The Builder Magazine
March 1927 - Volume XIII - Number
The New Atlantis and Freemasonry
BRO. A. J. B. Milborne, Canada
the many theories of the origin of Freemasonry, is that which advances the
hypothesis that: it was the outgrowth of the plan of Francis Bacon to
accomplish a regeneration of mankind by the introduction of a state of
civilization similar to that depicted in his The New Atlantis published in
theory was advanced by Christopher Frederick Nicolai, a learned German savant,
in a work published in 1782 3 entitled, An Essay on the Accusations Made
Against the Order of Knights Templar and Their Mystery; With an Appendix on
the Origin of the Fraternity of Freemasons. It has never obtained any
acceptance at the hands of Masonic students and critics, for the recognized
existence, after subjection to every literary and critical test, of The Old
Charges for two hundred years prior to the publication of Francis Bacon's
romance is sufficient evidence to refute it.
Nevertheless, bearing in mind the fact that many distinguished men of letters
and science founded the Royal Society a few years after the death of Bacon
with the object of disseminating scientific and philosophical truths on the
basis of his suggestions and the further fact that members of the Royal
Society were prominent in the revival of the Craft which culminated in the
formation of the Grand Lodge in 1717, the consideration of The New Atlantis
from a Masonic standpoint is not to be neglected.
New Atlantis is a narrative which deals with the fabled island of Bensalem in
the Pacific Ocean and the culture and customs of its inhabitants. Its main
feature, Solomon's House, is the embodiment of Bacon's life-long dream of
finding some method or system by means of which scientific knowledge could be
accumulated and used for the amelioration of mankind, for he writes "among all
the benefits that could be conferred upon mankind, I find none so great as the
discovery of new arts, endowments and commodities."
setting of the tale was suggested by Plato's myth of Atlantis, contained in
the Timaeus, and the writer has also drawn on the Critias which contains a
description of the origin and splendid civilization of this fabled country.
The New Atlantis gives us very little information about the constitution of
the country, its laws or the structure of its society, for Bacon laid down his
pen when he had dealt with the many wonders of Solomon's House, not because
the chief interest of the story was then exhausted, but, as Rawley writes in
the Preface to the Latin version, "because he had many other matters which
deserved to take precedence of them" (i.e., The New Atlantis and another
unfinished work--the Dialogue Concerning an Holy War). The form of government
may be taken, however, as being an ideal commonwealth though differing from
the communistic conception of Plato. Here, then, we find an analogy with the
Masonic Lodge which symbolically represents the universe and an ideal
government based on the brotherhood of man, with the recognition of
distinctions "necessary to preserve subordination."
romance opens with a description of the plight in which the company of a ship
finds itself. The ship had sailed some months previously from Peru for China
and Japan, and after five months of favorable winds had been driven off its
course by adverse ones. The food supplies had become exhausted and sickness
had broken out, when the voyagers come in sight of land. They approach it and
enter a harbor, and are about to make a landing, when the inhabitants make
signs to them not to do so. In the reception of the voyagers we find a ready
compliance with the duty of rendering to our fellows those kind offices which
justice or mercy require, for while the Bensalemites forbid them to land, they
tell them to write down their wants and they would "haue that, which belongeth
narrative goes on to relate the written answer given to the Bensalemites and
that, three hours later "a Person (as it seemed) of place" approached them in
a boat and desired that some of the visitors meet him upon the water, which
was done, and the subsequent interrogation "Are yee Christians ?" and the
humble confidence which it inspired bears a close analogy to our reception of
a candidate. After giving an oath "by the Meritts of the Saviour" that they
were not pirates and had not shed blood, lawfully or unlawfully "within
fourtie daies past" they were informed that on the following day they would be
brought to the "Strangers' House" which was an institution akin to our modern
Quarantine Station, though not so irksome for the only limitation placed upon
the newcomers was to remain within doors for three days, after which they
might visit the city, though they were not to go more than a mile and a half
from the city walls without special leave.
expiration of the three days the voyagers were visited by a Christian Priest,
who informed them that he was the Governor of the Strangers' House, and
offered them his services "both as Strangers, and chiefly as Christians." He
told them that the state had given them permission to remain for six weeks,
but that an extension might be obtained, if desired, and that if they wished
to trade they would be fairly dealt with.
ARK CONTAINING THE SCRIPTURES
next day the Governor of the Strangers' House came to them and explains that
by reason of their isolated position, the laws of secrecy by which they were
bound, and their rare admission of strangers, the Bensalemites were well
acquainted with the greater part of the habitable world, but were themselves
unknown, and goes on to say, "Therefore because he that knoweth least, is
fittest to aske Questions, it is more Reason, for the Entertainment of the
time, that yee aske mee Questions, then I aske you." They then inquire who was
the Apostle of the Nation, and how it was converted to the Christian faith,
and the Governor, in reply, relates the reception of a "small Arke, or Chest
of Cedar" containing "all the Canonicall Bookes of the Old and New Testament"
and a letter written by Saint Bartholomew in which he states that he had been
warned by an Angel to commit the Ark to the sea. This is probably based on the
tradition recorded by Eusebius, "the Father of Church History," that Saint
Bartholomew had left a copy of St. Matthew's Gospel with the Indians.
following day the Governor answers further questions as to how the
Bensalemites were so well informed of the world's affairs while the world
remained in ignorance of their existence, but he reserves some particulars
"which it is not lawfull for mee to reueale." He tells of the great amount of
navigation of the earlier days, the intercourse of the various nations and
then of the destruction of the Great Atlantis. Proceeding, the Governor
relates the difficulties of "the poore Remnant of Humane Seed" which survived
the inundation, the history of King "Salamona" and the code of laws which he
put into force. "Doubting Nouelties" King "Salamona" prescribed certain
"Interdicts and Prohibitions" one of which concerns the admission of
strangers. Those who laid the foundation of the Masonic Order have also given
us certain regulations regarding the admission of strangers, and, "doubting
novelties" have prohibited any change in our established usages and customs
which has received universal recognition as a primary landmark of the order.
SOLOMON S HOUSE
raison d'etre of the romance--the order or society of Solomon's House--is next
outlined. The Governor refers to it as "The Noblest Foundation . . . that euer
was upon the Earth" dedicated to the study of the works and creatures of
God--("the hidden mysteries of nature and science" )--and named by King
Solomon "finding himselfe to Symbolize" after the King of the Hebrews. The
method of obtaining information of the outer world by the sending of Missions
of three of the fellows or brethren recalls to our mind the despatch of the
trusty fellowcrafts by King Solomon, divided into three lodges, upon a certain
mournful quest. The brethren of Solomon's House are termed "Merchants of
Light," which has its parallel in the expression "Sons of Light" as applied to
voyagers now lived quite happily, and the narrator tells us that they went
abroad seeing what was to be seen in the city and places adjacent "within our
Tedder." "Tedder" is the middle English form of the word "tether" and we find
a similitude in the Masonic cable-tow.
Feast of the Family, granted to any man who lived to see thirty descendants
alive together "and all above 3 yeares old" is then minutely described. In the
description of the room in which the feast is celebrated we find a symbolic
emblem similar to one with which Master Masons are familiar in the decoration
of the "state" of canopy over the chair in which the Tirsan as "the father of
the family" is termed is seated. The concluding part of the ceremony attending
the feast is the presentation to any of the Tirsan's sons of "eminent Merritt
and Vertue" of a jewel "made in the figure of an Eare of Wheat" a symbol which
we preserve in the Fellowcraft degree to remind us of those temporal blessings
of life, support and nourishment which we receive from the Giver of all Good.
rest of the book is taken up with a description of the customs of the country
and concludes with a full recital of the many wonders of Solomon's House, a
remarkable forecast of the inventive genius of man.
generally conceded that one of Bacon's principal achievements was the impetus
given through this work to thought in England, which resulted in the formation
of the Royal Society not many years after his death Glanville said that
Solomon's House was a prophetic scheme of the organization that has done so
much for the advancement of science, and Boyle, one of its earliest and most
famous members, spoke of an "in visible college" in his letters, which
probably referred to the beginnings of the Society before its formal
constitution in 1660. The attempt has been made to definitely connect Bacon
with the Speculative reorganization of Freemasonry; the fact that some of the
founders of the Royal Society were Masons is certainly a curious coincidence,
but whether we can ever go further than this is doubtful.
Masonic Lodges in the 17th Leicestershire Regiment
BRO. R. V. HARRIS, Associate Editor, Nova Scotia
the most interesting of all the Regiments of the British Army, from a Masonic
viewpoint, is the 17th Leicestershire Regiment.
regiment was raised in the year 1688 and saw its first active service under
William III in the Flanders Campaign, where it suffered heavy losses at Landen
and the siege of Namur. In 1701 it served with Marlborough in the Low
Countries, taking part in his earlier campaigns, including Huy, Liege and
Venloo, after which it was sent to Portugal where it participated in the
battle of Almanza, in which it was nearly destroyed.
1710 it was in Scotland and from 1713-14 in Ireland. In 1715 it formed part of
the forces sent to quell the rebellion in Scotland and it was stationed at
1723-48 it served in the garrison at Minorca in the Mediterranean, a
detachment being sent in 1727 to aid in the defence of Gibraltar. In 1748 the
Regiment was transferred to Ireland. On June 24, 1748, the Masons in the
Regiment were granted a Charter by the Grand Lodge of Ireland as No. 136,
without any distinctive name. No returns seem to have been made to the Grand
Lodge, probably owing to their being continually on active service outside
outbreak of the Seven Years' War the Regiment embarked (May 5, 1757) for Nova
Scotia and formed part of the expedition of the Earl of Loudon against
Louisburg. After the abandonment of that enterprise the Regiment wintered in
Nova Scotia, and was quartered at Annapolis Royal. While there, one Pardon
Sanders, an artificer in the Ordnance, who had resided at Annapolis since
1750, became a member of the lodge. On the departure of the Regiment to take
part in the siege of Louisburg in 1758, the lodge granted a certificate or
dimit to Sanders in the following terms (1):
of the Darkness Shineth Light and the Darkness comprehended it not."
Worshipful Master and Wardens of a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, No. 136.
hereby certify that the Bearer our Brother Pardon Sanders, was by us lawfully
admitted into the said Lodge and did there serve as an entered apprentice and
afterwards as a Fellow Craft and as he behaved himself in these proper
stations we gave unto him the sublime degree of a Master Mason, he served as a
member and as a true and honest brother and Senior Deacon of our Lodge. We
recommend him to all regular Lodges of our most Ancient and Honorable
under our hands at Annapolis Royal, April 30th, Anno Domini, 1758, and in the
year of Masonry, 5758. Joseph Westover Master. Secretary James Rutherford. Wm.
Witcome Miles Prentis (2) Wardens.
Louisburg the Regiment was composed of 660 men and was under the command of
Brig. Gen. John Forbes. At Louisburg in the fourteen British regiments
engaged, there were ten Masonic Lodges and after the siege another was
warranted, in the 28th Regiment, by the Grand Lodge at Boston. Among both the
Americans and English forces were numerous Masons, several of very great
distinction, such as Col. Richard Gridley, Capt. David Wooster, of the
Americans, Alex. Lord Rollo, Gen. Charles Lawrence (Master of the First Lodge
at Halifax), Admiral Lord Colville, Col. Simon Fraser of the 78th Foot, Adam
Williamson (afterwards Sir Adam, Governor and P. G. M. of Jamaica), Col. Alex.
Murray, and others. For its services on this occasion the Regiment bears upon
its colors the name "Louisburg."
the capture of Louisburg the 17th was sent by way of Boston to winter quarters
at Philadelphia, where the members of the lodge fraternized with the Masons of
spring the Regiment took part in the Crown Point Expedition, and later in the
advance on Montreal, being present when that place capitulated in September,
1760. Under Lord Rollo the Regiment proceeded to New York and Staten Island,
and from there in October to Barbadoes, participating in the capture of
Martinique and later of Havana 1762. In 1763 the Regiment was sent back to
North America for frontier service at Detroit and in the Lakes region.
returning to England in September, 1767, the Regiment applied for a warrant
from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the old warrant having been lost through the
"Hazardous enterprises in which they had been engaged." The lodge was
designated Unity Lodge in the 17th Regiment, and the Grand Lodge minutes of
Nov. 22, 1771, record that it was "to be gratis." The Grand Lodge minutes of
Feb. 3 and May 18, 1772, note the attendance of Bro. Hanson of Lodge 168.
While this appears to be the number by which the lodge was known in the Grand
Lodge minutes in the Warrant itself the lodge's number was given as No. 169.
old Warrant is now in possession of Union Lodge, No. 5, at Middletown,
Delaware, and because of its interest is quoted in full:
and Sundry To whose Knowledge these presents shall Come Greeting In God
Everlasting. Whereas upon Petition to the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted
Masons for the Kingdom of Scotland By Brother John Slater, Alexander Aberdour,
John Hill, Thomas Hanson, and James Scrimgeor all of the Seventeenth Regiment
of Foot, presently in Edinburgh as the Setting Forth That for a Considerable
time there was Held a Regular Lodge in the said Regiment under the Authority
of the Grand Lodge of Ireland That through the many hazardous Enterprises in
which they had been Engaged in the Service of their King and Country, they had
not only Lost their Charter, but their whole Records and Jewels, and being
willing Still to Associate together for the True End of Masonry in a Regular
Lodge Constituted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, They Proposed the said
Thomas Hanson for Master; John Slater and John Hill for Wardens, James
Scrimgeor for Treasurer and Alexander Aberdour (3) for Secretary And Praying
it might please the Grand Lodge to Grant them a Charter of Constitution and
Erection in the usual form Which Petition Having been Considered by the Grand
Lodge, And Ample Recommendation having been given of the Petition by
Lieutenant Richard Aylmer, (4) Adjutant in the said Seventeenth Regiment They
authorized the underwritten Patent of Constitution and Erection to be Expede
in the Petitioners favours. Know ye therefore That the Most Worshipful The
Grand Master of Scotland, and the Grand Lodge aforesaid Have Constituted
Erected and Appointed And hereby Constitute Erect and Appoint the Worshipful
Brethren above named and their Successors, in all time Coming to be a True and
Regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons by the Stile and Title of Unity
Lodge, in the Seventeenth Regiment of Foot, And Appoint and Ordain all Regular
Lodges under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, to Hold, Own and
Respect them as Such Giving Granting and Committing to them and their
Successors full Power and Authority to Meet, Assemble and Conveen as a Regular
Lodge, And to Admit and Receive Apprentices, Pass Fellow Crafts, and Raise
Master Masons upon Payment of such Composition for the Support of their Lodge
as they shall see Convenient, And to Elect and Chuse Masters, Wardens and
other officers Annually or other ways as they shall have Occasion Recommending
to the Brethren aforesaid and their Successors to Reverence and Obey their
Superiors in all things Lawfull and honest, as becomes the Honour and Harmony
of Masonry The said Brethren by Accepting of this present Charter, Becoming
faithfully Bound and Engaged not to Desert their said Lodge so Constituted nor
upon any pretext whatsoever to make any Separate or Schismatical Meetings,
without Consent of their Master and Wardens for the time. Nor to Collect Money
or other Funds Separate from the Common Stock of their Lodge to the prejudice
of the Poor thereof. They and their Successors in all time coming being also
Obliged to Obey and Pay all due regard to the Acts, Statutes and Regulations
of the Grand Lodge already made, or hereafter to be made, for the Utility,
Welfare and Prosperity of Masonry in General, And to Pay and Perform whatever
is Stipulated or Demanded of them for the Support of the Dignity of the Grand
Lodge. And to Record in their Books, which they are hereby Appointed to keep
this Present Charter of Constitution and Erection with their own Regulations
and bye-Laws and their whole Procedure from time to time as they shall Occur,
to the end the same may be the more easily Seen, and Observed by their
Brethren, Subject always to the rules of the Grand Lodge, And also the
Brethren aforesaid and their Successors are hereby Required punctually to
Attend the whole General Meetings, and Quarterly Communications of the Grand
Lodge by their Representatives being the Master and the Wardens for the time
or by Lawful Proxies in their Names Provided Such Proxies be Master Masons or
Fellow Crafts of some Established Lodge, holding of the Grand Lodge To the End
they may Act and Vote in the Grand Lodge, and be duly Certiorated of the
Proceedings thereof Declaring their Precedency in the Grand Lodge to Commence
from the date hereof And to the End these presents may be the more effectually
kept and Preserved, the same are hereby appointed to be Recorded in the Books
of the Grand Lodge Given at the Grand Lodge Held in the City of Edinburgh upon
the Twelfth day of November In the year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred
and Seventy-One, And of Light Five Thousand Seven hundred and Seventy-four
years By The Most Worshipfull His Excellency Lieutenant General, James
Adolphus Oughton, Grand Master of Scotland, The Right Worshipfull Sir William
Erskine Deputy Grand Master, The Right Worshipfull And Honourable Collonel
Napier Substitute Grand Master pro tempore, The Right Worshipfull Doctor James
Lind and William Baillie Esquire Grand Wardens, James Hunter Esquire Grand
Treasurer, And the Seal of the Grand Lodge is Appended hereunto.
Presence of Alexander McDougall Esquire Grand Secretary and David Bolt Grand
Clerk ALEX. McDOUGALL, G. Secty. JAS. ADOLS. OUGHTON, G. M. DAVID BOLT. G.
Clerk. Wm. NAPIER, S. G. Mr. p. t. JAMES LIND, S. G. W. WILL. BAILLIE, J. G.
W. Composition Gratis Porder. A. McD., G. S.
One hundred & Sixty-nine. Recorded in the Books of the Grand Lodge of Scotland
by David Bolt G. Clerk.
is no record of the members of the Lodge Unity 168 (or 169) in the books of
the Grand Lodge in Scotland. In 1771 the Regiment was in Scotland,
transferring in the latter year to Ireland where it remained until the fall of
outbreak of the American Revolution the Regiment was ordered to America, four
companies arriving at Boston in November, 1775; the remaining six companies
after a stormy voyage, not arriving until Jan. 1, 1776. Not being able to
effect a landing because of unusually severe weather conditions, the latter
proceeded to Halifax, Nova Scotia, arriving Jan. 11, 1776. Here this portion
of the Regiment remained until June, a detachment being sent to Fort
Cumberland. The Boston portion embarked for Halifax, March 17, 177 In the
beginning of June, the 17th embarked along with the troops Gen. Lord Howe had
brought from Boston on its evacuation, and sailed for New York arriving at
Sandy Hook June 10, landing at Staten Island, proceeding to Long Island, where
they too part in the battle of Aug. 27, 1776, in which the Americans were led
by Generals Israel Putnam, Lord Stirling and Sullivan, all Freemasons, and in
which more than twenty military lodges were represented in the various British
occupation of New York by the British forces in Sept. 15 followed an event
which obliged St. John's Lodge to vacate the city. The 17th also took part in
the engagement at White Plains, Oct. 28, and the reduction of Fort Washington
Nov. 16. On Jan. 3, 1777, the British forces, which included the 17th,
suffered disastrous defeat at Princeton.
this engagement, Bro. William Leslie, (5) Captain of the 17th Regiment of
Foot, and Extra Major of Brigade, was mortally wounded. There is an
interesting tradition connected with his death and burial. When, after the
battle, Gen. Washington was riding over the field, he perceived some British
soldiers supporting a wounded officer, and upon inquiring his name and rank,
was answered, Captain Leslie. Dr. Benjamin Rush, who formed a part of the
Commander's Staff, asked whether he was "a son of the Earl of Leven" being
answered in the affirmative, he asked to have him placed under his care. He,
however, died the same evening, and was buried with martial and Masonic honors
by his American brethren in the graveyard at Pluckamin, where a monument marks
his resting place. Two days after the battle, Washington sent his aide. Col.
