The Builder Magazine
March 1930 - Volume XVI - Number 3
Freemasonry in Egypt
BRO. ROBERT C. WRIGHT, Oregon
OUR estimable Grand Secretary, Bro. D. R. Cheney, receives many communications
and pamphlets in several different foreign languages. Not being adept in them,
he has for some years past enlisted the writer's assistance to translate
Last summer he informed the writer that he had heard of some trouble in the
Grand Lodge in Egypt, and asked for examination and report of what was in a
copy of its 1928 proceedings, which he furnished. This pamphlet turned out to
be partly in Syrian and partly in French. A brief report was furnished to the
Grand Secretary for his files. Discovering the name of our Grand Secretary
mentioned in Syrian, because he had sent them his photograph, a copy of his
name was sent to him. He said it looked easy but was hard to write, so he gave
up using it officially.
Believing that something about Egyptian Masonry and their dissension might
interest others, this article has been prepared. The proceedings mentioned
contain much detail of the unfortunate events. Therefore only a summary of
this will be given and a little space taken in addition to tell of the
splendid humanitarian work carried on by that Grand Lodge.
Sometime in 1900 or 1901, Abd el Meguid Youne was Grand Secretary of the
National Grand Lodge of Egypt. During that time Prince Mohammed Aly, brother
of the ex-khedive, was initiated but held no office. Youne and some colleagues
conspired with the Prince virtually to capture the Grand Lodge, and to amend
its constitution or by-laws to allow the election of the Prince as Grand
Master. Youne and the Prince were both well known in foreign jurisdictions.
The official signature of the former was very familiar.
1901 an attempt was made to carry out their plans. This brought a strong
reproof from Idris Ragheb, then Grand Master, who obtained from the Prince a
letter dated April 6, 1901, written on Grand Lodge stationery, signed by
Mohammed Aly and endorsed by Idris as witness. Therein the Prince acknowledged
fidelity to his Masonic obligations, and promised obedience to the laws and
rules of the National Grand Lodge, which he thereby also recognized. A photo
print of this letter is published, showing the original signatures.
Evidently Youne and his fellow conspirators were not done. They wanted the
prestige of the Prince, and the latter's conceit was so flattered that he was
willing to join them and become a party to these iniquitous schemes. Thus the
disturbances were continued until 1922, when the Prince was in it personally.
the summer of 1922 some brethren who were not in good standing, and lodges
suspended for cause, combined to petition for a change of the laws in order to
make the Prince eligible as Grand Master. It appears a Grand Master was to be
elected later, and this was the time when they proposed to act. The Prince
agreed to be a candidate. He had never been warden or master, not even what
they term an "active member" of a lodge, and according to the constitution was
Idris Ragheb was again Grand Master that year. After a perusal, he issued a
decree denying the petition, and cited laws forbidding its allowance. The
dissident group then sought to arrange matters by making the Prince an active
member of Lodge "The Nile." The Grand Master responded by giving that lodge a
certain time to rescind its irregular action. It refused to do so and its
charter was suspended, and some members of other lodges who were involved in
promoting the action were also suspended. The Prince was disciplined on the
ground of his ignorance of Masonic law, and that he was supposed to have acted
in good faith.
The suspended members organized to go to the Grand Lodge meeting of September
28, 1922, to carry out their schemes. They appeared in force, invaded the
Grand Master's office and demanded their reinstatement. To restore quiet he
said those qualified as delegates could take part in the work. After inquiry
from the chair as to whether all present were lawfully there, he began the
session. Immediately a demand was made to change the laws to allow the
candidacy of the Prince. The Grand Master ruled it out of order and refused
any debate. The revolting group persisted in discussion and caused a tumult
and confusion. To safeguard the dignity of Masonry, the Grand Master was
obliged to close the Grand Lodge, which was done in form, the election being
postponed to a later date to be announced. The officers then left the room.
Thereupon an assistant deputy Grand Master, Taha Ibrahim, seized the gavel and
caused those present to proceed with the election. The Prince was declared
elected Grand Master by acclamation.
The following day Grand Master Idris Ragheb and brethren went to the temple in
the morning, as was customary, but the rebellious group, assisted by profane,
roughly refused them admittance. On October 3 the Grand Lodge met again and
re-elected Idris Ragheb, and elected other officers, including Mohammed Rifaat
as Grand Secretary, who is still in that office. Since then, however, Sayed
Aly has been elected Grand Master and was in office when the proceedings were
Youne took the records, seals and archives and used them to send out
communications in the name of the schismatic party, under the name of the
Grand Lodge. They took possession of furniture and personal property, which
they were later forced to return by court proceedings.
Prince Mohammed also had the audacity to pretend to be Sovereign Grand
Commander of the Scottish Rite. This brought forth a decree on March 20,1925,
from Mohammed Heddaya, the real Sovereign Grand Commander, suspending the
Prince and depriving him of all his rights and privileges. It would appear
that he is still suspended and persona non grata.
The conduct of Youne, and the lack of information, has caused confusion in
foreign jurisdictions. The Grand Lodge of Montana in 1927 returned to the
rightful Egyptian Grand Lodge the appointment certificate of a Grand
Representative. Later learning of the mistake, an apology was made,
accompanied by a request that the certificate be returned to them. This shows
the result brought about by such unfortunate troubles, which are not to be
overcome for years.
All through this lengthy period the Grand Lodge not only had to deal with the
fraud and misrepresentations of Youne and his associates, in deceiving
well-disposed persons in Egypt, and seriously interfering with domestic
Masonic activities, but it was continually annoyed by these acts carried on in
foreign jurisdictions. In June, 1926, they took advantage of the visit in
Egypt of Bro. John Er. Cowles, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern
Jurisdiction, A. & A. S. R. They appealed to him to make a careful
investigation of official documents. This he did and delivered to them a
certificate stating that he found the regular and recognized Grand Lodge is
the one of which Ferik Sayed Aly was then the Grand Master. This was deposited
in its archives, and later an article relating this was published in The New
spite of these exasperating occurrences, the Grand Lodge shows it is not
revengeful. It states in the 1928 proceedings, forgetting the evils caused by
the dissidents, it has charitably opened its doors. More than once has it
offered them its hand in the hope Masonry would pardon them upon repenting. In
recalling to the sheep-fold these misguided brothers, the Grand Lodge would
rejoice in their presence, regretfully broken since their departure. This
noble sentiment rings clear and true. The Grand Officers are men of high
reputation and occupy responsible government and civil positions.
Now what has this harassed Grand Body done for humanity? The National Grand
Lodge of Egypt has founded an orphanage. Poor lads from seven to twelve are
accepted, regardless of their religion. They receive school instruction and
are taught trades. There are illustrations showing the boys in comfortable
surroundings, being instructed in carpentry, chairmaking, weaving rugs,
printing, etc. It is intended to use land about the buildings for a course in
agriculture. One illustration shows a real lively band in uniform and with
modern instruments, led by their adult instructor. King Fuad I gave this
orphanage a liberal donation and is friendly to Masonry, although probably not
a member of the Order.
The Grand Lodge has also taken great interest in education. It has a strong
desire to eliminate ignorance in its native country. Promoting this object
they founded and carry on the "Wadinnil" primary school. They found a demand
for secondary or advanced grades, of which many children were deprived in the
state schools for lack of accommodation. They met this need by organizing a
secondary school. Boys and girls are admitted in both schools and the
illustrations show a contented and happy lot of teachers and pupils.
Thus Masonry is doing its duty for little brothers and sisters in Egypt, just
as we aim to do in our great and powerful country. It proves that Masonry is
universal, knows but one Supreme Architect, and recognizes no political
boundaries in its good works. When the true and noble realm of the brotherhood
of man is recognized, a clear vision discovers there no battleships, no poison
gases. That vision believes in what an Italian proverb says, " with the dawn
of every day, a happiness." Let that be the unceasing work inherited from the
Tyrian Grand Master, whose monument our real masters never have been forgotten
- never shall forget.
Since preparing the preceding article the writer's attention is directed to
the 1929 Foreign Correspondence Report of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut,
covering Egypt for 1927. It is only fair to my readers that the claims of the
opposition be stated. The only present source available is that mentioned, the
writer not having the original proceedings in hand.
Prince Mohammed Aly appears as Grand Master of the schismatic body, and in his
address of 1927 states that their foreign affairs are "marvelously good."
Grand Officers of New York visited them. Following this are statistics
relating to what they label "The National Grand Lodge of Egypt." There are
seventy-five lodges, working in Greek, Arab, Hebrew, French and English,
"approximately 6,000 members." It is asserted that the Grand Lodge, of which
M.W. Bro. His Highness Prince Mohammed Aly is Grand Master, is the lawful
continuation of the National Grand Lodge of Egypt, of which M.W.Bro. Idris Bey
Ragheb was Grand Master for thirty-five years. The schism dates from 1922,
when a majority, wanting a change, elected the Prince by a large vote. Idris
left with a minority, and under this aged leader they continued to function
under the official title. The courts decided against this organization in
"several actions" which were instituted. In 1924-25, ninety-eight old members
"returned" to this organization. It is recognized by forty-five Grand
Jurisdictions, among them England, Ireland, Scotland and "several" Canadian,
Australian and United States Grand Lodges. Mohammed Aly and Younis are Grand
Master and Grand Secretary.
The account of the meeting Sept. 28, 1922, is recited as above, except it is
said that there was a dispute about constitutional qualifications for Grand
Master, and the Grand Treasurer asked that it be submitted to vote. ldris,
refusing this, vacated the chair "sor a moment," returned, disposed of a few
matters, left with his Deputy Grand Master and seventeen members, taking home
with him, "so it is reported, " the great seal and important registers of the
Then election took place and the Prince was declared elected by overwhelming
vote. Idris formed his own organization and used the Scottish Rite to defeat
his opponents, which prevented healing of the breach.
The Connecticut writer remarks in his review as follows:
is regretted that a small fraction of members endeavor to function as
schismatic Grand Lodge, headed by a deposed Grand Master. There is some
surface evidence that they are encouraged by certain U.S. Scottish Rite
influences.. This has caused inadvertent errors on the part of some U.S. Grand
Secretaries, the writer among them, who wrongly listed in 1928 proceedings
Mohammed Rifaat as Grand Secretary. The legitimate Grand Secretary is Abdul
Meguid Younis. Prince Mohammed Aly continues as Grand Master.
The present writer regrets that he has not access to the original 1927 text
that the good Connecticut brother reviewed, also that this brother did not
have the 1928 answer of the other body hereinbefore reviewed. It might have
altered his judicial opinion of who are the legitimate Egyptian Grand
officers, and also as to Scottish Rite interference.
is appropriate, however, to mention a few other things for the better guidance
of American Freemasonry. The 1928 proceedings evidently try to answer the
accusations with great length and care. The exact text of parts of the
constitution involved is set out.
Art. 29. No brother can be elected Grand Master if he is not an active and
contributing member of a constituent lodge of the National Grand Lodge of
Egypt, and unless he has filled the office of Grand Warden.
The amendment petitioned for was:
prince of the royal family having the degree of Master may be elected Grand
Master, setting aside the conditions required by Art. 29
The "aged" Grand Master directed attention to other articles, which forbade
receiving any proposition contrary to the fundamental principles of
Freemasonry. That the petition modifying Art. 29 was solely in favor of a
member of the royal family, and manifestly opposed to the principle of
equality, a basis of our Order. That the decree of the Grand Master was legal
on this fact.
Furthermore he sets out Art. 49, that all amendments must be submitted to the
Permanent Committee one month before meeting of the Grand Lodge which is to
consider them. That statutes cannot be altered except by a majority of not
less than three-fourths of the members of the Grand Lodge. Also that no
proposition for amendment can be considered unless in writing, signed and
supported by one- third of the members present at the Grand Lodge. The
petitioners ignored the Permanent (i.e. Standing) Committee. The Grand Lodge
had 408 members, the petition had 110, a protest had 144.
1928 we find that Taha Ibrahim is member of a standing committee, having
evidently regretted his part in that disorderly proceeding. "Al Nil" Lodge,
No. 243, is on the list and appears in good standing again.
Sayed Aly, Grand Master, is a Division General, and Secretary to the Minister
of War and Marine; other Grand Lodge Officers hold notable positions under the
government, and are evidently dignified and respected citizens.
The roster shows actual names and addresses of 103 lodges and officers. There
are 71 Arab, 11 French, 9 Greek, 6 Italian, 4 Armenian, 1 Russian, 1 Turkish.
the disorderly meeting, a Bro. Bryant was a leader of the petitioners. No
English lodge is on this list, and the Prince's organization seems to have
them. It leads to a suspicion of some political quarrel having brought on the
strife. This may have led to recognition by English Grand Lodges. How, ever
that may be, Idris appears to have presented a very strong ease on both facts
and law, in favor of the lodge he represents.
the foreign section they name a number of U.S. Grand Lodges, a large number of
European and South American, New Zealand, the Scottish Rite Northern and
Southern of U. S. and of Canada, as all recognizing that body.
The Prince's body does not seem to show any Masonic charity work, or any
answer whatever to the constitutional questions distinctly involved in proper
upholding of that organization. It is certainly not clear how the constitution
was amended to make the Prince lawful Grand Master. There is no assertion on
his part that the text stated by Idris, or the amending petition are
incorrectly quoted. Nor any explanation by him how the constitution was law
fully changed to qualify him a Grand Master. No explanation or denial of his
letter is referred to. The Grand Lodges of America would do well to call for
complete translation of the Egyptian constitution, and a complete statement,
with proper exhibits, in behalf of the Prince, as to changes which make him
Grand Master or his organization legal.
should be kept in mind his body claims to continue from the admittedly legal
one, of which Idris was Grand Master, therefore the succession must be proved
to be legal Grand Lodges would then be in better position judicially to decide
which is the lawful body in Egypt than to have the Prince, or some Prince's
ghost writer, settle it for them.
The 1927 report of the Prince Aly organization gives seventy five lodges as
adhering to it. The Annuaire published by the International Masonic
Association, lists seventy-seven. These are grouped by localities, and
apparently retain their original numbers. The lowest number is 37, and the
highest is 278. Al Nil, No 243, mentioned in the article, appears on this list
so that it has evidently returned to the allegiance of the other Grand Lodge
since this list was compiled.
is evident that the group headed by Prince Aly has had a "better press" than
its rival. The Annuaire has no information to offer about the latter except
the names of the Grand Master his Deputy, and the Grand Treasurer and the
Grand Secretary. It offers no opinion as to the rights and wrongs of the
Schism. - Ed.
The Broken Men of the Great War
BRO. LEONARD G. COOP, Missouri
is almost a general rule that knowledge of the man is the force that gives
life to his cause. For this reason we here give a brief account of the author
of this article, in spite of his reluctance to allow us to do so.
Bro. Coop was rejected as medically unfit for Service soon after war broke
out, and in 1918 was appointed to the U. S. Public Health Service and
stationed in the training camps. He was Assistant Superintendent of the Health
Department at Camp Kearney, and at the San Diego Naval Training Station, in
1917, and in 1918 was assisting the Draft Board at Fort Worth. In 1919 he
entered the Service of the American Red Cross, and was engaged in
demobilization and hospital work. In 1923 he was sent to St. Louis to act as
Liaison Representative of the American Red Cross at the Veterans' Bureau, and
he continued in this position till the end of 1928. A growing dissatisfaction
with the functioning of the Veterans' Bureau led him to resign, and to
undertake the voluntary and unremunerated task of assisting those veterans who
had equitable and well-founded claims, but whose applications had been
rejected on technicalities. In this work he has had marked success so far as
he has been able to go, and he has, incidentally, also succeeded in very
seriously disturbing and annoying the executives of the Bureau; for it seems
as i! it may become necessary to consider the merits of a case as well as the
comfortable, well-worn precedents and technicalities of the department, and,
worst of all, that the beautiful webs of red tape that have been spun may have
to be broken through.
Something of the condition of affairs may be gathered from the article,
restrained as it is, and the author will be only too glad to give further
information to anyone interested. And his information is not generalities or
impressions, but cases, with all the documents.
addition it may be mentioned that Bro. Coop is a First Lieutenant of the
Medical Administration Reserve, and is also a member of the Sojourners' Club.
EVEN the casual reader of THE BUILDER may note that mention is frequently made
of Masons who have served their country, either during the World War or in
other conflicts in which the United States has been engaged from time to time.
The pages of history are replete with outstanding Masons who served their
country faithfully and well.
The World War has passed, but its hideous aftermath has not, and I bespeak
space in your valuable publication for a few words concerning what might be
termed the "Forgotten Legion," for such there are, even although they may be
somewhat unknown to the general public.
The United States Veterans' Bureau is the Federal organization charged with
the responsibility of furnishing relief to the veterans who became, or have
become, disabled in the service of their country, and whose disabilities may
be justly considered as "due to service."
The laws under which this Bureau functions are generous in their intent, in
fact it is doubtful if any country in the world has provided such liberal
benefits in recognition of their disabled veterans as obtains in these United
But unfortunately there is a phase of the administration of the law which is
defeating its basic purpose, and, so long as it continues, will bring much
dissatisfaction, suffering and privation, all of which are entirely
attempt to condense this very vital matter in a few words is a difficult
undertaking, for it is most complex and has numerous ramifications that would
lead to much discussion.
object is to stress a few of the main points; based upon eleven years'
practical experience on the draft board, in the camps, during demobilization,
in hospital work, and six years endeavoring to straighten out some of the more
complicated claims of the disabled veterans. What I have to say may be
conveniently submitted under three headings, CAUSE, EFFECT, CURE, but before
these are discussed it is necessary that we know that a problem does exist,
and in what that problem consists.
"Figures may lie and liars may figure," so that I shall not discuss dry
statistics, but will content myself with making but one statement, and then
endeavor to show conditions as they really are.
recent official Veterans ' Bureau report shows that nearly 900,000 claims have
been filed for compensation, and out of that number 436,000 have been denied.
Allowing for "Gold Bricks," "Compensation Hunters" and claims that may be
fairly classed as questionable, a very liberal estimate (even from the
standpoint of the Bureau) would be, that 94 per cent of these disallowed
claims are without merit. In my opinion such a percentage is grotesquely
fantastic, but we will, for the sake of argument, give the Bureau the benefit
of the doubt. Now eliminating all of this 94 per cent it may be observed that
there yet remains over 26,000 disabled veterans who have been denied
is my positive belief, based upon a very extensive personal study of the
question, that there are over 25,000 veterans who are seriously disabled,
whose disabilities are undoubtedly due to their service, but who are receiving
no compensation from the Veterans' Bureau.
Before discussing the three main headings I desire to make one or two
statements that will tend to render my personal conclusions more readily
my estimation the majority of the disabled U. S. veterans of the World War are
receiving more compensation than almost any other veterans who participated in
that disastrous conflict.
these there is a substantial number who are receiving compensation which the
public might fairly question as to whether their disabilities had any
connection with their war service; there is abundant explanation for this
statement, but space will not permit its discussion.
Last, but not least, there are far too many seriously disabled veterans whose
disabilities are undoubtedly due to their service, but who are not only denied
compensation, but they and their dependents are in actual want.
The reasons for this outrageous condition follow:
would take far too long to attempt to give all of the causes that have led up
to the present deplorable state of affairs. In my judgment they appear in
about the following order of importance: lack of preparedness to handle such a
huge undertaking; the inability of medical science to assign the precise
extent of the disability of a man in any particular case, the exact cause of
it, and the absolute extent to which he is disabled; the very questionable
possibility of medical and legal minds to state that any given disability is a
certain per cent disabling, which is particularly true in the difficult field
of mental diseases; salaries, and opportunities for advancement inadequate to
attract the best members of the medical profession, or to keep them upon the
Medical Staff of the Veterans' Bureau; and last, the proven fact that constant
and dogmatic denying of legitimate claims by means of absurd technicalities,
which forces more and more liberal legislation, yet which, paradoxical as it
may seem, nevertheless leaves thousands uncared for.
Dissatisfaction, injustice, suicides, death (from lack of attention), and an
untold amount of unnecessary suffering and privation among the disabled
veterans and their dependents, and a constant burden upon local philanthropic
agencies that cannot always be carried with any degree of satisfaction to the
veteran or to the organizations which are endeavoring to supply has need. And
as a result, constant, widespread and thoroughly justified criticism of the
order to illustrate the injustice in some of the decisions of the Veterans'
Bureau (and it must be remembered that the writer has complete information on
many other claims fully as meritorious and appealing) the following case is
submitted: The name used is fictitious in order that the family of this
deceased veteran may be saved embarrassment, authority in writing has been
secured to utilize this case merely to assist in placing before the public a
concrete example of what may be found in many communities of the United
normal boy prior to being inducted into the Army, fond of outdoor sports,
stood well in his studies, and won a scholarship in the State Agricultural
college prior to service. Following the steps of his father and his elder
brothers, he had sought the light of Freemasonry as soon as his age permitted.
