The Builder Magazine
April 1927 - Volume XIII - Number
IS Freemasonry Neglecting Opportunities?
BRO. N. W. J. HAYDON, Associate Editor, Canada
been asked to show wherein Freemasonry of today is neglecting its
opportunities, and to do so justly it is needful that we ascertain just what
these opportunities are and what responsibilities they bring. In the case of
an Institution like ours, which has been definitely organized for a specific
purpose, and is well over its second century in its present form, it should be
a fair statement that its opportunities are ties and that they will have
become clearly stated in its Constitutions.
take a first take a look at these Constitutions, for some of us may not be
thoroughly familiar with them, although we have all been charged to make
ourselves acquainted therewith in order that each one might become instructed
in the duties he owes to the Craft in general. Note the words, the duties, he
owes, by reason of his admission into our ranks, not merely social usages
which can be observed or set aside at pleasure.
find that this Constitution is based on certain Old Charges of a Freemason,
and there is documentary evidence that these Old Charges have existed in
writing for nearly six hundred years at least. There are seventy-eight
manuscript copies of them known today, the oldest dating from the end of the
14th century. Our Masonic scholars have exercised a great deal of learning in
trying to trace their origins through the customs and lengths of a time when
all book learning was a prerogative of one class only and the great bulk of
the people had to depend entirely on what they were told.
CHARGES OF A FREEMASON
Charges cover, in six main sections, all the relationships that were expected
to be formed by the membership of the Craft, among themselves and with their
fellow men; and it is due entirely to the special phrasing of the first that
our Order has today spread all over the civilized world, has over two hundred
years of continuous and beneficial service to its credit, and is likely to
last as long as the most sacred and the most important duties of citizenship
are subject to human disagreement.
be strange to some, but it is a fact in our history, that when Freemasonry was
recognized in 1717 and the first Grand Lodge established, it was a clergyman,
a Presbyterian divine, who was given the task of "digesting" these old
Charges, which had been the working rules of the Operative Lodges then dying
from lack of support, into "a new and better method." These brethren so
changed the character of our Order that instead of recognizing only the
authority of the Established Church of England, and of the English monarch as
divinely appointed to that office, it became possible for men of any religious
faith or political party to seek admission, to enter our ranks, and to gain
our highest honors. All these possibilities are contained in the new first
section, and our history stands as proof of the success that followed this
revolutionary overturn of our previous usages.
in considering this first section that I hope to find the substance of what I
have to say, and I hope the effort will at least cause some to hunt up their
copies of the Constitution and become better acquainted with these Old
Charges. There is a great deal of reliable as well as speculative literature
to be had on this subject, both in book and magazine form, so that no brother
need plead ignorance of these vital matters because of being denied access to
may well ask how it became possible for such changes to be made, and in such
wise that both then and since they have been accepted and justified by their
appeal to the best that is in us. The answer to these questions is contained
in this quotation:
unite with the virtuous of every persuasion in the firm and pleasing bond of
fraternal love; they are taught to view the errors of mankind with compassion
and to strive, by the purity of their own conduct, to demonstrate the superior
excellence of the faith they may profess....
Masonry is the center of the union between good men and true, and the happy
means of conciliating Friendship amongst those who must otherwise have
remained at a perpetual distance.
sentences are pregnant with our successes and our failures, and by our own
professions are we condemned to the extent that we avoid their implications.
DESIRE FOR FRATERNITY
answer to the first question will be found by a brief survey of English and
European history during the centuries preceding. The Golden Rule was almost
invariably set aside for political and commercial advantage, might and right,
and the spread of the new religion was accompanied by deceit, crime, murder
and persecution, even to death by torture. Civil war, fostered by the grossest
ignorance and credulity, was the constant condition of church and state, and
the records of all parties are bloodstained in the degree that they had power
to enforce their will. Is it any wonder that men should have become utterly
exhausted by their burdens of war and taxation, should have welcomed with joy
a method of association made possible by a strict omission of all subjects of
political and religious contention? And thus in two hundred years an idea
advocated by a few elderly men, of no particular social standing, spread all
over the world, counted a voluntary membership of over three millions, drawn
from all classes of society, all ranks of learning and all grades of wealth.
Nothing approaching such an achievement is to be found elsewhere in history!
with all these successes what else must we admit, at least so far as this
North American continent is concerned ? Every year members drop out, often for
reasons that are definitely the result of our present methods. Masonic honors
are conferred upon those who have no better claims than blatant self assertion
and aggressiveness in their pursuit. The duties of Masonic charity are treated
with indifference by individual members and left almost entirely to lodges and
Grand Lodges. The practice of Masonic scholarship is ignored so that an
estimate of 10 per cent of our membership would be over-liberal of the number
who concern themselves with more than entertainment and ceremonial. Masonic
friendship is at a minimum, because lodge membership is too large to permit
our knowing each other as intimately as we should.
PRESENT CONDITIONS NO IMPROVEMENT
"viewing with compassion the errors of mankind" in matters of religion and
politics, I ask you to consider the feelings exhibited while the union between
the Methodist and Presbyterian churches was coming into being, and those made
evident all over the country during the Scopes' trial in Tennessee. Had these
quarrels taken place even in 1717, they would have resulted in the use of fire
and steel and, if words could kill, there would be many more widows, orphans
and homeless people on this continent today than there are, even though
government has prohibited the general use of lethal weapons.
election, from President to mayor, causes more poison to be thrown against
reputations and intentions by those who will not try to "demonstrate the
superior excellence of the faith they may profess, by the purity of their own
conduct." We as Freemasons are vitally concerned in all these things, many of
us directly by our public positions, and all of us by the power of our
personal influence, even in our own small family or social circles. What are
we doing about it?
living up to our professions to be content with listening to this address, to
agree with its message more or less, as evidence of our intellectual powers,
and then put the blame on Freemasonry because it is neglecting its
opportunities to aid in the improvement of humanity, while we continue to walk
comfortably along the path of least resistance and most profit to our own
concerns? Freemasonry lives amongst us today only because we are members of
the Masonic Order. It will honor us by its prestige or stain us with its
disrepute exactly as we try to learn and meet our Masonic duties or neglect
them. One little swamp mosquito can infect a grown man with yellow fever, so
that he dies or becomes a permanent invalid. One careless smoker, whether
Freemason or not, can set the prairie or the timber limit on fire with all the
terrible consequences that are told in our fire loss reports.
destructive criticism alone is of little use, and the physician should try to
heal as well as diagnose the disease, I will therefore venture to offer a few
suggestions in the hope that they may be considered worth acting upon. The
most important duty we neglect lies in the quality of our membership, as
proven by our annual loss through suspensions for non-payment of dues. A small
percentage of this is legitimate and result of the lean years that have
followed the Great War, but the remainder are mostly men who should not have
found a place amongst us, who were not well enough known to their proposers
and seconders and who were received without sufficient test.
respectfully submit for one thing that the questionaire used in this Grand
Lodge (Canada) does not bring out the information we need, and that the much
more elaborate one adopted by the Grand Lodge of Alberta is also open to
improvement. Our attitude to applicants should be positive, not negative; not
why should we refuse him but why should we admit him? How often do proposers
and seconders know an appliant well enough to make on oath, if need were, the
statements they write on the forms supplied ? We know a man in business and
like him, but later he is found to be selfish and callous in his home. We know
a man socially and like him, but in business he proves to be a smooth rascal.
Very seldom do we get to know a man under both conditions, yet Masonic
admission implies both, and more, and we profess to "guard our portals"; our
authorities warn us to do so constantly. The Society for Masonic Research in
Toronto has brought out a compilation of all the questions asked by Canadian
lodges, with some of their own, which is worth serious consideration as a
remedy for this disease.
GUARDING THE PORTAL
not only too easy for men to join us, but far too for them to make progress in
our ranks. In Switzerland an interval of a year is imposed between each
degree, and proofs of proficiency do not consist in repeating set answers to a
few questions, none of which appear to mean anything more to the candidates
than so many words. In that country Freemasonry is a very serious matter; each
applicant is required to prove himself by his behavior during a term of
waiting before he becomes a candidate for a higher degree, and by submitting
in writing, before receiving advancement, his understanding of his Masonic
experiences. Upon that piece of original thinking does his progress depend.
How do you suppose such a method would affect our growth in numbers?
next opportunity we neglect is our duty towards Charity, and our attitude in
this respect is pitiable. There are practically no individual gifts, except on
the rare occasions when a lodge allows the hat to be passed as well as giving
a grant from its funds, and these grants do not compare with those expected
from our Grand Lodge funds. When we stood in the Northeast Corner we promised
to personally help distressed worthy brothers, but in practice we ignore our
promise, since grants from lodge or Grand Lodge funds do not touch our pockets
we are not poor is proven by our temples, by the frequency and quality of our
entertainments. We cheerfully pay dues of a size to support such expense,
which help no one but our caterers, but what sentiments have we heard when it
is proposed to increase them for the sake of larger benevolence. Recently a
little lodge in Jerusalem marked its second installation of officers by
subscribing eighty guineas ($400) towards the English charities and an annual
report of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand showed an average voluntary
contribution of $4 per member towards their Charity Funds, over and above that
required by their annual dues. But one Grand Lodge in Canada (Nova Scotia)
supports a Masonic Home; attempts to do so in our other Grand Lodges have
point does not enter here of the merits of a Masonic Home, compared with
private relief as is done in Ontario; the point is that our capacities in this
respect are being dishonored by shear neglect to cultivate them. We could make
a splendid start by financing a few scholarships for Masons' children whose
education must be stopped by the death of their parents, or by endowing beds
in hospitals for the benefit of poor Masons or their dependents, to whom the
costs of a serious illness or an operation would be devastating.
third opportunity which does not get its share of attention is Masonic
scholarship. Regalia makers flourish and grow fat; jewels, robes and chains of
office are in steady demand, but wealth of knowledge is at a discount. The
history of our magazines is one of constant struggle against indifference, of
enthusiasm for Masonry crushed under a burden of uncollectible arrears, caused
by a too liberal confidence in a professed desire for knowledge. Of those in
our chief seats, who should lead us to more light, how many encourage us by
example as well as precept?
true that many Masons cannot become well read, for every man's powers are
limited and the proportion of those who study for the love of learning is,
naturally, small. But why should any of us be satisfied merely with those
suggestions that are all our ceremonies can impart; why need we be content
with the narrow limits of personal associations? We are told that Freemasonry
is like the British Empire in that on its limits the sun never sets, yet the
small concerns of our lodge are, for the most of us, the whole field of our
observation. Like Gray's peasants, many of us "think the rustic cackle of our
burgh the murmur of the world."
MASONIC LITERATURE UNSUPPORTED
know that Freemasonry sets no religion over another, prefers no form of
government to another and, for that reason alone, is it possible for brethren
to dwell together in unity despite the war of creed and policy outside our
lodges. But no member denies himself, for that reason, his daily paper, the
journal of his profession, or other literary aid to intelligent citizenship.
Is Freemasonry less worth attention than these, because it is not a source of
physical wealth or public honor? Are our claims to be descended from the
"Ancient Mysteries" limited to the once guarded secrets of the skilled worker
in stone, wood and metal ?
admit this, even tacitly, by our indifference towards our literature is to
deny any truth to the Junior Warden's lecture, is to regard our Senior
Warden's lecture as a tinkling cymbal and our Past Master's charge as but
sounding brass. Why should we enter our brethren into the Craft as new-born
babes, pass them into the grave duties of manhood and raise them into the
crown of a future life if these are intended to be nothing more than
preliminaries to a pleasant social evening ? The church exists to do this for
us, and does it better with men trained to the task. If we can do no more, let
us at least cease to be hypocrites, cease to call upon the name of T.G.A.O.T.U.
before we sit down to smoke and listen to stories we do not repeat at home.
Freemasonry may indeed be one of the Lesser Mysteries; it may be, like the
Prodigal Son, wasting its substance in a far country, forgetful of its origin
and careless or blind to the inherent purpose that has kept it going under
many names and through many centuries. But it is indeed the portal to the
Greater Mysteries, as in the days of Eleusis and, if we do not choose to lift
our eyes to that bright Morning Star of daily progress in Masonic knowledge,
then will we continue to stumble amongst mere repetitions of meat and mummery
until we too drop out into the N. P. D. class, unless, happily, death saves us
each is given a bag of tools
shapeless mass and a Book of Rules;
each must make, e'er time be flown,
stumbling block or a stepping stone.
Effects of Anti-Masonry on the Masonic Fraternity 1826-1856
BRO. ERIK McKINLEY ERIKSSON, Iowa
(Concluded. All rights reserved)
been customary to say that anti-Masonry did not affect the South. If this
statement should be changed to say that political anti-Masonry made little
progress in the South, it would be substantially true. But a glance at the
accompanying chart makes it apparent that every Grand Lodge south of the Mason
and Dixon line suffered at least in the matter of attendance at the
communications. In the cases of some Grand Jurisdictions it is possible to
associate other factors with anti-Masonry in explaining the decline. In fact,
in some instances, other causes appear to have been more important than
anti-Masonry in bringing about a decline of Masonry in the South.
EFFECT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
evident that the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia was not affected by
anti-Masonry enough to curtail its public appearances. This is well
demonstrated by the various appearances of the Grand Lodge at dedicatory and
other ceremonies, at which time public processions were held. Such occasions
were the laying of the cornerstones of a new Masonic Hall in Washington, Sept.
19, 1826, of the First Presbyterian Church, April 10, 1827, and of the Trinity
Episcopal Church, May 31, 1828; the funeral procession and memorial service
for DeWitt Clinton, March 29, 1828; the laying of the cornerstone of the first
lock of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, May 29, 1829, with President Jackson
present; the laying of the cornerstone of the "German Church" in Washington,
Aug. 20, 1833; and the laying of the cornerstane of Jackson City, Jan. 11,
1836, with President Jackson assisting Grand Master William W. Billing.
1827 the number of lodges in the District was augmented by the chartering of
the tenth lodge. But in spite of external signs of prosperity it is clear that
all was not well with the Grand Lodge and the individual lodges internally.
One evidence of this is the fact that the Grand Lodge proceedings from 1829 to
1844 were not printed, and were unavailable until 1881. A proposal in 1832 to
consolidate the 10 lodges into 7 also indicates that difficulties were being
of the lodges were especially affected during the period. The first to go out
of existence was Brooke Lodge, No. 2, in Alexandria. In 1835 Union Lodge, No.
6, surrendered its charter. These two lodges were destined never to be
revived. On Nov. 1, 1836, Columbia Lodge, No. 3, was authorized to close its
affairs, but the surrender of its charter was not accepted until 1838.
Meanwhile, in 1836, Federal Lodge, No. 1, had given up its charter, jewels,
tools and implements but in 1837 these were restored when the lodge was
revived. As late as 1842, Evangelical Lodge, No. 8, offered to surrender its
charter but the offer was refused, pending an effort to heal the internal
dissensions, which nevertheless, seem to have caused it to die. It can hardly
be said that prosperity returned to the Grand Lodge of the District of
Columbia before 1845. In that year a public funeral procession was held for
ex-President Jackson and a new lodge was chartered. By 1856 there were 50 per
cent more lodges in the District of Columbia than there had been at the
beginning of the period of anti-Masonry.
ANTI-MASONRY IN MARYLAND
considering Maryland it should be remembered that organized political
anti-Masonry made little headway in the state in spite of the facts that
Baltimore was the seat of the second Anti-Masonic National Convention and that
William Wirt, the anti-Masonic presidential candidate in the election of 1832,
was from the state. Nevertheless, the lodges in the jurisdiction were somewhat
affected, as the decreased representation at the Grand Lodge indicates. In
view of the fact that, out of 82 lodges chartered up to 1826, 49 had by that
time either forfeited or surrendered their charters, it is a question whether
the decline between 1826 and 1839 should be regarded as especially
extraordinary. Judging by the previous record, it is fair to suppose that,
even had there been no special feeling against the, Masons, a considerable
decline would have taken place. It was not until 1845 that a noticeable
improvement began to be manifested in the Masonic Institution in Maryland, but
even thereafter its upward progress was so slow that by 1856 it had not
reached the numerical strength attained three decades earlier.
CRAFT UNHEALTHY IN VIRGINIA
Anti-Masonry cannot be considered as doing anything more in Virginia than to
aggravate an already bad condition in the Masonic Institution. The proceedfngs
for 1826 make it clear that Masonry in the state was anything but healthy at
the time. They show that out of 144 lodges which had been chartered, 45 were
"dormant," 4 were "extinct," 7 were under the jurisdiction of other Grand
Lodges, 14 were delinquent, while one number (59).was not at the time
assigned. Only 55 lodges were represented while but 73 had made returns.
During the year there were reported 64 suspensions, 24 expulsions, 40
rejections and 26 reinstatements.
Similar reports were made in later years, with, however, an increase in the
number of delinquent and dormant lodges and a decrease in the number of
rejections, reinstatements, suspensions and expulsions. New charters were
issued during the period when anti-Masonry was raging most strongly farther
north. Between 1826 and 1837, inclusive, charters granted included 3 in 1827,
1 in 1830, 2 in 1833 and I in 1837. During the same period at least 3 lodges,
long dormant, were revived. It should be noted that in December, 1837, the
time of the annual communications were changed from December to January, which
accounts for the fact that no communication was held in 1838. With the revival
of 4 lodges in 1839 and 6 in 1840, it may be said that the condition of
Masonry in Virginia was improving. But its upward progress was so slow that by
1856 it had not reached a much higher plane than it occupied in 1826.
CAROLINA AND THE MOVEMENT
Anti-Masonry had had little effect on Masonry in North Carolina prior to 1832,
but in that year some of the lodges were reported in "embarrassed
circumstances" financially, and there was a considerable drop in Grand Lodge
representation. At the same time 14 lodges reported accessions to their
membership during the year. In 1833 one charter was surrendered and 34 lodges
were reported as in arrears for dues. The returns of 14 lodges showed
withdrawals of members but 11 showed that work - in some cases a considerable
amount - had been performed. By 1834 work was at a standstill, and only 10
lodges were represented. Delinquent lodges were given a year to make good
time of the annual communication, Dec. 7, 1835, some improvement was
noticeable in spite of the fact that both the Grand Master and the Grand
Treasurer submitted their resignations at the beginning of the communication.
The returns showed that work had been performed in 9 lodges. Nothing was done
to punish the delinquent lodges nor was any drastic action taken in 1836. But
in 1837 the lodges delinquent for two years or more were required to surrender
their charters to the Special Grand Lecturers appointed at the time, unless
they should make immediate settlement of their accounts. At the 1837
communication a new lodge was chartered and thereafter reports of new lodges
were common. By 1856 the Grand Lodge of North Carolina was practically twice
as large as it had been in 1825.
