A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 12 No. 9 – September 1926
THE MORGAN AFFAIR
Bros. Erik McKinley Erikson and J. Hugo Tatsch
THIS is the second article on the subject of anti-Masonry and the Morgan Affair. Bro. Tatsch needs no introduction to readers of The Builder; Bro. Erikson is Professor of American History at Coe College, Cedar Rapids Iowa. He has recently published in the Bulletin of the Grand Lodge of Iowa a series of valuable articles on the anti-Masonic leaders of the period.
IT has been a common error for Masons to say that nothing had occurred up to 1826 to mar the progress of Freemasonry in the United States. The impression is given that the tidal wave of Anti-Masonry which featured the period from 1826 to about 1840 was precipitated by the Morgan Affair of 1826 — that it came without warning like a bolt out of a clear sky. It has been shown, however, in "The Rise and Development of Anti-Masonry in America, 1737-1826,"  that anti-Masonry had begun to develop early in this country and that the evidences of opposition to the Fraternity were plainly apparent just prior to the Morgan episode.
Nevertheless, the importance of this incident should not be discounted too much, for it was the disappearance of William Morgan, through the machinations of some over-zealous and misguided Masons in Western New York, that gave the enemies of the Fraternity a definite basis for their attacks and made possible the most highly organized anti-Masonic movement this country has ever witnessed.
Before considering this anti-Masonic movement with its baneful influence on religion and politics and its devastating effect on the Masonic Institution, it is desirable to learn just what the Morgan Affair was. During the period of the "excitement" a voluminous mass of literature was poured from the press dealing with both the anti-Masonic and the Masonic sides of the question — material characterized generally by a display of passion and prejudice. The same may be said of most of the writing that has been done on the subject in more recent years. But it is now one hundred years since Morgan so mysteriously vanished, and since the people who lived through the tragic period have passed from this earth, it should be possible to approach the subject scientifically, and carefully examine the great mass of evidence in an attempt to arrive at the truth regarding one of the most controversial incidents in American history.
Despite all the efforts that have been made during the past century to ascertain the facts about William Morgan, most of his career is still shrouded in mystery. What is known of him prior to his appearance in New York can be briefly stated. He was born in Culpepper County, Virginia, in 1775 or 1776 (Rob Morris gives Aug. 7, 1774, as the date). Just what he did during about the first forty years of his life is not definitely known. On one hand it was claimed that he was engaged in piratical activities in the Gulf of Mexico with the notorious Lafitte, and incidentally fought in the battle of New Orleans; on the other it was asserted by the anti-Masons that he held a captain's commission in the United States Army and served brilliantly with General Andrew Jackson in the famous victory over the British, Jan. 8, 1815. Satisfactory documentary evidence, from the War Department or elsewhere, in support of either contention, was never produced, nor is there evidence to corroborate Colonel William L. Stone's statement that Morgan was merely a private soldier in the army during the War of 1812.
In 1819, he was married in Washington County, Virginia, to Lucinda Pendleton, the sixteen-year-old daughter of a respectable Methodist minister. Two years later, J. Ross Robertson relates, Morgan removed to Toronto and then to York in Upper Canada, where he worked on a farm for a time and then was employed in a brewery. The burning of the brewery left him without employment and induced him to remove, in 1823, to Rochester, New York, where he took up the trade of an operative mason, an occupation in which he apparently had been engaged prior to his sojourn in Canada. During the same year he moved on to Batavia, New York, but worked at his trade wherever opportunity offered. It therefore happened that he was in Le Roy, New York, in 1825, where he succeeded in ingratiating himself with certain Masons, notably James Ganson.
Though no record has ever been discovered to show where or when Morgan was made a Mason, it is evident that he convinced his Masonic acquaintances that he had taken the first six degrees. Robertson makes it clear that Morgan was not made a Mason in Canada, as he seems to have claimed. It is a commentary on the laxness of the lodges and chapters of that time to note that Morgan was allowed to visit various lodges, in Batavia and neighboring towns, and that on May 31, 1825, he "was duly prepared and was exalted to the degree of Royal Arch Mason" in Western Star Royal Arch Chapter No. 35 at Le Roy, merely being vouched for by some Mason, probably Ganson. Evidently, nobody at the time suspected Morgan of being an impostor.
Shortly after this, as related in Stone's Letters, Morgan was disappointed in his expectation of employment on a contemplated Knights Templar building at Le Roy, and returned to Batavia with a feeling of resentment, a feeling that was soon to be greatly aggravated. In 1826, a few Royal Arch Masons of Batavia petitioned the Grand Chapter of the state for a charter to establish a chapter in the village and Morgan was allowed to sign the petition. This displeased some of the petitioners who had observed with growing disapproval Morgan's dissolute habits.
Accounts of the character of Morgan are very conflicting, varying from the eulogistic statements of the Anti-Mason, Samuel D. Greene, to the denunciatory descriptions by Rob Morris, the Masonic writer, who spent about forty years seeking information on the Morgan Affair, and who interviewed about one hundred persons who were acquainted with Morgan. That he was a heavy drinker there can be no doubt. Howeyer, he was not a drunkard in the legal sense of the word, which at the time was applied only to those who were intoxicated more than half the time. He neglected his family and otherwise demonstrated his instability of character. On occasion he displayed, according to the Anti-Masonic writer, Stone, a disposition that was "envious, malicious and vindictive." In view of this knowledge of Morgan, the original petitioners for a chapter secretly destroyed the petition and secured a dispensation from the Grand High Priest and Deputy Grand High Priest by a petition from which his name was omitted.  When he learned what had been done, Morgan was naturally furious and resolved to secure revenge by exposing the secrets of Masonry.
MILLER, THE OTHER PROTAGONIST
It happened that there was in the village of Batavia, a printer named David C. Miller, who, since 1811, had published the "Republican Advocate." Prior to coming to Batavia, Miller had taken the Entered Apprentice Degree at Albany, New York, but had not taken the following degrees because, as Rob Morris claimed, the Fraternity was unwilling to "advance" him further. Whether this were true or not, it is evident that Miller had a strong dislike for Masons, a dislike that was increased by an incident that occurred shortly before the Morgan abduction.
Because of a quarrel with Miller, some men who had been his political friends established a new journal in Batavia styled the "People's Press," which soon attracted most of the printing business from the "Advocate" office. According to Henry Brown, a fellow villager, and author of a well-known contemporary Masonic account of the Morgan Affair, Miller chose to regard himself as "an object of Masonick persecution." It is evident, therefore, that he was in the proper frame of mind to offer himself as the publisher of Morgan's alleged exposé. Further, as Stone said, "a similarity of tastes and habits had brought him and Morgan into the relations of intimate association, and it was but natural that they should discourse to each other of their private griefs."
Miller, at least, seems to have possessed the idea that the publication of a Masonic exposé would result in great financial gain, and accordingly threw his energies into the project. Probably as early as March, 1826, Morgan and Miller took into their partnership John Davids, a Batavian, and Russell Dyer of Rochester, and in August a mysterious Canadian with much needed capital, named Daniel Johns, was added to the select circle.
An examination of the various sources dealing with the subject makes it clear that no attempt was made by the partners in the infamous affair to conceal their project. On the contrary it was evidently part of the scheme to excite the Masons and thereby insure increased sales for the exposure Morgan was preparing. Morgan himself boasted in bar-rooms and elsewhere of his intentions, and Miller, through his newspaper, conveyed to the public intimations of what was contemplated. When Morgan, on Aug. 14, 1826, deposited with the clerk of the Northern District of New York, the title, Illustrations of Masonry, for the purpose of securing a copyright, there could be no doubt of his intent.
ALARM AND RESENTMENT OF THE UNINSTRUCTED MASONS
While the "more respectable and intelligent portion of the Fraternity gave no heed" to the matter, some Masons were considerably agitated and began scheming to prevent the publication of their secrets. On Aug. 9, 1826, some Mason [probably Nicholas G. Cheseboro] caused to be published in a Canandaigua paper a warning against Morgan, saying, "Morgan is considered a swindler, and a dangerous man." This notice was soon reprinted in the newspapers of Batavia and elsewhere. Though much was later made of this notice by most anti-Masons, Stone's opinion was that it was issued in accordance with the long existent Masonic custom of inserting advertisements in newspapers "to put the brethren on their guard against unworthy and expelled members."
Henry Brown was one of the prominent Masons who sought to allay the excitement, and to this end published, on Sept. 1, 1826, in a Batavia paper called "The Spirit of the Times," an article signed "A Brother," in which he urged that the matter be disregarded, as the Fraternity could not be injured by the contemplated publication of secrets. The advice was disregarded and the more rash Masons went on with their plans to frustrate Morgan and his associates. As Brown stated in his Narrative:
A more rash, foolish and impolitick measure was never devised. Had Miller and Morgan been left to themselves — had the book been printed without any efforts to prevent it — and had the Masons manifested no anxiety whatever, on the occasion, it would have fallen of its own weight, still born, from the press; and the author and publisher, as such, never been heard of more. Masonry, however, it seems, as well as religion, was destined to have its officious and intermeddling champions.
Though, later, the Anti-Masons freely claimed (without any legal basis for their claim) that it was the plan of the Masons to murder Morgan, the evidence in the case does not warrant any stronger conclusion than that they intended to bring about a separation of Morgan from Miller, and secure possession of Morgan's manuscript. As early as August, 1826, there were signs of discord between Morgan and his partners, which may have influenced the Masons concerned to think that they could persuade Morgan to give up his plans and leave the village. Both Stone and Morris agree that negotiations were carried on between Masons and Morgan, but whether or not the latter agreed to surrender his manuscript and accompany the Masons away from Batavia is one of the many controversial points in the affair which can never be definitely decided.
THE ATTEMPT TO BURN MILLER'S OFFICE
Not only were such negotiations carried on, but attempts were made to secure or destroy such papers as were in Miller's possession. On the night of Sept. 8, 1826, a crowd of men assembled in Batavia for the evident purpose of securing entrance to Miller's office by force, but attempted no action when they found the place was guarded. Two nights later the building was set on fire but the flames were extinguished before making any headway. Masons were charged with incendiarism and it was counter-charged that Miller himself had started the fire to create excitement. A few months later, on March 7, 1827, a group of twenty prominent Masons, including Henry Brown, Ebenezer Mix, Frederick Follett and J. S. Ganson, offered a reward of one hundred dollars for the apprehension of the supposed incendiary, but the reward was never claimed.
On the very morning preceding this fire, the first definite step in the actual "abduction" of Morgan occured, when Nicholas G. Cheseboro, a Mason of Canandaigua, secured a warrant for the arrest of Morgan on a charge of petit larceny. Taking with him Holloway Hayward, a constable, and several others, Cheseboro proceeded to Batavia, where, on the morning of Sept. 11, 1826, Morgan was placed under arrest by Hayward. It happened that Morgan a few weeks before had been placed in "jail limits" because of his debts, that is, he had been released on bail on condition that he would not leave Batavia. Miller, who had furnished the bail, objected to the law officer's contemplated action in taking Morgan away. But the officer overruled the objection (properly, as was later decided in court) on the ground that the warrant was for a criminal offense and therefore it was permissible to take Morgan to Canandaigua. Morgan himself made no objection to leaving Batavia.
WHAT BECAME OF MORGAN
Just what happened to Morgan after he left Batavia probably never will be determined. The evidence at every step is of such a controversial nature that it is impossible to draw conclusions which will satisfy everybody. But by sifting out the material found in the numerous books, pamphlets, newspaper accounts and reports of the grand jury investigations and court trials, it is possible to set forth the rival claims and to give such facts as have been definitely established.
It cannot be questioned that Morgan was taken to Canandaigua, where, on Sept. 12, he was arraigned before a magistrate and acquitted of the charge of having stolen a shirt and cravat while in the village a few months previously. He was immediately rearrested on a debt charge and placed in jail but was released that evening. Then he entered a closed carriage and was transported, willingly as claimed on one side, or forcibly as claimed by the Anti-Masons, to Ft. Niagara, passing through Rochester and Lewiston and reaching the fort, then without a garrison, on Sept. 11, 1826, where he was confined in a magazine. What happened to him thereafter is still an unsolved mystery.
Through the fruitless efforts of Mrs. Morgan to find her husband at Canandaigua, it became noised abroad that Morgan had been kidnapped and concealed. Rumors began to circulate that there was a widespread conspiracy to suppress Morgan's book and that his disappearance was a result of this conspiracy. On Sept. 18, Miller definitely charged, in his newspaper, that Morgan had been abducted. Accordingly, a public meeting was held at Batavia on Sept. 26, 1826, and a committee of ten was appointed to conduct investigations and attempt to learn what had happened to Morgan. This Batavia committee was the first of the notorious "Morgan committees," which were practically self-constituted groups of men organized in the various counties of northwestern New York. The most active committee was that in Monroe County, which included in its membership Thurlow Weed, and which, at first, probably did more than any other agency to stir up Anti-Masonic feeling in western New York. Other noteworthy committees were those in Genesee, Livingston, Niagara and Ontario counties. These various committees met together at Lewiston and Ft. Niagara early in 1827 and were thereafter frequently denominated the "Lewiston Committee."
At first Masons participated in the activities of these committees, at least in that of Monroe County. But when it was charged that they were reporting all that transpired in the committee "to the Chapter, meetings of which were held simultaneously with the meetings of the investigating committee" (to quote Weed), they withdrew and left the non-Masons to conduct the investigations as they pleased. Under the direction of the "Morgan committees" evidence was collected and presented to grand juries, in attempts to have suspected Masons indicted, not only for kidnapping but also for murder.
GIDDINS AND HIS STORY
Basing their charges largely on the statements of Edward Giddins, a professed atheist, whose testimony the courts refused to accept, the Anti-Masons began to assert that Morgan had been drowned in the Niagara River. They even fixed on the night of Sept. 19, 1826, as the date of the alleged murder. They sought desperately to secure tangible evidence, and under the direction of Weed and others, the lower part of the Niagara River and the adjacent part of Lake Ontario were thoroughly dragged, the vain search for Morgan's body extending over several months.
The hope of finding Morgan had about died out when, on Oct. 7, 1827 (over a year, it should be noted, after Morgan's disappearance), a body was washed up on the shore of Lake Ontario at Oak Orchard. The coroner took charge and after a brief inquest, ordered the putrid body to be buried. When the news reached Rochester, Batavia and other points, there was great excitement. Representatives of the Morgan committees hastened to the scene, led by Thurlow Weed, had the body exhumed and secured a second inquest. witnesses were examined and, on Oct. 15, the coroner's jury returned a verdict that the body was that of William Morgan. This verdict was returned in spite of the fact that none of the clothing on the body was Morgan's.
Having secured the desired verdict, the Anti-Masons made capital of it. The body was taken to Batavia, accompanied by a great parade. As the news spread, hundreds and even thousands of people flocked to Batavia to attend the funeral of the "Masonic Martyr." As Stone related it, "A funeral discourse was preached, and at the close of the solemn services, the body was once more committed to its kindred earth, amidst the tears of the widow, and the curses of the people, deep and bitter, against the Masons."
THE THIRD INQUEST ON MONRO
But the triumph of the Anti-Masons was short lived. It happened that in September, 1827, a Canadian, named Timothy Monro, had disappeared and it was suspected that he had been drowned in the Niagara River. When his family and friends heard of the events on the American side of the river, they hastened to Batavia where, on their insistence, the body was again disinterred and a third inquest held on Oct. 29, 1827. Mrs. Monro positively identified every item of the clothing found on the body, and this combined with other evidence, caused the coroner's jury to return a verdict that the body was that of Timothy Monro, and that he had been accidentally drowned on Sept. 26, 1827. It was on this occasion that Thurlow Weed was accused of remarking that the body was "a good-enough Morgan until after the election."
Not only did the Anti-Masons fail to discover the body of Morgan, but they failed dismally in their attempts to establish judicially the fact that Morgan was murdered. This fact certainly stands out in bold relief though they continued to freely assert that they knew when, where and by whom Morgan was murdered.
The Anti-Masons were never able to even secure an indictment for murder, though they exerted themselves to the utmost to do so. It would be a wearisome task to rehearse here the details of these efforts as contained in the reports of grand jury investigations and court trials. An analysis of these shows that between 1826 and 1829 inclusive (the latter year being the last in which indictments could be secured under the statute of limitations) there were at least fourteen grand jury investigations of the Morgan Affair and that forty-three men were indicted. None of these was indicted for an offense more serious than conspiracy and kidnapping, which, under the New York law in 1826, was merely a misdemeanor and not a felony. Some of these individuals were indicted more than once. The first of the "Morgan trials" was held in January, 1827, at Canandaigua, and the last in the Niagara Special Circuit Court in March, 1831. No less than eighteen separate trials of alleged kidnappers were held, and twenty-nine different persons were tried, some of them more than once, but the net result was the conviction of only six Masons, and all of these for complicity in abducting Morgan.
THE CONVICTIONS FOR COMPLICITY
It is of interest to note that four of these convictions were secured in the first trial when John C. Spencer, who shortly afterwards became a leading Anti-Mason, was counsel for the defense. On the advice of Spencer, three of the men, Nicholas G. Cheseboro, Colonel Edward Sawyer and Loton Lawson, entered a plea of guilty and received sentences from Judge Enos T. Throop (the later Governor) as follows: Cheseboro, one year in the Ontario County jail; Lawson, two years in jail, and Sawyer, one month in jail. John Sheldon elected to stand trial but was found guilty and sentenced to three months in the same jail.
The next conviction was not secured until August, 1828, when Eli Bruce, who had been removed as sheriff of Niagara County by Governor DeWitt Clinton on Sept. 26, 1827, was found guilty of aiding in Morgan's abduction, and was sentenced to serve for two years and four months in the jail at Canandaigua. In the following May, John Whitney, who at first fled but voluntarily returned, was convicted and sentenced to one year and three months in the same jail.  Colonel William King, who fled to Arkansas, but later returned voluntarily to face trial, died suddenly, on May 28, 1829, before he could be tried. Burrage Smith, who fled with King, died before he could return and so he did not face trial. David Hague (or Hogue) also died before he could be tried. A few other sentences were imposed in connection with activities carried on against Morgan's partner, Miller,  while several others were punished for contempt of court in connection with the trials.
Unable to accomplish the things they had hoped to bring about, the Anti-Masons heaped their denunciations on the Masons without discrimination. Their failure to secure more convictions they attributed to "Masonic interference" and "influence," and they complained that the state government did not sufficiently cooperate. But the facts show that Governor DeWitt Clinton, before his sudden death on Feb. 11, 1828, though he was the leading Mason  in the United States at the time, did what was in his power to do in apprehending the alleged conspirators against Morgan.
GOVERNOR CLINTON'S PART
Such Anti-Masonic writers as Weed and even Masonic writers as Morris and Robertson assert that Governor Clinton was cognizant of, and gave his sanction to, the plans to remove Morgan from Batavia, and even furnished funds for the purpose. On the other hand, Colonel Stone, while advocating in his Letters the abolition of Freemasonry, defended Clinton against such charges, and pointed to the Governor's record as evidence that he was interested in apprehending the Morgan abductors.
As soon as the Batavia committee wrote informing him, on Oct. 2, 1826, of the excitement prevailing in the locality over Morgan's disappearance, Clinton issued a proclamation, on Oct. 7, calling on all officers to do their duty, "to pursue all proper and efficient measures for the apprehension of the offenders, and the prevention of future outrages," and requesting "the good citizens of this state to cooperate with the civil authorities in maintaining the ascendency of law and good order." He also promised "compensation" for any expenses that might be incurred in securing the punishment of offenders. On Oct. 26 the Governor issued a second proclamation offering rewards up to three hundred dollars "for the discovery of the offenders." This proving ineffectual, he issued a third proclamation, March 19, 1827, offering "One Thousand Dollars for the discovery of the said William Morgan if alive, and if murdered, a reward of Two Thousand Dollars for the discovery of the offender or offenders, to be paid on conviction."
