A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 10 No. 10 – October 1924
A SIGN AND A SUMMONS!
IMMEDIATELY after reading this please turn to Bro. Robert J. Newton's inspiriting appeal on the next page. Read it with care — and with prayer! It presents with incandescent language a tragical state of affairs that must soon become the business of every Mason in America. Do not read it as "one more scheme" put forward by "somebody anxious to start something" which is "one more excuse for begging money"; it is none of these things, or anything like them. Bro. Newton and his colleagues are one and all responsible Masons, many of them leaders in the Craft. They have nothing to gain from their efforts save the satisfaction of knowing they have wrought to bring our Fraternity to a realization of one of its most pressing duties.
We are confronted by countless problems that are interesting, and many that are important, but this is the most urgent of all, because it involves so many lives. It is so urgent, so vitally morally urgent, that the Mason who turns aside from it with indifference will have something laid up against his conscience that shouldn't be there.
Thousands of our brethren go out to the Southwest every year to escape death. If they were in the front line trenches of a battle they would not be in greater danger. Many of them perish, a majority, perhaps; of those that do a pitiable number leave behind them unprotected wives and children.
All this agony is not necessary. Tuberculosis, if the victim is given half a chance, is curable, but its cure costs time and money, and for that reason very few are in any shape to wage the battle alone. What is more natural than that a brother in such a plight, hundreds and thousands of miles from home usually, should turn to his mother lodge for relief! It is a sarcastic commentary on our ineffectual methods for taking care of charity needs on a national scale that usually he turns in vain. It is a matter of record that in scores and scores of cases he does not even receive a reply from his lodge secretary! He dies believing that Freemasonry is merely a matter of fine words, and hopeless of having his family looked after by those brethren solemnly obligated to such a duty.
The lodges of the Southwest are generally doing everything they can; many of their members, as Bro. Newton indicates, know from experience how bitter a thing it is to win out from the clutches of tuberculosis. But those lodges are nearly always small, with slender finances, and scattered thinly across a vast territory, most of it desert. If every one of them were to devote itself to tuberculosis relief to the very limit of its powers still would their combined efforts be utterly inadequate to grapple with the needs, which are so desolatingly heart-breaking to every man who has knowledge of them.
This problem is not local. It is national. It is not for the Southwest to meet; it is for the entire national Fraternity. Our brethren go there from every Grand Lodge in the Union; it is the moral obligation of every Grand Lodge to care for its own. Who would dare to advance in speech or print the argument that the powerful Grand Lodges of the East and the Middle West should stand by to let the small Grand Lodges of the Southwest assume their burdens for them, and carry out their duties? Nobody ! Yet that is precisely what they are now doing, almost every one of them, so far as tuberculosis is concerned!
One could fill up every page of this issue with detailed accounts of the neglect suffered by thousands of tuberculous Masons who flee to the dry warmth of the Southwest to escape the fatal winters back home. We do not believe that Masons are the kind of men who need thus to be harrowed into doing the brotherly duties required of them by their own obligations. We believe that if the Fraternity is brought to a realization of the facts it will act, and that gladly. Experience thus far has proved that.
Brother Mason, will you not acquaint yourself with the facts? Will you not help to make these facts everywhere known? Will you not try to bring them home to your lodges and to your own Grand Lodge? Will you not do this at once? We can say on our own honor, in the name of the National Masonic Research Society, after careful first hand investigation, that these facts are as Bro. Newton has stated them.
If we could plunge into the waters to save one drowning man we would do it, would we not, however much of a stranger he would be! Here is a situation where, without sacrifice or risks to ourselves, we can save from an equally certain death not one, but thousands; not strangers, but brethren!
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"J'ACCUSE!" A CHALLENGE TO FREEMASONRY
By Bro. Robert J. Newton, Texas
Read in connection with this bugle-like call the editorial on the preceding page. Bro. Newton has been moving heaven and earth in his tireless efforts to bring to American Masons a realization of the facts concerning the greatest need in Masonic charity this land has ever known. Bro. Francis E. Lester, P.G.M., New Mexico, equally disturbed by the awful problem of the White Plague in the Southwest and also ceaselessly active, has asked us to say for him that he endorses, emphasizes and commends to the prayerful attention of all readers everything that Bro. Newton here says. Letters addressed to Bro. Newton will be forwarded promptly if sent to THE BUILDER.
"THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
Has Freemasonry, in America, become "sounding brass"?
Is it "a tinkling cymbal"?
Does it speak with the "tongues of men and of angels"; high-sounding platitudes about its principles, its teachings, its origin and its mission — and fail in its duties?
Does it preach of altruism and brotherhood — and fail to practice that which it preaches?
"A tinkling cymbal?"
Is it more concerned with the pomp and ceremonies of its Ritual than it is with the living spirit of its faith?
Has it been false to the vows of brotherhood, sworn to before its sacred altars?
Are there living Freemasons who will dare accuse it?
Are there Freemasons who have cursed it — and died?
We ask you, who read these questions, to apply them to yourself, to your Blue Lodge and to the Grand Lodge of your state, and to answer them in the light of your knowledge of your own practice of Freemasonry, and of the charitable activities of your own lodge and Grand Lodge. We do not accuse, but we ask you to do so, and to make your own defense.
There are three million Freemasons in the United States, members of thousands of lodges, bound together by the most sacred oaths of brotherhood, sworn to aid and assist each other, their wives, widows and children.
Individually, and as lodges, they try to keep the faith. They do their duty, as far as they are able, and as they see it. They visit the sick and bury the dead. They give financial help according to their ability.
The Grand Lodges of most states maintain homes and schools for the orphaned children of Freemasons. Some Grand Lodges maintain homes for the aged and helpless brethren, their wives and widows.
These are the recognized lines of charitable activity beyond which few Masons and Masonic lodges ever go. And because most lodges are limited in their funds, the amount spent for charity is necessarily small.
Yet Freemasons take much credit to the Fraternity for their works of charity. How much does their work of benevolence cost each individual Mason? Is it not true that Freemasonry is the cheapest, or least expensive, organization to which most men belong?
The average civic luncheon club demands more money from its membership than the average Freemason gives to his Masonic lodge.
Have we done our full duty, as men and brethren, to each other?
Is there no other field of charity and benevolence to which we might turn? Are there no other needs to be met?
Is it not true that the care of the orphaned, the widowed, and the aged is a duty recognized by all peoples claiming the least degree of civilization and that such benevolent work is but the beginning, and should be but a small part of the service which we should render?
Is not our failure to measure up to our opportunities, and the needs for humanitarian work, due to a lack of vision on the part of our leaders and ourselves?
Will not the average Freemason, cheerfully and liberally, contribute to any worthy Masonic charity which would save his brethren from sickness, suffering and death?
We, who live in the great Southwest, the land which for more than a century has been the Mecca for the sick and suffering, especially for the unfortunates afflicted with the Great White Plague, believe that Freemasonry has overlooked and neglected a magnificent opportunity for putting into practice the beautiful teachings of the Fraternity. We believe that Freemasonry has a great duty to perform in providing for the hospital care of the members of our "Grand Lodge of Sorrow," the brethren suffering from consumption. And we also believe that the Freemasons of all America will gladly meet their call for help, provided our leaders give them this opportunity to prove that fraternity and brotherhood are facts and not mere words.
Of the three millions of Freemasons in America today, at least 60,000 are afflicted with tuberculosis, according to the estimates of the United States Census Bureau and of the National Tuberculosis Association.
Of these 60,000 men, approximately 40,000 have tuberculosis in the active stage and need hospital care if they are to have any chance of recovery, and also for the protection of their loved ones from infection.
Of these 40,000 active cases, 4,400 die each year and Freemasonry is often called upon to spend more for the care and education of widows and children than it would have cost to save the lives of the fathers.
Tuberculosis is a communicable, preventable and sometimes curable disease. Patients in the first stage, and some patients in the second stage, may have their disease arrested by hospital care extending over a sufficient period of time.
Tuberculosis is primarily a poor man's disease. If you are not poor when you get it, you will be poor by the time it gets you. The expense of treatment during the year or more usually required to restore the patient to a self-sustaining basis is far beyond the financial ability of the average victim.
This expense is also far beyond the resources of the average lodge of Freemasons.
No Grand Lodge in the United States has any fund for expense of hospital care of brethren suffering from consumption.
Therefore, Freemasonry fails him in the hour of his greatest need.
What becomes of the 40,000 active cases of tuberculosis?
Nearly five thousand die annually, but 5,000 more take their places.
Some of them are financially able to care for themselves and do so and many recover. Most of them work as long as they can, for when they stop work, wives and children must take their places as breadwinners. They go from bad to worse, physically and financially. At last pride succumbs and they appeal to their lodges, or to organized charity, or both.
HOW HE IS ASSISTED
According to its financial ability, the lodge aids them. In the larger cities this aid is supplemented by the assistance of charity and anti-tuberculosis societies. In the smaller places and in the country, none of this additional assistance is available. Some of the patients are sent to local county or municipal hospitals for the few remaining weeks of life, for no private hospitals, except the exclusively tuberculosis hospitals, will accept them. Other patients receive small sums weekly to help maintain the family. And quite a large number, how many it is impossible to say, many of them in the advanced and hopeless stage of the disease, are aided to go west to seek the benefit of a change of climate, sometimes accompanied by their families, more often alone.
It is customary to give the brother a railroad ticket, a small amount of money and the advice to seek out the Masonic lodge in the city of his destination.
And when the sick brother arrives and seeks the aid and comfort of his brethren in his new place of residence, he often finds that many of them are in the same condition as himself and are financially unable to help him.
His prospects for recovery are in exact proportion to the amount of money he may have, or may secure, for without money he cannot command the hospital care which is necessary, even in the favorable climate of the Southwest.
He gets some help from the brethren among whom he has cast his lot, for no Masons are more brotherly then the men of the Southwest, especially those who have fought, or are fighting, the same battle for life. He gets some help from his home lodge. He lingers, and may win out, for many seemingly hopeless cases do so. If he loses he spends the last few weeks, often as a charity patient, in some city or county hospital, or perhaps a Catholic institution. When he dies the home lodge may pay the expense of his removal and burial at home.
These are the short and simple annals of the poor — and sick — in the Southwest. They come by the thousands, all races and creeds of men. Some thousands have recovered and have built up the cities of this favored land and have made the desert blossom as the rose. But many thousands have died, unhonored and unsung, and some sleep in Potters' Fields, among them men to whom we vowed the vows of brotherhood, who might have lived — if we had answered YES to the question that is as old as humanity, "Am I my brother's keeper?"
Those who come west are those who have the spirit of the fighter. They will not give up as long as there is life left in the body. For every one who comes to the west there may be five, or maybe ten, who stay to die at home. These, also, wherever they may be, in city, town, or in a farm home, need the help of their Masonic brethren.
If Masonry has done nothing to help its sick and dying brethren in the years that are past, thousands of whom might have been saved, must it not plead guilty to indifference, or neglect of its vows and obligations at least, in answer to the questions you were asked to propound to yourself and to your lodge?
But to a dying brother, who realizes that his life is the penalty for such indifference or neglect, may it not seem worse than that? For in addition to his physical suffering there may be added a mental torture the fear that the brotherhood which he believes has forgotten its vows to him may also forget the vows it made for the care of his children.
When we think of these things, should we not fall down before our altars and cry out, "What must we do to be saved?"
Is Freemasonry in danger of losing its soul?
If so, it can find it again in service.
It can organize for the help of its sick brethren.
No individual Mason, no subordinate lodge, and no Grand Lodge can meet the need.
We have no Grand Lodge of the United States to which we can appeal to bring united action by the entire Masonic Fraternity of America. Yet such united action is absolutely necessary to do this work on the scale which is required to meet the need.
WE NEED TEN HOSPITALS
Our sick brethren are scattered throughout the length and breadth of the land, in hundreds of cities, towns and villages, on thousands of farms. Because of the migration to a healing climate, the Southwest has far more than its share.
These sick brethren, who need and want hospital treatment, should be cared for in Masonic hospitals, and a chain of at least ten such hospitals should be established, and operated, throughout the United States to meet the needs of every state.
At least 5,000 hospital beds should be provided for their care.
They must be cared for as long as necessary to restore them to health, to their families and to self-support.
Those who can should pay all or part of the expense of their care and treatment, so that no needy brother may be denied the same care. Those who cannot pay must be cared for by the Fraternity in fulfillment of our obligations.
HOW IT MAY BE DONE
How may this be accomplished?
Why can we not have a National Masonic Sanatorium Association for this work of relief and charity. If we can form a national organization for educational work, why can we not do the same thing for hospitalization of the consumptives among our brethren?
The organization and incorporation of such an association may be authorized by any Grand Lodge or by any of the governing bodies of the Scottish or York Rites of Freemasonry.
Its membership should consist of all Freemasons, lodges and Grand Lodges and other Masonic bodies which may contribute to its support.
The building of hospitals, or sanatoria, can be financed by voluntary contributions — of Freemasons. A national campaign can be organized and the money secured just as it has been collected by the great Protestant churches in their campaigns for millions of dollars for educational, missionary and hospital work.
The operation of such hospitals can be financed by assessments levied for that purpose by the Grand Lodges affiliated with the Sanatorium Association, and by gifts and bequests from those who helped to build.
The cost of 6,000 hospital beds in ten hospitals may total $12,500,000, or an average of less than $4.17 for every Freemason in the United States. Thousands of them will give more.
The operation of such hospitals may cost $1,000 a bed annually, or a total of $5,000,000, an average of $1.67 a year for each Freemason.
Such contributions would be insurance against tuberculosis for all Freemasons.
Hospital care would save the majority of the nearly 5,000 men who now die annually.
These men, when restored to usefulness, would produce in the remainder of their lifetime thousands of dollars in excess of what it cost to save them.
The Fraternity would save thousands of dollars it now expends to care for their widows and children.
Masonry would double its strength in the next decade, for all good men would seek alliance with a body of men who translated their ritual into terms of service.
If this, or any other plan for the care of our Masonic brethren suffering from tuberculosis, is carried out, and our vows and obligations made a living force, of far greater import than the hundreds of lives and thousands of dollars saved, or than any increase of our strength. will be the fact that Freemasonry, in America, has found its soul — and saved it.
Have we a leader anywhere who will take up this cross of service and carry it through the dead woods of ritualism and the slough of ceremonialism to the high hills of true fraternal brotherhood, where it may be lifted up and draw all sick and suffering Masons, unwilling members of our Grand Lodge of Sorrow, beneath its sheltering arms?
Who will answer the call?
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THE PASSING OF DR. KUHN
Bro. Dr. William F. Kuhn died suddenly at his home in Kansas City, Mo., Sept. 2, last. The unexpected word of his passing came as a shock to his friends and acquaintances throughout the American Fraternity, of which he had as many, one may believe, as any Craftsman that has ever labored amongst us. There is no need to recall his career as a physician, or all the high offices in Masonry held by him, or to describe his personality, so richly endowed; all this is familiar to every Mason.
Bro. Kuhn devoted almost all of his time during the past three years to his duties as General Grand High Priest, General Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons. His one high purpose was to organize a national educational movement among Royal Arch chapters, similar to that now in progress among so many lodges. The Royal Arch was not to him a mere Side Order but a Rite rich in history and lore, in possession of a deep and many sided ritual, with untold latent possibilities for influence; and he prayed that all Grand Chapters might be persuaded to bend their efforts to uncovering these riches to every member. What could be a more suitable monument to his memory than to carry out his dream? One cannot think of any other memorial that would please him so much, as he now watches from the Unseen.
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"EARLY TO BED"
"I am convinced that one reason for the irregular attendance especially of brethren like myself who are advanced in years is the late hour in the evening to which in most lodges the meetings are kept up, and I offer two suggestions which have a bearing on this point. One is that Masters of lodges see to it that their meetings begin sharp on time; no doubt that is a lesson which a great many Masters have thoroughly learned already, but at least in some rural lodges I find a shocking disregard of the clock, and to begin a meeting half an hour or three-quarters of an hour after the advertised time means a lateness of dispersal which interferes with an adequate night's rest. We all admit the difficulty which in this respect besets the small lodges in the country. The long distance some members have to travel, the heavy burden of hard work and responsibility at home which cannot be evaded even for a single evening; and of course when a lodge has become accustomed to slackness in the hour of meeting it is a herculean task to get back to promptitude. But the effort is well worth while and may indeed save the life of a lodge. Let the Master and his Wardens, by personal interviews, or, if necessary, by personally gathering for the first time or two the necessary number to form a quorum, be on hand a few minutes before the appointed time and let them unfalteringly begin on the stroke of the clock, and the trouble will soon right itself."
Andrew B. Baird, P.G.M., Manitoba
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THE MASONIC STONE OF 1606
R. W. Bro. Reginald V. Harris
Grand Historian, Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia
It will be good to read this article in conjunction with Bro. Harris' article on Freemasonry in Nova Scotia published in THE BUILDER of August last; and with the Study Club article of last month. Bro. Harris' critical analysis of the claims of the Nova Scotia stone to be the monument of the earliest known appearance of Freemasonry on this continent was published in "Transactions of Nova Scotia Lodge of Research," Jan. 31, 1916; as here given he has altered it somewhat.
