The Builder Magazine
August 1926 - Volume XII - Number
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Druse of Baruk - By BRO. JOHN W. SHUMAN, California
Masonry - An Essay in the Obfuscological Method of Masonic Research - BRO.
JUSTUS B. WRIGHT, North Borneo
Rise and Development of Anti-Masonry in America, 1737-1826 - By BRO. J. HUGO
TATSCH, Associate Editor,
Fascism and Masonry
Rite of Resurrection - By Bro. R. J.
NEWTON, New Mexico
NORTHEAST CORNER - Bulletin of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Form of the Lodge - By BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
TRANSACTIONS. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. xxxvii, Part 1.
Transactions of the Merseyside Association for Masonic Research; Vol. 111,
Transactions of the Dorset Masters' Lodge, No. 3366, for the Year 1925-26,
QUESTION BOX and CORPESPONDENCE
LODGES IN THE MIDDLE WEST
ROSE CROIX AND ALBERT PIKE
FREDERICK OF SAXONY
LODGE OF SOUTH DAKOTA
WANTED AND FOR SALE
Druse of Baruk
BRO. JOHN W. SHUMAN, California
conflict between the French and the Druse of the Lebanon makes the present
article by Dr. Shurnan a timely one. The Druse religion has been a subject of
speculation and inquiry to a number of Masonic authors and a good deal has
been written about this curious sect with a desire to draw some parallel or
even to establish an identity of origin for their mysterious religious rites
and the usages of the Craft. Few students of note, however, would agree that
any real case has been made out for this. Bro. Shuman writes of them entirely
as they appear to a sympathetic visitor.
Druse are a group of people numbering about 100,000 and live in the Lebanon
Mountains of Syria. They are an off-shoot of Mohammedanism, although this is
not recognized by the Moslems. They intermarry with the Moslems, but it is not
lawful for them to marry with the Christians. They have preserved a religious
and also a tribal independence against all comers.
chief doctrine is the "Oneness With God". The Druse's religion--if Such it may
be called--is secret. Therefore, very little is commonly known of their faith,
for their doctrines are secretly transmitted. Their "worship" or "meeting" is
on some high mountain top at midnight on Fridays.
by way of introduction. Nevertheless, one is not able to tell a Christian
Lebanese (an inhabitant of the Lebanon Mountains) from a Druse excepting for
the head-dress. The Druse and the Moslem usually wears a white cloth about the
head; the Christian, a black one.
illustration here given can be seen the headdress of the Druse male, the fez
or tarbush with a white rag wrapped around it, also the white veil like
headdress of the women. Our host is sitting between his mother and sister and
this is the first time these ladies have shown their faces for a picture. The
veil is becoming thinner in Syria and Turkey and is not worn as religiously as
it used to be. Mrs. Shuman is in the center of the group. Second from her left
is a Syrian "Druse"--an American returned for a bride--he secured her and
later I examined her for the American Consular passport to America.
steamship Bragga, sailing with us to Syria in September of 1922, there were a
large number of Syrians going back for a visit, among whom was a most likable
young man, perhaps thirty years of age, Sam Salem, from West Virginia,
returning for a visit with his aged parents in Baruk. In the hold along with
our automobile was his super-six Hudson. He had left his wife, "a sweet little
Baptist girl", at home. He had not been back for ten years and was quite sure
that this would be the last chance to see his aged father and mother
alive--the Oriental is a great respecter of his parents, especially his
mother. He invited us to spend a week-end at his parents' home--we accepted
with thanks. In the course of landing, getting settled etc., the weeks soon
flew by Mr. Salem had, in the mean time, called for tea with some of "his
cousins" and pressed his invitation, but it was late in December before we
could avail ourselves of the opportunity.
beautiful drive up the Lebanon Mountains or the route to Damascus was by this
time familiar to us, but the turn-off to Baruk was new and interesting. Sam
had a "driver". No Oriental soils his hands with toil; that is, in his own
country, if he can help it. Drivers (chauffeurs) are not hard to get out
there; good ones are-Sam's was not a good one.
raining, as this was the rainy season, which will account for poor photos. The
narrow Baruk road was slippery, and the first camel train we met, with saddle
bags heavily loaded, took the inside of the road as they always do, which
caused us to slide off the road, the left rear wheel hung suspended with a
sheer drop of eight or ten feet and a good chance for the auto and its
occupants to roll half a mile. Manpower put the machine back on the road and
Sam drove the rest of the way. The camel is an animal made up of "spare parts"
and you never can tell which way he is going to step or what he is going to
arrived in time for the national Syrian dinner of many courses. I will not
tire you to name them; suffice it to say that it went from soup to nuts and
back again--with a dash of Arrak (the spirituous gin of Syria) thrown in. The
Druse male when he gets religion (Din) does not drink, swear or use tobacco.
In that respect the Druse males are quite like Americans--Catholics or
Protestants, Lutherans or Presbyterians--perfectly human, not at all divine.
Folks are much alike the world over.
dining we took a much-needed walk and one of the first sights that greeted our
eyes was a big fat sheep being fed mulberry leaves by an old lady. Did I say
fed? I meant crammed. The sheep was being fattened to sell for the Feast of
Ramadan (the great Moslem religious feast that corresponds to the Christian
Easter). It was tied so it couldn't walk the fat off, and stuffed several
times a day with fattening food by the hand of the feeder. This sheep (like
all others) seemed to have no sense at all, but swallowed as fast as it could
until no mor fodder could be gotten into it--and there it stood on it four
little legs, panting as if it would burst. Practice makes perfect, and these
people know how to fatten the sheep gradually so that it is about to die from
fatty heart, liver, etc., when the feast is due. In other countries, notably
France, geese are fed in the same manner.
then visited a mill. It was exactly like the one the words were written; about
in the Bible: "Two were grinding at the mill; one was taken, the other left."
The same old stream that was used in biblical days, the same old stone house
(or at least the same stones), the same old huge mill-wheel turning the mill
stones at the same slow gait, grinding the same old slow stream of wheat from
the same old hopper the miller (the one of the two that "was left") was old
and wrinkled and covered with flour--he padded about in it, feet bare, with
shovel in hand, seemingly unaware of the presence of visitors.
is the main staple of Syria (in the Bible it is called corn, as it still is in
England). Bread, the "staff of life", will be mentioned a little later.
looked the mill stream over for fish, but it did not contain any. Fishing in
Asia Minor is a lost art, even the East Mediterranean Sea has few edible fish
o'clock a "clinic" by request was held in the ladies' part of the house (my
wife accompany). It did not seem possible that so much remediable disease
could exist in a place so near a big medical center as the city of Beirut. It
is only a comparatively short time, though, about forty years, since the first
medical missionary began practice over there; prior to that "the proselyting
type" was the only missionary. A number of folks with cataracts, skin
diseases, etc., were examined, who were instructed "how to get well",
referring most of them to our hospital clinics in Beirut. The immediate value
turned out was only about thirty cents' worth, but they were most grateful and
piled the auto full of leban (cottage cheese), chickens, kubs (bread), etc.
Such bread is not met anywhere but in the East. It is made from wheat, and it
is baked in large and thin circular sheets in outdoor ovens; it is tough and
pliable and looks like a piece of tanned hide. It is used for knife, fork and
were leaving a man came, leading two struggling young white and black goats,
saying, "Effendi, these are yours !" Imagine our chagrin--we had made the
mistake of "admiring" them! If you don't want a thing in Syria, don't admire
it, for it is the equivalent of asking for it.
interesting incident in Syria is a wedding. While we were with the Druse we
saw the procession of one, which could be heard for a long time before it
could be seen--the singing, bells a-ringing (but not much bigger than sleigh
bells), laughing and shouting-coming around a bend of the road. It was
impossible to distinguish the bride; all the women's faces were covered. We
learned that the groom was waiting at his parents' house, where the ceremony
was to take place; also that the bride is never very hilarious about a
wedding. From the motley appearance of the mob, it seemed that the whole
mountainside had been "invited". We shook hands with a young fellow who rode
his pony so like a Westerner that he was hailed with "Hey, there, lad, what
part of the West are you from?" He answered, "From Washington state !"
folks were quite anxious that he should remain in Syria, for he was their only
son and heir to the farm. They wanted us to use our influence upon him to such
an end. And just to be affable I tried it, but did not get to first base, for
Sam answered, "Doctor, bring my little wife to this ? No, not for all the land
in the Lebanon Mountains ! The U. S. A. for me always!"
course, his folks being Druse, did not consider him correctly married. People
are funny about customs--just the other day a father had his daughter married
to the same man the third time here in Los Angeles. The first time they had
her married by a Justice of the Peace, the second, by a Methodist
minister--the husband's church--and the third time by a Presbyterian
minister--the church of the father-inlaw.
America the Lebanons are popularly supposed to be inhabited by wild, lawless
tribes always at war, and we are often told of massacres by newspaper
correspondents. These are generally, like the report of Mark Twain's death,
much exaggerated. We are told of feuds like those existing in the past among
the people of our own Kentucky hills. The "massacres" reported from the
Lebanon are mostly between the Druse and Christian sects. Few outsiders know
what they are about. But as the Druse does not permit marrying with the
Christian, and most trouble starts over women, it is quite reasonable to
believe that the heart, at times, runs away with the head, and an "illegal"
love-match kindles the powder that sends a bullet flying which later is
written up as a "massacre".
rate, our Sunday at Baruk with the Druse was a happy, peaceful one, one long
to be remembered. We found the Druse honest, industrious, kind, hospitable,
and minding their own business. As for patients. in or out of the hospital,
the Druse made good and appreciative ones. As for any that had turned to
Christianity, in Syria we met none.
Essay in the Obfuscological Method of Masonic Research BRO. JUSTUS B. WRIGHT,
JUST WRIGHT, as he is usually called (his intimate friends know him by the
nickname O.K.), is a most remarkable personage. How he joined the Masonic
Order we do not know. His summer residence is in Borneo among the tufthunters,
while he usually spends his winters at the South Pole studying the habits of
the fearful wildfowl that there do congregate. He tells us that there is
nothing more thrilling than to trace a wild goose to its lair or to seek for
the nest of the undomesticated mare of the snowy pampas. It was not easy to
get him to write an article for The Builder and we will not try again. The
contribution undoubtedly has some value though just what the Editor would
rather not say, but if anyone be inclined to take it seriously he or she
should consult the dictionary as to the definition of the word obfuscate. This
may be found to adorn a moral and give point to the tale.
years ago the author, in the course of his unusual avocation, spent a
considerable period with the Wotjobaluk of Australia; he had been there but a
very little while when, in the course of some observations, he became
convinced that many of the people possessed certain of our Masonic signs, and
what amazed him most was that many of these were those that among us
particularly distinguish the higher grades and orders of the Masonic
institution. For example, he one day saw an old man, tastefully clothed in a
coating of red seated by a small fire eating a kangaroo. A youth or neophyte
was standing before him, watching very intently, in a receptive mood for the
traditional instruction he was doubtless to receive. The old man having
separated the flesh took the bone and rejected it by a significant gesture,
throwing it over the left shoulder with his right hand. One of the dogs of the
camp immediately seized it and ran away. The writer was not near enough to
hear distinctly all that was said, he did hear the old man, or worshipful
master, say "Kilimanyaro," where upon the candidate went away into the bush.
The deep meaning of this ritual will be obvious to Mark Master Masons, and
especially to those who have also received certain of the Ineffable Degrees of
Perfection, which refer to the dog of the stranger and sirius, the dog star.
incident was the originating cause of a prolonged and careful research into
the relations of our Masonic system with those of the indigenous tribes and
races of men in different parts of the world. After an enormous amount of
study and personal observation the writer has come to a number of very
order to present, in the concise form required by an article, the results of
many years of research, it must be taken for granted that my readers are
familiar with the working of the Symbolic Degrees as promulgated by Thomas
Smith Webb. It is essential to our purpose that we adhere closely to the
oldest and most authentic version. It may be argued by some that the Webb
system is not the oldest, ochre and pipe clay and this opinion might seem to
be substantiated by Richard's "Masonry Anatomized," "The Dark Mystery," "Three
Loud Knocks" and possibly other documents. While it may be admitted that these
publications are possibly illustrative of the type of ritual in use at their
respective periods, it must, on the other hand, be granted that they do not
contain many essentials which are to be found in Webb. It is generally argued
from this that we have here proof of innovations or evolutionary developments.
The painstaking research made by the writer has convinced him that there is no
such thing as evolution in Masonic ritual. Those things which are present
today have always been in existence, possibly not in general practice, but
preserved in higher degrees. It is only because they have come to light in
recent years that they have at last attained prominence in the ritual of the
Blue Lodge. As an example, my readers are referred to the ceremony cited
above. The consensus of opinion among scholars today seems to accept the Mark
Master Degree as a late development. Such a theory is rapidly dispelled when
we see that some of the essentials of that degree exist even in the primitive
Masonry of the Australian aborigines. It is evident from this illustration
that the degree has been worked from time immemorial. As a further reason for
adopting Webb as our guide, it may be stated that this version is older than
any of the accepted English workings such as Emulation or stability. There are
variations appearing in one or another of the many extant versions, some of
which are of real importance, and when occasion demands, these will be pointed
out and fully explained. This I have treated more fully in my great work on
The Masonic significance of Bull Roarers.
time after the writer's sojourn among the Wotjobaluk, he happened to be
present during a portion of the totemic ceremonies of the Wollunqua tribe of
Central Australia. It would require more space than can be commanded at this
time to detail the many interesting features of their ceremonies. It was
particularly striking, however, that at one stage of their ritual a series of
eight drawings was made upon the ground during as many successive days. The
procedure follows closely the traditions to which we pay such profound
allegiance in attributing to the Master the sole duty of drawing the designs
whereby the Fellowcrafts and Entered Apprentices are directed in their labors.
It is taught throughout our ceremonies that the Master Mason drew his designs
upon the trestleboard, the Fellowcrafts executed them, and the Entered
Apprentices were bearers of burdens and brought up the materials which enabled
the Fellowcrafts to properly perform their tasks. Returning to the Wollunqua
ceremonies I found that one of the elders of the tribe, who was doubtless the
Master of the lodge, came early in the morning to the ceremonial ground and
there, by means of a long stick sharpened to the shape of a crude chisel
traced the designs upon the ground, which had first been covered with either
red or yellow ochre. At a later period certain of the members of a degree just
lower than that of the Master came on to the lodge ground and proceeded to
execute the designs left by the Worshipful Master, who had long since taken
his departure. In the patterns filled in by the Fellowcrafts concentric
circles with points within were a prominent feature; they were outlined by
means of a series of white dots, the material for which was a kind of kaolin
or clay. When the Fellowcrafts came on to the ground there were convenient
piles of the necessary clay already in position for the convenience of the
Artificers. On several different occasions I made a determined effort to learn
when and by whom these rough ashlars were brought up. Either it was done in
the course of the ceremony proper which I was not permitted to witness, or
shortly afterward. I was unable to rise sufficiently early to put in an
appearance at the ceremonial grounds before these piles were in place.
Doubtless they were brought there by those of inferior grade who would in our
language be called Entered Apprentices.
also worthy of note that the ceremonial kaolin was not in proper form to be
used, but had to be prepared by the Fellowcrafts by aid of such working tools
as nature provides. The Masonic application of the point within a circle is
quite evident, and it is of interest to note that these circles corresponded
in number to the clans taking part in the ceremonies. The outermost circles
represented those clans farthest from the ceremonial ground. Each circle was
in a symbolic sense a representation of the territory governed by each clan.
The point within represented an individual initiate. I was later informed that
in the course of the ceremonies the initiate is taught that these circles
represent the boundaries beyond which he is never to suffer any interest to
take him. He would be venturing on dangerous ground if he neglected to follow
this advice, and it was not only possible, but probable that he would run into
some serious danger. It is not hard to see how by easy stages the significance
of this symbol has fallen into its present impure state. The close association
of this important symbol with clay need not have its Masonic application
pointed out. Charcoal was also used. Herewith is reproduced an illustration
which shows the Fellowcrafts engaged in this great and important undertaking.
Those who wish to go further into the subject should consult my exhausting
monograph, Picture Postcards and the 47th Proposition.
not unusual among the Australian tribes to find three principal characters in
the ceremony. One illustration has been cited above and quite frequently only
three performers carry out the whole of the ceremony, the other members of the
lodge having no other part than that of spectators. Doubtless this is
indicative of the early existence of the Master's Lodge. The illustration
herewith is a photograph of the principal characters connected with the
Itjilpi totem ceremonies among the Warramunga tribe and shows three ornately
adorned men, one of whom has protruding from his headdress three horns, the
ends of which are tipped with the green branches of the Australian Acacia. The
appearance of the character on the left would lead to the conclusion that the
significance of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty was not entirely lost upon our
early Masonic brethren. The acacia symbol taking a prominent part in the
ceremonies, and the central figure representing Hiram Abiff, doubtless the
left hand personage represents Hiram of Tyre, in which event the only
conclusion that can be reached is that the third character is King Solomon.
Another most important feature is that Hiram Abiff is in the center between
the two other characters. This cannot be mere chance because Hiram represents
the zenith meridian and would naturally be between east and west. The
reversion of characters is interesting to note. Hiram of Tyre is on the right
of the central figure instead of the left as in this country. That is just
what we would expect where the south becomes the point of darkness as it does
in Australia which is on the other side of the equator, and this,
consequently, accounts for the change in position.
these ceremonies prove, in such a conclusive manner, the early existence of a
Master's Lodge, it is to be expected that we would find those of the
Fellowcraft and Entered Apprentice grade in evidence as well. In both the
Walpari and the Tjingilli tribes we find ceremonies performed by five men, and
in the Wollunqua totem of the Warramunga tribe seven principals take part--a
perfect lodge. Journeying farther afield, we find the same practice among the
Hopi Indians of North America, but more will be said of them later. Prolonged
observation of the Australian tribes, and an intensive study of their social
organizations has led me to conclude that something has been lost from their
ceremonials. Doubtless since our modern Freemasonry migrated from its
Australian habitat, the connection between the three degrees has been lost in
the native ceremonies. These tribes were doubtless united and the degrees were
delegated individually to certain of the tribal groups for performance. Since
this time these groups have, possibly through wars or similar causes, become
separated and now the connection which originally existed between the degrees
can be traced only in isolated tribes who seem to have no inter-connection.
leaving the Australian ceremonies, it is necessary to point out one among the
Thalaualla, which presents another remarkable instance of Ancient Freemasonry.
Three men, after being decorated with numerous ovals and circles, together
With a fourth whose distinctive marking consists of cross lines of black,
ornamented with white form the principal characters in this rite. The last
named did not take part in the main ceremony, consequently there is a
recurrence of the three principals among these people. The fourth man was a
kind of side performance illustrating an event in the history of the
Thalamualla, which occurred at the period with which the main ceremonies are
concerned. He lay down in a small trench, hidden from view behind a bush
(undoubtedly an acacia), about twenty yards away from the main ceremonial
ground. As soon as the first and main performance was over an old man drew a
line along the ground leading to the spot at which the fourth performer lay
hidden. All of the men walked behind him keeping their eyes fixed on the track
as if they were following a trail; and on seeing the hidden man pretended to
be much astonished. Their amazement was manifested by signs and would be
readily recognized by Masons the world over. Unfortunately the writer was
unable to visit this tribe and has had to secure his evidence second hand. The
original observers did not give all the essential details and from my own
experience among these natives it would be permissible to conclude that the
man behind the bush was dead and brought to life again. The method of
conducting this portion of the ceremony is clearly shown in the illustration
of an Arunta tribe ceremony presented herewith. The Masonic application need
not be discussed as it is too evident.
years later, in the course of my wanderings, I paid a visit to the Hopi
Indians of the Southwestern United states. I was particularly fortunate in
being present during the celebration of their famous Snake Dance, in fact, I
planned my trip so as to be there during that festival, and was astounded that
many of the things I had seen years before in Australia were to be found among
these Indians. The similarity of their institution and Masonry was even more
striking than that noticed among the Australian tribes. After making myself
known by the use of several Masonic signs, I was permitted to enter the kiva
during the performance of certain portions of the Mishongnovi ceremonies. It
might be argued that I was communing with clandestine Masons and for this
reason had subjected myself to expulsion from our Order, but I believe that a
broad interpretation of the law would entitle one to defend the practice on
the basis that we are the clandestine Masons and they the true ones. If any
expulsion is to be incurred it would have to be on the side of the Indians.
