The Builder Magazine
April 1919 - Volume V - Number 4
REPORT OF THE MASONIC OVERSEAS MISSION
TOWNSEND SCUDDER. P.G.M.. NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT'S REFUSAL TO ISSUE PASSPORTS
Knight and the Chairman of your Mission have received from the State
Department no notification of any action whatever on their applications for
Prime, Thorne, and Treder, on the contrary, received the following:
"Department of State, Washington,
"July 2, 1918.
William C. Prime,
"63 Hawthorne Avenue, Yonkers, New York.
"Referring to your recent application for a passport to enable
you to go to France, England, Italy, and Switzerland on a 'Mission to
Freemasons in the United States Forces Overseas,' you are informed that the
Department, in accordance with an agreement with the War Department, does not
grant passports enabling persons to go to France for work among the American
troops unless such persons are going thither under the auspices of a
recognized relief or hospital organization doing work in that country. For
this reason, the Department must decline to grant you a passport.
"Returning the fee of one dollar which accompanied your
application, I am, Sir,
Secretary of State:
Prime replied as follows:
Alvey A. Adee,
"Second Assistant Secretary of State,
"Washington, D. C.
"I duly received your letter of the 2nd instant, which has
followed me to Massachusetts and back.
"May I venture to call your attention to the fact that the
Mission, in connection with the journey of which to France application for a
passport was for me made, was appointed by the Grand Master of Masons in the
State of New York, whose original letter appointing Hon. Townsend Scudder,
Erastus C. Knight, Oscar F. R. Treder, Rougier Thorne, and William C. Prime
and requesting passports in their behalf was lodged by Judge Scudder with the
State Department on May 19, 1918, and attached to his application for
passport. When I applied for a passport at the New York Bureau, a memorandum
was furnished the clerk in charge, referring to those papers attached to Judge
"I understand that the determination upon the applications of
all five for passports has been held in abeyance by both the State and War
Departments until Mr. Fosdick's return and if there is any oversight in my
case, suggest and request that it be considered in connection with the others
in due course on Mr. Fosdick's return to Washington.
"Mr. McBride and Mr. Keppel, I think, are fully familiar with
"Department of State, Washington,
County, New York.
"Referring to your recent application for a passport to enable
you to go to France, England, Italy and Switzerland on a 'Mission to
Freemasons in the United States Forces Overseas,' you are informed that the
Department, in accordance with an agreement with the War Department, does not
grant passports enabling persons to go to France for work among the American
troops unless such persons are going thither under the auspices of a
recognized relief or hospital organization doing work in that country. For
this reason, the Department must decline to grant you a passport.
"Returning the fee of one dollar which accompanied your
application, I am, Sir,
Secretary of State:
Thorne wrote to me enclosing the foregoing letter, as follows:
"Glen Cove, L.I., N.Y.
"July 8, 1918.
"I enclose a letter, dated July 2nd, signed by Alvey A. Adee,
Second Assistant Secretary of State, which advises me that the Department must
decline to grant me a passport as a member of the Mission to Free Masons in
the United States forces overseas.
"Hon. Townsend Scudder,
Head, L. I."
to Brother Thorne as follows:
"Glen Cove, L. I.
"My dear Brother Thorne:
"I have your favor of July the 8th with enclosure. I believe a
mistake has been made. I am now in negotiations with the War Department and
"I have a letter dated July the 2nd from the acting chairman of
the Commission on Training Camp Activities which clearly indicates to my mind
that this matter is not closed, but is still open. I also have a letter from
Mr. F. P. Keppel, Third Assistant Secretary of War, in which he tells me that
Mr. Baker, the Secretary of War, feels with regard to our matter that as Mr.
Fosdick is now in France, it would be better for us to await his return before
a definite decision is made; and in another letter Mr. Keppel tells me that
Mr. Fosdick has cabled recommending that the matter of our visit be held up
pending his return, and still another letter in answer to one of mine
suggesting that I have an opportunity of meeting Mr. Fosdick upon his return
to discuss the Masonic War Relief work overseas with him, Mr. Keppel and Mr.
McBride, in which he tells me that the date of Mr. Fosdick's return is
uncertain, and this is followed by a letter from Mr. McBride, dated July the
2nd, in which he suggests deferring our meeting until Mr. Fosdick's return
which he says will probably be in the course of a week or ten days.
"In light of these facts I deem it wise to say nothing of the
receipt of your letter from Mr. Adee and of its contents lest the situation be
complicated through what I am convinced is a mistake, due to lack of
co-ordination between the Departments in Washington.
"It was distinctly agreed that the applications for passports
of the members of the Masonic Mission were to be put to one side, and acted
upon altogether, when the difficulty which has now so unexpectedly arisen,
should have been overcome, as, of course, it must and will be.
"I have not received a notice similar to the one which you sent
me and this confirms me in my belief that a mistake has been made.
"Department of State, Washington,
Oscar F. R. Treder,
"Garden City, Nassau Co., New York.
"Referring to your recent application for a passport to enable
you to go to France, England, Italy and Switzerland on a 'Mission to
Freemasons in the United States Forces Overseas,' you are informed that the
Department, in accordance with an agreement with the War Department, does not
grant passports enabling persons to go to France for work among the American
troops unless such persons are going thither under the auspices of a
recognized relief or hospital organization doing work in that country. For
this reason, the Department must decline to grant you a passport.
"Returning the fee of one dollar which accompanied your
application, I am, Sir,
Secretary of State:
"CATHEDRAL OF THE INCARNATION
of Long Island
City, N. Y.
1918. "Dear Judge Scudder:
"I enclose a copy of a letter received by me on Saturday
morning. I tried to reach you by telephone to apprise you of the fact as soon
as possible but was unable to do so.
"I presume, however, that you received a similar letter.
"I await further developments with great interest. With kind
regards, and thanking you for your good letter anent my appointment as Grand
Honorable Townsend Scudder,
"112 Willow Street, Brooklyn, New York."
Oscar F. R. Treder,
"Garden City, L. I.
"Dear Rrather Trellor
"Let me thank you for yours of July the 8th. The notice which
you received was, in my judgment, not final but due to a mistake and, of
course, we are not discussing the matter as yet. Sincerely,
Head, L. I.
The receipt of these letters of the State Department to
Brothers Prime, Thorne, and Treder came as a distinct shock to us, partly
because I had received no similar notification of rejection of my application,
but more because I had been led to believe, as the correspondence hereinbefore
set forth shows, that the matter would be held in abeyance until the return of
Either there was bad faith on the part of some one in
government employ with whom we had had dealings, or a woeful lack of
co-ordination between Departments.
When I had my interview in Washington with Mr Welch of the
passport bureau, I left with him my own and Brother Knight's applications with
the credentials of the entire Mission attached thereto; this was done by
direction of Mr. Welch, who said that when the applications of the three other
members of the Mission reached his bureau from the New York office, where they
had been filed, they would be attached to the two others and all five acted
upon as a unit.
I was unwilling to accept this action of the State Department
as final, and wrote to Mr. McBride a letter of inquiry about Mr. Fosdick's
return as follows:
Department, Commission on Training Camp "Activities,
"Washington, D. C.
"If I have not already written to you to that effect, may I
request you to advise me, address Glen Head, Long Island, N. Y., as soon as
Mr. Fosdick has returned as I am anxious to see him and go over the Masonic
situation with a view to a conclusive decision at the earliest date possible.
you for your courtesy in the matter, I am,
Head, L. I., N. Y."
To this I received the following reply, dated July 22, 1918,
and the next day, July 23rd, I was at Mr. Fosdick's office in Washington:
"Commission on Training Camp Activities
"Honorable Townsend Scudder,
"Glen Head, Long Island.
"My dear Judge Scudder:
"In answer to your letter of the 19th, Mr. Fosdick landed in
New York yesterday, and will be in Washington late today, so that you can
arrange to see him by appointment any time now. I am sure he will be happy to
confer with you relative to your interest in matters overseas.
kind regards, cordially yours,
SURPRISING INTERVIEWS WITH MR. FOSDICK
I went to Washington, remained there for four days, and had
several interviews with Mr. Fosdick. I shall not attempt to separate these
several conversations, but treat them as a unit, except that the last
interview at this time was on the train between Washington and New York.
After a short preliminary conversation, I asked him what the
difficulty was which seemed to stand in the Masonic Mission's way. He replied
that since his advent in France, his viewpoint had changed, and that he had
grave doubts now whether the fraternity could carry out its project of
independent service abroad. He then went on to state his reasons.
One was that the furnishing of transportation facilities was a
source of embarrassment to the military authorities, particularly in the
crowded areas near the front; another, that it was unwise, from the military
standpoint, that there should be any more civilians in these areas because of
the danger of military secrets leaking out; still another, that there existed
jealousies and rivalries among the various civilian organizations abroad, and
that to add to the number of non-military bodies would simply increase the
general confusion. He also pointed out that the question of the transportation
of our equipment and supplies would be very difficult, if not impossible, of
independent arrangement, having perhaps forgotten his previous statement to me
that, as far as our literature was concerned, it could doubtless be forwarded
to us in Europe by the Librarian of Congress, and my previous statement that
we would not engage in canteen work.
As to his first objection, that of transportation to, and in,
the crowded areas behind the front, I pointed out that the government having
excluded us from the camps, the cantonments, and the fronts, all our
negotiations had been based upon our proposal to confine our activities to the
so-called leaveareas, and therefore this question of transportation, as put
forward by him, did not seem pertinent. Furthermore, in view of our
contemplating sending not over fifty (50) men abroad, it could hardly be urged
that this small number could strain transportation facilities anywhere.
The reasons I had in mind the number of fifty men as a maximum,
which I gave to him, were that fifty would enable every Masonic Jurisdiction
in the United States to have one of its members engaged in this work. I told
him, however, that I really believed that about twenty-five would more likely
be the number because many of the jurisdictions would join in being
represented by the same man. If this number of fifty seemed to him too great,
I would willingly stipulate that the maximum should be twenty-five. "Would the
contemplated fifty," I asked, "be the final straw to break the camel's back?"
As to the betrayal of military secrets, I said that it was
inconceivable that the great Masonic maternity could not furnish fifty men
whose loyalty and discretion would be above suspicion. These men would be
volunteers, carefully selected, whose whole record would be subjected to the
closest scrutiny, and if the government had an objection to any of them,
others would be substituted. The Y.M.C.A. and Knights of Columbus were
advertising in the newspapers for paid secretaries. If the government could
accept, as it did, men so secured, how much more could it safely accept, from
our fraternity, picked men, volunteers, whose sole desire and ambition it was,
temporarily giving up their own important affairs, to render service for
service's sake. Mr. Fosdick responded by saying that the French government
held General Pershing responsible for all civilians entering France from the
United States and that the General objected to the entry of more because of
lack of proper means for their investigation by him. Mr. Fosdick further asked
how, if our number were limited to twenty-five, we could expect to render
effective service. I responded that I thought General Pershing's objection to
the necessity for his investigation of civilians was well founded, and that
civilians should be, and could far better be, investigated before leaving
American shores. Furthermore, as to the possible limitation of our Masonic
personnel to twenty-five, I explained that our Masonic secretaries, being all
executive men, would be the directing heads, each in a separate leavearea, the
number of which, as I understood from Mr. Fosdick, and as I told him I did,
would be about fifteen, leaving the so-called menial work to be performed by
hired help, of which, we were informed, we could secure all we would need from
among partially disabled French soldiers and aged men and women still capable
of some service. This, in itself, would be a benefit to the French and to us.
I further explained that such was the nature of our institution that the
social and entertainment features of our activities would largely be in the
hands of Masons on leave from the army and navy, acting as quasi hosts to any
man in uniform seeking our hospitality.
As explained to us in letters from Masons serving overseas
urging the establishment by us of recreation centers, there was a constant
stream of men on leave coming to, and returning from, the leaveareas, thus
furnishing always an ample number of volunteer hosts due to the large number
of Masons serving with the colors.
Regarding jealousies and rivalries between nonmilitary
organizations serving abroad, I told him that the Masonic fraternity had a
quarrel with nobody, and that the character of the men we would send abroad
would be such that they would invite no controversies. Our sole ambition was
to do our duty, to serve efficiently, and quarrels would be incompatible
"How about the feud between you and the Knights of Columbus ?"
asked Mr. Fosdick.
I told him that it took two to make a quarrel and that we had
none with them. As an evidence of their feeling toward us in this war work, I
showed him the following letters:
"Thomas J. Evers, Chairman Edward B. Goate, Director
"KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
"Coney Island Week Committee
"Aug. 26 to Aug. 31st inclusive
Camp Activities Fund
"Headquarters, 381 Fulton St., Room 3
"Telephone, Main 6061
"Brooklyn, N. Y., June 26, 1918.
"Mr. Geo. W. Menke,
"Brooklyn, N. Y.
"The affairs of the Knights of Columbus have so shaped
themselves that I am now in a position to make arrangements with the Masonic
Order for their participation. We desire to have the participation of your
Order in the first day of the weekly doings, which we have called 'Fraternity
Day,' the feature of which will be a parade in which all of the Fraternal
Societies on Long Island will take part. Many of the societies have
volunteered representation, and we feel that the project would not be a
complete success unless we had a representation from your Body.
"The most influential men of the City, State and Country are to
be our guests, as you will see from the fact that the guest of honor for the
following nights are to be as follows:
Tuesday, Mayor Hylan as the guest of honor.
Wednesday, Gov. Whitman as the guest of honor.
Thursday, Secretary Daniels as the guest of honor.
Friday, Secretary Baker as the guest of honor.
"Will you be kind enough to take this up with the proper
officials of your order, and advise me just what steps it will be necessary
for me to take in order for me to have the presence of our Masonic brothers
assured on this occasion.
LODGE, NO. 574, F. & A. M.
Avenue and Madison Street
"Brooklyn, July 3, 1918.
S. Farmer, Esq.
"Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York,
"The enclosed letter is in a measure self-explanatory. In
brief. Mr. Evers is a personal friend of mine of many years standing, in whom
I repose the utmost confidence, which is reciprocated, and accounts for his
communicating with me regarding the participation of the Masonic Fraternity in
the Knights of Columbus Coney Island War Drive.
"Action has been withheld by me until his return from
Washington, where he secured the assurances of the Secretary of the War and
Navy Depts. of their presence on the days stated, or if not possible, then
through a representative of the highest ranking Army and Navy officer, or by
an Assistant Secretary of the respective Departments on the nights in
"Monday night, Aug. 26th, is, as stated by Mr. Evers, to be
known as Fraternity night, and invitations are to be extended to various
Fraternities to participate in a parade.
"The purpose of the drive is to raise One Million Dollars on
Long Island for the continuance of their War Camp activities, and the
arrangements which have been made provides a One Dollar admission to all the
leading attractions, 50 per cent. of which is to be retained by the Amusement
proprietors, and the balance to their Fund - the smaller amusement places and
business men are to donate a certain percentage of their gross receipts - this
arrangement to continue from Aug. 26th to 31st, both nights inclusive.
"The participation of the Masonic fraternity in this parade is
earnestly desired by the K. of C. War Camp Committee, not only to assist in
their purpose, but for the object lesson it may teach to the people as a
whole, and should it be possible to do so as a fraternity, I am assured our
institution will receive the recognition due its high and exalted station.
"Personally, I do not know whether we, as Masons, could enter
into this proposal; but as the communication from Mr. Evers is in his official
capacity as chairman, I therefore submit it to you for such action as you deem
proper; but if a way can be found to do so, I earnestly recommend that the
proposal receive favorable consideration, and everything done by us to assure
a satisfactory representation. I am convinced that such action must have a
wonderful effect on our less enlightened brethren, - if it takes an
institution as big and great as ours to do real good and promote true
friendship and brotherly love, I am sure Freemasonry will not be found
"Should you desire me to personally call upon you or some one
designated by you I will gladly answer such summons at any time and at any
place, either accompanied by Mr. Evers or alone.
"Thanking you in advance for the serious consideration I know
this will receive, I remain,
Menke. Jr. Warden."
I also called his attention to the fact that when the Catholic
Orphanage at Utica, New York, had been destroyed by fire, the Masonic
fraternity organized an entertainment by the children of our Masonic Home in
that city, the proceeds of which were devoted to the reconstruction of the
orphanage, and that our fraternity had received grateful acknowledgment
Mr. Fosdick appearing somewhat skeptical on the point of our
relations, I offered to ask the heads of the Knights of Columbus to call upon
him, when, I felt, they would urge the issuance to us of the desired
Regarding his objection that the transportation of our
equipment and supplies would be very difficult, if not impossible, I pointed
out that we did not purpose Groins into the canteen business, and that our
main supplies would be the principal periodicals and newspapers from the
United States which, he had previously said, could doubtless be sent to us by
the Librarian of the Congressional Library.
Furthermore, I told him that, because of negotiations had with
the Y.M.C.A., we had reason to believe that satisfactory arrangements could be
made with them whereby there would be available to us their means of
entertainment, like movies, and supplies such as tobacco, chocolate, etc.