Fitzgerald, into the British camp, with a flag of truce, advising the British
of the death of Capt. Leslie and of the honors with which he was interred.
been stated that in the same Battle of Princeton the Delaware troops captured
the Warrant No. 169 of the brethren of the 17th Regiment. (6) But the
authority for this statement is not given.
Archives of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia has recently been discovered a
letter in which it is stated
. . .
that in the year 1777 a ship loaded with the Baggage the Regiment (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. [This letter is quoted in
Whatever the reason for the loss of the Warrant, it eventually passed into the
hands of the brethren of Lodge No. 5 at Cantwell's Bridge, Delaware, now Union
Lodge No. 5, Middletown, Delaware.
17th Regiment of Foot also took part in the expedition to Pennsylvania, and in
the battle on the Brandywine, Sept. 11, where they led the attack on the
American position, and in the following October saved the day for the British
at the battle of Germantown, after which they were quartered in Philadelphia
during the British occupation, from Sept. 27, 1777, to June 18, 1778.
the British took possession of the city there were three active Masonic
Lodges, viz., Lodges 2, 3 and 4. No meetings were held of Lodge No. 2 while
Philadelphia was in the hands of the British, for the reason that its jewels,
regalia, books and papers were stolen or hidden on the arrival of the British.
These jewels, etc., were afterwards recovered by Capt. Wm. Cunningham, the
Provost Marshal of Gen. Howe's Army during the occupation, and lodged by him
with Lodge No. 3 for safe keeping. In the records of Lodges 2 and 3 we find
the attendance recorded of several of the members of the lodge in the 17th
Regiment, including Daniel Webb, George Cockburn, and others.
this time the warrant of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, which had
not met for over three years, (7) was in the possession of Lodge No. 3. The
Grand Master and his Deputy had both left the city. It would seem from
recently discovered evidence that the brethren of the 17th Foot made
application to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, then working under the
authority of a Warrant from the Grand Lodge of England (Ancients) dated 1764,
and at a meeting evidently presided over by one of the Grand Wardens and
attended by representatives of all the military lodges (to the number of
nineteen) then in Philadelphia, the petitioners were granted a new Warrant,
"Unity, No. 18," on the Provincial Registry. A copy of this Warrant was
deposited in the Archives of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia on Aug. 27, 1784,
but has been mislaid.
June 18, 1778, the British occupation of the city terminated and the Regiment
marched with the army through the Jerseys on its return to New York.
1779 the 17th was at New York with a detachment of the Regiment quartered at
Stoney Creek, a fortified post on the Hudson River. On the night of July 15,
16, the fort was suddenly attacked by a superior force of Americans under
General Wayne, to which, after stubborn and gallant resistance, the survivors
were obliged to surrender as prisoners of war. Along with their baggage the
lodge Warrant and regalia fell into the hands of the American General, Samuel
H. Parsons, who actuated by the genuine principles of Masonry, returned them
to the British Commander at New York, with the following letter:
Jersey Highlands, July 23, 1779. Brethren: When the ambition of monarchs or
jarring interest of contending States, call forth their subjects to war, as
Masons we are disarmed of that resentment which stimulates to undistinguished
desolation; and however our political sentiments may impel us in the public
dispute, we are still Brethren, and (our professional duty apart) ought to
promote the happiness and advance the weal of each other. Accept therefore, at
the hands of a Brother, the Constitution of the Lodge Unity, No. 18, to be
held in the 17th British Regiment which your late misfortunes have put in my
power to restore to you.
your Brother and obedient servant SAMUEL H. PARSONS. Addressed to Master and
Wardens of Lodge Unity No. 18, upon the Registry of England. (sic)
Regiment was imprisoned in Philadelphia gaol until Christmas Day 1780, when it
was exchanged and placed under the order of Col. Watson of the Foot Guards,
and stationed in Virginia. Early in 1781 they joined the army under Lord
Cornwallis in the south and gained a victory over the Americans at Guilford
Court House; thence they were sent to Yorktown, where, on Oct. 17, 1781, the
Regiment again became prisoners of war, along with the other forces of Lord
Cornwallis, but on being again exchanged were stationed in Virginia and later
at New York, where it remained until the withdrawal of the British from that
place in November, 1783, then sent to Nova Scotia.
This certificate follows generally the earliest known form of lodge
certificate, dated 1754, found in the Treasurer's book of St. John's Masonic
Lodge, No. 134, Lurgan County, Armagh, which still meets under its original
warrant dated May 20, 1743. The only actual certificate of earlier date is
that issued "From the Lodge House in Lodge Alley, Philadelphia, No. 2, the 6th
of September, 1756" to James Harding. (See Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania
by Julius Sachse, 1892, page 59.) Also the History of the Grand Lodge of
Ireland, by Lepper and Crossle, Vol. i, page 233-4.
Sergt. Miles Prentis accompanied the Regiment to Louisburg, Quebec and
Montreal, where he evidently obtained his discharge. His name appears in a St.
John's Day advertisement, June 24 1764; his address being "The Sun," in St.
John's Street, and in 1775 he became the proprietor of the famous "Freemason's
Tavern," Quebec, the rendezvous of the bonne societe in that city. He
identified himself with the Merchant's Lodge. In March, 1770, we find him and
others applying to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for a warrant, he being
present; the application was denied. In 1776 he was W. M. of St. Patrick's
Lodge, Quebec. See Robertson i, page 167, I mass. 228-30 Graham pages 42, 45
Alexander Aberdour, Secretary, he was at Ticonderoga in 1760 and received his
discharge at Boston, 1775.
Lieutenant Richard Aylmer, Adjutant of the 17th Regiment who gave "ample
recommendation" to the petition of the Brethren, was surgeon's mate in the
Regiment in 1756, promoted ensign 1759; Lieutenant 1762; Adjutant 1768;
Captain-Lieutenant 1772, 2nd Captain 1772. Served at Louisburg 1758 Crown
Point and Montreal 1759-60 Martinique, 1762.
Capt. Hon. Wm. Leslie, Ensign 42nd (Royal Highland Black Watch) Regiment 1770;
Lieutenant 17th Foot 1773; Captain 1776.
Old Masonic Lodges of Philadelphia, Vol. i, pages 363, 368. The statement is
the regiment was captured, during the attack at Stony Point, July 16, 1779,
among their baggage was found the warrant and regalia of the Lodge; when this
was brought to the notice of Gen. Samuel H. Parsons, an American Commander,
and member of American Union Lodge, in the Continental army, he at once sent
the warrant back to the British Regiment with the following fraternal letter:
Jersey Highlands, July 23, 1779.
"Brethren:--When the ambition of monarchs or jarring interest of contending
States, call forth their subjects to war as Masons we are disarmed of that
resentment which stimulates to undistinguished desolation, and however our
political sentiments may impel us in the public dispute, we are still
Brethren, and (our professional duty apart) ought to promote the happiness and
advance the weal of each other. Accept therefore, at the hands of a Brother,
the Constitution of the Lodge Unity No. 18, to be held in the 17th British
Regiment which your late misfortunes have put in my power to restore to you.
your Brother and obedient servant "Samuel H. Parsons.
Unfortunately Sachse gives no indication where this letter is to be found.
Op. cit. page 137.
Initiation of Frederick the Great
article originally appeared in "The American Freemason's Magazine" for April,
1860, nearly seventy years ago. This periodical has long been extinct, and is
not at all easily accessible. The account here given is much more minutely
detailed than those found in the standard histories, though in the main it is
in accord with them.
Frederick was very much interested in the Craft is obvious, or he would not
have taken such risks as he did in joining. It is quite possible that the risk
added to the attraction. Also that during his reign Masonry had a favored and
protected position in Prussia is quite certain. Whether Frederick, however,
retained an active interest in the Institution after his accession to the
throne seems to be still an open and somewhat vexed question. FREDERICK THE
GREAT, then Prince Royal of Prussia, first resolved upon becoming a Freemason
while in Holland, where he had accompanied his father, the king, who had gone
there, after having reviewed some troops at Wesel, to pay a visit to the
prince of Orange and to the princess, his niece.
day at dinner, in the castle of Eoo, in Geldern, the conversation turned on
Freemasonry, and the king declaimed with much vehemence against the Order.
Count Albert Wolfgang, of Schaumburg-Lippe, defended the Society, with which
he openly avowed himself connected, with such frankness and eloquence, that
the prince-royal felt disposed to request him, after dinner, to procure his
admission into an Order which counted such candid and upright men among its
Count of Lippe, having been initiated in England, and therefore not well
conversant with the state of Freemasonry in Germany, applied to the Baron of
Albedyll, in Hanover, to whom he wrote, in a letter of the 19th of July, 1738,
from Stadthagen, the following lines:
been commissioned by a high person, who does not wish to be known at present,
to cause a certain individual to be admitted as Freemason at Brunswick, which
has been decreed upon as the place of rendezvous, during the fair of this
are the only brother of the Order whom I know. As for me, though I have been
declared a Master, I am not sufficiently instructed to undertake to preside in
a lodge, supposing that we should be able to bring together the required
number of members. I entreat you most earnestly to communicate to me what you
will be able to accomplish in this respect. You can easily guess that it is a
person of high rank and respectability who has applied to me, from the fact of
my troubling you, and so urgent is the request, that I desire an answer that
can be shown, in case you cannot comply with our wishes and come to Brunswick.
this place I would go myself provided you will come and point out there the
sufficient number of Masons and a Master competent to preside at the
Signed, V. SCHAUMBURG-LIPPE.
brother, von Albedyll, was a member of the lodge of Hamburg, which, of English
origin, existed from the 6th of December, 1737, and afterwards, 1740, took the
name of Absalon. To this lodge he directed from Hamburg, the 22nd of July,
1738, the following letter:
esteemed and beloved Brethren:
your wise consultation I submit the subject of the enclosed extract of a
letter which the reigning Count of Schaumburg-Lippe, a highly respectable
member of our Society and an old Master, wrote to me:
birth of the illustrious candidate, though he be yet unknown to us, requires
of us, my brethren, to do all that we can do to make the reception as solemn
as possible, and worthy of the person about to do us such an honor.
will be your business now to find out whether some officers of the lodge are
disposed to go to Brunswick, in order to arrange the ceremony, to choose a
Master to preside at the reception, and to make all the arrangements which
will be necessary to make the proceedings as solemn and legal as our old
expect your resolutions by return of post, to communicate them to the Count of
Lippe, and I do not doubt you will select a Master well instructed and
entirely conversant with the work of reception.
this case the honor of the whole union and brotherhood is at stake, your
wisdom will doubtless find means to satisfy the request of the illustrious
zeal and unalterable attachment, etc. Signed, F. C. ALBEDYLL.
extract above given of the letter of the Count of Lippe was adjoined to this
lodge of Hamburg assembled on the 29th of July, 1738, the Most Worshipful
Master, Bro. v. Oberg, presiding, and resolved, after careful deliberation, if
the unknown candidate be a reigning prince, to send a deputation to Brunswick.
Bro. v. Oberg was elected president of this delegation, and appointed the
other officers: First Warden Bro. Loewen, Second Warden Bro. Stuven, and
Secretary Bro. Bielfeld.
lodge immediately answered the Bro. v. Albedyll, thanked him in the most
obliging terms for the zeal displayed by him to promote the honor and growth
of the Order, and added besides:
affair of course engaged in the meeting of yesterday the attention of the
whole brotherhood. It was sufficient for everyone that it was you who proposed
to initiate the illustrious candidate at Brunswick by some brethren of our
lodge. All members were anxious to give in their adherence. The Most Reverend
Master, Bro. Oberg; the brethren, Loewen, Stuven and Bielfeld, will be ready
to leave for Brunswick as soon as the lodge shall have the honor to know the
illustrious candidate, whom we all already now revere. We do not doubt in the
least that the rank and qualities of the high unknown will correspond with the
idea which we have formed of him; we beg even to recommend our lodge to the
protection of the illustrious candidate, etc.
know what Masonic discretion is, and therefore will not fear that we might
divulge the honored name of a man who is about to honor our society by joining
it. Be so kind as to ask the Count of Lippe about it. He will, with the
permission of the illustrious candidate, let us know it, supposing no change
of resolution having taken place. The importance of the matter in question,
and the presence of the Count of Lippe as well as yours, oblige us to do all
in our power to make this high reception as worthy as possible. You know, Most
Reverend Brother, what number of brethren the ceremony requires; the Count of
Lippe, yourself, the Bros. Oberg, Stuven and Bielfeld will form the lodge, the
splendor of which will be the brighter if you would take advantage of the fair
at Brunswick to find some more brother Masons who might be worthy of attending
such an illustrious reception. Baron v. Oberg, whom we revere as our Most
Worshipful Grand Master at Hamburg, is in every respect competent to preside
at the reception, and the Wardens whom we will bring along will not fail to
perform their duties, etc.
wish of the lodge to learn the name of the proposed must have been, although
indirectly, complied with very soon, as appears from a letter of Bielfeld to
Oberg, in which he says:
deal with me, not as a brother, but indeed as a father Freemason. I shall
participate in the great honor to initiate the Prince Royal of Prussia. I am
aware of the whole value of the favor, and am ready to accompany you to
10th of August, the above-named brethren, with the exception of Bro. v. Stein,
who had an attack of fever, left Hamburg for Brunswick. The valet of the Bro.
v. Oberg, named Rabon, accompanied them as servant-brother. A large box
contained the necessary implements and tools.
baggage caused the brethren some embarrassment at the gate of Brunswick, for
an exciseman prepared himself to search it. "But," says Bielfeld, "we were
merely a little frightened, for, in consideration of a ducat which I slipped
into the officer's hand, he declared us gentlemen of quality and incapable of
company put up at the Kron's Hotel, which had the sign and name of the Castle
of Salzdahlum. This caused the pretty widely-spread rumor that Frederick II
had been initiated as Freemason in the former ducal castle of this name, one
mile from Brunswick. But this is not the case; the house, which then was a
hotel, but is no longer a public house, is situated in Brunswick itself, in
the "Breitestrasse," and has at present the insurance number of 722.
counts von der Lippe and von Kielmansegge, as well as the Baron of Albedyll,
arrived almost at the same time as the Hamburgers, and the brethren met the
same evening--11th of August.
following morning, the thunder of cannon from the ramparts announced the
arrival of the King of Prussia and his suite in the city, then exceedingly
lively on account of the fair.
brethren had agreed that none of them should appear at the court except the
Count von der Lippe, who had been instructed to appoint with the prince the
place and time of the reception. Bielfeld says:
Royal Highness appointed the night of the 14th of August and desired the
reception to take place in our quarters. They were indeed spacious, and in
every respect suitable. There was only one thing to be found fault with,
namely, the neighborhood of Mr. v. W., who had a room next to our entry,
separated only by deal boards, so that he had a good chance to hear and to
divulge much. This idea made us feel uneasy; but as the brethren from Hanover
knew Mr. v. W's happy talent of drowning his sorrows in the cup, we attacked
him on this weak point. After dinner, we paid him, one after another, a visit,
and took our turns alternately to fight him glass in hand. Towards evening he
was in such a condition that, even sleeping in a hattery, he would not have
been awakened. So the thyrsus of Bacchus has done us as great a service as the
finger of Harpocrates had hardly been able to do us.
14th was devoted entirely to the arrangement of the lodge and to preparations
for the reception. Immediately after midnight the prince-royal appeared,
accompanied by the Count of the Empire, von Wartensleben, captain in the
king's giant regiment of Potsdam, whom the prince recommended as a candidate
to be initiated directly after himself.
himself, he asked not to omit any of the usual severe trials, nor to show him
any favor, but to consider him as a mere private person. In short, he was
received according to the usual forms, and we admired his intrepidity. his
deportment, and the grace which accompanied him even in the most critical
a short speech, and after two receptions we passed over to an instruction. The
prince seemed to be delighted with everything, and showed as much intelligence
who were present were delighted with the individuality of the new illustrious
brother--his beauty, the richness of his mind and soul, and his tender regard
for the presiding Master, Bro. v. Oherg.
four o'clock in the morning they had got through with everything, and parted,
Although it was kept strictly secret that the prince-royal had become a
Freemason, he found means to familiarize himself with the Craft. The following
year, in the month of March, the Colonel Count Truchses of Waldburg, for
political purposes, was sent to the Danish court. He had joined the
brotherhood in France, where he had accompanied the King Stanislaus of Poland,
and was commissioned by the Prince Royal to invite, when passing through
Hamburg, the brethren Oberg and Bielfeld to visit the king in his ordinary
who had been present at his initiation in Brunswick, these two brethren, one
in his function as president, the other as orator, had most attracted his
fear of raising the suspicion of the king, they were asked to repair first to
Berlin, and to make there their appearance as ordinary travelers. They did so,
and when in Berlin immediately sent word to the Count Truchses who, having
expected them, called on, and in the afternoon received them, in his lodgings.
remarkable that the same property which then belonged to the Truchses, and was
his usual residence, is now and has been for many years, the property and
meeting place of the National Grand Lodge of the Three Globes and the lodges
working under its charter.
Frederick William I had presented the count with this property, which formerly
had belonged to the fortification of Berlin. The count had built there a
dwelling house and laid out a pleasant garden. Here the two brethren, whose
high duty it had become to shed first the light of the Order in the Prussian
states, called on him. Both, but especially the sympathizing, amiable Bro.
Bielfeld, felt quite charmed when they first saw the pleasant residence of
Bro. Count Truchses.
Prince Royal having informed them from Rheinsberg that he wished, for good
reasons, they might first go to Potsdam, they, provided with good
recommendations, went there, were introduced to many persons, especially
officers of the army, looked at all things worth seeing, and only then
repaired to Rheinsberg, apparently nothing but ordinary travelers, curious to
see also this place.
were received most cordially by the Prince Royal and stayed until November,
1739, enjoying his hospitality. Bielfeld was even induced to promise to enter
the Prussian service. While the brethren from Hamburg stayed in Rheinsberg,
there was a great zeal and industry in works of the Craft, Bro. Oberg
presiding at the receptions and promotions.
Everything was done with the utmost secrecy, but in 1740, immediately after
his accession to the throne, Frederick publicly declared he was a Freemason.
Already, on the 2d of June, the fourth day of his reign, the king penned a few
lines to his friend, Count Algarotti, who belonged to the Order, requesting
him to come to Berlin. Keyserling, the young king's most intimate friend,
added a postscript, in which he said:
King has declared himself a Freemason, and so do I, following my hero's
example. Acknowledge me, therefore, as a Master Mason.
Shortly after Prince William of Prussia and others were initiated at
Charlottenburg in a lodge presided over by the King.
Effects of Anti-Masonry on the Masonic Fraternity, 1826-1856
BRO. ERIK MCKINLEY ERIKSSON, Iowa
state did the anti-Masons make a more determined effort to destroy Masonry
than in Massachusetts. Though they seriously crippled the Institution they
failed to accomplish their purpose, in spite of the fact that they numbered as
one of their chief leaders John Quincy Adams, ex President of the United
to, and even for a short time after, the Morgan affair, numerous accessions to
the Masonic ranks were reported. At the Grand Lodge meeting of Dec. 27, 1825,
it was reported that there were 3727 members in the lodges in the
jurisdiction. During the year ending Sept. 1, 1825, there had been initiated a
total of 874 persons. Seven charters for new lodges had been granted during
the year. The fact that, on June 17, 1825, the Grand Lodge, assisted by
General Lafayette, who was then touring America, had laid the cornerstone of
the Bunker Hill monument, had greatly enhanced the prestige of the Fraternity.
