Delivered before Harmony Lodge No. 17, F.A.A.M.
Washington, D. C, January 28, 1914
DR. L. D. CARMAN, P. M.
With an Appendix Containing the Actions
taken by the
Masonic Grand Lodges of the United States
on Lincoln's Death
Delivered before Harmony Lodge No. 17, F.A.A.M.
Washington, D. C, January 28, 1914
DR. L. D. CARMAN, P. M.
With an Appendix Containing the Actions
taken by the
Masonic Grand Lodges of the United States
on Lincoln's Death
PRINTED FOR PRIVATE DISTRIBUTION
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, FREEMASON.
Worshipful Master and Brethren:
The subject of my remarks this evening will be Abraham
Lincoln, Freemason. It may be regarded as somewhat pre-
sumptuous to give this address this title, when Lincoln is not
considered as one of the Masonic Presidents of the United
States, and while ''Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry" might
be deemed by some as a preferable title, Abraham Lincoln, Free-
mason, is nevertheless the subject.
It once was facetiously attempted to prove that Lincoln was a
Mormon because in one of his early speeches he made a number
of references to throat cutting, the penalty of the first Mormon
oath, and because in another address shortly before his first in-
auguration he stated that sooner than surrender a certain prin-
ciple he would have his body burned to ashes and those ashes
scattered to the winds of heaven, the peculiar language in the
third Mormon oath.
While it has been said that anything can be proved in Masonry,
it is not attempted to prove that Lincoln was a member of the
secret society called Mormons or of the secret society called
Freemasons, but a number of interesting facts concerning Lin-
coln and his connection with our Order are presented for con-
One of Lincoln's most intimate friends in early life was Bowl-
ing Green, an earnest Mason, a Past Master and a member of
the old Grand Lodge of Illinois, the records of that Lodge show-
ing him to have attended the communications of 1836 and 1827.
While Lincoln was never formally received into the Masonic
Order, he first saw Masonic light in connection with his friend-
ship and close association with Bowling Green. Honor to him
who may safely be called the Masonic Preceptor of Abraham
It was not an unusual practice in the early days of Masonry
in this country in sparsely settled localities, remote from an
active Lodge, for several members of the fraternity to get to-
gether, form an emergent or occasional Lodge and make Masons,
with no record being made of the proceedings. If Lincohi was
not thus made a Mason, he in some manner obtained consider-
able Masonic knowledge and probably from Bowling Green
prior to 1837 when Lincoln removed from Menard County, 111.,
When in 1842 Bowling Green died and was buried with Ma-
sonic honors it is somewhat significant that Lincoln was selected
by the fraternity to make the address at the funeral, an address
he was unable to finish, breaking down with emotion during the
If Lincoln was not a Mason irregularly made, he must have
been in sympathy with the known objects of the Order to have
been invited to speak at a Masonic funeral.
Clinton Lodge, No. 19, at Petersburg, 111., was granted its
dispensation by the Grand Lodge in October, 18-1:2, and the
funeral referred to was evidently under the auspices of the
Masons who formed this Lodge.
As a matter of historical interest the list of members of Clin-
ton Lodge in 1843 is given, as all the members were acquaint-
ances if not friends of the future President. It will be noted
that John McNeal, the betrothed of Ann Rutledge, Lincoln's first
love, was Junior Warden.
List of Members of Clinton Lodge, No. 19, Petersburg, 111.,
1843: John Bennett, W. M., Martin S. Morris, S. W., John
McNeal, J. W., Nathan Dresser, Secretary, Jacob West, Treas-
urer, David McMurphy, S. D., Wm. B. Kirk, J. D., Aaron B.
White, Tyler, M. M. John B. Broadwell, Chas. G. Brooks, Lewis
B. Wynne, Chas. B. Waldo, Thos. L. Harris, Benj. Newman,
F. C, Ambrose E. Rankin, E. A., Jas. Short.
Prior to 1840 there was a Lodge at Springfield, 111., which
at the organization of the existing Grand Lodge of Illinois in
that year, became Springfield Lodge, No. 4.
List of Members of Springfield Lodge, 1840: M. Helm, W.
M., Alex. Lindsay, S. W., Jas. Adams, J. W., Love S. Cornwall,
Secretary, M. Boyle, Treasurer, M. J. Kelly, S. D., J. S. Kil-
laly, J. D., James Maxey, Tyler, M. M. Jas. R. Gray, Philo
Deers, B. C. Webster, W. Cudmore, Samuel L. Hesser, Joseph
Firey, Isaac R. Brancher, Wm. Harvey, Francis Springer, S. A.
Douglas, Jas. Gevisler, Jr., Alex. Shields, Jas. F. Reed, J.
