The Builder Magazine
September 1928 - Volume XIV -
Napoleon the Mason and the
BRO ERNEST E. MURRAY, Montana
HISTORIES dealing with Napoleon and his biographers can generally be divided
into two classes; on the one hand we have him represented as a military
genius, regenerating France, a man of ambition, determination and strength, an
example for all to follow in overcoming obstacles, and on the other we have
him branded as the greatest adventurer the world has ever known, the scourge
of Europe, the ruination of France.
The former accentuate and magnify his victories in war and minimize his
blunders, playing up small incidents such as relieving a sentry, giving up his
horse to a wounded officer, while the latter revile him for forsaking his
armies in Egypt and Russia, his treatment of his wife Josephine, his every act
attributed to unworthy motives, and so forth, and so forth, the one glorifying
him and the other condemning him.
That he was a great general in an age when good generals were conspicuous by
their absence must be granted, but Wellington was a greater general as he
conquered all the French armies opposed to him and commanded by Napoleon's
Marshals and finally the army under the direct command of Napoleon himself. Of
the rest he was an ordinary man with man's shortcomings and weaknesses.
But there is one aspect, although continually referred to in all histories and
by his biographers, which I think has not been sufficiently analyzed that of
his Destiny. Napoleon continually harped upon his destiny, he is continually
referred to as the "Man of Destiny."
Just what did he conceive to be his destiny? To conquer and dominate Europe?
Undoubtedly but why? Why should he conceive it to be his destiny to do this?
Let us consider certain facts.
maintain that Napoleon was without religion is ridiculous; no man who believes
that he is destined and used by the Supreme Being to take certain action can
be without religion. He certainly was not orthodox, if there were any
orthodoxy immediately following the French revolution. Dogma and ceremonial
religion did not appeal to him, but he recognized that these were necessary
for certain minds. One of the complaints made against him by critics is that
in Egypt he posed as a Mahommedan. What is there irreligious about that? The
formulae of the Mahommedans is "God is God and Mahommed is His prophet." They
recognize Moses and Jesus as His prophets, too, and venerate them. Can any
Christian deny that God is God?
soon as he was elected First Consul he realized that to ensure peace of mind
to the masses and to stabilize the state a concrete religion was necessary for
them, and to that end he concluded a concordat with the Papacy. The terms of
this concordat were unique; there never had been one like it and none since.
the revolution the lands and other property of the Roman Church had been
confiscated. The people were as incensed against the Church as much as they
were against the nobles. The terms of the concordat were, inter alia:
established the Roman Church but only as subordinate to the State.
The bishops and archbishops were to be appointed or reappointed by the First
The sequestered estates were not to he restored to the Church.
When it is considered that the Roman Church at this time had a strangle hold
on most of the states of Europe these conditions are the more remarkable.
Spain, Italy, Austria and most of the states of Germany formed part of the
Holy Roman Empire, their rulers recognizing the Pope as the Supreme Pontiff
and Temporal Ruler.
Napoleon was a Freemason; that he was a "Blue" Mason we are sure; very
possibly he had taken some of the "Scots" degrees and others that abounded on
the continent, wherein liberty of thought, conscience and action were
inculcated. The American Colonies had rebelled and formed themselves into a
Republic where the State was supreme over all other associations of men. To
preach liberty of thought to the French at such a time would very probably
have caused thousands to become atheists. As a wise administrator he was awake
to the uses of a concrete religion as a preservative of order and so made this
concordat with the Church of Rome as a measure of expediency, but he took the
precaution to demand that he nominate bishops and archbishops no foreign
priesthood for France. It realized a false hope in the Church of Rome as we
a good Mason he desired education for the people, and proceeded to see that
they had it. In the concordat he agreed to let the Church have elementary
schools. If the local authorities cared to submit to this or have schools of
their own he did not object. But he at once proceeded to establish State
controlled secondary or higher grade schools. He established technical schools
and in 1806 the educational edifice was crowned by the seventeen academies of
the University of France.
Having established religion in France as a necessary prerequisite for becoming
a great nation, what was his attitude to the Church of Rome? He found cause of
quarrel with the Italian States, marched an army there, took possession of the
Papal States and forced the Pope to sign a treaty very much contrary to the
Note his action at his coronation. He forced the Pope to attend the ceremony
and all went well so long as the religious ceremonies continued. When the Pope
proceeded to place the crown on his head, Napoleon bruskly seized the crown
from the Pope's hands and crowned himself. Many histories comment on this act
and refer to it as his bad manners, impulsive effrontery, and so forth. But
was it not a deliberate act to demonstrate to "His Holiness" that the crown of
France was no longer in the giving of the Church of Rome ? Was not the Pope
deliberately brought there for that purpose to make no mistake about the
lesson that the State was superior to the Church?
Later when his son was born he compelled the Church to again officiate at his
baptism in state, and immediately proclaimed him King of Rome. As a church he
recognized the Pope as priest only; by every act he proclaimed that he
possessed no temporal power. At one time he had the Pope prisoner in France.
Spain, Austria and the states of Germany who acknowledged the Pope as the
supreme earthly as well as spiritual ruler were invaded and conquered and
members of his family and his Marshalls, owing their appointment to him, were
placed upon the thrones of those countries.
When he placed his brother Louis on the throne of the Netherlands, the country
which had been the worst victims of the Roman Church in the preceding century,
he instructed him to be the patron of the Masons.
When in 1806 Francis II of Austria regained the throne of that country he
dropped the "Holy Roman" title and called himself Emperor of Austria. The Holy
Roman Empire had ceased to exist. Had not Napoleon fulfilled his destiny to
destroy the power of Rome? What would have been the history of Europe had
there been no Napoleon?
Having fulfilled his destiny his "star" began to wane first the debacle of
Russia his army driven out of Spain by the British the banishment to Elba the
100 days of temporary triumph to be followed by the final and complete
disaster of Waterloo.
the time of his election as First Consul the Church of Rome dominated Europe.
Who was to dominate the Pope or the people represented by their kings or
presidents? Did not Napoleon believe that he was destined to be the means to
destroy the Papal domination ? It would appear so.
But the Papal domination was not utterly destroyed, it was but subjected. The
Papacy has obtained control of other nations, notably in Mexico and South
America. Again they have been subjected but not utterly destroyed.
With all his many faults Napoleon was a pretty good Mason. He had courage
which many of us lack.
Masonic "Who's Who"
FOR the first time in the history of its fourteen years of existence, the
National Masonic Research Society is launching a campaign to build up an
adequate membership among the Freemasons of America.
The growth of the Society has been steady, but rather slow during these years.
Its work has increased faster than its numbers and because of that fact
expenditures have exceeded income. As the Society is not, and has never been
subsidized by any Grand Lodge or other Masonic body in the past, and as its
revenue must come entirely from membership fees, the obvious way in which the
increasing expense has to be met by building up a larger membership.
Happily this effort can be combined with another plan of the National Masonic
Research Society for the Duplication of a book which has long been needed by
the Craft. There has never been any kind of a national register, record,
directory or reference work which gave information about the brethren
throughout the whole country who are active and interested workers, or who
have achieved prominence in their states or in national life. That a volume of
this character will be of great value is certain. So the Research Society has
determined to publish it and make of it an agency, or avenue through which a
greatly increased membership, with the resulting increase in financial
support, may be obtained.
is planned to make this reference work a Biographical Directory of the
Membership of the National Masonic Research Society and to publish it under
the title of "Masonic Who's Who in the United States and Canada."
The preface of the prospectus of "Who's Who" carries the following statement
of the Society's plans and purposes in the publication of this volume:
publishing this work the National Masonic Research Society follows a precedent
established in England, where a similar volume recently published under the
title "The Masonic Who's Who," contains Masonic and general biographical
details of prominent Freemasons owing allegiance to or in communion with, the
United Grand Lodge of England.
The history of America is written in the biographies of the men who, having
lived as Masons, have made the Fraternity the greatest potential power for
good in our country today. Freemasons founded the United States of America;
Freemasons have guided its destinies to its development into the greatest
world-power of the ages. The generations, which have passed from the stage,
building wisely and well, have left a sacred trust which the Freemasons of
today must safeguard and transmit to those who will follow.
Some two hundred years ago the first Masonic lodges were formed in America.
The exact date of the first is a matter of controversy, a question into which
we have no intention of entering. Benjamin Franklin was made a Mason early in
1731. It is practically certain that the lodge in which he was initiated was
self-constituted and had been in existence for some time. It is as probable,
too, that similar lodges were working elsewhere. The year 1730 may therefore
be taken as a proximate date for the emergence of Freemasonry in America into
the light of definite history, as 1717 is taken as the beginning of Masonry as
now organized in England.
The Bi-centenary of the latter event fell during the dark years of the World
War, and but little notice could be taken of it. Some commemoration should be
made by American Masons of their own two hundredth anniversary, and for this
purpose a compromise date must be agreed upon. It would seem that the year
1930 might, as above suggested, be accepted for this for a number of reasons
besides the considerations already mentioned, and the National Masonic
Research Society has decided to contribute its part to its observance in a way
for which it is peculiarly qualified, by publishing a National, or rather
International, Biographical Roster of living Masons who have rendered
outstanding service to the Fraternity, or who have other claims to distinction
through their achievements in public service, science, literature, art or the
There are three and a half million Freemasons in the United States and Canada,
and the records of the lodges contain the names of men known to the public at
large in every occupation and walk in life; names, which, like that of Abou
Ben Adhem, are found "leading all the rest" in every phase of the multifarious
activities of our complex civilization.
Yet to a very great extent these men remain strangers even to each other's
names, for those brethren who become nationally known as leaders and rulers of
the Craft are after all but a small fraction of the number who have achieved
distinction in their own life work. To meet this situation, at least in part,
the National Masonic Research Society is publishing, for the first time in
America, this Biographical Directory of Freemasons of the United States and
Canada, to be a medium through which the brethren of the North, South, East
and West may become more fully acquainted with the personalities and
activities of men hitherto scarcely known to them, although bound to them by
the Mystic Tie.
such a work the exigencies of time and space, not to mention cost, make it
necessary to limit the names included to a very small percentage of the total
number of Masons, and this necessity for selection creates a very serious
problem at the outset. He would be a bold man who would undertake the task by
himself, and even a board of editors, no matter how able, would find it a task
full of difficulties. Fortunately there is already in existence a list of
Masons which actually contains a very large proportion of those who by their
qualifications and work are worthy of a place in a Masonic Who's Who, and that
list is the membership roll of the National Masonic Research Society. It will
doubtless come as a matter of surprise to very many of the members themselves
to find how representative of the really prominent Masons of the Continent
this roster is, as well as inclusive of those whose work and service to the
Fraternity deserves to be recorded in permanent form but who in very many
cases are scarcely known outside the limited circle of their own lodges.
is for such reasons that we have decided to limit this first effort to our own
members exclusively. Doubtless there are many other Masons who have valid
claims for inclusion in such a work, the omission of whom will make it to that
extent incomplete. This is greatly to be regretted, but the limitations that
the necessities of the case have compelled us to set will make it quite clear
why such omissions have come about. With the experience gained in the
preparation of the first edition we hope that later on it may be possible to
make it more nearly and fully inclusive.
book of biographies becomes increasingly valuable with the passing of the
years. To have been included in the first Masonic Who's Who in America will be
a real and coveted distinction. It is one which those included will have
deservedly won for themselves whether by actual research or educational work,
or in giving definite and practical assistance to make it possible for the
Society to function and pursue the objects for which it was founded.
membership in the Society is open to any regular Master Mason without
restriction as to citizenship or nationality, it has upon its roll a small but
very select and important group of Masons in other countries. It would be
invidious to omit them for the sake of strict conformity to the title of the
volume. Their inclusion will help demonstrate the ideal of Universality which
to the Fraternity has been a guiding beacon, and it will be the means of
introducing to American Masons the names of active workers in the Craft in
other parts of the world.
The following Table of Contents has been tentatively adopted. It is given here
to indicate the scope of the projected work.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface Abbreviations Brief History of Freemasonry The Blue, or Master Masons'
Lodge and Grand Lodge The York Rite The Scottish Rite The Red Cross of
Constantine The Royal Order of Scotland Freemasonry Throughout the World
Auxiliary Organizations Masonic Statistics Masonic Press Biographical
Membership Roster of the National Masonic Research Society (With Portraits of
Foundation-Members and Fellows)
Geographical Index ( Biographies by State and Post Office Address)
Necrology. In Memoriam
(Brethren Who Have Recently Passed to the Grand Lodge Above)
Educational Announcements. (Schools and Colleges)
When the National Masonic Research Society was organized and chartered,
provision was made for different classifications of membership as is usual in
all such organizations. Up to the present time, with a few exceptions there
are no members other than those who subscribe three dollars annually and
receive THE BUILDER every month. It is now proposed to enroll more of this
class of members and in addition members of other classifications so that a
larger measure of financial support may be secured. The following statement
gives the classifications, conditions and privileges of membership.
The membership of the N.M.R.S. is composed of Freemasons who are students of
the history and teachings of the Craft, of those who seek to apply the
principles of Freemasonry to modern life in the belief that Applied
Freemasonry will solve most of the problems of today, of those who have
rendered outstanding service to the Fraternity and of others who, having
achieved success and distinction in their respective vocations, have given
their support to the N.M.R.S. to enable it to carry out the purposes for which
it was formed. Following is the classification of the membership with their
privileges and fees:
Members: The membership fee is Five Dollars for two years, or Seven Dollars
for three years. Members receive THE BUILDER (the Society's official journal)
for the period of their membership. The name and address only of the members
will be listed in the N.M.R.S. Biographical Directory, or "Masonic Who's Who."
Present members of the N.M.R.S. may assure such listing by payment of
membership dues for one or two years from date of expiration of present
Sustaining Members: The membership fee for Sustaining Members is Ten Dollars
for one year, or Fifteen Dollars for three years. Sustaining members receive
THE BUILDER for the period of their membership and in addition will receive a
copy of the N.M.R.S. Biographical Directory or "Masonic Who's Who" including a
brief biographical mention of the member printed herein.
Contributing Members: The membership fee for Contributing Members is
Twenty-five Dollars for period of three years during which time the Contribing
Member will receive THE BUILDER and in addition a copy of the N.M.R.S.
Biographical Directory "Masonic Who's Who" including a complete biographical
sketch of the member printed therein.
Life Members: The Life Membership fee is One Hundred Dollars and Life Members
will receive THE BUILDER for life and a copy of the N.M.R.S. Biographical
Directory or "Masonic Who's Who," including a complete biographical history of
the Life Member.
N.M.R.S. Foundation: Freemasons contributing any larger amount to further the
work and purposes of the N.M.R.S., and to assist in establishing the N.M.R.S.
as a Masonic Research Foundation, similar in character and scope to other
scientific and education foundations, will be enrolled as
Foundation-Membership of the N.M.R.S. with all the privileges of Life
Membership and with additional privileges which will be explained by letter to
Fellows of the Society: Freemasons who have rendered outstanding service to
the Craft, and who are nominated by interested brethren, may receive election
as Fellows of the N.M.R.S. which honor carries with all of the privileges of
Life and Foundation Memberships. Space limitations for biographies will not
rigidly adhered to in the cases of brethren who he rendered service to the
Craft, our country and humanity.
may, perhaps, be timely to remind our membership of the reasons for our
existence and for that p pose a restatement of the Society's objects as
recited the Charter is published in this connection:
The Grand Lodge of Iowa authorized the format and incorporation of the N.M.R.S.
in 1914 for the following purposes:
The collection and preservation of all materials value in Masonic study.
The stimulation and guidance of Masonic intercourse, among Masons of diverse
Promotion and supervision of Masonic meetings specific study and discussion.
The collection and circulation of data bearing upon various specific Masonic
The foundation and management of funds for l financial aid of Masonic
produce and publish courses of Masonic study.
The publication of books and pamphlets upon Masonic subjects.
publish a magazine devoted to the study and interpretation of the history,
philosophy and purposes the various Rites, Orders and Degrees of Freemasonry.
The Society is best known for the publication of THE BUILDER, a monthly
magazine which is unique and peculiar in that it is probably the only
publication in the world devoted to the study of Masonic history and
teachings, with the very practical idea of applying the lessons so learned to
present day problems. This is but one phase of the Society’s work for it is
also a clearing house for Freemasons throughout the whole world who seek
information about any Masonic subject or phase of Masonic history or activity.
In addition the Society is encouraging and directing the organization and
operation of Masonic Study Clubs in many states.
The invitation is extended to all active and interested Freemasons and to
those whoa re prominent in their respective vocations and in their various
communities to join the National Masonic Research Society. With a membership
of this high character the Society will be enabled to render a still greater
service to the Craft and the Society’s Biographical Directory will thus become
THE “Who’s Who’ of the Masonic Fraternity, and a reference work that is
Governor De Witt Clinton
Bro. BURTON E. BENNETT, Washington
WITT CLINTON was born in Orange County, New York, on March 2, 1769. His
grandfather was born in Longford County, Ireland, in 1690, and came to America
in 1729. The family came, originally, from England. Clinton's father was a
brigadier general in the Revolutionary War, as was also his uncle, General
George Clinton. His uncle was eighteen times Governor of New York state. His
family were Democrats and followers of Thomas Jefferson.
Witt Clinton was graduated from Columbia College, New York City, with the
class of 1786. This great institution of learning has kept pace with the
growth of the republic and is now, probably, the greatest school of learning
in the world. At the age of 29 years he was elected a member of the New York
Assembly and started on a career of public service that has few parallels in
American history. For thirty years he was the great northern Democratic
leader. In 1812 he came near wresting the party leadership from the South
when, for the Presidency, he received 89 electoral votes to 128 for Madison.
Clinton was a member of the New York State Senate from 1798 to 1802, when he
was elected a senator of the United States. He resigned from the United States
Senate, however, to become mayor of the city of New York, which office he held
from 1803 to 1807, 1808 to 1810 and from 1811 to 1815. He was also at the same
time state senator, 1806 to 1811, and lieutenant-governor, 1811 to 1813. In
the early days of the republic to be governor of a state, or even mayor of a
great city like New York, was considered a greater honor than to be a senator
of the United States.
Like Governor Samuel J. Tilden and President Grover Cleveland, De Witt Clinton
was opposed to Tammany Hall. But he was too powerful a person, too great a
personality to be held down by it. He is the greatest statesman that New York
state produced during the first half of the 19th century, and perhaps the
greatest she has ever produced. Certainly he is only rivalled by Tilden and
Roosevelt, and in this estimate Horatio Seymour and Grover Cleveland and
Governor Smith are not forgotten.
1817 Clinton was elected governor of New York and reelected in 1820, serving
two terms. A man of phenomenal political judgment, he refused to run for a
third time as he felt that Tammany would beat him. Tammany at this time was
led by Martin Van Buren, a man of great political sagacity. Afterwards he
became a protege of President Andrew Jackson and through his influence
President of the United States. When Tammany came into power Van Buren could
not keep his "braves" in check. Clinton, in 1824, was removed as canal
commissioner. He was the father of this great waterway. The people of the
state stood aghast and determined to save Clinton from the clutches of the
tiger. That same fall he was again reselected governor by an overwhelming
majority. He died in 1828 while still governor.
is said that the so-called "spoils system" can be traced back to Clinton. But
this is not true, as he was not in favor of replacing worthy officials with
his own henchmen. Conditions were different than now. When he came into power
in New York state all offices were filled by Federalists and it was necessary,
in order to carry out his policies, to replace those with real authority by
men whose views of government coincided with his own. The "spoils system"
really dates from Andrew Jackson's time. But even this was no "spoils system"
at all, compared with subsequent development, and especially with what we have
order to recognize the true greatness of this man the legislative measures
that he sponsored must be examined. To recount them all would require too much
space in a short article like this. That he visioned the future and endeavored
to prepare the rising generation for the duties of citizenship is shown by his
work in behalf of the New York public school system; that he placed human
rights above property rights is shown by his work in repealing the laws of
imprisonment for debt, and that he possessed a spark of the divine is shown by
the efforts he put forth in the abolishment of human slavery in the state of
Witt Clinton was a far seeing man. He had visions equal to any of the prophets
of old. He was a statesman in the truest sense of the word. Human history
shows but few such examples. In addition to what we have heretofore shown his
work in building the Erie Canal shows this most clearly. He worked unceasingly
on the canal for more than fifteen years. As early as 1810 he secured the
appointment of a commission to report to the legislature the best course for a
canal from Lake Erie to the Hudson River. After many trials he had the great
honor, as governor in 1825, on the completion of the canal, to preside at its
dedication. New York City thus became the outlet for all of the great
Northwest. The mighty growth of New York City, and of the Empire State, can be
dated from this time. Not only numerous villages sprang up along the line of
the canal but great cities like Utica, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. The
canal not only furnished an outlet for the wheat and other products of New
York state, but for the whole Northwest. It gave impetus to the growth of
cities on Lake Erie, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior and to the building up of
their vast tributary territory. Mighty Chicago arose and imperial New York
became the greatest city of the New World, the greatest city in the whole
world, and is now the greatest one that time has ever known.