They seemed to be only slightly concerned with the matter, however, and I
assure you it caused me no worry. Unfortunately, they would not permit me to
photograph the interior of their kiva during the performance of the
ceremonies, but after leaving their neighborhood I sketched the interior as I
recalled it and have reproduced my drawing herewith. This sketch represents
the interior during the repeating of the traditional songs. As a matter of
fact this particular feature takes place during the fourth of their many
degree system. We may safely conclude, therefore, that it is the Mark Master
Degree that is at present being worked in the lodge.
fact is further substantiated by the recurrence of the number four. There are
four men in the East, four rows of semi-circles on the floor cloth, eight men
(twice four) seated in a semi-circle at the head end of the cloth. In order to
avoid disclosing certain of the secrets of this lodge the drawing is made to
represent a period of refreshment which is clearly indicated by the refuse in
the rear of the semi-circle of brethren. The calling off from labor was
occasioned by the delay in the arrival of the sixth candidate for the degree.
Only one candidate was admitted at a time, and the Old Charges were sung to
each one separately. You will notice twelve wands on each side of the
floor-cloth. Four were placed in position for each candidate to indicate that
he was being advanced to the Fourth Degree. There is one other feature worthy
of note, these Masons, like their Australian brethren, work only in perfect
lodges. You will note that there are eight men in the semi-circle at the near
end of the lodge--five of these were new initiates, leaving three in this
group with four in the East, making seven in all--a perfect lodge. The Tiler
is just within the door of the lodge, but he takes no part in the ceremony,
and we are at liberty to eliminate him from the number forming the lodge. He
is smoking, and since he is the only one so engaged, we may conclude that he
doubtless is the primitive representation of the Pot of Incense. There are
many other points of similarity which might be indicated, but enough have been
recounted to prove the assertion that Freemasonry was old when it first came
into being in Europe.
leaving this ceremony, however, it would be well to give a brief description
of the Old Charges which were read to each candidate. They were relations of
the traditional history of the tribe and were similar in content to the Old
Charges of the Masons. There are even points of concurrence in context. There
appears, for example, a relation of the founding of the sciences and arts
among the ancients of the tribe. This is recounted in the following manner and
relates particularly to the science which enabled them to construct their
dwellings. My information on this point comes through a gentleman of
unimpeachable veracity who was very well acquainted with someone who said he
got it from a man who claimed to have lived many years among the Indians and
to have obtained the tale from the lips of an aged medicine man.
began before the great rains, and there was a man, named To-tok-ya, and he had
two wives, the one named Yungya, who brought forth two sons, the eldest
Losh-ta-la and the other Losh-la-ta, by the other he had a son named Bay-ish-ta-la
and a daughter called Shush-ta-la, and these children found all the sciences
in the world and all the crafts also. Losh-ta-la found building, and he kept
sheep and they had lambs in the field for which flocks he built houses of
stone and timber. His brother Losh-la-ta found the art of dancing, and the
third brother found the art of making weapons, and their sister found the art
of weaving. Now these children knew that the Great Spirit would take vengeance
of the world either by fire or water for sin. Notwithstanding they were more
curious for the benefit of posterity to prefer these Sciences that they
invented to their own lives, therefore they engravened them upon two pillars,
the one of stone and the other of timber, that in event of catastrophe by
either fire or water one of them would be preserved. Then after the big rains
Shush-ha-hi-mu found the aforesaid pillars with the Sciences written thereon
and founded the tribe of the Snakes and taught them the arts he had found.
above is a literal translation which comparison with certain of the Old
Charges will show to be identical in content.
similarity should be evident to every Masonic student, but it is brought out
much more forcibly when we are told that the two sheafs of corn which stand at
the right and left of the East are symbolic representations of the two pillars
found by Shush-ha-hi-mu. This feature gives us a new insight into the meaning
of the pillars in Freemasonry. I have treated this more at length in my
article on the Cult of the Squash entitled Pillars and Pumpkins, which
appeared in the "Obfuscological Journal."
told that at one portion of the ceremony, which takes place on the seventh day
of the festival and after the Masters and Wardens have partaken heavily of the
refreshments offered during its performance, the lodge retires to the kiva and
a long invocation to the founder of the clan is recited. The highly emotional
state into which the officers of the lodge have worked themselves doubtless
accounts for the seemingly hilarious festivities in which they indulge. At one
stage, for example, the Master pointing to the wiggly drawing upon the floor
pronounces a long invocation to their ancestor. I was unable to grasp all of
what was said, but it ended up with this, "Meritango, meri-tango, wotbyjingo!
Shush-ha-hi-mu! Ko-mok-to-tok-ya yungya shushtala loshtala bayishtala tikive!"
which in English means, "Shush-ha-hi-mu, here are snakes," and doubtless they
all saw snakes.
on this matter of refreshment in lodge it might be well to digress somewhat
and point out the stage of degeneracy into which Masonic lodges had fallen at
a date as early as 1776. For this purpose there is reproduced herewith an
illustration of the ceremonies of Convivial Lodge, No. 4321, which might be
taken as typical of the time. Even in these depths, however, the primitive
ceremonials are evident in survival. A comparison of this illustration with
that representing the three principal characters in the Itjilpi ceremonies
will enable us to formulate a number of important conclusions. It is readily
noted that the origin of the collar with its suspended jewel is to be found in
the crossed markings of the Australian Hiram. The lower extensions of these
decorations have been lost and only the portion above the convergence
retained. The suspension of the working tools from the collar thus formed is a
comparatively simple step in the evolutionary process. Is it to be wondered
that at a later date, during the period of liberty and license which prevailed
in the eighteenth century that a more stately and symbolic square, level and
plumb should be replaced by a symbol of the spirit of conviviality prevailing
at the time ? As a result of such a process the bottle comes to be the
insignia of office of at least two of the principal officers of the lodge.
Mere over-indulgence could not account for such a substitution and it is
entirely likely that the bottle symbolized not license, but wisdom.
Rabelais gives at length the story of the Oracle of the Bottle which was
endowed with the power of giving the very best advice on all matters. The
bottle as a jewel would, therefore, be a symbol of wisdom, and would partake
somewhat of the nature of an Oracle to be consulted by the members of the
lodge when they felt the need of counsel on matters too complicated for their
befogged minds to grasp. When Gargantua and Panurge consulted the oracle they
were much astonished to find only a gigantic bottle which when questioned
emitted a faint monosyllabic sound which closely approximated "trinc".
Doubtless this to them was interpreted as an invitation and was acted upon
promptly. In the state of hilarity attained during the arduous labors of
Convivial Lodge, the bottles met frequently, the resulting clink was easily
confused with the "trinc" of Rabelais' oracle and in such a confused state of
mind it might easily be understood as the word "Drink". What more profound
wisdom could any oracle pronounce?
wisdom can only be interpreted in the sense of a lesson in charity, as an
admonition to practice both Brotherly Love and Relief. The human race, even
during the eighteenth century, had not become so degenerate that they could
not follow teachings which would lead them to practice those lessons we are
taught in Freemasonry, although the practice might differ in many respects
from the modern method. The surest way of erecting a monument to our memory,
so we are told, is to practice charity, and it must be remembered that in
being charitable we are exercising both Brotherly Love and Relief. We are
charitable because we love our fellow men and by means of giving we relieve
their distress. What could be more simple?
an awe-inspiring spectacle to behold a symbol open to such recondite
interpretations as that of the bottle. We-have seen it as a representation of
wisdom exemplified by the oracle and as a symbol of Charity, Brotherly Love
and Relief. There is nothing that inspires the affections and passions to the
same extent as drink. One drunkard loves another as no brother loves his twin.
As for relief, who is more willing to aid another than he whose mind is hazy
from an alcoholic revelry. One convivial brother will help another home, and
this is a great relief as it takes away all cause for worry over the
after-effects of the meeting. Should money run out in the case of one member,
there is always another to relieve his wants and to supply him with what he
most desires. This is charity in its most sublime sense and relief in its most
effective phase. And, on the morning after, what could be better, nobler
wisdom than the counsel of the bottle, "trinc" ?
matter of head dress we have Still another survival from the primitive. The
convivial brother on the right of the picture clearly finds his prototype in
the King Solomon of the Australian brother; while the two central figures are
the primitive and later counterparts respectively of the Temple Architect. The
third figure in the Australian ceremony has lost his head dress, doubtless
because of the rough nature of his duty, but it must have in some respect
resembled that of the third brother in the eighteenth century else how did the
third member of the group become so clad? Such things as head ornaments do not
arise out of nothing and there undoubtedly was some more primitive form than
that represented here.
is a certain connection between the aftereffects of closing the lodge among
the Hopi Indians and that of Convivial Lodge. As a purification rite, and a
magical ceremony designed to keep the brethren pure until the next
celebration, we are informed that the Masters, Wardens and brethren of the
Hopi Lodge imbibed freely of a powerful emetic which duly operates. Doubtless
the same result was attained in Convivial Lodge without the use of any such
disagreeable ceremony. [The reading of this article has had much the same
effect on me. Editor.]
are many other features of primitive Masonry which find their counterparts in
the ceremonies of today. It may be concluded that our modern institution is
descended directly from our savage predecessors and that Freemasonry has lost
nothing in the transition. I hope in some future article to elaborate upon the
evidence herein produced and develop my theory to such a point that it will be
accepted by the foremost scholars of the world. [Not in THE BUILDER. Editor.]
Rise and Development of Anti-Masonry in America, 1737-1826
BRO. J. HUGO TATSCH, Associate Editor,
is the first of a short series of distinct though connected articles on
AntiMasonry in the United states. They are especially timely inasmuch as this
is the centennial anniversary of the disappearance of William Morgan, the
episode which precipitated the great wave of hostility to the Craft. The
present article is by Bro. J. Hugo Tatsch, an Associate Editor of The Builder,
and as most of our readers know, the Curator of the Iowa Masonic Library at
Cedar Rapids. It is intended as a general introduction to the subject, and
will be followed by one dealing with the Morgan Affair itself written by Bro.
Tatsch and Bro. E. M. Erikson, Ph. D., in collaboration. It is interesting to
learn that about five years ago these two brethren started on this line of
research independently, a mutual discovery of the fact arising when their
respective articles appeared; "An American Masonic Crisis" by the former, in
A.Q.C., Vol. 34 (1921), and Speaker's Bulletins Nos. 9 and 10 of the M.S.A.
Bro. Erikson also contributed an article to The Builder for March, 1921, and a
series of sketches of Anti-Masonic leaders from his pen has recently appeared
in the Bulletin of the Grand Lodge of Iowa.
ANTI-MASONRY appeared in America very soon after the revitalized fraternity of
England made its influence felt in the American colonies. Only twenty years
after the Revival of 1717 took place in England, and within a decade after the
first positive traces of the Craft are found in Pennsylvania and New England,
the first so-called antiMasonic sentiment is recorded. The "Pennsylvania
Gazette," No. 444, June 9 to 16,1737--published by our Bro. Benjamin Franklin
--relates how Dr. Evan Jones, a prominent apothecary of Philadelphia, duped an
apprentice, Daniel Reese, who had expressed a desire to become a Freemason.
Seeing an opportunity for ribald amusement, Dr. Jones and several associates
put the young man through some absurd ceremonies, telling him he was an
Entered Apprentice, and directed him to return June 13, 1737, for another
degree. Further horse-play, coupled with indecencies and indignities, were
then indulged in. These were followed by a final ceremony in which his Satanic
Majesty appeared, but who, to the disappointment of the conspirators, did not
serve to frighten the candidate; whereupon Dr. Jones, the impersonator of the
devil, threw a pan of flaming spirits upon the apprentice, with such frightful
effect that he died three days later.
publication of the story in local papers, and the blame attached to the
regular Masons, innocent of any wrong doing and equally strong in their
censure and condemnation of the act, brought the fraternity into bad repute in
certain quarters, and enemies of the local Craft did not hesitate to seize
upon the occasion to further their own ends. The various accounts were
reprinted in the colonial papers, and thus the occurrence achieved a place in
the annals of American Masonry as the first anti-Masonic expression in the
from the excitement and feeling engendered in Philadelphia by the regrettable
occurrence, it had no serious effect. Sporadic expressions are found in later
years which only serve to indicate that Freemasonry was well established. One
Christian Sauer, an erratic printer of Germantown, took a fling, in 1740, at
the free school system inaugurated by Benjamin Franklin, and vented his spleen
upon it by saying: "The people who are promoters of the free schools are Grand
Masters and Wardens among the Freemasons, their very pillars."
early reference to the Craft from an anti-Masonic standpoint appeared in the
New York Mercury of Dec. 31, 1753, in which considerable space is given to the
assumption of office by George Harrison as Provincial Grand Master. The
occasion was made noteworthy by the donation of fifteen pounds toward the
purchase of clothing for poor children in the charity school; an additional
sum was raised for indigent prisoners. This prompted the editor to ask:
Whether the performance of public and private acts of beneficence, such as
feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, be most correspondent to the Genius
of Christianity, or the Institution of the Prince of Darkness?
were no direct attacks the Craft in Massachusetts until 1751. The Pennsylvania
affair and the anti-Masonic activities of European enemies were impartially
recorded in the papers of the colony. On Jan. 7, 1751, some doggerel verse and
a picture were printed in the "Boston Evening Post" of a very disgusting
nature. The brethren of Boston were much disturbed thereby, and passed
resolutions in local lodges and also in Grand Lodge against the publication.
this brief introduction, the subject of Anti-Masonry in the American Colonies
can be dismissed for present purposes. It was not until the last decade of the
eighteenth century that we encounter what may be termed anti-Masonry in the
strict sense of the term, and which really had a marked effect upon the Craft.
The roots of the Morgan Affair of 1826 are found herein, and the student going
into the subject thoroughly will find much hitherto unconsidered material to
ANTI-MASONRY IN EUROPE
anti-Masonic spirit, which developed in the period of 1797-1825, had its
foundation in the literature avowedly written to oppose secret societies in
Europe, which were accused of being anti-Christian, anti-social and dangerous
to both state and religion. Freemasonry was unavoidably included among the
leading societies of the period, for the fraternity had made a rapid growth
throughout Continental Europe from the day it was first introduced in England.
forbids a presentation of the background attached to the story of Anti-Masonry
in Europe; let it suffice to say for present purposes that the French
Revolution, 1789-1799, was watched in this country with both interest and
anxiety. Many of our people were in open sympathy with the French, and Genet,
the French minister accredited to our government, was enthusiastically
received by these. The French popular customs were imitated, French
revolutionary songs were sung, the American and French colors were displayed
together. The French Jacobin clubs were imitated by the formation of
democratic associations styled "Democrat Clubs," and the phrase, "the rights
of man," was heard at assemblies of all kinds.
course of Washington in proclaiming strict neutrality, even though not
endorsed by many of our citizens, saved this nation from dangerous
consequences. The details can be learned from any reliable history; we are
only concerned with the influences which bear upon the development of
anti-Masonry. These are found in the principles of Jacobinism. Briefly, the
Jacobins of France were originally members of a political club formed in 1789
which was not extremely radical, but which underwent rapid changes until the
term "Jacobinism" became synonymous with the promulgation of extreme
revolutionary opinions. The conservative members were excluded by internal
processes until the club degenerated into a loosely defined but very dangerous
organization, which brought about the reign of terror in France under Marat
and Robespierre at the very time (April, 1793) that Washington issued his
neutrality proclamation. The horror of the period stirred the civilized world
to its depths. Genet, in America, misinterpreted the popular opinion, and in
his enthusiasm threatened to appeal to the mass of the American people if our
leaders did not permit activities which were threatening to involve us in war
with Great Britain. Popular sentiment thereupon began to weaken; Genet was
recalled in disgrace by his government, which would have beheaded him had he
returned. He was permitted to remain in the United states, and later married
the daughter of Governor De Witt Clinton (a Mason) of New York, dying at an
aristocracy and the Roman Catholic clergy suffered the greatest losses during
the French Revolution. It was but natural, therefore, that they should attempt
to fasten the responsibility upon some one. The Jacobins, representing the
masses, were pointed out as the instigators of the misfortunes which had
befallen the upper classes. One of the representative literary productions of
the period was the Memoires poui servir a l'histoire du Jacobinisme, by Abbe
Augustin Barruel, published in French in London in 1797. A second edition
followed in 1798; English translations were available immediately. The work
was also printed in German; numerous abridged editions appeared each year from
1798 to 1802. It was printed in Spanish as late as 1827.
American edition, four volumes, was published in Hartford, Conn., "printed by
Hudson & Goodwin for Cornelius Davis, New York," in 1799.
ROBINSON'S PROOFS OF CONSPIRACY
akin to Barruel's, written independently of it, was Proofs of a Conspiracy
against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, carried on in the Secret
Meetings of Free Masons, Illuminati and Reading Societies, by John Robinson,
A. M., Edinburgh. It was announced in January, 1797, two editions appeared
some months later, a third of 1798 was reprinted in Philadelphia the same
year. New York and Dublin editions of 1798 are also known. Like Barruel's
work, this, too, was reprinted in other languages, French and German editions
predominating, with one printed in Holland, no date given. Barruel
acknowledged the priority of Robinson in Vol. III, p. xiv, London edition of
1798; Robinson refers to Barruel in his second edition, page 519.
Barruel and Robinson asserted that secret societies were responsible for the
distressing situation in Europe, and did not hesitate to place the odium upon
the Freemasons and the Illuminati. Thinking people accepted these statements
seriously. Says Hayden:
public mind in the United states was not only agitated with the aggressions of
France, which threatened a bloody war between our country and our former ally,
but also that the cause of the frenzied state of the public mind in France,
and other parts of Europe, was ascribed to Masonry under the name of
Illuminism. France, in her folly, had attempted to banish every vestige of
revealed religion from her domain, and had caused it to be inscribed over the
gates of her churchyards that death was an eternal sleep. False tongues were
not wanting to say that Masonry designed to overturn all human governments.
Illuminati referred to were members of a secret society founded in Bavaria in
1776 by Adam Weishaupt, professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt.
Its object was:
mutual assistance of its members to attain the highest possible degree of
morality and virtue, and to lay the foundation for the reform of the world by
the association of good men to oppose the progress of moral evil.
Weishaupt, who became a Mason between Nov. 26, 1776, and Feb. 8, 1777, adapted
Masonic rites and customs to his society; but the activities of Jesuit enemies
caused its suppression by royal edicts in 1784 and 1785. Weishaupt fled to
Gotha and found protection under Duke Henry II, devoting his energies to the
writing of philosophical treatises.
INFLUENCE IN AMERICA OF THE LITERATURE OF THE PERIOD
periodicals of England and America graphically related the startling French
occurrences to their readers, and it was upon such, supplemented by personal
correspondence, that non-participants based their opinions. This was
particularly true in America. The causes of a colossal disturbance are always
sought for; whether the reasons given be right or not, supporters of various
claims can always be found. The Barruel and Robinson books contributed to the
available information--and misinformation. Freemasonry was charged by some to
be at the root of the difficulties, (2) and it can be perceived readily that a
growing acceptance of the charge would make the publication of antiMasonic
literature profitable. It must be remembered that the general public was not
so familiar with Freemasonry as it is today, the secrecy always associated
with the fraternity was not only restricted to its essential words, signs and
grips which are the sum total of actual Craft esotericism, but was also
construed to cover membership, places of meeting and the like. Therefore,
literature purporting to expose the "secrets" of Freemasonry found a ready
sale among the curious and the gullible, and also, in the times under
discussion, among earnest, serious and conscientious persons imbued by a
legitimate desire to be informed on a subject of more than ordinary moment.
