A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 11 No. 3 – March 1925
WHY THE GRAND LODGE OF NEW YORK WITHDREW FROM THE MASONIC INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION
Bro. William A. Rowan, Grand Master, New York
DEAR BROTHER EDITOR — In your letter of Dec. 9, you say:
"We have received so many inquiries concerning your withdrawal from the Masonic International Association that I am writing to ask if you would be wining to give us the specific reason in a letter that may be published in THE BUILDER."
Article 7, of the Regulations and Statutes of the Masonic International Association, reads: "Each Jurisdiction may withdraw freely from the Association, if it has met its financial obligations." In his address to Grand Lodge in 1923, M. W.. Arthur S. Tompkins, then Grand Master, in referring to the Masonic International Association, said: "from which Association any Grand Jurisdiction may withdraw at any time for any reason, or for no reason"; New York, however, had reasons, which, in its judgment, called for withdrawal, even though our Constitution permitted membership in the Association, which it does not.
At the session in May, 1919, the following Resolution was adopted by the Grand Lodge of New York:
"RESOLVED, That the Grand Master be and he hereby is invited to accept any invitation which may be extended to this Grand Lodge to attend any Grand Lodge Communication or any conference or conferences of Grand Jurisdictions having for purpose the welfare of the Craft or a closer relationship between Jurisdictions, or any other purpose which in his judgment will promote the interest of the Fraternity, with power to appoint such delegates thereto as in his judgment may be deemed expedient...."
A letter, dated Sept. 30, 1919, was received from Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina, stating:
"During the past years of war we frequently considered whether or not it was our mission to invite the Brothers of an countries to participate in a convention for the purpose of bringing them into closer relation with one another, but after due consideration we felt convinced that the proper time had not yet arrived, and that this wish could be realized only after the cessation of the bloody strife. Now the war is ended. Nations are commencing to resume their relations. The broken threads of manifold skeins of destiny ought to be repaired. In this work of reconstruction Freemasonry must not continue its attitude of waiting. It must no longer remain idle. For is not Freemasonry the one organization that is best qualified to further reconciliation between the peoples, and, by means of personal Contact among its members, to aid in the advancement of Masonic ideals?"
and offered its services to call an International Congress of all Freemasons, to be held in Switzerland during the autumn of 1920, subject to the approval and necessary support of the lodges of all of the countries, viewing the principal value of such a conclave in the exchange of ideas it may bring, in order to break down any barriers that may exist, and to aid the common cause of a closer world brotherhood, stating that "the Congress will act solely in an informatory capacity, and will not pass binding resolutions," and asking New York to consider the proposal carefully, and give it the necessary publicity among all interested circles. Following which, M. W. William S. Farmer, then Grand Master, sent a letter to all of the Grand Masters in the United States asking their attendance, and later sent a letter to all Jurisdictions outside of the United States, expressing the hope for a large and representative attendance by Jurisdictions from all over the world.
In his address to Grand Lodge in May, 1920, M. W. Bro. Farmer said:
"Due to the position it occupies in Freemasonry, the State of New York cannot be backward in expressing its sympathy with and participating in, every movement in the Fraternity in this or any other country which has for its purpose a closer union of Masons, with a view to the promotion of the principles for which the Fraternity stands and the making of the Fraternity a world asset of our civilization.
"We have talked much of its universality, but, when we come down to the final analysis, all Jurisdictions are more or less provincial, and, in their association with each other, find themselves divided by barriers for which there would be found little justification, were a perfect understanding had and the differences discussed in a conciliatory and sympathetic spirit; and, of course, all this without any departure from ancient landmarks or standards.
"Realizing the mission of Masonry as an universal institution, its potentiality for good and the great service it can render now in world reconstruction, the State of New York should be willing to lead and to follow and to be represented in every great conference or assembly where it can contribute to the general cause by its counsel and co-operation."
The Congress was not held in 1920, but was postponed to October, 1921; acting under the Resolution, above referred to, the Grand Master of New York, M. W. Robert H. Robinson, appointed representatives to the Conference. The following Jurisdictions [with approximate membership] were present at this Conference:
- Grand Lodge of New York
- Grand Lodge of Vienna (Austria) — 1,300
- Grand Orient of Belgium — 4,000
- Grand Lodge of Bulgaria — 1,000
- Spanish Grand Lodge — 400
- Grand Orient of France — 25,000
- Grand Lodge of France — 10,000
- Grand Orient of Italy — 25,000
- Grand Orient of Netherlands (Holland) — 6,420
- United Grand Orient Lusitania of Portugal — 3,000
- Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina — 4,700
- Grand Orient of Turkey — 2,600
- Grand Lodge "Zur Aufgehenden Sonne" (Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun, of Nuremburg)
These Jurisdictions, exclusive of New York, had a membership of less than 100,000; the regular Grand Jurisdictions of the world, exclusive of New York, had a membership of over 3,250,000.
At that time, it was thought that the small attendance was due to the postponement, and that the new date had not been effectively advertised.
The Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun was admitted to the Conference by vote, New York and Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina voting in the negative.
The Conference adopted the following Declaration of Principles:
"The Masonic Grand Jurisdictions represented in Congress, with a view to making more effective their humanitarian and pacific mission, proclaim hereby constituted a
MASONIC INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION,
the seat of which is Geneva.
"All Masonic Grand Jurisdictions which subscribe to the principles, herein set forth, shall be eligible to membership.
"Inspired by the ideals shared by all, each Grand Jurisdiction in this Association retains its sovereignty, its traditions and its ritual.
"Freemasonry, founded by landmarks philanthropic, philosophic and progressive, the basis of which is the acceptance of the principle that all men are brothers, has for its object the quest of Truth, the study and practice of morality, and of that which will lead to unity among men.
"It labors to better the conditions of humanity from the material and spiritual standpoint as well as to lead it to a higher and intellectual and social plane.
"It has for principles toleration, respect for others and for self, liberty of conscience. It holds it to be its duty to extend to all members of the human family the bonds of fraternity, which unite Freemasons the world over.
"Freemasonry, deeming work to be one of the essential duties of man, honors equally those who toil with their hands and those given to intellectual pursuits.
"It is composed then of a society of upright men, equality and fraternity, labor individually and collectively to promote social progress, giving expression thereby to beneficence in its loftiest sense."
It also adopted Regulations and Statutes, which will be found on pages "H", "I" and "J", of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New York of 1922.
It will be seen that the original proposition for the Congress to act only in an informative capacity, and not pass binding resolutions, was abandoned; all of the Jurisdictions represented signed the Declaration of Principles, save New York and Holland, which signed subject to ratification by their respective Grand Lodges, and the Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun, whose representative left Geneva before the termination of the Congress.
The report to the Grand Master of New York contained the following paragraph:
"Members of the Association respect the territorial integrity and jurisdiction of each other member. Foreign lodges within our territory, chartered by legitimate Grand Lodges acting however in hostility to our claim of exclusive jurisdiction, will be eliminated."
Reference to this paragraph will be made later.
So much objection was raised to the Declaration of Principles by representative members of the Craft in this Jurisdiction because of the omission therefrom of a belief in God, and reference to the Holy Bible, and to becoming a member of an association some of the members of which did not meet the standards of New York, that in 1922, upon recommendation of M. W. Robert H. Robinson, then Grand Master, consideration of the matter was laid over for a year. In his address at that time, M. W. Robert H. Robinson said:
"It is cause of regret and of no little humiliation to the Fraternity that notwithstanding its universality, various components of Freemasonry have had little in common, co-operating almost not at all, in fact frequently refraining even from recognizing one another. For all this, there may have been, perhaps there is, some justification, yet in these days, when the world is seeking closer co-operation, and men of all races appreciate the necessity of more intimate relationship and understanding, if the present problems of the world are to be successfully solved, it was natural that the Fraternity too should awaken to a desire to frustrate the efforts of its enemies to maintain it 'A house divided against itself.'
"These enemies have in a measure succeeded by accentuating the Fraternity's discords and disagreements. Masonry should endeavor to overcome these designs by establishing some medium through which the truth concerning the several Grand Jurisdictions may be ascertained.
"This aspiration found expression in the Geneva Conference and there was there organized a Masonic International Association which has, as its first purpose, the quest of 'Truth,' the thought being that until we know the truth concerning each other, we are hardly in a position to define wherein we may cooperate, or justify our failure to co-operate.
"This new enterprise is of so great importance to the Craft that it seems proper that ample time to study it should be afforded."
In May, 1923, in referring to the matter in his address to Grand Lodge, M. W. Arthur S. Tompkins, Grand Master, said:
"Grand Lodge, at this session, should take action in this matter and determine whether our Jurisdiction is to continue as a tentative member of this Association or is to become a permanent member, or is to withdraw entirely from the said Association.
"We are opposed to a super-Grand Lodge or any International Association that would dominate our own or any other Grand Jurisdiction but I am in favor of a voluntary association or league of tie legitimate Masonic Jurisdictions of the world upon fundamental principles as to which all can agree and upon the common platform of universal brotherhood, without surrendering or compromising any of our own ideals or landmarks and from which association any Grand Jurisdiction may withdraw at any time for any reason or for no reason.
"The International Association of which we are now a tentative member has in it elements that are not in harmony with all of our Masonic standards, the majority of its members are recognized by us as true Masons and with them we are in correspondence and friendly relations, and the question to be determined by us is whether we shall continue our membership in the Association and encourage other American and European Jurisdictions to become members and in time purge the Association of the bodies that are truly not Masonic and make of it a powerful agency for the spread of Masonic Doctrine throughout the world, or whether we shall withdraw our support and abandon the vision and hope of a world-wide Masonic federation. My own opinion is that we should stay where we are and use our best endeavors to interest other American Jurisdictions in the cause, to the end that we may ultimately eliminate all un-Masonic bodies and perfect a powerful and effective worldwide Masonic alliance."
The recommendations were referred to committees on Jurisprudence and Foreign Relations, which committees presented to the Grand Lodge the following recommendation:
"The Joint Committee of Jurisprudence and Foreign Correspondence begs to report:
"'The portion of the Grand Master's address relating to the Masonic International Masonic Association, which has been referred to us has been duly considered.
" 'It seems to your Committee that as a matter of comity to our sister Jurisdictions in the United States it is better not to authorize the consummation of the membership by New York in the Masonic International Association before the subject of membership on the part of other American Jurisdictions has been called to their attention, and an opportunity afforded them of acting.
"'Your Committee therefore would recommend that the status quo of New York with reference to the Masonic International Association be maintained for another year and until three or more other American Grand Jurisdictions have signified their intention of joining with New York as qualifying members and that the dues of New York for the coming year be paid; but without prejudice.
"'(Signed) S. Nelson Sawyer, for the Committee.'
"I concur in the foregoing compromise report only because of the hope that it will make for greater harmony here at home and yet afford some protection and comfort to our brethren in more troubled parts of the world where to be a Mason invites danger and even death.
" (Signed) Townsend Scudder."
It is not necessary to relate here what took place when this report was presented, further than to say it was emphasized "that this report was a compromise, and all that was being asked was to sit down around a Council Table, not even within a lodge, and talk over with the representatives of these other Grand Lodges, which we know within their origin to be legitimate, to see whether or no we cannot help and guide them to our standards." That the Association "admits, for the purpose of its organization, any Grand Lodge which is supposed to be legitimate; and then at the Council Table it is discussed and thrashed out." "When, after discussing with them the conditions that prevail, their ideals, purposes, aims, and efforts to serve mankind, we reach the conclusion that we cannot co-operate."
The following amendment was offered:
"That it is the sense of this Grand Lodge in present session that the Grand Lodge of New York forthwith consummate its membership in the Masonic International Association."
In the discussion that followed, "It was urged that the whole purpose of the thing is to sit at a Council Table, and there discuss the matters which are dividing us, in the hope that possibly we may find a way of uniting." "We do nothing more than sit at the Table and listen to what these people have to say, and then see whether we can inspire them to our ideals, our standards, and our usefulness to humanity, that they may share, in their woe-befallen country, where their suffering, as their contribution to humanity and human happiness;" that having to subscribe to the Declaration of Principles had been entirely eliminated at the last meeting of the executive session of the Association.
"Some thought that it might be urged that they were in substitution for the landmarks, that the landmarks were being east to one side and in their place these principles instituted, consequently it was said, 'away with the whole thing, all that we want members to do is to come here and to discuss the purpose of our getting together,' so the idea of the principles is out of it."
The Amendment was adopted by 542 votes to 397.
Representatives were sent to the meeting of the Masonic International Association at Geneva in September, 1923, which meeting was attended by representatives of the following Grand Jurisdictions:
|4,000||Grand Orient of Belgium|
|34,000||Grand Orient of Italy|
|25,000||Grand Orient of France|
|10,000||Grand Lodge of France|
|1,300||Grand Lodge of Vienna|
|110||Symbolical Grand Lodge of Luxembourg|
|400||Grand Lodge of Barcelona|
|1,000||Grand Lodge of Bulgaria|
|3,000||Grand Orient of Portugal|
|4,700||Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina|
|2.600||Grand Orient of Turkey|
|Grand Lodge "Zur Aufgehenden Sonne"|
|3,800||Grand Lodge of Chile|
|*1,500||National Grand Lodge of Colombia|
|400||Grand Lodge of Yougoslavia|
|*800||Grand Lodge of the United States of Venezuela|
|Grand Lodge of New York|
|6,420||Grand Lodge of the Netherlands|
|* 6,680||Grand Lodges of the Philippine Islands|
*Provisionally admitted by Committee, to be confirmed by Association.
Non-members by proxy:
- Porto Rico
- San Salvador
It is fair to assume that more publicity was given to this meeting than to the meeting in 1921, and that the absence of other Grand Jurisdictions was for reasons other than for lack of knowledge of the time and place of the meeting.
New York consummated its membership without reservations; Holland consummated its membership with reservations; the admission of the Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun was considered, the President of the Association stating: "This Body is unable to prove a regular origin in the strict sense of established usages;" the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun contended they were already regular members of the Association; eventually he asked the Convention to remit the question of its membership in the Masonic International Association to the next year. Some discussion followed, in which, in one case, it was stated that his proposition was that he retire for one year, to the end that he may be given time to regularize his Jurisdiction; to this, the Grand Master stated: "That is correct. You will then have entire freedom to settle the question of inquiry;" a member seconded the request of the Grand Master with the statement, "Let us adjourn the matter for a year, the time needed by the Rising Sun to secure its regularization." Another stated: "He asks one year to regularize his Jurisdiction and that we ourselves make whatever inquiry seems desirable to us to make. At the end of the year we shall have the necessary information, but from now till then I ask that his Jurisdiction cannot remain a member." To which the President replied: "That is evident. The Rising Sun will withdraw: that is understood." The President then put the following proposition: "Do you, Brethren, approve this idea that for one year the Advisory Committee will gather all useful information, and that at the end of this time the Rising Sun will raise its candidacy anew and will come with titles of regularity? For the present, it is therefore considered as retiring voluntarily from the Association."
According to the Minutes, this was unanimously adopted.
The question as to the requirement in the Declaration of Principles that "all Masonic Grand Jurisdictions which subscribe to the principles, herein set forth, shall be eligible to membership" was taken up, and before the vote one representative stated:
"It is well understood that the Declaration of Principles stands as we have adopted it. What is suppressed is simply the obligation on the part of Jurisdictions which shall adhere in the future, and should have not signed this Declaration, to consider it as a credo, as an article of faith. With this understanding, I am willing to support the proposition which asks us to suppress the obligation."
"The Assembly goes against the obligation unanimously, minus five votes." Whereupon the President announced, "The Resolution is adopted. We shall keep the Declaration but from this time on the Declaration of Principles is no longer obligatory." (The only other provision for membership is in Part 2, Article 5, of the Regulations and Statutes, as follows:
"The candidacy of a Grand Jurisdiction for membership in the Association cannot be considered, excepting it be seconded by three Grand Jurisdictions which are members.
"Among the Grand Jurisdictions sponsoring a candidacy, must be included those members of the Association having their seat in the same territory as the candidate."
This question was disposed of prior to the action concerning the Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun.
Article 1, of the Regulations and Statutes, reads:
"The object of the Association is:
"To maintain and to develop existing relations between Masonic Grand Jurisdictions.
"To create new relations."
In the report of the Secretary is the following:
"The questions relating to the League of Nations have been attended to. We have received different communications about the Russians and massacres of Greek populations at the Black Sea. The League of Nations has acknowledged the receipt of our letter. We have pursued the same course in that which concerns the alleged massacres of Boy Scouts, as the Turks call them. We have written to the League of Nations conformably to the decision of the Congress with regard to re-patriation of the prisoners of war. They have informed us of the receipt of our letters. We have in the same manner disposed of the question of the Greeks as regards the massacre of the Boy Scouts at Sofia."
The Secretary presented a letter addressed to the Peace Conference at Lausanne, saying:
"By this letter the Masonic International Association unites its views with that of numerous societies which have demanded of the Peace Conference at Lausanne the creation of national independence in favor of the Armenian, and this in the name of Right, Justice, and of Humanity; " adding, "it means only a simple expression of good will and interest for a people which suffers."
The proposal was adopted without objection.
For the information of the Association the Secretary reported having met two delegates of the International Syndical Federation of Amsterdam, which represents, he was told more them 24 million members of Metallurgic Syndicates. He was told that the delegates had adopted a formal resolution at Rome concerning war against war; that they had decided not only to suppress war by honest means, but that they were ready to suppress it by a general strike, and asked if the Masonic International Association would not be disposed to lend its co-operation, to which he replied, "that we were not sufficiently informed"; "for the two hundred years that Masonry has existed, it has been pacifist; hence, we are older than all the Peace Associations.... We have entered into no acknowledgment whatever on this side."
The Secretary reported:
"I was notified by the International Peace Bureau at Basle, along with a number of Associations which stand for peace. I have been asked if as a Masonic International Association we would be disposed to lend our help to the International Peace Bureau at Berne. This Bureau has sent us its Constitution and a number of questions, all of which will be submitted to the Advisory Committee when it meets."
A representative of one Jurisdiction, who at that time was Secretary of the International Labor Bureau, stated:
"Several delegates have expressed a desire to visit the International Bureau of Labor of the League of Nations. You know that this Institution follows objects and an ideal which corresponds to those of Masonry, and to which we all have an attitude to contribute.
"Albert Thomas, the Director of the International Bureau of Labor, has charged me to inform you that we will be happy to receive you and to receive all of the delegates of the Masonic International Association at 6:30."
A representative proposed the following Resolution:
"Sharing the emotion of the Brethren of the Masonic International Association provoked by the existing condition of Hungarian Masonry, the Convention of the Masonic International Association at Geneva, regrets sincerely that events of a political nature have kept the Hungarian Brethren separated from their labors. It is hoped that a more complete understanding of the true character of the Hungarian Masonic Lodges will put an end to the present situation. There is to be addressed to the Brethren an expression of our keen sympathy in the hope that it may soon be serving anew by their activity the glory of their nation and the cause of humanity."
According to the Minutes, the above Resolution was "unanimously adopted." A letter, signed by the President of the Convention, is sent to the President of the National Ministers of Hungary, Budapest. A representative stated:
"I ask that this order of business, which is certainly voted unanimously, be transmitted to the Government of Admiral Horty. There have been various interviews with the Government itself, as you know. I believe that if this order of business is transmitted to the Government, making known the different Jurisdictions which have adopted it that is to say the unanimity of the Convention, I believe that this may have a very considerable influence on Admiral Horty. I ask that in doing this, we make known to Horty of how many Jurisdictions the Masonic International Association is composed."
The above in face of the fact that the Minister of the Hungarian Government had stated, "The Masonic question has become, however we may judge it individually, a burning political question of such intensity as to cause the Government to proceed with the greatest caution; reopening the Lodges would mean signing an order for renewal of bloodshed."
The following Resolution was approved as a sense of the meeting:
"The Masonic International Association has for an object to create a fraternity between peoples and to make war on war."