The natural outlets of the Northwest are through the St. Lawrence River by way
of the Great Lakes and through the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Mississippi
River. The natural outlet of Western New York is through Lake Ontario by way
of the Genesee and Oswego Rivers, and of Northern New York through the St.
Lawrence River and Lake Champlain by way of streams flowing into them, and of
New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio through Delaware and Chesapeake Bays
by way of their streams. No man can even dream of the mighty traffic from this
great empire centering in New York City were it not for the Erie Canal.
Whether, but for the canal, the metropolis of the Western World would have
been on the St. Lawrence or on the Delaware or Chesapeake Bays, or at the
mouth of the Mississippi River, can only be surmised. But we can conjecture,
judging from Chicago, that it would have been on one of the Great Lakes.
Nearly one-sixth of the population of the United States is in the Empire State
and one-third of its wealth is centered in its great city. Where is the man
that can point to a more constructive statesman or to a prophet with truer
vision or to a finite being that possessed more of the infinite than did
Witt Clinton joined the Masonic Fraternity in 1793. The Grand Lodge of New
York was established only six years before, 1787. Then it was composed of
thirteen lodges, six "Ancient," six "Modern" and one of undetermined origin.
All early New York Masonry went back to the regular Grand Lodge of England. It
was not till 1776 that the Schismatic Grand Lodge gained a foothold in New
York. It came with the British army. Gradually the "Ancient" lodges
disappeared from the roll, the last one going in 1827. New York Masons,
therefore, are, for all practicable purposes, pure Free and Accepted Masons.
They can trace their ancestry back to the first regular Grand Lodge of England
and through it to the mixed operative and speculative lodges that went before,
and through them to the old operative Masons, and through them to the Ancient
Guilds. Clinton joined the Masons in 1793 and the next year was made Master of
his lodge. In 1806 he was selected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New
York. Governor Clinton was a member of the Chapter, Commandery and Consistory.
He was a 33rd Degree Mason of the Scottish Rite. He was a leader in both Rites
and gave the same force and energy to both that he gave to civic affairs. In
1816 he was elected General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter of
the United States. The Sovereign Grand Consistory sitting in New York, in
1814, instituted the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar and appendant orders
for the state of New York. Governor Clinton was elected its first Grand Master
and was reselected annually thereafter till his death on Feb. 20, 1828. On
June 20 and 21, 1816, a convention was held in Masons' Hall, New York City,
and the General Grand Encampment of the United States of America formed.
Delegates from eight Councils and Encampments were present, to-wit: Boston
Encampment, Boston; St. Paul's Encampment, Newburyport; Washington Encampment,
Newport; Darius Council, Portland; Ancient Encampment, New York; Temple
Encampment, Albany, and Montgomery Encampment, Stillwater. Governor Clinton
was elected General Grand Master. The other officers were Thomas Smith Webb,
D.D.G.M.; Henry Fowle, G.G.G.; Ezra Ames, G.G.C.G.; Rev. Paul Dean, G.G.P.;
Martin Hoffman, G.G.S.W.; John Carlyle, G.G.J.W.; Peter Grinnell, G.G.T.; John
J. Loring, G.G.R.; Thomas Lownds, G.G.W.; John Snow, G.G.S.B., and Jonathan
Schiefferlin, G.G.S.B. Governor Clinton was reselected General Grand Master in
1819 and in 1826 and served as such till his death. In 1823 he was elected
Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council for the United States of
America, its territories and dependencies, which office he also held until his
death. This occurred in March, 1828, five years later.
The last two years of his life saw the beginning of, the Anti-Masonic movement
which swept so many lodges out of existence and caused thousands of Masons to
forsake the Craft. Governor Clinton made a public effort to stem the tide at
its beginning, by offering a reward of one thousand dollars, either for the
production of William Morgan, or for information that would lead to
discovering his whereabouts.
"Careless of personal wealth," as Bro. McClenachan says, "he left little
fortune but his fame." And Andrew Jackson said that in his death "New York had
lost one of her most useful sons and the nation one of its brightest
Relief Corps of the Order of St. John
THE BUILDER for June in the announcement of the plans of the Order of the
Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, the following general statement was made
concerning the first aid work, relief in calamities and in time of war:
The instruction of persons in rendering "First Aid" in case of accident or
sudden illness and in transport of the sick or injured, and the promotion of
popular instruction in methods of caring for sick and injured in peace and
War Work and Calamity Relief:
furnish aid to the sick and wounded in war or during any calamity, and the
promotion of such permanent organization for this purpose as may be at once
available in time of war or in the event of any calamity.
The Organization of Ambulance Corps and Nursing Corps:
The manufacture and distribution, by sale or presentation, of ambulance
material, and the formation of ambulance depots in or near the centers of
industry and traffic.
Recognition of Service and Bravery:
The award of Medals or Badges and Certificates of Honor for Humanitarian
Service and for saving human life at imminent personal risk.
should be clear to all that this form of service will not be in competition
with any other existing organizations, nor with the work of physicians and
surgeons, but that it will be in cooperation with all other institutions and
agencies dedicated to such service.
The general purposes of the Relief Corps will be to enlist and train
layworkers through the medium of first aid classes, to aid and assist
physicians and nurses, in time of disaster. Also to organize layworkers,
nurses and physicians into disciplined units which can offer and render
service to the civil and military authorities at such times and to maintain a
volunteer organization that will always be available, on call, for any
emergency at home or within reasonable distance of its headquarters.
That there is much needless suffering, and sometimes deaths, due to the
mishandling of injured persons in accidents and calamities by unskilled,
though willing people is without question.
discussing the need for first aid instruction of the public the following
statement is made in a publication of the English Order of St. John, whose St.
John's Ambulance Association has rendered great service to the nation, prior
to and during the war and at the present time. The work of this Association
will be reviewed at a latter date.
"By rough handling, or even the mere want of the slightest knowledge of how to
support an injured limb, a simple fracture has been made compound, or even
complicated. The method of arresting bleeding from an artery is quite easy,
yet thousands of lives have been lost, the very life blood ebbing away in the
presence of sorrowing spectators perfectly helpless because none of them had
been taught one of the first rudiments of instruction of an ambulance pupilthe
application of an improvised tourniquet. For example, a dockyard laborer had
one of his legs almost torn off by a hawser, and although he was at once taken
to the hospital fatal results ensued, owing to his companions having fastened
splints around the leg instead of improvising a tourniquet. Again, how
frequent is the loss of life by drowning, yet how few persons, comparatively,
understand the way to treat properly the apparently drowned."
United States government statistics, published in official bulletins and in
the daily press, show an appalling loss of life every year from accidents on
railways, on the highways, and city streets, in industries and the mines. The
loss of lives due to drownings is likewise very high. Doubtless many of the
injured, and apparently drowned, might have been saved, if adequate first aid
and the appliances necessary, in some cases, were immediately available.
Because of the ignorance of the bystanders in even the simplest of first aid
measures, many valuable lives have been lost.
Many railroads, factories and mines have first aid crews, enlisted from among
their own workers, but the number of those who have been trained for such work
in this country is all to few, as is evidenced by the high death rate from
accidents and calamities. The need for general instruction of the public and
of special training of groups of lay men and women, in all of the large
centers of population and the smaller cities is obvious. It is a peculiar fact
that America has been training its boys and girls, through the Boy Scout
movement and similar work among girls, to render first aid, and has neglected
to give such instruction to the adult population. Why should such heavy
responsibility be placed upon the children and why should our men and women
refuse to assume the burden?
The Order of the Hospital of St. John, "a fraternal organization with a social
welfare purpose" will endeavor to meet this need with the expectation that, as
it grows and becomes active in hundreds of the cities and towns of America, an
army of volunteer workers will come into being, trained to give unselfish
service in every calamity, large or small, that may befall any individuals, or
is expected that this work will have a strong appeal to the thousands of men
who served in the World War, and that many of them who had experience in the
hospital and medical corps, will enlist for service in St. John. They will
furnish the leadership for local relief corps wherever established and will
take the initiative in the organization of the work in many places.
The work of establishing a general medical and surgical hospital in any city
through a Priory of the Order of St. John will take time and patience but the
organization for calamity relief may be started at once in any city or town.
First, a priory of the Order must be established by those interested. As
stated in THE BUILDER for June, Priories will be chartered in cities or towns
where it is planned, in time, to establish a Priory Hospital, and such cities
and towns, with their surrounding "trade territory" must have sufficient
population to support a hospital when established. The Priory, when organized
and established, may proceed at once to form a Relief Corps, which will be a
part of the Priory's work and under its general direction. The Relief Corps
may work in connection with any existing hospital, by agreement, until the
Order's Hospital may be established by the Priory.
Corps Captain is the first officer to be selected. A former officer of the
American Expeditionary Forces, or of the National Army is the logical man for
the place, if he can be secured. He should be allowed to select his
lieutenants, and other officers to be assured of having a harmonious working
group of physicians must be enlisted. Their first duties will be to prepare a
series of lectures on first aid and relief work for the instruction of the lay
members of the Corps. The responsibility of training the men and women members
of the organization for efficient service rests upon them and they will
measure up to it.
Some of the physicians and surgeons can serve as instructors and others as
field workers when the call for duty comes, but an adequate number should be
enlisted to assure a sufficient number for service with the Corps in the
field. All physicians should be given the rank of Captain, but will be subject
to the orders of the Corps Captain.
large number of nurses should also be enlisted, both graduates and
undergraduates. They will assist in the class work as well as in the field.
Graduate nurses will have the rank of sergeants and undergraduates the rank of
Next will come the enlistment of layworkers, both men and women. A Relief
Corps when fully recruited, will consist of one hundred and eight men and
women, as officers and privates, the same as a company in the army. The Corps
will be divided into six squads of sixteen men and women each and every squad
will be specially trained for certain duty, along the following lines:
Squad No. One Ambulance Duty. Obtaining and driving ambulances to the nearest
hospital, or to the extemporized hospital, or to a train which will take them
to the nearest large city for hospital care.
Squad No. Two Transport of injured. Obtaining the train accommodations for
injured and escorting them to the nearest city for hospital care.
Squad No. Three Intelligence duty. To be composed of men and women. Listing
all wounded and injured and dead. Notifying relatives. Obtaining hospital
accommodations, or extemporizing same.
Squad No. Four Nursing squadron. To be composed of nurses only, who will aid
Squads Nos. One, Two and Three, as needed.
Squad No. Five Commissary. To be composed of women, who will provide coffee
and food for injured and for workers.
Squad No. Six Orderlies. To be composed of men and women, who will do
messenger duty for officers, doctors and nurses, as needed.
While the total enlisted strength of the Corps will be 108, this will not
include the physicians. It will also be wise to enlist a number of alternates
to take the places of men and women who may not be able to go when called
upon. On the other hand a Corps can be organized at half strength if need be,
and render good service.
The period of training will be fixed by the Medical Staff which will issue
certificates of proficiency, to be countersigned by the officers of the
Priory, to those who complete the course of study and stand examination. In
time the Order of St. John, through its Relief Division, will prepare a
complete course of instruction, with all necessary printed forms, to assist in
the work of organization and training. Those who assist in the formative
period of this work will be called upon to aid in preparing the course of
study which will be adopted later for general use.
Other details of the work will be developed and worked out by those who are
first in the field in the organization of this service for the suffering. No
one man, or group of men, is competent to prepare a complete plan of action at
this time. The advice and assistance of those who learn by actual experience
will be invaluable in the formulation of the rules and regulations which will
later be adopted for the carrying on of this work. When the time comes to do
this "book" work, the assistance of the United States Army, the American Red
Cross and similar organizations will be sought.
Certain regalia and uniform houses have been asked to submit sketches and
designs for uniforms for both men and women workers and an attractive and
inexpensive uniform will be adopted. Many other fraternal organizations have
their "uniform ranks" which are principally for show purposes, but the Relief
Corps of the Order of the Hospital of St. John will be a uniformed body for
practical service to humanity. In time its uniform will have an honored place
in every parade in every city.
Brethren and sisters who are interested are invited to open correspondence
with the Grand Commandery of the Order, Advertisers Building in St. Louis, if
they wish to initiate the movement to form a Relief Corps in their home city.
THE BUILDER September, 1928
American Army Lodges in the World War
BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN, Associate Editor
THERE is always a profound sense of satisfaction when a Mason is privileged to
discover and secure the facts concerning a Masonic enterprise of unusual merit
and thus preserve the same to future generations of the Craft. The following
story pieced together from records and communications from a group of former
members and leaders of the Army Lodge A is one of these circumstances.
Quite a number of Military or Field Lodges came into existence during the
World War, and we are striving to secure records of the same, and intend to
present them in THE BUILDER from time to time. By this means it is hoped to
make generally accessible information concerning Masonic activities in war
time that comparatively few brethren know anything about, as well as insuring
that it will not be forgotten in time to come.
One of the most interesting accounts of our American Field Lodges during the
World War is afforded us through the courtesy of M. W. Bro. Claude L. Pridgen,
P. G. M. of North Carolina. Dr. Pridgen has passed through all the offices
within the range of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and has always been a
keen student of Masonry.
number of years ago I came upon the evidences of the Military Lodge over which
he presided and opened up a correspondence with him. He most kindly turned his
attention from his medical practice to dig up the records of the Field Lodge
with the results as hereafter shown.
The record includes the petition for a dispensation with a copy of the
dispensation empowering the group to perform the duties of a lodge. It further
carries the story across the waters into France and gives a graphic
description of their work in France. The return is described and the closing
of the lodge.
These brethren from the southland have given us a broad cross-section of the
type of fellowship that prevailed throughout the Army and Navy both at home
and abroad. This story is to me more thrilling than the story of the
Argonauts, for it is authentic and leaves behind it a broad stream of
unselfish devotion to principles that undergird the highest type of manhood.
Past Grand Master Claude L. Pridgen, P. G. M. George Norfleet, and Bro. Col.
A. L. Cox, Grand Secretary W. W. Willson and others, this story is dedicated,
together with the large number of Master Masons of North Carolina who enabled
Army Lodge A to function in the brilliant manner in which it did.
Army Lodge A of North Carolina
BRO. A. L. Cox
THE One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery, being almost one hundred per
cent North Carolinian to start with, was naturally a hot bed of Masonry. All
North Carolina believes in the principles of the greatest of all secret
orders, the fraternity of Masons; and no good "Tar Heeler" figures on living
out his allotted span and dying without having been raised to the degree of
When the regiment had had time to get settled and there was opportunity for
casting about and getting acquainted with one another, there were found many
brethren in the Regiment, some of them of high rank. The Brigade Commander was
a Mason of the most enthusiastic type, as was our Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel,
our three Majors, and nearly all of the line officers. There were Masons among
the non-commissioned and enlisted personnel in large numbers. We had the bucks
of the batteries; cooks, muleskinners and incinerator experts.
Some one studied out a plan for an army lodge, an organization of brothers who
could "meet upon the level," with rank for the moment laid aside and all
enjoying maternal intercourse. The plan met with universal approval and a
petition to the Grand Master for a Dispensation was started. The name
designated in this petition was for "Army Lodge A".
a happy coincidence, Major Claude L. Pridgen, commanding officer of the
Sanitary Detachment, was at the time Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of North
Carolina. He arranged for the issuance of a Dispensation which in due time was
received. Copies of both the Petition and the Dispensation appear at the
conclusion of this history.
The first meeting of the lodge was held in the Masonic Temple at Greenville,
South Carolina, on Jan. 12, 1918, it being opened by the Grand Master, Bro.
Claude L. Pridgen, himself. It is to be noted here that the meeting was held
in South Carolina, which Grand Lodge most graciously granted to her sister
Jurisdiction the privilege of carrying on work within her territory. It is one
added testimony to the unfailing courtesy not only of South Carolina, but of
Masonry in all the states of the Union, and dispels the fears that the rights
of sovereign lodges might be trespassed upon in the creation of Field Lodges
in time of war.
this meeting Sergeant Joseph H. Mitchell, of the Sanitary Detachment, was
elected Worshipful Master; brigadier General George G. Gatley, commanding the
55th Field Artillery Brigade, was elected Senior Warden; and Colonel Albert L.
Cox was elected Junior Warden. Thus at the outset the regiment displayed that
democracy of fraternal fellowship that speaks so highly for the Craft wherever
it may be stationed.
The officers who served at this first meeting were as follows:
Wor. Master, Joseph H. Mitchell.
Senior Warden, George G. Gatley
Acting Junior Warden, Alfred L. Bulwinkle.
Acting Chaplain, Claude L. Pridgen.
Acting Senior Deacon, Benjamin R. Lacey, Jr
Acting Junior Deaoon, Louis A. Hanson.
Acting Senior Steward, Erskine E. Boyce.
Acting Junior Steward, Ralph S. Sholar.
Acting Tyler. Karl P. Burzer.
Thomas S. Payne of the Sanitary Detachment was elected Secretary of the lodge
and Erskine E. Boyce, Adjutant of the second Battalion, was elected Treasurer.
a subsequent meeting the following permanent officers were appointed by the
Chaplain, Claude L. Pridgen.
Senior Deacon, B. R. Lacey, Jr.
Junior Deacon, John E. Burris
Senior Steward, Samuel T. Russell.
Junior Steward, Julian M. Byrd.
Tyler, Karl P. Burger.
The following standing committees were also named:
Finance: Claude L. Pridgen George G. Gatley, Benj. R. Lacey, Jr.
Reference: Alfred L. Bulwinkle, Erskine E. Boyce, Albert L. Cox.
Oxford Orphanage, Thomas S. Payne, Karl P. Burger, Samuel T. Russell.
The lodge meetings were always interesting, but it was the first that will
linger longest in the memories of those who were present. It was the first
experience of meeting on the level the assembled Masons had had for many
months. They had been in the Army for more than six months. The distinctions
of rank are well defined and rigidly enforced within the military service. For
the first time Brother Buck Private met Brothers Brigadier General, Colonel
and Major on an equality of footing as Master Masons, with no one the worse
for the experience.
Brother Buck discovered that Brother Brigadier was a human being, and not the
tyrant he had gazed at from afar with fear and trembling, and this discovery
he carried back to his less favored comrades, and thus Army Lodge A became a
source of benefit to the regiment from its inception. The good it accomplished
can never be fully estimated.
the first meeting of the lodge there were short addresses by General Gatley
and Major Pridgen, but the most important action taken was to direct the newly
elected Master to go to Raleigh, N. C., to the meeting of the Grand Lodge and
there to formally present to that body their Petition for a Charter for Army
The following is the Petition which Worshipful Bro. Mitchell carried to the
THE MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND MASTER OF ANCIENT, FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS IN NORTH
THE UNDERSIGNED PETITIONERS, being Free and Accepted Master Masons in Good
Standing, having the prosperity of the Fraternity at heart, and willing to
exert their best endeavors to promote and diffuse the genuine principles of
Freemasonry, and for the convenience of their respective dwellings, and other
good reasons, respectfully represent:
That they are desirous of forming a new lodge at *113th Field
Artillery, (N.C.N.G.) U.S.A., of Camp Sevier, S.C (which is....miles from the
nearest lodge in this Jurisdiction); to be named Army Lodge A.