Governor Clinton also wrote to the governors of Upper and Lower Canada asking that investigation be made to learn whether or not Morgan was being forcibly detained in Canada. Both the Earl of Dalhousie, the Governor of Lower Canada, and P. Maitland, the Governor of Upper Canada, complied with the request, and reported that they had secured no satisfactory evidence regarding Morgan. This information Clinton passed on to the Batavia committee. Later, Governor Clinton removed Eli Bruce, a Mason, from the office of Sheriff of Niagara County, when he failed to defend himself against charges, filed with the Governor, that he had taken part in Morgan's removal. But while he was thus performing his duties as Governor, Clinton remained loyal to the Masonic Institution. In his letter to the Anti-Masonic Batavia committee, on Jan. 8, 1827, after reporting that he had written to the Canadian officials, he made one of the best defences of Masonry that appeared during the period. He said:
I am persuaded, however, that the body of Freemasons, so far from having any participation in this affair, or giving any countenance to it, reprobate it as a most unjustifiable act, repugnant to the principles, and abhorrent to the doctrines of the fraternity. I know that Freemasonry, properly understood, and faithfully attended to, is friendly to religion, morality, liberty and good government; and I shall never shrink, under any state of excitement, or any extent of misrepresentation, from bearing testimony in favor of the purity of an institution, which can boast of a Washington, a Franklin and a Lafayette, as distinguished members, and which inculcates no principles, and authorises no acts, that are not in perfect accordance with good morals, civil liberty and entire obedience to government and the laws. It is no more responsible for the acts of unworthy members, than any other association, or institution. Without intending, in the remotest degree, a comparison, or improper allusion, I might ask whether we ought to revile our holy religion, because Peter denied, and Judas betrayed?
Not only did the Governor lend his support to the effort to apprehend the Morgan conspirators, but the state legislature, after receiving a petition from the Lewiston committee, also took action to aid in the prosecutions. In 1827 it approved the offer of a reward for the apprehension of offenders in the Morgan case, and on April 15, 1828, enacted a law providing for a "special counsel" to conduct the cases for the state. Daniel Moseley of Onondaga County was first appointed to fill the offlce. When he resigned on March 3, 1829, to accept a judgeship, John C. Spencer, "the converted counsel," received the appointment. Unable to secure convictions, he resigned early in 1830, and sought to fasten blame on Governor Throop for not cooperating. He was succeeded by Victor Birdseye, who held office until the special act creating the office expired in April, 1831, because of the refusal of the legislature to renew it. In view of the fact that these special prosecutors failed to solve the Morgan mystery, and in spite of their strenuous efforts, could not secure convictions, it is reasonable to conclude that the charges that Morgan was murdered were based on mere hearsay evidence.
THE CONFLICTING CONFESSIONS
Unable to find Morgan's body and failing in their efforts to secure judicial recognition of his alleged murder, the anti-Masons sought to prove their contention by citing "confessions" by various individuals that they committed the murder. Even today some of these "confessions" are paraded before the public as proof of Morgan's murder. An examination of the several "confessions" proves nothing except the perversity of human nature. They exhibit such glaring inconsistencies that it is not possible to accept any of them as giving a true account of Morgan's disappearance.
There are alleged confessions of at least five individuals to be considered. The first was by R. H. Hill of Buffalo, who, on Oct. 16, 1827, shortly after the discovery of what proved to be Monro's body, confessed that he had murdered Morgan by cutting his throat. He was placed under arrest and was removed to Lockport for trial. His case was presented to the grand jury at the next session but the jury refused to indict him, and ordered his discharge on the ground that he was insane.
The next alleged confession was that of Richard Howard, reported by the notorious seceding Mason and exposé author, Avery Allyn. Allyn, in March, 1829, made affidavit that Howard had confessed "in February, or March, 1827," at a Masonic meeting in St. John's Hall in New York city, that he was one of the assassins of Morgan. Allyn further asserted that the Masons had furnished funds to pay for Howard's passage to Europe. This alleged confession, coming indirectly through such a person as Allyn, without satisfactory supporting evidence, can be given no credence.
Henry L. Valance's was the third confession which arrests attention. It did not appear in print until 1849, when it appeared in pamphlet form, allegedly "As Taken Down by John L. Emery, of Racine County, Wisconsin, in the Summer of 1848," when Valance was on his death bed. According to this confession, Morgan, with weights fastened to his body, was taken in a boat by three men and was pushed overboard into the Niagara River by Valance. The latter said that he had been a Canadian Mason, and was selected by lot to aid in the execution of Morgan. It is to be noted of Valance's confession that it does not agree with any of the others and is entirely unsupported. Certainly it does not harmonize with the "confession" of Samuel Chubbuck, who shortly before his death, June 4, 1881 stated that he, together with John Whitney and Colonel William King, had, on the night of Sept. 24, 1826, dropped a weighted "parcel" into the Niagara River, the "parcel" being Morgan's body. J. Ross Robertion, the historian of Canadian Masonry, is inclined to accept Chubbuck's "confession", but there is no more reason apparent for accepting it than any other "confession" .
JOHN WHITNEY'S STORY
The most widely heralded "confession" of the murder of Morgan is that of John Whitney. In fact, there are two alleged confessions by Whitney, the one related by Weed, and the other of a decidedly contradictory nature, told by Rob Morris. Unfortunately for Weed, he told his version of the Whitney "confession" too many times, exhibiting important discrepancies in his various stories. In 1875, 1879 and 1881, Weed gave out his alleged Whitney "confession" in newspaper interviews, and again, on Sept. 28, 1882, he told the story under oath for publication in the New York "Sun." A version of the "confession" was also contained in a letter written Sept. 9, 1882, at the request of the secretary of the National Christian Association, and read at the national convention at Batavia on Sept. 14, 1882, when the Morgan monument was dedicated. Weed's Autobiography, published in 1884, also contains the "confession", but in this case some glaring errors were corrected.
Stated briefly, Weed alleged that in 1831, in the presence of two witnesses, Whitney confessed to him that Morgan had been abducted with the intent of turning him over to Canadian Masons who were to settle him in Canada. After he had been taken to Ft. Niagara, the Canadian Masons refused to receive him. At about that time a large number of Masons assembled at Lewiston to install a Royal Arch Chapter  and, as a result of the Masonic enthusiasm generated by the occasion, five Masons, William King, John Whitney, [Richard or Henry?] Howard, Samuel Chubbuck and George Garsides, were impelled to leave the meeting, go to the fort, take Morgan in a boat, and throw him overboard into the Niagara River. Weed then related that he intended to get Whitney's signed confession, and visited him at Chicago in 1860, while attending the Republican National Convention. He left Chicago without securing the written confession, and when he wrote from Europe in 1861, he learned that Whitney was dead.  The fact remains that Whitney did not die until 1869, and this fact Weed evidently "discovered" after his story had been published in the newspapers, for in his Autobiography, he changed the date of his letter to Whitney to 1869. This discrepancy between the newspaper accounts and the Autobiography account is enough to cause Weed's story to be questioned. It is rather remarkable that Weed should have been so careless as to fail to secure a written confession from Whitney when the opportunity offered! As it is the confession is entirely unsupported, and as Weed was trying to justify the prominent part which he played in the Anti-Masonic movement, the alleged confession cannot be accepted.
But there is another reason for rejecting Weed's version of the Whitney "confession," and that is because Rob Morris published another Whitney "confession" which is in strong contrast to Weed's account. According to Morris, Whitney did not promise, in 1860, to furnish Weed with a written confession, but rather threatened Weed with violence if he did not desist from telling lies about him.
ROB MORRIS AND WHITNEY
The story of Morgan's disappearance, as Morris claimed that Whitney told it to him in 1859, was substantially as follows: When the agitation among the Masons commenced because of the rumors that Morgan was about to publish the Masonic secrets, Whitney and Nicholas G. Cheseboro formulated a plan for getting Morgan away from Batavia and carried out the plan with the help of a few other Masons. Whitney claimed, according to Morris, that Morgan agreed to depart, and the matter of having him arrested was devised as a means of getting him out of the Batavia "jail limits." It was asserted that Morgan was a willing party to all the transactions, that no force had to be employed, and that he was taken to Ft. Niagara which was reached without difficulty on Sept. 14, 1826. After that he was taken across the river accompanied by Whitney, Eli Bruce and Colonel William King, in a boat rowed by Elisha Adams and Edward Giddins, at the time engaged in operating a ferry near the fort. There, details of Morgan's disposal were developed with two Canadian Masons, who are unnamed, Morgan giving his assent to everything. For a few days Morgan remained in an empty powder magazine of the fort until, on the night of Sept. 17, the two Canadians came after him and conveyed him to the Canadian side, and, on the next night, accompanied him "to a point near the present city of Hamilton." Here Whitney asserted (according to Morris) that Morgan was left after signing a receipt for five hundred dollars and agreeing to remain in Canada until given permission by King, Bruce or Whitney "to change his location." After the excitement over Morgan's disappearance began in New York, preparations were made to bring Morgan back, but he had disappeared.
Unfortunately, this version of Whitney's "confession," like that related by Weed, is entirely unsupported. While it is at least as worthy of acceptance as the Weed version, one would be justified in rejecting it, providing he also rejected Weed's story. The historian must reject both of these alleged "confessions," together with the "confessions" of Hill, Howard, Valance and Chubbuck.
THE MYSTERY STILL UNSOLVED
Thus it is evident that the disappearance of Morgan remains yet to be explained, and the probability is that his ultimate fate will always remain an unsolved mystery. Perhaps in the future, stories  will be exhumed from the musty records of the past, telling how Morgan was murdered or how he fled to Smyrna in Asia Minor, or went to Holland and became a merchant, or went out west and became a chief among the Indians, or lived and died as a hermit in Northern Canada. But an examination of the tales will reveal that they belong to the mythology that early developed around Morgan and that they have little in them worthy of acceptance.
It is a sufficient commentary on the character of the Anti-Masonic leaders that they continued to freely assert that Morgan had been put to death by the Masons, though they knew full well that they had failed to prove their case. The shrewd individuals who were responsible for the development of Anti-Masonry were not inclined to be scrupulous on that point! They had found something that would appeal to the passions of the people and they made the most of it. Incidental to their main design of organizing what they expected to be a powerful Anti-Masonic political party, these leaders kept up as long as possible the excitement over Morgan's disappearance, encouraging the persecutions of Masons who were ministers and church members, and seeking to prevent Masons from serving on juries or holding public offices. It seems to be a justifiable conclusion that anti-Masons, disguising their ulterior motive of securing political power for themselves under a pretense of righteous indignation at a "murder" that they could not prove, sought to annihilate the Masonic Institution, using every means possible. How nearly they succeeded will be made clear later.
THE PERSISTENCE OF THE ACCUSATIONS
But before leaving the "Morgan Affair" itself, there is one more point that should be mentioned, and that is the fact that the charge that the Masonic Fraternity was responsible for the "murder" of Morgan persists to the present time. While this phase of the subject merits special attention, it may be briefly observed that when the original Anti-Masonic leaders laid down their mantles, their places were taken by a number of comparatively obscure individuals who have kept alive Anti-Masonry to the present day. Not content to repeat in public addresses and to circulate in pamphlets and through the columns of such periodicals as the "Christian Cynosure" the absurd and self-contradictory charges against the Masons, these modern Anti-Masons attained the height of the ridiculous when, in 1882, they dedicated a monument to William Morgan at Batavia.
The building of such a monument was suggested as early as 1828, but nothing definite was done until after the "National Association of Christians Opposed to Secret Societies" was organized at a convention held in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in May, 1868. This organization, which, in 1874, was incorporated in Illinois under the name of "The National Christian Association," undertook to make itself the successor of the Anti-Masonic party of the earlier period. It took advantage of interest aroused by the publication of Weed's versions of the alleged Whitney "confession" between 1875 and 1882 to raise the money for erecting the monument. On Sept. 11, 1882, the anniversary of Morgan's departure from Batavia, in connection with their fourteenth annual convention, held at Batavia, Sept. 8-13, "The National Christian Association" dedicated, to the accompaniment of eulogies of the "martyr" and condemnations of the Masons, a cylindrical granite shaft surmounted by a noble appearing figure purporting to be Morgans'.  Tablets bearing inscriptions were placed on each side of the base. The inscription on the first tablet, placed on the south side, reads as follows:
Sacred to the memory of William Morgan, a native of Virginia, a Captain of the War of 1812, a respectable citizen of Batavia, and a Martyr to the freedom of Writing, Printing and Speaking the Truth. He was abducted from near this spot in the Year 1826 by Freemasons, and murdered for revealing the Secrets of their Order.
Today as one passes by the Batavia Cemetery on a New York Central train, he may see this monument close at hand. It promises to stand for many years, a source of wonderment to those who do not know the history of the "Morgan Affair" and of amazement to the informed that such credulity could exist as to make possible its erection with the inscription quoted — words which Rob Morris denounced as "words of blackest falsehood."
- J. Hugo Tatsch, THE BUILDER, Aug., 1926. ↩
- The Grand Chapter, meeting at Albany, Feb. 6-10, 1827, approved this action and granted a Warrant to Lucius Smith, William Seaver, Henry Brown and others to hold a Chapter "by the name of Batavia Chapter, No. 122." Cf. Proceedings of the Grand Chapter, 1827, pp. 265, 268. ↩
- The complete list of those indicted was as follows: Elisha Adams, Noah Beach, Jerimiah Brown, Eli Bruce, John Butterfield, Nicholas G. Cheseboro, Samuel M. Chubbuck. Chauncey H. Coe, Francis H. Cummins, Jedediah Darrow, William Dover, Willard Eddy, Nathan Follett, James Ganson, James Gillis David Hogue, Holloway Hayward, Henry Howard, Hiram Hubbard, Ezekiel Jewett, Simeon B. Jewett, William King, James Lakey, Loton Lawson, Elihu Mather, Henry Maxwell, William Miller, Asa Nowlen, Blanchard Powers, Moses Roberts, Edward Sawyer, John Scofield, Timothy Shaw, John Sheldon, Harris Seymour, Norman Shepard, Burrage Smith, William R. Thompson, Orsamus Turner, John Whitney, Parkhurst Whitney, Solomon C. Wright and one other. Of these the following were brought to trial: Adams, Beach Brown, Bruce, Chubbuck, Coe, Darrow, Ganson, Gillis, Hayward, Howard, Hubbard, Ezekiel Jewett, Lakey, Lawson, Mather, Maxwell, Miller, Roberts, Sawver, Seymour, Sheldon, Shepard, Turner, both Whitneys and Wright. ↩
- On Sept. 12, 1826, Miller had been arrested by a posse, headed by a constable named Jesse French, on a warrant sworn out by his erstwhile partner, Johns, who had deserted him a few days earlier, and who was seeking to recover a sum of about forty dollars which he had advanced to Miller. The latter was taken before a magistrate at Le Roy but was released when Johns failed to appear against him. It was alleged that French attempted unsuccessfully to rearrest Miller when he started back to Batavia. For participations in these transactions French was sentenced in April, 1827, to serve a year in jail, and two companions, Roswell Wilcox and James Hurlburt, received sentences of six months and three months, respectively. ↩
- From 1806 to 1820, Clinton was Grand Master of the New York Grand Lodge; from 1799 to 1802 he was Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of New York, and from 1816 until his death he was General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the United States. At the time of his death he was also Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of New York. [The terminology used is that found in the early Proceedings.] ↩
- According to the newspaper accounts. The Autobiography version states that it was an Encampment of Knights Templar which attracted the Masons to Lewiston. ↩
- The authors are indebted to Bro. R. I. Clegg of Chicago for securing a copy of Whitney's burial record from the office of the Graceland Cemetery Co. This copy shows that Whitney died on May 2, 1869, at the age of seventy-four years. ↩
- Rob Morris said he had been told at least twenty stories, all of which purported to account for Morgan after his disappearance. ↩
- During the excitement the anti-Masons circulated a portrait purporting to be that of Morgan at work on his manuscript. There is evidence that it was fictitious. There are marked similarities between the intellectual looking figure portrayed and DeWitt Clinton; certainly the portrait was not Morgan's. ↩
Most accounts of the "Morgan Affair" are combined with narratives of its aftermath, such as the development of religious and political anti-Masonry. The general histories of the United States hardly mention Morgan. Brief accounts may be found in various Masonic histories, such as in the fourth volume of Robert Freke Gould's History of Freemasonry (New York, 1889), 4 v., and the seventh volume of Robert I. Clegg's revision of Mackey's History of Freemasonry (Chicago, 1921) 7 v. In the second volume of J. Ross Robertson's History of Freemasonry in Canada ... (Toronto, 1900) is found some interesting material, including an account of Chubbuck's alleged "confession."
Articles, based on original research easily accessible to Masons include: J. Hugo Tatsch's "An American Masonic Crisis: The Morgan Incident of 1826 and Its Aftermath," in Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076 (London), Vol. XXXIV (1921), pp. 196-209; [Erik McKinley Eriksson's] The Morgan Affair," in Masonic Service Association Speakers' Bulletin, No. 9 (1922), Emery B. Gibbs' "The Anti-Masonic Movement," in The Builder, Vol. 4 (December, 1918), pp 341-348.
J. C. Palmer's Morgan and Anti-Masonry (Washington 1924) is a small compilation included in the M.S.A. Little Masonic Library.
Charles McCarthy's "The Anti-Masonic Party," in American Historical Association Annual Report for 1902, Vol. pp. 365-574, gives but brief consideration to the "Morgan Affair."
The most useful account of the "Morgan Affair" by a Masonic writer is Rob Morris' William Morgan, Or Political Anti-Masonry, Its Rise, Growth and Decadence (New York 1883). This book of 398 pages contains a wealth of material but is poorly organized. It is to be greatly regretted that Morris was not trained in modern historical methods. Another interesting and useful work is Rob Morris' The Masonic Martyr. The Biography of Eli Bruce... (Louisville, Ky., 1861).
A very useful contemporary Masonic account is Henry Brown's Narrative Of The Anti-Masonick Excitement Western Part Of The State Of New York, During the Years 1826, '7, '8, And A Part Of 1829 (Batavia, N.Y., 1829) Huntington's The True History Regarding Alleged Connection Of The Order Of Ancient Free And Accepted Masons With The Abduction And Murder Of William Morgan... (New York, 1886) is also a book with a strong Masonic bias.
Henry O'Reilly's American Political Anti-Masonry, With Its "Good-Enough Morgan" (New York, 1880), 55 pp., is a highly impassioned pamphlet directed against Weed by the man who was editor of the "Rochester Daily Advocate," 1826-1830
Other works on the subject by Masonic writers include A. P. Bentley's History Of The Abduction Of William Morgan (Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, 1874); John Riggs Crandall's The Morgan Episode (a brief pamphlet published by The Committee On Antiquities Of The Grand Lodge Of The state Of New York, 1907); and Peter Ross' "The Morgan Craze," in the Miscellany Of The Masonic Historical Society Of The State Of New York, 1902, pp. 5-29, This last work contains a lengthy bibliography.
On the anti-Masonic side the more useful sources are William L. Stone's Letters On Masonry And Anti-Masonry, Addressed To The Hon. John Quincy Adams (New York, 1832), The Autobiography Of Thurlow Weed (Boston, 1884), edited by Harriet A. Weed, and its companion volume, The Memoir Of Thurlow Weed (Boston, 1884), edited by Thurlow Weed Barnes. Also of considerable value is William H. Seward: An Autobiography From 1801 To 1834 With A Memoir Of His Life. And Selections From His Letters 1831-1846 (New York, 1891), edited by Frederick W. Seward.
A widely circulated pamphlet, first published by order of the "Morgan Committees," and still being circulated by present-day Anti-Masonic agencies, is A Narrative Of The Facts And Circumstances Relating To The Kidnapping And Presumed Murder of Wm. Morgan (Rochester, N. Y., 1827), 84 pp.
