A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 5 No. 4 – April 1919
REPORT OF THE MASONIC OVERSEAS MISSION
Bro. Townsend Scudder, P.G.M., New York
STATE DEPARTMENT'S REFUSAL TO ISSUE PASSPORTS
BROTHER Knight and the Chairman of your Mission have received from the State Department no notification of any action whatever on their applications for passports.
Brothers Prime, Thorne, and Treder, on the contrary, received the following:
Department of State, Washington,
July 2, 1918.
Mr. William C. Prime,
63 Hawthorne Avenue, Yonkers, New York.
Referring to your recent application for a passport to enable you to go to France, England, Italy, and Switzerland on a 'Mission to Freemasons in the United States Forces Overseas,' you are informed that the Department, in accordance with an agreement with the War Department, does not grant passports enabling persons to go to France for work among the American troops unless such persons are going thither under the auspices of a recognized relief or hospital organization doing work in that country. For this reason, the Department must decline to grant you a passport.
Returning the fee of one dollar which accompanied your application, I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
For the Secretary of State:
Alvey A. Adee,
Second Assistant Secretary.
Brother Prime replied as follows:
July 12, 1918.
Hon. Alvey A. Adee,
Second Assistant Secretary of State,
Washington, D. C.
I duly received your letter of the 2nd instant, which has followed me to Massachusetts and back.
May I venture to call your attention to the fact that the Mission, in connection with the journey of which to France application for a passport was for me made, was appointed by the Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, whose original letter appointing Hon. Townsend Scudder, Erastus C. Knight, Oscar F. R. Treder, Rougier Thorne, and William C. Prime and requesting passports in their behalf was lodged by Judge Scudder with the State Department on May 19, 1918, and attached to his application for passport. When I applied for a passport at the New York Bureau, a memorandum was furnished the clerk in charge, referring to those papers attached to Judge Scudder's application.
I understand that the determination upon the applications of all five for passports has been held in abeyance by both the State and War Departments until Mr. Fosdick's return and if there is any oversight in my case, suggest and request that it be considered in connection with the others in due course on Mr. Fosdick's return to Washington.
Mr. McBride and Mr. Keppel, I think, are fully familiar with this situation.
William C. Prime.
* * *
Department of State, Washington,
July 2, 1918.
Mr. Rougier Thorne,
Nassau County, New York.
Referring to your recent application for a passport to enable you to go to France, England, Italy and Switzerland on a 'Mission to Freemasons in the United States Forces Overseas,' you are informed that the Department, in accordance with an agreement with the War Department, does not grant passports enabling persons to go to France for work among the American troops unless such persons are going thither under the auspices of a recognized relief or hospital organization doing work in that country. For this reason, the Department must decline to grant you a passport.
Returning the fee of one dollar which accompanied your application, I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
For the Secretary of State:
Alvey A. Adee,
Second Assistant Secretary.
Brother Thorne wrote to me enclosing the foregoing letter, as follows:
Glen Cove, L.I., N.Y.
July 8, 1918.
I enclose a letter, dated July 2nd, signed by Alvey A. Adee, Second Assistant Secretary of State, which advises me that the Department must decline to grant me a passport as a member of the Mission to Free Masons in the United States forces overseas.
Hon. Townsend Scudder,
Glen Head, L. I.
I replied to Brother Thorne as follows:
July 9, 1918.
Rougier Thorne, Esq.,
Glen Cove, L. I.
My dear Brother Thorne:
I have your favor of July the 8th with enclosure. I believe a mistake has been made. I am now in negotiations with the War Department and State Department.
I have a letter dated July the 2nd from the acting chairman of the Commission on Training Camp Activities which clearly indicates to my mind that this matter is not closed, but is still open. I also have a letter from Mr. F. P. Keppel, Third Assistant Secretary of War, in which he tells me that Mr. Baker, the Secretary of War, feels with regard to our matter that as Mr. Fosdick is now in France, it would be better for us to await his return before a definite decision is made; and in another letter Mr. Keppel tells me that Mr. Fosdick has cabled recommending that the matter of our visit be held up pending his return, and still another letter in answer to one of mine suggesting that I have an opportunity of meeting Mr. Fosdick upon his return to discuss the Masonic War Relief work overseas with him, Mr. Keppel and Mr. McBride, in which he tells me that the date of Mr. Fosdick's return is uncertain, and this is followed by a letter from Mr. McBride, dated July the 2nd, in which he suggests deferring our meeting until Mr. Fosdick's return which he says will probably be in the course of a week or ten days.
In light of these facts I deem it wise to say nothing of the receipt of your letter from Mr. Adee and of its contents lest the situation be complicated through what I am convinced is a mistake, due to lack of co-ordination between the Departments in Washington.
It was distinctly agreed that the applications for passports of the members of the Masonic Mission were to be put to one side, and acted upon altogether, when the difficulty which has now so unexpectedly arisen, should have been overcome, as, of course, it must and will be.
I have not received a notice similar to the one which you sent me and this confirms me in my belief that a mistake has been made.
* * *
Department of State, Washington,
July 2, 1918.
Mr. Oscar F. R. Treder,
Garden City, Nassau Co., New York.
Referring to your recent application for a passport to enable you to go to France, England, Italy and Switzerland on a 'Mission to Freemasons in the United States Forces Overseas,' you are informed that the Department, in accordance with an agreement with the War Department, does not grant passports enabling persons to go to France for work among the American troops unless such persons are going thither under the auspices of a recognized relief or hospital organization doing work in that country. For this reason, the Department must decline to grant you a passport.
Returning the fee of one dollar which accompanied your application,
I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
For the Secretary of State:
Alvey A. Adee,
Second Assistant Secretary.
* * *
CATHEDRAL OF THE INCARNATION
Diocese of Long Island
Garden City, N. Y.
July 8, 1918.
Dear Judge Scudder:
I enclose a copy of a letter received by me on Saturday morning. I tried to reach you by telephone to apprise you of the fact as soon as possible but was unable to do so.
I presume, however, that you received a similar letter.
I await further developments with great interest. With kind regards, and thanking you for your good letter anent my appointment as Grand Chaplain,
Yours very sincerely,
Oscar F. R. Treder.
* * *
The Honorable Townsend Scudder,
112 Willow Street, Brooklyn, New York.
Rev. Oscar F. R. Treder,
July 15, 1918.
Garden City, L. I.
Dear Brother Trellor:
Let me thank you for yours of July the 8th. The notice which you received was, in my judgment, not final but due to a mistake and, of course, we are not discussing the matter as yet.
Glen Head, L. I.
The receipt of these letters of the State Department to Brothers Prime, Thorne, and Treder came as a distinct shock to us, partly because I had received no similar notification of rejection of my application, but more because I had been led to believe, as the correspondence hereinbefore set forth shows, that the matter would be held in abeyance until the return of Mr. Fosdick.
Either there was bad faith on the part of some one in government employ with whom we had had dealings, or a woeful lack of co-ordination between Departments.
When I had my interview in Washington with Mr Welch of the passport bureau, I left with him my own and Brother Knight's applications with the credentials of the entire Mission attached thereto; this was done by direction of Mr. Welch, who said that when the applications of the three other members of the Mission reached his bureau from the New York office, where they had been filed, they would be attached to the two others and all five acted upon as a unit.
I was unwilling to accept this action of the State Department as final, and wrote to Mr. McBride a letter of inquiry about Mr. Fosdick's return as follows:
July 19, 1918.
M. L. McBride, Esq.,
War Department, Commission on Training Camp "Activities,
Washington, D. C.
My dear Mr. McBride:
If I have not already written to you to that effect, may I request you to advise me, address Glen Head, Long Island, N. Y., as soon as Mr. Fosdick has returned as I am anxious to see him and go over the Masonic situation with a view to a conclusive decision at the earliest date possible.
Thanking you for your courtesy in the matter, I am,
Glen Head, L. I., N. Y.
To this I received the following reply, dated July 22, 1918, and the next day, July 23rd, I was at Mr. Fosdick's office in Washington:
Commission on Training Camp Activities
July 22, 1918.
Honorable Townsend Scudder,
Glen Head, Long Island.
My dear Judge Scudder:
In answer to your letter of the 19th, Mr. Fosdick landed in New York yesterday, and will be in Washington late today, so that you can arrange to see him by appointment any time now. I am sure he will be happy to confer with you relative to your interest in matters overseas.
With kind regards, cordially yours,
Malcolm L. McBride,
* * *
SURPRISING INTERVIEWS WITH MR. FOSDICK
I went to Washington, remained there for four days, and had several interviews with Mr. Fosdick. I shall not attempt to separate these several conversations, but treat them as a unit, except that the last interview at this time was on the train between Washington and New York.
After a short preliminary conversation, I asked him what the difficulty was which seemed to stand in the Masonic Mission's way. He replied that since his advent in France, his viewpoint had changed, and that he had grave doubts now whether the fraternity could carry out its project of independent service abroad. He then went on to state his reasons.
One was that the furnishing of transportation facilities was a source of embarrassment to the military authorities, particularly in the crowded areas near the front; another, that it was unwise, from the military standpoint, that there should be any more civilians in these areas because of the danger of military secrets leaking out; still another, that there existed jealousies and rivalries among the various civilian organizations abroad, and that to add to the number of non-military bodies would simply increase the general confusion. He also pointed out that the question of the transportation of our equipment and supplies would be very difficult, if not impossible, of independent arrangement, having perhaps forgotten his previous statement to me that, as far as our literature was concerned, it could doubtless be forwarded to us in Europe by the Librarian of Congress, and my previous statement that we would not engage in canteen work.
As to his first objection, that of transportation to, and in, the crowded areas behind the front, I pointed out that the government having excluded us from the camps, the cantonments, and the fronts, all our negotiations had been based upon our proposal to confine our activities to the so-called leaveareas, and therefore this question of transportation, as put forward by him, did not seem pertinent. Furthermore, in view of our contemplating sending not over fifty (50) men abroad, it could hardly be urged that this small number could strain transportation facilities anywhere.
The reasons I had in mind the number of fifty men as a maximum, which I gave to him, were that fifty would enable every Masonic Jurisdiction in the United States to have one of its members engaged in this work. I told him, however, that I really believed that about twenty-five would more likely be the number because many of the jurisdictions would join in being represented by the same man. If this number of fifty seemed to him too great, I would willingly stipulate that the maximum should be twenty-five. "Would the contemplated fifty," I asked, "be the final straw to break the camel's back?"
As to the betrayal of military secrets, I said that it was inconceivable that the great Masonic maternity could not furnish fifty men whose loyalty and discretion would be above suspicion. These men would be volunteers, carefully selected, whose whole record would be subjected to the closest scrutiny, and if the government had an objection to any of them, others would be substituted. The Y.M.C.A. and Knights of Columbus were advertising in the newspapers for paid secretaries. If the government could accept, as it did, men so secured, how much more could it safely accept, from our fraternity, picked men, volunteers, whose sole desire and ambition it was, temporarily giving up their own important affairs, to render service for service's sake. Mr. Fosdick responded by saying that the French government held General Pershing responsible for all civilians entering France from the United States and that the General objected to the entry of more because of lack of proper means for their investigation by him. Mr. Fosdick further asked how, if our number were limited to twenty-five, we could expect to render effective service. I responded that I thought General Pershing's objection to the necessity for his investigation of civilians was well founded, and that civilians should be, and could far better be, investigated before leaving American shores. Furthermore, as to the possible limitation of our Masonic personnel to twenty-five, I explained that our Masonic secretaries, being all executive men, would be the directing heads, each in a separate leavearea, the number of which, as I understood from Mr. Fosdick, and as I told him I did, would be about fifteen, leaving the so-called menial work to be performed by hired help, of which, we were informed, we could secure all we would need from among partially disabled French soldiers and aged men and women still capable of some service. This, in itself, would be a benefit to the French and to us. I further explained that such was the nature of our institution that the social and entertainment features of our activities would largely be in the hands of Masons on leave from the army and navy, acting as quasi hosts to any man in uniform seeking our hospitality.
As explained to us in letters from Masons serving overseas urging the establishment by us of recreation centers, there was a constant stream of men on leave coming to, and returning from, the leaveareas, thus furnishing always an ample number of volunteer hosts due to the large number of Masons serving with the colors.
Regarding jealousies and rivalries between nonmilitary organizations serving abroad, I told him that the Masonic fraternity had a quarrel with nobody, and that the character of the men we would send abroad would be such that they would invite no controversies. Our sole ambition was to do our duty, to serve efficiently, and quarrels would be incompatible therewith.
How about the feud between you and the Knights of Columbus?" asked Mr. Fosdick.
I told him that it took two to make a quarrel and that we had none with them. As an evidence of their feeling toward us in this war work, I showed him the following letters:
Thomas J. Evers, Chairman
Edward B. Goate, Director
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
Coney Island Week Committee
Aug. 26 to Aug. 31st inclusive
For War Camp Activities Fund
Long Island Chapter
Headquarters, 381 Fulton St., Room 3
Brooklyn, N. Y., June 26, 1918.
Mr. Geo. W. Menke,
231 Albany Ave.,
Brooklyn, N. Y.
My dear George:
The affairs of the Knights of Columbus have so shaped themselves that I am now in a position to make arrangements with the Masonic Order for their participation. We desire to have the participation of your Order in the first day of the weekly doings, which we have called 'Fraternity Day,' the feature of which will be a parade in which all of the Fraternal Societies on Long Island will take part. Many of the societies have volunteered representation, and we feel that the project would not be a complete success unless we had a representation from your Body.
The most influential men of the City, State and Country are to be our guests, as you will see from the fact that the guest of honor for the following nights are to be as follows:
- Tuesday, Mayor Hylan as the guest of honor.
- Wednesday, Gov. Whitman as the guest of honor.
- Thursday, Secretary Daniels as the guest of honor.
- Friday, Secretary Baker as the guest of honor.
Will you be kind enough to take this up with the proper officials of your order, and advise me just what steps it will be necessary for me to take in order for me to have the presence of our Masonic brothers assured on this occasion.
Very sincerely yours,
Thos. J. Evers, Chairman.
* * *
BEDFORD LODGE, NO. 574, F. & A. M.
Aurora Grata Cathedral
Bedford Avenue and Madison Street
Brooklyn, July 3, 1918.
William S. Farmer, Esq.
Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York,
The enclosed letter is in a measure self-explanatory. In brief, Mr. Evers is a personal friend of mine of many years standing, in whom I repose the utmost confidence, which is reciprocated, and accounts for his communicating with me regarding the participation of the Masonic Fraternity in the Knights of Columbus Coney Island War Drive.
Action has been withheld by me until his return from Washington, where he secured the assurances of the Secretary of the War and Navy Depts. of their presence on the days stated, or if not possible, then through a representative of the highest ranking Army and Navy officer, or by an Assistant Secretary of the respective Departments on the nights in question.
Monday night, Aug. 26th, is, as stated by Mr. Evers, to be known as Fraternity night, and invitations are to be extended to various Fraternities to participate in a parade.
The purpose of the drive is to raise One Million Dollars on Long Island for the continuance of their War Camp activities, and the arrangements which have been made provides a One Dollar admission to all the leading attractions, 50 per cent. of which is to be retained by the Amusement proprietors, and the balance to their Fund — the smaller amusement places and business men are to donate a certain percentage of their gross receipts — this arrangement to continue from Aug. 26th to 31st, both nights inclusive.
The participation of the Masonic fraternity in this parade is earnestly desired by the K. of C. War Camp Committee, not only to assist in their purpose, but for the object lesson it may teach to the people as a whole, and should it be possible to do so as a fraternity, I am assured our institution will receive the recognition due its high and exalted station.
Personally, I do not know whether we, as Masons, could enter into this proposal; but as the communication from Mr. Evers is in his official capacity as chairman, I therefore submit it to you for such action as you deem proper; but if a way can be found to do so, I earnestly recommend that the proposal receive favorable consideration, and everything done by us to assure a satisfactory representation. I am convinced that such action must have a wonderful effect on our less enlightened brethren, — if it takes an institution as big and great as ours to do real good and promote true friendship and brotherly love, I am sure Freemasonry will not be found wanting.
Should you desire me to personally call upon you or some one designated by you I will gladly answer such summons at any time and at any place, either accompanied by Mr. Evers or alone.
Thanking you in advance for the serious consideration I know this will receive, I remain,
G. W. Menke. Jr. Warden.
I also called his attention to the fact that when the Catholic Orphanage at Utica, New York, had been destroyed by fire, the Masonic fraternity organized an entertainment by the children of our Masonic Home in that city, the proceeds of which were devoted to the reconstruction of the orphanage, and that our fraternity had received grateful acknowledgment therefor.
Mr. Fosdick appearing somewhat skeptical on the point of our relations, I offered to ask the heads of the Knights of Columbus to call upon him, when, I felt, they would urge the issuance to us of the desired passports.
