The Builder Magazine
December 1926 - Volume XII -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Political Anti-Masonry, 1827-1843 - By BRO. ERIK MCKINLEY ERIKSSON, PH.D.
Convivial Craft Customs By BRO. WILLIAM L. BOYDEN, Washington, D. C.
Comacines and the Traveling Gilds - By BRO. W. RAVENSCROFT, England
Gild and the Lodge - By BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
FURTHER NOTES ON THE GILD - By Bro. W. RAVENSCROFT
Background of Masonic History in the 18th Century By PROF. E. E. BOOTHROYD,
NORTHEAST CORNER - Bulletin of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Precious Jewels - By BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN - (Continued)
WOMEN ARE INTERESTED
SOON CAN I BE GIVEN TREATMENT?"
LIFE OF HENRY HOWARD MOLYNEUX HERBERT, FOURTH EARL OF CARNARVON, 1831‑1890
MAN NOBODY KNOWS
BOOK NOBODY KNOWS
QUESTION BOX and CORRESPONDENCE
YOUNG MAN WITH GREAT POSSESSIONS
AND THE OBLIGATION
ORDER OF ST. JOHN AT JERUSALEM
POSITION OF THE LESSER LIGHTS
REQUEST FOR BACK NUMBERS
Political Anti-Masonry, 1827-1843
BRO. ERIK MCKINLEY ERIKSSON, PH. D.
WHETHER viewed in its cultural, economic, social, religious or political
aspects, there is no period in American history more fascinating than is the
Jacksonian period. It was an era characterized by change and controversy in
every field. It was a period of triumphant democracy in which the fight for
free public schools was first successfully waged. American literature reached
a high plane and some of the greatest American writers of all time flourished
during the epoch. Canals, roads and railroads were rapidly developed,
inventions multiplied, agriculture flourished, trade and commerce rapidly
expanded, and improvements on an unprecedented scale were projected, only to
be stopped by the panic of 1837.
period saw the beginning of the organized labor movement, the launching of the
real movement for the abolition of slavery, the rise of the woman's rights
movements, the development of an organized movement against intoxicating
liquors, and progress towards abolition of imprisonment for debts. Improvement
was brought about in the care of the insane and advancement was made in prison
reform. The organized peace movement was definitely projected during this era.
Communistic experiments were made on a large scale, though more after 1840
than before. It was a period of religious readjustment and change. Especially
in the newer sections of the country the evangelical churches made great
gains. Unitarianism assumed an organized form and took its stand beside
Universalism in the fight between liberalism and orthodoxy in religion. The
year 1830 saw the organization in New York of the Mormon Church. It was, in
fact, a period of "isms"--and this should not be overlooked in explaining why
it was possible to organize, during the period, such a fanatical party as was
surpassing all these things in interest was the political history of the
period. Space does not permit a discussion of the heated controversies which
raged over such matters as the civil service, the Second Bank of the United
states, internal improvements, the removal of the Indians west of the
Mississippi River, foreign relations, the specie circular and the distribution
of the surplus. Rather, attention must be focused on the political party
development of the period, especially on the abortive attempt to build a great
national party on the basis of opposition to the Masonic Institution.
from the standpoint of national history the Anti-Masonic party would be of
little importance were it not for the fact that during its short life it
contributed to our national political system the national nominating
convention and at least the "germ" of the national platform. From the Masonic
viewpoint, the Anti-Masonic party is a subject that cannot be lightly
dismissed for it developed into the most highly organized and powerful foe
that Masonry has ever had in the United states. Promoted by unscrupulous
opportunists seeking political power and even aiming at the presidency of the
United states, it almost succeeded in exterminating Freemasonry in some of the
states. In view, then, of its contributions to national political practices
and its baneful influence on the Masonic Institution, it should be of greatest
interest to trace the origin, development and decline of the Anti-Masonic
POLITICAL ORIGIN OF ANTI-MASONRY
seeking an explanation of the origin of the Anti-Masonic party it is not
enough, as Charles McCarthy, the leading historian of the party, pointed out
years ago, to say that it was started by the Morgan affair. Had not the
political, social and religious conditions at the time been favorable for the
formation of a new party it is highly improbable that any political
developments would have followed the mysterious disappearance of William
Morgan. That incident was merely the match which served to ignite the
combustibles already prepared.
Assuredly, the political situation, both in the country as a whole, and in New
York, was ripe for the appearance of a new party. In 1816, the decadent
Federalist party had for the last time participated in a presidential
election, and thereafter the old Republican party was without a rival. The
Federalist disintegration proceeded rapidly, so that when the Republican
President, James Monroe, shortly after his inauguration, made a tour of the
old Federalist stronghold of New England, he was received with such cordiality
that the expression "Era of Good Feelings" was applied to his administration.
while the surface of the political water appeared to be calm, underneath there
was a great and increasing turmoil. After Monroe's second election, various
individuals openly exhibited themselves as candidates for the presidential
succession. The number of aspirants, at first about a score, dwindled until
the election of 1824 saw four rivals in the field, John Quincy is Adams of
Massachusetts, Henry Clay of Kentucky, William H. Crawford of Georgia and
Andrew Jackson of Tennessee. The regular election proved indecisive, though
Jackson received a plurality of the electoral votes. In accordance with
Constitutional provision, the election was then settled in the House of
Representatives in favor of Adams.
who had run fourth in the race and was therefore eliminated from the House
election, used his influence for Adams, and after the latter assumed the
presidency, received the coveted office of Secretary of state. This led to the
famous charge that a "corrupt bargain" had been entered into by Adams and
Clay. The charge, though never satisfactorily substantiated, was believed by
many, including Jackson, who was changed from an indifferent contestant to an
eager aspirant for the presidency. In the fall of 1825 he was nominated for
that office by the Tennessee legislature and began an aggressive campaign to
defeat Adams in 1828. The bitter rivalry thus engendered between Adams and
Jackson divided the Republican party into factions, which were destined to
develop into new political parties. Just what the emerging parties would be
called no one at that time could tell. The fact remains that both the Adams
and Jackson groups claimed the name "Republican" until after the election of
CLINTON AND VAN BUREN
political situation in New York was even more favorable to the formation of
new parties. There had been a long struggle in the state over the building of
the Erie Canal, and the animosities developed by this struggle did not subside
when the canal was completed in 1825. De Witt Clinton had led the canal forces
and Martin Van Buren, the chief of the "Bucktails," had been the leader in
opposition to the building of the canal. After Adams and Jackson became avowed
rival candidates for the presidency in the election of 1828, it was necessary
for Clinton and Van Buren, just as it was for other politicians throughout the
country, to choose between them. Van Buren, previously a Crawford supporter,
early took a stand in favor of Jackson. After considerable deliberation,
Clinton also announced himself as a Jackson supporter. This produced
consternation among his followers, many of whom preferred Adams to Jackson.
least among those who were followers and admirers of Clinton was Thurlow Weed,
then an aspiring newspaper editor in Rochester. He, and many other Clinton
adherents, had supported Adams for the presidency in 1824 and wished to do so
again. To Weed and the other Adams men who were seeking to counteract the
influence of Clinton's action, the Morgan affair must have appeared as a
rainbow of hope.
familiar with Weed's long subsequent career as a shrewd political manipulator
there is danger of giving him credit for more foresight than he actually
possessed. Nevertheless, retracing the development of the Anti-Masonic party
from a local party in Western New York to a national party contending for the
presidency of the United states, the guiding hand of Weed is clearly
discernible at all stages.
AND THE MORGAN COMMITTEES
Through the activities of the "Morgan committees," including that of Monroe
County of which Weed was a leading member, and inspired by Weed's newly
established "Anti-Masonic Enquirer" and similar newspapers which soon cropped
out, there was developed in Western New York, within a short period after
Morgan's disappearance, a frenzied outburst against Freemasonry. To bring
about this result, charges that Masons were interfering with and hindering the
investigations were coupled with appeals to the religious prejudices of the
Anti-Masonic writers on the subject have been wont to say that the popular
indignation of the people led to a "spontaneous" resort to the ballot to bar
Masons from political offices. But viewing the evidence in hand it is apparent
that the "spontaneous" outburst was in reality the result of carefully
conducted manuevers on the part of Weed and his associates. Anti-Masonic
tickets were placed in the field in various town elections in Genesee and
Monroe Counties in the spring of 1827 with a result most encouraging to the
Anti-Masons. It is significant that Weed, in his Autobiography, begins his
chapter on political Anti-Masonry by relating how he and others at the time
counselled against political action and then in the same paragraph says:
Rochester had already become the centre of Anti-Masonry. From that point the
movements, whether of a judicial or legislative character, emanated.
Weed was the chief of the Anti-Masons in Rochester, it is clear that he was
promoting political Anti-Masonry while professing to discourage it!
Animated by the success of. their first venture into politics, the
Anti-Masonic leaders threw their full energies into the work of perfecting a
party organization, promoting conventions and securing suitable candidates to
run in the approaching elections. They also continued their propaganda
designed to win converts to their cause. The influence of the alleged finding
of Morgan's body on Oct. 7, 1827, must have been great, for it supported the
claims that Morgan had been drowned by the Masons. The decision that the body
was Monroe's and not Morgan's was not reached until Oct. 29. As the election
began on the following Monday, Nov. 5, it was too late, in view of the poor
communication facilities of the time, to re-act on the voters. Therefore, the
body was "a good enough Morgan until after the election", whether or not Weed
actually made the remark. In disseminating their propaganda, the Anti-Masons
did not omit to point out that Governor Clinton, a high Mason, had gone over
to the political camp of Jackson, also a prominent Mason. (1) They also spread
false reports that Clinton had approved of the Morgan abduction.
result, in the fall of 1827, Timothy Childs was elected to the state assembly
from Monroe county on an Anti-Masonic ticket, and fourteen others claimed as
Anti-Masons were also elected to the same body, much to the gratification of
Weed and company. The new party was gaining momentum and numerous conventions
were got up in 1828, for the purpose of further crystallizing sentiment. These
included a convention of seceding Masons at Le Roy, Feb. 19 and 20, 1828,
followed by a second convention of seceding Masons also at Le Roy, on July 4,
1828. This convention drew up a "Declaration of Independence" from the Masonic
Institution, in imitation of the national Declaration, and the document was
signed by one hundred and three seceding Masons, varying from an Entered
Apprentice to the possessor of twenty-one degrees. Conspicuously heading the
list is the name of Solomon Southwick. The only other persons in the list who
attained any prominence as Anti-Masons were David Bernard, author of Light On
Masonry, John G. stearns, Edward Giddins, Samuel D. Greene, and David C.
Meanwhile an open Anti-Masonic convention had been held at Le Roy, March 6 and
7, with twelve counties represented. A set of twenty Anti-Masonic resolutions
was drawn up and an address to the people was issued. On Aug. 4, 5 and 6,
1828, the Anti-Masons held a convention at Utica for the purpose of nominating
a state ticket for the fall election. Francis Granger was nominated for
governorship, but after several weeks declined the nomination, as he preferred
to run for the office of Lieutenant Governor on the ticket of the Adams
Republicans. Temporarily, Thurlow Weed lost control, for the radical
Anti-Masons met at Le Roy, on Sept. 7, and nominated Southwick for the office
of Governor. In the ensuing election, which resulted in the selection of the
Jacksonian candidate, Martin Van Buren, Southwick ran a poor third. However,
the Anti-Masons succeeded in electing seventeen assemblymen and four state
senators, including William H. Maynard. In this election the Anti-Masons cast
their votes for Adams for President since his statement had been spread abroad
that he was not, never was, and never should be a Mason.
election of 1828," said Weed, "imparted increased confidence, vigor and
strength to the Anti-Masonic party." Southwick, who had for a short time
occupied a place of leadership, was pushed aside and thenceforth Thurlow Weed,
aided by such lieutenants as William E. Seward, Millard Fillmore, Francis
Granger, John C. Spencer, Myron Holley, Henry Dana Ward, Frederick Whittlesey,
Albert H. Tracy, William H. Maynard, and others, guided the destinies of the
Anti-Masonic party in New York. A state convention was convened at Albany on
Feb. 19, 1829, with delegates present from forty counties. This convention,
a new starting point in the history of the party in New York. . . It was all
the more effective because the political nature of it was concealed by an
outward show of Anti-masonry with all its verbiage and proscriptive
Southwick was allowed to open the convention with a long address, there was no
question as to the Weed faction controlling the meeting. Weed, from the state
Anti-Masonic Central Committee, presented a long report on the development and
progress of AntiMasonry. The most significant action taken by the convention
was in regard to a national convention. A report on the subject was submitted
by a committee, headed by Granger and including Seward in its membership.
After hearing the report and supporting speeches, the convention resolved to
call a national convention to meet at Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 1830, (2) to
be composed of delegates from each state equal in number to the electoral vote
of the state. It was further stated:
objects of which Convention, when assembled, shall be to adopt such measures
as to them, in their deliberate wisdom, shall appear to be the most effectual
to annihilate the Masonic Institution, and all other secret societies which
claim to be paramount to our Laws, and are hostile to the genius and spirit of
evaluating the significance of this resolution it must be remembered that the
national parties styled the Democratic party and the National Republican party
had not yet adopted those designations. There was an Adams party and a Jackson
party but definite names were not adopted until after Jackson's inauguration
as President, March 4, 1829. (3) In view of this, it is quite evident that
Weed and his associates were seeking to make their party a chief national
party in opposition to the Jacksonians. From 1829 until its demise in 1833,
the Anti-Masonic party in New York was primarily an anti-Jackson party, and
its continued attacks on Masonry were but "camouflage" for the real political
motives of the opportunistic leaders.
adjourning, the Albany Convention memorialized the state legislature for
legislation against "extra judicial oaths." It also decided that, while Morgan
deserved a monument, the time was not ripe for its erection because of the
doubtful "probability of its remaining undisturbed." It took action to raise a
fund by subscription, to be held in trust, the income from which was to be
used "for the future support of Mrs. Morgan, and the support and education of
her two children." (4)
PROCEEDINGS AGAINST MASONS
the convention, the Anti-Masons continued to use all the devices at their
command to keep up an excitement against the Masons. They made liberal use of
newspapers, pamphlets and "lectures." The "Morgan trials" were continued with
renewed vigor and desperate attempts were made to secure convictions of
accused Masons. Meanwhile, by declaring in favor of further canal building and
other internal improvements, they attracted to their standard many of the old
Clintonians and Adams men.
some of the towns of Western New York an attempt was made to stem the tide of
Anti-Masonry by organizing a "Toleration and Equal Rights Party." In the local
spring elections of 1829, "toleration" tickets were successful in a few towns.
"The Craftsman" of April 14, 1829, which had previously exhorted the voters
"to unite under the banner of Toleration and Equal Rights, and with becoming
regard to their privileges, as freemen, uphold their institutions," claimed
victories in seven of the sixteen towns of Monroe County, six of seven in
Genesee County, four in Livingston County, and in all the towns of Cayuga and
Seneca Counties. It is surprising that nothing more was heard of this "party"
after these elections.
fall elections of 1829, the Anti-Masons showed increased strength though the
Jacksonians easily controlled the state as a whole. (1830 was the year the
Anti-Masons exhibited their greatest strength in New York.) On Feb. 25, 1830,
a convention was held at Albany and thirty-six delegates were chosen to attend
the national convention. On Aug. 11, 1830, another state Anti-Masonic
convention was held at Utica with forty-five counties represented. Francis
Granger was nominated for Governor and a bid for the workingmen's support was
made by nominating Samuel Stevens of New York city for Lieutenant Governor.
Fourteen resolutions were adopted and an address to the people was issued. In
the fall election, Granger was defeated but he carried eighteen counties and
received 120,361 votes as compared with 128,892 votes for Enos Throop, who was
elected. It is significant that ten counties which had been Anti-Masonic in
1828 were carried by Throop, the Democrat-Republican candidate, in 1830. The
Anti-Masons were admitted to have elected thirty three members of the
Assembly, and they elected state senators in three districts, including Seward
in the Eighth District.
spite of the great show of strength in 1830, Weed was disappointed. In 1831
the party lost ground and in 1832 again went down to defeat, not only in New
York but nationally as well. After an even more disastrous defeat in the fall
elections of 1833, Weed and his colleagues were ready to give up. As Weed said
in his Autobiography:
election of 1833 demonstrated unmistakably not only that opposition to Masonry
as a party in a political aspect had lost its hold upon the public mind, but
that its leading object [?], namely, to awaken and perpetuate a public
sentiment against secret societies, had signally failed.
meeting of leaders of the party was held late in 1833 which "resulted in a
virtual dissolution of the Anti-Masonic party" in New York.
Meanwhile, Anti-Masonry had been making headway in other states. In
Pennsylvania conditions were also favorable for the introduction of
Anti-Masonry. Long before the Morgan affair, as early as 1821, there had been
manifested hostility on the part of some Presbyterians towards Masonry, and in
1823 the Methodists. of the state had shown an unfriendly attitude towards the
Fraternity. Other religious sects in the state were also fertile ground for
the seeds of Anti-Masonry brought in from New York as early as 1827.
Furthermore, as in New York, there was a quarrel of long standing over
internal improvements which favored the organization of a new party.
Political Anti-Masonry made its first appearance in the fall of 1828, but did
not make much headway until the following year. On June 25, 1829, a convention
of Anti-Masons from eleven counties met at Harrisburg and nominated Joseph
Ritner for Governor. In the fall election the Anti-Masons polled a
considerable vote and, while Ritner was defeated, elected fifteen members of
the House and one member of the Senate of the state legislature. On Feb. 26,
1830, practically all the counties of Pennsylvania were represented in an
Anti-Masonic convention at Harrisburg, called to choose delegates to the
national convention. In this convention, Thaddeus Stevens began his career as
the leading Anti-Mason of Pennsylvania.
fall elections, 1830, the Anti-Masons succeeded in electing six Congressmen,
four members of the state Senate and twenty-seven members of the state House
of Representatives. In May, 1831, another state convention was held to choose
delegates to the Baltimore national convention, but was poorly attended. That
fall the Anti-Masons elected six state senators and twenty members of the
House. On Feb. 22, 1832, a fourth state convention met at Harrisburg and for a
second time nominated Ritner for Governor. That fall he ran a very close
second to George Wolf, the Democratic candidate. For a time thereafter
Anti-Masonry declined in Pennsylvania, but was kept alive through the activity
of Stevens and his chief lieutenant, Ritner. Finally, in 1835, by a coalition
of Anti-Masons and Whigs, Ritner was elected Governor. During his three year
regime every possible effort was made to legislate Masonry out of existence,
but without success. With Ritner's defeat in 1838, political Anti-Masonry
practically disappeared in Pennsylvania, though Stevens attempted to revive it
as late as 1843.
RESULTS IN VERMONT
state were the Anti-Masons so completely successful as in Vermont. Political
Anti-Masonry really began there in 1829, when on Aug. 5 a state convention was
held at Montpelier. That fall the Anti-Masons elected thirty-three out of the
two hundred and fourteen members of the state legislature. In 1830, the
Anti-Masons showed increased strength. By 1831 they were strong enough to
secure a plurality in the popular election for their gubernatorial candidate,
William A. Palmer, and then secure his election at the hands of the
legislature. They also elected one hundred and fourteen members of the state
legislature. In 1832, they again elected Palmer as Governor and also elected
three members of Congress. In 1833 and 1834, Palmer was re-elected but
thereafter lost his popularity, and as a result of a deadlock in the
legislature in 1835, Silas H. Jennison, elected by the Anti-Masons as
Lieutenant Governor, became the Governor. In 1836, the Anti-Masons joined with
the Whigs and disappeared as a distinct party in Vermont.
