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3 1924 030 288 629 

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1 c 




Historian of the Masonic Historical Society of New York, 

[Reprinted with slight additions from The Masonic Standard, New York.] 


In the entire history of Freemasonry there is no incident more 
tragic, more far-reaching in its eiTects, more distressing in its details, 
more absolute in its results, and yet more honorable to the ancient insti- 
tution than that which may be said to have commenced with the disap- 
pearance in 1826 of William Morgan from Batavia, N. Y. 

Briefly stated, the actual facts in this most celebrated case were as 
follows : In the winter of 1824-25 William Morgan was hired in Roch- 
ester to do a job as a mason and plasterer on a building then being 
erected at Batavia. When that job was done he worked on various build- 
ings in Byron, Stafford, Le Roy, and other towns in the vicinity, but 
Batavia was his headquarters and he removed his family to that place in 
the spring of 1826. He had found what was for him regular employ- 
ment with Thomas McCully then and for forty years afterward the lead- 
ing mason and contractor in that section. 

Morgan was a native of Virginia and a stone-mason by trade. Of 
his personal history little is exactly known, but he seems to have mainly 
worked at his trade throughout his career, with the exception of two 
years, when he owned and operated a small brewery at York (now Tor- 
onto), Canada. As to his character, opinions diflfer, but that it was 
worthless has been abundantly proved. He was a drunkard, a loafer; 
and, be it remembered, an illiterate man, but he had a good memory, 
was of a social disposition and that, although he neglected his work and 
his family, made many unthinking people look upon him as "a good fel- 
low," one of those miserable creatures who are generally described as 
"their own worst enemy." He could have had constant employment in 
Rochester and Batavia, but he and hard work never got along well to- 

The anti-Masons were wont to describe him as a "gentleman," "a 
merchant," a man of "extensive historical information and acute discern- 
ment of character," one "who bravely fought the battle of his country 
when Jackson commanded and Packenham fell" (New Orleans) ; in all 
of which there was not a single grain of truth. 

As to Morgan's Masonic history little is actually known. It has 
never been discovered where he received the symbolic degrees, and it 
has been doubted whether he ever obtained them in a legitimate way. 
McClenachan says he received the Royal Arch degrees at Le Roy, N. Y., 
May 31, 1825. In his valuable monograph on "Freemasonry at Batavia," 
the late David Seaver wrote : "Just at this juncture (1826) William Mor- 
gan removed from Le Roy to Batavia and expected to visit both Bata- 
via Lodge, No. 433, and Batavia Chapter, No. 112. He made applica- 
tion to visit each of these bodies and was refused admission. In no way 
whatever did William Morgan ever participate in legitimate Batavia 

Morgan had not resided very long in Batavia before it began to be 
rumored that he was preparing a book which was to present to the world 
the entire secret work of the craft, and that the volume was being 
printed at the establishment of David Cade Miller (an Entered Appren- 
tice). There is no doubt that such a book was being set up, but its real 
instigator and author was Miller, while Morgan was simply an informer. 
Miller, not having been invested with any of the degrees beyond the 
First, could not very well presume to enlighten the public beyond that, 
and so Morgan was brought into the matter, and proved, quite willing 
to tell what he knew, or thought he knew, for a pittance to tide over his 
immediate wants. There is no question that Miller w^as the author of 
the proposed "Illustrations of Masonry," for Morgan could not have 
written ten lines of decent English. 

The local brethren became foolishly alarmed at the rumors, inves- 
tigated into their truth, found that a considerable part of the work was 
actually in type, expostulated with the principals, and then, finding such 
methods of no avail, had both Morgan and Miller arrested on trivial 
charges with the view, apparently, of frightening themi. An attempt was 
also made, it was claimed, to burn the printing ofiEce, and a fire certain- 
ly took place, but the flames were extinguished before much damage was 
done. Every effort was made to induce the printer and informer to 
abandon their enterprise, but they persevered. Miller was a shrewd 
enough business man to know that all this excitement was likely to aid 
in the commercial success of his book. 

On September 11, 1826, Morgan was arrested on a charge of having 
stolen a shirt and cravat and was lodged in Canandaigua jail. This 
charge (although it was true) was abandoned on the following day, but 
he was at once re-arrested for a trifling debt and remained a prisoner. 
On the I2th the debt was paid and Morgan was taken in a conveyance 

through Victor, Rochester, and Clarkson, to Lewiston, a distance of 
over ICO miles, and lodged in Fort Niagara. It is said that he made this 
memorable journey of his own free will. How, otherwise, a man could 
be carried in broad daylight through one of the best settled rural com- 
munities in the State is not easy to understand, and we are forced to be- 
lieve that Morgan, after a talk with those who accompanied him, ac- 
cepted the situation and offered no resistance. A theory to the effect 
that Morgan was stupified with liquor while the journey was in progress 
has not been proven. 

What took place when the party reached Fort Niagara is not clear, 
but it is presumed that Morgan and his escort crossed the Niagara River 
and then returned. At all events, Morgan was in Fort Niagara on Sep- 
tember 17, 1826. Oa that date also he disappeared, and the most ex- 
haustive inquiry, the most vigilant search instituted with all the power 
and machinery of the State, backed up by the offers of rich pecuniary 
rewards, as well as practical proffers of protection to any informer, 
failed to explore the mystery of where he went, or, if his stormy, ill-spent 
life then ended, to unfold the circumstances. 

The most generally accepted theory was that Morgan was mur- 
dered by being thrown into the Niagara River, but it remained a theory, 
and so remains to the present day. A year later the body of a man found 
on the shore of Lake Ontario was recognized by Mrs. Morgan as that 
or her husband, although she admitted that the clothing on the body 
was not his. It was in connection with this that the late Thurlow Weed 
was said to have uttered the phrase that the body was "a good enough 
Morgan until after the election," an utterance which in a somewhat quali- 
fied manner he afterward acknowledged. Later another inquest was held, 
the body was disinterred and fully identified as that of one Timothy 
Monroe by that individual's widow and son. The body was then offi- 
cially recognized as that of the unfortunate Monroe and again commit- 
ted to the grave. 


The only known and indisputable fact in the Morgan case, so far as 
Morgan was concerned, was that he disappeared. Over four years of 
inquiry and persecution — popular, political, legislative, clerical and ju- 
dicial — failed to demonstrate beyond all question anything except that 
solitary fact. All the passions of the populace became aroused, all the 


floodgates of that abuse which, unfortunately, is so prevailing a feature 
of American political life, were thrown down, and Masonry became re- 
garded as an accursed thing. The disappearance of Morgan and several 
co-relating details were eagerly seized by a number of political shysters, 
struggling for a cause and a cry, for place and perquisites, and made to 
serve their own paltry purposes. The mystery was at first merely a local 
issue, but it developed into a national force. It was worked by local 
"statesmen" to further their own petty ends and it swept past them and 
finally cast them aside. It was an artificial issue, and, like Frankenstein, 
it so developed that it became a burden and a sorrow even to its makers. 
The flame was fanned for the capture of local votes ; it developed into a 
policy for the acceptance of a nation. 

It caused thousands of good, honest men to be carried away by the 
outbreak of popular delusion until they violated their oaths and joined 
madly in the hue and cry against the order to which they had belonged. 
It separated families, it arrayed father against son, brother against 
brother, and wife against husband. It excommunicated from church, it 
debarred from civil or professional preferment; it denied even the poor 
favor of decent burial to those who failed to renounce the obhgations 
they had voluntarily taken upon themselves to be good men and true, 
to support the laws and the Government, to deal justly with all men, to 
practise charity, inculcate morality. The whole anti-Masonic crusade 
was in itself one of the most hideous which the force of popular delusion 
ever endowed with strength. It spared neither age nor character; a 
hero of the Revolution, a warrior of 1812, a preacher of the gospel, a 
philanthropist, or a public-spirited citizen was besmirched in memory 
or in person by its senseless vaporings. It became a mighty political 
tornado, sweeping everything in its narrow path before it, and then it 
passed away leaving nothing behind it but wreck and ruin. 

Freemasonry, modern Freemasonry, has been no stranger to perse- 
cution. The Roman Catholic Church has long been its avowed enemy, 
and the enmity on the part of that body is certain to grow deeper as time 
rolls on. This is not because of its aversion to secret societies, for it 
has many such bodies in its own communion, but because it teaches re- 
ligion by means of symbols and Freemasonry teaches morality by means 
of symbols, and the two in that fundamental matter are too nearly alike 
ever to properly amalgamate. The church professes to include morality 
in its teaching of religion, and so claims that there is no need of Free- 
masonry. In Spain, in Portugal, in Italy the craft has ever been under 
the ban of the church ; in Austria and Russia it has been under the ban 

of the state ; in France it has been condemned both by church and state. 
In Scotland it long was condemned by the sober-minded classes as a 
diversion which mainly led to drinking, and the songs and glees which 
the brethren themselves pubHshed certainly lent color to the charge. 

But the Morgan malignancy was entirely different from all other 
persecutions and "bannings." It apparently sprang up among the peo- 
ple themselves, and by its own force impelled the Legislature and 
church, the bar and the pulpit to act in accord with its dictates. Strange 
to say the most violent detractors of the craft were those who "came 
out" from their lodges and for personal profit, political prestige, or 
popular applause denounced their former friends and brothers as well 
as the entire institution. 

A notable instance, in many ways among the thousands the most 
notable instance, was that of Cadwallader D. Colden who "came out" 
from Holland Lodge in 1829, and in a letter which was printed and cir- 
culated all over the country renounced Masonry with the words : "Its 
titles and trappings are vain, foolish, and inconsistent with our republi- 
can institutions. Its pretensions are absurd, fallacious, and impious, 
and its ceremonies and mysteries are profane and lead many to believe 
that they impose obligations paramount to the laws. ... I should 
be sorry to end my life leaving it to be believed that I had lived and died 
an advocate of an institution of which I entertained such views." 

No man had been more honored by the fraternity in this State than 
Cadwallader D. Colden. He owed nearly all, if not all, his professional 
preferment to members of the institution, and it was through the influ- 
ence of De Witt Clinton that he became Mayor of New York in 1818. 
The Same great influence helped to elect him to Congress. In the early 
history of the Grand Lodge he was a notable figure. He served as Sen- 
ior Grand Warden for five years, during the entire period of Jacob Mor- 
ton's Grand Mastership, and again under De Witt Clinton from 1810 to 
1819, when that great statesman retired. Possibly the dim prospect of 
advancement to the highest honor then cooled his ardor and led him to 
abandon his Masonic activity. In the Morgan craze he probably saw an 
opportunity of paying back old scores, of riding again on the wave of a 
popular issue to the goal of his political ambition — the executive chair 
at Albany. But he again missed his chance, the wave simply threw him 
on the beach and he died, forgotten, in 1834. When such men re- 
nounced Masonry we may easily look with brotherly compassion on the 
memory of the thousands of less-informed brethren who imitated their 

It is difficult to fix precisely the duration of the Morgan craze. It 
begun in 1826 and reached its real height in 1830, although Wirt ran for 
President on an anti-Masonic ticket in 1832. But he only received the 
vote of one State — Vermont — and a popular vote of 33,108, while in 
1830, 120,036 votes were cast for the anti-Masonic Gubernatorial candi- 
date in the single State of New York. 

But allowing that 1830 saw the climax of the power of the delusion, 
it died out slowly, and even to the present time we meet veteran brethren 
who believe Masons should meet in cellars, in out-of-the-way places, 
who oppose seeing anything referring to the fraternity in print, who 
would speak of Lodge affairs only in a whisper. But the dignity, the 
charity, the importance of the craft are now too well understood, mainly 
through the publicity of the printing press, and it is impossible to con- 
ceive of it ever again becoming in this country at least, the victim of a 
popular uprising. 


The main purpose of this study, however, is not to discuss the de- 
tails of the Morgan mystery in general, to describe its persecutions, its 
animosities, its schemes, its trials, or its influence upon the history of the 
country while it raged and after it bad passed away. It is rather to find 
out exactly its influence upon our institution itself and to make plain the 
lessons it teaches. It is, in short, to make a Masonic study of the Mor- 
gan trouble and apply its lessons to the craft at the present day. 

I have said that it is difficult to say when the era of persecution 
ended, and I might have added that sometimes in the passing days little 
incidents occur which make one almost stop to ask whether it really 
has ended even yet, in spite of the wonderful popularity and prosperity 
which the fraternity has enjoyed during the past quarter of a century. Its 
course may be fairly estimated from the fact that while in 1826 there 
were on the roll of the Grand Lodge about 500 Lodges, in 1846 there 
were only 65. The following statistics are suggestive : 

In 1827 228 Lodges were represented in Grand Lodge; in 1828 
there were 130 represented, in 1829 there were 87, in 1830 there were 
"jy, in 1831 there were 71, in 1832 there were 52, in 1833 there were 56, 
in 1834 there were 53, in 1835 there were 49. 

Another set of figures prepared by Grand Master J. L. Lewis is 
equally eloquent : 

Lodges Estimated 

Year. on Roll. Merabersnip. 

1820 29s 15,000 

1825 480 20,000 

1830 82 3,000 

1840 , 70 5,000 

1850 172 12,000 

i860 432 25,000 

In short, it was not until i860, thirty-four years after the disappear- 
ance of Morgan, that the fraternity could be said to have regained the 
position it held prior to that memorable incident. By 1840, it will be 
seen, the tide had fairly turned. 

Let us now attempt to discover, as closely as possible, the manner 
in which the Lodges met the crisis, struggled through it and survived, 
or fell by the wayside. In 1843, which may be accepted as being as rep- 
resentative a year as any after the storm had spent itself and the breth- 
ren were beginning to draw themselves together, there were 73 Lodges 
on the' roll of the Grand Lodge ; of these 12, beginning with Phebus, No. 
82, had been warranted since 1840, leaving 61 pre-Morgan Lodges on 
the roll. Of these 19 were in New York and vicinity, 5 were in Albany 
and vicinity, and 37 in the country. Of these Albany Lodges i (Mas- 
ters') was announced as having made no returns to Grand Lodge, while 
of the country Lodges 18 were distinguished on the roll by such notes 
as "no election," "no return since revival," "no return of election," 
showing that they were wrestling more or less painfully with the evil 
effects of the times, while of one — Junius, 74 — it was flatly stated that 
the warrant had been forfeited and recalled in 1841. This virtually shows 
that in 1843 there were active, and in perfect standing, 19 New York 
City and District Lodges, 4 Albany and Troy Lodges, and 17 country 
Lodges— 40 in all of the Lodges warranted prior to 1841. 

We may now examine each of these divisions in more minute detail 
on the basis of the list of Lodges existing in 1827. 


In that year there were 44 city Lodges in all — strong, weak and in- 
different. Those which went down in the persecution were : 

Old No. 

7. St. Andrew's, warrant surrendered 1836. 

10. Hiram, warrant recalled in 1842. 

35. Howard, warrant recalled in 1842. Held no meetings from 1833. 

40. Phenix, warrant surrendered 1836. 

46. Westchester, warrant recalled 1843. 
108. Morton, warrant surrendered prior to 1843. 
122. La Sincerite, warrant surrendered 1830. 
143. Clinton, united in 1834 with St. John's, No. I. 
158. New Jerusalem, surrendered 1836. 

304. Concord, dormant 1826, resumed 1829, surrendered 1848. 
339. Hibernia, surrendered 1836. 
368. New York, surrendered 1836. 
371. Minerva, surrendered 1836. 

378. Hoffman, surrendered 1836. 

379. Eastern Star, surrendered 1836. 

380. Franklin, surrendered 1836. 

381. Greenwich, surrendered 1836. 
386. Bolivar, surrendered 1836. 

388. Tompkins, surrendered 1836. 

389. Mystic, surrendered 1836. 

390. Locke, surrendered 1836. 
392. Columbia, surrendered 1836. 

In addition there were four Lodges — King, warranted in 1827, war- 
rant surrendered 1836; Ancient, warrant surrendered 1836; Rising 
Moon, dormant 1836; and Zorobabel, warrant issued in 1827 to Hans B. 
Gram, Robert B. Folger and Lewis Saynisch, which does not seem to 
have ever been operative. For purposes of this inquiry these Lodges 
were too short-lived to have any value and so they may be dismissed in 
this paragraph. 

Old No. New No. SURVIVORS. 

1 I St. John's. Worked without break. "Initiations in 1825, 

5; 1828, i; 1829, s; 1830, 6; 1831, i; 1832, 2; 1833, 2; 
1834, 4; 1835, 4."—R. B. Folger. 

2 2 Independent Royal Arch. Worked without break. 

Old No. New No. 
l6 8 Holland. "It may truly be said that for several years suc- 

ceeding 1823 Masonry was in a dormant or languishing 
condition and that Holland Lodge was not exempted from 
the common fate of the fraternity. On April 23, 1833, 
the rooms of the Lodge were destroyed by fire ; and for 
upwards of 13 years afterward it maintained scarcely 
more than a formal existence." — J. N. Balestier. 
39 12 Trinity. Once a German, then an English-speaking 

Lodge, and again one of the German Lodges. No rec- 
ords prior to 1824. Seems to have worked clear through 
the Morgan time on account of its German membership. 
71 17 L'Union Francaise. No record. Said to have worked 

without interruption. 
81 19 Fortitude. "The Lodge continued to flourish with great 

success until about 1828, . . . and for more than two 
years only a sufficient number could be brought together 
to keep it going." — Henry Wittemore. 
Abrams. Now Pioneer Lodge. No data. 
Washington. Claims to have missed no meeting. 
Adelphi. Claims to have worked throughout, but records 
destroyed by fire. "Became mostly a Lodge of Israelites 
after 1827, and by 1835 had become a considerable body 
^principally Germans."- — R. B. Folger. 

107 26 Albion. Meetings held regularly, 5 brethren raised in 

1828; 2 in 1829; I in 1830; 3 in 1831. 

132 27 Mount Moriah. No record. Minutes lost. Became very 

weak if it really maintained its meetings. 

142 28 Benevolent. Maintained its work with noted regularity ; 

ID brethren raised in 1828; 3 in 1829; 6 in 1830; 4 in 

153 31 Mechanic. Pulled through the worst of the Morgan perse- 

cution, but that was about all ; the warrant was recalled 
in 1844. The Lodge was revived in i860 and in 1873 
the name was changed to Lotus Lodge, which it now 

322 54 German Union. "Meetings held regularly. The minutes 

do not even mention the anti-Masonic party and the 
persecution." — Official return to Grand Lodge. 

338 56 Hohenlinden. Now St. Alban's. Held 17 meetings in 1828; 







Old No. New No. 

17 in 1829; 12 in 1830; 11 in 1831. It raised 2 brethren 
in 1828; 3 in 1820; 2 in 1831. 

360 198 Silentia. Organized June 13, 1823, by Grand Lodge. 
Formed part of Atwood Grand Lodge in 1837. Active 
throughout the Morgan era. Between 1827 and 1831, 
inclusive, added 68 members to its roll. 

367 197 York. Organized June 13, 1824; helped organize Atwood 
Grand Lodge 1837. Met regularly. Three brethren 
raised in 1827, 5 in 1828, 14 in 1829, 4 in 1830, i in 1831. 

370 62 Manhattan. Warranted 1824. No data. 

373 64 Lafayette. Worked continuously; 25 meetings in 1828; 

22 in 1829; II in 1830; 19 in 1831. Feb. 23, 1832, on ac- 
count of financial difficulties resolved to meet on call of 

385 67 Mariners'. Met regularly, but no record of work exists 

from 1828 to 1832. Minutes lost. "Work mostly among 
sea-faring men and transient persons." — Folger. 

387 68 Montgomery. Warranted 1825. No data. 

391 69 Naval. "Struggled boldly against the anti-Masonic revo- 

lution until May 21, 1832, when it was compelled to suc- 
cumb to the blast and surrendered to the Grand Lodge 
its warrant and properties. Revived 1837." — Official 



Having thus dwelt fairly long in the city, we will now survey the condi- 
tion of the Masonic forces beyond its bounds— in what was then gener- 
ally spoken about as the country. To present a complete list of the 
country lodges extant in 1827 would occupy too much space. We will 
therefore consider those on the roll of 1843. 


*6 St. George's, Schenectady. "No return of election." Met once a 
year December 20, 1827, to June 30, 1834, when meetings were 
resumed. — Official data to Grand Lodge. 

*9 Unity, New Lebanon. Marked "No election." Held 7 meetings in 
1827; 4 meetings in 1828, then one meeting each year until 1845. 
— OiEcial statement. 
*17 Western Star, Bridgewater. Marked "No returns since 1841." No 
data as to meetings in possession of the writer. 
30 Farmers, Clifton Park. "No return of election." 

37 Rising Sun, Guilford. "No return of election." 

38 Columbia, New Paltz. "No return of election." 

*40 Olive Branch, Frankfort. "No return of election." Records show 

^ it simply met and elected officers. 
*44 Evening Star, Hornellsville. "No return for four years. Records 

missing. Seemingly dormant from 1858 to 1867. 
*48 Ark, Coxsackie. "No return of election." No data in possession of 

*5i Fidelity, Trumansburgh. "No return of election." "Membership 
reduced to 12, but they kept organized and maintained Grand 
Lodge connection." — Official statement. 
63 Caledonia, Caledonia. "No returns since 1855." 
70 Union, Coventry. "No returns of election." 
72 St. Simon and St. Jude, Channingsville. "No election." 
*73 Lockport, Niagara. "No return of election." "There is no record 
of any election for the years 1827-8-9 or 1830, and no record of 
any proceedings except for election of officers till 1839." — Official 
74 Junius. "Warrant recalled 1841." 
76 Western Light, Lisle. "No return since revival." 
yy Cameron, Howard. "No return of election." 

78 Mixville, Mixville. "No return of election." 

79 Hamilton, Palatine Bridge. "No return since revival." 

80 Montgomery, Stillwater. "No return of election." 

The Lodges having a star affixed to their numbers are still repre- 
sented on the Grand Lodge roll, and some of them are among the most 
progressive and popular Masonic bodies in the State. The others have 
all long since passed away. 


4 St. Patrick's, Johnstown. No election from December 2, 1820, to 

December 7, 1843. — Manuscript History. 
7 Hudson, Hudson. No record in writer's possession. 


22 St. John's, Greenfield. Worked all through the persecution with 
commendable regularity. Suffered in membership, did little work, 
but maintained its funds, and in 1830 celebrated the Day of the 

29 Champion, Champion. No record; warrant surrendered 1862. 

32 Warren, White Plains. No data. 

33 Ark, Geneva. "Through the zeal and integrity of the constitutional 

number, seven, known to the brethren in that vicinity as the 'im- 
mortal seven,' Ark Lodge kept up its meetings and paid its dues 
regularly." — Report by Dr. Hopkins, Grand Lecturer, 1862. 

39 Olive Branch, Bethany. No data. 

40 Olive Branch, Frankfort. Officers regularly elected; "Lodge kept 

alive by a faithful few." — Manuscript History. 

41 Sylvan, Moravia. No data. 

43 Star, Petersburg. No data; warrant surrendered 1847. 

45 Union, Lima. Met regularly, although there was no work from 
July 3, 1827, till September 19, 1834. The next candidate was 
raised in 1837, and a blank followed until November i, 1854. 

47 Utica, Utica. No data. 

49 Watertown, Watertown. Maintained its existence, but that was 
about all ; no election from 1832 to 1835. 

53 Brownville, Brownville. No meetings held 1828 to 1832; minutes 
lost 1827 to 1839. — Official Record. 

58 Phenix, Lansingburgh. Charter surrendered 1836; restored 1838; 
4 brethren raised 1828; i affiliated 1829; i affiliated 1830; i affil- 
iated 1833; 6 affiliated 1838. 

65 Morning Star, Canisteo. No data. 

66 Richmiond, Staten Island. Warranted 1825, worked through Mor- 

gan time, but surrendered its charter in 1849. 


3 Mount Vernon, Albany. "Minutes very irregular; no candidates 

raised." — Official Record. 
5 Masters', Albany. "In 1828 i brother raised; 1829, no record of 

anything beyond opening and closing; records from 1830 to 1835 

lost"— Official Record. 
13 Apollo, Troy. "Fully maintained its organization." For several 

years during that period of gloom and persecution only five or 

seven members would assemble at the annual elections, and this 


small number frequently constituted the officers and active mem- 
bers of the Lodge." — Jesse B. Anthony. 

14 Temple, Albany. Eighteen meetings in 1828; 14 in 1829; 13 in 
1830; 16 in 1831 ; II candidates raised in these years. 

75 Evening Star, West Troy. No data. 


There are several peculiar features contained in the lists we have 
just been considering, the most notable of which was the almost com- 
plete extinction of the craft. This, in fact, was the aim which the anti- 
Masons had in view, and of the accomplishment of which they were cer- 
tain. Wherever there existed a Lodge a determined effort was made to 
crush it, and nothing is more surprising than the ease with which this 
was accomplished, at least after the tide had fairly set in. In this the 
city and the country Lodges both suffered, although the latter seemed 
to possess the least power of resistance. It must be remembered that in 
speaking of the divisions of "city" and "country" in the years between 
1826 and 1830, a great difference exists between such designations as 
would be employed to-day. Then, outside of New York, Albany was 
the only place whose Lodges might claim to be "city" ones, although 
Masonically they would have been credited to the "country." In 1830 
Rochester had only a population of 9,207, Buffalo 8,668, Utica 8,323. 
Poughkeepsie 7,222. Nowadays the Lodges in these places and in sev- 
eral others of the prosperous towns and cities flourishing in the com- 
monwealth are as much to be regarded as "city" Lodges as were those 
on Manhattan Island in 1830. We still speak of Rochester as forming 
a part of the "country" contingent, and we have heard distinguished 
Rochester Masons so classify themselves, but it is an error which can- 
not be corrected too soon for the good of the fraternity. The terms 
had some significance at the time of the "compact" of 1827, but that 
significance has long since been lost. 

If the statistics I have presented teach anything, it is this : That the 
fraternity was saved from total annihilation, or at all events from indefi- 
nite suspension, during the anti-Masonic agitation simply by the strength 
and cohesiveness shown by the city Lodges, and in that category I in- 
clude those of Albany. Had there been no stability in the city Lodges, 
New York State might, nay, undoubtedly would, have been reduced to a 
level with Maine, a State in which there were no cities to speak of. In 


1842 at the meeting of that Grand Lodge, not a single Lodge was repre- 
sented, of the grand officers only the Grand Junior Warden was on hand, 
and he presided over a gathering of eight Master Masons ! 

The power of popular sentiment could not be directed against a co- 
terie of city Lodges with the same directness, intensity, and complete- 
ness as against one in a country district where every man was known to 
his neighbor, and where, in addition to political intrigue, all the moral, 
social, and domestic influences could be exerted against any object to 
which popular caprice set itself in opposition. Many a weak-kneed 
brother in the country would have held fast to his Masonic vows, and 
afterward gloried in his steadfastness, had his lot been cast in New York 
or Albany rather than in a pleasant rural town, or township, or village. 
In the former he might have been upheld, but in the latter he found no 
let-up in the persecution until he himself recanted — and too often turned 
a persecutor. 