Wickershain, John Uhler, Jas. Briggs, John S. Roberts, L. B.
Adams, F. A. McNeill, Jas. Shepherd, Henry Carrigan.
James Shields, later General and U. S. Senator, was J. W. of
this Lodge in 1841 and was afterward the first Master of Na-
tional Lodge in this city. As Harmony Lodge is an offspring
of National Lodge we have an indirect connection with the first
Lodge in Springfield, Illinois, whose members were fellow towns-
men of Lincoln if nothing more.
Stephen A. Douglas does not appear in list of members of
Springfield Lodge after 1843.
In his younger days, Feb. 22, 1842, Lincoln delivered a long
lecture on Temperance, one of the Masonic virtues.
On another anniversary of the birth of that distinguished man
and Mason, George Washington, Lincoln delivered a speech on
Inventions, in the course of which he alluded to the first inven-
tion, the fig leaf apron, showing his acquaintance with that ven-
erable Masonic claim that Adam was the first Mason as he wore
the first apron.
Lincoln also had some knowledge of operative masonry, the
hammer, square and compass were familiar' to his hands, and in
his early occupation as surveyor he laid out squares and calcu-
lated horizontals and perpendiculars.
"For not by dainty hands in kid the shackles fell to rust,
But warty, horny were the palms that made the nation just."
LINCOLN'S MASONIC WORDS.
References are to Federal Edition of Lincoln's Works.
"They were pillars of the temple of Liberty, and now that
they have crumbled away the temple must fall unless we, their
descendants' supply their places with other pillars, hewn from
the solid quarry of sober reason." 1-160.
In a speech about the Bank, made in 1837, occur the words,
"Oath of secrecy," "divulged a secret," "does not every merchant
have his secret mark?" "Sound the alarm." 1-139-140.
Another sentence : "Such belong not to the family of the lion
or the tribe of the eagle." 1-157.
In the Lost Township letter with the composition of which he
probably had something to do, occurs the following: "I defy
Daniel Webster, I defy King Solomon." 1-285. As this letter
was making sport of James Shields, an officer of Springfield
Lodge, this sentence may have had more intended significance
than would ordinarily appear.
Here are some more of his Masonic words :
"I wish to stand erect before the country." 3-169.
"Will cling to it with a desperate grip." 3-169.
"The sharp point against him." 3-169.
"If you have ever studied Geometry you remember that by a
course of reasoning Euclid proves that all the angles in a tri-
angle are equal to two right angles." -4-69.
"The cements which bind together the different parts of the
"The circle from which all their propositions radiate." 4-263.
"Charter of freedom." 5-155.
"Marks another step." 5-161.
"Our children and our children's children." 6-151.
The word "spot" has a peculiar place in Masonry and this
word affords the basis for the famous so-called Spot resolutions
introduced by Lincoln in Congress during the Mexican War,
Dec. 22, 1847.
In his speech at Philadelphia before inauguration he said that
he "Would rather be assassinated on the spot than surrender,"
and the words "Fatal blow" though copied, were frequently used
in the joint debate with Douglas at Freeport, August 22, 1858.
Several times he used the words "Darkness to light," and in
his telegram to General Sherman on his march to the sea, he said :
"It brings those who sat in darkness to see a great light."
In a letter to Speed he said, "All will be Harmony," a senti-
ment peculiar to this Lodge at least. 2-3.
In speaking of slavery and not of Masonry he once referred
to "blue lodges as they call them everywhere doing their secret
and deadly work." 2-271.
We are all familiar with that now English classic the address
at Gettysburg, Masonic in every line. Note the emphasis by
repetition placed upon tlie word "dedicate." Mark the conclu-
sion "Government of the people, by the people, for the people
shall not perish from the earth."
The man who wrote the Gettysburg address not a Mason?
Listen to these words : "I,et us have faith that right makes
might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty,
as we understand it."
"And having thus chosen our course, without guile and with
pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward
without fear and with manly hearts."
"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness
in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to
finish the work we are in."
The man who spoke these words not a Mason?
With the tinge of a mystic, the inspiration of a prophet, the
man who regarded all men as his brethren, that man not a
The man who spoke like a Mason, lived like a Mason and died
like a Mason, that man not a Mason?
No ! No ! No ! and a thousand times No ! The true Masonic
spirit breathes throughout the life of this remarkable man.
In 1866 the Government published a volume containing the
tributes of foreign nations to Abraham Lincoln. In this single
volume appear the resolutions and tributes of forty-four foreign
Masonic grand lodges and subordinate bodies.
Was Lincoln a Mason to them? Of these forty-four lodges
how many called Lincoln brother? Only twenty. Here is doc-
umentary evidence of a kind. Twenty contemporaneous docu-
ments concerning our illustrious brother, Abraham Lincoln.
