated Jan. 8, 1730, but he did not land in Boston to assume his
new and difficult post until August of that year, when he alighted in Boston
Harbor from a British warship, with some pomp and eclat.
regime of Royal Governors, as already stated), began in 1692 and lasted until
the Revolution. Eleven were commissioned during that period (one did not
serve), and Belcher was sixth in the list. He was a polished sociable man but
somewhat irritable as to temper, and his term was not altogether happy to
himself, as was inevitable under the changing conditions of the time, for the
provincials were growing more and more weary of having a Governor appointed by
a faraway King, and they always made trouble over paying his salary. Belcher
had the usual difficulties, made the usual enemies, and found it hard to
reconcile the interests of his fellow New Englanders (his governorship applied
also over New Hampshire) with the interests of his Royal Master overseas. He
sent 500 Massachusetts men to assist Admiral Vernon (a picturesque old sea -
dog; was not "rum" named after him?) at Cuba in his fight against the
Spaniards, and that did not set well at Boston, where little interest was felt
in England's imperial wars. What with the everlasting salary question and
other disgruntlements too numerous to mention Belcher was removed from office,
May 6, 1741, after eleven years of service, in deference to popular clamor.
BELCHER MADE GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY
was vindicated at the English Court and promised the next suitable appointment
that might offer. This came in 1745 when he was appointed Royal Governor of
New Jersey, a post filled with honor and success. During that term he assisted
Jonathan Edwards, who had so profoundly stirred the religious life of Boston
during the “Great Awakening” of 1717 - 1744, "to put Princeton College on its
feet." (George Whitefield, the English revivalist, who preached to the Masons
of Georgia in 1738, had arrived in Boston during the last part of Belcher's
term there.) Belcher died in New Jersey August 31, 1757, and was buried, at
his own request, in his native town.
Governor Belcher had been a Mason we know from his own testimony. On September
25, 1741, as we learn from its own records, the First Lodge at Boston (about
which more anon) delivered to him a congratulatory address in which they
expressed to him their thanks because "we have had your Protection while in
the most Excellent Station here." In his reply he said:
take very kindly this mark of your Respect. It is now Thirty Seven years since
I was admitted into the Ancient and Honshu Society of Free and accepted
Masons, to whom I have been a faithful Brother, & well - wisher to the Art of
shall ever maintain a strict friendship for the whole Fraternity; & always be
glad when it may fall in my power to do them any Services.
this record R. F. Gould remarks:
"Although Governor Belcher does not name the place of his initiation, it is
probable that it took place in London, and the words he uses to describe his
'admission' into the Society will justify the inference that on being made a
Freemason, whatever Masonic secrets then existed were' communicated to him in
their entirety, precisely as we may imagine was the ease when Ashmole became a
member at the Warrington Lodge, and in the parallel instances of the reception
of: gentlemen at York. . . "
esteem felt for Governor Belcher by his brethren of Massachusetts is shown by
a letter addressed to him by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, after he had
removed to New Jersey. This letter, signed by Charles Pelham, secretary,
expressed the hope that "the sincere and hearty Congratulations of Our Lodge
on your present happy accession, may meet with a favorable acceptance," and
was dated September 3, 1747. The Governor replied with feeling and
appreciation on the sixth of the following month. While in the Jerseys it was
impossible for him to enjoy any activity in lodge because none had as yet been
Governor Belcher's son Andrew graduated from Harvard in 1728, was later a
student of law at the Temple, London, was made a Mason some time prior to July
30, 1733, at which time he was appointed Deputy Grand Master of the new St.
John's Grand Lodge by its organizer, Henry Price; and his second son,
Jonathan, Lieutenant - Governor of Nova Scotia, followed Erasmus Phillips as
Provincial Grand Master of the Canadian maritime provinces during the years
17601765. The record of these sons, when set beside Governor Belcher's own
active membership in the Fraternity of fifty - three years, would indicate
that the family was not contented with a merely nominal allegiance to the
JOHN'S LODGES ARE EXPLAINED
already noted in the quotation from Gould, it is now not known in what lodge
Governor Belcher was made a Mason; wherever it was, and however organized, it
was undoubtedly similar to a number of other lodges scattered about over
England at that time, twelve years before the organization of the first Grand
Lodge at London. If a group of Masons possessed a copy of the Old Charges and
sufficient knowledge of the Ritual they felt themselves authorized to form a
lodge, and often did so, asking nobody's permission. Such a lodge might
function for a few years, keep its own records, and then pass out of
existence, leaving no trace behind it, the records becoming destroyed or lost.
It is possible that some such lodge met in King's Chapel in 1720 (as noted in
the preceding chapter) and it is certain that they did exist elsewhere,
Philadelphia for instance, about which more anon. Such were frequently called
"St. John's lodges."
organization of the first Grand Lodge was the beginning of the end of this old
system that had been inherited from the days of Operative Masonry and which,
though it had served well enough under that regime, was impossible for a
worldwide Fraternity wherein law and order would inevitably become necessary.