In 1826 a net gain of 583 members was reported and five more lodges were
1827 the reports were not so flattering. Only one charter was granted, while
eight lodges had made no returns, as compared with two lodges which had been
reported in arrears in 1825 and seven so reported in 1826. Though political
anti-Masonry had not yet touched the state, the excitement stirred up in New
York was evidently already producing effect in Massachusetts. At each
succeeding regular communication, held in Boston, the attendance declined
until in 1835 the lowest point was reached, with only seven lodges
MASONRY ACTIVE IN BOSTON
Despite the increasing fury of the anti-Masonic storm during the period, the
Grand Lodge proceeded with plans for the erection of a Masonic Temple at
Boston. On Oct. 14, 1830, a Masonic procession was formed at Faneuil Hall and
moved to the site of the new building where the cornerstone was laid, after
which an address was delivered by Grand Master Joseph Jenkins. It was
estimated that between 2000 and 2500 Masons were present, including twenty-two
clergymen and seven Revolutionary officers. The building was completed and was
formally dedicated by the Grand Lodge on May 30, 1832. The address on the
occasion was delivered by Rev. Bernard Whitman. It was described by "The
Masonic Mirror," of Boston, "as one of the most ingenious and powerful
arguments in defence of Masonry, ever pronounced."
the most interesting events produced by the anti-Masonic attacks was the
publication of the famous "Declaration to the Public," issued in December,
1831, by the Masons of Boston and vicinity. At the time of its first
publication it contained about 1200 signatures. Later this number was
increased to over 1400. The "Declaration" was a brief document devoted to a
denial of the charges against the Fraternity and to a statement of Masonic
principles. The following passage is especially worthy of quotation:
obligations of the Institution require of its members a strict obedience to
the laws of God and of man. So far from being bound by any engagements
inconsistent with the happiness and prosperity of the Nation, every citizen,
who becomes a Mason, is doubly bound to be true to his God, to his country and
to his Fellow-Men.
authorship of the "Declaration" has been attributed to Charles W. Moore, who
rendered yeoman service to the Fraternity during the excitement as editor of
what was probably the most influential Masonic periodical in the United
States, "The Masonic Mirror," and as Grand Secretary beginning in 1834.
Another matter of importance illustrating the effects of anti-Masonry in
Massachusetts was the surrender by the Grand Lodge in 1833 of its civil
charter, or "Act of Incorporation," which had been granted by the legislature
June 16, 1817. This action was taken because of the persistence of the
anti-Masons in the state legislature in endeavoring to secure the passage of
laws interfering in the internal affairs of the Fraternity. A committee to
consider the matter was appointed by the Grand Lodge on Dec. 12, 1833. On Dec.
27 it reported a "Memorial to the Honorable Senate and House of
Representatives in General Court Assembled," which report was unanimously
adopted by the Grand Lodge. The memorial reviewed the history of the Grand
Lodge and ascribed as the reason for surrendering the charter the continued
hostility of the legislature. The memorial made it very clear that the Grand
Lodge was merely giving up its "corporate powers," such as the power to hold
real estate, but that it "relinquished none of its Masonic attributes or
there might be no misunderstanding of this action the Grand Lodge passed a
supplementary resolution declaring that
Grand Lodge of Massachusetts exists only as a voluntary association having and
possessing all and the same rights, powers, privileges and immunities, under
its ancient charter, in relation to Freemasonry, which said Grand Lodge had
and possessed before the aforesaid act of incorporation was granted.
chief result of the surrender of the civil charter was to force the Grand
Lodge to relinquish possession of the new Masonic Temple. For a time it was in
the possession of a private individual, but in 1835 a plan was devised whereby
the building was repurchased and placed in the hands of a Board of Trustees,
who were to hold and improve it for the benefit of the Grand Lodge.
that time on the condition of Masonry in Massachusetts began to improve. This
is well illustrated by the fact that on Jan. 16, 1837, a public installation
of the Grand officers was held, with the members of the Grand Encampment of
Massachusetts and Rhode Island and of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons
of Massachusetts as invited guests. A procession was held and a gala occasion
was made of the installation. Between 1200 and 1500 ladies and gentlemen
attended the affair. It was not until 1845 that the first restorations of
defunct lodges took place, but thereafter Masonry's recovery in Massachusetts
proceeded more rapidly.
STATE OF THE CRAFT IN RHODE ISLAND
interesting to note that, in 1825, there were about three-fourths as many
Masons in Rhode Island as in the State of Massachusetts. The 3000
(approximately) Masons of Rhode Island, however, were included in only
seventeen lodges, while the 3727 members in the neighboring state were divided
among 101 lodges. In 1826 two additional lodges were chartered in Rhode
Island, raising the total to nineteen. It is apparent that one lodge (No. 14)
had become defunct, so the number of active lodges at the time the Morgan
affair occurred was only eighteen. Anti-Masonry made its appearance in the
state in 1829, and soon gave tangible evidence of its presence. In 1831 the
anti-Masons secured a legislative investigation of Masonry which resulted in
nothing. But in 1832 they succeeded in securing the passage of a law
forbidding extra-judicial oaths. Meanwhile, on June 13, 1831, the Grand Lodge
issued an address to the people of the state. The address admitted the right
of their opponents to memorialize the legislature and it granted the right of
that body to investigate. Yet it claimed the privilege for the Masons to
appeal to the people in self-defense. It also denied the various charges made
against the Fraternity.
on Aug. 7, 1832, replying to a recommendation of the General Assembly, that
the Masonic organization should be discontinued, the Grand Lodge declared that
the duty of Masons was plain, and that was to adhere to the Institution. On
March 11, 1833, at a quarterly communication, the Grand Lodge unanimously
adopted, in substance, the Massachusetts "Declaration" of 1831. This they
circulated in pamphlet form under the title, Declaration of the Free-Masons of
Rhode Island. The names of 634 Rhode Island Masons were signed to it.
CHARTERS OF LODGES REVOKED
anti-Masons in the state legislature were evidently determined to do all in
their power to secure laws unfavorable to Masonry. In January, 1834, the
legislature repealed the civil charters of six of the lodges. At the same time
all incorporated Masonic bodies in the state were required to make annual
returns to the General Assembly of their proceedings with a list of all their
members. Rather than submit, the Grand Lodge, when it met on March 17, 1834,
voted to surrender its civil charter and recommended that the remaining lodges
do likewise. At the session on June 24, 1834, this action was explained and it
was made clear that the Masonic charter had not been given up, and that there
was no intention of so doing. It was also pointed out that no local lodge had
surrendered its Masonic charter since the excitement had begun.
the whole period of the excitement the Grand Lodge met regularly and preserved
its organization in spite of the strong attacks against it. At the close of
the period of the anti-Masonic excitement it still had the same lodges on the
list as when the trouble began, but the membership had decreased to about 950
in 1840. It is evident that some of the lodges were dead by that time and were
kept on the list only because no action had been taken to eliminate them. But
on Dec. 28, 1840, a movement was begun which culminated on Sept. 25, 1843, in
the forfeiture of the charters of eight lodges. Two of these were restored on
March 25, 1844, and one more on June 24, 1844. The process of recovery, thus
begun, proceeded so slowly that, by 1856, the Fraternity had not yet attained
the strength that it had had in 1826.
FRATERNITY RESISTS IN CONNECTICUT
state where the political anti-Masons exhibited strength, did the Masons
afford a stronger resistance to their enemies than in Connecticut. As in other
states, Masonry was developing rapidly in this state before the anti-Masons
developed strength. In 1825 there were sixty-five lodges in Connecticut, while
by the time of the annual communication at New Haven, on May 14 and 15, 1828,
there were 75 lodges listed. In 1828 the same number of lodges were
represented as in 1825 though there were ten more on the list, which is
evidence that anti-Masonry was making itself felt. Further evidence of this is
afforded by the fact that only one new lodge was chartered in 1828.
time the Grand Lodge met at Hartford for its annual session, May 13, 1829,
Freemasonry in the jurisdiction was bending under the full fury of the
anti-Masonic storm. Though sixty-two lodges were represented, the Grand
Secretary reported "a large and increasing delinquency in the returns from
subordinate lodges, on account of the prevailing excitement and panic which
was now existing on the subject of Masonry." On his suggestion it was ordered
that the "meagre returns" should not be published until further notice.
next year saw fourteen fewer lodges represented at the Grand Lodge meeting
than in 1829. A report on delinquent lodges was presented by the Grand
Secretary, but the matter of inflicting penalties was postponed, pending
correspondence with these lodges by the Grand Secretary. The "appeal" of the
Vermont Masons was presented and a resolution was adopted tendering sympathy
to the Masons in the state bordering on the north. Before adjourning, the
Connecticut Masons resolved to hold firm, "confiding in God and the rectitude
of our intentions, for consolation under the trials to which we may be
MASSACHUSETTS DECLARATION ADOPTED
year 1831 marked the lowest point of Masonic decline in Connecticut during the
excitement. The Early Records containing the proceedings of the annual
communication at Hartford, May 11, 1831, do not list the number of lodges
represented, but merely state that a quorum was present. The Grand officers
refused to be candidates for re-election so a new set had to be elected, which
was the only business transacted. By 1832 the situation was much improved, for
forty-four lodges were represented. At the annual communication, May 9, 1832,
at New Haven, there was adopted, in substance, the Massachusetts
"Declaration." This was signed by about 1400 Connecticut Masons, after which
it was published in the various newspapers and in the proceedings.
1833 it was voted to remit "all fines and penalties now due for
delinquencies," and the publication of returns was resumed. That Masonry in
the state was well on the road to prosperity is indicated by the fact that,
out of the thirty-five lodges which made returns, there had been initiations
in eight. In the returns of each subsequent year "work" was reported by
various lodges. During the period of the excitement a few lodges surrendered
their charters. It was not until 1838 that the Grand Lodge took severe
measures against those which had been delinquent for a long time. Fourteen
such lodges were declared to have forfeited their charters. By 1839 there had
been a net loss of twenty lodges since 1828, for only fifty-five remained on
the list. The elimination of the dead timber had not yet been completed, for
in 1840 the charters of seven more lodges were revoked. However, four other
lodges had removed the causes of their delinquency and so saved their
charters. In 1841 the charters of three lodges were restored, but at the same
time four other charters were revoked. Thereafter enough lodges were restored
or newly chartered to make the institution stronger in Connecticut in 1856
than it had been three decades before.
JERSEY LITTLE AFFECTED
is little to be said concerning the effects of anti-Masonry in New Jersey.
Political anti-Masonry did not develop enough strength in the state to cause
any serious difficulties, but the general excitement had the effect of greatly
decreasing the attendance at the Grand Lodge sessions. Between 1825 and 1828,
inclusive, eight new lodges were created. As early as 1827 two charters were
surrendered, but it is difficult to see how this could be attributed at that
date to anti-Masonry. The surrender of one charter in 1829 and one in 1830
were all the additional losses reported during the anti-Masonic period.
low mark in Grand Lodge attendance was in 1832 and in 1834, in each of which
years only four lodges were represented. It is interesting to note that in
1832 a new lodge was chartered. In 1839 there were still forty-one lodges on
the list, but most of them were inactive. No action in regard to these was
definitely taken, however, until 1842. At the annual communication, Nov. 9,
1841, the Grand Secretary submitted a report showing that out of fifty-eight
lodges which had been chartered during the history of the Grand Lodge, only
eight were actively at work. Seven had been stricken off the list, nine had
surrendered their warrants, while thirty-three had ceased to work but still
retained their warrants. With the consent of the Grand Lodge two lodges had
united to form one. (1)
recommended that the dead lodges be eliminated and those remaining be
renumbered. This recommendation was acted on at the meeting of the Grand Lodge
at Trenton on Nov. 8, 1842. The thirtythree non-functioning lodges were
stricken from the list, but two were immediately restored. These, with the
eight previously active, were renumbered from 1 to 10. Thereafter, the Grand
Lodge of New Jersey may be said to have been on the up-grade. By 1856 it had
attained a strength greater than it had had thirty years before.
RESULT IN DELAWARE
information is available regarding the effects of anti-Masonry on the Masonic
Fraternity in Delaware. Up to and including 1825 only fifteen lodges had been
chartered in the state, and of these three were already extinct. In 1826 and
1827 there were three additional charters granted, but to partially offset
this gain, one charter was forfeited in 1827. In the years 1825, 1826 and
1827, all the existent lodges were represented at the annual communications
held at Wilmington--a unique record not equalled by any other jurisdiction
except the District of Columbia. But in 1829 the attendance fell to nine
lodges, indicating that the anti-Masonic excitement was having effect. The
best commentary on the effects of the excitement thereafter is afforded by the
fact that no Grand Lodge proceedings were published from 1830 to 1844,
inclusive. By 1856 it is apparent that Masonry in Delaware was stronger than
it had been before the Morgan affair, at least insofar as the number of lodges
on the list was concerned.
ATTACK IN PENNSYLVANIA
view of the bitterness with which the anti-Masons in Pennsylvania, led by
Thaddeus Stevens and Joseph Ritner, assailed the Masonic Fraternity, it is
surprising that the Institution did not suffer a greater decline than it
actually did. As was true of New York, so in the case of Pennsylvania it is
edifying to take stock of Masonry in the state before the anti-Masonic
excitement began in order to form a correct estimate of what happened during
interesting to note that, in 1825, the warrants of three lodges were "vacated
for delinquency," ten other lodges were suspended, while twenty-six were
declared "not at this time entitled to a representation in the Grand Lodge." A
total of $17,240.08 was reported as owed by the subordinate lodges to the
Grand Lodge on Dec. 27, 1824. The unhealthy condition then existing in
Pennsylvania Masonry is further shown by the fact that, in 1825, there were
reported sixty eight expulsions, ninety-eight suspensions, thirty-five
rejections and eighteen reinstatements. Meanwhile six new warrants were
reported as issued during the year. Though there were 103 lodges on the list,
the highest number represented during the year was thirty seven, at the
Quarterly Communication, Dec. 5, 1825. Similar figures might be given for
ACTIVITY OF THE GRAND LODGE
latter part of 1827 and early 1828, anti-Masonry had spread from New York and
had made itself felt in the northern part of the state and in a few other
places where prejudice against Masonry had been manifested earlier. That the
state as a whole had not yet been affected is shown by the fact on May 3,
1828, the Grand Lodge laid the foundation stone of Washington Lock, No. 1, of
the Pennsylvania Canal at Pittsburgh. It is noteworthy that the Grand Lodge
attendance was not seriously affected by anti-Masonry until 1836. The
political control of the state, for three years beginning in 1835, by the
anti-Masonic-Whig coalition, featured by Stevens' fruitless legislative
persecution of the Masons, was bound to have some effect. Yet, as the chart
shows, the Grand Lodge representation did not decline greatly.
during this most critical period of Masonry's existence in Pennsylvania that
the first drastic action was taken towards delinquent lodges. Previously,
attempts had been made, but with little success, to improve the internal
conditions in the jurisdiction. To ease the burden of debt with which the
Grand Lodge was weighted down, action was taken in 1835 to sell the Masonic
Hall in Philadelphia to "Franklin Institute" and buy a smaller hall. Instead
of improving matters, the Grand Lodge affairs were merely further complicated
by this move, for, in 1841, it was necessary to take back the original hall
from "Franklin Institute" which had failed to pay for it. In 1836 the Grand
Secretary was instructed to cancel the debts of subordinate lodges to the
Grand Lodge to the end of 1834 on condition that they make returns and pay
dues for 1835. This evidently failed to secure the desired results for, on
Feb. 6, 1837, the Grand Lodge declared the warrants of fifty-five delinquent
lodges "vacated." Nine other lodges were given additional time to remove their
TO OFFSET LOSSES
apparently, Masonry in Pennsylvania was at a low ebb from 1836 to 1839,
inclusive, the proceedings for those years reveal some surprising facts. For
example, in the 24 lodges in the city and county of Philadelphia there were
reported seventy-one initiations and thirty admissions. These gains, however,
were offset by 102 who "ceased" their Masonic membership. The total number of
members in these lodges was 705. In the lodges outside of Philadelphia County,
numbering twenty-one "legal" lodges (including two restored in 1837), there
were fifty-eight initiations and thirty-one admissions during 1837, which
together exceeded by twenty-two the number who ceased their membership. The
total number of Masons in these lodges was given as 346, making the total
lodge membership in the state 1051 at the time. In 1838 there were reported
151 initiations in the lodges of the city and county of Philadelphia and
eighty-seven initiations in the other lodges. On Sept. 2, 1839, the Grand
Secretary reported that three lodges had resumed their labors. Although the
highest representation at any Grand Lodge meeting in 1839 was lower than in
any previous year, there can be no question but that the Masonic Fraternity in
Pennsylvania was on the up-grade. By 1856 it was far stronger than it had ever
been and was expanding rapidly.
LOSSES IN OHIO NOT DUE TO ANTI-MASONRY
considering the condition of Freemasonry in Ohio it becomes increasingly
difficult to determine just what effects anti-Masonry had on the Fraternity.
The decline in attendance, as shown by the chart, cannot all be attributed to
anti-Masonry, for the proceedings give some indication that, at least in the
early thirties, cholera was a factor in making some lodges dormant.
1831, anti-Masonry evidently had had but little effect on the Fraternity in
the state as a whole. Each year from 1826 to 1829 new lodges had been
chartered, including eight in 1826, four in 1827, six in 1828, and two in
1829. In 1830 it is recorded in the proceedings that one dispensation was
granted, but a list accompanying the proceedings for the year names seven
lodges as being under dispensation. In 1831 two additional charters were
followed a few years of varying fortunes--a few lodges being reported as
surrendering their charters, others being reported as resuming labor. In 1837
the Grand Lodge met at Lancaster instead of at Coumbus, and this change marked
the beginning of a return to prosperity. At this annual communication, held in
June instead of in January, as formerly, two new charters and one dispensation
were granted. The next year two more charters and one dispensation were
granted, while four lodges resumed work. One lodge was reported as
surrendering its charter. At this 1838 communication it was decided to
forfeit, at the next annual communication, the charters of those lodges which
had not been represented for three years. In 1839, this action does not seem
to have taken place, for eighty-four lodges remained on the list. It was
reported that only thirty-eight lodges were working and that forty-six had
"ceased." At the 1839 communication three additional charters were granted and
plans were made for the construction of a Grand Lodge building at Lancaster.
Thereafter new charters and revivals of dormant lodges were reported in large
numbers, with the result that, by 1856, the Grand Lodge of Ohio was
numerically four times as strong as it had been in 1825.
AND LOSS IN INDIANA
the period of the anti-Masonic excitement, the number of lodges in Indiana
decreased considerably. Yet, an examination of the proceedings shows that the
whole decline cannot be attributed to antiMasonry. In 1829, the charters of
four lodges were "arrested" because of long standing delinquency, antedating
the "excitement." From 1825 to 1831 the number of lodges was increased by the
granting of thirteen new charters. By the latter date the anti-Masonic
excitement was making itself felt. The Grand Secretary, in 1831, reported that
there were only ten lodges which were not delinquent either because of
non-payment of dues or on account of non-representation at the 1830
1832 there was a marked decrease in the Grand Lodge representation. As a
result it was decided to divide the Grand Jurisdiction into five districts
with a district agent in each to visit the lodges in order to stimulate them
to greater interest and activity. The next year the plan was modified and
seven "Visiting Districts" were created. At this 1833 communication one
dormant lodge was revived. In 1833, as previously in 1830, it was necessary,
because of insufficient representation, to adjourn the Grand Lodge from
October to December. The adoption of a new constitution in 1833 changed the
quorum requirement so that future adjournments would not be necessary because
of small representation of lodges.
PROPOSAL TO KILL THE GRAND LODGE NEGATIVED
1834 communication witnessed the disposal of a proposition to surrender the
charter of the Grand Lodge. At this meeting one dispensation and one charter
were granted. All delinquent lodges were cited to appear at the next annual
communication to show cause why they should not be stricken from the roll of
the Grand Lodge. This had the effect of doubling the attendance in 1835. At
this meeting one lodge was revived and one new lodge was chartered. Four
delinquent lodges were ordered stricken from the list.
more lodges were revived or chartered until 1838. In that year one was
chartered, and likewise one in 1839. By 1842 Freemasonry in Indiana may be
safely said to have been on the up-grade. That year two lodges were chartered
and there were five under dispensation. Nine reported that they had initiated
members during the year. An era of prosperity was under way that was to result
in the Grand Lodge of Indiana becoming almost seven times as large in 1856 as
it was in 1825.
