The Builder Magazine
December 1924 - Volume X - Number
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FRONTISPIECE - OUR MASONIC PRESIDENTS
REAL MENACE - By Bro. S. Parkes Cadman, D. D., New York
THREE DEGREES - By Bro. David S. Lofthouse, Canada
EARLY OHIO MASONIC RECORD - By Bro. James J. Tyler, M. D., Ohio
IS LIGHT - By Bro. H. L. Haywood, Editor
AMERICAN CRAFT AND THE GREAT PLAGUE - By Bro. Robert J. Newton, Texas
NOTE CONCERNING ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND FREEMASONRY
ECLIPSE OF THE HEAVENLY BRIGHTNESS - By Bro. Donald Hughes, California
MORMONISM AND MASONRY - ANTI-MASONRY IN THE BOOK OF MORMON - Concluded - By
Bro. S. H. Goodwin, Grand Secretary, Utah
DANIEL COXE AND THE "HENRY BELL LETTER" - By Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M.,
MEN WHO WERE MASONS - RUFUS PUTNAM - By Bro. Geo. W. Baird, P. G. M., District
STUDY CLUB - Studies of Masonry in the United States - Part IV, Benjamin
Franklin's Masonic Career. - By Bro. H. L. Haywood
FREEMASONRY IN AUSTRIA - By Bro. Dr. Wladimir Misar, Grand Secretary, Vienna
"Problem of the Side Order"
Great Symbolist Writes of Symbolism
Bacon, Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry
Catalog of Masonic Books: Bound Volume for 1924: Annual Index
Little Masonic Library”
Roman Catholic Priests Write About Freemasonry
"Foibles and Fallacies of Science"
QUESTION BOX AND CORRESPONDENCE
Scottish Rite Ring in Northern Jurisdiction
Masonic Membership in the United States
Greatest Opportunity for Charity
"Hidden Mysteries of Nature and Science," etc
"Working Tools" of Operative Masons (Cut)
Freemasonry and the Sick
Builder Index for 1924
Bro. S. PARKES CADMAN, D. D., New York
Cadman contributed to THE BUILDER for May last an essay so forceful that after
these many months special copies of it are still being requested. In the
present article Dr. Cadman returns to his attack on sin and unreason and
reiterates his appeal to Masons to stand guard over our precious moral
heritage. He is making similar appeals to Masons from the platform every
little while; Ye Editor has been urging it upon him to collect these addresses
into a volume that they may have the permanence and wide hearing they deserve.
Will not Dr. Cadman's admirers in the Brotherhood back Ye Editor in this
effort to persuade so busy a man to add yet one more obligation to his many
duties? A review of his latest book was published in the Library Department,
September of this year, page 285.
was when the secret societies of Continental Europe were organizations that
wove plots about the feet of tyrannical rulers who sniped treason everywhere.
Although the majority of such rulers have vanished, and those who remain are
shorn of their power, the traditional enmity between them and secret societies
persists, and differentiates English speaking Masonry from that of the
European Continent. The Royal House of Windsor has been identified with our
Order for nearly two centuries. It is an accepted procedure for one or more of
the princes of that house to enroll as a Mason. King Edward VII, before he
came to the throne, was the Grand Master of the Order in Britain. The Duke of
Connaught now holds that office, if my memory serves me correctly, and the
Prince of Wales belongs to the Fraternity as a matter of course. The leading
citizens of every shire in Great Britain follow the example of these princes
who, although limited in politics by a strictly interpreted constitutionalism,
have great influence in the social life, not only of Great Britain but of the
recent history of Secret Societies and Subversive Movements Mrs. Nesta H.
Webster infers that while conspiracies and plottings against the established
government in church and state are congenial to the secret societies among
continental peoples, those societies are nothing more than fraternal and loyal
organizations so far as we and our English speaking brothers are concerned.
Indeed, this talented authoress goes so far as to assert that our type of
Freemasonry and the Roman Catholic Church are the two chief bulwarks of faith
and morals against assaults from the secret and open forces of disruption.
This theory will not commend itself to many of my readers, any more than to
many Christians of the Roman Catholic persuasion. Yet there is something to be
said in its favor since both Masons any many Roman Catholics, along with the
bulk of Protestants generally, are conservative in their attitude on ethical
and religious issues. None who maintain a firm belief in God as the Father of
all men, and in the Bible as the Great Light of Masonry and of mankind can be
anything else but conservative in view of the present welter of opinions
publicly paraded and detrimental to the whole structure of our culture as a
attack is made upon marriage in particular, and the accepted codes of sex
morality in general, by those who have a common and utterly foreign point of
view. The leaders of this invasion come in the main from Eastern and Central
Europe, but they have recognized allies in English speaking lands, who
ridicule faith in another and a Higher Power - self existent, independent,
absolute, from whom all true religion and virtue alike proceed. They are
materialists to a man and not a few literary women are included in their
ranks. Samuel Merwin, the well-known American novelist, declares that these
propagandists are "Freudian in morals, futurists in painting, cacophonously
suggestive in music, perverse in literature, Bolshevists in politics." One
does not have to admit all the articles of this sweeping indictment, but it
gives Masons food for serious reflection. So long as many earnest brethren
among us are liable to misdirect their reformative energies the real
antagonists of social wellbeing are likely to elude them. It can be said of
some of these brethren that,
"Twice they vanquish all their foes
twice they slay the slain."
putting up men of straw for the sheer pleasure of knocking them down again may
fascinate Masonic brethren of a certain kind, the foes they should defeat
occupy strategic positions in journalism, and in the republic of letters, from
which they disseminate a considerable quantity of filth.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS CAUSE ALARM
not an alarmist nor have I lost my trust in the healthy mindedness of the
average American, but recent abominations upon the part of young criminals are
but the sinister indications of a widespread mischief wrought by non-moral
writers and publicists who take advantage of our freedom to sap its
foundations. Croce, the best philosopher of the Latin people, is alive to this
evil. He defends monogamous marriage, not only as the responsible and
disciplinary act which insures the continuance of parenthood, but as the
legitimate and necessary fulfilment of one of the noblest functions of human
beings. It is superfluous for me to undertake its defense in these columns,
which are dedicated to its sanctity and to that of the family. Our Order has
enacted excellent regulations bearing upon a Mason's conduct in all questions
relating to domestic security and peace.
the shameless exhibitions I have mentioned, the demoralizations of a debauched
drama, the tolerated paganism of clever paragraphists of the press, the
scandalous escapades of those wretched creatures, rich or not rich, who occupy
the front pages of the press and supply its daily sensation, require far more
drastic treatment than Masonry as a working system has yet introduced. It is
high time for those who still believe in the Theism of Israel, in the
Christianity of Christ, in the obligations of morals, and in the fundamentals
of our individual and national life, to awaken out of their fatuous slumber.
Their enemies are in the field and there is nothing secret about their
operations. They produce and defend conscienceless assassins. Their outer
fringe of sentimentalists who oppose the penalties attached to capital crimes
unwittingly aid and abet them.
can Masons do practically to resist this contagion? They can be active in
detecting its symptoms in cults, groups, lecturers, pressmen, columnists, and
"high brows" who ridicule the plain morals we profess. Once these symptoms are
manifested, it is the foresworn duty of every Mason to cut them out of his
life and that of his family; and reject the papers, magazines and books that
print this erotic rubbish. . Disregard those subtle pleas about eugenics and
psychoanalysis and the brilliant imagination and enthralling style which are
nothing more nor less than briefs for personal uncleanness and social
hear or read in the prevalent clamor of talk that men and women have the right
to express themselves in any way that instinct and impulse may urge. It is
said that to repress these instincts and impulses is contrary to life's best
estate. The hogs of the stye, had they reason and speech, would echo such
pleas and arguments. But the men and women whom we have known in our homes and
churches, in our cities and towns, and upon the farmsteads of the country
sides are not prepared to surrender the America they have inherited from
God-fearing ancestors to Orientalized barbarians. They abhor the turpitude and
lust, half concealed and half revealed by advocates whose backgrounds lie in
moral anarchy. They feel that the decency we associate with our wives and
mothers must be passed on to our sons and daughters undefiled by this river of
English speaking Masons who were wise enough years ago to reject affiliation
with Continental lodges that were and are largely atheistical and political
have been abundantly justified. Some of the sickening results of that
mongrelized system, which is neither truly Masonic nor religious, have been
transplanted to our shores. Brotherly love, truth, relief of suffering,
defense of the real values of life still make us strong in the Deity who
ordained them to resist the onslaught now being made, and if nation-wide
Masonry undertakes the effective rebuke of its dirty crusades it will earn the
renewed gratitude of our citizenship and insure its own causes.
BRO. DAVID S. LOFTHOUSE, Canada
by a word, the Architect divine,
Called into being this vast universe,
also formed, with wonderful design
in His likeness, upright and averse
doing aught his destiny to mar.
darkness came and man till time shall end
struggle upward, waging endless war
Against the foes that constantly attend.
his uncertain chequered life began,
choice was his to make that life sublime,
as a builder, 'tis his lot to plan
raise a building till the end of time.
edifice, if well-constructed, stands
great and grand memorial of hours
spent, a monument built up by hands
Strained to the very utmost of their powers.
life is not stagnation; how debased
limpet's mean existence, such a fate
him who, by the Great Designer, placed
forge toward highest heaven were to rate
of a servile nature not his own.
actions, high ideals, firm resolves,
these man's truest character is shown
prove he, from the hand of God, evolves.
finer, rarer qualities of soul and mind
Demand insistently that they be not denied
which is theirs by right, and so they seek to find
noble thought, some splendid imagery, wide
the widest sea; or as the loftiest hill
Majestical, clear as a limpid, crystal stream:
a summer night, silent profound and still
the fleeting fancies of a wondrous dream.
from the Halls of Science comes a stirring cry,
Nature, with a face now frowning, now all smiles,
Invites to contemplation of the earth and sky;
this so complex life, its arts and earning wiles,
riddle, vast, inscrutable, unfathomed still
Despite the learning and the wisdom of the years,
Despite philosophy, research or thought, or skill,
Incomprehensible, stupendous as the spheres.
thus, forever, through the corridors of time
mysteries of Nature and of Science, hid
all but noble minds attuned to the sublime,
their imperious demand, and heard amid
Clam’rous, intruding tongues, compel attentive thought
contemplative study; yielding rich requite
those who, knowing wisdom to be hardly bought
fail not in pursuit of all pervading light.
Darkness, the Grave and Death; three dreaded foes
Confront and threaten mortals from their birth,
Invading palaces and halls of mirth,
Respecting not the humblest cot; for those
lost within a labyrinth of woes,
Oppressed by visible obscurity,
seek to penetrate futurity,
radiant luminary shines and glows:
Its-rising gives unto the faithful peace,
ardent rays dispel the deepest gloom;
burdened heart finds comfort and release
haunting visions of impending doom:
Threats which the King of Terrors hurls, now cease,
shining star illuminates the tomb.
Early Ohio Masonic Record
Bro JAMES J. TYLER, M. D., Ohio
interesting discovery has been made by , W. H. Cathcart, secretary of the
Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio, in the form of a printed
copy of the proceedings of the Grand Convention of Free and Accepted Masons at
which time the Grand Lodge of Ohio had its origin. Added interest is taken in
the little pamphlet of seven printed pages because on the title page appears
the signature of George Tod, representative from Erie Lodge, No. 47 (now Old
Erie, No. 3, Warren, Ohio), secretary of the convention and the first Right
Worshipful Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.
discovery was made by Mr. Cathcart upon opening the drawer in a desk and going
over some old papers, no one evidently having been acquainted with its
existence, although the Western Reserve Historical Society possesses all the
papers which belonged to George Tod.
pamphlet is in a remarkable state of preservation, the paper being but
slightly discolored by age. The title page reads as follows:
Published for the Society
Printed at Brothers Parcells & Barnes
5808 – A. D. 1808
opening paragraph recites that "at a meeting of delegates from all the Lodges
in this State, at Chillicothe, on the first Monday of January, in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight, and in the year of Light five
thousand eight hundred and eight, were present, to-wit:
Brothers Robert Oliver, R. A.
Ichabod Nye, R. A
William Skinner, R.A.
Union Lodge No 1 (Marietta)
Thomas Henderson, M. M.
Francis Mennessier, M. M.
Cincinnati Lodge No. 13.
Thomas Gibson, R. A.
Langham, R A.
Sciota Lodge No. 2. (Chillicothe)
Kilbourn, From New England Lodge No. 48. (Worthington)
George Tod, P.M.
W. Seely, P.M.
Erie Lodge No. 47. (Warren)
Van Horn. P.M.
Cass, R. A.
Amity Lodge, No. 105. (Zanesville)
list of twelve delegates is remarkable because of the fact that Lewis Cass,
future Governor of Michigan, is mentioned. He later became Secretary of War in
the administration of President Jackson. George Tod was the father of one of
the “war Governors” of Ohio, David Tod. The first Grand Master chosen by these
delegates was General Rufus Putnam, cousin of the noted Revolutionary war
veteran, General Israel Putnam. In 1778, General Rufus Putnam founded the
first organized, lawful English settlement at Marietta, Ohio.
proceedings narrate that Robert Oliver was called to the chair and that George
Tod was appointed secretary. The credentials of the delegates were examined
and after some discussion those of New England Lodge, No. 48, were ruled out.
convention deliberated through four consecutive days, and its labors resulted
in the unanimous adoption of the following resolution proposed by Bro. Lewis
Cass and seconded by Bro. John W. Seely.
"RESOLVED, That it is expedient to form a Grand Lodge in the State of Ohio."
next drafted and adopted a few simple rules in the form of resolutions for the
formation of a Grand Lodge, among which was one appointing as the time the
first Monday in January, 1809, and Chillicothe as the place, for holding the
first Grand Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.
convention then proceeded to elect, by ballot, the following officers of the
Grand Lodge, viz.:
Putnam, Rt. W. Grand Master.
Thomas Henderson, Rt. W. Deputy Grand Master.
George Tod, Rt. W. Senior Grand Warden.
Van Horn, Rt. W. Junior Grand Warden.
Massie, Grand Treasurer.
Putnam, Grand Secretary.
Philemon Beecher, Grand Senior Deacon.
Belt, Grand Junior Deacon.
Charles Augustus Steuart, Grand Marshal.
Spurck, Grand Tyler.
Grand Lodge met the following year at the time and place designated. The Most
Worshipful Grand Master not attending, the Deputy Grand Master presided.
following letter from Worshipful Bro. Rufus Putnam was read:
the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted
Masons, for the State of Ohio your Brother sendeth Greeting:
was with high sensibility and gratitude I received the information that the
Grand Convention of Masons, convened at Chillicothe, in January last, elected
me to the office of Grand Master of your most ancient and honorable society;
but, however sensibly I feel the high honor done my by the Convention, and am
disposed to promote the interest of the craft in general, and in this State in
particular, I must decline the appointment. My sun is far past the meridian;
it is almost set; a few sands only remain in my glass; I am unable to undergo
the necessary labors of that high and important office, unable to make you a
visit at this time. without a sacrifice and hazard of health which prudence
the Great Architect, under whose all-seeing eye all Masons profess to labor,
have you in His holy keeping, that when our labors here are finished, we may,
through the merits of Him that was dead, but now is alive, and lives
forevermore, be admitted into that temple not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens - Amen. So prays your friend and brother,
“Marietta, Dec. 26th, 1808.”
this Grand Communication one of the delegates from Erie Lodge, No. 47, Samuel
Huntington, was elected as the second Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.
He was a learned lawyer, the nephew, namesake and protege of that Governor of
Connecticut who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and who
himself became the second Governor of Ohio.
by the Author - The Robert Oliver delegate from Union Lodge, No. 1, is the R.
Oliver, Master of American Union Lodge No. 1, mentioned in Bro. M. M.
Johnson's article "Concerning the Story of Freemasonry in New Jersey," page
109, THE BUILDER, April, 1924. On page 110 of the same article a record is
quoted from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to the effect that delegates from
American Union Lodge were prevented from attending in 1808, but this old
record shows that delegates were present at the Convention of that year. The
records of the Grand Lodge of Ohio show that they were not present the
following year on Jan. 2, 1809, on the day set for holding the first Grand
"About the time it would have been necessary for them to commence their
journey, an alarming and unprecedented inundation had laid that town under
water, and the distress and confusion inseparable from such a situation,
probably prevented the attendance of their delegation."
Bro. H. L. HAYWOOD, Editor
man who is abroad at night-fall sees a profound change come over the world.
The distance grows purple; orange and red settle about the nearer hills; a
mist creeps up the valleys, and earth and sky grow strangely beautiful. After
a little, red, orange and purple change to a deep gray; the horizon grows
black; nearer things begin to fade away, until at last nothing at all remains
visible. A darkness almost solid envelops everything, even the mind, so that
the mountain which a little while ago filled up half the sky is now as if it
were not; there is no distance: there is nothing left but a sensation of
blackness. The man gropes slowly along; he stumbles against boulder and ruts;
he cannot find his path; he grows confused and afraid; the home toward which
he was making his way is now lost in some unknown direction. He is compelled
to lie on the ground lest he inadvertently walk over some bank and fall to the
rocks below. °
interminable hours, day breaks again. Light comes. Once again he can see
things as they are. The sky is no longer a blackness but a great blue depth in
which gray clouds float by. Each common thing becomes itself again; the tree
is a tree, the rock is a rock, the mountain stands where it did before. The
traveler now walks swiftly along, without fear of losing his way, because he
sees here and there beyond him the familiar landmarks by which he guides
himself to his home. Such is light. It enables one to see things as they
really are; it helps one to find the path home; it restores to a man his own
is light. What the sun does for a world lost in night, God does for the human
mind. In the mere thought of Him the darkness lifts; we see things as they
are, and not as in a mirage; we find the path that "leads us thither where we
wish to go"; we walk and live in certainty, in confidence, and therefore in
peace. The man who walks through a world which he believes to be a blind, dead
thing, composed of unliving forces and indifferent energies, where the human
soul itself is the strange result of a chain of chances, where his very being
rests in the keeping of forces to which it means no more than a fly on the
highway, that man must necessarily live in uneasiness and fear, ever afraid
lest the blow fall and he cease to exist, ever doubting his own senses, ever
looking forward from catastrophe to catastrophe. To such a one God comes as a
great light. All things fall into normal proportions; the ground grows solid
beneath his feet; he treads the path before him with confidence.
in Himself is light. He understands everything there is. Unlike us, He is such
by His nature that He does not need to feel His way about, blindly putting out
one hand before the other, puzzled and alarmed; but He is perfectly at home
with the universe. Under every conceivable circumstance, He knows immediately
what to do, and is able to do it. There is no great sphinx to Him, no
appalling enigma; all is broad daylight, and He knows each and everything as
it really is. The meaning of this world, the outcome of the human race, the
purpose of suffering, the mission of death, the future of us all, these things
bear down upon our minds like a great weight, but to Him they are all as plain
as the ground beneath one's feet at noon time. Some men live like passengers
who have no confidence in the captain's ability to handle a ship; their fears
rob every moment of its joy. They should learn that there is no possibility of
God's failure. To Him the good ship Earth, every atom of it, every passenger
upon it, and every inch of the Great Deep over which that "divine ship" sails,
is as clearly known as if it were all transparent glass. For to Him there are
no puzzles, no mysteries, no fears, no dreaded outcomes, but everywhere the
clarity, the certainty, the calmness of daylight, because He is Himself light.