Entered the Army September 5, 1917, served in the Infantry, was overseas,
participated in several of the major engagements and his outfit suffered very
heavy losses; he was wounded in action and finally discharged, May 12, 1919,
with character "Excellent."
The story of the suffering of this boy from the day he was discharged until
the day he committed suicide, March 5, 1924 (his mind having become affected
due to his experience overseas, with little or no treatment and with no
subsequent financial relief), reflects anything but credit on the Veterans'
The denial of this claim was apparently based upon a diagnosis given at one
hospital a thousand miles away from his home, where he was unknown, and where
he was a patient for only a few days.
this hospital he was considered a constitutional psychopath. After reading the
report of the doctor who examined him, it is amazing that such a diagnosis
could have been given on the meager information at the disposal of the Medical
Officer in charge of his case.
Competent physicians who knew him intimately, both before and after his
discharge, and likewise prior to and subsequent to his admittance, in July,
1923, to the hospital above noted, all agree that this diagnosis was
Joseph a. Bolland came from a highly respected family. He was one of three
brothers (all Masons) who served their country faithfully and well, and
although he was greatly needed at home at the time, no complaint was made by
either the father (a Mason himself, and at that time over 55 years of age) or
by the son, when the call came for the last one of his boys to go.
The following excerpts are taken from a letter received by the writer while
employed as Liaison Representative of the American Red Cross at the Veterans'
Bureau, and as soon as it was received immediate steps were taken to try and
secure treatment and compensation. The letter, however, came too late; the boy
had blown his head off with a shotgun before any decision was secured from the
Dear Sir: Have you any aid for a disabled ex-service soldier . . . having to
work handicapped by other troubles in the way of injuries and worrying. . ., I
suffered another attack of nerves . . . life has been one continual round of
misery . . . not able to work, I have lost sleep so that I am in a daze.
Everybody seems far away. ., . For God's sake get me into a place where I can
get cured. I have lost my nerve and can't tell anyone just how I feel. I would
rather be dead than be under the high nervous strain I am now.... If I don't
get relief before many days it will be all off. one more disappointed man will
be gone, so far I have lost in my fight for Government aid. It is driving me
This letter was written in February, 1924, treatment was denied by the
Veterans' Bureau (this will be found in the official records) and he committed
suicide March 5, 1924.
While this case was being discussed with one of the Bureau physicians, a
medical member of the Bureau Rating Board came up and informed us that the boy
had committed suicide at his home.
This Bureau doctor was asked if he knew him, and stated that he did, very
well. He was asked to make a statement for the Bureau files, and excerpts from
this doctor's statement, sworn to before a notary public are as follows:
. . known . . . claimant all his life . . . family physician for a number of
years . . . had a splendid opportunity to observe this boy prior to his
enlistment,, . mentally he was an ordinary, average boy. I at no time noticed
any symptoms of a mental subnormality or any psychic reaction. During the
summer of 1919, shortly after discharge he was in my office a number of times.
All conversations were of a rambling and disconnected nature . ., mentally he
was an entirely different individual from that of the boy he was before his
enlistment. . ., My impression of this contact with the claimant was that he
was not mentally responsible and that he was insane.... I am very strongly of
the opinion that the diagnosis of constitutional psychopathic state made in
examination of July 19, 1923., at . . . hospital does this claimant a very
great injustice, It is my opinion that this claimant has been suffering from
some type of psychosis since discharge.
addition two other doctors who had examined him since discharge, one who had
him under observation within thirty days after his return from the Army, both
gave definite symptoms and diagnoses of a form of insanity.
Section 200, of the World War Veterans' Act of 1924, in part, provides:
That an ex-service man who is shown to have or, if deceased, to have had,
prior to January 1, 1925, neuropsychiatric disease . . . developing a 10 per
centum degree of disability or more . . . shall be presumed to have acquired
his disability in such Service....
You will recall that three physicians pronounced him insane almost from date
of discharge, and that he committed suicide March 5, 1924.
There is no question of any misconduct disease in this ease and the Bureau has
been given ample opportunity to know the facts, these have repeatedly been
brought to their attention, in addition the Director of the Bureau has been
fully advised several times regarding this particular case and it is now six
years since the boy committed suicide and the claim still remains disallowed
to date (Feb. 14, 1930) .
is amazing that the Director of the Veterans' Bureau would permit the
incidents surrounding this distressing case to be published, when he had it
readily within his power to make a correction of this miscarriage of justice;
if such had been done, this story would not have been published.
This is but another illustration of many that the writer has thoroughly
This is surely difficult if not frankly dangerous ground; and those who are
not thoroughly familiar with this subject should hesitate before advocating a
cure, for much damage may be done unless careful thought has been given; and
any "cure" that may be suggested must be based upon abundant actual experience
with all that complicates the problem as a whole and in particular.
little medical knowledge is a dangerous thing if used without advice of
competent medical men, so, to the uninformed, a little Veterans' Bureau
knowledge may do more harm than good.
There is a constant stream of bills being presented to Congress, either
entirely new, or yet further liberalizing the present laws covering relief for
disabled veterans, and the cost is running into enormous sums. A great deal of
the proposed new legislation will simply make a bad matter worse, and the
current and ultimate cost will be staggering.
One of the suggestions I would urge is to endeavor to get your Senator or
Representative to take up this case as presented, name and compensation number
will be sent to him upon request; or if he prefers, one within his own
district that illustrates the injustices that are now so common, make a direct
issue of the claim, follow it through at the Veterans' Bureau and demand
punishment of those responsible for the decision.
There is one bill recently presented by Representative Robert G. Simmons,
Nebraska (H. R. 9112), which is now being considered by the Committee on World
War Veterans Iegislation, which I am inclined to think will go far towards
correcting the injustices now so prevalent, it is suggested that the reader
secure a copy of this bill and endeavor to have his representative in Congress
vote in its favor. I do not believe it is a "cure all," but it will at least
give some measure of relief to those who are now uncompensated and will, I
predict, force the Veterans' Bureau to review thoroughly many denied claims,
which they will rectify before they allow them to be presented to this
"Reviewing Board" provided for in the bill, which while it is a part of the
Veterans' Bureau, will operate under a separate law, and will have full power
to make decisions based on good judgment and equity, and will not be hampered
by the fantastic technicalities that are such a fetich with the present
administrators of the Veterans ' Bureau rules and regulations.
The Director of the Veterans' Bureau, Gen. Frank T. Hines, has the power, if
he elects to use it, to allow relief to thousands of disabled veterans who are
now uncompensated; repeated efforts have been made by many organizations and
prominent individuals (with but scant success), to get him to insist that his
own orders, and oft repeated wishes, are carried out with unvarying
closing I would like to mention that delayed action, if persisted in, can be
fully as fatal as an adverse decision, and the numerous needless delays, and
their results, instances of which the writer can furnish in abundant measure,
will prove this statement beyond the question of a doubt.
The Real Cagliostro His Memorial to the French Parliament
BRO. CYRUS FIELD WILLARD
BEFORE me as I write lies a little pamphlet, four and a quarter inches wide
and six and three-quarters long. It is nearly one hundred and forty-four years
bears the date of 1786, and though no place of publication is given, it was
evidently printed at Paris. It was picked up at an auction sale in London by
the agents of that well-known Mason and bibliophile, the late R.P. Bower. his
collection of old and rare books was acquired by the library of the Grand
Lodge of Iowa in 1882, this pamphlet among them. By the kindness of the
Iibrarian, Bro. C. C. Hunt, the present writer was permitted to borrow it and
contains 80 pages, which are roughly cut and somewhat yellowed by age, though
in the main it is remarkably well preserved. It has been bound into a cover to
protect the original paper covers. Inside this outer cover is the book-plate
of Theodore S. Parvin, the founder of the Iowa Masonic Library, and its first
Iibrarian. This has the legend "Founded in 1844," and the motto, Vita sine
litteris Mors est. "Iife without books (letters) is death."
the outside of the original paper cover is a short title, which is rendered
into English as follows:
MEMORIAL OF THE COUNT DE CAGLIOSTRO
de Cagliostro asks only for tranquility and safety: Hospitality assures him
these." Extract from a letter written by the Count de Vergennes, minister of
Foreign Affairs, to M. Gerard, Judge of Strasburg, March 13, 1783.
Inside this comes the title page, which runs to greater length, but repeats
much of the short title. It is thus rendered:
MEMORIAL FOR THE COUNT CAGLIOSTRO Accused AGAINST M. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
the presence of M. the Cardinal de Rohan, the Countess de la Motte and other
"M. de Cagliostro asks only for Tranquility and Safety. Hospitality assures
him these." Extract from a letter written by the Count de Vergennes, Minister
of Foreign Affairs, to M. Gerard, Judge of Strasburg, March 13, 1783.
the foot of the page is the date, 1786. No place of publication is given as
was noted above, but from a reference in the text of the petition it appears
that it was printed at Paris.
There has recently been a revival of interest in Cagliostro, in part
stimulated by the misleading, inaccurate and salacious work by von Guenther, a
translation of which has recently been widely sold in this country. The
original work appeared in Germany at the same time as the mad attacks on
Freemasonry made by the quondam Chief of Staff of the Kaiser's armies, General
Ludendorff. Von Guenther shows himself so willing to misrepresent and malign
Masonry in his work that we can hardly avoid the suspicion that he was
actuated by similar motives as Ludendorff, and that it may be regarded as part
of the great push, on a world wide front, that is now being made against the
Fraternity by its enemies.
quotation from the work of Dr. Marc Haven, Le Maitre Inconnu; Cagliostro, " a
historical and critical study, " which was published in Paris in 1910, will be
in order here, as it exposes the source and inspiration of the continuous
attacks that have been made on Cagliostro, which in itself is a most curious
phenomenon. Why should a man who never injured anyone, or did any harm, be
pursued through the centuries with such malignity? For it must be remembered
that in spite of the torrents of abuse and accusation that have been poured
upon him not one single instance of actual wrong doing has ever been alleged,
excepting the famous affair of the necklace, with which his Memorial deals,
and in which even his enemies have been forced to admit his complete
Returning to what Dr. Haven has to say, it will be recalled that Cagliostro
went to Italy in 1789 and was arrested by the Inquisition in Rome, by which he
was condemned as a Freemason, heretic and sorcerer. In defense of its action,
or as a further attack on Freemasonry, the Inquisition caused to be written,
and published, a Life of Joseph Balsamo. It is the work to which Dr. Haven
Finally the Holy Office (the Inquisition) which at the time of his capture,
knowing that it held in him one of the open or secret heads of Freemasonry,
wished to make a double stroke - to tarnish forever the memory of this
representative of liberal ideas which were then boiling in so many minds, and
on the other hand to cause to fall on the entire Order any discredit thrown on
the Grand Master of Egyptian Freemasonry.
The "Life of Joseph Balsamo," published by the direction of the Holy office as
an apology for its inquisitorial action, is a masterpiece of hate and
hypocrisy; the libels of Saehi and Morande and of Madame de la Motte pale
beside the address of its prosecutor, and yet these three persons have not
been sparing of Cagliostro.
But perfected by the Holy Office the work takes on a greater amplitude. All
that they could gather of the most scandalous nature from the above named
authors are found therein, mined to what the Inquisition was able to wring
out, by promises or by torture, from Cagliostro and his wife, that was
Add to that, all that the Italian priests in 1791 (when this alleged Life was
published), when frightened by the French Revolution, were able to invent
against Freemasonry in general and against the founder of a mystic rite in
particular, and one will have some idea of the violence of this libel. The
skillfullness with which the writer, by playing on his words, confounds,
designedly, religion and Catholicism, atheism and heterodoxy, liberalism and
skepticism, is such that the reader is led insensibly to follow him and accept
his conclusions, if he is not cautious and does not discover the ruse.
is this work, which was translated into other languages, and published in
different countries practically at the same time as it appeared in Rome, that
has served a basis for practically every notice of Cagliostro that has since
appeared. By saying he was Balsamo it was possible to saddle Cagliostro with
the criminal deeds of the former. But since the fresh investigation of the
subject by W. H. K. Trowbridge, in Miseries and Mysteries of a Master of
Magic, it is fairly well established that this identification is an impossible
one, and that the Holy Office must have known that it was. Dr. Haven, too,
shows that Balsamo, was a dark, ugly man, with a crushed and flattened nose.
Cagliostro was fair, with a fresh colored face and a clear complexion. His
appearance was agreeable and even handsome. The sculptor Houdon, who came to
America to make the well-known statue of Washington, made a bust of Cagliostro,
which shows him to have had a slightly acquiline nose. Dr. Haven reproduces a
number of portraits and cites other evidence to show that Cagliostro and
Balsamo were two different men, who did not even superficially resemble each
the usual accounts of his life are to be found references to his own
statement, and sometimes brief quotations or a condensed resume of it are
given. From these the reader naturally gains the idea that the whole story is
preposterous. Indeed the Encyclopedia Brtftanica is doubly unfair, for it says
that in the affair of the necklace " Cagliostro escaped conviction by the
matchless impudence of his defense," but that "he was imprisoned for other
reasons in the Bastille." The French Parliament was hardly a body to acquit
anyone of a serious crime with implications of high politics, because of the
impudence of the accused, whether matchless or not. Nor was there any other
reason for his imprisonment in the Bastille except the accusation that he was
a party to the theft of the necklace, and as soon as his innocence was
discovered he was released. That the Countess de la Motte was really
implicated in the famous fraud, the Affair of the Necklace, is certain. That
the accusations against the Cardinal de Rohan and Cagliostro were desperate
attempts to shift the blame elsewhere is equally certain. In modern criminal
parlance, they were to be "framed."
After having gained one's impressions of what Cagliostro was and did, from
such accounts as these, it is like coming to a totally different climate to
read his own account. Extraordinary as his story is, incredible as it may be
judged, it is at least consistent. But it will be better to leave it to each
reader to form his own opinion for himself.
The memorial proper begins on the fifth page of the pamphlet, and is headed
PETITION TO THE PARLIAMENT IN CHAMBERS ASSEMBLED Declared to the
Attorney-General the 24th February, 1786. To Serve as an Addition to the
Memorial Distributed the 18th of the same month:
OUR LORDS OE PARLIAMENT
Humbly Implores Alexander, Count de Cagliostro, in his own Name and as Husband
and Exercising the Rights of Seraphina Feliciani, His Wife.
Saying that he has every reason to hope that the first Senate of France will
not reject the Petition of a Foreigner who asks for the liberty of his Wife,
who is dying in the dungeons of the Bastille.
The Petitioner and his Wife have been arrested by orders of the King, and
taken to the Bastille, August 22, 1785.
They have learned that a few days after their being taken away, the Court, on
the information of one of the gentlemen, was occupied with the fate of the
prisoners, and that the Assembly had been continued to an early date.
The Grand Chamber assembled and having since been made acquainted with the
details of the offense when the administrative warrants [lettres de cachet]
were issued, the Court has not taken up the continued deliberations on this
The Count de Cagliostro implores it to be kind enough to take into
consideration as soon as possible the alarming circumstances in which he finds
The Petitioner asks nothing for himself. Decreed under arrest, he will wait in
chains the moment when Justice, at last undeceived, will render a brilliant
testimony to his innocence.
But his wife is neither decreed against nor accused; she has not, they say,
even been called to testify, and yet she has been confined for six months in
the Bastille without the Petitioner being able to obtain permission to see
Today when it is no longer possible for those who surround him to conceal from
him the condition of this unfortunate wife and the danger which threatens her
life, the Petitioner is penetrated with the most profound affliction and seeks
shelter with confidence in the hearts of the magistrates and beseeches them in
the name of the Sovereign Judge to be kind enough not to betray her and to
convey to the feet of the Throne his respectful protest.
The Parliament is not only the dispenser of the supreme Justice of the King;
if it is by it that the will of the legislator is manifested to the People, it
is also by it that the groans of the people come to the ear of the Sovereign.
The Petitioner asks that Parliament will today be kind enough to use in her
favor the most beautiful of its rights - the right to enlighten authority and
The Petitioner and his wife, it is true, are both foreigners. But since when
was it forbidden to oppressed foreigners to make their groaning voices heard
in the Courts of Justice?
All Europe has its open eyes on this famous law suit, at whose beginning my
wife and I were taken to the Bastille. The slightest circumstance becomes fuel
for the universal curiosity. The Parliament knows of the innocence and the
imprisonment of the Countess de la Cagliostro, and the Petitioner has informed
it publicly of the illness which threatens her life. Will it allow her to
perish without being able to receive the help of the medicinal art exercised
by her husband? And if it be true that the latter has had the happiness to
snatch from the arms of Death a thousand Frenchmen, will he be condemned to
suffer his poor unfortunate wife to perish near him without being able to give
her either attention or consolation?
The Petitioner has tried every means without avail to make known to the
Dispensers of Power the frightful situation in which he now finds himself. He
thought that the Memorial which he caused to be distributed some days ago,
which carried in it the unanswerable proofs of his innocence and that of his
wife, would bring at least the liberty of the latter. Vain hope ! The public
voice is for him, and yet his wife is dying in the Bastille without his being
permitted to receive her last breath, or to attempt some means whereby he
might restore her to life.
The only resource which now remains to the Petitioner is in the justice and
generosity of the Magistrates. Informed as they are of all the circumstances
of this Trial, they can testify to the innocence of the Countess de Cagliostro.
Should the Petitioner fear refusal when the only favor he asks is that the
Truth be made to reach the feet of the Throne?
The Lady la Tour, sister of the Count de la Motte, who was detained for
several months at the Bastille, has just been set at liberty. Is she any more
innocent than the Countess de Cagliostro or should the latter have less right
to the kindness and justice of the King because she is a foreigner, and
because she is my wife?
Far from us be such an idea, for the sentiments which animate His Majesty are
known to all Europe. They are particularly so known to the Petitioner for they
are recorded in the three letters written in his name in 1783 by M. the Keeper
of the Seals, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of War.
is on the faith of this Royal Protection and of the promised hospitality that
the Petitioner came to live in France with the intention to here end his days.
Persecuted, arrested and calumniated, he has not despaired of Justice and is
persuaded that the French magistrates will not act contrary to the desires of
a foreigner who, without complaining of the error which fetters his liberty,
limits his wishes to the liberty of his wife.
they fear on the part of the Countess de Cagliostro troublesome proceedings,
vain solicitations and powerless tears? Ah, well. Let the gates of the
Bastille be closed on her, but let at least her unhappy husband have the sad
satisfaction of giving her relief, and if that is of no avail, then that of
closing her eyes in death.
THIS BEING CONSIDERED, MY LORDS, May it please you to give permission to the
Petitioner to put the lady, Countess de Cagliostro, his wife, under the
protection and safeguard of the Court and to order in consequence that the
Court will interpose its good offices with His Majesty to the effect of
obtaining the revocation of the lettre-de-cachet by virtue of which the said
Countess de Cagliostro is detained in the prison of the Bastille, with the
permission for her to come to see the Petitioner when the state of her health
will permit; and you will do well.
(Signed) THE COUNT DE CAGLIOSTRO, M. THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL, M. THILORIER,
Barrister. BRAZEN. Solicitor.
have fulfilled everywhere the duties of a citizen; everywhere I have respected
religion, the laws and the government. Such is my life history.
Settled for the past six years with an intellectual, generous and hospitable
people, I thought I had found my adopted country. I congratulated myself in
advance on the good I could do to my new fellow citizens.
Like a flash of lightning the illusion has been destroyed and I have been
thrown headlong into the dungeons of the Bastille. My wife, the most amiable
and virtuous of women, has been drawn into the same abyss. Thick walls and
multiplied bolts separated her from me; she groans and I cannot hear her.
question my jailers; they are silent. Perhaps, alas, she no longer exists. A
feeble and suffering creature, how will she able to live six months in a place
where men have need of all their strength, all their courage and all their
resignation to fight against despair. But I am entertaining the reader with my
troubles and forget I am ordered to vindicate myself.
am decreed prise de corps(1). What crime have I committed? of what am I
accused? Who is my accuser? Are there any witnesses testifying against me, I
do not know. They do not even give me any knowledge of the complaint on which
this decree was rendered, and yet they want me to vindicate myself How ward
off the blows struck by an invisible power? They answer that the criminal laws
wish it thus. I hold my peace, and bow myself, with groans, before a law so
harsh and alarming for accused innocence.
Then I can only suspect the kind of offense of which I am accused. If I am
wrong, then I will have fought creatures of the imagination and shall have
spoken, at least, in favor of Truth, and put the sound part of the Public in a
state to understand the libels circulated against an unfortunate man, when he
is a prisoner in chains and threatened with the double sword of Justice and
STATE OF THE CASE
appears certain that Messrs. Bohmer and Bassanges have delivered to M. the
Cardinal de Rohan, a necklace of diamonds of the value of 1,600,000 francs;
is also equally certain that M. the Cardinal de Rohan announced to the
jewelers that he was only the negotiator of this purchase, that the real buyer
was the Queen and that he showed them a writing to this effect which contained
the conditions of the sale and in the margin of which were the words " good -
good - approved - Marie Antoinette de France?