The gamut of interest ranged between the two extremes.
elusive reference to be found in the ephemeral literature of the period need
not be stressed herein; the interest lies in the more enduring publications.
Among those are the numerous editions of Jachin and Boaz, an alleged expose
which first appeared in England in 1762, and was reprinted by the thousand
from that year down to the present day. No doubt many copies circulated in the
Colonies. The first American edition which has been traced is one of 1796,
printed in New York city. It was followed by others in New York, Pennsylvania
and New England in the years 1797, 1798, 1802, 1803, 1811, 1812, 1814, 1815,
1817 and 1825; probably there are editions which have escaped the Masonic
bibliographer. One in Spanish was printed in Philadelphia in 1822.
exposes mentioned thrived in the soil fertilized by the Barruel and Robison
volumes. An abridgement of Barruel and Robison appeared in 1802, at
Charlestown, Massachusetts, entitled Proofs of the Real Existence and
Dangerous Tendency of Illuminism, by Seth Payson, A. M. One of the Barruel
volumes was reprinted in 1812 at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in a volume entitled
Antichristian and Antisocial Conspiracy which also contained within its covers
a reprint of Jachin and Boaz.
BEGINNING OF CLERICAL OPPOSITION
situation in France was viewed with continued alarm by our representative
citizens when John Adams became the second President of the United states.
Saying, among other things, that the United States was "at present placed in a
hazardous position," he issued a proclamation on March 23, 1798, proclaiming
May 9, 1798, as a public fast day. Rev. Jedediah Morse, Charlestown,
Massachusetts, preached a sermon on that occasion which opened the way to long
and inflamed discussions of the Illuminati, and indirectly upon Freemasonry.
The Rev. Morse made no allusions to the Craft in his sermon, but his silence
on the subject was noted as peculiar and significant when his listeners later
read the Robison book which he had recommended to them in his sermon. Other
comment followed in the pulpit and the newspapers. College presidents and
political orators discoursed volubly upon the new menace to civilization. The
cry had been raised, and the pack was in full chase.
dissenting voice dared to question the assertions and the insinuations that
had been made. "Censor," writing in the Massachusetts Mercury of July 27,
1798, asked for proofs. The Rev. Morse, looked upon as the proper person to
answer the query inasmuch as he had been the first to arouse public interest
through his sermon, was not loath to take up the fight. Yet he expressed
surprise that he should be called upon to substantiate statements (Robinson's)
which contained such excellent internal evidence of their truth. He was
astonished, among other things, by the sensitiveness and irritation which the
Masons had displayed; he had hoped that the manner in which he handled his
sermon would preclude censure from that direction. The controversy waxed warm;
Morse spoke again in a formal address on Thanksgiving Day, 1798. He was
supported in his position by clergymen in other pulpibs; the numerous
Thanksgiving sermons revived interest in the subject and it swept through the
countryside. The public did not differentiate With meticulous care between
secret societies in general and the Craft in particular; the resentment and
denial of Freemasons that they had nothing to do with the Illuminati fell on
inconsiderate ears. They had been linked together, and that was all that was
necessary to make them avowed allies. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in
protest, drew up an address to President Adams on June 11, 1798; it stated its
position relative to civil authority and declared that Freemasons promoted the
public welfare. The reply of President Adams is worthy of record herein:
of my best friends have been Masons, and two of them my professional patrons;
the learned Gridley and my intimate friend, your immortal Warren, whose life
and death were examples of patriotism and philanthropy, were Grand Masters;
yet, so it has happened, that I had never the felicity to be initiated. Such
examples as these, and a greater still in my venerable predecessor
(Washington) would have been sufficient to induce me to hold the Institution
and Fraternity in esteem and honour, as favourable to the support of civil
authority, if I had not known their love of the fine arts, their delight in
hospitality, and devotion to humanity.
Rev. Thaddeus Harris, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge, delivered some
stirring addresses, in one of which he blamed the clergy for the prevailing
Illuminati excitement. He spoke of them as those "who ply the shuttle-cock of
faith, with the dexterity of expert gamesters, and have the art of making the
multitude fly with its feathers." The Grand Lodge of Vermont also went on
record (Oct. 23, 1798) in dignified defense of the Fraternity.
appointed a second fast day, set for April 25, 1799. Morse seized upon the
occasion to voice his opinions upon the subject into which he had precipitated
himself by his previous Fast Day sermon. In his address--the third and
last--he called attention to some alleged Masonic correspondence, showing a
connection between the Grand Orient of France and bodies in America, situated
at Portsmouth, Va., and presumably at New York, as well as in the French
possessions in the West Indies. Apparently, Masons were Masons the world over,
and that fact was sufficient to brand the American Craft as a danger to the
government and all social institutions. (3)
JEFFERSON'S COMMENT ON BARRUEL
spite of the clerical opposition from Morse-and it must be remembered that
there were brethren of the cloth in. New England who did not agree with him,
and even opposed his utterances--the diatribes fell flat. The political
dangers pointed out did not hold ground; Thomas Jefferson, although not a
Mason, went so far as to comment on the absurdity of the Barruel books held
forth by Morse as authorities and proofs. Others rallied to the assistance of
those who declared Morse's position untenable, and it was not long before the
hue and cry subsided. The Masonic angle was definitely cleared away by a
letter showing that the lodge at Portsmouth, Va., was a reputable
organization, and its members honest and industrious citizens of the
community. Morse wisely refrained from further discussion, and politically, at
least, the attacks failed. The danger to the Craft was over from that
direction until after the disappearance of Morgan, when numerous attempts were
made to revive the alleged connection of Freemasonry with the Illuminati of
the previous century. Noteworthy in this connection were two seceding Masons,
Moses Thacher and Henry Dana Ward, both of whom were ministers.
review of the Masonic press for the few years preceding the Morgan Affair of
1826 shows that there was marked opposition to the Craft from Protestant
clerical sources; but before citing a few of the many instances that can be
found, mention should be made of one cause contributed by Freemasons
themselves. The Masonic writings and orations at the period (1800-1825) reveal
a boastfulness that reacted seriously after 1826, and which gave the enemies
of the Craft weighty matter in support of anti-Masonic utterances. This spirit
of braggadocio and arrogance continued to within the very year of the Morgan
abduction. Early in 1826, the "Christian Telescope," a religious paper edited
by Rev. David Pickering and published by Barzillai Cranston, both Masons, in
commenting on an Alabama anti-Masonic situation, said:
truly thankful to find this spirit of intolerance confined to the bigots of
Tuscaloosa, who will find it hard to kick against a Colossus, which, if it had
the inclination, could crush them or any other denomination of sectarians,
almost without an effort, that is in America, where civil and religious
liberty have established a dominion.
was quoted from a Wilmington, North Carolina paper, said to have been edited
at the time by Rev. Jacob Frieze, also Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of
most glaring examples of such Masonic boasting prior to the Morgan Affair can
be found in the expressions of William F. Brainard. His lecture before Union
Lodge, New London, Connecticut, on Saint John's Day, June 24, 1825, was
probably quoted more by anti-Masons than any other similar addresses. The
following is a good example of his indiscreet and uncalled for remarks:
is Masonry now? It is powerful. It comprises men of rank, wealth, office and
talent, in power and out of power, and that in almost every place where power
is of importance, and it comprises, among the other classes of the community,
to the lowest, in largest numbers, effective men, united together and capable
of being directed by the efforts of others so as to have the force of concert
through the civilized world. They are distributed, too, with the means of
knowing one another, and the means of keeping secret, and the means of
co-operating; in the desk, in the legislative hall, on the bench, in every
gathering of men of business, in every party of pleasure, in every enterprise
of government, in every domestick circle, in peace and in war, among enemies
and friends, in one place as well as in another.
powerful indeed is it at this time, that it fears nothing from violence either
public or private, for it has every means to learn it in season to counteract,
defeat and punish it.
REJECTIONS AND EXPULSIONS WERE FACTORS
Another cause for enmity against the Craft was the unusually large number of
rejections and expulsions. The latter were published in the Grand Lodge
proceedings of the time; and considering that reading matter was not so
profuse as it is now, and that the Craft was a far greater mystery than it is
today, it can be readily assumed that the publicity thus accruing to the
expelled brethren was pronounced. The resentment welling therefrom in the
hearts of rejected petitioners was far more intensive than the feelings
engendered in modern times through similar actions. Such individuals would be
inclined to join anti-Masonic demonstrations, rather than hold aloof.
corollary to such rejections and expulsions is the apologetic attitude of
Masonic speakers, who, taking cognizance of the prevailing but yet lightly
provocative anti-Masonic sentiment, still offered a defense of the Craft. Rev.
John L. Blake, A. M., speaking before Friendship Lodge at Gloucester, Rhode
Island, in 1825, said:
view of the remarks made, it may well be concluded, that Masonry is, in no
sense, opposed to Christianity, notwithstanding that many nominal Masons are a
disgrace to the name they bear.... The person who is a dishonor to the
Christian church is no honor to the Masonic Fraternity. It may be asked then,
if the good Mason is not almost the good Christian!
Gassett, a virulent anti-Mason of his day, points out in the introduction to
his Catalogue of Anti-Masonic Books (Boston, 1852) that anti-Masonry existed
"in Hamilton College, New York, in 1819, and in the Presbyterian Church of the
United states, in 1820" (page 84). Rev. John G. stearns, a writer of
anti-Masonic literature after the Morgan Affair had taken place, had been made
a Mason in Champion Lodge, No. 146 (New York). stearns, in citing his reasons
for issuing his Inquiry Into the Nature and Tendency of Speculative
Freemasonry, had the following to say:
fall of 1819 I was received as a student in the Literary and Theological
Seminary of Hamilton, N.Y. In my examination I was inquired of whether I was a
Mason. I answered in the affirmative. I was then requested to dispense with
Masonry while a member of that school. I replied that I had already made up my
mind never to have anything more to do with Masonry.
EXAMPLES OF RELIGIOUS OPPOSITION
as at the present time we have some narrow and bigoted religious Protestant
sects, so in the days under discussion preachers were not lacking who believed
that Christianity's cause was promoted by assailing alleged evils. The seeds
furnished by Morse and his kind--sincere and honest as they were in their
beliefs--were transmitted to the outlying settlements of Pennsylvania and
Western New York by itinerant preachers and circuit riders and found fertile
soil. It was they who kept alive the distrust of all secret societies long
after the political menace of such organization from abroad had faded into
nothingness. The Roman Catholic opposition, such as has developed in a more
pronounced manner since the Morgan Affair, was either negligible or
non-existent. The Roman Catholics were not large in numbers or influence;
where attention was directed toward them--as in Ohio by Henry Ward Beecher in
the thirties and forties-they were classed with the enemies of Americanism.
The charge was made--one that no person would advance today--that Freemasons
were allied with Roman Catholics "to crush the liberty of the Republic." An
able illustration of the blindness of popular prejudices and passion! (4)
"American Masonic Register and Ladies' and Gentlemen's Magazine" (New York),
for January, 1821, carries this notice:
Western (Pennsylvania) Register says--"We are informed that at the last
meeting of the Presbyterian Synod of Pittsburg, some of the clergy introduced
a resolution to exclude Freemasons from the rights and benefits of the Church,
except in case where they might confess their errors, and abjure their Masonic
issue of March, 1821, a full account is given. It is of value to the student
as showing the sentiment against the Craft, for it is evident that it was
prepared after careful deliberation. After a preliminary statement of some
length, the committee drafting the report recommended that the following
resolutions be adopted:
Resolved, That Masonic lodges, especially as composed and conducted in various
parts of our country, have had, and are calculated to have, a pernicious
influence on morals and religion, and that attendance on them is unsuitable to
the profession of the holy religion of our Lord Jesus Christ, Therefore--
Resolved, That it is the duty of all ministers of the gospel, elders, parents,
and professional Christians, to use their influence to prevent those under
their care from entering these associations, and induce those who may have
entered, to discontinue their attendance.
synod, deeply impressed with concern for the general interest of society,
civil and religious; particularly with concern for some amiable men, who now
stand connected with the aforesaid society, recommend them to take with
earnestness the course of safety for themselves; and in the present crisis of
the conflict of the kingdom of God with the kingdom of darkness, to show
themselves on the Lord's side, and to perform zealously, the duties which
their attitude in relation to the church of Christ, and to those societies,
particularly recommend; so as not only to promote the cause of godliness
generally, but also the eternal welfare of their brethren, with whom they may
be connected, and upon whom they may exert a salutary influence.
should be pointed out, however, that the report was not adopted by the Synod;
still it has its value herein as showing the marked and organized opposition
to the Masonic Fraternity at that time in religious circles. The lodges of
Pittsburg took cognizance of it, as shown by a lengthy article quoted by the
American Masonic Register, from the Pittsburgh Gazette.
Tuscaloosa incident of 1826 previously mentioned herein relates to the action
of Methodists at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, publicly resolving "that the cause of
God, in their opinion, could not prosper while connected with Freemasonry."
According to Charles McCarthy, the General Methodist Conference of
Pennsylvania had taken action in 1823 forbidding its ministers from becoming
Masonic Mirror and Mechanic's Intelligencer (Boston, May 6, 1926) calls
attention to the proscription of Masons by Methodists, yet points out that
many of the New England Methodists are "zealous and good Masons." The issue
for Oct. 14, 1826--it should be remembered that the Morgan Affair was not
mentioned in its columns until a month later--states:
learn from the Kentucky Gazette, that an inquisitorial bench has been erected
by the South District Association of Baptists at Salt-River, Mercier county,
in that state, for the trial of their minister for the "horrible crime" of
being a FREEMASON !
one reads the Craft literature of the period, he is further impressed with the
fact that both subtle and marked opposition to the Fraternity existed. To
illustrate: An address delivered June 24, 1818, to the brethren of Washington
Lodge, No. 17, Hamilton, Ohio, by Bro. William Burke (printed in full in the
"American Masonic Register" for July 21, 1821), has three columns addressed
"To the Members of Religiouis Denominations" in which a defense of the Craft
against one of the clerical aspersions is made. Other instances could be
cited, increasing in number a approach the Morgan Affair, and, of course,
appearing still more frequently after that occurrence. The point to be made is
that anti-Masonic sentiment was strong for many years before the disappearance
of Morgan. It was that sentiment which made it possible for shrewd political
opportunists to further their own ends with such a simple and preposterous
occurred as the Morgan Affair.
YORK GRAND LODGE POLITICS
Another factor to be considered in the anti-Masonic sentiment of the
pre-Morgan period is the political situation in the Grand Lodge of New York.
The two factions struggling for supremacy at the time brought undue notoriety
to the Craft in the state through their efforts to increase factional strength
by increasing the number of lodges, and the membership of both old and new
lodges among the supporting elements. To quote R. W. Bro. Charles W. Moore,
Grand Secretary of Massachusetts, an active and outspoken Mason during the
excitement of 1826-40, and who was editor from 1842 to 1873 of the "Freemasons
Canvassers, either by appointment, or as volunteers, were active in all the
western counties, and persons were urged to come into the Institution, who had
no more right or claim to be there than they had to be in any other good
place, or to associate with honorable men. They were brought in, forced in
without the payment of any money, but on notes and due bills and when the time
came for a settlement and a readjustment of the pending difficulties, and a
reunion of the bodies, thousands of dollars rolled into the Grand Lodge in due
bills, that had never been paid, and which there had never been any intention
to pay. (5)
laxness was one of the causes of the 1826 difficulties and also had an
influence in the unprecedented withdrawal of members from the Fraternity when
the storm burst in full force. Bro. Moore supports the statement that the
clergy took a dominating part in the excitement. On this subject, he said:
anti-Masonic excitement soon worked itself into all neighboring towns, broke
up many of our lodges, spread dissension in the churches, and demoralized too
many of our clergy, too many (God knows, too many) of whom, trampling their
obligations under their feet, joined our enemies, and, in many instances, did
us more harm than all the opposition arrayed against us.
From a MS. in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Maryland.
The assertion that Freemasonry was involved in the tragic development of the
French Revolution is shown to be unfounded when it is recalled that the
Jacobins suppressed all Masonic lodges. It was not until Napoleon assumed
authority that the Freemasons were permitted to assemble again.
Mention should be made at this point of the Act of Parliament, July 12 1799,
"for the more effectual Suppression of Societies established for Seditious and
Treasonable Purposes " etc. The situation in France, and in Ireland, was
specifically mentioned therein. Enemies of Freemasonry mentioned the Act, even
though Masonic lodges were exempted from its provisions. (See Gould, History
of Freemasonry, Vol. II, pages 486-88; also Acts of Parliament Referring to
Freemasonry London, 1847 and 1817.)
"In view of the well-known attitude of the Catholic Church in regard to
Masonry, it is really remarkable how little Catholics in the United states
seemed to mix in this fierce strife. Ann Royall, the most widely known woman
of her day and country (1769-1854)-traveler, author, editor and lecturer-said
they 'minded their business' and she respected them accordingly. But
Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists fell greatly under her displeasure
because of their hostility toward Masonry." Life and Times of Ann Royall, by
Sarah Harvey Porter, M. A., 1909, page 107
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1871, page 417.
the history of anti-Masonry in the Colonies, the reader is referred to Julius
F. Sachse's Benjamin Franklin as a Freemason (Philadelphia, 1906); Sachse and
Barratt's Freemasonry in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1908), and Melvin M.
Johnson's Beginnings of Freemasonry in America (New York, 1924).
Extensive histories of the United States cover the French Revolution insofar
as it affected our country during Washington's and Adams' administrations. The
"Gentleman's Magazine," London, June, 1794, contains an attack on Freemasonry,
to which answer is made in "The Masonic Essayist," part two of Masonic
Miscellanies in Poetry and Prose, by Stephen Jones, London, 1811. Freemasonry
and the French Revolution is a subject by itself. New England and the Bavarian
Illuminati, by Vernon Stauffer, Ph. D., New York, 1918, treates of the
Illuminati phases; this is No. 1, Vol. LXXXII of "Studies in History,
Economics and Public Law," published by the Columbia University Press. The
Robison and Barruel books have been listed by their full titles in this
addresses of Rev. Thaddeus Harris, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts are available in Discourses on Public Occasions (Charlestown,
1801, and Philadelphia, 1819; also London, 1847-50).
the Masonic periodicals of the period which have been consulted are "The
Masonic Miscellany and Ladies' Literary Magazine," Lexington, Kentucky, 1822;
"The American Masonic Register and Ladies' and Gentlemen's Magazine," New
York, 1821 et seq., "The Masonic Casket," Enfield, New Hampshire, 1823-25; the
"American Masonick Record and Albany Saturday Magazine," Albany, New York,
1827-32; the "Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer," Boston, 1824-27,
Proceedings of various American Grand Lodges have contributed material of
value, notably those of Massachusetts, 1871. Material was also gleaned from
numerous pamphlets and brochures published between 1827 and 1840; these will
be cited in the articles in later bibliographical notes.
Widow of Naphtali
Allegorical Play in One Act
BRO. LEON EDWARD JOSEPH, New York
SCENE--The home of an architect on Mount Ophel in Jerusalem.