Regarding his objection that the transportation of our equipment and supplies would be very difficult, if not impossible, I pointed out that we did not purpose Groins into the canteen business, and that our main supplies would be the principal periodicals and newspapers from the United States which, he had previously said, could doubtless be sent to us by the Librarian of the Congressional Library.
Furthermore, I told him that, because of negotiations had with the Y.M.C.A., we had reason to believe that satisfactory arrangements could be made with them whereby there would be available to us their means of entertainment, like movies, and supplies such as tobacco, chocolate, etc.
Asked by Mr. Fosdick why we did not go over under the auspices of the Y.M.C.A., I replied that very naturally we preferred to go over independently, and that the call by our fellow Masons with the colors was for independent service, and because, having received the government's approval of such independent service, all our arrangements had been made accordingly.
Thereupon, Mr. Fosdick voiced objections from a new angle. The conversation which ensued, while not given ipsissimis verbis, was practically as follows:
Fosdick: "Do you know that the French government has constituted General Pershing as sort of czar as far as anything American in France is concerned, and those whom he doesn't want there must leave? There is no appeal from General Pershing's decisions. Except with his consent you could do nothing when you reached there. You couldn't rent a store or building, or open a hut for your purpose, because before a French property owner could rent his premises, the French authorities would refer it to General Pershing and his consent would have to be had."
Scudder: "If such are the rules, we Masons would comply with them. If the other organizations working in France can be effective under them, we can too."
Fosdick: "General Pershing is opposed to the introduction of any new agencies. He has enough to do in dealing with the ones he has there now. Pershing said he favored all war relief work being in the hands of the military or under one single civilian organization. My own experience on the other side confirms me in the wisdom of this plan."
Scudder: "Why don't you place it all under the military, then?"
Fosdick: "Perhaps we will, although it may be the thing has gone too far for that now."
Scudder: "But if you don't put it under one control, why discriminate against the Masons?"
Fosdick: "I do not discriminate against the Masons. My grandfather was one and I have a great regard for them. But I put it up to Pershing and he said, 'Keep them away from here.' "
Scudder: "Did you explain to General Pershing that the Masonic activities were to be confined to the leaveareas and that our war service in no respect would be identified with our usual activities as a secret society?"
Fosdick: "I covered the ground fully with General Pershing. He said it was very uncomfortable for him to have American citizens, for whom he was held responsible by the French government, enter France as secretaries of relief organizations, and then arrested by the French authorities and shot as German spies, as has happened."
Scudder: "Even so, it would hardly apply to us for this reason. No one enters the Masonic fraternity without investigation of his character and previous history. The men we would send over would be men of long membership, whose record is known, on whom we could implicitly rely, and for whom we would unhesitatingly vouch. In addition, we would offer you every facility for yourself investigating them. Surely, if you can take the large number of men as secretaries of the Y.M.C.A. and K. of C., applying for positions as such in answer to advertisements, you could with safety accept our men, few in number, and well recommended."
Fosdick: "Does the Masonic fraternity persist in its overseas ambitions in the face of the expressed opposition of General Pershing?"
Scudder: "If it has come to that, or will come to that, the Masonic fraternity will do nothing to add to General Pershing's burdens and responsibilities. The fraternity has but one desire, to serve helpfully, and its ambition in this regard would not be satisfied if its efforts made heavier the burdens of General Pershing, but, as yet, nothing has been said which makes this the issue. To me it is patent that General Pershing should be relieved of the burden of passing upon the loyalty, trustworthiness, and discretion of secretaries sent overseas to conduct war relief work, and he should not be held responsible for them, though his authority over them, of course, should stand. The government should investigate the candidates for secretaries abroad here where it can be more deliberately done and where the evidence is at hand. Of course, isolated disloyal secretaries may slip through and these will, in any event, have to be dealt with on the other side, but I fail to see what difference it makes whether the secretaries are working under the Y.M.C.A., the Knights of Columbus, or the Masonic fraternity, provided they are the right sort of men."
Fosdick: "But bringing in the Masons creates another agency and the practical difficulty in your way can not be disregarded. It is not only a question of General Pershing, but it is also a question of the French government. Before you can accomplish anything your credentials will have to be passed upon by the French government, and all your movements will be retarded while your men and credentials are under the investigation of the French government. In my mind there are grave doubts whether the French government will want you."
Scudder: "The invitations that we have received from Masons in France lead us to believe that there will be no question of our welcome over there. Give us the chance to get in touch with the French authorities and we have reason to believe that they will not object to us and our work. If they do, we shall have a good explanation of our failure to serve independently overseas."
Fosdick: "But there is the opposition of General Pershing, and as far as we are concerned he should be controlling."
Scudder: "Do you think that General Pershing thoroughly understood the limited sphere of Masonic activities in Europe, that our work was to be confined to the leaveareas, and that our personnel would be limited to fifty?"
Fosdick: "I explained the matter fully to him."
Scudder: "We have received another version of General Pershing's position with reference to our fraternity. As it came to us, you are reported as having asked General Pershing whether the Masons should be permitted to engage in war relief work in France, and General Pershing is reported to have replied, in effect, that all this service ought to be under the military or a single civilian head, but that, because there were already several civilian agencies now engaged in the work, the question of whether the Masons should be allowed to come in also was a political question which Washington should settle and not he."
Fosdick: "My version of the conversation with General Pershing is correct."
Scudder: "The Masons have at least a hundred thousand of their members with the colors, and the nearly two million active Masons in the United States will hardly accept as good reasons for their exclusion from war relief work those which have been given, except your statement of the opposition of General Pershing to which we would be forced to bow, although not accepting it as well founded. I fail to see how that can be used.
How can the department permit to go out to the large number of Masons serving abroad the word that the opposition to the fraternity's overseas service came from the Commanding General?
How, too, about such action impairing confidence in the Commanding General on the part of the Masons at home who have so loyally supported the government, despite our disappointment over being debarred from relief work, and contributed so liberally to overseas work by other organizations?
To make public the nature of this opposition as the justification for Masonic exclusion will dishearten and disturb a very considerable body of our citizens here, as well as Masons in the ranks. I do not see how it can be made public now."
Fosdick: "But General Pershing's attitude is not personal to the Masons, it is to all like organizations. He objects to any new agencies and would have the whole relief work under the military authorities, and I may recommend this myself to the Secretary of War, or I may urge that all this work be put under one civilian head who will be directly responsible to General Pershing."
Scudder: "I am here representing about two million loyal American citizens who are eager to serve Their country. I must make my report to them and I want it to be satisfying. I do not want it to be one which will chill them or breed dissatisfaction. This is not a time when there should be differences between our people, and unnecessary issues which disturb peace of mind and defeat perfect unity and co-operation must be avoided. What reasons will the War Department give me in writing, so that I may present them to the fraternity to satisfy it that its case has been duly considered and acted upon in an unbiased way? The reasons must appeal to the common sense of our people and be acceptable as good because they are valid."
Fosdick: "I am going to take the whole matter up with the Secretary of War very shortly, perhaps this very evening, and I will arrange for a meeting between you and him if you feel that that will help the situation. I recognize that it is embarrassing."
Scudder: "I will gladly meet Secretary Baker and will hold myself in readiness here in Washington until I hear from you as to time and place of meeting him.'
Fosdick: "I will make the appointment and communicate with you at your hotel. Have you considered taking this matter up with the President?"
Scudder: "That thought has gone through my mind, but I have been somewhat embarrassed over the question of procedure. On one hand, it is difficult to put on paper in a condensed form that will fully cover the situation, the history of the Masonic fraternity's efforts to serve overseas and the reasons for its desire to do so; on the other, I would dislike to have to give my version of a conversation with the President, particularly if he were to take the same position which you are taking. Even if I explained the President's position as accurately as I could, a controversy might be precipitated, and the accuracy of my version of the conversation with the President challenged. I served in congress years ago in the days of the Ananias Club I have no desire to have it revived."
Fosdick: "I am hoping we can reach the satisfactory solution which we are both seeking. I am trying to do my duty in the premises, and appreciate the difficulties and embarrassments which are confronting you. I will talk it all over with the Secretary of War, and will arrange for this interview between you and him as well. Perhaps a way can be found to meet the situation."
Scudder: "Is there any objection to the personnel of our mission as now constituted? If so, we can substitute other men."
Fosdick: "There is not the slightest objection to the personnel. The opposition is to the introduction of a new agency."
Scudder: "We have proposed to the Y.M.C.A. that we might join them and do our work under their auspices as a branch of their activities."
Fosdick: "That would solve the whole question. Why do you not do it?"
Scudder: "Up to the present time we have not been able to reach a working agreement. The Y.M.C.A. are employing a great number of Free Masons as secretaries and gladly receive our financial support, but they have not as yet seen their way clear to accord us sufficient independence to meet the longings of our own people to have the Masonic fraternity in name as well as in fact identified with war relief work. Our boys with the colors crave the opportunity of being hosts under their own roof and reciprocating the courtesies they are receiving from the Y.M.C.A., the Knights of Columbus, and others."
Fosdick: "Reach a working agreement with the Y.M.C.A. and the difficulty will be solved. Our opposition is to the introduction of a new agency independently."
Scudder: "But it ought not be overlooked that the Masons are not a new agency. We are not seeking a new permit to engage in war relief work. We are not in the same class with the organizations whose petitions to engage in such work, you tell me, have recently been received by the War Department. Our petition was filed with you months ago. It was favorably acted upon by you; your consent was given to us to engage in this work. On the strength of that consent we called together the Grand Masters of Masons in the United States and had the enterprise endorsed. We appointed our committee to represent the fraternity. We have started and have already raised, exclusively from our own members, large sums of money to carry on our work, and the fact that we were in this work with the government's consent was given to the public press, all on the strength of the government's action, and in the light of all these circumstances we should not now be classed with agencies who are only now seeking to enter this field."
Fosdick: "I appreciate the embarrassment of it all and can assure you it will be given our best thought. I hope you will decide to go to the President, but in any event I will arrange a meeting with Secretary Baker and advise you."
Here we parted.
During my stay in Washington I had several conversations with Mr. Fosdick over the telephone. I was called up by him, and I also called up his office. He told me that he and Secretary Baker were considering the matter but had not yet reached the point where they could submit a concrete proposition to me for discussion. I was finally asked whether I could not return to Washington the following week, that Mr. Baker had to leave, and that there was no prospect of reaching a conclusion before his departure. I accordingly agreed to hold myself in readiness to return to Washington the moment summoned. In the meantime, however, I had decided to confer with Mr. Joseph P. Tumulty, the Secretary to the President. I did not advise Mr. Fosdick of this fact, and my interview with Mr. Tumulty is given under a separate head.
It chanced, however, that I met Mr. Fosdick on the train which I took to return to New York and we had occasion again to discuss our matter. This discussion will be reported under a separate head because it raised a new issue involving our Scottish Rite brethren.
THE SCOTTISH RITE BROUGHT IN
As already stated, Mr. Fosdick and I met by chance on the train from Washington to New York. He told me that since he had last spoken to me over the 'phone he had received a call from some gentlemen representing the Scottish Rite and that their spokesman, Judge George Fleming Moore, had expressed to him the desire of the Scottish Rite Masonry to engage in war relief work in France. Mr. Fosdick told me that the outline of the work that Judge Moore had presented showed his purpose to be similar to what we New York men had in mind. The following conversation ensued, the substance of which I give:
Fosdick: "I told Judge Moore that the work which he projected was similar to that which was projected by the New York Masons, that the government had under advisement the application of the New York Masons to engage in this, and that it would be necessary for Judge Moore to work in harmony with the New York men because the government could deal with but one head should it be decided to allow the Masons to enter the overseas field."
Scudder: "Did you tell Judge Moore that the overseas work as planned by the Masonic Mission was of such a nature that all Masonic bodies could join in it, the only effect of so doing being that the more money contributed, the greater would be the extent of the work?"
Fosdick: "Yes, I covered the ground with him, but you do not seem to be in accord. Judge Moore told me that if but one permit for overseas work was to be granted to the Masonic fraternity, it should be granted to him and his committee and not to the New York committee; that he, Judge Moore, represented the aristocracy of the Masonic fraternity, the head of it; and that it was not consistent that the tail should wag the dog."
Scudder: "I think Judge Moore will not repeat that statement in our presence. He must know of what happened in New York at the conference of Grand Masters held there in May. I think it highly desirable that when the meeting is arranged between yourself, Secretary Baker, and me, Judge Moore be also invited, for I am quite persuaded that you will find him in perfect accord with us and anxious to work with us."
Fosdick: "Does Judge Moore represent a higher authority in the Masonic fraternity than you do?"
Scudder: "He does not. It is all a case of wheels within wheels. Judge Moore is the head of the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction, the membership of which is perhaps a hundred thousand. I am representing the forty-nine Grand Masonic Jurisdictions of the United States and its membership is not far from two million. I am also myself a Scottish Rite Mason, but my membership in the Scottish Rite and all my honors therein would fall if I lost my membership in my lodge. The lodge is the beginning and end of Masonry. True, we have subdivided into many parts. The subdivisions are purely social. Membership in each one of them is dependent upon membership in a lodge, and each one of these subdivisions has its own officers known by special titles, but these subdivisions do not shape the course of the Masonic fraternity, nor do they control it, nor are they superior to it. The organized charities of the Masonic fraternity are directed more particularly through the medium of Masonic lodges."
Fosdick: "This is all very interesting, but you and Judge Moore seem to have a different conception of the relative importance of the bodies which you represent. He says that his body is the head of Masonry and you say that yours is. It is your lack of co-ordination as a fraternity which has hampered the government in its effort to deal with you."
Scudder: "Fix the time for the meeting with the Secretary of War, invite Judge Moore, I will be there too, and you will find that there is no lack of co-ordination."
Fosdick: "I will let you know when and where the meeting will be held."
Here we parted.
More or less disturbed by this injection of the Scottish Rite into our difficulties, I felt it wise immediately to get into touch with Judge Moore and acquaint him with the danger of the situation and how destructive it would be of our ambitions to serve overseas if the impression made by his interview with Mr. Fosdick was not corrected. Accordingly I wrote to Judge Moore a letter, a copy of which follows, and to make sure that he knew of the authority under which we were acting and the magnitude of the movement, I also sent him a copy of the minutes of the meeting of Grand Masters of Masons held in New York on May the 9th, marking therein those passages which more particularly dealt with our overseas enterprise.
July 27th, 1918.
To the Honorable George Fleming Moore,
Scottish Rite Temple, 16th & S St., N. W.,
Washington, D. C.
My dear Judge Moore:
l have just learned that the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction are ambitious to render Masonic service overseas to the men with the colors. Doubtless, you know that New York is committed to a plan to render similar service if the opportunity can be found.
I am fearful that without co-ordination neither of us will realize our heart's desire in this respect. It may be a case of united we stand, divided we fall. Certainly there is work enough for all, cheering and comforting our boys. I am informed that a conference, perhaps, will be called for next week to discuss the service overseas you and we have proposed. As soon as I learn the date I will hasten to Washington in the hope of seeing you before we meet at that conference, to obtain the benefit of your advice. I am sending to you under separate cover the minutes of the Conference of Grand Masters held in New York in May of this year and take the liberty of marking certain pages which present New York's viewpoint, more or less accurately. The volume does not contain the correspondence since the conference was held inviting us to proceed and giving assurance of co-operation and support. We feel there is now behind the movement a force which assures success.
I greatly regret I missed you this week. Looking forward to meeting you in the near future and with fraternal regards, I am,
P. S. I can be reached by wire Glen Head, New York.
Acknowledgment was received from Judge Moore as follows:
WESTERN UNION TELEGRAM
July 30, 1918.
Your special delivery letter received. Will write.
George F. Moore.
Judge Moore failed to write as he stated in his telegram he would do, and during the interim between the receipt of his telegram on July 30th and our next communication from him on August 26th, correspondence had passed between Mr. Fosdick and me not relating to the Scottish Rite and will be set forth later herein. This correspondence is taken out of its proper chronological order in the interest of a more consecutive narrative. We therefore continue with Judge Moore.
On August 26th I received the following telegram:
WESTERN UNION TELEGRAM
1918 Aug 26 P.M. 1.05
PN WASHINGTON DC 1255 P 26
Judge Townsend Scudder,
Masonic Hall, 23rd St. and 6th Ave., New York City.
Sovereign Grand Commander Moore has commissioned me to visit you in New York to discuss Masonic work abroad, please wire me when and where I can meet you tomorrow.
Hugh T. Stevenson.