The Queen has declared that she has never given any orders for the purchase of
the necklace, that she never approved any condition of purchase and that she
has not received the necklace.
There exists then an assured body of offense. What is this offense?
Common sense and my counsellors tell me that this is not a real forgery. No
one has sought to imitate the writing of the Queen, and the signature which
deluded Bohmer and Bassanges is not even the one the Queen is in the habit of
What is it then? It is a supposition of a signature, imagined in order to
deceive the jewelers and engage them to deliver, on credit, jewels of great
value, which they otherwise might not have delivered, if they had known that
it was intended for someone other than the Queen.
What is the penalty for this offense? For the abuse of a sacred name? I do not
know and have no interest in knowing. In this affair I confine myself to
asking justice for myself and forgiveness for the guilty. Resigned innocence
has the right to express itself thus.
But who is the guilty one ?
Did the Cardinal de Rohan know that the signature was false? Did he know that
the Queen had given no orders for buying the necklace? Did he know that the
necklace would not be delivered to the Queen, after all? Has he not been the
innocent author of a deceit of which he was the first victim? Did he not
believe, was he not obliged to believe, that he had been chosen as the
negotiator of a transaction pleasing to the Queen and that Her Majesty wished
to envelope it with the shadows of secrecy for some time ?
Involved, I do not know how, in such great interests, I shall not deny on this
occasion the title of friend to men who have conferred it on me at some other
time and which I have perhaps deserved. I shall, however, defend my own
innocence without taking sides. Slandered in the strangest manner by a woman
to whom I have never done any wrong, I utter the most sincere wish that she
may be able to vindicate herself. I shall be happy if Justice finds no guilty
one to punish in this affair.
the Cardinal de Rohan has claimed that he was deceived by the Countess de la
Motte. The latter, before there was any decree, hastened to have a memorial
appear in whieh she accused me of swindle, sorcery, and theft, and
particularly of having coneeived and executed this project in order to ruin
the Cardinal de Rohan and take possession of the necklace of which I was the
depositary, in order to enlarge with it the occult treasure of an unheard-of
Such in a few words are the accusations inserted in the examination of the
prosecutor which caused my wife and myself to be taken to the dungeons of the
Bastille, and which she has repeated sinee in a memorial, imagined at leisure
and printed with atrocious details which caused a decree of prise de corps to
issue against me.
Since I am obliged to do so, I shall answer these charges, which under other
circumstances I would scorn to notice.
But first I believe that I should describe myself as I really am. It is time
that people should know who is the Count de Cagliostro about whom there have
been circulated so many extravagant stories. As long as it was permitted for
me to live as an obscure man, I constantly refused to satisfy public
curiosity. Today, when I am in chains and when the law demands an account of
my actions, I shall speak, and will say with frankness what I know of myself.
Perhaps the story of my life will not be the least important evidence in this
CONFESSION OF THE COUNT DE CAGLIOSTRO
do not know the place where I was born nor the parents who gave me birth.
Different circumstances in my life have aroused in me doubts and suspicions
which the reader may share. But I repeat that all my researches in this
respect have resulted only in giving me, it is true, great but vague and
uncertain ideas as to my birth.
passed the first part of my childhood in the city of Medinah, in Arabia. I was
educated there under the name of Acharat, a name which I kept in my travels in
Asia and Africa. I lived in the palace of the Mufti Salahaym (2).
remember perfectly that I had around me four persons, a tutor aged from 55 to
60 years, named Althotas, and three servants, one white, who served me as
valet, and two blacks, of whom one or other was with me day and night.
tutor always told me that I was left an orphan at the age of three months, and
that my parents were noble and Christians, but he kept the most absolute
secrecy as to their name and the place of my birth. Some words spoken at
random have made me suspect that I was born at Malta, but this is a matter
which it has always been impossible to verify.
Althotas, whose name it is impossible for me to pronounce without emotion, had
for me the care and affection of a father. It was a pleasure for him to
cultivate the tendencies for the sciences which I showed. I can say that he
possessed them all, from the most abstract to that of ornaments of dress.
Botany, physics and medicine were those in which I made the most progress.
was he who taught me to adore God, to love and serve my neighbor, and to
respect religion and the law in all places .
wore the Mahometan dress as he did, but the True Religion was impressed on our
hearts, although we professed Mahometanism in appearance.
The Mufti came to see me often; he treated me with kindness and appeared to
have a great deal of esteem for my tutor.
The latter taught me most of the languages of the East. He spoke to me often
of the pyramids of Egypt and of their immense subterranean chambers excavated
by the ancient Egyptians, in order to contain and protect against the ravages
of time the precious deposit of human knowledge.
When I attained my twelfth year the desire to travel and see for myself the
marvels with which he entertained me took possession of me to such an extent
that Medinah and the sports of my boyhood lost all charm in my eyes.
One day Althotas announced to me that at last we were going to leave Medinah
and begin our travels. He caused a caravan to be prepared, and we departed
after taking leave of the Mufti, who was pleased to testify to us his regrets
in the most courteous manner.
arrived at Mecca and alighted at the palace of the Sherif (3). They made me
dress in clothing more magnificent than any which I had worn up to that time.
On the third day after my arrival, my tutor presented me to this sovereign,
who gave me the most tender caresses. At the sight of this Prince, an
inexpressible emotion took possession of me and my eyes were filled with the
sweetest tears I have ever shed in all my life. I was witness to the effect he
made to retain his own composure. The moment was one of the events of my
existence which it is impossible for me to recall without the most vivid
remained three years at Mecca. Not a day passed that I was not admitted to the
Sherif and each day saw his attachment increase and my gratitude also. Often I
surprised him with his eyes fixed on me, then raising them toward Heaven with
all the marks of pity and emotion. I turned from him, pensive and devoured
with a fruitless curiosity. I did not dare to question my tutor, who
reprimanded me with severity as if I could not without offense seek to know
the authors of my being and the place of my birth.
night I sometimes talked with the negro who slept in my apartment, but in vain
I tried to pierce his secrecy. If I spoke of my parents he would become deaf
to all the questions I might ask him. one night when I pressed him harder than
usual, he told me that if I ever left Mecca I was menaced with the greatest of
misfortunes, and above all I should beware of the city of Trebizond (4).
desire for travel prevailed over his gloomy forebodings. I was weary of the
regular life I led at the Court of the Sherif.
One day I saw him enter the apartment I occupied. My astonishment was extreme
at receiving such a favor. He clasped me in his arms with more tenderness than
he had ever shown, recommended to me that I should never cease to adore the
Eternal One and assured me that in serving Him faithfully I would finish by
being happy and would know my fate. Then he said, bathing my face with his
tears: "Adieu, unfortunate child of Nature."
These words and the tone in which he pronounced them will remain eternally
engraved in my memory. It was the last time I was able to enjoy his presence.
A caravan expressly prepared for me was waiting for us; I departed and left
Mecca, to return no more.
began my travels with Egypt, and visited the famous pyramids, which are to the
eyes of superficial observers only enormous masses of marble and granite. I
made the acquaintance of the heads of the different Temples, who were kind
enough to introduce me into places where ordinary travelers never penetrated.
Later I traveled through the principal kingdoms of Africa and Asia, during the
course of three years.
This is not the place to give the public knowledge of the different
observations that I made in my travels and the truly extraordinary adventures
that happened to me. I believe that this part of my story should be put off to
a more favorable moment.
The necessity for my vindication being the only thing which should now occupy
my mind, I shall speak only of my travels in Europe and shall name the persons
who have known me there, and it will be easy for those whom my fate may
interest to verify the greater part of the facts I am going to relate.
arrived in 1766 at the Island of Rhodes, with my tutor and the three servants
who had been with me since my childhood. There I embarked on a French vessel
which set sail for Malta.
spite of the rule that requires vessels coming from the East to wait in
quarantine for forty days, I obtained permission to land at the end of two
days at Malta. Grand Master Pinto gave me, as well as my tutor, lodgings in
his palace, and I recall that the apartment I occupied was near his
The first thing that the Grand Master did was to invite the Chevalier d 'Aquino,
of the illustrious house of the Princess of Caramaniea, to be kind enough to
accompany me everywhere and to do the honors of the island for me. I assumed
then for the first time, with the European dress, the name of Count de
Cagliostro, and was not a little surprised to see Althotas invested with the
habit of an ecclesiastic and decorated with the Cross of Malta.
The Chevalier d'Aquino had me make the acquaintance of all the Grand Crosses
of the Order of the Knights of Malta. I even remember to have dined with M.
the Bailiff de Rohan, today the Grand Master. I was then far from foreseeing
that twenty years later I would be arrested and taken to the Bastille for
having been honored with the friendship of a Prince of the same name.
have every reason to believe that the Grand Master was informed as to my
origin. He spoke to me several times of the Sherif of Mecca and Trebizond, but
never wished to talk plainly on this subject. Nevertheless he always treated
me with the greatest respect and offered me the most rapid advancement in the
order of Knights of Malta in case I should decide to take the vows. But my
desire to travel and the influence which inclined me to practice medicine made
me refuse offers so generous and honorable.
was in Malta that I had the misfortune to lose my best friend, my master, the
wisest and most enlightened of mortals, the venerable Althotas. Some moments
before his death he grasped me by the hand and said, in a voice nearly
extinct: " My son, always have before your eyes the fear of God and love of
your neighbor; you will very soon learn the truth of all I have taught you."
The island where I had lost the friend who had long held the place of Father
to me now became an insufferable place of abode. I asked permission of the
Grand Master to leave it and travel through Europe. He consented to this with
reluctance, and made me promise that I would return to Malta some day. The
Chevalier d'Aquino was kind enough to take charge of accompanying me in my
travels and supplying all my wants. In fact I departed with him. We visited at
first Sicily, where the Knight procured me the acquaintanceship of the
nobility of the country. From that place we visited different islands of the
Italian archipelago and after looking over the Mediterranean again, we landed
at Naples, the native country of the Chevalier d'Aquino. His affairs requiring
some individual journeys, I departed alone for Rome with letters of credit on
Sir Bellonne, a banker of that city.
resolved to preserve the most perfect incognito after arriving in this capital
of the Christian world. One day when I was shut up at my home, occupied in
perfecting myself in the Italian language, my valet announced the visit of the
secretary of Cardinal Orsini. This secretary was charged with the duty of
asking me to go and see His Eminence, and in fact I went there at once. The
Cardinal showed me all the courtesies imaginable, invited me several times to
dine at his house and made me acquainted with most of the Cardinals and Roman
Princes; notably the Cardinal of York (5) and the Cardinal Ganganelli, Pope
since May, 1769, under the name of Clement XIV.
Pope Rezzonieo (6) then occupied the chair of St. Peter, and having expressed
a desire to know me, I had the honor several times to be admitted to private
conferences with His Holiness.
was then in my twenty-second year. Chance procured me the acquaintance of a
young unmarried lady of quality, named Serafina Felichiani. She was scarcely
emerged from childhood; her budding charms kindled in my heart a passion that
sixteen years of married life have only tended to strengthen. It is this poor
unfortunate creature, whom neither her virtues nor her innocence nor her
condition as foreigner was able to save from the harshness of a captivity as
cruel as it was undeserved, who is my wife.
Having neither the time nor the inclination to write volumes, I will not enter
into the details of the travels I have made in all the kingdoms of Europe, but
will content myself to cite persons by whom I have been known. The greater
part of them are still living. I can proudly invoke their testimony. Let them
say if ever I have committed a single act unworthy of a man of honor: let them
say if I have ever solicited a single favor of them; if ever I have begged the
protection of the sovereigns who have been curious to know me; let them say
finally if in all places and at all times I have done any other thing than
cure the sick without pay and assist the poor.
The persons whom I have known more particularly are:
Spain the Duke of Albe, his son, the Duke de Veseard, the Count de Prelata,
the Duke de Medina Coeli, the Count de Riglas, kinsman of the Count d'Aranda,
ambassador of His Catholic Majesty near the Court of France. In Portugal: The
Count of San Vincenti, by whom I was presented at Court. My banker at Lisbon
was named Anselmo la Cruce.
London: The Nobility and the People.
Holland: The Duke of Brunswick, to whom I have had the honor of being
Courland: The reigning Duke and Duchess.
All the Courts of Germany.
St. Petersburg: The Prince Potemkin, M. Narisoin, General Galacin, the General
of the Cossacks, the General Medicino and the Chevalier de Cerberon, charge
d'affairs for France.
Poland: The Countess Comceska, the Count Gevuski, the Princess who is now the
Princess of Nassau, etc.
will also say that it has happened to me at times to travel under different
titles. I was called successively the Count Harat, the Count Fenix, the
Marquis D'Anna. But the name under which I am most generally known in Europe
is that of the Count de Cagliostro.
(1.) Under the French law of the old regime the king, and his ministers, could
arbitrarily arrest and imprison anyone, without a regular information or
accusation of any offense. The authority for such proceeding was called a
lettre de cachet, and its execution was often a sort of legal kidnapping. It
was a power naturally Subject to great abuse. Prise de corps, literally "take
of body," may be taken as roughly equivalent to "prisoner" in the text It is
almost verbally the same as habeas corpus, "thou shalt have the body," but the
use of the terms is diametrically different. In one ease it was the
authorities who took the body of the prisoner and held it at their pleasure,
in the other it was the prisoner's friends who could demand it, unless he were
properly indicted and convicted in a court of justice. The whole contrast of
English and old French law is summed up in these two phrases.
(2.) Multi, is the title of a semi-religious official in Mohammedan countries.
He corresponds to some degree to a Doctor of Canon Law, he is the repository
of the law, which the Cadis or judges were bound to administer. The Mufti of
the sacred city of Medinah is a very important person indeed.
(3.) The Sherif is the hereditary prince or ruler of Mecca. He is the head of
a family or clan, the Sherifs, which claims descent from Mahomet through the
line of Hasan, the son of Ali, the fourth of the Caliphs.
(4.) Trebizond is a city on the southeast shore of the Black Sea. It was
originally a Greek colony. It is important as a centre for the converging
trade routes from Central Asia and the far East.
(5.) The Cardinal of York was the brother of Charles Edward Stuart, the Young
Pretender, whose alleged influence on the development of the hauts grades and
Chivalric Orders of Masonry has been so much discussed.
(6.) Clement XIII, who died of poison in 1169.
(To be continued)
Mason Locke Weems of Lodge No. 50, Dumfries
BRO. JAMES J. TYLER, Ohio
MASON LOCKE WEEMS is chiefly distinguished as the author of the first
biography of Washington, a book that ran through twenty editions in the
author's lifetime and which eventually reached over eighty.
His Life of Washington, says Dean, "grew by additions and embellishments, from
a pamphlet of eighty pages to a volume of two hundred pages. " The original
pamphlet was issued in 1800, about three months after the passing of
Washington. The now famous cherry tree episode did not appear until the fifth
edition of the work was put out, which was in 1806.
Until the year 1808, and at a time when men were still most reticent about
their connection with Masonry, the titlepage of each successive edition
carried the legend: "of Lodge No. 50, Dumfries." After 1808 this was changed
to: "formerly rector of Mount Vernon parish."
addition to his Life of Washington, Weems was the author of the earliest
biographies of Franklin, Penn and General Francis Marion. He also wrote many
tracts about gambling, drunkenness, dueling and a variety of similar subjects.
Before 1902, Ford said of him:
man whose writings have passed through some two hundred editions, or of whose
productions, some two hundred and fifty thousand copies have been sold
deserves complete neglect. Such literary attempts merit a place in the
archaeology of literature if nowhere else. No history of the American people
or their literature can be complete without noticing the man and his work.
was born in 1759 at Marshes Seat, Herring Bay, Anne Arundel County, Maryland,
and was the youngest of the nineteen children of David Weems. Of his early
childhood nothing is known. During the years 1770 to 1775 he attended, and
graduated from, Kent County School at Chestertown, Maryland. The Rev. Wm.
Smith, who was married to Weem's cousin, Rebecca Moore, began acting as rector
at Chestertown in 1779 and took over the proprietorship of this school, which
in 1782 he developed into Washington College.
From 1777 to 1779 Weems studied medicine and surgery at Edinburgh, Scotland,
but there is no record of his having received a degree. There is also no
current record of his activities during the Revolution, and in his later
writings no references occur to his life during these dramatic years. During
the years 1780-1784 he was again in England, this time to study for the
ministry. He was admitted to the priesthood, September 12, 1784, by the
Archbishop of Canterbury, and returned home, honored as one of the first
Americans ordained as an Episcopal minister without taking the oath of
allegiance to the British crown.
filled several charges, but his liberalism made him unpopular, and about 1790
he began his active career as a traveling book- agent. He established a
connection with Mathew Carey, the famous Philadelphia publisher, and of this
The Episcopal clergyman and the Irish Roman Catholic publisher struck up a
solid business friendship from the start, and Weems went forth on the roads
with a good Stock of volumes bearing Carey's imprint. Their business
associations continued, with one or two intervals, for nearly a third of a
The next thirty-six years of his life he spent traveling the almost impassible
roads in his old Jersey wagon, and, at Masonic gatherings,
. . on courthouse steps, in wayside inn or cottage kitchen, he preached the
gospel, entertained with a story, played his fiddle and sold books -
occasionally a Bible, a prayer book, a hymn book, but generally books of his
Among his letters to Mathew Carey, published in Mason Locke Weems, His Works
and Ways, there are two Masonic references:
Trenton, December 25, 1801. Hope to vend some tomorrow at Masonic meeting 16
miles from this.
Trenton, February 19, 1802. Tomorrow set off for Newtown to be ready to utter
the Masonic Oration. God grant I may sell some Bibles, etc., etc. From Newtown
I propose to dash strait away for Lancaster.
July, 1795, Weems married Fanny Ewall, a daughter of Colonel Jesse Ewall of
Dumfries, Virginia. After his marriage he made his home in that town and a few
years later, probably after the death of Colonel Ewall, he moved to "Belle
Air, " the Ewall mansion in the hill country five miles back of Dumfries. This
three-story house of English brick is still standing.
Dumfries, a Potomac River town and port, was founded by Scotch merchants
engaged in the tobacco trade, who named it after the home town of Robert
Burns. It was the first town founded in Prince William County, its charter
dating baek to 1749. Ten years later it became the county seat and before long
boasted a public warehouse, busy shops, and even a theatre. Then came the
Revolution, and most of the Scotch traders returned to the old country, and
the tobacco trade was diverted to Alexandria, a more convenient and central
port for the back country. The county seat was not removed until 1822, but
long before that, Dumfries had but a shadow of its former glory. On the Board
of Trustees or City Couneil, which was given in the instrument of
incorporation, we find such men as Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the
Declaration of Independence, and Colonel Henry Lee, the father of Light Horse
Harry and the grandfather of Robert E. Lee.
When Weems was at home he occasionally rode over from Dumfries and held
services in Pohick Church in which, years before, George Washington had
worshipped and served as a vestryman of Truro Parish. After the Revolution
this parish had no regular rector. Washington at this time attended Christ
Church at Alexandria. Weems saw the value of identifying his name with Pohick
Church, and Hart states that:
Upon this slender connection he based the title which he later assumed of
"formerly rector of Mount Vernon parish." Bishop Meade in his "Churches,
Ministers and Families of Old Virginia," declares that "to suppose him to
have been a kind of private chaplain to such a man as Washington . . . is the
greatest of incongruities."
Wroth states, however, that Weems:
. . Knew Washington personally, corresponded with him, and in company with
their common friend, Dr. Craik, stayed at least once with him at Mount
Vernon, and he was intimate with the Reverend Lee Massey who was
Washington's rector and associate for many years.
Reference is made by Sidney Hayden in his Washington and His Masonic
Contpeers, to a tract by Weems, published in 1799, which he states was the
last written correspondence with Washington in which Masonic allusions were
made. Weems' letter to Washington, asking permission to dedicate the pamphlet
to him and Washington's reply are given in full. Weems' letter closes as
the square of Justice and on the scale of Love, I remain honored general,
your sincere friend, and Masonic brother. M L.Weems.
Washington's reply granting permission simply ends:
With respect, your obed't servant. G. Washington.
The tract when published was entitled:
The Philanthropist, or Political Peace-Maker between all honest men of both
parties. With the recommendation prefixed by George Washington in his own
handwriting, by M. L. Seems, Lodge No. 50, Dumfries.
letter from Bro. Chas. H. Callahan, P. G. M., Grand Lodge of Virginia and
author of Washington, the Man and the Mason, states:
"In reference to Lodge No. 50, will say that this was organized in 1795 with
Colonel George Deneale as first Worshipful Master. Deneale afterwards moved
to Alexandria and became prominent in Masonic and public affairs. As Colonel
of Alexandria militia, he commanded the troops at Washington's funeral, was
on the committee to arrange for that ceremony and afterwards as Clerk of the
Court recorded Washington's will. At this time (1799) he was Junior Warden of
No. 22 of this city (Alexandria) and succeeded Dr. Dick as Worshipful Master,
serving for thirteen years. Somewhere in my papers I have the names of all
the officers of Dumfries' Lodge which went out of existence and surrendered
its charter in 1846. Strange to say, as a boy living in Dumfries, I
personally knew the last three stationed officers; they were Colonel Basil
Brawner, prominent citizen of Prince William County, in which Dumfries is
located, although at that time not a resident of the town, living about three
miles outside; Messrs. William and Robert Merehant, who were respectively
Senior and Junior Warden. A mark master's jewel in possession of a son of Mr.