The new Grand Lodge at first claimed jurisdiction only over London and
Westminster, but as time passed and the new system gained headway and
prestige, it gradually extended the boundaries of its authority until at last
it had been extended over the whole of America, as well as the whole of
England and much territory beside. In 1721 Grand Lodge adopted and promulgated
a new regulation; and this in time became the law for Masonry everywhere:
"VIII. No set or number of brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves from
the lodge in which they were made brethren, or were afterwards admitted
members, unless the lodge becomes too numerous, nor even then without a
Dispensation from the Grand Master or his Deputy; and when they are thus
separated they must either immediately join themselves to such other lodge as
they shall like best, with the unanimous consent of that other lodge to which
they go (as above regulated) or else they must obtain the Grand Master's
warrant to join in forming a new lodge.
any set or number of Masons shall take upon themselves to form a lodge without
the Grand Master's warrant, the regular lodges are not to countenance them,
nor own them as fair brethren and duly formed, nor approve of their acts and
deeds but must treat them as rebels, until they humble themselves as the Grand
Master shall in his prudence direct, and until he approve of them by his
warrant, which must be signified to the other lodges, as the custom is when a
new lodge is to be registered in the list of lodges."
necessary to keep the above strictly in mind if one is to thread his way
through the history of early Masonry in the United States because much hinges
upon it, especially as regards the often mooted question as to the "oldest
lodge on the continent," etc. Prior to 1721 and according to the "old customs"
any lodge, if established by Masons, was legitimate and regular, if one wishes
to import those terms back into a period before their use should properly
begin; but afterwards only those lodges were regular and duly constituted that
received warrant from a Grand Lodge, or from some Provincial Grand Lodge, or
else, if previously organized, secured formal regularization under some
existing Grand Lodge.
suggested in the above paragraph, there has been for many years a great deal
of controversy over the question as to where Freemasonry first made its
appearance in this land, a controversy that for the most part has been kept up
between the advocates of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. It is not in order in
the present connection to enter into that discussion; the facts on both sides
will be presented as impartially as possible in succeeding pages. Meanwhile
Massachusetts advocates can safely claim for their own jurisdiction the honor
of having on record the membership of the first known American Mason in the
person of Governor Jonathan Belcher.
Boston and Massachusetts. Of the innumerable works available the following may
be mentioned: The Memorial History of Boston, Including Suffolk County,
Massachusetts, edited by Justin Winsor; four volumes; Boston, 1882. Old Boston
Days and Ways, Mary Caroline Crawford, Boston, 1909. St. Botolph's Town, Mary
Caroline Crawford, Boston, 1908. Boston, the Place and the People, M. A.
DeWolfe Howe, New York 1903. The Colonies, 1492 - 1750, R. G. Thwaites, New
Governor Beleher. Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, Clegg; Chicago,
1921; IV., p. 1517. Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, Johnson, New York,
1924, p. 49. New England Freemason, I., p. 67. The History of Freemasonry in
Canada, Robertson; Toronto, 1900; I., p. 140. History of Freemasonry in Rhode
Island, Rugg; Providence, 1895; p. 20. History of Freemasonry, Gould, Yorston
edition, 1889, III.. p. 21; IV., p. 229. Memorial History of Boston (above
cited), II., p. 57. The Boston Gazette; September 28, 1741. Proceedings Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts; 1871; pp. 316, 176, 1888, p. 156; 1883, p. 161; 1872,
p. 22; 1914, p. 22. Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography. History of
Massachusetts Bay, Hutchinson, Boston, 1746. History of the Colony of New
Jersey, Smith; Burlington, 1765. History of New Hampshire Belkamp;
Philadelphia, 1784. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register,
1865. Last item contains Belcher's Letters; see general index of same for
other Belcher references. THE BUILDER, 1915; p. 112. The Freemason's Monthly
Magazine, XXVIII., 33.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
did the historical period of American Masonry begin? What states now
constitute New England? What was the character of its population in 1700? What
was at the bottom of New England civilization? What effect did towns and town
life have on New England? What were the New England social classes? Was
slavery permitted in New England? When did the attack on it begin?
were New England churches organized? What effect did they have at that time?
What is meant by "Royal Governors"? When was the first Royal Governor
appointed for Massachusetts? What is meant by the "Age of Homespun"?
was the first known American Mason? Tell something. about his life. When did
he become governor of Massachusetts7 What were his experiences as governor?
Why was he removed? When did he become governor of New Jersey?
was he made a Mason? How do we know this fact? In what kind of a lodge was he
initiated? What was the Masonic record of his two sons?
were Masonic lodges organized prior to 1717? What were such lodges called?
When and where was the first Grand Lodge organized ? Give the substance of its
regulation No. VIII. What is meant by "regular and duly constituted"?
you know who was first made a Mason in your own state? What is the oldest
existing lodge in your own state? When was your own Grand Lodge organized ?
US CALL A HALT!"
is too much rushing and grouping and teaming in degree work. There is nothing
worse than perfunctory degree grinding. Degrees should be stately in their
rhythmic ceremonial dignity - and individual in contact. But what can be
said of Masters and Past Masters who profess to have given the solemn third
degree to each of 4 candidates in 15 minutes ? The mills of God grind slowly.
Let us call a halt or the grist will be spoiled by these high - powered
artists of milling legerdemain. They mean well but are mistaken. God knows we
all make mistakes. – W.N. Ponton, G.M., Canada
Beginnings of Freemasonry in America”
BEGINNINGS OF FREEMASONRY IN AMERICA by Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M., Mass.