WHAT some Masonic students and historians regard as the earliest trace of the existence of Freemasons or Freemasonry on this continent so far as we are now aware, is afforded by the inscriptions on a stone found in 1827 upon the shores of Annapolis Basin, Nova Scotia.
There are two accounts of the finding of this stone. The first, from the pen of Judge Thomas Chandler Haliburton (known to us as the author of "Sam Slick"), was written in the year of the finding of the stone or very shortly afterward, and is to be found in his Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia, published in 1829 (Vol. II., pp. 155-157), as follows:
"About six miles below the ferry is situated Goat Island, which separates the Annapolis Basin from that of Digby, and forms two entrances to the former. The western channel, though narrow, is deep and generally preferred to others. A small peninsula, extending from the Granville shore, forms one of its sides. On this point of land the first piece of ground was cleared for cultivation in Nova Scotia by the French. They were induced to make this selection on account of the beauty of its situation, the good anchorage opposite it, the command which it gave them of the channel, and the facility it afforded of giving the earliest notice to the garrison at Port Royal of the entrance of an enemy into the Lower Basin. In the year 1827 the stone was discovered upon which they had engraved the date of their first cultivation of the soil, in memorial of their formal possession of the country. It is about two feet and a half long and two feet broad, and of the same kind as that which forms the substratum of Granville Mountain. On the upper part are engraved the square and compass of the Free Mason, and in the centre, in large and deep Arabic figures the date 1606. It does not appear to have been dressed by a mason, but the inscription has been cut on its natural surface.
"The stone itself has yielded to the power of the climate, and both the external front and the interior parts of the letters alike suffered from exposure to the weather: the seams on the back of it have opened, and, from their capacity to hold water and the operation of frost on it when thus confined, it is probable in a few years it would have crumbled to pieces. The date is distinctly visible, and although the figure 0 is worn down to one-half of its original depth and the upper part of the figure 6 nearly as much, yet no part of them is obliterated — they are plainly discernible to the eye and easily traced by the finger.
"At a subsequent period, when the country was conquered by the English, some Scotch emigrants were sent out by Sir William Alexander, who erected a fort on the site of the French cornfields, previous to the Treaty of St. Germain's. The remains of this fort may be traced with great ease, the old parade, the embankment and ditch, have not been disturbed, and preserve their original form. It was occupied by the French for many years after the peace of 1632...."
The other account of the finding of the stone is contained in a letter written nearly thirty years after the event, and now in the possession of the New England Historic-Genealogical Society from the pen of Dr. Charles T. Jackson of Boston, the celebrated chemist and geolist. It is in the following words:
"June 2, 1856."
"When Francis Alger and myself made a mineralogical survey of Nova Scotia in 1827 we discovered upon the shore of Goat Island, in Annapolis Basin, a grave-stone partly covered with sand and lying on the shore. It bore the Masonic emblems, square and compass, and had the figures 1606 cut in it.
"The rock was a flat slab of trap rock, common in the vicinity. At the ferry from Annapolis to Granville we saw a large rounded rock with this inscription 'La Belle 1649.' These inscriptions were undoubtedly intended to commemorate the place of burial of French soldiers who came to Nova Scotia, 'Annapolis Royal, Acadia,' in 1603.
"Coins, buttons and other articles originally belonging to these early French settlers, are found in the soil of Goat Island in Annapolis Basin.
"The slab bearing date 1606, I had brought over by the Ferryman to Annapolis, and ordered it to be packed in a box to be sent to the Old Colony Pilgrim Society (of Plymouth, Mass.), but Judge Haliburton, then Thomas Haliburton, Esq., prevailed on me to abandon it to him, and he now has it carefully preserved. On a late visit to Nova Scotia I found that the Judge had forgotten how he came by it, and so I told him all about it.
C. T. Jackson."
( Addressed )
J.W. Thornton (Present.)
This letter is accompanied by a photograph of the stone made some thirty years later showing the square and compasses and the figures 1606, rudely cut and much worn by time and weather, but still quite distinct.
We shall later refer more particularly to the stone itself and the two accounts of its finding, but wish first to refer to the subsequent history of the stone which is most singularly unfortunate.
About 1887 it was given by Robert Grant Haliburton (son of Judge T. C. Haliburton) to the Canadian Institute of Toronto with the understanding that the stone should be inserted in the wall of the building then being erected for the Institute. It was to be placed in the wall, the inscription facing inside in one of the principal rooms.
Sir Sanford Fleming wrote that he received the stone from Mr. R. G. Haliburton for the purpose of being placed in the museum of the Canadian Institute, Toronto, in order that it might be properly cared for. There is an entry respecting it in the minutes of the Institute, acknowledging its arrival and receipt. Sir Daniel Wilson was then President, and on March 21, 1888, read a paper on Traces of European Immigration in the 17th Century, and exhibited the stone found at Port Royal bearing date 1606. Sir Sanford Fleming further adds:
"I have myself seen it more than once since its being placed in the Canadian Institute. When the building was erected on the northwest corner of Richmond and Berti Streets, Toronto instructions were given by Dr. Scadding to build it into the wall with the inscription exposed; but, very stupidly, it is said the plasterer covered it over with plaster, and even the spot cannot now be traced, although the plaster has been removed at several places to look for it. Before these facts were made known to me, or any trace could be had of the stone, I had a long correspondence with the Institute authorities, and I further offered a reward of $1,000 for the stone if it could be found but it was all to no purpose. I regret extremely that I can throw so little light on it at this day. If ever the present building be taken down diligent search should be made for the historic stone, perhaps, the oldest inscription stone in America."
It is a most regrettable fact that this priceless stone should have ever gone out of Nova Scotia. The necessity for a Masonic museum in this Province needs no argument when such things as this happen.
HALIBURTON'S ACCOUNT IS PROBABLY MORE CORRECT
To return to the two accounts of the finding of the stone itself, there can be little or no doubt that Judge Haliburton's account written at the time of the discovery and on the spot, by one who had made a study of the locality and of its history, is correct; and that Dr. Jackson's account, written from recollection thirty years after he found the stone, cannot be relied upon as to the place of discovery. Moreover, the historical facts stated by Judge Haliburton as to the place of the first settlement by the French establish beyond any doubt that the stone marked with the date 1606 was found on the peninsula extending from the Granville shore opposite Goat Island, Annapolis Basin.
As to the inscription on the stone, although the stone is not now to be found for inspection, there can be little or no doubt as to the particulars of that inscription. Judge Haliburton undoubtedly wrote his description of the stone with it immediately before him. Dr. Jackson's account made after he had seen it a second time, confirms it and the photograph made before the stone was sent to Toronto further establishes the fact that the stone bore the date 1606 and the "square and compasses" of the Mason, though these emblems would seem to be too much worn away to admit of a good photographic reproduction, a condition not to be wondered at after an exposure to the weather for over two hundred years.
On the other hand, some who have examined only the photograph have doubted whether the marks on the stone (other than the date 1606) were really the square and compasses of the Freemason. The fact that these marks appear not to have been cut so deeply and well has suggested to them that they are surface scratches such as might have been made accidentally in digging with a pick or spade. An examination of the photograph, however, clearly shows that the marks are more than mere scratches — deeper, clearer and more lasting, as they must have been to survive the attacks of the elements for more than two centuries. Judge Haliburton in describing the stone says: "It does not appear to have been dressed by a mason but the inscription has been cut on its natural surface." It is quite impossible today to decide whether the inscription was the work of a skilled or unskilled workman.
Turning now to the explanations and theories respecting the inscription. Judge Haliburton describes it as a stone "upon which they (the French) had engraved the date of their cultivation of the soil, in memorial of their formal possession of the country."
Against this theory may be urged the fact that the first cultivation of the soil by these French settlers was in 1605 and not 1606; Champlain's map showing gardens is dated 1605; also that they had taken possession of the country in 1604; and the probability that a national emblem, such as the fleur-de-lis, would be used rather than a Masonic emblem for such purposes. That this is exactly what they did is evident from the record of Argall's capture of Port Royal. In Murdoch's History of Nova Scotia he states that in 1614 "Argall destroyed the fort and all monuments and marks of French national power. It is recorded that he even caused the names of Demonts and other captains and the fleur-de-lis to be effaced with pick and chisel from a massive stone on which they had been engraved."
This account not only shows what emblems the French used to commemorate their occupation of the country, but also that if this stone was visible it does not commemorate a national event.
IT DID NOT COMMEMORATE FOUNDING OF A MASONIC LODGE
The theory that the stone might commemorate the establishment of a lodge of Freemasons has virtually nothing to support it, though it is perhaps more than a matter of interest that during the winter of 1606-7 the French colonists, under the leadership of Champlain, established a sort of club or society styled the "Ordre de Bon Temps," consisting of fifteen members. Each member in turn became the caterer to his brethren, a plan which excited so much emulation among them that each endeavored to excel his predecessor in office, in the variety, profusion and quality of the viands procured for the table during his term of office. Lescarbot, a member of the society and the historian of these early events, says that on each such occasion the host wore the collar "of the order and a napkin and carried a staff." At dinner, he marshalled the way to the table at the head of the procession of guests. After supper he resigned the insignia of office to his successor, with the ceremony of drinking to him in a cup of wine. The little company included several distinguished names: Poutrincourt, the real founder of Port Royal; Champlain, the founder of Quebec, two years later, and the historian of many events at Port Royal; Biencourt, Poutrincourt's son; Lescarbot, advocate, poet and historian of this early period; Louis Hebert, one of the first settlers of Quebec; Robert Grave, Champdore, and Daniel Hay, a surgeon.
That this social club was Speculative Freemasonry is highly improbable. The colony was a French settlement, and Speculative Freemasonry was not known in France for more than a hundred years afterward, namely in 1718. The corporations and gilds of stonemasons and architects, we are told in Rebold's General History of Freemasonry, were suppressed in 1539 by Francis I., although a sort of trade unionism seems to have existed from about 1650, and a correspondence with each other is believed to have taken place between the unions at Marseilles, Paris, Lyons, and certain cities in Belgium. These were undoubtedly operative bodies and consisted of not only masons and stone cutters, but of members of other trades, carpenters, architects, decorators, etc.
That a union of these workmen may have existed at Port Royal is not of course impossible, but that it contained any speculative members is exceedingly improbable. In England evidence is lacking of the admission of Speculative Masons into Masonic lodges prior to 1646, and in Scotland prior to 1634.
If such a speculative lodge existed at Port Royal in 1606 or if the Ordre de Bon Temps was even in a remote way connected with any trade, either Champlain or Lescarbot in their very detailed accounts of these early days would have mentioned other facts which would establish beyond any doubt such relationship. The entire absence of any such facts must be taken as conclusive in this matter.
There remains for consideration one other theory respecting the stone, that of Dr. Jackson; that it was "undoubtedly intended to commemorate the place of burial of French soldiers." This expression of opinion by Dr. Jackson in 1856 may have been founded on information given him by Judge Haliburton on his "recent" visit to Nova Scotia, and may indicate that the judge had also changed his mind. Whatever the facts, the gravestone theory would seem to have more to support it than any other.
First, as to the stone itself. As described by Judge Haliburton who had possession of the stone from 1827 until his removal to England in 1859, it evidently measured two by two and a half feet; undoubtedly monumental size and shape.
Secondly, as to the place where it was found.
Champlain in his Voyages gives a plan of the fort erected by him in 1605. This plan shows a burying ground and a garden outside the eastern parapet or palisade. Judge Haliburton's theory that the stone commemorated the first cultivation of the soil may have been based on the fact that it was found on the site of the garden but it is equally clear that it might also be a gravestone, although Dr. Jackson says in his letter of 1856 that it was found "upon the shore" "partly covered with sand and lying on the shore."
Assuming that the stone is a gravestone, two questions present themselves:
- Why are the square and compasses on the stone?
- Whose gravestone is it?
It will be convenient to answer these two queries together.
Champlain in his history tells us that during the winter of 1605-1606 six members of the little colony died. While Champlain does not give the names of those who departed this life nor whether they died before or after Jan. 1, 1606, yet from his context and Lescarbot's account it would not be difficult to draw a very strong inference that all died before the New Year dawned. I think we may safely assume that the stone is not the gravestone of any of these six settlers.
LESCARBOT DESCRIBES THEIR ACTIVITIES
In the spring of that year (1606) Poutrincourt, who had gone home with DeMonts in the autumn of 1605, induced Mare Lescarbot, an advocate of Paris, to join the colony. They reached Port Royal on July 27, where they remained until Aug. 28, when Poutrincourt started on an exploratory voyage down the American coast, as far as Cape Cod, leaving Lescarbot behind in charge of the colony. Lescarbot, in his New France, has this to say about the work done while the rest were away:
"Meanwhile I set about making ready the soil, setting off and enclosing gardens wherein to sow wheat and kitchen herbs. We also had a ditch dug all around the fort which was a matter of necessity to receive the dampness and the water which previously had oozed underneath our dwellings, amid the roots of the trees which had been cut down and which had very likely been the cause of the unhealthiness of the place.
"I have no time to stop here to describe in detail the several labours of our other workmen. Suffice it to say that we had numerous joiners, carpenters, masons, stone cutters, locksmiths workers in iron, tailors, wood sawyers, sailors, etc., who worked at their trades, and in doing so were very kindly used, for after three hours work a day they were free.
"...But while each of our said workmen had his special trade, they had also to set to work at whatever turned up, as many of them did. Certain masons and stone cutters turned their hands to baking and made as good bread as that of Paris."
Let us note in passing the use by Lescarbot of the two words "masons" and "stone cutters." The original French words in Lescarbot's history are "masson" (mason) and "tailleur la Pierre," the former being a word of wider significance than the other, including any operative on the construction of a building, using either stones, bricks, plaster or cement, the latter word denoting greater skill including not only the work of cutting inscriptions, but approaching the work of the sculptor.
Poutrincourt's party meanwhile spent some weeks exploring and when near Cape Cod a party of five young men landed in defiance of orders and were attacked by Indians. Three were killed and buried on the spot by their comrades; the other two were severely wounded; one of them, Duval, a locksmith, lived to take part in a revolt at Quebec two years later; the other was so pierced with arrows that he died on reaching Port Royal on Nov. 14, 1606, where he was buried.
During the winter of 1606-1607 there were four deaths but these occurred in February and March, 1607, and not during the year 1606, according to both Champlain and Lescarbot. If, therefore, the stone was erected to mark the grave of one of the colonists who died during the year 1606, it must have been the grave of the man who died on Nov. 14, 1606, or shortly afterward of wounds received at Cape Cod.
What was his profession or trade?
We know Duval was a locksmith, and though this is very scant light for us to be guided by, it is probable that his companions on their wild episode on shore with the Indians were members of the various trades which Lescarbot says were at Port Royal at this time. This is merely assumption, and not conclusive. If he had been a man of standing either Champlain or Lescarbot would have named him. They name none of those who died at Port Royal.
CARPENTERS HAD THEIR OWN MYSTERY
We must not forget that at that time the carpenters of France had their own mystery or trade gild, worked on lines somewhat akin to Operative Masonry, and using the square and compasses as their emblem.
This may be well illustrated by a short quotation from Felix Gras, the eminent Provencal poet and novelist, whose works were so highly esteemed by the late W. E. Gladstone. In his Les Rouges du Midi, a book dealing with the French Revolution (written in 1792), he describes a visit paid by Vauclair, a carpenter from Marseilles, to Planctot, a carpenter residing and working in Paris.
"As we stood outside the door we could hear the smooth 'hush hush' of a big plane as it threw off the long shavings, but the planing stopped short at our loud knock, and then the door flew open and there was Planctot himself. It was plain that he knew Vauclair on the instant, but instead of shaking hands with him, he turned his back and rushed off like a crazy man.... In a few minutes we heard the clatter of old Planctot's wooden shoes on the stair. He had come to greet Vauclair according to the rite and ceremonial of their craft. He had put on his Sunday hat and his best wig; and before he said a word he laid a compass and a square down on the floor between himself and Vauelair. At once Vauelair made the correct motions of hand and foot, to which Planetot replied properly and then, under their raised hands, they embraced over the ... compass and square."
Old Planctot is several times called "le maitre," "the master," which I take to denote his standing in the Craft. I think there can be no historical doubt of the existence of such a craft gild among French carpenters at the beginning of the 17th century; that is, about 1606.
Let us summarize our theories: First, the stone was a gravestone; secondly, it marked the last resting place of a French settler who died in 1606; thirdly, this settler was probably a workman and may have been an operative mason or stone cutter; fourthly, speculative Masonry, unknown in France in 1606, was not practiced by the French colonists; lastly, the emblem of square and compasses would seem to be a trade-mark or emblem undoubtedly used by operative masons as their emblem, and possibly by carpenters as well.
In a word, the stone marked the grave of either a mason or stone cutter or possibly a carpenter who died Nov. 14, 1606, and not that of a Speculative Freemason.
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And breathe away another;
But he in all his power and might,
Cannot make a brother."