CAROLINA MASONRY ALSO UNHEALTHY
the case of so many jurisdictions, Masonry in South Carolina was not in a
prosperous condition at the time the anti-Masonic excitement was being created
in New York and elsewhere. The proceedings for 1826 furnish their own
commentary. Out of 55 lodges on the Grand Lodge list, 5 were extinct, 3 had
consolidated with other lodges, 2 had surrendered their charters, 9 were
suspended, 19 others had made no returns, 2 numbers (17 and 24) were not
assigned, while only 15 lodges were in good standing. Under such conditions it
is not to be wondered at that, in the next 15 years, Freemasonry in South
Carolina should have suffered a further decline, under the pressure of
anti-Masonic feeling. The lowest point in South Carolina's Masonic history was
reached when the Quarterly Communication, scheduled for June 29, 1838, at
Charleston, could not be held because only 3 lodges, less than the required
quorum, were represented. From that year until 1844 the Grand Lodge
proceedings were not published. By 1841, improvement began to be noticeable,
and by 1856 the Grand Lodge of South Carolina had attained a strength
considerably greater than that of thirty years earlier.
INTERNAL TROUBLES IN GEORGIA
state was there less reason than in Georgia to blame the decline in Masonry on
anti-Masonry, during the period after 1826. It is much more reasonable to
blame the decline on internal dissensions among the Masons themselves. For
some time trouble had been brewing but it did not come to a head until 1827.
In that year a definite split took place in the Grand Lodge. Thirty of the
lodges adhered to what was called the Milledgeville Grand Lodge, while the
rest formed the Savannah Grand Lodge. In 1829, the Milledgeville Grand Lodge,
having previously given warning of its contemplated action, declared the
charters of the 14 lodges that formed the Savannah Grand Lodge to be
forfeited. In the following years a rapid decay took place in both Grand
Lodges. In 1835 only 16 of the Milledgeville lodges still existed, while
evidently Solomon Lodge, No. 1, at Savannah was the only remaining lodge in
the Savannah Grand Lodge. In 1839 peace was restored in the Masonic circles of
the state by admission of Solomon Lodge to the Milledgeville Grand Lodge. This
action was coincident with the beginning of an extraordinarily rapid
development of Masonry in Georgia which was to result in 217 lodges being on
the Grand Lodge list in 1856.
WEAKNESS OF THE CRAFT IN FLORIDA
establishment of the Grand Lodge of the Territory of Florida in 1830 with 3
lodges as the original members is indicative of the general impotency of
anti-Masonry in the South. However, it was not until 1837 that the Fraternity
began to make any considerable progress in the jurisdiction. By 1856 the
original number of lodges had multiplied over ten-fold.
REORGANIZATION IN ALABAMA
Alabama Masonry made considerable progress for a few years after 1825. By 1828
the number of lodges had increased from 21 to 28. However, many of the lodges
were delinquent. In 1829 the charters of 10 lodges were forfeited and the
charters of 2 other lodges were surrendered. At the same time one new charter
was granted. During the next few years the fortunes of Alabama Masonry were
variable. Because of a change in the time of the annual communications from
December to January, no meeting of the Grand Lodge was held in 1832. In 1833
one charter was granted and the next year two were granted, while at the same
time three charters were forfeited. By this time only 12 lodges in Alabama
were active, and of these only 3 had existed in 1825.
lowest point of Masonry in Alabama was reached in 1835 when no annual
communication was held because the constitutional number (7) of lodges were
not represented. Only 2 lodges made returns during the year. On Dec. 5, 1836,
only 6 lodges appeared for the annual communication. After adjourning for two
successive days, the Grand Secretary reported that “owing to the lapsed state
of Masonry, the subordinate Lodges of this Grand Lodge had suffered said Grand
Lodge to become extinct." Then followed a most extraordinary action. The
representatives present resolved themselves into a convention and proceeded to
draw up a new constitution and by-laws, carefully omitting the requirement
that 7 lodges must be represented to constitute a quorum. It was then resolved
that the 12 lodges which had been active should be "reinstated" [sic] on
application to the new Grand Lodge. Officers were elected and on Dec. 8, 1836,
the Grand Lodge "opened in due and ancient form."
Regardless of what might be said of the irregularity of the procedure, it
served to bring Alabama Freemasonry through its most severe crisis. From that
time on rapid improvement was made, so that by 1856 the Alabama Grand Lodge
was among the strongest in the United States.
DISTURBANCE IN MISSISSIPPI
figures in the chart tell about all that is necessary to say about Freemasonry
in Mississippi after 1825. There was some decline, with the lowest point
reached in 1833. Thereafter reports of new charters began to appear in the
proceedings so that by 1839 there were two and a half times as many lodges in
the state as in 1825. By 1856, the Grand Lodge of Mississippi was a close
rival of Alabama so far as numerical strength was concerned.
SUSPENSION OF WORK IN TENNESSEE
Masonic work was not suspended in many of the Tennessee lodges during the
whole period of the anti-Masonic furore. Throughout the period there were new
charters granted while reports of charters surrendered or forfeited also
appeared. Though the total number of lodges in the jurisdiction declined
during the period, the condition of the Grand Lodge never became critical. By
1842 the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was developing rapidly so that by 1856 it
was to include 258 lodges as compared with 35 in 1826.
FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES IN KENTUCKY
has been said about Masonry in Tennessee might also be said of Kentucky. The
troubles in that jurisdiction were not due to anti-Masonry so much as to a
burden of debt which hung over the Grand Lodge. This difficulty was removed in
1833 when the Masonic Hall, which had been heavily mortgaged, was surrendered
to the mortgagee. Within a short time
Masonry in Kentucky was on the up-grade and by 1856 there were 281 lodges in
the state as compared with 55 in 1825.
LODGE OF MISSOURI PERSEVERES
Grand Lodge of Missouri had been established in 1821 and in 1825 included only
4 lodges. Four of its member lodges had been in Illinois but these had
withdrawn in 1824-1825 to join the Grand Lodge of Illinois, while a fifth
withdrew in 1825. Three others surrendered their charters, leaving only 3
lodges on the list after the annual communication at St. Louis, Oct. 3, 1825.
But instead of giving up, the Grand Lodge of Missouri persevered so that by
1839 it had increased its membership to 11 lodges. By 1856 this number bad
been increased to 170.
EFFECT IN LOUISIANA
anti-Masonry does not seem to have touched Missouri, it appears entirely safe
to say that it affected Masonry in Louisiana not at all. The prosperity of
Masonry during the period under consideration was affected by the prevalence
of cholera in New Orleans, especially, and by a disagreement with the Grand
Lodge of Mississippi over the matter of jurisdiction. But the chief
explanation of the low state of Masonry in Louisiana during the period is to
be found in the three-cornered fight for supremacy waged by the advocates of
the York, Scottish and French (Modern) rites. Not until after their
differences were taken care of by a convention which met at Baton Rouge in
June, 1850, did Freemasonry in Louisiana enter on a period of prosperity which
was to result in there being 106 lodges on the Grand Lodge list in 1856.
the analysis that has been made it is evident that most of the Grand Lodges
had begun to recover from their depression, brought on by anti-Masonry and
other factors, by the end of the decade of the thirties. The establishment of
eight of the present Grand Lodges between 1837 and 1856, inclusive, as shown
by the table, is the best possible evidence that the recovery of Masonry was
NATIONAL MASONIC CONVENTIONS
Further indications of Masonic recovery were to be seen in the Masonic
Conventions held at Washington and Baltimore in 1842 and 1843, respectively.
For several years the Grand Lodge of Alabama had urged the desirability of
holding a Masonic national convention. This persistence bore fruit when, from
March 7 to 10,1842, a convention was held at Washington, composed of delegates
from 10 Grand Lodges, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut,
New York, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, South Carolina and
Alabama. The convention made important recommendations to the Grand Lodges.
One was the recommendation that Grand Lecturers be appointed who should meet
at least once every three years to compare their lectures and thus secure
uniformity. It was further recommended that certificates should be demanded of
strangers seeking to visit lodges. The custom of taking promissory notes for
fees, a previous cause of untold trouble, was roundly condemned. The 1843
convention was composed of delegates from 15 Grand Lodges. It undertook to
make Masonic work uniform throughout the country but in this it was doomed to
does not permit a fuller account of the effects of anti-Masonry on the Masonic
Fraternity. An examination of the histories of local lodges would reveal many
interesting bits of information showing what the Masons of that time endured.
For instance, there was New England Lodge, No. 4, of Ohio, which for a time
held its meetings in a ravine. On the other hand it would be shown that there
were some lodges which were hardly molested, such as Lancaster Lodge, No. 57,
also in Ohio. A more detailed study would also reveal the sporadic but only
occasionally successful attempts to bar Masons from serving on juries. It
would allow an account of unscrupulous men who traveled from place to place
professing to expose in "lectures" the alleged evils of Masonry, illustrating
their "lectures" with a demonstration of what purported to be "The Immolation
of William Morgan." It would permit discussion of the seceding Masons,
especially those who hastened to publish Anti-Masonic Almanacs and exposes or
who otherwise sought to profit by their renunciation of Masonry. It would
permit an account of the part played by the press, both for and against
Masonry. It could be brought out that through the 141 anti-Masonic newspapers
established by 1832, or through speeches and pamphlets, pressure was brought
to bear on non-Masons to openly denounce the Masons. Those who would not do so
were labelled "Bats" or "Masons' Jacks." On the other hand it would be
possible to show how probably five-sixths of the newspapers of the country, if
they did not support Masonry, at least did not become openly hostile to the
Institution. It has only been possible to hint at the part played by defenders
closing, it should be said that, while thousands of Masons withdrew from the
Institution under the pressure of anti-Masonry, some of them to become the
outspoken leaders in opposition to the Fraternity, other thousands remained
loyal. It should be said that the anti-Masonic excitement was not entirely
harmful in its effects on the Fraternity. The elimination of those who had
joined the Institution for unworthy reasons was a direct benefit. Subjected to
the great wave of anti-Masonry, the Masons were forced to discard
objectionable practices and to heal internal dissensions. Certain it is that
the Masonic Fraternity, purged by the fires of persecution, emerged from the
period of the excitement with its membership composed only of men of the most
substantial type. On such a foundation it was possible to build the great
structure which even before the Civil War had been raised to a much higher
point in the United States than at any previous time.
as possible, the proceedings of the Grand Lodges, in the original form, or in
reprints, have been carefully examined. In learning what proceedings were
published during the period much use was made of Josiah H. Drummond's Masonic
Historical and Bibliographical Memoranda (Brooksville, Ky., 1882).
proceedings of the various Grand Lodges which were used had titles as follows
(with slight variations in a few cases for some years): Transactions of the
Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, 1816-1827 .
. . [Reprint]; Abstract of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New York . .
. 1828-1839; Early Records of the Grand Lodge of the State of Vermont, F. & A.
M., From 1794 to 1846, Inclusive [Reprint]; Journal of the Proceedings of the
Grand Lodge of New Hampshire . . . 1825-1842; Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient
and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Maine,
1825-1840, 1841-1845; Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable
Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts .
. . 1825-1839; Reprint of the Early Proceedings of the M. W. Grand Lodge . . .
of Rhode Island . . . 1820 . . . 1840, Vol. II; The Early Records of
Free-Masonry in the State of Connecticut, 1789-1845 [Reprint]; Origin of
Masonry in the State of New Jersey, and the Entire Proceedings of the Grand
Lodge, From Its First Organization . . . 1786-1857 [Reprint]; Stated
Communication of the Grand Lodge of Delaware . . . 1825, 1827, 1829; Reprint
of the Minutes of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania,
Vols. V, VI, VII (1822-1848) ; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge . . . of the
State of Ohio . . . From 1808 to 1847, Inclusive [Reprint]; Proceedings of the
Grand Lodge . . . of Indiana . . . 1817-1845 [Reprint]; Reprint of the
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge . . . of Illinois . . . 1840-1860; Transactions
of the Grand Lodge . . . of the Territory of Michigan . . . 1826, 1827;
Reprint of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of
the District of Columbia, 1810-1845; Proceedings of the R.W.G. Lodge of
Maryland . . . 1826-1844; Proceedings of a Grand Annual Communication of the
Grand Lodge of Virginia . . . 1826-1828, 1830-1835, 1837, 1839; Proceedings of
the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons of North Carolina . . . 1825-1837,
1839, 1840; Abstract of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ancient
Free-Masons of So. Car. . . . 1825-1832; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge . . .
of the State of Georgia . . . [Savannah, 1824-1826], [Savannah and
Milledgeville, 1827], [Milledgeville, 1826, 1828, 1829, 1831, 1832,
1835-1840]; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge . . . of Florida . . . 1830-1859
[Reprint]; Proceedings of the M. W. Grand Lodge . . . of Alabama . . .
1821-1839 [Reprint]; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi . . .
1818-1852 [Reprint]; Proceedings of the M. W. Grand Lodge . . . of Tennessee .
. . Vol. 1, 1813-1847 [Reprint]; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky .
. . 1825, 1827-1829, 1832, 1833, 1837, 1838; The Official Record of the Grand
Lodge, A. F. & A. M. of the State of Missouri . . . 1821-1840 [Reprint].
of the statistics given in the table for 1856 were adapted from a table
contained in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Iowa . . . 1857.
Histories of Freemasonry in various states have been consulted but, generally
speaking, they have contributed little that was not found in the proceedings.
Those available were as follows: Ossian Lang's History of Freemasonry in the
State of New York (New York, 1912); Charles T. McClenachan's History of the
Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity' of Free and Accepted Masons in New York
From the Earliest Date . . . (New York, 1892), 4v.; Peter Ross' Standard
History of Freemasonry in the State of New York . . . (New York and Chicago,
1899) ; Lee S. Tillotson's Ancient Craft Masonry in Vermont (Montpelier, Vt.,
1920); Henry W. Rugg's History of Freemasonry in Rhode Island . . .
(Providence, R.I., 1895) ; Alfred Creigh's Masonry and Anti-Masonry. A History
of Masonry, As It Has Existed in Pennsylvania Since 1792 . . . (Philadelphia,
1854); W. M. Cunningham's History of Freemasonry in Ohio From 1791 . . .
(Cincinnati, 1909); Daniel McDonald's History of Freemasonry in Indiana From
1806 to 1898 (Indianapolis, 1898); John C. Reynold's History of the M.W. Grand
Lodge of Illinois . . . up to and Including 1850 (Springfield, Ill., 1869);
John Corson Smith's History of Freemasonry in Illinois 1804-1829 . . .
(Chicago, 1903) ; George W. Warvelle, ed., A Compendium of Freemasonry in
Illinois. . . . (Chicago, 1897), 2v.; Jefferson S. Conover's Freemasonry in
Michigan . . . (Coldwater, Mich., 1897); Kenton N. Harper's History of the
Grand Lodge and of Freemasonry in the District of Columbia . . . (Washington,
D. C., 1911); Edward T. Schultz's History of Freemasonry in Maryland
(Baltimore, 1885-1886), Vol. II; John Dove’s History of the Most Worshipful
Grand Lodge of Virginia, Its Origin, Progress, and Mode of Development, in Two
Lectures . . . (Richmond, 1854); Albert G. Mackey's History of Freemasonry in
South Carolina . . . (Columbia, S. C., 1861); T.C. McDonald's Freemasonry and
Its Progress in Atlanta and Fulton County, Georgia, With Brief History of the
Grand Lodge . . . (Atlanta, Ga., 1925); Rob Morris' History of Freemasonry in
Kentucky . . . (Louisville, Ky., 1859); and James B. Scot's Outline of the
Rise and Progress of Freemasonry in Louisiana . . . (New Orleans, 1873).
addition to other works previously cited, the following pamphlets were used:
Jesse B. Anthony, compiler, Review of the Grand Lodge Transactions of the
State of New York, From the Year 1781 to 1852. Together With Other Facts
Appertaining Thereto (Troy, N. Y., 18,69) ; and Report of the Committee
appointed to inquire into the rise and progress of Free-Masonry in Louisiana,
and the accumulation of Rites in and by, the State Grand Lodge (New Orleans,
Numerous histories of individual lodges which existed during the anti-Masonic
period were examined, but space will not permit them to be cited.
Grateful acknowledgment is made of valuable assistance rendered by Dr.
Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary (Massachusetts); Wm. L. Boyden, 33d,
Librarian Supreme Council, A.&A.S.R., Washington, D.C.; Fred W. Hardwick,
Grand Secretary (Kentucky); John A. Davilla, Grand Secretary (Louisiana);
Charles B. Davis, Grand Secretary (Maine); John F. Robinson, Grand Secretary
(Delaware); Harry M. Cheney, Grand Secretary (New Hampshire); Chas. Insco
Williams, Grand Archivist (Virginia); William L. Sweet, Grand Master (Rhode
Island); William B. Clarke, Grand Steward (Georgia); Frank F. Baker, Grand
Secretary (Georgia); C. C. Hunt, Grand Secretary (Iowa), and J. Hugo Tatsch,
Curator, Iowa Masonic Library.
Believe in God
JOHN J. LANIER, Kansas
inspiration of the religion of the modern thoughtful man is neither deism,
theism, nor pantheism but theopanism.
Theopanism is the opposite of pantheism both in etymology and meaning. They
come from the two Greek words, reversed, pan and theos; pan means all, and
theos means God. Pantheism means that all is God and everything is a part of
God, theopanism means that God is all in all.
all is spirit, personality; in all is the manifestation and revelation of
infinite personality in and as the world of nature and man, it is God revealed
to our senses: and for spirit, God, to do this he must embody himself as
Theopanism does not teach that man and nature are self-existent but the
continuous ever outgoing energy, thought, life and personality of God. Should
this activity of God cease--were God an inactive God--they would not be. They
are not a part of God, but God incarnate as man and embodied as nature. In
other words: God is spirit, man is his soul, and the material universe is his
body; in an indivisible unity all space and all time; because God is
omnipresent, unchanging, and eternally active spirit as taught in Ps. 139:7-8.
Whither shall I flee from thy spirit?
whither shall I flee from thy presence?
ascend up into heaven, thou art there.
make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
is Theopanism which is found in a saga which Max Muller translates from the
wisdom of the East, a parable, which tells how the gods met in council to
discuss where they should hide their divinity. One suggested that it be
carried to the other side of the earth and be buried; but it was pointed out
that man was a great wanderer, and that he might find the lost treasure on the
other side of the world. Another proposed that it be dropped in the depth of
the sea; but the same fear was expressed--that man, in his insatiable
curiosity, might dive deep enough to find it even there. Finally, after a
space of silence, the oldest and wisest said: "Hide it in man himself, as that
is the last place he will ever look for it." And it was so agreed, all seeing
at once the subtle and wise strategy. Man did wander over the earth for ages,
seeking in all places, high and low, far and near, before he thought to look
within himself for the divinity he sought. At last, slowly, dimly, he began to
realize that what he thought afar off, "hidden in the pathos of distance," is
nearer than the breath he breathes, even in his own soul. "Once man learns
this deep secret life is new and the old world is a valley all dewy to the
dawn with a lark song over it."
MAN AND NATURE
ancient times this saga brought a great light to those who sat in the darkness
and the shadow of death; and when we cease to believe and love this truth the
darkness of death covers us with the shadow of its gloomy wings. Through the
shadow of such an eclipse the world passed during what is called the dark
ages, but out of which it has been passing for the last three hundred years.