Published by George H. Doran for M.S.A. National Masonic Library. Blue cloth;
illustrated; index, 410 pages. May be purchased from National Masonic Research
Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis.Price, $3.65postpaid.
THE GENERAL POINT OF VIEW
difficult to review this unique and useful work of Melvin M. Johnson from whom
we have learned to expect the "last and best word" on whatever subject he
sheds the gladsome light of jurisprudence, the rays of research, the vision of
wide horizons. His definitive analysis of what true Landmarks are brought home
to us the master touch, as his addresses while Grand Master and his various
articles since published have characterized him as both scholar and teacher.
"And gladly would he learn and gladly teach!" Facts are stubborn things -
and sometimes not stimulative of popular interest - but this M. W. Brother
of light and leading has such sureness of touch, lucidity of reasoning, and
clarity of diction (especially evidenced in his summing up), that even those
who do not hail from Massachusetts (which naturally receives especial emphasis
) are carried on by this catenarian chronicle of letters and entries and
excerpts concerning the foundations and the founders of our regularly
constituted Craft. Would that some equally expert brother would piece together
the first fifty years of Canada, which challenges interest in connection with
its Military, Garrison, and Regimental Lodges, and its continuous historic
one Great Book - the Volume of the Sacred Law commences "In the Beginning"
- and Sir Thos. Browne in his Religio Medici describes it even as a human
document as "The singularest and superlative piece that hath been extant since
the creation." So mutatis mutandis may we say of this finite Book dealing with
a period of time, an area of place and space. Dealing as he does with facts
and factors it is well that the Author is sure of himself, and while he is not
didactic or self - assertive, he has that dynamic penetrativeness of
confidence and assurance which is very convincing. He gives us too the
ipsissima verba of copious and discriminatingly selected extracts from
originals and verified copies, and he vivifies the past. With him res ipsa
loquitur! We can quite well believe that some Pennsylvania Craftsmen of
distinction and sincerity may not agree with all his deductions and
conclusions, but he is positive that no one can dispute his well - established
facts. As Charles Lamb described the Scot generically so we may describe Bro.
Johnson specifically as having "no falterings of self - misgivings; dim
instructs, embryo conceptions, have no place in his brain or vocabulary.” Yet
while an earnest advocate of any cause which he espouses, he is of too
judicial a temperament, and too learned in his attainments to darken counsel
by words without knowledge.
Perhaps the only literary criticism that one might offer to this Book of
Remembrance of Men and Memories of olden time - this epitome of Craft
Builders, many of them like Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Price, and the
Gridleys, Master Craftsmen and Nation Builders in the truest sense - would
be directed to the many pages of items from Boston, which do not appear to be
of especial significance or to be necessary to establish the case which the
Author has already proved. Fullness of detail is however an excellent fault
and illustrates the care and particularity of the writer. The facsimile
reproductions of manuscripts and the fine series of photographs of those whose
masterly biographies form an important part of this chain of significant
events, leave nothing to be desired, and are fine "in substance and in form"
both as to artistic excellence and illuminating material.
unbroken continuity of the Grand Lodge founded by Henry Price, July 30, 1733,
and of the First Lodge in Boston, now St. John's Lodge, for 191 years of good
work and good will would appear to be established beyond controversy, unless
other records in other Jurisdictions should hereafter be discovered; but the
reader will find far more than "temporalities", far more than dry data, in
this vital and virile volume into which the writer has infused so much of his
own dominant personality and forensic and academic experience. Intimate
association with the great men and minds of those formative and plastic days,
when American civilization was being moulded and fashioned in the clinical
laboratory of the Commonwealth to be; with a touch here and there of the
confluence of many streams which together formed the "River of the Arrow",
with its now strong tide of purposeful progress, will assuredly delight and
reward all readers, old and young, erudite and unschooled in the university of
life and of experience. The quaint language of those early days, the
concentrated "fulfilment in their words", the scrupulous accuracy of quotation
from journalists, statesmen, and simple workmen in the quarries, will both
please and satisfy. One example of a greeting from one "household of the
faithful" to another, an interchange between Boston and Antigua of 1739, must
suffice - but pages of this Journal could be filled with similarly pregnant
"Right Worshipfull, Worshipfull,
Thrice Worthy and Ever Dear Brethren
the Brethren here salute you well beloved with the greeting of St. John,
wishing that all prosperity may attend you, and that no malicious cowan may
ever with profane ears and eyes approach even the lowest step of your
Worshipful Lodge in order to listen to the wisdom or pry into the beauty or
disturb the order and harmony thereof. We are dear Brethren your sincere
affectionate Brethren and Humble Servants &c."
Jeremy Gridley is described in words that are applicable to Bro. Johnson
himself: "Strength of understanding, clearness of apprehension and solidity of
judgment were cultivated in him by a liberal education and close thinking."
