THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 11 No. 6 – June 1925
SHOULD A GRAND LODGE REGULATE ADVANCEMENT TO THE HIGHER DEGREES?
A Grand Masters' Symposium
SHOULD a Grand Lodge try to set a fixed time between a brother's receiving the Third Degree and his going on to the Higher Bodies? This question has been so much discussed, officially and unofficially, during the past few years, that it has become one of the live issues of the day. To give its readers some light on the pulse of Masonic opinion concerning this problem THE BUILDER addressed to each of the forty-nine Grand Masters of the country the following letter:
"Should a Grand Lodge by law regulate the time to elapse between a candidate's receiving his Third Degree and his petitioning for membership in Royal Arch or Scottish Rite bodies? We shall greatly appreciate your contributing to this important discussion something concerning your own Grand Lodge's action (if it has taken action) or your personal opinion, or both."
A sheaf of twenty-one representative replies is published herewith.
THE HIGHER DEGREES SHOULD NOT SERVE AS A REWARD
Any legislation of this nature would, in my opinion, indicate to the candidate that the further degrees were highly desirable and that they are a part of our Masonic work which he might hope to attain by additional service and as a reward.
— Andrew Foulds, Jr., Grand Master, New Jersey.
THE LODGE HAS NO AUTHORITY
The Grand Lodge of South Carolina has taken no action on this matter, nor has any discussion been held. In my opinion, the proper place to handle such a regulation would be in the bodies concerned. These bodies fix the pre-requisites for membership, and the lodge has no authority over them.
— C. K. Chreitzberg, Grand Master, South Carolina.
WISCONSIN HAS TAKEN NO ACTION
Your favor of the 25th of March was duly received. In reply would say that none of the Grand Bodies of Wisconsin have ever taken any action or steps regulating the time to elapse between a candidate's receiving his Third Degree and his petitioning for membership in the Royal Arch or Scottish Rite bodies.
— Frank Johnson, Grand Master, Wisconsin.
KENTUCKY HAS TAKEN NO ACTION
I have yours of the 25th inst., and in reply will say that our Grand Lodge has taken no action on this, nor has anything come before it; though two years ago one of our Past Masters had a resolution prepared, but died just before the Grand Lodge met. I have heard incidentally that it is very likely that something of that kind will come up at this meeting; however, I have no positive knowledge of it at this time. Personally I have not given the matter any thought and do not know whether there should be a law on the subject or not.
— H. M. Grundy, Grand Master, Kentucky.
NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN IN ILLINOIS
In reply to the inquiry embodied in your favor of March 25, I wish to state that in my opinion the extent to which the Royal Arch and Scottish Rite bodies go in soliciting Masons for membership should determine whether or not there should be a Grand Lodge by-law in the particular state regulating the time which should elapse between the raising of a member and his petitioning these other bodies.
Up to the present time no action of this nature has been taken by the Grand Lodge of Illinois.
— Richard C. Davenport, Grand Master, Illinois.
BELIEVES A YEAR SHOULD ELAPSE
In answer to your question I will say that our Grand Lodge has not acted, but personally I think no Master Mason should petition for any other degrees that are based on membership in the Blue Lodge until he shall have passed a satisfactory examination and shall have received a certificate of proficiency in his Blue Lodge Degrees, provided this certificate shall not be issued until after he has attended his own Blue Lodge regularly for at least twelve months.
The act of attempting to evade these regulations should be punishable by suspension.
— Chas. W. Polk, Grand Master, Tennessee.
GRAND LODGE HAS NO RIGHT TO MAKE SUCH LAWS
Answering your first question, permit me to say that the Grand Lodge of Indiana has taken no action on the subject.
As to my opinion on this subject, I cannot see how a Grand Lodge could pass a law preventing a Master Mason from doing anything as long as he conducted himself as a man and a Mason. I think a Grand Lodge would have as much right to say that a newly made Master Mason could not join a church for one year after he was raised, as to say he could not petition for membership in the Royal Arch or Scottish Rite bodies. I cannot see how a Grand Lodge can assume control of a Master Mason, except as to his general behavior, unbecoming a Mason.
— J. Lee Dinwiddie, Grand Master, Indiana.
A YEAR IS REQUIRED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
My Grand Master has asked me to reply to you for him as to your inquiry of March 25.
After one has received the Master's Degree in New Hampshire, a year must elapse before he may petition for degrees in a Royal Arch Chapter or in the Scottish Rite.
This requirement has not been brought about by any action on the part of the Grand Lodge, but was voluntarily made, without suggestion, on the part of the Grand Chapter and the Scottish Rite bodies.
It is an exhibition of their opinion rather than that of Grand Lodge.
It seems to be working just as many of us felt it would, to the end of making better material ultimately for them.
— Harry M. Cheney, Grand Secretary, New Hampshire.
EDUCATION BETTER THAN AN EDICT
The subject of the regulation by Grand Lodge of the time which must elapse between the third and subsequent degrees is one upon which I have no very intelligent opinion to offer. The idea is new to us in Vermont, and while I called the attention of the brethren to it during my remarks at the various District Meetings, I do not know that it has been discussed very much since then. It is safe to say that Grand Lodge action in the matter is very improbable. While there is too much solicitation of our newly made brethren the situation has not reached the point where drastic action is wise or necessary, as it evidently has been in other fields. So for the present we shall work along the line of Masonic education rather than edict, and keep closer watch of developments along this line.
— C. B. Crowell, Grand Master, Vermont.
MONTANA HAS A LAW
Pursuant to the recommendation of G.M. C. J. McAllister, 1922-23, the Grand Lodge of Montana, at its 1923 session, adopted the following resolution, and it now appears in our 1924 Code, on page 101, as Article XIXa, as follows:
"Art. XIXa. Master Masons Not to Apply for Further Degrees Until Certain Requirements Are Met. RESOLVED, That it shall be a Masonic offense for any Master Mason raised in the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge to petition any Royal Arch Chapter or Scottish Rite body in Montana, until one year shall have elapsed from the date of his raising; or before he shall have passed successfully an examination in the lecture of the Third Degree; or before he shall have attended at least twelve meetings of his own or some other lodge, unless excused for good cause by his lodge from such attendance. (Adopted, 1923 Proceedings, p. 156.)"
I can assure you that I am heartily in accord with this section of our Code. There is entirely too much of a tendency to become Masons in name only.
— H. L. Hart, Grand Master, Montana.
"I WOULD SUBSTITUTE KNOWLEDGE OF MASONRY FOR ANY TIME PERIOD"
Replying to your letter of March 25, it seems to me there are two ways you can look at this proposition:
First. That of the applicant desiring to secure Masonic degrees who labors under the false impression that the more degrees he secures the bigger Mason he is. For this impression both the York and Scottish Rites are at least partly responsible because they solicit Master Masons, leading them to infer at least that degrees are true Masonic advancement.
Second. That of the welfare of the Rites as viewed by intelligent and zealous members — zealous for the strength and stability of the Rites, who take the position that degrees should be steps in development of Masonic lives. To such is due the present regulation of the Scottish Rite that only Master Masons of six months' standing shall be eligible for membership in the Rite, the supposition being that six months is the least time in which a Master Mason may gain a comprehensive knowledge of Symbolic Masonry. This, however, works out more in theory than in practice.
Personally, I would substitute knowledge of Symbolic Masonry for any time period, as a condition of eligibility to Higher Degrees.
— Samuel M. Goodyear, Grand Master, Pennsylvania.
BLUE LODGE HAS NO CONTROL IN THE MATTER
This Grand Jurisdiction had this question up before it and we decided that the Blue Lodge did not have any control over applicants making advancement to the so-called Higher Degrees.
It appears to me that Masonry being a progressive Science, and Proficiency in the Speculative Art of the Craft being deemed a pre-requisite as to advancement toward Higher Degrees founded upon Symbolic Masonry, it should be a very essential factor to advancement.
But, I do not see how a subordinate lodge could have any control over its membership when they desire to make advancement to the higher bodies of the York Rite or of the Scottish Rite. Therefore, the higher bodies should require a higher degree of proficiency of its applicants before permitting them to become members of their bodies.
An applicant for either the Royal Arch Degrees or the Scottish Rite, should be proficient in the three symbolic degrees of Masonry. Advancement without a knowledge of this would bring upon the higher bodies a membership whose knowledge would be so limited that they would not be worth anything as a member of either, and become parasites upon these fraternal institutions.
— James D. Hamrick, Grand Master, Georgia.
ARIZONA IS TRYING OUT A LAW
The Grand Lodge of Arizona two years ago adopted a regulation resolution which requires one year to elapse from the time the candidates receive their Third Degree before they are permitted to petition for membership in the Royal Arch or Scottish Rite bodies. This action was taken owing to the fact that there seemed to be a great desire on the part of many to become Shriners. Candidates immediately upon receiving their Third Degree applied for advancement in the Scottish Rite, which would qualify them to apply to a Shrine. Complaint was made that these applicants upon receiving the Shrine neglected and failed to give much attention either to the Blue Lodge or the concordant, being satisfied with the Shrine.
It was the general impression of many at our Grand Lodge session that by thus doing, the real purposes and objects of Masonry were being abolished to satisfy the whims of those who took this course. We felt that they should be familiar with the work of the Blue Lodge before they should advance.
The rule we have adopted is still in effect and an attempt was made at the last Grand Lodge session to repeal it — the Scottish Rite brethren being insistent upon this being done, but we concluded to give it a trial for another year to see to what extent, if any, it would effect the application for membership in these concordant bodies. What action the Grand Lodge will take at its next session, if an action is taken to replace this one, I cannot say.
— Clement H. Colman, Grand Master, Arizona.
GRAND CHAPTERS AND SUPREME COUNCILS SHOULD TAKE THE INITIATIVE
The Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia has taken no action on the question of the length of time which should elapse between the date a brother receives his Master Mason Degree and the date he may apply for the degrees in Capitular or Scottish Rite Masonry.
As Grand Master, I have not given the subject intensive study, but I am inclined to think this matter is one which should be left to regulation by Grand Chapters and Supreme Councils. Experience demonstrates that too rapid a progress up the Masonic ladder does not produce the best quality of Masonry, yet it seems to me unnecessary that Grand Lodges should act as keepers of the gates of other Masonic bodies. I should welcome a ruling from the supreme authorities in Capitular or Scottish Rite Masonry, that they would not elect to their bodies Master Masons who had not attained a certain age in Ancient Craft Masonry, but as a Thirty-third Degree Scottish Rite Mason, and as a Past Grand High Priest, I should feel that Grand Lodge was stepping beyond its province, though, of course, not beyond its right, should it forbid Master Masons to abide by the laws governing application to those bodies, whether such laws permitted immediate or demand deferred application. The college sets standards of education for admission which high school graduates must reach. It seems unnecessary for high schools to set standards by which its graduates could enter college. Ancient Craft Masonry is not a primary school for the so-called "Higher" Degrees, but as its degrees are pre-requisite for Capitular and Scottish Rite Masonry, the comparison seems justifiable.
— Roe Fulkerson, Grand Master, District of Columbia.
"STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN!"
The question you ask raises some doubt and much speculation. One who has been privileged to receive the various degrees of the York Rite and Scottish Rite, cannot discount their value. When we reflect, however, that the Three Degrees as conferred by the lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Missouri may be said to be Universal Masonry, admitting initiates through the portals of Masonic lodges throughout the world, teaching great lessons and having a great work to do, it would seem desirable that the member of the lodge should be given an unhampered opportunity to study the sublime beauty and purpose of the symbolism of the Three Degrees, before being importuned to "take" other degrees.
Too often is it insinuated to the prospective candidate, by the over-zealous, that it takes degrees to make him a Mason, or give him Masonic standing. What we need is more loyalty to the lodge and less talk about degrees. The profane as well as the members of the lodge should be made to know that it is not the number of degrees possessed that makes a Mason, but that it is the active performance of the pure principles of right in one's home, religion, politics and business dealings that distinguishes one as a real Mason.
It seems to me that when a candidate has received the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, he should be required to "Stop, Look and Listen," or "find himself" Masonically, before being allowed to petition for the Royal Arch or Scottish Rite. I believe that if he were required to wait one year after having passed his Proficiency Examination in the Third Degree, we would add strength to our Order in all its departments.
— Orestes Mitchell, Grand Master, Missouri.
IT DOES NOT CONCERN GRAND LODGE
Your communication of 25th ultimo received containing the following questions and requesting a reply:
"Should a Grand Lodge by law regulate the time to elapse between a candidate's receiving his Third Degree and his petitioning for membership in Royal Arch or Scottish Rite bodies?"
Answering thereto would state that our Grand Lodge has taken no action upon this question. There seems to be a perfect mania for legislation both in Congress and forty-eight state legislatures and very largely city councils suffer from this affliction, and from reading the proceedings of some of Grand Lodges even they have not escaped.
Symbolic Masonry is interested in the welfare and deportment of its members. Beyond that it does not or should not care to go. It makes no difference to Symbolic Masonry how much time elapses or, on the other hand, whether he ever joins any of the York or Scottish Rite bodies.
My contention is, if a brother Mason is in good standing, that is, no charges preferred against him and is not in arrears for dues or assessments, he should be free to go or to join anything so far as the Grand Lodge is concerned that is not incompatible or subversive of the principles of Freemasonry or good government. Therefore that such restrictive legislation, paternalistic in its nature, is both unwise and unnecessary.
Of course, it would be perfectly competent for any of the York or Scottish Rite bodies to legislate upon this matter if they were disposed to do so, but it would be a matter in which the Grand Lodge would not be interested.
— Henry C. Dexter, Grand Master, Rhode Island.
"DO NOT HINDER THE ASPIRANT FROM ADVANCING AS SOON AS HE WISHES"
In response to your request that I contribute an article from Florida to the Grand Masters' Symposium dealing with the question of requiring a newly raised Master Mason to serve a given length of time, as such, before applying for admission into the Royal Arch or Scottish Rite bodies, will say that this question has never been officially discussed at any meeting of our Grand Lodge within our memory.
Our laws provide for one month probationary period preceding the conferring of each of the degrees but no other restrictions as to time.
At our annual convocation of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, which was attended by the Inspector General of the Scottish Rite bodies in Florida, a resolution was adopted by the Grand Chapter and accepted by the Inspector General requiring an applicant for the degrees, in either of the bodies, to serve at least six months as a Master Mason. But this law remained in force only one year when it was abrogated by the newly appointed Deputy of the Rite and rescinded by the Chapter, hence we have but little opportunity to judge its merits from our own experience.
There is no doubt but that the Grand Lodge would have ample authority to adopt this restriction, but I would seriously question the wisdom of such action, because we should be legislating a pre-requisite upon the candidates for the York and Scottish Rites which should properly be left for such action as these bodies saw fit to adopt. Might we not, with the same propriety, deny our Master Masons the privilege of joining any organization within six months from the time of their raising?
Would the beautiful admonitions, ceremonies and lectures of the other bodies detract from the inspiring lessons presented in the Symbolic Lodge? I say no. So do not hinder the aspirant from advancing as soon as he wishes.
— T. T. Todd, Grand Master, Florida.
WASHINGTON DEMANDS A ONE-YEAR INTERVAL
In answer to your question: "Should a Grand Lodge by law regulate the time to elapse between a candidate's receiving his Third Degree and his petitioning for membership in Royal Arch Scottish Rite bodies?" I will say that at the last meeting of the Grand Lodge of Washington the following resolution was passed: "Do you promise on your honor that, until you have been a Master Mason for a period of one year and have creditably passed an examination of proficiency as a Master Mason, you will not petition for or accept membership in any other organization which has membership in a Masonic lodge as a pre-requisite? " This law is more drastic than it would be if stated as your question is.
Personally I am opposed to any legislation of this character. We as "Blue Lodge Masons" do not recognize any other body in Masonry, so why legislate for something that does not exist for us? By such legislation we automatically recognize them.
Again I believe that this regulation should come from the Royal Arch and the Scottish Rite bodies. I do not think that it makes any difference whether a man takes six months or six years to take all the degrees of Masonry. If he is going to make a good Mason and work in the first Three Degrees then he will do so irrespective of how many degrees he has taken, and in how short a time. If he is not going to be a good "Blue Lodge Mason," then holding him back for a year, or thereabouts, from taking the so-called Higher Degrees, will not change him one jot. You cannot legislate a man into being a good Mason.
I hold to the old Jeffersonian idea of states Rights, and I want to allow the fullest freedom to the individual. We are too prone as Grand Lodges to pass laws that interfere with the inherent rights of the individual Mason. Such a law as the one above is an encroachment upon those rights.
These are my own personal views and I am going to bring in a recommendation at our next Grand Lodge meeting to rescind the law passed last year.
— Robt. C. McCroskey, Grand Master, Washington.
MASONIC KNOWLEDGE SHOULD BE THE BASIS FOR ADVANCEMENT
At the communication of our Grand Lodge in 1922 a resolution was adopted declaring it to be the will of this Grand Lodge that no Master Mason should apply for appendant degrees within a year from the time of his receiving the Third Degree. Thereafter an agreement was entered into between the Most Excellent Grand High Priest, Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of Oregon, and Most Worshipful P. S. Malcolm, Past Grand Master and Inspector General of Oregon, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, whereby it was ordered by them that on and after June 1, 1923, no petition from any Master Mason, raised within the period of one year prior to the date of such petition, should be received by any Chapter of Royal Arch Masons or Lodge of Perfection in Oregon, unless such petition was accompanied by a certificate of proficiency, executed in proper form, by the Worshipful Master of a duly and regularly constituted Lodge of A. F. & A. M., and attested by the Secretary of such lodge with the seal affixed.
At the communication of the Grand Lodge in 1924, a complete Masonic Code was re-enacted. In this new Code it is provided that no candidate is a full fledged Master Mason until he shall have been instructed and passed an examination in open lodge in the candidate's lecture of a Master Mason. All Master Masons are required to sign the by-laws of their lodge. They are also now required to pass the required examination before signing the by-laws. A candidate is not entitled to receive a certificate of proficiency until he shall have signed the by-laws. He is not eligible, therefore, to receive any of the appendant degrees until he shall have signed the by-laws and received his certificate. This briefly states the action taken by the Grand Lodge of Oregon with reference to the appendant degrees.
In my opinion this is a better way to treat the troublesome matter, than to prescribe a definite length of time between receiving the Third Degree and the right to petition for the appendant degrees. Masonic knowledge should be the basis for advancement. One who is deeply interested in Masonry, and is informing himself in Masonic teachings, and is desirous of advancing, should not be restrained. In my opinion, a desire to receive more light is a laudable ambition. He should be encouraged in this rather than discouraged. I am in sympathy with the desire to discourage the hasty journey through the various orders for the mere purpose of wearing the fez and the tiger claw. I would like to have a regulation requiring all votaries of the appendant degrees to learn the work as they advance. I would like to see every candidate who takes the Capitular Degrees, and all other appendant degrees, be required to learn a lecture in a similar way as the lectures of the symbolic degrees are taught.
Masonic information and Masonic knowledge should be our goal rather than a mere limitation of time.
— Oliver P. Coshow, Grand Master, Oregon.
GRAND LODGE SHOULD NOT PASS SUCH LEGISLATION
In the matter under discussion the Grand Lodge of North Dakota has not passed any time limit to a brother petitioning for membership in the two bodies you name, except that a Master Mason must have obtained a Certificate of Proficiency from his lodge before joining either the Royal Arch or Scottish Rite bodies.
I have heard this subject discussed both pro and con in this and in many other Grand Jurisdictions. My personal opinion is that no Grand Lodge should pass legislation regulating the time to elapse between a candidate's receiving his Third Degree and his petitioning for membership in the two bodies named provided said Master Mason has not passed an examination of proficiency in the lectures of the three symbolic degrees. If a Master Mason believes that he will receive further or clearer light in Masonry by taking further degrees, that such additional degrees will give him a better understanding and conception of Masonry, I can see no good reason for denying him that privilege. Masons desire to learn something of the purposes of life and how best to live in order to conform to the Divine Plan of the G. A. O. T. U. Many will say that this will be found in the three symbolic degrees if the Master Mason will look and search for it. True — but how many do make a search for it there! We know it takes less effort to learn by means of oral instruction and degrees than by self imposed study and reading. So, I firmly believe, if a Master Mason can obtain more light in the purpose of life, in the manner of living for the good of himself, his neighbor and his God, in impressions of the future life and in the aim of the Divine Plan, he should be allowed to follow his inclination in seeking it in further degrees. He may not find that which he seeks but some degree in one of these other bodies may in a manner give him the true insight and meaning of Masonry which he has not received in the three symbolic degrees, thereby making him a better man and a better Mason, of great good to his brethren, his neighbors and his community, thus in his life exemplifying practical and spiritual Masonry. It is an illusion that Masons taking the degrees in these recognized bodies without a time limit after the Third Degree will hurt the lodge.
I know that Grand Lodges have passed laws regulating the time to elapse before joining these orders, but I have no sympathy with their reasoning. Masons should not be prohibited from joining recognized Masonic organizations which make them better Masons, better men and thereby better citizens of this great, wonderful and opportunity-giving country.
— Theodore S. Henry, Grand Master, North Dakota.