I am most harassed and driven, I like best to think of God. It heals the hurts
of my mind to feel that the One who knows the most about all things is the One
who does not fear or worry. It makes me believe that if I lived in such light
I also would have no fears either, but would endure a little while, knowing
that sooner or later all things will make for our peace. When I once found
myself very close to death, it gave me great ease of heart to know that my own
being was in the keeping, not of an aggregation of helpless and blind
energies, but of One who was as easily able to care for me, to carry me
through the Great Experience, as I had been, in the days of health to carry my
own babe across the room.
American Craft and the Great Plague
Bro. ROBERT J. NEWTON, Texas
deluge of letters can be accepted as a fair indication the challenge issued by
Bro. Newton in his "J'Accuse!" in the October issue, followed by Bro.
Skinkle's plea and Bro. Potterton's statement of the large ideals of Masonic
relief in the November number, has come home to the heart of the American
Craft. In the statement given below Bro. Newton presents with telling emphasis
facts and figures about our Tuberculosis problem, prepared, so he writes
privately, for the brethren "from Missouri" who desire to "be shown" about
this tragical situation. Grand Master Frank Knox, of Idaho, has already
expressed his deep and active interest in the great project, may many others
follow! The American Craft has no other such opportunity for service.
Communications from Masonic bodies and individuals will be forwarded to Bro.
Newton; the limitations of space make it impossible to publish many of them in
THE BUILDER. If you have an idea, a suggestion, or a criticism send it in; it
will help, whether published or not.
the Editor's appeal entitled "A Sign and a Summons," in the October BUILDER,
discussing the Masonic tuberculosis problem, he said, "Brother Mason, will you
not acquaint yourself with the facts ? Will you not help to make these facts
the brethren are responding. They are interested in the appeal made for Masons
suffering from consumption. Many of them, with the well-known and much
advertised Missouri spirit ask to be "shown". What are the facts ? Upon what
do we base our appeal for help? I submit the following for their information:
November, 1921, I addressed a letter to the National Tuberculosis Association
and asked them to make an estimate of the number of deaths and number of
living cases of tuberculosis among 2,500,000 Freemasons. Following is a copy
of this estimate given me under date of Nov. 23, 1921:
"MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY STATISTICS AMONG MASONS - 1921
Estimate by the National Tuberculosis Association
the registration area for the period 1910 to 1915 (the only period for which
such information is available) the tuberculosis death rate for males over 20
was 228.1. The tuberculosis death rate for both sexes, all ages, during the
same period was 150.2. Therefore, the death rate for an exposure of males over
20 years was 1.5 times that of the death rate for the exposure of the
population in general. The tuberculosis death rate (all forms) in the
registration area for 1919 was 125.6. The death rate for males over 20 in 1919
would approximate 188.4. The number of deaths in 2,500,000 males over 20 would
approximate 4,710. I think one could safely say that 4,700 Masons died
annually of tuberculosis.
Framingham Demonstration showed a probability of nine active cases to every
death. This means that if 4,700 Masons died of tuberculosis, there are 42,300
active cases needing treatment. There are two additional ways of reckoning the
morbidity rates for tuberculosis. The first applies to the general population.
One per cent of the general population has tuberculosis in an active form, and
an additional 1 per cent has tuberculosis in an arrested form. The second
method of reckoning morbidity rates for tuberculosis is taken from the
statistics of examinations by the draft boards. Two point four (2.4) per cent
of the men physically examined were rejected for tuberculosis, all forms. The
first degree, 1 per cent, is too low for an exposure of males over 20. The
second, 2.4 per cent is too high, for it included men at the most susceptible
ages. The morbidity rate for Masons would probably be between these two, about
1.6 per cent. This rate gives 40,000 cases, which tallies fairly well with the
estimate of 42,300 active cases as figured by taking 9 times the number of
deaths. (Signed) Philip P. Jacobs, Publicity Director."
brethren are asked to take note of the fact that this estimate is based upon
the Census Bureau reports for the years 1910 to 1915, the only years for which
such information was available in November, 19212.
please note that this estimate was made upon a Masonic population of
MORE RECENT ESTIMATE IS GIVEN
Nearly three years later, I again asked the National Tuberculosis Association
for a revision of these figures and a new estimate of the number of deaths and
living cases, based upon a Masonic population of 3,000,000, which is nearer
correct at the present time than the previous figure of 2,500,000. This new
estimate is based upon the Census Bureau reports for the years 1920 and 1922,
which are now available.
"MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY STATISTICS AMONG MASONS - 1924
Estimate by the National Tuberculosis Association
the registration states for 1920, tuberculosis death rate for males over
twenty years of age was 165.2 per 100,000. The tuberculosis death rate for
both sexes, all ages, during the same year was 113.2 per 100,000. Therefore,
the death rate for an exposure of males over twenty years of age was 1.5 times
that of the death rate for the ordinary exposure.
tuberculosis death rate (all forms) in the registration states for 1922 was
97. The death rate for males over twenty years of age in 1922 would
approximate 145.5. THEREFORE THE NUMBER OF DEATHS AMONG THREE MILLION MALES
OVER TWENTY YEARS OF AGE WOULD APPROXIMATE 4,400 ANNUALLY.
Framingham demonstration showed a probability of nine ACTIVE cases to every
death. THIS MEANS THAT IF 4,400 MASONS DIED FROM TUBERCULOSIS, THERE ARE
UPWARDS OF 40,000 CASES NEEDING TREATMENT."
two estimates based upon National vital statistics show a decrease in the
number of cases and deaths throughout the country and of course a
corresponding decrease in the ranks of Masonry. Any group of three million
males would contain an equal number of cases and have an equal number of
deaths. Note that there are one and one-half times as many deaths and cases
among males over twenty years of age as there are in the general population.
Reference is made in both estimates to the Framingham Demonstration. For the
benefit of those who are not students of sociological and public health
activities we submit the following:
1916 the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company made an offer of a gift of
approximately $200,000 to the National Tuberculosis Association to finance the
expense of a comprehensive and complete tuberculosis and health study of a
typical American community. Framingham, Mass., was selected for this purpose
in November, 1916.
survey was carried on during a period of seven years and the reports are now
available and it is from this study, as well as from the reports of the Census
Bureau, that the foregoing estimates have been made.
According to the National Tuberculosis Association one person in every one
hundred of population has tuberculosis in an active form and one person in
every one hundred has tuberculosis in an arrested, or latent form.
three million Masons this would total 30,000 active cases and 30,000 arrested
or latent cases. However, the Census Bureau returns indicate that there are
one and one-half as many deaths among males over twenty as there are in the
general population, so it is reasonable to assume that there are more living
cases among men than among the general population. The latest estimate of the
National Tuberculosis Association of 40,000 active cases needing treatment is
DOES TUBERCULOSIS COST?
Another aspect of the problem which has heretofore received no attention is
the economic cost of tuberculosis to the Fraternity. How much does it cost us
in dollars and cents? Following is an estimate prepared by the National
Tuberculosis Association covering this phase of the subject:
"ECONOMIC COST OF TUBERCULOSIS AMONG 3,000,000 MASONS
"There are three items to be considered in the economic cost of disease.
First, what is lost to the country because of the deaths, second, what the
individual loses in wages; third, what it costs to provide for his care while
he is sick. There are a number of other items which might be added, such as
provision for the family of the sick person. Tuberculosis takes three-fifths
of its toll during the age period - fifteen to forty-four - during which years
family responsibilities are heaviest.
"According to life tables showing the life expectation including all deaths,
as compared with tables made with tuberculosis excluded, tuberculosis cuts off
two and a half years of life from the complete expectation of every individual
under present mortality conditions. It is agreed that a loss of one year of
life is equivalent to a loss in value of $100 to the country. Therefore, the
loss for each person among the general population is $250. Among the 3,000,000
Masons this loss to the national wealth is $750,000,000.
New York City it was found that a tuberculosis family was under care on the
average for a period of two years. four and a half months. Probably for one
year the patient is totally unable to earn. The average annual earnings of
employees normally engaged in various industries is estimated as $1,000. Among
40,000 tuberculosis Masons unable to earn, about $40,000,000 is being lost
each year in wages.
length of stay in a sanatorium ought to be at least six months. The average
sanatorium cost per patient for six months is about $500. For 40,000 Masons,
if they all received sanatorium care for six months, the total cost would be
$20,000,000. When it is remembered that the cost of caring for them must be
borne whether they are in sanatoria or not, and that the period of disability
is ordinarily more than six months, $20,000,000 is undoubtedly not too high.
"These estimates of the economic cost of tuberculosis among 3,000,000 Masons
total as follows:
"$750,000,000 lost in national wealth due to loss of years of life
40,000,000 lost in wages because of sickness.
20,000,000 cost of caring for the patient.
"Statistics of this kind are based so entirely on limited data that the total
may shift, but the figures presented are the only ones obtainable at present."
MASONIC SURVEY WAS MADE
1922 the Tuberculosis Sanatoria Commission of the M. W. Grand Lodges of Texas,
Arizona and New Mexico made an investigation, limited by meager funds, of the
situation in the Southwest, to which part of the country thousands of
consumptives resort in search of health or a longer lease of life. Such facts
as we were able to gather were included in our report, which also contains the
recommendations of the Commission and much additional matter pertinent to this
subject, and which we have been unable to print be cause of lack of funds.
Following is a portion of this report:
this commission has no definite instructions to secure any facts as to the
number of consumptive Masons who come to the Southwest seeking health, an
effort was made to get some information from the Masonic lodges of West Texas,
Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, as to the number of applicants for aid and
the amount expended for their care and treatment.
Circular letters were sent to all lodges, but very few responded to the
request for information. Lack of records showing the cause of distress made it
impossible for them to give us the facts we sought, and we are unable to
furnish any complete statistics for this report.
Masonic Relief and Employment Bureau of San Antonio records do not show the
cause of distress when relief is given. Secretary Leland S. Woods estimated
that at least 50 cases of tuberculosis are given some assistance every year at
an expense of about $2,000. This includes Masons or members of Masonic
families. About one-half of this amount is refunded by the lodges to which the
afflicted brethren belong.
Masonic Relief Bureau of El Paso reports that approximately 25 Masons were
under treatment in El Paso sanatoria at all times during the years 1917-18-19,
at an expense to the Relief Bureau of $50 monthly. During 1920-21 the average
dropped to 14 and the expense to $35 monthly. The home lodge reimbursed the
bureau for the greater part of the expense. On Aug. 14, 1922, there were 185
members of El Paso lodges under treatment for tuberculosis, the expense of
which was borne individually or by the lodges of the city. Few of these
patients were natives of the city and affiliated with lodges in El Paso after
they came to the city in search of health.
Tucson Lodge, No. 4, of Tucson. Ariz., reports the expenditure of $3,000 in
the last five years for the care of the sick, practically all suffering from
tuberculosis. This does not include additional funds secured from home lodges
for the same purpose. The largest amount was expended in 1921, and this would
seem to indicate that the number of sick brethren coming to that city is
Arizona Lodge, No. 2, located at Phoenix, reports that they care for a large
number of consumptive Masons from the North and East every year, but that the
expense, in most cases, is borne by the home lodges.
Temple Lodge, No. 6, at Albuquerque, reports that there are many brethren who
are patients in tuberculosis sanatoria in and about the city, and that the
number coming to the city seems to be increasing. Home lodges have refunded
money expended for relief of the brethren.
Sojourners' Club, an organization of Masons who are patients at the U. S.
Veterans' Hospital No. 55, and of Masons who are residents of Fort Bayard, N.
M., reports that aid has been given to 38 Masons and members of Masons'
families since Nov. 1, 1921, at a total expense of $2,529.27. This relief
consisted of monthly allowances to Masons who are not receiving Government
compensation and have no income, and also takes the form of emergency loans
and family relief. The club Secretary reports 12 Masons, who are not service
men and who cannot therefore receive Government aid, who need hospital
treatment for tuberculosis, but who are financially unable to pay for same
end' who must work to maintain themselves. These 12 men are employed at the
station and there are other brethren, the total number of whom cannot be
ascertained, in like circumstances in the vicinity of Fort Bayard.
the brethren assisted by the Sojourners' Club only three claimed New Mexico as
their home state and the remainder came from 19 other states of the American
lodges in smaller cities have given aid to sick brethren from all parts of the
country but few have kept records of this fraternal assistance. It is
impossible to compile any exact statistics showing the total number of such
brethren who have received help, or to give any figures showing the number of
Masons who have come to the Southwest because of tuberculosis. Every Mason
living in the Southwest knows of one or more such eases, and every Mason in
the North and East knows of brethren who have gone to the Southwest seeking
health. The number is legion.
United States Public Health Service made a study of the Inter-State Migration
of Tuberculosis Persons, during the years 1914-15. The reports were published
in bulletins of the service and are available on request to the
surgeon-general. Much valuable information was secured by the officers of the
Public Health Service in this survey. It was found that. the migration of the
far-advanced cases was decreasing but that apparently the number of first and
second stage cases moving to the Southwest was on the increase. Much
destitution and suffering among the sick was found.
survey by the Public Health Service was made at the request of the state
health officers of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and California, and
the request for the survey was made at the suggestion of the Southwestern
Conference on Tuberculosis. The conference submitted several bills to the
Congress of the United States, designed to secure hospital care for the
consumptive sick from northern and eastern states. About the time the effort
was near successful culmination, the war ended all chance of securing the
necessary legislation for some years. About this time the National
Tuberculosis Association made an estimate that no less than 10 per cent of the
population of Colorado New Mexico, Arizona, Southern California and West Texas
have tuberculosis. In this same bulletin the Association stated that the
health authorities estimated that not less than 10,000 hopelessly diseased
consumptives come west to die each year, and that 50 per cent to 60 per cent
of them are too poor to provide the necessaries of life, and they are either
starved to death or compelled to accept the meager charity which this part of
the country affords.
latest information on this subject is contained in an article by Miss
Jessamine S. Whitney, statistician of the National Tuberculosis Association
entitled "The Indigent, Migratory Tuberculosis in Certain Cities of the
Whitney's survey covered six of the leading health resort cities of the
Southwest. In the six cities there was a total of 7.319 tuberculous
individuals cared for wholly or in part by the municipal charity agencies, an
average of one indigent tuberculous person to every 155 of the entire
population of these cities. In Cleveland, Ohio, where a similar study was made
there was found only one tuberculous person to every 231 of the population.
enormous burden carried by the Southwest in the care of these sick from other
cities and states can be appreciated when it is understood that 75 per cent of
the sick in the Southwestern cities are non-residents, while in Cleveland,
Ohio. only 11 per cent of those under the care of social agencies are classed
as non-residents. The sick men and women of the Southwest are citizens of
northern and eastern states. Of this large number of non-resident sick, 16 per
cent made application for help to some local agency within one week of their
arrival in the Southwest. One-third applied for help within one month of their
arrival. Fifty per cent asked for assistance within three months and 90 per
cent of them were in need of help and made application for it within one year.
Seventy-two per cent of all known non-residents were men and 28 per cent women
showing that it is the men primarily who roam in search of health. Thirty per
cent of the men brought their families with them. Seventy per cent are classed
as "homeless" men and are, therefore, the biggest part of the problem,
Citizens of the following states in the order named furnish half of the
migration to the Southwest Illinois. New York, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Michigan. Indiana. Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Minnesota. One-fourth of the
migration to San Antonio is from other Texas points, and many Texans go to New
Mexico and Arizona cities.
foregoing, from an official report to the great national organization, which
has for years led the light against the Great White Plague in America, will
give just a faint idea of conditions in the Southwest.
SHALL WE MASONS DO?
Organize, as suggested in the article in the October BUILDER. Raise money,
build hospitals, take care of the sick and restore them to health and to their
families. The cost to each individual Freemason will be small.
Modern Woodmen of America, The Woodmen of the World, and other fraternities,
labor unions and churches are doing this for their membership. Why should
Freemasonry be the last, when it should be the first in benevolent work?
J. G. Pace, Superintendent of the Modern Woodmen Sanatorium, says in his 1921
"Patients who have graduated from the Modern Woodmen Sanatorium have earned
twelve million dollars since leaving the institution, as shown by the annual
report received from our graduates, or ex-patients."
addition to all of the other arguments, brethren, the care of our Masonic
brethren in Masonic Hospitals will be a good business proposition.
NOTE CONCERNING ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND FREEMASONRY
late years a great many articles have been published in Masonic periodicals
concerning a possible connection between President Lincoln and the Masonic
Order. We have just come upon an item that will be considered of some value by
brethren so interested, and is here offered as a contribution to the data that
has been accumulated.
April 17, l 865, only three days after Lincoln had been shot by John Wilkes
Booth, Tyrian Lodge, No. 333, A. F. & A. M., Springfield, Ill., adopted a set
of resolutions to express the lodge's great sorrow at Lincoln's death. Of this
resolution, signed by five members of the lodge as a committee, two paragraphs
are here printed:
"RESOLVED, That as the immediate friends and neighbors of our late beloved and
now revered President Lincoln, we deeply and sorrowfully deplore his death....
"RESOLVED, That the decision of President Lincoln to postpone his application
for the honors of Masonry, lest his motives should be misconstrued, is in the
highest degree honorable to his memory."
second of the two paragraphs just quoted proves conclusively two very
important points: First, that Lincoln at the time of his death was not a
member of the Craft; second, that he had planned, at such a time as he might
believe suitable, to petition for-the degrees. This resolution, coming from
friends and neighbors of Lincoln so short a time after his death, is the
highest degree of authenticity and, therefore, deserves a prominent place: in
Lincolniana, so far as Masonry is concerned. Also it shows that at the time of
his election Lincoln was not, as has often been alleged, a non-believer in
God, else a man of his sincerity of mind would not have considered membership
in an Order of which belief in God is the first requisite.
Eclipse of the Heavenly Brightness
Bro. DONALD HUGHES, California
MASTER OF THE SECRET - My son, it has now been many years since first you
sought us out in our Hidden School. You arrived at the end of a weary day,
worn and disconsolate, with the burden of a great search upon you.
APPRENTICE - I came from a place very far away. From my childhood I had
cherished the great fear of death. The Tragedy of the End was one I dared not
to confront. The wise told me that if I sought you out you would teach me how
to escape death. I have learned the Great Secret. My feet are now on a path
that has no ending. Mornings will break and evenings will fall forever, but I
shall heed them not. My friends will never be called upon to weep above my
grave. My gratitude for your wisdom is more than I can express.
MASTER - And are you now satisfied? Is there not something else to be desired
in the cup of your happiness ?