Robert Merchant shows that the capitulary degrees were also conferred there,
but as this was prior to the organization of our Grand Chapter, they were
undoubtedly conferred in the Blue Lodge as was the case elsewhere.
"The meager returns of this old Lodge, which are on file in our Grand Lodge
Library, indicate the Colonial importance of Dumfries which today is only a
scattered village of perhaps one hundred and fifty inhabitants. The Lodge,
according to these records, was held, respectively, "over the bank, in Mr.
Williams' ordinary, which, by the way, is still standing, next in the printing
office, in the Academy building, and finally in the Masonic Temple.
"May I, in conclusion, say that Weem's name is frequently mentioned as being
present at the meetings and in all human probability and indeed it is an
established fact in this town he wrote his 'Biography of Washington,'
containing the childhood stories of the General. It may be of interest to you
to know that I visited 'Bellaire' for the first time about three weeks ago
and it is a pathetic fact that this quaint celebrity, who will ever remain
among the noted evangelists of our country, with his good wife, lies buried
in the little cemetery close by the mansion without a marker to designate the
spot. Here, too, lies buried John Ballentine, the Carnegie of the
Revolutionary period, who superintended the deepening of the waterways of the
upper Potomac for Washington and his Potomac Company. Ballentine also married
a Miss Ewall.
"The whole country is redolent with the story of early Colonial life and it is
indeed a pathetic fact that much of this is beyond redemption."
Weems died in 1825 at Beaufort, S. C., where his remains were first interred.
Later they were removed to the family cemetery at "Belle Air." On one of the
pews of old Pohick Church is a small tablet to Weems. This is his only
memorial, but if his works were to be utterly forgotten, the evidence of his
existence would still be found in the legendary history of the nation, for
his story of Washington and the cherry tree is perhaps the most widely known
folk-tale in any tongue.
Cannot Tell a Lie; by Richard Dean, The Mentor, Feb. 1928. Mason Locke Weems,
His Work and Ways; by Paul Leicester Ford and Emily Ellsworth Ford Skeel.
Vol. I, II, III. Privately printed, 1929.
Parson Weems of the Cherry Tree by Harold Kellock, 1928. Review in The Master
Mason, Vol. V, p. 564, 1928.
Masonic Associations of Old Christ Church; by C. Herbert Reese. The Master
Mason, Vol. II, p. 599, 1926. Rev. William Smith acted as Grand Chaplain and
preached the sermon on December 28, 1778, on the occasion of the Masonic
celebration of Washington's visit to Philadelphia
Washington and his Masonic Compeers; by Sidney Hayden. Pages 191-193.
Parson Weems, a Biographical and Critical Study; by Lawrence C. Wroth, 1912.
American Historical Liars; by Albert Bushnell Hart, Harpers. Vol. CXXXI, p.
Masonic Education vs. Masonic Apathy
BRO. WARREN B. SMITH
Our fathers to their graves have gone;
Their strife is past, their triumph won
But sterner trials wait the race
Which rises in their honored place,
moral warfare with the crime
And folly of an evil time.
THESE lines were written by John Greenleaf Whittier at a time when the issue
of negro slavery was last becoming the leading factor in the irreconcilable
conflict that was to plunge our country into the throes of the great Civil
War. Yet, we, of today, must look far for a clearer statement of the
present-day conditions which are daily becoming more and more intolerable.
the discussion of Masonic Education or of Masonic Apathy or, again, of any
combination of the two, it is impossible to evade the association of Masonic
with civic obligation. The Mason who is apathetic is quite likely to be an
apathetic citizen; the Mason who is true to his full Masonic heritage is
certain to be a good citizen. Therefore, whether I quote Masonic authority or
civic philosophy it is, for the present purpose, one and the same thing.
is sometimes a comfort to realize that such problems and conditions as those
afflicting us do not differ from, in fact they are quite largely identical
with, the experiences of another day and generation. In 1868, John Ruskin, in
a speech before the Royal College of Science at Dublin, expressed himself as
those among us who have lived long enough to form some just estimate of the
rate of the changes which are, hour by hour, in accelerating catastrophe,
manifesting themselves in the laws, the arts and the creeds of men, it seems
to me that now at least, if never at any former time, the thoughts of the true
nature of our life, and its powers and responsibilities, should present
themselves with absolute sadness and sternness.
Ruskin was particularly interested in the arts. We are particularly interested
in Masonry. But could you draw a closer parallel, in a sober statement of your
convictions? Does Ruskin overstate the case of our present situation? Listen
to this quotation from an anti- Masonic paper issued in 1828:
Every age has its wonders - and every time its turn. Posterity looks back, up
the current of departed years, amazed that her ancestors were so weak and
unwise. Such a speculative retrospect, a hundred years hence, will afford a
curious sight, if any should step onto the promontory of time and view the
deserted temples where Masonry once was. . .
The animus behind this prophecy does not here concern us, but does the fact
of Masonic membership statistics and the attendance record in your lodge
during 1928 startle you, when you read this prophecy of a hundred years ago ?
With so much of introduction, let us consider briefly two elements of
strength with which our great Fraternity is blessed beyond any other similar
organization. These two great assets are, first, HISTORICAL BACKGROUND, and
second, ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES
an historical review of Masonry, three general themes present as many
similar, and at the same time radically different, theories. It is beside the
present purpose to argue for the greater authenticity of one or the other
view. Parenthetically, the three theories in mind are the so-called Comacine
Theory; that theory which holds that from time immemorial all men who have
endeavored to follow the high principles for which we now stand in essence
have been Masons; the incontrovertible historical sequence of Modern Masonry.
The first- named is briefly summarized here for the simple reason that it
affords a more striking illustration of the fact that Masonry has a
deep-rooted background. The following summary is from Bro Ravenscraft:
Centuries before Christ and the founding of Rome, a race of Hametic descent
spread along the Mediterranean shores, and afterward became known in Syria
and Asia Minor as Hittites; in Greece as Pelasgoi, and in Italy as Etruscans.
Hittites were engaged in building the Temple of Jerusalem, the fame of which
spread far and wide.
The Romans learned their arts of building, decoration, pottery, etc., from
the Etruscans, who were the same race as the Hittites, and carried with them
some, at least, of their traditions.
In Rome there developed Collegia of artificers and, in early Christian days,
these had traditions of King Solomon.
At the downfall of Rome, the Guild of Artificers left and settled in the
district of Como, holding as their center the island of Comicina.
Thence they spread their influence over all of Western Europe, and even to
the English shores.
They merged into the great Masonic Guilds of the Middle Ages.
As these Guilds died out, their forms and ceremonies were preserved to a
great extent in our Masonic lodges - at any rate, under those of the English
and American constitutions.
much, to suggest the vast background of Masonry, the main point at issue
being merely to show that more recently organized fraternal or service
organizations could not go so far, except through the intermediate experience
of Masonry. As to essential principles, no adequate treatment of so large a
topic could be considered within the limits of our present discussion. But to
conform to our general theory of background, your attention is called to the
practical identity between the old English and our present American Charges.
By the Charge of 1723:
Mason is obliged, by his Tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly
understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious
Libertine. But though in ancient times Masons were charged in every country
to be of the religion of that country or nation, whatever it was, yet it is
now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all
men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves, that is, to be
Good men and True, or men of Honor and Honesty, by whatever Denomination or
Persuasion they may be distinguished, whereby Masonry becomes the Center of
Union and the Means of Conciliating true Friendship among persons that must
have remained at a perpetual distance.
But besides obeying the moral law, the old-time Mason was to be constantly
observant of his civic duties. The Charge continues:
a citizen of the world, I am next to enjoin you to be exemplary in the
discharge of your civil duties, by never proposing, or at all countenancing,
any act that may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of
society; by paying due obedience to the laws of any state which may for a
time become the place of your residence, or afford you its protection; and,
above all, by never losing sight of the allegiance due to the sovereign of
your native land; ever remembering that nature has implanted in your breast a
sacred, indissoluble attachment to that country from which you derived your
birth and infant nature.
recent numbers of THE BUILDER have appeared discussions under the following
heads: Where Are we Drifting ? The Length of the Cable Tow; Catching Them
Young; Are You a True and Royal Builder? Underlying these is a question that
is pertinent to all comment, editorial and otherwise, on the difficulties
under which Masonic Lodges are not laboring. I frame it thus: To Whom Are
These Questions Addressed ? And you can but answer: To the individual Mason.
While that is true, it needs somewhat of elaboration.
What is the duty of a Worshipful Master? There used to be a favorite treatise
on The Whole Duty of Man. What if this question be: What Is the Whole Duty of
a Worshipful Master? It is much more suggestive.
Eighty years ago, a certain Church of England clergyman, Dr. George Oliver,
amid his other multifarious literary labors, spent a good share of his time
in writing letters to various lodges and Masons, and I should like to quote
him here on this matter of the duty of the Master:
The peculiar appropriation of the SQUARE [is] to the Master of a private
lodge.... In operative Masonry [it is] used to adjust all irregular corners
and bring rude matter into due form ., . while to the Speculative Mason it
conveys a corresponding lesson of duty, teaching him that by a course of
judicious training the Worshipful Master reduces into due form the rude
matter which exists in the mind of a candidate for initiation; and thus,
being modelled on the true principles of genuine Masonry, it becomes like the
polished corners of the Temple. And by virtue of this jewel, which sparkles
on his breast, he is enabled to cause all animosities . . . to subside, that
order and good fellowship should be perfect and complete. The Master of a
lodge is therefore bound to set his brethren an example of Morality and
Justice, which form the true interpretation of the Significant Jewel by which
he is distinguished.
There speaks the old English Mason. Now listen to the comment, or, better,
the interpretation of one of our great modern leaders, Bro. Robert I. Clegg,
in his paper before the Conference of Masonic Librarians and Educators at
Milwaukee last year:
When a candidate has received the Master Mason degree he has but partaken of
ritualistic display. He has been shown the ground plan. He has been given the
tools with which to complete the erection of a Temple for which he has
previously laid the Symbolical first stone and later erected a Symbolical
superstructure thereon. But, after all, this building must sooner or later be
completed. It hardly seems reasonable to everlastingly pass the problem to
And to this may well be added the comment of the Grand Lodge of Iowa:
Real Masonry consists in the teachings which lie hidden behind the letter of
the ritual and not in the mere ritual itself.
How many times have you heard the ritual given in such manner as clearly to
demonstrate that the Master, himself, had no idea at all of its meaning?
Worshipful Master! This whole problem is primarily up to you ! But, Masonic
Brethren, who chooses your Worshipful Master? So often we are met with the
excuse (is it really worthy the name?) of inability. There is no Master Mason
whose native capacity is so limited as to prevent him from attending lodge.
Also, there is no one thing in a Master's experience which heartens him so
much as a good attendance, as there is, conversely, no experience that
disheartens him as does non-attendance. And a second point for you fearful
ones to consider: Did you ever pause to consider the handicap under which
your Master works when his attention is diverted from the main issue in hand
by the necessity of overseeing a multitude of minor details which you could
just as well attend to as not ?
Said Lavater, an xviiith century philosopher:
you ask me which is the real, hereditary sin of human nature, do you imagine
I shall answer pride, or luxury, or ambition, or egotism? No; I shall say
indolence will conquer all the rest.
the very opening of this address, it was shown that not to our day alone are
confined difficulties. The same Dr. Oliver, whose exposition on the Square
has been quoted, wrote, in 1849:
is a universal complaint, and tends to the deterioration of Freemasonry in
public opinion, that amongst the numerous initiations which take place
annually, so few should be prolific in bringing forth the genuine fruits of
And, further, he gives the reason:
is because . . . they are not fully embued with the poetry and philosophy of
the Order, but prefer the dull, prosaic workings of common life, or entertain
mistaken views of its nature and design.
Apathy! APATHY! APATHY!
This intense apathy in all of us is the first great mystery of life. It stands
in the way of every perception, every virtue. There is no making ourselves
feel enough astonishment at it. That the occupations or pastimes of life
should have no motive is understandable; but that life itself should have no
motive, that we neither care to find out what it may lead to, nor to guard
against its being forever taken away from us - here is a mystery indeed.
the authority of the brand Master of Kentucky:
The problem that now confronts the Craft is to instill new interest and
create higher ideals. Education of its members is one of the basic principles
of the Order. So long as we confine our activities to conference of degrees
and so long as we confine the knowledge to be acquired from the Order to the
exemplification of the ritual, and rehearsal of the lectures, our members are
sure to lose interest. Every lodge should have a program in which the history
and teachings of the Order should play a large part, interspersed with the
discussion of such secular subjects as might be deemed expedient....
Yes, every lodge should have a program; and here again, I quote from Bro.
We must connect in a continuous way the activities of every lodge with that
of the Grand Lodge.
We must provide a regular process of sustained interest to maintain the
brethren at a constant rate of speed in their studies.
We must supply at specified dates, with the briefest practicable intervals
between them, the necessary information in the form of instructive material.
We must furnish instructors who have a distinct capacity for that leadership
which inspires growth and fruitfulness, the laudable ambition to excel for
the good of all.
Fine! Fine! I can hear a lot of you think this, even though you do not
express your thoughts aloud, but where get these men? My answer is: From your
Yes, you do have them.
better authority can be sought than Emerson. His short essays have always
remained unsurpassed. Listen to what he says regarding eloquence:
The emergency which has convened the meeting is usually of more importance
than anything the debaters have in their minds, and therefore becomes
imperative to them.... BUT if one of them have anything of commanding
necessity in his heart, how speedily he will find vent for it, and with the
applause of the assembly.
Listen to him again:
. . in any public assembly, him who has the facts, and ean and will state
them, people will listen to, though he is otherwise ignorant, though he is
hoarse and ungraceful, though he stutters and screams.
The next question, naturally, is as to the subject-matter to be used. Past
Grand Master Frank Moses, of Iowa, states:
Our experiences teach us that fundamental truths and precepts of Masonry with
liberal quotation or paraphrase of the familiar words heard so often in lodge,
and apt illustration to amplify and interpret them for practical application
in our daily lives, are most appreciated.
introductory to his little volume Era, of the Protestant Reformation, Seebohm
CIVILIZATION means not simply advance in population, wealth, luxury . . . but
far more, viz.: ADVANCE IN THE ART OF LIVING TOGETHER IN CIVIL SOCIETY.
The following pronouncement was made by the Grand Lodge of California:
do not think that the Masonic Lodge is performing all its functions unless it
includes in its work enlightenment on our origin, history and traditions.
Under this head we would also include education on the great questions of the
day which are vital to our country. This does not mean that a lodge should
assume a definite position, or resolve for or against any course of action as
regards particular questions.
in our daily life and in our clubs we can discuss these matters without
strife, it certainly seems that we should be able to do so when within a
line with this suggestion is the comment of Dr. Lodge, of Detroit, Chairman
of the Speakers' Bureau Work in Michigan:
When you get a dozen or fifty people from all over your state to consider
"the Mason in his community and in his government" . . . does that not mean
the community itself is going to have a little better citizen in him than
before? Doesn't it mean that his government is going to have a little more
independent Subject than it had before? Doesn't it mean the audience who
heard these talks of the Mason in his community and in his government are
going to have new sidelights on Masonry and are going to take away something
that will raise their standard of citizenship ?
Here, again, for the man who insists he cannot talk; and, again, quoting Bro.
Here is one insistent can . . . and there are many such . . . for Masonic
endeavor. What shall it profit a Freemason if he vote not? Nothing is more
plain than that the stay-away-from-the-polls-person is the weak link in our
induce every brother to vote, and that he encourage all other citizens to do
likewise, is our manifest and imperative duty.
may quite properly enlarge upon the necessity of a Freemason using his
franchise though we do not intrude upon his control of that privilege.
return, for a moment, to the individual.
you are going to have any interest, you must do it - not by lodges - but by
individuals. Do you know the whole Scheme of Masonry is addressed to the
individual? Nowhere in our ritual, in the matter of our Symbolic degrees, will
you find anything addressed to the brothers. Everything is addressed in the
The first, second and third degrees must be conferred upon one candidate
alone. It is a Symbolical fact that all great changes that come in life are
encountered by us alone.... WE MUST, in Masonry, attempt to awaken the
INTEREST OF THE INDIVIDUAL.
most apt illustration in our national history will emphasize this imperative
need. After the American colonies had declared their independence, it was
necessary to formulate some machinery of government. The attempt was made
under the so-called ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.
This government failed lamentably and for very good reason. Its attempt to
rule through the medium of the various individual colonies was similar to
any projected plan for international administration. There was no one to put
your finger on.
Only when national citizenship was provided and the federal Government could
reach directly to the individual citizen was success attained.
This paper opened with Ruskin; he appeared in its midst; it is perhaps only a
fair balancing proposition to introduce him again at the close.
was quoted as realizing the distressing situation and again as finding its
cause in widespread apathy. His solution puts the recovery back upon the
individual, as is clearly shown in his stocktaking of himself.
For I saw that both my own failure, and such success in petty things as in
its poor triumph, seemed to me worse than failure, came from the want of
sufficient earnest effort to understand the whole law and meaning of
existence, and to bring it to noble and due end; as, on the other hand, I saw
more and more clearly that all enduring success in the arts, or in any other
occupation, had come from the ruling of lower purposes not by a conviction of
their nothingness but by a solemn faith in the advancing power of human
nature, or in the promise, however dimly apprehended, that the mortal part of
it would one day be swallowed up in immortality.
Ours is not merely an ornamental institution. Our fraternity was planted to
bear fruit. THE MASONIC FRATERNITY MUST JUSTIFY ITSELF AS A CONSTRUCTIVE
POWER in this constructive age. " The days are upon us when institutions such
as ours MUST STAND FOR SOMETHING or stand ASIDE," says the Grand Lodge of
Saskatchewan, and I will conclude with a final quotation from Bro. Clegg:
Shall the impress be upon the belief that lodges exist only to get members or
upon the conviction that members shall get Freemasonry?
the latter, what will YOU DO for the furtherance of Masonic Education in your
lodge and in the circle of your influence?
Historical Sketch of Albany Sovereign Consistory
Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret
BRO. ISAAC HENRY VROOMAN, JB., New York (Concluded from February)
THERE is now a long break in the record. The AntiMasonic wave was at its
height and there was little or no activity in the Masonic Bodies of Albany.
There are records of meetings of Ineffable and Sublime Grand Lodge of
Perfection and of Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem between 1841 and 1846;
and a list of the officers of these bodies appears in the Albany City
Directory for the years 1846-1851, inclusive. Among the officers of the Lodge
of Perfection were:
M. Eq. Giles F. Yates, G. Chancellor.
Eq. Killian H. Van Rensselaer, M. F.
Archibald Bull, M. Em. G. Coun.
The Supreme Council was also quiet and was reorganized in April, 1845. At that
time Ill. J. J. J. Gourgas, M. P. Sov. Gr. Commander, said:
Our worthy Brother Giles Fonda Yates, of Schenectady, a Sovereign Grand
Inspector General of the thirty-third degree, duly acknowledged as such, and a
member of this jurisdiction since the fifth day of July, 1828, having been my
aid and assistant in our present reorganization, is constitutionally entitled
to the second office in this Grand and Supreme Council. I do hereby declare,
acknowledge and proclaim him to be our Ill. In. Lieut. Gr. Commander. You will
therefore receive and acknowledge him as such in all future occasions. (1)
a meeting of the Supreme Council on June 5, 1845, "Unanimous approval and
consent having been given to the bringing forward and ultimate initiation to
this highest degree and membership of this Grand and Supreme Council of
thirty-third degree, of our worthy Bro. Archibald Bull, of Troy, Prince of
Jerusalem, Grand Master of the General Grand Encampment of Knights Templars of
the United States of America, and Killian H. Van Rensselaer, of New York City,
a Prince of Jerusalem, it was unanimously agreed upon to initiate them at the
earliest opportunity." (Ill. Bro. Bull received the 33d on June 17, 1845, and
Ill. Bro. Van Rensselaer received the 33d on June 20, 1845, when they took
their seats as Active Members of the Supreme Council.)
From the fact that these Brethren are designated as Princes of Jerusalem, it
would appear that no higher degrees were conferred in Albany at that time.