Freemasonry was introduced into the Colonies by "occasional Lodges meeting
according to the old Customs", at an unascertained period in the early part of
the Eighteenth Century. This after all is all that can yet be affirmatively
stated, even though, as Samuel Johnson said, "A man will turn over half a
Library to make one Book," so that we moderns may hear again the articulate
audible voice of the past. The years teach much that the hours do not know,
and we have learned much from this reservoir of information about Freemasonry,
then as now of mature age and on the tongue of good report, with its tap -
roots deep in fertile soil and its sap flowing clear. Bro. Johnson has
interpreted the spirit of the age, and of the prominent men who devoted their
lives to their country and their Craft, but it must be remembered that then as
now there was a legion who never were listed breaking the way for the rest.
Ponton, P.G.M., Canada.
THE STUDENT'S POINT OF VIEW
Colonel Ponton has written a review of Bro. Johnson's book from the point of
view of the general reader and with the spirit and eloquence he has long since
taught us to expect from his fire - tipped pen; with his consent, and not as
trying to supplement or perfect his own study, so adequate for its purpose, it
may be permitted another reviewer to examine The Beginnings of Freemasonry in
America from a student's point of view. The volume under discussion is one
that warrants two such studies, or more; it is unique in its own field.
unique it is only those who have labored through the extant literature on
American Masonry are in a position to know. That literature is abundant, so
far as the number of volumes is concerned, but it is tantalizingly diffusive,
difficult to collect, and usually written with a calm disregard of all the
laws of history. There are a few shining exceptions, of course: Gould's
History of Freemasonry, especially the American edition, the piratical
publication of which was a blot on our escutcheon; Stillson and Hughan's
History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders; and Mackey's Revised History of
Freemasonry, by Robert I. Clegg, the best of them all; etc. Aside from these
the great and rich story of the American craft, with its record of nearly two
centuries of growth and development, is to be found only with much searching,
scattered, like the mutilated body of Osiris, among Grand Lodge Proceedings
and Histories, local lodge histories, old magazine files, special essays,
brochures, and so on. The great bulk of this miscellaneous material is
vitiated, from a student's point of view at least, by the lack of careful
scholarship, and by a too easy willingness to trail at second or third hand
after previous writers who in turn had often avoided the rigors of original
research. The outcome of it all is that, aside from the series of chapters in
the great works above mentioned, we do not possess a body of studies of
American Masonic history at all comparable to the work done in their own
behalf by our brethren overseas or by our own historians in non - Masonic
fields. The fact of greatest significance about Bro. Johnson's work is that he
has established a new beginning, a new point of departure. If his lead is
followed, as one may devoutly hope it will be, we shall not much longer rest
content with having our own history confined to a few chapters scattered
through histories of Masonry in general, or with seeing it written piecemeal,
here a little and there a little, out of focus, malproportioned, and most
difficult to come at.
Johnson made no attempt to write a running narrative, even for the
comparatively brief period covered from the traditional beginnings down to
1750. His sole purpose was to assemble inside the covers of one book all known
recorded items concerning the Craft of those years, and this he has done with
more trouble and expense to himself than the casual reader may guess. These
items are given in entry form, chronologically, one after another, with only
enough explanatory gloss to set them in their proper frame - work. The
resultant is not a story for easy reading by the fireside, but a source book
of data, similar to those in secular history which are so rapidly displacing
the old - time literary narratives in colleges and universities. When a
similar work has been accomplished for the field from 1750 to the present, the
literary historian will find his materials ready to hand, and fit to be used
without fear of falling into those errors of fact and misinterpretation which
have disfigured the pages of so many "histories" until now.
those who have been forced to read through those "histories" can know how
unsatisfactorily they meet the tests of genuine original research. Usually
their authors have accepted without demur the statements of some earlier
writer, and those statements have frequently rested on very slender evidence,
or none at all; old theories, often violently biased, have thus been repeated
time after time, until the mere repetition has given them the appearance of
solidity. Even the cautious and painstaking Gould more than once fell a victim
to this vice, as when he relied on Norton, one of the most violent partisans
that ever lived. The only way out for any student of our history is to get
back as closely as possible to the original records, examine them with
meticulous care, and then take pains not to twist them to suit some
may be said that Bro. Johnson has succeeded in using and establishing this
method. As to his results in all cases, especially in regard to some of the
more moot points, there will be many opinions. One can guess that the most
violent disclaimers may be aimed at his treatment of Daniel Coxe on page 56
If., where he asserts that "there has appeared no evidence, however, that he
[Coxe] exercised this deputation [from the Duke of Norfolk, appointing him
Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania for two years
from June 5, 1730] or even that he was on this side of the Ocean during the
said two years". It happens that Bro. David McGegor of New Jersey has
contributed to THE BUILDER an article soon to be published giving proof that
Coxe was most certainly here during at least one of those years. The point is
of strategic importance because of its bearing on the old controvery between
Pennsylvania and Massachusetts as to which can claim the right to the earliest
establishment of regular and duly constituted Masonry on this side of the
it is probable that a number of brethren may join with Bro. Ponton, in his
review above, in felling that Bro. Johnson gives the lion's share of his
attention to Massachusetts. Bro. Johnson replied to the t criticism in a
letter to the writer with a paragraph he will not object to my quoting:
book of mine was not written to establish a case. It was written to state
facts. The number of items from Boston is a matter not within my control. It
is purely automatic. I put a reference in this book to every single event,
large or small now known concerning Masonry in the Western Hemisphere prior to
April, 1750. If there happen to be more items from Boston than from any other
place you can readily see that I could not help it. I took all there was from
anywhere not with a desire to prove any case but to give the student and
future historian all the information there is to have. It merely happens that
there are as many known items concerning Boston as appear in the book, but
having adopted the plan of putting everything in I could not very well leave
any of those items out merely because the book seems overloaded with Boston
items. I fully realize that myself but it could not be helped."
will be a few minor errors to correct in a second edition. On page 388 of the
Index "John Belcher" is given instead of "Jonathan Belcher". On page 47 the
date concerning the John Eliot item is given date of 1670; it should be 1654.