APPRENTICE - Nothing. What more could I wish? Endless life is mine; is not a
man's joy complete after he has put the Shadow behind him?
MASTER - Perhaps. Your feet have indeed found the Path that has no Ending. Is
there not something you may wish to find as you journey along it?
APPRENTICE - What could there be ? I shall start upon it at dawn tomorrow,
with no fear before me.
MASTER - If that be your intention, my son, let me then have this last hour
with you, before the dusk falls. Even in so short a time it is possible that I
can teach you another wisdom. Let us follow this path a little on which we now
stand. See, it leads among the hills toward the mountain that has overlooked
the valley in which you have been abiding with us these many years. You will
notice that as we leave the village behind us we meet with no more gardens. A
garden is a man's out-of-doors home. . . . Now we find the trees thinning
away; like us they crave for companionship. . . . Here the shrubbery begins to
grow more sparse; there is little soil upon these heights.. . . At last the
grass fails us; its tender blades demand more than these naked rocks can give
them.... And now we have reached the summits where only eagles are at home. .
. . You start with surprise!
APPRENTICE - Yes, I had always supposed this to be the outermost sentinel of a
chain of snowy peaks.
MASTER - No, it is only the wall of our valley. You are taken aback to find
the immensity of this high plateau before you?
APPRENTICE - It appears to be endless.
MASTER – It is. Those flat reaches stretch on forever.
APPRENTICE - But the sky is boundless with blue and golden splendor !
MASTER - It is a land where no birds sing.
APPRENTICE - But it is very beautiful. There are no shadows upon it. Its floor
is like a carpet of beaten brass!
MASTER - It is a land of little rain.
APPRENTICE - It is immensity itself, filled with magnificent distances!
MASTER - You would not come upon a house were you to walk across it through
countless days. You would encounter no pilgrims upon that road which lies
APPRENTICE - The road! I had not seen it before! It loses itself in the
horizons. One might think it had been laid along the edge of a rule. Whither
does it lead ?
MASTER - It is the Highway of Endlessness. It leads nowhere. It is upon that
road that you are to begin your journey tomorrow. What would you say if you
were to walk along it through numberless life-times without meeting another
being like yourself ? what if you never came upon a human habitation? how
would you feel if you were to find yourself with nothing except the knowledge
that your path will never come to an end ?
APPRENTICE - Master! That would be an eclipse of the Heavenly Brightness!
MASTER - Yes. But you asked for nothing else. You came to us with only one
fear - the fear of the Tragedy of the End; you had only one desire - that no
night should ever fall upon your existence; you made only one request of our
wisdom - that we should teach you the Secret of Endless Existence.
APPRENTICE - I have learned the Great Secret.
MASTER - Yes, but it has not given you the joy you expected. Why not begin
your journey at once? The Road is at your feet.
APPRENTTCE - Master! Master!
MASTER - You are filled with a tumult of new fear and apprehensions. The
prospect of that everlasting solitariness fills you with dread. You are
already wishing that you might remain with us in our Valley. You came seeking
only the first Dimension of life. Did it never occur to you that Life has many
APPRENTICE - I discover that I have been an ignorant child.
MASTER - You came seeking Endless Life; it is Eternal Life that you need.
APPRENTICE - Eternal Life!
MASTER - Yes. That is life made perfect in all its Dimensions ….. My son, have
you ever heard of the Brethren of the Mystic Tie?
APPRENTICE - I have seen their emblems above the lintels of a door. I have
heard that they are Travellers toward the Light.
MASTER - They are, and more. They are a Hidden Brotherhood that has learned
the secret of Labor and Refreshment. But they are more even than that. They
possess a Great Wisdom for which you are now greatly hungered. It is the
mighty need of your nature for their wisdom that causes your unhappiness.
APPRENTICE - What is their Great Wisdom?
MASTER - It is the knowledge of the Divine Geometry. The Brethren of the
Mystic Tie long ago discovered the dimensions of the Holy City of Man. They
learned, as you have learned, the lesson of the Mystic Twenty-Four Inch Gauge,
that existence is endless; but they learned other lore to which you are a
stranger. They know the secret of the Square, that life must have breadth,
else its mere length would drive us insane; and of the Plumb, that life must
have height and depth, else it is thin and poor, with no satisfaction for our
hearts. What will it profit a man to travel the Road of Endlessness if his
soul is eaten out with loneliness all the way!
APPRENTICE - I find myself weighed down with a new ignorance. Is it too late
for me to turn back ?
MASTER - To one who has learned the Secret of Endlessness it is never too
late. Let us then return to our brethren. Their road is not a bleak and
unbroken infinity, but winds and winds, with many a halt, and, many a hill,
and countless feet upon it.
Mormonism and Masonry- Anti-Masonry in the Book of Mormon
Bro. S. H. GOODWIN, Grand Secretary, Utah
(Concluded from November)
second step in our discussion of the subject brings us to a consideration of a
few characteristic examples of the effects of this Anti-Masonic environment
upon the Mormon prophet. To get the full force of this reaction to those
abnormal conditions, one should have before him a compilation of all the
charges made by the Anti-Masons, and check these by passages dealing with the
same matters to be found in the Book of Mormon.
all the discussions of the one absorbing subject, on the platform and in the
press, certain alleged characteristics of the Masonic Institution were singled
out for execration, and where these did not furnish the topic they came in for
a large share of attention and denunciation. Among these, and given an
unenviable pre-eminence in the catalogue of Masonry's offendings, was the
matter of obligations, or "oaths", as they were more frequently designated. It
is doubtful if a single AntiMasonic gathering occurred in the period we are
now considering, during which these "oaths" were not held up to ridicule and
contempt. One has but to turn to the literature of the day and note how this
word is sprinkled over its pages to find ample confirmation of this statement.
(44) And in the treatment of this subject no epithet appeared to be too
severe, or to suggest to auditors or readers the possibility of exaggeration;
no arraignment, however scorching or malevolent, overtaxed the credulousness
of those who sought the destruction of Masonry; no picture of the enormities
of Masonic "oaths", however absurd in outline, or shocking and impossible in
coloring, failed of public approval. In a word, to the highly inflamed
imagination of Anti-Masonry, Masonic "oaths" embodied all that was horrible,
irreligious and depraved. Evidence of contact and familiarity with this
situation by the "Author and Proprietor" of the Book of Mormon is to be found
in many passages in that book:
Akish did administer unto them oaths which were given by them of old who also
sought power, which had been handed down from Cain"; "And now I Moroni do not
write the manner of their oaths . . . for they are had among all the people";
". . . and he applied unto those whom he had sworn by the oath of the
ancients"; ". . . and they adopted the old plans, and administered oaths after
the manner of the ancients`'; "Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part
of the Nephites . . . that they did unite with those bands of robbers, and did
enter into their covenants and their oaths"; "Now behold, it is these secret
oaths and covenants . . ."; ". . . those secret oaths and covenants and cloth
hand down their plots, and their oaths and their covenants, and their plans of
awful wickedness". (45)
WASHINGTON'S PHRASE WAS USED
Arguments against Masonry were drawn from almost every conceivable source by
those who sought, and confidently predicted, the overthrow of the Masonic
institution. Passages from the Bible, and from public documents and state
papers, were torn from their connections and were made to do duty as
militating against Freemasonry. A singular instance of this is to be found in
the use made of a certain passage from Washington's Farewell Address. In two
paragraphs of his final message to the people he refers twice to "combinations
and associations" which were formed "with the real design to direct, control,
counteract, or awe the regular deliberation or action of the constituted
authorities," as endangering fundamental principles of the government. Beyond
any reasonable doubt, Washington had in mind the "democratic societies", to
which he refers in his correspondence, and which then, and previously, had
been operating in behalf of the Revolutionists of France. He had felt the keen
sting and sharp power of hot criticism for which these societies had been
responsible, and clearly saw the end toward which they were driving, and he
warned the people against this danger. By no legitimate or fair construction
or interpretation can those words be made to apply to Freemasonry. Yet, from a
hundred Anti-Masonic platforms; in newspapers, and pamphlets, and books they
were unblushingly and increasingly proclaimed as having been aimed directly at
the Masonic Institution. And where they were not referred to the quarry whence
they were digged, the words ''combinations" and "associations" early came to
occupy an outstanding position in the popular vocabulary of vituperation and
these words, and especially the more significant of the two, "combinations,"
should be unmistakably echoed in the Book of Mormon, and this in its evil
sense, need occasion no surprise: ". . . these workers of darkness and secret
combinations"; ".. cursed be the land forever . . . unto those workers of
darkness and secret combinations"; ". . . like unto him . . . who beguiled our
first parents, …. and stirreth the children of men unto secret combinations of
murder and all manner of secret works of darkness"; "And there are also secret
combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the
devil, for he is the foundation of all these things"; "And it came to pass . .
. there was continual peace in the land, all save it were the secret
combinations which Gadianton the robber had established"; "And thus they did
put an end to all those wicked, and secret, and abominable combinations, in
which there was so much wickedness"; "And the regulations of the government
were destroyed, because of the secret combination of the friends and kindreds
of those who murdered the prophets"; "Now this secret combination, which had
brought so great iniquity upon the people, did gather themselves together . .
"Abomination" was another word early seized upon and recoined in the mint of
Anti-Masonry - some time before the Morgan agitation convulsed western New
York - and thrown into circulation to express the abhorrence and detestation
felt by those who sought the destruction of the Masonic Institution. "Men of
every profession, occupation, and rank in life," declares one of the enemies
of Freemasonry, and a "renouncer", "have borne public testimony to the
profanity and abominations of the secret order." (48) The frequent recurrence
of this word in passages in the Book of Mormon, descriptive of the doings and
character of the secret society alleged to have been active among the
progenitors of Mormonism, affords another illustration of Joseph Smith's
reaction to his surroundings. In a single chapter it occurs eight times in as
many verses, and nearly always linked with other words descriptive of heinous
doings, as "murders, and robbings, and plunderings, and wickedness, and
abominations"; "secret murders and abominations"; "works of darkness, and
wickedness, and abominations)'; "their secrets and abominations"; "their
secret abominations". In such a passage as the following the reflection is
unmistakable: "Wo be unto you because of that great abomination which has come
among you; and ye have united yourselves unto it, yea, to that secret band
which was established by Gadianton.” (49)
CRIME WAS CHARGED AGAINST FREEMASONRY
the thoroughgoing advocate of Anti-Masonry, Freemasonry appeared as a
veritable Pandora’s box, without so much as one redeeming feature. As already
intimated, there was not a wrong, or a crime, that was not directly charged to
the Craft. Not only had Masons abducted and murdered Morgan, but many other
murders were specifically laid at their door, and, in the language of an
ax-President of the United States, "clusters of crimes perpetrated" to further
the objects of Masonry. (50)
many passages in the Book of Mormon, which deal with the doings of an alleged
ancient secret society, the influence of the author's environment is plainly
visible. "I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders .
. ."; "And he went unto those that sent him, and they all entered into a
covenant, yea, swearing by their everlasting Maker, that they would tell no
man that Kishkumen had murdered Pahoran"; "But behold, Kishkumen, who had
murdered Pahoran was upheld by his band, who had entered into a covenant that
no one should know his wickedness"; "And it came to pass that Helaman did send
forth to take this band of . . . secret murderers, that they might be executed
according to law"; ". . . therefore they began to commit secret murders . . .
And behold those murderers . . . were a band who had been formed by Kishkumen
and Gadianton . . . and there were many, even among the Nephites, of
Gadianton's band"; "Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part of the
Nephites, insomuch that they did unite with those bands . . . and did enter
into their covenants and oaths . . . that they should not suffer for their
murders …. '' (51)
Another charge urged with great vehemence and persistency, especially after
grand juries had been summoned, as already noted, had used their best
endeavors - without success - to run down the guilty ones, and had been
discharged, was that the ends of justice were not served because officers of
the law, more particularly the judges, were Freemasons. And when several men
who were suspected of participation in the Morgan affair were brought to
trial, and acquitted because of insufficient evidence, popular judgment at
once declared that beyond a doubt such a termination of the trials was due to
the influence of Freemasonry and to the fact that judges and juries were
Masons, or dominated by Masons. (52)
PROPHET PAINTS A LURID PICTURE
Mormon prophet's reaction to these charges appears in numerous instances. "And
seeing the people in such a state of awful wickedness, and those Gadianton
robbers filling the judgment-seats . . . doing no justice unto the children of
men . . . condemning the righteous . . . letting the guilty and the wicked go
unpunished"; "And . . . behold there were men who were judges, who also
belonged to the secret band of Gadianton"; "And those judges were angry with
him because he spake plainly unto them concerning their secret works of
other accusations were brought against Masons and Masonry, all of which are
clearly reflected in the Book of Mormon, but which cannot be considered at
length here. The following additional brief list will help to an understanding
of the character and scope of the crimes and misdemeanors imputed to the
was charged by Anti-Masons that Masonry tried offenders against its own laws
and punished them, even to the infliction of the death penalty; that it was a
menace to the Government, destructive of the liberties of the people, and
ruinous of Christian principle and practice; that Masonry is devilish, satanic
in its origin, operations and tendencies; that it pretended to an antiquity to
which it had no just claim; that it usurped political power and placed its
adherents in high positions to further its own selfish and infernal ends; that
it acts in secret because it fears the light of day, its deeds being evil;
that Masonic obligations require that Masons shall protect a brother, right or
wrong, and that Masonry had become so powerful that means for its overthrow
cannot be found in the executive authorities, or judicial establishments of
the country. All these and other charges, not set forth here, but which were
almost as common in western New York as the air itself, during all of the time
occupied by Joseph Smith in the preparation of the Book of Mormon, are
faithfully and fully reflected in that book. (54)
appreciate fully the extent to which the Mormon prophet reacted to his
environment, in the particulars under consideration, requires the reading of
the passages, to which reference has been made, in their connection. This
course will leave no room for doubt that, to say the least - and however the
fact may be accounted for - the secret society which is alleged to have
operated among the ancient Americans, strangely and unmistakably paralleled,
in principle and practice, and with remarkable accuracy in detail, all that
fanatical hatred, inflamed by popular passion, asserted was characteristic of
Freemasonry at the time when Joseph Smith was dictating the contents of the
Book o f Mormon. The conviction that the excoriation of Gadianton and his
followers is a reflection of the Anti" Masonic conditions in western New York,
in the midst of which the prophet did his work, will be greatly strengthened
by an examination of the evidence, furnished by this "American Bible", of
other palpable points of contact with, and admitted reminiscences of,
CONTEMPORARY OPINION IS CITED
third division of the material available for our present purpose is more
restricted than either of the two divisions already considered. Its
significance, however, is not to be gauged by this fact alone. Here we have to
do with contemporary opinion. The testimony is that of men who belonged to the
very times in which Joseph Smith produced and published the Book of Mormon. So
far as the records show, neither one of the witnesses now to be called had any
reason whatever for attributing the "secret society" passages of the Book of
Mormon to the Anti-Masonic excitement. other than the reasons current and
generally accepted by the people of the time and place. In this matter these
men reflected - and apparently with no ulterior motive - the convictions and
beliefs of those who certainly were in a position to know how this matter was
regarded by the people in that part of western New York.
earlier paragraph reference was made to the restless, turbulent, chaotic
conditions which characterized the religious world for some time previous to
the birth of Mormonism. Zeal for doctrine, which accompanied the emotional,
passionate expression of devotional feeling, carried no hint of the importance
of doing justice to the opinions of others, or of teaching and practicing a
wider charity. The tossing of the murky waters of this uncharted theological
sea strewed the shores with all manners of isms and sects - the flotsam, it
would seem, of long years of religious bigotry and intolerance.
the men who were more or less responsible for keeping these waters in this
roiled, disturbed state, was an Irishman, well-versed in religious polemics, a
determined, fearless and unyielding controversialist, a protestant divine,
Alexander Campbell by name. During the year in which the "plates" were turned
over to Joseph Smith, he organized a church - the first fruits of his
activities and the first of a new denomination, the "Disciples of Christ," or
"Campbellites". As a "faithful watchman on the hills of Ephraim", he shirked
no battle and was prepared for any emergency.
first edition of the Book of Mormon was published in 1830, in the early part
of the year, it would seem, and not long after Campbell secured a copy and
proceeded to study its contents. His findings were presented to the public in
the columns of the Millenial Harbinger, a monthly paper published by him at
Bethenay, Virginia, which bears date of Feb. 7, 1831. The caption of the
article, which later was published in pamphlet form, was "Delusions. An
Analysis of the Book of Mormon." A hint as to the method and purpose of the
reviewer is found in the words - from the title-page of the pamphlet: "With an
examination of its internal and external evidences, and a refutation of its
presences to divine authority."
spite of the acerbity of the comments - a feature which characterized all
controversy of the period, especially in the realm of religion - this bit of
work is lucid, searching, interesting and valuable; it blazed the May,
apparently, for a considerable number of more recent critics of the "Golden
Bible". Our interest in Campbell's criticism, however, centers in the few
comments which show that he recognized and accepted the Masonic origin of the
numerous secret society passages in the Book of Mormon.
CAMPBELL IS QUOTED
remarks that "Masonry was invented about this time (in the period covered by
the book of Helaman); for men began to bind themselves in secret oaths to aid
one another in all things, good or evil." He notes the fact that Moroni
"finishes what Mormon his father left undone, and continues the history till
A. D. 400", and that he "laments the prevalency of freemasonry in the times
when his book should be dug up out of the earth." (56) Under "Internal
Evidences", Campbell presents many details illustrative of the influence of
environment upon the author of the Book before us, among them one which bears
directly on our subject. Number seven, of the series of paragraphs under this
prophet Smith, through his stone spectacles (57) wrote on the plates of Nephi
in the Book of Mormon, every error and almost-every truth discussed in New
York for the last ten years. He decides all the great controversies - infant
baptism, ordination, the Trinity, regeneration, repentance, justification, the
fall of man, the atonement, transubstantiation, fasting, penance church
government, religious experience, the call to the ministry the general
resurrection, eternal punishment, who may baptize, and even the question of
Freemasonry, republican government, and the rights of man. All these topics
are repeatedly alluded to. How much more benevolent and intelligent this
American Apostle than were the holy twelve, and Paul to assist them!! He
prophesied of all these topics, and of the apostacy, and infallibly decides,
by his authority, every question. How easy to prophecy of the past or the
present time!! . . . But he is better skilled in the controversies in New York
than in the geography and history of Judea.'' (58) Concerning this list of
reflections of local issues in the Book of Mormon, a recent and accepted
writer of the Mormon church says: ". . ., the list is pretty accurate, but by
no means complete." He, however appears to take exception to the reference to
Free Masonry in the somewhat cryptic statement: "In the item of Freemasonry,
Mr. Campbell's hate spills over a little." (59)
Another keen observer, and occasionally sharp critic, of things American, who
wrote his findings soon after the Book of Mormon first saw the light, was E.