RESULT IN MASSACHUSETTS
Anti-Masons made a determined but futile effort to control the political
situation in Massachusetts. Political Anti-Masonry began in the state in 1828,
but it was not until the notorious "Suffolk Committee" was organized at a
meeting of Anti-Masons at Boston, Aug. 27, 1829, that headway was made. The
first state Anti-Masonic convention met in Faneuil Hall, at Boston, on Dec. 30
and 31, 1829, and Jan. 1, 1830. Resolutions were adopted and a long address to
the people of the state, drawn up by a committee headed by Moses Thacher, was
issued. This convention also elected delegates to the Philadelphia national
convention. The members of the "Suffolk Committee" were designated to serve as
a state Anti-Masonic committee. In 1830, the Anti-Masons elected three state
senators and between twenty and twenty-five members of the lower house of the
19 and 20, 1831, a second state Anti-Masonic convention was held in Boston.
Various reports were made and Anti-Masonic resolutions were adopted. Later in
the year, the Anti-Masons nominated Samuel Lathrop for Governor but he was
defeated in the election. In 1832, the Anti-Masons put an electoral as well as
a state ticket in the field, the latter again headed by Lathrop, but the
National Republicans won the election. The convention of that year adopted a
reply to the "Declaration" of the Masons of Boston, this reply having been
drawn up by the state Anti-Masonic committee and including thirty-eight
"Allegations Against Freemasonry." Letters were then addressed to the Grand
Lodge and Grand Chapter of the state challenging them to sue the Anti-Masonic
committee for libel, so that a trial could be held to determine whether the
Anti-Masons were justified in their charges against Masonry, or the Masons
were right in declaring the charges false. Nothing came of these challenges.
1833, against his wishes, John Quincy Adams was nominated by the Anti-Masonic
convention for the governorship, but failed of election. In 1834 the
Anti-Masons succeeded in getting the legislature to investigate Masonry but
nothing came of the investigation. That year the state convention nominated
John Bailey for Governor but he ran a poor third in the election. In 1835,
most of the Anti-Masons of Massachusetts joined the Whigs, and the merger was
completed in 1836.
ISLAND AND CONNECTICUT
Island was another of the New England states where political Anti-Masonry
exhibited considerable strength. Anti-Masonry appeared in the state in 1829,
and was given form by a convention held the next year. In 1831, the
Anti-Masons memorialized the state legislature to investigate Freemasonry,
which was done, though the investigation was "fruitless." In 1832, the
legislature passed an act forbidding extra judicial oaths. A very unusual
situation occurred in Rhode Island in 1832 when a coalition was formed between
the Anti-Masons and the Democrats. As a result, William Sprague, an
Anti-Mason, was elected Speaker of the lower house of the state legislature.
Beginning with 1833, the Anti-Masons, for five successive years, elected their
candidate, John Brown Francis, to the governorship. It was not until 1838 that
political Anti-Masonry in Rhode Island disappeared.
Connecticut political Anti-Masonry began late in 1828. On Feb. 11, 1829, a
state convention was held at Hartford. In 1832, the Anti-Masons showed their
greatest strength in Connecticut when, by a coalition with the National
Republicans, they elected eight state senators, sixty-seven members of the
state House of Representatives, and one United States Senator. The strength of
the party soon dwindled, and in 1835 the Anti-Masons were practically absorbed
by the Whigs.
Political Anti-Masonry made little headway in states other than those already
mentioned. In Maine, a state convention was held at Augusta, July 4, 1832. The
party had a candidate for the Governor, Thomas A. Hill, in the elections of
1832, 1833 and 1834, but his strength was negligible. At least two conventions
were held in New Hampshire, one on June 1, 1831, and another on Feb. 6, 1833,
but no political successes were achieved by the Anti-Masons.
other states political Anti-Masonry was nothing more than a "local infection."
It made some headway in New Jersey where at least one convention was held
--that at New Brunswick on Aug. 24, 1830. In Ohio, Anti-Masonry exhibited its
chief strength in the northeastern part. At least three conventions were held
in this state, the first convening at Canton on July 21, 1830, with twelve
counties represented, the second at Columbus on Jan. 11, 1831, and the third
also at Columbus, on June 12, 1832. Anti-Masons in Indiana were a factor in
only a few local elections. There is record of a convention held in the state
in March, 1830. At least one Anti-Masonic convention was held in Kentucky, at
Carthage, on Jan. 22, 1829. In Michigan Territory the Anti-Masons held a
convention in June, 1829, and that year were strong enough to elect John
Biddle as Territorial Delegate to Congress. Local outbreaks of political
Anti-Masonry occurred in Marengo and Tuscaloosa Counties in Alabama, in
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and in Boonsboro district, Maryland. There
is no other evidence available to show that political Anti-Masonry made any
headway in the South. The fact that Delaware had one delegate present at each
of the Anti-Masonic national conventions is evidence that that state was also
slightly tainted with political Anti-Masonry.
COLLAPSE OF THE MOVEMENT
account of political Anti-Masonry would not be complete without a
consideration of the ephemeral career of the national Anti-Masonic party. As
has been suggested, Weed and others early conceived the project of making the
Anti-Masonic party a leading national party in opposition to the Jacksonians,
and with this in view secured the calling of a national convention to meet at
Philadelphia. At the time of the calling of the convention little was
definitely known as to the actual strength of the Anti-Masons outside of New
York. It must have been disappointing to the leaders when there appeared at
Philadelphia, on Sept. 11, 1830, delegates from only ten of the twenty-four
states and from one territory. While a total of one hundred and eleven
delegates attended, it should be noted that thirty-three were from New York,
twenty eight from Pennsylvania and seventeen from Massachusetts. Connecticut
sent eight delegates, New Jersey seven, Ohio seven, Vermont six and Rhode
Island two, while Delaware, Maryland and the Territory of Michigan each sent
convention organized with Francis Granger of New York as President. During the
five days the convention was in session the time was spent mainly in
formulating and listening to reports. On the first day fourteen different
committees were appointed, to report on such matters as "the pretensions of
freemasonry," "the true nature of Masonic oaths and obligations," "the truth
of the disclosures" of Masonry, "the abduction and murder of William Morgan,"
"the effects of Freemasonry on the Christian religion," "the nature and spirit
of anti-masonry," and "measures . . . to effectuate the extinction of
Freemasonry." The various reports were the subject of extended debate which on
occasion grew heated. It is apparent that some of the delegates were anxious
to air their views and took full advantage of their opportunity to do so.
the matters of interest which came before the convention was the proposal of a
New York delegate that a committee be appointed "to inquire into the pecuniary
circumstances and situation of the family of Capt. William Morgan, and to
report what measures, if any, should be adopted for their support." After some
discussion the proposal was rejected. Thaddeus Stevens was most active in
opposing the resolution, and, as his expressions show how little some of the
leaders connected the Morgan affair with the AntiMasonic party, the record of
the debates containing his objections may be quoted, as follows:
Stevens, of Pennsylvania, thought that this convention, as such, had nothing
to do with the family of Capt. Morgan. The abduction and murder of that
individual, did not constitute the basis of anti-masonry. That was perhaps a
providential circumstance in its favour. The investigation and proceedings of
the convention in regard to free-masonry should be coolly and dispassionately
conducted. The resolution would be looked upon as intended to inflame the
feelings and passions, rather than to appeal to the judgment; to excite the
sympathies, rather than open the eyes, of the people, on the subject of
apparent that the time was not ripe for putting a presidential candidate in
the field, but the matter was referred to a committee. After the committee's
report had been debated with considerable heat, it was
Resolved, That it is recommended to the people of the United states, opposed
to secret societies, to meet in convention, on Monday, the twenty-sixth day of
September, 1831, at the city of Baltimore, by delegates equal in number to
their representatives in both houses of congress, to make nominations of
suitable candidates for the offices of President and Vice-President, to be
supported at the next election; and for the transaction of such other business
as the cause of Anti-Masonry may require.
address to the people, prepared by Myron Holley, was adopted and signed by all
the delegates in attendance. It was chiefly a denunciation of Masonry and an
appeal to the people to use the ballot against the Institution. This address
is important since, if it was not the first national party platform, it was at
least the "germ" of such a platform. If a platform is a declaration of a
party's principles and policies, this address fulfilled the requirements of a
party leaders hoped, by holding a second national convention in 1831, to have
a more representative gathering, but in this they were to be disappointed.
There assembled at Baltimore, on the appointed date, only one hundred and
fourteen delegates from twelve states, including thirty-seven from New York,
twenty eight from Pennsylvania, fourteen from Massachusetts, nine from Ohio,
six from New Jersey, five from Vermont, six from Connecticut, four from Rhode
Island, two from Maine, and one each from New Hampshire, Delaware and
the convention had been organized with John C. Spencer of New York as
President, the rules and orders of the Philadelphia convention were adopted,
various committees were appointed, and the work of the convention was got
under way. Special reports by Henry Dana Ward for the "National Committee of
Correspondence," Benjamin F. Hallett of Rhode Island "On the Construction of
Masonic Penalties," and John C. Spencer "On History of Judicial Proceedings"
in the "Morgan cases" regaled the convention while the matter of candidates
was being considered.
the convention various individuals had been mentioned as possible Anti-Masonic
presidential candidates. John C. Calhoun would have received favorable
attention had it not been for his known connection with the movement in South
Carolina to nullify the Federal tariff laws. Richard Rush of Pennsylvania had
been mentioned and may have entertained hope of receiving the nomination. John
Quincy Adams of Massachusetts was supported by New Englanders but had
expressed himself as not wishing to be nominated. Then, too, there were many
who felt that his name would not attract voters to the party. Henry Clay might
easily have received the nomination, but he was a Mason and refused to
renounce the Fraternity. (5) He had come dangerously close to it when he
wrote, Jan. 23, 1831:
been urged, entreated, importuned, to make some declaration short of
renunciation of Masonry, which would satisfy the Antis. But I have hitherto
declined all interference on that subject. While I do not, and never did care
about Masonry [?], I shall abstain from making myself any party to that
strife. I tell them that Masonry and Anti-masonry has legitimately in my
opinion nothing to do with politics; that I never acted, in public or private
life, under any Masonic influence; that I have long since ceased to be a
member of any lodge; that I voted for Mr. Adams, no Mason, against General
Jackson, a Mason.
Thaddeus Stevens and perhaps other Anti-Masonic leaders went to the Baltimore
convention with the intention of securing the nomination of John McLean of
Ohio, a Justice of the United States Supreme Court and ex-Postmaster General
of the United states. He had privately expressed a willingness to accept the
nomination if it were assured that he would be the sole candidate in
opposition to Jackson. But by the summer of 1831 it was very evident that the
National Republicans would name a candidate of their own, and the indications
were that Clay would be the candidate. In fact he had already been put forward
as a candidate by various National Republican gatherings throughout the
country. Therefore McLean wrote, under date of Nashville, Sept. 7, 1831,
declining "to distract still more the public mind," by allowing himself to be
named as an additional candidate.
AS ANTI-MASONIC CANDIDATE
Distracted by this frustration of their hopes, a delegation of Anti-Masons
called on William Wirt, an ex-Attorney General of the United States, then
residing in Baltimore, and persuaded him to accept the party's nomination for
the presidency. Wirt, who early in life had taken the Entered Apprentice
Degree, and whose conversion to Anti-Masonry coincided with the assembling of
the convention, reluctantly agreed to accept the nomination. He, and probably
some of the real Anti-Masonic leaders, hoped that the National Republicans
would concur in the nomination when their national convention should assemble
in December, 1831. Having secured at least a nominal candidate for the
presidency, the Anti-Masons named Amos Ellmaker of Pennsylvania for the
vice-presidency, drew up Anti-Masonic resolutions, adopted a platform in the
form of an address to the people and adjourned to await the developments of
it not for the fact that the address contained the usual denunciations of
Masonry, it might have been a platform drawn up by a convention of National
Republicans--in fact it was clearly designed to attract voters of that party.
There could no longer be any doubt that the Anti-Masonic party, in spite of
its pretensions, had become essentially an anti-Jackson party. The events of
the campaign were ample justification for such a conclusion.
the National Republicans, in their national convention at Baltimore, in
December, 1831, formally nominated Clay, Wirt, aged and sickly, became
thoroughly disheartened and, after the party leaders refused to allow him to
withdraw, refused to lift a finger to promote his own election. In private
correspondence he expressed the hope that Clay would win.
INSINCERITY OF THE LEADERS
active Anti-Masonic leaders showed how insincere all their pratings against
Masonry since 1826 had been, when they entered into coalitions with the
National Republicans in various states. The Jackson official organ, the
Washington "Globe," frequently called attention to these coalitions and
denounced them in that vehement language which made its editor, Francis
Preston Blair, the outstanding political editor of the period. It was the
intention of the National Republican and Anti-Masonic leaders, especially in
Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, to manipulate the electoral vote so as to
give it to either Clay or Wirt, whichever appeared to have the best prospect
of being elected. Clay entered into the arrangement wholeheartedly, as a
letter written to Weed, dated Washington, April 14, 1832, plainly indicates.
He said, in part:
received your favor of the 9th inst., as I did the previous ones,
communicating the progress of measures to produce cooperation between the
Anti-Masons and the National Republicans in the state of New York. I most
earnestly hope that such cooperation may be cordially produced, to the
satisfaction of both parties.
cooperation referred to was brought about, for the two parties united on the
same state and electoral ticket. This gave the Democrats an opportunity to
ridicule their opponents as the "Siamese Twin Party."
possible means was employed by the coalition to defeat Jackson. The one
hundred and sixty Anti-Masonic newspapers, headed by Weed's "Albany Evening
Journal," were aided by numerous almanacs and tracts of various kinds in
spreading the party propaganda. Jackson's staunch adherence to the Masonic
Fraternity was not overlooked, nor did the Anti-Masons neglect to point out
that four members of his cabinet, Edward Livingston, the Secretary of state,
Lewis Cass, the Secretary of War, Levi Woodbury, the Secretary of the Navy,
and William T. Barry, the Postmaster General, were prominent Masons. But all
the efforts were without avail, for after the smoke of the battle had cleared
away in the fall of 1832 it was found that Jackson had been easily re-elected,
receiving two hundred and nineteen electoral votes. Clay received fortynine
electoral votes, while the Anti-Masonic candidate, Wirt, received only the
seven electoral votes of Vermont. The Anti-Masons had hoped to poll at least a
half million votes but Clay and Wirt together received only 530,189 votes
while Jackson received 687,502.
overwhelming defeat of the Anti-Masons in the election of 1832 was a blow from
which they never recovered. The New York leaders, who had been primarily
responsible for the origin and development of the party, were convinced that
they could not ride to power under the aegis of an Anti-Masonic party. After
they dissolved the party in New York it was only a matter of time until the
whole political Anti-Masonic movement collapsed. Though it showed strength in
some states, as has been pointed out, until 1838, and even held a national
convention at Philadelphia, Nov. 13, 1838-with only four states,
Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania represented--its doom was
inevitable. The American people could not be fooled forever and when they saw
that the issue of Anti-Masonry was being kept up chiefly to supply aspiring
political opportunists with a vehicle in which to attempt to ride to power,
they refused to lend enough support to keep the party alive. Thus there passed
off the stage the first of a large number of minor parties which have afforded
variety to American political campaigns.
Throughout the period the Anti-Masons sought to create the impression that
Masons were bound to work for each other's political advancement, but the
history of the period is full of refutations of the absurd charge. It is true
that Clinton became a Jackson man, but there were dozens of Masons who
bitterly opposed Jackson politically. For example, Henry Clay, P. G. M. of
Kentucky, and John Marshall, P.G.M. of Virginia, were most bitter opponents of
Jackson. Hezekiah Niles of Baltimore, P.G.H.P. of Maryland, was editor of
Niles' Register, one of the most powerful anti-Jackson newspapers in the
country. William Winston Seaton of Washington, one of the editors of the
National Intelligencer, the chief organ of the National Republicans and later
of the Whigs, did not let his Masonry diminish the intensity of his attacks on
This date was the anniversary of the day on which Morgan had been taken from
Batavia in 1826. For a time the AntiMasons sought to have the day set aside
for special observance.
1829 the Adams party began calling themselves "National Republicans" while the
Jacksonians still called themselves "Republicans" or "Democratic Republicans."
It was not until January, 1832, that they officially used the term
"Democratic" Party--the term then being used in their call for a national
convention. In applying the temlls to parties before 1829, Weed and others
writing years afterwards, were in error. (See Bibliographical Notes)
is doubtful if Mrs. Morgan received much, if any benefit from this action as
she married, late in 1830, a seceded Mason named George W. Harris, and
evidently removed westward. Rob Morris cites evidence to show that Harris
divorced her at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1856.
Clay had demitted in 1824 from Lexington Lodge, No. 1, of Kentucky, but he did
not renounce Masonry. He had previously served as Grand Master of Kentucky and
had been chiefly instrumental in promoting, in 1822, the project for a General
Supreme Grand Lodge of the United States.
most complete and authoritative though not exhaustive work on the subject of
political Anti-Masonry, the use of which is indispensable in any study of the
subject, is Charles McCarthy's "The Antimasonic Party: A Study of Political
Antimasonry in the United States, 1827-1840 " in the American Historical
Association Annual Report for 1902, Vol. I, pp. 365-574. Though written by a
Catholic it exhibits a commendable spirit of fairness.
accounts of political Anti-Masonry are [Erik McKinley Eriksson's] "The
Anti-Masonic Party," in Masonic Service Association Bulletin No. 10, Erik
McKinley Eriksson's "The AntiMasonic Party," in THE BUILDER, Vol. 7 (March,
1921), pp. 71-77; Emery B. Gibbs' "The Anti-Masonic Movement," in THE BUILDER,
Vol. 4 (December, 1918), pp. 341-348; and J. Hugo Tatsch's "An American
Masonic Crisis," in Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, Vol. XXXIV (1921),
brief general treatment of Anti-Masonry in national politics is contained in
the first volume of Edward Stanwood's History of the Presidency From
1788-1916' (Boston, 1916), 2v. New York politics are vividly dealt with in De
Alva Stanwood Alexander's Political History of the State of New York (New
York, 1906-1923), 4v., and in Jabez D. Hammond's The History of Political
Parties in the State of New York . . . (Albany, 1842), 2v. It should be noted
that the account of Anti-Masonry in the second volume was written by Frederick
Whittlesey, an Anti-Mason.
great importance for the accounts of prominent AntiMasonic leaders are Thurlow
Weed's Autobiography and Memoirs and William H. Seward's Autobiography.
Biographies, memoirs and other works relating to such leaders as Thaddeus
Stevens, John Quincy Adams, William Wirt and Millard Fillmore, not to mention
a whole host of lesser leaders, have also been consulted. William L. Stone's
Letters on Masonry and Anti-Masonry . . . (New York, 1832), gives much
interesting material. The "Introductory Remarks" in [Henry Gassett's]
Catalogue of Books on the Masonic Institution . . . (Boston, 1852) supply the
dates for some Anti-Masonic conventions not mentioned by McCarthy.
addition to newspapers hitherto cited, the following Washington newspapers
were carefully studied: the Washington "Globe," the Jackson official organ,
1830-1837; the "National Intelligencer," the chief organ of the National
Republicans and the "United States Telegraph," the ex-official organ of
present writer has prepared a study of these journals, a small part of which
has been published under the title "Official Newspaper Organs and the Campaign
of 1828," in The Tennessee Historical Magazine, Vol. VIII (January, 1925), pp.
231-247. It was from this study that the information concerning party
cognomens was derived. "Niles' Register," published throughout the period at
Baltimore, is a mine of useful information. Its bias is decidedly
Typical of the Anti-Masonic almanacs examined were the following: Edward
Giddins' The Pennsylvania Anti-Masonic Almanac . . . 1830 (Lancaster, 1830);
Giddins' Anti-Masonic Almanac . . . 1831 (Utica 1831); Giddins' Anti-Masonic
Almanac . . . 1832 (Utica, 1832), Avery Allyn's The Anti-Masonic Sun Almanac .