TIME--The eleventh year of the reign of King Solomon.
scenery for this play can be made as elaborate as the limit of expenditures
and time will allow, or it can be played with the most simple equipment
imaginable or without any equipment whatsoever, even without a stage possibly
in one end of a room with nothing but a blank wall in back. The imagination of
the audience can be allowed to visualize the setting.
scenery is available, either already on hand or to be built to order, it can
be played either as an interior or an exterior, because in a tropical country
most of the activities of life are outdoors. The stove was always outside of
interior is decided upon there should be a large door of post and lintel
construction and one or two large window openings. As this house was either
built hastily for temporary use or was found by the architect without the
necessity of building a new house, it need not be elaborate nor have the
refinements that an architect would put into the house that he would have
built for himself. The walls were most likely of dried mud or unburnt brick
with the post and lintels of the doors and windows of single stones of
limestone or granite in contrasting color to the walls. They are decorated
with designs and symbols done in outline in maroon and black. There should be
one other door on either side backed to match the interior. A mastaba (a low
platform about two feet high and about three feet wide used as table, seats
and bed, made of dried mud brick) runs around two walls of the room. Very
little other furniture is needed, possibly one chair of Middle-Kingdom
Egyptian pattern, an ashlar about a Cubic cube on which there is a large vase
for holding the family water supply. If this is built to order it should have
a semi-spherical bottom fitting into a socket or depression in the ashlar and
should be about three feet high. It should be painted a yellowish maroon with
black decorations. The floor can be covered with a plain canvas to match the
walls on which are strewn a few antique Turkish rugs. Smaller and lighter rugs
are strewn upon the mastaba with a few animal skins which should be in their
natural shapes and untrimmed. They can be either goat, lion, tiger, camel,
sheep or canine, but bear skins would not be appropriate.
trestle board should be made of a cubical box to represent an ashlar as large
as possible without crowding, up to four foot on edge. It is of granite,
perfectly smooth on the top, set at a diagonal and raised at the back (to give
it a slant of 10 to 15 degrees) by resting on a cut stone. Through the door
and windows should be seen a bright blue cloudless sky above low conical
hills. The vegetation is grass and low bushes with a few olive and fig trees,
in the foreground of which can be placed the conical outdoor stove of field
stones and a ground row of small cut stones to break the line of the drop.
exterior is determined upon it is just the reverse of the above setting, the
walls being the same on the outside as on the inside, but should have a
weather-beaten appearance. A similar mastaba would be on the outside beneath
the window and before an extension of the wall on one side which runs off on
an angle from the house. This wall is about a foot lower than the flat roof of
the house and goes down in steps until it is as low as the mastaba. It is used
to climb to the roof on which there is an Egyptian couch covered with an
awning of a light Turkish rug or a hand-colored striped canvas, supported on
undressed but thoroughly dried-out cedar sticks and guyed with heavy braided
colored rope. The trestle board should be placed on the side opposite the door
beneath the fig tree, on the other side near the door a small orange tree in
bloom and with hanging fruit to give color. Further down stage to the extreme
side the stone stove, which should show usage by being besooted. There should
be quite a few hand-made hammered brass articles about, both inside and
outside, and through the door and windows you should see the room as described
for the interior. It must look as if people of taste and refinement lived
there, although it is only a temporary structure or one that was originally
built for poorer people. The present occupants have been there seven years and
so it would be arranged for comfort and utility. It is plain this must not
give the idea of poverty. Ewers, vases, etc. should be reproductions of the
finest masterpieces of the period obeying the laws of dynamic symmetry.
WIDOW OF NAPHTALI
the rise of the curtain there is no one on the stage, it is well lighted with
a strong tropical sunlight of mid-forenoon.
girl's voice is heard in the distance keeping time to her step as she walks.
She is singing in happy tones to herself, though her words are
indistinguishable. The rhythm must be vital and joyous, it becomes louder as
she approaches until she enters, allowing her song to die out without an
abrupt ending as she looks around.
should be a typical Oriental beauty about 17 or 18 years old with a slight
figure not over-developed and masses of long black hair. She is dressed in
flowing robes of bright colored linen (unstarched), she wears the sandals,
necklace, bracelets and anklets of the period. On her shoulder she carries a
water jug of perceptible weight.
she has seen that there is no one about she takes the water jug from her
shoulder, starts to empty its contents into the large vase, but looking in
sees that it is not empty and therefore does not pour the water in but places
her jug at one side in the shadow. She walks over to the trestle board, picks
up a man's coat that was lying across it, unfolds it before her in admiration,
puts the sleeves around her while she embraces the rest of the coat. While in
this position there is a sound outside of somebody having thrown or kicked a
pebble that bounces around. She is hurriedly putting the coat back in its
place and is confused, not knowing whether or not she has been seen when the
boy enters. Her back is towards him.
boy is about eleven years old, bright looking, full of fun, a typical gamin.
He is dressed in a light tunic which falls to his hips and is girded by a
rope. He is bareheaded but wears sandals. He has been running and is out of
breath. He has not seen the business with the coat and as her back is to him
he mistakes the girl for the widow.]
have been to the Temple grounds. But I--oh, I thought you were the--I--
No. She is not here.
She said she'd be here when I got back. Where is she?
I don't know. I just came. There was no one here.
Are you her daughter?
No. Her son is her only child [glancing at coat].
He's no child, he's a big man. The most important man in Jerusalem. Why, he's
next important to King Solomon and King Hiram themselves.
Yes I know. He is wonderful and in spite of all the honors bestowed upon him
he never forgets his mobher.
hope I'll be a great architect when I grow up. I'll plan big buildings and see
that they are put up right with each stone in its proper place. Then I'll put
beautiful paintings and statues all over them. Then the King will honor me and
have me sit by his right hand.
And will you always remember your mother when you become great ?
cannot remember my mother now. I was so little when she died.
You poor boy.
won't always be poor.
No, of course not.
No. I asked the architect if he would make me an apprentice as soon as I am
old enough. I have been helping his mother, running errands and things,
carrying water. I must run, get some now.
Never mind, I just brought some fresh water with me from the spring.
And did the architect say he would make you an apprentice ?
Oh, yes, and not only that, he promised to teach me how to draw and make
I didn't know that apprentices had to know how to draw.
Oh, they don't. But I'm going to work hard so that when I become a man I can
be a Fellowcraft and after that I'll become a Master and I'll travel all over
the world where buildings are being erected and earn master mason's wages,
like the men do who are building the Temple. I wonder what I can do now for
the widow? I brought enough firewood yesterday for a week, you got the water
[resentfully] I couldn't find-- no one knew--well I wasn't able to get what I
was sent for. Maybe they won't want me around here anymore, they'll get
another Boy. I think I'll go back and try again. [Starts to go]
Could I help you?
[disdainfully]: No. You can't run near as fast as I can. But if you're going
to stay here--
Yes, I'll stay here if you want to leave a message with me for the widow.
How did you know?
Oh, nothing. But will you wait here with a message?
Of course I will. What is it?
The message is--the message is--is--is--well the message is that there is no
message--that is--er--no message yet but I—am going back and I'll keep on
looking till I find--till I find—till I have a message. [Starts to go again
and is almost off stage when he is stopped by being brought face to face with
the widow entering]
widow is a woman between 50 and 70 years old. Her white hair and wrinkles add
character and beauty to her face. She is the ideal mother, combining all the
rest in reality and our dreams. She must not be made a lifeless symbol but
must be vivid and human. She is dressed in the simple robes of the day but
they must be of a quality and arrangement as to give distinction and can be
embellished with a jewelled girdle with pendants.
[ To the Boy ; she does not see the GIRL at first]: Did you see him? Why did
he stay away?
didn't see him.
What word have you?
couldn't find anyone who had seen him since high twelve yesterday.
Did you ask around the Temple?
They wouldn't let me go inside but I asked everyone who came in or went out.
And no one--
No, but I'll go back and try again. I'll go wherever you tell me.
What is the matter? [coming forward]
Hiram was not home at all last night.
But he sent you word?
No, I did not hear from him. It is such an unusual thing for him to do that I
became worried. He had not been away from me a single night during all the
years since his father passed away. So this morning I sent the Boy to the
Temple grounds and you just heard his answer. Perhaps you saw--no, no, I wrong
so good a son to harbor such a thought for a moment.
I have not seen him.
It's funny that nobody has seen him.
I had expected to see him last night. We were going to walk in the olive
groves between sunset and the first star. But I did not see him, that is why I
came here this morning. On the way back from Siloam spring, telling myself
that I just came here to bring you some fresh water, but I really came to hear
you speak of him. I did bring the water, won't you drink some and rest? This
is nice and cool and fresher than what the water carriers bring, which is
The water that I bring is fresh.
[taking the cup]: Hiram always saw to it that I had good water. He had always
tried to think of me no matter how his mind was filled with worries of his
work. When our man servant took sick last week he could get no one but this
Boy to help me. But he is bright and willing and this is the first errand I
have sent him on that he has not accomplished.
I'll go back, and I'll run all the way.
Yes, do. I have been to the top of the hill myself from which I can watch the
road. I'll go back and wait there.
I'll go with you.
RUFFIAN: Hello [outside] Hello, anyone here? [entering]
three ruffians are heavy-set, coarse-looking men with dishevelled hair and
beards. Their coarse garments are torn and begrimed. Their voices are loud and
harsh with a false bravado tinged with fear, which is also seen in their
RUFFIAN [entering with THIRD RUFFIAN]: Sh--there are people here.
RUFFIAN: Can we rest a while?
What do you want to rest for so early in the day?
RUFFIAN: We've been traveling all night and I'm tired.
RUFFIAN- We will he on our way as soon as we have rested.
RUFFIAN: You cannot refuse hospitality to weary travelers. We wouldn't hurt
Will you have a drink of cool water? [Fills cup]
RUFFIAN: Yes, we are thirsty. [Takes cup and drinks]
[to GIRL]: I don't believe they've traveled all night, they have no beast of
burden or even a tent cloth with them.
[to Boy]: They are just like the workmen who are building the Temple.
And maybe they are men from Tyre.
RUFFIAN: Give me a drink, too.
RUFFIAN: Though it is fresh water it burns my tongue.
[SECOND RUFFIAN gives cup to THIRD RUFFIAN]
That water is cold.
RUFFIAN: It burns my chest.
RUFFIAN: It burns my stomach.
The water came from the spring this morning.
RUFFIAN: Who lives here?
A widow and her son.
RUFFIAN: I suppose the man of the house will be gone all day.
RUFFIAN: We can have a good sleep and be gone before he comes back.
Do you happen to be men of Tyre?
RUFFIAN: What of it?
The master of the house is from Tyre. You must have heard of him. The King of
Tyre brought him to Jerusalem to design and superintend the building of the
RUFFIAN: He lives here?
Yes. This is the trestle board on which he marks out his plans.
He's teaching me to become a draftsman.
RUFFIAN: Let's see his trestle board.
RUFFIAN: What s on it?
RUFFIAN: Let me see.
It's the same one his father used before him.
RUFFIAN: Maybe this is what we are seeking. Have you found it?
RUFFIAN: There is nothing on it that looks like Temple plans or master mason's
That is a lesson he gave me to study. How to erect a perpendicular.
His mother is worried because he did not come home last night. Maybe you know
him and have seen him.
Do you know him ?
RUFFIAN: Yes, we know him. That is we'd know him if we were to see him.
Have you seen him yesterday or today? I feel as though something had happened
to him. He would not leave me in this doubt to worry if he were alive.
Maybe these men will go to the Temple with me. They can get inside because
they are workmen. Will you?
RUFFIAN: No we--we mustn't go there.
RUFFIAN: We couldn't get in.
RUFFIAN: We'd better stay here.
Can't you see that your presence here is annoying to the widow? You will find
an inn on the other side of the hill.
We must not send strangers away. Maybe you have seen him and forgotten it.
RUFFIAN: Seen him?
Possibly you may have spoken to him; passed the time of day, or asked him some
RUFFIAN: Let me see, I think I heard someone say that the architect had to go
to the seaport. He may have to stay there several days.
RUFFIAN: Or even a week.
RUFFIAN: Or a month.
RUFFIAN: If you go round asking about him, people might think he was irregular
in his habits and it would give him a bad name.
I wouldn't do anything that would cast reflections on him.
RUFFIAN: Of course not. You stay here quietly and wait for him.
RUFFIAN: Nor send anyone.
RUFFIAN: We'll go and look ourselves for you.
RUFFIAN: Yes, we'll go right away. You stay here so that we know where to
bring word to.
RUFFIAN: Come, let's go. [RUFFIANS start towards the door]
God be with you.
I am glad they have gone.
But you offered them your hospitality.
One must abide by the customs.
[looking off]: They slink along as if they were afraid of being seen.
I seem to feel they knew something about my son. I cannot understand what
could have kept him away from home all last night.
Lots of men stay away from home at night, even some married ones.
Not men like my son. He would only stay away if he could not come home. I feel
that some catastrophe has overtaken him.
If he had been hurt about the Temple grounds everybody would have heard of it,
for all the workmen love him.
That is where we will most likely get news first, so hurry back to the Temple
and see what you can find out.
I'll ask everyone I see. [Exit]
Do not think that I am in any way to be blamed.
I don't. He always told me when he went to see you. Sometimes I was jealous of
this new love of his, though I knew that sometime there must be someone with
whom I must share his love.
You shall always be with us. I could not love him as I do if he were capable
of leaving you alone.
The Arabs have a saying that No Tent is Ever Made Large Enough to Hold a Wife
and a Mother. Perhaps the Lord kept him away last night so I would grow
accustomed to being alone.
There will be no need of that. Even if we lived apart you would know where he
We can only wait and worry. Though to everyone else he is a great man to me he
is still my little Boy. It is just the same as when he was a child. I cannot
feel that he is safe when he is out of my sight.
What can we do?
Wait! Wait! All that a woman can do is to wait and hope.
What would a man do? What would your son do?
He would search and search. But we cannot look in the most likely place, the
And not finding, what would he do then?
He would pray.
Then let us pray.
I have prayed to the Lord all night for him to bring back my son to me.
Let us pray together. Let us pray for news of him. [They kneel]
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto me. Hide not thy face from me
in the day when I am in trouble. Incline Thine ear unto me; in the day when I
call answer me speedily. My heart is smitten and withered like grass. I watch
and am as a sparrow alone on the housetop. O Lord send me tidings of my son.
The workmen in the Temple will miss him [rising]. Then they will all search
[rising]: Then they will find him.
They will not rest until they find him, whether he is living or--
Don't! Don't! I hear someone coming now. It is the Boy.
He could not have reached the Temple and returned in so short a time.
Still he may have news.
[entering]: I saw three fellowcrafts coming from the Temple here. They were
coming in this direction so I came on ahead.
Go meet them and ask them to come here.
They are almost here now.
I am sure they will bring us news.
FELLOWCRAFTS are dressed similar to the ruffians, but the neat appearance of
their attire, and their upright, manly bearing makes a striking contrast. They
are blunt, but wholesome; sincere, but worried. Besides the clothes of the
period they wear leather aprons in the established manner. They are out of
breath from running and hill climbing.]
FELLOWCRAFT: Is this the Architect's house?
You are welcome.
FELLOWCRAFT: Is he home?
FELLOWCRAFT: Where is he?
I do not know.
FELLOWCRAFT: But you are his mother, are you not ?
Yes, but my son did not come home last night.
FELLOWCRAFT: Not been home all night?
No, I have not seen him since he kissed me on the brow and went away yester
FELLOWCRAFT: Then I fear some harm must have befallen him. For everyone knows
he is not a man to neglect his work, or his mother.
Has he not been at the Temple?
FELLOWCRAFT: We discovered at noon today that there was no work laid out for
us on the trestle board, and upon inquiry we learned that no one had seen him,
in or about the Temple, since High Twelve yesterday.
FELLOWCRAFT: We are one of four parties that were sent in search of him.
FELLOWCRAFT: We thought we might find him at home. If perchance he had been
Now I know that some calamity must have befallen him.
Where can he be?
FELLOWCRAFT: If he is alive we will find him.
FELLOWCRAFT: But we must go back and report.
FELLOWCRAFT: Perhaps one of the other searching parties have already found
May I go along?
FELLOWCRAFT: No, you stay here and comfort the widow.
I will try and comfort her.
What solace can anyone give to a widow if she has lost her only son?
FELLOWCRAFT: There is always hope. [Exit]
FELLOWCRAFT: If there are any tidings word will be sent to you. [Exit]
FELLOWCRAFT: God bless and take care of you. [Exit]
He may need me.
We would not know where to find him. The workmen will surely find him. We must
stay here and wait until they send news of him.
Let me go.
No, I would sooner have you stay with me. You are just the age my son was when
I became a widow.
Is there anything that I can do that he would have done ?
No, but today seems to be the end of everything. You are so much like he was
when he was of the are that you are, that I would like to believe that you
were he, and that the past can be lived over again.
You can live in the past, but I have no future, if he is dead. Boy: I won't
have anyone to teach me.
Oh, he must come back to me. [Enter Overseer]
OVERSEER is a man of character, forceful, but quiet, dignified, slow but sure
in his gestures and actions. He is dressed similar to the workmen, but in
You bring news?
OVERSEER: I have been sent--
Oh, do not tell me your news--I can see by your face that there is no hope.
OVERSEER: You would have me go without delivering my message?
No, I suppose I must bear hearing it.
OVERSEER: Be brave.
Then it is--
OVERSEER: Yes. Your son is dead.
OVERSEER: Dead to this life, but he will live forever in the minds of men in
all parts of the earth, even in lands undiscovered. You can well be proud of
your worthy son; he died in the preservation of his honor.
My son. [She sobbingly sinks to her knees, pressing his coat to her cheek.]
GIRL starts toward her to comfort her, the Boy picks up the tools about the
ashlar and puts them in order.]
Fascism and Masonry
May number of Alpina, the organ of the Grand Lodge of Switzerland, the
following article appears the information in which is stated to have been
taken from the Corriere degli Italiani. What seems rather extraordinary is
that those living so near in point of distance to the scene of the events
referred to should have so much difficulty in getting at the facts. The
following is a translation from the French of the article:
is an account of the anti-Masonic action in Italy taken by a correspondent
from the Corriere degli Italiani.
Everyone knows that in the latter part of September and the beginning of
October, 1925, a series of acts of brigandage and crime were committed by
fascist units. The victims were naturally Freemasons, who suffered in their
persons and property, if not in life itself.
difficult to discover so far what is happening exactly. But if the government
is able to prevent newspapers being published they are not able to prevent the
walls from crying out, nor the truth to pierce the darkness. The first days of
October have been a veritable Saint Bartholomew's Eve at Florence. The
bastinado has reigned supreme accompanied by every kind of cruelty.
fascist journal, the Idea Nazionale, published in Rome, came out with an
article on Sept. 25 accusing Freemasonry of seeking to impede and injure the
work of Mussolini, and reproduced an alleged Masonic circular in which Italian
Masons appealed for international intervention to combat fascism and to
accelerate the depreciation of the lira.
Professor Ettore Ferrari, Secretary of the Supreme Council, declares that this
circular is a malodorous and insensate forgery. The Idea Nazionale refuses to
believe this denial and refuses also to submit the question of the
authenticity of this document to a jury. On the contrary it continues to
publish accusation on accusation.
Sept. 25 was published the Orders of the Florentine Fascist organization
against Freemasonry, from which the following is an extract: "From today we
ought to give no truce either to Masons or to Masonry. The destruction of
lodges is a ridiculous measure. We ought to strike them in their persons,
their property, their interests without respect to anyone. The pressure of our
holy violence should permit them to give no sign of life . . . ."
manifesto is signed by the "Directory of the Florentine Fascio." The italics
are in the original.
words to acts is but a step, and it was quickly taken. On the night of Friday,
Sept. 25, Saturday, Sept. 26, the fascists began to hunt down the Freemasons.
Bro. Berti, Professor of Medicine, and Bro. Biondi, manufacturer--as many
others--were killed with clubs in the open streets. During the day of Sept. 26
the bastinado continued on a grand scale as likewise on the following days.
Oct. 3 the Fascist Directory published another manifesto, of which the
following passages are quoted:
war against Freemasonry continues with increasing intensity. We have started
on the right course and our first action, insignificant as it has been, might
seem to have routed the enemy. Folly ! The enemy is more ready, more warlike,
than at the beginning. The struggle against Masonry is desperate, and one
object alone constitutes our program. Freemasonry must be destroyed and
Freemasons must have no civil rights in Italy.
gain this end all means are justified, from the club to the revolver, from
breaking windows to the purifying flames.
sum up, the Masons should be allowed no rest. They must be kept under constant
surveillance, personally, in their correspondence and their mode of life.