An official statement for publication in the public press, contained the following:
"The Convention unanimously adopted the following Resolution: 'The Assembly uniting its endeavors with those of the League of Nations, affirming that all conflicts between peoples should be decided by an International Jurisdiction....' "
The above acts of the Association were not submitted to this Grand Jurisdiction [New York] for information or consideration, either before being put into effect, or for ratification afterwards, although each Jurisdiction is supposed to retain its sovereignty; (no provision is made in the Regulations and Statutes that any such submission is to be made, but on the contrary the Statutes provide that the Advisory Committee:
"(a) Has in charge the execution of the resolutions of the Congress.
"(b) It takes the steps necessary to realize, within the provisions of the regulations, the purposes of the Association."
The acts above set forth, and others hereinafter referred to, are not the results sought by M. W. Bro. Farmer (as expressed by him in above quotation), who accepted the invitation of Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina, or by M. W. Bro. Robinson, who appointed representatives to the first Conference, and whose views are quoted hereinbefore, or by M. W. Bro. Tompkins, whose views and recommendations are also quoted hereinbefore; furthermore, these acts do not meet the purposes of the Association, as set forth in Article 1, of the Statutes, above quoted, nor do they conform to the purposes urged in the Grand Lodge of New York in 1923, hereinbefore mentioned, and so far as the League of Nations is concerned, the United States has refused to become a member, and in this country it has become a matter of political dissension.
In making up its program for the meeting of 1924, the Association included therein the subject of Labor; the question of Labor from the general and social point of view. The Grand Lodge of New York was not advised that this subject was to be discussed; obviously, it has nothing to do with the purposes of the Association, nor with discussing at a Council Table the matters which are dividing us, nor with inspiring other Jurisdictions with our standards of Masonry.
"AVOID PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSIONS"
There was also included in the Program for the meeting of 1924 the subject of Legitimacy of Regularity (referring to Grand Lodges), with the understanding that the discussion was to "avoid philosophical questions"; that "philosophical questions are of an internal concern", and "that means not to consider the landmarks, the questions of divinity; things which have nothing to do with the subject." Without the restrictions placed upon this discussion, here was an opportunity to discuss one of the matters which are dividing us, and to see whether or no we could help and guide such of the Jurisdictions as are not in harmony with all our Masonic standards; but with the restrictions, nothing helpful could come out of the discussion, for were everything else agreed upon, there would still remain the one obstacle upon which this Jurisdiction is unyielding, and that is the requirement of a belief in God and the Holy Bible. This attitude furthermore eliminates from consideration the essential Landmarks of the Craft, by which regularity is truly established, after evidence has been presented of legitimacy by descent or proper regularization. This elimination would make impossible the realization of the hope with which New York entered the Association, that these Landmarks would be accepted ultimately as binding upon all members of the International Association.
At the banquet which followed the session, statement was made, referring to those present, that "it is impossible that such men can be separated, divided, simply because there exist between them very small differences" .... "If there exist any differences between us, they are not deep; if that is once realized, the attainment of our object will not be far off." Another speaker stated: "And yet these principles were worked out in 1877 at a time when our Jurisdiction, concluding that the symbol of the Great Architect of the Universe was of a nature to create an ambiguity not in harmony with the Masonic Doctrine, eliminated it from its formulas."
"A VERY SMALL DIFFERENCE"
The difference between the requirement of a belief in God, and the Holy Bible, and the non-requirement may be regarded by some as a "very small difference" and "not deep", but in this Jurisdiction it is a difference between a Mason and a clandestine-Mason.
Among the membership of the Association are some so-called Masonic Jurisdictions, who disregard the Landmark, defined by New York, as follows:
"That every candidate for admission to the privileges of Freemasonry must before initiation declare his belief in one ever living and true God, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe, and the immortality of the soul."
The Association, in its Conventions, disregards the Landmark, defined as follows:
"That no candidate or brother can be questioned as to his peculiar mode of religious or political opinion, nor can any discussion upon such subjects be permitted in any assembly of the Craft."
Some of the so-called Grand Lodges, members of the Association, do not hold to the Masonic belief that, "The Holy Bible is the Great Light in Masonry, and the Rule and Guide for faith and practice."
At the meeting of the Advisory Committee, Feb. 22, 1924, in Paris, it was stated that the total membership of 1924 consisted of twenty-five adherents, of which Ecuador, Guatamala, Peru, and Haiti are provisional.
The question of the Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun again came up; it was stated that the Grand Orient of France had authorized its representatives to support and defend the Rising Sun.
The League of Nations was discussed, and a Committee was appointed for propaganda in favor of the League of Nations. One representative quoted Albert Thomas as having said:
"We have advanced beyond the studies of the subject, we have today the sovietism in Russia and obligatory labor in Bulgaria; are not these indications of a new conception of what labor is and what it is to be? Labor from the beginning was slavery which then developed into wage earning; isn't it possible that we may approach a new Era?"
He then asked, "Would it therefore not be useful to study theoretically, 'academically,' what labor is?"
It will be noted that persistent efforts have been made to introduce into the membership the Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun, an organization which is Masonic only in name, and composed of lodges, none of which is in possession of a charter from a regular Jurisdiction. This self-constituted organization, moreover, has stated officially that it has been established to combat orthodoxy in religion and orthodoxy in Masonry; saying in fact, "We are against Masonic orthodoxy which bows to the Bible and exacts a belief in a personal God, Grand Architect of the Universe." From the fact that there are members in the Association who do not require a belief in God, or the use of the Holy Bible, it would seem as though all the Association expected this organization to do within a year was to find some Jurisdiction that would regularize it without altering its principles or beliefs. Should the Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun, in its present condition, or after being healed, be admitted, it would have the veto power over the Grand Lodges within the territory of Germany, so far as admission into the Masonic International Association is concerned, unless of course the Association amends its Regulations and Statutes, which read:
"Among the Grand Jurisdictions sponsoring a candidacy, must be included those members of the Association having their seat in the same territory as the candidate."
This may have something to do with the efforts to secure its admission, or the persistency in trying to have this Association admitted, may be in the nature of a response by some of the Jurisdictions in the Association to the statement of M. W. Bro. Tompkins, above quoted; however that may be, the quibbling which has taken place concerning the Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun does not inspire confidence either in the judgment or usefulness of the Association.
GRAND ORIENT GETS OUT OF LINE
Referring to report of an agreement made at Geneva in 1921, which report is quoted in the early part of this letter, the Grand Orient of Italy, respecting the agreement, eliminated the lodges of its obedience in this Grand Jurisdiction. The Grand Orient of France has not only disregarded the agreement, but to this day has a lodge of its obedience in this Jurisdiction, which lodge, subsequent to 1921, has been empowered to confer the Degrees of the Scottish Rite up to and including the 18th Degree.
According to our information, the Grand Orient of France, since the Geneva Conference in 1921, has taken under its official patronage a spurious organization with headquarters in the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and has authorized it to establish Masonic lodges in all parts of the United States, including New York, except the Jurisdictions of the Grand Lodges of Rhode Island, New Jersey, Minnesota, Iowa and Alabama, so long as these five Jurisdictions shall remain in fraternal relations with the Grand Orient of France.
Article 3, of the Regulations and Statutes, of the Masonic International Association, reads:
"All Grand Jurisdictions belonging to the Association must be composed of men exclusively."
While the letter of this law appears to have been observed by all the members, there is plainly an evasion of the spirit of it on the part of the Grand Orient of France, as since 1921 it has entered into fraternal relations with a co-Masonic Order, so-called, which admits men and women on equal terms. It is true that inter-visitation is limited in that only men belonging to the co-Masonic Order may visit lodges of the Grand Orient of France, but the fact remains that the principle announced in Article 3 has been violated by recognizing as Masonic an organization professing to initiate women into the Craft, and making them members thereof.
These actions of the Grand Orient of France could be corrected, but it is not to be expected that the Grand Orient will require a belief in God as a pre-requisite of membership, or restore the Bible to its altars. According to the Minutes of the Supreme Council of the Grand Orient of France, which is the governing Body of the Grand Orient of France, the attitude is to never restore the requirement of a belief in God, nor to replace the Bible on the lodge altars.
NEW YORK LAYS DOWN A POLICY
At the time of our withdrawal, in addition to New York, the Association was composed of eighteen Grand Lodges recognized by this Grand Jurisdiction, and seven not recognized; of the six candidates for membership at that time, only one is recognized by New York.
My reaction to the situation, as above presented, determined me to lay down such a policy as would make our position definitely known to the Association; and to make certain that I had the authority to do this, being unable myself to find such authority, I referred the matter to the Judge Advocate, Right Wor. Harold E. Lippincott, who advised as follows:
"The Grand Lodge of the State of New York has adopted for the Preamble of its Constitution the expression of Masonic belief essential to its existence and to which all members of the fraternity within its jurisdiction must subscribe in order to be Masons of good standing in membership in the Grand Lodge of the State of New York.
"In addition, it has prescribed the Constitutional form of petition for initiation (Section 87) in which are embraced in questions 10, 11 and 12, relating to the Landmarks of the Fraternity to which each candidate must answer, and to be acceptable, his answers must disclose his belief in God, his sound bodily health and freedom from any physical, legal or moral reason which would prevent him from becoming a Free Mason, and to describe any physical deformity or defect, which later must be of such character as not to be in contravention of the qualifications prescribed in Definitions Section 6.
"The Landmarks as defined for the purposes of the Constitution, are contained in the appendix thereto and follow the rules of order. In addition, the Standing Committee on Foreign Correspondence is the recognized body through whom the relations of the Grand Lodge of New York with Lodge or Grand Lodges of other Jurisdictions, be established. And, for one claiming to be a Free and Accepted Mason, to be recognized as such by the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, he must have received degrees in a Lodge recognized as regular by our Grand Lodge, and for a Lodge to be recognized as regular, and to have Masonic intercourse with the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, such Lodge must act under authority of a source duly recognized as regular by the Grand Lodge of New York.
"It is therefore my opinion that before the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, or any of its duly accredited representatives, may hold Masonic intercourse or enter into any engagements affecting or incidental to Masonry as accepted by the Grand Lodge of the State of New York with foreign bodies or Grand Lodges, it is pre-requisite that such a Lodge or Grand Lodge must meet every requirement which the Grand Lodge of New York considers necessary for official recognition and that such recognition has actually been granted by the Grand Lodge of New York by due presentation by the Committee on Foreign Correspondence of the qualifications of such a Lodge or Grand Lodge."
This decision was submitted to the Chairman of the Committee on Constitution, M. W. Bro. S. Nelson Sawyer, whose decision I quote below:
"I have read the copy of Bro. Lippincott's opinion concerning the International Association with much pleasurable interest and, with the exception herein noted, am in full accord with the conclusion he has reached as well as his reasons therefor.
"The last two and a half lines seem to indicate his thought that the Grand Lodge has no power to act except upon recommendation of the Committee of Foreign Correspondence. It is my belief that the Committee is created by the Grand Lodge solely for convenience, and that the Grand Lodge, if it so desires, may act directly and without reference to the Committee. This, however, does not mean it may act in contravention of its self-imposed constitutional limitations. When in May, 1923 we attempted to associate ourselves with this so-called International Masonic Association, a number of the members of which are not Masonic at all according to our standards, we violated our own constitution and the action so attempted is an absolute nullity. It could, in my judgment, have been lawfully taken only after such amendment of the constitution as would waive, our present requirements and raise the ban against non-belief and clandestinism, both of which are fully represented in that Association."
His decision was concurred in by M. W. Bro. Thomas Penney, and M. W. Bro. Arthur S. Tompkins, the other members of the committee.
This left no alternative, and the following cable was therefore sent to the Chancellor of the Association:
"I am directed by the Grand Master of New York to request you to convey to the President of the International Masonic Association incumbent or to follow the following official message:
"'Grand Lodge of New York withdraws from the International Masonic Association on constitutional grounds and will not be represented at coming conference in Brussels. Letter follows.' (signed) Kenworthy, Grand Secretary."
This cable was confirmed by letter, as follows:
"Confirming our cable message to you today, copy enclosed, I am directed by the Grand Master Most Worshipful William A. Rowan to inform you that, while this Jurisdiction is desirous of a closer and more intimate relationship and for some basis for united co-operation with all jurisdictions adhering to the Landmarks both in this country and abroad, and is willing to enter into relations with any jurisdiction meeting the requirements of our recognition, it cannot be a member of a Masonic Association, some of whose members do not adhere to the Landmarks.
"Having met its financial obligation, Grand Lodge of the State of New York withdraws from membership in the International Masonic Association.
"Will you be good enough to convey the purport of this letter to the Brother President incumbent of the International Masonic Association and his successor when selected."
There are reasons, other than those herein stated, or indicated, or which may be inferable therefrom, which we prefer to withhold for the present. If any doubt should remain as to the weight of judgment in favor of our withdrawal, a reading of the Minutes of the last Session of the Association (1924) would be helpful.
At the 1924 Session, "The President reported that the prize of One Hundred Thousand Francs to be awarded in a competition in French on the subject of Peace, has been won by Ed. Naurette belonging to the Lodge 'Fidelity' at the Orient of Paris. He proposed to send to this brother a telegram of felicitations. Adopted unanimously."
The member Jurisdictions are termed "Obediences".
"THE RISING SUN" AGAIN
The question of the Grand Lodge of the Rising Sun came up, and was put over another year by a vote of 11 to 9, after its admission had been demanded and the Association asked that they be accepted without examining too closely into the question of regularity.
The following proposition was submitted:
"The Masonic Obediences which solicit admission into the ranks of the I. M. A. bind themselves to submit to the arbitration of the I. M. A. any differences which may arise between them an Obedience belonging to the I. M. A. and to accept the verdict of such arbitration."
A Resolution was passed, reading in part as follows:
"Considering that the Hungarian Government has dissolved that Grand Lodge so that our Brethren cannot meet freely:
"We invite our delegates to the I. M. A. to use all their efforts in common with the delegates of the Powers represented, so as to cause to be lifted an interdict which nothing can justify."
The following Resolution was approved by acclamation:
"International Masonry views always with sorrow any blow struck at the liberty of peoples and that of their citizens.
"It reproves notably violence and massacres.
"The International Masonic Congress protests therefore against the massacre of the Georgians and expresses the wish that soon will cease the fratricidal struggles unworthy of our civilization and of the pacific era which seems at last to be opening for Humanity."
Upon the question of Masonic regularity, one Jurisdiction presented its conclusions, one of which was that it considered as regular the Powers already admitted to the Masonic International Association. Another Jurisdiction proposed that new Obediences ought to be consecrated regularly by the Masonic International Association. One representative proposed that "The recognition of the regularity of an Obedience, such as the Masonic International Association will define it, ought to have as a consequence the interfrequentation [right of visitation] of the lodges by the brethren belonging to all of the Obediences making part of the Masonic International Association."
The following Resolution was unanimously adopted:
"The Convention recommends with the greatest earnestness to all the affiliated Obediences to have recourse to arbitration in order to settle any differences which may arise between them and charges the Consultative Committee to regulate the methods and penalties of such arbitration."
Our withdrawal leaves the Masonic International Association without representation from any Grand Jurisdiction in the United States. It will have been observed that the attempt to have a closer world brotherhood resulted in a few regular Jurisdictions combining with Jurisdictions not recognized by New York, and, exclusive of the membership of New York, having less than 3 per cent of the membership of the regular Grand Jurisdictions of the world in this Association.
If this were a possible way to reach a closer world brotherhood, it seems strange that the representatives of the 3,250,000 regular Masons of the world have stood aloof from it; perhaps some such thought has arisen in the minds of the representatives of several of the member Jurisdictions, and that we are not alone in our conclusions as to the futility of the present Association.
Our Committee on Foreign Correspondence has continued right along with its duties, and during the time of our connection with the Masonic International Association, and independent of it, has acquired information concerning other Grand Jurisdictions, some of which has been acted upon by Grand Lodge, and the rest, as far as it has been completed, will be submitted for consideration at its next session.
That "There is one God, the Father of all men", is the rock upon which we build; and that "The Holy Bible is the Great Light in Masonry, and the Rule and Guide for faith and practice", and an adherence to the Landmarks, governs our procedure. Upon this basis, I dare say, this Grand Jurisdiction will join hands with all the Grand Jurisdictions of the world within its recognition for a better understanding, closer relationship and co-operation, and in any practical move to attain unity and advance the spirit of Brotherhood.
Note: Since above communication was drafted, I have received a letter and memoir from the Advisory Committee of the Masonic International Association asking for the reasons of our withdrawal, to which I shall reply in a little while. This memoir was sent in conformity with the following resolution, passed by the Association last September:
"The Congress expresses its profound regret over the withdrawal of the Grand Lodge of New York from the I. M. A., a withdrawal decided by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York.
"The Congress charges its Consultative Committee to cause to communicate to the Grand Lodge of New York a memorandum expressing the sentiments of the I. M. A. to put itself in relation with the Grand Lodge in order to examine with the latter the differences which appear to exist, and expresses the wish that they may be dissipated in the shortest possible time."
You may not be aware of the fact that I was born and raised in Missouri, and of course naturally acquired some of the characteristics of that nativity. Believe you will agree that so far as Masonic International Association is concerned "I have not been shown."
(Signed) William A. Rowan.
* * *
AMERICAN COLLEGE FRATERNITIES
Bro. Carl A. Foss,
National Secretary Of The Intercollegiate Masonic Fraternity Of Square And Compass, New York
This article, to be concluded next month, should prove of permanent reference value, it is so rich in history and fact. Bro. Foss is a member of Alexandria Lodge, No. 297 Alexandria Bay, N.Y., and of Rockbridge Chapter, No. 44, R.A.M., Lexington, Va. He was one of the founders of Square and Compass, is now National Secretary of that Fraternity and editor of "The College Mason." Among other college fraternities he holds membership in Phi Delta Theta, Phi Delta Phi (legal), and Delta Sigma Rho (forensic).
WHEN, on the 24th day of June in the year of our Lord, 1717, a number of Master Masons met in an ale-house in London, known by its sign of the Goose and Gridiron, and completed the organization of a Grand Lodge of Freemasons which they had begun the year previous, they started something whereof the end is not yet seen. Without entering into a discussion as to whether their step was a new beginning or a re-organization of a Grand Lodge, it safely may be assumed that this action of the English Masons was the popular beginning of what is now one of the most extensive features of civilized human society, especially in our own country. The inauguration of Symbolic Freemasonry is not only the beginning of a fraternal system of ethical principles and conduct, with a world-wide membership, but has led also to the foundation of other organizations that have copied, to a greater or less extent, the fundamental teachings of Freemasonry and many of the characteristic forms and practices of the Craft. The number of such organizations is almost incalculable and new ones are being started every year. Imitation is the sincerest commendation.
It is said that Americans are a nation of joiners. We doubt whether Americans are born with any greater urge to become members of secret or fraternal organizations than are the citizens of any other country or the members of any other race. It is probable that the large number of such organizations in the United states is due to the early popularity of the Masonic Order in America. When Washington and almost all of his major generals were Masons, when Franklin, Hamilton and Marshall and a majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were loyal members of the Craft, in short, when practically every man of consequence in the early days of the American Republic wore the lambskin, it is not to be wondered that men were eager to be enrolled in the Brotherhood. Neither is it to be wondered that other fraternities were started which sometimes provided a means of social intercourse that was not possible to Freemasonry under some conditions and in some localities and that these newer organizations received, in many cases, those who also bore allegiance to the Craft. Some of the newer fraternities, because they were young and less conservative, have often times accepted those rejected by some Blue Lodge, but no reproach should be made against them for this. There have been for many years in this country certain fraternities that have had and do have a particular appeal to certain classes of American people and, of course, many American social organizations have been founded with different motives and principles with a consequent appeal to those in sympathy with such ideas. The fraternal organizations, offering the benefits of insurance, have combined the benefits of a social organization with the advantages of an insurance company, but in the case of some of these it is sometimes difficult to recognize the jointure as the insurance features predominate over those of a social character.
DEMOCRACY ACCOUNTS FOR THEIR GROWTH
Events have proven that the Anti-Masonic period was less of a catastrophe than it was an occasion of an awakening interest in secret societies, for new organizations sprang up by the dozen during this period and closely following it.