SIX MONTHS SHOULD ELAPSE
The Grand Lodge of Louisiana has no law or regulation fixing the time that should elapse between the Master's Degree and the application for a higher body in Masonry.
My personal opinion in the matter is that there should be no minimum time limit placed upon the candidate who has just received his Master's Degree and who desires to make application for the Royal Arch or the Scottish Rite. If the candidate of his own free will and accord, and without any solicitation on the part of others, desires to apply for the Royal Arch or the Scottish Rite Degrees, he should be permitted to do so without the intervention of any specific period of time whatever. However, his right or freedom to petition for the degrees voluntarily and without solicitation should be kept entirely separate and apart from the right of a member of the Royal Arch or the Scottish Rite to solicit applications for the Royal Arch or Scottish Rite from Master Masons. Nothing so wounds the pride of a Master Mason of moderate or small financial resources as to have some member of the Royal Arch or the Scottish Rite or some other Masonic body approach him on the night that he receives his Master's Degree with the statement that conveys to the neophyte the impression that he has received but very little of what there is in Masonry — that unless he wants to live in ignorance he must apply for and take or receive the other degrees, which every Master Mason is supposed to do unless he is a pauper or a cheap-skate who does not show the proper appreciation of Masonry. Such statements to such Master Masons have a tendency to lessen his ardor, zeal, interest in and love for the Fraternity. For that reason, in my opinion, members of other Masonic bodies than the Blue Lodge should not be permitted to seek applications from Blue Lodge Masons within a period of at least six months from the date that the prospect received his Master's Degree. This can easily be ascertained by the first question that the proselyte asks the Mason: "How long have you been a Master Mason?" If the answer is to the effect that six months have elapsed, he could then proceed with his solicitation of the application; otherwise he should not broach the subject in any way to his prospect under penalty of being reprimanded for so doing.
Since the average Mason has had so much of the beautiful philosophy of Masonry unfolded to him in the Blue Lodge, and been informed of the various and manifold duties of a Master Mason, all during the usual period of not more than three hours, since these lessons and the philosophy of Masonry must be studied and repeated by him and to him after he has had the Third Degree conferred upon him, there should be at least six months for the Blue Lodge to have the undivided attention, as it were, of the neophyte. And if members of other rites would put forth more effort toward helping and encouraging this neophyte to go to all Blue Lodge meetings possible, with a view to making a better Mason of him, then it would be much easier for then at the end of six months, or some such time, to secure his application for the other Masonic bodies.
Under no circumstances should my remarks be interpreted as an improper disregard for the other degrees in Masonry, both York and Scottish Rites, for some of the most beautiful lessons, some of the most beneficial philosophy, and some of the most practical applications of Masonry are there unfolded. And my sincere desire is that every worthy human who is eligible would take all of the work. But I think that not only the Blue Lodge, but all other Masonic bodies would be materially benefitted by allowing at least six months to elapse before applications could be solicited from a Master Mason, though I wish everyone of them would voluntarily apply much earlier.
— H. B. Conner, Grand Master, Louisiana.
* * *
ANDREW JACKSON, THE MAN AND MASON
Bro. Erik McKinley Eriksson
Professor Of History, Lombard College, Il.
BRO. ERIKSSON will be remembered as the author of "The Anti-Masonic Party," published in these pages, March, 1921, an essay characterized, like that printed below, by adequacy, impartiality, and accuracy. The student who wishes to make a thorough investigation of the whole Anti-Masonic period is recommended to read along with Bro. Eriksson's study McCarthy's "Anti-Masonic Party," published in the American Historical Association Reports, 1902, p. 370; it will be found in almost any public library. Bro. Charles Comstock P.G.M., of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee Historical Research Committee, has published a leaflet on "The Masonic Record of Andrew Jackson."
AMONG the truly great men of the United States must be included Andrew Jackson, victor at the famous Battle of New Orleans, President of the United states for two terms, and for two years Grand Master of Masons of Tennessee. Not only was he a military genius and a master politician, but he was an active Mason. His record is one in which all Masons may take pride.
Perhaps no man in American public life has been more reviled by his enemies or more warmly praised by his friends than Jackson. This was natural in view of the fact that, during the period in which he occupied the presidential chair, 1829-1837, politics became most bitterly partisan. It was at this time that political parties were for the first time definitely organized under the control of leaders at Washington. It was inevitable that a man of such strong will and domineering personality as the leader of the new Democratic Party, should be hated by his political opponents who included the Anti-Masons, the National Republicans, and the Nullifiers, all of whom later merged to form the Whig party. Because in the past historians and biographers have depended largely on the writings of these political opponents for their sources of information, it has not been until recently that Jackson has been presented in a true light.
Andrew Jackson was far from being a perfect man, but he was not the uncouth, illiterate, head-strong individual pictured by unfriendly critics. He was a man whose personality presented many contradictions, which make it difficult to characterize him. His enemies described him as irascible, egotistical, stubborn, vindictive, intolerant of the opinions of others, and unforgiving. He was regarded as embodying all the coarseness and crudity of the frontier. To his friends he was a very different man. They praised him as a military hero, a true patriot, a great statesman and referred in glowing terms to his probity, his sagacity, his firmness, his courtesy, his generosity, his virtue, his bravery, his chivalry towards women, his hospitality, and his steadfastness.
Viewed from the historical perspective of the present time, he appears to have been a man in whom these faults and virtues were curiously blended, but with the good qualities over-balancing the bad. Had he been the kind of a man pictured by his enemies he could never have achieved the greatness to which history shows he is entitled.
In order to understand Jackson it is necessary to know something of his career and the conditions under which he lived. Born on the frontier, he spent almost all of the fifty-seven years of his life, prior to his accession to the Presidency, under frontier conditions. The date of his birth was, March 15, 1767, but there is some dispute as to the place where the: event occurred. Two years before, his parents had come from northern Ireland to join the Scotch-Irish settlement, the Waxhaws, near the boundary between North and South Carolina. Only a few days before Andrew was born the head of the family died. It has been contended that the mother then crossed the line and went to the home of a relative in North Carolina, where the child was born. However, the latest historical research indicate South Carolina as Jackson's native State, and he, himself, always referred to it as such.
HIS MOTHER WISHED HIM TO BECOME A MINISTER
Elizabeth Jackson, the future President's mother, was a pious woman of the Presbyterian faith, as were most of the Scotch-Irish, and cherished the hope that her son Andrew would become a minister. But there was little in his rough frontier environment to incline him towards that calling. As a boy he not only was an active participant in the rough sports of the frontier settlement, but he is reported to have excelled his companions. He was always ready for a quarrel or for a cock-fight, and he was proficient in the use of oaths which seemed so essential to the frontiersman. Yet vice was not a passion with him and his constant striving to excel boded well for his future.
Educational opportunities at that period of history in this country were very meagre, except for a very few individuals. On the frontier the educational standards were not high and it was regarded as sufficient if one could read and understand English in an indifferent manner, write a legible hand, and perform a few arithmetical calculations necessary for business transactions. Of such education Jackson partook insofar as opportunity was offered in the rude neighborhood school. The formal learning which he thus acquired was sadly inadequate for one who was to occupy the prominent position which he later attained. Later, in his study of law, he picked up some Latin phrases, but he never acquired the knowledge of literature or history which distinguished such of his contemporaries as Thomas Hart Benton.
His spelling was faulty and yet not to such a degree as commonly supposed. The reason so much stress was put on this was that, during the campaign of 1828, his political opponents sought to discredit him as an illiterate, and therefore unfit to be President, by magnifying his inability to spell correctly. Though largely untaught he was not unlearned. He, through his own efforts, acquired the ability to express himself in clear, vigorous English, and his ideas were original with him. His state papers were essentially his own, though others helped put them in final form for publication.
While he was still a mere boy and before he could have attended school much, the fact that a War for Independence was being fought was forcibly impressed on him. In 1780, the British captured Charleston and over-ran South Carolina. Though but a boy of thirteen, Andrew Jackson served as a trooper with the American forces. The following year, he and his brother were taken prisoners by the British. Refusing to shine an officer's boots he was slashed across the hand and head with a sword. The scars of this and the marks left by smallpox, which he contracted while in prison, he carried to the end of his life.
His brother died, but Andrew's release was secured by his mother. Shortly afterwards she died of fever contracted while serving as a volunteer nurse caring for Americans who were held prisoners at Charleston. The end of the Revolution found Andrew alone in the world with the necessity of relying on his own resources. While he considered continuing his education, there was no opportunity in his locality for doing so. He then undertook to become a saddler but after a short period he found the life too monotonous. He is reported to have spent more time in the saddle — for he was an expert horseman — than in working at the trade.
HE SOWED HIS WILD OATS
After this, he thought to make his fortune in the world beyond the frontier, and went to Charleston. There he became associated with the sporting element and by reckless betting on horse races involved himself in debt. Extricating himself from his difficulties by a fortunate wager, he turned from the gay life of the city.
He must have been conscious that the frontier offered him the best opportunity for success, for he returned to the region of his nativity. In 1784 he took up the study of law at Salisbury, North Carolina, in the office of Spruce Macay. Finally completing the law course he was admitted to the bar in 1787 and launched out on his professional career at Martinsville, North Carolina. There is no record to indicate how much practice he had but it is reasonable to think that he received few clients, since he was as yet not twenty one years old, was given to the pursuit of pleasure, and probably knew little law.
At the time, Tennessee was still a part of North Carolina, and had been but little settled. Three counties in the eastern part had been organized and, in 1788, these were constituted a judicial district by the North Carolina legislature, and John McNairy, one of Jackson's fellow law students at Salisbury, was appointed judge. He persuaded Jackson to accompany him with the result that the autumn of the year found them established at Nashville. Jackson soon acquired a lucrative business among the merchants, for the most part. The only lawyer of the vicinity had been retained by a group of debtors, so the creditors were glad to retain Jackson. He was also appointed solicitor in McNairy's district with a salary of forty pounds for each court he attended. He invested his income in land and in eight years was one of the wealthy land owners of the new community.
Jackson rapidly acquired prestige and was soon recognized as one of the outstanding men in Tennessee. His rise to fame was aided by his personal appearance, for he was tall, slender, and erect, with a pale face and keen blue eyes surmounted by a high narrow forehead. His hair was bushy and of a sandy hue; his chin was clear-cut and square, and his lips expressive. He carried himself like one who was his own master and his actions were quick and decisive.
When he appeared in court he always created a favorable impression. While acting in his capacity as solicitor he exhibited such courage and such love for justice that he won the respect of the law-abiding while the evil-doers came to fear him. It was not long before he received further preferment. When only twenty three years old he was appointed United States attorney. When Tennessee was admitted into the Union as a State in 1796 he was elected as its first and only Representative in the lower house of Congress.
A year later he was appointed United States Senator, but resigned this office in April, 1798. The national capital at that time was located at Philadelphia, and Jackson seems to have found the life in that metropolis distasteful. Upon his return to Tennessee he was appointed a justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, and served acceptably until 1804. His decisions, while not always exhibiting as much knowledge of law as might have been desirable, were eminently fair and were characterized by their common sense.
Meanwhile two important events had taken place in Jackson's life which were to mean much to him in the future — his marriage and his entrance into the Masonic Fraternity. Concerning the former much has been written; little is known of his early Masonic record.
When he first came to the Nashville settlement Jackson became acquainted with Rachel, the daughter of John Donelson, one of the pioneer leaders. She was married to one Lewis Robards of Kentucky, a worthless individual whose cruelty forced her to seek refuge in her parental home. At the time there were no divorce laws in Kentucky so it was necessary for Robards to petition the Virginia legislature, which then exercised jurisdiction over Kentucky, for permission to sue for a divorce in a Kentucky court. When this petition was granted, in 1791, his wife married Jackson, both believing that she had been freed from Robards. But two years later, that individual sued for divorce in a Kentucky court and was granted it on the grounds that his wife had for two years been unlawfully living with Jackson as his wife.
HE FINDS HIMSELF IN A HUMILIATING SITUATION
When the news reached Tennessee, Jackson was much mortified and hastened to re-marry in 1794. Later, especially in the campaign of 1828, his political enemies sought to make political capital of the event by circulating stories of this marriage. But, while Jackson acted precipitately in the matter, there is no doubt that both he and his wife were innocent of any intentional wrongdoing. He was always very sensitive concerning the matter and nothing would arouse his ire more quickly than allusion to the circumstances of his marriage. He killed one man in a duel, it is supposed, because of some disparaging remark in regard to his marriage, though the quarrel leading to the duel began over a horse race. Jackson was always fondly devoted to his wife and she to him.
Concerning his early Masonic record the facts are not so clear. Several lodges claim him, but there is doubt as to which lodge conferred on him the first three Degrees of Masonry. At the time of his going to Tennessee the region was under the jurisdiction of the North Carolina Grand Lodge as the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was not organized until 1813. The claim of Greeneville Lodge, No. 3, of Tennessee, formerly No 43, of North Carolina, seems to be the most weighty. The records were destroyed by fire during the Civil War, so it is unknown just when he took the three Degrees. But an original transcript of the lodge record for Sept. 5, 1801, shows that he was a member at the time.
Philanthropic Lodge, No. 12, at Clover Bottom, Tennessee, the only lodge in the territory chartered by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, has claimed Jackson, but as it was not chartered until 1805, its claim does not seem valid. The Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina for 1805 list him as a member of Harmony Lodge, No. 29, at Nashville, which later became No. 3, in the Tennessee jurisdiction. He might have been made a Mason in this lodge, but here, too, the evidence is not conclusive. During this period he appears to have been active in the work of the Fraternity, and is known to have served as a Worshipful Master. He also became a Royal Arch Mason.
* * *
NEW JERSEY AND THE GRAND ORIENT OF FRANCE
INSPIRED by a desire to have Freemasonry become a united and universal brotherhood, a desire accentuated by the disrupting influences of the World War, and willing to go more than half way, three or four American Grand Lodges entered into fraternal relations with the Grand Orient of France during the war period. A further step in that direction was taken when certain of our Grand Lodges took membership in the International Masonic Association, the grand purpose of which was world-wide Masonic duty. It was hoped by those Grand Lodges, and by many brethren in Grand Jurisdictions not participating, that some basis of unity could be found on which all Grand bodies of the world might have common footing without sacrifice of principle or regularity.
One of the obstacles in the way of this approchement, so far as many American Grand Lodges were concerned, was the fact that so many of them had long before severed relations with the Grand Orient of France: first, because it had invaded American territorial jurisdiction; second, because of its position on belief in God; and the Grand Orient had to be reckoned with because of its influence in Europe, and because of its membership in the International Masonic Association. The American brethren who led in the movement toward unity, and who hoped to have the International Masonic Association become the nucleus for a future association of Grand bodies of the world, tried to find a way out of the religious difficulty and hoped the Grand Orient might come to a better understanding of the American principles of religion and the American system of territorial jurisdiction.
It now transpires that the Grand Orient has no thought of co-operating with regular American Masonry at all — at least so one gathers from its Comptes Rendu, issued during 1923.
These official records show the Grand Orient deliberately undertaking to enter into fraternal relation with an irregular Masonic Grand body, the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania:
"Bro. Mille, President, recalls the conditions of the covenant that is to be made with the Regional Gr. Lodge of Pennsylvania, which has requested the patronage of the Gr. Or. of France. He states in what circumstances that important group has applied for our patronage. He thinks that it is our duty to answer the call of our American Brothers. The Council, desirous of cultivating good relations with the Masonry of the whole world, has examined at length this question. We are not accustomed to trespass on the jurisdiction of other Obediences, and therefore, it is only after mature reflection and a careful study of the facts that we have taken a decision. Our right is unquestionable. We are not in relations of amity with the official Gr. Lodge of Pennsylvania. The question of territorial jurisdiction is not raised.
"The Council gives full powers to its Board to pursue this affair and make the necessary covenants.
"The Past Master of the Atlantide (in New York City) our Bro. Biny, has sent us, with a kindness for which we cannot thank him too much, documents concerning the Gr. Lodge of Pennsylvania. In a first statement, he shows us the attempts made by the York Rite, especially in 1906, to suppress the Lodges of the Gr. Or. of Spain. A second statement gives us a real summing-up of the history of the Gr. Lodge of Pennsylvania. A last one explains the origin of the Lodges of the Gr. Or. of Spain in the United States. All this is very intertesting to us at the moment when we are going to form a close connection with the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania....
"Bro. Delauney, Secretary of the Council of the Order: 'It is owing to the desire of the Council of the Order, to develop our international influence, any time an opportunity occurs that the parleys entered into with the Regional Gr. Lodge of Pennsylvania are due.'
"The Gr. Lodge of Pennsylvania, which comprises thirty-five lodges, several Chapters and Councils, was founded in 1893 under the auspices of the Grand Orient of Spain and remained subject to it until 1922. The separation took place under the following circumstances: When the Supreme Council of Spain asked to be admitted to the International Meeting in 1922 of the Supreme Councils at Lausanne, the American Masons required before all, that the Grand Orient of Spain should give up the lodges which were under its dependency in American territory. The Supreme Council for Spain acceded to them and later advised its lodges to become afflliated with the York Rite (in America).
"The York Rite Masonry did not correspond to the philosophical ideal of the Regional Gr. Lodge of Pennsylvania which, on the other hand, saw with chagrin the manner in which it had been treated by the Gr. Or. of Spain. In order to have a definite explanation with the Spanish obedience the Gr. Lodge sent its Gr. Commander, Bro. Gould Lawyer to Madrid. In Europe he received confirmation of the abandonment in Lausanne. He was then put into communication with the Gr. Or. of France through Bro. Biny, Past Master of our Lodge 'l'Atlantide' of New York City.
"Now we have only to read you the main lines of the projected Convention between the Regional Gr. Lodge of Pennsylvania and the Gr. Or. of France:
"1. The Regional Gr. Lodge of Pennsylvania shall pay every year to the Gr. Or. of France the sum of ten dollars for each active lodge.
"2. The Regional Gr. Lodge shall buy all the third degree diplomas which they may need at a price which shall be fixed immediately. These diplomas shall be on parchment printed in English and in French from a model furnished by the Grand Lodge (That model is a diploma in use at the time when the Gr. Lodge was subject to the Gr. Or. of Spain).
"3. The Constitution of the Gr. Or. printed in English shall be furnished to the Regional Gr. Lodge at a price of 500 francs for 100 copies.
"4. All the communications between the Gr. Or. of France and the Regional Gr. Lodge shall be in English.
"5. The Gr. Or. of France shall furnish (for a price to be fixed) letters patent, printed in English and in French, for the lodges which belong actually to the Gr. Lodge or may be created later. Those letters patent shall bear the actual names and numbers of the lodges already in existence.
"6. The Gr. Lodge shall have the right of working according to the Scottish Rite.
"7. The Gr. Lodge shall have the right of recording all legislative acts concerning the regulation of the lodges of its obedience.
"8. The Gr. Lodge shall have the right of establishing new lodges in the United States when it shall deem it proper, it will receive for them letters patent from the Gr. Or. of France.
"9. The Regional Gr. Lodge requests that every time a lodge or a member of its obedience shall write directly to the Gr. Or. such letters be communicated to the Gr. Lodge before the adoption of any solution.
"The matter is not concluded. We trust in our Lodge l'Alantide of New York City, which knows that Gr. Lodge well and which has asked to keep us informed; as, being on the ground, it knows better than we do all the precautions which should be taken.
"On the other hand if most American Grand Lodges ignore us there are some with which we are in relations of amity. Such are the Grand Lodges of Alabama, of Iowa, of Louisiana of Minnesota, of New Jersey and Rhode Island.
As the Regional Gr. Lodge of Pennsylvania asks to be granted the right of establishing new lodges in the United States it would be proper on our part to tell them not to establish any in the States with which we are in relations of amity. There are hardly any besides two obediences, very small ones, New Jersey and Rhode Island, which might become mixed up in this affair on account of their relative nearness to Pennsylvania.
"Our L. the Atlantide, Or. Of New York, gives us the following information concerning the 'Loyal Order of Moose,' which had manifested a desire to enter into a connection with us. As many other American secret societies of the same kind, the Loyal Order of Moose is interested in one of those things which form the aim and ideal of Masonry; it is in itself an honorable society, but its object is before all mutual aid and assistance; a member is entitled to benefits in case of sickness, death, etc. Our lodge earnestly entreats you to avoid all connection with the Loyal Order of Moose, or any other society of the same kind. We would run the risk, the lodge says, of becoming the laughing stock of all America and of the European Masonry. It does not seem as if we should hesitate; we must adopt the line of conduct pointed out to us by the Atlantide.
"Our Lodge the Atlantide, Or. of New York, writes us another letter concerning the 'Loyal Order of Moose'. The details which it contains confirms the information previously furnished by the Atlantide and specify this fact that the 'Loyal Order of Moose' presents no Masonic character. In the latter part of the letter our lodge from beyond the sea tells us to be on our guard against certain portentous manceuvres:
"'We can only urge you to refrain from forming any connection with that Order which would never even have dared put such a question as it dared put to you in Paris. We repeat it, beware of the snares which the Americans lay for you, and remember well that Americans do not come for nothing and without purpose to the European Masonries and especially to the International Masonic Association in Switzerland in which they did not take any interest at all before 1920. On the day when something disagreeable will happen to you (bear well in mind that just now we only indulge in guesses) you will regret very much the advances that you shall have made to the Americans.