MASONRY WEAK IN ILLINOIS AND MICHIGAN
other two Grand Lodges which existed in the North before the Morgan affair,
little needs to be said. It was not so much the strength of anti-Masonry as
the weakness of the Grand Lodges themselves that caused the Grand Lodges of
Illinois and Michigan to become defunct. The Grand Lodge of Illinois,
organized by a convention at Vandalia in December, 1822, held its first annual
communication at the same place a year later. The meagre records available
concerning it show that it was never very firmly established. The fact that no
communication was held in 1825 is evidence of this. Meetings in 1826 and 1827
were attended by only a few lodges, though there were fifteen "in the
obedience of the Grand Lodge." A meeting was held in 1828 but no record of its
proceedings is extant. Thereafter organized Freemasonry disappeared in the
state, but just why is not clear. It is not reasonable to think that
anti-Masonry was to blame entirely for this--in fact, there is little evidence
ta show that the anti-Masons had any strength in the state. The instability of
the Masonic organization coupled perhaps with fear aroused by exaggerated
reports of happenings in New York, seem to offer a better explanation of why
the Masons in Illinois gave up their organized existence so quickly. Had the
anti-Masonry been strong in the state, it is not probable that nine lodges
would have been chartered within its bound between 1835 and 1839 by the Grand
Lodges of Kentucky and Missouri, thus making it possible to organize the
second Grand Lodge of Illinois in 1840 which by 1856, was to have 185 lodges
on the list.
MICHIGAN GRAND LODGE SUSPENDED
situation in Michigan is equally inexplicable In 1826, less than two months
before Morgan's disappearance, there was organized the Grand Lodge of the
Territory of Michigan, with Lewis Cass as Grand Master. In 1827 it received
the approval of the other Grand Lodges and appeared to be on the road to
prosperity. In that year the sixth lodge in the jurisdiction was installed at
Ann Arbor and a dispensation was granted for a lodge at Stony Creek. Little
else can be said of this Grand Lodge except that it voted, in 1829 to suspend
Masonic work. It is true that in that year the political anti-Masons were
strong enough to control the election of the territorial delegate to Congress
but that should not have meant that Masonry could not continue to exist. Of
course the Grand Lodge was newly established, but it should not have been
destroyed by the first gust of anti-Masonry. The fact that Stony Creek Lodge
continued to meet regularly during the whole period following to 1840, proves
that it was possible for Masonry to exist in the region. Probably no better
explanation can be offered than the suggestion made by Jefferson S. Conover,
the historian of Michigan Masonry, that Cass, putting politics above Masonry,
used his influence to bring about the suspension of the Grand Lodge, though
such a suspension could have been avoided.
the whole decade of the thirties Masonry was kept alive in Michigan by Stony
Creek Lodge. In 1841 an attempt was made to revive the Grand Lodge of
Michigan. Because of irregularities in the procedure, the other Grand Lodges
refused to recognize it so it was necessary to form a new Grand Lodge in 1844.
This organization embarked on a prosperous career and by 1856 numbered
eighty-four lodges within its jurisdiction.
should be noted that in 1825 there were already fourteen dead lodges, whose
demise could not be blamed on anti-Masonry. If it be accepted that the two
lodges which surrendered in 1827 did so for reasons other than this, it
becomes evident that one third of the dead lodges became so from other causes
Conception of God
BRO. A. H. NORRIS, Pennsylvania
discussion on this subject in the pages of THE BUILDER has proved so far most
interesting. The writer of the article in the February number, Fundamentals in
Freemasonry, has, in my opinion, somewhat diverged from the main question,
which as I understand it is this, "What conception of God" is required of a
candidate when he makes the brief confession of faith demanded of him at his
entrance into the Order? A "Lay Brother" defines as best he can his idea of
God, and expresses a desire to know whether this is acceptable in the Masonic
Order. M. W. Bro. Briggs says it is not acceptable because Freemasonry teaches
a belief in the God of the Bible. He is not altogether fair because he does
not define the God of the Bible before asserting that the God envisaged, by a
"Lay Brother" is not to be accepted by the Fraternity. If then, we grant for
the present, that the God of the Bible is the God of Freemasonry we are no
nearer a solution than before. Bro. Briggs does not bring any evidence to
support his contention except a report of a Masonic trial held in Missouri in
1888. The Grand Lodge of Missouri may be omnipotent in Missouri, but that does
not help to solve the problem in Pennsylvania or New Mexico, when it is
considered that the purpose of the discussion generally is to determine the
question, "What is the limiting conception of God that the requirements of
Anglo-Saxon Masonry imply?"
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. The position of Bro. Briggs takes it
for granted that everyone knows what this Deity is and what He is supposed to
be. But, the Bible taken by itself is not so clear as seems to be assumed,
since, according to Bro. Briggs, the Bible is inspired by God all its
statements about the Supreme Being must be accurate.
consider the God that is pictured for us in the Old Testament, especially in
Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua and Samuel. It is a tyrannical, capricious,
jealous Deity that we find, continually threatening death and destruction and
frequently bringing it to pass. A God who smites Miriam with leprosy to back
Moses up in a family dispute, who is appeased by Phineas sticking a javelin
through zimri the son of Salu and the Midianite woman he had taken. A God who
punished with death the least infraction of ritual observance, such as that of
Korah Abiram and Dathan, or the men of Beth-Shemesh, of whom fifty thousand
men were slain because they looked into the Ark of the Covenant when it came
back from Philistia, or the death of the well-meaning Uzzah who put his hand
out to steady it when the oxen drawing the cart shook it. But these, perhaps,
are trifling matters to the approval, nay, more, the definite injunction to
attack cities and villages and kill unsparingly men, women and children, as at
Jericho, and Ai, and later the Amalekites. Or even within the nation itself as
in the civil war with Benjamin, when by definite command the other tribes
twice attacked and were defeated with great loss, and then at the third
engagement almost destroyed the Benjamites. A few brief references such as
these in no way do justice to the monotonous history of indiscriminate and
bloody massacre related in the narrative parts of the earlier books of the Old
Testament from Exodus to the wars of David, which Jehovah seems to highly
approve; the only way to appreciate it is to read these books through.
leaving out the strange appearances to Abraham and Jacob, what are we to think
of the God who met Moses at the inn and tried to slay him, but who was
appeased by the blood shed by his wife in circumcising their son, or the God
whom Moses and Aaron and the elders saw in the mount standing, apparently, on
a "paved work of a sapphire stone," or the God who showed Moses his "back
is with no intent to appear irreverent, these things are there to be read by
anyone who chooses in the inspired book. They are difficulties that have
always been felt, and many have been the attempts to explain them, but none
that are very satisfactory that do not allow for very wide' degrees in the
amount of inspiration given to the different writers. These earlier pictures
are wholly inconsistent with the later ideas of the prophets and some (not
all) of the Psalms, as these again are immeasurably below the conception
offered in the New Testament. Probably this latest conception is what Bro.
Briggs refers to as the God of the Bible, but how does he explain or eliminate
the other God who is equally of scriptural record?
whole argument he defeats himself, particularly when he says:
Freemason is left to his own interpretation of the teachings of the Bible
concerning God, but when he rejects the authority of the Bible concerning God
it is time œor him to retire from the Order.
known only as he is revealed and Freemasonry finds in the Bible the revelation
of God which each Freemason is left to interpret for himself.
According to the first statement the man who accepts the jealous, vengeful,
threatening and domineering God first illustrated is entitled to become a
Freemason and to remain one, but the man who, like our "Lay Brother," rejects
this picture and attempts by philosophical reasoning to build up a conception
of God, not in human form perhaps, nor with inhuman passions, but nevertheless
including the attributes of the God of the Ten Commandments and of the
prophets, is to be rejected and expelled. It sounds rather absurd.
the second assertion, if Freemasonry finds in the Bible the revelation of God,
and this God is to be understood as the moral Being of the Ten Commandments,
and the loving Father of the Gospels, then no Freemason is free to interpret
the Bible for himself. He must accept the interpretation of the Fraternity.
Sad, if true, but ridiculous because it is not true.
is neither the time nor the place for a disquisition upon the Bible and
Freemasonry, and whether or not the Masonic Fraternity is obliged to consider
the Bible to be divinely inspired in the Fundamentalist sense. But there must,
however, be some explanation of this relationship if we are to come to any
conclusions upon the latitude to be allowed a member of the Craft in
conceiving God. There is, in the whole ritual, only one place where it may be
taken as implying that the Bible is considered to be inspired in the sense
that God alone is speaking, and that the thought of the writer does not enter
into the sacred word. It is said that "the Holy Bible is His inestimable gift
to man." The sentence in itself is ambiguous, and if the attitude of the
Fundamentalists in the Order is the only correct one it should be modified. If
not, it may well stand as it is unless those who might be called Modernists
insist like their Fundamentalist brethren that there is no view allowable but
their own. I think even our "Lay Brother" would be inclined to say that the
Bible was inspired by God. I cannot speak with authority on this point of
course, but I judge this to be the opinion from the general tone of his
article. It was not, however, inspired in the sense that every word in the
Bible is the literal word of God, but in the sense that every great and
important undertaking is inspired. In this sense Confucius, Buddha, Socrates,
Plato were inspired, and even Aristotle, Galileo, Copernicus and hundreds of
others who have opened fresh vistas to human thought and conquered new realms
of knowledge. There is nothing in such a view which conflicts with the ritual
most important argument in support of the view of a "Lay Brother" lies in
nearly the concluding paragraph of his article, where he says
I was not asked to define in precise terms just what the God I trusted and
believed in was, I can see no reason why anyone has any just cause for
complaint because I happen to hold to an opinion which differs from his. I do
not ask him to change his God and substitute mine in order to stay in the
Fraternity. I respect the opinions of others, they are doubtless as near right
as I am, and I leave them to enjoy such happiness as they may get from the
contemplation of their God. I ask no more for myself.
candidate is not asked to define his conception of God, and the Fraternity has
no right to ask him to define it. Since he has not been asked for a definition
of this God in whom he puts his trust what right have we as members of the
Masonic Fraternity to afterwards foist upon him dogmatic assertions that such
and such a thing must be believed or one cannot remain a Freemason? If he
accepts the Bible as only a sublime work of philosophy, history, literature,
or all three together, it makes no difference as long as he is willing that
the lessons he can derive from it for himself should constitute a rule and
guide to his faith.
distinctly told that Freemasonry is not a religion or a sect, unless it be
that a belief in the One Living and True God, whatever that may mean exactly,
makes it one. As long as a brother believes in something that, in a sense
significant to himself, he is able honestly to call God, it makes no
difference whether I or anyone else understand it in the same way or not. It
is GOD to him, and that is the only thing important. I think there is need for
tolerance, for less dogmatic criticism, for more appreciation of the views of
others, and for more intelligent interpretation of the ritual than has
hitherto been practiced. Some have understood it dogmatically and narrowly,
others, and they are many, are too indifferent to try to understand or give it
any meaning at all that affects themselves. Let the individual have his own
understanding of God; the Supreme Architect of Freemasonry will then be a
composite of the beliefs of all Freemasons and as such will be an all
embracing symbolical designation. Certainly it is far better for a man to
reject the view of inspiration held by the Fundamentalist and to believe in a
Great and Good God, than it is for him to believe that every word, every
phrase, every sentence of the Bible represents the utterance of the Almighty
and thus be forced to accept that terrible God of vengeance and bloodshed
which so much of the Bible presents to us.
Claudius, No. 21
Communicated by Bro. R. I. CLEGG
Transactions have been published during 1925-1926 for the first year of the
French Lodge of Research, St. Claudius, No. 21, of the National, Independent
and Regular Grand Lodge of France, recognized by the United Grand Lodge of
England. The Transactions are in pamphlet form, 5 1/4 by 8 1/2 inches, 32
pages, with a frontispiece of Colonel N. S. H. Sitwell, the first Master.
English is the native language of several of the members of the lodge and most
of the contents of this pamphlet are therefore in that tongue. An account of
the formation and progress of the lodge is given and there are the following
readable contributions to the proceedings: La Legende D'Hiram, in French, by
Colonel Sitwell, who also submitted two others, "An Attempt to Reply to a
Common Question" (What Is Freemasonry?) and "The Preparation in the First
Degree," a paper in French on "Martinisme," by Brother N. Choumitsky, "The
Conception of God in Freemasonry and Fatalism," by Worshipful Brother F. M.
Leslie, and another address by Brother Sitwell on the "Principles and
Foundations of the Order." The Transactions may be obtained for fifteen francs
from the Secretary of the lodge. Brother W. J. Coombes, 10 bis, Avenue
Gambetta, St. Germain-en-Laye (S.-&-O.) Paris, France. The Lodge of St.
Claudius is devoted exclusively to Masonic study and was organized in 1924,
the name being that of the first in order of the Four Crowned Masonic Martyrs
of Rome, or the Quatuor Coronati. At the constitution of the lodge several
interesting and useful gifts were made to the brethren. The volume of the
sacred law was presented to the lodge by Brother the Rev. W G. Allen, and is a
copy of the Erasmus Gospels, printed at Nuremburg in 1648, and is in the
original binding. A sword for the Director of Ceremonies was given by the
Worshipful Master, Brother Sitwell, and is a claymore used at the Battle of
Alma. The international character of this donation rendered it particularly
suitable for the use of the lodge. The Ashlars were cut from a stone quarried
at Jerusalem and were donated by Past Master Sharp. A medal or jewel for the
lodge was designed for it by Brother W. Haywood, who also made the tracing
boards from an old French pattern of 1745. The collars of the officers were
the old ones of Centre des Amis Lodge, No. 1. Other lodges in Paris have vied
with one another in furnishing additional articles for the service of this
Lodge of Research in France.
BRO. JOHN W. SHUMAN, California
in 1922 and '23 that my first opportunity I came to know Syrian Mohammedans.
During this time we had at the American University of Beirut, as students,
assistants, confreres and friends, quite a number of "the Faithful," the usual
name for the believers and followers of the Prophet Muhammed. The name Islam,
which the latter used for his new faith, means submission (to the will of God
implied) and "Moslem" is from the same root, meaning the one who submits.
Incidentally the Moslem call Christians and Jews "unbelievers"; the rest of
the world being "idolaters"; the distinction being that while it is admitted
that the former worship true God, only in a heretical way, the latter follow
after false gods.
sunny Syria religion is a very vital issue. Really it has about the same
meaning as politics in Europe and America. This Bible Land, where many
Americans send old clothes and good money to aid the numerous Western
Christian missionary institutions, has a large number of Ishmaelities in it.
About two-thirds of its fez-and-baggy-pantaloon wearers believe that "There is
but one God, and Muhammed is his Prophet!" This phrase is shouted every
morning and evening from the numerous minarets throughout the Orient to call
the Faithful to prayer.
Koran is their Bible. Do not attempt to read that book as I did--in one
continuous reading--it is entirely too heavy. As a result I do not remember
very much of it. It says, however, that the Moslems believe in, honor and
revere Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, as one of their "Eighty Prophets." It is
said also that they do not believe that so great a one was put to death by
men, but that he escaped and another was substituted for him upon the Cross
(most likely Simon of Cyrene who helped carry the cross along the Way of
Sorrow), nevertheless they heartily curse the Jews for even trying to put
Christ to death.
children are taught daily at school from the Koran by the Sheykh, who is the
teacher. In the market places the shopkeepers can be seen and heard reading
from The Book in a chanting sing-song manner. Those who can recite whole pages
every day believe that Allah will specially bless them. Saint Paul was pretty
hard on women; Muhammed was equally if not more severe on them. No wonder this
is a man's world--when both the Christian and Mohammedan religions make woman
subject to her lord and master, man !
ladies still wear the veil. Those in Constantinople wear thinner ones than
those in Syria, and so do the pretty ones! These don't put down the black mask
so quickly when passing a strange man, even in Damascus. Women are pretty much
alike the world over in some respects.
of our Moslem women hospital patients were over-modest according to our
American customs. Some insisted on putting the hospital-bed-gown right on over
their street clothes and then climbing into bed. A physical examination was
sometimes almost an operation, necessitating the untying, unbuttoning,
unhooking and unpinning by the nurses to get the patient's clothes off.
Kindness usually won, although occasionally a patient refused to go to bed on
account of this undressing. It does not pay to be too hard on folks, for if
the individual's peace of mind is destroyed he or she is uncomfortable and
unhappy, and not in a condition to benefit by treatment.
customs belong to another part of the world to ours. If they are changed by
our missionaries and so called Occidental influences, that country will be
robbed of much which now makes it attractive to the stranger visiting it, and
quite comfortable to the natives who have to live there.
Spirituous drink and pig meat are forbidden to pass the lips of the
"Believers." But the truth is that the Moslem is only a human being after all,
and not at all perfect any more than ourselves. Jews have been known to call
pork "fish" when they wanted to eat it; and Mohammedans will sometimes take
alcohol as "medicine." Like the Christian, the Moslem is liable to err. Arak
is the national spirituous drink of the country of the Vine and Fig, and it
carries a terrific wallop ! Cigarettes, the narghileh, coffee and sweetmeats
are indulged in by both sexes.
young Moslem is remaining true to "the Faith" in spite of Christian college
and university training. To all outward appearances they are still
Mohammedans. The modern educated Moslem, although seemingly convinced that
Mohammedanism is not as great or satisfying a religion as Christianity, will
remain true to the Mosque until the end of their days. We should appreciate
just what it means in Mohammedan communities and countries for the "Believer"
to change his religion. First, this Faithful one becomes Faithless and crushes
his parents, especially his mother, with a deep sense of disgrace. She would
much rather see him "a dead Moslem than a living Christian." We Westerners
have little conception of the love and reverence that an Oriental has for his
parents, especially his mother.
Second, it makes him break with his tribe. This break means more than the
average Christian imagines. To the tribe his position is secure if he stays
true, even though he is the offspring of a polygamous marriage. He may be poor
(it is an unfortunate thing to be) but the poor one's place in the tribe is
assured. The servant, shepherd, hammaul, scribe, judge or sheykh all have
their niche in the group. If one is sick he will get attention. If he dies he
will get a funeral. If he is loyal to the Ishmaelites, the Ishmaelites will be
loyal to him.
when he becomes disloyal to the Din (Religion) his tribe shuns him. He becomes
an outcast--boycott and ostracism being used against him. If he goes out in
the world of Gentiles he feels the finger of scorn pointed at him because he
was a Moslem, perhaps a polygamous child. At best he is doubtful of just how
the Christian will receive him, unless he comes to the Land of the Brave and
the Free--there is a Mosque in Detroit. We in this country know how society
receives an ex-criminal. He is invited to "move along," and he usually does
move--back to his former associates. It is only the rare one, if he be lucky,
who stays straight.
takes a vast amount of courage to face the consequences of renouncing one's
religion, especially if that religion be Mohammedanism. The convert pays a
heavy price. Should we judge him too harshly for not paying it ? The question
quite naturally follows: should Christians strive to sell him a religion which
costs so much? We should remember that many of our forefathers underwent
tortures, lingering and fatal, because they would not change their religion;
and we praise, honor and revere them, and have made saints out of many of
personally had so much in common with our Moslem friends that we had no time
to fight about our few religious differences. It didn't frighten us much to
have an American missionary, who had been born in Syria, say of one of our
Moslem friends, "Don't forget this fact, that if a religious uprising between
Moslems and Christians were to take place today Doctor So and So would try to
kill you!" I replied, "All is fair in love and war." This American friend had
his throat cut a year ago by his Armenian servant--a Christian !
next door neighbors in Beirut were Moslems. Their children and ours enjoyed
playing together in our spacious garden. Madame was sat down on by one or two
of the stiff conservative old-time missionaries, who said, "Don't let your
children play with these pagan natives, they will contaminate yours." Not much
"brotherly love" in that remark; the thing Christianity strives to teach
peaceful rest of a tired traveler in an Ishmaelite Bedouin Sheykh's home and
his hospitality is, I assure you, not surpassed elsewhere.
said that a Christian Medical Missionary who had lived and practiced medicine
in Syria for many years died. (He is one of the three men who translated the
English Bible into Arabic). When his "will was read" it was discovered that he
had appointed a Moslem Cadi (Judge) as administrator of his worldly goods.