We believe that the principal reason for the growth in number and membership of American fraternal organizations has been the democracy of membership. Probably no country in the world, with the possible exception of Canada, has a greater democracy in fraternal membership than the United States. This democracy has been inherited from the Freemasonry of Revolutionary days when a Masonic lodge included judges and farmers, generals and private soldiers, statesmen and fishermen. Freemasonry in England today includes the king's uncle and the king's sons and we suppose half of the House of Lords, and it may include the king's servants for all we know, but we doubt if the Craft in England is composed of such a mixture of wealth and influence and lack of them as in America. This may be caused, to some extent, by the English practice of limiting the membership of a lodge to members of a particular calling or business, and we may presume that in the natural course of events more lodges will be made up of the wealthier and more influential classes than of those less able, in wealth and influence, to maintain a lodge. In America we have few "class" lodges and may the good Lord preserve us from them for democracy in membership has been the natural result of almost every lodge in the United States being made up of rich and poor, professional man and laborer, doctor, lawyer and Indian chief. We have such a multitude of fraternal organizations in America, in consequence of the democracy and early popularity of membership in the Masonic Order, that there isn't an American, no matter how poor, who cannot belong to at least one. This is a good thing.
In the United States we have the Owls and the Orioles, the Eagles and the Elks, the Woodmen and the Foresters, the Knights of Columbus and the Knights of Pythias (we were going to write the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan), and hundreds of other organizations called by plain names, names of animals, birds, insects, fish, the moon and the stars. And to keep up the procession we Masons have the Royal Arch, the Knights Templar, the Scottish Rite, the Mystic Shrine, the Veiled Prophets, the Sciots, the Tall Cedars, the Eastern Star and its appendages, and numerous other Side Degrees with more imposing names but less actual worth. And then our Negro citizens have carefully compiled a list of the entire bunch and multiplied the number by two, using the same names and, generally, the same rituals used by the organizations limited to members of the white race, adding a few more organizations of their own devising for good measure.
And, finally, not the least important members of the fraternity system, there are the college fraternities. Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (10th edition) mentions almost one thousand college organizations, either clubs or fraternities, that have been born in the United States and have since departed or else are still in the land of the living. Decidedly, one would think we had sufficient organizations from which one could select at least one to make a connection with. The number of American secret organizations has reached an imposing figure, but the saving characteristic of their existence is that about 99 and 44/100ths per cent of Americans belong to at least one of them. Some of our most careful politicians belong to at least a dozen all at the same time.
"WELL KNOWN MEN ARE JOINERS"
To convince one that there are mighty few Americans who do not belong to some secret organization, we have only to investigate. President Coolidge did not join any fraternity while in college, but has since become a member of Theta Delta Phi, a college law fraternity. Secretary Hughes is a member of Delta Upsilon, a college social fraternity. Neither Mr. Coolidge nor Mr. Hughes are Masons, but it is not difficult to assume their friendliness towards secret fraternal organizations because of their own membership. Both Mr. J. W. Davis and Senator LaFollette are Masons. Henry Ford was a Mason in good standing some time ago, if he is not now, and the leader of what Mr. Ford considers his enemies — Mr. J. P. Morgan of Wall Street — joined one or more secret fraternal organizations in college. Those who have received the honor of election to Phi Beta Kappa, the college honor society for scholarship, are legion and you will see a Phi Be Kappa key jingling in all of the best circles. The Roman Catholic church countenances a number secret fraternal organizations and there are a numb of fraternities limited to those of the Jewish faith. Drive to Newport, Bar Harbor or Southampton and you will find most of the men there will acknowledge membership in some secret fraternal organization, college otherwise. And then, while the old Ford is running good, run into some less desirable places for living an ask the men you see there if they ever heard of a secret society. Even down to the lowest stratum of American society, your informant will reply that he goes, or ought to go, to lodge every Monday night or as the case may be. Almost everyone, from banker to ditch digger, will acknowledge membership in one or more of the secret societies that offer social or other benefits Because of this fact, an anti-secret society period, such as that of the Anti-Masonic agitation, will not recur in America; no one is left to become the plaintiff in the case. (This is neither the time nor place for a discussion of the merits, or lack of them, of the agitation against the Ku Klux Klan. In the matter of practice, and principles, that society has made such startling innovations that its enemies are fighting less its character as a secret fraternity than the innovations it has adopted.)
But we meant to write about college fraternities. To most men who have never gone to college, these organizations are more than secret; they are unknown. An yet, the American college fraternity system is a very vital part of the entire American fraternal system an not simply an adjunct of more or less value. There may be those who believe that Freemasonry would be stronger if there were no other American fraternities if so, they are blind indeed. In the opinion of the writer there is no factor that lends such great strength to the Masonic Order as the existence of our America college fraternities. To some this statement may appear to be unsupported by the evidence, but we believe that acquaintance with college secret societies leads thousands of the future leaders in America to become Masons as soon as they are eligible. Anyone who wishes may read the evidence in favor of the college men. The Federal government tells us that less than one per cent of American boys go to college and yet eighty-five per cent of the men listed in "Who's Who" are college men. The facts of the case are all with the college man and as long as Freemasonry keeps pace with, or exceeds the progress of our country, the Craft will need college men.
THEY ARE INDEBTED TO FREEMASONRY
American college fraternities owe a great deal to Freemasonry. Some of the customs of college fraternities that are known to us are copied directly from Masonic practice and are probably the result of some of the founders of the oldest fraternities being also Master Masons. In the case of Phi Gamma Delta, founded in 1848 at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pa. (since united with Washington College at Washington, Pa., to become Washington and Jefferson College), and now one of the largest and best known of the college societies, all of the five founders were, at the time of founding the fraternity and writing its ritual, members of the Craft. It is not unlikely that were we Phi Gams we might recognize many points of similarity in ritual and practice between Freemasonry and the college fraternity. However, notwithstanding this connection of the college fraternity system with Freemasonry, there is one point of difference that is universal in the college system with the exception of the organization of which the writer has the honor to be a member and an officer. This difference is in the method of becoming a member. As is well known, to become a Mason we first apply for membership. In the college system, if one wishes to become a member of a certain fraternity he simply waits until he is asked to join. College custom is so severe that if one were to intimate to a member that t he wished to join Alpha Beta Gamma, for instance, he probably never would be asked to join that particular organization, for, strange as it may seem, visible preference for an organization is viewed in the light of a faux pas so pronounced that the guilty person cannot possibly be worthy for membership in that society. This form of invitation to join is known in college circles as "bidding" and we know of no college organization other than Square and Compass that does not practice it. Square and Compass practices the Masonic custom of application for membership.
This custom of "bidding" produces a great deal of excitement in college fraternal circles at the time it is practiced. Some institutions require a student to be in college a whole year before he is invited to join a fraternity; others require a less period, either a term or a semester. Whenever the time comes, the members of the different fraternities are zealous in their efforts to obtain the best men for their respective societies. Rules are adopted for the same reason that we have Marquis of Queensberry rules and International Law governing the methods of so-called civilized warfare. And then it is considered significant by some that the rules are generally drawn up and enforced by a council (nearly always called the Pan-Hellenic Council, meaning, all Greek) known to the students by a name that would appear to outsiders as having the significance of a group made up of the damned. A prominent freshman will generally receive two or more "bids" and so he will be invited to numerous luncheons and parties, so far as the purse-strings of the "bidders" will allow, in order to induce him to believe that one fraternity is better than another. He will be told that some President of the United States, long since dead and almost forgotten by everyone except the chosen orators of that fraternity, was a faithful member of the society and thought more of it than anything else in the world. And then there are Senators So-and-So and other celebrities seeking to convince the young freshman that the greatest mistake he could possibly make would be to accept the other "bid" and not the one from that fraternity. Old and learned professors indulge in this persuasion. A dear friend, professor of philosophy at one of the state universities, has told us he always felt more or less foolish when he sat down with some green freshman to try and convince him there was just one fraternity for him to join when he knew there were a dozen along the row in which the freshman would probably be just as happy. After a "bid" is once accepted, it is the height of college dishonor to accept a "bid" and initiation from another fraternity.
PHI BETA KAPPA IS OLDEST
But to get back to the beginning of the college fraternity system. The oldest American college fraternity that exists today is the Phi Beta Kappa, founded on Dec. 5, 1776, at Williamsburg, Va., by five students of the College of William and Mary. The society was preceded by the Flat Hat Club which numbered among its members Thos. Jefferson, George Wythe, Edmund Randolph and others who later became famous. A number of these men were Masons but whether they were Masons before becoming members of the Flat Hat Club, or whether any of the founders of Phi Beta Kappa were Masons is unknown to us. We are not certain why the founders of Phi Beta Kappa selected the Greek alphabet from which to find a name, but the fact that they did so has resulted in American college fraternities being called Greek-letter fraternities, for most of the college organizations have followed the practice of Phi Beta Kappa. It is customary for the founders of a college society to select a secret motto made up of two or three Greek words and call the society by a name composed of the first letter of each word, or this can be reversed by finding a motto that will fit the letters chosen. (To one unfamiliar with the Greek alphabet it should be explained that the Greek words used are simply the English forms for words used by the Greeks to represent the letters of their alphabet, i. e., A, B and C in Greek are Alpha, Beta and Gamma. Although there are many points of similarity, the Greek and English alphabets are not identical in limit, meaning, sound and writing. Ancient, not modern, Greek is used.) Phi Beta Kappa was secret and members were required to take an oath of fidelity. In December, 1778, the society adopted a provision where by non-collegians could become members and plans were laid for extending the fraternity by means of "branches." Five charters were granted for "branches" but nothing is known of the fate of these offshoots.
In the early part of 1779 Elisha Parmele, a graduate of Harvard, was initiated and he asked for permission to establish a "branch" at Harvard and another at Yale, near where he lived. In November, 1780, Mr. Parmele's efforts resulted in a chapter being established at Yale College. The Yale chapter called itself "Alpha of Connecticut" instead of "Zeta" as contemplated. In January, 1781, Phi Beta Kappa at Williamsburg disbanded on account of the approach of the British Army and in September of the same year the "Alpha of Massachusetts Bay" was established at Harvard.
The original charters had granted to Yale and Harvard the right to establish new chapters in their respective states, while the mother chapter reserved the right to establish chapters in other states. However, in 1787, because of the lapse of the chapter at William and Mary, the Yale and Harvard chapters united in establishing a chapter at Dartmouth, called the "Alpha of New Hampshire." In 1817, the three chapters in existence united in chartering "Alpha of New York" at Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., and the establishment of Phi Beta Kappa at Union furnished the spark that began the inauguration of social fraternities which later took place at this institution.
One last word as to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1831 the Harvard chapter divulged the secrets of the society due to the agitation against Freemasonry and other secret societies. As a result, the fraternity lost its social character and there grew up the practice of meeting once each year at commencement and electing the honor men (in scholarship) of the succeeding senior class. Women were first admitted in 1875 and now have equal standing in the society with men and with its long and illustrious career, election to Phi Beta Kappa is easily the highest award in the American college world.
* * *
I built my house on the Sands of Time
A house that I built to stay —
But the tide came in — as the tide will come,
And it washed the sands away.
Then my house fell down, as a house will fall,
And hope went out with the tide
But I built again, as a man will build,
If he be a man of pride.
Then came the storm with the fierce whirlwind
And my house was wrecked again.
And I stood and looked at my labor lost,
And it all seemed so in vain.
But I built again in another place —
Where the storm and the tide came not,
And I felt safe in my new strong house —
But one thing I forgot.
It was the flames with their red-hot tongues,
That came in the still of night,
And they ate it up — as the flames will eat,
Though I strove with all my might.
And again I looked at the house that was,
Then knew it was not to be,
For a well built house won't fall three times,
When built for eternity.
Now why should I build a house three times,
And why should it three times fall?
Were it better I built a house that falls
Than never to build at all?
Then came a thought from the Great Somewhere,
I had not followed the rules,
For a well built house won't fall three times
When built with the Master's Tools.
So I built again with the Master's Tools
The Level, the Plumb and the Square
Each ashlar hewn from the Rock of Faith
Was polished and laid with care;
And the plans I used were the Plans of Life
And my house it faced the sun
Now I dwell therein as a man should dwell
When the Craftsman's work's well done.
— Bro. Herbert N. Farrar.
* * *
THE LEGEND OF THE QUATUOR CORONATI
Bro. Gilbert W. Daynes, Associate Editor, England.
IN Germany these saints occupy a similar position to that in Italy. In the Constitutions, passed at Strassburg in A.D. 1459 for the regulation of the Steinmetzen, the opening paragraph recites: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of our gracious mother Mary, and also of her blessed Servants, the holy four Crowned Martyrs of everlasting memory." The invocation which commences the Torgau Ordinances of the Steinmetzen, made in A.D. 1462, refers to these saints in almost similar terms. These ordinances also declared that, of the four masses that were to be said on all acknowledged fasts and on St. Peter's Day, the third was to be "to the four Crowned Martyrs." It is also interesting to note that, according to Bro. R. F. Gould, the Steinmetzen opened their lodges in the name of the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Mary, and the Four Crowned Martyrs.
Coming to Belgium, we find that many Flemish Gilds of Operative Masons in Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and elsewhere were known as Vier Ghecroonde, or Quatuor Coronati. As far back as the year A.D. 1423 the records of the City of Antwerp mention a gild of that name, and their patron saints according to medals struck in the middle of the fifteenth century were Claudyn (Claudius), Nycostratus, Symphorianus and Castorius. This shows the confusion existing as to the number and names of these saints.
Lastly, coming to England, we find very early traces of the Quatuor Coronati in the country. From Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica we learn that in A.D. 619, in the time of Bishop Mellitus, there was in Canterbury a church dedicated to the Four Crowned Martyrs. The Ecclesiastical History by the Venerable Bede was written in Latin, and completed in A.D. 731. So great was the reputation of this book, that King Alfred translated it into Anglo-Saxon for the benefit of his subjects. In this history, under the chapter headed "Bishop Mellitus by prayer quenches a fire in his City, A.D. 619," we find it stated that "the Church of the Four Crowned Martyrs was in the place where the fire raged most." As to the date when this church was erected — whether about the time of Saint Augustine, A.D. 597, or earlier, during the occupation of Canterbury by the Romans — it is now impossible accurately to determine. One can, however, see quite plainly that the source whence the knowledge of the saints was derived was undoubtedly Roman. Canterbury was the headquarters of the Roman mission, and it may well be that the dedication of a church there to the Quatuor Coronati was the result of the devotion which inspired the minds of the masons, or other artificers, who came over with the missionaries from Rome. Arguments have, however, been put forward claiming for the building an earlier history, commencing during the Roman occupation. If this could be proved it would show that there was a Christian population in Canterbury at that time, and upset, to a considerable extent, the generally accepted accounts of Augustine's proceedings. Tradition is absolutely silent as to what happened to this church, nor is the exact site of the church now known. It has, however, been thought that the site is where the Church of St. Alphage, rebuilt early in the fifteenth century, now stands. Color is lent to this supposition by the fact that the foundations and lower portions of the present walls do show distinct traces of Roman work. This Church of St. Alphage was restored in 1890, and the east end window was glazed with stained glass, the subject depicted being the Four Crowned Martyrs.
THEY ARE REFERRED TO IN REGIUS POEM
Reference may be found to the Legend of the Quatuor Coronati in the earliest Masonic document in the possession of the Craft — the Regius MS. — which was probably written about the year 1390. This MS., which is in metre, cannot be classed with the MS. Constitutions, frequently known as the Old Charges. It is considerably earlier in date to the earliest known copy of these MS. Constitutions. There is an absence of continuity throughout this Poem, and, from a perusal of it, it is quite clear that its author has collected his material from many sources, even transcribing portions of such material, almost verbatim, into his Poem. The author must undoubtedly have had a copy of the MS. Constitutions before him when he was composing his work, and we know that further portions of his Poem were taken from two old MSS. of the period, viz., Instructions for a Parish Priest, and Urbanitatas. In this Poem, the author devoted thirty-eight lines to the Legend of the Quatuor Coronati. This part commences at line 497, and is headed "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum." The author prays that the Articles and Points set out earlier in the Poem may be kept in the same manner
As dede these holy Martyres fowre
That yn thys Craft were of gret honoure
They were as gode Masonus as on erthe schul go,
Gravers and ymage-makers they were also.
For they were werkemen of the bests. &c. &c.
No further reference to the Quatuor Coronati occurs in any Masonic document after the Regius Poem, and, from the absence of any allusion to the Legend in the Cooke MS., or any of the MS. Constitutions, it is quite clear that the author of the Regius Poem must have obtained his material, for this portion of his work, from some source at present unknown to us. For further information as to these saints, the author refers the reader to the Legends of the Saints, and it may have been from some records of a Masons' Company, now destroyed, or from tradition, handed down verbally from generation to generation, that he connected the saints with the Masons. It is, however, quite clear that, at this period, these saints were intimately associated with the building fraternities, and we have evidence of this in the Records of the city of London.
In Letter Book "L", of the Corporation of the city of London, preserved amongst the archives at the Guildhall, on folios 165 to 167, there were posted particulars of an application by the Masons' Company of the city. This Entry shows that, on the "15 Oct., 21, Edward IV (i. e. 1481), came good men of the Art or Mistery of Masons of the City of London into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before the Mayor and Aldermen, and prayed that certain Articles for the better regulation of the Mistery might be approved." The Articles in question are then set forth at length in this book. One of these Articles provides, "That every freeman of the Craft shall attend at Christchurch (within Aldgate) on the Feast of Quatuor Coronati to hear Mass, under the penalty of 12 pence."
A report, written by the clerk of the Masons' Company, dated the 9th February, 1725, is still preserved, in which he refers to the "Constitutions made and granted to the Fellowship of the Free Masons enfranchised within this Honourable city of London in the time of John Browne, Mayor of the city in the one and twentieth year of the reign of King Edward the fourth after the conquest 15th day of October 1481." From this we may gather that the application of the Company was duly granted. The clerk was probably quoting from documents then in the possession of the Masons' Company, but which have since been lost or destroyed.
ALL LONDON MASONS WERE OBLIGED TO HONOR THE SAINTS
It is important to recognize that the Article in the Regulations, which I have quoted, applied to all the Masons within the city of London — masters, liverymen and freemen — who were required, under a substantial penalty, to honour the memory of the Quatuor Coronati. These saints must have been, at that time, the recognized patron saints of the gilds of Masons. It is, also, of interest to note that the Masons' Company of London was at the same time attached to the Gild of the Holy Trinity and held it in the position of a patron saint of the Company, the streamer of the Holy Trinity being always carried by the Company in processions, as representing apparently the religious side of the Company.
In passing, it may also be mentioned that, from the very earliest times, the 8th of November was, by the English Church, directed to be observed as the Feast of the Quatuor Coronati, and was included in all early calendars. This feast was regularly honoured by the English Church up to the time of the Reformation, but disappeared from the Prayer Book, published by Edward VI in 1549.
Just as the Reformation vitally affected the church builders and the Masons' gilds, so also it had its effect upon the observance of the Feast of the Quatuor Coronati. After that time, little or nothing is heard of the Four Crowned Martyrs, and by the eighteenth century they seem to have been entirely forgotten by the craftsmen whose ancestors looked upon them as their patron saints. Space does not permit of a lengthy disquisition upon the many interesting problems arising upon the facts previously set out. There is much still unknown, not only as to the Legend itself, but also as to the precise relationship the saints bore to the medieval builders. The omission of all reference to the saints in the Cooke MS., and the MS. Constitutions, requires explanation and so also does the reference to them in the London Company of Masons' records, no similar references having at present been traced in the records of any other Masons' company. If there were, as many assert, two main classes of Masons — the Church Mason and the Gild Mason — were the Quatuor Coronati the patron saints of both classes, or only of the Gild Masons? Did the Reformation bring with it the abandonment of these saints, as patron saints, on account of their, essentially, Romish origin, or, if not, what was the cause? Or, again, was there a substitution of the Saints John for the Quatuor Coronati by the building fraternity at the time of the Reformation, or at any other time? If not, how is it that, at the commencement of the Grand Lodge era, we find the Saints John as the patron saints of the Freemasons, to the total exclusion of the Quatuor Coronati who were, at one time, the undoubted patron saints of their Operative ancestors. These and many similar questions still await solution at the hands of the Masonic student.