"'The United States are, for such as have not lived here, the most incomprehensible, the most unlike people in the world. Study well the English and you wiil know somewhat their Anglo-Saxon brothers called the Americans.'
"We must thank that devoted lodge, the Atlantide."
"19th. The lodge L'Atlantide, Orient of New York, requests the Grand Orient to give to Brother Felix Levy 18° the necessary powers by which to effect the conferring of the Chapter degrees, for the purpose of forming a Chapter, on some brethren of the lodge L'Atlantide.
"That project being justified by the importance of our lodge in New York, your committee proposes that you render the following decree:
" 'The Council of the Order.
"'In view of Article 70 of the Constitutions and the paper of the lodge L'Atlantide dated Aug. 2, 1923, and the favorable advice of the Grand College of Rites.
"'Article first: Delegation is given to Brother Felix Levy, 18°, member of the lodge L'Atlantide, to effect the conferring of the Chapter degrees on the Brothers who shall be designated by that lodge:
An interesting sequel to all this will be found in Bro. Frank C. Sayrs' Grand Master's address, delivered to the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, April 16, 1924, the relevant portions of which are here quoted from the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, 1924, page 91 ff:
Our relations with all other jurisdictions with which we are in fraternal communication are undisturbed, but I am constrained to bring to your attention correspondence with the Grand Orient of France, which may prompt your consideration of the propriety of the continuance of our present friendly relations with that organization. Let it be understood that the Grand Lodge of New Jersey has never formally recognized the Grand Orient of France; that the interdict laid against it in 1871 at the request of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, because of the alleged invasion of territorial jurisdiction of the latter was in reciprocation of New Jersey's request of all American Grand Jurisdictions to support it in interdicting the Grand Lodge of Hamburg for invasion of our jurisdiction by warranting a Lodge in Hoboken.
The interdict continued until its rescission in 1918. Perhaps the controlling reason being that during the war, members of New Jersey Lodges in the American Expeditionary Forces had reported the welcomes, the kindnesses shown them by their brethren in France and had suggested the removal of the interdict against Masonic communication with them.
Since then, the Grand Orient has occasionally written requesting to be informed of the regularity of spurious organizations which had applied for recognition, such as the American Masonic Federation, the Memphis Rite of Chicago, and have been left in no doubt of in what "regularity" consists in the United States of America.
Our attitude regarding the exclusive territorial jurisdiction of American Grand Lodges has always been governed by Standing Resolution No. 1, adopted in 1840:
"1. Resolved, That the Grand Lodge of New Jersey regards the Grand Lodges of the several States and Territories of this Union, which have been heretofore recognized, as holding exclusive jurisdiction within the limits of those States and Territories; and will regard any attempt to violate this principle in this or in any other State or Territory as an innovation in the established regulations of the Fraternity, tending to its destruction."
It was therefore surprising to have received the letter which follows:
"July 17th, 1923. "To the Grand Lodge of New Jersey:
"VERY DEAR BRETHREN — Our Lodge L'Atlantide of New York informs us that a certain number of your Lodges receive as visitors, French Masons who come from France, and who are passing a limited time in your State, but they refuse admittance to those of our Masons who are residents in America, and in particular, those members of our Lodge L'Atlantide of New York.
"However, these last are Masons of the Grand Orient of France with the same title as the others.
"We are convinced that you will think, as we do, that your Lodges misinterpret your instructions.
"We shall be grateful of your good will if you will give thought to the foregoing and we hope you will direct by the very next advices that all the Masons of the Grand Orient of France shall be fraternally received as visitors in your lodge-rooms.
"Receive, very dear brethren, the assurance of our devotedly fraternal sentiments,
"One of the Secretaries of the Council of the Order.
To which answer was made as follows:
"Secretary, Grand Orient of France,
"DEAR SIR AND BROTHER — I acknowledge receipt of your letter of July 17th, 1923, in which you advise the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, that members of your Lodges in France, who may be temporarily sojourning in New Jersey, are received as visitors in our Lodges, while members of a lodge of your obedience, L'Atlantide, situated in the city of New York, are denied the like privilege of visitation, and requesting that our Lodges be instructed to receive them.
"A Lodge of any foreign obedience, situated within the territorial jurisdiction of an American Grand Lodge, in defiance of its sovereignty, is an irregular Lodge and its members cannot be recognized as regular Masons.
"The Grand Orient of France cannot be ignorant of the long established principle of exclusive territorial jurisdiction, maintained by the Grand Lodges of North America, violation of which principle was the reason for the interdiction of Masonic communication with the Grand Orient of France for so many years.
"The Grand Lodge of New Jersey annulled its interdict in 1918, under a resolution to be found recorded in its Proceedings of 1918 on page 146, and you are aware of the fact that in 1921 the Grand Lodge of Louisiana suspended its recently resumed fraternal relations with the Grand Orient for the explicit reason that the latter still maintained two Lodges in North America, one in San Francisco, Cal., and another in New York City.
"Under date of July 21st. 1920, it is of record in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, that the Grand Orient had considered the existence of the Lodge L'Atlantide justified, but that it was disposed to order the dissolution of the Lodge Jerome Lalande (California). If the latter was considered irregular or offensive to the interests of fraternal amity between the Grand jurisdictions, then also will the former be, while it continues to exist within the jurisdiction of an American Grand Lodge.
"The annual proceedings (Comptes Rendu) of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey are regularly sent to the Paris office of the Grand Orient, and if you will refer to the volume of 1918, page 146 and then to the volume of 1922 you will find in the appendix (pages 46, 47, 48) a full explanation of the attitude of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey in regard to the principle involved, and particularly in relation to the Lodge L'Atlantide.
"Since Masonic communication with the members of an irregular Lodge cannot be tolerated in New Jersey, I beg leave to suggest, in the interest of undisturbed fraternal relations, that you formally withdraw your letter, as otherwise its subject matter must be officially communicated the Grand Lodge at its Annual Commmunication in April 1924, and I have reason to assume that suspension of amicable relations with your Grand Orient would probably result from its legislative action.
"I trust this greatly to be regretted conclusion can be averted, by your further consideration of the subject, and your adoption of the suggestion I have offered. Accept an expression of the fraternal sentiments with which I subscribe myself, your friend and brother,
"FRANK C. SAYRS,
Evidence that the Grand Orient of France willingly continued to request information regarding suspiciously irregular bodies in America is afforded by the following letter:
"GRAND ORIENT OF FRANCE,
"16 Rue Cadet, Paris,
"November 7, 1923.
"Grand Lodge of New Jersey:
"VERY DEAR BRETHREN — We have received a communication of which the following is a copy:
"'We, brethren of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, make a request for the foundation of a Council and desire you to send us a Patent, so that we may be recognized under and by the Rites of the Grand Orient of France.
"'Will you send us a charter under which we shall be able to work? We form a Council of nine members under the name of the Supreme Council of the United States.
"'The names of the brethren of the Council are the following: A.G. Wilkes, Robert M. Ford, William Bull, W. Williams, C. C. Holoway, Forest Pitts, Nattian Pitts, Robert Calhone, W. H. Matthews Thanking.
"'Will you address your reply to A. G. Wilkes, 458 No. Franklin Street, Philadelphia, or to Robert M. Ford, 209 Taylor Ave. Camden (N. York)
"'We shail pay for the charter after reception. Put on it the French seal. We pay you all charges.'
"I shall be obliged if you will kindly tell us what you think of the contents of that letter and of its authors. We wait your reply (before) for writing to the interested parties.
"Accept, very dear brethren, my thanks and the assuance of my devoted fraternal sentiments.
Which was answered as follows:
December 5th, 1923. "V. Fr. Aries, Secretary-General, Grand Orient of France:
"T. C. F. — Your letter of November 7th, 1923, containing the translation of a letter requesting the issue of a Patent for a 'Supreme Council for America' to certain persons named therein asserting themselves to be members of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, has been read with astonishment at the impudent mendacity of the writers, and at the display of their ignorance in presuming that the Grand Orient of France would consider such an overture upon a mere demand, without a careful consideration of the reasons which had prompted such a request. Your prudence in desiring an expression of our opinion on the subject is an appreciated Masonic courtesy to the Grand Lodge of New Jersey and it is only with an earnest desire to reciprocate that courtesy and to render you a real service, that we advise you that the persons named in the letter are not members of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, nor of the Lodges of its obedience. We have reason to suspect the names to be of persons identified with the irregular and clandestine groups which had been operating in the State of Pennsylvania, under the pseudo-authority of the Grand Orient of Spain, and which had been renounced by that body at the instance of the Supreme Council of Spain, because of their known irregularity.
"To these outcasts have been added other irregular and clandestine survivors of the so-called American Masonic Federation, of which the organizers, Matthew McBlain Thompson and his associates, are now under sentence of conviction in a Federal Court to pay fines of $5,000.00 and suffer two years' imprisonment for their fraudulent use of the United States mails in solicitation of their dupes.
"It may be of ultimate and important service to the Grand Orient of France to be reminded that American Masonic theory and practice, well justified by long experience, imparts a very serious meaning and consideration to 'regularity' — for every Mason in America by the obligations which alone make him a Mason is thereby prohibited from Masonic communication with an irregular, spurious or clandestine Mason, and the regularity of any individual Mason is determined by his making in a just and lawfully constituted Lodge of the obedience of a Grand Lodge possessed of sole territorial jurisdiction within its own State lines.
"Therefore, nothing could be done or authorized by any Masonic authority outside of the United States of America to establish within its geographic boundaries any kind of a Masonic body and invest it with fundamental regularity. This applies equally to Grand Orients and Supreme Councils of any or all degrees of legitimate Masonry.
"In this connection, and perhaps of even greater relative importance, your attention is called to the subject matter set forth in your Compte Rendu of March 25th, 1923 (soir), pages 156 to 159, inclusive, by which it appears that the same 'irregulars' had overtured the Grand Orient to take an exaggerated number of so-called Lodges, chapters and philosophical (?) councils under its protection and thereby identify itself with a so-called Regional Grand Lodge for North America.
"It would seem impossible that such an association could be seriously considered, but giving all credence to the story and complimenting the Illustrious brethren participating in the discussion, upon their almost extreme courtesy, as reported, we feel that we would be gravely derelict did we not renew and emphasize the advice tendered herein, and offer for your most serious consideration the view that your official cognition of the parties thus soliciting your protection and assimilation could have but one result; namely, the immediate termination of friendly relations with the Grand Orient of France by the Grand Lodges of the United States.
"Accept our fraternal assurance that this invited expression of opinion is based on the facts and is offered solely in your interests and in behalf of the continuance of the friendly relations now existing between the Grand Orient of France and several of the American Grand Lodges.
"With high consideration and fraternal esteem, I am
"FRANK C. SAYRS,
The reply to this letter embodies the French understanding of American exclusive territorial jurisdiction:
"PARIS, January 29th, 1924. "To the Grand Lodge of New Jersey: "DEAR BRETHREN — We desire to again state the point of view of the Grand Orient of France regarding our relations with the Masonic Powers which have formed a friendly connection with us, and especially our relations with your Grand Lodge.
"Allow me to remind you of the facts that our Lodge. 'The Atlantide' Orient of New York (City), having called to our attention that while you accept as visitors our brethren who pass through the United States, you strictly forbid to our brethren of 'The Atlantide' entrance to your temples. We wrote you July 17th, 1923, requesting you not to make such an arbitrary distinction between regular Masons of our Obedience. Your answer of August 31st, 1923 advised us to formally withdraw our letter lest your Grand Lodge should suspend its relations with us. You founded your demand on the fact that a foreign Masonic Power cannot have a Lodge on the territory of a friendly Power.
"Can this principle, which we entirely accept, apply to our case? No, most evidently. The United States is, politically, a federation of many states, but Masonically it is not so. Each one of these states is, indeed, a Masonic Power, and so far as we know these individual Powers do not constitute one effective group, regulated by one constitution and working as one regular Masonic organization. Therefore, to us, the fact that we have Lodges in one state does not seem to place an obstacle in the way of our having relations with another state.
"Article 21 of our Constitutions reads: 'The Grand Orient of France does not establish Lodges in those countries where there exists a regular Masonic Power with which it is in fraternal relations.' Nothing is changed in the situation of those Lodges that are in actual existence. Which means to us that should we form a friendly connection with the Grand Lodge of New York we would bind ourselves not to create Lodges on the territory of the Grand Lodge of New York, but the Grand Lodge of New York would have to recognize the regularity of the Lodge which already exists there.
"With still more reason and especially as the existence of our Lodge, 'The Atlantide,' was previous to the forming of our friendly connections with your Grand Lodge, it seems to us inadmissible that you should refuse to recognize our New York Lodge, which is outside of your territory, and to deny the right of visitation to such of its members as might visit your Lodge.
"Under these conditions you will understand that we cannot do otherwise than maintain the point of view just stated.
"On the other hand allow us to thank you for the information which vou gave us in answer to our letter of November 7th, 1923. That information corresponds with a request which has reached us from the so-called Brother Robert M. Ford, of Camden (New York), who pretends that he and the other eight signers are members of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey.
"The question therefore did not implicate the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, with which we are in negotiations and concerning which we take the liberty of offering you some fraternal explanations.
"When the Grand Orient of Spain, which had granted its Constitution to the said Grand Lodge, severed its connection, the Grand Lodge requested us to become its patron, that is, to take the place of the Grand Orient of Spain, as its warrantor and to furnish its Constitution and the diplomas for its members.
"A definite decision has not been taken on the matter, for our Grand Orient has, first of all, requested the Regional Grand Lodge of Philadelphia to show proofs of its Masonic regularity. The Grand Lodge gave us these proofs consisting in its previous Constitution granted by the Grand Orient of Spain, and a decision of the High Court of Philadelphia by which its legal existence was recognized with the exciusion of the other groups of the same kind.
"The negotiations continue and no definite decision has been reached. You may be sure that in this order of ideas also our Grand Orient will not swerve from its ancient line of conduct and be inconsistent with the principles of its Constitution or the agreements it has entered into with friendly Powers.
"Accept, dear brethren, the assurance of our devoted and fraternal sentiments.
"One of the Secretaries of the Council of the Order."
The statement that the Grand Orient had not yet decided to afliliate the Pennsylvania clandestines, might reasonably serve to delay action on the part of this Grand Lodge, were it not for the utter misunderstanding of American practice, evinced in this correspondence, and which alone may justify at least a temporary severance of our friendly relations.
The extracts from the current Proceedings of the Grand Orient of France, translations of which have been sent me by the Chairman of your Committee on Foreign Correspondence, presents such curiously erratic details as would justify a suspension of friendly relations until our French brethren realize the gravity of their proposed action.
This portion of the Grand Master's address was referred to the Committee on Foreign Correspondence which recommended (its recommendations were adopted by Grand Lodge) as follows:
To the M. W. Grand Lodge:
Having duly considered the subject matter contained in the printed address of the M. W. Grand Master, under the caption "Foreign Relations" (pages 15-23) which was referred to this committee, we respectfully report:
In reference to the suggestion that the existing relations with the Grand Orient of France be terminated because of its attitude in regard to the American practice of exclusive territorial jurisdiction as set forth in the letter dated Jan. 29, 1924, which traverses and ignores the practice of this and all other American Grand Lodges, we agree that entire justification is found in the correspondence, but we are of the opinion that the decision to terminate our relations may with propriety await final action by the Grand Orient as to its affiliating the Pennsylvania irregular and clandestine groups with which it is in negotiation, and therefore recommend that the M. W. Grand Master be empowered by his declaration to terminate the existing relations between this Grand Lodge and the Grand Orient of France when by such action it shall appear to be expedient.
ROBERT A. SHIRREFS
WILLIAM VAN EERDE
CHARLES W. GARMAN
Committee on Foreign Correspondence.
Trenton, N. J., April 17th, 1924.
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"THE HYPOCRISY OF GOODNESS"
Bro. Henry Taylor, Missouri
BRO. ROB MORRIS invented the term "Cryptic Masonry" to designate the set of three degrees that closely follow the Royal Arch: Royal Master, Select Master, and Superexcellent Master. The word is from the Latin crypticus, derived from an older Greek term krupte, meaning a vault, or underground passage or room. The suitability of this name is instantly apparent to every brother fortunate enough to have taken these beautiful degrees. It is regrettable that so few, comparatively speaking, have embraced this privilege; it is said that only about nine per cent of Master Masons have taken them, whereas about twenty-seven per cent are Royal Arch members, and some fourteen per cent are Knights Templar. The Rite seems to flourish most in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Texas.
The older historians say that the Cryptic Degrees began as honorary or side degrees of the Scottish Rite, more especially of the original Rite of Perfection, founded in France in the middle of the eighteenth century. The Proceedings for the Supreme Council at Charleston, dated Dec. 4, 1802, apparently show that the R. & S. ceremonies were then claimed by that Body, but as "detached" degrees: "Besides those degrees which are in regular succession, must of the Inspectors are in possession of a number of detached degrees, given in different parts of the world; and which they generally communicate, free of expense, to those brethren who are high enough to understand them, such as Select Masons of Twenty-Seven," etc. On the same subject Charles T. McClenachan wrote: "In the Southern states of the Union, the Supreme Council initiated, chartered, and fostered Councils of Royal and Select Masters; and as rapidly as they were selfsustaining they became independent." Bro. George W. Warvelle disagrees with all this, and attributes the degrees to American sources. In THE BUILDER of May, 1924, he said that "the history of Cryptic Masonry, as coherent and connected system, commences with the year 1818, and that it owes its present existence" to the enthusiasm of Jeremy L. Cross, who derived the material from earlier American ritualists. In either event, the ultimate sources of the degrees are lost to us; but that matters not.
Symbolically there is a connection between the Cryptic Rite and the Temple of Solomon. I. Kings, Chapter VI, verse 7, says: "And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building." The ashlars were hewn out and perfected — many of them at least — in a quarry dug into the hill underneath the building. The entrance became concealed by rubbish and so the very existence of that underground work chamber became lost until rediscovered by modern archaeologists. It appeals to one's imagination to think how many of the stones which graced the arches of King Solomon's Temple or shone from tower and wall were carved and quarried by craftsmen working in silence and in secrecy.
There is more of this kind of cryptic work in our Fraternity than most Masons — especially of the younger set — ever know of. The Worshipful Master and his officers putting in their evenings and Sundays working out the problems of the lodge; the Tyler, going to his dingy ante-room through all kinds of weather; committees visiting the sick, and planning the work of the brethren; much of all this necessary labor is never published to the world; oftentimes the casual attendants at lodge hear of it not at all. But if it were not for this hidden labor, going on without sound of ax or hammer — they make all their sound, usually, where everybody can hear — there would be no Masons, no lodges, no Fraternity.
Every brother who really practices his Masonry is in a large sense a Cryptic Mason, though he may not work much in lodge — how few ever do that! Circumstances may make it impossible for him to attend meetings or to serve on committees, but he is doing Masonic work, often, just the same. He does a good turn here, drops a helpful word there, passes on a needed dollar, or pays a call, and all because his Freemasonry is inspiring him to do it.
For that matter, there is plenty of Cryptic Masonry going on everywhere in the world outside our ranks. The cynic makes much capital of the fact that so many men are hypocrites; he thinks — if ever he does think — that all goodness is merely a thing for display, and all men are rotten at the core. A hypocrite, so the word literally means, is "one who takes part in a show or play." He is a "play actor." There is truly, as the cynic wishes us never to forget, much acting at being good by men who are anything but good. But what the cynic himself always forgets is that there are also many men who play at being worse than they really are.
There is such a thing as "the hypocrisy of goodness." Oftentimes the fellow who makes a great bluster at being a "regular tough" has a heart as soft as a woman's but he would as lief be caught stealing as have anybody discover all "his little nameless unrecorded acts of kindness and of love." There is just as much concealed goodness in the world as concealed wickedness. Down underground, hidden in the crypts of the world, are multitudes of silent workmen; they may doff the apron before coming to the surface; they may hide their tools; they may make no sound at their work; they may not leave their mark on the ashlar where it can show; nevertheless, to some degree, they are royal and select masters, and after they are forgotten their children's children will see their anonymous work, shining in the sun.
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THE NORSE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA
Bro. Alfred Newton Miner, Massachusetts
THE history of the city or country of Norumbega is vested with the charm of antiquity, fable and early explorations. Early historical accounts contain many references to Norumbega [a name given to a lodge in Newtonville, Mass.], and the place was much sought for in the 15th Century. Who founded it, where it was located, and what was the cause of its abandonment, are questions that have never been fully answered to the satisfaction of all. One late writer has referred to Norumbega as "The Lost City of New England."
In the study of ancient historical subjects, especially before the era of the written word, one is dependent upon the traditional narratives or legends of the people, which were handed down by word of mouth, from generation to generation, until at last set down in writing by some scribe and presented as historical narratives. These legendary or traditional accounts are found mingled with the early written historical accounts tending to corrupt the authenticity of the earliest records. This mixture has often led to the serious questioning of the early records, and caused many discussions between the students of narrative and critical history. Such is the case with the earliest records of Norumbega.