We can hardly now realize the pressure that was brought to bear 
against Masonry in the country districts in those unhappy times, or how 
bitterly the individual Mason was worried and maligned until compelled 
to renounce, sometimes not only for his own peace of mind, but to pre- 
serve a roof for his family and to insure their daily bread. In a manu- 
script history of St. John's Lodge, No. 22, I read : "It was considered a 
disgrace to be a Mason during these (anti-Masonic) years, the brethren 
were accustomed to meet carefully, coming separately, one by one, and 
almost sneaking into their rooms above the church, prepared to resist 
a mob at any moment if necessary." 

Such details might be repeated, ad infinitum, showing the extent of 
the persecution — a persecution which did not limit itself to dealing with 
the living, but carried its bitterness even to the open grave, and to the 
humble headstone which afifection had raised to mark a spot where the 
remains of a Mason lay awaiting the last great summons. 

The city Lodges had troubles enough. Their numbers decreased, 
their meetings in many cases were irregular, many extinguished their 
altar fires forever, but many more survived. In all respects, it was a 
case of the "survival of the fittest." The active Lodges held together 
loyally, visited each other, and presented a bold front, and came out of 
the conflict not only with honor but quite prepared to begin the task of 
at once building up the breaches in the walls of the Masonic temple 
which the political manipulators had so ruthlessly made. It is true, as 
has been shown, that many of the New York Lodges went down in the 
storm, but the proportion was trivial when compared to that of the coun- 


try, and Albany seems to have preserved the integrity of her Lodges 
more or less unimpaired. 

It was then believed that there were too many Lodges in New York 
City, just as some thoughtful Masons of the present day assert that 
Manhattan Island has too many Masonic bodies. It used to be said 
prior to the "unpleasantness" of 1823 that the New York brethren or- 
Efanized Lodges on any little pretext for the sake of adding to their 
strength at the meetings of Grand Lodge. But it was well for the fra- 
ternity that they then existed in such numbers. They at all events pre- 
served New York from such a collapse as existed, to return to our for- 
mer illustration, in Maine. In the strength of the Lodges in the cities 
lies one of the surest guarantees against the success of any future at- 
tack on the ancient and honorable institution. In the olden days every 
large church or church establishment was called the light of the terri- 
tory of which it was the center. Thus the church at Haddington was 
called "the Light of Lothian." So such Lodges as Hiram, Washington,, 
and De Molay, at Buffalo ; Valley, Rochester, Genesee, and Yonnondio, 
at Rochester; Otseningo, at Binghamton; Syracuse, at Syracuse; and 
Oriental, at Utica, might be termed Masonic Hghts in their respective 

The writer is no believer in large Lodges as a general rule, experi- 
ence in the Chair showing that when a body of Masons exceeds 200 the- 
Master is apt to find his labors too exacting, but for the protection of the 
rraft there ought to be in every city at least one Lodge whose number^,' 
wealth, and local influence would make it shine as a bright light no mat- 
ter what darkness might prevail. Fortunately, we have many of these 
lights now and in the Hall at New York and the Home at Utica we have 
two great lights — lights which our brethren of 1826 were only hoping 
for, and which to our brethren of 1830 seemed among the impossibilities 
even of the future. 


Large Lodges, as I have said, have their uses — they are the lights 
of the districts in which they uphold the banner of Masonry. But they 
are ever likely to form the exception and to be confined to the cities. 
But in the country the ideal number should approximate 100. That, of 
course, cannot always be done, and I believe in Masons mieeting as fre- 
quently as they can and in whatever numbers they can muster, but the 


aim should, be, wherever it is possible, to approach the century mark. 
A Lodge of that number is less likely to yield to any unfriendly local 
attack than one which is few in numbers and which often by its weak- 
ness and consequent inertness invites such attack. Physiologists tell us 
that the human body, when weak, is liable to become a lodging place for 
the microbes of any disease which may be going around, and so a weak 
:lodge is liable to fall an easy victim to any pestilential microbes which 
malice, hate, ignorance, or jealousy may call into being. Where it is 
impossible to hope for a century roll of members, and fifty, or even less, 
is the best that zealous, thoughtful work in a district can do, such a 
Lodge should guard against apathy, should endeavor to perform the 
ritualistic work as correctly as possible, should see to it that its brethren 
practice outside as well as inside the Lodge all the Masonic virtues, and 
above all should keep in active touch with the rest of the Masonic 
world, and so impel the brethren to feel that though weak in numbers 
they are a part, an integral part, of a mighty and a world-wide institu- 
tion watched over everywhere by "the Eye that never sleeps." 

In country districts there should be a frequent exchange of 
visits, but it seems to me that the unity of a district might be effected by 
an exchange of Lodge representatives somewhat after the manner of the 
representative system connected with so many of our Grand Lodges. 
This is not a new suggestion ; nor is it offered for an experiment. It has 
already been tried and tested in this jurisdiction, and probably would 
have continued an active force but for the excitement into which the 
craft was thrown in 1849 by the organization of the Phillips Grand 
Lodge. In 1846, for instance, we find that St. John's Lodge, No. i, ex- 
changed representatives with 21 Lodges and in 1847 with 27. Brother 
George W. Loder, of St. John's, in reporting on this matter to the 
Grand Lodge, said : "A vast amount of good has already been effected 
through the medium of this system, and though at first sight it would ap- 
pear to create a great deal of extra trouble, yet upon reflection it will be 
found that the labor being divided among the members of the Lodge, it 
is made light, and each representative feels himself bound to attend to 
the duties of his office ; this keeps our meetings full and effectually wards 
off that bane to our beloved institution, apathy." 

Some arrangement of this sort would undoubtedly aid rural Lodges, 
at least, in keeping actively in touch with each other, in giving a small 
Lodge the intimate protection and comipanionship, so to speak, of a 
large one, and in binding all the scattered bodies of a district into the 
closest fraternal relationship without calling into requisition any of the 


machinery of the Grand Lodge. That should never be invoked except 
on very extraordinary occasions. 

Another potent fact comes to us in surveying the Morgan episode. 
The lodges were not only too numerous, but they were too poor. We 
may disguise it under all the sugar-coating of sentimentalism we may, 
but the fact remains that the best friend a man or a Lodge can have is a 
dollar in reserve. Every Lodge ought to have a reserve fund, large or 
small, so as to provide for the proverbial rainy day, which, experience 
tells us, comes to Lodges as well as to men. When a society has a fund 
to which all its members have contributed, membership is not relin- 
quished without due consideration. So far as the remaining records per- 
mit us to judge, few, if any, of the Lodges that "went down" in the Mor- 
gan era had a reserve fund at all, and in the country, as well as, to a great 
extent, in the city, the various bodies of the craft only had a sort of hand 
to mouth existence. In the rural districts there really appeared little 
need for a fund, as the calls for promiscuous charity, that is, for charit- 
able aid to brethren outside their immediate circle, were few, and when 
the charter was secured and the Lodge furniture was purchased little 
else had to be provided, except rent and Grand Lodge dues, and if we 
read the records aright it seems to us that the payment of the latter was 
evaded as much as possible. A fund in connection with Masonic work 
at that time was not deemed a necessity, and even in 1846 the Grand 
Lodge only came out some $49 ahead on the year's transactions. It 
may be accepted as a general fact that no wealthy Lodge — wealthy, that 
is, for the time — entirely succumbed, even to the Morgan storm, but 
managed to pull through, battered and twisted and waterlogged, it may 
be, and with sails torn to shreds, but still able to float until the storm 
was over, and it sailed into smoother waters. 

A reserve fund is one of the best guarantees of the stability of a 
Lodge, and if the fund can be increased until its income defrays the 
working expenses, rent, and salaries, the brethren who have devoted 
their energies to building up the Lodge need have no fear for the effects 
of any popular outcry which may arise or any spell of innocuous desue- 
tude which may come to pass. I question if a larger fund is really bene- 
ficial to any Lodge unless it have some special object in view, such as the 
erection of a building, the fitting up of a meeting place, or the formation 
of a library. The latter object seems, however, to be far removed from 
the thoughts of Lodges in these passing days. Our modern "bright" 
Mason is seldom a student of Masonic lore. 



There can be no doubt that the main reason why the ranks of the 
anti-Masonic party were so quickly swelled by an army of "renounced" 
Masons was that the bulk of the 20,000 Masons of 1825 were Masons 
only in name. They took the three degrees — passed through the Chap- 
ter and flocked into the Commandery, some to gratify their curiosity, 
others because it was a sort of fashionable fad, because the brethren 
were good fellows, and, possibly more than all, because it helped a man 
along in the battle of life or was supposed so to do. Every newly 
fledged lawyer joined the ranks, every political aspirant sought the altar 
in the Lodge-room, as did the young physician, the newly started busi- 
ness man, and all who for professional or social reasons desired to be 
identified with large bodies of their fellow men. It may seem cruel, but 
every Masonic student will bear me out when I say that a man who is 
initiated, passed, and raised, and signs the by-laws of a Lodge is a Mason 
but in name. He is but given the freedom of entrance to the Masonic 
temple, and whether he enters or not, whether he labors on the edifice 
or stands idly within the shadow and shelter of the gateway, depends on 

Few if any of the "renouncing" Masons were Masons at all in the 
fullest sense of the word, even although some of them seem to have made 
a parrot-like study of the ritual. They were time-servers, who deserted 
the temple as soon as it was threatened by storm. Are we courting a 
like danger to-day by initiating men and leaving them alone to their own 
devices after they have signed the by-laws and been declared Master 
Masons? We can afford in these days to make haste slowly. The phil- 
osophy of Freemasonry, that which after all gives it life and influence 
and standing, is not learned in a day, in a year, or in alone listening to a 
graceful rendition of our ritual. A man is not a perfect Mason because 
he can stand an examination in an ante-room. We must avoid making 
Masons by steam, we must cease hungering after "work." Let us make 
Masons perfect in reality, perfect on all sides, and we need never fear 
to again encounter a swarm of "renouncing" parasites, like the 15,000 
or so who went "out" between 1826 and 1830 from the midst of our fold. 

Above all, we must steer clear of politics — national. State, or local. 
Most of our leaders in 1826 were active politicians, and there is no 
doubt that in many a political fight, that, for instance, between Daniel 
D. Tompkins and De Witt Clinton, the Grand Lodge, with othet Ma- 
sonic bodies, was made to play a part. With the advent to the Grand 

Mastership of Morgan Lewis that feature was to a great degree sup- 
pressed, and has so remained, but many times the effort has been made 
to make the craft, in some way or other, exert an influence on passing 
politics. But such effort is invariably frowned down. An evidence of 
the closeness with which the advent of any political manoeuvre in Grand 
Lodge is watched is found in the report of the Committee on Foreign 
Correspondence for 1872. That report, under the head of Iowa, says : 
"We find a record which we hope will ere long seem a little queer to our 
Iowa brethren, to wit : 'Brother the Hon. Samuel Merrill, Governor of 
the State, being present in attendance on the Grand Lodge, was invited 
by the Grand Master to a seat in the East of Grand Lodge.' To the fact 
we do not object, for the Grand Master, we suppose, may invite any one 
he pleases to sit at his left or right hand, but a record of it elevates such 
invitation to importance. We 'pay proper respect to civil magistrates,' 
but in the Lodge we 'regard no man for his worldly wealth or honors.' " 
These words were endorsed by the Grand Lodge, and so long as that 
spirit prevails we need never fear that our institution will be successfully 
used for political purposes. But this is a matter to which the doctrine 
of eternal vigilance may well be applied. 

Freemasonry has a well-defined field of its own and the closer it 
sticks to it the better, the more powerful, the more influential will it be- 
come. The Lodge is not a club, it is a class-room, in which virtue should 
be inculcated and charity practiced. It is a great educator, intended to 
broaden mien's minds, to widen their powers for good, to bring them all 
closer together in that bond of fraternity which alone can lighten the toil 
and the burden of the way through this world to that house not made 
with hands, eternal in the heavens. 

Such are some of the lessons of the Morgan storm. Many others 
might be drawn, but we have said enough to show how interesting and 
profitable is the study of that grim period in our history, and how inti- 
mate a relation that study bears even to our passing history. The Mor- 
gan persecution was a terrible trial. Its cruelties indignities, oppres- 
sions, falsehoods, are painful to read, even now, but it had its victories 
and its lessons, and in time to come it will take rank among the wonders 
of the story of Masonry, not alone in the story of New York, but in that 
of the craft universal. 

Rough List of Books, Pamphlets, etc., bearing 
upon the Morgan Controversy. 

The following list is not presented as complete, or as having much bibliographi- 
cal value. But, so far as the Editor of this volume is aware, no bibliography 
of the Morgan Anti-Masonic storm has been compiled, and such a compila- 
tion is certainly much needed now, and will be needed still more in the future 
when nearly all of these works will hav,e become scarce. 

This rough list may serve as a beginning, and so be of some service in spite of its 
manifest incompleteness. 

Allyn, Avery. — A Ritual of Freemasonry. Illustrated by numerous engravings, 
with notes and remarks, to which is added a key to the Phi Beta Kappa. Bos- 
ton, 1831; also Philadelphia, 1831; New York, 1865. 

Anthony, Jesse B.— "The Morgan Excitement," Division II. (2 chapters) in His- 
tory of Freemasonry and Concordment Orders. Boston, 1891. 

Adams, John Quincy. — Letters on the Masonic Institution. 8vo., pp. 284, cloth. 
Boston, 1847. Separate Letters, Lancaster, 1832; Providence, 1833; Middle- 
town, Conn., 1833; Granby, 1832. 

Armstrong, Lebbeus. — "The Man of Sin Revealed." pp. 48. Waterford, 1829. 

— ^Masonry proved to be a work of Darkness, repugnant to the Christian Re- 
ligion and Inimical to a Republican Government, pp. 24. New York, 1830. 
(Four editions issued in New York and a fifth at Hartford, 1833. 

Anti-Masonic Tracts. 4 issues. Boston, 1829. 

(No. 2 Oaths and Obligations of Freemasonry, pp. 24.) 

Anderson, Samuel G. — Masonry the Same all over the World. — Another Masonic 
Murder. Statement made by Samuel G. Anderson, with a report of a com- 
mittee. 8vo., 8 pp. Boston, Mass., March 15, 1830. 

Brainard, David. — Light on Masonry. A collection of all the most important Docu- 
ments on the Subject of Speculative Masonry, embracing all the reports of 
the Western Committee in relation to the Abduction of William Morgan, etc. 
By Elder David Brainard. i2mo., pp 552, xxxvi. ; sheep; two steel plates. 
Utica, 1829. Two editions printed in 1829. 

Brainerd, W. F. — Masonic Lecture, by a Royal Arch Mason at New London, 
Conn. Pamphlet 

Brown, Henry. — A Narrative of the Anti-Masonic Excitement in the Western 
Part of the State of New York, during the years 1826, 1827, 1828, and a part 
of 1829. By Henry Brown, Esq. i2mo., pp. 244; boards. Batavia, 1828. 

Crary, John. — Speech of the Hon. John Crary in Senate of the State of New York, 
March 25, 1828. 8vo., pp. 16. Albany, 1828. 

Colden, C. D. — Letter to the Committee on the Subject of Freemasonry. 8vo., 
8 pp. New York, May 4, 1829. 

— A Reply to the Geneva Convention, pp. 34. Hartford, 1829. 

Chisel, Charles. — Lamentations of Freemasonry. A Poem of Modern Times, 
pp. 24. Norwich, 1829. 


Chandler, Amariah. — Evenings by the Fireside; or, Thoughts on Some of the 
First Principles of Speculative Masonry, pp. 24. Danville, Vt., 1829. 

Caldwell, Rev. David.— The Grand Secret Out; or, Masonry and its Principles. 
i6mo., pp. 18. Norfolk, 1846. 

Carter, John C. — The World's Wonder; or. Freemasonry Unmasked, etc. i2mo., 
pp. 282; plates 24. Madisonville, 1825. 

Carlilc, Richard. — Manual of Freemasoftry. i6mo., pp. 80. London, N. D. 

Drummond, Josiah H.— The Anti-Masonic Excitement. Chapter xxxiv., in 

American Reprint of Gould's History. Philadelphia, 1896. 
Declaration of the Freemasons of Boston and Vicinity. Boston, 1831. 

Dexter, Hon. Samuel. — Letter on Freemasonry. 1798. (Reprinted by the Anti- 

Dow, Daniel. — Free Inquiry Recommended on the Subject of Freemasonry; A 
Sermon preached at Woodstock, Sept. 11, 1829. Norwich, 1829. 

Emerson, Joseph. — Letters to Members of the Genesee Convocation, New York. 
i6nio., pp. 20. Wethersfield, Conn., 1828; also issued at Boston, "4th ed., 1829." 

Emery, John L. — Confession of the Murder of William Morgan. i6mo., pp. 24. 
New York, 1849. 

Fuller, Timothy. — Oration in Faneuil Hall. Pamphlet. Boston, N. D. 

Freemasonry, its Pretentions Exposed in Faithful Extracts of its Standard Au- 
thors, with a Review of Town's Speculative Masonry. 8vo., pp. xvi., 339. 
New York, 1825. 

— A Revelation of Freemasonry as Published to the World by Convention of Se- 
ceding Masons, held at Le Roy, Genesee County, N. Y. i6mo., pp. 107. 
Rochester, 1828. 

— The Nature and Tendency of Secret Associations. Illustrated, pp. 19, 8vo. Nor- 
v/ich, 1828. 

— Investigation into Freemasonry. By a Joint Committee of the Legislature of 
Massachusetts, March, 1834. 8vo., pp. 54. Boston, 1834. 

^Legislative Documents containing the Report by a Joint Committee, etc. March. 
1834. 8vo., pp. 76. Appendix, pp. 54. Boston, 1834-39. 

— A Pveport on Secret Societies and Monopolies. By a Joint Committee of the 
Legislature of Massachusetts, pp. 48. 

— Unmasked, pp. 93. Gettysburg, 1885. 

— A Freeman on. Warwick, 1832. 

— Ecclesiastical Record, pp. 24. Boston, 1832. 

— Portrait of Masonry and Anti-Masonry as Drawn by Richard Rush, John 
Quincy Adams, William Wirt, etc. pp. 60. Providence, 1832. 

—A Eeprint of Masonic Papers. Not for sale. i6mo., pp. 76. Madras. J. B. 

—A Candid Reply to the Address of the Rev. Alfred Ely, of Monrow, Mass., on 
the Subject of Speculative Freemasonry, by an Impartial Examiner. 20 pp. 
Boston, 1829. 

— Letters on Speculative Freemasonry. By J. Q. Adams, ex-President. Address 
to E. L. Livingston. 8vo., 4 pp. 1833. 

—Testimony taken by the Committee of the House of Representatives, Pennsyl- 
vania, to investigate the Evils of Freemasonry. Thad. Stevens, Chairman. 
Read in the House, June 13, 1836. 8vo., pp. S3- Harrisburg, 1836. 

—A Serious Call; or Masonry Revealed; being an Address prepared by order of 
the Anti-Masonic Convention held at Woodstock on the anniversary of the 
death of William Morgan, pp. 22. Boston, 1829. 

— The National Mirror of Masonry. By Philo Lucis. pp. 24. Bostcn, 1829. 


— Address on Masonry in Monson, Mass. pp. 12. Springfield, 1829. 
— Secret Societies, pp. 36. Hartford, 1829. 

—A Poem in three Cantos, with notes illustrative of the History, Policy, Prin- 
ciples, etc., of the Masonic Institution, pp. viii., 216. Leicester, 1830. 

— Legislative Investigation into Masonry. Before a Committee of the General 
Assembly of Rhode Island, held at Providence and Newport between Dec. 
7, 1831, and Jan. 7, 1832. 8vo., pp. 85. Index 2. Boston, 1832. 

— Report of the Committee appointed by the General Assembly of the State of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantation to investigate the Charges in Cir- 
culation against Freemasonry and Masons in said State, together with all the 
Official Documents and Testimony relating to the Subject. 8vo., pp. 72. Ap- 
pendix. Providence, 1832. 

—An Official Report by William Sprague, Jr., one of the Committee of the House 
of Representatives of Rhode Island upon the subject of Masonry. 8vo., 
pp. 23. Providence, 1832. 

— Ritual and Illustration of Freemasonry. i6mo., pp. 260; plates, 29. Devon, 1835. 

— "A Voice from the Green Mountains." Pamphlet. 

—Attempt to murder Elder George Witherell, a seceder from Masonry, at Hart- 
ford, Washington County, N. Y., and the Masonic attempt by a forged trial 
to rid Freemasonry of the guilt. Pamphlet. 

— Defense of John the Baptist from the Slanders of Freemasons. Pamphlet. 

— Report of a joint committee of the Legislature of Massachusetts on Freema- 
sonry, with a valuable collection of documents. 

— A Manual of Freemasonry and Anti-Masonrr, containing a view of the Secrets, 
Principles and Practice of the Order. l6mo., pp. 372. Louisville, Ky., 1833. 

— Report upon the subject of Anti-Masons to tile House of Representatives, Pa., 
April I, 1834, Mr. Patterson, of Armstrong, chairman. 8vo., 20 pp. Harris- 
. burg, 1834. 

— An Address to the Freemasons of Massachusetts, by a Freemason. 8vo., 16 pp. 
Worcester, Mass., 1832. 

— Letters on. 104 pp. Contents: 
■Hon. J. C. Spencer's Letter to a Committee at Coosada, Ala., July 15, 1830. 

Hon. Richard Rush's Letter to Anti-Masonic Committee of Correspondence for 

York County, Penn., May 4, 183 1. 
Hon. Richard Rush's Letter to Anti-Masonic Citizens of Lancaster County, 

Penn., June 30, 1831. 
' Hon. Richard Rush's Letter to Hon. J. C. Spencer, Nov. 6, 1831. 

Rev. Henry Tatem's Reply to the Summons of the Rhode Island Royal Arch 
Chapter, March 22, 1832. 
• Hon. Richard Rush's Letter to the Secretary of the Senatorial Convention at 

Meadville, Penn. 
' Arnold's Escape Aided by Freemasonry. 

Hon. Edward Everett's Opinion of Secret Societies. 
Gest, John. — A selection of Masonic Oaths and Penalties. 8 pp. Philadelphia, 1835. 

Giddings, Edward. — Narrative of Facts Relating to the Confinement of William 

Morgan in Fort Niagara. Pamphlet. 
Jones, Henry. — "Letters on Freemasonry.'' pp. 48. Boston, 1829. 
Merrick, Pliny. — Letter on Speculative Freemasonry, pp. 20. Worcester, 1829. 
— Renunciation of Freemasonry, pp. 12. 

Morgan, Wilham.— "Illustrations of Freemasonry," by one of the fraternity who 
has devoted thirty years to the subject. "God said, Let there be light, and 
there was light." Printed for the proprietor, Batavia, 1826. Published at $1. 
• Second edition, Batavia, 1827. 
Third edition, Rochester. 1827. 
Third edition. New York, 1827. 

—Illustrations, etc., with an account of the Kidnapping of the Author. New 
York, 1827. 

—The Mysteries of Freemasonry. By Capt. William Morgan. 8vo., pp. 122. New 
York, N. D. 

— Morgan's Freemasonry Exposed and Explained. By Capt. William Morgan, 
pp. 122, 8vo. New York. N. D. 

—Or, The Conspiracy Unveiled— A Farce in Two Acts. By G. S. Talbot. Roch- 
ester, 1827. 

— An Account of the Savage Treatment of. pp. 24. Boston, 1829. 

— A Narrative of the Facts and Circumstances relating to the Kidnapping arid 
Presumed Murder of William Morgan. 3d edition, paper, pp. 73, i2mo. 
Rochester, 1828. 

— Narrative of Facts relating to the Kidnapping and presumed Murder of Morgan. 
D. C. Miller, pp. 36 and appendix 35., 8vo. Batavia, 1827. 

— Trial of Eleven of the Kidnappers of. Pamphlet. 

Morris, Robert— "History of the Morgan Affair." New York, 1852. 

— The Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry; consisting of Masonic Tales, SongSj 

and Sketches. i2mo., pp. 390. New York, 1865. 
— The Masonic Martyr. Biography of Eli Bruce. i6mo., pp. 306. Louisville, 1861. 

— William Morgan; or. Political Anti-Masonry, its Rise, Growth, and Decadence. 
i2mo., pp. 397. New York, 1883. 

Odiorne, James C. — Opinions on Speculative Masonry; relative to its Origin, Na- 
ture and Tendency. A compilation embracing recent and important docu- 
ments on the subject, and exhibiting the views of the most distinguished writ- 
ers respecting it. i2mo., pp. vii., 280. Boston, 1830. 

Oliver, George.^History of Masonic Persecution. i2mo., pp. 347. London, 1847. 

O'Reilly, Henry. — American Political Anti-iMasonry, with its "Good-Enough 
Morgan." 8vo., pp. xiv., 55. New York, 1889. 

Pratt, Luther. A Defense of Freemasonry, in a series of Letters addressed to 
Solomon Southwick, Esq., and others, in which the true principles of the 
Order are given, and many late misrepresentations corrected; with an Appen- 
dix containing Notes and Masonic Documents. i6mo., pp. 216. Troy, 1828. 

Punkin. (Nom de plume). — Downfall of Freemasonry; an Authentic History of 
the Rise and progress and triumph of Anti-Masonry, etc., with Notes, Ex- 
planations, etc. Carefully revised. Worked by steam from Blubberlips. Pub- 
lished by the Editor near the Council Chamber. 25 plates. 8vo., 158 pp. 1838. 

Pennsylvania. — Report of the Select Committee on that part of the Governor's 
Message relating to the Abduction of Mr. Morgan, made to the Assembly, 
February 16, 1829. 24 pp. Harrisburg, 1829. 

Ritual and Illustrations of Freemasonry, and the Orange and Odd Fellows' So- 
cieties, accompanied by numerous engravings and a Key to the Phi Beti 
Kappa; also an account of the Kidnapping and Murder of William Morgan, 
etc. By a Traveler in the United States. i6mo., pp. 260. Devon, 1835. 

Ritner, Gov. James.- — Vindication of George Washington from the Stigma of Ad- 
herence to Secret Societies. Communicated to House of Representatives of 
Pennsylvania, March, 1837. Harrisburg, 1837. 

Rush, Richard. — Letter to York County Committee. 


Rollins, Rev. E. B. — Renunciation of Masonry. Pamphlet. 

Stone, William L. — Letters on Masonry and Anti-Masonry; addressed to the 
Hon. John Quincy Adams, by William L. Stone. "What I know to be true, 
that I will declare; and when I feel it to be my duty to represent, that I will 
have the boldness to publish." 8vo., pp. viii., 566, 7. New York, 1832. 
(Also Pittsburg, 1833.) 

Stearns, John G. — An Inquiry into the Nature and Tendency of Speculative Free- 
masonry with an Appendix to which is added Plain Truth, a Dialogue, and the 
Author's Reasons. Fifth edition, revised and corrected. 8vo., pp. xvi., 211. 
Utica, N. Y., 1829. 