July 16, 1845, the Supreme Council ordered:
That, as soon as practicable, it will be advisable to open, organize and
establish at the Capital or chief town or city in each of the fourteen states
forming this our Northern district and jurisdiction, an Ineffable Lodge of the
Grand Elect Perfect and Sublime Masons, 14d, under the government of a Grand
Council of Princes of Jerusalem, 16d, a Chapter of Sovereign Princes of Rose
+, 18d, forming a part of, or attached to, a particular or private Consistory
of the Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, 30d, 31d, 32d . . . No one is to
be proposed for initiation from the 17d to the 32d, both inclusive, unless he
be at least thirty years of age and a present or past Grand Officer of the
Grand Ineffable Lodge or Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem.... The
Consistory may of its own authority initiate from the 19d, Grand Pontiff, to
the 29d, Knight of St. Andrew, both inclusive. But as to the 30d, K- H. or
Knight of the White and Black Eagle, 31d, Grand Inquisitor Commander, or the
32d, Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, a Special delegation or dispensation
for each candidate has to be granted and issued direct from the Grand and
Supreme Council of 33d, on a written application, signed and sealed by the
five first Grand Officers of the applying Sublime Consistory, specifying
place, names, day and year of birth, religion, profession, residence and
Masonic qualifications and standing of the candidates.
October 1, 1845, among the returns received were those from "Grand Council
Princes of Jerusalem, held at Albany, N. Y., and also their Ineffable and
Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection, sitting in the same East, twenty-ninth
September, 1845." This is the only mention of these bodies for many years;
there being nothing more in the Supreme Council Proceedings until, at the
Annual Session of the Sovereign Grand Consistory, S. P. R. S., 32d, held in
connection with the Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council, 33d, May 15, 1867,
the following delegates were present from the four Albany Bodies: Cornelius
Glen, 32d, Robert H. Waterman, 32d, Townsend Fondey, 32d, Henry Lansing, 32d,
Frederiek G. Tueker, 32d, Henry B. Whitman, 32d.
May 16th, the Supreme Council visited the Sov. Gr. Consistory and Ill. Killian
H. Van Rensselaer, M. P. Sov. Gr. Commander, delivered his Annual Address, in
the course of which he said (2):
One hundred years have passed since Henry A. Francken, one of the Illustrious
Deputies of Stephen A. Morin, established a Grand Lodge of Perfection and
Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem in Albany, in the State of New York. By
virtue or his Patent, as Deputy, he conferred the degrees of Sovereign Prince
of Rose Croix of H.R.D.M. Knight of K H. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret,
and Sovereign Inspector- General of the Thirty-third Degree upon Worthy
Intelligent Masons of high standing in the State.
have re-organized the old Grand Lodge of Perfection and Council of Princes of
Jerusalem at Albany, in the State of New York, originally organized in 1767,
and I have upon application of Illustrious Brothers Cornelius Glenn, Thomas
D. Newcomb, Jefferson Peterman, Robert H. Waterman, and other worthy Sublime
Princes of the Royal Secret, granted them Dispensations to open and hold in
the city of Albany a Chapter of Rose Cross, and Consistory of Sub. Pr. Royal
Secret. The Bodies were duly organized by me; the officers elected,
installed, and fully qualified for the work in their respective Bodies. The
Supreme Council, and this Sovereign Grand Consistory, may rest assured that
these oldest Bodies of the Rite in the United States, under their present
able and zealous officers, will fully maintain their high standing and
usefulness, and add to the increase of the Rite in the State (3).
That afternoon in the Consistory, the Committee on Dispensations and Charters
submitted its report, which was accepted and its recommendations adopted.
Among these recommendations was,
Hearty approval of the revival by dispensation of Sov. Grand Commander of
Ineffable and Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection, founded at Albany, N. Y., by
Henry Andrew Francken, Dep. of Stephen Morin, on 20th of December, 1767, also
Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem, founded as above.
Also approval of Dispensation reviving Rose Croix Chapter, and Albany
Sovereign Consistory, each of which were established of date of 16th
recommend that charters be issued to said revived Council Chapter, and
Consistory, and as memorial of their date of establishment, the said dates to
be inscribed respectively on said charters - the same to be held until
recovery of the original charters - which are now not in possession of said
the Supreme Council, on May 17th, it was ordered "that charters granted by
this Supreme Council before the union, be issued by the officers of this
Council (5)." And "That the officers of the Supreme Council are authorized
and instructed to sign and deliver all charters as of the dates when the same
were voted (6)." "The records of the Sov. Grand Consistory were read and
approved; and it was ordered that charters be granted as recommended by that
The Council, Chapter, and Consistory at Albany, N. Y., still possess the
Charters granted on this occasion, each of which bears an indorsement similar
to the following:
The original Charter of the Albany Sovereign Consistory S. P. of R. S., having
been lost, or detained from the body to which it lawfully belongs, the within
Charter is issued in lieu, to have the full force and authority as the
Attest (Signed): Nath. B. Shurtleff. 33d Sec. Gen. H. E.
The Lodge of Perfection has only its Warrant, signed by Henry Andrew Francken.
The 1867 Charter of Albany Sovereign Consistory is here reproduced and reads
UNIVERSI TERRANUM ORBIS SUMMI ARCHITECTI GLORIAM
33d. ORDO AB CHAO. 33d. DEUS MEUMQUE JUS.
From the Grand Orient of the Supreme Council of the Most Puissant Sovereign
Grand Inspectors-General of the Thirty-third and last degree of the Ancient
Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry for the Northern Masonic jurisdiction
of the United States of America, under the C. C. of the Zenith, near the B.,
B., which answers to 42d 21' 22" N.L, 5d 59' 18" E., L. Meridian of
all Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General of the Thirty-third and
last Degree, and to all Illustrious and Most Valiant Sublime Princes of the
Royal Secret, Knights of K - H. Illustrious Princes and Knights, Grand Elect,
Perfect and Sublime Free Masons of all Degrees, Ancient and Modern, of Free
Masonry, over the surface of the Two Hemispheres, to whom these presents may
HEALTH, STABILITY, POWER
KNOW YE, that we, the undersigned, M. P. Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General
for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, lawfully and
constitutionally established at our Grand East, in the City of Boston and
State of Massachusetts, duly assembled and congregated in Supreme Council of
the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, this eleventh
day of the Hebrew Month called Ijar, A M. 5627, which corresponds to the
sixteenth day of May, A. D., 1867, of the Christian Era, having witnessed the
fervor, zeal and constancy to our Valiant and Illustrious Sublime Princes of
the Royal Secret,
Cornelius Glen, 32d, Townsend Fondey, 32d, Robert Henry Waterman, 32d, Peter
Wendell 32d Richard L. Van Denburgh, 32d, Henry Lansing, 32d, David Newcomb,
32d, Samuel Goodman 32d, each of them Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret of
the Thirty-second Degree, and knowing them to have been lawfully obligated,
and reposing confidence in their Masonic Knowledge, Prudence and Fidelity,
do, by these presents, constitute and establish, with their future legal
associates and successors, into a regular Sovereign Consistory of S. P. R.
S., under the title of
ALBANY SOVEREIGN CONSISTORY,
hereby giving and granting unto them full power and authority to convene, as
such Sovereign Consistory, within the City of Albany, in the State of New
York, to elect and install their Officers, to work in the several Degrees of
Grand Pontiff, Grand Master of All Symbolic Lodges, Noachite or Prussian
Knight, Knight of the Royal Axe or Prince of Libanus, Chief of the
Tabernacle, Prince of the Tabernacle, Knight of the Brazen Serpent, Prince of
Mercy, Commander of the Temple, Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept, Knight of
St. Andrew, Knight of Kadosch, Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander, and
Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite,
and confer the same upon such Brothers as are lawfully and constitutionally
qualified to receive them.
And the said Sublime Princes shall administer for us, and in our name, to each
brother admitted to any of the degrees conferred therein, an Obligation of
Fealty and Allegiance to our Supreme Council aforesaid, and Submission to its
And the aforesaid Sovereign Consistory shall each year, at our Annual
Convocation, return to us a true list of all its Officers and Members,
Specifying the name, place of nativity, age, residence, profession, religion
and highest Degree received with the date of reception of each newly admitted
Prince and transmit to us the Fees for Registry, Reception, and Annual Dues,
required by our Decrees.
Default Thereof, this Charter may be suspended by the M. P. Sov. Grand
Commander, or revoked by our Supreme Council.
And we do hereby require the said constituted Princes to keep a regular Record
of their Proceedings and work for our inspection.
And we do hereby declare the Precedence of said Consistory to commence from
the Eleventh day of the Hebrew Month called Ijar, A. M., 5627, answering to
the Sixteenth day of May, A. D. 1867, hereby ratifying and confirming all
Constitutional Acts heretofore done by said Illustrious Princes.
TESTIMONY WHEREOF, we, Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General and Active Members
of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, above named, sitting in
the said City of Boston, and duly established in said Northern Masonic
Jurisdiction the fifth day of August, A. D. 1813, do hereby grant unto the
above named Brethren this Special Warrant, and do now Subscribe our names,
and cause to be affixed the Great Seal of our Council, in the Chamber of
Council, this Eleventh day of the Hebrew month caned Ijar, A. M., 5627,
corresponding to the Sixteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord eighteen
hundred and sixty-seven.
H. VAN RENSSELAER, 33d, M. P. Sov. Grand Commander.
B. Thompson, 33d, Ill. Grand Treas. Gen. H. E. David Burnham Tracy, 33d, III
Grand Master of Ceremonies. Herman Ely, 33d, III. Grand Marshall. Joseph D.
Evans, 33d, III Deputy for State of New York. NATH. B. SHUBTLEFF, III. Grand
Secretary Gen. H. E.
Josiah H. Drummond, 33d, P. Sov. Lieut. Grand Commander. H. A. Johnson, 33d,
III. Grand Minister of State. Benjamin Dean, 33d, III. Grand Capt. of the
Guard . Chas. W. Moore. 33d. Ill. Grand Standard Bearer
NOTE ON MARGIN. - The original Charter of the Albany Sovereign Consistory, S.
P. of R. S. having been lost or detained from the body to which it lawfully
belongs, the within Charter is issued in lieu thereof to have the full force
and authority as the ancient original
(Attest), NATH'L B. SHURTLEFF, 33d Sec. Glen. H. P:. [L. S.]
This reorganization occurred in 1866, most of the Princes named in the Charter
having received their Scottish Rite Degrees in February of that year. Several
Brethren received their degrees in April, 1866, and in May, 1867; the
membership at the time of the granting of the Charter being about
1866, the Supreme Council which met in New York City and of which Ill. Simon
W. Robinson, 33d, was Sov. Gr. Commander, issued charters to a Lodge of
Perfection, a Council of Princes of Jerusalem, a Chapter of Rose Croix, and a
Consistory, S.P.R.S., to be held in Albany, the title of each of them being
DeWitt Clinton. In 1870, the members of these Bodies affiliated with the
older Bodies and many of them became prominent in its affairs.
Ill. Cornelius Glen, 32d, was Commander-in-Chief from the reorganization
until December 27, 1867, when Ill. Robert Henry Waterman, 32d, was elected to
that office. The list of Commanders-in-Chief since the reorganization is as
Cornelius Glen, 32d 1866 - Dec. 27, 1867
Robert Henry Waterman, 33d 1867 - Dec. 27,
Townsend Fondey, 33d 1873 - Dec. 27, 1879
Herman Henry Russ, 33d 1879 - Dec. 27,
John Boyd Thacher, 33d 1882 - Dec. 27,
William Edgar Fitch, 33d 1885 - Dec. 27,
John Franklin Shafer, 33d 1894 - July 4,
Charles Humphrey Armatage, 33d 1900 - Dec. 22,
Arthur MacArthur, 33d 1903 - Dec. 27, 1906
Thomas Henry Dumary, 33d 1906 - May 27,
Robert Benoni Stiles, 33d 1909 - May 23,
Edward Byron Cantine, 33d 1912 - May 27,
Marshall Freeman Hemingway, 33d 1915 - May 23,
William Stormont Hackett, 33d 1918 - May 26,
Joseph McKay, 33d 1921 - May 23, 1924
William Henry Butler, 33d 1924 - May 26,
James Argyle Smith, 33d 1927 - Oct. 25
Frederick Wilhelm Gebhard, 33d 1928 -
The growth of the Consistory was at first slow, but it has been steady and on
June 30, 1929, there were 3,278 names on the roll of members.
An indorsement on Ill. Bro. Yates 33 Diploma indicates that he was appointed
on June 15, 1844.
Reprint of Proceedings of the Supreme Council, 1867, page 37.
Ibid., page 39.
Ib., page 43.
Ib., page 17
Ib., page 20.
lb., page 23.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
OF ASSOCIATE EDITORS
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. WHTED, California
E.W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
first minute book of the Grand Lodge of England, under date of June 5, 1730,
is copied a "Deputation" to Daniel Cox, Esq., as Provincial Grand Master of
the "Provinces of New York, New Jersey and Pennsilvania in America."
record has been a bone of contention between the brethren of Pennsylvania and
Massachusetts, the former claiming that the authority given to Cox (or Coxe)
was not only valid but was also effective. The latter claiming that it was
voided by non-user and neglect, and that the first institution of a
Freemasonry that was "regular" (blessed word!) followed upon another
deputation, to Henry Price, in April, 1733, of which there is no record in the
Grand Lodge minutes - though this omission neither invalidated its authority
at the time nor makes its actuality doubtful now.
situation is not lacking in a humorous element. Centennials are usually
greatly in favor, Bi-centennials even more so. Is this wonderful opportunity
to be foregone on account of what the delightful Pyecroft, who holds the
centre of the stage in a number of Kipling's most amusing stories, might have
called, "narsty professional spite"? If 1930 were chosen, then Massachusetts
would feel that a distinct prestige would be given to Pennsylvania's claims.
Pennsylvania cannot move because Massachusetts may refuse to play. New York
and New Jersey probably feel that the situation is delicate. While the junior
Grand Lodges feel that it would be presumption and lese majeste on their part
to make any suggestions. Let us hasten to say that all this is spun from our
own transcendental super-consciousness, and has no relation to any real facts
in any real world so far as we know.
observe the ludicrous and baffling absurdity of the thing. The year 1930
passes, and two successive years, and we come to 1933. At once the same
situation reappears, the roles of the two protagonists (a more kindly word
than antagonist) being reversed, a kind of change of polarity, the electric
tension being just as high.
absurd, because it is indisputable that there were Masons in America in 1730,
and without doubt many years previously. But we not only have the Deputation
to Daniel Cox, which as we suggested (like a dove with an olive branch) more
than a year ago - in December, 1928, to be precise - was the first official
mention in the Grand Lodge records of the American colonies, and which proves
by implication that there must at least have been Masons in those three
mentioned by name. While the witness of Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette is
practical proof that some of them had formed lodges in the latter "Province."
It certainly seemed that this might have been made the basis of a diplomatic
formula by which a two hundredth anniversary of Masonry in America could have
been celebrated this year without giving any advantage to either of the
contestants for priority in "regular" Masonry.
for whatever reason, the suggestion, like the good seed of the Sower in the
Parable, fell on hard and stony ground, and the birds of the air, or
something, came and carried it away. Anyway it does not seem to have even
sprouted, let alone borne any fruit.
Perhaps in another hundred years the question will have been settled, and the
brethren who still survive may see a Tri-centennial. Or will they see a
repetition of the present impasse?
does seem too bad that we can't have it now. A hundred years is rather long to
wait, especially when there is no certainty that it would come off even then.
Perhaps the best thing might be to get up a quiet little celebration of our
CHARITY is a beautiful word for what a once well known author described as
"The Greatest Thing in the World." But it is a word that has been so sadly
mistreated and abused that to many people it has no other signification than
cold unfeeling giving of alms, to get rid of a mendicant, or the mechanical
administration of relief by professional and professionalized social workers.
The cause of this degradation is fairly clear. There is a constant tendency
among all mankind to that kind of hypocrisy known as euphemism, the denoting
of unpleasant things by general terms, the giving of noble names to mean and
contemptible things in order to conceal their meanness. And, of course, as
soon as any particular euphemism becomes a general usage, it takes on all the
associations of the lower, and indirect meaning.
very many cases this is a real impoverishment of the language; in this case it
is particularly so, for there is no other word to take the place of Charity in
its true and proper significance. In the Bible, and in the Masonic ritual, it
is equivalent to the Latin caritas, from which it is derived, and the Greek
agape, for which it stands in the beautiful thirteenth chapter of the first
Epistle to the Corinthians. Agape might be translated by "love," but this is a
word that needs to be guarded on account of its intimate associations with the
natural attraction between the sexes. "Brotherly love and friendship" covers
the meaning very well, or "Love of the Neighbor" as Swedenborg put it. But we
should not lightly give up a word that means all this, one, too, that is part
of the language of the book revered by American Masons as the Greatest Light,
and that is also enshrined in our formularies. Rather we should insist on
using it in its proper sense, as we do other terms that are no longer in
common use; and see to it that our initiates understand what is intended.
this introduction, we are going to raise the question as to what is properly
to be understood by "Masonic Charity," and how and in what ways it should find
expression, and what effect its practice should have in the lives of Masons.
The adjective "Masonic" in this connection might be taken in several different
ways. It might be a limiting description, a Charity exercised between Masons
which is restrained and restricted from going any further. That this is the
proper meaning is incredible, but there is always the danger that insensibly,
and with confusion thought, it may come practically to denote this. Living
ideas and ideals and inspirations are constantly being congealed and
crystallized into rigid formulas as they come in contact with the self-seeking
activity and the self-indulgent sloth of the world, and this is as true of
Masonry as it is of religion.
truth the great virtues cannot be limited, and retain their virtue. Justice is
justice, whether exemplified by a Mason or by anyone else. So also is Truth,
and equally so is Charity. The only proper meaning that qualifying them as
Masonic can have, is to assert that they should mark the Mason, and should be
patent in his life and conduct; with the extension of meaning, or corollary,
that as they distinguish each individual Mason, so should they be a
characteristic of the Fraternity as a whole.
it is in this sense that Masonic Charity has been always and everywhere
understood in the past, is a matter of record; for from the time that modern
Speculative Masonry first began to spread throughout the world we find in
every country, not only individual acts of Charity and benevolence; but
collective ones also. That is, Masonic lodges have always considered it part
of their proper function to undertake to aid and assist the unfortunate and
needy in such ways as the local situation seemed to demand. Certain things
especially have always appealed to Masons, the cure of the impoverished sick,
and the education of destitute children. In other words, the founding and
support of hospitals and schools.
might be well, in view of certain tendencies, too manifest among us at the
present time, for someone to collect a series of typical examples, fully
documented, illustrating and enforcing the above statements. The chief
difficulty of preparing such a presentation would probably prove to be the
choice of material from an embarrassing abundance. However, when we come to
more recent years among ourselves, there is a change. This change seems to be
part of a particular manifestation of a general shift of relationship between
lodges and Grand Lodges. It is summed up and characterized by the term
"subordinate," which is commonly used in conjunction with "lodge" in
contra-distinction to the Grand Lodge, a term that is peculiar to America, and
which seems to mark a progressive loss of old rights, and of an original
independence, which though limited was once very real. The causes of this
gradual transformation are complex and somewhat obscure, but this much may be
fairly confidently asserted; so far as the new subordinate lodges have lost
their original powers, they first ceased to exercise them before they were
regard to Charity, however, and works of benevolence, this modern trend is
particularly unfortunate. A Masonry without good works is on the way to
becoming a dry and barren tree. Yet we have so long lost sight of the original
ideals of the Craft that this seems an absurd thing to say. And besides, what
of all the wonderful benevolent institutions, the homes and orphanges and
relief funds that have been built up? True indeed. These are highly
praiseworthy, but they are limited. We are frequently told that Freemasonry is
not a benefit society, which is also perfectly true in a technical sense. But
essentially it has come to be not so very different. In a benefit society a
member receives certain definite payments under definite conditions. If he has
paid the necessary contributions, he receives, for example, so much a week
when be is ill, regardless of his situation. Whether he is a wealthy business
man, or a day laborer, the payment is the same. In the Masonic Fraternity the
brother in need is assisted according to his need - at least that is the
theory. In consequence it costs a great deal less; but at bottom all internal
Masonic benevolence is with difficulty to be distinguished from a loosely
this is not to decry it. It is indeed a great thing. It is in these intimate
Fraternal ties and friendships that the lesson of the wider and unlimited
Charity may be learned. It is once more, what was said two thousand years ago,
"these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." It is the
indrawing tendency that is to be deprecated, the forbidding of lodges to
engage as lodges in purely disinterested Charitable work, if they so choose.