Asked by Mr. Fosdick why we did not go over under the auspices
of the Y.M.C.A., I replied that very naturally we preferred to go over
independently, and that the call by our fellow Masons with the colors was for
independent service, and because, having received the government's approval of
such independent service, all our arrangements had been made accordingly.
Thereupon, Mr. Fosdick voiced objections from a new angle. The
conversation which ensued, while not given ipsissimis verbis, was practically
Fosdick: "Do you know that the French government has
constituted General Pershing as sort of czar as far as anything American in
France is concerned, and those whom he doesn't want there must leave? There is
no appeal from General Pershing's decisions. Except with his consent you could
do nothing when you reached there. You couldn't rent a store or building, or
open a hut for your purpose, because before a French property owner could rent
his premises, the French authorities would refer it to General Pershing and
his consent would have to be had."
Scudder: "If such are the rules, we Masons would comply with
them. If the other organizations working in France can be effective under
them, we can too."
Fosdick: "General Pershing is opposed to the introduction of
any new agencies. He has enough to do in dealing with the ones he has there
now. Pershing said he favored all war relief work being in the hands of the
military or under one single civilian organization. My own experience on the
other side confirms me in the wisdom of this plan."
Scudder: "Why don't you place it all under the military, then?"
Fosdick: "Perhaps we will, although it may be the thing has
gone too far for that now."
Scudder: "But if you don't put it under one control, why
discriminate against the Masons?"
Fosdick: "I do not discriminate against the Masons. My
grandfather was one and I have a great regard for them. But I put it up to
Pershing and he said, 'Keep them away from here.' "
Scudder: "Did you explain to General Pershing that the Masonic
activities were to be confined to the leaveareas and that our war service in
no respect would be identified with our usual activities as a secret society?"
Fosdick: "I covered the ground fully with General Pershing. He
said it was very uncomfortable for him to have American citizens, for whom he
was held responsible by the French government, enter France as secretaries of
relief organizations, and then arrested by the French authorities and shot as
German spies, as has happened."
Scudder: "Even so, it would hardly apply to us for this reason.
No one enters the Masonic fraternity without investigation of his character
and previous history. The men we would send over would be men of long
membership, whose record is known, on whom we could implicitly rely, and for
whom we would unhesitatingly vouch. In addition, we would offer you every
facility for yourself investigating them. Surely, if you can take the large
number of men as secretaries of the Y.M.C.A. and K. of C., applying for
positions as such in answer to advertisements, you could with safety accept
our men, few in number, and well recommended."
Fosdick: "Does the Masonic fraternity persist in its overseas
ambitions in the face of the expressed opposition of General Pershing?"
Scudder: "If it has come to that, or will come to that, the
Masonic fraternity will do nothing to add to General Pershing's burdens and
responsibilities. The fraternity has but one desire, to serve helpfully, and
its ambition in this regard would not be satisfied if its efforts made heavier
the burdens of General Pershing, but, as yet, nothing has been said which
makes this the issue. To me it is patent that General Pershing should be
relieved of the burden of passing upon the loyalty, trustworthiness, and
discretion of secretaries sent overseas to conduct war relief work, and he
should not be held responsible for them, though his authority over them, of
course, should stand. The government should investigate the candidates for
secretaries abroad here where it can be more deliberately done and where the
evidence is at hand. Of course, isolated disloyal secretaries may slip through
and these will, in any event, have to be dealt with on the other side, but I
fail to see what difference it makes whether the secretaries are working under
the Y.M.C.A., the Knights of Columbus, or the Masonic fraternity, provided
they are the right sort of men."
Fosdick: "But bringing in the Masons creates another agency and
the practical difficulty in your way can not be disregarded. It is not only a
question of General Pershing, but it is also a question of the French
government. Before you can accomplish anything your credentials will have to
be passed upon by the French government, and all your movements will be
retarded while your men and credentials are under the investigation of the
French government. In my mind there are grave doubts whether the French
government will want you."
Scudder: "The invitations that we have received from Masons in
France lead us to believe that there will be no question of our welcome over
there. Give us the chance to get in touch with the French authorities and we
have reason to believe that they will not object to us and our work. If they
do, we shall have a good explanation of our failure to serve independently
Fosdick: "But there is the opposition of General Pershing, and
as far as we are concerned he should be controlling."
Scudder: "Do you think that General Pershing thoroughly
understood the limited sphere of Masonic activities in Europe, that our work
was to be confined to the leaveareas, and that our personnel would be limited
Fosdick: "I explained the matter fully to him."
Scudder: "We have received another version of General
Pershing's position with reference to our fraternity. As it came to us, you
are reported as having asked General Pershing whether the Masons should be
permitted to engage in war relief work in France, and General Pershing is
reported to have replied, in effect, that all this service ought to be under
the military or a single civilian head, but that, because there were already
several civilian agencies now engaged in the work, the question of whether the
Masons should be allowed to come in also was a political question which
Washington should settle and not he."
Fosdick: "My version of the conversation with General Pershing
Scudder: "The Masons have at least a hundred thousand of their
members with the colors, and the nearly two million active Masons in the
United States will hardly accept as good reasons for their exclusion from war
relief work those which have been given, except your statement of the
opposition of General Pershing to which we would be forced to bow, although
not accepting it as well founded. I fail to see how that can be used.
"How can the department permit to go out to the large number of
Masons serving abroad the word that the opposition to the fraternity's
overseas service came from the Commanding General?
"How, too, about such action impairing confidence in the
Commanding General on the part of the Masons at home who have so loyally
supported the government, despite our disappointment over being debarred from
relief work, and contributed so liberally to overseas work by other
"To make public the nature of this opposition as the
justification for Masonic exclusion will dishearten and disturb a very
considerable body of our citizens here, as well as Masons in the ranks. I do
not see how it can be made public now."
Fosdick: "But General Pershing's attitude is not personal to
the Masons, it is to all like organizations. He objects to any new agencies
and would have the whole relief work under the military authorities, and I may
recommend this myself to the Secretary of War, or I may urge that all this
work be put under one civilian head who will be directly responsible to
Scudder: "I am here representing about two million loyal
American citizens who are eager to serve Their country. I must make my report
to them and I want it to be satisfying. I do not want it to be one which will
chill them or breed dissatisfaction. This is not a time when there should be
differences between our people, and unnecessary issues which disturb peace of
mind and defeat perfect unity and co-operation must be avoided. What reasons
will the War Department give me in writing, so that I may present them to the
fraternity to satisfy it that its case has been duly considered and acted upon
in an unbiased way? The reasons must appeal to the common sense of our people
and be acceptable as good because they are valid."
Fosdick: "I am going to take the whole matter up with the
Secretary of War very shortly, perhaps this very evening, and I will arrange
for a meeting between you and him if you feel that that will help the
situation. I recognize that it is embarrassing."
Scudder: "I will gladly meet Secretary Baker and will hold
myself in readiness here in Washington until I hear from you as to time and
place of meeting him.'
Fosdick: "I will make the appointment and communicate with you
at your hotel. Have you considered taking this matter up with the President?"
Scudder: "That thought has gone through my mind, but I have
been somewhat embarrassed over the question of procedure. On one hand, it is
difficult to put on paper in a condensed form that will fully cover the
situation, the history of the Masonic fraternity's efforts to serve overseas
and the reasons for its desire to do so; on the other, I would dislike to have
to give my version of a conversation with the President, particularly if he
were to take the same position which you are taking. Even if I explained the
President's position as accurately as I could, a controversy might be
precipitated, and the accuracy of my version of the conversation with the
President challenged. I served in congress years ago in the days of the
Ananias Club I have no desire to have it revived."
Fosdick: "I am hoping we can reach the satisfactory solution
which we are both seeking. I am trying to do my duty in the premises, and
appreciate the difficulties and embarrassments which are confronting you. I
will talk it all over with the Secretary of War, and will arrange for this
interview between you and him as well. Perhaps a way can be found to meet the
Scudder: "Is there any objection to the personnel of our
mission as now constituted? If so, we can substitute other men."
Fosdick: "There is not the slightest objection to the
personnel. The opposition is to the introduction of a new agency."
Scudder: "We have proposed to the Y.M.C.A. that we might join
them and do our work under their auspices as a branch of their activities."
Fosdick: "That would solve the whole question. Why do you not
Scudder: "Up to the present time we have not been able to reach
a working agreement. The Y.M.C.A. are employing a great number of Free Masons
as secretaries and gladly receive our financial support, but they have not as
yet seen their way clear to accord us sufficient independence to meet the
longings of our own people to have the Masonic fraternity in name as well
in fact identified with war relief work. Our boys with the
colors crave the opportunity of being hosts under their own roof and
reciprocating the courtesies they are receiving from the Y.M.C.A., the Knights
of Columbus, and others."
Fosdick: "Reach a working agreement with the Y.M.C.A. and the
difficulty will be solved. Our opposition is to the introduction of a new
Scudder: "But it ought not be overlooked that the Masons are
not a new agency. We are not seeking a new permit to engage in war relief
work. We are not in the same class with the organizations whose petitions to
engage in such work, you tell me, have recently been received by the War
Department. Our petition was filed with you months ago. It was favorably acted
upon by you; your consent was given to us to engage in this work. On the
strength of that consent we called together the Grand Masters of Masons in the
United States and had the enterprise endorsed. We appointed our committee to
represent the fraternity. We have started and have already raised, exclusively
from our own members, large sums of money to carry on our work, and the fact
that we were in this work with the government's consent was given to the
public press, all on the strength of the government's action, and in the light
of all these circumstances we should not now be classed with agencies who are
only now seeking to enter this field."
Fosdick: "I appreciate the embarrassment of it all and can
assure you it will be given our best thought. I hope you will decide to go to
the President, but in any event I will arrange a meeting with Secretary Baker
and advise you."
Here we parted.
During my stay in Washington I had several conversations with
Mr. Fosdick over the telephone. I was called up by him, and I also called up
his office. He told me that he and Secretary Baker were considering the matter
but had not yet reached the point where they could submit a concrete
proposition to me for discussion. I was finally asked whether I could not
return to Washington the following week, that Mr. Baker had to leave, and that
there was no prospect of reaching a conclusion before his departure. I
accordingly agreed to hold myself in readiness to return to Washington the
moment summoned. In the meantime, however, I had decided to confer with Mr.
Joseph P. Tumulty, the Secretary to the President. I did not advise Mr.
Fosdick of this fact, and my interview with Mr. Tumulty is given under a
It chanced, however, that I met Mr. Fosdick on the train which
I took to return to New York and we had occasion again to discuss our matter.
This discussion will be reported under a separate head because it raised a new
issue involving our Scottish Rite brethren.
SCOTTISH RITE BROUGHT IN
As already stated, Mr. Fosdick and I met by chance on the train
from Washington to New York. He told me that since he had last spoken to me
over the 'phone he had received a call from some gentlemen representing the
Scottish Rite and that their spokesman, Judge George Fleming Moore, had
expressed to him the desire of the Scottish Rite Masonry to engage in war
relief work in France. Mr. Fosdick told me that the outline of the work that
Judge Moore had presented showed his purpose to be similar to what we New York
men had in mind. The following conversation ensued, the substance of which I
Fosdick: "I told Judge Moore that the work which he projected
was similar to that which was projected by the New York Masons, that the
government had under advisement the application of the New York Masons to
engage in this, and that it would be necessary for Judge Moore to work in
harmony with the New York men because the government could deal with but one
head should it be decided to allow the Masons to enter the overseas field."
Scudder: "Did you tell Judge Moore that the overseas work as
planned by the Masonic Mission was of such a nature that all Masonic bodies
could join in it, the only effect of so doing being that the more money
contributed, the greater would be the extent of the work ?"
Fosdick: "Yes, I covered the ground with him, but you do not
seem to be in accord. Judge Moore told me that if but one permit for overseas
work was to be granted to the Masonic fraternity, it should be granted to him
and his committee and not to the New York committee; that he, Judge Moore,
represented the aristocracy of the Masonic fraternity, the head of it; and
that it was not consistent that the tail should wag the dog."
Scudder: "I think Judge Moore will not repeat that statement in
our presence. He must know of what happened in New York at the conference of
Grand Masters held there in May. I think it highly desirable that when the
meeting is arranged between yourself, Secretary Baker, and me, Judge Moore be
also invited, for I am quite persuaded that you will find him in perfect
accord with us and anxious to work with us."
Fosdick: "Does Judge Moore represent a higher authority in the
Masonic fraternity than you do?"
Scudder: "He does not. It is all a case of wheels within
wheels. Judge Moore is the head of the Scottish Rite of the Southern
Jurisdiction, the membership of which is perhaps a hundred thousand. I am
representing the forty-nine Grand Masonic Jurisdictions of the United States
and its membership is not far from two million. I am also myself a Scottish
Rite Mason, but my membership in the Scottish Rite and all my honors therein
would fall if I lost my membership in my lodge. The lodge is the beginning and
end of Masonry. True, we have subdivided into many parts. The subdivisions are
purely social. Membership in each one of them is dependent upon membership in
a lodge, and each one of these subdivisions has its own officers known by
special titles, but these subdivisions do not shape the course of the Masonic
fraternity, nor do they control it, nor are they superior to it. The organized
charities of the Masonic fraternity are directed more particularly through the
medium of Masonic lodges."
Fosdick: "This is all very interesting, but you and Judge Moore
seem to have a different conception of the relative importance of the bodies
which you represent. He says that his body is the head of Masonry and you say
that yours is. It is your lack of co-ordination as a fraternity which has
hampered the government in its effort to deal with you."
Scudder: "Fix the time for the meeting with the Secretary of
War, invite Judge Moore, I will be there too, and you will find that there is
no lack of co-ordination."
Fosdick: "I will let you know when and where the meeting will
Here we parted.
More or less disturbed by this injection of the Scottish Rite
into our difficulties, I felt it wise immediately to get into touch with Judge
Moore and acquaint him with the danger of the situation and how destructive it
would be of our ambitions to serve overseas if the impression made by his
interview with Mr. Fosdick was not corrected. Accordingly I wrote to Judge
Moore a letter, a copy of which follows, and to make sure that he knew of the
authority under which we were acting and the magnitude of the movement, I also
sent him a copy of the minutes of the meeting of Grand Masters of Masons held
in New York on May the 9th, marking therein those passages which more
particularly dealt with our overseas enterprise.
Honorable George Fleming Moore,
Rite Temple, 16th & S St., N. W.,
"Washington, D. C.
"l have just learned that the Scottish Rite of the Southern
Jurisdiction are ambitious to render Masonic service overseas to the men with
the colors. Doubtless, you know that New York is committed to a plan to render
similar service if the opportunity can be found.
"I am fearful that without co-ordination neither of us will
realize our heart's desire in this respect. It may be a case of united we
stand, divided we fall. Certainly there is work enough for all, cheering and
comforting our boys. I am informed that a conference, perhaps, will be called
for next week to discuss the service overseas you and we have proposed. As
soon as I learn the date I will hasten to Washington in the hope of seeing you
before we meet at that conference, to obtain the benefit of your advice. I am
sending to you under separate cover the minutes of the Conference of Grand
Masters held in New York in May of this year and take the liberty of marking
certain pages which present New York's viewpoint, more or less accurately. The
volume does not contain the correspondence since the conference was held
inviting us to proceed and giving assurance of co-operation and support. We
feel there is now behind the movement a force which assures success.
"I greatly regret I missed you this week. Looking forward to
meeting you in the near future and with fraternal regards, I am,
"P. S. I can be reached by wire Glen Head, New York."
Acknowledgment was received from Judge Moore as follows:
special delivery letter received. Will write.
Judge Moore failed to write as he stated in his telegram he
would do, and during the interim between the receipt of his telegram on July
30th and our next communication from him on August 26th, correspondence had
passed between Mr. Fosdick and me not relating to the Scottish Rite and will
be set forth later herein. This correspondence is taken out of its proper
chronological order in the interest of a more consecutive narrative. We
therefore continue with Judge Moore.
On August 26th I received the following telegram:
26 P.M. 1.05
WASHINGTON DC 1255 P 26
"Masonic Hall, 23rd St. and 6th Ave., New York City.
"Sovereign Grand Commander Moore has commissioned me to visit
you in New York to discuss Masonic
please wire me when and where I can meet
A reply to this was immediately sent, and Mr. Stevenson met M.
W. Robert Judson Kenworthy, the Grand Secretary of New York, and me at the
Grand Secretary's office on the evening of August 27th. After the usual
introductions he informed us that he had read on his way up from Washington
every word of the proceedings of the Grand Masters' meeting held in New York
in May, and had therefrom learned for the first time that we actually had the
written consent of the government to engage in war relief work; that Judge
Moore and he contended that they had been promised for the Scottish Rite a
like permit, but as a matter of fact that they did not have it except by word
of mouth, and that both Secretary Baker and Mr. Fosdick disputed having made
them any promise. He inquired whether we had faith in Mr. Fosdick or whether
we believed he was trying to double-cross us. Upon being told that we took Mr.