They, therefore, pray for a Dispensation to empower them to assemble as a
regular lodge to discharge the duties of Masonry in a regular and
constitutional manner, according to the ancient forms of the Order and the
regulations of the Grand Lodge.
They have nominated and do recommend Brother Sergeant Joseph Henry Mitchell to
be the first Master- Bro. Brigadier General George G. Gatley to be the first
Senior Warden- Bro. Colonel Albert L. Cow to be the first Junior Warden, of
the prayer of this Petition shall be granted, they promise a strict conformity
to the edicts of the Grand Master, and the constitution and laws of the Grand
Claude Leonard Pridgen
George G. Gatley
Albert L. Cox
Alfred L. Bulwinkle
Benjamin R. Lacey, Jr.
Otto E. Millican
Louis A. Hanson, Jr.
Samuel T. Russell
Ira T. Wortman
Joseph H. Mitchell
Ralph L. Sholar
John E. Burris
Thomas S. Payne
Karl P. Burger
William L. Futrelle
Julius M. Byrd
This Petition was duly presented to the Grand Lodge by W. Bro. Joseph
Mitchell, whereupon Grand Lodge authorized the issuance of the following
Charter of Dispensation:
SIT LUX ET LUX FUIT No. Army Lodge A.
THE GRAND LODGE
THE MOST ANCIENT AND (Seal) HONORABLE
FRATERNITY OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS
AMPLE FORM assembled, according to the Old Constitutions regularly and
solemnly established under the auspices of Prince Edwin of the City of York,
in Great Britain, in the year of Masonry 4926, viz.:
The Most Worshipful George S. Norfleet, Deputy Grand Master
The Right Worshipful Henry A. Grady Senior Grand Warden
The Right Worshipful Jas. A. Braswell Junior Grand Warden,
by these presents
appoint, authorize and empower our Worthy Brother Joseph Henry Mitchell, to be
the Master; our Brother George G. Gatley to be the Senior Warden; and our
Worthy Brother Albert L. Cow to be the Junior Warden, of a lodge of Ancient
Free and Accepted Masons, to be, by virtue hereof constituted, formed and held
in Camp Sevier, which Lodge shall be distinguished by the name or style of
Army Lodge A, Number ....... ,and the said Master and Wardens, and their
successors in office, are hereby respectively authorized and directed, by and
with the consent and assistance of a majority of the members of the said
Lodge, duly to be summoned and present on such occasions, to elect and install
the officers of the said Lodge, as vacancies happen, in manner and form as is,
or may be prescribed by the Constitution of this Grand Lodge.
AND FURTHER, the said Lodge is hereby invested with full power and authority
to assemble upon proper and lawful occasions to make Masons, and to admit
members, as also to be and perform all and every such acts and things
appertaining to the Craft as have been, and ought to be, done for the honor
and advantage thereof, conforming in all their proceedings to the Constitution
of this Grand Lodge, otherwise this warrant and the powers thereby granted, to
cease and be of no further effect.
GIVEN under our hands and the seal of our Grand Lodge, at the City of Raleigh,
in the United States of America, this 4th day of January, in the year of our
Lord one thousand nine hundred and eighteen and in the year of Masonry five
thousand nine hundred and eighteen.
(Signed) W. W. Willson, Grand Secretary.
Claude L. Pridgen, Grand Master.
Prior to the granting, however, of this Warrant or Charter for Army Lodge A to
meet and work, there was issued a Dispensation as follows:
SIT LUX ET
THE GRAND LODGE
ALL and every OUR Right Worshipful and loving Brethren, Greeting:
KNOW YE, That the Most Worshipful Claude Leonard Pridgen, Grand Master, at the
humble petition of our Right Worshipful Brethren: Claude L. Pridgdn, George G.
Gatley, Albert L. Cox, Benj. R. Lacey, Jr., E. E. Boyce, Otto E. Millican,
Louis A. Hanson, Jr., Samuel F. Russell, Ira C. Wortman, Joseph H. Mitchell,
Ralph Law Sholar, John E. Burris, Thos. S. Payne, Karl P. Buryer, William L.
Futrelle, Dudley Ropers, Julius M. Byrd, Alfred L. Bulwinkle, of the Ancient
and Honorable Fraternity of York Masons, and for other certain reasons, moving
our Most Worshipful Grand Master, doth hereby constitute the said Brethren
into a REGULAR LODGE OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS, to be opened at 115th
Field Artillery (N.C.N.G.) in the U.S.A. at Camp Sexier, S.C., by the name of
Army Lodge A. At their said request, and from the great trust and confidence
reposed in every of the said brethren The Most Worshipful Grand Master doth
hereby appoint Joseph Henry Mitchell, Master Brigadier General George G.
Gatley, Senior Warden, and Colonel Albert L. Cow, Junior Grand Warden, for
opening said lodge and governing the same until the first Annual Communication
of the Grand Lodge after the date of this Dispensation.
PROVIDED, however, that this Dispensation is based upon the express condition,
that said lodge shall secure the services of - one of the grand Lecturers of
the Grand Lodge of North Carolina; become proficient in the authorized work of
the Grand Lodge, and file with the Grand Secretary a certificate from said
Lecturer certifying that at least five of its members can each confer the
three degrees in Masonry efficiently and according to the authorized work of
the Grand Lodge. Failure of the lodge to comply with this condition for six
months from date shall render this Dispensation null and void, and it shall be
returned to the Grand Secretary's office, unless the time is extended by the
is required of our friend and Brother Joseph Henry Mitchell to take special
care that all and every of the said Brethren of the said lodge, as well as
those hereafter to be admitted into our body by said lodge, be REGULARLY MADE
MASONS and that they do, and observe and keep all the Rules and Orders
contained in the BOOK OF CONSTITUTIONS, and that the ANCIENT LANDMARKS be
strictly attended to; and, further, that he do cause to be entered, in a book
kept for that purpose, an account of the Proceedings of the Lodge, which, when
done, is to be transmitted to the Grand Master with a list of those Initiated,
Passed and Raised and otherwise disposed of under his authority.
Given at Raleigh, under the hand of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, and the
Great Seal of Masonry, This 4th day of January, A. L. 5918, A. D. 1918.
Claude Leonard Pridgen, Grand Master.
Attest: W.W. Willson, Grand Secretary
BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF, AND TRUTH.
the next regular meeting, which was held on Jan. 19, 1918, the lodge was
legally dedicated and consecrated and the officers, elected at the first
meeting, lawfully installed. Grand Master Pridgen presided at the ceremonies
and there were many visiting brethren present. At this meeting the first
petitions for degrees were received, this being from Lieutenant Joseph A.
Speed, and Lieutenant Henry P. Ledford of the Sanitary Detachment; and
Privates Aaron T. Salling and Harry B. Register, also of the Sanitary
Detachment. It became necessary to ask the South Carolina Grand Lodge for
permission to confer degrees within its Jurisdiction. This permission was
The lodge was much gratified to learn that the Grand Lodge of North Carolina
had accorded the new organization a warm welcome and was proud of its new
offspring. Past Grand Master Pridgen brought from the Grand Lodge of North
Carolina an offer to donate $500.00 toward a Masonic Club Room for the
soldiers of the regiment, and from St. John's Lodge, No. 1, Wilmington, N. C.,
a further donation of $50.00 for the lodge. The project met with disfavor when
the Camp Authorities were approached, and it was abandoned. It was also
learned that the War Department had prohibited secret meetings within the
limits of all Army Camps and arrangements were made to hold all meetings for
secret work thereafter in the Masonic Temple at Greenville, S. C.
The first meeting of the lodge in March was featured by a visit from Most Wor.
Bro. George S. Norfleet, Grand Master of North Carolina. He had been elected
in January to succeed Major Claude L. Pridgen The Grand Master took a great
deal of interest in Army Lodge A and offered it every encouragement. He gave
the lodge a beautiful silk flag which was carried with the lodge throughout
the war and after the regiment's return to the United States, presented this
emblem to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina. Unfortunately, the minutes of the
lodge were not well kept at all times. The first secretary of the lodge was
transferred to another outfit and the lodge lost his services and the work was
passed around from hand to hand. Such of the records as are still available
record the election of the following candidates for degrees.
Liston L. Mallard
Ferdinand D. Fink
Roman L. Mauldin
Walter W. Pollock
Thomas A. Lacey
Arthur B. Corey
Carey E. Dorsett
Herbert M. Thornburg
Thomas L. Gratham
Wilbur C. Spruill
E. Lambety, Jr.
Sam. N. Nash
Hugh C. Pollard
Wilbon O. Huntley
John W. Brookshire
Frank W. McKeel
Rufus C. Miller
Charles R. Davis
Otway C. Fogus
There is also recorded at various meetings in the United States and in France
and Luxembourg, the election to membership in the lodge of various Masons,
among them being the following:
Sidney C. Chambers
Thaddeus G. Stem
Enoch S. Simmons
Christian E. Mears
Nelson L. Nelson
Zena O. Ratcliffe
The last regular meeting in the United States was held on May 1, 1918. Moving
orders came soon after and no regular meeting was held until after the
regiment had completed its period of training in France and had been actively
engaged in the fighting on the Toul front for two weeks. On Sept. 7, 1918, in
the little village of Sanzy, on the outskirts of the Foret de la Reine, Army
Lodge A met in special communication to initiate Thomas I. Graham, W. T.
Dixon, and Stewart Barnes; the first two having been elected as candidates for
the degrees and the last named as a courtesy to Watauga Lodge, No. 273, of
Boone, N. C. This point was only a few miles from the front and the sound of
guns and the muffled roar of exploding shells furnished a strange
accompaniment for the solemn words of the Masonic ritual.
There was no regular or special communication after that until after the
Armistice, when meetings were resumed in a shack in the Foret de la Montagne,
on the Woevre Sector, which Headquarters Company honored with the title of "Messhall."
Here at a meeting held on Nov. 16th, 1918, the following new officers were
M., Albert L. Cox, the former J. W.
W., Karl P. Burger, the former Tyler.
W., Christian E. Mears.
Treasurer, Erskine E. Boyce.
Secretary, George N. Taylor
a subsequent meeting held at Colmar-Berg, in the Duchy of Luxembourg, the
following appointments were made:
D., John E. Burris
Chaplain, B. R. Lacey, Jr.
D., W. Reid Thompson
S., Ralph L. Sholar
Tyler, Dewitt T. Moore
S., Cleve L. Gross
The following Standing Committees were appointed:
Oxford Orphanage: John E. Burris, Chairman- John M. Lynch, Harry B. Newell.
Finance: A. L. Fletcher, Chairman; Harry B. Register, Lennox P. McLendon.
Reference: Alfred L. Bulwinkle, Chairman, Wm. L. Futrelle Rov L. Vaughan.
These officers served throughout the remainder of Army Lodge A's existence.
The lodge did a great deal of work for other lodges in various states, a
service which it rendered gladly. It also kept "open house" for all Masons
everywhere. Comparatively few of the Masons of the regiment transferred their
membership to Army Lodge A, but those who did not were welcomed just as warmly
at every meeting as if they had transferred and the Masons of other regiments
of the 30th Division, while in the United States, and of various
units with which the regiment served in France and with the Army of Occupation
were always invited to all meetings of the lodge and many a homesick Mason was
cheered and comforted by the experience.
The Book of Minutes, which is now the property of the Grand Lodge of North
Carolina, records meetings in various parts of France, at the little town of
Bous, just a mile from the Moselle River in Luxembourg; at Colmar-Berg and at
Bissen, in Luxembourg; and at Jouy-Sous les Cotes, in France. The last meeting
on French soil being held on Saturday, Jan. 18, 1919, just before the regiment
entrained for Le Mans, to rejoin the 30th Division.
The last regular communication of the lodge was held aboard the U. S. S. Santa
Teresa, on March 15, 1919, en route from St. Nazaire, France, to Newport News,
Va. It was marked by a large attendance of visiting Masons from the ship's
crew, and everybody enjoyed the very unusual lodge meeting aboard one of Uncle
Sam's great transports, headed for home. At this meeting Arthur B. Corey, Sam.
N. Nash, Rufus C. Miller, Herbert N. Thornburg, Lewis Norwood, Charles R.
Davis, Wilbur C. Spruill and John W. Brookshire were given the degree of
With the close of this meeting Army Lodge A passed into history. It was not
regularly dissolved until the regiment was demobilized, but in the rush and
hurry attendant upon demobilization, it was impossible to hold other meetings.
Under the charter of the lodge, the membership of the old Masons who
constituted Army Lodge A automatically reverted to the home lodges from which
they had received dimits and the new Masons were certified to Lodges having
jurisdiction over them.
Army Lodge A did a great deal of good, underwent many odd and unusual
experiences, and brought into the Masonic fold a fine lot of young men. It
aided materially in maintaining the morale of the regiment in all kinds of
trying circumstances. It helped the Masons of the regiment to keep in mind the
high principles of their great order. It served to remind the officers of the
regiment of the fact which all officers in all armies are sometimes apt to
forget, that they were only men, clothed for a time in authority, but no whit
better than the men under them. It served also to bring about a clearer
understanding among the enlisted personnel of the heavy load of responsibility
their brother officers carried, and by so doing it helped to make the regiment
what it was. The lodge never forgot its obligations to provide for the widows
and orphans and contributed largely to every good cause. Fifteen hundred
francs, at that time equivalent to $275.00, was contributed to the A. E. F's
French Orphans' Fund.
The Roster of Army Lodge A, A. F. & A. M., was as follows:
Allison, Eugene Atwater, R. L. Bailey, R. A. Baugham, W. E. Bolt, J. P. Boyce,
E. E. Brookshire, J. W. Bulwinkle, A. L. Burger, K. P. Burris, J. E. Boyd, J.
M. Chambers, S. C. Coleman, H. G. Corey, A. C. Cox, A. L. Crayton, L. B.
Davis, C. R. Dixon, W. T. Dorsett, C. E. Fink, Ferdinand Fletcher, A. L. Fogus,
O. C. Fortune, F. C. Futrelle, W. L. Gardner, L. W. Gatley, G. G. Graham, T.
I. Gross, C. L. Gross, J. T. Hanson, L. A. Huntley, W. C. Lacey, Jr., B. R.
Lacey, T. A. Lambert, J. E. Ledford, H. P. Leslie. J. T. Lynch, J. M. Mallard,
L. L. Mauldin, R. L. Miller, R. C. McCawley, J. W. McKeel, F. W. McLendon, L.
P. Mears, C. E. Mitchell, J. H. Moore, D. T. Nash, S. N. Nelson, N. L. Newell,
H. B. Norwood, G. P. Payne, T. L. Pollard, H. C. Pollock, W. W. Pridgen, C. L.
Norwood, L. Ratcliffe, Z. O. Reeves, N. O. Register, H. B. Rogers, Dudley
Russell, S. T. Salling, A. T. Scott, C. T. Sholar, R. L. Simmons, E. S. Speed,
J. A. Spruill, W. C. Stem, T. G. Taylor, G. N. Thompson, W. R. Thornburg, H.
M. Vaughan, R. L. Wortman, Q. O.
Thus the annals of this most interesting lodge of World War days come to a
close. The following letter from the organizer of the lodge will form an
interesting addition to the record:
Capt. Charles F. Irwin,
Dear Sir and Brother:
am at my country home with no typewriter and if you will excuse pen I will
hasten to reply to your letter which was forwarded to me by Bro. Willson,
Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.
you will realize I am far from home with no data here and it would be
impossible for me to write with any accuracy an article such as you wish. I
think the Grand Secretary has the minutes of our "Army Lodge A". Col Cox,
Raleigh, N. C., or Lieut. Col. S. C. Chambers, Durham, N. C., was to write up
the minutes of this lodge, giving the movements and battles engaged in as
preface to each minutes. Whether this has been done or not I do not know.
While at Camp Sevier, Greenville, S. C., we were all sore because the K.C.
were holding Mass every morning and entertaining our men and the "Y" did not
seem to be able to compete. The "Powers that were" turned a deaf ear to all
our pleadings for the same privileges as the K.C.
After an interview with Sovereign Grand Master George Fleming Moore, in
Washington, I was convinced that Masonry had no chance for recognition and at
the request of many I. as Grand Master, granted a Dispensation to Army Lodge A
to meet and act as other lodges anywhere on earth where no other Grand Lodge
whom we recognized held jurisdiction. The Grand Lodge of South Carolina waived
its rights and allowed us to meet in Greenvilleb S. C. The lodge was formed
with my Sergeant Joseph H. Mitchell, Sergeant Sanitary Detachment, 113th F.A.,
as Master; Brigadier General George Gatley, 55th Field Artillery
Brigade, S. W.; Col. A. L. Cox, 113th F. A., as J. W.; Capt. B. R. Lacey (now
pastor of Atlanta Presbyterian Church), S. D.; I was Chaplain.
There were many clamoring for admission. At this time a brother came and said
that he leased the government the land on which the Camp was located and when
he did so, he reserved a part in the center of the Camp, intending to use it
for stores, etc. He offered us this land free of charge for a Masonic
building. The Grand Master of South Carolina and the Grand Master of Tennessee
met with me and Deputy Grand Master of North Carolina (George Norfleet) and
decided to erect a two-story Masonic building in the center of the Camp on the
ground given us for this purpose. (The 55th F.A. Brigade was composed of
troops from Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina.)
This building was erected and the lower floor devoted to entertainment of all
soldiers regardless of outfit or religion. Writing material, magazines, eats,
a nice clean lounging place was provided. The upstairs was Strictly Masonic
and in regular Masonic form. The lodge met here regularly under waiver from
Grand Lodge of South Carolina until we left for France. We admitted from many
states, Initiated, Passed and Raised a goodly number of profane and were a
very live, active lodge.
sailed for France but did no work going over-no place and too crowded, and
everybody too Seasick. We landed in England, and as our Grand Lodge recognized
England, our lodge held no meetings there although we got together and talked
and planned for the future. The Grand Lodge of France had requested
recognition from me before we sailed but I had replied (and the Grand Lodge
sustained me) that we could not recognize France until she put the Bible back
on her Altar. So as we had not recognized France our Lodge held meetings and
did work in that country in many places- in the S.O.S. at Coetquidan and in
shot-up Cathedrals at the front. We held one meeting in the Cathedral at
Verdun and got a perfect Ashlar for the lodge from its ruined wall. We held a
meeting at St. Mihiel and get a Rough Ashlar that was knocked out of a wall
there which we brought home with our lodge. Our jewels were made from the
brass shells we captured from different German positions and from shells we
fired in victorious action.
the Argonne Forest we did degree work in an old dugont with guards placed on
watch for eavesdroppers and the shells were falling about us. We met in
Belgium and also near the palace of the Duchess of Luxembourg and here the
lodge voted many francs to care for the orphan French children at Paris. Some
of us crossed the river into Germany but as our troops did not move over we
held no regular lodge meeting there.
Our final meeting abroad was held aboard ship in the salon in the middle of
the Atlantic Ocean with Masons from all parts of the world present. We
initiated an Entered Apprentice.
The lodge was always true to form and a stickler for doing everything as
required by the Grand Lodge. Every visitor was examined by a committee and all
work done exactly as prescribed by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.
Shortly after organizing, the regular election was held and all officers moved
up one step. Before disbanding I think another election was held and Colonel
Cox was Master when the lodge returned.
L. PRIDGEN, M. D.,
P.G.M. Grand Lodge of N. C.
another letter, Colonel A. L. Cox made this interesting reference to the
jewels of the lodge, in addition to the mention made above:
The lodge jewels which were made by members of the lodge from shell cases used
in action by 75 mm. guns of the regiment have been presented to the Grand
Lodge of North Carolina. The Deacon Rods made from rammer staffs, the Perfect
Ashlar secured from the Cathedral at Verdun, and the Rough Ashlar secured from
the Cathedral at St. Mihiel, were also presented to the Grand Lodge.