Surely there were plenty of his fellow missionaries to have chosen from; but
none evidently compared, in his opinion, with this Cadi. This judge's son is a
graduate of the Medical Department of the A.U.B., and is the Moslem friend
referred to in the above paragraph. He is a credit to his sire. A missionary
recently wrote me, "The Moslems of L--are more honest in their dealings with
us than the Christians!"
land of Syria is a land of great faith, from Abraham unto the present time.
However the people do not have to exert much faith in reference to the feeding
of Elijah by the ravens. They say that raven was the name of a nomad tribe
that lived near the Jordan and carried cakes and water to Elijah, the prophet,
when he was in hiding. I had thought, like many others, that he was served by
the large black birds by that name, which are so numerous there; the kind that
Poe "quoth" about.
think "the locusts and wild honey" diet of John the Baptist contained the
flying (orthopterous) insects, which still come in swarms in some years, as in
Pharoh's and Moses' time. But we learned the locust is a long pod with two or
three beans in it which grows on a tree! From this bean-pod the natives make a
syrup called "dibs," which our kiddies enjoyed eating on their bread.
women have much in common. However, our Western women as a rule do not prefer
a fourth of a husband, as did one intelligent Moslem woman, a wife of a very
prominent Sheykh. She had her own children, house and servants, etc., and
seemed quite happy. When asked, "Is such an arrangement (meaning being one of
four wives) satisfactory?" she replied with the question, "Would you rather
own the fourth of a good stallion or all of a poor one ?" Strangely enough,
exactly the same reply was made by a cultivated Chinese lady in answer to the
inquiries of an American woman curious about intimate domestic arrangements.
our Western women would care to carry burdens on their heads as do the women
of Asia Minor and elsewhere in the East, or to trudge along in the dust of the
ass her lordly master rides upon. These women, however, are not of the upper
class. Our United states women prefer to have men look at their faces and not
through a black veil unless they have scarred and wrinkled features. Our own
women prefer to think and act for themselves so that they will keep fit for
fifty, sixty or more years, instead of growing old and fat at forty, and
giving place to a "favorite Fatima."
Oriental women love jewelry, use dyes, stains, paint and powder as makeup.
They and their men use lots of loud perfume, as registered by our Occidental
sense of smell. The stick for daubing black grease (kohl, or powder of
antimony) along the margin of the eyelids is used very much. It is falsely
thought that this will keep away eye diseases, especially chronic follicular
conjunctivitis (trachoma) which is so common in Asia.
woman in our women's medical ward gave every sign and symptom of lead
poisoning as a cause for her sickness. Positive proof of its source was
lacking until a lock of her hair was tested in a test tube with the proper
chemical re-agent, which showed the presence of lead. Her hair dye had lead in
it, which had poisoned her!
Ramadan is the time of the Moslem's yearly fast and lasts from new moon to new
moon during their ninth month, which compares to our May. They have a
different calendar from ours. This is their thirteenth century whilst it is
our twentieth. It is a period similar to our Lent, set aside for fasting,
almsgiving and self-denial. Most observe this rite by neither eating nor
drinking from 3 a. m. to sundown. Those who are more faithful refuse to
swallow their saliva during these hours. After this fast comes the feast, at
which time the fatted calf or sheep is killed and lively celebrations are in
the life ambition of Allah's devout ones to visit Mecca, the capital of Hejaz
in West Arabia, Muhammed's birthplace. Whilst we were in Beirut a mighty
pilgrimage was on, those coming from Cairo came by boats to Beirut and went on
East by automobile caravans. It is a question if the Prophet would advise his
pilgrims such ease and luxury in travel. Time changes all things. No doubt but
that in a few years Mecca will be made by air travel and these "Shriners" can
visit their Holy of Holies yearly instead of but once in a lifetime.
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
response to the announcement of the new course for study groups and
individuals has shown that there is a real and widespread desire for more
light among the members of the Craft, and a need for advice and guidance in
seeking it. The typewritten copies of the Syllabus were exhausted long before
the printed ones were ready, and this fact, plus the confusion of moving, has
caused some unavoidable delay in dealing with applications, for which we here
offer a general apology, and we hope that impatient members who are all "ready
to go" will exercise the virtue of patience, and throw over our temporary
shortcomings in this matter the cloak of fraternal charity. The printed copies
are now ready and should be duly sent out to applicants before this appears.
* * *
number of THE BUILDER has gone to press amid the confusion of moving.
Fortunately the major part of the work was done while the shadow only of this
catastrophic event hung over us. The moving of an office and its equipment is
problem enough, but when to this is added an extensive library and an enormous
mass of clippings, pamphlets and other like material it becomes very complex
indeed, if there is not to be a complete cessation of work. At the moment we
are in the very thick of it, and hope springs perennial in the breast because
it is difficult to imagine that "the worst is yet to come," seeing how bad
Seriously, the move will be very advantageous in many ways. Our old quarters
were becoming very cramped and no more space was available in the building.
Our new offices are not only more commodious, but also have the great
advantage that we are now under the same roof as our printers, which will save
much time and energy and going to and fro. To out-of-town visitors it should
also be more convenient as we are now within a short walk of the Union Railway
Station; and members of the Society passing through St. Louis, with an hour or
two to spare, will be able to come in and call on us. Previously we were, in
Biblical phrase, living under our own olive tree (there is no Fig street in
St. Louis), now we are shaded by a Locust. As it was the fruit of this shrub
that is supposed to have formed a large part of the diet of St. John the
Baptist, we offer the suggestion to our symbolists that here is a chance for
them to make out some mystical or occult connection. Lest this attempt at
pleasantry seem too obscure it may be as well to add as a clue to the mystery
that our present address is 1627 Locust street.
* * *
MILESTONE IN VIEW
would seem as if the time had at last come to really do something about the
Tuberculosis situation. We have had investigations and surveys until it begins
to remind us of the incident in Dickens' novel Bleak House, where a man wished
to assist a destitute woman without her knowing whence came the relief, and
left a considerable sum of money with a charitable organization for this
purpose. When he inquired about it later he was informed that the money had
been spent in investigating the case, while the woman was starving.
believe that the majority of the Craft are ready to help, the obstacles and
delays have largely arisen through official red tape. Questions of
jurisprudence, precedents, jurisdiction and so on seem to bulk very largely in
the eyes of some good brethren; further information is demanded, safeguards of
various kinds, lest some sovereign body should be contributing money without
controlling its disbursement, fears that some might receive more benefit than
others. There is nothing to say against this, laws and constitutions are meant
to be obeyed, precedents should be followed when possible, action should not
be taken without information‑but in the meantime hundreds of our brethren are
dying-slowly, and in great anguish of mind. Were any one of these pitiful
cases actually brought before their eyes there is not one of these objectors
but would do far more individually than is asked of the Craft at large, for if
every Mason in the country responded the price of just one meal would be
trouble is, the great difficulty to be overcome, is the lack of imagination,
the power to visualize the absent case which comes at second-hand through the
cold medium of words and figures. During the course of any one year there are
thousands of people who are killed by some accident; it causes no stir
whatever. But let a theater burn, or a train be wrecked or a ship lost at sea,
and at once everyone is filled with horror and sympathy. What is the
difference between a hundred or so people suffering at once in the same place,
or thousands in different places at different times? There was last year a
great catastrophe in Florida. Because disaster came suddenly to a great number
of people at once, the country was thrilled with horror, the Masonic
Fraternity among the rest. The different jurisdictions under the spur of
sympathy contributed large sums for relief. Why should it have been so easy to
do this at a moment's notice, and so hard to get anything done for the greater
need? So far as can be seen it is merely that the lesser emergency was more
spectacular, and so had greater appeal to the hearts of the brethren.
there are significant indications that at last things are beginning to move.
Everywhere influential Masons are thinking about the problem, it is beginning
to be realized that something must be done. The Grand Commander has
recommended to the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the
Scottish Rite that a sanatorium should be established. Most Worshipful Bro. E.
R. Bryan in his address to the Grand Lodge of Texas devoted considerable time
to the question. He quoted correspondence with the Executive Secretary of the
Masonic Service Association. Everyone intimate with the development and
progress of the Tuberculosis Campaign knows what the Masonic Service
Association has done in the matter, but it will interest them to learn what
the Executive Secretary had to say. He wrote to the Grand Master of Texas:
tremendously interested in Tubercular Relief, and the Masonic Service
Association is squarely behind the movement. Enclosed is a copy of the report
made to the Association by the Executive Commission at the last annual meeting
in Chicago, on the back of which is printed the report of the special
committee of the Association which was unanimously and enthusiastically
Unfortunately in spite of the enthusiasm and unanimity at Chicago, and
elsewhere where the problem has been discussed, no definite practical progress
was made; for which reason New Mexico organized the National Masonic
Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association on a most carefully devised plan to make it
a truly national body. Since it has been at work a great deal has been
accomplished. First and foremost the more pressing and urgent cases have
received emergency relief, which though it makes no such showing as a building
in brick and stone, has been nevertheless a truly Masonic structure.
the opportunity has now come to do something more definite, more tangible. The
Tuberculosis Association has the option of buying outright a Sanatarium put up
as a private venture which is to be sold to pay a mortgage. The sum required
is much less than it would cost now to erect equivalent buildings, and they
are in excellent repair. It is almost a providential chance, and the
Association is seeking to obtain the funds necessary to make the purchase. We
hope, therefore, that all members of the Society will exert their influence in
their own circle to the utmost to obtain support for this‑and the necessary
funds. Lodges or Study Clubs might do well to bring the matter up, to have
papers prepared to give the facts and figures that demonstrate the need.
Material enough for this has already appeared in the pages of THE BUILDER, but
if more be needed Bro. R. J. Newton will gladly furnish it. This is a real
opportunity for Masonic Service of the truest kind; let us not meet it with
merely passive approbation‑action is what is needed now.
Government arrogates to itself that it alone forms men. . . . Everybody knows
that government never began anything. It is the whole world that thinks and
governs. - Wendell Phillips.
* * *
Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich
need no protection - they have many friends and few enemies. - Wendell
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
meeting of the Board of Governors of the National Masonic Tuberculosis
Sanatoria Association, held in Chicago Nov. 19, 1926, a resolution was adopted
instructing the Association's officers to "begin the work of relief and
hospitalization at the earliest possible moment." The Board authorized an
appeal for the necessary funds for "immediate emergency relief end
first moneys received in response to this appeal for aid and assistance for
sick Freemasons and members of their families, will be expended for their
relief in homes and to pay for their care and treatment in existing hospitals.
In some cases the entire support of the patient and of the family may have to
be assumed. In others it will mean only partial support. In some instances the
cooperation of Masonic lodges and other Masonic bodies to which tuberculous
Masons belong will be secured, to pay all or part of the cost of care. On the
other band, we shall solicit cooperation in the administration of relief by
Masonic lodges and Masonic bodies and Masonic Boards of Relief in the cities
and towns where the patients reside. Similar cooperation by tuberculosis
societies, charity societies and from health and hospital authorities will
also be solicited. Such assistance will reduce to the minimum the overhead
expense of handling these cases.
addition to the physical examination of the patient to ascertain his condition
and his needs, for medical and hospital .care, every member of the patient's
family, and especially 'the children, living in the home of the consumptive,
must be examined by a competent physician to ascertain if they are tuberculous
or in danger of contracting the disease. In many cases hospital care, if given
in time, may prevent the consumptive's wife and children developing into
many cases, either the patient, or his children, will have to be removed from
the home for the protection of the children. In such cases it is usually to
the best interest of both patient and the family to remove the patient to the
hospital even though there be no hope of saving his life.
advice and assistance of experienced tuberculosis and charity workers, and
organizations, and of medical specialists in the treatment of tuberculosis,
will be available to the Sanatoria Association and will be secured in handling
this work of relief and hospitalization.
EDUCATIONAL WORK FOR PREVENTION
Board of Governors also instructed the officers to continue the educational
and publicity campaign:
disseminate among the Freemasons of America, and their families, and others,
scientific knowledge and useful information as to the causes and methods of
treatment for the prevention, relief and cure of tuberculosis; and as to the
purposes and objects of this corporation."
Tuberculosis educational work is carried on by 'Means of news items and
special articles in the Masonic and daily press; by the distribution of
literature; by lectures in "open meetings" of Masonic bodies, which lectures
are usually illustrated by stereopticon and moving pictures; by visiting
nurses and by other methods which will be developed. The cooperation of
tuberculosis workers and organizations will be available and will be secured
in all of this work.
National Tuberculosis Association, and its affiliated state and local
societies, give much credit for the great decrease in the mortality and
morbidity from tuberculosis during the last twenty years, to the great
national, popular educational campaign which has been conducted by these
organizations and by public health authorities.
NATIONAL MASONIC TUBERCULOSIS SANATORIUM
Board of Governors of the Sanatoria Association also directed the officers to
"have prepared, as soon as possible, definite data for the construction of a
Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium to be erected by this Association, the same to
be submitted to the governing Board at a later meeting."
information is now being secured for this purpose. From information given us
by the National Tuberculosis Association and others who have studied the
subject, it appears that the cost of tuberculosis hospital construction varies
from $2,500 to $5,000 a bed. This latter figure applies in the handling of the
more advanced cases, who are in need of the character of treatment given in
general medical and surgical hospitals. The housing of the ambulant and
semi-ambulant cases is not so expensive. In the inspection of recently built
tuberculosis sanatoria by the officers of the Association, several have been
found which are considered good examples of the type of institution which the
Association should provide for Freemasons, and which have cost not to exceed
$2,500 a bed.
planning of a public tuberculosis sanatorium it is customary to design the
institution so that it may be enlarged at a later date. This should be done in
the planning of the first Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium. The necessary funds
for the construction of a hospital of 100 to 150 beds can be secured in less
time than for a larger institution. The work of salvage can therefore be
started in a shorter period of time if a sanatorium of that size is determined
upon. A hospital of 100 to 150 beds would cost from $250,000 to $375,000.
planning of such an institution there should be a main building, in which men
patients will be cared for, and which may also contain the business and
medical offices, dining rooms and kitchen, club and social rooms, library,
etc. At a later date separate buildings may be provided for these departments
of the institution's activities. The heating plant may also be installed in or
adjacent to the main building, until such time as larger quarters are
main building may also house women and children patients, medical officers,
nurses and employees, until separate buildings can be provided for their needs
first, or men's building, should provide for the care of at least 100
patients. The building for care of women and children, which will be built
later, should provide for at least 50 patients.
buildings should be of fireproof construction. Patient's rooms should be
equipped with baths, or connecting baths, and with sleeping porches. The
building should contain the latest modern facilities that are found in the
highest type of private pay hospitals for care of the tuberculous, but no
extravagance should enter into the details of construction. The grounds of the
Masonic Sanatorium should be beautifully landscaped and made attractive to
both patients and visitors. A playground for the children should also be
DISCRIMINATION IN CASES
Masonic Sanatorium cannot discriminate in the admission of patients. Some
public and private hospitals refuse admission to the advanced and hopeless
cases because of the unfortunate effect their presence has upon the more
hopeful and possibly curable cases. Masonic obligations will compel us to
accept and care for Masons in the advanced and hopeless stage of the disease.
Their removal from homes is also necessary for the protection of their
families, especially the children of tender years. However, it is unfair to
the first and second stage cases, for whom there is every hope for "arrest" of
their disease, to have them in close contact with the men and women who are
near to death. As soon as possible, therefore, an infirmary, a separate
hospital building, must be provided to permit the segregation of the advanced
cases from the ambulant and semi-ambulant patients.
OF MASONIC CHILDREN
Provision must also be made for the care of tuberculous children. Many of the
little ones who are afflicted with bone tuberculosis are also suffering from
pulmonary tuberculosis. It has been found difficult, on that account, to
secure admission to Shrine and other hospitals for children with tuberculous
spines, or with hip or joint disease. The officials of Shrine Hospitals very
properly take the position that they must operate these institutions on the
principle of the greatest good to the greatest number. A child with a
tuberculous spine, or with a tuberculous hip or knee joint, requires months
and even years of care. His occupancy of a bed in a Shrine Hospital during
that time will prevent a number of other crippled children, whose deformities
may easily be corrected in a very short time by medical and surgical
treatment, from securing such treatment. It is, there fore, unfair to them to
admit the tuberculous child. But these children must be cared for and the
number of hospitals for their care and treatment is all too few in America.
Inasmuch as their condition is due, very often, to close association with a
tuberculous father or mother, and as the Masonic Fraternity has failed in the
past to protect them by hospitalization of their sick parents, it would seem
to be the Fraternity's duty to provide for their care in Masonic Tuberculosis
Sanatoria, as is the duty of the Fraternity to care for their sick fathers and
mothers. These children will have to be cared for in the main building until
the women's and children's building is constructed. After that building is in
operation, if their numbers justify it, a separate children's building should
making the ground plan, and in planning the buildings of the First National
Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium, all of the foregoing must be taken into
consideration and provision made for the enlargement of the institution
adequately to provide for the care and treatment of all cases, and for a
sufficient number of hospital buildings and beds for their care. It is not
expected, and it may not be necessary in the beginning of this work, to build
an institution of great size, but provision must be made for its development
to meet the demands which will be made upon it within the next few years, and
until such time as the need will require the construction of another Masonic
expert advice and assistance of the National Tuberculosis Association will be
secured in the planning of this Sanatorium.
site has been selected for the location of the First National Masonic
Tuberculosis Sanatorium. Doubtless many cities will offer sites, and some
cities will offer a cash bonus, to secure the location of this hospital. Such
offers must not be allowed to influence the selection of a location, but it
must be determined solely from the standpoint of the best interests of the
patients to be cared for in the institution. The advice and assistance of the
National Tuberculosis Association will also be secured in this important
is possible to find a "going" institution, an existing Sanatorium of adequate
size, and capable of enlargement as outlined above, and properly located, such
an institution may be purchased in order to enable the Association "to begin
the work of relief and hospitalization at the earliest possible moment."
FINANCE THE WORK
construction of the First National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium may be
financed by "selling" various units, or parts of the institution, buildings,
service rooms, patients' wards, bed rooms and sleeping porches to Masonic
bodies, and to organizations affiliated with Freemasonry, or whose membership
is based upon Freemasonry, and to individual Freemasons and members of Masonic
organizations, or individuals, may "buy" buildings, service units, wards,
beds, rooms and sleeping porches by paying the proportionate part of the cost
of their construction. Such organizations, or individuals, may also pay for
the furnishing or equipment of same.
Suitable tablets, or signs, will be placed upon all buildings and rooms in
acknowledgment of the contribution which paid for their construction, naming
the donor, or donors of such buildings, service units, wards, rooms, sleeping
porches and beds, or they may be named as memorials for some departed loved
one, either a member of the Masonic body making the contribution, or of some
member of a Masonic family. Contributions will also be accepted for memorials
Following is a list of Sanatorium Buildings, service rooms or units, patients'
wards, bed rooms and sleeping porches, with an estimate of their proportionate
part of the total cost of construction:
MASONIC TUBERCULOSIS SANATORIUM BUILDINGS
first buildings required, named in the order in which they should be
Building (or Men's Building) $250,000
Women's and Children's Building 125,000
Nurses' Building 25,000
Service Rooms, Main Building
Sanatorium offices, business and medical $ 5,000
Kitchen, pantries, etc 7,500
and club rooms 7,500
Library and reading rooms 5,000
Reception hall 7,500
Frigidaire and cold storage 5,000
Sanatorium offices, business and medical; the X-ray room, the social and club
rooms, the library and reading rooms could be combined in an Administration
Building. The kitchen, pantries, storage rooms, frigidaire and cold storage
and dining rooms could be combined in a Subsistence Building. There are many
advantages in having these departments of the institution's activities
divorced from the building in which the patients are housed.