Fosdick at his word and were relying upon the written consent from him to
engage in overseas work, he said that he entertained grave doubts whether the
Scottish Rite would be able to get an independent consent for their
enterprise, and inquired whether Judge Moore could not join ours. We explained
to Brother Stevenson that we felt that the only way for any of us to carry out
the wishes of the fraternity would be by working together, that our plan of
action, as he had learned from his perusal of the Grand Masters' proceedings,
was broad enough to take in any one who wished to join, and that we would be
very glad to welcome all who cared to come in.
We further told him of the projected meeting between ourselves,
Secretary Baker, and Mr. Fosdick, and renewed the invitation to Judge Moore to
join us in that conference and by our conduct convince the Secretary of War
and Mr. Fosdick that there was no division in the fraternity. Mr. Stevenson
concurred in the wisdom of this course, and said that he would return to
Washington that same evening, see Judge Moore, and wire us Judge Moore's
decision upon the question whether he would work with us or independently.
On August 28th Brother Stevenson duly telegraphed as follows:
28 P.M. 1.23
"F 79 W
Washington DC 12.05 P 28
Hall, 6th Ave and 23rd St., New York, N. Y.
satisfactory to Grand Commander will work unitedly. Letter follows.
Brother Stevenson, at his interview with us in New York, told
us that Judge Moore and he had a friend in Washington who could bring our
matter to a head quickly, and that if Judge Moore would agree to participate
in our Masonic Mission, he, Stevenson, would avail himself of the services of
this friend, and keep us posted.
On August 29th we received from Brother Stevenson the following
"32 NY AG
York N. Y., 1229P Aug. 29, 1918
Head, N. Y.
promises quick action will seek tomorrow morning for an early conference
between Fosdick, Jamison, Moore, you and myself for some evening soon,
possibly Friday. If satisfactory to all as soon as I learn of Fosdick's open
dates will notify you.
all to go except those within draft age.
The foregoing telegram of August 29th was followed by another:
AG21 Rush IX
York, N. Y., Aug. 29, 455P
Head, N. Y.
come here for conference tomorrow dinner with Moore and myself at five meet
others at seven thirty answer.
To this last telegram I replied that I would go to Washington
to keep the engagement he proposed. This I did. This telegram was crossed by a
letter I had sent to Brother Stevenson on August 28th.
He had urged upon Brother Kenworthy and me to utilize his
presence in Washington to further our negotiations with the government,
intimating that, while his relations with Secretary Baker were very cordial,
he could not with certainty say the same with reference to Mr. Fosdick,
because he had noticed that Mr. Fosdick was frequently "out" or "engaged" when
he called at his office.
To assist Brother Stevenson to obtain an interview with Mr.
Fosdick for the particular purpose of hastening the conference between Fosdick,
Secretary Baker, Moore, and me, I wrote, in a long letter to Mr. Fosdick, a
Paragraph as follows:
on the ground in Washington a gentleman in whom we place confidence and with
whom we feel you can talk this matter over to advantage. My reference is to
the Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson, 157 U St., N.W."
I sent a
copy of this letter to Mr. Fosdick enclosed in a letter to Brother Stevenson,
Hugh T. Stevenson,
Street, N. W.,
"Washington, D. C.
"I am enclosing a copy of my letter to Mr. Fosdick. I hope it
will meet your approval and pave the way to a conference between you and him
which will open the door a little wider. I am indeed happy that we have gotten
together and am hopeful of splendid results.
"Looking forward to seeing you in the near future, believe me
Head, L. I.,N.Y.
"Your telegram received. Am glad indeed the situation is
same day, August 28th, Brother Stevenson wrote to me the following:
A. Scottish Rite
"of U. S.
"Washington City, August 28, 1918.
"Masonic Hall, New York City.
"Dear Sir and Brother:
"Immediately upon my return this morning from our conference
last evening I made my report to the Sovereign Grand Commander. He approves
everything that I agreed with you about and there will be absolutely united
action between us and yourself. I will see my friend this afternoon and
commence to do what I promised in reference to pushing matters. It is possible
but not probable that events may shape themselves so that Judge Moore and I
may be in New York Friday or Saturday, although I am very apt to think that
due to the congestion of travel on account of Labor Day and my own work, it
will not be possible for me to be there before next Tuesday.
"I shall prepare a memorandum that will reach Secretary Baker
within the next few days but before sending that memorandum to him a copy will
be sent to you for any suggestions you may desire to make. '
"In closing, permit me to say that I appreciate the courtesy
and fraternal spirit exhibited both by yourself and Brother Kenworthy to me
last evening and I will ask you both to look over an official report that I
must make for the records of the Sovereign Grand Commander when I again see
"Hoping that by our joint action things will now move with
rapidity and we can not only 'go over' but 'put it over,' I remain,
arrival in Washington I was met by Brother Stevenson, who first drove me to
the House of the Temple, where I met Judge Moore. Thereafter we three took
dinner together, and went very fully over the situation as we understood it
and the course which we
should pursue when we entered into conversations with Mr.
Fosdick and such other representatives of the government as might be with him.
We anticipated that we were to see Secretary Baker, but we
afterward learned that he was leaving Washington that very evening.
Judge Moore told me that he had as yet obtained no written
consent from the government to engage in war relief work overseas as the
representative of the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction; that the
amount of money at his command for this purpose was very small, only twenty
thousand dollars, which, he recognized, would not go very far; that he had
been approached by the Odd Fellows, who were anxious to serve overseas, and
felt that his position with the government would be strengthened by his
representing this society as well as the Southern Jurisdiction. He said that
if the War Department sought to distinguish between the Scottish Rite and the
Masonic Grand Jurisdictions, and if it would not grant to the Scottish Rite an
independent permit to engage in war work, he would make application to his own
Grand Lodge, Alabama, and secure an appointment by its Grand Master as the
representative of Alabama on the Masonic Mission planned by New York and
endorsed by the Grand Masters' meeting in New York.
Judge Moore added that he was getting to be an old man, that
his own work would have to be entirely executive, and that, to enable him to
accomplish what he had to do, it would be necessary for him to take with him
brethren whom he had selected as his aides. I told him that there would be no
objection to that; that under our arrangement with the War Department the
personnel of our Mission could be enlarged so that each state would have a
representative if this was desired, and that, as the men whom he named hailed
from different states and were prominent, I saw no reason why they should not
all join, provided, of course, they were satisfactory to the government and to
their respective Masonic jurisdictions.
I took this opportunity to tell Judge Moore what Mr. Fosdick
had told me about Judge Moore's remark that if there was to be only one permit
to the Masonic fraternity, it should be issued to the Scottish Rite, as
represented by Judge Moore, and not to the Grand Lodges' Mission, that it was
not appropriate that the tail should wag the dog, and that the Scottish Rite
represented the aristocracy and brains of the Masonic fraternity.
All these statements attributed to him Judge Moore
categorically denied, and, in turn, told me that Mr. Fosdick had said that I,
Scudder, had spoken most disparagingly of the Scottish Rite. Needless to say,
this was untrue.
Mr. Fosdick joined us about this time. He was accompanied by
the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee, as I understood it,
and we forthwith entered into the discussion of the matter which had brought
Judge Moore told Mr. Fosdick that he understood the Secretary
of War had given him (Judge Moore) permission to go overseas to survey the
field and undertake such war relief work for the Masonic fraternity as he
might find there was to do after his survey.
Mr. Fosdick replied that Judge Moore was mistaken; that no such
permit had been given, and that the only permit given by the government to the
Masonic fraternity to engage in overseas war relief work was the permit held
by the New York Mission, adding that the government would recognize but one
head of any one organization. Mr. Fosdick then expressed his doubt whether it
would be wise for the Masons to engage independently in the work they
contemplated, and gave as the reasons for this conclusion many of the reasons
which he had previously urged upon me in my conversations with him in the
latter part of July. The merits of these reasons were quite fully discussed,
but the question of Masonic disunity was not again brought up by Mr. Fosdick.
The trend of our conversation established clearly that the fraternity stood as
a unit, and that if it was permitted to send its representatives overseas to
engage in war relief work, all would go under the auspices of the several
Grand Lodges, under the permit of April 23, 1918, signed by Mr. Fosdick as
chairman of the Committee on Training Camp Activities of the War Department,
and in harmony with the plan adopted at the New York Grand Masters'
Although Masonic unity had been made clear, Mr. Fosdick's
opposition to the Masonic fraternity engaging in war relief work overseas
became nevertheless very marked. He mentioned a certain document which he had
prepared which, according to him, fully explained and, in his opinion,
justified the. refusal of the government to let the Masonic Mission sail. He
asked Judge Moore whether he would give his endorsement to it, mentioning that
he had already sent it to Judge Moore for consideration. This document I had
never seen, and its contents I do not know, but Judge Moore then and there
said that he could not approve it or sanction its going out with his
endorsement, either expressed or implied, as it did not meet the situation.
Mr. Fosdick then said that he would have the document signed by the Secretary
of War even without Judge Moore's approval and close the incident. From this
position we were unable to move him. He had not said in so many words that our
permit was revoked, but we all understood that it would be revoked when the
Secretary of War signed the document to which Mr. Fosdick had referred.
Judge Moore then said to Mr. Fosdick, "I am anxious to visit
certain Masonic bodies of Europe. As Sovereign Grand Commander I have business
relationship with them, there are pending between us important matters which
must be settled. Some of these bodies have conferred honors upon me and have
been waiting a long time to present me with my honorary membership and
otherwise entertain me. I am getting to be an old man and am very anxious to
close up the open matters with these European Masonic bodies and also to
accept the honors they have conferred and not keep them waiting for me any
longer. Is there objection to my obtaining passports for this purpose?" Mr.
Fosdick replied that to this there was no objection; that we could all go on
such Masonic business as this, because it would be recognized by the
government as legitimate business between the representatives of the Masonic
fraternity in America and the representatives of the fraternity on the other
side, and that the issuing of passports for the purpose of transacting it
would be within the rules and that the passports for this purpose would be
given. Turning to me, Mr. Fosdick asked whether I also would not go to Europe
on the same business and whether my thus going would not relieve the
situation. Judge Moore also extended a similar invitation and expressed the
pleasure it would give him if we could travel together. I told Mr. Fosdick
that I appreciated Judge Moore's desires to go for the purposes which he had
mentioned, but that personally I had no such business on the other side; that
I would go to carry out the will of the Masonic fraternity to serve our men
with the colors, or I would not go at all. Shortly after this Mr. Fosdick
withdrew, to keep an appointment with the Secretary of War, as he told us.
We separated with the understanding that Judge Moore,
accompanied by Brother Samuel P. Cochran of Texas, and Brother Hugh T.
Stevenson, would sail for Europe as soon as they could get their passports,
but that the Masonic Mission would continue its efforts on this side to obtain
the passports to which it considered its Mission was entitled under the
government's consent of April 23d, and failing in this, to connect with
Y.M.C.A. if that was possible, and under its auspices perform the work and
discharge the duties for which the Mission had been created.
WHY WAS A
RULING OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT MADE RETROACTIVE ?
On Saturday, August 31, i918, the day following the conference
between Judge Moore, Mr. Fosdick, Brother Stevenson, Brother Jamieson, and me
(Brother Jamieson, I understood, had been invited to take part in this
conference either by Judge Moore or Mr. Fosdick), accompanied by Brother
Stevenson, I called at the office of the Democratic Committee and met Brother
Jamieson, where we compared our impressions of the previous night's meeting.
Brother Jamieson said that he had had another conference with Mr. Fosdick that
morning and was convinced that Mr. Fosdick was hostile and would not recede
from the position which he had taken in opposition to the departure of the
Brother Stevenson suggested that strong political pressure
higher up might be of some avail, and I reminded those present what was known
to Judge Moore, that a letter had been written to the President, a copy of
which had been read to them. It was therefore decided that we should await the
President's reply, the opinion having been expressed by Judge Moore that the
letter to the President covered the ground, and presented the case clearly, so
that if there was any disposition to treat the matter on its merits the case
had been fully stated.
I told the brethren that I seemed to make more headway with Mr.
Fosdick when I saw him alone than when I met him in the company of others, and
that I intended to seek another interview with him in the hope of convincing
him that his attitude now was inconsistent with what had gone before and was
bound to cause suspicions and breed dissatisfaction, that the fraternity
having in good faith accepted the government's word as expressed through him
and having relied upon it, had proceeded with considerable publicity to make
good its undertaking. We were injured and sorely grieved over what would be
regarded as a breach of faith on the part of the government unless patriotic
reasons for the government's change of position were given instead of an
arbitrary withdrawal of the permit based upon reasons of no great weight.
I again called upon Mr. Fosdick at his office, and again we
went over the old ground, and it was not long before I found that Mr. Fosdick
seemed to agree with me. He told me that the Secretary of War had not signed
the paper to present which to the Secretary of War for his signature he had
left our conference the night before, and he expressed himself as glad that he
had not obtained that signature, so that the matter was still open. This
happened after I had asked him when it was that the government had decided
upon the policy of issuing no further permits to civilian organizations to
engage in welfare work with our forces overseas. He told me that he had
decided to recommend this course after his conference with General Pershing,
and that upon his return to America he discussed the point with the Secretary
of War, who had agreed with him, and who had further advised him to hold up
the Masonic Mission. I pointed out to Mr. Fosdick that this decision had
evidently been reached between two and three months after the permit had been
given to the Masonic fraternity, and as I interpreted the "policy of the
Department," as he expressed it, it was now the intention to give this ruling
a retroactive construction, or, in other words, to date it back so as to bring
the Masonic fraternity under it, when, as a matter of fact it did not
legitimately apply to the application of the Masonic fraternity, which already
had been acted upon and disposed of before the new rule came into existence.
I also pointed out to Mr. Fosdick that as I saw it his fear of
being inconsistent when called upon to deny, under the new rule, the
applications of other organizations seeking to engage in war relief work
overseas because passports had been issued to the Masonic fraternity was not
well founded, and that he had a complete answer and justification in the facts
as they existed, namely, that the Masonic fraternity's application had been
acted upon months before the new rule and did not come under it, and that to
this no one could take exception because it was a fact and in harmony with
justice. To this Mr. Fosdick replied, "I had not seen it clearly in that
light. Why, that will let us all out, will it not?" To which I replied, "It
seems to me a solution of the difficulty, and one in harmony with the facts.
Personally, I cannot see how any other course can be followed." I added, "If
this course is adopted there is no need of the President answering my letter
of August 5th."
Turning to Mr. Fosdick as I was about to leave, I asked him why
it was that the President had not answered my letter as yet, that it was some
weeks since it had been written; to which he replied, "We have it here, and it
is a very difficult letter to answer." I rejoined by saying, "Then don't
answer it, but do the natural and consistent thing and let us get away. I can
assure you that if, when we arrive on the other side, we find that there are
obstacles which we cannot overcome to the accomplishment of that which is in
our hearts to accomplish, we will return. The Masonic fraternity will accept
our verdict, and I think the character of the men appointed on this Mission is
such that the government can safely trust them to act patriotically and
helpfully once they have learned the situation overseas."
Mr. Fosdick said that he would again go over the matter with
the Secretary of War, and he thought that my proposed solution of our problem
was a proper one.
Again we parted, I with my hopes high.
Upon my return to New York following my interview with Mr.
Fosdick on August 31st, I wrote him on September 2d a letter embodying the
points I had made at that interview in order that, having them before him in
writing, they should not escape his attention.
This letter follows:
"September 2, 1918.
"Honorable Raymond B. Fosdick,
"Chairman Commission on Training Camp Activities,
"War Department, Washington, D. C.
"Lest the point which I endeavored to make clear in our last
interview escape your mind due to the multiplicity of matters you are called
upon to consider, I venture to commit it to paper, prompted also so to do by
my very earnest desire that the Department should have every assistance that I
can give it in our joint effort to reach a just solution of the question we
"Permit me then to remind you that the consent given the
Masonic fraternity to engage in overseas service was given on April 23rd,
1918, and not very many months after similar consents were given to other
civilian organizations. The Masonic fraternity is not making a new application
for a new consent, but is relying upon that already given.
"It now seems that in June your department reached the
conclusion that it was not wise to multiply agencies overseas engaged in
relief work, and since then has declined to issue permits to organizations
seeking to enter the overseas field.
"Assuming this decision is wise, why should it be construed
retroactively so as to exclude from the field one agency only holding the
department's consent, the Masonic fraternity? The Masonic fraternity has acted
in good faith. Upon obtaining the consent of your department it presented the
matter to its integral and allied parts and started in to, and already has
collected large sums of money to carry on its work, all upon the faith of the
government's approval of its purpose. Surely it is but normal to expect
misgivings and discontent if at this late date the government by an arbitrary
retroactive application of its June rule excludes one, and only one agency
holding the department's consent to engage in overseas
stork. I do not have to call your attention to the unhappy situation we were
in when the Masonic fraternity was excluded from camps and cantonments, albeit
another secret society, strictly sectarian in addition, was admitted to them.