As the volume referred to is not a rare work, only the list of
lodges is here given with such portion of the resolutions as re-
ferred to Lincoln as a Freemason.
FOREIGN MASONIC LODGES ON DEATH OF
Belgium. Septentrion Masonic Lodge of Ghent.
"Lincoln personified the cause of liberty and human fraternity."
France. Lodge of La Franche Union, at Choisy-Le-Roy. De-
partment of Seine.
"We mourn the loss of a brother whose memory will ever be
dear to patriots and Free Masons. He honored Masonry."
"From this date the name of Abraham Lincoln is inscribed on
the list of our members, and at each session for three months, a
brother will rise at the call of his name and answer: 'Abraham
Lincoln died like a Mason to elevate humanity outraged by slav-
ery.' At the expiration of three months we will celebrate a
Masonic funeral to his memory."
Perfect Union Masonic Lodge, Orient of Confoleus. Charente.
New Friendship Lodge of Grasse.
"Sympathy for the glorious death of one who, after having
used the hammer, square and compass, those living implements
of our immortal societ}% etc."
United Benefactors of Gentilly.
To Grand Lodge of N. Y.
"The very illustrious brother, Abraham Lincoln, has given his
life for the love of his country, etc., thus setting the most noble
example a Masonic brother can give to his brethren. Free Ma-
sonry has suffered an irreparable loss."
Orion Lodge of St. John, Gaillac Orient.
Lodge of Toleration and Progress, Lure.
"Sympathy for the memory of Brother Lincoln."
L'Escole de la Morale Lodge of Libourne.
"Lincoln, our illustrious brother." "Lodge will mourn for
Lodge of Les Arts Reunis, Orient of Macon.
"The glorious martyr of equality and fraternity."
Friends of Truth Lodge, Metz.
Lodge of St. John of Jerusalem, Nancy.
"The great Masonic association that gloried in calling Mr. Lin-
coln one of its children."
Clement Friendship Lodge, Paris.
"We Masons mourn him not only as a brother, but as a friend
of the whole human race. Lincoln's first thought was the Ma-
son's motto: fraternity."
Lodge of Triumphant Friends, Paris.
Chapter of Mars and the Arts, Paris.
"A stronger bond, a more intimate union than the common tie
united us particularly to his great heart. Abraham Lincoln was
Sovereign Chapter of the Friends of the Country, Valley of Paris.
"Glory to our brother, Lincoln, who practiced the virtues in-
culcated by our order, and who Masonry is proud to number
among the number of her children."
L'Avenir Lodge, Paris.
"Regret for the death of Brother Abraham Lincoln."
Scotch Masonic Lodge La Prevoyance, Paris.
St. John's Lodge No. 14-7, Heroes of Humanity.
"All Free Masonry mourns the death of x\braham Lincoln and
this lodge also regrets the loss of a man who was an honor to
our order, etc."
Ancient Accepted vScotch Rite, Paris.
"Lincoln, whom we had the honor to count among our
Lodge of Henry the Fourth, Paris.
Perseverance Lodge, Paris.
"Has any living man practiced so well the humane principles
inculcated by Free Masonry? And who is more deserving of
the regrets of their brethren ?" Lodge ordered a triple mourning
salute in memory of Brother Lincoln.
Lodge of Admirers of the Universe, Paris.
"The memory of Brother Abraham Lincoln."
Scotch Hive Lodge, Paris.
"Free Masonry is moved with just indignation at the atrocious
crime that has deprived it of one of its most illustrious represen-
tatives." "Condolence for the loss of the zealous Mason who
has proclaimed the great Masonic principles of liberty, equality
and fraternity." "Memory of the very illustrious brother, Abra-
Lodge of St. John of Jerusalem, Paris, to Grand Lodge of New
"The glorious death of one who had handled the hammer,
square and compass."
Harmony Lodge of Paris.
Lodge Saint Pierre des Acacias, Paris.
"Brother Abraham Lincohi, member of the Grand Lodge of
"Death of their brother, Abraham Lincoln."
Lodge of the Fraternity of the People, Paris.
"The horrible outrage to which Brother Lincoln has fallen a
Scotch Lodge, No. 146, the Right Line.
"The crime, etc., deprives Masonry of a brother."
Rite of Mizraim. Supreme Grand Council.
"All the virtues possessed by Lincoln are Masonic virtues, sym-
bolized in our degrees of initiation.
"When an apprentice, he purged his mind of all the subversive
passions, which was an indispensable preparation for the good
conduct of life.
"As a companion he had learned to live orderly by labor, and a
scrupulous observance of right and justice, a course which was
marked out by rule, square and compasses.