In the lower paragraph on page 44 a statement is accredited to Peterson's
History of Rhode Island and Newport in the Past that should be referred to J.
L. Gould's Guide to the Chapter. The author has already made public his desire
to profit by a correction of any such slips.
Beginnings of Freemasonry in America should not be considered as an isolated
book to be read by and for itself, but as a contribution toward a new method
in our history writing, and as a contribution toward a new structure of
scholarship. A world of work remains to other investigators. The period
between 1750 and the Revolution is a dim uncharted territory, awaiting its
Columbus; the Masonic records of the Revolutionary Period itself are in a
condition of almost absolute confusion; the interim between the Revolution and
the Anti - Masonic craze is almost equally unworked; the materials on Anti -
Masonry are in better condition but need to be put into accessible book form;
the era of recovery between that madness and the Civil War is in a fog; the
story of Masonry's shining record in the dire period of civil strife remains
to be told by some man of broad learning and literary genius; the detailed
records of the important decades between the War and 1900 are buried away in
hundreds of volumes of Grand Lodge Proceedings, and other hundreds of volumes
of Masonic magazines; our disconcerting experiences in the World War await
their chronicler; and as for the evolution and crystallization of our Ritual,
which broke into such dramatic controversies about the tousled head of Rob
Morris, that subject deserves a half dozen volumes in itself. The brethren who
have been declaring that the work of Masonic research is completed have surely
forgotten these needs.
Alfred Robbins' Report Concerning His Visit to the United States
the center of every effort made to bring about a more perfect solidarity among
all Masonic bodies the world over stands the very evident fact that the
Freemasonry of English speaking peoples comprises more than 90 per cent of the
world's membership. This is based on estimates made in 1920, at which time
there were some 3,308,031 Masons in all lands, some 3,027,750 (with 2,353,242
in U. S.) in English speaking jurisdictions, leaving 280,281 in all other
lands. From this it is evident, first, that nonEnglish speaking Masonry will
always find it difficult, or impossible, to persuade English speaking Masonry
to alter any of its fundamentals for the sake of rapprochement; and, second,
that the maintaining of solidarity among English speaking Masons means
solidarity for almost the entire Masonic world. It is the last consideration
that lends its greatest importance to Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins' recent official
visit to the Grand Lodges of the United States, a formal report of which is
published elsewhere in this issue. Neither Bro. Robbins nor the present writer
would dream of having it inferred that non - English speaking Masonry is any
the less important for having so small a percentage of total membership;
nevertheless on a realistic interpretation of the actual conditions, and in
view of forces at work in the Masonic world, it is of the highest importance
to the Craft everywhere that all the branches of English speaking Masonry work
together in closest harmony.
the same realistic basis, and with the same provisos, it is also necessary to
note that Britain and the United States divide between them the great bulk of
English speaking membership. Any judicial weighing of influences exerted by
the various portions of the Masonic world would of course have to take into
consideration many factors other than the statistics of membership, for bulk
does not always mean influence; but even so statistics mean much, and in the
present connection, very much, so that it is of utmost importance to world
Masonry that British and American
History of Masonry in Ireland
celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Grand Lodge of
Ireland the Lodge of Research, No. 200, of Dublin, has arranged to publish
"The Bi - Centenary History of the Grand Lodge" by Bros. Lepper and Crossle.
All who know of the talents of these two distinguished scholars will need no
further guaranty of the excellence of the work. The History has been compiled
from original records in Ireland and England, much valuable information,
hitherto unpublished, will be made available to Masonic students for the first
time. In view of the fact that the Ritual generally employed in this land came
from Ireland through the Ancient Grand Lodge American students will find this
history especially valuable. The National Masonic Research Society recommends
it without reservation. Copies of the first volume must be subscribed for in
advance. The names of those sending in subscriptions before the end of this
year will be published in the volume. The price will be one guinea Readers may
write for further information to The Builder.
Masonry be brought into the closest possible fraternal relationship and enjoy
the most cordial possible mutual understanding. It was out of a realization of
this, and with a desire to help bring it to perfection, that Bro. Robbins paid
us his visit.
one may judge from Bro. Robbins' own report, evidently prepared with the close
care that characterizes all his utterances, and from the comments on his visit
made by the more than a hundred Masonic journals of this country, that visit
was a success. If that success was due, as undoubtedly is the case, to a large
extent to his own personal charm and address, it was due also to the genuine
welcome he received here, and to the cordial feelings everywhere entertained
toward English Masonry, the mother of us all. The visit was a good thing for
the entire Masonic world.
permanent benefit should come from this temporary but official ambassadorship?