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SUGGESTIONS FOR LODGE CEREMONIAL
Bro. Ray V. Denslow, Associate Editor, Missouri
Bro. Denslow, who holds many high offices in Missouri Masonry, has for years devoted especial attention to costumery scenery, and to paraphernalia in general in the work of conferring degrees; at our request he has written down here a number of suggestions looking toward fixed principles in this art of ceremonial, an art sadly neglected, one may suppose, to judge by the slackness and lack of intelligence with which it is generally managed.
OLD ways are giving place to new; Freemasonry, ever a progressive science, except in a few scattered jurisdictions, has readily adapted itself to meet new ideas and twentieth century conditions. The Masonic trail from 1717 to 1924 has been a long one, cluttered with wrecks and ritual tinkers and philosophical interpreters and what not, but while rough and rugged has been the path, long and toilsome the march, the custodian of the Ancient Landmarks has weathered the storm and is with us today, holding ever before us the assurance that his is the only true landmark, in much the same manner as does the custodian of the only true cross.
If Webb, Preston, Cross, Pike and other ritualists were to return today they might recognize certain fundamental words and signs, but they would certainly enter a new world; instead of a handful of men, they would find millions; where formerly degrees had been communicated by dozens in the back room, office, or home, they would now discover large classes numbering into the hundreds, receiving the degrees at the hands of a large corps of experienced actors and ritualists, presented in auditoriums or spacious buildings, specially constructed. Where formerly the fee was fixed at "whatever the traffic might bear," and consisted in many cases as an individual transaction, today we find a fixed fee and a modern business organization with up-to-date records and offices.
The old manner of conferring a degree consisted principally of the obligating of a candidate with probably occasional lectures and charges. The impression conveyed to the candidate was solely by the mouth-to-ear method. Modern psychology has taught us that an impression on the mind through the medium of the eye will be clearer and easier retained; and so we find the modern director of degree work combining these two methods and striving to appeal not only to the ear, but to the eye as well.
You may read from your descriptive folder that Niagara is one of the wonders of the world, but if you can stand on the brink and watch it for a few moments while tons of water pour itself into the abyss below, you will know that this is one of Nature's wonders. You may read that the Washington Monument is 555 feet high — but walk up it once and you will not question; and so it is with the California trees, and Yellowstone Park, and other wonders — seeing is more than believing — seeing is knowing; and the up-to-date Freemason knows that in addition to teaching the great moral truths embodied in Masonic rituals, it is also possible to educate the candidate along other lines as well; by the use of scenery we can teach him architecture and geography; and by our costuming we may lead him into a study of history, for the various degrees cover a wide period of history.
The new method requires a discussion of five fundamental ways of conveying our "lesson": (1) the ritual, (2) the scene, (3) the costume, (4) the accessory, (5) the music. In an article of this length it will be impossible to do more than suggest possibilities, with probably an occasional word of warning.
THE RITUAL. As the individual is the instrument used in imparting the Ritual, we shall deal briefly with him; the speaker (or actor) must understand what he is trying to teach. He must be more than a mere phonograph; he must know that his purpose is to instruct. Time is wasted and opportunity lost when our Ritual is entrusted to the ignorant or poll-parrot. A professional or even a semi-professional elocutionist can do much to improve the efficient rendering of the Ritual.
THE SCENE. Highly important is the scenic background for the speaking parts; they can make or mar a degree in many cases. Some degrees have little to commend them except the scenery. The great danger is that the imagination of the scenic painter runs riot when turned loose upon the background for a scene somewhat remote. We have often read of the "Wandering Jew" and we are positive we had him located when we beheld some of his race in the precincts of a Greek Temple during the conferring of one of our historical degrees. We have had the rare fortune of witnessing the immortal Cyrus, King of Persia, rambling in and out of a Roman Forum; and we are certain that the Egyptian gods whom we beheld in an Assyrian palace were more than uncomfortable. Huge stones self-supported, impossible domes, imaginary combinations of construction; these are but few of the architectural jumbles inflicted upon us today to distract the mind of the educated man, the student, or the traveler who knows differently. Needless to state, the scenery should be accurate and not overdone; it should not obtrude itself, but should fit in as a part of the whole. Certain scenic novelties at times may be allowed; proper lighting is desirable.
THE COSTUME. Having constructed our background and arranged our characters on the stage it is necessary that we clothe them properly and accurately. If we but remember that we are building a picture and not a circus performance, we shall avoid masses of color and historical monstrosities and endeavor to adapt our costumes to the background, keeping in mind the psychological effect of various colors. Concerning the average costume in use it is, as a rule, overdone. Plush, silk and satin are comparatively modern. Ermine was a gift of the medieval ages. We can never adjust ourselves to seeing King Solomon strut up and down the stage in a heavy plush robe trimmed with ermine "doo-dads" and German crown, revealing a wide expanse of Hart, Schaffner & Marx pants and W. L. Douglas shoes below his royal robe. This criticism would also hold good in one of the semi-military degrees; where once our novitiate was pledged to poverty, chastity and obedience, he is today garbed in the most expensive broadcloth and decorated in all of the bullion at the disposal of its manufacturer — representing a character neither ancient nor modern. The proper costuming for degree work in the various rites and jurisdictions includes a study of Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Grecian, Roman, Jewish, Medieval, Ecclesiastical, German, Turkish, Scottish, Allegorical and Symbolic costumes, which covers, one must admit, a wide range of territory and history.
THE ACCESSORY. As accessories we should list such articles, scepters, shields, candles, vessels, tables, arks, candle-sticks, ornaments, cross, etc., used in the interpretation of Masonic rituals. Each period of history has its own type of accessory; the designer must be an investigator-historian rather than salesman. A crown of a certain type denotes a definite period just as much as the figures "1924" denote a year. How striking is the average army or court guard on the Masonic stage, with their tin helmets and washboiler-cover shields? Hottenroth, Planche, Racinet and other authorities are available and there is little excuse to longer perpetuate such absurdities.
THE MUSIC. Just as the scenic artist overdoes his part and as the costumer overdoes his, so does the average musician improve (?) the ritual with an elaborate program of music. The best suggestion in this respect is to remember that music is incidental; it should accompany yet never be so conspicous as to obtrude. Dignity, brevity and simplicity should mark the musical program of Masonic degree work.
The proper conferring of Masonic degrees is an art yet in its infancy. The student who makes a careful study of the five fundamentals above outlined will find that a wonderful field of possibilities will open up to him that will at once prove interesting and educational and, when properly applied, do much to place our degree work above the commonplace or mediocre.
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The following appeared in the Freemasons' Magazine for Aug. 1, 1865, page 319. It is worthy of perpetuation:
Few men in the British Army have passed a more distinguished career than the late Lieutenant-General Sir Charles James Napier. In Spain, whilst wounded in a fierce conflict and an uplifted sabre of an opponent over him, he made the Masonic sign and the sabre descended harmless, but he then became a captive. So much for the honor and humanity of a French soldier. A similar occurrence happened to the gallant General in his brilliant latter period of service, and to the last he continued devoted to Masonry, which was exemplified in his dying hour near Portser, his death bed being attended by his son-in-law, Col. McMurde, and others allied and belonging to the Fraternity, gazing, while prostrate, upon the trophies of victory which adorned his chamber, and upon the brotherhood assembled there, he passed from life in consciousness, calm and resigned to the will of the Great Architect of the Universe, undergoing, at his own request, the Sublime Degree of being raised as a Master Mason on his death bed, whilst the immortal spirit of this splendid soldier ascended to sit beside the great Captain of his salvation. Every Master Mason will understand the master mind of this hero, whilst the uninitiated will see that in his record there is a truth revealed which they, without the light, cannot comprehend.
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FREEMASONRY IN ONTARIO
Bro. James B. Nixon
President Toronto Society for Masonic Research
Bro. N. W. J. Haydon
Associate Editor, Canada
HOWEVER, the Grand Lodge of Canada proved to be something more than a name. It was very much alive, and was being received into fraternal relations by the other Grand Lodges, that of Ireland being the first to extend them, followed by those of Michigan, Kentucky and several others in the United States. At its convention in 1856, the constituent lodges were re-numbered, showing thirty-nine on the register who had met the requirements, as some who had been represented the previous year had not. An important act was the condemnation in the strongest terms of the wearing of Masonic emblems for business purposes.
In the same year, the Provincial Grand Lodge received at its convention in October, R. W. Bro. T. D. Harington, Provincial Grand Master of Quebec, who read a letter from the Grand Secretary in England, announcing the proposed remedies for Canada, and asking for a statement of the lodges, working or dormant, under their authority. His reply thereto was heartily endorsed by the convention, but the good results of this interest was severely affected by the reports of the proceedings at the quarterly communications referred to above, and the Provincial Grand Lodge expressed its indignation in a series of resolutions to be sent to England with yet another petition. Their feelings, however, did not prevent them from strictly forbidding their members against meeting with "the self-styled Grand Lodge of Canada." The committee on these resolutions met in January, 1857, and reported that in addition to the duties laid upon them, they had also asked on behalf of the thirty lodges they represented to be recognized as "The Grand Lodge of Upper Canada, with full and unrestricted powers," which action was confirmed and a copy sent to R. W. Bro. Harington.
The arrival of these resolutions again upset the placid life of the English Grand Secretary's office, and W. Bro. Beach, being about to visit Canada, was appointed by the Earl of Zetland, Grand Master, to enquire into Masonic matters there "and determine, if possible, a course which would be acceptable to the Canadian Masons." His reply stated that the movement towards independence was too strong to be checked, that personal friendships were taking many brethren from the Provincial to the Independent Grand Lodge, that the latter body had organized a Grand Chapter, and the only way to avoid further secessions was to grant sovereign rights as had been requested. Crossing this came a letter from the Grand Secretary to the Provincial Grand Secretary in Toronto stating that the resolutions had been referred to a "Colonial Board" created by Grand Lodge for the sole purpose of transacting all business between the Grand Lodge and all Provincial Grand Lodges who would do all possible to prevent future complaint.
This letter was read at the Provincial Convention in June, 1857, R. W. Bros. Ridout and Harington being in the East, but the good effect it might have had was nullified by an other statement from the Earl of Zetland, Grand Master, which while granting further concessions refused the request to appoint "subordinate Provincial Grand Masters." The tone of this was so ill-liked that another series of resolutions was passed, declaring that the Provincial Grand Lodge saw no way to preserve the efficiency and stability of freemasonry in Canada, save by complete independence, and appointing a committee to meet one offered by the Grand Lodge of Canada "to negotiate terms on which a reunion may be accomplished."
During 1857, the Grand Lodge of Canada had prospered exceedingly. At its second convention, with M. W. Bro. Wilson presiding, thirty-four lodges were represented, and so lively an interest was shown in the new Constitution that no less than fifty-six amendments were offered. A committee was appointed to meet that of the Provincial Grand Lodge and to meet their proposals in every way that did not affect "the entire independence of Freemasonry in Canada."
The same year there were sharp debates in England over the Canadian impasse and much correspondence faithfully preserved in M. W. Bro. Robertson's History. The Grand Master and his supporters appeared to consider the preservation of the dignity and authority of their offices as of first importance, while the friends of the would-be-loyal Canadians urged that such loyalty and goodwill and the efficiency of responsible officers should receive first consideration. The result was that the history of England's political colonial relations of 1775 repeated itself in the Canadian Masonic relations between 1840-57, though without the added horrors of armed rebellion, and the custom of making inherited social rank a prerequisite to executive responsibilities added, as was inevitable, another tablet to its Hall of Failures.
A SUCCESSFUL PLAN OF UNION WAS DEVISED
A plan of union was finally worked out between the Provincial Grand Lodge of Canada West and the Grand Lodge of Canada, with the result that the Provincial Grand Lodge met in Toronto in September, 1857, Sir Allan MacNab favoring it with his presence. Thirty-four lodges were represented and as a first step towards a union on equal terms, and following the precedents given by Preston in his record of the Union of the two Grand Lodges of England, the Provincial Grand Lodge organized itself into "The Ancient Grand Lodge of Canada" with forty-seven lodges on its roll. Sir Allan was elected first Grand Master and R. W. Bro. Harington, Provincial Grand Master of Quebec, received the honor of Past Grand Master for his services. R. W. Ridout was appointed Deputy Grand Master and installed by M. W. Bro. Harington, together with Grand Senior and Junior Wardens; all the Past Provincial Grand Lodge officers were accorded similar rank in the new Grand Lodge.
Eighteen hundred and fifty-eight marked the happy consummation of the long-drawn-out negotiations; in April M. W. Bro. Harington prepared Articles of Agreement for ratification between the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Canada, and the Ancient Grand Lodge of Canada, and a program of ceremony, as carefully thought out to meet the case as that by which President Roosevelt brought together the representatives of Japan and Russia at Portsmouth, N.H., at the conclusion of their war, nearly fifty years later.
On July 14, the Grand Lodge of Canada met in the hall of King Solomon's Lodge, M. W. Bro. Wilson on the throne, forty-four lodges being represented; two distinguished visitors being M. W. Bro. Tucker, Grand Master of Vermont, and R. W. Bro. Rob Morris, Deputy Grand Master of Kentucky. The events leading up to the meeting were detailed by the Grand Master in his address, as also the adoption of the Articles of Agreement. At the evening session a deputation from the Ancient Grand Lodge of Canada was introduced, who announced that their lodges also had adopted the Articles of Agreement. Being assured of every fraternal welcome, the deputation retired to their own hall some two blocks away, and the Grand Lodge was called off.
At 9:30 p. m. the heavy sound of marching men was heard on the quiet air, and word was brought of the approach of the Ancient Grand Lodge. Instantly Grand Lodge was called on, every member on the alert, and the door tyled. As soon as the hundred and fifty brethren had assembled in the anterooms, the alarm was given and headed by Sir Allan MacNab they entered and were received with full honors. Amid echoing applause, M. W. Bro. Wilson descended from the East and going to M. W. Bro. MacNab grasped his hand saying, "M. W. Sir, you are indeed most welcome." After this their seats were resumed, members of the two Grand Lodges being placed alternately, while the cheering continued and on the faces of the older members tears of joy appeared at the happy fruition of their efforts. The Articles of Union were then read and unanimously ratified and confirmed and the Union declared perfect and complete.
Next day Grand Lodge met in the hall of St. Andrew's Lodge to elect officers. M. W. Bro. Wilson became Grand Master and R. W. Bro. Ridout, Deputy Grand Master by acclamation. All the other officers were ballotted for. In the afternoon M. W. Bro Tucker of Vermont installed M. W. Bro. Wilson, who in turn installed and proclaimed his Grand Officers; R. W. Bros. Harington, Stevens and Morris were suitably honored and a medal was ordered to be struck in commemoration of the occasion.
Eighteen hundred and thirty-nine brought recognition from the Grand Lodge of England of the Grand Lodge of Canada, in authority over the whole country west of the Maritime Provinces, except for such private lodges and brethren as might prefer to retain their previous allegiance. As the Provincial Grand Lodge of Montreal had ceased to exist, lodges in its territory were ordered to choose between the Grand Lodge of England and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Quebec, and although the Grand Lodge of Canada did not like to have a separate Provincial Grand Lodge in its territory, the exceptions were granted.
GRAND LODGE FELT THE EFFECT OF CANADIAN CONFEDERATION
The Craft grew and prospered until 1867 when confederation took place. By this action Canada West became Ontario, and Canada East was renamed Quebec; so that while there remained one Masonic Province there were two political Provinces within the same space, and this eventually led to new friction. At first there was talk of a Grand Lodge for the whole Dominion, but this was rendered impossible by the brethren in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick forming their own Grand Lodges.
In August, 1869, seventeen Past Masters of eight lodges in or near Montreal, headed by R. W. Bro. J. H. Graham and three other P.D.D.G.M's, decided to form a Grand Lodge for Quebec and so informed M. W. Bro. A. A. Stevenson, then Grand Master for the two Provinces. But as he found on enquiry that these brethren had acted without authority even from their own lodges, and that in two of these the subject of separation had never been discussed, he refused to recognize them as having the necessary powers precedent to such a step and — when they continued in their rebellion — suspended them from their Masonic privileges.
This result of their irregular methods did not deter the advocates of autonomy, however, and in October of the same year they held a convention at Montreal where representatives of eight lodges were present, and a Grand Lodge for the Province of Quebec was organized with a full staff of officers, the Grand Master being the J. H. Graham mentioned above. As these lodges were a minority of those working in that section of the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Canada, and as two of them and eight of their principal officers were suspended brethren, it was, of course, impossible for the Grand Master to give them that fraternal recognition of their desire for independence, which would, no doubt, have been granted had the regular procedure been followed.
This sore spot continued in the Masonic life of Ontario until, at the annual Communication in Toronto in 1874, an agreement was ratified whereby the Grand Lodge of Canada withdrew from the Province of Quebec and a formal recognition was extended to the Grand Lodge thereof, after which the lodges still loyal to their mother Grand Lodge were also placed within its obedience.