. . 1832 . . . (Philadelphia, 1832); and the New England Anti-Masonic Almanac
for the years 1831, 1832, 1833 and 1834 (Boston). The almanacs are of interest
chiefly because of the free use they made of cartoons and caricatures, which
were, generally speaking, rarely employed at that period of history.
it has been necessary to depend on works already cited for much of the
material on political Anti-Masonry, the following pamphlets containing
convention proceedings have been studied at first hand: Masonic Anti-Masonic
Proceedings [Le Roy, Feb. 19 and March 6, 1828], N.P., N.D., 16 pp.;
Proceedings of the Anti-Masonic Convention for the State of New York Held at
Utica, Aug. 11, 1830 . . . (Utica, 1830), 16 pp.; Proceedings of the
Antimasonic State Convention of Connecticut Held at Hartford Feb. 3 and 4,
1830 (Hartford, 1830), 32 pp.; Brief Report of the Debates in the Anti-Masonic
State Convention . . . Massachusetts . . . 1829 . . . (Boston, 1830), 48 pp.;
Abstract of the Proceedings of the Anti-Masonic State Convention of
Massachusetts . . . 1829 . . . (Boston 1830), 32 pp., Abstract of the
Proceedings of the Antimasonic State Convention of Massachusetts . . . 1831
(Boston, 1831), 78 pp.; Anti-masonic Republican Convention of Massachusetts .
. . 1832 . . . (Boston, 1832), 55 pp.; Anti-Masonic Convention of
Massachusetts . . . 1833 . . . (Boston, 1833) 48 pp.; Antimasonic Republican
Convention for Massachusetts . . . 1834 . . . (Boston, 1834), 40 pp.; The
Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Held at Philadelphia
Sept. 11, 1830. Embracing the Journal of Proceedings, the Reports, the Debates
and the Address to the People (Philadelphia 1830), 164 pp.; and The
Proceedings of the Second United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Held at
Baltimore, September, 1831; Journal and Reports . . . Resolutions, and the
Address to the People (Boston, 1832), 88 pp.
following pamphlets are useful in giving an insight to various political
activities of the Anti-Masons: A Legislative Investigation Into Masonry [Rhode
Island] . . . (Boston, 1832), 85 pp.; Report of the Committee Appointed by the
General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, to
Investigate the Charges in Circulation Against Freemasonry and Masons in Said
State . . . (Providence 1832), 149 pp.; An Investigation Into Free Masonry by
a Joint Committee of the Legislature of Massachusetts . . . 1834 (Boston,
1834), 76 pp.; The Petition to the Legislature of the State of Connecticut,
Against Extra-Judicial Oaths  . . . (Hartford, 1834), 8 pp.; Address of
the Anti-Masonic State Convention Held at Augusta, July 4, 1832 . . . N. P.,
N. D., 8 pp., John Clarke's Address to the People of Pennsylvania Read to the
Anti-Masonic Convention Held at Harrisburg, Feb. 25, 1830 . . . (Lancaster,
1830), 34 pp.; Report of a Committee to the New York Senate, Together With
Extracts From Other Authentic Documents. Illustrating the Character and
Principles of Free Masonry . . . (New Haven, 1829), 24 pp.; Report of the
Select Committee on That Part of the Governor's Message Relating to the
Abduction of William Morgan. Made to the [New York] Assembly, Feb. 16, 1829
(Albany, 1829), 68 pp.; Report of the Committee on the Abduction of William.
Morgan Made to the [New York] Senate, Feb. 14, 1829 (Albany, 1829), 27 pp.;
Report of the Special Counsel on the Subject of the Abduction of William
Morgan to the [New York] Senate (Albany, 1830), 35 pp., Appeal to the
"Original Antimasons" of New York by the Editor of the Boston Daily Advocate
[Benjamin F. Hallett] (Published as "Extra" "Boston Daily Advocate," July,
1834), 32 pp., Report on Secret Societies and Monopolies by a Joint Committee
of the Legislature of Massachusetts, 1836 (Boston, 1836), 48 pp.; and
Resolutions Adopted by the Antimasonic Members of the Legislature of
Massachusetts and Other citizens . . . Opposed to the Nomination of Martin Van
Buren . . . (Boston, 1836), 24 pp.
Convivial Craft Customs By BRO. WILLIAM L. BOYDEN, Washington, D. C.
into the past, disclosing from actual records many quaint and curious customs
of the Fraternity in regard to refreshment. In an age when a strong head,
ability to drink and not be drunken, was considered an admirable quality in a
man, temperance still had its original meaning of reasonable use, without
abuse of any of the pleasures of life.
CRITICISMS have often been made in times gone by, charging that the Masonic
institution was responsible for a great deal of intemperance. In the olden
days refreshments, both solid and liquid, were items of legitimate expense,
regularly charged and regularly charged and regularly paid for at the old time
inns. Although this usage has been radically changed and the bibulous features
of Masonic gatherings have long since been discontinued, unwarranted
conclusions are still drawn from the curiosities of the old books of account
and books of record. In this particular, Masonic usages a hundred years ago
cannot be fairly tested by current standards of Masonic conduct. The
denominational organizations and their membership could not successfully meet
a similar test. Neither the one nor the other should now be called to book
upon more exacting standards of conduct than were set up by the moral sense of
contemporaries. Liquors seem to have had, in former times, as respectable
standing in the bill of fare at public places of entertainment, in the homes,
and in public gatherings, as do coffee, tea and other beverages in the social
arrangements of the present day. From the church, the lodge room and from
places of social assemblages, it was viewed in the same light. The temperate
use of it as a beverage was regarded as no offense against religion, morals or
good manners. Considering the habits of the great mass of mankind at that
period it is worthy of note and commendation that this essential Masonic duty,
the restraint of improper desires and passions, was so faithfully observed by
the Craft, not only in their seasons of social recreation and refreshment, but
in other circumstances and relations.
following is taken from the History of Rising Sun Lodge, Royalton, Vt.,
printed in 1907, which touches upon this old custom:
to treat a caller or visitor, and especially the minister when he called at
one's house, was deemed inhospitable and rude. Illustrating this condition, a
good old Christian lady years ago related to me an experience of her own which
occurred when she was a little girl. The minister of the parish called at her
home. The family supplies happened to be 'shy' on rum, and her good mother,
ashamed at the prospect of not being able to entertain her guest aflter the
usual manner, called the little girl into another room, lifted her out of a
back window and sent her post haste to a neighbor to obtain a supply of the
'ardent' wherewith to regale the parson."
the Rev. Bro. Joshua Young, in an address before Old Colony Lodge,
Massachusetts, some years agone said:
use of intoxicating liquors was discontinued, in more than one Masonic lodge,
long before they were banished from ministerial councils, ordinations and
addition to the liquors generally known, the brethren seemed to favor several
concoctions popular at the time, such as Negus, so-called from its inventor,
Colonel Negus, in the time of Queen Anne, 1702-1714, a mild, warm punch or
wine, usually port or sherry, with a little lemon and not much sugar; rum
punch was made from wine, rum, oranges and lemons; another favorite drink
alnong those of the Craft who were seafaring men was Rumbo. Smollett, in 1751,
in his "Peregrine Pickle," refers to the use of Rumbo, sometimes called bumbo.
It was a strong drink made up of rum, sugar and nutmeg, a sort of sailor's
in his history of the Lodge of Edinburg, says:
appears from occasional scraps of the treasurer's accounts, one shilling per
bottle was the price of the punch that was used in the lodge, and the quantity
named was no unusual allowance on festive occasions to each attending
operative apprentice, to the officer, to the stewards "when making punch in
the meeting," and to each visiting brother. "Cold toddy" seems at a much later
period to have been the favorite lodge drink, and one of the minutes of the
year 1809 is made to record the surreptitious removal of "forty-one bottles of
this beverage, the property of the lodge."
lemons formed an important part of the bibulous menu is evidenced from a
minute in a lodge in Durham, England, where it is recorded under date of Aug.
same night, Br. Robt. Darnel, made a motion that there should be lemons
provided against the next and every succeeding lodge night, which was
unanimously agreed to,
is a sample of what was paid for liquid refreshments after punches and the
like passed out of fashion, taken from the records of Apollo Lodge, Troy, New
Lodge, to Jonth. Hatch, Dr.
lbs. cheese at 8d......... 0 14 0
wine ........................... 0 10 0
lb. tobacco ..................... 0 1 0
pipes ............................…. 0 0 0
segars ............................. 0 1 6
1 7 6
2d April, 1799.
is a typical bill for refreshments in Rising Sun Lodge, No. 7, Royalton, Vt.
Note the spelling:
Rison Son Lodge, bot of Moses Cutter-
Gin ..............................$ .38
W.I. Rum ...................... .38
lbs. "Cheas" ................. .35
crackers ..................... .48
Royalton, April 19, 1826.
Frequently where lodges could afford it, they purchased their wine in large
quantities, it being much cheaper that way, and stored it in the cellar below
the lodge. A "pipe" was a wine measure containing about 126 wine gallons; a
pipe of port contained about 138 wine gallons, Sherry 130, Madeira 110, Lisbon
140. As early as 1738 we find recorded in the Turk's Head Lodge, Wiltshire,
agreed that as fault was found with the wine, a pipe of good wine should be
fixed upon by some of the brethren, and that upon their approbation, the whole
should be bottled off, and the Mason's seal placed on each bottle and kept for
the use of the lodge only.
Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, Edinburgh, June 4, 1740, the Master informed the
for the benefit and use of the lodge there wa.s commissioned from London, one
puncheon containing one hundred and eight English gallons of Rum, and one
barrel containing two hundred and fifty-five and one-half pounds of sugar,
which being arrived, Brother Thos. Trotter generously advanced the money for
the same, amounting conform to the Invoice and Bro. Allan's receipt yron, to
the sum of Fifty-four pounds, seventeen shillings and seven pence sterling.
Master's Lodge, No. 2, Albany, N. Y., Nov. 21, 1786, it was resolved
the Treasurer take order to procure for the use of the lodge, one quarter
caske of Lisbon, or sherry wine, five gallons spirits, two loaves sugar and
two dozen glasses.
minute in the Old Dundee Lodge, London, Nov. 27, 1788, it would seem that the
purchase by brethren of the lodge, of the necessary "spirits," was
all satisfactory, for it was resolved on that date
one of the Stewards order from some person not a member of this lodge a
certain Quantity of wine and Licquors as Necessary.
Shakespeare Lodge, London, Feb. 24, 1803, it was
Resolved That Messrs. Dunlop and Hughes be ordered to send a Pipe of Red Port,
similar to the sample now produced, for the use of the Lodge, sealed with the
Seal of the Lodge, and that Brother George Harvey be requested to draw up
certain regulations to be observed in future in the Cellar, respecting the
same, to be submitted at the next meeting of the Lodge for their
REGULATING THE COST
few years after the establishment of lodges in this country, we find the
following among the regulations of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, Portsmouth, New
Hampshire, in 1739, relative to the use of liquors:
The Junior Warden is to keep an account of what liquor comes in for the use of
the Lodge, which is not to exceed 2 shillings 6 pence per head, in failure of
which he is to forfeit the surplusage (without a dispensation from the Master
and members) the said Warden to render an account to the Secretary, who is to
settle the same with the Master and Treasurer before the Lodge is closed.
14, 1764, the Lodge of Emulation, London:
and seconded, that no Liquor be made and mixed anywhere by any member of this
Lodge, but in the Lodge, under the penalty of every member being at the
expence of the Liquor he shall make contrary to this order, which is carried
in the affirmative.
Lodge of Unity, No. 183, London, had this among its by-laws in 1782:
Article 3rd. All liquor drank at the Lodge during Lodge hours and the beer
drank at supper by the brethren not exceeding a pint each to be charged in the
bill of expenses that night but no liquor called for before or after Lodge
hours shall be allowed by the Lodge.
No. 43, Lancaster, Pa., was evidently averse to keeping a charge account in
the matter of refreshments, for in 1785, its fourth by-law provided "That no
brother come to the lodge without money to pay the expenses of the night."
some innkeepers encouraged the meetings of lodges at their places by giving
the rent free for the sake of the trade, is evident, as we find in the history
of Solomon's Lodge, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., in 1787, that the paying of rent at
Bro. Poole's apparently became irksome or not sufficiently "speculative," for
Bro. Emott moved that the lodge fall into our former mode of buying our
liquors of Bro. Poole and pay no rent."
John's Lodge, Leicester, England, March 5, 1794,
Resolved that every member pay on each Lodge evening, two shillings for his
supper and for ale during Lodge hours. Members chusing to take Wine or Liquors
to pay for them extra.
Union Lodge, Norwich, England, passed a resolution May 25, 1810, that visiting
brethren should be charged the price of a bottle of wine.
is an extract from the minutes of Shakespeare Lodge, London, June 23, 1831,
which is very suggestive:
Secretary stated to the Lodge that in order to prevent any errors relative to
the number of bottles of wine charged in the bill, which appeared to him to
have on more than one occasion exceeded the number drunk, he had with the
appreciation of the W. M. provided a quantity of wine tickets.
some of the lodges refreshed themselves, and absent one hour, and being rather
intoxicated was order'd to where, is indicated in the ensuing extract from the
sit as a private memberrecords of the Mariners' Lodge, England:
Lodge to find two shillingsworth of malt Liquor and one Pint of Gin, Rum and
Brandy for every Lodge night only --the Lodge not to be closed for
refreshment, but the refreshment to be brought into the Room and put on a
Table, any one who chooses may partake thereof, paying 6d for the same. To
have no Spirits admitted into the Room during the time the Lodge is open
unless paid for by the person calling for it.
custom of treating the brethren of the lodge was quite a prevalent one, being
sometimes required, but more often voluntary. One of the lodges in Norfolk,
England, exacted, in 1724, that:
Masber on his election shall treat ye brethren with two bottles of wine and ye
Wardens with one bottle each, and on their second election the Master one
bottle and ye Wardens a bottle between them.
member was blest with a lewis or lewisa (son or daughter) he usually
celebrated the event as is evidenced from the records of the Turk's Head
Lodge, Wiltshire, England:
16, 1739. Brother Mills having been lately blessed with a lewis, was pleased
to present this Lodge with a crown bowl of punch upon that happy occasion, and
the young lewis' health was drunk to in form.
September 20, 1739. Our Brother Delarant presented the Lodge with a bowl of
punch on his having a lewisa born, and her health was drunk in form.
Lodge of Felicity, London, on June 21, 1748, records:
being Election night Bro. Griffon was Elected Master and chose Bro. Harforth
and Bro. Morse Wardens and Bro. Gibbs Secr., the Master paid a bottle, the
Wardens and Secretary paid each one shilling for the Honour done them.
Turk's Head Lodge, Wiltshire, England, Dec. 21, 1738, Bro. Hetherington was
called upon by the Master for his lecture, but excused himself on account of
business preventing him, but promised it on the next lodge night, or the
voluntary forfeiture of a gallon of wine. Caledonian Lodge, London, in 1765,
had as one of its regulations:
if any member of this Lodge come disguised in liquor, he shall be admonished
by the presiding officer, for the first offense; For the second, of the same
nature, he shall be fined one shiiling; And for the third, or refusing to pay
his fine, he shall be excluded without any benefit from the lodge.
Mount Vernon Lodge, Albany, N. Y., 1773, one of the articles of its
regulations provided that
lodge evening no member under a fine of one shilling shall have more drink
than for six pence in the lodge room without the Master's consent.
lodge in wigan, England, under date of Feb. 25, 1801, "Bro. John Taylor being
disguis'd in liquor he was admonished by the Worshipful and ordered home." In
the early records of Jerusalem Lodge, London, the Secretary states that
"Brother Perdue having drank a public Toast without his Apron, paid one
shilling as a forfeit for that neglect."
Worshipful Master himself was called to account in the Lodge of Antiquity,
Bolton, England, Oct. 11, 1799:
Worshipful was fined 2 shillings six pence fro being absent one hour, and
being rather intoxicated was order'd to sit as a private member.
lodges, not only as a matter of economy, but realizing that refreshments were
more often the means of the brethren becoming better acquainted with each
other and that expensive wines and liquors were not necessary for this
purpose, began to retrench and adopted such measures as a London lodge did in
1773 when it enacted a by-law:
on account of the great expense incurr'd by allowing wine at supper and in
order to prevent the bad consequences arising therefrom, no liquor shall be
paid for out of the Lodge funds, which is drunk out of the Lodge room, except
beer or ale drank at supper.
Lodge, Albany, N. Y., April 1, 1801:
Resolved. That in future the Stewards substitute beer for brandy and spirits
for the refreshments in the Lodge.
the same month, on the other side of the Atlantic, Royal York Lodge, London,
Resolved that the usual glass of brandy after supper be discontinued.
Altamont Lodge, Peterborough, N. H., May 7, 1816:
to exclude the use of Ardent Spirit in this Lodge, and substitute therefor
crackers and cheese and cider.
DECLINE OF TUE CUSTOM
dawn of the nineteenth century saw the drinking custom on the wane, and we
begin to find the minutes of lodges recording its discontinuance. In 1816 the
Grand Lodge of New York enacted "That the use of distilled spirits in lodge
rooms, or any adjoining room, is expressly forbidden." May 30, 1825, Altemont
Lodge, Peterborough, N. H.,
that no account for spiritous liquors shall be allowed or paid for out of the
funds of the Lodge after this date."
Grand Lodge of Connecticut recommended the disuse of ardent spirits at its
meeting in May, 1822, and the Grand Lodge of Vermont, Oct. 11, 1826, by a vote
of 80 to 28, ruled
no ardent spirits or public dinner shall hereafter be furnished this Grand
Lodge at any of its communications."
Oct. 9, 1827, the Grand Lodge recommended to all subordinate lodges to
"Dispense with the use of ardent spirits on all public occasions."
1842 the Grand Master of Ohio, who was a member of Lancaster Lodge, introduced
a series of resolutions in that lodge which were unanimously adopted wherein
the Masonic virtue of temperance was construed to mean total abstinence, and
the members of the lodge drew up and subscribed to a form pledge to neither
touch, taste, nor handle any ardent spirits, and
Resolved that hereafter no person shall be initiated into the mysteries of
Masonry in the Lodge, or be received into fellowship with the same, who shall
not previous thereto express his willingness to subscribe to this pledge.
is where a brother having lost money in providing refreshments on the
particular evening, June 26, 1740, in the Lodge of Edinburgh, Scotland, was
given a chance to recoup his losses, as appears from the minutes of that date:
regaird Brother Patrick Grant hath been att a considerable trouble and expence
in providing liquors and other necessaries for this meeting, of which a very
small part hath been disposed of, by reason of the small company that have
attended the same, it was therefore likewise unanimously resolved upon that he
have the benefits of furnishing liquors and other necessaries to their next
quarterly meeting, preferable to any other persons whatsoever.
Barrat and Sachse's "Freemasonry in Pennsylvania," quoting the minutes of a
lodge Dec. 24, 1770, we are left to conjecture that the brethren had a special
purpose in attending the meeting of the Grand Lodge, but were not given the
opportunity of accomplishing their object, for it reads:
3 bowls Toddy in about 3 hours which we waited on the Grand Lodge, paid our
Reckoning and went home.
from the same source, under date of Aug. 17, 1771, we find the following
Determination of this Body that Bro. Glenn and Bro. Topham should shake hands
and drink to each other and forget all former Animosity.
predecessors were charitable in the higher sense also, and when an unfortunate
brother fell through drink, they did not give him up, rather they tried to
raise him up. As an illustration we quote the records of Union Band Lodge, No.
35, Saintfield, Ireland:
Saintfield, 4th Dec. 1777.
I . .