A reply to this was immediately sent, and Mr. Stevenson met M. W. Robert Judson Kenworthy, the Grand Secretary of New York, and me at the Grand Secretary's office on the evening of August 27th. After the usual introductions he informed us that he had read on his way up from Washington every word of the proceedings of the Grand Masters' meeting held in New York in May, and had therefrom learned for the first time that we actually had the written consent of the government to engage in war relief work; that Judge Moore and he contended that they had been promised for the Scottish Rite a like permit, but as a matter of fact that they did not have it except by word of mouth, and that both Secretary Baker and Mr. Fosdick disputed having made them any promise. He inquired whether we had faith in Mr. Fosdick or whether we believed he was trying to double-cross us. Upon being told that we took Mr. Fosdick at his word and were relying upon the written consent from him to engage in overseas work, he said that he entertained grave doubts whether the Scottish Rite would be able to get an independent consent for their enterprise, and inquired whether Judge Moore could not join ours. We explained to Brother Stevenson that we felt that the only way for any of us to carry out the wishes of the fraternity would be by working together, that our plan of action, as he had learned from his perusal of the Grand Masters' proceedings, was broad enough to take in any one who wished to join, and that we would be very glad to welcome all who cared to come in.
We further told him of the projected meeting between ourselves, Secretary Baker, and Mr. Fosdick, and renewed the invitation to Judge Moore to join us in that conference and by our conduct convince the Secretary of War and Mr. Fosdick that there was no division in the fraternity. Mr. Stevenson concurred in the wisdom of this course, and said that he would return to Washington that same evening, see Judge Moore, and wire us Judge Moore's decision upon the question whether he would work with us or independently.
On August 28th Brother Stevenson duly telegraphed as follows:
WESTERN UNION TELEGRAM
1918 Aug 28 P.M. 1.23
F 79 W 10
Mc Washington DC 12.05 P 28
Hon. Townsend Scudder,
Masonic Hall, 6th Ave and 23rd St., New York, N. Y.
Report satisfactory to Grand Commander will work unitedly. Letter follows.
Hugh T. Stevenson.
Brother Stevenson, at his interview with us in New York, told us that Judge Moore and he had a friend in Washington who could bring our matter to a head quickly, and that if Judge Moore would agree to participate in our Masonic Mission, he, Stevenson, would avail himself of the services of this friend, and keep us posted.
On August 29th we received from Brother Stevenson the following telegram:
WESTERN UNION TELEGRAM
32 NY AG 50
MS New York N. Y., 1229P Aug. 29, 1918
Hon. Townsend Scudder,
Glen Head, N. Y.
Friend promises quick action will seek tomorrow morning for an early conference between Fosdick, Jamison, Moore, you and myself for some evening soon, possibly Friday. If satisfactory to all as soon as I learn of Fosdick's open dates will notify you.
Expect all to go except those within draft age.
Hugh T. Stevenson.
150 P 29th
The foregoing telegram of August 29th was followed by another:
WESTERN UNION TELEGRAM
55 NY AG21 Rush IX
MS New York, N. Y., Aug. 29, 455P
Hon. Townsend Scudder,
Glen Head, N. Y.
Can you come here for conference tomorrow dinner with Moore and myself at five meet others at seven thirty answer.
Hugh T. Stevenson.
To this last telegram I replied that I would go to Washington to keep the engagement he proposed. This I did. This telegram was crossed by a letter I had sent to Brother Stevenson on August 28th.
He had urged upon Brother Kenworthy and me to utilize his presence in Washington to further our negotiations with the government, intimating that, while his relations with Secretary Baker were very cordial, he could not with certainty say the same with reference to Mr. Fosdick, because he had noticed that Mr. Fosdick was frequently "out" or "engaged" when he called at his office.
To assist Brother Stevenson to obtain an interview with Mr. Fosdick for the particular purpose of hastening the conference between Fosdick, Secretary Baker, Moore, and me, I wrote, in a long letter to Mr. Fosdick, a Paragraph as follows:
There is on the ground in Washington a gentleman in whom we place confidence and with whom we feel you can talk this matter over to advantage. My reference is to the Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson, 157 U St., N.W."
I sent a copy of this letter to Mr. Fosdick enclosed in a letter to Brother Stevenson, as follows:
August 28, 1918.
Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson,
157 U. Street, N. W.,
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. Stevenson:
I am enclosing a copy of my letter to Mr. Fosdick. I hope it will meet your approval and pave the way to a conference between you and him which will open the door a little wider. I am indeed happy that we have gotten together and am hopeful of splendid results.
Looking forward to seeing you in the near future, believe me
Glen Head, L. I., N.Y.
Your telegram received. Am glad indeed the situation is so promising.
On the same day, August 28th, Brother Stevenson wrote to me the following:
The SUPREME COUNCIL of the Thirty-third Degree A. and A. Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction of U. S. A.
George F. Moore,
Sovereign Grand Commander
Washington City, August 28, 1918.
Judge Townsend Scudder,
Masonic Hall, New York City.
Dear Sir and Brother:
Immediately upon my return this morning from our conference last evening I made my report to the Sovereign Grand Commander. He approves everything that I agreed with you about and there will be absolutely united action between us and yourself. I will see my friend this afternoon and commence to do what I promised in reference to pushing matters. It is possible but not probable that events may shape themselves so that Judge Moore and I may be in New York Friday or Saturday, although I am very apt to think that due to the congestion of travel on account of Labor Day and my own work, it will not be possible for me to be there before next Tuesday.
I shall prepare a memorandum that will reach Secretary Baker within the next few days but before sending that memorandum to him a copy will be sent to you for any suggestions you may desire to make.
In closing, permit me to say that I appreciate the courtesy and fraternal spirit exhibited both by yourself and Brother Kenworthy to me last evening and I will ask you both to look over an official report that I must make for the records of the Sovereign Grand Commander when I again see you.
Hoping that by our joint action things will now move with rapidity and we can not only 'go over' but 'put it over,' I remain,
Hugh T. Stevenson.
Upon my arrival in Washington I was met by Brother Stevenson, who first drove me to the House of the Temple, where I met Judge Moore. Thereafter we three took dinner together, and went very fully over the situation as we understood it and the course which we should pursue when we entered into conversations with Mr. Fosdick and such other representatives of the government as might be with him.
We anticipated that we were to see Secretary Baker, but we afterward learned that he was leaving Washington that very evening.
Judge Moore told me that he had as yet obtained no written consent from the government to engage in war relief work overseas as the representative of the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction; that the amount of money at his command for this purpose was very small, only twenty thousand dollars, which, he recognized, would not go very far; that he had been approached by the Odd Fellows, who were anxious to serve overseas, and felt that his position with the government would be strengthened by his representing this society as well as the Southern Jurisdiction. He said that if the War Department sought to distinguish between the Scottish Rite and the Masonic Grand Jurisdictions, and if it would not grant to the Scottish Rite an independent permit to engage in war work, he would make application to his own Grand Lodge, Alabama, and secure an appointment by its Grand Master as the representative of Alabama on the Masonic Mission planned by New York and endorsed by the Grand Masters' meeting in New York.
Judge Moore added that he was getting to be an old man, that his own work would have to be entirely executive, and that, to enable him to accomplish what he had to do, it would be necessary for him to take with him brethren whom he had selected as his aides. I told him that there would be no objection to that; that under our arrangement with the War Department the personnel of our Mission could be enlarged so that each state would have a representative if this was desired, and that, as the men whom he named hailed from different states and were prominent, I saw no reason why they should not all join, provided, of course, they were satisfactory to the government and to their respective Masonic jurisdictions.
I took this opportunity to tell Judge Moore what Mr. Fosdick had told me about Judge Moore's remark that if there was to be only one permit to the Masonic fraternity, it should be issued to the Scottish Rite, as represented by Judge Moore, and not to the Grand Lodges' Mission, that it was not appropriate that the tail should wag the dog, and that the Scottish Rite represented the aristocracy and brains of the Masonic fraternity.
All these statements attributed to him Judge Moore categorically denied, and, in turn, told me that Mr. Fosdick had said that I, Scudder, had spoken most disparagingly of the Scottish Rite. Needless to say, this was untrue.
Mr. Fosdick joined us about this time. He was accompanied by the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee, as I understood it, and we forthwith entered into the discussion of the matter which had brought us together.
Judge Moore told Mr. Fosdick that he understood the Secretary of War had given him (Judge Moore) permission to go overseas to survey the field and undertake such war relief work for the Masonic fraternity as he might find there was to do after his survey.
Mr. Fosdick replied that Judge Moore was mistaken; that no such permit had been given, and that the only permit given by the government to the Masonic fraternity to engage in overseas war relief work was the permit held by the New York Mission, adding that the government would recognize but one head of any one organization. Mr. Fosdick then expressed his doubt whether it would be wise for the Masons to engage independently in the work they contemplated, and gave as the reasons for this conclusion many of the reasons which he had previously urged upon me in my conversations with him in the latter part of July. The merits of these reasons were quite fully discussed, but the question of Masonic disunity was not again brought up by Mr. Fosdick. The trend of our conversation established clearly that the fraternity stood as a unit, and that if it was permitted to send its representatives overseas to engage in war relief work, all would go under the auspices of the several Grand Lodges, under the permit of April 23, 1918, signed by Mr. Fosdick as chairman of the Committee on Training Camp Activities of the War Department, and in harmony with the plan adopted at the New York Grand Masters' Conference.
Although Masonic unity had been made clear, Mr. Fosdick's opposition to the Masonic fraternity engaging in war relief work overseas became nevertheless very marked. He mentioned a certain document which he had prepared which, according to him, fully explained and, in his opinion, justified the. refusal of the government to let the Masonic Mission sail. He asked Judge Moore whether he would give his endorsement to it, mentioning that he had already sent it to Judge Moore for consideration. This document I had never seen, and its contents I do not know, but Judge Moore then and there said that he could not approve it or sanction its going out with his endorsement, either expressed or implied, as it did not meet the situation. Mr. Fosdick then said that he would have the document signed by the Secretary of War even without Judge Moore's approval and close the incident. From this position we were unable to move him. He had not said in so many words that our permit was revoked, but we all understood that it would be revoked when the Secretary of War signed the document to which Mr. Fosdick had referred.
Judge Moore then said to Mr. Fosdick, "I am anxious to visit certain Masonic bodies of Europe. As Sovereign Grand Commander I have business relationship with them, there are pending between us important matters which must be settled. Some of these bodies have conferred honors upon me and have been waiting a long time to present me with my honorary membership and otherwise entertain me. I am getting to be an old man and am very anxious to close up the open matters with these European Masonic bodies and also to accept the honors they have conferred and not keep them waiting for me any longer. Is there objection to my obtaining passports for this purpose?" Mr. Fosdick replied that to this there was no objection; that we could all go on such Masonic business as this, because it would be recognized by the government as legitimate business between the representatives of the Masonic fraternity in America and the representatives of the fraternity on the other side, and that the issuing of passports for the purpose of transacting it would be within the rules and that the passports for this purpose would be given. Turning to me, Mr. Fosdick asked whether I also would not go to Europe on the same business and whether my thus going would not relieve the situation. Judge Moore also extended a similar invitation and expressed the pleasure it would give him if we could travel together. I told Mr. Fosdick that I appreciated Judge Moore's desires to go for the purposes which he had mentioned, but that personally I had no such business on the other side; that I would go to carry out the will of the Masonic fraternity to serve our men with the colors, or I would not go at all. Shortly after this Mr. Fosdick withdrew, to keep an appointment with the Secretary of War, as he told us.
We separated with the understanding that Judge Moore, accompanied by Brother Samuel P. Cochran of Texas, and Brother Hugh T. Stevenson, would sail for Europe as soon as they could get their passports, but that the Masonic Mission would continue its efforts on this side to obtain the passports to which it considered its Mission was entitled under the government's consent of April 23d, and failing in this, to connect with Y.M.C.A. if that was possible, and under its auspices perform the work and discharge the duties for which the Mission had been created.
WHY WAS A RULING OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT MADE RETROACTIVE?
On Saturday, August 31, i918, the day following the conference between Judge Moore, Mr. Fosdick, Brother Stevenson, Brother Jamieson, and me (Brother Jamieson, I understood, had been invited to take part in this conference either by Judge Moore or Mr. Fosdick), accompanied by Brother Stevenson, I called at the office of the Democratic Committee and met Brother Jamieson, where we compared our impressions of the previous night's meeting. Brother Jamieson said that he had had another conference with Mr. Fosdick that morning and was convinced that Mr. Fosdick was hostile and would not recede from the position which he had taken in opposition to the departure of the Masonic Mission.
Brother Stevenson suggested that strong political pressure higher up might be of some avail, and I reminded those present what was known to Judge Moore, that a letter had been written to the President, a copy of which had been read to them. It was therefore decided that we should await the President's reply, the opinion having been expressed by Judge Moore that the letter to the President covered the ground, and presented the case clearly, so that if there was any disposition to treat the matter on its merits the case had been fully stated.
I told the brethren that I seemed to make more headway with Mr. Fosdick when I saw him alone than when I met him in the company of others, and that I intended to seek another interview with him in the hope of convincing him that his attitude now was inconsistent with what had gone before and was bound to cause suspicions and breed dissatisfaction, that the fraternity having in good faith accepted the government's word as expressed through him and having relied upon it, had proceeded with considerable publicity to make good its undertaking. We were injured and sorely grieved over what would be regarded as a breach of faith on the part of the government unless patriotic reasons for the government's change of position were given instead of an arbitrary withdrawal of the permit based upon reasons of no great weight.
I again called upon Mr. Fosdick at his office, and again we went over the old ground, and it was not long before I found that Mr. Fosdick seemed to agree with me. He told me that the Secretary of War had not signed the paper to present which to the Secretary of War for his signature he had left our conference the night before, and he expressed himself as glad that he had not obtained that signature, so that the matter was still open. This happened after I had asked him when it was that the government had decided upon the policy of issuing no further permits to civilian organizations to engage in welfare work with our forces overseas. He told me that he had decided to recommend this course after his conference with General Pershing, and that upon his return to America he discussed the point with the Secretary of War, who had agreed with him, and who had further advised him to hold up the Masonic Mission. I pointed out to Mr. Fosdick that this decision had evidently been reached between two and three months after the permit had been given to the Masonic fraternity, and as I interpreted the "policy of the Department," as he expressed it, it was now the intention to give this ruling a retroactive construction, or, in other words, to date it back so as to bring the Masonic fraternity under it, when, as a matter of fact it did not legitimately apply to the application of the Masonic fraternity, which already had been acted upon and disposed of before the new rule came into existence.
I also pointed out to Mr. Fosdick that as I saw it his fear of being inconsistent when called upon to deny, under the new rule, the applications of other organizations seeking to engage in war relief work overseas because passports had been issued to the Masonic fraternity was not well founded, and that he had a complete answer and justification in the facts as they existed, namely, that the Masonic fraternity's application had been acted upon months before the new rule and did not come under it, and that to this no one could take exception because it was a fact and in harmony with justice. To this Mr. Fosdick replied, "I had not seen it clearly in that light. Why, that will let us all out, will it not?" To which I replied, "It seems to me a solution of the difficulty, and one in harmony with the facts. Personally, I cannot see how any other course can be followed." I added, "If this course is adopted there is no need of the President answering my letter of August 5th."
Turning to Mr. Fosdick as I was about to leave, I asked him why it was that the President had not answered my letter as yet, that it was some weeks since it had been written; to which he replied, "We have it here, and it is a very difficult letter to answer." I rejoined by saying, "Then don't answer it, but do the natural and consistent thing and let us get away. I can assure you that if, when we arrive on the other side, we find that there are obstacles which we cannot overcome to the accomplishment of that which is in our hearts to accomplish, we will return. The Masonic fraternity will accept our verdict, and I think the character of the men appointed on this Mission is such that the government can safely trust them to act patriotically and helpfully once they have learned the situation overseas."
Mr. Fosdick said that he would again go over the matter with the Secretary of War, and he thought that my proposed solution of our problem was a proper one.
Again we parted, I with my hopes high.
Upon my return to New York following my interview with Mr. Fosdick on August 31st, I wrote him on September 2d a letter embodying the points I had made at that interview in order that, having them before him in writing, they should not escape his attention.
This letter follows:
September 2, 1918.
Honorable Raymond B. Fosdick,
Chairman Commission on Training Camp Activities,
War Department, Washington, D. C.
My dear Mr. Fosdick:
Lest the point which I endeavored to make clear in our last interview escape your mind due to the multiplicity of matters you are called upon to consider, I venture to commit it to paper, prompted also so to do by my very earnest desire that the Department should have every assistance that I can give it in our joint effort to reach a just solution of the question we are considering.
Permit me then to remind you that the consent given the Masonic fraternity to engage in overseas service was given on April 23rd, 1918, and not very many months after similar consents were given to other civilian organizations. The Masonic fraternity is not making a new application for a new consent, but is relying upon that already given.