The moment the world regained the essential truth that although God transcends
man and nature yet he is man and nature, it bounded forward by leaps and
bounds like a steed of war charging gloriously into battle. The recovery of
this truth unmade the medieval ages and made modern Europe and America of
the inspiration and mighty impact of the great truth that the world of nature
and the world of man are alike the visible temple of deity, again came back
the idea of the sacredness of man, and the virgin love and passion of man for
nature. Under this new inspiration the Bible again became the record of God
revealing himself as the sheeny lustre of green leaves, the laughter of
running waters, the majesty of snowclad mountains and the immensity of the
sidereal heavens, clothing himself with light as with a garment, and walking
upon the wings of the wind !
BELIEVE IN GOD ?
Anaxagoras said, "If an ox could think, his god would be an infinite ox,"
which means that the First Great Cause can be no less than man is. I am a
person, and no less than I am can be the author of my existance and being.
Therefore I believe in the personality of God.
objection is felt by many to the use of the word personality in connection of
the unseen power of the universe, that it implies those limitations which
belong to personal beings as we know them on earth. In answer we can only say
that we are not tied to the use of the word if anyone will invent a better.
SOMETHING HIGHER THAN PERSONALITY
quite content to believe with Mr. Herbert Spencer "that the choice is not
between personality and something lower than personality, but between
personality and something higher," and if you will, I am ready to call that
Great Power the personality which is above human personality, but I cannot
call that Great Power "it." Every word we use is weak and unfit. In speaking
of that Great Power we say "he," but he is an inadequate word, for it implies
limitation of sex. "They" is misleading because it suggests the possibility of
the divergence of will. But if "he" and "they" are inadequate and misleading
words, "it" is still more so, for we cannot think of that power which is
behind all things and which humanity must depend upon as being a mere
abstraction or a neutral and willess thing.
ACCOUNT OF LIFE
have seen the advance of religion, pointing humanity from age to age forward
and onward to higher ideals and larger life. All these things, we say, are due
to the influence of one mighty force, that unseen power, that will within the
world, which seems recognized in one form or another by the clearest and
profoundest thinkers; and seeing all this we cannot speak of that power and
that will as being "it" rather than "he." Hence, I cannot but believe that the
true account of life is, that it is an education of beings who think and will
and love by a being who thinks, wills and loves; and, until some better phrase
is found, I shall call this an education of persons by a person whose
personality is as much higher than theirs as the consciousness of a human
being is higher than the consciousness of a plant, and in comparison with
whose love our love is but the faintest shadow of a shade.
PERSONALITY OF GOD AND MAN
in the personality of man and belief in the personality of God stand or fall
together. When faith in the personality of God is weak, or is altogether
wanting, as in the pantheistic religions of the East, the perception which men
have of their own personality is found to be in an equal degree indistinct.
The feeling of individuality is dormant. The soul indolently ascribes to
itself a merely phenomenal being. It conceives itself as appearing for a
moment, like a wave on the ocean to vanish again in the all-engulfing essence
whence it emerged. Philosophical theories which substitute "matter" or an
"unknowable" for the selfconscious Deity, likewise dissipate the personality
of man. If they deny that God is spirit, they deny with equal emphasis that
man is a spirit. The pantheistic and atheistic schemes are in this respect
consistent in their logic; but out of man's perception of his personal
attributes arises the belief in a personal God. On this fact of our own
personality the validity for the argument of theism depends.
PERSONALITY THE UNITY OF THE WHOLE
which I see, that which I hear, that which I think, that which I feel, changes
with each moment of my varied existence. I who hear and see and think and feel
am the one conscious self, whose existence gives unity and connection to the
Personality comprises all that we know of that which exists; relation to
personality comprises all that we know of that which seems to exist. And when
from the little world of man's consciousness and its objects we would lift up
our eyes to the inexhaustible universe beyond, and ask to whom all of this is
related, the highest existence is still the highest personality; and the
source of all being reveals himself by his name, "I Am."
SUBSTITUTES OFFERED FOR A PERSONAL GOD
here we have before us a theory of the universe; time-honored, coherent,
concrete, positive, august; and abstract criticism is powerless against it;
futile unless supported by some positive hypothesis to take the place of what
it seeks to remove; seeing that, after all, the universe is a fact, and some
account of it needs be true. What then are the positive hypotheses which are
offered us as substitutes for a personal God? There is Hegel's Idea. There is
the Blind Will which Schopenhauer sought to substitute for the Hegelian Idea.
There is the Supra-Conscious Unconscious with which Hartman sought to improve
upon Schopenhauer's Will. There is the Moral Order of Fichte, Matthew Arnold's
Eternal-Not-Ourselves that makes of righteousness. Not one of these notions is
conceivable apart from personality.
are derived by abstraction from the various functions of personality and when
severed from their source they become not merely hypothetical but absolutely
meaningless; words, mere words; full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. We
feel as we peruse them that their authors and adherents alike have
unconsciously personified these abstractions, and to this surreptitious
reintroduction of personality all their plausibility is really due.
Materialism looks at first sight more solid. But materialism is in precisely
the same case, since matter regarded by itself is another meaningless
abstraction. We know matter only at first hand within our own bodies, and
there and there alone we are inside of it, and can view it from within. But
matter in our own bodies is in intimate unity with personality. And we have no
reason to suppose that matter ever exists or can exist or there is such a
thing as matter unsustained by spirit. And what is true of matter is more
obviously true of energy and force. Thus no positive hypothesis can be offered
as a substitute for a personal God, which is not an abstraction from
personality, and therefore demonstrably unreal; or an abstraction
inconsistently personified, and therefore demonstrably untrue.
Agnosticism professes to rest upon physical science, but physical science
makes two assumptions which may be very briefly summarized and which are
incompatible with the agnostic position. In the first place it takes for
granted that the universe can be known, or in other words is intelligible.
This assumption or conviction is so obvious and universal that it easily
escapes notice altogether. But it involves the important conclusion that the
universe is a work of mind since we cannot attribute intelligibility to any
sour but intelligence. Thus the initial presupposition of physical science is
metaphysical, and carries us at once beyond the region which the agnostic
calls the known.
physical science assumes that our perceptive faculties are trustworthy. But
our perceptive faculties do not stand alone. They are inseparably bound up
with our emotions and our will, as part and part of our personality, and the
conviction of their veracity must by consequence imply that our other
facilities are equally as veracious. But our other faculties as inevitably
lead us to see moral purpose in the universe as our reason to see rational
arrangement; and here again we are beyond the limit of what the agnostic
knows. To accept these conclusions is to abandon agnosticism to reject them is
to make any kind of certainty impossible, and reduce all knowledge to mere
opinion; in her words, to abandon science. In fact to deny divine is to deny
human personality, and that is what the agnostic really does.
woefully fail to understand how radical and volutionary these teachings of
Jesus are: "No man hath seen God at any time." John 1:18. "He that hath seen
me hath seen the Father for the Father in me. The works that I do the same
shall ye do." John 14:9-12.
absolute statement, "No man hath seen God at any time," destroys all the
mythologies in the Old Testatament, as for instance, in the second chapter of
Genesis where God is represented as appearing to Adam and Eve and walking in
the garden and talking with them. Not only in this chapter but wherever
similar things are taught in the Old Testament, Jesus' answer is. "It is
mythology. No man hath seen God at any time."
Christian religion is not a mythological religion. The proof of it is that his
religion is reproduced in the life of humanity. In a sentence it is: Man is
the son of God; the highest, final and only true revelation of God there ever
has been or can be, is man. He who hath seen the perfect man hath seen God,
and he who doth not find God in such a man will never find him at all.
IS GOD LIKE?
question every person wants answered is, What is God like? Jesus answered this
question when he said: "No man hath seen God at any time, he that hath seen me
hath seen the Father."
God is Spirit, and no man hath ever seen or can see spirit, mind, thought only
as these reveal themselves in material form--God must be like the highest
spiritual revelation revealed to man in material form; if not, God must be
forever unknown. This highest revelation of God is man himself--an invisible
spirit clothed in a human body. Of all men so revealing themselves Jesus is,
we believe, the most perfect embodiment of God. Therefore the historic Jesus
is the unveiling of the divine nature in human history. The inner reality of
the universe has looked into human eyes through the eyes of Jesus Christ.
adore the Godhead as unveiled in the personality, teaching and Spirit of
Jesus. He is the personality of God incarnate. He is the source and origin of
the Christian Church. He and his religion are historical, not mythological. It
is the reproduction of himself in human lives.
critical tendency which in the name of history seeks to show that Christianity
is an electric religion, having its origin in various aspirations and
tendencies, cults and philosophies, in the first century of our era, fails to
do justice to the personality of Jesus as constituting the magnetic center
which attracted all these things to itself.
interesting to note that Sir James Frazer, who, whatever his personal attitude
toward Jesus may be, is as a student of religion surely unrivaled in the width
and variety of his knowledge, is perfectly clear as to the relation of the
personality of Jesus to Christianity. He says:
historical reality both of Buddha and of Christ has sometimes been doubted or
denied. It would be just as reasonable to question the historical existence of
Alexander the Great and Charlemagne on account of the legends that have
gathered around them. The great religious movements which have stirred
humanity to its depths and altered the beliefs of nations spring ultimately
from the conscious and deliberate efforts of extraordinary minds, not from the
unconscious cooperation of multitudes. The attempt to explain history without
the influence of great men may flatter the vanity of the vulgar, but it will
find no favor with the philosophic historian.
reason for Christianity's triumph over the various mystery-cults, which were
the most influential of its rivals, is that the Lord of the Christian religion
is a historic personage, whereas the heads of these cults are mythological."
final and satisfactory proof that the Christian religion is historical and not
mythological is that it is reproduced in human life, which in the nature of
the case is impossible in mythological religions whose origin is not
historical human experience but the imagination of great poets--Homer, for
supreme and final test of the religion of Christ is "the works that I do, the
same shall ye do!" The Christian religion can be reproduced in my experience
and your experience. If it cannot, it is not a historical but a mythological
religion, and will vanish from the earth as all mythological religions have
done. But Christianity will never vanish because God does reproduce himself as
Son in us.
INCARNATION OF GOD
essence of the Christian religion is that God is Spirit who embodies his life
as the cosmic universe and incarnates his personality as man, for "that which
hath been made was life in him and the word was made flesh." God is personal
spirit, the living principle and essential life of the Cosmos, and is
incarnate as Lord, Jesus Christ. There is but one personality in the one God
of the universe, and that personality partially incarnates itself in all men
and perfectly as Jesus.
revealed in the New Testament, Jesus is not the Great Exception but the Great
Example and the Great Power we all have it in us to become. In him we find the
fulfillment of the law of our own Being, and the more clearly we see this the
more the complete life will assert itself in us. If we look at Christ in this
way, we shall find that we are dealing with a Living Fact inherent in the
ultimate nature of man, and which is therefore reproducible in everyone.
men esteem and value nothing so much in this world as a real friend. Such a
one is as it were another self, to whom we impart our most secret thoughts,
who partakes of our joy and comforts us in our affliction; add to this, that
his company is an everlasting pleasure to us.--Pilpay.
Masonry, Territorial and State in Florida
BRO. PHILIP C. Tucker, Florida
GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON, of the United states Army, was made Governor of the
Provinces of East and West Florida by President James Monroe March 10, 1821.
And the exchange of flags was made by Governor Don Coppinger, of East Florida,
to Lieutenant Robert Butler, of the United states Army, as Representative of
Governor Jackson, at Fort Marion, San Augustine, and by Governor Don Calleva,
at Pensacola, to General Jackson, in person, with fitting ceremonies.
first Masonic Lodge chartered in the territory that I can find any record of,
was La Esperanza, No. 47, of San Augustine, by the Grand Lodge of South
Carolina. Its members consisted of those of Spanish birth who had been members
of San Fernando Lodge, No. 20, on the roster of the Grand Lodge of Georgia,
which had been suppressed by the Spanish government in 1810, and whom had, in
1820, joined with others in organizing Floridian virtues Lodge, No. 28, on the
roster of South Carolina. Desiring a lodge to work in their native tongue they
now petitioned for a charter. This was granted with the understanding that it
was a revival of San Fernando Lodge, No. 20. It only lived a year when all its
membership removed to Havana, Cuba, voluntarily returning its charter to its
mother Grand Lodge.
appears to have been another lodge in San Augustine at this date but of it we
have but the following record from the report of the Master of Jackson Lodge,
on the 23rd of June, 1825, occurred the death of Thomas Penn, Worshipful
Master of Montgomery Lodge of St. Augustine, and that Jackson Lodge buried him
with Masonic honors on the 26th.
have no record of its mother lodge or other officers.
rolls of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina for 1824-5-6 were the names of
"Floridian virtues Lodge, No. 28, La Esperanza Lodge, No. 47, both of San
Augustine, Fla., and Good Intentions Lodge, No. 17, of Pensacola"; and of No.
17 we have no other record.
24th of December, 1824, a dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge of
Alabama "to open a Masonic Lodge at Tallahasse, Fla., to be named Jackson
Lodge, No. 23." The petitioners were Robert Butler, Robert W. Williams, Isham
Green Searcy, Ede Van Ervain, E. R. Downing, R. D. Jouralman, David Thomas and
D. B. Wright.
lodge organized June 3, 1825, incorporated by the Territorial Legislature Dec.
7, 1825. General Robert Butler was its first Master and served for four years.
It numbered on its roster most of the leading men of the territory of that
day: William P. Duval, the first Governor of the state, and Richard Keith
Call, the second, were both among its charter members.
second lodge organized in the territory was Washington Lodge, No. 1 (on the
rolls of the Grand Lodge of Georgia), Nov. 9, 1827, at Quincy, in Gadsden
County, Fla. (This county was named after General James Gadsden, Aide to Gen.
Jackson, and who later negotiated "The Gadsden Purchase." His name is among
the early members of Jackson Lodge, of Tallahassee.) It was organized on the
24th of January, 1828, with Henry Yonge, M. W. Master, Francis A. Cash, Senior
Warden, and Henry Gee, Junior Warden, receiving its charter the same year.
third was Harmony Lodge, of Marianna, Jackson County. Bro. George F. Bartzell,
G. S. Warden of G. L. Florida, stated to Bro. Andrew Scott, an old citizen of
Jackson County and a member of the Grand Lodge of Florida, "that the original
charter of Harmony Lodge was granted by the Grand Lodge of Tennessee." He was
doubtless correct, as he was familiar with the early history of Jackson County
and a citizen thereof, often honored by his Masonic brethren. There are no
records of this lodge in existence prior to 1838 and the records of the Grand
Lodge of Tennessee are also missing, while the copies of the letters of the
Grand Master of this Grand Lodge, returning the original charters to their
respective Grand Lodges, were destroyed when the Grand Lodge building of
Florida was wrecked in the great storm of 1858 at Tallahassee.
FORMATION OF THE GRAND LODGE OF FLORIDA
three lodges, Jackson, Washington and Harmony, all of the Ancient York Rite,
met at Tallahassee Fla., in convention on July 5, 1830, and duly organ ized
"The Grand Lodge of the Territory of Florida," with John Pope Duval as Grand
Master; James W Exums, Deputy Grand Master; John Lines, Senior Grand Warden;
Henry Gee, Junior Grand Warden Thomas Munroe, Grand Secretary, and Isham Greer
Searcy, Grand Treasurer.
progress of the Craft was slow during territorial days, the country being a
veritable wilderness. A few sparse settlements existed along its eastern cost,
adjoining the United states, and at its western boundary and others sprang up
along the boundary line of Georgia and Alabama. The Indian troubles too
January, 1834, when the Grand Lodge convened at Tallahassee, there were no
minutes or records available for action of that body, as its Grand Secretary
General Isham Green Searcy, was absent in the field in service against the
hostile Indians and had no time to prepare them and was too distant to forward
then to the capital.
first permanent lodge chartered was Hiram, No. 6, at Monticello, 1836. Its
existence was very feeble at first, being dormant in 1845 when the State Grand
Lodge was organized, but revived in 1846, and has since held its own on the
Lodge, No. 8, was chartered in 1839, at Pleastant Grove, near the boundary
line of Georgia. In 1842 it was removed to Bainbridge, in Decatur County, Ga.
That jurisdiction claimed an invasion of rights so, in January, 1843, at the
regular session of the Grand Lodge, it unanimously voted to surrender
jurisdiction if Georgia would enroll this lodge upon her roster. This being
accepted as a solution it was voted, in 1844, that No. 8 should never be
appropriated for another Lodge, and that its officers should be always
entitled honorary membership in the Grand Lodge of Florida. This is still a
standing regulation. The lodge is still active.
lodges, that worked temporarily under dispensations, were never chartered,
others became dormant, so that in 1845 there only existed seven lodges in all,
and two of them received their charters in January of that year. These seven
lodges were: Jackson, No. 1, of Tallahassee, Fla.; Washington, No. 2, at
Quincy, Gadsden Co., Fla.; Harmony, No. 3, at Marinna, Jackson Co., Fla.;
Franklin, No. 6, at Apalachicola, Franklin Co., Fla.; Madison, No. 11, at
Madison, Madison Co., Fla.; St. Johns, No. 12, at St. Augustine, St. Johns
Co., Fla., and Dade, No. 14, at Key West, Dade Co., Fla.
REORGANIZATION OF THE GRAND LODGE
June 23, 1845, a special communication of the Territorial Grand Lodge was
held, Grand Master Jesse Coe presiding, to organize a state Grand Lodge and
amend its constitution, and to provide for the erection of a Grand Lodge
building at Tallahassee.
business was duly performed, and news of the death of Ex-President Andrew
Jackson at his residence at The Hermitage, in Kentucky, on the 8th, having
been received at Tallahassee on the 24th, proper resolutions were passed and a
eulogy pronounced by Gen. Robert Butler, Past Grand Master. (He was an
honorary member of this Grand Lodge.) On the same date, the first General
Assembly of Florida met at Tallahassee to organize the new state Government
under the act of the United states Congress authorizing the admission of
Florida as a state into the Union.
Craft prospered and throve until the blight of civil war overcast the Union.
With her sister states of the South, Florida joined the Confederacy. Sections
of her territory were invaded, battles were fought and skirmishes took place
within her borders. Her industries were of agricultural nature, and her means
of marketing her produce was by sea; no railroads existed of any great extent
so that the blockade of her sea coast paralyzed all industry, while most of
her adult males were absent in other states fighting with the armies of the
South. Grand Lodge regularly held its stated communication, but many lodges
were dormant, their lodge rooms destroyed by invading armies and their
January, 1866, there were 53 lodges upon the rolls, but only 24 there
represented and but 30 made full returns, with less than 1500 names upon their
roster many of the brethren were from recent camp or northern prisons, still
clad in gray uniforms, side by side with those in blue of the force who had
occupied the state after the surrender. All met as brethren with the
determination to put their shoulders to the wheel of progress and work for the
1858 the Grand Lodge suffered a serious loss when a severe storm wrecked the
Grand Lodge building in Tallahassee, destroying many early records. But they
soon rebuilt the edifice and drove bravely forward. As the state advanced in
population new territory developed and railroads were constructed; the Craft
grew with leaps and bounds.