The writer ventures to express the hope that it will be instrumental in
helping to establish working arrangements whereby brethren on both sides of
the sea may be enabled to learn more of the facts about each other. As things
now stand a good deal of fog hangs over the scene so far as these two branches
of the Masonic family are concerned. We American Masons, one may take it, are
ready to confess our own ignorance. We have read many English books, and
something of English Masonic history, but we are not as well informed as to
the present day practices of our British brethren as we should be; and that
accounts for our being led astray oftentimes when we believe ourselves to be
most closely adhering to the constitutions and landmarks of the original
may also venture to say, and out of no spirit of nagging criticism, that our
English brethren may find it worth their while to learn more about us. If one
may judge from the English Masonic press, and from such reports of English
Masonic thought as are contained in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, the fascination
in the study of American Masonry has not yet been discovered to any great
extent by our trans-Atlantic cousins. The Ars, to mention that one typical
case, have devoted but a few pages to us in all their almost forty bulky
volumes. May we not hope to see our history, our jurisprudence, and our ritual
brought more nearly into the focus of British attention than that ? It is
devoutly to be wished.
such an event our British brethren would discover the reason or necessity for
some of our practices which now mystify them. They would find that our close
adhesion to Preston and Anderson, to which Bro. Robbins adverts, has been
brought about through the pressure of our jurisprudence problems; that our
variations in Ritual, the greatest surprise to an English visitor, have been
due to historical causes, most of them beyond our control; that our etiquette
has taken shape from our social customs; that our insistence on the
application of Masonry to every day conditions has been due to our general
social consciousness; and that our swarm of disconcerting Side Orders - may
God grant them wisdom! - is all of a piece with our typical American
inability to sit still for five minutes at a stretch.
lack of knowledge concerning such simple facts on both sides of the sea may,
under the stress of special circumstances, lead to serious misunderstandings,
hence the desirability of our going to school to each other. Masonry does not
exist in a vacuum; as a living organism it must adjust itself to the world in
which it is to function, and take shape accordingly. Agreement in details or
in private opinion we can never have and should not expect; but in principle,
spirit, and in general purpose we can always agree, and shall, if only there
be extended from both sides of the ocean the good offices of practical
friendship typified by the visit of Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins.
Freemasonry, my brethren, is not a religion but a moral science, "founded upon
the purest principles of morality and virtue"; it tolerates all peoples of
every tongue and nation who believe in God and obey His commandments; all are
accepted into our common brotherhood, each to worship God in his own peculiar
way and manner after the dictates of his own conscience. – Paul N. Murphy,
COOLIDGE, DAWES, BRYAN, ETC.
many of the following public men are Masons: Coolidge, Dawes, Davis, Gov.
Bryan, La Follette, Wheeler, W. J. Bryan, D. S. M., Montana.
President Coolidge is not a Mason; neither is General Dawes, nor Governor
Bryan. Senators Wheeler and La Follette are both Masons, 32d. So is John W.
Davis, who is also a K.C.C.H. Bro. W. J. Bryan is a Mason.
* * *
BOOK ON TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE?
you know of any book on the architecture of the Masonic temple that would be
of interest to a lodge about to build?
M., New York.
Unfortunately no such book exists, at least we have never been able to find
one. five have urged it upon several publishing houses to produce such a book
but thus far they do not appear to have seen the light. A large opportunity
exists for somebody capable of preparing such a volume. Won't a Masonic
architect volunteer ?
* * *
REPRESENTATIVE DE MOLAYS
of the boys from our town was selected as a "representative De Molay". Can you
please tell me what this signifies? Is this Order affiliated with Freemasonry?
Order of De Molay for Boys has no connection with the Masonic Fraternity
whatsoever except that all of its chapters must be sponsored by recognized
Masonic bodies. Great care is taken by the heads of the body to make it clear
to every boy that he is not a "junior Mason", or connected with Masonry in any
way. The Order carried on a contest last spring to select the one boy out of
its total membership most representative of its ideals; this lad was sent
abroad for a trip At the Order's expense. Out of the long list of contestants
an effort was made to select one representative boy from each state, and these
boys were brought together into a training camp, last month, at Bear Lake
Camp, just above Estes Park, Colorado, some seventy - nine miles out of
Denver, and high up among the Rockies. More than a hundred boys were in
attendance, plus a number of adults - supervisors, etc. The week's
schooling in De Molay methods was such a success that probably a similar
school will be held next summer. Three Tennessee boys drove all the way in a
flivver, and many adventures did they have, especially among the mountains,
where their reluctant vehicle had a hard time of it; perhaps the boy you
mention was one of this party. If he was he will never forget the experience.
The present scribe chanced upon them somewhere far up among the peaks, late at
night, helped them to hide their flivver in the bushes, and took them to the
end of the trail in his own Cadillac. (P. S. It was a rented Cadillac.)
* * *
LODGES ON "HIGH HILLS"
noticed in the Question Box of THE BUILDER for June an inquiry from Bro. L. B.