That, however, has been smoothed over and the Masonic fraternity has forgotten
the incident, but I look forward with dread to the situation which will
develop if the government now revives that unpleasantness in so conspicuous a
way, as will be the revocation of the consent it gave the Masonic fraternity
in April. In effect the denial to the Masonic Mission of the passports it
needs will be tantamount to such a revocation.
"Seemingly the government can say with propriety to civilian
organizations now seeking to engage in relief work overseas that no permits
had been granted since the date when the new order of things was decided upon,
and should any question ever be raised with reference to the Masonic
fraternity's activities the answer is complete that it received its permit at
least two months before this new order. I can see no other solution that is
logical and in harmony with the theory of our institutions, and fail to see
how the department can justify a retroactive construction of its present rule.
Surely so to do will invite the conclusion since the Masonic fraternity alone
will be affected that the present administration is hostile to the Masonic
fraternity and not in sympathy with its patriotic desire to serve, a
conclusion I cannot accept.
"The issuing of passports to the Masonic Mission enlarged to
include Judge Moore and his two assistants, answers the letter of August 5th
addressed to the President and puts an end to a difficult situation. I trust
our difficulty will be solved that way.
Head, L. I., N. Y.
letter of September 2d I received no reply, nor even an acknowledgment
thereof, which fact prompted me to send a copy of it to the President at a
later date, as will appear further on.
and awhile, if we'd think to convey
who walk with us life's devious way,
glances or word, half the joys that abide
hearts because our loved ones are close by our side;
think but to garb in words' tenderest dress
that were sweet as a mother's caress,
road would be shortened by many a mile,
think to be thoughtful just once and awhile.
in a while if we'd lay down our load
and work by the side of the road,
And a bit
of the love we're feeling expend
or brother, on parent or friend.
that would tell them their nearness makes light
which alone we would grope through the night;
we'd be blest with an answering smile,
think to be thoughtful just once and awhile.
and a while if a hand were but pressed,
shoulder but patted, a word but addressed
would thoughtfulness speak to the ones by our side,
joy spur the feet to a magical stride
wended their way down life's main-traveled road?
grief slip away and thus lighten the load?
ourselves and for others we'd shorten each mile.
think to be thoughtful just once and awhile.
Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes, and Adversity is not
without comfort and hopes. -Bacon.
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN -- No. 27
Bro. H. L. Haywood
BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the
references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be
worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the
Course with the papers by Brother Haywood.
Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided,
as is shown below:
I. Ceremonial Masonry.
Work of the Lodge.
Lodge and the Candidate.
II. Symbolical Masonry.
III. Philosophical Masonry.
IV. Legislative Masonry.
Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
Official Duties and Prerogatives.
Qualifications of Candidates.
Initiation, Passing and Raising.
V. Historical Masonry.
Mysteries--Earliest Masonic Light.
Studies of Rites--Masonry in the Making.
Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
Philological Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Haywood, who is following
the foregoing outline. We are now in "First Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry.
There will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. On page
two, preceding each installment, will be given a list of questions to be used
by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out
every point touched upon in the paper.
possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from
other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered
by Brother Haywood in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as
supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the
monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would otherwise
possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus be
monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle
Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done
the Committee will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in
advance of the meetings and the brethren who are members of the National
Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions
after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
Immediately preceding each of Brother Haywood's monthly papers in the
Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper
and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new
points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to
different brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus
to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts
therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be
followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or
when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or
ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The
study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the
lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business
(except the lodge routine) should be transacted--all possible time to be given
to the study period.
lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should
turn the lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee
should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All
members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should
be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of
Brother Haywood's paper.
FOR STUDY MEETINGS
Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental
(Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the lodge should
make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the
discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in
elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the
opening of the study period.)
Discussion of the above.
subsequent sections of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers
should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner. 4.
"QUESTION BOX" THE FEATURE OF YOUR MEETINGS
questions from any and all brethren present. Let them understand that these
meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of
asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will
suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually
covered at all in the paper. If at the time these questions are propounded no
one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have
will be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact
we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be
able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great
Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of
the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal
on any query raised by any member of the Society.
foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their lodge
study meetings with success. However we shall welcome all inquiries and
communications from interested brethren concerning any phase of the plan that
is not entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department
are at the command of our members, lodge and study club committees at all
ON "RECEPTION AND THE SCRIPTURE READING"
following questions the Committee should select, some time prior to the
evening of the study meeting, the particular questions that they may wish to
use at their meeting which will bring out the points in the following paper
which they desire to discuss. Even were but a few minutes devoted to the
discussion of each of the questions given it will be seen that it would be
impossible to discuss all of them in the period of time devoted to the study
meeting. The wide variety of questions here given will afford individual
committees an opportunity to arrange their program to suit their own fancies
and also furnish additional material for a second study meeting each month if
desired by members.
conducting the study periods the Chairman should endeavor to hold the
discussions closely to the text and not permit the members to speak too long
at one time or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that
the discussion is turning from the original subject the Chairman should
request the speaker to make a note of the particular point or phase of the
matter he wishes to discuss or inquire into, and bring it up when the Question
Box period is open.
I What is
meant by the phrase "arts, parts and points," etc., familiar to every Mason?
What teaching do they convey? Is a Mason expected to be square and upright
only in his dealings with members of the Fraternity? What has always been
expected of him in his relations to the Craft? Is a Fellow Craft under any
stronger tie to the Fraternity than he was as an Apprentice ? Why ?
was the original meaning of virtue ? What is its present-day definition ? What
is your definition of "rectitude" ? Should Masons be content with merely
observing the conventions of society, or should they strive to be active at
all times in things that tend toward a higher plane of morality?
is the breast a symbol in Masonry? What are we to realize from the Fellow
Craft application of the square ? Has the man who has two codes of ethics, one
of which he practices for effect in his own community, and the other when away
from home and among strangers, fully learned the truth designed to be conveyed
by the application of the square ? What kind of a moral code does Masonry
demand that its votaries follow ?
custom was observed by the Greeks during their ceremony of circumambulation ?
Why did this custom obtain ? What similar custom is practiced in Masonic
lodges of the present day ? Why ?
Amos seek to do in his day? What is the end to which the Fellow Craft should
apply the knowledge gained in his Masonic studies? What was the state of
society during the time of Amos ? What penalty was inflicted upon Amos because
of his teachings? What was Amos' method of teaching?
picture does Amos portray to us in the Scripture reading? What is Brother
Haywood's interpretation of the reading? Have you a better interpretation ?
the lesson learned by Job? Can we expect to escape from punishment for our
Encyclopedia: Points, p. 572; Square, p. 708.
The Plumb-Line, p. 289.
Symbolism of the Fellow Craft Degree, p. 263; What a Fellow Craft Ought to
Know, p. 176. 1919
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN No. 27
STEPS By Bro. H.L. HAYWOOD. IOWA
RECEPTION AND THE SCRIPTURE: READING
I IN the
earliest of all the Old Charges we find fifteen "points" or rules set forth
for the regulation of the conduct of Fellow Crafts; these were the "perfect
points" of his entrance to the Order as well as in his transactions with
mankind, and it is worthy of note that this code of ethics was far in advance
of the standards of the fifteenth century. There is no need to analyze these
requirements except to say that they consisted, in essence, of acting on the
square, that is, the candidate was to deal squarely with the Craft, with his
masters, his fellows, and with all men whomsoever. In his relations with the
Craft he was expected above all else to keep an attentive ear to his
instructors, to preserve carefully the secrets of his Order and his brethren
in a faithful breast, and to be evermore ruled by the principle of virtue in
his behaviour. If such qualifications were demanded of Apprentices in an
Operative trade how much more may they be reasonably required of a Fellow
Craft in a Speculative, or Moral, science!
II In its
original form virtue meant valor; today it means rectitude. But the rectitude
which is virtue is more than a passive not-doing- evil; it is the courageous
doing of right. "Virtue is but heroic bravery, to do the thing thought to be
true, in spite of all enemies of flesh or spirit, in despite of all
temptations or menaces." The man of conventional morality, is content not to
steal, drink, gamble, swear, etc., but often it does not enter his head that
there is an active, aggressive work to be done in clearing up the world.
Conventional morality is neuter; virtue is masculine; and the Craft that seeks
to build the Temple of Humanity needs in its votaries something more than
most vital organs, the brain excepted, are in the breast. A man can go without
water for days; he can do without food, if necessary for a month or more; but
without breath in his lungs or blood in his heart he can not live an hour. The
breast, accordingly, is the symbol of the most essential things in
personality, of love, of faithfulness, of purity, and character. If the square
is applied to the breast it is to compel us to realize that virtue must rule
in the very deeps of us, in the springs of conduct, and the motives of action,
as well as on the surface. The man whose morality is on the outside of his
skin is held up by external restraints and will often fall into evil if they
chance to be removed, as the deacon of a church or the pillar of a community
will sometimes wallow in vice while among strangers. But when virtue is the
law of the hidden motives of the will, the man will walk as uprightly in the
slum of a city as in the precincts of his home. Should Masonry trust to
conventional morality alone it would build on sands; by demanding virtue of
its members it lays its foundations in bed-rock, and the storm may come, the
winds blow, the rains fall, but its house will not be moved. And the same
virtue that it requires in the lodge room, it expects in all a Mason's
transactions with mankind, else Masonic virtue itself become a lifeless
Greeks, we recall from our discussion of circumambulation, chanted an ode as
the worshipper moved about the altar from left to right, for their odes were
the most sacred literature in their possession; but the Master of the Masonic
lodge reads from the Holy Bible as the Fellow Craft makes his mystic rounds,
and that for the same reason. He on whose life's journey the Great Light sends
its rays may walk confidently and cheerfully and not as those who stumble
through the dark.
And it is
fitting that in this connection the rays come from the prophecy of Amos for
that seer sought to bring order and light into the work-a-day world of men,
one of the chief tasks of the Fellow Craft, who receives knowledge that he may
become a social builder. Amos wrought his great work during the days of
Jereboam II, in whose reign religion had grown hard and formal, pleasure had
rotted into vice, luxury had become a disease, and the aristocracy fattened on
the poor. Against these conditions Amos set himself, though he was "no
prophet, nor the son of a prophet," and he lashed the abuses of his people
with such effective fury, that the high- ups had him banished from the
kingdom. "The first great social reformer in history" Amos was no mere
denunciator but one who condemned things as they are by setting before them a
picture of things as they should be.
IV In the
graphic visions recorded in his book, Amos sets before us a picture of Israel
being judged by a plague of locusts; then follows a fire that "devoured the
great deep, and had begun to devour the tilled land"; these visitations are
stayed by the supplication of the prophet and then Jehovah brings a new kind
of judgment to bear on his people. As we may read in Amos' own words, "Thus
the Lord showed me; and behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumb-
line, with a plumb-line in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what
seest thou? And I said, a plumb-line. Then said the Lord, behold, I will set a
plumbline in the midst of my people Israel; I will not pass by them any more."
no mere dramatic way of saying, The people had been bad; they must now be
good; the lesson is no such banality as that, but cuts deeper into things. It
is really a vision of an entirely new kind of judgment, for consider: At first
Jehovah chastised his people physically, as one may whip a child; later, he
passed from external things into their hearts and said, In your conscience you
will be judged and in your conscience you will be punished. It was just the
Lord's method of plunging a sharp instrument into the naked left breast of
Israel ! External punishments came and passed but when the inner standard was
set up, it remained whatever came and went, and the Lord did "not pass by them
this the truth of things, the law of life - that bad men are not always
visited by physical evils and that good men do not always receive material
reward. This was a lesson learned by Job many centuries ago. But there is a
harvest from wrong-doing that is always sure, as sure as the tides, and it is
nothing other than inward conception. To do a lie blunts the moral perception;
to fall into impurity beclouds the heart; to live in selfishness puts out the
eyes of love, for the wages of sin is death. Like the path of the eagle the
ways of the punishment of transgression may be viewless, but they are sure, as
sure as a plumb-line; the universe is just and in its laws there is neither
variableness nor turning, and he that is a skilled Fellow Craft in the
building tasks of life will be wise to govern himself accordingly.
RED CIRCLE CLUB, RALEIGH, N.C.
A.B. ANDREWS, P.G.M.. NORTH CAROLINA
ON September, 1918, two battalions of the Tank Corps were moved
from Tobyhanna, Pa., to the newly established Camp Polk at Raleigh, N. C.,
(named for Past Grand Master William Polk, 1799-1801, the great grandfather of
Frank L. Polk, Counsellor to the State Department,) and shortly afterwards the
War Camp Community Service assigned Brother Ossian Lang, Grand Historian of
New York, to the position of executive secretary, who was directed to take
charge of all of the out-of-camp activities. Instead of organizing a central
Red Circle Club, as the War Camp Community Service had done in a number of
other places, he organized Red Circle Clubs in five churches, in the Y.M.C.A.,
the Woman's Club, the Central Labor Union, and in the Masonic Order, which
opened club rooms for the soldiers. He had promises of five other clubs, the
opening of which were prevented by reason of the tankers being moved elsewhere
Owing to an epidemic of influenza the clubs had to be closed
down, which prevented the prompt opening of the club by the Masons. The three
lodges of the city, having about 600 members, together with a Chapter and a
Commandery of 125 members, acting through a local board of relief represented
by the three Masters, secured from the Grand Lodge the use of the library
room, 26 by 48, in which were seven tables at which 24 men could write and
which provided table space for magazines and papers. Arrangements were made to
have supplied the daily papers of Raleigh, and a New York and Washington
paper, also several weeklies and magazines, some of which were contributed by
interested brethren. A dozen easy chairs were purchased and a piano borrowed
from the Grand Lodge hall together with a borrowed Victrola, completed the
equipment. The suggested title of "Masonic Club" was discarded as being too
restrictive, and the name Masonic Red Circle Club was chosen and the War Camp
Community Service banner hung out to show that it was open to all soldiers and
sailors, who were free to use it at their pleasure.
During the fifteen days it was open, which terminated by the
tankers' removal shortly after the armistice, the Masonic Red Circle Club was
visited by between 3,000 and 3,500 soldiers, who used up 2,500 envelopes
together with 5,000 sheets of paper, of which it is estimated that at least
1,500 letters were to wives, mothers, sweethearts and sisters, going
practically to every state in the union. As this was the only Red Circle Club
in the business district, permitted smoking, and was run strictly as a man's
club, it filled a want that appealed more strongly to the older men in the
tank corps than did the church clubs or the Y.M.C.A. Likewise a great number
of Masons visited it, feeling at home in a Masonic Temple, and again on a
rainy day the War Camp Community Service flag was very inviting to a tired
soldier tramping the street to enter a steam-heated building where he could
sit down and rest, write letters, smoke, or talk to his fellow soldiers.
Cross is the heart of God, covering all lands except Germany, the faithless
land, the land of crime, and butchery, of oppression, of inequality; the
midnight assassin of defenseless women and children, the despoiler of virtue;
the Godless land that knows no shame and startles not at its horrid and
nameless butchery. The land of autocracy, reeking with the blood of its
benighted followers, slain for a sinful ambition. They do not recognize or
respect the Red Cross. and is it any wonder? -Rob Morris Bulletin
zeal knowledge is gotten, through lack of zeal knowledge is lost; let a man
who knows this double path of gain and loss thus place himself that knowledge
TO MASONIC SYMBOLISM
RESCUE POUND, DEAN, HARVARD SAW SCHOOL
IT is not
so long ago that a learned man could take all knowledge for his province. In
the last quarter of the eighteenth century it seemed to Preston entirely
feasible to sum up all human learning and expound its main principles to the
ordinary hearer in three lectures. At the end of that century men believed
that a learned jurist by sheer reasoning might work out by himself a complete
code to govern all men in all places in all times. Even later compendia of
universal knowledge were projected seriously. In the nineteenth century men's
attitude changed completely. Reaction from this boundless faith in the
intellect, born of the Renaissance, led to an era of separate sciences, of
minute subdivision of learning, of distinct fields of knowledge intensively
cultivated by individual scholars. In place of the general schemes of
knowledge, we got narrowly limited, water-tight compartment sciences, each
self- sufficient, each content to rest on its own basis, and each assured of
finding within itself a critique of itself.
learning in the last century suffered from the self-imposed narrowness of this
water-tight compartment conception. But Masonic learning suffered peculiarly.