— Letters on Freemasonry, with an Appendix, pp. 182. Utica, N. Y., i860. 

Sanborn, R. — Freemasonry a Covenant with Death. i2mo., pp. 11. Bath N. Y., 

Spencer, John C. — Portrait of Masonry. Providence, 1833. 

Siddons, E. — An Account of the Savage Treatment of William Morgan. Fifth 
edition, pp. 24. Boston, 1829. 

Sanborn, Rev. P. — Minutes of an Address delivered before the Anti-Masonic Con- 
vention, Reading, Mass., January 15, 1829, with a review of Mr. Knapp's de- 
fense of Masonry. 19 pp. Boston, 1829. 

Southwick, Solomon. — A Solemn Warning against Freemasonry. 8vo., pp. 138. 
Albany, 1827. 

— Same. pp. 129. Albany, 1828. 

— Oration. July, 1828. i2mo. Albany, 1828. 

— Speech of Solomon Southwick at Convention, February 19, 1829. 8vo., pp. 16. 

Albany, 1829. 
—Oration at Le Roy, N. Y., July 4, 1828. 

— Address delivered before the Anti-Masonic Convention of Reading, Mass. 
i2mo., pp. 19. Boston, 1829. 

Sumner, Charles P. — Letter on Speculative Masonry. Being an answer to a letter 
addressed to him on that subject by the Suffolk Committee. 8vo., pp. 20. 
Boston, 1828. 

Spencer, Hon. John C. — Report to the Senate of New York on the Abduction of 
William Morgan. Pamphlet. 

Thatcher, Moses. — Address before Anti-Masonic Assembly of Delegates for Ply- 
mouth County, at Halifax, Mass., December 9, 1829. 18 pp. Boston, 1830. 

— "Masonry the same all over the World;" Another Masonic Murder. Bvo., pp. 
8. Boston, 1830. 

— A Report of the Committee of St. Alban's Lodge, Wrentham, Mass., appointed 
to investigate the proceedings of Rev. Moses Thacher relative to Masonic In- 
stitutions, pp. 27. Boston, 1830. 

— "Address to a Brother in the Church." 

—Reasons Assigned by -the Church of North Wrentham for Withdrawing from 
their Masonic Brethren and Others. Nov. 28, 1830. 8vo., 32 pp. Boston, 1830. 

—Trial of Parkhurst Whitney, Timothy Shaw, Noah Beach, WilHam Miller and 
Samuel W. Chubbuck, for a conspiracy, the abduction, false imprisonment, 
and assault and battery of William -Morgan, February, 1831, with Proceed- 
ings of a Public Meeting held at Canandaigua, 1829. i pp., folio. Lockport, 
no date. 

— An Address before the Anti-Masonic State Assembly, Augusta, Maine, July 4, 
1832. 8vo., 32 pp. Hallowell, Me., 1832. 

— An Address to the Church and Congregation, under the care of the author, on 
his seceding from the Masonic Institution. Delivered May 24, 1829. By 
Moses Thacher, Pastor of the Church at North Wrentham. 8vo., pp. 12. 
Boston, 1829. 

Tatem, Rev. H.— Reply to Summons of Rhode Island Grand Chapter. 8 pp. 

Warwick, 1832. 
Taylor, Rev. R. — The Devil's Pulpit. Lectures on Freemasonry delivered by His 

Highness's Chaplain, Rev. Robert Taylor, B. A., at the Rotunda, Black Friars 

Road, London, April 10, 1831. Part i, 2, 3, 4, Ph. 50 pp. 
Weed, Thurlow.— Facts Stated. Hon Thurlow Weed on the Morgan Abduction; 

A Document for the People. i6mo., pp. 16; half roan. Chicago, 1883. 
— Autobiography. Being Volume I. of authorized biography published in 2 vols. 

Boston, 1880. 
Ward, Henry Dana. — Anti-Masonic Review. 2 vols. (All published). 
Webster, Daniel. — Letter on Freemasonry. Pamphlet. 
Whittlesey's Report of Abduction of William Morgan. 
Walters, Amasa. — Oration at Stonington, July S, 1830. 31 pp. Boston, 1830. 


("In 1830 over 130 Anti-Masonic newspapers and magazines existed." — ^Anthony.) 

American Whig, Woodstock, Vt., 1832. 

Anti-Masonic Mirror, Mount Eaton, Ohio, 1830. 

Anti-Masonic Review and Magazine. Henry Ward Dana. 1830. 

Anti-Masonic Telegraph, Norwich, N. Y., 1833. 

Banner, The, Union Village, N. Y., 1832. 

Cayuga Republican, Auburn, N. Y., 1828. 

Censor, The, Adams, N. Y., 1830. 

Evening Journal, Albany, N. Y 

Free Press, Boston, Mass., 1830. 

Ithaca Chronicle, Ithaca, N. Y., 1830. 

Jefferson Reporter, Watertown, N. Y., 1831. 

Livingston Register, Geneseo, N. Y., 1832. 

Lyons Countryman, Lyons, N. Y., 1832. 

iMiiddlebury Free Press, Middlebury, Vt., 1833. 

National Observer, Albany, N. Y., 1830. 

Observer (Southwick). 

Onondaga Republican, Syracuse, N. Y., 1832. 

Penn Yan Enquirer, Penn Yan, N. Y., 1831. 

Republican Advocate, Batavia, N. Y. 

Republican Advocate, Batavia, N. Y., 1826-1833. 

Spectator (Stone). 

Spirit of the Times, Batavia, N. Y., 1823-28. 

Sullivan County Herald, Monticello, N. Y., 1833. 

Wayne Republican, Lyons, N. Y., 1833. 


The Proceedings of the U. S. Anti-Masonic Convention, held in Philadelphia, 
September 11, 1830; embracing the Journal of Proceedings, their Reports, 
Debates and the address to the People. 8vo., pp. 164; boards. Philadelphia, 

Abstract of Proceedings of the Anti-iMasonic State Convention of Massachusetts. 
Boston, December, 1829, and January, 1830. 8vo,, pp. 32. Brief report of the 
Debates, etc. pp. 48. (2) Boston, 1830. 


Proceedings at a Masonic Meeting. l6mo., paper, pp. 30. Lancaster, Pa., 1829. 

Proceedings of a Convention of Delegates Opoosed to Freemasonry, held at Al- 
bany February, 1829. 8vo., pp. 40; half roan. Rochester, 1829. 

An Abstract of the Proceedings of the Anti-Masonic State Convention of Massa- 
chusetts, held in Faneuil Hall, Boston, December 30 and 31, 1829, and Janu- 
ary I, 1830. 8vo. Same. May 19 and 20, 1831. Same. Worcester, September 
S-6, 1832. 8vo., pp., 32, 78, SS half roan. Boston, 1830-32. 

The Proceedings of the U. S. Anti-Masonic Convention, held in Philadelphia, 
September II, 1830, embracing the Journal of Proceedings, the Reports, De- 
bates and Address to the People. 8vo., pp. 164, boards. Philadelphia, 1830. 

Same. Second Convention, held at Baltimore, September 1831. 8vo., pp. 88, half 
roan. Boston, 1832. 

Address of National Anti-Masonic Convention, 1830. 8vo., pp. 24, half roan. 
Philadelphia, 1830. 

Proceedings of Anti-Masonic Convention at Baltimore. 8vo., 88 pp. Boston, 1831. 

Proceedings of the Fourth Anti-Masonic Republican Convention of the State of 
Maine, held at Hallowell, July 3 and 4, 1834. 8vo., pp. 34. 





To the Editor of the Sun — Sir : The Sun of to-day in reply to a 
question regarding the "Morgan tragedy" says : "The whole question 
of his [Morgan's] disappearance is still a mystery." 

Now, as this subject, notwithstanding the lapse of many years since 
the great anti-Masonic excitement, which tore asunder the threads of 
domestic society and gave birth to a new political party, composed 
chiefly of the old Clintonians and a considerable part of the "Bucktails," 
yet retains a strong hold on the public mind, I deem it right, in the in- 
terest of truth, to state for the future political historian, that the "disap- 
pearance of Morgan" is not a "mystery" — at least to those in a position 
to know the facts. 

My very warm and personal friend, the late Cornelius H. Webster, 
of Binghamton, N. Y., who during his lifetime had been Master of sev- 
eral Masonic lodges, both in Canada and the United States, and also a 
metnber of the Grand Lodge, ex officio, of the State of New York, gave 
me the following statement, which I took down from his lips shortly 
previous to his decease, which occurred some two years since. He then 
stated that "Richard Howard, a prominent Mason, and who at the time 
was strongly suspected of being a participant in the Morgan outrage, 
told him that his hand was the last one that Morgan had hold of in tlu- 
boat before he was thrown into the water and drowned. Howard after- 
wards regretted it and his action in the matter. It is singular," con- 
tinued Mr. Webster, "that not one of those engaged in Morgan's mur- 
der died a natural death." Mr. Webster further said that "at first the 
abductors took Morgan to the Canada side and endeavored to have the 
Brant family (the descendants of the great Joseph Brant, "Thayendan- 
egea," himself a high Mason) dispose of him." 

Now, when it is considered that my informant, Mr. Webster, was 
not only a man of high rectitude of character, but at the same time a 
morbidly (if I may use that expression) conscientious man, it seems to 


me that the above statement should forever dispel the "mystery" which 
afterward attached to that deed. 

As a matter of course (indeed, as the French say, "it goes without 
saying") it would be, in the highest degree, unfair to ascribe to the 
Masonic fraternity as a body any complicity in this deed or to forget 
that they as a whole condemned this episode in the strongest terms of 
reprobation — especially as their ritual, if lived up to, comes nearer to 
the teachings of our Saviour than any other. Indeed, to the mistaken 
zeal of a few fanatical and misguided Masonic partisans may be as- 
cribed this deed. 

In fact, even until a later day, a few of that fraternity were just as 
misguided. For example, my father, the late Col. William L. Stone 
(for many years editor of the New York "Commercial Advertiser") pub- 
lished, in 1832, his "Letters on Masonry and anti-Masonry Addressed 
to John Quincy Adams," in which, while, of course, true to his oaths in 
not divulging the nature of conventional signs and symbols, he took the 
ground that "Masonry should be abandoned, mainly because it has lost 
its usefulness." After the publication of this work my father on two 
occasions narrowly escaped assassination in the streets of New York 
City and was only saved by the timely warning of his friends. 

"I shall always consider myself and the public," writes John Quincy 
Adams to my father, "indebted to you for the time and labor, and far 
more for the moral firmness and courage devoted to the publication of 
your book. The propagation of strongly contested truth is always slow, 
and there has been upon the question of Masonry and anti-Masonry a 
singttlar apathy prevailing in the community." The book, however, did 
not have an extensive circulation. Its strict impartiality may not, per- 
haps, have suited the taste of Masons or anti-Masons, and thus the very 
circumstances which gave value to the work prevented its popularity. 

Mount Vernon, Nov. 11, 1900. 



Some very interesting souvenirs of the anti-Masonic crusade were 
found some time ago among the archives of the Grand Lodge of Penn- 
sylvania and published in the "Keystone." Among them is a bill read 
in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, December 7, 1835, en- 
titled, "An act to suppress secret societies bound together by secret and 
unlawful oath." 

The first section of this bill imposes a fine of $100 on any person 
administering an oath to another initiated into any society or associa- 
tion or advanced from one degree to another. Every person present 
when such an oath was administered is made a lawful witness and com- 
pelled to testify. 

The second section requires all bodies of Masons and Odd Fellows 
to make an annual report of their officers and members, the number and 
names of those admitted or advanced, "with the mode and manner of 
their initiation, admission or advancement, the form or forms of the sev- 
eral promises or obHgations that have been admmistered," etc. The 
third section makes Freemasonry or Odd Fellowship a good cause or 
challenge to a juror when one party is a member of such order and an- 
other is not. 

It was, doubtless, the pendency of this bill which caused half a dozen 
Masons to issue over their signatures an appeal to the public correcting 
various unfounded charges and slanders. We have room for an extract 
only from this interesting document : 

"We have thought proper, however, for once to depart from the 
usages of Masonry, and as members of the institution to make you the 
following declarations; and under no less a pledge for the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth of what we advance than our 
characters and standing in society as citizens and Christian characters 
with many of us humble but dear and invaluable to us all. 

"We are all Masons, and some of us as far advanced as the Royal 
Arch Degree. 

"i. We declare to you, fellow citizens, that as far as we are acquaint- 
ed with Masonry, there is no obligation among Masons inconsistent 
with their duties as citizens, incompatible with the requirements of 


Christianity, or in violation of any moral obligation ; and of this every 
Mason is informed before he is admitted to the Order. 

"2. We declare that it is repugnant to the principles of the Order 
that a man can bind himself by an obligation, contravening his duties 
to God, to his country, to society, or to himself. 

"3. There is no obligation in Masonry obliging or requiring a 
Mason to vote for a brother Mason in preference to one not a Mason. 

"4. We declare that Freemasonry is not a political institution ; that 
Masons are laid under no political engagements whatever, except a gen- 
eral charge 'that they shall be peaceable subjects, conform to the laws 
of the country in which they reside, and not be concerned in plots or 
conspiracies against the government,' and that the rules of Masonry 
expressly exclude polities from the Lodge. 

"5. We assert that there is no obHgation among Masons binding 
them to unworthy objects or unworthy brethren. 

"6. We declare that we know of no Masonic word, sign or obHga- 
tion, which has been or can be used for the perversion of pubHc justice, 
or in avoidance of the laws of our country ; nor have we ever in any in- 
stance known justice perverted by one Mason in favor of another. 

"7. We know of no impious, profane or blasphemous oaths in the 

"8. We never knew of a power being possessed or claimed by a 
Lodge or by individual Masons, to inflict any penalty for a disclosure 
of the secrets of Masonry, or for a violation of the rules, other than 
censure and expulsion from the Order — and that disgrace which is the 
inevitable consequence of the violation of an honorable engagenwnt 
among honorable men, whether in or out of the Lodge. 

"9. We never heard of any persuasion used to any person to induce 
him to become a Mason. On the contrary, any candidate is at liberty 
to retire from the Lodge, or withdraw as a member at any time he 
pleases, either during his initiation or subsequently. 

"10. We have never had, either as a Lodge or. individually, any 
knowledge or information upon the subject of what is called the 'Mor- 
gan abduction,' except that in common with our fellow citizens derived 
from the newspapers of the day. And we declare to you that any in- 
fringement of the civil or reHgious rights, privileges, and liberties of 
any person is in direct repugnance to and violation of the principles and 
requirements of the Order. 

"On the subject of political combinations among Masons, we ap- 
peal to you, fellow-citizens, who know us personally, if we have not 
been divided on all questions of general politics and local matters. Our 


opinions and votes tipon the last Presidential election were no secret to 
our neighbors, and we appeal to them if our votes were not nearly 
equally divided in that instance, in which a Mason, and a distinguished 
Mason, our present chief magistrate. Gen. Jackson, was a candidate in 
opposition to one avowedly not a Mason. 

"We ask you whether, notwithstanding the alleged selfishness of 
the Order, you have not found us according to our circumstances as 
generous supporters of liberal objects and institutions, and as charitable 
contributors for the relief of necessitous persons, not Masons, as the 
generality of the individuals of the community.'' 

"The character of this unusual appeal," says the "Keystone" in 
commenting on it, "gives an idea of the extreme violence of the feeling 
that had been worked up by designing politicians against a wholly in- 
offensive class of men engaged in works of beneficence. Masonry is 
popular now, but it is well to remember that there was a time when 
heroic souls were necessary to stand out against the persecutions preva- 





President of the Masonic Historical Society of New York, 
Past Grand Master, New York, 


There is, in the human mind, an irresistible desire to adopt some 
kind of system, follow a custom and emulate example. So apt are we, 
in this respect, that we involuntarily become attached to that from 
which we receive the first impression, and we thus learn to love and 
venerate old and familiar things. We are movd by the pathetic song or 
story of the "Old Mill," the "Old Church," or the "Old Homestead," 
around which may cluster fond memories of days long gone by ; and 
when in sweet communion with ourselves we find comfort and solace 
in recalling scenes enacted many, many years ago. Hence, our ven- 
eration for the intellectual images which we have set up, and our rev- 
erence for the quaint language and customs of the ancient craftsmen. 

Ancient history will always possess a charm for the thoughtful 
student. There is a sun-tinted mist of romance which envelops the 
remote past and which, flatters the imaginations of each succeeding 
generation. We delight to read of the thrilling adventures, the en- 
gagements, and conquests of our ancestors. The brilliant achievements 
of the fearless navigator and intrepid explorer are attractive and inter- 
esting, and we must not forget that they were, also, most useful, for 
these brave spirits bequeathed to succeeding generations, substantial and 
beneficial knowledge, and have also planted the standard of civilization 
in the most remote parts of the earth. But there have been more useful 
and immeasurably greater heroes who, by perseverance, long-suffering, 
self-denial and unselfish devotion to duty, gave their lives a willing sac- 
rifice for the improvement of the human race. 

These noble heroes silently sought, by precept and example, to 
impress upon the minds of the people the true conception of purity, 
morality and justice. They taught duty to God and to each other. 
They worked with cheerfulness, were distinguished for simplicity of life 
and earnest sincerity. From among these came the True Craftsman, 
the founders of the Mystic Tie. 

In the earliest period in the history of the human race, we find a 
deep-seated desire to adopt forms and ceremonies intended either to 


strike the eye, inform the mind, or teach the heart. Even among the 
heathen nations, as well as with the more enlightened Hebrews, cere- 
monies were both elaborate and important. 

Imaginative writers have sought to connect, in some way, our 
Masonry with these ancient ceremonies, and have also endeavored to 
associate us with the Ancient Pagan Mysteries, Knights of the Cru- 
sades and other mystical religious associations. 

It is not our purpose to attempt to refute or corroborate these or 
the extravagant claims of great antiquity so often indulged in by our 
brethren. Indeed, for our purpose at this time, it is unimportant when 
Masonry was first practiced, or whence come our ceremonies. 

Masonry may not have been understood, practiced, or even known 
prior to our knowledge of its existence in Great Britain, and, save for 
the satisfaction of the historian, it matters but little. But we have this 
abiding faith: — 

That the "Mystic Temple," the "spirit of Masonry," existed from 
the foundation of the world. The Sacred Altar, whose living fire, sus- 
tained by an unseen power, fed by unseen hands, burned with unfading 
light, and shed its effulgent rays around the very birthplace of the hu- 
man race, and has lived in each succeeding generation and will con- 
tinue until the end of time. 

The Masonry that we possess was, undoubtedly, at one time wholly 
operative. The Ancient Craftsmen left evidences of their remarkable 
skill and ability in the magnificent edifices still in existence, eloquent 
monuments to their devotion to duty. 

But it must not be imagined that the original operative Masons 
were mere cutters and layers of stone. The operative Mason, between 
whom and the speculative there is a relation of succession, were of a 
much higher class of artists, and possessed of science connected with 
their peculiar skill. 

But, above and beyond this, they were distinguished for the adop- 
tion of a high standard of morality. They were bound together by ties 
of honor, truth, and uprightness. 

The system, the tools and implements of our ancient brethren have 
been symbolized by the speculative Mason. Their quaint customs and 
language, so dear to every Masonic student, have been adopted by our 
Craft, and thus, from what was the perfection of an operative system, 
useful as it was extensive, has arisen speculative or symbolic Masonry, 
which is, to-day, without a peer, the wonder of succeeding generations. 

They admitted to honorary membership, men of distinction and 


learning, of every profession, and it was through the influence of this 
latter class that the operative feature became entirely eliminated, and 
the fraternity of Speculative Philosophy was established. In order to ac- 
quire a thorough knowledge of this useful art, and transmit its secrets 
to coming generations, and, at the same time, preserve its dignity and 
importance, some system must, of necessity, be adopted. Hence the 
degrees or stages of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master 

We find the first step of the Apprentice was to be indentured to a 
master workmail for a given number of years, during which period he 
was to serve his master with freedom, fervency, and zeal. In return 
for faithful service, he was to receive proper instruction and encourage- 
ment in acquiring the secrets of the art. The act on the part of the, 
apprentice was to be voluntary, but the obligation to do his duty, once 
assumed, could not be abrogated or laid aside. 

After a proper time having elapsed, and due proficiency shown, 
the apprentice was advanced to a higher grade and to greater respon- 
sibility ; receiving no compensation, however, other than being provided 
with the necessaries of life. After another and more exacting period, 
the Fellow-Craft was permitted to present specimens of his handiwork, 
which were examined and criticised by the master workman, who, upon 
being satisfied with the evidence of his skill and industry, commended 
him to the Council of Masters, who, upon a further examination, finding 
him worthy, raised him to the highest degree, that of Master Workman 
or True Craftsman. He was then permitted to choose for himself a 
mark which was to be cut or engraved upon all his work ; he was also 
invested with the secrets by which he was enabled to travel in foreign 
lands, receive recognition from his fellows, and the wages which were 
his due. These secrets were to enable him to prove himself a tried 
and trusted workman, as well as to protect the craft against imposition, 
and to obtain for himself all the rights and privileges of a true crafts- 

The observant, thoughtful student can trace a clear, defined 
unmistakable similarity, an unbroken chain, connecting the ancient 
operative with the speculative. There is, however, a marked distinction 
in many respects. The first relates to the construction of material ; the 
second relates to the production of character. Our ancient brethren 
built for time, the production of their handicraft was at best but for a 
limited period only, while the symbolic craftsman builds for eternity. 

His work, performed in Speculative Masonry, is a system of mor- 


ality, developed and inculcated by the science of symbols; its language, 
universal ; its mysteries, beyond the penetration of the profane, it alone 
possessing the medium by which the thoughts and wishes of its votaries 
can be communicated to each other, no matter of what nation, kindred, 
or tongue. 

Its legends, while attractive and instructive, are subordinate to the 
symbol; indeed, the principal figure in the great legend of Masonry is 
himself, a symbol of manhood, laboring for immortality. 

The name, True Craftsman, can only be applied to a Master Mason, 
for in the symbolic Lodge only are to be found the fotmdation and 
capstone of Masonry. All other degrees are innovations invented and 
designed, from time to time, to suit the fancy of those desiring novelty 
and high-sounding titles. We might properly accept the Royal Arch, 
which has been ruthlessly torn from the Master's degree, and which 
was, and is, and should be, a part of it. 

We have learned that the True Craftsman must be skillful and pro- 
ficient in his art, well-tried and trusty, and like unto the stone whose 
smooth surface is emblematical of morality, whose cubical form, sta- 
bility of character, improving with time and experience, advancing in 
wisdom, as he increases in knowledge. He will commence with him- 
self, applying the square and plummet to his own conduct. He might 
follow the beaten path with some degree of success, but that will not 
suffice ; he must do more. The tree must push its own roots into the 
ground for sustenance. He must examine himself, and find not only 
the qualities that he should encourage and propagate, but also the 
evils that he should avoid. He will weigh the actions of his fellow in 
the balance of equity, and judge from reason, rather than prejudice. 
He will avoid cynicism, that unmanly trait so blasting in its influence, 
so subtle and pernicious in ts destructive work. 

For the cynic never finds the good, but is quick to discover that 
which may be a defect in the character of his brother. ReHgion to 
the cynic is hypocrisy ; honesty, a pretense ; virtue, simply want of op- 
portunity; purity, a myth. The influence of such a nature is like the 
biting frost on the tender plant. 

The True Craftsman will avoid the talebearer, who loveth and 
maketh a lie. He will not lend himself to aught that will bring sorrow 
or wrong upon any mem.ber of the human race. The True Craftsman 
will be quick to promote the good of others, as he does not possess a 
selfish nature, but cultivates a noble generosity, expelling all bitter, 
envenomed thoughts, whose deadly poison, like the burnished adder. 


would destroy the noblest work of God. He will cultivate a liberal, 
broad-minded disposition. No sectarian dogma will circumscribe his 
development, no shallow knowledge, or rudimentary religion retards 
his growth. He believes in the great truths of God and Nature, in 
their pure and simplest form. 

He loves liberty and equality, not that liberty that tyrants and des- 
pots desire, but that conscious liberty, which makes man supreme over 
institutions ; not that equality that would overthrow the State ; but the 
equality which should be the aim of every individual on God's footstool,, 
viz., to be the peer of his fellow in the possession of a true and noble 
manhood, bearing the stamp of dignity, which raises him in the scales of 
his being, doing justly, loving mercy. 

The material and intellectual are always proportionate to moral 
development. It is, therefore, a living truth, that as we cultivate the 
fallow ground, we enhance its value ; as we temper our own minds to 
that which is good and noble, we constantly derive the benefit of our 
work. The very process lifts us above the weary walks of life, encour- 
aging generous motives, keeping fresh the enthusiasm that warms the 
springtime of our being, strengthening our interest in the human race, 
and knits us together by stronger ties, encouraging us to look beyond 
the external or physical life, brightening our prophetic vision, so that 
we may more clearly see through faith, that which is beyond. And, as 
the language of this symbolism is music to the ear, so the practice of its 
sublime teachings lighten our steps and burdens, as we pass each mile- 
tone, on our journey through life. May it still be so, may the Mystic 
light, whose origin is veiled in impenetrable mystery, but whose path- 
way is illumined by the love of humanity, whose life is the spirit of 
good will to mankind, whose mission is peace. 

May thy standard. True Craftsman, advance, thy temples rise until 
Faith, Justice, Truth, Charity, and Fraternal Love encompass, with 
their benign influence, the utmost ends of the earth. 








The student of Masonic history and traditions is met on the 
threshold of his inquiries with the conflict of opinions of the distin- 
guished writers who have delved in Masonic quarries. The pure rit- 
ualist whose horizon is limited by the formal rites of the Order may 
maintain that American Masonry is no older than the compilations of 
our ritual by Dr. Webb. The legalist may say that there can be no 
Masonry without the Grand Lodge ; and that the first legitimate Grand 
Lodge was that of London, organized in A. D. 1717. The antiquary 
will trace the origin of the Order to the trades-unions of the Middle 
Ages and demonstrate beyond controversy that modern Speculative 
Masonry is the direct and lineal descendant of the traveling Masonic 
guilds to whom medieval Europe owed its magnificent cathedrals, mon- 
asteries, and abbeys. The philosopher will go further, and find the 
germ or dominant idea of modern Speculative Masonry in the "Mys- 
teries" or secret societies of antiquity. 

These dififerences are confusing to the novice, but a critical analysis 
of the writings of these distinguished craftsmen will reveal the fact that 
their dififerences arise merely in matters of definition. Indeed, most of 
the controversies of this world arise, not so much from incorrect rea- 
soning or insufficient data, as from the shifting foundation of uncertain 

What, then, is Masonry? It is certainly not the ritual. Any Grand 
Lodge can change that. As clothing does not make a man, neither 
does the ritual make Masonry, although frequently the clothes attract 
more attention than the man. 