S. Abdy, "Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge." Abdy came to this country in
the company of two other Englishmen, one of whom was commissioned by his
Government to inspect the prisons of the United States. Abdy himself was
interested chiefly, it would seem, in slavery as it then existed in this
country, but he by no means confined himself to this subject. He traveled
about in much the same way as had his countryman, Arthur Young, in France
fifty years earlier, and in his book, Journal of a Residence and Tour in the
United States of America, he has given us an interesting and valuable account
of conditions as he found them.
the course of his travels - which covered the period extending from April,
1833, to October, 1834, he passed leisurely through that part of western New
York which had been the home and scene of the abduction of William Morgan, as
well as of the operations of the Mormon prophet. Here, among others, he fell
in with an ax-postmaster of Rochester who, evidently, was strongly
Anti-Masonic in his views, and who was well acquainted with Joseph Smith. Abdy
also came into contact with Mormonism and the "Mormonites" in Ohio and
Kentucky, and early in his travels had access to a "copy of the translation
Smith pretended to have made of the 'Shaster' he said he had found under a
tree." Later, in his narrative, our author devotes more space to the Mormons
and their Bible. From this portion of his record the following excerpt shows
how he - as well as those with whom he mingled - regarded those passages in
the Book of Mormon which refer to secret societies:
passage in this curious Koran," says Abdy, "clearly points to the place of its
concoction and the prepossessions of its author, who would doubtless ground a
claim for the prophetic spirit on this very objection from the unbeliever. It
alludes most unequivocally, to the free-masons: Ontario county, in the State
of New York, being the place where Morgan's murder excited such a spirit of
hostility to the 'craft'. 'Satan,' says the plate, 'did stir up the hearts of
the more part of the Nephites insomuch that they did unite with those bands of
robbers, an] did enter into their covenants and their oaths, that they would
protect and preserve one another, in whatever difficult circumstances they
should be placed; that they should not suffer for their murders, and their
plunderings, and their sterlings. And it came to pass, that they did have
their signs, yea, their secret signs and their secret words: and this that
they might distinguish a brother, who had entered into the covenant, that,
whatever wickedness his brother should do, he should not be injured by his
brother, nor by those who did belong to his band. who had taken this covenant,
and whosoever of their band should reveal unto the world their wickedness and
their abominations, should be tried, not according to the laws of their
country, but according to the laws of their wickedness which had been given by
Gadianton and Kishkumen.' “ (60)
CONTEMPORARIES HAD NO DOUBTS
the statement quoted above, and the character of the extract from the Book of
Mormon, one can hardly escape the conviction that the contemporaries of Joseph
Smith - those into whose hands came copies of the 1830 edition of the "Golden
Bible" - had little, if any, doubt as to the source of the many Anti-Masonic
reflections, or echoes, in the Book of Mormon. For a reading of the three
volumes of Abdy's Journal will furnish conclusive proof of the fact that the
author of that work catches, reflects and presents the opinions, prejudices
and viewpoints of the communities he visited. Upon these he comments; these he
criticizes or commends; and from a consideration of them, and other sources of
information, he arrives at his own conclusions. Manifestly, he was not the
only one who traced the origin of the Anti-Masonry of the Book of Mormon to
the furore incident to, and the conditions growing out of, the disappearance
of Morgan; in this he simply records the opinion commonly held by the people
of that community and period.
may be that the annals of the doings of Akish, Kishkumen and Gadianton found
in the Book of Mormon are historical, instead of being palpable and perfectly
natural reflections of conditions existing at the time, and in the locality in
which Joseph Smith lived and did his work - as the present writer firmly
believes to be the case. If historical, trustworthy and conclusive evidence in
support of such a claim - or any reliable testimony - seems not to have been
uncovered by anyone. On the other hand, there are so many known facts which
unmistakably support the position taken in this paper that little, if any,
room appears to be left for question.
quite possible, to be sure, that the matters selected for consideration in
this study have not been arranged and presented to the best advantage, so that
readers may get the full force and value of their testimony. But the writer is
fully convinced that anything like a fair appraisal of the facts will amply
justify the belief that those portions of the Book of Mormon which record the
alleged doings of an ancient American secret society, owe their origin and
character to the pressure of environment, to which the author of that book was
as constantly exposed, and was as susceptible, as were his contemporaries.
Opinions on Speculative Masonry, Odiorne; 1830; pp. 58-101 185, 202-203,
Proceedings U. S. Anti-Masonic Convention; Philadelphia, 1830, pp. 43-53, 76,
97, 110f, 128-130, AntiMasonic Review; 1828; vol. 1; pp. 26f, Elf, 85, 98;
vol. 2; 1829; pp. 33-44, 306f; An Inquiry Into the Nature, etc., J. G. Sterns;
1826; pp. 97-98, 104, 106-114.
Book of Mormon: Ether 8:15, 20; 9:5; 10:33, Alma 37:27, 29, Helaman 6:21, 25,
26, 30; Third Nephi 4:42, cf. Pearl of Great Price, 1891, pp. 14-16.
National Observer, vol. 1, Jan. 16, 1829; p. 4; AntiMasonic Review, 1828, vol.
1, pp. 296, 301, 325; vol. 2, 1829; p. 242, Proceedings U. S. Anti-Masonic
Convention, Philadelphia, 1830; pp. 16, 41, 92, 107, 157; Catalogue
Anti-Masonic Books, Henry Gassett; 1852, pp. 13, 18, 53.
Book of Mormon: Alma 37:30, 31; 2nd Nephi 9:9; 26:22; Helaman 3:23, 3rd Nephi
5:6, 9, 7 6. Also see Helaman 2:8; 7.25, 28, 8.1, 3rd Nephi 4:29, 6 28, 7:9,
Mormon 8:27, Ether 8 18, 19, 20, 22, 24; 9:1, 11:15; 13:18; 14:8, 10.
Anti-Masonic Review, 1828; vol. 1; pp. 252, 303, 314; vol. 2, 1829, pp. 247,
249, National Observer, Jan. 16, 1829, p. 4; Proceedings Grand Lodge of Maine;
1830; p. 195; Proceedings Anti-Masonic Convention Philadelphia; 1830; p. 52.
Book of Mormon: 2nd Nephi 10:15; Alma 37:21-37; Helaman 7:25, Mormon 8:40,
Proceedings Anti-Masonic Convention, Philadelphia, 1830 pp. 14, 89, 153, 162,
165, Catalogue Anti-Masonic Books, H. Gassett; 1852; pp. 2-12; Opinions on
Speculative Masonry, Odiorne, 1830 p. 204; Letters on the Masonic Institution,
J. Q. Adams, 1847, pp. 99-100.
Book of Mormon: 2nd Nephi 9:9, 10:15, Alma 37:29; Helaman 1:11; 2:3, 10; 6:17,
18, 21, 29; 9:6; 3rd Nephi 5:5, 6.
Anti-Masonic Review; 1828; vol. 1; pp. 235, 237, 289, 290; History of the
People of the U. S., McMasters; 1900- p. 114; The Anti-Masonic Party,
McCarthy; Annual Report, American Historical Association, 1903, p. 371.
Book of Mormon: Helaman 7:4, 5; 8:1, 4, 28; 3rd Nephi 6:26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
Anti-Masonic Review, 1828, vol. 1; p. 296; vol. 2, 1829; pp. 32, 245
Proceedings Grand Lodge of Maine, vol. 1; pp. 195, 197, 198, 202. Opinions on
Speculative Masonry, Odiorne; 1830; pp. 12-18, 155, 267; Proceedings
Anti-Masonic Convention; Philadelphia, 1830, pp. 31, 39, 79-83, 95, 98, 99,
Book of Mormon: Helaman 6:30; 3rd Nephi 3:9, Ether 8:14, 15, 25, 9:6; 10:33;
11:22; 3rd Nephi 1:27; 2:12; 5:6; 6:26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 7:6, 11. On the origin
and antiquity of Masonry, see the Pearl of Great Price (1891), one of the four
standard books of the Mormon church, for some significant passages. Note
particularly the words, "Master Mahan", pp. 14-16.
In connection with this, suggestive matter is to be found in such articles and
books as Riley's, The Founder of Mormonism, Prince, article in American
Journal of Psychology, vol. 28; 1917, and Campbell's, Delusions: An Analysis
of the Book of Mormon. Also, and in particular, The Mormon Point of View,
Nelson; 1904; pp. 113-124, 135-137.
Delusions: An Analysis of the Book of Mormon, Alex. Campbell; 1832; a 16-page
pamphlet. Note especially pp. 8, 9, 10.
Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Anderson;
1893; pp. 24-25; Note; History of the Church, Period I, Joseph Smith, B. H.
Roberts, 1902, vol. 1; p. 12; The Mormon Point of View, Nelson, 1904, pp.
Delusions: An Analysis of the Book of Mormon, Campbell; 1832; p. 13; The
Mormon Point of View, Nelson; 1904; p. 183, Note.
The Mormon Point of View, Nelson, 1904, p. 183.
Journal of a Residence and Tour of the U. S. of North America, April, 1888, to
October, 1884, E. S. Abdy, vol. 3, 1835; pp. 40-42; 54-59; vol. 1; pp.
320-325; Book of Mormon: Helaman 6:21-24; passage quoted by Abdy.
American Journal of Psychology, 28; 373-489; 30; 66-72. An Inquiry Into the
Nature and Tendency of Freemasonry, etc. J. G. Sterns. Annual Report of the
American Historical Association, 1902. Anti-Masonic, The, Movement, E. S.
Gibbs. Proceedings Grand Lodge Massachusetts 1917. Anti-Masonic Review; 1; 2.
Autobiography of Thurlow Weed; 1. Book, The, of Mormon. Brief, A, History of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, E. H. Anderson. Broken Seal,
The, S. D. Greene. Catalogue of Books on the Masonic Institution in Public
Libraries Anti-Masonic, etc., Henry Gassett. Delusions: An Analysis of the
Book of Mormon, A. Campbell. Early Records of the Grand Lodge of Vermont,
1794-1846. Founder of Mormonism, The, I. W. Riley. Freemasonry in Michigan
Conover; 1. History of Freemasonry in N. Y., C. T. McClenahan, 2, 3. History
of Freemasonry in the State of N. Y., O. Lang. History of the Church, Period
I, Joseph Smith B. H. Roberts, 1, 10-16. History of Utah, H. H. Bancroft.
History of the People of the U. S., J. B. McMaster; 5; 109-120. History of
Portland Lodge, No. 1, Drummond. Journal of a Residence and Tour of the U. S.,
etc., E. S. Abdy; 1; 3. Latter Day Saints The, Kauffman. Letters on the
Masonic Institution, John Quincy Adams. Masonic Light on the Abduction of
William Morgan P. C. Huntington. Memoirs of the Life of Nathaniel Stacy.
Mormon Group Life, E. E. Ericksen. Mormon Point of View The, N. L. Nelson.
Myth of the Manuscript Found, G. Reynolds. National Observer, The, Oct. 2,
1827; Jan. 16, 1829. New Witnesses for God, B. H. Roberts, 3. Niles Register,
32, 33; 35; 37; 38. Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith. Proceedings of the
Anti-Masonic Convention; Philadelphia; 1830. Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of
Maine:1830. Opinions on Speculative Masonry, etc., J.C. Odiorne.
Daniel Coxe and the "Henry Bell Letter"
Bro. MELVIN M. JOHNSON, P. G. M., Massachusetts
THE BUILDER for April last I said interalia, "The fact is that while Coxe was
appointed June 5, 1730, as Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey and
Pennsylvania for two years, he was not on this side of the Atlantic at any
time during those two years. During that entire period he remained in
England," etc. In THE Builder last month Bro. David McGregor criticizes me for
having made such a categorical statement based on statements made by others
and on the lack of evidence to the contrary.
criticism is just. That statement was inadvertent. In my book, The Beginnings
of Freemasonry in America, published shortly after the April articles what I
said on this subject was more carefully stated as follows:
"There has appeared no evidence that he (Coxe) exercised this deputation, or
even that he was on this side of the ocean during the said two years," etc.
That statement was correct. Up to the publication of Bro. McGregor's November
article there had appeared no such evidence. Assuming the facts stated by Bro.
McGregor to be correct (and I have no reason to doubt them), it now seems
probable that Coxe did cross to this side of the ocean shortly after June 5,
1730, and was in New Jersey from the latter part of July, 1730, until sometime
in November of that year. I have made a reference to this article in the
second edition of my book which is now on the press.
new discovery by Bro. McGregor is a valuable contribution. It, however, does
not in the least change the conclusions stated in my April article and in my
mere fact that Daniel Coxe was in New Jersey during these four months does not
justify the conclusion that he did in fact exercise his deputation.
Benjamin Franklin in 1730 in his Pennsylvania Gazette published accounts of
Masonic meetings, and in December of that year he published a long article on
Freemasonry. In February, 1730, Franklin was made a Mason in Philadelphia. He
immediately became very active. His intimacy with the affairs of the
Fraternity is shown by his draft, in 1732, of a committee report containing
what was almost a set of by-laws for the lodge. In 1734 he signed himself as
Grand Master. His well-known characteristics and his position in the
Fraternity forbid any doubt as to his intimate knowledge of the then affairs
of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania.
FRANKLIN WROTE TO HENRY PRICE
Nov. 28, 1734, he wrote two letters to Henry Price, one official and one
personal. In the official letter which he signed as Grand Master, and wrote
(as he himself says) at the request of the Fraternity in Pennsylvania, he said
that Masonry in Pennsylvania in 1734 needed "the sanction of some authority
derived from home." He further asserted that if Henry Price would grant them
"a Deputation or Charter," the Grand Master of Pennsylvania would yield his
chair whenever Henry Price, Grand Master of North America, should be present.
Franklin did not say that in Pennsylvania they needed more authority derived
from home, but that they needed some authority, clearly indicating that then
they had none. He did not ask for "recognition"; he prayed for "a Deputation
or Charter." These words had then the same clearly defined meaning they have
now. If the Masons of Pennsylvania had theretofore received authority from
Coxe, they did not need anything from Henry Price in 1734. If Coxe had given
them any authority during the term of his commission (June 24, 1730 - June 24,
1732), they certainly would have known it in 1734. They would not have sought
nor received, nor acted under the appointment made Feb. 21, 1734-5, by "Henry
Price, Grand Master of His Majesty's Dominions in North America" of Benjamin
Franklin as Grand Master of Pennsylvania.
Benjamin Franklin when he signed the letter of Nov. 28, 1734, as Grand Master
and "at the request of the Lodge," knew what he was writing en cathedra. It is
also submitted that the brethren who officially requested their Grand Master
to send the petition to Price knew more about the facts of that day and
generation than some partisan historians of the second century thereafter, who
have struggled to convince the Masonic world that what Franklin, Price, and
their associates said as to the facts of their own day and in which they were
the actors was wrong.
Should other evidence and argument be disregarded, these letters are definite
and final. They establish that Pennsylvania Masonry was wanting in authority,
i. e., was not "duly constituted", until Feb. 1734/5.
McGregor having made a valuable discovery of a letter apparently genuine,
showing a fact hitherto unknown, proceeds to jump to the conclusion that the
"Henry Bell letter" really existed. It therefore becomes necessary briefly to
review the story about that letter.
claim that there ever was such a letter as the Henry Bell letter was long ago
abandoned by Bro. Sachse, who certainly did not fail to press Pennsylvania's
claims to their limit. (See note No. 1.)
first story was that a "gentleman of a mysterious turn of mind" - name unknown
- came into the office of the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania "in the year 1873, when the Craft were preparing for the
dedication of the new Masonic Temple" exact date unknown - and showed "one of
the clerks" a letter. The unknown clerk copied a single paragraph of the
“Henry Bell letter” presented by the unknown "mysterious gentleman."
Immediately the "clerk," the "mysterious gentleman" and the "letter" vanished
into thin air. Since that day they have all as completely disappeared as the
fabled island of Atlantis. If any of them ever were in Philadelphia, they must
have immediately departed to some "undiscovered country from whose bourne no
traveller returns." Lives there the Mason so credulous as to believe that if
such an important document had ever been in the office of the Grand Secretary
of Pennsylvania in 1873, all trace of it and its possessor would instantly
MacCALLA'S ACCOUNT IS GIVEN
next story (which was told by Bro. MacCalla) dated the incident back to 1872.
He supplied as the name of the "mysterious gentleman," "a Mr. Bancker (since
deceased)." What was his full name? Where did he live? Where and when did he
die? Who took over his effects? How did he come by the "letter"? What became
of the "letter"?
MacCalla supplied as the name of the clerk, "Brother Francis Blackburne." What
is known about him? Has he ever made the statement over his own signature that
he ever saw the "letter" ? If there ever has lived a man who would or will say
that Bro. Blackburne stated to him that he (Blackburne) had seen the letter,
we have never been told so categorically. No man has ever yet said, so far as
we can learn, that Bro. Blackburne himself ever made such a statement. Bro.
Sachse, of course, with his long years of service in the Temple in
Philadelphia, had a perfect opportunity to know all these details. Yet Sachse
abandoned any claim to the genuineness of the incident.
court in the world would accept as evidence (much less as proof) the story
which any known person has ever told in writing about this incident - or
either in a speech which has been reported.
August, 1874, the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, in The New England
Freemason, asked for information about the "letter," but his questions remain
unanswered to the present day.
now, once more, we ask for information. What was the balance of the '`letter"?
In whose custody was the "letter"? Where had it been for one hundred and
twenty years? And even more to the point, where is it now? The answer is
obvious. Like the whiffenpoof, "there ain't no such animal never."
Notwithstanding repeated requests and demands during the last forty years, the
document has never been produced for examination. No known living or dead man
has ever stated that he has seen it. Unless and until it is produced or
accounted for, no credit can be given to it or to any conclusions based upon
it. For one seriously to predicate any argument upon it is so ridiculous that
his readers can hardly be blamed for being inquisitive as to the soundness of
his other historical deductions.
McGregor's discovery of the Coxe letter of 1730 and his publication of the
facts about it ought to be appreciated. For myself, at least, I thank him. Let
us hope that there will be many more discoveries which will be made public so
that they may be subjected to the test of examination and verification. How
much better this is than the attitude of a certain brother who has said, in
effect, that he has discovered something which the author of The Beginnings of
Freemasonry in America didn't know and which he wouldn't tell him. Real
historians want demonstrable facts. No honest historian will conceal facts or
distort them or attempt their manufacture. No one is entitled to be regarded
as an authority who is not willing to throw any or all his conclusions into
the discard whenever new discoveries show them to be wrong.