GRAND LODGE FOUNDERS KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THEM
It is quite clear that those who were responsible for the formation of the premier Grand Lodge in 1717 could have known nothing of the Quatuor Coronati as the patron saints of the Freemasons, and that to Dr. James Anderson the legend was a closed book. It is also quite certain that those Freemasons who formed and directed the course of the other Grand Lodge, commonly known as the "Antients" Grand Lodge, could have known nothing of the Masonic antiquity of these saints. If they had, the facts would certainly have been used to the detriment of the premier Grand Lodge. No reference has been traced as to these saints in any of the publications of either of these two Grand Lodges.
And so time went on until 1839 when Mr. J. O. Halliwell, not a Freemason, discovered the Regius MS. amongst the MSS. in the Bibliotheca Regis, now forming part of the British Museum. This MS. had formerly belonged to Charles Theyer, a well-known collector of the seventeenth century, and had long laid hidden under its catalogue title of "A Poem of Moral Duties." Mr. Halliwell described his lucky find and the contents of the MS. in a paper which he read before the Society of Antiquarians, on the 18th April, 1839, and an edition of the Poem was printed in the following year. A perusal of this Poem revealed to the Freemasons of the nineteenth century that their Masonic forbears of medieval days had had as their patron saints the Sancti Quatuor Coronati. These saints, however, still remained in comparative obscurity, the critical study of Masonic archaeology being then in its infancy. It was left to those nine founders of that world-famed Lodge of Research to rescue these craftsmen saints from the oblivion into which they had descended, and to place them once more in their position of old, a position from which I trust time will never remove them.
History of Freemasonry, by R. F. Gould; Vol. I; The Concise History of Freemasonry, by R. F. Gould; Ch. V.; Military Lodges, by R. F. Gould; A.Q.C., Vols. I., XII., XIII., XXVII, and A.Q.A., Vol I.
"Since it has been my very joy to find
At every turning of the road
The strong arm of a comrade kind
To help me onward with my load
And since I have no gold to give
And love alone must make amends
My only prayer is, while I live,
God make me worthy of my friends."
* * *
Statistics of Masonic Homes in the United States
|Assets||Residents||Annual Cost||Provided for
|Alabama||Montgomery||240||350,000||300||70,000||600||Boys, Girls and Old People||1912|
|Arkansas||Batesville||55||100,000||100||33,000||255||Boys and Girls||1909|
|California||Decota||267||1,504,826||150||69,000||----||Old Men and Women||1898|
|California||Covena||35||----||100||60,000||----||Boys and Girls||1898|
|Connecticut||Wallingford||150||500,000||150||72,150||----||Old Men and Women||1888|
|Delaware||Lancaster Pike||10½||150,000||15||9,000||36||Old Men and Women||1912|
|Florida||St. Petersburg||10||200,000||52||172,810||100||Old People, Boys and Girls||1919|
|Georgia||Macon||150||250,000||160||30,000||----||Boys and Girls||1907|
|Illinois||Sullivan||464||1,500,000||150||85,000||400||Old Men and Women||1901|
|Illinois||LaGrange||----||550,000||150||92,000||500||Boys and Girls||1890|
|Indiana||Franklin||223||1,000,000||335||80,000||460||Boys, Girls and Old People||1915|
|Kentucky||Louisville||5½||1,000,000||435||78,690||2,446||Widows and Orphans||1867|
|Kansas||Wichita||19||550,000||150||70,000||600||Boys, Girls and Old People||1897|
|Kentucky||Shelbyville||175||750,000||----||100,000||----||Old Men and their Wives||1871|
|Massachusetts||Charlton||397||250,000||55||35,000||----||Old People, Boys and Girls||1911|
|Michigan||Alma||----||500,000||100||50,000||1,000||Old Men and Women||1894|
|Mississippi||Meridian||262||664,240||130||21,112||200||Boys and Girls||1908|
|Missouri||St. Louis||----||1,300,266||340||146,594||1,260||Old People, Boys and Girls||1889|
|Minnesota||----||271||328,500||14||15,000||20||Old Men and Women||1918|
|Montana||Helena||590||238,390||22||9,726||55||Old Men and Women||1909|
|New York||Utica||100||1,500,000||600||300,000||2,500||Old People, Boys and Girls||1893|
|New Hampshire||Manchester||----||75,000||15||14,000||54||Old People, Boys and Girls||1904|
|New Jersey||Burlington||150||267,000||127||62,168||300||Old People, Boys and Girls||1898|
|Nebraska||Plattsmouth||10||201,662||70||18,607||258||Old People, Boys and Girls||1903|
|North Carolina||Oxford||244||100,000||375||150,000||3,519||Boys and Girls||1872|
|North Carolina||Greensboro||30||175,000||50||11,064||100||Old People||1911|
|Ohio||Springfield||250||1,300,000||235||118,869||1,200||Old People, Boys and Girls||1895|
|Oklahoma||Guthrie||675||750,000||150||40,000||600||Old People, Boys and Girls||1909|
|Pennsylvania||Elizabethtown||1,000||1,861,400||365||270,223||698||Old People, Boys and Girls||1910|
|Tennessee||Nashville||221||330,000||270||51,000||1,307||Old People, Boys and Girls||1892|
|Texas||Fort Worth||212||750,000||350||140,000||800||Boys and Girls||1899|
|Virginia||Richmond||125||250,000||135||40,000||----||Boys and Girls||1890|
|Washington, D.C.||Washington||10||277,000||57||24,717||125||Old People, Boys and Girls||1905|
|Washington||Puyalley||24||200,000||48||20,000||126||Old People, Boys and Girls||1912|
* * *
WHERE AND WHEN WAS LAFAYETTE MADE A MASON?
Bro. Harry J. Guthrie, P.G.M., Delaware
The question here ably discussed by Bro. Guthrie is one of more consequence than might appear to a casual reader: like other similar questions an answer would throw light on certain problems of the first importance in the history of American Masonry. Brethren will find it worth their while to read in connection with the present study other contributions to THE BUILDER: 1916, pp. 219, 313; 1918, pp. 163, 219, 250; 1921, pp. 26, 70, 118; 1923, p. 331 more especially the last named. See also "The History of Brother General Lafayette's Fraternal Connections with the R. W. Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., of Pennsylvania," by Julius F. Sachse; Philadelphia: 1916.
WHENEVER a reference is made to the Marquis de Lafayette and his Masonic connection there arises in my mind feelings of great regret that the time and place of his initiation and subsequent raising cannot be a matter of absolute record, not that it would prove the more that our distinguished patriot was a Master Mason, but that it would set at rest the various claims that have been forthcoming from ambitious writers and Masonic historians.
That he was a Master Mason is fully attested by the fact of his visit to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on Oct. 2, 1824, and to the Grand Lodge of Delaware on July 25, 1825, and his enrollment as an honorary member by each of the said Grand Lodges; together with his visitations to several other Grand Lodges at different times, all of which are matters of Masonic record easily obtainable.
While it may be impossible for me to prove my contention by facts I do feel competent to demolish one tradition by the means of an alibi which I believe to be water-tight.
There is a tradition in Masonic circles that General Lafayette was made a Mason in one of the military lodges at Morristown, N.J., where a Festal Lodge was held on Dec. 27, 1779, for which occasion the jewels, furniture and clothing of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, located at Newark, N.J., were borrowed. At this communication General George Washington and sixty-seven brothers, including General Benedict Arnold, were present. This lodge has been identified, so to speak, as "American Union Lodge," later known as "Military Union Lodge, No. 1," traveling in Connectict, New York and New Jersey, the minutes, or at least a portion of the same, being in the possession of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, so I am advised. These records do not however contain any reference to Lafayette, for obvious reasons, for which I will later submit an alibi.
Gould, in the Library of Freemasonry, twentieth edition, has seen fit to make use of heresay evidence and named the place of ceremony as Morristown, N.J., saying, "According to the late C. W. Moore, all the American Generals of the Revolution, with the exception of Benedict Arnold, were Freemasons. The Marquis de Lafayette was among the number, and it is believed that he was initiated in American Union Lodge at Morristown, N.J., the jewels and furniture used on the occasion being lent by St. John's Lodge at Newark, N.J." On the basis of this statement the publishers inserted a full page cut of the distinguished Marquis with the following statement: "The Marquis Lafayette was admitted into Freemasonry in American Union Lodge which was held in a room over the old Freemen's Tavern, on the north side of the green, Morristown, N.J., during the winter of 1777, at which Bro. George Washington presided in person."
With all due regard and proper respect for the "late C. W. Moore," I am prompted to believe that if his "belief" in regard to Lafayette's being made a Mason was no better than his knowledge which prompted him to deny that B. Arnold was a Mason, then that whole reference used by Bro. Gould had better be crossed off and forgotten: for it is bald fact that Benedict Arnold was a Mason and was expelled directly after he proved himself a traitor to his country, which did not occur until some time in 1780.
LAFAYETTE'S MOVEMENTS ARE TRACED
Briefly let me trace the movements of General Lafayette. He arrived in this country on June 14, 1777; received a commission (honorary in effect) as a Major General from the Congress and was later assigned to Washington's staff as of July 31,1777; led part of the troops in the Battle of Brandywine on Sept. 11, 1777, where he was wounded in the leg and remained in an incapacitated condition at Bethlehem, Pa., until the latter part of October. He tired of the quiet and finally volunteered for duty when scarcely able to place a boot on his foot, and was assigned to the command of General Green and assisted that General in conducting a reconnoiter with a view of giving battle to Lord Cornwallis, who was strongly intrenched at Gloucester Point, N.J., about opposite Philadelphia. The fact that the whole country between New York and Philadelphia was held in British grip precludes the probability of a gathering of general officers of the American army attending a Masonic function at Morristown, N.J., between the first of November and the fifteenth of December, 1777, on which date Washington set his troops into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pa., and at which place Lafayette was quartered until after Dec. 30, 1777, after which time he went to Albany, N.Y., for some special work.
This should satisfy the mind as to the utter improbability of his having taken any degrees at Morristown, N.J., in 1777. But I am inclined to think the printed date of 1777 an error and that it should read 1779 in accordance with the tradition quoted above. That surmise however would not correct the matter. History and government records inform us that on Oct. 21, 1778, Lafayette, as a Major General, was granted a leave of absence to go to France to return at his convenience. (Probably on a secret mission.) It is a fact however that Lafayette left Boston Harbor Feb. 11, 1779, for France; and the fact that he was presented with the Congressional sword at Harve on Aug. 24, 1779, comes pretty near proving that he arrived in France. On the return trip he sailed on board the French frigate Hermoine from Rochelle, March 19, 1780, and landed at Boston April 28, 1780, and on May 13, 1780, the Continental Congress considered his return to America to resume his command as a fresh proof of zeal, etc., etc. SO IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO HAVE RECEIVED THE DEGREES OF FREEMASONRY AT MORRISTOWN, N.J., IN DECEMBER, 1779, AND THAT IS THE REASON A REFERENCE WAS NOT MADE TO HIM AND THAT HIS NAME WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE LODGE REGISTER WHICH CONTAINED THE NAMES OF WASHINGTON AND THE OTHER SIXTY-SEVEN DISTINGUISHED VISITORS.
The second tradition is, that General Lafayette was made a Mason in a military lodge which met at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78, but no official lodge records of such action have ever been discovered.
Gould says, in his Military Lodges, 1732-1899: "In December, 1777, the Army retired to Valley Forge, and it was there — according to evidence which seems to be of a trustworthy character — that General Lafayette was initiated." He makes a further reference, quoting Lafayette himself. "After I was made a Mason," said Lafayette, "General Washington seemed to have received a new light. I never had from that moment any cause to doubt his entire confidence. It was not long before I had a separate command of great importance." It is significant that Lafayette, on Dec. 4, 1777, was made a Major General by act of the Congress and was given the charge of a Division of the Army by Washington on that authorization.
DR. GEORGE W. CHAYTOR IS QUOTED
In an address delivered by Bro. George W. Chaytor before Lafayette Lodge, No. 14, A. F. & A. M., located at Wilmington, Del., on Jan. 18, 1875, upon the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of its constitution, he said among other things:
"Having in a very brief manner referred to Lafayette as a soldier, a patriot, a statesman and a friend, we will now introduce him to you as a Mason, and endeavor to show WHEN and WHERE he first saw the mystic light. He was not a Mason when he landed in America, nor was he a Mason at the Battle of Brandywine. The Army under Washington, in December, 1777 retired to Valley Forge, where they wintered. Connected with this Army was a lodge. It was at VALLEY FORGE THAT HE WAS MADE A MASON. On this point there should be no second opinion — for surely LAFAYETTE KNEW BEST WHERE HE WAS MADE A MASON. We have this statement FROM HIMSELF — MADE AT THE TIME HE WAS THE GUEST OF THE GRAND LODGE OF DELAWARE, AND TO MEMBERS OF THAT GRAND BODY. The statement he made was as follows:
"'He had offered his services to this country from the purest motives, and he knew that in his heart he had no selfish impulses. He found a people struggling for liberty against tyranny, and he put his whole soul in the cause. That Washington received him in the kindest and warmest manner, and never in any direct way showed that he had not the fullest confidence in his intentions and ability as a soldier; but, yet, he could not divest his mind of a suspicion (that, at times, gave him great discomfort) that the General of the American Army was not altogether free from doubt in his case. This suspicion was engendered from the fact that he had never been intrusted with a separate command. This fact, he said, weighed upon him, and at times made him very unhappy. With this exception, he had not the least cause for discomfort. During the winter (1777-78) the Army lay at Valley Forge he learned there was a Masonic lodge working in the camp. Time hanging heavy the routine of duty being monotonous, he conceived the idea that he would like to be made a Mason. He made his wish known to a friend, who at once informed him that he, himself, was a Mason, and would take great pleasure in making his wish known to the lodge. This was done — and he was there made a Mason. He also stated that Washington was present and acted as Master of the Lodge at the time of his initiation.'
"This statement was made to members of the Grand Lodge from some of whom it was received. I have no doubt that he said what I have here given for the parties making the statement were gentlemen as well as Masons, and their public lives show the estimate their fellow citizens placed upon their honor and characters. I know that much doubt and contradiction has been bandied about this important point in Lafayette's life. Various places have been stated as the point of his initiation — but an ARMY LODGE WAS ALWAYS THE ORGANIZATION IN WHICH HE SECURED LIGHT.
"I have not yet finished his statement — the latter part is evidence of the former. In the beginning he stated he felt rather hurt that Washington had not shown sufficient confidence to entrust him with a separate command. Now, listen to what he said later: 'After I was made a Mason, General Washington seemed to have received a new light — I never had from that moment any cause to doubt his entire confidence. It was not long before I had a separate command of great importance.'
"We find that, in May, 1778, General Lafayette, with 2,000 men. defeated General Grant of the British Army, whose forces numbered 5,000."
It was on July 25, 1825, that Lafayette affixed his signature to the charter, or warrant, of the aforesaid Lafayette Lodge, No. 14, at Wilmington, Del., during his visit to the Grand Lodge of Delaware. This lodge was chartered Jan. 18, 1825, upon the petition of seven prominent Masons and citizens of Wilmington, all of them being identified with public affairs; more prominent perhaps among the number were James Tilton, M. D., a former Surgeon-General in the American Army; Colonel Victor du Pont, former aid to General Lafayette, and Nicholas G. Williamson, who shortly afterwards was elevated to the position of Mayor. Notable among the first initiates in the lodge were such men as Allen McLane, noted as a surgeon; General James Wolf; Hon. Willard Hall, U. S. District Judge and father of the Public Educational System in the State of Delaware and later a Grand Master; Hon. Louis McLane, diplomatist, later a U. S. Senator, Minister to Great Britain, Secretary of the United States Treasury, all contemporaries of General Lafayette and fortunate in their day and generation — tall men, sun-crowned men and good Masons.
DR. CHAYTOR WAS A MASON OF HIGH STANDING
Now as to the sponsor for the statements connected with the second tradition in so far as my story is concerned. It was no less a personage than Dr. George W. Chaytor, well and favorably known, a notable physician and enthusiastic Mason. He was born Dec. 25, 1813, initiated Sept. 7, 1841, raised Nov. 2, 1841, and died April 14, 1878, respected by all men. He served his lodge as Master and in 1845 became a permanent member of the Grand Lodge of Delaware and was immediately elected Senior Grand Warden, Grand Secretary, 1849-53 inclusive, Deputy Grand Master, 1858-59, Chairman of Committee on Foreign Correspondence until 1875, elected Grand Master of Masons of Delaware in 1875.
Dr. Chaytor was fortunate enough to be born well and early enough to be more or less acquainted with many of the men and Masons who were active in fraternal matters and public affairs during the years 1824-25, and who took an active part in the organization of the lodge which took as its name that which was perhaps the most prominent at the time; these companions of Bro. Chaytor were also men who were prominent in Lafayette's reception in the Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Dr. Chaytor's sterling character and reputation precludes the possibility of his statements being misunderstood or subject to discount. He had the reputation of speaking the truth even though it hurt. It can be set down without fear of successful contradiction that his statements concerning Lafayette were made after due information Masonically received through a line of worthy brothers of the Craft.
It is of course to be regretted that the worthy Doctor did not give, in his address, the names of his informants and a little more of the particulars. However, unless someone comes forward and disproves the second tradition which I have incorporated in this letter many of us will continue to base our belief that BRO. MARIE JEAN PAUL JOSEPH ROCHE YVES GILBERT du MOTIER, MARQUIS de LAFAYETTE, was made a Master Mason in an Army Lodge during the winter of 1777-78 at VALLEY FORGE, PENNSYLVANIA.
* * *
OFFICIAL ETIQUETTE OF THE FLAG
As Prepared by Robert C. Davis, the Adjutant General, War Department, Washington, D.C.
So many inquiries come to hand from lodges and other Masonic bodies as to the official etiquette of the national flag that THE BUILDER is here publishing in full a circular on that subject as issued by the War Department under date of March 28, 1924.
WHILE it is within the province of the War Department to prescribe rules and regulations governing the use of the flag for observance within the Army, yet it is beyond its province to prescribe any such rules or regulations for the guidance of civilians or to undertake to decide questions concerning this subject that are presented by civilians.
On Flag Day, June 14, 1923, representatives of over sixty eight patriotic organizations met in Washington for a conference under the auspices of the National Americanism Commission of the American Legion, to draft an authentic code of flag etiquette. The rules adopted by this conference represent the opinion of the patriotic organizations represented at this conference and other patriotic organizations which have since adopted this code. The flag circular previously published by the War Department under date of February 15, 1923, having been incorporated in this code practically in toto, the conference flag code is published for the information of those concerned.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FLAG
The flag of the United states has 13 horizontal stripes — 7 red and 6 white — the red and white stripes alternating, and a union which consists of white stars of five points on a blue field placed in the upper quarter next the staff and extending to the lower edge of the fourth red stripe from the top. The number of stars is the same as the number of states in the Union. The canton or union now contains 48 stars arranged in six horizontal and eight vertical rows, each star with one point upward. On the admission of a state into the Union a star will be added to the union of the flag, and such addition will take effect on the 4th of July next succeeding such admission.
In the Army Regulations four kinds of national flags are described, viz., flags which are flown at military posts or on ships and used for display generally; small flags or ensigns which are used on small boats; colors which are carried by unmounted regiments, and standards which are carried by mounted regiments and are, therefore, smaller in size than colors.
National flags, with the exception of the colors and standards carried by troops, will be of the following proportions:
- Hoist (width) of flag, 1.
- Fly (length) of flag, 1.9.
- Hoist (width) of union, 7/13.
- Fly (length) of union, 0.76.
- Width of each stripe, 1/13.
For a number of years there has been prescribed in Army Regulations a knotted fringe of yellow silk on the national standards of mounted regiments and on the national colors of unmounted regiments. The War Department, however, knows of no law which either requires or prohibits the placing of a fringe on the flag of the United states. No act of Congress or Executive order has been found bearing on the question. In flag manufacture a fringe is not considered to be a part of the flag, and it is without heraldic significance. In the common use of the word it is a fringe and not a border. Ancient custom sanctions the use of fringe on the regimental colors and standards, but there seems to be no good reason or precedent for its use on other flags.