In 1876 a new schism came into being through the action of certain brethren in London, who had received a dispensation to work as "Eden Lodge." Owing to local opposition this warrant was ordered to be withdrawn, but permission was granted the members to pass and raise those already initiated. The members refused to accept these conditions but instead retained their dispensation and five of them with the former D.D.G.M. of the District, R. W. Bro. F. Westlake, at their head, secured from the Provincial Government Letters of Incorporation as "The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Ontario." The basis of their action was the claim that the Grand Lodge of Canada having withdrawn from Quebec and there being Grand Lodges in all the other Provinces of the Dominion, there was no longer any regularly constituted Grand Lodge for Ontario alone. Other reasons given were that the Benevolent Funds were used improperly and the Board of General Purposes was too cumbersome and expensive.
There could be, of course, but one result of this action, which was that the five brethren concerned were suspended from all privileges in Freemasonry, which action was copied by other Grand Lodges generally.
Three years later the schism seemed to have been dissolved, as their seal was surrendered to M. W. Bro. W. H. Weller, and the majority of the members were healed in two new lodges at London. But other members continued the rebellion until 1896, when arrangements were concluded whereby their Provincial Charter was transferred to M. W. Bro. W. R. White and the Grand Secretary as trustees for their property and all records voluntarily surrendered. All members who applied were healed, Harmony Lodge, Toronto, being formed for this purpose, and Grand Lodge honors were conferred on three of their Past Masters who had "aided materially in bringing about the settlement."
Two items of outstanding interest to Freemasons generally remain to be told, the more so as I believe they are unique in the history of Canadian experience.
A LODGE WAS CHARTERED TO MEET IN JERUSALEM
In February, 1873, M. W. Bro. W. M. Wilson issued a warrant for the formation of "'The Royal Solomon Mother Lodge' to meet in the city of Jerusalem, or in adjacent places in Palestine." The petition was signed by many distinguished brethren, including Robert Morris, LL.D., Alex. A. Stevenson, Albert G. Mackey, John Scott, DeWitt C. Cregier, Robert Macoy, John Sheville, Rolla Floyd and other brethren of the American colony in that city. M. W. Bro. Rob. Morris of Kentucky was the first W.M., and the warrant was accompanied by a gift of the Three Great Lights of Masonry, together with a complete set of the collars, jewels and clothing required for the officers.
Just why the application for this warrant was sent this Grand Lodge is explained in our Proceedings for 1901, from which it appears that requests had been made, informally, to the three British Grand Lodges, and on being warned of a probable rejection, to those of the United States, all of which declined as well. As the country of Palestine was then unoccupied territory, Masonically speaking, although there were lodges in the Turkish Empire of which it is a part, any sovereign Grand Lodge could charter a lodge within its boundaries without invading the rights of any other, and M. W. Bro. Wilson decided to follow an established Masonic precedent by acceding to the request of the distinguished brethren named above, though, whether he knew that their request had been so frequently denied previously is not mentioned in his report. Bro. Morris' Freemasonry In the Holy Land deals with this episode on page 471.
In 1901 certain by-laws sent from this lodge for approval were disapproved because they would have entailed privileges "enjoyed by no other lodge in this jurisdiction." Further, because distance had made proper supervision impossible, and it was found that many undesirable practices had become customary amongst its members, M. W. Bro. R. B. Hungerford ordered that the charter be withdrawn.
The second item refers to Capitular Masonry, about which no special mention has been made so far to avoid lengthening an already extended paper.
In 1886 a petition was received from Companions residing in Melbourne, Australia, a few of whom had been members of the Grand Chapter of Canada. The record states that these Companions had "appealed to us for encouragement, advice and assistance," owing to friction with the Capitular methods of other Constitutions working in that country, and their request was granted.
In 1888 this precedent was followed by M. E. Comp. R. B. Hungerford, who issued warrants for two more chapters in the same city, and there was then formed Australian District No. 13.
The Grand Chapter of England objected to these warrants being issued on the ground that it had always held that the jurisdiction of Colonial and Dominion Grand Bodies could not extend outside their own borders. Our Grand Chapter contended that as each Grand Chapter in the several British Provinces is the peer of the Grand Chapter of England, the Grand Chapter of Canada had equal right to establish subordinate chapters in any country or colony where a supreme governing body does not exist.
In 1889 following the inauguration of the Grand Lodge of Victoria, Australia, a Supreme Grand Chapter was formed for the same Province, but was not generally recognized owing to irregularities of procedure, and its authorities added to the handicap of the Canadian Companions.
In 1893 one of the Canadian chapters seceded to the Grand Chapter of Victoria, but petitions were received for three more warrants from that Province, which were granted by M. E. Comp. J. E. Harding, although those already there had received no recognition from the chapters under the other Constitutions, or the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons.
The desirability of a union was generally conceded by all concerned, however, and several conferences of appointed committees were held to that end. Finally, in 1895, a union was consummated "on terms honorable to our Companions in our Australian District, as well as to those of the Grand Chapter of Victoria," due credit being given to the initiative of the Canadian Companions who had made possible for Capitular Masonry in that Province to have its own Grand Chapter and its Masonic independence.
HARMONY HAS REIGNED DURING RECENT YEARS
Since 1874 we have had few Masonic experiences deserving special mention. In 1875 our District of Manitoba assumed the toga virilis with the parental blessing, and thirty years later, in 1905, gave birth to the Grand Lodge of Alberta. The Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan was established in 1906, as a result of the political organization of that Province, so that at this date (1924) the only lodges in Canada, working in their own political unity, but having no Grand Lodge of their own, are those in the Yukon Territory which forms District No. 10 of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia.
The only present cause for dissension lies in the retention of our original official title "The Grand Lodge of Canada," although our boundaries are now confined to those of our own Province. The elder brethren, who helped to make this title a fact, naturally uphold it with a proper pride; some of the younger ones — unassociated with their efforts — are willing to change it, and there are some who remember the bitter controversies of 1869-74 and urge its abolition.
In 1888 this title was modified by the addition of the words "in the Province of Ontario," but experience has proved that the use of this phrase is generally not in evidence, especially outside of Canada. This was so particularly noticeable in 1919, when M. W. Pro. W. H. Wardrope attended the Masonic Peace Celebration of the Grand Lodge of England, where the representatives of many other Grand Lodges were in attendance, that in 1920 he moved in Grand Lodge that the words "of Canada" be struck out. After prolonged discussion the matter was left until the next year for decision, when, after further discussion, the motion was "declared lost." However, more acute troubles have been smoothed away by the lapse of time and this is not likely to be an exception.
Such real danger as darkens our horizon lies in our enormous increase of membership, unbalanced by an equally high standard of quality, which has led to much expenditure of time, money and energy in side issues. This is not peculiar to ourselves, however, and we can safely trust the inherent purpose that brought our Order into being, and keeps it going, to dissolve these accretions when the lessons they can teach have become part of our Masonic consciousness.
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"LET'S STOP BLOWING BUBBLES"
W. O. Saunders
This fetching account of the origin of the Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children was published in Collier's Weekly Sept 13 last, is copyrighted by that journal, and here republished by special permission.
A BOY in Atlanta fell under a moving railway train, and one of his legs was crushed beyond repair. The leg was amputated and infection set in. The boy had no friends or money.
Forrest Adair heard about the case. He took the boy to Dr. Michael Hoke, an orthopedic surgeon, and told Mike Hoke to save the boy at any cost and send him the bill.
Mike Hoke wrestled with the case for weeks and finally sent the boy away well and robust, with an artificial leg. Forrest Adair waited for the bill. No bill came. Then he wrote Dr. Hoke. The bill came in a few days; it was $5. Forrest Adair called on Dr. Hoke.
"What are you doing, kidding me, sending me a bill for $5 for three months' work?" he said.
"No, I'm not kidding you," the surgeon answered.
"Well, I'm not going to stand for this," said Adair. "I want you to understand that I'm thoroughly able to pay for what you did for this boy and I wasn't passing the hat for him."
"I'm afraid you just don't understand," said the surgeon. "There are some things in this life more satisfying than the money rewards we get for our work. I have been repaid a thousand times in the case of that boy, by his gratitude and joy at being restored to a life of health and usefulness."
The two men stood with eyes fixed on each other for a long time, then they sat down and talked things over.
Dr. Hoke named seven or eight specific cases of poor children in Atlanta who would be crippled for life because there was not in all Georgia an institution in which they could be cared for during an operation, and hospitalization was out of the question because of the poverty of their parents.
"I can only give them my technical skill," said the surgeon; "I haven't the means to supply beds and nursing for the weeks and weeks it takes to straighten twisted limbs and spines."
BRO. ADAIR TAKES HOLD
Now, Forrest Adair is perhaps the most forceful man in Atlanta. He has given several fortunes to charity and he has a way of making his hardest-boiled friends help the distressed because he knows the joy that giving will bring to all who give. After his earnest talk with Dr. Hoke he interested the Scottish Rite Masons of Atlanta in providing a little hospital for crippled children. And then in 1917 a ten-bed hospital was born. That Scottish Rite hospital grew and grew until today it has sixty-two beds and plans are being made for twenty-five more. In eight years 5,000 of Georgia's crippled children of indigent parents have been restored to health and set upon their feet, raised from despair to normal boyhood and girlhood, resurrected from years of helplessness and possible pauperism to the certainty of health and self-sustaining citizenship. This is what the Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta has done for the children of Georgia.
That hospital not only captured the imagination of Atlantans, but its fame spread and visitors came from far and near. W. Freeland Kendrick, at that time Imperial Potentate of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, now Mayor of Philadelphia, visited the hospital in Atlanta in 1918. There he saw the wonders being wrought, and the smiles of crippled children about to be made as other children are inspired him with an idea.
There are about 560,000 Shriners in North America. Noble Kendrick knew what a half million Shriners could do if interested, and at Indianapolis in 1919 he told them about the Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Atlanta and proposed that Shriners establish similar hospitals in every important city in America. The Shriners listened indifferently. The motion was lost — and forgotten.
At Portland in 1920 Noble Kendrick went before the Shrine again. But nobody wanted to hear about kids with crooked spines, clubfeet, rotting bones, and that sort of thing. The thing was again about to be tabled when Forrest Adair arose. He told them in his own way about what a handful of Scottish Rite Masons had done for the children of Georgia. And then he said:
"I was awakened about two o'clock this morning by a Shriner playing a baritone horn underneath my window. He was all lit up, but he was going strong with that horn, and the tune he played was 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles.'
"Now, see here, Nobles, we've been just blowing bubbles, without ever a care for anybody but ourselves. Let's do something besides blowing bubbles; let's justify our existence in a big and beautiful way and get some real fun out of the business of being a Shriner."
He indicated what could be done even with an assessment of $2 a year on every Shriner; an insignificant sum to the individual Noble but a princely million and better when pooled. The idea — certainly a splendid one — went over with a bang. That was back in 1920.
Today the Shriners have hospitals for crippled children in St. Louis, Mo.; Portland, Ore.; Shreveport, La.; San Francisco, Cal.; and in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Sites have been bought for similar hospitals in Chicago, Philadelphia, Montreal, Springfield, Mass., and in Honolulu, Hawaii. Plans are under way for the erection of twenty hospitals — more if necessary — to reach the 460,000 crippled children in the United States alone. It costs about $300,000 to build one of these hospitals and about $70,000 a year to maintain it. The Shriners are at present spending more than a million a year out of their assessment of $2 apiece, and they will raise that assessment when more is needed. It means that at last, here on the threshold of a new and better century, millions of hitherto hopelessly crippled children are to have a new life, a chance to laugh and romp and grow up to be cheerful, useful self-supporting citizens, instead of charges upon their families and society.
MEDICAL SCIENCE PERFORMS NEW MIRACLES
Orthopedic surgery is comparatively a new thing; it has made its great progress within the past decade without its miracles getting the publicity they deserve. For instance, the method of straightening out a club foot has been to force the foot into line by virtually breaking every bone in it. The operation was torturous and often unsuccessful. Dr. Hoke goes into the thin and wasted leg, chisels the femur in two, turns the entire femur around and, lo, the foot that turned backward is straightened. The bone of the leg in its new position knits in a few weeks and in a comparatively short time the patient is able to walk.
Until very recently a flat foot was treated by forcing the bones of the arch back into position by painful manipulation that seldom effected a permanent cure. Dr. Hoke takes the contrary bones of the flat foot, constructs a one-piece permanent arch, and the arch forever retains the shape he gives it.
The modern miracles of orthopedic surgery are many. But that isn't the story I wanted to tell. I wanted to give the inside story of how a great idea was sold to a lot of fun-chasing men in America when it was properly presented.
For though folks may seem busy and selfish, they are almost always humane at heart and ready to do good when someone shows them the way. You will generally find that the hearts of men are right when you speak to their hearts.
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MISSION TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Being the report to the M. W. The Grand Master by R. W. Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins, P.G.W., President of the Board of General Purposes, United Grand Lodge, England.
The many thousands of American Masons who followed with such keen interest Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins' visit to these shores as an official ambassador of good will from the United Grand Lodge of England will find his formal report, made to the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, a notable document, good to read and worthy of careful study. It appeared as an Appendix to Bro. Robbins' Report of the Board of General Purposes over date of Aug. 1, 1924.
I HAVE the honour to submit a report on the Mission to the United States of America, with which your Royal Highness was pleased to entrust me.
When, at the Quarterly Communication on June 4, I was welcomed by your Royal Highness in Grand Lodge on the day of my return to this country, I used these words: "I would like to express, here and now, my deep appreciation of the warmth of the enthusiastic welcome which was given, in various jurisdictions in the United States I visited, to the accredited representative of the United Grand Lodge of England. Since last standing in this hall, I have traveled, on behalf of Grand Lodge, over twelve thousand miles; I have visited ten American Jurisdictions, and I have spoken at Masonic gatherings in twenty American cities. And I come back to my own country with the assurance of the devotion of those Grand Lodges to the principles for which the Grand Lodge of England has always stood, and of their personal thanks to and admiration of yourself, M. W. Grand Master, for the manner in which you have so long presided over the destinies of the English Craft." This tribute I desire to repeat with emphasis now.
I would venture to recall the circumstances which led to my undertaking the Mission to America. Five years ago, the United Grand Lodge of England had the privilege of the presence of twenty-nine leading representatives of various American Jurisdictions — in the main Grand Masters, Past Grand Masters and Grand Secretaries — on the occasion of the Especial Grand Lodge holden at the Royal Albert Hall on June 27, 1919, in Celebration of Peace. During their stay in England these distinguished brethren more than once expressed a strong hope that their visit would in some way be soon returned; and later I personally received from time to time invitations to different American Grand Jurisdictions. It was not, however, until the end of last year that I was in a position to accept any of these; and then, with the approval of your Royal Highness, I arranged to make a journey to the United States during the ensuing spring. The Board of General Purposes, in reporting this to Grand Lodge on Dee. 5, 1923, expressed the belief that the interchange of fraternal information secured by such a visit would be of great mutual service, as being conducive to a greater understanding between the English-speaking members of the Craft; and later it uttered the hope that the visit would strengthen still further the bond of friendship and good will between the British and American peoples. It was in that belief and hope that I arranged to leave this country on Feb. 27, of the present year, bearing the following message from your Royal Highness to our American brethren:
"On the occasion of the visit of Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins, P. G. W., President of the Board of General Purposes, to the United States, I take the opportunity of conveying through him to the brethren of all Jurisdictions in friendly association with the United Grand Lodge of England my fraternal good wishes and sincere desire for their continued happiness and prosperity.
"It is my earnest hope that the tenets of our Order may assist still further the bond of friendship and good will, which so happily exists between our two nations, and I shall watch with sympathy every endeavour to promote these feelings by the development of Freemasonry in the purest and highest aspects."
DESCRIPTION OF THE TOUR
When planning the details of the tour, it at once became apparent that, in the less than three months that could be given to the undertaking before returning in time for the Quarterly Communication in June, severe limitations would have to be imposed. I found that, if the invitations to visit several Jurisdictions bordering on the Atlantic seaboards as well as certain Grand Lodges in the Middle West, were accepted, I should be bound to decline at that date any outside this definitely circumscribed line. Being thus constrained by considerations of time as well as of personal strength, I, with sincere regret, was compelled to decline very cordial invitations to visit the Grand Jurisdictions of California, Utah, Nebraska, Georgia, North Dakota and Delaware; but I received from representatives of all these the most cordial good wishes, as also from the Grand Masters of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and South Carolina, as well as the Grand Secretary of New Hampshire, all of whom met me during my stay in the United States; while the Grand Master of Louisiana sent by telegram his especial regards. And I would premise that an absolute rule during the visit was not to attend any Masonic gathering, or one even indirectly associated with Masonry, to which I had not been invited, or was not accompanied, by the Grand Master of the Jurisdiction in which it was held.