CONCERNING THE CARMICK MS.
one other word. In a statement by Bro. Haywood on page 243 of the November
BUTEDER, he dubs the Manuscript Constitutions, dated 1677 and owned by the
Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, as spurious. (See Note No. 2.) We fail to see
his excuse for doing this. There never was a better authenticated ancient
document. Bro. Haywood, or any other brother who is interested, may see it in
the Temple at Boston whenever he wishes, and may subject it to the most
critical examination. The fact, however, that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts
in Boston owns genuine Manuscript Constitutions dated 1677 is, to my mind, no
evidence that there was any Freemasonry in Boston in 1677. Likewise the fact
that the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia owns similar genuine
Manuscript Constitutions dated 1727 is, to my mind, no evidence that there was
any Freemasonry in Philadelphia in 1727.
are to accept Bro. Haywood's conclusion that if the 1727 manuscript "be
accepted as genuine it proves that a lodge, or lodges, must have been active
in Pennsylvania in 1q27," then he ought to draw the conclusion that the 1677
manuscript "proves that a lodge, or lodges, must have been active in"
Massachusetts in 1677. But it seems to me that either "contention is unworthy
of serious discussion."
of this controversy is wide of the mark. Much of it is barking up the wrong
tree. Nobody, so far as I know, doubts that there were Freemasons in
Pennsylvania in 1730. The same is true as to Massachusetts. There is positive
proof of at least one Freemason in Boston as early as 1705, a man so prominent
that he became Governor in 1730. Probably no Masonic student doubts that
Freemasons met not only in Pennsylvania and in Massachusetts, but also in
other of the Colonies as early as 1730, and perhaps earlier. It is likely that
they met as "lodges." Before the organization of the Grand Lodge of England
and its assumption of jurisdiction over its Colonies that had been the custom
wherever Freemasons had met. It is doubtful if we ever shall know when and
where the first of such meetings in America was held. All that Massachusetts
claims is that within its borders was the first "duly constituted" Freemasonry
in the Western Hemisphere, and that Henry Price was, as he said himself (and
as Franklin admitted for himself and his associates) the "Founder of Duly
Constituted Freemasonry in America."
No. 1. See Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania; Vol. I, page 10. - M. M. J.
No. 2. When questioning Bro. Johnson's disposal of the Carmick MS. I offered
no opinion as to the spuriousness or genuineness of that document or of the
Massachusetts MS. dated 1677, such a discussion lay outside my province. My
point was that the Carmick MS. deserved a different treatment at Bro.
Johnson's hand. His manner of treating it will be found at the top of page 56
of his Beginnings of Freemasonry in America: "At one time it was attempted to
claim for this year proof of Masonry in Philadelphia because of the finding in
1756 of a manuscript copy of the 'Old Charges' dated 1727. The contention is
unworthy of serious discussion. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts owns a
similar manuscript dated 1677 but makes no claim by virtue thereof." This
tells the reader of Beginnings nothing about the Carmick and does not tell him
why it is useless. Thus far in my present Study Club articles I have ventured
no opinion on the subject as to the priority of Massachusetts or Pennsylvania
in the establishment of Masonry in America; I shall hope to do that later. The
facts now known show that the first lodge in America to be deliberately and
formally brought into existence according to the regulation adopted by the
Grand Lodge of England in 1721 was the First Lodge in Boston, so constituted
in 1733. - H. L. H.
Men Who Were Masons
Bro. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P. G. M., District of Columbia
Americans prominent in our history more justly earned for themselves the title
of pioneer. Rufus Putnam was a pioneer in the State of Ohio, a pioneer in
early Masonry, a pioneer in Ohio law, and a pioneer - one of the earliest -
General Putnam was born in Sutton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, April 9,
1738, the same year, it happened, in which Pope Clement XII issued the first
Roman Catholic Bull against Freemasonry. He died in Marietta, Ohio, May 1,
the age of nineteen he enlisted in the war against France and saw four years
of military service. In 1761 he gave up military life, married, and took up
farming and surveying. In 1773, after having become proficient as a surveyor,
he spent eight months in Florida with his cousin Israel, equally famous as a
soldier and pioneer, and while there assisted in arranging for the migration
of several hundred families from New England into the province now known as
the State of Florida.
the outbreak of the Revolutionary War he enlisted in the Continental Army with
the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel of Engineers. Very soon thereafter his skill in
military engineering became so noticeable, especially in view of the fact of
his having had no previous experience, that General Washington highly
complimented him upon his work. Congress commissioned him an engineer with the
rank of Colonel in 1776, and he held the post of Chief Engineer until 1778, at
which time Kosciusko succeeded him. The military impregnability of West Point
was very largely due to his plans.
happened that while Colonel Putnam was in the army at West Point, the Masons,
of whom General Washington was the most conspicuous, celebrated the festival
of St. John the Baptist in an army lodge on the Hudson River. It is probable
that this inspired Colonel Putnam to apply for membership. He was raised in
American Union Lodge Sept. 6, 1779, at a meeting held two miles from West
1783 Washington secured for him a commission as Brigadier General. After the
Continental Army was disbanded at the close of the Revolution, General Putnam
spent several years in helping to organize a company that later settled on the
Muskingum River, where a settlement was made, now known as the town of
Marietta. Putnam laid out the town and thus may be thought of as a father of
the State of Ohio. From that time on he passed from one station of influence
to another, with a career too full of incident to be described here. After the
settlement of Marietta a charter of the old American Union Lodge was employed
as authority for organizing a lodge there, and Putnam became its first Junior
Warden. When the Grand Lodge of Ohio was organized in 1808 he was unanimously
chosen Grand Master, although by that time he had become too aged for active
service in the Masonic ranks. His beautiful letter of resignation is still
very interesting to read:
the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted
Masons for the State of Ohio, your Brother sendeth Greeting:
was with high sensibility and gratitude I received the information that the
Grand Convention of Masons at Chillicothe, in January last, elected me to the
office of Grand Master of our Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity. But
however sensibly I feel the high honor done me by the Convention, and am
disposed to promote the interests of the Craft in general and in this State in
particular I must decline the appointment. My sun is far past its meridian,
and is almost set. A few sands only remain in my glass. I am unable to undergo
the necessary labors of that high and important office. I am unable to make
you a visit at this time, without a sacrifice and hazard of health which
the great Architect, under whose all-seeing eye all Masons profess to labor,
have you in his holy keeping, that when our labors here are finished, we may,
through the merits of Him that was dead but is now alive and lives forevermore
be admitted into that temple, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Amen. So prays your friend and brother,
"Marietta, December 26, 1808."
early pioneers of Masonry were an heroic band. Cass, Johnson, Carson, Lewis -
with hundreds like them; to such Putnam belonged. To Masonry they gave the
same devotion as to the flag. In Masonic research, there are more than worthy
of our study.
TU DY C LU B
Studies of Masonry in the United States
Bro. H. L. HAYWOOD, Editor
IV. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S MASONIC CAREER
the universal suffrages of public opinion George Washington and Abraham
Lincoln are to be considered our two greatest Americans it is safe to believe
that by the same general consent Benjamin Franklin would be ranked immediately
after those two shining names. Unlike the fame of those who are illustrious
only when judged according to the standards of their own times, Franklin's
greatness is absolute. The empire of his influence extends across many
countries and will outlast many generations; we of today live in a world
unbelievably changed from his, but we can nevertheless sit at his feet to
learn many things from so many-sided a genius.
would be a temptation to dwell at length on the story of his life and to
catalog once again the list of his hundreds of achievements were it not that
his Masonic career is so rich in fact and incident as in itself to press
against the limitations of space. That career extended from 1730/1 to 1790 and
was so filled with activity that the most casual examination of it shows at
once that Franklin, unlike some other famous Americans in the Craft - John
Marshall, Mark Twain, et al. - was not satisfied with a merely nominal
membership, but worked in the thick of things. He was a Mason as well as a
months before becoming a Mason, and when only twenty-four years of age, he
published in his Pennsylvania Gazette, No. 108, Dec. 5 to 8, 1730, the first
known printed item concerning Masonic lodges in America, quoted in the Study
Club article last month. During preceding months of the same year he had
published three items about English lodges. Perhaps he had become interested
in Masonry while working as a printer in England during 1725 and 1726. If so,
it may be, as Bro. Julius Sachse hints (in his Franklin as a Freemasons a work
to which I am greatly indebted here), that from the Fraternity he caught the
idea of founding a secret society of his own after returning to Philadelphia.
He called this the "Leather Apron Club," a name possibly suggested by the
Masonic apron, but later changed it, at the same time transforming its
character, to "Junto," "a club for mental improvement."
exact date of Franklin's initiation is not known," writes Bro. Sachse, "but it
was before the legal year of 1730 expired, evidently in February, 173031."
This approximate date is based on Liber B. described last month, in folio 10
of which is an entry showing that on June 24, 1731, Franklin paid 2.2.6d as
balance owing on his initiation fees and dues. The same record proves that at
the time he was a member of St. John's Lodge, from which one may suppose that
he was raised in that lodge. Within two or three months after this,
presumably, he published in the Gazette "Some Information Concerning the
Society Called Free Masons," an excerpt from Chambers' Universal Dictionary of
All Arts and Sciences. Bro. Sachse believes that he must have been elected
Junior Warden of the lodge on the date just given, June 24, 1731, and that
since the term of elective officers ran but six months at that time he became
Senior Warden six months afterwards, and Worshipful Master on June 5 of 1732.
If such a surmise is correct, as there is every reason to believe that it is,
the young Mason must have proved his ability as well as his zeal, because on
June 24, 1732, Grand Master Allen (of whom more anon) appointed him Junior
Grand Warden, and at about the same time he was made secretary of a committee
"To consider of the present state of the lodge and of the proper method to
improve it." The report, in Franklin's handwriting, is described by Bro.
Sachse as "the oldest draft of By-Laws of an American Masonic Lodge", and he
adds in a footnote, "These By-Laws antedate the first By-Laws of the First
Lodge in Boston just sixteen months, they having been adopted October 24,
1733." I am not able to agree with our learned brother in this; the
Committee's Report can only by a stretching of words be described as
"By-Laws," for of the five paragraphs three arrange for the purchase of an
outlay of "Books of Architecture, suitable Mathematical Instruments, etc.";
paragraph numbered five adjures the brethren to make more careful use of the
ballot; and paragraph numbered six states that a brother having a complaint to
make should first take it up with the Wardens. (Paragraph four was erased.)
Such a document cannot be described as a By-Law in the strict sense of that
JOHN'S FUNCTIONED AS A GRAND LODGE
now a matter of almost certain knowledge that the St. John's Lodge of which
Franklin was made Worshipful Master in 1732 functioned also as a Grand Lodge
after the fashion of a few old English lodges, notably the one at York.
Franklin was installed as Grand Master in June, 1734, as we may learn from his
Gazette of June 27 of that year. As indicating Franklin's close attention to
lodge affairs, Bro. Sachse notes that in five years he was absent from lodge
only five times.
may also guess that many other brethren in North America were becoming more
and more interested in the Craft from the fact that in 1734 Franklin found a
sufficient demand to warrant his publishing an edition of the Constitutions,
of which the title page is here reproduced. This was the first Masonic book
ever printed on this continent. It was a reprint of Anderson's Constitutions
published in London in 1723; omits the music, substituting one song, contains
a number of typographical slips, and measures six by eight and three-eighths
inches. According to Bro. J. H. Tatsch (The Master Mason, 1924, page 344) the
existing copies are in the possession of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts
(bound up with the Beteilhe MS.), the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, the Grand
Lodge of Iowa, the Supreme Council, A.&A.S.R., N.J., Washington, D.C., the
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pennsylvania. The
book was advertised in May but was not ready for distribution until August, in
which month seventy copies were sent to Boston, a fact indicating that Masons
there were also active.
this connection may be noted two of Franklin's letters, both of which have
served as the basis of volumes of discussion. In April 1733, as will be
explained in a later chapter, Henry Price of Boston received from Lord
Viscount Montague, Grand Master of Masons of England, a deputation appointing
him "Provincial Grand Master of New England and Dominion and Territories
"hereunto belonging." In August of 1734 the Earl of Crawford, then English
Grand Master, extended Price's authority to cover the whole of North America.
On the 28th of the November following we find Franklin addressing a letter to
the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the body of which is here quoted:
History, Charges, Regulations, &c.
that most Ancient and Right
the Use of the LODGES.
LONDON Printed; Anno 5723.
Re-printed in Philadelphia by Special Order, for the Use
the Brethren in NORTH - AMERICA.
the Year of Masonry 5734, Anno Domini 1734.
PAGE OF FRANKLIN'S REPRINT
have seen in the Boston prints an article of news from London, importing that
at a Grand Lodge held there in August last, Mr. Price's deputation and power
was extended over all America, which advice we hope is true, and we heartily
congratulate him thereupon, and though this has not been as yet regularly
signified to us by you, yet, giving credit thereto, we think it our duty to
lay before your Lodge what we apprehend needful to be done for us, in order to
promote and strengthen the interest of Masonry in this Province (which seems
to want the sanction of some authority derived from home, to give the
proceedings and determinations of our Lodge their due weight), to wit, a
Deputation or Charter granted by the Right Worshipful Mr. Price, by virtue of
his commission from Britain, confirming the Brethren of Pennsylvania in the
privileges they at present enjoy of holding annually their Grand Lodge,
choosing their Grand Master, Wardens, and other officers, who may manage all
affairs relating to the Brethren here with full power and authority, according
to the customs and usages of Masons the said Grand Master of Pennsylvania only
yielding his chair when the said Grand Master of all America shall be in
place. This, if it seem good and reasonable to you to grant, will not only be
extremely agreeable to us, but will also we are confident conduce much to the
welfare, establishment, and reputation of Masonry in these parts. We therefore
submit it for your consideration, and as we hope our request will be complied
with, we desire that it may be done as soon as possible and also accompanied
with a copy of the R. W. Grand Master's first Deputation, and of the
instrument by which it appears to be enlarged as above-mentioned, witnessed by
your Wardens, and signed by the Secretary; for which favors this Lodge doubt
not of being able to behave as not to be thought ungrateful.
are, Right Worshipful Grand Master and Most Worthy Brethren, Your Affectionate
Brethren and obliged humble Servts.
"Signed at the request of the Lodge,
Franklin, G. M.
"Philadelphia, Nov. 28,1734."
SENT A LETTER TO HENRY PRICE
that date Franklin sent a letter to Price himself here given in its entirety:
Brother Price - I am glad to hear of your recovery. I hoped to have seen you
here this Fall, agreeable to the expectation you were so good as to give me;
but since sickness has prevented your coming while the weather was moderate, I
have no room to flatter myself with a visit from you before the Spring, when a
deputation of the Brethren, who are foreigners, being about to set up a
distinct Lodge in opposition to the old and true Brethren here, pretending to
make Masons for a bowl of punch and the Craft is like to come into disesteem
among us unless the true Brethren are countenanced and distinguished by some
such special authority as herein desired. I entreat, therefore, that
whatsoever you shall think proper to do therein may be sent by the next post,
if possible, or the next following.
Franklin, G. M.
"Philadelphia, Nov. 28, 1734.
S. - If more of the Constitutions are wanted among you, please hint it to me.
address upon the letters:]
Mr. Henry Price
the Brazen Head
Unfortunately the originals of these important documents were destroyed at the
burning of the Masonic Temple in Boston, in 1863, but there can be no doubt of
their authenticity as here given. As to their significance there have been
endless opinions. Do these two letters mean that Franklin was formally
acknowledging Price's authority over Pennsylvania? Do they mean that in the
minds of Franklin and his lodge associates there was doubt as to the
regularity and legitimacy of the Philadelphia lodge (or lodges) ? Do they also
indicate that Coxe had not exercised his authority in Pennsylvania?
page 42 of his Franklin as a Freemason Bro. Sachse presents the Pennsylvania
point of view in a brief paragraph:
"Franklin's information appears not to have been correct, for on examination
of Price's deputation, granted by Lord Montague on April 30th, 1733, it
appears that his authority was limited to New England, and there is no
evidence that he ever attempted any control over the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania, which continued to elect Grand Officers annually, as prescribed
in the Coxe deputation, until the appointment of Franklin as Provincial Grand
Master in 1749 by Thomas Oxnard, of Massachusetts, which was of a short
page 3, of Vol. I, Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, :1727-1907, written by Sachse
in association with Norris S. Barratt, is another passage expressing the same
opinion in other words:
"There should be no question as to the regular constitution of our early
Pennsylvania Lodges. The appointment of Col. Daniel Coxe as Provincial Grand
Master on the fifth day of June, 1730, presents undeniable evidence that there
were lawful Brethren residing in Pennsylvania who were recognized as regular
Freemasons. The Deputation granted Col. Coxe gave almost unlimited powers to
elect officers and continue the Grand Lodge, without any further
correspondence with the Grand Masters and Grand Lodge of England. In fact the
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1731 was in all respects practically an
independent Grand Lodge, the third oldest Grand Lodge of the world. With the
exception of the Grand Lodge of England, established in the year 1717,
followed A. D. 1726 by that of the Grand Lodge of Munster, which merged into
the Grand Lodge of Ireland, 1729-30, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania had no
superior in seniority or rival in rank."
JOHNSON REGISTERS A DECIDED NEGATIVE
Melvin Johnson gives expression to the counter view in his characteristically
pungent manner on pages 126-7 of his Beginnings of Freemasonry in America:
the official letter, Franklin, acting as he himself says at the request of his
Lodge, acknowledges its want of lawful authority and prays that Price by
virtue of his Commission from Britain, which had been extended over the whole
of North America, would confirm the Brethren of Pennsylvania in privileges
which they then enjoyed of holding their Lodge although without 'the sanction
of some authority derived from home.' He further admits that the Grand Master
of Pennsylvania would thereafter yield his chair whenever the Grand Master of
North America, to wit, Henry Price, should be present. This letter is a flat
and explicit admission made officially that the Brethren of Pennsylvania had
no authority, and that they were irregular without it; and they prayed for the
"Benjamin Franklin when he signed the letter of November 28, 1734, as Grand
Master and 'at the request of the Lodge,' knew what he was writing ex
cathedra. It is also submitted that the Brethren who officially requested
their Grand Master to send the petition to Price, knew more about the facts of
that day and generation than some partisan historians one hundred and fifty
years later who have struggled to convince the Masonic world that Franklin,
Price, and their associates were all wrong as to these facts.
"Should all other evidence and argument be disregarded, these letters are
definite and final. They establish that Pennsylvania Masonry was wanting in
authority, i. e., was not duly constituted: that Henry Price was the 'Founder
of Duly Constituted Masonry in America’.”