There is no Federal law now in force pertaining to the manner of displaying, hanging, or saluting the United States flag, or prescribing any ceremonies that should be observed in connection therewith. In fact, there are but four Federal laws on the statute books that have any bearing upon this subject; first, the act of Congress approved February 20, 1905 (33 Stat. L., p. 725), providing that a trade-mark can not be registered which consists of or comprises, inter alia, "the flag, coat of arms, or other insignia of the United States, or any simulation thereof"; the second, a joint resolution of Congress approved May 8, 1914 (38 Stat. L., p. 771), authorizing the display of the flag on Mother's Day; the third, the act of Congress approved February 8, 1917 (39 Stat. I,., 900), providing certain penalties for the desecration, mutilation, or improper use of the flag, within the District of Columbia; and the fourth, the act of Congress approved May 16, 1918 (40 Stat. L., p. 554), providing, when the United States is at war, for the dismissal from the service of any employee or official of the United States Government who criticises in an abusive or violent manner the flag of the United States. Several states of the Union have enacted laws which have more or less bearing upon the general subject, and it seems probable that many counties and municipalities have also passed ordinances concerning this matter to govern action within their own jurisdiction.
Warning against desecration of the American flag by aliens was issued by the Department of Justice, which sent the following notice to Federal attorneys and marshals:
"Any alien enemy tearing down, mutilating, abusing, or desecrating the United States flag in any way will be regarded as a danger to the public peace or safety within the meaning of regulation 12 of the proclamation of the President issued April 6, 1917, and will be subject to summary arrest and punishment."
There are certain fundamental rules of heraldry which, if understood generally, would indicate the proper method of displaying the flag. The matter becomes a very simple one if it is kept in mind that the national flag represents the living country and is itself considered as a living thing. The union of the flag is the honor point; the right arm is the sword arm, and therefore the point of danger and hence the place of honor.
- The flag should be displayed only from sunrise to sunset, or between such hours as may be designated by proper authority. It should be displayed on national and state holidays and on historic and special occasions. The flag should always be hoisted briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously.
- When carried in a procession with another flag or flags, the flag of the United states should be either on the marching right, i. e., the flag's own right, or when there is a line of other flags the flag of the United states may be in front of the center of that line.
- When displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, the flag of the United states should be on the right, the flag's own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.
- When a number of flags are grouped and displayed from staffs, the flag of the United states should be in the center or at the highest point of the group.
- When flags of states or cities or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United states, the national flag should always be at the peak. When flown from adjacent staffs the flag of the United states should be hoisted first. No flag or pennant should be placed above or to the right of the flag of the United states.
- When flags of two or more nations are displayed they should be flown from separate staffs of the same height and the flags should be of approximately equal size. (International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.)
- When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of building, the union of the flag should go clear to the head of the staff unless the flag is at half mast.
WHEN BUNTING SHOULD BE USED
- When the flag of the United States is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, i. e., to the observer's left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed the same way, that is, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons, rosettes, or drapings of blue, white, and red are desired, bunting should be used, but never the flag.
- When displayed over the middle of the street, as between buildings, the flag of the United states should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
- When used on a speaker's platform, the flag should be displayed above and behind the speaker. It should never be used to cover the speaker's desk nor to drape over the front of the platform. If flown from a staff it should be on the speaker's right.
- When used in unveiling a statue or monument, the flag should not be allowed to fall to the ground but should be carried aloft to wave out, forming a distinctive feature during the remainder of the ceremony.
- When flown at half staff, the flag is first hoisted to the peak and then lowered to the half-staff position, but before lowering the flag for the day it is raised again to the peak. On Memorial Day, May 30, the flag is displayed at half staff from sunrise until noon and at full staff from noon until sunset, for the Nation lives and the flag is the symbol of the living Nation.
- When used to cover a casket the flag should be placed so that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave nor allowed to touch the ground. The casket should be carried foot first.
- When the flag is displayed in church it should be from a staff placed on the congregation's right as they face the clergyman. The service flag, the state flag, or other flag should be at the left of the congregation. If in the chancel, the flag of the United states should be placed on the clergyman's right as he faces the congregation and other flags on his left.
- When the flag is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display it should not be cast aside or used in any way that might be viewed as disrespectful to the national colors, but should be destroyed as a whole, privately, preferably by burning or by some other method in harmony with the reverence and respect we owe to the emblem representing our country.
- Do not permit disrespect to be shown to the flag of the United States.
- Do not dip the flag of the United States to any person or any thing. The regimental color, state flag, organization or institutional flag will render this honor.
- Do not display the flag of the United States with the union down except as a signal of distress.
- Do not place any other flag or pennant above or to the right of the flag of the United States.
- Do not let the flag of the United States touch the ground or trail in the water.
- Do not place any object or emblem of any kind on or above the flag of the United States.
- Do not use the flag as drapery in any form whatever. Use bunting of blue, white, and red.
- Do not fasten the flag in such manner as will permit it to be easily torn.
- Do not drape the flag over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle, or of a railroad train or boat. When the flag is displayed on a motor car the staff should be affixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the radiator cap.
- Do not display the flag on a float in a parade except from a staff.
- Do not use the flag as a covering for a ceiling.
- Do not use the flag as a portion of a costume or of an athletic uniform. Do not embroider it upon cushions or handkerchiefs or print it upon paper napkins or boxes.
- Do not put lettering of any kind upon the flag.
- Do not use the flag in any form of advertising nor fasten an advertising sign to a pole from which the flag of the United States is flying.
- Do not display, use, or store the flag in such a manner as will permit it to be easily soiled or damaged.
PROPER USE OF BUNTING
Bunting of the national colors should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping over the front of a platform, and for decoration in general. Bunting should be arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below.
SALUTE TO THE FLAG
During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the flag, stand at attention, and salute. Those present in uniform should render the right-hand salute. When not in uniform men should remove the headdress with the right hand and hold it at the left shoulder. Women should salute by placing the right hand over the heart. The salute to the flag in the moving column is rendered at the moment the flag passes.
When the national anthem is played those present in uniform should salute at the first note of the anthem, retaining this position until the last note of the anthem. When not in uniform men should remove the headdress and hold it as in the salute to the flag. Women should render the salute as to the flag. When there is no flag displayed all should face toward the music.
* * *
OLD MASONIC BOOKS
Do not throw away old Masonic books unless you know them to be of no value. Some of the rare old works are much sought for, and may be worth from five to two hundred dollars.
* * *
HOW TWO CLANDESTINES WERE SHOWN THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS
Bro. Oscar C. Taylor, Massachusetts
Bro. Taylor gives us an account in familiar style of how he converted two clandestines. Before he had gone far with them he found himself involved in questions of Masonic history. It is always so! His account of how the clandestine "St. John's Grand Lodge" came into existence will be found of special value to brethren following the present series of Study Club articles.
ONE of the bosses in the mill where I had just started to work hailed me as a Mason and asked the name of my lodge. On being told "De Witt Clinton, No. 15, of Northfield, Vermont," he replied that he belonged to a lodge which has a number also — "Antiquity, No. 18."
"Where is it located?"
"Right here in Lowell, on Middlesex Street."
"But Massachusetts lodges have no numbers."
"Mine has, just like yours up in Vermont, and I think they won't let you into the ones that haven't a number."
As I had visited Massachusetts lodges before, I saw something was wrong and left my sample with the chemist and hurried back to the dye house. In a few minutes, however, Mr. A. followed me and brought with him another boss, Mr. B., who would "tell me all about it." Mr. B. said he was the Senior Warden and wanted me to promise that I would come to lodge the following Wednesday. I hesitated about promising and was informed that the lodges that were not numbered were irregular and that Masons from outside of Massachusetts always visited Antiquity, No. 18, and not Ancient York, Pentucket, William North, or Kilwinning. After more discussion in which I finally had to refuse to answer any questions about the Ritual, I promised to read a book Mr. A. would bring me the next day.
This booklet turned out to be an impassioned address by "R. W. Charles F. Eddy, District Deputy Grand Master for the First Masonic District," and was entitled "An Arraignment of Irregular Freemasonry in Massachusetts. Printed by St. John's Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M." Besides a great deal of oratory it contained some statements of fact. The following are fair samples:
"We have been obliged to dig down into mouldy graves, closed for a century, to disclose the skeletons of two imposters in Masonry, to show that the GRAND LODGE of MASSACHUSETTS (so-called) in its pretension was born of two dead beings — a doubly posthumous child — and which dead parents while they did live their lives of imposition, did not have the right to live; to show that this miraculously born Grand Baby was still-born, and ever since has been, and now after more than a hundred years of pretension, usurpation and irregularity is still, a pretender, a usurper and irregular as the Devil is wicked.
"All this has been shown to you tonight by the lecturer to whom you have listened.
"The facts, figures and authorities presented by him are incontrovertible. Controvert dispute, deny and defend, men of the MASSACHUSETTS ASSOCIATION, if you can. YOU CANNOT DO IT.
"We have told you so a hundred times, and yet you take not up the challenge. You content yourselves by saying, so far as opposition speech is heard, 'Fakes!' and 'Fake Masonry'.
"In God's name, men of Massachusetts, who are the 'Fakes' and what is 'Fake Masonry' in view of the un-impeachable evidence?
"We say that Joseph Webb and his 'associates' had no Masonic right or authority to form a Grand Lodge and produce the Masonic law and authorities. Assert and show to the contrary, if you con. YOU CANNOT.
"We say that a most damnable Masonic outrage was perpetrated in Massachusetts, 1882-3.
"It is called 'THE MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTURE' by your own people.
"You get your right to exist, one of your wise men has said, by 'Revolution and Assumption.'
"You have turned around so many times and so rapidly that no one knows who or what you are, or whence you came. Is that what you mean? You have assumed and assumed your Grand Usurpation to be 'It', until the bump of Assumption has grown so big that it looks like a Grand Lodge to you. Is it that?
"The Masonic world is looking upon you, men of Massachusetts, and what you fail to do in purifying and cleansing your Masonic temple the Masonic world will some day compel you to do by ignoring your Masonic existence."
On being pressed by Mr. B., I had to admit that the book was mostly "hot air" and that it contained no definite information as to Antiquity, No. 18, or St. John's Grand Lodge. The next day he brought his diploma, made out on a form identical with the one used by many regular lodges; and a leaflet called, "Who are Regulars?" This was a perversion of Masonic history which quoted Gould and other "authorities". It also contained the "Act of Incorporation" under the laws of the District of Columbia of "Saint John's Grand Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." ( The italics are my own.)
To escape the frequent urgings to attend their lodge where "everything would be explained" I wrote to M. W. Henry H. Ross, Grand Secretary of Vermont, who kindly but emphatically informed me that Antiquity, No. 18, was clandestine. I showed his letter to the irregulars and informed them that I considered the matter closed. After some talk the matter was dropped, and I consigned the affair to the rubbish heap.
THEY CLAIMED HARDING
At the time of President Harding's death some weeks later, Mr. A. revived the discussion by asking me why President Harding belonged to their organization if it were irregular. I countered by saying that it was no use to argue for
"A man convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still."
This he finally answered by saying he would withdraw from his lodge if he was shown definite proof of the falsity of its claims. Mr. B. later made a similar promise.
This challenge placed me in the position of a man who tries to prove that the world is round. Further, the two irregulars placed perfect faith in the wild statements of their lodge orators, especially those of one "Past Grand Master" Leithead. In this, they resemble many regular Masons who accept without reservations wild fancies about the antiquity and universality of the Order.
As I was separated from my back number of THE BUILDER I could not find the name of President Harding's lodge, and addressed a letter to "Masonic Temple, Marion, Ohio." It was answered by return mail by J. A. Knapp, a Past Master and the Secretary of Marion Lodge, No. 70. The letter was admirably fitted to my purpose. I also received a letter signed by Secretary Christian enclosing a list of President Harding's Masonic affiliations. Thus one point was nailed down.
To organize my campaign I selected the claims which were most important in the eyes of the two irregulars:
- That St. John's Grand Lodge was accepted everywhere in the United states outside of Massachusetts.
- That the Grand Lodge of which Arthur D. Prince of Lowell is a Past Grand Master was not so recognized.
- That St. John's Grand Lodge was recognized by the Grand Lodge of England and the Massachusetts Grand Lodge was not.
- That St. John's Grand Lodge was incorporated under the laws and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well as the District of Columbia.
- That the Massachusetts Grand Lodge was not incorporated at all.
A letter from the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts — a mouthfilling and most impressive title — established the fact that St. John's Grand Lodge was not incorporated in Massachusetts. Why should a Grand Lodge which uses "Commonwealth of Massachusetts" as a part of its title have been incorporated in the District of Columbia? The answer could only be that the laws on that subject in the District were lax. A trip to the library showed that the Massachusetts Grand Lodge was incorporated before the Civil War (1859).
A letter from Bro. Robert A. Shirrefs, Secretary General of the Supreme Council 33°, Northern Jurisdiction, said: "I have no knowledge of any 'St. John's Grand Lodge,' although I think there is a Negro organization which uses 'St. John' as a part of its title." In the public library I found an American edition of Gould's History of Freemasonry that contained this statement which I copied:
"This Grand Lodge (Massachusetts) has adhered with almost wonderful tenacity to the ancient laws and usages of the craft resisting all attempts to introduce modern methods and ideas, and its solid growth, high reputation, and splendid prosperity are undoubtedly largely attributable to this fact." (Vol. IV, p. 361.)
This controverted a previously quoted statement in the booklet of the irregulars. I could not use Gould further because of his length and style, but I could refer to him because the four volumes were in the public library. I obtained from home my copy of Gould's Concise History, 1920, revised edition. As this was published in England and contradicted statements in the clandestines' book I could use it to good effect.
All this was good, but a "clincher" was needed. Guessing that a clandestine orator would become cautious if he wrote to a regular and so contradict his own speeches, I got a letter from "Past Grand Master" Leithead of Lowell. This letter is worthy of study from several angles, but the following served the purpose then. The italics are my own.
"...One of our members who has learned his work as all Master Masons should do (is?) admitted to most any regular lodge of Masons that is not dominated by the Scottish Rite or higher degrees. The most of the lodges in the U. S. are so dominated."
Armed with these documents, I presented the case to Mr. A. and Mr. B. during a noon hour. I began by saying that I had gone to considerable trouble in the matter not only because of friendship for them, but also because it was a bad thing to have two reputable men lending dignity to a dishonest organization. At the end of my argument they said I had more than sufficient proof and that they were glad to get free from a tainted scheme.
HOW "ST. JOHN'S G.L." WAS ORGANIZED
From a study of the published Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts I have obtained the following information:
In 1882 an amendment to the constitution of the Grand Lodge was proposed which named the regular bodies of the "Scottish" and "York" Rites and "declared that any Mason who is hereafter admitted in this jurisdiction, into any other Order, as Masonic, whether called the Rite of Memphis or by any other name, is acting un-Masonically, and for such conduct shall be liable to be expelled from all the rights and privileges of Masonry, and shall be ineligible to membership or office in this Grand Lodge." At the quarterly communication in June this was reported unanimously from committee and was debated. Learned Masons from outside Massachusetts such as E. T. Carson, Cottrill, R. F. Gould, Findel, and Hughan sent letters approving it and showing that Grand Lodges in Europe, the British Isles, and America recognized that the Grand Lodge was the supreme Masonic governing body of its territory. The amendment was passed 319 to 28. In 1883 this amendment was given the final vote of 351 to 52.
In 1901 the Rite of Memphis bobbed up again, and some brethren protested that these amendments violated the Landmarks of Masonry, but it was shown that this contention had no basis and that the amendments were in harmony with both the Massachusetts Constitutions and with the acts of Masonic Bodies throughout the world. The petitioners were given leave to withdraw. One of the petitioners was a proxy to the Grand Lodge and started to vote in the negative and then lowered his hand. The vote was unanimous. This humorous incident closed the "Masonic departure" referred to by the clandestines.
In July, 1902, there was started an irregular lodge under the title of "Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 1, Boston, Mass.," claiming to hold a dispensation from a so-called Grand Lodge in the state of Ohio. This body met frequently in a small building called Castle Square Hall at 446 Tremont Street, Boston, and sent out emissaries soliciting anybody and everybody to "join the Masons" at the price of ten or fifteen dollars, five dollars of which went to the brother bringing in the candidate. Some of the victims demanded and obtained their money back! This was the start of "St. John's G.L."!
* * *
NEWTON RAY PARVIN: IN MEMORIAM
WHEN Bro. N. R. Parvin was promoted to the Grand Lodge above (a notice of his death was published in THE Builder last month, page 56) the American Craft lost a leader whose memory will become historic, and many of us — how many, no man can tell — lost a friend. For long years we shall remember him in the great old library at Cedar Rapids, with its curious blend of old and new, its shining cleanliness, its all pervading aroma of books; we shall recall how often we have seen him turn so abruptly in his swivel chair to greet a visitor; how instant he was with a proffer of any needed assistance; how happy he was, day or night, to take any requested part in Craft activities. For Masonry, in Masonry, and among his books, he lived and moved and had his being.
I shall be forgiven my garrulousness if I make record of my own indebtedness to him. The preparation of my little book on Symbolical Masonry made it necessary for me to spend much of my time during a year or so (with a man to help) in the library. It was at Bro. Parvin's suggestion. He set aside a room, equipped it with two desks and a set of bookcases, had several hundred volumes transferred to my shelves, then gave me the keys to all the stacks downstairs, and all in such a spirit as if he had nothing else in the world to do, though his duties as Grand Secretary and Grand Librarian were onerous enough. Such was the heart of the man.
It was in the same manner that he gave himself to help in the founding of the National Masonic Research Society and to the launching of THE BUILDER, the first issue of which was published in January, 1915. At the formal organization of the Society he was made Vice-President and so remained until his death, Friday night, Jan. 16. Remembering these long years of service to us let us erect in our hearts a monument to his memory.
Bro. Parvin was first of all a Grand Secretary, one of the most influential of the permanent offices of the Ancient Craft; next after that he was a librarian. Too busy to be a student, too pragmatic to be a scholar, he was most interested in the collecting, housing and distribution of Masonic books, and it is doubtful if any human being ever devoted more loving care to that work. His father had founded the library before him, from the most meagre beginnings; he carried it forward to a magnitude that gave it a place in the quartette of great Masonic libraries, along with England, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The typically Iowan building in which it is housed, facing First Avenue, lying L-shaped, like a Masonic square, has this long time been a lighthouse at the center of the Craft in the Middle West.
Newton Ray Parvin was born in Muscatine, Iowa, July 5, 1851, in a home full of books. During his ninth year his father, Theodore Suttin Parvin, who ranked with Pike, Mackey and Drummond among the chief of American Masons, accepted a professorship at the University of Iowa, Iowa City; the family remained there many years. Bro. N. R. Parvin was raised in Iowa City Lodge, No. 4, May 5, 1874, and retained his membership there until his death. He joined the chapter and the commandery in Iowa City, but later transferred to Trowel Chapter and Apollo Commandery, respectively, upon his removal to Cedar Rapids. He was a member of Palestine Council, No. 2; El Kahir Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; Iowa Consistory, No. 2; St. Bartholomew Conclave, No. 37, Red Cross of Constantine; the Masonic Veterans' Association; Cedar Chapter, No. 184, O. E. S., and the Grand Secretary's Guild.
The Scottish Rite degrees were conferred upon him just before the removal of the Grand Lodge Library from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids by orders of Albert Pike, that he might become the custodian of important papers relating to the Rite. He was crowned a Thirty-third Oct. 20, 1886.
He entered the office of the Grand Secretary as a clerk in 1872, and became Deputy Grand Secretary in 1877. When his father died in 1901, after having served as Grand Secretary for some fifty-seven years, Newton Ray was appointed to serve out the year as Grand Secretary and Grand Librarian, and was reelected, usually by unanimous ballot, every year thereafter Father and Son together served the Grand Lodge of Iowa in some capacity for a total of 100 years.
* * *
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
GENERAL JAMES JACKSON
GENERAL JAMES JACKSON, the fifth governor of the State of Georgia, was a member of the famous Solomon's Lodge at Savannah, one of the very oldest in the country. There is evidence to show that either Solomon's Lodge, or a preceding lodge in the same community, was organized in or near Savannah in 1733 and that it was duly constituted in 1735 or 1736. It worked under a charter granted by the Modern Grand Lodge of England which had been organized in 1717. There is some evidence to show that it became dormant for a period of years.