Landing on March 6 in New York, I was welcomed by the leading brethren of that Jurisdiction, who gave an equally hearty Masonic "send off" on my leaving the same port on May 28. By the kindness of friends, my headquarters throughout the American stay were at Montclair, N.J., a few miles south of New York, whence on March 10 I proceeded to Boston and attended a meeting of the Fourth Estate Lodge, to see the American working of an important degree. On the next evening, I was present at the Annual Convocation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts, where I received a very hearty welcome; and the following day, after being privileged to be at a confidential meeting of the District Deputy Grand Masters of the Massachusetts Jurisdiction with their Grand Master, I went to the regular communication of their Grand Lodge, and again had a cordial greeting. This was assisted by Bro. Thomas R. Marshall, of Indiana, Vice-president of the United States from 1913 to 1921, who was emphatic in his fraternal greetings. In the evening the Grand Master of Massachusetts invited to assemble in my honour the Past Grand Masters and Grand Officers of his Jurisdiction, as well as the Grand Masters of two neighbouring states, two others being prevented from attending by a heavy snow blizzard, which also had hindered hundreds of brethren from distant parts of the state from being in Grand Lodge. During my stay, lasting until March 14, in the course of which I had a personal interview with the Governor of the state, I had the opportunity for frequent consultation with the leading brethren of the Jurisdiction on matters of Masonic policy, in which information was given and received on both sides; and it may be here noted that similar conferences took place in every Jurisdiction I visited.
HE IS IN NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY
In the course of the two following weeks, I had special consultations with representative brethren of New York and New Jersey, and was entertained at a large gathering of the leading members of the former Jurisdiction by their Grand Master; and on March 31, I went for five days to Washington, there to meet the brethren of the Jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, which has Washington for its centre. In the capital city of the United States, I met not only representative members of the Craft, headed by their Grand Master, but was made most heartily welcome by Bro. John H. Cowles, Past Grand Master of Kentucky, who has a vivid memory of the reception given him when visiting London at the Peace Celebration, and is now the head of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, a very powerful Masonic body in the United States, which has its counterpart in this country in the Ancient and Accepted Rite. Under his escort, I inspected the preliminary work now being pursued for the erection of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, in Virginia, as well as the Temple of the Alexandria Washington Lodge, the original lodge room of which is filled with relies of the first President of the United States, who lived at Mount Vernon, near by, and was the first Master of this Virginian Lodge.
While in Washington, I had the especial privilege — through the introduction by Bro. Frank B. Kellogg, the American Ambassador to this country — of interviews with the President of the United States (Mr. Coolidge) and the Secretary of State (Mr. Charles E. Hughes), as well as with the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (Ex-President W. H. Taft). The last of these distinguished Americans is a Mason, and, in that capacity, attended a banquet given in my honour at the House of the Temple, at which were present a number of United States Senators, members of the House of Representatives and leading American admirals, generals, scientists and literary men, all members of the Masonic Fraternity. In my interviews with the President and the Secretary of State, and in response to their questions, I stated the nature and object of my mission, which was to promote — and, in a large degree, through Freemasonry — by full, free and frequent intercourse, the already friendly relations between the English-speaking peoples in general and those of this country and the United States in particular; and that statement in each case was approvingly received. Before visiting Washington, I had a conversation in New York with Bro. John W. Davis, a former American Ambassador to England, who had the Brevet Rank of Past Grand Warden conferred upon him at the Especial Peace Grand Lodge of June 27, 1919. Bro. Davis recalled with much interest that Masonic incident regarding himself, as well as others in connection with the period of his residence in London; and he expressed cordial wishes for the success of my mission.
HE WITNESSES CEREMONIES AT YONKERS
On April 7, I witnessed the Ceremony of Initiation, well performed by leading Grand officers, in the Jonkheer Lodge at Yonkers, not far from New York, being there accompanied by the Grand Master of New York, and his successor, the then Deputy Grand Master. I next visited, on the 9th, the City of Philadelphia, where the Grand Master and brethren of Pennsylvania gave me the most cordial of receptions. The Mayor of Philadelphia extended to me a civic welcome, and I was the official guest of the city during my stay; the Grand Master brought together a large gathering of the leading brethren of his Jurisdiction, who expressed the warmest sentiments of amity and admiration for the Grand Lodge of England; and I was given more than one opportunity to inspect the Grand Lodge Library, a finely arranged and well displayed collection, worthy of close Masonic study. The great friendliness of feeling here shown was repeated when I went, on April 15, to Trenton for the regular communication of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, which I addressed on the following day, having spoken the previous night at an assembly of the Grand Master, Past Grand Masters and leading brethren of the state. In these Grand Jurisdictions, as in every one visited during my stay in America, I read the personal message of your Royal Highness. It was everywhere greeted with sincere warmth and with expressions of appreciation of the great work your Royal Highness has done for Freemasonry, especially during the twenty-three years' tenure of your Grand Mastership.
The most arduous part of my undertaking began with the fortnight I spent in four great Jurisdictions of the Middle West, opening with that of Missouri. On April 19 I traveled direct to St. Louis, a distance from New York of 1,051 miles, and on the 21st, after being specially welcomed by the National Masonic Research Society of the United States, I spoke at an emergent meeting of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, the proceedings being most fraternal and hearty. The following day, the Grand Master showed me much of Masonic interest in and around St. Louis, and gave me the opportunity for pleasant intercourse with some leading brethren; and that night I proceeded to Columbia, the University City of the state, where I not only addressed the Grand Chapter of Missouri, but witnessed some admirable working in Acacia Lodge. On the 24th, I journeyed to Kansas City, in the same state, a distance of 278 miles from St. Louis, and there I was entertained by the Orient Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, as well as, on the 26th, by the Ivanhoe Lodge of Kansas City, one of the largest private — or, as they are there termed, subordinate — lodges in the United States. After being present at the dedication of a new portion of the very spacious and striking Ivanhoe Temple, I attended a very large meeting of the lodge to witness the ceremony of raising, in the presence of the Grand Master, the 4,000th Mason, now a subscribing member of Ivanhoe Lodge. Throughout my week in the State of Missouri, I was accompanied by the Grand Master to every Masonic gathering, and I am grateful for all the help he gave.
Late on the night of April 26, after the Ivanhoe ceremony, I went forward to the State of Iowa; and, after being heartily welcomed on the way at Marshalltown by the brethren of the Marshall Lodge, I proceeded to Cedar Rapids, the well-known Masonic centre of the Jurisdiction. In that city I witnessed some Iowa working at the Crescent Lodge, in the presence of over two thousand brethren from different parts of the state; visited twice the Iowa Masonic Library, a very fine institution which impressed me as admirably designed and managed; attended a meeting of the Grand Master's Advisory Council by his special invitation; was entertained, with the leading brethren, by the Grand Master, and that night went on to Chicago to be greeted by the brethren of Illinois. After two days in Chicago, where my pleasant experiences were repeated and even emphasized, being especially welcomed by the Grand Master and his leading colleagues in the Illinois Jurisdiction, with his District Deputies, I journeyed, on the night of May 1, to Columbus, to be met by the brethren of Ohio, headed by their Grand Master, with the same cordial enthusiasm that had accompanied me throughout the journey. In this last city I addressed, under the presidency of the Grand Master, a gathering of about 2,000 Masons, assembled from all parts of the Jurisdiction. The next morning I visited the New England Lodge at Worthington, one of the oldest lodges in the state, where an emergent meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ohio was convened to greet me, and it was due alone to the sudden and severe illness of his eldest son that I did not have a promised interview with the state governor.
HE ENDS VISIT TO MIDDLE WEST
On the evening of May 3, I ended my fourteen days' visit to the Middle West, in the course of which I had traveled by rail and motor car over 3,000 miles, including five night journeys, and had spoken in ten Masonic centres of activity. Any record of this part of my tour would not be complete if I did not mention the very great pains that were taken by the various Grand Masters to ensure my convenience, as in each instance I was greeted, before leaving one Jurisdiction, by the Deputy Grand Master or Grand Marshal of the one next to be visited, and was escorted by him to my destination, a mark of regard which was very highly appreciated.
After resting two days, I attended the Grand Lodge of New York on May 6 and 7, and gave thereat the message from your Royal Highness with which I was charged. Not only was my welcome from this very large gathering of the heartiest, but "the Grand Master's Family" — as the Grand officers and Past Grand officers of the state are known, corresponding very closely to our Grand Officers' Mess — gave on their own account a most cordial greeting. On the 13th, I paid a visit to Baltimore in order to address the Grand Lodge of Maryland, where the Grand Master and his brethren paid me special honour; and, on the following day I went to Elizabethtown to inspect the very extensive and excellently arranged Pennsylvania Masonic Home. The next day I returned to New York to be welcomed at a special banquet by the National Masonic Service Association of the United States, at which attended representatives of Grand Lodges in distant parts of the Union whom I had not previously had the opportunity to meet; while, on the following night, there was a reception in my honour at Newark to the most active Masons of the Jurisdiction of New Jersey. This concluded the formal portion of my Masonic stay, though on May 20 I was the guest in New York of the leading brethren of that Jurisdiction who, nearly two months earlier, had similarly entertained me, and who throughout had given me the warmest sympathy and support, as well as afforded the fullest aid and information.
During the tour I had the honour to present, by your Royal Highness' command, the newly-struck official badge of a Representative from a friendly Grand Lodge to the United Grand Lodge of England, to six distinguished American brethren who had not previously received this mark of honourable distinction. There were the Grand Lodge Representatives of the Jurisdictions of New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. In every case the presentation was made in the presence, and with the expressed approval of, the Grand Master of the Jurisdiction, arid in each it was welcomed by the assembled brethren, as well as by the brother immediately concerned, with open manifestation of approval and enjoyment.
It will afford an indication of the extent of Masonic territory covered during the mission if there be given, according to the latest available official statistics, the membership of the various Grand Lodges visited in its course:
- New York 299,034
- Illinois 259,573
- Pennsylvania 193,650
- Ohio 179,788
- Massachusetts 115,585
- Missouri 107,041
- Iowa 83,871
- New Jersey 78,469
- Maryland 30,993
- District of Columbia 21,132
Thus, decidedly more than one million and a quarter American brethren were addressed through their respective Grand Lodges and Grand Masters.
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
Since my return home I have had both time and opportunity to consider generally what I had learned from this visit to the United States, and the chief lesson I drew from all my experiences — and this is a counsel to be given to brethren on both sides of the Atlantic — was to avoid hasty judgments formed on first impressions. In regard to such differences as are plainly visible between the system of Grand Lodge and lodge government in the United States and our own Jurisdiction — differences, it is ever to be understood, in degree but not in doctrine — national characteristics and local circumstances always and most steadily have to be borne in mind. A marked divergence in national psychology accounts for the one difference which to the Englishman is most apparent, and that is that what we as Masons present to the mind's eye is in America represented to the bodily vision. It is impossible openly to speak more on so delicate a matter, but I would record the opinion that the manner in which the dramatic story of our earliest-known workings has developed into the acted drama now seen across the Atlantic, demands closest study from those Masons, both English and American, who desire to know what are the differences in practice here and there, and how and why they arose.
When such a study is undertaken, it would always have to be with full realization of the temperamental and psychological differences between the English and the American peoples — differences more easily observed than accounted for. It would be difficult to explain why the English brother who is as scrupulous to conceal marks of his Masonry from the outside world as his American brother is ready to display them, and who, in his Masonic observances is as reticent of emotion as the American is ready with drama, should have in Craft Masonry a far more ornate display and difference of clothing, whether in Grand Lodge or private lodge, than is used by the overwhelming body of Symbolic or Blue Masons in the United States. This is a problem which affects us all; but there also are problems which directly touch American lodges alone, as there are those which directly touch English lodges alone. Concerning these, which, at the most, are non-essential in their basis, it is well that each body should exercise both toleration and patience, and not seek to impose its opinions, even by implication, the one on the other.
As to Masonic practice generally, American Masons appear to pay a degree of deference to the precise words of James Anderson on constitutional points, and of William Preston on points of practice, which English brethren who have studied those eighteenth century Masonic writers at closest hand are unprepared to share. In this country we do not regard either as an infallible authority, and our belief is that much of our strength has come from having been able to differentiate with clearness between what in them is of permanent value and what personal opinion.
But it is always to be borne in mind that the forty-nine Grand Jurisdictions which exist in the United States are entirely independent of each other, having no central authority, acting on their own regulations, and by their own methods of government, within their several boundaries. As a consequence, the composition of the various Grand Lodges, the method of selection of the several Grand Masters, and even the term of service of these higher officers, vary greatly with the Jurisdictions, just as does the working of the private or subordinate lodges.
Amid much that is strange and often exuberant, the fraternal observer cannot fail to be impressed not only by the skill and assiduity with which, despite extraneous attractions, the concerns of American Symbolic lodges are managed, and the zeal and ability with which their leaders promulgate the genuine principles and tenets of Freemasonry, but by the almost limitless patience the brethren display in the discharge of their Masonic work. This last characteristic is the more noteworthy in face of the overwhelmingly large size of very many of the lodges; but it is good to recognize the keen sense of order displayed within the doors of the Grand Lodges and private lodges alike, while the strict regard paid to the presiding officer is voluntary discipline of the best kind. It further is well not only to note but to appreciate the keen interest in Masonic problems, both practical and philosophic, and the informed concern with Masonic questions of international interest, manifested by the foremost brethren in the Jurisdictions I visited.
HE COMMENTS ON D.D.G.M. SYSTEM
There is, however, one striking difference in Grand Lodge methods of government which aroused my keen attention, and appears worthy of our consideration. Even in the largest American Jurisdictions, no such divisions exist for purposes of local self-government as our Provincial or District Grand Lodges; but the supervision of the lodges is undertaken, and their discipline directly maintained, by a system of District Deputy Grand Masters. Each of these has a comparatively, though varying, small number of lodges given directly into his charge during his term of office, which may, or may not, be for longer than a year. The District Deputy Grand Master is held responsible for visiting every lodge under his charge during the year, and reporting on its work to the Grand Master, who in many cases meets these officers of his own appointment before each Grand Lodge communication, and enjoins them as to their duties and the manner in which good results can be obtained. To some extent, this is done in many of our provinces by a system of visitation under the Provincial Grand Master's special direction. But that system is not universal, and, in any ease, it does not apply to London, and, therefore, a closer examination of the American plan, with an attempt to estimate its full value, would, I believe, be of much use to ourselves.
Two phases of American Masonic activity are especially to be noted — the great and growing exercise of benevolence and the ardent expansion of temple building. In each case, American Masons mainly rely on a Grand Lodge levy rather than on the voluntary system, though individual gifts, and especially for benevolent objects, are many and munificent. I had the privilege of visiting the Masonic Homes of Pennsylvania, Missouri and Ohio, at Elizabethtown, St. Louis and Springfield respectively, while only pressure of time prevented me from inspecting the great New York institution at Utica. At each of these, girls, boys and aged Freemasons and their widows and other dependent female relations have their separate homes, situated within the same area, and all are splendidly looked after. It would be impossible in so vast a country as the United States to have three centralised institutions such as we possess in England, but there is a growing tendency to erect these homes in Jurisdictions where they have not previously existed. and to extend such as are already in full work. New York, indeed, at the Grand Lodge communication I attended, determined to make a very strong effort in the way of extension.
One other phase of what may be termed Masonic aid-work demands note and attention. In various American Jurisdictions there have been established Masonic Bureaus, Masonic Relief Boards and Masonic Service Associations. Certain of these appear to exercise the functions here attempted to be covered by Employment Exchanges and Friendly Societies, and the first-named are an extension of Masonic effort into the relationship of employer and employed which invites careful investigation. It is claimed for these bodies that they have earned the confidence of both sides to the labour problem, and their existence and energies are not to be ignored.
In regard to temple building, American effort is not confined to the large and splendid edifices which are being erected all over the country for individual lodges and Grand Lodges, but is extended to the George Washington National Masonic Memorial. This last great building, when complete, will cost over a million pounds, the main portion being raised by a levy of one dollar on every subscribing member of an American lodge, on approval of the project by its Grand Lodge. It is being erected not far from Mount Vernon, Va., the first President's home, and near the town of Alexandria, where he was the earliest Master of Alexandria Washington Lodge, still in existence, of which he remained a working member to the end. The edifice will from a central rallying point and place of pilgrimage for American Masons wherever dispersed, and it is regarded as truly symbolising the unity of American Freemasonry.
But a very great difficulty that often presents itself to the visiting Englishman, and one with which, front instinct, he is out of sympathy, arises from the extremely varied and remarkably strong bodies in the United States which, though not directly, are in some way associated with Freemasonry. In this regard, considerations of genius populi as well as genius loci must always be held in mind, and it would be unseemly to dogmatize regarding detailed matters which immediately concern Masonic organizations not our own. But, without attempting to enter into particulars respecting individual semi-Masonic or pseudo-Masonic American bodies, I would definitely state the opinion that Masonry, as we know it here, stands in no need of extraneous organizations over which the authorities of the Craft have no control, but for the practices of which Freemasonry generally is apt by the outside world to be held responsible. I, therefore, am strongly of opinion that the rulers and administrators of the Craft would be well advised to watch with the closest attention any attempts to introduce similar bodies into the English Jurisdiction.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE WELCOME
In the course of the visit I was made an honorary member of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, a distinction never previously conferred on any brother not an American, and only on one in that country. The same honour was accorded in the Jurisdiction of Missouri, in which my only predecessors in honorary membership were three, two being the great French soldier and patriot, Lafayette, who assisted materially to secure American independence, and his son, both of whom received the honour in 1825, and the other being Past Grand Master Jonathan Nye, of Vermont, in 1842, for distinguished services rendered to Freemasonry during the Morgan upheaval, which for a time threatened the very existence of the Craft in the United States. The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Missouri likewise voted its honorary membership, while the Brevet Rank of Senior Grand Warden was conferred in the Grand Lodge of Maryland, and Massachusetts presented the Henry Price medal, the highest honour that Grand Lodge gives to one who is not a Mason of the state.