. do hereby as a Mason promise before this Lodge that I will abstain from all
intoxicating drinks for 12 months, with the exception of refreshments in
W. J. M.
unfortunate brother pleaded to be allowed one bottle of porter a day, but it
was denied him. They might as well have allowed him, yet they forgave him
anyone fondly imagines that the following suggestion was a recent invention
the records of Union Lodge, Nantucket, Mass., over a century ago, prove to the
contrary, for we find, Nov. 2, 1795, a committee was appointed to confer with
brother . .
respecting his misconduct in abusing himself with making use two (sic) freely
of strong Drink.
communication of Dec. 14, the brother denied that he was intoxicated, but was
"taken with cramp & could prove it."
William G. Hill, a member of Hiram Lodge, Raleigh, N. C., and at the time
(1842) its Junior Warden, took a very active part in having the use of
refreshments in a liquid form discontinued at the meetings of the Grand Lodge,
it being the custom to have a banquet at the close of each session, when it is
said the members had a "merry time." The Stewards provided the refreshments,
and when the report of a committee on the subject came up for consideration,
he used this emphatic language:
Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Stewards in their extravagant expenditures
furnish enough refreshment to keep themselves drunk the entire session, enough
to make the whole Grand Lodge drunk on the night of the banquet and then have
enough left to keep Hiram Lodge drunk the balance of the year.
Comacines and the Traveling Gilds
BRO. W. RAVENSCROFT, England
position in which the authors of the article in THE BUILDER for May
courteously place me as a Comacine advocate, permits, and I think, encourages,
the pleasure of some further remarks in reply to their article, relieving me
also of the responsibility of apology for doing so.
seems to me, then, if I rightly read what they have written, that the
outstanding point to be dealt with is involved in the question, "What do we
mean by the 'making of Masons' or rather 'builders' as applied to the
Operative Masonic Gilds of the Middle Ages ?" If such was nothing more than
the conferring of degrees, secrets and occult knowledge to be accompanied by
festivities and other functions, religious and otherwise, then one must admit
that these lodges may have been semi-permanent, ephemeral, accidental, etc.
But I am going to claim that while such initiations are admitted, and I
suppose nowhere denied, the Gilds of the Middle Ages were much more than that.
And I make this claim upon what I regard as the surest foundation, viz.: the
evidence written down in stone and wood, but, of course, more particularly the
former; evidence which cannot be and is not subject to being tampered with as
so much of that put down on paper may be. Permit me to note, then, the
Up to the 12th century there was from the downfall of Rome such remarkable
correspondence in the development of plan, detail and ornament in work done
throughout England from the North to the South with that of the Comacine
builders as to make the conclusion inevitable that some rule, authority or
custom controlled design and that, especially bearing in mind the difficulties
of transit and other communication, nothing short thereof could produce such
result and that the education which produced this must have been the principal
item in the making of Masons.
is a remarkable confirmation of this that down to the village church, and in
later days, the barn and the cottage, down to the simplest buildings which had
any pretense at architecture, as well as to the cathedral, stronghold and more
important buildings, an influence is so apparent that to an expert it is not
difficult to discern from a single stone with any moulds or ornament upon it
within almost a quarter of a century to what period it would belong. And this
is the more remarkable since it does not follow that because the evidence of
"style" is present the workmanship is skilled. One could give numbers of
instances to show that while the design was, so to speak, authorized, the
workmanship was clumsy and bad; the work, in fact, of an inadequately trained
Second: The foregoing remarks as to some authority under heading 1, apply
equally to the periods which followed, viz.: the Gothic period and that of the
Renaissance and I have purposely divided them into these periods because
between each there came an important revolution. I refer to the incoming of
Gothic Architecture at say about the beginning of the 13th century and the
"revival of learning about that of the 15th century." The change from Norman
work to Gothic work during 50 years was radical in construction, design and
ornament. So was that at the time of the Renaissance, but contrary to what
might have been expected, there was no sudden abandonment of one style for
another but periods of development during which with precision transition
intervened until one style had disappeared before the incoming of the
successor and all through the various changes within the Gothic time the same
remark applies and at the Renaissance upheaval the old was gradually merged
with the new until quite lost--witness the Elizabethan and Jacobean mansions
and other structures.
After the incoming of the Renaissance the whole order changed. The Reformation
not only suppressed the Monasteries but also the Gilds. The former, in many
instances, became the homes of the nobility, the latter the Clubs of
Speculative Masons, until so far as architecture was concerned, A would build
in the style of "Queen Anne" and B, next door, in that of "Mary Anne" or any
this justifies the conclusion that down to the time when the Gothic period was
ended and the classic revival was in full vogue, nothing can account for the
stone written history I have briefly sketched short of an organized body, or,
if one prefer it, organized associations directing and controlling at least
the architecture of Western Europe. And, roughly speaking, the end of the
Gothic period and the decay of the Gilds synchronizes with the beginning of
Speculative Masonry when good fellowship began to be the chief characteristic
Lastly, if I may be permitted a reference to the "Master Mason" for May, 1926.
I read therein an article or English Freemasonry before the year 1717 (in
which Bro. F. F. Gould's views are set forth) and under the heading of "Oral
Tradition" three very eminent men are quoted as having written on this very
point--Sir Christopher Wren, Sir William Dugdale and Elias Ashmole. Before the
year 1717, in which, under the heading, "Oral Traditions,' three very eminent
men are quoted as having held this opinion. The passages are to be found in
Gould's Concise' History [Revised Edition, pages 53, 99 and 100] and are
discussed at length in chapter twelve of the larger work. The earliest in date
is the report of Dugdale's belief by John Aubrey, which is as follows:
William Dugdale told me many years since, that about Henry the Third's time,
the Pope gave a bull or patent to a company of Italian Freemasons, to travel
up and down all Europe to build churches. From those are derived the
Fraternity of adopted Masons.
memoir of Elias Ashmole in the Biographia Britannica we are told by Dr. Knipe:
from Mr. Ashmole's collection I could gather was that the report of our
Society taking rise from a Bull granted by the Pope in the reign of Henry III
to some Italian architects to travel all over Europe to erect chapels was
ill-founded. Such a Bull there was, and those architects were masons. But this
Bull, in the opinion of the learned Mr. Ashmole, was confirmative only and did
not by any means create our Fraternity or even establish them in this kingdom.
remaining quotation is from the Parentalia or Memoirs of the Family of the
Italians (among whom were yet some Greek Refugees), and with them French,
German and Flemings, joined into a Fraternity of Architects, procuring Papal
Bulls for their Encouragement and particular Privileges; they styled
themselves Freemasons, and ranged from one Nation to another, as they found
Churches to be built.
seems to me that these opinions should be considered very carefully. One is
inclined to wonder why, because traditions had grown up around these
pronouncements which were extravagant and false, he should, therefore, have
dismissed the lot. I am inclined to think that had he been acquainted more
fully with the Comacine theory, and the steady development and sequence of
changes in English architecture he would have concluded otherwise.
Gild and the Lodge
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
would seem as if Bro. Ravenscroft had, in the preceding article, put his
finger on the real point at issue in posing the question, "What do we mean by
the making of Masons as applied to the Operative Gilds?" When, in the article
in THE BUILDER for May, to which he refers, we set forth a hypothesis of the
relationship of the lodge to the gild we had in view only the ritual
significance of the term. If it be permitted to go so far afield for a
parallel, we might adduce the puberty rites of savage races, which are known
to those practicing them as "making men." The anthropological analogies to
Masonry must be handled with great reserve and caution on account of the
tendency there has been to build upon them hasty and ill considered
speculations. But in this case we are only seeking an illustration. According
to the savage the half-grown boy becomes a man by virtue of his initiation
into the tribal mysteries. Yet though this is the theory, yet the savage is
practical enough, too, and the boy as well as being initiated has generally to
undergo a long course of training in addition before he actually takes his
place in the community as a fullfledged man. On the other hand, physical
strength and endurance, valor in war and skill in hunting do not alone qualify
him to be regarded as a man, many instances have been reported that definitely
prove this. There would thus seem to be two essential sets of qualifications,
the ritual and the practical, before the youth can marry, take his place in
the tribal councils, and as it were, enter into full citizenship.
Another parallel might be taken much nearer home, the rite of Baptism in the
Christian Church. The individual who is baptized becomes formally, or
according to high sacramental views, actually a child of God. Yet even those
with the highest views on the efficacy of the sacraments admit in practice the
necessity of teaching and discipline in addition. So also a man can be
presented and introduced in a neat little Latin speech (which all present must
at least pretend to understand) to the Chancellor of a University, who
thereupon formally presents him with an imposing document on parchment, also
in Latin, after all which he may write "Doctor" after his name. The degree may
be either honoris causa or the result of years of hard work and the passing of
examinations. Here indeed we have a very close parallel between the operative
and speculative Mason. The Doctor, honoris causa, does not know anything about
Civil Laws or whatever else it is that he has been made Doctor of, and no one
expects that he should. Nevertheless it gives him Academic rank and standing
that the 'operative' scholar, if we may so term him, has to work hard for. But
there is this difference between the two, if anyone wants information they go
to the one who has had the training and not to him who is only ceremonially
venture to suggest, then, that the organization by and in which the Medieval
Masons and builders became such regularly and lawfully, according to the
internal economy of the crafts concerned, was the lodge. The distinction is
important, the adjectives might imply regularity and legality according to
municipal ordinance and the law of the land. It is the internal law of the
group that is referred to; and the attitude of a present day trades union man
towards a worker who does not belong is the kind of thing we mean. The
apprentice had, of course, to learn his trade if he was going to work at it,
and this he would learn, as he always has done, in working under the
instruction of his master. But in order to be regarded as a "right" or "true"
mason he had also to be initiated, and this was the concern of the loosely
organized institution which emerges into the light of history under the name
of the "lodge".
gild as special form of association seems to be peculiarly a Medieval
institution. We would suppose that Masons formed themselves into gilds because
every one else did, and in the feudal form of society men were obliged to do
so by an outer pressure. The gilds very largely passed away when the state of
society in which they had their origin came to an end. As the lodge may have
been much older than the gild so also it survived it, because probably it had
little or nothing to do with the practical side of the craft. If we read Bro.
Ravenscroft aright it would seem that he might almost be prepared to accept
this suggestion, or at least that he is not concerned to dispute it. But he
raises another point, and again if we rightly understand him, it is what he
regards as the essence of the Comacine theory. Here we feel we can give him
some of that definite denial for which his soul longs. Bro. Ravenscroft is
such a genial and kindly controversialist that we know he will forgive the
question is, though it is apart from our own theory, whether the Masonic gilds
were like the other craft gilds of the time, merely local associations
organized for purely local purposes and having no connection with any other
like bodies except that they all had a general likeness of form and function,
or whether they were only branches of one inclusive organization, closely knit
together and with an effective centralized government or directing body, which
was not only interested in wages, hours and conditions of working and so on,
like the other gilds, but was actively concerned in planning important
buildings and the details of style in architecture.
cannot well be gainsaid that the possibility of such an organization existed,
for one thing we suggest something of the same sort for the lodge, only
without any central head. And besides there were the monastic and military
orders, which did have chief houses and generals set over all. But these were
well known to the world at large, and were the subject of jealous observation
on the part both of the Papacy and secular rulers. They wanted to know who was
at the head of these bodies, and were particularly anxious to put their own
nominees in charge. Had there been such a centralized organization of Masons
extending all over Europe, it would have had to have been in every sense of
the word a secret one, or it would else have necessarily been the subject of
surveillance at least of the various governments, and in this case some record
would almost certainly have come down to us. It is only a negative argument,
of course, and is not conclusive, but we think that under the circumstances it
carries considerable weight.
again, if the central body was concerned with plans and architectural styles
it was in this totally unlike any trade or professional organization before or
since. The Medieval gilds, so far as can be gathered from their own records
and external references to them, were concerned with regulating the quality of
workmanship, prices, wages, number of apprentices, relations of the occupation
to the community and so on, while the teaching of the craft itself was left
entirely to the individual masters. It was indeed so far regulated that the
master was under an obligation to teach his apprentice thoroughly and to teach
him all he knew, but the teaching itself was an individual matter entirely.
hypothesis of a central or universal gild as a sort of training college or
general staff controlling all important building operations seems to us
unnecessary to explain the facts so ably collected and set forth by Bro.
Ravenscroft in his various works. That there was a continuity of style is
undoubted, the question only is how it is to be accounted for. It may be that
the advantage (or disadvantage), that by a coincidence we both possess of
having had a training in the craft or profession of engineer, which in the
modern world takes a similar place in the community that the Mason's craft did
in the Middle Ages, may lead us to see the matter in a somewhat different
light. To the trained man a casual walk through a machine shop, for example,
may be quite enough to show him all he needs to know about a new way of using
some tool, or a more advantageous method of handling a certain class of work.
In the same way the Medieval craftsman had only to visit some recently erected
building to grasp anything new in constructural methods, or in detail of
design. New types of mouldings, or ornament, experiments in proportions and so
on would be noted at once. Medieval architects used sketchbooks too, some of
them still exist, and we think that in this way the rapid diffusion of new
forms and styles are quite adequately accounted for.
may, of course, be objected that means of communication were few and bad.
Nevertheless they existed and were used. Pilgrimages were constant, it is
probable that almost every one at some time or other made one. Perhaps only to
some nearby shrine, but often enough, too, into foreign lands, and to Rome
itself. Besides that, the mason and builder was then, as he is today, a
migratory bird, and wandered far afield in the pursuit of his avocation.
Finally, and what seems to us the greatest difficulty of all, style in a
building is a question of art, and no art was ever yet produced by a
committee. Schools of art there have been, of course, but they imply no more
than the learning by pupils a technique from a master, and carrying on a
tradition with modifications resulting from individual peculiarities and
genius. For all these reasons, while we willingly admit the weight of
architectural evidence for the existence of a noble tradition, of a specific
style diffused over certain areas, we are not able to concur in the theory
that this was due to the action, conservative or constructive, of a central
and authoritative organization that drew up the designs and sent them out to
the local builders, or even of the existence of a central school or college in
which architects were trained in certain principles and to work on specific
models. If this is what Bro. Ravenscroft believes, then we must confess that
we do disagree with him.
FURTHER NOTES ON THE GILD
Bro. W. RAVENSCROFT
courtesy of the Editor of THE BUILDER I am permitted to see an advance proof
of the foregoing article and to add a word or two in reference to it. I must
not take advantage of that kindness by writing at length, but I gladly avail
myself of the opportunity of just a few words.
distinction between "lodge" and "gild" is one which perhaps I ought to have
kept more carefully in view in my article as I think it helps to clear the
point at issue.
Parentalia speaks of a "Fraternity of Architects" whose government was
regular, but who ranged from nation to nation. Dugdale calls them a "Company
of Italian Architects who traveled all over Europe and who had several Lodges
in several countries." Ashmole refers to them as Italian Architects "who were
Masons" traveling about and as existing before the time of Henry III.
this looks like a widespread organization (Gild, if you like in the broader
sense of the word) with a more or less permanent character, and lodges formed
of members of this Association, local, and perhaps temporary in character.
then that these lodges were controlled in some way by the Gild, or I would go
so far as to say Gilds, since I do not identify them with Italy alone. But I
do not for a moment claim a central Gild or authority drawing up plans,
issuing instructions and training architects; so that when I mention "some
authority", an expression which of necessity must be somewhat vague, I rather
intend to convey the idea of a consensus of opinion whereby Masons worked on
similar lines in matters of architectural style which developed and even
changed from period to period on regular and ordered lines; as for instance
the use of the pointed arch which superseded the round one. I think the
absence of a central Gild dominating everything is proved by the influences of
various schools, Byzantine, Ravenese and Comacine on each other, as well as by
the individuality of detail which marked the work even in Great Britain alone,
to say nothing of our English departure from Continental ideals.
beneath these variations there was some fundamental unity of thought and
expression common to the workers in Europe and our brethren of the British
Isles, and that if Craftsmen and Apprentices were educated in lodges, as they
may well have been, it was under accepted traditions that they were so
trained. And I am not sure whether we concede enough to the influence of the
Monastic Orders and the Episcopacy. We find the names in England, at any rate,
associated with the great works of the Middle Ages to be those of
ecclesiastics rather than the architects, and perhaps are inclined to think
this a bit of usurpation. But let us take the case of the cistercian
buildings, where we find carved ornament conspicuous by its absence although
the general character of such buildings conformed to the style of the period.
This was on account of the idea held by that severely ruled order that such
ornament was not admissible, a kind of Puritanism inculcated by that giant of
the order, St. Bernard.
this peculiarity, as contrasted let us say, with buildings erected by the
Benedictines, must have implied some control of design on the part of the
monks, and it may be that after all they were, in some cases at least, the
leading architects. If the cistercians could thus influence architectural
design why should not the other Church authorities and monastic bodies do the
same? Bros. Kress and Meekren seem to hold that a common tradition and
technique were quite sufficient to account for the difficulty we are
discussing, but I am afraid I do not feel quite satisfied as to the adequacy
of this opinion, although I cannot add what I think is still wanting.
are not far apart, and somehow each time we write we get nearer together. A
happy thing indeed if we are converging toward the truth.
Background of Masonic History in the 18th Century
PROF. E. E. BOOTHROYD, Canada
second article by Prof. Boothroyd is even more interesting than the first one
which appeared in the April number of The Builder. Masonic students are often
led to misinterpret the early historical records of the Craft owing to their
neglect of outside current events of the time. In this article the author
gives a vivid picture of a restless and disturbed transition period.
appreciation of the general aspect of the early eighteenth century supplies an
answer to the questions why Masonry should have been reorganized at that
particular time, and why that reorganization should have centered at London;
so a knowledge of the conditions of life and thought--the atmosphere of the
times-will account for the nature of that reorganization and the new direction
given to the activities of the institution. The medieval craft guild was an
organization developed in a particular state of society to supply the needs
of, and perform certain functions necessary in, that particular condition of
society. With the change from medieval to modern life those needs were no
longer or were differently felt, those functions no longer necessary or
transferred to other institutions. The raison d'etre of the craft-guild had
therefore vanished, and the institution was faced with the alternative of
itself vanishing with the conditions which had given it life, or adapting
itself to its changed environment and remodelling itself to supply needs of,
and perform functions requisite under the new regime.
outside observer, the craft-guild of the middle ages would seem to have had a
four-fold function--economic, eleemosynary, religious and social. It
determined the conditions of production, arranged for the support of the sick,
needy and bereaved within its ranks, played its part in the all pervasive
religious activity of the age by the maintenance of chantries or the care of
special portions of religious edifices, catered to the gregarious instinct of
humanity by its guild banquets and so forth, and, in that borderland where
religious and social activities intermingle and where today the Women's
Auxiliaries and Young Men's Christian Association play their parts, arranged
for the production of Miracle and Mystery Plays at the great festival of
Corpus Christi. Of most of these functions it had been deprived by the
political, economic and religious changes which transformed medieval into
modern society. The regulation of industrial conditions had been taken over by
Parliament, and the relief of the indigent devolved upon the parochial system;
the Reformation had swept away the chantries and simplified religious
ceremonial; the birth of the true drama and the consequent rise of
professional actors and permanent theatres had superseded the Miracle and
Mystery and the waggon-stage or "pageant" on which they had been performed by
the guilds. The social instinct, that craving of men to meet and associate
with their fellows, alone remained of all those medieval needs which had been
supplied by the organization of the craft-guild. This social instinct is not,
however, satisfied by the mere act of assembling together except in such
imaginary cases as the Hum-Drum Club described by Addison "made up of very
honest gentlemen, of peaceable dispositions, that used to sit together, smoke
their pipes and say nothing till midnight." There must be some definite reason
for the assemblage, some common occupation for those assembled together.