Patients' Wards and Rooms
wards, Main Building, each $ 15,000
wards, Main Building, each 10,000
wards, Women's and Children's Building, each 10,000
Patients' rooms, Men's Building, each 1,500
Patients' rooms, Women's and Children's Building, each 1,250
Sleeping Porches, Men's Building, each 750
Sleeping Porches, Women's and Children's Building, each 500
Patients' Beds, each 260
will pay for a patient's room, sleeping porch and bed in the Men's Building;
$2,000 will pay for room, sleeping porch and bed in the Women's and Children's
Furniture and Equipment
room equipment $5,000
Kitchen equipment 2,500
Frigidaire plant 2,500
Medical and business offices 2,000
and social rooms 1,500
Reception hall 1,000
Furniture for bedrooms, each 150
Suitable tablets, or signs, will be placed in each room acknowledging the gift
and naming the contributor.
OF OPERATING THE SANATORIUM
will require at least one year of time to secure the necessary funds and to
construct the first buildings. There will be no expense of operation of the
hospital during that period. In the meantime sick Masons and members of their
families must be cared for in existing institutions.
the average cost of operating a tuberculosis sanatorium is given as $1,000 per
annum, in order to assure the best of care and treatment at $1,200 a year, or
$100 per month is a safer estimate for the first year of operation. This
amount will also secure treatment for our patients in private institutions
while the sanatorium is building. Contributions of $25, $50 and $100 and more
are asked to pay expenses of hospital care for one or more weeks or months of
Contributions of any amount, no matter how small, will be welcome, and will
help to "carry on" this work of salvaging sick men, women and children.
FIFTEEN CENTS, OR MORE, FROM EACH MEMBER
average contribution of at least fifteen cents ($.15) per member from all
Masonic bodies, and from all organizations affiliated with Freemasonry, or
whose membership is based upon Freemasonry, will finance the construction of
the First National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium, and the work of the
Because some bodies may not respond to the appeal, at least during this year,
it is hoped that many will contribute more than the average of fifteen cents
appeal is made to all such organizations to contribute, or pledge a
contribution, in an amount sufficient to pay the proportionate cost of some
unit of the Tuberculosis Sanatorium, and to do so at once.
appeal is also made to individual Freemasons, and to members of Masonic
families, to make contributions for the same purpose. The construction of this
first tuberculosis hospital presents a great opportunity to perpetuate the
memory of some loved one.
event that the total sum of contributions made by Masonic bodies average
fifteen cents per capita of the total number of American Freemasons,
3,2;50,000, a grand total of $487,500 would be available for Masonic
sum could be expended as follows:
Construction of a 100-bed Sanatorium $250,000
Operation of Sanatorium for one year 100,000
relief and hospitalization in existing sanatoria 100,000
Educational work for prevention - Administration 37,500
the great hurricane which devastated only a small part of the State of
Florida, an appeal was made for contributions of ten cents per capita for
Masonic relief work. This appeal met with generous response from the
if any, Masonic lives were lost in the hurricane. Few, if any, died as a
result of it. Many Masonic families were made homeless and received the aid
and comfort of the Craft.
Florida disaster cannot compare with the loss of Masonic lives and destruction
of Masonic homes caused by tuberculosis. Death is a welcome relief to the
average victim of tuberculosis, worn out by a year or more of suffering,
mental, as well as physical, for he knows that his continued presence in the
home endangers the lives of his loved ones. He also knows that the money
expended to prolong his life, deprives them of necessities and even food. Many
families are impoverished before the patient dies. Before or after the
patient's death the home, often, is broken up. Tuberculosis is, therefore, a
great, continuing daily disaster, worse than fire, flood, earthquake or
it require some such disaster, replete with drama, even though the loss of
life is insignificant, to arouse the Masonic Fraternity to a sense of its
duty? Can we not visualize the loss of human lives, the wreckage of Masonic
homes, the depths of women's sorrow, the end of children's happiness, caused
by tuberculosis? Can we not realize the bitterness of a dying Mason's belief
that his brethren have failed him in his hour of greatest need?
NATIONAL MASONIC TUBERCULOSIS SANATORIA ASSOCIATION
Herbert B. Holt, President, Grand Master Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Las
Cruces, New Mexico.
Alpheus A. Keen, Secretary, Masonic Temple, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Grand
Secretary, Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M.).
send contributions direct to the Secretary, Alpheus A. Keen, Masonic Temple,
Albuquerque, N. M.
* * *
much praise cannot be given to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico for inaugurating
and promulgating the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association.
ravages of the most dreaded known disease - the white plague - can be best
combatted and mastered by the wonderful climate of southern New Mexico,
Arizona and extreme southwest Texas.
statement I base on personal knowledge and observation during twenty-seven
years' constant traveling in that section as a traveling salesman.
bear testimony that the lives of many good men and women have been prolonged
and they have been restored to their loved ones because they were fortunate
enough to have the opportunity of spending a few years in that section, so
graciously blessed by the Almighty with a climate that has proclaimed to the
world its wonderful powers as a conqueror of the dreaded tuberculosis.
power to this wonderful organization, the National Masonic Tuberculosis
Sanatoria Association, for bringing this to, the attention of every Mason in
our beloved country and God speed their work.
old Missouri Mason permit me to add that nothing would be more pleasing to me,
and I think in so stating I voice the sentiment of thousands of Missouri
Masons, than to see the Grand Lodge of Missouri erect a memorial building in
connection with the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium to commemorate
the life and works of that noble, self-sacrificing, whole-souled man and
Mason, a former Past Grand Master and Governor of Missouri - Alexander M.
Director Masonic Home Board, Missouri.
* * *
Victor Aaron, Past Master Fidelity Lodge, No. 120, San Francisco, Cal., writes
have in our Fraternity 2,500,000 members. Let each Grand Lodge promulgate
legislation to the effect that the dues of each member are increased $2.00 per
year; the extra $2.00 to be forwarded to a central committee to be used for
the building of hospitals, etc., and the maintenance of all brethren so
afflicted, not only who may apply voluntarily but who may be found to be in
want of proper attention and can be induced to be moved to the proper place.
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
(Continued. All rights reserved)
Study Club for last month we discussed the working tools of the Operative
Masons of the Middle Ages and in especial the probable, or at least possible
methods employed in making and testing them, with a view to obtaining a
clearer understanding of the use of some kind of standard or test block in the
working lodges, and to explain how their nonoperative successors misunderstood
and misapplied statements that to a working Mason would be perfectly clear.
we have seen that in the version of the Old Catechisms that Prichard has
preserved for us it is said that the "rough" ashlar was "for the Fellow Crafts
to try their Jewels upon" and that the Confession said that the "Dinted"
ashlar was "to adjust the square and make the gages by." Now from France we
get another version, (1) published in 1744, which also connects a special
stone with the working tools the Craft, though in exceedingly absurd fashion.
The passage runs:
Quels sont les trois immobiles [bijoux] ? R. La Pierre brute pour les
Apprentifs; la Pierre cubique a point pour aiguiser les outils des Compagnons;
et la Planche a tracer sur laquelle les Maitres font leurs Desseins.
may be rendered:
What are the three immoveable [jewels] ?
rough stone for the Apprentices; the pointed cubical stones for the Companions
[Fellows] to sharpen their tools; and the tracing [or drawing] board on which
the Masters make their designs.
accompanying illustration (2) is taken from a design that was reproduced in
all the various reprints and editions of this work that we have examined.
There were a great many, and they appeared under many different titles, though
the substance remained very much the same. It is said to be a "Plan of the
top, on the left, is la pierre brute, on the right the pointed cubic stone.
The axe resting on it is presumably one of the tools to be sharpened ! This
bright idea, however, was evolved by somebody absolutely ignorant of the craft
of the stone shed. Masons' tools of course are not sharpened like those of
wood workers. They are tempered much harder, and the angles of the cutting
edges are so obtuse that grinding would be an exceedingly slow and tedious
process. The method is to heat them in a forge and draw them out on the anvil.
The edge may be filed while still hot, after which the tool is heated again,
hardened and retempered. It sounds somewhat complicated, but a blacksmith does
it very quickly-a forge is a necessary adjunct to every stone-yard or quarry.
this French version several changes will be noticed, which will be discussed
later, at present it is to be noted that the account in this work, the origin
of which is really as uncertain as that of Prichard or of the Confession, is
not a translation of either, nor of any of the other known documents; yet it
in many respects parallels them. We may assume that it is derived from an
otherwise unknown variant tradition--much sophisticated and edited in the
process. It bears manifest traces of being a very literal translation into
French from an English original, and the translator seems to have been hard
put to it to give any intelligible rendering of the obscure passages.
first sight it would seem that this explanation of the use of the wrought
stone as intended to sharpen tools on was merely a wild guess thrown in for
the purpose of explanation, but against such a supposition is the fact that
there is no
attempt to explain the "brute" stone. A somewhat later version of the
catechisms in much better French, it appeared in 1745, omits the clause
altogether and merely says that it is assigned to the Fellowcrafts; and one
may guess that perhaps the omission was due to a realization of the absurdity
of the statement as it stood. This fact also tends to confirm a suspicion that
it may have been a last, faint, entirely misunderstood echo of a real
Operative tradition. The closer these old documents are examined the more the
student comes to realize the astonishing vitality that phrases and odds and
ends of tradition seem to have. They are displaced, modified, reinterpreted
and misapplied, and yet in spite of all recognizably retain their identity. In
any case this 1745 French account confirms the others in connecting a
specially worked stone with the tools of the Craft. It is doubtless altogether
too hazardous to suppose that in this idea of its being a glorified whetstone
on which edge tools were rubbed to sharpen them we may have a very faint
reflection of the method spoken of earlier of truing a wooden rule or straight
edge by rubbing it on the surface of a squared stone. However, seeing that we
are trying to explore every possibility the suggestion is thrown out for
whatever it may be worth.
have said that this account is an independent version; it agrees nevertheless
with Prichard in dividing the jewels into two sets of three, and in regard to
those designated "moveable" there is complete agreement as to what they are,
and their order; although instead of their uses being explained we are merely
told that they are carried respectively by the Master and the "First" and
FOR THE TERMS MOVEABLE AND IMMOVEABLE
going further it may be as well to discuss this division and the descriptions
of the two classes. Mention was made of the fact that these designations were
reversed for some reason, not very apparent, by the Baltimore Convention in
1843, (3) so that the moveable became the immoveable and vice versa. The best
account that we have so far been able to discover of what was done is that of
Chas. W. Moore, which was reproduced in THE BUILDER for September, on page
283. One gathers from this statement that there were differences existing, and
the best way to account for the decision reached is to suppose that the
members of the Convention had no other light on the subject than that of
unaided reason or imagination--both, in such matters, very fallacious guides.
In all probability the original division of the two groups, and the names
applied to them, were due to very simple and matter of fact reasons. The
square, level and plumb, as "collar" jewels of the three officers of the
lodge, were concere objects and obviously and literally moveable in the
ordinary sense of the word. The other three were originally representations
drawn inside the square diagram on the floor and were equally obviously and
literally immoveable. When later the floor diagram went out of use, and it
became in many places customary to have real stones to represent the ashlars,
the original straight forward distinction no longer in fact applied, hut it
was nevertheless retained by natural conservatism, and eventually became the
subject of symbolical speculations, resulting finally, so far as America is
concerned, in an exchange of the epithets. Though, as we have noted, the rest
of the Masonic world retains the older usage.
regard, then, to the immoveable jewels, properly so designated, the order is,
it will be observed, reversed in the French version. The "brute" or unworked
stone is named first, the "tracing board" last; nevertheless there seems to be
substantial agreement. The rough stone is for the apprentice, the drawing
board for the master, the wrought stone for the Fellows, and it has some
connection with their tools. But in spite of this general agreement there
appears to have been an underlying confusion, for it would seem as if la
pierre cubique a pointe was not a translation oœ either the "dinted" or the
"square" ashlar, but rather an attempt to render "broached thurnel" into
French; while we can only suppose that la pierre brute came from something
equivalent to Prichard's "rough" ashlar, which, as we have tried to show, was
probably a wrought stone.
other words, it would seem that while the things themselves were correctly
remembered and properly assigned to the three grades, the names of two of them
had been transposed; a change that has led to much subsequent misapprehension
and error. We may now ask how the original confusion arose. It is possible to
suppose that the translator knew that there were two stones, one partly worked
or rough, and one finished for the purposes of a standard. If his original was
something corresponding to Prichard's version he might very naturally take the
so-called "rough" ashlar to be the first of these two, and this, by
elimination, would lead him to suppose that the broached dornal, or thurnel,
was the stone squared for the purpose of serving as a standard, as Mackey much
later seems to have done also; for under "Ashlar" in his Encyclopaedia he says
that the place of the Perfect Ashlar "was supplied by the Broached Thurnel,"
which was, of course, only his interpretation of the facts as known to him.
This, then, would account for the description cubique. But what was the
translator to make of the term "broached"?
ORIGIN OF THE BROACHED THURNEL
has been pointed out, notably by Mackey, and also by others since he wrote,
that in parts of England the word "broche" is still used as a term for a
certain type of church steeple. In France the word is in common use with the
meaning of spit, spindle, pin, skewer, knitting needle, awl and so on, any
object or implement, in short, that is long, narrow and pointed. It is
therefore not impossible that it might have been translated a pointe. The
objection to this is that one might rather have expected the translator to
have rendered it by d broche, or even, perhaps, brochee, seeing that the verb
brocher, though usually meaning to work with a needle as in embroidery, is
used of shoeing horses (possibly because of the long, slender head of a
farrier's hammer) and so might conceivably have been transferred to the use of
a sharp mason's hammer or pick in working stone. The point is, it seems very
curious that he should have interpreted it by a local English usage when he
could have used a more literal rendering on the basis of the French language.
It is therefore possible that his original did not read "broached," but that
some attempt had already been made to explain it in England, or even that it
was some variant operative technical term that he had before him. Had it been,
for instance, "the pointed ornal," or more likely "the pointed stone," this
rendering would have been almost inevitable supposing the translator did not
know exactly what it meant. Because such a term would not mean to a working
mason anything in the least like the interpretation a non-operative would be
apt to give to it. The latter would very naturally take the epithet to refer
to the shape of the stone, and would thus be led, if he supposed it to be a
worked stone, to picture it in something like the form we find in the old
French designs. An operative, on the other hand, would take the term to refer
to the method of working, i. e., that it had been done with a "point."
Prichard himself says the "broached" stone was for the apprentices "to learn
to work upon," but the Confession quite unmistakably uses the technical term
and says "to broach," showing that this was a method or process of working
stone; and indeed the word is to be found in the New English Dictionary with
this meaning given to it. As this anonymous account, the Confession, bears all
through it patent evidence of being in close touch with operative usages we
may feel safe in giving it the preference. Working masons could not possibly
be guilty of the blunder Prichard's version makes in this place regarding the
testing block. We are therefore, on the whole, inclined to think that the
misconception, and the resulting transposition to correct a supposed mistake,
had been made before this tradition was carried across the English Channel.
Oliver seems to have been puzzled by it, and in his Dictionary of Symbolical
Masonry remarks that the Broached Thurnel
. . .
was one of the original immoveable jewels, and was used for the E. A. P. to
learn to work upon. It was subsequently called the Brute Stone or Rough Ashlar.
in his Encyclopedia undertakes to correct this, and under the same head tells
Oliver, most probably deceived by the use to which it was assigned, says that
it [the Broached Thurnel] was subsequently called the Rough Ashlar. This is
evidently incorrect, because a distinction is made in the original lecture
between it and the Rough Ashlar, the former being for the Apprentice and the
latter for the Fellowcraft.
OR TRASEL BOARD
"original lectures," or "Anderson's lectures," as he elsewhere calls them,
Mackey means Prichard's Catechism, which by the way he apparently knew only in
one of the many later reprints, as he gives the form "Tarsel Board" instead of
"Trasel Board." This uncorrected misprint (as it undoubtedly is) has been
another fertile source of confusion, and has led a number of Masonic writers
into fanciful speculations. There has been another curious mistake made too,
due presumably to the extreme rarity of the early editions of Prichard and the
consequent difficulty in examining them. For instance, the late G. W. Speth, a
good many years ago, (4) made some notes on the subject of the Broached
Thurnel, in which, by the way, he mentioned that it appeared in the lectures
of an obsolete degree called "Geometrical Master Mason" (as we believe it is
also in the ritual of the Royal Order of Scotland) and he went on to say:
Prichard's Masonry Dissected of about 1777 (and possibly earlier, but not in
1730) gives as the three jewels "Tarsel Board, Rough Ashlar and Broached
italics in the parenthesis are ours. Much later Bro. Dring, in his most
important paper on The Evolution and Development of the Tracing or Lodge Board
(5) makes a similar statement:
later editions of Masonry dissected ( such as that of 1774), i. e., after the
publications of the translations of the French Rituals, the catechism is
amplified thus . .
goes on to quote the questions and answers we have already given relative to
the Furniture and Jewels. He refers here to a number of works published under
various titles after 1760, which were poor translations back into English of
the French versions already spoken of, and he supposes that later publishers
of Prichard's work improved it by borrowing from these.
there were four editions of Prichard put out in 1730. (6) They were all sold
out very rapidly and the interval between them is to be measured in days
rather than months. They are also all very scarce. The first was very
carefully reproduced with all its typographical peculiarities by Enoch T.
Carson, the well-known American Masonic student and bibliophile. It is evident
that Bros. Speth and Dring were familiar with the contents of the original
edition, either directly or through the medium of this reprint, and that they
also respectively knew some later edition, Speth apparently one of 1777 and
Dring a somewhat earlier one of 1774. They apparently also took it for granted
that all the intervening reprints up to 1760 or 1770 were the same as the
original edition. This, however, was not the case.
examination of the text of the first edition shows a number of obvious
mistakes, mostly very unimportant in themselves, yet that cumulatively give
the impression that it was a very hasty production, and that very little time
had been given to the proof reading. In the second edition the greater part of
these were corrected, and besides this eleven questions and answers were also
inserted in the first part. This inserted material includes precisely the
items we are discussing. It thus appears that these two eminent authorities
were misled through not having seen the second and third editions. Whether
Prichard was responsible for this revision or someone else is a matter of no
moment, for, after all, he is only a name to us. The important point is that
this matter about the Furniture and Jewels, which Bro. Dring supposed to be
borrowed from other works published after 1760, did actually appear in 1730
within a few weeks of the original publication. In the second and third
editions we have the form "Trasel Board." Not having had the opportunity to
compare a sufficient number of later reprints we are unable to say when the
"r" and "a" were transposed, but probably much later than 1730; and the
transposition is obviously a printer's error and of no significance whatever.
Thus we find the first mention of moveable and immoveable jewels is actually
in one of the earliest printed accounts that have come down to us.
MACKEY AND DR. OLIVER
Returning now to Mackey's attempt to set Dr. Oliver right, we see that he was
himself mistaken. Inevitably so, we must say, with the information he had at
hand. Nevertheless Dr. Oliver had in reality correctly stated the sequence of
events, which was all he attempted to do; the "Broached Thurnel" or "roughed"
stone for (or of) the Apprentices had become in French the "Brute Stone," and
this subsequently reappeared in English as a "Rough Ashlar," which, however,
was not really the same thing as that spoken of by Prichard under the same
term. The transposition of names it was that caused all the confusion. Dr.