In 1785 James Jackson proposed that they reorganize under a warrant from the Ancient Grand Lodge of England which had been erected in 1751. The proposal was agreed to, and the brethren were constituted as a lodge of Ancient York Masons. In the following year an independent Grand Lodge was formed in Georgia; of this General William Stephens was elected Grand Master and he appointed James Jackson, recently made a Brigadier General, as his Deputy. In the following year, 1787, Jackson was elected Grand Master and held that office until the end of 1789. "It was during his Grand Mastership,"-says Sidney Hayden, "and under his direction, that the Grand Lodge of Georgia made strong efforts to unite all the Grand Lodges in America under one general head; and his correspondence on this subject is still to be found in the archives and on the record books of most of the then existing Grand Lodges." Efforts to organize a General Grand Lodge for America have been made many times since; thus far they have never succeeded, and probably never will.
The career of this distinguished Georgia Mason was so full of adventure that the barest sketch of it reads like a yarn from the pen of Henty. He was born in Devonshire, England, Sept. 21, 1757. In his fifteenth year the family emigrated to Georgia, and the boy became a student of law in Savannah. No native born loved the land more than this young Englishman. When the Revolutionary War began he abandoned his law studies to enlist. His military career began with the rank of Second Lieutenant. In the defense of Savannah in 1778 he gave such a good account of himself that he was appointed Brigade Major, although at the time he was but twenty-one years of age.
Of his deeds as a soldier a book might be written, but he was even more famous as a statesman. In 1788 he was brigade in South Carolina. Upon reaching the American forces he was in rags and tatters, and almost starved. His appearance aroused suspicion, and so did his English accent. He was accused of being a spy and was arrested, summarily tried and condemned to be hanged, but while a rope was being prepared a Georgia gentleman elected Governor of Georgia, but declined on the ground of his youth — for he was then less than thirty-one years of age; American political history does not furnish such another example of political modesty.
In 1798 he was a member of the convention that prepared the constitution of the state; some say this instrument was his own composition. He was a Representative to the first Congress held under the Federal constitution in 1789-91; a presidential elector; and a United States Senator in 1793-95. He was Governor of Georgia, 1798-1801. As governor he established an enviable record, for he carried into the office the rare qualities that had brought him such rapid promotion in the army.
Governor Jackson was as fearless in politics as in war. A shining example of this is his action in regard to the "Yazoo Fraud", involving 20,000,000 acres of land extending to the Mississippi River, which the Georgia Legislature had sold for $207,000. Jackson was uncontrollably indignant at this outrage. He exposed it in the Senate, resigned his seat, got himself elected to the State Legislature, and then put through an act to declare the Yazoo transaction null and void. Later on the disputed territory, under an agreement made by James Madison, Albert Gallatin and Levi Lincoln, Commissioners for the Federal government, and James Jackson, John Millidge and Abram Baldwin, Commissioners for the State of Georgia, was made over to the United States government for the sum of $1,250,000.
He was again elected to the United States Senate in 1801, dying in office, in the city of Washington, March 19, 1806, in the forty-ninth year of his age. His body was buried at first a few miles out of the city, but later was interred in the Congressional burial ground at Washington. The inscription on the stone was made by John Randolph of Roanoke.
* * *
BOARD OF EDITORS
Editor-in-Chief — H. L. Haywood
Louis Block, Iowa
Robert L. Clegg, Ohio
Gilbert W. Daynes, England
Ray V. Denslow, Missouri
George H. Dern, Utah
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada
C. C. Hunt, Iowa
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania
R. J. Meekren, Canada
Joseph E. Morcombe, California
Joseph Fort Newton, New York
Arthur C. Parker, New York
Jesse M. Whited, California
David E. W. Williamson, Nevada
* * *
ON LIMITING SIZE OF LODGES
SHALL it be a large lodge or small? Is it better for all concerned, individual members as well as the Craft at large, to hold down the membership of any given lodge? Should the size of lodges be regulated by Grand Lodge? A Special Committee of the Grand Lodge of Colorado has given careful attention to this subject and reported in the negative.
Bro. Marshall H. Van Fleet, the then Grand Master, made a recommendation that such a committee be appointed when, in his address for 1922, he said:
"On my visitations to the various lodges in this jurisdiction I have been impressed with the brotherly feeling and kindly regard displayed by the members of our smaller lodges for each other. In these lodges, composed of not to exceed four or five hundred members, the brethren seem to know each other personally and are deeply interested in each other's welfare. I am inclined to believe that some of our lodges are too large, top-heavy with members as it were. One of the great objects of our Craft is sociability, and when a lodge reaches the size where none of its officers are acquainted with all of its members I do not believe that that lodge can function properly. I therefore recommend that a committee be appointed to take under consideration and report at our next annual Communication as to the advisability of limiting the membership of lodges in this jurisdiction to not more than five hundred members to a lodge."
The committee, consisting of Bros. William S. Peirce, William L. Bush and Sheridan S. Kendall, all of Denver, reported in 1923 that in their judgment it is better that each constituent lodge be left to decide such matters for itself. The report is worthy of very careful study:
"Your committee has given this matter serious and careful consideration, interviewed the officers and many of the brethren of our largest lodges to ascertain what effect it might have on their future usefulness should a by-law be adopted by this Grand Lodge limiting the membership of lodges.
"In the course of our investigation during the past year, we have visited various lodges whose membership ranged from three hundred to twelve hundred, for the purpose of observing the general condition of these large lodges, in order to assist the committee in formulating a recommendation, having in view at all times the best interest of the lodge and all the Craft so far as it relates to the size of membership.
"The result of our investigation discloses that at the present time our large lodges are inculcating the true teachings of the Craft, they observe the hours of labor and refreshment, and that genuine fraternity exists. Frequently their time is employed in the proper Masonic development of the brethren by instructive lectures and discourses on Masonic subjects occasionally social family gatherings are held in temples, so that no member has cause to complain of not receiving brotherly and hospitable attention. In cases of distress, illness or the passing on of a brother or member of his family, the sympathy and duties of the lodge are fully extended-in the proper Masonic manner.
"It is natural for large lodges to receive many petitions for the decrees. In consequence of which, the Master and officers arrange their trestle-board accordingly, thereby preventing confusion or delay; and thus avoid converting the lodge into a mere degree machine; in many instances the members are encouraged to join in all its activities and assist the officers in conferring the degrees. We find that the exemplification of the ritualistic work is maintained at a high standard. The instruction and lectures are delivered to the newly-made Masons in an impressive and dignified manner, when they are given in the presence of a large number of the brethren, it becomes an inspiration and encouragement to the officers to perform their work to the very best of their ability and enables all to enjoy the benefits of the Craft, to more thoroughly understand the sublime aims and purposes of the Fraternity and realize what their personal duties are as Freemasons.
"After careful investigation, due deliberation and satisfying ourselves as to the condition of the membership in our larger lodges, and the future effect it would have financially in curtailing the true Masonic work now being performed by them and eventually placing limitations upon the growth, influence and power of our great Fraternity, your committee is of the opinion that it would be unwise to recommend the adoption of a by-law limiting the membership of lodges in this Grand Jurisdiction."
* * *
"ABIE'S IRISH ROSE"
THE enthusiastic statisticians of the theatre tell us that "Abie's Irish Rose" is going to break all known records since "Uncle Tom's Cabin," alike for number of times produced, for the number of paid admissions and for royalties to the author, the last item being predicted as ultimately to reach the astounding sum of $5,000,000. If Anne Nicholls comes into possession of that Count of Monte Cristo fortune for having written her broad farce it is doubtful if anybody will begrudge it to her. She has wrought a good work for her country.
The professional critics have damned it, almost without exception; they say it is "too obvious," lacks subtlety, has no plot, is a mere caricature, and that its humor is nothing but slapstick from beginning to end; some of them allege that the story of the marriage of the young Israelite to the Irish Roman Catholic girl, with the complications resulting therefrom, has been used a hundred times before; and so on, and so on. Pace the critics! The public has received the young couple into its affections, so there is an end of it! Millions laugh and cry over the ludicrous misadventures of the thrice-married pair, and will doubtless continue to do so for years to come.
All this, one may well believe, is a sign and a symbol, for "Abie's Irish Rose" is a shaft winged with humor sent to the very heart of the old ugly problem of race prejudice. Miss Nicholls selected the most extreme type of Jew, set him over against the most extreme type of Irishman, and then let nature do the rest. It would have been all the same if she had set an Englishman against a Yankee, or a German against a Frenchman, or a Japanese against a Chinaman, or got her folks mixed up in any other imaginable scramble of race complications; the situation would have been the same in essence. And so would have been her solution, which is love and laughter.
One has a right to be reassured by the fortunes of this play. If so many million Americans have rejoiced in it, perhaps there is not so much racial bitterness in our midst as we have feared. God grant that there is not! It is a blighting, blasphemous thing. It has made history hideous. It has been the immediate cause of numberless wars.
It may be that the idea disguised behind Miss Nicholls' plentiful slapsticking rests on more solid grounds than some may think. Science is more and more calling the whole idea of "race" and "race supremacy" in question. Who can define the word "race"? Nobody has yet been able to do it. It can't be done on the basis of color, because every known "racial group" runs a wide gamut from light to dark; or on culture, or language, or religion. Twenty-five years or so ago Houston Stewart Chamberlain tried to prove that the "Teutons" have been the world's dominant strain; but when he stretched his term to take in Buddha and Jesus, every reader saw immediately that he was merely juggling with a word. So also with our own use of "Anglo-Saxon," so much stressed by Freeman and his school of history writers. Huxley questioned the very existence of any such "race," and the anthropology of today is coming around to Huxley's view. These anthropologists are finding the word "race" increasingly useless, it is so lacking in definiteness, and so easy to be twisted to suit any kind of prejudiced theory. Some day we shall doubtless find that what we have been wont to call a "race" is really little more than a comparatively temporary grouping brought about by a set of cultural and geographical conditions in which many blood stains participate. Whether that happens or not, one thing will remain certain: the most casual acquaintance with history shows that whatever "race" may be it is too mixed up a thing to serve as the foundation for fixed dogmas, or for stirring up one group of human beings to hate another group.
Imbedded in the religious principles of Freemasonry is a solvent for all racial prejudice whatsoever. God is, therefore all members of the human family exist in the same spiritual reality; God is the Father of all, therefore all men are brethren; God is the Sovereign Grand Architect of the Universe, therefore He is building the destinies of one people as much as any other. This establishes men in an equality so fundamental and so all-embracing that any and all differences become negligible by comparison. The universe itself is fraternal; the stars in their course fight against bigotry and bitterness.
This is not a counsel of perfection. The Universal Fatherhood carries within its arms all manner of differences and distinctions. We cannot help liking some types of persons better than others. No individual can wholly rid himself of what Charles Lamb described as "imperfect sympathies," and it is useless to expect such an impossible thing, not as long as friends can be irritable to friends, or members of the same family can clash. But what of it! One can learn to disagree without enmity. It is said of United States Senators that they can fight each other like hyenas on the floor of the Senate and then go to lunch with interlaced arms. Freemasonry asks us not to make capital out of our imperfect sympathies; not to make up lies about those we cannot like; it knows that any man can learn to have good will toward every other man.
* * *
A SPLENDID RESEARCH RECORD
IT would be difficult to find anywhere in the country a Grand Lodge Research Committee with a better record for work accomplished than the Wisconsin Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Research, consisting of Bros. Silas H. Shepherd (Chairman), George C. Nuesse, Henry A. Crosby, George B. Goodwin, and Fred W. Russell. Up to and including May 1, 1924, this Committee had published twenty research pamphlets and books, among them being: Bibliography of Preston's Illustrations; Masonic Study and Research; Masonic Literature of the First Half of the Nineteenth Century; The Ritual in the 19th Century; Masonic Literature from 1880 to 1918; Masonic Jurisprudence; The Old Charges; Suggestions for the Study of Freemasonry; The Guilds and Freemasonry; Some Causes of Dissension During the Eighteenth Century; Seeking Light; At the Threshold; Symbolic Teaching; Items for Masonic Lodge Bulletins; A Half Hour in the Lodge; The Masonic Application of Geometry; Notes on the Ritual; What Is Freemasonry?; Selected List of Masonic Literature; The Landmarks. The last named received the signal honor of being included in The Little Masonic Library, published by the Masonic Service Association. Why can't our Wisconsin brethren collect all their publications into one volume for general distribution? They have done such good work as to incur this moral obligation. Noblesse oblige, brethren!
* * *
I allus argy that a man
Who does about the best he can
Is plenty good enough to suit
This lower mundane institute —
No matter of his daily walk
Is subject for his neighbor's talk,
And critic-minds of ev'ry whim
Jest all git up and go fer him!
It's natchurl enugh, I guess,
When some gits more and some gits less,
Fer them-uns on the slimmest side
To claim it ain't a fare divide
And I've knowed some to lay and wait,
And git up soon, and set up late,
To ketch some feller they could hate
For goin' at a faster gait.
My doctrine is to lay aside
Contensions, and be satisfied;
Jest do your best, and praise er blame
That follers that, counts jest the same.
I've allus noticed grate success
Is mixed with troubles, more er less
And it's the man who does the best
That gits more kicks than sill the rest.
— James Whitcomb Riley
* * *
THE STUDY CLUB
Studies of Masonry in the United States
Bro. H. L. Haywood, Editor
PART VII. THE PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE SYSTEM
THE history of organized Masonry in Massachusetts properly begins with the Deputation issued to Henry Price by the Grand Master of England, Lord Viscount Montague, appointing him "Provincial Grand Master of New England and Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging." Chronologically it would stand next in order, in this course of studies, to give an account of Price and his Deputation; but that has been deferred until the succeeding chapter in order to give some account of the Provincial Grand Lodge System, a knowledge of which is necessary to an understanding of Price's Masonic career.
After the first Grand Lodge was established in London in 1717 each new lodge was solemnly constituted by the Grand Master himself, or else, in his absence, by his Deputy. As the Fraternity grew in membership and an ever increasing number of lodges came into existence, it became physically impossible for either the Grand Master or the Deputy Grand Master to officiate in person; thereupon Grand Masters' adopted the custom to grant a Deputation to some brother to act in the name of the Grand Master. As lodges still further increased in number, with the subsequent complexity of government thereby made necessary, the further custom arose of deputizing Provincial Grand Masters to act over a given term of years. The Deputation granted to such a Provincial Grand Master authorized him to constitute lodges as requirements might arise; it was not a Deputation issued for the constitution of any one lodge, and therefore was an enlargement of authority over the Deputations issued under the earlier conditions. But even so the Provincial Grand Master was in reality merely the Grand Master's Deputy and derived all his authority from the Grand Master himself, and not from the lodges that might comprise his Provincial Grand Lodge, should he cause such to be organized. since it was the Grand Master, and not Grand Lodge, that issued such Deputations, the issuance of them was not always reported back to Grand Lodge, and for this reason a number of such Deputations do not show in Grand Lodge Minutes.
Preston states that the first Deputation for a Provincial Grand Master was issued on May 10, 1727, for North Wales, but this is an error. Grand Lodge Minutes, as edited by Bro. W. J. Songhurst, page 73, show that on May 10, 1727, a letter from the Provincial Grand Master of Chester, under date of April 15, 1727, was read to Grand Lodge, thereby proving that a Provincial Grand Master had been deputized prior to May 10. The Masonic Year Book for 1924, published under the authority of the United Grand Lodge of England, shows that the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cheshire had a Provincial Grand Master in the person of Colonel Francis Columbine in 1725 (page 323). In the same book a Provincial Grand Lodge of North Wales is shown as having been organized in 1726 (page 264), and that of South Wales as having had Sir Edward Mansel as Prov. G. M. in 1727 (page 330). The Grand Lodge Minutes, above referred to, also show that a Deputation was issued for Daniel Coxe to be Prov. G. M. of the provinces of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in America on June 5, 1730. On page 222 of this same book, under date of Nov. 21, 1732, the Right Honorable, the Lord Southwell, is shown as Provincial Grand Master in Ireland. Under date of April 17, 1735, Randolph Took was appointed to be Provincial Grand Master of South America, and under date of April 6, 1738, John Hammerton is shown as attending Grand Lodge as Prov. G. M. of South Carolina, but nothing is said in the Minutes concerning the deputizing of either Took or Hammerton.
THE ENGLISH SYSTEM WAS EXTENDED TO AMERICA
The erection of the Provincial Grand Lodge System in the American Colonies was an inevitable extension of the system found necessary in England, as above described. Bro. Josiah H. Drummond makes note of this in a paragraph showing the number of Provincial Grand Lodges in existence at the time of the Revolution:
"From the first creation of chartered lodges in this country down to the Revolution, Masonry was governed through the Provincial Grand Lodge system except that occasionally lodges were chartered directly by the home Grand Lodge in provinces in which it had no Provincial Grand Lodge. When hostilities commenced, there were Provincial Grand Lodges, in real or nominal existence, in Massachusetts (for New England), New York, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia under the Grand Lodge of England ('Moderns')in Massachusetts (for Boston and within one hundred miles thereof) under the Grand Lodge of Scotlandand in Pennsylvania under the 'Ancient' Grand Lodge of England: in 1781, the Athol [or Ancient] Grand Lodge established a Provincial Grand Lodge in New York."
When the Ancient Grand Lodge was organized in London in 1751 as a rival to the Grand Lodge of 1717, it adopted a somewhat different system of deputizing Provincial Grand Masters, described concisely by Bro. Henry Sadler in his Masonic Reprints and Historical Revelations (page 83):
"A distinct difference may be observed between the Moderns and the Antients in the mode of appointing Provincial Grand Masters. By the former, such appointments, being considered the personal prerogative of the Grand Master for the time being, were seldom even reported to the Grand Lodge after the first few years of its existence. Hence nearly every county in England and Wales, as well as many of the colonial districts and several foreign countries, had a Provincial Grand Master, although in some few instances the head of the province had no lodges to rule over.
"A complete list of the Provincial Grand Masters under the Modern Grand Lodge will be found in the Grand Lodge Calendar, but no attempt has hitherto been made to collate those of the Antients, who allowed their Grand Masters no such privilege as before mentioned, the appointments being very few, and only made in response to petitions to the Grand Lodge.
"When a new lodge was to be opened, either at home or abroad, it was customary for the authorities to issue a Dispensation to some duly-qualified brother in the neighborhood to act as Deputy Grand Master pro tem, and to 'open and hold a Grand Lodge, for the space of three hours only,' for the purpose of Constituting the lodge and Installing the first officers.
"So far as I can learn, the appointment of a Provincial Grand Master for York, Chester, and Lancaster was the only one made in England.
"The brethren abroad, after a Provincial Grand Warrant had been granted and a person nominated as first Provincial Grand Master, seldom troubled the home authorities for a successor, but selected one for themselves, and merely reported the name to the Grand Secretary when they sent him a list of their officers; and as that functionary kept no record of such appointments this list may not be absolutely perfect in every particular.
"These Provincial Grand Lodges were Warranted and given a number on the general list of lodges, in most cases taking a local number as well."
Brother Sadler makes note of the Provincial Grand Masters deputized by that Grand Lodge in the Western Hemisphere, among which we note: Major Erasmus James Philips, Nova Scotia, 1757; William Ball, Pennsylvania, 1761; Dr. Thomas Fogarty, Montserrat and Nevis, 1767; Rev. William Walter, New York, 1781; Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Lower Canada, 1792-1812; William Jarvis, Upper Canada, 1792; and Honorable William Blake, Jamaica, 1796.