Anyone who belongs to the sect must be erased from the list of those with whom
it is proper to have any communication. All their actions, every gesture,
should be picked up. Their life must be made impossible. If they are employed
in the public service they must be discharged at once. If employed in a
commercial firm their employers must discharge them under penalty of having
their business destroyed. Those who are professional men must be Boycotted. To
this end the action continues . . ."
needless to say that with such encouragement the action has continued, and
probably the villainies and deeds of violence committed will never all be
it is remembered that the Italy of today owes its birth to Freemasonry it is
impossible to avoid the thought that fascism would have attained its object in
a more suitable and stable fashion if it had respected the lodges--centers of
liberty, and of free thought.
makes one ask if it is appropriate to convene--as is actually being done--an
International Congress on Moral Education at Rome ! What education and what
kind of morals do fascist surroundings teach ?
German Masonic periodical Die Leuchte for June the following appears among
general news items:
worst that might have been expected (in Italy) has not come to pass. It
appears that the Government and Freemasonry have arrived at a modus vivendi.
This is confirmed by the withdrawal of Farinacci. The Grand Orient of Italy
has returned to its quarters in the Palazzo Giustiniani, and is to be allowed
time to put in order its archives and with all its furniture to remove to new
quarters. As is known, the Government has decided to use the present buildings
of the Grand Orient as an extension of the Senate House. The property of the
lodges all over the country that was seized is also to be returned to its
owners. The Grand Orient remains permanently in existence but the lodges will
not begin to work until they have adjusted themselves to the new regulations
covering the Society. The worst of these is the requirement to return a list
of their members, and this also is to apply to lodges working under the Grand
Orient of Italy in other countries.
Rivista Massonica, which had not been published for five months, appeared once
more in April. It is, of course, restricted from making any criticism in
regard to the arrest of members of the Order, and particularly in regard to
General Capello. It is merely mentioned that he is awaiting his trial in good
Whether it was the King who prevented the complete destruction of the
organization, or whether it was the influence of American money it is not
possible to say. But it is certain that a former Grand Commander of the
Scottish Rite, of the Fera Group, Bro. Raoul Palermi, was in Washington at the
same time as the Italian Debt Commission, and according to the American
journals had much to do with the speedy and successful conclusion of the
LETTER FROM ITALY
this article we append a letter from the Editor of the Rivista Massonica, who
wishes to correct two statements made by the author of the article that
appeared on page 97 in the April number of THE BUILDER:
receive regularly in exchange of my Rivista Massonica your magazine, THE
BUILDER, official organ of the National Society of Masonic Research.
number that reached me lately (April, 1926) I have read a report on the
"Condition of Masonry in Italy," by an American citizen, Past Master of an
capacity as Editor of the Rivista Massonira and being sure of the sentiments
of the Masons receiving it, I thank not only the author of that report, but
also, and more so, the Editor of THE BUILDER, which, by publishing it, has
opportunely made known to American Masons, at least in part, something of the
present conditions of the Order in Italy. We are glad that the Masonic Press
of America and the American brethren are following the misfortunes of Italian
Masonry with fraternal and affectionate sympathy.
without going into a particular examination of this account I feel it
indispensable to rectify two affirmations in it, substantially erroneous,
owing doubtless to imperfect knowledge of the present state of things. Our
good brother, the author of the report, affirms that after the promulgation of
the Law on Secret Societies, the Grand Master dissolved the Order by a
communication to the Press, so that the Grand Orient in Italy is represented
only by the Grand Master Domizio Torrigiani. It is not so. The communication,
or better the Decree of which we speak, dated the 22nd of November, 1925,
establishes in the first paragraph that: "All the Masonic Lodges and all the
Masonic aggregates of any kind, obeying the Grand Orient of Italy, are
dissolved, and cease to exist," and in the second paragraph: "That the Grand
Orient of Italy remains to continue the life of the Masonic Order and will
conform itself to all requirements of the Law on Associations.
not only to the Grand Master, but to him and the Grand Orient together, will
remain the continuation and representation of the Order.
with a decree under the same date, communicated only to a few brethren, for
besides the lodges, all Masonic organizations were dissolved, and also the
Committee of the Grand Orient, the Government and Council of the Order, it was
declared that the Grand Orient was represented by an Executive Committee
composed of the Honorary Grand Master, Prof. Ettore Ferrari, the effective
Grand Master, Adv. Domizio Torrigiani, by the Assistant Grand Master, Prof.
Giuseppe Meoni, and by five members, appointed with the same decree, two of
which are residents in Rome and three in different parts of Italy.
Executive Committee will provide as soon as possible for the reconstitution of
the dissolved lodges, and of the necessary organs, for the regular functioning
of the Order.
second rectification is necessary, though much less important. The Rivista
Massonica, which was begun 55 years ago, publishes the acts of the Grand
Orient, but it has not the character of an official organ, it is published
only under my direction and personal responsibility.
should be very much obliged to you if you will kindly accept and reproduce
entirely in the columns of the well-known and authoritative magazine, THE
BUILDER, this letter in order that the American Masonic world may have precise
knowledge of the body in which at present and temporarily is invested the
representation of the Order in Italy.
fraternal salutations, I have the honor to remain, Yours faithfully,
would thus appear that the pressure of the persecution of Italian Masonry has
been somewhat relieved. Whether this is to be permanent or is merely a lull in
the storm remains to be seen. The requirement that the membership roll must be
submitted to the government might easily prove in the event to be a sinister
one, should the fascist attack be renewed. We, however, sincerely hope that
this may not be the case. Italian Masons have shown in every possible way
their disposition to submit to the law of their country, and this ought to
count for something even with their enemies.
Sir Alfred Robbins, Chairman of the Board of General Purposes of the United
Grand Lodge of England, who, as our readers will recall, has been a
contributor to THE BUILDER, analyzed the situation in an article published
recently in the Christian Science Monitor, an article well worth reading. He
quotes a statement of the Dictator Mussolini which was debated in the Italian
Senate on the bill against secret societies to the effect that the suppression
of Masonry was one of the original aims of fascism, and not merely an
opportunist political move. The statement, of course, need not be taken at its
face value. But he made the further illuminating remark that 80 per cent of
Italian Masons belong to the professional classes and that very few belonged
either to the upper circles of society, the capitalists or the working
classes, and from that he argued that Masonry had as its primary object the
advancement of its members' own careers. In itself it does not seem to be a
crime, nor prejudicial to the state, that professional men should seek to
advance their own interests. As Bro. Robbins says, "the logic is far to seek,"
of value to know that the true reason for the assault upon Italian Freemasons
is simply that they belong to the middle class. Since one of England's
greatest statesmen with sarcastic solemnity protested against being charged
with the atrocious crime of being a young man there has been nothing in high
politics quite to equal this."
conclusion would seem to be that the middle classes have less influence than
the proletariat because of their relative inferiority in numbers, and less
power than the capitalists and aristocracy because of their relative poverty,
and therefore there is no need to consider them. Yet the middle class is the
intellectual backbone of every civilized nation and discrimination against it
must inevitably react against a nation's prosperity.
Rite of Resurrection
Bro. R. J. NEWTON, New Mexico
next meeting of your lodge when a certain degree is conferred ask as many as
you can of the brethren present just what it means, or symbolizes? Whom does
the candidate represent? Is there anything hidden which they do not grasp or
understand? You must be prepared for disappointment in your search for
information for you will find that many, and even the most regular attendants
and participants in the work of this degree, will display a lamentable lack of
any knowledge about it except that given by the words of the ritual.
Certain writers claim, and probably with some considerable degree of truth,
that this rite was practiced by primitive peoples in prehistoric times. They
say that while men were still living in family groups, before the development
of the tribe, when one man was hunter, fisher, provider, husband and protector
for a group of females and their children, he drove away or killed the boys of
the group as they developed into young manhood and perhaps challenged him for
the favor of his younger females. Later when families gathered together into
tribes for mutual protection the heads of the family groups, faced by the
necessity of keeping the younger men with them as fighters and hunters, to
save their pride, or their "face", as the Chinese say, and to save themselves
the admission that they now needed and gladly accepted the help of the
youngsters, whom formerly they had driven from them, developed a ritualistic
play or ceremony in which the boys were figuratively slain and then revived,
or resurrected under an entirely new name and identity, and enlisted in the
claimed that this custom has come down through thousands of years and is
practiced by savage tribes today. Certain it is that most of them have some
forms and ceremonies to fittingly celebrate the coming of age of their youths
and recognition of their assuming the duties of manhood. So it is reasonable
to assume that we have adapted or adopted this practice in the development of
Freemasonry in its present day form.
attainment of the Master's degree by an operative Mason was similar to the
attainment of manhood and the recognition of proficiency in the Craft might
well be celebrated by a ceremony similar to that performed when a young man
attained his majority.
Speculative Masons claim for this ceremony a deeper and a spiritual meaning.
To them it typifies the beginning of a new life. The old man with his sins of
omission and commission has died. The new man is risen, his soul purged from
all dross, ready for combat against the forces of evil and to battle for the
right. If all of our candidates could get this vision of the rite, the world
would be changed in a short time.
it is claimed that the ceremony typifies the death and the resurrection of the
human soul with its promise of immortality to all. Or the passing of the
Saviour down into the "Valley of the Shadow" and His triumphant return to
light and life. This is a beautiful thought and one upon which a writer could
dwell at great length. The minds of the candidate should be turned in these
channels, for meditation thereon will be good for the soul.
wish to turn your thoughts to another view
of this ceremony and connect it up with the First Degree and the great lesson
of charity and brotherhood therein. When next you gather about a brother,
think of him as "down and out" either physically, spiritually or
financially and that you, his brethren, are
gathered together to lend him a helping hand. Go farther than that and think
of him as one of our consumptive brethren either in your own home town or a
thousand miles away in the great Southwest. In either place he probably needs
your aid. Perhaps he may be like any one of those whose cases I shall cite to
you. If they were there before your eyes, your help would be instant and
adequate. Is there any reason why you should be slower to lend your aid, when
they are a thousand miles away?
Masonic tubercular brethren have rightly been called our Grand Lodge of
Sorrow. Here are the stories of a few members of this lodge. As you read these
brief histories, remember, that but for the grace of God, someone else might
be reading the same kind of thing about you. Will you help in the
"resurrection" of these unfortunate brethren? If so, write to Francis E.
Lester, Executive Secretary of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Association, Las Cruces, New Mexico, for information how you can give aid and
"ARIZONA LODGE HELPED WITHOUT HOME LODGE AUTHORITY"
Brother No. 15. Grand Lodge of Iowa. King Solomon Lodge, No. 5, Arizona, made
loan of $50 to brother which home lodge paid and advised not to advance any
more without authority from them. King Solomon Lodge later advanced him $100
more when he was in need of help, but did not ask home lodge for
FAMILY WORRY RELIEVED RECOVERY FOLLOWED”
Brother No. 19. Grand Lodge of Arkansas. Patient
very despondent account destitution of wife and baby at home. Home had been
taken away from them on a mortgage. Brother growing worse account worry. Sold
overcoat for $2.00 to send wife. Sojourners' Club finally got story from him,
though be did not seek help. Wired $50 to wife at once and advanced him $10,
which be sent her, though he needed many things for his own comfort. Notified
his home lodge, but they replied that he was delinquent $6 dues, which club
offered to pay. Some pressure applied and they remitted dues and later did
their duty. With assurance that wife and baby were cared for, patient began to
improve and was later returned to home, received his compensation in lump sum,
paid club all money advanced, recovered home and resumed care of family.
WITHOUT GUIDANCE NOT ALWAYS HELPFUL”
Brother No. 21. Grand Lodge of Mississippi. Aided to come to El Paso by home
lodge, but shortly thereafter became destitute and applied to Associated
Charities for aid, which was given. Also assisted by El Paso, No. 130, by home
lodge and Grand Lodge, Mississippi. Out of money contributed he helped wife
and children at home. Lived in basement room, cooking, eating, sleeping, etc.
Described as a "rathole" by charity worker.
Lost ground steadily under such conditions. Removed to Associated Charities
lodging house. Finally sent home by El Paso, No. 130. Total amount contributed
by Associated Charities, El Paso, No. 130, by home lodge and Grand Lodge might
have saved him, but no existing agency to handle and compel compliance with
conditions necessary to recovery.
ANTONIO MASONS SENT HIM HOME"
Brother No. 22. Grand Lodge of Tennessee. Came to San Antonio from Arizona,
very sick. Had appealed to home lodge but did not get immediate relief. Anchor
Lodge, No. 44, gave emergency relief and later all bodies, San Antonio, made
up a fund to send family home.
UNLOAD BROTHER ON TEXAS CHARITY"
Brother No. 32. Grand Lodge of District of Columbia. Brother came to El Paso
seeking health and became patient in private sanatorium and funds gave out,
was assisted by home lodge to pay expenses to extent of $25 monthly for few
months before death. Also authorized funeral expenses of $125. Before granting
relief home lodge wrote: Bro. ___ has been
in Texas for about two years and it would seem that he is entitled to
treatment in that institution (the State
Sanatorium) as other citizens or residents of that state." Query? Why
should Texas taxpayers pay for hospitalization of former citizen of Washington
who never contributed anything to upbuilding of Texas and only came to state
for benefit of health? Secretary wrote further, "We desire to do all we can
for our unfortunate brother." (But willing to do it at expense of Texas
taxpayers and place this brother upon public charity.)
Secretary later wrote, "This lodge desires to express its fullest appreciation
of the services rendered in looking after our deceased brother during his
LODGE HELPED CARE FOR SICK WIFE"
No. 35. Grand Lodge of Ohio. Wife of Master Mason who was finally compelled to
ask home lodge for loan to tide him over emergency due to lack of employment
and to meet payments on home.
had been sick for some time. Home lodge wired El Paso Relief Bureau to advance
$125 at once to cover needs for next month. Some few months later with his
wife very much worse and finances still very low he again appealed for help,
and received $150. Still later an operation became necessary and was
performed, though her life was despaired of. She rallied for a few days and
died. Home lodge advanced money to pay expenses of final illness and funeral.
DELINQUENT HUSBAND - DYING WIFE - RELIEF BUREAU HELPED"
Brother No. 37. Grand Lodge of West Virginia. Daughter of this brother very
sick and later died in El Paso. Relief Bureau appealed to by father because
husband was not providing for her. Mother and brother came out to look after
sick woman and children. Husband arrested for non-support but brought home by
officers day wife died. Father advanced money for expenses and to bring body
and family home.
“PATIENT REFUNDED LODGE'S ADVANCE"
Brother No. 40. Grand Lodge of Virginia. Brother was robbed on arrival and had
to apply for fraternal assistance. Home lodge, Chapter, Council,
Consistory and Shrine contributed to his
needs until he secured funds with which he later reimbursed them. Total of
$371.62 for sanatorium care and other expense. All funds handled through
Temple Lodge, Albuquerque.
TO OTHER SOURCES FOR HELP"
Brother No. 44. Grand Lodge of Louisiana. Brother is patient in sanatorium at
Albuquerque, and asked that home lodge be notified of his condition, which was
done. They advised Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, that they bad not agreed to pay
his expenses. "We sent him money to get to a sanatorium, but notified him that
be could not expect the lodge to pay his expenses indefinitely, but to look to
other sources for some of his expenses. The lodge will not be responsible for
anything for his account until we have been consulted
THAN HIS SHARE OF TROUBLE"
Brother No. 49. Grand Lodge of Missouri. Home lodge had helped him for
some time before they sent him to El Paso,
and during past two years or more have bad to help him every month. He works
when able but has to rest at intervals. Divorced from first wife and
responsible for support of 16-year-old
daughter. Married again and has small boy by second wife. Cannot support
himself to say nothing of two families.
Daughter convicted of delinquency at home and second wife secured divorce.
Spent six months in state sanatorium at Carlsbad, Texas. Not enough to put him
on his feet permanently. Will need help indefinitely unless he can be placed
in hospital and kept there until complete arrest effected.
NEED AND WILL GET MORE HELP"
Brother No. 61. Grand Lodge of New Mexico. After four years' illness was
compelled to ask fraternal assistance as a loan. Arrangements made with
Chapter, Commandery at Albuquerque, and Al
Malaikah Temple, Los Angeles, and Grand
Lodge, New Mexico, to advance $60 monthly for ten months for support. This
period expired Dec. 31, 1925, but brother's condition is such that he will
require further assistance.
FOR HIM AS IF YOUR OWN"
Brother No. 85. Grand Lodge of Kansas. After arrival worked for taxicab
company which was too strenuous and brought on two hemorrhages which put him
down and out for several months. Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, advised home lodge
of his condition. They advanced $150 and advised to take care of him the same
as if he was a member of your own lodge. "We are not in a position to go
strong in this matter but are more than willing to take care of our brother."
Temple Lodge aided brother in collecting sickness insurance, and with the
assistance of his own brother, no more aid was needed. Improvement in
condition enabled him to secure light work.
L. CLEGG, Ohio
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
H. DERN, Utah
CHARLES F. IRWIN. Ohio
E. MORCOMBE, California
FORT NEWTON, New York
C. PARKER, New York
M. WHITED, California
E. W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
have just received the sad news that Bro. Wonnacott, Grand Librarian of the
United Grand Lodge of England, and one of the foremost Masonic scholars of the
day, died at St. Mary's Hospital, London, on July 8.
Wonnacott was an architect by profession who became a Masonic student.
According to English custom he was a member of a number of different lodges
and chapters and held Provincial Grand Rank for Hertfordshire. He will be best
known to members of the National Masonic Research Society as a Past Master of
Quatuor Coronati Lodge. He was elected to full membership in the lodge in
1912, and became Master in 1916.
death will be a great loss to Masonic scholarship, on account of his sound
historical learning and his intimate acquaintance with rare and curious
documents connected with the Craft. He was working on the interesting subject
of the Preston ritual, and had collated all the known remnants of this system.
So far as we know this work remains unfinished.
who knew him personally, even if only acquaintances, will feel his loss even
more keenly. He was an ideal man for his position and was ever ready to make
visitors welcome and to furnish inquirers with information without stint.
Others must pick up the fallen working tools, for a master has been called
from his labors, and his brethren mourn.
* * *
unity makes for strength is an adage of some antiquity, and one whose veracity
has been proved many times in the past and doubtless the future will offer
additional examples. There are many crises facing the Masonic world today and
though linked together by bonds of the strongest kind there seems to be no
concerted action by the Freemasons in general. There is no body which can be
looked to as a "rule and guide" unless it be the Mother Grand Lodge of the
world, but there is nothing stronger than a moral obligation to inspire the
Grand Lodges of the world to follow in her footsteps. So many times in the
past two hundred and nine years has this implicit duty been neglected that it
is useless to even mention it as a possible remedy for what has come to be a
perplexing situation. No one would seriously propose any attempt to
subordinate the present Grand Jurisdictions scattered over the face of the
globe to the control of the United Grand
Lodge of England, and it is certainly with
no such aim in view that this is written. The
question does arise, however, of what shall be done about the so-called
clandestine French lodges? How about the Italian crisis? What about exclusive
territorial jurisdiction? How shall ritualistic changes be treated? There are
many other queries of equal if no more importance that should be treated in a
uniform manner by the Grand Lodges of the
world, at least according to some recognized principles. All this would
seem to be a plea for a Universal Grand Body, or to
paraphrase an old term, a Grand Lodge of All the
World. That such would be a good thing even if possible is a question for
debate and for debate only. There are too many sides to the matter for it to
be discussed here.
there are matters which seem to call for a uniform and unified action by the
Grand Lodges of the world, there are others of a purely national character
which demand unity among the forty-nine Grand Lodges of the United States.