Worthy of mention chiefly because of its rarity and because of its publication in Europe is a 256-page book entitled Free Masonry Exposed: A Narrative Of The Seduction And Murder Of Wiiliam Morgan, For Threatening To Divulge The Pretended Secrets Of Free Masonry. With An Account Of The Trials, Acquittal, And Condemnation Of Many Of Those Implicated In The Horrible Transaction (Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, 1836).
Concise summaries of the "Morgan trials" are contained in Frederick Whittlesey's "Report On The Abduction And Murder Of William Morgan" and John C. Spencer's "Report On The History Of Judicial Proceedings" [relating to alleged offenders in the Morgan Affair], contained in the Proceedings of the 1830 and 1831 Anti-Masonic national conventions, respectively.
Other anti-Masonic sources are Samuel D. Greene's The Broken Seal; Or, Personal Reminiscences Of The Morgan Abduction And Murder (Boston, 1870) and a pamphlet entitled Appeal Of Samuel D. Greene (Boston, 1834), 64 pp.
Other special pamphlets used are Trial of Parkhurst Whitney, Timothy Shaw, Noah Beach, William Miller, and Samuel M. Chubbuck (Lockport, N.Y., 1831), 63 pp.; Confession Of The Murder Of William Morgan As Taken Down By Dr. John L. Emery, Of Racine County, Wisconsin, In The Summer of 1848, Now First Given To The Public (New York, 1849), 24 pp., purporting to be the confession of Henry L. Valance and A Supplementary Report Of The Committee Appointed To Ascertain The Fate Of Capt. William Morgan (Rochester, N.Y., 1827).
Much interesting information relative to "Morgan trials" and other phases of the subject was gleaned from various newspapers and periodicals of the period, including: "The Craftsman," 1829, 1830, published at Rochester; the "American Masonick Record," 1827-1832, published at Albany; "The Masonic Mirror and Mechanic's Intelligencer," 1824-1828; "The Amaranth or Masonic Garland," 1828, 1829; and "The Masonic Mirror," New Series, 1829-1833. The last three were published at Boston by Charles W. Moore and Edwin Sevey. Moore rendered great service to the Masonic cause at the time. Later, from 1842 to 1873, he edited the "Freemason's Monthly Magazine," at Boston.
No enumeration of exposés, including that by Morgan which was published, is included here as this phase of the subject will be dealt with later. There are numerous other sources, dealing with special phases of the anti-Masonic excitement, that will also be cited later.
The authors wish to make special acknowledgment to Bro. William L. Boyden, librarian of the Library of the Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, 33° Southern Jurisdiction, Washington, D.C., who placed valuable material at their disposal.
* * *
A correspondent proposes the following inquiry:
"It is said that every lodge has six jewels, three immovable and three movable — the Square, Level, Plumb, Rough Ashlar, Perfect Ashlar and Trestle Board. Now which of these do you consider the immovable and which the movable jewels?"
The National Masonic Convention, held at Baltimore, in May, 1843, decided that the first three were the immovable jewels. They are the permanent and unchangeable jewels of the lodge, and can never be taken or removed from their proper places, to be worn by officers of inferior rank, or who are acting in any other capacities than those indicated by the jewels. They belong permanently and immovably to the three principal chairs or offlces. The Square, removed from its proper position, or out of its true angle, is no longer a Square, and the same is true of the Plumb and Level.
The above are some of the reasons we have heard urged in support of the decision of the Convention, which we believe now to be the general practice of the country. We are free to admit that we do not attach much importance to the reasoning; nor do we think it very essential whether the first or last three be considered the immovable jewels. It is desirable, however, that there should be uniformity, and as the Convention decided the question in the manner stated, the lodges have very properly, as a general thing, felt bound to abide by that decision.
— The Freemasons' Monthly Magazine, Vol. VII (1847).
* * *
YE OLD REFRESHMENT DAYS
Bro. William L. Boyden, Washington, D.C.
THE custom of having refreshments in the lodge dates back to the days of the medieval gilds, when they celebrated their annual meetings with a feast. Toulmin-Smith, in his history of English gilds, says that the day of the feast was usually the day of the saint to which the gild, if it had a saint's name, was dedicated. "It was then that the brethren and sistern being all assembled, gave their alms, and feasted together, for the nourishing of brotherly love."
Dr. Robert Plot, in his Natural History of Staffordshire, printed in 1686, referring to the customs of the county, among them being that of "making Masons," says:
When any are admitted, they call a meeting (or Lodg as they term it in some places ... and entertain with a collation according to the custom of the place: this ended they proceed to the admission of them.
In the diary of Elias Ashmole, referring to a lodge meeting which he attended in London, in 1682, he says:
We all dined at the Half Moon Tavern in Cheapside, at a noble Dinner prepared at the Charge of the new accepted Masons.
We quote from Bro. John T. Thorp's article on Masonic Convivialities, in the Transactions of the Lodge of Research, No. 2429, Leicester, England:
We are justified in assuming, therefore, that from very early times a feast formed a part in some cases no doubt, a very important part, of the proceedings at the periodical assemblies of the Masons. Of what the refreshments consisted in these very early times, we have now very little means of judging. The fare varied probably, according to the position and wealth of the members, from the "Noble dinner" of Ashmole, to the humble bread and cheese supper, following in one case by port wine and rum punch, and in the other by ale, brandy and pipes.
It is quite probable that the custom originally arose in a veritable necessity, for doubtless many members of the early lodges came considerable distances, on horseback or on foot, to attend the meetings, and it was an absolute necessity that they should be provided with some refreshment on their arrival, or before setting out on their return journey. The Junior Warden's "call off" then was of practical value and significance, and not as in later times very frequently a mere symbolic allusion.
From the quotation in Plot's book and from other sources, it would seem that the brethren partook of their refreshments before they entered upon their "work," and not as in later days, after the work was over.
WHERE THEY ATE
In the olden days most of the lodges met in taverns or inns, the landlord generally being a member of the Craft, and he usually attended to the "inner man," serving the refreshments either in the regular dining hall or set it out in the lodge room. The Stewards of the lodge had the arrangements in charge, and it was under their direction that the banquet, dinners or other meals were provided. Bro. Heiron in his history of Old Dundee Lodge, London, referring to the period of about 1763, gives an idea of the lodge at refreshment:
It is easy to reconstruct the scene: the tables (having six leaves) set out on tressels in the middle of the Lodge; at first the brethren were seated on chairs at these tables, but as the membership increased forms were provided in place of the chairs as being more convenient and leaving a larger space for the ceremoniesbut it will be remembered that, as our Lodge room from 1763 to 1820 was 44 feet long by 2.5 feet wide, and 15 feet high, there was plenty of room available for these tables.
Thirty yards of bordered green cloth were purchased (1790) to cover same with, and on these tables were placed the bowls of steaming punch, bottles of wine, rum, Hollands, brandy, sugar, lemons, nutmegs, and glasses; and for the smokers, "churchwardens," screws of tobacco (called "papers"), and pipe lights were supplied; it being remembered that smoking and drinking were also allowed in Grand Lodge for many years. When food was served, white table-cloths, napkins, and knives and forks were laid our own charlady (a Mrs. Benning in 1801) assisting to wash and iron the napery for our brethren.
Some of the lodges had regulations in their by-laws with respect to eating and drinking in the lodge. St. John's Lodge of Boston as early as 1733 had the following by-law:
III. No brother or brothers shall set any victuals in the lodge room while the lodge is open without the leave of the Master or Wardens, nor call for any liquor or tobacco without leave as aforesaid.
Rural Philanthropic Lodge, No. 291, Highbridge, had this by-law in 1793:
VI. That the Stewards do keep an account of all food or liquor brought into the lodge each night, and demand the bill in due season and that the whole night's expenses do not exceed one shilling and sixpence each (visiting fees and nights of making excepted) and that the bill be discharged each night before ten o'clock. Any liquor brought into the lodge after that time shall be paid for by the person ordering the same, and if the Steward neglects his duties (as above) he shall pay all extra expenses himself.
It is evident that refreshments were often provided at the funeral of a deceased brother, as witness the following from Richmond Lodge, No. 10, Richmond, Virginia, under date of May 5, 1818:
The Steward's bill amounting to ... including refreshments for the funeral of Bro. Robert Mayo, ordered to be paid.
One of the rules of the old Grand Lodge at York, in 1725, provides:
4. The bowl shall be filled at the monthly lodges with punch once, Ale, bread, Cheese, and Tobacco in common, but if anything more shall be called for by any brother, either for eating or drinking, that brother so calling shall pay for it himself besides his club.
It was probably to prevent a too liberal after-dinner indulgence at the common expense that the Lodge of Edinburgh, in arranging for the annual festival of 1741 resolved
that in place of tickets each brother at his entry to the Chapel shall pay one shilling sterling for eating and ale or small beer, and to pay for what wyne or punch they think fitt to call for; and that the theasurer [treasurer] furnish coall and candle on the public expenses of the lodge.
A lodge in Pennsylvania evidently had to "go slow" on expenses, for while it probably had ale or beer as a matter of course, a motion was made Dec. 14, 1763, that
Bro. Phoenix is desired to supply the lodge with a good cheese & one bag of Buttered biscuit.
In the Royal York Lodge, London, the early reference to the lodges' gastronomic relaxations are confined to vague mentions of refreshments and supper; but at a Lodge of Emergency, held in December, 1785, the Secretary throws off his reserve and confides to posterity the solid fact that the brothers agreed
to sup on Saint John's Day at half after 7 on pickled pork, leg of mutton and fowls.
Dec. 27, 1796, the following payments are noted:
House Bill 3 15s 5d., Brandy 1s 6d.; an other bottle 3s 6d., total 4s 5d. Cook 2s 6d., maid 2s 6d.; waiter 5s.; Tyler 5s., total 4 15s 5d.
The Lodge of Emulation, London, evidently had a special treat, for under date of July 20, 1789, the Secretary records:
The thanks of the lodge were drank with the Honours of Masonry to Bro. Delamore for his handsome present of a fine Turtle which they had just been partaking of.
Here is another lodge that evidently had to curtail its refreshment expenses, namely, Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 4, Providence, Rhode Island, for in 1805 it was
Voted that Bro. Steward be requested to procure a tin cheese box.
An extract from one of the old minutes of Jerusalem Lodge, London, contains the following:
The Brethren, This evening (This being Election night for Master, Wardens & Treasurer) having been Geenteely Entertained by Bro. Haughton with Roast Chimes, Fowls and Turkeys, Boiled Fowls, Pudding Pies &c, they collected 1 shilling Each being 42 Present which was disposed of, viz. James 10s 6d.; Cook 10s 6d.; House Maid, 10s 6d.; Barr Maid 7s 6d.; 1 Boy 2s.; 3 Porters 3s.
At the annual feast of Old Dundee Lodge, London, June 23, 1748, there were eleven members and two visitors present. Here is the expense of the menu:
|6 ducks||9 0s. 1d.|
|Ham 18 lbs. at 4½d.||8 3s. 2d.|
|Necks veal, 15, at 4½d.||5s. 7d.|
|Wine||1 3s. 0d.|
|Sugar and lemons||3s. 6d.|
|Beer and tobacco||4s. 6d.|
|Beans 6 Qts.; Pease 6 Qts||6s. 0d.|
|4 7s. 4d.|
FINES AND EXPULSIONS
It would seem to us that some of the old lodges were unusually harsh with their members when it came to a matter of eating. The Lodge of Felicity, at London, enacted this by-law:
22nd. That no member whatsoever shall be allowed the Privilege of eating anything in the Lodge Dureing Lodge Hours (without the Master's leave) penalty a bottle of wine.
In Solomon's Lodge, Poughkeepsie, New York, Oct. 3, 1785, Bro. Brooks was fined to the extent of one shilling, for not attending lodge and keeping the keys of the Refreshment Closet.
Temple Lodge, Albany, New York, on March 19, 1800, passed the following:
Resolved, That some brother be appointed to procure refreshments for this Lodge consisting of good brandy, spirits, crackers and cheese, for which he shall collect one shilling from each member and visitor partaking of the same, and, for every neglect, he shall forfeit and pay the Sum of 25 cents into the Treasury unless a reasonable excuse can be given.
Dumfries Kilwinning Lodge, No. 53 (formerly the Old Lodge of Dumfries), Scotland, had as one of its by-laws:
16th. That any member, within the District of Masonry who does not dine annually with the Lodge upon St. John's Day, shall pay one shilling for his dinner, or be expelled.
As time went on the lodges for various reasons began to economize. Old Colony Lodge, Hingham, Massachusetts, Jan. 10, 1793
Voted, Not to have any refreshments but liquors and crackers and cheese.
The Lodge of St. Andrew, Boston, Nov. 28, 1809:
Voted, that the refreshments for the ensuing year be tongues and bread.
In 1833, St. James' Lodge, Scotland, resolved that "a fourpenny pie and a bottle of toddy" shall be the fare of each brother at the feast of St. John, and in 1843, owing to the lack of funds, it was resolved that every Mason be furnished with "a 4d. pie and a bottle of ale for every two."
Columbian Lodge was one of the first of the Masonic bodies in Boston which discontinued the habitual use of refreshments. Except on rare occasions the practice has since 1810 been entirely suspended. Early in that year its discontinuance was agreed upon for four months, and at the expiration of that term refreshments were prohibited for another period of four months. At the close of the year the office of closet steward was virtually abolished, and the by-law demanding a fee of visitors rescinded. The custom was discontinued in Massachusetts Lodge about 1822, both solid and liquid. In Corinthian Lodge, Concord, Massachusetts, March 24, 1823, Bro. Asa Bigelow offered the following resolution which was unanimously adopted:
That this Lodge abolish the practice of using refreshments, (except it be on some special occasion) at our regular communications.
Montgomery Lodge, Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1818, wanted to turn over a new leaf in reference to the use of liquors, for a motion was then made
That no spirituous liquors should be brought into the Lodge in the future.
This motion was amended at the next stated meeting, Feb. 4, 1818, so as to provide
That no fermented or spirituous liquors, bread, butter, or beef nor any other kind of refreshment except water, should be brought into the Lodge in the future.
Some of the brethren visiting Washington Lodge, Philadelphia, Dec. 12, 1819, evidently did not like the looks of the "eats," for the Secretary says:
After the Lodge had closed and the brethren had retired to the banquet room, seven of the visiting brethren refused to partake of the refreshments prepared for the occasion, and, after demanding their money back (which was promptly returned) they retired.
Among the provisions for refreshments adopted by Alexandria Washington Lodge, No. 22, at Alexandria, Virginia, on Dec. 26, 1789, is the following:
4th. That the "Caterers," for the time being shall be restricted to the following articles, viz.: good spirits, loaf sugar, best cheese, superfine crackers, or bread, and dried venison mutton or bacon-hams; and that the said "Caterers" shall forfeit and pay the sum of three shillings for every neglect of duty.
Later, the brethren of the lodge had an understanding that each one in his turn was to provide refreshments for the lodge at his own expense. Under this arrangement it became Bro. William Hodgson's "turn" to provide an entertainment on the 25th of May, 1793. Bro. Hodgson was a well-to-do member and much was expected of him, and hence on this occasion a goodly number of the brethren were present to partake of an anticipated rare treat; but Bro. Hodgson, not having the fear of the lodge before his eyes, neglected to make provision for the evening, and on this announcement being made the brethren waxed wroth, and showed their displeasure by adopting the following resolution:
It appearing that William Hodgson, whose duty it was to furnish refreshments for this night, hath neglected the same notwithstanding he had received due information thereof the Secretary is ordered forthwith to communicate to Bro. Hodgson, the displeasure which the Lodge feels in consequence of his delinquency, together with the earnest solicitations that he may he more mindful of that duty in the future.
* * *
THE RITE OF STRICT OBSERVANCE
Bro. Burton E. Bennett, Washington
The system of the Strict Observance grew out of what is known as Templarism. Templar Masonry commenced to grow up in France soon after true Freemasonry was introduced. This was about 1725. However, no Grand Lodge was established till 1752. It is not till then that we are on sure footing. What went before can only be approximated. The Strict Observance as a separate system was formed in Germany and dates from about 1748. It was produced by a process of evolution. The Strict Observance, and our present Knights Templar Masonry, cannot be reliably understood without knowing something out the Crusades, and with the three great orders that they produced, the Teutonic Knights, the Hospitallers and the Knights Templar.
The Crusades were a series of wars carried on by Western Europe to recover the Holy Land from the Moslems. They began in the 11th century and extended over a period of some five hundred years. The Christian Crusades utterly broke down in 1449, and in 1453 Constantinople fell before the Mohammedans. It has ever since remained under Moslem rule, as has the Holy Land, and all of Asia Minor, till the end of the Great War. During all of the time of the Crusades the Church of Rome largely governed the Western World. The Crusades mightily changed European History.
In one sense of the word the Crusades were a continuation of the age-old fight of the East against the West, and while, apparently, the West started it, and it was carried on offensively, still it was really defensive — the Christian world trying to stem the onrush of the Moslem hordes. It was a religious war — a war between the Christian and the Infidel. It was an attempt of the Roman Church, as a temporal power, to conquer the world with the sword, just as the Moslems were trying to do. It failed. The Moslems nearly succeeded in their aim. They took all of Asia Minor, all of civilized Africa, Sicily and other Mediterranean islands and even Spain in the West. They took a great part of Eastern Europe and reached as far West as Vienna. Here in 1683 they were finally stopped. But for the Crusades it is possible that they might have entirely overrun the Western World and suppressed the Christian religion, or, at least, absorbed it entirely within their system. The impartial student of history, comparing the civilization of the Moors in Spain with that of the Church and its Inquisition, which replaced it, must decide that the former was, by far, the preferable. The civilization of Medieval Europe certainly had little to commend it. However, taking a broad survey there can be no question that it is a mighty blessing that the West prevailed over the East, as it always had before, and that the beneficent religion of Christ was not replaced by the religion of Mahomet. No handicap, however great, can permanently stand before the onward progress of the Western division of the Aryan people, their intellect has become too great for this; too many brains stand at the perpendicular.
The Hejira took place in 622. Omar took Jerusalem in 637, and in Moslem hands it remained till the end of the first Crusade. The Church of the Sepulchre was fanatically destroyed in 1010. In 1071 the Seljukian Turks captured Jerusalem. Till then pilgrimages to the Holy Land were fairly easy and especially so up to the final separation of the Eastern and Western Churches in 1054. Now not only were the native Christians persecuted, but the Pilgrim Christians as well.
THE CAUSES OF THE CRUSADES
It has been stated that the purpose of the Crusades was to recover the sepulchre of Christ from the Infidel. The underlying causes, however, were deeper and far greater. They were, (1) the desire of the Papacy for conquest, (2) the desire of the mercantile classes to open up trade routes to the East, (3) the desire of the Byzantine emperors to recover their lost territories and (4) the desire of princes to carve new kingdoms out of the East.
The barbarians who overran the Roman Empire had hardly become settled among the ruins they had caused, and commenced to repair them, when Scandinavian pirates sailed up their rivers and sacked and plundered their towns just as they had sacked and plundered the mighty cities of the Empire. Some of these pirates finally settled down in Northern France and established the Dukedom of Normandy. In 1066 the Norman Duke, William the Bastard, conquered England and established his kingdom of England. In 1090 the Norman Duke Roger conquered Sicily from the Moslems and established his kingdom there. The Norman Duke Godfrey was one of the commanders in the first Crusade. On July 15, 1099, Godfrey took Jerusalem, and while the shrieks of the dying were heard and the rivers of blood still gurgled and eddied, he founded his Norman kingdom of Jerusalem. The traders, the princes, the Emperor and the Pope devoutly thanked God for the successful termination of so glorious a cause. But the Crusades for the purpose of conquering the world for Christianity, and extirpating the Infidel, was a complete failure. However, good came out of them — incalculable good. They helped to dissolve feudalism, to develop trade, to build up cities and to increase knowledge. It would be foolish to say that they were the cause of all this, but they certainly contributed toward it.