January, 1869, a resolution was adopted that the regular communication be held
in Jacksonville, on the east coast, instead of at Tallahassee, in western
Florida, where it had always met previously. This was duly carried and in 1870
that city was declared its regular meeting place and steps taken to erect a
temple suitable for its needs. A lot was bought in 1891 and the cornerstone
laid with fitting ceremonies in 1892 (January). The structure was ready for
use in January, 1893, and duly dedicated. steps were also taken in that year
towards the establishment of a Masonic Home and Orphanage on the initiative of
Past Grand Master Albert W. Gilchrist and the nucleus of a fund formed. The
bonded indebtedness on the temple having been paid by 1894, a fitting
celebration was held and a history of its erection written by Deputy Grand
Master Granville Beale.
75th anniversary of the organization of the Grand Lodge a musical program,
vocal and instrumental, was rendered and an historical address delivered by
Most Worshipful Samuel Pasco, Past Grand Master.
BUILDER OF THE NEW TEMPLE
January, 1907, the facilities of the temple at Bridge and Forsythe streets,
Jacksonville, proving inadequate to the growing needs of the Order a
resolution was presented at the annual communication to sell the building and
lot and use the proceeds to purchase another at Main and Monroe streets on
which to erect a modern concrete fireproof seven-story building. This was
carried and provisions made to issue bonds to the amount of $110,000 to meet
the expense. Committees were appointed to carry out this project. Contract was
let Dec. 14, 1907, the cornerstone laid Jan. 22, 1908, Grand Master Elmer E.
Haskell officiating. The building was finished and dedicated Jan. 20, 1909.
1918 the Masonic Home and Orphanage funds having reached proportions where it
was considered safe to purchase a property for that purpose, a suitable
building was found in st. Peterburg, Fla., originally erected for hotel use
and offered at a price considered satisfactory. It was accepted and the
dedication took place on 7th of April, 1919. Legislation by the Grand Lodge
has satisfactorily cared for its maintenance and mortgage indebtedness since.
last annual communication, 1925, the number of lodges on the roll of the Grand
Lodge was 250, while the individual members of the Craft numbered 26,871.
Masonic Lodges in the 17th Leicestershire Regiment
BRO. R. V. HARRIS, Associate Editor, Nova Scotia
next reference to this historic regiment and its lodge is to be found in the
Nova Scotias Gazette Dec. 12, 1783, in which we find the following
brethren of Lodge Unity, No. 18, held in H. M. 17th regt. of infantry, intend
holding their festival of St. John 27 December and dining at Mrs. Dawson's
tavern, near Cornwallis's barracks. Any brethren who wish to dine with them
will give in their names to Qr. master serjeant Humpage, on or before the 23d
inst., as no application can be taken after. By order of the master. DAN.
Friday, 12 Dec'r 1783.
have not been able to determine the location of the Cornwallis barracks nor
Mrs. Dawson's tavern.
St. John's Day dinner of St. John's Lodge, No. 211, we note the presence of
visitors from Lodge 18, and again at the meeting of that lodge on Jan. 5,
this time, and after 1781, the several lodges in Halifax were accustomed to
hold a "Quarterly Communication" for the discussion of matters of common
concern. At an emergency meeting held on Dec. 16th, 1783, at the Golden Ball,
we find present "Cockburn, Mr.; Humpage, S. W.; Cassady, J. W.; Webb, Secy."
of the "17th Regt. Unity Lodge 169 and 18 in Pensyla Lodge Night ye first of
every month." At the same meeting the Master and Wardens of Lodge 90, in the
33rd Regiment, were also present.
Lodge being Opened, The Worshipful Master acquainted the Body, that the
Occasion of Assembling the Communication at this time, was an information of
the arrival in Town of Two Lodges of Free Masons, who were strangers to us,
viz. one in the 17th Regiment, and the other in the 33rd. And that he had
Ordered the Secretary to Summon the Masters and Wardens of those two Lodges to
attend, that we might see, and be properly informed concerning each others
authority, as Freemasons, to the Mutual Satisfaction of all the Lodges here,
and for the promoting of harmony among the Masons in this Town. And the said
Brethren attended accordingly and produced their Respective Warrants, which
were read and found to be legal and good to the full satisfaction of this
body. The Warrant of St. John's Lodge, No. 211, (of Halifax) was in like
manner produced, and Read to the aforementioned Brethren, with which they were
the Lodge was clos'd in harmony, until the third Monday in January, 1784, Then
to meet at the Lodge Room of No. 156.
Lodge, however, was not represented at the January or March meetings, 1784.
next record of the lodge in Nova Scotia is in the form of three parchment
certificates in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, which, because
of their great interest, we quote in full:
the Right Worshipful Captain, &c. of The Royal Arch Excellent Lodge of
Masonry, Unit No. 18, held in his Majesty's XVIIth Regiment of Foot & on the
Registry of Pennsylvania.
are to Certify that the Bearer hereof Our Trusty and well Beloved Brother John
North (1) was by Us Installed a Past Master of Lodge Unity, No. aforesaid and
was by Us Initiated into the Sublime Secrets of Royal Arch, Excellent Masonry,
he having with due Honour and Justice to the Royal Craft, Justly supported the
Amazing trials of Skill & Valour attending his admission into Our said Royal
Arch Excellent Lodge.
therefore Recommend him as a just, Honest, faithful, Worthy Brother.
under our hands & Seal of Our Lodge at, Lodge Room in Halifax this 1st day of
May, 1784. George Cockburn, H.P.H.J. Cassidy . 1st. ) Wm. Boyer, K. John Gale,
S. Daniel Webb, R. A. C,. William Humpage 2nd. G. Ward William Page 3rd.
Davidson, G. Secretary
this seal is attached a faded ribbon upon which is impressed a wax seal
depicting two pillars, united by an arch, surmounted by a Royal Crown. Between
the two pillars resting on the ground, is a pyramid of five steps. Beneath the
Arch is a blazing sun. The inscription around the edge of the seal is "Lodge
Unity" "Royal Arch. 17 R. No. 18." Beneath the ribbon and the seal is a print
of the seal, evidently in lampblack. John North's signature does not appear
anywhere on the parchment.
second certificate (2) bears the same date (May 1, 1784) and was issued by an
"Assembly of the Knights of the Red Cross, held under the sanction of Warrant
No. 18, Lodge Unity in His Majesty's 17 Regiment of Foot, and on the Registry
of Pennsylvania" to "our trusty and well beloved Brother Sir John North" who
was "by Us installed and Dubbed a Knight of the Ancient and Honorable Order of
the Red Cross." It is signed by "George Cockburn, K., Henry Cassa 1st G.,
Daniel Webb, 2nd G., and William Davidson Secretary."
seal is red wax dropped on a wide green ribbon resting on a pink one, both
interlaced into the lefthand margin. The seal shows three spans of a bridge
upon which, in the center one, is erected a tau cross, the upright of which
has a serpent entwining it, a star to the right of the upper part of the
serpent, and a hand grasping a sword to the left. The tau rests on the
serpent's head and above the tau are the letter I.H.S. Around the edge of this
seal are the words, "Lodge Unity No. 18, 17th Regt." Under the seal and
ribbon, the same design is stamped in printer's ink or lampblack on the
certificate, and on the outer fold the neatly written signature "John North."
third certificate indicates that Bro. John North had received further light in
Masonry. It reads:
name of the Most Holy, Glorious & undivided Trinity, Father, Son and Holy
C. G. and Grand Wardens of Lodge Unity, No. 18, held in His Majesty's 17th
Regiment of Foot & on be Registry of Pennsylvania.
hereby certify that the Bearer hereof Our Trusty and Well beloved Brother,
John North, was by Us Installed and Dubbd A Knight of the Most Noble and Right
Worshipful Order of Knights Templars, he having with fortitude and due Honour,
justly supported the Amazing trials attending his admission.
therefore Recommend him as a Worthy Honest, Faithful & Valiant Brother.
under our hands & Seal of our Lodge at Our Lodge room at Halifax, this 30th
Day of June, 1784. George Cockburn, C. G. Daniel Webb, 1st G Warden Henry
Cassady, 2d G Warden Wm. Davidson, G. Secretary.
ribbon and wax seal of this certificate is missing but the usual black
impression appears on the certificate itself. It shows a skull and above two
cross bones. Above the skull are the words "17th Regt.," and below the cross
bones the words "No. 18." Above the whole design are the words "Memento More."
John North's signature does not occur on the parchment.
seals on these certificates all bear the number 18, it is evident that the
seals must have all been engraved after the lodge had been rechartered by the
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1777. It is also evident that the lodge at that
time must have conferred the Royal Arch, Red Cross and Knight Templar degrees.
We know from other sources that up to this time, 1777, the lodge had not
worked, and from the same source we learn that their military activities and
martial vicissitudes did not permit the exercise of Masonic functions between
their departure from Philadelphia in 1778 and April, 1784, a month before the
first certificate issued to John North. While it is conceivable and not
improbable that they acquired their knowledge of these degrees from their
military brethren in the nineteen other regimental lodges which wintered in
Philadelphia in 1777-8, it is more probable that they brought their knowledge
of these ceremonies from Ireland between 1772-4.
next reference to the Lodge in Nova Scotia is in the Minutes of the Quarterly
Communication at Halifax July 28, which record the presence of Bros. Webb and
Humpage, of Lodge 18, at this meeting.
O'Brien of No. 211, Bro. Geddes of 155, Bro. Kelley of the Union Bro. Hill of
the Virgin, Bro. Webb of No. 18 and Pro. Middieton of No. 90 were appointed a
Committee to see that proper attention be paid to any sick Brethren, as
occasion may require and to continue in that office until the next regular
August the 17th Regiment was transferred to Shelburne, a new town then coming
into existence about 150 miles southwestward from Halifax. Here about 10,000
people, mostly Loyalists from the American colonies, were busy establishing
themselves in new surroundings. At this time Lieut. Col. Johnston was the
officer commanding the Regiment.
leaving Halifax for Shelburne, the following letter was addressed to the Grand
Lodge of Scotland:
Halifax, N. S. 27th August 1784. Sir, The Various Vicissitudes of Fortune as
well as that of War having prevented us from writing Sooner & Oftener, than we
have done to you, & now as we have some Recess from the Fatigues of War & the
Multiplied Miseries that attend it, as well as the Probability of Our
remaining some time longer in America, We should think Ourselves highly
Culpable of the Greatest, as well as the most Enormous Impropriety were we to
Omitt acquainting you with the Most Material Occurrences which have Accrued
since our Arrival in the Western Hemisphere, Viz. from the year 1775 to 1784.
sir, we have in the first Place to inform you (for the Information of the
Grand Lodge) that the 2 first years after we Arrived in America we had no
Opportunity of Calling a Lodge together. Our Military duty Requiring a
Constant & almost perpetual attendance. That in the year 1777 a Ship loaded
with the Baggage of the Regiments (on her Passage from New York to
Philadelphia) in which was our Lodge Box, which Contained our Warrant, Jewels,
Fund and every Other Necessary Apparatus belonging to Our Lodge, was Captured
by the Enemy. We, was then left Distressed, no warrant to work under & berefit
of every Masonic implement, as likewise Our Fund in which every Pecuniary
Matter of our Lodge was Deposited. We, was then in a Dilema scarcely to be
Described. One Alternative was left, to make Application to the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania, which being done there still remained a Difficulty to Combat
with namely a Sufficient Corroboration of the Legality of Our request, It not
being in our power to Convince them Occularly, thro' the loss of our Warrant,
as formerly mentioned. We was then under the Necessity of Conveening all the
Military Lodges then in Philadelohia (to the number of nineteen) to Convince
the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania of the Propriety of Our request. They
accordingly granted us a Warrant under which we worked since the Above
We think it Necessary you should be acquainted with the form of our said
Warrant we do herewith send you enclosed a Copy of it for your Satisfaction.
Year 1778 we had the Mortification to be Captured at a Place Called stoney
Point-or Hudson's River the whole Regiment fell into the Hands of the Enemy, &
in Consequence Our LOdge Box likewise. We again lost every Article belonging
to Our Lodge as before, but fortunately Our Warrant (by some means unknown to
us) fell into the hands of a Worthy Brother, one of the American Generals,
whose name is Samuel Parsons who generously Returned it to Us, accompanied by
ye Enclosed very Polite Letter, which we do Ourselves the Honor of
Transmitting to you.----We were imprisond at that time in Philadelphia Goal in
which Miserable situation we remained till Christmas in the Year 1780. At Our
Exchange & return to the British Army, we were immediately Employed in Actual
Service & on an Expedition to Virginia was again Captured with Lord
Cornwallis, the 17th October 1781. Since which Period we had it not in Our
Power to do any Business till April 1784, but we have the happiness to Inform
you, that We have followed every point of Masonry with the Greatest Regularity
since the time above mentioned.
sir, are the Most Material Occurrences since Our Departure from Europe-We now
have to request in what Manner it would be most Suitable to Correspond with
Our Mother Grand Lodge, so as to Make any Remmitances of Cash, to the Grand
Charity fund, to pay all Back dues and any other Charges, that the Grand Lodge
may have to make;
likewise Humbly Crave a Renewal of our old Warrant, No. 169 if Vacant-Likewise
we wish that we Could have the Names of Our Present Lodge No. 18 Registered in
the Books of the Grand Lodge.
sir, are our Wishes & most Sanguine Expectations which We humbly Request you
will be so kind as to Grant. Wm. Davidson, Secretary."
arriving at Shelburne the brethren of Lodge 18 found themselves among Masonic
brethren, military and civil, and before long Lodges 3, 4, 5 and 10 were
chartered by the newly organized Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.
disagreement seems to have existed for a time between the brethren of Unity
Lodge, No. 18, and No. 3, known as Parr Lodge, but this difficulty was cleared
up as appears from the following letter from the Grand Secretary to the
Secretary of Unity Lodge:
Halifax, 22d Jany 1785.
it in command from the Right Worshipfull Grand Lodge to aquant you, that the
Proceedings and resolutions of the Lodge No. 18 held in his Majesty's 17th
Reg. of Foot the 29th October 1784, for with-holding all Brotherly
intercourses or Communications from those Brethren, whose late conduct
rendered a proceeding of that kind so absolutely necessary, hath been laid
before that Right Worshipfull body, and received their highest approbation.
And at the same time I am ordered further to inform you, that, since the
period alluded to, Parr Lodge hath made full satisfaction to the Grand Lodge
for their late Conduct, and are immediately coming under their Warrant from
this R.W. Grand Lodge, which is returned to them by this conveyance, You will
therefore from after the time of their Installation (which I have reason to
suppose will soon take place) consider them as Brethren. It is to be wished
that the others would follow the example of Parr Lodge & that peace, Harmony &
Brotherly love might prevail throught the whole of that Settlement. You will
be pleased to lay this before your Worshipfull Lodge, and assure the
Worshipfull Master, Wardens & Brethren that the Grand Lodge have the highest
confidence in your Lodge, that will on all occasions render every service in
their power for the just support, honor & Cement of the Craft.
Wishing you all health & prosperity, I have the Honor to be, Sir and Bror
ever affectionate Brother and very Humble Servant, J. Peters, Gr. Secrety.
Wm Davidson, Secy No 18
difficulty out of the way the brethren of Unity Lodge participated in the
Institution of Parr Lodge on Feb. 9, 1785, when the ceremonies were conducted
by R.W. the Rev. William Walter, D. D., Past Grand Master of New York, and
Unity Lodge was represented by Daniel Webb, Master; Henry Gillett, P. M.; John
Chamber, P. M.; William Humpage, S. W.; Eliphat Humpage, J. W., and William
institution of Solomon's Lodge, No. 5, in December, 1784, Unity Lodge was
represented by Bros. Cockburn, Webb, Humpage, Davidson, Ash, Ayres and
Chambers. At the installation of Hiram Lodge, No. 10, in March, 1785, we find
Bros. Daniel Webb, Master; William Humpage, S. W.; William Davidson, J. W.,
and Henry Cassady recorded as present.
regiment and its lodge remained at Shelburne until August, 1786. During this
period they corresponded with the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, the following
letter being of considerable interest:
THE RIGHT WORSHIPFULL THE GRAND MASTER, GRAND WARDENS &c &c OF ANTIENT YORK
MASONS HELD IN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA.
Worshipfull Brethren. We the Worshipfull Master & Wardens of Lodge Unity No.
18 held in This Brittanick Majesty's 17th Regt. of Foot, & under Your
Register--having heard a Report which is spread through this Province of Our
Warrant being by you Cancelled & that one of the same Number has been Granted
to a Lodge in Pennsylvania.
have taken this method of acquainting you that we have wrote to Our Mother
Grand Lodge in Scotland, willing to obtain a Duplicate of Our Antient Warrant
No. 169, without as yet receiving any Answer, & we not Expecting that Our said
Warrant No. 18 would have been Declared Void, till we might have Obtained the
Duplicate of our said antient Warrant; We, therefore humbly request you will
be so Obliging as to Inform us whether or not there is any Foundation for the
very Disagreeable Report so Industriously propagated in this Province, if
there is, we shall Instantly Desist from working under Our Present Warrant,
till we Can Obtain a property Authority from Scotland or England.
should think ourselves peculiarly happy if at the same Time you send an answer
to this that you would likewise transmit to us an account of all Back dues
from our last Settlement, to this present time, in Order that the sum due, may
be Remitted to you by the earliest Opportunity.
should have Often Wrote to you had not our unsettled situation as a Military
Lodge Prevented us by being Constantly in Motion from one Place to Another;
however we took the first Opportunity of Writing to you (at the Conclusion of
Peace) from New York, to which we received no Answer.
strongest Reasons induces us to think that some Irregular body of Masons
(Probably within Your District) are working under our Antient Warrant No. 169,
if you would be so kind as to make Enquiry thro' the Different Grand Lodges of
the United States of America, respecting the same, it would be a Lasting
Obligation & ever gratefully Remembered while a Lodge exists in His Brittanick
Majesty's 17 Regiment of Foot if a Discovery is made & information sent to us.
addition to your many kind & obliging Favors. We have farther to Request you
should do us the honor of Communicating to Our Worthy friend & Brother General
Parsons, the high sense have of His Unexampled Goodness, in restoring to us
our Warrant which happy for us fell into his hands, we likewise beg leave to
return the General Our Grateful & sincere thanks for the very Polite Letter
Accompanying the Same. His Generous Sentiments shall ever be Remembered by
every Brother of No. 18 with the Gratitude due to such Benevolence of heart.
have the honor to be, Right Worshipfull Brethren, with the Greatest Defference
and Esteem Shelburne Barracks, 28th March 1776 Yours &c. &c. &c. Daniel Webb,
Right Worshipfull Willm. Ball Esq. or (pro tempore) Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Humpage, S. Wardens E. Humpage, J. Wardens Wm. Davidson Secv."
following reply was sent to the brethren of the 17th Regiment of Foot at the
PHILADELPHIA August 11th, 1786. Brethren.
much esteemed favor of the 28th March last duly came to hand and was laid
before the Grand Lodge at their last Quarterly Communication when I was
directed by them to advise you that they were very happy to hear from you & to
find that you continue united together in love & harmony.