It now seems that in June your department reached the conclusion that it was not wise to multiply agencies overseas engaged in relief work, and since then has declined to issue permits to organizations seeking to enter the overseas field.
Assuming this decision is wise, why should it be construed retroactively so as to exclude from the field one agency only holding the department's consent, the Masonic fraternity? The Masonic fraternity has acted in good faith. Upon obtaining the consent of your department it presented the matter to its integral and allied parts and started in to, and already has collected large sums of money to carry on its work, all upon the faith of the government's approval of its purpose. Surely it is but normal to expect misgivings and discontent if at this late date the government by an arbitrary retroactive application of its June rule excludes one, and only one agency holding the department's consent to engage in overseas relief stork. I do not have to call your attention to the unhappy situation we were in when the Masonic fraternity was excluded from camps and cantonments, albeit another secret society, strictly sectarian in addition, was admitted to them. That, however, has been smoothed over and the Masonic fraternity has forgotten the incident, but I look forward with dread to the situation which will develop if the government now revives that unpleasantness in so conspicuous a way, as will be the revocation of the consent it gave the Masonic fraternity in April. In effect the denial to the Masonic Mission of the passports it needs will be tantamount to such a revocation.
Seemingly the government can say with propriety to civilian organizations now seeking to engage in relief work overseas that no permits had been granted since the date when the new order of things was decided upon, and should any question ever be raised with reference to the Masonic fraternity's activities the answer is complete that it received its permit at least two months before this new order. I can see no other solution that is logical and in harmony with the theory of our institutions, and fail to see how the department can justify a retroactive construction of its present rule. Surely so to do will invite the conclusion since the Masonic fraternity alone will be affected that the present administration is hostile to the Masonic fraternity and not in sympathy with its patriotic desire to serve, a conclusion I cannot accept.
The issuing of passports to the Masonic Mission enlarged to include Judge Moore and his two assistants, answers the letter of August 5th addressed to the President and puts an end to a difficult situation. I trust our difficulty will be solved that way.
Very sincerely yours
Glen Head, L. I., N. Y.
To this letter of September 2d I received no reply, nor even an acknowledgment thereof, which fact prompted me to send a copy of it to the President at a later date, as will appear further on.
(To be continued)
* * *
JUST ONCE AND AWHILE
Just once and awhile, if we'd think to convey
To those who walk with us life's devious way,
In glances or word, half the joys that abide
In our hearts because our loved ones are close by our side;
If we'd think but to garb in words' tenderest dress
A phrase that were sweet as a mother's caress,
Care's road would be shortened by many a mile,
If we'd think to be thoughtful just once and awhile.
Just once in a while if we'd lay down our load
Of worry and work by the side of the road,
And a bit of the love we're feeling expend
On sister or brother, on parent or friend.
In words that would tell them their nearness makes light
The path which alone we would grope through the night;
How oft we'd be blest with an answering smile,
If we'd think to be thoughtful just once and awhile.
Just once and a while if a hand were but pressed,
A shoulder but patted, a word but addressed
That would thoughtfulness speak to the ones by our side,
Would not joy spur the feet to a magical stride
As they wended their way down life's main-traveled road?
Would not grief slip away and thus lighten the load?
For ourselves and for others we'd shorten each mile.
If we'd think to be thoughtful just once and awhile.
* * *
Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes, and Adversity is not without comfort and hopes.
* * *
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — NO. 27
Edited by Bro. H. L. Haywood
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
THE Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course with the paper by Brother Haywood.
The Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:
- The Work of a Lodge.
- The Lodge and the Candidate.
- First Steps.
- Second Steps
- Third Steps.
- Working Tools.
- Religious Aspect.
- The Quest.
- The Secret Doctrine.
- The Grand Lodge.
- Ancient Constitutions.
- Codes of Law.
- Grand Lodge Practices.
- Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
- Official Duties and Prerogatives.
- The Constituent Lodge.
- Qualifications of Candidates.
- Initiation, Passing and Raising.
- Change of Membership.
- The Mysteries — Earliest Masonic Light.
- Study of Rites — Masonry in the Making.
- Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
- National Masonry.
- Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
- Feminine Masonry.
- Masonic Alphabets.
- Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
- Biographical Masonry.
- Philological Masonry — Study of Significant Words.
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS
Each month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Haywood who is following the foregoing outline. We are now in "Second Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry. There will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. At the head of each installment will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" consisting of questions to be used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out every point touched upon in the paper.
Whenever possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered by Brother Haywood in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus be presented.
The monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done the Committees will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in advance of the meetings and the Brethren who are members of the National Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
Immediately following each of Brother Haywood's monthly papers in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to different Brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or additions.
HOW TO ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
The Lodge should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business (except the Lodge routine) should be transacted — all possible time to be given to the study period.
After the Lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's paper.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS
- Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers thereto. (Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the Lodge should make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the opening of the study period.)
- Discussion of the above.
- The subsequent sections of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner.
- Question Box.
Invite questions from any and all Brethren present. Let them understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the paper If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised by any member of the Society.
The foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their Lodge study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and communications from interested Brethren concerning any phase of the plan that is not entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department are at the command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at all times.
QUESTIONS ON "RECEPTION AND THE SCRIPTURE READING"
From the following questions the Committee should select, some time prior to the evening of the study meeting, the particular questions that they may wish to use at their meeting which will bring out the points in the following paper which they desire to discuss. Even were but a few minutes devoted to the discussion of each of the questions given it will be seen that it would be impossible to discuss all of them in the period of time devoted to the study meeting. The wide variety of questions here given will afford individual committees an opportunity to arrange their program to suit their own fancies and also furnish additional material for a second study meeting each month if desired by members.
In conducting the study periods the Chairman should endeavor to hold the discussions closely to the text and not permit the members to speak too long at one time or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that the discussion is turning from the original subject the Chairman should request the speaker to make a note of the particular point or phase of the matter he wishes to discuss or inquire into, and bring it up when the Question Box period is open.
I. What is meant by the phrase "arts, parts and points," etc., familiar to every Mason? What teaching do they convey? Is a Mason expected to be square and upright only in his dealings with members of the Fraternity? What has always been expected of him in his relations to the Craft? Is a Fellow Craft under any stronger tie to the Fraternity than he was as an Apprentice? Why?
II. What was the original meaning of virtue? What is its present-day definition? What is your definition of "rectitude"? Should Masons be content with merely observing the conventions of society, or should they strive to be active at all times in things that tend toward a higher plane of morality?
Of what is the breast a symbol in Masonry? What are we to realize from the Fellow Craft application of the square? Has the man who has two codes of ethics, one of which he practices for effect in his own community, and the other when away from home and among strangers, fully learned the truth designed to be conveyed by the application of the square? What kind of a moral code does Masonry demand that its votaries follow?
III. What custom was observed by the Greeks during their ceremony of circumambulation? Why did this custom obtain? What similar custom is practiced in Masonic lodges of the present day? Why?
What did Amos seek to do in his day? What is the end to which the Fellow Craft should apply the knowledge gained in his Masonic studies? What was the state of society during the time of Amos? What penalty was inflicted upon Amos because of his teachings? What was Amos' method of teaching?
IV. What picture does Amos portray to us in the Scripture reading? What is Brother Haywood's interpretation of the reading? Have you a better interpretation?
What was the lesson learned by Job? Can we expect to escape from punishment for our wrong-doings?
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Points, p. 572; Square, p. 708.
Vol. I The Plumb-Line, p. 289.
Vol. IV Symbolism of the Fellow Craft Degree, p. 263; What a Fellow Craft Ought to Know, p. 176. 1919
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Bro. H. L. Haywood. Iowa
PART II — RECEPTION AND THE SCRIPTURE: READING
I. IN the earliest of all the Old Charges we find fifteen "points" or rules set forth for the regulation of the conduct of Fellow Crafts; these were the "perfect points" of his entrance to the Order as well as in his transactions with mankind, and it is worthy of note that this code of ethics was far in advance of the standards of the fifteenth century. There is no need to analyze these requirements except to say that they consisted, in essence, of acting on the square, that is, the candidate was to deal squarely with the Craft, with his masters, his fellows, and with all men whomsoever. In his relations with the Craft he was expected above all else to keep an attentive ear to his instructors, to preserve carefully the secrets of his Order and his brethren in a faithful breast, and to be evermore ruled by the principle of virtue in his behaviour. If such qualifications were demanded of Apprentices in an Operative trade how much more may they be reasonably required of a Fellow Craft in a Speculative, or Moral, science!
II. In its original form virtue meant valor; today it means rectitude. But the rectitude which is virtue is more than a passive not-doing- evil; it is the courageous doing of right. "Virtue is but heroic bravery, to do the thing thought to be true, in spite of all enemies of flesh or spirit, in despite of all temptations or menaces." The man of conventional morality, is content not to steal, drink, gamble, swear, etc., but often it does not enter his head that there is an active, aggressive work to be done in clearing up the world. Conventional morality is neuter; virtue is masculine; and the Craft that seeks to build the Temple of Humanity needs in its votaries something more than passive morality.
All the most vital organs, the brain excepted, are in the breast. A man can go without water for days; he can do without food, if necessary for a month or more; but without breath in his lungs or blood in his heart he can not live an hour. The breast, accordingly, is the symbol of the most essential things in personality, of love, of faithfulness, of purity, and character. If the square is applied to the breast it is to compel us to realize that virtue must rule in the very deeps of us, in the springs of conduct, and the motives of action, as well as on the surface. The man whose morality is on the outside of his skin is held up by external restraints and will often fall into evil if they chance to be removed, as the deacon of a church or the pillar of a community will sometimes wallow in vice while among strangers. But when virtue is the law of the hidden motives of the will, the man will walk as uprightly in the slum of a city as in the precincts of his home. Should Masonry trust to conventional morality alone it would build on sands; by demanding virtue of its members it lays its foundations in bed-rock, and the storm may come, the winds blow, the rains fall, but its house will not be moved. And the same virtue that it requires in the lodge room, it expects in all a Mason's transactions with mankind, else Masonic virtue itself become a lifeless conventionality.
III. The Greeks, we recall from our discussion of circumambulation, chanted an ode as the worshipper moved about the altar from left to right, for their odes were the most sacred literature in their possession; but the Master of the Masonic lodge reads from the Holy Bible as the Fellow Craft makes his mystic rounds, and that for the same reason. He on whose life's journey the Great Light sends its rays may walk confidently and cheerfully and not as those who stumble through the dark.
And it is fitting that in this connection the rays come from the prophecy of Amos for that seer sought to bring order and light into the work-a-day world of men, one of the chief tasks of the Fellow Craft, who receives knowledge that he may become a social builder. Amos wrought his great work during the days of Jereboam II, in whose reign religion had grown hard and formal, pleasure had rotted into vice, luxury had become a disease, and the aristocracy fattened on the poor. Against these conditions Amos set himself, though he was "no prophet, nor the son of a prophet," and he lashed the abuses of his people with such effective fury, that the high-ups had him banished from the kingdom. "The first great social reformer in history" Amos was no mere denunciator but one who condemned things as they are by setting before them a picture of things as they should be.
IV. In the graphic visions recorded in his book, Amos sets before us a picture of Israel being judged by a plague of locusts; then follows a fire that "devoured the great deep, and had begun to devour the tilled land"; these visitations are stayed by the supplication of the prophet and then Jehovah brings a new kind of judgment to bear on his people. As we may read in Amos' own words, "Thus the Lord showed me; and behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumb-line, with a plumb-line in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, a plumb-line. Then said the Lord, behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel; I will not pass by them any more."
This was no mere dramatic way of saying, The people had been bad; they must now be good; the lesson is no such banality as that, but cuts deeper into things. It is really a vision of an entirely new kind of judgment, for consider: At first Jehovah chastised his people physically, as one may whip a child; later, he passed from external things into their hearts and said, In your conscience you will be judged and in your conscience you will be punished. It was just the Lord's method of plunging a sharp instrument into the naked left breast of Israel ! External punishments came and passed but when the inner standard was set up, it remained whatever came and went, and the Lord did "not pass by them any more."
Even is this the truth of things, the law of life — that bad men are not always visited by physical evils and that good men do not always receive material reward. This was a lesson learned by Job many centuries ago. But there is a harvest from wrong-doing that is always sure, as sure as the tides, and it is nothing other than inward conception. To do a lie blunts the moral perception; to fall into impurity beclouds the heart; to live in selfishness puts out the eyes of love, for the wages of sin is death. Like the path of the eagle the ways of the punishment of transgression may be viewless, but they are sure, as sure as a plumb-line; the universe is just and in its laws there is neither variableness nor turning, and he that is a skilled Fellow Craft in the building tasks of life will be wise to govern himself accordingly.
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MASONIC RED CIRCLE CLUB, RALEIGH, N.C.
Bro. A.B. Andrews, P.G.M.. North Carolina
ON September, 1918, two battalions of the Tank Corps were moved from Tobyhanna, Pa., to the newly established Camp Polk at Raleigh, N. C., (named for Past Grand Master William Polk, 1799-1801, the great grandfather of Frank L. Polk, Counsellor to the State Department,) and shortly afterwards the War Camp Community Service assigned Brother Ossian Lang, Grand Historian of New York, to the position of executive secretary, who was directed to take charge of all of the out-of-camp activities. Instead of organizing a central Red Circle Club, as the War Camp Community Service had done in a number of other places, he organized Red Circle Clubs in five churches, in the Y.M.C.A., the Woman's Club, the Central Labor Union, and in the Masonic Order, which opened club rooms for the soldiers. He had promises of five other clubs, the opening of which were prevented by reason of the tankers being moved elsewhere for demobilization.
Owing to an epidemic of influenza the clubs had to be closed down, which prevented the prompt opening of the club by the Masons. The three lodges of the city, having about 600 members, together with a Chapter and a Commandery of 125 members, acting through a local board of relief represented by the three Masters, secured from the Grand Lodge the use of the library room, 26 by 48, in which were seven tables at which 24 men could write and which provided table space for magazines and papers. Arrangements were made to have supplied the daily papers of Raleigh, and a New York and Washington paper, also several weeklies and magazines, some of which were contributed by interested brethren. A dozen easy chairs were purchased and a piano borrowed from the Grand Lodge hall together with a borrowed Victrola, completed the equipment. The suggested title of "Masonic Club" was discarded as being too restrictive, and the name Masonic Red Circle Club was chosen and the War Camp Community Service banner hung out to show that it was open to all soldiers and sailors, who were free to use it at their pleasure.
During the fifteen days it was open, which terminated by the tankers' removal shortly after the armistice, the Masonic Red Circle Club was visited by between 3,000 and 3,500 soldiers, who used up 2,500 envelopes together with 5,000 sheets of paper, of which it is estimated that at least 1,500 letters were to wives, mothers, sweethearts and sisters, going practically to every state in the union. As this was the only Red Circle Club in the business district, permitted smoking, and was run strictly as a man's club, it filled a want that appealed more strongly to the older men in the tank corps than did the church clubs or the Y.M.C.A. Likewise a great number of Masons visited it, feeling at home in a Masonic Temple, and again on a rainy day the War Camp Community Service flag was very inviting to a tired soldier tramping the street to enter a steam-heated building where he could sit down and rest, write letters, smoke, or talk to his fellow soldiers.
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THE RED CROSS
The Red Cross is the heart of God, covering all lands except Germany, the faithless land, the land of crime, and butchery, of oppression, of inequality; the midnight assassin of defenseless women and children, the despoiler of virtue; the Godless land that knows no shame and startles not at its horrid and nameless butchery. The land of autocracy, reeking with the blood of its benighted followers, slain for a sinful ambition. They do not recognize or respect the Red Cross, and is it any wonder?
— Rob Morris Bulletin
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Through zeal knowledge is gotten, through lack of zeal knowledge is lost; let a man who knows this double path of gain and loss thus place himself that knowledge may grow.
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A PREFACE TO MASONIC SYMBOLISM
Bro. Roscoe Pound
Dean, Harvard Law School
IT is not so long ago that a learned man could take all knowledge for his province. In the last quarter of the eighteenth century it seemed to Preston entirely feasible to sum up all human learning and expound its main principles to the ordinary hearer in three lectures. At the end of that century men believed that a learned jurist by sheer reasoning might work out by himself a complete code to govern all men in all places in all times. Even later compendia of universal knowledge were projected seriously. In the nineteenth century men's attitude changed completely. Reaction from this boundless faith in the intellect, born of the Renaissance, led to an era of separate sciences, of minute subdivision of learning, of distinct fields of knowledge intensively cultivated by individual scholars. In place of the general schemes of knowledge, we got narrowly limited, water-tight compartment sciences, each self-sufficient, each content to rest on its own basis, and each assured of finding within itself a critique of itself.