To say that lodge funds are trust funds, is merely an attempt to give a reason
that sounds well for a prohibition that at bottom is a manifestation of
corporate selfishness. The income of a lodge is in no proper sense a trust
fund. A lodge levies dues on its members in order to have money to pay its
expenses. What those expenses shall be is the business of the lodge itself. It
may spend money on banquets, on entertainments, on furnishings and regalia,
even on books to form a library, but in too many places it is not allowed to
take any active interest in any external charitable or social work. That is
the one thing that is forbidden. The one thing that is finally and
fundamentally worth while.
might almost seem it is only as a member of an organization in which there is
admittedly nothing intrinsically Masonic that the individual Mason can
cooperate with his brethren in a purely charitable work in which there is not
the least shadow of self-interest. But why should this be? Why should Masons
as Masons be forbidden so to work for the good of others? Is it because most
of them "love to have it so?" Have the exhortations "to do good to all" and to
extend our Charity to all mankind, come to be meaningless forms of words that
have to be repeated, but which have no significance? It is hard to say. That
there is in the ranks of the Fraternity a vast reservoir of potential
willingness to aid in works of true Charity is beyond doubt, but there seems
to be no way of drawing it out. Perhaps work along these lines would have a
wider appeal and would more thoroughly reawaken interest than anything else
could. It might at least be tried.
IDIOCY THE MORE"
does Alpina describe the following choice item from a Swiss clerical journal,
baleful influence of the role that Freemasonry plays in the United States is
well known. The rapid extension of this evilworking sect is one proof more of
the decadence into which American society has been dragged by its materialism.
Without doubt the lodge is regarded by the majority of the initiates as a
co-operative arrangement for their material advancement, a means of bettering
their position. The secret chiefs at least work it to their own advantage, and
they act in a way to influence their followers against the interests of
religion, and especially the Catholic religion, which is the only power that
effectively resists them."
Chronicle and Comment
Review of Masonry the World Over
Ancient Operative Document.
Library of the Grand Lodge of New York has been presented with a number of
MSS. of considerable rarity and value. The most interesting would seem to be
(from a notice in the New York Masonic Outlook) a receipt given by a French
Master Mason, Je. Estienne Gaudin, dated 1414. The seal attached has on it the
square and compasses. This is one of the oldest, possibly the oldest, existing
example of this device. It would be interesting to know whether these
instruments are arranged in the now familiar way, or whether they are grouped
with other Masonic implements, as was common in Mediaeval Masonic seals, and
still is in European Masonic devices.
Alleged Manuscript a Printed Book.
will be remembered that in November last we mentioned a report that was being
circulated that an old Masonic Manuscript had been discovered in a Wisconsin
farm, and also that we ventured on some guesses as to its nature, assuming
that it was a manuscript. Since then Bro. Shepherd has obtained definite
information from Bro. M.O. Gray of Portage, Wis., that the manuscript is a
copy of one of the many "Freemason's Pocket Companions" that were published in
the eighteenth century, the first of which came out in 1735.
Gray sent a copy of the title page, from which it appears that this particular
work was published in Edinburgh in 1761, by Ruddiman, Auld and Company, and
that it contains "The Origin, Progress and Present State of that Ancient
Fraternity; the Institution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland" and so on. Mention
is also made of an Appendix containing among other things the "Act of the
Associate Synod against the Freemasons with an Impartial Examination of that
Perhaps some of our bibliographical experts can inform us whether this
particular work is especially rare or valuable. Judging by the date alone the
probability is that it is not. How, in the report of its discovery, it came to
be described as a manuscript is a curious question, but it shows once more the
need for caution in accepting such reports, and also that the time to
investigate them is when they first appear. Negative as this information is,
it may prevent some student at a future date being led into a needless quest
for something that never existed.
Membership in Wisconsin.
readers of THE BUILDER will remember, the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin amended its
Constitution at the Annual Communication in June last year. This is eight
months ago. The February issue of the Palmer Templegram informs us that:
very liberal publicity has been given this new privilege in many monthly
publications of various Lodges in Wisconsin, results have not become very
evident. As a matter of fact, we know of no instance so far where anyone has
applied for dual or plural membership with the one exception of our own Lodge,
which very recently elected to membership her first "dual" member. It is a
peculiar coincidence that the Palmer Templegram, is about the only Wisconsin
State Lodge publication which, previous to this time, gave no publicity to the
subject of plural or dual membership.
is probably little doubt that the Masonic-educational facilities at the
disposition of "Palmer" members will be the principal reason why members of
other Lodges may want to affiliate with us, retaining at the same time
membership in the Lodge where they received their Masonic degrees. There is no
doubt whatever about this being the only reason in the first Instance on our
right of visitation is, of course, not Interfered with In any way by the new
privilege of plural membership in Wisconsin. The unrestricted expression of
fraternal hospitality to all regular Masons, no matter when or how often they
visit with us, always has been and will continue to be one of the outstanding
characteristics of Henry L. Palmer Lodge No. 301, F. & A. M."
unusual character of the Henry L. Palmer Lodge may enable it to take the place
of a Lodge of Research, but we still live in hope that elsewhere in Wisconsin
a group of studiously inclined Masons may form a Research Lodge, by taking
advantage of the possibility of retaining their primary membership in their
of Masonic Symbolism.
January number of The Master Mason of Washington D. C., there is an
interesting article by Bro. Pad F. Ela (who evidently knows what he is talking
about, on the technical side), in which is discussed the possible losses in
our symbolic system due to the complete divorce of Speculative and Operative
Masonry. There is no doubt whatever that the Masonic ritual in all countries
has developed with very little regard to the realities of the stonecutter's
and builder's craft. Though gaps in one system are in some cases filled in
others. Bro. Ela, for instance, wonders why the chisel was ignored - it is not
in other countries, and it very possibly dropped out of the first degree in
America because of its prominence in that of Mark Master.
Ela also mentions the "broached thurnel." It is curious how long it takes for
the results of Masonic scholarship to become generally known. As long ago as
1916 the late Bro. Dring quite conclusively elucidated the mystery. Urnel, or
Ornal, was the name of a kind of stone, imported from France, that was in
great request by Mediaeval Masons. "Broached" means worked with a broach, or
pointed tool; "broached Urnal" meant simply a piece of urnal roughly worked,
preparatory to being finished It became "broached thurnel," or "broached
dornal" by that kind of mispronunciation called "prothesis," the carrying of a
final consonant of one word to an initial vowel of the succeeding one The
mysterious object, that has given rise to so many truly amazing speculations,
is simply an old traditional technical term for the prototype of our "rough
Research Class in Seattle.
Masonic Tribune in a recent issue mentions a "Research Class" conducted by Dr.
S. V. Hoopman, under the auspices apparently, of Thomas M. Reed Lodge, No.
225, of Seattle. There are fifty members in the class, and members of other
lodges are invited to attend. The proceedings seem to consist, in the main, of
addresses by qualified brethren. The "Philosophy of Masonry" was the subject
of one recently given, and a sketch of the author of the Spirit of Masonry,
William Hutchinson, was the subject of another.
Masonic Fraternity in Mexico.
Mexican brother, a member of the Valle de Mexico, recently sent a letter
addressed to the Craft In the jurisdiction of Iowa, expressing a hope that
Mexican Masonry, properly so denominated, might be more generally recognized
by American Grand Lodges, and giving reasons to show that this ought to be
source of confusion has been the existence of the York Grand Lodge of Mexico,
which has something the same position in the country as that of the so-called
"National" Grand Lodge of France. They are each Masonic organizations,
perfectly legitimate and regular according to the usages and ideas of Latin
Masonry (which is indifferent, in general, to territorial limits of
jurisdiction), but of a distinctly alien character, having been in the one
case formed, in the main, by Masons from the United States residing in Mexico,
and in the other by English Masons domiciled in France.
American Grand Lodges almost instinctively assume that where two Masonic
organizations exist in the same territory one must be irregular. But this in
effect is to demand that American law shall govern the whole world. However
the confusion exists, and first one and then the other of these bodies is
recognized, and many Grand Lodges refuse to recognize either, being unable to
decide that the claims of the one are better than the other.
"Highest Masonic Body Aids Amendment Fight".
would seem that not only do our enemies accuse Us of political aims and
designs, but our friends seem to be under the same impression. Under the above
heading the following item was given some prominence in the current issue of a
periodical devoted to the defense of Protestantism.
December issue of the New Age Magazine, official organ of the Supreme Council,
Thirty-third Degree, of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry,
Southern Jurisdiction, carried an article in support of the proposed
Constitutional Amendment to eliminate alien representation in Congress.
highest of all Masonic 'bodies [italics ours] also carried the article in its
semi-monthly news bulletin. . . ."
difficult indeed for those on the outside to understand. Sometimes some things
give rise to wonder if, after all, they do misunderstand.
Smoking in Lodge
Cable Tow for December last touches upon this subject editorially, presenting
a vigorous defense against certain critics of the Grand Lodge of the
Philippine Islands, both official, in the Fraternal Correspondence reports of
various other Grand Lodges, and unofficial, in the Masonic Press.
Grand Lodge of the Philippines issued an order in 1927 forbidding smoking
during the ceremonies of opening and closing the lodge, and while the lodge
was engaged in degree work; which by implication made it permissible for the
brethren to smoke while transacting its business, listening to lectures and so
editor of The Cable Tow points out that the habit of smoking in the
Philippines is a universal one, and that there are no prohibitions upon it
anywhere, such as in street cars, theatres, government offices, and that an
absolute prohibition in regard to the lodge would be singular and resented as
a tyrannical Imposition.
is of course no reason why Masons should do a thing because it is customary in
the community; but on the other hand there is no reason why they should be
singular in matters that do not affect Masonic obligation and are innocent or
indifferent in themselves. "When in Rome, do as Rome does." It was a Saint and
a Doctor of the early Church who propounded that rule. And for those to whom
smoking a cigarette in lodge seems a kind of sacrilege, it might be well to
recall that our brethren in the 18th century not only smoked, but drank
liquors of great potency in the lodge. They do not seem to have been the worse
Masons for it.
Japanese Ideas Of Freemasonry
Cable Tow of Manila recently published a translation of some articles in a
Japanese newspaper, which resulted from an investigation into this alarming
barbarian institution. Some of it is very amusing. The titles of officers and
so on, have been rendered first into Japanese by the "investigator by the best
equivalents possible, and then these have been turned back into English
literally, with astonishing effect. Thus in a description of what is
apparently intended for one of the two British District Grand Lodges, we learn
that the officers are a Manager and Sub-manager of the General Hall, the Grand
Superintendent of the Upper Class, the Low Superintendent, the Archbishop -
down to a Grand Constable and a Man in Charge of General Jobs.
though It sounds funny in English, represents probably as good a rendering of
Grand and Deputy Grand Master, Senior and Junior Grand Wardens, Grand Chaplain
and so on as the Japanese language affords, but when we are told that the
Russian Revolution is said to have begun with the Freemasons, and that the
Soviets have "Adopted the system of the Freemason from 1 to 10" and that "the
headquarters of the Freemason are in Moscow," we may well open our eyes.
also said that "it is a destructive Jewish movement and a peril to the state,"
and this perhaps gives us a clue. The Japanese investigator has been reading
some of Ludendorff's productions!
Order of Moose in England.
brief note was made in these columns last August of "an American Importation"
into England. This was amplified in October under the heading of
"Quasi-Masonic Organizations in England." Since then we have received still
more definite information from a most authoritative source. As we suggested as
being probable, there were special reasons for the action taken by the United
Grand Lodge of England in this matter. We are also inclined to think that
outside observers of English methods and English character would find their
general judgments verified in this instance. So far as we can gather from the
new information at hand the prohibition stated in general terms as applying to
any organization with initiatory rites and vows of secresy is really aimed at
the objectionable practices of one organization. It would seem that not only
was this "fraternal society" introduced into England, but also the high
pressure sales methods of organizing along with it. We have found these
sufficiently objectionable in their own natural habitat - there is little
wonder that our English brethren do not like them. In short, "Moose"
organizers in England have been playing exactly the same trick that was used
by Klan organizers in certain states, which led in most cases to vigorous
action being taken by Grand Masters and Grand Lodges. Specifically, it was the
pretence of some connection between the order and Freemasonry, and the use of
the names of Masons who had been induced to join as a means of influencing
non-Masons to come in. Under analogous circumstances our Grand Lodges have
taken even stronger and more definite action. However, the fact remains that
the phrase "quasi-Masonic" does not mean the same thing In England as it does
In America. It is another instance of divergent usage in our common English
Anti-Masonry in Ireland.
still continue to receive accounts from various widely separated quarters of
an intensive campaign in the Irish Free State, not only against Freemasonry,
but against Freemasons. A certain Roman Catholic periodical published in
Dublin has been publishing lists of the names and addresses of Freemasons and
their respective lodges. While no reason seems to be given for doing this, it
is taken by everyone to be a tacit invitation for good Romanists to boycott
these named individuals. The lists include professional men, merchants and so
However, a correspondent on the spot informs us that while there is a good
deal of this sort of thing, it does not seem to have had much effect. One
thing gives rise to questioning, considering the extremely private nature of
lodge membership lists in the British Isles: how are these lists obtained?
French Masonic Journal.
have received the first issue of Les Annales Maconniques Universalles. As the
title indicates, it is to be devoted especially to the interests of Universal
Masonry, or the Universality of Masonry. We gather that, though there is no
direct connection, it will serve as a kind of unofficial or free lance
supporter of the aims of the International League of Freemasons (Universala
Framasona Liga). Among the contents of this first number is an article on
British Masonry by Bro. Dudley Wright; another on the Masonry of Holland‑this
is one of the papers read at the Congress of the League held last year at
Amsterdam; another on the recent action of the National Grand Lodge of German
Freemasons (Grosse Landesloge der Freimaurer von Deutschland) in declaring
itself a narrowly national and Christian organization, and still another on
the declaration of the bases of Masonic Recognition put out by the United
Grand Lodge of England. In regard to these some friendly and symphathetic but
rather searching questions are asked.
editor of this new magazine is Bro. Edouard Plantagenet, the author of several
very interesting and suggestive books, one of which has already been reviewed
in The BUILDER last June (Causeries Initiatiques pour le Travail en Loge
d'Apprenti). Directed by a brother so highly qualified, Les Annales should
have a useful and prosperous future before it.
Libraries in France.
article, published in L'Acacia, Dr. Camille Savoire, head of the Grand College
of Rites of the Grand Orient of France, urges the formation of libraries in
every lodge, or group of lodges, under that obedience. The Grand Orient has a
library, and a wonderful collection of 18th century manuscripts, but as Dr.
Savoire points out the cost of sending books from this collection, besides
their depreciation and the need for duplicates, makes it of little use to the
suggests a special subscription by, the members of the lodges to cover the
expenses, also that those received into the lodges, or advanced, might be
asked to mark their appreciation of the honor by donating a book to the
library. No matter how small the sum annually spent, if the effort is
continuous, any lodge will in the course of time become possessed of a real
number of different sources we have learned that a great "International
Congress of Anti-Masons" is to be held in Vienna next month, March 14 being
the date set. Preparations have been going on for some time to make it in
every way a success; and it is said, though not on the best authority, that
the Pope has given it his blessing. That it will have Papal approval goes
delegates will come chiefly from Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czecho-Slovakia,
Jugo-Slovakia, Italy, and, of course, Austria. It is probable also that the
anti-Masons of Switzerland and France, who are very militant just now, will be
represented. The delegates will be both lay and clerical, and a number of high
dignitaries of the church are expected to honor the assembly by their
John Bond, the Italian correspondent of The Fellowship Forum, who is usually
very well informed, states that Mussolini has "accepted a protectorate over
the Congress" (whatever that may mean) and also that one of its principal
objects is to recommend the adoption in other countries of similar laws
against Masonry as are now in force in Italy. However, our European exchanges
and correspondents do not confirm this.
Whether Ludendorff, the wildest anti-Mason of them all, will be represented is
doubtful, for he is not only an anti-Mason and an anti-Semite, but he is now
also a devout worshipper of the good old virile gods of the ancient Teutons,
Wodin, Thor and Frey and the rest of them, and this eccentricity will
doubtless debar him from attending. Besides he couples the Jesuits with the
Jews as the secret directors of Freemasonry.
observer who has kept in mind the sequence of events during the last decade it
is obvious that there is a very definite, well organized, world-wide campaign
against Freemasonry now in progress.
Fascist Reprisals Against Italian Freemasons.
have previously mentioned the deportation of Prof. Meoni, and the well known
publicist, U. Bacci, but the following notice from a Masonic periodical Il
Holland, quoted by L'Acacia, gives some further details which exhibit this
action as what it really is, a manifestation of pure cruelty and spite.
more two prominent Italian Masons have been condemned to banishment. These
victims, whom we cannot sufficiently pity, are Professor Meoni and Bro. Ul.
first was at one time the editor in chief of the well-known democratic
journal, Il Messagero. This connection was naturally terminated when the
periodical passed into the hands of the Fascists. Since then he has found it
exceedingly difficult to find any professional work of the same character. In
no case has he committed any act disloyal to the Government. In regard to Bro.
Ulisse Bacei, he was for many years Grand Secretary of the Grand Orient of
Italy. After the dissolution of the Order he retired from active life, and has
since lived quietly in his modest home, receiving no visitors, and observing
in his correspondence (which in any case was censored) the most extreme
was their crime? Nothing; there was not even any complaint against them, they
were not tried, they had no opportunity to offer any defense. By an
"administrative order" they were deported. Three unhappy exiles had managed to
escape from the Island of Lipari, the abode assigned to the exiles. It was
necessary to fill the empty places, and the choice for this purpose fell upon
the two brothers mentioned above. Meoni is more than fifty years old, and
Bacci is ninety!
"Blessed be the iron hand, the new 'I am the State!'
our impotence we can do nothing but express our profound and fraternal
sympathy for these two victims of reprisals."
Fascist League and American Fascism
month the formal disbanding of the Fascist League was noted in these columns.
This event has received a good deal of comment in the press, both Masonic and
profane. In the latter the general attitude is that now it is all at an end,
and may be forgotten. But in a number of quarters our own doubt is echoed -
what is to be the sequel? Will some other organization, such as the Italian
Historical Society, which exists purely for the purpose of Fascist propaganda,
take over its functions, or some more hidden machinery? It will be interesting
to see what happens.
Attacks on Masonic Lodges in Roumania.
time ago there were reports of violent manifestations of hostility to Masons
in Roumania. In one circumstantial story it was said that a band of "students"
and others, burst into a lodge room, and "held up" the members at the point of
revolvers. That they then went through the records and documents, abstracting
some and destroying others; ending up by wrecking the furniture and fittings
of the lodge.
Grand Orient of Roumania has in an official circular, dated January 1st of
this year, stated that these reports were exaggerated, and that the "attacks"
were no more than hostile demonstrations on the part of excited youths stirred
up by "certain obscure agitators," who are "universally disapproved." Further,
that serious public opinion in Roumania condemns such manifestations, and the
authorities recognize the rights and law-abiding character of the Fraternity
and are prepared to protect it against any such violent and illegal attacks as
had been reported.
Clandestine Masonry in Denmark
Morgenbladet, of Copenhagen, a Mr. Henry Heimann has published a number of
articles under the heading, "False Freemasonry In Copenhagen."
them the writer brands the newly created lodge "Pythagoras" as clandestine.
Several members of this "Lodge" have instituted suit against it, which brought
some interesting information to light about this fraudulent organization,
Those who joined this lodge were told that it was a legal and regular body and
that they would be recognized everywhere as Masons, only to find out later
that they could not be permitted in any regular lodge. Mr. Heimann furthermore
shows that "Den Danske Stor Orient" and "Stor Orienten for Denmark og Norden"
are not regular lodges, and further asserts that the Masonic paper
Frimurer-Tidende is a pure swindle, and the organ of irregular lodges. He also
claims that the newly established "Storlogen of Denmark" is likewise a fraud.
He finally says that there are only two places in Denmark where those wishing
to become Masons can present their petitions, namely; in lodges under the
Grosse Danische Landesloge, or else in the Humanitarian Lodges under the Grand
Lodge of Hamburg; all the others are fraudulent. Mr. Heimann says in
conclusion: "The Grand Lodge of Denmark is an illicit child of human vanity!
It is a clandestine order! It is a parasite! "
further outcome of all this may be interesting, for the courts have taken
charge of the case.
books reviewed, in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of
the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which include postage, except when otherwise
stated. These prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without
notice; though occasion for this will very seldom arise. 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.
PAUL JONES: MAN OF ACTION. By Phillips Russell. Published by Brentano's.
Cloth, illustrated, index, 312 pages. Price, $5.00 net.
is the sort of book the Masonic reviewer takes to with a warm feeling, for not
only are there Masonic references, but by the grace of an understanding
indexer, we find these listed. Many a book which should appeal to a Masonic
reader fails to find purchasers because an ignorant or a prejudiced indexer
omitted reference to Freemasonry when doing his work. A worse offender,
however, is the author who fails to mention his subject's Masonic connections
and activities; to such I have paid my compliments in previous reviews in
Jones is a character of history concerning whom much still remains to be
learned. Biographers who take him for a subject must needs be careful, for
they are apt to have critical and more competent historians take issue with
them. Albert Bushnell Hart tendered his respects in no uncertain terms to one
such a few years ago, when he classed a John Paul Jones biographer among
American historical liars. Strong language, but he had the facts.
as I should like to stress Jones' activities as a whole, I content myself with
the Craft references. He was made a Mason at Kirkcudbright, Scotland, in 1770.