But above all, by far, they show the strivings of man for an ideal, for the infinite, for immortality, as nothing on this earth has ever done before or since; they attempted to answer the age-old question as it has never been done before nor since — can mortality be shaken off for immortality, can the finite be merged in the infinite?
MILITARY ORDERS OF THE CRUSADES
The Crusades produced the Teutonic Knights, the Hospitallers and the Knights Templar, and thus Templar Masonry, and so, in one sense of the word, they are the cause of the Strict Observance.
The Teutonic Knights of St. Mary's Hospital of Jerusalem was one of the three great religious and military orders produced by the Crusades. It was founded during the third Crusade, and was the last one formed. Its hospital was founded by Germans. Very early in the history of the Order its members were all ennobled, and they have remained so ever since. It was never a universal Order, like the Templars and the Hospitallers. It was strictly national in character. Like the other two Orders it began as a charitable society, passed into a military one and finally reached sovereign power. In 1291 it was expelled by the Moslems from the Holy Land. In 1309 it established itself in what is now Marienburg, West Prussia. It had begun its work, however in Eastern Germany a hundred years before for the purpose of subduing and converting the heathens. The Knightly Order of Dobrzin, founded for the purpose of conquering the heathen Prussians, was merged in the Teutonic Knights in 1235, just as an older organized for the same purpose, was merged in it years before. The Order finally became a governing aristocracy, holding its lands in Eastern Germany as a fief of the Pope of Rome. The Grand Master became in reality a king with the Pope as Emperor. However, the monarch, if such it may be called, a limited one as a council of brethren had to be consulted in all affairs. The state was really the church, and the government was ecclesiastical in character. The country was governed somewhat as the States of the Church in Italy were governed before 1871, when the temporal power of the Pope was abolished. The greater part of their subjects were the conquered Prussian heathens from whom the present peasants are descended. They were serfs bound to the soil. 0f course their souls were now safe, but the only earthly right, if right it could be called, that they obtained through their conversion, was the right to work for the Knights, their masters, and fight for them in time of war.
The Order reached its height in the latter part of the 14th century. Its very rights weighted it down. Its neighbors envied its wealth, and wanted its territories. The Hundred Years War weakened it. Poland finally got West Prussia, and while East Prussia was left to the Knights, Poland became its overlord. Lutherism gave it its final blow. When the Hohenzollern Albert, Grand Master of the Order, turned Protestant, he secularized its territories into a Duchy under Poland. Later on all of the country East of Germany was secularized and the Order confined wholly to Germany. The German Grand Master became a Prince of the Empire.
The Order still continued on in its conservatism, always claiming its old rights. It maintained itself from its still large revenues from its estates in different parts of Germany. During the French Revolution, however, it was deprived of all of its estates, which went to the different principalities in which they were situated. It was suppressed in 1809, but in 1840 it was revived in Austria under the patronage of the Emperor of Austria, and so continued down to the ending of the Great War.
THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA
The Hospitallers, known officially as "Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem," was founded at Jerusalem during the first Crusade. It has been known also as "Knights of Rhodes", and as the "Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta." It was at first a charitable Order, while the Templars was from the first a military one. With the fall of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem in 1291, the Knights retired to the island of Rhodes. In 1522 the Turks finally took Rhodes, and the Hospitallers removed to Malta. Here they remained till 1793, when Napoleon took Malta, and added it to the French Republic. This ended it as a sovereign power. While the Knights had to leave Malta, shorn of their old power and great wealth, they still continued on in different countries. The Knights took with them from Malta their precious relics — chief among them being the hand of St. John the Baptist, the miraculous image of Our Lady of Pherlemon, and a fragment of the true cross.
Some of the Knights went to Russia and elected the Emperor Paul I Grand Master, and the then Grand Master, Hompesch, resigned in his favor. A chapter of the Knights granted the Pope of Rome authority to name a Grand Master, which he did. When this Grand Master died the head of the Order was called a Lieutenant Grand Master till 1879, when Leo XIII restored the ancient title of Grand Master. The Order of St. Anthony and St. Lazarus were united to the Hospitalers in 1782.
The oldest house of the Order was in France. It is still occupied by the Order. In Italy and Germany it is now called the "Sovereign Order of Malta." Applicants for knighthood must have sixteen quarterings of nobility and in Austria, before the Great War, also, the consent of the Emperor. The Grand Cross of the Order is a gold white enameled Maltese cross surmounted by a crown. There are two Protestant Orders of St. John of Jerusalem, branches of the parent Order — one in Germany and the other in England. These chapters joined in the Reformation, but for a long time continued their contributions to the head of the Order.
In Prussia members of the Order must be Protestants of noble birth and belong to the Evangelical Church. The Grand Cross there is a Maltese cross of white enameled gold with four black eagles between the arms. Since the Great War the Order has worked for the restoration of the monarchy. In 1924 von Hindenburg officiated at the knighting ceremonies of the Knights of St. John, but after he was elected president of the German Republic he told the Knights that he "resigned his functions." In 1925 as president of the republic he forbade the former kaiser's son, Eitel Frederick, to officiate at the knighting ceremonies and ordered that they be held in a small chapel at Sonnenberg, instead of in the monarchist church at Potsdam, as usual.
In England the Order was never formally suppressed, and in 1888 Queen Victoria granted it a charter. In 1889 King Edward VII, then Prince of Wales was made Grand Prior. In Great Britain, as in Prussia, the sovereign is the head of the Order, and the heir to the throne Grand Prior. In England it is an aristocratic Order, but not to the extent that it is in Prussia. While members do not have to be Protestants they must believe in Christianity. The Grand Cross in Great Britain is, of course, the gold white enameled Maltese cross, but between the arms are placed two lions and two unicorns.
The first photograph ever taken of a chapter in session appeared in the London Graphic of Sept. 13, 1924. It was one of a meeting of the Priory of Wales at Powis Castle, Welshpool. It shows Knights and Esquires on the steps of the castle in full regalia, including the Right Honorable Lord Kylsant, Sub-Prior for Wales, who deputized for the Prince of Wales, who is Grand Prior.
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The moment you abate anything from the full rights of men to each govern himself, and suffer any artificial positive limitation upon those rights, from that moment the whole organization of government becomes a consideration of convenience
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Bro. Frederic E. Manson, Pennsylvania
THROUGH its Committee on Lectures the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania is carrying on a campaign of Masonic education, utilizing 100 lecturers who follow approved lecture "outlines", and Bulletins dealing particularly with Masonic history symbolism and philosophy with special reference to the Pennsylvania Ritual. These Bulletins are approved by the R. W. Grand Master, and are used in the Subordinate Lodges, more or less as text-books. Bulletin No. 6, "Masonic Objection," written by Past Master, Bro. Frederic E. Manson, chairman of the Committee on Lectures, contains subject matter of so much importance that it seemed desirable to give the benefit of it to members of other Jurisdictions. At the request of The Builder the committee, through its chairman, has most kindly given permission for its reproduction here.
WHAT constitutes a "Masonic Objection" is not clear to many members of the Craft. Consulting the Ahiman Rezon they find that to a petitioner whom they may regard "unworthy" they may make objection orally, by written communication, or by blackball. Referring to the Digest of Decisions they discover no definition except those implied in Article 412, which refers to intoxication, Article 179 relating to legitimacy of birth, and Article 596, which pertains to literacy. Consequently they determine whether a petitioner is "worthy" very largely on absence of information to the contrary, or regard him "unworthy" because of statements concerning him which may or may not be based on fact, and for which no one in particular may be responsible. Too frequently brethren deem petitioners "unworthy" because of purely personal reasons which do not deserve Masonic recognition, much less consideration. Masonic objection may seldom be predicated on personal reasons.
Both the Ahiman Rezon and Grand Masters in their edicts assume that as brethren know the ritualistic work and traditions of the Craft, they should not need definition of either "Masonic Objection," or "Masonic Reason." Such assumption is entirely reasonable for Masons are pre-supposed to know Masonry and, if they do not, their ignorance is not the fault of the Grand Masters, much less of the Ahiman Rezon. It is because of lack of such knowledge that the following observations are made. These observations begin with the form of petition with which every Mason should be thoroughly acquainted.
In filling out a petition to a Masonic lodge for initiation and membership every candidate states his age, place of birth, place of residence, and length of residence.
Again he asserts that he is free by birth, i. e., that he is born of lawful wedlock and under civil law is the peer of his fellows.
Further, he declares that he applies not because he has been solicited, nor is actuated by mercenary or improper motives, but because he has conceived a favorable opinion of the institution, and desires knowledge.
Finally, he declares his belief in a Supreme Being, without which no man ever should be made a Mason.
If in making these several statements the petitioner has deliberately misrepresented, he himself has created cause for Masonic objection.
But before we dismiss consideration of the form of petition let us remember that the candidate is required to sign it. Possibly brethren have thought that signature is merely identification of the petitioner, as he has stated that he has or has not petitioned before; or evidence of authority for all statements made. But it is also evidence of his literacy. No illiterate man is regarded as eligible to Freemasonry.
While in Pennsylvania there has been no ruling regarding illiteracy, other than that of Grand Master Henderson, the Grand Lodge of England has officially commented quite extensively on the inability of candidates to write. Among other things it said: "Any individual who cannot write is consequently ineligible to be initiated into the Order." Similar rulings obtain in other Grand Jurisdictions. In Pennsylvania a petitioner must sign his own name to the petition, and should do so in the presence of his recommenders.
Other deductions might be made from the form of petition were it proper to do so in print; but consideration should be given to the report of the Investigating Committee, charged with determining the petitioner's character, position in society, and fitness to be made a Mason.
Note these three specifications — "character," what the man really is; "position in society," his ability to afford Masonry without financial injury to family, or anybody else; and "fitness to be made a Mason," his moral and physical condition in detail. Here may or may not be grounds for further Masonic objection, and the committee's report should fully assure the lodge one way or the other. If for any reason it fail to do so, any member possessing positive knowledge becomes responsible for the welfare of the lodge.
REPUTATION AND CHARACTER
But sometimes reputation is confused with character. Reputation is not necessarily what a man is, more frequently what people think he is, perhaps from his words and acts. And these may be misconstrued, misinterpreted, even misrepresented because of some peculiarity of the man on the one hand, and of prejudice of his fellows on the other. Consequently reputation if subject to criticism should beyond a reasonable doubt be determined in justice to both the petitioner and Freemasonry, as to whether or not it reflects his true character. Only when this cannot be done may there be reason for Masonic objection.
But when investigating committees do report in favor of the petitioner, and brethren use the blackball, the latter assume tremendous responsibility, to both petitioner and Freemasonry; indeed, may violate their own Masonic obligations.
Again, standing in society has been stressed as financial, rather than social or civic. While no man who cannot afford it should be initiated into Freemasonry, even a man of unimpeachable moral character may not promise to be a desirable member of the lodge. Consequently his social and civic standing is important, too; his attitude toward whatever makes for progress and uplift, his service to his fellows, his influence upon the community. A man who is generally recognized to be of little consequence to society may reasonably be adjudged of little consequence to Masonry, for Masonry demands personality.
But beyond all this the committee is charged with determining the candidate's "fitness to be made a Mason," a phrase of greater purport than appears on the face of it. He may pass every test previously discussed and not that which this imposes and continues to impose until he may be raised a Master Mason. It is necessary to emphasize the landmarks as regards age, sex, soundness in all members, possession of his senses; it is well, too, to stress dependence on God as well as belief in Him, ability to control his tongue, to yield obedience, and to keep himself chaste as well as to protect the chastity of the other sex. But gaining membership "under the tongue of good Masonic report," he must give assurance that he will continue under such report, else he discredits the Craft. He must reasonably be expected to keep all his covenants, else he dishonors the Fraternity.
Finally, in the obligation of the Third Degree there are prohibitions each and every one of which is basis for Masonic objection, indeed makes objection obligatory upon every member of the Craft.
PAST RECORD OF THE CANDIDATE
Naturally the question arises as to whether or not a candidate's character, position in society, etc., in the past, if not what they should have been, should be taken into consideration even though he has reformed and become a good citizen. Here is opportunity for charity but judgment should direct charity. It depends very much on what the record is and how complete the reformation has been, also on whether or not, if the reformation has been complete, initiation and membership would prejudice the Craft. Several cases of this kind have occurred in our own Jurisdiction, and they have been disposed of on their merits. In another Jurisdiction the "present fitness" of the petitioner was debated in "open" lodge. When justice to all concerned can be tempered with mercy, Masonry may exercise charity.
It must now be obvious that definition of "Masonic Objection" or "Masonic Reason" lies in Masonry itself, not in the Ahiman Rezon, nor in the edicts of the Grand Masters. Consequently it must appear to every thinking Mason that if he is thoroughly to understand the terms he must know what Masonry is, what its purpose, its ritual, usages and traditions. In previous Bulletins these matters have been discussed but it can here be said that no member of a Masonic lodge can create a Masonic objection to a petitioner, the objection must have been created, directly or indirectly, by the petitioner himself. What is more to the point, any brother who attempts to do so lays his Masonry open to question. Ordinary personal differences between brethren have no place in the lodge, nor those between brethren and the profane. No brother has any "right" to raise Masonic objection that is not inherent in Masonry, Masonic law and tradition, and cannot be protected in any assumed right — only in such right as Masonry itself gives him. It is Masonic right with which every Grand Master's edict is concerned and none other.
THE RIGHT OF OBJECTION
Evidently if a Mason expects protection in his exercise of any Masonic right he must personally and not by proxy exercise the right; that is, he cannot ask a brother Mason to act for him for any reason whatever. While the brother so acting may not be questioned by the Master or by any member of the lodge, the fact remains that he has in thus assuming responsibility for another violated Masonic ethics, possibly violated the obligations of a Master Mason. A Mason who knows a petitioner to be "unworthy" has an obligation to himself, to his lodge, and to Masonry in general which only he can and should discharge. Only by discharging his obligation himself can he claim protection of his right of objection.
One of the most unethical uses of the right of objection is when a member assumes the personal prejudices of a brother member against a petitioner, and worse when he prevents him from becoming a Mason because of the dislike of a friend not a member of the Craft. In doing either the one or the other he forfeits not only protection of right of objection, but also the right itself, laying himself open to charges and discipline for a Masonic offense. Yet Masons sometimes so far forget Masonic law as to commit this offense, which in several cases has resulted in their expulsion from Masonry.
Finally, no Mason has any right, much less protection in assumption of right of objection when he predicates protest against a petitioner on any personal dislike, prejudice or animosity to or regarding him, that would not, if impartially investigated, affect the petitioner's character, standing in society, or fitness to be made a Mason. To make this clear let us cite a case from a sister Jurisdiction. "A" who was a Mason and traded with "B" got behind in his payments and was "dunned" for settlement. "B" had applied for initiation and membership in "A's" lodge, and when the ballot was declared was found to have been blackballed. When the Junior Warden so announced "A" expressed his gratification in such manner as to attract attention, and later openly boasted that he had kept "B" out of the lodge. Charges preferred, "A" was tried and suspended, but appealed to the Grand Master, who in the course of his decision sustaining the lodge said:
Personal grievances that do not impugn character can in no way be distorted into Masonic reason for objection. They belittle the Mason more than they injure the petitioner. In this case the brother further proved his own unworthiness when he boasted his injury to the petitioner, and violated the secrecy of the ballot, to the injury of his lodge and the Craft as a whole.... For these and other reasons the appeal is denied and the lodge sustained.
Discussing the right to object, a contributor to a Masonic magazine of national reputation held that "it should be exercised only with the greatest caution and consideration comprehensive at once of the petitioner, the lodge, the Craft, and the member himself," declaring that "moral as well as Masonic law imposes tremendous responsibility on the brother who exercises it" — "responsibility, however," he goes on to say, "which should be assumed if the petitioner is 'unworthy' regardless of possible consequences to self." In concluding his article he says that "Members of the Craft need not, however, be at a loss to know when they should assume such responsibility, and when they should not, for from the presentation of the petition to the lodge, to the moment of balloting, test after test of the fitness of the petitioner can and should be applied, tests with which every Mason should be familiar."
THE WORTHY PETITIONER
Some Mason once said that "if members would make proper distinction between the 'worthy' and 'unworthy,' Masonry would gain strength more rapidly than it does, for somehow or other some men gain membership who should not, and some are denied it who should have it." In this observation there is a great deal of truth, as will be admitted by members of any lodge. Generally speaking the "unworthy" are admitted because of their popularity in the community, and the influence of friends within the lodge. On the other hand, "worthy" petitioners are kept out of the lodge frequently because they are unknown to members, or because they are unobtrusive and unostentatious, living quietly, perhaps very much to themselves, though capable of valuable service if presented opportunity to render it. Too little attention in both cases is given the petitioner when his name appears in the notice — too little consideration sometimes to the disadvantage of Masonry, one way or another. Under such circumstances there can be no discrimination such as should obtain if Masons observe their obligations.
Masonry is more than a fraternity — it is an institution because it has purpose that pertains to the wellbeing of society as well as to that of its members. Any less conception of Masonry displays ignorance. An institution with such purpose has to be perpetuated, and quality of material in perpetuation is of vastly greater importance than quantity, for quality can in the end accomplish more than quantity in promoting social, civic and moral progress. Masonry should be able to continue to boast that its members are carefully selected, and this it will do only so long as the "worthy" are admitted through its portals as certainly as the "unworthy" are turned back. The great objection any Mason can entertain and maintain is that Masonry deteriorate in the personnel of its membership, and this is insured against only when those desiring admittance are carefully investigated, closely scrutinized, and tested by every standard that Masonry demands they shall measure up to. And this will be done only when Masons understand the basis for "Masonic Objection," and the significance of "Masonic Reason."
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MASTER AND WARDENS IN HABERDASHERS' COMPANY
The use of the terms Master and Warden as designating the presiding officer of a trade company is not uncommon. Of the two Master is found more frequently and Warden only occasionally. It is indeed rare to find both, particularly in the sense in which they are applied to the Masonic Craft. The following quotation represents one of those rare instances and while it has doubtless been pointed out in the past, it will do no harm to again make reference to it.
In volume I, page 75, of Boswell's "Life of Samuel Johnson, LLD.," edition of 1925, J. M. Dent and Sons, Limited, publishers, there appears in a footnote this interesting reference to the Haberdashers' Company of the city of London. Boswell writes that Dr. Johnson had been offered the Mastership of a school founded by one William Adams, but that it was necessary for him to acquire the degree of Master of Arts before he could receive the appointment. The time at which the incident took place was during the year 1738 and during the summer months. This comment is made relative to the school. "William Adams, formerly citizen and haberdasher of London, founded a school at Newport, in the county of Salop, by deed dated 27th November, 1656, by which he granted the 'yearly sum of sixty pounds to such able and learned schoolmaster, from time to time, being of godly life and conversation, who should have been educated at one of the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge, and had taken the degree of Master of Arts, and was well read in the Greek and Latin tongues, as should be nominated from time to time by the said William Adams during his life, and after the decease of the said William Adams by the governours (namely, the Master and Wardens of the Haberdashers' Company of the city of London) and their successors.' The manour and lands out of which the revenues for the maintenance of the school were to issue are situate at Knighton and Adbaston, in the county of Stafford."
The value of this quotation in showing a parallel development between the Haberdashers' organization and that of the Masons' Company of London is questionable, although the period referred to in the quotation is 1656. The first edition of Boswell's "Life" was published in London on April 20, 1791, and evidently did not contain this note, as Boswell say that "I, in my first edition, suggested that Pope must have, by mistake, written Shropshire, instead of Staffordshire. But I have since been obliged to Mr. Spearing, attorney-at-law, for the following information." The second edition appeared on July 1, 1793, and was the last in which Boswell acted as editor. It would appear then that the note itself was written some time between these two dates. It is possible, therefore, that the use of the term "Master and Wardens" is merely a coincidence; on the other hand it occurs in a quotation evidently taken directly from the charter of the school.