All learning in the last century suffered from the self-imposed narrowness of this water-tight compartment conception. But Masonic learning suffered peculiarly. For modern Masonic learning had its inception in the eighteenth century and had still to go through some preliminary stages of development when it found itself cut off from learning at large and divided into separate, self-sufficient compartments. Thus we got a Masonic history without general historical method, a Masonic philosophy divorced from the general current of human thought, and a Masonic symbolism ignorant of psychology. Nowhere is the process of breaking down compartments and letting in air and light from the outside, a process that is going on rapidly on every side, nowhere is this more needed than in Masonic learning. Gould long ago did this work thoroughly for Masonic history. But it is still to be done for Masonic symbolism. We must view this subject for a season as but a phase of a general science of symbols; we must lay its foundation not only in Masonic history, nor solely in the history of rites and mysteries, but in psychology as well.
Symbols are visible objects which apart from their own immediate and proper significance, represent to the mind something which is not shown but is realized by association with it; some ideal content which the symbols suggest, but cannot embody. They are said to be of two sorts, natural symbols and conventional symbols. In the former phrase "natural" is used in the sense of rational and refers to those symbols which appeal to natural reason and so achieve their purpose with the unlearned. Conventional symbols, on the other hand, have their basis in tradition and appeal only to those who know. The former may or may not be new. At any rate, they rest on analogies that are associated with the ideas of today, as, for example, when light is taken as a symbol for knowledge or truth, black for mourning, and so on. But it will be perceived that often in such cases we have simply a strong traditional association without any necessary association for all men in the absence of tradition. In consequence, well-known symbols may easily be borrowed and put to new uses, as many assert happened in the case of more than one pagan symbol taken over by the early church. Thus there is an easy transition from one type of symbol to the other. Traditional or conventional symbols rest on habitual rather than rational association with the subjects they suggest. In origin, no doubt, they were natural symbols. But after the circumstances that determined their choice have passed away, constant association with the object symbolized, kept alive by tradition, enables them still to function as symbols. A great many Masonic symbols are of this character, as, for example, the shape of the lodge, symbolizing the world, or the triads, of which Masonry in all rites is so full, symbolizing perfection.
Natural symbols require little or no study or exposition. But as the analogies upon which traditional or conventional symbols proceed have usually ceased to appeal to us, as the ideas that suggested them have been forgotten and sometimes their applications have been wholly lost, exposition of them, investigation of their history, and attempts to reconstruct their applications afford a tempting field for study. The Masonic student is attracted to them specially because symbols are among the most important of our traditions. Our ceremonies themselves are largely allegorical or symbolic and employ symbols at every stage and on every hand. To make the most of these symbols they must be studied. Accordingly, apart from its interest as a pure science, the study of symbols has a practical side for the Mason and symbolism has been recognized from the beginning as one of the chief departments of Masonic scholarship.
Psychologists have generally rested symbolism upon association. Some, however, have sought a more intimate connection. Thus Lotze says of symbols in art, "We live over again in the object the motion to produce it." Symbols are obviously associated with the things symbolized. But many have felt that there is a sympathy involved that is not true of ordinary associations. It has been said that there is "an investiture of the object with the observer's own idea and feeling in a more intimate manner than is implied by the term association." This controversy as to the psychological basis of symbolism has gone on chiefly in connection with aesthetics and the conclusions reached are not very applicable to Masonic symbolism. Unhappily, no Masonic student of symbolism has taken up this fundamental question.
Another branch of learning which has been much concerned with symbols is logic. Here the theory of symbols has been treated fully, especially in connection with the nature of knowledge. Thus Leibnitz distinguished between intuitive and symbolical knowledge. The word "intuitive," so used, is deceptive. Leibnitz took it in its original, etymological meaning, in which it refers to what we know by looking on it or by seeing. Accordingly he uses the phrase to include all knowledge which we gain directly through the senses or by immediate communication to the mind. Symbolical knowledge, on the other hand, is that which we cannot gain directly through the senses, which, therefore, must be represented to us. Thus writers on logic remind us that we may learn by the direct evidence of our senses what a square or a hexagon is, but we cannot expect to earn in this way what a chiliagon or figure of one thousand sides is. If one doubts this, let him attempt y looking at them to tell the difference between a figure of one thousand sides and one of a thousand and fine sides. Such conceptions can be known to us only symbolically. And this is true of all large numbers also, for the velocity of light (186,000 miles per second) or the distance of the sun (91,000,000 miles) are beyond reach of our imaginations. So we speak of infinity, of zero, of nothing. But there is nothing here that may be perceived through the senses; nor can one realize in the mind, such conceptions as "the unthinkable," the inconceivable," the "impossible," about which we speak continually. Such things are only to be treated symbolically.
Symbols, then, enable us to know what we cannot now directly through the senses and enable us to keep in mind or to keep before the mind what is not and cannot be directly and immediately represented to it. Hence symbols play a great part in all that we do. Art is largely symbolic, endeavoring to present to us through symbols what we cannot apprehend directly. Religion uses symbols in the same way "as sensuous emblems of spiritual acts and objects." Ritual is symbolic, and so are even the sacraments in one aspect of their significance. In this aspect religion often makes use of art. For as the objects of religion are unseen and intangible, there is obvious need of "helping the imagination by means of sensuous objects which may serve as fitting materializations of the spiritual." Even the architecture of churches is symbolic. The building is not merely adapted to certain functions. Even more, the very form of the building seeks to express the spiritual import of those functions.
Symbols are no less important in practical affairs. Large parts of mathematics are symbolic. Chemistry is full of symbols. Even in biology we are coming to think that genus and species are symbols by which we are able to represent knowledge of types, none too clearly defined, in a universe of infinitely diverse individual creatures.
No less a role is played by symbols in the social sciences. In primitive law symbols are used on every side, since primitive man has no general ideas and the abstractions of developed legal science are beyond him. He cannot conceive of litigation over an abstraction called a title, so in the beginnings of Roman law a bit of turf from the land in dispute was brought in before the magistrate and the parties went through the form of a fight for the possession of it, in which the magistrate intervened. If a flock of sheep was in dispute, a bit of wool from the flock was the subject of the simulated fight, and so on. Again, the Roman used the spear as a symbol of title to property, and Tacitus tells us of a like symbol among the ancient Germans. All Masons know the Jewish symbol in case of sale and redemption. In our own law the formal ceremony of conveying land by livery of seisin was highly symbolic, and we still speak of symbolic possession where one makes delivery in case of gift, for example, by delivering the key by means of which the donee may obtain actual control.
Likewise in government symbols are made use of to keep before men's minds the idea of sovereignty, to enable them to comprehend the abstraction called the State, to hold up before them some visible sign of authority. The king is a symbol. His image, his monogram, his superscription stand for the State to many who can keep before their minds the ownership and the rights of George and the duties due to Alfonso or Victor Emmanuel when the State as an abstraction would appeal to them but dimly. In the same way we speak of loyalty to the flag, love of the flag, and the like, thinking and speaking of the visible symbol rather than the invisible and intangible things for which the symbol stands. So also we speak of Uncle Sam or John Bull as symbols for the abstractions of the American or the English people. Sociology devotes much consideration to ceremonial institutions as means of social control. But these are symbolic. Homage, coronation, investiture, inauguration, are outward signs of something which is not tangible or visible. Says Professor Ross:
"The picturesque, dramatic, or sensational will serve to impress an event upon the memory; hut the ceremony that modifies the feelings must be full of meaning. It dwells on what would be overlooked, reminds of that significance that would be forgotten, and so reveals the full significance of what is being done."
Such, then, are the uses of symbols. They enable us to reason abstractly; to extend our knowledge far beyond what we can know immediately and directly through the senses; to hold before us through the aid of a visible sign things invisible and intangible which are of the highest import in our daily life. They enable government to keep men conscious of its reality. They enable society to exert a necessary control by keeping before men in outward forms and ceremonies the abstract principles by which they must be governed in a life measured by reason.
On the other hand, symbols are liable to abuse, and some of these abuses have crept into Masonic symbolism. The chief abuse is that symbols readily lead the careless to confuse the symbol with the thing symbolized, to think that there is some real bond between them other than association in the mind of the observer. This may easily run into nominalism; it may give rise to a belief that realities are wrapped up in names, that if one knows the name of anything, he knows the thing itself, and that in reasoning about names he is reasoning about things. "There is no worse habit for a student or reader to acquire," says William James, "than that of accepting words instead of a knowledge of things." Look at our Fellow Craft lecture and note how it is full of definitions. We have had to learn in other connections, too, that one has by no means mastered a thing simply because he is able to repeat an abstract definition of it.
Another abuse of symbolism is to be seen in the idea that a symbol not merely helps to comprehend a thing but thereby gives us control over it. We see this in its crudest form in witchcraft, when the warlock makes a wax figure of his victim and puts the latter to the torture of rheumatism by sticking the figure full of needles. We see it in its highest form in metaphysics. Thus, William James says: "Metaphysics has usually followed a very primitive kind of quest. You know how men have always hankered after unlawful magic and you know what a great part in magic words have always played. If you have his name . . . you can control the spirit or whatever the power may be. . . . So the universe has always appeared to the natural mind as a kind of enigma of which the key must be sought in the shape of some illuminating or power-bringing word or name. That word names the universe's principle, and to possess it is after a fashion to possess the universe itself.... Matter, Reason, the Absolute, Energy, are so many solving names. You can rest when you have them. You are at the end of your metaphysical quest." Many study symbolism in the same way, consciously or subconsciously, as if by penetrating into the original meaning of symbols, as disclosed by their history, or the true meaning of them as disclosed by logical or mystical principles of symbolism, they could acquire some sort of control of realities, some sort of power over the universe.
With this prelude as to symbols generally, a preface to Masonic symbolism may proceed to the primitive uses of symbols and next to the philosophical use of symbols, thus paving the way for a treatment of the Masonic use of symbols as a resultant or product.
Primitive society resorts to symbols for four purposes: (1) To convey messages, (2) to give instruction, (3) as a means of social control, and (4) to obtain control over nature. Before alphabets and writing have evolved men make use of ideographs and hieroglyphics, which sometimes attain their ends by picturing the very thing to be suggested to the beholder, but often appeal to the latter symbolically. Thus the Chinese ideograph for what we should call "a row" is a conventionalized picture of two women under one roof. For symbolism seems to play a much larger role in human psychology than we had perceived. A great part of what we do subconsciously is symbolic. Indeed psychologists believe that our dreams are largely symbolic. The undeveloped primitive mind, incapable of abstract reasoning, proceeds subconsciously by means of symbols.
Primitive teaching proceeds wholly by imitation and by symbols. What is not done by simple imitation of the master, is done by imparting the symbol and explaining it. Thus the primitive tribe inducts the boy into manhood by symbolic ceremonies to teach him that the boy is no more and that a man with a man's duties and a man's responsibilities has arisen in his place. Even more the primitive secret societies that grow out of these ceremonies employ symbolic dress and symbolic implements. One phase of this use of symbols has attracted much attention from Masonic scholars. It has been asserted that the ancients used symbols at the same time to teach the initiated and to conceal from the uninitiated. Albert Pike dwells much upon this aspect of ancient symbolism. No doubt there are such cases in primitive rites. But it is hard to be sure that we have any authentic cases since we are in no very good position to judge. It is seldom possible to be sure how such symbols were meant to be interpreted. There are, however, clear cases in later symbolism, and eighteenth-century French Masonry furnishes a notable example in its teaching of liberty of thought under the symbol of a contest for liberty of passage a symbol known to one of our rites today. It is not unlikely that this device is as old as symbolism.
The chief use of symbols in primitive society is as a means of social control. Primitive man forgets authority unless its visible sign is always before him. He forgets his duty unless the duty is visibly represented to him. Law and order as abstractions have no hold on him. They must be kept before his mind by symbols. The gods must be represented to his eyes by idols or statues or he cannot regard them. In short, morals, religion, and government get and keep their hold upon him largely through symbols. Hence symbolism is highly developed among primitive peoples and primitive secret societies have independently more than one symbol of which we speak and think as Masonic only.
Developing confidence from these notable achievements by means of symbols, primitive man becomes ambitious of greater things and seeks to control external nature in the same way. This attempt to control the thing symbolized through the symbol gives us, along with magic, the crude beginnings of metaphysics and the crude beginnings of medicine. In the one case the quest is for a single simple principle of nature, wrapped up in some symbol, possession whereof will enable the possessor to direct natural forces; in the other there is a quest for the fundamental principle of disease in general or of some particular disease, which again is to be wrapped up in some symbol whereby the disease may be controlled. To primitive man the occult was a serious practical business. He looked upon it as we look upon physics or upon the study of electricity.
It was a means whereby nature might be harnessed to man's use. We make a great mistake today when we attribute any more profound significance to primitive symbols of this type.
Passing to symbolism in philosophy, we may begin with the Pythagoreans. For even if we may not for other than ritualistic purposes refer to him as "our ancient friend and Brother," Masons must always feel a kinship to Pythagoras because he called symbolism to the aid of cosmology. Prior to Socrates the problem of philosophy was to lay hold upon the original ground or basis of things which outlasts all change; to discover how this original basis changes into the particular things which we see about us, and how it changes these things back into itself. The Milesians sought to find this original basis of the universe in some element. The Atomists sought it in primordial indivisible constituents of matter. The Eleatics sought it in a unity of nature. Heraclitus thought he had found it in a perpetual but rhythmical flux or change. Attacking the same problem, the Pythagoreans conceived that this permanent being which men were seeking was to be found in numbers. They held that in contrast with changing things of experience, numbers, as regards their content, possess a validity independent of time; that they are eternal, without beginning, imperishable, unchangable, immovable. Thus, so they reasoned, numbers possess the unity and permanence sought by the Eleatics and the rhythmical order insisted on by Heraclitus. They found the abiding essence of the universe in mathematical relations, particularly in numbers, and as their solution was more abstract than that of the Milesians, more possible to represent to the imagination than that of the Eleatics, and far clearer than that of Heraclitus, naturally it had much influence.
But the Pythagorean solution of the problem of cosmology readily went into symbolism. For they believed that in the antithesis between the limited and the unlimited they recognized the antithesis between the odd and the even in numbers, and they identified this antithesis with that between the perfect and the imperfect, the good and the bad. They put over against the limited, the odd, the perfect, and the good; antithesis of the limitless, the even, the imperfect, and the bad. Yet they conceived that both principles were united in the number one, which had the value both of an even and of an odd number, so that in the universe as a whole these antitheses were adjusted to form a harmony. In other words, they conceived of the universe as a harmony of numbers, and with this idea they exerted themselves to make an order of things corresponding to the system of numbers by assigning the fundamental conceptions in every department of knowledge to various numbers and on the other hand by assigning to every individual number, especially to those from one to ten, determining significance in the various spheres of reality. As Windelband says: "The fantastic nature of the symbolic interpretation into which they fell in doing this must . . . not cause us to overlook the fact that the attempt was made thereby to recognize an abiding order of things which could be grasped and expressed in conceptions and to find the ultimate ground of this order in mathematical conceptions." In a phrase, the Pythagoreans attempted to comprehend and represent the universe by means of mathematical symbols. Thus they have a real place in the history of human thought. But today we have better ways of trying to comprehend and represent the universe. We do little honor to the Pythagoreans when we solemnly retail the letter of their speculations as if they had some intrinsic validity, when their true significance lies in their attitude toward and their spirit of approach to a great philosophical problem. Let us approach the modern problem of philosophy with the same determination to achieve a reasoned result whereby permanence and stability may be assured, rather than continue to repeat the details of their speculations as to the exact numerical equivalent of this or that. Otherwise symbols be come our masters rather than our servants.
Thus far the task of philosophy has been to comprehend external nature and to represent it. After Socrates the interest in philosophy turned from the outside of man to the inside, and when, following the the conquests of Alexander the Great, in the period of decadence after the great age of Greek intellectual activity, the Helenistic culture spread over the civilized world, the revived symbolism of the Neo-Platonists was a higher symbolism, for it attempted to symbolize the spiritual. They thought of the world immediately the about us as chiefly significant in pointing the way to a higher world. Its value was not in what it was but in what it revealed. It was the sign and symbol of a higher being. Thus their doctrine, instead of seeking symbols of the actual world of sense, treated that world as having a symbolic character. Presently there came a succession of debasements of this philosophy in the writings of the Hellenizing Theosophists, the mass of writings that go by the name of Hermes Trismegistus, the Gnostics, and later the Cabbala. Albert Pike has studied these attentively and has revived much of their elaborate symbolism- But this symbolism is quite void of meaning for us if we are ignorant of its philosophical pedigree, and when we are able to comprehend it we can but see that there are better ways to represent the more critical metaphysical knowledge of the modern world.