Oliver assumes a change of names, which we have seen reason to believe to be
what really happened. Mackey supposes a mistake in ascription--that the wrong
objects were assigned to the two grades in the French versions, which,
curiously, was also done in later versions. [See Note 1.] The whole matter is
very complicated and we only hope that our attempt to elucidate it has not led
to confusion being worse confounded. It is a good example, however, of the way
in which errors have arsien, that later have had far-reaching results.
original mistake, it would appear, was in Prichard, or rather the tradition he
represents; of which, we as have suggested above, there have been other
variants now lost, or known to us only through the French. The key to the
puzzle is, we think, to be found in the Confession. This describes the
standard test block as a "dinted ashalr." On account of the strongly operative
character of this account, we are practically forced tot he conclusion that in
the terminology of Scottish working masons of the time the term "dinted" would
be equivalent to "worked" or "finished." Stone is finally brought to a smooth
surface by the use of a tool now known in some places as a "bush hammer" or
"dressing hammer." In this the face, or more often both faces, of the head is
cut into a number of grooves of triangular section, thus making a series of
sharp parallel edges. It appears to be the same implement that has been called
the "claw tool" by a number of English writers, on what authority we do not
know. It is spoken of as first coming into general use at the beginning of the
Gothic period of architecture, when it replaced the rougher work done with the
"axe" or "common gavel." This last is now generally known as a stone mason's
hammer. one in which the "pene," or thin end of the head, is drawn out to a
sharp edge parallel with the handle. Both implements are shown in the
thirteenth century window at Chartres, a drawing of which was reproduced in
the December number last year on page 375. Next month we will endeavor to show
how the finished test block came to be erroneously described as a "rough
This is Travenol's Catechisme des Frances Macons, the earliest French expose
extant, though there may been another somewhat earlier. It was followed in
1745 by Le Sceau Rompu (The Seal Broken) in which the order of the immoveable
jewels is reversed, beginning with the Tracing Board and ending with the
"Brute Stone" which is ascribed to the Apprentices, the "Pointed cubical
stone" is assigned to the Companions as before, but there is no explanation of
purpose in either case. A second work of Travernol under a new title repeats
this two years later, but a third edition under yet another title, Le Nouveau
Catechisme, changes the earlier ascription, giving the Brute Stone to the
Companions to work on, and the pointed stone for the Apprentices to sharpen
tools. This was published in 1749. It is obvious that the tradition was strong
in spite of attempts to rationalize it.
This design appeared in THE BUILDER for May, 1925, page 152, as an
illustration to the article by Bro. W.W. Covey-Crump on the "Evolution of
English Lodge Boards."
THE BUILDER, October, 1926, page 313.
A.Q.C. xii, page 205
Ibid. xxix, page 257
Masonic Reprints, No. 1 by John T. Thorp, page 10.
RECORDS OF THE LODGE OF ANTIQUITY
a letter from Captain Firebrace, formerly Prestonian Lecturer of the Grand
Lodge of England and a Past Master of Antiquity Lodge. He has just written me
in regard to a new volume of the records of this famous organization.
is now the second lodge on the register of the United Grand Lodge of England
and one of the four that combined to form the first Grand Lodge in 1717. It
only lost its numerical pre‑eminence by chance at the Union at London in 1813
of the two Grand Lodges, There being many such pairs of numbers on the two
lists of lodges, the famous Lodge of Antiquity lost its premier place by the
accident of drawing lots for the future positions on the roster. Bro. W. H.
Rylands, notable for his able labors in Quatuor Coronati Lodge, and equally
enthusiastic in the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, wrote volume one of a history
of the latter body. His death prevented Bro. Rylands from continuing the work
which has been taken up by Bro. C. W. Firebrace, Past Master of Antiquity
Lodge and formerly the Prestonian Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of England. Bro.
Firebrace has completed a limited edition of the second volume which commences
with the year 1777 and contains the largest part of the Masonic career of
William Preston whose Illustrations of Freemasonry inspired Thomas Smith Webb
and other early ritualists in the United States in the formulation of our
well‑known Masonic Monitors. A copy of Bro. Preston's will is in the text and
this has especial significance and value to the members of the Craft. There
are also many other interesting details recorded of Bro. Preston that are new
to Masonic students. There is also an account of the Union of the English
Grand Lodges in 1813. Other points of consequence in Masonic history are
recorded. The Lodge of Antiquity offers the opportunity to the brethren of
obtaining this second volume for two guineas a copy, say $10.30. Those
interested may address Capt. C. W. Firebrace, St. Stephen's House,
Westminster, London, S. W. 1, England.
I. Clegg, Illinois.
ERNEST E. THIEMEYER
an ancient tradition that every active member of THE BUILDER Staff must pass
through the ordeal of having his portrait presented to the members of the
Society with some account of his life history in the Craft. It was not without
difficulty that this photograph of Bro. Thiemeyer was secured, he having some
absurd idea that he ought to be an exception to this wholesome rule. We also
extorted the following facts concerning him: His father was a Mason before
him, which naturally led him to seek initiation in due time. He joined Tuscan
Lodge, No. 360, one of the principal lodges in St. Louis, in 1924, and was
raised June 10 of that year. That his first preparation to be made a Mason was
thorough is attested by his eager pursuit of Masonic light. He very rapidly
perfected himself in the ritual and took almost from the first an active part
in the instruction of candidates for the several degrees. This was not enough
to satisfy him, however, and he began an earnest attempt to make himself
familiar with the symbolism, history and theories of origin of the Order, and
made such progress that within a very short time he came to be regarded as an
authority, not only by the members of his lodge, but also by the Craft
generally in St. Louis. He was active in the formation of the Study Club of
Tuscan Lodge which was begun in 1925, and which has accomplished much, and
promises to do a great deal more. He took under his charge the library of the
lodge, and under his management it promises to become one of the best equipped
in the State of Missouri.
1926 he joined Cabany Chapter, No. 140, of the Royal Arch. This being at
present the limit of his attainment in Masonic grades.
an alumnus of the University of Missouri, where he specialized in chemistry
and geology. But beyond this he had a wide range of interests in history and
general literature. THE BUILDER, and in especial the Editor in charge, is
happy to have the services of such an able coadjutor. His official title is
Research Editor, but he has taken a multifarious and miscellaneous lot of
duties upon himself and bids fair to leave the Editor little or nothing to do
but to occupy the mythical easy chair and look as ornamental as possible.
books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Rook 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.
OF ARC, MAID OF FRANCE. By Albert Bigelow Paine. Published by Macmillan Co.
Two volumes, cloth, table of contents, illustrated, plates and maps, index,
867 and 379 pages. Price $11.00.
result of the ultra-scientific trend of modern thought has been the conception
that history must be impartial, and the historian a cool and detached recorder
of the great personalities and events of human story. That was not the idea of
most of the great historians of the past; and a moment's reflection will show
that such cold impartiality is practically impossible. No human being who has
studied a period until its characters have come to life and its politics
become living issues for him - and such study and such feeling of the past as
vitally alive are essential for the true historian - can avoid forming likes
and dislikes, loves and hatreds, or fail to take one side or the other in the
great conflicts he studies and records. Burning enthusiasm for a heroic
character and a noble cause give force and energy to Motley's Rise of the
Dutch Republic, and it is largely because Macaulay writes as a Whig that his
history makes its readers feel that they are living in the time of the
"Glorious Revolution." To say, therefore, that the chief merit of Albert
Bigelow Paine's Joan of Arc, Maid of France, is its partiality, is not
paradoxical. Mr. Paine is whole-heartedly on the side of the pope who
canonized, and against the bishop who condemned Saint Joan; and it is his
enthusiastic admiration for the Maid of Orleans which has fired him to delve
into the documents which record her doings and sayings, to spend what must
have been delightful months following the footsteps of the Maid from Domremy
to Rouen, visiting every place in which his heroine stayed or by which she may
have passed, and, after exhaustive preparation, to give such a picture of the
peasant-maiden who crowned a king, that his readers can hardly fail to feel
that they too are living in the fifteenth century, members of the devoted band
inspired by the cry, "Forward with God," to storm the English bastilles and
free the beleagured city of Orleans.
Joan lends herself to this reverential and enthusiastic treatment, for she is
one of the most striking examples of that rare but inspiring type of
character, the soul with a mission. Her battle-cry, "Forward with God,"
reminds one of Cromwell's fervent, "Sir, this was none other but the hand of
God" and with such personalities a cool and wary attitude is a mistake. One
must believe in the mission as the gallant Jean de Metz and the hard-swearing,
hard-plundering La Hire believed, or reject the missionary as an impostor with
Cauchon. Mr. Paine has done wisely in following de Metz and La Hire, for it is
belief that makes the world go round, and that gives force and fire to the
Preoccupied with the character and fortunes of his heroine, with the desire to
present us with a living portraiture of personalities and events, Mr. Paine
devotes little or no direct attention to the character of her mission. But as
he draws for us her double role of heroine and martyr, the inspiring leader of
the relief of Orleans and the march on Reims, and the solitary figure fronting
the fire of questions from the forty to sixty black-robed priests at Rouen, we
appreciate the accuracy of the estimate of the Maid in a very different work -
Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan. In the scene between Warwick and Cauchon (Scene
IV), Joan is described as standing for Nationality and Protestantism, and the
description seems amply justified as one reads Mr. Paine's book. But Joan
herself was not apparently aware of the two-fold character of her attitude.
The national aspect of her mission, the call to drive out the English invaders
and restore France to her king and people, to unite the hostile factions and
localities, to reconcile the dukes of Brittany and Burgundy to their sovereign
and create a national unity, this was abundantly clear to her, and she is
inspired and successful until Orleans is relieved and the crown duly placed on
the brow of Charles. Her other aspect as a Protestant, the peer of Wyclif and
Huss as Cauchon points out in the play, as standing for the direct relation of
the individual to God and the Church Triumphant, without reference to the
Church Militant, she does not seem to have grasped. She felt that she herself,
lay-woman as she was, had been in direct relation with the heavenly powers,
but she did not appreciate in the slightest how this fact and her refusal to
submit these relations to the constituted authorities of the church made her a
heretic in the eyes of the ecclesiastics of her day. In all probability she
could much better understand the position of the English soldiers who clamored
to have her burned as a witch than that of the priests who strove to convict
and convince her of heresy. It is here that the true pathos of Joan's fate is
to be found. A loving and devoted daughter of the church, assiduous to a
degree in the performance of her religious duties, she was yet accused and
condemned on the charge of heresy, and technically the verdict was just.
Vividly as it depicts the character of its heroine and the scenes and events
of her metoric career, Mr. Paine's book suffers slightly from the defects of
its qualities. Essential for the production of a feeling of life and reality
in the presentation of a character of five centuries ago, enthusiastic
admiration can yet be carried too far and weaken the effect at which it aims.
When the author, for example, declares of her uncle, Durand Laxart, who took
her to Vaucouleurs and helped to equip her, that "No king ever did so much for
France," the recollection of such names as those of Philip Augustus and Henry
IV makes the reader feel a lack of balance in the admiration and tend to adopt
a critical attitude fatal to the full enjoyment of Mr. Paine's otherwise
delightful work. Nor can hero-worship fail to be in some measure unjust. It
must look upon the other side as composed mainly of fools or scoundrels. That
the defeated English, with the memories of Crecy and Poictiers and Agincourt
fresh in their minds; not realizing the nature of the new inspiration with
which Joan had fired their adversaries; seeing war-hardened captains like
Talbot defeated by a "simple village lass," and living, be it remembered in
the 15th not the 20th century, should ascribe their defeats to witch-craft,
was inevitable; and in view of contemporary thought they might well believe
that in burning the witch they were only doing their duty to mankind and that
which was "well-pleasing in the sight of the Lord." When we read in such a
modern work as Margaret Murray's Witch-Cult in Western Europe, a scholarly
argument in favor of the view that Joan actually was a witch (i. e., according
to Miss Murray, a follower of a survival of the pre-Christian religion of
Western Europe), we may feel that Warwick and Cauchon had some justification
for their actions.
defects are, perhaps, an inevitable result of the real and great merits of the
book, and it is more just to the author, and certainly much more pleasant for
the reader, to pass them over and dwell again on the great value and charm of
the work: Its vivid portrayal of one of the most fascinating personalities in
history; its restoration of a great episode of the past in such life – like
fashion that the reader feels actually present at many of the scenes
described, and above all the inspiration afforded by its generous and whole-souled
admiration of a great and noble character.
public career was a whirlwind one of "a year - or little more," and Mr.
Paine's account of it carries one along in a fittingly speedy fashion, aided
by the form in which the two volumes have been published. The clear, uncrowded
type favors the rapidity of reading necessary for a full appreciation of the
,(movement of the times," and the abundant and excellent illustrations assist
the imaginative reconstruction of the past by the author. Amid the host of
cheap, if necessary, publications of this mass-production age, it is
delightful to meet so excellently published a work.
* * *
PILGRIMAGE OF 1926; Being the Official Journal of the Knights of St. John. By
Col. E. J. King, C.M.G., F.S.A., Knight of Justice of the Order. With an
introduction by Maj.-Gen. the Earl of Scarborough, G.B.E., K.C.B., F.S.A.,
Knight of Justice and Sub-Prior. Privately printed for the Order
rather a pity that only four hundred copies of this exceedingly interesting
book were printed, for though the Knights of St. John, called at various times
in their history Hospitallers, Knights of Rhodes and Knights of Malta, have no
connection whatever with the Masonic degree or order of the same name as the
last mentioned, there is no doubt that many Masonic Knights Templar would have
been glad of an opportunity to purchase the work for the sake of the
information it contains, which would have brought some extra funds to the
charitable coffers of the English tongue of the ancient order. Under the
circumstances it will perhaps be best to summarize as far as possible the
facts more or less incidentally recorded by the author that will most interest
Masons and Masonic Knights of Malta.
well known the order was founded in Jerusalem in or about the year 10123 by
certain merchants of Amalfi, who purchased the site of the hospice that had
been established by Charlemagne, and destroyed in 1010 by order of the then
Caliph. On this site they founded a hospital for pilgrims to the Holy City,
which was in charge of monks of the Benedictine Order, and which was dedicated
to St. John the Baptist. The head of the hospital, known erroneously as Gerard
Tune, in some way or other assisted the Crusaders when they besieged and took
Jerusalem. The tales told about this are rather mythical, but the influence
thus acquired he used to enlarge the hospital under the Christian regime. Land
was granted by Godfrey de Bouillon and donations were received from many other
quarters. In 1113 the Pope took the new order, which had now adopted the rule
of the Augustinians, under his special and immediate protection. It was
Raymond de Puy who seems to have added to the purely charitable functions of
the order that also of defending and convoying parties of pilgrims. The
members of the order were monks, and vowed to poverty especially as well as
chastity and obedience. It was later than this that its aristocratic character
came into evidence.
full flower of its organization, in the 14th century, when it held lands all
over Europe as well as in the East, it was divided into Langues, or Tongues,
which approximately coincided with national divisions. The Langues were
divided into Provinces under Grand Commanders, these into Commanderies under
Grand Priors, and these again into, smaller groups of manors under Preceptors.
At the head was the Grand Master, elected from the ranks of the Knights of
Justice. The latter were those qualified by birth; Knights of Grace were those
who had attained the rank by special merit.
1291 the Mohammedans stormed Acre, the last place left to the Christians, and
the Grand Master withdrew to Cyprus, and in 1306 the Knights, in confederation
with Genoese pirates, descended on Rhodes and took it from the forces of the
Greek Emperor, and held it thereafter for about two hundred years. In 1453 the
Turks took Constantinople and about thirty years later started seriously to
drive the Christians from Rhodes. After several failures, Suleiman, the
Magnificent, besieged the island, and after a long defense the Knights
capitulated and withdrew with the honors of war to Crete. Five years later
they established themselves at Malta, this being in 1530. At this time the
Reformation was well under way in Germany and the master and Knights of the
bailiwick of Brandenburg accepted the reformed religion without, curious as it
seems, breaking off connection with the order. In England the refusal of the
Grand Prior and the Knights to accept the Supremacy of the Crown over the
Church led to its practical suppression by Henry VIII. Their property was
confiscated and the members of the order were scattered.
1565 a tremendous attack was made on Malta by the Turks, and under the
leadership of LaValette, Grand Master, it was defeated. From then on the
Knights maintained a virtual supremacy over the Mediterranean sea, and were
the chief bulwark of Christian Europe against the constant raids and attacks
of the Mohammedans. In 1798 von Hompesch surrendered to Napoleon and retired
to Trieste. Many of the Knights however took refuge in Russia. In 1814 the
French Knights summoned a Chapter General and elected a Permanent Commission
for the government of the order, which was recognized by the Italian and
Spanish Langues, by the Pope and by Louis XVIII. In 1826 this Commission
suggested the restoration of the English Langue, with the idea of obtaining
the assistance of England in obtaining possession of some one of the islands
in the Mediterranean to be a new headquarters for the order. This was carried
out and the Rev. William Peat, Chaplain to George IV, was chosen as Prior in
1831. It appears that Queen Mary of England and her husband, Phillip of Spain,
had granted a charter for the revival of the English Langue which, as has been
noted, was suppressed by her father, Henry VIII, but this had never been acted
on, and in consequence had never been revoked. Sir William Peat was thus able
to qualify himself for the post according to law by taking the oath de fideli
administratione in the Court of King's Bench. In 1888 Queen Victoria granted a
new charter, and a year later the Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward VII, was
elected and installed Grand Prior. However, though this restoration was made
by the authority of the recognized governing body of the Sovereign Order, it
was afterwards repudiated, and the English Langue remains unrecognized by the
other branches of the order. On what grounds, real or alleged, is not clear,
but doubtless difference of religious faith is at the bottom of it, although
the Lutheran Knights of Brandenburg are still recognized.
Candidates are required to show sixteen quarterings before being accepted as
Knights of Justice. That is, all their great-great-grandparents, both male and
female, must have been entitled to bear arms. Nowadays it is rather a stiff
qualification one would imagine, and there must be a much larger proportion of
Knights of Grace than in the days of the Order's Sovereign power. Still, its
essentially, and we may perhaps say intensely, aristocratic character
evidently remains in full force. Yet, though this will seem so strange and
foreign to Americans, there can be no denying that in itself pride in family
is not a bad thing, and though liable to grave abuse, is yet the nurse of many
virtues. More than one of the Knights, we gather, bears today the same family
name as some predecessor who joined the order centuries ago. The pride of such
men in their race no one can well condemn, so long as it leads, as in this
case it does, to charity and good works.
English branch of the order evidently regards itself as a custodian of the
memories of the past, but it has used these memories as an inspiration for a
really great and devoted service in the present. No longer a military order,
they have returned to the work of their first founder Gerard, and have done a
tremendous amount of good work in the establishment of hospitals and the
encouragement of Red Cross and ambulance work.
recent pilgrimage indeed sprang out of a visit of inspection of the new
Opthalmic Hospital instituted at Jerusalem. It was suggested that a ship might
be chartered and that all the places connected with the history of the order
might be visited. The idea met with such a ready response that the sub-Prior
(who we judge is to the Grand Priory very much what the pro-Grand Master is to
the United Grand Lodge of England, that is, the working executive head)
decided to recommend to the Prince of Wales, who holds the office of Grand
Prior, that an official pilgrimage be made. So recommended and so decided, The
Chapter General approved, an Executive Committee appointed and the thing was
done. Before starting the Chapter General gave to the sub-Prior, at his
request, full authority to summon those members of the governing body who
would be in the party to form special chapters during the pilgrimage in order
to admit new members of the order, such admissions to be confirmed by the
Chapter General, and also for authority to take the Processional Cross, Sword
of State and the Standard of the Order. Advantage was taken of these powers
granted to the sub-Prior to call special chapters at Jerusalem, where a
considerable number were admitted to different grades of the order. At Rhodes
another chapter was held and the Governor of the island and two more were
admitted as honorary members with the sanction of the Kings of England and of
Italy, respectively. This ceremony took place in the great hall of the ancient
hospital of the order at Rhodes. And at Malta again yet another chapter was
held and the Governor, General Congreve, V. C., and others were invested.