There were many learned brothers in the lodge and the work at all times was
splendidly put on. The lodge held regular communications before leaving this
country and also in England, France and Luxembourg and the final meeting was
held in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on board the S. S. Santa Teresa.
While meeting at and near the front, guards were at all times put out adjacent
to our meeting place to detect communications from felons and eavesdroppers.
The following is from a letter from Bro. Willson, Grand Secretary.
This lodge surrendered its charter as soon as it was mustered out of the
service. It was chartered on Jan. 16, 1918. Their stated meetings were held on
the third Saturday night in each month. They were chartered with eighteen
members and they surrendered the charter with forty-seven. They conferred
degrees upon the high seas, in France, and one degree, I think in Germany.
would seem that the last reference is probably to the meeting held in
closing this article we may express the hope that the Grand Lodge of North
Carolina may have had photographs taken of the Jewels of this remarkable lodge
as well as carefully preserving the latter themselves. It would also be a
valuable addition to their archives to secure, as far as possible, pictures of
the different localities where the lodge met, as well as portraits of the
General Albert L. Cox resides in Raleigh, N. C. Born in Raleigh, N. C., Dec.
1, 1883. Raised in William G. Hill Lodge, No. 218, June 2, 1908. Dimitted from
the same to join Army Lodge "A". Upon surrender of the charter of the Army
Lodge "A", on March 29, 1919, automatically reinstated in his mother lodge.
Joseph H. Mitchell, first Master of Army Lodge "A", North Carolina, resident
of Wilmington, N. C. Initiated in Central Cross Lodge, No. 187, and Raised in
the same, Sept. 8, 1905. Dimitted from same and affiliated with Louisburg
Lodge, No. 413, on May 5, 1908. Dimitted from same in 1912, and affiliated
with St. John's Lodge, No. 1, at Wilmington, N. C., July 9, 1912. On July 8,
1917, he dimitted from St. John's Lodge, No. 1, to become a member of Army
Lodge "A". Upon surrender of the charter of this Military Lodge, March 29,
1919, he was automatically restored to membership in St. John's Lodge, No. 1,
at Wilmington, N. C.
Bro. W. W. Willson, Grand Secretary of North Carolina, to whose kindness and
unfailing courtesy we have been so much indebted in obtaining the records of
Army Lodge "A", and putting us in communication with its members, was called
to the Grand Lodge above on July 15th. His death will be a great loss to the
Grand Lodge he served so faithfully and efficiently, and we desire to extend
our sincere sympathy to his friends and to the Craft of North Carolina
The Degrees of Masonry: Their Origin and History
BROS. A. L. KRESS and R. J. MEEKREN (Continued from August.)
have now to consider the later periods into which Bro. G. W. Speth divided his
consideration of the vexed problem of the origin of Masonic degrees. (1) The
first, as we have seen, was the "purely Operative" period, and the only
evidence concerning it is almost entirely confined to the scanty indications
to be discovered in the old MS. Constitutions, from the Regius and Cooke
onwards. These scattered fragments are in themselves so obscure that it is
practically impossible to construct any system at all out of them except upon
some hypothesis based upon other considerations outside of and apart from
them. Thus it came about that all the contestants could find support for their
own theories in these documents in spite of the fact that these theories were
The next two of Speth's four periods are the "Mainly Operative" and the
"mainly Speculative." It might almost have been better to have treated them as
one under the head of the "Transition Period," though this term has been more
usually applied to the few years between 1717 and 1730. It would, however, be
very advantageous to enlarge its scope, for this limitation is a very narrow
and almost artificial one. Presumably adopted, in the first place, before it
was realized that the process of evolution from the Operative to the
Speculative status of the Craft began long before 1717, perhaps a century or
more, and continued long after 1730. Indeed one might bring the later limit of
transition down to 1813, when, with the Union of the Ancient and Modern Grand
Lodges, the last traces of Christian doctrine were eliminated from the rituals
of English Masonry, though a few are still left in those used in America.
a matter of fact Speth has very little to say about his "mainly Operative"
period, even less than for the "purely Operative." He remarks that
. . the accession of gentlemen to the membership must have been gradually on
the increase and that it is scarcely conceivable that the operatives, whose
object in admitting these gentlemen was doubtless to insure their Patronage
and good will, should have failed to admit them at once to the full
membership, i.e., fellowship. We cannot suppose for one moment that a seven
years' apprenticeship was demanded of them.
And then he goes on to add:
Possibly they were entered at one lodge meeting and passed to the fellowship
at the very next annual head-meeting day.
which he means, presumably, not the meeting of the lodge in which they were
entered, but the next general Assembly, or Congregation, as the Cooke MS.
terms it. He then argues that;
so, in course of time the procedure would be simplified, especially if the
annual assemblies were being neglected, and the two degrees would be conferred
consecutively at the same meeting.
other words, the lodges began to exercise the functions of the Assembly, in
respect at least to making Masters, or in other words, "Passing" or
"admitting" Fellows. Speth however insists that the designation of these
honorary, or gentlemen, members would be Fellows, not Masters, because they
would be in no sense masters of the craft, although they were Fellows of the
society. Yet we find a number of instances in 17th century lodge records in
Scotland where such gentleman Masons are distinctly spoken of as masters as
well as "fellows of craft," though undoubtedly the latter seems to have been
the more usual form. Two examples may be cited from the minutes of Mary's
Chapel. The first, of date May 20, 1640, it is said that the members of the
. . doeth admit amoght them the right honerabell Alexander Hamiltone, generall
of the artillerie of thes kindom, to be felow and Mr. of the forced draft
And on Dec. 27 (St. John's Day) 1667 the Rt. Hon. Sir Patrick Hume was
admitted in as fellow of craft (and master) of this lodg. (2)
fact, if they were honorary members there is no reason why they should not
also have been honorary masters. Speth goes on to draw a conclusion from this
presumed passing of gentlemen masons to the fellowship at one time; he says:
we admit these suggestions as plausible, it would be necessary, even at the
entering of gentlemen to exclude the apprentices, because the admission to the
fellowship was to follow on immediately, and we should thus be able to account
for the chief characteristic of the next period of transition, that of the
mainly speculative, when only one ceremony is indicated and all mention of
This naturally gave an opening to those who took the other side of the
question to retort, "If, as you admit, there was only one ceremony at a later
period, why suppose two at an earlier one?" But the weakness of his argument
is more apparent than real, as there does not seem any necessity for supposing
that the apprentices were excluded from their normal share in the proceedings,
whatever these were. The later silence in regard to this grade could be very
simply accounted for; in lodges of purely non-operative membership there would
never be any apprentices, unless as was actually done at Haughfoot and
Dunblane, special rules were enacted to forbid the "entering" and “passing"
(whatever the terms may have implied) on the same occasion. The first of these
two lodges, on Dec. 27, 1707,
. . came to a generall resolution that in tyme coming, they would not, except
on special considerations, admitt to the Society both of apprentice and
fellowcraft, at the same tyme, but that one year at least should intervene
betwixt any being admitted apprentice and his being entered fellowcraft. (3)
most of the old lodges the terms "admit" and "pass" was generally used of
making fellows, and "enter" of apprentices, but the Haughfoot minutes seem to
have reversed this usage. It may be noted incidentally that this lodge met
once a year on St. John's Day in winter, but that any five members (or
presumably, more than five) were regularly empowered "to admit and enter such
qualified persons as should apply to them."
The Dunblane minute is not perhaps so significant, though it is dated Sept.
1,1716, a year before the four lodges in London had held the momentous
assembly from which the Grand Lodge was born.
is enacted that in tyme coming there be no meassones or others entered and
past by the members of this Lodge at one and the same time (except such
gentlemen who cannot be present at a second diet.) (4)
But failing such a definite regulation it would come about naturally and
inevitably, whether entering and passing implied two secret ceremonies, or
one, or none, that if all the members of the lodge were non-operative, and
received to fellowship (or full membership) at one time, the apprentice rank
would not exist not because it was unknown or disused, but because no one
remained an appentice for more than a few minutes. And this would quite
naturally account for its not being mentioned.
The next stage of Speth's presentation of his argument can be treated more
briefly, though it actually takes a good deal more space; but as it deals with
evidence that has already been discussed, it will not be necessary to cover it
in detail. The initiation of Elias Ashmole is taken first, and Rylands' proof
that the lodge at Warrington was nonoperative in character is quoted. Rylands
laboriously hunted through wills and parish registers till he was able to show
that most of those mentioned as present by Ashmole were landed gentlemen of
the neighborhood. The lodge at Chester to which Randle Holme belonged was also
non-operative in the main, though its members were chiefly burgesses of
Chester. To some extent the same thing seems to have been true, in the
seventeenth century, of the "Accepcon" connected with the Mason's Company at
London. The Old Lodge at York was also non-operative, though one instance is
recorded of admitting two members gratis because they were working stone
masons. And, if we admit its existence, the lodge at Doneraile which initiated
the Hon. Mrs. Aldsworth was certainy non-operative. Plot's account is
mentioned, which speaks of Freemasons as "Fellows of the Society." In all
these instances there is no mention of apprenticeship, those who were admitted
or accepted were thereupon spoken of as Fellows.
is obvious that all this is compatible either with "entering" as an esoteric
ceremony and "passing" a mere form, or the other way about, entering a form
and passing a secret ceremony, or even with the supposition that there was
nothing worthy of being called an initiation at all.
Speth sums up this part of his argument by supposing that, during the
transition between his two intermediate periods, the lodges with non-operative
. . gradually dropped the apprentices from their meetings, and finally became,
what we next meet, assmblages of gentlemen.
But, as we have suggested, the dropping of the apprentices, or their exclusion
(which Speth assumed) would be automatic as the lodge became non-operative in
character, if honorary members were passed to the fellowship immediately after
entry. It does not seem necessary to suppose, however, that operative lodges
ceased to exist in England, though it is quite probable that they would become
less and less permanent. The Scottish lodges, superintending, as they did, all
trade matters in their district, naturally kept records of their proceedings.
But it is quite possible to suppose that English working masons went on with
their traditional ceremonies when apprentices were indentured with their
employer, and when they had served their time. One thing alone would keep the
custom alive, and that would be the treat the young craftsman had to stand all
round. It is, however, quite possible, or even probable, that the usage was a
dying one, and it may have been well nigh extinct by the beginning of the
eighteenth century; but again, it may not. In the absence of records it is
impossible to be certain; yet in the scraps of old Masonic usage that turned
up about 1720 and later it seems to be taken for granted that a gentleman
Mason might pretty confidently expect to find a "free brother," as the Sloane
MS. puts it, wherever stone masons were working; and there are strong
indications of a tradition that the presence of a working mason was necessary
to make the action of a lodge valid.
Speth then takes up another aspect of the situation he has assumed; were the
members of the non-operative lodges of gentlemen masons acquainted with the
secrets of the apprentices? And he says;
so, then as we only know of one ceremony being usual, the two degrees must
have been practically welded into one.
support this he advances the fact that we never hear of more than one oath.
Randle Holme only gives one oath, according to which the secrets are only to
be communicated to the "masters and fellows," apprentices not being mentioned.
Aubrey, who said the adoption "was very formally adds that it is "with an oath
of Secrecy." Pritchard contains only one oath, and for that matter, as we have
already noted, the early French rituals of 1745, and even later, have no more.
Yet this is not conclusive, for, as we have also seen, the Grand Mystery
implies another oath besides the one given. The oath mentioned above is in the
handwriting of Randle Holme, and is bound up with the copy of the Old Charges
known as Harleian MS. No. 2054 and what seem to be a sheet of lodge accounts.
It runs as follows:
There is seu'rall words & signes of a free mason to be revailed to y'u w'eh as
y'o will answ: before God at the great and terrible day of Judgm't y'u keep
secret and not revail the same to any in the heares of any p'son W
[whomsoever?] but to the Mrs & fellows of the said Society of free masons so
helpe me God, &c. (5)
But this lodge at Chester (if we may judge from the fact that the Charges are
also in Holme's own handwriting) also administered the oath contained in all
these documents to abide by the several articles and points. In fact it would
seem that this lack of specific reference to more than one oath does not prove
there was no more than one. And the Chetwade Crawley MS. (6) (which was
discovered some years after this paper of Speth's was written) distinctly says
that the oath was "administered anew." But even this document, like the Grand
Mystery, seems to imply yet another oath not given, possibly because it was
embodied in the charges.
There now follows an argument which seems rather questionable, and it was
naturally taken up in the discussion. Speth said that
. . the necessity of two degrees arose from the absolute need of two signs or
modes of recognition, and if, therefore the gentlemen received both degrees,
they would have been in possession of more than one.
Lane retorted that "a multiplicity of signs and words" exist today, any of
which would serve for recognition, and that their combination would not
justify us in assuming (presumably from the outside) that each one presupposed
"a distinct and separate degree." Which is quite true, and it may be said,
though the point did not arise in the discussion, that it is obvious that a
single word or sign would never serve as a permanent means of recognition. It
would have to be surrounded and guarded, as it were, by others, in order that
two strangers could step by step assure themselves each of the other's right.
In fact, precisely what might be understood by the Scottish phrase "the
secrets of the Mason word." But besides this we have a "multiplicity" of means
of recognition given in the Old Catechisms which are not ritual in character
(though they may, some of them at least, have obscure ritual references) but
are purely practical; such as coughing, or clearing the throat three times;
putting the left stirrup over the saddle when dismounting from a horse; saying
that a stone lies loose, or is hollow; asking where the master is; or throwing
one's handkerchief over the left shoulder and the like. So that the reference
by Holme "to severall words and signes," Aubrey's "certain signes and
watchwords" and Plot's "certain secret signes" prove nothing to the point,
though the doggrel verses from "the Prophecy of Roger Bacon" may refer to more
ffree Masons beware Brother Bacon advises
Interlopers break in & Ispoil your Divices
Your Giblin and Square are all out of door
And Jachin and Boaz shall bee secretts no more.
This is appended to the Stanley MS. of the Old Charges, and from internal
evidences is known to be of a date between April, 1713, and August, 1714.
There is also the doggrel verse in the Mason's Examination:
enter'd Mason I have been
Boaz and Jachin I have seen
Fellow I was sworn most rare
And know the Astler, Diamond and Square
know the Master's part full well
honest Maughbin will you tell. (8)
This, Hughan contended, proved not two, but three degrees; which is quite
possible seeing it was published in 1723, at the same time it does not
necessarily have to be so interpreted if we suppose Master and Fellow were
synonymous terms. Another version (9) of this catechism, the Mystery of
Freemasons, was published in 1730, said to have been found "Amongst the Papers
of a Deceased Brother." This has a note that is very much to the purpose.
Having given the questions about the Kitchen and Hall, by which an "Enter'd
Apprentice" was to be distinguished from a "Brother Mason," there follows
another about age to the same end, and then the following:
N.B. When you are first made a Mason you are only enter'd Apprentice (10) and
till you are made a Master, or as they call it, pass'd the Master's Part, you
are only an enter'd Apprentice, and consequently must answer under 7, for if
you say above  they will expect the Master's Word and Signs.
Note. There is not one Mason in a Hundred that will be at the Expense to pass
the Master's Part, except it be for Interest.
Incidentally one might ask what interest would induce Masons to be at the
expense? To qualify for office in the lodge? But in any case, as late as 1730,
when the present three degrees were certainly known, this document appears to
envisage only two, of which the superior one was the Master or Brother Mason.
But "Brother Mason" would seem to be equivalent to Fellow, or Fellow of the
Craft. Of course the note may have been interpolated by an editor who was a
nonMason, so that as evidence it is dubious; but as an indication it may have
some value. As Speth remarked, though the spurious rituals published after
this imply three degrees, they also reveal, by all kinds of discrepancies and
inconsistencies, an original two degree system.
The last period, the purely speculative, can be dealt with very shortly. The
evidence of the first edition of the Constitutions is brought forward, which
has already been discussed. Speth says of the Grand Lodge that
.... it was admittedly looked upon as replacing the assembly.
could well have put it more strongly and said that it was a conscious effort
to revive the Assembly, and actually was an Assembly for a few years. It was
the force of changed circumstances that turned it into a representative body
such as we now understand by a Grand Lodge. If, therefore, there was a
tradition that the passing or admitting of masters was a matter for the
Assembly, and not for any chance gathering of seven masons, it would fully
account for the clause in Payne's Regulation xiii requiring this, just as the
changed circumstances and increased numbers would at the same time tend to
make it a dead letter.
regard to this Speth countered Hughan's interpretation that the Regulation
implies that the three degrees had already been completed in 1721, or at least
in 1723 when it was published, and that the order of the words, "Masters and
Fellow Craft," and the subsequent change in the second edition to "Fellow
Craft and Master," was without any significance, by pointing out that if three
degrees were originally referred to, then the minute recording the repeal of
the clause, which mentions only "Masters," produced the extraordinary result
that the lodges could make Masters but that Fellow Crafts could only be made
in Grand Lodge.
refers also to Dr. Stukeley's statement that he was
. . the first person made a Freemason in London for many years. We had great
difficulty to find members enough to perform the ceremony. (11)
Speth was inclined to see in this remark, concerning an event which took place
(according to Stukeley's diary) on Jan. 6, 1721, an evidence of the difficulty
in finding Masons competent to work the second degree, that is to pass Masters
or Fellows. That the difficulty was anything but accidental, or so to speak,
local, that is within the limits of the Doctor's friends and their
acquaintance, is a little hard to believe, if there really was a second
traditional ceremony. Really there is nothing in what he says to give the
least indication that he here referred to a second part and not merely to the
"making" or "entering." Stukeley does indeed seem to have been concerned in an
attempt to institute another degree or society, but whatever the "Order of the
Book, or Roman Knighthood" may have been it seems to have died still-born.
(12) The suggestion that the difficulty mentioned by him was due to his desire
to go beyond the first grade was quite unnecessary from Speth's point of view.
Having argued that in lodges which had ceased to have any Operative element in
them would inevitably tend to amalgamate the two ceremonies into one, it only
served to weaken his case to suppose that the occasional lodge formed to
initiate Stukeley worked them separately, or as would be implied by the
suggestion, that the two grades were given separately in London. Such a
supposition really fitted Hughan's theory much better, that the three degrees
had already been invented by the leaders of the Grand Lodge, for being recent
inventions it would be only natural that but few would know them. However it
is probable that in this Speth was following Gould, who had, in his paper on
Dr. Stukeley, (13) made the same suggestion some years before. Neither this
interpretation, nor the opposing one that fits Hughan's theory, really follow
from what Stukeley actually says in his various allusions to the event. In his
autobiography he remarks under the year 1720, that:
His curiosity led him to be initiated into the mysteries of Masonry,
suspecting it to be the remains of the mysteries of the antients, when with
difficulty a number sufficient was to be found in all London. (14)
gives no hint how he came to "suspect" that Masonry was a survival of the
ancient Mysteries, and still less what conclusion he came to after his
initiation. His account is quite consistent with the hypothesis that he was
satisfied as to its antiquity, and this is strengthened by the fact that his
interest was much greater and more lasting than that of his predecessor
Ashmole. This second allusion to the difficulty in collecting sufficient
number to form a lodge can only be interpreted (seeing that we know for a fact
that there were Masons enough in London to form a number of regular lodges) as
referring to his own circle. Like so much else of the evidence it is
ambiguous; it can be made to fit into the most widely opposite theories.
(1) A.Q.C., Vol. xi, p. 41, et seq.
(2) Lyon, History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, pp. 80 and 81.
(3) A.Q.C., Vol. xvi, p. 178, also Gould History, Vol. ii, p. 68. It was the
regular custom in this lodge for those who were made Masons to be "entered" to
the lodge by a "commission" of five members. Apparently any five members might
thus act though the "commission" was renewed at each St. John's Day meeting of
the lodge. This may be Significant in view of the requirement in the MS.