Such action by the Grand bodies on matters outside their own jurisdiction in
which they are as vitally interested as in matters exclusively their own can
never be realized until each and every one of our Grand Lodges abandons the
good old American game of "passing the buck"; "if you will, I will," from New
York to Florida, from Florida to California, from California to Washington,
and thence to Pennsylvania, who, being last in line, says, "After you, my dear
New York," and there we are, ready to start the eternal circle again.
Because of petty jealousies, "I have more money than you," or "my ritual is
older than yours," and what is even worse, "if you don't play my way, I'll
take my ball and go home," there seems to be no hope of ever getting all of
the Grand Jurisdictions in the United States to put their shoulder to the
wheel and push. With such expressions of un‑Masonic spirit in evidence on all
sides there seems no hope for concerted action until the rulers of the Craft
decide that the time has come when each and every Mason is a Mason, and as
such is entitled to the consideration which our ritual teaches is his right.
We are brought then to another phase of the question: Shall there be a United
Grand Lodge of the United States of America? So far as we are concerned the
answer is "No", and emphatically "No!" unless there is no other way out of a
purely childish difficulty. This very childishness would, however, preclude
any possibility of any such plan being realized. This lack of harmony among
the Grand Lodges is responsible in a large measure for the existence of a
deplorable condition. One which affects each and every one of the Grand bodies
in some measure; one which has been aptly termed the "Curse of the Craft"; a
blight which should and could easily be removed, if peace and harmony
prevailed and everyone would lend his assistance. The particular problem in
mind is that of the tubercular Masons in the Southwest. There are thousands of
them incapable of taking proper care of themselves and financially unable to
secure proper treatment. The cost to each individual Mason to meet this need
would be slight and the burden could be equitably distributed. Proper care, it
has been estimated, could be provided for the sum of one dollar per year from
each of the 3,000,000 odd Masons in this country. It would be an achievement
to be proud of, while a cause of constant reproach would be removed. The Grand
Lodge of New Mexico is in back of the movement, and many of the other Grand
Lodges have sanctioned it. New Mexico is spending money to convince the others
that it is worth while and has practically succeeded, but the time has come
when more than convictions are needed. These Grand Lodge sanctions do not buy
food, medicine and hospital care. It is cold, hard cash that "talks" and does
the work. Let the Grand Lodges of the United States show the world that for
any cause sufficiently big to be of national importance they can put their
resources to work and act with that unity which produces strength. If
forty-nine Grand Masters would give up "passing the buck" and go into their
annual meetings this year with a determination to put this cause over, we
would see a new era in Craft Freemasonry.
* * *
sarcasm, satire and parody, any form of literary expression which appears at
its face value to say one thing while really meaning another, is a potent and
devastating weapon of criticism. But it is a sword with two edges, and like
that of the cherub set to guard the gates of Paradise after our first parents
were expelled, it turns every way. In less figurative language it often misses
its effect because it is taken literally. To appreciate its force a certain
quickness of apprehension, not to say intelligence, is required.
the most remarkable instances of this in literary history, the Modest Proposal
for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden to Their
Parents or the Country, written by the great satirist, Swift. In the form of a
letter to the public press, and in the character of a smug, well-fed member of
the bourgeois class, Swift in great detail and with solemn face suggested that
cannibalism would be a solution of the poverty and destitution then existing
in Ireland. Well fattened babes would be as succulent, he claimed, as young
porkers, and by following this suggestion the general food supply would be
added to and individual incomes increased, with the added advantage that there
would be so many fewer mouths to feed.
Amazing as it may seem, many good people took this literally and very
seriously, and wrote fierce denunciatory letters to the newspapers. Naturally
enough, but it says little for their wit or common sense. It does not seem
possible that such an utterly extravagant proposal could have been taken as
intended au pied de la lettre, yet apparently there are no limits to the
powers of misapprehension possessed by certain minds. Leaving the ignorant and
uneducated aside (though among these often enough mother. wit will put them on
the right track) there are the hasty and uncritical who jump at an author's
meaning and do not fully read what he says, and there are those who lacking
the sense of humor can neither see the point of a joke nor yet what the jester
Perhaps it is a perilous adventure to insert anything of such a light and
frivolous nature in the weighty pages of THE BUILDER, but even Homer's
god‑like heroes laughed on occasion. Not for a moment, however, would we dream
of insulting our readers by telling them that an article appearing on a
previous page is a skit, a parody, a reductio ad absurdum of a kind of Masonic
literature of which we fear there are too many exemplars. It would be useless
in any case, for if the indignant readers of Swift's "Modest Proposal" had
descendants among us today they would not believe even were it labeled "this
is a joke - please laugh." And we must say that the argument, although leading
nowhere in particular has in places such an air of insane plausibility that
almost, like Festus as he listened to Paul the Apostle, we are persuaded to
believe there may be something in it.
is a certain kind of author, he can be found in every field, but Masonry as a
subject of research has, it would almost appear, suffered quite unduly from
him. He is most industrious in collecting material of all kinds, facts,
assertions, opinions, guesses, rumors, all is fish that comes to the net, and,
like the over-praised ant, he seems not to care so much what he does as long
as he does it. To borrow again from St. Paul, the edifice is constructed of
wood, straw, hay and stubble, and what wrought stone there may be will not
stand for it has no secure foundation.
Collection of material requires no more than curiosity and industry. It must
be done, of course, for without material no building is possible. But the
material must be fit for the purpose. In plain English, our facts must be
facts, our statements true. This requires criticism. To a very large extent
this may be carried out by certain rules, which may be learned like those of
any other trade. But to use the material after it has been tested is another
matter altogether, and there is no royal road to attain the power. Experience
helps, but some talent or ability seems to be also necessary. It is the old
story once more, the craftsman may not be an architect, but the architect must
be master of the craft.
Blandishments will not fascinate us, nor will threats of a "halter"
intimidate. For, under God, we are determined that wheresoever, whensoever, or
howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we shall die free men. - Josiah
Bulletin of the
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association
Incorporated by Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A.F. & A.M.
MASONIC TEMPLE, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS
HERBERT B. HOLT, Grand Master, President
RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President
ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary
FRANCIS E LESTER, Executive Secretary, Las Cruces, New Mexico
W. TURNER, Treasurer
ARIZONA - Lloyd C. Henning, Holbrook.
ARKANSAS - Claude L. Hill, Grand Master, Booneville.
CONNECTICUT - Fred A. Borland, Past Grand Master, South Manchester.
FLORIDA - Cary B. Fish, Grand Master, Sarasota.
- Will H. Gibson, Grand Master, Boise.
KENTUCKY - G. Allison Holland, Grand Master, Lexington.
MINNESOTA - Albert F. Pray, Grand Master, Minneapolis,
MISSISSIPPI - John R. Tally, Grand Master, Hattiesburg.
MISSOURI - Wm. W. Martin, Grand Master, Daniphan
JERSEY - Benjamin F. Havens, Junior Grand Warden, Trenton.
MEXICO - Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master, Las Cruces.
CAROLINA - Dr. J. C. Braswell, Past Grand Master, Whitakers.
OKLAHOMA - Gilbert B. Bristow, Past Grand Master, Roosevelt.
ISLAND - Howard Knight, Past Grand Master, Providence.
CAROLINA - Charlton DuRant, Grand Master, Manning
DAKOTA - L. M. Simons, Grand Master, Bellefourche.
TENNESSEE - Andrew E. McCullagh, Grand Master, Maryville.
- Dr. Felix P. Miller, El Paso.
Fred M. Nye, Ogden.
VERMONT - Christie B. Crowell, Grand Master, Brattleboro.
DAKOTA - Dr. J. S. Lamont, Dunseith.
WASHINGTON - Morton Gregory, Grand Master, Masonic Temple, Tacoma.
WlSCONSIN - Fred L. Wright, Past Senior Grand Warden, Milwaukee.
WYOMING - Frank S. Knittle, Grand Master, Casper.
OF THE EASTERN STAR, GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER - Mrs. Clara Henrich, Most Worthy
Grand Matron, Newport, Ky.
J NEWTON Editor Publicity Director N. M, T. S. A. Las Cruces New Mexico.
* * *
MASONIC MORTALITY AND MORBIDITY
National Tuberculosis Association is responsible for the statement that the
death rate from tuberculosis in 1924 was 90.6 per 100,000 living. This means
that 906 people die in every million each year from tuberculosis.
there are 3,250,000 American Freemasons, they, with their wives, children and
dependent relatives number from 10,000,000 to 15,000,000 people. If only
10,000,000 this population group would sustain an annual loss of 9,060 lives
the National Tuberculosis Association estimates, there are nine living cases
to every annual death, then there may be approximately 80,000 living cases of
tuberculosis in the American Masonic family if it only numbers 10,000,000. Not
ALL of them need the help of the Fraternity, but MANY of them do.
* * *
COUNCIL TAKES UP THE PROBLEM
Recently the General Grand Master of Royal and Select Masters, Bert S. Lee,
sent out the following circular letter, which shows that this organization is
alive to the requirements of the situation. The text of the letter is as
account of favorable climatic conditions certain sections of the States of New
Mexico, Arizona and Texas have for many years been the Mecca of those
afflicted with tuberculosis. Physicians throughout the country have been
sending their patients who had a possibility of being cured to those
localities. As a result of this general condition Freemasons thus afflicted
have for many years been going in large numbers to those States. Those who
were able to pay their expenses have, of course, taken care of themselves, but
a very large number representing almost every Grand Lodge in the United States
haven't been so fortunate and have placed a burden on the brethren of those
States, which they have nobly borne as best they could. Realizing that it was
impossible for them alone to do the work they are asking the assistance and
cooperation of the Grand Lodges of all the states in this work. The Grand
Lodge of New Mexico has organized the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Association and has selected their Grand Master, M. W. Bro. Herbert H. Holt,
purpose of this Association as outlined is first to act as an agency, or
trustee, to receive and administer funds contributed, or acquired for the
relief of Freemasons and members of their families, suffering from
tuberculosis; to secure hospitalization for the sick; to render service of any
kind according to the need and the ability of the corporation; to acquire,
erect, establish, maintain and operate, sanatoria, hospitals, and other
institutions, and second, to disseminate among the Freemasons of America and
their families and others scientific knowledge and useful information as to
the causes and methods of treatment for the prevention, relief and cure of
"Realizing the magnitude of this undertaking they are soliciting the active
cooperation of all of the Masonic Grand and General Grand bodies, and they
have asked me to present the matter to the Grand Councils, who are members of
the General Grand Council, that the information may be sent to the subordinate
councils, thereby reaching every Companion in our Rite. I have been studying
the situation for a number of years and have been on several committees of
General Grand bodies at which the matter was considered. I realize the serious
importance of the question as it effects our Masonic brethren and I am more
than anxious to cooperate in every way possible.
matter was so splendidly handled in the May issue of THE BUILDER, the official
organ of the National Masonic Research Society, that I have requested the
Executive Secretary Bro. F. H. Littlefield, to mail to you a copy of the
magazine. I have also asked M.W. Bro. Holt to send to you any and all
literature that he has bearing on this subject, that will assist you in
formulating a letter to the Councils of your state or handling in any other
way that you may think best. I urge your active assistance in this matter.
* * *
MEXICO GRAND MASTER VISITS EAST
MASONIC leaders of Northern and Eastern States are as much interested in the
relief and hospitalization of consumptive Masons as are the Masons of New
Mexico and other Southwestern States, according to a statement issued by
Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master of New Mexico, who recently visited Eastern
cities in behalf of the work of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Association, of which he is president.
every city I visited I met with a cordial reception and sympathetic hearing,"
said Bro. Holt. "Our Northern and Eastern brethren have come to realize that
we of the Southwest have initiated a national movement planned to salvage
Masonic consumptives, whether they are seeking health in the Southwest or are
sick in their own home towns.
result of my visits to many cities, I am firmly convinced that American
Freemasonry will build one or more Masonic Sanatoria; that the necessary money
for hospital construction and operation will be forthcoming, and that there
will be, important developments in the next three months in this movement. I
cannot, of course, make public all that was discussed in my conferences with
Masonic leaders, but we have secured their attention and interest in 'the
greatest problem confronting Freemasonry today,' as Grand Master Bryan, of
Texas, has so aptly put it. Personally I feel that Freemasonry must do this
job to fulfill oft‑repeated obligations, voluntarily assumed.
the sake of emphasis I wish to repeat that Southwestern Freemasons want a
Masons' Tuberculosis Sanatorium built, and do not seek to say where it shall
be built. We have no 'ideal location' or 'logical site' to sell or donate. We
have not attempted to formulate plans for financing, for construction or for
operation. We conceive our job at this time to be the duty of pointing out the
need and completing the organization of the National Masonic Tuberculosis
Sanatoria Association, incorporated under authority of the Grand Lodge of New
Mexico. In the fall there will be a meeting of the Board of Governors of the
Association, representing all Grand Jurisdictions which have by that time
signified their intention to participate in this work, and the future plans
and policies for relief and hospitalization of Masonic consumptives will be
determined. Meantime we shall endeavor to extend emergency relief so far as
our financial resources will permit."
* * *
WISCONSIN TAKES HOLD
recent session the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin appropriated $3,000, as a
contribution to the publicity and organization work of the National Masonic
Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association
* * *
FLORIDA LINES UP FOR SANATORIUM
Masons of Florida believe in the movement for relief and hospitalization of
migratory Masonic consumptives. They have a problem in their own state, for
many cases go to Florida from eastern cities seeking climatic benefit.
Grand Lodge of Florida contributed $500.
Grand Chapter, R. A. M., of Florida, contributed $400.
Grand Council, R. S. M., of Florida, contributed $100.
now comes word that the Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, have
important than the financial help is the action of the Grand Master, Cary B.
Fish, of Sarasota, who has accepted service as a member of the Board of
Governors of the Sanatoria Association and is ready to serve in any way.
* * *
Secretary James J. Davis of the National Department of Labor has enlisted in
the movement for building of Masonic Sanatoria. In a recent letter to Grand
Master Herbert B. Holt, of New Mexico, he said:
work you describe is one that I have known of for some time, and have always
admired. I know of the large number of our brethren who go to the Southwest
seeking relief from the ravages of that most dreaded disease, tuberculosis,
and I also know what it means to the Masons of that section of the country to
help them regain their health.
a great humanitarian work that is worthy of the support of every Mason who has
the good of his Fraternity and his brother at heart. The Masonic lodges in the
Southwest that have inaugurated this movement and are now supporting it, are
to be highly commended. The spirit is admirable, but the numbers engaged in
carrying on the work are comparatively small, and it is easily seen that the
need for help from other lodges is very urgent if the work is to progress and
be successful. I, for one, am willing to do what I can to help along this
movement, and I hope that all other brothers who are able to do so will come
forward to do their part in making this great work of restoring our sick
brothers to health the success it deserves to be.
Leon M. Abbott, Sovereign Grand Commander, Boston, Mass.:
been impressed that what these cases need is not only good physical care and
treatment but that they should be placed in surroundings that are as happy and
harmonious as possible. Away from home and lifetime friends and ill, one gets
easily discouraged and home-sick which greatly retards recovery. If a hospital
could be conducted under Masonic auspices, then there should be on every side
the expression of that brotherly love which we profess and which should bring
to the patient a comfort and cheer that would do very much to speed the day of
his recovery of health.
Clara Henrich. Most Worthy Grand Matron, Order of the Eastern Star, Newport,
be only too glad to add a leaflet in my many letters, and commend you for your
Minnie Evans Keyes. Right Worthy Grand Secretary, Order of the Eastern Star,
Washington, D. C.:
think of no greater plan to promote than the one you are seeking to put
through in the hospitalization of Master Masons who seek the healing qualities
of your climate.
Oliver Day Street, Grand Master, Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Birmingham, Ala.:
Personally I am sure it is a highly commendable work which your Grand Lodge
Frank Wasserman, Oxnard Lodge, No. 341, F. & A. M., Oxnard, Cal.:
needless to comment upon the invaluable service this institution can render to
our unfortunate brethren. This movement is the most noble undertaking ever
attempted by the Masonic Fraternity, and on its ultimate achievement rests the
reputation of the Craft. I know the necessity of such an institution and have
had a rather unfortunate experience in the matter myself, having just returned
home from a sanatorium after a 16 months' stay. Fortunately, my expenses were
taken care of by my employers with whom I have been connected for 18 years and
in whose service I broke down. Had it been otherwise, I might have met with
the same fate as some of our lesser fortunate brethren.
Frank C. Mirick, Grand Master Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Pueblo, Colo.:
recognize the admirable sentiment which prompts your letter and feel that it
is a very commendable undertaking and that it has many appealing features
about it. However, the policy of the Grand Jurisdiction of Colorado is very
conservative, though the Grand Lodge does its full measure in the
administration of charity and meets every just demand made upon its
Form of the Lodge
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
completing our survey of the evidence something must be said about a theory,
which has apparently been quite widely accepted since the publication of the
curious diagram in the Carmick MS., of which the designer expressly says,
"This figure represents the lodge." It will be seen from the illustration that
we have here an isosceles triangle, the apex towards the east as shown by the
compass. At the base is a crude attempt to depict a mosaic pavement. The
numerals on each side possibly refer to those present, fifteen in all
apparently, a number undoubtedly traditional. The Warden, as was not unusual
in early Scots Masonry, was apparently the presiding officer, the Craftsmen to
the north, the Masters (employers one would suppose) to the south, and the
apprentices to the west. Two lights only are represented, while plumb, gavel,
trowel, square and compass are the working tools. The omission of the level
may be significant in estimating the real meaning of the figure as it has
occurred to a number of students quite independently that the whole design
itself represents the form of an old type of this instrument that is
frequently to be found among old Masonic emblems, especially those originating
other evidence that can be adduced for this theory is very scanty. There are
some peculiar records of lodges in Germany and Austria, and a few stray
indications in the old catechisms. Curiously, and it may of course be
significantly, they none of them say anything at all about the form of the
lodge. The question that comes nearest to dealing with it is found only in the
three closely related documents which may be conveniently classed as the
"Grand Mystery Group." In all of these appears the following query and
many angles in st. John's Lodge? R. Four, bordering on squares.
Following the reply is a small diagram, but different in each case. In the
Grand Mystery, the printed version, appears a small maltese cross and over it
a smaller equilateral triangle. In the Essex MS. appears an inverted T, a
horizontal line or dash with an upright one standing in the middle of it,
surmounted by a relatively small triangle as in the previous case. In the
Institution of Free Masons there is first a dash terminated at each end by
seraphs, then a plain upright line and above it, but in this case separate, a
triangle as before.
each of these catechisms there is an earlier question and answer which runs:
What Lodge are you of ? R. The Lodge of St. John.
this answer is followed in the first two documents by the same diagram as
appears respectively in each one later, but in the third it is not the same,
but looks very much like a figure 5, though it is hard to be certain that this
was what the scribe intended, but if so it might of course be a reference to
the "odd numbers" that "make a lodge."
is one more reference that might be supposed to have a bearing on the subject,
and that is the following from the Sloane MS. 3329:
Where lyes the keys of the lodge-door? A. They ley in a bound case or under a
three-cornered pavem't aboute a foote and a halfe from the lodge door.
addition to this are some very definite statements by various Masonic students
to the effect that it was "the rule among Operative Masons to set up their
lodge in form of a triangle" and that this usage continued in Europe all
through the eighteenth century. Indeed some go further than this, and
definitely tell us that in Scandinavia and Denmark the lodges are still
triangular in form. Upon investigation these statements, especially those of
the continuance of the usage till the present seem to be based on confusion
between the form of the lodge and position of the three principle officers. As
has been remarked [e. g. Bro. Songhurst, A.Q.C., 23 140] the stations of these
officers must necessarily form a triangle in whatever position they may be
placed, excepting only on the supposition that they were in a straight line.