With the revival of learning that ushered in the world of today there came presently a revival of symbolism in philosophical thought. The Middle Ages were wholly dominated by Aristotle, whose powerful intellect, perhaps "the most powerful ever possessed by any man," was yet limited to the exterior of things and unable to reach beneath to the hidden forces by which things are moved. "It was natural," says Benn, "that one who ranged with such consummate mastery over the whole world of apparent reality, should believe in no other reality.. . . The visible order of nature was present to his imagination in such precise determination and fulness of detail that it resisted any attempt he might have made to conceive it under a different form." When the reign of Aristotle came to an end and men sought once more to comprehend and to represent the unseen and the unseeable, a flood of symbolistic writing resulted. Chemistry has its roots in the half charlatan symbolism of Alchemy. The symbolic medicine of the revolt from Galen has an important place in the history of modern medicine, and the hermetic philosophers, who busied themselves with alchemy and symbolic medicine and attempted to adapt and apply the fusions of Oriental mysticism and NeoPlatonic symbolism of the Hellenistic decadence, are in the right line of descent of our Masonic symbols.
Later the rationalism of the age of "enlightenment" turned men away from symbolism. For a time men's faith in reason was boundless. The age of Preston cared nothing for symbols except as they might be made convenient vehicles of rational instruction. Indeed Preston indulges in an obvious sneer at those who would employ symbols otherwise than to impart "wise and serious truths." And when presently reaction from this age of reason came with the Romanticists of the nineteenth century, it was felt chiefly in art, and the revival of symbolism was most conspicuous in aesthetics. There was no adequate philosophical apparatus to guide the revived Masonic symbolism of Pike, snow in consequence the subject is still disfigured by too much of Hermetic charlatanism. With the clearer light afforded by psychology and the gesture appreciation of the role of symbols in man's subconscious life and the effects thereof upon his conscious activities which it reveals we may hope presently for a more truly scientific study of our mass of traditional symbols. This will build, indeed, upon the historical studies of Pike and will use much of the results of his instinct for interpretation. But it will have a critical method unknown to his time that will enable Pike's successor in Masonic symbolism to do for that subject what Gould did for Masonic history. And so with one further suggestion this preface to that work may be brought to an end. As we now think, things are important not so much for what they are as for what they do. Institutions are significant functionally rather than intrinsically. Thus our student of Masonic symbols will investigate the history of the symbols employed by the Craft and will seek their original meanings and the development of their interpretations. But above all he will ask, and will seek to know by means of their history and their development, how they function today, what they teach today, and how they teach it, and even more what they may teach and how we may make them effective for teaching it.
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THE PLACE OF MASONRY IN THE RENAISSANCE OF DEMOCRACY
Bro. George B. Thomas, Rhode Island
THE word Democracy has become the slogan of mankind. Self government for all nations and clans is the accepted ideal to which the entire human race has suddenly become committed. It is certainly a worthy goal, a "consummation devoutly to be wished" by all sincere lovers of humanity. It is the logical fruit of Christianity as finally applied to the problem of governmental matters.
As to the propriety and the probability of its ultimate attainment by the entire human race there can be no possibility of doubt to the man who believes that Christianity itself will finally conquer in its conflict with the varied evils of the world. But the burning question just now is this: Is this lofty ideal within the immediate reach of all those who are clamoring for it or upon whom many of our leaders would fain thrust it without further delay? Allow me to emphasize the fact that I am in most hearty accord with this ideal, but I fully believe that if the ideal is to be realized at all it must be done by facing all the facts in the case. To win a battle it is of first importance to know as much as possible about the strength and nature of the enemy in the way. If this task is to be achieved, it will be achieved by overcoming certain very formidable difficulties confronting us. The Great Teacher has admonished us that he who would build a house should first sit down and count the cost, lest otherwise he might begin to build and not be able to finish.
Democracy includes two essential ideas, "government" and "by the people." Judging by much that is said in certain quarters just now the whole emphasis must be placed upon the one idea of the people. Much of the thinking, if thinking it can be truly called, exhausts itself in a vague idea that all you have to do in order to transform an autocracy into a democracy is to destroy autocracy and turn the people loose. Presumably, in the minds of many, democracy is the only possible alternative of autocracy. This is a fundamental error. It is one thing to overthrow autocracy, and quite another thing to establish democracy in its place. Mexico is a near-by example. Russia and many contiguous regions are a classic showing of what may possibly take the place of autocratic government when once overthrown. Call it what you will, "Mobocracy," "anarchy," "Bolshevism," it is the same red rage of the people let loose without any restraint whatsoever save the natural limits of their brute strength. Is that democracy? No. To be a democracy, a people must be able first to sit down and agree upon a fundamental law which we call a constitution. Until they, or a ruling majority of them, can do this it is useless to talk about a democracy. But to be a democracy, they must not only write and adopt a constitution, but they must be able to maintain a sufficient balance of power to enforce its fundamental provisions. Government, rule, law and order "of the people, by the people, and for the people" that is democracy, and that alone.
In view of all that is now taking place in many quarters of the Old World and of some occurrences even in our own land, it is becoming a serious question in the minds of many of our most loyal and thoughtful citizens whether we can much longer escape the same wild disorder and bloodshed, to say nothing of the destruction of our property, unless we face the facts with our eyes wide open, and then act promptly and effectively. It seems wise to me that the time is at hand to tighten our girdle, clarify certain ideas and expressions much used, and re-state and modify in terms of justice and safety the priceless principles which have come down to us from our fathers. It is not too much to say that so far as the democratic ideal is concerned, as the United States goes so will go the nations of the earth for centuries to come. The eyes of the world are strangely fixed upon us; especially is this true of the millions only recently emancipated from the old autocratic dynasties of Europe and Asia. While we are not more democratic in reality than England and France, perhaps, our traditions of self-government are different. They root in no despotic past, but in the soil of freedom. Therefore, if democracy can not weather the storm in this land, it can not weather it anywhere on earth at this time. We owe it, then, not simply to ourselves and to our posterity to see that it does survive, but we owe it to all the peoples of earth who are wistfully looking to us. It is well to remind ourselves of the fact that experiments in democracy have been made in other ages and other lands, and ultimately failed. Will it fail in this age? Will all the great nations crumble into warring clans till civilization shall perish, and law and order again slowly evolve through autocratic leaders who shall finally emerge here and there as did the feudal lords in former ages? It must not be. America must lead the way in restoring law and order and in establishing it upon the basis of true democracy.
But if it is true that the world is looking to America, to whom in turn must America look? We are a strangely cosmopolitan people. What element is to lead? Who are best qualified to lead? As a great body, I do not hesitate to say that I believe there is no other aggregation of men so eminently fitted to lead the way through these trying times as Freemasonry. This is said in no pharisaical boastfulness, nor with any suggestion or desire that Masonry should rule for its own glory, but because I feel that "unto whom much has been given, of him shall much be required," and surely much has been given to us which peculiarly fits us to render a large share in this great task now before us. The whole history of Masonry has been that of freedom from tyranny on the one hand and of lawlessness and crime on the other. Masonry has never unsheathed the sword save in defense of liberty and justice, and she has never sheathed it till those ends were attained. Then it was Masonry in a pre-eminent degree which so tenderly and yet so resolutely cradled democracy in the first eventful years of America's history. In confirmation of this, I need but call attention to a few of the many illustrious names written alike on the pages of Masonic records and American history Franklin and Jefferson, Lafayette and Washington! But not only is Masonry fitted by such traditions to lead in this crisis, but she is fitted because of the high average intellectual, moral, and social fitness of her members. They are selected with great care from all honorable walks of society from the day-laborer to the multimillionaire, from all political parties, from all religious faiths. For the most part, they come from the best homes and inherit the best traditions of freedom and justice. They found their faith upon the precepts of the one Book, the entrance of which always giveth light. They are men of affairs and men of ideals.
For the foregoing reasons I would set before you for your thoughtful consideration suggestions of a concrete form which I believe will for the most part commend themselves to the most intelligent and patriotic citizens who feel that something should be done and done promptly if we are to stay the red tide now flowing our way from the torn and troubled lands across the seas. I feel that we should set in motion those forces of public opinion that will not only "create sentiment," but will also crystallize it into laws that shall have teeth. We have heard constantly dinned into our ears the cry that we must "Americanize the foreigners in our midst." But while that is a beautiful expression, it now needs to be defined until we know what we mean. There has been, so far as I have been able to discover, very little suggestion as to any worthwhile departure from the old methods when it comes to any statutory enactment. For the most part the suggestions proposed are to be left to the individual as to whether he will accept them or not. The one thing that is apparent is, that those who most need to be Americanized are the very last people who could be induced to accept these necessary changes. Hence it is not moral persuasion alone that is needed, but the enactment of wise laws in the light of changed conditions. In some cases it might be necessary to make amendments to our National Constitution, but that need not discourage us in such an undertaking. The constitutional latch- string is always on the outside of the door. I offer the following conclusions as the result of much reflection over the issues involved, believing they will meet with your approval in a general way at least although time precludes an extended discussion.
But before detailing these proposed measures, allow me to call your attention to the fact that democracy must rest upon two fundamental qualifications, intelligence and a morality rooted in deep religious conviction. Consequently the two deadly foes to self- government are ignorance and immorality. Whatever tends to promote intelligence and morality or to restrain the ignorant and criminal classes is to be sought for most diligently above all other considerations in the making of laws and in their enforcement. When we speak of world democracy, as an immediate success, a glance at the human race in its entirety is sufficient to convince us that these two essential qualifications are sadly lacking on the whole. For example, of China's four hundred and fifty millions, only four per cent can read. Of India's three hundred and fifteen millions only six per cent can read. Of Russia's two hundred millions only about ten per cent can read. The over whelming per cent of the population of the Balkans are illiterate, while all but a negligible part of the aborigines of Africa, Asia, and the Asiatic islands with the exception of Japan, and about seventy-five per cent of the population of South and Central America and Mexico are unable to read. In short, if you were to line up the earth's population today and then start down the line, two of every three persons into whose faces you looked would be found to be illiterate. The general moral level is no higher. The awful immoralities of India are notorious. In South and Central America and Mexico the same low ethical practices obtain. It is said that in the best part of South America, one out of every five of the population is born out of wedlock, while in more than half of her territory, three out of every five children are illegitimate. Now considering this wretched intellectual and moral unfitness of more than half the population of the globe, a population for the most part only recently wrenched loose from their ancient moorings and sent drifting blindly about, the importance of our immediate action in order to secure our institutions and our civilization from being swamped looms up clearly before us. What, then, do we need at this time more than ever before?
Evidently one of the two essential duties is to make vigorous war against ignorance and its fruits. An educational system that shall unify our vast population is of first importance. To begin with, we must make a concerted move to see that henceforth we shall have but one language as the language of our citizens. That language is to be the English language. It is pre-posterous to think of ever supplanting that speech by any other. It would be a sad day if it should ever be come necessary to translate the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the immortal documents of Washington and Lincoln before they could be read and understood by any considerable element of our citizens. But we need the immediate enactment of a national law prohibiting the teaching of any other language than the English language in any school, public or private, below the eighth grade, and no one should be allowed to study any other language in any public school or private until the eighth grade has been completed. Furthermore, no foreign-language publications of any kind whatsoever should be allowed to be printed or circulated except the classics and the established devotional books of those religious bodies whose ritual may be required to be in a foreign language, and in all such cases they should be approved by a competent commission. No other than the English language should be allowed in any assembly or gathering. If this matter is left to mere local sentiment it will fail exactly in those localities where its enforcement is most needed; namely, where foreign-speaking peoples predominate. It is a matter that concerns the whole nation, and therefore should not be left to the several states.
Not only should we require that the English language shall be the only medium of instruction through the eighth grade and in all the publications printed or circulated, but we should also legislate so as to weed out all illiteracy among our people, or failing in that, we should render the irreducible minimum of illiterates politically innocuous. How can this be done? Again since it is a matter of vital importance to the whole nation, the national government should enact a law that shall require future voters who shall register for the first time to present at the time of their first registration a certificate showing that they have completed the studies through the eighth grade. Failing this, they should be required to pass a public examination covering those studies before being allowed to vote. A reasonable period should be granted after the enactment of the law before taking effect, say a period of five years. In the small number of cases where poverty would prevent future citizens from acquiring such an education, the necessary assistance should be given. Nothing else will be so expensive in the long run to our nation as a large number of ignorant voters. I know that there would be opposition to such a movement, and recourse would be had to the old and exploded doctrines of "personal liberty" and "states rights." This law would not say that a citizen must educate, but it would say that if he is too lazy or indifferent he shall have no suffrage rights. Such a law as this would reduce the ignorant in our country to two classes, those who were mentally defective and those who were too indolent, and neither class has any business with the right of suffrage in a democratic government like ours, where intelligence is one of the two absolute essentials to good citizenship. If it is right to force people to pay taxes to maintain public schools, it is certainly right to compel those for whom the schools are intended to patronize them. So-called compulsory attendance is not enough, but a certain definite fruit of attendance is the thing, and that fruit is a reasonable degree of general education equivalent to the work of the eighth grade.
Secretary Lane has recently called attention to the fact that ten per cent of the first two millions called to the colors were unable to read or understand the orders given them. We are also told that eighteen per cent of the future citizens now below the adult age are attending no school and are growing up in ignorance. Attention has been called to the serious menace of our illiterate citizenship in time of war. Its menace is fully as great in times of peace, and in my judgment, far more dangerous, for it is then that the restraints on lawless propaganda are removed. The report of Secretary Lane did not begin to show the actual lack of education, for while ten per cent are illiterate, a very much larger per cent is without sufficient education to appreciate the merits of any political discussion or propaganda carried on through the written page, such as could be expected in the case of those with an eighth grade education as a foundation. How much longer are we going to permit such conditions to exist? We have keen amply warned. Now shall we act?
The next point to which I wish to call special attention and upon which I wish to lay special emphasis is the most delicate and yet the most vital question underlying the whole matter of maintaining law and order in our midst. I refer to the very ark of our civil liberty, the right of free speech and a free press and what goes with it, the right of the free use of the mails for all publications not treasonable in their intent and effect. But where shall we draw the line between the legitimate privileges thus guaranteed us by the constitution and their abuse by those who take advantage of such guarantees under which to spread a propagandum or propaganda which if finally effective will overthrow the very constitution itself? All patriotic people believe that there should be some tangible line of demarkation between the use and abuse of these priceless guarantees, but up to date, I know of no one who has suggested any such principle. I am going to suggest such a principle, and so far as I know, it is absolutely original' with me. I do not claim that it would completely solve the problem, but I do believe that it would reduce our danger to a point where it would become practically negligible. This is my suggestion: Let us amend our constitution so as to limit the rights of all social, political and economic propaganda to the citizenship of this country; that is, to those who were born here or have been naturalized. This will debar all foreign agitators who plan to flood this country as soon as peace comes. It is well known that the Bolshevists of Europe have well-laid plans to deluge our nation with anarchists and other red-handed cut-throats for the deliberate purpose of overthrowing our nation. Now if we do what common sense says we should do, and at once amend our constitution so as to limit the guarantees of Lee speech and of a free press to our own citizenship, we shall at one blow cut the earth from under their feet the moment they come, and they will not come. If we take this step together with the first one mentioned in this discussion (limiting all spoken and written propaganda to the English language) we shall debar foreign agitators and foreign language meetings for all political and social discussions and propaganda. Who does not know that most of our flannel-mouthed agitators against the rights of life and property and their constituency are those of foreign birth or born of foreign parentage? Here is also the one fruitful field for the professional ward-heeler who would personally profit by stirring them up, organizing them, and deceiving them. Unless something is done soon to end this un- American procedure, anarchy will overtake us. If a citizen of any country on earth has a worthy idea or ideal which he would like to place before our people, it can easily be translated into the English language, and then the American people can consider it from the American standpoint, see it through American eyes, think it through American brains, and if it is worth while, and practical, assimilate it to American conditions. We shall in no way interfere with the rights of free thought except to restrain anarchy and crime. We do not want a horde of foreign agitators just waking out of centuries of soporific stupor coming here to attack our institutions and incite to revolution. Let us strike at the roots of the matter, and strike now ! How can we give the increasing millions of foreign-speaking voters of this country the American viewpoint on social and political and economic questions so long as we allow them to be led on by foreign subjects who address them in a foreign tongue which we can not understand, much less speak? And in this immediate connection, and as a part of this plan, we should limit all teachings in our schools, public and private, to teachers who are also citizens of our country. The schools are at the very fountain head of our national thought-life, and they must not be poisoned by allowing them to be occupied by foreign subjects.