Moreover, if the institution is to become popular and acquire wide influence,
this reason and this occupation must be in harmony with the thoughts and
feelings of society as a whole. Hence the necessity, for a true understanding
of the reorganization of the Masonic Craft in the eighteenth century, of a
familiarity with the character of the age, a knowledge of the thoughts,
feelings, ideals, and longings of the time in conformity with which the
institution must have been reshaped and its activities redirected.
is only one way in which such a knowledge and understanding of eighteenth
century atmosphere can be acquired, the way pointed out by Taine in the
well-known passage, "a literary work is not a mere play of the imagination,
the isolated caprice of an excited brain, but a transcript of contemporary
manners and customs and the sign of a particular state of intellect. The
conclusion derived from this is that, through literary monuments, we can
retrace the way in which men felt and thought many centuries ago." To steep
oneself in eighteenth century literature, to saturate the mind and emotions
with the Tatler and Spectator essays, the poems of Pope and the Beggar's
Opera, with the letters of Chesterfield, the sermons of John and the hymns of
Charles Wesley, with the satires of Swift and the novels of Fielding, is the
only method of reaching a sympathetic comprehension of the state of mind and
feeling of the men who founded the Grand Lodge and remodeled the Masonic
first impression derived from contact with the writers of the period is one of
a predominant materialism. The men and women of the time seem wrapped up in
the things of this world, dead to all calls and interests of a higher nature.
Drunkenness and sensuality are rampant. Gin has recently been discovered and
the inn-keepers inform the public that one can "get drunk for a penny,
dead-drunk for two-pence;" while the story that George II's daughter remarked,
when his dapper majesty's immediate fancy appeared to be losing the royal
favour, that she hoped he would soon take another mistress, so that things
would be easier for her mother, throws a glaring light on the moral
sensibility of society. And, work of genius though it is, there is a strain of
coarseness and brutality in Tom Jones that makes the modern reader feel the
need of a moral and social wash and brush-up after the perusal of Fielding's
masterpiece. Nor does the political life of the day afford a more edifying
spectacle. Walpole has systematized the parliamentary bribery and corruption
begun in the reign of Charles II., and can say of a noisy group of Opposition
members, "Each of those men has his price;" while the ministers of the
Hanoverian sovereign are corresponding with the Pretender at st. Germains and
assuring him of their devotion to his interests, with a cynical disregard of
their oaths of office and allegiance. In religious affairs the spectacle of a
Dean of St. Patrick's basing his opposition to the abolition of Christianity
on the argument that it "might have a detrimental effect on the emoluments of
the Anglican clergy," is not suggestive of a high level of religious thought
and feeling. Such a period of materialism and coarse pleasure-seeking is,
however, what the student of history would expect at this stage in view of the
natural reactions of human character and of society. After a prolonged period
of religious and idealistic activity, of political and ecclesiastical strife,
such as that of the Reformation and the religious and constitutional struggles
of the seventeenth century, it was almost inevitable that men should relax
their moral and emotional tension and abandon themselves to the business and
pleasure of the world. This reaction had begun at the Restoration, as those
familiar with Pepys' Diary will realize as they recall the passages in which
the distinguished Admiralty official relates how, feeling something hard in an
envelope handed him by one to whom he had done an official favour, he shut his
eyes while he shook out the coins, that he might swear he saw no money in the
letter when he opened it; or how he desisted from his attempt to hold a
strange, but apparently attractive, lady's hand in church when "I did perceive
that she took a pin out of her pocket to prick me if I did persist." And the
materialistic reaction thus begun continued well into the eighteenth century.
wider and deeper acquaintance with the literature of the time will show that
this condition of materialism, sensuality and disregard of religion and honour
is not the only aspect of the age. Under the stagnant and noisome surface of
the water there is movement and life of a very different character,
germinating and developing, awaiting the time when the natural tendency to
reaction should bring it in its turn to the top, to dissipate the accumulated
scum of moral and emotional sluggishness, and stir the waters to new life and
energy. The degradation into which the reaction against the narrow Puritan
morality of the kingless decade had plunged society under Charles II. had
produced a natural revulsion of feeling. Even at the height of Caroline
license we find Pepys recording his wish that Charles would leave his
mistresses and devote himself to the business of the nation, and his disgust
at the venality and pleasure-seeking of high officials; and at the close of
the century Jeremy Collier publishes his rebuke of the grossness of the
Restoration drama in the famous "Short view of the Profaneness and Immorality
of the English stage." With the beginning of the eighteenth century we can
note the strengthening of the moral reaction in the work of nearly every
writer of importance. The satires of Swift may have been, nay, they almost
certainly were, merely the expression of the author's savage scorn of the
pettiness of human nature; but in the pages of Addison and Steele, of
Richardson and Fielding, may be traced a profound belief in the real soundness
of mankind, and a desire to promote the triumph of morality and common sense
over the evil and folly into which the Caroline reaction had led. Addison,
Steele and Richardson wrote with a purpose, and if Fielding was drawn into
novel writing merely by the desire of a robust human being to mock at the
anemic sensibility of his predecessor Richardson, it is easy to discern
beneath his superficial coarseness a sane healthy view of life and character.
The creator of Parson Adams and Amelia was no Caroline reprobate or approver
of the Rochesters and Sedleys of life.
general aspect of the early eighteenth century as revealed in its literary
record is thus of a two-fold character. On the one hand is a dominant
materialism and somewhat cynical immorality; on the other, a clearly-marked
moral and social revulsion against the evil tendencies of the age. By one or
other of these characteristics the reorganization of Masonry must surely have
been influenced. The Institution must have been regarded by those who were
remodeling its form and reshaping its activities, either as a means of
securing the cakes and ale of life, or of subserving the higher aims of man.
But the general condition of the age could only affect the general tone of the
Craft; the details of the reorganization must have been influenced by the
particular currents, tendencies and activities of the time.
these contemporary interests and activities few works of the period throw a
greater light than those daily essays which Addison, Steele and Budgell
published as the reflections of Mr. Spectator and the real or fictitious
letters of his correspondents. Dependent on their sales to meet the expenses
of publication and provide remuneration for their literary labours, the
essayists must have sought to appeal to the interests of as wide a clientele
as possible, and the immediate and extensive popularity of the paper testifies
to the success which attended their efforts. A leisurely perusal, then, of the
eight volumes into which the daily Spectator essays were finally
collected--"leisurely," for that was the character of the age--will serve as a
substitute for Mr. H. G. Wells' Time-Machine, transport the reader two
centuries back into the past, and enable him to breathe the atmosphere of the
eighteenth century; while an examination of the topics discussed and the
method in which they are handled will afford a clue to those public tastes and
interests to which the Masonic reformers must, in their sphere, have
Perhaps the first characteristic that will attract such a reader's attention
will be the social aspect of the age. It was during this epoch that "Society"
was born in England. Now "Society" is one of those nebulous words the exact
meaning of which it is not easy to realize, still less easy to express.
Included in the content of the meaning is, however, a centripetal tendency on
the part of the individual members of the community, a tendency to gather
together, especially in the leisure moments of life--which aspect of the
meaning will explain how the term "Society" comes to be applied to that
section of the community which is not under the necessity of daily toil to
secure the means of subsistence; the prominence of the fair sex in this
"Society ;" and, incidentally, why lodge meetings are generally held in the
evening, when "man resteth from his labours." Further, the idea of "Society"
implies the formulation of rules and regulations for behaviour and even for
costume at these social gatherings, and eventually on all occasions. This
course of action is the proper one, the other thing "isn't done." It is
"correct" to wear a black tie with evening dress on this occasion, a white tie
on that. In the little matter of expectoration, I have somewhere read that
Queen Elizabeth expressed her annoyance with a certain gentleman in biblical
fashion by spitting upon his richly embroidered costume (corroboration may be
afforded by a well-known passage in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice). In the
reign of Charles II. Samuel Pepys records in his diary the fact that entering
the playhouse late and sitting in a back and dark seat, a "lady" did spit upon
him over her shoulder, which action, the lady proving well-favoured, he seems
to have taken in good part and made use of as a sort of introduction. Today
Society proclaims the impropriety of the public performance of this ancient
rite in neatly printed injunctions in street cars and railway carriages. The
regulation and organization of social conduct and social activities in the
eighteenth century is humorously brought out in those Spectator essays which
deal with fashions of dress, coiffure and facial decoration, with the habit of
"staring" and the Masquerade, and the suggestion that tatting might form a
suitable occupation for idle young "men about town." This rise of "Society,"
with its regulation of costumes, behaviour and taste on this, that, and the
other occasion, was an all-pervasive condition of the time which must have
been in the thoughts and influenced the actions of the gentlemen of the Goose
Connected with this general development of society and social life, and the
organization of the leisure activities of the individual is the rise, within
society at large, of particular groupings for particular purposes, the
formation of numerous clubs on which Addison dilates in Number 9 of the
Spectator. "Man," says the essayist, "is said to be a social animal, and, as
an instance of it, we may observe, that we take all occasions and pretenses of
forming ourselves into those little nocturnal assemblies, which are commonly
known by the name of clubs." The evolution of the club at this time in London
from the gathering of men with common interests at particular taverns and
coffeehouses is one of the most interesting features of the time, and its
novelty and importance are attested, not only by its treatment in this
particular essay, and in countless contemporary references, but also by the
fact that the authors founded a fictitious "Spectator Club" to direct the
publication and discuss the topics to be treated and the method in which they
should be handled.
Originating in London, the institution spread throughout the land, a fact
which bears witness to another prominent feature of the period, the change in
the position of the capital city, and the growth of the conception of London,
not as A town, or even THE town, but as TOWN; as something distinct from other
urban aggregations not merely in size, but in character. With the development
of organic nationality the need of a brain and heart to direct national action
and pump the blood of life to all parts of the trunk and limbs of the body
national was supplied by this change in the view of London which was held by
Londoner and provincial alike, and in the relation of the city to the rest of
the country. Society needed a central seat, an arbiter elegantiaium or
dictator of form and fashion; a critic of life in all its varied activities;
and this London now supplied. What was worn in "town" was the question in the
minds and on the lips of-all; how the day was spent; what London thought of
this or that. And as one realizes this fact one appreciates how the formation
of a Grand Lodge at London--the center of the national nervous system would be
felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, and the fashions and
activities of that central body adopted and copied by gatherings in provincial
the life of this newly-realized "society" had come an interest which, as a
source of social grouping and social activity, a topic of meal-time and salon
conversation, had, perhaps, lain dormant since the decline of Athenian
democracy--the interest of politics. Political activity, the determination of
policy and the conduct of government, had not, of course, ceased from the fall
of the violet-crowned queen of the Aegean to the times of Anne and George I;
but at Rome and during the middle ages the tendency had been for government to
be left in the hands of a small number of sovereigns, nobles and officials,
and, except when conditions became intolerable, ignored by the mass of the
population as something outside their sphere and perhaps beyond their
comprehension. When Edward III asked the advice of Parliament on a matter of
foreign politics the Commons humbly begged to be excused from speaking on
"matters too great for their poor wits", and when the Lower House did presume
to offer advice on foreign policy under James I the king angrily forbade them
to "meddle with mysteries of state too high for them." With the triumph of
Parliament over the Crown and the rise of the party-system in the reign of
Charles II, a change came over the scene and politics, in the modern meaning
of the term, were born. Questions of war, peace and alliance, the actions of
foreign rulers and ministers, and matters of domestic policy became staples of
conversation. The Spectator tells of the coffee-house Solons who knew and
canvassed the minds and aims of foreign statesmen, and of ladies who showed
their party leanings by the side of the face on which they wore their patches;
while the rise of Addison himself from poverty and obscurity to the position
of Secretary of state through his ability as a party-pamphleteer bears witness
to the rise of that public opinion on matters political and the importance to
the politician of securing its favor which gave us the daily press. Here was a
condition of affairs which must have entered into the minds and calculations
of the Masonic reformers. Just when those religious differences which had
sharply divided Englishmen in the seventeenth century had been composed by the
Toleration Act, a new element of division had arisen in politics, as the
breach in the lifelong friendship of Addison and Steel over the Peerage Bill
shows. For this new interest allowance must be made. Politics must be one of
the activities of the Order, or the notice "No Admission for Politics" must be
inscribed over the entrance to the Masonic Lodge.
earlier part of the seventeenth century had been a period of emotional
activity. Men had felt strongly and deeply, as the character of contemporary
literature shows. The Caroline Age is the great lyric epoch of English
literary history, the time of Herbert and Herrick, Suckling, Lovelace and
Carew, and song is an appeal to the emotions; while even the prose of the
period assumes a semi-poetic form, appealing to the heart rather than to the
brain, as a hundred ringing phrases from Milton's prose-works in the vein of
the oft-quoted lines from the Areopagitica, "I cannot praise a fugitive and
cloistered virtue," or "There be delights, there be recreations and jolly
pastimes that will fetch the day about from sun to sun, and rock the tedious
year as in a delightful dream," will testify. Cromwell, the heroic character
of the age, was a man of deep feeling, revealed in passionate championship of
the poor and oppressed, the ever-recurring outburst in his letters to the
Speaker, "sir, this was none other than the hand of God," and the fact that
his own death was hastened at the loss of his daughter. With the reign of
Charles II the brain begins to take precedence of the heart. Men begin to
think rather than to feel. And, in spite of such outbursts of popular passion
as those which marked the Popish Plot and the Sacheverell Trial, the emotional
fires die down. The new age is characterized by great critical and speculative
activity. The founding of the Royal Society in the reign of Charles II, and
the part played therein by men who were not professed or professional savants,
by admiralty officials like Pepys and country gentlemen like Evelyn, each of
whom became its President, reveal the intellectual curiosity which was one of
the dominant notes of the time, and which is summed up in the life and work of
Sir Isaac Newton. It was at this epoch, as Professor Bury points out in his
"Idea of Progress," that the all-important conception of the onward and upward
movement of mankind was fully grasped; that men began to think of Paradise,
not as in Milton's epic as in the remote past, but in the remote future; of
the changes in human conditions as development along a line, an undulating
line, maybe, leading into valleys as well as on to heights, but not the round
and round a circle process, from Golden Age to Golden Age and then round once
more, which it had appeared to the ancient Greek. How widely and strongly this
critical and speculative interest was felt is demonstrated by the nature of
those Spectator essays which were designed as their authors stated, not for
the philosopher's closet and the schools, but to form a part of the
tea-equipage of every well-appointed table. The daily sheets of Addison and
Steele provide for the entertainment of that social hour a critical survey of
life in all its varied aspects and activities; their readers are invited to
reflect upon dress and superstition, upon the character of the Italian Opera
and its suitability to English taste, on grinning, staring, the use of
cosmetics, the construction of an epic and the character of the ballad. The
essays on True and False Wit, on Chevy Chase and Paradise Lost carry on that
English literary criticism which, in any real sense, was born in the Prefaces
of Dryden. Masons may find something suggestive in the constant description of
their writings by the essayists as "Speculations". The same phenomenon of the
critical and speculative occupation of social leisure meets us at a little
later date in the pages of Boswell's Johnson, in the constant series of
questions which elicited the sage's dicta on a hundred and one subjects from
the winter habitat of swallows to the credibility of Christian evidence.
subject-matter of contemporary literature reveals the interests and activities
of an age, so do its form and style reflect its general character and attitude
to life. Now it has been held, and in the main truly held, of the writers of
this age, that the matter of their works was subordinated to the form, that
what was said mattered less than how it was said, and that their creed was
accurately stated in Pope's well-known lines:
art is nature to advantage dressed, What oft was thought, but ne'er so well
inference is that the age of Anne and the early Georges was a formal age in
which attention was directed chiefly to externals, and the inference is borne
out by the very suggestive letters of Lord Chesterfield to his son, directing
the latter's attention to details of dress and behavior and reminding him that
his dancing-master was the most important personage in the formative period of
his life. Consideration of form and ceremonial, of the correct way of doing
things, must therefore have occupied much of the thought of the men and women
of the eighteenth century. And this was natural in view of the material and
social aspect of the age. But as in the case of the dominant materialism and
pleasure-seeking of the period allowance had to be made for a contradictory
current of moral feeling, so this view of the formalism and objectivity of
eighteenth century literature requires some qualification. In his "Beginnings
of the English Romantic Movement" Professor Phelps has drawn attention to the
existence from the earliest years of the century of a sub-current of romantic
thought and writing flowing against the main stream of classical "Augustan"
literature, and revealed in the work of such writers as Croxall, Lady
Winchelsea, Parnell, Ramsay and Thomson. Here, then, is a minor subjective and
mystic phase of life and thought, to some extent qualifying the dominant
externalism and objectivity, and perhaps revealed in even so classical an
artist as Addison in those Oriental tales and allegories which were so popular
with the readers of the Spectator.
in very brief and imperfect outline, were the character, the interests and
activities of the early eighteenth century as revealed in the literature of
the age. In such an atmosphere of materialism and sensuality tempered by the
rise of a moral feeling, of social and political life organized in clubs and
parties, of formalism and ceremonial slightly tinctured With mysticism, of
intense intellectual, critical and speculative activity, with their minds and
feelings permeated and their actions predetermined by some at least of these
interests and characteristics, the fathers of modern Freemasonry met at the
Goose and Gridiron in London, that "town" which had become the center of the
national nervous system, to inaugurate the first Grand Lodge.
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
are some people ‑ we have all met them, who seem to be perpetually mistaking,
or taking amiss, the meaning or intentions of what others say or do, or write.
As the phrase goes "they take things the wrong way." Beyond such standardized
utterances as "Dinner is ready"; "It is time to go"; or "Please remit at your
earliest convenience"; they seem ‑ to their victims ‑ to take a positively
perverse delight in hunting up some interpretation that not only had never
occurred to the speaker, but is the furthest possible from his meaning.
Naturally, in any given case, the reason is not necessarily the same. Some are
hasty, they catch at a word or two which calls up for them certain
associations and without paying attention further jump to d conclusion. Others
are superficial and never look beneath the surface, and if what is being said
goes below the surface banalities current in social intercourse they cannot
fathom it ‑ they do not try indeed, but give the utterance a surface meaning.
A certain writer was dealing once with a very profound subject, the
relationship of God to man, and he made the statement that though He was Our
Father, He was not a fond parent. The phrase disturbed a lot of good people
and they wrote letters about it, angry, caustic, critical and reproachful.
They had all jumped to the conclusion that instead of having chosen his
adjective with the greatest care to express exactly what he meant, he had
taken it at random, as presumably they would have done, and meant merely that
God was to us unsympathetic, hard, unpitying ‑ nothing was further from his
thought, as the rest of the article made perfectly clear.
other cases pre-occupation with another subject, temporary or habitual, leads
to misapprehension. Make a passing allusion to the Constitution to an ardent
prohibitionist, and a certain amendment comes to his mind. Speak of law and
its enforcement and he goes off at a tangent into the subject of bootlegging
and its prevention. Yet again the reason for misunderstanding may lie deeper
and be more obscure still, it may be rooted in the subconscious working of
personal antagonisms, of jealousy, envy or fear. And more confusing still any
and all of these and like causes may function together, mixed in any
proportion. Two people personally antagonistic cannot agree even about the
weather, anything whatever will serve as a cause for dispute.