Many theories have been advanced regarding its situation and founder. Early maps, from 1520 to 1634, show it variously located along the eastern coast of North America from Nova Scotia to Florida. John Smith speaks of Norumbega as including New England and the region as far south as Virginia. Some later historical students have placed Norumbega on the Penobscot River in Maine, others in Rhode Island, others near our Massachusetts Bay.
So far as is known, no trace of ancient settlements has been found indicating that this city was located along the Penobscot River. The old stone tower at Newport is now believed to be the work of an early governor of Rhode Island, rather than the work of the Norsemen. The Dighton Rock at Dighton, R.I., on which were found runic figures, is now believed by some to be the work of early Indians. In the main, however, it is agreed that if such a city or country existed, it was undoubtedly an early settlement of the roving Norsemen. It is probable that Norumbega will never be definitely located to the satisfaction of all, unless historical records clearer than those at hand are discovered.
Inasmuch as our interest is in the origin of the name and the location of the ancient city of Norumbega, the writer has made a careful study of early Norse history, the Norsemen and their voyages of exploration, their discovery of America, their early settlements, as well as the works of recent writers substantiating or refuting the possibility of this city being located on the Charles River near the Massachusetts Bay.
To appreciate the hardy, courageous, adventurous nature of the Northmen or Norsemen, their exploration and their discovery of America, nearly five hundred years before Christopher Columbus, it is necessary to glance briefly at the early history of these people, and their settlement of Iceland and Greenland.
The name Northmen or Norsemen was applied in a general way to the early inhabitants of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, these people forming the northern branch of the Teutonic or Germanic race. Later, the names were specifically applied to the people of Norway, Iceland and Greenland, and are so applied in this narrative.
ALL IS LEGEND PRIOR TO TENTH CENTURY
For the first few centuries, the Norsemen were more or less hidden from view in their remote northern home, Norway. Their history only becomes authentic with the introduction of Christianity, at the close of the 10th Century. All previous to this date is a compound of legend, mythology and doubtful history. Enough is known, however, of these hardy sea kings to make it certain that they were the most intrepid voyagers of the day. Though they had no compass, no guide, in fact, but the sun and stars, yet they continually made long voyages in rudely built vessels, not larger than some of our fishing boats. The beaks of their long ships were seen in every known port of Europe, as far south as the Golden Horn, and they explored other countries then unknown in general. Their armed aid could be secured by every ruler who could afford to pay them. Their craft crept along the coast of Germany, Gaul and the British Isles. Every summer these dreaded sea rovers made swift descents upon the exposed shores of these countries, plundering, burning, murdering and retiring to the north before winter set in. Before long they began to winter in the southern countries, and soon the shores were dotted with their stations and settlements.
They made their first appearance on the coast of England in 787 A.D., and from the year 832 A.D. repeated their invasions, until they became masters of the whole country for about fifty years under King Canute. Land, which the Norsemen named Normandy, an ancient province of France, was granted Rollo, one of the most renowned of Norman chieftains, together with the daughter of Charles the Simple, to stop the ravaging of France in the 10th Century.
Wherever they settled, they rapidly adopted the more civilized form of life of the country, but they inspired everything they adopted with the bold, fearless spirit of the Norsemen, producing marked internal improvements and fearless leaders.
Iceland was discovered in 860 A.D. by the bold Norse Viking Naddodd, sailing from Norway. It was settled by immigration from Norway in 874 A.D. This island, although located in the cold North Sea, was soon well peopled. The nature and climate of the island, where winters are long, the whole year surrounded by chill ice mountains, where the main support must be from fishing, developed a hardy, brave race, one who loved the freedom of the wild country, the spirit of the Viking.
Soon the adventurous nature led to the discovery of Greenland, in 876 A.D., but it was not until about a century later, in 984 A.D., that the land was visited and explored by Erik the Red, an adventurous Norseman, who had fled from Norway on account of manslaughter and was later banished from Iceland for the same cause. He returned after two years to obtain settlers for Greenland, giving the new country this name to attract them. Greenland, too, was soon colonized.
Iceland soon after its settlement became the literary center of the Scandinavian world. There grew up a class of Scalds or Bards, who before the introduction of writing preserved and transmitted orally the Sagas or legends of the northern races. About the 12th Century these poems and legends were gathered together, and they constitute a small body of Icelander literature that has come down from the period of the events narrated, held for a long time in the memory by frequent recitations, transmitted by father and mother to son and daughter, and later, with the introduction of writing, written on parchment. They are among the most important and interesting of the literary memorials that we possess of the early Teuton people and reflect the beliefs, manners, customs and the wild adventurous nature of the sea kings, as well as giving the historical data of the people and age, at a time when literary darkness overshadowed the European continent.
The voyages which led to the discovery of North America by the Norsemen and their settlements are set forth in the Old Norse Vinland Sagas, or early traditional songs, which tell the following story:
In 986 A.D. a Norseman named Bjarni, son of Herjulf, who was voyaging from Iceland to Greenland, was driven far out of his reckoning to the west by a gale. He saw several times in the distance a bold, rugged coast line, probably that of "New Foundland" or "Laborador", but made no landing. The account of this voyage was related when he returned to Iceland.
LIEF ERIKSON SETS OUT
In the year 1000 A.D., Lief Erikson, son of Erik the Red, bearing in mind the tale told by his predecessor, set out with the avowed object to test the truth of his report and sailed with thirty-five men. He visited first an island seen by Bjarni, and named it "Helluland" (flat stone land), supposed to be Newfoundland, next "Markland" (woodland), supposed to be Nova Scotia, and last "Vinland" (vineland, because they found vines and grapes in great abundance), supposed to be the coast of New England. Lief built houses and wintered in Vinland and in the spring loaded his vessel with timber and returned to Greenland.
About 1002 A.D., Lief's brother Thorvald went to Vinland with thirty men and wintered at the same place. In the succeeding year he sent a party to explore the coast, who were gone all summer. In 1004 A.D. he explored the coast eastward and was killed in a skirmish with the natives, and in 1005 A.D. his companions returned to Greenland.
In the spring of 1007 A.D., Thorfinn Karlsefne, a rich Icelander, set sail for Vinland with three ships and one hundred and sixty men and women. They took with them their cattle and sheep. Three summers were passed on the Vinland coast. While here Thorfinn's wife, Gudrid, bore a son, Snorre. Finding the natives hostile, they at last returned to Greenland. The old Icelander manuscripts make mention of other visits to Vinland, or to Markland in 1011, 1121, 1281 and 1347 A.D.
Briefly, this is the accepted account of the first discovery of America by the Norsemen. The truthfulness of the Sagas' account is confirmed by the accounts of Adam of Bremen, almost contemporary with the voyage of Thorfinn. Later documentary evidence, in relation to the intercourse between Greenland and America, is the Venetian narrative of the visit of Nicolo Zeno about 1390 A.D., when he met fishermen who had been on the coast of America.
The connection between this early Norse settlement, called "Vinland," and the Norumbega of today has been discussed by many. Why this city was not discovered before the ruthless hand of time had entirely destroyed it is not definitely known. Apparently but very little voyaging of exploration was done between the time the Norsemen finally abandoned their settlement and voyages to America in the early part of the 13th Century, and the voyages of Christopher Columbus in 1492, John Cabot, 1497, and contemporary explorers.
COLUMBUS KNEW OF NORSE EXPLORATIONS
The fact that Christopher Columbus knew of the land discovered by the Norsemen is not disputed today. Several years before he sailed on his memorable voyage he had visited Iceland, and undoubtedly talked with the descendants of those who had lived in Vinland, North America. He also undoubtedly had opportunity to see and study the map of Vinland, thought to have been procured for the Vatican by the first Bishop of Iceland, who visited Vinland in the year 1121.
The manner in which the knowledge of this ancient city was handed down to the later explorers was not found by the writer. It may have been from the Vatican reports, as Gudrid, the wife of Thorfinn, the mother of Snorre, made a pilgrimage to Rome after the death of her husband, and recounted the story of her three years' residence in Vinland. Rome at this time was paying much attention to geographical discoveries, and took pains to collect all new charts and reports. England, France, Portugal and Spain were all vying with each other in discovering new lands and extending their territories. The roving Norsemen, themselves, may have spread the stories of the new land, through these countries, as recounted by the men at home. Whatever the way, the stories of this wonderful place in a new country began to carry historical weight. Many maps of the early explorers carry reference to it, although in many cases the name is spelled differently. Norway was known as "Norvega" in Europe in the early centuries, and is so shown on some of the ancient maps in late 1500, and the Norsemen undoubtedly settled the new country in the name of the motherland, "Norvega."
The name Norumbega is said, by Professor Horsford, to be the Indian attempt to pronounce the name given to the country by the Norsemen. Their inability to pronounce it aright may have accounted for the diversified spelling of the name found on the early maps of explorers. In the Spanish Document of 1523, the name "Arembi" appears in place of Norumbega. Peter Martyr also mentions "Arembi" as a province known and visited by the Spaniards. Thevel, in his instructions to mariners about 1557, speaks of a small fort erected by the French some ten or twelve leagues from the mouth of a river, which place was name "Fort of Norumbegue." Verranzano's map of 152 shows a place on the New England coast called "Aranbega." The Dieppe Sea Captain, in 1539, speaks of "Norumbega" as a vast and opulent country extending from Cape Breton to Florida, discovered by Verranzano. Jean Allefounsce, in 1543, who about that time visited Massachusetts Bay, describes "Norombegue" from reports "as the capital of a great country". The great French map of 1543, which represented much of the geographical knowledge of the day, shows the "Los City of New England" with stately castles and imposing towers. Michael Lok's map of 1582 gives the name "Norombegue" in prominent letters. Champlain's map of 1612 gives the name as "Naranbergue." Several old maps of this time give the name as Norumbega, and this so appears on Dutch maps to the end of the 17th Century.
INGRAM WROTE AN ACCOUNT OF "BEGA"
The first Englishman certainly known to have reached any portion of the country known as Norumbega was David Ingram, a sailor, who passed through this territory in following Indian trails north from the Gulf of Mexico, where he had been sent ashore with some one hundred and twenty men, on account of lack of provisions, by Sir John Hawkins in 1568. Although his account is a mingling of facts and fable, that he accomplished the journey has never been doubted. He states he saw the city of Norumbega, called "Bega," which was three-fourths of a mile long and abounded with peltry.
It is easily seen that these ancient names Arambe, Arambec, Aranbega, Norvega, Oranbega, Norombegue and Norumbega are similar in sound, and may be said to support Professor Horsford's theory as to the origin of the name "Norumbega."
These ancient maps of the early explorers, although establishing the fact that there was a country or city of Norumbega, are inaccurate as to its definite location so that much is left to conjecture. The first known English expedition to Norumbega was made in a little frigate by Simon Ferdinando, who sailed from Darthmouth in 1579. His brief account does not state the exact location.
HORSFORD DISCOVERS NORSE REMAINS
There was one, however, who believed that the early city of Vinland, of the Norse Sagas, was the Norumbega, as given on the ancient maps, and that this city could be located from the old narratives. This was Professor Eben Norton Horsford, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Early in 1880 he began his careful study of the old Norse Sagas and traditions, the accounts of early explorers and their crude maps. He became firmly convinced that the description of the country, as given in the Sagas, pointed to the Charles River Basin as the location of Vinland, and that the ancient city and seaport, Norumbega, one of the early settlements of the roving Norsemen under Lief Erikson in 1000 A. D., underlay the modern Watertown. Here were found the stone walls on either side of the Charles River beginning just above the United States Arsenal, in some places undermined or removed, but in the main nearly continuous, running up the river and expanding at Watertown into docks, wharves, a fishway and a dam at the head of tide-water, which he states may be traced to the Norsemen — "indispensable requirements for the conduct of a great Norse industry of which glimpses are given in the Vinland Sagas."
Near the head of stony Brook in Weston and Newton were found remains of their canals in which they floated the mosurr wood (a burr growth on the trunks of trees) to the river to be floated to the seaport and loaded into their ships for Norway, where this wood was greatly prized for the fashioning of drinking cups, bovrils, kneading troughs, etc.
Scattered throughout the basin of the Charles are found the theatres and amphitheatres, where the ground has been terraced so that all might see the events taking place. One may be found near Breed's Pond, Mount Auburn, another near the Charles River, about a half mile above the United States Arsenal (in front of the Perkins Institute for the Blind), where their water sports might have been held, another near Riverside, all pointing to the work of man before the colonization of New England by our forefathers.
There are many who do not agree with Professor Horsford, and there have been controversies of long standing over his placing Norumbega in this region. The critical historians, however, do not offer proof to definitely disprove his findings. Due honor should be paid him for the long years of painstaking research work, the careful search of the countryside where he believed the city to be located, and the offering of proof to substantiate his beliefs. That these facts are disputed does not dim our appreciation of the Norsemen as a race, barbarous and adventurous, but attaining a degree of civilization in an age when Europe was but emerging from darkness.
In referring to his works and writings on this subject, so late a writer as William Hovgaard, late commander in the Royal Danish Navy, Professor of Naval Design and Construction in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writes after a careful study, examination and discussion of the ancient Norse Sagas and subsequent works in his book, "The Voyages of the Norsemen to America":
"Certain ruins of houses and graves, found by the late Professor Horsford and by Miss Cornelia Horsford on the banks of the Charles River, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, were believed by them to be Norse. The researches which some years ago were undertaken on the spot did not bring to light any positive evidence to substantiate the theory, but on the other hand there appears to be nothing absolutely to disprove it."
Professor Horsford, to commemorate the early discovery of America by the Norsemen and to mark the site of their settlement, erected a tower on the site of their fort on the Charles River in Weston, near the Newton line, which carries the inscription as given on page 170.
A view of this tower appears on the Seal of Norumbega Lodge as well as on the cover of the lodge notices.
* * *
MOUNT MORIAH'S BROW
The kings have crumbled into dust,
The scepter and the sword
Since e'er the master builder stood
Beside the trestle-board;
Yet never strikes the solemn hour,
I care not where or when,
But that His name is whispered low,
Upon the lips of men:
I conjure with its magic spell,
In strange barbaric lands,
And lo! the temple's beauties rise
From out the desert sands:
And in the Arab's guarded tent,
Refreshed from travel's toil,
I'm welcome to his little store
Of corn and wine and oil:
The mighty ones of all the earth,
The rustic at the plow,
Have gone with me along the road
To Mount Moriah's brow:
No charm of creed, no power of birth,
Nor pride in battles won,
Shall blight the green acacia bloom
Where sleeps the widow's son:
In humble guise, with contrite heart,
I walk the lonely way,
And sore beset where dangers lurk,
I kneel me down and pray;
What though the road is dark and rough,
Or angly threats be heard?
I journey onward to the light
And seek the Master's Word:
Low twelve or high, it matters not,
So that He calls to me,
I fare me on from Lebanon
To Joppa by the sea:
For never night goes round the world,
I care not where nor when,
But that His gentle spirit speaks
Upon the hearts of men.
— Robert Rexdale.
* * *
Concerning Henry Clay, Jefferson Davis, Dr. George Oliver and Other Notables
IN the Iowa Masonic Library are a large number of original letters from brethren notable in Masonic history; and an almost equally large number about famous men who were not Masons. A little collection of these letters is given herewith, as much for the light they throw on questions still mooted as for their intrinsic interest.
JEFFERSON DAVIS WAS NOT A MASON
The reader will recall a discussion in the Question Box of recent issue of THE BUILDER concerning Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, as to whether or not he was a Mason, and what may have been his feelings about the Craft. These questions are settled once and for all by two letters, the former of which was evidently forwarded by its recipient to Bro. T. S. Parvin, who in turn himself wrote to Jefferson Davis, as is indicated by the second Davis letter below:
16th Dec. 1885.
Col. I. L. Power
I have received with others of a similar character, the enclosed sheet, having a paragraph underlined to secure my attention and I send it to you to attract your notice. Under the head of "Summary" is a concentrated instillation of malice and mendacity. The main attack seems to be against the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons and as many slanderers have heretofore done, the writer avails himself of a sectional prejudice existing against me to point his attack against Freemasonry and in less than the three underscored lines, perpetrates at least, as many falsehoods.
1st. I, Jefferson Davis, am not and never have been a Free and Accepted Mason.
2nd. As a citizen of the sovereign state of Mississippi, I obeyed her commands and as sovereigns cannot "rebel" neither led or followed a Rebellion, great or small.
3rd. As I have no Masonic standing, the assertion that it was not tainted by the imputed act of mine, rests not upon a fact, but upon a misrepresentation.
4th. Masonry could not have had much to do with securing "my pardon", as I have never been pardoned, nor applied for a pardon, or appealed to Masonry to secure to me the benefit of the writ of Habeas Corpus, that I might have the constitutional right of every American citizen, to be confronted with my accusers.
To exclude a possible inference, I will add that my father was a Mason and I was reared to regard the fraternity with respect, and have never felt any disapproval of it other than that which pertains to every secret society. Viewing Freemasonry from a distance, and judging the tree by its fruit, I have believed it to be in itself good.
Respectfully and truly yours,
(The following is a portion of the "Summary" referred to in the foregoing, evidently taken from some crude Anti-Masonic blast: "Benedict Arnold, first traitor to American liberty, learned his patriotism in Hiram Masonic Lodge, No. 1, New Haven, Conn., and died a Freemason in good and regular standing. Aaron Burr, another traitor to the government, plotted his treason in Royal Arch cipher, and also died a Free and Accepted Mason in good and regular standing. Jefferson Davis, a Free and Accepted Freemason, led the great rebellion and the fact did not even taint his Masonic standing, but did have much to do in securing his pardon.")
16th Jan. 1886.
Theodore S. Parvin, Esq.
Yours of the 6th inst. has been received. Col. Power could not have intended to inform you that I had complained of the treatment received by me from the Masons. I have never felt otherwise than a friendly regard for the Fraternity and never could have written or spoken in any other spirit. A publication by the Antimasons was sent to me in which my name was used as a stalking horse and falsehoods employed in the assailment of Masonry. I wrote to my friend, Col. Power, a refutation of the charge for publication in the "Jackson Clarion." The paper was issued during my absence from home and I have not seen the paper, but not doubting that my letter was published in the "Clarion" I will request Col. Power to send to you a copy of the paper containing it.
The copy of your proceedings which you kindly sent to me came safely to hand, and was so highly appreciated as well for itself as the evidence it contained of prosperous development in a country I had known as a wilderness that I am only surprised at my having failed to acknowledge your courteous consideration.
Respectfully and truly,
DR. GEORGE OLIVER WRITES A LETTER
Bro. Dr. George Oliver is a name known to almost every Mason in the world. He was born at Pepplewick, England, of Scotch ancestors, Nov. 5, 1782. His father raised him in St. Peter's Lodge, Peterborough, in 1801. Immediately he took a great interest in Freemasonry, and at last became one of the most scholarly and voluminous of Masonic writers. His influence in England was incalculable; so also in America, where his writings ranked second only to those of Bro. Dr Albert G. Mackey in their power to shape Masonic opinion. Like Bro. William Preston before him, with whom his name is so often bracketed, he received the displeasure of a Grand official because of a misunderstanding, and as a result withdrew from all active participation in lodge activities, a fact mentioned in the letter below. The Hist. L'n'ks referred to was doubtless his Historical Landmarks and Other Evidences of Freemasonry Explained, of which Dr. Mackey said, "No work with such an amount of facts in reference to the Masonic system had ever before been published by any author. It will forever remain as a monument of his vast research and his extensive reading." The Golden Remains of the Early Masonic Writers was, as the title indicates, a collection in five volumes, each of which carried an introduction by him. Because of the massive literary production produced by him, of which these two titles are only slightly indicative, and because of the far-reaching influence of his fourteen or fifteen principal works, Dr. Mackey gave him a very proud position in the hierarchy of Masonic authors, as witness: "While his erroneous theories and his fanciful speculations will be rejected, the form and direction that he has given to Masonic speculations will remain, and to him must be accredited the enviable title of the Father of Anglo-Saxon Masonic Literature."
Scopdwick Vicarage, May 6th, 1854.
Dear sir and Brother:
I am much gratified to receive so good an account of Masonry in your part of the world, for altho' I am getting too far advanced in years to take any active share in the details of a working Mason yet it gives me pleasure to hear of the successful exertions of younger and more able brethren.
I am at all times ready to reply to any suggestions or to answer any enquiries relative to a science in which for so many years I took a warm interest, so far as my judgment and recollection will allow; and I enter at once on a brief notice of your alleged difficulties.
The naked facts of the legend attached to the Third Degree are not borne out by legitimate history, for it is well known that H.A.B. lived to see the T-finished, and afterwards returned to Tyre. (See the Hist. L'n'ks, Vol. II, p. 154.) In fact the legend is a pure myth, and has been variously interpreted. Some think it refers to the death of Abel — others to the mystical death of Noah when he entered the Ark, and his resurrection from it when the waters had subsided as is commemorated in the Pagan mysteries; some to the atonement of Christ on the cross; and others, amongst whom was the late Sir W. Drummond, the learned author of the Origines, refer to it as an astronomical origin. An examination of the arguments by which each of these opinions is supported would occupy too much space for discussion in a single letter. The view which I take of it is Death in Adam and Life in CHRIST, and the particulars are developed so far as it is consistent with the O. B. in my Hist. L'n'ks, Vol. II, pp. 179-183. But it never can be thoroughly understood by any Master of a lodge who does not extend his researches beyond the ordinary lectures and ceremonies; which are, as you truly observe, vox et proeterea nihil.