GARDNER EXPLAINED THE SYSTEM
One of the best explanations extant of the Provincial Grand Lodge System from an American point of view is found in an address delivered by William S. Gardner, Grand Master of Massachusetts, in 1870. It is worthy of being quoted in extenso:
"The system of Provincial Grand Lodges originated in the Grand Lodge of England in 1726, and arose from the necessity of having, in the distant colonies of Great Britain where Masonry has extended, some authority and power, not only to control and govern the Craft, but also to establish new Lodges in the Provinces. The Provincial Grand Master was appointed by commission of the Grand Master, wherein the extent of his powers was set forth, and by virtue of which he convened his Grand Body. In the language of early days, this commission was styled a Deputation, and this word conveys the true idea of the Provincials' position. It was a Deputy Grand Lodge, with its various Deputy Grand Officers, convened by the power and authority of the Provincial Grand Master as the Deputy of the Grand Master. It possessed no sovereign power. The Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Grand Master were not necessarily registered in his Grand Lodge. They were returned to England, registered in the Grand Lodge there, and classified as we do our Lodges at the present day, as belonging to a certain District or Province. The Provincial Grand Master had power to appoint a Deputy and commission him, who in the absence, sickness, and disability of his chief, assumed his functions. The Grand Wardens and other officers he also had the exclusive right to appoint, although sometimes he nominated brethren to these offices and permitted the Grand Lodge to elect them.
"Each lodge in the Province had the right of representation in the Provincial Grand Lodge, by its Master and Wardens or by a regularly appointed representative, and the expenses of the Grand Body were assessed upon the various subordinates. The right of appeal existed from every act and decision of the Provincial Grand Master or Grand Lodge, to the Grand Master of England, thus making the Provincial and his Grand Lodge subordinate to the power by which they were created.
"The allegiance of the Lodges and of the Craft was to the Grand Lodge of England, and to the Provincial Grand Lodge and Grand Master, through the parent Body. There was no direct allegiance to the Provincial from the Craft. It was a temporary power which he held ex gratia, and of which he could be deprived at the pleasure of the Grand Master by whom he was appointed.
"Thus it will be seen that the Provincial Grand Master was appointed for the convenience of the administration of the affairs of the Grand Lodge of England in distant parts, in the same manner that our District Deputies are appointed at the present time. The powers, however, in the one case, were more extended than they are in the other. The means of communication with London were not so easy and rapid as now, and the distance from the Grand East required that some officer should be stationed here, who should be invested with authority for sudden emergencies and instant action. "The Provincial Grand Master having been regularly commissioned and installed, could not resign his trust to his Provincial Grand Lodge. That Body had no power to accept it. His resignation must be made to the Grand Master from whom he received his commission. The Provincial Grand Lodge was the creation of the Provincial Grand Master, and was wholly under his direction and control. He appointed its officers, and summoned the representatives of the lodges to assemble in Grand Lodge. In this Grand Lodge there was no inherent power, save what it derived from the Provincial Grand Master, by virtue of his delegated authority, thus making it the very reverse of a Sovereign Grand Lodge, the Grand Master of which derives his authority from the Sovereign Body by whose votes he is elected to office, and over which he presides.
"The Grand Master appointing his Provincial, could annul the commission at his will and pleasure. The officer being created by the pleasure of the Grand Master of England, all the adjuncts, appointees, and creations of the office depended upon the same pleasure, and existed during the will of the appointing power. If a Provincial Grand Master was removed, and his commission recalled and the Grand Master declined to appoint his successor, it is clear that the Provincial Grand Lodge established by virtue of such commission would cease to exist. Such a Grand Lodge never possessed any vitality which would survive the life of the commission appointing the Provincial Grand Master.
"The death of the Provincial would also lead to the same result. The commission to him from the Grand Master would lose all its force upon his decease. Whatever act the Provincial performed, he did by virtue of the commission to him. His Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens, appointed by him and not by the Grand Master of England, nor by his confirmation, derived their power and character as Grand Officers from the Provincial, and when the Provincial expired, their tenure of office expired also."
AS IT WAS IN 1756
In the course of his argument Bro. Gardner quoted the Entick edition of the Constitutions which show how the Provincial Grand Lodge System was regulated in 1756:
"Art. 1. The office of Provincial Grand Master was found particularly necessary in the year 1726, when the extraordinary increase of the Craftsmen, and their traveling into distant parts and convening themselves into Lodges, required an immediate Head to whom they might apply in all Cases, where it was not possible to wait the Decision or Opinion of the Grand Lodge.
"Art. 2. The appointment of this Grand Officer is a Prerogative of the Grand Master: who grants his Deputation to such Brother of Eminence and Ability in the Craft, as he shall think proper; not for life, but during his good Pleasure.
"Art. 3. The Provincial thus deputed, is invested with the Power and Honor of a Deputy Grand Master; and during the continuance of his Provincialship, is entitled to wear the Clothing, to take rank as the Grand Officers, in all publick Assemblies, immediately after the past Deputy Grand Masters: and to constitute Lodges within his own Province.
"Art. 4. He is enjoined to correspond with the Grand Lodge, and to transmit a circumstantial Account of his Proceedings at least once in every Year. At which Times, the Provincial is required to send a List of those Lodges he has constituted for the general Fund of Charity: and the usual demand, as specified in his Deputation, for every Lodge he has constituted by the Grand Master's Authority."
The Provincial Grand Lodge System was a gradual development and remained in a condition of flux for a number of years. The extant records of early American Grand Lodges would indicate that on this side of the water our American brethren were not very certain in their own minds as to what was expected of them. We find the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania turning to the Grand Lodge of England to ask for the deputizing of a Provincial Grand Master, and then turning toward Henry Price, at Boston, to ask him to extend his authority over Pennsylvania. Did the American Provincial Grand Lodges each one derive its authority directly from England? Or was it supposed that authority resided in some one American Provincial Grand Master who in turn passed it down to other Provincial Grand Masters? Why was Henry Price's authority extended to cover the whole of North America at the time when a Grand Master resided in Philadelphia? It is difficult to clear up these questions.
JOHNSON IS QUOTED
Bro. Melvin Johnson has recently commented on them in a private letter which he has very kindly permitted me to quote in these pages:
"The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, of which Price was Grand Master, was a Provincial Grand Lodge, instituted by him. His authority was subsequently extended over North America. I have never felt that gave the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts authority over all North America. I have never felt that gave the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts authority over all North America. I have felt that the authority resided in Price to establish provincial authority elsewhere when he saw fit to do so. When he did it their authority was derived from him, who in turn derived his authority from England.
"The Grand Lodge of England was not a very careful respecter of its own practices and rules. In spite of authority given to Price, it constituted other Provincial Grand Lodges direct. Price was not the only Provincial Grand Master whose authority was disrespected by the power appointing him. There are numerous instances where a Commission issued covering a time or period in part of which a new Provincial Grand Master was appointed or lodges were founded direct. In other words, in this whole period conditions were more or less fluid. Price's authority should have been respected throughout North America.
"You will remember a protest was made when subsequent Provincial Grand Masters found that other lodges had been constituted without going through them. I suppose the power that issued their warrants had authority to do what it did I every time an authoritative commission was given which deleted from the authority of the North American Provincial. I suppose that was legal and by so much decreased his authority unless it was expected that even though an appointment was made it was still to be under him.
"To tell the truth my impression is that they didn't think much about those things in that period. They were so anxious to spread Freemasonry and the authority of the English Grand Lodge that they just went ahead and did things whenever there was a good opportunity. When the Grand Lodge of England was organized indeed, it was at first only supposed to have local authority. Almost immediately, however, it began to extend that authority so that it was only a short time when it had assumed exclusive jurisdiction at least in England and all of England's possessions. It even went further and almost assumed jurisdiction over the world. Where a country does this sort of thing in previously unexplored country, what it does is recognized by the rest of the world. Just so with Freemasonry. The action of the English Grand Lodge in extending its authority was at first successful de facto and indeed was recognized de jure. Subsequent developments limited the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England from its fluid coverage to what is now recognized.
"That again was the working out of the facts of history.
"I have said above that it did not seem to me that the other Provincial Grand Lodges in North America were subject to the Grand Lodge here in Boston. That is only my conclusion, but without giving the matter very careful thought and study I am quite sure that this conclusion is right. I do think that from 1734 Price was the Provincial Grand Master of all North America — so were some of his successors. I think that they had full provincial authority over North America except in such places as had been cut out of that authority by a direct appointment from England."
Inasmuch as they will be frequently referred to it may be of use for future chapters of these studies to give a list of the Provincial Grand Masters appointed in America by the Grand Lodge of 1717, those appointed by the Grand Lodge of 1751 having been already given in the quotation from Bro. Henry Sadler:
In 1729 the Duke of Norfolk appointed Daniel Coxe for New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
In 1733 Lord Viscount Montague appointed Henry Price for New England and Dominions and Territories belonging thereto.
In 1736 the Earl of Loudoun appointed Robert Tomlinson for New England and John Hammerton for South Carolina.
In 1737 the Earl of Darnley appointed Richard Riggs for New York.
In 1742 Lord Ward appointed Thomas Oxnard for North America.
In 1747, 1748, 1749, 1750, 1751, Lord Byron appointed William Allen for Pennsylvania and Francis Goelet for New York.
In 1752 and 1753 Lord Carysfort appointed George Harrison for New York.
In 1754, 1755 the Marquis of Carnarvon appointed Peter Leigh for South Carolina and Jeremiah Gridley for all North America, except where a Provincial Grand Master had been already appointed.
In 1758-1762 Lord Aberdour appointed Grey Elliot for Georgia and Benjamin Smith for Carolina.
In 1768 Lord Beaufort appointed John Rowe in the room of Henry Price.
In 1770-1774 Lord Petre re-appointed Henry Price for North America; John Cullins for Canada; Noble Jones for Georgia; and Honorable Peyton Randolph for Virginia.
In 1771 the Duke of Beaufort appointed Joseph Montfort of North Carolina "Provisional Grand Master of and for America."
Note: — I shall appreciate having any error or omission in this list called to my attention. H. L. H.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
On references to Provincial Grand Lodges in the Minutes of the Grand Lodge of England see Ars Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha, Vol. X, index. The Masonic Year Book is published annually by the Grand Lodge of England. The reference to Preston is based on his Illustrations of Masonry edited by Dr. George Oliver, London; 1829, page 195. For the Drummond quotation see History of Freemasonry, R. F. Gould, American Edition, Vol. IV, page 330. On Provincial Grand Masters under the Ancient Grand Lodge see Masonic Reprints and Revelations, Including Original Notes and Additions, Henry Sadler; London; 1898, page 83. Grand Master Gardner's address was on the subject of Negro Masonry; it will be found in Massachusetts Grand Lodge Proceedings for 1870; it is quoted in full in Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, Robert I. Clegg, page 2009. For lists of Provincial Grand Masters see History of Freemasonry in the State of New York, Ossian Lang; New York; 1922, page 11ff.; History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders, Stillson and Hughan; Boston and New York 1890, page 225, Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1871, page 384. Also consult index of the Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, Melvin M. Johnson; New York; 1924. On the Provincial Grand Lodge System as now worked under the Grand Lodge of England consult Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England; Freemasonry and Its Etiquette, Campbell Everden, page 70; Masonic Jurisprudence, J. T. Lawrence; London; 1923, Chapters IV and V.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
When does the history of organized Masonry in Massachusetts begin? What do you know about Henry Price? How were the first lodges of Speculative Masonry constituted? Explain how the Provincial Grand Lodge System arose. From whom did a Provincial Grand Master derive his authority? Who was Preston? Why were Deputations to Prov. G. M.'s omitted from minutes of the Grand Lodge?
Who was Josiah H. Drummond? What Provincial Grand Lodge existed in the American Colonies at the time of the Revolution? What was the Ancient Grand Lodge? In what way did its Provincial Grand Lodge System differ from that of the older Grand Lodge? Who was Henry Sadler?
Describe the Provincial Grand Lodge System as explained by William S. Gardner.
* * *
I built my house on the Sands of Time
A house that I built to stay
But the tide came in — as the tide will come
And it washed the sands away.
Then my house fell down, as a house will fall,
And hope went out with the tide
But I built again, as a man will build
If he be a man of pride.
Then came the storm with the fierce whirlwind,
And my house was wrecked again
And I stood and looked at my labor lost,
And it all seemed so in vain.
But I built again in another place —
Where the storm and the tide came not
And I felt safe in my new strong house —
But one thing I forgot.
It was the flames with their red-hot tongues
That came in the still of night
And they ate it up — as the flames will eat,
Though I strove with all my might.
And again I looked at the house that was
Then knew it was not to be
For a well built house won't fall three times,
When built for eternity.
Now why should I build a house three times,
And why should it three times fall?
Were it better I built a house that falls
Than never to build at all?
Then came a thought from the Great Somewhere,
I had not followed the rules,
For a well built house won't fall three times
When built with the Master's Tools.
So I built again with the Master's Tools
The Level, the Plumb and the Square
Each ashlar hewn from the Rock of Faith
Was polished and laid with care;
And the plans I used were the Plans of Life
And my house it faced the sun,
Now I dwell therein as a man should dwell
When the Craftsman's work's well done.
— Bro. Herbert N. Farrar.
* * *
"THE LITTLE MASONIC LIBRARY"
THE LITTLE MASONIC LIBRARY. Published by the MasonicService Association, Washington, D. C. May be purchased through National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, 20 volumes, 4Y2 by 6 inches. Price, postpaid, $5.50.
IN bringing into one set of books, of convenient size and tastefully bound, so great a variety of Masonic writings of a high class, and all at a price merely nominal, the Masonic Service Association has performed a brilliant publishing feat. The twenty volumes are uniformly bound, in dark blue cloth, printed in gold; and the paper is good book stock. At five dollars the set the volumes average only twenty-five cents apiece — a bargain if ever there was one.
Adequately to review a collection of such scope would require in itself a book as large as one of the volumes of The Little Masonic Library; under the present limitations of space a reader will be best served by a descriptive list of the twenty volumes, here set forth seriatim:
- Anderson's Constitutions of 1728, with introduction by Bro. Lionel Vibert. This is the same fac-simile reprint that in another edition sells for $7.50.
- The Landmarks of Freemasonry, Silas H. Shepherd. This is a "compilation of the lists made by Masonic scholars or adopted by Grand Lodges together with material planned to assist comparative study."
- Lectures on Masonic Jurisprudence, Roscoe Pound.
- The Comacines, W. Ravenscroft. Contains as an appendix, "More Light on the Comacines."
- Modern Masonry; A Brief Sketch of the Craft Since 1717, Joseph Fort Newton. A "sketch and outline of the extraordinary development of Modern Masonry since the founding of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717."
- The Morgan Affair and Anti-Masonry, John C. Palmer.
- Mormonism and Masonry, S. H. Goodwin.
- A History of the York and Scottish Rites of Freemasonry, Henry Ridgely Evans. This work, never before published, contains four chapters on Capitular Masonry, Cryptic Masonry, Templar Masonry, and the Scottish Rite.
- Masonry and the Flag, John W. Barry. In addition to Bro. Barry's "The Story of Old Glory" are five chapters on "The Fourth of July," "The Roll Call," "Paul Revere," "For the Good of the Order," and "Warren G. Harding."
- Masonry and Americanism. Five chapters on "Masonic Brotherhood in the United States," "Religious Liberty," "Equality Before the Law," "Equality of Opportunity," and "The Dignity of Labor."
- Freemasonry and the American Revolution, Sidney Morse. Eleven chapters on all phases of Masonic history in the Revolutionary period.
- Great American Masons, George W. Baird. Chapters on thirty-four famous American Masons.
- The Great Light in Masonry: A Little Book in Praise of the Book of Books, Joseph Fort Newton. Chapters on "The Master Book," "The Supremacy of the Bible," "The Word of God," "Our English Bible," "The Great Light," and "Reading the Bible.'
- The Three Degrees and Great Symbols of Masonry. Thirteen chapters on the Three Degrees, the Altar, Holy Bible, Square, Compasses, Level and Plumb, Rite of Destitution, Book of Constitutions, and Master's Piece.
- The Ethics of Freemasonry, Dudley Wright. A collection of nineteeen of Bro. Wright's essays published in Masonic journals in various parts of the world.
- The Meaning of Masonry: Being the First Half of a Lecture Delivered Before the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. By Request, in 1858, Albert Pike. This famous address is introduced with an essay on Albert Pike by Bro. Joseph Fort Newton.
- The Old Past Master, Carl H. Claudy. A collection of twenty-four Old Past Master story-essays.
- A Master's Wages, Carl H. Claudy. Twenty-seven essays, "addressed to young Master Masons."
- Masonic Poems. A collection of ninety-four poems on Masonry, written by authors living and dead, and drawn from many sources.
It remains to be said that each volume has been edited by Bro. Joseph Fort Newton, Educational Director of the Masonic Service Association, and Editor of The Master Mason, a fact always sufficient to guarantee a high literary and editorial standard. The Little Masonic Library is to be unreservedly recommended to all literate Masons, more especially to such of the young brethren as desire to lay down a proper cornerstone for a private Masonic library. Our congratulations to the Masonic Service Association on this good work accomplished.
* * *
A HANDBOOK FOR MASONS
THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER'S ASSISTANT. By Robert Macoy. Published by Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co. For sale by National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Three hundred and two pages, with index. Price, postpaid, cloth, $2.15; leather, $3.15.
THIS book is adequately described by its title page, composed in the manner of 1885: "Worshipful Master's Assistant. The Encyclopaedia of Useful Knowledge Concerning the Duties, Responsibilities and Prerogatives of the Worshipful Master; Also the Other Officers of the Lodge; Embracing Full Instructions Upon Parliamentary Law, the Masonic Jurist, a Treatise Upon the Principles and Practice of Masonic Law, Installations, Lodge of Sorrow, Forms of Burial Service, and Public Demonstration Generally; With All Other Matters Essential to the Honorable and Successful Government of a Masonic Lodge."
In his Preface the author has given a frank acknowledgment of the spirit in which he composed this book: "I have placed myself in the attitude of a 'Father in Masonry', conversing familiarly with a brother just elected Master, young, inexperienced, but anxious to make a brilliant record in his official career."
The scope and general nature of the book can be easiest described by setting forth a resume of its contents. Part I explains the prerogatives and duties of all the officers of a lodge, from Worshipful Master to Tyler. In Part II, on "The Public Exercises of Freemasonry," are six chapters on constituting a lodge, installation of officers, laying of cornerstones, dedication of buildings, and burial forms. Part III consists of three chapters on "Code of Parliamentary Law", "Masonic Discipline in General," and "The Trial of Masonic Offenders." Part IV comprises a compact treatise on the principles and practices of Masonic Jurisprudence with one chapter on "The Foundations of Masonic Law"; a second chapter on "The Law Concerning Individual Masons, Their Duties and Privileges"; and "The Lodge."
The high standard set up by Bro. Macoy for the Worshipful Master is shown by a quotation from Bro. T. Fitz-Henry Townsen, placed at the head of Chapter I:
"To become Master of his lodge is the legitimate object of every young brother who takes an interest in our society. The very questionable policy of our present regulations seems to be, to open to each, in succession, the way to the Mastership — almost, if not altogether, as a matter of course. Now, my younger brethren may rest assured, that although in deference to usage where it is perhaps too late to abolish, we may place a careless or ignorant Mason in the Chair, invest him with the badge of authority, and address him with the external forms of respect, we cannot command for him the deference and consideration which will be sure to follow the enlightened and expert. He will be like the figure-head of a ship — placed foremost, and gaudily decorated; but, after all, it is a mere effigy, not contributing in the least to the management of the vessel. In small, as in great things, knowledge is power — intellectual superiority real preeminence."
Although intended primarily as a textbook for the Worshipful Master The Worshipful Master's Assistant is in reality a handbook for all members of Blue Lodges. If every brother were to read it at least once he would find Masonry twice as interesting, and would gain for himself a luminous comprehension of the Fraternity, its purpose, its forms of organization, and its proper work. The entire volume is written with distinctive literary ability, and is easy to read. The Worshipful Master who supplements its chapters by the official monitor of his own jurisdiction and takes care to check up its chapters on Masonic jurisprudence by his own Grand Lodge Code, will be well advised to keep this volume at his elbow during his entire tenure of office.
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"MUCH IN LITTLE"
THE TEMPLES BEFORE AND AFTER DESTRUCTION. By E. George Lindstrom. Published by the author. For sale by National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Blue Paper, illustrated, 15 pages. Price, postpaid, eighty-five cents.