If the foregoing were adopted, I firmly believe we should vitally change the whole character of the dangers which now menace us. Other things should receive attention as secondary matters for they are important. Among these, I venture to suggest that we need a much longer period of residence, on an average, before allowing foreign-born peoples to acquire the right of suffrage. In some states, unless recently changed, foreign subjects can vote for national as well as state and municipal officers after a brief period of residence. This needs to be corrected by a national law or amendment, for certain great cities may at any time and in any emergency fall into the hands of disloyal officers put there by foreign and disloyal subjects who are qualified voters, and thus the whole city becomes a menace to the entire nation. We have had recent experiences enough to open our eyes. Shall we profit by the lesson? No person should be allowed to vote in any election national, state, or municipal who is not a citizen of the United States. Furthermore, all that can be done should be done to break up and to prevent "foreign quarters" in our country. A stop should be put once and forever against all "colonizing" of foreigners in our country. All who are fit to enter our borders should so far as possible be distributed so as to be assimilated through our public schools to become real American citizens. Additional restraints should be speedily imposed against foreign immigration ere the flood gates are opened, for we have never before been threatened with such flotsam and jetsam as now menace us, threatening to swamp us in a mighty maelstrom of murder and rapine.
The last point I wish to discuss is concerning the other of the two essentials of democracy, the moral qualification. I shall be brief, not because I regard it one whit less in importance than intellectual fitness, but because the one suggestion I have to make can be briefly put. I know that we can not create morality by legislation. But while we can not compel people to be good, we can compel them to behave. We need a law disfranchising all those who commit a major crime, as is now the case in many or all the states, but what is of even greater political significance, we need to disfranchise all who habitually commit petty crime. It is the large following of petty criminals who systematically commit minor offenses who constitute our greatest political problem from a moral standpoint. They congregate in certain wards and communities and control the politics. By their political threat they intimidate many politicians who really have no sympathy with them or their methods, but who greatly fear their votes. Now we owe it to office holders to remove so far as Possible such a menace. It is preposterous to longer permit an ever-increasing horde of lawless voters to go on agitating for laws to suit their criminal notions. In enacting such a law, it should be provided, of course, that all who have been unjustly convicted, as subsequently proven, shall be cleared of all taint. Also, those convicted but later declared within their constitutional rights should likewise be free from all taint. But in all cases where the right of suffrage has been later restored on account of presumed reformation, such restoration should be limited to one time, and any subsequent lapse into the criminal class should permanently disfranchise the offender beyond any possibility of restoration. Above all, no criminal should be allowed to engage in any political, social, or economic propagandum whatsoever, nor anyone who is disfranchised. Above all, no such person should be allowed to hold office under a stated period of time. In the country as it is now governed, it is not uncommon to find a criminal exalted as a martyr and elected simply because he is a criminal and the criminal element controls in his ward or locality. In a recent congressional election in one of our states, one of the candidates was a man openly alleged to have been dishonorably discharged from the United States' service for deliberately embezzling government funds, and the sad and amazing fact is that he had a sufficient following in his district to enable him to poll a very strong vote ! we must cut the very nerve of all such possibilities in the future. This can be effectively done by such appropriate national legislation as I have indicated.
To sum up; a democracy must be a real aristocracy, not of wealth, or family history, or of race, but of intelligence and character. The ignorant and the vicious must be discouraged and restrained. The nation owes it to its citizens to place the opportunity of an education within the reach of every last boy and girl beneath the flag, and then saying, "If you will not educate yourself at least to the extent of a good public school education, you shall not vote." It should also say to all its citizens, "You shall have no word to say in the making of laws unless you first of all obey the laws made by the sovereign majority." This leaves it to every individual to say whether or not he cares to fit himself for suffrage. Only those shall rule who care to rule and are morally and intellectually fit to rule. The challenge of Democracy is a challenge to the highest aspirations of citizenship. It is only the boldest, the truest, the best of the nations that can meet the challenge of self-government. Shall America meet the challenge while her blood is stirred? Shall we act through congress without delay ere we lapse back into the old way of trusting everything to accident, awkwardness and luck? God forbid!
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Bro. Lewis A. Mcconnell, Colorado
Hear the shouting of the rabble in a tumult in the street
Where excited men of Sechem trample underneath their feet,
Their allegiance to their monarch whom with prayers they did invoke
To release them from their burdens and remove their heavy yoke
Jeroboam quickly hastened from the land where Shishak reigned,
Where he had, for years, in exile from his country been detained,
Through King Solomon's disfavor when to him it was made known
That the mighty Jeroboam had designs upon the throne.
Less he reared King Rehoboam, and he know the people's need,
And to serve them was his mission as he hastened there with speed.
So, as spokesman for all Israel, to the king he made their plea
For the lifting of their burdens they had waited long to see.
Many years of sad oppression they had long with patience borne
And their tasks with sorrow laden, had their drooping spirits worn
But the king had spurned the counsel of the men his father chose
As advisors in his kingdom, and had added to their woes.
As the mutterings of tempest 'ere the bursting of the storm
Swells in volume in the heavens, and the dark clouds swiftly form
Soon to burst in raging terror as with purpose to assail
Every unprotected object from the fury of the gale,
So the pent-up indignation of the long expectant men,
When they heard the monarch's answer, burst in anger fiercely then,
"What have we in son of Jesse, since our heavy burdens swell?"
"See now to thine own house, David! To your tents, O Israel!"
Who is this that comes to meet them as the agent of the king
For the tribute of the people to Jerusalem to bring?
Venerable his grave demeanour, naught but peaceful his intent.
'Tis the noble Adoniram on his sovereign's mission bent.
Chief of tribute to King David and to Solomon in turn
And their confidence and friendship his integrity did earn.
Even so with Rehoboam as the third in line to serve,
And from duty Adoniram never yet had thought to swerve.
O the ravages of passion in the breasts of cruel men,
When no longer reason guides them in their anger fierce, and when
Many wrongs their lives embitter and no truce their vengeance shows
To the agents of oppression, scarcely knowing friends from foes
It was then the Chief of Tribute on his sovereign's mission came
And they made of him a victim of their raging passion's flame,
For with cruel stones they slew him, slew in wrath the hoary sage,
Closing thus a lustrous record on a craftsman's brilliant page.
Was it this the famous Builder, in his discourse, had in view
When alone with his companion, tracing lives of manhood through,
Of his life's uncertain tenor, of his labors here below,
Which he oft must leave unfinished in the way that all must go
When in that supernal region when the craftsman's work is done
Greater joys and glories greet him with his higher life begun,
Where the noontide of felicity eternally shall shine
In that undissolving lodge above, Eternal Lodge Divine?
Trusted servant of three monarchs, though an humble path he trod,
Still possessed a higher honor as commission from his God.
In his craftsman's faithful service, in his course by duty bound,
And his rectitude of conduct, an ideal may be found.
Not in vain has lived the martyr, e'en though little known to fame
For his deeds have left impressions that outlast a lustrous name,
And the humble toiling millions who possess the craftsman's gift
Celebrate with pride the record of integrity's uplift.
II Chronicles, Chapter X.
* * *
A LIVING MEMORIAL
WASHINGTON! What a name to conjure with! In what manifold ways we perpetuate it! A State, cities, counties, towns, parks; obelisks and statues; universities and colleges; Mount Vernon and Christ Church — and, Masonically, Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 of Virginia. Albert Pike once said that "it is the dead who govern, the living only obey." In what manner do we obey our First Citizen? Let the great heart of America — the American People-answer, and we shall find (confounding the pessimists) that "Washington" is more than a name. Let the great heart of American Masonrv now speak, and what shall be the answer?
On February 21 and 22 last occurred the ninth annual meeting of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association in Alexandria. It stands pledged to cherish this great ideal in a memorial to Washington the Mason. Thirty-eight Jurisdictions were represented, and more than ever before gave it as their combined judgment that such a memorial represented a national need. Determination was the watchword of the meeting, "Do it now" the slogan. Plans authorized one year ago and since carefully thought out in detail were approved, and are now about to be fulfilled.
The coming of Peace has thrilled American Masonry with a vision of the new duties incumbent upon it. No effort will be spared to see that every Mason in America shall behold that vision and appreciate it. To build such a memorial, to assist in making it a living, throbbing, pulsating center of the patriotic fervor of the Fraternity-that is the new purpose, and that will be the fulfillment.
It is not for us here and now to present details, for the message will be brought home to every lodge. Rather for us to catch the vision of the part Masonry shall play in the positive and inspirational building of a better American civic consciousness, and supply the objective toward which the pilgrim feet of many of our Craft will one day wend their peaceful way.
Not in terms of dollars but of dignity must this memorial speak to the coming generations. Exemplification of a great spirit it must be — the spirit of the first Worshipful Master of that memorable little lodge. The many treasures -intimate personal relics of the man revered — gathered together during more than a century, will find there a suitable and perpetual resting place. The spirit of the man who refused the throne of national power over the Craft no less than he did the foundation of a dynasty will find eternal rest and fellowship in the edifice constructed after these many years by his Brethren. He loved our Fraternity, and the records there to be deposited will prove the fact, though many may deny it. He loved his Brethren, and the rare trinkets and belongings which in life he held dear and which his Brethren have cherished so highly that they have left them as a perpetual heritage to the lodge which has honored him, will grace its halls.
His voice once gave commands to thousands of Americans, when that title had but just been born. It had called the Craft to labor when but a handful were within the tyled sanctuary to respond. The day is at hand when millions, newly baptized in an Americanism made doubly dear by new sacrifices, shall stand in this new Temple and be blessed with the opportunity to listen to that voice — hushed, yet revivified. The Craft, too, will resume labor. Not in the ritualistic sense, as degree mills, but as a mighty force for the stabilizing of those great principles which are the common heritage of our Fraternity and our Republic.
Americanism, then, shall be the meaning of this new Temple. No other meaning would be just. Symbol it must stand of the rebirth of a great Fraternity. To have it otherwise would be a travesty. "A Center of Light" it shall be, bearing in mind that the modern center of light, more than a campfire or a lantern hung in the belfry of a church tower, is a dynamo. As there radiates from Mt. Vernon a sweet-scented memory, kept green by the hands of patriotic women, so let this new Temple be a radiating center of the value of our Country, our traditions, our form of Government, our right to think, our right to worship, our right to be upstanding men, our right to look God in the face as a loving Father! Let it be our great, outstanding memorial that the Hun did not win! A symbol of our thanksgiving that the spirit of Washington still lives, in the hearts of his countrymen! Of joy that Freemasonry, the cradle of freedom, may work its sweet ministry among men, an apostle of Brotherhood!
Then will our memorial to Washington The Mason have become a Living Memorial.
* * *
As wider skies break on man's view,
God greatens in his growing mind;
Each age he dreams his God anew,
And leaves his older God behind.
He sees the boundless scheme dilate
In star and blossom, sky and clod;
And as his universe grows great,
He dreams for it a greater God.
* * *
The more we live, more brief appear
Our life's succeeding stages;
A day to childhood seems a year,
And years like passing ages.
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail before publication in this department.
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR AND SCOTTISH RITE NOT A PART OF ANCIENT CRAFT MASONRY
Why and when were the Knight Templar and Scottish Rite degrees added to the original three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry?
Your question contains an assumption which is not admitted by all Masonic students. You speak of the original three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry — it is held by many that originally there was but one degree (see Mackey's Encyclopedia, subject "Degrees," page 203, and also Brother Haywood's article on "The Degrees Problem," in the April, 1918, issue of THE BUILDER). The division into three degrees is supposed to have gradually developed between 1717 and 1730, but no one seems to be able to fix the exact time. At the union of the Ancients and Moderns in 1813 it was decreed that Ancient Craft Masonry should consist of three degrees and no more, namely, Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, including the Royal Arch. This supports the theory of those who contend that at one time Royal Arch Masonry was a part of the Master's degree. Be that as it may, neither the Knights Templar nor the Scottish Rite degrees are a part of Ancient Craft Masonry, and therefore cannot be said to have been added to the three degrees thereof.
The Knights Templar is a Christian order which, by its own laws, is conferred only on Royal Arch Masons. Its origin, like that of most Masonic degrees, extends back to the remote past and is buried in obscurity. It was at one time strongly contended that Masonry sprung from the Order of the Temple instead of the reverse, but although it is true that neither the Knights Templar nor the Scottish Rite degrees are a part of Ancient Craft Masonry, it is undoubtedly true that they have long been connected, in the minds of Masons as well as in the popular conception, with the Masonic system, but when this connection first began it is impossible to say. The oldest official document connecting the Knights Templar with the Masonic degrees is found in the "History of the Grand Lodge of All England," issued by the York Lodge, to the effect that the Knights Templar degree was worked there November 29, 1779.
The Baldwin Encampment of Knights Templar is known to have existed at Bristol as early as 1780, and like many Craft lodges, lays claim to having existed from time immemorial. In 1791 a Grand Conclave was formed in London, Thomas Dunckerley, the famous Mason, being its Grand Master. In 1811 the Grand Master of the Knights Templar of England was also Grand Master of Ancient Craft Masonry.
When the requirement was first made that a candidate for the Templar degrees should be a Royal Arch Mason, is not known. The Scottish Grand Commandery made this requirement in 1856, but this was simply to bring them into accord with the Order in other countries.
As for the Scottish Rite, this is an entirely different system. It is the youngest of the Masonic Rites, since it was not established until 1801. Yet it is very popular, is most widely diffused throughout the world, and in many countries is the only Masonry known. As stated above, it is not Ancient Craft Masonry, but something very different, and its degrees cannot be said to have bean added to the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry. The question might as well be asked, "When were the degrees of the Knights of Pythias added to those of the Odd Fellows?"
It is true that the Scottish Rite is a branch of Freemasonry and that it has the three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, but these degrees in the Scottish Rite are very different from the three degrees in Ancient Craft Masonry. The legends are different, and the explanations of the symbols are different.
In countries where the Ancient Craft degrees are established, the Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite do not exercise jurisdiction over the first three degrees, but recognize the older authority of the York Rite over these degrees. They accept a Master Mason of the York Rite as though he had received the decrees in a Scottish Rite Body.
C. C. H.
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PRESIDENTS WHO WERE MASONS
I received my first number of THE BUILDER last week and from what I have read I am more than pleased. I am only sorry that I did not take advantage of membership in the Society on the first recommendation. Most surely is THE BUILDER informative in Masonic subjects and Masonry itself.
Will you kindly answer the following questions? Is Woodrow Wilson a Mason? What Presidents, if any, were not Masons?
I shall look forward with interest to the story of "Why Masonry did not get to France for Welfare Work."
G. C. B., Indiana.
President Wilson is not a Mason.
In volume I of THE BUILDER, page 192, Brother Newton gives the following list of Presidents who were Masons: Washington, Jackson, Polk, Fillmore (who, however, recanted his Masonry during the Morgan excitement), Buchanan, Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft.
Brother George W. Baird, P.G.M., District of Columbia, whose "Memorials to Great Men Who Were Masons" have been running in THE BUILDER for the past four years, gives the following: Washington, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Pierce, Buchanan, Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft. He states that Grant was reported to have been a Fellow Craft but has not been able to verify this claim.
In the February number of "Rob Morris Bulletin," edited by Brother Henry F. Evans, Secretary of Rob Morris Lodge No. 92, Denver, Colorado, we find the following list reprinted from the "New England Craftsman":
- George Washington, raised in Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, Fredericksburg, Va., August 4, 1753.
- Thomas Jefferson, made a Mason in colonial times, attended Lodge of Nine Sisters, Paris, France, with Thomas Paine in French Revolution.
- James Monroe, made in St. John's Regimental (Army) Lodge in 1777, then captain in Virginia troops, when suffering from a wound.
- John Quincy Adams, raised in St. John's Lodge, Boston, in 1826.
- Andrew Jackson was a member of Philanthropic Lodge, Clover Bottom, Tenn., and served as Grand Master of that state 1822-23.
- James A. Polk, raised in Columbia Lodge No. 31, Columbia, Tenn., September 4, 1820.
- James Buchanan, raised in Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pa., January 24, 1817.
- Andrew Johnson, raised in Greenville Lodge No. 110, Greenville, Tenn.; dates unknown, but supposed to be between 1848 and 1852.
- James A. Garfield, raised in Magnolia Lodge No. 20, Columbus, Ohio, December 22, 1864. He also received the Capitular and Templar Degrees and those of the Lodge of Perfection in the Scottish Rite.
- William McKinley, raised in Hiram Lodge No. 21, Winchester, Va., May 3, 1865; exalted in Canton Chapter No. 84, Canton, Ohio, 1883; created a Knight Templar in Canton Commandery No. 38, Canton, Ohio, 1884.
- Theodore Roosevelt, raised in Matinecock Lodge No. 806, Oyster Bay, N. Y., January 2, 1901.
- William Howard Taft, made a Mason at sight by M. W. Charles S. Hoskinson, Grand Master of Ohio, at Cincinnati, February 18, 1909.