However there is an account of an old German lodge, the "Lodge of the Three
Golden Swords," at Dresden, about the year 1744, which runs as follows:
places of the brethren formed an isosceles triangle. At the upper point was
placed the Master's table covered with a sky blue damask cloth embroidered in
gold and with a golden fringe. At the other two corners were placed the
Wardens and between these three points the chairs of the brethren, thus
forming the sides of a triangle within which was the tapis.
must certainly be admitted that such an arrangement as this might be indicated
by the Carmick diagram. In fact this presentation of evidence as a whole
sounds rather formidable; nevertheless examination of the facts alleged may
show that it points in a different direction from what seems apparent at first
sight. Dealing with the old Catechisms first. The "three cornered pavement" of
the Sloane MS. is not concerned with the lodge at all, but the whereabouts of
its key. The questions and answers anent this last are all very cryptic and
enigmatic, indeed they partake more of the nature of riddles than anything
else, so that however it should actually be interpreted it is probable that no
real pavement, nor even a representation of one is intended. Then we find that
in a particular group of these documents, one rather rich in hieroglyphics, a
certain diagram or character is noted as, apparently, equivalent to the word
"lodge," in the same way that a square or oblong figure is used even today.
Each one of these consists of a horizontal and a vertical line and a triangle,
in different combinations. Whatever may have been intended by the triangle, it
must be remembered that the question and answer unequivocally inform us that
"St. John's Lodge" had four angles "bordering on squares." If it had four
angles it could not have been three-cornered. And whatever "bordering on
squares" may have originally meant, it certainly suggests that the four angles
were right angles. Further, all the Catechisms agree in referring or comparing
the lodge in some way either to the Temple or to "Churches and Chapels," or to
both. The first was a rectangular building, and the latter were almost
universally such, and the general statement could hardly have had the rare
exceptions to the normal plan in mind. The point is made more definite by the
fact that this reference is usually made in reply to a question as to the
situation, that is the orientation, of the lodge. The natural interpretation
of the language used is that the plan of the lodge was similar to that of
"Churches and Chapels," which is as much as to say that it was rectangular.
Coming to the old German minutes, it is hard to see any definite bearing on
our problem. True this quaint method of recording attendance might have been
suggested by such a usage as we are considering; but on the other hand it
might have been suggested by the fact that the triangle does, in many ways,
bear an important part in Masonic symbolism. The actual arrangement of these
triangles, as may be seen from the typical specimen illustrated, cannot
possibly be a diagram of the relative positions of those present, for that
would imply an unheard of arrangement of the officers and members and
visitors. This being inconclusive we have left only the Carmick diagram and
the Lodge of the Three Golden Swords.
have already noted the fact that the Carmick diagram suggests a composite
design representing the old triangular type of mason's level, and the absence
of this implement from the group of working tools depicted has already been
noted. The superscription says that the design "represents" the lodge. This
has been taken to mean that it is a plan or chart of the lodge, but it does
not necessarily follow. In other Masonic designs of the same and earlier date
(not that any argument can be built on the date as the diagram may have been
copied with the rest of the document from a much older original) we find them
described as the "plan" of the lodge. To "represent" may quite well mean
emblematic or mnemonic representation and not plan or accurate picture.
However there is no necessity to press this as an argument but it is a
possibility to be kept in mind. If then we suppose this diagram to actually
depict the arrangement of those present at the lodges with which Persifor
Frazer, or whoever drew the design, was familiar it must certainly be taken in
conjunction with the exceptional German instance we have quoted. Exceptional
it is even though it is very possible that it was not unique, in view of the
fact that such records have only here and there been preserved by lucky
chance. But a very important point in the description, the significance of
which seems to have been missed by those who accept the triangular as the
primitive form of the lodge, is the definite statement that within the
triangle formed by the officers and the brethren was first a table covered
With an embroidered cloth and to the west of that the tapis or floor carpet.
The general arrangement in essentials appears to be precisely that described
by Simonnet. It would seem, then, that the triangular form was an exceptional
variant, and it would be quite in accord with the facts before us to suppose
it merely a special development, the use of this geometric figure, which as
was remarked above, was undoubtedly always an important Masonic symbol.
returning from this digression we may note another apparent variation, and one
much closer to the general line of evolution, and that is the circle. In
modern English Masonry the symbolism of the circle is developed especially in
the Third Degree, but even here it is not exclusive of the quadrangular form,
for the "Square pavement for the high priest to walk on" is still at least an
"ornament of the Master's lodge." More stress is however laid on the center
than on the circumference, and in its present form we cannot easily be certain
how much of it is primitive. We would hazard the conjecture, though, that it
is very little. From such information as we have at hand it would seem that it
was an expansion of an originally minor motif. In connection with this may be
recalled the fact that Dr. Oliver mentions certain "tracing boards" of the
18th century of circular form, and Bro. Dring has published [A.Q.C., 29-284] a
set from the north of England in which the emblems are arranged in a circle,
enclosed in a square. The fact that these aberran forms are in every case
conjoined with the norma square or oblong form (even the anomolous Carmick
diagram shows a square mosaic pavement) will justify us in regarding them as
variant offshoots from the main tradition.
Although we have hardly exhausted the evidence that might be relevant to the
subject it would seem a if we were now in a position to draw some tentative
conclusions from the discussion of what is before us. The idea of a certain
place being sacred or holy is universal, and with it goes the concurrent idea
that important actions, especially those ritually expressed, should only be
carried on "holy ground," to use the phrase of our old lectures. Then we have
seen that part of the process or preparation for the sanctifying of a
particular and restricted locality is the marking it out, delimiting it or
enclosing it in some way. All this is apparently the common property of all
races and tribes in all ages so far as our knowledge goes, and if it be
supposed to have a common origin then it must be looked for in the dim vistas
of the pre-historic past. The Operative Masons were not singular, therefore,
in making a sacred enclosure in which to enter their apprentices, but simply
adopted, or rather inherited, a conception as old as human culture. It is
admitted generally that the voluntary society or fraternity, when it appears
at a higher level of civilization, takes over the characteristics of the clan
or gens, which may be regarded as an extended family. The initiation into a
savage secret society is exactly the same kind of ceremony as that of the Boys
into the tribe. Looking at it from the other end, if we find a belief in
witchcraft and the evil eye surviving, Midsummer and Hallowe'en observances
lasted down till at least the middle of the last century, with harvest
observances, mummers' dances and the ritual game referred to above of
"building the ship"--if such things have survived to our day which can only
have arisen spontaneously in a naive and primitive community, they must a
fortiori also have existed in the Middle Ages; and if then, it follows that
they were known and practiced in the ages before that until we get back far
enough to reach the level whence they originally sprang. Let us as an
illustration consider a modern trades union; say that of radio electricians.
It is a thing of today, yesterday there was no such occupation. But its
constitution, its rules and by-laws are inherited and adapted from those of
other unions, and they again from other societies, and they again from
parliamentary and municipal codes and rules of order, and these can be traced
back step by step to a time and stage when discussion and argument were
regarded as a rather poor substitute for settling questions and disputes in
the good old way, with spear and battle axe, a substitute that at first was
frequently rejected in a return to the genuine article.
this process, this law it might be called, is operative at the present time it
must have been equally so in the past. No man can escape the influence of his
age, no age can avoid the influence of the one that preceded it. If the
various crafts were newly organized in the Middle Ages, those who formed those
new societies did so on lines with which they were already familiar. The
Teutonic Gild is supposed by some to have been modeled on a clan organization.
The gilds that sprang up within the limits of what had been the Roman Empire
more probably followed that of the municipalities or possibly of the collegia.
The actual origin is not of importance here, the point is that some preceding
form was copied, instinctively and inevitably. Now if any craft be found to
have a rite of initiation, as the masons and carpenters did almost certainly,
and blacksmiths very possibly (if not probably), then unless we suppose the
organization to be of immemorial antiquity, those forming them de novo must
have been familiar with the idea of initiation. In some way, directly or
indirectly, the tradition of such ritual and its necessity must have come down
from the primitive stage of culture in which it naturally originates. What we
are particularly concerned with now is the fact that initiations have to be
carried out in a specially prepared place--as we might put it today, a
consecrated or dedicated place. As we have seen, in primitive thought the
enclosing or marking out of an area is the same thing as consecration, or at
least includes its essentials.
we may legitimately conjecture that the Operative Masons prepared a special
place where their apprentices were to be entered. In later times at least they
seem to have called it a lodge, a temporary place of sojourn. The novices also
had to be prepared before it was proper for them to approach it; we may guess
that otherwise it would have been "unlucky." This vague term probably best
describes the attitude of mind of comparatively civilized men to such
primitive requirements. And considering that these men were builders, and that
part of the technique of their craft was the laying out and marking the site
of a new structure, it would be almost inevitable that the lodge enclosure
would be regarded as a site, and marked out by the same methods and with the
same traditional rites. What these may have been in the Middle Ages is very
much a matter of guess work, though further research might give us some light
on the subject. It may he suggested here that this consideration is an
additional argument against the primitive character of the triangular form. We
have noted already that the circular plan is the one naturally adopted by the
earliest builders, and that with a change in materials and methods of
construction the square plan follows it. The symbolism of these forms follows
them, is invented for them. But the triangular plan is impractical, it is the
converse of the circular, for it gives the minimum area for the length of the
walls built. A deliberate and conscious symbolism is obviously later and more
sophisticated than natural and traditional forms.
changed conditions the Masonic lodge became a diagram drawn on the floor of a
closed chamber. Then convenience led to its being permanently represented on
some textile material, following a tendency which, as we have seen, has been
operative elsewhere. Thus divorced from its original status, the chamber tends
to be regarded as the "lodge" and the diagram on the carpet, or on a board,
becomes but part of the furniture. Its size becomes a matter of convenience,
instead of being large enough to accommodate all present, it had merely to be
of such a size as to be clearly visible. From that it has suffered various
further degradation till now in this country it has become a subject for magic
lantern slides, and from being a thing so sacred none but the initiated might
see it, it is published to the world at large. Yet as our lodge rooms are
oblong or square, perhaps the older form might be more justly considered a
cast-off husk, preserved in some sort by conservatism and a new use found for
it. We no longer destroy or obliterate the lodge when it is closed, yet in
several ways its form is still concealed from the profane. According to the
usage of old French Masonry, when it was necessary to expel a member, after
the sentence had been pronounced by the Master he proceeded to close the
lodge. By this proceeding the symbolical building disappeared from around the
delinquent, like the fabric of a fairy palace, to which he could never again
find the entrance.
curious ceremony takes place every year on St. Martin's Day, Nov. 11, at
Knightlow in Warwickshire in England; it is evidently a survival of a very old
custom. An account of it was published in a daily paper [The Daily News, Nov.
12, 1881], in which the writer describes having been present at the
performance as late as the year 1881. The Duke of Buccleuch is lord of the
manor of Knightlow, and according to an old charter forty towns, or parishes,
have to pay a sum called "wrath money," or incur certain penalties. The place
where the money has to be paid is an old tumulus, on the top of which there is
an ancient stone with a hole in it, supposed to be the socket of a cross. Into
this hole the coins have to be deposited before witnesses, and before the sun
rises on St. Martin's Day. The person paying the money must also "go thrice
about the cross" and say "the wrath money." The four words in italics are here
given to mark the point in the ceremony which is important in relation to the
subject [of circumambulation]. The money paid varies from a penny to 2s. 3
1/2; and the whole sum paid on that particular morning only amounted to 9s. 3
1/2, which did not pay for a substantial breakfast provided by the steward at
the duke's expense, at the Oak Inn, stretton, where the whole party went. It
was explained that the Buccleuch family preserve the curious tradition on
account of its great antiquity, that antiquity making the ceremony
interesting, as showing that the existence of circumambulatory rites were
common in England as well as in Ireland and Scotland. A writer in the Glasgow
Herald fourteen years later describes the ceremony of that year, and adds that
it has survived without a break. His account differs in a few particulars from
that given above. The proceedings took place before sun rising, round the base
of an old cross (called the Fee stone) of the time of Edward III, and were
opened by reading the charter of assembly. The representatives of the parishes
then dropped their tribute called Wroth Silver or Swarff Penny, into a hollow
in the stone. Formerly before doing so they had to walk three times round the
cross; but this part of the formality is now omitted. The penalty for
non-payment of these fees is 20s. for every penny due, or a white bull with a
red nose and ears of the same color. Wroth silver was formerly collected in
various parts of the country, but in Warwickshire alone does the custom now
prevail. [W. Simpson, The Buddhist Praying Wheel]
TRANSACTIONS. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. xxxvii, Part 1.
QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE is to be congratulated on the success of the effort to
catch up with the time lost during the war. The volume begun in the Part now
before us contains the transactions of the lodge for 1924. As necessarily
transactions must always be of the preceding year when published there is now
only one year to make up for the lodge to be in the normal state in this
regard. We understand that the problem is one almost entirely financial in
character, and all brethren able to do so should join the Correspondence
Circle, even if not particularly interested in research. Many successful
manufacturers have found that it pays indirectly if not directly to contribute
to scientific investigations. The results of Masonic research will in the long
run be of equal benefit to those charged with the duties of ruling and guiding
present Part contains two papers and the discussions following them and an
article besides the routine records. The first paper entitled "Masonic Ritual
and Secrets Before 1717" is by the Rev. Bro. Herbert Poole and was given on
the occasion of his being elected to full membership in the lodge. It is one
of the most searching and valuable contributions to this field of research
since the discussions between Hughan, Gould and Chetwode Crawley. Hughan
persisted in his belief that early Freemasonry had no degrees in our sense of
the term, and only one initiatory ceremony, while his opponents in the
discussion‑which was a model of fraternal controversy argued in favor of a two
degree system. The latter theory and the arguments for it have become in a
sense popularized by the reprinting of Gould's articles and essays, and by the
"Digression on Degrees" in his Concise History, while Hughan's arguments
remain buried in the formidable tomes of A. Q. C. for all but the student
fortunate enough to have access to them.
Poole makes an attempt at interpreting the stray odds and ends of evidence
that we have as to the nature of the ceremonies, usages and traditions of
Freemasonry immediately preceding the Grand Lodge period. Most of it, as he
points out, is to be found in documents actually later in date than 1717, but
he argues strongly that though the witnesses are later than the formation of
the Grand Lodge, yet the matters to which they testify are earlier. He divides
the evidence into three main groups: A, Indisputably Masonic Documents; B,
Manuscripts of unknown antecedents, and C, Printed exposures. He puts his
latest limiting date at 1730. He rejects Prichard's Dissection because of its
peculiar character and though he does not explicitly say so, we presume he has
in mind the contention strongly pressed by Gould and which seems to have
become an accepted opinion, that Prichard's system was his own invention, yet
was an exciting cause of the development of the two degrees into the present
three degree system. However, the Masons' Confession, which appeared in print
in 1755, is included because it claims to represent the Scottish usages of
1723. Nevertheless he rejects the Essex MS. and the Institution as being later
than 1730, though they are both variants of the Grand Mystery. So close are
they to this printed document that their omission does not really matter much,
except in the exclusion of the curious additional matter found in the Essex
Perhaps Bro. Poole's two most important contributions to our understanding of
the existing evidence are his suggestions that first of all a certain amount
of "horse play" may have been traditional among the operative masons, a thing
eminently probable in itself, and which would seem to give an explanation of
some difficulties; and secondly that there was a tendency in the period just
before the revival to amalgamate the two original grades by a process of
"telescoping." This, too, is very plausible. If the first grade was
apprentice, and the second Master or Fellow, the non-operative who joined the
fraternity, generally in mature age, would be most probably given the whole
thing at once. The apprentice was normally a boy of fourteen or fifteen years.
He would receive his second grade at the end of his time or when he came of
age. But the honorary or "gentleman" mason was not intending to "learn the
trade" and he would very likely be made a Fellow at once. As however, there
was no central governing body there would be no uniformity, and procedure
might well vary in different places. Then again, as lodges came into being (as
they apparently had done years before 1717) which were composed of
non-operatives, it might easily have happened that in some places all
distinction between the two "parts," Apprentice and Fellow, was gradually
forgotten, and the two ceremonies from being performed in immediate sequence
degenerated into a single one.
great value of this suggestion is that it resolves the difficulties that made
Hughan persist to the last in maintaining there was only one ceremony to begin
with. The evidence he adduces can be interpreted as he did, and the conclusion
drawn that in certain places there was only one ceremony, while the contention
of his opponents can also be accepted that in other places there were two.
very interesting discussion that followed, Bro. J. Heron Lepper (then Senior
Warden of the Lodge and now a Past Master) gave some very interesting details
about early Irish ritual forms, most of which was of such a character that it
could not be reproduced. Bro. R. I. Clegg, associate editor of THE BUILDER,
was also present, and gave as his share a number of points in which American
ritual peculiarities might help to illuminate the subject. Bro. Daynes,
associate editor for England, made the suggestion, which Bro. Poole has
adopted, of giving a table of the sources and where the various documents may
be found. This should be exceedingly useful to all students, but especially
those approaching the subject for the first time. Bro. Songhurst, Secretary of
Quatuor Coronati Lodge, made some very pertinent and trenchant criticisms of
the paper. Bro. Songhurst is inclined to think that the forms used by the
operatives were of the simplest and most matter-of-fact character, and that
practically everything in what we know as Masonic ritual is of Speculative
invention and development. Among the other brethren who contributed their
suggestions were Bros. Rod. H. Baxter and H. G. Rosedale, D. D.
second paper was by the same author, and has the same title, as one that has
recently appeared in THE BUILDER, The Craft in the Eighteenth Century, by Bro.
Arthur Heiron, the content is not the same though the general subject is, as
the title indicates. He has drawn once more on the apparently inexhaustible
wealth of the records of Old Dundee Lodge, No. 18. Those interested in the
history of the ritual will find much valuable material in this paper and the
discussion that followed.
third item is a short article by Bro. W. I. Williams on the Goose and Gridiron
Hostelry. He has gone to original leases granted by the Bishop of London, and
now in the Record Office, for the dimensions and plan of the building, and its
exact situation. Three plans are reproduced and help greatly to understanding
his account. A number of often repeated erroneous statements should receive
their quietus from his findings, among others a certain engraving that has
been frequently reproduced as showing the exterior of the original building is
proved to be of very modern origin, and the artist who drew it has been
discovered. It was done purely as an artistic composition and with no
intention whatever to mislead. Its reproduction as a genuine representation
has been due apparently to mistake.
* * *
Transactions of the Merseyside Association for Masonic Research; Vol. 111,
volume has as a frontispiece an excellent portrait of W. Bro. John Mumby,
President of the Association and one of its founders and most active members.
In his Presidential address he discusses several topics, the objects of the
Craft and the meaning of brotherhood, the question of the interval between
degrees, of the qualifications of officers, and the place that research and
inquiry has in Masonic life.
first article is by Bro. Louis Block, P. F. M., and also a Steward of the
National Masonic Research Society. His subject is Masonic Education, and
appeared first in the Report on Fraternal Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of
Iowa 1924. Then Bro. James M. Dow gives some brief sketches of well-known
Masonic authors under the title Prophets: Wise and Otherwise, in which are
mentioned such men as Gould, Hughan, Speth, Sadler, and so on. It is not
possible to go through the whole list, but among the many interesting items is
one by Bro. John T. Thorp on the Letter G, another on the McNab M. S., by Bro.
Herbert Poole, another on Westminster Abbey, by Bro. J. Walter Hobbs, literary
editor of the London Masonic Record, and Bro. Lionel Vibert's Prestonian
Lecture, The Development of the Tri-gradual System, which was also given to
the Somerset Masters' Lodge, No. 3706, and was noticed in THE BUILDER for May
(page 157). The Merseyside Association deserves every credit in the
publication of this, their third volume, and it is to be hoped that they will
long be able to carry on the good work they have so well begun.
* * *
Transactions of the Dorset Masters' Lodge, No. 3366, for the Year 1925-26,
Dorset Masters' Lodge is peripatetic, and holds its meetings in different
parts of the county of Dorsetshire in the same way that some Grand Lodges do.