"Finally, like Hiram, he succumbed to the blows of an out-
rageous pride for having remained inflexible in the discharge of
Lodge of St. Augustus the Beneficent, to Grand Lodge of New
"First, the son of a laboring man, he was an apprentice, then
he became a journeyman, and last, a master, thus realizing our
Cradle of Henry the Fourth Lodge, Pau.
Friends of Perfect Union Lodge, Perpignan.
"An illustrious Mason, the very dear brother, Abraham Lin-
"Our very illustrious brother, Abraham Lincoln."
Royal Scotch Lodge the Elect of St. Stephen.
Lodge of Good Faith, St. Germain en Laye.
The Gazette de France, May 5, 1865, spoke of Abraham Lin-
coln as of the Grand Lodge of New York. P. 124.
Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland.
Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Scotland.
England. Lodge of Gymnosophists, London.
"Abraham Lincoln, member of the Grand Lodge of New
Italy. Social Progress Lodge, Florence.
Lodge Anziani Virtuosi, Leghorn.
Lodge le Lume e la Verita, Messina.
Italian Una Lodge, Parma.
Grand Orient of Masonry in Italy, Turin.
Italian Masonic Lodge, Carthage and Utica, Tunis.
Germania of the Golden Horn Masonic Lodge, Constantinople.
"Plave lost a brother in the person of the illustrious deceased
and have seen but few like him since the foundation of the order."
It will be noted that there are several references in these reso-
lutions to Abraham Lincoln, member of the Grand Lodge of
New York. It is possible that this error arose from the fact
that this Grand Lodge participated in the funeral ceremonies in
New York City, as the Grand Lodge and other Masonic bodies
in the several States through which Lincoln's body was carried
on its way from Washington to Springfield took part in the cere-
monies in their States.
The Grand Lodge of New York, however, was unaware that
Lincoln was a member of that Lodge or any other, as the D. G.
M. of that jurisdiction on April 19, 1865, the day of mourning,
addressed a letter to Bro. B. B. French of Washington, which
was answered as follows :
From Masonic Monthly, May, 1805, p. 351.
Office of the G. M. of Knights Templar of the U. S. A.
City of Washington, April 31, 1865.
R. W. Rob't. D. Holmes, D. G. Master, G. L. of N. Y.
My Dear Sir and R. W. Brother:
Yours of the 19th is just received. President Lincoln was not
a Freemason. He once told me in the presence of M. W. Bro.
J. W. Simons, that he had at one time made up his mind to apply
for admission to our Fraternity but that he feared he was too
lazy to attend to his duty as a Mason, as he should like to do,
and that he had not carried out his intentions.
I told him that it was not too late now. "Well," said he, "as
likely as not I shall apply to you some day to let me in."
He was the most pure hearted, honest, upright man I ever
knew, and ought to have been a Mason. Had he been my own
father I could not have lamented his death more sincerely than
Very truly and Fraternally yours,
B. B. French.
An examination of the transactions of all the Grand Lodges
of the United States in existence in 1865, shows some reference
by the Grand Master to the death of Lincoln or some action by
the Grand Lodge of the following jurisdictions :
District of Columbia. Nevada.
Indiana. New Hampshire.
Illinois. New York.
As would be expected no notice of the death of the President
was taken by any Southern State, but their transactions for 18G.")
afiford pathetic reading of tales of fire and sword.
Other Grand Masters and Grand Lodges occupied themselves
with matters of Masonic routine only.
These actions of the Masonic Grand Lodges of the United
States upon the death of Lincoln have not until this time been
Comparison has been heretofore made between Abraham Lin-
coln and one of our first most excellent Grand Masters, in his
virtuous and amiable conduct, in his unfeigned piety to God and
in his inflexible fidelity to his trust, the Hiram who was also
slain, and like him, his memory is not dimmed by the passing
From address of David E. Bostwick, G. M., May 10, 1865.
While our hearts were swelling with gratitude to God that the
dark clouds seemed lifting with signs of a coming peace, we
are again plunged into the depths of sorrow at the loss of our
beloved chief magistrate, upon whom all seemed to lean with
confidence in this great emergency, struck down by the hands
of a cowardly assassin.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MAY 2, 1865.
From address of George C. Whiting, G. M.
On the evening of the llth of April — a day which had been
previously observed by the Christian world as the anniversary
of the cruel murder of the Prince of Peace — our honored and
beloved President, whilst enjoying a brief relaxation from the
responsibilities and cares of his high official station, was stricken
down by the hand of a wretched and misguided man. His crime
no mortal thought can measure, and none but Him who hath
said "vengeance is mine, I will repay," can adequately punish.