Bro. Margoliouth, whose lecture I have not seen, would, I am inclined to think, take his illustration of the Cross of Christ, formed by the junction of the Level and Plumb Rule, etc., from my Hist. L'n'ks, Vol. II, p. 627.n. 29, where it is stated as an idea suggested by Bro. Willoughby of Birkenhead. You will find the subject discussed in loc.
The XII Chapter of Eccles., which you have rightly introduced into the discussion of the lodge, is a legitimate object of Masonic illustration and was used by Dr. Anderson at the revival of Masonry about the beginning of the last century. You will find it, as explained by that eminent Mason, in the first volume of the Golden Remains, page 65. If you have a convenient opportunity of sending your paraphrase I should like to see it.
Respecting the nine characters on the coffin, which you mention, I am quite in the dark, not having been in a lodge room for the last dozen years. I have not even seen the latest Tracing (Trestle) Board and therefore am ignorant what those emblems may be.
I send the only list of books in my possession. I approve of your seal, as the emblems are strictly Masonic.
Believe me to be, dear Sir
Your faithful Brother. Geo. Oliver.
F. W. Barron, Esq.
Principal U. C. College,
THE G.M. OF IOWA WROTE ON HENRY CLAY
It is well known that Henry Clay was a Mason. The next letter in this group shows that he bowed before the almost irresistible (to a politician) mania of the Anti-Masonic craze but never became an out-and-out "renouncer."
July 2, 1852.
Wm. Leffingwell, Esq.,
Master Iowa Lodge, No. 2.
Dear Sir and Brother:
Your request thro Br. LaCassitt that the Masonic Fraternity of the city may appear in regalia and unite in the procession which the citizens design forming on Monday next to testify their respect for the memory of Henry Clay recently deceased is respectfully declined, for the reason that the illustrious deceased long since withdrew from the institution to which he belonged the credit and lustre of his great name and declared publicly that he should no more cross her thresholds and that there was no further use in keeping up the organization, and by his conduct evinced a disposition to shun the contact of his Brotherhood, though to his credit be it spoken he never renounced the Order.
As a citizen I shall join my fellow citizens in the ceremonies of the day and sincerely testify my respect for the illustrious dead who has filled so large a space in his country's history and whose efforts to extend the area of freedom throughout the world deserve the lasting gratitude of mankind. In this I hope to be joined by all my brethren while a sense of duty to the Order, whose reputation I have in charge, compels me reluctantly to deny your request.
T. S. Parvin, Grand Master
Grand Lodge of Iowa.
DR. FINDEL GOSSIPS ABOUT HIS "HISTORY"
Bro. Dr. J. G. Findel is a name almost as well known as that of Dr. Oliver, largely because of the fame enjoyed by his Geschichte der Freimaurerei, or General History of Freemasonry, first published in 1861 in German, later translated into many languages, "the first attempt at a critical history of the Craft." He was once the editor of Die Bauhutte, and founded the Verein Deutscher. The letter below, addressed to Bro. T. S. Parvin, Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Iowa, is a bit of gossip about the Geschichte. It is evident that our illustrious German brother had some difficulties with our language.
Leipzig, 18 Mar. 1869
Dear sir and Bro.
Last year I was rejoiced in receiving Vol. I-IV of the Proceedings of the Gr. L. of Iowa and I hastened to acknowledge the acceptation, since then I send you, regularly my paper "Die Bauhutte." The packages for the Gr. L. of 3 Globes, Royal York, etc., at Berlin, I have sent to their address.
With the spirit which seems to animate your Grand Lodge and is a truly fraternal and free of some prejudices of American Grand Lodges, I was very much pleased. In the meantime, I opened a very fraternal correspondence with your able and modest Grand Master, Reuben Mickel, very much respected by me, and I asked for the permission to dedicate the 2nd edition of my History of Freemasonry to your W. Grand Lodge, which was granted. I have sent you some copies of the Prospectus hoping and wishing that you will be kind enough to distribute them and work in some way for the sale of my work. It should be in the hands of every Worshipful Master and Lodge Officer at least; this I must wish not only for myself to earn a small remuneration for the great labours (Of the 1st Ed. 500 copies burnt at the printers, not injured) I had, but in the first place for the welfare of the Craft. The ignorance under the brethren in your blessed country is horrible and the Masonic literature with the exception of 3 or 4 works, quite worthless, full of errors and nonsense. I think my work will do some good and promote the interests of the Craft. If the Grand Lodges of the U. S. instead of wasting Gr. L. moneys for lecturers and other things, would buy some 100 copies to distribute them under their particular lodges, it would be very good and honor them in the eyes of every thinking Mason. I will be very much obliged to you, if you will do your best to give my work a large circulation within your jurisdiction. Your Gr. Master, I am sure will assist you. The 2nd Edition will be better printed and revised and more correct in the contents and shall especially the chapters on Freemasonry in America become enlarged and more complete, as far as there are reliable sources. Relating to modern time I will have opportunity to give a special attention to the G. L. of Iowa. The G. L. of Ky. has given me notice that she would take it as a great honour the dedication also and be thankful for it.
Bro. Frank Gouley has written to me a very flattering letter about my work, so that I hope he will in this issue, also review my work in his paper. [The Missouri Freemason.] Some day or other my name will be as familiar in America at the brethren, as in Germany and England.
Please to give my best compliments to the Iowa Brethren and believe me, Most fraternally yours,
J. G. Findel.
FOR A GENERAL GRAND LODGE!
Bro. John Snow, an apostle in the middle west of the Webb Ritual system, once Grand Master of Ohio, was a famous Mason in his day, especially in the Buckeye state. His voluminous correspondence should be published. In the letter immediately following we find Bro. Jonathan Nye, a leader in North Carolina, seeking to persuade him in favor of that venerable ignus fatuus, a General Grand Lodge.
Claremont,. N. C.
March 5, 1822.
John Snow, Esq.,
I wish to call your attention to a subject, in my view, important and desirable. It is the establishment of a General Grand Lodge for the United States. Such an establishment would strengthen the cord which now feebly unites the brethren of the different states and induce them to feel and take a deeper interest in disseminating the true principles of the institution. It would promote a good and general understanding and uniformity and harmony in this work and labor. It is time for us to wake from our lethargy and by united exertions to maintain the station that belongs to us. Our Society is ancient and honorable. Let us render it so by combining all our exertions in the cause of truth. Let us form a solid column and present to the world our harmonious efforts.
As it is expected that there will be a meeting of the 99 chapters in the city of Washington next winter, this would be a good time for the formation of a General G. Lodge. Delegates might be chosen in the course of the summer. If you feel engaged in this pursuit, I wish you to converse with some of your influential brethren and ascertain their views and feelings, and communicate to me without delay the result as well as your opinion.
Very respectfully your friend and obedient servant, Jonathan Nye.
BRO. NICKERSON WRITES AGAINST "HIGHER DEGREES"
The author of the last letter of this little group was a mighty pillar in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in his day, being Grand Master in 1872-74, and Grand Secretary for twenty-six years, 1882-1908. During that long period of service he ranked along with Mackey, Pike, Drummond, and Parvin as a national leader in the Craft. The publication of this letter thirty-five or forty years ago would have raised a storm; now, time has removed its sting. It has value here as evidence of the opposition met with by the higher degrees in their laborious progress to their present position of influence and prestige.
Masonic Temple, Boston, Sept. 24, 1885.
Dear Bro. Parvin:
Your letter of the 21st inst. is received. I have this day mailed to your address a copy of the Proceedings of our Grand Lodge at its Quarterly Communication in June 1882. That was the only session at which we have had any discussion of any account in regard to "Spurious Rites and Degrees." The subject was acted upon at one or two other meetings but without much talk. I send you also a pamphlet of which we printed about 15,000 copies, containing all we had previously printed on the subject, except some twaddle that was not worth reprinting. Please look it over and see whether you want copies of other Proceedings from which extracts are made, or if you desire it, I will send you a copy of the Proceedings of each meeting at which any reference to the subject was made.
The more I think upon it, the more I am satisfied that I took the true ground in the discussion in June, 1882, and the clearest-headed among the Fraternity all over the country, are rapidly coming to my opinion. The legislation then proposed seemed to me vastly more in the interest of true Masonry and the Craft at large than of the Scottish Rite and the few who acknowledge its authority. The "higher degrees" — falsely so called — have always been a curse to Masonry in this country — and probably everywhere else. I thought we were taking the first step towards the sweeping of them all into oblivion, and I still hope it will prove so. They are all the work of degree mongers, and most of them are (not to put too fine a point upon it) a nuisance and an abomination. I trust the day is not far distant when Grand Lodges will unite in putting an end to the whole batch of them. It is enough to make the angels weep to think how much time and money we waste on the worthless trash.
Very truly and fraternally yours, Sereno D. Nickerson.
* * *
CONCERNING A "REAL MENACE"
In the December number of THE BUILDER, page 355, Bro. Dr. Parkes Cadman contributes an article entitled "A Real Menace" and you ask our support in your efforts to obtain for the purifying influence of his writings the wider and more enduring power which they not only so well merit, but which our so-called civilization so greatly needs. May I, for one, accede to your request, writing as from England, because I believe we here quite as much as you in America need to bestir ourselves in view of this menace. At its root, and contributing largely to its growth I submit, is that insidious thing which being universal may be so innocent and may be so guilty — the making of money.
To take an illustration from the sphere of the public press. A few weeks ago an optimistic lecturer said he regarded as a most hopeful sign the fact that a leading newspaper should find place once a week for so novel a departure as to give a whole column to an article on some religious or moral subject which should appeal to the spiritual side of man's nature. His optimism was not due to a perception that those responsible for this were prompted to it by a sense of obligation, as people of considerable influence, to helping in uplifting, but rather arose from the conclusion that there must be an increasing number of thoughtful newspaper readers who could welcome the appearance of such articles and hence they were produced because it paid to do so.
A few weeks since in a village newspaper shop I noticed the advertisement boards by which our leading English papers inform the public day by day of their chief contents. There were four of these in the little shop and of them, although matters of public welfare were transpiring at the time, three gave as the all important item the proceedings of a trial for blackmailing an Indian Prince whose conduct with an English woman was a disgrace to both nations.
One of these papers which of late has given column after column to the disgusting details of murder, impurity, divorce, and other putrid things which would appeal to the lower passions, and has been frequently "sold out," on Christmas Eve published a Christmas article of the sweetest and most elevating type. For what purpose? Need the question be asked, seeing there can be but one answer — the making of money! And when the enormous influence of the press — greater than that of the pulpit — is remembered, this becomes a matter which should compel the thought and such action as is within the power of every good Mason.
Now there are doubtless many excellent Masons engaged in newspaper production, good men, whose nature if it could be brought to realize the awful responsibility of stewardship involved in their influence, would revolt against the demoralization which their inertia allows, if not produces. Cannot their position be brought home to them? Their loyalty to Masonic obligation and principle is seriously in peril through their indifference or want of realization of their responsibility in this matter.
There are not wanting indications here in England, and with you also, that a feeling of protest against the existing state of things in connection with newspaper influence is growing. Religious newspapers, magazine articles, and by no means the least; our Masonic press, all illustrate this; but as long as the production of our great daily newspapers has money making at the foundation, protest, as directed against the results, will avail but little.
The tragedy of it all is that good and evil call it God and Devil if you like — are simply, to them, means to an end. If God pays He shall have the service; if the Devil, no matter the consequences to humanity, it shall be his; and still further, if both can be made to pay, both shall be served.
It behooves every Mason to face this tragedy and to deal with it, each in the way he finds himself most capable of doing, and to let it be seen that Masonry does stand for something more than ritual, degrees, jewels and good fellowship. And we need to be brave not only in the matter of newspapers but also in the realm of all such literature as novels, movies, plays, etc., which seek to sell humanity for gold.
Surely, too, it would be a great step if candidates for admission to our Order were seriously impressed with the fact that their admission involves a life-long obligation to build in the widest sense in which the word can be used; to build unceasingly, sword at, and trowel in, hand, in face of difficulty it may be, and in spite of discouragement, the Holy Temple of consecrated Humanity; and never for a moment being found to side with those who, for their own mercenary ends, would damage or destroy its steady growth and beauty.
— W. Ravenscroft, England.
* * *
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
JOHN ANTHONY QUITMAN
TO praise Quitman would be like trying to paint the lily. His father was a German Lutheran minister who, though he was born in Germany, migrated to America and became one with us as well as of us. John himself was born in Duchess County, New York, in 1799, the same year in which Washington died. He received an education in the classics and began preparation for the Lutheran ministry, but instead became a lawyer and ultimately a general officer in the American Army. As a Freemason he traveled fast and far, becoming Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi for many years; upon his death Albert Pike wrote an obituary of him. His death occurred in Mississippi in 1858. He was buried in the family lot on his estate at Monmouth, near Natchez, with Masonic honors, all of which is recorded by Claibourne, his biographer.
Quitman took up his residence in Natchez, Miss., in his early manhood and soon ranked as a leader in the state of his adoption, for he served in the state legislature several terms, became chancellor of the state and later president of the State Senate. He met with no opposition in the path of promotion.
In 1836 he raised a body of men in Mississippi to assist the American Texans; after he had assisted at the capture of Santa Anna he returned to Natchez.
Quitman was commissioned a Brigadier General in the United States Army in 1846 and ordered to report to General Taylor at Camargo for service in the Mexican War. At the Battle of Monterey he distinguished himself by his assault on Fort Tenerice, and by his daring advance into the heart of the city. At the siege of Vera Cruz he commanded in the first engagement and subsequently led an expedition against Alverad in conjunction with the naval forces under Commodore Perry. He was with the advance under General Worth which took possession of Puebla, where he was brevetted a Major General and received a sword that Congress had voted to him. At Chepultepec he stormed the formidable works at the base of the hill, pushed forward to the Belem gates, which he carried by assault, and then took possession of the City of Mexico, of which he was appointed governor.
After establishing order and discipline he returned to the United States and soon after, almost by acclamation, was elected Governor of the state. In this office he fell a victim to scandal-mongering. He was accused of complicity with General Lopez in the formation of a filibustering expedition to Cuba. Quitman resigned his office as Governor, went to New Orleans with the United States Marshal; all effort to obtain any kind of evidence against him proved abortive and the prosecution was abandoned. He was nominated, or rather re-nominated, for Governor, but declined the honor. He was elected to the National Congress in 1855, and again in 1857, serving all the time as chairman of the Committee of Military Affairs. He attracted the attention of the country by a speech on the repeal of the neutrality laws and by his argument on the powers of the Federal Government, the latter speech winning him recognition as a States' Rights leader. Quitman was a presidential elector in 1848 for Cass and Butler.
In his Masonic career Quitman was also a maker of history. The first lodge to be organized in Mississippi was Harmony Lodge, No. 7, constituted at Natchez Oct. 16, 1801, under a warrant from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. Andrew Jackson Lodge, No. 15, was the second to be organized, also located in Natchez, and constituted Aug. 13, 1816, on a dispensation from the Grand Master of Tennessee. Tennessee also chartered Washington Lodge, No. 17, at Port Gibson, April 19, 1817. Harmony Lodge took the initiative in the organization of a Grand Lodge. Masters and Wardens of the three lodges met at Natchez July 27, 1818, and there voted unanimously to organize a Grand Lodge and at once elected and installed the first Grand Master, Bro. Seth Lewis, who had been born in Massachusetts in 1764 and who had been the first Worshipful Master in Mississippi.
Bro. John A. Quitman entered the Grand Lodge as the Junior Warden of Harmony Lodge in 1823. His first Grand Lodge appointment was that of Grand Marshal. He was elected to the Grand East in 1826, being reelected year after year until 1838. He was again elected as Grand Master in 1840, during an absence from the state, but declined to accept; however, in 1845, and again in 1846, he again held the exalted office.
It was during this period that the famous American principle of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction was becoming crystallized and established. Quitman took the position that any Grand Lodge had the authority to organize a lodge in any territory or state, irrespective of any Grand Lodge that might be in existence there. "In the first year of his Grand Mastership," writes Josiah H. Drummond, "he granted dispensations for lodges in Louisiana and maintained his right to do so; the lodges, however, surrendered these dispensations and took charters from the Grand Lodge of their state. A few years later the Grand Lodge decided that its former action was erroneous."
This principle of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction is one that sticks out like a sore thumb in all the efforts being made to establish fraternal communication with foreign Grand Lodges. It is a subject about which we do not have any authoritative book; one is very badly needed. If ever such a volume is prepared Quitman's experience and arguments will necessarily find a prominent place in its chapters.
* * *
When navies are forgotten,
And fleets are useless things,
When the dove shall warm her bosom
Beneath the eagle's wings.
When the memory of battles
At last is strange and old,
When faiths have found one banner
And creeds have found one fold.
When the hand that sprinkled midnight
With its powdered drift of suns
Has hushed this tiny tumult
Of sects and swords and guns.
Then Hate's last note of discord
In all God's world shall cease,
In the conquest which is service
And the victory which is Peace.
— Frederick Lawrence Knowles
* * *
THE STUDY CLUB
Studies of Masonry in the United States
Bro. H. L. Haywood, Editor
PART IX. THE FOUNDING OF DULY CONSTITUTED MASONRY IN MASSACHUSETTS
IN this department for April (the Study Club was omitted last month to make way for the special British number) something was said about the personal career of Henry Price, who was deputized by Lord Viscount Montague, Grand Master of England to be "Provincial Grand Master of New England and Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging." Price returned from England to Boston in the spring of 1733; on July 30 of the same year he called together a group of Boston brethren and then and there brought into existence a Provincial Grand Lodge. So far as the existing written records show this was the first Masonic body to be organized in America under written auhthority. As shown in earlier chapters of this series a lodge was in existence in Philadelphia in 1731, perhaps in 1730, but thus far nobody has discovered anything of a written character to show how it was organized.
Price appointed as his Deputy Andrew Belcher, Esq., son of Governor Jonathan Belcher (see THE BUILDER, October, 1924, page 312), and Bros. Thomas Kennelly and John Quane as Grand Wardens. Little is known of the circumstances attending this important event because the early records are meager; the oldest existing account is found in the Charles Pelham MS., written in 1750, some seventeen years after the event; but this has nothing to do with the authenticity of the account, which fits squarely into all the known facts of the period. Moreover, Pelham based his own narrative on older documents, "When Charles Pelham (in 1750) wrote the record of this evening in the first existing volume of the Grand Lodge record book," writes Bro. Melvin M. Johnson in his Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, "he either copied from the Beteilhe Manuscript or both were taken from an original now lost."
In the same connection Bro. Johnson goes on to relate how th e First Lodge of Boston came into existence. "For in language so nearly identical that the accounts could not have been written independently, both report that after forming the Grand Lodge Price ordered his Commission or Deputation to be read, and then ordered to be read a petition of eighteen Brethren addressed to him praying that they might be Constituted into a regular Lodge by virtue of said Deputation. Ten, at least, of the petitioners had been 'made here,' i.e., had been made Masons in Boston in some of the earlier meetings held, like those in Philadelphia and elsewhere perhaps, without charter or warrant but according to 'Old Customs.' Thereupon he granted the prayer thereof and did then and there in the most solemn manner according to ancient custom and form as prescribed in the book of Constitutions, constitute them into a regular Lodge. This original petition, apparently in the handwriting of Henry Hope, who that evening was chosen Master, is still in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, bearing the original signature of the petitioners...." (Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, pages 80, 81.)
These brethren had "met at the house of Edward Lutwych, at ye sign of the Bunch of Grapes in King's Street [now State Street], Boston, New England"; their first meeting as a lodge was held Aug. 3, 1733, when "John Smith was made." It adopted its by-laws printed in full by Johnson and in the Massachusetts Grand Lodge Proceedings, 1871, on Oct. 24 of the same year. The earliest known records of the lodge begin with an entry under date of Dec. 27, 1738; and a list of members is set forth in the Massachusetts Grand Lodge Proceedings, just mentioned, beginning on page 386.
THE "MASTERS LODGE" WAS ORGANIZED
A certain amount of mystery hangs about the next lodge constituted in Boston. Known as the Masters Lodge it was organized Dec. 22, 1738, with Henry Price as its W.M. and Francis Beteilhe as secretary, the latter a business partner of Price's. The existing records, written by Beteilhe, and now in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Boston, begin with the date of constitution. The first regular meeting of this lodge was held Jan. 2, 1738/9.
Why was it called "Masters Lodge"? It is known that not all its members had been Masters of lodges. Was this lodge brought into existence expressly for the purpose of working a degree new in the Masonic system? There is some hint of such a thing having been done in England. Or did it practice what would now be known as a "higher degree"? Bro. Johnson accepts this latter alternative. "I believe the answer to be that the degree worked by the Masters Lodge was what is sometimes known as the 'Chair Degree' or installation of a Master, absorbed nowadays in the United states by the Royal Arch Chapter and transformed into the degree of 'Past Master'."