For modern Masonic learning had its inception in the eighteenth century and
had still to go through some preliminary stages of development when it found
itself cut off from learning at large and divided into separate,
self-sufficient compartments. Thus we got a Masonic history without general
historical method, a Masonic philosophy divorced from the general current of
human thought, and a Masonic symbolism ignorant of psychology. Nowhere is the
process of breaking down compartments and letting in air and light from the
outside, a process that is going on rapidly on every side nowhere is this more
needed than in Masonic learning. Gould long ago did this work thoroughly for
Masonic history. But it is still to be done for Masonic symbolism. We must
view this subject for a season as but a phase of a general science of symbols;
we must lay its foundation not only in Masonic history, nor solely in the
history of rites and mysteries, but in psychology as well.
are visible objects which apart from their own immediate and proper
significance, represent to the mind something which is not shown but is
realized by association with it; some ideal content which the symbols suggest,
but cannot embody. They are said to be of two sorts, natural symbols and
conventional symbols. In the former phrase "natural" is used in the sense of
rational and refers to those symbols which appeal to natural reason and so
achieve their purpose with the unlearned. Conventional symbols, on the other
hand, have their basis in tradition and appeal
those who know. The former may or may not be new. At any rate, they rest on
analogies that are associated with the ideas of today, as, for example, when
light is taken as a symbol for knowledge or truth, black for mourning, and so
on. But it will be perceived that often in such cases we have simply a strong
traditional association without any necessary association for all men in the
absence of tradition. In consequence, well-known symbols may easily be
borrowed and put to new uses, as many assert happened in the case of more than
one pagan symbol taken over by the early church. Thus there is an easy
transition from one type of symbol to the other. Traditional or conventional
symbols rest on habitual rather than rational association with the subjects
they suggest. In origin, no doubt, they were natural symbols. But after the
circumstances that determined their choice have passed away, constant
association with the object symbolized, kept alive by tradition, enables them
still to function as symbols. A great many Masonic symbols are of this
character, as, for example, the shape of the lodge, symbolizing the world, or
the triads, of which Masonry in all rites is so full, symbolizing perfection.
symbols require little or no study or exposition. But as the analogies upon
which traditional or conventional symbols proceed have usually ceased to
appeal to us, as the ideas that suggested them have been forgotten and
sometimes their applications have been wholly lost, exposition of them,
investigation of their history, and attempts to reconstruct their applications
afford a tempting field for study. The Masonic student is attracted to them
specially because symbols are among the most important of our traditions. Our
ceremonies themselves are largely allegorical or symbolic and employ symbols
at every stage and on every hand. To make the most of these symbols they must
be studied. Accordingly, apart from its interest as a pure science, the study
of symbols has a practical side for the Mason and symbolism has been
recognized from the beginning as one of the chief departments of Masonic
Psychologists have generally rested symbolism upon association. Some, however,
have sought a more intimate connection. Thus Lotze says of symbols in art, "We
live over again in the object the motion to produce it." Symbols are obviously
associated with the things symbolized. But many have felt that there is a
sympathy involved that is not true of ordinary associations. It has been said
that there is "an investiture of the object with the observer's own idea and
feeling in a more intimate manner than is implied by the term association."
This controversy as to the psychological basis of symbolism has gone on
chiefly in connection with aesthetics and the conclusions reached are not very
applicable to Masonic symbolism. Unhappily, no Masonic student of symbolism
has taken up this fundamental question.
branch of learning which has been much concerned with symbols is logic. Here
the theory of symbols has been treated fully, especially in connection with
the nature of knowledge. Thus Leibnitz distinguished between intuitive and
symbolical knowledge. The word "intuitive," so used, is deceptive. Leibnitz
took it in its original, etymological meaning, in which it refers to what we
know by looking on it or by seeing. Accordingly he uses the phrase to include
all knowledge which we gain directly through the senses or by immediate
communication to the mind. Symbolical knowledge, on the other hand, is that
which we cannot gain directly through the senses, which, therefore, must be
represented to us. Thus writers on logic remind us that we may learn by the
direct evidence of our senses what a square or a hexagon is, but we cannot
expect to earn in this way what a chiliagon or figure of one thousand sides
is. If one doubts this, let him attempt y looking at them to tell the
difference between a figure of one thousand sides and one of a thousand and
fine sides. Such conceptions can be known to us only symbolically. And this is
true of all large numbers also, for the velocity of light (186,000 miles per
second) or the distance of the sun (91,000,000 miles) are beyond reach of our
imaginations. So we speak of infinity, of zero, of nothing. But there is
nothing here that may be perceived through the senses; nor can one realize in
the mind, such conceptions as "the unthinkable," the inconceivable," the
"impossible," about which we speak continually. Such things are only to be
then, enable us to know what we cannot now directly through the senses and
enable us to keep in mind or to keep before the mind what is not and cannot be
directly and immediately represented to it. Hence symbols play a great part in
all that we do. Art is largely symbolic, endeavoring to present to us through
symbols what we cannot apprehend directly. Religion uses symbols in the same
way "as sensuous emblems of spiritual acts and objects." Ritual is symbolic,
and so are even the sacraments in one aspect of their significance. In this
aspect religion often makes use of art. For as the objects of religion are
unseen and intangible, there is obvious need of "helping the imagination by
means of sensuous objects which may serve as fitting materializations of the
spiritual." Even the architecture of churches is symbolic. The building is not
merely adapted to certain functions. Even more, the very form of the building
seeks to express the spiritual import of those functions.
are no less important in practical affairs. Large parts of mathematics are
symbolic. Chemistry is full of symbols. Even in biology we are coming to think
that genus and species are symbols by which we are able to represent knowledge
of types, none too clearly defined, in a universe of infinitely diverse
No less a
role is played by symbols in the social sciences. In primitive law symbols are
used on every side, since primitive man has no general ideas and the
abstractions of developed legal science are beyond him. He cannot conceive of
litigation over an abstraction called a title, so in the beginnings of Roman
law a bit of turf from the land in dispute was brought in before the
magistrate and the parties went through the form of a fight for the possession
of it, in which the magistrate intervened. If a flock of sheep was in dispute,
a bit of wool from the flock was the subject of the simulated fight, and so
on. Again, the Roman used the spear as a symbol of title to property, and
Tacitus tells us of a like symbol among the ancient Germans. All Masons know
the Jewish symbol in case of sale and redemption. In our own law the formal
ceremony of conveying land by livery of seisin was highly symbolic, and we
still speak of symbolic possession where one makes delivery in case of gift,
for example, by delivering the key by means of which the donee may obtain
in government symbols are made use of to keep before men's minds the idea of
sovereignty, to enable them to comprehend the abstraction called the State, to
hold up before them some visible sign of authority. The king is a symbol. His
image, his monogram, his superscription stand for the State to many who can
keep before their minds the ownership and the rights of George and the duties
due to Alfonso or Victor Emmanuel when the State as an abstraction would
appeal to them but dimly. In the same way we speak of loyalty to the flag,
love of the flag, and the like, thinking and speaking of the visible symbol
rather than the invisible and intangible things for which the symbol stands.
So also we speak of Uncle Sam or John Bull as symbols for the abstractions of
the American or the English people. Sociology devotes much consideration to
ceremonial institutions as means of social control. But these are symbolic.
Homage, coronation, investiture, inauguration, are outward signs of something
which is not tangible or visible. Says Professor Ross:
picturesque, dramatic, or sensational will serve to impress an event upon the
memory; hut the ceremony that modifies the feelings must be full of meaning.
It dwells on what would be overlooked, reminds of that significance that would
be forgotten, and so reveals the full significance of what is being done."
then, are the uses of symbols. They enable us to reason abstractly; to extend
our knowledge far beyond what we can know immediately and directly through the
senses; to hold before us through the aid of a visible sign things invisible
and intangible which are of the highest import in our daily life. They enable
government to keep men conscious of its reality. They enable society to exert
a necessary control by keeping before men in outward forms and ceremonies the
abstract principles by which they must be governed in a life measured by
other hand, symbols are liable to abuse, and some of these abuses have crept
into Masonic symbolism. The chief abuse is that symbols readily lead the
careless to confuse the symbol with the thing symbolized, to think that there
is some real bond between them other than association in the mind of the
observer. This may easily run into nominalism; it may give rise to a belief
that realities are wrapped up in names, that if one knows the name of
anything, he knows the thing itself, and that in reasoning about names he is
reasoning about things. "There is no worse habit for a student or reader to
acquire," says William James, "than that of accepting words instead of a
knowledge of things." Look at our Fellow Craft lecture and note how it is full
of definitions. We have had to learn in other connections, too, that one has
by no means mastered a thing simply because he is able to repeat an abstract
definition of it.
abuse of symbolism is to be seen in the idea that a symbol not merely helps to
comprehend a thing but thereby gives us control over it. We see this in its
crudest form in witchcraft, when the warlock makes a wax figure of his victim
and puts the latter to the torture of rheumatism by sticking the figure full
of needles. We see it in its highest form in metaphysics. Thus, William James
says: "Metaphysics has usually followed a very primitive kind of quest. You
know how men have always hankered after unlawful magic and you know what a
great part in magic words have always played. If you have his name . . . you
can control the spirit or whatever the power may be. . . . So the universe has
always appeared to the natural mind as a kind of enigma of which the key must
be sought in the shape of some illuminating or power-bringing word or name.
That word names the universe's principle, and to possess it is after a fashion
to possess the universe itself.... Matter, Reason, the Absolute, Energy, are
so many solving names. You can rest when you have them. You are at the end of
your metaphysical quest." Many study symbolism in the same way, consciously or
subconsciously, as if by penetrating into the original meaning of symbols, as
disclosed by their history, or the true meaning of them as disclosed by
logical or mystical principles of symbolism, they could acquire some sort of
control of realities, some sort of power over the universe.
prelude as to symbols generally, a preface to Masonic symbolism may proceed to
the primitive uses of symbols and next to the philosophical use of symbols,
thus paving the way for a treatment of the Masonic use of symbols as a
resultant or product.
society resorts to symbols for four purposes: (1) To convey messages, (2) to
give instruction, (3) as a means of social control, and (4) to obtain control
over nature. Before alphabets and writing have evolved men make use of
ideographs and hieroglyphics, which sometimes attain their ends by picturing
the very thing to be suggested to the beholder, but often appeal to the latter
symbolically. Thus the Chinese ideograph for what we should call "a row" is a
conventionalized picture of two women under one roof. For symbolism seems to
play a much larger role in human psychology than we had perceived. A great
part of what we do subconsciously is symbolic. Indeed psychologists believe
that our dreams are largely symbolic. The undeveloped primitive mind,
incapable of abstract reasoning, proceeds subconsciously by means of symbols.
teaching proceeds wholly by imitation and by symbols. What is not done by
simple imitation of the master, is done by imparting the symbol and explaining
it. Thus the primitive tribe inducts the boy into manhood by symbolic
ceremonies to teach him that the boy is no more and that a man with a man's
duties and a man's responsibilities has arisen in his place. Even more the
primitive secret societies that grow out of these ceremonies employ symbolic
dress and symbolic implements. One phase of this use of symbols has attracted
much attention from Masonic scholars. It has been asserted that the ancients
used symbols at the same time to teach the initiated and to conceal from the
uninitiated. Albert Pike dwells much upon this aspect of ancient symbolism. No
doubt there are such cases in primitive rites. But it is hard to be sure that
we have any authentic cases since we are in no very good position to judge. It
is seldom possible to be sure how such symbols were meant to be interpreted.
There are, however, clear cases in later symbolism, and eighteenth-century
French Masonry furnishes a notable example in its teaching of liberty of
thought under the symbol of a contest for liberty of passage a symbol known to
one of our rites today. It is not unlikely that this device is as old as
use of symbols in primitive society is as a means of social control. Primitive
man forgets authority unless its visible sign is always before him. He forgets
his duty unless the duty is visibly represented to him. Law and order as
abstractions have no hold on him. They must be kept before his mind by
symbols. The gods must be represented to his eyes by idols or statues or he
cannot regard them. In short, morals, religion, and government get and keep
their hold upon him largely through symbols. Hence symbolism is highly
developed among primitive peoples and primitive secret societies have
independently more than one symbol of which we speak and think as Masonic
Developing confidence from these notable achievements by means of symbols,
primitive man becomes ambitious of greater things and seeks to control
external nature in the same way. This attempt to control the thing symbolized
through the symbol gives us, along with magic, the crude beginnings of
metaphysics and the crude beginnings of medicine. In the one case the quest is
for a single simple principle of nature, wrapped up in some symbol, possession
whereof will enable the possessor to direct natural forces; in the other there
is a quest for the fundamental principle of disease in general or of some
particular disease, which again is to be wrapped up in some symbol whereby the
disease may be controlled. To primitive man the occult was a serious practical
business. He looked upon it as we look upon physics or upon the study of
It was a
means whereby nature might be harnessed to man's use. We make a great mistake
today when we attribute any more profound significance to primitive symbols of
to symbolism in philosophy, we may begin with the Pythagoreans. For even if we
may not for other than ritualistic purposes refer to him as "our ancient
friend and Brother," Masons must always feel a kinship to Pythagoras because
he called symbolism to the aid of cosmology. Prior to Socrates the problem of
philosophy was to lay hold upon the original ground or basis of things which
outlasts all change; to discover how this original basis changes into the
particular things which we see about us, and how it changes these things back
into itself. The Milesians sought to find this original basis of the universe
in some element. The Atomists sought it in primordial indivisible constituents
of matter. The Eleatics sought it in a unity of nature. Heraclitus thought he
had found it in a perpetual but rhythmical flux or change. Attacking the same
problem, the Pythagoreans conceived that this permanent being which men were
seeking was to be found in numbers. They held that in contrast with changing
things of experience, numbers, as regards their content, possess a validity
independent of time; that they are eternal, without beginning, imperishable,
unchangable, immovable. Thus, so they reasoned, numbers possess the unity and
permanence sought by the Eleatics and the rhythmical order insisted on by
Heraclitus. They found the abiding essence of the universe in mathematical
relations, particularly in numbers, and as their solution was more abstract
than that of the Milesians, more possible to represent to the imagination than
that of the Eleatics, and far clearer than that of Heraclitus, naturally it
had much influence.
Pythagorean solution of the problem of cosmology readily went into symbolism.
For they believed that in the antithesis between the limited and the unlimited
they recognized the antithesis between the odd and the even in numbers, and
they identified this antithesis with that between the perfect and the
imperfect, the good and the bad. They put over against the limited, the odd,
the perfect, and the good; antithesis of the limitless, the even, the
imperfect, and the bad. Yet they conceived that both principles were united in
the number one, which had the value both of an even and of an odd number, so
that in the universe as a whole these antitheses were adjusted to form a
harmony. In other words, they conceived of the universe as a harmony of
numbers, and with this idea they exerted themselves to make an order of things
corresponding to the system of numbers by assigning the fundamental
conceptions in every department of knowledge to various numbers and on the
other hand by assigning to every individual number, especially to those from
one to ten, determining significance in the various spheres of reality. As
Windelband says: "The fantastic nature of the symbolic interpretation into
which they fell in doing this must . . . not cause us to overlook the fact
that the attempt was made thereby to recognize an abiding order of things
which could be grasped and expressed in conceptions and to find the ultimate
ground of this order in mathematical conceptions." In a phrase, the
Pythagoreans attempted to comprehend and represent the universe by means of
mathematical symbols. Thus they have a real place in the history of human
thought. But today we have better ways of trying to comprehend and represent
the universe. We do little honor to the Pythagoreans when we solemnly retail
the letter of their speculations as if they had some intrinsic validity, when
their true significance lies in their attitude toward and their spirit of
approach to a great philosophical problem. Let us approach the modern problem
of philosophy with the same determination to achieve a reasoned result whereby
permanence and stability may be assured, rather than continue to repeat the
details of their speculations as to the exact numerical equivalent of this or
that. Otherwise symbols be come our masters rather than our servants.
the task of philosophy has been to comprehend external nature and to represent
it. After Socrates the interest in philosophy turned from the outside of man
to the inside, and when, following the the conquests of Alexander the Great,
in the period of decadence after the great age of Greek intellectual activity,
the Helenistic culture spread over the civilized world, the revived symbolism
of the Neo-Platonists was a higher symbolism, for it attempted to symbolize
the spiritual. They thought of the world immediately the about us as chiefly
significant in pointing the way to a higher world. Its value was not in what
it was but in what it revealed. It was the sign and symbol of a higher being.
Thus their doctrine, instead of seeking symbols of the actual world of sense,
treated that world as having a symbolic character. Presently there came a
succession of debasements of this philosophy in the writings of the
Hellenizing Theosophists, the mass of writings that go by the name of Hermes
Trismegistus, the Gnostics, and later the Cabbala. Albert Pike has studied
these attentively and has revived much of their elaborate symbolism- But this
symbolism is quite void of meaning for us if we are ignorant of its
philosophical pedigree, and when we are able to comprehend it we can but see
that there are better ways to represent the more critical metaphysical
knowledge of the modern world.
revival of learning that ushered in the world of today there came presently a
revival of symbolism in philosophical thought. The Middle Ages were wholly
dominated by Aristotle, whose powerful intellect, perhaps "the most powerful
ever possessed by any man," was yet limited to the exterior of things and
unable to reach beneath to the hidden forces by which things are moved. "It
was natural," says Benn, "that one who ranged with such consummate mastery
over the whole world of apparent reality, should believe in no other reality..