The old definition of Masonry : "A system of morality, veiled in 
allegory and illustrated by symbols," is picturesque but limited. We 
venture to suggest that the following is a just definition of American 
Masonry: A society having a secret ritual and modes of recognition 
among its members, the dominant object of which is to teach and prac- 
tice a code of morals, taught by allegory and symbolism, based on the 
teachings of the holy Scriptures as a rule and guide in faith and practice, 


and having the following pre-requisites : (i) a belief in a personal God 
and in the immortality of the soul ; (2) an open Bible as an indispensa- 
ble part of the furniture of the Lodge. Some would add (3) the di- 
vision of Symbolic Masonry into the Three Degress, and (4) the Legend 
of the Third Degree. All the rest are matters of administration only. 
Formerly Symbolic Masonry consisted of five degrees. 

Starting from this definition, it is easy to trace Masonry back 
through its purely speculative period since A. D. 1717 — through a cen- 
tury or more of a mixed Operative and Speculative membership, to the 
Masonic guilds or trades-unions of the Middle Ages ; and we are also 
able to trace rloticeable similarities in the "Mysteries" of antiquity — 
similarities so marked as to indicate a common purpose or kinship. 

Masonic writers, in treating of the early period of the world's 
history, speak of the "Pure Freemasonry" of antiquity and the "Spu- 
rious Freemansory" of antiquity. The Pure Freemasonry was the cor- 
rect idea of God held by the Jew and revealed to him by the Supreme 
Being Himself. The Spurious Freemasonry of antiquity consisted of 
those "Mysteries" or secret societies of other nations that were groping 
about in darkness, yearning for the hope of life after death, yet left with- 
out revelation, and appreciating but dimly the idea of the unity of God. 

Our knowledge of the secret ceremonies of the "Mysteries" of Isis 
and Osiris in Egypt, of Eleusis in Greece, of Pythagoras in Magna 
Graecia, and of the Dionysian Artificers in Phoenicia, lead us to believe 
that their object was Masonic. Like the legend of the Third Degree, 
their initiation taught by impressive, forceful and poetic symbolism and 
allegory, the existence of the One God, the necessity of integrity and 
fidelity in this world and a belief in immortality in the life to come. 
Their ideas were distorted and imperfect, but the yearning after immor- 
tality, implanted in the heart of every mortal, found expression in those 
"Mysteries." Their similarity to modern Speculative Masonry seems 
to be limited to the bare lessons taught in a dramatic ceremonial. What 
the intellectual and enHghtened few among the ancients dreamed of, 
hoped for, and groped after, the Holy Scriptures made plain and certain, 
and the "Mysteries" disappeared when their utility ceased. 

Very many will ask why these teachings were in secret. Why was 
not the groping after these conceptions of God revealed to the 
world at large? It is enough to say that those were days when mon- 
archs were worshiped as gods and the common people were fanatically 
superstitious. To profess a faith different from that of the reigning 
sovereign was to court death. Even despots in this day do not dare 


to thwart the rehgious superstitions of the people. How much the 
more necessary, then, in those times, that these new ideas should be 
propagated among the learned and select few under the protecting cloak 
of a secret oath in a society of brothers. 

Did not God Himself select a weak and insignificant nation — a 
secret society of selected people, as it were — as the receptacle of divine 
truth, the vehicle through which, in due time, it should be conveyed to 
the world? God directly revealed to the Jew what the learned of other 
nations sought unsuccessfully to reason out in secret. 

The connection of modern Masonry with the Temple of King 
Solomon is, of course, pure legend. King David, the warrior poet, had 
laid the foundations of a great kingdom. Solomon developed its nat- 
ural resources and became rich. He wished to build a temple that 
should fitly represent the One God. His kingdom was on the highway 
between the magnificent empires of the Euphrates and Nile valleys and 
his custom houses, levying tribute on international traffic, made him 
enormously rich. He had the marble and granite, the gold and the 
silver, but he had not the timber or the skill to erect a structure such as 
he contemplated. He therefore entered into a treaty with Hiram, King 
of Tyre, who furnished him the cedars of Lebanon and gave to him 
his chief architect, Hiram Abifif, the widow's son, who is said to have 
been the Master of the Dionysian Mysteries in Tyre — a secret building 
society whose ceremonies of initiation taught the unity of God and 
lessons of integrity and immortality. 

According to Masonic tradition, the correct ideas of God, given to 
the Jew by revelation, supplanted the vagne yearning of the Tyrian 
after the true conception of God, in new "Mysteries" or a secret society 
in Jerusalem which retained largely the old dramatic methods of in- 
struction. The two Masonic streams, the Pure Freemasonry of an- 
tiquity and the Spurious Freemasonry of antiquity, were thus joined. 
The Tragedy of the Architect, the Hiramic legend or legend of the 
Third Degree, applies the "Mystery" method of instruction brought 
from Tyre to the lessons of true religion and morality learned at 

We now enter the domain of more certain history. Josephus 
(born A. D. 37) and Philo of Alexandria (born B. C. 10) are considered 
trustworthy, though prejudiced historians. Both of these writers wrote 
in the second half of the first century. From them we learn of the 
Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes, the three philosophic sects of the 
Jews. The Essenes are said to have numbered about 5,000, and, ac- 


cording to Josephus, they appeared about a century before the Chris- 
tian era and continued to exist up to the destruction of Jerusalem by 
Titus in the year 70, when the Jewish people were dispersed. It is a re- 
markable fact, however, that Josephus never mentions the name of 
Christian and no New Testament writer hints at the existence of the 

These facts are the foundation of the theory advanced by DeQuincy 
in certain beautiful essays wherein he reasons that the Essenes were in 
fact organized at the time of the first persecutions of Christians in Jeru- 
salem, and that they were really a secret society of Christians designed 
to protect themselves from the horrible persecutions of that age, at 
home and abroad, and to enable them better to protect their, to them, 
dangerous principles under the sanctity of a Masonic oath. DeQuincy's 
theory was not born of any prejudice in favor of secret societies. On 
the contrary, he ridiculed Masonry and alleged that its secrets of initia- 
tion consisted in correct answers to two questions : First, "Have you a 
guinea?" and second, "How shall we spend it?" 

Josephus's and Philo's descriptions of the Esenes correspond very 
largely to the description of the early Christians, and it is impossible 
that the Saviour of mankind should have denounced Pharisees and Sad- 
ducees so vigorously and left unnoticed — had they then existed — a 
well-known sect of the Jews whose principles were very largely those 
enunciated in the Sermon on the Mount, and whose methods were sub- 
stantially the same as those of the early Christian Church. 

No Mason can read the description of the Essenes without seeing 
at once that they had all the salient characteristics of a modern Mason. 
They were bound together, as Josephus says, by "tremendous oaths," 
a synopsis of which he gives. They believed in God and in immortality. 
They had secret signs of recognition. They traveled from city to city 
in perfect confidence of a brotherly reception, as did the traveling 
Operative Masons of the Middle Ages ; and, although the problem is 
not demonstrated to a certainty, we are constrained to agree with De 
Quincy in a firm belief that the Essenes were really a secret Masonic 
society, organized or utilized, probably by St. Paul, for the express pur- 
pose of propagating new religious principles in safety, strengthening 
the new church until it was able to stand alone, until finally the des- 
truction of Jerusalem scattered this new society into every quarter of 
the globe, where, by their secret signs of recognition, they were able 
safely to communicate with one another and propagate their aggres- 
sive religion in every new quarter. 


The description of the Early Christian Church at Jerusalem given 
in the Acts and Epistles correspond so noticeably with the descriptions 
of the Essenes given in the writings of Josephus and Philo that the 
similarity cannot be accidental. Josephus probably never had heard, in 
A. D. 93, the name Christian ; he only knew about this peculiar "philo- 
sophic sect of the Jews" called Essenes, the sect that he extolled so 
highly. The New Testament writers, being fully initiated in the Es- 
sene "mysteries," never mentioned the name of their order. The dis- 
ciples were first called Christians at Antioch, probably in derision, and 
that name did not become common until long after the dates of the 

The Essenes had four degrees. After a convert had served two 
years of probation, his character was sufficiently well known to con- 
fide to him the more abstruse secrets of the higher degrees ; and when 
we reflect with how great precision the modern Masonic ritual has been 
handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation, we can 
see how the holy gospels were transmitted, word for word, for genera- 
tions, until they were finally collected in the Holy Book that now graces 
the Masonic altar. 

Who shall say that the sign of the cross was not the sign of recog- 
nition, and the fish the symbol by means of which this early fraternity 
recognized one another. They thus warned one another and warded off 
threatening dangers and gathered together in safety for worship, in- 
struction and counsel; and when we remember the character of the 
dangers of that period, we do not wonder that the fragile plant of 
Christianity was. nurtured in the hot-house of Essene Masonry until 
strong enough to conquer the world. 

We sit by the peaceful fireside of a Nineteenth Century home and 
think of the crucifixion of Jesus and the stoning of Stephen as unusual 
cruelties, forgetting that Alexander the Great crucified 2,000 persons 
on the capture of Tyre; that 5,000 were crucified after a rebellion in 
Sicily ; that Romans on crosses decorated the entire road from Capua to 
Rome after the conspiracy of Spartacus ; that Palestine was in a chronic 
state of eruption — the only country, indeed, that refused gracefully to 
bare the neck to the Roman yoke — and Jewish hatred of the Roman 
was only equalled by Roman hatred of the Jew; Varus on entering Je- 
rusalem after the revolt of Judas, the Galilean, scoured the country for 
fugitives and 2,000 crosses marked nearly every crossroads in Palestine ; 
and finally, Titus, after shutting up a million of the hated race in Jeru- 
salem, destroyed them by the cross, sword, and starvation. The very 


air breathed by the early Christians was polluted with greed and hate. 
Such were those trying times, and no wonder that DeQuincy credits the 
converts of this epi-Christian age with utilizing the methods of the An- 
cient "Mysteries," to protect the new Gospel until its roots should have 
fastened themselves deep into the soil and rock of public affection. 

The Collegia Fabrorum at Rome is known to have been a secret 
society having for its object the cutivation of a knowledge of architect- 
ure which was then considered the highest science. When the barba- 
rians over-ran Rome, and Byzantium (Constantinople) became the cap- 
ital of the new civil, religious, and political empire, the new city gathered 
to itself all the learning of Rome, Athens, and Alexandria, and became 
the intellectual centre of the world. Thither gathered master architects, 
painters and skilled artificers. From that time the light of learn- 
ing in Europe gradually grew dim, until, in the dark night of the Middle 
Ages, it seemed almost extinct. Kings and queens and great army com- 
manders could not read or write. People were deeply religious, yet 
densely ignorant. 

After a time, the nations of Europe seem to have been seized with 
a frenzy for building immense cathedrals as was Solomon in days of old. 
Like him, they had the money and materials, but they lacked skill, and 
architects were sent for from Constantinople. Thus educated men mi- 
grated to cathedral cities ; prepared the plans and executed their designs. 
They brought with them skilled workmen who lived in loges near the 
cathedral. These strangers were not willing to be governed by the 
laws of the semi-barbarians among whom they lived ; and by special edict 
they were permitted to maintain a judicial government among them- 
selves according to the laws of Constantinople. Hence they were called 
"free" masons. The master architect exercised the prerogatives of a 
judge ; he determined the amount of wages, the number of apprentices, 
the term of service, and adjusted all matters between capital and labor. 
If one had passed through his apprenticeship of seven years and had 
become an accomplished mason, he was permitted to travel to another 
cathedral city, and there, by means of certain secret signs and words of 
recognition, his proficiency was vouched for and he immediately ob- 
tained labor in his new field. 

It will thus be seen how Masonic Lodges, trades-unions, or guilds 
sprang up in every great city of Europe. They naturally attracted at- 
tention, and with the revival of learning, men of other professions 
sought their society and finally were admitted as honorary members. 
They became "accepted" masons. 


It will readily be seen how, gradually, the honorary members of the 
operative guilds might gain a dominant influence, until, at the time of 
the organization of the Grand Lodge of London in 1717, Masonic 
Lodges had ceased altogether to be operative and had become purely 
speculative, forming the Free and Accepted Masons of modern times. 

We must not omit in passing to mention one of the most important 
points in which Masonry has blessed the world. During the darkness 
of the Middle Ages, classic literature was preserved to the world by the 
monks ; scientific knowledge was preserved, very largely, through the 
Byzantine architects. The medieval monks were especially patrons of 
the classics ; the masons were patrons of architecture and the sciences. 
The monk, in his cloister, thought he was serving God best when, sep- 
arated from the world, he meditated upon God and his own virtues and, 
incidentally, reflected upon the vices of others. The architects, on the 
other hand, deified the labor of building God's temples and had for a 
motto : "Labor is worship." The early operative Masons were deeply 
religious; attendance at mass was obligatory. The Pope was their 
patron and protector. They were constantly employed in erecting re- 
ligious buildings, and it is not strange that their religious services in 
their Masonic guilds gradually assumed a symbolic character which has 
developed int othe ritual of to-day. Every implement that they used 
inculcated a moral lesson. The level taught equality; that all men are 
created equal. The square and plumb taught the necessity of good 
works ; to act on the square and to walk uprightly before God and 
men. His trowel, spreading the cement that bound the parts of the 
building into one symmetrical whole, was an eloquent symbol of the 
brotherly love and affection that should bind him to all mankind and 
especially to the brethren of his lodge. 

The monk exalted solitude ; the Mason exalted and dignified labor, 
and in the Masonic lodge "liberty, equality and fraternity" were as fun- 
damental principes as in modern Democracy. 

We know that the trades-unions of London, which control the poli- 
tics of that city, are now monopolized by gentlemen of wealth and leisure 
who know absolutely nothing of the draper's or fishmonger's art, and 
yet these political societies were, at one time, composed of actual vend- 
ers of cloth and herring. In like manner, we can see how the educated 
strangers who lived in foreign cities, and yet were not of them — gov- 
erned by their own laws, attracting educated men from their own en- 
vironment — should in time become political factors and subject them- 
selves to the jealousy of kings ; and we learn that, in A. D. 1425, King 


Henry VI. promulgated a law in England which suppressed these inde- 
pendent societies, and thereafter Parliament regulated the relations be- 
tween employers and employed. After that date, these Masonic lodges 
became secret, moralistic, and benevolent organizations. The specu- 
lative feature was developed still more, and their members became, not 
politicians, like the guilds of London, but propagators of a code of mor- 
als, founded on holy writ, emphasizing the fatherhood of God, the broth- 
erhood of man, and the nobility of labor. 

Among the first speculative Masons whose names have been pre- 
served, was a quartermaster-general of the Scottish army, and since his 
day (1641) the EngHsh army has scattered Masonry in every quarter 
of the globe ; and in recent times the American army has also begun to 
scatter Masonry in every clime. Masonry is the child of liberty ; feared 
by tyrants, it has developed in spite of them, but its greatest influence 
has been felt in those countries where the people rule. Masonry has 
been suppressed by edicts of kings and bulls of popes, but wherever 
liberty prevails it has thrived. Indeed, it has even been claimed that the 
American republic owes its birth to Masonrj'. In the closing years of 
the eighteenth century, a wave of infidelity swept over Europe and 
America. The writings of Voltaire and Rousseau seemed to dominate 
the sentiments of civilization. At the opening of the nineteenth century, 
while there were several infidel societies in Yale College, there were 
but two or three professed Christians, but all through the Revolutionary 
period an antidote for this sentiment was found in the influential Ma- 
sonic lodges who believed in God and in the immortality of the soul. 
They also believed in liberty, equality, and fraternity, and under the 
sanctity of the Masonic oath, brother dared to confide to brother his 
yearnings after liberty at a time when these yearnings could not be 
spoken in public. Almost every prominent actor on the Revolutionary 
stage was a Mason. Very nearly all the signers of the Declaration of 
Independence and the delegates to the first Constitutional Convention 
were Masons ; and the early revolutionary plans are said to have been 
developed among the Masonic brethren. 

It was alleged that the Jacobin clubs of the French revolution were 
Masonic societies, and that the horrible tragedies of that period are 
chargeable to them. This is not true, and many valuable Masonic 
records were destroyed during the Reign of Terror ; but doubtless Jaco- 
bin conceptions of freedom were learned in the lodge; and when we 
consider the horrible condition of the common people of France, ground 
down under the heel of centuries of despotism, who can blame them for 


demanding liberty even at the sacrifice of much blood? The new French 
republic took its motto, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," direct from the 
Masonic ritual. 

Despots of all countries have feared Masonry. Liberal govern- 
ments have favored it. The Grand Master of Cuba was imprisoned and 
executed for the offense of his office. An entire Masonic lodge of Ha- 
vana was imprisoned for committing the heinous offense of performing 
their last sad rites at the grave of a departed brother. The execution of 
an entire lodge at San Juan was prevented by the timely arrival of 
American troops. It is needless to say that hereafter there will be no 
more Masonic martyrs in Cuba or Porto Rico, and it is safe to predict 
that wherever the American or British flag floats there will be liberty 
of conscience and an open Bible on the altar. 

The American flag recently started on a tour around the world. In 
one month it got half way 'round, and there is no telling when it may 
continue its journey and complete the tour. But wherever it goes, there 
the benign influences of liberty and untram.melled conscience will be felt. 

It will be impossible to mention the many great names in Specula- 
tive Masonry who have been prominent in history. From Frederick 
the Great and Sir Christopher Wren to Napoleon and his marshals'; 
from the galaxy of great men who signed the Declaration of Independ- 
ence to the present President of the United States ; learned doctors of 
divinity and delvers in every department of science and art; all have 
exerted their influence to extend the benign influences of this Order. 

The uninstructed often look upon Masonry with disfavor, having a 
hurtful suspicion against anything secret, and believing the Order to 
be a mere social fraternity with certain presumptuous claims to being a 
religious body that, with some at least, usurps the affections and duties 
owed to the Church. We sympathize with these misapprehensions, as 
we formerly held them. They grow out of want of exact information 
and a failure to distinguish between Religion and Morality. They are 
distinct. We who are accustomed to the religious teachings of holy 
writ which commend morality, or a godly life, as an evidence of sincere 
belief, forget that other religions either do not require repentance or a 
changed life in their devotees, or else propagate a code or morals that we 
denounce as immoral. Masonry teaches not religion but morality and 
the absolutely necessary foundation principles of correct morals : a belief 
in the true God and in the immortality of the soul. 

Masonry is not religion. It is religious. It is not the foe, but the 
ally and handmaiden of religion. And its moral lessons are taught by 


the forceful and impressive symbolisms suggested by the builder's art. 
Sermons may readily be forgotten, but no Mason can ever forget the 
symbolism of the Hiramic Legend or its lessons of fidelity, integrity, and 

"Freemasonry, although teaching no religion of its own, is the 
handmaid of all religions, and calculated to make every member a more 
sincere follower of the particular religion he professes. The candidate 
must be a believer in God. * * * He is also taught that there is a 
life to come, in which he will meet with punishment or reward, accord- 
ing to his deserts. Any further dogma we leave to the teachers of the 
churches ; we assert none, we controvert none." (G. W. Speth.) 

Very many object to Masonry by reason of the fact that it is a se- 
cret society and maintain that, if it be so desirable a benevolent, fraternal 
and moral society, its teachings should be open to all. 

The fact is that the secrets of Freemasonry are of value to nobody 
but itself. Every family is a secret society wherein strangers are ex- 
cluded ; and most valuable instruction is given in the secrecy of the. home 
circle that could not profitably be imparted elsewhere. Certain tender 
plants are nursed in hothouses until they are strong enough to be trans- 
planted and withstand the harsh winds of winter. In like manner, God 
sheltered the knowledge of Himself by confiding it by direct revelation 
to a small nation. Israel was the hothouse that protected the tender 
plant until the world universal was prepared to receive it. The "Mys- 
teries" of the ancients were shelters from the jealousy of kings and the 
fanaticism of the common people In like manner, in modern times, 
Masonic truths are propagated under the protecting cloak of a fraternal 
and benevolent order. To be sure, these truths themselves are not se- 
crets — there is no such pretense — but thousands receive these forceful 
lessons in morality in attractive surroundings, who would never receive 
them otherwise. 

During a storm at sea, the casual observer would think that the 
whole ocean was angry. In fact, but a few feet of water on the surface 
are disturbed. Below, out of sight, are thousands of feet of quiet waters 
that know not the storm. In like manner, waves of infidelity may sweep 
over the world ; religious discussions may engender strife ; and the cas- 
ual observer may think that Evolution or Higher Criticism or any num- 
ber of destructive agencies are undermining our faith and destroying 
our civilization, but underneath it all are over 100,000 adult males in the 
State of New York who believe in God and immortality — ^they are a 
foundation of fundamental faith and morality that will preserve the best 


things; and among these believers are thousands of Knights Templar, 
selected Masons, who are sworn to defend the Christian religion. 

We are aware that many Masons fall far short of their teachings. 
This goes without saying. Even whole Masonic jurisdictions have re- 
jected God or have laid aside His holy book, but the moment they did 
that they ceased to be Masons and have been officially non-affiliated. 
Some Masons are profane, notwithstanding the fact that the ritual pre- 
scribes that His name should never be uttered except with that reverence 
due from a creature to his Creator. Some are intemperate, although 
the compasses constantly impress the lesson that we should always cir- 
cumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due bounds with 
all mankind, especially with the brethren. No man ever counterfeits a 
bad bill. The fact that there are counterfeits is a guaranty of the value 
of the genuine. No man can habitually have impressed upon his mind 
through eye and ear the Masonic ritual and teachings without strength- 
ening his faith in God and immortality, and his veneration for the grand 
principles enunciated in the ten Commandments and the Sermon on the 
Mount. He is bound to be a better Jew, a better Christian, a better 
father, brother, and citizen. 

It is the custom of many Americans to sneer at ancestry, laugh at 
antiquity, and maintain that the present times are the best, and that a 
man's own character must determine his status in society. This is 
largely true, yet many a man is restrained from wrong-doing by the 
thought of its disgrace upon his family, even upon his dead ancestors ; 
and the age of an institution will often determine its utility and benefi- 
cence, for only the best things continue. Therefore, it is not unprofit- 
able to trace Masonry back to the operative guilds of the Middle Ages 
or to trace Masonic principles back to the ancient "Mysteries," to King 
Solomon's temple, or even to the beginning of time. Pride in antiquity 
of Masonry tends to preserve inviolate the grand principles that have 
endured so long and gives us reason to expect long continuance for the 

In closing, let us therefore be pardoned if we indulge in the boast 
that Masonry shall live forever and continue to spread its principles of 
Fortitude, Prudence, Temperance, and Justice and a belief in the living 
God and His holy word, until its benign influence shall be universal. 

Prof. Draper in his "Intellectual Development of Europe" devotes 
two long volumes to demonstrate the proposition that nations, peoples, 
and families are like individuals ; they are born, grow, decline and die — 
they are born subject to circumstances of heredity and environment and 


develop and die under the same conditions, which are alike for individ- 
uals and nations. He demonstrates this theory to his own satisfaction, 
proving it by the history of nations and peoples ; but he has forgotten 
one remarkable exception. Otte people has lived, while the others have 
disappeared, and that people alone has been true to Jehovah. From the 
time of his dreadful punishment in Babylon, no Jew has been an idol- 
ator ; the Jew alone has been faithful to Jehovah and he alone has been 
preserved as a people. May we not reason, therefore, that the Chris- 
tian Church, whose votaries are to-day dominant in the politics of the 
world, shall live forever because it, too, is true to the One God. And is 
it profane to say that the Masonic Society, true to the same God and to 
His holy word, shall likewise endure? 

The individual who serves his God in sincerity and truth and obeys 
His commandments shall live forever. Is this not also true of societies, 
peoples and nations? "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve 
Thee shall perish ; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted." (Isaiah 
60, 12.) As He will destroy wicked nations, so will He preserve those 
that are true to Him. 

We do not forget the history of the city of the Great King; how it 
-has been besieged and taken a score of times ; how, after the destruction 
by Nebuchadnezzar, for fifty years no creature lived within its walls ; 
how, after the destruction by Titus, for fifty years again it was without 
an inhabitant; how, again rebuilt, in the year A. D. 125 it was again 
totally destroyed, plowed up and salt strewn over it, that even weeds 
might not grow on the site of the hated city. Its name was changed to 
Aelia Capitolina that even its memory might be forgotten. But Jeru- 
salem still lives, and the day shall yet come when this city of God shall 
be the spiritual capital of a regenerate world. 

In like manner, the Jew, the Christian, and the Mason have been 
hunted, despised, persecuted and suffered martyrdom for their fidelity 
to principle, but as long as they shall remain true to the Supreme Archi- 
tect of the Universe, they shall be preserved, and we look forward to 
the nenrby future when these principles shall be universally dominant, 
when the flag of liberty shall float over every capital of the world ; when 
despotisms shall be remembered only as a faint memory; when the ar- 
mies of free people shall have beaten their spears into pruning hooks ; 
when the principles of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the 
Mount shall be recognized everywhere as good law ; and in that day the 
open Bible shall be found on the Masonic altar in every quarter of the 
globe, its principles recognized as axioms, and delvers in the Masonic 

quarries will have the satisfaction of knowing that their work has as- 
sisted very materialy in bringing about the reign of peace, when crime 
shall be minimized, God glorified, and all the world joined in a fraternal 
brotherhood on earth, rejoicing with all good Masons in a hope of a 
blessed immortality in the life to come. Then shall brotherly love pre- 
vail and every social and moral virtue cement us. 



Old Egyptian Mysteries 



Translated and Arranged from the German Studies of 
Professor Th. Devide. 




When we look back to those ancient times of darkest age which, 
even nowadays, better than all the descriptions of the historian convince 
us of its former powerful existence evidenced by its gigantic monuments 
and its heaven-aspiring buildings, then we shall find the leading thread 
woven into the texture of the secrets and symbols of all the mystical so- 

It is in Egypt, the land of the pyramids, where the oldest of all civ- 
ilized nations on earth lived, that we are to seek the birthplace of the 
most subhme and deepest truth, the cradle of all the unions, briefly com- 
prised under the name of "mysteries." The system of the Eleusinian 
secrets, too, was built upon the Egyptian ceremonies and forms, the 
entire doctrine of which represented the product of reason, wisdom, and 
truth. While, unfortunately, the works of the great Pythagoras have 
been lost, we know at least through Porphyrins, his biographer, that it 
was at Eleusis where he conceived the enlightened and pure idea of the 
original spirit, the creator of all beings, and that it was at Thebes where 
he learned to recognize Him as the divinity. 

It is, moreover, well known that Egypt's priests were not only min- 
isters of religion, in the common sense of the word, but that they had a 
task higher by far. This may be proven from the very word of "priest" 
which in the old Egyptian language had quite a different meaning and 
a much broader one than in ours, for it signified a person, who, besides 
the functions which our tongue attributes to a priest, was a scrutinizer, 
a teacher, a connoisseur of mankind, and a philosopher. 