He stands before the bar of the Judge Eternal, and our just
though puny anger is hushed in the awful wrath of offended
As members of a loyal and order-loving association, peculiarly
bound to be peaceable subjects to the civil powers, and never
to be concerned in plots or conspiracies against the peace and
welfare of the nation, nor to behave undutifully to magistrates,
are called to share in the deep and universal sorrow, it is meet
that we should recognize the amiable and virtuous conduct, and
the inflexible fidelity to his trust, which so marked him as the
fit successor to our illustrious brother — the great and good Wash-
ington — and in some appropriate form give expression to our
sense of the loss our country has sustained— for, in the languao-e
of the great poet, he
"Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trtimpet-tong'd, against
The deep damnation of his taking off;
And pity, like a naked, new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, hors'd
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye
That tears shall drown the wind."
That portion of the address of the G. M. alluding to the as-
sassination of President Lincoln was referred to Brothers B. B.
French, R. McCurdy, and P. Hooe, who retired and subsequently
reported the following preamble and resolutions :
Whereas, on the evening of April 14th, Abraham Lincoln,
President of the United States of America, was stricken down
in death by the hand of an assassin, by which a cloud of grief
was spread over the people, in the deepest affection of whose
hearts his many virtues had enshrined him. ;
And whereas, although he was not a member of our order, by
his pure, and honest, and upright life, every act of which was
marked by charity, brotherly love, relief and truth, he illustrated
all the attributes that should beautify the life of a Free and Ac-
cepted Mason ;
Therefore does the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia
deem it eminently proper to announce to their Brethren and the
world, their public appreciation of the dread calamity which has
befallen the nation in the tragical death of its Chief Magistrate,
their sorrow for its occurrence, and their abhorrence and detes-
tation for the crime which, and the criminal who so wickedly
removed him from the scenes of earth.
Resolved, That while the blow of the assassin which struck
down Abraham Lincoln, almost paralyzed the hearts of his fel-
low-citizens, to which he seemed dearer than any man who has
lived since Washington, it has in no wise disconcerted the action
of the Federal Government, the existence of which depends not
upon the life of any man, but ever lives in the patriotism of the
Resolved, That this Grand Lodge can find no words of suffi-
cient strength to express their horror and detestation of the act
which deprived our country of its good, and pure, and virtuous
Chief Magistrate, nor of the wicked assassin by whose hand the
awful deed was done, and who has gone to meet the penaUy of
his crime. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord."
Resolved, That this Grand Lodge hereby expresses its high
admiration of the character of the late President, whose life was
without a blemish, and who passed away from earth in the very
zenith of his fame ; the goodness and kindness of whose heart
was a proverb, and shall live in the memories of a grateful peo-
ple, and be handed down from generation to generation as long
as time shall last.
Resolved, That the bereaved widow and children of our mur-
dered friend, have our sincere and heartfelt sympathies, and our
fervent prayer that the God of the widow and the fatherless will
so temper this dreadful affliction with mercy as to enable them
to sustain their burden with fortitude, and to say in submission
and humility, "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away ;
blessed be the name of the Lord."
Resolved, That the officers and members of this Grand Lodge
will wear the usual badge of mourning for six months, in testi-
mony of their respect for the memory of the great and good man
who has fallen.
Resolved, That the Grand Secretary be directed to cause these
proceedings to be published in the National Freemason and the
newspapers of this city, to have a copy of them properly en-
grossed and signed by the proper officers, and, under the seal of
the Grand Lodge, presented to the family of the deceased.
Which was received and the resolutions adopted.
Tribute to Abraham Lincoln.
At meeting of the Grand Lodge May 34, 1865, Brother Al-
bert Lange asked that the rules be suspended to permit him to
offer the following which was granted :
Whereas, In the inscrutable Providence of Almighty God,
Abraham Lincoln, the first citizen of the United States by official
station, the first by the rectitude of his life and daily conduct,
the first by his devotion to the honor, interest and integrity of
the country, the first by the power and influence which he wielded
with wisdom, sagacity and courage, has been stricken down by
the hand of an assassin;
And, whereas, It is due that this Grand Lodge, representing
328 subordinate Lodges scattered over the whole expanse of the
State of Indiana, should give expression to their sentiments at
the appalling blow, which, like a thunderbolt from a cloudless
sky, struck the heart of the whole nation ; therefore,
Resolved, '[st. That we look with abhorrence upon the act,
which took from us and the country, which he so faithfully
served, the man who through four years of deadly strife, with
an eye single to the maintenance of the Government, has guided
and directed us, and who, with the haven of peace and security
in sight, was by a dastardly act snatched from the full fruition
of his labors.
Resolved, 2d. That we concur with freedom loving people all
over the globe, in the expressions of regret and deep sorrow,
which this event has called forth, and that we will cherish Abra-
ham Lincoln as the great Emancipator of an oppressed race with
undying affection, trusting, that history, poetry and art will unite
to keep his memory green in the remembrance of virtuous men
for ever and ever.