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FREEMASONRY IN ULSTER
Bro. John Heron Lepper, Ireland
THE Freemason who hails from the County of Down has every right to boast that he comes from no mean Masonic province, for not only does it possess the oldest warranted lodge in Ulster, to-wit., St. Patrick's, No. 77, Newry (whose charter dates from 1737), but also has produced some of the names that will be forever held in honor by all students of Masonic history and antiquities, to mention but two, the late Bro. F. C. Crossle — whose son, Bro. P. C. Crossle, is an apt illustration of the adage that the "apple does not fall far from the tree" — and Bro. John Robinson, of Comber, who, happily, is still With us. The author, therefore, who has the courage to set out to tell us something new about Freemasonry in Down knows beforehand that his work will be liable to criticism both on its own merits and in comparison with what has already been done by other well-known Masonic writers.
Let me say at once that my friend, Bro. W. G. Simpson, has been justified in his courage. His former book on the Saintfield lodges  was full of delightful and useful glimpses at the lodge life of a century ago — his new book, which is the occasion of this article,  is something more. As the Masonic history of a district for a particular epoch it could hardly be surpassed. All that a reviewer can do is to offer a few indications of what may be found in it and to advise students to read the book for themselves.
The main text of Bro. Simpson's excerpts has been drawn from the old minute books of three Comber lodges, omitting the most famous of all, Temple of Fame, No. 46, as he rightly considers that there is only one living Mason who should meddle with the history of that fine old Lodge; but while awaiting what Bro. John Robinson may please to give us on this subject, we shall find something to go on with in the documents relating to Lodges 133, 136 and 165.
Like most of the minute books of the period, many of the entries are distressingly meagre, yet, sometimes, even in their meagreness sufficiently picturesque:
Aug. 9, 1830 — "Lodge in due form. Worshipful in the Chair. Expended 4d. each and went home."
Nov. 9, 1835 — "Nobody here but my father and Alexander M'Morran and myself W. R. a very wet night."
Sometimes a single word in the lists of members tells a story — "Certified, Cleared, Expelled, Died, To America." In this connection I cannot refrain from quoting as illustration a passage from the minutes of a famous County Antrim Lodge, No. 615 Larne (almost 150 years old now), showing what hopes and sentiments some of these emigrant Masons carried with them:
"Oct. 3, 1832. W. B. Brother William McCalmont has ordered it to be inserted in the lodge book that if ever he finds himself worth Five Thousand Dollars he will remit 30 on purpose to treat his brethren of Lodge 615 to a dinner."
The very word America is a great temptation to digress and give my readers other instances of early fraternal communication between the Constitutions on either side of the Atlantic, but that story must wait while we return to Comber.
To my mind, the most valuable portion of Bro. Simpson's book is that dealing with one of the Comber Lodges which was originally chartered as No. 887 by the Schismatic Grand Lodge of Ulster. It subsequently returned to the true fold and received a legal warrant. Its great interest to the Masonic historian, however, lies in the fact that in its minute book we have documentary evidence of the "Seton" Masons being "healed" on becoming regular. I have not come across any other instance of such a practice being recorded in writing, though doubtless it was usual — just as the Antients and Moderns reciprocally "healed" one another in the bad times of the Masonic split. It is a great feather in Bro. Simpson's cap to have put this discovery to his credit.
This old lodge has preserved, as well as its early minute books, many other interesting possessions from the early days, before the governing bodies of the higher degrees had come into being in Ireland. Thus we find that among its effects are, "two well preserved Royal Arches of the wood"; the lodge chest, over a century old; the drum formerly used in processions and painted with symbols; a dinner plate with Masonic design, of a rather late date, 1846; and the fine old decorated Master's chair. Incidentally, the book would be well worth possessing for the reproductions of the old Masonic charts and seals.
We shall find here some light on the difficulties that beset our bygone brethren in keeping the torch of Masonry alight. One of the old lodge rooms is still in existence, and here will be found plans and photographs of it.
"The roof is 8 feet high in the centre, and slopes to a height of only 2 feet from the floor at each side wall.... The lodge room measures 15 ft. 6 in. by 15 ft. During labour it was illuminated by a rude, unpainted, wooden chandelier of twelve branches, each furnished with a tin socket for a candle."
In this wretched apartment was placed a Master's chair similar to a canopied four-poster bed, 7 feet high. It too had its painted symbols, including Adam and Eve (minus aprons). Such discomfort must have been the rule rather than the exception in the early eighteenth century among the country lodges; yet they preserved the flame pure and undimmed and passed it on to us. Honor to their memory! And may we be worthy of it.
These lodges of poor simple Masons had their ideals. In the year 1814, some years before the Grand Lodge of Ireland had made illiteracy a bar to initiation. Lodge No. 136 adopted the following by-law:
"Ordered that no Candidate be admitted in the lodge who has not received the Benefits of whatever Place of Worship he belongs to and in no Case shall a Candidate (be) admitted who cannot Read the Scriptures."
Not unseldom we get a smile at some long-vanished custom, not essentially Masonic, but proper to the period and place. Thus we find in the year 1821 the fees of honor payable by the newly elected officers varying from one pint of "the wine of the country" from the Master down to "one-quarter naggen" from the Junior Deacon. Curiously enough, the Ensign who was a more junior officer than the last named had to provide one-quarter pint; perhaps, as his duties consisted in carrying the banner on St. John's Day processions, he was expected to stand more — perhaps he was chosen for his greater capacity — but such conjectures are merely futile!
OLD LODGE SEALS
The beautiful reproduction of the smoke seals used by these lodges almost tempts me into another digression. They will be particularly interesting to any one of my readers who is acquainted with Bro. Sachse's works on Pennsylvanian Freemasonry or within reach of the Grand Lodge museum of that state. The migration of Masonic symbolism is a branch of research hardly touched as yet; that is, as regards certain concrete, known facts, which if collected and put in juxtaposition might warrant conclusions being drawn. Thus I have in my mind while writing these words one elaborate Masonic design which crops up in use in places so widely removed as London, Philadelphia and the North of Ireland between the years 1759 and 1800, nor, so far as the evidence I have noted goes, does the American lodge appear to have copied the other districts. But it is only by a careful collation of such Masonic designs that we can arrive at any real knowledge. Bro. E. H. Dring's monumental essay on the English Tracing Boards is an instance of what has been done. Masonic seals still await such an inquirer, and there is some material in this book to go on with.
The most curious of all these seals are those used in connection with the degree of Pillar'd Priest, which used to be most popular in Ireland but has now become extinct there. Manuscript rituals of the degree are fairly common — I possess transcripts of some twenty collected in various parts of Ireland — and from one of these Bro. Simpson gives us the by-laws of the Union Band held in Comber.
This was only one of the many "side degrees" which used to be conferred in the Craft lodges in those days. Chapter and verse are quoted here for the occurrence of the following: Ark, Wrestle, Black Cross, White Cross, Knights of the Garter, Architect, Knights of Mount Seni (Sinai?), Knight of the Elysian Shades. I have chosen these out of many as being now extinct in Ireland. A certificate enumerating some of these degrees and granted to Samuel Jamison in 1811 by Lodge No. 649, Raffry, County Down, will be found quoted here. The original is now in the possession of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, one of many interesting Irish certificates owned by that body.
Every six months — for till the year 1875 Irish Lodges installed their officers twice yearly, on St. John's Days — these lodges elected a committee, one of whose most important functions was to decide disputes arising between the brethren — for it was looked upon as a crime to go to law with a brother before attempting such a means of accommodating the difference and to try those who were accused of committing a breach of their Masonic duty. Some typical instances of such a committee's proceedings are noted here. The following may serve as an example:
Oct. 23, 1815, Betwixt John Shields Complainant and John Jamison Defendant
In Brother Crossens John Jameson had a Herring Preparing to eat on the fire Br. Robt. Clark Catched the Herring afterwards a Dispute took place Concerning It and on the Road going home it was Renewed struck him several times without any offence John Shields threw him down on the Road told him he Would not Strack him but Would take Care of him another Way but he still Persisted to Quarrel.
It is our undivided opinion that Br. John Jamison is to be obsolved from all the Benifits of masonry for the space of one year and six months after this Date 23 of October 1815 and after he Clears off all Just Debts that Belongs to this Lodge and at that Date he is to be Restored.
The brother thus under sentence by his lodge committee had, of course, the right, which was often exercised, of appeal to Grand Lodge. The latter body usually referred the matter to three neighboring lodges for their report, unless when there happened to be a standing county committee in existence when the matter went before it. As regards the County Down committee, Bro. Simpson has been fortunate enough to obtain from that sound Masonic scholar, Bro. W. Jenkinson, of Armagh, who has made a special study of these early county committees, a valuable note on the disagreements that attended the formation of such a body in the county by the Grand Lodge of Ireland. For this and much else the reader may be referred to the book itself.
It would be easy to lengthen this article by further extracts relating to the lodge accounts, processions and attendance at funerals, but that is not necessary. Enough has been written already to show that this is a book which will interest all who make a study of oldtime Masonic customs.
Just as one of the lessons tacitly inculcated by our beloved Order is that no man should live for himself alone, so the Masonic student soon finds that his knowledge of the history of his own Mother Constitution tends to become short-sighted and biased till enriched by acquaintance with what was happening simultaneously in other Jurisdictions. A disturbance in any one part of the wide sea of the Craft will cause ripples eventually on its farthest shores. The greater the original disturbance the easier, of course, to trace the effects elsewhere: the clash of Antient and Modern is felt in America; Dublin senses the shock of the American anti-Masonic campaign. Great events such as these are demonstrable of proof; still it may be asked what possible effect can the proceedings of a handful of Irish lodges meeting a century ago have had upon trans-Atlantic Masonry? It does not follow that because we cannot point to a visible ripple that one did not reach that length, though I think that the tide of emigration westwards lets us assume the existence of such ripples as an axiom.
Setting this on one side, however, every reader of this book can be safely promised a great deal of entertainment and information about a Masonic Jurisdiction on which too little has been written. That this is not due either to lack of new matter or ability in authorship Bro. Simpson's book is an ample proof.
- The History and Antiquities of Freemasonry in Saintfield, Co. Down, Ireland. 8vo. Demy, 96 pages, 2 plates. Post free 2/8. ↩
- Masonry of the Olden Time in the Comber District, County Down Ireland. 8 vo. Demy, 92 pages 8 plates. Price 3/8 post free. The whole profits to be devoted to the Irish Masonic Charities. ↩
[Both these works were privately printed, and it is possible that the stock is exhausted. Inquiries may be made to Bro. S. H. Kingham. The Academy, Saintfield, Belfast, or through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society. Ed.]
* * *
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
JOHN PENN, one of those who signed the Declaration of Independence, is one of the nine members of that illustrious group of men of whom we can say positively and certainly that he was a Freemason. That there were more than nine is indeed highly probable and weight must be given to the statements of earlier writers to the effect that twenty or more of the number were members of the Craft, for they seem based on a living memory then still existing. So few membership rolls and lodge records have come down to us from the Revolutionary period that positive documentary proof is generally most difficult to find, even when the facts known all point in that direction.
The memory of the Signers of the Declaration should be sacredly cherished by their countrymen, and yet how little is known of them individually. The patriotic orator carries his audience off its feet with his fervid eloquence, but how many of them know or care that three of the men to whose leadership this country so largely owes its Independence lie in unknown and neglected graves in Philadelphia? And how many Masons know that one of the three was their brother in the Craft? One of Penn's biographers says that he died in North Carolina in September, 1778, but none mention where he was buried.
In a series of articles on the memorials to our great men and brothers it is somewhat like playing Hamlet with the Prince of Denmark absent to write of one to whom neither his friends and relatives nor yet his countrymen thought to erect a monument. But perhaps even more, for that very reason, should the name of John Penn be recorded here.
The report of the Grand Lodge of Carolina for 1912 (page 752) gives the facts known about our illustrious brother. He was born in Caroline County in Virginia on May 17, 1741. His family was well connected and in comfortable circumstances. In spite of this it would seem that his education was badly neglected after his father's death. But like most men of mark this handicap was not to keep him down. He had ambition and industry, and set to work to make good the deficiency. He studied law in the office of Mr. Edmund Pendleton and in 1762 set up in practice for himself, in which he soon became very successful. In 1774 he moved to Granville, N. C., where he found a larger field for the exercise of his abilities. He succeeded Richard Caswell in the Continental Congress of 1775, through which circumstance it was that he was concerned in the famous Declaration.
He was out of Congress for two years but was returned again in 1778 by a good majority. During the occupation of North Carolina by the British troops under Cornwallis he was placed in charge of public affairs, providing what means were possible for provisioning the population. He was also receiver of taxes for the Federation, a difficult and thankless task.
He married Miss Susan Lyme, by whom he had three children. He is said to have possessed "a sweet, persuasive eloquence and no small share of public confidence" and their effect at the bar were distinguished for their force and pathos.
Mr. Watson in his "Annals of Philadelphia" tells of a challenge for a duel given and received between John Penn and Mr. Laurens, a striking instance of the difference of social customs. Even in that day this occasioned general surprise that one of such an amiable and lovable character should have been involved in such a proceeding. It shows the power that the point of honor then had. However, the affair was arranged with satisfaction to all parties, and they never met in conflict.
His ancestry has been investigated, but apparently his family had no connection whatever with that of William Penn, the colonizer of Pennsylvania, though the latter's son by his second wife bore the same name as the subject of this account.
[At the last minute Winfield's History of Caroline County has come to the writer's attention in which it is stated that John Penn died at his home in Granville County, North Carolina, and was buried near Island Creek, and that in 1874 his remains were removed and buried in Guilford Battle Grounds, a few miles from Greensboro, together with those of John Hooper. The spot is said to be marked by a stone on which the following inscription is to be found:
William Hooper and John Penn, delegates from North Carolina, 1776, to the Continental Congress, and signers of the Declaration of Independence. Their remains were re-interred here in 1874. Hewes' grave is lost. He was the third signer.
The writer has not been able to verify this statement, which is doubtless reliable, nor to secure a photograph of this monument.]
* * *
LATIN LANGUAGE IN LODGES
Bro. Robert I. Clegg, Associate Editor, Illinois
LATIN since the Roman era was once much more liberally employed than it is today. In the scientific world and in university training the language is still favored, though it has long been designated as dead. In pharmacy most of us are familiar with its use on the prescription blanks left by the doctor when some ailment or another threatens our health. Latin is also commonly used by the Roman Catholic Church priesthood. Modern uses of the language have declined nevertheless, though here and there as in the above instances we find it still of service.
As a means of international communication among educated men a revival of the language has been proposed. Even the simplification of the language in grammar and addition of many new words to the vocabulary have been urged to fit Latin for present day conditions. How practical this project might be is not now my purpose to discuss. Probably the use of Esperanto, the international auxiliary or secondary language, would be preferable. This would not involve the alterations incident to changing over and modernizing the Latin, mangling it into something foreign to itself, and thus bring the noble language of the Roman Empire of old into harmony with the latest demands and conditions that prevail with the inventions and industries of our own times.
Esperanto, by the way, is used by a Masonic Lodge in Paris, and similar organizations have been proposed for London and elsewhere. Mention was made in the handbook entitled the Masonic Year — 1926, published by the Masonic History Company, Chicago, Illinois, of the Roman Eagle Lodge of Edinburgh, Scotland, which formerly worked the degrees and kept the records in Latin.
Bro. A. H. Mackey, of St. David's Lodge in the same city — the Lodge, by the way, of which the famous novelist, Sir Walter Scott, was a member — told me of the curious circumstance that in the early days the work was translated into Latin for those who knew no English but had an acquaintance with the language of ancient Rome. Allusion being made to this matter in the Masonic Year, Brother Mackay has very kindly copied the respective items from the old Minutes and has thoughtfully added a number of explanatory notes. The incident throws much light upon Lodge conditions in Edinburgh, a city of culture and renown, and also suggests the fame that Freemasonry then enjoyed in other lands on the Continent of Europe.
"Right Worshipful" was and is yet a term of respect applied to the Masters of Lodges in Scotland. The expression "Writer to the signet" means in Scotland a member of a society of law agents. They have the exclusive power to prepare all writs, charters and so forth to be issued by governmental authority. "Writer," as used by Brother Mackay, is an abbreviation of the term "Writer to the signet."
Extracts from the Minutes of Lodge St. David, Edinburgh, No. 36:
"Emergency 13th Septr, 1783.
"James Hewit, S. W.
"R. W. Wa. Ferguson.
"Alexr. Ferguson, J. W.
"James Brown, T.
"Dpt. Master Wardens and Secretary absent.
"The Lodge being convened on an Emergency and the R.W. being in the Country, Br. W. Ferguson took the chair and represented, That Fabian Gordon, Esqr., Colonel of Horse, Carolus Gordon, Esqr., Major of Foot, Stefanus Dziembowskie, Esqr. Captain of Foot, all in his Polish Majesty's Service, and Joseph Bukaty, Esqr., Secretary to the Polish Embassy at London, had applied to him to be made Masons and Members of this Lodge, and as he is particularly acquainted with them all, he recommends to his Brethren to grant their request, which being unanimously agreed to, they were introduced in the order above mentioned, when the ceremony was performed by the R. R. Br. John Maclure, Grand Chaplain, & translated into Latin by Br. John Brown, M.D., as none of them understood English
"The Brethren were entertained in the most Elegant Manner by Vocal & Instrumental Music, particularly by the whole Band of the 21st Regiment, with French Horns, Cor-de-Chasse Trumpets, HautBoys & Bassoons.
(Signed) "Wa. Ferguson, O. M."
Notes on the foregoing:
The Right Worshipful Master in 1783 was Brother James Home, Writer to the signet, who was probably residing at his country seat of Linhouse during the vacation of the law courts in Edinburgh.
The presiding officer, Brother Walter Ferguson, was R.W. Master of the Lodge in 1754. (See references to him in "Sir Walter Scott as a Freemason" in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum Vol. XX. )
Fabian Gordon, Colonel in the Polish Army and "Royal Prussian Brigadier in the National Cavalry," was the son of Alexander Gordon, who emigrated to Poland, and grandson of Alexander Gordon, of Coldwells, in the Parish of Ellon, Aberdeenshire. He was apparently born in Poland and came to Scotland to pursue the process of being legally served as heir to his grandfather. The Colonel took possession of the estate formally in order to sell it to James Keay, writer, Edinburgh for £1,650 on 23rd September, 1783, the deed being recorded in Edinburgh on that same day.
Carolus Gordon. (Karol.) Colonel Polish Army, commander of the free town of Cracow. Son of Peter Gordon, Collector of Customs, Cracow and Judge of Czerniechow, and grandson of John James (Polish) "Marquis of Huntly."
Stefanus Dziembowski. Captain of Foot. Not identified.
Josephus Bukaty, Secretary to the Polish Embassy at London, was probably a relative of Brother Francis Bukaty, Polish resident Minister there, representative in London of the Grand Lodge of Poland in 1784, and a member of the Sun Fire Office Lodge. (See the American New Age Magazine for September, 1906, page 250.)
Brother, the Rev. John McClure, initiated in Canongate Kilwinning, Edinburgh, No. 2, on 3rd June, 1752, became an Honorary Member of Lodge St. David in December. 1754. He became, on 30th November, 1758, the first Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and continued in that office until his death in 1787. It is recorded of him that throughout a long life he maintained "the character of a good man and an excellent Mason, being considered the oracle of the Craft in Edinburgh."
Dr. John Brown, known as the founder of the Brownonian System of Medicine, was the first Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Roman Eagle, Edinburgh, No. 160, chartered in 1785. As an incitement to his students, many of whom were members, he caused the business of the Lodge, and the Minutes, to be written in Latin.
"A Masters Lodge, 18th Septr, 1783.
"James Hewit, S. W., p. t.
"Robt. Thomson, J. W., p. t.
"James Brown, T.
"John Armour, S.
"R.W. Wa. Ferguson.