The sublime aim of the Egyptian mysteries was to ennoble the hu- race, to perfect the spirit and moral of man. The greater became 
the power of the Egyptian priests, the more they tried to hold it. And 
the introducton into the mysteries served their purpose best. They pur- 
posely divided their instruction in this matter into a public and a secret 
doctrine ; the first was imparted to whoever belonged to the cast for 
which such instruction was destined ; whereas the latter was taught to 
pupils they selected themselves, singling out only those whose qualifica- 
tion they had made sure of already. Such chosen ones were subjected for 


years to an uninterrupted scrutiny, and it was not before they were found 
satisfactory that they were admitted to the both difficult and rigid "pre- 
paratory" examinations. The candidate had to undergo trials which 
were worked out with the greatest care and sagacity, and which touched 
the human heart, mind, senses and spirit in a like manner; only after 
proof of fitness was he able to attain the consecration. 

For foreigners the difficulties were made still greater. Pythagoras 
had to travel from Heliopolis to Memphis, from Memphis to Thebes; 
but it was in vain that they tried to deter him by means of the most dif- 
ficult examinations ; he finally, at the command of King Amasis, had to 
be accepted and was admitted into the secrets of the mysteries. 

The ancient Egyptians professed idolatry. Their consecrates, how- 
ever, learnt quite differently from their priests ; they were taught that 
only one divinity exists proceeding from eternity, remaining into eter- 
nity, from which everything in the world originated, which preserves 
everything and rules everything; which is invisible, bodyless, present 
in all parts of the universe, at once, and penetrates into everything. 
Studying to some extent the ceremonies of Isis and Osiris, and observ- 
ing in their temples, the cultus of the benevolent being, the originator 
of the universe, the uppermost spirit of wisdom and general order, we 
certainly must acknov/ledge that such service was nothing but the pur- 
est adoration of God, the omnipotent maker of all the worlds ! Now, 
this divine ceremony must certainly have existed long before the times 
of Moses, for he, undoubtedly, collected his ideas and doctrines of di- 
vinity and legislature as well as his physical, moral and political knowl- 
edge from the Egyptian mysteries ; he owed all this wisdom to Egypt's 
priests, who were his educators, teachers, and benefactors. 

Nine priests were chosen officers for the service of the temple, to 
wit : the high priest, the soothsayer, the keeper of the inventory, the 
secretary, the preparer, the speaker, the treasurer, the manager and the 
guardian of the temple. Attired in an azure-colored silk gown, inter- 
woven with golden stars and fastened with a golden girdle, the head of 
the league held the presidency of all the classes in the temple and the 
supreme court. The latter consisted of twenty-four judges who were 
drawn by lot from the different priest unions and were assisted by the 
high priest, the soothsayer, and the secretary. All Egj'pt was subject 
to the jurisdiction of this court, no one was excepted, not even the king, 
and there was no appeal from the court's decision. At all the meetings 
the high priest wore around his neck, on a golden chain, the picture of 
Truth, and, in court sessions, he turned that picture towards the victo- 
rious party. No other explanation was necessary. 


The soothsayer was similarly dressed, but the stars of his gown were 
silver and his necklace showed a cross shaped like the modern Cross of 
St. Andrew. It was the duty of the third official to sprinkle the neo- 
phytes, at their entrance, with water. His gown was of white silk, 
richly ornamented with silver designs of the moon in her different 
phases ; the belt was azure blue and, in the temple of Isis, adorned with 
a silver picture of the moon, in those of Osiris, it was decorated with a 
golden sun. This officer was entrusted with the charge of the vestments 
and utensils used at the mysteries. On a golden chain around his neck 
were three keys, one of gold, one of silver, the third of ivory. The sec- 
retary's second function was to perform the duties of Court actuary, 
and in token of his dignity, a quill hung from his necklace, and at his 
belt was a golden vessel containing inks of various colors. With these 
he recorded the act of consecration or the judgments of the Supreme 
Court, and he chose, according to the importance or dignity of the act, 
the color of his writing material. 

The preparer had to examine all the candidates, and he alone was 
permitted to enter and leave the temple through the western gate and 
lead the candidates through it. Only the three highest officials were 
dressed in silk ; the priests and initiates were clad in gowns of white bys- 
sus with a sky-colored belt, but the head dress was the same for all, and 
consisted of a five-cornered blue bonnet adorned with designs of the 
sun or the moon respectively, according to rank. " -: 

The entire mysteries of the Egyptian temples were divided into 
seven degrees, so that the "Searcher," as the applicant was called, had 
to pass seven examinations and seven consecrations. The three first 
degrees extended over twenty-seven months, whereas one had to wait 
between the third and fourth ordination three times seven months, be- 
tween each of the two next graduations nine months, and before the 
last consecration three times seven months. Altogether more than seven 
years had to elapse to attain the seven ordinations, and during all this 
time instruction was given in physics, geometry, mathematics, rhetorics, 
hieroglyphics, law, chemistry, philology, theology, astronomy, and med- 
icine. When, in the period for his observation, the applicant or chosen 
one had proved himself worthy in the eyes of his scrutinizers, he was 
proposed for initiation and consecration, and his preparation began. 

He was forbidden certain foods, led into a cave and there allowed 
nine months for self-examination. He was instructed to write down all 
his feelings, thoughts and actions; this written report being used to 
find out all about his intellect and heart ; the report was then subjected 


to a severe criticism. In case of satisfactory result, the high priest fixed 
the date for ordination and whatever else was deemed necessary. 

On the appointed day, at the time the sun reached its highest eleva- 
tion, the preparer went to the candidate, ordered him to disrobe, and 
handed him entire new clothing of a white color, covering and hiding 
every part of his body. The material of the gown was of a special qual- 
ity ; it could be neither destroyed by fire nor penetrated by water. Un- 
knowingly the bearer was thus protected against the pernicious influ- 
ence of those elements. The preparer then conducted the applicant to 
the top of a high tower, showing him a wild, unbeaten path through the 
holy grove and asked him to travel it, to follow it, without repose, fear- 
ing neither tempest nor rain, neither fire nor water and shrinking from 
no obstacles or perils which might oppose him. 

"Fear naught," he concluded ; "inviolable is thy body. I shall await 
thee at the end of your trip." 

He guided him down to the examination halls, and, giving him a 
basket with meat, he said : "Save thy life with this in case rapacious 
beasts should bar thy way." 

He then conducted him into a dark passage and saying : "Now, seek 
thy way thyself !" returned and, closing the door, left the seeker to his 

The latter took up his path ; he soon heard the roar of wild beasts 
and found himself in a cave locked by an iron gate; he opened it and, 
at the moment of entering, hungry animals jumped on him; he tossed 
the meat to them, thus diverting their attention from himself. He 
grasped the opportunity to leave the cave by the opposite door. Pres- 
enly he again descried daylight and went towards it; but all nature 
seemed to be in an uproar ; thunder and lightning, rain and storm raged ; 
mindful, however, of the admonitions he had received, he bravely con- 
tinued his way and soon reached the path leading to the holy grove. 
The tempest had ceased, but still greater impediments barred his march : 
In the middle of the remaining stretch an immense blaze, taking up 
the whole width of the road, impeded his progress, nowhere permitting 
a passage. Invisible voices warned him not to venture any further and 
bade him retreat. But, knowing that, should he yield, he could no 
longer attain his end, no other course remained but to dash through 
this stream of flames, which he courageously did. He then continued: 
his road and thought himself near the desired end, when he stood before 
a mighty waterfall tumbling over wild rocks and rushing forth like a 
majestic river. Here, too, he was forced to swim across, and then con- 
tinued his road until he reached the goal he had unabatedly longed for. 


"Hail to thee, thou tried one !" the preparing priest shouted from 
a high, steep rock on sighting him, and here again only by the greatest 
of efforts could the seeker succeed in climbing the rock. Having finally 
arrived at the goal, he was guided back on a short road ; he was offered 
refreshments, granted rest and bath, his hair cut and the ordinary gown 
of the consecrates given to him. He then was conducted into the west- 
ern vestibule of the temple and later into the temple itself. 

The trials, as a rule, lasted from four to five hours, and with the 
intermissions for recreation, ablutions and other preparations, evening 
was always reached. At such time both priests and initiates went into 
the temple, in the center of which stood the "stone of wisdom." It was 
represented by a white block of marble, overtowered by a pyramid of 
dark granite, around the top of which shone a circle of light in whose 
middle glittered the figure of "I." In the east stood the veiled figure 
of Truth and in the front of it — with nine steps leading up to it — ^the 
richly ornamented main altar. An urn filled with combustible materials 
was placed on the latter. Behind this altar was the throne of the high 

To the south of the altar stood the statue of Vigor on an altar five 
steps high ; in the northwest the statue of Friendship before an altar to 
which five steps led. In front of this altar was the soothsayer's chair, 
while the guardian of the utensils had his post on the northwest. The 
preparer had his seat in the center of the temple, the warden of the 
temple held his on the western gate. To the right side of the High 
Priest were the places of the Secretary and the Treasurer, to his left 
those of the Speaker and the Manager, and all the remaining priests and 
consecrates stood upright, with their arms crossed, in rows of equal 
numbers on both the northern and southern sides. 

After priests and initiates had taken their positions, the President, 
together with the ofificers, rose and on the urn in front he ignited three 
flames in the names of the Highest Divinity, of Eternal Truth, and of 
Wisdom. Whereupon the speaker announced that the voice of Truth 
had voted for the reception of the examined candidate, which now was 
to be performed in the spirit of Truth, with the aid of Strength and 
Friendship. Then the Secretary took the floor and reported on the can- 
didate's character and also on the progress the "searcher" had made 
during the trial in the preparatory stage. 

After the reports, the high priest commanded the preparing of the 
candidate, had him conducted through the so-called "Gate of Humanity" 
into the vestibule before the door of the sanctuary, and concluded with 


the words : "We meanwhile shall implore the assistance of the Eternal 

The preparing priest complied with his official duty, left the temple, 
and an invisible choir began singing a hymn in praise of the divinity; 
subsequently the high priest said the prayer. All assembled bowed 
down now in silent prayer, remaining on their knees till the presence of 
the candidate was announced by means of three strokes on the brazen 
shield in the lobby of the temple sounded at long intervals and louder 
each time. The assembly then rose and the high priest said : "Our de- 
sires are granted ; we are raised ; the Deity had mercy on both him and 

The keeper of the implements and utensils opened the door of the 
temple and the preparer having entered, reported that the candidate was 
in the vestibule and had asked him for admission and that he thought 
him worthy of being guided to Wisdom. 

"With what reason and what warranty canst thou give confirmation 
of thy words?" inquired the high priest. 

"In his preparation he has shown himself worthy of our friendship; 
he has proved his eager striving for the truth, and he shrinks not from 
the threatenings of danger when the discovery of Divinity is at stake." 

"But this alone," the high priest answered, "does not make him 
worthy to pass here. None but the pure findeth entrance through that 

The bondsman answered: "The elements have purified his body, 
without scarring him." 

"How didst thou bring him near the gate of the temple?" the Presi- 
dent furthei asked. 

"Laden with heavy fetters," was the answer, "and he carried them 
not only willingly, but gladly." 

Whereupon the commander said: "Whoever asketh for admission 
to the sanctuary must be free. Untie him first !" 

"I can not. For the ropes I wound around him and in which I led 
him here are to be loosened never more ; this, however, doth not prevent 
thee from accepting him," was the preparer's firm reply. "For free he 
is, though bound !" 

"What bonds, I pray thee, talkest thou about?" 

"I speak about the lien of Confidence, the tie of Friendship, and 
the chain of Love!" 

"But one more question grant thy high priest : 'What was the con- 
dition of the searcher on thy leaving him-' " 


"From all that's earthly he had cut loose, and newly born he wishes 
to live only a spiritual life. His worldy clothes he cast off and careth 
for no other garment but what unceasingly reminds him of his higher 

"Now then!" sounded clear the verdict of the high priest, "thou 
shalt deliver him to the administrator of the implements, and there 
Friendship's hand will cover him with the vestment of our holy Cov- 
enant !" 

After this dialogue the preparer left, and, having covered the 
searcher's eyes with a thick bandage, he conducted him into the temple. 
Here the soothsayer asked the applicant several questions in a loud voice 
to make sure that he really was fully aware for what purpose he had 
applied for initiation. Upon a satisfactory answer, the preparer led him 
around the temple, his constancy and steadfastness being put on trial 
in every imaginable way. The candidate was finally led back to the en- 
trance of the gate and the Constitution of the Society read aloud to him. 
He was obligated to submit unconditionally to the same. He was then 
placed before the soothsayer's seat standing opposite the gate. He 
had to drop upon his knees, a sharp pointed sword was put against his 
throat, and in this position he had to take the solemn oath, invoking the 
Sun, Moon, and Stars as witnesses that he would never be disloyal to 
the Order, and that he would never betray the secrets he was initiated 
into or ever in his life impart them to any outsider. 

The bandage was then taken from his eyes and the novice, sur- 
rounded by the consecrates, got a first sight of the temple, illuminated 
like fairyland. The guide, bringing the new member to the keeper of 
the utensils, said : 

"I bring thee one who has successfully passed through ordeals and 
hardships, who has shown us courage and perseverance and the virtue 
of constancy. He has bidden farewell to the pleasures of earth ; he ask- 
eth as the favor of friendship from thee to give him the garment pre- 
scribed for the purpose !" 

The keeper of the utensils rose ; taking an urn filled with holy water 
sprinkling three times the candidate standing before him : 

"If anything not pure be still found on thee or in thee, let it begone 
forever ! Take this the garb of innocence and purity of morals, which 
thou must never desecrate if thou wilt stay worthy of us !" 

He dressed him with the white vestment but without the girdle, 
pressed upon his forehead the kiss of friendship and added : 

"As friend, I greet thee! I welcome thee to be my friend! Be 
recognized as friend by all of us, and peace shall mark thy path !" 


The preparer then took the novice by the hand and conducted him 
around the temple ; three times he halted, calling out loudly : 

"Behold ye all, our latest friend, acknowledge him as such !" 

Approaching the western gate, he addressed the high priest : 

"We have recognized our new friend, but we still miss the insignia 
of the Order on him." 

"Thou must bring him to the soothsayer, who will not refuse those 
signs if the man be worthy," was the reply. 

The soothsayer, on hearing the demands of the candidate, rose, tak- 
ing an urn that stood prepared in front of him, and with the wine which 
it contained he sprinkled the novice three times, saying: "Human life 
must enjoy the pleasures of the spirit in order that the divinity which 
dwells in us be proven." 

And taking from a little box a blue belt he adorned the initiate 
with it : 

"With this girdle I fasten thy heart tightly to ours, brother to 
brethren. Never loosen the tie ! And woe to thee if thou committest 
any action mean enough to tear thee from us !" 

Greeting him with the kiss of fraternity, he said: "Welcome, 
brother ! and be thou recognized as brother by all who are here assem- 
bled ! Peace and joy I wish thee all thy life !" 

Returning to the west, he addressed the high priest : 

"Only one of all the necessary consecrations is missing, that which 
thou impartest; then he is ours entirely, he joins his work with ours 
and is then more fit to look at Truth, as well as to search for Wisdom. 
I pray thee, bestow on him the consecration of our Covenant !" 

"Thou must first conduct him to the statue of the godlike Truth," 
was the reply, "and make him lift the veil and prove whether he can 
stand the sight of naked truth." 

The searcher gladly showed his readiness to take up the challenge ; 
but the statue was entirely surrounded by a veil of heavy silk material, 
interwoven with threads of gold. Just when the candidate touched the 
veil to tear it down, flames of fire hissed all ai"ound him, thunder rolled, 
and lightning flashed through the novice, throwing him unconscious 
to earth. In this condition he was taken into the lobby, where he was 
nursed, and when recovered, brought back into the temple. No trace 
was here to be seen of the occurrence. The preparer led the conse- 
crated member to the main altar ; there the high priest solemnly received 
them both in the deepest silence. Finally he spoke : 

"Thou hast boldly tried to lift the veil of Truth. Thou hadst not 


the necessary strength; such is the way of mankind, trusting wrongly 
in their feeble strength, they prove thereby their ignorance as well as 
lack of knowledge of their own self. Weigh thy strength before thou 
actest; thus alone canst thou avoid danger such as thou hast just es- 
caped from !" 

The high priest with his assistants then approached the initiate, to 
perform with them the necessary function. He took a golden vessel 
containing fragrant oil, and having anointed the novice's palms, he 
handed the vessel to the keeper of the utensils to anoint his temples ; 
the soothsayer followed, anointing the breast. And the high priest, 
putting both hands upon the head of the anointed, said : 

"I consecrate thee to the service of eternal deity. I consecrate thee 
to thy welfare and to ours. Use now all thy strength to be able to look 
at the bare-faced Truth and to recognize the Divinity living both in 
thee and around thee. But such practice must commence with the 
smallest number, the important meaning of which thou shall not learn 
before nine times the night hath relieved the day. Thou must start 
from the first sign, because only by progressing with the utmost regu- 
larity canst thou attain those steps of knowledge for which thou art 
prepared by this day's work." 

He surrendered the blue bonnet to the new consecrated, and, kiss- 
ing him upon his forehead, he repeated the words : 

"I greet thee, consecrated one ! Be welcome, consecrated one ! In 
peace, in joy, and in the light of knowledge mayest thou walk thy path 
forever !" 

Then the preparer led the novice around the temple for the second 
time; again three times he stopped with him, exclaiming: "Behold the 
warden of the temple !" and conducted him to the end of the north side, 
where the new disciple occupied the last seat. Finally the soothsayer 
taught him the watchword of the first degree, the meaning of which 
was "silence," and in addition a special way of shaking hands, whereby 
the initiates could recognize one another. The whole meeting having 
then joined in a hymn in the praise of Truth, Friendship and Fraternal 
Love, the high priest extinguished the three flames in the urn standing 
before him as a sign that everything was finished, and all the attendants 
to the ceremony left the temple in deepest silence. 

After the reception the new warden of the temple received a thor- 
ough instruction in the functions of his office, the guarding of the "gate 
of Humanity," and all the other duties of the first degree. The more 
painstaking he was to penetrate into the essence and the symbols of his 


office, the more constancy and zeal he showed in such progress, the 
quicker the second degree was conferred on him. This, too, was pre- 
ceded by examinations; -they began with fasting and finished with the 
fighting of sensuaHty. The fasting being done, the appHcant for gradu- 
ation was conducted to the so-called "black chamber," where for a sec- 
ond time he was left to loneliness and hunger. After some time had 
elapsed the most beautiful and most charming women of the priests 
came up to him, offered him the most palatable of dishes and beverages 
and tried to arouse his sensuality in every imaginable manner. In 
case he resisted all these temptations and enticements and had manfully 
vanquished his sensuality, the preparer appeared to examine him in all 
the sciences and everything else he had been instructed in during the 
former degree. When the candidate for advancement had passed the 
scientific examination, he was conducted to the meeting of the conse- 
crated ones. 

There the keeper of the utensils received him, holding a vessel of 
water in his hands, and the soothsayer asked the candidate on his en- 
trance whether he had conscientiously complied with all the duties as a 
guardian of the temple and as a human being, and whether he had lived 
in chastity and purity. The answer being satisfactory, the water from 
the kettle of the keeper of the utensils was poured over him and, at the 
same time, the preparer threw a living trained snake at him, which 
clasped around him instantaneously. Wherever he turned similar snakes 
came out, winding themselves around his limbs. When the candidate 
remained unshaken the preparer brought him to a place between two 
high columns, where a gryphon was sitting holding in his claws a four- 
spoked wheel. At this spot he had to repeat the oath of secrecy; he 
was then taught the symbols of the second degree and instructed that 
the two columns represented allegorically Orient and Occident, that the 
gryphon stood for the sun, and that the four spokes meant the four 
seasons. He was given as a distinction the stafif of jEsculapius, and was 
told the pass word and sign of the degree. The word referred to the 
first fall of man, and the sign was given by crossing the arms over the 
breast. As to the act of consecration, it may be added in short that it 
was similar to that of the first degree, with the exception of the pre- 
parer's calls which, at the halts in the procession inside of the circle, 
this time had the formula : "Behold the graduate !" 

If I have succeeded in demonstrating to you that already in olden 
times humanity's most noble genius hovered above the union of those 
priests and inflamed the blaze on the altar erected to the love of man- 


kind, to whose worship were consecrated all their hearts and souls, I 
hope I have proved that the sublime purpose of this union was to en- 
noble man, that it was moral and spiritual perfection; in other words, 
their tasks and aims were just the same as ours, the ones to attain 
which we work and toil up to this very moment. I have, furthermore, 
no doubt that those old symbols and the ceremonies struck you more 
than once like well known tunes by their reminding you of the new al- 
legory of our own brotherhood. And although no historical connec- 
tions between those mysteries of yore and the Freemasonry of to-day 
can be shown you will surely agree with me that ethically there exists a 
bond which firmly holds together the philanthropists of every age to 
serve real progress, absolute liberty, pure truth ; in short, the enlighten- 
ment and the refinement of the human race. As Schiller said : 

" By pass the near, by pass together the old generations, 
Homer's Sun, O behold ! likewise smileth on us ! " 


Atwood Grand Lodge, 


R.'.W.-. JOHN G. BAKER, 

Past Grand Librarian. 

Brother Barker delivered the following lecture at a meeting of the Masonic Historical 
Society, in the Rooms of Silentia Lodge, No. igS, in 1899. ^' ^^^ the last time 
he spoke in public. 


In the year 1837, York Lodge No. 367, passed a resolution to cele- 
brate the anniversary of St. John the Baptist's day, by an oration, din- 
ner, procession, etc., and appointed a committee of five brethren to 
wait upon other Lodges, and request their cooperation. The result was, 
that Benevolent, Silentia, and Hibernia Lodges, each designated a com- 
mittee to unite in carrying into effect the above resolution. 

At a joint meeting of these several committees, they deputed a sub- 
committee of five, to call upon the R. W. Deputy Grand Master, James 
Van Benschoten, and the R. W. Grand Secretary, James Herring, and 
submit the following question to them : Is there any Article in the Con- 
stitution, which prohibits a procession on St. John's day, without a 
dispensation from the Grand Master or his Deputy? 

In performance of this duty, they proceeded to the Grand Secre- 
tary's ofRce, and there found the Deputy Grand Master, Van Benschot- 
en, and Grand Secretary Herring, to whom they put the foregoing in- 
terrogatory, and received the following reply: "You have got the 
Constitution — read it for yourselves." To which W. Br. John Bennet 
replied : "We are aware of that ; have searched and cannot find any 
Article which denies a Lodge such right; but we came here for your 
official opinion, and expect a respectful, or at least, an official answer." 

Brothers Herring and Van Benschoten both then decided, that 
there was nothing in the Constitution which prohibited any regular 
Lodge from celebrating that day in the usual manner, without a per- 
mission from the Grand Lodge. 

The committee of inquiry reported accordingly to the joint com- 
mittee then in session, who thereupon selected a committee of arrange- 
ment, who performed their duties, by engaging a church, orator, music, 
dinner, etc. 

Due notice of the contemplated celebrations was forthwith pub- 
lished in all the principal newspapers of the city. 

Meantime, ten days had elapsed without any objection being inter- 
posed, or even suggested, by any party whatever. 


On the evening of June 23d R. W. James Van Benschoten issued 
a proclamation, which was attested by R. W. James Herring, Grand 
Secretary, prohibiting the procession or celebration. The same was 
delivered to the chairman of the Committee of Arrangements, W. B. 
Henry C. Atwood, at 11 :30 p. m. of said date by the Grand Tiler, and 
a copy was delivered to W. B. Bennet, Master of Benevolent Lodge 
on the morning of the 24th, while assembled at their Lodge Rooms at 
Ihe Howard House on Broadway. 

The following morning, at 9 130 o'clock, Brothers Van Benschoten 
and Herring appeared in person at Union Hall, and sent for W. Bro. 
Stewart, requiring his attendance in the Lodge room. This summons 
he promptly obeyed. After exchanging the usual civilities. Brother Van 
Benschoten inquired what was the meaning of the assembly, after the 
edict of the previous day. 

He replied, that he knew of no Constitutional Rule or Regulation 
of the Order, which authorized him to issue such an edict ; and further, 
if it ever did exist, he had waived it, by informing the committee, that 
any Lodge had a right to celebrate this anniversary, in the usual manner, 
without a permission from the Grand Lodge. He furthermore re- 
marked, that, at all events, it was evident that the prohibition was ill- 
timed, as all the arrangements had been effected — ^the expenses in- 
curred—and that the church was then nearly filled with ladies and gen- 
tlemen, awaiting their approach. 

His reply was : "I know my duty and my prerogatives ; I shall per- 
form the former, and exercise the latter." 

Brother Atwood's answer was that no such prerogative existed, 
and that he knew his rights and knowing them, dared maintain them ! 

The proclamation was then read by order of the Deputy Grand Mas- 
ter to the brethren assembled, there being about 300 present. By 
unanimous vote, they decided to proceed, and, under the direction 
of the Marshal of the Day, the ceremonies and programme were fully 
carried out as arranged by the committee. 

On the I2th of July following, at a special meeting of the Grand 
Lodge, Bro. Van Benshoten, D. G. M., presiding, preferred charges 
against W. Bro. Atwood and W. Bro. Piatt, for appearing in said pro- 
cession, and encouraging the same. 

A motion was thus made to refer the subject to the Grand Stewards' 
Lodge, and the Grand Officers were instructed to present the charges. 
To the resolution Bro. Atwood objected on two grounds: 

First — ^That any action of th.e Grand Lodge affecting the gen- 


eral interests of the craft, except at the annual communication, was 
contrary to the constitution. 

Second — That the Grand Stewards' Lodge was an improper tri- 
bunal to try the question, as it was composed of the first six officers 
of the Grand Lodge and twelve Masters of Lodges, and as the former 
were instructed by the Grand Lodge to prefer the charges, they would 
consequently be both judges and accusers. 

Notwithstanding the objections, Bro. Herring urged the question, 
and the Deputy Grand Master put it to vote and it was lost. 

Bro. Willis then called for another vote, which the tellers should 
count. Two tellers were appointed for the occasion, instead of the 
Wardens, whose duty it was to perform the same, agreeable to the 

A call of Lodges was called for and denied, the vote was taken by 
the tellers and reported by them as lost. 

A third vote was taken and the Deputy Grand Master declared 
it carried, although several of the Masters assembled protested, all 
agreeing that the vote stood 33 affirmative, and 45 negative. 

R. W. Bro. Marsh arose and exclaimed: "Brothers, for God's 
sake, pause before you take this step ! You are about to open a breach 
which will take a long time to heal, and bring disgrace upon the Order !" 
A deaf ear was lent to all remonstrances, and the resolution was declared 

The Grand Stewards' Lodge was convened July 19th, and pro- 
ceeded in the trial of the accused brethren and was continued during 
the evenings of July 24th, 26th and 31st, resulting in the expulsion of 
the defendants by said Grand Stewards' Lodge. 

On August 6th, action was taken in the case of York Lodge, No. 
367, and at the session of the Grand Stewards' Lodge held August gth, 
it was made known that the said Lodge had ignored the findings of 
the body of July 31st, and had called upon the W. Bro. Atwood, to 
preside at the next meeting of their Lodge. 

The Grand Stewards' Lodge then, on motion, declared the warrant 
of the said Lodge forfeited and the officers and brethren expelled. 