Constitutions that no one is to be made a Mason without five or six or seven
Masons present and consenting. The numbers required vary in the different
(4) Lyon op. cit., p. 416.
(5) Gould, Hist. Vol ii, p 308
(6) A.Q.C., Vol. xvii, p. 9i. Hughan gives here a brief account of this MS.
and its discovery. Like at least one other MS. Catechism it was found in an
old book, the original owner of which was unknown. Expert opinion, based on
the character of the handwriting, puts the approximate date as 1730. Hughan is
contemptuous of this group of documents, but seems, rather unwillingly,
compelled to admit that this one (perhaps because it has never been published)
may afford some light on the usages of the period.
(7) A.Q.C., Vol. 1, p. 127. Speth here, as early as 1888, argued that this
piece of coarse, not to say obscene, doggrel, was an important indication of
the character of the Masonic ritual previous to the formation of the Grand
Lodge. His analysis of this "Prophecy of Brother Roger Bacon . . . woh Hee
writ on ye N: E: Square of ye Pyramids of Egypt" has been universally accepted
as demonstrating that it must have been composed between after the Peace of
Utrecht and before the death of Queen Anne, the first ten lines consisting of
cryptic allusions to important events that occurred at that time. He stresses
the phrase "Interlopers break in," and suggests that it may refer to the
influx of non-operatives, who were gaining control by sheer force of numbers,
and were inclined to modify the old customs or introduce unheard of novelties.
At least it does seem to indicate Masonic activity and evolution before 1716.
(8) Another version of these verses is given in Prichard's "Master's Part,"
but broken up for catechetical purposes. As the "Dissection" presents three
degrees under their present names the line "A fellow I was sworn most rare"
has been edited into "A Master Mason I was made most rare."
(9) So far as we know this document has not been recently published. Gould
(Op. cit. Vol. iv, p. 278) says it first appeared in the Daily Journal, Aug.
15, 1730. Chetwode Crawley (A. Q.C., Vol. xviii, p. 141) says it was copied in
the same month by The Dublin Intelligence. Franklin (before he became a Mason)
reproduced it with some small variations, in The Pennsylvania Gazette of Dec.
3rd following. But it was reprinted in London in the form of "broadsheets,"
and it may have been from one of these that he took it. It was reproduced many
times and under different names, such as The Grand Whimsey, The Puerile Signs
and Wonders of a Freemason and so on. The Catechism is obviously a version of
the Mason's Examinations
(10) Or, as a MS. copy, discovered a few years ago by Bro. Songhurst, has it,
"you are only entered an Apprentice," a variation that may be of importance in
regard to the origin and intention of the term "Entered Apprentice." This MS.
was also found in an old book under similar circumstances to the Chetwode
Crawley MS. The handwriting and paper appear to be consistent with its being
at least as old as 1730, and it may be an independent version.
(11) Gould Concise History, p. 223, also the larger work, Vol. iii, p. 36 and
A.Q.C., Vol. vi, p. 127.
(12) Gould History, Vol. iii p. 40, note 6.
(13) A.Q.C., Vol. vi, p. 141.
(14) Ibid., p. 130.
Masonic Symbols of the Minoan Period
THE discovery of the remains of a great civilization that preceded by many
centuries that of Greece, and that was apparently centered in the Island of
Crete, gives rise to some of the most interesting problems in archaeology. For
one thing the Minoans seem in many ways to have been extraordinarily modern,
or what we are pleased to think of as "up-to-date."
the great palace at Knossos, which was discovered by Sir Arthur Evans at the
beginning of the present century and gradually laid bare by his excavators in
succeeding years, many surprising and intriguing features are to be found. Not
least among them was the so-called "throne-room" and the hall of the double
axes. Recently our Greek contemporary Pythagoras, which is the organ of the
Supreme Council of the A.A.S.R. at Athens published a lecture delivered in a
lodge there in February of this year, by Bro. Spiridean Monsouris. This has
been translated into English by Bro. Eustis Eliople of the Henry L. Palmer
Lodge, No. 301, of Milwaukee, Wis. Both the translator, and the editor of the
Palmer Templegram, desire that all credit for this should be ascribed to their
lodge. The lecture contains suggestions that most Masonic students will feel
much caution in accepting, yet there are undeniable coincidences that at least
are exceedingly interesting.
THE Cretan Civilization dates back to about 3500 B. C., and differs vastly
from that of Ancient Greece of 400 to 300 B. C. Attention has again been
called to it through the excavating operations undertaken in 1900 A. D., by
Sir Arthur Evans and others of like fame and reputation for reliability.
Most of the treasures of this remarkable Cretan Civilization were found in the
enormous palace at Knossos, on the island of Crete, the domain of Minos.
There, in this wonderful palace at Knossos, was discovered a separate section,
or sanctuary of ceremonies, and it has been established positively that in
this sanctum certain mysterious and religious rites were performed with
symbolic exercises. There also has been found the so-called Hall of the Royal
Throne, in which the ancient Cretans held their symbolical assemblages.
Sir Arthur Evans made a minute study of the various signs and marks found
there. In his book, "The Palace of Minos," he expressed himself definitely:
"It is impossible for anyone to have the least doubt that this Hall of the
Royal Throne was intended and used for religious ceremonies; during my visit
there it gave me indeed the impression of being a Masonic Lodge."
This Hall is rather small and at its North wall still stands the throne,
constructed of alabaster, on a raised dais, ornamented and canopied. On either
side of it are to be found frescoes, mural paintings, of winged lions
interspersed with irises, the lions turning their heads toward the throne as
if they were guarding it. This throne corresponds with out present-day W.M's
chair. To the left and right of it are permanent benches and this arrangement
shows similarity to our rows of seats.
Entering the hall from the left there is a mysterious underground cavern with
a stairway leading into it, and it has been verified by archaeologists that
this room was always kept dark and apparently served the purpose of a
purifying and meditation chamber, in which there were duly prepared all those
desirous to be initiated into the Cretan mysteries. To the South of the throne
there are other sections with various ceremonial designs carved into the wall.
the main-entrance of the Hall there are two giant square stone-pillars. All
archaeologists and architects have been able to discover, that these pillars
ever supported any part of the building. They stand erect and independent, a
magnificent symbol, and undoubtedly correspond with our pillars in symbolic
Among the many other ceremonial relics found, forming a basis of this ancient
form of deistic worship, are various curiously carved objects of bone having
the appearance of flowers, calyses, birds, etc., and others having the form of
seeds of the pomegranate.
The most interesting frescoes to us as Masons are one consisting of alternate
black and white squares, and another representing the famous Rhytophorous, or
bearer of the cornucopia (the horn of plenty), wearing an Apron. These two
objects of interest have been removed to the Museum of Crete.
Also there were found many statuettes holding their hands outstretched in
various positions. The most important one, found by Elnouth Bossert, has its
hands in the exact position of an Entered Apprentice. Others have their hands
over their hearts, forehead and in still more significant positions,
representing signs similar and analogous to Masonic signs of higher degree,
which the oath of secrecy forbids us to divulge or describe in detail in
it is known that the ancient Cretans were allied with the ancient inhabitants
of Asia Minor, it is not improbable that these two peoples had common
Let us endeavor to bridge the gap of time and we must admit, that the
mysteries performed at Knosos, Crete, have the identical symbolic meaning as
the relics found in Antioch, Asia Minor, and Eleusis, Attica, Greece, and bear
close alliance to those of the Temple of Sol-om-on.
The Message of Masonry
BRO. CHARLES A. ELLWOOD. Missouri
AUSTRIAN Masons are studying the question of spreading more efficaciously the
ideas and principles of Masonry in their country; the General Masonic League,
the National Group of Austria, organized the proceedings by the following
scheme. Austrian Masonry counting not more than 1600 members must ask whether
the principle of selection, on which they are based, really serves the
propagation of Masonic doctrines, which is and must be their aim. Selection
not carefully circumscribed may in the contrary lead to excluding rather wide
circles from joining our Order, instead of encouraging them to enter it. Thus
Austrian Masonry might come to represent an extreme limiting itself to a small
number of intellectuals in touch more or less with one section only of their
people (six and one-half millions) but consequently limited also in its social
influence and material success.
The other extreme seems to be personified by American Masonry extending over
such a great portion of the population that the tenth part of its adults is
gathered within the bounds of the Temple of Humanity. No wonder they are able
to perform most striking and visible effects!
Bro. Frank of Vienna [known to readers of THE BUILDER through a number of
excellent articles] was charged to inform his brethren concerning American
Masonry at large, in a discourse held on March 19. He showed by the aid of
Statistics the gigantic results obtained by large numbers and clever
organizing; large sums can be raised for the building of temples, for
efficacious works of public and Masonic beneficence, for Social progress in
general and for education especially; and also that "number" by no means
necessarily forms an obstacle to intellectual and spiritual action or
evolution, which is naturally led by the "few"; and he explained and described
such performances, and even their influence upon polities in the higher sense.
Bro. Frank came to the conclusion that Austria could not possibly try to
transplant American conditions upon Austrian ground, but that very much was to
be learned from American Masonry, and, properly adapted, could serve immensely
to the benefit of the Craft, in spite of the serious difficulties standing
against Masonry in Austria.
Following this, Bro. Ellwood had been invited by the above mentioned Austrian
Branch of the Universal Masonic League to express his views on Quantity and
Quality, before the same Masonic group, which he did on April 16. Thus the
same question was answered by a representative of one of the smallest and by
one of the largest Masonic entities. Bro. Ellwood has been most
enthusiastically received by the Viennese brethren and cordially cheered by
his audience, his lecture being highly admired and appreciated the more as he
delivered it in the German language.
The Viennese lodges will subsequently sum up the ideas expressed by the two
discourses, they will be discussed, and a report will be submitted to the
Grand Lodge of Vienna, whose Grand Master, highly interested in the movement,
assisted at both meetings. B. L.F.
[Dr. Ellwood is Professor of Economies at Missouri University, Columbia. He is
a member of Acacia Lodge, No. 602, and of the Consistory of Western Missouri.
His address was published in the April number of the Wiener FreimaurerZeitury.
It is published here at the Special request of Bro. Frank. Ed.]
PERMIT me to express, first of all, my deep appreciation of the privilege of
meeting and addressing the Freemasons of Vienna, and of bearing fraternal
greetings in an official way, from the Masons of America to the Masons of
Austria and the United States have much in common, though apparently widely
separated. Both, in spite of their different situation, have developed a
cosmopolitan spirit and in both the conflicting tendencies of our civilization
have come to intense expression. Both are vitally interested in promoting the
peace of the world and in finding some solution of the problem of our
civilization. It should not be difficult, therefore, for the Masons of Austria
and America to do something more with their Freemasonry than merely to
cultivate fraternal goodwill; it ought to be possible for them to develop to
some degree fraternal cooperation. The Masonic Order throughout the world
must, indeed learn to cooperate, to work together, if the ideals of Masonry
are ever to be realized or even to survive; and perhaps a beginning of such
cooperation has been made by Austrian and American Masons.
has not been customary among Masons to speak of the "message" of their Order.
Yet surely it has a message for the world which was never more sorely needed
than at the present time. For our present world is one of suspicion, distrust,
dislike, and disunity, yes even of hate and mutual destruction. Never was the
world in more pitiful need of a message of toleration, fraternal unity, and
constructive work than at the present time; and this is the essential message
of Freemasonry. In some way or other the gospel of toleration, fraternal
unity, and constructive work must be preached to the classes, nations and
races of the modern world, or else our civilization will go under. We Masons
call ourselves "builders"; it is high time that we demonstrate to the world
that we are able to "build" and to cooperate on a world scale in our work.
UNITY THROUGH TOLERATION
First of all, of course, comes the great Masonic doctrine of toleration.
Classes and nations, not less than individuals, live through mutual
appreciation. But there can be no mutual appreciation among men until they
learn to tolerate each other's differences. Toleration is the first step
towards appreciation and cooperation. It has been no accident, therefore, that
the Masonic Order, as an order of builders, has stood so strongly for liberty
and toleration in human development. Liberty and tolerance should not only be
exemplified within our Order, but in some way or other should be preached to
the world. It is a matter of pride to me that I belong to an Order, which
unites Christians, Mohammedans, Jews, yes even Buddhists and Confucianists, in
one fraternity. The great Italian historian and apostle of democracy,
Guglielmo Ferrero, has shown in his latest work that mankind is being driven
by all the forces of history steadily towards unity, even against its will;
that even the wars of the last four centuries have resulted in the greater
unity of mankind; and that no other destiny is possible for mankind than one
of social unity. For he shows that to create unity out of isolation and
diversity is the very essence of the historical process.
But men foolishly resist human unity. Classes, nations, and races, brought
into contact with one another, suddenly become aware of their differences, and
each begins to emphasize his own superior qualities. Class, national and
racial pride assert themselves, and these all too frequently develop into
class, national and social hate. Objectively unity is being forced upon
mankind; but subjectively men still resist unity. This makes the process
needlessly painful. It should be the work of the Masonic Order to teach men
that unity is the destiny of mankind, and that this unity ought to be
cultivated in the sympathies and sentiments of the individual soul, in order
that the process of achieving objective unity in our world may be hastened and
that out of unity may develop the harmony and the brotherhood of mankind. It
has long been the boast of the Masons that their Order has done even more than
the churches to make the brotherhood of mankind a reality. Let not this be an
idle boast ! Let it become a practical program ! It is already in part such;
but it would become even more practical if all Masons understood that the
historic mission of their Order is, in one sense, to mediate and promote this
process of world unity. A vital part of the message of Freemasonry is,
therefore, the inevitableness of the fraternal unity of mankind.
THE ROYAL ART OF SPECULATIVE BUILDING
Finally, the great Masonic doctrine of work, of constructive work, is a
message sorely needed by our world. Our age is a critical one, and like all
the critical ages of the world's history, it has tended to make criticism
merely destructive and negative. It has forgotten that civilization is built
up only by constructive labor. The forgetting of this fact is the main source
of the "Bolshevism" of our age. It is too intent upon asserting its rights and
too little solicitous of its duties. Duty, in fact, is a concept held up to
ridicule, as a mere superstition. Pleasure is the idol of the hour. But duty
and work are nearly synonymous, and those who repudiate duty usually end by
evading work also. They seek not to render the greatest service to mankind but
rather the easiest way possible through life. No socially healthy human world
can be built upon such a basis. When our human world has been built soundly,
it has always been built by labor and love, and it can be built in no other
way. Destructive criticism there must be at times when institutions need to be
changed; but our world can never be built by destructive criticism. It must be
built by intelligent constructive effort. Work, next after intelligence, is
what produces culture; or rather, should we not say that culture is produced
by intelligent work? Cooperation in all constructive work is what our world
manifestly needs; and this is the message of Freemasonry.
But we Masons must remember that the world can never be saved by exclusive
organization. It must be saved by an inclusive order which will in some way or
other comprehend all men. If we have any mission it must be to promote the
growth of such an order, which shall embody the great doctrines of Masonry
namely, toleration, fraternal unity, and constructive work in an objective
social world. As Bro. Frank has said in effect:
There can be no ethical advance, no general development of mankind, without
the cooperation of all the good. How, then are we Masons to reach all the
good? Are we to seek to bring all the good, liberal, progressive men in every
country into the Masonic Order? Or should the Masonic Order be composed of
carefully selected individuals who are fitted to lead?
Here we come to the question of "Quantity verses Quality" in Masonic bodies.
The Masonry of the United States and of continental Europe have followed
opposite paths in this matter. Of the four million Freemasons in the world,
over three million are found in the United States. One out of every ten of the
adult men of the United States is a member of the Masonic Order. The result of
this popularization of Masonry has not been altogether good. Masonic Lodges in
the United States have a great deal of "dead wood," of merely nominal
adherents, among their members. Moreover, the American Lodges have quite
generally come to neglect the higher work of Masonry in the way of
philosophical and ethical teaching, and have tended to become formal and
ritualistic bodies, throwing the whole stress upon symbols which each
individual is allowed largely to interpret as his fancy dictates. The
inclusion of great numbers within the lodges seems to have lowered its tone.
To some extent it may be due to the fact that American Masons feel that their
political and social battle is won. The Masonry of George Washington's and
Thomas Jefferson's day stood for very positive democratic, social and
political ideals; but these ideals were written into the Constitution of the
United States; and since then, American Masons have felt that their work was
to guard the social and political order already established.
APPENDANT ORDERS AND HIGH DEGREES
is noteworthy, however, that out of the general body of Freemasons in the
United States there has developed special bodies of higher degrees which have
tended in a measure to re-introduce the philosophical and even to some extent
the social and political aspects of Masonry. This is especially the case with
the Scottish Rite Bodies. There are now more than half a million Masons in the
United States in these bodies which represent the higher degrees. They are
supposed to be a carefully selected group. Of course, not all the members of
these bodies are true leaders in their communities, but they include a
surprising number of leaders in every line, and especially in economic lines.
The development of such bodies of higher degrees, if their members are
selected for distinguished leadership, is one solution of the problem of
might seem that I regard the development of Freemasonry in the United States
as ideal and as affording a model for European Masons. But that is not the
case. Masonic bodies of every sort in the United States are still too
apathetic to social and political conditions which are in manifest
contradiction to Masonic principles. They no longer universally manifest that
enthusiastic loyalty to democracy which characterized American Masonry in
George Washington's day; nor is there much effort in American Masons to
develop intelligent social and political leadership. Lectures on
philosophical, social and political principles are almost entirely absent from
American Lodges. European Masons, on the other hand, perhaps just because they
are persecuted and because they have not won their battle in some countries,
have kept alive the consciousness of the social and political ideals of
Freemasonry. They undertake more definite social and political education of
their members. European Masons are few in number as compared with American
Masons, but they are a carefully selected group which has better kept alive
the real spirit of the Masonic movement. For example, in America we have at
present, so far as I know, no great social and political philosophers of
Masonry, such as you seem to count in European ranks. Yet obviously we need
the stimulus of many such men. European Masonry can do much for American
Masonry if intellectual contacts can be established between them. It can
re-awaken American Masonry to a consciousness of its great social mission and
responsibilities, and incidentally get it to scrutinize more carefully the
quality of its membership.
the other hand, American Masonry sets before European Masonry the example, not
only of popularization, but also of differentiation. Masonry needs not only a
large popular following to accomplish its mission, but also within it a body
of men carefully selected for distinguished leadership. Indeed, the sole
problem of Freemasonry, as I see it, is how the few can lead the many. It is a
problem of social leadership. European Masonry must devise ways of reaching
and leading the masses; American Masons have the same problem, but in a
different form. They must devise ways of selecting and developing a body of
distinguished leaders. European Masonry needs to expand and popularize the
Masonic movement. American Masonry needs to concentrate and to dedicate itself
more fully to the realization of Masonic ideals. Only thus can the message of
Freemasonry namely, toleration, fraternal unity, and constructive work be
spread effectively throughout our human world.
my opinion, the spread of Masonic doctrines is not wholly dependent upon the
size of Masonic lodges. It is rather a question of the effective social
leadership which the lodges can furnish; and effective leadership depends upon
the quantity and quality of their educational work. Now it is notorious that
the education of adults unto new and ideals is a difficult task, while the
education of the young, if they can be re-echoed, does not present the same
difficulties. We must devise means, therefore, of conveying to our youth the
idealism of the Masonic movement, if we would economize our energy. I would
commend, therefore, to my European Masonic brethren the De Molay movement. It
aims to inculcate into our young men while their character is forming the
principles of Masonry and to educate them practically for the responsibilities
of democratic citizenship. The message of Freemasonry can be effectively
spread only through schools for the dissemination of Masonic ideals, which
shall bring these ideals to the open minds of the young. The De Molay movement
opens a way to reach the minds of the young. It should, therefore, be
developed by the Masons of all countries, as perhaps the surest means of
promoting the Masonic movement and of establishing Masonic principles.
conclusion, let me congratulate the Masonic lodges of Vienna upon their
excellent educational program, as revealed by many of their monthly programs.