Franklin's term as Grand Master expired he served several years as Secretary
of his lodge, and at the same time continued to publish Masonic items in his
Gazette. One of these, dated June 9 to 16, 1737, furnishes an account of how a
number of local young blades carried off a mock Masonic initiation with such
severity as to burn their dupe to death. This unhappy occurrence stirred up
excitement in Philadelphia and led to a certain amount of condemnation of the
Masonic lodge, thereby serving as the first known Anti-Masonic effort in this
land, as will be noted more fully in a later chapter to be devoted to the
melancholy theme of Anti-Masonry. Officers of the lodge published a
condemnation of the practical jokers and at the same time declared the
innocence of the Masonic brethren. A rival of Franklin's Gazette, Bradford's
American Weekly Mercury, took up the affair and published several columns of
controversial matter, mostly aimed against the Masons.
report of these exciting happenings reached Franklin's mother, who knew little
or nothing about Freemasonry, and caused her uneasiness lest her son had
become involved in a disgraceful organization. After giving much thought as to
how best to compose her fears Franklin sent a letter to his father, dated from
Philadelphia, April 13, 1738, in which, while discussing a number of other
topics, he wrote of Freemasonry in this wise:
to the freemasons, I know no way of giving my mother a better account of them
than she seems to have at present, since it is not allowed that women should
be admitted into that secret society. She has, I must confess, on that account
some reason to be displeased with it; but for anything else I must entreat her
to suspend her judgment until she is better informed, unless she will believe
me when I assure her that they are in general a very harmless sort of people,
and have no principles or practices that are inconsistent with religion and
his letter to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, quoted above, written under
date of Nov. 28, Franklin suggested that Price, as Grand Master having
authority "over all America," appoint a Deputy Grand Master for Pennsylvania.
Bro. Melvin Johnson succeeded in locating a news item in the American Weekly
Mercury, published at Philadelphia, under date of March 20 to 27, 1735, under
a Boston heading of Feb. 24, to the effect that "on Friday last" Mr. Henry
Price, "Grand Master of His Majesty's Dominions in North America, Nominated
and Appointed his Grand Officers for the Year ensuing," among which was "Mr.
Benjamin Franklin, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Pennsylvania."
This discovery has greatly strengthened the position of those brethren who
argue that the Pennsylvania Masons acknowledged and accepted Price's authority
over their own lodges.
FRANKLIN IS AGAIN APPOINTED
Franklin was again similarly honored in 1749, at which time Thomas Oxnard was
Provincial Grand Master for all North America, he having received a deputation
to that effect at the hands of John Ward, Grand Master of England, Sept. 23,
1743. On July 10, 1749, Oxnard appointed Franklin “Provincial Grand Master of
Pennsylvania." Franklin convened a Grand Lodge under this warrant on Sept. 5,
following, and this Grand Lodge warranted a new lodge to meet in Philadelphia;
Franklin's natural son, William, was made a Mason in this lodge.
was in this same year that Franklin set afoot the organization of a college
that became in time the University of Pennsylvania; among the trustees of this
new institution meeting in November of 1749 were seven Past Grand Masters of
the Provincial Grand Lodge. Christopher Saner, of Germantown, had some years
before "accused" the Masons of fostering public schools. "The people who are
promoters of the free schools," he had written, "are Grand Masters and wardens
among the Freemasons, their very pillars." The fact mentioned just above would
indicate that Saner had not guessed wildly.
this time there were at least three lodges functioning in Philadelphia. One of
these, that meeting at the Tun Tavern, petitioned "Mr. Benjamin Franklin" for
a "deputation under his sanction." The Philadelphia brethren evidently desired
to be "regular" in every sense of that word.
Franklin's term of office under the Oxnard deputation was not of long
duration, for at the meeting of Grand Lodge, March 13, 1750, William Allen
exhibited a commission as Provincial Grand Master received direct from the
Grand Master of England. Allen appointed Franklin as his Deputy. It is
apparent -that he remained in that office for some years because on June 24,
1756, when the new "Lodge," the first Masonic building to be erected in the
United States, was dedicated, "The Deputy Grand Master Benjamin Franklin,
Esq." appeared in the procession immediately behind Grand Master Allen. The
sermon preached on this occasion by the Grand Chaplain, Rev. William Smith,
was afterwards, on resolution proffered by the Grand Master, printed in book
form from Franklin's press.
Franklin went abroad in 1757, returning in 1762; he retained his office during
that time, or else resumed it after returning. He went abroad again, on
missions of highest importance to the Colonies, in November, 1764. The Minutes
of the Grand Lodge of England show him as a visitor to Grand Lodge Nov. 17,
1760, but there. is no other known record Of any Masonic activity while among
the members of the parent Grand Body during his various sojourns in England.
On going to Paris, November, 1776, he almost immediately became active in
lodge affairs, for he was made a member of the famous Loge des IX Socurs
("Lodge of the Nine Sisters," referring to the Muses), probably in 1777. From
Kloss' History of Freemasonry in France we learn that he assisted at the
initiation of Voltaire; and that on Nov. 28, 1778, he served as a Warden in a
Lodge of Sorrow held by the Lodge of the Nine Sisters after Voltaire's death.
Franklin filled the office of "Venerable" (roughly corresponding to our
Worshipful Master) in the Lodge during 1782; was made a member of the Order of
St. John of Jerusalem; in 1785 was elected an honorary member of the Lodge of
Good Friends at Rouen; and was made the recipient at various times of Masonic
medals struck in his honor.
returning to Philadelphia in 1785 he found that the old Grand Lodge in which
he had been so active had passed out of existence; and that the new Grand
Lodge erected to take its place was severing all connections with the Mother
Grand Lodges abroad to the end of setting itself up as a sovereign body in
Pennsylvania. Bro. Sachse believes that during the last years of his life
Franklin remained an unaffiliate. He died in his eighty-fifth year, April 17,
1790. The ceremonies at the tomb were under the direction of the Grand Master
WAS SILENT ABOUT MASONRY
some private reason Franklin almost never mentioned Freemasonry in his
correspondence or his published writings. His Autobiography, the earliest
American classic, has no reference at all to his many lodge interests. His
oft-quoted paragraphs on the Masonic signs and tokens show what a book of his
would have been like had he ever written on Masonry:
"These signs and tokens are of no small value; they speak a universal
language, and act as a passport to the attention and support of the initiated
in all parts of the world. They cannot be lost so long as memory retains its
power. Let the possessor of them be expatriated, shipwrecked, or imprisoned;
let him be stripped of everything he has got in the world; still these
credentials remain and are available for use as circumstances require.
great effects which they have produced are established by the most
incontestable facts of history. They have stayed the uplifted hand of the
destroyer; they have softened the asperities of the tyrant, they have
mitigated the horrors of captivity; they have subdued the rancor of
malevolence; and broken down the barriers of political animosity and sectarian
the field of battle, in the solitude of the uncultivated forests, or in the
busy haunts of the crowded city, they have made men of the most hostile
feelings, and most distant religions, and the most diversified conditions,
rush to the aid of each other, and feel a social joy and satisfaction that
they have been able to afford relief to a brother Mason."
references on the general events coincident with Franklin's early Masonic
career see bibliography appended to Study Club article last month, page 314.
volumes above referred to contain sketches of Franklin's Masonic career. For
more detailed accounts see Benjamin Franklin as a Freemason, Sachse;
Philadelphia. Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, 1727-1907, Barratt and Sachse;
Philadelphia, 1908 Vol. I, page 3. Beginnings of Freemasonry in America,
Melvin M. Johnson; New York, 1924; see index. Grand Lodge Proceedings
Massachusetts, 1871, page 356 If. Grand Lodge Proceedings Massachusetts, 1914,
page 257. Memorial History of Boston, Justin Winsor, Boston, 1882; Vol. II,
page 269. History/ of Freemasonry, Gould, American Edition, Vol. IV, pages
236, 361. The Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Chas. W. Moore; Boston; Vol. XV,
pages 21, 373; Vol. XVII, page 7. American Quarterly Review of Freemasonry, A.
G. Mackey; New York 1858, page 212.
Builder, 1915, pages 174, 232, 233; 1916, pages 60, 84, 93, 95, 181, 196, 229,
253, 294, 320, 325, 1917, page 164; 1918, pages 153, 170; 1919, page 39; 1921,
page 264; 1922, page 351; 1923, page 174.
the almost innumerable biographies or biographical studies of Franklin may be
mentioned his own Autobiography. Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, James
Parton, two volumes, New York, 1864. Benjamin Franklin, John T. Morse, Jr.,
Boston, 1889. The Many Sided Franklin, Paul L. Ford; New York 1899. The True
Benjamin Franklin, S. G. Fisher; Philadelphia, 1899. Franklin in France, E. E.
Hale and E. E. Hale, Jr., two volumes; Boston, 1888.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
is your estimate of Franklin's place in American History? Why may Franklin's
greatness be described "as absolute?" How long did his Masonic activities
was the first known printed item concerning American lodges? What was the
“Leather Apron Club?” “the Junto?”
and where was Franklin initiated? What is Liber B? What offices did he hold in
the Masonic lodge and when was he appointed Junior Grand Warden? What is meant
by by-laws of a lodge?
what Grand Lodge was Franklin Grand Master? When? How active was Franklin in
is meant by the Constitutions? What was the first Masonic book printed in the
United States? When? Where are copies known to exist? Describe it.
is the significance of Franklin's letters to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts
and to Henry Price? Do these two letters indicate to you that Pennsylvania was
then under the jurisdiction of Price? Give the gist of Johnson's argument.
Describe the first known anti-Masonic excitement. What would Franklin's letter
to his mother indicate as to his own feelings about Freemasonry? Describe and
explain Johnson's discovery concerning Price's appointment of Franklin as
Provincial Grand Master. When was Franklin again made Provincial Grand Master?
part did early Pennsylvania Masons take in public education ? Under what
circumstances did Franklin become a Deputy Grand Master?
is meant by "Lodge of the Nine Sisters?" Who was Voltaire ? Was Voltaire an
atheist ? Where was he made a Mason? What part did Franklin take in it? Why,
do you suppose, did Franklin not mention Freemasonry in his public writings?
Give a summary of his tribute to Freemasonry.
these words be our motto,
Breath of our social sphere
each one give his quota
kindness, love and cheer
brothers we shall be,
Decreed by Heaven above
law shall be our high degree
Unity and Love!"
Freemasonry in Austria
Bro. DR. WLADIMIR MISAR, Grand Secretary, Vienna
Having noted the absence of any mention of the Grand Lodge of Vienna (Grossloge
Von Wien) in Ye Editor's Study Club article on "Various Grand Lodges" in THE
BUILDER of last June, Bro. Dr. Misar was kind enough to prepare an authentic
account of that Grand Body to fill that regretted omission, and with it sent
greetings to his brethren in America.
FREEMASONRY in Austria dates back to the first half of the eighteenth century.
The first lodge, Zu den drei Kanonen, was founded in Vienna, 1742. It was
forbidden under the Government of the Empress Maria Theresa, but later was
permitted by the Emperor Joseph II, in whose time many famous men -
Sonnenfels, Mozart, Haydn - were members of Vienna lodges, which in those
times mostly worked under the obedience of the Grosse Landesloge of Berlin.
Grosse Landesloge van Osterreich, founded 1784, was dissolved under the
government of Francis I and since then Freemasonry in Austria has been
permitted only for short periods till the year 1918.
Meanwhile in the year 1871 another Austrian lodge had been constituted by
great efforts of Hungarian Masons living in Austria. This, the oldest of our
existing lodges, called Humanitas, was founded in a place on the territory of
Hungary, but near the Austro-Hungarian frontier.
lodge Humanitas and a number of other lodges, partly emanating from it, partly
founded by Austrians in the territory of Hungary, all working according to the
constitution of the Grand Lodge of Hamburg, were taken under the protection of
the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary.
Before the Great War there existed fourteen such lodges, all of them not being
admitted in Austria and therefore being obliged to perform their works of
initiations, etc., in Hungary, in such places as Neudorfel, Pressburg, etc.,
situated near the frontier. In order to secure the possibility of the Austrian
Freemasons meeting on the Austrian territory for purposes of administration,
instruction, or social intercourse, each of the Austrian lodges formed a
parallel society of profane name and character, publicly maintaining a social,
cultural, educational or charitable purpose. Most of the lodges also
maintained special benevolent institutions. The oldest lodge, Humanitas, is
known to have founded the first Austrian orphanage, Erstes Osterreichisshes
break-up of the old Austrian Empire suggested the possibility of creating an
Austrian Grand Lodge, which idea met with complaisant understanding at the
Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary. On Dec. 8, 1918, the fourteen Vienna lodges
assembled to found the "Grand Lodge of Vienna," the charter of which was
issued by the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary, Jan. 25, 1919.
period of new cultural and intellectual ascent for Austrian Freemasonry then
began. Opened for new parts of the society remaining aloof from Masonry as
long as it was forbidden, the Vienna lodges by and by acquired members
prominent both in social and in intellectual rank.
Politicians, men of science, and famous artists adorn the Craft. The meetings
reveal a most interesting selection of instructive lectures and the solemn
initiations, embellished by the famous art of Vienna musicians, are festivals
of ever memorable impression.
up since its beginnings on the basis of impartial humanity, without any
prejudices of theological or national character, Austrian Freemasonry has
always seen its first and highest aim in moderating and reconciliating all
opposites of any kind among human individuals, parties and nations.
consequence of these convictions the Grand Lodge of Vienna in the year 1922
solemnly declared "The promotion of inward and outward peace" to be its chief
the present time there are working under the obedience of the Grand Lodge of
Vienna sixteen lodges with nearly 1500 members.
WHAT BROTHERLY LOVE CONSISTS
"Brotherly love is not found in beautiful words; it is not in public works; it
is not ostentation; it is not done for glory, for these can never be recorded
as the real service of Masonry. It is in the kind word, quietly spoken, in the
little act of kindness when the soul craves for aid and comfort; it is in the
little touch of love given when the heart is breaking; it is when your life,
like the rose whose beauty gives forth sweet perfume for you and me, touches
the other life in sweet accord and perfect tune, that it is recorded in
everlasting history. Such service is brotherly love, and the Divine in man and
the all-seeing eye of the Great Architect of the Universe will forever watch
over it, and never, never let it die.”
"Problem of the Side Order"
a headline dated from Utica, N. Y., Oct. 6, 1924, the Associated Press sent
out a news story to the effect that with a view to fostering "a spirit of
toleration in economics, politics and religion," fifty Protestants, nearly all
of them Masons, and a like number of Roman Catholics, most of them Knights of
Columbus, "met tonight for the formal organization of the Hamilton-Jefferson
Association," announced as a "non-secret, non-sectarian and non-partisan"
"Organization of the association," we continue to read, "was brought about
when Attorney Arthur J. Foley, member of the Knights of Columbus, discussed
its formation with Wm. Ross Lee, former District Attorney of Oneida County and
a Mason. The plan was broached to Andrew F. Kelly, director of the Utica
branch of the National Catholic Welfare Council, who, after approving it,
suggested presenting it to Root." Elihu Root was named as the most prominent
person allying himself with this new association.
would be obviously impossible for such an association, if it ever becomes a
reality, to become a Side Order, and nothing is said to that effect, but even
so this episode furnishes a perfect laboratory specimen whereby to make a
dissection of that subject. There is a distinction between a "Side Degree" and
a "Side Order," for where the former originates within a regular Masonic body,
and remains under the official control of that body (the Past Master's Degree,
as worked in many jurisdictions is an example), a "Side Order" originates
outside any regular Masonic body among private individuals who happen to be
Masons, and who make use of Masonry as a means to an end. What has come to be
called "the Problem of the Side Order" arises not from the fact that it is an
addition to the recognized degrees - the Order of High Priesthood, never
brought into question, may be described as such an addition - but from the
fact that private Masons make use of the name of Masonry unofficially or
extraofficially. An organization appends itself to Masonry but at the same
time lies outside control by Masonry; therein lies the crux of the whole
crux may be thrown into the form of a series of questions. Have individual
Masons a right to claim a connection with Masonry for extra-Masonic purposes?
Has any Masonic Grand Body a right to confer such a privilege on private
Masons ? If such a privilege is extended to one group for one purpose why not
to some other for another purpose ? Can any group of Masons, as Masons, take
action concerning questions forbidden to lodges, chapters, commanderies and
consistories? What if such a group misuses the name or influence of the Craft;
how is it to be controlled by regular Masonic bodies?
wisest leaders of the Craft are endeavoring to answer these perplexing
questions, each of which bristles with a hundred difficulties. It will be
interesting to exhibit in this connection a catena of their answers and
remarks, selected at random from Grand Lodge Proceedings of the past year or
two. These quotations are not chosen with a view to making out a case - it is
not the purpose here to make out a case - but are lifted from our reference
files regardless of their being pro or con:
Colorado. Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1921
our last annual communication we were obliged to repudiate one of those
fraternal parasites which sought to fasten itself upon the body of
Freemasonry, appropriate its degrees and march beneath its banners. Others are
appearing and causing much concern in this, as well as other Grand
Jurisdictions. The same principles apply to all, and if we could turn back the
pages of history and write it anew, we might discountenance all. This, of
course, at the present time, is impracticable. We have a condition to meet,
due largely to our easy tolerance, and not a theory to vindicate. But we
should take no additional step down the road we have mistakenly traveled in
Delaware. Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1921
our sincere judgment that Masonry is suffering in these modern days from two
serious diseases. The first of these is the anxiety on the part of the
majority of the members of the Craft to know the mysteries of the so-called
"Higher Degrees." There are no higher degrees. There can be nothing higher
than the three degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry and nothing holier than to attain
to that moral eminence which is involved in the term Master Mason. A Master
Mason has the mastery over himself. His passions have been subdued, his
ambitions have been brought into harmony with truth and justice' his powers
are directed into the channels of duty to God and his fellow men, selfishness
has been conquered. He is a man, a master, the noblest work of God.
a serious mistake for our members to come into our lodges and immediately upon
receiving the Master Mason Degree. rush a petition into the chapter, or the
consistory, and on into the Mystic Shrine before they become acquainted with
the basic principles of Masonry, all of which are to be found in the Blue
Florida. Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1923
with regret that we notice the very large number of fraternal organizations
which have been organized within a few years, all of which require membership
in the Masonic Order as a prerequisite for membership, or which require on
behalf of the women members, relationship to some member of the Masonic Order.
Georgia. Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1922
seems almost unnecessary for me to mention here my personal opinion and
official action in regard to Masonic parasites. The two and a half million men
who constitute the Masonic membership of the United States are a tempting bait
for many and sundry organizations of various kinds. They attempt to attach
themselves to Masonry for monetary gain, and to aid them in rapidly filling
their ranks Symbolic Masonry is the foundation and the life germ. It seems to
be the opinion of many that if the least bit of this simon-pure Masonic
protoplasm can be injected into the veins of their organization Masons will be
induced thereby to join, and will follow their lead. It is useless to
enumerate the different organizations; many of them are no doubt good and
honorable, many beautiful, and teaching in their ritual morality in forceful
drama and symbols. Many are possibly not so worthy. Perhaps one who does not
know has no right to speak, but I only wish to utter a word of caution and
urge your most serious consideration of all organizations that use the word
"Mason" or "Masonry" to further their interests, making membership in Masonry
a prerequisite to their membership, and to most seriously ask your attention
to whether or not we should legislate against such practice.
clipping the Fulton County Daily Report was sent me, in which appeared an
application for charter to be granted "The Great American Fraternity." In this
charter they propose "Uniting into one great fraternity those members in good
standing who desire to affiliate and amalgamate with the following societies
or fraternities, to-wit: Junior Order of the United Mechanics, Free and
Accepted Masons, Guardians of Liberty, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and
Daughters of America . . . except in the case of male members the feminine
members of his family between the ages of sixteen and sixty . . . 'The Great
American Fraternity' is to provide a ritual. . . . It being the intention of
petitioners to carry on a fraternal and benefit society . . . provide a medium
whereby a practical expedient may be found by putting into execution the
precepts recognized and taught by all the aforesaid fraternities or
Masonry never having "affiliated" or "amalgamated" with any other society or
organization, I felt aggrieved that we should be so associated, and
immediately entered my protest to the attorney of the proposed "The Great
American Fraternity," courteously requesting him to exclude the Free and
Accepted Masons from his application. He refused to do so. I sought legal
advice, but to no avail. I entered in person and by attorney my protest as
Grand Master, but it seems that we have no remedy. I felt it my duty to do
what I could to prevent our Fraternity from being a part and parcel of such an
the time this is written no license to do business in Georgia has been issued;
I am told that they have not met the requirements of our state laws.