Regarding my welcome generally, for the continuous warmth of which sincere thanks are rendered to every American brother, of whatever Masonic rank, who assisted to greet me, I will not attempt to distinguish between hosts. But I feel bound to acknowledge, with profound gratitude, the recognition given everywhere of the country from which I came and of which, in a distinct degree, I was regarded as a representative. In every gathering I attended — Masonic, public and social alike — the Union Jack was flown side by side with the Stars and Stripes, and the English national anthem was sung as well as the American. Even as an act of courtesy to one from afar, it moved me deeply; as a token of widespread desire for better understanding through fuller intercourse between our two peoples, it filled me with hope.
These were the outward and visible signs of a greeting which was given me as directly representing the United Grand Lodge of England. In that capacity I made clear to every Grand Lodge addressed what were the fundamental principles for which our body stands, and from which, in no circumstance, will it depart. To each I gave an absolute assurance that the United Grand Lodge of England stands as firmly as it ever did by the principle of reverent and absolute recognition of an Almighty Being, with a revelation of His will, and that it was never less likely than now to depart from this fundamental base. I am rejoiced to state that every Masonic gathering addressed gave the most cordial and ungrudging assent to the principles thus defined, and I returned with the full assurance that the American Freemasonry we recognize in its various Jurisdictions, is as true as is English Masonry to the essential principles and tenets of the Craft.
Almost daily now testimonies come from leading brethren in every Jurisdiction visited, from Massachusetts to Maryland in the East, and from Missouri to Ohio in the West, that they believe this mission has cemented more closely the ties which bind English and American Freemasonry. They declare that their brethren stand where they always have stood, side by side with English Freemasons on the fundamental principles of the Craft, and they hold with us that, as long as English-speaking Masons do not swerve from these principles but maintain them to the utmost, Freemasonry will be a great and growing influence in the world's affairs. If, in any degree, my visit has served to deepen and widen the belief in our essential principles, its main object — that of bringing American and English Freemasonry into closer relationship — will have been fully attained.
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MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
BARON DE KALB
MAJOR GENERAL JOHN KALB, a conspicuous figure in the early history of our country, is an interesting character not only because of his splendid service as a general officer, but also for being a close friend of Washington and Lafayette. He was born June 29, 1721, in the village of Heuttendorf in the Province of Margraviate, which was under Prussian sovereignty, and not in Alsace or Bavaria as some writers have stated. He was of humble origin and for some years in his early life was a waiter. He died Aug. 19, 1780, at Camden, South Carolina, of wounds received in a battle against Cornwallis.
De Kalb was trained in the French Army and rose to be a brigadier. He first came to America in 1762, being sent here as a secret agent by the French government. It was through De Kalb that Lafayette gained an introduction to the American Commissioners in Paris. He joined with Lafayette in relinquishing the honors and emoluments of a brigadier in the French service in order to share the fortunes of a people in rebellion against one of the great powers of the earth. Congress made him a major general in September, 1777. He joined Washington's army and became active in the military movements near Philadelphia during the autumn preceding the winter encampment at Valley Forge. The following year he was in command in New Jersey. While at Morristown in the spring of 1780 he was placed at the head of the Maryland Line; with these combined with the Delaware continental troops he marched southward in April to reinforce General Lincoln, then besieged in Charleston, but was too late. He was second in command under General Gates in the South and in the battle at Camden on Aug. 16, 1780, he was at the head of the Maryland and Delaware troops, which held their ground until Cornwallis concentrated his whole force upon them. De Kalb fell pierced by eleven wounds before his regiment gave way. Three days later he died at Camden, where, in 1825, Lafayette laid the cornerstone of a monument erected to his memory.
The Camden monument "was inaugurated on the day succeeding the laying of the cornerstone, 9th March, 1825. The procession was headed by volunteer soldiery, followed by Kershaw Lodge of Freemasons, of the town and vicinity, then came the hearse and the ashes of De Kalb, six Revolutionary officers bore the palls; a war horse was led after them, General Lafayette and suite, Revolutionary soldiers, the civil authorities and some of the leading corporations of Camden brought up the rear. . . Lafayette proceeded to lay the cornerstone of the monument which was not completed for some time afterwards. The base is formed of twenty-six massive blocks of granite, twenty-four of which bear, respectively, the names of the twenty-four states then composing the union: the twenty-fifth has the inscription Focus esto perpetual, and the twenty-sixth, with the obelisk of white marble fifteen feet high, cover the ashes of De Kalb."
On the side which fronts the south, on De Kalb Street, are the words:
"Here rest the remains of Baron De Kalb
A German by birth, a cosmopolitan in his principles."
On the north side:
"In gratitude for his zeal and services
The citizens of Camden have erected this monument."
On the east side:
"His love of liberty induced him to leave the old world to aid the citizens of the new in their struggle for independence. His distinguished talent and many virtues weighed with Congress to appoint him Major General in the Revolutionary Army."
On the west side:
"He was second in command in the battle he fought near Camden on August 16, 1780, and there nobly fell covered with wounds while gallantly performing deeds of valor in rallying the friends and opposing the enemies of his adopted country."
The above is from the Life of John Kalb by Friedrich Kapp, the best authority extant.
But this is not all. Referring to his marriage to Miss Robais, at Paris, April 10, 1764 (page 36), the author says:
"It was probably the religious persuasion — both being Protestants — which first brought Peter Von Robais [father of the lady] in contact with Kalb.... The wedding took place on the 10th April, 1764, the marriage ceremony being performed in the Protestant chapel in the Dutch Legation."
On page 249 of the same book this appears:
"At the opening of the third decade of the present century the inhabitants of Camden, and especially the Freemasons, of which Fraternity he had been a member, conceived the design of erecting a monument over his grave."
This is all the evidence we can give that De Kalb was a Freemason, a Protestant, and an unhyphenated American. In Cardinal Gibbons' paper on eminent Roman Catholic heroes who figured in the American Revolution, published in the "Mirror," Baltimore, Maryland, June, 1896, De Kalb is given as one of them, but this is an error as can be seen from the above quotations.
Our hero's name was John Kalb; he added the "Baron" and the "De" for his own reasons. The same sort of thing is done today, is well understood, and needs no explanation.
A life-sized memorial has been erected to De Kalb at Annapolis. It is of bronze on a granite pedestal and bears a plaque inscribed in this manner:
"Sacred to the memory of the Baron De Kalb, Knight of the Royal Order of Military merit; Brigadier in the Armies of France and Major General in the service of the United States of America. Having served with honor and reputation for three years and forty days, a last and glorious proof of his attachment to the liberties of mankind and the cause of America, in the action near Camden, in the State of South Carolina, on the 16th of August, 1780, while leading on the troops of the Maryland and Delaware lines against superior numbers, and animating them by his example to deeds of valor, he was pierced by many wounds, and on the 19th following expired, in the 48th year of his age. The Congress of the United States of America in gratitude to his zeal, service and merit have erected this monument."
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"Masonry rules not by the power of the sword but by those imperishable virtues which emanate directly from God, charity and brotherly love. She visits the lonely cot and the lordly couch to relieve the distressed and unhappy, smooths the wrinkled brow of age, whispers words of cheer into the ears of the unfortunate, and inspires mankind with higher and nobler aspirations. She knows no creed or religion, save a belief in an ever-living God, and welcomes to her lodges men of every faith, thereby exemplifying the brotherhood of man in the universality of Masonry."
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THE STUDY CLUB
STUDIES OF MASONRY IN THE UNITED STATES
Bro. H. L. Haywood, Editor
PART II. THE FIRST AMERICAN MASON
THE historical period (properly so called) of American Masonry began early in the eighteenth century, and its first known date, as will appear farther down, is connected with Boston and New England. New England was at that time almost a nation in itself, sharply set off in custom, thought and interests from other parts of the land, and more or less self-contained. Its population was almost entirely composed of Englishmen or their descendants, the second and third generations of which were at the front during the first quarter of the century; it is said that at the time of the Revolution 98 per cent of all New Englanders were of that stock. The entire population of New England in 1700 has been estimated at about 105,000, with 70,000 in Massachusetts and Maine.
Towns and town life were at the bottom of the civilization, and the towns were controlled by mercantile interests, a fact that set New England in sharp contrast to the important states of the South, where the center of gravity lay in the country, and everything was controlled by the owners of great estates. New Englanders were given to shipping, trade, and manufacturing, and therefore laid emphasis on the virtues of industry and thrift. Because they lived in towns they could support schools and democratically organized churches, and could take part in politics, a thing not easy for southern states where the population was more sparse, and scattered through the country.
Although the ideals of democracy were powerful among the New England population, the people were, during the period in review, sufficiently Old World to adhere rather rigidly to a system of social classes, of which gentlemen were at the head, followed in order by yeomen, merchants and mechanics. The social system was stratified in this fashion, and so also was the church, for worshippers were given pews according to this manner of precedence. In the Harvard catalogues of the time the names of students were classified in the same manner.
The slave system was permitted but not much encouraged, and what slaves there were usually consisted of house servants; there were few of them in the factories and mills, so that manual labor never came to be looked upon as a disgrace. The first public denunciation of slavery was issued by Judge Samuel Sewall in 1700; anti-slavery ideas did not gain much circulation until Revolutionary times.
The churches were organized according to the congregationalist, or self-governing system; and the people in general were habitually religious, as befitted the heirs of the Pilgrims. Clergymen were high class men, scholarly, imbued with a practical mysticism, and much given to taking part in public affairs; moreover, they and their people were intensely patriotic, and filled with horror of "European religion." When Andros attempted to introduce the Church of England into Massachusetts he was met by a storm of protest.
Until 1692 the people governed themselves politically pretty much according to their own tastes and without much interference from abroad, but in that year the English Crown initiated a system of Royal Governors for Massachusetts, an event that marked the beginning of an English political control that increased gradually until the Revolution, when it was thrown off for once and all. The majority of these Governors were English-born gentlemen of wealth and fastidious tastes and somewhat impatient of the simplicity of life in the province. Gradually they introduced aristocratic modes of living until at last they moved in the center of miniature royal courts; they rode in gilt carriages; served expensive feasts to their friends; dressed sumptuously in fine linen and silk; and lived generally in great style. The Age of Homespun passed away, as one Massachusetts historian writes, the Age of Brocade took its place.
One of the prominent and arresting figures in this Age of Brocade was Jonathan Belcher, who, in addition to the political distinction of occupying the office of Royal Governor of the province, stands forth in Masonic annals, so far as they are now known, as the first known Mason in the Western Hemisphere. Born Jan. 8, 1681, of Andrew Belcher, a Boston merchant and prominent councillor, he enjoyed from the beginning the best that the upper classes could afford, an education in Harvard, from which he graduated in 1699, and then a trip abroad, where he became acquainted with England's future King. After being polished off he returned to his native city to become a merchant, wherein he prospered so that he became prominent in public matters, especially in regard to the many attempts being made at the time to give the province a stable currency. In 1729 he was sent to England as an agent for the province. While there, and upon learning of Governor Burnet's death (the Royal Governor, and son of the famous scholar bishop of that name), Belcher used his already acquired influence at Court and secured for himself, not without some trickery so his later enemies were wont to allege, the appointment in Burnet's place. His commission was dated Jan. 8, 1730, but he did not land in Boston to assume his new and difficult post until August of that year, when he alighted in Boston Harbor from a British warship, with some pomp and eclat.
The regime of Royal Governors, as already stated, began in 1692 and lasted until the Revolution. Eleven were commissioned during that period (one did not serve), and Belcher was sixth in the list. He was a polished sociable man but somewhat irritable as to temper, and his term was not altogether happy to himself, as was inevitable under the changing conditions of the time, for the provincials were growing more and more weary of having a Governor appointed by a faraway King, and they always made trouble over paying his salary. Belcher had the usual difficulties, made the usual enemies, and found it hard to reconcile the interests of his fellow New Englanders (his governorship applied also over New Hampshire) with the interests of his Royal Master overseas. He sent 500 Massachusetts men to assist Admiral Vernon (a picturesque old sea-dog; was not "rum" named after him?) at Cuba in his fight against the Spaniards, and that did not set well at Boston, where little interest was felt in England's imperial wars. What with the everlasting salary question and other disgruntlements too numerous to mention Belcher was removed from office, May 6, 1741, after eleven years of service, in deference to popular clamor.
BELCHER MADE GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY
He was vindicated at the English Court and promised the next suitable appointment that might offer. This came in 1745 when he was appointed Royal Governor of New Jersey, a post filled with honor and success. During that term he assisted Jonathan Edwards, who had so profoundly stirred the religious life of Boston during the "Great Awakening" of 1717-1744, "to put Princeton College on its feet." (George Whitefield, the English revivalist, who preached to the Masons of Georgia in 1738, had arrived in Boston during the last part of Belcher's term there.) Belcher died in New Jersey August 31, 1757, and was buried, at his own request, in his native town.
That Governor Belcher had been a Mason we know from his own testimony. On September 25, 1741, as we learn from its own records, the First Lodge at Boston (about which more anon) delivered to him a congratulatory address in which they expressed to him their thanks because "we have had your Protection while in the most Excellent Station here." In his reply he said:
"I take very kindly this mark of your Respect. It is now Thirty Seven years since I was admitted into the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and accepted Masons, to whom I have been a faithful Brother, & well-wisher to the Art of Masonry.
"I shall ever maintain a strict friendship for the whole Fraternity; & always be glad when it may fall in my power to do them any Services.
Upon this record R. F. Gould remarks:
"Although Governor Belcher does not name the place of his initiation, it is probable that it took place in London, and the words he uses to describe his 'admission' into the Society will justify the inference that on being made a Freemason, whatever Masonic secrets then existed were communicated to him in their entirety, precisely as we may imagine was the case when Ashmole became a member at the Warrington Lodge, and in the parallel instances of the reception of gentlemen at York...."
The esteem felt for Governor Belcher by his brethren of Massachusetts is shown by a letter addressed to him by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, after he had removed to New Jersey. This letter, signed by Charles Pelham, Secretary, expressed the hope that "the sincere and hearty Congratulations of Our Lodge on your present happy accession, may meet with a favorable acceptance," and was dated September 3, 1747. The Governor replied with feeling and appreciation on the sixth of the following month. While in the Jerseys it was impossible for him to enjoy any activity in lodge because none had as yet been established there.
Governor Belcher's son Andrew graduated from Harvard in 1728, was later a student of law at the Temple, London, was made a Mason some time prior to July 30, 1733, at which time he was appointed Deputy Grand Master of the new St. John's Grand Lodge by its organizer, Henry Price; and his second son, Jonathan, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, followed Erasmus Phillips as Provincial Grand Master of the Canadian maritime provinces during the years 17601765. The record of these sons, when set beside Governor Belcher's own active membership in the Fraternity of fifty-three years, would indicate that the family was not contented with a merely nominal allegiance to the Craft.
ST. JOHN'S LODGES ARE EXPLAINED
As already noted in the quotation from Gould, it is now not known in what lodge Governor Belcher was made a Mason; wherever it was, and however organized, it was undoubtedly similar to a number of other lodges scattered about over England at that time, twelve years before the organization of the first Grand Lodge at London. If a group of Masons possessed a copy of the Old Charges and sufficient knowledge of the Ritual they felt themselves authorized to form a lodge, and often did so, asking nobody's permission. Such a lodge might function for a few years, keep its own records, and then pass out of existence, leaving no trace behind it, the records becoming destroyed or lost. It is possible that some such lodge met in King's Chapel in 1720 (as noted in the preceding chapter) and it is certain that they did exist elsewhere, Philadelphia for instance, about which more anon. Such were frequently called "St. John's lodges."
The organization of the first Grand Lodge was the beginning of the end of this old system that had been inherited from the days of Operative Masonry and which, though it had served well enough under that regime, was impossible for a worldwide Fraternity wherein law and order would inevitably become necessary. The new Grand Lodge at first claimed jurisdiction only over London and Westminster, but as time passed and the new system gained headway and prestige, it gradually extended the boundaries of its authority until at last it had been extended over the whole of America, as well as the whole of England and much territory beside. In 1721 Grand Lodge adopted and promulgated a new regulation; and this in time became the law for Masonry everywhere:
"VIII. No set or number of brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves from the lodge in which they were made brethren, or were afterwards admitted members, unless the lodge becomes too numerous, nor even then without a Dispensation from the Grand Master or his Deputy; and when they are thus separated they must either immediately join themselves to such other lodge as they shall like best, with the unanimous consent of that other lodge to which they go (as above regulated) or else they must obtain the Grand Master's warrant to join in forming a new lodge.