Mitchell, of Michigan, requesting information relative to lodges that meet in
places of high altitude. I append herewith a list giving some in this state
that are physically able to confer "high degrees": Corinthian Lodge, No. 42,
Kokomo, elevation 10,613 feet; Ionic Lodge, No. 35, Leadville, elevation
10,218 feet; Leadville Lodge, No. 51, Leadville, elevation 10,218 feet, Dorie
Lodge, No. 25, Fairplay, elevation 9,881 feet, Victor Lodge, No. 99 Victor,
elevation 9,775 feet, Breckenridge Lodge, No. 47, Breckinridge, elevation
9,566 feet; Cripple Creek Lodge, No. 96, Cripple Creek, elevation 9,522 feet;
San Juan Lodge, No. 33, Silverton, elevation 9,300 feet.
Young, Jr., Grand Lecturer,
* * *
me, as a Canadian, to express my very hearty thanks for your excellent
Canadian number. The graceful compliment of giving up a whole number to
Canadian affairs, and the cordial good will of your editorial, I hope will be
duly appreciated by Canadians. I shall not fail to call attention to it at
criticism of Canadian Masonry as compared with that in the United States is
very fair and generous. While we cherish the memory of our own leaders and
adhere to our own ways, it is good to know and to feel that fraternal
intercourse is unaware of the boundary line and that brotherly love prevails.
Your special number is doing much to promote unity. Incidentally, it is also
helping to correct the impression that the Freemasons of the old thirteen
colonies were generally in favor of the Revolution, which was not true though
so many of the leading Revolutionists were Masons; and it calls attention in
the article by Bro. Harris to the feet that exclusive territorial jurisdiction
does not prevail everywhere in North America. Unity in essentials is all the
more valued where we have such diversity in non - essentials.
me again thank you for your kindly introduction of Canadian Masons to their
nearest neighbors. It is very timely and will certainly do good.
Vroom, St. Stephen, N. B., Can.
* * *
"KNIGHTS TEMPLAR" OR "KNIGHTS TEMPLARS"?
copy editor with Kable Bros. Co., I have had many opportunities of becoming
acquainted with matters that pertain to Masonry as I whip into final shape the
manuscripts of a number of Masonie publications printed by this firm. I find,
with few exceptions, that the plural form of Knight Templar is given as
Knights Templar. As the form Knights Templars is sometimes used, my curiosity
became aroused, and I began to investigate the matter. After careful
investigation of the subject I am forced to the conclusion that the form
Knights Templars is the correct one.
the Tyler - Keystone, a prominent Masonic publication, is printed here, I
wrote its editor about the matter. He replied as follows:
regret very much that we cannot agree with Webster's dictionary on the form
'Knights Templars.' We would not think of making the plural of Knight Templar,
'Knights Templars,' any more than we would think of making the plural of
grandfather, 'grandfathers,' or say 'reds apples,' for the plural of 'red
recent issue of our paper we carried an article written by Judge Newby, who is
at the present time Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the Knights
Templar of America. Judge Newby is a man who is learned in law and one who has
been Lieutenant - Governor of his state. In his article he used the form
'Knights Templar.' In Judge Newby's book, Sidelights on Templar Law, he uses
the form Knights Templar. So I don't see why Webster's dictionary should use
the other form.
"There may be other authorities on Templar law that use the other form, but I
have never looked them up and know nothing about them."
prevents our pointing out the fallacy in the analogy in the first paragraph of
this letter. We may say, however, by way of rebuttal, that the form Knight
Templars was used some time ago in a contribution to Oriental Consistory
Magazine, by Frank S. Land, a prominent Mason and Grand Scribe of Order of
DeMolay for Boys. On several occasions we have noted that the editors of
Masonic News and also of National Fraternal Review used the form Knights
Templars. The Mutual Underwriter Magazine carried an advertisement of "The
Knights Templars and Masonic Mutual Aid Association." Several writers on
historical subjects in Chambers Journal, a high - grade and well - known
magazine of England, use the form Knights Templars.
satisfied with all this we went to the dictionaries. The publishers of
Webster's dictionary wrote us as follows:
plural form Knights Templars is unquestionably the historically correct form.
The form Knights Templar seems to be a more recent variation, based perhaps on
the misconception that the word 'Templar' is an adjective, whereas in this
connection it is a noun, meaning 'one (a person) who occupies a temple.'
Members of this order were first called 'Knights or Poor Soldiers of the
Temples' (that is, the Temple of Solomon at Jerusalem), and hence, for short,
Templars Knights, or Knights Templars. The first citation found for the two
words 'Knight' and 'Templar' used together to designate them is in 1610, in
Holland's Camden's Britannica, 'A Church for Knights Templars, etc.' And in
1839 we find in Kneightley's History of England: . . . 'the potent and wealthy
order of Knights Templars.'
for the Knights Templars in the United States, the first use of the name that
we find (quoted in Oxford English Dictionary) is the title of a book (date,
1859), A Service for the Encampment of Knights Templars, etc.
of the information on which our form and definition were based was received
from a member of 'The Grand Commandery Knights Templars and Appendant Orders
of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.'
following authoritative books, the editors of which you may be sure have
studied the matter exhaustively, give the plural Knights Templars: Webster's
New International, Oxford English Dictionary Century Dictionary, Encyclopedia
Britannica, New International Encyclopedia, Funk and Wagnalls' Standard
view of this overwhelming evidence against the present form Knights Templar
for the plural, we are puzzled to know why Masonry still retains and defends
it. Our knowledge of Masonry, after reading much of its literature, has
impressed us with the feet that Masonry is meticulously careful in matters
historical that pertain to the Craft. If Masonry was justified in adopting a
form that is wrong historically and philologically, when was the change made
and why? Of all things in Masonry which should be absolutely correct it would
seem that the very name of so prominent an order as that of the Knights
Templars should have no doubt east about it.
has Masonry to say about it?