Kansas. Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1923
the first place, Symbolic Masonry never has admitted of there being any
fraternity other than that of Ancient Craft Masonry, and any attempt on the
part of the Grand Lodge to introduce into its deliberations subjects dealing
with outside organizations is an admission that there is Freemasonry outside
of the first three degrees, known as Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and
Master Mason. The right of any Grand Lodge to provide a penalty for one of its
Members who joins an outside organization might be questioned, as we do not
believe it is within the power of any Grand Lodge to make it an offense for a
brother to join some other organization so long as in so doing he does not
become a member of a society which is inimical to the good name and reputation
of Symbolic Masonry.
Oregon. Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1922
very romantic history of the medical fraternity advised us years ago that we
had an organ in our interior called the appendix. We were told that it was a
perfectly useless organ but, so long as it behaved, it was also a perfectly
harmless one but when it began to misbehave, it could only be cured by
absolute removal through the surgeon's knife. In recent years this country has
been afflicted with an increasing number of so-called secret fraternal or
appendant organizations which make membership in a Masonic lodge a requisite
for membership therein.
without cause reared in selfish interest, the effect is well known - trouble
and disorder. Claiming to be a "little brother" to the Masonic Fraternity, it
leaves to that organization its troubles, while the organizer goes on to
pastures still more green The time is present when this Grand Lodge should
stop this imposition and use the surgeon's knife of removal. Masonry is
complete within itself. It needs no side organizations to develop its
principles or support its growth among its membership. This Grand Lodge should
demand a thorough investigation of all such organizations, and only until such
organizations are recommended by the Grand Master and approved by the Grand
Lodge should membership therein be permitted. I trust that the time is close
at hand when it shall be declared a Masonic offense for any Master Mason to
petition for additional work in Masonry until three years have elapsed after
California. Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1923
this respect, however, I suggest that action be taken by Grand Lodge, through
our Jurisprudence Committee, to exercise a general supervision over any new
bodies claiming to be co-ordinate Masonic bodies and which make as a
prerequisite for membership, good standing in the Blue Lodge, with the idea of
preventing the formation of other organizations claiming to represent Masonry.
Minnesota. Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1923
Gradually during the last years, organizations have sprung up in other states
that require as a prerequisite to membership, membership in good standing in
the Blue Lodge. Think of the audacity, brethren, of using us as a foundation
to build up organizations over which we have no control, and whose
shortcomings will be laid to all those bearing the name of Mason. I recommend
the passage of a resolution which will make it a Masonic offense, punishable
by expulsion, for anyone to join any order that requires membership in the
Blue Lodge in good standing as a prerequisite to its own membership, if that
order has not been recognized by this Grand Lodge.
of these orders have splendid teachings, but they contain nothing that Masonry
does not teach. It is time that we are getting back to our own philosophy
again. In our mad rush for badges, plumes and honors, we have gotten away from
the teachings of our forefathers in this great work. In one of the foreign
jurisdictions where one of these organizations was encouraged, it became so
active that it sought to elect the officers of the Grand Lodge of that
jurisdiction and so control Masonry for its own ends. These organizations are
not only useless, but they are a decided drain on all things undertaken by the
Blue Lodge. They are a detriment, and I hope that you will pass some sort of
legislation with teeth in it, that we may have this settled before they start
in this state in any numbers.
Washington. Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1923
complaints have been made by zealous brethren during the year, from an
entirely different viewpoint. Some to the effect that Masonry was being
exploited for the purpose of furthering interests not entirely Masonic or in
keeping with our time-honored principles. Others. that it was high time for
Masonry to assert itself in an institutional way on some of the perplexing
topics of the day, in order to emphasize its right for existence.
answer to the former, I am of the opinion that it is high time that this Grand
Lodge make it known, with no uncertain sound, to the entire Craft in this
Grand Jurisdiction, that it is a guardian of the Ancient Landmarks, the
glorious history, the honor, the dignity and the prestige of this Institution,
and that it will not permit its members to trail it in the dust by doing
things as Masons which they would not dare to do in a Masonic lodge, by using
Masonry to promote that which is contrary to Masonic principles and Masonic
ideals. By lending their support to methods of raising money that are not in
keeping with our profession, and when informed that such methods are unlawful,
some claim the right to pursue these methods because other societies have been
permitted to do so. Since when, my brethren, did this Institution fall so low
that it gives as its excuse to civil authority for doing things contrary to
law: "You have permitted others, and why not us ?" Masonry does not deprive
any one of its members of his individual liberty as a citizen, in Freedom of
thought, word and action. But he must be particularly careful. He must not use
Masonry in the promotion of anything that is not strictly Masonic. Nor should
a building, dedicated to Masonry, virtue and benevolence, be used for anything
that is not in keeping with these ideals. It must not be overlooked that this
Grand Lodge still retains the power and authority to enforce obedience among
its members to a strict observance of its landmarks.
Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1922
During the year my attention has been repeatedly called to the activities of
the various organizations which predicate their membership on Masonry. An
investigation of these activities discloses conditions which constitute a
menace to Masonry more serious and destructive than anything that has ever
heretofore concerned it. Masonry in the past has been assailed from without
and has withstood its every assault. Now, however, it is being attacked from
within by most insidious and pernicious artifices.
Pennsylvania. Grand Lodge Proceedings: 1923
[Grand Master Harry S. Johnson] was of the opinion that Craft Masonry in Ohio
needed protection (!) from other organizations based on Masonry, and his
method of defense was to make it impossible for a Master Mason to join any
such body until one year has elapsed from the time of receiving his Master
Mason's Degree, and also after a satisfactory examination therein. This
subject has engaged the attention of a number of Grand Lodges and some of them
have adopted measures along the lines suggested. Query: Pushed to its
legitimate conclusion does the policy tend ultimately to the control of Masons
as to what other organizations they may affiliate with? We believe we can see
that possible eventuality, and that it may lead to serious dissensions among
Great Symbolist Writes of Symbolism
SYMBOLIST MOVEMENT IN LITERATURE, by Arthur Symons. Published by E. P. Dutton,
New York. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research Society.
Cloth, 193 pages, postpaid, $3.60.
of the very few masters among those recent men of letters who work in poetry,
essays, and literary criticism, Arthur Symons belongs to a group that began
(in England, at least) with Pater, and became a power with Maeterlinck, Yeats,
Flaubert, d'Annuzio, the Goncourts, Huysmans and others, along with Anatole
France, who has died recently. The root of his genius is an almost tragical
sincerity of effort to get at life itself, to know and to comprehend it, not
by means of literary conventions, but through immediate vision and unfearing
insight, which is in essence almost at one with the secret of the most
creative of the geniuses in religion. The mark of those geniuses, of whom the
great mystics are most completely representative, is a daring desire to come
into close touch with Reality itself, all shams discarded; Symons is not in
any sense a religious genius but he possesses in unusual measure their arduous
sincerity; and the human fear that paralyzes most men from making any such
effort is as lacking in him as in them. Out of such a soul, and with the
experiences born of such an effort, he has in labor and countless sacrifices
created a literary style in which sentences are living forces that startle and
waylay, like unexpected miracles; in which the words, created anew from
within, are sonorous and orchestral, and remain vibrating in the memory long
afterwards, like golden bells. The effect on a reader is disconcerting at
first, because most readers approach a book instinctively expecting to find
its author expressing himself in forms of the familiar traditions. These
traditions are not in Symons himself and therefore not in his books, not in
his Dramatis Personae, Studies in Prose and Verse, Studies in Seven Arts, The
Symbolist Movement in Literature; and it is because these traditions with
their conventions, their set judgments, their worn vocabularies are not in him
that he is listed with the decadents.
frontispiece of this issue shows the eleven Presidents of the United States of
whom we have evidence that they were members of the Masonic Fraternity. This
picture has been printed separately on heavy engravers' proof paper suitable
for framing at fifty cents postpaid. Beginning with the top row and reading
from left to right their names and dates of initiation, passing and raising
are as follows:
K. Polk (1795-1849) - Initiated June 5, 1820. Columbia Lodge No. 31, Columbia,
Tenn. Passed Aug. 7, 1820, raised Sept. 4 1820.
Monroe (1758-1831) - Held membership in Kilwinning-Crosse Lodge, No. 2,
Virginia, and Williamsburg. Lodge, No. 6, Williamsburg, Va.
Andrew Jackson (1767-1829) - Was a member of Harmony Lodge, No. 4, Nashville,
Tenn. Time not known when made a Mason. Was Grand Master of Masons in
Tennessee from Oct. 7, 1822, to Oct. 4, 1824.
Buchanan (1791-1868) - Initiated Dec. 11, 1816, Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pa.
Passed and raised Jan. 24, 1817.
George Washington (1732-1799) - Initiated in Fredericksburg Lodge, No. 4
Fredericksburg, Va. Nov. 4 1752: passed March 3, 1753: raised Aug. 4, 1753.
Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) - Raised in Greenville Lodge, No. 119, Greenville.
Tenn. Dates unknown but supposed to be between 1848 and 1852.
A. Garfield (1831-1881) - Initiated Nov. 22, 1861, in Magnolia Lodge, No. 20,
Columbus, Ohio; passed Dec. 3, 1861, and raised Nov. 22, 1864.
McKinley (1844-1901) - Initiated May 1, 1865, in Hiram Lodge, No. 21,
Winchester, Va.; passed May 2, 1865, raised May 3, 1865.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1918) - Initiated Jan. 2, 1901, in Matinecock Lodge,
No. 806, Oyster Bay, Long Island, N. Y.; passed March 27, 1901; raised April
William Howard Taft (1857) - Made n Mason at sight in Kilwinning Lodge, No.
385, Cincinnati Ohio, by Grand Master Chas. S. Hoskinson, Feb. 18, i909.
Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) - Raised in Marion Lodge, No. 7, Marion, Ohio,
Aura 7, 1920.
a literary man finds that a great tradition has broken up, after he and his
forbears had found shelter within it for centuries, he has no alternative
except to retreat upon his private self. He becomes, in a sense not
doctrinaire, an individualist; and since in the terminology of literary
criticism such a period is termed a decadence, such Al individual is a
decadent. The misuse of this word To describe a man morally corrupt should be
abandoned; it should not be permitted even to enter the mind when one is
thinking of such a man as Arthur Symons, or of that austere artist, Symon's
spiritual father, Walter Pater. If here and there some decadent, a Verlaine,
perhaps, or an Ernest Downson - who sought the path followed to its suicidal
end by Richard Middleton, Thos. Lovell Beddoes, John Davidson and Chatterton,
"the marvelous boy who perished in his pride" - who wrote his pathos and
heartbreak into that poem of darkly melodious lines, Non sum qualis cram bonae
sub regno Cynarae, if such a one collapses into a bankruptcy of the moral life
it is not because he is a decadent but because he is human.
Symbolist Movement in Literature is an appraisal of the work of a group of
decadents who discovered the value of symbolism in the art of literature, and
who as they perfected their books perfected their understanding of those
experiences and needs of the mind that symbolism, and symbolism alone, can
satisfy. We Masons ourselves, who think and talk so much about symbols, have
never won an understanding as clear and rich as theirs. They learned that
symbolism is not an invented ingenious device for mystification, least of all
a thing for the purpose of concealing truth - at any rate not in this age when
learning does not need to hide itself underground. It dawned on them that
every human mind must think thoughts in advance of facts; that many of the
most necessary ideas transcend knowledge; and that every mind must find a way
to deal with experiences that lie outside the fields of present science. It is
necessary for us to think, for example, in some fashion, the idea of the
universe, of immortality, of God; but such ideas are larger than our
knowledge, therefore they are symbols; as such they do not fly away from
facts, or contradict truths, or move in a mere realm of fancy. When properly
understood such symbols are as reliable a method of thinking and as
'dependable a means for expressing truths as logic or philosophy, or science
itself. Symbols are not playthings of the soul, but necessities. If any human
being will carefully examine his own inner experiences he will find that he is
using symbolism every day, in every moment of his existence, even in his
Freemasonry has understood this importance of symbolism for these many
centuries. But alas! for all our books we do not yet possess - save in very
few instances - any literature of symbolism at all, literature I mean, in the
only true sense of the word, and not merely pages of print. The same thing is
true, for that matter, of any of the other of our major subjects, for the
majority of our books are pedantic and dull, oftentimes mere catalogues of
unliving facts, remaining over, many of them, as forlorn survivals from an age
that has passed. Ashes of print! that is a not unfair characterization of
scores of our manuals of labored information, bereft of any power they may
once have possessed of opening up new and profounder revelations of Masonry or
of moving the souls of men. Until we repent of this great sin of omission in
such a manner as to make it possible for the masters of literature to come
with us and to work in our name we have no choice but either to leave all our
symbolism lying half understood in the depths of our consciousness, or else to
go abroad, outside our own circles, into literature at large, to learn our
lessons from men who have never passed the portals of our initiations.
* * *
BACON, ROSICRUCIANISM AND FREEMASONRY
FRANCIS BACON AND HIS SECRET SOCIETY: AN ATTEMPT TO COLLECT AND UNITE THE LOST
LINKS OF A LONG AND STRONG CHAIN, by Mrs. Henry Pott. May be purchased through
the National Masonic Research Society. Blue cloth; illustrated;
bibliographies; index. Price, postpaid, $4.50.
this unique and much sought for book had passed out of print, and apparently
had become unobtainable, the National Masonic Research Society was fortunate
enough to discover a publisher's remainder or a limited number of copies. Such
brethren as may not be able to add this item to their collection - it is often
referred to - may be interested to know something of its contents; they are
peculiar and in a certain sense are fascinating; and they have an importance
from the fact that many more recent books have had their point of departure
theory at the center of Francis Bacon and His Secret Society is simple enough:
the point of it is that Bacon determined to set up a new order of culture
through a secret school; that he either founded or utilized the Society of the
Rosicrucians; and that Freemasonry is a kind of split-off, or lower grade, of
support of this theory the authoress makes a number of startling assertions,
of which a few contained in her Preface to the Second Edition are typical of
many more. Therein she avers that "at the age of 15 Francis began to draw
together his 'Invisible Brotherhood,' the Rosicrucian Fraternity." Mrs. Pott
says that a Rosicrucian, "the last of his circle," [italics hers] told her
this. "It has also been announced to a Lodge of Masons, by the 'Supreme Magus.
Ros. Cru. in Anglia,' [this was Dr. Wynn Westcott] that the Rosicrucian and
Masonic Orders are parts of One and the Same Society - The Rosicrucians, a
Secret Society - the Freemasons, a Society with Secrets. This statement after
some objection from the Lodge, was accepted as an incontrovertible fact."
These sentences are astonishing enough, but see what follows! "The President
of the Bacon Society also received from Sir C. Purdon-Clarke positive
confirmation of the statement that Francis Bacon (so-called) founded modern
Speculative Masonry." In Mrs. Pott's world miracles never cease. All the
biographies tell us that Bacon died in 1626, but Mrs. Pott says that this is
not true; Bacon did not really die then, but merely adopted aliases and lived
on undetected. "Francis St. Alban [Bacon] the 'Magus,' the 'Miracle of Men,'
'died at the age of 106-7, in the year 1668."
regards Bacon and his connection with the Rosicrucians it happens fortunately
enough that a great work, fresh from the press, stands ready to be quoted.
Bro. Arthur Edward Waite published in 1887 a since famous book entitled The
Real History of the Rosicrucians; it now happens that at the end of his long
laborious career as a scholar he has found it possible to replace that work by
another, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, to be reviewed in some subsequent
issue. Inasmuch as Bro. Waite knows more about this subject than any other
living person it is important just here to quote him from the pages in which
he pays his respects to Mrs. Pott:
examination of Mrs. Pott's somewhat elaborate work presents her from the
beginning as her own court of appeal, as well as her own counsel. She has
credited Francis Bacon directly or indirectly, with the bulk of important
Elizabethan literature, and as it is impossible that he could have produced
single-handed so vast an output - not to speak of the post-Elizabethan works
which are also fathered upon him - she postulates 'united efforts.' In other
words, Bacon was the centre of a 'secret league for the advancement of
learning.' It will be seen that the thesis depends in this manner on the
accuracy of her credit side of the account, with which no one is in agreement
except a few kindred enthusiasts to whom I shall advert shortly. She tells us
in the next place that she has searched the history of Secret Societies
throughout the Middle Ages and has decided that the Rosicrucian Fraternity is
'the one of all others which would have been best fitted to promote Bacon's
lofty aims.' There is no need to point out here, as an obvious answer, that
the existence of Rosicrucian Society in the Middle Ages happens to be one of
the chief questions at issue; no doubt her purpose would be served equally
well by saying that he founded the Order - which is one of her alternatives.