Later, he met Dr. John K. Read, of Virginia, whose name is better known to
Masonic students as the author of the Virginia Ahiman Rezon, first published
at Richmond in 1790, but which edition was so faulty that it was entirely
destroyed; hence the first one available to collectors is that of 1791, the
spent much time in France, and it was a simple matter to come into touch with
the Masons of the period. I differ with the author when he mentions Anthony
Wayne and Thomas Paine as Freemasons (page 118), for we have no evidence
concerning Wayne, and we know that Thomas Paine was not a Mason. The Thomas
Paine who signed the by-laws of St. Andrews' Lodge in Boston was not the
Thomas Paine of greater fame. It is also evident that an uncritical work was
used for getting information concerning the ladies of the French court who
were said to have been "franc-maconnes." Such so-called female Freemasonry as
existed was the Adoptive Rite of the eighteenth century, and was no more
Freemasonry as we know it than is the Eastern Star of today. An interesting
but entirely unreliable story is told about the formation of the first female
Masons' lodge; let it be said in the author's behalf, that he does not vouch
for its historical accuracy. A flair for newspaper color, rather than service
to Freemasonry, was no doubt responsible for the inclusion of the tale in this
book. Subsequently the author defines the Masonic association of ladies as an
adoptive lodge, when writing of the "Masonic ship" which Buell says was
purchased by such an association of ladies of Marie Antoinette's court.
constructive reference to the Craft appears on page 272, worth quoting:
the French Freemasonry of that day had but little in common with the club-like
form developed in America or with the conservative type known to England and
Scotland. It was socially radical, politically liberal, free-thinking, and
permeated with the rationalism and skepticism preached in the prolific volumes
of Voltaire, fellow member of Thomas Paine [not a Mason, as already pointed
out] and Benjamin Franklin in the Lodge of the Nine Sisters. In consequence
the tradition that Freemasonry is subversive of governments was set up on
continental Europe, and this explains why to this day it is suspected and
banned by certain rulers and dictators.
story of the continental opposition to Freemasonry of that period has been
told in THE BUILDER (August, 1926, page 233). It should not be overlooked by
the critical student.
Freemasons are especially interested in the life of Jones because he was also
the founder of the American Navy, claims for John Barry to the contrary
notwithstanding. As pointed out by Rear Admiral W. W. Phelps, U. S. N., in an
article published in the New York "Herald Tribune," September 28, 1929, Barry
not only ran from the enemy but his ship was captured and converted into a
vessel which preyed upon American commerce. Jones, on the other hand, "went
into close action against superior British forces and stepped from his own
defeated, burning, sinking ship to capture his adversary on his adversary's
own deck." Russell tells the story graphically in Chapter XXI, "The Battle in
Paul Jones: Man of Action is a book that any Mason will enjoy, not only for
the Craft references, but for the story as a whole. J. H. T.
ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF FREEMASONRY AND KINDRED SCIENCES: New Edition. By Albert G.
Mackey; Revised and enlarged by Robert I. Clegg. Published by the Masonic
History Co. Two volumes, imitation leather. Introduction, profusely
illustrated, 1155 pages (numbered consecutively).
first edition of the Encyclopaedia came out, we believe, in 1874, and was an
enlargement of the earlier Lexicon of Freemasonry, which was first published
in 1845, followed by a second edition in 1851, a third in 1855 and so on to
the thirteenth in 1869. The first edition of the Encyclopedia was in a single
volume like the Lexicon, but naturally a good deal larger. It was a work that
met with success as it were by necessity, it became an indispensable work of
reference. Whatever defects it may have had there was nothing else in the
English language to compete with it. There were, it is true, other works such
as Dr. Oliver's Dictionary of Symbolical Masonry and Mackenzie's Royal Masonic
Cyclopedia in England, and Macey's Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Freemasonry,
in America, but these works were not in the same class, they were of the same
type as Mackey's Lexicon, although they were very useful in their day, and
within their relatively limited scope.
Encyclopaedia was reprinted many times, until it was at last felt that some
revision was necessary, and this was done by two English Masonic scholars,
William J. Hughan and Edward L. Hawkins. This revision consisted mainly of the
insertion of such new material as had come to light subsequent to the time of
Mackey's writing, but a very great deal of the old edition was reproduced
verbatim. In fact, one objection that fairly lay against this revision was
that it was on the whole so close to the former, and the additions and changes
so inconspicuously marked as such, that the Inquirer could easily fall into
the error of ascribing to Mackey what was due to the revisers. In general this
was a matter of little consequence, but students who were preparing articles
or papers, and wished to cite Mackey himself were sometimes at a loss, unless
they could consult one of the earlier editions. In the present edition there
does not seem to be so much danger of this, as though a very great deal,
especially in the briefer paragraphs, appears to be reproduced without change
from Mackey's original work, yet there is so much new material, and so many
additional headings, that only the very inexpert or unwary brother will be led
to ascribe to Mackey facts that were not known to him or opinions he did not
very difficult to review an Encyclopaedia, and the present notice does not
pretend to do so. We hope to get several competent students to consider it
from different standpoints and it will undoubtedly take some time before this
can be done. In the meantime our readers are now advised of the publication of
this new edition, and, if their purses can stand it, should certainly obtain
it for themselves.
Clegg, who has been working at this arduous task for a good many years, needs
no introduction to readers of THE BUILDER. He is acknowledged to be one of the
foremost Masonic scholars in America, and is also perhaps the one who of all
is most widely known, not only as a student, but as a Mason. His reputation
will go far, by itself alone, to recommend his work to the Craft.
JACKSON: THE GENTLE SAVAGE. By David Karsner. Published by Brentano's, New
York. Cloth, 12 mo., illustrated, bibliography, 395 pages. $3.50, net.
the past year it has been my privilege to review a number of books for these
pages. Some have been sketched hurriedly; others have been examined more
carefully; but this one I have read from cover to cover. It really had to be
done in order to ascertain if there were anything Masonic in it, for the book
is another publisher's atrocity, because it lacks an index. All experienced
writers know that a book should have an index if it Is to be more than a
volume for idle reading. It may be tiresome to readers of these reviews to
have me harp constantly on this subject of indexes for books; but the time Is
long past when the shortcomings of a volume must be slighted in order to
emphasize the good points. And let It be said that this book is worthwhile,
although it is to be regretted that it has been launched without the essential
interest in Jackson goes back to school days, when the sole history textbook
used was one which had a line engraving in the margin, showing Jackson being
beaten with a sword by a British officer. How our blood boiled, and how we
hated the red-coats! And how we chortled when we read of Packenham's defeat at
New Orleans by Jackson - that meant more to us than the winning of the fight.
Both events have now lost their importance in terms of childhood
interpretation, for they have given way to an understanding of the deeper
things involved. A knowledge of such larger aspects has been brought to me
through personal association and collaboration with another contributor to THE
BUILDER, Bro. Erik McKinley Eriksson, Ph.D., now of Los Angeles, who has made
the study of Jackson and his career his particular bent. With what results
will be shown further on in this review.
Hughes set a new style in biographical writing in his treatment of Washington,
which aroused so much condemnation in certain quarters; but just as the
placing of one of Maeterlinck's books on the Index Expurgtorias increased its
sale, so the adverse comment on Hughes' book helped move the stock. No matter
how we feel personally on the subject, it is evident that the humanizing of
our national heroes has brought them closer home to us, and it is such
treatment of Jackson by Mr. Karsner which gives us a more kindly feeling
toward Old Hickory, whose life was a constant battle with every one about him
- save his Rachel, to whom he was always a kind, considerate, affectionate and
indulgent husband and lover.
things impress one as he opens the book. First, the author sketches a
background from which we learn of Jackson's Scotch - Irish ancestry. Through
it we understand the forces which ran through his veins, and how the heritage
from his pioneer ancestors enabled him to fight and master the forces of
nature and mankind in the backwoods of Tennessee as he made his way westward.
Jackson's ancestors came from Carrickfergus, in the north or Ireland - a town
and a locality that has always been predominantly Protestant and Masonic.
Second, one is impressed by the fascinating and vivid literary style of the
book. It is largely written in a present tense, so that one imagines he is
actually experiencing the things related. Coupled with the recital of present
affairs is a reference to association events which developed In the future,
this serving to lead one on and whetting our appreciation of the entire work.
To illustrate by quoting a typical passage:
Jackson's feelings at this moment are divided between his grief over the death
of his mother and two brothers and his own pitiable condition, which he is
competent to realize is desperate enough. He is borne down by the fact that he
is an orphan, and made so by the Revolution. The conditions are desperate in
the extreme, but in later years these same circumstances will operate in his
favor, for they will be used with telling effects in three Presidential
campaigns, and in two of them he shall be triumphant."
read this life of, Jackson, and contrast It with the impression derived from
the diaries of Jackson's later contemporaries, such as John Quincy Adams and
James K. Polk (reviews of which will appear in these pages later) we have a
keener appreciation of what a land of opportunity our country has always been.
Karsner tells us that Jackson indulged in all modes of sportive feats
"gambling, drinking a little, horse racing and cock fighting," but he also
presents the other side of the story in depicting the spirit of the times,
without which no true estimate of the man Jackson can be made. "It was all a
new and wild country in which Andrew grew up, but the boys that watched and
had a part in the business of pushing civilization westward through the
wilderness were not less nor more fun-making and mischievous than are the
youngsters today." This balance of values pervades the entire book, and gives
us a keener appreciation of the author's capable presentation. The book is
also marked with precise details, such as the critical reader desires, yet
which do not detract from the appreciation of the book which a casual reader
is compelled to grant it because of its human interest appeal.
Jackson's battle with elemental forces gave him a broad contempt for shams and
veneers. It would seem that he had little use for the orthodox clergy of his
day - and as we remember the bitter fight against Freemasonry by the
Protestant ministers of 1826-40, especially in the backwoods, we can
sympathize with Jackson. While in the Tennessee Legislature, he seconded a
motion forbidding clergymen from holding seats in that august body. Yet listen
Jackson supports the clause that provides that no one shall be received as a
witness who denies the existence of God, or disbelieves in "a state of future
rewards and punishments." In this clause, Tennessee is laying the cornerstone
for the temple of fundamentalism that will serve as a refuge for theological
dogma, and a challenge to science and commonsense in a serio-comic tableau in
which William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow will be the principle
opposing actors in a theme of whether or not it is decent and Christian to
teach the theory of evolution in Tennessee's schools and colleges after 1925.
That episode will be known as the "Dayton Trial."
volume is also a bit ironical in spots, but this adds to the interest of the
treatment as a whole. One is constantly on the alert for other witticisms like
Francis Scott Key has been watching the bombardment throughout the night, and
it inspires him to write "The Star Spangled Banner." The United States at
least gets a song out of the War of 1812. From another of its wars, in 1917,
it will get Prohibition.
War of 1812 also had its pacifists. Among them was Daniel Webster, who called
upon President Madison to stop it. Jackson heard of it, and said that if he
were commanding the army of the East, he "would hang every rascal at that
convention," referring to the Hartford Convention of 1814. Webster had
previously successfully opposed the Conscription Bill then in Congress. This
was very close to sedition; but we have men and women of the same ilk in the
country today, who would strip us defenseless and open our shores to the
riff-raff of Europe, whose countrymen are already here, waving the red flag of
Communism in the streets of New York and other centers. Unfortunately, from
the Masonic reader's standpoint, the author tells nothing about Jackson as a
Freemason. The only Masonic flavor encountered is a quotation. Jackson has
been approached for food by a starving soldier of his command during the
Indian campaigns. "It has always been a rule with me never to turn away a
hungry man when it was in my power to relieve him, and I will most cheerfully
divide with you what I have." Whereupon he gives him three of six acorns which
represented the food Jackson had. My reason for designating this as Masonic is
obvious to the Craft.
Karsner might have told us that Jackson was a member of Harmony Lodge No. 1 of
Tennessee as early as 1800 and that he served as Grand Master of Tennessee,
having taken office for a year beginning October 7, 1822. He attended a number
of lodges other than his own; he contributed funds for Masonic purposes; in
1825, he introduced our Brother, the Marquis de Lafayette to the Grand Lodge
of Tennessee when the famous Frenchman visited Nashville; while President of
the United States, he aided in laying the cornerstone of a monument to Mary,
the mother of Washington, with Masonic ceremonies. It can also be said that
Wilkins Tannehill, Past Grand Master of Tennessee, dedicated his Masonic
Manual or Freemasonry Illustrated (Nashville, 1824) to General Andrew Jackson,
Grand Master of Masons in the State of Tennessee, "as a testimony of respect
for his public and private character." Still other facts can be ascertained
from Bro. Wm. L. Boyden's book, Masonic Presidents, Vice-Presidents and
Jackson's whole life holds interest for the Masonic reader. It cannot be
covered at length in a review, but briefly, he reIieved the western
settlements from the Indian menace and cleared out the British opposition by
his defeat of the English forces at New Orleans even though the battle was
unnecessary, having been fought several weeks after a treaty of peace had been
made in Europe. Neither of the opposing forces knew of it until after the
battle. Jackson made things warm for the Spanish, and also the administration,
in Florida, when he invaded that territory and attacked the Spanish at
Pensacola. He had no time for weasel words; his motto was, "Say it with
cannons." His constantly increasing popularity with the home community sent
him to the Senate, only to have him resign in disgust. He had as much use for
that body as Will Rogers has today. But his distaste for public life did not
prevent his friends from grooming him for the Presidency, and succeeding in
getting him not only one but two terms. Strangest of all, among his most
ardent supporters - as John Quincy Adams, the virulent Anti-Mason, shows in
his Diary - were the AntiMasons themselves, in spite of the fact that Jackson
was an avowed Mason!
not profess to be a historian, but I do take issue with the author in his
repetition of the old canard that Jackson turned out public office holders by
the thousands. "In the first month of his rule he ousts more office holders
than had occurred in all of the previous administrations combined. In the
first year two thousand civil employees lose their jobs which are promptly
filled by Jackson's partisans." [Page 308]. Bro. Erik McKinley Eriksson,
previously mentioned, covered the subject in a most thorough manner in a
paper, The Federal Civil Service Under President Jackson, which was read
before the 19th annual convention of the Mississippi Valley Historical
Society, Springfield, May 7, 1926, and published in the "Mississippi Valley
Historical Review," Vol. XIII, No. 4, March, 1927. A statistical table, not
published in the "Review," but in a brochure privately printed, shows that 919
office-holders were removed out of a list of 10,093. A comparison of this
record with that made by previous Presidents will show that the proportion was
about the same as that of Jefferson's administration, and that the principles
governing the removals were not as violent as had been portrayed by historians
who have failed to make firsthand researches of the records. Bro. Eriksson's
work has caused the historians of the Jackson administration to revise their
statement in this respect at least.
Karsner, the author of Andrew Jackson: The Gentle Savage, was born in
Baltimore in 1889, and started writing as a mere lad. For the past twenty
years he has been in newspaper work; he has two other biographies and a volume
of portraits of contemporary men to his credit. Jackson always fascinated
Karsner "from the time I first saw his portrait on a five dollar bill. When I
could really afford to be sportive with a five-spot, I invested it in a
Jackson book." To all those who can be sportive with $3.50, I recommend that
they buy this book, if for no other reason than its human interest appeal.
Incidentally, it will restore knowledge of bygone history which has an
important bearing upon our consideration of present day politics. This the
reader will ascertain for himself upon going through its pages. J. H. T.
WORKING OF THE MINORITIES SYSTEM UNDER THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. By Joseph S.
Roucek. With an Introduction by Charles Hodges. Published by the Orbis
Publishing Co., Prague. Stiff paper, table of contents, 122 pages.
who are pessimistic in regard to the efforts made since the end of the World
War to establish peace on a solid and permanent basis are very fond of
repeating the formulas "human nature does not change," and "there have always
been wars and there always will be." The latter, as would appear in the light
of the best information, is not true. War, as the term is properly understood,
requires a certain stage in social organization as a necessary condition
before it becomes possible. And there seems no good reason why mankind should
always remain on that level of civilization where war is normal. As always in
sociological matters, the thinking of most people (if thinking it can be
called) is dreadfully confused.
human nature does not change materially may be true; that it does not change
rapidly is very certain; but habits, manners, customs and social organizations
do change, and relatively to the history of the race often change a great deal
in a very short time. A large part of such changes are due to a blind
following of lines of least resistance, but much is also due, far more than
might be imagined, to the thought of great men, mostly to philosophers and
religious teachers. Such thought is always regarded by those who first hear it
as fantastic and visionary, or else revolutionary and subversive of all morals
and good order. But a later generation takes the same doctrine as the common
postulate of their thought. Thus it is with that rather ill-defined conception
of the sovereign state. It is quite a modern idea in reality, and is founded
very largely on the social philosophy of the eighteenth century. It was a
development or corollary of the theory of the Social Contract. Man, it was
argued, was naturally free and independent. He decided, for reasons of
convenience, company and safety, to live in community, and so entered into a
contract with his fellows, by which he gave up part of his freedom, and
submitted himself to leaders and rulers. In a sense there is a good deal in
this, in spite of the naive picture of savage unsocial human beings making a
formal agreement of a highly civilized type. It was, however, too simple an
explanation, although it does express the logical implications of social
organization. A man living solitary on a desert island is his own law. Give
him a companion, and at once some mutual arrangement must be arrived at, in
which is the germ of a social unit, a family, a tribe, a people, or a nation.
philosophy of the Social Contract, having settled the status of the individual
within the state, had to consider the relation of the states. By analogy these
were considered to be like individuaI men, free and independent; and, like
men, that they had to arrive at some kind of modus vivendi between themselves.
Strange as it may seem, the next step was by no means shirked. It was
considered that reason dictated (it was the Age of Reason we may remember)
that sovereign states should proceed to do what sovereign individuals were
supposed to have done in a remote past, that is, to give up some of their
natural rights and privileges in order that they might live together in peace
and harmony. Incidentally the Freemasons of the period were very enthusiastic
about this, and believed that Masonry was to be an active means by which this
desired end was to be attained.
idea of the sovereign state was accepted; but statesmen, who are necessarily
opportunist and "practical", did not go further. Though a hundred years is not
a long time after all for new ideas to take root and come to fruition. The
League of Nations may be regarded historically as an attempt to take the step
advocated by the eighteenth century philosophers.
much as the representatives of the victorious allies have been criticized,
they did make a real attempt to reach such a settlement as would obviate as
much as possible the perpetuation of grievances and the sowing of the seeds of
Granted that the result fell far short of ideal perfection, it remains a moot
question whether it was not as workable a compromise as was possible under the
conditions. For these conditions included the state of mind of the peoples of
the various countries concerned as well as the external facts. And in
particular the attempt was made to avoid the artificial inclusion of people of
one race in a state mainly of another. The restoration, as a nation, of the
Polish race was an act of justice, even if the motives for so doing were not
unmixed. In human affairs, while motives are not unimportant, it is the thing
done that chiefly counts.
Everyone who has the least knowledge of the intermingling of races in Central
Europe can see the difficulty of the problem posed, even if they have not
wholly realized its bewildering perplexity. Pre-war Germany, Russia, and
Austria were full of minorities, and all of them with grievances and hates
born of repressions, and often enough of oppressions, too. These had had
little publicity, however, under the pre-war autocratic governments, and only
the well informed in foreign affairs knew even of their existence. To leave
things as they had been was impossible, but to change them was certain to
create the possibility of a new set of grievances. Thus the allies were faced
with the problem of doing justice to majorities, and at the same time of
protecting minorities, and it is with the machinery that has been worked out
to accomplish the latter purpose that Bro. Roucek's work deals. It suffers, in
readability, from the fact that it is a thesis for a doctor's degree in
philosophy; it is doubtful if the academic requirements of such a work can be
satisfactorily combined with, those of literature, though the author has
overcome the difficulties to a remarkable extent, more especially considering
that he is not using his mother tongue.
working out of the treaties embodying the peace settlements were at bottom
practical, but they were based on precedents so far as possible, and the
assumptions of what is known as "International Law," which is in reality a
queer mixture of custom, precedent and theory.
new states, and the old ones, such as Roumania and Serbia, which received
accessions of territory, argued that as they were "sovereign" they should not
be treated differently from the "great powers" among the allies. This was
countered in effect by the argument that as they were being created by these
very treaties they could not properly object to requirements which were posed
as conditions of their establishment. Fundamentally, the reason was a
practical one. Almost every country in the world, with the possible exception
of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, contains minorities, and have or have had
minority problems. But in regard to these there was an actual status which in
most cases it was better to leave alone. The whole problem was sufficiently
complex as it was. Still the new states (created out of old nations) did have
a show of justice in their claim. However, they had to take the place of the
dog on whom the new diet was to be tried. And again, practically, the new
grievances of newly established minorities, were much more likely to cause
trouble than old ones. The Germans in Poland, who had been induced to settle
there as part of the policy of "Germanization," actively prosecuted by the
Prussian government for years, would find it hard to sink from the status of a
dominant race to a minority subject to people they had considered their
inferiors. And the proximity of their own people across the frontier would not
help matters. Some kind of safety valve, even if only a temporary one, had to
be arranged if the hopes and aspirations of the world for a stable peace were
to be realized.
treaties left the procedure to be devised later, and that has been the work of
the League of Nations. It has been one of its most successful activities, and
because of its very success has been one of the least heard of and the least
known; and it may be that in time all such problems will come, when necessary,
before the League. For it has been shown that a real approximation to justice
and equity can be attained, and while this may at the time please neither
party, in the long run it stands. As Bro. Roucek says:
protection of minorities is one of the most delicate tasks of the League, and
one for which it deserves vast credit. In fact it receives hardly any credit
at all and a good deal of undeserved criticism. There is no flourishing of
trumpets when the grievance of a minority is redressed. The matter fades
quietly out and we hear no more of it.
are a good many misprints and errors in spelling in the book, though it is
perhaps not quite fair to criticize it in this regard, for the spelling of the
English language is notoriously difficult, and perhaps the proofreaders in
Prague, where the work was published, are rather to be praised for the measure
of accuracy they succeeded in attaining. S. J. C.