Grand Lodge not having for a long period of time heard from you, and supposing
that the Lodge in consequence of the war had dissolved did grant a Warrant of
the same number which you work under, but at the same time did not nor do they
yet consider the same vacated and they still wish to consider you as under
books of the Treasurer having by some means during the war got lost He is
unable to make the statement of your account with the Grand Lodge, they
therefore request that you would ascertain the same from your Books as near as
may be calculating as dues to the G. L. five shillings for every Initiation
and 4/ per annum from every member.
possible attention shall be paid & diligence used to find the Warrant
mention'd to be lost and if found they will take great pleasure in
transmitting it agreeable to your desire.
Grand Lodge happy at all times to render you every service in their power have
directed that a lettter be written to our worthy Brother General Parsons in
your behalf, on the subject of his attention and politeness to you.
Grand Lodge will be pleased to hear from you from time to time and you have
their best wishes for the welfare and prosperity of your Lodge.
Brethren with every respect & Esteem, A. H., Secy. of the G. L. of Penna. The
Worshipful Masters, Wardens & Brethren of Lodge Unity No. 18 held in his
Brittanic Majesty's 17th Regt. of Foot at Shelburn Barracks. (A. H., the
Secretary, was Bro. Assheton Humphreys.)
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania seems to have made inquiries respecting the
missing Warrant for Lodge 169, for in the records of the Massachusetts Grand
Lodge held at the Bunch of Grapes, Boston, September, 1787, we find a letter
from the D. D. Master of Pennsylvania "Requesting information (if any could be
given) of a warrant granted to the officers of the 17th British Regiment of
Foot supposed to be lost within the United States."
regiment and its lodge left Nova Scotia for England in the fall of 1786, and
on arrival made application to the "Ancients" Grand Lodge of England for a new
Warrant. This Warrant, No. 237, was dated Jan. 24, 1787, for a lodge to be
held at Chatham, Kent, where the regiment was then in garrison.
connection with this lodge the following advertisement, which appeared in La
Gazette de l'Ile de Jersey for Dec. 22, 1787, is of interest. The Gazette, it
may be mentioned, was the first newspaper to be published in Jersey. Its first
issue is dated Aug. 5, 1786.
Brethren of Lodge Unity No. 237, held in his Majesty's 17th Regiment of Foot,
on the Registry of the Grand Lodge of England, intend celebrating the festival
of St. John the evangelist at the house of Mr. John Waters in Mont Orgueil
Castle, on Friday the 27th inst. Any antient York Masons who wish to
participate in that festivity with them will give in their names in writing to
Brother Oyers, Bridgefoot Barracks, on or before the 24th inst.
order of the Master. Th. Gavin, Secl etary. N. B. Dinner on the table at half
past four o'clock.
warrant evidently lapsed in 1792. While stationed in Ireland in 1802, another
lodge, No. 921, was warranted in the 17th Regiment by the Grand Lodge of
Ireland. This warrant was exchanged in 1824 for the vacant number 258, under
which the lodge worked until 1847. since that time there has not been a lodge
attached to the regiment.
ends the interesting record of Freemasonry in the 17th (Leicestershire)
Regiment, a virtually continuous record of a hundred years; a record of
warrants from the Grand Lodges of Ireland, Scotland, Pennsylvania and England.
What influences radiated forth from the lodge room in that hundred years will
never be known, for the records are scattered to the four winds of heaven.
John North's name is the only one of the above which does not occur in the
muster rolls of the 17th Regt. for the period mentioned. It is probable that
he belonged to the 33rd Regt. or some other Corps stationed in Halifax at the
The oldest Red Cross certificate or evidence of any kind of the degree itself
known to exist is believed to be that dated Aug. 1, 1783, issued by St.
Andrew's Lodge, No. 40, at Charleston, S. C. In the present case it would seem
clearly established that the degree was conferred in Philadelphia as early as
History of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts I. page 344.
APPEAL TO THE CRAFT BY HUGH MANITY
the following communication came into our hands we confess to having a good
deal of doubt as to its bona fides. In consequence certain inquiries were made
which resulted in convincing us that the writer was all that he claims to be,
and that in addition he is an exceptionally well educated and intellectual
man. The name given is of course an assumed one. Ed.]
Humanitarianism being a basic tenet of Masonry, permit me to call your
attention to a class of people whom your organization might help without
incurring a heavy sacrifice. I mean the clergy.
I am a
Roman Catholic priest. There are a good many of my confraters who would like
to quit the priesthood. They are discouraged from taking that step by the
problem of gaining a livelihood. Their vocational training is of little value
for industrial and commercial pursuits.
reasons for their desiring to leave the priesthood are various.
celibacy is one of them. It means the repression of a strong natural instinct.
Frequently it is accompanied by a loneliness that may become exceedingly
Financial worries form another. Parish work usually implies an unceasing
appeal for funds for the erection or maintenance of church, school, rectory,
school sisters' convent and for the current expenses. since the World War,
with its inflated prosperity also, a veritable epidemic of diocesan "drives"
has set in, for a new seminary, cathedral, orphanages and what not. Sacerdotal
life is just one continuous begging performance, necessitating at times high
pressure methods, regular hold-ups. The Peter's Pence has become a national
Derby, the American bishops racing with each other. The one who sends the
fattest purse to Rome wins the prize. He may expect to rise in the hierarchy,
with the cardinal's hat as the ultimate goal. Th priests have to squeeze the
money out of the people. Many a pastor becomes worn out.
many bishops are prudent, just and kind there are others who lack in these
qualities. Some are unreasonable tyrants. The canon law is no protection
against them. An American priest is at the mercy of the bishop.
American Catholics have no voice in the appointment of their bishops. They
have to accept whomsoever the Italian autocracy, known as the Vatican, place
over them. Money has nearly always talked rather loud at the Vatican. Many an
American ecclesiastic with no other attainments to his credit than a sinister
dexterity in courting the Italian autocracy--sometimes by soothing its itching
palms with the right kind of balm -is promoted to a prosperous bishopric. It
is exactly that type of man who is most liable to prove a tyrant.
thinly populated districts in the South and West, where the Catholics are few
and far between, many a priest has to struggle with hopeless poverty. Take the
case of a certain confrater in South Dakota whom I recently met. The church
and rectory stand alone in the windswept prairie. The nearest railroad station
is thirty-seven miles away. His widely scattered congregation consists of
about twenty families, nearly all of them poor homesteaders. Of course he
cannot afford any household help. He himself has barely enough to eat. He
cannot keep any chickens, dog or cat, for when he goes away to make the rounds
in his second-hand flivver there is nobody near by to feed the animals. "I am
the only livestock around my place," he jocosely commented. This is a lonely,
dreary life for a cultured young gentleman who has been twelve years to
college and university. He has no prospect of obtaining a better place in the
next decade or two. For the large diocese has only two or three comfortable
poverty forms a vivid contrast to the luxury some of our bishops and pastors
in the metropolitan cities are rolling in. This social maladjustment could be
easily rectified by an interdiocesan exchange of the clergy. Before an
assistant pastor in a prosperous metropolis is promoted to a pastorate, let
him first serve three years in the southern and western missions. It will be a
valuable experience for him in every way. But our espicopate has not thought
alone, one has either to be a saint or a fiend, an old adage avers. To be a
saint is not so easy. Nor could every saint sustain prolonged solitude. He is
likely to become moody and gradually drift into insanity. To be a fiend is not
congenial, least of all to a man with a sacerdotal training.
dreary existence easily leads to despondency. Despondency again often entails
the loss of moral courage and strength; thus such a solitary priest is in
danger of tumbling from the pinnacle of spiritual idealism into the very
depths of moral degradation. Corruptio optimi pessima, "the corruption of the
best becomes the worst," says the old maxim. He becomes a moral derelict,
possibly behind a facade of respectability and virtue. He tries repeatedly to
climb out of the mire, only to slide back more deeply.
Whatsoever the reason be, for which a priest wants to quit the priesthood, it
would seem to me a worthy charity if American Freemasonry, the largest and
most resourceful organization in the country, assisted him in finding a
suitable position as teacher at a college or high school, or some such
priest steps out of the presbyterate there is automatically a steel curtain
set up between himself and his Catholic relatives and friends. Not that they
would hate or reproach him. But it would cause mutual embarrassment to meet
again. It is considered an honor to have a priest in the family. It is a
mortification or stigma to have an ex-priest. He will even stay away from the
funeral of his parents to avoid embarrassing the living.
priest who renounces the priesthood suddenly finds himself all alone in the
world. He will appreciate a kind lift from good fellows in the new
an ex-priest should not be expected to denounce the church and defame his
former confraters. Those defrocques who have stooped to such a course are
almost invariably bad eggs.
priest who has become dissatisfied with his calling and is anxious to
relinquish it is rarely ever an asset to his church. It will be to the best of
all concerned if he step out of the priesthood altogether. I trust that every
Catholic bishop will support me in that.
not familiar with the inner workings of the Protestant ministry. I suspect,
however, that there are some ministers who for various reasons would like to
abandon the ministry to pursue some secular avocation. It would he all around
for the best if the desired change were facilitated and accelerated.
here is the suggestion: Could not American Freemasonry establish a bureau call
it the Clergy Redemption Bureau--that would assist such prospective ex-priests
and ex-ministers in finding suitable secuiar positions? Said bureau could send
out circulars to the clergy offering help to such as contemplate quitting the
ministry. It should assure them of the strictest secrecy.
are about 25,000 Catholic priests in the United States. I hazard the guess
that annually a couple of hundred of them would avail themselves of such an
ex-priest, one ex-minister and a typist would probably constitute a sufficient
personnel to conduct such a bureau. The annual upkeep would probably not
exceed ten thousand dollars. This expense should assuredly not prove a heavy
burden on an organization of the size and wealth of American Freemasonry.
plan works in the United States it might be given a trial also in other
beneficiaries would be a well educated class of people who, moved by the
highest ideals, had in youthful enthusiasm embraced a noble calling. Somehow
they have become disillusioned, or for other reasons no longer desire to be
identified with it.
thou seest the great Prelates with splendid mitres of gold and precious stones
on their heads and silver croziers in hand; there they stand at the altar
chanting those beautiful vespers and masses, thou art struck with
feed upon the vanities and rejoice in these pomps, and say that the Church of
Christ was never so flourishing as at present.... Likewise that the first
prelates were inferior to those of our own times. The former, it is true, had
fewer gold mitres and fewer chalices, for indeed what few bhey had were broken
up to relieve the needs of the poor; whereas our prelates for the sake of
obtaining chalices will rob the poor of their sole means of support.
dost thou know what I would tell thee? In the primitive Church the chalices
were of wood, the prelates of gold; in these days the Church hath chalices of
gold and prelates of wood. [Savonarola. 1498.]
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
H. DERN, Utah
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
E. MORCOMBE, California
C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHITED, California
E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada
WAS THE FIRST MASONIC CLUB?
CHARLES F. IRWIN, one of our Associate Editors, has been for some time at work
on the enormous task of collecting everything possible of Masonic interest
connected with the military efforts of the U.S.A. in the Great War.
Completeness is perhaps hardly to be hoped for, even approximately, but so far
Bro. Irwin has collected a tremendous amount of material and has thousands of
names indexed of Masons who served overseas. He is at present preparing an
article on the earliest Masonic Clubs or like organizations formed in
connection with the Military and Naval forces of the country, and one question
he wishes to decide is which of these has the honor of being the first. He
has, therefore, asked us to make a last appeal through THE BUILDER to anyone
who may have information in any way bearing upon this point. It will probably
be better for those answering to write to him direct. His address is 127 Wall
Street, Wilmerding, Pa. We hope that any of our readers able to throw any
light upon this particular subject will respond - and "do it now." Even if
they have nothing to say on this question Bro. Irwin would be glad to have any
Mason who served in the military forces of the country to write to him so that
he may have their present addresses, and this more especially in the case of
those who have or had any official positions in clubs and similar
organizations. The request naturally is not made to those who are at present
in correspondence with Bro. Irwin.
* * *
believe that there will be very few who will read the communication that
appears under the title of "An Appeal to the Craft" and not feel some sympathy
for the writer; although it will probably seem strange that it should have
been addressed to American Freemasons. The first thought on reading it is very
naturally that it is some kind of hoax, yet a second reading would alone raise
doubt from the evident sincerity of the writer. Without breach of confidence
we may say that he submitted to us papers and other MSS. which fully explained
his position. It is not that his church has no place for him, for he has held
positions of importance, and might again if he so desired - on terms of
submission, but that he has come to feel that there is no place for him in the
Church, at least in any official capacity. He has not "lost his faith," he
does not want to give up his religion, but he can no longer work with what may
be called the political machinery of the organization.
have said that the writer is an intelligent widely read and well informed man,
yet he shows a subtle but fundamental misapprehension of Freemasonry. This
gives rise to a number of reflections. In spite of the shuddering interest
that many Roman Catholics seem to take in the Institution, in spite of all
that Roman Catholic authors have written about it, they do not seem to
understand it. One point especially, the matter of organization. Romanist
writers constantly assume that Freemasons the world over are parts of a great
machine with some central governing council by which action is directed
everywhere, something in fact like the Jesuit Order, at least as depicted by
its opponents. It is the strength of the Craft (and paradoxically in some ways
a weakness) that it is not a machine, hardly an organization in any but the
most superficial sense, but simply a number of men, who have been through a
common experience (of initiation) and who are obligated to friendship and
brotherhood and good will and charity to all the world. So little is it an
organization that except in most flagrant cases there is no discipline, and it
is left to the conscience of each to perform what he has voluntarily promised.
Potentially wealthy as the Freemasonry of the country is taken as a whole,
there is no organization that could undertake what the writer suggests. The
difficulties that have obstructed the course of the movement to aid our own
members who are victims of tuberculosis is proof enough of this. If we cannot
help those we have specifically and categorically promised to aid in their
need to the limit of our ability, it is obvious that nothing like this can be
again there is in this misapprehension something else. We are used to being
condemned, either calmly or courteously, or with contumely and abuse, by
members of the Roman Church. Why should they take the trouble to do this? It
would seem that behind this condemnation is something like fear. When
French-Canadian children will cross the street to avoid passing close to a
Masonic hall it is because they believe the devil has a place and habitation
there. The extravagant absurdities of Leo Taxil were swallowed not by ignorant
school children but by the leaders and rulers of the church. If it were once
realized, as is so patent from within, that Freemasonry is incapable of any
general campaign or subtle working for some, for any, defined object, perhaps
they would cease to fear, and so cease to notice us. Freemasonry is incapable
of anything like this because such methods and such objects are absolutely
foreign to its principles, traditions, tenets and teaching.
Perhaps this belief of those outside may also humble us a little. It is
believed that we do the things we profess, that we not only preach brotherly
love, relief and truth, but practice it also. A little shame would do us no
harm - if it lead individually and collectively to that self-improvement which
can only exist in good will and benevolence to our fellows.
* * *
NATIONAL OR NOT?
intimated last month the ruling bodies of the Craft move very slowly. This is
a characteristic of all organizations and should not be quarreled with for it
is in the nature of things. Still less should the zealous and devoted brethren
who fill important and influential official positions be blamed. It is very
hard, without resorting to the worst methods of propaganda, to make those who
have not seen with their own eyes and heard with their own ears to realize
fully the need. And in spite of all that has been said certain complete
misconceptions remain. One of the outstanding Masonic journals of the country,
so far as the quality of its contents goes, recently said that it doubted
whether the problem of Tuberculosis was one properly to be dealt with
nationally, and in others we have seen the question of another dreaded
disease, cancer, also raised. If there be any idea in the minds of the
brethren anywhere that to deal with Tuberculosis will logically lead to a
cancer campaign we feel that a most important and fundamental difference
should be pointed out and emphasized - a difference that makes the first a
national problem indeed, and that is simply the patent fact that the
Tubercular subjects seek health by migration to the Southwest. If there be any
migration of those afflicted with cancer or other diseases it is to the
nearest large city where they may hope to find more skilled surgical and
medical treatment. The point of the problem is this, we have said it before
and expect to have to repeat it again owing to the difficulty of adequately
presenting the matter in mere printed words - the point is that three Masonic
jurisdictions in the United States who are among the weakest financially and
in numbers are striving to care for the necessitous brethren from all over the
country, and especially from those jurisdictions that are strongest
numerically and wealthiest financially. If this does not make it a national
problem, if any one will deny that this makes it a national problem, we shall
feel like giving up in despair. We should like in any case to have the
arguments - if anyone takes the position by which it is supported, we promise
to give them the fullest publicity.
and it is undoubtedly the fact, the climate of the Southwest is favorable to
the cure of tuberculosis, physicians who publicly argue that some other part
of the country is just as good, send members of their own family so afflicted
to the Southwest, it will follow naturally that the purely local cases will be
very few, and statistics bear this out. The brothers who need aid are from
other parts of the country almost without exception. It is therefore not only
a question of helping a brother in need and likely to die, but of helping good
Masons, who are nobly and self sacrificingly doing all they are able, to do
their duty - and are well nigh crushed by the burden. Justice demands that
they be assisted, and for this reason it is necessary to emphasize again that
this is pre-eminently a case for national action.
* * *
CHIEF JUSTICE APPROVES
Justice William H. Taft has handed down a "decision" which will be of interest
to every member of the Masonic Fraternity in the United States. The Supreme
Court is the court of last resort and the Chief Justice has the last word on
all matters before it.
letter to Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master of New Mexico, and President of the
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, Chief Justice Taft wrote
very glad that the Grand Lodge of New Mexico is devoting its energies to the
establishment of National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria in those states that
enjoy the air and environment that are so useful in combating the white
plague. The possibility of greatly reducing that scourge of human kind has
been demonstrated. It is most humane and generous of the Grand Lodge of New
Mexico to make the effort which it is making in this direction. I commend the
movement and sincerely hope it will be successful.
William H. Taft.
* * *
PRESIDENT TAFT'S VIEWS
President Taft believes that if it is constitutional for the Federal
Government to spend money to save hogs and cattle, it is also constitutional
to spend money for the conservation of human life. In a speech at Albany, N.
Y., March 18, 1910, be said:
have an Agricultural Department, and we are spending $14,000,000 or
$15,000,000 a year to tell the farmers by the results of our research how they
ought to treat the soil and how they ought to treat the hogs and how they
ought to treat the cattle and the horses, with a view of having good hogs and
good cattle and good horses. There is nothing in the Constitution especially
about hogs or cattle or horses; and if out of the public treasury at
Washington we can establish a department for that purpose, it does not seem to
be a long step or a stretch of logic to say that we have the power to spend
the money in a bureau of research to tell how we can develop good men and good
women. Some of our enthusiastic conservators of national resources have
calculated how much the life of each man and each woman in the community is
worth to that community. I do not think it necessary to resort to that
financial calculation in order to justify the saving of human life, such as
can be accomplished by the results of research and advice that will proceed
from a properly established bureau of health.
Bulletin of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association
Incorporated by Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A. F. & A.M.
MASONIC TEMPLE, ALBUQUERQUE, N. M.
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS
HERBERT B. HOLT, Grand Master, President
RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President
ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary
W. TURNER, Treasurer
FRANCIS E. LESTER, Executive Secretary, Las Cruces, New Mexico
ARIZONA - Lloyd C. Henning, Holbrook.
ARKANSAS - Claude L. Hill, Grand Master, Booneville.