On August i6th the Grand Stewards' Lodge again assembled and 
proceeded to try the charges against certain officers of Silentia, Be- 
nevolent, Lafayette and Hibernia Lodges. The body was adjourned 
from time to time, viz. : August i8th and 22d, and on the evening of 
August 23d the accused brethren were found guilty and declared ex- 


Brothers Atwood and Piatt presented themselves at the quarterly 
communication of the Grand Lodge, in September following. They 
appeared at the door of the Grand Lodge, ready to meet that body, 
and appeal from and protest against the proceedings of the Grand 
Stewards' Lodge, but were informed by Bro. Herring that they could 
not be admitted — that they were expelled Masons. They remarked, that 
they could not be expelled, until the proceedings of the Grand Stewards' 
Lodge were approved. His reply was, "You cannot be admitted at 
any rate." 

Brothers Piatt and Atwood then sent in a note, requesting an ad- 
journment of the Grand Lodge, to give them time to prepare an appeal 
and protest. This was granted. The following week they presented, 
through the W. Master of St. John's Lodge, No. i, Charles F. Line- 
back, an appeal, couched in respectful language, the reading of which 
Bro. Herring objected to, but the Most Worshipful Morgan Lewis, 
Grand Master, decided it must be heard. 

Finding that the Grand Master was determined that justice should 
be rendered, Mordecai Myers moved an adjournment until g o'clock 
next morning, which was carried. But so soon as the M. W. Grand 
Master Lewis left the room, Mordecai Myers, who had been acting 
as Deputy Grand Master, called the Grand Lodge to order, and passed 
a resolution not to read or receive the appeal. 

On receiving this information, a meeting was called at Castle Gar- 
den, to take the subject into consideration. Committees were appointed 
to intercede and even remonstrate with Herring and Van Benschoten, 
but all their efforts were unavailing. 

Being now thoroughly convinced, that, under the imperious sway 
and usurped authority of certain rulers of the Grand Lodge — ^justice 
had for a season fled from her precincts — the sanctum sanctorum been 
profaned — the sacred altar of Masonry desecrated, and the once social 
and fraternal circle ruthlessly invaded by the unappeasable and ma- 
licious hand of persecution, a course of action was decided on. 

On Monday, September nth, 1837, a meeting was held at the 
Howard House. W. Charles F. Linebach, Master of St. John's Lodge, 
No. I, presided. Lodge was opened under the Warrant of Benevolent 
Lodge, No. 142. W. Henry Marsh and several other members and 
representatives of the Grand Lodge were present, when it was decided to 
form a new Grand Lodge, and adopt the Constitution under which the 
brethren had heretofore hailed. Bro. Henry Marsh was elected Grand 
Master; Bro. Orlando Warren, D. G. M. ; Bro. Thomas S. Brady, G. G. 


W. ; Bro. J. W. Timpin, J. G. W. ; Bro. Charles F. Linebach, Gr. Sec. ; 
Bro. William Cuscadden, Gr. Treas., and on September 27th the newly 
formed Grand Lodge was consecrated and the officers installed by 
the M. W. Brothers Gen. John S. Darcy and Japtha H. Munn, Past 
Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, the former pre- 
siding and acting as Grand Master, assisted by the latter as Deputy 
Grand Master, and acting Grand Marshal. 

Warrants were then issued to : 

Benevolent Lodge, formerly No. 142, as No. i. 

Silentia Lodge, formerly No. 360, as No. 2. 

York Lodge, formerly No. 367, as No. 3. 

Warrants were subsequently granted to Mount Lebin Lodge, as 
No. 4 ; Munn Lodge, as No. 5, and Fidelity Lodge, No. 6. 

Little progress was made during the period from 1841 to 1847. 
Independent Lodge, No. 7, was created and formed a refuge for all 
the brethren until the date last mentioned, when Lodges Nos. 8, Q, 
10, II and 12 were created as Armour, Darcy, Marsh, Courtland and 
Philipstone Lodges. 

During this, previous to the year 1850, three Lodges pronounced 
by Brothers Herring and Van Benschoten to have been expelled, had 
multiplied nine times, even to the number of twenty-seven. The three 
hundred brethren pronounced by the same authorities, to have been 
ostracised, had increased to the goodly number of 4,000 — good men 
and true — who, viewed as citizens or Masons, were equal in intelligence, 
moral worth and respectability, to a like number of men or Masons, in 
whatever part of the world they may exist. 

At the June communication of the Grand Lodge of the State of 
New York, 1850, there were presented and adopted, resolutions tending 
to a union, a committee was appointed, and they refused, presenting 
the following propositions : 

"1st. Recognition of Lodges subordinate to St. John's Lodge, as regular 
MYasonic bodies. 

2d. That their members are lawful Masons. 

3d. That they (the Lodges) be put on the Registry of the Grand Lodge of 
the State of New York. 

4th. That each and every of such Lodges may at any time, with their own 
consent, come under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the State of New 

5th. That if St. John's Lodge shall, on or before the next June communi- 
cation, by a vote of their body, decide to give up their organization as a Grand 
Lodge, and proffer themselves to the Grand Lodge of the State of New York — 


their Grand Officers and Past Grand Officers, shall be received and admitted 
as Past Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. 

We, the undersigned, pledge ourselves to carry the above propositions into 
efifect, if adopted by the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. 

ROB'T MACOY, G. Sec'y. 

Resolved, That the Grand Lodge of the State of New York do agree to the 

foregoing propositions. 




On motion, the report was accepted, and the resolution unanimous- 
ly adopted. 

These propositions were also unanimously ratified by St. John's 
Grand Lodge. 

The union was consummated at Triplar Hall on Broadway, Decem- 
ber 27th, 1850, the Lodges under the Grand Lodge of the State as- 
sembling at the City Hotel, and the Lodges under the St. John's Grand 
Lodge assembled at their hall in Grand street, near Forsythe, both 
bodies marching in public parade accompanied by guards of Knights 
Templar. The approach of St. John's Grand Lodge was heralded 
by a flourish of trumpets. Being duly announced and admitted, they 
were received with the Public Grand Honors. 

The whole scene at this time was truly magnificent and intensely 
exciting. Each tier of the immense saloon was densely crowded by 
the youth and beauty of our city. The stage, . considerably enlarged 
beyond its ordinary dimensions, was occupied by the Grand officers; 
the officers of the Grand Lodges of Connecticut and New Jersey; the 
invited guests from our sister States, and other brothers of high rank 
in the Order. On one side of the Grand Master rested the Sacred 
Ark with the Cherubims, and on the other side the Holy Bible, Square 
and Compasses, resting on a crimson cushion. The members of the 
subordinate Lodges, attended by their officers, were ranged along the 
floor of the hall. 

The entire area and platform of this immense saloon, was now 
thronged with between three and four thousand Masons. The nu- 
merous flags and banners, bearing aloft various striking Masonic em- 


blems and devices — the gorgeous regalia of the Grand officers, their 
gHttering jewels — the appropriate and beautiful clothing of the offi- 
cers and members of the Blue Lodges, contrasting with the bright Scar- 
let of the Royal Arch Mason and the antique costume of the Templar — 
combined to form a Masonic pageant never equaled in the New, and 
probably never surpassed in the Old World. 

But the enthusiasm and deep heartfelt joy manifested by all the 
brethren present, far surpassed, in the estimation of the sincere lovers 
of our Order, the dazzling brilliancy and splendor of this sublime and 
never-to-be-forgotten scene. 

The M. W. Grand Master of St. John's Grand Lodge, Henry C. 
Atwood, then arose and made a short address, congratulating the breth- 
ren upon the occasion, which they were about to celebrate. Addressing 
Grand Master Milnor, he narrated in brief the circumstances under 
which the dissension originally occurred. Speaking of himself and 
companions who had left the Grand Lodge, he said the olive branch 
had been extended to them, and they had returned — but not alone ; 
no, they were attended by this escort — (pointing to the numerous as- 
semblage of persons in the center of the house). He concluded by say- 
ing, "I present them' to you as Masons — Masons by name, and by 

Grand Master Milnor replied : 

"Most Worshipful Sir and Brother — In the name and on behalf 
of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, I bid you and your 
associates welcome. As the official head of the Grand Lodge, I receive 
you and your brethren. Masons good and true, who have faithfully 
endeavored to promote the great principles of our Order, as members 
of this Jurisdiction — hereafter to be recognized as such — entitled to all 
the rights and privileges thereunto belonging. 

"My Brethren: The union, so long desired by the Masons, not 
only of this great State, but throughout the United States, is now 
completed. All difficulties which heretofore may have existed, are 
ended. The wall of partition is broken down, never I trust to be re- 
built. There seems a peculiar propriety that such a union should 
be consummated on this day — a ' day held sacred by all Masons — a 
day on which multitudes of the brethren, throughout the civilized 
globe, are gathering together to renew their pledges of love and fi- 
delity — to rekindle their zeal — to confirm their faith. 

"My Brother : I am but the organ of others. There are hundreds 
of hearts around us, beating responsive to mine. When I bid you a fra- 


ternal welcome, I extend to you the Grip of Fellowship, and receive 
you amongst us as a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the 
State of New York." 

A round of cheers of welcomte was given by the Grand and 
Subordinate Lodges, and each brother grasped his fellow by the right 
hand in fraternal embrace, consummating the Glorious Union. 

Next followed the presentation of Warrants. The Masters of the 
several Lodges were called upon to come forward and receive their 
new warrants. 

The first Master called was W. Thomas Abbot, of Independent 
Lodge, No. 7. The Grand Secretary read to him the new charter of 
Independent Lodge, which henceforth is No. 185. The other Masters 
were next called forward, but the ceremony of reading the charter was 
not performed in any instance except the first. The following are the 
names of these Lodges, with the new numbers which they received with 
their charters : 

Lodge. No. Lodge. No. 

Armour 186 Silentia 198 

Darcy 187 Harmony 199 

Marsh 188 Zeradatha 200 

Continental 189 Joppa 201 

Munn 190 Zschockke 202 

Lebanon 191 Templar 203 

Benevolent 192 Palestine 204 

Ulster 193 Hyatt 205 

Piatt 194 Empire City 206 

Excelsior 195 United States 207 

Solomon's 196 Atwood U. D. 

York 197 Worth U. D. 

German Pilgrim Lodge, No. 179, had come in the Grand Lodge 
the year previous. 

And so, for a time, there was PEACE. 

Having thus briefly traced the Origin, History and Dissolution of 
St. John's Grand Lodge, we are proud to say that the brethren have 
been ever staunch in their adherence to the Grand Lodge now existing. 
Through said union, the difficulties existing in the State through the 
existence of the Grand Lodge known of the Phillip's Grand Lodge were 
healed in 1858. 

It must be borne in miind that the so-called St. John's Grand 
Lodge of 1853-58 had no connection with the St. John's Grand Lodge 
of 1837-50. None of the said Lodges of that body seceded or united 
with the schism of that date. 




An Honorary Member of the Society. 

[Published in 1879 in the Freemasons' Repository.] 


There has never been published an account of the various edi- 
tions of this famous book. Bro. Robert Morris published a partial 
account in the "American Quarterly Review" (Vol. II. p. 421). There 
were pubHshed editions as follows : One in 1797, 1802, 1805, 1808 and 
1812 ; three in 1816 ; two in 1818 ; one in 1821 ; one in 1822 (in Spanish) ; 
one in 1858 (Carson's) ; one in 1859 (Morris's) ; one in 1863 (Carson's 
second edition); one in 1868 (Morris's second edition), and one in 
1858 (Chase's).* 

I propose to give a description of the earlier editions : 

I. The first edition (1797), is a duodecimo volume of 284 pages, 
exclusive of the title page and table of contents (not paged), making 
12 more. It was printed in two parts, with title page to each ; that of 
Part I. is, "The Freemason's Monitor; or Illustrations of Masonry; 
in two parts. By a Royal Arch Mason, K. T., K: of M., etc., etc., Part 
I., Printed at Albany, for Spencer & Webb, Market street, 1797." The 
copyright was claimed September 12, 1797, and the Preface is dated 
September 26, 1797. The same Preface is continued through all the 
subsequent editions, issued during Webb's life, without change or ad- 

In the Preface Webb states that the "Observations upon the first 
three degrees are principally taken from 'Preston's Illustrations of Ma- 
sonry,' with some necessary alterations." Preston had divided the 
first lecture into six sections ; the second into four ; and the third into 
twelve; Webb reduced the first to three, the second to two, and the 
third to two ; but in subsequent editions he adds a third section to the 
third lecture. 

In this edition. Part I. is divided into four books (the fourth being 
erroneously numbered third ; the first book is divided into ten sections ; 
the second into seven sections; the third into two sections, one of 
which is numbered one, and the other eight; I think the heading 
"Book III." the first time it occurs was an error) : the fourth book 

* There has been several subsequent editions or reprints of Chase's Webb. 


(headed Book III.) is not divided into sections. Part II., which is de- 
voted to the Ineffable Degrees, from the fourth to the fourteenth in- 
clusive, is not subdivided into books or sections. 

The first book is entitled "A Vindication of Masonry, including a 
demonstration of its excellency." Six of the ten sections in this book 
are wholly omitted in subsequent editions ; and the fourth section, 
entitled "Masonry Considered Under Two Denominations,'' consists 
substantially of the explanation of Operative and Speculative Masonry, 
as given in later editions in the second lecture. In this edition, in 
explaining "the Government of the Fraternity," the author says, there 
are three classes of Masons ; but in the next edition, he says, there 
are several classes, and describes those of the various degrees up to 
the Royal Arch inclusive. 

No mention is made in this edition of the Order of High Priest- 
hood, the Council Degrees, or the Order of the Red Cross. He de- 
votes ten pages to a history of the Knights Templar and Knights of 
Malta, but gives no description of those Orders as now conferred. 

The second and third Books are devoted to the monitorial part 
of the work ; the charge in every degree is given at the close of the 
first section. The monitorial portions are quite meagre as compared 
with our present Monitors; probably for the following reason given 
by him : "When these topics are proposed in our assemblies, we are 
not confined to any particular mode of explanation ; every man being 
at liberty to offer his sentiments under proper restrictions." 

I note that he uses the word "Chapter" in relation to a Lodge of 
Master Masons ; the word "Order" to signify the Institution ; and the 
word "Compasses," and not "Compass." 

The fourth Book contains a "Sketch of the History of Masonry in 

At the end of Part II. are nine Masonic Songs, three of which are 
signed "W." in my copy; but the "Most Excellent Master's Song," 
which was written by Webb, does not bear his initial. I am informed 
that Brother Carson has a copy of this edition, in which another of 
the songs (the Senior Warden's Toast) is signed "W." 

Some copies of this edition have an Appendix containing the Con- 
stitution of the General Grand Chapter; as this Constitution was not 
printed till 1799, the sheets of the Monitor must have been kept on 
hand unbound. 

There are other interesting features in this edition, but this sketch 
is already too long. 


2. The second edition (1802) contains 12 and 300 pages. Its title 
page is "The Freemason's Monitor, or Illustrations of Masonry, in two 
parts. By Thomas S. Webb, Past Master of Temple Lodge, Albany, 
and High Priest of the Providence Royal Arch Chapter, Part I. New 
York, printed by Southwick & Crocker, No. 354 Water street; 1802." 

On the third page is a certificate of Spencer that he had sold his 
interest in the copyright to Webb. On the fourth page is the recom- 
mendation of the Grand Chapter of Rhode Island, dated July 7, 1802. 

The divisions into Books and Sections is omitted, Chapters being 

The Charge now used in opening a Lodge is substituted for a 
brief prayer in the former edition. 

The Charge in the first degree is placed at the end of the third 
section and reduced in length: the description of the working tools is 
introduced in the first section; the explanation of the lambskin in the 
second ; the exposition of the cardinal virtues in the third ; and other 
matter is- added. 

Similar changes are made in the second and third lectures ; but 
in the third, a third section is added after the Charge. The prayer 
now used in the third degree was first introduced in this edition in 
place of the brief one given by Preston. In the description of the sym- 
bols (first now introduced) curious errors are made; "Pot of Incense/' 
is printed "Pal of Incense." Chisel is spelled Chissel, and Zeredathah 
is given Zewedathah (as also in the former edition). 

In the Mark Degree the passage from the Revelations is intro- 
duced, as well as a description of the Working Tools. 

The ceremonies given in connection with the Past Master's De- 
gree, are enlarged and amended. The description of the Chisel and 
Mallet given in the former edition at the installation of the Master of 
a Lodge is omitted in this. 

The four pages devoted to the Most Excellent Master's Degree 
in the first edition are increased to nine in this. 

The Royal Arch Degree is considerably changed; more Scriptural 
readings are introduced and the arrangement is different. 

Although there is no Book I., yet at the end of the Royal Arch 
Degree is a heading "Book II." The second Chapter is devoted (as 
printed) to the Order of Knights of the Bed Cross." In the next 
Chapter a part of the Scripture readings for the Orders of the Temple 
and Malta are given. The two succeeding Chapters are devoted to 
the Order of High Priesthood and the General Grand Chapter (called 


"Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Northern States of America"), 
the Constitution of which is given in full. 

The history of Masonry in America is given in Part II. Two 
of the songs given in the former edition are omitted. 

In this edition he uses both "Compasses" and "Compass;" but 
in the subsequent editions "Compass" only. 

3. The third edition (1805) contains 12 and 324 pages, to which 
are added in my copy the Proceedings of General Grand Chapter in 
1806, increasing the number of pages to 345 ; but the last sheets were 
undoubtedly printed and added after some copies had been published. 
The title page is : "The Freemason's Monitor, or Illustrations of 
Masonry, in two parts, by Thomas Smith Webb, Past Master of 
Temple Lodge, Albany, G. H. P. of the Grand R. A. Chapter of Rhode 
Island, and Grand Master of the Providence Encampment of Knights 
Templars, etc. A new and improved edition, printed for Henry Gush- 
ing and Thomas S. Webb, Providence. Sold also by Harrison & Hall, 
Mill Bridge, Boston; Gushing & Appleton, Salem, and Thomas & 
Whipple, Newburyport, 1805." 

Webb copyrighted it in his own name, in the Rhode Island District. 
In the recommendation of the Grand Chapter of Rhode Island, 
he prints "John Carlisle," instead of "John Carlile" in the former edi- 

It is divided into Books and Chapters. 

The introductory Chapters are rewritten and shortened. The form 
of petition for initiation is first given, with directions as to the man- 
ner of proceedings thereon. 

In this edition the phrase in the Prayer at initiation, "to display 
the beauties of godliness" is changed to "to display the beauties of 
virtuousness," which is continued till the edition of 1816, when it is 
again changed to "to display the beauties of Brotherly love, relief and 

The arrangement is somewhat changed : in the former edition the 
description of the lambskin is given in the second section, while in 
this it is given in the first — but the presentation of it is in the second 
section in both editions. 

The third section is greatly enlarged : the form, supports, furniture, 
ornaments, and jewels of a Lodge are described; and "the point with- 
in a circle" is introduced. But the general observations on the car- 
dinal virtues are omitted and the Charge is again abbreviated. An 
error in the numbering of the Chapters in the preceding edition is 

The second Lecture is substantially the same as before, except 
that it is shortened by omitting general observations. 

In the third Lecture, the passage from Ecclesiastes is introduced, 
and the Charge placed at the end of the third section. 

In the Mark Degree, new Scripture readings are introduced. 

The ceremonies in connection with the Past Master's Degree are 
changed and enlarged — those for "laying foundation stones of pubHc 
edifices" being first introduced. 

In the Most Excellent Degree, a considerable portion is included 
in brackets, to be omitted at discretion. 

A small part of the Lecture in the Royal Arch Degree is omitted, 
and the Charge slightly abbreviated. 

He introduces the Order of High Priesthood in the first Book im- 
mediately after the Royal Arch Degree. 

The second Book is devoted to an account of the General Grand 
Chapter and the Grand Chapters of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Con- 
necticut, New York and Pennsylvania. 

The third Book is devoted to the Orders of Knighthood; and 
the fourth to a brief sketch of the Grand Encampment of Pennsylvania, 
■'and Rhode Island and the jurisdiction thereunto belonging," and the 
Encampments in New York, Maryland and Massachusetts. Two of 
the ofiGcers of the Grand Encampment of Rhode Island, etc., hailed from 
Massachusetts. In March, 1806, the name was changed to "United 
States Grand Enampment," and as this change is not noticed in this 
edition of the Monitor, it must have been printed before that date. 

Book I. of Part II. is devoted to the "Ineflfable Degrees," and is 
the same as in the former editions. In Book II. is a history of Masonry 
in America, with a brief sketch of the Grand Lodges with lists of their 

Two of the Songs (Royal Arch and Knights Templar) are omitted, 
and the four written by Webb are credited to him. 

In my copy, as before stated, an Appendix follows, containing the 
Proceedings of the General Grand Chapter in 1806, which were not 
published, so far as I can learn, in any other manner.* 

4. The next edition (1808) contains 12 and 336 pages. The title 
page is the same as that of the former edition, except the publishers' 
names and imprint — "Published by Gushing & Appleton, at the sign 

* This appendix appears in six copies in different hands so it may safely 
be contended that it appeared in all, that, in fact, a copy of the edition with- 
out it would be incomplete. 


of the Bible, Salem ; and by Henry Gushing, at the Bible and Anchor, 
Providence. Joshua Gushing, Printer, 79 State street, Boston, 1808." 
The monitorial portions of this edition are almost literally the same 
as in the preceding edition. The history of the Grand Lodges and 
the Grand Ghapters is brought down to date ; the Proceedings of the 
General Grand Ghapter in 1806, are incorporated in the body of the 
book ; and the Gonstitution of the "United States Grand Encampment," 
as amended in 1807, is given. Two songs (the Past Master's Ode and 
Anthem published in the edition of 1803, among the Past Master's Gere- 
monies) are added at the end of the volume. 

5. The fifth edition (1812) is a substantial reprint of the former; in 
the account of the Grand Lodges some new particulars are added. It 
contains 12 and 300 pages; has the same title page except the imprint 
which is "Salem, published by Gushing & Appleton. Joshua Gushing, 
Printer, 1812." 

6. The three editions of 1816 are almost identical in contents. 
One contains 12 and 322 pages; was pubhshed by Gushing & 

Appleton, at Salem; and was printed by "Flagg & Gould, Printers, 

One contains 12 and 312 pages; was published by Gushing & Ap- 
pleton, at Salem, but was printed by "Ezra Lincoln, Printer, Boston." 

The other contains 12 and 300 pages, and the imprint is "Mont- 
pelier, Vt., published by Lucius Q. G. Bowles. For sale by him and 
by Gushing & Appleton, Salem, Mass. (Proprietors of the copyright.) 
Wahon & Ross, Printers, 1816." 

The most important additions in these editions consist of the cere- 
monies for the constitution of a Ghapter and the installation of its 
officers ; and the Manual of the Order of the Temple. In the two 
Salem editions the word "Sash" is omitted in the description of the 
clothing of a Templar ; in the one printed by Lincoln, "Garlile" is given 
"Garlisle;" and on the title page of this copy is a cut of a sun, moon, 
Bible, square, etc., which is given again at the end of the history on page 
303. In the Montpeher edition "gavel" is printed "gravel," and the 
error is noted in an "Erratum." The Montpelier edition also contains 
a chapter of four lines relating to the Grand Ghapter of Pennsylvania, 
and a chapter of about half a page containing an account of the or- 
ganization of the Grand Ghapter of Vermont, not found in the other 
two editions. 

7. The two editions of 1818 are identical in contents. My first 
impression was that the copies are only different varieties of the same 


edition, inasmuch as the pages, and even the location of every word, 
and parts of words in diflferent lines, are the same in both, except the 
numbering of the pages as hereafter noticed. 

But I find that one edition was printed by "Ezra Lincoln, Boston," 
and the other by "Flagg & Gould, Andover." In the former the "long 
s" is used, while in the latter it is not. In these editions "Rules for the 
guidance of Christian Freemasons" are introduced. In the Lincoln 
edition. Parts I. and II. are paged separately (12, 248 and 60) ; and 
these Rules (pp. 1-3) are also paged separately ; in some copies they are 
bound in between Parts I. and II. and in other copies at the end of 
the volume. In the Flagg & Gould edition, these Rules are between 
Parts I. and II., but the whole is paged consecutively (12 and 312) ; 
this edition has the same cut the Lincoln edition of 1816 had; but 
whether the Lincoln edition of 181 8 has it or not, I cannot tell as my 
copy is badly mutilated. In both these editions, the recommendation 
of the Grand Chapter of Rhode Island is headed "Sanction." 

The monitorial portions of these editions are identical with those 
of the editions of 1816, except that in the Order of High Priesthood, 
by a printer's error apparently, several lines are dropped out of the 
Scripture reading, from the seventh of Hebrews ; and except in the 
Orders of Knighthood. 

The Proceedings and constitution of the General Grand Chapter 
for 1816 are given instead of those of 1807; and Chapters are added 
giving an account of the organization of the Grand Chapters of South 
Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky and Vermont (from MontpeHer edition of 

The Monitorial of the Red Cross is modified and enlarged, and the 
arrangement of that of the Order of the Temple somewhat changed. 

An account of the organization of the General Grand Encampment 
in 1816, with the Constitution, is substituted for his former account of 
"Encampments of Knights in America." 

The "History of Freemasonry in America," is also partially re- 

9. The edition of 1821 has 12 and 324 pages; it was published by 
Gushing & Appleton; and printed by John D. Gushing, Salem. 

As Webb died in July, 1819, this edition would naturally be scarcely 
more than a reprint of the preceding edition ; and such is the fact, even 
the error in that edition being continued. There is, however, added at 
the close of the Royal Arch Degree a "Chronology of Events Apper- 
taining to the Tabernacle and the Temple," consisting of four pages. 


The "Rules for the Guidance of Christian Freemasons" are placed at 
the end of the book, after the Songs. All the former editions have a 
full title page to Part II. ; but this edition has a half title to that Part. 

ID. In 1822, H. C. Carey and I. Lea, published at Philadelphia a 
volume of 8 and 292 pages, purporting to be Webb's Monitor, translated 
from English into Spanish. I do not think it follows absolutely any of 
the editions; it purports to contain the Constitution of the General 
Grand Chapter adopted in 1816, but an examination shows that it was 
that of 1806 ; it follows most closely the edition of 1816. 

II. The editions of Carson, Morris and Chase, are so familiar to 
the Craft that no particular account of them is required. 

There may be other editions of which I have no knowledge ; indeed 
I once heard of an 1814 edition, but on strict inquiry, I could find no 
evidence of its existence. 

The copy of the first edition from which the reprint issued in 1899 
by the Masonic Historical Society of New York, was made contains an 
important typographical error which seems to have escaped previous 
notice. At the bottom of page 81 are the words "Printer or Post-Mas- 
ter." The error was so obvious that it was at once determined to change 
it to Present or Past-Master, but reflection suggested that, as the pur- 
pose of the reprint was to present the first edition of the Monitor with- 
out change, it was better to let the error stand. No other copy of the 
first edition I have seen, or have had examined, contains this curious 
typographical blunder. This proves that the sheet was probably an early 
one, and that Webb made his final corrections on his book as it was be- 
ing "worked off," to use a technical term. 