It is enough that her contention is based on a question of Baconian
authorship, about which neither she nor anyone like her has been able to
satisfy a single reasonable mind. When the evidence has been based on supposed
critical considerations we are embarked on a sea of false analogies and
gratuitous speculations: when it is founded upon buried ciphers they prove to
be arbitrary inventions by means of which any authorship could be got out of
us admit, however, for a moment the ruling of the court of appeal and even
extend its findings. Let us say that Bacon wrote all which matters in English
literature from the Canterbury Tales to Sartor Resartus. Be it granted also
that a single Secret Society to furnish amanuenses, or even aids in research
seems strictly moderate. But what considerations are offers by Mrs. Pott to
persuade us that he selected the Rosicrucians - supposing that they preceded
him in time - or established them as a league of scriveners? I have searched
the whole volume recommended by Mr. A. P. Sinnett and have found three pieces
of alleged evidence. (1) It is said in the Fama Fraternitatis: 'After this
manner began the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross at first by four persons only,
and by them was made the Magical Language and Writing, with a great
Dictionary, which we still use daily to the praise and glory of God, finding
great wisdom therein.' Herein, as we are told, are the head and heart of Bacon
discovered certainly, because one of his most cherished schemes was the
compilation of dictionaries. Unfortunately however, for Mrs. Pott, the
Rosicrucian lexicon was obviously a glossary of words to accompany an invented
language and its cipher alphabet, whereas Bacon's hypothetical dictionaries
stood for encyclopaedic compilations, for repositories of knowledge. That is
the distinction between them, and thereon collapses the evidence. (2) The
second evidential point, according to Mrs. Pott, is that Bacon's College of
the Six Days, described in The New Atlantis, is the College of the
Rosicrucians. This as she says, 'we know,' the rejoinder to which is an
equally distinct negative. (3) For the third she produces a selection from
fifty-two alleged Rules or Laws adopted by the original Rosicrucians; but with
due respect to the good intentions of a deceased lady I have to submit that,
as enumerated by her these Laws are fraudulent. The 'original' Rosicrucians -
according to their legend - had an agreement in common together, embodied in
Six clauses only, as we shall see in the proper place, and out of these she
extracts three. The fifty-two Laws are those published by Sigmund Richter in
1710, but Mrs. Pott has subjected them to a process of editing in the
interests of personal predilections, as, for example, to shew that
Rosicrucians were forbidden to issue Rosicrucian writings under the names of
their authors - presumably because the vast suppositious works of Bacon
appeared under other designations than his own. Such are the heads of evidence
that Francis Bacon belonged to the Rosicrucian Society, whether as member and
chief at his period or as its original founder: they are of the same kind and
the same value as those by which it has been sought to shew he wrote the plays
of Shakespeare, The Faerie Queen, The Anatomy of Melancholy, and so onward
through the centuries, almost to our own day."
far Waite. He has overlooked one of the choicest of Mrs. Pott's attributions
of authorship. On page 266 of her Second Edition she makes this delicious
statement: "At least one-third of Preston's Illustrations is, we believe,
taken directly from Bacon, perhaps originally dictated by him." Shades of the
Czesars! William Preston was born in 1742; if Mrs. Pott were correct in her
theory that Bacon died in 1668, his death occurred seventy-four years before
authoress devotes her Chapter IX to Masonry. It is a vague and vaporous
treatise, with no ballast in it, and serves as a kind of narrow peninsula to
her argument, which is, as already indicated, that Freemasonry is a lapse from
Rosicrucianism, a subordinate and quite inferior offshoot; there is no need to
discuss it because there is no knowledge of Masonry revealed in it.
According to the judgment of the present reviewer Chapters IX and X are the
most interesting in the book, for they deal with "Paper-Marks Used Until the
Time of Sir Nicholas Bacon," and "Paper-Marks in and After the Time of Francis
Bacon." The bibliophiles who have chanced upon Harold Bayley's Lost Language
of Symbolism know how fascinating is that by-way of research, whatever value
he may or may not attach to it; and such brethren as have been unable to
secure a copy of Bayley will find his materials here condensed and his
arguments very ably epitomized.
all its vagaries Francis Bacon and His Secret Society is a book one likes to
have on his shelves, especially if he is fond of running down references and
checking up quotations. The authoress has left behind her a mass of
information about Bacon himself - she saturated herself in his writings, real
or imputed, for years - and her boldness is always refreshing.
* * *
CATALOG OF MASONIC BOOKS: BOUND VOLUME FOR 1924: ANNUAL INDEX
this issue THE BUILDER completes its tenth W volume, the first having been
published January, 1915. As in preceding years a volume will be issued during
the next few weeks, securely bound in goldenrod buckram, with a complete
descriptive index, thereby transforming the twelve numbers into a book for
permanent use; unused copies are employed, with covers removed, to be sold at
$3.75. Brethren desiring this volume will receive an allowance of one dollar
on returning their own file of separate issues for the year, providing they
are in good condition; or they can have their own copies bound for $2.75.
Orders may be placed on file at once.
such as do not have their volumes bound, an index is being prepared to cover
all numbers for the year 1924, to be printed separately. In order to prevent
all waste of funds of the Society this index will be mailed only to those
requesting it. In asking for it kindly see that your name and address is given
in full and as legibly as possible.
the Society is happy to announce the completion of a new catalog of books for
Masons, for general distribution without cost. Containing some 550 titles,
none of them secondhand, this is probably the most comprehensive Masonic book
list published in English during many years. Titles of especial interest to
Royal Arch, Knight Templar and Scottish Rite brethren are separately
distinguishing feature of this new catalog is the large number of titles
included not specifically Masonic but having value for Masons; this is the
first time, perhaps, that any attempt has been made to work out a well rounded
list of such auxiliary subjects. It makes it possible for a Mason to find
literature on any imaginable theme that may come up in the course of his
Masonic activities or of his reading; and oftentimes the material in such
non-Masonic books is more valuable or more authentic than can be found in the
Craft's own literature. Members of Side Orders, speech makers, Study Clubs,
members of social committees, musicians, architects and all others in
specialized activities will find here their literary wants. So also will
brethren in the English speaking world outside of the United States; all
Masonic books published in England, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Australia,
etc., known to be available have been included.
title is described as to its general nature, size and binding, so that the
catalog will serve as a permanent bibliographical reference work. Readers who
find any available titles omitted will confer a favor by giving notice of the
same for inclusion in a future edition.
book is attractively printed on good paper, pocket size. All prices cover post
payment. Single copies will be sent postpaid on request; when more than one
copy is required, send stamps to cover postage; brethren needing large
quantities may make special arrangements by mail. Address all letters and
inquiries to Book Department, National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway
Exchange, St. Louis, Mo.
* * *
LITTLE MASONIC LIBRARY"
Masonic Service Association, with headquarters at Washington, D. C., has
announced the publication of The Little Masonic Library, a set of twenty
volumes, 4 1/2 by 6 1/4, bound in cloth, stamped in gold, containing along
with a number of works hitherto unpublished such standard writings as
Goodwin's "Mormonism and Masonry," Pound's "Masonic Jurisprudence," Shepherd's
"The Landmarks," and many others of similar calibre. The association is to be
very much congratulated on this fine new venture in publishing. An extended
review will follow in a succeeding issue. The set will retail at five dollars.
* * *
ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS WRITE ABOUT FREEMASONRY
AMERICAN MASONRY AND CATHOLIC EDUCATION by Rev. Michael Kenny, S. J. Published
by International Catholic Truth Society. May be purchased through the National
Masonic Research Society. Paper, 31 pages; price, postpaid, ten cents.
FREEMASONRY, by Rev. Lotion Johnston, S.T.L. Published by International
Catholic Truth Society. May be purchased through National Masonic Research
Society. Paper, 24 pages; price, ten cents postpaid.
KENNY is a former editor of the Roman Catholic journal, America, and is now,
so he inscribes himself in his little book on American Masonry and Catholic
Education, a professor in Loyola University, New Orleans. The Rev. Mr.
Johnston is Associate Editor of Truth, the official organ of the International
Catholic Truth Society. Both of them, like the International Catholic Truth
Society itself, are active in propaganda against Freemasonry and their two
books were written expressly for that purpose.
Johnston's book is a collection of essays reprinted from Truth and deals with
generalities; Mr. Kenny's book attacks Freemasonry for its support of the
public school system and for what he fancies is its antagonism to Roman
Catholic parochial schools. In both cases the primary purpose of the authors
has been to assemble as many arguments as they can conjure together that will,
in their view, make some kind of a case against the Masonic Craft.
evident that neither of these authors has ever made a study of Masonry. If
they have it is difficult to understand why they have fallen into so many
errors of fact. Mr. Kenny makes such statements as this:
"Freemasonry was founded in 1717 in a London tavern on the basis of four
moribund societies of working Masons, the remains of one of the great Catholic
guilds which the Stuarts had utilized as a medium for communication with their
British partisans. When the house of Hanover was established two ministers (a
French Hugenot and a Scotch Presbyterian) drew up the ritual and constitution
for a philosophical and benevolent society of speculative Masons working not
in mortar but on minds.... Introduced from England in 1729, American Masonry
remained largely convivial in character, often of a bibulous type, till the
Scottish Rite of Perfection was imported from France and a Supreme Council of
33 continental degrees was erected in Charleston, S. C., in 1801."
of this is wrong. It proves that Mr. Kenny has not studied his subject. He
could have learned the facts if he had been interested enough, but apparently
he did not wish to learn them. If he had wished he could have learned them
easily enough; and if he had learned them he would not have made the errors
with which his book is filled. In thus writing about a subject on which he was
not sufficiently informed Mr. Kenny sinned against the most elementary
principle of authorship, which is that no man has any moral right to publish a
book on a subject about which he is ignorant.
* * *
"FOIBLES AND FALLACIES OF SCIENCE"
FOIBLES AND FALLACIES OF SCIENCE, by D. W. Hering Professor Emeritus of
Physics, New York University. May be purchased through National Masonic
Research Society. Cloth index, 295 pages. Price, $2.65 postpaid.
and symbols used and believed in during the Middle Ages came into the Masonic
Ritual. That Ritual is somewhat like a building in some old city, such as
Athens or Rome, constructed of stones gathered from the ruins of other
buildings that had been built in previous centuries; the building as it now
stands may not be so very old but some post or pillar in it may first have
been carved out a thousand years ago. This effect of novelty, this unexpected
juxtaposition of what is old and new in it, partly explains the charm of our
Ritual. The root of it, that which gives coherence and vitality to the
structure, is a set of ideas that have meant much to men for thousands of
Point Within a Circle possibly may be the old alchemist sign for gold, adapted
to mystical purposes by Operative Masons; the reference to "certain metallic
substances" may have been inherited from the astrologists, who attributed to
each planet a peculiar influence over men, and connected that influence with
metals they associated with the planets. So with other symbols and allegories.
One can observe such survivals outside of Freemasonry, as in our daily
language; for example, we use the word "influenza", which comes from Italy,
where originally it was referred to the same "influence" of the planets just
Foibles and Fallacies of Science is a history of such symbols and theories by
a veteran physicist who has devoted a loving study to the rise and development
of his own science. He tells us how astrology came to be, what theories it
rested on, what it meant to the people who believed in it; who and what the
alchemist were, and what they were trying to do; what magic was and why it was
practiced; and makes references in passing to names more or less familiar to
Masons, such as Cagliostro, Paracelsus, and Dr. Plot.
SCOTTISH RITE RING IN NORTHERN JURISDICTION
Please tell me on which finger the ring of the 14th Degree should be worn by
members of the Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction.
Grand Secretary-General, Bro. Robert A. Shirrefs, writes that "the ring shall
be worn on the third finger of the left hand."
* * *
MASONIC MEMBERSHIP IN THE UNITED STATES
membership of the Masonic Fraternity in the United States (2,971,662), from
data furnished by the Grand Secretaries, June, 1924.
District of Columbia
Compiled by C. C. Hunt,
Deputy Grand Secretary, Iowa.
* * *
GREATEST OPPORTUNITY FOR CHARITY
R. J. Newton, in his article "J'Accuse!" in THE BUILDER, October, 1924, page
292, has sounded a call in which every Freemason should be vitally and
earnestly interested. Of all opportunities for Freemasons to practice charity,
this is, in my opinion, the greatest. Why should the burden of caring for the
distressed brethren fall upon the lodges of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and
Colorado ? It should not, even if they were financially able to carry it. Let
THE Builder herald this cry for the relief of our brothers stricken with the
White Plague, that it may be taken up by our various Grand Lodges for action
in the near future. We have nearly three million Freemasons in the United
States. Who would not gladly assent to $2 per year additional to their duties
for this worthy cause? None I can assure you.
F. H. Knoop, Missouri.
* * *
"HIDDEN MYSTERIES OF NATURE AND SCIENCE," Etc.
the July issue (page 223) you give information about the Scottish Rite in
Canada. We have had a Supreme Council in Canada since 1868. Brethren can
always secure desired information through the office of the Secretary-General,
Bro. W. H. Ballard, 196 George Street, Hamilton, Ont.
be excused for saying a word about the use of the term "Subordinate Lodges" in
the heading of Bro. Price's article, on page 215 of the same issue? No Grand
Lodge can come into existence except by united action of a group of lodges,
neither can it bring a lodge into existence except by united action of its
members. So that, in neither of its relations to its lodges, is it superior to
them, or are they subordinate to it. Certainly, when a conflict of interest
arises, it has to decide which is the lesser and exercise its authority
accordingly, but that authority comes - not from within itself - but from the
powers conferred upon it by its components, and such authority can be
withdrawn at their decision. Under no conditions can the word "subordinate"
connote such an influence, and I submit that it is quite out of place in such
a relation as is referred to here.
I feel compelled to take issue with Bro. A. L. Kress' reply to J. W. N.,
Sask., under the heading, "Date of Death of H. A.," etc., in July, page 222.
Even if we do owe the phrase, "Hidden Mysteries of Nature and Science," to the
influence upon Preston of writers like Samuel Johnson and others whose works
he helped to print, still it marked a definite responsibility of the Operative
Fellowcraft, and therefore has a Speculative and real equivalent for us of
in Bro. Kress' attitude one reason why our membership is pouring its energies
into "Side Degrees," since they join us in the expectation of making progress
and find that we have, apparently, led them into a cul-de-sac with fine words.
must work, as Kingsley wrote, not alone for physical needs, but as a law of
life, and if we offer our members words instead of service, then are we only
"sounding brass and tinkling cymbals."
what I heard a returned Past Master say recently at a lodge here, Freemasonry,
as practiced in Switzerland, where he had lived several months, comes nearer
than any other jurisdiction in an all-round service that will tax any man's
capacity for understanding those responsibilities and privileges of a Fellow
of the Craft that are summed up in the phrase quoted above.
business and other professional men who are members have no need to form
themselves into Rotarians, or Kiwanis, or Gyros, or Lions in order to find an
outlet suitable for their energies in good words; and the love of display,
natural to younger minds, does not exhaust itself in the gaudy fripperies of
Side Orders, but finds exercise in making the glow of health to appear on the
faces of sick children and the light of happiness in the eyes of those less
fortunate and competent than themselves. Their own regalia is of the simplest,
but the variety of service they undertake is surprising.
the photographs of the apron preserved at Brantford and of the large Dutch
apron from Woodstock, shown on page 302 of the October issue, appears a symbol
of a hand grasping a curved object, which is closely similar to one that
appears near the foot of the left column of the Arch, shown in the Halifax
summons, illustrated in the August issue [Frontispiece], and I stated that I
had been unable to find just what it represented, but I am now able to supply
Bro. E. G. Simpson, A. P. M. of Lodge 35, at Saintfield, County Down, Ireland,
has recently published a history of the antiquities connected with his lodge,
and in it is an illustration of an old floor-cloth, dating from 1809, whereon
this Arch appears together with a great variety of K. T., R. A., Craft and
other Masonic symbols of Degrees which have been worked in this lodge at
various times. Amongst them is this one of a hand and I wrote to him inquiring
as to its meaning.
was good enough to reply at considerable length, both as to this and the other
points of my inquiry, and I abstract the following: “It is a Hand grasping a
Pliant Rod, and is stated on good authority to be the symbol of 'vengeance'.
Modern Masonry does not recognize vengeance, but it was formerly found in
Templar Masonry, where the candidate took a vow of revenge on the murderers of
Jacques de Molay and his companions." As this little history has been issued
at the price of half a crown for the benefit of the lodge's Annuity Fund, I
would recommend to brethren interested in the older Irish Masonry, that they
secure its good value for their own libraries by sending to Bro. Simpson for
J. Haydon, Toronto, Canada.
* * *
FREEMASONRY AND THE SICK
have read and thought over the article by Bro. Robert J. Newton and your
editorial entitled "A Sign and a Summons" in the October BUILDER. Your desire
to build a number of hospitals for Masons afflicted with the white plague is
truly laudable, but you have a way to travel which is beset with many dangers.
This is how I see things:
Freemasonry is not a benefit society: that is very apparent from the low
annual dues of practically all Blue Lodges, coupled with the fact that there
is no medical examination demanded before admittance. Cast your eye around any
lodge and you will find brethren who cannot obtain life insurance due to the
state of their health or physical condition. Further, no benefit society would
have them as they could not pass the necessary medical examination. We have
all heard this expression, "Well, if anything happens to me, the Masons will
take care of my widow.” Well, maybe they would, but if the widow is not old
and incapacitated from earning a living, she should certainly work for her
living, and the Masons, you may be sure, will assist her to that end; it is
being done every day. But if a Mason was not physically fit at the time he
entered the Order, and he was perfectly well aware that it was not an
insurance or benefit society, why should it be incumbent on the members of the
Order to maintain him for an indefinite period?
think that Bro. Newton forecasts truly when he says that if these hospitals
were started that "Masonry would double its strength in the next decade," but
not because, as he says, "all good men would seek alliance with a body of men
who translated their ritual into terms of service." We are surely all
sufficiently worldly wise enough to have to acknowledge that those men who
knew or thought they had the beginnings of the disease would avail themselves
of an opportunity to find shelter when the disease manifested itself.
read the physical disabilities for admittance that the ancient landmarks laid
down, we can see that our ancient brethren took care to guard themselves
against the liability of caring for brethren in any event, but limited that
liability to accidents and unlooked-for misfortune.
that it comes to this - if we are to live up to our obligation fully, we must,
in self protection, demand that investigation committees must satisfy
themselves that the applicant for admission is in a good state of health
before acceptance, or else he must sign a release from the liability of the
lodge and the brethren in the event of ill health; and I am not sure that this
is feasible. It comes back to the old cry, that we should be more careful in
whom we admit to our ranks.
quite willing to pay another two dollars a year dues for such a maintenance
fund as you outline, provided I feel reasonably sure I am not going to be
imposed upon. I would rather pay such a sum for the maintenance of a hospital
which would take in anybody, but giving preference to Masons.
Ernest E. Murray, Montana.
* * *
BUILDER INDEX FOR 1924
this issue the tenth volume of THE BUILDER comes to an end. An index covering
all contributions, subjects, titles, authors, etc., for the year will be off
the press soon. A copy will be mailed free to each member upon request. Be
sure to write your name and address as plainly as possible. As in preceding
years, this index will be suitable to be bound up with the volume, being on
same paper as the journal itself.
that Yuletide is on its way let us recall the exhortation the gentle Whittier:
"Blow, bugles of battle, the marches of peace;
west, north and south, let the long quarrel cease;
the song of great joy that the angels began,
the glory to God and of good-will to man."
* * *
W. L. Cummings, 228 Gordon avenue, Syracuse, N. Y., has the goodness to offer
gratis to any brother paying postage, a copy of the Proceedings of the Grand
Lodge of Michigan for 1874. Don't delay, there are only about twenty copies
* * *
brief notice in this Corner last September that we had for free distribution
copies of Bro. Arthur C. Parker's Secrets of the Temple met with such a demand
that the supply was exhausted in a few days. Bros. Parker and George K.
Staples have now furnished us with a new supply. One copy free upon request.
Send a two cent stamp.
* * *
Robert I. Clegg, one of Ye Associate Editors, has returned after many months
to God's country, after doing much successful research work in England and
Scotland. Welcome home!
* * *
are the last words to be printed in the tenth volume of THE BUILDER; it is
fitting that they express a sense of gratitude for the best year we have ever
had, and for the aid and assistance of so many willing brothers.