"The R. W. having appointed Brothers Captain James Ferguson and Alexr. Ferguson to be Past and Dept. Masters, and Brs. Hewit and Dickson to be Wardens, represented to the Lodge, That the four Polish Brethren had been extremely diligent in learning the apprentices' part. and as their time in this Country was to be short, they were anxious to be promoted to the higher Degrees and for that purpose he had ordered this Masters' Lodge to be conveened and hoped their request wou'd be granted and their Entries having proved tedious, first giving it in English and then translating it into Latin, so the Most W. Charles Wm. Little Esqr. Subt. G. M. of Scotland had voluntarily offered to assist Br. John Brown, M.D., and Br. Clark, of St. And'ws Lodge, and accordingly the Ceremony which took up above three hours was performed in very Elegant Latin, and the fees of the whole were paid to Br. James Brown, Treasurer, after which these new entered Brethren who are to set out for Poland in a few days having requested that the Lodge wou'd give them Certificates of their being made Masons and Members of this Lodge. Although this request was new and contrary to the practice of the Lodge, and had been refused in former cases, yet there was a distinction in this case, the Brethren being Foreigners, who never were, nor probably wou'd ever be again in Scotland, and that giving such certificates might be a means not only of increasing Masonry, but also a probability of extending the authority of the G. Lodge of A., therefore it was unanimously agreed to and the same were wrote on Vellum in the following words:
"To all the Brethren of the ancient and honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, Be it known that the Bearer hereof, Fabian Gordon, Esqr., Colonel in his Polish Majesty's Army, has been entered and received a Brother in the Royal Lodge of St. Davids, Edinburgh, and Inrolled as a Member thereof, and has passed through the different Degrees of Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason. In testimony whereof the Common Seal is hereto appended and we, the presiding officers of the Lodge, have subscribed these presents at Edinburgh this 18th day of September, 1783 years, and in the year of Masonry, 5783. Signed, Wa. Ferguson, M.Ja. Ferguson, Past M.; Alexander Ferguson, Dept M., John Brown, Orator. To the left side-James Hewit, Senr W.; Robt. Dickson, Junr W.; James Brown, Treasr; John Armour, Secty. At the foot — Wm. Charles Little, Subt. G. M. of Scotland. A large Mason Seal by Deuchar in a White Iron Box appended by a White Ribbon. (Signed) "Wa. Ferguson, O. M."
Notes on the foregoing:
The acting Past Master, Captain James Ferguson, was a son of Brother Walter Ferguson, the presiding offlcer. (See reference to him in "Sir Walter Scott As a Freemason," A.Q.C., Vol. xx. )
Brother William Charles Little, eleventh Laird of Liberton, Advocate, was Substitute Grand Master of Scotland, 1782-83. He was Depute Master of Lodge St. David during the years 1784-85-86. In 1787-88-89 he was R. W. Master of the Roman Eagle Lodge, Edinburgh, No. 160, and in 1791 R. W. Master of Lodge Edinburgh St. Andrews, No. 48. His great-great-grandson, Bro. Brigadier General Robert Gordon Gilmore of Liberton and Craigmiller, C.B., C.V.O., D.S.O., is a Past Grand Master Mason of Scotland, Grand Standard-Bearer in the Supreme Council 33rd Degree, and Past Grand Sword-Bearer in the Grand Lodge of the Royal Order of Scotland.
* * *
BOARD OF EDITORS
Editor-in-Chief — R. J. Meekren
Louis Block, Iowa
Robert L. Clegg, Ohio
Gilbert W. Daynes, England
Ray V. Denslow, Missouri
George H. Dern, Utah
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada
R. V. Harris, Canada
C. C. Hunt, Iowa
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania
F. H. Littklefield, Missouri
Joseph E. Morcombe, California
Joseph Fort Newton, New York
Arthur C. Parker, New York
Jesse M. Whited, California
David E. W. Williamson, Nevada
* * *
RELIGION AND MASONRY
IT is an established rule among all Freemasons that no religious questions can be raised in the lodge. Contrary to generally accepted belief in America, this is equally true of those countries where Masonry is supposed to have political aims and an anti-religious bias as among ourselves. That is the law, and it is to be found in the Constitutions and Regulations of all Masonic Jurisdictions throughout the world. Whether it is always obeyed in spirit and letter is another question altogether. We fear that sometimes, even in enlightened America, the danger line of transgression is sometimes very closely approached by zealous brethren in the presence of a sympathetic audience.
When a hard question arises it is often to be found that a solution may be obtained by returning to first principles. It may therefore be useful here to recall the earliest formulation of this rule in the first edition of Anderson's Constitutions. The passage is very well known of course, but it may not be amiss, nevertheless, to quote the exact words. They are found in Article VI of the Charges of a Freemason. The whole refers to the behaviour of Masons, and the first section deals with their behaviour in the lodge, the second with that after the lodge "is over and the brethren not gone." It is in this second section that the allusion is found, a point worthy of remembering. We are told of the brethren enjoying themselves, "with innocent mirth," of refreshments, both edible and potable apparently, of the avoidance of all excess or of doing anything that might "blast our harmony and defeat our laudable purposes." For this reason no "private piques or quarrels" may be introduced,
....far less any Quarrels about Religion or Nations or State Policy, we being only as Masons of the Catholic Religion above referred to; we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds and Languages, and are resolved against all Politics, as what never yet conduced to the welfare of the Lodge, nor ever will.
The Catholic Religion here spoken of is the statement in the first Charge, "Concerning God and Religion," which runs:
A Mason is oblig'd by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine.
by which Masons are obliged only
... to that Religion in which all Men agree ... that is to be good Men and true, or men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish'd.
In later versions, both Anderson's second edition and others, some changes were made in this. An explicit reference to Christian Masons in Christian countries was added for one thing, and yet the essential meaning does not seem to be changed. Certainly this reference to Christian Masons does not bar non-Christians, for it is distinctly said that Masons were to be found in all countries, "even of divers religions." The context making it quite clear that religions other than Christianity are meant.
Changes were also made in the sixth Charge. While the original language of Anderson was largely retained all through, even as he had loosely quoted and incorporated phrases and passages from the old Manuscripts, yet an important difference appears. The rule regarding the introduction of religious and political questions is made to refer to the lodge and not to the informal gathering after it was over "and the brethren not gone." In this we may see a distinct evolution. The earlier rule is in form and substance little more than a by-law, a purely private affair. Certain things are to be avoided because they are liable to disturb the harmony that should subsist among Masons when met together. The later transpositions and additions seem to indicate that it was felt that such a rule was hardly general enough, or even dignified enough, to have a place in Constitutional law. At the same time it had come to be seen, due doubtless to the fact that by this time the Craft was beginning to make a stir in the world, that there was a wider aspect from which the matter should be considered. It was coming to be important to consider the relationship in which the Fraternity stood to society and to the state. Not only must harmony be maintained within, between brethren of different political opinions, and belonging to different religious communions, but the outside world must be assured that Masonry had no political or religious aims or purposes. To do this it was constitutionally impossible for any action of such nature to be taken, because no questions or proposals referring to the forbidden subjects could ever be introduced, much less discussed or acted upon.
Few governments, those of old Japan and Tibet being exceptions, have ever objected to their citizens having intercourse with those of other countries. Few religions bar their adherents from all communication with those not of their faith. A Mohammedan will give a Christian hospitality, no church dreams of disciplining its members for buying or selling, walking or talking, with those outside the fold. Even close companionship and friendship, though it may be discouraged and deprecated, cannot well be forbidden outright. And this because all these things are neutral, they imply no consequences in loyalty or belief. It seems obvious on reflection that Freemasons, or at least their leaders, at the period when the Craft became definitely a purely Speculative Institution, deliberately endeavored to make it neutral in the same sense, neutral as to politics and questions of state, neutral as to creeds and dogmas and the regulatory disciplines of the different sects and churches. Very largely the effort was successful, although some churches and some governments refused to believe in the reality of this neutral attitude, and acted according to their fears and suspicions, whether real or pretended.
But in spite of all there are positive relationships in which the Craft stands to religion. Among ourselves there is the declaration of a belief in God, and the presence of the Bible upon the altar of the lodge. The first is, of course, a creed at its minimum. No candidate is, or may be, asked why he believes, or how he conceives the Deity; so long as in some sense satisfactory to his own conscience he can use the words of the simple formula it is enough. Yet the statement is certainly religious and in a sense dogmatic.
The Bible seems to be more difficult to reconcile with the religious neutrality of Masonry. Even if we allow the Old Testament alone to be used in a Hebrew lodge, or remember the possibility that once only the Books of the Gospels were used, the Scripture in part or as a whole is incompatible with the reception of followers of many other forms of faith and belief, to whom it is no more than any other book. But the difficulty clears when we remember that though in the various versions of the ritual the candidate is exhorted more or less definitely to reverence it, and is informed that it is the rule and guide of faith, yet nowhere is any particular mode of interpretation set forth concerning it, nor any definite belief about it demanded of those who enter the Order. It is presented to them as one of the three chief sources of illumination in Masonry, but under such circumstances and in such a context that we can only say, however much more it may be to the individual, it is in the Masonic system first and always a symbol. There is surely no need to dwell on this in detail — to Masons it is the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Trestle Board of the Grand Architect of the Universe. As each Mason is free to have his own conception of God, so is he also free to interpret this symbol for himself.
The various sects and denominations of the Christian religion have in the past been bitterly opposed to each other, and though a reign of outward tolerance is now more or less established, yet it is very largely only a state of armed neutrality or passive hostility. The differences between them may be of such vital importance as to warrant this state of affairs; on that we, as Masons, can express no opinion; but it certainly does seem to be a general rule that the more convinced a man is that his creed is right, the more certain is he that all others are wrong, and the corollary logically follows, that if his way and practice leads to salvation then all other paths must lead astray, if not to perdition. But with all this, Masonry has nothing to do, and necessarily so, for otherwise it would have to have its own interpretation and its own creed and become in fact, what many of its enemies profess to believe it, a secret religion itself. It would have to be this or else break up into sections, each part (if it lived) being restricted to members of some particular religious communion, and by that restriction cut off from all fraternal intercourse with the rest.
Is Masonry therefore irreligious? Some of its opponents have said so, but the question can only be answered if we strictly define our terms. If by religion we understand some particular sect, then, in that sense, it would be irreligious. But those who make the accusation do not put it in this way, they are guilty of the fallacy of using a word in two senses and assuming that what is true in one is true also in the other. What such people really mean is that Masonry does not require the beliefs that their own religion demands, and that therefore it is contrary to all religion. But in the general sense of the word, Freemasonry is, as the Constitutions imply, religious, in so far as it requires those essential elements found in all the higher forms of religion at least; those essential points about which all good men are agreed; while it requires nothing of those things upon which good men differ. Of course, again, if anyone chooses to interpret "good" in such a way as to be applicable only to adherents of his own creed he is at liberty to do so — as we are to refuse to discuss the matter further with him.
A correspondent has raised the question, and it is largely in response to his request that this article has been written, in what sense it can be said, to use his own words, that the "Bible is the foundation of Masonry," and how far Masons are, as such, bound by what it says. The difficulty had been raised in his mind by a discussion whether it was right and proper for the executive committee of a lodge to meet on Sunday. It would have been easy enough to have replied that it was really a relative matter, depending entirely upon circumstances, and not one of principle. That even if it is said in the ritual that our ancient brethren, conceived as Hebrew craftsmen working on the Temple, did consecrate the seventh day of the week to the worship of God, yet Christians celebrate the resurrection of their Lord on the first day of the week, and that there is not a word in the New Testament to indicate that the law of the Sabbath was to be transferred from the seventh to the first day, while there is that, on the other hand, that implies that real religion is not concerned at all with days and seasons, and meats, and rites and ceremonies. It was the Master himself who said that the "Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath," making it forever clear that no ritual or ceremonial observance was to be allowed to stand before even the material and physical welfare of men. It would have been easy, too, to have pointed out that even if it were right for Christian Masons to apply the rules of the Sabbath to Sunday, Jewish Masons could not be so required, nor could those of other beliefs be bound by either rule if their own conscience did impose it upon them. It would have been easy to have said this and let it pass, but it seemed more satisfactory to go so far as possible to the root of the matter.
Men are always prone to tithe mint, anise and cummin; many of us think that because we do not grow these herbs in our gardens that this has no application to our own conduct. But we are all of us inclined to do exactly the same kind of things that our Lord denounced in the Pharisees, who were very good men according to their lights. In external observances men easily forget the "weightier matters of the law," or as Hudibras has it, to
Compound the sins they are inclined to By damning those they have no mind to.
It is so much easier to follow some superficial rule than to change the motives of life and conduct. In a recently published book of exploration in New Guinea, the author (who incidentally gives us to understand that he is an atheist) speaks of the work of the missionaries. He has the greatest respect for them, for their lives and their work, whether Romanist, Protestant or Church of England; yet he cannot help pointing out a tendency to regard the putting the male converts into trousers and the female into chemises and petticoats as being an important factor in conversion. Others have said much the same thing. When one thinks of St. Paul, who was all things to all men if haply he might win some to Christ, one wonders what he would have done. Probably if it would have helped him to get into closer touch he would have put on a loin cloth and shell necklaces himself.
But the Bible is the rule and guide of faith and the foundation of Masonry. Let it be so, and let us see what it tells us. Says the prophet Micah:
Wherewith shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
And then he answers his own question as to this matter of ceremonials and externalities:
He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?
But there is higher authority yet. It was Christ Himself who declared that to love God and your neighbor was the fulfillment of the law; and after the parable of the good Samaritan we can be in no doubt as to who is our neighbor — just anyone who needs our help. "Pure religion and undefiled," says James, the servant of God, "is this; to visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world." This then is the religion that Freemasonry holds by; no more than this; the religion in which all good men agree. It sounds simple, and yet it is a basis of union upon which each may work according to his own faith.
* * *
THE NORTHEAST CORNER
Bulletin of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association
Incorporated by Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A.F. & A.M.
Masonic Temple, Albuquerque, N.M.
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master, President
Jaffa Miller, Vice-President
Richard H. Hanna, Vice-President
Alpheus A. Keen, Secretary
FRANCIS E LESTER, Executive Secretary, Las Cruces, New Mexico
JOHN W. TURNER, Treasurer
ARIZONA — Lloyd C. Henning, Holbrook.
ARKANSAS — Claude L. Hill, Grand Master, Booneville.
CONNECTICUT — Fred A. Borland, Past Grand Master, South Manchester.
FLORIDA — Cary B. Fish, Grand Master, Sarasota.
IDAHO — Will H. Gibson, Grand Master, Boise.
KENTUCKY — G. Allison Holland, Grand Master, Lexington.
MINNESOTA — Albert F. Pray, Grand Master, Minneapolis,
MISSISSIPPI — John R. Tally, Grand Master, Hattiesburg.
MISSOURI — Wm. W. Martin, Grand Master, Doniphan.
NEW JERSEY — Benjamin F. Havens, Junior Grand Warden, Trenton.
NEW MEXICO — Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master, Las Cruces.
NORTH CAROLINA — Dr. J. C. Braswell, Past Grand Master, Whitakers.
OKLAHOMA — Gilbert B. Bristow, Past Grand Master, Roosevelt.
RHODE ISLAND — Howard Knight, Past Grand Master, Providence.
SOUTH CAROLINA — Charlton DuRant, Grand Master, Manning.
SOUTH DAKOTA — L. M. Simons, Grand Master, Bellefourche.
TENNESSEE — Andrew E. McCullagh, Grand Master, Maryville.
TEXAS — Dr. Felix P. Miller, El Paso.
UTAH — Fred M. Nye, Ogden.
VERMONT — Christie B. Crowell, Grand Master, Brattleboro.
NORTH DAKOTA — Dr. J. S. Lamont, Dunseith.
WASHINGTON — Morton Gregory, Grand Master, Masonic Temple, Tacoma.
WlSCONSIN — Fred L. Wright, Past Senior Grand Warden, Milwaukee.
WYOMING — Frank S. Knittle, Grand Master, Casper.
ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR, GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER — Mrs. Clara Henrich, Most Worthy Grand Matron, Newport, Ky.
ROBERT J. NEWTON, Editor, Publicity Director N.M.T.S.A. Las Cruces, New Mexico.
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ADDED FORTY-SIX YEARS TO HIS LIFE
An old-time newspaper man passed away in San Antonio, Texas, last year. He was for some time editor and publisher of the Texas Freemason and was active in Masonic work almost up to the date of his death. Bro. Leonard A. Heil was superintendent of the National Cemetery at San Antonio, and as he had recovered from tuberculosis he was much interested in the effort to provide sanatoria for sick Masons. He wrote an account of his experience for publication some time before he died which is now printed for the first time. Bro. Heil figured that he had prolonged his life just forty-six years after the time set by his physician for him to die, and always considered this a good joke upon his doctor, whom he out-lived by many years.
"In 1877 I was working in the State Printing Office, Topeka, Kan., as a compositor. My lungs were bad and getting worse. Nothing I could do seemed to benefit me to any extent.
"Finally the doctor said that if I went to Southwest Texas I might live two years more. Of course ... a man in my condition and age — 34 — wanted to prolong life as long as possible, and so I came to Texas in November, 1877, landing in Austin, where I was engaged to edit a greenback paper. The end of January, 1878, I landed in San Antonio, and was employed as foreman of the job office of the San Antonio Herald, then the leading daily. Then next month I went into the counting room and remained there until the Herald went into the hands of a receiver. My health was not much improved, but not much worse, and in the fall, October, 1878, I went to work for the San Antonio Express as traveling correspondent: as I was not considered fit for office work, the management telling me that they could not afford to pay my funeral expenses.
"At that time there were no railroads west of this city and only one to the town, the Southern Pacific. There were few ranches and few fences, the ranges being open with water holes for the stock. I doubted my strength to stand a horseback trip, and consulting Dr. Amos Graves, at that time the leading physician in this city, who said that he would fix up something for me, with the instruction that when tired to slide off the horse and take a swig of the concoction, and when rested to climb aboard of the animal and make another step of the trip. Well, I SLID off several times, and finally reached St. Hedwig, a small hamlet 20 miles southeast of San Antonio. The next morning I was so sore and stiff I could hardly sit on my horse, but made Laverina, 10 miles farther. From that time I began improving, and the trip was over 200 miles before getting back to town, much improved. I wrote a letter a week for the paper, giving the physical condition of the country, its resources, etc. This I kept up for about three years, often traveling 50 or more miles a day, and my improvement was certain, though gradual.
"Now, to the motif of this letter. I have seen few who came here for the benefit of their lungs (and if not too late, and it is rather hard to say just what may be considered too late) who have not been benefited. But they must live practically out-of-doors. In that consists the virtue of this climate. Its mildness permits one to live out-of-doors. No one can hope to be benefited suffering with tuberculosis and stay in and about the house. It takes pure and fresh air to cure that disease. My observation is that anywhere in Southwest Texas, where it is dry, not swampy, and the water is pure, is beneficial to persons suffering with lung troubles, and if they come in time they can hope for improvement, if not complete recovery. I consider tuberculosis curable, as I have seen many cases cured, but if benefited the patient must remain where the improvement is experienced, for to return to the locality where the disease is contracted, a relapse is almost sure to take place, and usually it ends with death. The conditions which caused the disease will renew it.
"I am now in my 82nd year, and my friends say that I do not look over 65. My health is good as it ever was since 17, when I first contracted lung troubles from a severe cold in Albany, N.Y., in 1860. My army life during the Civil War helped very much, and if I had remained out of a printing office I would probably never have got down with the terrible scourge, the White Plague, but once down I could not shake it off while in the North, and couldn't have done it here had I not taken to out-of-door life."
WHAT THEY SAY
Mr. James D. Hamrick, Past Grand Master Grand Lodge of Georgia, F. & A. M., Carrollton, Georgia.
"It will be my pleasure to assist and urge the Grand Master to comply with your request that much good may come to the Craft at large. The real work of our Fraternity should be carried home to the hearts of the great Fraternity and then much good will be accomplished, but until the personnel of the Fraternity have been educated to such work."