Leaving that aside as rather hopeless, and confining ourselves to the mistakes
that can be explained and cleared away, some more examples may be given that
have recently come to our notice. There is much said today, this thought is
parenthetical, about education; we are supposed, and doubtless have, made
great advances, nevertheless it would seem as if the great ideal of what used
to be called a "liberal education" in "arts and humanities" has been lost
sight of in the mass of new special aims and methods. That ideal was simple,
so simple that no one ever formulated it; it was to enable a man to read and
understand, not one thing but anything. A mind so trained is a very great
asset to the body social even if its possessor is not an expert on something
or other and even if he would not shine in firing off answers to a newspaper
month or two ago, in a journal of considerable literary pretensions, was an
article on things in general, the author of which took the standpoint of that
cynicism which is supposed to be the very latest thing and which is as old as
the book of Ecclesiasticus, or older. He quoted and enlarged upon a very
well-known verse from Pippa Passes, to-wit:
in His heaven, all's right with the world."
introduced it with the remark that it was doubtless after partaking of a good
breakfast that Browning was moved thus to sing.
dismissing as quite irrelevant the fact that this writer may have
justification in accusing us of mistaking him in the very way that we have
been pointing out, by criticizing a non-essential remark casually made; and
merely noting, that though in most people a warm, albeit temporary, feeling of
optimism is induced by the absorption of a good meal, yet very few can do
their best work in such a state, whether writing poems or digging ditches; we
will draw attention to the fact that the point of the refrain quoted from this
poem has been quite missed. It is not Browning's song, but Pippa's. This is
important; for the tale tells how the determined will of a poor little,
half-starved, ill-paid, over-worked factory girl to be happy and to make the
best of things in spite of everything, entered into and profoundly affected
the lives of others. Browning was an optimist, but not of the after-dinner,
wine-and-walnut type. It was apparently his object to set forth the very worst
aspect of things, of men and circumstances, and the inevitable tragedies of
life, and yet leave his reader able to infer that in spite of all there was
room to believe in God, and the good and the beautiful and the true.
another periodical, devoted to the interests of a certain church, there was at
about the same time an article on missionary work in India, and the writer
quoted another, and today even better known refrain:
the East is East and the West is West
never the twain shall meet."
then proceeded to intimate that Kipling was quite and absolutely wrong, that
under the influence of the labors of the apostles of a certain denomination at
least, the East not only could but did meet the West. Kipling, of course, is
particularly liable to such misuse, for, apart from the fact that he never
explains, he writes lines and coins phrases so striking, and so "eminently
quotable", that they claim the attention and abide in the memories of the
dullest. Doubtless hundreds are familiar with these lines who never read the
poem in which they occur.
reality no writer in English since Shakespeare is so impersonal as Kipling. He
tells us nothing of himself, it is not what he says but what the people say of
whom he speaks, and they are obviously real people and could only have spoken
or acted thus, even if they never "dwelt on sea or shore", or had their being
in any time or space known to philosophers, even the followers of Einstein.
quite possible ‑ there are tricks in all trades - that in both these cases the
writers were familiar with their respective quotations but not with their
context. Had the second gone on to the succeeding lines‑
is neither East nor West
border breed or birth"‑
would have been something to give him pause, and had he considered the whole
ballad he would have seen that Kipling had merely said in his way what he was
trying to say in matter‑of‑fact prose.
may remember - it is ages ago now - the wave of wrath and indignation that ran
through Canada when the poem Our Lady of the Snows was first published, a poem
which embodied in beautiful and moving verse a very gracious compliment to the
country and its people. But the latter, at least the newspaper writers who
undertook to speak for them, flared out at the title. Canadians had then
recently become very sensitive about the climate of their country; they had
begun to feel that they were too well renowned for exceedingly low
temperatures. It had come to be regarded as very bad advertising to even
mention "winter." If Winter Comes had not then been written, but if it had the
book would doubtless have been put under ban. The words "snow" and "ice" were
to be removed entirely from Canadian editions of standard dictionaries. And
then to have their country personified under the name of Our Lady of the Snows
- it was too much. All the nice things said of them in the poem counted for
nothing, they but added to the insult.
Bible is another book that has suffered greatly in this way. Had it not there
would perhaps have been fewer warring sects calling and professing themselves
Christians. But perhaps the thing was the other way round, had there been
fewer sects there would have been less misinterpretation. For centuries people
have been wresting scripture to their own damnation probably we are misusing
the quotation here, but never mind, it will serve. Passages from the Bible
have been torn from their context, and pieced together to support dreadful
doctrines - we are not going to specify what doctrines - but most will agree
that there have been dreadful doctrines thus defended. St. Paul has been set
against St. James because one stresses faith and the other works, yet St. Paul
said also exactly what St. James did, had men only been looking to find out
what he meant and not seeking to use him as authority for their own opinions.
Needless to say, Freemasonry, too, has suffered the same way. The
misconceptions of opponents we may leave out of consideration, but those of
Masons are important. Again we have no intention of going into detail; but the
very different opinions that every thoughtful member of the Craft will have
come across will make it unnecessary. The most widely varying ideas as to the
real purpose and function of the Institution are to be found, but perhaps
should be put in a different category. But when it comes to the elementary and
fundamental duties and responsibilities laid on members and lodges it is
another matter. They should be, one would think, clear enough. Yet they seem,
like the law of Moses, to be voided of all real meaning, and a pharisaical
system of tithing mint, anise and cummin (or its modern equivalents we hasten
to add, lest we, too, be misunderstood) put in the place of the plain meaning
of the precepts of the Royal Art. Masonry suffers, as all big things do, for
its size, the wood is not seen because the trees hide it.
round about Zion," said the Psalmist, "tell the towers thereof; mark well her
bulwarks, consider her palaces." To one who approached by the Joppa gate, and
went no further, the Joppa gate would thenceforth be for him Jerusalem. Those
who would understand a thing must be prepared to go round about and enter in
and see from every point‑and even then they will probably not agree.
* * *
Oct. 1, Bro. Walter Clifford Burrell died at the Henrotin Hospital, Chicago,
following a serious operation.
Burrell's Masonic affiliations were in Iowa and New York, but he will be best
known as President of the Masonic History Company, which has for many years
published revisions of Mackey's works.
an enthusiastic supporter of the National Masonic Research Society from its
inception. He was also a member of the Correspondence Circle of Quatuor
who knew him intimately know well his keen desire for progress of Masonic
scholarship. He loved the Craft and his pleasure was in its advancement. He
took all his obligations seriously. No worthy cause found him lacking in
sympathy. His hand ever ready to aid, his tongue to speak the kindly word.
American Masonry in him has suffered a very great loss.
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.
CHICAGO TUBERCULOSIS SANATORIA MEETING
every Grand Lodge should take care of its own tuberculous Masons in its own
state and that the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association should
attempt to provide relief and hospitalization for the sick and wandering
brethren in the Southwest, is the doctrine enunciated by the Board of
Governors of the Sanatoria Association at their meeting in Chicago on Nov. 19.
the cause of Masonic tuberculosis relief is one that is of vital interest to
the leaders of the Craft was proved by the fact that there was a large
attendance at the meeting, although it was the fourth day of Masonic meetings
for some of those present. Some of them had sat through the Grand Masters'
Conference on Tuesday, two days of the Masonic Service Association meeting and
remained for the one day Sanatoria Board meeting.
Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master of New Mexico and President of the Sanatoria
Association, called the meeting to order and in his presidential address
covered the history of the movement, proof of the need for relief and some
suggestions for action, without making any definite recommendations.
Francis E. Lester, Past Grand Master of New Mexico and the Executive
Secretary, made a report of the organization and publicity work, and Alpheus
A. Keen, ,Secretary of the Association and Grand Secretary of New Mexico,
presented the financial report showing an expenditure of approximately $10,000
in more than one year of operation.
and complete discussion followed during the morning session and was continued
in the afternoon. Out of this developed the plan of action. It was determined
that the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association should continue
its campaign of education with the double purpose of informing the Craft as to
the cause, nature and prevention of tuberculosis and also to secure action by
all Grand Lodges for relief and hospitalization. Freemasons of every state
will be urged to provide funds for relief in homes, to care for sick Masons
and members of their families in existing tuberculosis sanatoria, and in some
state to build a State Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium, or to build a Masonic
hospital building in connection with the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium or some
other tuberculosis institution.
cooperation between Grand Lodges and State and local Tuberculosis Societies,
hospitals, clinics an other agencies will be urged, to secure their services
in the examination and treatment of tuberculous Masons and families, the
services of home visiting nurses and the benefit of such cooperation in every
line of anti-tuberculosis activity by the organizations and institutions which
specialize in this problem.
Examination and treatment of all members of the patients' families, especially
the children, to secure necessary care and treatment to guard against the
development of additional cases in the family, will also be urged.
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association will act as the agency to
provide home relief and hospital care for sick Masons who wander away from the
home jurisdiction seeking arrest of their disease in milder climates. The
executive officers of the Association were directed to secure all facts and
figures as to the cost of hospital construction and to present them to a later
appeal for funds for immediate relief was authorized and will be made. All
Masonic bodies and Masons will be asked to contribute to the relief of those
who stand in the Northeast Corner of the Southwest, so that they may be cared
for at once. Life saving work will be initiated with the first funds
available. All contributions for this purpose should be sent to Alpheus A.
Keen, Secretary, Grand Secretary of New Mexico at the Masonic Temple,
Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Masonic veterans, inmates of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer
Soldiers, at Danville, Ill., recently sent a contribution to the National
Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association for Masonic tubercular relief with
the message, "May the Heavenly Father bless you all."
a "widow's mite" in the sense !that it was not a large contribution, but
coming from these disabled soldiers and accompanied by such a message, it is
one of the greatest offerings yet made for the care of Masonic sick.
THE MODERN WOODMAN ORGANIZATION HAS DONE
Woodmen's Sanatorium was established in 1909 twelve miles from Colorado
Springs for the treatment of tuberculous members, and since then over 6500
cases have been cared for. In percentage of lives saved through arrest of
tuberculosis, cured cases and improvement in health of thousands of afflicted
members, this sanatorium holds and maintains the best record of any similar
institution in the world. The cost of maintaining this sanatorium is close to
$40,000 a month.
you will pardon this very tardy acknowledgment of your note of July 20, with
reference to the national movement initiated by the Grand Lodge of New Mexico,
A. F. & A. M., for the relief and hospitalization of consumptive Masons. An
extended absence in Europe and numerous engagements since my return to the
city have resulted in an accumulation of correspondence, and I regret that
your communication has not received earlier attention.
plan initiated by the Masons of New Mexico, so familiar with the urgent and
immediate need for action in behalf of their tuberculous brethren seeking the
climatic conditions of the Southwest, is one that should appeal to all
Freemasons. I heartily indorse this national movement to provide aid and
comfort to the unfortunate sufferers of this dread disease, and trust that
your campaign may meet with complete success.
(Signed) JOHN J. PERSHING.
HARD FIGHT, RESULT YET DOUBTFUL
Brother No. 109. Grand Lodge of Illinois. This brother tells his own story in
three letters. His story needs no comment. Note the dates of same:
Paso, Texas, May 16, 1922.
article in the Masonic Chronicler of Chicago, entitled 'The Grand Lodge of
Sorrow', has just come to my attention. I happen to be one of the large number
of Masons who have been initiated into this 'Lodge of Sorrow', not of my own
free will and accord. I have laid down my working tools nearly two years ago.
For the first six months I remained at home' but as it became evident that the
fight to regain my health would be a long one, it became necessary to break up
our home, sell the furniture and my good wife went to work, while I went to a
hospital in Chicago.
I remained six months, during which time I made no improvement whatever;
pneumothorax was tried, but on account of many adhesions, I could not take the
treatment. The doctor then told me I had just one more card to play, and that
was a change of climate. It was then that I was somewhat disappointed when I
learned that the great Masonic Fraternity had no sanatorium in the West or
Southwest, where the tubercular's progress is much faster and recovery more
decided to come to El Paso. My condition made it necessary for me to have a
compartment so I could remain in bed all the way. The railroad fare and these
accommodations required more money than I could afford, so my brethren of
Bohemia Lodge, No. 943, furnished me the transportation.
last card so far seems to be a winning one, as I have made considerable
improvement in the eight months that I have been here. If I continue to
improve, in another year or so, I ought to have an arrested case, and once
more be able to earn my living.
citing my case merely because I think it is not very different from the cases
of thousands of other Masons similarly afflicted. I am sure if there was a
Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium in this part of the country, that the lives of
a great many Masons could be saved, and surely a live Mason is a greater asset
to a community than a dead one.
most cases of tuberculosis in the advanced stages require from one to three
years to recover and the expenses of sanatorium treatment amount to a thousand
dollars or more a year, it is safe to say that many a brother who is not
financially able to meet this expense is prevented from taking advantage of
probably the one and only chance of saving his life. Freedom from worry and a
contented mind are essential to a complete recovery.
Masonic Sanatorium where a sick brother could stay until he was able to go out
and earn a living, would assure these to him. There is no question as to the
necessity of such a sanatorium and a start should be made towards its
establishment at the earliest possible moment. Every Mason in the country
should contribute towards its support. It might be possible to purchase one of
the many sanatoria now operating in the Southwest, and the work of saving the
lives of our brethren, who are sick and in distress, could be begun in a short
all means, let us build a Temple for our 'Grand Lodge of Sorrow' where the
degrees of Improved Health will be conferred"
Following is a report of a public health worker who visited Mr. ____ by
seems to feel that his case has been at a standstill for some time and is
afraid he has even been slipping backward since September.
finances, he says that they are at present nil, though he has spent $8,000 in
chasing the cure ‑ $200 of that being supplied by his home lodge.
was very much interested in the present movement to establish a Sanatorium in
the West. . . . You will, I am sure, receive further details from him. He has
not had a complete chest examination for a year."
Paso, Texas, Nov. 14, 1925.
write just a few lines this time to inform you that Mrs. Thrasher called on me
at your request and asked me to write you.
certainly glad that the movement started a few years ago to build a Masonic
Tuberculosis Sanatorium is still alive and gaining impetus. Since I wrote you
my letter on the Lodge of Sorrow in 1922, my condition has remained
practically the same. On the 8th of last September I had a hemorrhage from
which, it seems, I cannot fully recover, as I raise a little blood every few
days. My sputum has been clear as long as a week at a time, only to find a
little blood in my sputum the next day and so it has been since my hemorrhage.
my progress cannot be considered satisfactory it must be remembered that I was
a hopeless case to start with. A very far advanced case over five years ago,
when I had to stop working and it was very doubtful at that time whether I
would live one month. I am, however, still living, and while not able to
follow any regular occupation I have been at times fairly active. My diseased
lung has been from the start and is today, rotten, that is about the only word
that will properly describe it. It also has a large cavity near the apex.
giving serious consideration to the thoro‑coplasty operation, which probably
will be the only one thing left for me to do if I should not stop raising
blood, or it may even be worth trying if I do stop raising blood.
these five years of fighting, my financial condition is very nearly like that
of a bankrupt, but have been able to get by fairly well, when not confronted
by many bills for medical attention. Since my hemorrhage in September, have
had to have more medical attention than usual, and of course this proves a
hardship to me.
will try to write an article in the near future and probably there will be
some ideas or suggestions in it that may be helpful to you in your efforts to
make our dream become a reality. If I can help the good work along in any way,
let me know, I will gladly do whatever I can."
10, 1926, El Paso, Texas.
have started to write several times but have been so uncertain and undecided
about many things concerning my future, that I was at a loss as to what to
write, and the beginning of the letter was also its finish.
have been feeling unusually good since I wrote you last and have been taking
some exercise and am holding up well under it.
been deliberating about the operation and decided to postpone it indefinitely.
should continue to feel as well as now and improve, I may give up the idea,
but should there be another set‑back like last September then I would go ahead
"Whether this is a wise decision, I do not know, but I am not anxious to get
cut up unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
very much appreciate your offer to make arrangements with El Paso physicians
to take care of me, but I will give myself one more chance to get by without
the operation and should future developments make it necessary for me to
resort to it, I will at once communicate with you."
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
consideration of the tracing or trestle board, and its conjectural forerunner,
the square pavement, or floor prepared for making working drawings on, led us
last month rather far afield into a discussion of the technical methods of the
Operative Freemasons. Some reasons were given, and more might be found, to
make us think that the medieval Craftsman could not have had the profusion of
plans that present day builders are accustomed to because, for one reason, of
the practical difficulty of obtaining material to make them on, and that he
would not have bothered with them in any case because he did not need them.
And, further than this, a Freemason, was expected to be able to make whatever
drawings he needed for himself to carry out his own job. Some men would make
them more fully and accurately t h a n others. Some doubtless could visualize
their work without them. It would depend entirely on the type of a man's mind
and the extent of his experience. Besides this it must be remembered that
marking out the work on the rough stone is essentially the same thing as
making a full-size detail drawing. Under present day conditions the workman in
doing this merely copies the drawing made by someone else; then he was himself
the designer and artist, and was given as free a hand in the matter as his
skill warranted. No one yet had dreamed of a state of affairs where
specialization should produce men capable of doing only one thing or the
the simplest way of reproducing a drawing or a plan is by measured offsets
from a center line. To use a base line as well makes for greater convenience
and accuracy. This is the general method employed by all draughtsmen. Where
however the design is complex and irregular, such as figure groups,
landscapes, maps and so on, the method of squares is more convenient.
Essentially it is the same thing in principle, the whole area being measured
out beforehand. In theory any set of crossing lines would serve-straight,
curved or crooked--and it would make no difference however irregularly they
were spaced; but for obvious practical reasons straight parallel lines at
equal intervals, intersecting at right angles, are most convenient in every
way, as we saw in the discussion of the diamond and equilateral triangle as
the base of measurement and design. That this convenience and practicability
is a real one, and does not depend on being a convention to which modern
draughtsmen are accustomed (as, for example, the system of coinage used in
England, which only use and wont could make endurable) is proved by the fact
of its universality. It is not only employed by draughtsmen, engineers and
architects today, but it was used by ancient Egyptian artists and painters.
Bro. C. Purdon Clarke is authority for its use by Persian builders in a very
important paper on the subject read before Quatuor Coronati Lodge in the early
days of its existence, and he also reproduced architectural sketches drawn on
squared paper in 1541, and some plates from the 1621 edition of the vitruvius
showing this method exemplified for drawing the human figure and for setting
out a capital of the Ionic order.
Persian technique, which is presumably still in use, is very interesting from
our point of view. The drawings having been made on squared paper are
reproduced full size on a specially prepared floor made of plaster of Paris
carefully leveled. The point is not specifically mentioned, but the modus
operandi of the technique would seem naturally to call for the marking out of
this floor into squares corresponding to those on the paper.
MEDIEVAL WORKING DRAWINGS
now consider what the requirements of the medieval Freemason would have been.
Sketches, done more or less by freehand, would have been made by the Master
called in by those who were having the building erected--the "lords" spoken of
in the Old Charges--and agreed upon between them. There is no need to suppose
they were drawn strictly to scale, the trained hand and eye of the artist
needs only the barest minimum of measurement, and the Master Masons of Gothic
work must have been as much artists as craftsmen. The chief measurements of
the building may have been recorded in a memorandum or contract similar to the
one quoted last month. Taking a church as the most typical structure, after
the chief dimensions of length, width and height had been determined, there
would be the question of the number of bays there were to be in chancel and
nave, whether there were to be towers, transepts, chapels and so on; and the
contract already quoted shows how other buildings might be referred to as
models in place of precise descriptions or drawings. In a large building,
where (as was done most frequently) part was to be completed first, it is
probable a plan would be drawn, but it would be more of the nature of a
dimensioned diagram or sketch, than a drawing done accurately to scale. Every
bay in the structure was a complete unit in itself, structurally speaking, the
chevet, or head, at the east end, whether apsidal or square (as was most usual
in England) would need to be drawn more fully, as also the west end with the
facade and main entrances, and the ends of the transepts if there were any.
But all these parts and their arrangement were as well known to all the masons
as the parts of an old frame building were to the pioneer carpenters who put
them up. The difference between one church and another was in its proportions.