"If any set or number of Masons shall take upon themselves to form a lodge without the Grand Master's warrant, the regular lodges are not to countenance them, nor own them as fair brethren and duly formed, nor approve of their acts and deeds but must treat them as rebels, until they humble themselves as the Grand Master shall in his prudence direct, and until he approve of them by his warrant, which must be signified to the other lodges, as the custom is when a new lodge is to be registered in the list of lodges."
It is necessary to keep the above strictly in mind if one is to thread his way through the history of early Masonry in the United States because much hinges upon it, especially as regards the often mooted question as to the "oldest lodge on the continent," etc. Prior to 1721 and according to the "old customs" any lodge, if established by Masons, was legitimate and regular, if one wishes to import those terms back into a period before their use should properly begin; but afterwards only those lodges were regular and duly constituted that received warrant from a Grand Lodge, or from some Provincial Grand Lodge, or else, if previously organized, secured formal regularization under some existing Grand Lodge.
As suggested in the above paragraph, there has been for many years a great deal of controversy over the question as to where Freemasonry first made its appearance in this land, a controversy that for the most part has been kept up between the advocates of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. It is not in order in the present connection to enter into that discussion; the facts on both sides will be presented as impartially as possible in succeeding pages. Meanwhile Massachusetts advocates can safely claim for their own jurisdiction the honor of having on record the membership of the first known American Mason in the person of Governor Jonathan Belcher.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
On Boston and Massachusetts. Of the innumerable works available the following may be mentioned: The Memorial History of Boston, Including Suffolk County, Massachusetts, edited by Justin Winsor; four volumes; Boston, 1882. Old Boston Days and Ways, Mary Caroline Crawford, Boston, 1909. St. Botolph's Town, Mary Caroline Crawford, Boston, 1908. Boston, the Place and the People, M. A. DeWolfe Howe, New York 1903. The Colonies, 1492-1750, R. G. Thwaites, New York, 1923.
On Governor Belcher. Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, Clegg; Chicago, 1921; IV., p. 1517. Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, Johnson, New York, 1924, p. 49. New England Freemason, I., p. 67. The History of Freemasonry in Canada, Robertson; Toronto, 1900; I., p. 140. History of Freemasonry in Rhode Island, Rugg; Providence, 1895; p. 20. History of Freemasonry, Gould, Yorston edition, 1889, III.. p. 21; IV., p. 229. Memorial History of Boston (above cited), II., p. 57. The Boston Gazette; September 28, 1741. Proceedings Grand Lodge of Massachusetts; 1871; pp. 316, 176, 1888, p. 156; 1883, p. 161; 1872, p. 22; 1914, p. 22. Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography. History of Massachusetts Bay, Hutchinson, Boston, 1746. History of the Colony of New Jersey, Smith; Burlington, 1765. History of New Hampshire, Belkamp, Philadelphia, 1784. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1865. Last item contains Belcher's Letters; see general index of same for other Belcher references. THE BUILDER, 1915; p. 112. The Freemason's Monthly Magazine, XXVIII., 33.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
When did the historical period of American Masonry begin? What states now constitute New England? What was the character of its population in 1700? What was at the bottom of New England civilization? What effect did towns and town life have on New England? What were the New England social classes? Was slavery permitted in New England? When did the attack on it begin?
How were New England churches organized? What effect did they have at that time? What is meant by "Royal Governors"? When was the first Royal Governor appointed for Massachusetts? What is meant by the "Age of Homespun"?
Who was the first known American Mason? Tell something. about his life. When did he become governor of Massachusetts7 What were his experiences as governor? Why was he removed? When did he become governor of New Jersey?
When was he made a Mason? How do we know this fact? In what kind of a lodge was he initiated? What was the Masonic record of his two sons?
How were Masonic lodges organized prior to 1717? What were such lodges called? When and where was the first Grand Lodge organized? Give the substance of its regulation No. VIII. What is meant by "regular and duly constituted"?
Do you know who was first made a Mason in your own state? What is the oldest existing lodge in your own state? When was your own Grand Lodge organized?
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"LET US CALL A HALT!"
There is too much rushing and grouping and teaming in degree work. There is nothing worse than perfunctory degree grinding. Degrees should be stately in their rhythmic ceremonial dignity — and individual in contact. But what can be said of Masters and Past Masters who profess to have given the solemn third degree to each of 4 candidates in 15 minutes? The mills of God grind slowly. Let us call a halt or the grist will be spoiled by these high-powered artists of milling legerdemain. They mean well but are mistaken. God knows we all make mistakes.
— W. N. Ponton, G.M., Canada
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THE BEGINNINGS OF FREEMASONRY IN AMERICA
THE BEGINNINGS OF FREEMASONRY IN AMERICA by Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M., Mass. Published by George H. Doran for M.S.A. National Masonic Library. Blue cloth; illustrated; index, 410 pages. May be purchased from National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis.Price, $3.65postpaid.
FROM THE GENERAL POINT OF VIEW
IT is difficult to review this unique and useful work of Melvin M. Johnson from whom we have learned to expect the "last and best word" on whatever subject he sheds the gladsome light of jurisprudence, the rays of research, the vision of wide horizons. His definitive analysis of what true Landmarks are brought home to us the master touch, as his addresses while Grand Master and his various articles since published have characterized him as both scholar and teacher. "And gladly would he learn and gladly teach!" Facts are stubborn things — and sometimes not stimulative of popular interest — but this M. W. Brother of light and leading has such sureness of touch, lucidity of reasoning, and clarity of diction (especially evidenced in his summing up), that even those who do not hail from Massachusetts (which naturally receives especial emphasis ) are carried on by this catenarian chronicle of letters and entries and excerpts concerning the foundations and the founders of our regularly constituted Craft. Would that some equally expert brother would piece together the first fifty years of Canada, which challenges interest in connection with its Military, Garrison, and Regimental Lodges, and its continuous historic Colonial status!
Only one Great Book — the Volume of the Sacred Law commences "In the Beginning" — and Sir Thos. Browne in his Religio Medici describes it even as a human document as "The singularest and superlative piece that hath been extant since the creation." So mutatis mutandis may we say of this finite Book dealing with a period of time, an area of place and space. Dealing as he does with facts and factors it is well that the Author is sure of himself, and while he is not didactic or self-assertive, he has that dynamic penetrativeness of confidence and assurance which is very convincing. He gives us too the ipsissima verba of copious and discriminatingly selected extracts from originals and verified copies, and he vivifies the past. With him res ipsa loquitur! We can quite well believe that some Pennsylvania Craftsmen of distinction and sincerity may not agree with all his deductions and conclusions, but he is positive that no one can dispute his well-established facts. As Charles Lamb described the Scot generically so we may describe Bro. Johnson specifically as having "no falterings of self-misgivings; dim instructs, embryo conceptions, have no place in his brain or vocabulary." Yet while an earnest advocate of any cause which he espouses, he is of too judicial a temperament, and too learned in his attainments to darken counsel by words without knowledge.
Perhaps the only literary criticism that one might offer to this Book of Remembrance of Men and Memories of olden time — this epitome of Craft Builders, many of them like Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Price, and the Gridleys, Master Craftsmen and Nation Builders in the truest sense — would be directed to the many pages of items from Boston, which do not appear to be of especial significance or to be necessary to establish the case which the Author has already proved. Fullness of detail is however an excellent fault and illustrates the care and particularity of the writer. The facsimile reproductions of manuscripts and the fine series of photographs of those whose masterly biographies form an important part of this chain of significant events, leave nothing to be desired, and are fine "in substance and in form" both as to artistic excellence and illuminating material.
The unbroken continuity of the Grand Lodge founded by Henry Price, July 30, 1733, and of the First Lodge in Boston, now St. John's Lodge, for 191 years of good work and good will would appear to be established beyond controversy, unless other records in other Jurisdictions should hereafter be discovered; but the reader will find far more than "temporalities", far more than dry data, in this vital and virile volume into which the writer has infused so much of his own dominant personality and forensic and academic experience. Intimate association with the great men and minds of those formative and plastic days, when American civilization was being moulded and fashioned in the clinical laboratory of the Commonwealth to be; with a touch here and there of the confluence of many streams which together formed the "River of the Arrow", with its now strong tide of purposeful progress, will assuredly delight and reward all readers, old and young, erudite and unschooled in the university of life and of experience. The quaint language of those early days, the concentrated "fulfilment in their words", the scrupulous accuracy of quotation from journalists, statesmen, and simple workmen in the quarries, will both please and satisfy. One example of a greeting from one "household of the faithful" to another, an interchange between Boston and Antigua of 1739, must suffice — but pages of this Journal could be filled with similarly pregnant sentences:
"Right Worshipfull, Worshipfull,
Thrice Worthy and Ever Dear Brethren
All the Brethren here salute you well beloved with the greeting of St. John, wishing that all prosperity may attend you, and that no malicious cowan may ever with profane ears and eyes approach even the lowest step of your Worshipful Lodge in order to listen to the wisdom or pry into the beauty or disturb the order and harmony thereof. We are dear Brethren your sincere affectionate Brethren and Humble Servants &c."
Jeremy Gridley is described in words that are applicable to Bro. Johnson himself: "Strength of understanding, clearness of apprehension and solidity of judgment were cultivated in him by a liberal education and close thinking."
Freemasonry was introduced into the Colonies by "occasional Lodges meeting according to the old Customs", at an unascertained period in the early part of the Eighteenth Century. This after all is all that can yet be affirmatively stated, even though, as Samuel Johnson said, "A man will turn over half a Library to make one Book," so that we moderns may hear again the articulate audible voice of the past. The years teach much that the hours do not know, and we have learned much from this reservoir of information about Freemasonry, then as now of mature age and on the tongue of good report, with its tap-roots deep in fertile soil and its sap flowing clear. Bro. Johnson has interpreted the spirit of the age, and of the prominent men who devoted their lives to their country and their Craft, but it must be remembered that then as now there was a legion who never were listed breaking the way for the rest.
— W. N. Ponton, P.G.M., Canada.
FROM THE STUDENT'S POINT OF VIEW
Colonel Ponton has written a review of Bro. Johnson's book from the point of view of the general reader and with the spirit and eloquence he has long since taught us to expect from his fire-tipped pen; with his consent, and not as trying to supplement or perfect his own study, so adequate for its purpose, it may be permitted another reviewer to examine The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America from a student's point of view. The volume under discussion is one that warrants two such studies, or more; it is unique in its own field.
How unique it is only those who have labored through the extant literature on American Masonry are in a position to know. That literature is abundant, so far as the number of volumes is concerned, but it is tantalizingly diffusive, difficult to collect, and usually written with a calm disregard of all the laws of history. There are a few shining exceptions, of course: Gould's History of Freemasonry, especially the American edition, the piratical publication of which was a blot on our escutcheon; Stillson and Hughan's History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders; and Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, by Robert I. Clegg, the best of them all; etc. Aside from these the great and rich story of the American craft, with its record of nearly two centuries of growth and development, is to be found only with much searching, scattered, like the mutilated body of Osiris, among Grand Lodge Proceedings and Histories, local lodge histories, old magazine files, special essays, brochures, and so on. The great bulk of this miscellaneous material is vitiated, from a student's point of view at least, by the lack of careful scholarship, and by a too easy willingness to trail at second or third hand after previous writers who in turn had often avoided the rigors of original research. The outcome of it all is that, aside from the series of chapters in the great works above mentioned, we do not possess a body of studies of American Masonic history at all comparable to the work done in their own behalf by our brethren overseas or by our own historians in non-Masonic fields. The fact of greatest significance about Bro. Johnson's work is that he has established a new beginning, a new point of departure. If his lead is followed, as one may devoutly hope it will be, we shall not much longer rest content with having our own history confined to a few chapters scattered through histories of Masonry in general, or with seeing it written piecemeal, here a little and there a little, out of focus, malproportioned, and most difficult to come at.
Bro. Johnson made no attempt to write a running narrative, even for the comparatively brief period covered from the traditional beginnings down to 1750. His sole purpose was to assemble inside the covers of one book all known recorded items concerning the Craft of those years, and this he has done with more trouble and expense to himself than the casual reader may guess. These items are given in entry form, chronologically, one after another, with only enough explanatory gloss to set them in their proper frame-work. The resultant is not a story for easy reading by the fireside, but a source book of data, similar to those in secular history which are so rapidly displacing the old-time literary narratives in colleges and universities. When a similar work has been accomplished for the field from 1750 to the present, the literary historian will find his materials ready to hand, and fit to be used without fear of falling into those errors of fact and misinterpretation which have disfigured the pages of so many "histories" until now.
Only those who have been forced to read through those "histories" can know how unsatisfactorily they meet the tests of genuine original research. Usually their authors have accepted without demur the statements of some earlier writer, and those statements have frequently rested on very slender evidence, or none at all; old theories, often violently biased, have thus been repeated time after time, until the mere repetition has given them the appearance of solidity. Even the cautious and painstaking Gould more than once fell a victim to this vice, as when he relied on Norton, one of the most violent partisans that ever lived. The only way out for any student of our history is to get back as closely as possible to the original records, examine them with meticulous care, and then take pains not to twist them to suit some preconceived theory.
It may be said that Bro. Johnson has succeeded in using and establishing this method. As to his results in all cases, especially in regard to some of the more moot points, there will be many opinions. One can guess that the most violent disclaimers may be aimed at his treatment of Daniel Coxe on page 56 If., where he asserts that "there has appeared no evidence, however, that he [Coxe] exercised this deputation [from the Duke of Norfolk, appointing him Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania for two years from June 5, 1730] or even that he was on this side of the Ocean during the said two years". It happens that Bro. David McGegor of New Jersey has contributed to THE BUILDER an article soon to be published giving proof that Coxe was most certainly here during at least one of those years. The point is of strategic importance because of its bearing on the old controvery between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts as to which can claim the right to the earliest establishment of regular and duly constituted Masonry on this side of the water.
Also it is probable that a number of brethren may join with Bro. Ponton, in his review above, in feeling that Bro. Johnson gives the lion's share of his attention to Massachusetts. Bro. Johnson replied to that criticism in a letter to the writer with a paragraph he will not object to my quoting:
"This book of mine was not written to establish a case. It was written to state facts. The number of items from Boston is a matter not within my control. It is purely automatic. I put a reference in this book to every single event, large or small now known concerning Masonry in the Western Hemisphere prior to April, 1750. If there happen to be more items from Boston than from any other place you can readily see that I could not help it. I took all there was from anywhere not with a desire to prove any case but to give the student and future historian all the information there is to have. It merely happens that there are as many known items concerning Boston as appear in the book, but having adopted the plan of putting everything in I could not very well leave any of those items out merely because the book seems overloaded with Boston items. I fully realize that myself but it could not be helped."
There will be a few minor errors to correct in a second edition. On page 388 of the Index "John Belcher" is given instead of "Jonathan Belcher". On page 47 the date concerning the John Eliot item is given date of 1670; it should be 1654. In the lower paragraph on page 44 a statement is accredited to Peterson's History of Rhode Island and Newport in the Past that should be referred to J. L. Gould's Guide to the Chapter. The author has already made public his desire to profit by a correction of any such slips.
The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America should not be considered as an isolated book to be read by and for itself, but as a contribution toward a new method in our history writing, and as a contribution toward a new structure of scholarship. A world of work remains to other investigators. The period between 1750 and the Revolution is a dim uncharted territory, awaiting its Columbus; the Masonic records of the Revolutionary Period itself are in a condition of almost absolute confusion; the interim between the Revolution and the Anti-Masonic craze is almost equally unworked; the materials on Anti-Masonry are in better condition but need to be put into accessible book form; the era of recovery between that madness and the Civil War is in a fog; the story of Masonry's shining record in the dire period of civil strife remains to be told by some man of broad learning and literary genius; the detailed records of the important decades between the War and 1900 are buried away in hundreds of volumes of Grand Lodge Proceedings, and other hundreds of volumes of Masonic magazines; our disconcerting experiences in the World War await their chronicler; and as for the evolution and crystallization of our Ritual, which broke into such dramatic controversies about the tousled head of Rob Morris, that subject deserves a half dozen volumes in itself. The brethren who have been declaring that the work of Masonic research is completed have surely forgotten these needs.
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Sir Alfred Robbins' Report Concerning His Visit to the United States
AT the center of every effort made to bring about a more perfect solidarity among all Masonic bodies the world over stands the very evident fact that the Freemasonry of English speaking peoples comprises more than 90 per cent of the world's membership. This is based on estimates made in 1920, at which time there were some 3,308,031 Masons in all lands, some 3,027,750 (with 2,353,242 in U. S.) in English speaking jurisdictions, leaving 280,281 in all other lands. From this it is evident, first, that nonEnglish speaking Masonry will always find it difficult, or impossible, to persuade English speaking Masonry to alter any of its fundamentals for the sake of rapprochement; and, second, that the maintaining of solidarity among English speaking Masons means solidarity for almost the entire Masonic world. It is the last consideration that lends its greatest importance to Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins' recent official visit to the Grand Lodges of the United States, a formal report of which is published elsewhere in this issue. Neither Bro. Robbins nor the present writer would dream of having it inferred that non-English speaking Masonry is any the less important for having so small a percentage of total membership; nevertheless on a realistic interpretation of the actual conditions, and in view of forces at work in the Masonic world, it is of the highest importance to the Craft everywhere that all the branches of English speaking Masonry work together in closest harmony.