. . The visible order of nature was present to his imagination in such precise
determination and fulness of detail that it resisted any attempt he might have
made to conceive it under a different form." When the reign of Aristotle came
to an end and men sought once more to comprehend and to represent the unseen
and the unseeable, a flood of symbolistic writing resulted. Chemistry has its
roots in the half charlatan symbolism of Alchemy. The symbolic medicine of the
revolt from Galen has an important place in the history of modern medicine,
and the hermetic philosophers, who busied themselves with alchemy and symbolic
medicine and attempted to adapt and apply the fusions of Oriental mysticism
and NeoPlatonic symbolism of the Hellenistic decadence, are in the right line
of descent of our Masonic symbols.
rationalism of the age of "enlightenment" turned men away from symbolism. For
a time men's faith in reason was boundless. The age of Preston cared nothing
for symbols except as they might be made convenient vehicles of rational
instruction. Indeed Preston indulges in an obvious sneer at those who would
employ symbols otherwise than to impart "wise and serious truths." And when
presently reaction from this age of reason came with the Romanticists of the
nineteenth century, it was felt chiefly in art, and the revival of symbolism
was most conspicuous in aesthetics. There was no adequate philosophical
apparatus to guide the revived Masonic symbolism of Pike, snow in consequence
the subject is still disfigured by too much of Hermetic charlatanism. With the
clearer light afforded by psychology and the gesture appreciation of the role
of symbols in man's subconscious life and the effects thereof upon his
conscious activities which it reveals we may hope presently for a more truly
scientific study of our mass of traditional symbols. This will build, indeed,
upon the historical studies of Pike and will use much of the results of his
instinct for interpretation. But it will have a critical method unknown to his
time that will enable Pike's successor in Masonic symbolism to do for that
subject what Gould did for Masonic history. And so with one further suggestion
this preface to that work may be brought to an end. As we now think, things
are important not so much for what they are as for what they do. Institutions
are significant functionally rather than intrinsically. Thus our student of
Masonic symbols will investigate the history of the symbols employed by the
Craft and will seek their original meanings and the development of their
interpretations. But above all he will ask, and will seek to know by means of
their history and their development, how they function today, what they teach
today, and how they teach it, and even more what they may teach and how we may
make them effective for teaching it.
OF MASONRY IN THE RENAISSANCE OF DEMOCRACY
GEORGE B. THOMAS, RHODE ISLAND
Democracy has become the slogan of mankind. Self government for all nations
and clans is the accepted ideal to which the entire human race has suddenly
become committed. It is certainly a worthy goal, a "consummation devoutly to
be wished" by all sincere lovers of humanity. It is the logical fruit of
Christianity as finally applied to the problem of governmental matters.
As to the
propriety and the probability of its ultimate attainment by the entire human
race there can be no possibility of doubt to the man who believes that
Christianity itself will finally conquer in its conflict with the varied evils
of the world. But the burning question just now is this: Is this lofty ideal
within the immediate reach of all those who are clamoring for it or upon whom
many of our leaders would fain thrust it without further delay? Allow me to
emphasize the fact that I am in most hearty accord with this ideal, but I
fully believe that if the ideal is to be realized at all it must be done by
facing all the facts in the case. To win a battle it is of first importance to
know as much as possible about the strength and nature of the enemy in the
way. If this task is to be achieved, it will be achieved by overcoming certain
very formidable difficulties confronting us. The Great Teacher has admonished
us that he who would build a house should first sit down and count the cost,
lest otherwise he might begin to build and not be able to finish.
includes two essential ideas, "government" and "by the people." Judging by
much that is said in certain quarters just now the whole emphasis must be
placed upon the one idea of the people. Much of the thinking, if thinking it
can be truly called, exhausts itself in a vague idea that all you have to do
in order to transform an autocracy into a democracy is to destroy autocracy
and turn the people loose. Presumably, in the minds of many, democracy is the
only possible alternative of autocracy. This is a fundamental error. It is one
thing to overthrow autocracy, and quite another thing to establish democracy
in its place. Mexico is a near-by example. Russia and many contiguous regions
are a classic showing of what may possibly take the place of autocratic
government when once overthrown. Call it what you will, "Mobocracy,"
"anarchy," "Bolshevism," it is the same red rage of the people let loose
without any restraint whatsoever save the natural limits of their brute
strength. Is that democracy ? No. To be a democracy, a people must be able
first to sit down and agree upon a fundamental law which we call a
constitution. Until they, or a ruling majority of them, can do this it is
useless to talk about a democracy. But to be a democracy, they must not only
write and adopt a constitution, but they must be able to maintain a sufficient
balance of power to enforce its fundamental provisions. Government, rule, law
and order "of the people, by the people, and for the people" that is
democracy, and that alone.
of all that is now taking place in many quarters of the Old World and of some
occurrences even in our own land, it is becoming a serious question in the
minds of many of our most loyal and thoughtful citizens whether we can much
longer escape the same wild disorder and bloodshed, to say nothing of the
destruction of our property, unless we face the facts with our eyes wide open,
and then act promptly and effectively. It seems wise to me that the time is at
hand to tighten our girdle, clarify certain ideas and expressions much used,
and re-state and modify in terms of justice and safety the priceless
principles which have come down to us from our fathers. It is not too much to
say that so far as the democratic ideal is concerned, as the United States
goes so will go the nations of the earth for centuries to come. The eyes of
the world are strangely fixed upon us; especially is this true of the millions
only recently emancipated from the old autocratic dynasties of Europe and
Asia. While we are not more democratic in reality than England and France,
perhaps, our traditions of self- government are different. They root in no
despotic past, but in the soil of freedom. Therefore, if democracy can not
weather the storm in this land, it can not weather it anywhere on earth at
this time. We owe it, then, not simply to ourselves and to our posterity to
see that it does survive, but we owe it to all the peoples of earth who are
wistfully looking to us. It is well to remind ourselves of the fact that
experiments in democracy have been made in other ages and other lands, and
ultimately failed. Will it fail in this age? Will all the great nations
crumble into warring clans till civilization shall perish, and law and order
again slowly evolve through autocratic leaders who shall finally emerge here
and there as did the feudal lords in former ages? It must not be. America must
lead the way in restoring law and order and in establishing it upon the basis
of true democracy.
But if it
is true that the world is looking to America, to whom in turn must America
look? We are a strangely cosmopolitan people. What element is to lead ? Who
are best qualified to lead ? As a great body, I do not hesitate to say that I
believe there is no other aggregation of men so eminently fitted to lead the
way through these trying times as Freemasonry. This is said in no pharisaical
boastfulness, nor with any suggestion or desire that Masonry should rule for
its own glory, but because I feel that "unto whom much has been given, of him
shall much be required," and surely much has been given to us which peculiarly
fits us to render a large share in this great task now before us. The whole
history of Masonry has been that of freedom from tyranny on the one hand and
of lawlessness and crime on the other. Masonry has never unsheathed the sword
save in defense of liberty and justice, and she has never sheathed it till
those ends were attained. Then it was Masonry in a pre-eminent degree which so
tenderly and yet so resolutely cradled democracy in the first eventful years
of America's history. In confirmation of this, I need but call attention to a
few of the many illustrious names written alike on the pages of Masonic
records and American history Franklin and Jefferson, Lafayette and Washington!
But not only is Masonry fitted by such traditions to lead in this crisis, but
she is fitted because of the high average intellectual, moral, and social
fitness of her members. They are selected with great care from all honorable
walks of society from the day-laborer to the multimillionaire, from all
political parties, from all religious faiths. For the most part, they come
from the best homes and inherit the best traditions of freedom and justice.
They found their faith upon the precepts of the one Book, the entrance of
which always giveth light. They are men of affairs and men of ideals.
foregoing reasons I would set before you for your thoughtful consideration
suggestions of a concrete form which I believe will for the most part commend
themselves to the most intelligent and patriotic citizens who feel that
something should be done and done promptly if we are to stay the red tide now
flowing our way from the torn and troubled lands across the seas. I feel that
we should set in motion those forces of public opinion that will not only
"create sentiment," but will also crystallize it into laws that shall have
teeth. We have heard constantly dinned into our ears the cry that we must
"Americanize the foreigners in our midst." But while that is a beautiful
expression, it now needs to be defined until we know what we mean. There has
been, so far as I have been able to discover, very little suggestion as to any
worthwhile departure from the old methods when it comes to any statutory
enactment. For the most part the suggestions proposed are to be left to the
individual as to whether he will accept them or not. The one thing that is
apparent is, that those who most need to be Americanized are the very last
people who could be induced to accept these necessary changes. Hence it is not
moral persuasion alone that is needed, but the enactment of wise laws in the
light of changed conditions. In some cases it might be necessary to make
amendments to our National Constitution, but that need not discourage us in
such an undertaking. The constitutional latch- string is always on the outside
of the door. I offer the following conclusions as the result of much
reflection over the issues involved, believing they will meet with your
approval in a general way at least although time precludes an extended
before detailing these proposed measures, allow me to call your attention to
the fact that democracy must rest upon two fundamental qualifications,
intelligence and a morality rooted in deep religious conviction. Consequently
the two deadly foes to self- government are ignorance and immorality. Whatever
tends to promote intelligence and morality or to restrain the ignorant and
criminal classes is to be sought for most diligently above all other
considerations in the making of laws and in their enforcement. When we speak
of world democracy, as an immediate success, a glance at the human race in its
entirety is sufficient to convince us that these two essential qualifications
are sadly lacking on the whole. For example, of China's four hundred and fifty
millions, only four per cent can read. Of India's three hundred and fifteen
millions only six per cent can read. Of Russia's two hundred millions only
about ten per cent can read. The over whelming per cent of the population of
the Balkans are illiterate, while all but a negligible part of the aborigines
of Africa, Asia, and the Asiatic islands with the exception of Japan, and
about seventy-five per cent of the population of South and Central America and
Mexico are unable to read. In short, if you were to line up the earth's
population today and then start down the line, two of every three persons into
whose faces you looked would be found to be illiterate. The general moral
level is no higher. The awful immoralities of India are notorious. In South
and Central America and Mexico the same low ethical practices obtain. It is
said that in the best part of South America, one out of every five of the
population is born out of wedlock, while in more than half of her territory,
three out of every five children are illegitimate. Now considering this
wretched intellectual and moral unfitness of more than half the population of
the globe, a population for the most part only recently wrenched loose from
their ancient moorings and sent drifting blindly about, the importance of our
immediate action in order to secure our institutions and our civilization from
being swamped looms up clearly before us. What, then, do we need at this time
more than ever before?
one of the two essential duties is to make vigorous war against ignorance and
its fruits. An educational system that shall unify our vast population is of
first importance. To begin with, we must make a concerted move to see that
henceforth we shall have but one language as the language of our citizens.
That language is to be the English language. It is pre-posterous to think of
ever supplanting that speech by any other. It would be a sad day if it should
ever be come necessary to translate the Declaration of Independence, the
Constitution, and the immortal documents of Washington and Lincoln before they
could be read and understood by any considerable element of our citizens. But
we need the immediate enactment of a national law prohibiting the teaching of
any other language than the English language in any school, public or private,
below the eighth grade, and no one should be allowed to study any other
language in any public school or private until the eighth grade has been
completed. Furthermore, no foreign-language publications of any kind
whatsoever should be allowed to be printed or circulated except the classics
and the established devotional books of those religious bodies whose ritual
may be required to be in a foreign language, and in all such cases they should
be approved by a competent commission. No other than the English language
should be allowed in any assembly or gathering. If this matter is left to mere
local sentiment it will fail exactly in those localities where its enforcement
is most needed; namely, where foreign-speaking peoples predominate. It is a
matter that concerns the whole nation, and therefore should not be left to the
should we require that the English language shall be the only medium of
instruction through the eighth grade and in all the publications printed or
circulated, but we should also legislate so as to weed out all illiteracy
among our people, or failing in that, we should render the irreducible minimum
of illiterates politically innocuous. How can this be done? Again since it is
a matter of vital importance to the whole nation, the national government
should enact a law that shall require future voters who shall register for the
first time to present at the time of their first registration a certificate
showing that they have completed the studies through the eighth grade. Failing
this, they should be required to pass a public examination covering those
studies before being allowed to vote. A reasonable period should be granted
after the enactment of the law before taking effect, say a period of five
years. In the small number of cases where poverty would prevent future
citizens from acquiring such an education, the necessary assistance should be
given. Nothing else will be so expensive in the long run to our nation as a
large number of ignorant voters. I know that there would be opposition to such
a movement, and recourse would be had to the old and exploded doctrines of
"personal liberty" and "states rights." This law would not say that a citizen
must educate, but it would say that if he is too lazy or indifferent he shall
have no suffrage rights. Such a law as this would reduce the ignorant in our
country to two classes, those who were mentally defective and those who were
too indolent, and neither class has any business with the right of suffrage in
a democratic government like ours, where intelligence is one of the two
absolute essentials to good citizenship. If it is right to force people to pay
taxes to maintain public schools, it is certainly right to compel those for
whom the schools are intended to patronize them. So-called compulsory
attendance is not enough, but a certain definite fruit of attendance is the
thing, and that fruit is a reasonable degree of general education equivalent
to the work of the eighth grade.
Lane has recently called attention to the fact that ten per cent of the first
two millions called to the colors were unable to read or understand the
orders given them. We are also told that eighteen per cent of the future
citizens now below the adult age are attending no school and are growing up in
ignorance. Attention has been called to the serious menace of our illiterate
citizenship in time of war. Its menace is fully as great in times of peace,
and in my judgment, far more dangerous, for it is then that the restraints on
lawless propaganda are removed. The report of Secretary Lane did not begin to
show the actual lack of education, for while ten per cent are illiterate, a
very much larger per cent is without sufficient education to appreciate the
merits of any political discussion or propaganda carried on through the
written page, such as could be expected in the case of those with an eighth
grade education as a foundation. How much longer are we going to permit such
conditions to exist? We have keen amply warned. Now shall we act?
point to which I wish to call special attention and upon which I wish to lay
special emphasis is the most delicate and yet the most vital question
underlying the whole matter of maintaining law and order in our midst. I refer
to the very ark of our civil liberty, the right of free speech and a free
press and what goes with it, the right of the free use of the mails for all
publications not treasonable in their intent and effect. But where shall we
draw the line between the legitimate privileges thus guaranteed us by the
constitution and their abuse by those who take advantage of such guarantees
under which to spread a propagandum or propaganda which if finally effective
will overthrow the very constitution itself? All patriotic people believe that
there should be some tangible line of demarkation between the use and abuse of
these priceless guarantees, but up to date, I know of no one who has suggested
any such principle. I am going to suggest such a principle, and so far as I
know, it is absolutely original' with me. I do not claim that it would
completely solve the problem, but I do believe that it would reduce our danger
to a point where it would become practically negligible. This is my
suggestion: Let us amend our constitution so as to limit the rights of all
social, political and economic propaganda to the citizenship of this country;
that is, to those who were born here or have been naturalized. This will debar
all foreign agitators who plan to flood this country as soon as peace comes.