Resolved, 3d. That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded
to the bereaved widow and family of the deceased in token of
our heartfelt sympathy with the great loss, which they and the
country at large have sustained.
Above unanimously concurred in and adopted.
From address of H. P. H. Bromwell, G. M., Oct. 3, 1805.
On the 14th day of April, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States, was slain by the murderous hand of a ruffian. Pie
fell at a time when he could least be spared when all eyes were
turned to "the good President" as to the only being who could
restore the Union, heal the wounds of war, and set the Govern-
ment in motion in harmony with the new order of things. At
that moment God permitted him to be taken away, to teach us
"that the Most High ruleth in the kingdoms of men and giveth it
to whomsoever he will." Abraham Lincoln, the pure patriot,
the wise statesman, the good President, the honest man, died a
martyr to his comitry, to Hberty and truth, and was mourned for
as no man has ever been mourned. He was not a Free Mason,
but in his life and character he illustrated many of the virtues
taught and cherished by the Craft.
I herewith submit a letter of sympathy and condolence from
Renaissance Lodge working under the jurisdiction of the Grand
Orient of France.
In October, 18GT, the Grand Lodge of Illinois chartered Abra-
ham Lincoln Lodge, No. 518, at Young America, Warren County,
From address of Edward A. Guilbert, M. D., G. M., June 6, 1865.
Forth from the fvu^nace fires of the most terrible internecine
struggle of all time, the nation has come, as came Jupiter out of
the war with the Titans, endowed with resistless strength and
power, with her noble escutcheon cleansed from the plague-spot
which has so long polluted it, the republic stands proudly now in
the light of God's approving smile, "redeemed, regenerated, DIS-
"Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by our boys in blue;
And all the clouds that low'r'd upon the land.
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments ;
Our stern alarms changed to merry meetings ;
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front.
And now instead of mounting barbed steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute."
Truly, the cloud has turned a "silver lining" to the light, but
yet like a scintillant diamond in a setting of jet, that "silver lin-
ing" is bordered with the emblems of mourning. Even in the
hour of victory, while the glad lo ! rang over the jubilant North
and thej-ecreatcd South, "there was death in the White House" ;
the head of the nation — the wise and pure — the clement and
faithful President was "done to death" by the assassin's bullet,
and he who was fast becoming the idol of his countrymen, was
not ! Mournfully sublime was the instantaneous and universal
transition from delirious joy to profoundest sorrow. In a mo-
ment of time the notes of exultant clarions and the sonorous
tenor of the republic's Te Deum changed into muffled drum-
beats, and the thrilling baritone of heart-born wailing.
"He had borne his faculties so meek, had been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Did plead like angels trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of this taking off."
Like a wounded hyena in its expiring throes, rebellion struck
her last vicious blow at the nation's life, and thereby slew the
truest friend the insurgents had. Yet how swift was the pun-
ishment the fiendist agent of a fiendish cabal received. And how
few there are that mourn because amid retributive physical pangs
of the most excjuisitely painful character, this modern Judas
gave up his worthless life and went to his reward.
Let every true Mason praise the G. A. O. T. U. that the
execrable conspiracy against the Government of our fathers, was
in part unsuccessful, and that with scarcely a perceptible devia-
tion from her direct course, the gallant ship of state went stead-
ily on, albeit her pilot had fallen at her helm, a victim of one of
the most damnable crimes of history. Could any fact more
forcefully demonstrate the stability of the republic — more nota-
bly evince the protecting care of the Omnipotent, — more grandly
attest Columbia's title to emblazon on her shield the additional
motto— ESTO PERPETUA! than that the warworn ship of
state unchecked by that "sudden sound and shock" which would
have precipitated almost any other country into the maelstrom
of revolution, pursued her stately voyage, leaving as luminous
a wake as ever behind her. God, Plimself had given her a mis-
sion to perform. He knew that
— ^"humanity with all its fears.
With all its hopes of future years,
Was hanging breathless on her fate" ;
and in His good providence He saved her harmless from the
shock, and capacitated the appalled people soon to see that it
"Was of the wave and not the rock !"
The helmsman was gone, but as ever "strong and great," the
glorious ship sailed on! her meteor flag to be sure was at half-
mast in sorrow for her loss, but in mute, yet eloquent attestation
of the worth of him who was receiving the sublimest funeral
obsequies the world ever saw. And worthy was he of them:
For he won not power with the sword,
But by the love a nation bore
For him whose very soul was stirr'd
With love for those he ruled o'er.