On the same realistic basis, and with the same provisos, it is also necessary to note that Britain and the United States divide between them the great bulk of English speaking membership. Any judicial weighing of influences exerted by the various portions of the Masonic world would of course have to take into consideration many factors other than the statistics of membership, for bulk does not always mean influence; but even so statistics mean much, and in the present connection, very much, so that it is of utmost importance to world Masonry that British and American Masonry be brought into the closest possible fraternal relationship and enjoy the most cordial possible mutual understanding. It was out of a realization of this, and with a desire to help bring it to perfection, that Bro. Robbins paid us his visit.
If one may judge from Bro. Robbins' own report, evidently prepared with the close care that characterizes all his utterances, and from the comments on his visit made by the more than a hundred Masonic journals of this country, that visit was a success. If that success was due, as undoubtedly is the case, to a large extent to his own personal charm and address, it was due also to the genuine welcome he received here, and to the cordial feelings everywhere entertained toward English Masonry, the mother of us all. The visit was a good thing for the entire Masonic world.
What permanent benefit should come from this temporary but official ambassadorship? The writer ventures to express the hope that it will be instrumental in helping to establish working arrangements whereby brethren on both sides of the sea may be enabled to learn more of the facts about each other. As things now stand a good deal of fog hangs over the scene so far as these two branches of the Masonic family are concerned. We American Masons, one may take it, are ready to confess our own ignorance. We have read many English books, and something of English Masonic history, but we are not as well informed as to the present day practices of our British brethren as we should be; and that accounts for our being led astray oftentimes when we believe ourselves to be most closely adhering to the constitutions and landmarks of the original Masonry.
One may also venture to say, and out of no spirit of nagging criticism, that our English brethren may find it worth their while to learn more about us. If one may judge from the English Masonic press, and from such reports of English Masonic thought as are contained in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, the fascination in the study of American Masonry has not yet been discovered to any great extent by our trans-Atlantic cousins. The Ars, to mention that one typical case, have devoted but a few pages to us in all their almost forty bulky volumes. May we not hope to see our history, our jurisprudence, and our ritual brought more nearly into the focus of British attention than that? It is devoutly to be wished.
In such an event our British brethren would discover the reason or necessity for some of our practices which now mystify them. They would find that our close adhesion to Preston and Anderson, to which Bro. Robbins adverts, has been brought about through the pressure of our jurisprudence problems; that our variations in Ritual, the greatest surprise to an English visitor, have been due to historical causes, most of them beyond our control; that our etiquette has taken shape from our social customs; that our insistence on the application of Masonry to every day conditions has been due to our general social consciousness; and that our swarm of disconcerting Side Orders — may God grant them wisdom! — is all of a piece with our typical American inability to sit still for five minutes at a stretch.
A lack of knowledge concerning such simple facts on both sides of the sea may, under the stress of special circumstances, lead to serious misunderstandings, hence the desirability of our going to school to each other. Masonry does not exist in a vacuum; as a living organism it must adjust itself to the world in which it is to function, and take shape accordingly. Agreement in details or in private opinion we can never have and should not expect; but in principle, spirit, and in general purpose we can always agree, and shall, if only there be extended from both sides of the ocean the good offices of practical friendship typified by the visit of Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins.
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Freemasonry, my brethren, is not a religion but a moral science, "founded upon the purest principles of morality and virtue"; it tolerates all peoples of every tongue and nation who believe in God and obey His commandments; all are accepted into our common brotherhood, each to worship God in his own peculiar way and manner after the dictates of his own conscience.
— Paul N. Murphy, P.G.M., Mississippi
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A HISTORY OF MASONRY IN IRELAND
TO celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Grand Lodge of Ireland the Lodge of Research, No. 200, of Dublin, has arranged to publish "The Bi-Centenary History of the Grand Lodge" by Bros. Lepper and Crossle. All who know of the talents of these two distinguished scholars will need no further guaranty of the excellence of the work. The History has been compiled from original records in Ireland and England, much valuable information, hitherto unpublished, will be made available to Masonic students for the first time. In view of the fact that the Ritual generally employed in this land came from Ireland through the Ancient Grand Lodge American students will find this history especially valuable. The National Masonic Research Society recommends it without reservation. Copies of the first volume must be subscribed for in advance. The names of those sending in subscriptions before the end of this year will be published in the volume. The price will be one guinea Readers may write for further information to The Builder.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
COOLIDGE, DAWES, BRYAN, ETC.
How many of the following public men are Masons: Coolidge, Dawes, Davis, Gov. Bryan, La Follette, Wheeler
W. J. Bryan, D.S.M., Montana.
President Coolidge is not a Mason; neither is General Dawes, nor Governor Bryan. Senators Wheeler and La Follette are both Masons, 32°. So is John W. Davis, who is also a K.C.C.H. Bro. W. J. Bryan is a Mason.
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A BOOK ON TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE?
Do you know of any book on the architecture of the Masonic temple that would be of interest to a lodge about to build?
S.M., New York.
Unfortunately no such book exists, at least we have never been able to find one. We have urged it upon several publishing houses to produce such a book but thus far they do not appear to have seen the light. A large opportunity exists for somebody capable of preparing such a volume. Won't a Masonic architect volunteer?
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REPRESENTATIVE DE MOLAYS
One of the boys from our town was selected as a "representative De Molay". Can you please tell me what this signifies? Is this Order affiliated with Freemasonry?
The Order of De Molay for Boys has no connection with the Masonic Fraternity whatsoever except that all of its chapters must be sponsored by recognized Masonic bodies. Great care is taken by the heads of the body to make it clear to every boy that he is not a "junior Mason", or connected with Masonry in any way. The Order carried on a contest last spring to select the one boy out of its total membership most representative of its ideals; this lad was sent abroad for a trip at the Order's expense. Out of the long list of contestants an effort was made to select one representative boy from each state, and these boys were brought together into a training camp, last month, at Bear Lake Camp, just above Estes Park, Colorado, some seventy-nine miles out of Denver, and high up among the Rockies. More than a hundred boys were in attendance, plus a number of adults — supervisors, etc. The week's schooling in De Molay methods was such a success that probably a similar school will be held next summer. Three Tennessee boys drove all the way in a flivver, and many adventures did they have, especially among the mountains, where their reluctant vehicle had a hard time of it; perhaps the boy you mention was one of this party. If he was he will never forget the experience. The present scribe chanced upon them somewhere far up among the peaks, late at night, helped them to hide their flivver in the bushes, and took them to the end of the trail in his own Cadillac. (P.S. It was a rented Cadillac.)
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LODGES ON "HIGH HILLS"
I noticed in the Question Box of THE BUILDER for June an inquiry from Bro. L. B. Mitchell, of Michigan, requesting information relative to lodges that meet in places of high altitude. I append herewith a list giving some in this state that are physically able to confer "high degrees": Corinthian Lodge, No. 42, Kokomo, elevation 10,613 feet; Ionic Lodge, No. 35, Leadville, elevation 10,218 feet; Leadville Lodge, No. 51, Leadville, elevation 10,218 feet, Dorie Lodge, No. 25, Fairplay, elevation 9,881 feet, Victor Lodge, No. 99 Victor, elevation 9,775 feet, Breckenridge Lodge, No. 47, Breckinridge, elevation 9,566 feet; Cripple Creek Lodge, No. 96, Cripple Creek, elevation 9,522 feet; San Juan Lodge, No. 33, Silverton, elevation 9,300 feet.
C. L. Young, Jr., Grand Lecturer,
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Allow me, as a Canadian, to express my very hearty thanks for your excellent Canadian number. The graceful compliment of giving up a whole number to Canadian affairs, and the cordial good will of your editorial, I hope will be duly appreciated by Canadians. I shall not fail to call attention to it at every opportunity.
Your criticism of Canadian Masonry as compared with that in the United States is very fair and generous. While we cherish the memory of our own leaders and adhere to our own ways, it is good to know and to feel that fraternal intercourse is unaware of the boundary line and that brotherly love prevails. Your special number is doing much to promote unity. Incidentally, it is also helping to correct the impression that the Freemasons of the old thirteen colonies were generally in favor of the Revolution, which was not true though so many of the leading Revolutionists were Masons; and it calls attention in the article by Bro. Harris to the fact that exclusive territorial jurisdiction does not prevail everywhere in North America. Unity in essentials is all the more valued where we have such diversity in non-essentials.
Let me again thank you for your kindly introduction of Canadian Masons to their nearest neighbors. It is very timely and will certainly do good.
J. Vroom, St. Stephen, N. B., Can.
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"KNIGHTS TEMPLAR" OR "KNIGHTS TEMPLARS"?
As copy editor with Kable Bros. Co., I have had many opportunities of becoming acquainted with matters that pertain to Masonry as I whip into final shape the manuscripts of a number of Masonic publications printed by this firm. I find, with few exceptions, that the plural form of Knight Templar is given as Knights Templar. As the form Knights Templars is sometimes used, my curiosity became aroused, and I began to investigate the matter. After careful investigation of the subject I am forced to the conclusion that the form Knights Templars is the correct one.
As the Tyler-Keystone, a prominent Masonic publication, is printed here, I wrote its editor about the matter. He replied as follows:
"We regret very much that we cannot agree with Webster's dictionary on the form 'Knights Templars.' We would not think of making the plural of Knight Templar, 'Knights Templars,' any more than we would think of making the plural of grandfather, 'grandsfathers,' or say 'reds apples,' for the plural of 'red apples.'
"In a recent issue of our paper we carried an article written by Judge Newby, who is at the present time Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the Knights Templar of America. Judge Newby is a man who is learned in law and one who has been Lieutenant-Governor of his state. In his article he used the form 'Knights Templar.' In Judge Newby's book, Sidelights on Templar Law, he uses the form Knights Templar. So I don't see why Webster's dictionary should use the other form.
"There may be other authorities on Templar law that use the other form, but I have never looked them up and know nothing about them."
Space prevents our pointing out the fallacy in the analogy in the first paragraph of this letter. We may say, however, by way of rebuttal, that the form Knight Templars was used some time ago in a contribution to Oriental Consistory Magazine, by Frank S. Land, a prominent Mason and Grand Scribe of Order of DeMolay for Boys. On several occasions we have noted that the editors of Masonic News and also of National Fraternal Review used the form Knights Templars. The Mutual Underwriter Magazine carried an advertisement of "The Knights Templars and Masonic Mutual Aid Association." Several writers on historical subjects in Chambers Journal, a high-grade and well-known magazine of England, use the form Knights Templars.
Not satisfied with all this we went to the dictionaries. The publishers of Webster's dictionary wrote us as follows:
"The plural form Knights Templars is unquestionably the historically correct form. The form Knights Templar seems to be a more recent variation, based perhaps on the misconception that the word 'Templar' is an adjective, whereas in this connection it is a noun, meaning 'one (a person) who occupies a temple.' Members of this order were first called 'Knights or Poor Soldiers of the Temples' (that is, the Temple of Solomon at Jerusalem), and hence, for short, Templars Knights, or Knights Templars. The first citation found for the two words 'Knight' and 'Templar' used together to designate them is in 1610, in Holland's Camden's Britannica, 'A Church for Knights Templars, etc.' And in 1839 we find in Kneightley's History of England: ...'the potent and wealthy order of Knights Templars.'
"As for the Knights Templars in the United States, the first use of the name that we find (quoted in Oxford English Dictionary) is the title of a book (date, 1859), A Service for the Encampment of Knights Templars, etc.
"Some of the information on which our form and definition were based was received from a member of 'The Grand Commandery Knights Templars and Appendant Orders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.'
"The following authoritative books, the editors of which you may be sure have studied the matter exhaustively, give the plural Knights Templars: Webster's New International, Oxford English Dictionary Century Dictionary, Encyclopedia Britannica, New International Encyclopedia, Funk and Wagnalls' Standard Dictionary."
In view of this overwhelming evidence against the present form Knights Templar for the plural, we are puzzled to know why Masonry still retains and defends it. Our knowledge of Masonry, after reading much of its literature, has impressed us with the fact that Masonry is meticulously careful in matters historical that pertain to the Craft. If Masonry was justified in adopting a form that is wrong historically and philologically, when was the change made and why? Of all things in Masonry which should be absolutely correct it would seem that the very name of so prominent an order as that of the Knights Templars should have no doubt east about it.
What has Masonry to say about it?
H. E. Zimmerman, Illinois.
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Readers will recall Bro. P. A. Fenger's "The Secret of the Old Operative Masons," published in THE BUILDER, February, 1924, page 42. It transpires that this important contribution underwent a series of misfortunes while going through the hands of the printer resulting in two or three errors, which, though at this long distance of time, we desire to correct. Reference to the Grand Lodge of "New York" should have been, of course, to "York." More serious was the unintentional deletion of a line in the penultimate paragraph on page 42. The latter half of the last sentence in that paragraph should read, "so that in the ground plan all dimensions could be derived from the length of the side of the original square by division by 2n"; and this should be followed by another sentence: "Also the vertical dimensions are derived from the same unit though here in proportion of the golden cut, i. e., being 1,618." The article would have been more easily intelligible with a cut illustrative of the Macody Lund system. It is here given. We make profound apologies to Bro. Fenger and promise never to do it again.
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HORACE GREELEY WAS AN ANTI-MASON
I have a question to ask that may be musty and old but I am curious about the thing and would like a reply in your Q. B. My question is this, Was Horace Greeley a Mason? The old war-horse of journalism has always interested me. Maybe you saw Gamaliel Bradford's write-up in The American Mercury for May?
—Journalist, New York.
Yes, we saw (if you will pardon the unpardonable editorial "we") the Bradford character sketch, and liked it, as "we" like almost everything that Bradford writes. No, the old war-horse was NOT a Mason, not by a long sight — or should it be spelled "site"? Here is a quote from Patton's Life of Horace Greeley to back up "our" statement:
"Our apprentice [Horace Greeley] embraced the anti-Masonic side of this controversy, and embraced it warmly. [Imagine him doing it any other way!] It was natural that he should. And for the next two or three years he expended more breath in denouncing the Order of Freemasons, than upon any other subject — perhaps than all other subjects put together. To this day secret societies are his special aversion."
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YE EDITOR'S CORNER
Here is something that settles the woman question once and for all. Does anybody know who perpetrated it? It was clipped from an old magazine which carries no information about it except that it had been delivered on St. John the Baptist's Day, 1870, at Austin, Nevada:
"Women sometimes complain that they are not permitted to enter our lodge and work with the Craft in their labors, and learn all there is to be learned in the institution. We will explain the reason. We learn that before the Almighty had finished his work he was in some doubt about creating Eve. The creation of every living and creeping thing had been accomplished, and the Almighty had made Adam (who was the first Mason), and created him for the finest lodge in the world, and called it Paradise No. 1. He then caused all the beasts of the field and fowls of the air to pass before Adam and for him to name them, which was a piece of work he had to do alone, so that no confusion might thereafter arise when Eve was created, whom he knew would make trouble if she was allowed to participate in it, if he created her beforehand. Adam, being very much fatigued with the labors of his first task, fell asleep, and when he awoke he found Eve in the lodge with him. Adam being Senior Warden, placed Eve as the pillar of beauty in the South, and they received their instructions front the Grand Master in the East, which, when finished, she immediately called the Craft from labor to refreshment. Instead of attending to the duties of the office, as she ought, she left her station, violated her obligation, let in an expelled Mason who had no business there, and went around with him, leaving Adam to look after the jewels. This fellow had been expelled from the Grand Lodge with several others some time before But hearing the footsteps of the Grand Master, he suddenly took his leave, telling Eve to go to making aprons as she and Adam were not in proper regalia. She went and told Adam and when the Grand Master returned to the lodge he found hi gavel had been stolen. He called for the Senior and Junior Wardens, who had neglected to guard the door, and found them absent. After searching for some time he came to where they were hid, and demanded of Adam what he was doing there instead of occupying his official station. Adam said he was waiting for Eve to call the Craft from refreshment to labor again, and that the Craft was not properly clothed, which they were making provision for. Turning to Eve, he asked her what she had to offer in excuse for her unofficial and un-Masonic conduct. She replied that a fellow passing himself off as a grand lecturer, had been giving her instructions, and she thought it was no harm to learn them. The Grand Master then asked her what had become of his gavel? She said that she didn't know, unless that fellow had taken it away. Finding that Eve was no longer trustworthy, and that she had caused Adam to neglect his duty, and had let in one whom he had expelled, the Grand Master closed the lodge, and turning them out, set a faithful Tiler to watch the door with a flaming sword. Adam, repenting of his folly, went to work like a man and a good Mason, in order to get reinstated again. Not so with Eve — she got angry about it and commenced raising Cain.
"Adam, on account of his reformation, was permitted to establish lodges and work in the degrees, and while Eve was allowed to join him in acts of charity outside, she was never again to be admitted to assist in the regular lodge of the Craft. Hence the reason why a woman cannot become an inside Mason."