It is well known that the Bolshevists of Europe have well-laid plans to deluge
our nation with anarchists and other red-handed cut-throats for the deliberate
purpose of overthrowing our nation. Now if we do what common sense says we
should do, and at once amend our constitution so as to limit the guarantees of
Lee speech and of a free press to our own citizenship, we shall at one blow
cut the earth from under their feet the moment they come, and they will not
come. If we take this step together with the first one mentioned in this
discussion (limiting all spoken and written propaganda to the English
language) we shall debar foreign agitators and foreign language meetings for
all political and social discussions and propaganda. Who does not know that
most of our flannel-mouthed agitators against the rights of life and property
and their constituency are those of foreign birth or born of foreign
parentage? Here is also the one fruitful field for the professional
ward-heeler who would personally profit by stirring them up, organizing them,
and deceiving them. Unless something is done soon to end this un- American
procedure, anarchy will overtake us. If a citizen of any country on earth has
a worthy idea or ideal which he would like to place before our people, it can
easily be translated into the English language, and then the American people
can consider it from the American standpoint, see it through American eyes,
think it through American brains, and if it is worth while, and practical,
assimilate it to American conditions. We shall in no way interfere with the
rights of free thought except to restrain anarchy and crime. We do not want a
horde of foreign agitators just waking out of centuries of soporific stupor
coming here to attack our institutions and incite to revolution. Let us strike
at the roots of the matter, and strike now ! How can we give the increasing
millions of foreign-speaking voters of this country the American viewpoint on
social and political and economic questions so long as we allow them to be led
on by foreign subjects who address them in a foreign tongue which we can not
understand, much less speak ? And in this immediate connection, and as a part
of this plan, we should limit all teachings in our schools, public and
private, to teachers who are also citizens of our country. The schools are at
the very fountain head of our national thought-life, and they must not be
poisoned by allowing them to be occupied by foreign subjects.
foregoing were adopted, I firmly believe we should vitally change the whole
character of the dangers which now menace us. Other things should receive
attention as secondary matters for they are important. Among these, I venture
to suggest that we need a much longer period of residence, on an average,
before allowing foreign-born peoples to acquire the right of suffrage. In some
states, unless recently changed, foreign subjects can vote for national as
well as state and municipal officers after a brief period of residence. This
needs to be corrected by a national law or amendment, for certain great cities
may at any time and in any emergency fall into the hands of disloyal officers
put there by foreign and disloyal subjects who are qualified voters, and thus
the whole city becomes a menace to the entire nation. We have had recent
experiences enough to open our eyes. Shall we profit by the lesson? No person
should be allowed to vote in any election national, state, or municipal who
is not a citizen of the United States. Furthermore, all that can be done
should be done to break up and to prevent "foreign quarters" in our country. A
stop should be put once and forever against all "colonizing" of foreigners in
our country. All who are fit to enter our borders should so far as possible be
distributed so as to be assimilated through our public schools to become real
American citizens. Additional restraints should be speedily imposed against
foreign immigration ere the flood gates are opened, for we have never before
been threatened with such flotsam and jetsam as now menace us, threatening to
swamp us in a mighty maelstrom of murder and rapine.
point I wish to discuss is concerning the other of the two essentials of
democracy, the moral qualification. I shall be brief, not because I regard it
one whit less in importance than intellectual fitness, but because the one
suggestion I have to make can be briefly put. I know that we can not create
morality by legislation. But while we can not compel people to be good, we can
compel them to behave. We need a law disfranchising all those who commit a
major crime, as is now the case in many or all the states, but what is of even
greater political significance, we need to disfranchise all who habitually
commit petty crime. It is the large following of petty criminals who
systematically commit minor offenses who constitute our greatest political
problem from a moral standpoint. They congregate in certain wards and
communities and control the politics. By their political threat they
intimidate many politicians who really have no sympathy with them or their
methods, but who greatly fear their votes. Now we owe it to office holders to
remove so far as Possible such a menace. It is preposterous to longer permit
an ever-increasing horde of lawless voters to go on agitating for laws to suit
their criminal notions. In enacting such a law, it should be provided, of
course, that all who have been unjustly convicted, as subsequently proven,
shall be cleared of all taint. Also, those convicted but later declared within
their constitutional rights should likewise be free from all taint. But in all
cases where the right of suffrage has been later restored on account of
presumed reformation, such restoration should be limited to one time, and any
subsequent lapse into the criminal class should permanently disfranchise the
offender beyond any possibility of restoration. Above all, no criminal should
be allowed to engage in any political, social, or economic propagandum
whatsoever, nor anyone who is disfranchised. Above all, no such person should
be allowed to hold office under a stated period of time. In the country as it
is now governed, it is not uncommon to find a criminal exalted as a martyr and
elected simply because he is a criminal and the criminal element controls in
his ward or locality. In a recent congressional election in one of our states,
one of the candidates was a man openly alleged to have been dishonorably
discharged from the United States' service for deliberately embezzling
government funds, and the sad and amazing fact is that he had a sufficient
following in his district to enable him to poll a very strong vote ! we must
cut the very nerve of all such possibilities in the future. This can be
effectively done by such appropriate national legislation as I have indicated.
up; a democracy must be a real aristocracy, not of wealth, or family history,
or of race, but of intelligence and character. The ignorant and the vicious
must be discouraged and restrained. The nation owes it to its citizens to
place the opportunity of an education within the reach of every last boy and
girl beneath the flag, and then saying, "If you will not educate yourself at
least to the extent of a good public school education, you shall not vote." It
should also say to all its citizens, "You shall have no word to say in the
making of laws unless you first of all obey the laws made by the sovereign
majority." This leaves it to every individual to say whether or not he cares
to fit himself for suffrage. Only those shall rule who care to rule and are
morally and intellectually fit to rule. The challenge of Democracy is a
challenge to the highest aspirations of citizenship. It is only the boldest,
the truest, the best of the nations that can meet the challenge of
self-government. Shall America meet the challenge while her blood is stirred?
Shall we act through congress without delay ere we lapse back into the old way
of trusting everything to accident, awkwardness and luck? God forbid!
LEWIS A. McCONNELL, COLORADO
shouting of the rabble in a tumult in the street
excited men of Sechem trample underneath their feet,
allegiance to their monarch whom with prayers they did invoke
release them from their burdens and remove their heavy yoke
quickly hastened from the land where Shishak reigned,
had, for years, in exile from his country been detained,
King Solomon's disfavor when to him it was made known
mighty Jeroboam had designs upon the throne.
reared King Rehoboam, and he know the people's need,
serve them was his mission as he hastened there with speed.
spokesman for all Israel, to the king he made their plea
lifting of their burdens they had waited long to see.
years of sad oppression they had long with patience borne
tasks with sorrow laden, had their drooping spirits worn
king had spurned the counsel of the men his father chose
advisors in his kingdom, and had added to their woes.
mutterings of tempest 'ere the bursting of the storm
volume in the heavens, and the dark clouds swiftly form
burst in raging terror as with purpose to assail
unprotected object from the fury of the gale,
pent-up indignation of the long expectant men,
heard the monarch's answer, burst in anger fiercely then,
have we in son of Jesse, since our heavy burdens swell?"
to thine own house, David! To your tents, O Israel!"
this that comes to meet them as the agent of the king
tribute of the people to Jerusalem to bring ?
his grave demeanour, naught but peaceful his intent.
noble Adoniram on his sovereign's mission bent.
tribute to King David and to Solomon in turn
confidence and friendship his integrity did earn.
with Rehoboam as the third in line to serve,
duty Adoniram never yet had thought to swerve.
ravages of passion in the breasts of cruel men,
longer reason guides them in their anger fierce, and when
wrongs their lives embitter and no truce their vengeance shows
agents of oppression, scarcely knowing friends from foes
then the Chief of Tribute on his sovereign's mission came
made of him a victim of their raging passion's flame,
cruel stones they slew him, slew in wrath the hoary sage,
thus a lustrous record on a craftsman's brilliant page.
this the famous Builder, in his discourse, had in view
alone with his companion, tracing lives of manhood through,
life's uncertain tenor, of his labors here below,
oft must leave unfinished in the way that all must go
that supernal region when the craftsman's work is done
joys and glories greet him with his higher life begun,
noontide of felicity eternally shall shine
undissolving lodge above, Eternal Lodge Divine ?
servant of three monarchs, though an humble path he trod,
possessed a higher honor as commission from his God.
craftsman's faithful service, in his course by duty bound,
rectitude of conduct, an ideal may be found.
vain has lived the martyr, e'en though little known to fame
deeds have left impressions that outlast a lustrous name,
humble toiling millions who possess the craftsman's gift
with pride the record of integrity's uplift.
Chronicles, Chapter X.
WASHINGTON! What a name to conjure with! In what manifold ways
we perpetuate it! A State, cities, counties, towns, parks; obelisks and
statues; universities and colleges; Mount Vernon and Christ Church - and,
Masonically, Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 of Virginia. Albert Pike once
said that "it is the dead who govern, the living only obey." In what manner do
we obey our First Citizen? Let the great heart of America - the American
People-answer, and we shall find (confounding the pessimists) that
"Washington" is more than a name. Let the great heart of American Masonrv now
speak, and what shall be the answer?
On February 21 and 22 last occurred the ninth annual meeting of
the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association in Alexandria. It
stands pledged to cherish this great ideal in a memorial to Washington the
Mason. Thirty-eight Jurisdictions were represented, and more than ever before
gave it as their combined judgment that such a memorial represented a national
need. Determination was the watchword of the meeting, "Do it now" the slogan.
Plans authorized one year ago and since carefully thought out in detail were
approved, and are now about to be fulfilled.
The coming of Peace has thrilled American Masonry with a vision
of the new duties incumbent upon it. No effort will be spared to see that
every Mason in America shall behold that vision and appreciate it. To build
such a memorial, to assist in making it a living, throbbing, pulsating center
of the patriotic fervor of the Fraternity-that is the new purpose, and that
will be the fulfillment.
It is not for us here and now to present details, for the
message will be brought home to every lodge. Rather for us to catch the vision
of the part Masonry shall play in the positive and inspirational building of a
better American civic consciousness, and supply the objective toward which the
pilgrim feet of many of our Craft will one day wend their peaceful way.
Not in terms of dollars but of dignity must this memorial speak
to the coming generations. Exemplification of a great spirit it must be - the
spirit of the first Worshipful Master of that memorable little lodge. The many
treasures -intimate personal relics of the man revered - gathered together
during more than a century, will find there a suitable and perpetual resting
place. The spirit of the man who refused the throne of national power over the
Craft no less than he did the foundation of a dynasty will find eternal rest
and fellowship in the edifice constructed after these many years by his
Brethren. He loved our Fraternity, and the records there to be deposited will
prove the fact, though many may deny it. He loved his Brethren, and the rare
trinkets and belongings which in life he held dear and which his Brethren have
cherished so highly that they have left them as a perpetual heritage to the
lodge which has honored him, will grace its halls.
His voice once gave commands to thousands of Americans, when
that title had but just been born. It had called the Craft to labor when but a
handful were within the tyled sanctuary to respond. The day is at hand when
millions, newly baptized in an Americanism made doubly dear by new sacrifices,
shall stand in this new Temple and be blessed with the opportunity to listen
to that voice - hushed, yet revivified. The Craft, too, will resume labor. Not
in the ritualistic sense, as degree mills, but as a mighty force for the
stabilizing of those great principles which are the common heritage of our
Fraternity and our Republic.
Americanism, then, shall be the meaning of this new Temple. No
other meaning would be just. Symbol it must stand of the rebirth of a great
Fraternity. To have it otherwise would be a travesty. "A Center of Light" it
shall be, bearing in mind that the modern center of light, more than a
campfire or a lantern hung in the belfry of a church tower, is a dynamo. As
there radiates from Mt. Vernon a sweet-scented memory, kept green by the hands
of patriotic women, so let this new Temple be a radiating center of the value
of our Country, our traditions, our form of Government, our right to think,
our right to worship, our right to be upstanding men, our right to look God in
the face as a loving Father! Let it be our great, outstanding memorial that
the Hun did not win! A symbol of our thanksgiving that the spirit of
Washington still lives, in the hearts of his countrymen! Of joy that
Freemasonry, the cradle of freedom, may work its sweet ministry among men, an
apostle of Brotherhood!
Then will our memorial to Washington The Mason have become a
Living Memorial. G.L.S.
skies break on man's view,
greatens in his growing mind;
he dreams his God anew,
leaves his older God behind.
the boundless scheme dilate
and blossom, sky and clod;
his universe grows great,
for it a greater God."
we live, more brief appear
life's succeeding stages;
A day to
childhood seems a year,
like passing ages.
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion.
Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his
own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of
opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of
Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for
fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all
members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic
subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected
with lodges or study clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course of Masonic
Study." When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail before
publication in this department.
TEMPLAR AND SCOTTISH RITE NOT A PART OF ANCIENT CRAFT MASONRY
Why and when were the Knight Templar and Scottish Rite degrees
added to the original three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry? W.Y.D.,
Your question contains an assumption which is not admitted by
all Masonic students. You speak of the original three degrees of Ancient Craft
Masonry - it is held by many that originally there was but one degree ( see
Mackey's Encyclopedia, subject "Degrees," page 203, and also Brother Haywood's
article on "The Degrees Problem," in the April, 1918, issue of THE BUILDER).
The division into three degrees is supposed to have gradually developed
between 1717 and 1730, but no one seems to be able to fix the exact time. At
the union of the Ancients and Moderns in 1813 it was decreed that Ancient
Craft Masonry should consist of three degrees and no more, namely, Entered
Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, including the Royal Arch. This
supports the theory of those who contend that at one time Royal Arch Masonry
was a part of the Master's degree. Be that as it may, neither the Knights
Templar nor the Scottish Rite degrees are a part of Ancient Craft Masonry, and
therefore cannot be said to have been added to the three degrees thereof.
The Knights Templar is a Christian order which, by its own
laws, is conferred only on Royal Arch Masons. Its origin, like that of most
Masonic degrees, extends back to the remote past and is buried in obscurity.
It was at one time strongly contended that Masonry sprung from the Order of
the Temple instead of the reverse, but although it is true that neither the
Knights Templar nor the Scottish Rite degrees are a part of Ancient Craft
Masonry, it is undoubtedly true that they have long been connected, in the
minds of Masons as well as in the popular conception, with the Masonic system,
but when this connection first began it is impossible to say. The oldest
official document connecting the Knights Templar with the Masonic degrees is
found in the "History of the Grand Lodge of All England," issued by the York
Lodge, to the effect that the Knights Templar degree was worked there November
The Baldwin Encampment of Knights Templar is known to have
existed at Bristol as early as 1780, and like many Craft lodges, lays claim to
having existed from time immemorial. In 1791 a Grand Conclave was formed in
London, Thomas Dunckerley, the famous Mason, being its Grand Master. In 1811
the Grand Master of the Knights Templar of England was also Grand Master of
Ancient Craft Masonry.
When the requirement was first made that a candidate for the
Templar degrees should be a Royal Arch Mason, is not known. The Scottish Grand
Commandery made this requirement in 1856, but this was simply to bring them
into accord with the Order in other countries.
As for the Scottish Rite, this is an entirely different system.
It is the youngest of the Masonic Rites, since it was not established until
1801. Yet it is very popular, is most widely diffused throughout the world,
and in many countries is the only Masonry known. As stated above, it is not
Ancient Craft Masonry, but something very different, and its degrees cannot be
said to have bean added to the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry. The question
might as well be asked, "When were the degrees of the Knights of Pythias added
to those of the Odd Fellows ?"
It is true that the Scottish Rite is a branch of Freemasonry
and that it has the three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and
Master Mason, but these degrees in the Scottish Rite are very different from
the three degrees in Ancient Craft Masonry. The legends are different, and the
explanations of the symbols are different.
In countries where the Ancient Craft degrees are established,
the Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite do not exercise jurisdiction over
the first three degrees, but recognize the older authority of the York Rite
over these degrees. They accept a Master Mason of the York Rite as though he
had received the decrees in a Scottish Rite Body. C.C.H.
* * *
PRESIDENTS WHO WERE MASONS
I received my first number of THE BUILDER last week and from
what I have read I am more than pleased. I am only sorry that I did not take
advantage of membership in the Society on the first recommendation. Most
surely is THE BUILDER informative in Masonic subjects and Masonry itself.
Will you kindly answer the following questions ? Is Woodrow
Wilson a Mason? What Presidents, if any, were not Masons ?
I shall look forward with interest to the story of "Why Masonry
did not get to France for Welfare Work."
President Wilson is not a Mason.
In volume I of THE BUILDER, page 192, Brother Newton gives the
following list of Presidents who were Masons: Washington, Jackson, Polk,
Fillmore (who, however, recanted his Masonry during the Morgan excitement),
Buchanan, Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft.
Brother George W. Baird, P.G.M., District of Columbia, whose
"Memorials to Great Men Who Were Masons" have been running in THE BUILDER for
the past four years, gives the following: Washington, Madison, Monroe,
Jackson, Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Pierce, Buchanan, Johnson, Garfield, McKinley,
Roosevelt and Taft. He states that Grant was reported to have been a Fellow
Craft but has not been able to verify this claim.
In the February number of "Rob Morris Bulletin," edited by
Brother Henry F. Evans, Secretary of Rob Morris Lodge No. 92, Denver,
Colorado, we find the following list reprinted from the "New England
George Washington, raised in Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4,
Fredericksburg, Va., August 4, 1753.
Thomas Jefferson, made a Mason in colonial times, attended
Lodge of Nine Sisters, Paris, France, with Thomas Paine in French Revolution.
James Monroe, made in St. John's Regimental (Army) Lodge in
1777, then captain in Virginia troops, when suffering from a wound.
John Quincy Adams, raised in St. John's Lodge, Boston, in 1826.
Andrew Jackson was a member of Philanthropic Lodge, Clover
Bottom, Tenn., and served as Grand Master of that state 1822-23.
James A. Polk, raised in Columbia Lodge No. 31, Columbia,
Tenn., September 4, 1820.
James Buchanan, raised in Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pa., January
Andrew Johnson, raised in Greenville Lodge No. 110, Greenville,
Tenn.; dates unknown, but supposed to be between 1848 and 1852.
James A. Garfield, raised in Magnolia Lodge No. 20, Columbus,
Ohio, December 22, 1864. He also received the Capitular and Templar Degrees
and those of the Lodge of Perfection in the Scottish Rite.
William McKinley, raised in Hiram Lodge No. 21, Winchester,
Va., May 3, 1865; exalted in Canton Chapter No. 84, Canton, Ohio, 1883;
created a Knight Templar in Canton Commandery No. 38, Canton, Ohio, 1884.
Theodore Roosevelt, raised in Matinecock Lodge No. 806, Oyster
Bay, N. Y., January 2, 1901.
William Howard Taft, made a Mason at sight by M. W. Charles S.
Hoskinson, Grand Master of Ohio, at Cincinnati, February 18, 1909.