In a manuscript history of Temple Lodge, No. 14, Albany, N. Y., 
in the possession of the editor of this work many interesting details of 
its early history are to be found. It says : 

"The earliest minute book commenced December 28, 1796, and 
ends June 23, 1800. After having been lost for a period of time beyond 
the memory of its oldest member, this book was found in a junk shop 
in New York City, and returned to the Lodge in 1884 by a grandson 
of Thurlow Weed, one of the most active workers in the anti-Masonic 
Crusade of 1826. In associating with the members of the Albany Lodge, 
Brother Hanmer discovered many of them to be Royal Arch Masons 
and in September, 1797, he called a meeting of them at the rooms of 
Temple Lodge, and a lodge of Mark Masons was formed and called 
"Master Mark Lodge, No. 53, and until March, 1798, the Mark Degree 
was conferred in Temple Lodge, when the two Lodges separated. The 
beginning of the year 1798 found Temple Lodge in a flourishing condi- 
tion, so much that a large room was procured and dedicated in ancient 
form. At the conclusion of that ceremony, it was, according to 
the minutes, 'proposed that the Secretary should collect two shillings 
from each member and visitor present to defray the expenses of the 
evening. Accordingly the brethren present indiscriminately paid two 
shillings, all except Brother Vischer.' " 

"On January 4, 1800, on motion, made and seconded, it was 'Re- 
solved, That the Lodge will join in the contemplated funeral procession 
on Thursday next in respect to the memory of our beloved Brother 
George Washington, and that the Secretary be directed to write the 
neighboring Lodges to join in said procession with Temple Lodge. Re- 
solved, also, that the members of this Lodge wear white aprons, gloves, 
and stockings ; also crepe round the left arm ; also. Resolved, That they 
wear dark clothes, if they can make it convenient ; also. Resolved, That 
the Lodge at Troy be requested to bring down with them their musici- 
ans and music belonging to their Lodge ! This funeral procession ac- 

cordingly took place, many of the neighboring Lodges participating 
after the interment, the brethren returned to Temple Lodge room where 
an elegant obelisk, intended as a monument consecrated to the memory 
of the illustrious deceased, was presented to the Lodge and ordered 
placed opposite the Junior Warden's seat." 

About this time there was a dissatisfaction existing amongst many 
of the Lodges in the interior of the State as to the jurisdiction of the 
Grand Lodge, and on September 19, 1800, many objections were made 
to the new constitution of the Grand Lodge, and finally the following 
was adopted: 

"Whereas, The holding of the Grand Lodge in the City of New 
York is deemed by this Lodge to be inconvenient for the brethren of 
the Craft residing here and in other parts of the State, and that the City 
of Albany would be the most proper, central, and convenient place; 
therefore, unanimously 

"Resolved, as the opinion of this Lodge, that the Grand Lodge 
ought in future to be held in the City of Albany, or that there should be 
two Grand Lodges established, one to be held in the City of Albany 
and the other in the City of New York, under the superintendency of 
one Grand Master, and that in the latter case two Deputy Grand Mas- 
ters be appointed, one residing in the City of Albany and the other 
in New York." 

"Resolved, That the above resolution be transmitted to the several 
Lodges in the State of New York for their consideration." 

Nothing further is mentioned regarding this matter until Decem- 
ber 9, 1801, when the three Masonic Lodges of Albany jointly met and 
passed resolutions asking the several Lodges in the State, East, West 
and North, and as far South of the City of Albany as may be deemed 
expedient, to appoint one or more persons as proxies to meet in the 
City on February 15, 1802, to advise and adopt all necessary measures 
to carry into effect the formation of a separate and independent Grand 
Lodge to be established in said City. Undoubtedly the proxies met as 
called for by the resolution, but what was done the minutes of the Lodge 
do not show, although a regular meeting was held on February 17. 

During the ten years (1801-1810) nothing of particular moment 
occurred. The Lodge met twice and sometimes thrice a month, making 
new members at almost every meeting, and dispensed charity with a 
liberal hand, not only to brethren of their own Lodge, their widows 
and orphans, but to those of sister Lodges, and on March 15, 1809, it 
was unanimously 

"Resolved, That the Treasurer of Temple Lodge pay to the Treas- 

urer of the Albany Humane Society thirty dollars as a charitable dona- 

The matter of "refreshment"seemed to be of not a little importance 

at this time, for on March 19, 1800, it was 

"Resolved, That some brother be appointed to procure refreshment 
for this Lodge, consisting of good brandy, spirits, crackers, and cheese, 
for which he shall collect one shilling from each member and visitor 
partaking of the same, and, for every neglect, he shall forfeit and pay 
the sum of 25 cents into the Treasury unless a reasonable excuse can 
be given." 

And on April i, 1801, it was 

"Resolved, That, in future the stewards substitute beer for brandy 
and spirits for the refreshment in the Lodge." 

The tin cups were also ordered to be scoured. 

The brethren were again liberal on December 23, 1801, when it was 

"Resolved that a good and handsome cocked hat be purchased for 
the use of the Master, the cost not to exceed ten dollars." 

John Mills was raised in this Lodge, January 16, 1807, and was a 
constant attendant at its meetings, taking an active part in its proceed- 
ings until the commencement of the War of 1812, when he joined his 
regiment. He was killed at Sackett's Harbor and the minutes of June 
12, 1813, read as follows : 

"It having been announced to the Lodge that our Brother, Lieut- 
Colonel John Mills, has recently fallen whilst gloriously fighting in de- 
fence of his country ; therefore 

"Resolved, That the brethren of the Lodge duly appreciate the 
honorable circumstances of his death and entertain profound respect 
for his memory, and that they sympathize with his friends, relations, 
family, and country for his loss, as an infliction in common to all. 

"Resolved, That a copy of the above resolutions be served on his 
widow by the Secretary." 

His remains were buried at Oswego, and in 1844 brought to Albany 
and deposited in a vault in the Capitol Park. In 1882 the question of 
re-interring them in the Albany Rural Cemetery and there erecting a 
monument to his memory was agitated by the citizens and finally con- 
summated on May 30, 1883. A grand display of military and Masonic 
bodies was had, Temple Lodge occupying the Masonic post of honor in 
the parade and at the grave taking a very conspicuous part in the 

It will, perhaps, be interesting to mention that at a meeting of the 
Lodge, held during 1825, there was broached the project for the Lodge 


of Albany to erect and support an academy at which the children of the 
Fraternity could attend. The matter was referred to a committee which 
apparently never reported, as the brethren throughout the State were 
soon after, in 1826, deeply interested in their own protection caused by 
the persecution of the Fraternity by the Anti-Masons, on account of 
the "Morgan Disappearance," and also to further party politics. At 
this time John O. Cole was Master, Horace Durrie, Senior Warden, and 
Martin Gaylord, Junior Warden. No minutes of meetings held in 1826 
are to be found, but no doubt they were held, as the minutes of January 
2, 1827, show that Martin Gaylord had been elected Master, Daniel P. 
Marshall, Senior Warden, and Roland Adams, Junior Warden. It is 
a matter of history that, from 1826 to 1835, the Masonic brethren were 
ostracised, people refused to deal with them, their businesses were 
ruined, and in many cases Lodges were disbanded and the records and 
furniture destroyed. Temple Lodge, however, stood firm, meetings 
were held at least once a month during these exciting times." 


From the American Tyler, December i, igoi. 

As I write, there lies dead at his home in Brooklyn, a brother who 
in many respects was a typical representative of the old-fashioned Free- 
masons in this city — John G. Barker. For many years — some thirty, 
I believe — the half-yearly auction sales of Masonic books which his 
firm conducted made his name known all over the land and especially 
among those of the brethren who had any love for the literature of 
Masonry. Such brethren, he used to say with a grim smile, seemed to 
grow fewer and fewer each year, and as to the brethren in New York 
who read books — Masonic books — he was wont to aver that they "might 
be counted on the fingers of both hands and still leave us two or three 
fingers for additions." For the "bright Masons" of the present day he 
had nothing but the most contemptuous words, and was ready on all 
occasions to demonstrate that such burning and shining lights are not 
Masons at all. 

But still it must be admitted that Barker himself was behind the age. 
His place of business was in a street that was once a Masonic center, 


but had long ago lost its pre-eminence in that and in every other respect, 
except for manufacturing industries. He had a large stock, but it was 
never displayed properly. When you wanted anything you had to ask 
for it, and Barker generally had it, no matter how rare a bibliographical 
treasure it might be. Yet I question if even he had a complete knowl- 
edge of all that his stock contained, for human memory has its limita- 

The establishment was not an inviting one. It was not at all tidy ; 
the furnishings were "the remains of former grandeur," and the pres- 
ence of half a dozen cats did not add to the neatness of things. Three 
or four chairs were disposed around an old stove, chairs so well sea- 
soned that they could not be destroyed by rough usage, and therein lay 
their supreme comfort, for you could sit in them as you liked, elevate 
them to your notion of the fitness of things, and if you so desired tilt 
your feet on the stove itself at any angle. It was not a handsome spot, 
the surroundings were venerable and decrepid, yet around that stove 
more Masonry has been talked and discussed during the past quarter 
of a century than probably in any other spot in New York outside of 
our Masonic Hall. Barker himself was a living encyclopedia of local 
Masonic history, and if his educational training had only been commen- 
surate with the opportunities that came to him and with the facilities his 
business opened up, he would have been a power in the fraternity. But 
I judge from his publications that his early education had been limited. 
For several years he edited and published a Masonic magazine which 
bad more errors on the page — errors in Grammar and in spelling, in- 
volved and dense sentences, misquotations and the like — than any publi- 
cation I ever knew, yet he was never aware of them. His sale cata- 
logues are useless for bibliographical purposes, because of their mis- 
takes in names and dates, yet such errors he never seemed to think 
amounted to much. But if someone had pointed out to him a mis- 
spelled name in one of Albert Pike's publications he would have gloated 
over it for a month and denounced the ignorance of Pike in the bitterest 
terms to all and sundry. 

In fact, denunciation was his great forte. At times he was wont 
to denounce everything. The name of Albert Pike used to arouse his ire 
much as a red flag is said to arouse the dander of a bull and the name of 
the late Enoch Terry Carson uncorked all the vials of his wrath. Even 
some of the Grand Masters of his own jurisdiction did not escape his 
ire, and of some of them the language he used was such as if here re- 
peated might lay The Tyler open to legal proceedings. Of the Grand 

Masters of recent years he knew nothing, except John Stewart and 
Wright D. Pownall, for both of whom he entertained the highest re- 
gard, but all the others, since the days of Frank R. Lawrence, were to 
him little more than names. He admired Grand Master Lawrence's 
work, or rather the outcome of it, although he did not admire Law- 
rence's methods, but then Barker was one of those whom Lawrence 
himself used to denounce as the Past Masters who led us into the mire 
of debt from which only heroic measures and masterly leadership en- 
abled us to get out. 

But in spite of his gift of denunciation, which, as usual, grew more 
virulent as years crept on, John G. Barker had a kind heart. Many a 
time have I seen a beggar enter his store, and experience a share of his 
wrath, winding up with the stern admonition that "this is a place of busi- 
ness and not a bureau of charity," and I always noticed that when 
the speech was near the close his hand was in his pocket and the suppli- 
cant went away satisfied. Once a fellow walked in and solicited a dime, 
saying that he was a brother of a Lodge in Boston and had tramped the 
street in search of work until he was played out. Barker, after the cus- 
tomary discourse, gave him the ten cents. "That fellow wants a drink," 
I said after the scene was over. "Well," said Barker, "what if he does? 
He asked me for a dime for food and I had the dime to spare. If he lied 
about it, I have at least done my part." But his kindliness of heart 
showed itself in many other ways. No young brother ever applied to 
him for a bit of information as to work, or law, or procedure, or history 
without having the point at issue fully explained, no matter how much 
of his time it took up, and he would not only give his own views but 
would back them up with authorities, ransacking his whole store, search- 
ing in safes, desks, pigeon-holes and all sorts of corners for the neces- 
sary books of data. "Proceedings" of grand lodges were his favorite 
study, and probably he knew as much of the contents of these as any 
man living. Now and again he used to talk of editing a volume or tv/o 
of selections from the valuable contributions to Masonic history which 
lie buried in these "books which are not books," but he seemed unwill- 
ing to undertake the task owing to his advanced years ; still he strongly 
commended it to me as a service which ought to be rendered the fra- 

Barker was a genuine example of the old school of Masons, as I 
have said, of the type that prevailed in New York forty years ago. At 
that time Simons, Holmes, Phillips, Macoy, Sickels, Henry C. Banks, 
Somer, and Evans were in the height of their usefulness. Grand men, 


they were, all of them. Although one or two gave way to the cup which 
inebriates, they were not drunkards ; they were "convivialists," as they 
used to call themselves, but there is no doubt that their fondness for 
looking on "the wine when it is red" lowered their standing in the social 
scale and more or less wrecked their lives. But whether "bon vivants" 
like Holmes, or prim, devout, hard-working merchants like Evans, they 
were all men of brains. When Barker was raised in Silentia Lodge in No- 
vember, 1862, he had known Simons, Holmes, Sickels and most of the 
rest of these leaders for some years, and he had quite an intimate ac- 
quaintance with that apostle of unrest — that most wonderful of ritu- 
alists — Henry C. Atwood, who passed away from the storms and dis- 
tresses and conflicts of this life to, let us hope, a haven of rest above, 
two months before Barker signed the by-laws and was acknowledged 
a Master Mason. Still, although he thus dated legitimately in a Ma- 
sonic sense from 1862, it is difficult to tell when Barker's acquaintance 
with the craft began. They were not so particular then as now about 
many matters, and Barker laughingly once told me that his initiating, 
passing and raising showed him nothing new, as he had "many times 
seen the whole business before." In fact, he had often tyled a lodge 
when he was in that state of darkness which our elder brethren stigma- 
tized so eloquently as being that of a "cowan," although not one 
of them could tell the exact meaning of the word. Neither can any of 
us of the present twentieth century, for that matter. Of course it was 
wrong to let a boy act as tyler, but I fancy that if the fact of a non-Ma- 
son being tyler had been called in question Simons would have found 
ample precedent for it in the Scotch system which did not demand in 
those days — and I don't think makes it obligatory even yet — that the 
tyler of a lodge must be a member of the fraternity. 

For many years Barker was a prominent figure in Grand Lodge 
circles although the only official appointment he ever held was that of 
Grand Librarian for some four years. But the library was a small afifair 
in his day, containing little beyond loose numbers of proceedings, and 
during his tenure of the office he attempted little beyond arranging and 
completing these. The fact is that he became active in our Grand Lodge 
circles at a time when a library was hardly likely to be a theme of im- 
mediate interest. The first year he attended the Grand Lodge as a rep- 
resentative the purchase of the present site of our hall was announced 
and then followed the excitement of corner-stone laying, of seeing the 
building in process of erection, of its dedication, and the long years of 
doubt, money-raising and even despondency, until Lawrence lifted the 


load. It was in these years of financial darkness that Barker was promi- 
nent. For the past decade he seemed to take more of a direct interest 
in Scottish Rite matters than in anything else. He was the secretary 
and real leader of what we generally speak of here as the Gorman Cer- 
neau council, and he supported its claims to being the genuine article 
with all the force and vehemence of the old controversial school in which 
Hyneman and Polger almost to our day carried on the argumentative 
methods of Lawrence Dermott himself. Into this feature of his career, 
however, this is not the place or time to enter. 

So we will leave him. With all his little oddities, John Barker was 
a good man, a warm-hearted man, an enthusiastic Mason, a zealous, 
untiring student, a firm friend. It was somewhat difficult to gain his 
confidence, but once he gave it it was given unreservedly. By me he 
will long be missed, for I ever found him one of the most helpful of men, 
and many and many a long discussion have we had over knotty and 
disputed points in Masonic story. We did not always agree; sometimes 
our arguments might seem a little heated, but every such tussle ap- 
peared to draw us closer together. "Alas, my brother !" 



The most interesting news item, or rather the most widely dissemi- 
nated news item, concerning the craft in the Empire State since the cen- 
tury began — and even for a week or two before — was that concerning 
the initiation into Freemasonry of Vice-President-elect Theodore Roose- 
velt. The news was telegraphed for and wide, the political caricatur- 
ists got hold of it and their imaginations ran riot in depicting the former 
chief of the Rough Riders riding all sorts of goats. After the initia- 
tion, which we are told took place in the midst of a distinguished gather- 
ing, the telegraph wires were again all-busy conveying the news to every 
paper, and the gentlemen who contribute what they call caricature- 
cartoons to our daily papers and weekly "comic budgets" were more 
wondrously imaginative than ever. 

I do not know who started all this publicity, but whoever it was 
committed a very grave offense against good taste, if against nothing 

1 08 

else. A body of men who have had in their ranks Presidents of this 
nation and a long line of the leaders of the Republic have no reason 
to go into ecstasies of dehght over the advent of a Vice-President-elect, 
and while the initiation of such a candidate was undoubtedly an event 
in the history of the Lodge concerned, its interest should have begun 
and ended there. We are apt at times to forget that Masons meet on 
the level and we have no more right to make a fuss over candidate 
Roosevelt than over candidate Smith or candidate Jones. While it 
might be right and proper to rejoice and wax eloquent over the initiate 
after he has received his third degree and signed the by-laws, I hold it 
is certainly wrong to attract public attention to the matter before that 
consummation. I am a firm beHever in Masonry claiming all the pub- 
licity possible. I believe that its influence, its power for good, its aims, 
its aspirations, its accomplishments should be known of all men. I 
believe that by pubHcity our hold will be strengthened, our influence 
widened and deepened, for experience has taught me that — so long as 
human nature remains as it is — the man who hides his light under a 
bushel knows little of the world and the world knows little of him. But 
while I believe in Masonic publicity, I think there are times when we 
ought to close our doors pretty effectually, and the initiation of a can- 
didate is one of them. 

In one of the newspaper skits which the Roosevelt initiation called 
forth in the papers there was one in which the candidate was made to 
ask a distinguished brother what were the landmarks of Masonry, and 
the said distinguished brother replied, "The landmarks! Oh, well yes, 
the landmarks ! Well, yes, let me see, they're the landmarks and they 
never change." But the candidate pressed the question and the dis- 
tinguished brother had to confess that he did not know, or rather he 
had forgotten them. A well known brother of the social variety, who 
read this interview, cut it out of some paper and showed it to me. Af- 
ter I had read it, he said, "Say, doctor, what are the landmarks, any- 

I was reminded by this question of an incident in which I once 
figured. Being a Scotchman, and therefore brought up in the Kirk and 
saturated with the Shorter Catechism in my early years, I was sup- 
posed to start out in life properly qualified to guard my own religious 
beliefs, and if need be to argue the point with any doubters and to con- 
vert the heathen. But I was not ; and many years after I suggested to 
a well known Presbyterian minister in this city that it would be a good 
thing for him to preach a series of sermons on the denominational 


fundamentals, and suggested predestination as one theme. I told him 
I knew what the Shorter Catechism said on that vital question, but it did 
not go deep enough into the matter to be satisfying, probably because 
I was not as unquestioning as when I was a boy. The good 
man accepted my suggestion, and I listened to his discourse on pre- 
destination with intense interest and with much profit. So did many 
others. Up to that time the doctrine of predestination was to me but 
a name, a shibboleth, but from then on I had a clear idea of its terrible 
meaning and import. It became to me a religious issue of more sig- 
nificance than any of the isms with which the theological world amuses 

So, too, with our landmarks. We hear a good deal about them, 
and they are thrown up against us in all sorts of ways and from all sorts 
of quarters, but after all we don't know much about them. We acknowl- 
edge them, we revere them, we agree to uphold them, we use them im- 
pressively on solemn occasions as glittering and unanswerable generali- 
ties — and let it go at that. 

So, after all, what are the landmarks? It is difficult exactly to say, 
for they are so many and so varied. They are like the marriage laws 
of the United States. In one State a couple are said to be married under 
certain provisions of the law, but if they cross the border into another 
State they find they are not married at all and liable to arrest from 
breaking the moral code. What is a landmark in one Masonic juris- 
diction is not regarded as such in another, and it is difficult to keep 
track of them all and to respect them where they are honored. Many 
Masonic writers, from Dr. Oliver to the present day, have tried to 
evolve order out of this chaos, and clear up the landmark question so as 
to make it plain to all Masons, but such well-meant endeavors have 
failed. All admit that the landmarks recognized in Masonry should 
everywhere be the same, but if you suggest to a Pennsylvania brother 
that he abandon any of his you will be apt to throw him into a fit. Still 
some practical effort should be made to reduce them to a system. That 
would be a nice piece of work for an assembly of Grand Masters to 
deliberate upon, or for the Grand Lodge to appoint special representa- 
tives to meet and consider and try to determine. Better, still better, 
would be a meeting of grand secretaries, for these men would evolve 
something practical, which I doubt if Grand Masters or Grand Repre- 
sentatives would do. The Grand Masters would be top dignified to get 
down to business, the representatives would be mainly concerned about 
having a good time, but our Grand Secretaries would sail in and accom- 

plish something which at least would arouse the attention of the craft. 
I have read somewhere that our Grand Secretaries have a society all by 
themselves which meets once in each three years, but that they find little 
to talk about. Now here is a suggestion which if adopted would make 
their reunions interesting not only to them, but to the craft in America. 
When we approach the question of landmarks we are handicapped 
at the very outset by traditions and errors which have come to us from 
the fathers of Masonry. The theology of all the Protestant churches 
during the past century and a half has undergone considerable change 
and Biblical interpretation is a very different matter now, in many res- 
pects, than it was in the eighteenth century. But in Masonry we are 
still governed by the ideas of Dr. Anderson and the other clerical 
founders of the modern craft. Dr. George Oliver, who followed them, 
and who was the first really popular Masonic writer, had much the same 
degree of Biblical scholarship as had Anderson, and it is the religious 
interpretation, spiritual and historical, of these men that seemingly gov- 
erns the craft at the present day. Of this the landmarks question is 
an instance. Oliver, on the strength of a verse in the Bible, tells us that 
in Hebrew times a landmark was a boundary stone set up to mark a 
piece of land, and when once set up it was supposed never to be re- 
moved, but remained steadfast in spite of wind and weather, storms, 
revolutions, wars and all the rest of it, and he held that a Masonic 
landmark should be equally unchangeable. But our modern Biblical 
students do not accept the theory of the irremovability of the old Hebrew 
landmarks and refuse to accord them any more permanence then they 
would a fence or a boulder. These scholars hold that not only could 
landmarks be removed or altered as occasion demanded, but were re- 
moved and changed around just as often as circumstances made a 
change desirable. The prohibition in the sacred writings to their re- 
moval referred really to their being stolen or carried away with fraudu- 
lent intent. So the students of the Bible have got the question of the 
Hebrew landmarks on an intelligible and sensible basis, but we still cling 
to the skirts of Anderson and Oliver et al. They said the landmarks 
were unchangeable, and so say we. They fought shy, however, of clear- 
ly defining all our Masonic landmarks, and so do we. Further, they 
said it would be a crime to change any of them, and we dutifully agree 
with them, so far as our words go. 

Dr. Mackey, in his invaluable "Lexicon," gives us a list of 25 land- 
marks and solemnly tells us that they can never be changed. "Nothing 
can be substracted from them, nothing can be added to them, not the 

slightest modification can be made in them." But in spite of this we 
have at least modified some of the things he lays down in his list. One 
of his landmarks, for instance, is the inherent right of Grand Masters 
to make Masons at sight, and that has been "modified" to a very con- 
siderable extent. His landmark that a candidate must have been free- 
born does not hold in England, and I question if any thinking Mason 
would subscribe to the doctrine that there were Grand Masters, per- 
forming functions of that office, before Grand Lodges were invented. Of 
course, there were men who were called — and called justly — ^by that 
official designation, but they were not Freemasons. Then some of the 
landmarks laid down by Mackey are really the outcome of common 
sense and would be accepted by men, landmark or no landmark. In 
New York our constitution practically avoids defining landmarks, but 
we accept a statement as to what they are which was laid down by 
one of our now deceased Grand Masters, Joseph D. Evans, one of the 
most conservative of masters. He reduced them to ten. They are still 
further verbally condensed as follows : 

1. Signs, grips, words, and legend. 

2. Belief in God and immortality. 

3. An accepted candidate must be a man of lawful age, of good 
character, " having no maim or defect in his body or mind." 

4. Obedience to civil law. 

5. No religious or political influence to enter lodges. 

6. ALodge'srighttojudgefor itself as to admission of candidates. 

7. Ballot invariably secret. 

8. No appeal from decision of Master to the Lodge 

9. A Lodge cannot try its Master 

10. The prerogative of the Grand Master to preside over every 
meeting of the craft in his jurisdiction and to exercise the functions of 
Grand Lodge during its recess. 

I would like to make some comment on this and add a little to the 
whole question, but I find I have already overrun the space allotted to 
these letters, and may refer to it again. 

PETER ROSS, in The American Tyler 


Issued by the Grand Master in 1862 at the request of M. W., John 
L. Lewis is so suggestive in its instructions as to the gathering of his- 
torical da^a in Lodges that it is as valuable to-day as when just issued 
and is deserving of thoughtful study. For that reason it is here pre- 
served : 

Office of the Grand Master of Masons of the State of New York, 

January loth, 1862. 
To the Masters, Wardens, and Brethren of the several Lodges in the 

State of New York : 

Brethren : In 1859 the Grand Lodge adopted a report and a series 
of resolutions in favor of compiling a Masonic history of this State. It 
is high time that we should proceed in this work. The committee who 
had the subject in charge very forcibly and truly say, "That every re- 
volving year is carrying away with it, into oblivion, many reminiscences 
and facts and incidents connected with the past history of Masonry in 
this State, which if cherished and preserved, will prove a precious legacy 
to our children and those who come after them." I need hardly men- 
tion to you the names of eminent brethren whose lives are still preserved, 
but have long since passed the period allotted to man. They 
are passing away, and their memories, their experiences, and 
the stirring incidents in which they have acted will pass away 
with them. For the purpose of collecting and collating the materials of 
this history, the Hon. and M. W. John L. Lewis, Jr., was "solicited to 
undertake the supervision and control of the same," and the Grand Mas- 
ter was requested, "if he should deem it necessary and expedient," to call 
to his aid a competent, well-informed Masonic brother in each county 
and district in the State to whom it shall be given in charge to collate 
all the interesting facts and incidentrs that may be possible for him to ac- 
quire in his district, and forward the same as soon as possible to the 
Grand Master. 

The M. W. Bro. Lewis has kindly accepted the appointment, and, 
if the Lodges, or the local historians hereinafter designated, are prompt 
in forwarding to him the materials for the history, he thinks he will be 
able to present his report at our Annual Communication in June next. 

As to the mode of obtaining these materials, I think it best to en- 
large the number of the local historians, by having one appointed for 
each Lodge, and others still should be appointed for those localities 


where Lodges have become extinct and are not revived. On consulta- 
tion with Bro. Lewis, I think it better to have the materials sent directly 
to him instead of to myself, as it will save the expense of remailing and 
facilitate the work. On receipt of this circular, the Lodges will there- 
fore adopt the following plan, viz. : 

L The Master will either act himself as the local historian, or ap- 
point a competent, well-informed Masonic brother for this purpose. 