CONNECTICUT - Fred A. Verplanck, Past Grand Master, South Manchester.
FLORIDA - Cary B. Fish, Grand Master, Sarasota.
GEORGIA - Dr. J. P. Bowdoin, Past Grand Master.
- Will H. Gibson, Grand Master, Boise.
KENTUCKY - G. Allison Holland, Grand Master, Lexington.
MINNESOTA - Albert F. Pray, Grand Master, Minneapolis.
Mississippi - John R. Tally, Grand Master, Hattiesburg.
Missouri - Wm. W. Martin, Grand Master, Doniphan.
MONTANA - Dr. W. J. Marshall, Missoula.
JERSEY - Benjamin F. Havens, Junior Grand Warden, Trenton.
MEXICO - Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master, Las Cruces.
CAROLINA - Dr. J. C. Braswell, Past Grand Master, Whitakers.
DAKOTA - Dr. J. S. Lamont, Dunseith.
OKLAHOMA - Gilbert B. Bristow, Past Grand Master, Roosevelt.
ISLAND - Howard Knight, Past Grand Master, Providence.
CAROLINA - Charlton DuRant, Grand Master, Manning.
DAKOTA - L. M. Simons, Grand Master, Bellefourche.
TENNESSEE - Andrew E. McCullagh, Grand Master, Maryville.
- Dr. Felix P. Miller, El Paso.
Fred M. Nye, Ogden.
VERMONT - Christie B. Crowell, Past Grand Master, Brattleboro.
WASHINGTON - Morton Gregory, Grand Master, Tacoma.
- Fred L. Wright, Past Senior Grand Warden, Milwaukee.
WYOMING - Frank S. Knittle, Grand Master, Casper.
OF THE EASTERN STAR, GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER Mrs. Clara Henrich, Most Worthy
Grand Matron, Newport, Ky.
J. NEWTON, Editor, Publicity Director N. M. T. S. A., Las Cruces, New Mexico
to Open the “Door of Hope”
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association offers to the Masonic
bodies and Masons of the United States, A GREAT OPPORTUNITY for immediate
action to secure relief and hospitalization of migratory tuberculous Masons
and sick members of Masons' families.
Association has an opportunity to buy the Tuberculosis Sanatorium formerly
operated by Dr. R. B. Homan, in El Paso, Texas. The property is favorably
located. The Main Building has a capacity of nearly one hundred patients. This
building also contains the dining rooms, kitchen, etc.
is another brick building containing twentyfour patients' bed rooms and there
are also four small cottages for patients. In addition there is a small
building for employes and a four-room bungalow for nurses, or which may be
used as a superintendent's residence.
Main Building was recently completely repaired and renovated, at a total cost
of approximately $50,000. The other buildings will need repairs to make them
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association can immediately begin its
work of relief and hospitalization in the Main Building. Later, the other
buildings can be put into service when needed and when funds are available.
property is to be sold to the highest bidder under foreclosure proceedings,
and while the result of the sale cannot be foretold, the price is not expected
to go over $65,000. An additional sum of about $10,000 will be required for
equipment. $25,000 more will provide for repairs on other buildings. For a
total of $100,000 we may secure an institution that will hospitalize one
hundred patients, at an average cost of about $1,000 per bed, while new
construction would cost from $2,500 to $5,000 per bed.
and children may be cared for in the Main Building until the two-story rear
building is ready for occupancy. It is planned to provide for children
suffering from bone tuberculosis, in addition to caring for those with
pulmonary tuberculosis. It is difficult to secure hospitalization for these
children in Shrine or other hospitals, because of the length of time required
for their treatment.
Masonic bodies, and organizations affiliated with, or whose membership is
based upon Freemasonry, and Masons, will each contribute a part of the
purchase price, the needed funds can very quickly be secured.
appeal is made to all such bodies, and organizations, to "buy" a part of the
sanatorium, so that the total amount needed for purchase and equipment may
speedily be secured and the sanatorium opened AT ONCE.
plan has been adopted of naming patients' rooms, sleeping porches, beds and
the service rooms, or units, of the Sanatorium for Masonic and other bodies,
or individuals, contributing the proportionate part of the purchase price of
same. Suitable tablets or signs will be placed over the door of each room in
recognition of the contribution made, or in memory of some departed Masonic
brother, or some other loved one.
Contributions for the following amounts will secure such recognition, or
of Service Proportionate Part of Purchase Price
Sanatorium Offices $5,000
Reception Hall 2,500
Serving Room 1,000
Boiler Room 5,000
Nurses' Room 1500
Patients' Bed Rooms,
Patients' Bed Rooms,
without Bath 750
Sleeping Porches 500
Women's and Children's Building
Patients' Bed Rooms 500
Cottages and Bungalow
Patients' beds will be named for organizations and individuals contributing
$2~50, and a suitable tablet or sign will be placed upon patients' beds naming
the bed for the contributor, or for one whom the contributor designates.
FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT
Following is an estimate of cost of furniture and equipment. For contributions
of the amounts listed below a suitable tablet or sign will be placed in each
room naming the donor of the cost of the furniture or equipment.
Sanatorium Offices (not including
medical equipment) $1,000
Reception Hall 500
Serving Room 150
Patients' Bed Rooms 150
Sleeping Porches 50
contributing the purchase price of a room may, if desired, add to their
contribution the cost of furnishing same.
the average cost of operating a tuberculosis sanatorium is $1,000 per annum,
in order to insure the best of care and treatment for patients $1,200 a year,
or $100 per month, is a safer estimate for the first year of operation.
Contributions of $25, $50, and $100 or more are asked to pay expenses of
hospital care for one or more weeks or months.
Contributions of $1 or more will help to "carry on" this work of salvaging
sick men, women and children.
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association also asks American
Freemasons to contribute funds for home relief; for hospitalization of
patients in other institutions when and if necessary and for transportation of
patients and members of their families and other incidental expenses of the
work of relief and hospitalization.
Sanatoria Association also asks funds for the general expenses of its
operations, including educational work among American Freemasons and their
families, to disseminate information as to the nature, cause and prevention of
tuberculosis. This educational work is recommended by the National
Tuberculosis Association as one of the best methods for the prevention of the
spread of tuberculosis. "Prevention is better than cure."
DESCRIPTION OF SANATORIUM BUILDING
Sanatorium was operated by Dr. R. B. Homan, of El Paso, under lease, until he
built his own institution. This Sanatorium had a national reputation as one of
the leading tuberculosis hospitals of the Southwest. While it has not the
modern features of a new institution erected at present costs, yet splendid
results in the treatment of patients were secured in this hospital up to the
time of Dr. Homan's removal two years ago.
sufficient funds are secured to erect a larger, modern Masonic Tuberculosis
Sanatorium, this building will continue to render great service as a receiving
hospital, or as an infirmary for the advanced cases, who may thus be
segregated from the early stage and hopeful cases, or may be used for both
real estate consists of approximately eleven acres of land situated in the
city of El Paso, Texas.
location will have several distinct advantages. First, it will be possible
during the first year of operation for the Association to secure without cost
as to indigent patients, the services of a large and complete medical staff,
representing all branches of the profession. Second, the thriving city of El
Paso will afford opportunities for employment to members of patients' families
and patients themselves may obtain whole or part time employment, when
physically able, and yet remain under supervision of the sanatorium for some
time after discharge.
Main Building of the institution is three stories high, built of tufa clit
stone and brick and is semi-fire resisting. It is steam heated and has
electric elevator service. The building is "L" shaped and practically all bed
rooms have outside exposure.
ground floor contains a large reception hall, office rooms, a large assembly
or social room, dining room, kitchen, storage rooms, etc. There are also nine
patients' rooms, six of them having glazed sleeping porches.
second floor has thirty-three patients' rooms, twenty-two of them having
glazed sleeping porches.
third floor has twenty-three patients' rooms, seventeen of them having glazed
Twenty-eight patients' rooms are equipped with private or connecting baths.
Approximately one hundred patients can be cared for in this building when
operated at its full capacity.
is a two-story brick building located in the rear of the Main Building. It
contains twenty-four patients' rooms, each with a sleeping porch and bath,
etc. It is steam-heated.
building will require repair and renovation before it can be used. It is
planned to use it for the care of women patients, relatives of Masons and for
women members of the Eastern Star. Children suffering from bone and pulmonary
tuberculosis will also be cared for in this building.
COTTAGES AND BUNGALOW
small frame cottages are located in between the Main Building and the Second
Building. These cottages need repair and renovation.
four-room brick bungalow, located near the Second Building, will likewise need
some repair. This can be used for housing the nurses, or as the
property is estimated to be worth an amount considerably in excess of the
price at which it is anticipated it may be purchased.
years have been spent in discussion of this great problem of relief and
hospitalization of Masonic tuberculars, while many vainly hoping for help,
have died. If we, in our various Masonic organizations, and as individuals,
will spend five minutes in action, we can, through this institution, actually
begin this great and practical work of Masonic brotherhood.
your contributions direct to the Secretary of the National Masonic
Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, Alpheus A. Keen, Grand Secretary of the
Grand Lodge of New Mexico, at the Masonic Temple, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
However little it may be it will help to save a brother's life.
* * *
“CLAIMS UNABLE TO HELP SICK BROTHER"
Brother No. 86. Grand Chapter of Alabama. Applied for relief to Masonic
Bureau, El Paso. Claimed he wrote home chapter several times, without reply.
Bureau wrote chapter for help. Commandery remitted dues and advised that they
were in very bad financial condition. After several months, chapter sent $10
and wrote that it was all they could do at present and all that bad been
authorized. "Will ask the chapter to assist him to the limit, but the chapter
meant nothing to him before he was taken sick, and now that he is unable to
work it is the first Order he calls upon." The chapter had been advised that
the Companion was unable to work account of his illness.
LODGE HELPED - PATIENT REFUNDING"
Brother No. 93. Grand Lodge of Georgia. Brother afflicted with tuberculosis,
also crippled with rheumatism. Home lodge assisted him over long period,
sending him to Hot Springs and supporting him at El Paso. Wife also tubercular
and left him to return home. Brother improved under treatment and finally
secured employment at Beaumont. Home lodge advanced $783 total and brother had
begun to repay same.
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
Study Club last month we discussed the probability that an apparent confusion
in the early references to the ashlars as jewels of the lodge was due, at
least in part, to a technical expression of working masons having been later
understood in its more general sense by non-operative brethren which resulted
in an actual reversal meaning. The original finished test-block becoming th e
"rough ashlar," the stone in its native state as taken from the quarry, and
the partly worked, or roughed-out stone becoming t h e later "perfect ashlar,"
the stone squared and polished and ready to be set and adjusted by the
implements of the Fellowcraft. Dint, or dent, the terms in question are
variant forms of the same word, which means, as a verb, to strike or beat, and
as a noun the marks or indentations caused by blows. A stone worked with the
"bush hammer" or "claw tool" shows a surface covered with fine parallel
indentations. Though such a surface is far from being a true plane it may
nevertheless, if well wrought, be a quite sufficiently close approximation
thereto for the comparatively coarse trying and testing required for ordinary
stone work--it would not have done for such work as that of the Great Pyramid
for example, where the thickness of the joints of the casing was no more than
that of tissue paper, but such work was not done by the Mediaeval craftsmen,
not because they were unable had it been demanded, but because it was not
required in their style of architecture, in which fine jointing of the stones
played little part. Before all things they were practical men, and believed as
fully as modern production experts in economy of labor. It is always to be
noticed in Gothic mouldings, capitals and carving, that the work is carefully
designed to involve the minimum of cutting away of the stone. It therefore did
not concern them to work the faces of the joints any finer than was required
for stability in the erection.
might be well worth while to find out, if anyone interested were in a position
to do so, whether dint or dent is ever used in this sense by stone masons in
Scotland or the north of England at the present time, or during the last
century. It may be noted, however, that the New English Dictionary under
"Dent" gives the following fifteenth century quotation from Trevisa:
many manere castynge, hewyng dentynge and planynge."
would seem by the context to confirm the supposition that "to dent" was used
as a technical term, though it gives no indication of the process to which it
was applied. Casting is proper only of metals, planing would naturally refer
to wood work, hewing might be either of wood or stone, and if the latter,
denting might have been so intended also. The finishing process above
described is the only one known to us to which the term would be at all
applicable. Another rather curious obsolete use of the word is given, namely,
"to smooth," but not in the usual sense of making a smooth surface, but that
of neutralizing the "sharpness" of an acid. The analogy underlying this use
may however be that of subduing the strength of the acid or corrosive fluid,
and thus to be equated with such a phrase as "by dint of arms," for example.
Another explanation is also possible and one not so far removed as to be
incompatible. The Confession tells us that the "dinted ashlar" was not only
used "to adjust the square" but also to "make the gages by." Gage or gauge, in
old French Iauge or Jauge, is a very comprehensive word, and is applied to all
kinds of measuring appliances, and to a considerable extent to special or
standard measurements themseves. It is not now often, if ever, used for a
graduated rod or scale for determining linear distances in terms of some unit
of length, such as the foot or the metre, though it is so used in modern
Speculative phraseology. This may well be a survival of what was once common
usage, but we have not been able to find any independent examples confirming
it. A Scottish form of the word is Gadge. The Examination and the Mystery both
inform us that . . Square, Compass and Common Gudge" are necessary to a just
and perfect lodge; while the famous Haughfoot Minute of 1702 (1) and the
Chetwode Crawley MS. both speak of a "Common Judge." These references must be
to some measuring implement of very general application in order to account
for the epithet "common" being applied to it in the first of these references.
In the passage from the Confession quoted in a preceding article (2)
respecting the five points in the Square, we find the Handrule and the Gage
given as the fourth and fifth, respectively. The Rule is essentially a
straight-edge, but in modern usage the term is usually applied to a measuring
rod, such as, for instance, a two-foot rule. But of course the most natural
and obvious form of an instrument of linear measurement is a straight-edge
marked with feet and inches or whatever it may be. We are, however, inclined
to think that rule or hand-rule here means a straight-edge pure and simple, as
such "rules" are very necessary in stone-cutting and they take a form not at
all convenient for measuring purposes. If so, we must conclude that "gage" in
Scottish operative usage was a measuring rod or scale.
STANDARDS OF MEASUREMENT
question of standards of measurement does not often come to our notice in
everyday life. Rulers and yard-sticks and tape measures are so abundant and
accurate that we accept them just as we do many other things civilization
gives us. The immense amount of scientific knowledge, of care and skill, that
lies behind their standardization, preservation and reproduction is realized
by very few. It is a far cry from the time when twenty-five men, taken at
random as they came out of church after hearing Mass on Sunday morning, were
made to stand in a row each with his toe touching the heel of the man in front
and the whole distance covered taken to be twenty-five feet, and accepted as a
standard for the regulation of yard-sticks and ell-wands and so on in the
neighborhood. Yet this and kindred methods were used, and were much more
nearly accurate than might be supposed, being based on the principle of
averaging differences. In England there were Royal Standards from very early
times, but they were far off--at Winchester or London--and not easily
accessible, so that local standards of all kinds were in use. It is therefore
not impossible that in a permanent working lodge of Masons there should have
been a standard unit of measurement; and if there were also, as we have
concluded, a standard testing block, it would be the most natural thing to
incise the unit of length upon it. With one edge marked in feet and inches it
would be possible to make a measuring rod out of any stick or piece of lath
for a given purpose, or enable new-comers to make gages for themselves if
their old ones varied from the local unit. The word "dented" might thus be
taken as meaning "indented," in the sense of havling a standard scale of feet
and inches engraved upon it. However upon the whole, though the evidence of
the Confession seems to point to something of this sort, and though it appears
probable enough in itself, the term seems more likely to have been derived
from the method of finishing the surface of the stone.
now, perhaps, in a position to solve provisionally the problem raised by
Prichard's use of the word "rough" to designate the ashlar. While "dinting"
may possibly have been a technical term for finishing stone, to dint or dent
in general usage implied the injuring of a surface by accidental or
destructive blows, as indeed it still is. We suggest therefore that the change
may have come about through the term "dented" being misunderstood by
non-operatives by being taken in the common sense of the word, the whole
answer having become a mere unintelligible formula to them; and that someone,
in trying to reproduce what he had heard, used another word that to him
appeared to mean the same thing. But whether this was the way in which the
error arose or not it seems quite certain that an error there was, and that
the Confession must be taken as better representing the original. We shall
find later on further confirmation of the use of the word "dinted" as a
qualification of the ashlar.
third of this group of "jewels" now comes up for more extended consideration.
A great deal has been written on the subject and much ingenuity displayed, a
good deal of which we can only think misplaced. Mackey in the article already
referred to takes "Thurnel" to be derived from tournell, old French for a
turret, or small tower. He says, speaking of the "pointed cubic stone" of the
French charts: On inspection, it will be at once seen that the Broached
Thurnel has the form of a little square turret with a spire springing from it.
And he goes on to quote Parker's Glossary of Terms in Architecture to the
effect that broach or broche denotes
. . .
a spire springing from the tower without any intervening parapet; and so
concludes that the mysterious phrase simply meant "the Spired Turret" and
a model on which apprentices might learn the principles of their art, because
it presented to them, in its various outlines, the forms of the square and the
triangle, the cube and the pyramid.
less said about this, however, as a method for instruction in the art of the
Gothic builders the better. (3)
Others, unfortunately, have taken up the idea and elaborated it, chiefly along
symbolic lines. Here we are unable to follow them; our attempt to elucidate
these survivals is based on the general hypothesis that their origin is to be
found in a real craft organization, and not in a mystical, philosophical
school of occultism somehow mixed up with Operative Masons, or masquerading as
such. On this general theory we are forced to reject the idea that any
elaborate object such as this should have been made by practical men for
purely symbolic purposes. One great characteristic of Gothic work is its
honesty and frankness. Nothing is put in merely for decoration or because it
would look well; the ornament is all made out of the essential parts of the
structure, and as has been remarked by many writers on the subject the more
important the member structurally the more prominently it was emphasized by
moulding and carving. It would not be unnatural for such men to symbolize and
moralize their tools and their methods of working, but it does not seem at all
in keeping to suppose that they dragged in such an artificial and, in a sense,
purely gratuitous symbol as this would have been. Besides, the fundamental
point has not been touched--that this stone was to be worked on, not examined
or studied--and the work was of a kind that was, in some places at least,
broaching is still a process used in mechanical engineering, and a broach is a
file-like tool used for forming holes in metal; chiefly for holes of angular
or irregular shape, as the drill is better for circular ones.