As indicating a different function than this, or at least as showing that at the period a theory of the Masters Lodge was held in Massachusetts other than that set forth by Bro. Johnson, is the case stated in the charter issued to a lodge in Newport, Rhode Island, by Jeremy Gridley, Grand Master of Massachusetts. In that official paper, dated March 20, 1759, are statements to show that the Masters Lodge may have been a lodge organized to confer the Master Mason Degree:
"Know ye that Whereas a Considerable Number of Master Masons have from Time to Time congregated themselves at Newport in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations within our district as a Lodge of Master Masons, and have therein raised some Brothers of the Fellow Craft to Master Masons, not thinking but they had Authority so to do, and have now Petitioned us to confirm the said Degree, and to form theln into a Masters Lodge.
"We therefore by the Authority given us, by the Grand Master of Masons, do hereby confirm the said Degree to which any Bro's have been so raised and do appoint Our Beloved and Right Worshipful Brother John Maudsley to be Master of a Right Worshipfull Master's Lodge, to be held at New Port, he taking Special Care in Choosing Two Wardens and other officers necessary for the due reputation thereof, and do hereby give and grant to the said Lodge all the Rights and Privileges which any Master's Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons have or ought to have," etc., etc.
There is need that this whole subject of Masters Lodges in the early Colonies be carefully traversed by a competent student; the findings would undoubtedly throw needed light on the earliest ritualistic developments and at the same time, perhaps, on the beginnings of the Higher Grades in America.
A third lodge, called The Second Lodge in Boston, was organized by Grand Lodge, Feb. 15, 1749/50; and still another, called The Third Lodge in Boston was similarly constituted on the 7th of the following month. The former was to meet at the Royal Exchange Tavern, the latter, at the White Horse Tavern.
MANY LODGES ARE CHARTERED
Meanwhile the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (known as the "St. John's Grand Lodge" in after years) had chartered lodges outside of Massachusetts, a few of which may be noted, the first of these being in 1736, for a lodge at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from which six representatives sent a petition to Henry Price under date of Feb. 5, 1735/6. The records of this lodge, showing the adoption of a set of by-laws on Oct. 31, 1739, are still in existence; as is also the above mentioned petition, now in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The language in this petition is most interesting, and shows that a lodge was already in existence at the time it was made:
"Wee the under named persons of the holy and Exquisite Lodge of St. John do request a deputation and power to hold a Lodge According to order as is and has been granted to faithful Brethren in all parts of the World. We have our Constitutions both in print and manuscript as good and as ancient as any that England can afford," etc.
In regard to the next lodge to be mentioned in chronological order it will be necessary to postpone discussion until some future chapter, for there are many questions to be raised concerning it; in the present paragraph it will suffice to say that somewhere between 1735 and 1738 it is believed that Massachusetts chartered a lodge in Charleston (then CharlesTown), S.C. Charles W. Moore gave the date as Dec. 27, 1735, but this is certainly an error. Dr. Mackey, in his History of Freemasonry in South Carolina, gives the date as reputedly of 1738, when he says: "There is, however, no longer any doubt that the lodge said to have been held in 1738 in Charleston, at 'the Harp and Crown,' received its warrant from St. John's Grand Lodge of Boston...."
While Robert Tomlinson was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge at Boston he went to England by way of the West Indies, where he visited Antigua, and founded, so it is believed, a lodge there. A lodge had been already organized in the preceding year. In this connection it is worth noting that in September, 1734, the Earl of Crauford chartered a lodge at Montserrat, in the West Indies, the second known to have been constituted in the Western Hemisphere on the basis of a written instrument.
Masonry was planted in Nova Scotia under Massachusetts authority in 1738, or thereabouts. While in Boston in 1737 Erasmus James Phillips was made a Mason, and upon his return to Annapolis Royal in the following year organized a lodge, of which he himself was made the first Master. "In the Boston Gazette of March 12, 1738," wrote Bro. R. V. Harris [see THE BUILDER, August, 1924, page 228], "we find a note of the appointment by Henry Price of Major Phillips as Provincial Grand Master of Nova Scotia; and on the occasion of his next visit to Boston in April, 1739, he appears as such in the minutes of St. John's Lodge." Under Phillip's authority a lodge was organized at Halifax, N.S., July 19, 1750.
It was in this wise, by planting a lodge here and there as need arose, that Freemasonry spread under the leadership of Massachusetts, so that by the middle of the century some forty or more lodges had been warranted or officially recognized by Massachusetts authority, beginning with Henry Price.
TOMLINSON FOLLOWED PRICE
Price was succeeded in office by Robert Tomlinson. Inasmuch as all authority proceeded from the Grand Master of England it was necessary that the brethren at Boston send there a petition for "a new Grand Master." This they did on June 28, 1736, in which they requested that Tomlinson be appointed to rule over them. In response thereto the Earl of Loudoun, Grand Master of England, issued a Deputation to Robert Tomlinson to be Grand Master of New England; this bore date of Dec. 7, 1736. Inasmuch as the document was some time in reaching the colony Price continued in office, and on the 27th of the same month made Tomlinson his Deputy. By April 20, 1737, Tomlinson received his Deputation, and on the following st. John's Day sat in the Grand East. His term of office lasted until July 16, 1740.
Of Tomlinson's early life little is known, but it appears that he came originally from Antigua. He was made a Mason in the First Lodge at Boston Jan. 13, 1735; became a member of the Masters Lodge; and in 1736 become W.M. of the First Lodge. From that position his advance in office was rapid, as already indicated. Incidental to his first presiding as Grand Master on St. John the Baptist's Day in June, 1737, occurred what is believed to have been the first public procession of a lodge as such in America. This attracted wide attention, and was noted in Saint James' Evening Post, published in London, in its number dated Aug. 20, 1737. After relating how Grand Lodge was opened, and giving a list of the officers appointed, this account goes on to relate that after this "the Society attended the Grand Master in procession to his Excellency Governor Belcher's, and from thence the Governor was attended by the Grand Master and the Brotherhood to the Royal Exchange Tavern in King Street, where they had an elegant entertainment." (This incident is especially worth noting by those brethren who look upon feasts as a modern contrivance out of keeping with the traditions of the Craft; the opposite is the case, for in early times feasts were among the great events of the Masonic year, and considered among the normal functions of the lodge. ) When a similar feast and procession was held in 1739 it was celebrated in doggerel verse, printed in the American Apollo, the first of many such satirical descriptions of the doings of Masons, whose regalia, highly colored parades, and mysterious customs appealed powerfully to the imagination of the times. Tomlinson died while visiting in Antigua in 1740.
OXNARD BECAME GRAND MASTER
He was followed in office by Thomas Oxnard, who received a Deputation from Lord Ward, Grand Master of England, under date of Sept. 23, 1743, a copy of which, duly attested, is in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. This instrument was received in Boston in March of the following year, from which time Oxnard served in the Grand East. According to this Deputation he was to be "Grand Master of North America," as a quotation will show: "NOW KNOW YE We John Lord Ward have Nominated Constituted and Appointed, and by these Presents do Nominate Constitute and Appoint Our Well Beloved Bro. Thomas Oxnard, Esq., To Be Provincial Grand Master of North America, etc." Gould believed that Lord Ward made an error in thus appointing Oxnard for the whole of North America. Bro. Ossian Lang believes the Deputation was intended to mean for all North America where there was not already a Grand Master in authority, and points out the fact that whereas Oxnard, evidently acting upon the plain words of his Deputation, appointed Benjamin Franklin as Depute Grand Master of Philadelphia in 1749; this action was evidently set aside by the Grand Master of England who, a few months later, appointed William Allen to be Grand Master of Philadelphia, thereby going over the head of Oxnard. During his term (1743-1754) Grand Masters of England appointed Richard Riggs for New York, William Allen for Philadelphia, Francis Goelet for New York, George Harison for New York, and Peter Leigh for South Carolina, which would indicate that the Grand Lodge of England did not look upon Oxnard as holding authority for the whole of North America. These and many other facts in the case show that during the first half of the eighteenth century there was much confusion in the minds of officials on both sides of the Atlantic as to the Provincial Grand Lodge system in the Colonies; at an rate such facts as are of record are most confusing to a present day Mason. Perhaps the surest clue out for such an one is to hold firmly in mind the fact that a Provincial Grand Master was the creature of the Grand Master of England; that all his authority as Provincial Grand Master was of the delegated variety; and that this authority was extended, revised, or withdrawn according to needs or changes of policies on the part of the Grand Masters of England. If for a period the influence of Massachusetts more or less predominated in Colonial Masonry it was not because the Grand Lodge of England extended to Massachusetts peculiar powers or privileges, but because Massachusetts Masonry was so virile, its leaders so capable and so active, and its geographical situation, relative to the centers of population, so central that its influence sprang out of natural causes.
Of Oxnard and of the Oxnard family much is known, because the Oxnards played a leading part in the public life of their day. Thomas Oxnard himself was born in England in 1703. He was made a Mason in the First Lodge of Boston Jan. 21, 1735/6; became W.M. of the lodge in December of the same year; helped found the Masters Lodge; became Tomlinson's Deputy in 1739; and served as Grand Master from March 6, 1743/4 to June 25, 1754. His son Edward became a notorious Tory during the Revolutionary period, and was banished from the Colonies; his son Thomas became prominent in the Masonry of Maine. An account of the family will be found in Willis' History of Portland, and in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.
GRIDLEY WAS AN OUTSTANDING LEADER
Upon Oxnard's death in 1754 Henry Price served as Grand Master pro tem for a year, upon which Jeremy Gridley was appointed to the office. Of Gridley (brother of Richard Gridley of equal fame) himself a book might be written, he was active in so many fields, being school teacher, some time preacher, lawyer, public official, journalist, author, a citizen of substance, and a leader in Masonry. Unlike his predecessor in the Chair of Solomon he was American by extraction, having been born in Boston, March 10, 1701/2. After receiving an education at Harvard he climbed steadily up the steps of promotion until at last he stood forth among the mightiest of his day, of wide influence and commanding personality. He was made a Mason in the First Lodge, May 11, 1748; was raised in the Masters Lodge in 1750; became W.M. of the First Lodge in 1763; and in October of the following year was recommended by Grand Lodge to succeed Price, serving temporarily. When no reply was received to this petition Price, in August of the following year, himself addressed a letter to the Grand Master, interesting because of the many facts it contained concerning Massachusetts Masonry, among which was the statement, "Here is not less than Forty Lodges sprung from my First Lodge in Boston." Meanwhile, and under date of April 4, 1755, James Brydges, Marquis of Carnarvan, Grand Master of England, had issued a Deputation to Gridley appointing him to be "Provincial Grand Master of all Such Provinces and Places in North America and the Territories thereof, of which, no Provincial Grand Master is at presently appointed," etc. This was received in Boston, Aug. 21, 1755, and on the first day of the next October, with great eclat, Gridley was installed Grand Master, and held office until his death in 1767, after which Henry Price once again served as Grand Master pro tem.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
When and by whom was the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts brought into existence? On what authority was it organized? Whom did Price appoint as his Deputy? What are the oldest existing records of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts?
When was the First Lodge in Boston organized? Under what circumstances? What evidences are to show that Masons were living in Boston prior to 1733? When did the First Lodge hold its first regular meeting?
When was the Masters Lodge organized? Why was it called "Masters Lodge"? How many degrees were practiced at that time? What does Gridley's charter to the lodge at Newport, Rhode Island, indicate? What is Johnson's theory concerning this Masters Lodge?
When was the second lodge organized? the third lodge? When and by whom was the lodge at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, chartered? When did Massachusetts charter a lodge in South Carolina? Where is Antigua? What was the second lodge constituted by written authority in the Western Hemisphere?
When and by whom was Freemasonry planted in Nova Scotia? Name two lodges that were organized there.
By whom was Henry Price succeeded as Grand Master? Tell what you know about Robert Tomlinson. Where and when was the first lodge procession held in America? What part did feasts have in early American Masonry?
When did Thomas Oxnard receive his deputation? What was the scope of Oxnard's authority? What is your opinion concerning this? Describe the Provincial Grand Lodge system then in existence in the colonies? Define the authority of a Provincial Grand Master. Tell what you know of Thomas Oxnard.
By whom was Oxnard succeeded? Who followed Henry Price as Grand Master? Tell what you know of Jeremy Gridley. By whom was Gridley followed?
NOTES AND REFERENCES
On Henry Price see bibliography given on page 116 of THE BUILDER for April last.
On all subjects treated in the above chapter see Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, Johnson, New York, 1924; consult index. On the organization of the Grand Lodge see also The Freemasons Monthly Magazine, Charles W. Moore, Boston, Vol. XXIII, page 260. The History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould, Philadelphia, 1889, Vol. IV, page 330.
On the First Lodge see Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts; 1871, page 374, 386. Charles W. Moore, Vol. XXII, page 173, Vol. XIX, page 131. Gould, Vol. IV, page 243.
On the Masters Lodge see Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts; 1871, page 322. For Gridley's charter to Newport, Rhode Island, see History of Freemasonry in Rhode Island, Henry W. Rugg; Providence, 1895, page 34.
On Masonry in Nova Scotia see THE BUILDER, August, 1924, page 227.
On Tomlinson see History of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons in New York, Charles T. McClenachan, New York, 1888, Vol. I, page 85. History of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, and Concordant Orders, Stillson and Hughan; Boston, 1891, page 241. Gould, Vol. IV, page 332. History of Freemasonry in the State of New York, Ossian Lang, New York, 1922, pages 12, 14. Massachusetts Proceedings; 1871, pages 219, 308; 1916, page 237.
On Oxnard see McClenachen, Vol. I, page 85. Stillson and Hughan, page 241. Gould, Vol. IV, pages 249, 332. New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. XXVI, page 3. Massachusetts Proceedings; 1871, pages 312, 318, 350; 1916, page 211. Benjamin Franklin as a Freemason, Sachse; Philadelphia 1906, page 3. History of Freemasonry in Maryland, Edward T. Schultz; 1884, Vol. I, page 85.
On Jeremy Gridley see Moore, Vol. XIX, page 134. Gould, Vol. IV, page 253. Massachusetts Proceedings; 1871, pages 320, 321, 351, 362, 364. Stillson and Hughan, page 242. McClenachan, Vol. I, page 86.
On all the above subjects see also Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, Robert I. Clegg; Chicago, 1921; consult index. For a list of the Grand Masters in Massachusetts from 1733 to 1870 see The Lodge of St. Andrew, and the Massachusetts Grand Lodge; Boston, 1870, page 289.
* * *
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
* * *
THE LODGE SPEAKER
OUR American Craft appears to be entering a new era of oratory. The old style discourse, ninety minutes in duration, delivered with great solemnity in heavy periods a mile long, is going the way of all flesh; in its place has come the "talk," usually given in conversational style, and otherwise informal. This in itself is a gain, except to such as enjoy a sleep during a speech; but it has its own dangers, and is guilty of its own blunders.
Allowing for the inevitable incompetency of some speakers, it may justly be said that the failure of a talk is usually due to a sad lack of intelligent management on the part of a W.M., or his committee, and that on several points, the most culpable of which is that a speaker is frequently left completely in the dark as what to expect, or what is expected of him. The typical manner of arranging for a speaker runs somewhat in this fashion:
W.M.: "Can you give us a talk next Wednesday night? It is our monthly, you know."
Orator: "I think I can. What am I to talk about?"
W.M.: "Oh, anything you please, just so it is snappy."
Orator: "Snappy! Yes! Yes! I have heard that word before. How long shall I speak?"
W.M.: "Long as you please. Will be ready for you about 9:30."
The night arrives. The lodge is called to order a half hour late. Business drags and drags. There are many bills presented; each one is argued about. Some important proposal comes up unexpectedly; it is debated at enormous length. "The Good of the Order" comes around about 10:50; the speaker is announced; he is one hour and twenty minutes delayed. (The present scribe has more than once been introduced at 11:30, after having been scheduled for 9:00!) Everybody is tired; many leave; the air is fetid with stale smoke; the talk is a fizzle. Why shouldn't it be!
A more serious failure is often due to a mix-fire. The W.M. did not tell the invited speaker (lodges often forget that he is an invited guest, and should be treated as such) what would be an appropriate theme. So he is obliged to draw a bow at a venture, shoot an arrow into the air, and leave it to hit where and when it may. Too often it doesn't hit anything at all, but once in a while it will unfortunately sink itself into some subject about which there is deep feeling among the brethren. Result! Trouble, uproar, fireworks!
And there is that abomination of the introduction. Who has not seen it happen! While men are coming and going, or buzzing about the Secretary's desk, the W.M. arises, gives a rap with his mallet, and then mumbles something like this:
"Brethren, we are tonight privileged to have with us Bro. So-and-so who will speak to us on Pdqurstuvwxyz. . .," etc., etc. Nobody catches the speaker's name, or learns who or what he is, or what he is to talk about. He arises in the midst of the confusion, starts off as best he can, and battles with the racket. What wonder that he often will grow discouraged, or lapse into banalties, or be betrayed into exaggerations, when he is confronted by so much competition?
The wise W.M. will adopt a more excellent way. He will give his prospective speaker a detailed account of the circumstances under which the address is to be given; will tell him of the character of the lodge, how many are expected to attend, and what theme will be most acceptable; he will write out carefully all the facts to be embodied in the introduction; and he will see to it that the speaker is presented promptly and on time. And the speaker on his part, if he also be wise, will prepare his address specifically for the lodge itself; will confine himself strictly to Masonry; and will stop exactly on time, not a minute over.
* * *
ACCORDING to its latest statistics the Grand Lodge of Mississippi numbers 33,308 Masons in its 382 active lodges, with an average of slightly less than 90 members per lodge. This showing ranks it as about twenty-ninth or thirtieth among 50 American Grand Lodges (including Philippine Islands) as far as size is concerned; but if its total population is taken into consideration, along with a number of local conditions, it ranks relatively much higher from the standpoint of accomplishment.
From a careful study of the Mississippi Grand Lodge Proceedings for 1924 one is led to suspect that something of this fine record is due to the exceptionally faithful work of the Grand Lecturer, Bro. J. Rice Williams. His analytical report is a little window to give one a peep into the inner life of the lodges, as a few items will show. During the year ending Jan. 29, 1924, 119 lodges conferred 5,428 degrees, and 259 lodges conferred 2,605 degrees, a grand total for 378 lodges of 8,033 degrees. In twelve months 2,162 mature men, with all their faculties alert, had impressed on their inmost natures the deep lessons of the first three degrees of Freemasonry; if one will visualize this he can the better understand why the Fraternity has so great an influence in the life of a state and of the nation. Bro. Williams found that one lodge was located on the first floor of a building, 217 on the second floor, 15 on the third floor, one on the fourth; 153 owned their own building, 38 were using stereopticons, 135 were using charts; that 203 had the proper number of ante-rooms properly located, with 30 failing to accord with the regulations on this point; that 162 were using an historical ledger and 68 not. During the year 119 lodges conferred twenty-two degrees or more.
If such an analysis could be made of the records of every Grand Jurisdiction in the country it might amaze the most hardened veteran! It would most certainly give pause to the Masonic pessimist. It is probable that no other institution in the world, depending almost entirely on voluntary work, could show such a tale of accomplishment. Those who have been seeking to discover the "secret" of Freemasonry might profitably try to learn what it is in our Mysteries that gives vitality to so many activities.
* * *
THE DARK ROOM
OFTEN a man thinks that his own little world, his daily work, his community, his own life and that of his neighborhood is all simple and intelligent enough, lying in the daylight, familiar and friendly, but that "out beyond," back of the sky, perhaps, or somewhere at the center of the "universe" are great dark mysteries in which lurk portentous powers. He is not sure in his mind as to what these things may be, but he fears them, and they menace his sense of security and peace. If he chances to have an element of superstition in his make-up he will find himself in fear of this great unknown darkness, and the fear will cast a disquieting shadow over his life.
Among uncivilized peoples this fear gives rise to religions of dread, with expiatory rites, and haunted myths, or else takes the form of magic, which was originally man's attempt to control, in his own interest, the mysterious powers. In its lowest form this becomes a kind of voodooism, with charms and amulets to ward off evil spirits and devils. The same fear, based on the same primitive emotions, is often found among civilized men also, but takes a different form. When Edgar Allan Poe, with a pen dipped in the bitter blood of his own heart, composed "The Raven," he unwittingly confessed just such a voodooism of his own. He pictures man as seated in his own home, with art, wisdom and love about him, tormented by a raven, the voice of an all-environing darkness. The darkness was the negative of the lamplight and of the firelight; to every memory, hope, thought and dream it croaked the one annihilating word, "Nevermore."
In a certain ceremony known to Masons a man finds himself in a dark room. When he is given that which he most desires he finds he has been all the while among brethren, and also amid, at least the symbols of, light and all the truths by which men live. Perhaps this is an allegory. If so, never was an allegory more true or more profound. There is no dark room at the center of creation. The Sovereign Grand Architect of all things has left none of His architecture without its own Great Lights.
* * *
THE SYMBOLICAL SIZE OF A LODGE
WHAT is the ideal size of a lodge? This question is being ventilated right and left, among Grand Lodges, and in the Masonic press; the whole Fraternity is curry-combed for arguments for and against, and some stand up for big lodges, others for small. While we are so interested in this question why cannot we carry it a step farther than usually is done? Why not apply the principles of symbolism to the problem, somewhat after the following manner, for example?