W^ith steady stride, onward he went,
The light of great deeds on him beaming;
Up, up Fame's mountain's steep ascent
Its peak unto ; and while around him streaming
Were fruition's banners ; from that summit high,
Like Moses who Pisgah ascended to die —
He sprang from the earth to his home in the sky.
Masons' hands assisted to bear him to the "equal grave" ;
Masons' Lodges were clad in the emblems of mourning for de-
parted worth, and Masons mingled their laments with those of
the nation, which
— around his bier
Are gather'd in sorrow and fear
Longing to see of this stroke the end,
And mourning a father and a friend !
And their offspring in all coming time,
Shall remember well the ruler brave
And be guided by his star sublime.
And shall make a shrine of his lonely grave !
zAnd it was fitting that Masons should thus evince their love
of country and their regard for its murdered ruler, who, though
he was not a Mason, revered the Order, and was himself com-
posed of the stuff out of which the most capable, the most be-
nignant fraters are made.
The committee on the address reported as follows:
Your committee recommend that we hereby express our sat-
isfaction with the appropriate and timely eulogy on the death of
President Lincoln, and that the thanks of this Grand Lodge are
due to the M. W. G. M. for this portion of his address.
On motion of Bro. Parvin, G. S., the M. W. G. M. appointed
as a committee to report resolutions expressive of the feelings
of this Grand Lodge in regard to the assassination of our late
President the following brethren :
Col. John Scott,
Gov. Wm. M. Stone,
Lieut. Gov. E. W. Eastman.
The special committee on the assassination of President Lin-
coln presented the following report and resolutions, which were
unanimously adopted :
Your committee, appointed to express by resolution the sense
of the Grand Lodge of Iowa in relation to the awful calamity
which has befallen our nation in the murder of Abraham Lin-
coln, late President of the United States, knowing that words arc
but a mockery, and cannot relieve the burdened heart, yet feel-
ing that propriety and duty require that this Grand Lodge should
not be silent, present the following resolutions :
1. Resolved, That in our lamented late President we recognize
a patriot and statesman of purity and wisdom, who has safely
carried our country through the most terrible ordeal of the past
four years, earning the admiration of the world by his purity of
intention and singleness of purpose, and the unbounded gratitude
of thirty millions of his countrymen. That Abraham Lincoln
should and will be revered while time shall last, as great and
good among names not born to die.
2. Resolved, That as Masons we are taught to detest con-
spiracies, plots and rebellions ; and in an especial manner to ab-
o. Resolved, That in depriving our nation of its chief, by as-
sassination, we recognize a crime without a name ; and for which
language fails to express our grief and horror.
4. Resolved, That we humbly approach the grave of our mur-
dered President, and with sorrow for his sad fate, will rear a
broken column to commemorate his many virtues and his un-
W. M. Stone,
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Io\\'a, June 8, 186-j.
From address of William P. Preble, G. M., May 2, 1865.
We will not be unmindful of the great loss sustained by our
beloved country in the fiendish and indignant assassination of one
whose greatest failing (if any he had) was, that from the up-
rightness, purity and tender heartedness of his own nature, he
could not conceive that any human being could be so utterly de-
praved as to raise his hand in murderous assault upon one who,
by his unceasing and untiring loving kindness, forgiveness and
patience, stood between him and his rebellious and traitorous as-
sociates and sympathizers and the fierce and long endured and
smothered wrath of a justly incensed and outraged people.
Though our horizon is again overshadowed with clouds, just as
we all began to hope that the glorious sun of peace was about to
rise upon and bless us, we will not give way to useless repinings,
but with a firm faith and reliance that our Supreme Grand Mas-
ter does not permit any calamity however great or appalling, to
befall an individual, much less a nation, but for some great and
wise purpose, we will, while renewing our vows of faithfulness
to the great principles of our Order, bow in humble submission
to his inscrutable dispensations, earnestly invoking his protection
and guidance upon our whole country in this her time of peace
and that in his own good time he will again unite us into one
great and happy people.
MASSACHUSETTS. P. 20, 1865.
Bethesda Lodge forwarded resolution of sympathy to Grand
Lodge ''the expression of their most sincere condolence and re-
gret on the loss of so great and good a man as Abraham Lincoln
whose memory should ever be cherished by those who profess
the principles of our ancient institution."
Valparaiso, July 31, 1865.
From address of Joseph De Bell, G. M., Virginia City.
"April 19, 1865. On this day were held the funeral obsequies
of our late Chief Magistrate. The hands of an assassin robbed
of life the beloved head of the nation. That nation covered its
face and wept. I deemed it both right and proper that we as
Masons should join in the concord of sorrow and deposit in the
open grave of the martyred President our 'chaplct of living
laurel.' I therefore convened the Grand Lodge and that body,
accompanied by a large number of the fraternity, joined in the
From address of Jonathan E. Sargent, G. M., June 11, 1865.