FREIMAURER. By Eugen Lennhof. Published by the Amalthea-Verlag, Vienna.
Profusely illustrated, 107 pages.
AMERICAN Masons will find it difficult to realize that the writing and
publishing of a book on Freemasonry, intended for a general public, in
continental Europe, means in reality much more than just a book; it is an
achievement. Bro. Lennhof gives facts, based upon unquestionable evidence;
there is no dreaming or contemplation, no misplaced eloquence, no merely
rhetorical phraseology, but facts and nothing else. He draws them from his
thorough and wide knowledge of the subject, and constructs a systematic,
organic synthetic edifice, comprising under its roof everything connected with
Masonry as it is now in being, and with the history of its evolutionary
author aims at describing Masonry as it is, and as it works in the world
today. He constructs for this a broad, unshakable, historical foundation.
Nothing is touched up, nothing is concealed. No mysterious reserves leave open
even the smallest chink in the walls he raises, against which our adversaries
may break their heads, unless they choose, rather, to enter unhurt through the
door of enlightenment and instruction that is so widely opened by the author.
book is written for everybody; it is dedicated to everyone willing to be
informed about the aims and actions of Masonry, and this includes Masons
themselves, that is, those who desire to enlarge and deepen their knowledge.
Thus the circle of readers has been widened to an indefinite extent, which
goes far toward explaining the success of the work, of which a second edition
has been found necessary.
chapters dealing with the murder of the Austrian Crown Prince at Serajevo are
of the greatest interest. Though it may be that in America Masons do not fully
realize the connection But the enemies of Masonry in Europe have freely and
persistently attributed this crime to the machinations of the Fraternity,
charging it with the deliberate intention of setting the world on fire by this
deed, and in effect with responsibility for the outbreak of the World War.
chapters of great interest are those dealing with the suppression of Masonry
in Hungary and in Italy. The latter includes the infamous proceedings against
General Capello. These cruel and unjust proceedings are illuminated by the
torch of historical truth, and corroborated by the production of unpublished
documents and correspondence.
part of the book is devoted to the adversaries of Masonry. Bro. Lennhof
disdains to be aggressive; he simply lays bare their actions; saying nothing
in the way of counter-attack, nor even of measures of defense. A fine and
subtle policy in a way, as the publication itself of the book is the best
defense. The work may be summed up in saying that it is probably unique, in
that there is no other heretofore published which contains everything, in one
single volume, that is important and worth knowing about present-day
Freemasonry as it exists throughout the world. B.L.F.
BOOK OF FORMATION (SEPHER YETZIRAH): By Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph. Translated
front the Hebrew by Knut Stenring, with an Introduction by Arthur Edward
Waite. Published by Rider and Son, London. Cloth, Chart, tables and diagrams;
66 pages. Price 6 shillings net.
is a word for word rendering of the Hebrew of the original, so the translator
informs us. This will assist those students of the Kabalah who have no
knowledge of the language to guard against the interpretative renderings of
earlier versions. The Book of Formation is very short. In the present work the
text fills eleven pages. Bro. Waite's Introduction will for many readers be a
most important part of the book.
EXEMPLIFICATION OF BROTHERLY LOVE.
many "Blurbs" are uttered by Masonic speakers and written into Masonic essays,
to the effect that if men could all gather about a Masonic altar, the problems
of the world would be solved in the spirit of brotherly love. Labor and
capital would agree, wars would be averted and the peace of the world remain
unbroken. Would that it were so! If even a tithe of these results accrued,
Masonry would be hailed as one of the vital forces in history.
what historians save those writing purely Masonic treatises have attributed to
Masonry any considerable influence in world affairs? Indeed it is so
negligible or intangible as to be hardly mentioned. And a few concrete
instances of "how these brethren love one another" may be seen in the duel
between the Brothers Hamilton and Burr, the hatred between Brothers Andrew
Jackson and Henry Clay, the assaults on the character of Bro. Andrew Johnson
by brethren of the dominant party in Congress and so on. And in controversies
on Masonic topics, how "the fur flies." The writer has just been delving into
the Scottish Rite controversies and claims of the various rivals which were
carried into Blue Lodges and other bodies, wrecked friendship, usurped powers
and exhausted all the Billingsgate in the calendar in abusing, denouncing and
expelling one another, yet all were Master Masons.
Brethren: Masons are human and our institution has still much to be attained,
ere we are at ease in Zion. "Let us meet and let us labor, though the labor be
severe", but let us make no idle claims for rhetorical purposes or to make the
vulgar stare. G. A. K., Iowa.
* * *
be permitted to offer some comment upon one or two points in the interesting
and valuable article by Bro. Fead in the February number of THE BUILDER? In
doing this I wish to make it as clear as possible that I do not question the
learned brother's presentment of Michigan Masonic Law, nor do I question that
Michigan law is fairly representative of American Masonic law. I take the
statements made by Judge Fead as an opening to emphasize how the whole spirit
of Masonic law in America has imperceptibly changed, and is still changing in
the rulings of Grand Masters and Committees on Jurisprudence, from what it was
a hundred years ago.
in itself is not necessarily alarming, and certainly with altered external
conditions there must be internal readjustments, but after reading the article
in question it has struck me more forcibly than ever that the spirit and
tendency of Masonic Jurisprudence is different to what it once was. It might
be said broadly that from embodying the idea of Fraternity our rules and
regulations are now based on the idea of contract, or perhaps it would be more
correct to say that they are well on the way from one to the other.
BUILDER has several times expressed a somewhat similar opinion, and in
especial, I heartily agree with the editorial article in the August number
last year, entitled "Masons at Law." Bro. Fead holds by the dictum that
Masonry is not a debt collecting agency, but he goes further, much further,
when be says that the lodge is not the place "for the settlement of private
piques and quarrels." This illustrates what I meant when I said above that the
trend is from Fraternity to Contract. As long as members (brothers in name
only) keep within the letter of the law, whether Masonic or of the State, all
is well, nothing can be done, no matter what ill-feeling, dislike, jealousy,
or hate may exist between them. Masons a hundred years ago seem to have
thought very differently. They seem to have held to the strange and foolish
doctrine that the preservation of harmony and brotherly love and friendship
was the very first concern of the lodge, and that this required the
investigation of any quarrel or disagreement between any of its members, and
the seeking of ways to heal the breach. And if either or both of the parties
to the quarrel refused to accept the good offices of the lodge, and
obstinately refused to be reconciled, it was taken as a matter of course that
such a brother should be excluded from the lodge till he became of a better
mind. Would the Master of a lodge today be upheld, in any jurisdiction of the
United States, it he excluded a brother who refused to be reconciled with
another with whom he had quarreled? I doubt it. Yet in theory it is still his
duty to do so.
legal element has entered too much into our procedure. We are now much less
concerned with realities than we are with forms, which is precisely in what
legalism consists. But Fraternity cannot thrive in such an atmosphere.
Consider the two lists given by Bro. Fead, of the things that have been
adjudged as offenses against Masonic law, and of those which it has been
decided are not. In the first category appears Non-payment of Dues, in the
second Non-payment of Debts. Now contrary to the "Sacred Doctrine" of which
you spoke so feelingly, I would hold that here is a plain inconsistency. The
non-payment is the essential thing in each case, and it must be taken under
the same conditions in each case. It is not an offense anywhere, I believe, to
not pay one's dues when unable to do so, neither can it be in the case of any
other debt. Inability is an excuse, even in the eyes of the law, since
imprisonment for debt has been abolished. Therefore we must assume that it is
the non-payment of debts (excepting only dues) when perfectly able to pay
them, that is held to be not an offense in the eyes of Masonic law. Or if this
is not what is intended, then in the sacred name of legalism it should be so
that this is the meaning seems to be made certain by some other matters that
are listed as not being offenses in the eyes of Masonry, such as failure to
pay a note that a brother has endorsed, and bringing a suit at law against a
brother without giving him any warning. What it means is evidently that
Masonic duties and obligations are whittled down, and restricted till they
hardly mean anything at all. We are to understand that in all affairs of
business a man has no right whatever to expect different treatment from a
brother Mason than from any one else. He must follow the rule of worldly
wisdom in all his dealings, whether with Masons or with outsiders, caveat
emptor; he must be just as suspicious and cautious in dealing with a Mason as
with other men with whom he has no fraternal tie.
these rulings can be made compatible with the obligations of a Master Mason,
or with the famous Five Points of Fellowship, I do not quite see, but I
suppose these are to be regarded as curious and obsolete forms that have some
how survived, but which now have no meaning and no weight.
* * *
FREEMASONRY IN THE CIVIL WAR.
Although not an Ohio Mason, I am very pleased to answer the inquiry of Bro.
Vail of Pennsylvania in the Question Box of February, regarding Wm. McKinley.
Wm. L. Boyden in his Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Signers, on page 18
states, that Win. McKinley was raised in Winchester Hiram Lodge, No. 21, at
Winchester, Va., on May 3, 1865, and affiliated with Canton Lodge No. 60 at
Canton, Ohio, on August 21, 1867. Charter member of Eagle Lodge, No. 431,
Canton, Ohio. This lodge was afterwards named William McKinley Lodge.
Regarding Major General George Gurdon Meade, the Hero of Antietam and Mexican
War, inquiry made in the Question Box of the January issue, I can state that
in my research work of three years in Masonic Biographies of great men, I have
met with the General's name a great many times, but never saw his name
mentioned as a brother of the Craft.
"Proceedings of the Supreme Council, A. and A. S. R., Northern Jurisdiction of
1897," page 177, states that Dr. Anthony Eugene Stocker, 33d during the Civil
War was appointed on General Meade's staff, serving in many battles. At the
battle of Turkey Bend a ball struck and severely wounded the General. As he
fell, Dr. Stocker placed him on his horse and carried him to a place of
safety. Ever after that, General Meade credited Dr. Stocker with having saved
his life. Had the General been a Mason, the word "Brother" would have preceded
his name in the above obituary record of Dr. Stocker.
be pleased at any time to give you affiliations of great men who were Masons,
beginning with our earliest American history and down to the present date, of
those I have been able to secure.
* * *
NORTON'S ORDINALL OF ALCHEMY
interesting book for booklovers and Freemasons is The Ordinall of Alchemy by
Thomas Norton of Bristol, which is a facsimile reproduction by the Replika
process from the Theatricum Chemicum Britannicum by that celebrated Mason,
Elias Ashmole, (published in 1652) who also added some notes to this old book
thus preserved by him from oblivion.
Norton wrote his book is not definitely known although dates have been given
ranging from 1428 to 1460.
the earliest mentions of the words "Free Masons" is to be found in his book on
page 7, where he says, speaking of alchemy;
wonder it is that Wevers deale with such warks Free Masons and Tanners with
poore Parish Clerks."
Reproduced nearly or about 200 years later by Elias Ashmole, himself an
alchemist and Freemason, it causes one to sit up and take notice.
* * *
AMERICAN INDIAN FREEMASONRY.
November, 1928, number of THE BUILDER there was published a short article
written by myself relative to an experience which I heard Bro. Robert Morris
relate in 1882, which he had when some Arab Freemasons initiated him into
their form of the Order in their tent which was located in the desert not far
from the walls of Jerusalem when he was making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
article I gave as full a description of that most interesting ceremony as I
thought my obligation would permit in public print. But I have fully related
the details of the ceremony in open lodge, much to the satisfaction of the
listening brethren. In that article I stated that I intended to write another
letter relative to Freemasonry among the North American Indians, and I will
endeavor to do so at this time.
year 1874, 1 had the pleasure of meeting the Hon. A. B. Meacham while he was
on a lecture tour in New England. At that time he was preparing his book
Wigwam and Warpath, which related to the Indian affairs. The book was
published a short time afterwards. Bro. Meacham could speak several Indian
dialects fluently. He told me that he was one of the three "Peace
Commissioners" sent by the United States Government to treat with "Capt. Jack"
and other Modoc Indians in the "Lava Beds" of California, where the Indians
were hiding, in April, 1873. The other two Commissioners, Gen. Canby and Dr.
Thomas, were treacherously assassinated and Bro. Meacham was seriously wounded
and left for dead by the Indians, but he afterwards recovered.
Meacham told me that he had served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the
Northwestern Territory under the United States Government. He also said that
at one time he was the first white man to step a foot into some of the Indian
villages In that part of the country. He also told me that the Indians
initiated him into a secret order, and from the similarity of their signs,
tokens, ceremony, etc., he was satisfied that at some remote period that their
order and our Freemasonry were derived from the same source.
also told me another most interesting fact. He said the Indians had another
order, very secret and sacred. Its translated name was "The Dreamers," and "no
person with a drop of white blood in his body could be permitted to join." He
had no idea of the nature of this occult and esoteric order. Perhaps some of
our brethren who are well versed in Indian lore may have a clue. The subject
is of much interest.
remember Bro. Meacham as a large, fine looking gentleman, of pleasing manner,
a good talker, and his lecture was well delivered and full of information
relative to Indian affairs. His book is also very interesting and instructive.
Several years after that time I became acquainted with his nephew, who told me
that his uncle had passed on to the "Celestial Lodge above." A.O. ROBINSON,
* * *
HOUSTON AND JACKSON: A CORRECTION
reference to the review of Polk: The Diary of a President, published on page
62 of the February issue of THE BUILDER, it would seem that some alteration
occurred in my copy which makes the statements regarding Houston and Jackson,
at the end of the fourth paragraph, erroneous ones. Houston presided over the
convention at which the Grand Lodge of Texas - not Tennessee - was formed.
Jackson was not the first Grand Master of Tennessee, as the Grand Lodge was
formed in 1813, and Jackson was not elected Grand Master until October 7,
HUGO TATSCH, New York.
* * *
BUILDER for February contains a review of Polk, the Diary of a President. I
have read this with the interest a Tennessee Mason naturally feels in the
subject, but it contains certain mistakes which should be corrected.
review says that General Sam Houston, afterwards first President of the
Republic of Texas, "presided over the convention at which the Grand Lodge of
Tennessee was formed, at which Jackson was elected as first Grand Master" -
meaning General Andrew Jackson, our seventh President.
is now "Tennessee" was, of course, originally the western part of the State of
North Carolina. The Grand Lodge of North Carolina, chartered, as its records
read (the matter is not free from doubt) by Scotland, held jurisdiction over
the Lodges in Tennessee until 1813, undisputed, except for a rather
disagreeable episode involving certain charters granted by the Grand Lodge of
Kentucky. In fact between the years 1803 and 1812 the North Carolina Body was
styled "The Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee." In December, 1811,
at a convention held in Knoxville, the Tennessee Lodges prepared an address to
the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee "soliciting its assent to the
establishment of a Grand Lodge in this State." Of this convention the Rev.
Stevens Brooks, of Greenville Lodge No. 3, was Chairman, with John A. Rogers,
of Overton Lodge No. 5, Secretary. In October, 1813, the Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge of North Carolina, the added title of "Tennessee" having been
dropped, directed the Lodges in Tennessee to assemble in Knoxville on December
27, 1813, "to constitute a Grand Lodge." This was done, and Thomas Claiborne,
of Cumberland Lodge No. 8, Nashville, elected Grand Master, with George Wilson
as Deputy Grand Master, John Hall, Senior Grand Warden, and Abraham K. Shaifer,
Junior Grand Warden.
Houston is not of record as attending either of these conventions, nor could
he have done so. Born in 1793, in 1811 he was only eighteen years of age and
in 1813 still a minor.
first mention of Andrew Jackson in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of
Tennessee is October 7, 1822, as a visitor. His election as Grand Master took
place at that Communication, and he became not first but sixth in the line.
Sam Houston was not present in 1822.
this review Col. Thomas H. Benton is named as a Tennessean. Certainly the
State should be proud to claim him, but its title is meager. Thomas H. Benton
was born in North Carolina in 1782. He came to Tennessee in 1799. In 1809 he
served one term as State Senator, but in 1816 removed to Missouri. In 1821 he
was elected United States Senator from Missouri, and continued in office until
1851, his distinguished public service being in that capacity.
CHARLES BARHAM, P. G. M., Tennessee.
and the Reformation
G. COULTON. One of the most interesting and useful works ever written about
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CONDE B. PALLEN. This book constitutes a series of definitions of the dogmas
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Best Letters of Thomas Jefferson
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Mystery and Bible Meaning
TROWARD. An interpretation of the Bible from an unorthodox but deeply
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and Growth of the Grand Lodge of England
GILBERT W. DAYNYS. A concise but comprehensive account of the Grand Lodge
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JOHANNES VON GUENTHER. A rather sensational novel based on the usually
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Up the Road
IRVING BACHELLER. This prominent Mason tells the story of his youth. $3.65
and West of Jordan
ALBERT FIELD GILMORE. The author states his book is based on his experiences
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Benjamin Franklin, the First Civilized American
PHILLIPS RUSSELL. This prominent American Mason in a new biography. Much
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Freemasonry in the Thirteen Colonies
HUGO TATSCH. This is undoubtedly the outstanding work on early American
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Geographical Lore of the Time of the Crusades
JOHN KIRTLAND. The Knight Templar who is interested in the antecedents of his
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LEWIS BROWNE. in a series of some eighty "animated maps," conceived and drawn
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M. STUART. A collection of interesting and exciting tales in which the Masonic
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Hegel's Science of Logic
Translated by W. H. JOHNSTON and L. G. STRUTHERS, with an introductory preface
by Viscount Haldane. It is to be feared that most students of philosophy who
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History of Freemasonry
L. HAYWOOD and J. E. CRAIG. This is possibly the best introduction to the
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E. WAITE. "A study of the Secret Tradition in Israel," critical and
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JAMIESON B. HURRY, M. A., M. D. This is a story of a man who was Prime
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Jefferson, Friend of France, 1793
MEADE MINNIGERODE. The subject of this book is Citizen Genet and his relations
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JOSEPH KLAUSNER, translated from the original Hebrew by HERBERT DANBY, D. D.
The best treatment of the subject we have seen - scholarly and impartial.
Cloth, table of contents, Index. $4.75
Lafayette and Three Revolutions
JOHN SIMPSON PENMAN. The author has sought to correct the rather one-sided
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In spite of this omission the work is a valuable addition to our knowledge of
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Lodge in Friendship Village
W. GEORGE. A series of Masonic stories by this well-known writer. The lessons
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in a Pageant
ALLEN WHITE. Mr. White has known personally all the Presidents of the United
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Masonic Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Signers
L. BOYDEN. An authentic and scholarly work on this oft misrepresented subject.
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Masonry in the Formation of Our Government
PHILIP A. ROTH. For the American Mason this little work will be of the
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Morality in the Making
E. WHITNEY. Principles are formulated in "Morality in the Making," to serve as
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Mussolini: The Wild Man of Europe
JOHN BOND. The author asserts that his sketch of the career of the Italian
dictator has been written disinterestedly, without fear or favor; that he has
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Pike's Year Book
Compiled by CLAIRE C. WARD. A bit of philosophy from Albert Pike for every day
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Religion Coming of Age
WOOD SELLARS. The adjustment of religion and science in modern life. This book
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Timbers: Giants in Contrast
CHESLA C. SHERLOCK. Short biographies of eight prominent Americans, four of
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Through the Ages
J.S. WARD, M.S., P.M., etc. A book of Masonic short stories supporting the
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Witchcraft in Old and New England
GEORGE LYMAN KITTREDGE. An exhaustive study of witchcraft among the English
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first hand materials on the subject, Table of contents, notes, Index, 641
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