* * *
Readers will recall Bro. P. A. Fenger's "The Secret of the Old Operative
Masons," published in THE BUILDER, February, 1924, page 42. It transpires that
this important contribution underwent a series of misfortunes while going
through the hands of the printer resulting in two or three errors, which,
though at this long distance of time, we desire to correct. Reference to the
Grand Lodge of "New York" should have been, of course, to "'York." More
serious was the unintentional deletion of a line in the penultimate paragraph
on page 42. The latter half of the last sentence in that paragraph should
read, "so that in the ground plan all dimensions could be derived from the
length of the side of the original square by division by 2n”; and this should
be followed by another sentence: "Also the vertical dimensions are derived
from the same unit though here in proportion of the golden cut, i. e., being
1,618." The article would have been more easily intelligible with a cut
illustrative of the Macody Lund system. It is here given. We make profound
apologies to Bro. Fenger and promise never to do it again.
profound apologies to Bro. Fenger and promise never to
* * *
HORACE GREELEY WAS AN ANTI - MASON
have a question to ask that may be musty and old but I am curious about the
thing and would like a reply in your Q. B. My question is this, Was Horace
Greeley a Mason? The old war - horse of journalism has always interested me.
Maybe you saw Gamaliel Bradford's write - up in The American Mercury for May?
Journalist, New York.
we saw (if you will pardon the unpardonable editorial "we") the Bradford
character sketch, and liked it, as "we" like almost everything that Bradford
writes. No, the old war - horse was NOT a Mason, not by a long sight - or
should it be spelled "site"? Here is a quote from Patton's Life of Horace
Greeley to back up "our" statement:
apprentice [Horace Greeley] embraced the anti – Masonic side of this
controversy, and embraced it warmly. [Imagine him doing it any other way!] It
was natural that he should. And for the next two or three years he expended
more breath in denouncing the Order of Freemasons, than upon any other
subject - perhaps than all other subjects put together. To this day secret
societies are his special aversion."
is something that settles the woman question once and for all. Does anybody
know who perpetrated it? It was clipped from an old magazine which carries no
information about it except that it had been delivered on St. John the
Baptist's Day, 1870, at Austin, Nevada:
"Women sometimes complain that they are not permitted to enter our lodge and
work with the Craft in their labors, and learn all there is to be learned in
the institution. We will explain the reason. We learn that before the Almighty
had finished his work he was in some doubt about creating Eve. The creation of
every living and creeping thing had been accomplished, and the Almighty had
made Adam (who was the first Mason), and created him for the finest lodge in
the world, and called it Paradise No. 1. He then caused all the beasts of the
field and fowls of the air to pass before Adam and for him to name them, which
was a piece of work he had to do alone, so that no confusion might thereafter
arise when Eve was created, whom he knew would make trouble if she was allowed
to participate in it, if he created her beforehand. Adam, being very much
fatigued with the labors of his first task, fell asleep, and when he awoke he
found Eve in the lodge with him. Adam being Senior Warden, placed Eve as the
pillar of beauty in the South, and they received their instructions front the
Grand Master in the East, which, when finished, she immediately called the
Craft from labor to refreshment. Instead of attending to the duties of the
office, as she ought, she left her station, violated her obligation, let in an
expelled Mason who had no business there, and went around with him, leaving
Adam to look after the jewels. This fellow had been expelled from the Grand
Lodge with several others some time before But hearing the footsteps of the
Grand Master, he suddenly took his leave, telling Eve to go to making aprons
as she and Adam were not in proper regalia. She went and told Adam and when
the Grand Master returned to the lodge he found hi gavel had been stolen. He
called for the Senior and Junior Wardens, who had neglected to guard the door,
and found them absent. After searching for some time he came to where they
were hid, and demanded of Adam what he was doing there instead of occupying
his official station. Adam said he was waiting for Eve to call the Craft from
refreshment to labor again, and that the Craft was not properly clothed, which
they were making provision for. Turning to Eve, he asked her what she had to
offer in excuse for her unofficial and un-Masonic conduct. She replied that a
fellow passing himself off as a grand lecturer, had been giving her
instructions, and she thought it was no harm to learn them. The Grand Master
then asked her what had become of his gavel? She said that she didn't know,
unless that fellow had taken it away. Finding that Eve was no longer
trustworthy, and that she had caused Adam to neglect his duty, and had let in
one whom he had expelled, the Grand Master closed the lodge, and turning them
out, set a faithful Tiler to watch the door with a flaming sword. Adam,
repenting of his folly, went to work like a man and a good Mason, in order to
get reinstated again. Not so with Eve - she got angry about it and commenced
"Adam, on account of his reformation, was permitted to establish lodges and
work in the degrees, and while Eve was allowed to join him in acts of charity
outside, she was never again to be admitted to assist in the regular lodge of
the Craft. Hence the reason why a woman cannot become an inside Mason.