"We, as Masons, as well as citizens, may properly mourn for
the national calamity which recently befell us, when the chosen
head and ruler of this nation fell by the hand of the base and
G. L. Report, 1865, p. 43. Report of D. G. M. Robert D.
Holmes, May 10, 1865.
On the occasion of the obsequies of our late President I
deemed it proper to respond to the invitation of the civic authori-
ties to take part in the solemn ceremonies of the day. In this
W. M. Sir, you agreed with me, and being thus empowered
I invited the whole of the local craft to take a position in the
procession. Over five thousand brethren responded, and by my
direction were dressed in black, with crepe on the left arm, and
a sprig of evergreen in the left lapel of the coat of each, the
Masters having been distinguished solely by their gavels which
they carried dressed in mourning.
NEW YORK, p. 93, 1865.
From report of M. W. John L. Lewis, Chairman Committee of
And there is a sorrow which we bear in common with our
stricken nation, nay, let us add of the other nations of the earth.
that our honored Chief Magistrate has been removed by the
wicked hand of violence in the hour of his greatest and noblest
triumphs. It is the heart throb of an undivided people, who, for-
getting every past difference, and every division which has for a
brief time separated them, mournfully entwine the laurel with
From address of Thomas Sparrow, G. M. Oct. IT, 1865.
On the morning of the 15th of April last, the public mind was
astounded by the announcement that the constitutional Ruler of
this great nation had been basely murdered ; that he who so lately
was in every mouth the theme of praise or blame, had gone be-
yond the reach of both. No man was ever called to greater trials
in political life. No man ever bore those trials with greater pa-
tience. In the very midst of them, in the very last exposition of
his principles and purposes, he paused to give utterance to the
noble sentiment, which I trust, will govern us on this and every
other occasion : "With charity towards all, with malice to none,
doing the right, so far as God gives us to know the right, let us
strive to finish the work we are in." Praise to the man who
could utter such a sentiment.
He was stricken down at the very moment when the minds of
men of all parties and every diversity of views had acquired con-
fidence in his moderation and wisdom, and were turned towards
him as the only one capable of adjusting the complicated ques-
tions arising out of the state of the country and the bitter ani-
mosity generated by four years of civil strife.
"Praise to the man. A nation stood
Beside his coffin with wet eyes ;
Her brave, her beautiful her good,
As when a loved one dies."
In the universal grief of the nation, I thought it proper that
the fraternity, as such, should express not only their utter ab-
horrence of "the deep damnation of his taking oft"," but pay a
tribute of respect to his virtues as a man and his integrity as a
public servant. Accordingly at the request of the brethren of
Cleveland, I issued a Dispensation authorizing them to appear
I % 1% * f mm A A 4 ^»A-»»'^i-» A » » m»«-».»A- ^ ^ > ^»A»_»* .. » - .m'»*'".w^*. . ^ .
in public on the reception of his remains in that city, and on their
arrival here, I opened the Grand Lodge, and, in conjunction with
the R. W. Deputy Grand Master, and a large concourse of
brethren, from all parts of the State, participated in his funeral
The Death of the President.
Your committee to whom was referred so much of the Grand
Master's address as related to the death of the late President of
the United States, beg leave to report that there has been, and
can be, but one feeling among the craft in Ohio in relation to
the death of the late President Lincoln, and that is of deep
regret at his decease, and of the utmost abhorrence of the crime
by which he was removed. Your committee sincerely and heart-
ily reciprocate the sentiments expressed by the Grand Master in
relation to the lamentable event, and approve the language in
which they were uttered.
Your committee submit for your approval the following:
Resolved, That the Freemasons of Ohio yield to no class of
citizens in their devotion to the Government and Union estab-
lished by our patriotic fathers, and have attested their loyalty
thereto in every possible manner, the record of which is found
not only at home, but on many a crimsoned field.
Resolved, That while we sympathize with the country at large
in the bereavement which it sustained in the death of the Presi-
dent, we regard with unmixed abhorrence and detestation the
fiendish act which deprived the nation of its constitutional head
at a perilous juncture in its history.
Jno. D. O'Connor,
J. H. BarnhiIvL.
Above resolutions were unanimously adopted.
From address of G. W. Washburn, G. M., June 13, 1865.
But while we may rejoice that victory has perched upon our
banners and right has come out triumphant in the contest, we
cannot fail to share in the general grief that he whose position
made him conspicuous above all others, should be destined to
close his career upon this earth by the hand of a brutal and cow-
ardly wretch, who runs from the scene of his terrible crime,
exulting in his infamy and shame.
It is not for me to pronounce the President's eulogy, nor is
this the occasion for it. History will deal fairly by him and the
world will judge him in kindness.
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