The relation of height to breadth and length, the size of the windows, of the
lower arches to those of the triforium and clerestory, and so on. In these
there was room for infinite variety, but the essential skeleton was always the
same, that is, for the same type of church. A small parish church with a
timber roof would not have the flying buttresses that were necessary to
maintain the soaring vaults of a cathedral; yet even here the flying buttress
was only an elaboration of the simpler solid form used in the smaller
Certain details, however, would need some elaboration in design as, for
example, the mouldings, one of the distinguishing characteristics of the
Gothic style of building. Let us suppose that an arch was to be constructed;
it does not matter whether for door or window or for one of the bays, all were
designed on the same principles. Today it would be very carefully drawn to
scale, then some junior draughtsman in the architect's office would make large
size detail drawings for the different parts, and from blue prints of these
the stone cutters would work. All this needs a very high degree of accuracy in
the drawing because the workman follows it blindly, he has no say in the
design and no discretion. The medieval craftsman on the other hand was told
there was to be an arch, and how high and wide it was to be, and duly
instructed to "go to it," in whatever was the slang of the day.
CHARACTER OF GOTHIC ARCHES
and Romanesque arches were semicircular, those of the Gothic style were
formed, as is well known, on the intersecting arcs of two circles. A great
practical advantage of the circle over any other curve is that every radius is
normal to the circumference, and the angle that the joint must make with the
curve of the arch is easily found by drawing any line from the center to the
circumference. In Fig. 1 is shown a diagram of a typical Gothic arch with a
simple moulding of two "orders." It will be seen that it really consists of
two separate arches, the outer one deeper than the inner. It was usual to cut
each prominent member of the moulding on a separate range of stones, so that
an elaborate doorway might consist of three or four "shells" built one outside
the other. In the Norman arch these stones were often Cut square. An example
is to be found in THE BUILDER for August last year [page 231, No. 6. In No. 5
the upper part of a moulded Gothic arch is shown]. A first step toward
elaboration was to cut off the corners, thus making a chamber, such as is
shown in the two small windows of the north transept of St. Etienne at
Beauvais, reproduced in the Study Club article last December, page 378. A
later and more elaborate form of decoration is to be seen at page 366, but
from the section shown at the right it can be seen that the square outline of
the stones was retained, the ornamentation being chiefly on the face. The
Gothic form was evolved quite naturally, out of its forerunner, and needed
very little change in methods of working, but the effect produced was changed
entirely from the step-like form of the earlier style to a splayed form giving
the general appearance of sloping outward, though basically it was worked out
of the square step form, the design requiring the minimum amount of stone to
be cut away, as may be seen by reference to the sections in Fig. 1. Another
economy in stone was the indifference to the size of the voussoirs, which were
long or short as the blocks happened to come, there being no attempt to make
them equal, or to use the joints as ornaments as was done in Renaissance work.
The effect was all gained by the rounds and hollows of the moulding.
will be seen also that the voussoirs were interchangeable; it made no
difference how they came so long as together they filled up the space between
the spring of the arch at a and the keystone at d, as shown in the figure. It
will be noticed also that the centers, marked C, fall within the arch. If the
arch were truly equilateral they would be at the intersections of the arcs
with the base line. In lancets they fall outside, producing a very acute form.
Whatever type it was, the width and the height would be determined by the
general design. When it came to laying them out, the centers could be found by
a simple geometrical construction. It would make no difference whether working
from inside or outside measurements. The height being set out on the line h d,
perpendicular to the base a b, and with a and d as centers two intersecting
arcs are drawn, shown in dotted lines, and the straight line joining the
intersections will cut the base line at the required point. It is very
probable though that in many cases the centers were found by simple guess and
trial, which with a little practice can be very easily done quite accurately
from what has been said it can be seen that all that is necessary to work the
stones (aside from the moulding) is to get the proper curve and the correct
angles, the length of the stone being indifferent.
would be worked first of all for the two faces, which would have to be
parallel. Then, if a templet were used, the curve and the line of the joint at
each end could be easily marked off. Such a templet is to be found among the
Masonic emblems in the window from Chartres Cathedral, a drawing of which was
given in THE BUILDER last January, and which, for convenience, is reproduced
here [Fig. 2]. There would have to be one for each order or range of stones in
the arch; and in order to make them full sized arcs would have to be drawn on
the floor long enough to get the curve. A reference to Fig. 4 will make it
clear. The stock, or butt, of the implement is straight and coincides with the
radius of the circle, the other limb is shaped to fit the curve. The tool thus
made would be used exactly like a square, both for marking out and testing the
angles of the joints. The dotted lines give other radii of the circle to show
the constancy of the angle.
order to make it, only short arcs would need to be drawn, but in order to get
the length of the curves, the arch, or at least one side of it, would have to
be drawn in full. The length of course could be calculated, but it is doubtful
if there were any mathematicians in the Middle Ages able to do so; it is quite
certain in any case that the simplest and most direct way is the graphic
method of drawing the full arc and taking measurements from it.
we are on the subject of implements it may be remarked incidentally that the
squares, like the levels and plumb rules used by the medieval craftsmen, were
undoubtedly made of wood. There is a widespread theory among Freemasons, in
America at least, that there is a difference between the mason's and the
carpenter's squares. The former is supposed to have limbs of equal length, the
latter to be unequal and to be graduated in inches and fractions of inches.
The currency of this hypothesis appears to be chiefly due to the authority of
Mackey, who, in his Encyclopedia, says under this head:
French Masons have almost universally given it [the Square] one leg longer
than the other, thus making it a carpenter's square. The American Masons,
following the incorrect delineations of Jeremy L. Cross, have, while generally
preserving the equality of length in the legs, unnecessarily marked its
surface with inches, thus making it an instrument for measuring length and
breadth, which it is not. It is simply the trying: square of a stone-mason.
not know if this opinion was original with Mackey or not; it is quite likely
it was not, but the facts do not agree with it at all. At the present time
joiners use a try-square, with a steel blade and a wooden stock. Carpenters
use a steel square, graduated, the long arm being two feet long, the shorter
twelve inches. Precisely the same square is used by stonecutters and other
workmen, blacksmiths for instance. It is peculiarly an American tool. In
Europe the old home-made wooden squares are still in use both by carpenters
and masons, and are exactly like those we find in medieval representations, a
number of examples of which have appeared in THE BUILDER, as at pages 229 and
230 last year, and page 24 in the present volume. These are merely samples, in
fact we do not recall any old representation of mason's tools in which the
limbs of the square are shown of equal length. In many cases the stock is very
short in comparison to the length of the blade. There is a good reason for
this in a wooden implement. The shorter the stock the less strain there is on
the joint, and the less likely is it to be knocked out of truth by an unlucky
fall or accidental blow. The French masons therefore have adhered faithfully
to the original tradition in this. But so also did the English, throughout the
eighteenth century at least. The squares shown at pages 312 and 313 last month
are examples of many that might easily be found. Probably the real reason for
making the square equal limbed in Masonic designs and jewels was merely a
desire for symmetry. The actual shape of the working tool would not balance
well as a collar jewel, nor does it combine so well with the compasses. It is
another case of an imaginary technicality, which has not even the excuse of
having some special symbolism attached to it.
reference is given in Gould's Concise History, p. 226 it is given also in the
What may be intended for a template for mouldings more on the principle of a T
square, is to be found in the curious engraving from a 1547 edition of
vitruvius reproduced in THE BUILDER for December, 1924, page 384. It is on the
left immediately above a common square and just under a narrow bladed saw. But
the curves shown are not those of Gothic mouldings, which however would hardly
be expected in the sixteenth century.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
Under what conditions did the round arch develop into -the pointed form? Was
it borrowed from the Saracens or developed independently ?
Could any symbolic teaching be drawn from carvings and mouldings either in
contrast, or additional to that of square work ?
Could any significance be attached to the form of the mason's square ?
WOMEN ARE INTERESTED
are quick to realize that hospitalization of consumptive Masons will safeguard
wives and children from infection and may save Masonic fathers to resume the
task of family support. They want to help save Masonic homes from ship-wreck.
Most Worthy Grand Matron of the General Grand Chapter of the Order of the
Eastern Star, Mrs. Clara Henrich, of Newport, Ky., is ready to lend the
services of her organization to the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Association. She writes:
will be only too glad to add a leaflet in my many letters and commend you for
your wonderful work."
Minnie Evans Keyes, Grand Secretary, writes:
think of no greater plan to promote than the one you are seeking to put
through in the hospitalization of the Master Masons who seek the healing
qualities of your climate."
Most Worthy Grand Matron has written the Grand Matrons of every state, urging
their co-operation with the Grand Masters in every way they may be permitted
to serve in this movement. As a further evidence of her interest and desire to
help, the Most Worthy Grand Matron has accepted a place on the National Board
of Governors of the Sanatoria Association.
SOON CAN I BE GIVEN TREATMENT?"
suffering from tuberculosis are beginning to ask when they can be cared for in
the Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium which has been the subject of discussion
for over four years. Many have died while Masonic bodies talked about doing
something. Many more will doubtless die before something is actually done. One
of them writes:
have just learned that there may be some chance of my receiving treatment ‑ I
have just recently had a set-back, having a light hemorrhage and feel that it
is absolutely necessary to enter some institution as soon as possible. I am no
longer able financially to take care of myself, having been sick for quite a
while, and the members of my lodge have been very nice to me. They took care
of me in a convalescent home here in El Paso for two months, March and April.
During that time I made such good improvement I tried to go back to work, but
had to go back East to find work. Went back and rested a month and started to
work and only worked ten days and started a hemorrhage. The doctor there
advised me to return at once to this country and go into a hospital as soon as
possible. I must do something. I am running very short of funds and realize
that I must save as much time as possible. How soon can I be given
consideration, or treatment, should my lodge sanction or recommend same?"
LIFE OF HENRY HOWARD MOLYNEUX HERBERT, FOURTH EARL OF CARNARVON, 1831-1890. By
the Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Hardinge. Edited by Elizabeth, Countess of Carnarvon.
Published by the Oxford Press. May be purchased through the Book Department of
the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo.
Three vols., cloth, illustrated, maps, tables of contents, index. 391, 400 and
383 pages. Price, postpaid, $21.75.
INTERESTING to the general reader from the character of the statesman whose
career it records and the importance of the movements and events with which it
deals, Sir Arthur Hardinge's Life of the Fourth Earl of Carnarvon should have
a special appeal to the Mason. "Freemasonry," as the biographer reminds us,
"attracted Lord Carnarvon - its ancient rites, its mystical significance, its
world-wide activities and brotherhood appealed to him, and the condition in
which he actually found Grand Lodge, its want of life and liberty, spurred him
to a vehement effort at reform." Freemasons the world over will naturally be
interested in the man who secured "the supremacy of Grand Lodge as against the
crippling decisions of the Grand Master and the Dais or Board," in England;
who did much to foster the development of Masonry in the Overseas Dominions of
the British Empire; and who, as Pro-Grand Master, was called upon to deal with
the critical situations arising from the elimination from its principles of
belief in God and the immortality of the soul by the Grand Orient of France in
1877 and the condemnation of Freemasonry by the encyclical of Leo XIII in
from a family of which Isaak Walton had written in the 17th century that it
was "blessed with men of remarkable wisdom, and a willingness to serve their
country, and indeed to do good to all mankind," Lord Carnarvon was naturally
led to enter political life and devote himself to the public service; and the
times in which he lived afforded a wonderful field for the exercise of his
natural talents and the display of the family characteristics. There is a
tendency to regard the latter half of the 19th century as a somewhat drab and
uninteresting page in the record of history; but the period which witnessed
the consolidation of the United States by the War of North and South, the
creation of the Kingdom of Italy and the German Empire, the completion of
English democracy, the rise to nationhood of the Overseas Dominions of the
British Empire, and the spread of Occidental ideas and interests over the
surface of the globe, was undoubtedly one of the most striking and important
epochs in human development. In all these movements Lord Carnarvon was keenly
interested, and in many of them he played an important, often a determinative,
part. Sir Arthur Hardinge leads us behind the scenes and enables us to
appreciate the springs of action, to gather the impression made by leading
personalities on one of the foremost actors in the drama, and feel the actual
movement of the times.
real charm of the book lies, however, in the gradual unfolding, as his
life-story is told, of the character of its hero. Sir Arthur wisely refrains
from attempting any set character sketch, and allows us to form our own
picture of the man from the record of his interests and activities. This is
the way in which we form our impressions of the men and women we meet in
actual life, and with whom we proceed from mere acquaintance to real
appreciation, intimacy, and friendship; and its employment by the biographer
transforms his subject from a figure painted on canvas to a living, breathing
man, and enables us to grasp the nobility and charm of his personality in a
way we should never do from a string of adjectival platitudes. The wide range
of Lord Carnarvon's interests, from the price of sheep to the confederation of
Canada and from the translation of Homer to the humanitarian regulation of
vivisection, the courtesy and tact which made such a deep impression alike on
colonial statesmen and Irish Home-Rulers, his devotion to duty and sturdy
independence of thought and action, combined with his high standard of
personal and political honor to form a singularly complete and well-rounded
character. Indeed, as we read steadily through the three blue-clad volumes, we
feel in contact with an almost superhuman perfection, and look for the glitter
of a halo around the noble earl's head, or begin to suspect that Sir Arthur
has fallen a victim to that lues Boswelliana described in Macaulay's Essay on
Chatham. But the last chapter, devoted to social life, in which we see Lord
Carnarvon throwing off the cares of office and delighting in a well-planned
and executed practical joke, restores the human touch, and completes the charm
of the character.
Freemasonry should have appealed so strongly to a man of this stamp, and that
he should have been led to devote so much of the scanty leisure of an
extraordinarily busy life to Masonic activities and the furtherance of Masonic
interests, is another, if unnecessary, testimonial to the appeal of the
* * *
AND CREDITS. By Rudyard Kipling. Published by Doubleday Page & Co. May be
purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research
Society, 1950 Railway Exchange Bldg., St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, table of cotents,
354 pages. Price, postpaid, $2.15.
be confessed that the reviewer came to this latest volume of Bro. Kipling's
with something like apprehension. He had seen sundry rather unfavorable
notices here and there, both out of and within the circle of the Craft, and
all seemed to complain of a lamentable falling away and loss of power. One
critic excuses it definitely on the ground that he is growing old, while
others seem to have this idea at the back of their minds. Frankly, on reading
the book itself-some of the stories are already well known - there was a
feeling of wonder bow these writers came to their conclusions. Age as a rule,
an almost universal rule, makes no difference in literary work. An old man
sees things differently from a younger man, some things seem smaller to him,
others greater - the surface becomes less important. But Kipling, as writers
go, is not old.
is only one story that we would be inclined to judge as not being quite so
good, and that suffers from the excellencies that have gone before. The United
Idolaters, which tells us more of Stalky and the "egregious Beetle." It seems
as if this, and possibly The Propagation of Knowledge, suffer from a didactic
aim. This however is only impression as the stories are too skillfully told to
let one be sure, and on second reading one is even less so than at first.
of the stories are more or less connected with the war; some immediately, as
the Sea Constables and The Janeites, others less directly. That this should be
so was only to be expected, and not really in any way to be regretted. It
would have been unnatural had they not been, written as most of them were
either during or soon after. Those who are still war-sick will not like them,
but a subjective feeling of that kind does not affect their merit. It was very
long ago that the writer came to the conclusion that there was no learning to
like Kipling's work, as is possible with other writers who in the first place
repel. One either likes him - or dislikes him at the first introduction and
usually very decidedly. Unfortunately many have pretended they like him, or at
least are interested, when they are in the other class; and many judge him on
very slight acquaintance. Above all things, to read him one must not fear in
any way the naked facts of life, those which convention hides so carefully
that many people hate to acknowledge their existence.
volume has little concerning America, and that little will doubtless be deemed
too much by American readers. The Vine-yard has been published and criticised
in the newspapers and enough said about it to make it unnecessary to say more
here. The English language is the inheritance of the United States, and it
seems as if, quite naturally (though of course illogically), everyone who
writes English should write from the American standpoint; is a sort of traitor
and renegade if 'he does not. Had he been a Frenchman or a Spaniard no one in
this country would expect him to look at things otherwise than from his own
national standpoint, it would be allowed for. But being an Englishman he sees
things as an Englishman; and as he himself said years ago, it is in some ways
harder for the people of the two countries to understand each other precisely
because, speaking a common language, they expect too much of each other. And
the poem We and They puts the matter into a nutshell, even where the
differences are not so great as those enumerated. As the last stanza says:
good people agree,
all good people say,
nice people, like Us, are We
everyone else is They:
you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way
may end by (think of it!) looking on We
only a sort of They.
more or less disposed of this we may pass on. The wonderful story, In the
Interests of the Brethren, is included. It is a wartime story, but has little
to do with the war and a good deal with Masonry. We understand that official
opinion in England would have been decidedly against any such extension of
lodge activities as is there suggested, though to the ignorance of the
unofficial mind it is not easy to see any real objection. Three other stories
are connected with this dream lodge, Faith and Works, No. 5837, but only as
affording a jumping-off place for them. One, The Janeites, which is about the
war, tells us of a new and wonderful secret society that will be
incomprehensible to the uninitiated, those who know not Jane. To those who do
nothing more need be said, there is only one Jane, and they will not wonder
why the Sister in charge said she was going to get Humberstall on the hospital
train, even if she had to kill a Brigadier to make room for him.
"Banquet Night" is a purely Masonic Poem; it is a poem and it is Masonic, a
combination which, judging by its extreme scarcity, is a most difficult
accomplishment. In this we can only say that the hand of the master has lost
none of its cunning. We quote the first and last stanzas:
in so often," King Solomon said,
Watching his quarrymen drill the stone,
will club our garlic and wine and bread,
banquet together beneath my Throne.
all the Brethren shall come to that mess
Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less.
was ordered, and so it was done,
the hewers of wood and the Masons of Mark,
foc'sle hands of the Sidon run
Navy Lords from the Royal Ark,
and sat down and were merry at mess
Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less.
Quarries are hotter than Hiram's forge,
is safe from the dog-whips' reach.
mostly snowing up Lebanon gorge,
it's always blowing off Joppa beach;
once in so often, the messenger brings
Solomon's mandate: "Forget these things!
Brother to Beggars and Fellow to Kings,
Companion of Princes-forget these things!
Fellow-Craftsman, forget these things!"
volume could easily be collected of the stories and poems from Kipling's
different works that have a Masonic connection. In fact it might be difficult
to know what to leave out, for hidden allusions are to be found in many
places, some where they seem to have almost entirely escaped notice.
marked feature of Kipling's art, due doubtless to his type of mind, is his
power of vividly personifying things, and a man who can make a ship or an
engine an individuality can make animals alive. The Bull That Thought is every
bit as good as the Maltese Cat and Rikki Tikki, and for those who know the
latter no more need be said. In The Eye of Allah the past has been brought to
light even as it was in Puck of Pook's Hill,. though the tale is not so
pleasant. But many of his stories have been unpleasant, some there are that
one would not read a second time-willingly, The Children of the Zodiac for
one, the Head' of the District for another-to each his own perhaps. There is.
nothing quite like that in these last tales, it would seem as if they were
inspired with a deeper insight, a larger hope, a realization that if the world
passes and the glory thereof it does not matter so much. Look well to the end.
The end of the last tale is a wonderful thing, though one critic at least
seems to have missed the point of what went before.
Helen left the cemetery she turned for a last look. In the distance she saw
the man bending over his young plants; and she went away, supposing him to be
* * *
MAN NOBODY KNOWS. By Bruce Barton. Published by the Bobbs-Merrill Co.,
Indianapolis. Cloth, table of contents, 220 pages. Price, postpaid, $2.65.