IN this, his first Masonic book, Bro. Lindstrom exhibits a talent for condensation rare in beginning authors. In the course of fifteen pages he has worked in more solid material than is often found in a hundred pages, and that on a wide list of themes: Hiram, Tyre, Tyrian Purple, Definition of "Mason," Zerubbabel, Cryptic Masonry, Mt. Moriah, Solomon's Temples, Archeology, and a half dozen others.
The feature of the book is a reproduction and interpretation of a series of murals taken from the Scottish Rite Cathedral of Buffalo, N.Y. Two of these, as being typical of the rest, are reproduced herewith; there are ten others. All of these together, along with the explanatory text, furnish as instructive a lesson in symbolism as one can find.
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A POUND OF NAILS
LEW'S LOGIC, A SYMPOSIUM OF SUNSHINE AND WADS OF WIT. By Lew L. Abbott, selected and compiled by Gene T. Skinkle. From the Press of Fable Brothers. May be purchased from National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Paper, 95 pages. Price, postpaid, fifty cents.
Gene Skinkle "has went and done it again." But it was Lew Abbott's fault. Lew had fallen into the habit of interlarding a monthly advertising circular of his with quips and quirks of wit and wisdom, each a "sharp wire nail" to drive home a selling argument. So Bre'r Gene scooped out a handful of them, did them up in hardware paper, and now offers them to the tribe of scribes and orators at fifty cents per pound. Some of them are brads and some of them are spikes and all of them are sharp. We put in a few as a window display:
Fools and Fords rush in.
Some men who know their own minds don't know much.
The boss says he knows an old fellow whose thoughts are "aged in the wood."
When a woman begins to lose her charms she wants her rights.
If the fish did not open his mouth he would not get caught
We sadly admit our trousers are on their last legs.
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WHAT TO READ IN MASONRY
"STORY OF THE CRAFT"
THE man does not live who could prepare a list of books on general Masonic history to the complete satisfaction of everybody. The present scribe knows full well that he has not done so in the list presented below. But even so, a list of such length cannot be very far astray, since it is an omnibus collection made to cover the most general heads of Masonic history; and is not intended to imply that every item included is to be completely endorsed, or that every item excluded is to be condemned. The brother who reads all these books will find himself at the end abundantly able to pick his way through all the special works and brochures that lie around the margin of the subject, or may be recommended or quoted in the volumes in the collection.
The really indispensable works for the brother who sets out to master the subject from top to bottom are The History of Freemasonry, by R. F. Gould; Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, edited by Robert I. Clegg; and Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. Mackey's may be secured on the present market; Gould can be picked up in second-hand stores, more especially in the American edition, which a Mason in this land will prefer for the sake of the American Addendum; and while the early volume of Ars are difficult or impossible to obtain, many of the later volumes can be had without difficulty. If one lives within gunshot of some good Masonic library he will find all three sets on its shelves.
While a few special histories are included in this month's list — because of their value to the general theme — most of those dealing with local or special subjects, such as Canada, United States, Royal Arch, Scottish Rite, etc., will appear from month to month in separate allocations.
The one golden indispensable advice to a Mason undertaking to read the story of the Craft is that he will keep at it. A horrible confusion will fall upon him at first like that which wrings the heart of a tenderfoot trying to find his way about New York's subways. Confusion will be followed by skepticism for he will discover one historian deriding another, and all of them together in disagreement on a thousand points. But perseverance will have its own rewards. After due time, when he has toiled to some little coign above the mud flats and the dark defiles, the student will begin to see the country as a whole, lying plainly beneath him in the sunlight. It will prove a magnificent panorama, for Freemasonry is as broad as the world and rich as time itself, and that will be his exceeding great reward for a thousand and one nights of toil over these books.
- Ahiman Rezon, Laurence Dermott.
- Ancient Freemasonry and Old Dundee Lodge, No. 18, Arthur Heiron.
- Ancient Scottish Craft and the Third Degree, William Harvey.
- Antiquities of Freemasonry, Dr. George Oliver.
- Arcane Schools, John Yarker.
- Archaeological Curiosities of the Ritual, Enoch T. Carson.
- Atholl Lodges, R. F. Gould.
- Beginning of Masonry, Frank C. Higgins.
- Brief Inquiry Into the Origin and Principles of Freemasonry, Simon Greenleaf.
- Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, A. E. Waite.
- Builders of Man: The Doctrine and History of Masonry, or the Story of the Craft, John George Gibson.
- The Builders, Joseph Fort Newton.
- Cathedral Builders, Leader Scott.
- Century of Masonic Working, F. W. Colby.
- Collected Essays and Papers Relating to Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould.
- Comacines, The: Their Predecessors and Their Successors, W. Ravenscroft.
- Concise History of Freemasonry, R. F. Gould.
- Constitutions of the Freemasons, 1728: Reproduced in Facsimile from the Original Edition: With an Introduction by Lionel Vibert.
- Dunkerly, Thomas, Henry Sadler
- Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry, George F. Fort.
- Eleusinian Mysteries and Rites, Dudley Wright.
- Emblematic Freemasonry and the Evolution of Its Deeper Issues, A. E. Waite.
- England's Masonic Pioneers, Dudley Wright.
- English Gilds, Toulmin Smith.
- English Masonry and the Founders of Modern Masonry 1717-1917, E. Quartier-la-Tente.
- Evolution of Freemasonry, D. D. Darrah.
- Four Old Lodges, The: Founders of Modern Freemasonry and Their Descendants, R. F. Gould.
- Francis Bacon and His Secret Society, Mrs. Henry Pott.
- Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, J. S. M. Ward.
- Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges, Lionel Vibert.
- Freemasonry in Canada, Osborne Sheppard.
- Freemasonry in China, Herbert A. Giles.
- Freemasonry Its Derivation and Development, R. C. Davies
- Freemasonry When? Where? How? George Thornburgh.
- French Prisoners' Lodges, John T. Thorp.
- Further Notes on the Comacine Masters, W. Ravenscroft.
- General History of Freemasonry in Europe, Emmanuel Rebold.
- Grand Lodge of England, A. F. Calvert.
- Grand Stewards, The, and Red Apron Lodges, A. F. Calvert.
- Guild Masonry in the Making, Charles H. Merz.
- Historical Landmarks, George Oliver.
- History and Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry, George Oliver and Robert Macoy.
- History and Illustration of Freemasonry, Alexander Lawrie.
- History of Freemasonry, J. G. Findel.
- History of Freemasonry, R. F. Gould.
- History of Freemasonry and Masonic Digest, J. W. S. Mitchell.
- History of Freemasonry from 1829 to 1841, George Oliver.
- History of Freemasonry in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, 1809-1909, John T. Thorp.
- History of Freemasonry in Canada, J. Ross Robertson.
- History of Freemasonry in England from 1567 to 1813, Leon Hyneman.
- History of Freemasonry in Europe, Rebold.
- History of Initiation, George Oliver.
- History of the Ancient Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons and Concordant Orders, Stillson and Hughan.
- History of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement, Henry Sadler.
- History of Wigan Grand Lodge (Lancashire;, Eustace B. Beesley.
- Hole Crafte and Fellowship of Masonry, Edward Conder.
- Illustrations of Masonry, William Preston.
- Jacobite Lodge at Rome, 1735-7, W. J. Hughan.
- Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, R. I. Clegg.
- Masonic Facts and Fictions, Henry Sadler.
- Masonic Legends and Traditions, Dudley Wright.
- Masonic Reprints and Historical Revelations, Including Original Notes and Additions, Henry Sadler.
- Masonic Sketches and Reprints, William J. Hughan.
- Medieval Architecture, A. K. Porter.
- Memorials of the Masonic Union, W. J. Hughan.
- Military Lodges, R. F. Gould.
- Military Lodges, Alfred Lawrence.
- Notes on the Early History and Records of the Lodge, Aberdeen 1 ter, A. L. Miller.
- Old Gilds of England, Fred Armitage.
- Origin and Early History of Masonry, G. W. Steinbrenner.
- Origin and Evolution of Freemasonry, Albert Churchward.
- Origin of the English Rite of Masonry, W. J. Hughan.
- Outline History of Freemasonry, J. S. M. Ward.
- Pocket Companion and History of Freemasons 1764.
- Pocket Companion for Freemasons 1735.
- Primer of Masonic History, Henry Falls Evans.
- Revelations of a Square, George Oliver.
- Secret Sects of Syria and Lebanon, B. H. Springett.
- Secret Societies of All Ages and Countries, C. W. Heckethorn.
- Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, A. E. Waite.
- Short Masonic History, Frederick Armitage.
- Short View of the History of Freemasonry, William Sandys.
- Speculative Masonry: Its Mission, Its Evolution and Its Land-Marks, A. S. MacBride.
- Spirit of Masonry, William Hutchinson.
- Story of Freemasonry, W. G. Sibley.
- Story of the Craft, Lionel Vibert.
- Studies in Mysticism, A. E. Waite.
- Thumbnail Outline of Freemasonry, H.L., Haywood.
- Traditions, The: Origin and Early History of Freemasonry, A.T.C. Pierson and Godfrey W. Steinbrenner.
- Two Centuries of Freemasonry, Th. G.G. Valette
- Vest Pocket History of Freemasonry, H.L. Haywood
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
ABOUT THE LOST WORD
Please recommend some books or essays on the subject of The Lost Word.
By consulting the index of each volume of THE BUILDER far published you will find several articles and items on the subject. See also Symbolical Masonry, Haywood; The Lost Word, Higgins; Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, Waite; and Morals and Dogma, Albert Pike. One of the best treatments of the subject is "A Contribution to the History of the Lost Word," by Rev. J. F. Garrison, printed as Appendix A in The Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry, George F. Fort. This last was written prior to 1875 and therefore needs some revision, especially in its references to Hebrew antiquities, but for all that has permanent value.
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A MASONIC SILVER CUP
I have come across a strange kind of heavy silver cup, evidently having some Masonic significance. It is cylindrical in shape, 3¼ inches in diameter and 4 inches in height. There are no markings upon it except on the lid. In an outer circle of the lid are these words: "Harmonic Brothers" and "One Tun." Within this circle of words are the square and compasses with a "G" at the center. At the left of the shoulder of the compasses is an "A", at the right, a "T". Can you tell me what all this means?
"Harmonic Brothers" would suggest the name of some musical organization, perhaps a lodge quartette. Since "tun" means a certain kind of wine cask of considerable capacity it may be that this labeling on your cup was intended for humor. Perhaps it was made to be presented as a "loving cup" to some musicians at a lodge banquet. This does not explain "A" and "T". It does not "explain" anything because it is a guess. Does any reader have another guess?
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THE H. A. TRAGEDY AND ETERNAL LIFE
Our Study Club has asked me to seek from you the following information: Does the drama of H. A. in the Third Degree teach the doctrine of immortality? I could make this inquiry longer but believe you will understand what we are driving at.
You will find a discussion of this subject in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin of THE BUILDER for September and October 1920. Theologians usually make a distinction between the doctrines of eternal life and of immortality. The latter holds that a man continues to exist endlessly after death, maintaining throughout his own proper identity; the former includes that idea, or generally does at least, but adds that even now, before death, there is a life open to man that may fitly be described as eternal. These are profound questions in the presence of which every man must feel keenly his own inadequacy to think them through. Moreover they are filled with difficulty owing to the vagueness attaching to the words "immortality" and "eternal". It may well be that in the beginning the Tragedy of H. A. was intended to convey a teaching now lost to us; such calamities have more than once overtaken Masonic symbols and ceremonies; but there is good reason to believe that as the Tragedy now stands in our American Rituals it is legitimate to find in it a Drama of Eternal Life. The protagonist of that Tragedy is not brought back from some other world but is raised to newness of life in this. If a man ceases to be controlled by petty circumstances as they arise from day to day; if he conquers his baser passions; if he gains a wisdom that does not perish while "the sweet days die"; if his spirit becomes anchored in the conviction that life is worth while and of permanent value in the scheme of things; and if his existence in this world becomes shaped and controlled by these ideals and convictions he has every right to believe that he has learned the deep lesson of the Third Degree. There is a sense in which he now lives the eternal life because accidental events and fortunes, "eating like worms into the soul," as Schopenhauer once pessimistically expressed it, leave untouched or uninjured the true values of life. The Mason who has the teaching in his heart knows peace in the midst of turmoil, and joy in the midst of pain.
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ON OBTAINING RELIEF
If a brother falls into misfortune, has an accident or becomes ill, while far from home and among strangers, and needs Masonic relief, how should he apply for it? Should he make formal request of his lodge?
K.G., South Carolina.
Such a brother should call in the nearest Mason he can find, for every brother is under obligation to give assistance to any brother in distress, wherever he may be, or whatever may be his lodge membership. That brother should immediately report the fact to the nearest Masonic lodge, which in turn should ascertain the unfortunate's mother lodge, and make official report thereto. If the mother lodge should fail to make any reply — as is unfortunately sometimes the case — the matter should be telegraphed to the Grand Master, who will take immediate action. Inasmuch as the Fraternity is not a charitable or insurance society, as some organizations are, it has no rigid machinery for dealing with cases requiring relief, but every Mason in any part of the world is himself a committee on relief at any and all times. No brother needing relief should hesitate to make his wants known; no disgrace attaches to such action. It is all a part of Masonry, as much a part as a lodge communication or an initiatory ceremony.
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AMERICAN DEGREES IN AN ENGLISH LODGE?
Somewhere I read a story, some time ago, relating the occurrence of the conferring of American degrees in an English lodge. I think it was during the World War. Can you publish the facts if this was true and tell who was responsible for it, etc.?
W.P.B., New York.
No instance is known of an American degree being actually conferred in an English lodge, and such an occurrence would be contrary to all Masonic rule and practice in England.
What may have given rise to the story referred to is the fact that in 1919, when a number of distinguished American brethren were in London as guests of the United Grand Lodge of England for the great Masonic Celebration of Peace, in the Royal Albert Hall, two London lodges, one of which was the Jubilee Masters' Lodge, No. 2712 (composed entirely of English Grand Officers and London Past Masters), expressed a wish to see the American working rehearsed by American brethren at a meeting of their lodge. This course was approved by the authorities of Grand Lodge, and such a rehearsal, in each case of the Third Degree, took place, one of them in the Great Temple of Freemasons' Hall, where Grand Lodge is accustomed to be held, but it was held to be strictly a rehearsal, and not a ceremony which carried with it any Masonic privilege.
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A SUGGESTION CONCERNING THE NORTHEAST CORNER
I have been asked by my lodge to prepare a little paper on the subject of the youngest E.A. in the Northeast Corner. Won't you give me an idea as to how to handle this theme?
U.Y.P., New York.
If you will confine your talk to the exposition of one idea you will make it more effective, thereby avoiding the swamping of your short talk under a mass of material, a thing that too often happens. The Northeast is typically the place where the cornerstone is laid. It is legitimate to think of the youngest E.A. as being placed there to symbolize the fact that he is the cornerstone of his lodge, for every lodge is erected on its youth, lest it go out of existence with the passing of its older members. All this is an allegory, applicable to the world at large, of which the lodge is Freemasonry's symbol. Youth is the cornerstone of the state, on which the future is necessarily erected; if youth be not strong and solid, the superstructure will necessarily collapse, hence the importance of education, which is a method for fitting youth to take its place in human society. In that method are included all those influences and agencies, in school and out, whereby the helpless child is transformed into the adult man, capable of fulfilling his offices and duties as a citizen. A bridge between helpless infancy and self-reliant maturity — that is education in its totality. The First and Second Degrees of Masonry may be thought of as a drama in ritual form in which are set forth many of the general principles underlying every sound education, not in the narrow school sense of that word, but in the broad sense, suggested by the above. The ceremony of the Northeast Corner becomes, you see, one of the central ideas in Masonry, and is therefore capable of indefinite treatment, expansion and interpretation. It would be a fascinating subject for a book.
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THE CONDEMNATION OF GALILEO
I write to ask some information about Galileo, the great astronomer, to settle an argument among some of us in our lodge. Did the Church ever condemn Galileo officially, or was he merely generally condemned by theologians not speaking officially by the Church? If the Church did condemn his discoveries was it not acting outside its own field of work?
It is not within our province to discuss the theological questions raised by your last question. As to the matter of historical fact, Galileo's teaching was officially condemned. The astronomer was summoned before the Inquisition in Rome in 1615 to state his views. After about a month the Inquisition rendered a unanimous decision: "The first proposition, that the sun is the center and does not revolve about the earth, is foolish, absurd, false in theology, and heretical, because expressed contrary to Holy Scripture; the second proposition, that the earth is not the center but revolves about the sun, is absurd, false in philosophy, and, from a theological point of view at least, opposed to the true faith." Upon this, and at the instigation of Pope Paul V, the Congregation of the Index published a decree to the effect that "all writings which affirm the motion of the earth" are false and heretical, and that any such notion must not be taught or believed. The Pope affixed to this decree a Bull, thereby giving to it the official authority of the Church. The effect this was to condemn Copernicus and Kepler as much as Galileo.
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CONCERNING ELIGIBILITY TO GRAND MASTERSHIP
Can a Grand Master rule that a Deputy Grand Master who has never served as a Grand Warden is not eligible to be elected Grand Master, taking it for granted that the Grand Lodge has adopted a law to the effect that "any member of the Grand Lodge can be elected from the body of the Craft?" What custom, law or landmark would the election of a Grand Master who had not been a Senior Grand Warden violate? If a lodge believes that a Grand Master has violated Grand Lodge law in making a decision, what redress does the lodge have?
Our law is as follows:
Code §22. "No brother shall be eligible to the office of Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Warden, representative of another Grand Lodge, or District Deputy Grand Master who has not been duly elected and installed Master of a constituent lodge."
From this you will see that the only prerequisite is that a man must have been elected and installed as Master of a constituent lodge.
Our Grand Lodge, in 1879, elected Theodore T. Gurney from the floor. This is the only instance of this kind since the formative days of Grand Lodge.
There is no recourse from a ruling of a Grand Master under our law, except an adverse ruling of a subsequent Grand Master.
Owne Scott, Grand Sec'y, Illinois
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YE EDITOR'S CORNER
MORE FREE LITERATURE! Bro. Arthur Millard has kindly given us the disposal of a package of beautiful little books about the Order of Builders for Boys. There are three titles. All three will be sent free. Write your name and address plainly and send two cents in stamps.
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With this month Ye Ed. begins his fifth year in the inner Editorial Sanctum. My, how time flies!
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If you have borrowed clippings from us, and have finished with them, will you not kindly return them pronto? It will save us time and postage. Our clipping bureau has grown to large proportions.
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If you encounter Masonic items in the daily press, send us a copy. Anything useful to our files is always welcome and is nearly always used for some purpose.
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The Arkansas Writer Publishing Company has issued Little Adventures in Newspaperdom. It contains this:
Think of a man without a soul,
As solemn as the tomb,
And you can see the sordid thing
Who runs the counting-room.
He thinks a drygoods bargain ad
More readable than news;
He values what the ad men write
Above our weighty views.
He never asks, is this thing right,
But simply, will it pay?
He never had a noble thought
For he's not built that way.
Devoid of all fixed principles
He must a conscience lack
And sacrificing all to gain.
His deeds are mostly black.
The brains department much regrets
That money must be had,
But it would differentiate
Between the good and bad.
I cannot love a stingy man,
Or money-grabbing shark;
I hate a man whose thoughts revolve
Around the dollar mark.
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"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
"Build Me a temple," the Master said,
"Fashion each block with care;
Stones for My house I have placed at hand,
More will be furnished at your demand,
See that you build it as I have planned —
Build it surpassing fair."
Tools for my task He has given me —
Tools for my every need;
Gavel and trowel and plumb and square,
Level and gauge. an equipment rare,
Implements perfect beyond compare,
Meet for my work indeed.
Plans He has drawn on my trestle-board —
Worthy designs and plain;
Foundation firm, based on faith secure,
Sanctum sanctorum, a heart kept pure,
Dome, seat of reason, a fortress sure —
Plans for a noble fane.
How am I doing my Master's work —
What of my zeal and skill?
How will my shrine with His plans compare?
Will it prove true by His perfect square —
Fitting abode for His presence fair —
How do I work God's will?
— George H. Free, Iowa, U.S.A.