: IL Where Lodges have become extinct, the Master of the Lodge 
nearest to those localities will appoint some brother, resident in or near 
such locality, to perform this duty. 

in. The brethren so appointed will proceed, without delay, to col- 
lect and write out as full a history as practicable of his Lodge, and of 
Masonry in his vicinity, and of important incidents connected with its 
history, following the plan laid down in the questions hereto appended. 

IV. If the duties here imposed are attended to at once, the whole 
work may be accomplished and the materials placed in the hands of the 
historian by the time above designated; but, if delayed to "a more 
convenient season," it will be put off from time to time, and may never 
be done. It is therefore important that the labor should be commenced 
at once. 

V. By request of the historian, I suggest that the contributions to 
the history, and the answers to the questions hereto subjoined, be writ- 
ten on letter paper of medium size, turning the leaf over in book form 
with a margin of an inch wide on the left hand of the first page, and on 
the right of the second, made by folding the sheets so that they can be 
conveniently stitched together. 


1. Give the name of your Lodge, and the town and county of its 

2. Give the date of the Lodge dispensation, and the name of the 
officers and petitioners inserted in it. 

3. Give the date of the first meeting and the names of the officers 
and brethren present. 

4. Give the name of the first applicant for degrees. 

5. State particularly who received the first degree in your Lodge. 

6. Give the date of your warrant, the name of the officers inserted 
in it, and the number of your Lodge. 

7. State whether the name and number of your Lodge has been 
changed, and if so, when and how. 


8. Give the date of the first meeting under the warrant, and what 
officers and brethren were present. 

9. Give the name of the first officers elected, and the date of their 

10. Give the names of the officers who have been elected in your 
Lodge since that time, either arranged annually, or in tabular form. 

11. Give the names of the brethren who have received degrees in 
your Lodge, or have been admitted to membership, with the date of each. 

12. Give brief biographical sketches of any of your officers or mem- 
bers who have been prominent in public life, or distinguished in any way, 
Masonically or otherwise. 

13. Give a brief account of the prominent events in the history 
of your Lodge, arranged in chronological order. 

14. State whether your Lodge or its members are in possession 
of any remarkable books, pamphlets, pictures, charts, relics, or other 
curiosities of a Masonic or historical value ; if so, describe them. 

15. State whether your Lodge or its members, are in possession 
of the records of any extinct Lodge ; and if so, what Lodge. 

16. State whether you have preserved the Annual Transactions, 
or other Masonic documents, addresses,, and circulars sent to you. 

17. State whether you have a library, the number of volumes and 
their value. 

18. State the average amount of annual receipts and expenses, and 
the sum total of such receipts and expenses, other than for charitable 

19. State the average amount paid by your Lodge in each year for 
charitable purposes, and whether principally to members or their fami- 
lies, or to sojourners and unaffiliated Masons. 

20. State whether you own your Lodge-room, and what was the 
cost value, and the cost value of the Lodge furniture ; if you rent — the 
amount of annual rent. 

21. State haw many cases of Lodge discipline and Masonic trials 
you have had, and for what. 

22. State whether any of your members have seceded and re- 
nounced Masonry ; or those in any other Lodge formerly existing in 
your town ; if so, name them. 

23. State whether your Lodge statedly or occasionally observes 
the two annual festivals of St. John, and how ; give a brief account. 

24. State whether your Lodge had any public ceremonials, such 
as dedication, laying of corner stones, etc., with a brief account of them. 


25- State whether you have had any Masonic burials; when and 

26. Add any other matter which will be of value in a Masonic his- 
tory; also any particulars of the history of any extinct Lodge in your 
vicinity within your knowledge, embracing the foregoing items. 

It is proper to state that one of the resolutions provided "that any 
actual disbursements incurred (by the agents or local historians) were 
to be paid by this Grand Lodge," still, the expense of paper and postage 
will be so small in each individual case, that it is hoped no charge will 
be made to the Grand Lodge therefor. The value of the history of each 
Lodge, in its being placed in 'the great history to be published, will, I 
think, sufficiently compensate the Lodges for bearing this trifling ex- 
pense themselves. 

One of these circulars will be sent to each Lodge; but, if more are 
needed, they may be procured on addressing the Grand Secretary in 
New York. 

Fraternally yours, 

Attest : Grand Master, Grand Lodge of New York. 

JAMES M. AUSTIN, Grand Secretary. 


In Stone's "Life of Brant," we find related the following interest- 
and who was the first of Biblical scholarship as had Anderson newa 
ing incident in life of Capt. McKinstry (at whose house the first meeting 
of Hudson Lodge, N. Y., was held). Capt. McKinstry was an officer 
in the Revolutionary Army, was engaged in the battle at Bunker Hill, 
and, during the Canadian compaign, commanded a company at Cedar 
Keys on the river St. Lawrence, where his command was sharply en- 
gaged by a body of Indians under Brant, before whom his troops were 
several times compelled to retire. Rallying, however, with spirit the 
Indians were repulsed in turn, and the respected forces were thus succes- 
sively driven by each other back and forth, according to the doubtful 
and varying fortunes of the hour, until the Americans were over- 
powered by numbers and compelled to surrender. 


Capt. McKinstry, being wounded, fell by the side of a tree and was 
taken prisoner by the Indians. He subsequently ascertained that he 
had been selected by them as a victim, and that the usual preparations 
had been made for putting him to death by the torture of fire. He re- 
membered to have heard that Brant was a Mason, and, gaining his eye, 
gave him a proper sign, and thus secured his release and subsequent 
kind treatment. Through the personal exertions of Brant, in connec- 
tion with some humane English officers, a sum of money was raised, 
an ox was given to the Indians and by them roasted in the flames 
kindled for their gallant prisoner. 

Capt. McKinstry never forgot the kindness of Brant. He after- 
wards becamQ,a Colonel, and after a residence of a few years in this citv, 
moved upon a farm in the Manor of Livingston, where he several times 
entertained Brant as his guest. Brant's last visit was in 1805, when, in 
company v/ith Col. McKinstry he visited the Lodge in this city, where 
his presence attracted great attention. 

In 1779 Brant saved the Hfe of Mayor Word at the battle of Mini- 
siole under similar circumstances, and also Brother John Maynard, of 
Farmingham, Mass. The latter had been divested of his clothing prior 
to execution, but on one of his arms Brant noticed several Masonic em- 
blems in India ink, and this circumstance led to his life being spared. 

The following is taken from Miller's Sketches of Hudson, 1862 : 

"Hudson Lodge, No. 7, may be considered about the oldest 'pub- 
lic institution' in the city with which very nearly from the time of its 
settlement it has been co-existent. The Society of Quakers only date 
their organization a short period previous to the Lodge which was in 
a strong and flourishing condition years before any other church organi- 
zation than the Quaker had been undertaken, and embraced in its mem- 
bership most of the prominent citizens of that early day." 


Works by PETER ROSS, LL.D, 

Htstorian or New York Masonic Historical Society, 
etc., etc. 

-ST. ANDREW; The Disciple,_ the 
Missionary, the Patron Saint, i vol., 

Essays Illustrative of Scottish Life, 
History and Character. Crown 8vo. 

Crown 8vo. 

and other Essays, Scottish and 
American. Crown 8vo. 

F. and A. M.: New York, with an 
account of Scottish Freemasonry in 
America. i2mo.. Cloth. 

FREEMASONRY in the State of 
New York. Two vols., Quarto, Il- 

REVOLUTION. Bvc, 25pp., Paper 

WAR OF 1812. 8vo., 25pp. 

NEW YORK. 8vo., Paper. 

study. 35pp., Paper. 

No. 2, New York. A study of 
Freemasonry from its introduction 
in America until the present time. 
Preparing for publication. 

, Sterling. 3 vols.. Crown 8vo. 

Chronologically arranged, with intro- 
duction, memoirs and notes. Crown 

AND. Genealogical, antiquarian 
and popular, from the Earliest 
Times to the Consolidation of Kings 
County and Manhattan Island. 2 
vols., Quarto, Illustrated. 

" Dr, Ross is well known as an erudite and entertaining writer. His work is 
the result of many years' study and research. For the present it may rank as 
authoritative, nor is it at all likely to be superseded. The mass of material which 
he has sifted is immense, He is to be congratulated not only upon his talent as a 
historian, but as well upon his industry, a quality far rarer in these days of indifferent 
study." — The New York Commercial Advertiser . 



Peter Ross, the Scholar; Peter Ross, the Friend, the Brother, is no 
more ; our Brother has obeyed the last summons from the Grand Master 
above and has gone to his long, his eternal home. 

It needs no eulogy to add character or force to what has already 
been said about our departed Brother, nor to impress more deeply upon 
our hearts the realization of the great loss we have sustained by his 
untimely death, by his premature taking off. 

"And is he dead? 
Who's glorious mind lifts thine on high, 
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die." 

It is among the sentiments of Masonry to affectionately remember 
its distinguished workers, and when one is called from labor to eternal 
rest he is enshrined in the hearts of his Brethren. Brother Ross will be 
affectionately remembered by all who knew him, and will be remembered 
by his works by coming generations, and his noble example will be a 
guide for all Masons in years to come. His kindness of heart, his 
charity, in speech and acts, his readiness to help, aid and assist a Brother 
at all times has endeared him to all who cam.e in contact with him, and 
when his death was announced the news fell like a pall upon the Brethren. 
Peter Ross is dead, his light is extinguished ; toll the funeral bells of the 
craft, sound the mufHed drums of our order, dip the flags of Masonry in 
honor of a giant in the world of thought and literature who has fallen ; a 
teacher has gone from us forever, and we shall never look upon him 
again. Pure in heart, charitable to a fault, upright and square in all his 
dealings, gifted and educated, he was indeed a leader in the world of 
Masonic thought, a teacher in Israel, a tutor in Masonry. True, our craft 
will go on in its good work, Masonry will continue in its noble mission, 
while the Brethren stand to-day with bowed heads and in grief over the 
loss of Brother Ross ; but we will miss him, more especially the Elders of 
the craft. A bright light is extinguished, but a glorious record is left 

Peter Ross was a native of Inverness, Scotland, having been born 
there on the nth of January, 1847. He received a good common school 
English education, and at the age of fourteen became apprenticed to Miles 
MacPhail, the once famous Established Church publisher in Edinburgh. 
Here he met and conversed with many of the most brilliant literary minds 
in Scotland at the time, including Russell, the great editor of the Scots- 
man; Manson, of the Daily Review; Phineas Deseret; J. W, Ebsworth; 


Dr. Robert Lee; Dr. Bonar, of The Canongate; Dean Ramsay; Dr. Cook, 
of Haddington ; Cosmo Innes ; J. Hill Burton, the historian ; Dr.McLauch- 
lin, of St. Columbia's; Maclagan, the poet; Sir James Y. Simpson, and 
many others. 

In 1873, along with his wife and brother, John D., he sailed for 
America, and since that time had resided in New York City, engaged 
mainly in newspaper and other literary work. A literary man in the 
truest sense of the word, he had given to the world a number of works of 
a decidedly valuable character. Among these are the following : 

"Life and Works of Sir William Alexander, Earl of Sterling"; 
"Songs of Scotland," chronologically arranged; "Life of St. Andrew," 
"The Book of Scotia Lodge," "Scotland and the Scots," "The Scot in 
America," "Kingcraft in Scotland," "A History of Freemasonry," "A 
History of Long Island" ; besides two or three hundred short sketches on 
Scottish Masonic, Historical and other subjects. Previous to his illness he 
was busy with a History of New Jersey. 

In appreciation of his valuable work in connection with Scottish 
literature in the United States, an American College in 1896 conferred 
upon him the degree of LL. D. 

He was made a Mason in Thistle and Rose Lodge No. 72, Glasgow, 
and, shortly after his arrival in New York, affiliated with Scotia Lodge 
No. 634. Here he filled several offices, and was Master for two years. 
As a Mason he was highly esteemed by the entire fraternity, and his death 
will be keenly felt in Masonic circles all over the country. He was Grand 
Historian of the Grand Lodge and Grand Representative to the Grand 
Lodge of Maryland. Masonry was more than a name to him. He believed 
and acted according to its principles and teachings. He was a member of 
Zetland Chapter No. 141, of York Commandery No. 55, and the bodies of 
the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of this city. Was Master of Scotia 
Lodge in 1885 and 1886, and its Treasurer from then until his death. 

Upon a visit, in 1893, to his native country, he was elected an honor- 
ary member of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge No. 2, of which Robert 
Bums was a member, and in which he was crowned with laurel and pro- 
claimed poet laureate. Brother Ross was prominent in all of the Scottish 
Societies in this city, and was as well known among the Scots throughout 
the country as any man in it. He was for eighteen years Secretary of 
the North American Association of Caledonian Clubs. He was also a 
member of Typographical Union No. 6. He belonged to the St. Andrews 
Society of New York, the Burns Society of the State of New York, Clan 
MacDonald No. 33, O. S. C, Brooklyn, The Long Island Historical 
Society, etc, 

Peter was always proud of his nationality. No one ever required to 
be told that he was a native of Scotland. He had an intense love for 
Scotsmen and for everything pertaining to Scotland. His writings in this 
respect alone entitle him to an enduring fame among historical writers. 
He possessed a warm, generous, honest heart; was a God-fearing, 
Christian man ; a lover of temperance, and for many years an active 
worker in the temperance ranks. He gave freely of his time and means 
to charity, and many a widow and orphan weeps with us to-day and 
blesses his memory. As he once wrote of another, may appropriately now 
be said of himself : 

"God rest him! Now his work is o'er, 

On his fair fame there's ne'er a blot. 
He acted well life's various parts, 

And loved to help a brother Scot." 

Peter Ross is dead, but his works and his good name will be revered 
and fondly cherished for generations to come. 

R. W. Brother Ross died Monday, June 2, and was buried in Green- 
wood Cemetery on June 5. The Masonic services were held in the Grand 
Lodge Room, Masonic Hall, under the auspices of Scotia Lodge No. 634, 
and in the presence of a large concourse of Brethren and friends who had 
come from far and near to pay the last sad tribute of respect to the dear 
departed. Even far-off Canada was represented by M. W. J. Ross 
Robertson, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada. Many of 
the present and past Grand Lodge officers of New York were in attend- 
ance, among them M. W. John Stewart, who, in a few brief remarks, dwelt 
upon the upright character and lovable disposition of Brother Ross. 

The week after the funeral Brother John Stewart, the President of 
the Masonic Plistorical Society of New York, caused the following notice 
to be issued : 

The Masonic Historical Society of New York. 

June 14th, ig02. 
Dear Sir and Brother: 

A meeting of the Masonic Historical Society will be held Saturday, 21st inst., at 
8 o'clock P. M., in Masonic Hall. 


1R.\ "CSl/. peter IRoss, %%.'S>, 



Secretary. President. 


The meeting was accordingly held on the designated date in the Com- 
posite Room, Masonic Hall. There was an unusually large attendance, and 
rarely had gathered in the Temple, or had a service been held there more 
earnest or more sincere than was the gathering of the Brethren assembled 
in memory of "Our Historian," our dear Peter Ross. Everybody present 
seemed impressed with the solemnity of the occasion and a feeling of sad- 
ness, a mournful feeling permeated the assembly. The President, Brother 
John Stewart, called the Brethren to order and stated the object of this 
great gathering in a very impressive address, part of which only is em- 
bodied in this report. He said : 

"The philosopher will reason that death is simply the consummation 
of a brief existence in this world which we call life, the end quite as 
natural as the beginning, and should excite neither joy nor sorrow. While 
we are in accord with philosophical reasoning we gather from the life of 
our friend such characteristics he may have possessed which won our ad- 
miration and we rejoice because of his life and mourn because of its ter- 
mination. In the death of Brother Peter Ross the craft has lost its most 
able exponent. Some of us have lost one of our dearest friends, and the 
world of literature one of its brightest and most gifted students. 

"It was my great good fortune to have won the friendship of Brother 
Ross, and I valued that friendship beyond expression — his gentle, kindly 
nature won my heart; his store of knowledge was great and interesting. 
Intellectual and reasonable, he was a most agreeable companion, quick 
to learn and wise to know, yet he never presumed or displayed his knowl- 
edge ; modest to a fault, willing to give freely of what he possessed, the 
friendship of such a man was valuable indeed. I had the honor to ap- 
point Brother Ross the Historian of the Grand Lodge. How well he per- 
formed his duty is a matter of record in the minutes of the craft in New 
York. That he was a capable historian is made manifest by his re- 
appointment by succeeding Grand Masters. Indeed, it would have been 
a difficult task to have secured his peer, and it may be a long time before 
we look upon his like again. We might well exclaim, 'How hath the 
mighty fallen !' The memory of his many virtues, his usefulness, his un- 
selfish devotion to Masonry, his lovable disposition will long remain with 
those who knew him. Peace to his ashes ! We bid him a long farewell. 
He sleeps 'neath the shadow of the clouds in the windowless palace of 
death. Around his grave we will plant the symbols of sympathy which 
take away its gloom, so that with returning spring the soft wind that 
breathes will be like unto the voice of God reminding us that this night of 
death will pass away and that the bright morning of life will surely come." 

Brother Alexander S. Bacon paid his tribute to the departed Brother 
in the following eloquent words : 

"Dr. Ross is not dead; his body lies, indeed, cold and inanimate, 
but the spirit has but returned to the Creator. His true self has only 
been graduated from the harsh school of earth into the peaceful uui- 


versity of the All Wise. He will live on in the works he has left 
behind ; his influence will never die. His term of study in the earth- 
school was less than the allotted three score years and ten ; it was 
shortened by study over hours. To gain wisdom, and preserve it in 
books for the benefit of his fellow men, was one of the chief aims of this 
strong, vigorous, aimable and beautiful life. The world said he was 
without ambition. His quiet and lovable ways were such as to lend 
truth to this impression to those who look upon ambition as a harsh 
struggle to obtain a preference at the expense of ones fellow men. 
He was ambitious. Above all, he was ambitious to be wise and to be 
just; and now he has obtained his goal; he Jtow knows all things. 
He has gone to that blessed immortality where the All Wise One reigns 
in peace. 

"Yesterday we called him wise and honored him for his attain- 
ments ; yet he wrote in the ignorance of earth's limitations. To-day he 
rejoices in wisdom unlimited. 

"Astronomy teaches that the moon revolves about the earth, the 
earth about the sun, and the sun about still another sun in the remote 
distance, and who shall say where, in the infinity of space, the sequence 
ends? Where is the grand central spot where our God of I,ove sits 
enthroned as the God of Power ? We guess ; Brother Ross knows. 
And to him, what infinite joy in the possession of infinite knowledge. 

"Dr. Ross was the Nestor of this, the Masonic jurisdiction 
of the world. His great industry, his deep learning, his marked 
modesty, kindness and lovable disposition, endeared him to all. No 
one was jealous of his superior gifts, and this meeting is- a just tribute 
to a fraternal appreciation of a beautiful and useful life that was put 
out, as we think, only too soon in his endeavors to do too much. 

"Your life and mine are better because he lived. His influence will 
continue to generations yet unborn, and his greatest monument will 
be the hallowed recollections engraved upon the hearts of his friends. 
The moral lessons taught in the beautiful Masonic ritual became a part 
of his life. They were so thoroughly assimilated that he enacted them 
unconsciously. He lived Masonry, while so many merely profess if. 
His wide knowledge of the history and traditions of Masonry aided 
him in a just appreciation of its teachings, yet, unfortunately, we, who 
merely receive the teachings and believe and act upon them, may, 
with God's help, develop as symetrical a character as he — virtue is not 
a monopoly of the wise. Dr. Ross rejoiced more in a conscience at 
peace with his Creator, than in amassing wealth. He believed with 
the poet that : 

' ' ' The purest treasure mortal times afford 
Is spotless reputation ; that away, 
Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay. 
A jewel iu a ten times barr'd-up chest 
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast. 
Mine honor is my life; both grow in one : 
Take honor from me, and my life is done: 
Then, dear my liege, mine honor let me try; 
In that, I live, and for that will I die.'" 


The Master of Scotia Lodge, W. Brother Samuel J. McDonald, when 
called upon said that Brother Ross, having been a member of his own im- 
mediate Masonic family, he felt deeply grateful for this memorial service 
of the Masonic Historical Society. He would not attempt to make any 
remarks in the presence of all these distinguished Brethren, but desired 
to express his thanks and the thanks of the members of Scotia Lodge No. 
634 for the many kind words said of Brother Ross and for the dignified 
and impressive memorial meeting held in honor of the loved and revered 
son of Scotia Lodge. 

Brother Claudius F. Beatty said in part : 

"Mr. President and Brethren of the Masonic Historical Society of 
New York. — I am pleased to have the opportunity to say a few words in 
kindest remembrance of our deceased friend and Brother, R. W. Brother 
Peter Ross, and I am pleased to endorse every word that has been said by 
the two distinguished and eloquent speakers who have just spoken. As 
you know. Brethren, I am not a speaker, and if ever there was an occasion 
to regret my ability to make a speech it is this, for our deceased Brother 
was an old and true friend of mine. I have known him for about ten 
years, and during that time he was always the same to me, of genial dispo- 
sition and true manly characteristic, and one who was ever ready to aid 
and assist his brother Mason in obtaining all the information pertaining to 
the origin and history of our glorious institution from its earliest incep- 
tion to the present day. But, Mr. President, all that I could say now 
would be only a reiteration of what you have so eloquently and feelingly 
said of our Brother Ross, and I am sure that every member of this Society 
who knew him through his writings in the history of our Grand Lodge 
will sadly regret his untimely taking away in the noonday of his usefulness 
■ and will exclaim with me, 'Alas ! My Brother !' " 

The remarks of Brother C. Victor Twiss were as follows : 

"It was not my privilege to be intimately acquainted with R. W. 
Brother Ross. It zt/as my good fortune to feel the charm of his presence 
on more than one occasion, and I can, in some degree, appreciate how de- 
lightful must have been the companionship of this single hearted man, to 
those more fortunate than myself. 

"To his friends he was ever true and steadfast ; to his acquaintances, 
courteous and forbearing ; to all mankind, a lover of the race. No better 
example of our beloved fraternity has lived among those of the present 

"The traits of character which impressed me the most, in my brief 
acquaintance with Brother Ross, was his sincerity of purpose and his de- 
sire to be very accurate in all his statements. Any Brother who reads 
Brother Ross' History of Freemasonry will be impressed by the painstak- 
ing character of that work. The most extensive research and verification 


of statement is eveiyw-here manifest in that important volume. The lover 
of authentic information relating to the history of the craft will find there 
the authenticity he desires. One can rest assured that the matter contained 
therein is as near the truth as the limitations of fallible man will permit. 
I know, personally, that he took infinite pains to verify the statements con- 
tained in this monumental work. 

"In the death of Brother Ross, our noble craft has met with a loss 
almost irreparable. 

"Let this Masonic Historical Society, in part the creation of Brother 
Ross' enthusiastic endeavor, cherish his memory, and may the example of 
his life live in our hearts, and incite us to do our work with the same 
degree of faithfulness he exhibited." 

Several other Brethren made brief remarks, all in the same strain, all 
expressing their regret and sorrow at our loss, and all spoke in full praise 
of the able and amiable Brother Ross. Among the excellent thoughto **- 
expressed the following are worthy of being recalled here ■ 

"I am asked to say something in commendation >. 
brother. What can be added to the sweet words already 
true and sincere tribute paid Brother Ross by his loving ^ 
in the presence of death, what can poor mortal say ? We stana 
by the bedside of a sick child, or dying parent"; we watch with o 
the ominous look of the physician, and feel lost at our littleness; we . 
the increasing stoop of our dear one, see the gradual spread of pallor on 
the face of our loved one, and we stand amazed at our utter helplessness ; 
but when a dear friend is stricken down, is taken from us in the very prime 
of life, in the very zenith of his manhood and his usefulness, we stand 
appalled at our nothingness, at our absolute nothingness ! 

"And yet, and yet, we must bow to the will of the Almighty Power, 
call him the Supreme Being, call him our God, call him Allah, or Jehovah — 
we must submit to this all-powerful will, and bow in humble and silent 
obedience to the inevitable; and whatever hope we may have of meeting 
our friends in a glorious hereafter, must be strengthened here and now 
by a faith in that immortality which is so impressively taught in the cere- 
monies of our ancient Craft." 

"Death has stamped the word 'Finis' upon the life of our Brother. 
Death makes no distinction how many chapters are contained in our lives. 
Whether it closes at the end of the first chapter or twent)\ or two, three or 
four scores, his summons ends the book. But with all his power and 
authority there is one thing he cannot stop or prevent — ^lie cannot stop the 
gentle whispers of the survivors, the sweet expressions of love and regret 
of those left behind. Death may unfurl his black banner, but we can still 
listen to the expressed thoughts our memory calls up on behalf of our loved 
ones ; he cannot seal the lips or the thoughts that issue forth, a tribute of 
love to our dear friends." 


"]\Iany of you may, like our Brother Ross, have crossed the ocean to 
come to this great land of Liberty and Freedom. You have left your 
homes and dear ones behind. You may never see them again, yet the post- 
man comes and taps, taps, taps at your window and brings you tidings 
from your loved ones. So will the memory of our dear departed, the recol- 
lection of our Brother, tap, tap, at the wall of our heart, at the window of 
our mind and brin^ tidings from him who has gone, conjure up his open 
cotmtenance and his good qualities and, above all,, his good deeds." 

"How many of us have had occasion to mourn the loss of some one 

ar to us, and after they had gone we gaze upon their picture, gaze upon 

intil we imagine the lips part. We think we see the eyes open and again 

jjarkle with animation. We imagine we hear again the sweet voice of the 

lOved one. We detect ourself talking to the picture. Aye! only a picture, 

yet it is soothing to us to have even the privilege to conjure up the past 

"' jn mind and thought live over the scenes of old and hear the echoes 

Peter feobb, , 

the two distinguj 

vou know Brethi called the King of Terror, the Dread Messenger. 

to regret mv abi' Death is the Messenger of God, the Sei-vant of the 

was an old an-' sends him to us and we obey the summons and go 

years, and ^-'~'^'^ mansion." 

sition an'" 

and ,1- resident called up the Brethren, who remained standing for some 

J.':es in silent contemplation, the ancient mourning (muffled) battery 
for the dead was given, and at the sound of the gavel the President de- 
clared the meeting closed. 

Note : This book was compiled and prepared for the press by the late Brother 
Ross before he was taken seriously ill. I called on him several times during his 
sickness and talked with him about the matter contained in this book, but all the 
undersigned had to do with this pubhcation was to "put it in shape" and see to some 
of the minor details of printing, binding, issuing and distributing. 

At the request of Brother John Stewart, President of the Masonic Historical 
Society, I added a short sketch of the life of Brother Ross, of his death and burial, 
and also an account of the memorial meeting held in his honor by this Society. 

E. LoEWENSTEiN, Secretary.