This has a number of advantages and encourages Past Masters from all over the
Province to become members. There is a Correspondence Circle to which any
Master Mason may belong, among the members of which are more than one American
papers in this volume are all unusually interesting and mostly by brethren
well known to readers of THE BUILDER. Bro. H. C. deLafontaine writes on the
Hiramic Legend, Bro. Gilbert Daynes on the Teachings of Freemasonry, Bro. John
Heron Lepper on Bygone Customs of the Craft, and Bro. Covey-Crump on the
Symbols of the Tracing Board. The object the author has in view in this last
is to systematize the symbols by drawing parallels between those of the
different degrees. For this purpose, as he says, their history and origin is
irrelevant. His main thesis is that in each degree (according to the
arrangement of emblems followed in England) there is a central symbol about
which the others fall into natural groups. The Blazing Star, in the first, the
Letter G, in the second, and the Shekinah in the third. The system as it is
worked out is both interesting and instructive.
Lepper gives us some more valuable data regarding early Irish Masonry. One
thing that will strike most presentday Masons with amazement is the hour at
which lodges began their labors, as early as six o'clock in the morning
sometimes, and "eight was quite a usual hour." And the work took all day,
including refreshments and public processions, finishing up the "Divarsions"
by marching home "with music playing and colours flying."
Daynes' paper is an answer to the question, "What Is Freemasonry?" It is a
question that has arisen at some time in every Mason's mind, and that in some
sense each one must find an answer for himself. Though so often discussed it
is always new, and Bro. Daynes' conclusions are well worthy of consideration.
Bro. deLafontaine's paper be passes in review a number of problems that have
arisen about this difficult subject. He touches on the title Abif or Abiff and
its meaning and how it may have come into the Masonic tradition, and more
generally he discusses the various theories as to the origin of the legend
itself and its introduction into the Craft system, but without reaching any
definite conclusion, in which perhaps he shows his wisdom.
Frederick G. Hawes, the editor, contributes also a second part of Freemasonry
in Dorset, which contains the history of St. Aldhem's Lodge, No. 2259, from
its foundation to the present day. The account embodies many interesting
quotations from the records of the lodge.
* * *
AND SAVAGES. By Captain Frank Hurley. Published by G. P. Putnam and Sons, New
York. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic
Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange Building, St. Louis, Mo. Cloth.
Illustrated.‑ Price, postpaid, $7.85.
who do and dare have had the respect of the members of the human race through
many centuries. Especially is this true of those intrepid characters who have,
in the last four or five centuries, done so much to fill up the blank pages in
what might be termed the world's book of geography. There is nothing which
appeals to the human race in general like the spirit of adventure which
inspires the explorer to venture into the remote fastnesses of the globe to
see what can be seen and learn what secret the unexplored waste holds locked
within its depths. The world does not like failure, and those who try and fail
are soon lost to memory, but those who succeed are welcomed with open arms and
treated as heroes. The Vikings of old were a dauntless race of explorers and
down to the present day the tales of their daring are a delight to young and
old alike. Today their descendants lead the world in this particular field,
but it can no longer be said that they are It race of geographic pioneers.
That day is past and possibly it is to be lamented that there are today so few
men who have the initiative and courage to face the dangers of the unknown
merely in the quest for knowledge. It would be better to say that this
dauntless spirit which inspired our ancient explorers has given way to another
and has been succeeded by an equally courageous inspiration which forms the
impetus behind our pioneers on the frontiers of science. And so it is that
those fearless spirits which first investigated the interior of America,
Africa, and other continents which once were dark have been succeeded by
scientific explorers. Their work is as important as that of the old-time
pioneer and the frontiers of geography have given way to the boundaries of
science. This terrestrial globe is rapidly becoming a closed book so far as
the discovery of new lands and peoples is concerned. The only unexplored areas
of great extent are to be found within the polar regions, with one exception,
and that, the island of New Guinea. This area is probably of more interest
than the vast unexplored Arctic and Antarctic wastes. The polar regions, that
is, the unexplored portions of them are, for the most part, uninhabited, but
there is an area of some 90,000 square miles on this Southern Pacific island
which has been practically untouched by the inroads of the white race. Here in
all their pristine simplicity exist savage tribes living even today in an age
centuries older than modern civilization. They have never reached the Bronze
Age, and the Stone Age describes the state of their cultural development.
Here, then, is a veritable paradise for those pioneering spirits who love the
unknown and the untouched. There is only one hope which should be expressed by
everyone: that they be allowed to continue their existence unhampered by the
fetters of modern civilizations until such time as some investigator can gain
their confidence and record their mode of life and customs after the manner of
Spencer and Gillen with the Australian tribes and others in other sections of
the recently explored world. Let us hope that even after this they will not
find themselves facing elimination as the American Indian does today. Preserve
their native haunts and permit them to carry on in the only way they
understand bringing about a transformation, if one is necessary, by gradual
stages and not by the more cruel method which was employed by the early
pioneers on the American Continent.
of exploration and travel have amused and entertained for many years. The
scientific results of such expeditions are even more important than the
adventures which appeal to the casual reader, though frequently they are not
as profitable and consequently in this day of money madness are inclined to be
neglected. Captain Hurley's book is one which will afford many hours of
amusement and no little general education. It is ample payment for the few
hours it takes to read it. The only criticism that one can offer is that it
does not give enough of the scientific results of the expedition. One realizes
that the work was written for the casual reader and not for the student, which
no doubt justifies the omission of such data. The interested student cannot,
however, read the book without a feeling of regret that more has not been
said, and throughout has a hope that the author will some day tell more of the
customs of the people he visited than he has seen fit to publish in this work.
There has already been much written about the coast tribes of New Guinea, and
possibly such evidence as could now be produced relative to these tribes would
be nothing more than a rehash of work already done. The missionaries have
succeeded in Christianizing many of these peoples and consequently such
material as might be collected at this late date would have little or no
value. While this statement applies to the Coast tribes it certainly does not
affect the Lake Murray peoples who, according to Hurley, had never seen a
white man until he made his trip. These interior tribes are cannibals and
treacherous; Hurley frankly confesses his fear of them. This in itself,
assures us that they are living utterly free from the contamination of whites
and makes the recording of their customs all the more important and valuable.
are some passages through the book which give much in the way of ethnological
evidence. They are few and far between and deal principally with the
construction and interiors of the men's houses and communal homes. The
accompanying illustrations are exceedingly good and their value cannot be
over-estimated. In fact, the book, for the illustrations alone, is well worth
what might otherwise seem an excessive price. Aside from this, and a few
interesting sidelights thrown on the marriage and mourning customs, together
with a bit of evidence relative to their beliefs, there is nothing of any
scientific importance in the whole work. The, Lake Murray tribes are totally
neglected, possibly for good reasons. No explorer is particularly desirous of
having his bead tanned and ornamented for future use as a war rattle.
the passing of a delightful evening or two no book can be more highly
recommended. The style is light, easily readable, and thoroughly
understandable, to say nothing of being most entertaining. The geographic
descriptions sometimes reach the heights of prose poetry and one can see the
dense tropical vegetation through the eyes of a keen observer and picture to
himself the riot of color that presents itself to the view of the explorer.
be said that the book is one which commends itself most highly to those who
read for pleasure and the assimilation of general knowledge. The illustrations
will be a joy to any student of savage life and customs.
QUESTION BOX and CORPESPONDENCE
the interesting articles in the February number of THE BUILDER I note one on
Count Pulaski. May I have the privilege of adding a little additional
information which may be of interest to the Craft.
Pulaski was wounded in the battle around Savannah, Oct. 9, 1779, and was
carried on board the American war vessel, the "Wasp," as Savannah was in the
hands of the British. He was being carried to Charleston, S. C., for medical
treatment but gangrene set in and he died before reaching Charleston. He was
buried at sea, cut down in his prime at the age of thirty-one.
made a Mason in a military lodge in Georgia shortly before his untimely end.
In one of our beautiful squares on Bull street, named in honor of another hero
of the Revolutionary War, there stands a magnificent work of art erected to
his memory by the people of Georgia, the cornerstone of which was laid by the
Grand Lodge of Georgia on the 21st of March, 1824, with full military and
Masonic honors. General Lafayette presided at the ceremony. On the same street
are monuments to General Oglethorpe and Sergeant Jasper.
Savannah, the home of one of the oldest lodges in America (chartered 1735), to
show her veneration for him gave his name to one of her beautiful squares or
parks. The finest hotel in Savannah at one time was named for him as was also
the old fort that stands at the entrance of Savannah River. There is also an
equestrian statue of Pulaski presented to the American Government by the
Polish Societies. This statue is in our national capitol, Washington, D. C.
* * *
LODGES IN THE MIDDLE WEST
article on page 324 of the issue of THE BUILDER for November last, Bro. F. T.
Cheetham, who has written a splendid story of the life of Colonel St. Vrain,
makes a few assertions which should be corrected in the interest of accuracy
and history. He reiterates a statement made in a number of Masonic
publications concerning the organization of early lodges by French traders
who, according to the stories, always purchased their goods in Philadelphia
and visited lodges in that city, that they, in turn, obtained dispensations
and established Masonic lodges in western trading posts. I believe that this
statement is pure imagination, for an investigation of the early members of
our lodges shows that there were very few French traders listed as members,
most of them have good old American names.
stated also that lodges were instituted as follows: Western Star, No. 107, as
being established at Kaskaskia in 1806, as a matter of fact it was established
in 1805: Louisiana Lodge No. 108, should be Louisiana Lodge, No. 109; St.
Louis Lodge, No. 3, should be St. Louis Lodge, No. 111. He lists the name of
Pierre Chouteau as a member of No. 109, St. Genevieve. Pierre Chouteau was a
member of the Fraternity, but never of St. Genevieve.
that he has given the Masonic membership of General Wm. Clark as St. Louis
Lodge, No. 111. I am very anxious to learn where he got this information.
because General Clark's membership has been somewhat uncertain. From past
evidence we have he was a member of Missouri, No 12, the successor of St.
Louis, No. 111.
favor of the 4th inst. enclosing copy of a letter from Bro. Denslow, came
while I was away on business. In reply to the criticisms of Bro Denslow I wish
That my authority for the statement that the early lodges at Kaskaskia and St.
Genevieve were instituted largely by French traders was based upon the
statements contained in the Reprint of the Official Record of the Grand Lodge
of Missouri; known by Missouri Masons as the Gouley Reprint, I believe. His
statements are also reiterated by Maj. Sherman in his Fifty Years of
Freemasonry in California, page 42, of Vol. 1. At the time I wrote the St.
Vrain article, some two years ago, I believed these authorities reliable. If
the statement is the result of pure imagination, it is clearly not my own.
That the best information I can obtain indicates that Western Star Lodge, No.
107, was constituted at Kaskaskia June 2, 1806. My authority for that
statement is a memorandum received from Bro. J. E. Burnett Buckenbam,
Librarian of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
There is a typographical error in the MS. of my article as to Louisiana Lodge.
I find I had it both No. 108 and 109, in the MS. it was No. 109.
my MS. I gave the number of St. Louis Lodge as No. 111.
Again I relied upon Gouley's Reprint and Maj. Sherman, supra. for the
statement that Pierre Chouteau was a member of Lodge No. 109 at St. Genevieve.
authority for the statement that Gen. William Clark was a member of St. Louis
Lodge, No. 111, is The History of Saint Louis City and County, by J. Thomas
Scharf, Vol. 11, page 1775.
are at liberty to publish Bro. Denslow's or any other criticism. I fully
realize that "to err is human." I desire to be accurate as to all historical
statements and by inviting criticism we may be able to eliminate error. I,
personally, hold Bro. Denslow in the highest esteem. I made a trip to St.
Louis hoping to meet him, but found on my arrival that he was out of the city.
I may be able to send you another sketch in the near future for your
consideration but have been delayed on account of the pressure of business.
* * *
letter from me about the Scottish Rite published in the July number of THE
BUILDER two small errors crept in. In the second paragraph of the fifth
section, 1717 should be 1777, as this is the date that Stark severed his
Masonic relations. The last phrase of the letter should read, "Appandage to
July number I also notice that again the point is raised as to where Lafayette
was first made a Mason. In my article in the May number of the Masonic Analyst
(Portland, Oregon), I stated that he was first made a Mason in France when
only seventeen or eighteen years old. That this is true I quoted the following
from J. F. Findel's History of Freemasonry, second revised edition (London,
1869), page 226:
the end of the year 1775 (Dec. 25), the Lodge De La Candeur in which the
Marquis de Fenelon bad been initiated, was consecrated by the Grand Master in
person. Among the brethren who attended, one hundred of which are expressly
stated to have belonged to the aristocracy, were the Duke de Choisel, Marquis
de La Fayette," etc.
together with his declaration to the Tennessee Grand Lodge in 1825, ought to
settle the matter. It is possible that in order to learn our work he may have
gone through it in some army lodge in this country as is claimed. This seems
highly probable to me, but the point is, where was he first made a Mason?
* * *
ROSE CROIX AND ALBERT PIKE
just received a copy of THE BUILDER for May, 1926. On page 149 of the
Editorial Department I find, speaking of the Christian sense of the 18d,
"neither those of the Grand Orient nor those of Albert Pike have been able to
memory of Albert Pike is very dear to me and few, if any, knew him better than
I. He did not make nor pretend to make the rituals of the A. & A. S. R.,
though he did spiritualize them. But he did search long, carefully and
exhaustively all the rituals of the rite which he could find, and they were
many, to learn what his predecessors had included in the rituals of the
several rites from which sprung our rite, and only those familiar with the
materials which he had succeeded in accumulating have a right to disparage his
once said from the depths of his heart:
seem to stand alone upon the shore of a great sea beyond which, far out of
sight, lies a land unknown to us. We see the white sails, less and less
distinctly, of the ships which bear away from us to that other land those whom
we have known so long and loved so well.
are no sails coming back with messages of remembrance and love out of the
remote regions of that sea. But we know that the Land of Promise is there
beyond the waters, and we believe that when we in our turn go across them we
shall there see and know again the Dead whose memories are dear and the tokens
of their affection precious to us.
loved and revered him while he was living and his 33d ring is on my finger as
I write these words.
becoming more and more common to have those who know his writings, but
superficially to belittle him - the greatest Mason that ever lived in any
country. In many more lines than any other man whom I have known he was great,
and a hundred years hence his memory will shine more brightly, I believe, than
that of any other man now living. *Why? Because the greatest of the great
works which he prepared for his fellowmen are, as yet, unknown to the world,
because he had not the means to make them known through "the art preservative
passing reference in the editorial article referred to in this fraternal
letter of Bro. Wood was not intended in a sense derogatory to the late Albert
Pike, nor was it meant to convey the impression that the present rituals of
the A. & A. S. R. in America were composed by him. But it is generally
understood that he did revise them all, and a comparison of their present
forms with 18th century versions shows that they have in many cases been
almost recast. It is possible that those who knew the man himself and who have
had access to unpublished manuscripts may have information to modify the
conclusion, but from his published work, and the revision actually made in the
rituals of the degrees, it seems a natural inference that be intended to bring
the Scottish Rite into line with Symbolical Masonry by removing every
dogmatic, and more definitely, every specific Christian requirement. The Rose
Croix in its earliest known forms was a purely Christian degree, and even more
than that it was a Roman Catholic degree - at least to the extent that its
originators obviously belonged to that church. It is no derogation to anyone
that he should have revised such a ritual in the direction of universality.
The ideal is yet far off, but Freemasonry, from its emergence into the light
of history, has been seeking it. Nevertheless to the Christian the Rose Croix
will inevitably appear a Christian allegory so long as it is not altered
beyond all recognition.]
* * *
FREDERICK OF SAXONY
you inform me whether the Elector Frederick of Saxony who protected Martin
Luther was a Mason and how many signers of the Declaration of Independence
read THE BUILDER'S account of the latter, but it is lost and the above
information is desired to be used at our local lodge meetings in historical
reference to candidates.
B., New York.
is no evidence whatever that Freemasonry existed outside the British Isles
prior to the eighteenth century, though it may have been introduced into
France and the Low Countries by Scotch and Irish exiles in the seventeenth
century. There was an analogous institution in Germany, of the Steinmetzen,
but there is no information as to non-operatives ever joining it. This seems
to answer the first question in the negative.
said that twenty-three of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were
Masons. The following is the list: Peyton Randolph, president of the first
Continental Congress in 1744, was Provincial Grand Master of Virginia, but 'he
died and was succeeded by John Hancock, before Patrick Henry's fiery eloquence
moved the congress into declaring our independence; John Hancock, raised in
Merchant's Lodge, Quebec, 1760, affiliated with St. Andrew's, Boston, in 1763;
Josiah Bartlett was Grand Master of Massachusetts; Samuel Adams, member of St.
John's Lodge, Boston; John Adams, same, see proceedings of Massachusetts G.
L., 1733‑92; Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry, Roger Sherman, Oliver
Wolcott, Philip Livingstone, Franz Lewis, John Witheupoon, Win. Whipple,
Matthew Thornton, Francis Hopkinson, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, George
Moss, Richard Henry Lee and Thomas Nelson, Jr. (Library of Masonic History,
Vol. IV); Benjamin Franklin, Great Master of St. John's Lodge, Boston; Thomas
Jefferson, on the rolls of Lodge of Nine Muses in Paris; Benjamin Harrison,
Francis Lightfoot Lee and William Hooper (Grand Lodge Proceedings of Virginia,
* * *
LODGE OF SOUTH DAKOTA
you kindly inform me, through the Question Box, as t the genealogy of the
Grand Lodge of South Dakota in manner similar to same information given as to
the genealogy of the Grand Lodge of Colorado on page 302 of the October, 1925
BUILDER. If, as I understand, all lodges of South Dakota, from which the Grand
Lodge was formed were chartered by Iowa, it would not be necessary to trace
the genealogy desired further back than Iowa.
D., South Dakota.
Grand Lodge of Dakota was formed in 1875 by lodges chartered from Iowa.
A L K
* * *
personal interest in the movement for the relief of tubercular Masons and
their dependents is best expressed by the accompanying check (for $5.00).
* * *
WANTED AND FOR SALE
have an inquiry for a copy of The Archeological Writings of the Sanhedrin and
Talmuds of the Jews, by W. D. Mahan.
complete set of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum from Vol. I and Vol. XXXV is in the
hands of the Book Department for disposal. Correspondence is invited. Address
all communications to the Book Department.
regard to the letter of L.G. in the July number of THE BUILDER, correcting the
statement made in the introductory paragraph to the translation of the chapter
from Albert Lantoine's history on Frederick the Great that appeared in June,
to the effect that the latter writer was official historiographer of the Grand
Orient of France, Ye Editor, in justice to Bro. Kress' must acknowledge and
confess that he alone is to blame. He alone gave this misinformation to Bro.
Kress; and he has no excuse. It was a lapsus calami, or rather a lapsus
linguae, as the letter was dictated and not penned; and he did it with the
correct statement in clear print before him, "official historiographer of the
Grand Lodge of France." Lantoine hits so freely right and left at every
opinion he regards as unfounded that we can well believe that no official
conservators of orthodox dogma can view him with anything but alarm if not
* * *
author of the article in the April number of THE BUILDER in a recent letter
gave the same additional information and corrections as appear in that of Bro.
Bacci which is given above. Circumstances having somewhat changed, there is no
longer any reason to conceal his identity and his name may add weight to his
report of the conditions in Italy. The writer is Bro. Frank G. Bellini, P. M.
of Garibaldi Lodge, No. 542, of New York.
* * *
many correspondents have desired information that would help them in planning
lodge and chapter entertainments, several having asked specially for the names
of Masonic plays. The latter will, we hope, be pleased with the original
one-act drama that we are inserting this month, by Bro. Leon Edward Joseph,
Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of New York. Bro. Joseph is the Editor of
the Little Theatre Department of the New York Herald-Tribune as well as being
a playwright some note.