Everywhere they went they were received and honored by the authorities, civil
and ecclesiastical. At Jerusalem representatives of three churches did them
honor. The old chapel of St. John, in the Muristan, was placed at their
disposal by the Orthodox Patriarch for the celebration of a special Eucharist,
the building now being in the possession of the Greek Church. Later there was
a parade service in the English Cathedral of St. George the Martyr, at which
the Patriarch was himself present, being seated in the sanctuary to the north
of the altar, upon which the Standard, Cross and Sword of the order were laid
during the service.
chapter held in Jerusalem, when the English Bishop, Dr. MacInnes, and others
were invested, the Armenian Patriarch was present in person, and the Latin
Patriarch by proxy.
the various sacred places were, of course, visited, but especially those
connected with the Crusades and the early history of the Knights of St. John.
The Muristan, which is the ground originally held by the order, and on which
stood their great hospital, is now partly in possession of the Greek Monastery
land partly in that of the German Knights. This part was given to Crown Prince
Frederick of Prussia by the Sultan in 1869, on account of his being then the
head of the Bailiwick of Brandenburg. The German Knights have built a Lutheran
Church and an Evangelical Hospice. The Opthalmic Hospital of the English order
is not apparently built on any traditional site.
Jerusalem the Pilgrims went to Acre and from thence to Cyprus, Rhodes and
Malta. Unfortunately it is impossible to give in detail any account of what
was done and seen. Much that is referred to can be found in histories, but
much that the casual visitor can never hope to see was opened to the Pilgrims.
The account is illustrated by many exceedingly interesting photographs and we
must repeat again our regret that a larger edition was not printed so that the
information could be made more generally available.
* * *
GEOGRAPHICAL LORE OF THE TIME OF THE CRUSADES. By John Kirtland. Published by
the American Geographical Society. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated,
bibliography, index, 150 pages.
ALTHOUGH geography seems to most (with memories in their minds of dreary lists
of countries, states, cities, rivers and mountains to be learned by heart) to
be a most uninteresting subject, yet it has a romance of its own, and even if
this were not so, yet it has an importance not to be neglected as a background
of general knowledge. What men think and know of the world they live in must
have its reaction in the arrangement, the pattern of their ideas of the things
nearer to them. A tribe living in an isolated archipelago of the Pacific
regarded that group of islands as the whole world, and when the first European
voyagers arrived they were supposed to have come from the world of the dead
where the sun went every night.
time of the Crusades our own ancesters had very similar ideas, their world it
is true, consisted of continents instead of islands, but it was surrounded by
Ocean and beyond that was the verge, the drop-off into the abyss. Still to the
south was the place of fire, too hot for any inhabitants but salamanders. The
earthly Paradise was still placed "Eastward in Eden" while in the gray, stormy
western ocean was the wonderful island of Hy Brasil, where living voyagers by
good luck might come, but whose proper inhabitants were the blessed dead.
though the natural hypothesis that the earth was flat, and disc-shaped, over
which the sun rose and passed in the day time, and under which it returned to
the east at night, had general acceptance, yet the theory that it was a
sphere, first propounded it would seem by Pythagoras, was never entirely
forgotten. Even it was believed by the earlier astronomers that the earth
moved, though the more general theory was that it was the center of the
universe and that various spheres bearing the planets and the stars revolved
about it - a theory by the way quite sufficient to account for the known
facts, and justified by results in predicting celestial events such as
eclipses, conjunctions and so on. But the breakdown of the Roman Empire, and
the intrusion of the barbarians of the north and west naturally lowered the
general level of scientific knowledge. At the time of the Crusades, outside of
a few cloistered students, probably every one took for granted the general
flatness of the earth. The use of diagrammatic maps such as the common T-O
maps, which consisted of a circle with two straight lines at right angles
inside it, dividing the space into three parts which were labeled Europe,
Africa and Asia, tended naturally to confirm this naive idea. Nevertheless,
within these limits there was much more extended practical knowledge than
might be supposed. In spite of lack of mariners' compass and navigating
instruments of any accuracy, hardy seamen made long voyages by rule of them
and personal knowledge of the appearance of coasts headlands and harbors.
Pilgrimages were common, and the journeys made were remarkable, considering
that mostly they were made on foot, and with (as we should think) most
inadequate provision. Indeed it was the pilgrimages to the holy places of
Palestine that caused the Crusades. They were almost as much a part of
Mediaeval Christian life as the pilgrimage to Mecca is to that of Islam. And
the warlike incursion of the west into the Orient was as natural as would be
the preaching of a Jihad or holy war among Mohammedans, were a Christian power
to seize Arabia and subject pilgrims to abuse, extortio and other
ill-treatment. The Crusaders failed eventually for two reasons. One that the
Christian lords of Palestine came to regard it as their own private domain,
and the other that the center of interest of the Western Church was shifting
from Palestine to Rome.
present work Dr. Wright has collected all the available information and
arranged it in a most compendious form. The method employed makes it very
convenient for reference, but rather detracts from its interest for continuous
reading. But it is certainly a work that every student interested in the
Crusades, or Mediaeval history, should have upon his shelves.
* * *
ESSAY ON THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN OF JERU SALEM, RHODES AND MALTA. By Bro. John
H. Chalmers Paper, 31 pages. Privately printed.
interesting account of the Order of the real Knights of Malta contains in very
brief compass the salient features of the history of the Order with some
account incidentally of their fellow crusaders and rivals, the Knights Templar.
Bro. Chalmers is, or was at the time of writing, the head of Melita Preceptory
No. 37, of Malta, and Past Provincial Registrar and Chancellor of the
Mediterranean District under the Great Priory of England and Wales. The essay
was written at the instance of his friend, Bro. W.H.A. Eckhardt, who is Grand
Chancellor of the Sovereign Great Priory of Canada. For members of the Templar
Order, with which the Order of Masonic Knights of Malta is now (from the
historical point of view, rather incongruously) connected, it should prove a
very useful and handy work of reference for the salient dates and facts in the
history of the two Orders. It is very well written and an extraordinary amount
of material has been compressed into very little compass.
MASONIC EDUCATION IN OHIO
just read the article you have on pages 46 and 47 of the February issue of THE
BUILDER, and I am very much gratified by the kindly way in which Bro.
Littlefield has mentioned my name. What you have undertaken to say will
undoubtedly excite a great deal of interest, and is certainly well worth the
saying. We are apt to forget, in the work of initiation, that "initiation"
itself really means "education," and that in the former days when candidates
were fewer much more attention was given to the subject of continuing the
instruction of the older members. Today there is very little time for this
sort of work.
interesting to find that in the case of Ohio, my own Grand Lodge, we have a
section, No. 82, in our Masonic Laws which reads as follows:
convenient, the several subordinate lodges should be supplied with libraries
of useful and practical books; and it is enjoined upon them, as often as it is
feasible, to introduce into their meetings lectures and essays upon Masonic
polity, and the various arts and sciences connected therewith.
page 39 of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ohio for 1923, Grand Master
Harry S. Johnson had the following things to say in his annual address:
Robert I. Clegg makes this very prudent comment: "Section 82 of our Code was,
I am confident, the result of the most careful consideration on the part of
those who first made it prominent in our system of Masonic government. They
unquestionably and primarily had in mind that a Masonic lodge was a school,
that Masonic textbooks were essential to Masonic knowledge, and that essays
and lectures at the lodge upon the Masonic system should be encouraged.
"Nothing could be more evident than that such a salutary purpose loomed large
to our prudent predecessors, the Fathers of the Craft. They saw plainly that
there is ever the possibility of a single item of diet palling stale upon the
palate. They saw the refreshing exhilaration of variety and realized that
ritual alone might lead to a satiated taste. Hence the literary urge received
from them a hearty endorsement, and they gave Masonic studies the active
protection and vigorous promotion of their jurisprudence."
is a greater necessity now perhaps than at any time in our history to lay
stress upon the need of heeding the provisions of this section. Our membership
has grown most rapidly, having increased 90 per cent in the past ten years and
40 per cent in the past five. There is a woeful lack of knowledge as to the
intentions and purposes of Masonry. If the true meaning of Masonry is
instilled into the minds and hearts of these newly-obligated brethren, and the
older members rejuvenated, the principles taught in Masonry will make for a
higher type of manhood and the stabilizing of civilization, and our faith in
the great future of Masonry will be firmly established.
is an abundance of material that can be utilized for this purpose. The annual
address of many Grand Masters contain dissertations on Masonry founded on
practical experience and apart from the myths and fancies of tradition. The
address of Grand Master W. B. Hubbard, delivered Oct. 23, 1851, is commended
to the Masons of Ohio as most applicable to present-day conditions, and will,
if its excellent precepts are followed, protect Masonry from the insidious
practices and philosophies of modern time.
reports of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence of this Grand Lodge are to
be found most interesting reviews of the opinions and comments of Masonic
authorities, real treasure houses of information and many masterpieces of
current Masonic literature. I recommend that all lodges be strongly urged to
adopt an educational program. - G. L. Proceedings, 1923.
I. Clegg, Illinois.
* * *
ANCIENTS AND MODERNS IN VIRGINIA
Grand Lodge of England, "Moderns," chartered Botetourt Lodge, No. 458, in
Boutetourt Town, Va., on November, 1773; the Royal Exchange Lodge, No. 236, in
the Borough of Norfolk, Va., Dec. 22, 1753; Williamsburg Lodge, No. 457,
Williamsburg, Va. (where the Grand Lodge of Virginia was formed in 1778), Nov.
6, 1773; York Town Lodge, No. 205, at Swan Tavern, York Town, Va., Aug. 1,
1775, and others. These lodges were given different numbers from time to time,
for instance, Botetourt was numbered 365 in 1780, etc.; the Royal Exchange was
numbered 173 in 1775, and several other numbers at later dates, and the other
lodges above were numbered differently in succeeding years. What was the idea
of changing their numbers so frequently? All of these lodges were erased from
the English Register in 1813, the date of the formation of the United Grand
Lodge of England, what is the significance attached to this?
in 1738 or 1743 that the dissension arose in the Grand Lodge of England which
resulted in the organization of the "Ancients" and the "Moderns"?
notice that all of the lodges in Virginia were chartered by the "Modern" Grand
Lodge of England, with possibly one exception. The exception was chartered by
the Ancients as "Antient York Masons"; I think this was along about 1761. Did
the "Antients" issue all their charters as "Antient York Masons" ?
before me an original copy of the by-laws "of Morgantown Union Lodge, No. 93,
of Ancient York Masons, constituted by the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of
Virginia, and held in Morgantown, Monongalia County, Va." This lodge is the
one to which I belong and is now numbered 4, Morgantown, West Virginia. Where
does that "Ancient York Masons" come from? We are not now known as "Ancient
York Masons." Why "York" in the first place and why changed?
C., West Virginia.
changes in the numbering of old lodges is a complication very vexatious to the
historian. From the very first the senior Grand Lodge (called "Modern")
occasionally rearranged the numbers of its constituent bodies when too many
gaps appeared on its rolls, due to erasures of lodges that had ceased to exist
or had had their warrants revoked or else had transferred their allegiance to
another jurisdiction, as in the case of the American lodges after the
followed the plan adopted by the Grand Lodges of Ireland, which was to assign
the numbers of defunct lodges to new ones, so that the numerical order came to
have no relation whatever to the age of the particular lodge. Often enough too
a lodge with a high number, on learning that a lower one was vacant, would
return their charter and petition for the older one, paying the registration
and other fees in order to gain higher precedence. At the time of the union of
the two Grand Lodges in England, there were two sets of numbers to be
amalgamated, and a compromise solution of the problem was adopted. The two
organizations cast lots as to which should take number one, and this fell to
the Ancients. Thus the senior lodge on the roll of the Moderns, Antiquity, now
carries the number two. Number two of the Ancients became three and number two
of the Moderns, four, and so on. At the same time all the gaps in both rolls
were closed up, and the last of the lodges chartered in America erased; not
from any hostility but simply because they had formed their own governing
bodies. In this connection we gather that at the present time there are a
large number of vacant numbers in the roll of the United Grand Lodge of
England, and a writer in a recent issue of the scholarly English periodical
"The Record" strongly advocated another renumbering, the last time this was
done being more than sixty years ago apparently.
regard to the origin of the "Antient" Grand Lodge the statements of older
authorities must be taken with great caution. The late Bros. Sadler and
Chetwode-Crawley, by their researches, put the matter in an entirely new
light. There was dissatisfaction and even dissension in the senior Grand Lodge
as early as 1738 and even before, and though the matter is very obscure, many
lodges and individuals for this or other reasons dropped out of the
organization. The earliest records of the "Antients" however being July, 1751,
though some kind of loose confederation of independent lodges seems to have
been in existence for some time previously, two or three years possibly. Some
of the members of these lodges, at least, were Irish Masons, others were "'St.
John's men," which seems to have meant Masons made in lodges that had
persisted in independence. A few were converts (or secessionists) from the
Moderns, but these were a negligible minority. The organization was thus in no
proper sense of the word a schism from the senior Grand Lodge, though the two
bodies were hostile in their attitude towards each other from the beginning.
earliest records of the "Antients" they speak of their system as Ancient and
Most Ancient, and it was not for some years that they added "York" to their
style. Bro. Sadler was of the opinion that this was an after-thought; and one
might guess it was due to the influence of a copy of the Old Charges that
Laurence Dermott got hold of, and read and expounded to his Grand Lodge in
1752. In any case the purpose of the addition was to emphasize their claim to
continuity with the Masonry of the Craft Assembly at York under Prince Edwin
with which the old legend of the Craft concludes. The "Antients" claimed that
they retained the original customs and usages of the Craft which the "Moderns"
had (so they alleged) changed both by omissions, transpositions and
innovations. The Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland, by their action in
recognizing the Antients and ignoring the Moderns, seem to have been of the
opinion that this claim was just. It is, however, still somewhat uncertain
what innovations, if any, the senior body had made.
the term "York" has been dropped in the case of Union Lodge, No. 4, is a
question of the history of Masonry in Virginia. It would seem plausible to
suppose that it was done for the sake of conformity with the majority. In
other jurisdictions in this country, where the "Antient" heritage
predominated, the reverse was the case.
best work to refer to on this matter is Bro. Daynes' new book, The Birth and
Growth of the Grand Lodge of England. If you can obtain Masonic Facts and
Fictions and Masonic Reprints and Revelations, by Henry Sadler, they will be
of great assistance. Unfortunately both are out of print and very scarce.
* * *
GOVERNING MASONIC FUNERALS
there any law regarding Masonic funerals, held jointly with other
organizations, if so where can it be found?
always been under the impression that where civic and other orders were to
take part at a funeral of a Mason that the Masonic Order reserved the right to
come last in the funeral procession and to perform their ceremony last.
However, I notice that this rule is not being observed in this part of the
country of late years.
light that you can give me on this subject will be highly appreciated.
is nothing that can properly be called a law in the sense of actual written
enactment; but a series of Grand Masters' decisions could be collected on the
point that you raise. And such decisions very frequently have something of the
force of law.
is no doubt that it is a general rule, and in some jurisdictions an absolute
rule, that a Masonic lodge shall not take part in the funeral of a Mason
unless they have the chief part in the ceremonies, and this implies that their
place in the procession is the last.
thing for a lodge to do when it is found that other arrangements are being
made is simply to refuse to take any part in the proceedings as a body, unless
matters are brought into conformity with our traditions.
* * *
NUMBERS WANTED BY NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
time ago we wrote to you in regard to securing for our file the issues which
are noted below of THE BUILDER, and you replied saying that it would not be
possible for you to send us copies, as they were no longer available.
not wish to annoy you, but as it is our intention to preserve the file
permanently, we feel that no effort should be spared to complete it. Do you
think that an appeal through the columns of THE BUILDER to your readers might
be successful in bringing us these numbers? Many people who subscribe for
magazines and papers save their copies until for lack of space, or for other
reasons, they are glad to dispose of them, particularly if they can find a
depository where they will be useful and appreciated. As a result of this
habit of saving publication, many old files come to the Library as gifts, both
solicited and unsolicited, and it is seldom that publishers make an appeal for
us to their readers without satisfactory results. Anything further you may do
towards supplying us with the missing issues of THE BUILDER Will, I assure
you, be highly appreciated.
Library needs the following: THE BUILDER, Vols. 4 to 6, all issues
(1918-1920). Vol. 7, Nos. 1, 3 to 12 (January, March to December, 1921). Vol.
8, No. 2 (January, 1922). Also the American Freemason, Vol. 1, No. 1 to Vol.
8, No. 7, inclusive (all issues before June, 1917), and the National
Trestleboard, Vol. 1, No. 1, to Vol. 34, No. 6 (all issues before January,
* * *
KNIGHTS OF MALTA
article in the September, 1926, number of THE BUILDER on the Rite of Strict
Observance, I mentioned the Roman Catholic branch of the Knights of Malta.
This seems to have surprised some of your readers and probably is not
understood by most Masons. As the Pope has recently established a branch of
the Knights of St. John in the United States, a little information about the
present-day order may be welcomed.
Napoleon, in 1793, destroyed the Knights as a sovereign power, they tried to
continue on under Paul, Emperor of Russia. But in this they were unsuccessful
and the parent body finally settled in Rome under the protection of the Pope.
The Pope appointed a Lieutenant-Commander for them, but in 1879 revived the
office of Grand Master. The present Grand Master is Count Gian Galeazzo de
Hohenstein. In December of last year a United States group of the Knights was
formed by the making of ten Knights of Malta with full power to create other
Knights. Six live in New York City: Marquis Nicholas Brady, President New York
Edison Co.; John D. Ryan, Chairman Anaconda Copper Co.; P. E. Crowley,
President N. Y. Central R. R.; M. J. O'Brien, Lawyer; J. A. Farrell, President
U. S. Steel Corporation; J. A. Fayne, investments. Two live in Chicago: Edward
F. Carry, President Pullman Co., and Edward N. Hurley, manufacturer. Of the
other two, Col. J. J. Phelan, a banker, lives in Boston, and John J. Raskob,
Vice-President Du Pont Powder Co. and Vice-President General Motors, lives at
Claymont, Del. It is reported that ex-Senator James D. Phelan, of San
Francisco, who donated $1,000,000 to the earthquake relief, Thomas F. Ryan,
mining and street railways, and Charles A. Whelan, President United Cigar
Stores, all millionaires, together with other prominent political, social and
financial leaders of the United States, are also to be elected to the Order of
the Knights of Malta.
those only considered equal to the nobility of Europe will be made Knights is
certain, because there only those who are of the nobility are eligible Knights
and then only if they have the requisite number of quarterings. This excludes
there even the new nobility.
are four living branches of the Knights of Malta: one in England, of which the
King is Grand Master and the Prince of Wales is Grand Prior; one in Germany,
of which the late Crown Prince is acting Grand Master; one in Austria, now
somewhat dormant but very active during the great way, and one in Italy. The
one in Rome is the continuation of the parent stem and the others are branches
Knights of Malta form one of the oldest, proudest and most distinguished
knightly orders in the world. None but those of long and high descent are ever
made Knights. It is by far the greatest of Roman Catholic organizations. Only
Roman Catholics can join that branch whose head is at Rome or Vienna; only
Protestants can join the one at Berlin, but both Protestants and Catholics can
join the one at London.
branch from the Roman Catholic stem that has just been organized in the United
States with the election of ten millionaires will further the common purpose,
which is to aid charities at Rome.