They are setting a standard for Masonic lodges of the whole world which it
will be difficult for many of us to emulate.
thus building the minds and souls of men, they are engaged in the truest sort
of Masonic work.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
Thiemeyer, Research Editor
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
THE EASTERN STAR
is very curious how completely the nature and constitution of the Order of the
Eastern Star is misunderstood in Great Britain, and quite generally for that
matter, in the British Empire. We are moved to this remark by the following
pronouncement by the Rt. Hon., Lord Ravensworth, the Provincial Grand Master
of the Province of Durham in the North of England. As reported in the London
Freemason, he said, in his address to the Provincial Grand Lodge, that he had
been given considerable anxiety by the "recrudescence" of the Eastern Star. He
proceeded as follows:
Now it is a direct command from Grand Lodge that no Brother is to have any
sort of truck whatever with the "Eastern Star," which apparently is a spurious
form of Masonry presided over by women, and in which women attend. It is
absolutely against every Masonic tradition that such a thing should obtain; it
is against all our obligations, and I must ask that you should be very firm in
having nothing whatever to do with this thing in any sort of way.
Reading this with attention one is almost compelled to believe that what our
noble and right worshipful brother really said must have been condensed by the
reporter till it has become almost unintelligible. But even allowing for this
it would seem as if Lord Ravensworth had completely confused the Order of the
Eastern Star with the lodges of the English branch of the Drotte Humaine,
known also as Co-Masonry.
This last, indeed, does come under the designation of spurious Masonry, as
that is defined, for it does actually work Masonic ceremonies, according to
French rituals, while admitting both sexes to membership. But it is rather
hard on Rob Morris to confuse the female adoptive order that he founded with
an organization that would have crisped his hair in horror had he ever heard
we understood the objection to the Eastern Star in England, it was chiefly
upon what would seem to most American Masons a mere technicality that it was
refused any recognition. Masonry in every country has its own special
traditions and customs in addition to those that are general or universal.
This is a fact that most Masons forget, or never learned, sometimes with very
unfortunate results. The Eastern Star was of American origin, and its
constitution was naturally designed to fit in with American Grand Lodge
customs and regulations, just as its inception especially filled a need in a
partly settled country. A glance at its history will bring out what we mean.
All Masons owe not only certain duties towards their brother Masons. but also
to their near female relatives. This is a logical consequence from the fact
that the greatest injuries, and conversely the greatest services, may be done
to a man indirectly through wife, or sister, or daughter. While apparently the
lax moral standards of the present day do not emphasize this, it is too much a
matter of instinct and of natural feeling to ever be otherwise. It was thus
that certain methods of making this part of the Masonic obligations more
effective came into being early in the last century. Where they originated no
one knows. They filled a need, and presumably the need gave them birth. There
were several of these arrangements; some of them are on record some not. They
had various names, in some cases quite explanatory of their purpose such as
"The Mason's Wife." In some of them there was a simple improvised ceremony,
but the essential of all of them was that certain signs, and other means of
calling attention, were communicated by Masons to their female relatives under
a promise of secrecy, which same signs were communicated to all and sundry
Master Masons as opportunity served. The Thian Ti Hwui or Hung League did the
same thing in China, only rather more logically and efficiently. A set of
signs for female use was communicated to each member, which he could
communicate at his discretion to his wife or daughter. This ensured that every
member would recognize such signals, which the haphazard methods among
American Masons did not.
When Rob Morris collected several of these incipient feminine organizations,
and enlarged and improved them into an independent Order for women, he still
had the original purpose in view. Each Chapter was under the patronage of a
Mason, probably because the women of that day were generally incapable of
anything like executive work, and all Master Masons were to be urged to
attend, and thus become better equipped to fulfill their obligations to the
womenfolk of their brethren in the time of need.
Naturally and inevitably, once it was started as an independent organization
it began to develop along its own lines, and this development has been
accelerated in the complete change in the conditions of life and improvement
of communications. The practical side of the original form of the Order has
become in actual fact unnecessary. Yet it does fill a social function very
efficiently, and without any special danger to Masonic Landmarks or
have now to consider what was found incompatible with British Masonic rules
and customs. The Constitution of the Order provided that membership was to be
restricted to Master Masons in good standing, and their near female relatives.
The crux was in the requirement of good standing. American Masonic Codes and
customs made no especial secret of membership rolls. Presumably in most cases,
convinced of the usefulness of the organization as a means of carrying Masonic
duties into effect, the various Grand Lodges saw no reason to forbid the
secretaries of lodges furnishing information, thus the arrangement worked very
well. But in other countries membership is regarded as one of the lodges' most
private concerns. Not even a Mason has any right to know anything about the
membership of another lodge. This tradition of privacy is one of the original
and most ancient ones in the Craft, which American Masonry has long abandoned.
It is not to be condemned therefore but neither is the Masonry of other
countries to be denied their right to maintain the older ideas.
is thus obvious that without a radical change in its Constitution the Eastern
Star could not exist in Great Britain. Just how it could be modified so that
the Order could retain its character permanently without official information
is not easy to say. Something has been done along these lines, we have no
definite information about it, however. But, these changes made, we fail to
see what objection can remain if English Masons and their families find
pleasure in the pretty ceremonies of the Eastern Star. They have nothing
Masonic about them, and make no practice to have. And while the practical
value may now-a-days be almost nil, yet the same may be said of Masonry itself
in that particular respect.
this day of feminine independence it might seem more appropriate if the ladies
were to eject their Patrons and male members, and carried on by themselves,
without any regard or connection with the masculine Fraternity. It is not
likely this will happen, possibly because, as certain cynics would have us
believe, women as a sex are not clubbable, are not interested in the feminine
equivalent of fraternity. But the real factor will be the past history of the
Institution. Springing as it did from a need to make effective a certain part
of the Masonic obligations, a tradition has been created that could hardly be
uprooted without killing the organization entirely.
so the reader will not think that he has started on a discussion of Masonic
Libraries, we wish to advise that the title is taken from the department in
THE BUILDER which goes by that name. The fact that we wish to discuss book
reviews is ample justification for the selection.
analyse the duties which arise from the practice of reviewing books in any
publication it becomes apparent that there is a two-fold aspect to the
problem. On the one hand there is a duty to the reader of the periodical to
give him a fair and impartial judgment of the book. Weighed against this there
is a duty toward the publisher which might be summed up in the same way - to
furnish a fair and impartial judgment of his product. There can be no doubt as
to which is the most important. There is no difference between the two. The
debt is one of honor in either case and must be lived up to so far as human
frailty will permit.
is still another aspect to the case. In the event that the reviewer does not
consider a book up to the highest standards, or if he finds in its pages
inaccuracies that should be corrected, to whom is his first duty? Should he
smooth over the rough places for the benefit of possible sales or should he
endeavor to protect readers who may not be as familiar with the subject from
falling into the traps that the inaccuracies may place in his path?
Perhaps an illustration of this question will not be out of place since our
present purpose is to discuss these last two questions. In the course of a
review of one of the best books we have had the pleasure of reading in recent
years the writer found a few mistakes so far as Masonic facts were concerned.
The author of the book is not a Mason, as a result he did not have available
the material that naturally comes to the Mason who is interested in learning
about his fraternity. This was a minor detail in a book filled with the
soundest of scholarship. In view of the high standards of this work should we
have passed the errors unnoticed and allowed our readers who might be
interested in the book to fall into the same error or should we call attention
to them to the possible loss of the publisher and discredit of the author?
is another illustration which will serve to present one side of the story and
we will insert it before making mention of the action taken in the example
above given. Some time ago one of our reviewers severely criticised the work
of one of the Masonic students who is becoming increasingly popular. It so
happens that reviews of this author's works have appeared in THE BUILDER with
some frequency in the past. For the most part the reviews have been
unfavorable. There is no need for our readers to gather the impression that we
were antagonistic to the author. We were anything but that, nevertheless we
felt that our duty to our readers came before any other and that as long as we
were satisfied in our own conscience that we were being entirely fair and
impartial that we could not pass over the errors. In one of the books reviewed
we found an actual misquotation. Whether it was intentional or not we do not
presume to say. The fact remains that the manner in which a certain authority
was quoted in this writer's work fitted in better with the author's idea than
the way that it originally appeared in the text. Be that as it may. The error
was called to the attention of our readers. In the case of the last book
reviewed our reviewer discovered what he thought to be an inaccuracy, and he
criticised it rather severely. We are taking no part in the argument. We do
not presume to dictate what our reviewers shall say and what they shall not
say. Their opinions are their own and as long as their consciences are clear
we are satisfied. The publisher of these books has refused to furnish us with
copies of their publications for review. That is the stand taken by one
return to the first example. When the mistakes were called to the attention of
the author he wrote and thanked us for finding them, stating that he was
gratef ul to us for assisting him and that he would be careful to eradicate
the errors in the case of a revised edition. We suggested that his manuscript
be submitted to a man who was an authority on that phase of Masonic research
in an endeavor to have any other possible errors corrected. We were thanked
for our trouble and believe we have made a friend of the author.
leave it to others to decide which course was correct. We have been consistent
in both cases. The reaction has been entirely different. There is no desire on
our part to be unjust. Every publisher is entitled to a fair and impartial
judgment upon the books reviewed. When we cannot be fair to ourselves and fair
to our readers in giving a book a favorable review, should we be favorable to
the publisher to the extent of deceiving our readers? The answer is obvious.
pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on
request, in quantities to fifty
Reports on Cedar Rapids Conference
June number mention was made of the Conference of Masonic Librarians and
Research Workers held at Cedar Rapids, Ia., last May, and a fuller account of
the proceedings was promised in due course.
delay was inevitable, as the brethren who read papers naturally desired to put
them into shape for publication, and in any case it seemed better to wait till
the vacation season was over, and lodge activities revived after the summer
following account of the Conference was prepared by Prof. Charles S. Plumb of
the University of Ohio at Columbus for the Ohio Mason, in the pages of which
it appeared on June 1st. It will serve admirably for an introduction to the
Plumb, who is Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, is also one of the
foremost workers in Masonic education in the country, and there are few, if
any, with longer experience. He holds very decided views on the subject which
will be apparent to readers of his valuable article to be published later.
conference of brethren interested in Masonic library work was first suggested
by some of the Wisconsin Masons, which resulted in Bro. C. C. Hunt, Grand
Secretary and Librarian of the Grand Lodge of Iowa issuing a provision for
such a conference to be held May 10th and 11th at Cedar Rapids, Ia. All told
about 25 brethren were present, of whom but five were present at the Detroit
conference the preceding May.
Besides members of the Iowa staff, there were seven from Missouri, four each
from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania; one each from Washington, D. C., California,
Texas, Illinois and Ohio, and several from Iowa.
original plan was to especially discuss books and libraries, but the program
broadened into the wider field of Masonic education. Brother Hunt of the Iowa
Grand Lodge, opened the meetings by a statement of the intended purposes, and
he acted as chairman of several sessions.
purposes of Masonic education were discussed by Brothers Robert I. Clegg of
the Masonic History Company of Chicago; R. J. Meekren, editor of THE BUILDER,
official journal of the National Masonic Research Society, St. Louis, Mo., and
F. H. Littlefield, Executive Secretary of the same society.
seemed to be the concensus of opinion that the field of Masonic education was
a broad one, although Brother Shepherd of Wisconsin thought a study of the
ritual the most important factor in Masonic education.
operation of a Masonic library was first discussed by Bro. William L. Boyden,
Librarian of The House of the Temple of the Supreme Council (Southern
Jurisdiction) of the A. & A. S. R. at Washington, D. C. He was followed by
Bro. William J. Patterson, Assistant Librarian and Curator of the Grand Lodge
of Pennsylvania; and he by Bro. Southwick, Librarian of the Masonic Library
Association of Los Angeles, Cal.
Brother Boyden called attention to the various phases of Masonic thought that
had its schools and writers, and emphasized the importance of certain phases
of it, such as history, biography, research, etc. He looks for the creation
some day of a great international Masonic library.
Brother Patterson gave in some detail interesting references to the early
developments in Freemasonry in Pennsylvania.
Brother Southwick emphasized the value of Masonic records, the importance of
instructive talks after each of the first three degrees, and making use of
books as easy as possible to the brethren.
educational activities of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin were briefly discussed
by Bro. Silas H. Shepherd, chairman of the Committee on Masonic Research and
Education of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin. He told in some detail of the
development of the Wisconsin work, and stated that they started with $100 a
year to carry out their plans, and this was the amount allowed for some years;
but the Grand Lodge now gives them a much more generous financial support. He
spoke strongly in favor of study clubs, but agreed that to be a success they
needed inspiring leadership.
Brother Crosby, a member from Wisconsin, representing the Grand Lodge, also
spoke on the Wisconsin situation, and especially told of the introduction of
talks before the lodges. He does not believe in any initiation taking place at
stated meetings, but that after the necessary business, talks of value should
general activities of the Grand Lodge of Iowa were most interestingly and
instructively placed before the members of the conference, through 136 lantern
slides, displayed on a screen in a darkened room. It was a remarkable
exhibition of the important work conducted in Iowa. This was presented by Bro.
Frank S. Moses, P.G.M., Secretary of the Masonic Service committee of the
Grand Lodge of Iowa.
Traveling libraries, their selection, operation and promotion were considered
by Bro. J. Hugo Tatsch, Curator of the Iowa Grand Lodge Library at Cedar
Rapids. The first library of the kind was started in Iowa in 1909. In 1911 the
Grand Lodge allowed $500 for promoting this traveling library work. They have
30 to 40 libraries of 20 or more volumes out at one time, and right at the
time of this meeting 793 books were on the road. The Grand Lodge owns from six
to 50 books of one kind, according to demand. They have a sheet system of
record for each lodge in the state, on which they record a list of books sent,
and how used by the lodge. The traveling library is a commendable thing in the
opinion of the Iowa people.
Clubs, their organization, literature, programs, leadership, etc., was
introduced by Bro. Meekren. An extended discussion followed, in which it
seemed agreed that a study club, consisting of a small group of those
interested, was a fine thing, under good leadership. There are but very few
such clubs at present in actual operation. Bro. Shepherd told of such a club
at Madison, Wis., that had met every Wednesday for quite a period of time and
with great success.
Masonic journalism was discussed at first by the editor of the Masonic Tidings
of Milwaukee, Wis., Bro. J. A. Fetterly. He was followed by several other
editors of Masonic periodicals. With one exception, the editors were rather
pessimistic on the support given by the Craft, and felt that their efforts
were not appreciated. The one shining light in this respect, was the editor of
a local lodge paper, named LIGHT, published at Marshalltown, Iowa. He
contributed a good gleam of sunshine through the foggy atmosphere offered by
the other leaders of the Craft. Several Grand Lodge Bulletins, however, should
not be included in this class, as they serve quite a different purpose from
the regular subscription journal. These were discussed interestingly by
representatives of Iowa and Missouri Grand Lodges.
Anthony F. Ittner, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri made
interesting and forceful comments in general on the topics discussed. He
thinks Masonic editorials have been too pessimistic - that the editors will
never get anywhere unless they sound the optimistic note.
delegates were treated with very cordial hospitality while in Cedar Rapids.
They were shown through the new Scottish Rite cathedral, and regarded it with
special favor as a fine structure for the city. The Shrine Temple was not very
accessible to the brethren, and but very little was shown of its interior. The
High Twelve Club of Cedar Rapids gave a very fine luncheon to the visiting
brethren on Friday. Brothers Clegg and Ittner sat at the head table and as
spokesmen expressed the sentiments of the other guests. The representatives of
the Grand Lodge of Iowa, in every capacity, were most hospitable and kindly
and contributed much to make this a most pleasant and profitable conference.
following is the official report compiled by the staff of the Iowa Masonic
Library and is reprinted from the Iowa Grand Lodge Bulletin for the added
details that it gives.
interest and enthusiasm of Bro. Phil A. Roth, Secretary of the Masonic Service
Committee of Milwaukee, is primarily responsible for a conference of Masonic
librarians and educators which took place at the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar
Rapids, May 10 and 11. Bro. Roth had visited us twice in 1927, and carried
home such glowing reports that several other Milwaukee brethren made plans to
visit the Library early this year. As leaders in study and research work of
other jurisdictions heard of this, they suggested that the visit of the
Wisconsin brethren be made an occasion for others to join with them, whereupon
Bro. C. C. Hunt, Grand Secretary and Librarian, tendered an invitation to them
to do so.
Meetings of Grand Lodges and other Masonic bodies interfered with the plans of
several brethren to be present as representatives of libraries and educational
activities in their respective jurisdictions; but on May 10 the following were
WISCONSIN: Silas H. Shepherd, Chairman, Committee or Masonic Research and
Education, Grand Lodge of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Phil A. Roth, Secretary,
Masonic Service Committee, author of "Freemasonry in the Formation of our
Government," Milwaukee. James A. Fetterly, Editor "Masonic Tidings,"
Milwaukee. Henry A. Crosby, Librarian Scottish Rite Library, Milwaukee.
MISSOURI: Anthony F. Ittner, Grand Master of Masons in Missouri, St. Louis.
Byrne E. Bigger, Deputy Grand Master Hannibal. Dr. Arthur Mather, Grand
Secretary and Librarian, Trenton. F. H. Littlefield, Executive Secretary,
National Masonic Research Society, St. Louis. R. J. Meekren Editor, "THE
BUILDER ' " official journal of the National Masonic Research Society, St.
Louis. R. J. Newton, National Masonic Research Society, St. Louis. E. E.
Thiemeyer, Research Editor, "THE BUILDER," St. Louis.
Robert I. Clegg, Past Grand Historian, Grand Lodge of Ohio, President Masonic
History Company, Chicago. Chas. S. Plumb, Grand Historian, Grand Lodge of
PENNSYLVANIA: William Dick, Librarian and Curator, Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Win. J. Patterson, Ass't Librarian and Curator,
Philadelphia. Win. H. Shreve, Philadelphia. Alfred C. Lewis, Librarian,
Allentown Masonic Library, Allentown.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: William L. Boyden, 33d, Librarian of the Supreme
Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Washington.
CALIFORNIA: Thos. S. Southwick, Librarian, Los Angeles Masonic Library
Association, Los Angeles.
was represented by Chas. C. Hunt, Grand Secretary and Librarian; Harry A.
Palmer, Deputy Grand Secretary; Frank S. Moses, P.G.M., Secretary, Masonic
Service Committee; J. H. Tatsch, Curator and Associate Editor; and Nathan L.
Hicks, Editor of "Light." Members of the local library staff, especially Miss
Lavinia Steele, Assistant Librarian, contributed to the special features of
Conference was called to order by Bro. Hunt at 10 a. in., Thursday, May 10. In
a brief address he announced the origin and objects of the meeting. Bros.
Robert I. Clegg and R. J. Meekren followed with talks on "The Purposes of
Masonic Education," in which they presented their views on Craft educational
activities. The discussion which followed their remarks was typical of those
which came after each principal subject of the two days' program, for all of
them revealed the deep and studied interest in the educational work of
Operation of a Masonic Library" was covered in three presentations. Bro. Win.
L. Boyden of Washington, D. C., led with a paper on the large library which
was of general interest, and applicable to the activities of the Iowa Masonic
Library. Bro. Win. J. Patterson, Assistant Librarian and Curator,
Philadelphia, gave some interesting historical and statistical data pertaining
to the origin and growth of the Grand Lodge Library of Pennsylvania, and
related experiences in connection with visitors to the institution. As in
Iowa, the Craft of Pennsylvania take much pride in their Library and support
problems of the smaller library, one which is designed to cater to local
needs, were elucidated by Bro. T. S. Southwick, as based upon his experiences
as Librarian of the Los Angeles Masonic Library. It is supported by many of
the Los Angeles lodges through a small per capita appropriation, and was
recently incorporated. The Los Angeles brethren are planning to erect a
building to house the rapidly growing collection of books, periodicals and
proceedings. Bro. Southwick's enthusiasm revealed itself by his presence at
the Iowa Masonic Library at all available hours; one morning be got here as
the janitor was opening the building at 7 a.m. He stayed over until Saturday
evening in order to devote more time to his activities at the Library.
afternoon session was opened by the reading of letters of regret from those
who could not attend. This was followed by the presentation of a Grand
Master's apron from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to the Iowa Masonic
Library for its collection. It was gratefully accepted by Bro. Hunt on behalf
of the Library.