BOOK NOBODY KNOWS. By Bruce Barton. Published by the Bobbs-Merrill Co.,
Indianapolis. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National
Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Cloth. table
of contents. Price, postpaid, $2.65.
call an author popular in this day of commercial literature and best sellers
seems to imply a certain depreciation of his effort. It is unfortunate, but
when art becomes art for money's sake, and success is judged solely upon the
basis of copies sold, it is no wonder that an author of real merit dislikes to
be termed popular. The true meaning of the term should carry with it, nothing
more than a distinction between words intended for the scholar and those for
the general reader. It is with some hesitation that the term is applied to
Bruce Barton. His literary output is not of the prolific type which
characterizes the money-maker writer. The reviewer must plead ignorance of
Barton's work in general, in fact it must be admitted that he has read no more
than some of the current magazine interviews which have added so much to his
position in the literary field. But on the basis of this and the two books
herein reviewed it can be said that Barton does not belong to the class to
which the term popular would be applied in a depreciatory sense. That he is
popular cannot be denied, his work has a widespread appeal, though it
possesses literary merit which lifts him above, the average author in the best
reviewing books of the type of The Man Nobody Knows and The Book Nobody Knows,
it is very difficult to avoid entering into the field of religious
controversy. Either the reader approves, in which case he allies himself with
the so-called Modernists, or he must disapprove and join the Fundamentalists.
In either case he at once places himself in a position exposed to the missiles
of the opposing faction. It is only by ignoring one group that one can hope to
accomplish anything. And at this point it may as well be said that those who
tend to traditional views had better refrain from reading either of these
books unless they are willing to have their orthodoxy severely criticised. So
far as the reviewer is concerned he does not wish to enter into any
controversy on religion, and his opinions of the author's treatment are
advanced merely as his opinions and in no wise as a statement of his religious
tendencies. Such a warning, it seems, should not be necessary, but experience
has taught that an inadvertent statement often rouses the ire of those on the
other side of the question.
this brief preamble let us view Jesus of Nazareth as Bruce Barton presents
him, perhaps it would be better to say, as the reviewer sees him through
Barton's pages. It is an original and stimulating picture that has been given
us. Barton's Jesus is not the inaccessible character hedged in by the terrors
of divinity, and so far beyond the average man 'chat by no effort can he hope
to approach his level, but rather an intensely human and lovable personality,
who, if he lived in the world today, would find his name on the calling list
of each of us. If we needed him we might even call on him to complete our
Sunday morning foursome. It would not be more shocking than his eating on fast
days was to the Pharisees, or defending his disciples in plucking corn on the
is rather a different picture from that many of us received from kindly old
ladies who were constantly looking for spectacles and telling us that we must
love Jesus, all the while they were putting him in such a disagreeable light
that we had no desire to know anything about him. Sunday was his day, and a
deadly dull one. If rough and tumble games were indulged in, we belonged to
the race of lost souls; Jesus wouldn't love us and we were headed for
perdition by the most direct route. What healthy youngster could possibly like
or be interested in such a person? No wonder our ideas of religion were of
something to be avoided rather than to be sought. This is not Barton's Jesus,
and it is not the Jesus that religion today is trying to recover. Surely the
God of us all, the Father of the human race, was not such a stickler for "piosity"
that his children could not enjoy themselves in harmless pastimes, even on
Sunday. It is said that God himself felt the need of rest, hence the
consecration of the seventh day of the week. If our rest is made better by the
enjoyment of life, then 'chat must be the way in which he intended us to make
use of it. Certainly the God, whom Christ called his and our Father, had no
intention of making a painful duty of our respect and worship of Him. Yet too
often religion amounts to more than this. The old picture of Christ is, to a
large extent, responsible for this attitude. No human being, man, woman or
child, has any use for such an effeminate un-human figure as many religious
teachers have made of Christ. If the idea can once be conveyed to the. people
in general that Jesus was an intensely interesting character, thoroughly human
whatever more he might be; if from the pulpits of our churches such a
character as The Man Nobody Knows were to be set forth, and if our laymen
would read the Bible as they read a historical novel, a tale of adventure, or
a story of success, then there would be created a solid background against
which to set the ethical teachings of the Carpenter of Nazareth.
just such a foundation as this that Barton gives us. This is no kindergarten
story, but a tale written for the man who has never received a really human
conception of the Founder of Christianity. It does more than make religion a
beautiful theory, it makes Christianity an intensely interesting practice, and
pictures Christ as a good, all-around fellow, successful, sociable, a lover of
the innocent pleasures of life; the kind of a man you want for a friend.
Everyone is interested in reading about the success of others. The adventures
of the poor boy who arose to a position of prominence in the affairs of the
world will always find readers. But these ordinary successes often leave
nothing behind them. In the life of Jesus we have one of the most thrilling of
successes, one which death saw only in its beginning. We see a great executive
starting out as a poor lad, spending his early years in a carpenter shop in a
small village of Galilee. At his death we see a small organization of eleven
men who had been picked from lowly stations in life and who came to be the
leaders in an organization embracing half a billion people. Surely no modern
enterprise can boast of such a record. This man should be invited to every
business conference. True it is that great undertakings have been launched
without his aid, but modern business is being built more and more along the
lines of his organization. Service is coming to be the keynote of commerce as
it was of Christ's teachings.
is the work-a-day feature of Christianity; but we all like to play. There is
no more popular place for recreation than the great out-of-doors. Jesus,
according to the old idea of him had no place therein; he was a weakling, a
fine companion such a man would make on a camping trip! But he could teach you
some things about the camping life that you don't know. There is little said
about such things in the Gospel, but can one imagine a man who for three years
tramped over the territory surrounding Jerusalem knowing nothing about outdoor
life? I was nothing unusual for him to spend the night under the stars. He
must have been tanned like the old-time cowboy and had muscles like iron. This
man was -no weakling.
there are seasons of the year in most countries where out-of-door activities
are reduced to a minimum, and indoor social gatherings are the order of the
day. Who would invite his childhood Jesus to such a function? Yet the man was
invited to attend a bridal party, and when the wine ran out, instead of
letting the people go home dissatisfied, he changed the water to wine, the
first of his miracles. Doubt the miracle if you like, it is sufficient for our
purpose that he was invited to the hilarious wedding party, and Oriental
weddings are very hilarious, and instead of putting a damper on the amusement,
he helped it along. There was hardly a house in which he was not a welcome
guest. He numbered among his friends not only those of high social standing,
but the publicans and sinners as well. He must have loved companionship, and
if invited to a modern social function doubtless he would be the "life of the
Following Barton from The Man Nobody Knows to The Book Nobody Knows is a
natural transition. The nature of the author's treatment of the Bible as a
whole is not essentially different from that of the period of Jesus.
Bible is actually the world's best seller. The demand is continuous and an
enormous number of copies are sold each year. Even so, there are very many
people who really know little or nothing of what it contains. As an
illustration, Barton cites the following illuminating incident:
long ago I met a man who wanted to know which of the Old Testament books
contained the verse: "Thus saith the Lord, Every tub shall stand upon its own
see the Bible as Barton tries to make us to see it, as containing an outline
of history, a collection of wisdom, literature and numerous biographies, all
of which are as interesting and as readable as any modern work. Some portions
are, of course, dull enough, but they are of little value, and one can skip
them without losing much.
is nothing unusual in a man's reading a history of Europe or America, and no
one thinks him foolish for so doing. Why should the attitude be different
because he chooses to read a history of the Jews? Were it Klausner's History
of Israel, no one would comment, but because it happens that one interested in
the Jews chooses to read the historical book of the Bible there is an
inclination among many men to believe him either a religious fanatic, or else
that something is amiss in his general makeup.
you are not interested in history. Philosophy may be more to your liking. In
this event, you can find much to entertain in Proverbs, Psalms and the
Prophets. This material is not the hashed over conclusions of pseudo-scholars,
but the source material upon which you can form your own conclusions
unhampered by the fetters of scientific minds. A philosophy of life can be
gleamed from its pages, and it will either be a philosophy based entirely on
what you find therein, or one modified according to your own interpretations.
In either case you are ahead of the game for the reading.
like biographies of great men, and possibly you may prefer such reading to all
others. There is no better place to find it than between the covers of The
Book Nobody Knows. The life of Christ, Solomon, David, Noah, Adam, the
prophets and countless others-a great mass of material for your entertainment,
and he who reads may learn.
QUESTION BOX and CORRESPONDENCE
YOUNG MAN WITH GREAT POSSESSIONS
May issue, page 149, you say, "the young man who came by night to Jesus did
not like the advice to sell all he had and give to the poor; neither did he
understand how he could be born again."
is decidedly interesting to me.
sell all that I have and give it to the poor in order to be "born again"? I
have heard that phrase before: is that what it means? I wish that you would
write me fully as to what being "born again" means and what it involves. Since
we are told that we are ALL the children of God, where is there any need for
being born again, and besides, how can a man be born again when he is old?
young man, who had read and traveled extensively, told me that Adam had two
sons, and these two sons represented two great religious truths. The oldest
son was called Cain (or Cane) and he was (religiously) the father of
Freemasonry because he was the first city-builder, and moreover of his seed
there came the Masonic Jubal and Tubal-cain as mentioned in the lodge
lectures. Moreover, this young man said that this Cain's brother represented
the great religious truth of the Christians and that only by a blood sacrifice
which he brought could a person become a Christian and that therefore the
Freemasons are not advocates of that great religious truth.
you please advise as to the reliability of this man's information? Where can I
find the matter in detail from some one of our reliable scholars? I am very
much interested in the “mysteries."
have asked you enough to cause you to write a book, I will close for the
present, thanking you for the courtesy of a reply to my many tedious
respect we fully agree with our correspondent, to fully discuss the questions
he raises would make a book.
take the last first; a reference to the Bible (Gen. IV, 25) will show that
Adam is said to have had three sons, and the geneological line in which the
chief interest centers is the third one, Seth. He was the ancestor of Noah. At
its face value we would have to conclude from the narrative that all the
descendants of Cain perished in the deluge. It is possible that the informant
of whom our correspondent speaks had some acquaintance with the "Legend of the
Craft" as related in the old charges in which the three children of the
earlier Lamech are mentioned, and that he combined this with the old
allegorical interpretation of Abel as a “type" of Christ, just as the flood
and the Ark, and the passage of the Red Sea were taken as types of baptism.
But that such ideas as this had anything to do with the relationship of
Freemasonry to religion is not borne out by the facts. It comes into the light
of history as a distinctly Christian institution. It remains a Christian
institution in Northern Europe. It has in different countries moved a greater
or less distance along the path of removing all qualifications based on
religious doctrine. [There is much information on this subject in the Meaning
of Masonry by Wilmshurst, The Men's House by Newton, Great Teachings of
Masonry by Haywood, Speculative Masonry by MacBride, and Builders of Man by
regard to the first question, it may be better to refer to the passages
alluded to, they were not quoted. The first three gospels tell us of a man who
had great possessions, Luke tells us he was a ruler, and asked the Lord what
he had to do to be saved; he claimed to have kept all the commandments from
his youth up, and so, he was told to sell all he had and give it to the poor.
It has generally been supposed that this was the same Nicodemus who, according
to John, came and was told that be must be born again to enter the Kingdom of
Heaven. It would seem therefore that giving away all one has and being born
again are not contingent on each other necessarily. Nicodemus seems to have
understood the phrase literally, but it is obvious that what Jesus meant was
an initiation (in the general sense) into a new life, and in the early church
this initiation was supposed to be fulfilled in baptism. And the church put a
very exclusive construction on this-only those who had been baptized could be
regarded as "children of God." And if the whole passage where this phrase
occurs (Gal. 111, 26) is taken as a whole, it is hard to avoid the conclusion
that Paul taught the same thing. Only those who had voluntarily accepted the
faith and had received the initiation of baptism were of the children of God.
The rest of mankind were children of wrath, of disobedience and not "heirs of
* * *
AND THE OBLIGATION
BUILDER of November, 1924, there is a very interesting account of the Morgan
Affair in Western New York in 1826. 1 was born in 1950, not far from
Canandaigua, and in my younger days heard a great deal about the "Morgan
Killers." Now it so happens that I am very intimately acquainted with a
prominent Mason who is a grandson of one of the two men who made the final
disposal of Mr. Morgan in 1826; from him I learned the details of the whole
affair as he got them from his father and grandfather. The kidnappers were
Canadians and the place where they lived can be seen from near Bock's
there ever a time in America when Masons were obligated by their oaths to
inflict a penalty on those who betrayed their secrets as was alleged in the
ease of William Morgan in 1826 ?
story traditional in your family is certainly very interesting, though it is
not easy to reconcile it with the few definite facts that have been fully
ascertained. Publicly the faithful brethren of the, period seem to have
generally insisted that Morgan was taken to Canada, and that he went thence on
his own motion to parts unknown. Privately, many Masons undoubtedly believed
or suspected that he had been made away with. Whether they actually knew more
than the general public seems very doubtful, excepting, of course, the very
few individuals who were actively concerned in the affair.
question you raise is one that can be emphatically answered in the negative.
Never, in any country, has any Masonic promise or obligation been demanded of
initiates to take any action, individually or collectively, in such a case;
not even the perfectly proper and lawful penalty of suspending or expelling an
unworthy member. There has been apparently a continuous evolution in this
matter of Masonic penalty. Before the modern period there was apparently a
tradition of a death penalty for the revelation of Masonic secrets. The newly
made Masons were probably informed of this, though there is absolutely nothing
either in the Old Charges and regulations on the subject. In the seventeenth
century and up to the Grand Lodge period this had most likely become only a
ritual method of emphasizing the binding character of the oath sworn by the
initiate. In the modified and revised forms of a later date, after 1723
perhaps, this was made explicit by adding it to the formal promise made by the
candidate, so that instead of being informed that it was a traditional law, he
imprecated the penalty upon himself, saying, in effect, "rather than do this I
would suffer that," or, "Should I do this I deserve that." But this compromise
between the conservative desire to retain an ancient form, that was also felt
to be symbolic, has undergone still further modifications. In many places,
after reciting the traditional penalty, some such clause as this is added: "Or
the equally effective one of incurring the contempt and detestation of all
honorable men." And in some European rituals the process has gone further
still and the traditional clause has been entirely eliminated.
period between 1730 and the end of the eighteenth century another step in this
evolution was taken, in the addition of a general statement that the promise
required contained nothing contrary to religion, morality or statute law.
After the anti-Masonic excitement in this country this statement was minutely
particularized and put in the form of a solemn declaration or pledge to the
candidate, which in legal effect makes any possible interpretation of the
promise null and void that could be considered illegal, or that was against
the individual's conscience, while the forms of promise have also been
modified to absolutely rule out the possibility of any such interpretation.
However, if there was any truth at all in the respective "relations" of Edward
Giddins and Samuel D. Greene, both of whom by their own account were in the
thick of the trouble, we might judge that a number, and possibly many, of the
simple-minded and comparatively uneducated Masons of Western New York in 1826
did suppose, in spite of the intentions of those who had revised the rituals,
understand that they were bound to assist in punishing traitors. Of course
this was the very point that the anti-Masons sought to make, and these two men
are by no means reliable witnesses; but even if it were so it was not the
fault of the fraternity but the ignorance of individuals that was to blame.
* * *
ORDER OF ST. JOHN AT JERUSALEM
recently seen a paragraph in a Masonic magazine, under the heading "English
Mason's Acquire Old Jerusalem Site," which states that the English Grand
Priory of the Knights of St. John have bought a part of the 'historic site
connected with their order in Jerusalem. I should like to know more about
statement is, we believe, quite correct, but then the heading appears to be an
error. The close connection now existing between the modern Masonic Order of
Templars and Knights of Malta, has led to quite general misconceptions on the
subject. The connection, by the way, is historically rather ridiculous as the
two Orders were bitter enemies, and their intestine feuds had much to do with
the loss of Palestine to the Saracens.
must be remembered that the Order of St. John, commonly called Hospitallers
and later first Knights and Rhodes' and then Knights of Malta, continued their
existence all through the Middle Ages down to the present time. Much of the
property of the suppressed Templar Order was transferred to them.
Hospitallers were organized by Languages-each Language had its own
headquarters, but the general government was in the Grand Master, who resided
at Malta, from the time the Turks drove the Knights out of Rhodes till
Napoleon took the Island from them, after which they retired to Trieste where
they still exist.
Reformation the English "Language" broke away from the main body and its
members adhered to the Church of England. They have had a continuous separate
existence since then. They retain all their original exclusive and
aristocratic -features, and they also carry out their original object of
aiding and assisting the sick through hospitals. They have never had the
remotest connection with Freemasonry, except the borrowing of their name by
Order last year made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, at which time we believe the
purchase referred to was made. A very interesting account of the pilgrimage
has recently been published.
* * *
you give me any information relative to the symbolism ,of the Compasses? It is
said that they belong to the Grand Master. Is there any reason for this
attempt were made to furnish the details of all theories relative to the
significance of the compasses, one would soon find himself the author of a
volume of unusual size. In the study of symbolism individual thought plays a
most important part. It is impossible to say that any interpretation is the
correct one and all others are wrong. Every one is privileged to draw his own
conclusions, and one theory is just as correct as -another. One explanation
that has received widespread recognition is that the compasses represent the
God in man. The evolution of this idea is a process which if we endeavor to
trace its beginning takes us back to the times of the ancients. Early in the
development of religion the sun was represented by a circle. At a later stage
arcs came to represent the planets and their paths. A semicircle was
frequently used as a symbol of the celestial hemisphere. Because the compasses
were the only instruments which would inscribe circular lines they gradually
assumed the symbolism of the results of their work, in much the same way that
the square came to be a symbol of earthly things. In the course of religious
evolution the heavens came to be looked upon as the source of good and
consequently this idea was incorporated in the significance of the compasses.
As a consequence the compasses have come to represent those heavenly
qualifications which are interpreted as the characteristics of a really good
seems to be a general acceptance of the compasses as the property of the Grand
Master, but no reason is generally accepted for this practice. A possible
explanation would be that the compasses are primarily an instrument of design
and would not be used in the practical work of quarrying and squaring stones,
nor in setting them. These are the duties of the Craft in general. Designing
belongs only to those who have attained proficiency in the other branches of
the trade and who have come to be called Masters. It would follow that the
Grand Master, as chief architect and designer, would have his office
designated by that instrument which was particularly suited to his occupation.
* * *
POSITION OF THE LESSER LIGHTS
Noticing that the Grand Jurisdiction of Oklahoma placed their Lesser Lights in
the same position as Wyoming, I wrote to the Grand Secretary who, in turn,
referred me to you.
give me, if you can, some reference as to which is the proper way to place the
question raised by Bro. Lowndes is of no little interest. There are several
variant methods which have been in use in various sections and all of which
seem to be equally "proper."
England it is generally conceded that the proper distribution is one at the
station of each of the principal officers. In some American jurisdictions they
are closely grouped and placed at the South of the altar, one to the East, one
South and one West. Another variant is formed by enlarging the triangle thus
formed so that one light is East of the altar, another South and the third
West, all being so placed that they do no interfere with the ceremonial. All
of these may be no more than compact variants which have evolved from the
which may have been in general use throughout the northeastern section of this
country is a radical departure from anything thus far explained. The lights
are grouped one to the East, one Southeast and one West, the East and West
tapers being parallel to a line drawn longitudinally through the lodge and the
East and Southeast parallel to a North and South one. They were in close
proximity and were we to bisect the lodge with an East and West line and then
quarter it by one drawn North and South, the situation of this triangle would
be about the center of the northeast quarter.
old French charts show the lights placed as you do, one in the Northeast
corner, one in the Southeast and the third in the Southwest, although even
they seem to have no uniformity. Generally it would seem that one light was
added for each degree so that in the third degree instead of there being only
one light in each corner there were three.
possible evolution of these variants would be a subject for interesting
speculation, but it would probably be no more than speculation. Ritualistic
evidence is strangely lacking on this point. One seems as correct as another,
and at least the Wyoming practice has the approval of age.
* * *
REQUEST FOR BACK NUMBERS
Book Department has a demand for ten or twelve copies of THE BUILDER for
October, 1923, and also for August and November, 1918, and November, 1919. If
any members of the Society or other readers of THE BUILDER have copies of
these numbers that they would be willing to dispose of will they please
communicate with us?