Speth pointed out long ago (4) that in Scotland the term "broached work" is
used for stones that are rough hewed, and that there is a tool, called a
Thurnal, Thurmer or Turner, which is used "to broach" with. It is apparently
the same thing that is called a Pricket or Prichet in some parts of England,
and in America is sometimes called a Point. It is a chisel drawn out with four
faces instead of two, and brought, not quite to an actual point, but nearly
enough so to leave only a cutting edge of from three-sixteenths to one-quarter
of an inch in widtih. It is purely a "roughing out" tool, and is used
especially in working granite. Speth therefore suggested that the Broached
Thurnel was really the Broaching-thurmal; and it must be admitted that the
suggestion is a very attractive one. The difficulty is that to accept it we
have to suppose another error in both Prichard and the Confession. This we
should be quite content to do if it affected the former only, but the author
of the Confession, as we have said before, is so close to the operative
practice of his day, and is so explicit in his statement that it was for the
apprentice "to learn to broach upon," that in him such a mistake seems highly
seems little doubt that the real solution of the mystery is that advanced by
Bro. Dring (5), which is that Thurmal or Dornal is derived from Ornel, the
name of "a kind of soft white building stone." The New English Dictionary
gives several examples of the word from old documents, as for example one of
Fraughtage of x tonne of ornell fro london vn to ye College.
sometimes spelled Urnel, and a record of 1348 is quoted:
pro ijs pedibus de Vrnel emptis pro eodem in grosso xv. s.
Craigie suggested that Dornal came from the French d'Ornaulx, "of Ornal," but
we are inclined to think that Bro. Dring's theory is more probable, that the
"d" sound was carried over from the preceding word by prothesis. Broached
ornal or urnal, could very easily become broached dornal when transmitted
orally. And it is very easy for a "d" sound to be changed to "th," especially
in Scottish dialect. We are inclined to this supposition because other
instances of the same thing have happened. Bro. Dring himself quotes a very
amusing instance. A certain brother wanted lo identify the plant called
Vacacia, and must have been rather taken aback when it was explained to him
that it was a "sprig of Acacia" that was referred to and not "of Vacacia." The
broached dornal or thurnel would on this hypothesis be a piece of "ornal"
roughed out and ready to be finished; a partly worked stone in short.
rather curious notions of the technique of building have been derived by
zealous Freemasons, based not on any knowledge of the occupation but purely on
the allocation of working tools in the different degrees. It seems very
curious that such absurd and baseless ideas should ever have been seriously
advanced, when it would have been so easy to obtain information on the
subject. Yet such "explanations" are to be found even in the works of those
who are regarded, and justly, as authorities in the Craft. The Speculative
Entered Apprentice is given a two-foot rule and a common gavel-or in England a
mallet and chisel. From this it has been inferred apparently--of course the
interest was purely symbolic---that the stones were cut by the Apprentices,
while the Craftsmen stood round with plumb square and level to set them as
soon as they were finished--this process of setting or laying being supposed
-again for purely symbolical reasons--to be much more skilled work than merely
cutting the stones. One would suppose that if the unfortunate apprentices had
only gage and gavel to work with that the Fellowcrafts would not find the
stones very true or easy to lay-except as rough or rubble work. Finally the
master holds the trowel and spreads the mortar. Perhaps this bold invention of
a suppositious operative technique is not of very great importance, yet it
would have been possible to have based the symbolism on facts had there been
any desire to seek for them. At least to any one with practical knowledge the
whole effect of the moral teaching is lost in the contemplation of the
ludicrous absurdities involved on the technical silde. The worst is that this
is all comparatively recent. In the earlier rituals the Apprentice alone was
given tools, and these included a square. This procedure was much closer to to
what must have been operative practice. To give the Apprentice his tools
formally was as appropriate as to give him an apron, but before he could pass
Fellow he had to learn the whole craft, to use all the tools. To give them to
him later would be meaningless. Technically, of course, the "marking off" and
"roughing out" a stone is no task for a novice. When we consider all the
factors that have to be taken into account, the natural bed of stone, the best
way to get most out of it and so on, it is seen to require much skill and
experience, although it not unnaturally seems (to the purely speculative mind)
the proper place for the Apprentice to begin.
Without doubt the first tasks he was actually given were such things as
running errands, taking tools to the smith, bringing beer for the men, and
cleaning and tidying up, but such duties would hardly fit into a symbolic
scheme! As a matter of fact, using the "claw tool" or bush hammer to finish
the surface that had been rouhly wrought by a skilled craftsman would be the
kind of mason work he would be first taught.
However, our best authority says that on this stone he was to learn how to
"broach," which we have taken to mean the process of roughing out. A
consideration of the method by which a stone is worked down to a plane surface
may help us. Stone used for cut or carve work is always of such an internal
structure that it is naturally inclined to break along certain planes. It
would not be good to "work" otherwise, and would be rejected as waste, or used
for foundations or for "rubble masonry."
SQUARING A STONE
the blocks, as broken out of the quarry, are only very approximately square,
though enough so to make the lines on which they should be cut fairly obvious.
The first thing is to obtain a basis to work from. Usually what are to be the
ends will have the largest excrescencies knocked off with the hammer or common
gavel, by eye, so as to make it possible to mark a straight line with a
straight-edge and chalk; or charcoal perhaps if the stone were white. Then
with mallet and chisel a draft or drift, sometimes rather erroneously spoken
of as a "bevel" by Masonic writers, is run across the end; that is, a narrow
flat surface is worked, the line drawn being a guide to the depth, and the
width no greater than is needed to give a resting place for the straight-edge;
a little wider than the chisel edge as a rule. The surface of this cut is
finished with some care till the straight-edge will touch it all along. The
next step is to mark off the opposite end, and the problem is to get the
second draft in the same plane as the first when the intervening surface is
not only rough but also, of course, higher than the line worked. Two
straight-edges are used--usually hoards about an inch thick, three or four
feet long and four inches or so wide, the two edges planed true and parallel.
One of these is rested on the surface of the draft already cut, the second is
held against the other end of the stone by one man, while another from the
distance of a few feet "sights" over the upper edge, the man holding it moving
it according to directions until it coincides with the line of the other. Then
the mark is made and the second draft is run. This when being finished is not
only tested for straightness but also for "winding." The workman keeps
stepping back and sighting until he is satisfied that the two straight edges
are in line. If they are not, one end of that further away will be hidden when
the other end is visible. It is a simple device, but one that is capable, with
care, of very accurate results. The next steps are comparatively simple. All
that has to be done is to mark the sides in line with the ends of the two
drafts already cut, and then work down to it. This done, there is a narrow
ledge all round the stone cut down to the plane required. From this, by means
of the square, lines can be marked out for the corners, which when done will
determine the surfaces of the sides and ends. It is usual, however, to finish
one surface before going further. This finishing consists of two processes, a
roughing out and a finishing proper, and it is the roughing out that was
probably meant by broaching or pointing. The apprentice put on to this work
would have the drafts to guide him, and could test his work as he proceeded by
simply laying a straight edge across it.
conclusion that seems legitimate in view of all these considerations is that
the Catechism which comes nearest to a real operative tradition said that the
jewels of the lodge consisted of a square pavement, or floor upon which plans
could be drawn full size in chalk or charcoal; a carefully finished stone with
accurately cut angles placed with its surfaces exactly perpendicular and
horizontal, and possibly marked with standard units of length, for adjusting
or making the measuring and testing tools by; and last a roughed out or partly
worked stone which was to be the first real introduction of the Apprentice to
the technical manipulations of the Craft.
Gould's Concise History, p. 189, and also Essays, p. XXI.
THE BUILDER, Feb., 1927, p. 56.
Since this was written a passage in Agricole Perdiguier on the Compagnonage
has come to our notice, in which he describes the methods by which the
Compagnons instructed the junior members in a kind of trade school. It is
possible that he has rather heightened the effect in his description in order
to glorify the organization of which he was a devoted member, but it is not
likely that what he says is without foundation in fact. His description is not
very definite, but he speaks of a kind of erection that was used as a model or
concrete illustration of different kinds of mouldings, jointings and so on.
One gets the impression that it was something like an elaborate gothic
pinnacle, or like the bases on which market or churchyard crosses were
erected. He notes that it was criticised by some as useless as such work was
then no longer used, so that it would appear to have been a survival. The
passage certainly appears to give some support to Mackey's idea, if we suppose
that a cubic block surmounted by a pyramid was a degraded representative of
such a structural model. We do not think, however that it affects the argument
advanced in the article, though it seems possible that the actual form taken
by the Broached Thurnel in France may have been due to an infiltration of
ideas from the working masons and their methods in that country.
A.Q.C. XII, p. 205.
Ibid, XXIX, p. 261.
books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of
the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices
are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though
occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where
books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some
indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is
equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries
for second-hand works and books out of print.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, THE FIRST CIVILIZED AMERICAN. By Phillips Russell.
Published by Brentano's, New York. Cloth, illustrated, table of contents,
index, 326 pages. Price, $5.25.
RUSSELL says that Benjamin Franklin was the first civilized American "because
at an American period eminent for narrowness, superstition and bleak beliefs,
he was mirthful, generous, open-minded, learned, tolerant and humor-loving.
Because he was the first American man of the world in the sense that he was
the first American world-man." The excuse for the title of this work, if
excuse be needed, is amply supported by the study of Franklin presented by the
in form a biography, but it is more than that. We have here a study of the
mental development of the man who made the American Revolution possible, at
least so far as the essential facts and financing was concerned. There is no
need to dwell on Franklin's life, the various incidents are sufficiently well
known to the average American to make such a recapitillation needless.
Franklin may well have his name inscribed in the hall of pseudo-saints in
which will be found statues of Washington, Lincoln, Paul Revere and other
patriotic heroes. He is generally classed with them and as often suffers from
that imaginative elevation which accounts for the fables that have grown up
around so many of America's great men. This particular point has often been
emphasized, but as long as our textbook writers continue to believe that an
individual must be a godlike man before be is a suitable example for
educational purposes we shall suffer from the same fallacious pictures of such
individuals as we have in the past.
author of the present volume is to be congratulated on his treatment of
Franklin as a human being. He smooths over none of his defects, and pardons
none of his sins. There is, however, an attempt to show that in his erotic
moments Franklin was only living up to, or down to, as one prefers, the
standards of his age. This feature helps to make the work more than an image
of the man, it tends to assist in picturing the age and the work becomes a
study of the 18th century as a result. To those readers of THE BUILDER who
have seen Prof. E. E. Boothroyd's recent articles in THE BUILDER on this
period and found them interesting, Mr. Russell's book will come as a most
entertaining confirmation of the evidence presented by our contributor.
Material of this kind serves as indirect *evidence to support the assertion of
some Masonic scholars that the Hiramic Legend must be older than the Grand
Lodge and by no small period of years, on the ground that it was spiritually
impossible that it could have been invented then.
bit of Masonic interest is entirely aside from the main interest Masons
generally have in Frankliniana, namely, that the first civilized American was
a member of the Craft. This point is totally neglected in Mr. Russell's work
which is, perhaps, pardonable. The biographers of Franklin have not made any
to do about it and naturally Masons lay more stress on such things than
non-members. Nevertheless Masonry must have bulked largely in the life of a
man who retained an active interest over such a long period, that it is
curious it should not have been at least mentioned.
certain that those who read this book, and everyone should, will feel that
they have acquired a genuine understanding of Franklin, the man. They will
feel too a regret that almost 150 years separate us from the time of his
death, for they will feel that they would like to shake his hand and perhaps
comment on his life's work in terms of no less complimentary than the simple,
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
* * *
MASONIC PRESIDENTS, VICE-PRESIDENTS AND SIGNERS. By William L. Boyden.
Privately printed. Cloth, index, 71 pages.
is a compact little book, giving authentic information upon a subject that has
had much eloquent attention by Masonic speakers though usually among students,
arousing more curiosity than satisfaction. From of old there has existed a
conviction in the Fraternity that about all the signers of the Declaration of
Independence were brethren of the Craft. That by far the greater number of the
Presidents and Vice-Presidents were also Freemasons was also a tradition as
frequently and confidently mentioned by many. For years these claims have been
allotted much more prominence than was given any detailed enumeration of the
existing records to support such broad statements. Many who have done research
service have found inquiries of this kind constantly awaiting them, as from
time to time there came forward the exceptions among the curious who, not
satisfied with the sweeping assertion of Masonic orators, were desirous of
getting the dates and some real knowledge of the places where each of these
well-known persons got his degrees in the Craft. Now it so happens that even
when we know that a brother has taken the degrees we may not be sure when and
where these were given him. A President, Andrew Jackson, was also Grand Master
of Tennessee. Obviously he got the degrees somewhere and yet this certainty
has unfortunately tc be backed up only by a probability that he received the
Masonic light at Nashville, in Harmony Lodge, No. 1, say some time between
October, 1788, and March of 1800. In the latter month and year he visited a
lodge at Knoxville and was recorded there as a member of Harmony Lodge, No. 1.
When questions of this sort are up for settlement it is well to allow for the
loss of lodge records by various causes and for less attention being paid
formerly to even getting all the facts into official documentary evidence.
Generally speaking there is every likelihood that the records available will
never catch up with the procession and keep pace with the facts, the bound
documents of old lodges suffering from the assaults of corroding causes, the
destruction by fire, war and flood, as well as the negligence that omits to
preserve statements or to treasure books of record, even the lodges involved
have themselves in several instances disappeared. To meet and combat such
situations was the task taken up by Bro. William L. Boyden. He has given in
this useful and timely handbook the Masonic records, in a condensed form, of
the Presidents of the United States, Vice-Presidents and signers of the
Declaration of Independence, who were members of the Fraternity. His research
leads him to conclusions not at all comforting to the frequently heard
circulators of sweeping claims. For instance, Bro. Boyden starts in his
"Foreword" with the unusual assertion:
statement, current for years, that fifty of the fifty-six signers (of the
Declaration of Independence) were Freemasons is absolutely without proof, and
no one has yet been able to even approximate this number by the slightest
evidence in support of the assertion.
Boyden furthermore says nothing of the possibility that Washington was a Royal
Arch Mason. The apron presented to him bears emblems suggestive of that
important branch of our Institution. His lodge worked the degree at a very
early date in America during Colonial times. But these circumstances,
suggestive though they be, are not as conclusive as we could desire and they
do not weigh sufficiently to get any place in Bro. Boyden's book. For some
unexplained reason the detailed particulars of Bro. Aldai E. Stevenson's
Masonic career are not easy to get. Bro. Boyden is not the only student to
find difficulties in the way. This former Vice-President of the United States
was Master of two lodges, member of a Chapter, a Council and a Commandery, but
the complete records of initiations, affiliations, etc., are, to say the
least, elusive. Perhaps some Illinoisan Freemason will supply these details of
so prominent a brother in public life and in the Craft; he was Grand Orator on
Oct. 7, 1896, when he in that capacity addressed the Grand Lodge of Illinois.
fine record given by Bro. Boyden of the beloved and sagacious Franklin omits
but two items of any consequence that now occur to me. One is that be was a
visitor to Lodge St. David at Edinburgh, Scotland, on Oct. 10, 1759. The entry
on the old Minutes - which I have had personally the pleasure of examining,
thanks to the courtsey of Past Master Alex M. Mackay - is as follows: "Br.
Franklin, Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia." See also in this
connection the note contributed by Bro. A. M. Mackay to Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum, page 270, part 3, volume XXI, 1909. The statement that Frank]in,
in 1776, affiliated with Masonic lodges in France needs elaboration at least
to the extent of telling us what were these lodges. In fact Freemasonry in
France has been so closely in line with principles and practices advocated by
Franklin, that this similarity suggests an influence worthy of more exhaustive
investigation than thus far it has received. Bro. Boyden records the election
in 1782 of Franklin as Worshipful Master of the Lodge of the Nine Sisters, at
Paris, but on page 136 of Amiable's history, "Une Loge Maconnique d'Avant
1789," we are told that he was elected Worshipful Master on May 21, 1779. n
page 145 of the same work, we learn that Franklin was Worshipful Master for
two years, his authority having been renewed in 1780. In May, 1781, the
Marquis de LaSalle took the place of Franklin as presiding officer, and he in
turn was succeeded by the Comte de Milly. The reference by Bro. Boyden to
Franklin's election in 1782, does not have the support of Louis Amiable's
account but it does have the endorsement of Bro. Julius F. Sachse's treatise
on "Benjamin Franklin as a Freemason," pages 5 and 107. However these are
minor points and only mentioned to illustrate how perplexing a problem is this
subject that is commonly so lightly undertaken and voiced but to which Bro.
Boyden brings a refreshing and an astute research . May it prompt and
encourage further study in the same direction.
* * *
STORY OF PHILOSOPHY. By Will Durant. Published by Simon and Schuster, New
York. Cloth, table of contents, index, illustrated, 577 pages. Price, $5.25.
thoughts of preceding generations have always been of interest to the general
reader. Many scholars have tried to reconstruct the life of a given period
from the writings of contemporary authors. Both fiction and non-fiction have
come in for their share of consideration. This is, generally speaking, a
delightful occupation for students, but there are many of us who do not feel
the inclination to follow such a practice and prefer to rely on others for
such information as we desire. It is almost inevitable that both novelists and
scholars will include in their writings something of philosophy. Such implicit
philosophies are generally the reflection of the thought of the age. Mr.
Durant has strayed from the general practice and has taken the philosophers,
or better, the outstanding philosophers of each period as subjects for his
Story of Philosophy. By means of the examples he gives we are assisted in
forming conclusions relative to the type of thought prevalent at different
periods in the history of the world, in spite of the fact that the work itself
confines its scope to a discussion of purely philosophical events.
is a multitude of readers who have seen the names of Socrates, Plato,
Aristotle, Schopenhauer, Francis Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant and others
mentioned in the course of their reading. Doubtless many of them have wondered
what it was they said and have even resolved to read at least something about
them. If they have ever attempted to follow out their resolution they realize
how difficult it is to find out what it was all about. Mr. Durant has solved
the problem for such as these in a very clear and intelligible account of the
different schools with a critical discussion and a brief criticism which
compares the theories of several philosophers. In addition to this the author
has given a brief biographical sketch of each man who forms the topic for
discussion which adds greatly to the interest of the book.
Durant has the happy faculty of writing on a subject often thought too heavy
for popular consumption in such a manner that everyone can understand it, and
what is even more important it is made sufficiently interesting for everyone
to enjoy reading.
spite of the easy style it is not to be understood that the book is one for
the tired business man who finds his most enjoyable relaxation at such
dramatic performances as are advertised as glorifying the American girl, etc.
It does, however, form the healthiest sort of reading for the man who prefers
to spend his evenings trying to improve his own mental makeup and who seeks
real inspiration for the next day's work. The book is not one of applied
philosophy, but it would be great sport to work out the applications.
* * *
ADDRESSES AND ESSAYS OF THE MASONIC EDUCATION AND RESEARCH CLUB OF REGINA,
SASKATCHEWAN. Published by the Peerless Printing Co., Ltd., Regina, Sask.
Paper, table of contents, 178 pages.
book shows, perhaps more clearly than would be possible by any other means,
the work that might be accomplished by any study club. It is composed, as its
title indicates, of a number of addresses delivered before the club from its
inception in 1924 through 1926. Because the group is one which is made up, not
of Masonic scholars but of ordinary Masons who profess to a desire to know
what the Craft teaches and its history, the contents of the volume illustrate
clearly the kind of information for which the average member of the Fraternity
statement that the club is not composed of scholars should not be taken as in
any sense a derogatory one. It is meant as no more than a distinction between
the erudite student who delves into the depths of detail to clarify one
particular point which, after all, has no particular interest for the average
Mason, and the scholar of another type, namely, those who make an effort to
collate the opinions of the deeper students and present them in an
intelligible manner for the education and delectation of those desirous of
knowing more about a given subject. Both types of students are essential in
any scheme of education and both do work which must be commended by all.
lectures contained in the present volume cover almost every branch of Masonic
study. They touch on history, symbolism and philosophy, and range from a
discussion of the advantages of Masonic education to a lecture on Hiram Abiff.