MAYO A MASON
In THE BUILDER for January, 1919, page 26, under "Question
Box," I read of a brother who does not think that Admiral Mayo of the U. S.
Navy, is a Mason. For the information of the brother, and the world, please
allow the writer to state, that Admiral Henry Thomas Mayo was born in
Burlington, Vermont, Dec. 8, 1866, son of Henry Mayo, now deceased. The
Admiral's brother, the late George C. Mayo, was Master of Burlington Lodge No.
100, A.F. and A.M., in 1886-86, and Admiral Mayo was made a Master Mason under
his brother's administration, Nov. 10, 1885, and also received the degrees in
the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, up to and including the
32nd degree in 1892, and is a member of all these bodies at this writing. I
find further, that his name is on the roster of Burlington Commandery No. 2,
Knights Templar, but can not give dates as I am not Secretary of that body.
This record should dispell all doubts as to Admiral Mayo's
J. Paige, 32d,
Secretary of Burlington Lodge No. 100, and the Scottish Rite
bodies of Burlington, Vt.
* * *
MODIFIED PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS LAW
(At the last Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Iowa
the Physical Qualifications law which, to quote P.G.M. Louis Block, "admitted
a man with a wooden head but barred the man with a wooden leg," was modified
to admit one "who is able, by the substitution of artificial parts or limbs
for portions of his natural person" to conform to all the ceremonies required
in the work and practice of Masonry. That the Grand Lodge made no mistake in
so modifying this law is evidenced by the following grateful letter from a
brother who was enabled thereby to realize a lifelong desire to become a
Dear Sir and Brother:
I am advised by my good friend, Mr. L. H. Morrill, of this
city, that you more than any single individual, were responsible for the
amendment of the Iowa Masonic Constitution as respects the admission of men
who have been unfortunate enough to suffer the loss of an arm or leg and have
artificial substitutes in place of the natural members.
I have never considered it my province to question the wisdom
of the Supreme Master of the Universe in inflicting the loss of a leg upon me
and have realized that there were at least historical reasons for barring a
person so afflicted from the Masonic fraternity.
It is rare indeed that we find individuals of so large a
calibre that they can look beyond their own fortunate circumstances to the
extent of actively interesting themselves in those less fortunate. The deep
feeling of gratitude that such activity as you have displayed plants in the
breasts of those whom it benefits is certainly difficult to convey.
Since early youth, probably due to the fact that most of my
male relatives were Masons, I had resolved to at least make an attempt to
become affiliated with that grandest of fraternities. Such resolution having
become strengthened with age, you can imagine my emotions when I discovered
that the accident I had gone through prevented me from even submitting my
petition to a Masonic lodge. Time, that great assuager, soon healed my
physical injuries, but the lapse of time failed to mitigate the grief
occasioned by the above discovery. Only those who have been placed in the same
situation can realize what effect the news that at last I was to be permitted
to file my petition with a Masonic lodge, on the same basis as any other
applicant, had upon me. Perhaps you, at some time, have desired something
about as strongly as you could wish to possess anything; something that seemed
beyond your reach and which, after giving up all hope of ever acquiring, you
suddenly found with your power to attain. If so, you know, to some degree,
what my feelings were when I received the news referred to above. The fact
that I have acquired the object of my attainment has certainly served to
heighten my feelings in the matter. I am now a Master Mason and shall surely
endeavor to be a just and upright one; one worthy of the strenuous efforts of
so just and good a man as that man who is referred to affectionately by his
numerous friends as "Louie Block."
I shall not attempt to express my gratitude to you through the
medium of a typewriter. I have submitted my petition to DeMolay Consistory No.
1, Clinton, Iowa, of which my father is a member, and if accepted will try to
take the work at the May session. I shall then consider it a great privilege
to visit Davenport and, if convenient for you, to thank you in person.
Rodman, Cherokee, Iowa.
* * *
ACTION RELATIVE TO LODGES OF SCOTTISH RITE ORIGIN, THE GRAND ORIENTS OF
BELGIUM AND ITALY, AND THE GRAND LODGE OF CHILI
In addition to extending fraternal recognition to the Grand
Lodge and the Grand Orient of France and the Swiss Grand Lodge "Alpina," as
announced in the March issue of THE BUILDER, the Grand Lodge of Alabama, at
their Annual Communication in December last also adopted the following reports
submitted by the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence, Brother
Oliver Day Street.
LODGES OF THE SCOTTISH RITE OF COUNTRIES WHERE NO REGULAR SOVEREIGN GRAND
Several communications received by your Committee on Foreign
Correspondence have presented the question as to what shall be the attitude
and relation of our Grand Lodge and Masons of our obedience toward those who
are members of the various Scottish Rite bodies in other countries. There has
been or will be introduced at this Communication a resolution requiring this
committee to investigate the claims to regularity of the Masonic bodies of all
countries allied with us, or neutral in this war. In several of these
countries, at least, the only symbolic Masonry existing is of Scottish Rite
derivation. It is, therefore, necessary that your committee should have some
general rules to guide it in dealing with such Masonry.
If the mere fact of derivation from the Scottish Rite must in
all instances lead to the refusal of recognition, then to be consistent we
must not only decline Masonic intercourse with many of the leading Masonic
powers of the world, but must withdraw recognition from some with which we are
already in fraternal relations. We must abandon this rule unless we are
content to remain isolated from a vast section of the Craft Universal, whose
principles, practices and ideals are identical with our own. At a time when
the American people and American Masons are coming into more frequent contact
and more intimate relations than ever before with those of other countries, we
do not believe that this is a wise, fraternal or desirable attitude to assume.
While all the other institutions of the world are drawing closer together,
shall only Masons and Masonic bodies continue to hold aloof from each other?
The Scottish Rite is too well established and its Masonic
character too well known to warrant any further effort on the part of the
so-called York Rite or Ancient Craft Masonry to ignore it. We know from
exoteric evidences and, if we would, might know from esoteric evidences also
that the symbolic lodges of the Scottish Rite teach and practice genuine
Freemasonry. Their ceremonies, it is true, differ in some particulars from our
own, but no more so than do those of certain grand bodies of the so-called
Ancient Craft. Their fundamental teachings are the same.
In the United States and a few other countries this question
has been happily solved by the surrender of the Scottish Rite of all control
over the first three degrees. There are in such cases no Scottish Rite
symbolic lodges to be dealt with, and for obvious reasons it is not possible
or even necessary for grand lodges to attempt to judge of the Masonic
character of the higher bodies of the Scottish Rite.
There is, however, a group of countries in which there are no
regular grand lodges of symbolic Masonry, or where, if such exist, they are
under the control of the Scottish Rite Supreme Councils. Of course such grand
lodges can not be recognized as independent, sovereign Masonic bodies, but
this is no reason why in a proper case the symbolic lodges holding under them
or even such grand lodges themselves may not be recognized as Masonic bodies
simply and members of our lodges authorized to hold Masonic intercourse with
them and their members authorized to visit our lodges. In other words,
independence or sovereignty is not indispensable to the existence of a genuine
Masonic body, and, therefore, logically should not be indispensable to its
recognition as a Masonic body. Such action would offer no obstacle to the
recognition of a sovereign grand lodge when one should be formed.
A third group embraces countries wherein, alongside each other,
exist symbolic lodges holding under a Scottish Rite Supreme Council; and
symbolic lodges holding under an independent sovereign grand lodge of Ancient
Craft Masonry. This group presents more perplexing problems than either of the
other groups. Our view is that in such cases we should not recognize the
Scottish Rite symbolic lodges of any country as Masonic, unless they are so
recognized by the regular grand lodge of Ancient Craft Masonry existing in
that particular country.
We are aware that these views are something of a departure from
those which have generally prevailed that nothing is to be recognized as
genuine Masonry which has its origin from a Scottish Rite body. No uniform
rule exists, however, some grand lodges recognizing Symbolic Masonry of
Scottish Rite origin, and others refusing. Some grand lodges apply neither
rule consistently, in one case recognizing such Masonry, and in another
assigning such origin as ground for its refusal.
Your committee has given careful consideration to this subject
and we recommend the adoption of the following resolutions:
Resolved: 1. That members of the lodges holding under the Grand
Lodge of Alabama may hold mutual Masonic intercourse and communication with
the members of the symbolic lodges holding under a Scottish Rite body hailing
from any country where there is no independent, sovereign grand lodge of
Ancient Craft Masonry, or where the regular grand lodge of Ancient Craft
Masonry in such country recognizes such Scottish Rite symbolic lodges as
regular genuine Masonry. Our members may visit such lodges and their members
may visit ours.
2. That recognition of a Scottish Rite body by the Supreme
Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States shall be presumptive
but not conclusive evidence that the symbolic lodges holding under it are
regular and practice genuine Freemasonry, but the final decision as to such
regularity and practice shall in all instances rest with this Grand Lodge.
* * *
ORIENTS OF BELGIUM AND ITALY
Your Committee on Foreign Correspondence hereby respectfully
recommends that the special report and resolutions submitted by this committee
at the last Annual Communication and adopted by this Grand Lodge, found on
pages 85 and 86 of its printed proceedings, authorizing mutual visitation and
Masonic intercourse between lodges and Masons of this jurisdiction on the one
hand and those of the Grand Orient and Grand Lodge of France on the other, be
and the same are hereby extended to include the Grand Orient of Belgium and
the Grand Orient of Italy.
* * *
LODGE OF CHILI
Your Committee on Foreign Correspondence has had referred to it
a request from the Grand Lodge of Chili for recognition and exchange of
This Grand Lodge has been in existence for more than half a
century. It is sovereign and independent, exercising control over the first
three degrees only. According to the most reliable information we can secure
the lodges forming it derived from Scotland and Argentina and it was
constituted in strict conformity to the rules of Freemasonry and has never
deviated from the "ancient landmarks." It requires a belief in Deity and
displays the Bible in its lodges. While its ritual of the three degrees is
that used by the Scottish Rite, we have it on the authority of a distinguished
Mason of the United States, who has been a member and Senior Warden of a
Chilian lodge, that this ritual differs from that common in the United States
to no greater degree than do the rituals of our several states differ from
Chili has long been in a settled condition politically and is
now one of the most floufishing and progressive countries in the world.
We therefore recommend the adoption of the following
Resolved, That full recognition is hereby extended to the Grand
Lodge of Chili (Louis A. Navarrette y Lopez, G. M.) as a regular Masonic body
and the Grand Master is requested to arrange an exchange of representatives.
* * *
KNIGHT VS. BROTHER KNIGHT
Iconoclasts and iconoclasm may sometimes serve a very useful
purpose, but the destruction of the title "Sir Knight" in the Order of Knights
Templar, I do not believe has been very satisfactory to the great majority of
the members of that valiant and magnanimous Order. It is doubtless true that
the Grand Encampment at Los Angeles frittered away much important and valuable
time in the discussion of what was euphoniously called nomenclature. I had
much rather that many of the questions involved had never been raised.
I dislike to be deprived of addressing the Commander with the
courteous title of Eminent Commander, or the Grand Commander as Right Eminent
when I arise to address these officials. To rise and simply say Grand Master
or Grand Commander seems to be lacking in that uniform courtesy of the
Templars in the use of honorary titles.
However, the elimination of the title "Sir Knight” and the
substitution of "Brother Knight" to my mind does great violence to the eternal
fitness of things and to all precedents in the Grand Encampment. I was under
the impression that this matter was postponed until the Conclave to be held in
Philadelphia next September. I know that on the last day of the
Angeles the Committee on Ritual undertook to make this very change and were
defeated overwhelmingly on a rising vote, and the Committee then asked to
withdraw this part of their report, so that nothing was done towards changing
the title "Sir Knight" in the Ritual.
At the first Conclave of the Grand Commandery of Louisiana held
after the Triennial, a protest against the destruction of the title "Sir
Knight" was unanimously adopted. An examination of the proceedings of the
Grand Encampment for over half a century or longer will show the uniform use
of the title "Sir Knight." In 1880 the Grand Encampment itself adopted the
report of the Committee on Templar Jurisprudence stating that "Sir Knight" was
the correct language to use.
This title distinguishes our order as one of chivalry and
recognizes us as descendants from those valiant and magnanimous Knights whose
names have shed lustre and glory on the pages of history and "spread our fame
both far and wide."
It distinguishes us from the Knights of Pythias, Knights of
Columbus, Knights of Honor, and many other similar orders who use the title
Brother Knight instead of Sir Knight. It is that distinction I wish to see
perpetuated and continued in the future as it has been in the past. With this
idea in view I have filed with the Grand Recorder the following preamble and
resolution for the consideration of the Grand Encampment at Philadelphia:
"Whereas, there has been some confusion or misunderstanding in
regard to certain portions of the nomenclature report and the action thereon
at the 33rd Triennial Conclave held at Los Angeles, California, in June, 1916,
"Be it resolved by the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the
United States of America in the 34th Triennial Conclave, that in addressing an
individual member of this order or a collective body thereof, it shall be
lawful and according to correct chivalric nomenclature and courtesy to use the
term "Sir Knight" or "Sir Knights" and not the term "Knight" or "Brother
Knight" or any other similar term.
"Be it further resolved that any and all amendments to the
Statutes or regulations in contravention hereof be and the same are hereby
I sincerely trust that each and every member of the Grand
Encampment will look with favor upon this resolution, and that the term
"Brother Knight" may not become finally established in our Ritual and
Statutes, and the beautiful ideals for which the title "Sir Knight" stands
effectually destroyed. We will next be advised that we must not use the word "Frater"
in addressing a member of our order, but must say "Brother" and that we cannot
close our letters "Courteously and fraternally" but must confine ourselves to
the words "Fraternally, &c." We do not believe these changes for the best. I
am hoping the Sir Knights will help me cling to the cherished ideals and
established precedents of our beloved Order.
Thomas, Past Grand Commander, Louisiana.
* * *
FOR THE MASONIC ORPHANS OF EUROPE
(Just as we are closing the forms for this issue come the
following letter and appeal from the Masonic War Relief Association of the
United States. As THE BUILDER does not accept advertising we cannot accept the
advertisement, as such, but gladly print the correspondence and the appeal for
funds. - Editor.)
Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 21,1919.
We are making a special appeal to individual Masons, through
the medium of the Masonic press, to send us a dollar, or more, to be used for
the relief and support of the orphans of Masons who are in charge of the
Masonic fraternities in various orphanages in Paris, France; Brussels,
Belgium; Rome, Italy; Belgrade, Serbia; and in London, England.
A part of the funds contributed will be sent to Masonic war
hospitals that have been in successful operation in France and Italy, and
especially so in England.
Would you be willing to give us half a page, or a page
advertisement in your periodical for your next issue, using the advertisement
which we send herewith, and setting it up in new form, in as large a space as
you are willing to donate as your offering to the cause? If you are not
willing to make this as a donation, what would you charge us for a half page
space, and what would you charge for a three inch column of space placed next
to reading matter ?
If you will donate space, please insert it in your next issue,
and advise us to that effect.
In our Association, no officer or worker receives a cent of
pay, as our services are given to the work, as a Masonic charity.
Thanking you in advance for all courtesies shown us, either in
the way of free space, or special reduction in your charges, we remain,
Masonic War Relief Association.
We appeal to each Mason in America to make a dollar gift to the
fund being raised for the support of the orphans of Masons in Belgium, France,
Italy, Serbia and other allied countries devastated by war.
In February over 4,000 brethren of Cincinnati and vicinity
responded to our appeal for help. Three thousand dollars was sent to the
Masonic Orphanage at Paris, France; five thousand dollars was sent to
orphanages in Italy and Belgium.
We need FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS for IMMEDIATE pressing
necessities. We ask each Mason who has not answer our appeal to do so at once.
DO IT NOW. THE MONEY WILL BE FORWARDED BY THE MASONIC WAR RELIEF ASSOCIATION,
Send a Dollar to
B. Melish, Chairman
(Past Grand Master)
(Deputy Grand Commander K. T.)
(Past Grand High Priest)
612 West Sixth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio.
* * *
INDEPENDENT AND NATIONAL GRAND LODGE OF FRANCE AND THE FRENCH COLONIES
In the Report of the Committee of the Grand Lodge of
California, in reference to the recognition of the Grand Orient, an the Grand
Lodge of France, as published in THE BUILDER, the following statement is made
in reference to the Independent and National Grand Lodge of France and the
"The Jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge extends over three or
four lodges with a membership of less than 200 Masons and that this body is a
I wish to correct this statement. The Independent and National
Grand Lodge of France and the French Colonies is the only Grand Lodge in
France that requires a belief in Deity of it, members or candidates, and is
the only Grand Lodge that has the Bible displayed on its Altars. It has under
its Jurisdiction nine lodges with a membership of about 800. The lodges are
located as follows: Four in Paris, two at Bordeaux, one at le Havre, one at
Rouen, and one at Boulogne. The one at Boulogne is dormant owing to the
exigencies of the war. The membership in these lodges varies from 15 to 260
music in the sighing of a reed;
music in the gushing of a rill;
music in all things, if men had ears;
earth is but an echo of the spheres.