Educational Activities of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin" by Bro. Silas H.
Shepherd, Chairman of the Committee on Masonic Research and Education, was a
recital of most interesting facts. Beginning with a meagre appropriation a
number of years ago, the Committee has not only covered its program of
addresses, but has prepared printed matter eagerly sought after by students,
and has also fostered traveling libraries. The Grand Lodge of Wisconsin has no
library of its own; hence the Committee found it necessary to aid lodges and
brethren on this respect. Bro. Shepard told of the library of Palmer Lodge,
No. 301, Milwaukee with more than one thousand volumes. This lodge sets aside
every stated communication for an address on a Masonic topic. The lodge also
has a Study Club with an average attendance of sixty.
Shepherd's talk, and the discussion which ensued, was followed by a
stereopticon address by Bro. Frank S. Moses, P.G.M., Secretary of the Masonic
Service Committee, on "The General Activities of the Grand Lodge of Iowa."
This address, which is available to Iowa lodges through the Service Committee,
evoked much applause and comment. It gave our visitors a comprehensive idea of
what Iowa Masons are doing in the name of Masonic charity and education.
the lengthiest discussions was that on "Study Clubs." This was led by Bro.
R.J. Meekren, P. M., Editor of "THE BUILDER," the official journal of the
National Masonic Research Society, originally incorporated in Iowa but which
now maintains its headquarters in St. Louis. He told of the study club
movement in various parts of the United States, and how individuals, lodges
and Grand Lodges were taking an active part in making the facts of Masonic
history and symbolism available to seekers for further light.
"Library Classification" was informally discussed at the same time in a
separate room by those familiar with the technical operation of a library.
This was led by Bro. Wm. L. Boyden, Librarian of the Supreme Council Ancient
and Accepted Scottish Rite, Washington, D. C.. and Miss Lavinia Steele,
Assistant Librarian of the Iowa Masonic Library. Miss Steele has evolved a
simple yet highly scientific classification by means of which our Masonic
books are being recatalogued. It is adaptable to small libraries, and flexible
and detailed enough to meet the needs of a large one such as ours. Its
preparation has attracted attention in both Masonic and general library
circles, and was therefore of interest to those confronted with problems such
Thursday evening was utilized to good advantage by the visitors in going
through the Library and holding informal chats with each other on topics of
mutual interest. It was reported the next morning that some of the brethren
found so much to talk about that they did not retire until the wee small
Friday sessions began with a talk by James A. Fetterly, Editor of "Masonic
Tidings" of Milwaukee on "Masonic Journalism." He gave an entertaining and
instructive talk on the problems of the commercial Craft journal, as
distinguished from subsidized periodicals. His remarks were interspersed with
amusing and witty comments. It was evident from his address why "Masonic
Tidings" wields an influence in Wisconsin and has become one of the
representative Masonic journals of the United States. He urged more
cooperation between official Masonry and the Craft journal in the commercial
field. and showed how each could help the other in activities of mutual
interest and concern.
Bro. Anthony F. Ittner, Grand Master of Masons in Missouri, in the unavoidable
absence of R. V. Denslow, editor of the "Missouri Grand Lodge Bulletin," spoke
on the preparation of their publication. It presents articles of historical
and biographical interest, but carries little or no local news, this being
left to the so-called commercial publications of Missouri. As in Iowa, much
interest is being taken in Missouri in such historical articles, and their
continuation was strongly urged.
C. C. Hunt followed with an account of the Grand Lodge Bulletin of Iowa,
stating how it appeared originally twenty-nine years ago as a Library
bulletin, but was now covering a larger field. Statistics were presented
showing the appreciation accorded to it by the Iowa Craft, and how it was
being utilized in bringing to the newly raised Master Mason a larger and
deeper concept of what Freemasonry is and what it stands for.
Lodge Bulletins" were discussed by means of a paper written by Bro. W. H.
Braun, Editor of "The Palmer Templegram" of Milwaukee, and read by Bro. Phil
A. Roth. Bro. Nathan L. Hicks, Secretary of the Masonic bodies at
Marshalltown, and Editor of Light," contributed in a vital manner to the
discussion by setting forth his experiences. His talk was so interesting, and
so replete with valuable information, that he was urged to elaborate his notes
into a paper, which he has promised to do. Copies will be sent, together with
those of other papers, to all institutions represented at the conference.
discussion which followed brought out the fact that Grand Lodge periodicals
and local lodge publications were heartily welcomed by the commercial
journals, for they served to create a larger interest in Masonic reading and
thus developed a body of Masons who would seek other avenues for instruction
and information. This was personally testified to by Bro. James A. Fetterly
and Bro. F. H. Littlefield, both of whom are interested in Masonic journals
having paid advance subscriptions.
Inasmuch as the topics of "Mutual Cooperation" and "Comment in General" had
been covered in the discussions and informal evening talks, these features of
the program were dispensed with. The conference closed at noon with the hope
that a similar informal meeting of Masonic educators could be held next year.
No organization was affected, it being deemed best to assemble annually as
Brothers Robert I. Clegg, William Dick and Wm. L. Boyden acting as a Committee
on Resolutions, presented the following, which was adopted by the visitors:
"RESOLUTION OF GRATEFUL APPRECIATION. We brethren from several widely
separated Masonic Jurisdictions - far asunder in distance but closely united
in fraternal purpose - do here place upon record our cordial thanks for the
truly affectionate hospitality given to us so generously by the officials of
the Grand Lodge of Iowa at our exceedingly enjoyable and decidedly profitable
meeting in Cedar Rapids, May 10-11, 1928, and we would particularly mention
Brother C. C. Hunt for skilfully guiding our informal sessions with tact and
efficiency, to Brother Frank S. Moses, P.G.M., for his illustrated lecture
upon the activities of the Grand Lodge, to Brother J. H. Tatsch for his '
constant cooperation, to Miss Lavinia Steele for much light upon Masonic book
classification and cataloguing, and to all the Library staff for their
splendid, untiring and earnest labors for our common good."
Committee on Resolutions,
entertainment was provided by the Grand Lodge for the visitors, it being the
wish of those in attendance that the entire time available be devoted to the
work of the conference. Through the courtesy of Bro. Cogswell, 33d, Deputy for
the Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Supreme Council, Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite in Iowa, the visitors were conducted through the
beautiful new Consistory building, of which the cornerstone was laid by the
Grand Lodge of Iowa in 1927, and the structure dedicated by Grand Lodge in
April. Thursday noon Brother Hunt was host to the visitors at a luncheon,
while on the following day the Cedar Rapids High Twelve Club, an organization
of Master Masons which meets every Friday noon for lunch, invited the
distinguished visitors to meet with them, and later furnished cars through the
courtesy of Mr. W. B. Clausen for a sight-seeing tour of the city.
Louis Block, Past Grand Master of Iowa, who from the inception of the National
Masonic Research Society has been one of its strong supporters, being both a
member of the Board of Stewards of the Society, and an Associate Editor of its
organ, THE BUILDER, has recently been appointed as Deputy for the Supreme
Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite in Iowa. We are sure
that our members will be pleased to hear of this honor conferred upon one who
was actively concerned in the foundation and organization of the Research
Block was born in Davenport, Iowa, in June, 1869, and has resided there all of
his life. He was educated in the public schools of that city and later entered
the University of Iowa at Iowa City, from which he graduated in due course. He
was married in June, 1893, to Cora Bollinger and has three sons. He is a
lawyer by profession and has attained no little prominence as a barrister.
books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of
the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices
are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though
occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where
books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some
indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is
equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries
for second-hand works and books out of print.
LOST KEYS OF MASONRY: The Legend of Hiram Abiff. By Manly Hall. Second
Edition. 125 pages. Hall Publishing Co., Los Angeles.
is a remarkable book to have been written by a non-Mason. It is dedicated to
"The Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons." It only goes to confirm what
many persons have known for a generation - that actual initiation into the
Order is not an indispensable qualification for Masonic research; though this
brochure is hardly a work of research, rather it is one of brilliant
imagination. The author has evidently studied everything in print touching the
Masonic ritual, and to use the language of a beautiful poem by Bro. Reynold E.
Blight respecting the author:
Mason himself, he has read the deeper meaning of the ritual. Not having
assumed the formal obligations, he calls upon all mankind to enter into the
holy of holies. Not initiated into the physical craft, he declares the secret
doctrine that all may hear.
introduction we are told that Masonry is essentially a religious order; but we
soon learn that what is meant is an order of a universal religion. He tells us
that twelve Fellow Craftsmen are exploring the four points of the compass, and
are not these twelve the twelve great world religions, each seeking in its own
way for that which was lost in the ages past, and the quest of which is the
birth-right of man? . . . Masonry is a religion which is essentially
creedless; it is the truer for it. . . . No truer religion exists in all the
world than that all creatures gather together in comradeship and brotherhood
for the purpose of glorifying one God, and of building for Him a temple of
constructive attitude and noble character.
author further informs us that in the work he is undertaking
. . .
it is not the intention to dwell upon the modern concepts of the craft, but to
consider Masonry as it really is to those who know, a great cosmic organism
whose true brothers and children are tied together not by spoken oaths, but by
lives so lived that they are capable of seeing through the blank wall, and
opening the window which is now concealed by the rubbish of materiality. When
this is done and the mysteries of the universe unfold before the aspiring
candidate, then in truth he discovers what Masonry really is.
the foregoing excerpts, and from other incidental indications, a suspicion
arises that the author is a theosophist; and this suspicion is confirmed by
the subsequent chapters. This gives us a key to the intention of the author
and the meaning of his book. There is nothing in theosophy which is at
variance with Masonry, indeed there is much in common. The theistic faith, the
Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and the interpretation of
spiritual truth under the form of symbolism, are fundamental processes of
thought in both. Moreover, the author allegorizes the legend of Hiram Abiff
very beautifully. Whether, however, his knowledge of mythology and the history
and evolution of religion is as complete as might appear upon the surface, is
perhaps open to question.
general scheme of the book is to symbolize creation (using the term generally)
from chaos to cosmos by the Masonic legend; following the introduction, he
presents a cut of the Tabula Smaragdina, the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, which
is said to be "the Most Ancient Monument of the Chaldeans Concerning the Lapis
Philosophorum." This is one statement, which is not modified at all, which
places his critical knowledge in doubt. The "Emerald Tablet" is classed by
authorities on these matters as a production of the Middle Ages, one of the
products of the pursuit of alchemy. One scholar gives its date as 1541. This
tablet is said to contain the name of Hiram, which is interpreted to signify a
triune substance - three aspects of creation, but one in source, matter,
energy and life.
remaining chapters of the book can only be mentioned by their titles, but
these will indicate the general plan: First is the Prologue, "In the Fields of
Chaos;" then come chapters on "The Candidate;" "The Entered Apprentice;" "The
Fellow Craft;" "The Master Mason;" "The Qualifications of a True Mason;" and
finally the Epilogue, "In the Temple of Cosmos: the Priest of Ra." There is
appended besides, a short address to the Order of De Molay.
Mason who delights in symbolic imagery, the author presents a feast, much of
it of original conception; but it is to be feared that most of it will be
above the heads of the great body of the craft. And, after all said and done
in the elucidation of symbolism, the body of everyday Masons, like the workers
in a beehive, must depend far more on common sense to keep them within the
bounds of fraternity of man and fatherhood of Deity than upon these profound
depths of poetry and rhetoric. We commend it to the student of Masonic
symbolism as containing much of interest. The illustrations are by J. Augustus
Knapp, and are, the spirit of H. A. rising in a blaze of glory from the tomb;
the Emerald Tablet already mentioned; the three murderers, perverted thoughts,
uncurbed emotions and destructive actions, standing over the remains of their
victim, which is the spirit of human life; the Candidate at the Gates; the
Master Mason; the Grip of the Lion's Paw; and the Dweller on the Threshold.
* * *
SOCIETIES IN THE LIGHT OF THE BIBLE. An address by William Leon Brown.
Published by the National Christian Association. Paper, 22 pages. Price 10
is no indication as to the time, place or occasion of this address. Mr. Brown
is evidently very sincere and earnest, and most anxious to lead those whom he
conceives to be in the "way of destruction" to safer paths. All members of all
secret societies (or rather fraternal organizations with secret ceremonies of
admission and private modes of recognition) are soul destroying, but
Freemasonry is the arch-offender, because it is in a sense the parent of all
the others. Thus the address really deals with the Masonic Fraternity, as the
primal and greatest culprit. His information is derived from a number of
books, eight in all, which he supposes to be authoritative because he found
they were all in the Scottish Rite Library at Chicago. These books are the
Lexicon of Freemasonry, The Symbolism of Freemasonry and the Masonic Ritualist,
by Albert Mackey, with The Encyclopedia of Freemasonry by Mackey and
MacClenachan (really an edition of Mackey's Encyclopedia, itself an expansion
and enlargement of the Lexicon). The Traditions, Origins and Early History of
Freemasonry by A. T. C. Pierson, Chase's Digest of Masonic Law, The
Freemason's Monitor by Thomas Smith Webb (evidently a modern edition) and two
more works, the titles of which are not given, by Daniel Sickles and the Rev.
E. A. Coil respectively, the latter a Unitarian minister, and (we judge) on
that score alone outside the pale. This actually makes nine instead of eight,
and in addition he quotes a "cipher ritual" which he tells us he obtained
without question or difficulty from a well known Masonic publishing firm. In
addition, and on the other side, he had the Bible.
Masons, of course, will not be impressed by his "authorities," even if their
books are to be found in Masonic libraries. What the religious minded
anti-Mason can never seem to understand - presumably because to him all truth
is always enclosed in a rigid system of dogma, outside which no truth is to be
found - is that there is no authority in Masonry. Pierson may interpret things
his way, Mackey in his, but every brother has equal freedom, to think, to
interpret, to speak and to publish. Consequently, what the accusation resolves
itself into finally, both from the Protestant and Romanist point of view, is
that Freemasonry is not an organization professing and teaching the creed held
by the particular opponent. Masons hold the inclusiveness to be the chief
attraction of the Craft, that in it men of all creeds who are moral and
virtuous, can meet on a common platform. But this the sectarian (Romanist or
Protestant) cannot bear the thought of. Tolerance is to him (in practice) the
greatest of all heresies. Thus the opposition is irremediable, we can only
accept it, and be thankful that we do not live where such minded people have
power of life and death over us.
old objections based on the alleged Masonic oaths and penalties are brought
in. There is here nothing new; it was all said, ad nauseam, by the anti-Masons
a hundred years ago. But here again we can understand. The same type of mind
the fundamentalist mind, that takes the symbolical and poetic language of the
Bible, as prosaic literal fact - nay more, takes the letter of the English
translation of Hebrew and Greek, as absolutely the very utterance of God -
will naturally take the symbols and forms and allegories of Masonry literally
also. It cannot be helped; it takes all kinds of people to make a world, as
the proverbial wisdom of the race puts it, and if our friends cannot tolerate
us, we must, to be true to our own principles, try to be tolerant of them. At
least Mr. Brown is temperate in his language, and has a sincere regard for our
welfare. For this we thank him.
* * *
EDUCATION FOR TOLERANCE. By John E. J. Fanshawe. Boards. 30 pages. Published
by Independent Education, New York.
is a booklet reproducing an essay in the February number of the magazine
Independent Education. The editor of the magazine, Frederick J. Haley, says in
his foreword that it "evoked favorable comment, and is now published in this
form in response to many suggestions that it be given a wider circulation."
careful study of its contents, brief as they are, we think fully justifies its
reproduction for permanent propagation of the thoughts of the author. The main
theme is the danger of war between the United States and Great Britain. He
first alludes to the "marked strain of sentimentality rampant in the American
people," and says "it is indeed difficult to reconcile the keen business
acumen that raised America to industrial supremacy with the failure to
understand many of the fundamental principles used to solve abstract social
problems." He also calls attention to the tendency for mechanical organization
for the correction of every error, real, or supposed, humorously illustrating
his position with a supposed case of a society for the distribution of
chocolate drops among the poor, which obtains the name, minus actual aid
either financially or otherwise, of numbers of men in high social and
political position, for "indorsements," and points the illustration with the
fact that chocolate drops in overdoses are likely to produce incurable
this stand he remarks that "just now the particular field that is overtaxing
the time and energies of the sentimentalist is the establishment of friendly
relations between the United States of America and the British Empire. This is
most unfortunate because there is no problem before the world today more
delicate. Upon its outcome depends the future course of civilization. Here is
no place for the novice. The question of Anglo-American relations requires the
entire time, brains and experience of such men as the Hugheses and the
Hoovers, the Balfours and the Baldwins. They cannot delegate to those of
lesser abilities the execution of their policies."
Premising that there are numerous errors and fallacies underlying this
particular breed of sentimentality, he thinks the most flagrant one "perhaps
is that of assuming we are one and the same people, and that because, by
chance, we have derived our language, our laws and our literature from
England, we should therefore be friendly with the British Empire." He shows
that this fact, instead of being promotive of peace, is more likely to involve
us in war, because, as a matter of fact, "we are not the same people," but are
"two very distinct and different peoples," with different ideals and different
motives underlying our actions.
instance of how a common language, common laws and common traditions failed to
prevent a bloody war he cites the War between the States of the Union in
1861-1865, and shows that opposing sentimentalities between the South and the
North, that each in its place obscured the real issue or causes which brought
about the war. "All the sentiment against slavery in the North grew up after
two centuries of slave-holding in the New England States had demonstrated that
it was an unprofitable venture," - and "no objection to slavery was made in
the New England States so long as it was profitable." The North wept "copious
tears over Uncle 'Tom and Old Black Joe, while the South waxed sentimental and
belligerant about States' Rights. Thus were the real issues beclouded, and one
of the most deplorable and devastating cataclysms in history was brought
entire essay is so closely packed with sound, common sense, we can only say
further that the author's remedy for the errors mentioned is education along
two lines of fact: 1. That both nations are profoundly interested in
maintaining prosperity, and 2. That self-preservation against the combined
forces of the world necessitates permanent peace and amity between the two
great English-speaking nations. It is strictly a business proposition from
which all sentimentality should be eliminated. The author thinks, that with
these two nations owning most of the unsettled habitable portion of the globe,
and the other peoples of the world having seething millions, constantly
increasing in numbers, who must find an outlet in a few generations or reach
the saturation point of population, all gush should be set aside and the
younger generations of both England and America be taught to give and take as
between them, recognizing and tolerating national differences of view just as
the different members of a single family have to tolerate each other; to sum
up the essay, as between these two great nations of the world, "united we
stand, divided we fall."
* * *
PEPYSIAN GARLAND. Edited by, Prof. Hyder E. Rollins. Published by the
Cambridge University Press and the Macmillan Co. Cloth, 491 pages. Price,
collection of "broadside" ballads of the period 159616,39 has been selected
chiefly from the collection made by Samuel Pepys. Pepys bequeathed his library
and his famous diary to Magdalene College, Cambridge. With the other works
were five large folio volumes, the first title page running thus:
Collection of Ballads. Vol. 1. Begun by Mr. Selden; Improv'd by ye addition of
many Pieces elder thereto in Time; and the whole continued to the year 1700.
When the Form, till then peculiar thereto, vizt., of the Black Letter with
Pictures, seems (for cheapness sake) wholly laid aside, for that of the White
Letter without Pictures.