They are short, concise and entertainingly presented. They are not of the wild
fantastic type one too often meets in a Masonic lecture, and are based upon
the works of the soundest Masonic scholars. Although there is no documentation
it is evident that authorities of generally accepted authority have formed the
basis of the discussions.
are some small errors, quite pardonable seeing that the organization is new,
and its members do not have access to all that has been written on Masonry,
and even more pardonable when one enters into the spirit of the occasion and
realizes that these papers are written for the amusement of the audience
rather than for the criticism of research students. The reviewer has found no
error whose importance is sufficient to warrant a close analysis of the
problem involved and none that might change the conclusion drawn, and none
that are likely to lead the reader far astray.
book is one that is to be praised and the Education and Research Club is to be
congratulated on its first publication. We hope there may be many others.
* * *
THROUGH SCIENCE TO GOD. By Floyd L. Darrow. Published by The Bobbs-Merrill
Co., Indianapolis. Cloth, table of contents, index, illustrated, 299 pages.
Price, postpaid, $2.65.
strife between the so-called Modernist and Fundamentalist factions which seem
to occupy the center of the stage in religious circles today has, perhaps,
caused many people to wonder about God. The Fundamentalist denounces the
Modernist as an atheist, the Modernist denies the charge, and as strongly
denounces the Fundamentalist as one who is blind because he will not see.
Whatever side of the controversy be taken the reader will find in Mr. Darrow's
book an explanation of the God of Science which is, to the mind of the writer
at least, incontrovertible evidence that the Modernist has a God. The
arguments are sufficiently strong to warrant the assertion that there can be
no refutation, unless one calls a dogmatic reliance on the Bible by this name.
however, is aside from the question and there is no need to enter into a
discussion of the Bible here. Let it be said that the author shows that even
to science there must be a God and that science is unintelligible without God.
He says further that the God of Science is one which in the minds of thinking
men is more omnipotent, more powerful and more wonderful than that pictured
in, to use his term, the legends of the Bible.
book forms one of the strongest pleas for religious toleration it has been my
pleasure to read. No Fundamentalist denies the existence of the solar system
or the stellar universe, yet he dogmatically asserts that we must believe in
the Bible as it is written and as literal history. This is the same attitude
as was expressed by the Church in relation to Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler,
Priestley and many others who have assisted us in coming to a true
understanding of Divinity.
one is fanatically prepossessed with the dogma of religion he cannot help but
derive some lasting good from Through Science to God.
* * *
PHILOSOPHY OF WITCHCRAFT. By Ian Ferguson. Published by Geo. G. Harrap & Co.,
Ltd., London. Cloth, table of contents, bibliography, 216 pages. Price, $2.10.
most of us interest in witches ceased when the Halloween period no longer
carried with it the urge to engage in the mischievous pranks of childhood.
Fairy tales, in which witches play an important part, fascinated us at one
period, but the interest lagged and was completely lost. The history of the
witch is not generally known, and neither is the philosophy. Witch trials and
burnings are known to have token place, and even today one sees a reminder of
the Salem persecutions in the form of a monument adorning one of the main
thoroughfares of that colonial city.
work now under consideration we find a treatment of the subject somewhat
different from that followed by Miss Murray in her Witch Cult of Western
Europe. Mr. Ferguson deals with the history only incidentally. He alludes to
the various stages of development only because he desires to give his general
thesis a chronological order. To him, history is the calendar by which time is
recognized in the development of mental attitudes. It is the thoughts of the
people which elevated the witch to the position she once occupied, and when
tumbled her from her high pedestal into the abyss of Medieval persecution
which forms the major interest in his discussion.
witch comes, in magical religions, to occupy the place of ruler of the tribe.
This is, in large measure, due to faith in the efficacy of his charms. Belief
in his great powers to subdue the wrath of the gods. Because of this faith
early Christianity was forced to adopt certain of the rites of primitive
religions in order to satisfy the wants of the people. Mr. Ferguson traces in
interesting and entertaining fashion the change in thought which finally
resulted in witches being considered the agencies through which satan worked.
The witch idea is carried down to the present day and spiritualism and
mysticism come in for their share of discussion.
inclined to judge that the picture drawn of the Middle Ages and the misery of
the lower classes is too sweeping, though the author draws it largely by
quoting from others. There is one apparent slip that sounds strangely. In
speaking of the stifling of thought by the church, the author says:
dim stirring Of the intellect was evident in the speculative fields of
astrology, a subject with heretical boundaries and for which Galileo was to
Galileo of course did not die for anything but of a "slow fever" in old age,
many years after his condemnation by the Inquisition, not for speculative
astronomical theories, but for venturing into the realms of theology and
attempting to prove his scientific doctrines by Scripture. He was indeed most
leniently treated, and the imprisonment to which he was condemned amounted to
no more than residence in the household of a Cardinal who was his warm friend.
with some caution it is a very useful introduction to the subject, it is well
written and makes exceedingly interesting reading.
* * *
PIKE'S YEAR BOOK. Compiled by Claire C. Ward. Published by Macoy Publishing
Co., New York. Cloth, 77 pages. Price, $1.60.
SHORT pithy saying for each day of the year forms the contents of this book.
They might be classed as proverbs, or could rank with the early morning
Scripture reading which was common not so very long ago. They would form a
splendid adjunct to this custom and would provide the reader with a thought on
Masonry with which to start the day.
excerpts are taken from Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma and are published by
permission of the Supreme Council A. and A. S. R. They should prove of value
to Craft as well as Scottish Rite Masons. The pen from which they come is
sufficient guaranty of their Masonic applicability.
* * *
MASONIC WHO'S WHO. Edited by Dudley Wright. Published by A. Lewis, London.
Cloth, illustrated, 512 pages. Price, $10.00.
who have need to inquire about men of prominence, Masonically, will welcome
this new book by Bro. Wright. There are many who wish to know the affiliations
of great men who are Masons as well as of great Masons. The present work is an
attempt to fill the need, and deserves the hearty commendation of the Craft.
natural that some errors and omissions would creep into a pioneering effort of
this kind. It would also, quite naturally, be expected that the American list
would be largely deficient, and so it is. American Masons will as a result
find the work in its present state of little assistance. The English list is
fairly complete but even this has very curious omissions.
suggestion that the page size as well as the type size be reduced may not be
out of order. It certainly would make the work more easily handled, and as it
is primarily for reference small type would riot cause undue strain.
can, however, be nothing but praise for the industrious brother who has acted
as editor. We must express the hope that the next edition will be published in
the near future and that many of the inadvertent omissions will be filled.
* * *
Handbook of All Denominations, prepared by M. Phelan. Published by the
Cokesbury Press, Nashville, Tenn.
Savage Australia, by Knut Dahl. Published by Houghton Mifflin Co., New York.
Pleasant and Unpleasant in the Order of the Sons of Italy in America, by
Robert Ferrari. Published by the Mandy Press, New York.
Timbers; Giants in Contrast, by Chesla A. Sherlock. Published by the Stratford
Co., Boston, Mass.
FUNDAMENTALS IN FREEMASONRY
A. H. Norris, of Pennsylvania, wanders too far afield for me to follow him in
a Masonic journal. His objections to the Old Testament are not new - I met
them sixty years ago and am ready to discuss them with him if he can find a
religious paper that cares to thresh over that old straw, but I cannot ask THE
BUILDER, "The New Age," or "The Shrine Magazine" to open its columns to the
theological issues Bro. Norris raises.
agree with him that the action of the Grand Lodge of Missouri does not bind
Pennsylvania or New Mexico, but he seems to have entirely overlooked my
quotation from Mackey:
lodges in Christian countries the "Book of the Law" is composed of the Old and
New Testaments; in a country where Judaism was the prevailing faith, the Old
Testament alone would be sufficient, and in Mohammedan countries, and among
Mohammedan Masons, the Koran might be substituted.
position is that American Freemasonry requires a belief in the one living and
true God, and recognizes the Holy Bible as one of the Great Lights. It gives
no such recognition to any other book. But I cannot agree with him when he
says, "Granting, for argument's sake, that the God of the Bible is the God of
Freemasonry, it is obvious that we must first know what the God of the Bible
is before we can come to any conclusion.' refuse to follow him, in a Masonic
paper, into that theological discussion into which he would lead us.
read the Old Testament many times. I am sorry for the man who can read it
carefully and not find in it a nobler conception of God than man had reached
in any other way be ore the New Testament was written. But Freemasonry does
not attempt theological definitions but leaves each Freemason free to
interpret the Bible for himself.
fully agree with Bro. Briggs' opinion that the point raised in my article
could hardly be made the subject of a controversy in the pages of THE BUILDER.
I will even admit that my question as to how he would explain the lower and
primitive (not to say savage) conception of God to be found in parts of the
Old Testament was rhetorical rather than serious. That he himself would
explain, or explain away, the lower conception in the light of the higher I
took for granted, my point was precisely that explanation and reconciliation
is needed, that once we try to give a meaning to the time-honored phrases we
find ourselves in the presence of problems and difficulties.
more word I should like to add, in regard to the quotation from Mackey. Since
when and by what authority was this eminent brother constituted the supreme
arbiter in Masonic doctrine ? It is a fact that in lodges in India, under the
Grand Lodge of England, which falls under his definition of a Christian
country one would suppose, that candidates may be obligated on one of several
sacred books according to their profession of faith. This being permissible by
English Grand Lodge usage seems to me to bear out the position of a "Lay
Brother," as indeed, taken at its face value, does also the last sentence in
Bro. Briggs' letter.
* * *
not offer Mackey as authority for Pennsylvania but he is good enough for
Missouri, which adopted his language by the unanimous vote of its Grand Lodge.
Twenty-two years later the Grand Lodge took similar action. The New Age for
March, 1927, says:
Albert G. Mackey was Secretary-General of the Supreme Council, Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction, when Albert Pike became
Grand Commander, and had many facilities for knowing while writing his
celebrated History of Freemasonry, his assertions are entitled to the greatest
not know before that any one questioned the correctness of his statement
concerning American Freemasonry.
this country all the degrees in the Lodge, the Chapter and the Council, and
the Order of High Priesthood and the Order of the Red Cross in the Commandery,
are founded on Old Testament history or tradition. Abraham and Melchisedeck,
Moses and Solomon, Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram, the builder, Jeremiah and
Gedaliah, Zedekiah and Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Cyrus and Artaxerxes,
Darius and Zerubbabel all move before us in more striking dramas than any
other ancient book unfolds. What England may do for lodges in India is of
small importance to us.
* * *
action of the Grand Lodge of Missouri referred to simply makes that Grand
Lodge the authority instead of Mackey, and such action is binding only on
Missouri Masons. Bro. Briggs has placed his own indefinite interpretation on
this and thus becomes, apparently, the interpretative authority for the Grand
Lodge of Missouri, which means precisely nothing. The permissive use in India
merely shows at least that there is authority higher than a P. G. M. of
Missouri, for other interpretations. It would be interesting to learn what
construction would be placed upon the passage by the Grand Lodge in session.
If the city lodges of St. Louis and Kansas City, and even the country lodges
in the more enlightened districts of the state, could overcome the widely
known character of the Ozarks, I venture the opinion that Bro. Briggs would
find himself with the minority. As for the Biblical characters mentioned by
Bro. Briggs, they are entirely aside from the question, as they have nothing
to do with Craft Freemasonry.
Briggs' letter was submitted to Bro. Norris, and the latter's reply to Bro.
Briggs. However interesting and important the question of the authority of
Albert Mackey may be, or the source from which it is derived, it certainly is
not the question at issue, and the chairman must therefore call the meeting to
order. - Ed.]
* * *
BOSTON TEA PARTY
the Boston Tea Party a Masonic lodge called from labor to refreshment?
implication conveyed by this question is that the Boston Tea Party was the
work of a Masonic lodge. One might even infer that the lodge had been opened
in due form and after calling off from labor adjourned to conduct a party,
returning to the lodge room and closing in regular form.
not think that anything like this was the case. Though there is available no
list of names of the persons taking part in this famous episode, we have
reason to conclude that several members of the Fraternity were involved. It is
a tradition of an old lodge in Boston that all of the preliminaries were
arranged in the Green Dragon Tavern and that the directing genius was Joseph
Warren. Paul Revere was a member of this lodge as were several other American
patriots. It seems reasonable to suppose that Samuel Adams, John Hancock,
Joseph Webb, Thomas Melville, Adam Collson and Henry Purkett were participants
as well as the two previously mentioned. Warren was at the time Master of this
lodge and certainly if he took part in it he was not objecting to any of the
other members assisting.
think it may be safely concluded, however, that while a number of Masons took
part in this protest against unjust taxation that they did not act officially
as Masons. If their ideals were sufficiently high to protest against. unfair
taxation, they certainly were sufficiently high to prevent them as Masons from
taking part in a purely political demonstration. Whatever part they played it
seems must therefore have been as private citizens and not as a Masonic Lodge.
* * *
KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN
very much interested in your review of the pilgrimage of the English Knights
of St. John in the March, 1927, BUILDER. The Knights of St. John, or as we
generally know them, the Knights of Malta, are now attracting a good deal of
not generally known to those Masons who have received the Masonic degree of
Knight of Malta, that the Order of Malta holds in its bosom two other noble
and religious orders, to-wit: The Order of the Holy Sepulchre and the Order of
St. Lazarus. The wealth of these orders was given to the Knights of St. John
of Jerusalem as part payment for the turning over to the Pope of Rome of a
brother of the Sultan of Turkey by Pierre D'Aubusson, Grand Master of the
Knights of Rhodes (another name of the Knights of St. John, or Hospitallers)
in the latter part of the 15th century. Grand Master D'Aubusson also received
a cardinal's hat and the privilege of filling all of the religious offices of
the Order without control of the Papacy.
been stated that Knights of the Holy Sepulchre are still made at Jerusalem by
the Superior of the Franciscan order.
Masonry Knights of Malta were formerly created in what were known as Councils
of Trinity. The Knight of Malta, now as a Masonic degree, is the last one
conferred in a Commandery of Knights Templar. It was stricken out in 1856, but
reinstated in 1862.
even the casual student it seems strange to see an order incorporated in one
that it destroyed, and even occupying an insignificant place in it.
Masons ought to know that Masonic Knights of Malta are not descended from the
real Knights of Malta any more than is Ancient Craft Masonry descended from
King Solomon or the Scottish Rite from Frederick the Great.
E. Bennett, Washington.
* * *
used your "Syllabus" for the first time at our last meeting. Bro. Schmalzel,
who handled the first lecture or section, put in lots of hard study on the
assignment and gave to the fourteen members present what he had found in the
books, and in his own words, which is of course a better way than reading from
the texts. Best of all, the one who delivers the lecture gets a great deal out
of it even though the ones listening get only parts of it. Everyone present
was much interested throughout the hour and quarter taken up. The second
lecture has been assigned to another member for our meeting Feb. 25, to be
handled in the same way.
explained to the brethren that in my opinion each one of the members should
purchase at least one, better two, of the books used in the outline, and as
each assignment is made study over the part of the text to be covered in the
lecture and be in position to express an opinion on questions that might come
up for discussion. I urged the brethren to subscribe to a good MaS6nic
periodical and suggested THE BUILDER. Will you assist me in this by mailing to
each of our members one sample copy of your next number?
of much interest to me to learn that the Benson Group was the first to receive
your outline of study. That being the case we will have to make sure that we
do our part.
Quinn, Benson, Ariz.
* * *
General Benito Juarez, former President of Mexico, a Mason? If so, will you
please tell me why certain religious organizations hold a common belief that
Benito Juarez took the hemlock in compliance with a penalty exacted of him by
would like to know the truth regarding this matter.
Because of the scanty information available on this subject, the above query
was referred to a prominent member of the York Grand Lodge of Mexico. The
following information is gleaned from his reply:
Juarez was a member of the Mexican Masonic Fraternity. Inquiry among well
posted Mexicans proves nothing as to the exact cause of his death. It is
rumored that he was poisoned at a banquet, but there is nothing certain about
it. He may have suffered from an attack of acute indigestion, apoplexy, etc.
The fact that he was 66 years old and had experienced a very strenuous and
dangerous life would seem to point to the latter conclusion as the most
was an intelligent and bitter enemy of the Roman Catholic Church, and it is
very likely that the poison theory of his death is due to church propaganda.
* * *
LAWRENCE WASHINGTON A TUBERCULAR
1751, one hundred and seventy-five years ago, George Washington accompanied
his brother Lawrence to Barbados as nurse and companion, Lawrence being a
victim of tuberculosis.
migration of consumptives to a milder climate has been going on for many
years. It will continue in spite of efforts to stem it by publicity as to
hardships consumptives endure because of lack of money.
* * *
the largest and richest, at least potentially rich, northern jurisdictions was
recently appealed to for aid for a tuberculous young woman, a member of the
Order of the Eastern Star. Her brother, a Mason, is also tuberculous and is
receiving some help from his Masonic lodge.
Attempts to secure help for the sick woman from the Grand Lodge, the brother's
lodge, the Eastern Star chapter, have been unsuccessful. The Grand Master of
the state writes:
checked all the information concerning Miss and her brother, ____, and found
the facts to be as they represented them.
Unfortunately the Grand Master has no funds from which to draw for the relief
of such class. I am referring all of the data to the Board of Trustees of the
Masonic Home, in order to determine if there is any ruling which will permit
them to spend their funds for the relief of such a case.
to the receipt of this letter the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Association had arranged to pay about two-thirds of the cost of hospital
treatment, the sick woman to pay the balance as long as she is able to do so.
Recently the following letter was received by the Association from her:
reply to yours of Jan. 20, 1 wish to say that words are inadequate to express
my gratitude for the aid the Association is giving me in this unequal
struggle. And I hope the help is coming from a (name of her native state)
contribution, as I feel it isn't right that Masons in the Southwest should
provide hospitalization for those from other states. However, it is my earnest
desire that Masons and Eastern Stars throughout the eastern states will
respond to the great work the Masons in the Southwest are doing for
with the deepest of regret that this has occurred, but I sincerely hope to be
able to refund to the Association all that is now being expended for my care,
to be used in helping another in similar circumstances, for without this help
I could no longer hope for a recovery.
is a beautiful institution, and I am happy here, as I have been accustomed to
a Christian environment most of my life.
Concerning physical condition, my case is classed as moderately advanced, but
on recent examination my physican reported an improvement.
very grateful to you and God for this blessing of fraternal love.
* * *
AUTHOR'S NAME WANTED
BUILDER for July, 1915, at page 168, appeared a poem entitled "Building the
Bridge at Twilight." Is it possible to find out the name of the author? If so
I would very much like to have it, as a number of people are interested in it.
query was referred to Bro. W.P. Matheney who has been making a collection of
Masonic verse. He states that he has seen this poem in a number of different
places, but nowhere with any indication as to its authorship. We would be very
glad if there be any among Our readers who know where this poem originated to
have them communicate with us.