When is a lodge too big? When the individual becomes lost in the crowd; when the machinery grows too complicated for the average man to manage; when the multiplication of activities swamps legitimate lodge duties; when the lodge is no longer a brotherhood but a crowd; when fellow Masons can be members but not acquaintances.
When is a lodge too small? When it can't fill the chairs at the monthly communication; when it cannot pay its debts; when it breaks out into bickerings and quarrels; when it has no money for charity; when it grows small in spirit and ideals; when it leaves no trace of its influence in the community.
When is a lodge too rich? When it builds a costly temple but lets its charity funds run low; when it becomes filled with vanity because of its rich furniture; when a poor man ceases to feel at home among his brethren; when it becomes an exclusive club.
When is a lodge too poor? When it loses the love and loyalty of its members, however many there may be; when it has lost its vision; when its Ritual becomes as clanging brass, nothing but "Words! Words! Words!"; when it has ceased to break the bread of fellowship; when it has degenerated into a mere degree mill.
* * *
THE VITALITY OF MASONRY
THERE is nothing mysterious about the deathless vitality of Masonry. It survives the centuries and makes its way everywhere because of the ideas at the center of it. The existence of God, the immortality of man, the solidarity of the race, the necessity for righteousness, the desire for knowledge, loyalty to the motherland, the desire for sociability, and relief for the distressed — it is these that give vitality to government, church, and school, and animate the whole world of men. There is no need to seek for the origin of Masonry in antiquity, or for its secret in occultism; its origin is in our own natures, its secret is as public as the light. Its truth is not far from any one of us; in it all men live and move and have their being.
* * *
THE HUMAN SIDE OF ARCHITECTURE
THE POETRY OF ARCHITECTURE. By Frank Rutter. Published by George H. Doran. For sale by National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis. Green cloth, glossary of architectural terms, index, 236 pages. Price, postpaid, $1.35.
THE first thing to be said is that The Poetry of Architecture contains ho poetry. Mr. Rutter feels and thinks about buildings very much as a poet might, and is justified in so doing because there is much of the substance of poetry in all the great architectural styles. His volume reminds one of that other poetic treatment of the subject, Claude Bragdon's The Beautiful Necessity, except that he has no thesis to defend. What does architecture mean to our emotions, our ideals, our ethics, our religious life, our sense of art, what part has it played in shaping our world; it is to a discussion of such subjects that he has set himself, and that with success.
In his "Introductory" Mr. Rutter writes of some of the definitions of "architecture": Lethaby's "the art of building and of disposing buildings"; somebody's "Architecture is good building, and Building is bad building"; somebody else's "Architecture is Building touched with emotion"; and Ruskin's contention that all great architecture is illumined by certain definite moral principles, rhetorically described in his The Seven Lamps of Architecture, "the grandest book on architecture ever planned."
Our author poetically describes the huge structures of Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria as the architecture of "The Age of Fear": of Babylonia he says that "the most characteristic edifice" is the Temple; of Assyria, the Palace; of Egypt, the Tomb; and he attributes the form taken by these edifices to the fear of the gods and of the unknown so general among the population of those three vast empires. The Mason will be pleased with the discussion of Egypt, the mother land of the mysteries, especially the pages on pillars, columns and the Great Pyramid. Of the last of these a twelfth century Arab wrote: "All the world fears Time, but Time itself fears the Pyramids." On this subject our author's page 48 is good to be quoted:
"Sir Gaston Maspero has told us that the Egyptian temple was built 'in the image of the earth such as the Egyptians had imagined. The earth was for them a sort of flat slab more long than wide, the sky was a ceiling or vault supported by four great pillars. The pavement of the temples represented the earth, the four angles stood for the pillars, the ceiling, vaulted at Abydos, or more often flat, corresponded to the sky.'
"The Egyptians of course, had no idea that the earth was round, and there is evidence for supposing that they imagined the sky to be flat as they thought the earth was. The symbolism begun in the very elements of the structure was continued in its decoration, and the ceiling was painted blue, punctuated with five-pointed stars, and sometimes adorned with sun and moon in imitation of the heavens. The pavement, on the other hand, which represented the earth, was appropriately decorated with forms of vegetation. Sometimes, as a memorial of foreign conquest, the monarch had executed in the temple carvings of plants and animals, not indigenous to Egypt, which he had seen abroad, but these are always allotted to their right sphere, or rather their right plans. 'The ornamentation,' says our authority, 'was restricted to a small number of subjects, always the same.'"
The Greek period of architecture, of which the Parthenon was the perfect gem, is happily described by Mr. Rutter as "The Age of Grace." The "gleaming eyed Hellenes" were a race of artists, so we read, who discovered "the quality of charm," and who learned, as some Masonic architects have not yet learned, "that Bigness is not Beauty." A Mason fond of the Second Degree — what real Mason is not! — will find that Chapter III throws some light on our own "Five Orders of Architecture."
The Romans were a military race, who thought in the terms of armies and fortresses. They had skill but not art; engineers but not architects; their very churches were either forums or fortresses readapted to religious uses. Thick walls, low ceilings, small windows, round arches, hidden buttressings, and gloomy interiors naturally grew out of such a civilization, characterized by Mr. Rutter as "The Age of Strength."
Next afterwards came "The Age of Piety." The Roman state became an ecclesiastical system; the Roman Pontiff became the Roman Pope. Almost everything became interpreted into the terms of religion. The church edifice was a basilica; and the basilica reached its term with the Byzantines, for whom Constantinople was the cultural capital, and Greek Catholicism the official religion. In describing this stage of development our author has something to say about Mosaics, a subject of some importance in our Masonic Ritual. This period was profoundly affected by the universally accepted belief that with the fatal year A. D. 1000 the world would come to a catastrophic end; such a fear paralyzed everything, architecture included. The first builders to escape from that superstition were the Lombards (to them belonged the Comacine Masters), and the Normans, whose buildings have been summed up in a verse:
"Massive arches, broad and round
On ponderous columns, short and low."
The Masonic reader feels most at home in the chapter on "The Age of Aspiration," for it deals with the Gothic, among the builders of which we usually seek for the originators of Freemasonry. The uses of the pointed arch, flying-buttresses, the ribbed vault, and the elimination of dead wall spaces, these were the discoveries out of which Gothic developed; those and the artistic crown of all, the stained-glass windows:
"Each the bright gift of some mechanic gild,
Who loved their city, and thought gold well spent
To make her beautiful with piety."
Here are some luminous interpretations of the "inner secrets of Gothic":
"The nature of an arch has been very happily illustrated by Professor Lethaby. 'If,' says he, 'you bend a piece of cane into an arch between two piles of books, the books have to be heavy enough or they will be pushed asunder by the elastic bow.' This tendency to push the books away is what is known as the lateral thrust. 'An arch is perfectly safe, and, indeed, inactive, as long as it is imprisoned, but let the restraining forces be an ounce too little and it will break out like water through too weak a dam, and a moving arch is as terrible as a flood.' The problem, therefore, resolved itself into this: how could the arch be so imprisoned as to be inactive? The Romans of course, had dodged the problem, for their solid concrete 'lids' exerted no lateral thrust upon the walls beneath them, but their ponderous methods did not commend themselves to later generations. The Romanesque builders made an honest frontal attack on the arch by 'piling up the books' on either side, yet even when they had made the imprisoning walls exceedingly massive and strong they sometimes miscalculated and the building came toppling down; and when they succeeded it was only by a sacrifice, namely, by narrowing the width or span of the vaulted spaces. Since the desire was for even wider, not narrower naves and aisles, this restriction was eminently unsatisfactory.
"Then one day some unknown genius had the bright and happy idea of abandoning the frontal and attempting a flank attack. On the principle of 'set a thief to catch a thief' he conceived the notion of making arches imprison one another, of setting them up so that each might fight against the lateral thrust exerted by the other. Thus was Gothic architecture born, and thus it became possible with safety to balance the ends of two, four, eight or more arches on one slender pier. This brilliant device was put into operation by means of the ribbed-vaulting described in the last chapter, the intersecting ribs being converted into actual arches which, resting on piers, became the main structural support. One thing more was needed to complete the scheme, and a hint of this had already been given at Caen....
"Whether we consider the architecture of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Byzantium or Early Europe, all the buildings have this one characteristic in common: they are inert. They consist of lifeless enclosing walls, sometimes pierced to admit light, on which a roof rests quietly like a lid. All this lifelessness disappears in a Gothic structure, which is kept together by its energy, its stonework is functional, and all its ribs and arches and columns are 'at bowstring tension.' As Professor Lethaby has said, 'we may think of a cathedral as so "high-strung" that if struck it would give a musical note': and a mason can tap a pillar so as to make its stress audible. In a word, the Gothic style substituted a dynamic for a static architecture.
"From this new conception of building all sorts of interesting consequences followed. Now that the main walls of the building were relieved from the strain of the lateral thrust by flying-buttresses, the spaces between the internal isolated points of support were of no greater structural importance than the silk which covers the ribs of an umbrella; they could be made of quite light Material and almost replaced by vast windows of stained glass. Thus, as it has been well said, a cathedral became 'a stone cage with films of stained-glass suspended in the void, a marvellous jewelled lantern.'"
As Gothic passed "The Age of Elegance" came on, best represented by the Italians of the Renaissance, of whom Mr. Rutter names Arnolfo as chief. The Renaissance was a co-mingling of new and unexpected influences, most quickly described by saying that a New World had been discovered. The Great Explorers — Magellan, Columbus, and the rest — gave men a wholly new conception of the earth; the re-discovery of the lost civilization of Greece and Rome gave them a new Past, a new History, and consequently a new culture. The mixing and clashing of these novel forces broke light dazzling stars into new constallations of art and thought; Lorenzo the Magnificent came on the scene, and with him Leonarda, Pico Mirandello, and all the others, art and learning dislodged religion from its monopoly of thought; the Palace became the typical architecture; Popes and Bishops lived in kingly residences. In England this became the Elizabethan style, and Wren its prophet in chief; Wren and the others who derived Gothic as "barbarous," in fact gave it its name of Gothic out of derision.
Then came the Georgian style (in England), and "The Age of Memory." The old Freemasons passed away with the Palaces and Cathedrals; and their ideals were received as a precious heritage by our own Fraternity. The only new style since developed in our American sky-scraper, which if it cannot be "a joy forever" is rapidly becoming "a thing of beauty."
* * *
"THE TOMB OF TUT-ANKH-AMEN"
THE TOMB OF TUT-ANKH-AMEN. By Howard Carter and A. C Mace. Published by George H. Doran Company, New York. May be purchased through National Masonic Library Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, 334 pages, with index, illustrated. Price, postpaid, $5.25.
THIS is a description of the tomb of King Tut-Ankh-Amen discovered by the late Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter; with 104 illustrations by Harry Burton from photographs taken by him at the site, Harry Burton being the official photographer of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts of New York.
This is the first volume of what we hope will prove a long series of books on the discoveries made in this tomb. We have impatiently looked for this book with great anticipatory pleasure since we read of the great find in the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings of Thebes. We have seen from time to time in the illustrated journals pictures of some of the articles discovered and have greatly desired something authentic from the pens of these fortunate discoverers. This find is probably the most valuable of any made as a result of the expensive excavations that have occupied the labor and study of so many of the best students along archaeological lines, and that have so long taxed the resources of our great universities of both continents, as well as those of vast private fortunes. All have desired some part in this great work, and when word was received that a new tomb had been found our two discoverers received generous offers of help from the most noted scientists engaged in the work. All desired some mementoes for their museum shelves. All were anxious to learn what they could of this old buried civilization of Egypt in order to compare it with this new civilization of which we all take so much pride, and, as it seems, not a little vain glory. We read, with much concern, of the death of the Earl of Carnarvon, whose fortune had been devoted to this particular discovery. But his death but goes to demonstrate part of the price that educational work pays for these valuable and rare discoveries.
The departments which this book discusses may be noted as follows:
- A biographical sketch of the late Earl of Carnarvon by his sister, Lady Burghclere, describing his childhood education, travels of adventure, war experiences, etc.
- Description of the valley and the tomb.
- The valley in modern times.
- The prefatory work at Thebes.
- The finding of the tomb.
- The preliminary investigation.
- A survey of the antechamber.
- The clearing of the antechamber.
- Visitors and the press.
- The work in the laboratory.
- The opening of the sealed door.
- The removal and description of the objects discovered, occupying the space from pages 258 to 325 as an appendix to the main book.
From this tomb they have brought to light many objects of great artistic beauty, made at a period when mere time was evidently of little account. It could hardly be said of these — "art is long and time is fleeting." It is evident that these articles were produced by hands made eloquent with great devotion. Perhaps their makers valued the praise of a prince, who tried to be a father to his people. We doubt if mere wages could purchase such skill at any time in the history of the world. However it appears that gold was estimated as the stones of the street as in the days of Solomon. The intrinsic value of the discovery is mighty, to say nothing of its educational value. Mr. Carter tells of the infinite care and pains taken in removing and preserving these treasures so that some time in the future any of us who possess the means of travel may study them in the museums of Cairo and England. It appears that Tut-Ankh-Amen did not stint himself in providing his outfit for that long journey to that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns. Here are chariots for transportation, camp and household furniture, food and clothing, armor and weapons, lest enemies be encountered by the way. We cannot speak of the many articles in particular that are so beautifully illustrated in this book. We look for many more of a like nature, and we long to read the inscriptions which doubtless accompany many of the treasures and abound on the walls of the tomb. It will take some time to translate these, even to study out and collate the text.
R. C. Blackmer.
* * *
THE OXFORD PRESS ENTERS MASONIC FIELD
ON the eve of putting this issue through the press, word comes that the Oxford University Press, American Branch, is preparing to enter the field of Masonic literature with a magnificent program of new Masonic titles. This is welcome news indeed to all Masons who love good books. With its thirteen branches in various parts of the world this great old publishing house will be in a position to give American Masonic books a world-wide distribution. And its standards of excellence, than which nothing could be higher, guarantee in advance the quality of its productions. THE BUILDER has arranged with the management of the American Branch, having offices at New York City, to publish next month a more extended announcement of the plans, and possibly a list of the first books to be published.
* * *
WHAT TO READ IN MASONRY
ON RITUAL AND SYMBOLISM
A BIG subject, surely, and one that breaks through the fences into all manner of adjacent fields! Nobody has yet made a selection of titles on Ritual and Symbolism satisfactory to anybody, least of all to himself, though the Wisconsin Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Research has come close to it in its Selected List of Masonic Literature, a bibliography on which heavy demands were levied in the preparation of the list printed below. The reasons are many and various. For one thing, not many volumes have been devoted exclusively to Masonic Symbolism; the subject usually has been treated incidentally, and during the discussion of other subjects, as is so frequently the case in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, in which are so many mines of material. For another thing, the symbols of Masonry are found scattered throughout the world, so that often one will come upon a discussion of them in non-Masonic works, of which Harold Bayley's The Lost Language of Symbolism is a case in point. For these and other reasons one is obliged to pick his way through a widely scattered literature in order to assemble material on the subjects now in hand.
Also, and this is another difficulty in the way of a student, many of the titles usually recommended are out of print (like Bromwell's Symbolry); they must be included because they are so often referred to. In most cases they may be borrowed from Masonic libraries, a list of which was given on this page last April.
Coming from so many sources, and being in nearly all cases written by individuals with their own axes to grind, books on Ritual and Symbolism have unequal value, so that alongside a title by some such master as d'Alviella will stand a work of no value at all save as a thing of curious interest. No attempt can be made here to separate the wheat from the chaff; the reader can easily find his own way after he has gone through a half dozen books and learned something of the lay of the land.
In addition to general works on the Ritual a thoroughgoing student will need the use of copies of the Old Charges, exposes, the old catechisms, and such other source material as usually will be found only in technical works. The most accessible supply to an English speaking reader will be found in the publications of the various research lodges or societies, most of which are in England, in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, and in Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha. A forthcoming work by Bros. A. L. Kress and R. J. Meekren on the old catechisms will be an addition to the permanent literature in this field.
Ritualism is a many-sided subject, with ramifications going off into folklore, the history of religions, liturgy, and symbolism; among the titles below are a number that contain not a word about the Masonic Ritual but are included by virtue of their great value as supplementary works. Such works as are here listed are not in any sense exhaustive, but have been chosen because they are representative, and because they serve well as introductions to various special fields.
Algonquin Legends of New England, Charles C. Leland.
Ancient Freemasonry, Frank Higgins.
Ancient Mystic and Oriental Masonry, R. Swinburne Clymer.
Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism, Thomas Inman.
Arcana of Freemasonry, Albert Churchward.
Arcane Schools, John Yarker.
Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, A. E. Waite.
Builders, The, Joseph Fort Newton.
Cathedral Builders, The, Leader Scott.
Century of Masonic Working, F. W. Golby.
Discrepencies of Freemasonry, George Oliver.
Druidism, Dudley Wright.
Emblematic Freemasonry, A. E. Waite.
English Miracle Plays, Alfred W. Pollard.
Essays on Symbolism, H. C Barlow.
Examination of the Masonic Ritual, An, Meredith Sanderson
Francis Bacon and His Secret Society, Mrs. Henry Pott
Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, J. S. M. Ward.
Freemasonry: Its Symbolism, Religious Nature and Law of Perfection, C. I. Paton.
Freemasons' Treasury, The, George Oliver.
Genius of Freemasonry, J. D. Buck.
Glossary of Important Symbols, A. S. Hall.
Gnostics and Their Remains, C. W. King.
Gospel of Freemasonry, Bascom B. Clarke.
Hidden Church of the Holy Graal, A. E. Waite.
Illustrated History of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement, Henry Sadler
Illustrations of the Symbols of Masonry, Jacob Ernst.
Interpretation of Our Masonic Symbols, An, J. S. M. Ward.
Kabbalah, The, C. D. Ginsburg.
Keystone, The, John T. Lawrence.
Lake, The, of Como, Its History, Art and Archaeology, T. W. M. Lund.
Lecture on Masonic Symbolism, Albert Pike.
Liturgica Historica, Edmund Bishop.
Liturgies, Eastern and Western, F. E. Brightman.
Lodge and the Craft, Rollin C. Blackmer.
Lost Language of Symbolism, Harold Bayley.
Magic and Fetishism, A. C. Haddon.
Masonic Initiation, The, W. L. Wilmshurst.
Masonic Symbolism, A. H. Ward.
Meaning of Masonry, W. L. Wilmshurst
Mediaeval Art, W. R. Lethaby.
Mediaeval Stage, The, E. K. Chambers.
Migration of Symbols, Count Goblet d'Alviella.
Mirror of the Johnannite Masons, George Oliver.
Morals and Dogma, Albert Pike.
Mummers' Play, The, R. J. L. Tiddy.
Mysteries of Mithra, Franz Cumont.
Mystic Masonry J. D. Buck.
New Light on the Renaissance, Harold Bayley.
Numbers, Their Occult Power and Virtue, W. Wynn Westcott.
Old and New Magic, Henry R. Evans.
Old Charges, The, Herbert Poole.
Old Charges of British Freemasons, W. J. Hughan.
Old English Drama, A. W. Ward.
Origin arid Antiquity of Freemasonry, Albert Churchward.
Origin and Evolution of Freemasonry, Albert Churchward.
Origin of Masonic Ritual and Tradition, William Rowbottom.
Origin of the English Rite of Freemasonry, W. J. Hughan.
Oxford Degree Ceremony, J. Wells.
Perfect Ashlar, The, John T. Lawrence.
Primitive Secret Societies, Hutton Webster.
Primitive Symbolism, W. W. Westropp
Quests Old and New, G. R. S. Mead.
Restorations of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry, H. P. H. Bromwell.
Revelations of a Square, George Oliver
Rites of the Twice-Born, The, Mrs. Sinclair Stevenson.
Ritual and Belief, E. B. Hartland.
San Graal, The, F. G. Bergmann.
Science and the Infinite, Sidney T. Klein
Second Lecture on Symbolism, Albert Pike.
Secret Tradition, The, in Freemasonry, A. E. Waite.
Shakespeare and the Emblem Writers, H. Green.
Signs and Symbols, George Oliver.
Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, Albert Churchward.
Solomon's Temple, W. S. Caldecott.
Speculative Masonry, A. S. MacBride.
Spirit of Masonry, William Hutchinson.
Star in the East, The, George Oliver.
Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy, R. H. Brown.
Story of Alchemy The, M. M. Pattison-Muir.
Swastika, The, Thomas Carr.
Symbol of Glory, The, George Oliver.
Symbolic Teaching, Thomas M. Stewart.
Symbolical Masonry, H. L. Haywood.
Symbolism in Christian Art, F. E. Hulme.
Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments, Durandus.
Symbolism of Freemasonry, A. G. Mackey.
Symbolism of the East and West, Mrs. Murray-Aynsley.
Symbolism of the Three Degrees, Oliver Day Street.
Symbols and Legends of Freemasonry, J. F. Finlayson
Temple of Solomon, The, P. E. Osgood.
Traces of a Hidden Tradition in Masonry and Mediaeval Mysticism, Isabel Cooper-Oakley.
Treasure, The, of the Magi, James Hope Moulton.
Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, C. N. McIntyre North
Witch-Cult, The in Western Europe, Margaret Alice Murray.
Word, The, in the Pattern, Mrs. G.F. Watts
York Mystery Plays, L. Toulmin Smith
* * *
FORMER MEETING PLACES OF THE GRAND LODGE OF PENNSYLVANIA
IN the course of an address as Grand Master, delivered at a Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania Sept. 5, 1923, Bro. Abraham Beitler gave a valuable resume of Pennsylvania Masonic history. One section of his address will be found interesting to such readers as have been following the present Study Club series:
The Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has occupied the Temple in which we meet tonight for a half century, and it has seemed to me that it would be interesting and instructive to take a hasty glance at what happened in those fifty years.
The Grand Lodge has had fourteen different places of meeting: In 1732 it met at the "fun" Tavern, also called "Peggy Mullen's Beefsteak House," King (Water) street, between Chestnut and Walnut streets (a gathering place for the most noted citizens of Philadelphia).
In 1735 it met at the "Indian King" Tavern, south side of High (Market) street, below Third, southwest corner of Biddle's Alley (Bank street). This was the home of the "Leathern Apron Club," the first Masonic Club known. Its members included Benjamin Franklin, Hugh Roberts and Charles Thomson.
In 1749 it met at the Royal Standard Tavern, High (Market) street, near Second.
In 1755 it met at "The Freemasons' Lodge," Lodge Alley, west of Second and north of Walnut streets. This was the first Masonic Hall erected in the United States, and title was held by trustees of the three lodges then meeting in Philadelphia
In 1769 to 1790 it met at Videll's (Lodge) Alley, Second street below Chestnut, west side.
During the American Revolution it met at the City Tavern Second street, southwest corner Gold (Moravian) street.
From 1790 to 1799 it met in the Free Quaker Meeting House, southwest corner Fifth and Arch streets.
From 1800 to 1802 it met in the State House (Independence Hall), Chestnut street, between Fifth and Sixth streets.
From 1802 to 1810 it met in the Pennsylvania Freemasons' Hall, Filbert street above Eighth street, north side.
From 1811 to 1819 it met in the Masonic Hall, Chestnut street, between Seventh and Eighth streets, north side.
* * *
BOOKS FOR DECORATIVE PURPOSES
Henry Ward Beecher said that a wall covered with books is decoratively more beautiful than a wall hung with the costliest tapestries. Some lodges appear to accept this doctrine in its severest application. They lock their books up in cases, leave them there for years, and make it almost impossible for any man to lay hands on them. Perhaps they fear that a volume may be pilfered. It is preferable to miss a few copies than to lose the use of them all.
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
STATISTICS OF MASONIC HOME OF FLORIDA
In the March issue of THE BUILDER, page 74, I note an error in the statistics covering the Masonic Home of Florida, due, it is probable, to a typographical error in our Annual. The compilation as printed reads: Land owned, 10 acres; assets, $200,000; residents, 52; annual cost, $172,810; provided for 100 old people, boys and girls. Please change the last three items to read: Residents, 70; annual cost, $27,153; provided for 90 old people, boys and girls.
W. S. Ware, Secretary, Jacksonville, Fla.
* * *
"WHERE WAS LAFAYETTE MADE A MASON?"
It has never been denied that Lafayette was a Mason, but it has been disputed when and where he was initiated. Gould says it was at Morristown, N.J., in an Army Lodge, and Gould was a great authority. In your March issue, page 75, it was stated, by a good authority, and quoted from a good authority, that Lafayette was initiated in "an Army Lodge during the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge, Pa." But in an address to the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, May 4, 1825, Lafayette himself stated that he was initiated before he ever came to this country. I had a letter from Bro. Stith Cain, Grand Secretary of Tennessee, confirming this. It is in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee.
George W. Baird, District of Columbia.
* * *
KIPLING GIVES HIS MASONIC EXPERIENCES
Bro. James A. Shirras, New York, has sent for publication an item clipped from The London Times that explains itself:
The following letter was sent recently by Rudyard Kipling in reply to an inquiry as to his Masonic experiences:
"In reply to your letter I was secretary for some years of Lodge Hope and Perseverance, No. 782, E.C. [Lahore, English Constitution], which included Brethren of at least four creeds. I was entered by a member of the Brahmo Somaj (a Hindu), passed by a Mahomedan, and raised by an Englishman. Our Tyler was an Indian Jew. We met, of course, on the level, and the only difference that anyone would notice was that at our banquets some of the Brethren, who were debarred by caste rules from eating food not ceremonially prepared, sat over empty plates. I had the good fortune to be able to arrange a series of informal lectures by Brethren of various faiths, on the baptismal ceremonies of their religions."
Mr. Kipling was initiated in the lodge mentioned in the same year that he published "Departmental Ditties," before he attained his majority.
* * *
RE "PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS IN LEVITICUS"
In THE BUILDER for January last I find an article in the Question Box regarding "Physical Qualifications in Leviticus XXII." Bro. Gillis leaves the impression that no person with a blemish, etc., can approach the altar to offer the bread of his God. I think that is wrong. It is the offering that should not have a bemish. I would be glad to have a little more "light" on this. Bro. Gillis takes his reference by taking a few words here and there throughout the chapter.
The quotation by Bro. Gillis is really from Chapter XXI, verse 17, but the reference is to the family of Aaron only, the members of which, according to the Biblical account, were to be the priests of the children of Israel. Physical perfection and ceremonial purity were demanded in them as qualification to perform the sacred ritual. But how far such a qualification for a priestly caste should be taken as a precedent to govern the acceptance of candidates for Masonry is very much a matter of individual opinion.
* * *
DANIEL BOONE PROBABLY A MASON
I note an item on the question as to Daniel Boone's membership in the Fraternity, in THE BUILDER, page 31, January, 1925. Permit me to add to the information therein contained one or two of my own notes. In Rob Morris' History of Freemasonry in Kentucky I came across, in the historical account of Kentucky lodges, an item which would seem rather significant: "Boone Lodge No. 100 (at Petersburg) organized U.D. in 1836 and chartered in 1837." This lodge lived but to 1854 when it threw up the sponge like so many early Kentucky lodges. With the other information at hand, although meager, I am of the opinion that Boone was a Mason, probably being made in North Carolina. The early lodges of Kentucky seem to have nearly all been named after members of the Craft or else given the name of the town where located.
Henry Baer, Ohio.
* * *
SIGMA MU SIGMA FRATERNITY: OR "SELECT MASONS SOCIETY"
In the present instance we have ourselves contributed an inquiry to this department in the shape of a letter addressed to Bro. Sidney C. Brown, Jr., of Washington, D. C., concerning a new fraternity for college Masons. His reply is a complete description in brief of the fraternity in question, and good to have in its own behalf, as well as to serve as a valuable addition to Bro. Carl Foss's magnificent essay on "American College Fraternities," published in the March and April issues of this journal:
Realizing the need of an organization of students selected from the Masonic Order who would devote themselves to the fostering of the highest ideals of the Fraternity and to the promotion of Masonic fellowship, three Master Masons, Harold Van Vranken, Charles Knapp, and Claude Brown, students of Tri-State College of Angola, Ind., met on Good Friday, March 25, 1921, and organized the Sigma Mu Sigma fraternity. The first requisite of the new society was that the members should be Master Masons in good standing and should be imbued with a zeal for the promotion of the cardinal principles of Sincerity, Morality, and Scholarship by thought, speech and practice. The social fellowship that followed such lofty ideals was of the highest type, and the society at once became firmly fixed in the plans and lives of the young men who became affiliated with it.
Interest being manifested from other sources, a national organization was perfected in Washington, D. C., in May, 1924, by Sidney C. Brown, attorney, who was elected National President. Hon. L. W. Fairfield introduced in Congress a bill which would grant a National Charter to the fraternity. Brigadier General Fries, head of the division of Chemical Warfare, is sponsor of the National organization and these two men are the first national honorary members.
The object of the national body is to establish in leading universities and colleges chapters of Sigma Mu Sigma for the promotion of these same cardinal virtues. The plan is to select from Master Masons who are attending the various schools, those who are interested in promoting the true spirit of Masonry as applied to student life and for the development of sincerity, morality and scholarship in the lives of young men fitting themselves for service in the world. Established on such an exalted plane there is no need for wonder why the fraternity is attracting attention and a long and flourishing career is anticipated for Sigma Mu Sigma among those who have given thought to its aims and its teachings.
There are now three active chapters, located at Angola, Ind.; Washington, D.C.; and Oklahoma University, at Norman, Okla. Chapters will be installed at Purdue University, Indiana; Milwaukee Engineering School; Alabama University; National University; and George Washington University, Washington, D. C., this spring.
Sidney C. Brown, Jr., Dist. of Columbia.
* * *
"ENCOURAGED AND DISCOURAGED"
I have read with considerable interest the article by Bro. R. J. Newton entitled "J'Accuse!" in THE BUILDER of October, 1924, also the letter by Bro. Ernest E. Murray of Montana in the December issue.
These two contributions bring to my mind a sermon that I heard over the radio recently, entitled "Encouraged and Discouraged." What impressed me most in this sermon was the following statement: "In the recent World War it was considered a serious offense for anyone to break the morale of the army, and that it was of the utmost importance to encourage the soldiers to the highest degree, so that when the time came for them to go to the front, they would do so with courage and a determination to win, and to this encouragement, I am sure, we can attribute the successful termination of that terrible conflict."
Bro. Newton has set the morale and should be encouraged. He has sounded a call, which, when accomplished, will be the most noble achievement that Masonry has ever attained. In every great enterprise there is always somebody to knock it, no matter how worthy it may be. Show me a Mason, or anyone else for that matter, who would not be willing to contribute $2.00 per year for such a noble cause! What is Masonry for, anyway? What do the words Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth mean? What do the Five Points of Fellowship mean? It seems to me that if our brethren will just stop and think for a moment, they will see that Bro. Newton's call is entirely in line with the teachings of Masonry.
There are several ways for raising sufficient money with which to carry on this work. The initiation fee could be raised in all the lodges of the United States. This will not affect the incoming membership in any way. When one wants to join the Fraternity $10.00 or $20.00 more or less will not stop him from joining. The lodges in the State of California all raised their initiation fee, $20.00 I believe, which amount is being used to help maintain the two homes, the one at Decoto for the old folks and the other at Covina for our orphans. Nevertheless, the percentage of new members was not decreased by the increase in the initiation fee. Besides, I am sure there are philanthropists among us who would be willing to help in a more substantial way such as outright contributions, also bequests.
These hospitals need not be gratis to our brethren. A small fee, say $10.00 or $15.00 per week, could be charged. Some could perhaps pay more.
Every enterprise is beset with dangers, more or less. There is no paved road to any great accomplishment. Then again, is it not worth facing these "dangers" for the good that can be accomplished? We boast of the Masonic Institution being the best in the world. Let us live up to it, or else cease boasting.
Bro. Newton, you have opened the eyes of the Masonic Fraternity. You have started something which, when accomplished, will immortalize your name among Masons. The eyes of other fraternities who have already established such hospitals are now upon us, and the reputation of Masonry is at stake. If we lose in this proposed undertaking, Masonry will have received a terrible blow which will take more than a generation to overcome. If we win, and I feel sure we will win, we shall retain our enviable position among the fraternities of the world.
H. A. W., Los Angeles, Calif.
* * *
MASONIC EXPEDITION TO TIBET, KIPLING'S STORY, ETC.
I would like to get some information regarding the English expedition that went to Tibet and discovered many Masonic relics, and also found some of the natives of that country who were familiar with parts of the Masonic ritual, although the Englishmen in question were supposed to have been the first white men to visit that country.
It is my impression that Bro. Rudyard Kipling wrote a story or described that expedition.
B.H.M., New Jersey.
Your inquiry was referred to Bro. Gilbert W. Daynes, Associate Editor, England. He has replied as follows:
I believe the only English Expedition, or rather Armed Mission to Tibet, was the one that took place in 1904. It was on this occasion that Lhasa was reached, and its mysteries unveiled. (See The Unveiling of Lhasa, by E. Candler; also, Lhasa, by P. Landon.) This was clearly, however, not the first visit of white men to the country of Tibet, because, in the 18th century, European Jesuits visited and resided in Lhasa; and Dr. Samuel Van de Patte, of Flushing, visited Lhasa (1730) and resided there for a sufficiently long time to learn the language, and became intimate with some of the lamas.
The first Englishman to enter Tibet was George Bogle, in 1774. In 1811-12, Thomas Manning, of Caius College, Cambridge, visited Lhasa and stayed there five months.
During the 19th century Europeans were systematically prevented from entering the country, or speedily expelled if found in it. From 1888 onwards, much exploratory work has been done in Tibet by Englishmen, and also Europeans, of whom the most famous was Sven Hedin (1896-1908). (See Central Asia and Tibet, 1903, and Adventures in Tibet, 1904, both by Sven Hedin).
The facts as given in the query are, therefore, not in accordance with the true facts concerning Tibet. If, which is extremely doubtful and is unknown to London Masons, anything Masonic was found in 1904, they might easily have been taken into the country during the 18th and 19th centuries, either by the various explorers, or by Tibetans, who on many occasions had visited Russia, China, and India.
With regard to the last sentence of the query, I can state positively that Bro. Rudyard Kipling has never written any story or described any expedition to Tibet.
What your correspondent has got hold of is a story, written by Bro. Rudyard Kipling, entitled "The Man Who Would Be King," which is to be found in his book Wee Willie Winkie and Other Tales. This book was, I believe, first published during the nineties of last century. This piece of fiction, and a very good piece, tells of the adventures of two rolling stones, Peechey Carnehan and Daniel Dravot, in Kafiristan, part of Afghanistan. Peechey, after being away for three years, comes back a total wreck, and tells how they had been to Kafiristan and ruled that country. While there, they found that all the chiefs and priests knew the words and tokens of the first two Degrees, and could work a Fellowcraft lodge in a way that was familiar to Peechey. They did not, however, know the Third Degree. Making the Temple of Imbra the lodge room, they painted the black pavement with white squares, and used special stones for the three principal chairs. A lodge is duly opened in the Third Degree, and the head priests and chiefs are raised. The story is certainly one that should be read by Freemasons; but the statements made in this story must not be taken even as legends, which have often some substratum of truth, but must be acknowledged to proceed from the very fertile brain of the author, one of the most gifted now living.
I think it is quite clear that your correspondent has got hold of the facts of the story I have outlined above; perhaps it has been told him as a fact. The evidence, however, is all against its truth.
Gilbert W. Daynes, England.
* * *
GENERAL PHILLIP JOHN SCHUYLER AND ALEXANDER HAMILTON
Can you inform me through the Question Box in THE BUILDER if General Philip John Schuyler, Revolutionary War general, was a Mason? General Schuyler was born at Albany, N.Y., Nov. 22, 1733, and lived there most of his life. The writer is a descendant of that General and would appreciate very much to know if he was a member of the Craft or not.
We referred your inquiry to Bro. Isaac Henry Vrooman, Jr., of Albany, N.Y., and along with it, for our own needs, a question or two concerning Alexander Hamilton. In an essay published in THE BUILDER, March, 1920, page 59, Bro. Geo. W. Baird gave Hamilton's membership as in Philadelphia, second lodge of Moderns, and the date of his raising as December, 1757. This was based on Sachse's Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania. Since the appearance of that article, and through Bro. J. E. Burnett Buckenham, Librarian, Library of Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Bro. Baird has learned that the Alexander Hamilton referred to in that book was not the Alexander Hamilton famous in our history. Bro. Vrooman's notes are here given:
(1). Regarding General Sehuyler's name:
In the Baptismal Record of the First Reformed Church, of Albany, N. Y. (Published in the 1906 Year Book of the Holland Society of New York), the following entry appears:
Nov. 11. Philip (son) of Joh. & Corn. Schuyler
wit. Jer Van Rensselaer, Maria Miln.
It was a Dutch custom, apparently for purposes of identification, for a son at times to add the name of his father to his own and, in the Schuyler Family Bible (quoted in Lossing's Life of Philip Schuyler, v. 1, p. 82) is this entry:
"In the year 1755, on the 17th day of September, was I Philip John Schuyler, married to Catharine Van Rensselaer. . . "
This is the only place where I have found the "John" used. The General almost always signed his name "Ph. Schuyler" and is known to history as PHILIP SCHUYLER.
(2) Regarding the question of his Masonic membership:
In the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., of New York for 1900, the Grand Historian presented a valuable report on the Masonic lodges and members in New York during the Revolution (pp. 294-316). On page 309 is the following:
"Schuyler, Philip (Gen.) ... (no lodge given)."
It is generally held that General Schuyler was a member of the Fraternity, but if so, I cannot substantiate it.
On page 305 is this entry:
"Hamilton, Alexander ... (no lodge given)."
It is not known of what lodge Alexander Hamilton was a member. His name is recorded among the visitors to American Union Lodge, at Morristown December 27, 1779. Although only his surname is given, he is identified by his being the only one of that name then holding a commission with the army under Washington. In a recent paper by Henry Whittemore read before the Masonic Historical Society of New York, his identity was clearly established in this connection. The visitors present on that memorable meeting of American Union Lodge are taken from the minutes, as published by the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, as follows: (Here follows a long list of names containing, among others, those of Bros. Washington, Schuyler and Hamilton.)
It is known that General Philip Schuyler was in Morristown during that winter and it is fair to assume that the "Schuyler" listed among those present was the General.
The only one of that name listed in the 1900 report as being a member of a New York lodge is John De Peyster Ten Eyck a member of Masters' Lodge, No. 2 (now No. 5). He was my great-great-grand uncle and I represent him in the Society of the Cincinnati, by virtue of his service as Captain-Lieutenant in the First Canadian Continental Regiment, Colonel James Livingston.
There probably were other Ten Eycks who were Masons and who were in the army, but this is the only one of which I have record.
Should any of the readers of THE BUILDER have any additional information, it will be most welcome.
Isaac Henry Vrooman, Jr., Albany, N. Y.
To this may be added Bro. Buckenham's letter to Bro. Baird. It disposes once and for all any idea that the Alexander Hamilton of the Sachse volume may have been the great financier:
Masonic Temple, Phila.,
December 19th, 1924.
My dear Brother Baird:
I have your favor of 16th for which I thank you. I note you make reference, in your article on Alexander Hamilton to the Old Masonic Lodges in Pennsylvania, pages 45, 48 and 73. These references all relate to another Alexander Hamilton who lived in Philadelphia, and was a member of the Fraternity. Alexander Hamilton, First American Secretary of the Treasury was born Jan. 11, 1757, in the Island of Nevis, W. I., and did not come to this country until October, 1772, when he landed in Boston and then went to New York, later settling in New Jersey, and again in New York, and only incidentally in Philadelphia on government business.
On page 45, the name of Alexander Hamilton is found in a list of subscribers to the fund to build the Masonic Hall, March 13, 1754.
On page 58, the name appears in a list of those who paid their subscriptions, and is only a repetition of the former reference.
The reference on page 78 is only the date of the raising of Alexander Hamilton, as shown on the secretary's books Dee. 17,1767. This date was when Hamilton (of Nevis) was almost one year old.
I have always doubted Alexander Hamilton being a Mason, for if he had been, some mention of it would have been made at the time of his death. However if you learn of any evidence, I hope you will let me know.
Very fraternally yours,
(Signed) J. E. Burnett Buckenham,
Librarian and Curator.
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YE EDITOR'S CORNER
All this talk about the world coming to an end reminds one of Emerson's famous mot. When warned by a fanatic thy the whole mundane scheme of things was to come to an early and immediate wind-up, the Concord Sage demurely replied "Let it end. I can do without it."
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It is said that Bro. Ralph Welsh, twenty-two years of age, is the youngest W.M. in the country. Does anybody know of a younger? He presides over King Solomon Lodge, No. 197, Kane, Ill.
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The Missouri Grand Lodge Bulletin for February, 1925, is the best thing we have ever seen of its kind. It contains a notable article on Marat. Bro. Ray V. Denslow, its editor, has kindly given us a limited number of copies for free distribution. Send stamp and name and address, plainly written.
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Thirty-three Chinese Masons have received dispensation to organize Mencius Lodge — a beautiful and appropriate name at — Escolta, Manila, P. I. There are many Chinese members in Philippine lodges but Mencius is to be the first composed exclusively of members of that race.
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The York Grand Lodge of Mexico has published an exceedingly valuable book entitled Historical Notes on Masonry in the Republic of Mexico Relative to the Gran Logia Valle De Mexico and the York Grand Lodge of Mexico, F. & A. M.. Bro. C. I. Arnold, Apartado No. 1986, Mexico, D.F., is Grand Secretary. A word to the wise is sufficient!
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Now look here! The office boy has been saying mean things about Ye Editor, and has been punished appropriately and corporally therefor, so the aforesaid office boy appealed to Bro. George W. Baird to draw up a cartoon, of a libellous and sarcastic character, of the aforementioned Ye Ed. But Bro. Baird had the gout and couldn't use his hands, and he thereupon entered into a conspiracy with Bro. J. Harry Cunningham, also of Washington, D.C., to do the vile deed, and the picture alongside is the result. It may be said that The Green Hat is NOT among the books, but it has to be confessed that the pen is made of a goose's feather.