Professor Rollins reproduces eighty ballads, seventy-three of them are the
most interesting seventeenth century ballads in Pepys's first volume (none of
them of a later date than 1639) and of the remainder six are from the Bodleian
and one from the Manchester Free Reference Library. As a picture of the social
conditions of the time they are exceedingly interesting and especially so to
Freemasons seeking all possible light upon the era leading up to the time when
the Grand Lodge was in 1717 put formally into action at London. The ballads
are not to be judged as poetry, but as Professor Rollins points out they were
in the main the equivalent of modern newspapers:
have always interested educated men, not as poems but as popular songs or as
mirrors held up to the life of the people. In them are clearly reflected the
lives and thoughts, the hopes and fears, the beliefs and amusements, of
sixteenth and seventeenth century Englishmen. In them history becomes
the one showing "a worshipful company in the making" is of the liveliest
significance. This is of the year 1606 and none will deny the interest in this
account of how the 1041 porters in London formed a corporation and secured a
hall for meetings. The broadside had three illustrations, one in which a
porter is shown standing idle with an empty basket, next as walking with a
heavy load, and third as setting out in holiday attire for a meeting of his
society, they were headed: "At the first went we as here you see," "But since
our Corporation, on this fashion," "And to our Hall, thus we goe all," typical
of the advancement made in their fortunes, social standing, and happiness by
this congregation into a brotherhood of their calling. Other trades and
occupations are mentioned in the selection of ballads but this one is
particularly noteworthy. It is headed "A new Ballad, composed in commendation
of the Societic, or Companie of the Porters." The author was one Tho. Brewer
and it was printed by Thomas Creed, to be sold "at the syne of the Eagle and
Childe in the old Chaunge." The date is 1605. The first stanza runs as
blessed is that Land
King and Rulers bee,
men of great Command
carefull are to see,
carefull are to see,
Commons good maintainde
proppe of any land.
are some more of these pious and loyal sentiments, and thus introduced we come
to the subject proper of the ballad:
plainly doth appeare,
that was lately done,
them that burthens beare,
doe on businesse runne:
Porters of this Cittie,
being men of Trade,
now the more, the more the pitty
crosses are decayde.
this we learn definitely, what we would naturally expect, that the porters
were recruited, at least in part, from the failures and broken down men of
they that were before
suite haue salude that sore,
gainde a Corporation:
excludes, and shuts out many
were of base esteeme,
will not suffer any
person bide with them.
such as well are knowen,
honest Acts imbrace:
them theiIe haue none
haue no biding place:
them theile haue none
neare as they can finde)
such as well are knowen
beare an honest minde.
Evidently what was done was to limit the number of regular porters to those
who had definite domiciles and were "under the tongue of good report." This
limitation would give all in the company more employment by barring out casual
now vnto their hall
pay their quarteridge downe,
attending maisters call,
fearing maisters frowne,
seeking for redresse
right if they haue wrong,
they that doe transgresse
that to them doth long.
administration and discipline of the new company followed the lines of the
older ones. There follows three stanzas describing the old punishment for
theft (an obvious and constant temptation to the porter) which was no less
than the time honored "riding on a rail." We are told this was not very
effective, and that the new penalty of expulsion worked much better, for it
meant loss of employment.
there be any one
them, a burthen takes,
with the same be gone:
hall, the owner makes
that that he hath lost:
theefe without redemption,
their numbers crost.
a better order
that they bad before,
as the malefactor
a coultstaffe bore:
owner tis much better,
forth' offender worse,
taste this newe made order,
ride a wooden horse.
shame was soone slipt ouer,
in obliuion drownde,
then againe, another
in like fault be found:
caring for their credit,
trust another time,
order therefore as a bit
hold them from that crime.
follows a stanza dealing with the fines laid on those who disobey the rules of
the company, and one of these rules was that of "first come first served" in
regard to a job.
iarres and braules are bard
mongst them might arise,
commer, first is serude,
as a burthen lyes,
be ready there
must his profite take:
other must forbeare
we learn, that again following the traditions of the older companies, a
charity fund had been established for the assistance of the sick and infirm
as haue long bin knowen
this bearing trade,
into yeares are growen,
that their strengths decayde)
can no longer labour
they haue done before,
Companie doth succour
follow some general reflections on the necessity of rule's and regulations and
then we are told of their attending church in a body to bear a special sermon,
which again was an old Guild custom, and is still remembered by Freemasons.
and a many moe
orders they haue, sure,
make rude fellowes know
stoutnesse, doth procure
their owne detriment and
if they could see't:
likewise to augment
generall good, there meete.
great is the number
many without order
neuer setled bee;
things will be amisse,
it hath bin knowen,
number of them is,
thousand fortie one.
all meete together,
Christ church, to heare there
sermon, for them made
markes of Admittance
out of tinne, they bare
their neckes in ribbons:
chiefe, of siluer weare.
this we learn that the members wore badges by which they were known. It seems
probable that these would be worn regularly so that prospective employers
could know whether they were engaging a member of the company or not. It would
seem that the organization was not a chartered or official one. Its name does
not appear in the list of the London Companies and its discipline would thus
be voluntary, yet not less effective for that. This formation of a new gild in
London in 1605, or before, is very interesting, and throws a sidelight on the
social history of the period that may have significance for Masonic students.
* * *
LOGE ZU Z. Ein Auszug aus dem Reise-Journal eines unterrichteten Maurers.
Published by Alfred Unger, Berlin, 1927. Paper, 76 pages. Price, 4 marks.
title means: The Masonic Lodge at Z. An extract from the travel memoirs of a
author of these memoirs, Ignaz Aurelius Fessler, is an interesting
personality. Born in 1756 at Czurendorf, Hungary, of German parents, he
entered at the age of seventeen the Capuchin Order. The restless spirit of the
time, known as the Sturm-und Drang Periode - period of storm and stress - of
German thought, made its way even into the seclusion of the cloister. The
rigidly circumscribed dogmatism of the Roman Church soon proved an irksome
fetter to the insurgent mind of young Fessler. He left the monastery, and in
1791 he joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1796 he transferred his
domicile to Berlin where he engaged in a many-sided, fruitful literary
activity. His favorite studies were the philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca,
the Fathers of the Church, mysticism and, above all, Masonic history and lore.
He left a permanent imprint on German Masonry.
summer of 1802, Fessler went on a journey in the course of which he visited
the city of Z. The identity of the city is not disclosed. He was agreeably
surprised to find not only a Masonic lodge, but a lodge in which the Masonic
ideals flourished exceedingly. He was edified and enthused by what he
discovered there. He published his impressions the following year in a
magazine named Die Eleusinien, a periodical that expired after a brief
existence of but two years.
present simple, but elegant little volume is a reprint of a portion of these
travel memoirs. In its facile, fluent, diction it contains valuable
information for the student of Masonic teaching. It is thought-provoking and,
in its degree, inspiring.
* * *
LESSING'S NATHAN THE WISE. Translated from the German. Edited by Ernest Bell.
Published by David McKay. Cloth, 174 pages. Price 55 cents.
is one of a series of pocket translations of the classics. The name of
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing is well known - by reputation at least - to all
educated people. It is not so well known, outside of the Craft in Germany,
that he was an ardent Mason, and that Masonic influences are to be seen in his
literary work. Early attracted by the theater he produced a considerable
number of plays, comedies and tragedies both. In later life today the
transition sounds strange he became pre-eminently interested in theological
questions, theoretical and practical, and in 1779 he finished Nathan der Weise,
a drama in which he embodied in poetic form the ideas to which he had been led
in respect to religion, and especially in regard to what was then regarded
almost as heresy by every sect, religious tolerance. Those who have the
degrees of the Scottish Rite should be especially interested in this dramatic
representation of the cIash between Christian, Saracen and Jew, but every
Mason may read it with profit who would know what tolerance really is.
SHOULD THE APRON BE WORN?
a discussion the other day as to how the apron should be worn. Most of the
members of our lodge tie the apron under their coats, but there is one brother
who insists we are all wrong and ties his outside. It looks rather funny to
me, because the back of his coat is all wrinkled up, and I would like to know
if there is any rule about it, and if so why?
is another of those details upon which there is no general agreement. We
believe that in some jurisdictions it is made a matter of regulation that the
apron should be outside the coat. On the other hand, it is the general usage
of American Masons to wear it underneath. Where a definite rule has been
adopted it is very probably directly or indirectly due to the influence of the
regulation in England, which is to the effect, that in evening dress the apron
is worn under, and in morning dress over, the coat. As the wearing of evening
dress is almost universal in English lodges, even when meeting in the
afternoon, it follows that, if we ignore the difference between a "swallow
tail" coat and a "lounge jacket," that in fact the apron is generally worn
under the coat by English Masons. We suppose this difference must not be
ignored, however, without danger of incurring the penalties of lese majeste,
or high treason, or something equally terrifying. Of course if the two species
of the garment are buttoned up, in the one case the apron still remains
visible in all its glory (in England with its border of ribbon and rosettes -
or other emblems for higher ranks) while in the other it is partially
obscured. We may suppose this is the real reason for the English rule.
this country, where the same rule has been adopted, it is usually supported by
an appeal to "operative" practice. It is argued that the apron is designed to
protect the clothing and therefore must be worn outside everything else. Those
who appeal to Caesar must go to Caesar. In operative practice the apron is not
worn over the coat for the workman takes his coat off. If he has occasion to
put it on during working hours, he naturally puts it on over his apron. In
this country the overall has supplanted the apron among stone masons, but in
countries where the apron is still worn this may be verified by the observant
even at the present day.
does not really seem, however, that there is any need to make operative usage
a rigid law. We think that Bro. G. S. P. has given the real answer himself. To
wear a belt or girdle of any kind outside a loose jacket, normally unbuttoned,
not only looks awkward, but is awkward. A girdle or belt can be worn very well
over a frock coat, or uniform tunic, which is shaped to the figure and has
sufficient skirt to fall below it. But the rule :that some good brethren would
force upon us, would make us all look rather ridiculous unless we took to
formal dress. Perhaps that is the motive underneath. But so long as American
Masons adhere to informality in this regard, we believe that custom, as it
usually does in such matters, offers the best solution, and that the apron
girded on under the coat, is not only more convenient and comfortable, but
also more dignified.
* * *
MASONIC EMBLEMS WORN BY WOMEN
woman, the wife, mother or daughter of a Mason, entitled to wear the Masonic
is one of those simple seeming questions it is impossible to answer off hand
with "yes" or "no." The difficulty here lies in the word "entitled." It may
mean is such a practice permissible in law? Or is it recognized (or forbidden)
by Masonic authority? Or is there any precedent or custom in favor of it? Or
it might mean no more than is it fitting or in good taste ? We suppose that
the second or third interpretations is what was in the mind of our
wearing of emblematic devices by individuals has in the past always been
regarded as a purely personal matter. As such there has never been any
regulatory action taken concerning it on the part of Grand Lodges, although it
must be confessed that certain tendencies of recent appearance are in this
only ancient Masonic device or design of an official character was the
well-known armorial bearing granted to the Mason's Company of London, and
later assumed by the Freemasons all over England. In the same category we
might put the arms or seals adopted later by Grand Lodges and their
subordinate lodges. These very properly are subject to regulation, but they
have a character entirely different from any trinket or ornament an individual
may choose or design for himself. And if there be no regulation for the Mason,
it is obvious that still less can there be any for one who is not. Grand
Lodges cannot legislate for those not under their jurisdiction. The time has
long since passed, if there ever were one, when a man could be held
responsible for what his feminine relatives might choose to.
propriety of the practice is another matter. There is some reason to object to
a man wearing a Masonic emblem if he is not a Mason, but that does not hold in
regard to a woman doing so. There is, too, some warrant in tradition for it.
In a past generation, when women were more dependent and less able to look
after themselves, to have been able to claim the good offices of a Mason in
any emergency was of real value, and it seems that when a woman had to travel
alone, her husband or father not infrequently gave her some such token to
carry with her. It would, therefore, seem that while "entitled" is hardly the
best word to use, that a woman is at liberty to wear Masonic emblems and that
there is no reason to object to, it. In any case we do not see how it could be
* * *
the heading "Masonic Satanism" I notice on page 205 of the July number of THE
BUILDER, a reference to Leo Taxil. I have come across the name before and
would like to know who he was and what he did. Can you enlighten me?
story of the great imposture concerning Palladian Masonry and Luciferism is
almost completely forgotten by the present generation, though for some ten or
twelve years at the end of last century it was a topic of literally world wide
interest. Leo Taxil was the assumed name of one, Gabriel Jogand Pages, was
born (it is said) at Marseilles in or about the year 1854. He is also said -
but such a cloud of mystification and downright lying obscures the facts that
it is hard to arrive at certainty in these details - to have been educated in
a Jesuit College, from which he departed in a reaction from discipline and
religion. He became a hanger-on of journalism, an author of pornographic
literature and a retailer of scandal about the clergy.
it is said, though French Masons have denied it, that he was initiated in some
unspecified lodge, in (according to his own account, which is not evidence)
the year 1881. He is supposed to have received only the first degree, and was
either expelled, or quarreled with the lodge and departed of his own accord.
about the year 1885 he pretended to repent of his sins and sought
reconciliation with the church, bringing as a sort of gift, or fruits of
repentance, weird and wonderful tales of crimes, blasphemies, obscenities, and
conspiracies against all law and order and religion, in and behind the Masonic
drew for his materials, it would seem, upon the accusations against the
Templars, the accounts of black magic given by Eliphas Levi, which were then a
subject of general curiosity, and perhaps (though this is doubtful) got some
material from American anti-Masonry. All this he mixed up into a fantastic
hodgepodge, exceedingly interesting in its way, if taken in small doses. The
raison d'etre of Masonry, according to him, was the worship of Lucifer, the
archfiend. This included the practice of every imaginable obscenity and every
form of sexual vice. Albert Pike was made the high priest, and an imaginary
Diana Vaughan was the high priestess.
too long a story to tell in any detail. The amazing thing is how, in spite of
the warnings and protests of many cautious and sensible men among them, the
hierarchy of the Roman Church, from simple priests up to Cardinals, and even
Pope Leo XIII himself, accepted the unsupported assertions of the impostor as
absolute truth. The deception was finally exploded by Taxil himself in a most
dramatic way, and with unblushing effrontery, for the reason that he saw the
game was nearly up, and decided to make the exposure himself and gain an
opportunity to publicly deride the victims of his hoax.
Curiously, Roman Catholics were not the only people to believe the tales. Many
American Masons appear to have accepted them as a picture of Latin
Freemasonry, carefully excepting references to Pike, Mackey and other American
and English Masons; who, of course, they were sure had been included by
accident or malice. This seems incredible, but it is stated on good authority
to be true. Romanists were to be excused in part for their credulity, it is
natural to believe evil of people to whom we are opposed. We rather suspect
that the tales of Satanism related by the Revue Internationale des Societes
Secretes are only echoes from Taxil's inventions, with all reference to their
origin conveniently forgotten.
* * *
SECRECY OF THE BALLOT
question has arisen in which I disagree with the other Past Masters of my
lodge and apparently also with the rulings of our Grand Masters. The accepted
view is that no one may reveal how he voted in the ballot on an application
for membership. I maintain that in common sense, anyone who has cast a black
ball has, if for any reason he sees f it to do so, a right to reveal the fact.
I understand perfectly that almost everywhere the law is interpreted to forbid
his doing so, but I insist that the secrecy of the ballot is expressly
designed to protect the objecting brother or brethren, and that therefore the
secret is his secret, not the lodge's, nor Masonry's, and being his, he may
reveal it at his own discretion. The position of the objector is quite
different from those who vote favorably. No one of the latter may reveal how
he voted because if one did, all might follow in turn, and if all did, the
objecting brother would be discovered by elimination, and the secrecy of the
ballot, designed solely to protect the objector, would be violated.
I am in a minority, but f would like to know how others think about it, and
whether the point has ever arisen before.
correspondent is quite right in saying that in most jurisdictions a brother
revealing the fact that he voted against an application would be liable to the
pains and penalties of the regulations guarding the secrecy of the ballot. It
is not the only instance in Masonic law where the object of a regulation has
been quite forgotten, and the rule has become an end in itself. The ballot box
is in any case a sign of weakness. In an ideal lodge it would be quite
unnecessary. There would be so much mutual trust and confidence that anyone
who objected to an applicant would feel quite free to do so openly, certain
that no one would take offense. Such lodges are, unfortunately, very, very
rare. The secret ballot is therefore a necessity.
are other anomalies, connected with the subject, to he found in various
places. In quite a number of jurisdictions an application must go to a ballot
even if the committee of investigation reports unfavorably. This seems absurd.
An unfavorable report should certainly count as a rejection. The rule has,
indeed, actually permitted applicants, who had been unfavorably reported on,
to be elected, than which nothing could be more ridiculous, if it were not so
must agree that Bro. L. S. T. is right, but that it will not be safe for him
or anyone else to exercise the right, until Masonic legislators and executives
come to realize that the secrecy of the ballot is not an original landmark of
the Craft, or one of the hidden mysteries of Freemasonry, but in fact, a
concession to the weakness of the brethren, and a sign imperfection of the
internal life of our lodges.
* * *
A MASONIC LODGE?
you invite perplexed Masons to consult you on matters pertaining to the Craft,
I venture to submit a question which may be in the minds of many who perhaps
may consider it disloyal to even utter it.
a Masonic Lodge?
into Masonry some few years ago after passing middle age. My wife's prejudices
against any lodge kept me out for some years. But when I entered the Lodge it
was with the same reverential feelings that I, as a much younger man joined
been a faithful attendant upon all lodge meetings, both the stated
communications and the few special meetings we have during the year to confer
degrees. Our communications rarely have much of interest to attract us. There
is little real business to be considered. The degree work is always
interesting to me.
what is there for us after we become Masons? What is there to do besides
initiating new members? The teachings of the Craft I find are the same as the
teachings of the church, though presented in different form. The principles
are not peculiar to Masonry, the truths taught us are age-old.
is to me, at least, a sense of restraint in a Masonic lodge room which limits
fellowship. At least it is not the same fellowship which we have in our Rotary
meetings where I meet the same men whom I meet at Lodge.
charitable work, there are at present none of our membership who need help,
nor have any for a long period. As we grow older some of us may, and the
Masonic Home will shelter us. Certainly our own Lodge could do nothing for us
because the dues collected will not permit the creation of a charity fund.
What relief we give to other than Masonic cases is now done through a
collection. The good women of the town take care of charity cases and we as
business men help through them. Of course we help to support the Masonic Homes
for aged brethren and their wives and for children of our unfortunate
brethren, but we are scarcely conscious of this help we give because it is
taken from us in our annual dues.
Therefore, as I see it, the Masonic Lodge has no program. The church teaches
the same truths that Masonry teaches. The luncheon clubs furnish a livelier
fellowship. The charitable work of a general nature is done by other agencies
and we collect no funds for our own charities, if there be any such.
Therefore, I ask, what is there for Masonry to do? We are forbidden to take
any part as Masons in our country's politics, so what is there for us to do? I
read nothing in any Masonic publication of any national effort that Masonry
has adopted to put over, except the George Washington Memorial, and that calls
for nothing but a financial contribution from the rank and file.
good brother, tell me, "Why is a Masonic Lodge?” At least, why is it in the
small town? It may be something else and something different in the big city.
Of that I have no knowledge. But the real purpose of my question is to find
out why an organization of such great size, such large influence, and with
such tremendous potentialities for accomplishment is doing nothing to which we
as Freemasons can point with any pride.
anticipate that some brethren will tell me that we are building character and
training men to serve their country and their fellows. To him I say that if we
do not develop our character and get that training in the public school, the
Sunday school and the church, long before we become Masons, there is not much
material worth working on in a Masonic lodge.
letter raises a very penetrating question, or rather several questions. It
does not seem at all easy to answer them generally and fully and at the same
time convincingly. It is a problem. Doubtless the problem is one of those
complex ones made up of many different elements, probably in different
proportion in different cases. We hope that others will give their views on
the subject, for it is obviously one for general discussion. Ed.]