* * *
ADMIRAL MAYO A MASON
In THE BUILDER for January, 1919, page 26, under "Question Box," I read of a brother who does not think that Admiral Mayo of the U. S. Navy is a Mason. For the information of the brother, and the world, please allow the writer to state, that Admiral Henry Thomas Mayo was born in Burlington, Vermont, Dec. 8, 1866, son of Henry Mayo, now deceased. The Admiral's brother, the late George C. Mayo, was Master of Burlington Lodge No. 100, A.F. and A.M., in 1886-86, and Admiral Mayo was made a Master Mason under his brother's administration, Nov. 10, 1885, and also received the degrees in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, up to and including the 32nd degree in 1892, and is a member of all these bodies at this writing. I find further, that his name is on the roster of Burlington Commandery No. 2, Knights Templar, but can not give dates as I am not Secretary of that body.
This record should dispell all doubts as to Admiral Mayo's Masonic membership.
LaForest J. Paige, 32d,
Secretary of Burlington Lodge No. 100, and the Scottish Rite bodies of Burlington, Vt.
* * *
IOWA'S MODIFIED PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS LAW
(At the last Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Iowa the Physical Qualifications law which, to quote P.G.M. Louis Block, "admitted a man with a wooden head but barred the man with a wooden leg," was modified to admit one "who is able, by the substitution of artificial parts or limbs for portions of his natural person" to conform to all the ceremonies required in the work and practice of Masonry. That the Grand Lodge made no mistake in so modifying this law is evidenced by the following grateful letter from a brother who was enabled thereby to realize a lifelong desire to become a Mason.)
Mr. Louis Block,
Dear Sir and Brother:
I am advised by my good friend, Mr. L. H. Morrill, of this city, that you more than any single individual, were responsible for the amendment of the Iowa Masonic Constitution as respects the admission of men who have been unfortunate enough to suffer the loss of an arm or leg and have artificial substitutes in place of the natural members.
I have never considered it my province to question the wisdom of the Supreme Master of the Universe in inflicting the loss of a leg upon me and have realized that there were at least historical reasons for barring a person so afflicted from the Masonic fraternity.
It is rare indeed that we find individuals of so large a calibre that they can look beyond their own fortunate circumstances to the extent of actively interesting themselves in those less fortunate. The deep feeling of gratitude that such activity as you have displayed plants in the breasts of those whom it benefits is certainly difficult to convey.
Since early youth, probably due to the fact that most of my male relatives were Masons, I had resolved to at least make an attempt to become affiliated with that grandest of fraternities. Such resolution having become strengthened with age, you can imagine my emotions when I discovered that the accident I had gone through prevented me from even submitting my petition to a Masonic lodge. Time, that great assuager, soon healed my physical injuries, but the lapse of time failed to mitigate the grief occasioned by the above discovery. Only those who have been placed in the same situation can realize what effect the news that at last I was to be permitted to file my petition with a Masonic lodge, on the same basis as any other applicant, had upon me. Perhaps you, at some time, have desired something about as strongly as you could wish to possess anything; something that seemed beyond your reach and which, after giving up all hope of ever acquiring, you suddenly found with your power to attain. If so, you know, to some degree, what my feelings were when I received the news referred to above. The fact that I have acquired the object of my attainment has certainly served to heighten my feelings in the matter. I am now a Master Mason and shall surely endeavor to be a just and upright one; one worthy of the strenuous efforts of so just and good a man as that man who is referred to affectionately by his numerous friends as "Louie Block."
I shall not attempt to express my gratitude to you through the medium of a typewriter. I have submitted my petition to DeMolay Consistory No. 1, Clinton, Iowa, of which my father is a member, and if accepted will try to take the work at the May session. I shall then consider it a great privilege to visit Davenport and, if convenient for you, to thank you in person.
Very sincerely yours,
R. G. Rodman, Cherokee, Iowa.
* * *
ALABAMA'S ACTION RELATIVE TO LODGES OF SCOTTISH RITE ORIGIN, THE GRAND ORIENTS OF BELGIUM AND ITALY, AND THE GRAND LODGE OF CHILI
In addition to extending fraternal recognition to the Grand Lodge and the Grand Orient of France and the Swiss Grand Lodge "Alpina," as announced in the March issue of THE BUILDER, the Grand Lodge of Alabama, at their Annual Communication in December last also adopted the following reports submitted by the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence, Brother Oliver Day Street.
SYMBOLIC LODGES OF THE SCOTTISH RITE OF COUNTRIES WHERE NO REGULAR SOVEREIGN GRAND LODGES EXIST
Several communications received by your Committee on Foreign Correspondence have presented the question as to what shall be the attitude and relation of our Grand Lodge and Masons of our obedience toward those who are members of the various Scottish Rite bodies in other countries. There has been or will be introduced at this Communication a resolution requiring this committee to investigate the claims to regularity of the Masonic bodies of all countries allied with us, or neutral in this war. In several of these countries, at least, the only symbolic Masonry existing is of Scottish Rite derivation. It is, therefore, necessary that your committee should have some general rules to guide it in dealing with such Masonry.
If the mere fact of derivation from the Scottish Rite must in all instances lead to the refusal of recognition, then to be consistent we must not only decline Masonic intercourse with many of the leading Masonic powers of the world, but must withdraw recognition from some with which we are already in fraternal relations. We must abandon this rule unless we are content to remain isolated from a vast section of the Craft Universal, whose principles, practices and ideals are identical with our own. At a time when the American people and American Masons are coming into more frequent contact and more intimate relations than ever before with those of other countries, we do not believe that this is a wise, fraternal or desirable attitude to assume. While all the other institutions of the world are drawing closer together, shall only Masons and Masonic bodies continue to hold aloof from each other?
The Scottish Rite is too well established and its Masonic character too well known to warrant any further effort on the part of the so-called York Rite or Ancient Craft Masonry to ignore it. We know from exoteric evidences and, if we would, might know from esoteric evidences also that the symbolic lodges of the Scottish Rite teach and practice genuine Freemasonry. Their ceremonies, it is true, differ in some particulars from our own, but no more so than do those of certain grand bodies of the so-called Ancient Craft. Their fundamental teachings are the same.
In the United States and a few other countries this question has been happily solved by the surrender of the Scottish Rite of all control over the first three degrees. There are in such cases no Scottish Rite symbolic lodges to be dealt with, and for obvious reasons it is not possible or even necessary for grand lodges to attempt to judge of the Masonic character of the higher bodies of the Scottish Rite.
There is, however, a group of countries in which there are no regular grand lodges of symbolic Masonry, or where, if such exist, they are under the control of the Scottish Rite Supreme Councils. Of course such grand lodges can not be recognized as independent, sovereign Masonic bodies, but this is no reason why in a proper case the symbolic lodges holding under them or even such grand lodges themselves may not be recognized as Masonic bodies simply and members of our lodges authorized to hold Masonic intercourse with them and their members authorized to visit our lodges. In other words, independence or sovereignty is not indispensable to the existence of a genuine Masonic body, and, therefore, logically should not be indispensable to its recognition as a Masonic body. Such action would offer no obstacle to the recognition of a sovereign grand lodge when one should be formed.
A third group embraces countries wherein, alongside each other, exist symbolic lodges holding under a Scottish Rite Supreme Council; and symbolic lodges holding under an independent sovereign grand lodge of Ancient Craft Masonry. This group presents more perplexing problems than either of the other groups. Our view is that in such cases we should not recognize the Scottish Rite symbolic lodges of any country as Masonic, unless they are so recognized by the regular grand lodge of Ancient Craft Masonry existing in that particular country.
We are aware that these views are something of a departure from those which have generally prevailed that nothing is to be recognized as genuine Masonry which has its origin from a Scottish Rite body. No uniform rule exists, however, some grand lodges recognizing Symbolic Masonry of Scottish Rite origin, and others refusing. Some grand lodges apply neither rule consistently, in one case recognizing such Masonry, and in another assigning such origin as ground for its refusal.
Your committee has given careful consideration to this subject and we recommend the adoption of the following resolutions:
- That members of the lodges holding under the Grand Lodge of Alabama may hold mutual Masonic intercourse and communication with the members of the symbolic lodges holding under a Scottish Rite body hailing from any country where there is no independent, sovereign grand lodge of Ancient Craft Masonry, or where the regular grand lodge of Ancient Craft Masonry in such country recognizes such Scottish Rite symbolic lodges as regular genuine Masonry. Our members may visit such lodges and their members may visit ours.
- That recognition of a Scottish Rite body by the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States shall be presumptive but not conclusive evidence that the symbolic lodges holding under it are regular and practice genuine Freemasonry, but the final decision as to such regularity and practice shall in all instances rest with this Grand Lodge.
* * *
GRAND ORIENTS OF BELGIUM AND ITALY
Your Committee on Foreign Correspondence hereby respectfully recommends that the special report and resolutions submitted by this committee at the last Annual Communication and adopted by this Grand Lodge, found on pages 85 and 86 of its printed proceedings, authorizing mutual visitation and Masonic intercourse between lodges and Masons of this jurisdiction on the one hand and those of the Grand Orient and Grand Lodge of France on the other, be and the same are hereby extended to include the Grand Orient of Belgium and the Grand Orient of Italy.
* * *
GRAND LODGE OF CHILI
Your Committee on Foreign Correspondence has had referred to it a request from the Grand Lodge of Chili for recognition and exchange of representatives.
This Grand Lodge has been in existence for more than half a century. It is sovereign and independent, exercising control over the first three degrees only. According to the most reliable information we can secure the lodges forming it derived from Scotland and Argentina and it was constituted in strict conformity to the rules of Freemasonry and has never deviated from the "ancient landmarks." It requires a belief in Deity and displays the Bible in its lodges. While its ritual of the three degrees is that used by the Scottish Rite, we have it on the authority of a distinguished Mason of the United States, who has been a member and Senior Warden of a Chilian lodge, that this ritual differs from that common in the United States to no greater degree than do the rituals of our several states differ from each other.
Chili has long been in a settled condition politically and is now one of the most floufishing and progressive countries in the world.
We therefore recommend the adoption of the following resolution:
Resolved, That full recognition is hereby extended to the Grand Lodge of Chili (Louis A. Navarrette y Lopez, G. M.) as a regular Masonic body and the Grand Master is requested to arrange an exchange of representatives.
Oliver D. Street, Chairman.
* * *
SIR KNIGHT VS. BROTHER KNIGHT
Iconoclasts and iconoclasm may sometimes serve a very useful purpose, but the destruction of the title "Sir Knight" in the Order of Knights Templar, I do not believe has been very satisfactory to the great majority of the members of that valiant and magnanimous Order. It is doubtless true that the Grand Encampment at Los Angeles frittered away much important and valuable time in the discussion of what was euphoniously called nomenclature. I had much rather that many of the questions involved had never been raised.
I dislike to be deprived of addressing the Commander with the courteous title of Eminent Commander, or the Grand Commander as Right Eminent when I arise to address these officials. To rise and simply say Grand Master or Grand Commander seems to be lacking in that uniform courtesy of the Templars in the use of honorary titles.
However, the elimination of the title "Sir Knight" and the substitution of "Brother Knight" to my mind does great violence to the eternal fitness of things and to all precedents in the Grand Encampment. I was under the impression that this matter was postponed until the Conclave to be held in Philadelphia next September. I know that on the last day of the Conclave at Los Angeles the Committee on Ritual undertook to make this very change and were defeated overwhelmingly on a rising vote, and the Committee then asked to withdraw this part of their report, so that nothing was done towards changing the title "Sir Knight" in the Ritual.
At the first Conclave of the Grand Commandery of Louisiana held after the Triennial, a protest against the destruction of the title "Sir Knight" was unanimously adopted. An examination of the proceedings of the Grand Encampment for over half a century or longer will show the uniform use of the title "Sir Knight." In 1880 the Grand Encampment itself adopted the report of the Committee on Templar Jurisprudence stating that "Sir Knight" was the correct language to use.
This title distinguishes our order as one of chivalry and recognizes us as descendants from those valiant and magnanimous Knights whose names have shed lustre and glory on the pages of history and "spread our fame both far and wide."
It distinguishes us from the Knights of Pythias, Knights of Columbus, Knights of Honor, and many other similar orders who use the title Brother Knight instead of Sir Knight. It is that distinction I wish to see perpetuated and continued in the future as it has been in the past. With this idea in view I have filed with the Grand Recorder the following preamble and resolution for the consideration of the Grand Encampment at Philadelphia:
"Whereas, there has been some confusion or misunderstanding in regard to certain portions of the nomenclature report and the action thereon at the 33rd Triennial Conclave held at Los Angeles, California, in June, 1916, therefore:
"Be it resolved by the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America in the 34th Triennial Conclave, that in addressing an individual member of this order or a collective body thereof, it shall be lawful and according to correct chivalric nomenclature and courtesy to use the term "Sir Knight" or "Sir Knights" and not the term "Knight" or "Brother Knight" or any other similar term.
"Be it further resolved that any and all amendments to the Statutes or regulations in contravention hereof be and the same are hereby repealed."
I sincerely trust that each and every member of the Grand Encampment will look with favor upon this resolution, and that the term "Brother Knight" may not become finally established in our Ritual and Statutes, and the beautiful ideals for which the title "Sir Knight" stands effectually destroyed. We will next be advised that we must not use the word "Frater" in addressing a member of our order, but must say "Brother" and that we cannot close our letters "Courteously and fraternally" but must confine ourselves to the words "Fraternally, &c." We do not believe these changes for the best. I am hoping the Sir Knights will help me cling to the cherished ideals and established precedents of our beloved Order.
L. E. Thomas, Past Grand Commander, Louisiana.
* * *
AN APPEAL FOR THE MASONIC ORPHANS OF EUROPE
(Just as we are closing the forms for this issue come the following letter and appeal from the Masonic War Relief Association of the United States. As THE BUILDER does not accept advertising we cannot accept the advertisement, as such, but gladly print the correspondence and the appeal for funds. — Editor.)
Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 21,1919.
Editor THE BUILDER:
We are making a special appeal to individual Masons, through the medium of the Masonic press, to send us a dollar, or more, to be used for the relief and support of the orphans of Masons who are in charge of the Masonic fraternities in various orphanages in Paris, France; Brussels, Belgium; Rome, Italy; Belgrade, Serbia; and in London, England.
A part of the funds contributed will be sent to Masonic war hospitals that have been in successful operation in France and Italy, and especially so in England.
Would you be willing to give us half a page, or a page advertisement in your periodical for your next issue, using the advertisement which we send herewith, and setting it up in new form, in as large a space as you are willing to donate as your offering to the cause? If you are not willing to make this as a donation, what would you charge us for a half page space, and what would you charge for a three inch column of space placed next to reading matter?
If you will donate space, please insert it in your next issue, and advise us to that effect.
In our Association, no officer or worker receives a cent of pay, as our services are given to the work, as a Masonic charity.
Thanking you in advance for all courtesies shown us, either in the way of free space, or special reduction in your charges, we remain,
The Masonic War Relief Association.
Wm. B. Melish,
Chairman Executive Committee.
* * *
We appeal to each Mason in America to make a dollar gift to the fund being raised for the support of the orphans of Masons in Belgium, France, Italy, Serbia and other allied countries devastated by war.
In February over 4,000 brethren of Cincinnati and vicinity responded to our appeal for help. Three thousand dollars was sent to the Masonic Orphanage at Paris, France; five thousand dollars was sent to orphanages in Italy and Belgium.
We need FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS for IMMEDIATE pressing necessities. We ask each Mason who has not answer our appeal to do so at once. DO IT NOW. THE MONEY WILL BE FORWARDED BY THE MASONIC WAR RELIEF ASSOCIATION, U.S.A.
Send a Dollar to:
William B. Melish, Chairman
(Past Grand Master)
J. H. Bromwell,
(Deputy Grand Commander K. T.)
Levi C. Goodale,
(Past Grand High Priest)
612 West Sixth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio.
* * *
THE INDEPENDENT AND NATIONAL GRAND LODGE OF FRANCE AND THE FRENCH COLONIES
In the Report of the Committee of the Grand Lodge of California, in reference to the recognition of the Grand Orient, an the Grand Lodge of France, as published in THE BUILDER, the following statement is made in reference to the Independent and National Grand Lodge of France and the French Colonies:
"The Jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge extends over three or four lodges with a membership of less than 200 Masons and that this body is a neglible quantity."
I wish to correct this statement. The Independent and National Grand Lodge of France and the French Colonies is the only Grand Lodge in France that requires a belief in Deity of it, members or candidates, and is the only Grand Lodge that has the Bible displayed on its Altars. It has under its Jurisdiction nine lodges with a membership of about 800. The lodges are located as follows: Four in Paris, two at Bordeaux, one at le Havre, one at Rouen, and one at Boulogne. The one at Boulogne is dormant owing to the exigencies of the war. The membership in these lodges varies from 15 to 260 members.
Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
* * *
There's music in the sighing of a reed;
There's music in the gushing of a rill;
There's music in all things, if men had ears;
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.