Mr. E. A. McHan, Grand Secretary, Grand Chapter, R.A.M., Macon, Georgia.
"I will be glad to give him all the assistance in my power.
"Our Grand Master is deeply interested in the matter and has had several articles in the paper regarding the matter and I have also had some articles myself.
"We hope to interest Masons in the state so that we shall be able to give some help to the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association "
Mr. Richard C. Davenport, Grand Master Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Harrisburg, Ill.
"I wish also to congratulate you and the brethren of New Mexico on the work you are undertaking on behalf of the above mentioned enterprise.
"I have been considering carefully the work of the Association, and I believe it will result in a great amount of good."
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ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION OF THE NATIONAL MASONIC TUBERCULOSIS SANATORIA ASSOCIATION
IN order that members of the National Masonic Research Society may be fully informed as to the scope and constitutions of the new organization to combat tuberculosis, we are reproducing in full the Articles of Incorporation by which it becomes a legal entity. It will be seen that provision is made for the representation of the Grand Lodges and all other Masonic bodies. If these, or a majority of them, will only take the matter up, it will become in actuality what it is planned to be, a national organization to meet a national need.
WHEREAS, hertofore, to-wit, on the 18th day of February, A. D. 1925, during the Forty-seventh Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of New Mexico, there was adopted a recommendation embodied in the report of the Committee on Grand Master's Address that proper steps be promptly taken to provide a legal entity to raise and administer funds for the development of National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria and conferring upon the incoming Grand Master authority to take all necessary steps to develop such undertaking; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to such action by the Grand Lodge, the said Grand Master duly appointed a Committee on Masonic Tubercular Sana oria, with authority to act; and,
WHEREAS, at a meeting of such committee held at Las Cruces, New Mexico, on, to-wit, Oct. 22, 1925, there was adopted a resolution in substance providing for and authorizing the incorporation under and in accordance with the provisions of Sections 1055 and to 1061, inclusive, of the New Mexico Statutes Annotated, Codification of 1915, of a National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association to be vested with all powers, rights and privileges prescribed in and by the aforesaid statute;
NOW, THEREFORE, for the purpose of executing the aforesaid expressed desire and will of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of New Mexico, and acting under power and authority emanating from such Grand Lodge, conferred upon us through appointment by the Grand Master of such Grand Lodge, we, the undersigned, do hereby mutually agree to unite and associate ourselves as a body corporate under and in accordance with the provisions of and to be vested with all of the powers authorized and conferred by, the aforesaid statute; and do hereby adopt the following ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION, to-wit:
The name of the corporation shall be "NATIONAL MASONIC TUBERCULOSIS SANATORIA ASSOCIATION."
The location of the principal office and place of business of the corporation shall be at the City of Albuquerque, County of Bernalillo, State of New Mexico, and the name of the designated agent of the corporation, upon whom process may be served, is Alpheus A. Keen, of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Branch offices may be established at such other place or places as may be designated by the Board of Governors or Executive Committee of the corporation.
The term for which the corporation shall exist shall be in perpetuity.
The corporation is organized for, and shall be devoted to, benevolent, charitable, scientific and literary purposes and the establishment and conduct of training schools and other educational institutions, facilities and libraries for the training, vocational training, education, improvement and mental, physical, moral and. spiritual betterment of those who may become its beneficiaries: for all of which purposes, its objects shall be as follows, to-wit:
- To act as an agency, or trustee, to receive and administer funds contributed, or acquired for the relief of Freemasons, and members of their families, or others, suffering from tuberculosis, or who may be in distress from other causes.
- To secure hospitalization for the sick, and employment for the well; and to render service of any kind according to the need and the ability of the corporation.
- To acquire, erect, establish, maintain and operate Sanatoria, Hospitals, and other institutions for the care, treatment and education of Freemasons and members of their families afflicted with tuberculosis in any form, or suffering from any other disease, and who may be relieved by institutional treatment.
- To acquire and hold such real estate and personal property as may be necessary or proper for the furtherance of its objects, or convenient for its uses and purposes; and to sell or mortgage the same.
- To acquire and own lands and town lots, and to improve, cultivate, rent, sub-divide and mortgage or alienate the same; and to construct, erect and operate water plants and storage dams, and to otherwise acquire and develop irrigation facilities and water supply for such lands, and other property of the corporation.
- To acquire, erect, establish, maintain and operate hotels, bath houses and other buildings, structures, enterprises and equipment, and to establish and maintain training schools and out-door and in-door sports and facilities for the training, benefit and pleasure of its patients, and members of their families, and of its employees, and to acquire, develop, maintain and carry on such agricultural, industrial, mercantile or other enterprises and equipment as shall be appropriate for the purpose of providing vocational training and employment for the patients and employees in and of the institutions, establishments and enterprises under the control of the corporation, and for the members of their families, and such as may be deemed necessary for the advantage and purposes of the corporation.
- To do and perform such other and further acts and things as may be calculated to aid in the prevention, treatment or cure of tuberculosis among Masons, or their families, or others, or to provide for the care and treatment of such persons who may be afflicted with other ailments or diseases; and to take such other and further action as may be deemed necessary or appropriate to contribute to the relief of those thus afflicted.
- To disseminate among the Freemasons of America, and their families and others, scientific knowledge and useful information as to the causes and methods of treatment for the prevention, relief and cure of tuberculosis; and as to the purposes and objects of the corporation.
- Generally, to do whatever may be deemed essential to the accomplishment of the aforesaid purposes and objects and to the encouragement and promotion of works of humanity and charity, for the relief of poverty, sickness, distress, suffering and danger; all of the activities and operations hereunder to be devoted to the aforesaid purposes and objects, and to the ultimate relief of sickness and distress, and the education and betterment of mankind, to the exclusion of personal or private gain or profit.
The corporation shall be empowered:
- To sue or be sued in any court of law.
- To make and use a common seal.
- To adopt by-laws for the government of its affairs, which, together with all amendments thereto, shall be duly filed in the office of the State Corporation Commission of New Mexico, in accordance with law.
- To take and hold real estate and personal property by lease, purchase, gift. devise or bequest, and to use or occupy, or to sell or mortgage the same; also to acquire and hold other real estate or personal property which shall have been bona fide conveyed to it, by way of security, or in satisfaction of debts or purchased at sales under judgment or decree obtained for such debts.
- To do and transact all business, and to possess and exercise all powers and privileges connected with or necessary or convenient to the attainment of the objects set forth in this Certificate of Incorporation, or such as may be incidental to any or all of the aforesaid purposes and objects.
- To purchase, lease or otherwise acquire, in whole or in part, the business, good will, rights, franchises and property of every kind, and to undertake the whole or any part of the assets or liabilities of any person, firm, association or corporation engaged in, or authorized to conduct any business similar to any business authorized to be conducted by this corporation, or owning property necessary or suitable for its purposes, and to pay for the same in cash, in bonds of this corporation, or otherwise; and to hold or in any manner dispose of, the whole or any part of the business or property so acquired, and to exercise all the powers necessary or incidental to the conduct of such business.
- In accordance with law, to consolidate its debts, property, assets and franchises, with any other like association or corporation, created either under the laws of New Mexico, or those of any state or territory of the United States, in such manner as may be agreed upon by the respective governing bodies of such corporations.
- To acquire by purchase, subscription or otherwise, and to hold, sell, assign, transfer, mortgage, pledge or otherwise dispose of, the stocks, bonds, or other obligations of any association or corporation formed for or then or theretofore engaged in or pursuing any one or more of the kinds of business, purposes, objects or operations hereinabove indicated, or owning or holding any property of any kind herein mentioned, or of any association or corporation owning or holding the stocks and or obligations of any such association or corporation.
- To conduct business, have one or more offices or agencies, and to purchase, mortgage, lease and convey real estate and personal property, or any estate or interest therein in any part of the world, but always subject to local laws, and to the general purposes and objects for which this corporation is formed, and to keep such books of the corporation outside of New Mexico as are not required by law to be kept within the state.
- Without in any particular limiting or restricting any of the other purposes, objects and powers of the corporation, it is hereby expressly declared and provided that for the purchase or acquisition of property, business, rights or franchises, or for additional working capital, or for any other object in or about, and not inconsistent with, its business or affairs and its general purposes and objects, and without limits as to amount, the corporation shall be empowered to incur debt, and to raise, borrow and secure the payment of money, in any lawful manner, including the issuing and sale or other disposition of bonds, warrants, debentures, obligations, negotiable and transferable instruments and evidences of indebtedness of all kinds, whether secured by mortgage, pledge, deed of trust or otherwise, to make and perform contracts of every kind and description; to issue bonds and other obligations in payment for property purchased or acquired by it, or for any other object in or about and not inconsistent with, its business; to mortgage or pledge any stocks, bonds or other obligations or any property which may be acquired by it, to secure any bonds or other obligations by it issued or incurred; and in carrying on its business, or for the purpose of attaining or furthering any of its objects or purposes, to do any and all other things, and exercise any and all other powers which now or hereafter may be permitted by law.
The foregoing clauses shall be construed both as objects and powers, but no recitation, expression or declaration of specific or special powers or purposes herein enumerated, shall be deemed to be exclusive, but it is hereby expressly declared that all other lawful powers not inconsistent therewith are hereby included.
Any and all of the rights, powers, privileges or restrictions in this Certificate of Incorporation, granted and contained, conferred or imposed, may be enlarged, amended, altered, changed in any manner and to any extent, or repealed by a Certificate of Amendment, in accordance with the laws of the State of New Mexico.
The business and operations of this corporation, and of the institutions which it may establish and control, shall at all times and for all purposes, in each and every branch, be under the jurisdiction and control of a Board of Governors to be composed of members, one for each state, one from the District of Columbia, and from each of the territories of the United States, who may be appointed by the Grand Master of each Grand Jurisdiction, elected by the Grand Lodge of each Grand Jurisdiction, or selected by the Board of Governors, or its Executive Committee; also of members-at-large who may be appointed respectively by the supreme heads of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the United States of America; the General Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of the United States of America; the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America; the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third and Last Decree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America; the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General of the Thirty-third and Last Degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America; the Imperial Council of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America; and the General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, or elected by the governing bodies of such organizations, or such members-at-large may be selected by the Board of Governors or its Executive Committee.
PROVIDED: Until the first meeting of the Board of Governors, and thereafter if so authorized by such Board, the Executive Committee as hereinafter named, with such additional members as they may elect or appoint, and their successors in office who may be elected or appointed by the Board of Governors from time to time, shall have and exercise all of the powers conferred upon such Board of Governors by this Certificate of Incorporation, the Laws of New Mexico, and the By-Laws of this corporation, when said Board of Governors is not in session, subject to suc1h restrictions and regulations as may be imposed by said Board.
This corporation shall have the right to organize subsidiary, state, county and local branches, societies or committees, for the more complete accomplishment of the purposes for which it is created and organized; and may grant charters, warrants or franchises to such subsidiary branches or organizations, and the organization and operation of such subsidiary branches shall at all times be under the control and supervision of the Board of Governors, or its Executive Committee, under rules and regulations to be thus prescribed for their guidance and government.
The officers and members of this Association shall be: the Chairman and members of the Board of Governors, the Chairman and members of the Executive Committee, honorary Presidents, the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Secretary, and such other officers, employees, committees and members as may be provided for and authorized by the Board of Governors, or its Executive Committee, and the members of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of New Mexico, and of its constituent lodges; and of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of New Mexico, and of its subordinate Chapters; and of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of New Mexico and its subordinate Commanderies; and of Santa Fe Lodge of Perfection, No. 1, and of its co-ordinate bodies; and of Ballut Abyad Temple of the Ancient, Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and of the Grand Chapter of New Mexico, Order of the Eastern Star; together with such persons as may contribute money, services or anything of value to further the work of the Association.
The first officers and members of the Association, of its Board of Governors, and of its Executive Committee, who shall serve until their successors are duly chosen, and their respective residences, shall be and are as follows, to-wit:
Chairman of the Board of Governors
Chairman of the Executive Committee
President — Jaffa Miller — Roswell, New Mexico
Vice-President — Richard H. Hanna — Albuquerque, New Mexico
Vice-President — Herbert B. Holt — Las Cruces, New Mexico
Secretary — Alpheus A. Keen — Albuquerque, New Mexico
Treasurer — John W. Turner — Silver City, New Mexico
Executive Secretary — Francis E. Lester — Mesilla Park, New Mexico
Neither this corporation, nor any of its subsidiary branches, shall have any capital stock or pay any dividend to any officer or member; but all profits derived from operations hereunder shall be used to further the aforesaid purposes and objects of the incorporation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto set our hands and seals, this 31st day of October, A.D. 1925.
HERBERT B. HOLT,
ALPHEUS A. KEEN,
JOHN W. TURNER,
FRANCIS E. LESTER.
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FROM LETTERS RECEIVED
Mr. E. M. White, Missouri Consistory, No. 1, El Jebel Temple, Denver, Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
"Catholic Institutions are in every state for the care of the Tuberculars. The Printers' Union has a fine Sanatorium in Colorado Springs as well as the Modern Woodmen of the World, and I as well as hundreds of other Masons have wondered why the Order had no place to take care of Masons stricken with T.B."
Dr. L. R. Jones, Lingle Lodge, Lingle, Wyo., Fort Lyon, Colo.
"As a Mason and as a physician limiting my practice to tuberculosis I wish to ask to be considered as an unqualified advocate of the plan."
Senator Ralph H. Cameron, United States Senate, Arizona:
You are sponsoring a most worthy cause, and from my heart I send thanks and appreciation for the courageous and brotherly way you are going about it to arouse interest of our organization throughout the country, whom I hope will heed your call and come generously to your aid and thus help our afflicted brethren.
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JOSEPH DE MAISTRE, FRANC-MAÇON. By Paul Vulliaud. Published by Emile Nourry, Paris. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange Building, St. Louis, Mo. Paper, 250 pages. Table of contents.
THIS is a biography of a very remarkable man, of whom it may be safe to say not one American Mason in a thousand has ever heard, and doubtless a goodly percentage of this minority who know of him would be unaware that he was a member of the Craft. From the way he writes, it would seem that Mr. Vulliaud is not a Mason himself, for he speaks with the tone of an outside observer. He begins his work with the sentence, "The Count Joseph de Maistre, a genius of haughty and paradoxial character, has often provoked the most extreme judgments." When it is known that he was, during part of his life, a most enthusiastic Mason, a member of the Martinistic Rite, and yet at the same time one of the most powerful and thorough-going defenders of the Papal system, out-heroding Herod in fact, and claiming, and backing by solid argument (his premises once granted) that the Pope is superior to all temporal governments, that all people should be ruled by kings and princes with despotic power, and all kings and princes should be the obedient servants of the Pope, the ordinary American Mason may go further than saying he was paradoxical and assert he was simply insane.
But times change and circumstances with them. De Maistre was born in 1754, and died of paralysis in 1821. A native of Savoy, of an ancient and noble family, he entered the service of the state at an early age. The invasion of the kingdom by the French Republican armies drove him into exile from which he did not return till after the end of Napoleon and the restoration of the Bourbons. During his exile, he served his king in various capacities, at one time being envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at St. Petersburg (as it was then). During this long period it was that he wrote most of his books, some of a mystical character, others highly polemical. He was constantly warring against republicanism, liberal philosophy and the current intellectual ideas of the period. One of his best known and most talked of pieces was his defense of the executioneer as the chief pillar of society. He was nothing, if not thoroughgoing. Despotism ecclesiastical and civil entails punishments, punishments to be effective must be severe, they need agents to carry them out, the hangman and the familiars of the Inquisition were therefore not only necessities of the social order, but to be esteemed in virtue of their usefulness. All this is to be found in the ordinary works of reference. What Mr. Vulliaud has done is to give us a very penetrating and critical account of the man himself. The most difficult problem to resolve is how he could have reconciled his ardent championship of papalism with his equally enthusiastic regard for Freemasonry. It is true that after 1809 he deserted the Fraternity, and was convinced apparently by the works of Barruel, Lefranc, Robison and the rest (of whom Mrs. Nesta Webster is the true descendant and representative in our own time) that Masonry was but part of a deep conspiracy, a wheel in an occult machine, intending to destroy all religion, all morality and all government; hating Protestants as well as Romanists, Republics as well as Monarchies.
But it must be remembered that the Bull, In eminenti, had been issued by Pope Clement XII in 1738, and reinforced by that entitled Providas of Benedict XIV in 1751, three years before de Maistre was born. It was a capital offense for a man to be a Mason in the Papal States as it was in Spain. It is true that according to the complex ecclesiastical jurisprudence of Rome, that a Papal edict does not take effect until it has been promulgated in a given country, yet it seems strange that a man such as our hero, who though a layman was more ecclesiastically minded than most priests, should not have considered himself bound by such solemn denunciations from the highest source of authority of the exceeding harmfulness and wickedness of Masonry, even if technically it had not yet the force of law. One is inclined to suspect that his love of despotic authority was altruistic; intended only for others and not for himself.
De Maistre saw in Freemasonry, as he received it, an esoteric and mystical school of doctrine, definitely Christian and in no way incompatible with the faith of the Catholic, that is Roman, Church. He was one of those, apparently, who are attracted by this sort of thing as naturally as a duck seeks the water. The author gives us a penetrating critical account of Martinism, based on the examination of all available sources of information, both what has been published and what still remains in manuscript. He is not very much impressed by the value of its teaching, but we can understand from what he tells us how those seeking mystical illumination would be attracted by it, and analogous systems. Freemasonry was still a novelty in Europe, its mystery aroused curiosity, wonderful things were ascribed to it, and it is easy to see how those looking for what Bro. Arthur Waite calls a "secret tradition," Kabbalistic, Theosophic, Alchemistic, or otherwise, should have come to knock at the door of the lodge, and that when they found only a fraternity based on the simple though fundamental precepts of morality and wisdom, should have supposed that these were only the preliminaries, and that higher grades possessed the wonderful secrets for which they longed. Supply follows demand, and with this idea current in the Craft such "higher" grades naturally came into being. To the Duke of Brunswick, one of de Maistre's princely correspondents, to all of whom he was fond of offering advice apparently, he says: "Our mysteries contain something great and truly worthy of mankind," and he seems to have been for a long time convinced that the Craft was quite compatible with Christianity as understood by Rome, and even that it might form a means whereby the warring sects of Christendom could be brought back into the fold of unity again-unity would, of course, for him, have implied communion (and submission) to the Pope as head of the Church. It, Freemasonry, ought to be, he thought, a government, and a government modeled on that of the Papal hierarchy. Mr. Vulliaud pertinently asks if he was not transgressing the Masonic ideal, which — according to its statutes, forbids all religious or political discussions, or, at least, has never ceased to so affirm. In practice, it is true, no Mason observes the rule.
Of course, it is difficult, and always has been, for individual members of the Craft, or groups of them, to always clearly distinguish between what is constitutionally permissible and what is not. Still more difficult is it for those outside. The difficulty is not in making broad statements, but in practically separating the Mason's natural rights as a man and a citizen to discuss and work for any religious or political cause he may choose, and his duty from abstaining from all this in his Masonic character. In groups of Masons all of one mind politically or religiously, the difficulty increases in proportion, and in such a case it will be very hard indeed for the observer on the outside to see the difference, and hard enough for those on the inside to maintain the distinction.
As has been already noted, after 1809, de Maistre turned against the Fraternity on the grounds that it had become an anti-religious, revolutionary organization, though it is not clear that he formally severed his connection with it; and even in 1810 he was invited to a Masonic reunion at St. Petersburg, and seems to have been inclined to attend, "in order to see," what was going to be done, we suppose. But he seems to have been finally convinced by the successors of Barruel and Robison of the enormities of the Craft, although previously he had very acutely controverted their arguments. Even later than this he wavered at times in his opinion, it would seem, as when in writing to the Czar Alexander he said that he did not know if the sect is really organized, if it forms a society, properly speaking, with its laws and its superiors, or whether it be only the result of a crowd of men who all desire the same thing." A statement of very great significance.
The question arises as to whether the breach between Masonry and the Church was really inevitable. One would almost be inclined to think that it was not. It must be remembered that the first official action on the part of the Papacy was really in its capacity as a temporal power. The Papal States, like most European governments of the period, were despotically ruled. It was the Pope as a temporal ruler who was alarmed at the secrecy of the lodges, and not so much in his capacity as a spiritual Father-in-God. Though naturally ecclesiastical censures accompanied the temporal punishments. Suppose that Freemasonry had been left alone, or that the suspicious rulers had done what Napoleon did later, and had a nominee of their own chosen as Grand Master, the Craft in Europe would either have retained its character of complete indifference or neutrality to all contentious questions, or else it might have tended to split up into definite national groups with little or no fraternal intercourse, much as the Freemasonry of Denmark and Scandinavia has done. But once it was condemned by the Church as being not only a religious, but irreligious, and suppressed by various governments as being liberal and revolutionary, two reactions inevitably followed. With all the reluctance they may have felt towards it, Freemasons were unwillingly forced into a position in which they found themselves regarded as enemies to the powers that were. And the public effect this would have was to lead precisely the liberals and revolutionaries to seek to join it, with the result that more and more of its membership came to be composed of men of this class of mind. It would seem, indeed, that Rome has in Europe, and elsewhere, created an enemy where she might have made a friend.
On the other hand, it may be argued that the tendency of Freemasonry, so far as it has had an influence on men, is always toward freedom, freedom in the state, in social intercourse, in religious and philosophic opinion. One must suppose, that this being the case, Rome could not do anything else but oppose it, for freedom has always seemed to be the one thing she cannot patiently endure.
S. J. C.
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AMERICAN MASONRY AND CATHOLIC EDUCATION. By the Rev. Michael Kenny, S.J. Paper, 30 pages.
FREEMASONRY. By Lucian Johnston. Paper 24 pages. Published by the International Catholic Truth Society. May be procured through the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange Bldg., St. Louis, Mo.
THESE two pamphlets should be very interesting to Masonic readers. Though they are written from rather different standpoints, at least the author of the second tries to consider his subject fairly, and without animus against individual Masons, yet the conclusions reached are very much the same. Mr. Johnston prefaces what he has to say by observing that in his experience the average American Mason is not especially hostile to the Roman Church, and is rather puzzled to know why the latter should oppose Masonry. His trait is an attempt to make the causes for this opposition quite plain and clear, and in a friendly way "to try and show them why the Church is justified in condemning their Society in spite of their tolerance and frequent kindness to her own members." And he goes on to say that possibly one reason is that the average American Freemason aforesaid "does not really know what is real Masonry — the kind that is so irreconcilable with [Roman] Catholicity." Both writers stress this point, the Rev. Michael Kenny in a "Postscript" speaks of the "large, but decreasing number of Masons unacquainted" with Masonic purposes. Earlier he speaks of the candidate in the 30° being informed that in the first three degrees he had been "intentionally misled by false interpretations" of the symbols. Mr. Johnston says that he finds "from a perusal of Masonic writers" that his suspicions were correct, and typographically emphasizes the statement that "the average Mason is ignorant of the real aim and meaning of Masonry" and that "the highest Masonic authorities assert that the majority of Masons are deliberately and purposely kept in ignorance of the inner secrets." And again "The amazing thing about this ignorance among the great mass of Masons is that they are deliberately kept in ignorance by those higher up." On the same page he quotes Morals and Dogma in support of this contention. "Part of the symbols are displayed there [in the symbolic degrees] to the initiate; but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations."
With all due respect to the author on account of his kindly tone, and his undoubtedly sincere attempt to judge with candor and reprehend without malice, the writer would not wish to hurt his feelings for the world, but all this is, to a Mason, too funny for words. Yet one can easily see how such statements will almost inevitably be misunderstood by the profane. What those outside cannot appreciate is that Masonry is rather an Institution, a Fraternity, than an organization. They fail to realize, if indeed they know, that every Grand Lodge is a separate independent, sovereign, entity; that Chapters, Commanderies, Grand and Supreme Councils are higher than the Grand Lodges only in a numerical sense, or as a sequence by which a man becomes successively qualified to join new societies and orders if he wishes. Of course, in a symbolic progression the official interpretations must claim to be higher or deeper, or more recondite, to offer any plausible reason for their existence. If you are going to have systems of degrees the later, or higher in order, must extend something new even if they have to go very far afield to get it. Mr. Kenny speaks of the Supreme Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite issuing commands to his two million Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite Masons, quite unaware that any attempt on the part of a Supreme Council to interfere with the affairs of the Blue Lodge would simply operate to prevent whatever it wanted being done, besides raising a very serious conflict; one which might, indeed, easily end in the Scottish Rite being banned altogether in that particular jurisdiction. While even in the Rite itself tiny attempt to issue orders outside of the ritual requirements inside the Lodges, Councils and Consistories would disrupt it as swiftly and effectively as a charge of Tri-nitro-toluol.
What the outsider, reading Masonic books and periodicals, and especially the Romanist outsider, finds it so difficult to appreciate is that there are no creeds, no dogmas, nothing de fide in Freemasonry. This is especially hard for the Romanist to realize, accustomed as he is to an organization which sets forth an elaborately detailed system of dogma within which his thoughts and opinions and judgments are strictly limited. There can be no concerted action political or otherwise among Masons because there is no machinery for deciding on a policy and no means of exacting obedience to it from the members. Masons as such are not bound to obey anybody, or anything, but the moral law. The most obscure Mason in the country is on the same level in this regard as the most prominent "Ruler" of the Craft. Neither is there any orthodox teaching, outside the simple precepts of common morality, and even they are not so much taught as enjoined. Symbols are employed, and official interpretations are given, which are indeed so superficial and almost banal that they can satisfy only the most superficial minds. The 18° or 30° or other degrees may offer other explanations, but these are no more authoritative than the earlier ones. The opinions held by the youngest Mason are as good as those of Pike, Mackey and Churchward, the authorities most quoted by our present authors. But they have not the position in Masonry that Bellarmin or St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, have in the Roman Church, as seems to be supposed. They carry weight only as other members of the Order choose individually to accept them. Any Mason can make his own interpretation, is free to argue for it, write about it, and remain in perfectly good standing even if he contradicts these authorities and expresses his opinion that they were all wrong and didn't know anything about the subject.
Our authors both insist that Freemasonry is Freemasonry and that being all one thing our own brand is party to the crimes and misdemeanors (alleged) of that of France. Mr. Johnston ends one stage of the argument with the following statement:
The conclusion as to the absence of any real difference between American and French Masonry or of any real rupture between them is put beyond all doubt by the unity of all Freemasons all over the world despite occasional and unessential differences.
This would make some good brethren either furiously angry, or else helpless with laughter; those especially who will not even allow the name Freemason to the French organizations. He quoted earlier than this a statement in the Encyclopedia Brittanica that Masonic history could be as fully written by non-Masons as by Masons, and from this jumps to the conclusion, by a confusion of thought, that non-Masons are as well able to state the present state of Masonic thoughts, feelings and relationships as the Mason. The absurdity of this can be appreciated if we change the subject. A biographer need not be a member of a man's family to do his work well, he may know more about his subject than the latter's grandchildren do, but (unless a member of the family or an intimate friend) he does not know whether the cousins and second cousins are on friendly terms, or have quarreled, or simply have lost track of each other's existence. To have an outsider tell American Masons that really they have no differences with the Grand Orient of France, that they are all one and the same organization, seems preposterous. A man had no quarrel at all with his mother-in-law though he ejected her forcibly from his house and threw her belongings out into the street after her. What more could he do?
It is possible that more space has been given to these tracts than they really deserve; to fully discuss them (were it worth while) would run to greater length than the text criticised, for these misunderstanding misstatements (in Mr. Johnston's case at least, we feel sure they are most sincerely believed), these nonsequiturs and fallacies in argument abound on every page, almost in every sentence, and for this reason they make exceedingly interesting, and may we add, instructive reading.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
FUNDAMENTALISM AND THE BIBLE
In a recent book review in THE BUILDER the writer says "Fundamentalists may disagree with the idea of evolution because it cannot be reconciled with the Bible, but even so man came from somewhere, and the evolutionists' explanation of his origin is as capable of proof as that of the fundamentalist, possibly more so." I agree with the writer that the idea of evolution cannot be reconciled with the Bible. As for proof the fundamentalist asks no better proof than the Bible that "in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." This ought to be sufficient for every Freemason who heard this Scripture quoted when he was initiated and was taught "that the Bible is God's inestimable gift to man and is the rule and guide of our faith and practice." Any theory of evolution which cannot be harmonized with the first chapter of Genesis is un-Masonic and should not disturb any intelligent Freemason. The Bible does not try to prove the existence of God: it assumes it and dismisses the atheist with the declaration, "The fool hath said in his heart 'there is no God.'"
"Twenty-six letters in due order set:
Suffice for all of Shakespeare's varied verse
The elements of Nature's alphabet
As few and simple spell the universe
Can they by chance together hurled
Compose a Hamlet or create a world?"
One is as unthinkable as the other. Evolution is not susceptible of proof. Embryology does not favor it: it only shows the harmony of the Creator's work.
"One God, one law, one element and one far off divine event
To which the whole creation moves."
Several years ago Bryan threw out this challenge, "Of the million species of life that science claims to know today, show me a single instance where you have ever crossed the line between species and produced a new and fertile species."
I quoted this to a college professor one day and remarked that scientists had never met this challenge. "They will do it yet," was his reply. I am waiting for them to do it. In this connection let me quote from Huxley's Study of Zoology: So definitely and precisely marked is the structure of each animal that in the present state of our knowledge there is not the least evidence to prove that a form in the slightest degree transitional between any two of the groups, Vertebrata, Annulosa, Mollusca and Coelenterata either exists or has existed during that period of the earth's history recorded by the geologist."
The plain truth is: science has nothing to do with beginnings and it is sheer impertinence to try to dignify the wild guesses of evolutionists with the name of science. Dr. T. H. Morgan of Columbia University said a few years ago, "We are teaching too much in the subject of evolution and comparative anatomy. The result has been that the young student loses his faith in God and theology. This tendency is very prevalent in Western universities. It is time to call a halt in our emphasis upon the theory of evolution. We must remember its sole foundation is comparative anatomy and that the data which forms its foundation is questionable."
Evolutionists make merry over what they call the Carpenter Theory of Creation. It is far more reasonable than their Hermit Crab theory which represents the Creator, if there is a Creator, watching the slow unfolding of life until at least a form appears into which he can slip an immortal soul and call it "Man." However plausible your theories of evolution may be in accounting for man's physical structure, they cannot account for conscience — the moral nature. Here is a chasm which no theory of evolution can ever bridge.
C. W. Briggs, Missouri.
[We are very glad to publish this letter of M. W. Bro. Briggs. However there are zealous Christians according to their lights who, with a good conscience, are not Fundamentalists, as well as good Masons. English-speaking Freemasonry, as is well known, does not demand more of a man than belief in God, and does not ask whether he be Christian. Jew, or Mohammadan. He may even be a Theosophist or a Free Thinker. Obviously then, the Bible in a Masonic lodge must be, as most authorities explicitly assert, a symbol only and not necessarily an object of faith.]
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THE SENIOR DEACON AND THE CANDIDATE
May I correct an error in the May BUILDER? In one of your answers in the Question Box, pp. 159-60, on which side of the candidate should the Senior Deacon walk, you say: "There is nothing essential about it one way or the other." But it is essential that the S.D. be on the candidate's right so that during the perambulation the seated brethren — and the officers may convince themselves that the candidate is "duly' and truly prepared."
D. D. B., New York.
In regard to the query in THE BUILDER for May as to the proper side for the Senior Deacon to take his position in conducting the candidate, there is in Iowa a regular sequence. In the E.A., on the left side, grasping him by the left hand in the Senior Deacon's peculiar grip. In the F.C., on the right side, and in the M.M., on the left. I always thought it was tied up thus because in the E. A. the left side is and the right in the F.C. preparation.
As I recall, everywhere I have visited it was done the same way, though I may be mistaken in this.
A. L. K., Pennsylvania.
These two letters taken together seem to be in themselves a sufficient justification for the opinion expressed on page 160 of THE BUILDER for May that there is nothing essential about the method to be adopted.
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CHARLES A. THOMPSON AND WILLIAM BARTON
In my study of the Great Seal of the United States, I find that Charles A. Thompson, the first Secretary of Congress, and William Barton, of Philadelphia, were responsible for many of the designs that appear on both sides of the seal, and that these bear strong marks of being Masonic.
Can you tell me anything about these two men as far as their belonging to the Masonic Fraternity is concerned?
H. V. S., New Hampshire.
Some time ago I prepared an article on the Great Seal of the United States, which appeared in the January and February issues of "The Sojourner," which paper I edit.
In these articles I made considerable research regarding the reverse side of the Great Seal. I am unable to definitely state, however, that Thompson and Barton were Masons; but the fact that both these gentlemen retained and preserved the conception as proposed by Monsieur Du Simitiere and improved by Thomas Jefferson, would indicate that there is some reason to believe that they were.
Geo. F. Unmacht, Washington, D.C.
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PYTHAGOREAN LODGE AND ITS FIRST MEMBERS
I am endeavoring to get the Masonic history of five brothers who were connected with the early history of Pythagorean Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Marion, Mass. Would you kindly ask through your Question Box if any brother can help me?
I should like to know where and when they were initiated, passed and raised, and any other information in regard to their Masonic connections, especially whether they have held any offices in other lodges, The only information I have at present is as follows:
George Bonney, one of the brothers to whom Dispensation was granted, Aug. 20, 1861. Not mentioned as a charter member.
J. E. Davenport, ditto; held office of Junior Warden under Dispensation.
Captain Enoch Norton, ditto, but held no office; died March 13, 1862, aged 66 years, 7 months, 17 days.
John D. Allen, one of brothers to whom Dispensation was granted; Worshipful Master under Dispensation; charter member July 15, 1863; J. D. 1863-1866; Tyler 1869-1874 and 1877-1 Treasurer 1859-1880; died May 26, 1904. (Born in Rochester, Mass., Feb. 9, 1815.)
Barnabas Douglas, one to whom Dispensation was granted and a charter member; died in March, 1873.
Any information, even a clue to some lodge that might know of these brothers, will be greatly appreciated.
R, D. Macafee, Marlon, Mass.
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The other day I was reading a book on Turkey entitled "Forty Years in Constantinople," by Bro. Sir Edwin Pears, and in it there was reference to Freemasonry in that country, and I enclose herewith an extract containing what the author has to say on the subject in connection with the Young Turk Party and the Revolution.
Would it be too much trouble if you published in THE BUILDER some time a brief statement as to Freemasonry in Turkey? Is there a sovereign Grand Lodge there, and if so is it recognized by the other Grand Lodges of the world? What is the status of such individual lodges as may exist?
I. V. Gillis, China.
The extract referred to is given below. We have not any definite information to hand as to recent developments in Turkey. Shortly before the war a Grand Orient was formed by a number of lodges holding warrants from the governing bodies of France, Italy and Spain. Turkish Freemasonry has had a number of truly admirable men in its ranks but uncertainty as to its origin and rumors of political activities have led to a general refusal of recognition on the part of English speaking Grand Lodges.
Extract from "Forty Years in Constantinople," by Sir Edwin Pears, Chapter XVIII, pages 258, 259:
"I do not know that anyone in particular was aimed at when the committee was labeled as consisting of atheists, Jews and Freemasons... .
"It probably influenced unfavorably a few of the lower elements of the population. Freemasons used in connection with Young Turkey never appeared to me to have a specially objectionable meaning. As a Mason myself, I can assert that very few indeed of the Party were Masons before the Revolution. The fact which lent vividness to the term as revolutionary was that in the Italian Lodge in Salonica some members of the Committee bad been accepted, and, according to general repute, employed the lodge as a means of keeping the movements of the revolutionary body from the outside world. The cry that the opponents of Abdul Hamid were Freemasons had indeed the effect of causing a great many Turks to desire to become Masons, and indeed gave Freemasonry a lift in the country such as it had never had before. The Revolution, however, would not have made much progress if its supporters had been limited to Jews, atheists and Freemasons. The cry that the revolutionary party consisted of them was really dangerous only in name. I doubt whether it did the cause of Young Turkey any harm whatever, except perhaps among the adherents of the Roman Catholic Church."
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THE ORIGIN OF DEGREES
Please can you tell me where the first three degrees of Masonry derived the name Blue Lodge, and what is the symbolism of it in Masonry and from whence did the name come?
J. B. L., Montana.
This might be briefly answered by saying that the designation was derived from the color used in the lodges as a binding to the white apron and for other decorations. But the question then arises, why was the color blue selected, and that is very far from being easy to answer. In some places (as Scotland) each lodge chooses its own color, and in the eighteenth century, or at least in the first part of it, this seems to have been general. Nevertheless there seem some indications to show that blue was used by Masons as well as white (in their gloves and aprons). When the chapter degrees were organized the color red, or red and crimson, or purple, was adopted and it then became an easy way of designating the bodies. The Masonic Order of Templars was at one time often called in the same way, "Black Masonry," because originally the Knights wore black aprons. The term Blue Lodge is a convenient one and because of its convenience has persisted without any clear logical or symbolical meaning.
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I have asked many of our brethren concerning the origin of the Dueguard of the First and Second Degrees, but none of them have been able to enlighten me on this point. I finally wrote to Bro. Haywood, of the Masonic Outlook, and he suggested that I write to you.
I shall be grateful for any information you can give me on this subject.
P. S., New York.
I presume by origin you have in mind how they came into our present ritual. Up until the closing years of the eighteenth century they were not so distinguished. The expressions "Due guard" and "Sign" were used interchangeably as designating the same thing. In fact, the specific actions which we in the United States today distinguish as the DG of the EA and FC degrees were not finally so termed until 1843. You must understand that many changes have been made in our ritual by well meaning brethren who have sought to rationalize it. That is, they have tried to establish a logically consistent system.
In 1760, what is now the EA sign was called the EA's "due guard or sign." What are now the EA and FC DG's were unknown or at least not used as such. There was only one sign each in the EA and FC degrees. Some time about 1800 (the date is indeterminate) it occurred to someone to incorporate one movement or action to be known as the due guard, and the other as the sign. These were as follows:
In the EA degree, what is now the due guard was then termed the sign and what is now the sign was called the due guard.
In the FC degree, the two were given almost as now, except they were never given separately.
In the MM degree, the due guard was given with the right hand only.
In 1843, a convention was held at Baltimore, Md., to agree on a uniform ritual. Among other things, they reversed the procedure in the EA degree. What was then the due guard they made our present sign and vice versa. In the MM degree they adopted the use of both hands in giving the MM due guard.
Rob Morris defined a due guard as a position and a sign or a movement. Up till 1843 there was, as we have shown, no distinction. I might say the expression "due guard" comes from a passage in the old rituals where, in opening the lodge, the Master said, " Brethren, please to guard yourselves as Masons."
A. L. K.
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Enclosed find my check for $2 for use in the tuberculosis work among Masons.
I have a brother who recently found he has an arrested case of T.B. He could easily say, in thinking of these active cases, "There, but for the grace of God, goes Bro. Dewey."
This donation is small but I am hoping it will be duplicated by all the brothers throughout the world and this unfair burden thus lifted from the shoulders of our brothers in the great Southwest.
J.R. Dewey Iowa.
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YE EDITOR'S CORNER
The Chicago Board of Education has caused a classic essay to be immortalized in type. It's about frogs, and was written by a young Norwegian. It runs as follows:
"What a wonderful bird the frog are! When he stand he sit, almost. When he hop he fly, almost. He ain't got no sense, hardly. He ain't got no tail, hardly, either. When he sit he sit on what he ain't got, almost."